Letters to the editor, Mar. 29

Playing nice in conversion conversation

Re: Letters, “Guterman plan deserves a chance,” “Guterman ad is divisive,” T&V, Mar. 22

I read with interest both letters to the editor this past week and agree with the person who says that Guterman’s advertising is divisive and misinformed. I am siding with the choices that our Tenants Association has made, not because I occasionally volunteer for the association, but rather because the board seems to have done its homework with researching the issues of condominium vs. cooperative ownership. We ought to trust their conclusions.

We can all learn how they reached them by watching the video the TA just released on this subject or reading the article it published recently in this newspaper. It seems to me that those who support Guterman’s plan are motivated by greed. I choose my community of neighbors instead.

We have accomplished a lot as a community by acting in a united manner.  It is not possible for each of us to weigh in on the decision (of condo vs. co-op). Rather, we can impact decisions through the electoral process, which has just been announced for this year. Anyone who disagrees with the actions of the TA board can and should run against it. I suspect they will find that most tenants support the current board but critics cannot know that unless they express their own views through the election process.

Finally, name calling and insults have no place even when directed at people we strongly disagree with. After all, if one can lower himself/herself to that level with regards to Guterman, what’s to stop them from doing the same when responding to my letter? I certainly wouldn’t want to own a place in a community where civil discourse has evaporated.

Lastly, people, please assume your position and sign your letters.  Where’s the credibility with “Name withheld?”

Alain Montour, PCV Continue reading

Maloney to get acquainted with Brooklyn voters

By Sabina Mollot

Thanks to newly drawn lines for congressional districts, Rep. Carolyn Maloney will be re-introducing herself to Brooklyn voters during a 2012 campaign kickoff on Saturday.

Maloney, who’s been the representative for the 14th Congressional District for years, an area that encompasses Manhattan’s East Side as well as parts of Queens, would, if re-elected, be representing the newly created 12th District. This territory would encompass the East Side of Manhattan, western Queens, north Brooklyn, and Roosevelt Island. At the start of her Congressional run two decades ago, Maloney’s district also included part of Brooklyn.

On Saturday, she’ll be making four campaign stops in the city: one in Brooklyn, one in Queens, and two in Manhattan. One of those Manhattan stops will be in Stuyvesant Town (2 p.m. at 16th Street and First Avenue) and another will be on 91st Street and Third Avenue at 3 p.m.

Maloney is seeking her 11th term in Congress.

One source said the congresswoman is hoping for a less nasty campaign this time around than the last, when Maloney ran against former Wall Streeter Reshma Saujani. Saujani is so far not on the ballot for 2012.

Man killed by bus on East 23rd Street

On Thursday evening, a 21-year-old man was fatally struck by an MTA bus at East 23rd Street, between Broadway and Madison Avenues.

The pedestrian, identified as Amos Veloz of 86 Fort Washington Ave., was hit by the bus as it drove east and he was crossing the street, heading south, police said. When police arrived, they said Veloz was unresponsive and unconscious. EMS pronounced him dead at the scene.

There is no criminality suspected at this time, and the family has been notified.

For community orchestra, the mission is low cost music

By Sabina Mollot

The Greenwich Village Orchestra at a recent performance. (Photo by Adi Segal)

For the past quarter century, the Greenwich Village Orchestra, a group of over 60 musicians from around the city, has been devoted to playing free or low cost symphony concerts. The full orchestra, which performs the most often at the auditorium of Washington Irving High School, around six times a year, also sometimes plays at Rose Hall at Lincoln Center as well as Manhattan churches and parks. The next performance will be at Washington Irving at 40 Irving Place on Sunday, March 25 at 3 p.m.

Jeanne Poindexter, an East Midtown Plaza resident and viola player, has been with the orchestra almost as long as it’s been around, and like the other participants, was never a pro musician but had a background in music. Members include architects, accountants, carpenters, advocates and retirees.

“Some people play freelance, but most people make their living doing something else,” said Poindexter, a PhD and retired professor of biology. “They’re just people who learned to play a youngsters and didn’t want to stop playing.”

Though having always played, Poindexter still studies at the Third Street Music School where her daughter also took classes.   “You need someone to constantly criticize your playing — that’s what keeps you playing well,” said Poindexter. Continue reading

Streets a sea of green on St. Patrick’s Day

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While this community has certainly had its legitimate concerns about excess bars and rowdiness, in particular on St. Patrick’s Day, most of the celebrants Town & Village ran into on Saturday afternoon appeared to be partying responsibly.
Pictured here are some of those revelers at various watering holes and other spots in the East Village and Union Square areas, while dressed in their holiday best.

Photos by Sabina Mollot

Letters to the editor, Mar. 22

Guterman plans deserves a chance

To the Editor:
ST/PCV residents would be well-advised to consider the Guterman plan, which could be in their best interests. First, the plan would yield very attractive valuations.  At $315 a square foot, the mathematical price of a one-bedroom apartment (745 square feet) would be $237,000.  A two-bedroom would be $320,000. (That’s an average value, so actual pricing could be lower for unrenovated apartments, and higher for renovated units.)

Additionally, Guterman proposes minimal resale restrictions.  Therefore the value of a tenant’s investment would be maximized.  The TA on the other hand, requires condo purchasers to subsidize New York City’s future public housing needs. Therefore, under Guterman, tenants would make a 20 percent down payment (amounting to about $45,000), and they would gain an investment worth $300,000 in equity value.

The three-year holding period proposed by Guterman would no doubt be acceptable to most tenants.  In return, our neighbors and friends would gain the ability to create a valuable “retirement account” in the form of home ownership. Our long-time tenants deserve nothing less.

Guterman also brings a track record:  Guterman Partners has apparently done dozens of successful conversion transactions, while Brookfield has completed none.

In London in 1620, there was a man named Hobson who operated a stable.  You could borrow any horse you wanted, as long as it was the one closest to the door.  Thus, a “Hobson’s Choice” is really no choice at all. The Tenants Association has pledged “to maximize tenant choice” in all respects. However, they present us with a true Hobson’s Choice:  no choice at all. To maximize tenant choice and maximize tenant value, we and the TA should take review Mr. Guterman’s proposal.

Name withheld, ST Continue reading

Dunkin Donuts ‘groper’ arrested

Sketch of suspect, Kerry Abrams.

A 54-year-old man, who allegedly touched an 11-year-old girl inappropriately two weeks ago in a Dunkin Donuts located at 361 East 21st Street, was arrested yesterday, according to the Deputy Commissioner of Public Information. Kerry Abrams, who lives at 201 Second Avenue, was charged with sex abuse.

During the incident, which took place at 11:30 a.m. on March 7, Abrams allegedly touched the girl inappropriately and fled the scene. There were no reported injuries.

T&V Guide to St. Patrick’s Day

"Beyond the Horizon" will play at the Irish Repertory Theatre on St. Patrick's Day. See listing for details.

The following article was first published in Town & Village on March 8. In case you missed it, read on for the events taking place on St. Patrick’s Day.

Those looking to celebrate the holiday in honor of a saint and Irish culture, who aren’t looking to barhop, need look no further, thanks to a variety of other forms of entertainment, including Irish theater and music that are being offered at the following local spots in Manhattan.

Irish cuisine will  be served throughout the day at the following venues: Barfly, 244 Third Avenue; Pete’s Tavern, 129 East 18th Street; Molly’s, 287 Third Avenue; and Copper Door Tavern, 272 Third Avenue. At Copper Door, there will also be live bagpipe music as well as a DJ spinning popular and Irish music.

Irish Arts Center, 553 West 51st Street—Throughout the week of St. Patrick’s, from March 15 to 23, the center will be putting on a number of performances and children’s events, and even distributing books by Irish and Irish-American authors to straphangers at various subway stations in the city. On the holiday itself, this Saturday, the center will present the closing performance of “I ♥ Alice ♥ I.” The play, which first debuted in Dublin, is about two women in a longterm relationship, who finally come out as a couple. Performances are Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Admission is $27, $23 for IAC members. To order, call (866) 811-4111 or visit www.irishartscenter.org.

Irish Repertory Theatre, 132 West 22nd Street—Choose between two plays on St. Patrick’s Day, “Beyond the Horizon” by Eugene O’Neill, and “Give Me Your Hand.”  Both have performances at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on St. Patrick’s, though their runs will continue through April 15 and April 1, respectively. In “Give Me Your Hand,” Irish actors Dearbhla Molloy and Dermot Crowley take audiences on a virtual “stroll” through London’s National Gallery, discovering the museum’s masterpieces. In “Beyond the Horizon,” which O’Neill won a Pulitzer prize for, two brothers compete for the heart of one woman at a farm in Massachusetts at the beginning of the twentieth century. Tickets for “Beyond the Horizon” are $55-$65 and tickets for “Give Me Your Hand” are $30, and can be ordered by calling (212) 727-2737 or visiting http://www.irishrep.org. Continue reading

Street closures for St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Photo by Heather Holland

The following streets in Manhattan will be closed on Saturday from 11 am to 5:30 pm for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade:

  • 5th Avenue between 86th Street and 42nd Street
  • Vanderbilt Avenue between 43rd Street and 46th Street
  • 44th and 45th Streets between Vanderbilt Avenue and 6th Avenue
  • 46th, 47th and 48th Streets between Park Avenue and 6th Avenue
  • 80th, 81st, 82nd, 83rd, 84th, and 85th Streets between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 63rd and 64th Streets between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • Madison Avenue between 63rd Street and 64th Street

Suggestions regarding MCI policy in a post-conversion world

The following notice was written yesterday by John Marsh, vice president/treasurer of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association and circulated through an e-mail list by a Stuyvesant Town resident, who asked that her name not be published.

Editor’s note: Marsh said that in this email, he wasn’t speaking on behalf of the TA, but was offering his own ideas to neighbors.

So here is a really good idea as a way to preserve long term affordability for those who choose to remain as renters in a post conversion world.

Post conversion – Renters should only pay their share of the actual cost of a MCI – and not pay in perpetuity.

We are all keenly aware of how Major Capital Improvements factor in to our base rent and how we end up paying for an MCI in perpetuity. What many fail to realize is how this can really drive up the base rent over a long period of time. My base rent has gone up by $400 over the last 15 years for improvements that have been brought, installed, paid for, and now even depreciating. Yet month after month I pay this additional $400.

So in a mixed owner/renter scenario what happens if say a building’s plumbing risers need to be replaced?  

Under the law, the condo or co-op board would divide the total cost of the improvement by the number of owner units and pass a one-time special assessment to the owner units

For the renters, in the most simplistic terms, the law allows for part of the cost to be passed to the tenant as an upward adjustment to the base rent.

The disparity between renters and owners lies in that the renters continue to pay, after their share of the cost has been collected, in perpetuity.  Continue reading

PCV residents enjoy first glimpses of spring

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By Sabina Mollot

Spring has definitely been in the air this week, with temperatures that have gone as high as 70 degrees, and this weekend expected to go up to about 60 on both days.

On Tuesday, when it was especially warm out, the area around Peter Cooper Village’s Playground 2 was the place to be for a quality afternoon of chalk drawing, scooter riding and just hanging out.

Photos by Sabina Mollot

Letters to the editor, Mar. 15

Students don’t belong in Stuy Town

I think the housing of students here at Stuyvesant Town is a terrible idea. I have nothing against students as such, but this is not the place for them. This is largely a community of families and neighbors. Students have entirely different interests, as they should. But they make poor neighbors.

The ones in my building whom I see on my floor or in the elevator scarcely look at me; there is no neighborly exchange – no “Good morning,” not even a nod. In the past one would introduce oneself to anyone who got off the elevator at one’s floor, but no more.  And their parties are raucous.

Gone over the last 10 or so years is the camaraderie I experienced here in my earlier years.

If NYU and Baruch can’t adequately house all their students, they need to find other ways than encroaching on our lives. Having students here significantly diminishes the quality of life of other, settled residents.

Phoebe Hoss, ST Continue reading

Suspect wanted for ‘forcible touching’ on 21st Street and First Avenue

Sketch of suspect wanted for forcible touching.

The NYPD is asking the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect wanted for forcible touching within the confines of the 13th Precinct.

The incident occurred on March 7 at around 11:30 a.m., when the suspect approached the 11-year-old victim inside of a Dunkin Donuts, located at 361 East 21st Street. The suspect, who was described as a 50-60-year-old white man, allegedly touched her inappropriately and fled the scene. There were no reported injuries. The suspect is described to be of heavy set with short gray hair.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call  800-577-TIPS or submit tips online at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com. All calls are confidential.

Solar One’s website quaratined

Solar One’s website, solar1.org, has been hacked into, and the clean energy advocate has quarantined the site until further notice. This note was sent out via email this morning:

Dear Friends,

Unfortunately the Solar1.org website has been thoroughly hacked, and it’s going to take a little while to fix. I will be working on it overnight to the best of my ability, and I’ll try and get everything up and running as soon as I can. 

In the meantime, please DON’T visit solar1.org, cleanecnyc.org or gdl.solar1.org. However you can still register for March 22nd’s Clean Energy Connections panel discussion Power in Numbers: Capitalizing on the Data of Cleantech safely and securely by clicking HERE.

Thanks for your patience and support!