Volume 76, Number 42 | March 14 - 20, 2007

Letters to the editor

Praying church reopens

To The Editor:
As a parishioner of Our Lady of Vilnius church, I would like to thank you for your attention to our plight, beginning in August with the “Pretzels and Provolone” article, which I think of as “Our Lady of Vilnius 101.”

I would like to point out that the news brief “Closed church doesn’t stop worshipers” (March 7) is not factually correct. The structure pictured is not an altar, but a shrine in progress. We prayed and sang hymns, but did not hold a Mass.

There is a particular significance associated with Mass and the perception of lay people holding Mass at their own initiative without a priest makes us vulnerable to criticism from the archdiocese and others who support the archdiocese’s position regarding our closure.

An interesting sidelight to the man placing the large crosses on the steps: There is a shrine in Lithuania called the Hill of Crosses. People bring crosses and pray for their intentions. We are gradually amassing our crosses on the steps of the church and praying for the intention that the church be reopened. I brought and left the cross from my Lithuanian grandmother’s wake.

Christina Nakraseive

Lach on the facts

To The Editor:
Re “East Village idol” (arts article, March 7):

Thanks for the article. Do I have mystique now?

However, two corrections: I am not the proprietor of Sidewalk. I just book the music and arts scene there. Sidewalk is owned by Pini and Amnon and managed by Ami. Everyone just uses one name like me! They are very supportive of the scene and the artists, as are the bartenders and wait staff.

Also, I never worshipped the Ramones or anybody else for that matter. I dug them, yeah. But actually, The Clash were my main inspiration from the ’77 punk scene.


Unsolved hit-and-run

To The Editor:
I’m the father of Joshua David Crouch, the 24-year-old aspiring musician who was murdered on West St. by a hit-and-run driver on Sept. 18, 2006. Your paper was the only news media other than NY1 that was gracious enough to run Josh’s story. We still have no suspects in the case, nor has anyone from the N.Y.P.D. had the courtesy to speak with my wife or me since Nov. 18. On that particular day, Nov. 18, Sergeant Angelleti, of Highway 1, told me that after viewing the autopsy report, “The injuries to your son’s face and jaw were not caused by a vehicle, but by a blunt instrument,” and that my son was beaten and may have been thrown from a fast-moving vehicle.

When I was back in New York the second week of December — doing more of my own investigating — the sergeant denied ever telling me that. The original police report reads that Josh was found by a police lieutenant at W. 12th St. and the West Side Highway. The E.M.S./hospital report reads that Joshua was found at Little W. 12th and West Sts. and that an S.U.V. was involved.

All of this occurred with no witnesses? How can that be on such a busy, heavily traveled road?

Was Josh thrown from a vehicle at Little W. 12th St. and then run over, or was he hit by an 18-wheeler at W. 12th St.? I can’t get a straight answer from anyone.

No one deserves the torment Josh went through or the disrespect he is receiving now. 
James Crouch

Accidents waiting to happen

To The Editor:
The Related Companies’ proposal for developing Pier 40 (“Don’t Pimp out Pier 40, advocates tell Related,” news article, Feb. 28) will spell disaster for thousands of Downtown families that now count on the adjacent Hudson River greenway as a safe haven for cycling and skating.

Most of the fannies to fill The Related Companies’ planned twin 1,800-seat theaters, dozen film screens (another 2,000 seats), 3,500-seat banquet hall, five two-level restaurants, marina and beach club likely will arrive at Pier 40 by car. This will mean thousands of cars, S.U.V.’s and vans driving across the greenway daily at Houston and Clarkson Sts., straight into the paths of skaters, cyclists and walkers — who already have their hands full safely contending with each other.

Your reporting, comprehensive as always, mentions a pledge by the developers to add curbs and larger traffic lights at both crossings “to make it clear to cyclists and pedestrians that these are ‘real intersections.’”

And The Related Companies promises to widen the greenway crossing at Clarkson St. to five lanes and the Houston St. crossing to four. This way, they can name one lane after Henry Nacht and another after Eric Ng — cyclists whom drivers struck and killed on the greenway in the past year — and still have seven lanes left for new victims.

Charles Komanoff

Rec center must shape up

To The Editor:
Re: “Get Grodin” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Feb. 21):

I would like to correct your misquoting me as stating that Lee Grodin, a staff member in City Council Speaker Quinn’s Office, is responsible for some recent “progress” on repairing the three-plus-year-old leak in the roof at the Dapolito Recreation Center on Seventh Ave. S. I have not spoken to her on the issue since last July. At that time, she determined only that funds were budgeted, but repairs were not scheduled.

It wasn’t until I presented the problem at the Feb. 5 Community Board 2 Waterfront and Parks Committee meeting, and its chairperson, Arthur Schwartz, followed up with Parks that an inspection by Parks officials with a roofing contractor was done. I do not as yet know when and if repairs will be made anytime soon.

Meanwhile, whenever it rains or snows, water from the roof continues to leak onto the newly resurfaced running track, often closing it for days. Since there are only three treadmills, cardiac fitness and weight control are hampered for all the Dapolito Recreation Center members like myself.
Jules Kohn

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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