Volume 17 • Issue 31 | Dec. 24 - 30, 2004


When in Ukraine…

To The Editor:
Re “Downtown Ukrainians show their true color: orange” (news article, Dec. 17 – Dec. 23):

A thank you to Justin Rocket Silverman for an informative article about the Ukrainian Village and the Orange Revolution. We have been part of this community for 150 years and nobody paid attention to us. It took the land grab of Cooper Union for people to find out about us. Now we are in the news on a larger scale because of the Orange Revolution. Being interviewed for the article I feel I came across as being anti-Russian, which most definitely I am not as long as Ukraine’s sovereignty is being respected, which in this case it is not. As far as speaking Ukrainian by those in charge of Ukraine, it can be forgiven if they never learned Ukrainian. But after 13 years of independence all of them had a chance to learn. Some chose not to. Unfortunately, the president’s wife was one of them and that shows me that the lady in question has no respect for her country and her people. Ukraine’s people deserve a true democracy and they will achieve it on Dec. 26 and show the world that this can be done in a peaceful manner, without bloodshed.
Jaroslaw Kurowyckyj

No free parking

To The Editor:
Re “The art of parking in Soho” (news article, Dec. 10 -16):

Seventy-seven percent of Manhattan households (and 54% of those citywide) don’t own or lease a car. Imagine what parking (and driving) would be like if they did. In this way, these relatively few drivers are utterly dependent on non-drivers for the usefulness of their cars. Their thanks for the rest of us? Noise, air and space pollution; crosswalk bullying; and even death.

Now they have the chutzpah to complain there’s not enough free parking? Puh-leez. Drivers want convenience, but they don’t want to pay. And the rest of us sit on our hands at let them get away with it?
Steven O’Neill
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Hanover questions

To The Editor:
Two central questions about the British Memorial Garden that will replace Hanover Square park have been left out of your fine article (news article, Nov. 19 –25, “The British garden is coming, but some wonder about statue”):

1. Has a cultural and historic assault been perpetrated on the citizens of N.Y.C.? The “Britain-In-the-USA” Web site itself calls Hanover Square “one of New York’s most historic squares.” Hanover Square has a long association with American writers (James Fenimore Cooper, Melville, etc.) and N.Y.C. history (De Peyster, city official and merchant; William Bradford, printer and resident, and Captain Kidd). Now N.Y.C. history and cultural will be paved over by the British Garden. We all have empathy for the loss of British lives which the memorial is intended to commemorate. But does not that commemoration cause another loss, the loss of N.Y.C. history and tradition?

2. Is it legal for a N.Y.C. park to be outsourced to any private entity to present its particular views? N.Y.C. parks belong to the millions of N.Y.C. residents and are not constituted to promote or memorialize the views of any one private entity no matter how sympathetic its views may be. If in 20 years another event occurs to cause someone to wish to reconstitute the British garden, will we allow that to happen? N.Y.C. history should not be given away, no matter how beautiful or ugly the gift may be, no matter how economically sound or costly it may be to N.Y.C.
Richard Fabrizio

Alternate Soho view

To The Editor:
A letter writer objected last week to the campaign by Soho activists and environmentalists to replace the present archaic commercial parking regulations with residential alternate side parking, claiming it will bring more cars into the neighborhood (Letters, Dec. 17 – 23, “Grow up and pay to park”). In fact, it will decrease vehicular congestion, noise and pollution.

What this doctrinaire individual – who doesn’t even live in the neighborhood — fails to realize is that during the week the current commercial parking rules provide parking space in Soho only for diesel trucks, tour busses, idling limos, abusers of the parking-permit privilege, and out-of-state scofflaws — just about everyone but the people who live here. Does that make sense?

On weekends, tens of thousands of tourists, many with cars, invade the neighborhood, grab space in front of residents’ buildings, or prowl the streets looking for that elusive parking space — all the while creating air, space and noise pollution. Realizing that residents’ cars will already be parked here will encourage these visitors to use mass transit. Isn’t that a good thing?

In his myopia, he actually encourages us to patronize local garages and parking lots now slated for residential construction – appearing to favor parking facilities over residential housing.

The vast majority of neighborhoods in Manhattan have alternate-side residential parking. Soho residents only ask the same treatment provided millions of other New Yorkers.
Sean Sweeney
Director of Soho Alliance

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