Volume 22, Number 12 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | August 7 - 13, 2009

Letters to the Editor

Downtown’s got parks

To The Editor:
Re “Underused lanes should be pedestrian space.” (news article, July 24 – 30):

The article says “The program...allocates funding for transforming underused streets into public plazas in neighborhoods lacking open spaces for pedestrians.”

Edgar St. is within one block of Battery Park, one of the premier public spaces in the city.  It’s within 2 blocks of Hudson River Park which extends all the way up to the George Washington Bridge.  By any sane definition that neighborhood does not lack for open space.

Surely, in the midst of a recession, the city can a find better use for the money and resources it would take to expand a mini-park that no one will use.
Robert Martinez
Brooklyn, NY

Good for the public too

To The Editor:
Re “Street work could delay memorial opening, official warns” (news article, July 31 - August 6):

First, I’d like to thank City Councilmember Alan Gerson for speaking up for the incendiary idea of identifying firefighters who gave their lives Sept. 11 as “firefighters” at the W.T.C. memorial.

As you reported, “Daniels said that many family members objected to the inclusion of rank because it would create a hierarchy among those who were killed.”

That’s odd. Right down the hall from Daniels’ office is the “Family Room” with all those distinctions that “create hierarchies.” Put there by the families. So, let’s get this straight: it’s all right for families in their own private room to be made aware of stuff like “firefighter” and “Flight Attendant, AA 11” and “Local 3, W.T.C. 2, 102nd floor” and “Cantor Fitzgerald” and sex, race, general age — but the general public — well, they, based on that same information, they’ll “rank” the deaths of 9/11?

Pretty damn insulting to the public that you just asked to contribute to building this memorial, Mr. Daniels.
Michael Burke
Brother of Captain William F. Burke, Jr., Eng. Co. 21, FDNY

Ballot access

To The Editor:
Re “Access denied! Gerson not allowed on the ballot” (news article, July 31 – August 6):

The idea that Councilman Alan Gerson might be eliminated from the Sept. 15 ballot because of a one-digit printer’s error on a cover sheet involving only about 15% of the signatures on his petitions is outrageous.  When a similar typo temporarily removed Councilman Bill de Blasio from the ballot for public advocate, a related New York Times editorial characterized the city’s election laws as “notoriously unfair” and advocated that “the burden should be on the board of elections to find ways to keep candidates on the ballot, not to push them off for typographical errors.”  In the situation involving Mr. Gerson, he has collected almost eight times the required number of signatures, and the 7,000 voters who signed his petitions (far more than any other candidate) will effectively be disenfranchised if his name is not on the ballot.

Just as revealing has been the reaction from Pete Gleason, one of Gerson’s opponents.  In de Blasio’s situation, the Times reported that even his three main competitors in the race supported his right to be on the ballot.  In marked contrast, Gleason, apparently lacking confidence in his ability to defeat Gerson in a head-to-head contest, has taken the low road and is strongly pushing for Gerson’s disqualification despite the obvious fact that Gerson has collected many more petition signatures than Gleason himself.  This is New York politics in its most undemocratic form. 
Bill Love





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