Volume 18, Number 2 | JUNE 3 - 9, 2005

Letters to the editor

Stadium’s a loser

To The Editor:
Your editorial, "Stand firm against the stadium, Mr. Speaker" (May 27 - June 2) scored a touchdown.

Taxpayers should just say no to using public funds for any new major sports stadiums. In ancient Rome, government attempted to curry favor with the masses by offering free bread and circuses. Today, we have sports pork.

How sad that New York City taxpayers are continually asked to pay for new stadiums. Public dollars on the city, state and federal level are being used as corporate welfare to subsidize a private-sector business. The only real beneficiaries of these expenditures are team owners and their multimillion-dollar players.

It is impossible to judge the amount of new economic activities that these so-called public benefits will generate. Between selling the stadium name, season sky boxes and reserve seating, cable, television and radio revenues, concession refreshment and souvenir sales along with rental income for other sports, rock concerts and other commercial events, it is hard to believe that New Jersey Jets owner Robert Wood Johnson IV can't finance his new stadium on his own.

Larry Penner
Great Neck, New York

Diesel outrage

To The Editor:
Re “City close to legalizing diesel storage in Tribeca telecom building” (news article, May 6 –12):

I am outraged and disappointed to learn that the Department of Buildings may be close to granting a variance for the diesel fuel illegally stored at 60 Hudson St. As a resident and representative of Lower Manhattan, I find it unconscionable that the city would even consider approving a permit that clearly violates existing building codes. In the midst of a residential neighborhood and near a number of schools, the storage of illegal amounts of diesel poses a safety and health risk for Lower Manhattan residents and New York City.

The Department of Buildings has been aware of this dangerous threat for quite some time, and despite calls for greater public safety, is entertaining a variance that will undoubtedly threaten the well-being of neighborhood residents, workers and visitors. It is foolish and contradictory for the government, which has emphasized homeland security issues and allocated a great deal of resources toward these ends, to validate the existence of a great safety risk in a city that has already proven vulnerable. Diesel has the potential to cause serious harm, as we know all too well from the attacks of Sept.11, 2001.

Furthermore, retroactively granting a variance for existing violations is bad public policy. D.O.B. is responsible for protecting our residents and workers by securing the safety of our buildings. Granting variances for clear violations of department regulations sends the wrong message to the public and other building owners, and we ought not reward those who have disregarded D.O.B. regulations at the expense of our citizens.

D.O.B. must enforce the building codes set up to protect our citizens and demand removal of all fuel in excess of legal limits. Additionally, the D.O.B. must ensure that the remaining diesel is as secure and safe as possible for the protection of our residents. Our community cannot afford to accept anything less.

Deborah J. Glick
Assemblymember, 66th District

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