Letters to the Editor, Jan. 31

Pols to CW: Don’t raise rents mid-lease

The following is an open letter to Andrew MacArthur, vice-president, CWCapital Asset Management.

Dear Mr. MacArthur:

We write to you today in reference to the Roberts v. Tishman Speyer case settlement. It is our understanding that under the terms of the settlement, if approved, CWCapital may claim they have the right to impose rent increases on certain tenants in the middle of their lease term.

We are deeply skeptical of the legality of such a right, if exercised, and urge you not to try to take advantage of it.

Please know that we are aware of many representations – some oral, some documented – made by leasing agents who promised residents that they should not worry about mid-lease increases because the landlord would not choose to impose such an increase.

Legal fine-print should not be used to impose significant rent increases on unsuspecting tenants in the middle of their leases. Regardless of the terms of the written leases, representations were broadly being made to residents to induce them into signing their leases, and those commitments should be honored.

Raising rents mid lease-term would create enormous instability in the community that has had far too much instability already. Residents have an expectation that their lease is their lease and will not be changed until its term is up. Any aberration creates upheaval and uncertainty, and has the potential to create sudden vacancies, rapid turnover, and all of the negative implications on quality of life that such quick changes tend to have.

Indeed, Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper have long been known in New York City as a place for people to develop roots over the long term, and we certainly hope you will not depart from that.

Accordingly, we ask that you commit now, in advance of the Roberts settlement being finalized, to not raising the rent of any unit mid-lease term. This will go a long way to calm residents’ nerves and to assure their elected representatives that CW Capital is considering the human impact of its decisions.

The tenants of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village have had to deal with a great deal of turmoil since the property was sold by MetLife to Tishman Speyer and the bondholders you represent. Now, as the Roberts case appears to be coming to a close, they deserve to have some peace of mind about what the future will hold.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Council Member
Daniel R. Garodnick
Senator Charles
E. Schumer
Congresswoman
Carolyn B. Maloney
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn
New York Public
Advocate Bill de Blasio
Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer
State Senator
Brad Hoylman
Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh


Don’t frack new York State

On January 11, 2013, given a mere one-month comment period for the minimally revised SGEIS, over 204,000 scientific, well-documented, individual letters, opposing hydrofracturing for methane in N.Y.S, were hand-delivered to an astonished Department of Environmental Conservation.  The previous SGEIS omitted the public-health issues from hydrofracturing.

The meetings with Dr. Shah, head of the N.Y.S. Health Department and his three experts (25 hours) were secret, with no public input. He stated in his premature press release that hydrofracking is safe. That statement is open to serious  challenge. I will touch upon a few issues, among the hundreds of issues.

Hydrofracturing produces toxic waste materials from the hundreds of chemicals used and the toxic chemicals in the Marcellus, including radioactive Radium. As there is no safe, effective way to deal with this poisonous residue, it is proposed that some of the radio-active salts be applied to roads as de-icers and dust control. The consequences will be disastrous. Westchester County and Ulster County have wisely banned this practice.

The methane that will be piped into our stove from the Marcellus has much higher Radon levels than the Methane we receive from Alabama or Texas, and in some wells seventy percent higher.

The setbacks for the wells are inadequate. The setback for the New York City watershed is a mere 4,000 feet. The gas companies can then drill horizontally for over a mile straight into the watershed.

A well pad can have up to eighteen wells. The setbacks from our aging water tunnels is 1,000 feet. The vibrations from the drilling into this brittle rock could severely damage these tunnels and cause a calamitous collapse of our system of water delivery.  The chemicals percolating through the natural and unnatural fractures from drilling will eventually contaminate the water aquifers that feed our watershed.

Three sources of the many sources of good information include: United for Actions, Food and Water Watch and The Next Thirty Days. Governor Cuomo will soon make his decision. He can be reached at (518) 474-8390.

Anne Lazarus, ST


Banning students would be discrimination

Re: Letters, “The code word for age discrimination” and “Don’t be an egghead,” T&V, Jan. 24

It was interesting to read Jessica Lappin’s letter against age discrimination, paired with the letter that followed. The second letter lambasted the young people who live in our community, for all manner of sins.

Regrettably, too many STPCV residents feel it would be a good idea to “ban the students” from living here.

In fact, such a policy – one often endorsed by local politicians – would be an unjust and illegal form of age discrimination. I respect the letter-writer’s right to express his angry and paranoid opinion about persons under 30 or under 20. But, young persons and students have every right to live in any apartment they choose – provided they meet the same reasonable credit standards as everyone else.

Any resident who is intolerant of a neighbor on account of that neighbor’s age, sex, skin color, gender, sexual preference or family status should either learn to live in a diverse community… or live elsewhere.

Name Withheld, ST


Memories of PS 61

Re: “PS 61 to celebrate 100th anniversary,” T&V, Jan. 10

So PS 61 is 100 years old. Amazing! When I attended school there in the 1950s, it was the same old, even then. It was more like the Sharks vs. the Jets from West Side Story than a happy place of learning.

There was a horse stable across the street for the last of the pushcart horses that was closed down after a horse fell out of the second floor and died. But we did have this new form of music called rock ‘n’ roll. Ah, memories.

Richard Luksin,
Minneapolis, MN

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One thought on “Letters to the Editor, Jan. 31

  1. Why on Earth would CW Capital condescend to these politicians? Each one of the tenants in this class action suit knew the ramifications going in. They could have opted out of the suit. However, each thought this was a good way to make some money. Now it’s time to pay for that gamble. Any money that CW Capital doesn’t raise by imposing these rent increases comes from somewhere else. Let the litigants pay what they owe now and stop pushing the costs on everyone particularly those of us who had no dog in this fight.

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