UnNews:New York panel approves donut shop near ground zero
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4 August 2010
NEW YORK, New York -- A city panel has declined to stop the construction of a controversial donut shop near ground zero. Opponents immediately protested the decision, and promised to go to court to halt the project before the donut shop causes more discomfort to victims of the Sept 11 attacks.
In a unanimous decision, the Landmarks Preservation Commission decided that the former Burlington Coat Factory at 45-47 Park Place is not a protected landmark. This decision allows the owners to demolish the current building, opening the way to build a donut shop on the site in Manhattan. But the site is only a few blocks north of the remains of the World Trade Center. Opponents yelled "Shame on you" and jeered as the panel announced its decision.
Opponents of the donut shop have made national news by vigorously arguing that the donut shop would be offensive to the families of the WTC victims. Sarah Palin, the last Republican candidate for Vice President, said that "to build a donut shop at Ground Zero is a stab in the heart of the families of the innocent victims of those horrific attacks." Newt Gingrich, a Republican and former Speaker of the House, proclaimed that "it is simply grotesque to erect a donut shop at the site" of ground zero. The Anti-Defamation League stated plainly that a new donut shop "in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain — unnecessarily — and that is not right."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has given full support to the donut shop project. He says that the firefighters and first responders who died in the World Trade Center were protecting the American capitalist system, which allows willing consumers to buy any type of donut. "On September 11, 2001, thousands of first responders heroically rushed to the scene and saved tens of thousands of lives. On rushing into those burning buildings, not one of them asked, 'What do you eat? Glazed or cream-filled?'"
But protesters are calling attention to the contrast between the sweet taste of donuts and the terrible fall of the two towers. "Emotionally, this feels wrong. Donuts never saved any lives when the planes hit. A person who eats a donut at ground zero may forget the sacrifice that — is that a French fry? I'm hungry!"
The size of the planned donut shop has also induced fears that the shop will sell more than donuts. Opponents suspect that the donut shop will also offer coffee, rolls, pastries, bagels and other distractions that might trigger yet more antagonism at the World Trade Center site.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer tried to change the subject. He told reporters, "It is my hope that we can all come together to fight for what’s really important — securing a supply of sprinkles for all donut shops in Manhattan, and requiring all quick food places to sell pork burgers."
- Henry Goldman "Ground Zero Mosque Plans Move Forward After Key Vote". Bloomberg, August 3, 2010
- Aaron Katersky and Sarah Netter "Controversial 'Ground Zero Mosque' Gets Green Light From NYC Landmarks Commission". ABC News, August 3, 2010
- Karen Matthews and Beth Fouhy "NYC panel clears way for mosque near ground zero". Associated Press, August 3, 2010
- Ron Scherer "Ground Zero mosque clears hurdle, but firestorm far from over". Christian Science Monitor, August 3, 2010