Volume 76, Number 3 | June 7 - 13 2006

Letters to the editor

Snyder gets Columbine

To The Editor:
Re “Teen shooting acquires new meaning on stage” (arts article, May 31):

Steven Snyder gets it. Our kids went to Columbine. Most people want to forget about Columbine, blaming it on evil. It is easier that way. My husband and I believe that we need to have a deeper understanding of what went terribly wrong with Eric and Dylan. While it is true that bullying or being an outcast is not an excuse for what they did, it is not an excuse for the adults to ignore these very serious issues. It is up to the adults to deal with these issues and work with the schools to make positive changes. When we ignore such issues, we are ignoring the well-being of our children. I am tired of adults saying, “I went through it. They can too.” Bullying should never be acceptable behavior.

Randy and Judy Brown

Seminary’s pushing envelope

To The Editor:
Re “Despite Chelsea seminary’s statements, unbelievers persist” (news article, May 31):

The Council of Chelsea Block Associations is a coalition of more than 20 blocks in the Chelsea area with thousands of residents. Two of those blocks include W. 20th and W. 21st Sts., loated between Ninth and 10th Aves., adjacent to the General Theological Seminary. C.C.B.A. meets monthly to review issues impacting our neighborhoods, to seek solutions to specific problems and to advance the general interests of our members.

C.C.B.A. wants to thank The Villager for its coverage of issues and concerns related to the Chelsea area, including the current controversal and inappropriate proposal by the General Theological Seminary to construct a building higher than the 75-foot height limit allowed within the Chelsea Historic District.

With regard to your May 31 article, C.C.B.A. wants to point out that the real main focus is not the proposed building’s 17-story height, which is mentioned nine times in the article. The issue, concern, problem, etc. is the proposed violation of the 75-foot height limit established by the Chelsea Historic District and later reinforced by the Chelsea 197a Rezoning Plan.

Residents of Chelsea worked for decades to establish the 75-foot height limit and it was approved by the appropriate city officials. The attempt by the seminary to violate the 75-foot height limit is an affront to Chelsea and its residents who have worked so hard to make Chelsea a better community.

The Council of Chelsea Block Associations strongly believes that alternatives are available to the General Theological Seminary. The seminary can achieve its goals without having to build higher than the 75-foot height limit.

The 75-foot height limit must not be violated.

Bill Borock
Borock is president, Council of Chelsea Block Associations

Farrell doesn’t run caucus

To The Editor:
Re “Clinton bombs at D.I.D., too” (Scoopy’s Notebook, May 31):

In your last issue, the long blurb on the Downtown Independent Democrats endorsement meeting quoted their president, Sean Sweeney, as noting that Denny Farrell, chairperson of the Democratic State Committee, was refusing to allow Jonathan Tasini, candidate for U.S. Senate, to speak at the meeting of the Reform Caucus at the Democratic State Convention in Buffalo.

Denny Farrell has no role in the Reform Caucus. It is an independent caucus made up of State Committee members who believe in the reform movement. The “never-before-utilized provision” Sweeney writes of is in effect, but it applies to presenting a resolution to put forth to the entire State Committee for a vote.

Further, the Reform Caucus did allow Jonathan Tasini to speak at our membership meeting in Buffalo.

Doris Corrigan
Corrigan is Democratic state committee member for the 75th Assembly District and a Reform Caucus member.

Students’ right to protest

To The Editor:
Re “Pro-war McCain takes fire at New School graduation” (news article, May 24):

Lincoln Anderson’s account of how the graduates at the New School’s commencement protested John McCain’s address raised some speculations on what some students could have done. They could have given the Nazi salute, yelled “Fire! Fire!” or simply decided not to attend the ceremony. And one protester could have even felt emboldened enough to bring along a super soaker water pistol. Either before or after the ceremony, a group of students could have even made an effigy of Mr. McCain, and then set it on fire, similar to their British counterparts burning effigies on Guy Fawkes Day. Their underlying thought would have been, “I don’t care what consequences or repercussions I face. What matters to me is that I get my message across in one way or another.” I certainly do not see anything wrong with the students acting up — in whatever ways they did — in reaction to their commencement speaker!
Ruth Block

The Teflon Dorrians

To The Editor:
Re “After another bouncer kills, pols hold clubs accountable” (news article, May 31):

I am writing to remind you that Jack Dorrian posted bail for Robert Chambers after Chambers escorted his murder victim from Dorrian’s Red Hand. Then the Catholic Church vouched for Chambers’s character while he was awaiting trial.

When does the legal system catch up with the Dorrians?
Ann Volkes

Follow the sake

To The Editor:
Re “Sake to me” (Scoopy’s Notebook, May 31):

On the heels of the great recent community contributions of the nightlife denizens of say, Chelsea, I am trying to follow this thread. Help me out: The Villager inaccurately reports Satsko’s drinking policy, spurring the State Liquor Authority into action. Satsko complains to The Villager and point apparently well taken. Next, we read Satsko does indeed have a dubious competitive drinking program. Finally, we read that Satsko scores “serious community points” by repairing a retaining wall. Now, is that to retain the overflow of vomit from patrons?

Robert Weitz

Square lacked upkeep

To The Editor:
Re “Plaza size matters; judge extends order blocking Wash. Sq. project” (news article, May 24):

I was heartened by the news reported in The Villager two weeks ago of the community’s continuing resistance to the planned reconstruction of Washington Square Park. I haven’t kept up with the legal details or followed recent arguments as to the plaza’s size, but I have to smile at the purported cost of the dramatic deconstruction process, when the actual solution is really so simple and inexpensive. As I explained in The Villager before, the basic failure has been the refusal — perhaps recalcitrance or just plain ignorance — of Parks in maintaining the park. The present Parks Department is not altogether at fault.

The original design by the Committee of Architects in 1970 comprised a number of original elements, park furniture such as the circular benches at the corner entrances and some trees. These were nonstandard and required maintenance procedures unfamiliar to the Parks maintenance crew. They required special supervision and attention. We, the designers, and our sponsors, members of the Greenwich Village Community Association, did not see this as crucial. There was no watch committee to follow up on it or see that the engineering drawings and specifications were forwarded from the engineering firm to the Arsenal in case adjustments were needed.

An example are the trees in the raised sitting walls around the edge of the plaza. A crucial element, why have they not received the same attention to keep them healthy that they would have received on any college campus? The trees need nourishment, the soil needs water and air. It breaks my heart to see them. Years have gone by. While the political and legal battles continue, at the same time this might have been attended to. Nobody has thought to do such a simple thing. Or is it a question of calculated neglect?

The legal and bureaucratic answer is, of course: We have no money. No money for maintenance, only for capital improvement. And so, the park wrecked as $16 million “capital improvement.” Hilarious!

Robert Nichols,
Nichols was a member of the Greenwich Village Architects Committee

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