Volume 20 Issue 14 | August 17 - 23, 2007

Letters to the Editor

Bedrock principles

To The Editor:
Re “What Mayor Mike and family ‘leaders’ have in common” (Talking Point, Aug. 10 – 16):
If Michael Burke does not wish to go down to bedrock on 9/11, he is perfectly welcome to stay at home or whatever he wishes. How about a movie? The families that met with Mayor Bloomberg only sought what was best for them. This descent to bedrock was added on to the ceremony. Nothing was taken away from the ceremony. Never forget. I guess Mr. Burke has a short memory.  Every year thousands have descended to bedrock and obviously it comforts some people. It is their way of grieving and remembering their loved ones. If the family members did not intercede, families would not have been able to descend to their loved ones’ last resting place on earth, where they took their last breath and their souls left their bodies.
Jim Riches
Jim Riches is a deputy chief in the F.D.N.Y. and the father of Firefighter Jimmy Riches, who was killed Sept. 11, 2001.

To The Editor:
I want to thank both Michael Burke for his recent

Downtown Express opinion piece, as well as your newspaper for printing it.

I am glad the families will have access to the World Trade Center site this year and have a hard time understanding Bloomberg’s initial obstinacy on the issue. I hope the recent compromise is able to give those who feel a need to stand on bedrock a sense of peace during this difficult time of year. But there are other issues that over the long term are much more important.

It’s now become very un-P.C. to suggest anything other than a “stay the course” mentality at the W.T.C. site, as if pretending all the problems inherent in the current plans will simply vanish if we ignore them. But as Michael points out, it’s not just about us and what feels right at the moment. Our children and grandchildren will inherit the W.T.C., and under the current plans, that inheritance will include an office complex vastly inferior to what was once there and a memorial that tells them nothing of any real substance about what happened here in 2001.

Michael wonders how long it will be before people forget the truth of 9/11. I believe the problem to be much more serious than that. As I’ve discussed the attacks with people over the years, I have found that most never knew the half of it to begin with. I have a cousin and a childhood friend who believe the conspiracy theories. How can we expect people to grasp the true horror of what happened — and the truth about who caused it — if the W.T.C. memorial itself can’t be bothered with specific facts? Who will remember what the W.T.C. itself was if the office complex they visit looks nothing like what was destroyed?

If we truly meant it when we promised to “never forget,” then we have to be willing to try to see the attacks from the perspective of those who never knew the pre-9/11 world. What is the legacy that we are leaving them?
Rachel Snyder

Help with rats

To The Editor:
Re “Stop and smell the rats” (Letter by Karen Pearl, Aug. 3 – 9):

I was distressed after reading your letter in which you questioned my effectiveness and that of Noah Pfefferbilt.

First I should tell you that I have lived in this community for the last 30 years. My husband and I live directly across the street from the former Deutsche Bank and the World Trade Center site. Along with our neighbors, we were out of our homes for almost two years due to the heavy damages our building suffered following the attack on 9/11. We received tremendous help from our local politicians and Community Board 1. I volunteered to become a community board member after that experience to help my fellow C.B. 1 residents in whatever small way I could.

Noah Pfefferbilt has worked in the Lower Manhattan area for many years beginning at the borough president’s office, Wall Street Rising and now as the district manager for C.B. 1.

Second, the point of my statement to the Express was that the board office had not received or been informed about your specific rat problem.

The Quality of Life committee of which I am chair has held several meetings with rat issues on the agenda and the board office often receives calls from residents with rat complaints. Now that we know of the problem we will investigate to see what we can do to help.

The C.B. 1 office is located at 49-51 Chambers St. (212-442-5050) and is there to aid all residents and workers with any problem they may be experiencing. I encourage both you and Ms. Lorraine Fittipaldi to call us in the future and we would be glad to assist you.
Pat Moore

Pier 40 capital offense

To The Editor:
Re “Would they rather be green than red?” (news article, Aug. 10 - 16):

What is the point of making a park along the Hudson River if you have to destroy a historic inland neighborhood to pay for it? It’s not a matter of being pro- or anti-“development,” but of being honest about the cost.

For instance, the Related plan to make money from Pier 40 counted on 7,400 additional visitors per day. Does anyone suppose these arrivals and departures would just skip over our little West Village streets? Let the “pro-development” parties take a look at the traffic on, for instance, Seventh Ave. S. from about 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and tell us it’s O.K. to add another few thousand cars.

Folks who say opposition is anti-capitalist live somewhere else. Why are they deciding our fate? And what does Henry Stern know about business anyway? Does he know or care that New York City air quality is the worst in the country and that most of the problem is particulate matter from vehicular exhaust? (The American Lung Association says it’s even worse this year than last, and that children, in particular, should not exercise near traffic.)

Is it anti-capitalist to point out that proposals for Pier 40 to date have been less than brilliant? Why, for instance, would it be “good business” to build theaters you have to drive to when off Broadway theaters reachable by mass transit are closing for lack of audience? The churning of restaurants in this area suggests we already have too many. Do they need more competition?

The Hudson River Park was planned to renew a natural resource and provide a park for underparked Lower West Siders. Sacrificing the West Village to pay for it was not part of the plan.
Judy Seigel

Chinatown buses

To The Editor:
Re “Chinatown bus chaos” (editorial, Aug. 10 – 16):

As a resident of East Broadway, and a frequent user of the Chinatown buses, I worry that the proposed move to South St., far away from the heart of Chinatown, will cause these companies to fail for lack of business.  Not only will the bus companies and countless travelers suffer, but there are many businesses on East Broadway that count on the large foot traffic passing through daily. Large numbers of Chinatown residents, who are barely struggling to get by now, would be thrown out of work. These include the ticket sellers, the restaurants, bakeries, fruit vendors, etc.

I say, so what if there is congestion? This is Chinatown.  Congestion in a small area of East Broadway is a small price to pay to protect the livelihoods of Chinese workers and the convenience of thousands of travelers.
Rima Finzi-Strauss

To The Editor:
Re “Corralling Chinatown’s cowboy buses” (news article, Aug. 3 - 9):

Certainly, Community Board 3 and our local officials should continue to look for an alternative to buses lining the Bowery. The buses are parked in “no parking” zones, do not fill parking meters, have engines idling and allow their passengers to flood the streets with suitcases. If I did not pay parking meters, I would be issued fines. It is a hazard to try to walk through the streets while dodging people with rolling suitcases. Since when does New York City allow people to form their own “Port Authority” terminal out on the streets? I realize the importance of an inexpensive method of traveling for New Yorkers. However, they are breaking many traffic laws and should be contained in a nonresidential area.
Karen Pearl

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