Letters to the Editor
What about the poor, Bill?
To The Editor:
Bill Thompson has really disappointed the constituents who a while back he was asking to make him mayor (“Thompson helps mayor and governor grab B.P.C. money,” news article, April 2 - 8). Really Bill, to use $400 million dollars intended for affordable housing to fill a budget gap? Talk about balancing budgets on the backs of ordinary people.
It is interesting how the powerful whine that their money should not be “redistributed” to the poor via taxes, but when they want to take from pots of money intended for the poor, they think it is fine, and they have people like Thompson and Paterson to give the green light.
I remember during Thompson’s campaign that he stood at Lexington and 116th St., asking people to vote for him. He probably shook hands with hundreds of residents of Harlem, where every day as a social worker I visit families who live doubled up in run-down walkups, or who have been waiting for years for transfers to a larger public housing apartment, because our city has no affordable housing to meet the demand. I think those 7,000 new apartments the $400 million could finance would have been very helpful to the people whose hands he shook.
I work with one family whose mom and three children are living in a one bedroom, with the boy having to use the living room to sleep and the mother sleeping with the two girls in the bedroom. They have been waiting nine years for a larger public housing apartment. Bill, the children have no room to put a table on which to do their homework, and suffer from lack of sleep, because the overcrowding makes it hard to not get woken up when others wake up. Worst of all, the mother is married. Her husband had to move out to give them more space. He visits every day though.
Think about that when you think about the deal you all cut.
Diane R. Pagen
Professor of social work, Borough of Manhattan Community College
To The Editor:
As a local resident, I recently visited the newly-opened Battery Park City branch of the New York Public Library (news article, March 19 –25, “Too popular to fail? B.P.C. Library draws crowds its first day”). The new space is lovely and so is the staff, but what made me angry and disappointed was the behavior of the children in the junior section. Children were running, shrieking, playing, as if it was a playground.
When I was a child, we were taught that libraries are places where people can come to learn and read, to respect knowledge and books, a temple of study and contemplation. Especially in this loud, fast-paced world, libraries should remain an oasis of peace and learning.
As a mother myself, I plan to teach my child the respect and reverence that a library deserves. It was clear that many of the visitors to this branch had none of that respect, and it greatly saddened me. Why is the library not enforcing the code of quiet that libraries normally have? Other locations have managed to do so for generations without ill effect.
To The Editor:
Re “Advocate floats Greenmarket idea for Pirt 40” (news article, March 19 - 25):
Why not try to install an international food market on Pier 40, similar to the one in Singapore? It would have different, authentic cuisine from all around the world. Make it affordable, but with good food and service. And make the green market similar to the one in Seattle — a place people would love to hang out, with trees, benches, entertainment, etc.
Most of all, make it very accessible to the public. City buses should run frequently. Time is precious to all; no one would want to wait long for buses to go in and out of the place.
Also, install clean public toilets. If people have to pay a quarter to use them to maintain the toilets’ cleanliness, so be it. And have someone police the place to get rid of vandals, loiterers, the homeless and those who litter. Someone has to make sure people are disciplined.
Alarmed by sirens
To The Editor:
Re “Quietest ‘Hood?” (UnderCover, March 26 – April 1):
I share the concerns, expressed in the UnderCover article and in Diane Lapson’s letter (April 2 – 8, “Goodnight Sirens”) about the lack of effectiveness that 311 has in addressing noise issues. Other than truck horns, I think the worst noise offenders are the sirens of emergency vehicles. I have seen many of these vehicles use their sirens as horns and also use them so they do not have to stop for traffic lights in non-emergency conditions.
Also, the Fire Department “over responds” to alarms. In the past weeks, I have seen two incidents where five pieces of equipment responded — and there was no fire. Think about five really loud sirens running through the city to a non-event. Doesn’t the first guy radio back something like “nothing happening, return to base?” The N.Y.P.D. does the same thing -- sending in too many responders.
Additionally, on numerous occasions I have seen fire apparatuses attempt to cross a grid-locked Brooklyn Bridge with sirens blaring. Don’t we have enough vehicles in each borough to make this unnecessary?