Volume 76, Number 40 | February 28 - March 6, 2007

Letters to the editor

Don’t make pier a circus

To The Editor:
Over the past decade, dedicated parents of Greenwich Village who want their children to participate in youth activities have worked tirelessly to create field space in our community. These efforts resulted in the current fields at Pier 40 that our children of all ages use today. Unfortunately, it appears that these fields are again under threat and that we will soon need to take up this battle for community fields once again.

In 2006, children from more than 900 families participated in Greenwich Village Little League’s combined spring, summer and fall seasons. These are children of the Village, children who don’t have backyards and an abundance of green space to build relationships with other children, to improve their skills and to make memories for a lifetime. We need Pier 40 to continue to be open fields — fields for our children for years to come.

The families in Greenwich Village are ready to bring out our big hitters — our children — to tell their stories for our elected officials to hear. They do not want their children’s access to field space to be interrupted, nor do they want a circus on these beautiful fields. We deeply hope that the Hudson River Park Trust, a valued friend of G.V.L.L., will not strike out on their own and offer our “field of dreams” to The Related Companies proposal. We do not need circuses, cinemas, concerts, huge banquet halls, bars and restaurants, of which we already have so many, and lots of stores in our public park. We need our fields so that our kids can build friendships while learning the skills of hitting curve balls, fielding line drives and scampering around the bases. We need these fields for our kids.

Thomas E. Ellett
Ellett is president, Greenwich Village Little League


Backing Barack without guilt

To The Editor:
Re “Barack’s black dilemma: Figuring the funk factor” (talking point, by Salim Muwakkil, Feb. 21):

Salim Muwakkil’s column was disturbing and even revealed that the author still has a heavy burden of racism on his shoulders. I was lucky to be born in Greenwich Village in 1965. I was taught that black is beautiful, women are equal (if not superior) and that “gays” are just like you and me (if you’re not gay) and deserve all the rights and respect that humans should give to each other. I never questioned what was taught to me as being right or wrong, because it seemed so obvious and common-sensical that it is true or just. I looked at the past and wondered, how could people be this way? How could they have done that?

As I grew older and experienced life, I met people who were racist, sexist and homophobic and people who were bad or mean to people they didn’t even know. However, unlike Mr. Muwakkil, I believe that the fact that we have an “African-American,” a “woman American,” a “Hispanic American,” etc. running for president shows how great this country is and how great we are yet to become. I think he is wrong to bring up slavery guilt as the major motive driving “white America” to vote or back Mr. Obama. This to me is so last century.

Tony Brill


Obama is the anti-Bush

To The Editor:
Re “Barack’s black dilemma: Figuring the funk factor” (talking point, by Salim Muwakkil, Feb. 21):

Salim Muwakkil’s column has raised some interesting issues regarding Barack Obama’s candidacy for president. However, after six years of the present administration, Obama’s star shines in the firmament. He is intelligent, articulate, well versed on the issues and has an approach to policy that is not ideologically driven. What a relief! I, frankly, do not care about the validity of his origins. This country is in serious trouble and needs a president that will be able to lead and has a different worldview than this administration, which is characterized by bellicosity and an embattled philosophy of us versus them.

The next president must re-establish this country’s credibility, which has been severely tarnished. This can only be done through the avenue of diplomacy and restoring the rights inherent in the Constitution and recognizing the Geneva Conventions. At one time, our nation was admired for its democracy and human rights. No more. After the travesties of Iraq, Abu Ghraib, extraordinary rendition and secret C.I.A. prisons, the policies of this country are desperately in need of rehabilitation. This country may be a world power, but it is nothing in the face of world adversity.

Jean Standish


Andrei gets Anna Nicole

To The Editor:
Re “Anna Nicole Smith: Media creature” (talking point, by Andrei Codrescu, Feb. 14):

I was thrilled to read the article on Anna Nicole by Andrei Codrescu. Finally, someone not afraid to express feelings for someone the media has made a mockery of. She never claimed to be anything more than she was. To die at such a young age, with so much sorrow behind her, is truly a shame. She might not have made wise choices in her public persona, but who are we to judge? She was a beautiful woman and I felt a sadness that even amazed me. I was glad to at least read one positive article regarding her.

So I salute you Andrei for taking a stand that I also felt and letting the public know. Hopefully, her daughter will one day see your article and realize people did smile hearing her name. She was really something. Thank you. I can’t wait to read about Britney.

Fran Miller


A little bit of decency

To The Editor:
Re “Anna Nicole Smith: Media creature” (talking point, by Andrei Codrescu, Feb. 14):

I’m from Wildwood, Mo., and I would like to let Andrei Codrescu know that was a really good article in the paper. At least someone gives her a little bit of decency. I have followed her career as much as I could. I didn’t agree with a lot of it, but I’m sure if she hadn’t been influenced by other things, she would have done great things in her life. I really believe that.

Lisa Schilb


Tenants didn’t cause violations

To The Editor:
Re “McMansion legal beef continues; Landlords win appeal” (news article, Feb. 21):

I take exception to Jeffrey Turkel, attorney for the landlord at 47 E. Third St., implying that it was tenants that caused the current stop-work order. That was imposed by the Department of Buildings, not tenants, in an ongoing effort to force the landlord to comply with building code regulations. Such was the case with three previous stop-work orders, for the same renovations, in less than a year’s time. Two of those orders were for safety violations. And it was not tenants who completely revoked the work permit of the landlord last September for three and a half months. Again, that was the action of the Department of Buildings against a recalcitrant landlord for refusing to correct violations found by a D.O.B. audit more than three months prior. This current stop-work order may be a “temporary hitch” in Mr. Turkel’s view, but it is the latest in a long string of code violations found by the Buildings Department.
 
David Pultz


Bikers need attitude tune-up

To The Editor:
Re “Cyclists gone wild” (letter, by Marilyn Dorato, Feb.14):

As a former bike shop owner (Hi Ho Cyclery at 165 Avenue A) I am pro-bike. As a cyclist I am pro-bike. But as a pedestrian who was recently hit by a cyclist going against traffic on Second Ave. I am bike wary.

As a cyclist I have been “down” twice by vehicles. Bike riding may be healthy but it is no stroll in the park — well, maybe in some parks it is. However, the jeopardy in which scofflaw cyclists consistently put pedestrians, motorists and fellow cyclists alike is akin to homegrown terrorism.

Cyclists in a hurry and cyclists with attitude have created fear, anger and resentment among pedestrians of all ages — especially the elderly. Business owners must be held accountable and financially liable for the inconsiderate and lawless actions of delivery personnel; State Senator Liz Krueger is sponsoring legislation in Albany to strengthen this law.

Most bikes belong in the street. Legally they are vehicles. As support builds, the city is gradually improving conditions for cyclists. As bike riders return to the streets and comply with the rules of the road, general tension should lessen. A petition is circulating calling for enforcement toward the restoration of safe sidewalks and streets; it is available from Transportation Alternatives by e-mail at bike@transalt.org. This petition should be copied and returned to establish a comprehensive database. This is proving to be an effective way to address this issue.

Jack Brown



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