Volume 22, Number 25 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | October 30 - November 6, 2009
Vote this Tuesday
We hope predictions of low voter turnout this Tuesday prove not to be true. In most of the races, the Democratic nominee has token opposition and is expected to cruise to victory. The notable exception to Democratic dominance is of course the mayor’s race, in which Mayor Mike Bloomberg is way ahead in the polls. Few political observers give Comptroller Bill Thompson much chance to beat him.
But no absentee ballots have been counted yet, so everyone still has zero votes. These are important races that will determine what kind of city we live in. We’ve heard from Thompson supporters complaining about Bloomberg’s formidable spending advantage, but Thompson did get his message out, and no amount of money can prevent people from going out to vote for their candidates. We also know people who think Bloomberg is a better mayor than Thompson would be, but they are uneasy about contributing to what they guess will be a Bloomberg landslide win and may not come out. There’s only one poll that counts and that tally will be made at voting sites Nov. 3.
To find out where you are supposed to vote or for other information call the city’s Board of Elections at 866-vote-nyc or visit vote.nyc.ny.us.
We remind our readers that we have previously endorsed Bloomberg, as well as Margaret Chin, Christine Quinn and Rosie Mendez in the Downtown City Council races. You can read our endorsements at downtownexpress.com.
We have not yet endorsed in the borough president’s race because there was no primary and there is not much of a general election. We do think that Scott Stringer has done a very good job as borough president, particularly in professionalizing the community board selection process. He deserves four more years and we endorse him in Tuesday’s election.
Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with our choices, we do hope you come out to vote Tuesday. Otherwise, you might as well talk to the mirror the next time you’d like to complain.
There’s heart in those Banks
As we first reported two weeks ago, one of Lower Manhattan’s quirky treasures, the Brooklyn Banks, is going to close for at least a few years in order to do extensive renovation work on the Brooklyn Bridge and its ramps.
The area has been a nationally-known skateboard park for about four decades. Even “Bored to Death,” the hot new HBO show that takes great pride in filming almost entirely in Brooklyn, came over to Manhattan to shoot a scene for “The Case of the Missing Skateboard” episode at the Banks.
The park was saved from extinction five years ago. If it closes indefinitely, it’s not at all clear there will be much constituency to bring it back once a generation of skateboarders and BMX bikers have been shooed away for so long.
We’re less than thrilled with the graffiti at the Banks and there’s definitely room to make it safer for stunts, but it would be a shame to lose this Downtown cultural landmark.
A safe bridge obviously is essential, but the city Dept. of Transportation has changed its assertions about Brooklyn Bridge work before. Officials said earlier this year that the nearby Chatham Square project was on schedule and had to happen soon because of the bridge work, then they said Chatham work couldn’t proceed in the near future because of the bridge project.
The D.O.T. should discuss the park closure with Banks’ leaders to see if there is a way this small area can stay or be moved during the long renovation project. We hope it can.