Letters, Week of June 21, 2012

Veto could cut both ways

To The Editor:
Re “Push to change park act heading down to the wire” (news article, June 14):

Can’t it be argued that the “double check” veto would also allow the City Council and state Legislature to strike down proposals the community supports  — in favor of, say, housing? Too broad it seems, and far too much an allowance for a preferred proposal of the legislators over the voice of the community, placing such decisions squarely in the realm of politics.

Why even go through R.F.P. to ULURP if you’re a developer, knowing that your plan for Pier 40 can be struck down on the back end with no community input? “In consultation with park adjacent legislators” doesn’t cut it.

Perhaps Arthur Schwartz might give a fuller history of this proposed regulation’s intent and use, in time for us to let our legislators know whether we are for or against this veto power.
Patrick Shields 

A ‘disastrous’ idea for pier

To The Editor:
Re “Push to change park act heading down to the wire” (news article, June 14):

There should be no residential buildings in the flood zone or anywhere on the waterfront. As the frequency of severe storms increases, buildings on the waterfront will be flooded more frequently, requiring resources to evacuate residents and repair damages. Why anyone would even suggest building residential buildings on the waterfront in this day and age is totally beyond me.
Shino Tanikawa

Proposal is bad to the bone

To The Editor:
Re “Push to change park act heading down to the wire” (news article, June 14):

This is an awful proposal and would make an awful precedent. I hope that the state Legislature resists it with every bone of their being.
Leonie Haimson

We’re losing our Village

To The Editor:
Re “N.Y.U. drops hotel, ‘loft blocks’ rezoning; Planning O.K.’s 2031” (news article, June 7):

To correct one of Commissioner Battaglia’s errors regarding the City Planning Commission’s decision, New York University does not own 505 La Guardia Place. We lease the land from the university.

No. 505’s housing was achieved by negotiations from Anthony D’Apolito — the chairperson of Community Planning Board 2 in the 1960s and ’70s — and Assemblyman William Passanante and the support of C.P.B. 2.

How awful that students can’t travel from Washington Square to the Financial District, where a dorm would encourage the economy and help small businesses after 9/11.

Why are we losing sight of the fact that our beloved Greenwich Village is being depleted of all our cultural and historic significance? In the mid-1800s, my grandfather had a tailor shop on MacDougal St. He wrote poetry and essays in Washington Square Park.

I have lived in the Village for more than 80 years. My sons own and operate a “mom and pop” business in Soho. Needless to say, my life has been enriched with all our community has had to offer. It saddens me to think that our future generations may not have this legacy that made our community so desirable.

I especially want to urge the City Council to favor and recognize the importance of essential needs that will be our future.
Connie Masullo

Tourists will skip the ‘Zipper’

To The Editor:
Re “N.Y.U. drops hotel, ‘loft blocks’ rezoning; Planning O.K.’s 2031” (news article, June 7):

I am disappointed in City Planning’s ill-advised condemnation of our Village community to 20 years of constant construction. While some of the modifications (removal of the hotel, no temporary gym) are useful, most of us know that N.Y.U.’s overkill plan included more than it expected to receive.

Certainly, giving N.Y.U. public-land strips, rezoning from residential to commercial, the oversized “Zipper” and “Boomerang” buildings, loss of the Sasaki Garden and threats to LaGuardia Corner Gardens are unacceptable, to name a few wrong C.P.C. decisions.

I agree with Borough President Stringer’s disappointment over changes he negotiated that were left out.

“This makes no sense, especially in light of the fact that N.Y.U. agreed to these changes,” Stringer stated. “I expect the City Council to correct these mistakes.”

Ask any of the millions of tourists, who visit Greenwich Village annually why they are there. They won’t say it’s because N.Y.U.’s “Zipper” and “Boomerang” are the attraction, but rather the historic Greenwich Village culture we are noted for.

The proposed buildings are really unattractive. The “Zipper” building imposes on Mercer St. residences. The landmarked Silver Towers area will experience an intrusion of long shadows cast on the area where the proposed playground and dog run, as well as the Sylvette statue, are located. The “Zipper” was not carefully designed and is thoughtless of its neighbors on both sides of Mercer. The “Boomerang” may come back to haunt N.Y.U. for years to come.

Most of the community agrees with Andrew Berman. The N.Y.U. 2031 plan is still much too large, much too imposing on our two-block neighborhood. It should be voted down by the City Council if they will exercise some independence and recognize the needs of our Village community.
Sylvia Rackow
Rackow is a member, the Committee to Preserve Our Neighborhood 

Mr. Mustard with the guitar

To The Editor:
Re “City changes its tune yet again on buskers in parks” (news article, June 7):

I’m the man sitting on the ground in this photo. My name is Kyle Rohman and I have been looking for this man named Daniel Mustard for five years. And the day I meet him, I get my picture snapped in the newspaper.

All I can say is, thank you, Terese. It is a picture I will cherish for many years.
Kyle Rohman

Writer should feel lucky

To The Editor:
Re “A dad’s strange relief at news of new Etan suspect” (talking point, Art Gatti, June 14):

The evidence is clear that Jose Ramos was a predator who sexually assaulted many boys. He is terrifying to imagine in the company of children, even if he has no connection to the Etan Patz case.

I think the writer should feel grateful that the children in his care emerged intact and unharmed from their exposure to Ramos — and I hope they truly did, not just that they never told anyone. But I’m not sure it changes the situation when you consider safety and judgment when it comes to caring for children.
Robin Demuth 

A heart of gold

To The Editor:
Re “Helping girls gives rewards corporate world never did” (Volunteers section article, June 14):

Mariana has a heart of gold. She is extremely generous, and giving to help others has become her way to fill her heart with love.

Mariana, your generosity with those girls will have a profound effect on their lives. God bless you, “Itopito,” from your proud and loving father.
Mariano Salem 

His life was his art

To The Editor:
Re “Steve Ben Israel, countercultural performer, dead at 74” (obituary, June 7):

The city was his laboratory. He observed, he listened, he interacted, he toyed around. At the end of the day, he had a story to tell.

The best I remember from him was an elongated phone-answering message, in which he was doing his best, performance-wise, in pulling out a friend from his depression. While we were all listening to the playback of the phone message, we were slowly realizing that the message wasn’t just a plain phone message, but it was evolving into a piece of art. At the end we were all laughing.

Awesome mind.
Alexis Rzewski

Kritiqued the ‘kulture’

To The Editor:
Re “Steve Ben Israel, countercultural performer, dead at 74” (obituary, June 7):

Thank you for your fine obituary on Steve Ben Israel. Steve performed at the Puffin Room several times. His dagger-like wit and brilliant performance pieces dissecting American kulture and politics always hit their mark.

He was a true New Yorker and man of the world and will be deeply missed.
Carl Rosenstein


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