Letters to The Editor, Week of Feb. 8, 2018

Don, the Con

To The Editor:

Re “My year as an anti-Trump Twitter warrior” (notebook, Kate Walter, Feb. 2):

Thanks for keeping up the fight. You are right, Trump is a con man. If you understand that and that he is an inveterate liar, then you can understand him.

Donnie Moder


Co-op needs the cash

To The Editor:

Re “The two towers: Seward Park Co-op debates selling air rights to Bialystoker project” (news article, Feb. 2):

As a Seward Park Co-op shareholder, I have had mixed feelings about the sale of our development rights. However, I am really concerned about the financial hole we are in. We lack an adequate reserve fund, and we have a great deal of deferred maintenance that gets addressed as emergencies arise. As a result, we have capital assessments tacked onto our maintenance.

Yes, there might be more shadows. Some apartments will lose views. That is the decision we need to make. We should stop the silly conspiracy theories about the motivations of our board and / or the developer.

Linda Jones


‘Yaverbaum,’ eh…?

To The Editor:

Re “The two towers: Seward Park Co-op debates selling air rights to Bialystoker project” (news article, Feb. 2):

As a 15-year resident of Seward Park Co-operative, I wonder how Ernie Yaverbaum (a made-up name if ever there was one) knows that the new buildings will “ruin” the parking situation, since it’s basically already impossible to park in the general vicinity.

He sounds strangely like an ex-director who accomplished literally nothing during his tenure on the board. And Dan Strum is simple another naysayer, presenting alternative facts that have no basis in reality.

Mitch Lee

Editor’s note: Yes, the article contained quotes from an opponent of the Bialystoker air-rights project who went by the name “Ernie Yaverbaum” and claimed to be a longtime resident of the Seward Park Co-op. As the above letter writer suspected, Doron Stember, the co-op’s board president, subsequently told The Villager that Frank Durant, the co-op’s general manager, “can confirm that there is no record of anyone by the name of Yaverbaum ever living at Seward Park as a shareholder or resident.” However, Stember said, a person who signs that name has sent “harassing and inaccurate e-mails” to board members, community members and “professionals who have been involved in the air-rights project.” The co-op president added, “He signed one e-mail with a specific apartment number that is actually occupied by a young couple.” The Villager has removed “Yaverbaum” ’s name and quotes from the online version of the article. We regret the error. In addition, the original version of the article stated that 50 percent of shareholders must vote Yes to put the air-rights plan up for a referendum by the co-op. According to the co-op’s bylaws, one-third of shareholders must vote on the referendum to sell the air rights in order for the vote to be valid; two-thirds of those then must vote Yes to approve the referendum.


Open house off track

To The Editor:

I wanted to comment about the open house the M.T.A. and D.O.T. offered last Wednesday night. It left many of us who attended feeling frustrated and voiceless.

While I appreciate the information given, a public forum and Q&A are needed at these open houses, where the community’s concerns will be heard, as well as responses to those concerns, and this public forum should be covered by the media.

The representatives at the open house were open to talking to individuals but this does no good and is an inefficient way of discussing the issues. I can’t help but wonder if this is on purpose, so that people may vent, but their suggestions and concerns are diffused and are not truly considered or addressed.

Frankly, the open house was much like a show-and-tell science fair.

The community was not heard in a constructive way, and no useful discussion or communication could occur in this format.

The research and “numbers data” the M.T.A. and D.O.T. have supposedly conducted to base their plans on also needs to be presented and made public.

There must be a public forum. The residents of the Village and Chelsea that will be dramatically affected by the rerouting of 14th St. traffic deserve better than this.

Janet Charleston


Who is hearing us?

To The Editor:

Residents and businesses impacted by the M.T.A. / D.O.T. L train shutdown mitigation plans have many valid concerns and questions. However, the two “open houses” already held were the wrong format to foster discussion. Positioning junior D.O.T. / M.T.A. staffers in front of posters resembled a science fair or show-and-tell and, in fact, the discouraged an open exchange.

Yes, we filled out comment cards, but that feels like a meaningless exercise. Perhaps they will be read by M.T.A. / D.O.T. staffers, but how does that foster discussion? How do we get answers and feel that our concerns are being taken seriously?

We need to hear our concerns addressed openly in a Q&A format with senior officials. How else can we try to find common ground? And it is imperative that D.O.T. share the traffic study (as promised months ago) that underlies these plans in order for us to understand the impact.

M.T.A. / D.O.T. — if you are listening — schedule some open Q&A forums ASAP.

Judy Pesin


Ravi is ‘home people’

To The Editor:

Re “Ravi is free — for now: Still faces deportation” (news article, Feb. 2):

I still don’t get the real source of why they want to deport Ravi. That is one of my home people. What has he done so bad that they want to deport him? My prayers are with him and his family. Just keep it real and do the right thing and all will be well!

Pam Ling Toth


E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to [email protected] or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 MetroTech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published.

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