On the QT Home Page


Everything You Always Suspected

Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff
Editor & Publisher


to On The QT #8. At the gate! People can change. As can cities.
And societies. But change can't be put off too long. A low
trust society can become no trust-- unless real
REFORM occurs. The nonpartisan kind based on recognition
that corruption is nonpartisan. If corruption only counts on
the "other side" who cares? Just biz as usual--


The kind slithering through government halls daily. Some say particularly well connected cronies can


But the uncanny will be covered later. First an announcement of a new QT feature. This issue contains commentary by contributors Sandy Baird of Burlington, Vermont (USA) and Bart Plantenga of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Thanks to both for helping QT cover the neighborhoods-- no matter how far flung. Speaking of


Suyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village are conjoining housing complexes located on the East Side of Manhattan between 14th
and 23rd Street. Owned and maintained by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Together the complexes house roughly 25,000 New Yorkers. In a borough with a dwindling middle class StuyTown/Peter Cooper residents tend to be teachers, nurses, cops and office workers. Plus retirees from the olden days of industrial NYC. MetLife built the complex and set rent levels with middle class residents in mind. The buildings are solid and well maintained and the environment surprisingly serene. Like a small town in the middle of a city. The kind of place where elderly people sit gossiping in tree shaded court yards well into the evening. Where kids play safely. Where social stability produces an atmosphere decidedly


MetLife has decided to correct the anomaly. From now on, vacant apartments in StuyTown/Peter Cooper will have rents raised to "market" levels. Between $2,100 to $4,200 a month. No current tenant will face rent increases. But those on extensive waiting lists must look elsewhere. After years spent inching forward. Now playing at StuyTown/Peter Cooper: a typical NYC housing


Old tenants will envy the new. And see them as interlopers and chumps. New ones will resent rent differences and view prior tenants as free loaders. Management will keep a death watch on the elderly. Just one manifestation of what will be an increasingly adversarial tenant/management relationship. Since even the high salaried struggle to pay NYC rents, roommate warrens will blossom like Sunday morning beer bottles on Bleeker Street. Low rent tenants (previously considered middle class) will fear to complain about market rate tenant behavior. So


It's certainly MetLife's perogative to do what they want with their property. Who needs an urban middle class? Many New Yorkers would leave if they could. Economic necessity and family ties demand otherwise. But for those thinking of moving to NYC because of its mystique, QT recommends the bracing words of


An ex New Yorker now living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Bart Plantenga was one of the few bright lights on the downtown NYC scene of the Big 80's. He published prolifically in its print media. Some later work can be read in two Simon & Schuster anthologies: Best American Erotica 1994 and Jamaican Music From Ska To Dub and in Semiotext(e) SF: a sci-fi anthology. His novel Wiggling Wishbones was published by Autonomedia. In Amsterdam Bart is currently DJ of Wreck This Mess, a radio show which he also did on WFMU (NJ/NY)for 7 years. Though an ex-New Yorker he still gives a mean


"...last time in nyc i sed, wow, what a crazy and ugly place to raise a kid. It felt confining oppressive and dreary-- all the things the PR tells you ny is not! i rail often against the over hyped image and illusion of ny as this place where invention and creativity blossom. hogwash. It is a provincial town with seething underlying antagonisms among all the people. everyone is angry frustrated stressed working too much and at night justifying endlessly why they live in nyc by going to extremes... but ny is already much more insanely not our scene since-- (click here to continue and email author)


To lovely Jersey City N.J. on the Hudson, where long gone Mark Munley has been appointed by Mayor Glen Cunningham to head the Department of Housing, Economic Development and Commerce. The 3rd time he's assumed the position. Previously Munley served under Mayor Merry Jerry McCann, aka Off To Jail Jerry who was convicted of bank fraud in the early 90's. Mark Munley resigned in 1992 when the Jersey Journal reported he'd been steering development projects to former business partners. And using funds for entertainment purposes. HUD has accepted Munley's clarifications. So Munley will be back on the job providing housing for the needy. Boosting small business. Designating neighborhoods "historic". Don't it turn your brown fields


As green as the 2.2 million dollars former Goldman Sachs Mortgage Trader Kevin Ingram, a recent Jersey City resident, is accused of laundering. Ingram now languishes in a Florida prison awaiting federal trial. Accused of conspiring to launder dollars from sales of illegal high tech military weapon (including Stinger Missiles) to an undisclosed foreign country. Another participant in the alleged dollar wash was Mohammed Rajaa Malik, a former Jersey City Zoning Board member. Imagine this exchange: "Please Mr. Malik, may we have another
curb cut?"


The undisclosed foreign country supposedly offered to pay for some of the weapons with heroin. Mortgage Trader. Stinger Missiles. Money Laundering. Undisclosed foreign countries. Heroin. Zoning Board. Say these real fast and it's enough to make you paranoid! But let's head up country. Where the air is pure. How about a trip to Vermont? And a visit with


feminist attorney extraordinaire. Ms. Baird served as a Democrat in the Vermont State Legislature from 1992-1996 and while doing so was a member of the Judiciary Committee. She ran as a Green Party candidate for mayor of Burlington in 1989. Ms. Baird has done radio commentary on political/social matters in Vermont since the 1970's. She won the AP Montpelier, Vermont award for best radio commentary 2 years running. She also teaches: a specialty being urban history. The following involves recent political history in Burlington. A city seen by some as


"The election of Bernie Sanders was astounding and to the new arrivals in the state, elating. But in a city of working and middle class people just beginning to feel the forces of change which would turn Burlington into the "latte town" described in the best seller, Bobos in Paradise, the victory of a loud mouthed, wild haired radical from Brooklyn was hair raising-- (Click here to continue and email author)


breeds favored in illegal dog fights-- have been found in the lake in Washington Park in Albany, New York. The park itself is lovely. Touted deservedly as a jewel. Yet some streets radiating from the jewel are notorious slums with long histories of violent drug crime. Should people keep their eyes shut until inside park perimeters? And open them just in time to see dogfight victims being hauled from the lake? Dogs made vicious by like minded owners also serve as


for Albany drughouses. Not enough of which get closed. Despite applicable laws on the books. But don't blame drughouse dog proliferation on the current administration of Mayor Jerry Jennings. A new strategy to combat unliscenced dogs (live ones) has been unleashed. Anyway, according to an Albany police spokesperson, drughouse dog fights are a "national problem". Paging Colin Powell. Did someone say


All crime problems are national. Some cities meet the challenge more effectively than others. Local officials are held accountable where they serve. The next issue of QT will carry the promised Booze Barn Riot Roundup. As Labor Day draws nigh QT considers why holidays and festivals, particularly warm weather ones, cause some to act like monsters. Also-- False Reformers: When Good Guys Go Bad. Plus corruptoid updates. And Bret Schundler's sack race for the New Jersey Statehouse. Now for some particularly


DRUGWAR, http://www.drugwar.com

A gritty look at the ugly economic and political realities of the drug biz. Incuding an account of the experiences of ex INS Officer Joe Occhipinti. Whose busts of drug stores (no, not CVS) in the Washington Heights section of upper Manhattan led to his being sentenced to over 3 years in prison. On charges of civil rights violations. In 1993 Occhipinti's sentence was commuted by then President Bush. Was Occhipinti handed a raw deal by politicians beholden to drug money? Read for yourself and decide. Whatever your decision, visiting this site will make you look closely at drug business in your own city.

Bart Plantenga, http://www.wfmu.org/~bart/

As described in the prior text. Which didn't touch the surface. Dig deeper. You'll be rewarded.

"Camden (NJ)is known for a lot of things, but good government is not one of them....This is what you get when you have an entrenched political machine-- arrogance and corruption."
Frank Fulbrook, Camden Community Activist

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updated 7/22/2001