Volume 78 / Number 20 - October 15 - 21, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower
East Side, Since 1933

Letters to the Editor

A slap in the face

To The Editor:
Let me begin with saying that I, for one, do not believe in term limits. I believe they are undemocratic and deny the voters their right to vote for those they feel deserve another term. However, I believe it is even more undemocratic to ignore the people who voted in the affirmative for term limits, and to have a bunch of petty politicians overruling them through legislation.

This attempt by the New York City Council and the mayor is a self-serving conflict of interest that will only make citizens even more cynical of politicians and the electoral process. If these politicians can’t find a job, I could give them a listing of employment agencies they can apply to. The voters have voted, not once, but twice, both times overwhelmingly, to keep term limits to two terms. If the council overrides the voters, it will be a very sad day for politics and make a mockery of our election process.

What I find amazing is that those pushing this repeal are self-proclaimed reformers and progressives. This move is worse then any backroom deal made during the days of Tammany Hall. Where have all the true reformers gone? As for those that claim they are pushing this issue now because of the economic crisis, I say, hogwash. The council and the mayor have been talking about extending term limits long before our current crisis. The mayor is a very bright and astute individual who has done a good job for New York. He should lend his talents to and work for the new administration coming into power, as an advisor, and be part of a task force to help deal with this financial crisis. And now for Ron Lauder to come out and agree to extend term limits is hypocritical. All this is one billionaire not willing to go against another billionaire. Shame on you, Ron.

As I said in the beginning, I believe term limits are wrong. I feel they should be repealed by the voters and not the City Council, in a referendum. If the council does the right thing and votes to place a referendum on the ballot, I will go door to door and talk to everyone and anyone who will listen and explain to them why I believe term limits are wrong. Should the council vote to overturn or extend term limits, then it is up to each voter in the city to check how their representative voted and act accordingly when he or she runs for a third term. That way, we the people, will enact a true version of term limits!

John A. Fratta
Fratta is Democratic state committeemember, 64th Assembly District. He is not a candidate for City Council in the First District in 2009.

Ain’t nothin’ but a taint

To The Editor:
Re your Sept. 24 editorial, “Let voters speak on term-limits law”:

To avoid the taint of possible self-interest, any bill extending or removing term limits, especially any passed by the City Council, should specify that it does not apply to any present officeholders.

Steven Seltzer

‘The mayor’s puppet’

To The Editor:
Will someone please stand up and challenge Bloomberg puppet Christine Quinn in next year’s Democratic primary? She no longer serves the people of her district. Trust me, you will have a lot of support.                 

Rocco Pellone

The dark side of rezoning

To The Editor:
Re “As lawsuit looms, no end to talk on rezoning” (news article, Oct. 1):

Adding to the impact on the neighborhood of more high-rise luxury buildings on Chrystie St. are the shadows that are cast on narrow Sara Roosevelt Park, which abuts it. This park serves communities from Canal St. to Houston St. It is the backyard, vacation spot, country home and, in the summer, the “air conditioning” for those who live in nearby tenements. If you create a chasm of 14-story buildings, you choke off the sunlight that plants and trees require to grow. You also choke off the open sky, which people require to live well.

In this economy, we can’t afford to have our parks be window-box amenities for empty luxury apartments and tourist hotels. We will need our parks to become models of sustainability, where we harvest solar power, plant green roofs and oxygen-producing greenery, reclaim rainwater runoff and compost and show our citizenry how to recycle trash.

We are going to have to live within our means and build an economy that isn’t about tourism or disposable wealth.

K Webster
Webster is co-chairperson, M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden

Smells a Trojan horse

To The Editor:
Re “Pier 40 plan sinks again; Trust seeks longer lease” (news article, Oct. 1):

The Hudson River Park Trust’s line that the School Construction Authority needs a longer lease to put schools on the pier is B.S. — a Trojan horse to get a megadevelopment project through. 

The S.C.A. never signs school leases longer than 30 years.
Leonie Haimson
Haimson is executive director, Class Size Matters

Ruff treatment for run

To The Editor:
A Villager article by Albert Amateau, “New buildings are Kryptonite to superblock dwellers” (Oct. 1), described the Mercer-Houston Dog Run as being “denounced as unusable.” Unusable? According to whom?

Members from more than 200 families and their dogs enjoy our imperfect space on a perfectly regular basis. This “unusable” space enhances the quality of our lives, and is a conscious pleasure every day.

Incidentally, with respect to past promises, in 1979 New York University also assured the City Planning Commission and Community Board 2 in writing, and made a commitment to physically maintain the run. Going forward, regarding the development plans, we expect N.Y.U. to honor its promise, so we may continue as a vital facet of community life.

Beth Gottlieb
Gottlieb is president, Mercer-Houston Dog Run

A stroke against art

To The Editor:
I have been a New York City street artist for the last 10 years, and was a member of the former group Soho International Artists Collective. We, as a group and individually, are in complete solidarity with the group A.R.T.I.S.T. concerning Councilmember Gerson’s updated proposed bill on vendors.

I am still in vehement opposition to all aspects of this latest bill. The proposed laws and restrictions, in addition to current restrictions, would effectively eliminate all spaces from the streets for artists to sell. As an artist living and displaying and voting for the last 11 years in Soho, I can tell you that art makes Soho a tourist destination and adds color. While some diehards may hate the artists, the businesses I have talked to realize that artists bring people to Soho. In any case, though, it doesn’t matter if people like us or not, we are protected by the First Amendment.

None of the proposed bills addresses any legitimate problem with vending. None of these bills will in any way make the enforcement of vending laws any easier or clearer for the police or the vendors. None of these proposed laws would have any effect over current illegal vending. And in view of the current economic crisis, it is clear that the only constituents that Councilmember Gerson is concerned with are the very wealthy. Alan Gerson does not have my interests in mind.

As such, I completely reject each of the new proposed bills.

Jill Stasium

Twin Cities tutorial

To The Editor:
Re “Guns drawn, doors knocked down, police hounded video group at R.N.C.” (news article, Oct. 8):

There is an error in the article by Casey Samulski regarding the R.N.C. The location of the address in the first paragraph, 949 Iglehart St., is in St. Paul, not Minneapolis. And, the street name is Iglehart Ave. 

Later, the article states a National Lawyers Guild attorney said the guild is preparing to file a notice with Minneapolis on behalf of the homeowner for 949 Iglehart. One would not file a notice with Minneapolis regarding the activities at a St. Paul address. The location is about 2 miles from Minneapolis. Minneapolis and St. Paul are entirely separate cities, and always have been.

I am reading the story in Minneapolis on the online edition; one thousand miles is too far to go to pick up the print version.

Neil Carlson

E-mail letters, not longer than 250 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. The Villager does not publish anonymous letters.

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