Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Is Central Park Becoming More Dangerous?

Believe it or not, Central Park is not 'natural'. A neighborhood of houses was torn down in the 1800s and the park was built as a place where people could escape from the city. Dirt, trees, stones...almost everything...was brought in to create this park.

Now it looks as if the park is becoming more and more dangerous. A large group of teenagers attacked a couple over the weekend. The couple was just simply resting there. In fact, two other people were also attacked this weekend.

The newspapers in New York City are pointing out that more people are being shot by guns in NY City these days. I think this is due to the fact that there is way too much poverty in this city.  You have too many violent and poor neighborhoods where young people are not being allowed to grow up in safety and security. 

So the newspapers will demand more and more police, but instead the city needs to create economic development in poor neighborhoods so that families can live safely and have some money not only to meet their needs but also to be able to live better lives.  

The city provides free housing, free food and free medical care to many poor people - but these are basic services and not solutions to the problem of poverty. It is easier for politicians to just give out free stuff than to work with businesses to create meaningful opportunities for the poor.

The article:


Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

cops deployed - police officers have been sent into Central Park

a rash of something - a lot of something suddenly happening; a rash is a skin problem, when parts of a person's skin suddenly turn red

a roving gang - a wandering gang, a gang that moves around

stepping up - increasing

to deter crooks - to scare criminals; to deter means to scare someone from doing something

beefing up - increasing

a mugging - an attack to steal something

an aberration - something not normal but not a trend; something weird that probably won't happen again

the surge - increase

civilians - in this case, people who are not criminals

a thug - a criminal

a chokehold - a way to hold a person around his neck using your arm

a crime spree - a sudden increase in something; you can also go on a shopping spree (you do a lot of shopping in a short amount of time)

the robberies were unrelated - different people or groups committed the three crimes

skyrocketed - gone up quickly and a lot

anti-police sentiment - a lot of people in NY City do not trust or like the police any more because of a number of negative stories about police around the USA and NY City

to back the police - to support the police; I disagree - we need to have more anti-poverty programs that create jobs in poorer neighborhoods. We give poor people free stuff, but they need more than just superficial services.

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