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Things Are Not What They Seem

To the Editor:

As a longtime employee of the Workers’ Compensation Board, I was dismayed to read David King’s infomercial on the agency in last week’s paper [“We Helped Too,” Nov. 18]. It appears that Mr. King has taken most of the information for his article from the media relations’ representative for the WCB and from others who work directly for the chairman of the agency. Although the WCB has done some very good things with respect to 9/11 claims, in the vast majority of workers’ compensation claims, the progress and attitude of the agency has been far from positive. The autocratic and unresponsive management style of the administration has resulted in a dysfunctional state agency whose main goal is the production of misleading statistics giving the impression of progress in the resolution of claims.

It is well known that the WCB has long been the repository of political appointees and their relatives who are for the most part unfamiliar with and unsympathetic to the noble purpose of the agency’s creation in its goal to aid injured workers. Other than the efforts taken for the very public 9/11 cases, which bring national press scrutiny, the Pataki administration has pursued policies which make it more difficult for the injured worker to obtain benefits and has taken a pro-insurance company posture toward the resolution of claims in less high-visibility cases.

Hopefully, Metroland will follow through on its reporting of the Workers’ Compensation Board by speaking with employees who are not paid representatives of the Pataki administration and with the injured workers who are poorly served by this agency.

Name withheld on request

Editor’s reply:

Though we are sure that problems with the WCB still exist, and would be happy to look into them, David King’s thesis that 9/11 has changed the agency for the better was actually generated from speaking with several current and former frontline WCB workers, exactly as you suggest. Unfortunately, like yourself, they were not able to go on the record.

We Do Not Condone Dog-Kicking

To the Editor:

As an admitted card-carrying member of the liberal left, I nonetheless take issue with the sentiments of Ms. Brink (“I weep for you”) [Letters,Nov. 18]. This is just the sort of treacly pap that loses elections. Buck up, shut up, or join the other team.

But I really have a problem with the snarly, childish, Cheney-esque gloatings of Mr. Walsh (“It gives me mental satisfaction hearing you people whine”). This seems suspiciously like some smug buttoned-up, tight-arsed, Napoleon-complex masturbation in print. But, hey, what do I know.

I do know this: Ms. Brink might be willing to go all bipartisan and conciliatory, but not me. Bushies: I will not hold open the door for your mom, I will not engage you in friendly banter, and I will kick your dog. Four more years? You bet.

Jeffrey A. Mercer


Just Another Blowhard

To the Editor:

What happened? In the Nov. 18 issue on page 48 is a photo of Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull holding a flute, in that common “I’m about to blow” pose. Then turn the page and in the same position on page 50 is master flutist Ardal Powell, seemingly in the midst of tooting away. I’m concerned about this flute proliferation—flutes, after all, being to the music world as mimes are to the world of entertainment. Unless you’re trying to create a little flip-book movie with the repeated images, please keep any other flutist photos in the locked box marked “Rampal” and stash it all down in the basement.

David Greenberger



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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