Letters to the Editor, June 13

Tell Governor Cuomo: No fracking in NY

Hydraulic fracturing is a process that forces millions of gallons of fresh water, sand, and toxic chemicals, under high pressure, into shale rock to release natural gas.

Recently, Wendy Byrne, Kathy Reynolds, Anne Lazarus and I, all Stuyvesant Town residents, distributed information about fracking and gathered signatures on a petition to Governor Cuomo to ban the process in New York State.

If the present moratorium is removed, our water, land and air can become polluted as has happened in other states where fracking is used. Documentaries like “Gasland,” “Gasland II,” “Split Estate” and others reveal what the oil and gas industry has tried to cover up by refusing to name the chemicals in the toxic mix that Halliburton and others got exempt from the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts in 2005. Once the chemicals such as benzene get into the water, no filtering mechanism can get them out. The industry claims that if done correctly there is no danger of leaking chemicals or explosions. We know that accidents happen and with budget crunches there are not enough inspectors in New York State to monitor the drilling operations.

The bottom line is that natural gas (methane) is a fossil fuel affecting climate changes that trigger storms like Hurricane Sandy. Scientists and the United Nations Environment Program are urging us to develop renewable energy from the sun, wind, tidal water and geothermal sources and train people for these green jobs.

We should not leave our children and grandchildren a polluted planet but make every effort to restore the natural world and save it from those who seek its resources to enrich themselves.

Please consider joining us in Albany on Monday, June 17, where a demonstration will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on the mall. Register for the bus from New York City here. Round trip tickets are $25 and available on line. Some full financial subsidies are available. Bus leaves at 8 a.m. from 460 8th Avenue (34th St. and 8th Avenue) and returns to New York City by 6 p.m.

Joy Garland, ST

Missing all the traditional tournaments

Good times are gone for kids and adults alike.

I grew up in Stuyvesant Town and am raising three kids myself right now. I used to love this place and this used to be a great place for kids to grow up. The Recreation Department used to be the face of Stuyvesant Town. Kids and parents alike used to know the names and faces of all the recreation staff. From the preschool hour in the morning to the games the recreation staff started with the kids in the playgrounds to the many tournaments the staff run over the year and all the fun events (Easter egg hunt, Halloween parade, tree lighting ceremony, etc.).

The kids and adults alike used to love the many tournaments the recreation staff used to run. They all loved the trophies being handed out and kids and adults alike played hard to win them. Not only is the management of this property not running a lot of this tournaments anymore but they are not buying the trophies any more. My kids used to love the chess tournament every spring and one of them got 2nd place about 3 years ago and still has his great trophy in his bedroom.

Talking with a number of people, I found out there was no chess tournament this year. The paddle tennis tournament taking place this weekend was not given trophies either. I am sure the soccer tournament, if being held, will not have the prizes it used to have neighbor will all the rest of the tournaments.

I am sure pretty soon the management will not provide all the equipment the recreation department used to give all the small residents of this property (basketball, footballs, dodgeball, bocce sets etc). This year they did not have the Super Bowl Party/ Oscar Party, which residents enjoyed for the trivia questions and the prizes.

For a property that probably brings in $400-$450 million a year not to spend $10,000-$15,000 for the Recreation Department is very sad.

Jim Altman, ST 

Noise to my ears

Sounds like I am being forced to attend a Saturday afternoon concert of pure loud pounding noise! I did not decide to attend today’s concert but I am anyway.  My apartment faces 14th Street and Avenue B, but the indistinguishable sounds of the Oval concert are so loud that I have to turn my radio on much louder than my neighbors may like. I feel so sorry for all residents who live closer to the Oval and who also chose not to attend these concerts.

I used to look forward to quiet summer Saturday afternoons. I could sit out on the Oval and feel the serenity of a quiet summer day or just walk and soak up the stillness and relax. Now I can’t even get that if I stay cooped up in my apartment.

I am sure we residents don’t have any say in these events, but do we have any say in the sound volume that is heard for many blocks beyond the Oval? Does the entire community and East Village have to hear them, willingly or not?

Eileen Togashi, ST

Mid-lease rent hikes are no shocker

So, CWCapital issued mid-lease rent increases. Gee, who could have seen that coming?

Even in Minnesota, it’s been obvious for quite a while they’d wind up screwing as many tenants as possible. Sorry and condolences.

Richard Luksin, Minneapolis, MN

One thought on “Letters to the Editor, June 13

  1. Let me quickly respond to Ms Garland’s informed comments about Natural gas and Hydrostatic Fracturing. Natural gas is gas formed just as it is described, in the earth as a natural geological process. She makes it seem that Natural Gas is evil, and bad for the environment; Even, it is formed from our Earth’s natural geological environment.

    Second, her shocking ignorance that we in Stuyvesant Town live directly surrounded by the most powerful utility generation plant in Manhattan – and it uses Natural gas as a primary fuel. If as she suggests. If Natural Gas was not available as a cheaper fuel (due in most part to latest drilling technologies that due to our insatiable fuel appetite have to drill where no man has gone before) than guess what. Con Ed would burn oil instead of cleaner Natural Gas quicker than one could download this blog – polluting our air that we have to breath.

    Even the American Lung Association states that asthmatic conditions, lung deceases and health problems would worsen in our community if oil was burned instead of Natural Gas. What she fails to mention is that one of the highest asthma rates in children and elderly exists in our community and would worsen burning oil.

    All power plants built in the last 10+ years are required to be equipped with the required Best Available Pollution Control Technology (BACT) to control the Six federally mandated emissions including CO2, CO, NOx, VOC’s, particulate matter and Sulfur dioxide (that happens to react with atmospheric conditions to create sulfuric lets not forget smog.

    But when the 14th Street power plant was “rebuilt” with two times the capacity it didn’t have to meet the most stringent requirements because NY State supported Con Ed’s claim it was merely a “Repowered Power Plant”.

    Worst yet she doesn’t mention that just about all of these federally mandated atmospheric chemicals are substantially REDUCED by burning Natural Gas.

    Now let’s state our conditions as they exist today. Renewable Energy (Solar, Wind, and Hydro) is clearly our future and as a practitioner of this technology I am passionately supportive its expansion. However, here’s the reality, we are years if not decades away from from Renewable energy providing MOST (let’s say 75% of our energy needs. Today, there isn’t a practical, sustainable, or reliable method to store this generated energy when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind isn’t blowing.

    Think about this fact, every President since Richard Nixon (who did the most to advocate energy resources) until President Obama has advocated renewable energy and my statement is still true – we are years and possibly decades away from generating most renewable energy with no solution for the balance of energy needs other than Natural Gas, Bio-fuels’s and Nuclear.

    There are clear and deleterious issues with current drilling techniques using hydrostatic Fracturing and to a limited extent horizontal drilling. Just to be clear though I managed a project that used horizontal drilling and extraction to clean up jet fuel and VOC contaminants sitting below the old Eastern Airlines Terminal building at JFK Airport. However, I believe our scientist and engineer’s and universities and government research center’s can resolve this and our renewable energy challenges. But this takes time and we need to deal with energy needs for today, tonight and tomorrow.

    Beyond that we clearly need to reduce our energy demand, starting our home and work place. We need to build better more energy efficient buildings. the US Department of Energy is even recommending better codes and standards (not a tea party favorite) and has a program called the US “Builders Challenge” to build a better home. Further, the most advanced energy efficiency countries have adopted the “Passive House Standard” – more on that another time.

    So perhaps Ms Garlard should advocate pollution control closer to home, like the air we have to breath and can’t filter. Maybe starting with metering her own electric use.

    William Oddo

    Friends of the Pier at Stuyvesant Cove
    Renewable Energy Consultant

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