Editorial

After years-long renovation, Perseverance Park earns its name (Editorial)

It’s taken six years of perseverance, but Perseverance Park is finally done, we happily note.

The public plaza in front of One Lincoln Center is now crisscrossed with concrete seating in abstract shapes, curved and tinted concrete underfoot, and mature trees and grassy plantings to soften all those hard edges.

It’s not as ambitious as the original vision for the spot — but it’s neat, inviting and, most importantly, finished.

Perseverance Park, running along South Salina Street between Fayette and Washington Streets, was the site of the Occupy Wall Street encampment in 2011. In 2012, it became a blank canvas in the heart of downtown when the Centro bus hub moved to its new location down the street.

In 2014, the Downtown Committee commissioned an art installation called “Flowscape” — a blue and white design painted on the ground — to spark public conversation about the future of the space.

In 2015, after issuing a request for proposals, former Mayor Stephanie Miner chose a redesign plan that included a huge piece of public art. That would have been cool — and expensive. The city could not raise $3 million, publicly or privately, to make it happen. Perseverance Park languished. “Flowscape” faded.

When Mayor Ben Walsh took office in 2018, he revived the project in a simpler form, covering the $500,000 cost with money left over from the Connective Corridor project and from the Syracuse Urban Renewal Agency, which owns the park. The project did not touch the northern quadrant, on the Washington Street side. City Hall hopes to attract a developer for that prime real estate.

The work was completed while many downtown office workers waited out the coronavirus pandemic from home. Until the weather turns, they’ll have a new outdoor spot to lunch, relax and socialize.

See? 2020 isn’t

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Murphy said this test could be our ‘salvation.’ So why isn’t it in nursing homes? | Editorial

Gov. Phil Murphy has done well steering our state through this pandemic, but one big stain on his record is nursing homes.

He blundered in numerous ways: Putting hospitals first, even as the death toll exploded in the nursing homes, failing to get them protective equipment and test kits quickly, and forcing them to take COVID patients from hospital wards.

Now it looks like another misstep is in the works. Rutgers has developed an excellent COVID test that is faster and easier – you just spit in a tube, and it’s analyzed by a lab in 24 to 48 hours.

Nursing homes need it, desperately. It’s not easy to shove a swab down the nasal cavity of an 80-year-old dementia patient, let alone get the results back in a timely manner. Yet they still don’t have it, as we face the threat of a possible resurgence.

Neither do veteran’s homes, which saw the worst death rates. Murphy said this rapid test could be the source of our “salvation” back in April. So why don’t we even have it in our own state-run homes?

Both NJ Transit and Port Authority are further ahead in line, which is disappointing. It shows a lack of urgency where the fire is burning hottest.

“You put your quickest, most accurate test in your most vulnerable population,” as Dr. Perry Halkitis, dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health says. “That’s what should be happening.”

State-run psychiatric hospitals and developmental centers have shown progress on this, too, but the nursing home industry has been mired in bureaucracy with the state, NJ Advance Media’s Ted Sherman reports.

Under state guidelines, only slower swab testing has been allowed, and they haven’t been able to require testing for visitors, like a state inspector or a family member. Requiring temperature

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