Volume 20 Issue 24 | Oct. 26 - Nov.1, 2007

Letters to the Editor

Change for the worse

To The Editor:
Re “Chinatown looks for roadblock to city’s new Park Row plans” (news article, Oct. 19 – 25):

As a resident of Park Row at Chatham Square, reading the city’s new Park Row plan was more than distressful.  For years we fought to bring buses back to Park Row after diversion of several lines without notice after 9/11.  When the buses were welcomed back, we had hopes that that was the beginning of further easing of restrictions on Park Row.  Your article did not have an explanation of changes in the bus route.  The traffic on Park Row and on St. James Pl. is now on overload with numerous buses, trucks and cars. 

The courthouse at 500 Pearl St. has its pedestrian and garage entrances on Worth St. since Pearl St. is also closed to traffic.  Before 9/ll, there was a bus route there, and its closing increased traffic on Worth St., which is a narrow street now difficult to cross. (Actually my sister-in-law was hit and her leg run over by a bus on Worth St. in April 2005.) 

Before the last so-called improvement to Chatham Square, there was a traffic circle that was later made into a peninsula, making it more dangerous to pedestrians.  The traffic circle was a far better system than the new traffic plan.  I suggest that the new plan be scrapped, and concerned residents of the area be brought into the planning.

Park Row is also closed to pedestrians on the east side of the 150 Park Row prison, diverting pedestrians to a pitted road without sidewalks on the west side of the prison.  There is no consideration of residents of the area who need to reach the subway.  There is no need for a wide pedestrian esplanade on Park Row.  When the second pop-up barrier was erected a short distance from the first barriers that were erected between Chatham Towers and Chatham Green, there was no explanation.  I am thankful for the removal of “off-the-shelf” security barriers and hope to see the second pop-up barrier, which is actually not being used, also removed.    The community needs normal use of Park Row from Chatham Square to City Hall.
Ora Gelberg

Clinton and 9/11

To The Editor:
Re “9/11 should be campaign material” (editorial, Oct. 19-25):

Certainly 9/11, the terrorist attacks upon America and our response, must be a campaign issue and so I disagree with your editorial. Sen. Clinton has a very mixed record in response to the attacks. I have no memory of her in the days following the attacks; I have to remind myself that she was actually our senator at the time. I certainly don’t recall her or Jerrold Nadler handing out breathing masks at ground zero. Yet, now she’s front and center in making a campaign issue out of ground zero workers’ health concerns. I attribute this to her long espoused belief, which is pretty much representative of the Left in general, that might be summed up as “we have met the enemy and it is us.” She’s comfortable attacking the usual suspects that she has since her college days: America and the government (in ’60s speak, “The Establishment”). But when America was the innocent target of foreign enemies, and when sacrifice and old-fashioned patriotism in defense of “traditional values” suddenly made sense, she was invisible.

In fact, I’d say that the problem with much of the Left’s positions since 9/11 is that they live in a 9/10 world. In today’s world, we are definitely not the enemy and the stakes are a lot higher than if somebody is peeking at my phone call logs (boring).

As a family member of a victim of the attacks, I think it essential that the true nature of 9/11 be preserved. Nine-eleven was much more than a loss of several thousand; it left us with a great deal more than grief. Each of those deaths has a great deal more meaning than the individual life lost. Ignore that and we cheat them of the last, most important thing we can do for them. Certainly, anyone campaigning democratically to become the leader of the most powerful nation in the world must answer to his or her positions in response to the attacks. However, candidates and their campaigns, and therefore the people, must confront the attacks, their significance, magnitude and impact. By doing so we honor the memory of those taken that day and we can be assured that those deaths, so horrific and shocking, witnessed by us all, have meaning.

Michael Burke

Giant heart

To The Editor:
An article you printed about a brave player on the Downtown Giants Junior Pee Wee team, our shortest and lightest player at 57 pounds, stated that “John is among the lightest Giants ... but he was still able to stop all of the Bengals’ running backs with perfectly executed tackles against much larger players” (Youth article, Sept. 28 - Oct. 4, “Giant teams prove there’s no place like home”). Unfortunately, you then printed a letter (Letters, Oct. 19 - 25, “Giants are big”) from the mother of a player on the Giants’ opponent that day which stated “It is very unfortunate that you report that the Bronx Bengals were bigger than the Giants. It is untrue.”

Any fair read of original story makes clear that the story does not say that the Giants were “bigger.”  It simply states that our smallest player was tackling players that were much bigger than him.  That is certainly true, and we are happy to provide the videotapes to prove it.  It is because our smallest player’s heart is bigger than his body, and not because a picture was taken “at an angle,” that he is still able to tackle any player in the league. 

In our little league football program, all players are weighed and then, based on their dates of birth as evidenced by their birth certificate, players are certified by a third-party, working not for the all-volunteer Giants but for the football league they play in, to play on a particular team.  Both the Giants and the Bengals went through the same mandatory process, despite any misinformed suggestion to the contrary. 

A letter from a parent on the losing team alleging that your paper misstated the “facts” and somehow doctored a photo in an effort to make the opponents seem “bigger” should not take away from a great performance by a team in only its second year of existence.  In fact, before the team was founded in 2006, there had not been a little league tackle football program in Manhattan in over 20 years.  The accomplishments of these players and this program cannot seriously be questioned, nor can it seriously be suggested that your paper was in on a conspiracy to doctor photos.  Yet, you ran the letter. 

Julian Swearengin
Downtown Giants Junior Pee Wee coach and member of the Giants’ board of directors

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