Letters to the editor, Aug. 3

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

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.

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Letters to the Editor: Feb. 4

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Why Garodnick should aim higher

Re: Story, “Garodnick’s $1.M campaign war chest,” T&V, Jan. 21

Your page one article notes a Daily News anonymous source:

Hon. Dan Garodnick, our City Council Member, “may be looking towards the comptroller or attorney general seat if they open up.”

Page 50 of this week’s New York Observer, however, quotes comptroller Tom DiNapoli:

“The secret is that being comptroller is the best job in state government.

“I don’t want people to know that so they don’t come after my job.

“There’s still more work to do here,” he continues.

Accordingly, that job doesn’t seem to be opening up.

This begs two questions:

(i) Who, including the days of Tammany Hall, was ever elected directly to statewide office from the New York City council?

(ii) If Hon. Dan Garodnick wants to make a statewide name for himself, he should challenge Governor Cuomo. If I was his strategist, I’d say strive for the gold.

Dan was preempted from the city comptroller’s primary and, subsequently, had to concede from the speaker’s race. He’s not winning statewide office.

And remember, he balked when considering running a primary against Brad Hoylman because he wanted to be close to home. Therefore, his considering statewide options seems quite a shift from the geographic priorities he set for himself fewer than four years later. After all, he’d have to spend more time in Albany in statewide office than members of the legislature do.

So if I were part of his brain trust, I’d have him make a statewide name for himself by running a gubernatorial primary against Andrew Cuomo.

And if his strategists don’t realize that runners up in Gubernatorial primaries are memorable while runners up in AG and comptroller primaries are not, then they’re not worth their commissions.

Billy Sternberg, ST

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Editorial: Ferry landing can’t come soon enough

Sometimes a problem sticks around for so long that people simply accept it as a fact of life. For residents who live near the East River, like those on the east side of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village as well as Waterside Plaza, one major problem for many years has been a lack of access to public transit, specifically the subway.

As for buses, anyone who’s lived in the area for more than a few years knows that two local routes, the M14 and the M23, have been winners of The Straphangers Campaign’s annual Pokey awards. The Pokeys are given to the most sluggish routes and the M23 has actually won twice.

For this reason, the city’s plan to add a bunch of stops to the East River ferry route, including one at Stuyvesant Cove Park, should be embraced.

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Letters to the Editor, Jan. 28

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

TWC should consider the blind

On January 6, State Senator Brad Hoylman reached out to Robert D. Marcus,chairman and CEO of Time Warner Cable to ask about implanting services to make more television programs accessible to the blind. This is a copy of that letter.

Dear Mr. Marcus:

I am writing to state my concerns regarding the lack of accessibility features offered to Time Warner Cable customers who are blind or visually impaired.

Federal Communications Commission Chair Tom Wheeler has recognized the necessity to “dramatically simplify the ability of individuals who are blind and visually impaired to view television programming” by making video devices with “talking menus” and “talking guides” available to all consumers by December of this year. While I am pleased that the FCC has committed to ensuring that all cable providers adhere to high standards of accessibility, I am disappointed that enforcement will not go into effect until the end of 2016. Until that time, Time Warner Cable’s inaccessible interface and programs leave many blind or visually impaired consumers without the ability to take advantage of an activity that so many of us take for granted.

I implore you to take action as a responsible corporate citizen to improve the standard of living for your blind and visually impaired customers. Comcast has already set an example with its simple to use and accessible technology, making it possible for its blind and visually impaired customers to enjoy quality television programming with ease and independence. Time Warner Cable must step up as a leader in cable television technology and provide its customers with the accessibility features they need. Moreover, Time Warner Cable must implement basic accessibility standards, including the availability of television guides and documents written in Braille and the option to increase font sizes of on-screen menus for those with limited visibility.

Over 8 million Americans have a visual impairment, including nearly 400,000 New Yorkers. I recently had a conversation with a constituent of mine who is legally blind. He describes himself as a “movie buff” and recounts childhood memories of bonding with his father over favorite television shows. Despite his love for film, he is unable to fully access Time Warner Cable’s expansive movie and television options without great difficulty or assistance.

I urge you to take responsibility for giving consumers with visual impairments access to the same compelling and exciting television programming available to anyone else. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Brad Hoylman
New York State Senate, 27th District

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Investing in Stuyvesant Cove Park and planning for the community

Four members of the John Colianni Quintet at a previous concert at the Cove (Photo courtesy of Stuyvesant Cove Park Association)

Four members of the John Colianni Quintet at a previous concert at the Cove (Photo courtesy of Stuyvesant Cove Park Association)

By Jo-Ann Polise

The Stuyvesant Cove Park Association is stepping up again this year to help improve conditions at Stuyvesant Cove and to lure area residents to the river with a series of free outdoor concerts.

The concerts are offered free of charge to all and include a variety of styles including swing, jazz, blues and bluegrass as well as an evening of traditional Irish music and dance.

Plans for the annual series begin in March and among this year’s musicians are several past performers including John Colianni, the Rutkowski Family Trio, Sean Mahony and David Hershey-Webb. New to the roster are Jason Green and The Labor of Love, New Harvest and Niall O’Leary and friends.

I serve on the board of The SCPA and am the coordinator for the annual concert series. I met Jason Green when I went to hear another artist perform at an East Village restaurant. I spoke to the guitarist during the break and Jason Green and The Labor of Love will be opening the concert series later this month. In a similar fashion, fiddle player Clarence Ferrari was part of a group that performed last year and will be performing country and bluegrass with New Harvest in July.

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Letters to the Editor, Aug. 22

Why landscape fences make complete sense

A number of neighbors have voiced irritation at the presence of fencing now encircling much of the plantings. About that fencing, I agree, it is rather cheap, ugly and not the sort of fencing likely to last. In fact, in some places it is already compromised.

However, I find our neighbors’ expressed puzzlement a bit fictitious. “Why has the fencing gone up?” they ask. Really? Really? They don’t know?

Let’s provide some data from which they might construct a hypothesis.

First: “dog friendly.” Second: irresponsible owners of PCV/ST: No place for dogs to do doggie things. Third: irresponsible tenants: First: buying dogs when it is know that the place has no way to accommodate their elimination needs. Second: some irresponsible dog owners: putting it out that it is ok for dogs to urinate on anything that grows and anything that does not — grass, bushes, trees, garbage cans, street posts, bench legs, the walkways, the legs of pedestrians. (Ok, so the last is false!)

Third: making a common practice of allowing dogs to defecate on common ground. (Thanks by the way to the large dog owner who covered his/her doggy’s fecal matter with leaves on the south side of the paddle ball courts a few weeks back: I really loved the soft gushy slippery feel.)

So, about our neighbors who want the rest of us to believe that they are puzzled about the presence of fencing and the closing of the “open look” give an explanation your best shot!

John Giannone, ST

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