Letters to the Editor, Feb. 16

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Another argument against term limits

Re: “A Case Against Term Limits,” Politics & Tidbits column, T&V, Feb. 9

To the Editor,

Steve Sanders’ commendation of Hon. Dan Garodnick is well deserved. It would be better if Garodnick could serve without limits. But he chose the Council four years ago, not running for borough president, something he’d never do against Jessica Lappin. (They even held holiday parties together.)

Then Garodnick was bossed out of his bid for comptroller and then, as well, the speaker’s race.

I’m on his side despite his not running for State Senate, which would have given him an opportunity to snipe at any municipal office when time presented itself. But he wanted to be in NYC, not Albany, with his lovely wife and adorable boys.

Were Democrats in Manhattan organized, however, he would have been talked out of it (although it is agreed within Democratic circles that State Senator, Hon. Brad Hoylman, is doing a fine job). So now Garodnick is off cycle, like being a designated hitter in the National League. And he shouldn’t be on the bench.

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Letters to the Editor, Jan. 26

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

I wore red, white and blue on Jan. 20

Re: Letter, “Why I’ll be wearing black on January 20,” T&V, Jan. 19

The eight years under Obama’s imperialistic rule has taken its toll on the majority of the country.

The majority kept quiet because we were told to voice our dissatisfaction with his regime will only show that we were racist against the first African-American president.

Eight years of witnessing an unvetted man take our country in a direction not familiar with our American values. Year after year he ran the country helped by Hillary as a co-president using her position as secretary of state to fattened her global foundation with donations from countries that obviously needed favors from her when she at her turn becomes president.

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Letters to the Editor, Oct. 24

Hoylman: Santacon, please, curb your drunks

The following is an open letter from State Senator Brad Hoylman to the organizers of the annual pub crawl SantaCon.

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to express my concerns regarding SantaCon and the effects it has on the  communities it visits. Each year local elected officials, community boards and local precincts are besieged by complaints as SantaCon passes through their neighborhoods.

While SantaCon may be a short-term boon to a select group of local businesses, the many adverse impacts it wreaks, such as vomiting in the streets, public urination, vandalism and littering, disrupt community members’ quality of life. I recognize that at any large event, a few bad actors may disrupt an otherwise orderly affair, but at previous SantaCons bad actors have hardly been the exception. As such, significantly more must be done to combat the neighborhood scourge SantaCon has become.

Further, no matter the behavior of the participants, the event has grown large enough to completely overwhelm sidewalks and public spaces, creating a public safety hazard for all.

I strongly urge you to work with the New York City Police Department in order to come up with a strong and effective plan to combat public intoxication and to ensure all participants are respectful of the neighborhoods they visit, as well as handling the overwhelming crowds associated with an event this size. In addition, I urge you make this plan available to the affected local Community Boards well in advance of your event so that they have time to comment and help shape it.
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Letters to the Editor, July 11

Laundry room leaky and terrifying

After reading “When does free cost too much?” (Letter, T&V) last week, I thought, those are my feelings, too.

Soon after a flyer was sent around, proclaiming that the basement is now open (how can that be, it has not been completely renovated) and there were old washer/dryers to be used without cost, I ventured downstairs to have a look. Shock set in immediately as the elevator doors opened to the basement. It looked like a dungeon, a place for punishment, not a venue for people to enter.

I spent two minutes looking around and quickly headed back to the elevator. Two days later, I went to one of the buildings where we had access to for many months, to do a laundry. My card would not allow me to get into the laundry room. When I exited the building, two security officers were outside, and I asked them why my card no longer worked. They called their office and informed me that now that I had free machines and dryers in my building, and I no longer could use the other laundry rooms.

Not having much choice, I decided to do a test run in my building with a small bag of rags. Again, I went downstairs, and when the elevator opened, there was a large puddle of water in front of me, and another one to the left near the stairwell. I skirted around the puddle and nervously entered the so-called laundry room. There was a terrible odor. The first machine did not work at all. The second one worked, but when I placed a very small load into the dryer, thirty minutes later, it was still wet.

I felt very uncomfortable being in the basement because of the eerie quality with unfinished walls, dirtier than normal conditions, and a total lack of security.

However, even if there were a team of security people lined up to protect me, I will not go there again until it is completely renovated. No one should have to be subjected to such terrible conditions.

Name withheld, PCV

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Letters to the editor, July 4

Weiner rewrites history

At the Tenants Association Mayoral Forum, Anthony Weiner was asked about his 1994 City Council vote in favor of gutting rent regulations. His answer was dishonest.

Weiner defended that vote by telling only half a story while, at the same time, presenting a distorted view of NY’s rent regulation system. He portrayed his vote as being about taking rich people out of rent-regulated apartments.

He should know that under NY’s rent regulation system, the tenant isn’t regulated, the apartment is. So his vote took the wealthy tenant’s rent-regulated apartment out of the system (forever), not the tenant.

More importantly, he neglected to address the other, more devastating, part of the bill that has allowed landlords to permanently remove apartments from rent regulation when they become vacant.

Mike McKee of Tenants PAC met with Weiner in 1994. McKee says Weiner was one of the few City Council members who actually understood the bill’s dire consequences. Despite that and the promise he made to McKee and other tenant advocates not to vote for the bill, Weiner voted for it anyway.

Since Weiner’s 1994 vote, about 5,000 apartments have been deregulated thanks to the “luxury decontrol,” part of the bill of which he’s so proud. “Vacancy decontrol,” the other part of the bill that Weiner neglected to address, is responsible for the permanent deregulation of approximately 400,000 apartments and has led directly to the lousy situation we endure today in ST-PCV.

Every single voting resident of ST and PCV should remember this about Weiner come November.

John Sicoransa, ST

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Letters to the Editor, Mar. 14

Book captures humanity in ST/PCV history

To the Editor:

Dutton Publishers is having an evening of discussion with New York Times reporter Charles V. Bagli, author of the new book, Other People’s Money: Inside the Housing Crisis and the Demise of the Greatest Real Estate Deal Ever Made, at the Stuyvesant Town Community Center, April 4 at 7 p.m.

Other People’s Money starts somewhat  like the movie, “Wall Street” (picture, if you will, a Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen type on their way to 200 Park to cut the deal with MetLife for the sale of the century…this was the Tishman team!). You are the fly on the wall, privy to these negotiations, step-by-step as it swiftly unravels.

Chronicling the creation of the complexes, the book delves into the holiest of holy reigns in NYC history…La Guardia and Moses with Ecker …please genuflect now! The transition of MetLife being owned by policy holders to Benmosche’s “sleeping giant’s” transformation to a stockholder corporation is depicted, and why this redirected the mission of MetLife in regard to its real estate holdings and investments once, revered by insiders as cash cows and sacred.

Bagli nailed the humanity of it all in each tenant of Stuy Town-PCV he quotes; in relaying the history of the ground-breaking WWII veterans tenant-led successful desegregation campaign; and in the depiction of Al Doyle’s and Dan Garodnick’s leadership and profound integrity.

In interpreting the mega-complexity, of the mind-boggling, wheeling and dealing through the years of this historic sale, and the later monumental default that was prevalent and frequent at that time in the “Wall Street Casino,” many readers [like me] will appreciate the explanation of the layer upon layer of complicated debt structure and how the bond holders now still expect to be compensated.

We are now forever in the history books for the notoriety of this infamous deal, but Stuy Town-PCV is our version of the “American Dream” that you hear frequently and vividly defined for the public by the finance community. Our dream is continuing to live in our beloved homes in the middle of marvelous Manhattan.
Bagli’s book is a must read for Stuy Town-Peter Cooper Village tenants and those intrigued by this blockbuster event!

Marie Beirne, PCV
Co-producer, oral history documentary project
for ST-PCV Tenants Association Landmark Committee

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Letters to the Editor, Dec. 13

Now’s a good time for new laundry machines

The following is an open letter to Sean Sullivan, general manager of Peter Cooper Village/Stuyvesant Town, about laundry machines. 

Dear Mr. Sullivan,

We are writing you to urge that management install high quality commercial grade equipment when replacing laundry room washers and dryers that were damaged as a result of the recent flooding from Hurricane Sandy.

As you are no doubt aware, it has been well documented that the equipment installed in the laundry rooms by Tishman Speyer has been the subject of regular complaints by tenants; machines have been prone to breakdowns that regularly put them out of service, which results in great inconvenience to residents.

In fact, the laundry room equipment and its failures have been among the leading quality of life complaints in the community.

We believe that using high quality commercial grade washers and dryers will reduce complaints and breakdowns to the benefit of residents and management.

Further, the replacement of equipment in a small number of buildings will allow management the opportunity over a period of time to evaluate the performance of the commercial grade equipment against the current under-performing equipment before the inevitable replacement cycle begins for those older machines.

The Tenants Association appreciates your serious consideration of this recommendation.

Sincerely,

Susan Steinberg,Chair
John H. Marsh III, President
ST-PCV Tenants Association

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CW Capital/CompassRock: Con Ed “repairs” cause explosions along Avenue C and fire hazards in PCV buildings

The following notice was issued by CW Capital/CompassRock last night to explain those explosions and why some buildings in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village are still without power.

RESIDENT NOTICE – NOVEMBER 3 EVENING UPDATE 

We are extraordinarily pleased that much of the community has had power restored over the past 24 hours.  Unfortunately, much of Peter Cooper Village and certain buildings in Stuyvesant Town, primarily along Avenue C, remain without power at this time.  The reason for this is that the electrical equipment in the basements of the effected buildings were submerged in salt water during the flood.  This exposure to salt water has created damage which makes it unsafe to turn on the electricity.

This was evidenced by events at Peter Cooper Village last night.  Despite numerous warnings to Con Edison that it was unsafe to turn on the power, Con Edison electrified all of the property last night, including those buildings with damaged electrical equipment; in addition, ConEd electrified their own power lines in the street which were not yet safe to operate.  This caused several explosions under manhole covers along Avenue C last night that many residents may have heard.  The explosions occurred to ConEd equipment that was immediately outside the perimeter of the community.  In addition, the damaged equipment in the basement of 6 Peter Cooper Road created a potential fire hazard and elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) readings in the basement areas.  FDNY was immediately summoned and remained onsite throughout the episode to ensure that residents were safe at all times.  FDNY performed continuous CO2 monitoring to ensure safety.  Andrew MacArthur from CWCapital, City Councilman Garodnick, Sean Sullivan, General Manager of CompassRock, and members of the tenants association were present at the site of the incident during this period and worked together to coordinate resources in the interest of resident safety.

Management worked through the Mayor’s office and Councilman Garodnick worked through the Speaker of the City Council’s office to jointly impress on ConEd the seriousness of the situation.   This coordination helped ensure ConEd’s responsiveness and we are pleased to report that it also resulted in the dispatch of significant resources to our community which should result in expedited repairs.

We have continued our assessment of the damage to the buildings caused by the storm and are now able to provide you with more detailed information and timelines for the restoration of full utilities and other services. Please refer to the matrix below for detailed information about your respective building.  Once again, we are providing you with the following updates immediately so that you can plan accordingly. Addressing these problems remains our top priority. We will continue to keep our residents updated with respect to any changes in the information outlined below.

Water Service: As we explained yesterday, no damage was done to the water pumps in Stuyvesant Town and basic service will continue to be available.  In Peter Cooper Village, nine of the twelve pumps that distribute water to PCV buildings still require repair, allowing for basic service; however, during peak usage periods, pressure drops may still occur.  Please remember to be mindful of conserving water to the best of your ability, particularly during peak hours.

Heat & Hot Water Service: While part of the property has regained full restoration of heat and hot water service, we anticipate full restoration for the remainder of the property within the coming week.  Please refer to the attached matrix to see the status of your building.

Electricity Service:  Much of the property has had power restored.  Those buildings without power are in the process of having critical electrical equipment repaired in order to ensure resident safety when the power is restored.  This work is partially dependent on ConEd which has made the completion schedule difficult to estimate.  We are very pleased to report that, based upon the resources committed to our community in the last 24 hours, we believe the repairs can be completed and power restored to the balance of the community by Tuesday evening at the latest.  Depending on the location, certain buildings currently without power may have electricity sooner. We realize these additional delays are frustrating, but we urge everyone to remain patient and respect the fact that resident safety must remain a priority.

Some residents have inquired about the possibility of having generators supply power to those buildings currently without power.  Please note that temporary generators would need to run electrical current through the same damaged equipment that has delayed the ConEd restoration of power and, therefore, are equally unsafe.

For residents who are finding that parts of their apartments do not seem to have power, please check your circuit panel and ensure that all switches are reset properly.

Gas Service: During the storm, Con Edison and the FDNY ordered the shut down of gas service to several buildings and we anticipate having gas service restored within 2 weeks, depending on their location.

For the buildings with gas meters damaged by the flood waters located in nine buildings in Peter Cooper Village the assessment remains the same as provided yesterday.  Because of the damage to these meters, gas service to these locations may be shut down.  If that occurs it will likely require approximately two weeks to restore gas service. We are further assessing and will report back as soon as the information becomes available.

Elevator Service: Elevator service was restored in all buildings which have power. The four passenger elevators damaged by the flood waters in Peter Cooper Village which we mentioned yesterday will take additional time to repair.  Both of the elevators in 7 Peter Cooper Road were damaged and will have one elevator restored within one week after power is restored and the second elevator will be repaired within two weeks after power is restored. The other two damaged elevators in 8 Peter Cooper Road and 440 East 23rd Street will be repaired in two weeks after power is restored; these buildings will have one elevator operating while we restore service to the damaged elevator car once both buildings regain electric service.

Heating Center: The Community Center has been set up as a heating center for elderly residents and will be open daily from 8am to 10pm.

Resident Check-Ins: Thanks once again to the help of our volunteers, we were able to check in on all residents in buildings without power today, November 3, and food was delivered to elderly residents in those buildings.

Playgrounds:  We were able to open additional playgrounds today. The following playgrounds have been reopened: In Stuyvesant Town – 1, 7, 8, 9 and 12. In PCV 2 and 3 are open.

Security: We continue to have additional Public Safety staff on-site, and particularly in the buildings without power. Over the past five days, our Public Safety team were able to assist with over 500 wellness checks requested by concerned relatives and neighbors, 207 tenant evacuations, 112 calls related to gas orders, 68 apartment lock-outs, 38 elevator entrapments, and aided in 28 situations where people were removed to hospitals, among other emergency-related activities.  We would like to thank our public safety officers for their exceptional efforts during this difficult time.

We would like to remind you that Public Safety is now headquartered at the former Oval Film space. In case of emergency only, please call (347) 680-2212. For all other inquiries, please continue to go to Resident Services at Oval Café or call (888) 885-8490.

Laundry Service: Laundry Service has been restored to all buildings where electricity service has been restored, though certain buildings will only have cold water available. We will provide you with updates regarding restoration of laundry service in buildings where laundry machines were damaged. Oval Concierge will be open to all residents for laundry drop-off on Sunday, November 4th from 10am to 5pm at the First Avenue Loop Road between buildings 276 and 274. Please note that they only accept credit card payment.

Garages: Quik Park has advised us that they expect Garages 2, 4 and 5 to be open early this week.  Significant amounts of debris were washed into these areas during the flood and these additional delays are due to the time required to remove this debris.  Owners of cars located in these garages should assume that their vehicles have suffered extensive damage and act accordingly with respect to their insurance carriers.   Garages 1 and 6 are open. Garage 3 will be closed indefinitely. You can contact Quik Park directly to work out your accommodations. The Garage Manager will be available at Garage 1, located on 20th Street.

Amenity Spaces:  All amenity spaces have been closed indefinitely. Membership billing has been suspended indefinitely.

We will continue to update you regularly.

Status updates on electricity in each building can be viewed by clicking link to pcvst.com.