It was “good” news last week when the City Council overwhelmingly approved the huge Jamaica rezoning plan. The largest rezoning project of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, it will allow for the revitalization of downtown Jamaica by creating a thriving business district in a regional transportation hub.
Passed on Monday, September 10, the 368-block project, which includes downzoning portions of that area to preserve the character of the neighborhood, will be a catalyst for private developments already in the planning stages and could bring over $1 billion in investments to the area.
Any project that upgrades an area, provides jobs - 9,500; creates office and retail spaces - 3 million square feet; builds housing units - 5,200; and pumps millions into infrastructure improvements is a very “good” plan indeed.
The pure arrogance displayed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg following the City Council’s override of his veto of their cell phone legislation was “bad.” He stood before the television cameras, smirked and intoned in his nasal way, “It is a bill that doesn’t change anything …You’ve always had the right to take a phone to school and take a phone from school, you just don’t have the right to bring it into the school and that’s not changing.”
The City Council, by their 46-2 vote, expressed the will of the parents who elected them. Parents want the right to stay in touch with their children as they travel to school and back, as well as in case of emergencies.
Councilmember Peter Vallone, Jr., chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee, put it simply, “Students should have to turn off their phones while in school, and if they are caught using their phones, they should be punished accordingly.”
Bloomberg’s attitude and defiance of the wishes of the City Council and the people who elected him is reprehensible - it is just “bad” government executed for “bad” reasons - control and power.
It is an “ugly” fact that six years after 9/11, the only national monument in our nation that has not been reopened fully to the public is the Statue of Liberty.
Congressmember Anthony Weiner announced that congressional hearings on the management - the National Parks Service (NPS) - of the Statue would begin on Tuesday, September 18. NPS’s decision to keep Liberty’s crown closed - while opening just the Statue’s base and observation deck - has driven away over 40 percent of its visitors and cost New York City’s economy millions of dollars.
We hope these hearings will finally end this “ugly” reminder of the fear that gripped our country in the months shortly after the terrorist attacks.
Reopen our “Lady of the Harbor,” our symbol of freedom for all to visit!