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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

More Updates

From CompassRock:

RESIDENT NOTICE - OCTOBER 31, 4pm 


As you know, the city and our community have experienced a devastating storm.  To give you some indication of the impact on our community, we have had significant flooding of low lying spaces.  This includes garages, elevator pits, electrical equipment rooms, and the management office.  As you are aware the entire property is without electricity and steam (loss of steam causes the loss of heat and hot water).  Due to a Con Ed shut down, certain buildings are also without gas.  We have electric generators which provide back-up electricity for water pumps.  Every building should have water.  However, you will experience interment water pressure due to lower pumping capacity.

We have focused first on life safety, securing dangerous trees, pumping flooded locations, and ensuring the property is well patrolled and secure.  Many people on the staff are working around the clock to help restore operations.  We are currently focused to ensure that the property is prepared for when power is ready to be returned to the property.  This requires an inspection of a significant number of electrical and mechanical gear located throughout the property which is currently on-going. 

To assist in our efforts, we have hired significant additional security officers and numerous trade and sanitation workers.

Many of you have asked how you can help.  The number one thing you can do to help is to check on your neighbors and ensure that they are safe and please follow the below guidelines.    
  
PLEASE MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO CHECK IN ON YOUR NEIGHBORS. If you identify someone requiring assistance, please note their name, building number, apartment number, nature of the assistance required and report that information to Management personnel at Oval Study

Due to the storm, the PCVST Management Office has been moved to mobile locations. For Resident Services, please come to Oval Café from 9am to 5pm. All calls to the Management Office have been forwarded to the following number: (888) 885-8490.
In case of emergency, call 911.


KEY UPDATES & ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Security: Significant additional security measures are being added throughout the day and night and will be highly visibly throughout the property.

Special Needs Residents: We have checked in on all self-identified special needs residents.

Property-Wide Door-to-Door Check: A door-to-door check to ensure the well-being of all residents has begun, and will be completed throughout the property.

Halloween Activities: Please refrain from Halloween activities and trick-or-treating. Due to the lack of light, these activities can be dangerous and disruptive.

Gas Outages:  The city has shut down gas for a number of buildings in both Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town. More outages may follow in the coming hours and days.

Electricity: We do not yet have updates from Con Edison as to when power will be restored.  The most recent official announcement indicated that electricity would not be restored prior to Sunday.  Please be prepared for additional delays from ConEd.

Hot Water/Heat: Heat and hot water at the property are generated by steam supplied by ConEd.  The steam from ConEd has been shut down which means there is no heat and hot water.  We anticipate that it will be at least a week and maybe longer before heat and hot water are restored to the property.  We will update you as ConEd updates us. 

Water: We have generators on-site to support maintenance of domestic water. We cannot guarantee running water at all times, but are working to secure access to water to the best of our ability.

PLEASE DO NOT USE CANDLES IN COMMON AREAS OR STAIRWELLS. THIS IS A SERIOUS FIRE HAZARD. Please also refrain from using candles in your apartment.

Key Access Cards to Buildings: If your building's access card readers do not work and the door remains locked, please report it to Resident Services at Oval Café (9am-5pm) or call (888) 885-8490.

Garbage Removal: The trash chutes in Stuyvesant Town have been cleared and are operational. The trash chutes in Peter Cooper Village are not operable and we ask you not to use them. We are placing bins by your building lobbies. Please place your garbage in the bins.

Garages: Please note that garages 2, 3, 4 and 5 sustained significant damage due to flooding. We are working on having the water removed in order to enable towing access. This process has been delayed due to the lack of electricity.  We will update you as soon as possible regarding progress. Residents parked in garages 1 and 6 may access their cars, though there may be delays in removal of your car since many of the cars from the other garages were relocated to garages 1 and 6 prior to the storm.

Thank you again for your cooperation at this time. 

------------------

From the TA:

TA Mobilizing its Volunteers in Coordination with Dan Garodnick and PCV/ST Management to Supplement
Post-Storm Recovery 
Efforts 

  
We are calling on all able-bodied neighbors who wish to assist to read on.

----
  
GOING DOOR-TO-DOOR FOR NEIGHBORS STARTING 8AM TOMORROW (THURSDAY, November 1st):

We are beginning to undertake a door-to-door effort throughout all of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village to check in on our neighbors who remain.  The weather is getting colder; power is not coming back until this weekend; and heat will likely not return until days after that.  
   
If you are physically fit, and can help, please report to Oval Study starting at 8am tomorrow.  This effort is being coordinated with CompassRock, the Tenants Association, and every elected official office in the area, and will be directing volunteers through the entire property.

Where/when:  From 8AM and throughout the day tomorrow, meet at Oval Study (northwest corner of Stuyvesant Oval)
Call Teresa in the Office of Council Member Dan Garodnick at 212-818-0580 for more information.

###

Special Note: 
 
The ST/PCV-TA, the Office of Council Member Dan Garodnick, and CW Capital are working together to provide our neighbors with as much information as possible.  Without power to deliver e-mails, you can help by verbally sharing this information with as many of your neighbors as possible.


UPDATES

From CompassRock. Residents who have their email in the system have received this, but for those who haven't:
RESIDENT NOTICE - OCTOBER 31 1PM


Due to the storm, the PCVST Management Office has been moved to mobile locations. For Resident Services, please come to Oval Café from 9am to 5pm. All calls to the Management Office have been forwarded to the following number: (888) 885-8490. In case of emergency, call 911.

Please note that we have mobilized teams and external contractors around the clock throughout the property and are working to secure supplies, equipment and labor to restore services and clean up efforts due to the storm.

We will continue to post updates in your lobbies.

KEY UPDATES & ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Gas Outages: We received reports of gas outages at the buildings below. Please be aware that more buildings may experience gas outages in the coming hours. We advise you to make all necessary preparations in advance.

Buildings reporting outages: 441, 511, 531, 541,601, 5,6,7,8 420, 440, 510, 530, 400, 410.
Probable impending outages: 3, 4, 315, 319, 321

Electricity: We do not yet have updates from Con Edison as to when power will be restored.

Hot Water/Heat: We do not yet have updates from Con Edison as to when steam will be restored in order to provide hot water and heat.

Water: We have generators onsite to support maintenance of domestic water. We cannot guarantee running water at all times, but are working to secure access to water to the best of our ability.

PLEASE DO NOT USE CANDLES IN COMMON AREAS OR STAIRWELLS. THIS IS A SERIOUS FIRE HAZARD. Please also refrain from using candles in your apartment.

Key Access Cards to Buildings: If your building's access card readers do not work and the door remains locked, please report it to Resident Services at Oval Café (9am-5pm) or call (888) 885-8490.

Garbage Removal: Please keep waste in your apartment until we advise you otherwise. Due to the storm, garbage removal resources are limited.

Halloween Activities: Please refrain from Halloween activities and trick-or-treating. Due to the lack of light, these activities can be dangerous and disruptive.

Garages: Please note that garages 2, 3, 4 and 5 sustained significant damage due to flooding. We are working on having the water removed in order to enable towing access. We will update you as soon as possible regarding progress. Residents parked in garages 1 and 6 may access their cars, though there may be delays in removal of your car since many of the cars from the other garages were relocated to garages 1 and 6 prior to the storm.  

Rent Drop Box: The Rent Drop Box on Avenue C is no longer accessible. You can access rent drop boxes near Oval Studio and in Peter Cooper.

Neighbors: Please check in on your neighbors, especially the elderly.

Thank you again for your cooperation at this time. 

-----------------------------

From Councilman Dan Garodnick, via the TA:


Important Message from Council Member
Dan Garodnick On Post-Storm Recovery
Updated: 10/31/12, 9am  

Via the ST/PCV-TA:
(Please verbally share this information with your neighbors)

----

Dear Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village Neighbors:

I know the last 24 hours have been tumultuous for our neighbors, and I hope that this email provides answers to some if the most pressing questions. I will continue to update you as I learn new information about utilities, property cleanup, and City services.

When will we have electricity back?

Best estimate, according to Con Ed, is this Friday at the absolute earliest. That is with crews working around the clock between now and then. A more likely scenario would be sometime over the weekend. None of this is set in stone, however, as these things frequently take more time than anticipated. Con Ed is officially saying "3-5 days."

What happened to knock out power (other than the obvious)?

The power outages in Manhattan occurred for two reasons. First, there were planned preemptive steps to de-energize certain zones in Lower Manhattan. Second, an explosion Monday night in the substation on East 13th Street caused all of the other power outages from 39th Street southward. This substation feeds 7 different distribution stations, which power more than 200,000 customers. Note: Many residents of the community (including me) saw a very bright flash or heard the sound of an explosion several minutes before the power went out completely-that was the incident at the substation on 13th Street.

When will steam be restored?

There is no timetable at this point. Not only is steam not being restored, but Con Ed continues to reduce steam service to a bare minimum at this point in order to protect the integrity of the steam system. Steam, as we experienced after the steam pipe explosion on 41st and Lexington in 2007, is a very delicate and dangerous power source, and it can only be restarted under the right conditions. It is worth remembering that after Hurricane Irene, it took 4-5 days for steam, and therefore hot water, to be fully restored in PCV-ST.

Should I wait it out in my apartment?

If you feel like have what you need, then it is perfectly fine to stay at home. Many PCV-ST residents have gone to visit relatives or friends in areas of the City with power. Other residents, particularly some senior citizens, have difficulty with the stairs and cannot leave. I strongly urge you to knock on your neighbors' doors and see if you can be helpful to them if you are going out. CompassRock has already visited those residents who have self-identified as having special needs, but this is by no means an all-inclusive group.

Without traffic lights, it is extremely dangerous to cross the streets- what can we do?

Without streetlights or crossing signals, it is very dangerous to cross the street. I have requested additional traffic safety officers at 14th, 20th, and 23rd Streets. Some of them are already present, and we will do our best to make sure that they are there for the duration of this power outage. Please exercise caution when crossing the street. And, if you see dangerous intersections without crossing agents, please call 311 (or use 311 online or text 311 at 311-692).

Where was the most significant damage?

As you know, the property sustained considerable flooding, and we lost a number of trees. The most significant damage was in the northeast corner of Peter Cooper Village, where residents of 510 and 530 E 23rd Street were greeted yesterday morning with downed trees just outside their front doors. Many basements were completely flooded, and management is actively working to pump out the water.

Even the PCV-ST Management Office was flooded and had to be evacuated. Note: They have set up offices offsite, and will be working to restore services as quickly as they can. Today, Wednesday 10/31, representatives from Resident Services will be in the Oval Café from 9AM-5PM. In addition, if you experience any problems, you can call 888-885-8490.

Calling 911 should only be used for life-threatening emergencies.

Will my electronic keycard continue to work while the power is out?

Likely yes. Battery backup for the keycard system is working in most buildings, unless there is a flooded basement. Residents of those buildings without keycard access have propped open doors or otherwise improvised to keep them open. CompassRock is aware of this issue and has contingency plans to keep the buildings safe. If keycard access is not working in your building, please report this to Resident Services (in Oval Café today from 9AM-5PM) or call (888) 885-8490.

What is the situation with the parking garages?

Garages 2, 3, 4 and 5 are still flooded. It will take a number of days to pump the water from those garages. Garages 1 and 6 are fully operational, though without lights.

Why does the water go out and come back on?

Generally, when the power is out, there is no way to pump water into the tanks for domestic use. However, as a result of having backup generators in place, water should be fully restored throughout the property. CompassRock is doing everything they can to keep those backup generators pumping water. This water continues to be safe to drink.

--------

And a quick update on other services:

The MTA resumed limited bus service yesterday and as of this morning all bus lines are fully operational, albeit with delays and some detours. It will take days, if not longer, until the subway is fully restored. Visit www.mta.info for updates.

Alternate side parking and parking meters will be suspended today (10/31).

Most bridges and tunnels are open. The Holland, Battery and Midtown tunnels remain closed.

City schools and libraries will be closed again today, Wednesday, 10/31.

Check back at www.garodnick.com for updates.



Stay safe,

Dan Garodnick


PLEASE FORWARD/SHARE THIS EMAIL TO/WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Preparing for "Frankenstorm"

By now all residents should have received flyers under their doors from management on how to deal with Hurricane Sandy.

I would also advise residents to monitor the TA Facebook page, which is always a good source of news as it's happening.

Here's more info on preparation for and safety during the storm:

http://town-village.com/2012/10/26/hurricane-sandy-alert/

According to New York City’s Office of Emergency Management, at the time of this posting, Hurricane Sandy is moving northward off the southeastern U.S. coast., but its precise track is still unknown. Additionally, though the effects of Sandy on the city are also still unknown, high winds in excess of 100 mph are expected.

On Friday afternoon, CW Capital/CompassRock issued a resident alert regarding hurricane Sandy. Residents should expect to get the notice under their doors.

Management is asking that residents take the following precautions and maintain: water, non-perishable food, a battery operated radio and a working flashlight and extra batteries, rather than candles.

Residents are also being asked to make sure cell phones are charged and check in on neighbors.

Other precautions include closing and locking windows and shades, keeping folded towels on window sills to absorb leaking water and staying away from windows.

Residents who park in Stuyvesant Town Garage 3 or 4 should move their vehicles somewhere outside the flood zone by 8 a.m. on Monday, October 29.

More information can be found online on the website of the NYC Office of Emergency Management. Updates will also be posted on the Stuyvesant Town website.

Con Ed has also issued an alert, with the following safety tips:

If you see downed electrical wires, do not go near them. Treat all downed wires as if they are live.

Never attempt to move or touch them with any object. Be mindful that downed wires can be hidden from view by tree limbs, leaves or water.

Report all downed wires to Con Edison and your local police department immediately. If a power line falls on your car while you’re in it, stay inside the vehicle and wait for emergency personnel.

If your power goes out, turn off all lights and appliances to prevent overloaded circuits when power is restored.

Avoid opening your freezer to see if food is still frozen. Every time you open the door, room-temperature air enters and speeds the thawing process. Most fully loaded freezers will keep food frozen for approximately 36 to 48 hours; half-full freezers will keep food frozen for approximately 24 hours.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Please Step Aside, CWCapital

There's been important news today regarding the Tenants Association going directly to the debt-holders on PCVST and bypassing CWCapital, the special server that is currently in charge of this place.  Unfortunately, I'm incredibly busy at this time of the year and can't devote much of my own commentary on this issue, aside from stating that I fully support this move.  I urge interested readers to find out more at the TA Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/groups/358760671689/

Crain's has a summary:

http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20121016/REAL_ESTATE/121019928#ixzz29TKOj1El

Sunday, October 14, 2012

How to Ruin a Beautiful Sunday

.... Install a giant inflatable screen on the Oval for about 60 to 70 residents (max), denying everyone else the chance to enjoy the Oval in the tranquility of luxurious weather and a park-like setting.




What a waste of money and an annoyance to the rest of the community.

* * *
Meanwhile, work on the Ice Rink has commenced. Let's hope that this time, the result will be more seamless than last year, in which the Rink destroyed the astro-turf underneath, causing the playground to be closed for MONTHS after the Rink was dismantled.



* * *
By now residents should have received under their doors the first in a series of "regular communications" from CompassRock. This one addressed security issues. CompassRock also has sent an email to residents that is more expansive, including notices about landscaping, scaffolding (yes, it's making a return, as the exterior of buildings will be checked), etc. We also learn that the Ice Rink is back "by popular demand," though I don't remember any vote on it.

For a long time I've urged that regular notices be sent by management to inform residents of what's in store for the future, so it's welcome that the new management is taking this initiative. Hopefully these notices will stay clear, as much as possible, of the usual duplicitous spin we hear.

* * *
The mugging that occurred in Stuy Town a couple of weeks ago finally was explained in the pages of Town & Village. The perpetrator struck a woman on the back of her head and ran off with her purse. No mention of the ambulance that was called. Public Safety's security chief, Bill McClellan, gloated in the paper that the "Public Safety officers involved in this case did an outstanding job and this is a stellar example of the work our department does to help keep the residents of PCVST safe and secure." Well, yes, kudos that the perp was caught (with the help of the 13th Precinct), but once again the case proves that a crime IN PROGRESS is not stopped by the award-winning security system we have here, nor by Public Safety officers, neither keeping this Stuy Town woman safe and secure that night. Also, surprisingly, residents were NOT informed with a description of the perpetrator and/or a photo of him from security cameras, so the community could be on the alert. Everything was kept a BIG SECRET. And guess what? The perp was in the area AGAIN, though thankfully, this time, Public Safety noticed him from the photos they had and confronted him, calling the 13th Precinct to complete the arrest. But why there was no notice about this mugging, with photos of the perpetrator (as has been done in the past), is beyond me. And that IS a safety concern.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Slow Down

Just a note that I'm already into a period of intense, time-consuming work activity, and therefore have to limit my postings on this blog for the next few weeks. Meanwhile, we still seem to be in the same limbo we were at the start of the year: 1) No resolution to the Roberts case (a scandal by now), and 2) No movement on the offer by the Tenants Association/Brookfield to purchase the property. It certainly appears as if CWCapital has zero interest in such a proposal and is actively investing in the property to make it desirable for another entity at some point next year or the year after that.