To The Editor:

Good news! Composting has arrived on Roosevelt Island! Calling all Islanders: we can now bring our food scraps on Saturdays to the Farmer’s Market.

I, for one, am thrilled as I have been schlepping my compost every week (stored in the freezer!) to the Union Square Market for about a year, doing my best to reduce our household waste along with recycling. Our disposable garbage is only a very tiny bit each week.

By composting we: #1 Hugely reduce our household kitchen waste, #2 Reduce landfill by at least 20%, and #3 Re-nourish the soil, closing the circle from where it all began as a living organism.

This project is in keeping with what our kids are learning at RI Girl Scouts, iDig2Learn, the Garden Club, and will help our school, PS/IS 217, in preparation for their new Green Roof.

Here is what we can bring to Compost:

• Fruit and vegetable scraps

Coffee grounds, filters, and paper tea bags

• Bread and grains

• Egg shells

• Nutshells

• Corncobs

Food-soiled paper towels and napkins

• Shredded newspaper

Sawdust and wood shavings from untreated wood

• Stale beans, flour, and spices

• Cut or dried flowers

• Houseplants and potting soil

• Feathers

These items are NOT acceptable:

• Cat or dog feces

• Kitty litter

• Colored or glossy paper

Sawdust made from pressure-treated plywood or lumber

• Coal or charcoal ashes

• Non-compostable materials like plastic, metals, or glass

• Diseased or insect-infested houseplants and soil

• Biodegradable or compostable plastics

The more we all contribute to the good health of our Earth the better! See you at the Compost Bin on Saturday!

(The New York Compost Project housed by Big Reuse is part of NYC Zero Waste carried out by the Department of Sanitation at host sites in neighborhoods. The Roosevelt Island program is supported by RIOC, Roosevelt Island Garden Club, PS/IS 217 PTA, RI Girl Scouts, iDig2Learn and more!)

Robin Benitz


To the Editor:

We are losing a significant participant in Island life with this issue of The Main Street WIRE and, as Arthur Miller said in “Death of a Salesman,” attention must be paid. Publisher Dick Lutz is hanging up the mantle and washing off the printer’s ink. So much of Island life has been chronicled in the pages of The WIRE over the years, so many issues discussed, that it would take an encyclopedia to summarize them all. Roosevelt Island has been profoundly underserved by New York City’s newspapers, with the few stories they have run often filled with inaccuracies or misunderstandings. We are a complicated community, with a Byzantine governmental structure that has, more often than not, disappointed. The WIRE has always gotten the story right and limned the essential elements for residents to understand.

I’ve been privileged to see the process up close and personal, having been a “stuffer,” one of the volunteers who gather on Friday mornings to assemble the paper and see that 5,500 copies are distributed (one way or another) to every door on Roosevelt Island. This is done with the help of another cadre of volunteers who travel door-to-door hand delivering your bi-weekly dose of information and conversation and with the expenditure of significant perspiration. Like most newspapers, profit has never been a motive for producing it; this has always truly been a labor of love for editorial and circulation staff alike.

For the eight years I was Roosevelt Island Residents Association president, I had the pleasure of writing the RIRA Column, and the only times I failed to produce that column were when a guest columnist had something more important to say. In a job that was often exhausting and frustrating, writing that column focused my mind, calmed my soul and connected me with the folks who had elected me (four times!).

We live in an age where (we are told) the printed page is becoming an anachronism, being replaced by blogs, social media, e-magazines and e-books and…I don’t believe it. Too much of what passes for information online is written by trolls, intent on being nasty, insulting, wrong, and held to no standards. There are still schools of journalism where standards, ethics, and fact-checking are taught, and The WIRE has always insisted on all three. After all, Dick is a professional journalist, which is why finding a new editor-publisher has been so difficult; they don’t grow on trees.

Roosevelt Island desperately needs the services provided by The WIRE, if only to reinforce our claim to autonomy as a stand-alone community within the Big Apple. I hope that The Main Street WIRE will be able to continue in some form, both on paper and in cyberspace, to provide the carefully edited product that we have come to expect. It has been said that this gem is one of the great small-town newspapers in America. (I think I said it, actually.) I salute my friend, Dick Lutz, who has given so much to his (our) adopted hometown. Thanks, Dick, it’s been a joy.

Matthew Katz


To the Editor:

Roosevelt Island is filled with superheroes who go on doing what they do to ameliorate the lives of our community. In the 29 years I’ve been on Roosevelt Island, I’ve met many people who raise the bar for all of us and make our Island a better place. They do it silently. They do it with passion. They do it with selflessness.

These are people I call the unsung heroes.

One of these heroes is Dick Lutz, editor-publisher of The Main Street WIRE. It takes a lot of people to run a newspaper and Dick has worn numerous hats and jumped through hoops week after week to make sure The WIRE was published on time with meaningful stories for all of us. Several years ago, when PSD was under the ruthless rule of chief Guerra, I was arrested for taking pictures of officers evicting our community’s kids from the baseball field. I called the one person I knew I could trust, and Dick jumped right into action, calling politicians and Island officials to secure my release. Ultimately, he was among those instrumental in making a change to a better place for all of us and securing a better PSD under the new chief, Jack McManus.

Throughout the years, I’ve witnessed Dick’s quest for justice, for peace, and for a better Roosevelt Island. Even when the workload was heavy, he maintained a smile. When the story was difficult, he maintained a professional equilibrium.

I call Dick an unsung hero!

Adib Mansour

Tags: Letters

Contact Info

The Main Street WIRE
531 Main Street #413
New York, NY 10044
Tel: 212-826-9056
Email: MainStreetWIRE@usa.net