Posts Tagged ‘Larry Seabrook’

16th February

First Published in The New York Sun, February 16, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

The president of the Bronx, Adolfo Carrion Jr., gave his state of the borough speech at Hostos Community College last Friday. He had a difficult job. It could be argued that things in the Bronx are better — at least better than they were in 1977 when Howard Cosell famously told the nation, “The Bronx is Burning.” But things in the borough are not good now and Mr. Carrion’s prescriptions hold little promise for a better future.

In 1977, when the city was bankrupt and crime was on the rise, the situation in the Bronx was just an extreme version of the rot afflicting the entire city. But New York City has bounced back. Mayor Koch provided inspired leadership that helped restore confidence and civic pride. Recent federal tax policies may have helped the city’s economy rebound, as did welfare reform a decade ago. Perhaps nothing was more significant to the city’s renaissance than the successful war on crime waged by Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg. The city coffers are now awash in cash. Even the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, failed to stop the momentum of the rebounding city. But the good times seem to have passed by the Bronx. (more…)

14th July

First Published in The New York Sun, July 14, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

If you think that opening a Hip-Hop Museum in The Bronx is a foolish idea, I have some good news and bad news for you. The good news is that if history is any guide, this project will never come to fruition. The bad news is that the taxpayers of the City of New York can kiss the $1.5 million allocated so far good-bye.

The moving force behind this project is City Councilman Larry Seabrook. Mr. Seabrook has been down this path before, advocating for grandiose government-funded schemes that never seem to get off the ground.More than a decade ago, one of these projects, a proposed youth center in his north Bronx district, received funds from both the state and the city, but never opened, leading to newspaper headlines and a federal investigation. Incredibly, the group to which the city is awarding the money for the Hip-Hop Museum, the North East Bronx Redevelopment Corporation is the same group that was under investigation with Mr. Seabrook.This appears to me to be déjà vu all over again, a perfect example of how in government, things appear to change but always seem to remain the same. (more…)