Letters, Week of August 2, 2012

We won’t be fooled again

To The Editor:
Re “Council O.K.’s N.Y.U. plan; Antis booted out before vote” (news article, July 26):

Thanks, Mr. Charles Barron. Thanks to the tireless, honest, factual communications and shared information from all of the opposition forces. Don’t feel sad — feel empowered.

Anyone trying to run for office who wants our votes in the future will be subjected to some hard questions, like “Who do you represent now?” and “Who will you represent when elected?”

Do not seek revenge, but seek justice for the superblock residents, for our citywide neighbors who are and will be subjected to greedy developers.

We should work for recall laws in New York City to get rid of elected officials who do not represent us.

Sorry kids and trees and plants, and small businesses and residents, and students and faculty and Key Park Playground and Sasaki Garden and LaGuardia Corner Gardens and the dog run and Adrienne’s Garden. Your vote has been disenfranchised, taken away, robbed by the City Council.

Maybe next time we will be proactive enough to see the future and change it.
Judith Chazen Walsh

N.Y.U. will assimilate you

To The Editor:
Re “Council O.K.’s N.Y.U. plan; Antis booted out before vote” (news article, July 26):

N.Y.U. has been growing and buying up spaces and building new gigantic buildings for years and years. No mayor or City Council has ever stopped the university, nor slowed it down very much. N.Y.U. is a constant generator of change and building in the Village. The only way it will stop is if the school itself stops growing.

I know people are angry with Quinn and Chin right now. I believe that anger is misplaced. Quinn and Chin did reduce the size of the new construction and won other concessions as well. It is not like they gave N.Y.U. carte blanche to do whatever it intended to do in the first place.

Politics is the art of the possible. I believe Quinn and Chin achieved what was possible.
Sheri Clemons

Abolish the City Council!

To The Editor:
Re “Council O.K.’s N.Y.U. plan; Antis booted out before vote” (news article, July 26):

Community boards should be the most relevant voices in our democratic process. Instead, every revision of the City Charter finds the boards losing more and more say so, as well as funding.

We should do away with the City Council, which apparently only votes according to what the speaker desires à la the mayor. Think of all the money we could save. The community does all this research, works, organizes to be heard, and then is shut out. Shut down to the point of being removed from the halls of power because of some murmurs in the gallery at the time of the so-called vote of the Council that might bring a sense of shame into the hall. Then, to come out in the sunshine and find that a press release touting the vote outcome had been already printed!
Barbara Ruether

What a complete charade

To The Editor:
Re “Council O.K.’s N.Y.U. plan; Antis booted out before vote” (news article, July 26):

The City Council’s decision was breathtaking in its violence and disregard for the community’s and faculty’s wishes. What is the point of a democratic charade if Chin and Quinn and her henchmen rode roughshod over the wishes of the community and the faculty — the people who live in this community, and need and use its playgrounds and gardens — and illegally gave over everything to Sexton’s Folly?

Vote out the interlocking power elite of Chin-Quinn-Bloomberg-N.Y.U. trustees. The only hope, slim as it is, is legal action.

And shame on all of you who knew better and just wanted to appease a colleague, i.e. Margaret Chin and Christine Quinn, who sold their own constituents — the constituents they purportedly represent — down the river.
Rhoma Mostel

The last straw — and a biggie

To The Editor:
Re “Council O.K.’s N.Y.U. plan; Antis booted out before vote” (news article, July 26):

Chin and Quinn.

Never again.
Lawrence White

Only Barron stood up

To The Editor:
Re “Council O.K.’s N.Y.U. plan; Antis booted out before vote” (news article, July 26):

Councilmember Chin and Speaker Quinn can spin it all they want, but the fact remains that the behemoth N.Y.U. 2031 expansion plan is a blatant giveaway of public land, open green space, playgrounds and gardens to N.Y.U. and corporate interests.

Christine Quinn excelled in her job as consigliere to Mayor Bloomberg, and Chin and the City Council excelled at cowering under Quinn’s strong-arm tactics and forgetting who they truly represent.

Many thanks to Charles Barron for being the sole city councilmember who stood up for the people of New York.

Charles Barron for mayor.
A.S. Evans

N.Y.U. — too big to fail?

To The Editor:
Is N.Y.U. too big to fail — and is The Cooper Union too small to survive? N.Y.U. insists on gobbling up real estate and building during a recession, gaining the support of construction unions. Meanwhile, Cooper sold off real estate and built when construction prices were high, against the wishes of its faculty union.

Will N.Y.U.’s growth lead to anything but further rises in the price of higher education?

As a Villager, I value both institutions, their students, their faculty, their graduates. But is preservation the only perspective to take to persuade the politicians to rein in N.Y.U. — and how about saving The Cooper Union?

If N.Y.U. is not stopped, it will become too big to fail, and soon enough New Yorkers will be asked to bail it out. And rather than demonizing Cooper for the financial failure of the St. Mark’s Bookshop, how about looking at the reasons for its financial failure? When will overpaid college presidents be called to account?
Barry Drogin

Putting on the purple spin

To The Editor:
Re “N.Y.U. is giving back already” (letter, by John Beckman, July 19):

In his role as vice president for public affairs for N.Y.U., I cannot fault Mr. Beckman for doing his due diligence as a representative of the university by co-opting the true meaning and spirit of my letter of July 12 (“High time N.Y.U. gave back”), and using it as his launching pad to spin slick and misleading P.R. in typical N.Y.U. fashion.

Unfortunately, the full City Council did not do its due diligence and vote against the usurpatory and encroaching N.Y.U. 2031 plan.

As constituents we will need to come to terms with the fact that the majority of our City Council electeds, who are supposed to be our representatives, our protectors and defenders of our communities — and who are empowered by us, and not by developers — are sadly either dupes, or lacking in the courage and integrity that we expect of them and that their office requires.
Robin Rothstein
Rothstein is a member of Community Board 2 and its N.Y.U. Working Group and Social Services & Education Committee

Help save Bialystoker Home

To The Editor:
Re “Gentrification, genocide and the shadows of Bialystok” (talking point, by Bill Weinberg, July 12):

What a sad story about the fate of Bialystok, Poland, and the impending destruction of the Bialystoker Center and Home by rampant gentrification! But as Bill Weinberg reports, there could be a happy ending on East Broadway if the Landmarks Preservation Commission would designate the 1931 Art Deco building.

Although the center is still standing, there is talk of negotiations with a tear-down developer who would replace it with a luxury condo.

When the Bialystoker board closed the home in November 2011, it revealed a debt of $13 million, including $4 million owed to union workers. Even so, the board hired two high-priced P.R. firms to lobby elected officials, Community Board 3 and L.P.C. to oppose landmark designation.

Our grassroots group, Friends of the Bialystoker Home, is leading the campaign to landmark the building that reflects the immigrant and Jewish legacy of the Lower East Side. Sixteen sponsoring organizations have joined the fight. Hundreds of individuals have written letters, signed petitions and postcards and sent e-mails to L.P.C. In April, C.B. 3 voted for a resolution in favor of landmarking. The New York State Attorney General’s Office is investigating the Bialystoker board for possible financial irregularities.

You can help to save this historic building. Sign a petition at www.friendsofthelowereastside.org . Send an e-mail to L.P.C. at rtierney@lpc.nyc.gov  and cc Friends of the Bialystoker Home at friendsoftheles@gmail.com so that we can keep in touch. Spread the word.
Joyce Mendelsohn

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One Response to Letters, Week of August 2, 2012

  1. Amidst all the letters excoriating the Council vote supporting NYU, there is solitary letter of support for NYU, Quinn and Chin – from a Sheri Clemons.

    However, Ms. Clemons glaringly fails to reveal that she lives nowhere near this boondoggle.

    On the contrary, she resides in a NYCHA project on bucolic Staten Island, far removed from the disaster of NYU that we Downtowners must endure for decades to come, a disaster that this Staten Islander seems to think we should swallow as complacently as Socrates swallowed the hemlock for his refusal to worship the gods of Athens, personified in contemporary NYC as Quinn and Chin. http://www.silive.com/northshore/index.ssf/2010/0

    It is heartening to see that Ms. Clemons can enjoy her affordable tax-subsidized housing in the outermost of boroughs, while we Downtowners will see our homes and our property values ruined by the university she holds so dear.

    What is in it for Ms. Clemons cannot be given due share in a Letter to the Editor, but we insiders know full well what that is.

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