Letters to the editor, Feb. 16

Black History Month is recognized in ST

Re: Letter, “Essential Black History Month,” T&V, Feb. 9

Dear Editor,
It is with great concern that I formulate this rebuttal to the recent reader comments that I read in your publication concerning Black History Month and Oval Essentials. Being one of the principals of the operations team that coordinates all programming, I take great pride in the offerings, service level and diversity of events that we put on monthly to enhance the entire resident experience here at Peter Cooper Village/Stuyvesant Town.

Let me start by stating that my intention is not to discredit these mistaken and misguided comments. But, rather to use this misinformed example as an opportunity to communicate to all of your readers the vastness of the offerings provided by the various teams working around the clock here at PCV/ST. Our goal is to develop and provide the most exciting and enriching programs at a minimum of cost to the participants, and quite frankly, I believe we succeed with flying colors.

For as low as $15 per month, residents have access to some 15 plus special events per month. We hold monthly How-To-Tuesday informative demonstrations that range from resume building to dating workshops. Recently we have held both salsa and tango dance classes. We put on free-for-all-residents parties centered on monthly pop culture and sporting events.  We also provide free tutoring for kids, monthly presentations from some of the city’s most interesting museums and our author lecture series. And, this doesn’t even begin to touch the surface of our myriad of children’s programs and fitness offerings. If the writer of these comments had taken the time to thoroughly explore all our offerings, she would have seen that in Oval Kids (just this week) we held an arts and crafts event centered around  Romare Bearden – the famed African-American artist and writer who worked in a variety of mediums including; cartoon, collage and oils. Upon further inspection of our monthly calendar, this writer would also have been informed of the two (2) Capoeira dance classes – the Brazilian dance/art form created by African slaves – that we are holding on February 22 and 29th.

I would encourage any resident who would like to know more about what we do and how we do it to contact our membership team at (212) 614-5801. We invite comments, suggestions and overall programming ideas that can help augment the end user experience.

Matthew Cicci
Executive Director,
American Leisure at PCV/ST

In response to greenmarket letter debate

How about we just call them NW1 (for Name Withheld) and NW2. OK? I’m talking about the two tenants fighting it out in the T&V over the legality of the greenmarket. NW2’s arguments in favor of the greenmarket remaining in place are certainly convincing me that there is little legal question about it: The greenmarket is perfectly legal where it is under any city ordinance. Last fall, when I discussed this with Mr. Garodnick, who started this whole thing, he insisted the greenmarket is absolutely illegal on the Oval and he would work to move it to another location.

He professes to love the greenmarket and “shops there whenever” he can. When I asked him why he was working so hard to shut it down, he responded he was only responding to a request from a tenant. Perhaps it would have been wiser to get all the information before jumping to conclusions, yes?
Mr. G. should meet with NW2, so he can get the information he needs to clear this up and tell NW1 that the greenmarket it entitled to stay put. NW1 can decide to go sit down by the river on Sunday mornings and read the paper until all the people who live here have gone home, or just pull the covers up over his or her head.

Finally, please show a little courage folks. Sign your letters.

M.E. O’Rourke, ST

Commercial property an issue in conversion

To the Editor,
It is my understanding that if Brookfield Properties creates a “seemingly affordable” condo conversion of PCV/ST, they would be spinning off all of the commercial areas, i.e. stores and garages to an investment owner(s) who would purchase such a commercial package as an investment.

This is a red flag for anyone considering buying their apartment, because there would then be no cushion for the future tenants to soften or offset the impact of increasing labor costs, maintenance costs, and inevitable property tax increases.

Also, the J-51 tax abatement now on the property expires sometime in 2020.

Under the concept of keeping the property available to middle class earners now and in the future, it will not take very long for those middle class owners living in and owning their units to find out that they cannot afford them. Only the affluent will be able to continue living here.

It is imperative that a deal is structured so that the new tenants association or condo board has full control of the commercial units so that future rising costs can be somewhat offset for the benefit of those who purchase their units and not to some outside investor.

Since there is very little worthwhile input or open discussion that is of any real significance except for the normal parlor room discussions and bus stop conversations that are whispered throughout the community, these issues as referenced above and other extremely important questions go unanswered and regarded as unimportant for present discussions.

If all the questions and concerns are not freely discussed and openly brought out in a transparent manner at the beginning of any draft, future plans for the property will be put in jeopardy.

Larry Edwards, ST

A few points about ice rink

Re: “City Warms Up to ST Ice Rink,” story, T&V, Feb. 2 and “Hoping this isn’t the last of the ice rink,” letter, Feb. 9

Some other things to think about vis-a-vis the “two sides to the argument” about the ice rink:
* Aside from the much discussed commercialization of the Oval, what about the environmental costs of this ice rink? How much energy does it take to light and play music in the rink, run a generator 24/7, and keep the ice frozen, especially given the freakishly warm winter we’ve had? As I write, it’s Saturday afternoon, clear but cloudy, and I count 23 people on the ice. That is not uncommon during many of the rink hours.

So when you consider the number of PCV/ST tenants actually using the rink and the fact that there are other ice skating options in the city, is the energy usage really justified?

* While it’s true that management responded to the quality of life issues, they wouldn’t have if many of us who live next to the rink hadn’t spent a lot of our time writing, calling, and following up. When the generator was first turned on, it was unbaffled and sounded like a jet engine in our apartment for 24 hours until they were forced to shut it down and then do something.

* I wouldn’t exactly say that all resident concerns have been “put to rest.” In our apartment, we are tired of the constant generator noise at night and are not looking forward to deconstruction, especially if it’s anything like the rink construction, which was daily and non-stop noise for a month. For many of us living around it, the ice rink is a mitigated noise situation for six months out of the year, if you include set-up, rink open, and breakdown.

This doesn’t exactly seem fair, especially when there are many other opportunities in this city for “fun, effective forms of exercise, and a pleasant change of scenery,” starting with a (green) walk along the East River Park a half block away.

Sheila Keenan, ST

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