Letters, Week of February 29, 2012

Focus on Delancey, at last

To the editor:
Re “D.O.T. is set to release new Delancey St. safety plan” (news article, Feb. 8):

For years, we demanded that our politicians, the Department of Transportation and our local community board address these issues. They never listened until now.
Eric Nagy
Nagy is a member of Fathers 4 Justice

Recognize real superstars

To the editor:
Re “Community, pols struck with ‘Linsanity’” (news article, Feb. 22):

Yes, Jeremy Lin is a talented basketball player. But what does he contribute to society? He throws a ball through a hoop.

What does a baseball player contribute to society? He hits a ball with a bat and catches a ball with a glove.

Why is our society so focused on professional athletes? Are our lives so empty that we have to lionize or deify athletes?

Why not glorify people who really contribute to society? A bus driver; a cashier at a supermarket; a waiter at a restaurant; a conductor or motorman on a subway train; a mom; a Con Ed worker; a therapist or counselor; a nurse or doctor; a receptionist; et al. People who serve our needs and make our lives livable.

I challenge the Downtown Express to spotlight  an “ordinary” person.
Michael Gottlieb

Behemoth back for more

To the editor:
Re “N.Y.U. has a right to build, but must scale back plan” (editorial, Feb. 15):

N.Y.U. has always had one plan: world domination. Witness the recent expansions in Asia and the Arabian Peninsula, similar to those of banks, luxury-goods purveyors and other multinationals.

Regarding N.Y.U.’s “new plans,” this newspaper’s editorial board has chosen to fall on the wrong side of history.

There are several questions that must be asked. Why does a corporate behemoth with a “yearly membership” tag of $60,000 per student continue to pay no taxes? What is the community at large receiving (other than false and broken promises) for the privilege of hosting this voracious developer in its midst? Education? It’s only for the caste that can afford such tuition: transient scions of the global one percent — actually, much less than one percent.

Students educated at N.Y.U. don’t stay in the community. I am a notable exception, but I was here before studying there. Most only milk the area for its cultural worth, burden it with their carousing and leave with their degrees. If their rich families are socked with hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs, it’s no biggie.

N.Y.U.’s only concern is self-aggrandizement. How great to be part of it, if you are an administrator, tenured faculty or a rich student whose family can pay the ticket. Meanwhile, the university’s promises to the community remain undelivered, as your recent reprint of then-Councilmember Carol Greitzer’s 1970 talking point made clear; the promise (now rehashed and much-reduced) of a school was made to obtain a variance to allow the Coles gym/Silver Towers superblock to be developed.

Now the behemoth is back for more, with more promises that are instrumental to getting its way; it’s nothing but lip service.

If Bloomberg and his henchmen intend to deliver a large chunk of Downtown’s most vital area to a questionable entity, let them try to override the community’s opposition.
Sante Scardillo
Scardillo is a member, Little Italy Neighbors Association, and a graduate of N.Y.U.’s Tisch School of the Arts (Class of ’85)

Letters policy
Downtown Express welcomes letters to The Editor. They must include the writer’s first and last name, a phone number for confirmation purposes only, and any affiliation that relates directly to the letter’s subject matter. Letters should be less than 300 words. Downtown Express reserves the right to edit letters for space, clarity, civility or libel reasons. Letters should be e-mailed to news@DowntownExpress.com or can be mailed to 511 Canal St., N.Y., N.Y. 10013.