Letters, Week of Sept. 27, 2012

Tiles belong to all America

To The Editor:
Re “Activists take down 9/11 tiles to block Albany move” (news article, Sept. 20):

Well-intentioned, but terribly self-important. If Berke or anyone else considers themselves the “rightful owner” of this living and ongoing work, they are sadly, possibly even criminally, mistaken. The tiles are clearly of the public domain, represent a unity of mission and grieving, and belong to the American people. If anything, each individual tile creator is the owner of his or her work.

A sampling should be placed at the Greenwich Village site in the best possible manner. Maybe a sampling at the Ground Zero 9/11 Museum and/or Saint Paul’s Church. They all should be curated responsibly. Maybe some would tour the country’s museums on a chain-link fence exhibit permanently, with a long-term home to protect them, perhaps the new Whitney.

Self-appointed guardian types have a habit of taking things that don’t belong to them, and putting them where they can’t be itemized. “Caretaking equals ownership” is the stuff of bogus last will and testament codicils, and is no different here.

We can also understand the original ceramic contributor’s intent and ideal, but the public embrace of this art has made the ownership of its meaning and preservation nationally collective. The site is changing necessarily, and they are trying to enforce the impossibility of an exact re-creation.
Patrick Shields

Hospital help for Pier 40’s ills

To The Editor:
Has anyone considered the development airspace above the St. John’s Center building on West St. as a possible location for a hospital (hello N.Y.U. Medical Center), so desperately needed in this part of Manhattan?

Pier 40 could fulfill a critical role providing much-needed parking for medical personnel, staffers and visitors with access to the hospital via covered walkways across West St.

With greater demand for parking on Pier 40 wouldn’t increased revenue ease the demand for funds to complete repairs on the pier?

Resident parking and a hospital are both needed.
Dean Whetzel

Chelsea Piers Apartments

To The Editor:
Re “It’s mutiny on the waterfront as Durst pitches Pier 40 plan” (news article, Sept. 6):

Has the Hudson River Park Trust forgotten about Chelsea Piers? Why not build luxury apartments and retail around the privately owned Chelsea Piers, and leave Pier 40 as the public park and community sports facilities it was intended to be?
A. S. Evans

Pier squeeze play won’t work

To The Editor:
Re “It’s mutiny on the waterfront as Durst pitches Pier 40 plan” (news article, Sept. 6):

They might as well have built Westway. There is only so much that can be gotten out of Pier 40. Leave it for ball fields and parking, but remove the side walls to improve the sightlines.
Charlie Walker

Sodas? How about St. Vincent’s?

To The Editor:
If Mayor Bloomberg and his rubber-stamping Department of Health actually cared about the health of this city’s citizenry, then pushing through a half-baked law that will never pass the constitutional test, banning large-sized sugary drinks is hardly the solution. It seems like just another attempt to levy fines against retailers, and I’m sure the mayor realizes that it will do little or nothing to curb the obesity problem.

I realize there are many who agree with him. But is taking away yet another constitutionally guaranteed freedom a wise decision? History has proven that prohibition never works. The people who are cheering this law seem to forget what happens when they deny others their civil liberties.

Aside from the legal issue, I find the mayor’s stance rather disingenuous. If he cared so much about the health of the citizens who put him in office, where was he when St. Vincent’s and Cabrini hospitals closed? I can’t remember him uttering one word to help save those badly needed institutions. I do remember those sites being grabbed up by his friends, the developers.

Honestly, will the miniscule amount of people who become less obese because of this law balance out the need for growing healthcare in this city? It seems that our outspoken mayor only speaks out when it lines his pockets and those of his friends. During the worst economic downturn since the Depression, he somehow managed to become even wealthier. Personally, I worry about the obesity of his bank account.
Jay Matlick


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