Volume 80, Number 38 | February 17 - 24, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Letters to the Editor

Liberation

To The Editor:
When Facebook was in Egypt’s land,
Let thy people go!
Oppressed so hard they could not stand,
Let thy people go!

Go down, Twitter,
Way down to Tahrir Square;
Tell Pharaoh Mubarak, age 82:
Let thy people go!

“Thus saith the Lord” (saith bold thougtful Barack),
Let thy people go.
While for eighteen incredible days they cry
Let our freedom ring.

Go down, old Mubarak,
Way down to Sharm el-Sheikh,
Plenty of time there to reflect
Why thy people are no longer thyne.
Jerry Tallmer

BID would usurp control

To The Editor:
Re “Soho residents strike back, slam business district plan” (news article, Feb. 10):

As a Soho resident since 1979, I’m for the street cleaning and our building has been contributing to the ACE organization for more than 10 years. That said, to ask me to vote for the BID because ACE’s service will expire seems unreasonable. Most important, it will put wonderful needy men and women out of work.

If the BID had the power to reverse the Department of Transportation’s decision to make Broadway one lane through Soho, I might consider voting for it. If the BID could reinstate the M.T.A. buses that used to serve the residents of lower Broadway, the No. 6 or No. 1, I might vote for the BID.

Otherwise, to ask me to vote for an organization that will take control of our neighborhood out of Soho residents’ hands, and cost us more money — I will not be voting for it.
Ronnie Wolf

Soho doesn’t deserve this

To The Editor:
Re “Soho residents strike back, slam business district plan” (news article, Feb. 10):

This BID is a terrible idea. Broadway is already thriving. The rents are on par with Madison Ave. Most of the stores in Soho are the same national companies that are in every mall in the country. We, as residents, do not need more congestion. Soho already has a very good nonprofit organization employing homeless workers who keep the streets clean.
Barry Holden

We’ll beat back BID

To The Editor:
Re “Soho residents strike back, slam business district plan” (news article, Feb. 10):

I live at 152 Wooster St., an artists’ co-op founded in 1970. Everyone in our building is opposed to the BID. We have seen our neighborhood overrun by tourists. You can be stampeded on Prince St. on a Saturday afternoon! The quality of our lives has deteriorated yearly. The city’s infrastructure, already pressed, cannot support this move.

We will fight to see the BID defeated.
Joyce Kozloff

Don’t need it; Don’t want it

To The Editor:
Re “Soho residents strike back, slam business district plan” (news article, Feb. 10):

I have been a resident of Soho at 515 Broadway since 1979 and am opposed to BID.

The BID has repeatedly stated it will expend more money on tourism and marketing than on street cleaning, the alleged pretense for the BID.

BID’s are intended for blighted business districts that need improvement, like the old Times Square, Union Square and Herald Square. Business is booming in Soho; it isn’t blighted. A BID is simply going to make our congestion, crowds and clutter even worse.

Soho is home to 10,000 residents. It is not a central business district or a suburban mall in need of more tourists! The BID will be run by uptown people not from Soho, and they care little what happens to its residents.

Once BID’s are established, it is practically impossible to put them out of business. BID’s have tremendous power, and a Soho BID will be a voice for large real estate corporations to drown out our opinion and efforts at keeping Soho livable.

Let the stores sweep their sidewalks the way stores everywhere else do! We don’t need a BID taxing us $700,000 annually to sweep our sidewalks. Soho generates incredible income and taxes for the city. We pay for sanitation. Let’s get what we pay into, not more taxes for a BID.
Claude Samton

Impact would be dramatic

To The Editor:
Re “Soho residents strike back, slam business district plan” (news article, Feb. 10):

We are writing as residents of Soho for 40 years to let you know that we
and our entire co-op building are opposed to the formation of a BID in Soho. This would only increase tourist traffic and congestion in what is a residential neighborhood whose streets are already overcrowded with tourists, especially on weekends.
Richard Foreman
Kate Manheim

Soho works fine now

To The Editor:
Re “Soho residents strike back, slam business district plan” (news article, Feb. 10):

My husband and I bought our loft on Grand St. in the late 1970’s. We have lived, worked and raised our family in Soho. The first year our co-op was established, Soho was a dark and dangerous, very dirty place. As the first president of the co-op, I often cleared the industrial debris off our sidewalk and street on our block.

The changes to Soho in the intervening 30-plus years have been extraordinary. As an artist, I miss the trucks and galleries. However, as a resident, I am always happy to give directions to lost or confused tourists. As a co-op owner, we pay our taxes and keep our sidewalks clean.

We strongly oppose a business improvement district. Soho does not need a BID. It is not a blighted area. It is a solid, residential and commercial neighborhood, with 10,000 residents. Co-ops do not need to pay more taxes. We do not need an outside special-interest agency occupying a position of power in our community. Community Board 2 recommended “unconditional denial” of the BID.

The business owners on Broadway and other streets can sweep their own sidewalks. Their employees can happily give directions to tourists — shoppers, in fact. If the city Department of Sanitation is not cleaning the corner bins in a timely manner, then the business owners can call D.O.S. Soho works. It doesn’t need special interests to “fix” it.

Please support our opposition to the Soho BID.
Debrah and Harris Feinn

Area’s already overcrowded

To The Editor:
Re “Soho residents strike back, slam business district plan” (news article, Feb. 10):

I am writing this letter to voice my opposition to a BID for Soho. My family has lived in Soho for eight years, and we have watched as traffic and congestion have progressively taken over the neighborhood. Many days it is impossibly dangerous to cross in the crosswalk with my daughter in her stroller. We avoid walking down Broadway due to the sidewalk overcrowding with tourists and street vendors.

I don’t believe that the residents of our neighborhood should have to pay additional taxes to support a BID.
Alison Lille

‘I oppose the BID’

To The Editor:
Re “Soho residents strike back, slam business district plan” (news article, Feb. 10):

As an owner of a first-floor commercial space in Soho, I oppose the BID proposal. 
Ed McGowin

No to ‘Sohosploitation’

To The Editor:
Re “Soho residents strike back, slam business district plan” (news article, Feb. 10):

As a Soho resident for more than 30 years, I wish our representatives would remember that actually a lot of people live in the neighborhood. And though I am not opposed to tourism, I am against this type of neighborhood exploitation. 
Pamela Morgan

Trigger is strange, but…

To The Editor:
Re “ ‘It’ll never happen again,’ bar owner tells protesters” (news article, Feb. 3):

Trigger has a reputation for being strange but I do not believe him to be in the slightest bit racist. Haven’t been to Continental since the mid-’90’s. Never seen an “all white” (or all-anything for that matter) event there.

These protesters are misguided. Upper East Side, that’s where the problem is! (Or was... . I don’t go out much these days.)
Davide Gentile

Signs were slightly off

To The Editor:
Re “Cooper Sq. at ‘tipping point’ as 1825 building faces demo” (news article, Feb. 3):

Thank you so much for publishing this! It was really appreciated by all the people that took part in this rally. I do have some corrections to this article. I was the first researcher on this project, and thankfully many more have joined in to help. But the initial research, as was sent to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, has been altered a bit as a result of so many reading through the history.

These may seem like minor points, but to myself and the people I have quoted, they are big. First, it was the actor Joel Grey, who starred with Liza Minnelli in “Cabaret,” who rented a room from J. Forrest Vey in the late 1940’s or early ’50’s. Second, the Diane diPrima quotes are from her “Recollections of My Life as a Woman” (2001, Penguin Press). Third, it was Henry (not Herbert) Marshall’s Tavern or Porter House that was established in 1850 and continued until 1875 or ’76.

The article reported everything correctly as it was presented at the rally. Unfortunately, some of the information that was printed on the rally signs was not correct, and on behalf of the people I originally quoted, I would like to make these corrections. Thanks again for a great article.
Sally Young

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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