Smoke signals

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Unholy smokes — Complaints keep coming in about the unhealthy smoke spewing from rooftops on the UES. Despite requirements and advocacy by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Department of Environmental Protection, not all buildings have converted to cleaner burning fuel from the old heating oil. As of the end of 2015, all buildings that were registered in 2011 as burning Number 6 heating oil were to have converted to a cleaner fuel. However, buildings along East 82nd Street, between First and Second Avenues, are continuing offenders. Calls to 311 have had no results. Somebody has to do something. Now.

Library feedback — A recent East Side Observer column noted the children’s sized seating at St. Agnes Library, making reading in a seat at the library a challenge for adults and teens. The following response was received by Our Town from a library spokeswoman, Amy Geduldig:

“The St. Agnes Library let me know about a recent column by Arlene Kayatt in [Our Town] that may have been a misunderstanding about the seats available for adults and children at the branch. The branch manager Jennifer Zarr was hoping to clarify things to avoid any future confusion:

In a recent column, published by [Our Town], we learned Ms. Kayatt was disappointed in the lack of adult seating at the St. Agnes Library. It is true there are many seats for children on the first floor, as this is our children’s area. However, although the Library is a popular destination for many in the community, there are usually seats available on the second floor for adults who wish to check out a book or read the newspaper. We do hope Ms. Kayatt will visit us again and if she (or anyone) has any trouble finding a place to read a book or enjoy our space, please us know!”

Response: East Side Observer did return. And there is seating on the second floor — take the elevator to 2. The only adult seating on the main floor is either on a bench in the entrance way (where adults and teens sit while using their cell phones), or along a wall as you enter the library behind a table for flyers. Neither is conducive to — nor is meant for — reading.

Reform no more — While Council Member Ben Kallos’s use of “Reform Democrat” on his monthly constituent newsletter generated interest from readers, Kallos never commented. Feedback from Our Town readers was that Reform really meant liberal or progressive or socialist. One reader declared the Reform Movement dead. Political guru Al Handell emailed his definition: A Reformer is “A Regular who is out of office” — and that was before the Council member’s latest mailing dropped “Reform Democrat” from the newsletter. Guess Kallos takes seriously Handell’s definition of “a reformer.”

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