Week of January 18, 2012

Easy on your wallet

To the editor:
Earlier this month, the New York Times raised its newsstand price from $2.00 to $2.50. They are now the most expensive daily newspaper in New York, if not the nation.  Others such as the Wall Street Journal cost $2.00, USA Today and Newsday $1.00 each along with the New York Daily News or New York Post at 75 cents each. Only our favorite Downtown Express is still the best deal in town providing the best coverage of news from lower Manhattan free of charge!
Larry Penner

Apocalypse now

To the editor:
Re. “Villagers pack Town Hall, hoping to stop N.Y.U. plan” (news article, Jan. 11):

New York University’s 2031 plan is the death knell for Greenwich Village and its neighbors. The plan’s impact on light, air quality, traffic, density and health will be catastrophic, and the University’s predatory and grandiose request for rezoning changes would alter the face of Greenwich Village forever.

I’m reminded of what Robert Oppenheimer, quoting the Bhagavad Gita, said after the atomic detonation in New Mexico: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

N.Y.U.’s plan, if approved, is death to our neighborhood, the destroyer of worlds. The plan must be stopped.
Rhoma Mostel

Cruise-ship safety

To the editor:
As a former naval officer; officer-of-the deck underway, independent and formation steaming; and qualified marine navigator and instructor, I have questions concerning the grounding of the cruise ship Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy.

Was the captain on the bridge exercising control of the ship?  If so, why was the ship so close to the rocks?  If not, who was on the bridge conning the ship?  What were their qualifications? Was there a maritime pilot on the bridge? The most dangerous period in peacetime for a ship underway is when it is leaving and entering port or traversing in close proximity to land. This is when you have to be on full alert.

Why did the Costa Concordia only hold emergency evacuation drills once every fifteen days? During a fifteen-day period the ship would normally visit a number of ports and embark new passengers. A drill should be held prior to leaving every port.

The maritime industry should evaluate the viability of lifeboat systems, which fail when a ship takes on a significant list that makes it very difficult or impossible to launch lifeboats.

More attention must be paid to the safety of passengers and crew.
Donald A. Moskowitz

Letters policy
    Downtown Express welcomes letters to The Editor. They must include the writer’s first and last name, a phone number for confirmation purposes only, and any affiliation that relates directly to the letter’s subject matter. Letters should be less than 300 words. Downtown Express reserves the right to edit letters for space, clarity, civility or libel reasons. Letters should be e-mailed to news@DowntownExpress.com or can be mailed to 511 Canal St., N.Y., N.Y. 10013.

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