Volume 73, Number 47 | March 24 -30, 2004

Letters to the Editor

Another view on Village View

To The Editor:
In response to “A distorted view of Village View,” by Ceres Shulman (letter, March 3), regarding the frequent shareholders meetings she refers to — we were told what the board of directors would be discussing and nothing else was to be discussed. Either we talked about what they wanted or no discussion at all! The discussions were on “capital improvements” or nothing else.

In 1997 when I first came on the board of directors, we learned that (1) the boilers were no good (2) there was an oil leak in the boiler room that had the E.P.A. down on us (3) fixing up brickwork for Local Law 11 was mandatory (4) new windows and (5) roof repair were needed.

Under the leadership of chairperson Carolyn Kozlowsky we went from being in the red to paying our bills on time in two-and-three-quarters years. It wasn’t easy but it was done without increasing our maintenance charges. The other problems took longer to fix.

The multimillion-dollar capital improvement is only the lobby renovation and new windows. Everything else is maintenance: Maintenance on the boilers, the brickwork, roof repairs; replacement of boilers is also maintenance. The meaning of capital improvement is to change an existing structure and the only things in that category are the lobbies and windows.

The mistake the board of directors made is like in real estate: location, location, location. Had the board done the above repairs first and then said since we are getting older we would like to renovate the lobbies to accommodate those who can’t get up the two steps — would anyone have said no or created a fuss? It is priorities, priorities, priorities!

Laureen Andurseaski
Andurseaski is a former Village View
board of directors member

Let’s get a little perspective here

To The Editor:
Re “Selling architecture as art on the waterfront” (news article, March 17):

Richard Meier states that, “The most important thing to me living in New York City is light and air.” Has Mr. Meier ever looked at his Perry St. towers from anywhere in the West Village, other than West St. and the Hudson River Park?
Albert S. Bennett

I.P.N. parking deal still a steal

To The Editor:
Re “Tribeca Mitchell-Lama tenants strike deal with owner” (news article, March 10):

Your article in The Villager referred to a groan being uttered by Independence Plaza North tenants at the prospect of the parking going to market rate in increments over five years. Did we really expect to negotiate this valuable, non-regulated service in the face of strong community demand for indoor spaces? I believe that the Tenants’ Committee, under the able leadership of Neil Fabricant, accomplished wonders in their negotiations with the landlord. I was surprised that they were even able to negotiate parking.

I am the envy of friends when I tell them that I have an indoor parking spot in Tribeca for $130. I have been paying this same amount for six years and certainly expected some kind of increase at any moment. I will still be the envy of my friends when I pay $200 this summer and then $250 next year.

The new garage operator, Icon, is certainly worth a good bit more than the old one. The garage is now safe, clean and well lit with 24-hour access. They have plenty of well-mannered attendants who park my car for me and have it ready when I call up. My son, who took his road test seven times, no longer has to deny the dents he used to cause while trying to back up his car into difficult parking spaces.

George De Ratafia

It’s Byrd by a nose over Kennedy

To The Editor:
In the March 10 issue of The Villager, the caption “Kennedy connection at the New School” misidentifies Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts as “the Senate’s most senior member.” This honor currently belongs to 87-year old Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, who was elected four years before Kennedy and at 45 years, three months of service is the second-longest serving senator in U.S. history. The 72-year old Kennedy is next with 41 years, three months, edging out Hawaii’s 79-year old Daniel K. Inouye by one month. If he is reelected (as seems nearly certain) this November, Byrd will surpass the current record-holder, the late Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, in February of next year. Kennedy will become the third-longest-serving senator this September and, given his relative youth and good health, can be reasonably expected to surpass Thurmond and outlast Byrd, so perhaps The Villager was just getting ahead of itself.

Cormac Flynn

Soho vending problem is ignored

To The Editor:
I note with great interest and approval the recent reinstatement of the law related to street vendors in New York City. While I understand the law includes specific provisions regarding restrictions on street vendors in selected parts of Manhattan (i.e., Times Sq. and Ground Zero), there appears to be no language regarding specific restrictions in Soho. I find this very troubling. All one needs to do is walk along W. Broadway, Prince or Spring Sts. on any day, particularly weekends, and it is terribly clear that the street vendors have taken control of the sidewalks of what has become one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods. Narrow sidewalks notwithstanding, the increased congestion resulting from the legions of vendors and vending tables creates both safety and significant quality of life issues.

Why have our public officials ignored this issue (or if they haven’t, why have their efforts been so ineffectual) and what, if anything, is being done about this currently? What is the New York Police Department’s role in all of this?

Michael Davis

What’s good for the goose…

To The Editor:
A letter from the Farm Sanctuary shows that the people below deserve credit for the care and rescue of the beautiful goose. They all deserve credit. I am sure they would also appreciate recognition in The Villager.

Thank you, Nancy Beaulieu, Rosalind Belford, Toni Dalton, Lesley Dogel (and her entire family, Nick, Nora, John and Rowena), Carol Moon, Tonya Pen, Brenda Seldin, Ashley Smith and NYC sanitation workers. Honks to you!

Marilyn Schwartz


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