Volume 18 • Issue 52 | May 12 - 18, 2006

Letters to the editor

Right on Nadler

To The Editor:
Representative Nadler should be commended for his stalwart opposition to a costly and redundant rail-link, since we have perfectly adequate service to J.F.K. with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (news article, April 28 – May 4, “Nadler blasts rail link; says Downtowners are being ‘poisoned’ ”).

His concern with the hazards of toxic air in Lower Manhattan is also admirable. To the extent that the Environmental Protection Agency has served as a protector of the polluters, it is crucial that they be monitored and subjected to close observation by concerned citizens who will be affected by the cleanup programs.

I congratulate Rep. Nadler on his probity, and hope he will give second thoughts to endorsing Hillary Clinton, the chicken-hawk, if she decides to run for president in 2008 (news article, April 28 – May 4, “Nadler on Clinton, Iran & impeachment”).
Shelly Estrin

Silver clarifies transit view

To The Editor:
Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down with the esteemed reporters and editors of the Downtown Express and The Villager to discuss issues of importance to our Lower Manhattan community.

While I was pleased to have had this opportunity, I would like to clarify a point in the article entitled, “Silver: 2nd Ave. subway takes a back seat to rail link” (news article, May 5 – 11).

During our conversation, I was asked to rank three projects – the Long Island Rail Road one-seat ride to Downtown, the Second Ave. subway, and the freight rail link. I stated that the number 1 and 2 projects were the L.I.R.R. one-seat ride and the Second Ave. subway. Having spent years discussing my position of strongest support for the Second Ave. subway, I proceeded to explain my position on the one-seat L.I.R.R. stop to Downtown, which may have created some confusion.

While I fully support the one-seat L.I.R.R. ride to Downtown, nothing should infer less of my commitment to the Second Ave. subway to Lower Manhattan.

For decades, I have been pushing for a full build of the Second Ave. subway to improve public transportation for the residents of Lower Manhattan and help alleviate commuter congestion on the Lexington Avenue line. In fact, I have already secured nearly $2 billion for this project. It is important that we capitalize on this commitment and not let this opportunity to improve our transportation system get away.

The full-length Second Ave. subway will provide major benefits to many areas that are vital to the future of New York City, including the Lower East Side, Chinatown and the Financial District, by allowing tens of thousands of shoppers, business people and restaurant patrons to once again enjoy the greatness of Lower Manhattan.

I also believe that the one-seat ride on the L.I.R.R. to Lower Manhattan will have a dramatically positive impact on the Downtown economy by attracting more Long Island commuters and encouraging more businesses to locate here. Accordingly, this has become a transportation project that I believe is significant for Lower Manhattan.
Sheldon Silver
Speaker of the New York State Assembly

Defending Ardito

To The Editor
I write in response to the letter that was published in last week’s edition of the Downtown Express, written by Alan Bortnick, of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn (Letters, May 5 – 11, “Traffic problem”). I am compelled to set the record straight and address Mr. Bortnick’s egregious personal attack on newly appointed Lower Manhattan borough commissioner Ardito.

I can assure you that Commissioner Ardito, like her predecessor, Mr. Weber, has a vast array of experience in her position and has served the Brooklyn community well during her tenure.

Mr. Bortnick is incorrect in his allegations that the agency has played musical chairs with its commissioners, and as a result, he now says Downtowners have been victimized by her arrival.

I take great issue with Mr. Bortnick’s mischaracterization of Ms. Ardito’s tenure having been filled with disastrous failures and great mismanagement. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I speak from personal experience as a concerned resident, having had the pleasure and opportunity to work with Ms. Ardito and her staff at 16 Court St.

While I may have not have always agreed with every decision and outcome that her office made, one thing is for sure: She was always there ready to listen, and investigate the issues and concerns that were brought to her for inquiry and necessary action. On some occasions, decisions were made solely based on requirements and warrants that were prerequisites put in place by the federal government.

Commissioner Ardito did in fact make more than a few stops in the evening at community board meetings. The borough has 22 boards that she served and thus it was almost every week that she attended these night meetings for the individual boards and communities.

I think the borough of Brooklyn was very fortunate to have had Commissioner Ardito serve us, and I know she will excel in her duties here in Lower Manhattan. I’m saddened to see such sour grapes displayed by Mr. Bortnick.
Phil Fox
Phil Fox is a Brooklyn resident who works Downtown.


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