Halloween event for kids in Stuyvesant Town

Nate and Robbi Marmur with their children Ellery and Gorel, dressed up as Peanuts characters. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Nate and Robbi Marmur with their children Ellery and Gorel, dressed up as Peanuts characters.

On Saturday afternoon, hundreds headed to the Oval for Stuyvesant Town’s annual Halloween fair for kids. Thanks to sunny skies and weather warm enough for kids to wear their costumes sans jackets, the crowd was even bigger than usual. This year, the free event also included live music, a pumpkin patch, crafts, bounce houses and a pop-up haunted house. There was plenty of creativity from families for costumes, including Peanuts characters (complete with Lucy’s psychiatric help stand), a homemade sanitation truck, a Day of the Dead character and some attendees also dressed up their dogs for a pooch costume contest.

The next big event scheduled to take place in Stuy Town will be the opening of the ice rink on Halloween. Kids who come in costume will get in free.

(Click through for more photos from the event. All photos by Sabina Mollot.)

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Winter sports coming to ST Playground 11

A promotional photo shows what the Courts at Stuy Town will look like.

A promotional photo shows what the Courts at Stuy Town will look like.

By Sabina Mollot

Last week, CompassRock announced, via its tenant emailed newsletter, that Playground 11 would soon become home to “The Courts at Stuy Town,” a center for various winter sports programs to be held under a heated tent.

The programs, which have separate fees, are for residents and their guests and include Super Soccer Stars, batting cages with the Peter Stuyvesant Little League, golf and instructional basketball for kids and basketball games for adults. During hours where there’s nothing scheduled, residents can still use the space for ping pong and basketball. There will also be free film screenings and arts & crafts, management said. The Courts are set to open on November 15 and run through March 1 with the hours of 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Currently, registration is only open for the instructional basketball with Dribbl and Super Soccer Stars. Dribbl will be $360 or $450 depending on the session and the soccer program costs between $365 and $400 depending on the session.

Prior to CompassRock’s announcement, the Tenants Association gave neighbors a heads up via email blast that the indoor sports programming were on the way. The TA noted that while it would have appreciated if the owner had consulted with tenants before digging up the the area around the playground to start installing the electrical system, the center could be a positive addition as long as it doesn’t become disruptive to tenants in neighboring buildings.

This week, Tenants Association Chair Susan Steinberg said that while tenants haven’t really been asking questions about The Courts, the TA still has its own concerns. One is potential disruptive noise from the scheduled activities or the tent’s heating system. Another is making sure that users of the space are screened to make sure it remains for residents and their guests. Steinberg said another concern is security if the roof of the structure is tall enough to block out lighting.

“The TA is keeping its eyes on the progress of Playground 11,” she said.

Council Member Dan Garodnick added that the noise issue “has been raised with management and we will stay on top of them.”

In response, a CWCapital spokesperson that the tent should actually help reduce the noise.

“As far as noise, the playground will be open the same hours and have the same activities as in the summer, spring and fall, and we expect the tent will dampen much of the noise. We will monitor the noise and take additional mitigation steps if it is necessary.” The spokesperson, Brian Moriarty, added, “PCVST is a very active community, and based on the enormous popularity of the ice skating rink, it’s clear that people like to stay active during the winter too. So we’re very excited that people will now be able to enjoy the playground throughout the year, just as they have in the warmer months.”

Meanwhile, a couple of residents in buildings close to the playground, which is on the east side of the Oval, told T&V said they were still concerned about noise.

Jill Pratzon, a resident in a building overlooking the playground, said she and her husband would prefer the playground as it is.

“We value the quiet immensely. It makes the extra 15 minute walk to Avenue C from the L train count for something,” said Pratzon. “Our view is great, too; we can see the Oval across the basketball courts. The view and the tranquility are also amenities that we pay for; if we lose those, my husband asks, do we get an MCR? You know, a Major Capital Refund? Management says on their website that the sound will be minimized by the tent, but they don’t say that it will be eliminated.”

Pratzon also offered an update on Wednesday morning, noting that due to the bleating of a construction vehicle, there was “no need for an alarm.” Work began at around 8 a.m. “This is going to be a tall structure,” she noted.

Another resident, who didn’t want his name published, said his main concern was security and the structure blocking views around the playground. “We have a plethora of carts and construction vehicles and this will create blind spots along the pedestrian paths,” he said. He added that with the time it would take to assemble and then disassemble the structure, “for two months, this is going to be a construction zone.”

Letters to the Editor, Oct. 30

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

No grace period for this Stuy Town driver

All due respect to Council Member Daniel Garodnick (story, “Stuy Town drivers to get grace period,” in the Oct. 16 issue of Town & Village) but his request — “to be effective immediately” was apparently not heeded.

On Wednesday night, October 22, I drove into the Avenue C Loop, put on my hazard lights and made two trips from my car to my apartment and then swung around to the parking garage where I noticed I received a parking ticket for $65. I was not double parked, blocking traffic or a crosswalk, or near a hydrant.

I have lived in Stuy Town for 16 years and have done this very thing on the average of once a week. This is the first time I’ve received a ticket (which I will fight), but am I supposed to be grateful I wasn’t towed? What’s the real policy here?

Nancy Brennan, ST

Town & Village passed this letter along to Council Member Dan Garodnick who gave this response:

“If the resident left her car, with blinkers, for less than 15 minutes, it should not have led to a ticket under the policy outlined by Public Safety.

“Management should re-state their procedures publicly so that there is no ambiguity, and no unnecessary tickets.”

Bellevue was ready for Ebola, administrator says

Medical Director Dr. Nathan Link speaks at a Bellevue Community Advisory Board meeting with Associate Director for Community Relations Melissa Henry (left) and Associate Executive Director of Public Affairs and Community Relations Evelyn Hernandez. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Medical Director Dr. Nathan Link speaks at a Bellevue Community Advisory Board meeting with Associate Director for Community Relations Melissa Henry (left) and Associate Executive Director of Public Affairs and Community Relations Evelyn Hernandez. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Almost exactly 24 hours after Dr. Nathan Link provided updates on Ebola at the hospital’s monthly Community Advisory Board meeting last Wednesday, Bellevue’s isolation facilities were put to the test when Harlem resident Dr. Craig Spencer was admitted last Thursday evening with a confirmed case of the virus.

At the meeting the night before Spencer’s admittance, Link expressed confidence that the hospital was prepared as the city’s authorized center for treating Ebola, noting that the CDC had been there earlier that day and gave high praise to their preparations.

“We’ve been working on this since late July and preparations are complete,” Link assured the CAB members. At the time of the meeting, Link emphasized that there had not yet been a confirmed case of the virus in any of the patients who came in with suspicious symptoms and up until that point, there had been 30 people who came in with possible Ebola symptoms. “In all of these cases, Ebola was ruled out and they were released,” Link said. “Two patients from other facilities were brought to Bellevue, treated in isolation and both were discharged. We’ve had a number of opportunities to practice.”

When a committee member expressed anxiety about the situation with healthcare workers in Dallas, Link noted that Bellevue staff and administrators were learning from the missteps in Texas and had the proper equipment and training to deal with a confirmed case of the virus.

“We have state of the art equipment for the staff,” Link said. “We’ve used recommendations from Emory University Hospital and the University of  Nebraska  Medical Center  and biosafety experts from NYU. We’ve purchased equipment that was recommended and masks with a higher standard of protection. We have the same level of protection that Emory and Nebraska have in their facilities that have successfully treated patients with Ebola. The patients treated at those facilities have survived and are all safe.”

Link added that the isolation unit in 7W had specialized equipment with ICU-level care, including dialysis available in the room so patients don’t have to be brought anywhere else and a separate lab available so tests can be done right in the unit. “The patients are completely sealed off with no possibility of mixing,” he said.

The Wall Street Journal also reported last Friday that Bellevue has actually long been prepared for such an event, as the hospital already had an isolation ward that was put in place in the 1990s to deal with the AIDS crisis. The unit was developed when health officials were struggling to control the increasing number of tuberculosis cases driven by the rise of HIV, which lowered resistance to TB in infected adults. The ward has special anterooms, as well as plumbing and ventilation separate from the rest of the hospital, which became crucial in the city’s successful fight against TB.

Since Spencer was admitted to Bellevue, there was an additional scare with a five-year-old Bronx resident who had recently returned from Guinea and was also exhibiting the tell-tale symptoms of the illness, including a fever. He was tested on Monday and the result was negative. The hospital conducted an additional test “out of an abundance of caution” and kept the boy for observation. He was found to have a respiratory infection, which can have similar symptoms of Ebola. He was removed from isolation on Tuesday and remained at the hospital for treatment of the infection.

Bellevue reported that Spencer, who had also recently returned from Guinea, remained in serious but stable condition as of Tuesday.