Letters to the Editor, November 9

Nov9 Toon deBlahzzz

One man’s trash…

Dear Editor,

This is a reference to Brian Loesch’s letter to the newspaper (“Enough from the squirrels’ PR people,” T&V, Oct. 26).

His letter is very full of nonsense. All over New York City, squirrels seek food in garbage cans. This does not only occur in Stuy Town. Where are the squirrels supposed to go – to McDonald’s? If Mr. Loesch does not like it here, he can move out of the complex and let some poor family move in. I hope that he does no harm to the squirrels.

Best,

Maureen Kaine

Thanks for the wake-up call

Not sure what is going on but at this time of the night (3 a.m.). I am hearing intermittent back-up alarms. When I get up all I can see from my home is a flashing light on the backhoe in the construction site on Avenue C and East 13th street. Is the guard practicing operating it at this time of night?

Last night Con Ed had a delivery at 4 in the morning. With all of the structures they have built on the south side of the street, it is difficult for these tankers to maneuver and the back and forth of their trying to get into the docks is quite annoying at that time of the night.

Is it really necessary for such deliveries at that time?

Does this neighborhood need to be continuously subjected to this noise pollution?

Sherman Sussman, ST

 

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Letters to the editor, June 15

It’s a playground, not a bark park

I honestly do not mind people in Stuyvesant Town owning dogs. For the most part, so far, our walks and playgrounds are still fairly clean. I don’t even mind neighbors’ dogs barking every time I enter and leave my apartment. I acknowledge this is a shared building, and not a private home.

What I do mind is this preposterous idea of a Saturday morning dog “get together” in playground 6. I could not believe my ears June third when sitting in my living room reading the New York Times, there were at least twenty dogs all barking at each other. This continued from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. It was excessively noisy and extremely annoying that on Saturday, when most people and I have off from work, we were accosted by incessant dog barking for three hours.

I would like to know who thought up this crazy, offensive (to non-dog owners) idea. The owners thought this was great fun– 20 barking dogs for three hours. Do they not hear how loud this is? Obviously they put dog rights above human quality of life.

I hope there is not a next time for all of us whose apartments face Playground 6.

Until this practice is stopped, I have prepared myself with Advil and earplugs. I was thinking about standing outside a dog owner’s apartment and barking for three hours straight when he was trying to relax and his dog was no longer barking, but my husband reminded me that Bellevue was right up the block.

Marianne Emanuel, ST

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Stuy Town’s sports tent won’t return next year

Management cites environmental reasons, but will partner with PSLL on alternate practice location

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 Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Courts at Stuy Town, the name given to the tented basketball courts open during colder months at Playground 11, will not be returning this coming winter. ST/PCV General Manager Rick Hayduk made the announcement in an emailed newsletter last Wednesday, noting that analysis showed that “the actual usage of the basketball courts did not contribute to the overall quality of life” for residents.

The newsletter noted that the decision not to bring back The Courts after just two seasons was because of environmental factors, but Hayduk clarified that this explanation had two meanings. The first related to Stuy Town’s “Good Neighbors” campaign aimed at reducing noise and other complaints related to quality of life.

“This was almost a three story tent and we got a lot of complaints about that,” Hayduk said.

STPCV Tenants Association president Susan Steinberg said that the TA also received a number of noise complaints about The Courts when they were open.

“From the perspective of tenants who were unhappy, we’re pleased for them,” Steinberg said on the decision to not reopen the tent. “We agree it’s an environmental issue in terms of noise. There were too many tenants around the tents who were suffering.”

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Letters to the editor, July 28

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Stuy Town is filled with squirrel haters

Dear Sabina Mollot,

This is in response to your malicious article of July 14 about the little squirrels in Stuyvesant Town. You wrote the article based on “hear-say” without any fundamental proof by some malicious people who show the perpetual hatred for dogs, cats, squirrels, sparrows in Stuy-Town and Peter Cooper.

This must be the same people who many years ago started the diabolical rumor “that some Spanish speaking tenants were breaking into apartments.”

With so much going on in this country as the killing of innocent police officers, corruption at local, state and federal levels, terrorist attacks and killings of American citizens in US soil, you have the time to propagate lies against innocent animals.

I personally have suffered hateful remarks while feeding squirrels by some old timers such as: “You don’t belong here. Move.” And for those people, I want to let them know that I’m going to continue living in Stuyvesant Town as long as I wish because a) the law allows me, and b) I can afford to pay the full rent without any subsidy.

During my professional life, I worked for an international organization and traveled to many countries and never felt the amount of hatefulness in one place inflicted to decent people by some few.

And finally, you should be encouraging people to stop complaining about any little thing in the community. This is a big community and you are going to hear noise. Let the children be children, children are going to play, children are going to make noise, children are going to laugh, dogs are going to bark and young adults are going to play basketball.

Stop whining about the maintenance workers in the entire complex, they are doing an excellent job in keeping all of us in a very desirable environment.

Sincerely,

Al Salame, ST

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Letters to the Editor, July 14

June23 Toon Everest

Time to do something about noise in Stuy Town

The following is an open letter to Stuyvesant Town management with regards to noise in the complex and following it is a response from Rick Hayduk, general manager. Both letters have been edited for length.

The violations of (city law on noise control) are as follows:

Beeping, powerful, motorized gas engine maintenance vehicles that are constantly travelling through the development.

The loud, echoing playground basketball courts (Playground #11) right beside the Avenue C Loop and several other buildings, and directly below apartment windows, that remains open daily from 9 a.m. until dusk, circus tented from November to April, which are absurd hours of usage and which is utilized by very few compared to the total number of 30,000 residents. Because there are basketball courts in Playground #9, the Playground #11 should be relegated to only volleyball courts, more of which can be added, and the current ping pong tables. PCV/ST is not a day camp, a boys/girls club, a country club, etc. It is meant to be a noiseless, unique community.

Loud, roaring leaf blowers, which create noises comparable to being in a construction zone.

Barking dogs, banging/flipping skateboarders, shouting residents in the late evenings or early mornings, and loud, noisy maintenance workers who have no regard for tenants’ quality of life.

Maintenance workers removing the garbage from in between the Avenue C Loop, in the morning hours, using loud, wheeled carts to transport the garbage to the waiting truck in the street, shouting while they do it, then loudly throwing the bottle filled bags onto the trucks. There needs to be different wheels on the carts and the workers advised to be quiet.

All the sounds, even conversations, travel up into the surrounding apartments. There should be an instituted policy, with rules, signs in the street and on the sidewalks, and written guidelines, including enforcement by security/NYPD, to eliminate undue noise nuisances. I have a home office and patrons visit my apartment on occasion. They expect a quiet environment and so do I.

Thank you for your prompt attention to these matters.

Stuart J. Levinson, ST

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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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CB6 committee cautiously approves license for vegan cafe

V-Spot owner Daniel Carabaño addresses the BASA Committee while an attorney for the business stands by.

V-Spot owner Daniel Carabaño addresses the BASA Committee while an attorney for the business stands by.

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Despite some neighbors’ concerns about connections to a comedy club that’s frequently cited for nighttime noise, the Community Board 6 Business Affairs and Street Activities (BASA) committee approved a new vegan café’s request for a beer and wine license. This was after initially rejecting the application in January.

Committee chair Keith Powers said at a committee meeting at the end of February that when VSpot, the new restaurant at 241 East 24th Street, originally came before the committee, they were rejected because there were concerns about the restaurant’s connection to the New York Comedy Club next door, so the committee asked the owner to come back and explain the connection.

“People felt like they might be artificially expanding the comedy club,” said Powers.

VSpot owner Daniel Carabaño explained that he is fully responsible for operating the restaurant, and New York Comedy Club co-owner Scott Lindner said at the meeting that the partnership between the club and the café was merely out of expediency when the vegan restaurant wanted to open a location in the space.

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Letters to the Editor, Jan. 28

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

TWC should consider the blind

On January 6, State Senator Brad Hoylman reached out to Robert D. Marcus,chairman and CEO of Time Warner Cable to ask about implanting services to make more television programs accessible to the blind. This is a copy of that letter.

Dear Mr. Marcus:

I am writing to state my concerns regarding the lack of accessibility features offered to Time Warner Cable customers who are blind or visually impaired.

Federal Communications Commission Chair Tom Wheeler has recognized the necessity to “dramatically simplify the ability of individuals who are blind and visually impaired to view television programming” by making video devices with “talking menus” and “talking guides” available to all consumers by December of this year. While I am pleased that the FCC has committed to ensuring that all cable providers adhere to high standards of accessibility, I am disappointed that enforcement will not go into effect until the end of 2016. Until that time, Time Warner Cable’s inaccessible interface and programs leave many blind or visually impaired consumers without the ability to take advantage of an activity that so many of us take for granted.

I implore you to take action as a responsible corporate citizen to improve the standard of living for your blind and visually impaired customers. Comcast has already set an example with its simple to use and accessible technology, making it possible for its blind and visually impaired customers to enjoy quality television programming with ease and independence. Time Warner Cable must step up as a leader in cable television technology and provide its customers with the accessibility features they need. Moreover, Time Warner Cable must implement basic accessibility standards, including the availability of television guides and documents written in Braille and the option to increase font sizes of on-screen menus for those with limited visibility.

Over 8 million Americans have a visual impairment, including nearly 400,000 New Yorkers. I recently had a conversation with a constituent of mine who is legally blind. He describes himself as a “movie buff” and recounts childhood memories of bonding with his father over favorite television shows. Despite his love for film, he is unable to fully access Time Warner Cable’s expansive movie and television options without great difficulty or assistance.

I urge you to take responsibility for giving consumers with visual impairments access to the same compelling and exciting television programming available to anyone else. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Brad Hoylman
New York State Senate, 27th District

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Garodnick questions Blackstone about crowded apartments

Councilmember Dan Garodnick (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Councilmember Dan Garodnick (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Following years of Stuyvesant Town residents complaining of dorm-style apartments, or more specifically, young people packing into apartments with pressurized walls, Council Member Dan Garodnick asked Blackstone to address the issue before taking over the property.

Garodnick made the request via a letter to Jonathan Gray, the Blackstone Group’s Global Head of Real Estate, that was sent on Monday.

In it, he noted the “persistent and troubling issue for many tenants: overcapacity apartments.”

“The city’s Housing Maintenance Code restricts a single dwelling to ‘not more than three unrelated persons,’” Garodnick said. “It is clear the number of unrelated residents may exceed that number in many apartments throughout the complex.”

He went on to note that it’s often students from New York University and other schools moving into these apartments, and because they aren’t staying in the complex long term, tend to be the source of noise complaints from neighbors. “This behavior is especially common when there are more individuals in an apartment than the law allows,” Garodnick said. “As you take ownership of the property, I am hoping you will take immediate action to correct this situation — including additional steps to keep apartments from being blocked off as dorm rooms — throughout Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.”

Garodnick told T&V he thought this issue “should be a top priority for Blackstone, to not only assess but also to develop a game plan to deal with it.”

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Letters to the Editor, Nov. 5

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Suggestions for dealing with neighbor noise

Dear Sirs,

I read with interest the reported comments about noise issues (“Residents sound off about noise,” T&V, Oct. 22). I offer three observations coupled with comments.

1.  Neighbor noise.  Meet your neighbors; slip a note under their door welcoming them and introducing yourself when you see the trail of packing materials indicative of the arrival of a potential friend.  First impressions have always been the most powerful, and this is a positive “hi.”
Then if/when there is a noise issue drop a note the day after the karaoke party/clog dance on bare floors/wild animal baying at the moon incident.  Only after that contact the ST/PCV office. Trying to solve strictly local concerns with a Public Safety response is guaranteed to generate a “to hell with them” response.

2.  The 80/20 floor coverage. I applaud this formula, and personally leap from rug to rug like a mad Frogger player in an effort to keep my neighbors happy.  Since it is a condition of the lease I would like to see a Grand Poobah who does inspect and verify this on an annual basis.

3.  Ambient noise.  My biggest gripe is with the day to day outside noise, generated by the overpowered 4x4s on the sidewalks, the five full weeks of construction involved in the ice rink, the all-day racket of the paper shredding truck, the leaf blowers on the weekend, movie and concert nights on the green.

I’d be happy if management did less for me and let this be a quiet place.

James Davis, ST

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Residents sound off about noise

ST/PCV residents listen to Gerry Kelpin, the Department of Environmental Protections Environmental Compliance Unit director. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

ST/PCV residents listen to Gerry Kelpin, the Department of Environmental Protections Environmental Compliance Unit director. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Frustrations were high for Stuyvesant Town tenants attending a forum on noise while trying to come up with solutions for peace and quiet in the neighborhood. The main complaint from tenants at the meeting, held by the ST-PCV Tenants Association at the PS 40 auditorium, was the seeming lack of enforcement on the part of management about noise issues. Discussing the issue with a crowd of around 70 tenants were city experts on noise.

“People will call management then management will call public safety, but by the time public safety comes up they won’t hear the noise,” Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg said. “They say not to get involved with your neighbors so you have to wait for public safety but the next thing you know, it’s going on again.”

In response, Noise Activities Chair for GrowNYC.org Dr. Arline Bronzaft said that she disagreed that tenants shouldn’t approach their neighbors.

“You should know your neighbors,” she said. “If there’s a problem, we should be able to interact with each other.”

Other residents felt that the lack of enforcement was due to the non-compliance of many apartments on the 80/20 carpet rule, which states in Stuy Town leases that 80 percent of the floor must be covered by carpeting to mitigate noise between floors.

“Two of the last three tenants who have lived above me were not compliant with the carpeting rule,” resident Arlynne Miller said. “You have to get (management) to jump through unbelievable hoops to get them to comply.”

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Stuy Town woman gets partial rent abatement for construction noise

The new Stuyvesant Town management office, now complete, was a source of torment to one woman at 276 First Avenue, who lived directly above the months-long construction. (Pictured) Workers on the roof in April as seen from 272 First Avenue

The new Stuyvesant Town management office, now complete, was a source of torment to one woman at 276 First Avenue, who lived directly above the months-long construction. (Pictured) Workers on the roof in April as seen from 272 First Avenue

By Sabina Mollot

When construction was underway on Stuyvesant Town’s new management office, for residents in the building housing it and the others closest to it, this of course meant months of constant noise and a lack of access to the walkway and playground between the buildings. Afterwards, CWCapital provided the impacted residents with $200 gift cards to local establishments as a way of thanking them for their patience.

But for one resident, the daily jackhammering and other noise that would start as early as 7:30 a.m. as well as the debris that would fly into her windows was so unbearable that she started withholding rent.

Naturally, she ended up getting taken to court, where a judge decided that she was in fact entitled to a partial abatement.

The resident, Caryn Chow, lives on the second floor of 276 First Avenue, which was so close to the construction that when it was ongoing, she said she could feel the walls vibrate. Considering that she’s a happiness coach and communication strategist who works from home, this meant making calls or doing other work-related tasks for long was impossible. Her daily routine of meditation was also of course disrupted.

“They’d start as early as 7:30 and the building is shaking,” said Chow, in a recent interview with Town & Village. “They said, ‘We’re in compliance,’ and they did prove that,” she added, of when she called management to complain. But, meanwhile, for her, the noise had become her new alarm clock, and an effective one at that. “They ousted me out of my apartment. I’m used to hearing sirens, but this was making everything shake and it was like being up against your ear.”

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Letters to the Editor, Apr. 16

Apr16 Toon Hillary gray

Critical letter writers shouldn’t hide

Re: Letter, “Rude behavior should not be expected” by an author whose name was withheld, T&V, Apr. 9, which was written in response to a letter by Billy Sternberg, “What tenants can realistically expect,” T&V, Mar. 19. This was one of several letters that ran recently on the topic of disruptive, noisy neighbors.

“Hey, Billy, I don’t know if you’ve seen it but someone took a cheap shot at you in the Town & Village.”

“Yeah,” I shot back, “and they didn’t have the courage of their convictions to sign it.”

“That’s right,” my neighbor recalled with a look of surprise, “they were withheld names from Peter Cooper Village.”

A week earlier, ironically, another neighbor stopped me to ask, “Was that your letter in the Town & Village?” When I confirmed that it was, she said, “Thank you. Keep writing.”

More ironic, since the topic of the many letters to T&V was noisy neighbors, my neighbor who alerted me to the anonymous letter is the world’s quietest, and, he lives in the apartment above the woman who wants me to write more frequently. She’s elderly and frail. Neither of them can endure our area’s Saturday night revelry. You call security when you want to call. I’ll call them when I want to call. Disability exemptions; senior exemptions, rent guideline rollbacks, MCI rebates and vacancy decontrol are the critical, priority matters.

I can’t understand why T&V would publish anonymous “cheap shots” but I ask that they change their policy to not doing so. If mine is “one of the oddest letters,” my critics have ever read in T&V, please show us the others.

Billy Sternberg, ST

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Letters to the editor, Mar. 19

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

This one’s a job for PCV/ST Public Safety

Re: “Feeling helpless over neighbor’s noise,” T&V letter, Feb. 26

Mr. Weiner writes, “I didn’t call up security because I heard from other people they don’t do much or were told not to.” Since he has lived here for over 20 years, he should have known to seek help from our wonderful Public Safety department. These hard-working men and women are doing their best to keep everyone happy, not an easy task. We should support them and respect their efforts by trusting that they will do everything that can to keep this place safe and peaceful. They are responsible for enforcing management’s rules for maintaining a high quality of life here in our community, including management’s noise policy.

If your neighbors are not as considerate as they should be, don’t hesitate to call upon Public Safety to come to the rescue. They are here to protect us, not only from thieves, muggers and thugs, but also from each other. They have and they will. Call them.

John Cappelletti, ST

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Letters to the Editor, Mar. 12

Upstairs neighbors making my life hell

Re: Recent letters on noise from neighboring apartments due to a lack of carpeting

Dear Editor,

No carpet = hell, pure hell!

To annoy, torture, harass and bully me, my upstairs neighbors have been:

Slamming/throwing heavy furniture against the floors during their wild parties around 1 a.m. or 3 a.m.

Dragging/moving furniture against wooden floors day and night constantly.

Making loud footsteps with shoes with high heels day and night and doing it deliberately and enjoying it, every step.

Dropping, striking, rolling metals and heavy objects against wooden floors constantly.

Tap dancing against the wooden floors early in days and late nights.

Jogging back and forth inside the apartment regardless of the time of the day and night.

Every day after work, I must spend countless hours staying in McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts or in my church praying and staying in my friends’ houses — just to avoid hearing those unbearable nuisances from my upstairs neighbors.

My doctor had to increase the dosage of my high blood pressure pill. I had to seek professional help/counseling to deal with my anger management because my landlord, security, my local politicians and my neighbors cannot help me and I feel I am about to snap.

I can hardly afford to pay my rent but now I have to pay legal fees to my lawyer to help me.

Whatever happened to the golden rule: “Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you” and the Christian rule, “Love thy neighbors as you love yourself”? It is hard for me to believe — being a tenant in Stuyvesant Town — I am having nightmares and I have to fight for myself to have a decent, good quality of life.

Sincerely,

Jovenal Arboleda, ST

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