Paul Steely-White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
A transit-focused nonprofit has enlisted the public to come up with ideas to help make the looming L train shutdown less painful, and the first of three workshops on the subject took place on Monday night at Town and Village Synagogue.
There didn’t seem to be any new ideas but rather people stressing options brought up previously, such as the street being shut down to car traffic and beefing up the supply of buses.
Paul Steely-White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, said that regardless of the overall plan, the public feedback process could be a good opportunity to improve bus transit in the city.
Meanwhile, he added that the imminent shutdown will be a serious problem if it’s not met with proactive solutions beforehand.
“We’re trying to get our heads around the thought of what happens if there’s no contingency,” he said. “I don’t think anyone thinks it’ll just be ok if we do nothing.”
An artist participating in the upcoming Art in Odd Places festival, Walis Johnson, will have a mobile installation along 14th Street detailing how people of color faced discrimination in Stuyvesant Town and other areas. (Pictured) Some of the artifacts that go along with stories she’s collected by doing interviews (Photo courtesy of Walis Johnson)
By Sabina Mollot
There’s no question that race is the most widely covered topic this year in the news, whether the word’s in reference to the upcoming presidential election or race as in skin color, with recent protests stemming from the Black Lives Matter movement. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s the theme chosen for artists to run with in what is sure to be a politically charged Art in Odd Places festival.
The annual art show, which features both visual and performance art pieces along the length of 14th Street for a few days, is set to run this year from October 6-9.
This year there will be 34 artists, most of them with works that are performance based. The event was founded by teaching artist Ed Woodham, and this year there are four curators: Elissa Blount-Moorhead, Rylee Eterginoso, Tumelo Mosaka and Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi.
Three common clichés come to mind in regard to this election season: 1. The emperor has no clothes. 2. The elephant in the room. 3. You can’t see the forest from the trees. Why? Because the number one campaign issue for every presidential and congressional race should be our national debt! It’s somewhat of an invisible problem, so perhaps that’s why it doesn’t get more attention. Or, maybe it doesn’t rate because most politicians incorrectly associate it only with cutting programs and services – which is never popular with their voters.
Let’s consider just some of the ramifications of our 19 trillion dollar national debt:
A. In order to fund the national debt, the U.S. needs to print money or borrow from other countries. If we continue to print money, that devalues our existing dollars, resulting in inflation. If we continue to borrow from other countries such as China and Japan, our credit risk will eventually rise; this will require us to pay even higher interest rates until the inevitable day comes when we can’t.
B. Taxes will have to increase to service the national debt.
C. Government services – such as the maintenance of bridges and roads and other infrastructure – will have to be curtailed or eliminated as the national debt grows and becomes a greater percentage of the overall budget. Worse yet, should we need to defend ourselves against a foreign enemy, or recover from a natural disaster such as a major earthquake, we might not be able to afford to do so.