Letters to the editor, May 1

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Please, kind landscaper, spare these tree branches

To the Editor:

Once upon a time, not long ago, at the M level of 271 Avenue C, there were some three dozen thriving stem rose plants and maybe some four or five dozen gorgeous yellow day-flowering plants. That was, as I wrote, once upon a time — before someone, with authority, of course, ordered that they all be ripped up and replaced with what I can only describe as junk grass clumps — that as of today, April 24, show no sign of life. Hence, what we have now is a rather sickly looking gray patch where for years we had spring beauty.

Further congratulations should be handed out to the contracted scientific-tree-care company, which seems to be just fulfilling the terms of its contract by pruning beautiful live branches with lots of nice green leaves. They were stark white at both ends — no browning, no rotting, no holes, just clear clean wood.

This gets done right out in the open with neither oversight from management nor objection from security.  No “what the %&#@$% are you guys doing destroying perfectly good limbs!”

When I asked an officer about that practice, I was told, “They are experts.” Ok, so the officer was just doing his employer’s assigned work. Got it! And the folks sitting in the sun basking? Well, they were just basking. Got that too!

Just irrational me photographing and barking and utterly ignored.

John M. Giannone, ST

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Letters to the Editor, June 13

Tell Governor Cuomo: No fracking in NY

Hydraulic fracturing is a process that forces millions of gallons of fresh water, sand, and toxic chemicals, under high pressure, into shale rock to release natural gas.

Recently, Wendy Byrne, Kathy Reynolds, Anne Lazarus and I, all Stuyvesant Town residents, distributed information about fracking and gathered signatures on a petition to Governor Cuomo to ban the process in New York State.

If the present moratorium is removed, our water, land and air can become polluted as has happened in other states where fracking is used. Documentaries like “Gasland,” “Gasland II,” “Split Estate” and others reveal what the oil and gas industry has tried to cover up by refusing to name the chemicals in the toxic mix that Halliburton and others got exempt from the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts in 2005. Once the chemicals such as benzene get into the water, no filtering mechanism can get them out. The industry claims that if done correctly there is no danger of leaking chemicals or explosions. We know that accidents happen and with budget crunches there are not enough inspectors in New York State to monitor the drilling operations.

The bottom line is that natural gas (methane) is a fossil fuel affecting climate changes that trigger storms like Hurricane Sandy. Scientists and the United Nations Environment Program are urging us to develop renewable energy from the sun, wind, tidal water and geothermal sources and train people for these green jobs.

We should not leave our children and grandchildren a polluted planet but make every effort to restore the natural world and save it from those who seek its resources to enrich themselves.

Please consider joining us in Albany on Monday, June 17, where a demonstration will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on the mall. Register for the bus from New York City here. Round trip tickets are $25 and available on line. Some full financial subsidies are available. Bus leaves at 8 a.m. from 460 8th Avenue (34th St. and 8th Avenue) and returns to New York City by 6 p.m.

Joy Garland, ST

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Letters to the Editor, Feb. 28

Moms aren’t the only fans of ice rink

Re: “Stuy Town moms hope to see return of ice rink,” T&V, Feb. 21
It’s not only “moms” that would like to see the ice skating rink back next year. I am a single tenant, childless and no longer able to ice-skate myself due to MVA injuries sustained last decade. (I loaned my skates to neighbors that can.)
I received many hours of joy just watching the skaters, that represented four generations, and remembering my younger days on the ice (once a lake froze, in my day, it stayed frozen for months). It was wonderful to watch skaters, be they not-quite-three or pushing 93, improve week after week. I spotted some Olympic hopefuls (figure and speed categories) out there!
Margaret Anne “Peg” Donohue

No misadventures in maintenance here

Re: “They plumb forgot my sink repairs,” Letter, T&V, Feb. 21
Greetings! I am a tenant at Stuy Town for over a decade and not once did I have trouble with the maintenance department. Let alone a horror story as described by Name Withheld of PCV about plumbers that came and went with unfinished business.
I feel sorry for the tenant’s trouble, but I also would like to take the opportunity and thank the team at the maintenance department for always trying to help and accommodate us quick as possible. It worked for us.
R. Condon, ST

What fracking means for New York State

To the Editor,
Sadly, in regards to fracking, it seems like Governor Cuomo is becoming as dishonest as the gas industry. In pushing to open New York to fracking, a process we know will endanger our health and pollute our environment, the Governor appears to be sacrificing our health and safety for gas company profits.
Ample evidence shows that fracking has contaminated drinking water and polluted the environment. In Pennsylvania, we’ve seen families who – before fracking came to town – had enjoyed clean water for decades. Now that drilling has invaded their communities, their water is no longer safe to drink, cook with or shower in. The gas industry is trying to cover up these problems, and they continue to deny the damage fracking has done. It’s clear that they have been, and will continue to be, dishonest.
Now, Governor Cuomo appears to be doing the same. The Governor proposed rules for fracking before the state has even finished studying its impacts to public health and our environment. How could we possibly know what rules are needed before we know the damage fracking will do?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Governor Cuomo cares. It looks like he’s in such a hurry to rubber stamp fracking that he’s cheating his own process.
Fracking in New York could mean more than just the contamination of our drinking water. It would also mean the destruction of thousands of acres of family farms and forests. Some of our most beautiful rural and natural landscapes will be leveled as gas companies reap the benefits. Governor Cuomo – do the right thing. Ban fracking in New York.
Alexandra Tsubota
Intern with Environment New York

Letters to the Editor, Jan. 31

Pols to CW: Don’t raise rents mid-lease

The following is an open letter to Andrew MacArthur, vice-president, CWCapital Asset Management.

Dear Mr. MacArthur:

We write to you today in reference to the Roberts v. Tishman Speyer case settlement. It is our understanding that under the terms of the settlement, if approved, CWCapital may claim they have the right to impose rent increases on certain tenants in the middle of their lease term.

We are deeply skeptical of the legality of such a right, if exercised, and urge you not to try to take advantage of it.

Please know that we are aware of many representations – some oral, some documented – made by leasing agents who promised residents that they should not worry about mid-lease increases because the landlord would not choose to impose such an increase.

Legal fine-print should not be used to impose significant rent increases on unsuspecting tenants in the middle of their leases. Regardless of the terms of the written leases, representations were broadly being made to residents to induce them into signing their leases, and those commitments should be honored.

Raising rents mid lease-term would create enormous instability in the community that has had far too much instability already. Residents have an expectation that their lease is their lease and will not be changed until its term is up. Any aberration creates upheaval and uncertainty, and has the potential to create sudden vacancies, rapid turnover, and all of the negative implications on quality of life that such quick changes tend to have.

Indeed, Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper have long been known in New York City as a place for people to develop roots over the long term, and we certainly hope you will not depart from that.

Accordingly, we ask that you commit now, in advance of the Roberts settlement being finalized, to not raising the rent of any unit mid-lease term. This will go a long way to calm residents’ nerves and to assure their elected representatives that CW Capital is considering the human impact of its decisions.

The tenants of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village have had to deal with a great deal of turmoil since the property was sold by MetLife to Tishman Speyer and the bondholders you represent. Now, as the Roberts case appears to be coming to a close, they deserve to have some peace of mind about what the future will hold.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Council Member
Daniel R. Garodnick
Senator Charles
E. Schumer
Congresswoman
Carolyn B. Maloney
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn
New York Public
Advocate Bill de Blasio
Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer
State Senator
Brad Hoylman
Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh

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Letters to the Editor, Aug. 23

Time for the many to show they give a frack

To the Editor and Neighbors,
Our Governor Andrew Cuomo, according to various news reports, is expected to allow the gas companies to soon begin “fracking” in New York’s southern tier. Many more citizens of New York, through films like Josh Fox’s “Gasland,” have learned that when Halliburton and the other gas companies were successful in exempting this new technology from the Clean Water and Clean Air Act in 2005, the unnamed toxic chemicals mixed with sand, and millions of gallons of drinking water used to extract the gas was poisoning the people and animals that drank it.
Many scientists believe, through examining present conditions and the history of climate change, that we are now in danger of reaching a climate “tipping point” from which there is no going back, not only for our generation, but for generations to come.
As a non-governmental representative for an international women’s organization, I am working with other NGOs to urge the governments of the world to put into place policies for “sustainable development.” I think that by now, Republicans, Democrats and Independent voters realize that our political and economic system has been taken over by national and multi-national corporations who wield their influence for the few at the expense of the many. We are witnessing in our time the mindless destruction of the environment and extinction of species. Population is booming and earth’s resources of clean water are at crisis stage. What can we do as citizens who love our country and refuse to let it continue on its way of enriching the 1% in the short term and ignoring the needs of the poor and middle classes that include the elderly, children, the ill, and the disenfranchised?
What is needed is for local citizens like us to speak out, not only with our voices, but also with our actions. We need to tell Governor Cuomo right now that we don’t want to jeopardize the water for 9 million New Yorkers even though some landowners will lose out. We need to work for renewable energy in New York State and to train out-of-work men and women and struggling farmers in jobs that are needed and have a future.  It is up to our generation to pass on to our children and future generations a world where human needs are met without bankrupting the planet.  It’s a David and Goliath challenge right here in New York State.  I believe that New Yorkers are up to meeting the challenge.  If you agree, please call the governor at (518) 474-8390 and ask him to ban fracking in our state.  No names are asked for, only your zip code.  Go to Google and type in “fracking” to learn more about it and what groups are doing that you might want to participate in and support.  It’s helpful to remember the wisdom of Margaret Mead when she said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Joy Garland, ST

Little League investigation off pitch

Your August 16 article “Little League to be investigated” clearly indicates how ridiculous grown men can become.
For instance, a Riverdale press reporter “interviewed a few Kingsbridge players.”
Because of this “F.B.I.-type interrogation,” without legal written proof, Kingsbridge president Chris Navarro is charged with having “ringers” by the president of the Downtown Little League Bill Martino, who “was unaware of that rule” about “extra practice time for his players.”
Unaware, Martino apparently organized tournament activities before June 16, which is not allowed.
This investigation ain’t going nowhere.
When I was involved in Stuy Town Little League, the minor leagues, below 12 years old, pitched from 40 feet to home plate. Guess what? The pitching distance was 43 feet. The layout was in error. I demanded that this be corrected. And the Stuy Town Little League president at the time stated, “three extra feet is no big deal.”
I wrote a certified letter to the president of the Little League and, lo and behold, heads rolled!
Nolan Ryan would have gone bonkers if he had to pitch from 63 feet, 6 inches instead of 60 feet, 6 inches.
Louis Buffalano, ST

 

Letters to the Editor, June 14

Quality of life issues need to be addressed

The following is an open letter from the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association to Sean Sullivan, the new general manager of the complex.

Dear Mr. Sullivan:
We are writing to welcome you to our community as the new General Manager of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.

For over 40 years, the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association has been the voice of tenants in this neighborhood and we look forward to working with you.

We appreciate Rose Associates’ expressed desire to collaborate with the Tenants Association to resolve a variety of community issues, but unfortunately there are still many outstanding quality of life concerns that residents continue to feel are not being taken seriously enough by management.

The biggest and most serious issue is Rose Associates and CWCapital’s policy of actively marketing the community as a place to “live and live it up,” as well as corresponding practices such as the installation of pressurized walls to increase occupancy in units.

These practices have had negative residual effects on the quality of life and maintenance and upkeep throughout our community. An ever-increasing and  rapidly revolving tenant population strains resources and creates the need for increased and improved maintenance, greater responsiveness from Public Safety, and better enforcement of existing rules to protect tenants’ quality of life.

Beyond that broader policy question, a recent survey conducted by the TA on building maintenance and upkeep provides evidence that there are a number of basic issues that need your urgent attention.
They include:

• Increased deterioration in cleanliness of recycling rooms after 6 p.m. and on weekends
• Delayed and ineffective responses to noise complaints, including a lack of enforcement of the 80 percent carpet rule
• Poorly maintained laundry rooms and substandard washers and dryers
• Lengthy delays and unacceptable wait times to attend to maintenance requests
• Inability for residents to enjoy open spaces due to ineffective enforcement of rules on the Oval and lawns, including restricting dogs to designated areas and providing fencing to stop people from creating dirt  pathways across the lawns.

As a next step, we would like to meet with you to further discuss these issues and how best to resolve tthem. We also would like to invite you to a town hall meeting to hear directly from residents.

We were pleased to see in your introductory statement that you are “honored to join the effort to make PCVST a place thiscommunity is happy to call home.”

We welcome you to that effort, and look forward to working with you to ensure that ST-PCV is maintained and managed in such a way that tenants can feel good about.

Sincerely,

Al Doyle,
President, ST-PCV Tenants Association

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