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?
Bikes not the only danger to pedestrians
To the Editor:
In advance of the Tenants Association meeting covered by the recent article “Bikes still a primary concern for ST/PCV residents” (Town & Village, June 6), I consulted NYC’s Open Data concerning collisions and injuries; this data is available to anyone. I used what I found to inform my remarks at the meeting, and I was disappointed that the article didn’t mention those remarks.
The data available on that website comes from NYPD and reaches back in time as far as July 1, 2012.
I conducted two searches covering all of zip codes 10003, 10009, and 10010 from that date through the latest date for which there is data available, April 30, 2019. I found 48 instances involving one or more bikes and no other vehicles, in which instances at least one pedestrian was at least injured. (There were no fatalities, only two instances on First Avenue, and no instances on 20th Street.)
Then I completely removed bikes from the formula, leaving in other types of vehicles, and ran the same search. I found over 1,400 instances in which at least one pedestrian was at least injured. (I encourage anyone interested to check and critique the quality of my analysis. And as anyone using the site will see, there are ambiguities in the data.)
Fear of scofflaw cyclists is justified
To the editor:
When graduate student Sophie Maerowitz told T&V (“Bikes still a primary concern for ST/PCV residents,” June 6) that bike lanes have made biking safer for biking, reducing fatalities by 44 percent, she addressed those ST/PCV “concerns” and “nervousness” with utterly irrelevant information.
Ms. Maerowitz’s remarks fail to address the fears pedestrians have been taught when they now cross streets that have bike lanes. To my knowledge no one has argued that bike lanes are a blunder, and no one has claimed that bikers have killed pedestrians. More so, my remarks and our fears do not come from all bicyclists running lights, nor from pedestrians splayed-out by bikes.
Plain and simple, our fear has been caused by a pattern of bicyclists’ behavior. So let’s not require what is not before our city government takes us as real.
Dems suffering from acute wimp-itis
To the Editor:
Based on the annual landlord-friendly rent increases tenants received for 20 years from the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations, I would think that Rent Guidelines Board members are appointed by the mayor. If so, why is the RGB, under our current mayor, discussing any rent increases at all? If they are considering landlord expenses in their deliberations, they should take into account the fact that landlord expenses were much, much lower than the yearly rent increases they received for 20 years from the Republican administrations. Tenants should receive the same treatment at landlords. Thus, they would not have to suffer any increases for 20 years.
If only the Democrats in power in New York and the House of Representatives in DC did not suffer from wimped-out disease. What are they afraid of? If they don’t act with strength and courage now, they won’t have a job anymore. I say rent freeze and impeachment. Now!
John Cappelletti, ST
Deluxe prices, too
I just received my third increase from Storage Deluxe who deem it credible to keep raising its prices for nothing. It is so infuriating when companies leasing PCVST property have tenants over a barrel – occupying storage space or garage space for that matter – increasing prices and offering fewer and fewer benefits.
Storage Deluxe offers nothing under its tutelage for its increasing prices, never a gate cleaning, dusting, or free lock!
Laz parking is even more outrageous! They’re lucky they keep the excellent, seasoned personnel working day to day in the garages servicing tenants. We used to be able to get major citywide discounts in other parking lots. Most important, we got discount parking for guests visiting our apartments. We no longer get these crucial benefits yet pay more, not because personnel are getting it.
Why 2020 Census matters
To the Editor:
A severe undercount in the 2020 Census would dramatically reduce the amount of federal funding New York receives for a range of critical programs delivered by nonprofits – jeopardizing the very existence of these organizations, causing them to cut staff, end programs and cripple their ability to connect with underserved communities. Twenty billion dollars a year is on the line for New York City alone.
A Community Resource Exchange survey found that nonprofits fear they’ll be forced to reassess how to effectively meet needs if they have to scale back, particularly because they already operate on budgets stretched thin due to years of government underfunding.
We’re at serious risk of a 2020 undercount due to the late start in funding outreach efforts, proposed citizenship question and apprehension around online submissions. This would build on the decade of under-investment we saw because of the last Census undercount.
Congestion pricing will drive us out
The following is an open letter to Council Member Keith Powers in response to an e-blast from the council member updating District 4 residents on the passing of congestion pricing in the state legislature’s budget on April 1.
Dear Council Member Powers:
Thank you for the community update. I hope you decide to work toward a greater exemption from congestion pricing for residents in the zone who keep their vehicles garaged and who are not in the protected group of residents [Exemptions for residents making less than $60,000 who live inside the zone] who must use the streets to park and double park when streets are cleaned.
I offer the worst of all indignities: Garage parkers at Waterside Plaza, Peter Cooper Village who enter the FDR north or south who never enter into the grid of midtown streets are either hit with the scanners leaving home or coming home – a high price tax to live in those communities, alongside a highway, that never intersects the congested streets of mid-Manhattan. Does that make sense?
Stats show where bikes are a problem
The 13th Precinct has said that they view bike violations seriously but with limited resources, they do targeted enforcement based on data.
While NYC Opendata for Vehicular Accidents shows that 6th Avenue from 14th to 29th is quite a problem, our area has its problems too. Pedestrians were injured in bike incidents in 2019 at 1st Avenue and 15th Street in 2018 at 2nd Ave and 22nd Street and in 2016 at 1st Avenue and 18th and at 1st Avenue and 27th Street.
With an aging population in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village and so many bikers breaking laws on 1st and 2nd Avenues, our situation is likely to get worse. In addition to seeing red lights cut constantly from 15th Street to 22nd, from 21st to 23rd, we’ve seen motorized and non-motorized bikes, skateboards and scooters being ridden right on the sidewalks.
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.
Losing the battle on bikes (cars, too)
To the editor:
T&V has recently featured articles on residents complaining about cyclists’ behavior and the NYPD’s 13th Precinct enforcement activities towards cyclists. None of these articles point out that the real danger to pedestrians and cyclists are automobiles.
Motor vehicle crashes killed 200 people in NYC in 2018 including 114 pedestrians and 10 cyclists and left 60,000 injured. Between July 2012 and January 2019, 887 pedestrians were killed by automobiles. Generally, when the DOT installs protected bike lanes or other infrastructure to make cycling safer and easier, pedestrian safety also increases.
All too frequently whenever there is a serious crash involving a cyclist being hit a motor vehicle, they initiate ticketing activity against cyclists often at intersections and bike lanes in which little dangerous behavior is exhibited by cyclists rather drivers who block and drive in bike lanes, drivers who cut off cyclists at intersections or drivers that block the box causing cyclists to go out into traffic.