Letters to The Editor, Week of Dec. 24, 2015

Letters to The Editor, Week of Jan. 3, 2018

Welcomes Niou to race

To The Editor:

Re “Yuh-Line Niou is a new contender for Silver’s ex-seat” (news article, Dec. 17):

Bread and roses — Yuh-Line Niou gets it and has the courage to say so. The recognition that people live “not by bread alone” is the heart of a good public leader. I welcome her to the race for New York State Assembly.

I respect the other candidates, Jenifer Rajkumar and Paul Newell. As the district leader in the 66th District, I have no vote in the 65th. That does not dim my concern for all the needs of all the people. I think Yuh-Line understands.

Public and private developers must construct truly affordable housing for families and seniors. (I am a senior and a family member). That means more low-cost housing all over the city — including the West Village, where I live — and we must keep the Elizabeth St. Garden whole. Bread — and roses, too.

Keen Berger

Berger is Democratic district leader, 66th Assembly District, Part A.


Triangle Fire facts

To The Editor:

Re “Finally, a fitting memorial plan for Triangle tragedy” (news article, Dec. 17):

The article stated the victims were “Eastern European,” but shouldn’t it have just said “Jewish”? At least 95 — the majority — of the 146 victims were Jewish. So it should have read, “mostly young Jewish and Italian immigrants.”

Similarly, most of them were women, not “many,” as the article stated. And they were young, as young as age 16, though a few were in their 30s. The oldest, Mrs. Panno, was 48.

Bonnie Rosenstock


Developer-driven rezonings

To The Editor:

Thank you to The Villager for your diligent coverage of the new proposed rezonings and how they will affect not only our Downtown communities, but those of all New York City.

As a follow-up on both the recent Manhattan Borough Board resolution and the Dec. 16 City Planning Commission hearing, I and most of your readers would like to know where our representatives stand on the Zoning for Quality and Affordability and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing proposals.

I was disappointed to hear that all Downtown city councilmembers abstained on the vote on the Manhattan Borough Board resolution, with the exception of Rosie Mendez.

Please consider publishing at least some highlights of Ms. Mendez’s commendable six-page testimony to the commission and inform us concerned New York City residents and voters on where these absent politicians stand on this very important issue that will affect the physical and demographic structure of our city.

As someone who grew up in this city in the 1960s and ’70s, the daughter of an urban planner and designer who worked for the City Planning Commission for more than 30 years — and who was trained as an architect myself — I am very attuned to the physical transformation of our neighborhoods. I am shocked that our city cannot come up with truly more vital and equitable solutions to our affordability problem and is taking its cues from market-driven developers and their enablers. Perhaps our leaders should go back to the history books and learn from precedent how this city was built — for people, not plutocrats.

We have lost our soul as a city.

Kriti Siderakis


You can’t build everywhere

To The Editor:

Re “NYCHA will build on ‘hot’ East Side, chief assures” (news article, Dec. 10):

This is a warmed-over version of the Bloomberg plan — absolutely no attempt to think this through in a different way. Sure, there will be more “affordable” housing, but how affordable is the question, and for whom? And current residents and those in the nearby community lose valuable light and air, amenities that the New York City Housing Authority chairperson seems to feel are just not that important.

The only people I hear talking about the virtues of density are developers and NYCHA, for some reason. Most of the inhabitants of this city welcome the benefits of sunlight and fresh air and a view of the sky once in a while. Like Bloomberg, and NYCHA’s previous chairperson, Ms. Olatoye has taken the warehouse approach to housing: Pack ’em in as tightly as you can and let the tenants work it out.

No, the tower in the park is not an outmoded idea; it was developed for a reason — the same reason we have parks and the same reason carefully designed cities allow open space (squares and plazas) in otherwise dense agglomerations.

New York City is driven by and for the real estate industry, and the NYCHA board seems to be just another part of that ruinous appendage of city government.

R. Bonnono


NYCHA just doesn’t get it

To The Editor:

Re “NYCHA will build on ‘hot’ East Side, chief assures” (news article, Dec. 10):

Where is the space for the building coming from? Oops, there goes the parking lots and open spaces around the projects.

I was on the Alan Kaufman panel mentioned in the article, and Jose “Cochise” Quiles made many good points. Regarding Campos Plaza, NYCHA workers are no longer allowed to work there since a private developer bought a 50 percent ownership stake in the complex.

America has one of the world’s largest prison populations. Prisons are a major industry and the incarcerated minorities are the ones who feed the machine. So it is not highly unusual that someone in a minority family has been in jail. It is also not that unusual that a relative has gotten into a homeless crisis, due to a fire, hurricane, domestic problems and so on. And yes, families double up. But the families are not running hot-sheet hotels. Their space can be invaded by a needy relative.

It sounds like these NYCHA officials have no understanding of the kinds of trials and tribulations innercity families face. The additional security cameras, at first blush, sound great. The people wanted the security — but how much surveillance intrusion is too much? Every open space at Campos now has a camera. The cameras are everywhere.

This is Bloomberg with a different spin. When are good things going to happen for the people who need it the most?

I just sent Jose Quiles’s book on Lower East Side street gangs to the printer. The book will be out soon and everyone can read his life story. He is now dedicated to helping troubled youths and showing them that the gang life is not all that it is glamourized to be.

Meanwhile, ask the troubled youth to look at the compassion of NYCHA. Years of neglected housing problems and now selling off the projects to developers and taking away open spaces, then throwing them and their connected families out of the projects.


Clayton Patterson


Merchants zombified

To The Editor:

Re “What would Francis do? Voting on the S.B.J.S.A.” (talking point, by Sharon Woolums, Dec. 3):

New York City’s small businesses are “dead men walking.” Unfortunately, they are doomed to die when their lease term ends and they are faced with double and triple rent increases.

After 10, 20 and 30 years of operating a successful business, our small merchants face sudden death when they get hit with exorbitant rent increases. The American Dream of owning a business has turned into an American nightmare in New York City.

The City Council can solve this problem. They have before them the Small Business Jobs Survival Bill, which addresses this crisis and offers small businesses a lifeline. The question is will this bill make it out of committee to the Council floor for a vote, or will it too die in committee as all similar bills have over the past 25 years?

What is the Council waiting for now in order to vote on this bill? Is the real estate industry again calling the shots? While hundreds of businesses face eviction every month, the City Council band plays on.

Alfred Placeres

Placeres is president, New York State Federation of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce

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