No end in sight to gun violence

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

More gun fire, more tears, more grieving, more funerals, more hand wringing and finger pointing… No action in Congress.

This time the shooting occurred on real life reality television as a deranged person murdered a reporter and her cameraman on live TV, and by design. He methodically (and easily) purchased a gun following the shooting massacre several months ago in a Church in Charleston, South Carolina and then proceeded to carefully plot his televised crime. Ironically this horror came on the very day that James Holmes received his life imprisonment sentence for his 2012 massacre of 12 people in a Colorado movie theater. That shooting occurred the same year as the mass murder of two dozen toddlers in a Newtown Connecticut pre-school ten days before Christmas.

These are the gun related deaths that make the front pages. But every day nearly 100 Americans die from gun violence. This stunning figure stands in stark contrast to every other industrialized nation which has enacted tough laws restricting the access to firearms in their countries.

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This Week in T&V History

By Sabina Mollot

Town & Village newspaper has been providing news for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village since 1947 and this week we took a look back to see what was going on in the community 50 years ago. Here are a few stories from the September 2, 1965 issue.

Plea for air conditioning
Despite being a holiday week, this time 50 years ago was actually a relatively busy one in Stuyvesant Town — not to mention hot. One front page story detailed a local politician’s plea to the owner, Met Life, to install some air conditioning. In a letter to a Met Life Vice President for Housing Raymond Ringler, State Assemblyman Paul J. Curran stated, “I realize that the last poll of Stuyvesant Town residents showed that only a small percentage were willing to pay for the extra installation and maintenance costs for air-conditioning. However, that survey took place many years ago and it would seem that a least a new survey is now warranted.” He added that he thought there must be a way to do this while not raising rents too much higher, like only installing at A.C. in certain buildings as Met had done at another property, Parkfairfax Houses in Virginia.

Congressman: Fill in and build housing on East River
A Brooklyn Congress member, Emmanuel Celler, said he expected Congressional action on a proposal to make a stretch of the East River from 17th to 30th Streets non-navigable in order to permit construction of housing, schools and shops. The housing would be for United Nations and Bellevue Hospital personnel as well as middle income residents, and the school on the site would be the proposed United Nations International School. While that portion of the river wasn’t used for navigation, it had been classified as navigable, Celler explained, which is what was keeping any developer from being able to obtain a title for the area. It would be up to Congress to declare it non-navigable, and up to New York Army engineers (headquartered at East 16th Street) to determine the plan’s feasibility before Congress did so.
William F. R. Ballard, the chairman of the City Planning Commission, said that some preliminary discussions had been held on the use of the proposed filled land and that several sponsors were already interested in developing the area, though it would be “premature” to name them.

Candidate Lindsay at opening of Sloan’s
A front page story covered the ribbon cutting at Sloan’s, a new supermarket at 20th Street and First Avenue. Pictured at a photo at the ceremony were a smiling Vincent Albano, a local GOP leader; Max Sloan, the president of the supermarket; and doing the actual ribbon cutting (the second of the day) was the community’s Congress member and Republican-Liberal candidate for mayor, John Lindsay. Controller Abraham Beame, also the Democratic candidate for mayor, conducted the first ribbon cutting of the day and gave out chocolates and lollipops to kids, which were supplied by the store. Lindsay and Beame missed each other by a few minutes. It was Lindsay, a former Stuy Town resident, who got the star treatment though, posing for pictures next to a display of canned Lindsay brand olives (no relation to the candidate) and signing autographs.

Resident accused of fraud
A Stuyvesant Town attorney was one of six men that had been charged with fraud in a federal case for allegedly using over $6,900,000 belonging to VTR, a tire and soft drinks franchise, for their own benefit. Joseph Saik, of 3 Stuyvesant Oval, an officer and attorney for VTR, was named in the civil action brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC accused the men of switching funds without the approval of other directors of VTR, which had offices at 404 Fifth Avenue. The men then were accused of using the funds for various enterprises, including purchases in 1963 of a controlling interest Central National Bank in Jacksonville, Florida.

Nonprofits leaving Gramercy area

The United Charities building at Park Avenue South and 22nd Street that housed Community Service Society, Children’s Aid Society and New York City Mission Society (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

The United Charities building at Park Avenue South and 22nd Street that housed Community Service Society, Children’s Aid Society and New York City Mission Society (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

With the announcement of its move to the Grand Central neighborhood in mid-August from the United Charities Building at 105 East 22nd Street, the Community Service Society is just one of a handful of other non-profit organizations moving away from the area formerly known as Charity Row. In a two-block area that used to house the Xavier Society for the Blind, New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and the Russell Sage Foundation, the Church Missions House at 281 Park Avenue South is one of the last hold-outs of the non-profits in the neighborhood, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The United Charities Building was jointly owned by three different anti-poverty organizations for the last 122 years. In addition to CSS, which owned 50 percent of the stakes, Children’s Aid Society and New York City Mission Society each held 25 percent of the stakes. In a press release from last year, the United Charities’ member organizations, which rely on government grants as well as private and foundation giving to sustain their programming, reported they were exploring the possibility of a sale in order to leverage resources and assets so they could continue their work. The Board of Directors for United Charities had voted unanimously to retain a brokerage firm because they realized that the sale of the building in the current real estate market could bring in significant funding for the three organizations.

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