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Dissenting query: Does NYC parade for Giants even make sense?
New York City's Jim Callaghan sends us these comments on the events of the last 24 hours, which seemed worth sharing prior to tomorrow's hoopla because they are thought-provoking:
I am happy for the talented players that the New Jersey Giants won the Super Bowl. I am also happy for their fans, even though they seem to get a lot more excited over 50 men in football uniforms than they do about who will be the president of their school board or president or the of the United States. I am also more than happy for the Mara family, even though they abandoned the Bronx, when New Jersey politicians put taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars for a new ball park in the swamps, a stadium that was used exactly 16 times a year for a game.
The Maras left for the same reason O'Malley left Brooklyn -- to get richer than they already were at taxpayer expense. O'Malley told the fans that the area around Ebbetts Field was a bad place to be, especially at night, a shibboleth repeated by Steinbrenner the First back in the 70s.
But put me down as one sports fan who thinks a New York parade for a New Jersey team is a horrible idea for several reasons:
-In 2007, cops estimated the crowd at anywhere from one million to two million. The economy of lower Manhattan closed down as workers streamed out of their offices and those lucky enough to work on Broadway from Bowling Green to City Hal spent hours fighting with their colleagues for a front row window seat. I saw hundreds of people precariously perched on their balconies. Oh sure, the bars and hot dog vendors and tee-shirt hawkers made out but isn't the city suffering from an economic downturn?
-The cost of the parade runs into the millions for police overtime (they are taken off anti-terrorist patrol for the overtime day. If you see something, say something.) Sanitation overtime has to be figured into the equation and- where is Schools Chancellor Walcott on this- lost time for tens of thousands of high school kids who, with a wink and a nod from Mayor Bloomberg, the city's Bean Counter in Chief, are allowed to skip school, wasting school lunches by the ton, thus leaving teachers and other school staff with empty classrooms while being paid. (Teachers who haven't had a raise since October 2009 because Bloomberg says the city cant afford it. Two years without a raise -unless the price of everything is going down, is actually a pay cut). Try to imagine the reaction of Bloomberg the scold if teachers called in to say they were going to the parade.
-Bloomberg will say the Giants or the NYC Sports Marketing folks will pay for the parade, which he estimated in 2007 was a mere $330,,000, a figure that would make Bernie Madoff smile. I say: " Show me the money."
-The subways and roads leading into Manhattan will be a mess for hours, adding to the lost productivity for workers who can't or don't want to see the folderol. This will cost owners of delivery companies and trucking firms a small fortune.
-Last month, a Queens man applied for a permit from the Bloomberg administration to hold a lower Manhattan parade for 9/11 first responders. He was turned down! He thinks it was because of the cost of such parades; he is probably right, since the mayor has shortened the routes of all the ethnic parades in New York City, to lower the cost to the city in police overtime!
Which brings me to my final point. When will we have a parade to honor our cops, firefighters, ambulance drivers, nurses, subway workers, bus drivers, teachers, social workers, Long Island Railroad engineers and conductors and the hundreds of thousands of our neighbors who make things work around here? Last week, a New York City cop who lives in New Hyde Park nearly died after being shot in the head while doing one of the most dangerous jobs I can think of: trying to take illegal guns off the streets. When will he and other his uncommonly courageous colleagues have their day of ticker tape, four hours of live television coverage and keys to the city?
They should be the role models for our kids, not overpaid, under-worked, spoiled multi-millionaires who play a mere game.
I agree with Governor Christie of New Jersey. His state should have the parade. They could start with all the residents of Moonachie and East Rutherford, walk around the stadium all day with the players, then march to the home of the bankers who hold the $110 million bonds-think taxpayers on the hook- on the old Giants stadium which was torn down even though there was not thing wrong with it, sort of like the old Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
Bankers also hold $266 million worth of bonds on the Meadowland Sports Complex, a giant (pardon the pun) bust----bonds that will be paid by New Jersey taxpayers to the tune of $36 million per year until 2025. Chances are it will be the same bankers who stole a few hundred billion, then got bailed out by taxpayers.