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We cannot find any reason why the trial of the self-described masterminds of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks should be held in lower Manhattan. At a time when the mayor is searching for ways to balance the budget without firing teachers, it is ridiculous to ask the city to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to hold the trial here.

We support Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has told the president to hold the trial somewhere else. The trial will make lower Manhattan a terrorist target.

The thousands of Queens residents who work in Manhattan will be inconvenienced for months as the trial drags on. If the president wants to find a way to demonstrate American justice to the world, he can do it somewhere else.

The Contingency Plan

Bloomberg delivered a gloomy budget proposal last week with a matter-of-factness that made his news easier to digest. His message was clear: Tough times lie ahead.

His plan calls for the city to eliminate 20 fire companies, increase the cost of truck parking on Manhattan streets by 25 percent, close swimming pools two weeks early and close a 24-hour center for the homeless.

But the plan will not raise taxes and although there will be some city worker layoffs, most of the labor reductions will be realized through attrition. When employees retire, they will not be replaced. Although the mayor said his plan would not affect the level of service, it is hard to imagine agencies will not have to make painful adjustments.

Teachers will not get the raises they deserve, some firehouses may close and sanitation will reduce pickups to once a week.

Then the mayor talked about how bad it could get if the state Legislature approves the billions of dollars in reductions in state aid to the city proposed by the governor. The mayor’s people handed out a separate “Contingency Plan for Proposed State Budget Reductions” that details the consequences of Gov. David Paterson’s proposal. Our hospitals and schools would be devastated.

Each year, the city gives more to Albany than it gets back. We urge readers to push their state Assembly members and state senators to tell Paterson his cuts for the city are unacceptable.

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