Letters to the Editor, July 3, 2013

Security devastation

To The Editor:  While I have great appreciation for the work done by the average police officer, I respectfully disagree with mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio’s stated approach to continue to treat Lower Manhattan like an occupied third world nation (“De Blasio backs Downtown’s anti-terror barriers,” news article, June 12 – 18).

The current closure of Park Row to regular traffic, ostensibly for the “security” of police headquarters, continues to devastate our neighborhood with traffic and the concurrent noise and air pollution it brings. The Southbridge Towers board of directors, on which I serve, along with Chatham Green and Chatham Towers actually had to sue both the city and the N.Y.P.D. to secure some mitigation. Despite the support of our elected officials, we were only minimally successful.

For a mayoral candidate, whose office as Public Advocate is across the street from One Police Plaza, to suggest continuance of this level of security a full 12 years after Sept. 11th, is beyond the pale.
John Ost

Save our Seaport 

To The Editor:  When are the people who elect the officials who run New York City going to wake up to the imminent threat to the survival (again) of our last major historical site reminding and enlightening us of our original roots in N.Y.C., the South Street Seaport?

The Museum of the City of New York jumped in to rescue our local and national portside treasure, the South Street Seaport Museum, when Mayor Bloomberg essentially said earlier that it should be self-supporting (as a C.E.O. billionaire owner of a large media company would). The city museum now has withdrawn from that support leaving the Seaport Museum leaking and listing for any greedy salvager (“BREAKING: Seaport Museum’s operator pulls out,” news article, posted to downtownexpress.com, June 24).

This mercenary kind of thinking ignores what made New York a great city, comes from our early seaport, seagoing roots, and is what people who visit and live here want to relive and share when they visit Schermerhorn Row and the tall ships. Why not throw away all the history books if we can only value the present?

The South Street Seaport is a cultural, national and historical treasure, and should be publicly supported as is done in other cities in the world. The cold, ultra-modern glass cube that will replace Pier 17 is a glaring example of what has and will happen to this rare site when commercial interests are in control.

We have to demand that the representatives we elect and pay protect the people’s interests in supporting and preserving the South Street Seaport. To avoid the fate of everything that has needlessly become extinct as a result of  ignorant, self-interested  myopia, everyone  has to shout “ahoy” and “avast, save our South Street Seaport.”
Seymour Schleimer