Volume 76, Number 5 | June 21 - 27 2006

Letters to the editor

V.I.D. prez takes it all back

To The Editor:
The Villager usually gets the story right, but neither the words attributed to me nor the tone of your article in the June 14 issue (“Committee members defied V.I.D., backed Hillary”) accurately portrays my sentiments or the position of the Village Independent Democrats.

In fact, the membership of V.I.D. and I are extremely proud of our State Committee members, Larry Moss and Rachel Lavine, and we commend their instrumental role in Buffalo in getting the Democratic State Party to pass a resolution against the war in Iraq. Also at the Democratic State Convention were two of our members, Yayoi Tsuchitani and Barbara Backer, as well as one of our district leaders, Brad Hoylman, and we have heard their firsthand reports. As you wrote, the resolution called the war illegal, which is bold and true, and we are grateful that our representatives, and our endorsed United States Senate candidate, Jonathan Tasini, made that happen.

We are actively and proudly campaigning for Larry Moss and Rachel Lavine, as well as for the rest of our endorsed candidates, including Tasini, gubernatorial candidate Eliot Spitzer and lieutenant governor candidate David Paterson, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, State Senator Tom Duane, Assemblymember Deborah Glick and judicial candidates Paul Feinman and Margaret Chan. I invite all Villagers interested in supporting this outstanding slate of candidates to contact V.I.D. at 212-741-2994.

William Stricklin
Stricklin is president, Village Independent Democrats

Editor’s note: The Villager stands by its reporting.

Facts were out of place

To The Editor:
Re “On 4th St. The Place fights being displaced with power of a petition” (news article, May 24):

We are writing to refute many of the claims made in this article.

Café Rosso was sold to Lynn Wagenknecht and her partners Steven Abramowitz and Judi Wong. Lynn is, in fact, the owner of Café Luxembourg and The Odeon, restaurants that have been in service to their neighborhoods for 23 and 25 years, respectively. Both of these places owe much of their longevity and success to their loyal neighborhood clientele.

Each of the partners has lived in the West Village for many years. Ms. Wagenknecht resided on W. 11th St. for over 10 years in the ’80s, then recently was on W. Fourth St. for almost three years and presently lives on 16th St. and Seventh Ave. Ms. Wong lived at 259 W. 12th St. for more than nine years and currently lives at Jane and Greenwich Sts. Mr. Abramowitz lives at W. 13th and Seventh Ave. They all have children.

None of the partners had spoken to the owners of The Place, The Place’s landlords or anyone from The Villager regarding anything to do with the future of Café Rosso.

There is no intention to stay open until all hours of the night, as the article states, until 2 a.m. It will be a casual, neighborhood cafe where residents of the West Village can meet friends for breakfast, lunch or dinner, have a decent meal and hang out.

The restaurant will be called Cluny and will be a warm and friendly French-American cafe featuring fresh ingredients, thoughtfully prepared and reasonably priced.

Steven Abramowitz did not receive a call from the writer of the article until past the deadline she had stated on the recording, so he felt it too late to reply to her.

The partners of Cluny are thrilled to be contributing a comfortable, casual French-American cafe to a neighborhood that is historically one of the most beautiful in the city. We invite anyone to meet with us, perhaps at 6 p.m. a week from this Monday, to address any concerns or suggestions.

Lynn Wagenknecht,
Steven Abramowitz and Judi Wong

Free the elephants!

To The Editor:
Re “Mendez cracks whip on use of wild animals in circuses” (news article, June 14):

No wonder circus animals appear to enjoy performing! It is their chance to get out of their cramped cages, or, as is often the case with elephants, be released from their chains so they can stretch and move around a little. Opposition to wild animal acts is not usually against circuses but against wild animal acts that force animals evolved to roam as far as 50 miles a day to spend their lives in cages barely large enough for them to turn around. A number of other circuses on both sides of the Atlantic have learned to provide spellbinding performances without making animals lead miserable lives. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey should follow suit and go on to even better entertainment.

Bina Robinson 

Klein made 8th St. nice

To The Editor:
Re “W. Eighth St. finds itself behind the eight ball” (news article, May 24):

Honi Klein should be appreciated by anyone who has a tie to Eighth St., commercially or sentimentally. Getting the sidewalks widened was a practical and aesthetic achievement that required intelligence, impressive political skill and tactical agility that would have exhausted a lesser will. What she did will benefit Eighth St. and the Village for a long, long time. She made Eighth St. a nice place to be once more.

Empty stores? Honi doesn’t set rents. Anyway, the empty-store syndrome is evident on a lot of Manhattan streets, not just on Eighth. It is a symptom of how out-of-whack rents have gotten that it is impossible for too many small shopkeepers to pay what is demanded under new leases.

People who get paid for their efforts should earn more than a paycheck. Unlike volunteers (who are merely doing what they want to do), employees devote their energy and effort and their years to realizing someone else’s aims. They deserve the affectionate concern and discretion of those for whom they work. If Honi’s boss has critical comments to make, he shouldn’t be making them to a reporter. He should reserve them for Honi’s ear alone, over dinner. And it should be a sumptuous dinner, indeed.

Jim Smith
Smith is a former chairperson of Community Board 2

E-mail letters to news@thevillager.com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 145 Sixth Ave., ground floor, NY, NY 10013. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar and libel.

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