Letters to the editor

Pushing the envelope

To The Editor:

Re “New push to create South Village historic area” (news article, Jan. 17):

Many thanks for your coverage of the proposed South Village Historic District. As I wrote in a letter to Robert Tierney, chairperson of the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, the Morton Street Block Association voted unanimously and enthusiastically to urge the L.P.C. to designate the entire South Village Study Area as a historic district. The unique block of our street that lies between Seventh Ave. S. and Bleecker St. is included in the study area, as are three public facilities dear to our hearts: the Hudson Park branch of the New York Public Library, the Tony Dapolito Recreation Center and City as School. Just take a look at those three, each one an important architectural work, and then think about the roles they played in the lives of the early 20th-century immigrant population of the South Village! (May I conclude, in all modesty, by noting that it was at my suggestion that those three precious, iconic structures were included in the proposed historic district.)


Albert S. Bennett

Bennett is president, Morton Street Block Association

Changes are coming fast

To The Editor:

Re “New push to create South Village historic area” (news article, Jan. 17) and “South Village district’s time has finally come” (editorial, Jan. 17):

I wanted to thank you both for your extensive coverage and your editorial supporting the South Village Historic District. My family and I have lived on Downing St., which is in the proposed area, since 1993. Just in the last few years, we have begun to see dramatic change nearby. For example, we lost two theaters — Circle in the Square and the Sullivan Street Theater — which were converted to oversized, ugly condos. And already we can see empty lots about to turn into new buildings that presumably would be as out of place as the two examples I cited. The area encompassed by the proposed district to me is as much the real “Village” as is the current Greenwich Village Historic District and is equally worthy of preservation and historic designation.

Keep up the excellent reporting, and thank you for continuing to be the voice of the Village.

David Chan

Chill out on global warming

To The Editor:

Re “Warming up to a mild winter” (front-page photo, Jan. 10):

It is amazing that so many people believe global warming is real and is caused by humans. This myth has been largely promoted by the major media, which gives much attention to those who support it and very little to those who debunk it.

For example, in December, Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma chaired a “Climate Change and the Media” meeting. He said that global warming is a hoax. The meeting received almost no major media attention.

At this meeting, Dr. David Deming, a geophysicist at the University of Oklahoma, stated, “I was contacted by a reporter for National Public Radio. He offered to interview me, but only if I would state that the warming was due to human activity. When I refused to do so, he hung up on me.”

Deming also said that he received an astonishing e-mail from a major researcher in climate change that read, “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.” From about 800 A.D. to 1300 A.D. we had the Medieval Warm Period, when the world was as warm or warmer than it is today. It’s an obstacle to those maintaining that the current warming is abnormal.

People who want to hear the other side can go to www.oism.org/pproject for a scientific debunking of global warming. Also, listed are the names of more than 17,000 scientists, meteorologists and other technical people who have signed a petition stating that there is no convincing scientific evidence to support global warming.

Robert W. Van de Walle

Board driven by…drivers?

To The Editor:

Re “Time to back up: Fix Verrazano toll” (editorial, Jan. 10):

While Village activists and elected officials take great pleasure in blaming Staten Islanders for their traffic woes, if they are really looking for a villain they should grab a mirror. While three-quarters of Village residents don’t own cars, the quarter that do are the most powerful politically, dominating the community board and influencing timid elected officials.

Just do the math! Leaving Long Island — which of course includes Brooklyn and Queens — motorists can bypass Manhattan or drive through it. If they chose to bypass Manhattan they must pay tolls on the Triborough, Whitestone or Throgs Neck Bridges or the Verrazano Bridge. Otherwise, they can use the free East River bridges and plow right on through.

While the Verrazano Bridge has a one-way toll, making its impact more pronounced, it is the four, free East River bridges that draw the excessive traffic to our community. Until our civic leaders have the stomach to face this reality and demand East River bridge tolls, we can expect an endless game of blame the other guy.

George Haikalis

Haikalis is president, Institute for Rational Urban Mobility, Inc., and Village Crosstown Trolley Coalition

Trumping black history

To The Editor:

Re “Tales from the crypt: ‘Trump bones’ shed light on abolitionist believers” (news article, Jan. 17):

Wow! The story about the bones found while digging Trump’s condo-hotel foundation on Spring St. is truly amazing. The facts present a fascinating contrast in cultures and in status when you consider the different players — living and not — who are at the center of the story: Devoted abolitionist clergy and the world’s flashiest developer dude meeting each other through a window in time. Great premise, even though my jaded New York City mind thinks I already know how it’s going to end: a financier making a toast to “history” on the 42nd floor of the building on opening day.

Lawrence White

Turning over a new leaf

To The Editor:

“Garden of delights but also complaints” (news article, Jan. 10):

Your article on the reopening and improvements made to the Liz Christy Community Garden was excellent. But I would also like to say that the work to preserve the garden during the construction was also helped in large part by the New York City Parks Department. Both Assistant Commissioner Jack Linn and Edie Stone, director of GreenThumb, were there, supporting us whenever there was an issue with the construction that impacted the Liz Christy Garden. They also helped get AvalonBay to donate $50,000 for a plant-replacement fund. Borough Parks Commissioner William Castro had his staff address the construction-related rodent problem. Parks also provided a landscape designer, Edie Kean, who met with the gardeners several times to draw up a landscape plan for the new area based on what the gardeners wanted. The garden was saved because Parks, AvalonBay and the Liz Christy gardeners worked together to get it done right. 

The garden is open to the public year-round on Saturdays from noon until 4 p.m. During the spring and summer it also will be open Sundays from noon till 4 p.m. and Tuesdays from 6 p.m. till dusk.

Donald Loggins

E-mail letters, not longer than 350 words in length, to news@thevillager.com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 145 Sixth Ave., ground floor, NY, NY 10013. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel.