Best comments from and Letters to the Editor

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Positives of Street Fairs To the Editor: Re: "Not All Is Fair in Street Fairs, Some Say (May 10), one of the major fairs in CB8 was left out of the listing: The 37-year-old Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Second Avenue Community Benefit Festival on Sat. June 2 from noon to 5 p.m. on Third Avenue (due to Second Avenue Subway construction) from 66th to 86th Street. In addition, the article talks minimally about the benefits to nonprofits and focuses on the costs to city, etc., of street fairs in general.Has anyone done an analysis of how much support the nonprofits in CB8 garner in critical funding from all the fairs? ESNA noted the financial support from their fair, but that is only one nonprofit that benefits. The MCC Community Benefit Fund has contributed over $3 million in funding for 100+ nonprofits through our two street fairs over the past years, and nonprofits get free booths to let the community know about their initiatives, recruit volunteers and take donations for raffle tickets. And we pay 20 percent of our revenue to the city to underwrite the cost of our fairs. With regard to closing down the streets for fairs where only the same sock and sausage vendors participate, it may not be the cup of tea for some but the vendors keep coming back, which means people in the community are buying from them! Also, let's discuss the cost of parades, which also cause traffic problems, congestion in CB8 and cost the city a great deal of money. How much do they pay the city to underwrite their costs? I think very little! And what is the actual cost to the city?I think a lot! That is a piece of the equation no one is discussing and is equally costly-if not more so-to the city. -Nancy Ploeger President, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Impact by Example To the Editor: I was completely interested and absorbed in "An Unorthodox Rebellion," (May 17) for many reasons. I am from a family of Conservative Jews, with quite a few extended family members practicing Orthodox Judaism. When I was out on my own, I withdrew frommuch lesser constraints than Deborah did. Over the years, I have slowly built a foundation of many different spiritual avenues that sustain me. I don't know Deborah personally, but I am proud of her and happy for her. Shehas made a huge impact by example and by reaching out and helping others in similar situations. BRAVA! -Lanie

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