Letters, Week of Jan. 17, 2013

God’s Love should just leave

To The Editor:
Re “Soho neighbors demand a do-over on God’s Love vote” (news article, Jan. 10):

I am not in a position to denigrate the work that God’s Love We Deliver is doing. However, the sight of so many attorneys, developers and obviously well-heeled characters at the community board meetings gives rise to suspicion. The special appearance at the recent Community Board 2 meeting by Tom Duane had all of the trappings of a papal visit. But Mr. Duane does not live here, on this corner.

The fact is that a behind-the-scenes deal was reached, which will cause numerous people who can ill afford it to have to move. Elderly people and children will suffer, and a traditional, historical neighborhood full of century-old, brick-and-mortar landmarks will be forever spoiled by a glass-and-aluminum intruder, which will forever wave the banner of ruination for developers far and wide.

Why can’t this organization, which will require vast expansion and numerous truck deliveries, find a more suitable location farther along on the West Side, where there is less traffic and there are fewer families who will be dislocated? Having this project rammed down our throats at Christmastime, by powerful entities behind closed doors, hardly feels like God’s love being delivered.
Harry Pincus 

What good is the city’s word?

To The Editor:
Re “Soho neighbors demand a do-over on God’s Love vote” (news article, Jan. 10):

Thanks so much for your clear and fair reporting on this contentious issue. I live in the West Village and will not be directly impacted by this development. But there was a restrictive declaration that God’s Love We Deliver agreed to with the city that was to last “in perpetuity.”

Not only those immediately affected by the proposed changes, but all city residents have a right to rely on the city’s commitments. If this change is permissible, then no agreement with the city can be relied upon by its citizens, and thus none of us have meaningful tools with which to fight developers’ control of city policies and laws.
Sandy Russo 

What hypocrisy by Duane! 

To The Editor:
Re “Soho neighbors demand a do-over on God’s Love vote” (news article, Jan. 10):

Tom Duane really made a fool of himself. He comes to passionately argue in favor of this deed modification to allow uber-development. Then he simultaneously argues for the landmarking of the South Village. What hypocrisy! Historic 1820s buildings formerly rested on this spot, at 180 Sixth Ave. They were demolished to make way for this project by another developer who is related to the present developer.
Meredith Spencer

Take action against guns

To The Editor:
Re “L.E.S. teen’s murder prompts call for more police patrolling” (news article, Jan. 10):

I urge our Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Mayor Bloomberg and the elected officials, also our President Barack Obama, to take action on this matter because enough is enough and we don’t need anymore killings. What we need is stronger laws against those guns that are killing our kids and innocent people. It’s a shame what those parents are suffering and going through by losing a loved one.

As a mother and grandmother, I am asking — please, stop the gun violence.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Raphael Ward. May he rest in peace.
Dalia Soto 

Will Chin just let go of Noho?

To The Editor:
Re “Noho districting donnybrook” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Jan. 10):

The information in Scoopy’s that Councilmember Chin’s office did not receive “even one complaint” about Noho being severed from Soho and moved out of Council District 1 as part of redistricting is incorrect. A letter was sent by the Noho Neighborhood Association on Oct. 23, 2012, addressed to the New York City Districting Commission and copied to Councilmembers Margaret Chin and Rosie Mendez and the Soho Alliance.

The Noho Neighborhood Association requested that Noho not be removed, citing that Noho and Soho are “communities of interest” as defined by the New York City Charter, Section 52 (C), particularly in their M1-5B zoning, demographics, history, cast-iron architecture and special Joint Living Work Quarters for Artists designation. Fourteen of the Noho Neighborhood Association Steering Committee members were listed on this letter.

What is crucial is to determine whether Councilmember Chin made any effort on her constituents’ behalf in response to their concerns, which she has known for almost three months.

Consequently, will Councilmember Chin stand up now to preserve the integrity of our neighborhoods at the Districting Commission and City Council, or will she not?
Jeanne Wilcke
Sean Sweeney 
Wilcke is co-chairperson, Noho Neighborhood Association; Sweeney is director, Soho Alliance 

Enriched by Sophie’s love

To The Editor:
Re “Sophie Gerson, 88, former school board president, pol Alan’s mom” (obituary, Jan. 4):

I was visiting in Carolina and missed the news that Sophie had left us. I liked Sophie very much. She was warm, tough-minded, perceptive and true. My heart goes out to Alan and his family, whose lives were inestimably enriched by her presence and love and support. The foundation she provided for their lives will endure for them in spite of her passing. May she journey in peace.
Jim Smith 

Warped by endless wars

To The Editor:
Re “Why we don’t have the right to care about Newtown” (talking point, by Ted Rall, January 10):

Refusing to see the connection between Newtown and the overwhelming militarism of the American empire is a glaring symptom of social schizophrenia. The endless wars promoted and pursued by the right-wing Democratic/Republican Party — ballyhooed and always justified by the propaganda media — have inflicted severe wounds on the national psyche. Great numbers of Americans have been drained of empathy or sympathy of any kind when it comes to “gooks,” “extremists” or “terrorists.” This is the toxic ground for some to then turn on their own, and themselves. Which is always a basic result of the domination/subordination nexus: 1% versus 99%.

This just in: France has invaded Mali and wants the Pentagon to supply…drones! Dollars to donuts Obama can hardly wait to join the slaughter — with the “free press” praising and egging him on.
Matthew Borenstein 

Rall drones on, off point 

To The Editor:
Re “Why we don’t have the right to care about Newtown” (talking point, by Ted Rall, Jan. 10):

In a New York Times news story dated Jan. 10 under the headline “Blasts in Pakistan Kill Scores and Stir Fears on Elections,” we read, “Bomb blasts in two Pakistan cities killed at least 115 people on Thursday.” On Jan. 13, a different headline tells us, “Bomb Kills 14 Pakistani Soldiers as Attacks Shake Up Provincial Government.”  Bombs aimed at soldiers and civilians go off time and again as a result of sectarian differences among Pakistanis.

Ted Rall writes, “Until Americans start caring about other people’s kids…we don’t have the right to mourn our own.”

Similarly, until Ted Rall starts caring about the kids and grownups killed regularly in Pakistan, he doesn’t have the right to mourn those killed by drones.
George Jochnowitz 

Hard to replace Pathmark

To The Editor:
Re “L.E.S. Pathmark closes; Meeting with C.E.O. is set” (news article, Dec. 28):

I was born on the Lower East Side and remember Pathmark opening in 1983 when I was 17. My family has shopped there ever since it opened and looked forward to shopping there. I can’t believe it is gone. They had great prices and served the community well. I can’t afford to go to Pathmark in Harlem — just the gas alone. Pathmark had family-size food and great, affordable items.

Now we go to Key Food, which is overpriced. I hate shopping there: Small, narrow aisles, people constantly telling you to move. All these young East Villagers who are always in a rush. Also there’s a lack of selection. My mom and I will take our business elsewhere. There are local supermarkets good for some items.

What they are building at Pathmark is another overpriced condo that the neighborhood could do without. I know the many low-income and middle-income seniors and families will miss Pathmark. I’ll miss the easy shopping there and the great prices and selection.

I find doing surveys is a waste. How many people did they do it with?
Leslie Sicklick 

Try retail rent control

To The Editor:
Re “Vegan mecca’s supporters ride rails to protest baker’s eviction” (news article, Jan. 4):

Although they are not always wonderfully effective, we do have laws which regulate many kinds of profit-making activities that adversely impact the public good. So even if it would be more profitable, you are restricted from doing certain things with your building because of the adverse impact on the community (e.g., open up a bar in a residential neighborhood).

Maybe a set of laws could be enacted that would give special protection to specific agreed-upon uses. One way of doing this would be to provide for commercial rent control for such businesses. Residential rent control and rent stabilization have long been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court as not depriving landlords of their constitutional rights of private property ownership when properly established and applied.

Why not extend rent control in certain cases to commercial tenants for the public good of the community? Then we really wouldn’t care if Silvestri’s landlord is a scrooge or not, since a tenant like the bakery would be protected by the law, not by the goodwill of some businessman.
Ray Korona 

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