Volume 80, Number 12 | August 19 - 25, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Letters to the Editor

Mosque site’s long landmark limbo

To The Editor:
Re “Fanning the flames” (editorial, Aug. 12):

The very relevant detail of historic significance has been lost amid the political maelstrom surrounding 45 Park Place. While the Landmarks Preservation Commission now believes the building does not merit individual designation, 21 years ago the same Landmarks Commission proposed the elegant, cast-iron structure for designation as an individual landmark. In September 1989, a public hearing held by the commission elicited public testimony overwhelmingly in favor of the commission’s proposal, with Community Board 1 voting nearly unanimously to support the designation. Yet, until their recent vote, the commission failed to act on their own proposal, leaving the building as one of many “heard but not designated” structures languishing in limbo.

The unprofessional practice of holding public hearings but failing to vote on a designation must end. Such inaction fails to protect historic resources the commission is charged with overseeing while subjecting it to the political manipulation so clearly evident now.
 Hal Bromm

May cooler heads prevail

To The Editor:
Re “C.B. 3 backs fellow board after threats over mosque” (news article, Aug. 5):

My gratitude to Community Board 1, the Landmarks Preservation Commission and Mayor Bloomberg for holding firm regarding the Islamic center in Lower Manhattan — in my opinion, the mayor’s finest hour. And thank you, Community Board 3 and particularly Susan Stetzer for backing C.B. 1’s right to make decisions about their community without threat of violence.

All of us have the feelings we have about 9/11, and all of us are entitled to them. They are what they are and can’t be adjusted to suit, if inconvenient. But none of our feelings are a sound basis for action or for policy. We are in deep trouble when we allow feelings to determine how we decide to conduct ourselves. Historically, it has gotten us in trouble — the internment camps for U.S. citizens of Japanese heritage, McCarthyism, Sacco and Vanzetti, anti-Semitism, almost every war, etc.

The 9/11 hijackers were guided by feelings of revenge for wrongs inflicted. They felt entitled to take that action based on those feelings, and added to a world of pain here and abroad. All of us need to aim for something better.

It’s not wimpy or naive to want a society that holds out for the most inclusive tent. Rather, it’s hardheaded realism to find a way other than endless attack, blame, revenge and retaliation.

We grieve our losses, we live our gratitude for the gift of life, and we thank those leaders and organizations that would point us in a more rational direction — toward hope and the future.
K Webster

Take pressure off Pier 40

To The Editor:
Re “Hudson River Park Trust moves to create fundraising group” (news article, Aug. 5):

I was surprised to read Diana Taylor’s assertion that, “We are not making enough money in the park…because we’ve been unsuccessful in developing Pier 40. So that’s left a huge hole in the budget.”

Currently, Pier 40, which is 15 acres, generates $5 million a year, approximately 40 percent of the revenue for the entire park. Meanwhile, Chelsea Piers, which is 30 acres, renegotiated a sweetheart deal during the Pataki administration and pays less than half of that amount.

Revenue from Pier 40 has been remarkably steady throughout the park’s history, even during economic downturns. As one of creators of the Hudson River Park Act, I can say unequivocally that we never envisioned Pier 40 generating the majority of the park’s operating budget. 
Deborah Glick
Glick is assemblymember for the 66th District

Glick tells it like it is

To The Editor:
Re “Test scores were ‘a sham’” (letter, Aug. 12, by Deborah Glick):

Thank you, Assemblymember Glick, for enumerating the difference between what Mayor Bloomberg promised to do to improve public education and what he actually delivered. Will the mayor now finally take responsibility, which he claimed would be his and his alone under mayoral control of the schools?
A.S. Evans

Give bike lanes time

To The Editor:
Re “More spin and counter-spin on protected bike lanes” (news article, Aug. 12):

I’m sure that after the initial adjustments to the situation, safety will improve. I also see a need for improved enforcement of rules — warnings at first, tickets if compliance with the law doesn’t improve with the new bike lanes.

New things take adjustment and education on how they are supposed to be used. I’m sure the first traffic light in New York City didn’t have perfect compliance immediately — as if people don’t run red lights now.
John Clary

Parting’s such sweet sorrow

To The Editor:
Re “This one hurts in my Sweet Heart” (notebook, by Kathryn Adisman, Aug. 5):

Kathryn Adisman’s piece on Sweet Heart Bakery really hit the spot. It was great to read so much of what I felt about the bakery and its closing.

You printed a notice about my exhibit of cupcake paintings at Sweet Heart Bakery in Scoopy’s Notebook (“Sweet Show,” June 16), the day before the exhibit started. I was due to take down the show July 15. But on July 12 when I passed by the bakery in the morning it was empty. In addition to being concerned about how I would retrieve my paintings, which were still hanging on the empty bakery’s wall, I was devastated to find that this place that had meant so much to me had, totally without warning, vanished.

I did get my paintings back because the door was unlocked. I recalled that in a conversation some weeks earlier, Eric had told me that business had declined a lot and he didn’t know how long they could hang on. The owners left no message for their customers when they departed. But I posted a note, with my e-mail, on the bakery door, mourning the shop’s loss and telling people that I was planning a get-together at the end of August for neighbors who enjoyed Sweet Heart over the years.

I kept posting this note, and it kept getting torn down. I did hear from a number of people who were very upset about the closing and were wondering what had happened. A number of them wanted to be able to reconnect with the bakery owners.

So, the meetup will be in Jackson Square Park across from the bakery at 6 p.m. Mon., Aug. 30. It can give people a chance to share information and their feelings about the bakery and its loss. My hope is that this will give us some sense of comfort and closure. 

Sweet Heart Bakery was one of the few remaining places in the West Village that still called up the Village as it once was: friendly, informal, quirky, a place where you wanted to talk to your neighbors. Its feeling was so different from that of the places that resulted from the development of the Meat Market, just a block away.  We’ll never have anything like it again. 

For more details on the meetup or for people who can’t come that day but want to stay in touch, I can be reached at donnagould@earthlink.net .
Donna Gould

So what, if word’s made-up?

To The Editor:
Re “Urgent-care delay as ‘land lock’ fray rages at C.B. 2” (news article, Aug. 5):

This is such a one-sided article. Yes, “land lock” is a made-up word used here to mean the ULURP, zoning and use and occupancy regulations. At present, St. Vincent’s is zoned for community facility use, with use and occupancy for hospital and medical offices. We asked Community Board 2 and elected officials to maintain the current zoning and use. It’s not complicated and it is possible. Stop trying to discredit Yetta Kurland and the Coalition for a New Village Hospital.
Susan Howard

Fedora welcomed us

To The Editor:
“Fedora was more than just a place to hang your hat” (news article, July 29):

When I first arrived in New York City, I moved into a nice apartment on W. Eighth St. and used to frequent Fedora’s quite often. Then, when I moved uptown, I came there less often, but still enjoyed Fedora’s warm greeting. She always made us feel special — but she was the special one.
Larry Lincoln

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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