Volume 16 • Issue 46 | April 9 - 15, 2004

Letters to the editor

Site 5C should be for the public

To The Editor:
Re “Tribeca tower draws united opposition for divided reasons (news article, April 2 – 8) and “Resnick’s 5C plan is wrong for this site” (editorial, April 2 –8):

Everyone is missing the point on 5C! How would you feel if the government told you to vacate your building so that your entire block can be torn down for some urban renewal plan? (You would be compensated and the future use of the block might contain such things as educational and affordable housing components.) But instead, the city land-banked your block for 44 years and then sold your property directly to a private developer to build a 45-story luxury apartment house? Well, the public purpose of clearing “blighted areas” under Urban Renewal without following the plan may have been legal and constitutional; but it stinks to high hell.

Instead of the Bloomberg administration getting this one-time revenue bump from the sale, the land should go up to public auction with restrictive covenants limiting the height with a 45,000-square-foot community facility. Sure, the city may get less for next year’s budget, but then again, the city probably got two-thirds of the Title 1 condemnation funds from Washington anyway.

The citizens of New York already paid for this land and evicted everyone there so that the land could be used for a better purpose. I am hoping that the community board and local elected officials take the urban renewal plan in spirit and remember those who were evicted from their buildings. The universal land use disposition resolution should have a restrictive declaration that gives the community a mid-rise building with a 45,000-square-foot community facility even if the sales price is lower than what the Economic Development Corp. anticipates.

Rick Landman
Rick Landman is a member of Community Board 1

Peacekeeping in Iraq

To The Editor:
I am writing in regards to an article published in your periodical entitled, “A Calmer Peace March on Madison Ave” by Mr. Keith Crandell (Talking Point, March 26 – April 1).  Throughout the campaign in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East, it seems I have been purposely confused and deceived by my sources of information to believe that the United States is conducting peacekeeping missions and attempting to remove an oppressive regime that has been found undeniably guilty in world opinion of both mass murder and creation of a weapons program that are in direct violation of United Nations sanctions.  I have recently become aware of sources in the media, namely your publication, Downtown Exress, that have revealed to me the fact that our mission in Iraq is less than noble, and unjustified.  The article by Mr. Crandell seems to condemn the United States intervention in the Middle East, and goes on to say that we have no purpose in that region. If this is true, however, why does Mr. Crandell go on to say the following, citing it as the key message of the protests in New York City on Saturday, March 20?

“Let it not appear that the day was one marked simply by clever messages. Underlying all the messages and chants and the blaring over loudspeakers were two deeply serious purposes: (1) to end the killing in Iraq and (2) by our large numbers make it clear that there was and is wide and continuing public support for peace. “

If Mr. Crandell is in support of peace, and is an avid supporter of the cessation of killing and senseless violence in Iraq, why then does he in other parts of his article contradict himself by saying that we should remove our forces from Iraq and other Middle Eastern regions?  As a member of the United States military, I have the utmost confidence in the leaders assigned to the region to execute their peacekeeping and enforcing mission with the utmost of discretion and skill, allowing no un-needed violence against innocents to take place, and most specifically to liberate a once enslaved people from the Baath party strongholds that continue to torture the Iraqi landscape with bombings and raids on Iraqi civilians and U.S. Military servicemen.  Furthermore, the anti-terrorist objectives of Operation Enduring Freedom and the Iraqi intervention seem to me to also indicate a strong dedication on the part of America to enforce peace and a cessation to needless killing of innocent civilians, killing that struck America profoundly on Sept. 11, 2001, and then more recently Spain on March 11, 2004.

I am deeply confused by Mr. Crandell’s arguments against U.S. military intervention. 

Timothy Mossholder
Midshipman, United States Naval Academy


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