Letters to The Editor, Week of March 7, 2019

Build anew for tech

To The Editor:

Re “Tech check” (editorial, Feb. 28):

I feel like the approach to zoning in this editorial unfortunately privileges neighborhood aesthetics over what goes on in our neighborhoods. We need to recognize that the tech companies are already here, and that they are wealthy. They will do business where they want to, which is near other established tech firms south of Midtown, from Flatiron to Astor Place.

As such, the real question we face is whether these firms should build their own offices or displace existing businesses from spaces that already exist. You can see this happening in real time, as Google has slowly taken over more of Chelsea Market, and Facebook buys up space from Kmart. Say what you will about the “Death Star” on Astor Place, but it means that IBM isn’t engaging in a zero-sum battle for office space with local therapists and newspapers.

Personally, I would rather the zoning from University Place to Third Ave. allow for taller buildings — in a very literal sense, it would mean more room for everyone.

Will Thomas
Thomas is a board member, Open New York, a pro-housing advocacy group

 

Amazon shall return

To The Editor:

As a New Yorker, I believe that living here in the greatest city in the world attracts the best and brightest folks along with madmen, criminals, bums and the mentally ill by the score. Except for London, I cannot imagine living anywhere else.

I was in Barcelona, Rome, Lisbon, Pisa, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Berlin, Pozan, Warsaw, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Helsinki, Bergen and Hamburg besides London. So, I know of what I write.

Hey, we are going to give Amazon $ billion and they are coming to Queens, promising 25,000 jobs with salaries of about $150,000 a year. But, some stupid lefties went nuts. It was not “giving” those bucks, but tax abatements, which would be returned in the years to come.

But, I still think Amazon will come to New York, since it wants the best and brightest boys and girls. Why would the best desire to live in mediocre cities with all those bucks to spend? Where would they go, the mall, the Dairy Queen, McDreck? Where?

They want to see the big bright lights, here in the old Apple. Amazon will return. I will admit error if I am wrong.

Bert Zackim

 

Happy with Hoppe

To The Editor:

Re “V.I.D. votes” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Feb. 21):

I worry that readers might be misled by your brief report on the Village Independent Democrats’ endorsement for female district leader.

The implication is that I am not happy with the result.  That is so wrong — I am proud of the process and thrilled with Jen Hoppe. She will be a fine district leader.

I want everyone to know how she was chosen. Jen was one of the half-dozen women I spoke with personally, encouraging them to become district leader. When I announced three months ago that I was resigning, I said I planned to find several good candidates, and then let V.I.D. endorse one while the others would support that one. I personally and privately encouraged six potential candidates, and then four of them decided to run. If someone else had also wanted to run, I would have encouraged her, too.

By endorsement night, we had two great candidates, Jen Hoppe and Elissa Stein. I said at that meeting that they were both wonderful, and that I would be happy with V.I.D.’s choice. That is how democracy is supposed to work — a leader is NOT supposed to quietly pick a successor, but the leader should make sure that good successors are ready for the job.

I am very proud of many aspects of my tenure as district leader: The 75 Morton middle school and cookies to poll workers are among the best accomplishments of my life! And I want everyone to know that recruiting good successors, and then trusting V.I.D. to choose, is another proud accomplishment!

Kathleen (“Keen”) Berger
Berger is district co-leader, 66th Assembly District, Part A

 

Beck fact check

To The Editor:

Re “Day the music died? SideWalk cafe closes” (arts article, Feb. 28):

Beck never played SideWalk. His time on the Antifolk scene was when Lach ran The Fort at Chameleon Club.

Frank Griffen

 

Not an ‘office park’

To The Editor:

Re “Local pols put heads together on Pier 40” (news article, Feb. 28):

Yes, the Hudson River Park needs commercial enterprises to operate, maintain and expand the park. But Manhattan does not need another office building. And, an office building in Hudson River Park is not an office park — it is a park. Pier 57 is already an office.

There are greater possibilities to provide revenue for the park within the true nature of Hudson River Park’s original mission. I only hope the politicians and the park’s leadership have some imagination and vision and don’t fall prey to what may be short-term easy but long-term hard.

David Polakoff

 

Just doesn’t add up

To The Editor:

Re “Drugs rampant in Wash. Sq., cops are told” (news article, Feb. 28):

How is it that the police had the manpower to do hundreds of thousands of stop-and-frisks, yet can’t spare a few cops to be in and around the park, in addition to the two in a vehicle? The lack of police presence is an open invitation to the dealers and users to feel free to come and use the park as their base of operations.

If the park really can generate so many arrests, what about moving a trailer or van to there to process the paperwork, so the officers don’t have to go back to the precinct to do it?

Merle Kaufman

 

Looking the other way?

To The Editor:

Re “Drugs rampant in Wash. Sq., cops are told” (news article, Feb. 28):

Years ago I lived very new the park and often walked through it early in the morning. I would see the same dealers daily and I once stopped a cop and said I know these people are dealing but nothing ever happens to them. He said yes but they are low levels dealers so we just leave them alone. Go figure.

Margaret Allen

 

Go vegan for Lent

To The Editor:

March 6 marks the beginning of Lent, the period before Easter, when devout Christians abstain from animal foods in remembrance of Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in the wilderness.

The call to abstain from eating animals is as traditional as Genesis 1:29, yet as current as the teaching of evangelical leader Franklin Graham. Methodist founder John Wesley, Salvation Army pioneers William and Catherine Booth, and Seventh-day Adventist Church founder Ellen White all followed the divine call. Pope Francis has been offered a $1 million donation to a charity of his choice to go vegan for Lent.

A plant-based diet is not just about Christian devotion. Dozens of medical studies have linked consumption of animal products with elevated risk of heart failure, stroke, cancer and other killer diseases. A United Nations report named meat production as the largest source of greenhouse gases and water pollution. Undercover investigations have documented routine mutilation, deprivation and beating of animals on factory farms.

Today’s supermarkets offer a rich array of plant-based meats, milks, cheeses and ice creams, as well as traditional vegetables, fruits and grains. Entering “vegan” in our favorite search engine provides lots of suitable products, recipes, and transition tips.

Nico Young

 

E-mail letters, maximum 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. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published

 

One Response to Letters to The Editor, Week of March 7, 2019

  1. In a letter above, Keen Berger proves yet again what a damn fine person she is. We should thank her for her letter and her years of activism in this community. I feel lucky to know her. If this is a sign that she is stepping away from the public stage, we will all be less protected because of it, but hopefully we can find new ways to keep her steady, mature hand involved.

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