Letters to The Editor, Week of Oct. 6, 2016

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

That empty lot is a park!

To The Editor:

In your article last week “300 rally to save garden; ‘City pits park vs. housing,’ ” regarding the ongoing fight to preserve the much-loved and much-used Elizabeth St. Garden, Community Board 2 Chairperson Tobi Bergman referred to another lot, which provides access to the city water tunnel, as a site where the city could build affordable housing. The article said that space on Hudson and W. Houston Sts. is a “barren city-owned lot…[that was] used to drill a shaft down to the new City Water Tunnel No. 3, but now sits empty,” and further makes reference in captions to this lot as “vacant.”

To be clear, the lot on Hudson St. is currently unoccupied and was used by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection in order to construct City Water Tunnel No. 3. However, the city also promised the community this would become park space, and it is a mischaracterization to refer to the lot as “vacant.”

Last year, Community Board 2 put forward a proposal to sacrifice this promised park in favor of providing an increased amount of affordable housing for the neighborhood. This would allow the Elizabeth St. Garden to be preserved, continuing to serve an even more park-starved part of our community, while constructing a greater amount of affordable housing at this alternative site. Now we are being told that the city would like to use both lots for affordable housing.

The city continues to force communities to take sides over initiatives upon which they agree: preserving open space and building affordable housing. We deserve both.

Deborah J. Glick
Glick is assemblymember, 66th District


Soho’s endangered artists

To The Editor:

Re “Artists fear brush-off, loss of protections in Soho zoning study” (news article, Sept. 22):

I am a certified artist in residence who, more than 40 years ago, had the opportunity to move into a deserted factory on Spring St., and sleep on a greasy factory floor, which was an improvement over the car I was living in.

I worked for decades to raise a family in this space. I stayed up all night printing etchings, which I sold on the street. I eventually won national awards illustrating for the most prominent newspapers and magazines, all the while pulling all-night deadlines for less than minimum wage. It seems to be forgotten that being an artist is a calling, and not an entitlement.

Today, I am the only certified artist in residence actually in residence in our A.I.R. building. The current nonartist owners have tried to sell the building out from under me, and I am currently under threat of a lawsuit, merely because I just want to live here. I have had to fight continuously to simply hold on to the fully legal unit that I own, in the face of lawsuits and eviction threats.

The next-door unit, owned by a nonartist and her Chappaqua lawyer son, has no fire escape and no work permits. In spite of numerous Department of Buildings and Environmental Control Board violations, they have been subletting their place, and have now listed it for sale with Sotheby’s for $2.4 million. D.O.B. refers to the unit’s occupancy as being “imminently hazardous.” But there’s money to be made — so who cares?

I implore the powers that be to protect those of us who once pioneered a barren and inhospitable land. Certainly, there must be some threshold where greed is not welcome.

Harry Pincus


Jane to the rescue!

To The Editor:

Re “Photog who found bomb saw something, said something” (news article, Sept. 29):

Great article! We need more Jane Schreibmans in the world. Nice photos, too!

Patricia Fieldsteel


It was a knockout

To The Editor:

Re “Bleecker boxers’ drive to ‘Knockout The Vote’ ” (news article, Sept. 29):

Great article, and having a boxing club at 9 Bleecker St. is a better outcome than it becoming a TD bank branch. I did see a few brawls there before they went “legit.” LOL.

First, dispose of the orange emperor, then impeach the Clintons for election fraud. It’s time to vote with our feet, our dollars. Vote every day, that’s what I always say.

Alan Thompson


Abbie, forgive them!

To The Editor:

Re “Bleecker boxers’ drive to ‘Knockout The Vote’ ” (news article, Sept. 29):

The place has been transformed into a Hillary Clinton campaign HQ. Abbie Hoffman is spinning in his grave.

John Penley


Trains need seat belts

To The Editor:

In view of this recent train crash in Hoboken, I again can’t help but wonder why there are no seat belts on trains in this country, and why they are not required. These past few years have seen several trains crash with people seriously injured or killed. It’s not difficult to imagine the violent jolt that occurs when a train suddenly veers off the tracks or “plows” into a terminal as last week’s train did. Wouldn’t seat belts be a good idea? At least bodies would not be flying out of seats into windows, down aisles or into other people.

Some years ago, on a commercial airline flight, I was in a crash landing. Actually, it was four crash landings, as the pilot, who it turned out was on some sort of medication, lifted the plane up, crashed again, and repeated two more times. Overhead compartments jerked open and luggage flew out, hitting people’s heads and the backs of seats. But if it hadn’t been for the seat belts we were all wearing, people would also have been flying and crashing around the interior of the plane. As luck would have it, there were no deaths and few serious injuries.

It seems to me that seat belts are desperately needed on trains. At least give people the option to use them or not.

Ralph Nader, help!

Dee Vitale Henle


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