Note to candidates: ST/PCV is off limits to door-knocking

Rick Hayduk (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

With the election coming in November, candidates for City Council as well as those canvassing for them should take note: Stuy Town is off limits.

Stuyvesant Town’s general manager Rick Hayduk said at a meeting this week held by the 13th Precinct Community Council that while door-knocking isn’t illegal in the city, it is against the “house rules” on the property.

His comment was in response to a complaint from a resident at the meeting who said door-knockers were roaming the complex before the primary election in September.

Hayduk agreed that “It was pretty rampant (during the primary).”

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District 4 candidates weigh in on issues affecting Stuyvesant Town

By Sabina Mollot

The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association, who’ll be holding a meet-and-greet with candidates from the City Council District 4 race on September 9, have also quizzed the aforementioned candidates on a number of locally important issues.

Reaching out via a questionnaire, candidates were asked their thoughts on the needs of students amidst a current baby boom, the planned sanitation garage near Waterside and concerns specific to Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village as well as other issues.

The Tenants Association has published the results of their questionnaire online. Some of the candidates’ comments are below.

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Letters to the Editor: Mar. 10

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

About those new windows in PCV

Re: T&V story, “Roof access coming to PCV, but just for two apartments, T&V, Feb. 25

To the Editor,

So, the new owners are trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear? Where are the amenities that would go along with the prices they intend to ask?

I was also amazed to read that the tenants had access to the roof. Never so in the 30-odd years I’ve been living here and if so, was the biggest kept secret. I had been told by security that we couldn’t go up there.

As to the new windows, if people look carefully at the apartment in the photo, you can see that with the new reconfiguration there is no way for a window air conditioner. The unit is now below the window in part of the wall. Now, with the unit where it is, the tenant can’t put a sofa back to the wall so they’re losing space.

As to another MCI for “new windows,” if we had had a lawyer who knew who was on first, we wouldn’t be paying and paying and paying for the rest of our lives.

The windows never did what they were supposed to do which was to keep the apartments cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. At least that was what I had been told. Once a hole was drilled into the window to let the gas out so that it wouldn’t implode, the purpose of the new windows went out the window or door, whichever word you care to use.

Marcia Robinson, PCV

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Letters to the Editor, Feb. 25

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Boy Scouts, it’s time to let girls in

The Boy Scouts of America is the greatest leadership training for our youth, and that is why the organization must allow girls to fully participate now! Fortunately, we have a Scout leader with a proven record and the courage to end discrimination. We applaud the efforts by Eagle Scout, Boy Scout President, former Secretary of Defense, Dr. Robert Gates, for his success in providing opportunities for women and in ending the “don’t ask, don’t tell,” policies for LGBT members of our United States armed forces. Dr. Gates’ legacy was further secured by his support to end the discriminatory ban against gay Scouts and adult leaders in the Boy Scouts.

Dr. Gates, there is still much more work that must be done to support our girls and young women in Scouting. In nearly all countries the programs are co-ed. Unfortunately, in the U.S., girls and young women are permitted into the Boy Scouts only in limited programs, and young women are completely forbidden to join Scout Troops. With membership in decline and girls and young women clamoring to join, we need to ensure that the Scouting in America serves all of our youth to grow into responsible leaders. As Scouts, we need to be the change that we want to see in the world.

As a female, it is unjust that I am barred from joining the Scout Troops in the US. The Boy Scouts is largely ignoring and discriminating against 50 percent of our youth in denying girls the opportunity to join and earn the Eagle rank, Scouting’s highest honor. Scouts, particularly Eagle Scouts, are highly sought after by colleges (58 percent of West Point Cadets were Boy Scouts and 16.3 percent are Eagles) and the most competitive employers. Without access to the training and Eagle rank, options for young women are limited.

We have co-authored and passed resolutions before the New York City Presbytery, the National Organization for Women and have support for inclusion from Scouts around the world, from Canada to South Africa.

I, Sydney, have joined the Canadian Scouts, Troop 80, out of London, Ontario, and have earned the highest award in my age group, the Chief Scout’s Award. I am so grateful to the Canadian Scouts and particularly my Scout Leader, Steve Lindsay, for working with me. We also appreciate the camaraderie of Troop 414 in Manhattan.

We now ask for your help to open up Scouting. Please go here and sign our petition asking the Scout leaders to end the discriminatory ban against young women and also post the petition on social media.

We are approaching nearly 5,000 supporters! We both hope young women (like me, Sydney) will be accepted as full members of the Scouts and eligible to earn the Eagle rank (like me, Bryan).

Contact us at: ScoutingLetMeIn@gmail.com

Yours in Scouting,

Sydney Ireland, ST
Chief’s Scout Recipient,
Venture Scout, Troop 80
London, Ontario, Canada

Bryan Ireland, ST
Eagle Scout, New York, New York

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Letters to the Editor, Dec. 11

Dec11 Toon de Blasio

Thanks, Con Ed, for Saturday morning ‘alarm’

The following open letter was written by Stuyvesant town resident Sherman Sussman, who had been getting routinely woken up by vehicles entering and exiting the Con Ed property during the wee hours of the morning.

Why??? You guys were doing so good. Not perfect by far but good.

So why is it that the neighborhood needs to be awakened at 6:45 a.m. on a Saturday morning?

Con Ed has decided that the big orange bucket truck with its noisy movement alarm (which is unnecesesary in a non-construction site, in fact the only noise that is being made is by the alarm) is necessary to move at this time in the morning.

A. Is it because there is an emergency? I don’t see one.
B. Is it because people like myself like to get a little more sleep on a Saturday morning?
C. Or is it because Con Ed really doesn’t care what they do at whatever time they feel like doing it?

Sherman Sussan, ST

Did you say… too much heat?

To the Editor:

I must admit to being flabbergasted by a letter in this week’s paper (“Can’t take the heat,” T&V, Dec. 4) complaining about too much heat in his/her apartment. Wish I could say the same.

In my building heat has been at a minimum. I always thought that when it is under 50 degrees outside, heat is required.

Oh well, maybe 20th Street has a different climate from 14th!

H. Zwerling,
430 E. 20th St.

Appreciative of T&V’s de-cluttering tips

Dear Town & Village,

I know I’ve written you in the past about how useful and informative and interesting AJ Miller’s column is, and I’m doing so again.

For example, her “De-cluttering problems and solutions” in your October 30 issue, as an example, was a simply written yet eloquently stated column.

Well-written and practical. She’s a gem as are many of your fine writers, reporters and columnists.

Thanks.

Richard Luksin,
Minneapolis, MN

What happened to going to the bondholders?

To the Editor:

On October 20, 2012, to great fanfare, press releases, and news conferences, local elected officials and the STPCV Tenants Association said that they were taking our case directly to the bondholders. TA leaders said the time had come to “cut out the middleman.”

If CW Capital would not give us a seat at the table, they said, then CW should step aside and we would “talk directly to the bondholders.”

Two years later, we have heard nothing. Apparently, the TA prefers to have press conferences.  Perhaps despite their promises, they did not really contact the bondholders. If they did, then we the tenants deserve to know what did the bondholders say.

The TA repeatedly says that it wants a seat at the table to allow the 11,000 tenants to take charge of their destiny and ensure middle class affordability through a non-eviction condo conversion.   But now Mayor de Blasio feels that STPCV should remain a rental complex forever, and the TA refuses to challenge him on it.

The TA apparently prefers to trumpet “affordability!” like a voice crying in the wilderness, rather than tell us what the bondholders said – and require the mayor to be responsive to 30,000 residents of our community.

Mayor de Blasio needs to stand with tenants, not with the developers of affordable housing and the landlords.

The time has come to go directly to the bondholders, as the TA promised us two years ago.

Name withheld, ST

Letters to the Editor, Sept. 11

Owning won’t end problems with students

To the Editor:

I fully support Larry Edwards’ demand for a conversion “that is affordable to all the tenants who live here today and to those who have been living here for 30 to 40 years or more.” (Town &  Village, Sept. 4).

However, assuming that owning an apartment will prevent transient college students from noisy partying at all hours is unrealistic in today’s real estate market. The neighboring universities will merely buy up blocks of apartment condos or co-ops as investments and turn them into student dorms with the same “howling in the courtyards,” and “waking up their neighbors at 3 or 4 in the morning.”

As for affordability, only stronger rent stabilization laws can keep apartments within the middle class, not “ownership.” Today’s “market rate” for two-bedroom Manhattan co-ops ranges from $750,000 to over a million. Families earning under $300,000 a year will be shut out.

This has nothing to do with building owners, the Tenants Association, or elected officials – all  are powerless against the so-called “free market.”

And for wealthier people who can afford to “own,” they might still find themselves living next door to howling students. They might as well join the party.

Elliot Markson, ST

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Letters to the Editor, June 19

Tenants want details, not vague statements

To the editor:

Ok… so we applaud our political representatives before we hear what they have to say … Ok… so we applaud repeatedly while they speak without knowing the implications of what we hear. Ok… so we leave the rally at our City Hall with the thought that perhaps in unity we are getting closer to our wishes.

We were, after all, assured that Fannie and Freddie will not finance a deal unless the deal guarantees long-term affordability. We hear, in one way or another, that the mayor’s folks are working a deal with CWCapital that would a) satisfy the bondholders and b) guarantee that some apartments would remain affordable.

I hope that I am wrong on all accounts, but does any of that have the sound of what we want? A deal?

Made by whom? Representing whose interests? Long-term affordability? For whom? Affordable apartments? Of those… how many, and for whom? So CWCapital gets to keep the place? “Keep” is rather a firm thing. There is nothing ambiguous or equivocal about “keep”… and we get… what? Well, right now, whatever it is, it is heavy on ambiguity and equivocation (wrapped in emphatic assurances).

As I see it, we really have not squared off against the principle that we are mere tenants living on someone’s property at, quite close to, their pleasure. We haven’t squared off against the prevailing grip that government has no real right to interfere in the running of business. Business is, after all, private.

Nowhere along the line has our side insisted that the private exists within the public, through the will of the public, with the financial (socialism) support of the public. That form of restraint, along with civility has been our self-imposed handicap.

So perhaps, just perhaps, the next time a political leader speaks, we consider holding applause until, by answering our questions, we are shown to what non-generalities that leader is committed. In that way, over time, political leaders may come to speak to us with a focused demonstration of acknowledgement and respect, and we, for our part, more than placards and background to a center that is not us.

John M. Giannone, ST

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Letters to the Editor, June 5

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Blame Albany for tenant bills going nowhere

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to Albano Republican Club President Frank Scala’s Letter to the Editor (5/22/14) inferring that elected Republican officials haven’t caused the continuing stagnation of pro-tenant legislation in Albany.

Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village’s state representatives, Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, are vigorous proponents of MCI reform, repealing vacancy decontrol, restoring home rule to New York City, comprehensive campaign finance reform and the rest of the Real Rent Reform Campaign agenda.

In fact, on May 13, the Assembly once again passed a series of bills that will strengthen rent regulations and increase New Yorkers’ access to affordable housing. Senator Hoylman and the vast majority of his Democratic colleagues co-sponsor these bills but unless they are allowed to come to the floor for a vote by Republicans in the Senate Majority Coalition, they will again die as one-house bills.

As Senator Hoylman said at the May 10th ST-PCV Tenants Association meeting, for our own future, we need to participate in electing pro-tenant candidates from across New York State. He didn’t specify that those candidates be Democrats, but the parties’ records speak for themselves.

Senator Hoylman and Assemblyman Kavanagh continue to work on behalf of the interests of ST/PCV as well as tenants across New York City and New York State, regardless of their political beliefs or party registration.

Sincerely,

Mark Thompson, ST
President, Samuel J. Tilden Democratic Club

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End in sight for construction project

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Representatives from CW Capital and CompassRock said that they hope to have the major construction on the new management office finished by this May at a meeting with the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association on Tuesday evening.

The new management office is planned for the space between Playground 8 and the buildings at 272, 274, 276 and 278 First Avenue along the First Avenue Loop and construction officially began on January 22.

The meeting, held at P.S. 40 on East 19th Street, was held to answer questions about the construction of the new office because residents have said they’ve been unable to find any information about the project, such as what the plans for the new building are, how much of a disturbance construction will be and when the structure is expected to be completed.

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Residents win rent rebate in deal over Hurricane Sandy damage

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

14th Street between Avenues B and C during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 (Photographer unknown)

14th Street between Avenues B and C during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 (Photographer unknown)

CW Capital and the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association reached an agreement on Wednesday on the Rent Reduction Application that the Association filed as a result of the long-term service disruptions after Superstorm Sandy.

The deal give residents in 15 of the 21 buildings in Peter Cooper Village and two in Stuyvesant Town that were the most affected by Sandy a one-time reduction of 15 percent from the July 2013 rent bill.

The buildings in Peter Cooper Village receiving the higher rent reduction are 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Peter Cooper Road, 420, 440, 510, 530 East 23rd Street, 441, 511, 531, 541 and 601 East 20th Street. 319 Avenue C and 620 East 20th Street in Stuyvesant Town also got the 15 percent reduction. Application participants in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village buildings that were minimally affected by the storm will get a one-time reduction of seven percent.

The claim was originally filed for all 110 buildings in the complex since all lost the ability to contact security through a button in the lobby and lost trunk and storage service.

There were a total of 1,500 participants from throughout Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village in the application.

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New Drop Off Points for ST-PCV TA Comment Cards

Since the Tenants Association’s drop box for comment cards regarding the property’s proposed conversion was removed from the Oval concierge last week, TA volunteers are now available to personally collect comment cards this weekend and throughout next week at the ST-PCV Community Center. The TA continues to gather tenants’  input in order to develop a bid that will reflect the interests of the community.

Comment cards can now be submitted to a TA volunteer at the following locations and times:

Where: Community Center, 449 East   14th St (located in the First Avenue Loop on 16th Street)
When: Saturday (02/04): 11am-5pm
Sunday (02/05): 11am-5pm
Monday (02/06): 3-5pm
Tuesday (02-07), Wednesday (02-08), Thursday (02-09): 3-5pm and 6-8pm Please note:
No one will be available to take your card between 5-6pm on these days
Friday: (02-10): 3-5pm

Tenants may also mail cards in an envelope to ST/PCV-TA, P.O.
Box 1202, New York, NY 10009-1202.

Additionally, for those who are not able to make the drop off times at the Community Center,  a drop-box will be located at Zeichner Wine & Liquor Store at First Avenue and 16th Street. 

ST-PCV Tenants Assoc. to hold tele-town hall

By Heather Holland

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association will be holding a “Telephone Town Hall” meeting on Sunday, December 18, to answer residents’ questions about the TA’s proposal to partner with Brookfield Asset Management in a tenant-led conversion plan for the complex.

The telephone info session will be “listen only,” but residents will be able to submit questions ahead of time. The questions will mostly be fielded by the Association’s legal/financial advisors from the firms Paul Weiss and Moelis & Co., and moderated by Council Member Dan Garodnick. Questions may be submitted online after registering or during the call by speaking to a designated operator. Residents should expect a phone invitation to join the call at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, and the call will last for about an hour. Continue reading

ST-PCV TA to partner with Brookfield on bid

By Sabina Mollot

and Heather Holland

Barry Blattman, senior managing partner of Brookfield

On Wednesday, the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association announced that it had formed a partnership with the firm Brookfield Asset Management in a plan to put together a bid to purchase ST/PCV and convert to condos or co-ops.

The bid attempt would be the second tenant-led one — the first was in 2006, though the Tenants Association, working alongside Council Member Dan Garodnick, ended up losing to Tishman Speyer — or winning, as they later looked at it.

So far, there has been no bid put together, so it’s not clear whether CW Capital will accept the offer, which was extended by the TA on Tuesday.

However, Garodnick, who hosted a press conference outside Stuyvesant Town, along with other local elected officials and reps from Brookfield, said it was understood that any offer would need to be “competitive.” Previously, legal and financial advisors for the TA had said an offer would need to be at least $3 billion in order to satisfy the bondholder trust CW Capital represents. Continue reading

Reminder: ST-PCV TA meeting Dec. 3

The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association will be holding a meeting on December 3 to discuss a number of major issues, including MCIs, maintenance/quality of life issues and the TA’s progress in developing a plan to keep the community affordable. The meeting will be held on Saturday, December 3 at 1 p.m., at Mason Hall of Baruch College, Lexington Avenue and 23rd Street.
On hand to speak about a possible buy-or-rent conversion plan will be members of the Association’s legal team from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and its financial advisors from Moelis & Co., as well as City Council Member Dan Garodnick. Maintenance and other quality-of-life issues will be addressed by TA president Alvin Doyle.

Following a procedure introduced at its last meeting, the Association is advising pre-registration to avoid overflow problems in the 1,100-seat hall. All residents may pre-register, but priority for seats will be offered to TA members who are current in their dues. Residents can pre-register for the meeting online by visiting stpcvta.org/decembermeeting or calling (917) 338-7860.

Garodnick and STPCVTA write letters questioning legality of ice rink

Letter from City Council Member Dan Garodnick to the Chair of NYC Department of City Planning Amanda Burden, dated October 28.

Dear Chair Burden:

In recent months, Stuyvesant Town residents have seen an increase in the amount of commercial activity taking place within the Stuyvesant Town Oval, which is in an R7-2 zone. The Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association leadership has asked me to investigate whether any of these new activities are in violation of the area’s residential zoning.

With that in mind, I ask that you answer the following questions: Continue reading