To the editor: Many thanks for your annual New Years' edition and look ahead to 2014. I would like to share a few thoughts from the perspective of the faith community.
First, look for a follow-up to the work begun last fall when many of us came together to form the Upper Westside Congregations for Food Justice. After participating in the SNAP challenge, living on a food stamp budget for one work week, we came together to share our experiences and plan strategy working with the New York Coalition Against Hunger where we learned about the impact of draconian cuts on November 1st. We will press our new administration to implement universal school lunch as a first step.
Look for us to continue to work with the Interfaith Assembly and other homeless and housing advocates to press for restoration of the rent subsidy program and a comprehensive plan to address the now record number of homeless people in the city. We will also continue to work with the Sweatshop Free Upper West Side movement for a livable increase in the minimum wage.
Under the leadership of new Borough President Gale Brewer and new Councilmember Helen Rosenthal, we will put the community coalition together to restore the facade at West-Park as we continue to be not just a part of our neighborhood's historic cultural heritage but a more open and usable space for our neighbors.
Come join us as our congregations join together in our annual Upper West Side march for peace circling our neighborhood on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
May 2014 bring us closer to a more just, humane and sustainable community?
Rev. Dr. Robert L. Brashear
Pastor, West-Park Presbyterian Church
I am greatly concerned about the recent loss of gas stations in our neighborhood, and at this point the only gas station that I am aware of that still exists is at 96th St near the entrance to the Henry Hudson. Closed in the last days of Bloomberg's tenure: Two stations at 125th near Henry Hudson, one at 110th and Central Park West and one at 124th and 8th Avenue. I am greatly concerned that in a situation such as Sandy, it will lead to a serious problem. Maybe your paper would like to investigate this.
To The Editor:
I want to thank Bob Adler for his letter (Jan. 9) in response to "Mapping Crime on the West Side," in which he says, "The real 'crime' story...is that crime...has been [in decline] in recent years...[S]how a comparison of precincts."
He is correct. In fact, in 2011, the 20th Precinct (59th to 86th Streets, Riverside Drive to Central Park West) had the lowest crime rate of all 76 police precincts throughout the five boroughs. Indeed, the Commanding Officer at the time (and his team) received an award from the NYPD for this accomplishment. And the 2-0 remained the lowest-crime precinct throughout 2012. And although there was a slight uptick in 2013, the 2-0 has remained among the three or four lowest-crime precincts in the entire City for a period of well over five years.
Obviously, crime still exists. However, the new Commanding Officer and his team continue to do everything they can to maintain our status as one of the lowest-crime precincts in NYC.
20th Precinct Community Council