Tenants know who’s owned in Albany
On April 6, I attended a rent law town hall hosted by Cooper Square Committee. Our Senator Brad Hoylman, Assemblyman Harvey Epstein, former Assemblyman (now Senator) Brian Kavanagh and other electeds were there. They described the rich possibilities to strengthen the rent laws this year, as the Democrats hold the biggest majority in the State Senate since 1912. It was a veritable love fest of pro-tenant legislative possibilities they put forth.
But the landlord lobby still looms, which Hoylman explained as the reason his Pied-a-Terre Tax was axed out of the budget. I think the Pied-a-Terre Tax is magnificent and have cheered Hoylman on for years. It would have raised almost double for the MTA what its substitute, the congestion pricing plan which did pass, is projected to raise.
That the landlord lobby killed it is potent: there is no single politician in NY today who has gotten more money from real estate interests than Andrew Cuomo. He is the landlord lobby’s #1 favorite politician to fund. I think Senator Hoylman is being charitable in blaming “the landlord lobby.” I say follow the money.
If we want strengthened rent laws, we need to shove the landlords out of Cuomo’s bed. If we want our subways properly supported, we need to shove the landlords out of Cuomo’s bed. If we want transparency for voters in NYS, we need to shove the landlords out of Cuomo’s bed. It is time for us to shove back and expose the ka-ching ka-ching of Cuomo and his fat-walleted real estate paramours.
Marina Metalios, ST
Much ado about nuts
On April 1st of this year, and not as an April Fool’s prank, Stuy Town has prohibited the feeding of wildlife on the grounds. This may or may not be a good idea, and we cannot determine the outcome of the ban because no data has been released.
As far as I know, there has been no environmental impact statement for this change in the environment. There is no statement of how many squirrels will starve to death in agony next winter. There is no psychological statement of the effects on people who enjoy giving nuts to squirrels and watching them dance around.
The posted statement from management is that children were bitten by squirrels; presumably because Stuy Town squirrels are acclimated to humans and getting food from humans.
However, there is no causal chain between fewer nuts from people to today’s acclimated squirrel population resulting in fewer incidents of squirrels trying to steal a kid’s cookie in the playground. One would think rather that present acclimated squirrels, bereft of cheerfully given nuts, would be more likely to go after small targets holding food.
Finally, there are legal ramifications for the change. There is no language in anyone’s lease about squirrels or pigeons. Stuy Town has billed itself commercially as “A Park Runs Through It.”
People have in good faith entered into contracts with the owner fully expecting to enjoy all that living in a park entails, including the enjoyment of relations with the non-human residents. In fact, there is even an idol of a squirrel in one of the playgrounds here, the symbol of Stuy Town.
I would be willing to bet that Fred Ecker would never have prohibited the feeding of squirrels!
Due to the retributive nature of Stuy Town, I will remain anonymous.
Name withheld, ST