Third round of ‘Roberts’ checks may be on the way

ST buildingsBy Sabina Mollot

Last October, residents of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village who were represented in the “Roberts v. Tishman Speyer” class action lawsuit saw a second wave of payouts from the initial $68.75 million pool.

Now it’s likely that there will be a third round of checks, according to Michael Liskow, who’s one of the attorneys representing tenants from the firm Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz.

As a condition of the second payout, if there was more than $100,000 left after a deadline for checks to be deposited passed, then there would be another distribution. If there was less than $100,000 left, then the remaining funds would be split among two local nonprofits, the ST-PCV Tenants Association and the Peter Stuyvesant Little League.

The 120-day deadline has already passed for most of the recipients but attorneys won’t know the exact amount that’s left in the pool until around March 15. This is when the deadline will have passed for all eligible class suit members. However, as of this week, there was over $150,000 left, Liskow said.

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TA says: More boots on the ground needed, better interior lighting

Susan Steinberg

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

Following StuyTown Property Services announcing new efforts to make the complex safer, Susan Steinberg, president of the ST-PCV Tenants Association, responded with the TA’s own view, which is that equipment is nice, but live patrols are better. The TA also recommended more interior lighting. Read on for the association’s statements.

In the wake of the sexual attack on a young Stuy Town resident in her building vestibule in the early morning of February 19, The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association is once again speaking up for two vital safety measures we have been requesting for years: More foot patrols, especially at night, and far better lighting of interior paths.

General Manager Rick Hayduk’s follow-up communication to residents was a timely reminder of the emergency equipment already available: blue-lighted stanchions throughout the community, “security” buttons on lobby intercoms, the manned central video security screen system, and foot and car patrols 24/7.

Addressing future improvements, he cited plans to work with security consultants to identify where “new and additional equipment can be placed to enhance coverage.”

We at the TA insist that far more important than additional electronic wonders is a seriously enlarged force of on-foot public safety personnel and more small vehicles always on the move. It was just such a band of visible, on-foot and on-wheels security personnel constantly patrolling the property and checking the stairwells of each building every day that once made this community the lowest crime area in the city.

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Stuy Town resident quits mayoral race, joins Massey’s campaign

Aug11 Joshua Thompson1

Joshua Thompson, pictured in Stuyvesant Town last summer (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Joshua Thompson, the Stuyvesant Town Democrat who ditched a campaign for City Council last year to run for mayor has announced he is “suspending” that campaign to serve as senior adviser to another candidate for mayor, Republican developer Paul Massey.

In an email blast on Thursday, Thompson, 31, said that although he’d raised nearly $200,000, it was “time to put values before party politics.”

“I believe deeply in his vision for this city and believe that consolidating resources is the best way to spread our message and affect the lives of New Yorkers,” Thompson wrote.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Thompson’s title will be director of policy and outreach for the campaign and he’ll be focusing on education and homelessness.

Thompson previously worked for the Cory Booker administration in Newark, New Jersey, as well as having held a government position in education in Bridgeport, Connecticut from 2012-2014.

He’s lived in Stuyvesant Town since 2014 with his wife, Julia, who runs a Brooklyn charter school.

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Man in jail for assaulting his mother in her Stuyvesant Town apartment

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A 48-year-old Stuyvesant Town man arrested for assaulting his mother is currently in jail for the crime, Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney reported at a meeting of the 13th Precinct Community Council on Tuesday.

Timoney, the commanding officer of the precinct, noted at the meeting that police were aware of the man’s abuse of his mother prior to the arrest but he was finally caught after he assaulted her in her Stuyvesant Town apartment.

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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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Police Watch: Man arrested for assaulting mother, Man busted for meth and burglaries

MAN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULTING HIS MOTHER IN STUY TOWN APARTMENT
Police arrested a 48-year-old man for assault inside his Stuyvesant Town building last Sunday at 4 a.m. The victim told police that she got into an argument with the suspect, who is her son, when he allegedly hit her on the hand with an unknown object, causing swelling to her wrist.
Police said that the suspect, whose name is being withheld by Town & Village to protect the victim’s privacy, then punched his mother repeatedly, causing swelling to her forehead, and he allegedly bit her nose. Police said that he also turned off her breathing machine. The victim told police that her son turns off the oxygen on her breathing machine on a daily basis and she is in fear for her life. The son was also charged with endangering the vulnerable elderly.
Marynia Kruk, a spokesperson for Stuyvesant Town management, said, “StuyTown Property Services is aware of the incident. Our Public Safety team responded and notified NYPD, and as always will cooperate with their investigation as needed.”

MAN ARRESTED FOR METH, BURGLARIES
Police arrested 32-year-old Matthew Cherette for trespassing and criminal possession of a controlled substance inside 111 West 16th Street last Monday at 5:53 p.m. Police said that he was trespassing inside the building and when he was searched, was in possession of two clear plastic bags of crystal meth.
When he was arrested, police found that he was wanted in connected with three other incidents, including petit larceny and two burglaries. Police said that Cherette also took a credit card that had been mailed to a resident from the lobby area of an apartment building on January 24 and allegedly used the card to purchase gift cards at CVS. Police said that he also removed an envelope containing cash from a hotel room. He allegedly admitted to police that he had taken the envelopes and said he had a gambling problem. Police said that he also identified himself on surveillance video from CVS.

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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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Man charged with robbing and choking Stuy Town woman

June23 sign

Stuyvesant Town (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A Stuyvesant Town woman was attacked inside her apartment by a man she met on the street earlier that night at the end of last month.

Police said that the 52-year-old victim met three men in the neighborhood on the night of January 22 and invited them back to her apartment at 5 Stuyvesant Oval around 12:45 a.m. Two of the men left the apartment shortly after to buy cigarettes and once they were gone, 23-year-old Shadi Torres allegedly grabbed the victim and threw her to the ground.

According to the District Attorney’s office, Torres also attempted to pull down her pants and allegedly attempted to strangle her, putting a hand around her neck and forcefully squeezing her throat, causing substantial pain and swelling. A criminal complaint said that the victim attempted to call 911 but Torres grabbed the phone and threw it against the wall. When the victim tried to call 911 on her cell phone, Torres allegedly grabbed the device and ran out of the apartment. It was unclear if the victim’s phone was recovered.

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Inauguration fails to inspire most people we spoke with

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The inauguration is screened to a mostly empty Stuyvesant Town Community Center. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

With the majority of New York City residents not having voted for Donald Trump, the televised inauguration, which happened on Friday, wasn’t exactly must-see TV, at least not for too many people in Stuyvesant Town and Gramercy.

This became clear during the pre-inaugural ceremonies when this reporter, attempting to get some local reaction at Cooper Town Diner on First Avenue, was told “no comment” repeatedly.

But out of those who did comment, most, unsurprisingly, weren’t happy.

Josh Thompson, a Stuyvesant Town resident and Democrat candidate for mayor, once previously told T&V he considered Cooper Town to be his second office. But on this day, he was taking his food to go.

Asked for this thoughts, Thompson, an avowed “Obamacrat,” said he had recorded the inauguration of President Obama in 2009 and would go home to watch that instead.

“I’m going to do that for the day,” he said before rushing off.

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For homebound, Citymeals-on-Wheels offers more than just food deliveries

Council Member Dan Garodnick tagged along on a recent Citymeals-on-Wheels delivery to some of his neighbors, including Ellen Fidelman (pictured). Seventy recipients of the regular meal deliveries live in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village.  (Photo courtesy of Council Member Dan Garodnick)

Council Member Dan Garodnick tagged along on a recent Citymeals-on-Wheels delivery to some of his neighbors, including Ellen Fidelman (pictured). Seventy recipients of the regular meal deliveries live in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village. (Photo courtesy of Council Member Dan Garodnick)

By Sabina Mollot

It was 35 years ago when Gael Greene, a food critic, read in the New York Times that many seniors would be going without meals on Thanksgiving weekend. Greene immediately called chef and cookbook author James Beard, who, along with the city’s Department of the Aging, worked together to raise enough money to get 6,000 meals delivered to the homes of the elderly in time for Christmas. The project, Citymeals-on-Wheels, didn’t end there, though. It continued to ensure that New York’s senior citizens wouldn’t have to go without meals on weekends or holidays when senior centers are closed. Demand for the service has only increased since then, with 18,000 homebound elderly currently benefitting from the program each year.

Seventy of those individuals live in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, an increase from 2014 when there were 47.

To qualify for the home deliveries, seniors can’t be physically able to shop or cook for themselves. For that reason, the organization has also become a lifeline for isolated individuals.

More than 60 percent of Citymeals recipients are over 80 years old; 23 percent are over 90; more than 200 have lived at least a century. All recipients are chronically disabled by conditions such as vision loss, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. Nearly all need assistance walking. It is estimated that 66 percent use a cane, 39 percent use a walker and 16 percent use a wheelchair.

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

Aug16 garage

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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Garland Jeffreys crowd-funding new album

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Garland Jeffreys being inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame by David Johansen, formerly of The New York Dolls (Photo by Arnie Goodman)

By Sabina Mollot

Stuyvesant Town rock singer Garland Jeffreys has been keeping busy lately.

The veteran musician, now 73, was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in November.

Additionally, his early hit song “Wild in the Streets” was recently featured in the Netflix original series “The Get Down” and was also included on the official RCA soundtrack for the show.

Then, last Tuesday, Jeffreys launched a PledgeMusic crowd-funding campaign aimed at producing a new album and a documentary about his career.

The doc features Harvey Keitel, Laurie Anderson and Graham Parker, all singing the Brooklyn-born crooner’s praises. The album is expected to be released sometime in the spring.

Finally, in keeping with what has become an annual tradition, Jeffreys will be performing at Joe’s Pub at 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. His 20-year-old daughter Savanna, who’s also a musician, will open the set with some of her own songs and the father and daughter will also perform a duet.

Reached at home, Jeffreys spoke with Town & Village about the aforementioned projects and a European tour planned for 2017.

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Holiday run becomes fitness class due to snow

The fitness event moved to Oval Studio.

The fitness event moved to Oval Studio. (Photos by Maya Rader)

By Maya Rader

On Saturday morning, an outdoor holiday run that had been scheduled to take place in Stuyvesant Town wound up turning into an indoor fitness event, thanks to the arrival of the season’s first snowstorm.

Instead of running around the Oval, kids headed to Oval Studio for a fitness class and active games like tag. Free snacks and drinks were provided.

Attendees also brought gifts for a toy drive, and gave an optional $10 donation to raise money for Toys for Tots. The event was run by PopFit Kids, an organization dedicated to getting kids active and promoting healthy exercise habits.

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Stuy Town Christmas tree lighting

On Saturday, about 70 Stuy Town residents gathered at the Oval fountain for the annual Christmas tree lighting. Christmas Carolers kicked off the evening before the arrival of Santa Claus who led a countdown to the tree lighting with a “ho, ho, ho.”

Guests enjoyed free cookies and hot chocolate and cider and also picked up free necklaces and stuffed reindeer toys. Children got to take pictures on Santa’s lap nearby in the Oval Studio.

A Menorah lighting will take place on December 28.

Photos by Maya Rader

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Pictured:

Santa with Peter, a two-year-old resident