Volume 79, Number 35 | February 3 - 9, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Letters to the Editor

St. Vincent’s critical

To The Editor:
Re “St. Vincent’s faces takeover, may lose acute care and E.R.” (news article, Jan. 27):

My unpublished letter to The Villager of October 2009 is even more pertinent today. Here it is:

While St. Vincent’s Hospital spends extravagantly on expansion plans, community forums, strategy changes and public relations, the hospital is suffering and patient care has deteriorated. My recent stay there evidenced drastically reduced staff, broken gurneys and other “hospital furniture” and medical equipment, and at times inadequate and incorrect service. 

While I didn’t expect a stay in the hospital to be a day at the beach, I did not anticipate that inadequate care would cause mistakes and delays that added to the discomfort of being in a hospital. 

It is time for those concerned about the large-scale
expansion of St. Vincent’s Hospital to focus on the reduction of the level of care being provided at the hospital, and what effect the cost of the expansion has on patient care. Perhaps the hospital should fix itself before undertaking such an expensive, large-scale expansion.
Susan Leelike

Shouldn’t we suffer, too?

To The Editor:
Re “Move terror trials” (editorial, Jan. 27):

I don’t take lightly the potential economic impact of holding the “terror trials” in our hard-hit communities in Lower Manhattan. (I don’t mean the profligate and profiteering Wall St. or real estate industry — though they are aggrieved already!)

But while I keep hearing of the possible loss of income and of the inconvenience for those of us here, I keep not hearing about the civilians and military personnel losing life and limb in wars that are billed as necessary to end terror threats. Civilians in those wars have no choice: Their schools and marketplaces actually are targets.

And our soldiers risk their lives in the belief that they protect us — that they fight those who killed our first responders, workers and financial market employees who were in those towers.

If we are at war, then shouldn’t we too join in the suffering? Lose business, be inconvenienced, “burdened” and frightened along with our soldiers and those civilians? Doesn’t integrity demand that we stand, as best we can, in solidarity with them?

If you don’t want these trials held here, then aren’t you honor bound to work every day to end the wars and bring those soldiers home?
K Webster
Webster is co-chairperson, M’Finda Kalunga Garden, in Sara Delano Roosevelt Park

If trials move, terrorists win

To The Editor
Re “Move terror trials” (editorial, Jan. 27):

The terrorists do not have a plan to win their war with us. Their strategy is to to force us to change our lives and our government to meet their aggression; to place us in a universe of fear and allow us to defeat ourselves.

The virulent reaction to the proposed 9/11 terror trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Lower Manhattan, which includes vivid descriptions of our imminent failure at this task, is a case in point. The terrorists must love hearing us as we so loudly doubt ourselves. It must make them feel that they are winning their war with us, because we simply do not appear to be to be firm, resolute and fearless. We seem terrified. 

This unfortunate perception endangers us far more than the trial ever could. It shows the terrorists that they are having the effect they desire. What a shame it would be to hand them this victory.
Lawrence White

Restaurant reminiscing 

To The Editor:
Re “Trying to keep tabs on a changing restaurant scene” (talking point, by Michele Herman, Jan. 27):

As a 50-year resident of the West Village, reading Michele Herman’s column on the history of restaurants in our little corner of the Village was a bittersweet trip in nostalgia.

I don’t know Michele, but I’d like to. She writes beautifully and warmly of all the long- and recently gone eating places at which my family and I spent so many enjoyable times together.

   Michele’s incredible recall of restaurants lost makes me believe that we shared many meals together unbeknownst to each other while at different tables.

Thanks for the memories!
Norman Rosenfeld

Spice store on the rack

To The Editor:
Re “Crime to close this shrine,” “Save our ‘Baby Bu,’” “Battle for Baby Buddha,” “Investigate Gottlieb now” (letters, Jan. 27) and “Manning the controls” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Jan. 20):

To add to your list, I passed by Aphrodisia the other day, and it is also a victim of the new rent hikes. Very sad to hear this as Aphrodisia was the one spice store where you could buy in bulk, just as much as you needed and not a set amount in a jar. Add to that the special knowledge that Joanna, the owner, had and her warm personality. Another blow for the Village. 

This upheaval is the direct fault of the Bloomberg administration and the mayor’s predecessor (I can’t even type his name I loathed the man so much), who have allowed landlords tax breaks they have not earned. Instead of being permitted to deduct only the amount of rent that was paid for their stores by their former tenants, they are now allowed to deduct the amount for which they propose to rent the store to the next tenant. This affords them the ability and luxury of keeping the stores empty for long periods of time. In fact, they probably make money on not renting their empty stores. 

As long as the landlords get their way, Greenwich Village is screwed big time. This is indeed a case of “You can’t fight City Hall.”

Regarding the Scoopy’s Notebook item, I can’t imagine anyone being desperate enough to want to live in One Jackson Square. The architecture is hideous. The location may be convenient if you want to be near a subway, but I doubt anyone who could afford to live there needs a subway. And the area is far from scenic and charming. Add to that the constant noise from traffic going up Eighth Ave. 

I wonder if they will ever reach full occupancy or if that expensive penthouse will ever be rented.
Jay Matlick 

Capsouto’s commitment

To The Editor:
Re “Albert Capsouto, pioneering Tribeca restaurateur, 53” (obituary, Jan. 27):

Albert Capsouto’s premature and tragic death is a loss to so many. The commitment of the brothers and their family to the Downtown community, particularly to those who had fallen on hard times, was exceptional. 

In the late 1980s, when Sherri Donovan and I co-founded and ran the soup kitchen at The Village Temple on E. 12th St., we realized that 20 or more of the homeless and mentally ill individuals who came to the soup kitchen each week were Jewish. We began to hold an annual Passover Seder at the temple, and the Capsouto brothers, without being asked, insisted on donating “anonymously” and asking for no “publicity” or “credit,” an entire Passover dinner for people who otherwise would have been alone and scrounging on the street.
Patricia Fieldsteel

Captain says, ‘Ahoy!’

To The Editor: 
Re “After 25 years, Vermeersch retires as music school head” (news article, Jan. 27):

Thank you for your acknowledgement of the many accomplishments of my old friend Dr. B.C. I never really knew exactly what he was up to all these years in New York, having only visited a couple of times since we first met in San Francisco more than 45 years ago. I have never met another person I respect more, even as he crewed on my ketch in the South Pacific back in the early ’70s. 

Aloha from Captain Blackie, Ketch LOVE, Hawaii.
Captain Blackie 

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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