Blackstone looking at ways to reduce noise

The sports tent at Playground 11 a.ka. The Courts at Stuy Town (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

The sports tent at Playground 11 a.ka. The Courts at Stuy Town (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

With noise from neighbors’ parties to the sounds of equipment used for maintenance work echoing through Stuyvesant Town being a top tenant concern, Blackstone has been mulling a number of ideas for taking the volume down a notch.

In one example, to cut down on noise from the large tent at Playground 11 from basketball games and other sports played inside, Blackstone is considering replacing it with two smaller tents in different playgrounds next year. Management’s also looking into a new kind of cart for transporting garbage around the property that won’t make as much noise as the kind currently used when wheeled around.

These ideas were mentioned in a letter written by ST/PCV General Manager Rick Hayduk to a tenant in response to a letter she sent him on Monday airing her concerns about ongoing noise. (Both letters were passed on to Town & Village by their respective authors.)

In the original letter, the resident, who later asked that her name not be published, ticked off a list of chronic disturbances, from the tent to barking dogs to the shouting of employees as they worked.

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TA blasts CW for short or no notice on work in apts.

Garodnick drafting bill to protect tenants from unauthorized entry

By Sabina Mollot

In CWCapital’s ongoing effort to renovate as many apartments as possible, tenants in neighboring units have also been made to allow work to get done in their own apartments to replace pipes in support of the work on the adjoining renovation projects. In the process, some of those neighbors have been getting inconvenienced in ways that have, in at least a couple of instances, been disturbing, according to the ST-PCV Tenants Association.

In a notice that will soon be shared with neighbors on the TA’s website, the TA noted how management hasn’t been giving tenants sufficient notice before breezing on in, in several cases. In one complaint, the TA heard how a teenage girl, alone at home, got scared when maintenance workers unexpectedly banged on and then opened her apartment door.

In another case, a tenant, who gave no authorization for her apartment to be entered, recently returned from a vacation to find her cabinets emptied. The cabinets’ contents were left strewn on the counters, with no explanation. Meanwhile, the work takes one to two days to complete, leaving the kitchen unusable.

“Despite the gross inconvenience, management has not offered to compensate affected tenants for the loss of use of the kitchen and the disruption to the tenants’ right to quiet enjoyment of their homes,” the TA said.

In a case of short notice, the TA said, a tenant was given notice on a Thursday that workers would be entering the apartment on the following Monday. “That’s just four calendar days; the city requires seven calendar days,” the TA said. Additionally, the TA said, management is only supposed to be entering apartments for non-emergency work if tenants’ have given their explicit permission, “and these renovations are not emergencies.”

In response to the TA’s concerns, Council Member Dan Garodnick is drafting legislation that would protect tenants from unauthorized entry or entry with very short notice.

The legislation would include provisions that in notices requesting apartment access, management would have to provide, along with a callback phone number, an email address or another electronic option for tenants to use if requesting a schedule change. Additionally, notices would have to be dated and sent to the tenants’ email address if the owner has one on file. Lastly, consent would not be assumed if the tenant doesn’t respond. However, if after 14 days there is no response, then an owner could enter the apartment.

“There has long been a feeling that people are finding themselves with unwanted visitors,” Garodnick told T&V, “just because they did not see a note or did not have time to respond. This has picked up recently where there are non-emergency improvements being made to neighboring apartments. In that context, we need to protect the sanctity of individual units.”

A spokesperson for CWCapital declined to comment on apartment access or the planned legislation. However, the owner and the TA have clashed on this issue in the past, like last year when management was conducting a round of apartment inspections on safety issues and lease policy compliance. At that time, the TA advised residents to consent to the inspection but be present for it to a recent spate of apartment burglaries that may have been committed by a contractor doing work for CW.

Letters to the Editor, Mar. 7

How do you judge a generation?

Re: “Book by resident defends his ‘millennial’ generation,” T&V, Feb. 28

Firstly, I commend Mr. David Burstein for his interesting and insightful newly published book, Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Shaping Our World. In it he defends the age group he is part of from the many critical comments which have been offered about his 20-something crowd.

Let me add that as an attendee of NYU’s Gallatin School – I have met and heard quite positive comments from many of my students at Baruch College/CUNY that I recommended them to attend this division of NYU.

No individual can represent a group. Past is prologue – so we must know history. Knowledge is power and well-intentioned plans often have unintended negative consequences.

I can compare today’s young people with my peers when I attended Queens College during the 1960s and due to my 30 or so years teaching at Baruch (both CUNY colleges).

During my attending Queens: the fight for black civil rights – especially voting rights was in full gear; in fact a classmate of mine, Andrew Goodwin was killed in Mississippi by the KKK.

Then there was the present incarnation of the feminist movement.

In my days the double standard viv-a-vis sexual behavior was prevalent. Males would obtain prestige the more women they “had” – but, when it came to marriage they wanted a virgin. A conundrum for young women.

Then, the anti-Vietnam War movement, which Nixon cynically manipulated by ending the draft and going to our present volunteer military.

All CUNY senior colleges demanded 90+ HS GPA or superior SAT scores. CUNY was considered as the Harvard for the proletariat. The students were well prepared and interested. Then in the 1970s under political pressure “open-enrollment” was begun and CUNY senior colleges have downgraded their standards ever since.

Then the New York City public school worked (with mostly inferior teachers).

The unintended consequences:

You are far from a representative sample of your age group. You think with consideration… And not only talk the talk… You obviously walk the walk…

From my experience at Baruch, grade inflation is rampant; so is the lack of intellectual curiosity – most attend because it is simply the next step and they want to get the sheepskin (now made of paper) and to please their parents and make (they think) more money. Materialism reigns now more than ever.

The civil rights movement is being replaced by a class paradigm problem and rightly so. And the 1954 Supreme Court desegregation decision has been replaced by pockets of female dominated dysfunctional families imbedded in dysfunctional communities, which no longer work. (It’s not the teachers.)

The sexual revolution has hurt women in many ways: many guys think that “if milk is free, why buy the cow?” Marriage among both genders (if at all) occurs at about five years later than before.

And, celebrities have replaced religious leaders as models for single parenthood. Many women cannot find acceptable males who are willing to make a commitment.

Nixon’s volunteer military takes the poor, minorities and patriotic and aggressive as the rest of the country is told to go shop.

Education on all levels has deteriorated from K through graduate school.

I said that knowledge is power, how important history is and alluded to intellectual curiosity…

It is the fault of the previous generations who have not given (most) “millennials” the tools, which are necessary to build a better and stronger nation. One more comment (and, I don’t mean to be patronizing): – the only constant in life is change.

David Chowes, PCV

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Letters to the Editor, Feb. 28

Moms aren’t the only fans of ice rink

Re: “Stuy Town moms hope to see return of ice rink,” T&V, Feb. 21
It’s not only “moms” that would like to see the ice skating rink back next year. I am a single tenant, childless and no longer able to ice-skate myself due to MVA injuries sustained last decade. (I loaned my skates to neighbors that can.)
I received many hours of joy just watching the skaters, that represented four generations, and remembering my younger days on the ice (once a lake froze, in my day, it stayed frozen for months). It was wonderful to watch skaters, be they not-quite-three or pushing 93, improve week after week. I spotted some Olympic hopefuls (figure and speed categories) out there!
Margaret Anne “Peg” Donohue

No misadventures in maintenance here

Re: “They plumb forgot my sink repairs,” Letter, T&V, Feb. 21
Greetings! I am a tenant at Stuy Town for over a decade and not once did I have trouble with the maintenance department. Let alone a horror story as described by Name Withheld of PCV about plumbers that came and went with unfinished business.
I feel sorry for the tenant’s trouble, but I also would like to take the opportunity and thank the team at the maintenance department for always trying to help and accommodate us quick as possible. It worked for us.
R. Condon, ST

What fracking means for New York State

To the Editor,
Sadly, in regards to fracking, it seems like Governor Cuomo is becoming as dishonest as the gas industry. In pushing to open New York to fracking, a process we know will endanger our health and pollute our environment, the Governor appears to be sacrificing our health and safety for gas company profits.
Ample evidence shows that fracking has contaminated drinking water and polluted the environment. In Pennsylvania, we’ve seen families who – before fracking came to town – had enjoyed clean water for decades. Now that drilling has invaded their communities, their water is no longer safe to drink, cook with or shower in. The gas industry is trying to cover up these problems, and they continue to deny the damage fracking has done. It’s clear that they have been, and will continue to be, dishonest.
Now, Governor Cuomo appears to be doing the same. The Governor proposed rules for fracking before the state has even finished studying its impacts to public health and our environment. How could we possibly know what rules are needed before we know the damage fracking will do?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Governor Cuomo cares. It looks like he’s in such a hurry to rubber stamp fracking that he’s cheating his own process.
Fracking in New York could mean more than just the contamination of our drinking water. It would also mean the destruction of thousands of acres of family farms and forests. Some of our most beautiful rural and natural landscapes will be leveled as gas companies reap the benefits. Governor Cuomo – do the right thing. Ban fracking in New York.
Alexandra Tsubota
Intern with Environment New York