Letters, Week of July 31, 2014

William unsafe at any speed

To The Editor:
     Re “Pace students find traffic problems on William St.” (News article, July 17 – July 30):

Hooray and thanks to the Pace students for pointing out to D.O.T. and the powers that be the serious traffic and pedestrian problems on William St. They have saved me the trouble of writing to the D.O.T. and Councilmember Margaret Chin, who lives as I do on Hanover Square.

I walk up William St. from my home to the Wall St. subway or further for shopping at 40 Wall St. and John St. The white lines indicating pedestrian crosswalks are almost obliterated, the stop signs in large white letters barely visible. Confusion reigns. 

   Cars either don’t know or don’t want to stop at the various intersections on William St. When a pedestrian steps out it is their turn to cross, not the cars’. The many tourists who increasingly visit this area often do not know whose turn it is and so the cars and taxis and trucks and bikes keep rolling along.

William St. is too narrow for truck traffic or parking. This should be forbidden. And while we are at it, how about cleaning up and repairing the sidewalks? Broken cement slabs and missing tiles at the edge of pedestrian crossings are cracked and missing. They are dangerous!

I hope that Community Board 1 and Councilmember Chin will join me and the students from Pace University in the urgent repairs that are needed on William St.
Diane Fabrizio

Predictable memorial problems

To The Editor:
     In May of ‘08 in a letter (June 6 – June 12, 2008) to the Downtown Express I wrote that the World Trade Center memorial voids would require a fence around them to keep some kid from tumbling in.

     In public forums held in December of ‘03 (many participants were Downtown residents) all eight final memorial designs were rejected in part due to “maintenance” issues.

     Now Community Board 1, elected officials and Downtown residents protest the memorial shutting down eight acres of Downtown starting 9 p.m. every evening. A time that will only get earlier as the days get shorter.

     This is in addition for the memorial being most famous for inspiring visitors to sit and clean on the names and pose for happy selfies.

The memorial had two main tasks: commemorate September 11 and merge seamlessly into the neighborhood.

It’s failed on both.
Michael Burke

Hot issue, hot papers

Re: “Southbridge Towers: Should we privatize? Yes or No” (Talking Points, June 19 – July 2):

To The Editor:
We have an unprecedented situation at Southbridge Towers. There are many who want the co-op to leave the Mitchell-Lama program and become a private co-op. The problem is the regulations on asbestos for buyers of privatized stock states that it is an impediment to buyers getting a mortgage (co-op buyer loan). 

The board has not shown in the reconstitution plan “Black Book” that our shares of stock will be acceptable by lending institutions as collateral. This means little or no flip tax income which is the heart of the whole problem. 

The entire reconstitution is dependent on much additional income which will be needed to cover the high property tax, which will occur when or if the co-op becomes private. Several trial attempts to get a buyer loan “mortgage,” giving all necessary facts and figures about S.B.T., have been rejected.

In addition there is the problem of the “Real Property Transfer Tax.” This will depend on the decision of the city’s appeal on the Trump 3&4 co-op case. If Southbridge privatizes before a decision at Trump, S.B.T. will have to pay the $28 million tax. If the decision is in favor of the city, the $28 million is gone. If the decision is made in favor of Trump 3&4 after a possible privatization, the $28 million will be returned.

The privatization pundits call the above “fear mongering.” What do you think? If this column gets printed, many copies of the Downtown Express will be stolen from the buildings. I wonder why.
Steve Seifer

Spread the word:

6 Responses to Letters, Week of July 31, 2014

  1. Chicken little post

    You are fear mongering. The sky is falling The sky is falling.
    Privatization benefits all Southbridge Residents. Both elderly and the young.

    • I agree…Mr. Seifer has continuously mentioned issues that are just not true. Why in God's name would we have to pay a 28 million dollar transfer tax as soon as we privatize when the APPELLATE court ruled in favor of Trump Village?

      Mr. Seifer was most likely at the informational meeting on Tuesday evening at Pace University and he knows that there are plenty of banks willing to lend to buyers. I would be more than glad to remove any asbestos from my home if need be. When will you stop Mr. Seifer! If you do not want to go private, just opt out. There is no reason for you and your cohorts to continuously spread fear throughout Southbridge. At long last, have you no shame???

      • Happy Shareholder

        God's name notwithstanding, we DON"T KNOW–and Saft & Newman stated that we don't know–what the outcome of the City's court appeal will be. They opined their belief; I'm not willing to place my future in the hands of people with a vested interest in SBT privatizing.

        If there are plenty of banks willing to lend to buyers, where are the are letters from them stating that asbestos is not an issue? Or at least, where are the names of some of those banks so that we can do our own research?

        Pro-Mitchell-Lama people have always been accused of using scare tactics by those who want to privatize at any cost. We've done our research; we've paid for legal counsel out of our own pockets; we've read every word in the Plan; we offer facts; we cite sources and page numbers. Those actions are not scare tactics but a wise person might be wise to be scared enough to do his/her own research.

        • Please, you are killing me, Why would want to go private and spend 10 years discussing this if we were not able to borrow against our shares or sell our shares in the open market. You make absolutely no sense. I have been doing research on this for years. All you have to do to get research is to walk around Manhattan and see all the buildings that were built before 1978 that have or have had asbestos in them.

          I do not see these buildings empty and if you were at the meeting On Tuesday at Pace, you would have heard the name of banks that are more than willing to conduct business with shareholders. Chase, MTB and TD bank to name 3.

          The one thing that I cannot understand. If you do not want to go private, just vote no and opt out. Why do you guys have to hire attorneys and have meetings. Just vote no and opt out! I guarantee you that you and all the people who are afraid of money like you will not opt out.

          That will be the day of justification when we will all know that you guys have not spoken the truth in 10 years. All you people have is a FEAR OF POVERTY, but do not worry, if we do not go private and you or a loved one needs assisted living, Mr. Seifer will lend you the money?

        • JUST OPT OUT, rent your apartment and let us be. We won't hold you responsible for anything. You Pro-M L people just don't get it. Say what you really feel. If you want affordable housing then say it, don't hide behind the veil of asbestos, mortgages, tax decisions and turnover rates.

  2. Enough of this already Mr. Seifer. It's very, very simple. If you don't want to opt in, then opt out and leave the others to decide for themselves. If we are to go private, you can either join us, stay on as a renter or leave. Simple as that. Whatever your agenda is, keep it for yourself. Also, you and your cohorts stop putting leaflets under our doors with your doomsday fiction scenarios. It's obnoxious and your littering my apartment.

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