INDEPENDENCE PLAZA NORTH: A RESPONSE
Re Wayne Barrett's "Zero at Ground Zero" [August 6-12]:
The Village Voice irresponsibly frightened residents of Independence Plaza North (IPN) about future rent levels in an error-ridden article.
Amid the fearmongering and poor reporting, here are the most glaring mistakes and misrepresentations.
Residents shouldn't fear "sizzling market rents." As IPN's new owner, I'll cooperate with tenants and government officials to negotiate potential rent increases in a reasonable manner.
Potential increases will be tailored to household income. I'm also making multimillion-dollar improvements to IPN.
It's untrue that 22 percent of residents can get rent subsidies. Vouchers will actually insulate 67 percent of residents from material increases.
The Mitchell-Lama owners' right to exit the program is no legal "loophole." State Senator MacNeil Mitchell himself stated that the 20-year exit right was "a permanent essential element of the . . . scheme to encourage private free enterprise to invest" in affordable housing.
The article incorrectly states that Park West Village was a Mitchell-Lama site. Furthermore, I do not manage or control this property.
Finally, the article included unfair, personal attacks on me. Despite nine reporters working on it for days, I was contacted just hours before deadline and couldn't call back in time.
IPN residents will receive the fairness and respect they deserve.
Wayne Barrett replies: Most importantly, Gluck's letter acknowledges his intent to raise rents at IPN. He predicts that federal voucher subsidies will "insulate" two-thirds of the tenants from the increases, ignoring the fact that 150,000 New Yorkers are already on waiting lists for vouchers and the Bush budget is cutting them. I reported that 22 percent of the tenants get the subsidies now as a sign of how economically integrated the development is. No one can be sure how many tenants will be protected by subsidies once Gluck moves to maximize profits. Similarly, Gluck's promise that "increases will be tailored to household income" includes no offer to negotiate those increases with tenants or invite the city to aggressively monitor the process. In any event, the Gluck promise only applies to existing tenants. The policy question for the city and state is: Will they allow the integrated residential heart of Lower Manhattan to be converted into luxury housing? Gluck is right that Park West Villagewhich he co-ownsis not a Mitchell-Lama, but it is covered by similar state regulations, including the 20-year opt out, and the nightmare tenants experienced there after Gluck and his partner bought it is instructive. With four Gluck press representatives, it's a shame none could answer a question before the deadline.
Re Richard Goldstein's "The Radical Case for Gay Marriage" [September 3-9]:
Gay men and women were not put on this earth to fix the world's problemslike a centuries-old legacy of marriage traditions that many on the left find unbearably rigid. That gay people should be working to undermine marriage instead of buying into it is, frankly, an ideology more rigid than the concept of marriage itself. According to that logic, we should never have fought to integrate public schools in the 1950s because the education they were offering was Eurocentric, patriarchal, and myopically parochial.
Marriage continues to evolve. If you think marriage is a dead-end institution worthy of euthanasia, don't get married. But don't stand in my way of doing so. It's much more a civil rights issue than the Foucaultian black hole some academics and lefties make it out to be. And anyway, it is precisely because same-sex marriage is such a radical act that the right wing is freaking itself into a constitutional frenzy. So in this instance, you might be able to have your wedding cake and eat it, too. Richard Goldstein is dead-on, and the gay community is fortunate to have his voice at your paper.
Please ask him if he'll marry me.
Richard Goldstein replies: Come up and see me some time.
Dear Michael Feingold:
Thank you for your excellent article on contemporary directors ["Off Directing, Part 1," July 30-August 5]. Never have I read an article regarding this subject more direct and honest than yours. What is most respectable about your position is that you're no dummy. You've done your homework and that is something so rare to see in a writer or an artistthe fact that you clearly know where you are coming from and what you are trying to accomplish.
I agree with you completely, and I am speaking as a young director. It is so difficult to learn from your elders when you think they're screwing up the entire time, marching around with big heads not telling the story but screaming loud colors and imagery at you. The most profound line, I feel, that you wrote has to be about not seeing the playonly hearing it.
As a member of Off-Off-Broadway, it is often difficult to get my voice heard, and I heard it plainly in yours. My company runs a program called the Off-Off Community Dish, where 20 leading Off-Off companies come together bimonthly to have dinner and discuss the recent theatrical climate. Currently we are drafting a letter to American Theatre magazine containing our responses to the ongoing discussion revolving around institutional theater. Your piece has helped further our thoughts, and on behalf of over 500 artists, we want to thank you.
Thank you for your honesty and passion.
Zachary R. Mannheimer
Artistic Director, the Subjective Theatre Company
SQUEEZING OUT SPARXX
Regarding your review of Chunky on the Fourth of July [Dirty Pornos, July 21, village-voice.com]:
Your article mentions a scene with a girl licking the picture of Saddam Hussein. She is not Roxy Blazeshe is Lisa Sparxx.
I am Roxy Blaze, and I really think reviewers should be a little nicer to those of us who have the guts to show our naked bodies after gaining weight in our thirties. Five years ago I was a cute, thin, rocker chick working in all the rock clubs in New York. So give us a breakthe "chunky" movies sell a lot, so obviously there is a market out there.
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