Letters, Week of Dec. 25, 2014 | East Villager & Lower East Sider

Letters, Week of Dec. 25, 2014

Just an amazing victory

To The Editor:
Re “Fracking risks too big to allow drilling in N.Y., says Health commish” (news article, Dec. 18):

Regardless of the political calculations that may have gone into the decision to ban fracking, it is a great victory for environmental activists and for the New York State environment.
Robert Lederman

Anti-fossil fuel agitators

To The Editor:
Re “Fracking risks too big to allow drilling in N.Y., says Health commish” (news article, Dec. 18):

It is a sad day when a state chooses to listen to the fear, uncertainty and doubt spread by anti-fossil fuel agitators rather than making a decision for economic strength that would benefit schools, communities and many of its poorest citizens — especially when the vilified technology, hydraulic fracturing, has been used safely and successfully for more than 60 years and has brought prosperity to other formerly struggling regions.

Additionally, D.E.C. Commissioner Joseph Martens’s comment about the low price of oil and gas making fracking in New York State “unlikely anyway” is evidence of a very shortsighted and uneducated view.

The current low price of oil is largely due to Saudi Arabia flooding the market and has nothing to do with the price of natural gas that could be developed in New York.
Marita Noon
Noon is executive director, Citizens Alliance for Responsible Energy

Same old song and dance

To The Editor:
Re “Mom-and-pop shops: Are they too small to save?” (talking point, by Sharon Woolums, Dec. 18):

Déjà vu all over again. Here is how this will play out. The City Council will again stall as long as possible. Eventually they will hold a hearing on the Small Business Jobs Survival Act bill. A few councilmembers will bring up the same concerns raised with previous bills and call for additional research and investigation, placing the bill on the Council’s “snail’s track.”

Over time, additional councilmembers will sign onto the bill, pledge their support for small businesses and pose for photos at numerous rallies in front of City Hall. However, no matter how many councilmembers sign onto the bill, it will never make it out of committee for a vote on the Council floor — giving councilmembers a pass on having to live up to their promises.

Those “walking dead” small businesses coming to the end of their lease agreements will not survive this protracted process with the City Council. They will be casualties. They will be evicted.

Years will pass. A new election cycle will come around and those term-limited city councilmembers who supported the bill will also fade away.

We will then be right back where we are now: a new City Council, a new speaker, a new bill. And the band played on.
Alfred Placeres
Placeres is president, New York Federation of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce

Bookstores and nail salons

To The Editor:
Re “Mom-and-pop shops: Are they too small to save?” (talking point, by Sharon Woolums, Dec. 18):

The situation seems quite complicated. Being parts of big businesses doesn’t save bookstores. Borders bookstores has gone out of business. Barnes & Noble has closed many of its branches all over the city.

On the other hand, nail salons are quite stable. They are either mom-and-pop shops or parts of mom-and-pop mini-chains.

The disappearance of retail stores is quite distressing. W. Eighth St. has had vacancies for some time. Now E. Eighth St. has just lost two restaurants between Broadway and University Place: Cafetasia and Au Bon Pain. Both of these were parts of chains.

It is good news to learn that efforts are being made to save retail shops. In order to do this, we have to figure out what the many different factors are that combine to lead to this unfortunate trend.
George Jochnowitz

New York, New York?

To The Editor:
Re “Mom-and-pop shops: Are they too small to save?” (talking point, by Sharon Woolums, Dec. 18):

When my photo business required more space I had to leave town. There simply was no “next step up.” The next step required superstar money and I could not meet the standard. It was impossible.

I see the same sort of thing happening with longstanding small businesses that have become part of the fabric of their neighborhood. When the lease ends, so can their business — and after a long period of contribution to the community.

With that in mind, it would seem the message may have gone from: “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere” to “You can’t make it here.”
Lawrence White

R.I.P. L.E.S.

To The Editor:
Re ‘Keep fighting,’ jail-bound attorney urges MoRUS crowd” (news article, Dec. 18):

I differ with Stanley on this. In my opinion, thanks to N.Y.U.’s and real estate developers’ greed on the Lower East Side — it’s over.
John Penley

Pier55 and schools

To The Editor:
As someone who has lived in the West Village for more than a dozen years, and runs a small software company in the area, as well, I wanted to offer my unqualified support for this project.

I think Pier55 has the potential to be truly extraordinary. It’s a unique public/nonprofit partnership that will be a world-class public park and performance venue. It will put theater artists from the community in dialogue with local artists, schools and organizations to create long-term, meaningful programming partnerships.

Stephen Daldry — a P.S. 3 and Clinton School for Artists and Writers parent — and George C. Wolfe, the creative forces behind Pier55, both have a deep and abiding commitment to engaging the community in a sustained, ongoing relationship.

I strongly support this development and hope that the neighborhood will continue to be included in this process.
Marlowe Greenberg

It’s music to his ears

To The Editor:
My wife, Pia, and I have two daughters, 11 and 9. We have lived in Westbeth for the past seven years, a building filled with wonderful artists. I’ve been a professional singer for the past 30 years. I am also the lead singer of the Original Blues Brothers Band, with Steve Cropper and Blue Lou Marini.

When I heard about having a park and performance space at Pier55, my first thought was, “brilliant idea.” My wife and I attended the Community Board 2 Parks Committee hearing on Dec. 3 and saw the layout of the planned park at Pier55 and heard about all the wonderful opportunities it will provide for our community. We left the meeting very excited.

To know that the elderly, young kids and young parents will all have a venue we can easily walk to where we can hear and see free entertainment is like a lottery win for everybody. This park and performance space will not only give many, many artists a platform to share their talents, but will also provide jobs for people in need of work.

Pier55 will help New York sustain its place as a leader and will be an example for the world to see how we support our artists on all levels.
Bobby, Pia, Camilla and Olivia Harden

An honest look at aging

To The Editor:
Re “The final lace-up: My last pair of high tops” (notebook, by Scott Oglesby, Dec. 4):

I wanted to express my appreciation for Scott Oglesby. It is so refreshing to hear somebody deal honestly with getting older. We may be able to fight it up to a point — but then we have to accept what is happening and not feel guilty for not being among those few running marathons in their 90s.

Thank you, Scott, for your honest and humorous column. It has made me feel better.
Marianne Landre Goldscheider

Move over, Taylor Swift!

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):

Clayton Patterson should be our ambassador. Very few people seem to care about this topic as much as him. Something needs to be done before we lose everything that makes the L.E.S. unique. Thank you, Mr. Patterson.
Nicolas Heller

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