Volume 17 • Issue 30 | Dec. 17 - 23, 2004


Editorial


Finding the right person to secure the homeland
Downtown and elsewhere

Now that the disturbing revelations about Bernard Kerik’s professional and personal life have sunk his nomination to become the next secretary of the Dept. of Homeland Security, the task falls back to President Bush to do a better job vetting the next nominee. The city’s former police commissioner could not have served effectively will all of the continuing disclosures and it was good news when his deeply flawed candidacy was ended.

One thing Kerik would likely have brought to the job is an understanding of how much New York City is hurt by the irresponsible homeland security decisions made by Congress and the White House.

Whoever the next secretary turns out to be, we hope he or she has the courage to embarrass the members of Congress who treat money to protect America like it’s pork to be slopped up by whichever pig is the biggest and most powerful. No one with credibility questions that this city is one of the most at risk for another terrorist attack and it is a scandal that we are near the bottom of per capita homeland security allocations New York City and other high-risk targets around the country need a greater share of homeland security resources to protect themselves.

We don’t fault the good folks of Wyoming and others for taking in more farm subsidies than we do; in turn, they should let homeland security money be spent based on need, not political power.

East Side needs

This week, we take a look at the welcome restoration of historic Seaport buildings into residential apartments in our lead article in the Downtown Homes and Lofts section. Just to the south of the Seaport, thousands have moved into the Financial District and more are on the way with new development projects.

This rapid growth is a positive development in many ways but it also requires a sustained commitment from government at all levels to make sure these new, as well as veteran, residents have what they need - schools and parks in particular. The west side neighborhoods of Battery Park City and Tribeca have also experienced large growth in recent years, although their needs for amenities, particularly schools, are not as great.

Downtown’s revitalization will not just happen with an increase in residential population, but with a commensurate increase in the types of amenities necessary to support residential occupation. Many government leaders have recognized this, but we’d just like them to focus a more and now bring a plan to fruition.

A deal was reached between the city and the local leaders a few months ago to bring a K- 8 school to the East Side. No site has been secured yet but recent discussions that would place a school in the proposed Gehry tower at the NYU Downtown Hospital/Beekman St. site show great promise. Such a school development will benefit the West Side neighborhoods too, by relieving the overcrowding pressure at P.S. 234 in Tribeca. Once a site is found, we implore the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to act quickly to authorize the estimated $25 million in additional funds that will be needed to build the school.

With recent progress in the Hudson River Park, we’d like to see things move on the East River Waterfront too.



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