Letters to the editor

V.I.D. president’s letter misleading

To The Editor:

I am writing in response to Chad Marlow’s letter in last week’s Villager (“Does candidate speak for herself?” Aug. 27):

In the letter, Chad alleges that I am not independent-minded and that I am in fact running at the behest of other people. Chad is simply wrong and misrepresents the facts. I have always been a freethinker and I will bring an independent voice to the position of female district leader. Although I am endorsed by the Lower Manhattan Alliance for Progressive Political Action, I am also supported by the Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats, the 504 Democrats and hundreds of community leaders.

Chad makes several misleading and false statements in his letter. His first is that I have “failed to demonstrate an ability to think and act independently of District Leader Arthur Schwartz.” This is just not true. In 15 years as a resident of the Village, I have worked in coalition with many of our community’s leaders, but my decisions and actions have always been my own. If voters look at my history as a neighborhood activist, president of the Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats and as a New York representative to the Democratic National Platform Committee in 2000 they will see that I have a strong voice and a solid record of independence.

Chad also suggests I have done something questionable by paying for my campaign literature through Campaign for a Better Greenwich Village — the political action committee affiliated with LaMAPPA. This is a red herring and Chad, as a political club president, knows that it is. Political clubs frequently set up political action committees that are used every year by different candidates.

I believe that Chad is raising these untrue allegations at this time as an attempt to distract Democratic voters from the important choice at hand. The issue isn’t which candidate Chad supports, but which candidate the voters believe will be the best Democratic district leader. Towards that end, voters should be spending the final week before the primary learning about the three qualified candidates’ records and positions on the issues. I believe when voters do this, they will clearly see that I am the best choice for the job because of my record of accomplishments and experience building coalitions and uniting people in support of core Democratic values.

I chose to run for district leader because I believe that I can bring a more compassionate, tolerant and progressive voice to the Democratic Party at a time when our party needs strong leadership. Again, I hope when voters go to the polls on Tuesday, Sept. 9, they will vote based upon the candidate’s qualifications, her positions on the issues and her determination to make our community and the Democratic Party better.

Cynthia Smith

Smith is a candidate for district leader in the 66th Assembly District, Part A

Smith is an independent voice

To The Editor:

Re “Does candidate speak for herself?” (letter, by Chad Marlow):

As president of Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats, I was surprised by the recent letter from my friend and fellow Democratic club president, Chad Marlow, in which he questioned the independence of my predecessor, Cynthia Smith.

Among the characteristics that made Cynthia such a strong president of GLID from 2000-2001 are her fresh thoughts and clear, independent voice. As Chad must know, presidents of Democratic clubs get pressured from many sides. Members, donors, community leaders and elected officials are just some of the parties who weigh in on what they think the president should be doing. During her presidency, Cynthia demonstrated an ability to evaluate the input of these varied constituents and ultimately make decisions based on what was best for the community and the organization.

GLID overwhelmingly endorsed Cynthia with the utmost confidence that she is someone who will follow her intellect and conscience, not toe the line of one faction or another.

We endorsed her not only because she is our past president, but also because of her accomplishments in the community, her stellar work as a representative to the Democratic National Platform Committee and because of her vision for what she will do as district leader.

Brad Hoylman

Hoylman is president, Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats

District leader slams Connor, Gerson

To The Editor:

Re Scoopy’s Notebook, “Gerson Suit Dies” (Aug. 20):

Alice Cancel and John Quinn have brought life to a death certificate. The signature on their petition is of a woman who died several years ago. In 1990, Alice Cancel signed as a subscribing witness on her petition for district leader that she did not collect. In my book, I deem that fraud. New York State Senator Martin Conner currently employs Cancel. Connor also employs the spouse of Grand St. District Leader David Weinberger, and he also employed Elizabeth Acevedo.

Connor was defeated as the New York State minority leader because of his commitment to money rather than the principles to the Democratic Party. Connor is considered an expert in election law. How ironic it is that an elected official would pursue a mother of four who has been employed by Gouverneur Hospital for 37 years while putting her children through college. Why would Connor devote so much of his time and money into attempting to remove me from the ballot? Why would he expend so much of his time in defending the Cancel/Quinn petition, which I allege is permeated with fraud?

The current Civil Court race in the Lower East Side is going to be an extremely close race because there are four candidates competing for the same vacant seat. Assemblymember Sheldon Silver, Connor, City Councilmember Alan Gerson, Cancel and Quinn are all supporting Shlomo Hagler for the Civil Court. I am the only elected party official south of Delancey St. that refuses to support Hagler. I do not take this position likely. I stand on principle with my community and not with patronage.

People may want to know why I am not supporting Gerson for reelection. The Grand St. Cooperatives have been removed from City Councilmember Margarita Lopez’s district and placed into Gerson’s district. Gerson at one point was in favor of creating affordable housing on the undeveloped Seward Park Urban Renewal Area. But no sooner did the lines change, did Gerson’s position change as well. So the question now arises, what is Gerson’s position on the Urban Renewal Site?

Peter Gleason supports the development of low-, moderate- and middle-income housing on the Urban Renewal Site. Gleason believes in ethnic and racial diversity, and these are some of the reasons why I am supporting Gleason and not Gerson.

When Gerson’s campaign manager, Leo Glickman, stated in Scoopy’s Notebook that there is no validity in my attempt to prove that the Cancel/Quinn petition is riddled with fraud, what he really means to say is that there is no credibility in any one of the candidates that were on the petition (Gerson, Marcie Friedman, Kathryn Freed, Hagler, etc.).

Norma Ramirez

Ramirez is female Democratic

district leader, 64th Assembly District, Part B

Editor’s note: As of press time, the Appellate Court had reportedly ruled to let Ramirez stay on the ballot.

Not on Nervo’s election committee

To The Editor:

I was disturbed to read the portion of the your article “Tenant activists attack Civil Court candidate” (news article, Aug. 27) quoting Shlomo Hagler’s campaign alleging I am on the election committee for Frank Nervo. This is just not true. I have not endorsed anyone in this election and am not a member of Frank Nervo’s election committee. I am a member of CoDA which has endorsed Frank Nervo, but besides collecting signatures for CoDA, I have not been involved in the campaign. It was inaccurate on the part of The Villager to report an allegation by Shlomo Hagler’s campaign without confirming the allegation. If The Villager had checked with the Nervo campaign they would have learned that I am not involved. I am not a member of Nervo’s election committee, I have not made a personal endorsement and I have not made a donation, even though requested to do so. The Hagler campaign has confused an ethical issue raised by my office and other legal services offices with election politics. The letter raised ethical concerns that came to the attention of tenant advocates concerned with the rights of unrepresented tenants appearing before Hagler. I cosigned the letter in my professional capacity as the managing attorney at a small legal services organization. It saddens me that the Hagler campaign has taken such a tactic and that The Villager validated this action by printing the misinformation.

Harvey Epstein

Remembers treatment by judge

To The Editor:

Re “Tenant activists attack Civil Court candidate” (news article, Aug. 27):

Thank you so much for your insightful and informative article on Judge Shlomo Hagler.

I am a rent-stabilized tenant who had the terrible misfortune to go before Judge Hagler in landlord/tenant court recently. From the moment I entered Hagler’s courtroom I was treated with contempt while the landlord and his lawyer were treated like dear friends of the judge.

My landlord had attempted to evict me — I have lived in my studio apartment for 27 years — but he lost the eviction. He then took me back to court to sue me to pay his legal fees. We went before Judge Hagler who announced that he was going to reinterpret my lease so I had to pay my landlord’s legal fees. Hagler said he was doing it because he wanted to see his name in The Law Journal. His name hadn’t been in for a few years.

As Judge Hagler awarded my landlord $17,500 in legal fees he smiled at me and said, “Sorry.”

Hagler is doing all he can to end affordable housing and he is bought by the special interest group, the landlords. Hagler represents everything that is wrong with the judicial process. Believe me — I know.

Darlene Margeta

Hagler kicked me off council

To The Editor:

Re “Tenant activists attack Civil Court candidate” (news article, Aug. 27):

After reading Lincoln Anderson’s insightful piece on Mr. Hagler and his dubious court practices, I would like to add another perspective to Shlomo Hagler.

A judge is supposed to be understanding, fair, unbiased, equal to all, have no personal agenda, have a firm morality and ethical base and be able to weigh and balance all the facts in establishing the truth. Hagler is no Solomon. Hagler should not be a judge.

Hagler is one of the people who helped engineer the banning of Elsa Rensaa, Marcia Lemmon and I at the monthly 7th Precinct Community Council meetings. We, the banned trio, were asking questions about crime in our neighborhood. Those questions were not being entered into the public meeting record, so we decided to make our own record by videotaping our questions and the lack of answers.

What Hagler participated in was undemocratic, unlawful, without merit and sleazy. I still believe that crime is much higher on the L.E.S. than what the statistics claim. We are surrounded with burglaries, robberies, stickups, looting, stabbings and murder. Do people really believe the crime hype? Ask Hagler what the problem is with asking questions about crime. In the recent past Grand St. has even been victim to brutal murders. What is the problem with asking questions about crime and making a record?

I had a Civil Court case and had to appear before Judge Schulman and his law clerk, at the time Shlomo Hagler. These two assigned a judge to my case and I ended up with a Republican Judge from Ithaca who had no understanding of New York City at all. To me it really felt corrupt and like they had set me up. After reading The Villager article it brought back all the same feelings and ideas about the corruption in New York City courts. I must say I was shocked to realize that Shlomo Hagler ever made it to be a judge. Both Schulman and Hagler are part of Sheldon Silver’s elite inner circle.

Clayton Patterson

V.C.S. project sets new standard

To The Editor:

Re “New Village school addition is model of contextual design” (news article, Aug. 27):

Summa cum laude accolades go to Leo Blackman who has proved with his Village Community School that well-thought-out architectural design, coupled with a thinking architect, an enlightened client respecting neighborhood scale and solving the client’s space programming needs are not mutually exclusive. Blackman’s successful blending of these elements into the V.C.S. belies all of Cooper Union’s sophomoric design approach to its recently-approved expansion plans at Astor Pl./Cooper Sq. that do exactly the opposite — and this from an institution that teaches architecture.

Equally important, Blackman has shown that good architectural design need not be equated with celebrity architects designing monuments to themselves or to their client’s hormonal-driven psyches.

Leo, if only you could teach the Cooper (and let’s not forget N.Y.U.) administration how to design for expansion in the Village. But then again this gets into a discussion of “theology,” as was pointed out to you by John Sexton at N.Y.U.’s community town hall meeting last April and heaven knows where that would lead to. (Maybe good architecture instead of mediocrity).

Martin Tessler

Thanks for touching tributes

To The Editor:

The family of Tony Dapolito would like to thank you for all the kind words and tributes you have printed since Tony’s passing.

It has been comforting for us to read how well his friendships, insights, advice, caring and community service were appreciated by the residents of the Village.

Thank you again for honoring Tony.

The Dapolito Family

Maven wasn’t muzzled

To The Editor:

Re “The persecution of Doris” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Aug. 27):

Mrs. Diether, and anyone else, has the right to be a guest at most committee meetings. But a guest may not join in committee debate unless his or her comment is invited by the chairperson. That is a rule necessary to good order. Nevertheless, Mrs. Diether was allowed to speak to the sole zoning issue on the 8/21 executive committee agenda. There were a lot of witnesses. It was very evident to me that she wanted to comment and I ruled in her favor.

Jim Smith

Smith is chairperson, Community Board 2

Gerson is doing great

To The Editor:

  After reading the article on Peter Gleason, I wondered, is Gleason’s platform that he was a firefighter, was a police officer and now moved into our area and thinks he knows it? I didn’t read anywhere his stance on issues affecting our quality of life, to name one. He mentioned low-income housing. O.K., we hear that all the time. So what exactly is he expecting that he could do that our councilman supposedly isn’t working on? I guess he doesn’t know City Hall. Unless, of course, since he was a fireman maybe he could have buildings burned down, maybe get them condemned and then “rebuild” in a very short time and declare it “low income.” Does he have a magic wand or something? Is he supposed to be a hero because he had an “office” of sorts at the World Trade Center, was a fireman, cop, etc. Spare me please by not having a platform based on 9/11. What an insult.


No other councilmember has ever done so much, been involved so heavily with communities, reached out to help on crisis after crisis to so many, met with each and every community/neighborhood, listened to so many people and has tried to do so much in such a short time as Alan J. Gerson, especially under such a difficult time, period. He is “homegrown” and that’s fine with us. He knows our issues, is working tirelessly and has and is devoting much of his life, under unique situations, to caring and wanting to make a difference, improve upon our neighborhoods, not just in Soho, Greenwich Village, etc., but especially, the “other” neighborhoods and its peoples and cultures, that every other councilperson before him has ignored. Gleason needs a wake-up call. He is not one of our own and from what I’ve heard so far, is clueless as to our problems and doesn’t know or understand how to get things done and, especially at this point in our communities, where practically every minute can make a difference and that so much depends on not wasting time in getting to know the “players.” Gleason just doesn’t get it that our councilman came on board during such a horrific situation in our community which affected the entire District 1 area in addition to reaching out to areas that no one before Councilman Gerson dared to tread.

  It’s a no-brainer. We need Councilman Gerson and we must realize, especially at this time, that no one could do it any better.


Lillian Tozzi

Tozzi is a founding member, Little Italy Neighbors Association (LINA)