Volume 78 - Number 31 / December 31, 2008 - January 6, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Letters to the Editor

Mounds are a mistake

To The Editor:
Re “Mounds of talk about mounds and park renovation’s phase 2” (news article, Dec. 17):

I have just read The Villager article about the return of the mounds as part of the renovation of Washington Square Park. Over all, I believe that this renovation of the park is long overdue and has been very well planned.

However, as a 35-year resident of the South Village and someone who uses the park daily, I think that retaining the mounds is a terrible idea. The mounds weren’t successful the first time and probably won’t be successful a second time.

While some folks have sentimental ideas of children playing happily on new mounds, those of us who use the park daily know that they will become safety hazards and continue to provide cover for drug dealers and a nesting area for rats in that corner of the park and in the surrounding neighborhood. And this will happen whether they are constructed at or below grade.

The old mounds have been fenced off for the 35 years I have lived in the neighborhood, making that part of the park inaccessible to the public. When the new mounds deteriorate, as they inevitably will, they will once again be fenced off because they will have become safety hazards; they will then provide nesting for rats and that corner of the park will be unavailable to the public, providing an amenity only for rats and drug dealers.
 R.T. Watkins

Uncertain on bike lanes

To The Editor:
I don’t own a car, but I assume if I did, I might be upset that the longer the buses get the less parking spots there are.

As a city dweller who does not travel by bicycle, I am not so sure I am excited about all the construction on our streets for the bicycle rider.

I will have to pay more for my bus ride. I already pay some M.T.A. tax on other services just to supplement the M.T.A., and my city is in a financial bind. So make a bike lane, do what you must, but why spend dollars to build all these traffic islands here and there for the bike lanes? One day there will be a snowstorm or emergency and nobody will be able to move left or right because someone will be tripping over an island — but that is not my argument right now.

You gave them a bike lane, well, make them abide by the traffic laws. It’s a red light and you stop. Also require bikers to use a light. At dusk, in the dark, I look into the street before crossing and I’ve got the light, and suddenly there is a cyclist upon me, whom I couldn’t see since he didn’t have a light, and he doesn’t think he has to stop.
 Phyllis Unroch

Mayor is getting taxing

To The Editor:
Adding insult to injury, after strong-arming the City Council to overturn two public referenda on term limits, claiming that by virtue of the powers given him by the Wizard of Oz, only he is equipped to govern this city during our current financial crisis, Mayor Gloomberg announced a further assault on the middle class in the form of higher taxes yet to come. Wow, that was a swift solution and quite a double-cross!

Lest we forget, our dour mayor has pulled a couple of fast ones on the citizens of this fair city before. While the middle class is being forced out of their apartments and small mom-and-pop businesses are disappearing due to ever-greedy landlords sanctioned by the mayor, these same landlords have been blessed with a loophole that makes it more financially viable for them not to rent their properties. This is how it works: They raise the rent to some untenable price and then are allowed to deduct that new rent from their income taxes when their properties remain empty. Nice deal for the rich.

So, when you finally get to vote for the next mayor of New York City, don’t be fooled by the sophistry Bloomberg and his henchwoman, Christine “Slush Fund” Quinn, try to spin. This city has been manipulated too long by Republicans in sheep’s clothing. Let’s bring the same change to New York that the rest of the country will enjoy with our president-elect.
 Jay Matlick

Vive la différence

To The Editor:
For those of us who love the croissants and other goodies at Patisserie Claude, 187 W. Fourth St., there is both bad news and good news. First, Claude has retired. Claude often resembled a certain “Seinfeld” character whose specialty was soup. However, Claude’s assistant of 23 years, Pablo Valdez, has refurbished the space and now owns the business. We can now still enjoy fantastic French pastries, but served without the attitude that previously accompanied them. 
Harry Malakoff

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