Letters to the Editor

Thanks for hearing us

To The Editor:

Re “Soho BID needs work” (editorial, Nov. 3):

We are very grateful to you for running the editorial in opposition to the business improvement district. As a resident of Soho, since the ’70s, I’ve seen many changes. The BID is the worst thing that could happen to the neighborhood and its residents. Thank you for providing a way for our voices to be heard.

Ronnie Wolf

United against Soho BID

To The Editor:

Re “Soho BID needs work” (editorial, Nov. 3):

It was heartening to see that you have taken a firm stand against the Soho BID. We in the community are united in our opposition.

Joyce Kozloff

O.W.S. pros outweigh cons

To The Editor:

Last Thursday night I went down to an off-site sustainability meeting for Occupy Wall Street. Our community garden needs compost and they have it. It’s a win-win. As I walked to the bus I passed young adults in my neighborhood partying in a bar and at a well-heeled gallery opening. When I got to the meeting area there was an atrium full of young adults — and people of other ages — gathered in clusters strategizing about media, sustainability, sanitation, facilitation, education, etc. on behalf of O.W.S.

Did you know that after their generators were taken they hooked up bikes to batteries to power their electricity? Did you know they are looking into solar power and building a model wind generator? They are creating power-generation models that we might all need to know how to build someday. They are figuring out recycling. (City parks are not required to recycle.) They are composting, they have a gray water reclamation model. They are building possibilities for sustainability that as community gardeners we’ve been working toward for more than 30 years now.

On the Lower East Side, we still have a vibrant neighborhood: diverse, interesting and rich in culture and uniqueness. I wouldn’t trade it for anywhere else.

But in my neighborhood another teenager was murdered a few weeks ago, despite the courageous attempts by his parents to organize against youth violence. One of the few remaining low-income senior homes was sold for luxury condos. Those longtime residents were scattered away from friends and families. More unemployed workers and fewer housing options for this community’s elderly resulted. I wish we had thought to “Occupy Bialystoker.”

As a parent, I know it’s hard to live next to noise and crowds. We’ve been subjected to an unending barrage of luxury construction on the Lower East Side and a high-end bar scene that has generated noise, murders and not a few wasted evenings spent trying to rein this scene in. We have seen a burgeoning of mindless wealth accumulation and the required mind-numbing activity that accompanies it. We have seen the despair in our low- and middle-income youth over the realization that they will never be a part of the American Dream while witnessing the relentless economic decline of their parents. Over-the-top wealth inequity is not news here.

If I had a choice between living with the (loud) sounds and inconveniences of youth organizing for a better world, trying to take charge of their futures, as well as the future of all of us, or living with the status quo — I know what my choice would be.

They are welcome next door to me. Bring it all. Drums too. Because I think it may be past time to end our silent consent to the travesties going on around us.

K Webster

Why AIDS memorial is different

To The Editor:

Re “Should AIDS be part or all of park triangle memorial?” (news article, Nov. 3):

All of those events, the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, 9/11, etc. were not preventable. AIDS is preventable now, and the kids need a reminder of what we went through in the ’80s. It would be a remembrance and a public service to make this entire park an AIDS memorial.

I said to a friend recently, while trying to explain what it was like in 1983, “Look around the bar at all these beautiful guys. Now imagine more than half of them dead within a year. Imagine the funerals, the loss, the terror of being 20 and seeing everyone around you sick and dying.”  

There needs to be a place to not forget that we have to live with this safe sex every single day. There’s no law to use a condom, but there is a law to keep the fire stairs unlocked as a result of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire. We need this memorial.

Robert Presar

We still need a hospital

To The Editor:

Re “Should AIDS be part or all of park triangle memorial?” (news article, Nov. 3):

The more than 40 individuals and AIDS service organizations that came to Community Board 2’s full board meeting last month were more interested in the art design for a memorial than asking for or demanding adequate healthcare for the community living around the triangle and beyond with a plea for a hospital.

Mourning the dead while neighbors suffer and die without a hospital. Let’s get the priorities straight.

An AIDS memorial exists on the Hudson River waterfront, featuring a 42-foot-long granite bench, words from a Finnish folk song and former pier pilings.

Jackson Square Park was brought back to its glory by Stephen Petrino, a New York City Parks Department landscape architect who died of AIDS as the park was rededicated.

Do we really need an AIDS park?

Members of the Queer History Alliance should think about this on their next emergency crosstown trip because they and their friends wanted a memorial to the dead and did nothing to demand a hospital for the living.

As for the Sisters of Charity of the Roman Catholic Church and the triangle: Let’s see no condom education — God hates fags — but we can make millions off AIDS caring for the “sinners.”

The good Sisters of Charity handed St. Vincent’s Hospital to the thieves who drove it into the ground with mismanagement.

We need a hospital. Pray to Jesus that no one dies without a hospital.

Timothy Lunceford

Glick helps shed light

To The Editor:    

Re “A politician’s personal reflections on St. Vincent’s” (talking point, by Deborah Glick, Oct. 27): 

I am truly sad and actually frightened that we will be without St. Vincent’s Hospital.

By now we’ve all heard a variety of reasons for the demise of our local hospital. Still, it hasn’t been made clear at all how it closed or who caused the closing.

Further, the current decisions and plans for the former hospital site’s future are varied and, I believe, possibly tinged with politics.

So, though the puzzle has not been completely solved, thank you, Deborah Glick, for “listening,” and for a most cogent review of the puzzling situation. 

 Annette Zaner

The Doors — think about it

To The Editor:

Re “Uncivil and dangerous” (letter, by Bill Weinberg, Oct. 3):

Mr. Weinberg provides an extreme example of hostile selfishness. Actually, two examples.

I could match that with the callous indifference manifested by an exiting motorist who flung his car door open and caused me to crash into his door violently. I suffered multiple fractures in my wrist and forearm.

But I wonder if what really hurts America the most is the absence of small gestures of courtesy and goodwill in ordinary, daily life.

Some 45 years ago I recall a man holding open a door for a woman in a bustling Grand Central Station. That kind of a small act of courtesy, alas, seems largely gone in today’s “every-man-for-himself, dog-eat-dog” society.

P.S.: I don’t believe dogs eat other dogs.

Michael Gottlieb

The tech it is a-changin’

To The Editor:

Re “E-books and online orders beating pulp out of an indie store” (news article, June 23):

The times they are a-changin’. I remember when we pasted up every column of print on the boards at the Village Voice. What happened to all those paste-up artists?

I worked at an insurance office once where we pasted every commission of every salesman onto a file card by hand.

I toiled at an office at a manufacturing plant where every purchase order and invoice was organized and filed by hand — feeling superior to the guys on the factory floor who actually touched the product.

None of these jobs exist anymore and the sad thing is there are not many new jobs to replace them.

I buy e-books and send e-mail and I probably won’t go back to using a typewriter or a quill pen.

Richard Kopperdahl

E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to news@thevillager.com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 515 Canal St., Suite 1C, NY, NY 10013. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. The Villager does not publish anonymous letters.