Volume 20 Issue 6 | June 22 - 28, 2007

Letters to the Editor

No peace or prosperity

To The Editor:
Re “Police barrier injures 3 in Chinatown” (news article, June 15 – 21): 

The danger of delta barriers was demonstrated when this pop up managed to pick up a tandem bus.  My immediate thought was, suppose that had been a Honda Civic.

Besides being an annoyance and affront to the community, the Bloomberg/Kelly checkpoint does very little to secure One Police Plaza.  I thought the comment of the officer on duty was right on target when he said “they break all the time.”  They do break down and the company that installed these monstrosities is constantly making service calls.  But, the comment by N.Y.P.D. spokesperson Paul Browne that they use police cars when they break had me scratching my head. Well that same checkpoint’s northern pop up was out of commission for a full year in 2006.  For one year, that state-of-the-art delta barrier was replaced by an N.Y.P.D. Crown Victoria.  During that time period, that is all that kept Police Plaza safe from Ray Kelly’s fear of “truck bombs” or “rocket launchers” making their way down Park Row.

I think it’s time for the Bloomberg administration to recognize that these barriers serve no purpose but to annoy residents, destroy the economy of Chinatown, and add an enormous amount of “congestion” to the surrounding streets. Come on  (ahh President?  Governor?) Mayor Mike, it’s only three short words. “Open Park Row.”
 Rich Scorce
Chatham Green board member

Liberal bully

To The Editor: 
Re “Nobody told me there were Republicans in Tribeca” (Downtown Notebook, June 1 - 7):

I was appalled to read Wickham Boyle’s self-satisfied account of her verbal assault on a neighbor she met at a gathering of volunteers working for a local charity.  Ms. Boyle gleefully recounts how “I went for this woman’s jugular every chance I got,” upon learning that she happened to be a Republican.  Going “for the jugular” evidently consisted of nothing but obnoxious barbs — such as a reference to the Confederacy — and a barrage of sophomoric sexual innuendoes that, so far as I can tell, bore no plausible relation to politics or policy.  No wonder Ms. Boyle’s victim “turned and crossed the street” the next time she saw her tormenter.  What I can’t understand is why Ms. Wickham would consider that a “triumph.”

Don’t get me wrong. I am about as liberal as they come.  Out of law school, I worked for Justice Brennan, the Supreme Court’s liberal lion, and I spent the next 15 years as a public interest lawyer pressing liberal causes through litigation and public advocacy. Like Ms. Boyle, I consider many of the current administration’s policies objectionable, even reprehensible.

But I take issue with Ms. Boyle’s tactics.  I am convinced we do not advance our cause one whit — indeed, we set our cause back — with her style of hateful and narrow-minded taunts that substitute rancor for reason.  Yes, Ms. Boyle, there are Republicans in Tribeca, and everywhere else in our country.  In my experience, most of them are thoughtful and well-meaning members of our communities who share our dreams about how the world should be; they just have a very different view of how to get there.  If we hope to make any progress in advancing our agenda, it will have to be by engaging them in respectful dialogue.  Until you understand this, you can do a big favor for the liberals who are striving for change:  Next time you encounter a Republican in our community, keep your mouth shut and walk the other way.
E. Joshua Rosenkranz

Cross about streets

To The Editor:
Re “Stop in the name of traffic safety, B.P.C. says,” (news article, May 18 - 24):

It was heartening to read about the Battery Park City protest contra the Department of Transportation, since D.O.T.’s policy of shortening traffic lights in favor of motorists pervades all of Lower Manhattan. Crossing the street has become a perilous sport, enhanced by the N.Y.P.D.’s looking the other way when trucks and cars go through red lights with impunity. Judge not lest ye be judged may be their motto; since they, too, ignore the traditional traffic observances.

Beyond the shadow of a doubt, the Department of Transportation has done more than their share in making the life of Manhattan pedestrians unlivable. The time is ripe for reversing the timing of the lights in favor of those who walk. We were designed to go on air, not oil; and unless we begin observing and heeding that simple fact, we won’t be going anywhere before you can say Exxon, Chevron or Mobil.
Shelly Estrin

A Downtown shame

To The Editor:
I was appalled after reading the article about building at 50 West St. (news article, June 15 – 21, “Developer says ‘no’ to affordable housing, so C.B. 1 considers saying ‘right back at you’”). How dare Philip Gesue say that if you cannot live in Manhattan, move to Brooklyn. What nerve. What all the developers that are coming into Lower Manhattan fail to realize is that there would not be a Lower Manhattan if not for the original occupants who moved down here 20 to 30 years ago. These developers are not bettering the neighborhood, they are destroying it.  Robert De Niro came in saying he was there to bring life back after 9/11.  He certainly brought life back into the area but for the rich and famous.  You cannot even find a parking space on Greenwich St. because all of the limos that are parked there.  And the Tribeca Film Festival isn’t for those of us who have lived there all our lives. Who can afford $18 to $25 to get into see all of the movies that are shown there? 

And what about the World Trade Center?  A memorial should have been up already to honor those who perished.  All everyone is interested in is making a buck, not honoring those who died.  If we get rid of ground zero, there will be no more tourist attraction.  Maybe that is the reason everyone is dragging their tails on this.Shame on all of the politicians who are allowing this to happen.  Shame on Community Board 1 if they allow Mr. Gesue to get away with what he is proposing and for saying what he said and shame on them if they allow him to build in our area.  How many more highrises and hotels do we need?
Lorraine Fittipaldi

No Hollywood town

To The Editor:
In Codrescu’s latest, he misspells the name of a small Minnesota river town (The Penny Post, June 15 – 21, “Notes on the Mississippi”).  It’s Winona, Minn., not “Wynona” – although I think I see the likely source of the error, as actress Wynona Rider was named after the city.  Is Andrei a huge “Heathers” fan?
Todd Lintner

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