Letters to the editor, Jan. 19

Stuy Town greenmarket should remain as is

Re: Letter, “Issue is zoning, not zucchini,” T&V, Jan. 5
A letter writer incorrectly and selectively quoted (Department of City Planning) Director Burden’s letter to Mr. Garodnick in an effort to bolster the argument that fresh fruits and vegetables should be eradicated from Stuyvesant Town. The writer unfairly misleads the public.

It is true that Director Burden wrote that “open commercial use” is not permitted (page 2); however, she also wrote that commercial activities are fully permissible when they are “primarily restricted to residents and their guests” (page 1.) She specifically wrote that “accessory agricultural providers would not be prohibited.”

Thus, a greenmarket is in compliance if it is for residents – which it already is.  It would be a simple matter to place a sign at the market to say “this greenmarket is primarily restricted to residents and their guests.”   That’s all it takes.  There is no need to end it or move the market.

One should note that greenmarkets are barely “commercial” at all, but are more accurately described as “non-profit activities”. The family farmers barely break even, and many grow heirloom tomatoes out of a love for serving the public, not out of a commercial purpose at all. Would one prohibit a weekly art fair?

Moreover, having a greenmarket does not represent “contempt for tenants and the law”, as asserted by the letter-writer. On the contrary, providing space for a greenmarket illustrates the property manager’s tenant-friendly willingness to provide an attractive and useful amenity.

The market provides easy access to thousands of middle-class families who may shop for organic fruits and vegetables, purchase a delicious variety of apples and other fruits, and even sample Finnish breads and cheeses, all without ever crossing First Avenue or Fourteenth Street.

So many of our older, mobility-impaired residents depend on the weekly visit to the market, that to end the market would truly be a “diminution of service” and would in fact expose the landowner to a claim before the DHCR. We must do all we can to maintain our community as a bastion of middle class housing.

In summary, there is no need to move the greenmarket from the Oval. Thousands of residents enjoy supporting local farmers, and the greenmarket has provided a pleasant sense of community for all of our residents.  The tenants of Stuyvesant Town have already voted on the issue  –  they have voted with their pocketbooks.  The tenants wish to continue to have a greenmarket, and they are clearly urging Rose Associates to maintain the amenity exactly where it is.

If the letter writer wants to shop at the Associated, we have no objection.

Name Withheld, ST

Basement bike buildup

More bikes stored at 449 East 14th Street

Re: Photo run in the Jan. 12 issue of T&V that showed a mountain of bikes in a bike room at 449 East 14th Street, and caption, in which Rose Associates said management was aware of the issue.

The management answer is misinformed and unacceptable. There are registered bikes on this pile, but up until a few weeks ago this pile did not exist.

Here (pictured) is a shot of another part of the bike room.
With the influx of younger tenants and multiple twenty-somethings inhabiting apartments there are three times more bikes.

What are you going to do, Rose Associates?

Susan Turchin, ST

The cost of war

Keith Kelly (Soapbox, T&V, Dec. 22, 2011) says, “The cost of the wars, all in, is estimated to be $3.2 billion, according to a recent estimate from Brown University.”

I thought this amount seemed extremely conservative, perhaps obtained from a misleading website such as republicansforabalancedbudget.com, so I Googled. According to the Brown Cost of War project America spent $3.2-4 TRILLION (Reuters quotes a figure of $3.7 TRILLION). But wait, there’s more!

The wars continue and so does the cost. But, hey, it was worth it because the Bush administration saved America from certain destruction by finding all those WMDs in Iraq.  Mission Accomplished. Don’t you feel more secure now?

John Cappelletti, ST

Letters smell funny

I believe that the two letters headed “Tenants need to act fast on bid” and “Guterman deal ‘too good to be true’” in your December 15 issue are actually “campaign letters.” That is, that they were written by shills of the Tenants Association and/or Dan Garodnick — in their campaign to ram their deal down tenant’ throats.

This is an idea suggested in another letter in that issue. I, as do a number of other tenants I’ve spoken to, smell a rat here — a rat spelled $-$-$, money that’s going into the pockets of those trying to put this over on us.

Name withheld, ST

One thought on “Letters to the editor, Jan. 19

  1. I have encouraged Recycle-A-Bicycle to get in touch with PCVST and collect abandoned bikes, but they told me that PCVST said they weren’t interested in working together, last time the two connected. It would be so great to not just get rid of the abandoned bikes, but to have them go to a charitable organization that puts them back into use and uses them to teach repair skills to kids.

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