Volume 16 • Issue 42 | March 19 - 25, 2004

Letters to the editor

Parking hike fair

To The Editor:
Your article referred to a groan being uttered by Independence Plaza North tenants, at the prospect of the parking going to market rate, in increments over five years (news article, March 12 –18, “Tenants cheer rent agreement in Tribeca”). Did we really expect to negotiate this valuable non-regulated service in the face of strong community demand for indoor spaces?

I believe that the Tenant’s Committee under the able leadership of Neil Fabricant accomplished wonders in their negotiations with the landlord. I was surprised that they were even able to negotiate parking.

I am the envy of friends when I tell them that I have an indoor parking spot in Tribeca for $130. I have been paying this same amount for six years and certainly expected some kind of increase at any moment. I will still be the envy of my friends when I pay $200 this summer and then $250 next year.

The new garage operator, Icon, is certainly worth a good bit more than the old one. The garage is now safe, clean and well lighted with 24-hour access. They have plenty of well-mannered attendants who park my car for me, and have it ready when I call up. My son, who took his road test seven times, no longer has to deny the dents he used to cause while trying to back up his car into difficult parking spaces.

George De Ratafia

Sensitivity to families

To The Editor:
In response to Elizabeth O’Brien’s article that Community Board 1 decided to name a corner for two brothers who perished on 9/11, all I can say is it’s about time (news article, March 12 –18, “Committee backs street name for Tribeca brothers”).

I remember reading the comments made by the board when this was originally suggested. Not only were the comments out of order, they certainly could not have made a family that lost two sons feel very good. The committee’s reasons why they could not do this were completely absurd. I remember someone’s comments that we cannot do this kind of stuff — how insensitive is this board?

I want to live in a community that can somehow find a way to take care of the people that live there. To deny the parents of anything so simple, to me was almost inhumane. I thought of writing and protesting this many times, but I have been before the board for other things that mattered and they had the same indifference.

I applaud the people that fought for this and won. I find the questioning of June Colaio to be offensive on how her husband served the community. What difference? He lived, paid taxes here and deserves to be remembered. Thank God someone found some compassion, or maybe their conscience just bothered them. I will remember the Colaios and now hopefully a lot of other people will too.

Fran Miller

Many good docs

To The Editor:
I’ve lost track of the number of puff pieces I’ve read about Dr. Michel Cohen over the past year or so. It’s clear he’s got a terrific publicist, and more power to him. But really, when the Downtown Express has published its own fawning piece on the man and followed that by signing Dr. Cohen on as a columnist, it’s time to stop puffing him up in ordinary news articles.  In a story on children’s asthma, on page 3 of your most recent issue, you quote “Dr. Michel Cohen, a popular Tribeca pediatrician” (news article, March 12 – 18, “Children’s asthma study suggests possible 9/11 effects”) — and then refer your readers to his column on page 21 (Doctor’s View, March 12 – 18, “Downtown kids show no long-term health effects from 9/11”).

There are many wonderful pediatricians Downtown, including the glorious Dr. Bonnie Franklin, on Reade St., to whom my teenaged daughter and many of her friends have been going since they were babies.  Dr. Franklin’s excellent doctoring, along with her thoughtful, kind, straightforward manner, has been just right over the many years my daughter has known her.  We happily recommend her to anyone who asks.

 I am sure Dr. Cohen is a fine doctor, too, but please — enough is enough.

Margaret Manos

Bush’s economy

To The Editor:
By Jonathan Stein’s reasoning (Letters to the Editor, March 12-18, “Don’t blame Bush”), no president is responsible for economic conditions that are part of a trend that began in a previous president’s term. If, when Mr. Kerry wins in November, economic conditions do not improve, will Mr. Stein also apologize for Kerry being powerless against the destructive economic forces set in motion by Bush? I don’t expect he will.

If you’re going to have political commentary in your paper (which I hold in high regard) at least make it intelligent political commentary.

Floyd Birchfield


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