Letters

Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!

To the Editor:

Jason Horowitz’s story “Can Rudy Pass as Republican? Hillary Helps” [May 1, 2006] incorrectly reports that the Harvey Milk High School was expanded in 2001, during Mayor Giuliani’s last year in office. In fact, the Milk High School was not expanded by Mr. Giuliani. The city decided to expand the Milk High School in June 2003, a year and a half after Mr. Giuliani left office. Mr. Giuliani’s own record on education is clear, however: He provided record levels of financial support for the city’s public schools, while at the same time advocating for the fundamental reform of failing schools, and for giving parents greater choice in deciding where to educate their children.

Anthony Coles

Former Deputy Mayor for Planning, Education and Cultural Affairs

Manhattan

To the Editor:

While the likelihood of Senator Hillary Clinton being crowned the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2008 may help Rudy Giuliani’s chances in the Republican race, his very presence could prove even more bountiful to another Presidential aspirant.

Senator John McCain, despite recent attempts to reach out to the social-conservative wing of his party, still appears to have a considerable way to go in convincing this constituency to join his ranks. However, a candidate to Senator McCain’s left could help the Arizonan significantly in this regard.

Enter Mr. Giuliani. For should the former Mayor have a successful invisible primary period, the conservative wing of the G.O.P. may fall in behind Mr. McCain, viewing him as the most credible “Stop Rudy” candidate in the Republican race.

Ultimately, in spite of Mr. Giuliani’s own recent attempts to woo the G.O.P.’s social conservatives, it is unlikely that they would support him over Mr. McCain.

South Carolina and the Republican primary contest of 2000 could suddenly seem a long way away.

Roddy Keenan

Huddersfield,

West Yorkshire,

England

Times Runs A-Fowl

To the Editor:

Re “Dear Arthur Jr.: Here’s Your Shot—Buy Back Times!” [Gabriel Sherman, Off the Record, May 1, 2006]: The New York Times is a dying quail. And how much is a dying quail worth? Not much.

Pinch may have been manor-born, but if he bought The New York Times he’d be punched out to the street.

Gary Schwartz

Fort Lee, N.J.

F-Train Touché

To the Editor:

In “Twee Grows in Brooklyn” [Slope Opera, May 1, 2006], Suzy Hansen quotes someone in Brooklyn as saying: “Now that’s the difference between Brooklyn and Manhattan …. ”

No, that’s what’s the same about people in both boroughs: worrying about the difference between Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Take the F train and forget about it.

John D. Berry

Seattle

Remembering Gustavus Loomis

To the Editor:

Re Choire Sicha’s April 3 piece about Ms. Barbara Romer [“Lullaby of Bardland: Pacino, Hoffman Back Shakespeare Island”], I want to inform you that in March 2005, the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation called for opinions about the appropriateness of locating a Shakespearean Globe Theater within Castle Williams on the island, off Manhattan’s southern tip. At the time, I wrote a lengthy letter to this body voicing my opposition to the proposal.

One reason for opposing this plan is personal: A member on our family tree played a significant role in the history of the island and Castle Williams. Gustavus Loomis graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1811. His first posting as a second lieutenant was to an artillery regiment at Fort Columbus (now Fort Jay) before he took part in the War of 1812. During his career, he served on the Niagara frontier, in two Florida Seminole wars as well as the Black Hawk and Mexican wars, and as commandant of numerous Western posts.

His last posting, from 1861 until 1864, was as commander of the island’s Fort Columbus and Castle Williams, where he supervised both fortifications as Civil War prisons. Measles, typhus, smallpox, pneumonia and intermittent fevers raged within the prison walls.

I also oppose the concept of a theater in such an historical setting. How did the present idea of turning one of the two forts under Loomis’ command into a theater come about? Did someone look at the roundness of Castle Williams and think that the old Globe Theater of London was round, so therefore it must be a good idea to place a theater within Castle Williams? Did anyone study in-depth the history of these structures and ask if there were an interesting way to tell the history of the island and its fortifications? Shouldn’t we honor the pain and suffering that occurred within this prison? Would we erect a theater inside Alcatraz? Have a dance troupe perform over the graves at Arlington National Cemetery or at the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial?

Barbara Romer, the art historian behind the idea of erecting a theater within the castle, suggests she is preserving the castle’s historic integrity. I object: A theater within the castle would be violating the castle’s historic integrity.

Linda Loomis

San Antonio Letters