Letters to the Editor
Task force ‘un-Balkanized’ us
To The Editor:
Re “Stringer was right” (editorial, July 29):
As a member of the erstwhile Borough President’s Community Task Force on N.Y.U. Development, I feel compelled to make the following observation.
Critically, the venue served to foster levelheaded deliberation amongst major stakeholders, the community boards, among them. We on the boards will eventually be asked to approve bits and pieces of N.Y.U.’s expansion plan in the coming decades. The work of the task force ensured that all of the individual parts would perpetually be viewed as a whole.
The risk now is that every decision we make will be isolated — purely based upon the immediate effect on that particular neighborhood. Though we on the boards like to think of ourselves as altruistic, NIMBYism does periodically rear its ugly head. We on Board 3 may reject a part of the N.Y.U. plan as inappropriate for, for example, 12th St. and Third Ave., saying to ourselves, “Let them go build it in Board 2.” Board 2, may in turn, do the reverse, and so on, ad infinitum.
In the task force, I believe that there was acceptance that we would all do what was best for Manhattan. Now, there may well be divisiveness, which certainly will not best serve our constituents.
Without a single community body to maintain an overview of N.Y.U.’s expansion, both we and they will forever be locked in struggle.
I do wish to note that this is my own personal opinion and not necessarily that of Board 3. I do hope, though, that members of all of the affected boards will agree with me that we are being set at each other’s throats — and demand that the task force be allowed to finish its work.
Prisant served as Community Board 3’s representative to the Borough President’s N.Y.U. Task Force
Bucky and ‘brown power’
To The Editor:
Re “After fish and chips, oil fuels shop’s delivery cab” (news article, July 29):
Right now as you read this letter there is an energy source that is replenishable to the extent that it is simply impossible to deplete. In fact, you and I as well as everyone else in the city produce tons of it everyday.
It is powerful enough that when it explodes under our streets it often tosses manhole covers into the air like Frisbees. Due to the lack of any odor, it has been known to claim lives underground as workers were not even aware that they were breathing it in. In spite of the power it produces, it is not chemically toxic to the extent petroleum, coal or nuclear waste are.
It is called methane. Brown power. Succinctly put, the principle is: Anything that rots creates gas and our waste-driven society creates plenty of stuff that rots.
I once had the opportunity to meet Buckminster Fuller (a hero of mine) at an event focusing on world hunger. My question to him was “How does waste factor into world hunger?”
I could tell that he was thrilled with this question. It allowed him to focus upon the huge issue of hunger and superimpose it upon a society being buried in its own mountains of waste. Mr. Fuller’s philosophy leaned heavily on what I now call brown power: turning waste into energy.
This meeting occurred in New York City in 1979 — more than 30 years ago. At the time I recall that I was greatly disappointed in the blank stares and total lack of recognition that greeted this well-presented, clear solution to the problem.
Fast-forward more than 30 years and at last we are moving toward some real solutions to our energy consumption. Bucky would approve.
Methane. It’s a gas.
Spector deserves agony
To The Editor:
“Singer recalls the ‘agony and ecstasy’ of Spector” (news article, July 22):
To hell with Spector. Scum bag, rot in hell! Lana Clarkson was my friend and roommate and a very dear, kindhearted person who is now receiving the notoriety she deserved while living on this sometimes miserable planet.
Cut clichés and hyphen
To The Editor:
Re “Taking pride in unity” (editorial, July 14):
The Villager is the only weekly paper I subscribe to and read regularly, mostly because I am very concerned about the fate of Lower Manhattan, where I have lived all of my adult life (many decades now). I appreciate how it links issues of physical infrastructure to our need for community. I like the fact that national and global issues are addressed from a local point of view. And I find the arts coverage valuable as well.
Usually, I find the writing in the paper clear, concise and jargon free. However, the editorial in the July 14 issue was glaringly incomprehensible, partially because the text was filled with clichés, but also because it was in need of a good edit.
Additionally, I had hoped to see a correction in print regarding the obituary of my dear friend Harry Wieder, where a hyphen was added to ACT UP and it was incorrectly described as a gay rights organization. In fact, ACT UP stands for the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power! Harry was a multifaceted individual who worked for people with AIDS and disabilities as well as those in the L.G.B.T. community and all those who are discriminated against or disenfranchised.
Thanks so much for The Villager’s vigilance, as well as its coverage of our wonderfully diverse neighborhoods.
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