Letters to the Editor, Sept. 8

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Farewell, fabulous Sigfrido’s customers

Dear Ms. Mollot,

On Thursday, August 11, 2016, there was a story about me, Andy Evangelista, and the barbershop about my retirement in the Town & Village. I would like to express my feelings for my loyal customers, if it’s possible.

I must say it was an extremely pleasurable place to work in this great community. In the 48 years in my shop each and every customer became like a family member. It was a great joy to see these young children growing up and bringing their own children to the barbershop later on. Over the years there was so much love and devotion. I took major pride to be there and give my best service to each and every one who came into my shop and the results were great, everyone went out looking great and happy.

My brother Sigfrido and his brother-in-law, Nunzio bought the barbershop in 1961. A few years later they split the business and Sigfrido was the sole owner. My brother Bruno went to work there in 1967 and I in 1968. I was 19 years old. Sigfrido retired in 1998 and Bruno and I bought the shop and became partners. Due to health issues, Bruno retired about seven years ago and I became a sole owner of Sigfrido’s.

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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, Aug. 25

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

T&V letter could give sick people ideas

Dear Ms. Mollot,

In response to your July 21 issue letter to the editor regarding squirrels (“Bushy tailed beasts have taken over” by William Kelly), and with all due respect to freedom of speech, I can’t believe you printed this letter. I’m hoping he had nothing better to do and was just kidding, although it wasn’t such a funny letter if so.

To put such vicious actions into the minds of our children — and yes even adults — living in and enjoying our beautiful oasis is insane.

First of all there are strict rules on the books in New York City regarding animal cruelty — with serious fines and jail consequences.

But, additionally, can you visualize children, teens and adults walking around with bats and killing these living creatures on our property?

I’m sending a copy of Mr. Kelly’s letter to: the mayor, the ASPCA, Bideawee and the Humane Society of the USA in Washington, DC. I am sure that the 13th Precinct is already aware of this. In short, Mr. Kelly needs to be watched very carefully and taken very seriously!

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PSLL wins 3 championship titles

The 12-year-old majors division team members celebrate their championship. (Photo by Jeff Ourvan)

The 12-year-old majors division team members celebrate their championship. (Photos by Jeff Ourvan)

In an unprecedented streak of Little League World Series tournament victories, the local Peter Stuyvesant Little League (PSLL) recently brought home three Manhattan and New York City championship banners. The wins included, for the first time in PSLL’s history, a New York City championship, simultaneous Manhattan championships for the 11 and 12-year-old and 9 and 10-year-old baseball squads, and the second consecutive year in which the PSLL 9 and 10-year-old tournament team secured the Manhattan championship.

“Thanks to some very talented and dedicated players, these players’ parents, and improved coaching opportunities in PSLL, we’ve started to produce winning teams over the past three to four years,” said Jeff Ourvan, the PSLL president.

Ourvan added that winter clinics the players got to participate in the Courts at Stuy Town were “a particularly huge boost,” as was Con Edison’s support of the league’s field requests through the spring and summer.

“It really takes a large community effort to support so many kids in this way,” Ourvan said, “and we’re so grateful we can respond to that support with what’s now becoming a winning tradition.”

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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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New GM promises improved service and more accessibility

Rick Hayduk (right), the new general manager of ST/PCV, speaks with tenants at a meet-and-greet event on Saturday. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

Rick Hayduk (right), the new general manager of ST/PCV, speaks with tenants at a meet-and-greet event on Saturday. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

The new general manager of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper, Rick Hayduk, has promised tenants that Blackstone is focused on improving services and communication and in particular, said the hiring of four new plumbers should end the two to three week wait times tenants have been experiencing for repairs.

Hayduk made the comments on Saturday at a meet and greet event that was held at the tents at Stuyvesant Town’s Playground 11.

Around 150 people, mainly seniors and other longterm tenants, attended the event, as did a couple of elected officials, State Senator Brad Hoylman and Council Member Dan Garodnick.

Rick Hayduk speaks at Saturday’s event.

Rick Hayduk speaks at Saturday’s event.

While at a podium in front of a Stuy Town logo-covered step-and-repeat, Hayduk discussed various tenant concerns, including the recent spike in plumbing repair delays. “Our standard is two to three days and that’s what you should expect,” he said.
Hayduk also said that a hotline for tenants that Blackstone had set up after the company bought the property has been transferred to his office.

“Go through normal channels, but if (a request) needs to escalate, we’re here for that,” Hayduk said. The number is (212) 655-9870.

He also encouraged tenants to slip him notes, gesturing to his pocket while saying that several neighbors had already done so.

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ST/PCV gets new general manager

Rich Hayduk

Rick Hayduk

By Sabina Mollot

On Wednesday, Blackstone announced that it will be forming a new management company to run Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village and that they’ve chosen a new general manager, Rick Hayduk.

Hayduk, who’ll be moving with his family to the complex, started on January 1. However, the new company won’t take over from CompassRock until a transitional period ends. Blackstone hasn’t yet elaborated on the new management entity.

Hayduk has over 30 years of property management and hospitality experience, Blackstone said, and previously worked at the 350-acre Boca Raton Resort & Club as the property’s president. Prior to that he was regional managing director of South Seas Island Resort and the Inns of Sanibel, where he worked with over 20 home owners associations and residents of the resort village and neighboring condominiums. He’s been working with Blackstone properties for almost a decade.

“We are confident he is the right person for this role,” said Nadeem Meghji, senior managing director at Blackstone. Meghji added that Hayduk is “someone we know well and trust.”

Residents will get a chance to meet Hayduk at a meet-and-greet on Saturday, January 9 at 10 a.m. at the tented basketball court at Playground 11 in Stuyvesant Town. Additional meet-and-greet events will be on Tuesday, January 12 at the community center, 449 East 14th Street at 2 and 3 p.m. (RSVP required for both by calling (212) 598-5297 or emailing slaubner@abigailmichaels.com) and on January 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the tented basketball court.

Hayduk wasn’t available for comment by Town & Village’s press time, but issued a prepared statement saying he was looking forward to living in the community.

“Over the years of serving guests, residents and associates, I have seen time and time again how personally engaging customers and residents directly is the best approach in property management,” Hayduk said. “Management must be a part of the community in order to understand the needs of its residents. “My wife Carol, our two daughters and I are excited to join the PCVST community and we look forward to getting to know our neighbors and fellow tenants as well as enjoying the green spaces the community is so well known for.”

Hayduk will be the first general manager to live on the property since the Met Life era.

PSLL gets new president

Peter Stuyvesant Little League’s new president has written a book on coaching youth baseball. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Peter Stuyvesant Little League’s new president has written a book on coaching youth baseball. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot
The 750 members of the Peter Stuyvesant Little League have a new leader after its president for the past five years, Peter Ramos, recently decided to end his run.

The new president is Jeff Ourvan, a literary agent and nonpracticing attorney who has three sons, two of them who are current league members. Ourvan is also the author of a book called How to Coach Youth Baseball so Every Kid Wins, which was published by Skyhorse in 2012.

This week, Ourvan stopped by T&V’s West 22nd Street office (his own office is just a couple of blocks away) and discussed his goals for the league as well as the significance of Little League to the kids who participate, playing baseball, softball or tee-ball.

“Little League for boys and girls is extraordinary,” said Ourvan. “If you’re eight or nine years old, this is what you live for.”

He added that his oldest son who’s now 15 and had played in Little League, still enjoys baseball and is even hoping to get into college with a sports scholarship.
On getting kids to want to play or just keep playing as they get older, Ourvan said the trick is to get them out of their comfort zones just a little with each practice and game.

“It’s creating an environment where a child can have fun but also challenge themselves,” he said. “Anyone can play.”

He also said parents’ support is crucial. This means not just dropping their kids off at games and practice but also playing catch with them.

Goal-wise, Ourvan said one of his priorities is to get more parents involved in coaching, which, as a 10-year-veteran of the volunteer practice, he is certainly an advocate of.

“It’s amazing to coach your own kid; it’s like a rite of passage in parenthood,” he said. “It’s fun to be on the field again giving support. And coaches have families and we work so we’re flexible.”

Ourvan has been on the board of the PSLL for the past five years, and on his moving up to president, he admits it wasn’t a hotly contested battle.
“Nobody wants the job,” he said. But he was also quick to note that the league is a relatively well-oiled machine with many parents eager to help out whether it’s by being in charge of concessions or handling the league’s insurance. There are also around 200 coaches.

“The league opened my eyes to the community of Manhattan,” said Ourvan, who lives in Murray Hill. “There’s so much of a family community feeling that I don’t think we noticed before we had a family. For parents, (little league) is a social opportunity and it’s fun.”

Another goal for this year is to keep older kids from leaving the league which tends to happen once players hit high school age. At that point, they’ll sometimes prefer to play on travel teams with their schools. However, Ourvan said he hopes they’ll stick around as coaches or umpires.

“A lot of these kids have younger brothers and sisters still in the league,” he said. “So we want to be able to retain some of those kids.”

The third of Ourvan’s goals for the league is to get it more competitive. Two seasons ago, the PSLL won a district title and he’s hoping for a state championship in 2015. He’s confident about player improvement since some of the league members will have an edge they didn’t have before, which is pre-season practice time at the newly tented Playground 11 in Stuyvesant Town. The spacious, heated tent, which has been branded by CWCapital as “The Courts at Stuy Town” opened recently and is currently housing a few winter sports programs.

Before its opening, management had approached the league to see if its members would be interested in a baseball clinic there, and Ourvan said they agreed without hesitation. While there is a fee for participants to cover the cost of pro coaches and some new equipment, the PSLL is not being charged for the space by CW. The clinic began on December 5, with around 160 kids showing up, and it will run through March.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for us,” Ourvan said, explaining that due to the cold winters in New York, it can be difficult for local kids to compete with Little Leaguers in other states like California or Florida who have more time outdoors. “To now have the extra months is going to be a huge help for our league.”

That said, he made sure to add it’s not about winning titles or games, but seeing kids improve and develop confidence. He recalled how last year one of his son’s teams had been struggling all season only to end up coming close to winning a big game.

“They almost made it to the finals and they were crying that they didn’t win,” said Ourvan. “They believed they were going to win. It ultimately was an amazing victory because they did their best and if you do your best you win.”

The 2015 season of Little League begins in April and registration for the Peter Stuyvesant Little League opened on Wednesday. Registration currently costs $175 per player and $150 for additional siblings. After January 10, the cost goes up to $200 per player and $175 for siblings, and can be done online at psll.org.