Volume 77 / Number 45 - April 9 - 15, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Letters to the editor

Just one MOMO-moment

To The Editor:
In her letter to the editor (“O’Toole’s a Mod masterpiece,” April 2), Kathleen Randall of DOCOMOMO mistakenly indicates that I was referring to the O’Toole Building when my letter said “it is incontrovertible that some of St. Vincent’s buildings, especially those which are particularly new or unrelated to the character of the context or character of the historic district, are not going to be protected from demolition by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.” In fact, this was not meant to refer to the O’Toole Building, but to St. Vincent’s Coleman and Link buildings, two grossly out-of-context buildings built in the 1980s that no group or person we are aware of — including the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and DOCOMOMO — has argued merit landmark protections from demolition.

G.V.S.H.P. has raised strong concerns about the size of the proposed new developments by St. Vincent’s and Rudin, and has and will continue to argue strongly for the preservation of several of the buildings proposed for demolition that we believe, under landmarks regulations, should not be demolished. While G.V.S.H.P. doesn’t necessarily see eye to eye with DOCOMOMO about the historic or architectural significance of the O’Toole Building, we respect their and others’ choice to view it as they do — just as we respect DOCOMOMO’s choice not to advocate for the preservation of any of the other eight buildings proposed for demolition (Modern or otherwise).

On a more timely note, the second Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing regarding the Rudin and St. Vincent’s plans will be on Tues., April 15, at 9:30 a.m. — people can sign in as early as 9 a.m. to testify — in New York University’s Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, 10th floor. We urge all who are concerned about this issue to attend the hearing, and anyone who did not testify at the April 1 hearing to testify. This is probably the most important development issue in our neighborhood in more than a generation, and it is critical that we continue the strong turnout from the last hearing. More information can be found at www.gvshp.org/StVincents.htm.
 
Melissa Baldock
Baldock is director, preservation and research, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation


Some food for thought

To The Editor:
Re “E. Village food fight pits N.Y.U. vs. grocery” (news article, April 2):

Overlooked in your excellent coverage on the New York University-Met Foodmarket standoff is the fact that N.Y.U. pays no taxes on its properties that are used for educational purposes. While we assume the university does pay tax on income on the Met Food rental income, one should consider N.Y.U.’s considerable benefit on the tax-exempt status of the upper floors of this substantial property.

It would seem a perfect opportunity for N.Y.U. to give back to the city, its community and its student Met shoppers, and to graciously honor its recently adopted planning principles to “support community sustainability” in its Met Food lease renewal.

Norman Rosenfeld


Nadler’s inaction is ‘criminal’

To The Editor:
Re “Dems must find their spine on Iraq” (editorial, April 2):

Thank you for your perceptive editorial on the high crimes committed by the Bush/Cheney administration in invading and occupying Iraq.

However, I must take exception to your evaluation of Congressman Nadler’s role in holding the Bush/Cheney administration accountable for its high crimes and misdemeanors.

In 2005, a very detailed and graphic inquiry of these crimes was published and our Congress took no action in calling for impeachment hearings to uphold our Constitution. See http://www.bushcommission.org/.

This lack of action appears to be a crime in itself, as congressional members have taken an oath to uphold our Constitution that clearly states that it is their duty and responsibility to call for impeachment hearings for high crimes and misdemeanors.

For several years, Congressman Nadler has not supported impeachment initiatives of several congressional members after that report was published.

Now for more than a year, Congressman Nadler — as the chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties for the House Judiciary Committee — has not supported impeachment hearings. Can and should he be held liable for violating the U.S. Constitution by not calling for impeachment hearings? Who is accountable for not holding our elected leaders responsible for these high crimes?

For the past year, I have called and written innumerable messages to Congressman Nadler to provide in writing his justification for not upholding our Constitution in calling for impeachment hearings. He has not been responsive.

Early this March, Congressman Nadler accepted an invitation to a town hall meeting on March 9 at Judson Memorial Church to address the question “Is Impeachment Necessary to Protect the Constitution?” He did not show up at the event, which was attended by more than 300 people.

This past month, four women were arrested and put in jail for sitting in Congressman Nadler’s Brooklyn office and requesting a meeting with him at which he could explain his position on impeachment.

Is it not tragic and ironic that Congressman Nadler — as the chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of the House Judiciary Committee — would have these women arrested and not call for impeachment hearings for the high crimes of the Bush/Cheney administration in the initiation and conduct of its war in Iraq?

 Hubert J. Steed



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