Letters, Week of April 2, 2015 | East Villager & Lower East Sider

Letters, Week of April 2, 2015

Why does it take a tragedy?

To The Editor:
Re “Why injured woman wasn’t treated at HealthPlex” (news article, March 26):

I walk by this monstrosity of a development project almost every day. This could have been me, or me and my dog, or someone I knew and loved.

Why does doing the right thing — like safety — always take a tragedy to bring attention to the obvious?
Sharon Mear

Drive to revive the M5

To The Editor:
Re “M.T.A. walks the walk to tour bus-deprived nabe” (news article, March 26):

To Terri Cude and Shirley Secunda and those who participated in the Tour to Restore, thank you for all of your hours of dedication and hard work for such a long time and for not giving in or giving up.

Thanks also to Sylvia Rackow for keeping us posted and for her inspiring ability to stick with it when most of us want to just scream, “Enough!”

The M5 is the key to public transportation for our neighborhood: It can take us directly where we need to go and to connecting public transportation, and it can unshackle some of us from the chains of Access-A-Ride.

As voting taxpayers, we need to be heard and we all need to contact the M.T.A. and have input. Terri has the information and the passion, but we cannot sit back and let her and Shirley and Sylvia and our elected officials do it all.

I am writing on behalf of all our vulnerable populations and all of my neighbors and friends.
Judith Chazen Walsh

Three cheers for M3

To The Editor:
Re “M.T.A. walks the walk to tour bus-deprived nabe” (news article, March 26):

It would be wonderful to have the M3 bus restored. It is so hard for so many of us to get uptown. This bus helped us avoid the subway, which is several blocks away. The prices are up. There is no excuse not to act on the community’s request for the restoration of the M3.
Tom Connor

Don’t forget rent control!

To The Editor:
Re “Pushing for rent rollback, Johnson rolls into Year 2” (news article, March 26):

It is wonderful to see our elected officials follow through on their campaign promises and truly devote their efforts to working with and for the communities they serve. I applaud Councilmember Corey Johnson for his committed actions toward reforming the Rent Guidelines Board and to all the local politicians who have joined him on this issue. Bravo!  

However, as a longtime Villager, and speaking for a large population of renters living on the east side of Washington Square, I am tired of hearing snide remarks about how lucky I am to have a $500 rent-controlled apartment. That assumption is made out of thin air!  Those of us who have been tenants since prior to 1969 are rent-controlled. 

In the city in the early ’60s it was almost impossible to find an apartment. Co-ops were very rare and condos unheard of in those years. If you were lucky enough to find an available apartment at all, it was rent-controlled. Rent stabilization replaced rent control in 1969, as an improvement to rent regulation.

So, we existing tenants were grandfathered into the old rent-control laws. We get an increase every single year (and in my building, until recently, we also paid hefty fuel charges). After escalating increases for 45 years, how can anybody think we are paying such low rent? This year’s increase is more than $200 monthly.

So, to correct the misunderstandings, our rents are often greater than those of rent-stabilized tenants, and more comparable to the “median market rates” cited in the press. I know no rent-controlled tenant in my neighborhood who pays as little as $500. But it is not a usual topic of conversation for neighbors.

Of course, there are some deserving seniors who have qualified for the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE), but even so, they certainly pay close to double that figure.

The Village’s rent-controlled population, meager as their number is in comparison to the number of rent-stabilized tenants, seems to be forgotten in these campaigns to relieve excessive rent increases that benefit the real estate lobby. In my case, our rental building’s owner is a tax-exempt educational institution.

In these terrible economic times, we need advocates to include rent-controlled tenants in any rent-regulation issues, especially our long-term senior residents who have helped to build our beloved Village communities. Please don’t pass us by in this campaign for fairness!
Mary Johnson

Wanna bank on it?

To The Editor:
Re “Vacant former bookstore speaks volumes on retail” (talking point, by George Jochnowitz, March 26):

It is supposed to be a TD Bank. I am not sure why it is taking so long. I don’t think the plans have changed.
Cathryn Swan

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