Sunday, June 04, 2006

Wish You Were Here, Part II

I would not want to be Secretary Chertoff's mailman next week.

Dear Secretary Chertoff:
Just a quick note from a NY City firefighter reminding you that the WTC site is ½ a block from my office on Broadway, two blocks away is the Brooklyn Bridge. By the way, there is also a small building on the east side of Manhattan called the “United Nations”, just in case you ever wondered where it is. Hope you can visit us soon, I’ll even show you that the Statue of Liberty really is in NY Harbor. We at the FDNY & NYPD put our lives on the line, we just ask for additional help from you as we help in the battle against terrorism.

Capt. Peter Gorman (FDNY)
President, Uniformed Fire Officers Union

Dear Secretary Chertoff,
The huddled masses of New York City certainly are tired and poor, thanks to the Department of Homeland Security! Secretary Chertoff, we need your support. Don’t help terrorists extinguish Lady Liberty’s torch by diminishing New York City’s federal funding.

Michael J. Palladino
President, Detectives’ Endowment Association
Police Department, City of New York

And my favorite:

Dear Secretary Chertoff:
You have successfully united all New Yorkers – against you and your decision to forsake us.
We are at war with al Qaeda. They want to kill us & blow up our landmarks. How could you forget the Empire State Building & the Brooklyn Bridge? Please reconsider. All the best. Wish you were here.

Ed Koch
105th Mayor
New York City

Save New York and send a postcard here, or via snail mail. Do it for Portia....Well alright, then do it for Hillary:)


spd rdr said...

How about a little truth in advertising? From "your" (:-)) New York Times:

But in a letter sent to the New York Congressional delegation Friday night, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff noted that New York City has received far more money under the program in question, the Urban Areas Security Initiative, than any other city. The cut between this year and last year, he wrote, was the result of an unusually high appropriation for the program in 2005, itself meant to offset an unusually low appropriation in 2004.

In response to one particular criticism by Mrs. Clinton, Mr. King and others — that the department deemed New York to have no national icons or monuments — the letter said that the Empire State Building had been classified as commercial infrastructure and the Brooklyn Bridge as transportation infrastructure. Both categories, the letter said, gave New York City's application a higher score than if they had been classified as monuments.

Those categorizations represent a greater potential for loss of life as well as economic damage, a spokesman for the department, Russ Knocke, said Saturday....

Mr. Chertoff's letter said that the city had received about 19 percent of all grants to high-risk metropolitan areas from 2003 to 2005, and received about 18 percent this year. "New York City received a funding percentage roughly equivalent to the average it received in the preceding three years," he wrote.

The letter did not mention a report by the department that found flaws in the city's grant application, including criticism of overtime costs for police officers assigned to counterterrorism duties.

Mr. Knocke said that the department's analysis had included roughly 7,000 critical sites in the five boroughs. The actual grant allocation for the city, he added, "would not have changed at all if these monuments or stadiums had been listed as icons and monuments."

The Statue of Liberty, he said is a federal property under New York State jurisdiction, and so it was included on the state's list of critical sites, not the city's.

As New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynahan once so famously said: "Every one is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."

portia said...

I'll raise your NY Times, one National Review editorial :)

C'mon spd-o, the monument/icon snafu--heck, the entire anti-terror funding issue--has been a collossal PR blunder, and like so many issues recently, the Administration should have been out in front of this story before the Daily News had a chance to dust off the headline "Feds to NY: Drop Dead." (Boy, I'm getting old when I see that headline twice:))

If Hillary and my other elected officials from both sides of the aisle, can figure out a clever way to draw attention to the absurdity of the DHS methodology, I say Bravo, how many postcards you want me to send?

Whether or not the Statue of Liberty was included in state or city funds, the bottom line NY's anti-terror budget was cut by 40%.

This story has been out for 4 days and I've heard just as manay reasons for the cuts, most of them blaming NY. Today's excuse claims NY's application neglected to request money for avian flu crisis (I wonder why....)

Truthfully, I have yet to hear a good reason for the cuts other than, as the NRO editorial explains, the DHS revamped its review process by taking the Urban Areas Security Initiative-authorized by Congress to provide funding only to high-threat, high-risk urban areas --turning it upside down, inside out and adding a subjective, secret "need" component to the purely risked-based approach mandated.

And that my friend, is why I am thinking about moving. Not to Richmond, which received diddly squat, and probably neglected to request anti-terror money to fight the bird flu as well, but to Dillingham Alaska. Population 2,400 and 600 miles from a major city but which because of the DHS "policy" changes received $200,000 in Federal funds to install 80 surveillance cameras that Dillingham "desparately" needed.

There are no traffic lights in Dillingham but thankfully there is a security camera for every 30 people...that is, if you don't include the terrorists hiding there:) I wonder if Dillingham is anywhere near that Bridge to Nowhere.

spd rdr said...

Oh! So you will willingly surrender your privacy in public places for a few bucks? In Alaska, no less.

Do I know you?

portia said...

I have no "privacy in public places" that's why I try to curb my PDA. Most of the time....

spd rdr said...

I take it that we have a truce, then?

portia said...

Depends on how you define "truce,"
and for how long you'll let me have my way.