Letters to the Editor: May 23 - 30 | Opinion | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Letters to the Editor: May 23 - 30

Casting aspersions

As the director of PPTCO's production of The Music Lesson, I feel I must respond to an unfair critical point in Robert Isenberg's May 16 review regarding playwright Tammy Ryan.

Mr. Isenberg writes, "[W]hen it comes to the students, both of whom are African American, Ryan seems skittish. ... Had Ryan truly scarred her children, she might have drawn a profound line between inner-city life and ... actual, militarized war."

Ms. Ryan did not shy away from race in writing this wonderful play about loss and hope. The play was commissioned by Prime Stage Theatre with an all-white cast in mind. Artistic director Mark Clayton Southers and myself decided to employ color-blind casting for our current production. People of all racial and ethnic types experience the pain of divorce and the dissolution of family life. All human beings share the need for fulfillment in our lives.

It is interesting to me that Mr. Isenberg took us to task for a message that wasn't in the production, and gave short shrift to the one that existed.

-- John Gresh, Spring Hill


What goes around ...

Comments in Violet Law's May 16 article ["Vicious Cycle"] seem to portray cyclists as hapless victims in a cruel world of the big bad motorists. Let me first say that I would never ever endorse, condone or accept violence towards cyclists. As a motorist who encounters cyclists daily, however, I can say that I've been plenty annoyed by cyclists who tend to follow their own "rules of the road."

In the article, police officer Jayne Novak points out that bicycles have the same "privileges" as cars on the road. What the article fails to address are the responsibilities of bicyclists. Bicycles are considered vehicles under Pennsylvania law and must obey all the rules of the road which apply to vehicles.

How many times has one seen a bicyclist ignore stop signs and lights? Sail past cars waiting in traffic? Not follow traffic patterns, but dart and weave between vehicles, riding dangerously close to cars? Cause traffic delays and force motorists to swerve into oncoming lanes to avoid hitting them, or otherwise be forced to slow to 5 mph up hills, because bicyclists are riding tandem or are too far out into the traffic lane? I've seen these things many times. How are bicyclists allowed to travel on the roadways, with no system of formal training of the laws of the road?

In the article, Paul Simpson complains about the bias against bicyclists, saying that motorists view bicyclists as "less important." Perhaps if cyclists were required to pass written and practical driving tests, pay registration and licensing fees and perhaps even be required to undertake yearly state inspections of their vehicles like the rest of us, I'd consider them equal partners on the road.

-- Bob Merlin, Plum

Hands off Rafah protest in East Liberty
21 images

Hands off Rafah protest in East Liberty

By Mars Johnson