Letters, Weekly July 5, 2012

Don’t tempt Mother Nature

To The Editor:
Re “Saving pier and park” (editorial, June 21):

The Villager’s editorial expresses the paper’s belief that to address the Hudson River Park’s financial problems we all have to accept residential development on Pier 40. While we all share the same concern about the Pier 40 playing fields and the park’s financial stability, pinning our hopes on an environmentally inappropriate and increasingly risky, huge construction plan is a poor choice.

Just this past week, two different reports were published that should give us pause. First, there was the report by Joe Lhota, chairperson and C.E.O. of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, publicized by WNYC, that the walls of the renovated South Ferry subway station are leaking. Lhota attributed the problem to poorly sealed walls and “a rising water table.”

The second report, issued by the U.S. Geological Survey on June 25, indicated that the East Coast from Boston to North Carolina was a “hot spot” for climbing sea levels from global warming.

Water-level increases are also happening at a faster pace. Oceanographer Asbury Sallenger Jr. said, “Where that kind of thing becomes important is during a storm.”

Margaret Davidson, the director of the Coastal Services Center for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, stated in the same report that the implications of this new research are “huge when you think about it. Somewhere between Maryland and Massachusetts, you’ve got bodaciously expensive property at risk.”

Building in the Hudson River always has been a bad idea, but now it is even more environmentally and financially dangerous. Not only has little consideration been given to the inevitable downtime when the playing fields won’t be available during major construction, but the fact that potential damage to extremely expensive residential development could bankrupt the park.

We must find solutions that generate revenue from small-scale development and other programs that raise money from the inboard development that has occurred and will continue in the future.
Deborah Glick
Glick is assemblymember for the 66th District

Pols deflated soccer plan

To The Editor:
Re “Park act bill stalls even without O.K. for Pier 40 housing” (news article, June 21):

Looks like Major League Soccer is going to Queens, which understands that jobs, fields and public space paid for by a developer, and an arena that the community gets to use the majority of the year, constitute a pretty good compromise.

What’s your next move to save the pier and prevent luxury housing, West Side officials? Does Assemblymember Glick’s office have a concrete, proactive solution?

The soccer arena was a solid, compromise idea, and not seeing the sense of embracing it was an abject failure on the part of the West Side political community. Now that it’s been rejected, pols, we want to know what your plan is, other than to prevent everything. We’re listening.
Patrick Shields

It’s better to work together 

To The Editor:
Re “Preservationists and clergy clash over proposed E.V./L.E.S. district” (news article, June 28):

Thank you, Villager. One correction: I did not stand as much against the plan, as for a process of inclusion that addresses the repeated fears and distrust of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation — a process that need not leave only one narrow and too often punitive option: landmarking and historic districting.

There has not been worthy dialogue, rather press releases and people reading prepared statements, largely from templates, from a podium without discussion. Hardly a problem-solving process. The public not only are largely unaware of historic districting, they are fed a very narrow point of view through the P.R. of such groups and our representatives, all well-meaning and couched in compelling sticker rhetoric.

We welcome the recommendation of Ms. Ratcliffe. We can say that, up to this point, there hasn’t been real work with anyone on actual possible solutions that could bring us together. Lip service, yes. Let’s rededicate ourselves to such a process. Count me in. I’m ready.

Mr. Blackman repeats his derogatory comment at every meeting I’ve attended in the past two years on this subject. You might surmise the only ones to trust here are him and G.V.S.H.P. Many of us spend most of our lives trying so hard to build community and trust. It’s way too easy and common to divide and feed fear. It’s not doing the responsible work of gathering and communicating and working things out. We can do this.

There wasn’t one developer present at the hearing. We can all stand against irresponsible developers. We do.

A New York Times article on the subject, “Interfaith Group Assails City’s Landmarks Law,” opens: “Hundreds of churches and synagogues in the city are burdened with the obligation to preserve old buildings that were capriciously designated as landmarks, according to a study released yesterday by a group of New York religious leaders.” (Protestant, Catholic and Jewish, in this case.)

In fact, the article cited above is more than 30 years old, published in the Times in March 1982.

For the past 150 years, who has been doing all the funding of preservation in our East Village? Who has been doing all the actual daily meticulous care and work of preservation in the East Village? G.V.S.H.P.? The Landmarks Preservation Commission? Our political representatives? Not a one. Rather, it’s been the very people all these others have irresponsibly and hurtfully thrown into a small box called “opposition.” If we focus on what we’re all for, we would move light years ahead.
Anthony Donovan 

N.Y.U.: La lucha continua 

To The Editor:
Re “Conjuring the resistance to N.Y.U. 2031” (front-page photo, June 21):

N.Y.U. 2031 will be defeated by the voting residents. Votes are our tools against those who do not represent us. We fear for our community, which includes all of our neighbors, our children, our dogs, our plants, our trees, our air and light.

What kind of university president ignores the loud shouts of the faculty?

What kind of university president ignores the loud shouts of the community?

What kind of university president ignores the shouts of parents whose children use the playground?

What kind of university president ignores the fact that part of the land he envisions using is public and belongs to New York City?

N.Y.U. has a proven record of going back on promises and does not tell the truth. Many of us are also alumni and we fear for the quality of our university — the academic one.

We stand united. N.Y.U. cannot divide us. We will defend every inch of the superblocks at any cost.
Judith Chazen Walsh 

E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to lincoln@thevillager.com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 515 Canal St., Suite 1C, NY, NY 10013. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. The Villager does not publish anonymous letters.

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