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Your Letters: Week of March 23, 2017

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

To The Editor:

Since 1997, I’ve tackled the ongoing daily ups-and-downs of my own wholly life-altering traumatic brain injury, caused by Con Edison’s now so-called stray voltage. Much of the media’s limited focus when they cover the more “sensational” incidents emphasize “remarkable recoveries,” “exceptional care” and “vast support.”

The typical brain injury story actually is usually a very complex, erratic, gritty, and lasting one, with no less inspiring or heroic elements than the media models. Each one is also replete with a dire need for a better understanding, support, respect, and covered or affordable services and therapies. Many of the injury’s symptoms are often recognized only by its survivors or the most sensitive care providers, who themselves are likely to be baffled by the overwhelmingly and even contradictory array of systemic challenges.

Professionals and the general public need to more carefully educate themselves about these injuries so as to improve prevention and care for this devastating, yet often preventable, menace that, statistics show, hurts more lives than any other health threat, and for which everyone is at risk.

Improved awareness and care may begin by obtaining information from organizations like the Brain Injury Association of America (, by encouraging more in-depth representation in the media, and by fair and compassionate action by our legislators and health care providers.

Phil Vanaria

On the origin of Save Chelsea

To The Editor:

Re: Letters to The Editor (March 9, 2017; “The struggle to save Chelsea continues”):

Gloria Sukenick’s letter states: “Save Chelsea had its beginning with Jane Woods’ Chelsea Coalition on Housing.”

Taking nothing away from the monumental accomplishments of Jane’s group, I’d like to clarify. Save Chelsea’s origin was (as with so many other worthy beginnings) with Bob Trentlyon. Its earliest meetings were in Bob’s living room where a group of neighbors gathered to plan opposition to the General Theological Seminary’s sell-out to The Brodsky Organization. Their plan was to build a 17-story block-long glass tower on Ninth Ave.

We became “Save Chelsea Historical District.”

The battle raged for over two years when the Seminary and Brodsky caved to community pressure. The result is the structure we see now.

It is thanks to Ed Kirkland’s achievement, the Chelsea Plan, limiting building heights to 75 feet, that we had a weapon to wield.

Victorious, we met to chart our course forward as a local preservation group, broadening our scope to encompass the larger neighborhood. We became “Save Chelsea.” We invited key members from Jane’s group to join us. Their contributions have been invaluable.

Save Chelsea has engaged in numerous struggles to preserve our heritage while advocating for preservation of our diminishing besieged stock of rent-regulated housing.

I want here to thank Gloria for her lifelong commitment to the struggle to keep people in their homes, and to provide new housing for people in need.

Pamela Wolff

CCBA is privileged to be part of the community

To The Editor:

Re: PeopleWay, Yea and Nay: Debating the Fate of 14th Street (Talking Points, March 9):

Creating a PeopleWay and prohibiting vehicles on 14th Street will be terrible for the adjacent side streets. Our March 9 Talking Point opposing the PeopleWay — which was written by members of the 14th Street L-Line Closing Extended Task Force (a group initiated by the Council of Chelsea Block Associations, aka CCBA) — speaks for itself.

With regard to the Transportation Alternatives (TA) Talking Point in which Mr. Nadal, writing for TA, stated that he had the impression “that the CCBA is currently acting as a special interest lobbying group defending only the views of the most privileged fraction of the community.” CCBA responds as follows:

CCBA is privileged to have formed 59 years ago and now is a coalition of 15 block associations covering 25 blocks in Chelsea with a mission to strive to improve the quality of life of those who live in, work in and visit Chelsea.

CCBA is privileged to have formed our Community & Residents Protection Working Group (CRP) that has identified illegal activities by landlords impacting rent-regulated and other tenants; information given to the appropriate persons/agencies.

CCBA is privileged to have supported a new bike lane and micro-gardens along Sixth Ave. in conjunction with CHEKPEDS, a coalition for pedestrian safety whose logo reads, “Less Traffic Better Streets.”

CCBA is privileged to work with the Fulton and Elliott-Chelsea Houses Tenants Associations, to help coordinate their receiving film donation money when filming activities take place on blocks by their buildings.

The above example activities relate to all segments of our Chelsea community and it is CCBA’s privilege to be involved.

Bill Borock

President, CCBA


Re: “West Side Workshop Troubleshoots L Train Shutdown” (posted to March 1):

The article could have used some of the space devoted to trashing Transportation Alternatives to explain the concepts behind the PeopleWay idea. I live on 14th St. and believe it is a perfectly viable way to redesign the street to move the most people along the corridor in a safe, efficient and more pleasant manner, rather than just trying to put more buses on the street. I believe it would reduce vehicular traffic not just on 14th St. but on the surrounding streets as well.

Blair Bertaccini

E-mail letters to [email protected] (not longer than 250 words in length) or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to Chelsea Now, Letters to the Editor, NYC Community Media, One MetroTech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. 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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