downtownexpress.com
Volume 19 Issue 38 | February 2 -8, 2007

Letters to the editor

Laptop Dead & cool

To The Editor:
First of all, thanks for using the photo of me in the publication, but I must object to the “losing my cool” caption because I was using a laptop at a Grateful Dead event!

 I feel fairly certain that if laptops were prevalent when the Dead were touring, there would have been at least a grand smattering of laptops present. I’m sure some people would have been using laptops to look up info on where the Dead were playing or things about them.

In fact, I have a friend who shared an apartment with one of the Dead, in San Francisco in the ‘60s, and he told me that another Dead member most enjoyed his video collection when not on tour.

The other day, I was eating in a diner with this same laptop (as in the photo) on the table, looking at an episode of “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” The waiter came along and was excited with how cool was the laptop I using.

So, one must ask the quetion — what is “cool?” If it means being ”out of it” and “under the influence,” well, I suppose, then, I’ve lost my cool. I’m not saying I’ve never been “under the influence,” but I was never “out of it.” The fact is, I was mainly sending emails to people that were around me, (including Jefferson Siegel, the photographer), about music that I and some of my friends will be playing.

This is a group of us, mostly professional, who got together in Washington Square Park during the summers because we had a desire to share our musical gifts with the public. It was so  “cool,” that people literally were blowing off tickets for Broadway shows (for which they had paid) and airplane flights (back home to wherever that was) because they were so touched by the good vibes we were putting out that they didn’t want to leave — to have this memory, experience in and of New York not end — now that’s cool!

Be cool.

Evan Dove


War in Iraq

To The Editor:
The Downtown Express report on Rep. Nadler’s bill, “Protect the Troops and Bring Them Home Act,” was not only commendable, it deserved to be on the front page of our daily newspapers (news brief, Jan. 19 – 25, “Nadler moves to cut war funds”). Unless Congressman Nadler’s fellow members have the wisdom and courage to cut off funding for the Bush regime’s skullduggery in Iraq, the nation will go deeper into the quagmire of endless warfare.

The U.S. Congress has the power of the purse string when it comes to warmaking. Their failure to exercise it makes them as culpable of committing crimes against humanity that cannot be reversed, as our ignominious, ignorant, irresponsible president.

During the time of civil war in Ireland, the great poet, William B. Yeats, wrote: “We have fed our hearts upon fantasy, and the heart’s grown brutal from the fare.” Bush’s war is based on lies, malevolence, and infantile fantasies of omnipotence. We, the taxpayers, should not be funding it.

Shelly Estrin


To The Editor:
Let’s be fair. I live in Southbridge Towers and I overheard two women saying how crazy our president is for wanting to send more troops to Iraq. I lost my nephew in the Twin Towers on 9/11. My daughter lives in Maryland and has four children. Her youngest was three months old when her husband’s unit was deployed to Iraq for a year. Before he left I told my son-in-law to get even and kill a lot of Al Queda terrorists. He said, “Dad, we are going over there, not to kill people, but to stop them from killing. When Pearl Harbor was attacked, 2,300 people were killed and we went to war for four years. We lost hundreds of thousands of men. Was Roosevelt crazy? We lost 2,800 people on 9/11. Are we supposed to forget about it and do nothing? Stick by our president — whether he be Republican or Democratic.

George Marmo


Recipe for disaster

To The Editor:
Re “City to build garbage truck parking tower in Hudson Square”( news article, Jan. 12 – 18):

According to the draft scoping document for a draft environmental assessment statement for the consolidated Sanitation garage for Manhattan Districts 1,2 and 5, the Department of Sanitation proposes to store 29,000 gallons of petroleum products on D.O.S.’s proposed new refueling facility on Canal, West and Spring Sts.

Currently, Sanitation District 1 is located at this site with 8,550 gallons of stored petroleum products. The new consolidated garage would be an increase of 10,450 gallons of petroleum products stored on site. This site is directly over the Port Authority’s Holland Tunnel and is adjacent to the tunnel’s ventilation shaft.

The proposed new garage on the U.P.S. site is adjacent to the tunnel and the proposed new refueling site. The proposed U.P.S. site will have another 13,000 gallons of petroleum products stored on site. An explosion on these sites would be catastrophic to the Holland Tunnel, businesses, residents, pedestrian traffic, the streets, Route 9A, the Hudson River Park and Pier 40. All of these facilities are within 800 feet of the proposed facilities.

We lost the battle with the city over the storage of fuel at 60 Hudson St. fire safety precautions (News article, Oct. 20 – 26, 2006, “Burned by diesel loss, Tribecans begin citywide fight”). I can only wonder what the Port Authority and Homeland Security would say to the siting of these D.O.S. facilities.

The loss of 251 parking spaces in the garage on Clarkson and Washington Sts. — for a new salt storage site — would also affect businesses and residents.

According to New York City Hurricane Evacuation Zones, the proposed sites are either in an A or B zone. The current D.O.S. site and the U.P.S. site are in Zone A. Zone A would experience strong storm surges and flooding if any hurricane hit off New York City. Zone B would experience strong storm surges and flooding if a Category 2 through 5 hurricane hit off New York City. The proposed salt storage site is in Zone B. Most of the residential buildings and businesses within 800 feet of these proposed sites are in either Zone A or Zone B. Remember Katrina!

Ellen Peterson-Lewis


Beep for safer plan

To The Editor:
In your piece on the significant community victory on the West side crossing issue (news article, Jan. 26 – Feb. 1, “Spitzer nixes dangerous change on West St.”), I would like to add Borough President Scott Stringer as someone who played a critical role in getting the New York State Dept. of Transportation to the table and facilitating a dialogue that led to a reversal in NYSDOT’s position.

This victory was a great example of the teamwork between the elected officials, Community Board 1, the I.S. 89 P.T.A. and other concerned citizens. We are confident that working together we will devise a solution that does not endanger the lives and safety of our children and others who cross this dangerous highway and this is a great example of putting the community first.

Julie Menin
Chairperson Community Board 1


Preservation call

To The Editor:
As a lifelong Villager, I am pleased and excited to be a part of the advisory board for the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation’s South Village Historic District proposal (news article, Jan. 19 – 25, “Push for new historic district in Soho & the Village”). When my family arrived from Italy in the 1890s, they went no further than Sullivan St., and we have remained in the area since then. Having lived in the South Village all my life, I am distressed to see what is happening with the new development in our area. Older buildings are being destroyed; new buildings are going up that are inappropriate in size and scale to the existing buildings. And the new designs are so out of character with the surrounding area that they are an eyesore, to say the least.

The South Village has long been ignored but has now become a desirable area. The new development is destroying everything that makes the South Village desirable in the first place. If we don’t act to protect this area, we will lose the very character that makes us a neighborhood. And we will just become one more overdeveloped area of the city. Don’t we have enough nondescript, big-box buildings all over the city already?

Let’s protect what we have in this area to keep us from that fate. But we must support this measure and let the city and the Landmarks Preservation Commission know how important it is to us all.

Silvia Musto Beam


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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