Letters to the editor, July 13

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

This tenant doesn’t want to be ‘public’

To the Editor:

The Tenants Association is up to its old tricks again – forcing residents to list their name publicly (even if they don’t pay dues), or the TA will not act on their behalf, as a tenants’ representative.

I received an official looking letter from the TA, even though I have never paid dues to them.   The letter said I must choose between two unappealing choices:

Choice A:  I must list my name as a “Public Member” of the TA. The letter says that the TA will only speak for those who are willing to be listed publicly as Public Members.

Choice B:  If I do not list my name, the TA states that I waive all rights to any benefit that a Court may award to residents of Stuyvesant Town. Choice B states:

“I do not wish to become a Public Member and hereby grant to the STPCV TA, its President or Secretary, and any legal counsel chosen by the Board of Directors standing permission to enter into settlements of legal claims with benefits which may accrue solely to those who sign the Public Member Pledges, and we waive any claim to such benefits.

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Letters to the editor, June 29

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Not everyone should have a shot

I read your editorial of Thursday, June 15, 2017.  Given its headline, “Outdated rule makes running for office even more difficult,” I thought I’d be reading about the State Supreme Court Nominating Convention, which one former district leader described as byzantine.

Instead, I read about a so-called “archaic” rule that candidates “are at risk of being booted off the ballot” for duplicate signatures. Well, after slipping through a gauntlet of Vanessa T. Aronson’s petitioners to enter the Stuyvesant Town gates at 18th Street and First Avenue, I ran into my upstairs neighbor who offered me a big handshake. We started talking and soon he was yelling at the petitioners.

I said, “Dude, what’s up? They’re entitled to try to get signatures.”

He wanted no part of it and I had to hold him back from going after the two of them.

I said, “What did they say? Did they demean you, or your family?”

I would have gone over to the petitioners and tried to mop it up had he given me some grist. Instead, he then turned on me while the petitioners yelled, “Go Democrats!”

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Associated will get a lease extension, how long unclear

Stuyvesant Town’s Associated Supermarket (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Stuyvesant Town’s Associated Supermarket will be getting a lease extension, the property’s management said on Friday, although it isn’t clear how long this arrangement will last.

Associated’s owners have hoped to remain open once the 14th street store’s lease expires at the end of the year, even with a Trader Joe’s expected to move across the street.

“We are reassured by this agreement that the residents of PCVST will have uninterrupted access to a grocer as the retail food landscape is expected to change on 14th Street,” said Rick Hayduk, CEO and general manager of StuyTown Property Services. “The owners of Associated have been long-term partners of the community and we’re grateful for their cooperation through this process,” he added.

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Letters to the Editor

June8 Toon Mr Met

Save our supermarket

The following is an open letter to Stuyvesant Town Property Services CEO/Stuy Town General Manager Rick Hayduk,

As a 41-year long resident of Stuyvesant Town, I am writing to ask you to reconsider Blackstone’s determination to raise the rent against the Associated Supermarket on 14 th Street, causing them to leave our neighborhood.

It is most distressing that almighty profit once again outweighs the value that that market has had in our neighborhood for 25 years.

When I first learned that the store would open there, I was dubious. However, they have been able to run the store and the multiple complications connected with that with a minimum of disruption to us… despite the load in of product, the removal of garbage and the acceptance of bottles from street collectors.

The store’s employees are like family to us… we have seen them get their first job, pay for college, get married, take maternity leave and return, and have a decent job for these many years.

That has been an invaluable commitment on the store owners’ parts, creating a special feeling for those of us who have shopped there.

I know this letter won’t change your mind or the direction your negotiations take.

But I hope it makes you a little less able to look yourself in the mirror.

Sincerely, 

Lynne Hayden-Findlay, ST

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Morton Williams reportedly won’t sign lease after learning Trader Joe’s will open across from Stuy Town

Associated Supermarket in Stuyvesant Town (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

That was fast.

A mere few days after employees at Stuyvesant Town’s Associated Supermarket were warned that their new employer (for at least a 90-day trial period) would be Morton Williams, the latter supermarket company decided it would not be signing a lease for the space, said Joseph Falzon, one of four owners of the Associated.

Morton Williams apparently decided to pull the plug after hearing that a Trader Joe’s would be moving across the street from Stuyvesant Town in the site that was formerly home to the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office.

The developers behind that under-construction residential building, Mack Real Estate Group and Benenson Capital Partners, declined to comment through a spokesperson. A spokesperson for Trader Joe’s did not yet respond to a request for comment, nor did a spokesperson for Morton Williams.

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Morton Williams expected to take over Stuy Town Associated’s space

Associated Supermarket in Stuyvesant Town (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Monday, employees of the Stuyvesant Town Associated Supermarket, where the owners had been negotiating to keep the store’s lease, all got letters informing them that Morton Williams is going to be taking over the space.

According to one employee, the letter says workers, who are unionized, will get to keep their jobs for at least three months and at that point will be evaluated.

“They have a big company and room to grow,” the worker said the letter from Morton Williams informed them.

Meanwhile, one of the store’s owners, Joseph Falzon, had told Town & Village last month he was almost certain his lease would not be getting renewed. Though a lease has yet to be signed with Morton Williams, Falzon said he suspects a new tenant would have to pay double the rent Associated is paying, which is now $60,000 a month.

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Police Watch: Man busted for strangling pregnant girlfriend, Man arrested for multiple burglaries

MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO STRANGLING PREGNANT GIRLFRIEND IN MATERNITY WARD
Police arrested 25-year-old Malcolm Rawlinson for strangulation inside Bellevue Hospital last Thursday at 7:45 a.m. Police said that the victim was in the maternity ward with her boyfriend, who is the father of her unborn child, when Rawlinson allegedly struck her in the face and strangled her. She suffered pain and bruising to her face and a sore throat. Rawlinson also allegedly stole the woman’s wallet and phone.
According to the district attorney, Rawlinson pleaded guilty to criminal obstruction of breathing. He was released on his own recognizance, although a temporary order of protection has been issued. He has not been sentenced yet.

MAN BUSTED FOR BURGLARIES THROUGHOUT MANHATTAN
Abraham Cruz, 44, was charged in connection with a burglary in July that took place inside Lahori Kabab at 122 Lexington Avenue after he was arrested for a burglary on the Upper West Side earlier this month. The owner of the kabab place told police that he closed up his business at 4 a.m. on July 2 and all the surveillance cameras were in working order, but when he returned later in the morning, he found that the cameras had been tampered with and both the recording system for the surveillance equipment and the cash register were both missing from the restaurant. Police said that the cash register turned up in a dumpster nearby and a fingerprint lifted from one of the surveillance cameras allegedly matched Cruz.
Cruz was arrested for the July incident at the 13th Precinct last Saturday, and police said that Cruz was connected to a number of other burglaries through his fingerprints, including two incidents on the Upper East and West Sides during the summer. The most recent incident was a burglary on West 91st Street on October 2 where he was caught on surveillance video allegedly stealing bicycles from the basement of the building.

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West 14th Street Associated closes

Politicians at a rally to save the supermarket in March (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Politicians at a rally to save the supermarket in March (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Sabina Mollot

The Associated supermarket on West 14th Street, which residents of Chelsea had been trying to save since March, has closed.

The supermarket, which faced a $168,000 rent hike from landlord Pan Am Equities, according to Gothamist, closed after May 1. The store, which is owned by the same group of owners who run the Associated supermarket in Stuyvesant Town, had been paying $32,000 in rent.

Reached this week at the Stuy Town location, principal owner Joseph Falzon said he wouldn’t be opening another supermarket in the Chelsea neighborhood.

“We checked around. The rents are ridiculous.”

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Stuy Town Associated owner’s Chelsea store is facing closure

Customers and elected officials attend a rally in support of the supermarket at West 14th Street. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Customers and elected officials attend a rally in support of the supermarket at West 14th Street. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Residents of Chelsea and Greenwich Village, along with local elected officials, this past Sunday protested the impending closure of an Associated Supermarket on West 14th, which is run by the same owners as the Stuyvesant Town Associated.

The store, located at 255 West 14th Street near Eighth Avenue, is in the tenth year of a 15-year lease but principal owner Joseph Falzon said it will likely be forced to close in May because of a stipulation that says the rent can be increased to market value in the last five years of the lease.

It was previously reported that the rent would be increased to $200,000 and although the actual increase would be half that at $100,000, it is still substantially more than the store’s current rent of $32,000.

“Even if we came to an agreement, the rent can’t be much more than what it is now anyway or we won’t survive,” Falzon said.

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Police Watch: Woman wanted for watch thefts, man arrested for punching woman on subway platform

Watch theft suspect

Watch theft suspect

COPS ON LOOKOUT FOR WOMAN WHO STOLE PRICEY WATCHES FROM TWO MEN
Police are looking for a woman who stole watches from two men she accompanied to hotels on different occasions last August. The first incident took place at a Flatiron hotel, the second one in Queens.
Police said that on Friday, August, 21 at around 4 a.m., the woman met the victim, a 35- year-old man, in the Meat Packing District before taking her to the ACE hotel at 20 West 29th Street.  When the man fell asleep, the woman took the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore watch worth $55,000 off of his wrist and took off.
Four days later on August 25 at 1 a.m., another man, 28, met up with the woman in front of the Catch Restaurant located at 21 9th Avenue in Chelsea. He then brought her to the Z hotel located 42-45 11th street in Queens. After the man fell asleep, the suspect took the watch off his wrist, another Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore watch worth $50,000, and left.
The suspect is described as Hispanic, approximately 5’8” with long black hair and a light complexion with a tattoo on her hand. Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS .

WOMAN PUNCHED AT 23RD STREET N/R STATION
Police arrested 47-year-old Cleveland Gibbs for allegedly randomly punching a woman on the subway last Wednesday.
The victim said she was at the 23rd Street N/R station at Fifth Avenue at around 10:30 a.m., waiting for the train on the downtown platform when Gibbs punched her in the face for no apparent reason. His fist hit her right cheek, causing swelling and redness. She said that Gibbs then followed her out of the turnstile and walked towards her but when she told him to get away, he walked off. She then followed him out of the station at a safe distance while on the phone with 911 as she gave a description of him. At that time he approached her again but soon backed off, turning around when she told him to get away. He was arrested a short time later.

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Letters to the Editor, Nov. 26

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Scientists largely in agreement on climate

Re: “Climate researchers and false prophets,” letter by Gamaliel Isaac, T&V, Nov. 19

Firstly, the words “climate” and “weather” are not synonyms. The former refers to the world’s atmosphere over given periods of time; weather refers to temperature, precipitation, humidity, etc. in one specific area at a given time and attempts to predict the next few days.

Then there is science which we all have learned – but, usually a list of facts – with little emphasis on what “the scientific method” really means and its importance.

There is also the difference between the weathermen we see on TV (who are usually selected for on camera appearance and likability) and climatologists who are scientists.

John Coleman, whose documentary where he posits on the false assertions of climate change, is a weatherman (who worked on WCBS and WNBC and is now CEO of the Weather Channel). I am aware that about half of weathermen (and women) agree with Mr. Coleman.

But, 98 percent of climatologists and other scientists all agree with climate warming and its relationship since the industrial age as increasing amounts of carbon have been increased via humans’ use of fossil fuels. Which group has the background to achieve credibility?

Gamaliel Isaac, your allusion to the superstitious beliefs of the Xhosa in South Africa reminds me of the about ten persons hanged during the Salem witch trials. How one can compare the concerns of scientists to those of primitive groups – as you refer to the Xhosa tribe in Africa (or my example of the Puritans in Salem is beyond me).

If someone in the early 20th Century said that two small electronic units: one in the U.S. and the other in the U.K. could communicate without any wires, they would be thought to be crazy — but through the marvel of the scientific method, it can now be done.

CNN reported yesterday that each of the last six months successively have been recorded as the most warm since record keeping began. And, see Sunday’s NYT Magazine (11/15) on the continuing melting of the polar icecaps. And, science is nether liberal nor conservative.

David Chowes, PCV

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Blackstone to keep affordable supermarket in ST

Reps for owner meet with tenants on Associated as well as maintenance and safety concerns

A petition recently circulated to save the Associated Supermarket got over 800 signatures online and hundreds more on paper. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

A petition recently circulated to save the Associated Supermarket got over 800 signatures online and hundreds more on paper. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

New owner Blackstone has committed to keeping an affordable supermarket in Stuyvesant Town, although it may not be Associated.

Last week, a petition was started to save the 25-year-old supermarket, which, as Town & Village reported in October, was being pressured to end its lease early, even after CWCapital turned down an offer from a competing market to go in at a higher rent.

However, last Thursday, Blackstone reps told members of the Tenants Association board at a private meeting that there would continue to be an affordable option for tenants when shopping for groceries.

As of T&V’s press time, an online petition in support of the store had over 850 signatures. The Tenants Association had also created paper petitions that were placed by each store cashier, which got hundreds more signatures. Many residents had been concerned that the store would be replaced by a more expensive supermarket or no supermarket at all.

Blackstone rep Paula Chirhart, who was at the meeting with the Tenants Association, later told T&V, “We are committed to keeping an affordable grocery in that space.”

She noted that the Associated still has two more years to go before the store’s lease is up.

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ST Associated owner worried about renewal

The Associated’s owners recently closed a Third Avenue Met Foods supermarket. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

The Associated’s owners recently closed a Third Avenue Met Foods supermarket. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

The owners of Stuyvesant Town’s Associated Supermarket are worried that theirs could be the next local supermarket to disappear.

While the end of the store’s 15-year lease is still two years away, one of the owners said they have been trying to confirm that there would be an opportunity to renew at that time for over a year.

According to Joseph Falzon, the principal owner of the Associated, he’d been asking because he wants to renovate the store.

But, he explained to Town & Village, he wanted to make sure the store had a future before making the investment, which he feels is necessary given competition from places like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods in Union Square.

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Letters to the Editor, Nov. 20

Thankful to a neighbor in Stuyvesant Town

Giving thanks came early last week at Associated thanks to Pat, the lady behind me on line, who insisted on paying my grocery bill when the cashier informed me I had only three cents left in my food stamp account.

It was November 12, my usual day to start receiving food stamps for the month, and I had only a small change purse with me that had nowhere near enough to cover the bill.

What I didn’t know was that the federal government wasn’t working on Veterans Day so all those who usually get their allotment on the 11th had to wait til the next day and those on the 12th still another day. Don’t know how long it takes for everyone to get back on schedule.

This most generous woman lives in Stuyvesant Town but refused to give me her last name so we could eventually pay her back. She’s somewhere in the SW quadrant near Playground 7, maybe 455 or 453 East 14th St. And we can’t thank her enough!

Name withheld, ST

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Letters to the Editor, Oct. 16

Mayor’s actions aren’t measuring up

Re: “The Soapbox: Why the mayor won’t support a conversion,” T&V, Oct. 9

To the Editor:

Iggy Reilly argues that the mayor won’t support a conversion because it would reduce the number of affordable housing units; since the mayor supports “affordable housing,” whatever that means, he can’t appear to contradict himself by advocating both.

This argument assumes that the mayor really supports affordable housing because he has said so. But his actions say otherwise. He has followed in the footsteps of Bloomberg and Giuliani and appointed a Rent Guidelines Board that has just increased rents again. If the mayor is not aware of the obvious, let me point out that increasing rents more and more every year results in less and less apartments that could be, at least “considered,” affordable.

But in truth with rent hikes every year for the past 20 years and more and more MCIs, affordable rents are approaching levels that could change a stabilized apartment to one subject to the free market. Affordability is a joke.

When I was working as a New York City teacher, my rent ate just 16 percent of my salary. Now retired, my “affordable” rent devours 47 percent of my pension, so I have less money to pay more rent. So I doubt the mayor is interested in affordable housing, at least not in Stuy Town where he undermined the efforts of our tenant-friendly neighbor and councilman, Dan Garodnick. Seems the mayor didn’t want a tenant advocate to head the City Council.

We live in a city, state and country where Greed is God, er, good. So if conversion is the goal, it will be necessary to stuff the ravenous jaws of that obese monster Greed with more green stuff than the other guy. Or, if the other guy has more cash (most likely), tenant groups around the city could wage a city-wide education campaign to inform millions of tenants that their rent hikes are the result of the mayor’s actions and urge them to write so many letters to the mayor that all the offices at City Hall will be stuffed.

The mayor must be made to realize that he will not be re-elected unless he reduces rents, not allow them to continuing increasing like the monster Greed.

John Cappelletti, ST

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