Volume 19 Issue 51 | May 4 -10, 2007

Letters to the editor

Tribeca piers’ loss

To The Editor:
Re “With $70M spent, no money to reopen park’s Tribeca piers” (news article, April 27 – May 3):

If we had simply raised our voices as a community rather than listening to the Hudson River Park Trust, we would still have our wonderful funky Piers 25 and 26.  We didn’t.  

 If we simply raise our voices as a community rather than listening to the Hudson River Trust, we could have these same no frills piers back in short order for a fraction of the $70 million.  We haven’t. 

We all know that the piers should not have been demolished, but refurbished and kept open.  Take it from someone who spent years in the music business, I will not touch the mix of a song that is already a hit.  The piers were a huge hit with our community.  Closing it for years, and trying to recreate it is simply a disaster.
Tom Goodkind

To The Editor: 
Re “With $70M spent, no money to reopen park’s Tribeca piers” (news article, April 27 – May 3):

Thanks for the informative article. I am sure you are well aware of the rather incestuous relationship between construction companies, developers and state governmental agencies. 

I find it mind boggling that the Trust has “spent”  $70 million to dig up some concrete, and add soil and sod (Yet to be dug up, and yet to be added, of course.)

How ridiculous is that? All that has really happened so far is benches have been removed, and some small parts of the concrete have finally been dug up — along with some work on the piers.

I am literally across the street from where the work is being “done” (for lack of a better word) — and frankly one out of three days the vehicles are simply parked there with no one working on the site.

The fact that they “need” even more money is just a sign of how fat the pigs lining the trough have become.

I honestly appreciate the fact that you have taken the time to write about this issue, but for me the more interesting article would be a clear budgetary breakdown of how this money is being spent — in line item format.

Despite the fact that there is(was) a bundle of federal and state money available for spending due to the tragic and unforgettable events of 9/11, we the taxpayers really need to see this type of budgetary information firsthand in order for things to be done on time and on budget.

Thank you for your time and I sincerely look forward to future articles on this subject.

Rohin Hattiangadi

Parking’s toll

To The Editor:
While the mayor’s sudden interest in greening the city by reducing traffic through congestion pricing is commendable (editorial, April 27 - May 3, “Congestion pricing: A breath of fresh air”), I believe this is another example of the proverbial attempt to kill a fly with a cannon.  Ultimately, congestion pricing amounts to a tax, which will be an onerous burden on those who can least afford it.

The mayor could easily solve traffic congestion tomorrow with zero cost to the general public.  Just yank all the free parking permits that government employees use to park their commuter vehicles and watch the traffic decline. The Schaller study, commissioned by Transportation Alternatives, clearly demonstrates that government workers commute by car at a much higher rate than employees of private firms.

Candidate Bloomberg, campaigning for his first term, had promised to move government offices out of Manhattan — a campaign pledge which he never fulfilled.  That is indeed unfortunate as our Lower Manhattan neighborhoods are saturated with commuter vehicles at fire hydrants, bus stops, curb cuts, crosswalks, on top of sidewalks and even in the bushes, all displaying placards stating the vehicle is “on official city business.”

Likewise, if the mayor was really concerned with solving Lower Manhattan’s traffic congestion and air pollution, he would come out in support of changing the one-way toll system on the Verrazano Bridge back to two-way tolls, as proposed by Congressman Nadler.  Presently trucks can save as much as $70 by diverting through Manhattan and skirting the Verrazano toll on their way into New Jersey.

John Ost

Uncivil exchange

To The Editor:
The privatization issue at Southbridge Towers has become akin to the war in Iraq — unbelievable but true. I got into an argument with two “ladies” at Associated Food. They have been brainwashed like the children of terrorists which we read about.  They insist they would have to leave in two years if we stayed as a Mitchell-Lama co-op and the corruption is out of control, which can only stop if we privatize. They are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that the privatization flip tax would be our savior. Logic and math are meaningless. The fact is the flip tax income is being earmarked for higher real estate taxes, capital improvements, more amenities, and for interest earnings.

The fact that we have done so well for 36 years with an average yearly increase in maintenance of 3.2 percent means nothing. I was told to shut up and drop dead by the older one (about 75), to which I replied “same to you, have a nice day.” To the pro Mitchell-Lama people, I say, “don’t aggravate yourselves and get into an argument with one of the many idiot jackasses who have the social graces of a person on death row.”

It is ridiculous to talk to many, but not all of the privatizers. Not all have gone berserk. Just as with our “terrorist friends” in the Middle East, there can be no dialogue or meaningful debate. At least we don’t tell others to drop dead. In 1971, when I moved in to Southbridge, it was a pleasant place to live. Now it is a war zone for many.

Steve Seifer

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