Albany: Your Aug. 31 editorial (“Bad politics, worse policy”) decrying a push to require new hotel developments to go through a special City Council permitting process presents an argument that belies the facts.
The News argues that the special permits are not needed because tourism in New York City is at an all-time high. While that’s partially true, it ignores the more salient fact that occupancy rates and room rates have both dropped precipitously, which if allowed to continue will not only impact the billions in tax revenue generated by the industry for the city, but also could jeopardize the jobs of hundreds of workers.
Since 2006, the number of hotel rooms in New York City has nearly doubled to 120,000, not counting the 50,000 additional rooms that have become available since 2010 through short-term rental online platforms like Airbnb. There are also 215 hotel projects currently in development that would create another 30,000 rooms by 2021.
Most impacted by the drop in room and occupancy rates are upscale, full-service union hotels that bring in needed conventions, trade shows, and banquet business that, in turn, generate much needed tax revenue for the city. At the same time, many of the new low-budget and limited-service hotels are mostly non-union operations that pay low wages with little-to-no benefits (versus the $100k average salary of unionized hotel workers in New York City).
So rather than being bad public policy, a special permitting process is a sound idea embraced by the last two mayors and the last three City Council speakers, to ensure the continued strength of a major city industry, which in turn will benefit all of New York City. Ken Lovett, adviser to NY Hotel Trades Council
Brooklyn: It’s not hard for most people to understand why sticking tubes down the throats of ducks and geese to force feed them to the point of diseasing their livers is cruel, but the point appears to be lost on the Daily News editorial board (“Daffy for ducks,” Sept. 3). Referring to New York City residents and politicians seeking to end this practice as fetishists is the pot calling the kettle black. Why doesn’t the Daily News just admit it would support even the most egregious and gratuitous animal cruelty if there’s a dollar to be made? David Karopkin
Cruel and unusual
Manhattan: Your editorial states that if we ban foie gras, there is no end to what other animal products will be banned. This shows a lack of understanding of the unnecessary cruelty of foie gras as it is a luxury item that most New Yorkers do not consume. As we are moving towards becoming a more compassionate city, we can at least put an end to extreme unnecessary cruelty and violence. Kiirstin Marilyn
Bronx: John Ficarra’s article (“The paperboys who never were,” op-ed, Sept. 1) brought back a lot of memories. I started delivering newspapers while in junior high school. I never had to pay for my routes, and I ended up with four, combined more than 100 customers. On Sundays, with the Times being so big, my father would take me around in his station wagon. I kept the routes into my junior year of high school and never lost a customer because of poor delivery. The experience taught me responsibility, respect, and dedication to my work that stayed with me throughout my entire career. I had the paper delivered to my house for several years, but then the routes were taken over by “grown-ups.” I would leave at 7 a.m. for work, and would only have the paper once or twice a week if I were lucky. Now that I am retired, I see the paper thrown from passing cars some mornings when I am walking my dog at 7:30 or 8 a.m. Who wants their paper at lunchtime? Tom Tramantano Sr.
Brooklyn: Is nothing sacred in New York City? Who signed off on the defacement of a landmark by letting the Empire State Building’s owners attach ugly cell phone receptors to the spire? And who signed off on building that unimaginative glass thing next door that ruins the view from Sixth Avenue? Is there not enough pride in our legacy to beat back the disgusting pursuit of money? I bet since the cell tower plates can be removed, they’re not considered to be altering a landmark. And if people can make millions by allowing them to stay there, I bet they’ll be there forever. Where is our mayor on protecting our most important buildings and art? Oh right, he’s not interested in us anymore. Diane Pagen
Manhattan: Wake up, Trump. The more you threaten China, the further away we get from a compromise. China is not the GOP. You can and do bully the GOP. You can’t and won’t bully China. Michael Wishner
Howard Beach: May I suggest to Voicer Tom Scott that while we do not like being ripped off by China, we realize the “great negotiator-in-chief” has caused farmers to go bankrupt and very shortly American consumers will be seeing an increase in clothes, shoes, TV sets and whatever else is made in China. Trump has made it very clear that he is not qualified to negotiate with China and if it hadn’t been for his father and banks saving him when he went bankrupt, we might never even have heard of Trump. Kim Jong Un has managed to make a fool of Trump with his photo ops while at the same time firing off missiles and increasing his nuclear arsenal. Mr. Scott, all Americans would back a President who knew what he was doing when negotiating trade deals, but Trump is not that person. Barbara Berg
Manhattan: It’s pathetic that not even the measly handful of promised electric school buses made it to the road for the first day of school (“Where are the electric rides?” Sept. 6). What we need for the health of our kids and to forestall global warming is an entire electric fleet! Matthew Schneck
Undeserving under served
Bronx: I recently rode the Bx36 bus (not a SBS bus) from Parkchester to Washington Heights and was astonished at the number of people who entered through the back door without paying the fare. Ironically, those persons are probably the first to complain that their community is underserved by the MTA. Melissa Hamilton
Real life stakes
Croton, N.Y.: No one should have to die because someone else is speeding at 83 mph in a 25 mph zone. Very sorry to hear of Alexander Evvron’s horrific death; the photos were gruesome and ghastly. Drivers everywhere: Please have respect for human life. You are not driving in a video game. Nancy Cunningham