Volume 81, Number 22 | November 3 - 9, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Letters to Editor

We need ambulance lanes

To The Editor:
Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s Department of Transportation commissioner, gave us bike lanes.

She gave us bus lanes.

Now — please — what we desperately need are ambulance lanes!

Here in the Lower West Side we lost our hospital and apparently it is not going to be replaced. Even the promised “emergency room” will not be operative for a couple of years. So, we are faced with potential tragedies on a daily basis. I bear witness to the problem because I have occasion to be on 14th St. nearly every day — going to the Y, to the subway, shopping at the farmers market and other destinations.

Here’s what I see and hear: screaming sirens as Beth Israel and Fire Department ambulances slowly inch their way westward on 14th St. The Fire Department has so far declined to give out exact information as to where their ambulances are deployed from, but the hospital vehicles must travel all the way from First Ave. across the widest part of Manhattan to the Far West Village or Chelsea, pick up their patients, then fight their way back through heavy crosstown traffic all the way east to First Ave.

It could take an hour from the first emergency call before a gravely ill patient reaches the E.R. People will die because of the delay. As bad as crosstown traffic is, it’s not the only problem. What, with street fairs, marches and parades on avenue blocks, there is additional gridlock at intersections.

Nothing can take the place of a full-scale hospital serving the Lower West Side. But Commissioner Sadik-Khan can significantly improve the current, intolerable situation by instituting dedicated ambulance lanes — both eastbound and westbound — that would speed sick people to a real hospital.

I see Sadik-Khan is about to get an award from the Rockefeller Foundation “for new ideas and activism.” Please, commissioner, act on this idea — and help save lives.
Carol Greitzer

Nice pipeline piece!

To The Editor:
Re “Occupy Wall St. and Ruffalo whack fracking, pipeline” (news article, Oct. 27):

Thank you so much for covering the Spectra pipeline hearing, and for outlining the issues so well. Yours is one of the more comprehensive articles I’ve seen. 
Clare Donohue

Chin and the 1 percent

To The Editor:
Re “‘Occupy’ movement is a wake-up call to Washington” (talking point, by Margaret Chin, Oct. 20):

For The Villager to designate Margaret Chin as a speaker for Occupy Wall Street is like awarding Donald Rumsfeld the Nobel Peace Prize. The councilmember’s land-use policies in Soho, on the Bowery and in Chinatown completely favor the 1 percent. Yes, the “anger is palpable” — everyone in Soho detests Chin’s support for the business improvement district that is being forced down our throats by the 1 percent.

She continues that O.W.S., “however hazily defined, demands more transparency.” She must be talking about the Chinatown BID vote that claims 97 percent of the property owners voted for this private government, even though 600 small property owners registered their official opposition with the City Clerk. Even Gaddafi or the ayatollahs of Iran never dared to claim 97 percent of the vote in their dummy elections.

Ultimately, Chin calls for “responsible banking.” She must be talking about the 1 percent at First American International Bank, the foreign-owned bank she generously helped by overturning the landmark designation of 135 Bowery.

Yes, the anger of the 99 percent is palpable and Madame Chin will taste it in the 2013 election. You betcha!
Carl Rosenstein

Occupy with better focus

To The Editor:
Re “O.W.S. has many messages: Ignore them at your own risk” (Clayton, Oct. 27):

Remember the K.I.S.S. principle? “Keep It Simple, Stupid.’’

People should focus on the rapid transfer of wealth from the middle class to the 1 percent since the Reagan era. I recognize the legitimacy of all the other problems — but let’s face it, perfection will be a long time coming.

There’s an election coming next November, so you should all decide who you are going to vote for. The system is actually quite good; the reason it has failed us is because we have been so apathetic.

To quote Pogo: “We have met the enemy and it is us.”
Dan Madsen

I now pronounce you...

To The Editor:
Re “Congrats!” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Oct. 27):

You wrote, “After years living together as common-law husband and wife, L.E.S. documentarian Clayton Patterson and Elsa Rensaa have finally tied the knot.” 

While legal in 13 states and the District of Columbia, common-law marriage does not exist in New York State.
Doug Douglass

Editor’s note: New York, in certain cases, does recognize as valid, common-law marriages created in other states.

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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