Letters to the Editor, July 21

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Bushy tailed beasts have taken over

Re: “Are Stuy Town squirrels getting more aggressive?”, T&V, July 14

When walking through the beautiful grounds of Stuyvesant Town, it is a melancholy sight to behold  furry tailed rodents on their hind legs begging, especially female squirrels who clearly have been nursing yet another generation of newborns destined to develop into increasingly aggressive beasts.

The reports of squirrels sinking their sharp teeth into babies is just the latest phase of the invasion of the aggressive squirrel. (We know it’s true; after all we “heard” about it on the internet!) One  squirrel bite today means there will be another one tomorrow, but even more aggressive, and another deeper one the day after, and so on, until what had started as simple begging inevitably develops into ripping the flesh off of us all.

Not too long ago, I myself witnessed a woman issue a blood-curdling scream of  terror as an infant squirrel followed her, hoping that the plastic bag she carried might have a nut for him. A pox on those who say it is only a few bad apples, a few squirrelly individuals, because we know it’s not one or two or three, but many — no, not many — all of them. They are out to get us.

Clearly we residents of Stuyvesant Town are under assault. There’s no other way to look at it. We are being attacked by vicious long-toothed terrorizing monsters who will stop at nothing. It’s time to stand up to this enemy. With that in mind I have a modest proposal for a solution to the squirrel problem.


I propose we put a bounty on each squirrel’s head.  This would be a fair, cheap and easy method of making these squirrels sound and useful members of the community and  would so well benefit  the public. The culling of squirrels is quite common in Appalachia, and even in merry old England where its citizens currently seek to wipe out the immigrant grey squirrel from their land (and return England to its rightful state of purity).

For each squirrel’s carcass, a reward of $25 would be issued from the Stuyvesant Oval Amenities which in turn would  forward the carcasses to third party vendors for processing of meat and fur skins. At the Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket residents could buy certified Stuy Town squirrel meat to cook for Sunday dinner and furs made out of squirrel pelts to keep the family warm in winters.

Culling methods, of course,  could vary. Too bad we have such draconian gun laws. Just imagine… but that’s another story. Therefore,  simple clubs are an obvious choice, especially with these little monsters being so trustworthy (or is it aggressive) — they’ll  come right up to you and you will whack them with the surprise of their lives!

We can get the children involved too. Better to club squirrels than to feed them.  The innocents taking out the innocents! Then there’s the use of dogs. The Lord knows we have enough dogs around to turn them loose on these critters. Imagine the terror in the little buggers trying to find safety up a tree but getting caught in the teeth of an ardent canine. How happy the dogs would be!  And their owners elated! To heck with Henry David Thoreau who said, “The squirrel you kill in jest, dies in earnest.” Let the little terrorists know what it is to be terrorized!

With effective implementation of this plan, we would all be happy and safe from the terror that now lurks in the trees of Stuyvesant Town.

Fearfully yours,

William Kelly

P.S. Let’s make Stuyvesant Town great again!


Enjoying the new and improved cafe

Dear Editor,

Thank you to Rick Hayduk and his management team for the newly renovated Five Stuy Café located on the Oval. The interior is bright and open, menu delicious and the terrace facing the Oval is a wonderful outdoor space. The other evening, I saw so many residents and their families enjoying the coffee, baked goods, drinks and even a game of backgammon. Dogs also enjoyed the “fido fountain”! It’s fantastic we can buy coffee or a latte without walking all the way to First Avenue, especially for our neighbors who live near Avenue C.

Let’s hope the Tenants Association has abandoned their position of opposing all commercial activity in our community.

Name withheld, ST


Appreciating cafe and greenmarket

To the Editor,

This weekend, we enjoyed both the Five Stuy Café and the Farmers Market. Thank goodness the naysayers at the Tenants Association were not successful in their zeal to shut down the farmers market, on the grounds of “inappropriate commercial activity.”

The farmers market indeed benefits all residents of the complex – providing fresh, organic fruits, vegetables, breads, fish and meats to all who live here.

The residents deserve the opportunity to have a farmers market here in our community.

Let’s hope the “TA of No” changes its views and comes to support sensible commercial enterprises like the farmers market, the skating rink, and Five Stuy Café.

Name withheld, ST


In response to the two letters above, Town & Village asked ST-PCV Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg to clarify what, if any, position the association has taken on the greenmarket, the café and other commercial ventures in Stuyvesant Town. In response, Steinberg said: “Although the TA has never opposed the greenmarket, we are committed to preventing the commercialization or development of the open spaces in ST/PCV. Again, the TA has taken no position on the café. The café, as well as the other Oval Amenities, were not constructed on open spaces. Prior to their construction, those spaces were off limits to tenants.”

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25 thoughts on “Letters to the Editor, July 21

  1. On many occasions, the Tenants Association asked Council members and State Senators to request that the NYC Department of Buildings and Department of City Planning serve a notice of violation on STPCV’s owner for inviting the Greenmarket into the Oval on Sundays. For many months, the TA insisted that the Greenmarket constituted illegal commercial activity. Ms. Steinberg might not have been part of the TA Board at that time, but the TA’s own website confirms that it opposed the farmers market.

    • For those of you who were here during the Tishman Speyer years, the greenmarket and the various Oval amenities were built and/or implemented by a landlord whose business model was to do everything possible to push long-term stabilized tenants out and promote our unique community as luxury housing. The amenities, including the greenmarket, were an attempt to attract tenants willing to pay market rate, and most of these new services were/are profit centers.

      In the face of what we viewed as an assault on our middle-class community and concerned for the uniqueness of our property, a property that was relatively untouched from 1947 through Met Life’s departure, the TA investigated the legality of the new uses and facilities. We never took a formal position because some of the new uses clearly appealed to tenants, but we sought to mitigate conditions that were problematic.

      We were concerned with the siting of the greenmarket, more so than the activity of it, and were concerned that the pristine Oval was not an appropriate place, particularly since it involved large trucks driving right up to the Oval to unload early Sunday morning. We, along with our elected officials, arranged for food trucks removed from regular idling within the Oval inasmuch as the noise and fumes from the trucks were bothersome to those in nearby apartments. And, as Ed Dunn has pointed out, the City Planning Commission approved amenities on the basis of their being for residents and guests only.

      The greenmarket has proven very popular and actually provides great convenience to many who find getting around to the various supermarkets or other greenmarkets difficult. We will continue to monitor changes to our community to help ensure that they are a true benefit for our residents.

      Susan Steinberg

  2. There is some major revisionist history going down here regarding the Café and the Greenmarket. The issue is that such ventures as the Café, the Greenmarket, the Ice Rink, etc., are allowed in the interior of Stuyvesant which is zoned as R7-2-(R for residential) because they are considered by the DOB as “residential amenities” for an “accessory use”, and their use is restricted to “residents and their guests only”. The same restriction is used for the fifteen playgrounds located in Stuy Town (formally PCVST). When the Greenmarket was first opened, there were no signs indicating this restriction. And the Greenmarket was advertised on line with no restrictive use language as well. As part of the agreement with Dan Garodnick and CWC/Rose Associates, this restriction was included as part of the deal and the signs were added. Those signs are long gone. When the Café was first opened to the residents, there was language at the official PCVST webpage indicating the restriction as well. That language has been gone for some time now. There have never been signs inside the Café, current and past, noting the user restriction. Funny, at both the Ice Rink and “The Courts” (Playground Eleven), both which use outside vendors for “Pay to Play” activities, the signs for “residents and their guests only” are clearly visible.

    I would more than happy to patronize both ventures if they truly complied with the NYC DOB zoning law and the agreement made with the City Council and the then current management. If there is no enforcement, then they are not true ““accessory use” for “residents and their guests only” nor are they “residential amenities” but are blatant commercial ventures open to all. Has the NYC zoning law changed regarding the designation of the interior of Stuy Town? I don’t think so; correct me if I am wrong.

    In addition to the Tenants Association update provided at this current Town and Village blog thread, here’s the T&V link for Susan Steinberg’s 4/11/2013 letter to the Town and Village regarding the Tenant’s Association’s official position on the Greenmarket.

    https://town-village.com/2013/04/11/letters-to-the-editor-apr-11/

    Here it is in full:

    “but the TA’s own website confirms that it opposed the farmers market.”

    Daniel Cooper, can you please provide the copy and paste of the text and the link, if still available, for this statement. Thank you.

    From James Roth’s 5/03/2012 letter to the Town and Village. See T&V link. By the way, James Roth was a TA Board member at that time but his opinion as expressed as per his letter (and fairly obvious as per the text in the letter) was that he was not representing the Tenants’ Association nor the Tenant’s Association Board but just himself as an individual tenant.

    https://town-village.com/2012/05/03/letters-to-the-editor-may-3/

    NYC Zoning link for R7-2:

    http://www1.nyc.gov/site/planning/zoning/access-text.page

  3. Mr. Dunn,

    Your spirited opposition to the farmers market is noted. You are more than welcome to shop at The Associated, Gracefully, Gristedes, The Food Emporium, or the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company.

    The farmers of the Hudson Valley will miss you, but they will survive. The Tenants Association lobbied hard to stop the farmers market. They met several times with Councilmember Garodnick and Assemblymember Kavanagh in its effort to halt the farmers market. Jim Roth, Steve Newmark, John Marsh and three other members specifically asked the elected officials to do everything in their power to block the farmers market.

    For example, if you read Dan Garodnick’s strongly worded letter to the Department of City Planning, you will see that Ms. Susan Steinberg is cc’d at the bottom of the letter, as as “Tenants Association”.

    Yours sincerely,

    Maria Carpenter

    • Maria E. Carpenter:

      So predictable that you have misquoted me and have bought up the fake environmental issue which I did not bring up but you did. I knew that was coming. BTW, I am a Stuyvesant HS graduate and went to the NYS Syracuse School of Environmental Science and Forestry where I majored in Resource Management. My wife and I both belong to four environmental organizations. In fact, I have Mennonite in-laws and not too long ago, I spent three days (the hardest work I ever did) working at their farm in PA. So please spare me your poisonous elitist/organic/artisanal barbs.

      “The Tenants Association lobbied hard to stop the farmers market. They met several times with Councilmember Garodnick and Assembly member Kavanagh in its effort to halt the farmers market. Jim Roth, Steve Newmark, John Marsh and three other members specifically asked the elected officials to do everything in their power to block the farmers market.”

      That is an outright lie. Again, here is Steinberg’s letter to the T&V

      “TA not opposed to the greenmarket”
      “To the Editor:
      The ST/PCV Tenants Association was stunned to learn via a letter to the editor from Name Withheld (T&V, April 4, 2013) that it “is again fighting the farmers market, this time demanding the equivalent of a ‘gated community’.” Where did the courageous Name Withheld get “again” from?
      We have never taken a position against the greenmarket. Rather, when commercial activity became intrusive two years ago with the daily appearance of vending trucks on the Oval, the Tenants Association asked Council Member Dan Garodnick to inquire of the New York Department of City Planning as to the appropriateness of such activity in an area not zoned for it. The anonymous letter writer obviously misread the response of Amanda Burden, the department’s chair. In her letter to Garodnick, Ms. Burden indicated that the trucks were clearly in violation but that the law allows limited commercial activities that are designed to serve as an “accessory use” for residents and their guests only.
      Of City Planning’s interpretation of zoning rules on a property like the Oval, she wrote: “Green Markets that operate as an open commercial use would… be prohibited.” In other words, the greenmarket is not to serve as a neighborhood resource.
      The TA simply supports the consistent application of the law and the notion that Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper open spaces and playgrounds are for the use of rent-paying residents and their guests.
      Sincerely,
      Susan Steinberg, Chair, ST/PCV Tenants Association

      Again, as stated: “Green Markets that operate as an open commercial use would… be prohibited.”

      That is the key text. “Open Commercial”. If it is truly a “resident amenity” with the “residents and guests only” restriction enforced, the Greenmarket in the Oval is not an issue. But then, of course, you must deflect and make the issue about supporting sustainable local farming.

      Funny, in your post, no mention of the zoning law regarding the “residents and their guests” only restriction. BTW, on their link, for the Stuy Town Oval Greenmarket GrowNYC link is the following:

      “The Peter Cooper Village/Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket is open to Stuyvesant Town residents and guests only.”

      They were forced to add that disclaimer.

      http://www.grownyc.org/greenmarket/manhattan/stuyvesant-town

      Full disclosure, what financial connections, if any, do you have with GrowNYC, which, BTW, does good work in properly zoned locations. And your text “ the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company.” I guess you have not been following current events because I will have to go shopping with them in Manhattan- in bankruptcy court. BTW, Associated delivers free to seniors and the disabled. But I guess that really does not matter to you.

  4. Susan Steinberg is incorrect. The Cafe space formerly housed 2 bathrooms that were used by tenants, and the Recreation Office.

  5. William Kelly:

    Reviewing your many squirrel options, you forgot this one:

    CHEF-“What you want me to do ?”
    WILLARD-“Here, take the radio. If I don’t get back by 2200 hours,
    you call in the airstrike.”
    CHEF-“Airstrike ?”
    WILLARD-“The code is Almighty, coordinates 090264712.. It’s
    all in here.”

  6. Interesting, the complaints vs acceptance of the Farmer’s Market relative to zoning, non-commercial use, etc.. I repeat, PCV/ST is a huge residential community, in the midst of the greatest city in the world, and easily accessible to every amenity, store, market, restaurant, facility, recreation site, etc.. Our development is a safe haven removed from the undue noise, tumult, crowds, and frenetic pace of the city. There should not be any shopping/retail sites, unnecessary noise, unnecessary visitors, squirrel/dog problems, etc.. Anything initiated relative to this community should only be directed towards maintaining safety, quiet, rent controls, basic necessities, and appropriate shelter, not things that create higher rents for the owners or higher profits for the owners.

    Stuart Levinson

  7. In now way am I a fan of the TA, but those two name withheld posts about 5 Stuy Cafe are obviously written by the same person (probably management). If the TA even put up a battle, they are obviously losing with all of these new additions to the property, so why call them out?

  8. All —

    For years, a dissident group has been asking the Tenants Association to post the minutes of its meetings on line — but the TA has refused.

    If you examined the minutes, as I have, you would see clearly that month after month, the TA expressed “grave concerns” about the Farmers Market. The TA consulted with its outside counsel on ways to block the Farmers Market. This ran up legal fees.

    Ultimately, the executive committee made the decision to ask the nearby elected officials to force the STPCV owner to end the Farmers Market. You’ll see this in the correspondence file at the Department of City Planning.

    It turned out that the TA’s interpretation of the zoning resolution was incorrect, and that farmers, which are largely family-owned and thinly profitable, may permissibly sell organic fruits, vegetables and breads, in the Oval.

    It’s a free and diverse community. Anyone who wishes to order from Seamless.com may do so. Do you object to deliverypersons biking through the community to deliver dinners? That’s commercial activity that goes on continuously, and yet the TA has never objected to deliverypersons for Petite Abeille and Brother Jimmy’s.

    Why object to farmers? Cut them a break.

    Maria C.

    • “If you examined the minutes, as I have”

      Yes, this is from an Avatar name that is most likely not real who claims that she has read the TA minutes. That’s rich. Who are you, Edward Snowden?

      BTW everyone, this is the poster who has claimed that she has submitted
      Anonymous or Avatar T&V blog poster names to the 13th Precinct and then stated:

      “I wanted to let you know that I notified the 13th Precinct about your attempted battery of a cyclist.The community affairs office will be in touch with you. I wanted to let you know that I notified the 13th Precinct about your attempted battery of a cyclist”.

      https://town-village.com/2016/06/09/letters-to-the-editor-june-9/

      Whether you hate or love the cafe and the Greenmarket, whether you love or hate the TA, I think we are all done here. See you all at Bellevue for the party.

      Woo!

      • Maria C is a troll with no credibility whatsoever. She has threatened many posters here with having the 13th Pct. note who they are and has tried to intimidate posters with threats of the 13th Pct. She/he is either a crackpot or a troll. Maybe both.

  9. William Kelly, appreciate the satire in your admittedly funny letter, but I suspect you have never experienced bushy-tailed rodents jumping into your young child’s stroller (no provocation or food involved), or else you would not be laughing quite so hard. It has happened to me on multiple occasions this spring and summer and I don’t recommend it.

  10. I was turned off by the flies zooming around the pastries at the Oval Cafe. I was also grossed out by the dogs sniffing and peeing around the “Greenmarket” stands. We don’t need (and most of us don’t want) a cafe or greenmarket on the grounds of this once-peaceful property. We are not out in the sticks with no amenities within short walking distance of our homes. I’m talking real greenmarkets and eateries.
    Marie Carpenter is either a nutjob or a troll. Now she will report me to the 13th Pct! LOL!

  11. Just curious —

    The Tenants Association is required to make its minutes available, is it not? I have not been able to find its financial statements anywhere.

    There is a non-profit registered with the State of New York called the “Stuyvesant Town Tenants Association, but no mention of “Peter Cooper Village”. Are these the same organizations?

    It should be a relatively easy matter for the TA to make public its minutes from its meetings in mid-2011. This was the period of time when Dan Garodnick was writing letters to the City and CW Capital. I see that the TA used to have these angry letters on its website, but the TA has since taken them down.

    https://town-village.com/2011/11/10/1550/

    Kind regards,

    • That will NEVER happen! It is a closed and secret organization and you have to be a Board member or complicit politician to get a peek at the books.

  12. That’s certainly a reasonable perspective on this…

    But, I thought that all non-profit organizations were supposed to put their financial statements on their home page.

    After a few days of digging and talking with an accountant, I saw that we seem to have a “Tenants Association,” and then ALSO something called the “STPCV Tenants Association Foundation”.

    This “STPCV Tenants Association Foundation, Inc.” has at least $10,000 in it — and possibly more because of some exemptions from filing.

    However, it has no financial statements and no accounting for how the money is spent. The funds came from various city agencies. Here is the link to the filings –

    https://www.charitiesnys.com/RegistrySearch/show_details.jsp?id=26DF48C8-2395-4307-AE96-EC33AD8E1B7F

    Is this a secret account? Why are funds that are supposed to go to the Tenants Association being channeled to the “STPCV Tenants Association Foundation, Inc.” — which is not mentioned anywhere on the TA’s website.

    Then, if you open the Foundation’s By-laws, you’ll see that the members of the Foundation are, in fact, the Board members of the TA.

    So what’s happening is that the TA is receiving public money that is supposed to be going to serve the tenants.

    The funds are going into a corporation that is solely controlled and owned by the Board members of the TA. Once the funds are re-channeled into the Foundation, there is no accountability on how the funds are spent, whether for private or personal use.

    I have been a long-time member of the STPCV Tenants Association, and I have never heard of this slush fund.

    Do any of the commenters who read this blog know anything about it?

  13. What is the “STPCV Tenants Association Foundation, Inc.”?

    According to the State Attorney General, the “STPCV Tenants Association Foundation” received $30,000 in money from City Hall last year.

    But it only has nine members — who are the Board of Directors of the TA. And they are protected by the “classified board members” provision invented by Paul Weiss.

    This “Foundation” doesn’t have financial statements. But it seems to go out and get grants from City Agencies.

    That sounds like a pretty severe conflict of interest. What does the money get used for? In whose name does the Foundation solicit the grants?

    Does the TA serve tenants?

    Or does it serve the corrupt City Hall machine.

    The time has come for both the Tenants Association and the “STPCV Foundation” to make all of their financials available to tenants and to the public And to provide more information on the secret City Hall money that is being funneled to the “Foundation”.

    • Alicia,

      That is extremely, extremely disturbing if true. What do they need to raise fees for if they are receiving $30,000 for City Hall? I also like that last year was the year that all of these bozos were walking around with the mayor and doing silly press conferences where they all pat themselves on the back for “saving affordable housing.”

      It is about time that the TA discloses it’s financials and meeting minutes to all tenants. I for one will not be paying the $50 to an organization with absolutely no transparency.

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