Letters to the Editor, Feb. 16

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Another argument against term limits

Re: “A Case Against Term Limits,” Politics & Tidbits column, T&V, Feb. 9

To the Editor,

Steve Sanders’ commendation of Hon. Dan Garodnick is well deserved. It would be better if Garodnick could serve without limits. But he chose the Council four years ago, not running for borough president, something he’d never do against Jessica Lappin. (They even held holiday parties together.)

Then Garodnick was bossed out of his bid for comptroller and then, as well, the speaker’s race.

I’m on his side despite his not running for State Senate, which would have given him an opportunity to snipe at any municipal office when time presented itself. But he wanted to be in NYC, not Albany, with his lovely wife and adorable boys.

Were Democrats in Manhattan organized, however, he would have been talked out of it (although it is agreed within Democratic circles that State Senator, Hon. Brad Hoylman, is doing a fine job). So now Garodnick is off cycle, like being a designated hitter in the National League. And he shouldn’t be on the bench.

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Letters to the Editor, Feb. 9

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

‘Affordable housing’ not magic words

Re: Council candidate’s top priority is affordable housing,” T&V, Feb. 2

Reading and rereading Sabina Mollot’s interview with Councilwoman wannabe, Bessie Schachter, left me wondering if Mrs. Schachter is serious.  Of course her “top priority is affordable housing.”  It is also the top priority of tenants and landlords.

I found nothing of substance on the matter of affordable housing. If this sounds/looks excessively picky on my part, may I suggest to anyone thinking that, and certainly to anyone who wishes to replace Councilman Garodnick, they familiarize themselves with New York City’s own site on affordable housing. In particular take a look at the lottery application process that one must enter in order to secure an affordable place to live.  [NYC Connect: Steps to Apply: What to Expect: Your Guide To Affordable Housing] If after reading and rereading the six-column process it doesn’t dawn on a council aspirant that the process is a comic opera in which citizens have been assigned the role of The Fool, then please consider running for dog-catcher, or squirrel keeper; just have the decency to stay out of our lives!

There are of course other difficulties. Our area lost B and C bus service years ago. We are left with a less than reliable D and a soon to be overwhelmed A.  I say “soon to be overwhelmed” because I don’t see that our area is prepared for the numbers that will soon be upon us from the new apartments on 14th and C, along 14th between A and B, between A and First, and on A between 12th and 11th.

I should think that with such legal assaults on our way of life, those who crave Dan Garodnick’s seat would move beyond irrelevant autobiography pleasantries and requests for conversation.

John M. Giannone, ST

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Letters to the Editor, Feb. 2

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

We’ve tamed them, so we owe them

Re: Editorial, “Squirrels: To feed or not to feed?”, T&V, Jan. 19

Dear Editor,

Thank you for the excellent editorial on the knotty squirrel issue in Stuy Town/Peter Cooper. We live a few blocks outside the complex and for decades have walked in to visit friends. Whenever we did, there were squirrels making eye contact and sitting in a begging stance. If we passed them by they would follow and repeat eye contact and begging.

This was two or three decades ago so I have to disagree a bit, i.e. these squirrels are not fully wild and haven’t been for generations. They’ve learned how to prosper in the middle of their humans who have trained them in how to get some of their sustenance.

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Letters to the Editor, Jan. 26

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

I wore red, white and blue on Jan. 20

Re: Letter, “Why I’ll be wearing black on January 20,” T&V, Jan. 19

The eight years under Obama’s imperialistic rule has taken its toll on the majority of the country.

The majority kept quiet because we were told to voice our dissatisfaction with his regime will only show that we were racist against the first African-American president.

Eight years of witnessing an unvetted man take our country in a direction not familiar with our American values. Year after year he ran the country helped by Hillary as a co-president using her position as secretary of state to fattened her global foundation with donations from countries that obviously needed favors from her when she at her turn becomes president.

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Letters to the Editor, Jan. 19

Cartoon by Jim Meadows
Cartoon by Jim Meadows

More info needed from candidate

To the Editor:

T&V published a column by Keith Powers, a City Council candidate (“A New Year’s resolution to build the full Second Avenue Subway,” T&V, Jan. 5). He advocates the full build of the Second Avenue Subway and was identified as a PCV resident, a member of our Community Board and a member of PCV/ST Tenants Association. But he’s a Democratic District Leader and I’m curious, given his candidacy, why that wasn’t included. I’ve been told he has important support despite his bio making no mention of any gainful employment.

A Google search reveals that he’s a consultant with an influential firm. Their website lists the transportation industry as a client category. Shouldn’t he, before getting too heavily invested in a campaign, explain any potential conflict of interests given having endorsed a full build? After all, full build will stall, surely somewhere between 34th and Houston Streets. This means scaffolding and plates would line 2nd Avenue past most any of our life expectancies.

Another City Council candidate “reached out” to me. It made me realize that City Council term limits have turned our municipal legislature into a free for all: eight years on the Council and then a run for county or citywide office. Vacated Council seats, half of them every four years, then get filled, ideally, by Assembly members that have “seen their opportunities [in Albany] and took ‘em.”

Instead of our Democratic candidates being mostly lawyers from local law schools who grew up through the ranks in local clubs, we now regularly get lobbyists thereby perpetuating the transformation of NY’s Democratic Party from “real live Democrats” to Republican lite. Steve Sanders was our longtime Assembly member before turning lobbyist. Powers is doing it the other way.

Hopefully, he realizes that Michael Bloomberg’s consultant ran for a West Side State Senate seat last year. And, despite Hizzoner’s and the New York Times’ backing, he lost.

The writer’s grandfather managed Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1928 campaign for Governor.

Bill Sternberg, ST

Editor’s note: Adding a bio to Keith Powers’ op-ed was a last minute editorial decision, as was the decision to keep said description brief. Though the fact that Powers is the vice president at lobbying firm Constantinople & Vallone wasn’t mentioned in the bio, it has been included in a prior article in this newspaper about his candidacy for the City Council.

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Letters to the Editor, Jan. 5

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Hey, T&V, watch your language

Re: “Man drops pants, pees in view of kids across from PS 116,” T&V, Dec. 29, 2016

I was disturbed to read about a homeless man openly urinating in front of school children in the neighborhood this week.

But I was also disturbed to see you characterize this sick person as a “bum.” I don’t think I’ve ever seen that label used by a reputable journalist.

Labels like that reduce the problem to two-dimensional, black and white thinking, them versus us, which does nothing to resolve the problem the community is facing, and only further marginalizes a desperate, untreated population.

I hope in the future you’ll commit to raising our understanding of complex problems in the community through language that more accurately reflects the true nature of the problem, and the people involved.

Name withheld, ST

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Letters to the Editor, Dec. 15

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Shout out to a great mail carrier

During this busy holiday season, I would like to send a shout out to our great mail delivery person. Her name is Liz and she delivers mail to five buildings in ST. Living here for 26 years, I have never met or had the pleasure of meeting a terrific gal like Liz. She is always pleasant, friendly and extremely attractive and adds a flair to her uniform with a decorative hat, pin or something that will not make her look like every other USPS mail carrier. She has only been with our building about two years but I truly want to go on record about her great work ethic and personality that always makes my day when I run into her distributing the mail.

Now during the holiday season, packages are abundant and her good attitude doesn’t change, even though some days her route and pick up which is on 23rd Street, do not bring her down, and make her day much longer. Also, at holiday time, she posts a great card near the mail boxes, which is cheerful and fun, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Mother’s Day, et al.

I hope tenants who live in the buildings that this sparkling gal Liz covers are aware of her many qualities and appreciate how lucky we are to have her in our domain. Keep up the great job, Liz, and thank you from all of us who have gotten to know you and appreciate your efforts on our behalf.

Ruth Metz, ST

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Letters to the Editor, Dec. 8

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

The invisible thing destroying our health

The problem of evil: Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? It’s a question we often ask. Thankfully, the Bible isn’t quiet on the subject.

I heard in the news that in 2018, the city was going to put in an order that if you lived in city housing that smoking was going to be banned. Why don’t our elected officials and the professional doctors tell the truth? Two days after a cold extreme winter snow day, on top of the ice that was formed we find black soot all over the ice and snow, an issue no one is bringing up. Very fine particles, so small that any of them can form a large black dot. And so many of them we are breathing. Can they form cancer? With our weather, this is the only time that you can see them.

They’re on the buildings, streets, windows, cars, clothing and people. We take it in with us daily, to our homes and families. No amount of washing can save us. It’s in our eyes, ears, hair, lungs and we know we’re breathing it up, daily, every moment. Because we can’t smell it doesn’t mean that we’re not harmed by it. Impurities, organisms, infections accumulated in our body system generates extreme suffering later in life, and the second-hand smokers as they say. The smokers have their problems but to say that second-hand smoke is the source of our cancers and other people’s (non-smokers’) health problems is a lie.

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Letters to the Editor, Dec. 1

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Why I’m grateful this holiday season

I thought it would be appropriate, given the time of year, to express some gratitude and optimism during these discordant times. The Stuy Town/Peter Cooper community has been through a lot and now our country, too, is facing some tough times.

As I take inventory of areas for thanks, I choose to look locally and at our great and diverse community.  We have to be ever mindful that our ST/PCV community is actually a small and complex city, with unforeseen challenges.

I am grateful that we have finally achieved some real stability in Blackstone as our still-newish owner and for their important choice to have key staff living among us, sharing our quality of life.  I am grateful for management’s clear voice and steady hand thus far. Grateful for their choice to keep long-serving staff like Bill M. and Fred K., who keep us safe and to Kathleen K. and Tom F. who keep us warm and our homes and buildings functional. For Rick H. and the new members of his team who are making real efforts to care for our community.

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Letters to the editor, Nov. 24

Bernie bashing is unsubstantiated

Re: Letter, “Hillary pilloried for not being perfect,” T&V, Nov. 10

I’ll never understand why people with strong opinions are not strong enough to sign their names to their letters.

For example, a “Name Withheld” writer confidently states: “I am proud to vote for Hillary Clinton who is intelligent, competent and completely qualified,” but is not proud enough of her views to sign her name. She states that Bernie Sanders “ran on a platform of grandiose ideas that he did not have a hope of getting through Congress.”

How does she know this? Did Bernie tell her, “Hey, Name Withheld, I know these ideas of mine don’t have a prayer for success, but when you run for public office, you gotta say something?” And did she tell Bernie he is “not qualified to head the Executive Office,” to which he replied, “Who is?” Although being a mayor or governor might offer some experience, I doubt that anything prepares one for being the president of the USA. What were Obama’s qualifications? Or W’s? Or (are you sitting down down?) Trump’s?

After trashing Bernie, Name Withheld defends Hillary by writing that voters “struggle to see a woman in office. They find reasons to attack her over not very much. Misogyny, unfortunately, is still alive and well.” But maybe it’s not Hillary’s gender that voters find troubling, but rather the appearance of years of dishonesty and corruption.

I can’t speak for others who find Hill and Bill so untrustworthy there’s not enough space in T&V to list their reasons, but I did vote for a woman. Her name rhymes with Hill. She heads The Green Party and because I want a third party, independent of the two giants in America, I voted for Jill Stein. Stein’s platform was almost identical to Bernie’s.

And maybe she lost like Bernie because she didn’t have a hope for success either.  But I do. We have the knowledge and the ability to clean up all the mess we have created in our society. We just need the will.

John Cappelletti, ST

Editor’s note: At Town & Village, we agree that signed letters have more credibility than anonymous ones. However, in this case, it was the editor’s mistake to sign the author’s letter as “Name withheld,” when in fact, she hadn’t made a request to remain anonymous. The author of the letter is Harriet Gottfried, a retired librarian living in Stuyvesant Town. We regret the error.

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Letters to the Editor, Nov. 17

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Country’s debt level is risky business

Re: Letter, “Our country’s invisible problem (Part 2)”, T&V Oct. 20

To the Editor,

The number one issue in our country is the amount of our national debt, as candidate Robert Ardini has written in your paper. The current low interest rates have hidden this problem from the people.

Usually, when there is a major increase in the amount of the national debt, there is also a major increase in the total interest cost of that debt. This increased interest cost pushes other expenditures out the federal budget, which hurts our economy and our quality of life.

The latest data readily available (through 2014 on Wikipedia) shows how lower interest rates have enabled the Obama Administration to escape this usual penalty for issuing more debt. For fiscal 2007, our national debt was $9 trillion, and the interest cost of that debt was $430 billion. In the next seven years (through 2014), our national debt nearly doubled to $17.8 trillion. During this period of sharply rising debt, interest rates declined. The debt nearly doubled, but the interest cost only increased 0.2 percent (from $430 billion to $430.8 billion). This was possible, because the average interest cost of the national debt fell from 4.77 percent in 2007 to 2.42 percent in 2014.

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Letters to the Editor, Nov. 10

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Local candidates kept things classy

To the Editor,

Many thanks to our neighbor and former State Democratic Assemblyman Steve Sanders for reminding us that members of our community have independently crossed lines in the past to vote for and support a number of Republicans like Senator Roy Goodman, Congressman Bill Green and Councilman Eristoff. They were able to work with other bi-partisan legislators to get things done and avoid the national voting gridlock we’ve experienced these last four years.

Credit is well deserved for Frank Scala, a Republican who is a member of our Community Board 6 and the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association Board and active on the 13th Precinct Community Council.

Frank believes in the two party system and will defend his viewpoint but not engage in prolonged gridlock. Even the editorial staff of Town & Village doesn’t disparage either candidate, but can suggest to the reader “Does years of being elected reflect voters’ approval of performance or is it preferable to have term limits such as those persons we elect to the City Council?”

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Letters to the Editor, Oct. 27

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

The legacy of President Barack Obama

Firstly, it takes generations for historians to make decisions which demonstrate valid meanings and consensus – and who are doing the evaluations.

And, they can change with time. E.g., President Eisenhower was viewed unfavorably by most of the pundits but now during the past 60 years or so, his greatness is far more appreciated. In his final speech as president, he showed great prescience when he warned the nation of the growing danger of the “military industrial complex.”

Another example is Truman, who left office in 1953 with quite low appreciation and with years, he is recognized as having been in the upper tier.

Methinks as I have observed Obama during the past almost eight years… he may well be the greatest chief executive that I have encountered in my life. Brilliant, articulate and a real mensch, he has demonstrated the patience of a saint. On the very night of the day he was inaugurated, the top Congressional GOPers met and vowed complete obstruction so as to make him a one term president. Some patriotism!

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Letters to the Editor, Oct. 20

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Impeding street fairs will hurt New York

The following is an open letter to Michael Paul Carey, executive director, Office of Citywide Event Coordination & Management at the Office of the Mayor, from the president of the Tilden Democratic Club.

Dear Mr. Carey,

I write to you on behalf of the Samuel J. Tilden Democratic Club and other concerned citizens of New York City concerning the proposed changes in the street fair rules. It is our view that these proposed changes will only serve to restrict New Yorkers’ access to all of the many benefits the street fairs provide.

The Samuel J. Tilden Democratic Club has taken a booth at the Third Avenue Fair for over 25 years. As a result of our participation, we raised approximately $300,000, which was donated to very worthy community groups which included senior programs, libraries, shelter programs, homeless programs, hospital clothing rooms, art and literacy programs, cancer programs, music programs and programs for the disabled youth and adults among others.

The residents of Community Board Six are direct recipients of our street fair driven donations. Over 90 percent of the licensed street vendors live in New York City. New York City residents directly benefit by being vendors and consumers at the fair.

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Letters to the Editor, Oct. 13

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

No option to downsize for the stabilized

Re: “800 ST/PCV residents who qualify for SCRIE/DRIE haven’t enrolled,” T&V, Sept. 29

Despite being many months away from being eligible, I write to commend all of the people involved in publicizing the DRIE and SCRIE rent exemption programs.

But first I want to mention something that’s troublesome. The New York Observer editorialized on behalf of an option that seniors in rent stabilized multi-bedroom apartments be able to downsize to rent stabilized studios, as my grandmother did decades ago, to save chunks of rent. Having one’s rent cut in half is better than having one’s rent frozen. But that is not an option either in PCV-ST or anywhere anymore.

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