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Volume 77, Number 22 | Oct. 31 - Nov. 06, 2007

Glick, Times trade broadsides over marine waste transfer plan

By Patrick Hedlund

“Don’t Get Mad. Get to Work.” That’s what The New York Times told Assemblymember Deborah Glick in an Oct. 21 editorial.

Instead, she got even.

Glick and the Times have engaged in a public spat over subsequent weekends in the newspaper, with the Gray Lady striking first in an Op-Ed that blasted her for opposing a proposed marine waste transfer station on Gansevoort Peninsula. The transfer station is part of the mayor’s 20-year Solid Waste Management Plan a.k.a. “SWAMP.”

The Sunday editorial, which also fingered Manhattan Assemblymembers Richard Gottfried and Linda Rosenthal, suggested the trio “move out of the way” so Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver could “make certain that other neighborhoods do not suffer because of them.”

Glick shot back in a letter to the editor this Sunday, saying the paper had “unfairly criticized” the nine-term legislator as an opponent of Hudson River Park a decade earlier, then slammed her again for trying to protect the park at Gansevoort.

“I find it ironic that you are now criticizing my staunch support for preserving this parkland,” she wrote in the letter. “You accuse me and my colleagues of holding up the plan…without acknowledging that we have offered a superior alternative site within our Manhattan districts.”

The Times noted that Mayor Bloomberg, Council Speaker Christine Quinn and other city officials “made it clear…that there is plenty of support for the proposal, which would distribute a necessary burden throughout the city and simply asks Manhattan neighborhoods to do their share.

“Three assembly members should not be able to kill it,” the editorial read.

Glick claims that the city broadly dismissed her and her fellow assemblymembers’ recommendation that the transfer station be moved to Pier 76, at W. 35th St., even after an “independent study found that the [Pier 76] alternative is cost effective, could be operating years sooner and would remove 200 more trucks per day from overburdened communities than…Bloomberg’s plan,” her letter stated.

Speaking to The Villager, Glick commented that the Times should have contacted her before “attack[ing] my integrity.”

But she reserved harsher words for the Bloomberg administration, saying its insistence that it was working diligently on investigating alternative sites for the transfer station “is a complete sham.”

“If we were simply saying ‘Put it somewhere else’ without any substantive, viable option, I don’t think we would have had any broad support,” Glick told The Villager, adding she’s received support from local elected officials, community boards and civic organizations. “The city’s spin is spin, but it’s not an accurate reflection of how things evolved.”

She added that the opposition from her and the other assemblymembers isn’t delaying the process, since legal obstacles and a host of other issues have swamped the situation over the SWAMP proposal.

“It is the obstinacy of the city that is delaying relief to overburdened communities in the Bronx and Brooklyn,” Glick told The Villager. “Maybe if the mayor starts thinking about resolving this sensibly, they’ll take a breath, take a step back and say a great deal of the material has been appropriately revised…and we’re going to move forward with the alternative [study].”


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