Volume 75, Number 48 | April 19 - 25 2006

Letters to the editor

Too late, Maloney

To The Editor:
Re “After supporting war, Maloney now calls for pullout” (news article, April 12):

It is downright sickening to see Carolyn Maloney try to parasitically attach herself to the antiwar movement by inviting John Murtha to her town hall meeting in Manhattan. Murtha, the representative of a conservative district in Pennsylvania, was genuinely bold and courageous in speaking out against the war in Iraq; but Maloney, representative of a liberal district in New York, is merely a political opportunist. Pseudoliberal and hypocrite that she is, she voted for both the war in Iraq and the Patriot Act, thus enabling two of the most sinister things to come out of the Bush administration. It is an embarrassment and an outrage that she represents me in Congress.

Kevin O’Connor

Mammogram’s message

To The Editor:
The Villager’s Scoopy’s Notebook brief on my first mammogram in three years (“Rosy health,” March 29) did not reflect the intended message of the day’s event. Our press conference was to highlight the low- or no-cost women’s health services at Gouverneur Healthcare Services, such as the Manhattan Breast Health Partnership, a state program that provides low-/no-cost breast and cervical cancer services for women over the age of 40 who are uninsured or whose health insurance does not cover screening or diagnostic services. Had I known about M.B.H.P., I wouldn’t have failed to get a mammogram.

Our conference was to draw attention to these wonderful services, which “Rosy Health” declined to mention.

Rosie Mendez
Mendez is city councilmember for Manhattan’s District 2

Casualty of liquor license war

To The Editor:
In an obsessive, unfettered campaign to suture the hemorrhage of liquor licenses in Lower Manhattan, the community boards, residents and neighborhood groups have taken what should be a surgical procedure and decided to pulverize the entire industry, leaving unnecessary casualties in their wake.

Quality of life is paramount in Manhattan, no debating that. But along the way there have been casualties of new — honest — small restaurant owners who have only wanted to create a livelihood for themselves and their families.

Take Novo at 290 Hudson St., for example. Novo took a novel approach and did not lie to their community board — how rare. In fact, this tiny, 60-seat, family-owned establishment was honest about every intention they had. They reported to their community board that they were planning to stay open later on the weekends; they indicated that occasionally there would be a D.J. or perhaps a saxophonist to further flavor the dining experience. They held open houses and invited residents to their tiny facility to reassure them of restaurant plans — after all it was slated to be a neighborhood restaurant.

Novo met religiously with the residents and even spent extra money soundproofing their restaurant to appease a worried neighbor who lived across the street. Pay no mind to that fact that the Jazz Gallery was located above the restaurant. Funny how they never received noise complaints, but there was absolute panic and pervasive phonophobia for potential restaurant/bar noise from Novo.

Of course, Novo could have lied and said they were a white-linen restaurant that would be closed at midnight, no noise, no problems, etc. Instead, Novo was honest, willing to bend over backwards to work with the community. We all anticipated an exciting addition to the Hudson Square neighborhood. In fact, two members of the immediate neighborhood spoke on Novo’s behalf at the community board’s initial meeting. Furthermore, in what would become a swirl of controversy and corruption, the community board initially voted “yes” to the approval of Novo’s liquor license. After all, shouldn’t honesty be rewarded?

Yet, during the full board meeting, Novo was demonized by the board members — not the residents — as the next nightclub. Yes, that really makes sense: a 1,000-square-foot, railroad space with rampant noise, long lines and drunken pedestrians. Doesn’t anyone find it strange that the community board would vote against the request of the immediate residents? Aren’t they representing the neighborhood? However, it seems one of the community board members had a conflict of interest regarding the adjacent empty lot. I’ll spare readers from the vast database of articles that expose corruption among the community boards. And we thought the S.L.A. was bad.

So when those community board members, residents and neighborhood groups want to spend a night out at their favorite restaurant or order food for a night in with their families, they should think long and hard about the ramifications of their extermination habits. Vaporizing the entire group with very little precision leaves nothing left but those entrepreneurs who have big budgets and can neutralize or wait out the protests to only turn their proposed restaurants into thumping nightclubs. Don’t we see the pattern here? Probably not, since those spearheading the anti-liquor license campaigns are only thinking about winning the battles and not the war. It’s a damn shame.

Vivian Mougios, Ph.D.
Mougious is a neuropsychologist; her husband owns Novo restaurant 

Holy hypocrisy!

To The Editor:
Re “N.Y.U. bans Danish cartoons’ display at campus talk” (news article, April 5)

It never ceases to amaze me how New York University, from their top administrative officers to their functionary flacks, can ooze ultrasensitivity for those complaining they will be aggrieved by displaying Danish cartoons on radical Islam and at the same time turn their backs on the neighboring community that has incessantly complained about their egregious expansion and oversized buildings that have and continue to envelop the Village.

Maybe we should all join the Church/Mosque/Synagogue of No Community Facility Zoning. Would this act then legitimatize our complaints in N.Y.U.’s world of academic political correctness and turning a deaf ear?

Friends, neighbors, Villagers: See you at church/mosque/synagogue.

Martin Tessler

Drummer’s salute

To The Editor:
Re “Drummer beats anthrax, but cleanup has him reeling” (news article, April 5):

Thanks to Bonnie Rosenstock for a well-written and thorough article. We were so glad to see you take the time and space to really outline the extent of this story; your specifics were good and important. Thank you very much. We will be forwarding this article to people who don’t know the story so they can get the whole picture.

Lisa and Vado Diomande

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