E.L. Doctorow Opt Ed Piece in Daily News July 25

Written By: Warren Gross

You may be interested in the esteem E.L. Doctorow’s Opt Ed column in the Daily News today on the NYU Expansion downtown.

I leave it up to you for your reflections and comments.

The good Doctorow resides in north New Rochelle and is justly considered a literary lion.

He has, to my knowledge, never taken a positiion on Iona or Monroe expansion and I have never read of any position on opening up all of New Rochelle for expansion or growth which is, of course, proper frm the college’s strategic plan.

Doctorw is a professor at NYU and speaks of the views of the what appeara to be a sizable number of faculty members.

I will not comment beyond that point. Perhaps you will reflect and offer your comments.

3 thoughts on “E.L. Doctorow Opt Ed Piece in Daily News July 25”

    1. A Friend of the People
      John, it would be you to share it…. trying to tease out whether others wouold invest the time and the money to buy, read and comment.

      Doctorow is a man of great literary skill and like most of us, has a healthy self-interest. Yet, we know he is well versed in the hard life via his works.

      Wonder if he will see the implications beyond the Washington Park area, undersetand the forces behind the community vs. the faculty/others, and see the agreement reached in land use, strucure height, etc. hammered out via negotiation.

      Good case study. Of course NYC has the luxury of clear business districts and protective zoning codes. New Rochelle, on the other hand, “creates” as it proceeds… Monroe for urban sprawl, Iona for veiled Opus Dei misrepresentation and denial.

      The pain is spread among a limited community base; more defined in Iona, less so in Monroe. For the love of God, Iona narrowed its demands for a new facility to something akin to less than a half mile from campus according to the environmental impact study.

      We hear that the Iona and New Rochelle partnership is making progress but the content of such process has been, through Iona’s demands, sequestered in a room full of participants. You will not know outcomes unless ssomeone slips up and talks.
      Sadly both Monroe and Iona have developed a kinship with the Administration based on considerations that go beyond what you might expect or hope and so, until we get a Code of Ethics or a resounding defeat in City Council…. Checkbook diplomacy and serving as Chair of the BID will speak volumes for Marc Jerome and Monroe and Iona has a long history of direct involvement with the City, possibly has “enablers” on retainer (attorneys) or otherwise.

      the lines are clear. Both colleges are important to New Rochelle but not as important as permanent residents, tax payers, parents, citizens.

      So, this is as good of a place as any to sound a clarion call and who better to step in at some point with a perspective on citizenship than our outstsnding citizen from the pristine North, E.L Doctorow whose talents I greatly respect and whose contributions to the debate would be of great value.

      I am going to press more and more for an amended City Charter and for the inclusion of a Code of Ethics that do more than presently done to control campaign funding.

      John you are a gifted and more than decent man with strong beliefs and solid spiritual grounding. That said help a senior citizen out here.

      “why would a ceremonial mayor’ as defined in the city charter and subsequently confirmed by the electorate in votes directed at whether we need a “strong mayor” or not,….. why would such an individual require a campaign fund exceeding 6 figures when there is nothing to run for or against? Do you think that contributors such as Marc Jerome receive any benefit from writing a check even if and I am perfectly willing to accept that no act of impropriety on any elected official’s part takes place,…. but is it possible tthat the very act of writing a check or in the situation leveraging long term “harmonious relationships”, unconsciously influence any elected official’s vote.

      Oh, yes, the miracle of discovery is deep in the heart and psyche of the new Iona President. Seems like a greater miracle than the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe presently notched in a wounded tree in Portchester.

      That has more credibility to me than coming on board as the new President of Iona and miraculously “discovering” that a residence hall is overfilled and had been for some time. This violation of the simple rule of Charter law has been “forgiven” as it ssemingly presents no danger to the students or community and of course, we do not wish to extinguish it because it might ‘disrupt’ harmonious relationships with our partner, Iona.

      Here’s a thought! Give them six months to cure the fault or pack their bags. We can have a farewell party for them and …. well, you know how this goes. We read about tragedy daily… innocents slain in our communities, now gun issues in one of our colleges, unemployment, people on the West End awaiting the trash express.

      E. L. Doctorow or Car 54, whoever gets the call first, come in and bring some simple street justice tto a community that deserves better.

      1. Misery loves company, not really!

        Maybe we should enlist the assistance of E. L. Doctrow who lived in New Rochelle until he got out of town in 1999 I believe. Maybe we could get some celebrity help from Matthew Broderick. They are fighting a very similar battle against an institution and a government that favors the institution over the concerns of their local citizens and tax payers. The Harlem neighbors of Columbia University had the same problems with Columbia University‘s expansion over the years. All I know is that someone needs to step up soon.

        E. L. Doctrow said, “There are neighborhoods downtown that would be happy to have big new NYU buildings not wanted by the Village community. The university/corporation claims that this is not a cozy enough alternative — that it needs to build on its Village “core campus” so that students do not have to travel all over town” and more.

        Actor Matthew Broderick who showed up at a NYC City Council hearing to rally against New York University’s plans to expand in Greenwich Village. He said, “I don’t want it to go forward,” Broderick said of the expansion plan known as NYU 2031. “I think it’s too big and changes the character of the Village in a bad way, massively.”

        As has been said, “They are colleges that are growing in communities not communities growing around colleges”. The resident lived there first and bought their homes before some of the land was purchased and any development took place. We fight the same battles here in New Rochelle with Monroe and Iona College’s growth into the neighborhoods that have been around for years. Much can be learned here if people and government choose. As Warren said, “Go back and read the stories for yourself. The neighbors from these communities share similar issues. The only difference is probably the geographic location.

        As I left Iona College the other day going out the Montgomery Place Exit, I saw the modular sections for the Walsh Hall re-construction staged on the Montgomery Lot next to the exit. I thought what a perfect place to put up some new dorms. Done right, two small three, four or five story dorms on both sides of the Montgomery Place entrance would look great there. Iona College owns most of the property in that area tucked down at the end of Montgomery Place near Pryer Terrace. It would be right next to the campus. Perfect solution; Try going north for a change.

        Just a thought!

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