Letters, Week of Dec. 5, 2013

The large and the small of it

To The Editor:
Re “East Villagers map out a plan to keep chain stores in check” (news article, Nov. 28):

Whether “small is beautiful” or not is a judgment based on one’s value of heterogeneity, creativity, community and intimacy versus… all those things I think less of. Try to leave your keys at The Source Unltd for a friend to come feed and walk your dog — and say hi to Santo. Then try to leave them at Kinko’s. It’s all one’s choice.

We choose, in the East Village Community Coalition, for the intimacy of community. A local business owner shops in stores nearby, eats in neighborhood restaurants. Their children play in the park. Or send community profits to Bentonville, Arkansas, the home of Walmart. Ours is serious analysis — not “M.B.A. speak” of efficiency.

As to E.V.C.C., it is the same organization that achieved landmark status for the old P.S. 64, the former CHARAS / El Bohio. It’s the same organization that spearheaded the successful rezoning of 111 square blocks of the Lower East Side. It’s the same organization that took critical steps in the saving of St. Brigid’s Church — and took steps with wonderful other groups and individuals in the community’s larger landmark zone. And more.

As for me as a dreaded “developer”… such nonsense. Most of my Lower East Side (and New York) real estate development was building housing for women exiting the prison system, shelter for beaten women, New York City Partnership and Lower East Side People’s Mutual Association housing, housing for homeless veterans and homeless people with H.I.V. and more.

I developed one residential building in the Lower East Side. I spent more years as a community organizer and writer in the Lower East Side than as a developer. Now I am building an agriculture company here in Vietnam. Wonderful street life here in Hanoi. Hello to my friends back home.
Michael Rosen
Rosen is a founder, East Village Community Coalition

Smaller businesses do it right

To The Editor:
Re “East Villagers map out a plan to keep chain stores in check” (news article, Nov. 28):

Small business makes the world turn. It is the main economy. As a small business owner and employer of 16 people in the East Village for the past 10 years, I can tell you that my employees have been much better paid, by far, and much better treated, by far. Why would they stay with me for four, five, six — and some, seven years? Can they make $9.50 an hour as a starting salary, $13.50 as a salesperson and $18.50 as a manager at a big-box store? I don’t think so.

My friends who work in large corporations, which I have done as well, are envious of my ability to actually make decisions, to turn on a dime, and to actually take advantage of market trends. Small businesses are, ounce for ounce, 10 times more productive than big ones.
Dominique Camacho

I didn’t call him ‘Boss’ Johnson!

To The Editor:
Re “The Schwartz-Schulkin shift” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Nov. 28):

While I did have the discussion with Lincoln Anderson about my new position, I don’t recall using the term “boss” regarding Councilmember-elect Corey Johnson. I think that was Lincoln’s comment. I also wanted to thank Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, state Senator Brad Hoylman and the four district leaders, John Scott, Jean Grillo, Keen Berger and Arthur Schwartz. They all had the confidence I would do a good job and work well with them and, of course, my co-state committeeperson, Rachel Lavine. A special thanks to Corey Johnson, who did everything he could to get me in place for the coming year. He will be a strong leader for the people in the Third Council District, but not the boss (LOL).
Alan Schulkin

Schulkin simply spilled the beans

To The Editor:
Re “The Schwartz-Schulkin shift” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Nov. 28):

Actually, the hearsay printed in Scoopy’s Notebook is far more accurate than the quotes given in response in both the actual Scoopy’s item and in The Villager’s comments section. Two other candidates and I weren’t even consulted by the four district leaders, nor were we given any notice that a meeting was to take place, nor made aware that Arthur Schwartz was preparing to resign at a future date. While I regard the new state committeeman as a friend, and have faith that his 30-plus years of activism will allow for him to do a remarkable job, it cannot be denied that he simply spilled the beans when initially speaking with Lincoln.
Dodge Landesman

Illegal hotels hurting Little Italy

To The Editor:
Re “Illegal hotel operator is gone — but so are rent-regulated units” (news article, Nov. 28):

Thank you for this helpful and informative article. Little Italy’s affordable housing stock has been decimated by this black-market activity of illegal hotel rentals, in some cases, with the collusion of landlords. And many of us wonder when our elected officials will step forward to do something about it.

Community Board 2 held a special meeting on Nov. 4 about the fate of the Elizabeth St. Garden, one of the precious few, open green spaces in our area, which is being eyed for affordable senior housing by Councilmember Margaret Chin. If the illegal hotel rentals were ended, we would have a treasure trove of residential units that could be repurposed to their original intended purpose: affordable housing. Ground-floor units could be offered on a first-rights basis to elderly individuals who may have trouble with stairs.

I have not heard that adage in awhile that seems ready-made for this situation: Housing for People, Not for Profit.
Georgette Fleischer
Fleischer is founder, Friends of Petrosino Square

E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to [email protected] 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.

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