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Debatable Leadership

To the Editor:

It is no surprise to me that Mayor Jennings will not enter into a debate with Alice Green. [“Green and Growing,” Nov. 3] After all he is the mayor who did not endorse Carl McCall, but rather Pataki. He developed budgets that eventually closed down Camp Opportunity, a minority-run summer camp that had served minority children free of charge for years.

He is mayor of the city where the good people of Arbor Hill came faithfully for several months to City Council to let their elected officials know that the 3 and 4 AM garbage pickups were disrupting their sleep, making life difficult. Their pleas went unheard. Yet when the good people of another part of the city complained about the same thing several years later, legislation was instantly enacted because “people should not have to live this way.” This reflects on his leadership just as the mishandling of the absentee ballots in the futile attempt to make independently minded Wanda Willingham lose the legislative election reflects on his party leadership.

Money originally allocated for the repair and renovation of Henry Johnson Boulevard mysteriously was reallocated to New Scotland Avenue near his home. Neighborhood input for the Arbor Hill renovation plan could only be accomplished by lawsuit. Those from Madison Avenue were warmly invited.

When my son was 8 years old, he met a person whom he told me he liked because “he did not treat me like I was black.” When asked to explain, he said, “oh, like you are not there.”

No, I am not at all surprised that Mayor Jennings is not debating Alice Green for the election. I only hope that the good people of Albany who have not had to suffer “not being there” will open their eyes and take a good, long look. What we saw with Katrina does not just exist in the South.

Susan Stutz


Hard to Swallow

To the Editor:

In her review of Angelo’s Prime 677 [Food, Nov. 3], the reviewer wrote “For dinner, my husband had the prime New York strip ($39), which comes from the most tender section of beef. Sides come a la carte ($4 to $8). . . . The steak, however, was the main event, and it was well worth the money.”

C’mon—what can you do to a piece of meat that makes it worth 40 bucks a serving, without so much as a couple of broccoli florets? Prices like this are outrageous! This is like the Emperor’s New Restaurant, where people stand in line to pay exorbitant prices in order to be seen as the type of person who thinks that a 40-dollar slab of meat is “well worth the money.”

In fairness, I was taken to Angelo’s for dinner and did enjoy the food very much. Would I go there on my own credit card? Not on your life! There are plenty of places in the Capital District where you can eat for less than half the price equally well if not better.

Frankly, I was surprised to see a Metroland review of such a restaurant that did not so much as mention the fact that this is pricey fare indeed. In general, Metroland reviews the sort of restaurants that “real people” can afford to go to, and I find the reviews very useful in deciding where to eat out. I would imagine that the dinner tab for the reviewer and her husband was paid for by Metroland—would the reviewer have been so effusive in her praise if she were paying the tab herself?

Paul Busman


Editor’s reply:

We consider all dining experiences in the Capital Region fair game for the Food section, and do not restrict our reviews to restaurants within a certain price range.

Because People Aren’t Nice

To the Editor:

Answering my letter saying that its Katrina response simply reflected government’s inherent dysfunction in meeting human needs, Chris Edelson holds that the problem isn’t government as such, but the people running it [Letters, Oct. 6]. I agree that government could be wonderful if only it were run by the kind of virtuous, wise, selfless administrators he pines for. But in the real world, the prodigious power and money associated with big government inevitably fall to sharp-elbowed people very different from the disinterested angels Mr. Edelson wishes we could put in charge. That’s why his dream of a truly benevolent government is just that—a dream.

Frank S. Robinson


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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