Volume 16 • Issue 53 | May 28 - June 3, 2004

Letters to the editor

Glick: Respect protesters’ rights

To The Editor:
I am in complete agreement with last week’s excellent editorial “Manhattan can fit protesters and the G.O.P.” (May 14 –20). It is outrageous that United for Peace and Justice’s application to hold a rally on the Great Lawn of Central Park before the Republican National Convention has been rejected ostensibly for protection of the grass. Meanwhile, the city has, in the past, approved applications for numerous commercial events and concerts throughout Central Park, reflecting their belief that the benefits of certain events outweigh the risk of damage to lawn. Certainly the protection of citizens’ First Amendment right to free speech is such an instance.

The city’s proposal of Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens as an alternative site for the rally is ridiculous. While this site might be appropriate if the convention were held in Shea Stadium, it is not an appropriate location for a convention to be held in Madison Square Garden. Not allowing protestors to assemble near the convention site is a blatant attempt to restrict protestors’ interaction with delegates and the media.

During the Giuliani administration, the city faced similar crises of convenience when certain groups were denied the ability to express their political views. It is regrettable to see the Bloomberg administration embrace these policies wholeheartedly. When New York City applied to be the host city for the Republican National Convention, organizers certainly understood that, along with many visiting delegates, the convention would draw a large number of protestors. If the city is incapable of handling the accompanying protestors in a manner that honors their right to free expression then it should not have bid to host a convention that would necessarily draw large protests.

Deborah J. Glick
Glick is assemblymember for the 66th district, which includes Tribeca and part of Battery Park City.

Seaport noise

To The Editor:
I am writing from deep frustration. Your paper has just rewarded glory to the River to River festival (news article, May 21 –27, “A festival runs through it”).

I find that shameful, and here is why. I am a homeowner here by the Seaport. Every year from May to September there is no neighborhood here. We can never open a window, We all know the Seaport only participates with this event with noise, and more noise. No culture here, This has been brought up time and time again with the community board, but with no results. Their concerts disturb homeowners, N.Y.U. dorms and a nursing home to list but a few.

We cannot take it any longer. We are all hard working professional residents, in a rapidly growing residential community. But the Seaport feels they are the only ones down here with an agenda. They wonder why business is failing, they feel they are the prime reason for this area’s existence. Well maybe that was true in the ‘80s, but not any longer. They are out of sync with the growing, and changing community, and New York itself. As I feel your paper is also.

This neighborhood is no longer just the South Street Seaport. There are many wonderful projects underway here. Thanks to people like Sciame developers. There is an apartment in this building on the market for $1.9 million. There are plans to build a residential tower right across the street from them. Do you think they will tolerate this. The Seaport and the community board needs to wake up! The residents can no longer tolerate the noise level or being ignored. I have spent a great deal of money to put up sound proof windows.

How can this neighborhood improve if it is constantly choked by the noise and inconsideration of the Seaport. Speak to the people that live down here. See if we even step one foot on to the Seaport area. We don’t. If anything we avoid it. Why is there never an article addressing this problem?

It has been brought up many times at C.B. 1 meetings. This would not be happening in Tribeca I promise you that.

Robert Pesany

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