Letter to the editor

Volume 16 • Issue 15 | September 9 – 15, 2003


Trust member knocks Trust

To The Editor:

Assemblymember Glick’s assessment of the Pier 40 situation is thoughtful and accurate. (“No to Pier 40 marina,” letters, Sept. 2 – 9, 2003). Interim uses at Pier 40 will serve to establish a foothold for more permanent installations, and now that the community’s input has been largely silenced by the rejection of long term development options, there is little incentive and no binding mandate for the Hudson River Park Trust to listen to the public about the pier’s future.

This is particularly unfortunate after what I consider to have been a long and earnestly conducted process which involved local citizens who spent many hours assessing plans, ultimately choosing a developer for Pier 40. While that choice was not without flaws, the decision was reasonably made within the confines of the options available. I believe that the Trust could have gone forward with River Green’s proposal, amending it and working together to make it better. Sadly, this was not done.

Whatever the real reason for this rejection, I’ve been told that we will now spend $2 million for 4 to 5 years of some kind of interim plan for this important pier. If the community gets a big new ballfield on Pier 40, that will be nice, but Deborah Glick is correct in stating that many other issues remain unresolved. It is also clear that some interim plans by the Trust may not be acceptable, although I disagree with her that water uses, (a mooring field or marina on the south side of Pier 40) are in any way a bad idea – after all, this is a park fronting a major waterway with magnificent options to access the river for all kinds of purposes. I also believe that this issue, if revisited by the community board, would be more favorably received now that the public is beginning to understand that this is a waterfront park, not one that just incidentally abuts the Hudson River.

However, without a specific public process to monitor and plan for future short term uses for Pier 40, the public voice will continue to be shut out on this subject. I cannot believe the people of the Village will accept this.

Fortunately, the public Advisory Council of the Hudson River Park Trust, chaired by Lawrence B. Goldberg, has created a Pier 40 subcommittee to review what will be proposed by the Trust and to advise as to the community reactions with the goal being, as Assemblymember Glick said, to “speak with one voice.” Maybe it will not result in one voice — there are always differing opinions on everything — but it is possible to achieve consensus among reasonable people who volunteer their time to make the city a better place.

Despite the Pier 40 developer setback, involved citizens can still participate in creating, with the good will of the Trust, a community friendly plan. The Hudson River Park Trust should aggressively encourage and value such involvement.

Julie S. Nadel

Board member, Hudson River Park Trust

W.T.C. solar tower

To The Editor:

Recently I read about a waterfall that was part of the Libeskind design for the World Trade Center (news article, July 15 –21, 2003, “A waterfall at the W.T.C.?”). It occurred to me that better use of the space would be a power tower similar to the one being erected in Australia. A power tower can generate renewable clean energy, a new direction to reduce pollution and cut down the cost of energy.

The tower can be drenched in light and serve as an exciting beacon for travelers flying into New York. It will be a useful and living memorial for the lives lost on 9/11. It can generate enough energy, not only for the tower itself but for all of the World Trade Center and part of Manhattan.

This type of memorial can help us escape from dependence on Middle East oil and make a statement to Al Qaeda terrorists that not only will we rebuild but we will do better in spite of the damage they have wrought. It can send a message to terrorists that they have failed in their effort to defeat us. And if terrorists’ financing is coming from the sale of oil, renewable energy will put a huge dent in oil sales.

Perhaps because of the tower’s unique location, it also might generate greater public awareness of the availability of clean sources of energy, which hopefully will spread around the country and encourage other communities to build towers that supply renewable energy.

Sarah Reader