Volume 75, Number 42 | March 8 -14 2006

Letters to the editor

Won’t support transfer station

To The Editor:

Re “Trash talking on Gansevoort; city still wants transfer station” (news article, March 1):

Thank you for the article on the Solid-Waste Management Plan and its impact on the Gansevoort Peninsula in the Hudson River Park.

While Sanitation Commissioner Doherty said he was aware that any transfer station would require an amendment to the Hudson River Park Act, the legislation that created the park, he went on to talk about how such a facility could co-exist with the park. The statement in the letter that Assemblymember Gottfried and I sent to the City Council Sanitation Committee stated that the plan was “simply unrealistic” based not only on its violation of this existing legislation but, more important, on something that was made clear in our letter — there will be no change to the legislation that would allow the construction and operation of a transfer station in the middle of the Hudson River Park.

While the park is highly popular with visitors and tourists, it is vitally important to residents of Community Boards 2 and 4, since, even with the new Hudson River Park, these community boards have the least park space of any in New York City. In fact, with the exception of the Gansevoort Peninsula, the nonwater portion of Hudson River Park is very narrow, ranging from less than 20 feet to 120 feet wide. The 500-foot-by-500-foot Gansevoort Peninsula is the only sizeable piece of parkland within the park — and a highly inappropriate location for a waste transfer station.

Deborah J. Glick
Glick is assemblymember for the 66th District

Buildings going to waste

To The Editor:
I read “Building where Poe was a patient remains a mystery” (news article, Feb. 22) with great interest. I can only agree with Roy Leavitt of Greenwich House when he notes that the Northern Dispensary building should be used for a “social purpose,” preferably by a charitable organization with a mission and programs consistent with the deed restriction noted in the article.

Among the other properties owned by the Gottlieb heirs is the former Keller Hotel at the corner of Barrow and West Sts. Like the Northern Dispensary, it sits empty. Immediately north of it on the corner of Christopher and West Sts. sits Bailey-Holt House, a similar property that in 1986 became the first congregate residence for people with AIDS in the country. Bailey House Inc., a nonprofit organization, along with dedicated community activists, pushed for the creation of Bailey-Holt House in order to ensure a permanent source of housing appropriate for people with AIDS, providing life-sustaining services but respecting independence and privacy. Bailey-Holt House has a stabilizing influence both for its residents and the immediate neighborhood; it has also become a national symbol of the AIDS housing movement. Demand for housing like the 44 individual rooms at Bailey-Holt House remains high as the twin crises of AIDS and homelessness continue.

I trust other readers will agree that the empty Gottlieb properties could be well utilized by local charities to benefit both those in need and our neighborhood as a whole.
John M. Bacon
Bacon is a member, Bailey House Inc. board of directors

Let’s pick our battles wisely

To The Editor:
Re “Villagers throw stones at a stylish glass house” (news article, March 1):

In the tradition of “watch out what you wish for,” this lifelong Villager wonders just what would satisfy the critics. Oh, sure, keep the open space of the existing parking lot at 13th St. and Greenwich and Eighth Aves. But life goes on; change is inescapable. Something is coming to that property. May I suggest to one and all that things could be lots worse than this design, a glass building that will lighten up the corner, reflect the landmark buildings around it, as well as the lovely little park it faces. It even includes a height step down toward Greenwich Ave.

What were you wishing for? A solid 11 stories of light-killing brick or cement? I say, take it and run. We dare not dilute our resources nor lose our credibility. We need the big guns for the big fights: to stop absorption by N.Y.U.; to save our Village treasures, like the Jefferson Market Library; to pursue the dream of extending historic protection from river to river; and let us not give up on the preservation of Washington Square as we all knew and loved it before it was appropriated and redesigned to become N.Y.U.’s front door/campus.

The battles never end.

Cynthia Crane Story
Story is chairperson, Mulry Angle/W. 11th St. Block Association

Elevating High Line articles

To The Editor:
Though a resident of Upstate New York, I often visit the city and especially enjoy reading The Villager. As fate would have it, I read with great interest Albert Amateau’s stories on the High Line (“Railroad and city hook up High Line transfer deal,” news article, Nov. 23; and “Design details outlined for High Line ‘park in sky,’ ” news article, Feb. 15). In fact, the last article inspired me to walk 10th Ave. between 14th and 31st Sts., where one can still read “New York Central” on the bridges crossing over several streets.

I would hope that the conversion of the line as a pedestrian parkway might preserve such proud markings of that railroad giant of times past; just as your writer notes that plans are that “some [track would] be restored to remind park visitors what the structure was built for.”

I became interested in this railroad line from an old-time radio drama series called “The Mysterious Traveler,” which had an episode called “Locomotive Ghost” (July 6, 1947) in which the High Line played a critical part. Imagine my pleasure when visiting the Museum of Modern Art last August to find a special exhibit on the project! It’s also where I picked up a remarkable photo album of Joel Sternfeld entitled “Walking the High Line,” which included a lengthy and brilliant essay by John Stilgoe (“Steganography Photographed”) and another by Adam Gopnik (“The Allure of a Derelict Railroad Track in Spring”) that were a joy to read.

So congratulations to your accomplishment in saving and now creating a unique venue for a great city and a great, vibrant neighborhood.

Stanley J. Kozaczka

He’ll drink to a Democrat

To The Editor:
Re “S.L.A. column went down badly” (letter, by Robert Weitz, March 2):

I would agree with Robert Weitz’s letter supporting nonpartisanship at the State Liquor Authority if it would protect New York City communities victimized by liquor-license oversaturation.

The irony is that the most important legal weapon used by this city’s communities has been the 500-foot rule, an amendment to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, written by a Republican, State Senator Padavan of Queens.

The Padavan Law was passed about the same time George Pataki became governor. Ignoring the thrust of this law sponsored by a fellow Republican, Pataki has spent his three terms making sure that our city is not represented among the S.L.A.’s commissioners.

That’s why a Democratic governor is most likely to name at least one commissioner who understands our city’s oversaturation problem, and make those changes necessary in creating a level playing field at the S.L.A.

Ed Gold

Hoping Stringer’s for real

To The Editor:
Re “Stringer wants reform, new blood on community boards” (news article, Feb. 22):

Scott Stringer’s community board reform may be one of the most important quality-of-life initiatives we have seen. As an assemblyman, his office was one of the few that “got it.” Still,we were a little bit dubious as to campaign rheotoric and that do-nothing politicians were able to ride his coattails into office.

If integrity can somehow infiltrate our community boards, maybe there will be some teeth to residents’ noise complaints. Unsuspecting residents have been detoured when they seek out the assistance of their local community board. Little do they realize, in many cases they have been appealing to a “community” of the special interests.

We need Stringer to follow through so that this is not another vehicle for opportunists.

Robert Weitz

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