Letters, Week of Oct. 10, 2013 | East Villager & Lower East Sider

Letters, Week of Oct. 10, 2013

How about the rest of us? 

To The Editor:
Re “Conservancy wants to help the park, not run it, they say” (news article, Oct. 3):

Have you noticed that all four members of the steering committee of the newly established Washington Square Park Conservancy live north of the park, an area dominated by Fifth Ave.? Where is the representation of the poorer South and East Village from whence so much original talent in the past made Washington Square Park truly a people’s park? Staid flower beds and tough upper-class rules can never replace that bygone spirit.
Vahe A. Tiryakian

O.K. for now…what about later? 

To The Editor:
Re “Conservancy wants to help the park, not run it, they say” (news article, Oct. 3):

What mechanism is in place to stop the conservancy from being co-opted by major donors, like N.Y.U.? Why are there no bylaws developed for or posted by the group? No one is arguing that they are well-intentioned and committed neighbors, but an organization such as this without a clear mission statement and rules or order becomes ripe for takeover over time.

Every nonprofit I know keeps a publicly available donor list. Every board I have served on has clear and available minutes, and must abide by stringent fundraising and expenditure requirements. Will the Washington Square Park Conservancy have this type of transparency? Donor dollars bring pressure, especially if anonymous.

Let’s not kid each other here, and simply hope for the best. Things change over time, board / conservancy makeup changes over time, and verbal commitments for something on this scale, and with the history of this park, are simply not enough. The bar must be raised.
Patrick Shields

A few tips for conservancy

To The Editor:
Re “Conservancy wants to help the park, not run it, they say” (news article, Oct. 3):

Dear ladies, who lunch, of the Washington Square Conservancy:

Before you get the Zamboni and before you get the power washer, perhaps you could do the following:

Get the rats out of the park.

Get the dogs out of the flower beds and off the lawns. After all, there are not one but two dog runs.

Get park Administrator Neilson to sit up and do her job and issue summonses to all the men using the northwest-corner planted beds as a toilet. Wouldn’t want to be the volunteer gardener working is those areas! (Question: Is the park supervisor, who has an office in the new building, a position different from Neilson’s? Who’s paying that salary, and what does the supervisor do?)

Designate a “quiet zone” away from piano players, jazz combos, barking dogs and traffic noise. Your college-student summer playground associate made an annualized salary of $45,000. Who do you have to know to get that gig?

The Parks Department did a good job of budgeting for nice plantings even before this endless renovation, and of budgeting for all the new plantings in the completed sections. So do tell the community again why we need a conservancy.
Noreen Shipman

Fighting ‘Citi-fication’ — for real

To The Editor:
Re “First, Citi Bike; Next…Citi Arch?” (news brief, Oct. 3):

Spoofing aside, thanks to Save Our Village.org for raising awareness of corporate takeovers and corporate branding of our public amenities, whether parks or transportation modes.

Friends of Petrosino Square would like to extend an invitation to all to our day in court that will determine whether the Department of Transportation can alienate our public parkland and art-installation space with a Citi Bike kiosk that could easily be relocated a few feet away into roadbed where transportation modes belong.

We will be joined by co-petitioners Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino Lodge of the Sons of Italy in America, Spring Studio Life Drawing, the Soho Alliance, the Noho Neighborhood Association, the Chinatown Civic Association and former District 1 City Councilmember Alan J. Gerson on Tues., Oct. 15, beginning at 9:30 a.m. in front of Supreme Court Justice Cynthia Kern at 60 Centre St., Room 432.

Oral argument by our pro bono attorneys at Gibson Dunn promises to result in a precedent-setting decision for the future of the public trust.
Georgette Fleischer
Fleischer is founder, Friends of Petrosino Square

What’s still left of the left? 

To The Editor:
Re “Marxists can’t make the rent; Make move east to Brooklyn” (news article, Oct. 10):

This is pretty pathetic. It is interesting to reflect how low the left has sunk in presence ever since the U.S. right opened a home front against it in the 1950s. A Moscow-born artist, Yevgeney Fiks, made a 2007 survey of formerly left-owned places in New York City — the extent and variety is astonishing. It’s online at http://yevgeniyfiks.com/section/120722_Communist_Guide_to_New_York_City_2007.html.
Alan W. Moore

Dressing up a poem

To The Editor:
Re “Word up! Artists reopen gallery in ‘novel’ fashion” (news article, Oct. 3):

The dress with the script on it is “Oceanic Slip” by Desiree Alvarez, and was one of my absolute favorite pieces in the show. Not only was the poem one she wrote herself, but — even though it was too loud to catch it all — it sounded wonderful.
Sarah Stengle

Candidate seems committed

To The Editor:
Re “Green candidate’s seed of an idea: Wall St. ‘fair tax’” (news article, Oct. 3):

Miles Budde seems to be committed to helping the people of New York have a better life. And I appreciate that he seems hard-working and intelligent. Given the moral quality of some of New York City’s politicians, it is refreshing to know that there are people like Miles in the race.
Barbara Pochan

Green with appreciation

To The Editor:
Re “Green candidate’s seed of an idea: Wall St. ‘fair tax’” (news article, Oct. 3):

Thank you for the Green Party article. I admire this Green Party candidate. We need many more 23-year-old folk running for office as Green Party candidates.

Solar jobs, rail jobs, geothermal jobs — the Green New Deal is eco for the economy we need.
Carey Campbell

Oh God, deliver us…

To The Editor:
Re “God’s Love gets a facelift as Rivers, Kors pitch in” (news article, Oct. 3):

As a decades-long neighbor of God’s Love We Deliver, I am wondering if groundbreaking comedienne Joan Rivers is breaking ground for another “facelift”… or some other kind of cover-up.

The proposed building, as pictured in your article, is quite different than the rendering previously presented to the Community Board 2 Land Use Committee, and which appears on the G.L.W.D. Web site. Furthermore, the Department of Buildings plan examination (which has been mysteriously rejected numerous times, including this past week) calls for a 107-foot-tall structure (as compared with the existing 24-foot building), which, by my reckoning, is more like 10 stories, rather than the six stories that G.L.W.D. has filed with D.O.B.

The rendering also conveniently excludes the 14-story One Vandam condo, now under construction alongside G.L.W.D., which has already resulted in the evacuation of neighboring buildings. This angular cacophony of glass and aluminum, replete with what appears to be a gigantic diving board atop One Vandam, and roof gardens for the wealthy condo owners astride G.L.W.D., will be a visual abomination stating to all that our historic South VIllage is now ripe for ruination.

Much like the bandito in “The Treasure of The Sierra Madre,” the fashionable celebrities in your groundbreaking photo might as well be saying, “Covenant? We don’t need no stinkin’ covenant!”

The fact that G.L.W.D. has “grown by more than 60 percent in five years” is another reason why this out-of-scale, out-of-character land grab does not belong on the congested residential corner of Spring St. and Avenue of the Americas. G.L.W.D. had already outgrown this site as of several years ago, causing enormous traffic and pedestrian congestion. Now they will be transgressing upon numerous longtime residents of modest means, many of whom are elderly and ill.

If G.L.W.D. is indeed growing this fast, why don’t they set up shop in an industrial zone, such as their new location in Brooklyn, and truly involve themselves in serving a growing population of people in need? It’s painful to oppose an organization with “God’s Love” in its name. But I am reminded by the current realities of Downtown real estate valuation that there are, indeed, many gods in this world.
Harry Pincus


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