Letters to The Editor, Week of May 18, 2017

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

Blaz ‘tech hub’ hypocrisy

To The Editor:

Re “Tech hubbub and rezoning” (editorial, May 11):

I strongly agree with this editorial. Mayor de Blasio is speaking out of both sides of his mouth. He says that affordable housing is his highest priority. But then he says he wants to put the city’s resources behind taking a site that could provide many affordable units in a good location, and developing a “tech hub” that, as the editorial points out, needs no city support and is developing in the Union Square area on its own. This is hypocrisy of the highest order and will not be forgotten in the mayoral election by Village residents.

Katherine Schoonover


Should have been housing

To The Editor:

Re “Tech hubbub and rezoning” (editorial, May 11):

This editorial is right on target. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation has done an amazing job of safeguarding the historic buildings and the quality of the built environment in the Village — keeping the area as a magnet for visitors and a livable community for its residents.

That has required a continuous battle against developers. They simply do not care a whit about the integrity of neighborhoods. The way the tech industry and architecture firms and other small creative businesses have grown on lower Park Ave. organically has been great. These companies have brought jobs, fresh energies and have helped preserve the beautiful old buildings in the area.

If we cannot get affordable housing for the P.C. Richard site, which Mayor de Blasio should have supported — were his priority what he has said it is and not what it really is: catering to developers — we must allow the “tech hub” only if the neighborhood is rezoned in return. This is nonnegotiable.

Joanna D. Underwood


Afraid to challenge Atzmon?

To The Editor:

Re “Now more than ever, free speech lives at Theatre 80” (talking point, by Lorcan Otway, May 11):

So glad that Lorcan Otway stood up to pressure from a small group of people who sought to bully him into canceling an April 30 panel discussion at his legendary Theatre 80 in the East Village.

Some of these folks picketed outside the theater mainly because of the presence of one of the four panelists: jazz saxophonist and author Gilad Atzmon, a Jew who lives in London but was born in Israel and is currently promoting a new book. The protesters believe Atzmon is an anti-Semite and Holocaust denier — allegations he claims are untrue — but they didn’t have the courage to challenge him inside the theater.

A few hassled patrons on their way into the theater with varied insults and one or two obscenities.

“Atzmon has no place in the East Village or anywhere in New York,” stated one of these left-wing fascists, who sounded like the head of a particularly snooty condo board. He seemed literate, but obviously didn’t give a damn about the First Amendment.

That such ugly sentiments exist in the once-freewheeling East Village is kind of shocking. But this is the age of Trump and some lefties are clearly taking on his oppressive style.

Mary Reinholz


It’s not equivalent

To The Editor:

Re “Now more than ever, free speech lives at Theatre 80” (talking point, by Lorcan Otway, May 11):

I object in the strongest terms to The Villager’s apparent attitude that platforming a Jew-hater and objecting to platforming a Jew-hater are equally legitimate points of view. This is the same kind of bogus equivalism that we all reject when the mainstream media does it regarding climate change, for instance.

Bill Weinberg


Geography to Airbnb

To The Editor:

Re “Area has a lot of parks” (letter, by Alec Pruchnicki, May 11):

Alec Pruchnicki needs a geography lesson. Neither Sara D. Roosevelt nor First Park is in Little Italy. Liz Christy is a gem, but it is neither a park — it’s actually a community garden — nor in Little Italy. DeSalvio is an asphalt playground — adults who go inside it without children get ticketed — with just a few plane trees providing a little shade here and there.

If by “NYCHA park,” Pruchnicki means the one on Eldridge St., that is also a playground, and far from Little Italy. Petrosino Park — made smaller than it already was by the Citi Bike takeover of our art-installation space — is in Little Italy. Should that be all for this vibrant, vital community?

I know of no one who lives in Little Italy, young to old and spanning every other spectrum, who does not love the Elizabeth St. Garden.

What is the cause of the housing crisis in Little Italy? Illegal deregulation of affordable housing, including rampant Airbnb. In my building alone, three-quarters of the rent-stabilized units have been illegally deregulated by our landlord. Airbnb followed.

Have I been able to get Mayor de Blasio or Councilmember Chin to lift a finger to address this issue? No. Borough President Gale Brewer has taken some action but neglects to follow up.

There is no need to build what we already have, unless your intention is to reward developers to whom you owe, or from whom you might hope to gain, favors.

Georgette Fleischer


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