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Volume 21, Number 13 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | AUGUST 8 - 14, 2008

Letters to the Editor 

Pay to pedal

To The Editor:
With bicyclists taking over more and more of the streets, the time has come for bicyclists to pay their own way and stop being treated differently than the people who drive a car, truck or ride a motorcycle — all of whom pay for the “luxury” of driving their vehicle in the city.  Since bicyclists are using their “means of transportation” to get around the city, they should be put in the same category as everyone else who “has wheels.” 

 The city needs to raise money; I would like to propose that bicycles should be registered, licensed, insured and inspected with the inspection displayed on their bikes.

It should be mandatory that lights are on bikes so they can be seen especially at night and riders should wear helmets with lights on at all times. They should be ticketed when disobeying the law since they neither abide nor obey the laws.  This needs to be taken more seriously.  There needs to be enforcement. They need to be ticketed when they are on their cell phones while riding their bikes.

 They need to learn to:

• Be made responsible to the “rules of the road” by taking courses and having to pass those courses.  Also, those courses need to include anger management.
• Stop running lights.
• Go in the direction of traffic and not against.
• Not zigzag in and out of traffic to get around.
• Stay off the sidewalks period—even when the streets are backed up with traffic.
• Stay in bike lanes regardless, and when there are none, then stay in the perimeter of car lanes while keeping up with traffic.
• Keep up with traffic and not “cruise” in car lanes holding up traffic.  (You can’t keep up — you don’t belong on the city streets.)
• Stop piggy-backing on the back of buses, trucks, cabs and cars.
• Not park their vehicle against trees, private property.  They should ride around until they find a bike spot. 
 Also, the city should have metered parking for bikes.   
Lillian Tozzi


Connor complaints

To The Editor:
Re “2 Dems fight to be the face of Downtown in State Senate” (news article, Aug. 1 - 7):

I am amazed that Martin Connor has held the position of being my state senator for 30 years. The only time I actually see him is when he is being challenged for that position or performing legal work, usually for an incumbent at the New York City Board of Elections, legal work meaning attempting to disqualify opponents from the ballot.

In your article you discussed a lot of Albany issues, but there is one that is dear to my heart and that is the Dr. Simon M. Bernard Baruch Bath House. This building is more than 100 years old and sits abandoned in the center of the largest New York City Housing Authority Development in New York County — Bernard Baruch Houses. This bathhouse should have been declared a landmark decades ago.

There are over 1,800 children in Baruch Houses with no community center to speak of. I have endured six years of Antonio Pagan, eight years of Margarita Lopez and nearly three years of Rosie Mendez excuses of why this bathhouse is not a priority for restoration and preservation of Lower East Side history.

That brings me back to the incumbent. I have written Martin Connor letters, sent him invitations and even went as far as sitting with his representatives to discuss this issue and that is where it ended.

Connor makes more on his private election law practice than he makes being our state senator. One would question how he is able to do that. It is because he is a part time elected official as are all the rest. What we need is elected officials who care more about improving the quality of life for their constituents with the same motivations in improving their private law practice.
Robert Caballero


Not in with Quinn

To The Editor:
Rarely a weekend goes where I do not take the time to read your weekly insights into the ongoing situations in our neighborhood. Thank you for continuing to do an excellent job in this regard.I was personally rather distressed to see your article “On The Waterfront” in the Mixed Use section (Aug. 1 – 7). We live right next to the Truffles building on Watts and West Sts. The building is completely out of line with the existing architecture in the neighborhood and the bulk and height are far above that of the buildings around it. It is a rather gray, dark and ugly and has very little in common with the beautiful ornamental old factory buildings that surround it. The reason for the height and bulk of this project, as we know is that they were granted a variance because Councilwoman Quinn “could not” guarantee that she would vote against the variance in City Council despite the overwhelming community opposition to this project. Recent how shall we put this.. er.. development$ probably explain why(!) (ahem ahem).

The building is now halfway complete, and if Ms. Quinn’s “ambitions” for the waterfront involve more examples of this (and I am being kind) “Soviet style” architecture then I believe I would ave to vehemently express my opposition to her plans! I think the city right now is overly pro development, but one must be interested and conscious enough to know good development from bad. This particular project is bad for the neighborhood and it would take very little imagination to have made something a lot better.

I personally would tell everyone to please take a look at the “Truffles Tribeca” project before they consider giving Ms. Quinn and her cohorts any more latitude in determining the outcome of construction in their neighborhoods.
Rohin Hattiangadi


Wrong to arrest photog

To The Editor:
Re “Photographer is detained on street he’s shot for years” (news article, July 25-31):

Sorry to see the noted photographer Clayton Patterson arrested for his work. It is clearly his right to take photos as long it is does not directly obstruct the work of the firefighters or police. Ironically, at this time when government surveillance cameras are going up all around us in huge numbers, some of our police seek to restrict this right among private citizens whenever they feel like it. In New York, the A.C.L.U. has some lawsuits on this issue. This sort of negative interaction — i.e. “harassment” — hurts community relations unnecessarily. At the precinct level, the N.Y.P.D. needs to provide better training on this issue.

While you might consider applying for a press pass in Mr. Patterson’s name, it should be clear that such a pass is not required for street photography.
Paul Carroll


PAC money’s there

To The Editor:
Re “Money is missing” (Letter to The Editor, July 25 - 31):

Thank you for your publication of my letter concerning the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation chairperson’s $5 million shortchanging of the funds committed toward the W.T.C. Performing Arts Center.  Primarily due to this letter, I received a call on Monday from the L.M.D.C.’s director of planning and development who reviewed the funding with me and, on the next day, agreed that the PAC funding is $5 million more than what is being touted.  The L.M.D.C. did set aside $60 million for the PAC and now has $55 million left after design costs.

Although the money was never “missing” as the headline stated, the commitment amount was understated, and I am grateful for the assistance of L.M.D.C.’s director of planning and development for offering in public forum with Community Board 1’s World Trade Center Committee, the information necessary to understand and follow these allocations.

As for remaining majority of the billions in federal 9/11 rebuilding funds being distributed outside of the L.M.D.C., our community is still in need of an authoritative, accurate, and accessible accounting.
Tom Goodkind


The ‘joy’ of aging

To The Editor:
Now that there are more of us — the aged and infirm, thanks to scientific advance — we find never-ending vicissitudes along the path to blissful long life.

There is no excuse for neglecting the infirm among those families with sons and daughters. Yet you’ll find many who are upset by this burden. Too bad, I say! It is not a
burden; it is a moral obligation.

There is no smooth sailing to oblivion, except, perhaps, when recalling those memorable moments in your life.  Unfortunately, the emotional and physical difficulties soon bring you back to reality.

I lost five family members, all to cancer — mother, father, brother and two sisters. I am the last survivor at 96. I witnessed their painful traumas, and now no one is left to help me. If there was anything to be thankful for, it is that I was there to do whatever I could to give solace and comfort to my own family members.

So I say to the gripers: Use your energy and work toward solutions to enhance the “joy” of aging.
Geraldine Lipschutz





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