Letters, week of March 29, 2012

A hospital would cure ill will

To The Editor:
Here is an idea for New York University and its development in our area. It’s one that would make everyone happy with N.Y.U. and make N.Y.U. very comfortable knowing Village residents appreciate what they will do for the neighborhood. The university could consider sponsoring an N.Y.U. Hospital. This hospital could be so constructed as to be able to take care of all emergency patients, including those with heart attacks or strokes, etc. I’m sure it could get tax abatements and sponsors galore. And a new up-to-date hospital would serve the university’s students, instructors and staff, as well as the community and the influx of new people and new businesses that would come into the area. And it would also prevent serious complications or death for people who would not be able to get to Beth Israel or Bellevue Hospital in time to be saved due to the traffic and the distance they would have to go to get help.
Marilyn Schwartz

 Kudos for Paul and company!

To The Editor:
Re “For a sustainable neighborhood, modify N.Y.U. plan” (talking point, by Judy Paul and Rani Marom, March 22):

We welcome the comments of Ms. Paul’s Villagers for a Sustainable Neighborhood. They are the small business owners who believe in our community and have had neighborhood businesses that are important to residents.

There is really no need for N.Y.U. to be granted a change of zoning. There is really no need for a huge commercial hotel in our residential neighborhood. There is no need for the density of building that N.Y.U. proposes. Nor should they be permitted to turn the first and second floors of all Washington Square Village buildings into commercial stores!

Ms. Paul’s group is comprised of taxpayers, concerned citizens and contributors to our neighborhood. We applaud them.
Sylvia Rackow
Rackow is a member, Committee to Preserve Our Neighborhood

 Density doesn’t equal ‘character’ 

To The Editor:
Re “Chamber chief: N.Y.U plan will help Village keep its character” (news article, March 15):

It is difficult to imagine how 2.5 million square feet of tall, massive buildings on two blocks will help the Village maintain its character. The historic character of the Village grows out of the mostly low-rise, smaller, older buildings. Tall, modern buildings are known for adding density, not “character.”

If the priority is construction jobs and serving commercial interests, there’s no stopping any kind of development, regardless of merit. Build now, weep later.
Janice Pargh 

Saving buildings — and rabbits

To The Editor:
Re “South Village is a must-save, says Preserve League” and “Hoppy ending as Soho rabbit rustlers return boutique bunny” (news articles, March 22)

Well, if turning the South Village into a historic district saves it from mega-story buildings being built in the area, I’m for it. New York City is rapidly losing the character and charm it had in the original architecture that existed. Today’s skyscraper apartment houses and office buildings are sorely lacking in ornamentation and character, and don’t fit into the area they are occupying.

As for Miss Cooper, everyone is so glad to see that the bunny has been returned and all is well. I hope the store’s owners find a way to protect the rabbits from the possibility of being stolen in the future.

Fresh carrots for all!
Barbara Paolucci  

Spin is one thing, but…

To The Editor:
Re “Chamber chief: N.Y.U plan will help Village keep its character” (news article, March 15):

Two flat-out lies used to support N.Y.U. fraud: N.Y.U. is building on its own property; and no green space will be lost.

Study the actual plan and see for yourself.
Jeffrey Rowland 

Birds would take a beating

To The Editor:
Re “City spins idea for wind rotors atop buildings” (news article, Feb. 23):

I oppose the positioning of these 55-foot wind turbines on top of buildings. These turbines can pose a danger to the community in the event of storms and hurricanes. These turbines pose a hazard to our rapidly declining birds. Large numbers of these passerines, hawks and other birds would be mutilated and killed by these turbines. Warblers, swallows, vireos, flycatchers and other birds eat vast numbers of mosquitoes. Hawks eat rats. These large turbines are very noisy and disturbing.

There are plans for the Spectra gas pipeline to cross the Gansevoort Peninsula and bring methane, also called natural gas, to the city. There is no indication that these turbines are going to cancel that project.

I believe solar is a better way to go. There are projects underway to produce solar panels without the use of rare metals. There are also companies working on small units of wind-generated energy that will not kill birds or put the community in danger of an inevitable, tragic accident.
Anne Lazarus 

Awaiting Weinberg’s book

 To The Editor:
Re “Reflections of an old freak in the new East Village” (talking point, by Bill Weinberg, March 8):

This was a great column expressing deep personal reflections, impressions and history of the East Village. Like Mr. Weinberg, I grew up in a rather provincial town on Long Island, graduating high school a year later than him in 1981, and was a weekend bridge-and-tunnel tourist. I never had the balls to actually live in the East Village, only moving to Manhattan in the early ’90s, and when I did, it was on the Upper East Side. You had to have a certain mettle and ambitious spirit to move to the East Village,  even in the early ’90s, which I did not possess at the time, and probably still don’t.

The talking point, though, was something I feel that a lot of people our age (late 40s) can probably identify with, and I applaud its accuracy and the personal feelings he expressed in it. The rest of Manhattan has now gone the way of the East Village — check out Harlem and Manhattan Valley, and now the same thing is happening in Washington Heights and Inwood. Even Downtown Brooklyn has become a luxury, bourgeois destination!

Anyway, time marches on, and there is nothing anybody can do to stop these neighborhood transitions and changes. Perhaps Mr. Weinberg can expand his reflections and anecdotes into a full-length book. (Remember? Those bound paper things!) If he did, I would be the first on line to buy it!
Glenn Krasner 

E.P.A. is slacking on soot

To The Editor:
Dangerous levels of soot particles cause thousands of deaths each year. Manhattan residents continue to be burdened by this toxic pollutant that can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause asthma attacks, respiratory disease and even premature death. As we work to achieve cleaner, healthier air both nationally and locally, we depend on the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that the Clean Air Act protects public health.

That’s why it’s so troubling that the E.P.A. has once again failed to meet a critical deadline for updating the pollution standard for particulate matter, also known as soot. We know that the latest science supports a stronger limit for this pollutant, yet the agency continues to drag its feet.

The American Lung Association and the National Parks Conservation Association recently joined together in filing a federal lawsuit to force the E.P.A. to complete the required review of the need for stronger limits on the amount of soot, smoke and other airborne particles that endanger public health. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has filed a similar suit with several other state attorneys general joining him.

Particulate pollution is especially harmful to children, seniors and people with lung disease, heart disease and diabetes. In addition, this pollution disproportionately affects low-income communities.

Tougher standards for particulate matter will help drive changes that will result in cleaner air and better lung health for all of us. We urge the E.P.A. to uphold the Clean Air Act and review and revise these standards now.
Jeff Seyler
Seyler is C.E.O., American Lung Association in New York

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