Volume 73, Number 43 | February 25 - March 2, 2004

Letters to the Editor

Board 3 is taking wrong approach

To The Editor:
Re: “Board 3 gets tough with S.L.A.” (news article, Feb. 11):

As an attorney who has represented many community organizations in challenging liquor license applications, it is my opinion that Board 3’s decision to forego community review of any new liquor licenses and instead issue a blanket recommendation for denial of every license is a tactical mistake. This is the equivalent of telling the S.L.A. that Board 3 is throwing in the towel. The S.L.A. is not an agency that sees the big picture but takes each matter on a case-by-case basis. On a given case, a determined and persistent community effort together with support and assistance from the community board can make a difference on whether a license is granted by the S.L.A. To take a position that it will no longer review any new applications is to abdicate the board’s responsibility to advocate on behalf of beleaguered residents.

The ABC Law requires that the S.L.A. “consult” with the community board on 500-foot-rule cases. If Board 3 wants to put more teeth into how the law works, it should be pressing the S.L.A. for full compliance and implementation of the “consultation” clause in the law.

Barry Mallin

Gay wants orderly Christopher St.

To The Editor:
  As a gay man who has lived on Christopher St. for many, many years, and one of the many people who spoke to Chad Marlow about the unacceptable conditions in my neighborhood, I wanted to write to take issue with Melissa Sklarz’s letter to The Villager (“Hanging Chad on Christopher St.,” Feb. 11).

First, I do not like Melissa’s suggestion that Chad’s description of my neighborhood (which, he explained is, in fact, his neighbors’ descriptions) is wrong. Chad’s description may seem like a “Grisham novel” to Melissa, who does not live here; but to me, it is an accurate picture of what we have to put up with on a daily basis.

Second, I am tired of the false suggestions that someone cannot be a strong supporter of the gay community and care about improving the quality of life on Christopher St. I know that most of the gay and lesbian residents of Christopher St., like myself, are concerned about the poor quality of life here — and we represent the viewpoint of Christopher St.’s gay and lesbian resident community, not Melissa.

Third, rather than attacking Chad for standing up for his neighbors, he should be congratulated. Chad certainly knew he would take his lumps for trying to help us out (we warned him), but he chose to do so anyway because he believes he is on the community board to represent our concerns and interests.

Lastly, Melissa concludes her letter by writing, “And finally, those people who have been complaining for years about ‘outsiders’ hanging around — what are they actually going to do to make Christopher St. and Greenwich Village better for everyone?” Melissa should know that we have been doing a lot more than complaining over the years. We shut down Two Potato and we are constantly making efforts to try to improve our community. Making the Village better for “everyone” has to include those who live here!
Arye Sivion

Enlightened by Crandell’s column

To The Editor:
Re: Keith Crandell’s “Jim Davis: Out of Jail — get a #9; be called ‘sir’ ” (talking point, Feb. 18):

Wowie, zowie and hot diggety!!!

In an area where focus and concern by the general public is rare, a blaze of light has exploded in an arena where there are few reasons to jump for joy!

  I read this article with tears streaming from my eyes, with much happiness for Jim, his beloved mother, Nadine, Frank Irwin, Jim’s pen pal, and my personal hero, Keith Crandell, whose writing is always heartfelt, intelligent and powerful.

  As a pen pal myself to an Otisville prisoner, Robert L. Sims, who has been incarcerated (but more free than most) since August 1989, and who I am proud to call my great and good friend, with the harsh sentence of 15 years to life (for what I consider a crime of being at the wrong place at the wrong time), I am familiar with a person in prison who took every opportunity possible to become a better person. And he has then translated that internal integrity to help others. I only pray when Robert’s turn for parole comes up in June that he may also have the success James Davis achieved and so well deserved. 

Thank you, The Villager, for adding awareness to this cause. I am proud to be a subscriber! Keep on keepin’ on! And thanks to Keith for this spectacular effort! And for Jim Davis: Be strong as a mountain. Be gentle as a feather.

Harriette B. Berman
Berman is a member, Coalition for Parole Restoration

Kerry ‘brings it on’ back to V.I.D.

To The Editor:
I really enjoyed reading Ed Gold’s piece on my friend Peggy Kerry (“Kerry’s big sister lending a hand in her own way,” profile, Feb. 18). Although Ed mentioned that Peggy belonged to the Village Independent Democrats for more than 10 years in the 1960s and ’70s, what he forgot to mention is that she has since returned. She’s been back with the club about a year now. As John Kerry has one brother and two sisters, the V.I.D. is enormously proud to say that, come January 2005, we will be one of three political clubs in the nation to have a “first sibling” as a member!
Chad Marlow
Marlow is president, Village Independent Democrats

Can we do anything about graffiti?

To The Editor:
I look forward to reading The Villager each week. It allows me to stay informed on events and topics in the area in which I live and work. Thanks.

May I suggest an article concerning the amount of graffiti that overwhelms our city and our Village community. Have you seen the Cooper Station Post Office? It’s sad to see the amount of obscene graffiti on that beautiful building. All around my neighborhood and on my street, E. 12th, on every block and almost every building there are the same people tagging walls, mailboxes, churches, stores, etc., etc. One new tag is the word “rape.”

I’ve written to the Mayor’s Office and to the community affairs officer at the Ninth Precinct but.... Perhaps your paper could do a piece about this? Maybe others would get involved and apply some pressure on our public officials.

Martin Mistretta


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