Volume 20 Issue 17 | September 7 - 13, 2007

Letters to the Editor

New bus problem

To The Editor:
While I previously wrote supporting the Chinatown buses staying where they are (under the Manhattan Bridge at 88 East Broadway), there seems to be a troubling very recent development of bus companies opening new storefronts on East Broadway and Canal St., which means that buses will probably seek to load at these new locations. Also, large numbers of buses have started to zoom up and down East Broadway in front of Seward Park, apparently on their way back and forth to the East River.  When they zoom past this quiet, residential part of East Broadway they threaten the many people, especially small children, who cross over from the park’s entrance. Can anything be done about this?

Rima Finzi-Strauss

Marking territory

To The Editor:
With new developments popping up over Lower Manhattan, there is an increase in the dog population.

Getting up very early in the morning, I see non-residents of Southbridge Towers walking their dogs and having their dogs do their business not only on Southbridge property but also in our grass. A few of these owners clean up after their dogs, but most don’t even carry bags and walk away after the dog completes its transaction.

There are also a few Southbridge residents who don’t clean up after their dogs, which is incomprehensible. As the expression goes, “don’t spit in the wind.”

There are numerous actions that can be taken to curtail the pooping problems, among them, more early-morning roving by Southbridge security guards and the use of video cameras to identify these repeat offenders. 

Michael Wishner

Deutsche politics

To The Editor:
While I stand behind my concerns as outlined in “Deutsche Politics” (UnderCover, Aug. 31 – Sept. 6), I find it illusory that Ms. Menin’s response had nothing to do with the substance of the facts raised. Rather she skirted the issue by claiming it was “completely outrageous” and “beyond shocking, tasteless and offensive” for me to raise these issues so soon after two firefighters were killed.

The facts that I have concerns about are:

*A $50,000 donation to Ms. Menin’s not-for-profit in 2005 from Bovis, the contractor on the Deutsche project.

*Ms. Menin simultaneously chairing Community Board 1 and sitting on the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. board, which is the owner of the Deutsche building.

During last Wednesday’s public meeting (news article, Aug. 31 – Sept. 6, “Deutsche demo firm grilled, but gives few answers”) led by Chairwoman Menin, it was not at all apparent that Ms. Menin had any affiliation with the L.M.D.C. After the meeting I personally polled 20 individuals and asked if they were aware that Ms. Menin also sits on the board of the L.M.D.C. None of those asked realized this was the case but they all found it to be outrageous.

The meeting itself did nothing to allay the fears and concerns of community residents. While at least two members of the of the panel of elected officials were themselves attorneys they seemed flippant as to the presence of the Bovis officials, whose company is under a criminal investigation in this matter. I was shocked that Bovis would take part in any public forum concerning the tragedy that was against their self interest. My question to Bovis, “Did anyone from the L.M.D.C. ask to terminate your contract,” was answered with a simple no. This only further serves to question the relationship between the L.M.D.C. and Bovis.

Perhaps Ms. Menin would like me to raise my concerns after the cover-up of the Deutsche tragedy is a fait accompli.

Peter Gleason

To The Editor:
I am a commander in the United States Navy and an active duty Navy SEAL who responded to the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Since that time I have had a great affinity for Lower Manhattan and its residents and enjoy reading your publication online.

Your recent article on “Deutsche Politics” mentioned someone who is without doubt one of the most honorable straightforward individuals that I have come across, Peter Gleason. When I arrived in New York on the day of the attack I joined Peter at ground zero and the search crew with which he was working. I observed Peter and scores of other volunteers working tirelessly in hopes of rescuing victims of the terrorist attack on this country.  I will always remember Peter pushing on through smoke, fire, and crumbling cement looking for anyone who might have survived. My superiors put me in for a citation acknowledging the service to the City of New York. They wanted to take the unusual step of including a civilian, Peter Gleason, on the certificate. To their surprise, Peter insisted that he not be included anywhere acknowledging his service. As Peter put it, “No active or retired firefighter will receive any award from this tragic day except those heroes who didn’t come home.”

While I have no idea who Julie Menin is, her comment concerning the two deceased firefighters from the Deutsche Bank fire I find to be insensitive, appalling and warrants an apology. To state that Peter Gleason is in any way acting without social concern is both blind and ironic. To insinuate that Peter should not comment on what appears to be a money trail is contrary to good open government.

Unfortunately, I have a daily reminder of my time spent at ground zero in the form of a thyroid tumor unique to World Trade Center residents and responders. The pro bono legal services Peter has provided me has provided a certain comfort to both my wife and I and our six children.

When thousands of people were fleeing N.Y.C. and running away from the W.T.C., it was Peter Gleason and the other first responders who ran into the smoke and flames.

Cdr. Peter D. Berardi
Bradenton, Fla.

No twins, no strength

To The Editor:
Re “Bedrock principles” (Letter, Aug. 17 – 23):

Thank you for printing how 90% of New York City alone feels.

Rachel Snyder’s letter deserves to be printed in every newspaper in America.  She speaks to those of us whose greatest years were spent working in the Twin Towers. She speaks for those who are sick of being bullied and cowered to a point where we are angry at politicians who refuse to listen to the courage and strength those towers stood for.  Frankly people are angry at many families who rather than model strength, have blamed the Twin Towers for “killing” people when the towers too were victims of the most unforgivable attack on this country.

The Twin Towers and a memorial belong there, not a quivering Jell-o mold that belies the strength and freedom America stands for. Out of reverence and respect for the Twin Towers I will avoid the site. I know that I will see a symbol of death that represents America’s lost freedom and self-pity that has worn thin. Let those who go there come away asking this: “If America is the land of the free and the home of the brave, where are the Twin Towers?” 

Thank you again for allowing us to say why “we will never forget.”
Regan MacBannon
Sacramento, Cal.

Letters policy
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