Emergency cooling centers open today

The New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) today announced that cooling centers will be open on Friday, June 29, and Saturday, June 30. According to the latest National Weather Service forecast, the heat index is expected to reach or exceed 95 degrees Friday and Saturday.

According to the Office of Emergency Management, cooling centers in the Stuyvesant Town area are:

Sirovich Senior Center, 331 East 12th Street (between First and Second Avenues)

Tompkins Square Library, 331 East 10th Street (between Avenues A and B)

Epiphany Library, 228 East 23rd Street (between Second and Third Avenues)

John Paul II Friendship Center, 103 East 7th Street (between First Avenue and Avenue A)

Ottendorfer Library, 135 Second Avenue (between 8th and 9th Streets)

Residents of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village also have the option of the Community Center, 449 East 14th Street (in the First Avenue Loop at 16th Street).

At Waterside Plaza, when it’s really hot, hours are extended at either the Community Center in building 40 or the Community Room in building 30 for use of residents.

For more information, visit OEM’s Cooling Center Finder at www.nyc.gov/oem. Note: The Cooling Center Finder will be available as of 8 p.m. tonight.

Letters to the Editor, June 28

TA’s core goal is preserving affordability

To the Editor:

I am pleased that a recent independent analysis by JP Morgan confirms that the Tenants Association/Brookfield conversion plan is “the most likely outcome.”

The report validates that the best road to a more stable future for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper is through the Tenants Association/Brookfield partnership and gives an added boost to our efforts.

As we have pledged since day one, any conversion plan that the Tenants Association will propose must satisfy our core goals: preserving affordability and returning stability to our community, giving tenants an opportunity to purchase their unit if they choose, protecting our open spaces from development, and improving maintenance and upkeep throughout ST/PCV.

The most recent appraisal of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, in September, 2011, was for $3 billion, which happens to be the value of the first mortgage. While JP Morgan speculated that under one model of a partial condo conversion the property could be valued at up to $4.4 billion, our bid does not need to be for that amount. In fact, as we have said repeatedly, we will only present a bid for a dollar amount that we believe will achieve the goals above.

While any credible bid will need to be one that makes sense for bondholders, we are committed to structuring a conversion plan so that it offers meaningful value to current tenants and preserves affordability for future generations of middle class New Yorkers.

Sincerely,

Al Doyle, President
ST/PCV Tenants Association 

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The Soapbox: Cause for alarm

By Nancy Lombardo

There are so many sounds we take for granted, living in New York City. A siren, truck horns, helicopters, screams in the night (usually the young returning home from a night of partying). But the most invasive of all of these sounds is the car alarm and if you live anywhere near a loop in Stuyvesant Town, you know the nightmare.

Quiet has finally settled in your sleeping mind, ambient noise is at its minimum.

When suddenly…WAW-WAW-WAW-WAW. The maniacal car alarm breaks the silence with its piercing cry…WAW-WAW-WAW! You think to yourself “Please let it stop soon,” but it doesn’t.

And for some reason, it’s always when you have one to two more hours of sleep owed to you. “No, make it stop,” you cry. Surely the owner can discern the “WAW-WAW” like a mother the cry of her own child. But no, peace does not come and it continues on and on, WAW-WAW-WAW!

As a car owner (who parks in the garage), I understand the need to protect your property but are you seriously going to race down from your 10th floor apartment to thwart the interloper or thief? Are you really going to get all Superman at four a.m.? (Which by the way means Ante meridiem, in 12-hour clock notation, Latin for “before noon, p.m. Post meridiem”; who knew? Not me. Sorry, I got off topic. Blame it on sleep interuptus.) Anyway, I doubt you will be taking on bad guys in your pajamas.

I understand no one wants his or her car broken into or stolen. And the siren does draw attention to the vehicle, but surely there must be a happy medium we can achieve. LoJack perhaps, an alarm disabling device; I’m open to suggestions. Until then for the love of humanity, if you do recognize it’s your car, can you please race down there (come on, elevator!) in your pajamas (which people seem to wear now as a fashion statement anyway) and turn the darn thing off?

On behalf of the sleep deprived, I thank you.

Town & Village is proud to present “The Soapbox,” a column featuring a different voice from the neighborhood each week (space providing). All are welcome to submit columns on the topic of the author’s choice, preferably not longer than 800 words, to editor@townvillage.net or Town & Village, editor, 20 W. 22nd St., 14th floor, New York, NY, 10010.

Letters to the Editor, June 21

Adopt a dog from a shelter, not a store

As a resident of Peter Cooper Village and dog lover, I’m hoping that the following information will encourage anyone looking for a dog to at least consider adopting from one of the many animal shelters in our area.

When you purchase a puppy from a pet store or over the internet, it has most likely come from a large-scale, substandard breeding facility where parent dogs are caged, bred as often as possible and live in filthy conditions.  Adopting from a shelter ensures that your money is not going to support a puppy mill.

When you adopt from a shelter you’re getting a dog who’s had both a medical and behavioral evaluation. has been neutered or spayed and has had the necessary shots.

Please visit the websites of these shelters for hours of operation and much more information about the services they offer.  All shelters are located in Manhattan except where noted. Many shelters have medical facilities, training classes, bereavement support and other programs to help you care for you pet.

ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
212-876-7700 x4120
424 East 92nd Street (between First and York)

Bide-A-Wee
212-532-4455
410 East 38th Street (between 1st Ave and FDR)

Humane Society of NY
212-752-4840
309 East 59th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues)

Animal Haven
212-274-8511
251 Centre Street (between Broome & Grand)

Mayor’s Alliance for NYC Animals – a listing of NYC rescue groups
Petfinder – adoptable animals listed on the Internet
If you’re interested in a specific breed you haven’t been able to find at a shelter, you can try breed rescue groups at the Mayor’s Alliance website.

A few laws concerning dogs:

  • All dogs must have a current license.
  • All dogs must be vaccinated regularly against rabies.
  • All dogs must be on a six-foot (or shorter) leash when in public.
  • Dog owners must clean up their pets’ waste.
  • It is illegal to abandon a companion animal. To relinquish your pet, contact a local shelter.

Neglecting an animal’s care or harming an animal is a crime. Intentionally harming a companion animal is a felony in New York State.  Report   animal cruelty to ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement at (212) 876-7700 x4450. For 24 Hour Veterinary Care:  Animal Medical Center, 510 East 62nd Street, (212) 838-8100.

What could be better than giving a loving and safe home to a homeless, neglected and scared dog? Thank you for considering adoption. Good luck!

Susan Huegel, PCV

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Emergency cooling centers open today and Thursday

With temperatures expected to reach the high 90s today and Thursday, the city has opened air-conditioned cooling centers to help New Yorkers beat the heat. Cooling centers are air conditioned places, such as senior centers, Salvation Army community centers, and public libraries that are open to the public during heat emergencies. Cooling centers will be open Wednesday and Thursday.

According to the Office of Emergency Management, cooling centers in the Stuyvesant Town area are:

Sirovich Senior Center, 331 East 12th Street (between First and Second Avenues)

Tompkins Square Library, 331 East 10th Street (between Avenues A and B)

Epiphany Library, 228 East 23rd Street (between Second and Third avenues)

John Paul II Friendship Center, 103 East 7th Street (between First Avenue and Avenue A)

Ottendorfer Library, 135 Second Avenue (between 8th and 9th Streets)

Residents of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village also have the option of the Community Center, 449 East 14th Street (in the First Avenue Loop at 16th Street). At Waterside Plaza, when it’s really hot, hours are extended at either the Community Center in building 40 or the Community Room in building 30 for use of residents.

 

The OEM has also offered the following tips to stay cool during this week’s extreme heat:

· Drink plenty of water or other fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid beverages containing alcohol, caffeine, or high amounts of sugar.

· Never leave children, pets or those who require special care in a parked car.

· Avoid strenuous activity, or plan it for the coolest part of the day, usually in the morning between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. or in the evening. If you exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. If you are used to regular exercise, just keep in mind the symptoms of heat illness when exercising and stop or rest if any occur.

· Be careful if you take a cold shower to stay cool – sudden temperature changes can make you feel dizzy or sick.

· Check on your at-risk family, friends and neighbors often and help them get to a cool place.

 

ST-PCV TA urges residents to attend RGB public hearing and final vote

Tenants hold signs at the preliminary vote of the Rent Guidelines Board in May.

The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenant’s Association sent out a email on Wednesday urging residents to attend the Rent Guidelines Board public hearing on Monday, June 18 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. before the RGB’s final vote on Thursday, June 21, at 5:30 p.m.
Owners and landlords will be present at the hearing, and anyone can register to speak by calling the RGB at (212) 385-2934 by 1 p.m. on Friday, June 15. Both the hearing and the final vote will be held at Cooper Union’s Great Hall, in the basement of 7 East 7th Street.
“In our borough, landlords brought in an average net operating income of $568 every month from each rent-stabilized apartment,” the Tenants Association said. “Demand NO increase. Show support or testify.”
This year, tenants could face an increase as high as 6.75 percent. In May, the range of rents that were voted on were 1.75-4 percent for a one-year lease, and 3.5-6.75 percent for a two-year lease.

DOT repaving area streets

The Department of Transportation has removed the old asphalt to prepare for resurfacing and will be repaving the following streets:

East 30th Street from Lexington to 2nd Avenue – Paving continues through Thursday, June 14th.
East 26th Street from Lexington to 2nd Avenue –  Paving – Friday June 15th. Please note that no work is scheduled for the weekend.
East 23rd Street from Lexington Avenue to Avenue C – Paving – Tuesday June 19th to Friday June 22nd.
East 25th to E. 23rd on the FDR Service Road – Paving, Thursday June 21st.
East 25th from the FDR Service Road to Asser Levy Place – Paving, Thursday June 21st.

Letters to the Editor, June 14

Quality of life issues need to be addressed

The following is an open letter from the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association to Sean Sullivan, the new general manager of the complex.

Dear Mr. Sullivan:
We are writing to welcome you to our community as the new General Manager of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.

For over 40 years, the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association has been the voice of tenants in this neighborhood and we look forward to working with you.

We appreciate Rose Associates’ expressed desire to collaborate with the Tenants Association to resolve a variety of community issues, but unfortunately there are still many outstanding quality of life concerns that residents continue to feel are not being taken seriously enough by management.

The biggest and most serious issue is Rose Associates and CWCapital’s policy of actively marketing the community as a place to “live and live it up,” as well as corresponding practices such as the installation of pressurized walls to increase occupancy in units.

These practices have had negative residual effects on the quality of life and maintenance and upkeep throughout our community. An ever-increasing and  rapidly revolving tenant population strains resources and creates the need for increased and improved maintenance, greater responsiveness from Public Safety, and better enforcement of existing rules to protect tenants’ quality of life.

Beyond that broader policy question, a recent survey conducted by the TA on building maintenance and upkeep provides evidence that there are a number of basic issues that need your urgent attention.
They include:

• Increased deterioration in cleanliness of recycling rooms after 6 p.m. and on weekends
• Delayed and ineffective responses to noise complaints, including a lack of enforcement of the 80 percent carpet rule
• Poorly maintained laundry rooms and substandard washers and dryers
• Lengthy delays and unacceptable wait times to attend to maintenance requests
• Inability for residents to enjoy open spaces due to ineffective enforcement of rules on the Oval and lawns, including restricting dogs to designated areas and providing fencing to stop people from creating dirt  pathways across the lawns.

As a next step, we would like to meet with you to further discuss these issues and how best to resolve tthem. We also would like to invite you to a town hall meeting to hear directly from residents.

We were pleased to see in your introductory statement that you are “honored to join the effort to make PCVST a place thiscommunity is happy to call home.”

We welcome you to that effort, and look forward to working with you to ensure that ST-PCV is maintained and managed in such a way that tenants can feel good about.

Sincerely,

Al Doyle,
President, ST-PCV Tenants Association

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Increased L Train service begins Sunday

Straphangers frustrated by crowded and infrequent trains on the L line will soon get some relief, thanks to an increase in service that will begin this Sunday.

The new service increase will add seven additional round trip trains on Sundays, 16 additional peak and off-peak round trip trains on weekdays, and 11 additional round trip trains on Saturdays, State Sen. Daniel Squadron announced.

Squadron said he pushed for the increase in service because of a huge spike in ridership over the past 14 years. An article in am New York today reported that although ridership on the L has nearly doubled since 1998, train service has only increased by 50 percent.

CWCapital to be bought for $220M

CWCapital LLC will soon be bought by Walker & Dunlop, a commercial real estate lender with a focus on multi-family properties.

The purchase price will total $220 million, $80 million in cash and approximately $140 million in Walker & Dunlop stock, subject to potential adjustment based on changes in the company’s stock price pending closing, Walker & Dunlop announced today. The transaction is expected to close within 90-120 days pending stockholder, governmental and regulatory approvals. CW is currently owned by Fortress Investment Group.

However, the entity that controls Stuyvesant Town won’t be sold, according to Joe DePlasco, a spokesperson for CWCapital. That company (the special servicer of ST/PCV) is CWCapital Asset Management, which, like CWCapital LLC, is a subsidiary of CW Financial.

“We are thrilled to announce this acquisition. CWCapital is an exceptional company with an outstanding team and a corporate culture very similar to Walker & Dunlop’s,” commented Willy Walker, chairman, president and CEO of Walker & Dunlop. “The combined company will be one of the largest commercial real estate lenders in the United States,” Walker continued.  “CW’s people, credit discipline, and client focus are highly regarded throughout the industry.  It’s a wonderful accomplishment to bring these two fantastic companies together and create a true industry force.”

UPDATE:

Following the announcement, Council Member Dan Garodnick offered the following statement:

“I want to clarify that Fortress did not sell the special servicer of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, but rather, another subsidiary company of a similar name. In short, the entity with whom we have been working over the past two years remains in place, and remains the same. We will continue to seek avenues to work with CW Capital Asset Management to advance the Tenant Association’s conversion plan and to bring greater affordability and stability to the neighborhood.”

Street closures this weekend

The Department of Transportation announced street closures for this weekend, with some affecting the area around Kips Bay.

On Saturday from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m., street will be blocked off around Madison Square Park for the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party on Broadway between 25th and 26th Streets, and Madison Avenue between 23rd and 28th Streets, as well as 24th and 25th Streets between Madison and Park Avenues, 26th Street between Fifth and Park Avenue and 27th Street between Madison and Lexington Avenues.

Third Avenue between 23rd and 34th Streets will be closed on Sunday from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. for the Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church Fair and the Tilden Midtown Democratic Club.

Residents concerned over lack of “Roberts” info

Frustrated over the lack of information regarding the ongoing “Roberts” negotiations? You’re not alone. In fact, a few Stuyvesant Town/peter Cooper Village residents this week have been musing on Facebook about the possibility of organizing some sort of rally to demand more transparency about case. Attorneys for tenants and CWCapital have declined to comment on the situation in months since the talks are confidential. Meanwhile, tenants have been left to wonder when renewing their leases if and when they’ll ever have the option of owning their homes. The chatter over possible action and whether it would be a good idea or not was on the Facebook page of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association.

We’d also love to hear what you think.

Letters to the editor, June 7

A lack of transparency on First Avenue

Maybe you haven’t noticed, but the Stuyvesant Town renting office on First Ave and 15th Street has changed their windows. Yes, their windows are now darkened so it is difficult to see into the store, much like a movie star or drug dealer would do, or anyone else who wants privacy.

I feel embarrassed for the closed and small-minded thinking by management who, by darkening their windows, think that no one will notice what they are really doing.

They will probably tell you the sun is too strong, but the only people sitting in the front by the sun are the future renters, consisting of young college-age students and recent grads looking for an apartment with other roommates, dorm-style.

Seems that management is ok with that; young people doubled and tripled up to create a dormitory atmosphere in the community along with those bubble walls and exotic renovations just to be used by those who use their rooms as a college dorm. I wouldn’t mind that much myself if management would only show them what the compacting chute is so they can dispose of their kitchen garbage properly.

CW Capital and Rose Associates can do whatever they want.  They’re in charge.  It’s their game and their ball.  It could be that older family type people are too few and far between, as I rarely ever see older people waiting in the office (in the bright sun, of course) trying to rent an apartment.

By the way, if you go to the great lawn any sunny weekend, you will see all of they new tenants lying in the bright sun with their beachwear and blankets in tow.  Guess it’s not the sun!

Larry Edwards, ST

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CECD2 to hold meeting on opening of new school

Community Education Council District 2 has announced that it will be holding a Zoning Committee meeting on Wednesday, June 6 at 6:30 p.m. to explore zoning issues for 2012-2013, including the opening of a new school P.S. 281 at 35th Street and First Avenue.

The meeting will be held in the P.S. 40 auditorium (20th Street between First and Second Avenues).

The agenda will include:

  1. Review of the P.S./I.S. 281 facility
  2. Discussion of the possible grade configuration of the building
  3. Discussion of programming for building (Pre-K, G&T, Language, etc.)
  4. Review of zoning milestones and timeline
  5. Public comments

Public comment is welcome on P.S. 281 as well as all District 2 zoning matters.

For more information on CECD2, which has an advisory role in DOE issues, visit the board’s website.