Racist implications in playground protest
To the Editor:
Stuart Levinson’s letter (Oct. 10) is troubling on so many levels.
Mr. Levinson writes that “dangerous unsavory predators” are loitering around the basketball courts. I am in the vicinity at least twice per day and what I see are young people playing basketball.
Some of them are people of color. Mr. Levinson sees them as dangerous and unsavory. Some of the young people are waiting to get into basketball games. Mr. Levinson sees people loitering.
Remembering Bernie’s son
To the editor:
I am delighted to know that Playground 3 is to be renamed for Bernie Rothenberg. As a resident of Stuyvesant Town, I have had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Rothenberg a few times. However, it is his son, Dr. Richard Rothenberg, whom I knew much better. This gives me an opportunity to describe my memory of Bernie’s son, Richard.
I taught music at Stuyvesant High School for 8 years (1983-1991) while Dr. Rothenberg was the Math Chairman (Assistant Principal for Math). When Richie heard that I had just moved to Stuyvesant Town in November 1986 with my wife Lisa (who was pregnant with our first son, Benjamin), he asked me what my new address was. “That’s right near my dad. I visit him for lunch every week. I’ll probably run into you a lot.”
Richie was an enormous influence on my growth as a teacher and supervisor. He knew that I had aspirations of becoming a chairman. When he noticed or heard from someone else something that I said or did that was not exemplary for an administrative leader, he would gently steer me in the right direction. When I was preparing for the NYC Board of Examiners Examination for Assistant Principal for Music, Dr. Rothenberg invited me to sit with him doing lesson observations of math teachers and then have discussions with me afterward as we analyzed the teacher’s performance.
By former Assemblymember Steven Sanders
Last week, I wrote about how political candidates are being tagged with that seemingly evil “socialist” label for advocating that more government resources be redirected to health, education and other social needs.
But it is also true that Democratic candidates for president are falling over themselves to make one promise after the other, many of which Congress will never approve and all of which would be a major cost to the treasury. However, that is still a far cry from being a socialist. Sadly, some in the political world care very little about the honesty of such a charge, but rather hope that the label of socialist will stick. That is the state of our politics by vilification today.
But the issue of health care for all Americans will dominate the national debate over the next year. Was it accurate to call Medicare or Medicaid socialism when enacted over 50 years ago? Is it socialism to go the next step and provide health care coverage for all Americans regardless of their ability to pay? That is the big question. And how would such a system be paid for?
TA: Stand up to Blackstone
Re: “Blackstone not required to provide polling places,” T&V, Sept. 26
“Name withheld” writes that Blackstone doesn’t have an obligation to provide polling sites. This is incorrect.
In 1946, a vibrant neighborhood with streets, schools and polling places was seized under eminent domain and turned over to Metropolitan Life, and became Stuyvesant Town.
In return, Met Life promised to maintain municipal streets, remove garbage, and provide places for citizens to vote. The Tenants Association needs to stand up to our property owner to ensure that Blackstone honors these obligations. Bring back the polling sites!
Blackstone not required to provide polling places
To the editor:
Although I am disappointed that some voters will have to cross 14th Street to vote, we must remember that Stuyvesant Town management is not at all obligated to provide space for voting. Voting is a right but one that a landlord is not required to facilitate. Should the government seek to compel management to provide the space, the Fifth Amendment would require that “just compensation be provided.”
City’s plan will hurt Stuy Cove
In response to the ad in the September 5 issue of T&V, the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association received a number of comments and questions. The following letter has been sent to elected representatives in Washington, Albany and New York. The SCPA thanks to all those who took the time to contact them.
On Monday, October 21, the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association will hold its annual Friends of Stuyvesant Cove Park meeting. The meeting will take place at the Stuyvesant Town Community Center, located at 449 East 16th Street. Among our agenda items is the planned razing of Stuyvesant Cove Park as part of the East Coast Resiliency Project.
It is the opinion of this body that the planned destruction and modification of the park, a project estimated to deprive the community use of the park for two years or more, will do nothing to prevent flooding in Stuyvesant Cove Park in the future. In addition, despite the surge in 2012, regular park-goers observed that within months, most of the flora was alive and well, with only a few exceptions, and within six months, you would not know anything had happened. All this in spite of the fact that the park had been under four feet of river water.
We understand that funds are being provided by the federal government. However, spending money simply because it is available should not be confused with justification and we are in total disagreement with the city’s decision to choose years of construction, hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs and no discernible new protections for the park itself. Moreover, Stuyvesant Cove Park’s natural resiliency in the wake of Hurricane Sandy proves that this is an ill-conceived over reaction to this event.
Frustrating ‘rush hour’ M23 service
I am a senior living on East 20th Street and Avenue C near the SBS bus stop. I arrived at the bus stop at 8:45 a.m. (well within “rush hour”). There was a bus outside with the front door open.
I showed the bus driver my MetroCard and said, “Just give me a second to get a slip.” I ran to the machine that was about 5 steps away from the bus. While I was inserting my MetroCard, the bus driver shut the door and drove away.
During this “rush hour,” I had to wait an additional 20 minutes for another bus. If this was the first time this or a similar incident happened, I would let it go. But this happens frequently. The bus parks away from the stop, pulls up when there’s a red light and takes off when the light changes.
Unfair demonization of Trump
Mr. Sanders is right that President Trump shouldn’t demonize refugees but Mr. Sanders shouldn’t demonize President Trump either. The policy of separation of children from their parents is a result of a ruling Judge Dolly Gee made during the Obama administration. According to that ruling, children could not be held in detention for more than 20 days. As a result, if Obama and now Trump didn’t release entire families within 20 days of being detained, they had to separate those families. It was Trump, not Obama, who issued an executive order to stop this. Trump’s executive order directed Attorney General Sessions to file a request with Judge Gee in the Central District of California to allow detained migrant families to be kept together. Trump also ordered that housing be found or built for these families and that priority be given to their cases. Where was the outrage of Sanders and his fellow Democratic leaders when Obama separated families? Why do they feign outrage at Trump when he is the president who acted to end child separation? Could it be in order to demonize Trump so they get elected?
Unfair criticisms of Schwarzman
Re: “Pulling back the curtain on Blackstone,” letter, T&V, Aug. 15
I find the character assassination by letter writer “name withheld” of Stephen Schwarzman and President Trump offensive and all too common by Trump haters. The letter writer should at least have the courage to sign his name. It’s not as if Antifa will show up at his door and threaten his wife and children. Contrary to what “Name withheld” would have us believe, Trump never said there were good white supremacists. Trump said, “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy.”
Regarding caging of children, there is no question the situation of people detained at our border is an unfortunate one, but before we believe people who bash Trump for political gain, we need to ask ourselves what are the alternatives. One is to send the illegal immigrants back home immediately, but that would require changing laws that the Democrats refuse to change.
Pulling back the curtain on Blackstone
I am simply sickened to learn that Stephen Schwarzman, the CEO of Blackstone, the company that bought Stuyvesant Town, is a large donor of Trump. This simply sickens me, yet there is nothing I can do about it, short of moving!
Tenants must understand that Schwarzman, by his donations, makes it possible to witness the philosophy of ugliness in having an incompetent person sit in the White House, and by association, share the same philosophy of caging children, targeting immigrants and others, and encouraging the chants of “lock her up” and “send her back.” It is the same philosophy of believing white supremacists have good people on both sides. The curtain has been pulled back allowing a clear look at who owns and runs this development.
Now, we know more today and must never forget who supports the man with the vile tongue.
Broken promises in Tech Hub planning
The following is a letter from Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, sent to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Councilmember Carlina Rivera on June 28 regarding zoning changes and protections for the neighborhood ahead of the development for the Tech Hub planned for East 14th Street.
Dear Mayor de Blasio and Councilmember Rivera,
I write regarding commitments that were made following the approval of the upzoning for the planned Tech Hub at 124 East 14th Street. That zoning change was approved by the City Planning Commission over a year ago, on June 27, 2018. Yet as of today, most of the extremely modest commitments made to provide protections or mitigations to the surrounding neighborhood for the negative impact of the planned development have neither been implemented nor even proposed. And several key commitments made by the developer and the city regarding protecting the surrounding community from the impacts of the construction have already been broken.
Nike’s flag sneakers disrespectful
Re: “It Seems to Me,” T&V, July 11
While Christopher Hagedorn’s belief that the Betsy Ross flag sneakers were “cool” might be true and while Colin Kaepernick’s reasoning against the Betsy Ross flag sneakers I believe to be faulty at best; both sides of that argument missed a far more serious and important point.
If the Betsy Ross flag sneakers had been sold to the public, what would have happened to those sneakers when they wore out? From my point of view, throwing those sneakers in the garbage would have been little different then from throwing any other American Flag in the garbage. Total disrespect!
The proper retirement of the American Flag requires a ceremony at which old and worn our flags are burned. The ceremony appropriately concludes with the call of the bugle: To The Colors.
Why no help on bike thefts?
Stuyvesant Town is the “idyllic” place to live, but with a little secret. Bicycles are stored in the terrace level but some are being stolen without any concern from management, who state that it is not their responsibility if things are stolen. Noticeably there are no security cameras in or near the laundry rooms.
I had two Trek bicycles stolen about four weeks after I moved in. There was hardly a response other than to claim it under my insurance! This despite the room requiring a key to get in (which suggests an “inside” job of either a contractor or someone with key access).
Recently a friend had their $1,100 bicycle stolen, even though it had three locks including a U-lock and no peddles. The thieves knew which bicycle(s) to take, as they left the spouses bicycle, which is old. The two bicycles were locked together.
Not laughing at cartoon on racism
Re: Editorial cartoon, T&V, June 6
I understand the message of the cartoon and I believe Chancellor Carranza is wrong, but can Town & Village show some balance when it comes to other people instead of showing only whites as victims? For example: Native Americans to whites: You whites committed genocide against us and stole our land. Can a cartoon be put in Town & Village showing this message?
Bike dock will encourage trespassing
The following is an open letter to STPCV General Manager Rick Hayduk regarding the Citi Bike station that was recently installed in Playground 9.
I appreciate your keeping the residents apprised of what management is undertaking but I fear with the latest bike related undertaking you are working at cross purposes.
One of the more frequently heard complaints from the resident population is the plethora of bicycles on the premises. You have tried to establish rules governing their use that are blithely ignored. They are honored more in the breach than the observance. I don’t see how providing “quick and easy” access addresses the problem. We are already awash with Citi Bike docking stations along the perimeter of the complex. Why invite the interloper onto the premises?