Letters to the editor

No Conscience

To the Editor,

Con Edison certainly has no conscience these days. They are taking a no holds barred approach against the unanimous decision by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to allocate a significant amount of remaining 9/11 funds to the community where the tragedy occurred. Community activists have volunteered thousands of hours since 9/11, pressing hard on the Memorial, rebuilding efforts, and supporting the emergency responders and residents who live with the lingering environmental effects from that day. That the NY Post (Zapping Con Ed Customers, NY Post, August 1, 2010) would trivialize the community by using the words “whiney” and “greedy” in its thinly veiled lobbying for Con Ed is beyond disrespectful.

Con Ed has already received $164 million of these funds. They threaten to raise rates if Con Ed, instead of the community, does not get another $174 million. When did we ever see Con Ed not ask for rate increases? This is their newest excuse, and it doesn’t sit well.

We must remember in these dire economic times that before the financial meltdown, 9/11 left a hole in the ground and a wide swath of economic devastation in the surrounding area. The Memorial, expected to be the most visited site in the world, is sorely in need of funds to get finished. Cultural institutions and small businesses were promised help that never came. Health issues still abound.

If Con Ed had a conscience, and the NY Post too, they both would be lobbying to get those funds where they are needed most – to the community for which they were meant.

Jeanne Wilcke

District Leader

You can count on us

To the Editor,

We applaud the Downtown Express’ “Hudson Park Trust Moves to Create Fundraising Group” and “Fundraising for Hudson River Park” (August 4, 2010).  Both the article and the editorial point out the critical need for private sector support for Hudson River Park. 

As the Park’s principal advocate for more than a decade, playing the primary role in lobbying for the $220 million in public funding for construction, Friends of Hudson River Park is committed to securing the approximately $200 million in additional funding needed to complete the Park, as well as the additional funds required to assure that the finished uninterrupted five-mile Park is always well maintained and never allowed to fall into dangerous disrepair as other parks in New York have before. 

Working together with the Hudson River Park Trust, and with members of the New York City community, Friends of Hudson River Park and its Board is dedicated to maintaining the Park’s promise today and for future generations. As you write, “The Park has given people a lot, and now they’ll be able to give back, and ensure this Park gets completed and continues operating at a high level.”

Douglas Durst and Ross Graham


Friends of Hudson River Park

For the last time, it’s not a mosque!

To the Editor,

The longer the debate goes on concerning the community center at the old Burlington Coat Factory building near Ground Zero, the more frustrated I become. As the old saying goes “ a lie told at great volume does not make the truth.” Sadly, this case may be different.

Almost every news program on NBC, CNN or Fox calls the community center plan the “Ground Zero Mosque.” They all seem to love to ask, “What do you think of the Mosque?” which is simply asking someone to answer a lie.

What is particularly irksome is that the main body of high profile “anti-Mosque” politicos is the exact same people who recently blocked aid to 9-11 victims and who offer us nothing except hatred and revenge. They certainly have never offered us a badly needed community center that provides space for the community as well as badly needed jobs.

Upon reflection, I have come to believe that those who are most vocally against the “Mosque” simply wish to start a holy war. Tragically, their anti-Muslim mania is catching on like swine flu and proposed “mosques” are being protested all across the country. To me, this homegrown hatred is the same sort of ugly thinking that we associate with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, and it certainly has no place in America.

No, the real threat to mankind is the religious-based extremism that is being excreted at all ends of the spectrum. What difference does it make if a Muslim terrorist, like Osama bin Laden, or a Christian extremist, like Timothy McVeigh, kills a loved one? Either way, the loss is devastating and turns the universe upside down.

However, there does seem to be a marked distinction in the minds of those who protest this new community center, and that is what really scares me. It means they simply cannot tell the difference between good and evil, and that makes them an enormous liability for the rest of us as we try to move forward towards a peaceful future.

Lawrence White