Volume 17 • Issue 35 • Jan. 21 - 27, 2005

Letters to the Editor

Bank on a tourist draw

To The Editor:
Thanks for covering the story on the Brooklyn Banks (news article, Dec. 24 – 30, “City tries to keep Brooklyn Bridge skateboard space”). I hope that it helps to save this meritable spot. I am the father of two skateboarding sons.
We have been there before and hope to see that this spot has retained its character when we visit in the near future.

Mark Calder
New Castle, Del.

West Side vs. Downtown

To The Editor:
Last week the City Council announced a rezoning plan for the Hudson Yards, which de-linked the West Side stadium from the plan. While this action appears helpful and reinforces the unpopularity of the stadium, no one should be fooled — the stadium is not dead, and the success of Lower Manhattan’s redevelopment is still greatly threatened.

The 24 million sq. ft. of commercial space slated for the rezoned area will compete directly with and overrun the interest that businesses have in returning or moving into the tens of millions of sq. ft. new or rebuilt commercial space in Lower Manhattan. In addition, the mega-development allowed by the Hudson Yards rezoning will continue the process of walling-off the Hudson River, providing impetus for developers to create large, out-of-scale buildings along the entire West Side. Traffic concerns persist with this new plan and only add momentum to extend the 7 train, without any commitment that the Second Avenue Subway, desperately needed by current New Yorkers, will maintain its priority position in the capital needs of the M.T.A.

Large-scale rezoning and development cannot be done in isolation. The effect on other large, previously planned developments, such as that in Lower Manhattan, must be considered. Similarly, the consequences on transportation and other projects that will benefit residents throughout the city must be taken into account. Though the rezoning plan is an improvement from the one originally set forth by the mayor, it unfortunately fails to address these crucial concerns.

Deborah J. Glick
Assemblymember, 66th District

Seaport parking problems

To The Editor:
I was glad to read about the plans to take care of Peck Slip’s cobbled street (news article, Dec. 17 – 23, “Revisions to Peck Slip traffic plan”). All the intentions are good indeed and I couldn’t be happier since I live across Peck Slip. But when Community Board 1’s public member Gary Fagin expresses, “We have to come up with a comprehensive parking plan before deciding anything,” it makes me wonder if he knows anything at all about the real parking problem. Nor does he have an idea of the main reason that makes it impossible to find legal parking in the entire South Street Seaport area, including the Financial District and its surroundings.

As a resident of the area for 17 years I can tell Mr. Fagin that his concern about lack of parking in the area is due to the N.Y.P.D. taking over of all the meter parking spaces on Pearl St., Water St., Gold St., John St. (east of Water St.), Front St., Wall St. (between Pearl and Water), Maiden Lane, Spruce St. (Pace Univ.) Trinity Place, Greenwich St., and so on.

There were over 100 new digital parking meters installed a couple of years ago by the city of New York, an investment that was supposed to create much needed income for the city. It is absolutely impossible to find one available from Monday to Saturday since all of them are taken by vehicles with official plates or some sort of parking permit (even so these vehicles have streets with “Authorized Parking Permits Only”) denying citizens and visitors to our area the right of legal parking. N.Y.P.D. vehicles even park on sidewalks, showing a total lack of respect and concern for pedestrians.

If Mr. Marc Donnenfeld, the committee’s chair, wants to improve quality of life for everyone with this renovation plan and get something done, how about starting with the N.Y.P.D. and the city agencies’ abuse of their parking privileges?

Fernando Li

P.S. 150 thanks

To The Editor:
The 5th grade class of P.S. 150/Tribeca Learning Center, would like to thank the community for their generous contributions to our bake and rummage sale (news article, Jan. 14 – 20, P.S. 150 hawks for tsunami kids”). We were able to raise $1,149.00 to aid the tsunami victims. We are donating the money to UNICEF.

Marina Templeton
P.S. 150 fifth grade teacher

North Cove message

To The Editor:
Thank you for covering the new team at North Cove featuring Dennis Conner, America’s most famous sailor (news article, Jan. 14 – 20, “Famed sailor to set course at North Cove”).  As a member of this team, I am honored by the opportunity. 

Also, as a longtime resident of Downtown, I am sensitive to the responsibility included with North Cove.  This waterfront facility is at the heart of Battery Park City.  After 9/11, the number of visiting boats declined.  Our challenge is to rebuild the clientele.  North Cove can become a world-class destination which is active, beautiful and reflects positively on our community.  It can also engage local residents and workers and be a source of pride, inspiration and recreation.

I hope our team is up to this challenge. There will be a learning curve and bumps along the way. I ask you for patience and support. Please visit our Web site www.thenorthcove.com and join our email list so we can let you know what is happening and when some of the world’s most beautiful boats arrive at North Cove.
Michael W. Fortenbaugh
North Cove Marina Management president

Bush, fate and war

To The Editor:
Nature has upstaged the Bush-Cheney war in Iraq. Volcanoes in the earth below the Pacific Ocean have shown the world and Mr. Bush who is really in charge of our fate. Nature dealt a monstrous blow that left much of humankind helpless.

Scientists have warned us that manmade abuses of the planet can cause changes in the environment and affect us dearly. Yet Bush-Cheney and their followers continue to accelerate deforestation and poisoning of the atmosphere, the rivers and the oceans.

This Bush-Cheney administration could give us some comfort if they would heed these warnings and make an effort to prevent manmade devastation. Isn’t it clear that we are still at the mercy of the unknown?

Geraldine Lipschutz

Underground inhospitality

To The Editor:
I am compelled to write to you concerning an incident that took place on Sept. 13th, 2004, as I am still very upset about it. I have written to the British Embassy within New York, but they are unable to assist. I am also writing to the mayor of New York, Hillary Clinton, and a number of English and New York newspapers.

My friend and I were spending six days in New York City, as the perfect ending to a couple of weeks of traveling the eastern parts of the States together. Early one evening we were entering the subway station on 42nd St., and as we were walking through the station, we were stopped by a uniformed police officer who requested to see some form of identification. Of course, we immediately obliged, but when we inquired why it was necessary, he stated that we had illegally gone through the subway highwheel together, avoiding payment. We told him that this was definitely not the case, as we had both gone through separately. He turned to two other men, and told them that it was “their call,” and left us in their hands. The two other men, in plain clothes, immediately took out pocketbooks and started writing some form of tickets for us both, taking our information from our identification. We stood there politely explaining that we really had not gone through the highwheel together, and it would not even have been possible to do so as we both had rucksacks and bags, and a bunch of flowers. My friend and I both showed our weekly passes to the officers, but they would not even give them a glance.

Why would we try to squeeze through together if we both have weekly passes? We tried to explain this to them, and convince them that they were mistaken, but they were extremely rude and insisted that, “three officers saw you on camera.” This completely baffled us, as we had not gone through together, and it could not even have appeared as if we had, as I clearly remember my friend going in before me, and when I swiped my ticket, the machine requested I do it again, giving me an extra few seconds behind her. We both asked several times if we could see the film footage, and we were rudely told that it was not possible.

We were told that if we do not pay, we will have a warrant on our names when we next enter the United States, despite them previously saying “it would not be the end of the world” if we did not pay. Both of the officers were extremely unprofessional and brash with us. I am not prepared to have a warrant on my name for something I did no do, as I am a truthful citizen and abide by the law. I was completely shocked to be given a $60 penalty fare for something I had not done and would not do. Despite my surprise and anger, I was entirely polite. I now find myself here at home in London with the “personal parking ticket,” which I have not paid and will not pay. I understand if someone mistakes something on camera, but we were repeatedly told that “three officers” saw us on camera. We had not entered from a busy entrance at all, and I remember only one other person entering around the same time as us, so we could not even have been mistaken with two other people. It is impossible that we were seen going through together.

I am an honest person, and if I had committed such a penalty, then I would pay the fare without a fight, however it is completely against my morals to pay for something I did not do. Especially when I am dealt with in such an appalling fashion. I kept asking the officer writing my ticket what this penalty entailed and what I would have to do, and he kept referring to it as “paperwork,” that he would explain when he was done with my ticket. Neither of the two men writing the tickets was in uniform, and I had to request for their names and to see their badges. This is not a professional manner, and I take this whole matter very seriously. Being only 18 years old, I found the prospect of being stopped by an officer very intimidating, and it played on my nerves for the entire night. I told the friend I was staying with in New York, and they said they have never heard of anything like that, and they have always lived in Manhattan.

E.H. Thompson
London, England

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