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Laundry List

To the Editor:

Dan Kennedy’s story, “The Trouble With Being Hillary” [July 14], has a subtitle saying “it’s not her fault” that she’s so hated.

It is fascinatingly odd that the entire piece contains not one word about the 1993 “Hillarycare” fiasco, a deeply flawed plan to bigbrotherize the nation’s whole health-care system, which Mrs. Clinton masterminded behind closed doors (in apparent violation of open government laws); the “travelgate” travesty, wherein loyal longtime White House employees were smeared with phony charges of wrongdoing in order to give their jobs to Mrs. Clinton’s cronies; the commodities trading scandal, where Mrs. Clinton earned around $100,000 very quickly on a small investment—let’s face it, a thinly disguised payoff by the broker; the subpoenaed billing records from Mrs. Clinton’s Arkansas law firm, which she denied possessing, until they “mysteriously” materialized on a White House library table in plain view; the “filegate” affair wherein politically sensitive FBI files on individuals were improperly obtained by the White House through an operative working for Mrs. Clinton.

Incidentally, I haven’t read any of the anti-Hillary books, but I have not forgotten her record. Maybe my memory is better than Dan Kennedy’s.

Frank S. Robinson


It’s in the Fish

To the Editor:

Thank you for your article “Catch Anything?” [Newsfront, June 23].

I want to clarify that the medical concern we have is that heavy metals may be accumulating in the fish of Tivoli Lake. Lead and mercury have been found in Patroon Creek, along with uranium. Patroon Creek water may be feeding into Tivoli Lake. Eating fish containing lead and mercury is correlated with cognitive disabilities in children.

Epidemiological studies find that communities exposed to lead and mercury suffer from more lupus, an incurable autoimmune disease. Lab studies back this up.

As a resident of Arbor Hill community for three years, I believe the failure of any agency merely to test the water in this beautiful urban wilderness preserve is correlated with the perception that our community has little socioeconomic power.

If hundreds of community toxics issues in New York state continue to go uninvestigated, we are in need of many more urban environmental advocates, such as those of the W. B. Haywood Environmental Education Center in Arbor Hill. This is about community self-protection and self-determination.

Grace Nichols Albany

Oooh, That Smell

To the Editor:

Early last Thursday morning, I picked up a fresh copy of Metroland at the usual spot, usual time. And with that, it started off to be a usual Thursday morning, which is good. I began walking home as the sun was coming up, with this fine weekly folded over in my hand.

My headphones were playing something jovial, and I was tapping along against the side of my leg. A newsweekly works well as a much less painful substitute to a real drumstick when I act as both drummer and drum. At this moment, though nothing compelled me to do so—it wasn’t a conscious action—I started tapping my upper lip with this bundled paper. That’s when I smelled it.

Wow, I thought, you smell really nice for a newspaper. I started to breathe it in really deeply; it’s very soothing. Smelling the top of the paper, all in a bundle, it is a busy little wood shop. Not a wood shop in which you’ve been dripping sweat over the table saw for several hours, breathing in dust and the blade burns of overworked two-by-fours. No, it’s more the rushing whiff of fresh sawdust as you first enter the shop, ready to build. It’s a big old tree being cut down somewhere upwind in the neighborhood. Or it’s a lumber yard. Not the chemical treatment stench of Home Depot’s lumber aisle, it’s more like a small mill in the Berkshire woods after an autumn rain.

I started to explore the paper, smelling the corners, the midway fold (from the inside), and the front cover. A lone elderly woman passed me on the sidewalk who cleared her throat inquisitively and loud enough for me to pull my face away from the cover, thus noticing that I had been, well, burrowing my nose into that woman’s crotch on the cover. I didn’t know this passerby, but she very could’ve been my fuming grandmother with the glare she gave me. Indeed, a good start to a typical Thursday morning. Thank you.

Scott Russell



In “Social Security for Non-Nerds” (June 23), we incorrectly stated that “the amount you get every month will be enough to replace somewhere around 60 to 70 percent of your average working income.” According to the Social Security Administration, Social Security will replace only about 40 percent of the average worker’s preretirement earnings. We apologize for the error.


In “Would You Like to See the Kids’ Menu?” (Newsfront, June 9), we incorrectly identified Betsy Mercogliano as a midwife. She is not; she is a doula, which is an advocate and support person for families in their childbearing year.

Metroland welcomes typed, double-spaced letters (computer printouts OK), addressed to the editor. Or you may e-mail them to: Metroland reserves the right to edit letters for length; 300 words is the preferred maximum. You must include your name, address and day and evening telephone numbers. We will not publish letters that cannot be verified, nor those that are illegible, irresponsible or factually inaccurate.

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