Volume 20 Issue 18 | September 14 - 20, 2007

Letters to the Editor

Trust CERTs

To The Editor:
Following up comments made by reader Cheryl Moch that the Battery Park City and Tribeca Community Emergency Response Teams were never notified (Letters, Aug. 24 – 30, “Deutsche fire”), I heard a reporter on WNYC state to the effect that emergency response teams were not recognized by F.D.N.Y. or N.Y.P.D. I’m not quite sure what he meant, but it sounds like this newspaper could do a little digging into the role of CERT and how CERT’s sponsor, the Office of Emergency Management fit into the fire scene. What’s the point of those drills if these hardy volunteers are not called to action? 

Reed Malloy

Police get out

To The Editor:
On Aug. 1, 2007, after years of denying any impact of their post-9/11 actions on the community, and nearly two years after a New York State Supreme Court judge ordered them to do so, police headquarters at long last issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement on their post-9/11 street closures (news article, Aug. 10 –16, “Police study on Park Row changes, closure remains”). This document makes it abundantly clear that police headquarters can no longer be located within a densely populated residential community.The document’s findings can be sorted into two categories: those that deny impact and those that actually admit impact but provide no solution. In most instances, the denials fly in the face of the actual experience of residents and businesses (as evidenced by the community feedback included in the F.E.I.S.). In the cases where the N.Y.P.D. admits impact, they simply state that the adverse effects are a fact of post-9/11 life and there is nothing that can be done.But there is something that can be done and the solution has been pointed to by the many public comments to the draft version of the E.I.S.: Relocate police headquarters. The N.Y.P.D. argues they need to be near the seat of government and the courthouses of Lower Manhattan but we need to point out that there are courthouses in all five boroughs. A Randall’s Island location would give the N.Y.P.D. quick and easy water access to all boroughs.We will continue to challenge the denials of impact.

We also hope that our elected officials will act on the evidence that the N.Y.P.D. has provided in the F.E.I.S. to protect the greater interests of the Lower Manhattan community by starting to plan for the relocation of police headquarters. It would be wonderful if, by the time the Freedom Tower is completed, that police headquarters has found a nice modern home on Randall’s Island.

Danny Chen, Jeanie Chin, Jan Lee, John Ost, Rich Scorce and Justin Yu
Civic Center Residents Coalition members

Critical of Quinn

To The Editor:
In Jefferson Siegel’s interview with an anonymous N.Y.P.D officer, even the officer said that he doesn’t “particularly agree with how the “parading without a permit laws” are set up (Q & A, Aug. 24 – 30, “Critical look at critical mass by cop who covers it”). He is referring to the disastrous rules that make it illegal for spontaneous crowds of 50 or more people to process through New York City.

Back in 2006, multiple courts ruled that prior city rules concerning assembly were unconstitutional. These regulations are the province of City Council.

Rather than conduct open hearings and votes to correct the unconstitutional deficiencies the courts found, the leader of the City Council, Speaker Christine Quinn, abdicated her legislative responsibilities – she allowed the police to write the new rules, and then rubberstamped them. These anti-assembly rules are bad for New York City and bad for civil liberties. Speaker Quinn needs to act immediately to repudiate them, along with the undemocratic process by which they were written; she needs to conduct open hearings about public assembly and how it can be best facilitated in the city.

As a queer person and a constituent of Speaker Quinn, I’m outraged that, instead of safeguarding our streets for public assembly, she betrayed the political legacy that helped to give her — an out lesbian — the position of power she enjoys today. I’m disappointed that none of your reporters have ever connected the dots. The police could not have written these rules without Speaker Quinn’s permission. She is the elected official most responsible for this debacle.

Tim Doody

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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