Letters to the editor

Recent

Letters 1/17/2023

Grateful for Masking Policy To the Editor: I joined the Coop in 2017 in my 70’s, and thus am an older working member. I am writing to express my gratitude and support for the general coordinators’ decision to continue the mask requirement for all shoppers and workers. As the risk of serious Covid infections and…

Letters 12/27/2022

The NEW New-Member Orientation: Something Lost, Something Gained To the Editor: During my time as a Coop member, I have been called upon a number of times while working a shift to give tours to visitors—back when we used to have visitors. I always enjoyed meeting people who were interested in how the shopping floor is…

Cooperation, an Underrated Value

By Cynthia Blayer Last January, when the local temperature hovered around ten degrees, my building and several others were affected by a nearby water-main break. No water for several days, the DEP outside drilling round the clock—first trying to locate the break and then fix it. We brought them coffee and donuts at night and…

Where Is the Logic?

To the Editor: I have compassion for parent members who miss free childcare. However, I am asking the households who are threatening to leave the Coop without a reinstatement of childcare to consider the following, please: 1. Where is the safety? We are at the beginning of flu season. A large number of children are…

Joe Holtz Suspension

Hello fellow Coopsters, I was perusing the fantastic Linewaiters’ Gazette website and read about the suspension of Joe Holtz. I don’t understand the logic behind deciding to punish a working member by suspending and withholding pay for an entire month. We all live in the most expensive city in the United States. We’re in an…

Unrest Upstairs at the Food Coop

To the Editor: During the September General Meeting discussion about the penalty General Manager Joe Holtz faced for violating staff COVID protocols, Personnel Committee member Jean Callahan defended the actions of her committee, clarifying that it is a body elected to advise on hiring and firing matters. It did not act on a whim and…

Shoutout to November 16 midday shift and members

I really want to thank the cooperative and kind spirit of the shift that I worked with Squad Leader Alex on Wednesday, November 16, and some Coop shoppers. 1. The cashier was patient as my new debit card—which I was nervous about using—didn’t work. He explained that he could suspend the order and how I could get help…

Joe Holtz Suspension

I have just had the opportunity to learn and read about Joe Holtz’s suspension. As another member of the Coop since almost the very beginning (1974), I feel I must write my first-ever letter to the editor. I remember my first days at the Coop, trudging up the long flight of stairs with my two-year-old…

In Search Of Housing listings

Hello, Is there any update on when a real estate section of apartments for rent/housing exchanges available will return to the Coop? If there is a list, or people requesting such an item, please add my name to the list. Thank you,Jessica Corriere 

“Life Behind a Mask”

To the Editor: In breathing, we typically inhale a fair amount of airborne pollutants floating in the atmosphere, along with oxygen and other gasses that constitute air. The pollutants can include dust particles, chemical pollutants, motor-vehicle exhaust, and free-floating bacteria and viruses. Some will be breathed right back out with the next breath. Some will…

Review the Personnel Committee Structure

Dear PSFC members, It is time to rethink the structure of the Personnel Committee: Five members who were elected by uncontested vote are clearly not qualified to wield this much power.  Perhaps a professional moderator or two could be added. An overarching perspective was absent in the brutal punishment delivered to Joe Holtz for his error…

Current Coop Mask Policy to Continue

Dear Members, The letter from PSFC about the General Coordinators’ decision to continue current policy includes a sentence that is questionable: “Although making masks optional received the most responses, the General Coordinators consider these numbers too close to consider changing the current policy at this time.”  The data provided in the letter: 51%: Masks are optional…

The Mask Survey

Dear Members, A “survey,” rather than a “vote,” is nonbinding, allowing the surveyors to interpret and deal with the results as they see fit. The coordinators’ mask survey polled members on whether masks should be mandatory or optional for shoppers, and for workers.  But the coordinators multiplied two simple and logical categories—“shoppers” and “workers”—into four…

Joe Holtz’s suspension

Dear Editors, I missed the issue of the Gazette in which Joe Holtz’s suspension was reported. I’m appalled at the severity of the punishment. I share shops and mass transit with unmasked people whose vaccination status and exposure to the virus I don’t know. One COVID-exposed person wearing an N95 doesn’t even register on my…

pay joe holtz

Dear Editors, I have been a member of the PSFC since the 1970s. I was dismayed to learn that General Manager Joe Holtz was punished with a month’s suspension without pay because he came to work, wearing an N95 mask, while awaiting a PCR test result, a test result that came back positive. What he…

Mask Policy Voting

Dear Editors, I was disturbed to read the email of October 21, 2022, on the voting results for the mask policy. More than 4,600 members took time to vote on the issue, and there was an 8-point margin between masks optional for all (51%) and masks required for all (43%). The voting presented the idea of…

Member Shopping

Hello, The recent mask survey made me think of another aspect of the pandemic aftermath. What I am referring to are the “carrots,” or the limit on the number of members that are allowed to shop in the Coop at any given time. I am not certain whether there have been discussions around this topic.…

Bring Back Childcare: A Response to the Coop’s May Letter About Childcare

Dear Karen, I am responding to your May letter in the Gazette regarding bringing back childcare.  The Coop states that the two main reasons that the Coop cannot currently bring back childcare is that the food processing machine currently occupies the old childcare room, and the public health risks. I wish to address these one…

Personnel Grievances are Private By Nature

Dear Coop community, I don’t like to feel used. Yet, this is how I felt during the September 27 General Meeting as members discussed the agenda item re: overturning General Manager and Treasurer Joe Holtz’s suspension. The Coop membership is unable to evaluate this situation thoroughly or fairly. Due to the right to privacy, we have limited…

Streamline The Shopping Process for EBT Holders

Hi,I would like to see checkout accept EBT payments for those who use a debit card for any balance not covered by the EBT. Should a person prefer to use cash or have a coupon, then the sale could be suspended and the shopper could proceed to the cashier. To avoid confusion, signs may be…

Openness About Controversies is A Core Coop Value

Dear Editors, Having just attended the September GM, I’m impressed with the collected wisdom of our membership in the discussion about the suspension of General Manager and Treasurer Joe Holtz. There was also a deep feeling we have something of a crisis in dealing with conflict at the Coop. I want to call up a detail…

Members Deserve A Warm—And Respectful—Welcome

To The Editor, I am writing to express my concern about the treatment of personal information in the Coop database. Specifically, at the check-in desk. This has bothered me for a while, but the low point was an occasion a few years ago where my wife was ridiculed about her disability work exemption. I am…

Keep The Vaccine and Masking Mandate — For Shoppers and Workers

Dear Editors, My partner is immunocompromised and their health has declined significantly due to long COVID. The Coop’s recent decision to remove the vaccine mandate for workers risks pushing out families like mine. Although the city is no longer mandating that private employers impose a vaccine mandate, employers are still free to impose such mandates.…

Vote for the NYS Clean Water, Clean Air, Clean Jobs Bond Act on Nov. 8

Dear Cooperators,  There’s a lot at stake in the 2022 midterm elections—including a great opportunity to protect our state’s environment by voting for the $4.2 billion Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Bond Act. This would be the state’s first environmental bond act since 1996.  The Bond act would safeguard clean drinking water, replace…

Joe Holtz Deserves Better

Dear Editor,  I’ve been a Coop member for over 15 years and was shocked and dismayed to read about Founder, General Manager and Treasurer Joe Holtz’s suspension in the October Linewaiters’ Gazette. I’ve always felt tremendous gratitude to Joe and the other Coop founders for their incredible contribution to the community and dedication to making…