Volume 75, Number 47 | April 12 - 18 2006

Letters to the editor

N.Y.U. juggernaut is derailed

To The Editor:

Re “N.Y.U. calls off negotiations for Third Ave. dormitory site” (news article, March 29):

Thank you for covering fairly the continuing conflict between New York University and the communities immediately surrounding it.

For years N.Y.U. has been acquiring and developing properties in the East and West Villages while selling its properties elsewhere in the city. N.Y.U. is not developing a plan. N.Y.U. has a plan, and it is steadily implementing that plan. But exactly what is that plan?

My guess is that N.Y.U. has a plan that will be implemented fully if it is kept secret. But if the plan is exposed, its implementation might be modified. Representatives of N.Y.U. know exactly what they are doing and they expect that in the future, as in the past, they will receive little effective opposition to the realization of their long-term goals.

Then in steps The Villager! Not the mighty New York Times. But a tiny local newspaper with a small but steady light.

And for once the largest private university in the country is forced to pause.

Thank you for that.

Susan E. Vencl

Berman tells the truth

To The Editor:
Re “N.Y.U. calls off negotiations for Third Ave. dormitory site” (news article, March 29):

I think it’s appalling the way N.Y.U. is trying to take over the Village piece by piece. 

I’ve worked with Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation over the past several months in conjunction with N.Y.U.’s proposed 20-plus-story dormitory on the previous site of St. Ann’s Church. He is a principled and moral person who did not lie about N.Y.U.’s negotiation for the northeast corner of 10th St. and Third Ave.

N.Y.U. is simply trying to combat their well-deserved reputation of being a bad neighbor and take the heat off themselves by insinuating that he made this up. It’s ludicrous.

When is N.Y.U. going to sit down and discuss their long-term plans for our Village anyway?

Cathy Pullis

Secretive methods exposed

To The Editor:
Re “Finale of Third Ave. overture” (letter, by Alicia Hurley, April 5):

Alicia Hurley’s letter in last week’s Villager regarding the site at 10th St. and Third Ave. seeks to change the subject by leveling highly questionable accusations at The Villager and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.

In fact, N.Y.U.’s “very consistent and careful” methods of acquiring property using secrecy and miscommunication to act against the community interest were exposed for all to see. If additional evidence is required that N.Y.U. must have a master plan and should seek development opportunities outside of the Village, this episode surely provides it. The community, the elected officials and N.Y.U. should take note. N.Y.U.’s traditional secretive, piecemeal approach is simply unacceptable.

Of course, everyone is grateful that N.Y.U. has now renounced its interest in the 10th St. and Third Ave. site. The less fortunate residents of E. 12th St., where N.Y.U. plans to construct a 26-story dorm, cannot help but feel envious.
Elizabeth Langwith and Tony McAndrew
Langwith and McAndrew are co-chairpersons, St Ann’s Committee

Trust ethics rules need work

To The Editor:
Your article entitled “Some Trust board members don’t bite on ‘gag order’ ” (March 29) about the proposed new ethics rules for the Hudson River Park Trust correctly stated my view of the proposal, but inadvertently omitted my closing remark that I made to the board. I stated that because members of the board had concerns about the language of the new ethics rules, the matter should be referred back to staff to develop language that would be acceptable to all. I am pleased that this was the course that was followed.

Lawrence B. Goldberg

Prostitution runs rampant

To The Editor:
NBC news recently aired a shocking two-part expose by Ida Siegal about male prostitution in the West Village, concentrating on teenage prostitutes, some of whom were as young as 13 and 14. The area in which they solicit is known as The Stroll and centers around Weehawken St. and Christopher and 10th Sts. adjacent to it. As shocking as this was to the national audience who viewed the explicit footage, this is an old story to the residents of the West Village. And the shame of it is that most of the outreach groups who seem to do little else but hand out condoms to these youths, and our politicians like Christine Quinn, have been ignoring this situation for years despite constant complaints from neighborhood residents.

With each passing year, the problem grows larger. Community Board 2 has been advised, again and again, of the prostitution, drug dealing and endless noise that flood the West Village nightly, but have been prevailed upon by a group known as FIERCE! to enable these youths to use the Christopher St. Pier as a center for their activities. This is the group that condones “sex workers” and obviously sees nothing wrong with teenagers earning up to $500 a night selling their bodies to older men. Due to the board’s cowardice, stupidity and ineffectualness, at the last Community Board 2 meeting, a vote was passed allowing the pier to be open until 1 a.m., providing these youths with street vendors and Portosans.

I am cognizant of the need for L.G.B.T. youth to have a safe haven, a place where they can go and feel protected. But hanging out on a pier, night after night, is not the answer. And well-funded so-called outreach groups handing out condoms is not the answer.
Jay Jeffries

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