Letters, Week of Nov. 29, 2012

Forget about this BID

To The Editor:
Re “Soho’s BID battle rages on at Council committee hearing” (news article, Nov. 22):

Thank you for an excellent article that gives voice to the opposition as well as to  the promoters of the business district. I call on Councilmember Margaret Chin,  Domenic Recchia, chairperson of the Council’s Finance Committee, and the committee’s members to weigh carefully BID Steering Committee member Alan Ballinger’s criminal record: Ballinger’s “serious crimes” (Departmental Disciplinary Committee, First Judicial Department) are cause for withdrawing support for this unwelcome BID.

In addition, as I argued at the Nov. 20 City Council hearing, privatizing public services is not the solution to problems in Soho. Rather, our elected representatives should work with, rather than stand against, community activists. Together we can strengthen our public institutions and help them deliver the services that the public needs and which are our right.

Forget about this BID. Instead, call on the Department of Sanitation, the Fifth and First Precincts and the Department of Transportation. Traffic, trash, crime and overcrowding are problems to be solved through public solutions, not a business opportunity for a few sharpers to take advantage of.
Georgette Fleischer 
Fleischer is founder, Friends of Petrosino Square

BID’s bloated bureaucracy

To The Editor:
Re “Soho’s BID battle rages on at Council committee hearing” (news article, Nov. 22):

Sean Sweeney works for the Soho Alliance at no salary, I think. Will the people running the BID also volunteer their time?
Elliot Silber

God save us from G.L.W.D.

To The Editor:
Re “Neighbors air their views on G.L.W.D. air-rights plan” (news article, Nov. 22):

I don’t think The Villager article fully expresses the feelings of betrayal expressed by the community at God’s Love We Deliver’s misleading presentation. They call themselves “good neighbors” but are attempting to violate a covenant they agreed to with the city and the neighborhood, in order to allow a developer to build a grossly out-of-scale, luxury residential tower — for whose wealthy, partygoing condo owners G.L.W.D would provide rooftop access.

Spring St. is not the wide boulevard ready and waiting to accept increased truck traffic (as depicted in G.L.W.D.’s brochure), but a narrow, curving street corner that is already congested and dangerous. Their aluminum reclad design is totally out of keeping with everything in this historic district, and will cause hundreds of families to permanently lose the light and air that make their small apartments habitable.

Simply put, this design is an abomination that will hasten the destruction of historic Soho and create a terribly negative impact upon those of us who have lived here for most of our lives.

Is this the work of a great and worthy charity? Or is it merely a front for greedy and brutal real estate profiteers? Why must this charity damage a residential neighborhood and why must they expand on pricey real estate when they could easily find a less expensive home with plenty of room to grow? Does the convenience of the Soho location for the annual visit of Mayor Bloomberg and various fashion celebrities justify the need for placing this operation where people live?
Harry Pincus

Not in sync with Soho

To The Editor:
Re “Neighbors air their views on G.L.W.D. air-rights plan” (news article, Nov. 22):

Although I understand God’s Love We Deliver’s intent, I feel this particular design fails them. Yes, there are several attractive and useful facets to the plans as seen in the presentation at the meeting. Sadly, there are many more facets that fall flat.

The street corner in question is a main entrance point to Soho. A look at the existing buildings in Soho reveals that brick and subdued tones dominate the exteriors. Certain details stand out and these nuances surprise the eye and excite the imagination. I do not see any of that in this current G.L.W.D. design.

My hope is that G.L.W.D. will take these criticisms to heart and come back with an architectural design that will enhance Soho as so many other designers have done before them. G.L.W.D. are loving, sensitive and creative people. I know they can do better.
Lawrence White

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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