Letters, Week of Dec. 20, 2012

Sexton really packs ’em in

To The Editor:
Re “No confidence in Sexton?” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Dec. 13):

John Sexton and his predecessors have ruined New York University and the Village area. Sexton wants N.Y.U. to be on par with Harvard and Yale, but has succeeded in turning N.Y.U. into a very expensive community college. A degree from N.Y.U. today is not worth one that someone received 20 years ago. He is not about quality of education but how many students he can stuff into his classes. He also wants to surround himself with yes men/women, not anyone that will challenge him. He wants this to be his legacy. I hope the vote passes, I only regret that I can not vote against Sexton.
Jerry Blake

School kids crossing 14th St.

To The Editor:
Re “Ed Council O.K.’s Village rezoning due to new school” (news article, Dec. 13):

Why does this article talk about the crossing of 14th St. as if it is something new? Before the vote, kids crossed from above 14th on their way going down to P.S. 3 and P.S. 41. Now after the vote, in 2014 other kids will cross instead from below 14th going up to the new P.S. 340. Also, across School District 2 kids cross other two-way streets like 14th St. all the time. Manhattan does not have the luxury of avoiding that type of setup.

As for the argument of P.S. 340 being “sited incorrectly,” the reality is the city is not going to use eminent domain to just take property for making new schools. Also it should be pointed out that Mr. Gentile previously made the argument that the school was “sited” just fine. His argument was that the zone should be “Park Ave South, 23rd St., Seventh Ave., 14th St. solved” (see the C.E.C. Facebook page for his comments). Basically, he wanted to pass off the issue to P.S. 11, which is not overcrowded.

Like it or not, P.S. 41 and P.S. 3 already served Chelsea and the Village for decades. So its hardly radical that P.S. 340 do the same given its location at 16th St. and Sixth Ave.
Joseph Smith

JASA was not in Zone A

To The Editor:
Re “Seniors say facility left them in the dark during Sandy” (news article, Dec. 13):

No one could have predicted that buildings in New York City would lose power of such magnitude. No one is responsible for the ramifications of Hurricane Sandy. Also this building was in a Zone B area and so did not have a mandatory evacuation. If you want to blame somebody, blame the city for not classifying this and other buildings as being in Zone A. The city was in complete chaos that night, and no one should be made to appear as though they abandoned these people. It’s all an unfortunate incident caused by a natural disaster, and luckily none of these people were injured or died or lost their home.  Regina Falangi

Economakis was there; So what?

To The Editor:
Re “Landlord who ‘reclaimed’ building a ‘big fan’ of new museum” (news article, Dec. 13):

Space that could have been filled with a newsworthy article on one of the most innovative new developments in the East Village is instead wasted with an inconsequential fluff piece. Not even good gossip. Who cares that Alistair Economakis came to the opening of MoRUS? Surely not anyone interested in seeing exhibits of a people’s history of this once diverse and activist neighborhood. The lineup of presenters was a Who’s Who of L.E.S. artists, writers and community organizers — living testament to the area’s unique history of the 1970s to early 2000s. This piece of “reporting” exemplifies how our formerly radical neighborhood has lost its substance and soul.
Heidi Boghosian

Rosie’s term-limits reversal

To The Editor:
On Oct. 28, 2008, after a raucous debate, the New York City Council voted, 29 to 22, to extend term limits, allowing Bloomberg to seek re-election and undoing the result of two voter referendums that had imposed a limit of two four-year terms. Councilwoman Rosie Mendez was arguably the most outspoken opponent of this extension.

The intense acrimony surrounding the decision left a sharply divided Council. Most of the city councilpersons who would benefit from getting an additional term voted in favor of the legislative change, but Ms. Mendez chose a higher and more virtuous path. She stridently and openly fought against it. She accused the mayor and his Council supporters of flouting the will of the people as expressed in not one, but two, referendums on the subject, insisting that democratic procedure demanded a public vote on the issue. She went so far as to warn her colleagues that, if the term-limits extension passed, the Council’s legitimacy would be forever tarnished.

She said her constituency wanted the opportunity to vote on the issue, and that they wanted her to vote “No.” She denounced what she called the “arrogance” of Mayor Bloomberg. She voted in favor of holding a voter referendum on extending term limits, no matter what the cost to do so. Ms. Mendez happened to be correct: Third terms are characterized by indifference, detachment and even arrogance and are seldom considered successes.

Fast-forward four years: Rosie Mendez has announced that she is running for a third term! At least Bloomberg had his financial credentials in the face of a huge economic crisis as a justification. So how does Ms. Mendez now justify this power grab?

The explanation might be very interesting because the district is now unrecognizable from what it was in 1988 when Margarita Lopez was elected and hired her protégé Rosie Mendez, who later ascended to the office. The policies of 1988 are still in place in the East Village and that is why there is no Alphabet City Business Improvement District (BID) and why there are so many intractable land-use issues pitting landlords against tenants.

This also explains why there is a deficit of community space and space devoted to the arts, and it explains why the old P.S. 64 on E. Ninth St. is empty. Radicalism 1960s style is quaint and retro and interesting to read about, but it is ill-suited to running a city in 2013. Our leaders have become walking anachronisms and a supermajority of Democrats on the City Council quashes valuable ideas available from the other side of the political spectrum. It’s time to shelve the retro radicalism, banish third terms, and balance the debate at City Hall.
Steve Sinclair

Brainwashed assassins

To The Editor:
Re “John Lennon, David Peel and rock’s greatest flattery” (news article, Dec. 13):

I’m a current member of David Peel’s band, The Lower East Side.

lf you haven’t yet done so, read the book “Who Killed John Lennon.” It is clear that Chapman was an already deranged individual selected by some fascist “black bag ops” government agency to be brainwashed into shooting John Lennon. Their techniques are sophisticated. Using hypnosis and drugging, they program such “Manchurian candidates” to carry out a killing and then have no memory of why they did it, or to give false motives that they really believe but were implanted along with the compulsion to murder their target.

J.F.K., R.F.K., Martin Luther King Jr., Fred Hampton, John Lennon — the list of politically motivated murders of American citizens by “our” government is practically endless! When will the sheeple awaken?
Mick Davis

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