Volume 80, Number 45 | April 7 - 13, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Letters to the Editor

An apology is in order

To The Editor:
Re “Slams Fratta, Stringer and Chin” (letter, by Elliott Hurwitt, March 24):

I am 42 years old. I have known John Fratta since I was a little boy, and since I was a young child, all I can remember is John doing good for Little Italy. I must have been only about 6 or 7 years old and, just like it was yesterday, I can remember following John Fratta with my father down Delancey St. with a news crew chasing prostitutes away.

Sam (Elliott), I bet you did not even know that there were prostitutes on Delancey St. You see, John and I remember because we live and breathe Little Italy, and have from birth — unlike you, sir, who came into a neighborhood that was gentrified by men and women like John Fratta way before you and other transplants came into the area.

That is the reason Scott Stringer, Margaret Chin and every other politician all listen when John Fratta speaks. I take personal offense when you trash John’s name in racist and bigoted remarks, because when you do that you also trash my name, my father’s name and all of the other Italian-Americans that have shaped Little Italy into what it is today, from Canal St. to Houston St. from Bowery to Centre and Market Sts.

So, in closing, Sam (Elliott), I demand you apologize to John, my father and the whole Italian-American community, now.

Also, in response to Kim Martin’s statement (“Italian pride fills Mulberry after feast tensions,” news article, March 31) in which she said, “I want to support the diversity of our community,” that’s great. Maybe Ms. Martin should reach out to Little Italy community leaders and begin a constructive dialogue in order the build a better Little Italy for everyone. Only through dialogue do you construct a lasting respect between people in a community.

I have never met Ms. Martin but only have noticed her from afar. She seems like a good, intelligent person. Let reason and good take the place of hatred.
Raffaele Tramontana

Letter hit a nerve (center)

To The Editor:
Re “Slams Fratta, Stringer and Chin” (letter, by Elliott Hurwitt, March 24):

Elliott Hurwitt’s histrionic letter concerning the Italian pride parade that took place on March 26 astounds me. First of all, it wasn’t the John Fratta Unity Day celebratory march. We weren’t honoring Mr. Fratta singularly, although we do appreciate his efforts and hard work in doing what he has done for Little Italy over the years. Now, if you want to have a pissing contest, I’ll go one-on-one with you, Elliott.

Yes, the numbers of Italian-American residents of Little Italy have dwindled immensely, but it’s not a numbers game. Mulberry St. has been the nerve center of the Italian-American community since the 1880’s at least. My mother’s family still lives in the neighborhood. What remains of what we have, we intend to keep. Now, folks similar to yourself — yes, the “Y” word — have many, many neighborhoods in New York City — and this isn’t even an ethnic, racial, religious or cultural group.

Words like “goons,” “clowns” and “sad sacks” that you call us will be readily dismissed, because it’s not worth the bother. I don’t know what hate-filled epithets you’re talking about that you say were used by the people who only want to keep the Feast of San Gennaro at its current length. Oh, maybe you did hear the “Y” word. But, Elliott, I doubt it qualifies legally for someone to go scurrying to the Hate Crimes Unit or the N.Y.P.D.

By the way, Elliott, last time I checked, Scott Stringer and Margaret Chin were elected to office, not appointed by a politburo as you may prefer. They are our legitimate representatives.
David Carl

A frightening prospect

To The Editor:
Re “Chin and BID feel the heat at Soho forum on proposal” (news article, March 31):

I have been a Soho resident for 30 years. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” — you’ve heard that one. And the words of an old song: “Got along without you before I met you. Gonna get along without you now!”

I have read everything about the BID issue on your Web site, and the more I read the more scared I got!

A few random comments:

How about getting Ms. Chin to give some money in her budget to ACE to continue their excellent work on the Broadway corridor? How about some of her budget funds being used to double or triple the number of trash cans on every corner? That would help a lot.

We have a Sanitation Department for trash removal. We have a Police Department for safety issues, and a special vendors squad to monitor vending. We have a Landmarks Preservation Commission for landmark and preservation issues.

We have lots of people to give our friendly tourists directions. I do it all the time!

Do we really need unarmed, uniformed people to act as a “paramilitary force” guarding our streets? What authority do they have and where does it come from? Not the people!

We have a Department of Transportation to take care of traffic and repairs.

Etc., etc., etc.

What we don’t need is another layer of unelected people (99 percent real estate “guys”) to come between the community (which has functioned for 50-plus years) and the people who live here — yes, live here 24/7!
 Bonnie Lynn

Chin’s silence speaks volumes

To The Editor:
Re “Chin and BID feel the heat at Soho forum on proposal” (news article, March 31):

Having attended Councilmember Chin’s Soho community meeting — held outside of Soho in the South Village — it was encouraging to see my community come out in force to denounce this possibly unconstitutional government that is being forced upon us. What was missing in the meeting were actual comments by Chin. I’ve never seen an elected official at such a loss for words. This seems to be her strategy: By not saying anything, it’s as if she can’t be held accountable for what’s happening — but everyone knows better. If she doesn’t side with her residential constituents once and for all, it seems that a legal challenge is in order.
Carl Rosenstein

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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