Letters to the editor, Oct. 26

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Enough from the squirrels’ PR people

It takes a lot for me to pen a letter on any topic since I have an opinion on almost every subject, but when things get personal, I feel the need to speak out. Of all the topics I now feel the need to speak out about, squirrels were not at the top of my list. When people write letters to the editor describing children attacking wildlife (Ms. Antini), or accuse tenants of spreading false statements of squirrel attacks and rummaging through garbage cans (Mr. Paslayan), or saying that squirrels are not aggressive (Ms. Turchin), I have to counter those arguments. Especially since my son is a friend of that little girl who was scratched (“Squirrel scratches kid in ST,” T&V, Sept. 14) so I can bear witness to this firsthand.

As a lifelong resident of over 50 years in Stuy Town and now raising two very young children here, I am constantly in the playgrounds and because of this I am witness to squirrels not only rummaging through garbage cans (picture included), but also going in and out of people’s strollers seeking and stealing food.

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Letters to the Editor, Dec. 8

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

The invisible thing destroying our health

The problem of evil: Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? It’s a question we often ask. Thankfully, the Bible isn’t quiet on the subject.

I heard in the news that in 2018, the city was going to put in an order that if you lived in city housing that smoking was going to be banned. Why don’t our elected officials and the professional doctors tell the truth? Two days after a cold extreme winter snow day, on top of the ice that was formed we find black soot all over the ice and snow, an issue no one is bringing up. Very fine particles, so small that any of them can form a large black dot. And so many of them we are breathing. Can they form cancer? With our weather, this is the only time that you can see them.

They’re on the buildings, streets, windows, cars, clothing and people. We take it in with us daily, to our homes and families. No amount of washing can save us. It’s in our eyes, ears, hair, lungs and we know we’re breathing it up, daily, every moment. Because we can’t smell it doesn’t mean that we’re not harmed by it. Impurities, organisms, infections accumulated in our body system generates extreme suffering later in life, and the second-hand smokers as they say. The smokers have their problems but to say that second-hand smoke is the source of our cancers and other people’s (non-smokers’) health problems is a lie.

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Feeling the urn: Residents weigh in on smoking areas

Cigarette urns like this one will soon appear throughout Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. (Photo by Chuck Hartsell)

Cigarette urns like this one will soon appear throughout Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. (Photo by Chuck Hartsell)

By Sabina Mollot

Earlier in the month, Blackstone’s new management arm, StuyTown Property Services, announced that designated smoking areas were coming to Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village. As General Manager Rick Hayduk later explained to T&V, 70 urns would be placed around the property to serve as smoking areas and receptacles for cigarette butts. Still, the plan would be more about suggesting a modification in behavior — getting smokers to take their butts (and the ends of their cigarettes) — off of stoops and away from buildings, rather than a clear cut rule about where to light up.

We’ve since reached out to community residents who mostly seemed to support the project, though some complained it didn’t go far enough.

Longtime resident and former smoker Bill Whitney said he thought having the urns around “is a good idea. There are so many dogs and kids around here and they pick things up.”

Elaine Healis, who said she lived in Stuy Town for 30 years, had no problem with smoking areas but suggested that management start off by just placing one or two urns around and seeing if they work before putting in the rest of them. (Hayduk had said previously that the endeavor would be a costly one with Blackstone purchasing 80 urns, each costing $500 including installation.)

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‘Smoking areas’ coming to ST/PCV

Urns like this one will be installed throughout the complex. (Photo by Chuck Hartsell)

Urns like this one will be installed throughout the complex. (Photo by Chuck Hartsell)

By Sabina Mollot

Where there’s smoke there’s ire — and Stuyvesant Town management has gotten that very clear message after poring over countless surveys, reports from focus groups and a steady stream of complaints from tenants from over the past few months.

Specifically, residents have told the new owner they’ve had it with neighbors who smoke outside building entrances, causing the smoke and ash to billow up into their windows. In response, StuyTown Property Services announced last week in a tenant newsletter that it would be introducing “designated smoking areas” to the property.

Additionally, there will be, over the next few weeks, a total of 70 urns for disposing of cigarette butts placed throughout Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.

ST/PCV General Manager Rick Hayduk spoke in more detail about the plan with Town & Village this week, saying the project is part of the ongoing “Good Neighbors” campaign encouraging courteous behavior. Recent newsletters also addressed dog and noise related complaints.

As for the smoking concerns, Hayduk said management hoped the plan would work for nonsmokers and smokers alike since the urns, which will be the designated smoking areas, will be placed about 50 feet away from buildings.

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Letters to the Editor, Mar. 13

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

All this and a price increase

Furthering the “Name Withheld, PCV” letter (“Airing out the dirty laundry room”, T&V, Mar. 6), let me just add to it.

First, it would have been nice if management had left each apartment a notice that our laundry room was available instead of scotch taping a notification in the elevators and on the main floor at the elevators.

Second, it would have also been nice if they had let us know that the prices had gone up ridiculously. I’m sure they got enough money from FEMA and their insurance companies to cover the machines so an increase, I believe, was not necessary. How about the timing of machines, or are you supposed to guess how long it takes to do a wash? It was bad enough when they got the temporary machines and left it to whoever did the wash, to guess how to use them.

Third, the layout is a ludicrous! The folding tables won’t cover anything as a large bath towel or twin sheet, never mind other items one washes such as queen size sheets. The folding table should have been put on the wall just to the left when you get into the washing machine area.

The site is large enough to accommodate a big, long table.

Fourth, what gives with the sink? It’s about the height of a child. What is this for? I won’t go into what it reminds me of.

Lastly, as to the chairs, why would anyone want to sit so far away from the machines that they would have to get up to see if the washer and/or dryer is done — or is that the reason for the TV? And what’s with the two locked doors?

I guess asking the people who use the machines, what makes sense, is beyond management’s reasoning.

Marcia Robinson, PCV

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Three Cheers for CVS

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

Last month on January 23, I wrote on this page that government ought to recognize cigarettes for what they are: an addictive toxin and as such its production and retail sale should be banned. I opined what public health organizations have been saying for years based on decades of study and irrefutable medical and scientific evidence that smoking or inhaling second hand smoke is the greatest health risk threatening Americans. And those astronomical costs to our health care system are ultimately borne by everyone in the form of higher taxes and fees.

In the interim, I have heard back from a number smokers and non-smokers alike. Predictably, many smokers believe that being able to buy a cigarette is part of their liberties, which although unlike guns (as some like to say) is not protected in the Constitution. Others observe that prohibition did not work for alcohol so why repeat the same mistake? Furthermore, growing tobacco and selling it to cigarette manufacturers for retail sale is a huge American industry. All true. But at what cost? Nearly 500,000 Americans die each and every year to smoking related causes. And the expense to our health care system to treat smoking related diseases is a staggering $300 billion annually. Non-smokers care mostly about having to inhale second hand smoke, which studies indicate is almost as deadly as direct smoking over a prolonged period of time.

But smoking is well ingrained in or culture and for sure it is big business. Enter CVS.

Last week, this giant pharmacy chain which makes more money selling tobacco products than penicillin announced that it would stop selling cigarettes in its thousands of outlets across the country, including the one across the street from Peter Cooper Village on 23rd Street near First Avenue. In making their announcement, CVS concluded that selling cigarettes is inconsistent with its main mission of wellness. No longer will they sell antibiotics and cough medicine designed to treat people’s illnesses and symptoms and then sell them disease-inducing cigarettes on their way out.

This move by CVS took guts and a profound sense of civic responsibility rarely exhibited by mega companies otherwise preoccupied with their bottom line. Probably they will lose money… in the short run.

However, I intend to take my pharmacy business from other large chains to CVS. I am very comfortable entrusting my health needs to a pharmacy that puts the well-being of its customers above profits.

The question now is what will other pharmacy chains like Duane Reade and the independents do? Will they double down on their cigarette sales, or will they follow the courageous and visionary example of CVS?

Imagine if every pharmacy and business dedicated to the good health of their customers decided to just say no to cigarettes?!

Steven Sanders is a former Assemblyman who represented this community for 28 years from 1978-2005. He currently is the Executive Director of ACTS, an association that provides services to young children with developmental and learning disabilities.

Letters to the Editor, June 21

Adopt a dog from a shelter, not a store

As a resident of Peter Cooper Village and dog lover, I’m hoping that the following information will encourage anyone looking for a dog to at least consider adopting from one of the many animal shelters in our area.

When you purchase a puppy from a pet store or over the internet, it has most likely come from a large-scale, substandard breeding facility where parent dogs are caged, bred as often as possible and live in filthy conditions.  Adopting from a shelter ensures that your money is not going to support a puppy mill.

When you adopt from a shelter you’re getting a dog who’s had both a medical and behavioral evaluation. has been neutered or spayed and has had the necessary shots.

Please visit the websites of these shelters for hours of operation and much more information about the services they offer.  All shelters are located in Manhattan except where noted. Many shelters have medical facilities, training classes, bereavement support and other programs to help you care for you pet.

ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
212-876-7700 x4120
424 East 92nd Street (between First and York)

410 East 38th Street (between 1st Ave and FDR)

Humane Society of NY
309 East 59th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues)

Animal Haven
251 Centre Street (between Broome & Grand)

Mayor’s Alliance for NYC Animals – a listing of NYC rescue groups
Petfinder – adoptable animals listed on the Internet
If you’re interested in a specific breed you haven’t been able to find at a shelter, you can try breed rescue groups at the Mayor’s Alliance website.

A few laws concerning dogs:

  • All dogs must have a current license.
  • All dogs must be vaccinated regularly against rabies.
  • All dogs must be on a six-foot (or shorter) leash when in public.
  • Dog owners must clean up their pets’ waste.
  • It is illegal to abandon a companion animal. To relinquish your pet, contact a local shelter.

Neglecting an animal’s care or harming an animal is a crime. Intentionally harming a companion animal is a felony in New York State.  Report   animal cruelty to ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement at (212) 876-7700 x4450. For 24 Hour Veterinary Care:  Animal Medical Center, 510 East 62nd Street, (212) 838-8100.

What could be better than giving a loving and safe home to a homeless, neglected and scared dog? Thank you for considering adoption. Good luck!

Susan Huegel, PCV

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