Volume 76, Number 25 | November 8 - 14, 2006

Letters to the editor

Westbeth’s real voice

To The Editor:
Re “An M.T.S. at Pier 76 could be best option” (editorial, Nov. 1):

We are Westbeth residents who agree with your recent editorial that the Gansevoort Peninsula is not an appropriate place for a marine transfer station for waste and recyclables and that Pier 76 at W. 35th St. is a much better option. On Oct. 10, the Westbeth Artists Committee sponsored a well-attended public meeting in our community room to inform tenants and neighbors about the problems associated with putting this operation on the Gansevoort Peninsula. Thus far, we have collected more than 70 signatures from Westbeth residents who oppose this plan.

Based upon this response, we feel that a significant number of Westbeth residents disagree with the curious position stated by the president of the Westbeth Artists Residents Council on Sept. 13 at the public hearing. He spoke in favor of the Gansevoort location. It is most unfortunate that Westbeth residents are now publicly on record with a position decided by a handful of people at a closed meeting without any input from the larger tenant body. We hope to set the record straight.
Stewart Brisby, Ed Eichel and Kate Walter
Brisby, Eichel and Walter are group representatives, Westbeth Artists Committee

Shuang Wen suffering, too

To The Editor:
Re “Panic at P.S. 137” (letter, Maria S. Perez, Oct. 25):

I, a parent of a Shuang Wen School student, also feel Maria S. Perez’s frustration. The Shuang Wen School, P.S. 184M, is now housed in the old P.S. 137 facilities.

The New York City Department of Education assigned these facilities to P.S. 184M — the choice of site was not influenced or decided by anyone at the Shuang Wen School. There was no struggle between P.S. 137 or P.S. 184M. It was a fait accompli, a decision made and forced upon us by D.O.E. Certainly, we would have chosen brand-new, state-of-the-art facilities (“an amazing dream school”) for our kids and would not have displaced any kids in an existing facility.

Having no influence on the decision, we were assigned to a building without an auditorium, without a library and in severe disrepair.

We were also promised to have “renovations” and “modifications” that were planned for the facilities ready by the first day of school in September; the construction crews are still working on it with a completion date of November? Fridays we have to pick up our kids one hour early to accommodate the Con Edison schedule for construction.

So, Ms. Perez, I and fellow Shuang Wen parents share the experience of being placed in this unfortunate and uncontrollable situation. Our kids also wonder why D.O.E. did not provide us with adequate facilities — and why there has been so much frustration, anger and outrage directed at the students and our school for something that they had no influence or control over.

Nicole Lin

Not ‘of Indymedia’

To The Editor:
“Activist, reporter, former squatter Brad Will shot dead in Mexico” (news article, Nov. 1):

My arrest at the Oct. 30 demonstration is mentioned in The Villager article regarding Brad Will, and there are a few erroneous details I would like to have corrected.

The article mentions that I am “of Indymedia.” This is not true, and I would like to request a correction. I am a professional freelance photographer who works for Reuters, the U.N. and many other media outlets. Reuters published my photographs of Monday’s event. I am not “of Indymedia” or an Indymedia staff person, as The Villager article implies, but a professional photojournalist who freelances for Reuters.

My age is also 24, not 25.

I don’t care much about my age being misrepresented, but being refered to as “of Indymedia” makes me sound like one of the activists arrested, when in fact I am a working journalist that the police arrested who was attempting to cover the event.

Erin Siegal

Editor’s note: During much of the protest, Siegal was observed displaying only Indymedia press credentials; at one point she was also observed holding a protest sign with the slogan “Justice for Oaxaca!”

Rabbi wasn’t anti-eruv

To The Editor:
I read with some surprise the article “Wiring debate has nothing to do with cable or ‘Net” by Marvin Greisman (Oct. 25):

I am only tangentially acquainted with the problems of eruvin in Manhattan. Your reporter assumes that eruvin in Manhattan are an open-and-shut case of a violation of Halacha.

I beg to differ. Some years ago when the rabbis of the Upper West Side and East Side, under the guidance and tutelage of the eminent Rabbi Menachem Kasher, proposed an eruv of the entire Manhattan Island, they consulted with many authorities, including Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, whom your reporter mentioned several times. I am told that when the matter was brought before Rabbi Feinstein, he did not fully accept nor did he fully object to the proposal. His words, which he published several times, translate into: “I am not one of those who favored building an eruv in Manhattan, but one should not protest against those who do so, because they have competent authority on their side.”

This is a far cry from the impression your article leaves that Rabbi Moshe Feinstein forbade the eruv. Perhaps his son, Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, was more stringent; but certainly with regard to his father, your statement that, “Rabbi Feinstein held fast to the ironclad notion that it was clearly impossible to construct an eruv in Manhattan that would be in accordance with Jewish law” is misleading. If you are going to cite the father, do him the honor of quoting the second as well as the first half of his statement, which, I am told, he never rescinded.

Please bring this to the attention of your readers who may have gotten the wrong impression from your article.

Tamar Warburg

Conservancy revealed

To The Editor:
Re “‘Legends’ explosions make neighbors edgy, not jiggy” (news article, Nov. 1):

I was surprised to read that the city was not paid anything for the three-week-long occupation of our park for this film. I posed this question to a guy from the production crew named Chris. (He wouldn’t give me his last name.) Chris offered that the film company had given thousands of dollars to the park. He wouldn’t say how many thousands. I asked him to whom the check had been made out. He said the Washington Square Park Conservancy! I asked how sure he was of this. He said 99 percent.

True or not, 2 Fifth Ave. should get used to it, because somehow conservancy salaries must be raised to the tune of more than $1.2 million a year as stated in the park renovation’s environmental assessment statement, Appendix 4, Page 63.

The community can look forward to years of fundraising events in the park to pay a conservancy staff to program a park whose legacy is spontaneity and wondrous creativity. Folks, that’s one of many reasons we are fighting this ill-concieved redesign of our beloved park! All concerned park users should familiarize themselves with Carol Greitzer’s “20 questions for Adrian Benepe” in last week’s Villager on the conservancy issue.

Sharon Woolums
Woolums is a public member, Community Board 2 Parks and Waterfront

Trick or teamwork

To The Editor:
We would like to thank everyone who made last week’s Children’s Halloween Parade in Washington Square Park a huge success. The partnership between Community Board 2 and New York University for the past 16 years has created an event that continues to get bigger and better. This year more than 1,000 children, along with parents and guardians, marched in the parade and returned to the park to enjoy trick-or-treat bags, Moon Bounces and other treats and activities.

The parade’s grand marshal, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Community Board 2 Chairperson Maria Derr, the Sixth Police Precinct and the city of New York’s Department of Parks and Recreation deserve special thanks, along with the parade’s sponsors: The Village Alliance, NOHO NY, the Washington Square Association, United Parcel Service, Scholastic, the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, McDonald’s and the McBurney YMCA. It indeed takes a community to create a successful event of this scope — plus cooperation from the weather — and we salute all who were part of this year’s 16th annual Children’s Halloween Parade.

Bob Gormley and Christine Shakespeare
Gormley is Community Board 2 district manager; Shakespeare is New York University associate director of city and community Relations

E-mail letters, not longer than 350 words in length, 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, clarity and libel.

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