Bob Herbert on urban priorities:
I guess it’s a matter of priorities. The mayor can’t find the money to pay the city’s cops or teachers what they deserve, but he can sure come up with the cash for a stadium. “If you don’t have a smile on your face today,” said the mayor, with the Jets’ billionaire owner Woody Johnson looking on, “you’re never going to have one.”
He then proceeded to outline a West Side development plan that would include a 75,000-seat stadium for the Jets, complete with a retractable roof and a halo of full-service cocoons (known as luxury boxes) for the very rich and famous. One of the things that didn’t come up during the announcement was the fact that the city can’t afford to fund some of its most basic services.
For example, the bathrooms in many of the public schools are a scandal. Toilets are broken and filthy. Ceilings leak. Toilet paper is often nonexistent. The Times’s Elissa Gootman wrote in January that youngsters at Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn use the toilets down the road at Coney Island Hospital. A student at a high school in Manhattan, Diola Castillo, said, “I just try to wait till I get home.” You can bet that Woody Johnson’s bathrooms will be pristine.