Letters, Week of Jan. 8, 2015 | East Villager & Lower East Sider

Letters, Week of Jan. 8, 2015

Climate justice, now!

To The Editor:
At its last general meeting, the Village Independent Democrats unanimously passed a resolution calling for climate justice. To those who know V.I.D.’s history and commitment to progressive causes, this will be no surprise.

V.I.D. has been in the forefront in the fight to protect our environment. Our early support of Zephyr Teachout and Timothy Wu in the recent Democratic primary was critical to their success and likely influenced Governor Cuomo’s decision to ban fracking.

V.I.D. has also been a leader in the fight against the Spectra pipeline, whose development unfortunately now allows high-pressure fracked gas to pass very near a playground on the West Village waterfront. 

Climate change poses a grave and imminent danger to our community. Greenwich Village is vulnerable to the dangers posed by rising sea levels.  Indeed, many New York City residents — especially those residing in Manhattan — live in areas that have been designated as flood zones. Rising sea levels and increasingly volatile weather caused by climate change threaten the infrastructure of our city and could severely damage our economy. 

Climate change could even render the city unlivable in the foreseeable future. And the same is true for coastal areas throughout the United States and the rest of the world.   

With our resolution, New York City’s oldest and most progressive political club calls for immediate government action to address the issue of climate change. We urge our fellow Villagers to join our call to protect future generations of New Yorkers.
Nadine Hoffmann
Hoffmann is president, Village Independent Democrats

Pier55 a dream come true

To The Editor:
I am the artistic director of Loco-Motion Dance Theatre, an afterschool dance and theater program in the Village for emerging artists ages 5 to 18.

For the past 20 years of our existence, we have envisioned and hoped for a performance venue like the one Pier55 proposes to include. Every year we rent performance space to present the works of 100 young choreographers, and we must go outside of our community to do so since there are no affordable venues in our area with the seating capacity that we require.

It would be a dream come true for my school and for many other local program directors to have access to a beautiful space to entertain, inspire, educate and connect the community through the art of music, theater and dance.

I hope to witness the transformational effects a project like this can have on an local arts organizations, their audiences and on local neighborhood school children. We could all benefit from an oasis on a previously abandoned pier to create and cherish new works of art.
Lisa Pilato

Try changing the colors

To The Editor:
Michael Stewart, Anthony Baez, Abner Louima, Ramarley Graham, Akai Gurley…the list goes on and on without end. Just as it goes on without a beginning, because it seems to me that it has always gone on. Cops beating, shooting and killing men of color without ever standing before a judge or jury.

And this endless list is just from one city; every city everywhere all across America has a list, just like ours.

Had just half of this kind of violence been directed toward white men, you can rest assured police violence and murder would have been declared out of control and epidemic decades ago.
Jerry The Peddler

No middle ground

To The Editor:
Re “Swift as N.Y.C. ambassador is not welcome on the L.E.S.” (talking point, by Clayton Patterson, Nov. 27):

Yeah, GG Allin, the guy with the smallest d— in the world, after Sid Vicious (or maybe it was just a cold night at A7)… . I’m not so sure I’d agree that GG was representative of ’80s New York Downtown culture, any more than I’d agree with Ms. Barbie doll Swift being representative of it today.

But I get Clayton’s point: There should be some middle ground between total social collapse and total social control/brainwashing, which is the situation we’re coming to today.

When I lived in Alphabet City in the late ’70s and early ’80s, it was certainly a more stimulating place than it is today. I’d play with my band Khmer Rouge at CBGBs, get the cash at the end of the night and trip on down to Avenue D to purchase the goods. On the way down there, and afterward (having copped) trying to make it back to where I lived on Third and B, I’d try to avoid the psychos and muggers that were hanging around in darkened doorways, waiting for people like me.

It certainly kept life interesting, and at the risk of sounding pretentious, I’d sum up my view with Friedrich Nietzsche’s aphorism: “That which does not kill me makes me stronger.” It was an important, formative experience for me, that much is sure.

Today when you walk down by Third and B, all you see is crap art galleries, sushi bars and vacuous rich-kid students whose parents have bought them a flat in trendy Alphabet City. These people have no culture, no past and a virtual-reality future. They’re the new “Know-Nothings” of the soulless here-already future.

Meanwhile, N.Y.U. and Cooper Union are involved in what amounts to a kind of ethnic cleansing. Depressing — yes, very — but how to fight this creeping castration of culture, I have no idea.

I admire your rearguard action, Clayton, and more power to you. But to be honest, I think the move to Austria is the best thing you can do.

Best wishes from Prague.
Phil Shoenfel

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