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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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New GM promises improved service and more accessibility

Rick Hayduk (right), the new general manager of ST/PCV, speaks with tenants at a meet-and-greet event on Saturday. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

Rick Hayduk (right), the new general manager of ST/PCV, speaks with tenants at a meet-and-greet event on Saturday. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

The new general manager of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper, Rick Hayduk, has promised tenants that Blackstone is focused on improving services and communication and in particular, said the hiring of four new plumbers should end the two to three week wait times tenants have been experiencing for repairs.

Hayduk made the comments on Saturday at a meet and greet event that was held at the tents at Stuyvesant Town’s Playground 11.

Around 150 people, mainly seniors and other longterm tenants, attended the event, as did a couple of elected officials, State Senator Brad Hoylman and Council Member Dan Garodnick.

Rick Hayduk speaks at Saturday’s event.

Rick Hayduk speaks at Saturday’s event.

While at a podium in front of a Stuy Town logo-covered step-and-repeat, Hayduk discussed various tenant concerns, including the recent spike in plumbing repair delays. “Our standard is two to three days and that’s what you should expect,” he said.
Hayduk also said that a hotline for tenants that Blackstone had set up after the company bought the property has been transferred to his office.

“Go through normal channels, but if (a request) needs to escalate, we’re here for that,” Hayduk said. The number is (212) 655-9870.

He also encouraged tenants to slip him notes, gesturing to his pocket while saying that several neighbors had already done so.

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Cauz for Pawz holds costume parade for pooches

On Sunday, Cauz for Pawz held a Halloween parade and costume contest for dogs at the thrift store’s new location on First Avenue opposite Stuyvesant Town.

Contestants’ owners showed plenty of creativity with their furry friends’ costumes, like with Jax, the pooch that won first place, dressed up as the “Breaking Bad” RV. Jax’s owners, Morgan and Jack, won brunch at Bluebell café on Third Avenue. The second place winner was Milan, who was dressed up as a U.S. Marine. Third place winner was Kurtis, who was wearing lederhosen. Other costumes included French maid and Mardi Gras participant.

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Halloween events for kids, adults and pets

Dog at last year’s parade at Tompkins Square Park

Dog at last year’s parade at Tompkins Square Park

The following local Halloween events start this weekend:

GREENWICH VILLAGE CHILDREN’S PARADE—NYU and Community Board 2 present the 25th annual Children’s Halloween Parade, the city’s largest free children’s event on Halloween Day, October 31. Parents and children aged 3-12 are invited to gather at the Washington Square Arch by 1 p.m. Children and families will march around Washington Square Park. After the parade, free trick-or-treat bags, games and rides await the children on LaGuardia Place. The event finishes at 4 p.m. The parade assembles along Washington Square North, near the Arch and ends at LaGuardia between Washington Square South and West 3rd Street.

FAIR FOR KIDS IN STUY TOWN—Stuyvesant Town will hold a “Halloween Spooktacular” event on the Oval on Saturday, October 24 at 2 p.m. There will be a haunted house, a pumpkin patch, live music, face painting, crafts, candy and more for residents and their guests.

CARNIVAL AT LITTLE MISSIONARY—Little Missionary’s Day Nursery pre-school will hold a haunted Halloween party on October 31 from noon-4 p.m. at St. Marks Church and the Bowery, at East 10th Street and Second Avenue. There will be a haunted house, puppet show, music, games, cotton candy, hot dogs, face painting, scavenger hunts, creepy stories with Thea Taube and food and drinks. No entry fee, but tickets need to be purchased for food and activities. The music, puppet show and story time will be free.

PARADE FOR PETS NEAR STUY TOWN—Cauz for Pawz thrift shop will be holding its first Halloween parade for pets on Sunday, October 25 from 1-3 p.m. The pets will walk a red carpet and be voted on. The venue is the store’s new location at 333 First Avenue between 19th and 20th Streets. For more information, call (212) 684-7299.

DOG PARADE AT TOMPKINS SQUARE PARK—On Saturday, October 24 from noon-3 p.m., the annual Halloween parade for dogs will take place at Tompkins Square Park. There will be tons of prizes for dogs in costumes at this event, which will be held in the dog run, East 9th Street between Avenues A and B. There will also be local rescue adoptions. Rain date is Sunday.

PARTY FOR KIDS AT WATERSIDE—All resident Waterside children are invited to attend the annual Halloween party on Sat., Oct. 31 from 5-7 p.m. at the Waterside Swim & Health Club, 35 Waterside Plaza and outside on the plaza, weather permitting. The event will feature face painting, a photo booth, a costume contest, a spooktacular number of games and activities and lots and lots of treats. Admission is free and open to resident children of Waterside Plaza. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

COSTUME BALL & PERFORMANCES FOR ADULTS—Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. at E. 10th St., presents its 38th annual Village Halloween Costume Ball on Saturday, October 31. This unique festival continues as a grand coming-together for everyday New Yorkers and artists alike. A carefree fall tradition, it celebrates the creativity that comes with the season. The one-night fiesta takes over all four of TNC’s theater spaces, plus its lobby and the block of East Tenth Street between First and Second Avenues. Admission is $20; costume or formal wear is required. Once inside, everything is free except food and drink, which are graveyard dirt-cheap. Big-Band Dance orchestras take over the large Johnson Theater. These will include Hot Lavender Swing Band, an all-Gay and Lesbian 18-piece orchestra, and Maquina Mono (The Monkey Machine), a Latin Salsa Rock band. The Johnson Theater will also have aerial dance by Suspended Cirque. Outside, there are R&B and Dixieland bands, fire eaters, jugglers, storyweavers and stilt dancers, all free to the public. Inside, there is theater all evening. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and indoor entertainment begins at 8 p.m. There will be two continuously-running cabarets. Outdoor entertainment will start at  3:30 p.m. Outdoor entertainment is capped by “The Red and Black Masque,” an annual Medieval ritual show written by Arthur Sainer, scored by David Tice and directed by Crystal Field which is performed by torchlight. Scattered through the event will be stilt dancers, jugglers, fire-eaters, Vaudeville playlets, Burlesque and Hellsouls. The annual costume judging begins at midnight with the “Monsters and Miracles Costume Parade,” as all revelers are invited to march past a panel of celebrity judges. Winners will receive one-year passes to TNC and a bottle of Moet and Chandon champagne. Reservations are strongly recommended. For tickets ($20, costume or formal wear required) or more information, call (212) 254-1109 or visit http://www.theaterforthenewcity.net.