Letters to The Editor, Week of Aug. 16, 2018

Rivera betrayed us

To The Editor:

Re “A tale of two ‘Techs’” (news article, Aug. 9):

As president of Friends of Petrosino Square, a neighborhood partner of the preservationist Historic Districts Council, and someone who started life in a walk-up tenement on the Lower East Side, in the Second Council District, I find Carlina Rivera’s “yes” vote on the Union Square Tech Hub one of the most depressing episodes in Downtown history.

As disheartening are Rivera’s self-justifications.

First, her proclamation of a proleptic “string of victories” to come: Does Rivera have a crystal ball in which she can see the future?

Tech education and workforce development for low-income women and communities of color is excellent. But Rivera uses illogic to cast the outcome as an either / or proposition when a leader with backbone would have gotten education and development, the $200,000-per-year sweetener (a teeny, tiny fraction of the developers’ enormous profits) and real, in-place preservation protections.

A leader with integrity would have meant “no unless” when she said “no unless.”

The rest of Rivera’s statements are vague. What “key landmarkings” is she referring to? Could we have concrete evidence? How could Rivera think the Downtown community would be appeased by “a commencement of establishing a protective zoning measure”? Talk of a “protective zoning measure” that is not yet established and, furthermore, not yet commenced does not inspire confidence.

Does “ongoing dialogue on how to preserve the neighborhood” mean get-togethers with low-level mayoral staffers? Similarly, what specific “further resources and commitments” from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Mayor’s Office does Rivera refer to? Based on H.P.D.’s, L.P.C.’s and de Blasio’s track records on preservation, it sounds like plenty of nothing.

Please, Ms. Rivera, after betraying the Downtown community for generations to come, don’t insult our intelligence.

Georgette Fleischer


Should have been upfront

To The Editor:

Re “A tale of two ‘Techs’” (news article, Aug. 9):

The City Council waited until Rosie Mendez was out of office to approve the Tech Hub. Rosie’s accomplishments will be her legacy.

Everybody wanted the Tech Hub as a service to Council District 2 constituents, including the low-income constituents.

Carlina Rivera was in a difficult position. The mayor refuses to include neighborhood protections. It’s possible that the mayor has made promises to some people and cannot renege.

It would have been diplomatic for Rivera to advise the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation that neighborhood protections were dead before the final vote.

Anne Mitcheltree


Not down with that

To The Editor:

Re “‘Whose park? Our park!’ Rebel spirit rocks on at riots 30th anniversary” (picture story, Aug. 9):

Thanks for the mention! Iconicide were born as a direct result of the ’88 police riots. The flag melters were transplant punks, who are proponents of gentrification alongside zombie hipsters. Vanity ploys like that are not in line with tradition.

Chris Iconicide


Can’t be fenced out

To The Editor:

Re “‘Whose park? Our park!’ Rebel spirit rocks on at riots 30th anniversary” (picture story, Aug. 9):

Excellent event. Glad to have been able to say a few words on stage about a piece of three-dimensional graffiti sculpture I did inspired by the 1988 riot and the conditions that led to it, as well as the aftermath of various New York City parks starting to be curfewed in the wake of Tompkins Square.

As a New York City native, my mantra was always go anywhere at anytime despite police or criminal danger. I will still jump the stupid little gate on Avenue A and walk through to Avenue B at night if I feel like it, and you should, too.

Linus Brant


REBNY rules Council

To The Editor:

Re “On the S.B.J.S.A., this time, let’s get it right” (talking point, by Sharon Woolums, Aug. 9):

I want to thank Sharon Woolums and The Villager for never giving up on your efforts to expose the deceit and “What’s in it for me, Jack!” behavior of our City Council, who’ve been called on for decades to save our dying small businesses. Always they find a way to con this great city out of passing the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, which, in one stroke, could protect sorely harassed, often frightened and, yes, frequently criminally extorted owners of our irreplaceable mom-and-pop stores.

What grotesque place is this city going to become if thousands of these stores, giving us economic viability, neighborhood cohesion and our world-famous individuality keep dying?

When Ed Koch defeated the old Democratic machine years ago, he brought into power with him the “real estate billionaires”; the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) is their name, and narcissistic greed is their game. The endless money and power obsession of REBNY, through their influence on the City Council, is what’s making this disease worse and worse.

Bennett Kremen


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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