TenantsPAC endorses de Blasio at ST

Meanwhile, residents less forgiving of Weiner this week

Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio and Mike McKee of TenantsPAC at Stuyvesant Town on Monday (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio and Mike McKee of TenantsPAC at Stuyvesant Town on Monday (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot
On Monday morning, mayoral candidate and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio stopped by Stuyvesant Town, where the Tenants Political Action Committee (TenantsPAC) announced it was endorsing him.

The event was attended by over a dozen neighborhood residents carrying campaign signs as well as ST-PCV Tenants Association President John Marsh. Though the Tenants Association doesn’t endorse candidates, Marsh is also a board member of TenantsPAC, a group aimed at getting tenant-friendly candidates elected.

At the podium, Marsh mentioned the candidate’s commitment to existing affordable housing as well as to getting new units built and mentioned his desire to see the Rent Guidelines Board reformed.

Mike McKee, treasurer for TenantsPAC as well as its spokesman, said that the group had considered five of the Democratic candidates who seemed the most sympathetic to tenant issues, but ultimately went with de Blasio for his promise to “unravel the Bloomberg years and to have a real progressive city government.”

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Editorial: Keep garage out of Bedpan Alley

It’s been nearly a year since the plan was first announced, and then as well as now as well as every point in between, the people have spoken. Scrap the sanitation garage, or just put it somewhere that doesn’t seem so completely out of place.

Naturally, those who live near the planned garage, residents of Waterside Plaza and East Midtown Plaza in particular, also have other concerns, such as noise from construction, additional traffic from the garbage trucks, and possible odors and fumes from the fuel tanks to be stored onsite, as well as security concerns relating to those tanks.

But these are complaints the Department of Sanitation would hear from any community in which it decides to put a facility to store its garbage trucks and other equipment, and the city of course has to put them somewhere. Additionally, the facility would be serving the community (in this case the areas covered by Community Boards 6 and 8) it would call home.

Fair argument, but what’s also a legitimate argument is that this community, known to many who’ve lived in it a while as Bedpan Alley due to all the hospitals and other medical facilities, really is different from other neighborhoods. Along with longstanding institutions such as Bellevue, the V.A. Medical Center and various NYU school buildings, the area has also become known as a growing medical/science/tech center, as evidenced by the recently built Alexandria Center for Life Science. It therefore seems inappropriate — even if it is convenient for the city because the space happens to be available — to turn what is now CUNY’s Brookdale campus into an operation that would make the area less attractive to science/tech companies and other neighbors who might be more well suited to the corridor of First Avenue in the East 20s as well as further north up to NYU Langone Medical Center.

Like many local elected officials, also in opposition to the placement of the garage is former Assembly Member Steve Sanders. A longtime advocate of the area developing as a science/research hub, he had arranged for a grant to get the Alexandria Center developed while he was still in office. This week, he told T&V he thought the city’s plan to put the sanitation center nearby was a “a wasted opportunity.”
The facilities located along the corridor, he’s noted, “have already gotten a lot of income for the city by renting to tenants, bringing companies to the East Side and by the jobs.” A better function for the Brookdale campus in his view, would be to offer housing for the nearby hospitals’ staffers who are sometimes on call 24/7.

As a publication that writes about concerns of tenants, residential and sometimes commercial, at Town & Village, we certainly understand that for the city, finding a space to house a sanitation garage is a difficult task. But still, even in Manhattan, it isn’t impossible. Rather than trying to rush this project to completion, we believe the Department of Sanitation should make a genuine effort to find an alternative location. We appreciate the department’s decision to extend the public comment period through August 14 and hope that neighbors’ concerns, as well as the facts about the area’s identity, are taken into consideration.

Letters to the Editor, Aug. 1

Why you should license your dog

Most New York City dog owners take good care of their four-legged friends, spending countless hours walking and caring for them as well as paying for food, grooming, medical costs, and supplies. But many New Yorkers, an estimated 85 percent across the city, overlook one key step – getting their dog licensed.

There are four compelling reasons dog owners in NYC should register their pet:

Lost Pets – Licensing helps reunite lost dogs with their owners using an online eLocator tool, which notifies neighbors and authorities about missing pets. Licensed dogs are also more likely to be identified and returned to their owners in case of separation during an emergency.

Dog Runs – With proof of a current dog license and rabies vaccination, dogs can run off-leash in NYC Parks dog runs.

Rabies Prevention – Information from licenses helps doctors treat individuals potentially exposed to infected dogs, especially during rabies outbreaks.

It’s The Law – Owners may be fined for not registering their dogs.

I’ve been working with the city and the ASPCA to improve the dog licensing system, increase public awareness of the requirements, and make it easier and more appealing to register dogs.

My legislation to reform the licensing system passed the Assembly this year with the support of the City Council, the mayor, and the ASPCA, but unfortunately has not yet passed the Senate. The bill encourages pet shops and other businesses to issue licenses, makes it easier to license a dog online and eliminates the requirement that some license applications include notarized documents. It also better protects the public by authorizing the city to require proof of rabies vaccination and to mandate that dogs wear a tag indicating that they have been vaccinated.

I am committed to pushing for my bill to become law, but, in the meantime, please take a moment to register your dog. While the dog licensing system may not be perfect, it’s still an important public safety measure, helps you better care for your pet, and it’s the law. You can register your dog online at www.nyc.gov or call 311 to have a dog license application mailed to you.

Brian Kavanagh,
Assembly Member, 74th District

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