Letters to the Editor, Apr. 10

Thank you, Stuyvesant Cove Park Angels

Re: “Volunteers keep Stuy Cove Park in bloom,” T&V, Apr. 3

Sincere thanks to the dedicated team of volunteers who showed up at Stuyvesant Cove Park for the recent March 29th Volunteer Day.  As an area resident I am so appreciative of their commitment to maintaining the beautification and cleanliness of this wonderful green space along the East River. And, as vice-president and treasurer of the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association I want to reiterate our commitment to support their efforts.

For many years the SCPA has helped cover the cost of planting materials and supplies to help in this important work and when the work is done, the SCPA funds the well-deserved pizza lunches at the end of the many scheduled Volunteer Days. Special thanks to Wendy Byrne whose comments remind us of the proposed over-development of the site that would have limited our access to the waterfront, severely taxed local infrastructure and deprived the surrounding community of a precious oasis.

I hope more area residents will take the time to learn the history of Stuyvesant Cove Park and give some time as a Park Angel to help preserve this park that so many before them fought for.

Jo-Ann Polise, ST

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PSLL celebrates title, turf and tips from Doc

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By Sabina Mollot
In what has become one of the community’s most beloved traditions, hundreds of children and their families marched through Stuyvesant Town on Saturday morning for the annual Peter Stuyvesant Little League Parade. The event, which kicked off a season of youth baseball, softball and teeball, was celebrated with a ceremony at Con Ed Field following the march that included a surprise visit from retired pro baseball player Dwight “Doc” Gooden.
While at the field, the famous pitcher who played for the Mets and the Yankees as well as the Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Devil Rays, told the young players he understood the importance of little league.
“Because I know that we all start here,” said Gooden. “You’ll develop friendships that will last forever.”
The Tampa native also advised the little leaguers to: “Play hard. Respect the rules. Respect the umpires. Listen to the coaches” and as for their fellow players, “Cheer them up, because one day you’ll need the cheering up.”
Another tip was simply for the players to do their best. “When you guys are at practice, practice hard because how you practice is going to be how you play. Don’t cheat yourself and don’t cheat your teammates.” But most importantly, he concluded, “Have fun and enjoy the game.”
Along with the visit from Doc, the event was also made special for the PSLL due to its getting to celebrate a 2013 District 23 Majors Baseball tournament team — the league’s first title in 57 years. Additionally, this season will also be the league’s first time playing on an AstroTurf field rather than a grass one. The long-awaited conversion to turf, first proposed a decade ago, was sponsored by the field’s owner, Con Ed.
A rep for the utility, Vice President of Environmental Health & Safety Andrea Schmitz, told the players how seeing the field covered in AstroTurf was important to her personally. “It means a lot to me because I’m a resident of Stuyvesant Town,” she said. “So I know how important the field is.”
Other guests who spoke at the field included three local elected officials: Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Brad Hoylman and Council Member Dan Garodnick.
In his brief pep talk, Garodnick told little leaguers if they play hard, it doesn’t matter if they win or lose games. This prompted PSLL President Peter Ramos to jokingly inform Garodnick that his son, Asher, had been traded.
Also included in the ceremony was the singing of “God Bless America” by PSLL member Kiki Kops and the national anthem by members Jamie Kurtzer and Maya Donovan. All the members then took the little league pledge to always do their best, followed by the parents at the field being made to take their own pledge to offer positive encouragement to their kids and respect the decisions of the umpires. The event then concluded with Gooden throwing the ceremonial first pitch of the season, which was caught by PSLL player Ethan Pascale.
The Peter Stuyvesant Little League, established in 1956, today has over 750 members between the ages of five and 16.


Outrage over outage at Stuyvesant Town buildings

The power shutdowns took place at 272, 274, 276 and 278 First Avenue. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

The power shutdowns took place at 272, 274, 276 and 278 First Avenue. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot
As part of the construction of the new management office in Stuyvesant Town, four buildings on First Avenue had their power shut down for a day. The power shutdown for buildings 276 and 278 First Avenue on Thursday, April 3 and at 272 and 274 First Avenue on Tuesday, April 8 was announced ahead of time by CWCapital in a notice to affected residents. The reason, management explained, was to upgrade the electrical switchboard in the buildings. In the notice residents were warned to “prepare for the loss of power” by shutting off unnecessary appliances and keeping their refrigerators closed from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The power shutdown also affected elevators, though emergency hall lights remained on and a Public Safety officer was stationed at the building sites.
As expected, the shutdown didn’t last beyond the scheduled time. However, the residents who were personally impacted by the work were naturally not happy about having to spend the day in the dark.
One resident, Beth Torin, told T&V, “The power shutdown at 276 was not only a major inconvenience but dangerous as our intercom was knocked out for Thursday and most of Friday.” She added that her cable, internet and phone “crashed” due to a power surge “with sparks burning out the cable box.”
Mark Thompson, who also lives in one of the buildings, said he thought the shutdown should have been handled differently. “While the work was necessary it was wrong for management to shut down electricity to tenants – many of them elderly – and force them to simply sit there without electricity for an entire day,” he said.
Thompson also wondered why management didn’t just rent a generator. “It would have been safer and more humane,” he said, adding, “It’s time to stop abusing people.”
That sentiment was shared by Council Member Dan Garodnick, who said he thought residents should be reimbursed for any food that went bad in their fridges as a result of the loss of power.
“It is not a good practice to shut off power in individual units for non-emergency work,” said Garodnick, “without offering people a way to recover things they will inevitably lose.”
The City Council member also said, in a letter to CWCapital Asset Management Vice President Andrew MacArthur, that he thought management should abate rents in those apartments for the day as well as compensate them for food.
“Please advise residents how they should document any losses, such as with photographs and/or receipts,” he wrote last Wednesday, a day before the scheduled work.
In response to the letter, a Brian Moriarty, a rep for CWCapital said management understood the concerns, but, he added, the work was necessary.
“We tried to mitigate the disruption by arranging for temporary power to keep elevators and common area lights operating,” Moriarty told T&V.
“We also provided a week’s notice so residents could plan accordingly. We were only contacted by a small handful of residents who had special needs and we worked with those residents to make appropriate accommodations.”