Volume 81, Number 9 | July 28 - August 3, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Letters to the Editor

Stand-alone E.R. won’t work

To The Editor:
Re “Just across the Hudson, a model for the Village’s healthcare future” (news article, July 21):

I trust that this front-page article was written from the safety of somewhere close to one of the East Side’s six full-service hospitals and emergency rooms.

You underestimate the intelligence of your readers when you proclaim the great value of the proposed North Shore-L.I.J. medical facility planned for the O’Toole Building.

This was one of the longest articles I have ever read in The Villager, with lots of nice photos and the testimony of a top-level emergency physician at Lenox Hill (which is owned by L.I.J.). But you say really sick people will be transported to a lab “12 to 15 minutes away.”

If you believe all ambulances can get from your newspaper’s Canal St. office in Hudson Square to the planned L.I.J. W. 12th St. facility, and then in crosstown traffic over to an East Side hospital in 12 to 15 minutes, or that gunshot or accident victims in Soho or on the West Side Highway can get to a true East Side emergency room in 12 to 15 minutes, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.

It’s about emergency treatment, people!
Elizabeth Ryan

Only a hospital will do

To The Editor:
Re “Just across the Hudson, a model for the Village’s healthcare future” (news article, July 21):

This type of “emergency care center” that The Villager newspaper is shilling for would be great if it was in addition to a full-service hospital standing over it.
Glenn Berman

Disappointed in Chin

To The Editor:
Re “BID plan for Soho’s Broadway corridor is now better” (talking point, by Margaret Chin, July 21):

As a resident of Soho since the ’70s, it’s truly disappointing for me to witness our elected official Margaret Chin backing an independent group of individuals who do not reside in the area and whose sole interest in Soho is to control it.

Practically the entire neighborhood is against having the business improvement district represent their interest, and yet Margaret Chin is not respecting our cries against the BID. She appears to be solely interested in backing the steering committee for the BID. Could it be because of their financial power for her professional future?
Ronnie Wolf

Please, just listen to us!

To The Editor:
Re “BID plan for Soho’s Broadway corridor is now better” (talking point, by Margaret Chin, July 21):

If the diminished quality of life in Soho has been caused by too many people coming here, then why not do something to reduce the number of people coming here?

No Soho resident wants this many people here.

Why can’t you just listen to the residents of Soho?

Why do the money grubbers (mega real-estate developers) always have to win?

Margaret Chin, if you let this project pass, you are truly pathetic.
Jane Seguin

Chin isn’t Soho’s savior

To The Editor:
Re “BID plan for Soho’s Broadway corridor is now better” (talking point, by Margaret Chin, July 21):

We were under the impression that Councilmember Chin was our knight in shining armor in defense of Soho tenants and residents. But the talking point she wrote, under the guise of doing us a favor, actually favored the opposite entities, such as international real estate conglomerates, and indicates to us that, unfortunately, she has jumped to the other side of the fence where the grass, or dollar, is greener.

This is disgusting.
Patricia Anaia Price

You’ll be hearing from us

To The Editor:
Re “BID plan for Soho’s Broadway corridor is now better” (talking point, by Margaret Chin, July 21):

This is yet another disastrous development for residents of Soho. Margaret Chin, like most politicians in New York City — Christine Quinn included — is in thrall to the rampant greed of the real estate lobby.

Ms. Chin has betrayed her constituents in the interest of furthering her political career. She will hear from us at the next election.
Carol Stein

A script for disaster

To The Editor:
Re “BID plan for Soho’s Broadway corridor is now better” (talking point, by Margaret Chin, July 21):

As 40-year Soho residents (both artists) we object to the Soho BID proposal and Councilwoman Chin’s support of it as counter to the best interests Soho residents. This will eventually destroy our community, which for 40 years we have worked to sustain as a unique place for artists to live and work in the heart of this city.
Richard Foreman
Kate Manheim

Shameful to support BID

To The Editor:
Re “BID plan for Soho’s Broadway corridor is now better” (talking point, by Margaret Chin, July 21):

Shame on Ms. Chin. What has happened to the representation of community residents and quality of life issues? Is every elected official in this city on the take?
David Rose

BID not involved in zoning

To The Editor:
Despite the claims in letters to the editor (“Don’t buy the BID hype,” by Susan Fortgang, July 7; and “Zoning made Soho great,” by B.C. Crane, July 21) the Broadway Soho Business Improvement District Steering Committee is not involved in any way with any attempt to rezone portions of the neighborhood.

The proposed Broadway Soho BID would cover only properties on both sides of Broadway between Houston and Canal Sts. This BID, similar to the city’s other 64 BIDs, would provide a unified voice for all people living and working in that defined service area to advocate for increased government services, as well as address other neighborhood issues, such as traffic, vendors, transportation and infrastructure, and green space.

The BID also would hire a contractor to clean sidewalks, empty curbside litter baskets and remove snow at all street corners within the BID area. The BID plan in its entirety is available at www.sohobid.org .

Under state law, property owners, residents and businesses in the service area elect a BID board of directors to protect their interests. This board includes representatives of city officials and the community board. A BID is true grassroots democracy. A BID does only what the people it represents want it to do.

It does not rezone neighborhoods or buildings.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss the important facts surrounding the creation of a BID. We urge everyone who cares about this important issue to check the facts: Visit the New York City Department of Small Business Services at www.nyc.gov/sbs or visit sohobid.org .
Brian Steinwurtzel
Steinwurtzel is chairperson, Broadway SoHo BID Steering Committee

Great schools coverage!

To The Editor:
Re “C.E.C. mulls rezoning, new schools at Foundling, 15th” (news article, July 21):

Thanks for this story! One comment: It is the city’s overall enrollment that was projected to go down and then went up. The Department of Education did recognize likely enrollment increase in School District 2 — the question is whether D.O.E. underestimated it or planned for it adequately.

Most of the new school construction in District 2 is below Canal St. The only new school that may ease Village overcrowding is Foundling, and this is still years away. Both “Far Downtown,” below Canal St., and the Upper East Side (all in District 2) will see new schools open in 2012, so rezoning of those neighborhoods is also of great urgency for the Community Education Council in the year ahead.

Parents much appreciate coverage of the C.E.C.: Though its powers are few, it is the only arena for engaging on the local level with school politics. Hooray, Villager!

Re “More conversions, schools wanted for Hudson Square” (news article, July 21):

Hear, hear, to Trinity for recognizing that residential development must be accompanied by consideration for educational impacts. This month New York City’s public school principals were told to plan for class sizes of 30 — just a few years after landmark legislation calling for smaller class size to improve educational equity. Heedless residential growth has played a larger role in the school overcrowding disaster. Let’s hope others follow Trinity’s example.
Ann Kjellberg

Wrong goal for GOLES

To The Editor:
Re “Essex St. Market looks to be facing expiration date” (news article, June 30):

As co-founder of GOLES, with Floyd Feldman, I must comment on current director Damaris Reyes’s statement that “the best idea would be to for two markets... .”

Wrong!

GOLES was created to provide tenant advocacy and neighborhood preservation. As unofficial official historian, Floyd wrote a monthly column in The Calendar, the GOLES newsletter, about the significant history of our buildings and our neighborhood. Preservation and, if necessary, restoration of the Essex St. Market would be in order — not the replacement or destruction of yet another significant structure.

Let’s try to preserve what is historically significant to our neighborhood before we become another community of towering, ugly, expensive, impersonal structures. Houston St., the Bowery and soon Astor Place are examples of the cold, new neighborhood that has destroyed our architectural and personal history.
Susan Leelike

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, 515 Canal St., Suite 1C, 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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