Letters to the Editor

Gor Ar Lun is loved in Chinatown

To The Editor:

Re: “What’s in a name?” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Aug 13):

For many years, Councilmember Alan J. Gerson has been a supporter and a help to our Chinatown community. Some of us have known him long before he was a candidate for City Council. He has always been a civic leader showing his support for our community. Gor Ar Lun created CHAMPS, a youth program in Little Italy and Chinatown. Gor Ar Lun, as a member of Community Board 2, led the effort for Project Open Door to move to 240 Centre St. For over 10 years he served as a member of the board of directors of one of the most respected and comprehensive nonprofit service organizations for Asian Americans, the Chinese American Planning Council. Yes! For years and years we in the Chinese-speaking community called him GOR AR LUN, “A brother to the Asian Community.”

We who are leaders, residents and voters of Lower Manhattan want the Council race to focus on our concerns. We care about seniors, our youth. We care about affordable housing and education. We care about rebuilding and the economic revitalization of our community.

Danny Chen

Herbert L. Kee, M.D.

Wah Tin Lam

John Louie

Jenny Low

Steven H. Onne

Tan De

Edward Ma

Shame, for punishing zoning whiz

To The Editor:

Whom does the community board represent when a widely acknowledged and respected expert in the field of zoning is punished for exercising her right and responsibility to vote in the board election? This is a sad day for the community and for the democratic process.

Carole De Saram

More open park space is needed

To The Editor:

Michele Herman in her “Sometimes the city game can be tougher in summer” (Notebook, July 23) is only touching the sad surface of our deteriorating freedoms and quality of life here. For instance, the park she uses as an example, J.J. Walker, closes as early as 7 p.m. and if it snows it doesn’t open at all. Our parks, the people’s common areas set aside for us by city planners, were open 24 hours not long ago. Parks are for relaxing with those we love, screaming in joyful play, observing the cycles of nature, making a snowman and sitting next to a tree for shade or a breeze on a hot summer night.

Our “remarkably unfriendly” parks make life all the more painful in park-deprived Downtown. Additional parks without high chain-link fences should be a priority for our local public servants as nature helps keep us peaceful/sane/human. Even if planning does not bear fruit for the immediate future — is it possible to close Clarkson St. when the city takes over the parking lot on Hudson St. to build the air vent? This would significantly enlarge the area for grass and trees for a real park. We need to reclaim space for a new park to name after Tony Dapolito, famous for reclaiming areas for parks, in his spirit.

Lynn Pacifico

Clarifies statement on smoking ban

To The Editor:

Re: “Hundreds rally Downtown to can the smoking ban” (news article, July 30):

The paraphrasing of my remarks makes it sound as if I believed that community needs, such as crowd control and no noise, should be balanced with “nightlife industry” needs. This is absolutely not true — we were speaking about balancing needs in figuring out enforcement. Laws must be enforced — but you can’t just fine bar owners when patrons don’t listen to them. Putting the entire burden of enforcement on business owners has also been shown to be dangerous. But foremost, the community needs to sleep, not suffer from secondary smoke, have adequate sanitation, and access to sidewalks must be met. I can’t imagine that any responsible business owner wouldn’t agree.

I also never said that business would rebound as people got used to the law — because I don’t concede that business has suffered from the smoking law and not from our economic problems. I did say that people would get used to no smoking in bars and restaurants and the culture would change — just as it has in offices. I am sure that economic recovery is dependent on more than smoking — and economic development is a lot more complicated than renting only to businesses that can pay the highest rent short term.

Susan Stetzer

Diether’s demotion is distressing

To The Editor:

I was very distressed to learn that Doris Diether was recently removed from her position on the zoning committee of Community Board 2. Diether has always served us all unstintingly and faultlessly, so her removal came as quite a surprise.

Diether has been invaluable in helping the tenants in my building in the past to become actively involved in zoning issues pertaining to us. But all of the citizens of the West Village have greatly benefited from Diether’s service on the committee for the past 39 years. To lose her is to lose not only her extraordinary knowledge of the laws, rules and day-to-day workings of the city, but also to lose a strong advocate for this very special community.

We are all indebted to Diether, and I hope that she can be reappointed to the zoning committee at the earliest possible opportunity. We need her badly.

Cheryl S. Bulbach

Familiar with Times’ idea lifting

To The Editor:

Re “Washington Post: Times ‘lifts ideas’ from Villager” (news article, Aug. 6):

You guys really gave it to the Times. That City Section really requires them to use The Villager as a stringer because their neighborhood writers really don’t know the areas the way you do and have to get their leads from you. So you have the Times’ arrogance because they hate to admit they didn’t initiate a story. Denny Lee and Kelly Crow were always calling me after spotting a potential City Section story in The Villager. Maybe The Villager will begin to get more credit but you’ll have to keep tabs on them. One other point: You’re covering the Village much more thoroughly than it was ever covered before. You’ve gone from 12-to-16 pages to 36 and there’s much more stuff in it. In effect, the Times has made you its neighborhood bureau, but without recognition.

Ed Gold

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