Letters, Week of May 3, 2012

Actually, we’re neutral on 2031

To The Editor:
Re “Always follow the money” (letter, by Sean Sweeney, April 19); and “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):

While New York University has been a good friend to Visiting Neighbors for many years (and not just because they want our support for N.Y.U. 2031), we remain neutral on the subject of N.Y.U. 2031. For the past 40 years, our focus has been on helping the seniors of our community.

Most of the seniors we serve are over the age of 85 and have no family or friends to turn to as they face the challenges of aging. Most live on limited, fixed incomes and cannot afford to pay privately for care. Our professional staff recruits, trains and provides ongoing support to dedicated volunteers who keep seniors connected, able to remain independent and safe at home. We work to promote a positive image of aging, to advocate on behalf of seniors, and to encourage volunteerism.

We have always been apolitical, and will remain so, but we hope that dialogue remains open and that a modification of N.Y.U. 2031 can be developed that everyone can live with.
Cynthia Maurer, Ph.D.
Maurer is executive director, Visiting Neighbors, Inc.

Where are N.Y.U.’s ethics?

To The Editor:
Re “N.Y.U. freshmen need a campus — on Governors Island” (talking point, by Deborah Glick, April 19):

I like Assemblymember Glick’s approach to help N.Y.U. develop educational programs for future generations.

I find it terribly disappointing that a major New York City university of “higher education” would not explore expanding into other New York City neighborhoods where it is wanted and needed. Why does Greenwich Village need more gym and commercial facilities that are not necessarily needed for N.Y.U.’s educational programs or Greenwich Village residents?

Meanwhile, our local hospital is closed, and our local food market is scheduled to be demolished for a vaguely defined purpose of another skyscraper that will destroy our community garden at Bleecker St. and LaGuardia Place. And local public bus service is discontinued while more cars, students and tourists overwhelm the neighborhood on crowded streets and sidewalks.

Wouldn’t the N.Y.U. Law School and business school be better situated in the Financial District where the graduates could have convenient access to our courts and financial facilities? And think of the park facilities available along the Hudson River, where the students of those schools can run off their excess energy.

Wouldn’t the undergraduate divisions, and perhaps the N.Y.U. school of education, be more useful in the Bronx, Brooklyn or Queens, where there is more space to accommodate growing student enrollments and a greater need for their educational services?

There are so many things that could be done to make New York City more livable, and N.Y.U. doesn’t seem to contribute much to this endeavor with its new plan to expand dramatically only in the heart of Greenwich Village.

I have great concern that N.Y.U. doesn’t seem to have a strong ethics review committee for university programs and practices. Now I’m wondering, does N.Y.U. have an urban ecology and planning school or department?
Hubert J. Steed

Give me an ‘S’!...

To The Editor:
Support us in saving our beloved Sasaki Garden-W.S.V.

A vibrant Open Green Space for the public who can sit down and/or walk though, enjoying

Sights and sounds of melodious birds, fragrant flowers, gorgeous trees…

And peace and tranquility for W.S.V. residents, Village neighbors and City visitors.

Kudos to Hideo Sasaki for designing this unique award-winning garden in perfect harmony with its surroundings,

Insatiably aesthetic, environmentally sound, a  treasure that must be preserved for all time…

Dr. Milton E. Polsky
Polsky is founder/member, Save the Sasaki Garden, Washingon Square Village Committee

We have AIDS memorial

To The Editor:
Re “Board 2 begins its design review of AIDS memorial” (news article, April 26):

I would like to remind readers of The Villager and the AIDS Memorial Park coalition that since Nov. 30, 2008, there has been “a significant memorial integrated into a truly public park.” The AIDS Memorial, New York’s first permanent memorial to AIDS, was dedicated by state, local and religious representatives on the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day, at Pier 49 in the Hudson River Park near Bank St.

The memorial attracts hundreds of people daily who walk or run by the site, or sit on or near the black granite bench in the landscaped knoll, or walk on the river bridge overlooking the decayed pilings from a once-thriving pier: a poignant metaphor for the lives lost to AIDS.

The stone monument, etched with the contemplative quote, “I can sail without wind, I can row without oars, but I cannot part from my friend without tears,” and the pilings in the river, bring emotional meaning to those whose lives were affected by the disease, those who live with H.I.V., and those who have cared for people with H.I.V./AIDS.
Andy Marber
Marber was a member, the AIDS Monument Committee

Green with outrage

To The Editor:
Re “Signed, ‘Epstein’s Mother,’ ” (Scoopy’s Notebook, April 26):

So let me get this straight. Margaret Chin’s office says that she cannot make Community Board 2 meetings because she’s so busy attending City Council meetings (as Kathryn Freed had done), maybe even 12 per month! Unlike the members of the community board, who are not paid at all, city councilmembers like Chin are paid just under $10,000 per month as base pay (plus thousands in perks), which would come to $1,000 per meeting.

I could see why that would not be enough for Margaret Chin to deign show her face at Community Board 2 meetings or the Washington Square Park Task Force meetings. After all, she’s too busy chasing down consumers buying fake Chanel bags on Canal St. and supporting the Soho BID, which Sean Sweeney opposed (like everyone else).
Mitchel Cohen
Cohen is a member, Brooklyn Greens/Green Party

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