Letters, Week of October 3, 2012

Newspaper’s spine lacks backbone

To The Editor:
Your editorial “Championing Chelsea (Market) Change” [Sept. 19] describes the proposed Chelsea Market zoning change — not “variance” as you minimize it — as unprecedented. There’s a reason for this. No one in their right mind would change zoning to allow private development directly above a public park, at the sole request of the developer.

Jamestown Properties is about to privatize and ring dollars out of open park space and High Line sky views made valuable by over a hundred million taxpayer dollars, meant to create a park for public enjoyment. This is an outrage, yet instead of investigating and reporting what’s behind it — an inside deal between Jamestown, Friends of the High Line and the city, maybe? You fatuously cheerlead the results of a ULURP process that’s become a joke and lecture community groups for rightly demanding accountability from those who should be our public guardians. We’re warned that we won’t be taken seriously when the next proposed change comes to Chelsea. You should worry about being taken seriously yourself.

Is this the kind of analysis, insight and spine we can expect from Chelsea Now’s new ownership? Or should we stop reading now?
David Holowka

Passing felt by many

To The Editor:
Re “Chelsea activist, always on the move, dies at 65” (news article, Sept. 19):

On September 12, 2012, at 12:28pm, a beautiful, loving, caring and kind lady left this earth.

Phyllis C. T. Gonzalez, 65 (May 28, 1947), will be missed like no other. Her passing will be felt by many people.

She was involved in everything imaginable. She gave and found ways to give even when you thought there wasn’t anything left. She would have done anything for anyone, and did.

She meant so much to me and my heart is saddened and at a terrible loss. I will never forget her or the things she did for me with love. I love and miss her, and always will. She will forever have a special place in my heart.

May you rest in eternal peace, until we meet again.
Julie Toole

A beautiful friendship with Phyllis

To The Editor:
Re “Chelsea activist, always on the move, dies at 65” (news article, Sept. 19):

Phyllis will be so missed by all. Everyone who knew Phyllis had the honor of knowing a wonderful person. My mom, Betty (as well as myself), had such a beautiful friendship with Phyllis. I will truly miss her.
Liz Legoff

Wish I had known her

To The Editor:
Re “Chelsea activist, always on the move, dies at 65” (news article, Sept. 19):

I didn’t know her, but wish I had. This is the type of person you want in your life. May she rest in peace. Her work is done. I will try to follow her example.
Linda Lumpkin

Chelsea Now needs new name

To The Editor:
What has happened to Chelsea Now? Rename it Chelsea NOT, because your current stance in favor of the expansion of Chelsea Market is NOT for Chelsea at all.

It’s for money, tourism and business and ignores those of us who live here and for whom it’s not a “destination,” but it’s home.
Simone Weissman

Affordable Housing doesn’t justify Chelsea Market change

To The Editor:
As the neighborhood tenant organization of 40 years’ standing, the Chelsea Coalition on Housing remains opposed to the Jamestown plan.

The last-minute inclusion by the City Planning Commission of a contribution to an “affordable housing fund” doesn’t change our opinion. The prospect of a few housing units does not justify the Jamestown project. The detrimental effects, as well documented in the outpouring of testimony from Chelsea residents and so many of our community organizations in public hearings, are too great.

And the history of similar housing promises shows that these are only promises. We are being kidded. To pretend that the Jamestown proposal will result in permanent affordable housing is a sham and a scam. Offers of affordable housing, when added to a harmful overdevelopment plan, never become reality, and that is just what will happen here.

In fact, the community was ALREADY PROMISED, when the West Chelsea zoning plan was passed years ago, the very housing units — at the Fulton site on 18th Street — that the Jamestown contribution is supposed to fund. Why are city officials asking us for another huge upzoning, when they didn’t deliver on that promise?

We call on Chelsea’s City Councilperson, Speaker Christine Quinn, to stop the Jamestown proposal.
Norma Aviles, Roberta Gelb, Robert Martin, Linda Riera

Chelsea Coalition on Housing

Quinn should hear, heed ‘overwhelming opposition’

To The Editor:
I strongly disagree with your September 19 editorial, “Championing Chelsea (Market) Change.” The overwhelming opposition of the people of Chelsea to the Jamestown proposal — as demonstrated at public hearings and communications to public officials — should be of paramount concern to our representative on the City Council, Speaker Christine Quinn.

Jamestown is asking for a rezoning of its block, not a zoning variance, as your editorial states. A variance would require showing a hardship. There appears to be no hardship here. The Chelsea Market is profitable. A presidential election mailing I received recently urged participation in StopTheGreedAgenda.com. A good place to start would be at the local level with the City Council denying a greedy grab of Chelsea’s sky and ambience.
Hilda Regier

Chelsea Now, give me a break!

To The Editor:
Re “Championing Chelsea (Market) Change” (editorial, Sept. 19):

So, you buy the local press to stifle opposition to development, and then dictate that the time to petition our elected leaders has now ended, and all those who still oppose this project should now go home and give up Chelsea’s zoning for a bunch of empty door prizes (or what you call “gets” — the choice of words speaks volumes!) cooked up by the very board that wanted this project to begin with? Why? Because you bought the community newspaper? Give me a break!
Nick Fritsch

Hospital help for Pier 40’s ills

To The Editor:
Has anyone considered the development of airspace above the St. John’s Center building on West Street as a possible location for a hospital (hello NYU Medical Center), so desperately needed in this part of Manhattan?

Pier 40 could fulfill a critical role providing much-needed parking for medical personnel, staff and visitors with access to the hospital via covered walkways across West Street.

With greater demand for parking on Pier 40, wouldn’t increased revenue ease the demand for funds to complete repairs on the pier?

Resident parking and a hospital are both needed.
Dean Whetzel

Chelsea Piers Apartments

To The Editor:
Re “Mutiny on the waterfront as Durst pitches Pier 40 plan” (news article, Sept. 19):

Has the Hudson River Park Trust forgotten about Chelsea Piers? Why not build luxury apartments and retail around the privately owned Chelsea Piers, and leave Pier 40 as the public park and community sports facilities it was intended to be?
A. S. Evans

Pier squeeze play won’t work

To The Editor:
Re “Mutiny on the waterfront as Durst pitches Pier 40 plan” (news article, Sept. 19):

They might as well have built Westway. There is only so much that can be gotten out of Pier 40. Leave it for ball fields and parking, but remove the side walls to improve the sightlines.
Charlie Walker

Sodas? How about St. Vincent’s?

To The Editor:
If Mayor Bloomberg and his rubber-stamping Department of Health actually cared about the health of this city’s citizenry, then pushing through a half-baked law that will never pass the constitutional test, banning large-sized sugary drinks is hardly the solution. It seems like just another attempt to levy fines against retailers, and I’m sure the mayor realizes that it will do little or nothing to curb the obesity problem.

I realize there are many who agree with him. But is taking away yet another constitutionally guaranteed freedom a wise decision? History has proven that prohibition never works. The people who are cheering this law seem to forget what happens when they deny others their civil liberties.

Aside from the legal issue, I find the mayor’s stance rather disingenuous. If he cared so much about the health of the citizens who put him in office, where was he when St. Vincent’s and Cabrini hospitals closed? I can’t remember him uttering one word to help save those badly needed institutions. I do remember those sites being grabbed up by his friends, the developers.

Honestly, will the miniscule amount of people who become less obese because of this law balance out the need for growing healthcare in this city? It seems that our outspoken mayor only speaks out when it lines his pockets and those of his friends. During the worst economic downturn since the Depression, he somehow managed to become even wealthier. Personally, I worry about the obesity of his bank account.
Jay Matlick

Email letters, not longer than 300 words in length, to [email protected] or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to Chelsea Now, Letters to the Editor, 515 Canal Street, Unit 1C, New York City, NY 10013. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. Chelsea Now reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Chelsea Now does not publish anonymous letters.

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