Letters to the Editor, Oct. 16

Mayor’s actions aren’t measuring up

Re: “The Soapbox: Why the mayor won’t support a conversion,” T&V, Oct. 9

To the Editor:

Iggy Reilly argues that the mayor won’t support a conversion because it would reduce the number of affordable housing units; since the mayor supports “affordable housing,” whatever that means, he can’t appear to contradict himself by advocating both.

This argument assumes that the mayor really supports affordable housing because he has said so. But his actions say otherwise. He has followed in the footsteps of Bloomberg and Giuliani and appointed a Rent Guidelines Board that has just increased rents again. If the mayor is not aware of the obvious, let me point out that increasing rents more and more every year results in less and less apartments that could be, at least “considered,” affordable.

But in truth with rent hikes every year for the past 20 years and more and more MCIs, affordable rents are approaching levels that could change a stabilized apartment to one subject to the free market. Affordability is a joke.

When I was working as a New York City teacher, my rent ate just 16 percent of my salary. Now retired, my “affordable” rent devours 47 percent of my pension, so I have less money to pay more rent. So I doubt the mayor is interested in affordable housing, at least not in Stuy Town where he undermined the efforts of our tenant-friendly neighbor and councilman, Dan Garodnick. Seems the mayor didn’t want a tenant advocate to head the City Council.

We live in a city, state and country where Greed is God, er, good. So if conversion is the goal, it will be necessary to stuff the ravenous jaws of that obese monster Greed with more green stuff than the other guy. Or, if the other guy has more cash (most likely), tenant groups around the city could wage a city-wide education campaign to inform millions of tenants that their rent hikes are the result of the mayor’s actions and urge them to write so many letters to the mayor that all the offices at City Hall will be stuffed.

The mayor must be made to realize that he will not be re-elected unless he reduces rents, not allow them to continuing increasing like the monster Greed.

John Cappelletti, ST

Damaged Second Ave. sidewalk is neglected

To The Editor:

It’s been at least four years since I called 311 in an effort to have the sidewalk that runs along the east side of Second Avenue between 15th and 17th St. repaired. At my first call, they gave me a case number: DM#2008127010 and told me they would look into it. This stretch along the park is an utter disgrace. There are fissures, cracks, humps and patches made of different materials. This is the sidewalk that leads to the NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases. Many pedestrians going there are on walkers or canes and also cases of wheelchairs, which navigate this hazardous stretch. After six months of inactivity, I called 311 again and they told me they were going to send an inspector. Of course nothing happened.

At that time, I had a slight acquaintance with Michael Rabiner, who lives in Stuyvesant Town and was then in charge of city sidewalks. I called him and he looked into it. He responded by telling me that this sidewalk was in an historic district and needed to be laid in bluestone like the one across the avenue and there was no budget for it. At this time, Mayor Bloomberg was planting a million trees, making little parklets all over town and generally tarting up the city, yet there was no money for this project.

I am hoping that your excellent paper, which I enjoy weekly, could mount some sort of campaign to have this issue addressed.

Thank you for any effort you can put toward righting a civic wrong.

Dorothea Hutton Scher

Just another example of divisive attitudes

Over the years, perhaps the last five, there is a sweet and cheery checkout girl at Associated who always greets me with a big “how you doing?” At Christmas time I give her and others lottery tickets, but because she was stacking the lower cake shelves one year I startled her. She jumped, “What are you doing?”  But then, naturally, she appreciated the gift.  But she can punch.  One time I needed only a tomato. She looked at me, alerted the entire market and yelled, “Delivery!”

Our latest back and forth has been about her being slow so I got on her line to bust her chops; which I did. After she finished the prior transaction I joked that her line would move faster if she multi-tasked; pack the bags and carry on conversations with customers simultaneously. The customer before me stopped dead in her tracks. I saw that she was going to make it her business so I told her that the checkout girl and I had a long time back and forth. But I’d already been condemned: “Some people need to learn patience,” she said.

But I had: I didn’t give her any lip, saying that she could have packed some bags as so many of us do rather than having the girl wait on her.  And, given that this woman was reprimanding me after I qualified a personal situation for her, I could have pointed out that she wasn’t doing the environment any favors by taking eight plastic bags rather than bring her own. (I took one.)

So I write this long metaphor saying that if Peter Cooper Village-Stuyvesant Town ever goes through a condominium conversion, there are too many divisive and derisive personalities for it ever to be communal again.  Here’s one person who had no business saying anything.  Can you imagine what they’d be like as a stakeholder?

Bill Sternberg, ST

No comment

Dear T&V,

I believe the phrase most often used in T&V is “A spokesperson for CWCapital did not respond to a request for comment.”

No questions, please.

Richard Luksin,
Minneapolis, MN

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