Volume 75, Number 19 | Sep. 28 - Oct. 04, 2005

Letters to the editor

Christopher St. in crisis

To The Editor: 
We, the board of directors of 165 Christopher St., a six-story building with 214 apartment units located at Christopher and Washington Sts. in the Far West Village, write this letter to urge the Mayor’s Office, Commissioner Kelly and the Sixth Precinct to secure the safety and well-being of our residents — a diverse group of residents of all ages, races and sexual orientation. We write this letter because we are alarmed at what is happening in our neighborhood. Gangs of unruly youths are harassing our residents and disturbing the peace while drug dealers and prostitutes are taking over Christopher and Weehawken Sts. Violent encounters between rival gangs like the one on June 14 are becoming increasingly common, with residents caught in the middle. The street and pier have become very unsafe and the situation is getting worse every day.

With Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership, the Sixth Precinct can increase police coverage to enforce the rule of law and stop these gangs from ruining a historic part of New York City.

We call on City Hall, the Police Department and the Sixth Precinct to stop this criminal behavior now. We recommend:

A 10 p.m. closing of Pier 45/Hudson River Park (consistent with most of the other parks in New York City)

Christopher St. Path Station to close at 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays

Police coverage on Christopher St. 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Zero tolerance for harassment and unruly behavior
Please help us send the message that this is not a playground for transient youths.

The residents of 165 Christopher St. are hardworking, New York City taxpayers and deserve a decent quality of life — one where they are not harassed on a daily basis by unruly youths who do not live in the West Village.

People of good conscience cannot afford to stay silent. An immediate response is requested.
Susan Weinstein, president; Arye Sivion; Joan Bates; Thilo Koenigsberger; and Jennifer Poma
The signers are board members, 165 Christopher St. Owners Corporation

Protection, yes, but not condoms

To The Editor:
Re “Gay youth gone wild: Something has got to change” (talking point, by Dave Poster and Elaine Goldman, Sept. 21):

Thanks so much for the column by Poster and Goldman.

I live in the neighborhood and am appalled and frightened by the escalating number of gangs descending upon the Village.

I recently walked down W. 10th St. at seven in the morning and saw a used condom on the sidewalk right in front of the entrance to the Sixth Precinct.

What an apt metaphor for the situation at hand.

Much of this undesirable behavior occurs within a block or two of the precinct.

These reckless teens know that there are no consequences for their behavior.

The police must provide a more visible presence on the streets of this neighborhood, especially in the hours between midnight and dawn.

Arnie Himelstein

A broadside from abroad

To The Editor: 
Re “The view from France: Disbelief, shock and horror” (talking point, by Patricia Fieldsteel, Sept. 14):

Why in The Villager do I read articles from France?

Ms. Fieldsteel says, “I may live in France, but that doesn’t make me any less American.” Maybe not, but it makes one an expatriate. We all know our failings about the hurricane disaster Katrina. We don’t need Francophiles to “rub it in.”

Edene Leader

Critic on a roll after parking flap

To The Editor:
The “Parking panic” (Scoopy’s notebook, Sept. 14) item in The Villager raises more questions than it answers:

It’s curious that a car regularly illegally parked in front of a bar in a known high-traffic area doesn’t get ticketed. Why not? What impression does this give a bar owner, the customers or the residents about the New York Police Department via Don West?  

How did this person, who lives a couple of blocks from the precinct, need and get this restricted parking permit? 

West has been seen repeatedly breezing through the precinct’s front desk, when mere mortals are stopped at the front desk. Why? Is this another case where precinct officers feel that any action taken against West, another of Silver cronies, would be “overly scrutinized” as it was against Hatzolah a few weeks ago?

This all dovetails into a more disturbing question — why West refuses to show the financial books for the Seventh Precinct Council. Several years ago, this writer, as well as Clayton Patterson and Elsa Rensaa, asked legally and repeatedly — I in my role as vice president — to view the books of the precinct council. No wrongdoing was charged; we just wanted to see the books, which were never produced, along with an accurate accounting of the amount of funds kept in the “treasury.” 

West stonewalled for months and then jury-rigged an illegal election to unconstitionly “ban” us from the council. This would all be humorous, except the N.Y.P.D. from 1 Police Plaza went along with it and acquiesced to West’s authority by allowing all sorts of tricks, such as more people voting after the deadline.

I would hope Deputy Inspector McCarthy will be just as thorough as he is in other areas of the precinct by investigating this matter thoroughly and reporting the findings publicly. And insure it does not occur again.
Marcia H. Lemmon

Board’s methods don’t figure

To The Editor:
Re “Lopez gets by with a little help from her friends” (news article, Sept. 14):

I thought that the purpose of the Campaign Finance Board was to make raising large sums of cash from a few individuals over a short period time unnecessary. I was obviously misinformed.

The C.F.B. policy of addressing outstanding issues from past elections so very close to an upcoming election day — holding current matching funds hostage to the candidate’s ability to deposit hundreds of thousands of dollars to the C.F.B. as a condition of making current matching funds available — makes candidates dependent upon large sums of cash loans from a few, rather than small contributions from many.

Why can’t the C.F.B. choose to resolve outstanding issues within six months after an election? The C.F.B. should not be withholding matching funds for current races as a means of resolving outstanding issues from elections held four years ago. There must be a better way to address outstanding issues in the future. The current policy undermines the mission and purpose of the C.F.B.

Sheri Clemons

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