Letters to The Editor, Week of Sept. 27, 2018

‘Peopleway guinea pigs’

To The Editor:

Re “L work already hell, East Side residents tell agency officials” (news article, Sept. 20):

Now, in addition to all the flaws we have cited in the city’s plan for the L train shutdown, and despite the sensible alternatives we have promoted, we see that the city is also putting us at risk for grave illness or perhaps even death. Our local politicians say they will “hold them accountable,” but I am not sure what that means, or if anyone has the stomach to do it.

It is shocking to hear Byford and Trottenberg claim they will look into the health and safety issues in response to specific complaints. As the “experts” they claim to be, shouldn’t all these dangers have been anticipated and factored into their planning? Doesn’t it give pause that they claim they will first look into it now? They clearly do not know or do not care what they are doing, as they zealously pursue their social agenda to promote Transportation Alternatives’ long-touted 14th St. Peopleway plan at the expense of us all being treated as guinea pigs!

It wasn’t until 2016 that former E.P.A. Administrator Christine Todd Whitman admitted they all lied when they told an unsuspecting public that it was safe to go back to their homes around Ground Zero only weeks after 9/11. Has anyone been held accountable for the resulting serious health issues and loss of life? None that I am aware of!

The assertion that people exiting subways at Sixth Ave. and 14th St. would need extended sidewalks to make it back to Union Square is just another absurdity. Since when is that a destination spot for hordes of people a day, and who in their right mind would go there if it wasn’t necessary?

There are some obvious and safe solutions.

First, temporarily relocate vendors off of 14th St. and around the corner onto the avenues.

Second, do not expand the sidewalks for an illusory pedestrian demand based on voodoo assumptions.

Third, keep four lanes of traffic on 14th St. to allow maximum flexibility for east/west transportation demands; not only for buses but for ambulances, fire trucks, sanitation pickup, deliveries and people needing access to their homes and businesses.

Also, cyclists represent a minuscule portion of the commuting public and even less of the electorate. Who among us believes bicycles can replace the work of cars and that our citizenry is able enough to embrace them in meaningful numbers? The microscopic minority cannot be allowed to ride roughshod over the vast majority.

Simply, 12th and 13th Sts. are too narrow and too congested to accommodate a last-minute homage to Transportation Alternatives by adding bikeways unrelated to the needs of the L train “alternative service plan” for a speculative number of potential users.

David R. Marcus
Marcus is a founder and steering committee member, 14th Street Coalition


Cuomo’s win, in context

To The Editor:

Governor Andrew Cuomo shouldn’t be proud of his 2018 Democratic Party primary win. Out of 5,621,822 registered active potential Democrats, only 978,138 voted for him, while 512,585 voted for Cynthia Nixon and 4,134,685 who voted for None of the Above by staying home.

In reality, when you add up the combined votes of Nixon with those who stayed home by voting for None of the Above, less than 18 percent of registered Democrats supported Cuomo.

He had the benefits and perks of eight years being governor, including daily free media coverage. Don’t forget periodic mailings from state agencies and authorities, at taxpayers’ expense, promoting his so-called accomplishments.

Virtually every state Democratic Party city, state and federal elected official, district and county leader and local clubhouse, along with most labor unions, endorsed him. This included mailings, phone banks and get-out-the-vote drives.

He raised more than $32 million primarily from pay-to-play and other special-interest groups. Cuomo spent more than $25 million. This included a media buy in the millions. His campaign commercials ran 24/7 on most channels for weeks. His primary opponent Cynthia Nixon raised $2.5  million.

Ms. Nixon was vastly outspent and could afford a very limited media buy to get her message out.

Larry Penner


Day the music died

To The Editor:

Re “A big night for the Night Owl and ’60s Village music scene” (news article, Sept. 13):

I am one of the original band members of The Yellow Brick Road, which had the distinction of being the last band to play music at the Night Owl on its last evening before it closed the next day. We were up for the last set of the night somewhere around 1 a.m. This was the summer of 1967.

I received a call from the club the next day regarding our scheduled performance that night, and was told that we were not to appear because the club had closed.

One of the most notable later “big-name” acts who played there regularly as an unknown, but was omitted from the article, was James Taylor and his band The Flying Machine. My drummer and I, who lived in Flushing, regularly went to the Night Owl on our college breaks and well before we were fortunate enough to be hired to play there. Indeed, in his hit “Fire and Rain,” Taylor wrote a verse with an allusion to the band when it broke up.

On my law office wall, I have a framed collage of photos of the band playing at the Night Owl and one with the band name on the awning marquee. I still play music in the Boston area, now in a country band, but the memories of that summer will stay with me forever.

Gordon N. Schultz


Night Owl all-stars

To The Editor:

Re “A big night for the Night Owl and ’60s Village music scene” (news article, Sept. 13):

Thanks for covering this exciting night of music and celebration! I must say I was honored to perform on the same stage as my heroes from the Night Owl days. In addition to John and Steve from the Spoons, there was Jake Jacobs and John Townley (The Magicians), Peppy Castro (Blues Magoos), Peter Gallway (The Strangers), Michael Orrell (The Little Flowers) and, of course, The Boss, Joe Marra! So fun!

Peter Sando


E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words, 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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