Volume 74, Number 48 | April 06 - 12 , 2005

Letters to the editor

Emphatic about Nomadic review

To The Editor:
Re “New-age Noah transforms a bestiary” (arts article, March 23):

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Wickham Boyle for the only review I have seen so far that was able to capture in words what I felt when Gregory Colbert first walked into the offices of the Hudson River Park Trust with his photographs. This is exactly why the Nomadic Museum is currently occupying Hudson River Park’s Pier 54.

I enjoy, but know relatively little about art, used to think of myself as a passable amateur photographer, and generally visit New York’s wonderful museums when my out-of-town friends and relatives visit me or when my children have “museum homework.” However, when the strictly serendipitous meeting between the Trust and Colbert took place, I knew immediately that his idea — unconventional as it sounded — was worth taking a risk on. It has brought tens of thousands of visitors to the park, most of whom never knew we were here; and when I see them leaving Pier 54, walking up the esplanade with their little elephant bags full of posters and books, trying to take home with them a bit of the beauty that they’ve just experienced, I am truly proud to have been able to help bring this wonderful show to the city and the park.

Thank you for expressing what I’m sure many of us have been feeling about these amazing images.
Connie Fishman
Fishman is president, Hudson River Park Trust

Kudos from W. Ninth St.

To The Editor:
Your March 30 issue was one of your best. I don’t know what I’d do without the coverage you give to the issues in our neighborhoods. Thank you, especially, for the article about W. Ninth St. by LindaAnn Loschiavo (“W. Ninth turns 180: Highlights from a history of socialites and social causes, stars and the bizarre”). It was a wonderful gift to the community and those of us who live on this wonderful block.

Leslie Breeding

Caps are becoming of Cummings

To The Editor:
Re “e. e. cummings ‘the painter’ ”(arts article, March 30):

The headline accompanying the article by one of The Village Voice founders, Jerry Tallmer, will help perpetuate the error of not capitalizing the name of E. E. Cummings. Tallmer writes that “Richard Kostelanetz . . . sneers at what he feels is the inappropriate compulsive lowercasing” of the poet and painter’s name.

Well, Kostelanetz is completely right, so move up to the front of the class, Richard.

Onetime Jane St. composer David Diamond (now 89 and living in Rochester) scolded me in 1960 for lowercasing Cummings’s name: “E.E. Cummings would come from Patchin Place with a whip had he known you lowercased his name! His daughter is furious if anyone does today. All his books, as was his signature, are in capital letters.”

When I inquired of the onetime Unitarian leader about his philosophic stance, something I could include in my reference book, “Who’s Who in Hell,” he responded with the following letter, the original of which is at Harvard’s Houghton Library:

Warren Allen Smith

Chamber is proud of Rinaolo

To The Editor:
We have been watching closely your recent coverage of Community Board 2 and the events involving the former chairperson of the Business Committee, Bob Rinaolo.

The issue of whether there was a conflict of interest is out of our purview and is not something we have a position on. However, we do have the utmost respect for both Bob Rinaolo, a former chairperson of our board, as well as Jim Smith, the current chairperson of Community Board 2. They are both dedicated members of this community who have served it extremely well in many ways. Their years of service to this community should not be ignored.

As a longtime resident of the Village, a business owner and as the former chairperson of the chamber’s board, Bob has committed himself to making our community a better place to live and work. Just as the Village is a unique community, the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce is a unique business organization — in large part because Bob was willing to step in when no one else was ready to take the challenge. While our mission is to improve the business climate in our communities, we believe that goes hand in hand with improving the neighborhood for our residents. We hold forums on important topics that are open to the public — discussions about the proposed West Side stadium and discussions with New School President Bob Kerrey about his role on the 9/11 Commission, to name just a few. We host the annual “Safe Cities, Safe Communities” event, which includes a salute to our police officers and a series of crime-prevention seminars that are not only open to the public, but designed to serve the public.

Additionally, we are one of the largest nongovernment sponsors of the Washington Sq. Music Festival, a series of free concerts in Washington Sq. Park. We are also sponsors of the annual Greenwich Village Children’s Halloween Parade, one of the most popular events in our community. And this year our Dinner Dance will provide funding to support the Greenwich Village Little League’s scholarship program. The list goes on an on — and it can all be traced back in some way to Bob’s leadership of our organization and his commitment to this community.

The community board should be a place where a variety of constituencies, including residents and business owners, openly debate the important issues facing our community. In his role on the community board, Bob has done just that. We salute and thank Bob, as well as Jim, for their hours of unpaid hard work and their commitment to their neighborhood.

Bob Zuckerman
Zuckerman is executive director, Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce

Smith, Rinaolo must resign

To The Editor:
It looks as if Chairperson Jim Smith and Bob Rinaolo, former Business Committee chairperson, studied well the playbooks of “I am not a crook” Richard Nixon, “I can’t recollect” Ronald Reagan and “I know where the W.M.D.’s are” George Bush, who collectively turned malfeasance, secrecy and fraud into national pastimes. But to residents of the Village and Soho, whose number one quality of life issue is late-night vomiting on parked cars by the bridge-and-tunnel crowd, the arrogance and deceit of these two is outrageous and nothing less than their resignations is acceptable to restore honor and credibility to Community Board 2. Having a bar owner oversee liquor license applications brings to mind ex-Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev, who quipped that “sending Nixon to a peace conference is like sending a goat to tend the cabbages.”

Carl Rosenstein

Give it a rest with C.B. 2

To The Editor:
I subscribe to The Villager to get local news. For the last two months almost the only item that gets fully reported is the Rinaolo/Community Board 2 flap. It was interesting two months ago but each issue since has included a surfeit of mentions. For instance, in the March 30 issue, there are three articles, a letter and an editorial all referring to Rinaolo. Is that really the most significant story in an area that is being vastly overbuilt, or where our park is threatened with too much beautification? Let’s have a break from Community Board 2 “news.”
Mary Ellen Goodman

Critical of Mass policing

To The Editor:
“With lawsuit and nets, city keeps chasing Critical Mass” (news article, March 30) indicates a steadily escalating confrontation between bicycle riders on one side and police plus the city government on the other side.

Month after month since the Republican National Convention, we see bike riders handcuffed, arrested and their bikes confiscated. Thousands of hours of police man-hours urinated away persecuting peaceful bike riders while violent crime and nonviolent crime festers. In addition, seeing the police criminalize a peaceful bike ride does not improve the image of the New York City Police Department.

If the Bloomberg administration cannot tolerate a bike ride once a month to promote the rights of bicycle riders, I want them to sharply reduce traffic congestion, remove drivers who are reckless and dangerous, reduce pollution, reduce horn blowing, etc.

Michael Gottlieb

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