Letters to the editor


The planned East 92nd Street access ramp to the Department of Sanitation’s Marine Transfer Station would traverse a section of what is now DeKovats Playground. Image: NYC DDC

UES TOWERS AND RAMPS

The 50-story tower proposed by Fetner Properties in the middle of NYCHA Holmes Towers needs to be scrapped (“Brewer Challenges de Blasio on Holmes Tower Plans,” (Feb. 28 - Mar. 6). Was it a coincidence that Fetner Properties (who were awarded the project) donated to Mayor de Blasio’s re election campaign? As if this wasn’t horrifying enough, the Marine Transfer Station submitted plans to add a second ramp which will affect area traffic, noise, pollution, etc.

Kudos to all who can decipher a page from a power point presentation on the MTS second ramp traffic pattern. Erecting a 50-foot tower in this area is absurd.

Linda Garvin Upper East Side

A FINAL STRAW ON CONGESTION PRICING

As a retired professional born, raised, and living in NYC all of my life, I wish to notify supporters of congestion pricing that I will refuse to pay this onerous tax. I will not pay to move about in my own city and my own borough. It will be the final straw to make me relocate to another state where my consumer and tax monies are welcome.

Vincent A. Cipollaro, M.D. Manhattan

A TEMPLATE FOR HEALTH CARE

Colette Swietnicki’s article in the February 21 - 27 issue — “Enough already! Pass the New York Health Act” — is right on target. Implementation of the Affordable Care Act has shown us that centralization of the health care delivery system is beneficial. The ACA has both lowered the rate of rise of medical care costs and reduced the number of uninsured. But medical costs continue to rise and remain problematic for many Americans and medical debt remains the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the U.S. Only a universal single payer system can simplify this delivery system and eliminate waste. Opponents of NY Health argue that an abrupt transition to a universal single payer system will be traumatic.

In truth, transition to a single payer system is both feasible and the only way to minimize cost. At present, much of our health care dollar goes to administrative waste, i.e., pre-authorization, complicated billing and credentialing procedures and corporate profit. These can not be minimized by further incremental change.

As New Yorkers, we share a proud history of advancing progressive social legislation. Under Governor Al Smith 100 years ago, we passed momentous legislation regarding minimum wage and workplace safety issues that later served as a template for the New Deal.

Let us now provide the template for a robust national health care system to come.

Marc H Lavietes, M.D. Soho

IN PRAISE OF THE PUBLIC ADVOCATE

To misquote Shakespeare, “Methinks Larry Penner doth protest too much.” In his letter calling for the elimination of the public advocate position (Feb. 28 - March 6), he says, “Any public opinion poll will tell you that ... taxpayers would be better off” without it. Yet not only could I not find a single such poll, but the two most prominent voices against the position are The New York Post and Curtis Sliwa — not exactly unbiased sources.

Penner suggests that other people and agencies (Borough Presidents, Councilmembers, Community Boards/District Managers) “provide better customer service” than the public advocate, and that the latter only “duplicates these functions.” Setting aside the fact that I have never had anything but excellent customer service from the public advocate’s office (no matter who was there), they are more limited in their scopes than the public advocate, who serves not simply a neighborhood, district or borough, but the entire city.

Finally, based largely on public input, a commission was formed this year to expand the powers of the public advocate, including (potentially) providing the office with subpoena power, a vote on legislation, as well as expanding its oversight and watchdog roles over city agencies.

Ian Alterman Upper West Side