Letters to the Editor, Week of May 24, 2018

Protect our community

To The Editor:

As anyone who has walked down University Place knows, Bowlmor Lanes, a neighborhood garage, several small independent businesses, and Stromboli’s pizza are gone. In their place stands one of the tallest towers in the Village, a condominium apparently designed to look like a penitentiary. There’s no affordable housing planned for it, nor is it likely that the retailers who eventually rent space in it will be any different from the shops one now finds in every airport.

Many more towers are planned for the Broadway-University Place corridor between 14th St. and Astor Place. One reason is the area lacks zoning or landmark protections, unlike most of the rest of Greenwich Village. There are no height restrictions in this area. Developers can make money by demolishing almost any building and replacing it with a tall tower topped by a penthouse condo that can be sold to the limited-liability corporation of an unidentified nonresident, who almost certainly won’t live there. Or the razed site can become a large hotel or tech office building of the sort that are also proliferating in the area.

There’s only one way to slow this destruction of our neighborhood. We need the sensible zoning changes and landmark protections proposed by the Greenwich Village Society of Historic Preservation. And we are only going to get them if City Councilmember Carlina Rivera honors her campaign promise and tells the mayor that the only way she’ll support his proposed 14th St. “Tech Hub” is if these necessary protections are provided to the adjacent streets that it would impact.

Eric Rayman

 

Happy ending on B

The financial issues between the 37 Avenue B Housing Development Fund Corporation and the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union have finally been resolved after a long negotiation process.

Both sides are satisfied with the resolution and the H.D.F.C. is moving ahead with needed renovations.

Part of the settlement is that there will be no further media attention, but I want to thank The Villager for its support, both personally and on behalf of the tenants.

Without you we could not have resolved this difficult issue. The Villager, to me, is the epitome of what a local newspaper is all about.

Frank Macken

Macken is community representative, 37 Avenue B H.D.F.C. board

 

Silver betrayed tenants

To The Editor:

Re “Silver twice tarnished as jury convicts him following speedy trial” (news article, May 17):

What former Assembly Speaker Silver did to tenants by weakening rent-regulation laws still injures our community to this day. There should be a separate trial just to spell out in detail how the loss of rent-regulated apartments helped increase homelessness and general misery and undermined what used to be a real community of Greenwich Village neighbors who care for each other.

I have no sympathy regarding Silver’s current age. He enjoyed his power and did not do us well as he made money. Now he should pay.

Barbara Ruether

 

De Blasio wants 14th St.

To The Editor:

The L shutdown plan is a Trojan horse. De Blasio has wanted this 14th St. plan since 2016. They are using a crisis situation to sidestep an environmental impact process and divert traffic onto narrow, historic residential streets that are sitting on ancient infrastructure in perpetuity.

That’s the sleight of hand here and the real issue, which the press has failed to comment on.

On top of which they have used questionable data from 2005 that doesn’t even include Uber, Lyft and the like, which only came into being in 2009. But even so, the city’s Department of Transportation predicts a 50 percent increase in traffic to those side streets.

And they have failed completely in their assessment of where the traffic would actually go. For example, W. 20th St. is now the only through street after Houston St. That street is already completely backed up with traffic, plus sits above a 150-year-old steam pipe that goes from Seventh Ave. to the East River and has exploded and killed people in the past.

Susan Finley

 

Pot trumps prez

To The Editor:

Re “ ‘Sens and the City’; Free the weed!” (news article, May 24):

Pot is an herb. Trump is a dope.

Aron Kay a.k.a. The Yippie Pieman

 

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, 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.

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