Letters to the Editor, Aug. 13

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

How we can help the homeless around ST

I am writing in response to the letter that was sent in about the homeless people sleeping on benches in Stuyvesant Town and the lack of actions from our security department (“Homeless around ST,” T&V, July 30).

I’d like to focus on the word people for a moment. Yes, there are people sleeping on benches in Stuyvesant Town and begging on the street along First Avenue and other places in the city. We do have a big homeless problem but the problem is not with the security department at Stuyvesant Town. The problem is so much bigger than that.

These are people. People like you and me who have met with hard times or a mental illness that they did not ask for. And they are people. People who need shelter, a place to sleep, food, companionship and meaningful work. This problem needs addressing from a perspective so much bigger than the security department here. I’ve seen countless articles and interviews on TV from our mayor addressing the horse drawn carriages and their plight.

I’d like to see a focus on humans over horses at the moment. I’d like to see our politicians addressing this homeless problem and how we can offer useful help to these people so that we don’t have to feel uncomfortable about encountering them in our community and more importantly they have a place to sleep each night that is sheltered, offers them nourishment and encouragement to better lives.

My small Band-Aid of the solution is to carry breakfast bars in my handbag. Along with the breakfast bars I carry a referral card to the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen where they offer a daily hot meals and counseling to help people get off the streets.

When I encountered homeless people in our neighborhood or in other places that I walk during the day I’m able to offer them an immediate solution of something to eat and a longer-term solution of a place to go where they can find solutions if they want them.

I encourage anyone interested to join me on this mission. It’s just one small way that we can help address this problem while forces with resources bigger than ours can address a long-term solution.

With blessings,

Susan Turchin, ST

Sorry Cove concerts had to come to an end

To the Editor:

Jo-Ann Polise and the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association presented a fantastically diverse and crowd pleasing free musical performances this 2015 season!

The choice of professional groups each week was met with great enthusiasm, and each week the audience was expanding. When the chairs were all filled, people sat on the boulders or brought their own folding chairs. The music encouraged some adults to dance, plus the little children in the audience to join in, to the delight of the crowd.  We were so fortunate with the beautiful weather, dramatic sky, barn swallows flying overhead and the setting sun shining on the buildings on the East bank of the river making them glow.

Not only was the summer program aesthetically enjoyable, but I believe from talking to my friends, that it was a healing balm for stressed and super busy New Yorkers. The only concerns I heard were, “Why can’t the program continue through August?” Thank you for all the effort you put in to make the program such a growing success each year and thanks to the Board and supporters of the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association whose financial support made it possible.


Joy Garland, ST

Seriously, why are people following Trump?

Re: “Politics & Tidbits” column: “Theater of the absurd,” T&V, July 30

In Town & Village’s July 30 issue, our former Assemblyman, Hon. Steve Sanders asks, “So what is the fascination with (Trump) and why is he leading in the early Republican polling?” But instead of offering analysis he goes on for six paragraphs of unadulterated bashing before repeating the initial question.  He agrees that voters want candidates to offer unparsed and unequivocal opinions.  But he uses the rest of his column to conclude that the wackos (a borrowed phrase) who Trump appeals to may make Hillary Clinton president.

Mr. Trump schooled us all, however, when, in answer to the question of his bankruptcies, he responded that lenders aren’t novices. Got that right!

When I worked for a small, “entrepreneurial” TV company, the boss had to look as big as his competitors. After all, we courted the same clients. He had a car and driver yet we owed advertisers so much audience that, as opposed to the broadcast networks that were a week behind, we were years behind. The company went bankrupt but my boss kept his car and driver. Soon the company was merged with another. This Donald Trump wannabe could tell his new staff, too, that he’d appreciate their joining a PAC. That’s the American way now, right?

So I was hoping Steve Sanders would give us more of his insight on why “The Donald” is leading in the polls. After all, there are only two types of people: the ones who work for Donald Trump and the ones who want to work for him.

Billy Sternberg, ST

3 thoughts on “Letters to the Editor, Aug. 13

  1. Dear Susan,

    Your letter was very lovely. However, I am not certain the City is addressing the issue of homelessness truthfully.

    This may be harder for you to understand because there were so many of you when your landlord tried to illegally deregulate the buildings at Peter Cooper that Wolf Haldenstien protected your Rent Stabilized apartments from an unscrupulous property owner in a 450 million dollar landmark verdict to protect your homes under the Rent Stabilization laws based on the sheer number of units.

    I am not certain you can’t imagine how lucky you all were at a time when the Rent Laws have been so badly weakened that landlords have finally stepped so far over the line to get at what they perceive are “under valued leases” in the smaller buildings that they are removing fire exits and starting fires, hotwiring buildings by masking themselves as “tenants” in bars doing construction to distress the buildings to pull the “Demo Clause” when there are innocent woman and children in all these buildings, filing trumped up lawsuits to “shame” tenants from their homes and small businesses based on adverse publicity, illegally billing rent statements, filing fraud evictions to harass tenants with legal fees in Tribeca, Soho and Lower Manhattan where our housing stock is literally under siege because the Rent Laws were so severely weakened in Albany over the years when what the landlords are doing is not only dangerous but totally illegal.

    However, the homeless in the city has very little to do with mental illness Susan. These are two completely separate issues. The homelessness we are all seeing in record numbers has to do with the Rent Laws being weakened, and the Loft Laws under the Bloomberg Administration who sought to repeal them, that is sending record numbers of New Yorkers just like you and me to the streets while the City pretends this is “economic development” or homeless has anything to do with mental illness.

    The number of homeless people on the streets finally illustrated the horror weakening the Rent Laws in Albany has caused the city. It’s outrageous the City has taken the issue of homeless pretending this had anything to do with mental illness. This means even after you were all forced to lawyer up and take your landlord on in a 450 million dollar landmark victory that could have eventually forced all of you to the streets that no one heard you in Albany.

    Maybe when we all finally realize how serious the issues are facing the city after the Rent Laws were repeatedly weakened and the very real harm this has caused to the middle classes or that person on the bench could be you or me if we don’t all stand up and raise our voices, while our Senators Hoylman, Squadron and Krueger and our Assembly Members have all gone to bat for us like rock stars, while we are all forever in their debt and to our Assembly, we can all finally begin to fix the problem that has led to this overwhelming issue of homelessness facing the city before that person on the bench is us.

    It is absolutely OUTRAGEOUS the City spun this story over homeless as if it was a reflection of mental illness Susan. People are losing their apartments in record numbers because the Rent Laws have been so severely weakened, depleting our housing stock, forcing the middle classes to the streets. And when we finally realize our voices far exceed the “1 percent” controlling Albany maybe we can finally fix the problem. The people sleeping on the benches are not mentally ill. They are homeless and see no way out this has finally gone so far because the City and State gave all of the units to developers giving them a tax break to do this to us.

    There are no amount of candy bars or shelters to fix the problem Susan this has finally gone so far. This was the sweetest sentiment I have ever heard and I will carry protein bars to do my part. However, we need to change the narrative over homelessness to the Rent Laws. And when we finally address the problem where people are finally living on the streets because the laws were so badly weaken we can fix it.

    It seems Governor Cuomo who was one of the “three men in the room” let us down. I was a little disappointed Mayor de Blasio hasn’t used the issue of homelessness to stand up to Governor Cuomo who has let countless New Yorker’s down by ever allowing this to have gone so far where we are all lawyering up to protect our homes from the unthinkable.

    Most Sincerely,


  2. Regarding the homeless, many of them are a fairly new breed of homeless young white people who are commonly known as “Crusties.” They winter on the West Coast and Summer on the east coast. There have been several documentaries aired about the Crusties in Portland and Southern California. The common threads seem to be drugs and serious rifts with their families.

    I don’t know what the answer is to this problem, but I’m afraid I don’t have much sympathy for them. I feel more pity for the poor dogs and cats that they have “living” with them.

    For the past few summers, I have seen the very same faces on 14th Street. They are not here in the winter, but always show up in summer. Same people squatting outside McDonalds, the Church and they used to be under the scaffolding before they razed the block where Rainbow, Bargain Bazaar, etc., stood. Maybe they are no worse than the addicts who used to populate the EV before it became a trendy hipster/Bro/Dude/Woo-hoo mecca, but I’m afraid I don’t have any sympathy for them at all. The mentally ill are a different story altogether, as are those unfortunate enough to have lost their homes due to the economy and gouging landlords.

    I wish that Public Safety would rouse the crusties and kick them off the property.

  3. Ms. Turchin,
    May I ask that as you go about your business throughout our city now under complete disruption and construction you not feed pigeons or Manhattan’s new young and hapless, homeless. Particularly with sugary “breakfast bars”. Sugar has been known to resolve some human cravings but rarely has sugar cured psychosis, depression, schizophrenia, drug addiction or overstaying a VISA.

    Like you, I too am concerned with this new increase of homeless in New York City. In my case alarmed would be a more accurate description. We are not responsible for the lives of others who have made a calculated decision to sleep, eat out of garbage cans, urinate in public, intimidate, and disrupt the lives of all they encounter. Living as an adult requires and affords an opportunity to figure out how to survive each life-challenge individually. Part of figuring out and resolving challenges in our lives includes asking for help and assistance. Individuality come with the joy which comes from owning and resolving our own challenges. Again resolution includes moving towards and asking for assistance. Begging is not asking for help. Begging is transference your problems onto someone else.

    New York City’s new homeless are using their homelessness as a tantrum to demand we focus on their decision to destroy themselves. The answer is not if giving homes to homeless. This is not to suggest all homeless are unworthy of assistance. However I am suggesting the homeless cannot get assistance through disruption of the lives of others.
    I don’t know how a watch works. Nor do I know how to encourage people to own their lives and shape their own destiny. But I do know Sugary breakfast bars may help you more than it can ever help the homeless.

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