Letters, Week of Jan. 2, 2014 | East Villager & Lower East Sider

Letters, Week of Jan. 2, 2014

Gruber a BID off…

To The Editor:
Re “Meatpacking BID is cooking” (news article, Dec. 26):

David Gruber misstates BID rules, as business improvement districts can tax residential properties, but normally at a lower rate than commercial properties.

Douglas Durst


Campaign oversight

To The Editor:
Governor Cuomo must lead the charge toward accomplishing the reforms advanced by his Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption. A critical step is to get rid of the State Board of Elections’ woeful oversight of the campaign financing system. New Yorkers deserve an independent and nonpartisan watchdog.

In addition to effective enforcement, the League of Women Voters of New York State urges lower contribution limits, elimination of loopholes, robust disclosure and a small-donor match public financing system of elections, all of which are recommended by the Moreland Commission.

Our current campaign finance system negatively affects democratic engagement. It is up to the governor to make reform of Albany’s ways a top priority during the upcoming session.

Mary L. Jenkins 
Arthur Schiff
Rosemary Shields
Jenkins is co-president, New York City League of Women Voters; Schiff and Shields are the league’s campaign finance reform co-chairpersons


Food is better now

To The Editor:
Re “Famous Ray’s (a.k.a. Roio’s) slings its final slice” (news article, Dec. 19):

Ray’s was still good in 1979, when I wrote the Daily News article you so kindly quoted. But the general quality of pizza, like most food here, has improved vastly since then. Wood-fired ovens, better dough, better technique, much better ingredients — these have all played a role. So has the incessant demand from the foodie culture for truly memorable flavors.

When I reviewed restaurants in New York City 35 years ago, a trip abroad still stunned with its unique and superior culinary quality. Not anymore. The general level of our artisan food — I’m not talking about industrial and fast food — is the equal of any in the world. What passed for good in 1979 no longer even passes for acceptable. So while Famous Ray’s may be gone, we can comfort ourselves in knowing that far better pizza is to be had at a dozen places in town or more.

Climate change, rising prices and shrinking supplies may end it, but for now at least, we are living in The Golden Age of Food.

Eat up and enjoy. I’m pretty sure it won’t last.

Dick Brass


Thanks for the tribute

To The Editor:
Re “James Gallagher, 61, Downtown actor turned therapist” (obituary, Dec. 5):

Thank you for publishing such a beautiful tribute to Jamie, my cousin Jackie Curtis’s close friend and also our good friend of the family. He was a wonderful human being, so well loved and respected. I was quite unaware of and disturbed to hear of the circumstances surrounding his death, but I’m glad things worked out in the end.

If I may, I just would like to point out that my grandmother’s bar, Slugger Ann’s, was located on E. 12th St. and Second Ave., and not on E. Third St. and Avenue C as written. Jackie, my cousin, lived in an apartment behind the bar, not above it.

I know these things could come across as petty corrections for some, but I like to heighten the awareness when it comes to the details of my family and our East Village history. Just a stickler for those things, I guess. Most of all, thank you for publishing such a warm tribute to our friend. He will be forever in our hearts.

Joe Preston


Landmark achievement

To The Editor:
Re “Positively South Village: L.P.C. votes to expand historic district” (news article, Dec. 19):

Landmarking the South Village benefits both residents who live here and tourists who visit New York to experience Greenwich Village’s unique character and history.

Congratulations to Andrew Berman, G.V.S.H.P. and the community for this miraculous achievement, and to our local politicians Quinn, Glick and Hoylman, who strongly supported the landmarking, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission for its visionary vote.
A.S. Evans

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