Letters, April 12, 2012

Nonprofits don’t know best

To The Editor:
Re “N.Y.U. plan is critical for city’s nonprofit sector” (talking point, by Sat Bhattacharya, Arthur Makar, Dr. Cynthia Maurer, Muzzy Rosenblatt, David Garza and Michael Zisser, April 5):

The authors of this editorial are respected people affiliated with some of New York City’s most vibrant nonprofit organizations (Harlem Children Society, Caring Community, Visiting Neighbors, Bowery Residents Committee, Henry Street Settlement, University Settlement, respectively), but that does not mean they know what’s best for Greenwich Village stakeholders. The N.Y.U. 2031 plan is a disaster for all stakeholders — the Village community, New York City and even New York University.

N.Y.U. 2031 wants to usurp public land (land used by the community for parks) and incorporate this land into the middle of its proposed development. Gone forever would be scores of mature trees, our light and our air — impossible to retrieve once they disappear. Just as Jane Jacobs and other Village residents were against Robert Moses’ plan to run an expressway through our beloved Washington Square Park, the current community is against N.Y.U.’s attempt at park alienation. The university doesn’t want to build only on its own footprint, it wants to build on the surrounding public footprint. We want our park space. It does not belong to N.Y.U.

Furthermore, the two blocks where there would be 20 years of dustbowl construction house 40 percent of N.Y.U.’s faculty. Not only will many of the university’s best faculty leave for other universities, N.Y.U. will have extreme difficulty attracting first-rate faculty who will be amenable to living in the middle of a construction site.

The most egregious  problem is the specific commercial zoning being sought by N.Y.U., not just for the two superblocks, but for an area extending north to Eighth St. It’s essentially a blank check for further future growth that could turn the Village into Midtown. We do not want to be Midtown.

Meanwhile, the Financial District is urging N.Y.U. to build Downtown. There, N.Y.U.’s construction would be contextual, and help that district to grow and prosper. The Financial District is just a couple of subway stops away from both N.Y.U.’s Brooklyn campus and its Village campus. N.Y.U. can build in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai, but the Financial District is too far away?
Elaine Hudson

Time to stand our ground

To The Editor:
Re “East Village church dons hoodies against profiling” (news article, March 29):

Personally, I agree with the basic idea of “Stand Your Ground.” As a matter of fact, one of my favorite slogans, one that I first heard when Reclaim the Streets set up a 20-foot tripod in the middle of Broadway and Astor Place, is “Maintain your cool, but stand your ground.”

I believe that rather than run like a coward and risk my life waiting for the cops, I have a moral obligation to stand my ground and defend myself. No questions asked, no quarter given.

I also believe that it is child abuse to raise a child and not teach that child to defend itself. And if basic self-defense techniques and martial arts were taught in school, black youth and women would less likely be faced with the fear of pursuit in the night. And we would no longer have what is clearly a racist law like Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.

We are the 99 percent.
Jerry the Peddler

Defends Trayvon’s killer

To The Editor:
Re “East Village church dons hoodies against profiling” (news article, March 29):

I see you have joined the rest of the liberal media in convicting George Zimmerman, the “in-his-own-mind, pseudo-cop.” Why not show the cute five-year-old picture of the “iced tea and Skittles buying” Martin?

Whatever happened to journalism?
Paul K. Piccone

Good idea! ‘Can’ do

To The Editor:
Re “Rat-control ratatouille” (letter, by Roland Legiardi-Laura, April 5):

I wanted to write to thank Roland Legiardi-Laura for his suggestion about increasing the number of garbage cans around Tompkins Square Park. The writer asked the Tompkins Square Park and Playgrounds Parents’ Association (TSP3A) to take up the issue, and we gladly accept his invitation. We are also planning to engage store owners on Avenue A whose employees and/or vendors dump old bread products over the park’s western fence in the early morning to stop them from doing so.

TSP3A bases its agenda solely upon the opinions of our members, with guidance gratefully accepted from our neighbors, so we need good ideas like Mr. Legiardi-Laura’s to produce good results. Although our mission is limited to noncontroversial advocacy on behalf of children who use Tompkins Square Park, many times (as with the rat infestation and dog owners), common interests enable us to advocate for issues that positively impact a broader population.

I also wanted to encourage all parents whose children use Tompkins Square Park to join TSP3A by e-mailing us at TSP3A@yahoo.com . Joining TSP3A is an excellent way to have your voice heard by a group with a superb track record of getting results and allows us to keep parents apprised of our efforts. (We seldom ask for members’ time and never ask for their money, so commitment-phobic parents need not be concerned!) Further, members and nonmembers alike can follow TSP3A’s efforts and provide us with their opinions by “liking” our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TSP3A .

See you all at the park!
Chad Marlow
Marlow is founder, TSP3A

‘The 1 percent sitting area’

To The Editor:
We Villagers need to have a proper memorial service for “Bleecker St. West.” Its unique culture of small businesses has been voided by the new upscale-label shopping mall housed in our quaint brownstones.

“Shady Rest” a.k.a. the Bleecker Park sitting area has been turned into a tea garden for the 1 percent donor, even ignoring the Parks Department’s posted plans pushed through Community Board 2 by its Parks Committee. The low, full-shade canopy that gave refuge to natives from the summer heat has been obliterated by the mutilation of the magnificent native American linden trees and by replacing the central sitting area with a bisecting sand barrier.

We lament our lost shade trees, our lost culture… the Village.
Margie Rubin

The truth about wabbits

To The Editor:
Re “Hoppy ending as Soho rabbit rustlers return boutique bunny” (news article, March 22):

After recognizing the thieves who stole the rabbit, named Miss Cooper, out of the Soho boutique window, a good Samaritan called a man who knew the rabbit-napers. They retrieved the rabbit that very evening since they felt it was important to get her back to her owner A.S.A.P.

On the way to bring Miss Cooper to the Sixth Precinct they passed a restaurant that was advertising its “rabbit special.” How ironic that so many factory-farmed rabbits end up as dinner while news outlets focused on the welfare of this one stolen rabbit.

Unfortunately, keeping Miss Cooper in the window might encourage people to buy a bunny. At Easter many baby rabbits, chicks and ducks are sold. These frail babies, taken away from their mothers for the sake of profit, require very specific care in order to survive. These animals do not belong in the city and few survive.

Please, if you must have a rabbit, adopt it, as well as any pet, from a shelter or rescue organization. (Most pet rabbits end up in shelters and are euthanized.) If you really love animals, spay and neuter your pets — including rabbits — volunteer at a shelter, and if you can, foster a rabbit, cat or dog on death row. We have Animal Haven, a wonderful rescue shelter Downtown: animalhavenshelter.org/site/PageServer.

And make sure that the products you buy are not tested on animals; many rabbits are used for this purpose. The choices we make create a big difference in the lives of animals.

For cruelty-free products go to: squidoo.com/crueltyfree and uncaged.co.uk/animaltesting.htm.
Lynn Pacifico

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