Letters to The Editor, Week of June 7, 2018

Community process is key

To The Editor:

Re “Park Trust must do much better on transparency” (talking point, by Tom Fox, May 31):

As I recently noted in my article in The Villager about Hudson River Park’s 20th anniversary (“After all the hurdles, the finish line is in sight,” May 24), community process, consultation and engagement are primary reasons for the park’s existence and continuing success. To maintain these relationships, staff attend meetings of Community Boards 1, 2 and 4, and of course also the Hudson River Park Advisory Council and other organizations.

In April, the Trust attended a Community Board 4 meeting to start a conversation about Pier 97 now that funding will be available for its completion. We did not design the pier at that meeting, nor were any programming commitments made. Instead, we reviewed the 16-year-old plan with community members, shared program elements that are popular in the park and listened to feedback.

We then promised that a professional landscape team would lead a formal discussion once a team is hired, just as we did for Pier 26 and Chelsea Waterside Playground. At that point, broader outreach will occur, including to the historic vessel community.  We certainly want to ensure that historic vessels can take advantage of the marine infrastructure that is already part of Pier 97.

Regarding Pier 57, we similarly provided early updates to the community board and the Advisory Council about some potential lease changes, and we did this before negotiating those changes with Pier 57. Feedback from these early discussions has been informing our ongoing negotiations, but it doesn’t mean we are “done” with community input. Once plans and other materials are ready, they’ll be posted on our Web site for all to see and review at least 30 days before a formal public hearing.

Showing up at meetings to discuss matters formally and informally is part of a broad effort to ensure the public is informed and that we are accountable. So is advertising all of our board meetings on our Web site, in advance, and with agendas. But we don’t control the community boards or the Advisory Council, nor should we. That’s the whole point of public process.

Madelyn Wils
Wils is president and C.E.O., Hudson River Park Trust 


Courageous editorial

To The Editor:

Re “S.B.J.S.A. prep” (editorial, May 31):

No one in New York can stand seeing our favorite small shops being shuttered. It’s like a disease has hit the city, a bad one. I very much appreciated the courageous effort The Villager is engaging in to make the public aware of where this plague is coming from and how this so called “legal issue” is being used to perpetuate the virulence of this curse. Thank you.

Bennett Kremen


Time to show the proof

To The Editor:

Re “S.B.J.S.A. prep” (editorial, May 31):

Finally, someone in the media has asked lawmakers to show proof of their real estate talking point — “The S.B.J.S.A. is illegal.”

The Small Business Jobs Survival Act is not a new bill that needs extensive research to determine its legality. In fact, it is the oldest pending legislation in New York City Council history, dating back to June 1986. As such, due to the vigorous battle that the real estate lobby — the Real Estate Board of New York — has waged against this bill, it has been challenged many times over the past 30 years. The bill has won each challenge. That is why everyone who makes this fake claim has no legal facts to substantiate it.

If Council Speaker Corey Johnson is sincere in promoting a progressive agenda, then he can start by directing those in the Council’s law department who first made this claim to resolve it with real legal proof.

The grave injustice to the S.B.J.S.A. that happened after the first hearing in June 2009 can never be allowed to happen again, for the sake of our small business owners and their employees. Instead of a real solution coming out of City Hall at that time, instead a real crisis was fueled.

Steve Barrison
Barrison is executive vice president, Small Business Congress of New York


Ackers’ L.E.S. spirit

To The Editor:

Re “Ackers handoff” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Week of May 24):

In Clayton Patterson’s numerous projects, he celebrates quintessential characters and outlaw saints. The Acker Awards are a perfect example of his insight into claiming history. This invaluable award recognizes a diverse community, helps define it, and honors the movers and shakers of its tribe.

I was lucky enough to know Kathy Acker and publish her. The awards embody her spirit: courage, contribution, excitement. These are hallmarks of the Acker Awards. I’m proud and very grateful to have received one.

I feel Kathy would have been pleased to be remembered in this way. A fierce pioneer, she would understand the encouragement this nonacademic award gives to her spiritual kin.

Congratulations on hitting five years, Clayton. And let me say, thank you, on behalf of Downtown. I definitely volunteer to be on a committee.

Long live the Lower East!

Jeffrey C. Wright


Rain made it clear

To The Editor:

Re “It rained on their parade, but they danced on” (picture story, thevillager.com, May 26):

The rain further proved the strength of our culture and our support for dance. What could be more beautiful than that?

Marilyn Meyers


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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