Letters to the Editor, Week of Aug. 17, 2017

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

Only in Newell’s dreams

To The Editor:

Re “Squadron resignation shakes up landscape; Special election likely” (news article Aug. 10):

Very disappointed in this hastily written and poorly researched article in The Villager. Basically the only one this reporter spoke to was a long-shot candidate with no chance of winning by the name of Paul Newell.

With a straight face Newell proclaims himself the leading candidate for Squadron’s state Senate seat and his wildly exaggerated estimations of support are added to the article as fact. This is the same man who confidently predicted he would be elected to the 65th Assembly District last fall. Let us not forget he was summarily demolished by Yiou-Line Niou and finished a distant third.

In reality, it is too early to know anything for sure because all the candidates have not yet announced. If Assemblymember Niou chooses to run, obviously she would carry the most widespread support within the County Committee and Newell and Downtown Independent Democrats’ Sean Sweeney both know that full well. Brain Kavanagh would also command wide support.

Dear Villager, please strive for more objectivity going forward and stop serving as a forum for Paul Newells’s elaborate fantasies.

Timothy Spruches


Dealing with Trumpites

To The Editor:

Re “Sharing the Shore uneasily with Trump supporters” (notebook, Aug. 10):

I share Kate Walter’s dismay at the election of Donald Trump. That said, it wouldn’t do her any harm to pipe down a bit at restaurants and parks. I’m not saying that you can’t talk about your politics or you should be intimidated by people who don’t share them. But if the people at the next table, or some guy on a bench several feet away, can follow your conversation, you are probably being rude by being too loud. I would find it annoying if strangers curdled my limited recreational time by forcing me to hear their political views, even if I agreed with them.

As for your seasonal beach mates from Patterson, why not ask them a bit about why they are Republicans or what they liked about Trump? Leave the denunciations of their candidate at home; few people respond to condemnation with openness. Be respectful and open and share your own concerns about Trump in the same non-inflammatory manner. They may not respond similarly. But then again, they might and you may be able to get a dialogue going that helps you both understand a bit more fully.

Don’t expect to change any minds quickly. Just humanizing each other a little is the victory.

Cormac Flynn


Chinatown double standard?

To The Editor:

As a member of Community Board 3, but primarily as a resident Chinatown advocate and activist, I could not keep silent anymore.

It is disturbing to see C.B. 3 apply different sets of rules when it comes to the State Liquor Authority Committee’s handling of applications.

During last month’s S.L.A. Committee meeting, I was there to oppose the application of MJK Foods Lic# 1301890 and had argued that it would be irresponsible and reckless to approve an on-premises full liquor license for operators without experience in the restaurant / bar business. But the argument fell on — intentionally? — deaf ears and the application was approved. I was merely using an argument the committee itself had previously used to deny an application.

During the September 2015 S.L.A. Committee meeting a full-service Chinese restaurant, Hwa Yuan, at 42-44 East Broadway, applied for an O.P. full liquor license but was rebuffed by committee members because the owner lacked “experience.” Instead, the committee instead “floated” a wine-and-beer license, which the applicant had no choice but to accept.

So, why was Hwa Yuan subject to a different set of rules? Why was C.B. 3’s S.L.A. Committee even considering criteria that the New York State S.L.A. doesn’t?

Yet, MJK was approved? Is there a double standard when it comes to Chinese applicants? Are they subject to a different set of rules and scrutiny?

East Broadway was once teeming with Chinese businesses as far down as Clinton St. But in recent years gentrification has pushed Chinatown businesses back to Pike St. Many of these businesses struggle to survive month to month.

Hwa Yuan is a beautifully designed tri-level restaurant serving traditional Chinese specialties that is an anchor for this block of Chinatown and has drawn visitors and diners to the area. Hwa Yuan’s original location, which closed in the ’80s, was just two doors down.

One would think the community board would have the area’s economic health in mind but this example shows otherwise.

Are there special interests involved here?

Karlin Chan


Club’s transparency?

To The Editor:

Re “Pier55 meeting, Part II” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Aug. 3):

Any meeting between “Pier55 lawsuit plaintiffs from The City Club of New York and the Hudson River Park Trust and representatives for Barry Diller” should be public. The notion that they may be pressing for “a much higher degree of transparency and public review” is farce, particularly considering their own lack of transparency regarding both these meetings and their only recently revealed, long-hidden lawsuit funding source. These facts alone render this lawsuit and its hidden considerations dangerous, whereas formerly they were, in my opinion, merely pompous and ill-considered.

Under what and whose authority do these plaintiffs have the right to speak for — or particularly to negotiate on behalf of — the entirety of the Hudson River Park waterfront and the general public? They are neither elected nor appointed officials.

This process must be stopped in its tracks, and the plaintiffs first make their case to Hudson River Park communities all, not just the Village. Proceeding without community assent, and out of the public eye, means only that something is being hidden.

Mr. Fox’s history as a waterfront advocate does not confer upon him actionable communitywide authority. The lawsuit, though public, does not confer upon the plaintiffs the right to privately settle a public matter. Fox’s history as a waterfront profiteer, which we hear much less about, and is never personally characterized here, ought to raise red flags.

This community is presently allowing a privately funded lawsuit to drive public policy. Consider if the lawsuit was, in the eyes of the community, the opposite — as in, not in the best interests of the community. The issue here is not the result, it is the authority. Currently, it has been ceded to private individuals, funded by a developer.

Who is in the room? The non-transparent Trust, the non-transparent so-called City Club and the developer. That is all everyone Downtown needs to know.

Patrick Shields


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, 1 MetroTech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published.