Volume 20 Issue 16 | Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2007

Letters to the Editor

Deutsche deaths

To The Editor:
Just how much more is the Downtown area going to go through.  We lost what was our neighborhood when 9/11 occurred.  We lost so many innocent people on that day especially the firemen whose lives were lost because of their bravery.  Now there have been the senseless deaths of two firefighters and injury to many others all because of trying to save an empty building.   What a sad state of affairs we are in.  When are the politicians, neighborhood leaders, etc. going to come to their senses and stop thinking about how much money can be made with buildings going up, rents going up, real estate being sold, companies signing on to new space in the site of the World Trade Center when and if buildings do go up, etc.  What we need is a simple memorial where all can go and pay their respects to those who lost their lives and where families can mourn their loved ones.  Oklahoma City did it and now New York City should do it.  I feel that everyone is losing sight of what really happened on 9/11.  There was so much camaraderie, patriotism and joining of hands for the first year and then somehow all that was lost and greed starting setting in.  It has been six years and still no memorial.  What a terrible shame.
Lorraine Fittipaldi

To The Editor:
By no surprise, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation was cutting corners at Deutsche Bank again (news article, Aug. 17 – 23, “New Deutsche violations”).  The fact that this building contains a number of flammable materials that just combusted is more proof that they did not take any safety precautions when demolishing.  However, this is not the first time the demolition crew has received a violation for improperly demolishing Deutsche Bank, and I doubt that this will be their last one either. 

Even if this means that it could lead to a chain reaction of delaying the official plan, which has the Freedom Tower going to replace the Twin Towers, the safety of the neighborhood is very important.  All the L.M.D.C. cares about is getting it down fast enough just to meet a deadline that does not predict what can happen along the way. 

Then again, it is not like another delay at the W.T.C. site will be something new. There is already a history of not meeting deadlines in the past.  This time, there will be a reason for delay, and that will be to make sure no further incidents such as the fire will occur again.
Tal Barzilai
Pleasantville, N.Y.

Critical criticism

To The Editor:
I was extremely disappointed by Jefferson Siegel’s lack of critical response in his interview with an anonymous N.Y.P.D officer (Q&A, Aug. 24 – Aug. 30, “Critical look at Critical Mass by cop who covers it”).

It is the job of the media not to just repeat what the government official feeds them. Basic journalistic skills require some critical questioning of interview sources. Some important questions that Mr. Siegel neglected to ask in his interview, or even follow up on are below.

This is surprising given Mr. Siegel’s presence covering the Critical Mass rides.  He should know better since he has witnessed numerous instances of aggressive behavior by the cops during the rides.

Mr. Siegel failed to question the fact that cops harass cyclists while stopped at red lights and obeying traffic laws.

Mr. Siegel doesn’t bring up the fact that although the cop said that the N.Y.P.D had a “change in policy,” it was actually the courts back in Feb. 2006 that decided that parading without a permit as currently enforced by the N.Y.P.D is illegal.

Mr. Siegel did not ask the cop about the police assaulting cyclists during the rides.  This has been documented in video on many occasions.

And, Mr. Siegel fails to note that just because a group asks for a permit doesn’t mean that it will be granted. That’s part of the problem. Also, just because it is permitted doesn’t mean that the police won’t harass or arrest people.
Jessica Rechtschaffer

Letters policy
Downtown Express welcomes letters to The Editor. They must include the writer’s first and last name, a phone number for confirmation purposes only, and any affiliation that relates directly to the letter’s subject matter. Letters should be less than 300 words. Downtown Express reserves the right to edit letters for space, clarity, civility or libel reasons. Letters should be e-mailed to or can be mailed to 145 Sixth Ave., N.Y., N.Y. 10013.

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