Letters to the Editor, June 13, 2012
Duane’s departure turns Missy Scarlett
To The Editor:
About Tom Duane’s decision not to seek re-election — I feel like Scarlett O’Hara: “What shall I do?”
I know that the Chelsea Garden Club will find its efforts much more challenging without his support. He made our group and our efforts possible.
Chelsea flowers because of Tom Duane.
Chelsea Garden Club
Editorial ‘speaks for the Chelsea community’
To The Editor:
Re “CB4 must vote ‘No’ on Chelsea Market expansion” (editorial, May 30):
This editorial truly spoke for the Chelsea community. Beyond representing the voice of the community, it represented the voice of reason at a critical time during which the almighty buck seems to hold ultimate sway, and what really counts for a traditionally diverse, economically mixed and healthy neighborhood has, in many ways, been completely ignored.
The passage from the editorial which had particular resonance says that “An unequivocal ‘NO’ vote will demonstrate that CB4 has heard, and heeded, the will of the very community it exists to serve.”
Yet, in spite of the community’s strong and consistent opposition to Jamestown’s flawed, dangerous and overtly greed-driven proposal, in the end, it did not receive an absolute and unequivocal vote of NO.
While we fully acknowledge and appreciate the Board’s long hours of negotiations to achieve the NO, UNLESS, we also fully acknowledge and admire the 14 Board members who, in the end, had the courage to both hear the community’s voice — and to vote an unqualified NO.
People first, then parks
To The Editor:
The Friends of 20th Street Park need a park very close to their residences in order to read, eat lunch, play chess or toss a football. Aside from tossing a football, all other activities can be accomplished in the comfort of their local abodes — in all seasons, by all kinds of weather. Last fall, a reader had identified quite a few green spaces at a reasonable distance from 20th Street.
Mr. Matt Weiss, president of the park advocacy group thinks that there is only one legitimate space for a park and so many others for affordable housing. He obligingly adds that his group has put together a list of nearly 30 alternative properties in the neighborhood that could create more affordable housing.
I sincerely hope that these sites could each provide more than the 80 units of middle- to moderate-income housing pledged by Community Board 4. They could be only modest in size since Chelsea residents are adamantly opposed to tall buildings, which would spoil their views. If not, we arrive at a grand total of around 2,400/2,500 units — a grossly inadequate figure which is not going to solve the present real estate situation.
The last time Penn South opened its waiting list for two and three bedrooms it received 15,000 applications. The 2,000 people whose names were drawn by lots and put on the list will have to wait several years before moving in. Of course, they could sleep on a park bench — but people reading their books or playing chess might not appreciate their company.
Michelle Raccagni (Chelsea resident)
A Pyrrhic victory against Pepsi, etc.
To The Editor:
Mayor Bloomberg has announced that he’s trying to pass a law limiting the size of sugared drinks able to be sold in the city in an attempt to “fight obesity.” I wonder if achieving a third term in office has caused him to confuse his job description: It’s mayor, not dictator.
As well-meaning as this quest for leaving a legacy might be, even if he manages to pass such a law, it would be a Pyrrhic victory at best. As was pointed out to me by a friend, who is diabetic and doesn’t even drink sugared drinks, “So if somebody really wants to have a larger drink, all they have to do is buy two of them!”
Bloomberg’s soda plan fizzles
To The Editor:
Mayor Bloomberg’s support of the NYC Department of Health’s proposal to ban the sale of beverages over 16 ounces to combat the excessive calories contained in sugary drinks is a waste of taxpayers’ dollars.
There is no coercion used to get customers to purchase beverages. Everyone is aware of both calories and sugar content. High obesity rates have just as much to do with the sedentary lifestyle of many, who spend more time on iPods and home computers than playing sports, exercising after work or just walking.
Following this insane logic, we should also stop stores from selling ice cream, pizza, fries, cake and cookies. The ban will start with just restaurants, movie theaters, stadiums and arenas but will inevitably expand to fast food restaurants, supermarkets, local delis and bodegas. Everyone’s profit margins are dependent upon the sales of large beverages.
Distributors of soda provide gainful employment for thousands of warehouse and delivery people. Restaurants, movie theaters, supermarkets, local delis and bodegas that stock larger sodas and related products assist in providing tens of thousands of additional jobs. All of these people are our neighbors who are just trying to earn a living. Both businesses and employees pay taxes that help pick up the tab for municipal services. Customers purchase these products via free will. Even a child can figure out how to get around this ban. Customers will increase pollution by purchasing two smaller beverages to consume over 16 ounces.
Our economic and civil liberties prosper best when government stays out of the bedroom, marketplace and our stomachs! Just what will the “politically correct” Health Food Police go after next?
New Yorkers face a nine percent unemployment rate with an additional seven percent more who have given up looking, a looming multibillion-dollar municipal budget shortfall, growing 65-billion-dollar long-term debt, long-term pension funding shortfalls in the billions along with critical issues dealing with education, housing, transportation, public safety and the environment, just to name a few. Mayor Bloomberg should lighten up on becoming our Health Food Czar and worry about these more pressing quality of life issues of the day.
Don’t rock the boat(ers)
To The Editor:
The Village Community Boathouse occupies a space on the south side of Pier 40, where we have been in one form or another for more than 15 years. We build and row traditional wooden rowboats, which we use to fulfill our mission of providing free public access to the New York Harbor estuary.
Last year we took more than 1,500 people out on voyages in the harbor, including local high school and college students. The Downtown Boathouse also has a boathouse at Pier 40, where they provided free kayaking to 10,500 people last year alone.
It appears that the Hudson River Park Trust does not fully recognize the true value of Pier 40 to the waterfront community and the public. The Hudson River Park Act calls for using the pier to generate funds to support the rest of the park. The proposals that I am aware of call for placing commercial, revenue-producing enterprises on the pier. However, none of the plans recognize or exploit the physical features of the pier that make it uniquely suited to human-powered boating.
Sheltered from wakes, currents and the wind, the pier’s south side embayment is ideal for running beginner and/or children’s boating programs. The water is warm and deep, and the embayment has no blind spots. In addition, the promenade on Pier 40 runs the full length of the embayment, making it easy to supervise rowers on the water.
As a result of the shape, bulk, mass and orientation of Pier 40, the pier’s south side has a unique microclimate that is found nowhere else on the Manhattan waterfront. The massive structure of Pier 40 causes it to block the cold northerly winds. Being heavy causes it to absorb a lot of sunlight during the day, which is then radiated back as heat during the early evening. The perceived temperature increase is often more than 20 degrees Fahrenheit, giving the promenade a festive, beach-like atmosphere in the summer months.
As various plans are considered for Pier 40, I hope that the Hudson River Park Trust will recognize the gem that is Pier 40 and that human-powered boating is part of the plan for the south embayment.
Curtis is president, Village Community Boathouse
In our May 30 issue of Chelsea Now, the article, “In High Line’s shadow, Christine Quinn weds Kim Catullo,” was written by Paul Schindler — not by Duncan Osborne. We regret the error.
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