Letters, Week of Oct. 4, 2012

Down with the D.O.T. dictatorship

To The Editor:
Re “D.O.T. backs off Essex St. bus stop, at least for now” (news article, Sept. 27):

Just let the city Department of Transportation try to revisit the Seward Park bus stop issue. The community will be even more up in arms than before! What in the world is so important to D.O.T. about this particular spot? Is something going on? Is there some behind-the-scenes deal or plan that the community is not privy to? So much for transparency, so much for listening to the community!

The more I learn about D.O.T., the more I sense it is some sort of medieval dictatorship operating in a dark castle somewhere.
Rima Finzi-Strauss

Fass was the connection

To The Editor:
Re “Hard to put a name on how much Bob Fass has meant” (Clayton, Sept. 27):

The Human-Fly In at J.F.K. and the Grand Central Riot were the progenitor of the “flash mob” of today. Bob Fass was our Twitter and Facebook combined.

In June 1969 I remember listening to “Radio Unnameable” when Bob announced around 1 a.m. that the “homosexuals” were rioting at some bar in the Village called Stonewall. I turned to my girlfriend and said, “Hey, wanna go over and join in?”

We decided not to bother, because we already had been to two or three demos that week already, and so missed another bit of history that Bob was involved with.
Sean Sweeney

Ever-changing skyline

To The Editor:
Re “O.K., cut! That’s a wrap!” (photo, Sept. 27):

Wonderful shot with the new World Trade Center in the background almost completed and the tops of brownstones. A nice rendering of our city always changing. I’ve always loved Schnabel’s palazzo — in all of its colorful stages.
Lynn Lieberman

N.Y.ULURP — what a charade

To The Editor:
Re “11 groups file suit against N.Y.U. plan for its superblocks” (news article, Sept. 27):

“The suit notes that about half of the planned development project would be dedicated to nonacademic purposes, such as a performing arts center, a gym, student housing and retail uses.”

This is the heart of the matter. New York University claimed that it was in dire need of academic space. N.Y.U. brought forth proponents for its cause, most of whom made the same claim — a desperate need for academic space. Yet most of the academic space in the plan is placed in the north superblock and the schedule for building on that block is 10 years hence. This demonstrates what a charade the whole ULURP process was.

N.Y.U. wanted the rezoning. Real estate people on N.Y.U.’s board of trustees wanted the rezoning. And they got it.

This is not the time for an educational institution to build. Every other university is putting its building plans on hold, both because of the economy and because the educational bubble is about to burst.

Major developments are taking place in online education. Already M.I.T. is providing excellent online education for technical courses. In a few years, online education in the social sciences will prove comparable to on-site education. When that happens, the justification for the addition of brick-and-mortar buildings for academic uses will be gone — and so too the need for extra dormitories. Any new buildings constructed before that day of reckoning will prove to be white elephants for the school but cheap buyouts for some real estate interest.

Even if N.Y.U. does not build by the time the stuff hits the fan, the rezoning would still be in effect and would provide opportunities for other real estate development.
Miriam Kaplan

Turn up the heat on 9/11 tiles

To The Editor:
Re “People’s 9/11 memorial vanishes in broad daylight” (talking point, by Dena Pearlman, Sept. 27):

I would also send the Contemporary Ceramic Studios Association release out to national media, so that the people who took the tiles can feel some real heat from the creators of the tiles.

It reminds me of the guy on W. 14th St. who started the Ground Zero education center in the Meatpacking District, and was widely and appropriately condemned for taking personal possession of items for profit. Though he has come to some sort of understanding, I am constantly informing tourists and people standing in the line there that they are not where they think they are, as they look around in confusion.

These people who took the tiles are putting their names on a letterhead that should have no names. They’ve made their point, but they are not the owners, and their 15 minutes are up. Holding on to the tiles is a violation of us all. If they don’t surrender the tiles, they should be retrieved by court order.
Patrick Shields

Holy cow! How did I miss it?

To The Editor:
Re “Nuns and students make pilgrimage for school reunion” (news article, Sept. 27):
I wish I’d known about this in advance! I would gladly have traveled down from Ottawa, where I now live!
Bob Migliardi

Hey, the school shrunk!

To The Editor:
Re “Nuns and students make pilgrimage for school reunion” (news article, Sept. 27):

I traveled from Vermont for the reunion and am glad I did. The stage, library, gym and classrooms had shrunk, but my teachers from third, fifth and eighth grade remained the same. And my classmates have become amazing adults. It was an unforgettable experience. Thanks to Charlie, Marc and all the other organizers.
Eugenie Doyle

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