Letters to editor

Not charity, but justice

 To The Editor:
Re “Activists keep up the pressure for Firestone feminist apartment” (news article, Oct. 18):

What the community is asking of Mr. Perl is not charity, but justice on the part of those who have benefited off the legacy of revolutionary women like Ms. Firestone. To offer up one of hundreds of apartments that Mr. Perl owns as a testament to her and to the politics she stood for is not too much to ask. And it would be a sign of integrity rather than the shrewd opportunism that characterizes so much of the hip-capitalism that has overrun the L.E.S. community.
Frank Morales 

Landlords reap the rewards

To The Editor:
Re “Activists keep up the pressure for Firestone feminist apartment” (news article, Oct. 18):

Mr. Perl complains that he is being asked for a “lifelong donation” to create a permanent below-market-rate apartment for a working feminist to honor the radical feminist legacy of Shulamith Firestone. But it is actually Mr. Perl who is the ongoing recipient of a permanent and lifelong donation from the neighborhood!

The large profits he reaps from owning buildings in the Lower East Side/East Village would not be possible were the neighborhood not known as “interesting,” “edgy” and “artistic.” This is why people who can afford them pay ultra-exorbitant rents in order to live here.

But the neighborhood’s reputation actually rests on decades of struggle by untold numbers of people who labored, often for free, to make it such an “interesting” place. These include, but are not limited to: those who created, fought for and continue to maintain our community gardens; created and sustained our poetry and theater projects; planted trees on every block; painted murals on buildings; strutted “wild style” on our streets; squatted/rehabbed buildings; made jazz, paintings, poems and unclassifiable works of art — as well as the Beats, hippies, radical feminists, punks, sexual rebels and so many more.

Mr Perl has inherited, and is profiting from, the result of all this history. What he calls a “lifelong donation” actually represents an extremely small fraction — and one he can well afford — of what he and others owe the people of the Lower East Side!
Fran Luck

Bombshell article: Atomic fracking

 To The Editor:
Re “A burning issue about pipeline: Will gas pack radon?” (news article, Oct. 11):

The industry that wants to dilute the radon by mixing it in with other natural gas so that it is “safe” is the same industry that wanted to frack using atomic bombs during the Nixon administration. Several test atomic bomb frack jobs were done, and when testing showed that the natural gas that was produced was highly radioactive, they wanted to use it anyway and just dilute it to make it less radioactive. See the Kansas City Star April 25, 2011, article titled, “Detonating Nukes in Search of Natural Gas: A Curious Tale in the 70’s”.
John Wagner

Strippers exploit drunk men

To The Editor:
Re “Money from women’s bodies” (letter, by K Webster, Oct. 18):

Dear K Webster, your hoary feminazi arguments are as stale as week-old bread.

You know who is exploited in strip clubs? Men, usually drunken men. By whom? The female strippers.

Second, rather than exploit women, these clubs enable women to make huge salaries with little hours of work. I know for a fact. I am friendly with a stripper who made $1,000 a week for working about 10 hours. Many women pay their way through college by exploiting these silly men. There is no sex trafficking in strip clubs. Maybe you prefer to be exploited in a dull office job for meager wages. Other women do not.

And why are you so heterophobic? I don’t hear you complaining about male strip clubs. Why not? Shame on you and your hypocrisy.

I agree with the sentiment Carl Rosenstein and Lawrence White voiced in their letters slamming the opposition to the proposed strip club. Your ilk do not belong in the Village or even New York City. You belong with the Taliban preventing women from working, or in Saudi Arabia where no skin is allowed, or at least with the Mormons in Salt Lake City where chastity is a virtue.
Norman O. Brown

God’s Love plan unpalatable

To The Editor:
Re “Double the Love: Nonprofit meals provider to grow” (news article, Oct. 18):

I was stunned to see The Villager headline this as “Double the Love.”

Why not call it “Double the Losses” — or “Double the End Run” — around the laws that require public community spaces to be a concession to the community, in exchange for the light that this development will steal from all of us who live on Sullivan St. overlooking Sixth Ave.

The way in which this is organized — giving roof garden rights only to the new residents of the 14-story-luxury building — is an abomination. It skirts the intent of the law, and adds another luxury amenity for those who could easily afford to develop their own roof garden.

I have to admit that it is brilliant — and cynical — of this developer to partner with God’s Love We Deliver to try to ram through this development. It seems that even The Villager has bought into the sham — a luxury development dressed up as an organic garden serving disabled people and their families. Shame.
Micki McGee

Enormous, not contextual

To The Editor:
Re “Double the Love: Nonprofit meals provider to grow” (news article, Oct. 18):

As an artist who has lived directly across the street from this proposed project since 1975, I am trying to balance my own personal misgivings at the prospect of losing light, privacy and a view of the Empire State Building, from what I see as an enormous, aggressive new gateway to the neighborhood that is totally oppositional to any of the existing architecture.

This building will only have a small section of so-called “church stone.” It will clearly be composed of shiny aluminum cladding and glass. Furthermore, Spring St. is not the wide-open boulevard depicted in the rendering, and this new building will completely overpower our narrow and twisting street corner.

The neighborhood is composed almost entirely of traditional masonry buildings, and there is nothing remotely like this new proposal. I believe this design can be characterized as an invitation to developers far and near to run rampant over the historic character of our neighborhood. It seems like it would fit in better in South Beach or the Hamptons.

If great European cities can preserve an old section, why can we not recognize this area as an Old New York, and preserve the heritage, beauty and scale that drew us to it in the first place?

I urge Mr. Kors and the good people at God’s Love We Deliver to go back to the drawing board, and come up with a new design that recognizes the site’s historical context and acknowledges that a great charity take into account the human dignity — reflected in the old factory and tenement buildings constructed by our immigrant grandparents — rather than fashion trends furthered by secret deals for air rights.
Harry Pincus

Makes corner much safer

To The Editor:
Re “Pedestrian pebble-ization” (photos, Oct. 18):

This is a vast improvement on a corner that has long been ripe for being the next tragedy.

There will still be drivers who will try to make a left turn from the middle lane. But technically eliminating that second, impatient, left turn by “in a hurry” right-lane cars will make a difference.

The pressure will now be on the lead car in the left-turn lane to get moving (“What am I supposed to do, hit the pedestrian?”) so Bleecker Street Pizza visitors get ready for more horn honking.

Over all, notch one in the win column for the Department of Transportation on this one. No more cars forced into the leather store window. Up until now we’ve only been lucky.
Patrick Shields

Champions plan is a winner

To The Editor:
Re “Leagues toss a change-up on Pier 40 buildings” (news article, Oct. 18):

My children grew up playing at Pier 40. I now play soccer at Pier 40. I think this plan is a great idea and incorporates everything the community needs without bringing in shopping and tourists and more cars. It has my vote!
Karen Bernsohn

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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