Lew Leone is the vice president and general manager of WNYW-FOX 5. He is taking to the airwaves with his thoughts on current affairs. It's called "Lew's View." The views expressed are not necessarily those of the station or its employees.
In this commentary, Mr. Leone takes on the construction of a garbage dump and trash barge station in Manhattan.
Part of New York City's 2006 solid-waste management plan called for each borough to handle its own trash. Well, in Manhattan the location was a problem due to all of the high value real estate. So after a long drawn-out process, the end result is the dump under construction in the East River just off East 91st Street.
As environmentalist Matthew Chapman states: "You simply couldn't find a worse place in Manhattan."
All you have to do is take a ride down the FDR Drive to see that Chapman is correct. The dump is located adjacent to public housing, connected to a public park, and directly across from a playing field which hosts thousands of school kids from every borough.
This not only affects quality of life in an area with little recreational space it also is contrary to the mayor's Vision Zero initiative and his desire to rewrite a Tale of Two Cities as I'll explain in a second.
Who is in favor of this dump? Well, frankly I was. When I first heard about the opposition I thought it was coming from a bunch of snobby, rich, white Upper East Siders who didn't want this in their backyard. I was wrong.
As it turns out, by placing the dump in the front yard of a housing project, those most opposed have little resources to fight back, are mostly black and Hispanic, and represent the path of least resistance with the end result being even more disparity in our city.
It seems that those in favor of the location of this dump are people who are happy to keep it away from areas targeted for real estate development and those who do have the resources to keep it out of their neighborhood.
This should be the perfect scheme for Mayor de Blasio to derail and move to another location. After all, he has moved to reverse almost every other Bloomberg creation, so why not this one?
Ironically, he will have a perfect view of the dump for at least the next three years or as long as he can bear the stench.