Op-Ed Letters to the Editor
Having a ball at the
Leroy St. Dog Run in Hudson River Park.
The red balloon
To The Editor:
Re “Wally Elvers, 95, longtime
Villager, polymath” (obituary,
What a wonderful testimony
to the intelligence, love and
fruitful originality of this lovely
gentleman, who was my neighbor
for many years, the husband
of my friend Bibi, and the father
of my two daughters’ friends
Laurie and Susie.
I remember a story Bibi told
me many years ago, about how
Wally’s parents arranged to take
precautions against him getting
lost when they went on excursions
to the Bronx Zoo. They
would buy a red helium balloon
and tie it to his wrist, explaining
that if he should ever fi nd himself
alone and without them,
he should not run and panic,
but rather stand still in the spot
where he was and slowly raise
his wrist up and down. His
parents, who would of course
be looking for him, would scan
the horizon to see the red balloon
rising and falling, and thus
know where to look for him.
What charms me about this
story is how it demonstrates an
encounter with a situation that
for most of us would be fraught
with terror, not to say hysteria,
and shows us that the proper
way to meet it is with reason,
intelligence and originality.
Carol F. Jochnowitz
Go, dogs, go!
To The Editor:
Re “Not going to the dogs
on Gansevoort, Pier 40” (oped,
by Lynn Pacifi co, June 6):
Lynn is absolutely correct.
We need more dog runs and
they should be included as
a part of every proposal for
public spaces, including those
on the waterfront. It’s always
been a struggle to get dog runs
in the Village, despite the fact
that more and more dogs live
here. The decision makers really
shouldn’t be so dismissive
of dog owners as we are an important
part of the community
and we vote!
Bus is a lifeline
To The Editor:
Re “Figuring out 14th St.”
(Editorial, June 6):
I’m 75, with heart and lung
issues, but living in active retirement
at Hudson and 11th
Sts. thanks to the 14A bus loop
down to Hudson and Bleecker
Sts., plus the M11 and M8
lines, which help me get to
various doctors and other appointments
and Off and Off
Off Broadway theaters at night.
It’s what keeps me going.
Ending the 14A loop (the
line I use most) will bring my
life-preserving active life to a
semi-halt and will no doubt
shorten my life. So this is
deadly personal for me.
The notoriously bad M20
bus is so erratic, late and slow,
I’ve missed many a curtain
time waiting for one to come.
Low-income seniors can’t afford
Ubers or taxis. Subway
stairs are just too much. Please
don’t abandon us. It is literally
a matter of life and death.
Follow the meds
To The Editor:
Re “ ‘This is fi xable’: Parkland
father on U.S. gun violence”
(news article, May 30):
I don’t know about the latest
shooter but all the priors
were on antidepressants. The
problem is not the guns but
the criminal pharmaceutical
industry — they are truly the
Lynn Pacifi co
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Letters to the Editor, 1 Metro-
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The Villager reserves the
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grammar, clarity and libel.
Anonymous letters will not be
Take the pressure
off Pr. 40 and park
BY TOM FOX
Twenty years after the passage of the Hudson River Park
Act, a major source of revenue originally intended to
support the park’s operation and maintenance has yet
to be secured. Failure to implement a major recommendation
on long-term operating and maintenance is putting unnecessary
development pressure on park assets, such as Pier 40.
In 1990, when Hudson River Park was fi rst proposed, city
and state parks suffered from insuffi cient funding. To make
the proposed park palatable to elected and appointed offi cials,
the West Side Waterfront Panel suggested that the new park
might be self-suffi cient if radical new funding mechanisms for
operation and maintenance were established.
As the park was initially envisioned, the city and state
would fund its construction. Community Board 2’s recent
recommendation that the city and state fund bulkhead (seawall)
restoration seems consistent with that commitment.
However, back in 1998, all revenues generated in parks had
to be transferred to the city or state’s general fund.
To support long-term operation and maintenance of the new
park, two new revenue streams, unique to this project, were
recommended by the panel. The fi rst was to allow the park to
retain revenue generated within it. The fi rst of these revenueproducing
areas, Chelsea Piers, was completed in 1994.
The second recommendation was the creation of a new
mechanism to capture a portion of appreciation of adjacent
inboard real estate within three blocks of the park. It’s clear
that the $1.3 billion public investment in the park has drastically
increased the value of adjacent inboard property and
generated the new tax revenues initially anticipated.
However, the second recommendation was conveniently
ignored by elected and appointed offi cials when the Park Act
was written in 1998, while they continued to demand the park
be self-suffi cient. Without that second funding stream, the
park will never be self-supporting without the goose that laid
the golden egg being killed by overdevelopment.
This is even more puzzling given the rezoning of adjacent
neighborhoods in Tribeca, Greenwich Village, Chelsea and
Clinton (including Hudson Yards and Hudson Square) that
were approved without new development projects in them
contributing to the park — although all these projects’ marketing
materials tout the park as providing public open space
for increased commercial and residential populations.
The original Friends of Hudson River Park studied the issue
and in 2008 proposed the creation of a Neighborhood
Improvement District to support the 4.5-mile-long park. The
reconstituted Friends group, in 2016, released yet a second
study confi rming the value that the park adds to inboard
property but has failed to propose a solution. The concept was
favorably received at the recent meeting local politicians held
to discuss possible legislative amendments for Pier 40.
Without a second source of revenue from adjacent properties
that have benefi tted from the park, there will always be
a scramble for funds. The Hudson River Park Trust’s efforts
to increase development in the park will force local neighborhoods
to continue to fi ght over limited resources.
It’s time to formalize a way to capture inboard revenue generated
by the park for its operation and maintenance. Any new
legislation should address this and take pressure off Pier 40 to
fund a disproportionate portion of the park’s annual budget.
Fox was fi rst president of the Hudson River Park Conservancy
(which completed the Hudson River Park’s general
project plan) from 1992-95 and founding board member of
Friends of Hudson River Park from 1999-2011.
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