Letters to the editor, Aug. 30

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

A helping hand from a distance

Re: “To feed or not to feed the squirrels,” T&V, Aug. 16

Dear Sir,

Like the majority of Stuyvesant Town residents, I too received the questionnaire about the squirrels. I was perplexed that it has come to that: current residents having to decide how they feel about the squirrels, which have been around Stuyvesant Town long before any of the current humans, and thus decide their fate! To cut a long story short, in the comments section of the questionnaire, I expressed my additional views and suggestions, which happen to almost completely coincide with those of Katherine Compitus, somebody who clearly knows a thing or two about wildlife, as expressed in your article of August 16, 2018.

 She makes many excellent points about the issue, the most important being that management should install its own squirrel feeders in the property, out of the way of people. I am afraid that one key issue that has been overlooked in all this, is the fact that there would be no need for residents to feed squirrels had Tishman Speyer and now the current management, not cut down perfectly healthy and mature oak trees which have always provided plenty of acorns, the natural food for squirrels.

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Teachout: More tenant protection needed against predatory equity

July19 teachout cropped

Zephyr Teachout discusses her platform in front of a Jared-Kushner-owned building. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Attorney General candidate Zephyr Teachout has announced specific tenant-friendly objectives she would implement in the office if elected in response to reports that 19 tenants are suing Jared Kushner’s real estate company for pushing them out of their rent stabilized apartments.

Teachout’s agenda, which she announced on Monday in front of the Kushner-owned building in Williamsburg whose tenants have filed the lawsuit, includes creating an ombudsman position that would be responsible for engagement with tenant groups and organizers to respond to complaints and increasing criminal prosecutions in the Real Estate Enforcement Unit, a division of the AG’s office that investigates and prosecutes cases involving bank fraud, deceptive lending practices, tenant harassment and other real estate-related crimes.

“These crimes are committed every day by real estate companies in New York,” she said. “If we really want to change their behavior, we have to go after them criminally and not just civilly.”

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Garodnick not running for mayor

Council Member Dan Garodnick

Council Member Dan Garodnick

By Christian Brazil-Bautista

The list of possible contenders for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s seat just became a bit shorter. Council Member Dan Garodnick, whose name has been thrown around as a possible challenger for the position, denied that he was eyeing a run at the mayoral seat.

“No,” Garodnick said when asked at an event on Tuesday if he was going to run for mayor. The event was the B’nai B’rith luncheon, where he gave a presentation titled, “Midtown East Rezoning: What’s Next?”

Garodnick, a Democrat who is serving his third term as a council member, has remained vague about his future plans. Previously, he ran for comptroller, bowing out after Scott Stringer declared his candidacy. Stringer eventually defeated Eliot Spitzer for the position. In 2013, he conceded in his bid for the city council speaker seat, resulting in a unanimous vote for Melissa Mark-Viverito. Term limits prohibit him from seeking re-election next year.

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