Volume 17 • Issue 46 | April 8 — 14, 2005

Letters to the editor

School zoning

To The Editor:
If every middle school parent body was characterized as dysfunctional because they failed to get a quorum for a P.T.A. meeting — as P.S. 89 P.T.A. president Angela Benfield said of I.S. 89 parents (Letters, March 25 – 31, “I.S. 89 P.T.A.”) —  we’d have plenty of stigmatized middle schools in this city.  Her attacks, in two recent issues, on the parent body of I.S. 89 do not help advance her argument for a zoned Downtown middle school, nor do they promote harmony among two schools sharing one space.

Certainly, the burgeoning population of the lower West Side deserves a zoned middle school, but making P.S./I.S. 89 a zoned K-8 school is not the solution. Ms. Benfield and the P.T.A. of P.S. 89 are leaving Tribeca high and dry on this issue as they attempt to get P.S./I.S. 89 rezoned as a K-8 school only for the residents of Battery Park City.  

Giving one less option to families in the rest of the district at a time when they are looking for more successful middle schools, not fewer, would be unjust to the many families from P.S. 234, 150, 3 and 41 (and other schools across District 2) who value I.S. 89 as an option for their children.

Under the excellent leadership of principal Ellen Foote, I.S. 89 has become a wonderful middle school, where my seventh grade daughter is challenged and inspired on a daily basis.  The rich diversity of the school is part of that excellence.
It’s a pity that time and effort has gone into fighting on this issue instead of uniting to fight the real problems all N.Y.C. public schools face: class size that is way too large, resources too scant.

Cheryl Moch

Exhibit Trust

To The Editor:
Re “New-age Noah transforms a bestiary” (arts article, March 25 - 31):

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Wickham Boyle for the only review I have seen so far that was able to capture in words what I felt when Gregory Colbert first walked into the offices of the Hudson River Park Trust with his photographs. This is exactly why the Nomadic Museum is currently occupying Hudson River Park’s Pier 54.

I enjoy, but know relatively little about art, used to think of myself as a passable amateur photographer, and generally visit New York’s wonderful museums when my out-of-town friends and relatives visit me or when my children have “museum homework.” However, when the strictly serendipitous meeting between the Trust and Colbert took place, I knew immediately that his idea — unconventional as it sounded — was worth taking a risk on. It has brought tens of thousands of visitors to the park, most of whom never knew we were here; and when I see them leaving Pier 54, walking up the esplanade with their little elephant bags full of posters and books, trying to take home with them a bit of the beauty that they’ve just experienced, I am truly proud to have been able to help bring this wonderful show to the city and the park.

Thank you for expressing what I’m sure many of us have been feeling about these amazing images.
Connie Fishman
President, Hudson River Park Trust

DIDn’t do it

To The Editor:
Last week’s UnderCover column reported on the controversy surrounding the reappointment of the current chair of Community Board 1, who is appointed by the borough president (April 1 – 7, “Wils bombshell?”).

If I may, I would like to use this report as an opportunity to address some rumors that have been circulating on the street regarding the matter, but which have not been reported in the Downtown Express.

There are two different and opposing rumors circulating. One has it that the Downtown Independent Democrats is lobbying the borough president to continue the tenure of the chair. The other has it that we are lobbying to have her removed. Neither is correct.

D.I.D. is the local political club whose purpose is to endorse, support and elect progressive Democratic candidates. Period. D.I.D. has never, nor will it ever, lobby for candidates for community board chairs.

We are a grass-roots organization whose members serve on all three of the Downtown community boards. These individuals of course form their own personal opinions regarding their colleagues. Some are vocal about it. However, for anyone to assume that these personal opinions in any way reflect D.I.D. policy is making an unwarranted and false conclusion.

This policy of non-intervention in community board politics by the club was discussed at our recent monthly meeting and was reaffirmed unanimously by the membership.

Sean Sweeney
President, Downtown Independent Democrats

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