downtownexpress.com
Volume 19 • Issue 21 | October 6 - 12, 2006

Letters to the editor

Sidewalk parking

To The Editor:
Re “City asks how many government cars park Downtown?” (news article, Sept. 29 – Oct. 5):

Thank you Lower Manhattan Development Corp. for bringing attention to the placard parking problem and thank you Downtown Express for reporting this welcome development. You might want to run a contest to nominate the worst block. If you did, mine would be right up there -- Franklin St. not only is full of placard parkers all day, they park on the sidewalk because the street is too narrow.  This is unsightly, inconvenient and illegal, and it means residents’ days are filled with the honks of cars and trucks trying to squeak through. Please do whatever you can to keep attention on this problem.

Alicia M. Kershaw


Good as Goldstein

To The Editor:
Re “Paul Goldstein, Downtown’s district manager, steps down” (news article, Sept. 22 – 28):

As chair for 12 years, I can say that Paul was one of the best district managers in this city.

He, Judy Duffy, and Lucy Acevedo were an excellent team to have working for the board.

Sad that he wasn’t appreciated -- only my personal opinion.

Anne Compoccia
Former chairperson, Community Board 1


L.M.D.C. giveth, taxman taketh

To The Editor:
It was interesting to discover in Josh Rogers’ article, “L.M.D.C. shakes budget, finds $200 million” (news article, Sept. 15 - 21), that the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation has $43- $44.4 million dollars remaining in its Residential Grant Fund. I would like to offer a suggestion to the L.M.D.C. as to how to allocate the remaining millions. To wit, rebate the tax penalty assessed on grant program recipients.

My wife and I moved to Battery Park City in January 2002 to join family who had been living there for years. After the first year we were enticed to continue rebuilding Downtown by the two-year grant program. We were dismayed to discover, after we had committed to a two-year lease and were 14 months through the program, that the grants would be taxed as income. Also, the penalty would be retroactive through the calendar year, effectively reducing the grant by at least 10%. Conversations with neighbors revealed that no one else had received any notice or warning of tax liability. Review of my application materials confirmed that there was no written notification included.

I thought it was wrong then, to give with one hand and take away with the other. I still do now, having continued to rebuild in the same neighborhood for a fifth and sixth year. It seems that the L.M.D.C. has all the participant information, newfound riches and increasingly available man-hours to affect a fair rebate. For those who committed to downtown rebuilding and the associated hassles, it would be meaningful for the L.M.D.C. to fulfill its pledge to the average civilian before disbanding.

James Wolf, Jr.


Let Gehry & Trump build

To The Editor: 
Re “Seaport’s early reviews are bad for Gehry’s tower” (news article, Sept. 22 – 28):

What a refreshing article to learn that a 76-story residential tower will rise, despite small-minded people in and around Tribeca. Every time a new building is planned, the whole community goes bonkers and says that the noise will not be tolerable. I live on Broadway at Warren St. and I can tell you every five minutes a fire truck or police cars are teeming down Broadway. That is a horrible noise. So what is the difference if a developer wants to build a tower? I love this building by Gehry. I wish Gehry would build more towers on Broadway at Chambers St. The South Street Seaport needs to be cheering and jumping up and down about this new project. The Seaport is so depressed-looking and needs to be redeveloping that area. The Fulton Fish Market is long gone. This area is screaming for a Fairway food market.

New York City is about skyscrapers, so, let there be skyscrapers. I would love to see Donald Trump come down here and build a series of 105-story luxury apartment towers.

Put a skyscraper on every corner. I have lived here for 23 years and we need towers.
 
Lawrence Jenzen


Photo reflections

To The Editor:
I read Nicole Davis’s article on the 9/11 photo exhibit by Jonathan Hyman (Arts article, Sept. 15 – 21, “Picturing loss: 7 W.T.C. exhibit commemorates country’s grief”). I was there in person and thought the physical layout of the exhibit was amateurish and the reflections from the windows were a great distraction.

Jack Lee Price too high

To The Editor:
The slogan most used today is “We need affordable housing.” Slogans are used to mobilize, get joiners to go to battle and campaign vigorously for a cause. They should not be used by politicians as campaign promises that are not met, or for those who look to take over for self-aggrandizement. There is no time to waste campaigning for oneself.

The affordable housing slogan must be backed by muscle, lest it become just a tired cliché. New York is at risk of becoming a city with only the very rich and the very poor.  The most important middle income population will be stuck with no place to go. No citizenry can survive that way. Middle income people make up the majority of tax payers, while the poor withstand taxes and the rich always find loopholes.

Those who take pride in this great city must look to ways to keep it that way. Under Governor Averell Harriman in 1955, State Senator MacNeill Mitchell and Assemblyman Alfred Lama, gave us a good historical start. That must not be overlooked. The 20-year limit promised to landlords of rentals can turn out to be destructive to the Mitchell-Lama program and for our citizenry. The more rentals and co-ops disappear, the more the mainstay of the city will suffer, and the very rich will also feel the pinch. Don’t let us in New York become a “let them eat cake” society. It didn’t work in 18th century France.

Geraldine Lipschutz


Letters policy

Downtown Express welcomes letters to The Editor. They must include the writer’s first and last name, a phone number for confirmation purposes only, and any affiliation that relates directly to the letter’s subject matter. Letters should be less than 300 words. Downtown Express reserves the right to edit letters for space, clarity, civility or libel reasons. Letters should be e-mailed to news@DowntownExpress.com or can be mailed to 145 Sixth Ave., N.Y., N.Y. 10013.



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