My wife and I had few qualms about sending our daughter off to Manhattan to attend college. We had spent time there during Mayor Rudy Guliani’s crackdown on crime, spending a week walking around the city. From Central Park to the Battery, the entire length of Broadway and Fifth Avenue. Hanging out in Greenwich Village. Though we had visited before, that trip we really got to know the city. And we never feared for our safety.
We did see one crime and how officers handled it. There was a purse snatched on Broadway. Two plain clothes officers chased him down, had him on his stomach on the sidewalk very quickly. One of the officers stood on his neck while the other cuffed him.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg continued Guliani’s tough policies on criminals So when the daughter got accepted to New York University with a partial scholarship, we packed her things and headed up I-81 and hung a left in New Jersey and dropped her off. She spent four years living in various dorms within walking distance of Washington Square. The dorm in Chinatown was a little sketchy but she graduated without incident. Later, she and her husband lived for a time in Brooklyn and we found the Red Hook neighborhood to have a charming village-like atmosphere.
Rather than be proud of being mayor of a safe city. Bloomberg is now running for president and apologizing for harsh treatment of criminals and his “stop and frisk” policy.
In the wake of the murder of Tessa Majors, a Barnard College student stabbed in a nearby park, critics, including the police union, have criticized current liberal mayor Bill de Blasio for reversing the tough on crime policies of his predecessors. The mayor has bragged about eliminating “stop and frisk” and harsh police methods.
Tessa Majors has a special connection to us, as legendary coach Johnny Majors’ great-niece. But her murder became a national story. The New York Times reported that the city was rattled by the brutal murder because it “evoked a bygone era when violent robberies and murders were commonplace.” That was the era before Guliani was elected mayor.
You’d better believe I would think long and hard about sending my 18-year-old daughter off to live in New York City these days. I wonder how many parents are worrying about sending students back after Christmas break. There are almost 600,000 college students in New York City. NYU, Bernard, Columbia, Fordham and Cornell especially have students from all across the United States and around the world.
Tourism is also a major driver of the New York City economy. I still remember my class trip to New York City in 1965 and the buses keep on coming every year. If the city gets its old reputation back as a place where robberies and murders are commonplace it could be devastating.
That’s why the New York City police are working overtime to find Tessa Majors’ killers and they have put out photos of the primary suspect, something the department never does.
And Mike Bloomberg needs to quit apologizing.
Gobbledygook: In the early 1980s the following headline appeared in the Knoxville News Sentinel: “NRC OKS TVA OR CRBR.”
OK, I was bored.
Some 35 years later the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a permit to TVA to begin the process that would allow the building of a small modular nuclear power plant on the 1,200-acre Clinch River Breeder Reactor site in Oak Ridge. The breeder reactor was first proposed in the 1970s and finally killed in 1983. The land and the need for small off-the-shelf carbon free nuclear power plants have languished ever since. If small nuclear reactors can power submarines and battleships, then why not a town?
Clickbait: Various local news websites have this link available: “Private Jet Rental Prices Are More Affordable Than Ever in Strawberry Plains.” Really? If you rent a jet in Strawberry Plains I’d like to see where you plan to take off and land. Cardin’s parking lot?
Death of a salesman: Country singer Jimmy Dean does a great job narrating his sausage commercials. Especially since he’s been dead for 10 years.
Frank Cagle is a former managing editor of the Knoxville News Sentinel.