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Friday, April 07, 2006

how much for zee little children?

in a move that surprised no one here in nyc, the city council approved the yankees bid to use public funds to destroy one of the largest public parks in new york city. in case you were worried about this being a bad thing, the parkland will be replaced by a new 53,000-seat stadium with 60 luxury sky boxes and 10,000 parking spaces when it is completed in 2009. phew... and i thought this might be a bad thing for the residents of the south bronx. i was busy worrying about the children of the bronx who already have the highest asthma rates in the country and probably the highest rates of child obesity and diabetes. according to the 2003 census, one third of the residents of central bronx do not get any physical activity and one quarter of the residents are obese. 41% of public elementary schools in nyc do not have regular phys ed classes. in addition to the lack of formal pe classes, many schools have eradicated recess due to lack of space or lack of supervision. 55% of nyc elementary schools have no access to a playground and 18% have no gymnasium. so, yeah, that's what the bronx needs -- a new yankee stadium.

oh, and for those that argue that the new stadium is a financial boon to the community... the yanks "will pay for the construction through $930 million in bonds issued by the city, of which $860 million will be tax-exempt. taxpayers will also bear some of the costs because the team will pay back the bonds through payments in lieu of taxes to the city." sounds good to me. maybe the yanks can donate some of that new income from the luxury boxes to the hospitals in the communities because according to a CDC report (2003), annual hospital costs to treat obese children and adolescents during 1997 to 1999 were $127 million, up from $35 million between 1979 and 1981. so, yeah, i can't really trump up pity for bronx councilwoman arroyo when she says that this was a tough decision for her. she seems more than willing to sell out the health of bronx children for a few short-term construction jobs.

1 comment:

Cartooniste said...

gosh i love you moosk. katn!

p.s. i'm also home alone on saturday night, but i'm supposed to be grading papers, not writing them. unless you want to count that so-called "prospecus." bah.