West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Volume 77, Number 8 | July 25 - 31, 2007

Letters to the Editor

Oops, pope did it again

To The Editor:
As a 35-year resident of the West Village and a lifelong practicing Catholic who values Jesus’ model of inclusion and love for all God’s people, I am deeply disappointed that the Vatican has chosen to exclude and distance itself from other Christian churches.

In the recently released document “Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church,” the Vatican has made it clear that they believe other Christian churches “suffer from defects.”

“Not only does this document hinder and potentially damage years of positive ecumenical dialogue and relationships, but it also disregards the example of Jesus,” said Nicole Sotelo, acting co-director of the progressive Catholic organization Call To Action. “Jesus, who was Jewish, invited all people to the table, regardless of religious affiliation. Why can’t the Vatican followthe model of Christ?

“As Catholics who try to follow Christ, we feel impelled to publicly disagree with the Vatican’s document. Our silence would equal complicity. We will not be complicit with exclusion. We believe that the Christian community is bigger than the Catholic Church and that Christ’s model of inclusion must be lived today, as it was 2000 years ago. Despite what the Vatican says, we will continue to strive to live as Jesus did by sitting at the table with all God’s people.”

Personally, I would like to apologize to all my Christian and Jewish and Muslim and Hindu and Buddhist friends for the hurtful words coming from Rome.

John Doyle


Commies and kultur

To The Editor:
Re Lucas Mann’s July 11 story on the Yiddish Art Theatre building (“A curtain (of netting) comes down on historic theater”):

In addition to Maurice Schwartz’s theater, the second floor, which once housed his offices, was later in the 1940s the site of two important Yiddish institutions: the Manhattan district of the Jewish Peoples Fraternal Order of the International Workers Order and YKUF, Yidisher Kultur Farband (Yiddish Cultural Alliance) and its just recently deceased literary journal, Yidishe Kultur.

Hershl Hartman
Hartman is secular Jewish vegvayzer/leader and education director, The Sholem Community, Los Angeles


Concert for the park

To The Editor:
Re John Bredin’s “Save our square” (letter, July 11):

A great idea, but not enough.

How about all the people who began their careers in the Village — Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary, John Sebastian, Woody Allen, Bill Cosby and others — lending their names to the cause?

How about having a concert to bring attention to what’s happening at Washington Square? Let’s sing out as we did in the old days! Just as the original doo-wop groups were brought back, we can have the early folk and folk-rock groups (Bunky & Jake) reminding everybody what it’s all about: music, good times and freedom.

Washington Square Park for the people!

Joanne Milazzo


If a hurricane hit Pier 40

To The Editor:
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff recently warned New York to prepare now for hurricane storm surges that could devastate low-lying portions of the city. This issue was discussed in an illustrated lecture, “Vulnerability of Metropolitan Region to Hurricane Damage,” by Nicholas Coch on Governors Island on Sat., July 21.

What does this mean for Pier 40? Hurricane storm surges will affect the weakened steel piles of Pier 40. The piles, which were repaired 20 years ago, are once again in need of repair.

This means that more work is needed now, along with a comprehensive engineering study for protection from storm surges. Adaptive reuse of the structure is needed to accommodate all protective options needed in the future.

Bill Hine and Robert Smith
Hine and Smith are members, Save The Piers


Cooper Square concerns

To The Editor:
The redesign of Cooper Park seems to be coming to fruition. Although there was a joint Community Board 2 and 3 task force discussing the fate of Cooper Square, the entire community should be allowed to have input into this process. I went to some of those task force meetings and was disturbed by the proposals — the narrowing of Fourth Ave., the extension of Cooper Park to Fifth St., a median in the middle of Third Ave., the closure of Astor Pl. between Lafayette St. and Fourth Ave. and the relocation of the bus layover area on Fourth Ave.

The main objections to these street alterations were that they didn’t take into account the area’s growing development. A recommendation was made that this plan would be better implemented when the area was fully developed. The traffic patterns are going to radically change as a result of the construction of many out-of-scale buildings. The proposal to narrow Third Ave. is shortsighted. This avenue is used as an emergency evacuation route. Also, the extension of the park would cut off access to Fourth Ave. The traffic in this area is already congested, especially on weekends, often delaying emergency vehicles. Obviously, it is imperative that public comment be allowed in regard to the redesign of Cooper Park and the implementation of this plan.

The Parks Department will hold a listening session for Cooper Park at E. Seventh St. and Cooper Square (Third Ave.) on Wed., Aug. 8 at 10 a.m. (rain date, Thurs., Aug. 9, at 10 a.m.) Meet at the park entrance.

Jean Standish


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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