Volume 80, Number 8 | July 22 - 28, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Letters to the Editor

What Quinn should do

To The Editor:
Re “Politicians gave their all” (letter, by Christine C. Quinn, July 14):

Christine Quinn, in her letter in your July 14 issue, indicates that she “will continue our push for a new full-service hospital here.”

It is now time for her not only to “talk the talk” but “walk the walk.”

She must request that Richard Daines, the New York State Health commissioner, issue an R.F.P. (request for proposals) to all New York’s hospitals, asking for a new hospital at the present St. Vincent’s site.

Quinn must ensure that the zoning for the present St. Vincent’s complex remains hospital zoning and not residential.

She should stop touting an ineffectual “urgent-care center.”

And, finally, she should scrap pushing for a “needs assessment” for a new hospital. The need exists.
Mel Stevens

Task force must stand down

To The Editor:
Re “Keep N.Y.U. task force” (editorial, July 7):

The Community Task Force on N.Y.U. Development gathered a broad spectrum of participants to encourage planning that would more successfully integrate the needs of many communities with the university’s growth and operations. The task force’s accomplishments are significant and unique; they have been enumerated already.

Recently, though, the task force has lost its breadth of participants, as well as a macro perspective and citywide reference, in the dominance of local stakeholders and issues. The tenor has turned less than collegial; members have been discouraged from sharing opinions for fear of being branded “the enemy.” E-mails titled “Task Force” have been sent only to like-minded N.Y.U. opponents. It has been virtually impossible to have civil discussion that isn’t leaked as some sort of tangible indictment of N.Y.U.’s disdain for the community. As a result, N.Y.U. has been far less willing to offer or consider options in its planning within the task force setting. Our effectiveness has been severely compromised.

The pending superblock ULURP application begins with Community Board 2, where local concerns are supposed to be heard in the city-mandated process. Inserting the task force between local stakeholders, N.Y.U. and community boards is inappropriate. The task force never intended to serve this function.

There are still negotiations to be had, conditions to be considered, planning principles to be refined — in the light of real-world options — not the least of which will be a plan, modified in the final outcome of a ULURP decision. It is right that the task force stand down, for the time being, until this air clears.
Zella Jones
Jones is a founding member, Borough President’s Community Task Force on N.Y.U. Development, and former member, Community Board 2

Disappointing news

To The Editor:
Re “Keep N.Y.U. task force” (editorial, July 7):

I am disappointed with the news that the Stringer task force has been disbanded. Citizens dedicated time to meet and formulate a plan designed for transparency on development of a landmarked area. The big developer, N.Y.U., paid no heed to any recommendations from the community. N.Y.U. still plans to oversaturate Greenwich Village with out-of-scale buildings.

A newly landmarked area is their target, complaining that they “own” the land. But the land carries certain restrictions that they assume will expire.

No more empty promises. No building on landmarked sites.

If N.Y.U. really wants to help improve the neighborhood, why don’t they buy St. Vincent’s Hospital and start a teaching hospital there? That’s a big, unused space, right in the core of the Village. We don’t need another Trump monstrosity on Bleecker St.
Sara Jones
Jones is chairperson, LaGuardia Corner Gardens

Stringer is no different

To The Editor:
Re “Keep N.Y.U. task force” (editorial, July 7):

Scott Stringer seems to have become the new King of Backroom Political Deals. His promises to the community are rarely kept. Just like for his cohorts, political alliances seem to be more important to him than keeping campaign promises. It’s a shame there is no way to make our politicians keep their word once they get into office, but we can keep reminding them when they don’t.
Jay Matlick

Article made an imprint

To The Editor:
Re “Printer makes her own declaration in the Declaration” (news article, July 7):

Thanks for Cynthia Romero’s article on book artist Mindy Belloff’s Declaration. Mindy’s ambitious project is admirable both for what she learned about this document’s history and for producing a fine-print replica of it using handset type, handpress and archive paper. As a member of New York City’s Center for Book Arts, I appreciate the craft and skill involved.

It surprised me to learn that a woman, M.K. Goddard, had printed the original document. We know Betsy Ross sewed the flag — women sew — but don’t think of a woman printer in Colonial times. Congratulations to Ms. Belloff for making history come to life with her project.
June Hildebrand Abrams

Tuli was our poet/warrior

To The Editor:
Re “Tuli Kupferberg, 86, iconic poet and singer of the Fugs” (obituary, July 14):

I recall the first time I saw ever saw Tuli Kupferberg. It was on a late 1960s poster publicizing the first Fugs album. His black-bearded face was screwed up into a devilish grin and he held up the back of his hand with fingers splayed into a mystical gesture that all of us at the time thought was some sort of hip secret signal. That poster became an icon of the times and Tuli became a front-line poet/warrior in the struggle for universal peace and just plain having fun.

The Fugs were irreverent and “underground” to the point that they never had a true “hit record.” But they were so hip that everyone knew them and the lyrics to their songs. Their hymn-like ode to marijuana was a staple on FM radio in the late ’60s and ’70s, and their biggest “hit,” “Nothing,” is a perfect example of how Tuli’s head worked. It is still relevant today and still just as much fun to listen to.

Fittingly, in the lyrics to “Doin’ All Right,” Tuli wrote: “We’ve got to love one another and we’ve got to die / So rip your panties off and look me right in the eye / You can’t miss me, I look a lot like Jesus Christ / I’m gettin’ mine... I’m doin’ all right.”

If there was pain, there would be laughter. That is how Tuli saw life. He took the bad news that that those on the left have endured for decades, and made us see the humor in our own state of being. The right-wingers never got it. Never will.

When someone of Tuli’s stature passes away the normal quote is “now he belongs to the ages.” In this case, the ages belong to him.
Lawrence White

The right to buy porn

To The Editor:
The right to enter an adult shop for those over age 18 is protected by the First Amendment. If Mayor Bloomberg wishes to challenge this, then those arrested must hit the city where it hurts: in its pocket.

Reports of these arrests have not discouraged me from shopping for DVDs or enjoying them while in the store. I have a respectable job and have never been a prostitute. If the mayor is encouraging his officers to commit libel, I am prepared to fight.

Perhaps the greatest irony is that there are male prostitutes in some of these shops. One could easily recognize them by their appearance and attitude. I do not accept their services, nor do I believe that they should be arrested. Yet, police officers are unwilling to encounter these young men.
Ted Shan

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.



Reader Services



blog comments powered by Disqus
The Villager is published by Community Media LLC. 145 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10013 Phone: (212) 229-1890 | Fax: (212) 229-2790 | Advertising: 646-452-2465 | © 2009 Community Media, LLC

Written permission of the publisher must be obtained before any of the contents of this newspaper, in whole or in part, can be reproduced or redistributed.