Letters to the editor, Mar. 8

Guterman right about concern over walls

Dear Sir,
I was pleased to see in the T&V issue of February 16 the article about Mr. Guterman, who also hopes to buy the complexes, bringing up his concerns about the strain and danger that the pressurized walls and overcrowding of apartments are bringing to the buildings. Lest we forget, ST was built 65 years ago, hardly maintained over the years as those of us living there know, and with no notion that the buildings would end up as human warehouses, sheltering up to four adults in one-bedroom apartments as the case has been since Tishman had the idea to put up the pressurize walls and bring in students.

Quite correctly Mr. Guterman brings up both quality of life and security issues due to sub-dividing the apartments among double or triple the number of adults tenants than was supposed to be originally. Living in a building where we had a real fire on December 10 and had to evacuate, I can say that his concerns are well grounded. Luckily the fire, one that required several firefighters coming up to the 5th floor to extinguish, was at around 2 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon when many people were out.

However, those of us in the building, once we realized what was happening (I live one floor behind the fire) had to quickly evacuate down stairwell B that had no smoke. What would it have been like if the fire had happened in the middle of the night, with most of us at home, with one set of stairs (A) out of bounds due to smoke and we all had to evacuate through stairwell B? Would space, calculated for a certain number of residents based on the size and occupancy of the apartments, have accommodated double if not triple the number of people rushing out?

We need to get the politicians and authorities on board to stop this indiscriminate warehousing of people in spaces meant for half the number of residents. Where is Brookfield, the TA’s chosen partner for conversion in all this? Don’t they see the dangers and illegality of the pressurized walls and manifold increase in tenants as Guterman does? Don’t they and the TA realize that many of us who could easily afford to buy in case of conversion would never sink our savings into dormitory style living? What normal person over 30 would invest their life savings in student dorms?

Anna Theofilopoulou, ST

Open letter to students in ST/PCV

Dear 20-something residents, students, 4-5 roommates shoved in one apartment, this letter is to you:

You make it really hard for the residential tenants to actually want you here. There are some who respect this property but for the rest, you make it easy to dislike you.

Seriously, is it really easier to drag your trash bags down the elevator to the basement as opposed to the trash shoot on your floor?
It used to be that carpets were required for 2-3 of the floor space in apartments. Now that most of you don’t, people under you are forced to hear every step you take, every conversion and on occasion the nightly romp.

Stairwells are now used for recreational drugs and everyone’s favorite the drunken relay races that occur at 2 a.m. in the morning. There are parties that go on at all hours.

Smoking out of your windows is awful. The ashes and smell go right into the apartment below you.

I am sure that this just sounds trivial to you. But they affect the rest of us and add to the tension that already exists.For example:
I am sure that the elderly couple next door is anxious to hear club music on Saturday night, along with the slamming of the doors when the guests come and go. Some students have taken it to a new level and have hired DJs to spin at these parties. Your elderly neighbors are the ones cleaning up the empty bottles left in the hallway along with cigarette cartons and you don’t even bother to apologize to them.

Drunken buzzer dialing is another fun event for the couple with a newborn. They finally get the baby to sleep at 1 a.m. and then the door buzzer rings. They run to answer it but before they do the baby is up again. Drunken buzzer dialing is a personal favorite of mine. At 2 a.m. one Saturday a young man named “Joe” buzzed up to my apartment. He asked if he lived here. Twice I had to tell him no. On the third call he asked if I knew where he lived. I again answered no, but would I really love to find out.

A family returns home from a night out and they have to walk past the group of students smoking and drinking out of their red Solo cups in the lobby. What about the mom who has a sick child and has to do an emergency load of laundry. Does she really have to do her laundry with a group of students making out in the back of the room?
This used to be a community full of the working middle class. They raised the families in harmony, and with respect for their neighbors. Every building had a porter and all the tenants knew them. Spring was met by lush green grass, tulips blossoming, little league parades and children learning to ride their bikes through the property. Now this community has people who don’t know their neighbors because they won’t be here long enough to care. The porters can’t stand their jobs now that they have to clean up the dumping grounds in the basement. Spring is met with half naked people sunbathing on every piece of grass they can find, passed out students on the benches and the streets are jammed packed with moving trucks at the end of the semester only to have this vicious cycle start again in the fall.

Were these students not raised in apartments? Or do they just not care?

A lifelong resident, PCV

As a side note I would like to say that as I write this piece I have had to stop twice to call security on my upstairs neighbors. It is a Thursday night at 11:45 p.m. and after numerous screaming and stomping episodes they started to sing happy birthday accompanied by bongo playing.  Seriously?!

Women’s rights in 2012

Re: Letter, “Church vs. state on birth control debate,” T&V, Feb. 23

I absolutely must thank Mr. Sanders for his cogent and important letter. What ever happened to the separation of church and state? Remember, this country is a democracy, not a theocracy.
The influence of religious groups in our political landscape is becoming truly scary.

I was horrified at the reactions to President Obama’s Thanksgiving speech when he was pilloried for his failure to mention God. And the idea that a woman has not the right to prevent pregnancy really takes us back to the Dark Ages.

As a person who suffered personally in the age of illegal abortions, I would not wish any young woman to have to return to those dangerous days when you risked death if you weren’t ready for a child.

Some sanity please!
H. Zwerling, ST

Tone of birth control letter offensive

To the Editor:
Having known him for a number of years, I am stunned at the complete lack of respect for the Catholic Church and Cardinal Dolan displayed in Steven Sanders’ letter published in T&V’s February 23rd edition. Rather than discuss a legitimate first amendment issue and his disagreement with Church teaching in a civil manner, Mr. Sanders chose to belittle the Catholic Church and its doctrine and teaching on both abortion and contraception.

The tone of the letter with respect to Cardinal Dolan is equally offensive and disrespectful. As Archbishop of New York and the elected leader of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Dolan has an obligation to speak out regarding a government policy that he and the Bishops believe violates the Church’s rights under the first amendment. As a citizen, Cardinal Dolan, like Mr. Sanders, has the right to express his, as well as the Church’s, views on government policy, including social and health issues, which he did respectfully without seeking to demean anyone or their beliefs.

In contrast, Mr. Sanders, choose to express his opinion and disagreement with the Church and the Cardinal by seeking to demean him and belittling the Church and its teachings.

Mr. Sanders is well known for his long and dedicated service to this community and for the thoughtful, reasonable and civil manner in which he advocated for the community and expressed his views. Mr. Sander’s letter had none of those qualities.

James J. Roth, PCV

Enough Catholic bashing

Thank you for printing Msgr. Ivers’ letter, “Catholic point of view on birth control” (T&V. Mar. 1). I am not even Catholic and am appalled at the Obama Administration’s treatment of the Catholic Church. What’s next? Would Pres. Obama require the Catholic Church to pay for surgical abortion? Anyone who values freedom of religion should be alarmed.

Joan Carmody, ST

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