Volume 17 • Issue 3 | June 11 - 17, 2004



Letters to the editor

West Side stadium

To The Editor:
“C.B. 1 leaders voice concerns over West Side plan” by Elizabeth O’Brien (news article, May 14-20) reminds me of why taxpayers should just say no to using public funds for any new major sports stadiums. In ancient Rome, government attempted to curry favor with the masses by offering free bread and circuses. Today, we have sports pork.

How sad that New York City taxpayers are continually asked to pay for new stadiums. Public dollars on the city, state and federal level are being used as corporate welfare to subsidize a private-sector business. The only real beneficiaries of these expenditures are team owners and their multi million dollar players.

It is impossible to judge the amount of new economic activities that these so-called public benefits will generate. Between selling the stadium name, season sky boxes and reserve seating, cable, television and radio revenues, concession refreshment and souvenir sales along with rental income for other sports, rock concerts and other commercial events, it is hard to believe that New Jersey Jets owner Robert Wood Johnson IV or New Jersey Nets owner Bruce Ratner can’t finance his new stadium on his own.

Given the current municipal fiscal crises along with weak economic revenues and projected deficits of several billion dollars — there are city services more worthy of investment.  As Raymond Keating wrote in a recent Cato Institute report, “public subsidies pad the bottom lines of team owners and boost player salaries while offering no real economic benefit to the cities involved.”   Professional sports is not an essential service and should not qualify for government subsidy. Increasingly scarce taxpayer funds would be better spent elsewhere. Let the current team owners float their own bonds or issue stock to finance new stadiums.

Larry Penner
Great Neck, New York


Chinatown cleanliness

To The Editor:
Perhaps before the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. hands out any more funds to Chinatown, they should take a walk through that part of town and see what is going on.  It would be quite easy to determine why they have lost so much business and I believe it has very little to do with 9/11. On Friday at 5:30 p.m. while walking home from work, I passed Division St. and the Bowery. Carts were lined up selling fruits and vegetables. About five women, surrounded by four city trash bins were knee deep in the cornhusks that they were shucking onto our sidewalks. Judging from the amount of garbage, this must have been going on for hours. I asked if they were going to clean the mess up and one woman said “no.” Lower Manhattan is being invaded by rodents. Why doesn’t the city or the L.M.D.C. put some money into teaching newly arrived immigrants about sanitary conditions and health, and why aren’t these people being fined for littering our streets?  

Karen Pearl



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