Letters, Week of July 25, 2012

To the Editor: 
Re “C.B. 1 plan seeks to keep seniors happy in their homes” (web article, July 18):

At age 64, having lived more than half my life in IPN, I applaud this. My part of town has been decreasingly friendly to people of my age since right around 9/11. One horn of what is a multi-pronged dilemma is an influx of mommies-of-both-sexes with nannies and trophy-children, with attendant stresses on systems and services. Downtown Express’s regular comments on school-seat problems is partly illustrative of this. A community geared for 25,000 or 30,000 people now has to support 60-plus thousand. Another horn, perhaps the nastiest: for people on fixed incomes — old folks, and even people just getting there, but past the point where the income curve flattens, even declines — is housing and food costs. The former is perhaps scariest, and building the combination of elected officials (old folks turn out for elections), city and state agencies and senior activists to nudge them will be an important determinant of the success of any such organization.

I am intrigued that his is being rolled out at The Hallmark. One might suggest that Community Board 1 should also present to seniors in other venues, such as Independence Plaza North and Southbridge Towers.

To the editor: 
Re. “B.M.C.C. gears up for new Fiterman Hall grand opening” (news article, July 11):

The new Fiterman Hall is splendid, and a whole lot of people have made it that way. What is equally important: The college has apparently begun to think through the renovation of main building — designed for 8,000 students and severely overused for well over a decade.

Several teams have played roles in all this: Scott Anderson does a first-class job bringing together the people who make the place run; his departments keep the place clean and working and secure, and do it with such grace that it almost escapes attention.

Then there are the academic-support teams: My favorite is the group that manages the instructional technology setup, and who can respond to a help-me-now! call in minutes, often not even disturbing the flow of the class.

Over half my 35-year teaching career has included teaching classes at B.M.C.C.; I have watched the present organization building and refining itself and the college as a whole; I am also in a position to compare B.M.C.C.’s development with such places as NYU as well as other City University of New York (CUNY) colleges. None of the colleges and universities in which I have worked does the job better; most do not do as well.
Donald Jenner 

To the editor: 
Re Water main project to span four years, spurting tension (web article, July 18):

This is frankly unbelievable.

After September 11th, which I can easily say without hyperbole was the worst experience I ever went through, as it probably was for everyone who was down here that day, a strange thing happened. People would ask me if I felt the attacks were personal. Personal? I wondered. I would have to be pretty delusional and self-centered to think that. How could anyone think they were personal? I chalked it up to the many ways we all react to tragedy.

But this — this feels personal. After all the truly insane degree of infra-structuring we have endured down here since September 11th, all of it engineered by people who claim to have the best interests of the area at heart, this feels like the last straw. Just as the most onerous and troublesome project of all, right in the heart of the neighborhood comes to a close — the grandiose, $10 billion subway entrance that MTA officials have misspent more than a decade completing at the corner of Fulton Street and Broadway — the idea that the same stretch of Broadway is going to be ripped up to replace water mains is just infuriating.

Do the people making these incredibly stupid decisions ever come to the area? Spend the night? Take a good hard look at the kind of destruction their construction has wrought? Do they have any idea the kind of atmosphere they have created down here? It is a war zone, pure and simple. What is saddest of all is that the gallery of criminal nitwits is so broad — greedy, thoughtless developers; inept, unprofessional, thoughtless Con Edison officials; grandiose, corrupt, thoughtless MTA officials; bumbling, thoughtless city planners. There’s a heaping helping of idiot pie for everyone, and I for one am really, really tired of watching them all gobble it down like there’s no tomorrow.

David Colman

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5 Responses to Letters, Week of July 25, 2012

  1. Lower Manhattan including the seaport area and Tribeca had become 100% worse since 9/11. The construction in our streets is horrendous and "city planning" is non-existent. Southbridge Towers residents not only have to endure the next two year's of dirty, filthy, noisy work on the Brooklyn Bridge, but now somehow the Verizon Building has gotten approval at the same time to remove large parts of the facade while gutting the building and causing yet more dirt, dust, and most likely more health hazardous pollution for us to breath in and live with all in one small concentrated area.

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