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"How Much Are Construction Deaths Worth?"

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That’s the sober question asked by Lost City in a clear-eyed, affecting editorial about the East Side construction-crane disaster that caused seven deaths a few days ago. (I was introduced to the site today by the indispensable Manhattan User’s Guide.) Brooks ends the post:
In a column in the New York Post, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer compared the accident to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, a bellwether of the last century the brought on sweeping changes in corrupt citywide labor laws. He invoked the disaster as a way of indicating that vast changes at the DOB are called for in the wake of the crane accident. Will such changes occur? Sadly, tragically, criminally, another crane accident is probably more likely.


I’d like to point out this article, which momentarily had me feeling moved by the construction workers’ solidarity and solemnity during the wait to retrieve the final three bodies. They formed human chains to shield the wife of one of the construction workers from the public as she made her way from Starbucks to the site, and tipped their hats and bowed their heads solemnly, etc, whenever one of their own was found. But when the body of the one non-construction worker victim was finally found — the one innocent bystander, and possibly the one victim of their own negligence on the worksite — they had nothing for her or her loved ones, and simply went their way (“…no fanfare from the construction workers, who were drifting away from the site.”).

I lost all my admiration and compassion for them in that instant. Pathetic!

It was a sad day all around, that’s for sure.

I tried to post two comments on your blog, but as you know, your comments are closed! A pox on the evil spammers preventing the free flow of friendly discourse! What I was going to say is that I dug your elegant ballot box illustration, and that you should write music reviews. Your Madame Butterfly review made me giggle, but it’s also an excellent theater critique. You should write modern updates of various opera libretti, seriously!

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