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Still Wild I've seen this woman around 85th/86th Street ("Wild Woman of 77th Street," July 26), and not only does she spit, she also screams at the top of her lungs. It's one of the worst screams that I've ever heard. After hours, she stands in the Bank of America on Lexington Avenue and hacks into a garbage can. What are the police waiting for-another tragic incident where someone gets hurt by a homeless nut job? Sorry, but I have no compassion for this lunatic who screams and spits on innocent people. I pay a lot of money to live on the Upper East Side, and between the fruit carts, halal food stands and the peddlers of junk on 86th Street, I'm starting to think that this city is turning into something that is less chic and metropolitan and more Third World. Think about it: We already have something that resembles rickshaws on Fifth Avenue (pedicab, anyone?). We're more concerned with being politically correct than keeping our city as beautiful as it was during the days of the Giuliani administration. Oh well, I guess somewhere along the way, people stopped caring. -Concerned UES Citizen Rose Garden Strategy Too many incumbent elected officials on the federal, state and city level follow the infamous Rose Garden strategy of ignoring their respective challengers-by refusing to participate in any public debates until the last minute. They end up agreeing to one or two, knowing full well that their election is preordained. In the 1960s, '70s and '80s, both Democratic and Republican primary candidates participated in numerous television and newspaper editorial board debates. Voters could look beyond the 30- or 60-second TV commercial sound bites to learn about real views and issues among the candidates. Those candidates who refused to participate in these debates would be subject to critical newspaper editorials. They ended up losing any chance of newspaper endorsements and usually went down to defeat in either the primary or general election. In the 1980s, a new Rose Garden strategy emerged. Incumbents or officially designated incumbent candidates of both parties refused to debate lesser-known, under-funded opponents in either the primary or general election. Let us hope that enlightened newspapers such as Our Town call for an end of incumbents and officially designated organization candidates' use of the Rose Garden strategy in future elections. Intelligent voters deserve frequent debates prior to both the primary and general election as opposed to canned TV commercials. Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has been following the Rose Garden strategy of ignoring her conservative challenger Wendy Long. Candidates who refuse to participate in debates should be subject to critical newspaper editorials. They should forfeit any chance of endorsements by media outlets. -Larry Penner

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