It’s snow problem

First Avenue

First Avenue

As we all got to experience, the city was basically shut down last Thursday thanks to a pesky blizzard. With Mayor de Blasio having urged New Yorkers to stay off the roads and public school children getting a day off, things weren’t too bad as far as emergencies are concerned. In Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, residents were warned employees would be slower to respond to service requests with workers having to prioritize snow removal. Fortunately once the snow stopped burying the ground below, kids who braved the cold did get some well-deserved play time.

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Market raters hopeful about lottery, some others say the cost isn’t exactly affordable

feb9-screenshotBy Sabina Mollot

Following the announcement that the Stuyvesant Town lottery would be reopening for would-be residents in the upper income tier, Town & Village asked a few market rate residents and former residents as well as others for their thoughts. The market raters we spoke with seemed to think that while the rents weren’t exactly cheap, the lottery was still welcome news. However, those unaccustomed to paying those kinds of rents were wary of labeling the available units as affordable.

After hearing what the rents were for one and two-bedrooms, Larry Watson, a former Stuy Town resident who moved out last year, said he thought the deal sounded better for the two-bedrooms.

He’d previously paid $3,900 for a converted two-bedroom.

“If you look at the price for a studio anywhere in Manhattan, it’s $2,000,” said Watson, “so it’s an $800 leap for a one-bedroom, but for a two-bedroom it’s an extra $1,300. So you get the value in a two-bedroom, but not a one-bedroom. I’d say it’s a decent offer,” he said.

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Stuy Town apartment lottery reopening

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The lottery website, stuytownlottery.com, is live.

By Sabina Mollot

The lottery for below-market apartments in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village is reopening.

On Monday, Blackstone announced that those who missed out the first time could try again during a one-month window.

This reopening is specifically for applicants in the higher-income bracket for one and two-bedroom apartments since those are the unit sizes that are most common throughout the property. However, the original waiting list is still active for unit types not included in the current lottery as well as one and two-bedrooms.

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Pigeon-napper strikes again, says PCV woman

Pigeons like these have been getting sold for target practice. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Pigeons like these have been getting sold for target practice. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Last month, Town & Village reported that a ring of bird-nappers have been seen trapping and then selling local pigeons to customers out of state who then use them for target practice. While they have yet to be arrested, one bird-napper was caught last year on Stuyvesant Town’s surveillance cameras as he worked to catch birds on East 14th Street and First Avenue.

And now, he’s back, according to a woman who said she watched in horror as a man caught pigeons in a net in Peter Cooper Village on Saturday.

The witness, a resident of Peter Cooper who asked that her name not be published, said it happened in broad daylight at around 12:10 p.m. on First Avenue between 21st and 22nd Streets.

She said she watched as he put out some seed, and following a few birds’ immediate interest, quickly scooped them up. He didn’t get more than those few, however, since the woman said she screamed at him to stop.

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IT worker allegedly sold NYPD members’, applicants’ information

235 East 20th Street (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

235 East 20th Street (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested 37-year-old Idahosa Ighodaro, an NYPD certified IT administrator, for grand larceny in the department’s offices at 235 East 20th Street last Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. Ighodaro allegedly sold personnel information on almost 5,000 current members and applicants of the NYPD.

Police said that as a certified IT administrator, Ighodaro has access to personnel files that include information such as names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, social security numbers, tax identification numbers and other personal identifying information.

According to a complaint from the District Attorney’s office, Ighodaro gave an informant an external hard drive belonging to the NYPD at the end of last November near East 20th Street and Third Avenue. An officer for the Internal Affairs Bureau at the NYPD said that Ighodaro didn’t have permission to take the hard drive from his office or give it to anyone else and a sergeant for the computer crimes section at Internal Affairs determined that the hard drive contained personal identifying information, including social security numbers, for approximately 4,760 members and applicants of the NYPD.

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Quik Park won’t charge planned fee for non-electronic payments

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Parking garage in Stuy Town

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Quik Park, which operates the parking garages in STPCV, recently announced that customers would face a fee unless they enrolled in the online payment plan that automatically charges the monthly bill to a credit card or bank account, but according to Councilmember Dan Garodnick, his office has learned that this new policy will not be implemented.

Garodnick had sent a letter to StuyTown general manager Rick Hayduk and Quik Park CEO Rafael Llopiz last Wednesday regarding the new proposed policy, arguing that online payment would adversely affect the high senior population in STPCV. Garodnick also noted that concerns about the proposed policy were especially high given that Quik Park had also increased its rates earlier this year.

Llopiz did not respond to a request for comment on the policy.

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PCV man dies shortly after 100th birthday

Albert Steinberg, pictured with wife Evelyn on a vacation

Albert Steinberg, pictured with wife Evelyn on a vacation

Just two weeks after his 100th birthday, Albert Steinberg, a Peter Cooper Village resident and father of Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg, died.

Steinberg had recently been ill with pneumonia. He spent five days, the past Monday to Friday, at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, and passed away the day after coming home.

Susan, one of two children Steinberg had with his late wife Evelyn, said her father had made his goal of turning 100, and suspected that after that, he had simply run out of goals.

“People know when they want to let go,” she said.

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Divine signs of the times

Church uses humor to connect with community

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Gustavus Adolphus Pastor Christopher Mietlowski started the sign campaign seven years ago and has since seen an increase in church membership. (Photo collage by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

It’s not unusual for signs in front of churches to have uplifting messages. Often they’re lifted from biblical passages. Other times they’re behavioral suggestions, and if there’s room, there’ll be a bingo schedule included, too.

But in Gramercy, one church has managed to stand out from the parish pack for the messages on its signs, which have become so popular, they’ve actually boosted membership.

That church would be Gustavus Adolphus, a 150-year-old Lutheran church where a recent sign suggested: “Come, search for Pokemon — stay, find God’s grace.”

Another, inspired by pop song “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor, read: “We’re all about dat grace, bout dat grace, no Devil!”

And another reminded passersby: “That love thy neighbor thing — I meant that — God.”

Last winter, during particularly frigid temperatures, a sign pointed out, “On the bright side, we haven’t seen a mosquito in months.”

The signs, which get changed around twice a month, are the brainchild of the church’s pastor, Christopher Mietlowski, better known to his flock as Pastor Chris.

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City proposes reconfiguring 2 playgrounds as part of East Side flood protection plan

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Asser Levy Playground (pictured) and Murphy’s Brother’s Playground will be impacted by the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project. (Photo courtesy of Parks Department)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The city has been exploring options to redesign Asser Levy Playground and Murphy’s Brother’s Playground, since both will be affected by the construction of flood protection along the East Side of Manhattan from East 23rd Street to Montgomery Street.

Earlier in the month, representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency discussed the proposals at a community meeting held at Washington Irving High School.

Carrie Grassi, the deputy director of planning for the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, mentioned how the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project will run adjacent to both parks and construction will disturb activities there.

However, since the city is only in the concept design stage with the project, Grassi said that decisions for all aspects aren’t necessarily final yet. One such instance is the placement of the floodwall as it approaches the Asser Levy Playground. One configuration has the wall bordering the park along the FDR Drive, turning along East 25th Street and connecting with the floodwall that the VA Hospital is working on.

“But some feel that would be too imposing,” Grassi said.

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Op-Ed: The Election 2016: The fight we had and the battles to come

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Council Member Dan Garodnick, his wife Zoe Segal-Reichlin, and their sons Asher and Devin on the campaign trail

 

By City Council Member Dan Garodnick

Like most New Yorkers, I was extremely disappointed in the outcome of the presidential election. Hillary Clinton won nearly 80 percent of the vote in Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, and the nationwide popular vote by more than 2 million votes.  Despite this result, she won’t be occupying the Oval Office in January.  

I am further disturbed and outraged by the uptick in hate crimes and bias incidents that have been taking place across the United States and in our own backyard. A swastika was recently carved into a door in the apartment building our own State Senator, Brad Hoylman. Hate crimes against Muslims in New York City have doubled from 2015 to 2016. A terrifying, homophobic death threat was sent to an openly gay colleague of mine, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer of Queens. This is shameful, unacceptable, and not the city I know.

It’s also not the country I saw as I campaigned for Hillary Clinton.

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ST-PCV Tenants Association to fight video intercom MCI

By Sabina Mollot

The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association is seeking neighbors’ help in an effort to challenge the recently announced video intercom MCI.

The major capital improvement rent increase, if approved, will impact the following Peter Cooper Village buildings: 420 and 440 East 23rd Street, 350, 360, 360 and 390 First Avenue, 2 and 3 Peter Cooper Road and 431 and 441 East 20th Street.

Susan Steinberg

ST-PCV Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Susan Steinberg, president of the Tenants Association, said this particular MCI, one of four on the horizon, is expected to cost tenants $2.13-$2.50 per room per month.

At a meeting last month, Steinberg said the four MCIs would be challenged for different reasons, including issues with paperwork.

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First female president of T&V Synagogue turns 100

Peter Cooper Village resident Florence Friedman (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Peter Cooper Village resident Florence Friedman (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Voters in New York need to provide a reason for voting absentee and Peter Cooper Village resident Florence Friedman had a good one: she turned 100 the day before the election.

When she was born in 1916, the actual day of the election that year when voters reelected Democratic incumbent Woodrow Wilson, women were still not allowed to vote. And although Friedman wasn’t able to make it to her polling place on Election Day because of limited mobility, she said she enthusiastically sent in her ballot ahead of the deadline because she wanted to make sure her vote was counted for Hillary Clinton.

She was saddened when she woke up on Wednesday and found that her choice had not won.

“I voted for Hillary and most of the people around me voted for Hillary but I’m disappointed in the outcome,” she said the day after the election. “But that’s the way the cookie crumbles. It’s what we’ll have to live with.”

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Local voters come out for Clinton as Trump takes the White House

On Tuesday, a polling place at 360 First Avenue had a line spilling down the block. Many voters who spoke with T&V said they were supporting Hillary Clinton and local Democratic elected officials easily won reelection. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

On Tuesday, a polling place at 360 First Avenue had a line spilling down the block. Many voters who spoke with T&V said they were supporting Hillary Clinton and local Democratic elected officials easily won reelection. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Voter turnout was high at polling places throughout Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village in this historic presidential election, with some residents saying that crowds seemed to surpass even those from 2008. Although some sites throughout the city reported broken scanners, voters at the ST/PCV polling places T&V visited on Tuesday morning said that the worst problems they faced were long lines, and many said that it wasn’t a burden to wait.

“I feel like it’s my moral duty to vote,” said Peter Cooper Village resident Max Hague, noting that he cast his vote for Hillary Clinton. “I voted because I don’t want to live in a fascist country.”

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PCV doctor named president of Mount Sinai Downtown

Jeremy Boal, MD, is the new president of Mount Sinai Downtown, which includes Beth Israel and the Eye and Ear Infirmary. (Photo courtesy of Mount Sinai)

Jeremy Boal, MD, is the new president of Mount Sinai Downtown, which includes Beth Israel and the Eye and Ear Infirmary. (Photo courtesy of Mount Sinai)

By Sabina Mollot

On the heels of Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s president, Suzanne Somerville, stepping down, a Peter Cooper Village resident who began his career as a resident in the hospital network 25 years ago has been named the president of Mount Sinai Downtown. This includes the current and future Beth Israel as well as the Eye and Ear Infirmary.

Additionally, Jeremy Boal, MD, who currently serves as executive vice president and chief medical officer of the Mount Sinai Health System, is being promoted to executive vice president and chief clinical officer. Though the transition has already begun, the appointment having been announced internally last Wednesday, he won’t be fully assuming the new role until January, 2017. Prior to his current role, he served as chief medical officer at North Shore LIJ (now Northwell Health).

Earlier this week, Boal spoke with Town & Village about community concerns such as potential loss of services from the neighborhood, the status of the medical giant’s real estate and the enhanced offerings that have been promised to patients at the future, much smaller hospital building adjacent to Eye and Ear.

Since 2003, Boal has been a resident of Peter Cooper where he lives with his family, which includes two daughters, one 13, the other 16.

The interview, edited for length, is below.

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Weather monitor installed in Stuy Town to keep grounds from getting over-watered

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The arrival of the new gadget is part of the owner’s effort to make the property more environmentally friendly. (Photo by Jonathan Wells)

 

In an effort to save water and prevent the grounds from being overwatered, StuyTown Property Services has recently installed a weather monitor in the complex. The solar-powered gadget, which appeared over the weekend outside a building on the East 14th Street Loop, 455, collects weather information, which then determines what irrigation levels for the landscaping need to be based on real time data.

In a press release, management cheered the arrival of the ET-300-W weather station, calling it “a smart piece of environmental technology.

“This new weather station will allow the StuyTown Grounds & Landscaping Department to ensure precise watering of our 80 acres of soil, based on the specific environmental factors and weather conditions of our property using solar cells to power the apparatus and transmit data to a nearby wireless controller.”

It measures data through a “Tipping Rain Bucket” component which records effective onsite rain fall. It can also collect data to estimate how much moisture (in the form of irrigation run times) needs to be replenished from the previous day’s evaporation.

SPS said the new piece of technology will save “a significant amount of water,” which is part of the company’s mission to make Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper “the most environmentally-friendly multifamily property in New York City.”