Letters to the Editor, Jan. 10

Rent abatement waiver isn’t unfair

To the editor,

Public Advocate DeBlasio and the Tenants Association are seeking headlines by belittling CW Capital’s decision to grant a 15 percent rent reduction, in exchange for a promise not to be sued for losses related to the hurricane.

This is surprising, because tenants have nothing to lose by signing the waiver – and everything to gain.

The maximum damages any tenant could recover in a lawsuit would be the rent such tenant paid during the period in which their apartment did not have power.  Management could contest this argument, noting that most tenants had running water and flashlights.

Moreover, suing management would take three to five years, and legal fees could consume up to a third of any recovery.

With 11,000 tenants in ST/PCV, including hundreds of attorneys, there are bound to be a few lawyers who will try to trick tenants into believing they could recover more than they were due.  But let’s review the results of the Roberts litigation – which took five years and mainly enriched only the lawyers.

Moreover, if a class action were to be initiated against CW Capital, it would throw yet another wrench into the process leading to a non-eviction condo conversion of the property.  A large, outstanding litigation against the property could cause our partner Brookfield Management to have a change of heart, and could spook any financing partners Brookfield would bring to the table.

A more prudent and ethical course for our neighbors is to gracefully accept the rent abatement and to say “thank you.” It would be far more constructive to sign the waiver and acknowledge that CW in fact did heroic work in restoring power after the unprecedented violence of the storm.

Rather than advise a rent strike, the Tenants Association should recall that civility is never a sign of weakness.

Name withheld, ST

Recreation’s Radu Ocnean is missed

I have lived in this complex for over 30 years. I really enjoyed all the time here and unlike most people who seem to complain about every change I welcomed it. For the past 15 years or so while my kids were growing up I felt really safe with my kids playing in the playgrounds, attending all the sporting events, Halloween Carnival, Easter etc. The playground staff always interacted with the kids, knew all their names, started games, played with the kids, watching for their safety.

For the past 2-3 months I noticed a big difference in the playgrounds. There is no more playground staff anywhere; my kids don’t see any familiar faces any more. Ever since the Director for Recreation Radu Ocnean left everything seems to have changed. For the first time in 30 years we did not have a Halloween event for the kids (I know we had the storm) but it just seemed a coincidence that it was the first time he was not here. He was a familiar face at the Christmas tree sales. We stopped by there and there didn’t seem to be any order, and everyone was listening to rap music and not Christmas music like in years past. He played Santa for the past 5-6 years and lit up the Christmas tree; this year’s Santa left a lot to be desired.

I talked to quite a few other families and they all agreed with me. We miss the old director and we feel things are going downhill quickly.

Jim Altman, ST

Calculating Garodnick’s next moves

To the editor:

In his Political Tidbits Column, Time for Change and auld lang syne, Hon. Steven Sanders’ writes: “Our political leadership will change next year,” stating a “new mayor, a new city comptroller, a new public advocate, a new borough president, a new state senator (Brad Hoylman) and possibly a City Council speaker in the person of Dan Garodnick.”

But the only change in 2013 is Hon. Hoylman, Hon. Tom Duane’s designated successor.  The other offices will be decided in September’s Democratic Primary with the mayoral decided in November’s General Election.  And while I’m knit picking to point out that the elected offices won’t “change” until 2014, the City Council Speaker, as Hon. Sanders realizes, is brokered by the county leaders with the last two speakers coming from Manhattan.

Hon. Garodnick would be great as Council Speaker if the leaders choose him.  But would it be favor for deferring to Borough President Hon. Scott Stringer in the comptroller’s race?  (At least one other councilmember, Hon. Dominic Recchia, was talked out of running for comptroller.) I happen to think that Dan would make a seamless transition from the Council to Scott’s borough president’s office. Absent an explanation, I assume that Dan values his relations with the current candidates too much to throw his hat into their ring.

If Dan does get made speaker he’s got to hope that a Republican wins City Hall. Then when Scott Stringer, say, runs for mayor as comptroller in 2017, then Dan can run for comptroller as speaker.

Billy Sternberg, ST

8 thoughts on “Letters to the Editor, Jan. 10

  1. Re: Comment on rent abatement waiver by “anonymous.”

    Over the years I have been critical of moves that the original owner, MetLife did and subsequently after they sold PCV/ST to Tishman-Spizer and beyond. But, the rent abatement which was offered by CW Capital seems fair.

    Super Storm Sandy was not an act of God — primarily. It is clear to me that global climate
    change was the most prominent cause.

    And, during the 10 days or so during the storm, CW Capital did a magnificent job in informing
    the residents and providing appropriate security adjustments which were necessary.

    The attention must be focused on actually doing something about this environmental
    problem — now! When you see the ads on TV about how wonderful the fossil fuels and safe
    they are. This comes from lots of money which is given to politicians from lobbyists who work for Big Oil and Big Coal.

    The entire world is at great risk. In the U. S., the east and west costs are most vulnerable.

    Our proximity to the East River led to the impact on PCV/ST. But, the impact of global climate change will have an effect way beyond PCV/ST. In fact, all the fires in the Western U. S., too much flooding in other parts of the country, Australia is undergoing unparalled fires which have never been seen before.

    And, the statistics are in for 2012: the mean temperature in our nation was the warmest ever. A one degree change in one year is also unique. If you don’t think it will affect you –think of your kids and grandchildren!

    This is very serious!

    higher than the previous record. And, this magnitude of one degree has never been seen before

    • There is an epic cold spell in California and it snowed in Israel and the Middle East. It’s global cooling. Everybody get ready, we are going to freeze our @$$#$ off.

  2. The sky is falling… the sky is falling….No Chicken little it isn’t. Average temp of earth hasn’t changed in over 14 years. So 2012 was a hot year, other years are colder years..big deal…I guess Mr Chowes is a fan of the book “How to lie with statistics”. Only cite the stats you need to show your point, forget about all the other facts since they don’t aid your point!

    • Again, to “Anonymous,” I not only did read the book “How to Lies With Statistics” — I assigned it to the students in the many statistics classes I taught at CUNY and other universities. And, that’s after having taken two statistics courses in my undergraduate days and about six in graduate school.

      Of couse statistics can be manipulated and/or based on biased data and distorted — as the BP, Exxon/Mobil and “safe coal” ads run by folks on TV. But, Mr./Ms. “Anonymous” you are throwing the baby out with the bath water by implying that one should never belive their efficacy.

      Sans statistics there would be no man landing on the moon, the advances in medical understandings and practices, or the cell phone or the light bulb (invented by Edison), and…

      Just follow the news media. (Though unfortunately, they seem to be far more concerned about Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton’s behaviors.)

      David Chowes, PCV

  3. The most recent comment by “Anonymous”: “The epic cold spell in California and it snowed in Israel and the Middle East. It’s global cooling. Everyone get ready — we are going to freeze our a$&)~s off.”

    Now here’s the problem with the salience of your sataric comment: it’s really GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE. This means that all sorts of bizarre weather events will occur. Yes, about two or so years ago, New York City experienced the most snow fall in recorded history. There is a change going on and as some areas of the world will receive draught (e.g.,Texas); fires in the Western U. S., Austrailia; more frequent and deadly tornados (e.g., the Southeastern U. S.); killing heat (e.g., Europe); and, on average, far more and horrific hurricanes as we did on NJ, CT and NY (which included Sandy impacting PCV/ST).

    Romney in one of his debates called this a hoax. One member of the Congress said it was perperated by scientists to get more research monies from the government. Really? Who does one trust more… Scientists or politicians? This congressman was projecting on to scientists his own moral shortcomings.

    David Chowes, PCV

    • Normally, I would trust the scientist. However, since many of the top scientists in the field have admitted their claims were bogus I have a hard time trusting either.

  4. Mr. or Ms. Anonymous, You’re referring to the faux “email scandel.” Firstly, I would suggest that you investigate this. If you do, you will determine that those supposedly “treaterous” emails it in no way suggests any malfescence on the part of the climatoligists involved. However, corporate and political interests have distorted these “emails” for their own propaganda purposes to discredit the concept of global climate change.

    I did work as a researcher and I can assure you that 99% of scientists — if they thought that certain conclusions about any investigations were in any way under suspicions — they would speak out with full candor. This is one of the most imporatant underpinnings of the scientific method.

    Yet, from my readings, t would be very difficult to find even one climatologist who doubts the validity of this hypothesis. And, probably 98% do admit that climate change is affected by undulations in the world’s weather patterns; but, they would add that human activiity by adding carbon from fossil feuls is a major source of the problem.

    This began with the industrial revolution as we started extensive use of fossll fuels. This had led to a warmer Earth, the melting of the icecaps, far greater precipitation. PCV/ST will most likely experience an increased number of “Sandys” in both frequency and magnitude.

    PBS’ NOVA has produced a documentary on Super Storm Sandy and its implications — which impacted New York — most especially Staten Island and the Rockaway peninsula, New Jersey and Conecticut. It is predicted that the entire world will suffer as the years pass. It was aired a few weeks ago and will be repeated on Channels 13 and 21 in the next week. Or go to PBS.org/Nova. One of the underwriters of the superb NOVA series is David Koch — and, no one would call him a leftie!

    I thank you for the interest which you have evidenced in all your comment.

    David Chowes, PCV

  5. To: “Anonymous”: The PBS’ NOVA program about Sandy and global climate change will be shown on the CUNY Channel (TW — Ch. 75) on this Wednesday at 2AM. If you have a DVR, you can record it and watch it later. — DC

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