Letters to the Editor, May 3

How is ‘special event’ in ST/PCV defined?

To the Editor:

It is unfortunate that Council Member Garodnick has gone along with CW and Rose in sidestepping the zoning rules (and apparently ignoring the “clearly incidental” and “customarily found” requirements found in the Zoning Resolution definition of Accessory Use) to allow the return of the greenmarket to the Oval under the pretense that its availability will be limited to “residents and their guests only,” and the return of food trucks at “special events.”

Notably, “special events” are not defined so, presumably, anything that CW and Rose declare to be a special event, perhaps even the greenmarket, will qualify.  By agreeing to this pretense, the Council Member has ignored the primary complaint about the greenmarket – its location on the Oval – and opened the door to CW and Rose further exploit the Oval as a commercial and event space, without limit, merely by claiming the activities are limited to “residents and their guests only.”

According to the Council Member, management has agreed to add language to its perimeter sidewalk signs and on any of their materials referencing the market that the market is for “residents and their guests only” and are in the process of correcting any outstanding public references to the market being open to the public.   While GrowNYC has removed the reference to the market being open to the public, it contains a map of the market’s location and a link to management’s website for more information and, as of April 29, one week before the market’s opening, neither that site nor management’s own site has added the language for “residents and their guests only” or any other language that would indicate that it is not open to he public.

During his tenure, Council Member Garodnick has, generally, represented the ST/PCV community well and has done many good things on behalf of it.  His acquiescence in CW and Rose’s charade to continue the presence of the greenmarket on the Oval is not one of them and will only embolden the property’s current mercenary management to create more Oval annoyances, of course — wink, nod – for “residents and their guests only.”

James J. Roth, PCV

Letter writer’s theory is for the birds

Re: the letter “Enough complaining about ST/PCV,” T&V, Apr. 26
As per NYC law, “It is not illegal to feed pigeons, but you may receive a violation for failing to clean up unsanitary conditions that result from this activity.” Regarding the regulations for this community, nothing seems to be mentioned on the PCVSTLIVING web page.

I would also like to address this urban myth perpetuated by Al Salame that post-renovation, rent-stabilized tenants (yes, we are all currently rent-stabilized tenants) subsidize pre apartment renovation rent stabilized tenants. And your economic study and numbers to back this is?  Is your premise based upon the predatory Tishman Speyer/Blackrock purchase price of 5.4 billion that they overpaid for this place, went into forfeiture and then left the bondholders holding the bag?

Your theory is about as correct as your statement about “the birds, the pigeons, and the new tenants, a new generation of people that loves and cares about animals.” What? I have never seen anyone age 18-40 feed a squirrel or a pigeon here.  It’s mostly your so-called “grumpy” people, who do so.

Edmund Dunn, ST

As rents rise, middle class decreases in size

The cover story of last Sunday’s Real Estate section in The New York Times reported that, “The average rent in Manhattan is now $3,418 a month and climbing.” This amount is a record and surpasses the pre-economic down turn.

This startling statistic correlates with what is happening in our nation: the diminishment of the middle class… As the super rich increase their wealth, the middle class is being squeezed into nonexistence.
As a rising tide raises all ships, this will have significant impact on our metropolitan area and the entire country.

So, the most important implication is that we can only have viable democracy if there is a large middle class. Check out many nations in South America – past and present.

David Chowes, PCV

Harsh tone to contraception debate letters

Dear Editor:

I have read with great interest the recent exchange of letters regarding the issue of contraception. However, there is one element of the whole debate that I have found rather disturbing.
In his several anti-contraception letters, Mr. Murray has stated his position in a calm, clear, and respectful manner, offering his position for the consideration of the reader.

In sharp contrast, the numerous pro-contraceptive letters from various readers (including former Assemblyman Sanders) seem by comparison harsh, emotional (bordering on hysterical), and containing a substantial dose of old-fashioned anti-Catholic bigotry.  One writer, H. Zwerling, responded with a letter filled with shrill, ad hominem attacks on Mr. Murray, without presenting any substantive arguments against what he actually said in his letter.

This is what confuses me. I always thought that liberals (and I would assume that all the pro-contraceptive writers would self-identify as “liberals”) believed in open-mindedness and the free exchange of ideas.

If that is the case, why don’t they simply present their pro-contraceptive views calmly and respectfully, and allow their arguments to stand on their own merit, rather than engage in personal attacks, polemics, and religious bigotry?


Richard M. Sawicki,
Gramercy Park

8 thoughts on “Letters to the Editor, May 3

  1. I have heard of plans being hatched by hipsters from Williamsburg to purchase kale, swiss chard, heirloom tomatoes and apples at the Stuyvesant Town greenmarket. You know their look – and that they are not our kind – make sure they don’t infilitrate our community this summer…

  2. Great letter, Mr. Roth. I’ve always thought that the Oval (as it used to be) was one of the main selling points of Stuyvesant Town because it was such a peaceful and pleasant “oasis.” It was always nice to step out of the noise and bustle of the City and enjoy the beautiful trees and greenery of Stuyvesant Oval. I think commercializing it and adding “events” is a bid of a misstep because it isn’t as if we don’t have plenty of entertainment, food, bustle and commerce in the surrounding City and even in the immediate neighborhoods. The contrast between the Oval and the “outside world” was, in my opinion, the thing that made it so unique. Why spoil a good thing? To me, putting “events” and commerce in the Oval makes as much sense as the management of Lincoln Center thinking they could enhance the enjoyment of the ballet by putting up a jumbo screen showing NASCAR racing on the same stage as Swan Lake! That’s just me, though.

  3. Isn’t Mr Roth’s letter the proverbial pot calling the kettle black? Mr Roth is a board member of the former Tenants Association. His group is as much (more so , in my opinion) to blame for the very things he rails against than is Dan Garodnick. Shame on Mr. Roth for not having the courage to call out his own group!

    • Mr. Roth is a board member of the Tenants Association, but he did NOT vote for the Greenmarket returning to its current, still illegal location. I say illegal because, for all intents and purposes, it is clearly open to the general public. Here’s what he posted under his name on the The Stuyvesant Town Report on May 4:


      As some of you may know, I am a member of the Board of the TA. I, and, perhaps, some others on the Board, do not agree with the statement on the TA website that the so call “residents and their guests only” restriction is a common sense or reasonable solution to the issue. In my opinion, the common sense and reasonable resolution would have been to move the market to one of the service roads bordering the community, Asser Levy or the northern end of Stuyvesant Cove Park, near Solar One. Any of these locations would be as accessible as and no less convenient than the South end of Oval.

      As of this writing, neither the grownyc website nor the pcvst.com site contain the “restricted to residents and their guest” language. But restricting access is not the issue. The issue is that the market is, pure and simple, commercial activity and the Oval is an inappropriate location for it.

      Also, I have been reviewing the locations of greenmarkets on the grownyc website, which contains a google map that shows the precise location of the market. So, unless Security is at the entrances to ST checking IDs, as a practical matter, the resident and guests restriction will be unenforceable.

      In my letter, I note that the definition of an accessory use includes a requirement that the use is a type that is “clearly incidental” and “customarily found” on the property. In reviewing the locations of the greenmarkets on the grownyc website, it appears that every market, other than the ST market, is located in or adjacent to a public park or on a public street/sidewalk area. Thus, one might question whether a greenmarket in the interior of a private lot such as ST is a use that is “customarily found” on such lots.

      Obviously, others have a different opinion regarding the location and accessory use. Council Member Garodnick said that he has discussed this with the Department of Buildings. One might ask if the Buildings Department has explained their rationale in writing or provided a written legal analysis of the issue. If they have, it should be released to the public; if not perhaps they should be requested to do so. In the end, the issue is not whether one likes or dislikes greenmarkets. The issue is whether its location complies with the zoning regulations and, even if it does, whether its location in the heart of the Oval is appropriate.

      James Roth

      • So what you’re saying is that Mr. Roth vilifiing Dan Garodnick in the Town and Village and then stating “I am a member of the Board of the TA. I, and, perhaps, some others on the Board, do not agree with the statement on the TA website that the so call “residents and their guests only” restriction is a common sense or reasonable solution to the issue” on a blog is the same thing? No wonder only 20 people turned up at your meet and greet. The TA is no longer relevant.

  4. Dear JD,
    I am delighted to be criticized by someone who doesn’t have the courage to sign his or her own name.
    James Roth

    • Dear James Roth,

      I am glad I could delight you. I dont use my full name on blogs ever since I read an article by Symantec (sp), the Norton people, warning that hackers were getting into peoples internet accounts through the inadvertent release of personal information on blogs. They suggest that people refrain from using their real names and I have adopted that practice as a security measure. I will not change my internet security procedures to please you. If that seems to be a lack of courage to you then so be it. I have no problem telling you my own name in another forum or face to face if you wish. You chose to identify yourself and I recognized your name as a TA board member, the very same board that came to the exact same conclusion as Dan Garodnick whom you chose to attack. I stand by my remark that I feel that your letter was disingenuous at best. I think it’s great that you disagree with Dan Garodnicks comments, so do I. Yet by not calling out the board members of the TA who did agree with Mr Garodnick’s position (the majority of the board) and by not mentioning your position on said board, your letter loses its validity. As Ms Miller. another TA member, points out you did have an epiphany moment and finally admitted to being on the board of directors of the TA who put out a letter supporting Dan Garodnicks decision. However, you chose a different forum, sort of like when the NY Times has an error in a headline or a lead story and they then bury the correction of that error on page 20 right under the obituaries, no offense to the STR site. I realize that calling the TA and its board members on the carpet for what they did or failed to do is forbidden in the TA’s world which can be readily evidenced by Ms Millers deleting of any post on the facebook site that in any way shape or form disagrees with the TA’s stance. She has even gone so far as to defriend people who have the audacity to continue to question the TA’s viewpoints. Censorship at its best. You can consider me one of those nameless, faceless people who are an inconvenience to the TA in its quest for power and ownership of the community at all costs but mostly at the cost of affordable housing which the TA purports to support. How choosing the most expensive option of all the options available can be considered supporting affordable housing is beyond me. And yes I am aware that there is a 2 tier approach. One can get a more affordable purchase price by limiting ones ability to sell at a higher price. This isnt preserving affordability, its throwing a bone to the politicians in order to garner their support.Incidentally, I questioned each and every politician that supported your plan on how it maintains affordability and besides Dan Garodnick not one got back to me. I wonder why that is?? Hmmm



    • James Roth, Arlynne Miller,

      I want to apologize for my personal attacks on you both in my prior post. I offer no excuses or explanations just my sincere apology with a contrite heart for my reprehensible behavior. I’d like to say I was drunk at the time but I wasnt, just stupid.


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