Volume 16 • Issue 40 | March 5 - 11, 2004



Letters to the editor

No plan to ‘riot’

To The Editor,
Re “Anti-Bushies look for city campsite” (news article, Feb. 27 –March 4):

I am sending this letter to clarify some things that were mentioned in the article relating to the Republican Convention protests that will be occurring this summer in New York City. The mention of the word “riot” was based on what took place at the Democratic Convention in 1968 in Chicago, which resulted in a police/National Guard riot.

I want to make it very clear that anyone camping under the permit will be expected to be nonviolent.... I want to also state that anyone on this permit application is committed to nonviolent protest.

Aaron Kay


Bush and 9/11

To The Editor:
Re “Bush continues to obstruct 9/11 panel” (editorial, Feb. 27 – March 4):

Thank you for saying what needed to be said!  Why won’t the Bush administration cooperate more with the 9/11 Commission?  Is there anyone alive that doesn’t believe that there was an intelligence snafu? We don’t need to have a scapegoat or someone to punish.  What we do need is to have our confidence restored in our government.  I was one of many people who had business in the World Trade Center from time to time.  My wife and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary there and I attended many meetings in both buildings.  We went there for theater tickets, shopped in the stores, and ate in the restaurants.

Like others I was lucky.  One of my friends was lucky too even though he was in the W.T.C. that day.  He didn’t die but he was severely injured.  Two and one-half years later and my friend still goes to physical therapy several times a week, has at least one more operation coming, and may never be able to work again.

I want to feel proud once more about my country and our leadership.   I want to know that some future terrorist is unlikely to get into the building where I spend my Tuesday evenings.  I want to know that we learned something from the intelligence failure and have made necessary adjustments. And I especially want the President of the United States to stand tall and set a better example for all of us.

Gerald H. Osterberg
J.P. Morgan Bank (retired)


Thanks from I.P.N.

To The Editor:
On behalf of the tenants of Independence Plaza North, we want to express our deep appreciation of the editorial support that the Downtown Express has given us over the past few years. As people whose homes have been threatened by unaffordable rent increases, we are acutely sensitive to the personal consequences of this struggle; as long-term residents in the community, we will never accept the loss of racial, ethnic and social diversity that makes I.P.N. such a great place to live and such an important part of our community.

We have many allies in this struggle and we’re proud to count your editorial page among those who understand how important it is to preserve — and to pass on to our kids — the little that remains of integrated, affordable housing in New York.

Thanks again.

Executive Board,
Independence Plaza North Tenants Association


Affordable Southbridge housing

To The Editor:
Re “Affordable housing at Independence Plaza” (editorial, Feb. 27 – March 4): 

Everyone on earth must have a home by virtue of our birthright — humble or otherwise. Our Mitchell-Lama homes are at risk when we have to choose between leaving government protection and turning our homes over to real estate speculators.

Those of us who moved into Southbridge Towers over 30 years ago, and subsequent shareholders, did so hoping to feel comfortable in an affordable economic environment. No one should have the feeling of uncertainty when the rent or maintenance fee is due.

At this time, an attempt to privatize Southbridge Towers (in other words, lose the protection of the Mitchell-Lama program) must be given careful consideration.  The consequences have been called to our attention enough times for us to know the cost. There will be no more tax abatements, no protection from increased costs and a higher maintenance if this should occur. There is no debate about that. Simple arithmetic dictates that consequence.

The very reason that Mitchell-Lama was enacted and that we moved here will be lost, and there will no longer be housing for people of limited incomes in this neighborhood. Privatization will not increase your income.

Geraldine Lipschutz


Twin Tower advocates

To The Editor:
I found the roundup of public comments on ground zero environmental impact in the Feb. 20 Downtown Express to be disturbingly slanted (news article, Feb. 20 – 26, “Construction concerns at the W.T.C.”).

As one of the 61 who spoke at the afternoon session you covered, and having taken notes on the basic points of every speaker, I know that not only I, but Jonathan Hakala, Bernie Goetz, Andrew Oliff, Rachel Snyder, Brett Cuvin, Joy Goldberg, Sam Young and Bill Hough spoke in favor of the “Restoration Alternative,” building updated Twin Towers instead of the Libeskind plan, and how the Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement was slanted to deny the clear environmental advantages of pursuing this option.

This presence was substantial...while virtually none of the other “Alternatives” in the D.G.E.I.S. were advocated by anyone. You are not accurately reflecting the views expressed by ignoring this substantial body of opinion.

Louis Epstein


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