Letters, Week of August 14, 2013 | chelseanow.com

Letters, Week of August 14, 2013

Aunt Chelsea’s ‘pot’ advice was awful

To The Editor:
Re “Ask Aunt Chelsea” (office coffee pot etiquette question, July 31):

Awful advice. Don’t listen. Aunt Chelsea went off in tangents. It happens all over. People are selfish and piggy. Why should they clean, when they have you? Bring coffee in a thermos for a while or go out for coffee. See what happens. Somebody, or bodies, will crack and do the right thing. If not, the pot will get to a point where it can’t be used. If so, don’t chip in for another one unless a weekly schedule is worked out for coffee making and pot cleaning.
Michael Wishner

Bypassing the public

To The Editor:
Re “Pier Air Rights May Open a Pandora’s Box of Development” (Talking Point, July 31):

Again, a major policy change that will impact the future of Greenwich Village is done without any public scrutiny. Just what is the agenda of the good liberal electeds that snuck this legislation through anyway?

Do they not trust the residents of the West Village to be able to engage in discussion on an issue that has such a long-term impact as the transfer of air rights?

I am dumbfounded when I realize that Deborah Glick and Brad Hoylman have now joined Richard Gottfried in siding with the developer interests rather than putting both Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn — who was elected to represent the Lower West Side — on the spot.

Soccer fields for the children whose families can afford to send them to private school may sound nice. But what about the traditional cultural values of the Village, including its long involvement in the arts, most specifically, theater? Seniors again will get the short stick, as they do now, with so little seating space that is supportive of the lower back.

I have always looked to Glick and now Hoylman to come up with progressive solutions that benefit the diverse community that still exists in the West Village. But this plan plays into the destruction of the Village as it has historically been. Please, let’s have some public meetings on this and every subject that will change, not only the landscape, but also the culture of the West Village.

We just saw how four Village women — with the support of Community Board 2 Chairperson David Gruber — snuck through a conservancy takeover of Washington Square, without sufficient public hearings, to create essentially a privatized public park.

We saw how the silence of elected officials allowed a fracked-gas transfer station to be built right next to a children’s playground in the Hudson Park Park in the West Village.

Thank you, once again, Andrew Berman for staying on top of these issues and, most importantly, doing everything you can to alert and engage the public on public policy issues that have the potential to fundamentally change what we call Greenwich Village.
Jim Fouratt

Keep Pandora’s Box Closed

To The Editor:
Re “Pier Air Rights May Open a Pandora’s Box of Development” (Talking Point, July 31):

Thanks for Andrew Berman’s “Pier Air Rights” Talking Point! He has clarified the current attempt to destroy what’s left of any protection of our waterfront from commercial development and our neighborhood from further high rise, high priced hotels, condos, etc. He has explained and revealed the dynamics behind the newest attempt to do just that….with the idea of selling of “air rights over piers!”

Since the whole concept of selling air rights over buildings has been difficult concept for me to digest (I am still trying for air rights over my head…unsuccessfully), the pier air rights idea seems even more (if not downright) self-serving for real estate developers and others who have something to gain.

So keep that Pandora’s Box closed and firmly locked, lest we be hemmed in by more glass high rises that most of cannot afford to enter — and a view of the river only to be seen on our computers.
Gloria Sukenick

Air-rights idea a good compromise

To The Editor:
Re “Pier Air Rights May Open a Pandora’s Box of Development” (Talking Point, July 31):

The amendments to the Hudson River Park Act, if signed by the governor, will improve the prospects for a sustainable Hudson River Park.

The sale of air rights cannot proceed without an approval process that will offer the opportunity to balance the need for public open space — and, in particular, the opportunity to save the large-footprint sports fields at Pier 40 — with the need to protect the park and the adjacent neighborhoods from the wrong kinds of development. It’s a good thing when opportunities for development are linked to requirements to meet the needs of a growing community, because the more common zoning approach simply makes a huge gift of new development rights to property owners.

These changes come as a responsible compromise after a long period of public debate about how to secure the future of the park. The only property in the Village where more development is likely to result is the St. John’s Center, a site where the underlying manufacturing zoning is outdated and likely to be changed in any case.  We will need an open process to assure the most benefit to the park in the context of sustaining the quality of life in our neighborhoods. But if we want the benefits of a waterfront park, we can’t just keep saying “No.”
Tobi Bergman
Bergman is a member, Pier 40 Champions, and chairperson, Community Board 2 Land Use and Business Development Committee

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