Opinion: The death of honor

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

It was on life support…honor in government, that is. But the President pulled the plug last week.

So many cases of political corruption and personal misdeeds by our elected officials in the past number of years. Greed, lying and sexual indiscretions had become so prevalent that the public was nearly numbed by it and almost accepting such behavior as a new norm.

But with the cascading revelations and accusations against powerful men (and some women) engaging in sexual abuse and intimidation towards their underlings and others, there was a national consensus building that such behavior is simply beyond the bounds of decency or acceptance, until President Trump weighed in.

With the precipitous downfall of such important and famous persons as Bill Cosby, Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, Harvey Weinstein and most recently Charlie Rose, as well as Senator Al Franken and others in Congress, it appeared that America had reached a watershed moment where such sexual abuse could not and would not be tolerated, no matter what or who. But then the President of the United States declared that politics was more important than the abuse of women or even minors.

That’s right, Donald Trump who himself stands accused of improper conduct by over a dozen women, whom he calls liars and losers, last week asserted that it was preferable for voters in Alabama to elect an alleged Republican pedophile than to vote for any Democrat. Most rational people regardless of party affiliation including the three leading newspapers in Alabama say that they believe the women who have accused Senate candidate Roy Moore of vulgar touching and unwanted aggressive sexual advances towards young girls and even one who was fourteen years old. But Trump supporters including the Alabama governor say they will vote for Roy Moore on December 12. Astonishing!

This American President who has sworn an oath “to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution,” to stand for justice and be a role model for our youth has chosen to side with Mr. Moore because he does not like the politics of his opponent.

But perhaps we should not be surprised. After all this is the same man who by his own words bragged about groping women because “celebrities can.” And of course this is the same man who could find no difference between white supremacists and Neo Nazis espousing their twisted ideologies in Charlottesville with those who opposed them. This is the man who denigrates the appearance of female political opponents and calls them by derogatory names and mocks a disabled reporter.

Once again Donald Trump is sending a clear message that the nefarious actions from generations gone by when white men suppressed minorities and objectified women is fine with him. So while much of the rest of the country is turning the page and will no longer be silent or tolerate such behavior, the leader of our nation sides with America’s past as well as his own.

There is no honor in this administration, just the politics and proclivities of one man who defends only himself.

 

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Stuy Town gets new temporary bus stop shelter

The new shelter at the northeast corner of East 14th Street and Avenue B (Photo by Lawrence Scheyer)

By Sabina Mollot

On Saturday, a temporary bus stop shelter was installed on the northeast corner of East 14th Street and Avenue B as preliminary work continues along 14th Street for the looming L train reconstruction.

A rep for City Council Member Dan Garodnick told Town & Village the shelter’s installation is unusual for a couple of reasons. First, because the city had initially said that temporary shelters aren’t normally installed at stops that get relocated due to construction. However, Garodnick was able to convince the city to install this one as well as another at a different stop on Avenue A over the summer.

The new shelter is also unusual because it had to fit alongside the L train construction site and still have an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant sidewalk.

“With winter rapidly approaching, it became even more important that Stuyvesant Town residents have shelters on 14th Street as they wait for the crosstown bus,” Garodnick told us in an email. “Just in time for the holidays, we have delivered this temporary shelter, which will serve the community during the ongoing L train construction.”

Stuy Town resident and Citi Bike rider Lawrence Scheyer noted that this corner was previously occupied by a very popular “valet” Citi Bike station. The bike share program announced in July that valet service was moving to East 13th Street.

At the Avenue B and 14th Street intersection, a new electrical substation and circuit breaker room are being constructed. Scheyer, who’s also a Community 6 board member, noted that this will allow MTA NYC Transit to run a couple of more trains per hour on the L line. This is being done in preparation for the repairs and shutdown of subway service from Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn to 8th Avenue in Manhattan commonly referred to as the “L-Pocalypse.”

Letter to the editor, Nov. 30

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

To-do list for next Assemblymember

To the editor:

This is a comment on Marie Ternes’ “Moving onto the next election,” T&V, Nov. 16, and in a way a comment about the campaign of Keith Powers. Ms. Ternes, like Mr. Powers, has been a member of PCVST for years — likely for longer than I, but her idea of issues (issues that were, I hope, known to Mr. Powers, but tactically absent in his campaign literature) provoke my asking “Is that it?!?!” Ms. Ternes says that she wants to “Preserve and support middle and low-income housing.” I wondered, “Doesn’t everyone these days say they want to preserve middle-class everything?” So, having gone that far, I anticipated that I would soon see the complement of “preserve,” namely “affordable.”

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Garodnick’s water tower legislation would make building inspection results clear to all

Council Member Dan Garodnick said he was motivated by building owners ignoring the law he got passed calling for annual inspections.

By Sabina Mollot

Last Tuesday, the City Council voted to make the results of buildings’ water tank inspections more readily accessible after many years of those records being kept private.

The bill was sponsored by Council Member Dan Garodnick, who, in 2006, authored another piece of legislation that required annual inspections of water tanks. The bill also required landlords to make the results of those inspections available to the city upon request for the next five years. It was signed into law in 2009.

Under the new legislation however, the results of the inspections would have to be submitted to the Department of Health and entered into a searchable, publicly available online database on the DOH’s website. The data would also be submitted annually to the City Council.

Garodnick said the issue was first flagged to him by then-Assembly Member Steven Sanders, who left office in 2006.

“Back then members of the public were barred from seeing the results, even if they had a subpoena,” said Garodnick. “Those reports should not be treated like state secrets.”

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