June 2012


What—Me Worry?

Posted on 

Yes, you should worry.

On May 21, supported by Mayor Bloomberg, Spectra Energy got approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC ) for a NJ/NY pipeline extension. The pipeline will deliver high-pressure natural gas hydrofracked from the Marcellus Shale to a vault on Gansevoort Peninsula, and then travel to a Con Ed terminal on West 15th Street.

There has been great concern in our community about this pipeline, and for good reason. Hydrofracked natural gas contains radon. Exposure to radon, which can occur from just turning on your gas stove when the pipeline is in operation, is a major cause of lung cancer. Read yesterday’s important article on this subject in the Huffington Post  by journalist and West Village resident Eileen Stukane. Go to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eileen-stukane/spectra-pipeline_b_1574963.html for the article.

In addition to serious health risks, there are many other issues behind opposition to the pipeline, including the possibility of a devastating explosion, its potential as a terrorist target, and it’s effect on real estate values.

Spectra Energy, the company behind the pipeline extension, paints a cheerful and positive picture of the project. On their website, they claim that “….more than 5,200 direct and indirect jobs will be created in and around local host communities.” They also say that it will bring in $700 million total annual energy savings in New Jersey and New York, and that it will bring in millions in tax revenue while improving our air quality. Perhaps this is all Mayor Bloomberg heard before he backed the plan with his considerable energy and power.

Whether Spectra Energy’s claims are true or not, will it be worth our safety and good health?

For more information, go to http://manhattanusersguide.com/article.php?id=2109.


Obama Comes to Charles Street

Cheerful and well-behaved crowds gathered as close to Charles Street as possible to see Barack Obama’s motorcade arrive on the evening of June 14.

The preparations were in evidence earlier in the day as the tent in front of Sara Jessica Parker’s townhouse went up, and barricades lined the surrounding streets. Many noticed that all the corner trash receptacles had been removed and the mailboxes sealed—reasonable security precautions.
Neighbors with rooftops and fire escapes that would give a great view of the event were told to go back inside by cops and Secret Service.
After standing and waiting for hours, anticipation mounted as  vehicles with wailing sirens and flashing lights approached, and helicopters flew low overhead, but there were several false alarms, and the motorcade finally crossed Bleecker and Charles at 6:48 pm.
The fundraiser is said to have added $4.5 million to the President’s reelection campaign

Library Budget Saved —Thanks to Public Support
Thanks to letters and calls to Mayor Bloomberg’s office and the City Council, $40 million of the $43 million asked for kept for the New York Public Library budget.
The library has been operating with less than needed for the past four years, but this budget will keep the most serious cuts from happening.
See the previous West Village Word story Speak up for the Jefferson Market Library on the impending disaster.

Nothing if Not Picturesque
Many neighborhood residents have a problem with the
 multiplicity of stores like Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren and Coach along Bleecker Street. We all miss the wonderful  antique shops and other small businesses that once occupied those storefronts.
We have to admit, though, that even if many of us can’t afford to shop in these high-end boutiques, some of them are attractive to look at.
The Ralph Lauren Men’s store on the corner of Perry and Bleecker often has interesting and well-done window displays, and amazingly, the salesmen dress to match the aesthetic. Seen here, two of them enjoy the sunshine and fresh air waiting for the arrival of customers.

 Long-Lost West Village Businesses — Tell Us What You Miss the Most

Let us know what restaurants and stores you miss the most in our changing neighborhood.

Some of the ones we miss are Biography Bookstore (although happily relocated as bookbook, 266 Bleecker Street), the original Jefferson Market grocery, The Bagel on West 4th, The Lion’s Head, and many, many more.

Let us know what your past favorites are by clicking on the cartoon speech balloon in the upper right corner of this post.  And when you submit your comment, don’t forget to check the box to be notified by e-mail of new posts.

To see what others have said, click here.

So They Painted the Door. Big Deal.

This storefront on Bleecker Street between 10th and Christopher Streets has looked like this for several years now—a true eyesore.
Things started looking up last week when it looked like some work would finally be done, but alas, they’ve gotten as far a painting the front door, and gone no further.
All the surrounding storefronts which had been previously occupied by a restaurant and a newspaper store have been refurbished and are now occupied mostly by small boutiques, but this building has been suffering from neglect for some time. Let’s hope the facelift goes further than a messily painted white door!