Letters to the Editor, Apr. 27

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Lawns for people, not pooches

To the Editor:

The newly hired management people have made one of their first decisions to eliminate many of the lawn covered green spaces in the back of our buildings and turn them into “dog friendly spaces.” These are now effectively noisy dog runs and puts dogs before tenants. Not a good start.

Formerly, these lawns were used by young children to crawl and play around – sometimes tenants would read, relax or sun bathe on them. These, along with benches, playgrounds and the Oval, were much needed islands of tranquility amid the city and helped make Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village the oasis it was once known for (see the lovely 70th Anniversary Exhibit on the Oval).

In turning these lawns into fly infested dog toilets, we now witness employees having to clean up after those dog owners who are not so thoughtful – a real waste of their time and energy. These lawns will soon turn into brown and dead places as the small “dog friendly” areas set up previously have become. They will also match the lovely stained carpets that greet guests as they step out of elevators on many floors of our buildings. This is getting out of hand. The next logical step is to turn Stuyvesant Oval into a large dog run with all that space and those trees.

A suggestion. Why not put up signs reading “Curb Your Dog,” which, by the way, is the law in New York City. Dog owners could allow their dogs to relieve themselves in handy nearby gutters which are supposed to be cleaned and disinfected by Sanitation vehicles at least once a week. Owners would still need to clean up after their dogs. No poop and flies on the green spaces or sidewalks. No noisy dog runs. More sanitary conditions in ST/PCV. In short, put tenant needs before dog needs.

Name withheld, ST

Continue reading

Dog Days are here again

Diane Patrone, Cha Cha, Fanny, and Jordan Gunter

By Maya Rader

The dog days are officially upon us. On Saturday morning, Stuyvesant Town held its first Dog Days event of the season. Residents brought their pups to Playground 1 to play and socialize with other dogs while stands were set up manned by local pet-related businesses. The event was also attended by an adorable pot-bellied pig that arrived in a stroller. The pig is currently being housed at Whole Health Veterinary Hospital on First Avenue.

The event also included an obstacle course with toys laid out across the playground, including seesaws, tunnels and bars for Fido to practice jumping over.

Photos by Maya Rader

Continue reading

Dog bites dog in Stuyvesant Town, owner files suit

Dog owners Liza Grier (left) and Siddharth Dube spoke about their experiences of dog-on-dog violence at a Stuyvesant town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association meeting on Saturday. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Dog owners Liza Grier (left) and Siddharth Dube spoke about their experiences of dog-on-dog violence at a Stuyvesant town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association meeting on Saturday. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

In July, Town & Village reported on a Stuyvesant Town pooch who was badly injured after getting mauled by another dog in the complex. Though the 13-year-old Portuguese water dog named Lorca has since recovered from the dog bite, his owner Siddharth Dube has sued the owners of the other dog.

According to the suit, he’s hoping to recover $7,500 in vet bills as well as $2,600 income he lost out on while caring for Lorca and other related expenses.

It was on June 27 when Dube said Lorca was bitten by the other dog, on his upper left leg, the wound later requiring surgery. He had been walking Lorca near the Oval when a woman passed by him with her own dog and a baby in a carriage. Dube was talking on his phone until he turned around after hearing Lorca howl in pain. Both owners tried to reel in their dogs on their leashes, but weren’t successful in getting the other dog’s jaws off Lorca until Dube kicked him off, he previously told T&V.

The suit also notes that he had to forcibly remove the dog, which he described as a brown puggle. Dube quickly took his own pet home, where Lorca appeared to be shaken but otherwise okay. However, Dube later found him looking lifeless in the living room and called the vet who advised Dube to bring in Lorca immediately for surgery.

Continue reading

Speeding cyclists, dogs, MCIs, L train and other issues addressed at ST-PCV Tenants Association meeting

Stuyvesant Town General Manager Rick Hayduk speaks at a meeting alongside State Senator Brad Hoylman, Council Member Dan Garodnick. ST-PCV Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg and Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Stuyvesant Town General Manager Rick Hayduk speaks at a meeting alongside State Senator Brad Hoylman, Council Member Dan Garodnick. ST-PCV Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg and Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Safety and quality of life issues for Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village residents were addressed on Saturday at a Tenants Association meeting, from the upcoming “L-pocalypse” to speeding cyclists who terrorize local seniors.

As for the latter issue, Rick Hayduk, Stuyvesant Town’s general manager, told residents that soon new signs would be placed around the complex’s entrances warning cyclists to slow down and keep their lights on after dark.

In other complex news, management is also lightening the workloads of porters who will soon only be focused on two buildings each instead of three. Hayduck said tenants could expect to see the impacts of this in 60-90 days, since first management had to hire a few more part-time porters.

Hayduk also discussed a few other initiatives, like bulletin boards soon to come to in lobbies to provide property alerts and the “good neighbors” campaign, which he said has already had an effect on some people’s habits of slamming doors and smoking near buildings.

Continue reading

Pooch attacked by another dog in Stuy Town

July14 Siddharth and Lorca

Siddharth Dube and Lorca in Stuyvesant Town earlier this week (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

 

By Sabina Mollot

Just two weeks ago, Siddharth Dube didn’t know if his dog was going to survive the surgery he needed after being bitten by another dog. Dube’s dog, a Portuguese water dog, was nearly 14 years old and already had spinal problems, like inflamed discs, prior to being bitten on his upper leg, close to his back as he was being walked in Stuyvesant Town. But after the surgery and six days of recovery at the vet’s office, Dube was told his pet, Lorca, was stable, and could be taken home.

Fortunately, Lorca’s once again able to walk, and this week Dube told Town & Village he is hoping not just for the other dog owner to pay the vet bill, which totaled $6,500, but for Stuy Town management to start some sort of public database of dog bites. The database, he said, could include information like the breed of any dog that bites another.

According to Dube, he’d been walking Lorca on the morning of Monday, June 27 past 19/21 Stuyvesant Oval, when the dog stopped to relieve itself. At the same time another dog owner walked by, a young blonde woman who also had her baby with her in a carriage. “I smiled at her, she smiled at me,” Dube recalled. He was on the phone at the time but quickly turned around when he heard Lorca cry out in pain behind him. “He screamed in agony; it was the worst sound I ever heard,” said Dube.

Continue reading

Grounds get more dog friendly

The addition of more mulched areas as well as fences in ST/PCV is aimed at protecting the grass from dog waste.  This is part of an ongoing landscape renovation. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

The addition of more mulched areas as well as fences in ST/PCV is aimed at protecting the grass from dog waste. This is part of an ongoing landscape renovation. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

It’s springtime following a particularly rough winter that managed to be both unseasonably warm as well as frigid, and in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village that means just one thing: time for a landscape renovation.

Chuck Hartsell, the property’s director of horticulture and landscape, said this year’s damage wasn’t as extreme as in some recent years due to some precautionary work and current projects include adding 21 shade trees and protecting plants from dogs as well as making the grounds more dog friendly.

To accomplish the pooch-related goals, Hartsell said there’s been fencing and removal of fencing on a rotational basis on grass areas. This was done, he explained as “an experiment” with the grounds crew later noticing that a fenced-in area was kept pristine while an open area was completely laid to waste thanks to, well, dog waste.

Continue reading

Letters to the Editor, May 19

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cutting ST bus stop would harm seniors

Re: “Stuy Town M23 bus stops may be consolidated,” T&V, Apr. 14

The following is an open letter to Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg regarding the possible/closure elimination of the mid-block East 20th Street Crosstown 23.

I write to inquire the reason for/logic of the proposed consolidation of this bus stop. As well, I write to bring to your attention some other information which should be in the file, whilst the matter is being reviewed. Information perhaps not known to the expert sitting at a desk in an office devising a plan.

I live in Stuyvesant Town, just across the street (south) from the bus stop. As you know, 20th Street is very wide. There is ample room for other vehicles to pass a stopped bus. That is if the operator follows the rules and pulls into the curb. This rule is frequently not observed by drivers.

This is a very busy stop, serving diverse populations. I see the young with their hockey sticks and golf clubs en route to Chelsea Piers. I see parents with toddlers. I see seniors with their walkers — as many as three! They ride the bus over to Second to the grocery or Epiphany Church or the next stop to the Epiphany Branch Library and the Stein Senior Center. They could make it to the stops on Avenue C or First Avenue. To eliminate the mid-block stop would seriously circumscribe the possibilities for seniors. If not eliminate them entirely. Have you seen the New York Times science section this week on this very subject?

I am 80 years old and quite limber. I walked from the stop on Avenue C to the mid-block stop and then on to the First Avenue one. My stride I would estimate at 2.5 feet. Here are the number of strides; I’ll let your staff do the math. From Avenue C to the mid-block stop is 500 strides. From mid-block to First Avenue it is 200 strides plus 10.

I look forward to your reply. Or, if you prefer, I could come to your office to discuss the matter at hand.

Catha Grace Rambusch, ST

Continue reading

Trial dog run launched at ST playground

Fido got to frolic freely on Saturday and additional “dog days” are planned at Stuyvesant Town’s Playground 1 in response to requests for a dog run as well as the requests to keep the complex-dog park-free. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Fido got to frolic freely on Saturday and additional “dog days” are planned at Stuyvesant Town’s Playground 1 in response to requests for a dog run as well as the requests to keep the complex-dog park-free. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

After months of being deluged with requests for a dog run from countless dog owners in Stuyvesant Town — as well as equally passionate NIMBY pleas from other residents — management has debuted an experimental dog run at Playground 1.

The trial dog run program, dubbed “Dog Days,” was introduced at an event for dogs and their owners at the aforementioned playground near First Avenue on Saturday.

The trial dog run will be open for three more Saturdays, 90 minutes each time, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

While at Saturday’s event, Rick Hayduk, the general manager of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, explained that due to the controversial nature of the oft-spoken about dog run, a pilot program seemed necessary.

“Let me just say I lobbied all the stakeholders and no one had any objection to a trial,” he said. “A lot of the dog run conversation is hypothetical. It’s going to be loud, it’s going to be this.”

But Blackstone’s new management company, StuyTown Property Services, has come up with a plan that will hopefully keep the dog run from becoming a nuisance.

Continue reading

Letters to the Editor, Apr. 21

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

We help seniors avoid abusive grifters

To the Editor of Town & Village,

Sadly, the terrible roommate experience encountered by Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village resident “Neal,” described in your March 31, 2016, article “When your roommate’s an abusive grifter” is all too common in NYC. Thankfully, it need not be.

New York Foundation for Senior Citizens’ Home Sharing Program, the only service of its type in New York City, provides free comprehensive screening and matching services for individuals seeking shared living arrangements that can help potential roommates avoid the type of dreadful experience encountered by “Neal.”

The program’s team of experienced professional licensed social workers link potential “hosts” who have extra private spaces in their homes to share with compatible “guests” seeking suitable housing. At least one of the share-mates in each match must be age 60 or older. For more information on how New York Foundation for Senior Citizens’ Home Sharing Program can help promote companionship and enhance financial wellbeing by matching you or someone you know with a professionally screened and compatible roommate, call (212) 962-7559 or visit nyfsc.org today.

Sincerely,

Linda Hoffman
President, New York Foundation for Senior Citizens

Continue reading

Letters to the Editor, Mar. 31

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Suggestion for keeping STPCV paths clear

About the dogs, I would just like to put the following out for consideration.

NYC Health code 161.03 specifies: “A person who owns, possesses or controls a dog, cat or other animal shall not permit the animal to commit a nuisance on a sidewalk of any public place, on a floor, wall, stairway or roof of any public or private premises used in common by the public, or on a fence, wall or stairway of a building abutting on a public place.”

Whether or not the sidewalks of STPCV are deemed public or private, the reason this law is relevant is that we have very dense populations here of both people and dogs (perhaps the most dense in the city), and we have a lot of toddlers here who play and fall on these sidewalks all the time. These small children are the most important factor of all.

Even if dog owners clean up the messes, does that really matter so far as children’s health is concerned? There is residual fecal matter in all cases and in some cases, effective “picking up” is impossible especially if the dog is sick.

Just as in the rest of the city, dogs should not be allowed to defecate on our sidewalks. There’s actually more reason for this law to apply here than in the rest of the city.

In lieu of phasing out dogs here entirely, I’ll offer the following possible solution.

Today as I walked from the Oval toward 18th Street, I saw a couple with its dog doing its business off the sidewalk in a small, open mulched area. The dog finished, they picked up.  Fine.  Not on the sidewalk, totally within the law.

There is a small mulched area near the flagpole at 22nd Street where I’ve seen a man bring his dog. He stays on the mulch, stays off the grass, picks up afterward. Seems totally within the law.  Again, nothing done on the sidewalk.

Seems to me given appropriate limitations, a little intelligent planning and intelligent application of effort, small mulched areas could be set up around the buildings and used for the dogs to relieve themselves, and that would help. I’m not talking about dog runs. Just talking about small mulched areas where dogs could do their thing, owners pick up and then go on with their walks.

Of course, there would also have to be a cap on the number of dogs allowed here.  Past a certain point under any circumstances, the problem becomes totally unhealthy and unmanageable.

Any fines management decides to impose would also need to be enforced with respect to dog owners who refuse to cooperate. Accidents happen so fines would be limited to those who don’t clean up afterward (in accordance with NYS Heath Code 1310).

Barry Shapiro, PCV

Continue reading

Letters to the Editor: Mar. 24

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

When an inspector pays a call

This is to compliment Stuyvesant Town Public Safety Department and specifically Officer Brooks and the Public Safety Officers who were sent to my aid upon request. Also, this is an alert to your readership.

With illegal calls from the “supposed IRS” and recent alerts about phony Con Edison representatives making rounds, both scams having had been brought to my attention by Town & Village, there is another concern that I would like to share with our neighbors.

Last week, a would-be inspector from the Department of Buildings rang me from the intercom downstairs and wanted me to let him in to inspect my apartment. I advised him I had not requested his visit, I did not know who he was, if he had authority to inspect my apartment I should not have to buzz him in, and I would not do so.

Within minutes, he was ringing my bell and again I told him I would not let him in without a management escort. I immediately called Public Safety and spoke with Officer Brooks, who stayed on the phone with me while sending two Public Safety officers to come and escort the man into my apartment. Though this man had ID, it could have been fake.

Though he supposedly had had a complaint, it was not applicable to my apartment. He spent less than a minute in my apartment.

I want to thank Officer Brooks who was very thoughtful, staying on the line with me,  the Public Safety Officers who responded so quickly and efficiently, and especially management for providing us with a safe environment.

Also, I wanted to alert all tenants to not ever open their door to someone uninvited and to call Public Safety at (212) 598-5233 for an escort for “the visitor” if there is ever any doubt that someone has authority to enter their apartment.

Sincerely,

Kay Vota, ST

Continue reading

Letters to the Editor: Mar. 3

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Trump and Pope Francis

Donald Trump began his campaign for the presidency by descending from his escalator at Trump Tower (where else?) and began with his attack on Mexicans. Then he was critical of Sen. McCann because he only likes “winners.”

His continuing mantra was and is “to make America great again,” but lacking any substance. But, he is winning most of the base of the Republican Party – as he uses his unreality show street smarts and taps into the collective conscious, unconscious and subconscious of many of the low information segments of the electorate: often ignorant, racist and who depend on the reptilian aspects of their brains.

He has continually lied and attacked anyone who has gotten close to him. And, as in Love Story – he never had to say that he was sorry.

Last week, he attacked Pope Francis who is not only beloved by his flock, but by many non-Catholics – even many who have no faith.

Trump assures us that he is a Christian but doesn’t realize that the essence of the faith is not group membership – but rather involves emulating the teachings of Christ in behavior.

Trump and Cruz laud the religion but their behaviors are not consistent – for all they want is power. To be concise: they are part of the garden variety of populist fascists who emerge every once in a while – as they are destroy our always fragile democratic republic.

David Chowes, PCV

Continue reading

New tags will help identify ST/PCV dogs

Dog walkers bring their charges out for a stroll in Stuyvesant Town, in this photo taken in August of 2014. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Dog walkers bring their charges out for a stroll in Stuyvesant Town, in this photo taken in August of 2014. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Following a steady stream of complaints from residents with regards to dogs — from the lack of rule enforcement to the lack of a dog run — The Blackstone Group said it will be responding to at least one of those issues. Specifically, that of nonresident dogs as well as breeds banned from Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village regularly being walked onsite.

To do this, management will be issuing a new kind of ID tag that hangs from a strap on a hook from the leash handle in order to make the pooch immediately identifiable as one that’s been registered. The color will be the same shade of blue as the one used in the Stuy Town logo.

While residents’ dogs have already been given tags when registered with management, Public Safety officers have to get up close to the pets in order to see them.

Continue reading

Letters to the Editor, Jan. 21

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Con Ed blocking Ave. C parking spots

Dear T&V,

I have a complaint about a parking situation currently happening on East 16th Street just south of Avenue C. This street is located between two properties belonging to Con Edison. The block has public parking spaces for about 15 cars as regulated by D.O.T. signage.

For the last couple of weeks, Con Ed has been placing cones in the street prohibiting people from parking there. (Except perhaps their own employees or contractors.) They even employ an outside agency of some sort to have someone stand there and tell people they can’t park there. There are no work order notices or temporary suspension indication on the street parking signs. There is no digging or other signs of work taking place. They have parked a large generator on the street for some time and they recently added a second one.

Recently I sought parking there around 5:45 p.m. and the street was empty. The cones were out and I was told there was no parking allowed. Forty-five minutes later, still looking for a spot, I found several passenger cars parked there with cones placed on top. They were okay to park there, I guess? Friends of Con Ed?

I am a resident of Stuyvesant Town who uses a car for work each day. Parking is difficult enough without Con Ed taking over a public thoroughfare without any apparent permits to do so. Is Con Ed just doing as they please because they can? Have they secured the proper authority to take over public parking? Why are there no postings of temporary work permits? Do they intend to “take over” this space permanently and further diminish the availability of street parking? This would lead to a host of other quality of life issues.

Thank you for your assistance in looking into this matter.

Name withheld, ST

Continue reading

Pooch population in ST/PCV now 1,200

Stuy Town canine Callie, owned by Bill Oddo

Stuy Town canine Callie, owned by Bill Oddo

By Sabina Mollot

The last time the owner of Stuyvesant Town deigned to provide the number of dogs that were living in the community was in 2012, when CWCapital revealed to Town & Village that it was close to 1,100.

At the time, T&V noted that the figure was likely to grow since management had just begun to crack down on unregistered pooches at that time.

And grow it did, with the population of pooches now at 1,200, according to Blackstone’s data.

Meanwhile, since announcing its takeover of ST/PCV, new owners Blackstone and Ivanhoe Cambridge have steadily been approached by tenants on numerous dog-related issues from lack of rule enforcement to the lack of an onsite dog run.

On Saturday, at a meet-and-greet event for tenants and the new general manager Rick Hayduk, one resident wearing an “I (Bone) NY” sweatshirt said she planned to put in a request for a dog run. (The shirt was a freebie at an event for dogs and their owners that was held in Stuyvesant Town last May, with other freebies including Stuy Town logo-covered dog poop bags.)

The resident, malti-poo owner Belinda Medina, said she’d even be satisfied with a dog run that’s open part-time and suggested using one of the property’s lesser used playgrounds.

Continue reading