Letters, Week of July 26, 2012

Do the right thing

To The Editor:
Re “N.Y.U. 2031 plan wins key vote by Council committee” (news article, July 19):

Fifty percent is a compromise; eighty percent is a giveaway. Councilmember Chin needs to do better than that.

And if doing the right thing is so easy, why didn’t Councilmember Mendez do it?

Somehow Councilmember Barron managed to do the easy, right thing.

And what is the right thing for a city councilmember to do? According to the New York City Charter, the “Powers of the council” include the ability to adopt laws “for the order, protection and government of persons and property; for the preservation of the public health, comfort, peace and prosperity of the city and its inhabitants… .”

Approving a 20-year construction project in the middle of the superblocks does not protect or preserve public health, peace or its inhabitants.

Chin, Quinn, Mendez and the whole City Council Land Use Committee, except for Councilmember Barron, are very disappointing and have acted against their entrusted social responsibilities as elected representatives of the people.
A. S. Evans

Be more like Barron

To The Editor:
Last Thursday night, Councilmembers Chin and Mendez came to the Community Board 2 meeting at Grace Church to explain their vote on the N.Y.U. plan.

On their way out, I spoke with Chin and Mendez, as did several others. The main thrust of my comments was that the vote disenfranchised our community, since Councilmember Chin knew from the start of this process that her constituency was against the entire N.Y.U. plan and wanted a “no” on the whole thing.

I asked why they did not have testicular fortitude like Council-member Barron and vote “no” on the entire plan. I told Chin that she was supposed to vote as we wished, not as N.Y.U. wishes her to do.

I asked if she asked N.Y.U. about its financial information and she said it was not part of the process to ask — but that she did and they said no to giving their financial information.

I told Chin and Mendez about the idea of N.Y.U. going Downtown and Chin gave some answers, saying that it couldn’t. I know for sure that Community Board 1 had lined up real estate people with viable sites for the university to use but N.Y.U. would not talk to them.

I told both councilmembers that they could make it all right by voting “no” on the entire plan at the Council’s stated meeting this week.

How can elected representatives present a plan that they worked on with N.Y.U. to “reduce” when C.B. 2 and the entire community said “no” to the entire plan — no reduction, no bargaining, nothing on our superblocks?

“These are neighborhoods. These are not university towns,” Charles Barron said, before urging the councilmembers to “have the courage to say no.”
Judith Chazen Walsh

Oops, they did it again…

To The Editor:
Re “N.Y.U. 2031 plan wins key vote by Council committee” (news article, July 19):

To get a sense of how N.Y.U. President John Sexton plays with the truth, everyone should buy a copy of “While We Were Sleeping: N.Y.U. and the Destruction of New York” (available at McNally Jackson bookstore, at Prince and Mulberry Sts.), and read the scathing piece by E.L. Doctorow on the facts behind N.Y.U.’s obliteration of the Poe House.
Pete Davies

Road map? C.B. 2 gave it!

To The Editor:
Re “Margaret Chin and N.Y.U.” (editorial, July 19):

“She has listened to all sides in this roiled debate, including her constituents, many of whom never gave her a reasonable road map to a final solution,” The Villager’s editorial said of Councilmember Chin.

Are you joking? Community Board 2 voted a unanimous “no” on the plan. Community members turned out in force at hearings at City Planning and the Council’s Zoning Subcommittee and Land Use Committee.

Chin continually said she was against giving away public lands and for affordable housing.

“Competent and committed community leader,” The Villager writes of Chin? You must be joking! Chin simply did not represent her constituents and we shall not forget.
Sylvia Rackow

Crusties behave!

To The Editor:
Re “Peed-off crusty threatens senior, trashes his glasses” (news article, July 19):

“Crusty” is not the right description for this crowd. “Grossly unstable, uncouth and volatile” seems more fitting.
Sheri Clemons

Tallmer — always delicious!

To The Editor:
Re “Farewell, LeRoy: The buccaneer in the white suit” (obituary, by Jerry Tallmer, July 12):

Every week when my copy of The Villager arrives at my door I regard it as a “dinner” — food for thought and pleasure. I go through the paper — the appetizer, main course, news of N.Y.U. expansion plans, activities of the community board and then, the dessert, the pièce de résistance, another Jerry Tallmer column.

Tallmer’s “Farewell, LeRoy” is not an obituary. Rather it is a moving, beautiful tribute to one of America’s greatest artists, actually one of the world’s greatest. While I did not know LeRoy Neiman nearly as well as Tallmer did, I did have the privilege and honor of first meeting him at the American Sportscasters Dinners.

Year after year, Neiman came to the dinner, giving generously of his time and artwork, donating an original Neiman sketch for the cover of the dinner’s official program.

And year after year, no mater which sports legends, Muhammad Ali, Joe DiMaggio, no matter which great sports announcers, Costas, Enberg, or political giants, including Nancy Reagan, were in attendance, it was Neiman who was the star of the evening. This artist who looked like Mark Twain and walked with the likes of da Vinci was acknowledged as a very special person.

I thank Tallmer for his moving “Farewell, LeRoy.” Maybe we’ll see his work, still, as he tries to use the sky as his canvas.
Lorraine Colville

Unforgettable

To The Editor:
Re “A lifelong newsman looks back as he approaches 80” (reporter’s notebook, by Albert Amateau, July 19):

Al, you are a fine journalist, a fine man and a fine mentor. Consider yourself one of the greatest influences in my life!
Traci Kampel

Supremely committed 

 To The Editor:
Re “Yippie, Stonewall leader, club impresario, activist: The faces of Jim Fouratt” (news article, July 3):

Imagine my surprise to open The Villager and see a two-page spread on me when I expected to be a quote among many in the newspaper’s Pride issue. I am grateful and amused by some of the things that appeared in the article — suggesting I was supporting Romeny because I agreed with his economic policy. Ha!

I did say that despite my disappointment on many issues, including Obamacare, one issue is the most important for me in the presidential race: the Supreme Court. Bush’s real legacy is the radical conservatives he appointed. I am committed to pushing Obama on issues, but the Supreme Court is this year’s presidential-vote litmus.

I laughed out loud when I read that “I learned about feminism from wearing dresses.” Well, yes, it was true that in 1970 I did have a little black velvet dress that I wore on appropriate occasions when promoting a radical, post-gender, pro-androgyny position and breaking the bonds of acceptable gender expression. Today it would be called “gender queer.”

It was fun. It was my ’60s friendship with Germain Greer and Jill Johnson, being in consciousness-raising groups in Gay Liberation Front, listening to women talk and reading the books and articles women wrote, that educated me that men could and must support feminism if we want the world to change. This never made me popular with most gay clones!

Of course who I slept with, my time in Texas prison, conversations with Huey P. Newton, my break with Abbie and Jerry, Hollywood, COINTELPRO, the founding of the Lesbian and Gay Services Center, AIDS activism prior to ACT UP, friendship with People With AIDS activist and musician Michael Callen, co-hosting “The Morning Show” at WBAI, becoming a senior V.P. of A&R at Mercury Records or caring for a parent with dementia, are not in the piece but will be in a book.

Thank you, Villager for being so generous.
Jim Fouratt

 

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