Classroom condemnation uncalled for
In his “Ugly rhetoric on charter schools” (T&V “It Seems to Me” column, July 27), Christopher Hagedorn gave vent to what can only be described as a long-held gripe with the United Federation of Teachers and kids who saw that as a teacher, he, the emperor, wore no clothes. Those experiences, back in ‘68, seems to have lain and festered, and, I think, inhibited a more available and objective view of the teachers’ union and public schools.
Mr. Hagedorn takes us back to the time when men and women, charged with the care of kids for six hours a day, were securing for themselves a voice on the job, a grievance process, a salary scale commensurate with education, medical protection, and a measure of financial and medical security after 25-30 years on the job and into old-age — all while leaving dismissal for incompetence (absolutely) intact. Mr. Hagedorn’s rejection of these human needs-goals in ‘68, at the very outset of his own teaching career, indicates a disconnect from those working-people’s goals–if not an anti-union disposition.
Cluttered ballot? It could be worse
Re: “Not everyone should have a shot,” letter by Billy Sternberg, T&V, June 29
In the dark days of NYC politics, there were a select few making back-room deals to further their personal goals and enrich themselves over the people. Corruption and cronyism were rampant. Reformers lifted the veil on these political fixes and enabled candidates from all backgrounds to successfully run grass-roots campaigns to allow voters to decide who gets to represent us.
Volunteers from the Samuel J. Tilden club have been carrying nominating petitions in ST/PCV and the neighborhood for the past six weeks. These petitions allow for candidates to appear on the ballot, and to ultimately present themselves before the voters who will be able to make a choice of who among those running will be our next representative.
While there are several people who have announced their candidacy to replace the term-limited Mr. Garodnick, it is this diversity of choice that keeps the process transparent and free from corruption. It is now the difficult task of these candidates to earn our votes.
We encourage everyone to participate in the process and become informed citizens by participating in the political discourse. Go to a forum, ask questions of the candidates and understand their individual experiences and capabilities.
This is how we should elect our next political leaders: out in the open.
Sandro Sherrod and Louise Dankberg,
District Leaders 74th AD
This tenant doesn’t want to be ‘public’
To the Editor:
The Tenants Association is up to its old tricks again – forcing residents to list their name publicly (even if they don’t pay dues), or the TA will not act on their behalf, as a tenants’ representative.
I received an official looking letter from the TA, even though I have never paid dues to them. The letter said I must choose between two unappealing choices:
Choice A: I must list my name as a “Public Member” of the TA. The letter says that the TA will only speak for those who are willing to be listed publicly as Public Members.
Choice B: If I do not list my name, the TA states that I waive all rights to any benefit that a Court may award to residents of Stuyvesant Town. Choice B states:
“I do not wish to become a Public Member and hereby grant to the STPCV TA, its President or Secretary, and any legal counsel chosen by the Board of Directors standing permission to enter into settlements of legal claims with benefits which may accrue solely to those who sign the Public Member Pledges, and we waive any claim to such benefits.
Dogs okay, owners… not so much
As a former dog owner, I began Bobbie’s Martowicz’s “Stuy Town no longer fit for a dog” letter (6/29/17) with sympathy for dogs—if a bit less for their owners— but that sympathy faded as I read the first paragraph, and vanished in the second. I myself cannot bring a dog into our community because in my own eyes I cannot pass The Responsible Dog Owner’s Pledge: 1. Curb my dog — as required by our laws, 2. Always have the dog on leash — as required by law, 3. Obey the size limit regulations — as required by PCVST. (I had a boxer, and would not have wanted him (Bandit) living so constrained a life as I feel is rightfully required by mass-apartment living.)
Bobbie Martowicz’s letter may be good for the troops, but it really bangs the devil out the facts. The result is a public piece of utter self-indulgence. Martowicz omits failure to curb: 1. fecal matter left (by owners), 2. urination on grass, walkways, trees, plants (allowed by owners), and dog size regulations, (ignored by owners and management). Then there is the matter of who walks whom as the dogs leads the way and pedestrians give way.
Not everyone should have a shot
I read your editorial of Thursday, June 15, 2017. Given its headline, “Outdated rule makes running for office even more difficult,” I thought I’d be reading about the State Supreme Court Nominating Convention, which one former district leader described as byzantine.
Instead, I read about a so-called “archaic” rule that candidates “are at risk of being booted off the ballot” for duplicate signatures. Well, after slipping through a gauntlet of Vanessa T. Aronson’s petitioners to enter the Stuyvesant Town gates at 18th Street and First Avenue, I ran into my upstairs neighbor who offered me a big handshake. We started talking and soon he was yelling at the petitioners.
I said, “Dude, what’s up? They’re entitled to try to get signatures.”
He wanted no part of it and I had to hold him back from going after the two of them.
I said, “What did they say? Did they demean you, or your family?”
I would have gone over to the petitioners and tried to mop it up had he given me some grist. Instead, he then turned on me while the petitioners yelled, “Go Democrats!”
It’s a playground, not a bark park
I honestly do not mind people in Stuyvesant Town owning dogs. For the most part, so far, our walks and playgrounds are still fairly clean. I don’t even mind neighbors’ dogs barking every time I enter and leave my apartment. I acknowledge this is a shared building, and not a private home.
What I do mind is this preposterous idea of a Saturday morning dog “get together” in playground 6. I could not believe my ears June third when sitting in my living room reading the New York Times, there were at least twenty dogs all barking at each other. This continued from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. It was excessively noisy and extremely annoying that on Saturday, when most people and I have off from work, we were accosted by incessant dog barking for three hours.
I would like to know who thought up this crazy, offensive (to non-dog owners) idea. The owners thought this was great fun– 20 barking dogs for three hours. Do they not hear how loud this is? Obviously they put dog rights above human quality of life.
I hope there is not a next time for all of us whose apartments face Playground 6.
Until this practice is stopped, I have prepared myself with Advil and earplugs. I was thinking about standing outside a dog owner’s apartment and barking for three hours straight when he was trying to relax and his dog was no longer barking, but my husband reminded me that Bellevue was right up the block.
Marianne Emanuel, ST
Lawns for people, not pooches
To the Editor:
The newly hired management people have made one of their first decisions to eliminate many of the lawn covered green spaces in the back of our buildings and turn them into “dog friendly spaces.” These are now effectively noisy dog runs and puts dogs before tenants. Not a good start.
Formerly, these lawns were used by young children to crawl and play around – sometimes tenants would read, relax or sun bathe on them. These, along with benches, playgrounds and the Oval, were much needed islands of tranquility amid the city and helped make Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village the oasis it was once known for (see the lovely 70th Anniversary Exhibit on the Oval).
In turning these lawns into fly infested dog toilets, we now witness employees having to clean up after those dog owners who are not so thoughtful – a real waste of their time and energy. These lawns will soon turn into brown and dead places as the small “dog friendly” areas set up previously have become. They will also match the lovely stained carpets that greet guests as they step out of elevators on many floors of our buildings. This is getting out of hand. The next logical step is to turn Stuyvesant Oval into a large dog run with all that space and those trees.
A suggestion. Why not put up signs reading “Curb Your Dog,” which, by the way, is the law in New York City. Dog owners could allow their dogs to relieve themselves in handy nearby gutters which are supposed to be cleaned and disinfected by Sanitation vehicles at least once a week. Owners would still need to clean up after their dogs. No poop and flies on the green spaces or sidewalks. No noisy dog runs. More sanitary conditions in ST/PCV. In short, put tenant needs before dog needs.
Name withheld, ST
Diane Patrone, Cha Cha, Fanny, and Jordan Gunter
By Maya Rader
The dog days are officially upon us. On Saturday morning, Stuyvesant Town held its first Dog Days event of the season. Residents brought their pups to Playground 1 to play and socialize with other dogs while stands were set up manned by local pet-related businesses. The event was also attended by an adorable pot-bellied pig that arrived in a stroller. The pig is currently being housed at Whole Health Veterinary Hospital on First Avenue.
The event also included an obstacle course with toys laid out across the playground, including seesaws, tunnels and bars for Fido to practice jumping over.
Photos by Maya Rader
Dog owners Liza Grier (left) and Siddharth Dube spoke about their experiences of dog-on-dog violence at a Stuyvesant town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association meeting on Saturday. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
By Sabina Mollot
In July, Town & Village reported on a Stuyvesant Town pooch who was badly injured after getting mauled by another dog in the complex. Though the 13-year-old Portuguese water dog named Lorca has since recovered from the dog bite, his owner Siddharth Dube has sued the owners of the other dog.
According to the suit, he’s hoping to recover $7,500 in vet bills as well as $2,600 income he lost out on while caring for Lorca and other related expenses.
It was on June 27 when Dube said Lorca was bitten by the other dog, on his upper left leg, the wound later requiring surgery. He had been walking Lorca near the Oval when a woman passed by him with her own dog and a baby in a carriage. Dube was talking on his phone until he turned around after hearing Lorca howl in pain. Both owners tried to reel in their dogs on their leashes, but weren’t successful in getting the other dog’s jaws off Lorca until Dube kicked him off, he previously told T&V.
The suit also notes that he had to forcibly remove the dog, which he described as a brown puggle. Dube quickly took his own pet home, where Lorca appeared to be shaken but otherwise okay. However, Dube later found him looking lifeless in the living room and called the vet who advised Dube to bring in Lorca immediately for surgery.
Stuyvesant Town General Manager Rick Hayduk speaks at a meeting alongside State Senator Brad Hoylman, Council Member Dan Garodnick. ST-PCV Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg and Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
By Sabina Mollot
Safety and quality of life issues for Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village residents were addressed on Saturday at a Tenants Association meeting, from the upcoming “L-pocalypse” to speeding cyclists who terrorize local seniors.
As for the latter issue, Rick Hayduk, Stuyvesant Town’s general manager, told residents that soon new signs would be placed around the complex’s entrances warning cyclists to slow down and keep their lights on after dark.
In other complex news, management is also lightening the workloads of porters who will soon only be focused on two buildings each instead of three. Hayduck said tenants could expect to see the impacts of this in 60-90 days, since first management had to hire a few more part-time porters.
Hayduk also discussed a few other initiatives, like bulletin boards soon to come to in lobbies to provide property alerts and the “good neighbors” campaign, which he said has already had an effect on some people’s habits of slamming doors and smoking near buildings.
Siddharth Dube and Lorca in Stuyvesant Town earlier this week (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
By Sabina Mollot
Just two weeks ago, Siddharth Dube didn’t know if his dog was going to survive the surgery he needed after being bitten by another dog. Dube’s dog, a Portuguese water dog, was nearly 14 years old and already had spinal problems, like inflamed discs, prior to being bitten on his upper leg, close to his back as he was being walked in Stuyvesant Town. But after the surgery and six days of recovery at the vet’s office, Dube was told his pet, Lorca, was stable, and could be taken home.
Fortunately, Lorca’s once again able to walk, and this week Dube told Town & Village he is hoping not just for the other dog owner to pay the vet bill, which totaled $6,500, but for Stuy Town management to start some sort of public database of dog bites. The database, he said, could include information like the breed of any dog that bites another.
According to Dube, he’d been walking Lorca on the morning of Monday, June 27 past 19/21 Stuyvesant Oval, when the dog stopped to relieve itself. At the same time another dog owner walked by, a young blonde woman who also had her baby with her in a carriage. “I smiled at her, she smiled at me,” Dube recalled. He was on the phone at the time but quickly turned around when he heard Lorca cry out in pain behind him. “He screamed in agony; it was the worst sound I ever heard,” said Dube.
The addition of more mulched areas as well as fences in ST/PCV is aimed at protecting the grass from dog waste. This is part of an ongoing landscape renovation. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
By Sabina Mollot
It’s springtime following a particularly rough winter that managed to be both unseasonably warm as well as frigid, and in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village that means just one thing: time for a landscape renovation.
Chuck Hartsell, the property’s director of horticulture and landscape, said this year’s damage wasn’t as extreme as in some recent years due to some precautionary work and current projects include adding 21 shade trees and protecting plants from dogs as well as making the grounds more dog friendly.
To accomplish the pooch-related goals, Hartsell said there’s been fencing and removal of fencing on a rotational basis on grass areas. This was done, he explained as “an experiment” with the grounds crew later noticing that a fenced-in area was kept pristine while an open area was completely laid to waste thanks to, well, dog waste.
Cutting ST bus stop would harm seniors
Re: “Stuy Town M23 bus stops may be consolidated,” T&V, Apr. 14
The following is an open letter to Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg regarding the possible/closure elimination of the mid-block East 20th Street Crosstown 23.
I write to inquire the reason for/logic of the proposed consolidation of this bus stop. As well, I write to bring to your attention some other information which should be in the file, whilst the matter is being reviewed. Information perhaps not known to the expert sitting at a desk in an office devising a plan.
I live in Stuyvesant Town, just across the street (south) from the bus stop. As you know, 20th Street is very wide. There is ample room for other vehicles to pass a stopped bus. That is if the operator follows the rules and pulls into the curb. This rule is frequently not observed by drivers.
This is a very busy stop, serving diverse populations. I see the young with their hockey sticks and golf clubs en route to Chelsea Piers. I see parents with toddlers. I see seniors with their walkers — as many as three! They ride the bus over to Second to the grocery or Epiphany Church or the next stop to the Epiphany Branch Library and the Stein Senior Center. They could make it to the stops on Avenue C or First Avenue. To eliminate the mid-block stop would seriously circumscribe the possibilities for seniors. If not eliminate them entirely. Have you seen the New York Times science section this week on this very subject?
I am 80 years old and quite limber. I walked from the stop on Avenue C to the mid-block stop and then on to the First Avenue one. My stride I would estimate at 2.5 feet. Here are the number of strides; I’ll let your staff do the math. From Avenue C to the mid-block stop is 500 strides. From mid-block to First Avenue it is 200 strides plus 10.
I look forward to your reply. Or, if you prefer, I could come to your office to discuss the matter at hand.
Catha Grace Rambusch, ST
Fido got to frolic freely on Saturday and additional “dog days” are planned at Stuyvesant Town’s Playground 1 in response to requests for a dog run as well as the requests to keep the complex-dog park-free. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)
By Sabina Mollot
After months of being deluged with requests for a dog run from countless dog owners in Stuyvesant Town — as well as equally passionate NIMBY pleas from other residents — management has debuted an experimental dog run at Playground 1.
The trial dog run program, dubbed “Dog Days,” was introduced at an event for dogs and their owners at the aforementioned playground near First Avenue on Saturday.
The trial dog run will be open for three more Saturdays, 90 minutes each time, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
While at Saturday’s event, Rick Hayduk, the general manager of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, explained that due to the controversial nature of the oft-spoken about dog run, a pilot program seemed necessary.
“Let me just say I lobbied all the stakeholders and no one had any objection to a trial,” he said. “A lot of the dog run conversation is hypothetical. It’s going to be loud, it’s going to be this.”
But Blackstone’s new management company, StuyTown Property Services, has come up with a plan that will hopefully keep the dog run from becoming a nuisance.
We help seniors avoid abusive grifters
To the Editor of Town & Village,
Sadly, the terrible roommate experience encountered by Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village resident “Neal,” described in your March 31, 2016, article “When your roommate’s an abusive grifter” is all too common in NYC. Thankfully, it need not be.
New York Foundation for Senior Citizens’ Home Sharing Program, the only service of its type in New York City, provides free comprehensive screening and matching services for individuals seeking shared living arrangements that can help potential roommates avoid the type of dreadful experience encountered by “Neal.”
The program’s team of experienced professional licensed social workers link potential “hosts” who have extra private spaces in their homes to share with compatible “guests” seeking suitable housing. At least one of the share-mates in each match must be age 60 or older. For more information on how New York Foundation for Senior Citizens’ Home Sharing Program can help promote companionship and enhance financial wellbeing by matching you or someone you know with a professionally screened and compatible roommate, call (212) 962-7559 or visit nyfsc.org today.
President, New York Foundation for Senior Citizens