Volume 79, Number 11 | August 19 - 25, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Letters to the Editor

Gerson walks the walk

To The Editor:
I don’t believe there has ever been a councilmember in District 1 that has ever reached out and responded to the needs of our communities as Councilman Alan Gerson does. Councilman Gerson has reached out to the district’s “outer areas” and has brought us together with respect for each other and our issues. 

Councilman Gerson, and members of his staff, have spent endless hours — and on most occasions, well after 5 p.m., respecting the fact that people have to work and cannot make meetings during the day — meeting with local people and community groups. 

I have never seen such multicultural groups, and groups in general, come together at meetings the way we do; each realizing respectfully that our neighborhoods have different issues, which only compounds the many challenges in District 1. We have someone in office truly willing to work for us, listen to us, fight for us and who has opened up his office to the community — unlike his predecessor, who was way too busy with Soho — and who has tried again and again to get things worked out. He has been successful, for the most part, if we really think about it; and, if anyone thinks this is a piece of cake, they are clueless.  

It’s disturbing to me that the people running against the councilman are too busy focusing their campaigns on bashing rather than stating their solutions for a better and improved tomorrow and what they intend to bring to the office. I am not interested in what Pete Gleason supposedly did in his past jobs and what his claim to fame was while in those jobs. He is so transparent, talking the talk, and there is no doubt in my mind that he will not be able to walk the walk as Councilmember Gerson does.

Alan is all over District 1 and we know how huge an area it is. So what if he misses some of the “boy club” meetings in the Council? The councilman has a hands-on approach, and I’d rather have him in the trenches with the real people, hearing us, and trying to come up with solutions — which is what he has been doing. Does Gleason even know that it was Bloomberg who insisted on third terms? It’s so obvious that Gleason is attempting to distract the campaign because he has nothing to say of any substance.  

In these challenging times, we should be beyond Gleason’s attempt to sabotage the campaign with his childish behavior, name-calling and pickiness that he’s been putting out. Since this apparently is what he is made of, then this isn’t someone that I want in office or that has my respect. Gleason either needs to grow up or find a real job — which is another issue. 
  Lillian Tozzi
The ‘livability’ candidate

To The Editor:
As a senior citizen, I would like to thank Alan Gerson for his unyielding commitment to enhancing our quality of life. He has worked diligently in regard to noise pollution, as well as being instrumental in supplying such things as bath guard rails and other safety features for the elderly. Alan has also organized wonderful day cruises for The Caring Community along with out-of-pocket delicious lunches. He has always presented a kind and gentle demeanor to his many friends and neighbors. Good luck, Alan!
Connie Masullo

Can’t see forest for trees

To The Editor:
Re “Art war getting surreal” (letter, by Timothy Clark, Aug. 12):

Timothy Clark can’t ever seem to get his facts straight. I am an advocate for trees and a member of the Arbor Day Foundation. I never opposed trees being planted in Soho. If anything, I’d like to see a lot more trees there. What I have opposed is ugly concrete planters — many of which function as garbage cans — being installed all over Soho sidewalks in order to prevent legal vendors and street artists from selling there. I am also an outspoken critic of street artists or vendors claiming permanent ownership of any particular sidewalk space. Imitating landlords and BID’s is not what artists’ free speech is about. 
Robert Lederman,
Lederman is president, A.R.T.I.S.T. (Artists’ Response to Illegal State Tactics)

All art is free speech

To The Editor:
Re “Lederman’s legacy” (letter, by Lawrence White, July 29):

As a longtime member of A.R.T.I.S.T., I’m responding to comments that Larry White has made concerning our president, Robert Lederman.

Robert Lederman has been duly elected by the members of A.R.T.I.S.T. four times. It was with his guidance and leadership that we won our fight against the city, the Parks Department and Mayor Giuliani. We went up against the city’s 600 lawyers, the Corporation Counsel, and won decisions in six courts. Robert’s extensive knowledge of the vending laws and the First Amendment made that possible. We can now sell and display our work on the streets and in the parks of New York City without a permit.  

Whereas Larry White’s position on street artists is one of exclusiveness, wanting to form a special forum or panel to pass judgment on what is or is not art, Robert’s is one of inclusiveness — all speech, art, is protected and need not pass a test to qualify as free speech. If we exclude some artists for failing to pass our “test,” then their speech is dependent on how well they do on the test, which amounts to prior restraint on that speech.
Jack Nesbitt

Didn’t sit well with writer

To The Editor:
Re “They showed no sympathy” (letter, by Sheryl Canter, Aug. 12):

I was happy to see you printed my letter until I read it through and noticed you added something that made it inaccurate and totally changed the point. You wrote (I did not write!) that Nicola would not let me sit down “without ordering.” Wrong! She would not let me sit down, period. Her policy is that everyone in a party must be seated at once, and no one can come along later, even if they order. I had every intention of ordering, but she would not let me sit down in the empty chair across from my mother.
  Sheryl Canter

High Line’s high costs

To The Editor:
Re “High Line plan is too taxing, neighbors cry” (news article, Aug. 12):

The High Line stood for about 25 years with little or no maintenance. In this state it became a treasure that had to be preserved. Now it takes $3.5 million to $4.5 million a year to maintain? Find a way to make the High Line less costly or tear it down, but don’t raise taxes.
Charlie Walker 

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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