Letters to the Editor, Aug. 25

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

T&V letter could give sick people ideas

Dear Ms. Mollot,

In response to your July 21 issue letter to the editor regarding squirrels (“Bushy tailed beasts have taken over” by William Kelly), and with all due respect to freedom of speech, I can’t believe you printed this letter. I’m hoping he had nothing better to do and was just kidding, although it wasn’t such a funny letter if so.

To put such vicious actions into the minds of our children — and yes even adults — living in and enjoying our beautiful oasis is insane.

First of all there are strict rules on the books in New York City regarding animal cruelty — with serious fines and jail consequences.

But, additionally, can you visualize children, teens and adults walking around with bats and killing these living creatures on our property?

I’m sending a copy of Mr. Kelly’s letter to: the mayor, the ASPCA, Bideawee and the Humane Society of the USA in Washington, DC. I am sure that the 13th Precinct is already aware of this. In short, Mr. Kelly needs to be watched very carefully and taken very seriously!

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Opinion: Winning at any cost

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

There are things said in the heat of a political campaign battle that you shrug off. There are other things which are said that can be taken as hyperbole. But Donald Trump twice crossed a line last week that is both dangerous and distorted and entirely unprecedented in modern American political campaigns.

First Trump claimed (incorrectly) that Hillary Clinton wishes to abolish the Second Amendment which provides protection for gun ownership. He then went on to say that if Clinton is elected president and appointed justices to the Supreme Court who concur in her point of view, the Second Amendment would be done away with “and there will be nothing that you can do about that, but maybe the Second Amendment people can… I dunno.”

This “joke” about people who possess weapons “doing something about it” can surely be interpreted and processed by sick minds as a call to take action against Hillary Clinton to preserve the Second Amendment and their guns. The Trump people say that their candidate was only talking about voting. But the candidate did not actually say that but rather implied something much differently. Responsible and mature people don’t even joke about things like that. We have witnessed too many mentally disturbed people taking cues to commit violence and we have seen too many American politicians slain in our own lifetimes to be so cavalier about that. Oh and by the way, a president cannot repeal the Second Amendment. That can only happen with a 2/3 majority vote in both houses, the House of Representatives and the Senate, and then the approval by at least three quarters of the individual states. But details, details, details.

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The Soapbox: It’s (third) party time!

By Kenneth Chanko

I was in Philadelphia last week with my recently-of-voting-age son for the Democratic National Convention. During our march in support of progressive causes, we spotted more than one person wearing a T-shirt with the traditional donkey and elephant logos of our two major political parties emblazoned on it. The line above those logos read:

“Please Don’t Feed The Animals.”

For this presidential general election cycle, I will be following those instructions.

I was a champion of Bernie Sanders and his grassroots-fueled progressive candidacy. But since he won’t be on the ballot in November, for the first time since I came of voting age in 1976, I will be voting for a third party candidate for president.

I don’t think I will be alone.

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Leaked emails haven’t killed Clinton buzz at convention, Maloney says

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, pictured in Stuyvesant Town in June Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, pictured in Stuyvesant Town in June (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On the chaos that erupted over the weekend prior to the Democratic National Convention over hacked emails that showed Hillary Clinton had been the party’s favored candidate, infuriating supporters of Bernie Sanders, a local delegate attempted to dismiss all that on Tuesday to T&V as “yesterday’s news.”

That delegate was Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, a staunch Clinton supporter who’s served as a surrogate during the campaign, and who, on Tuesday, had hoped the media would pay more attention to a food fight she’d organized at the DNC. It pinned Philly cheese steaks vs. New York cheese cakes as well as a few other delicacies claimed by each city as its own.

However, naturally, voters have been more focused on the ouster of the DNC’s chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz as a result of the hacked emails that were made public and the potential results of yet another e-mail-gate on Clinton’s attempt to become president.

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Letters to the Editor, June 30

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Bernie’s still pretending to be a candidate

Dear Sir,

Mr. John Giannone in his letter appearing in the June 16 issue of T&V (“In defense of Bernie’s attacks on Hillary”) goes after Steven Sanders for his piece questioning the motives of Bernie Sanders to remain a candidate for the Democratic Party after Hillary Clinton became the indisputable presumptive nominee and defends Bernie’s attacks on Hillary (“Helter Skelter Bernie,” T&V, May 25).

We could agree that Steven Sanders might have been somewhat hyperbolic in his allegations about Senator Sanders’s motives. However, Bernie Sanders’s insistence on continuing to pretend that he is still a candidate and the inconsistencies and even hypocrisy in some of his demands, lend credence to suspicions of some ulterior motive.

Hillary Clinton won the nomination fair and square with 4 million more votes and 2.218 pledged delegates in 34 contests, to Sanders’s 1,833 super delegates and win in 23 contests. Sanders, who started by exciting many progressive democrats, myself included, who welcomed his candidacy and even sent him money feeling that he was moving the Democratic Party in the correct direction, effectively lost me and many others when he was asked “How?” All he has done is offering non-stop his line about the “revolution” and descriptions about what needs to change in this country, without one iota of an actual plan about how he is going to achieve anything. For me and the 15,805,135 voters who voted for Hillary Clinton, that was not enough. We were looking for a presidential candidate, not for a revolutionary-in-chief.

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Letters to the Editor, June 23

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Still feeling the Bern, not trusting the Hill

To the Editor:

After asking rhetorically if the progressive presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders is adopting the helter skelter strategy of the “warped revolution” of the murderous Manson cult family in 1969, Steven Sanders (no relation and no friend) writes that this veteran senator who has years and years of experience in the Senate actually believes that he can accomplish his populist program “immediately.”

What the senator meant was that a revolution of new voters could result in the Democrats taking control of the House and the Senate making it possible for his programs to be made into law swiftly. Steven Sanders also makes the “analysis” which he admits is “a bit outlandish,” that Senator Sanders hopes that Donald Trump will become the next President. Really? The Senator has repeatedly said that “Trump is a pathological liar…a danger to the entire world” who must never be elected. I believe that the senator means what he says; unlike his opponents, his whole campaign, indeed his whole career, has been forthright. He is the only candidate who has earned my trust.

Unlike his opponents, the senator has not flip-flopped on any of his principles or public policy issues. He has not let the polls dictate his campaign platform. In fact, he’s been saying the same thing over and over since he began his campaign and because of this single-minded purpose and his honesty, he rose from a low of 3 percent in the polls last year to within striking distance of the nomination now. And this despite millions of independent voters not being allowed to exercise their right to vote; despite the DNC chairwoman’s biased debate schedule (Clinton won’t debate him anymore); despite the handicap of President Clinton campaigning for Hillary which, according to President Obama, is like running against two candidates; and despite the elite superdelegate politicians influencing the voting process by manipulating the media to report over and over that Hillary is far ahead of Bernie in the delegate count even though 541 superdelegates could change their votes at any time.  

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Letters to the Editor, June 16

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

In defense of Bernie’s attacks on Hillary

To the Editor:

Helter Skelter Bernie Indeed! Reading Steven Sanders’ “Helter Skelter Bernie” (T&V, May 25) was absolutely galling.

Mr. Sanders posed a number of hypotheses concerning the senator’s motivation for contesting the former first lady, nominee contender, secretary of state, and nominee contender (again) at this late date in the nomination fight. Of course none of Mr. Sanders’ musings are really hypotheses. I mean, how the devil does one go about demonstrating that Bernie Sanders continues to battle Mrs. Clinton because he wants The Donald as president because that, according to Mr. Steven Sanders, is what Senator Sanders believes will bring about so much hurt as to cause the very revolution that he, the senator, now wants but cannot secure with his own talents?

Nowhere in his voyage of fantasy does Mr. Sanders entertain the notion that Senator Sanders, though well-behind Mrs. Clinton, is in the race because of ethical differences between the two. So let’s bring out one difference that has been there all along. It is one that Mr. Trump is right about and will likely use; quote, “They lied!”

Indeed, they did, and they still do. They lied when they claimed that “Iraq has weapons of mass destruction!” Mrs. Clinton now tells the rest of us, “If I knew then what I know now, I would not have voted to invade Iraq.” She was, I gather, just a bit short on information.

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Residents come out for Clinton

Apr21 Hillary at Mikey Likes It

A week after her husband visited the community, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton got the real scoop of local flavor at Mikey Likes It, an ice cream shop owned by Stuyvesant Town resident Mikey Cole (pictured at left) on Avenue A. The visit may have paid off as Clinton did well with locals at the polls on Tuesday. (Photo by Tajanay Brown)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

On Tuesday, democratic voters in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village overwhelmingly chose Hillary Clinton, with the former Secretary of State getting 63 percent of the vote in the community compared to Bernie Sanders’ 39 percent.

Election data from the New York Times reported similar citywide results, which had Clinton with 63 percent of the vote and Sanders with 37 percent.

Meanwhile, though the numbers showed a wide margin for Clinton, voters who spoke with T&V on Primary Day seemed less definitive about their decisions.

One Stuyvesant Town resident and poll worker said that it almost came down to “eeny, meeny, miny, mo” for her in terms of picking the best Democratic candidate but the recent debate forced her to look more specifically at some issues, which swayed her towards Clinton.

“She’s kind of a hawk, which is a big problem for me, but she’s been fighting the good fight for a long time,” said the resident, who did not want to be named. She said that she was convinced by articles written by former Sanders supporters on why they were no longer voting for him, in particular a piece from social activist Tom Hayden, found when she did more extensive research following the debate.

“I probably would have decided by flipping a coin, which I don’t like to do, but the Brooklyn debate solidified it for me,” she added. “I’ve been a Bernie fan from the beginning. Both he and (Massachusetts Senator) Liz Warren are great, but (Clinton) has been around these people for years, working in Washington for decades. She knows how to do this.”

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Letters to the Editor, Apr. 21

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

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.

Sincerely,

Linda Hoffman
President, New York Foundation for Senior Citizens

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The Soapbox: Making sense of the presidential campaign

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Some translations on candidates’ big talk

By Bradford J. Gonzalez-Sussman

Why I am not feeling the Bern or the fallacy of the shoot-from-the-hip-candidate.

Many otherwise sensible people now enamored with Trump and Sanders have the idea their candidates “say what they think!” about fat cats on Wall Street and in Washington, Mexicans or Muslims or whoever the enemy de jour is.

I have two problems with this mythical “rebel” candidate concept. Are they speaking their truth without concern for consequences; and, do I want to share a tent with extremists who seem to be attracted to the shoot-from-the-hip image these candidates are cultivating?

Firstly; do populist politicians pander? Is the Don’s claim to be an anti-abortion bible scholar believable? When Bernie Sanders argues against gun manufacturer liability, is this a principled stand or an appeal to special interests in his state? These candidates analyze their audience, but because their core supporters are not mainstream their rhetoric may sound fresh. When Trump’s advisers say, “Let Trump be Trump,” that advice itself is the result of polling.

So, with advisers and polling aplenty, “outsiders” carefully craft their messages to have a Rorschach-like appeal to the disenfranchised and extremists in our country. This approach, like the Tea Party, has somewhat successfully herded cats in appealing to disparate groups of disaffected voters.

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Opinion: Worst kept secret

By Former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

Barring some weird and unforeseen event (which this year is not out of the question!), Hillary Clinton is headed for the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States.

However, there is one prominent Democratic Party Governor who while publicly supporting Mrs. Clinton is privately rooting for her to lose. That would be our very own Andrew Cuomo. Mr. Cuomo is a man of considerable political skill and unlimited ambition. Now at age 57 he knows better than most that the election of a Democrat as President in 2016 would virtually dash any hopes that he has to run for President before 2024 and by then he will be eligible for Medicare and it is likely that his political star will have eclipsed.

In many respects, the younger Cuomo has more political drive than his iconic father Mario… but not nearly as much of his dad’s authenticity, charm or eloquence. Andrew relies on calculation and raw political maneuvering to propel his reputation and prospects. And with a political season this year that has had more twists and turns than a James Patterson novel, Andrew Cuomo is trying to figure out how to stay ahead of the political winds of change. He wants desperately to run for President and just as desperately wants out of the mire of Albany politics. So he is angling in every way possible to remain relevant in national politics.

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Dem clubs host presidential candidate forum

Reps for Sanders, Clinton and O’Malley face off on drugs, guns and financial reform 

Assembly Member Keith Wright represented Hillary Clinton, Adam Stolz represented Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and Sean Patrick Murphy represented Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Assembly Member Keith Wright represented Hillary Clinton, Adam Stolz represented Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and Sean Patrick Murphy represented Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Over a dozen local political clubs sponsored a forum for the Democratic Presidential candidates this past Sunday afternoon but rather than appear at the forum personally, all three campaigns for the leading candidates sent representatives on their behalf. The event was held at the SVA Theatre on West 23rd Street.

Adam Stolz represented Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and Sean Patrick Murphy spoke on behalf of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, but former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was represented by New York Democratic Assemblyman Keith Wright instead of a representative of her campaign.

Wright’s lack of familiarity with Clinton’s campaign tripped up the local elected official on a handful of issues during the forum, including on financial reform.

“(Clinton) has a plan to go further than Glass-Steagall,” he said of legislation passed in 1933 that limited commercial bank securities, which was repealed in 1999. “I’m not intimately involved in the campaign but she has a plan to take it further.”

When pressed, Wright could not provide additional information about what he meant by taking Glass-Steagall “further.”

One of the noticeable differences among the candidates was their stance on the death penalty. Both Stolz and Murphy said that their of character for a moment to say that he was “emphatically” against it. Members of the audience clamored for him to instead answer the question as the candidate he was representing, but he said no more on the topic, possibly to deflect the fact that Clinton was the only of the three candidates not opposed.

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Opinion: Theater of the absurd

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

In exactly twelve months the Republican Party will nominate its candidates for president and vice-president. Donald Trump will not be on that ticket. So what is the fascination with him and why is he leading in the early Republican polling?

First of all let’s state the obvious… Donald Trump is not a credible candidate, his personal fortune notwithstanding. He has espoused no serious ideas nor solutions to our nation’s challenges. He is a demagogue and a bully.

No person in American history has been elected President without some political experience in government or high ranking military service. Trump has none. If Donald Trump is the richest person to ever seek the nation’s highest office, he is also the most outlandish. He is a successful and shrewd real estate businessman and media celebrity. And he knows how to attract attention and press coverage.

Up until just a few months ago, aside from his hair-do, he was primarily noted for his hot pursuit of President Obama’s birth certificate. He led the charge of the so called “birthers” who wanted to prove that Barack Obama was not a natural born citizen and consequently not eligible to be President. Even the most rabid Obama haters had to give up that silly effort, but not so Donald Trump.

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David Axelrod, former Obama adviser and Stuy Town native, releases memoir

President Barack Obama (right) with David Axelrod (second to left) and others in the Oval Office (Photo by Pete Souza/ White House)

President Barack Obama (right) with David Axelrod (second to left) and others in the Oval Office (Photo by Pete Souza/ White House)

By Sabina Mollot

David Axelrod, the former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, who’d also helped strategize campaigns for him and a slew of other elected officials, and who worked as an adviser to President Bill Clinton, has recently written a book about his professional experiences. The Stuyvesant Town native, whose introduction to the world of politics began with a historic visit from then-Senator John F. Kennedy to the street where he lived, has called the memoir, Believer: My Forty Years in Politics ($35, Penguin). While in the midst of a multi-state media tour, Axelrod, now the director of the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago, discussed his book, his background and his career with Town & Village.

What was growing up in Stuyvesant Town like for you?

I grew up reading your newspaper. It was a great experience. It was a different kind of community than it is now. It was pretty modest. A lot of World War II veterans and families, and it was really an oasis in the city. We all got together in the playground. I’m still friends with a lot of people I grew up with. Some of them came to my book event in New York and some of them are coming to my event in Boston. Back then there was a real sense of community in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper. The people you grew up with you stuck with from nursery to high school and ultimately through life. I have a great association with Stuyvesant Town and growing up there.

I was just there a week ago to film a piece for CBS about my book. We walked on 20th. My first address was 622 East 20th Street. We talked about the day in 1960 when JFK came and campaigned in Stuyvesant Town. I was noticing the change in the community, all the high end kind of stores and air conditioners in every window, because we didn’t have that back then. It looked like a very upgraded version of what I remember. When we lived at 622, my parents were mostly still married, but they did split up when I was eight. Then my mom and I moved to 15 Stuyvesant Oval. My mother was a writer and worked in advertising and my father was a psychologist. I had an older sister, Joan. At 622, it was a two-bedroom, so Joan and I shared a bedroom with a wooden divider.

As you know, Stuyvesant Town apartments are small, small kitchens, small bathrooms. By today’s standards, the apartments were very modest, but it seemed comfortable to me. My parents got divorced when I was 13 and my mom and I went to live at 15 Stuyvesant Oval. My sister was gone by then. My mom moved in 1948 and moved out in 2006 to an assisted living facility in Massachusetts. She died last year. (Axelrod’s father committed suicide in 1977.)

There was a lot of activity and my group was the Playground 10 group. There were parts of Stuyvesant Town that were predominantly Jewish and parts of Stuyvesant Town that were predominantly Catholic and parts that were predominantly Protestant, and the playgrounds roughly followed those ethnic divisions. Like Playground 9 was where the Catholic kids hung out. There were very few minorities back then.

I went to PS 40 and Junior High School 104 and Stuyvesant High School when it was still on 16th Street. In my day they were excellent public schools. I still have a teacher in my head who played a formative role in my life. It was at PS 40 and her name was Lee Roth. She brought poets to our classroom, well-known poets of the day, like Ogden Nash. In the classroom, she would engage us in discussions on current events. It really enriched my life and I feel a debt of gratitude to all the people like her.

JFK crowd at 1st ave

When JFK came to Stuyvesant Town in 1960, David Axelrod was in attendance. This photo, originally published in Town & Village, also appears in his book.

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Letters to the Editor, Nov. 20

Thankful to a neighbor in Stuyvesant Town

Giving thanks came early last week at Associated thanks to Pat, the lady behind me on line, who insisted on paying my grocery bill when the cashier informed me I had only three cents left in my food stamp account.

It was November 12, my usual day to start receiving food stamps for the month, and I had only a small change purse with me that had nowhere near enough to cover the bill.

What I didn’t know was that the federal government wasn’t working on Veterans Day so all those who usually get their allotment on the 11th had to wait til the next day and those on the 12th still another day. Don’t know how long it takes for everyone to get back on schedule.

This most generous woman lives in Stuyvesant Town but refused to give me her last name so we could eventually pay her back. She’s somewhere in the SW quadrant near Playground 7, maybe 455 or 453 East 14th St. And we can’t thank her enough!

Name withheld, ST

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