Monday, December 12, 2016

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Summary of November 16 2016 Meeting

BALLOTS for our Tenant Association election - Jan. 18, 2017

We distributed ballots for the tenant association elections coming up on January 18, 2017. If you would like to run for the board or for the executive committee, please email Sue ( at  ) janak  dot  org.

POSSIBLE MAJOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT (MCI) increase coming after balcony repairs.  Stellar has sought permits to repair our balconies.  In other buildings, that has meant an MCI.  It won't be for a couple of years, we think, but we're gearing up to fight it.  So please contribute to our Legal Fund!  Contact your floor captain or our treasurer, Joan.

  • If you have bedbugs and Stellar's exterminator is not coming, let the Executive Committee know.
  • Don't let anyone take up broken floor tiles. They contain asbestos.  Ask Stellar to cover them with other flooring.

LARRY WOOD spoke.  Larry is Director of Organizing at Goddard Riverside. Goddard is a settlement house with some 20+ projects and programs, including the Senior Center at 598
Columbus Avenue and the arts center - and after-school program -  at 647 Columbus Avenue.  It has been around for 30 years and provides representation for tenants, social works, and more.  Larry has worked the gamut and has served in groups working toward building and preserving affordable housing funded by the federal, state, and city governments.  He has worked on the Right to Counsel campaign, the Real Rent Reform campaign, and more.  More than that, he has been a dedicated and sane voice int eh tenant activist community.   

The federal elections are changing the course of the government in Washington, but we also voted for state representatives.  As has been the case for the past few decades, the Democrats control the Assembly and the Republicans control the State Senate.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

How will the elections affect us? Nov. 16, 2016 - come to our General Tenants Meeting

National elections, State elections, and soon Tenant Association elections

Come to our 

Wed., Nov. 16, 2016
in the Community Room at 8 PM.

We'll share thoughts, hear from an expert, and see how you can make a difference here.  Volunteer to run for our board or executive committee!

Monday, November 7, 2016

VOTE on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016: 040/69

Our polling place is P.S. 163, on the north side of 97th Street between Columbus and
Amsterdam Avenues.  

It is open from 6 AM to 9 PM on Tuesday, November 8th.

Our ED (Election District) is 040
Our Assembly District is 69

This election is very important for us as a society and as tenants.

Please encourage your friends and family to vote.  If the State Senate should get a Democratic majority (not counting the "Independent Democratic Conference" who caucus with the Republicans), there is a better chance of serious progress on pro-tenant bills. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

If you WANT Trick or Treaters at your door, post some decoration!

If you would like children to come to your door on Halloween, please post some decoration on your door - such as this one (available in the mail room) 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Trick or Treat for the Tenant Association - Oct. 22nd

Trick or treat for the Tenants' Association  

Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 
Noon to 5 PM 
in the lobby

Been meaning to contribute?  
Come to the lobby table, leave a check, pick up some information and take some candy.

Funds, Unity, and Sweets!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Right to Counsel in Housing Court - and more

On Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, the New York City Council will consider a bill that could make New York City the first city in the nation to guarantee the right to legal counsel to tenants who are up to 200% of the poverty line and facing eviction in housing court - and in doing so, take a giant step to address the crisis of homelessness in our City.    Be part of history and join the Right to Counsel Campaign on 

Monday, September 26th, at 9:30am 
at New York City Hall Steps 
for a press conference 
in support of  intro 214-A
followed by 
City Council hearings 
on this historic piece of legislation

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Events in our neighborhood this week

Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016 - Primary day for STATE elections. There is a primary for Assembly Member:  Daniel O'Donnell vs. Steven Appel.  There is no primary for State Senator.  (Our State Senator remains Bill Perkins.)  To know who represents you, click here.

Wed., Sept. 14, 2016 - Participatory Budgeting for City Council money in our district.  Council Member Mark Levine is holding an assembly to discuss what you want his discretionary funds spent on.  6:30 PM at the Bloomingdale Library, 150 W. 100th St. between Columbus and Amsterdam.

Thurs., Sept. 15, 2016 - Met Council on Housing's meeting at Goddard Riverside, 593 Columbus Ave. at 88th Street at 6:30 PM. 

Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016 - 

  • Our neighbors at Park West Village are holding their annual Flea Market behind 372 Central Park West (97th St.) from 11 AM to 4 PM
  • the Hosteling International youth hostel on Amsterdam at 103rd St. is initiating its Peace Garden with its plaque honoring the 3 slain civil rights workers, Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner, at 2 PM.

Friday, July 22, 2016

No Air Conditioning during the Heat Wave? Cool off in our Community Room

BEAT THE HEAT!   Cool off in our air conditioned Community Room 
between 11:30 AM and 3:30 PM on 
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Sunday, July 24, 2016, and
Monday, July 25, 2016
with our neighbor Pat Jordan. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Tenant Manny Vega wins commission for Tito Puente memorial in E. Harlem

                                                                                                        Congratulations to tenant Manny Vega who has just won the commission to do the memorial for Tito Puente in East Harlem!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tenants won another rent freeze from the Rent Guidelines Board!

Through the hard work of the Rent Justice Coalition, members of the Rent Guidelines Board (now all having been appointed by Mayor de Blasio), paid close attention to actual mathematical facts and issued their order for rent stabilized leases renewed any time from Oct. 1, 2016 through Sept. 30, 2017:
  •      1-year renewal: NO INCREASE!
  •       2-year renewal: 2% increase.     

These apply to garage leases as well.

Free Market tenants have no rent increase protection and should contact the Tenant Association about whether it might be possible to get their apartment back into rent regulation.

Sad News: Elena Cotinescu has died

We mourn the loss of our friend and neighbor


Photo provided by her family

Ms. Cotinescu, a translator and artist, died at the age of 91 on June 28, 2016.

We offer our condolences to her niece Corina Hudson and her nephew Michael Cremene.

The funeral will be on Friday, July 1, 2016 , with a
gathering at 10 AM.
at the Edward Jamie Funeral Chapel
162-14 Sanford Avenue, Flushing, NY 11358


leaving for the cemetery for a service there at 11 AM.venue

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Photos from the May 2016 Pot Luck

We danced to Bobby Moorhead's DJ-ing

. . .
We ate. . . 
We listened to Cong. Jerry Nadler and Council Member Mark Levine

We schmoozed and talked and laughed 

And had some quiet moments

And had a good time!

Monday, May 23, 2016

What a terrific Pot Luck!!

We ate, we danced, we ate, we listened to Congressman Jerry Nadler and Council Member Mark Levine, we sang, we ate some more, we laughed with neighbors, and we ate!

The Pot Luck Planners:
Photo by Sue Susman
Lydia Pitsirilos for the decorations and 
       Maxine Soares, Tish Howard and Lydia Pitsirilos for organizing the food and keeping things running, and
Bobby Moorhead, our local DJ, for the music
Click on "Read more" for the full list of 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Pot Luck on Saturday, May 21st from 6-9 in the Community Room!

Help us honor the building staff.



  Potato salad
  Mixed greens 
  Garden kale
  Pasta salad

Main dishes & Vegetables so far
Burritos, Baked chicken with rice
Grilled vegetables, Chicken tenders
Turkey chili, Ravioli
Indian-style barbecued chicken
Chorizo with rice
Macaroni & cheese

Desserts                    Beverages
Trifle                       Summer punch 
Cakes                        Soda, water
Cookies                     Coffee, tea
OR: Pay $15/household ($10/person).
SCRIE & DRIE tenants come for free.

Get involved with the Rent Guidelines Board - May 18 meeting in our neighborhood

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Testify before the Rent Guidelines Board!

Over the past 40 years, landlord increases ordered yearly by the Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) have sharply exceeded the actual increases in owners' expenses.  As a result, about 400 tenants rallied to demand a reduction ("rollback") - or at least another rent freeze.  Even last year's rent freeze for 1-year lease renewals didn't balance the owners' expenses with the increases they've gotten over the years.   (Click on "read more" below for some of the rally media reports.)

On May 2, 2016, the Rent Guidelines Board held its preliminary vote - before taking tenant and landlord testimony - and agreed as they do every year to consider a range - from freezing rents to 3.5%.  The RGB will take testimony at several meetings: Sign up to testify by calling the RGB at 212-669-7480..  The final vote for the year is June 27, 2016. 

Proposed Rent Stabilized Apartment Renewal Guidelines  - Preliminary vote

Together with such further adjustments as may be authorized by law, the annual adjustment for renewal leases for apartments shall be: 

For a one-year renewal lease commencing on or after October 1, 2016 and on or before September 30, 2017: 0% - 2% 

For a two-year renewal lease commencing on or after October 1, 2016 and on or before September 30, 2017: 0.5% - 3.5% 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Come to Our Next Pot Luck: Saturday, May 21, 2016!

Central Park Gardens Tenants’ Association

Annual Pot-Luck Party
our Building Staff.
Bring a dish for 8-10 people or help out
Just come share in the fun for a small fee: 
$10 per person
$15 per household (we’ll have a little kids’ corner)     (Non-tenant guests are $10 each)

Community Room
Saturday, May 21, 2016
6 pm to 9 pm

Please tell your floor captain or Tish Howard what you plan to do or bring.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

RGB Hearings - Testify on Thurs., March 21, 2016

Rent Guidelines Board: 
Tenant Testimony    April 21, 2016 from 1-3 PM

David N. Dinkins Municipal Building
next to the Brooklyn Bridge
Landmarks Preservation Commission, Conference Room
New York, NY 10007

Every Spring, the NYC Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) has hearings with landlord and tenant testimony to determine whether and how much to increase rent stabilized rents when leases are renewed. Last year, the RGB froze the rents for those signing a 1-year lease renewal because for the previous 40 years, landlord increases had far exceeded inflation and actual costs.  We need the RGB to freeze or even roll back the rents for 2-year lease renewals.

You can testify and should. What can you say?  
  • Your name and where you live
  • How a rent increase will affect you. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Construction dust? Call 311 early and often!

When landlords do construction in a building, they are required to reasonably protect tenants from the dust and noise.  That means, at the least, putting a plastic sheet over the door or any holes in the wall.    Stellar is NOT doing that. 

Please call 311 to file a dust complaint with Healthy Homes at the Department of Health or a construction complaint with the Department of Buildings.  You can do it anonymously.  But do give the name of our building manager: Niti Jakupaj, 212-222-4430.  

Then forward the complaint reference number to sue [at ] janak[dot] org. 

Let's protect ourselves from lead dust and other hazards!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Board Meeting (Floor Captains welcome!) - Wed., April 13, 2016

Board Members and Floor Captains 
Come to the meeting this evening!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Summary of the Mar. 23, 2016 General Tenants Meeting


NYC Urban Park Ranger spoke on the wildlife around us. Ranger Rob Mastrianni told us
to enjoy wildlife – like raccoons and hawks, at a distance.  Mama raccoons, normally nocturnal, have been known to forage entire boxes of pizza from park tables during the day to feed their young. The birds of prey we see help keep our ecosystem humming, as they eat rats, mice and pigeons.  He showed us plastic models of hawk, eagle, and owl skulls – and how big their eyes are compared to ours.   Scared of raccoons or badgers you meet in the park? Jingle your keys. Hawks and other birds of prey are more scared of us – but keep your tiny dog off the balcony if you’ve seen a hawk there.
The NYC Parks Department has wonderful programsbird watching in the snow, camp-outs for kids, and more, all year round.

Each June, after a series of hearings, the Rent Guidelines Board determines rent increase percentages for all rent stabilized tenants in NYC. The RGB’s first meeting this year is Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 10 AM – and a coalition of groups is rallying before the meeting in lower Manhattan at 1 Centre Street, 9 AM.    

Among other things, we need an evening hearing closer to where we live.  

The RGB determined last year that cumulative rent increases for the past 30 years or so far exceeded inflation and actual landlord costs for the same period of time. So the RGB ordered a “rent freeze” (no increase) for those renewing for 1 year.  But if the increases were too big, why did those renewing for 2 years (as is our choice) have to pay an increase?  Roll back the rents!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Wed., March 23: Urban Wildlife Expert at our General Tenants Meeting

Central Park Gardens Tenants’ Association



at our


8 PM


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Don't renew 421a tax breaks for developers unless rent laws are strengthened

421a Stay Away!  
Rally with the Alliance for Tenant Power 
and the Real Rent Reform Campaign 
[rally postponed due to snow]
Meet at 58th St. and 5th Ave.
near the luxury condominium One57
11 AM Sharp!

NYC Tenants, Let's Rally!

The 421a tax abatement giveaway for luxury housing that takes $1 billion in tax revenue each year from NYC has expired! 

Join us to let Governor Cuomo know that tenants say NO! to a resuscitation of  421a without stronger rent laws.

Let's come together to protect our communities and keep New York affordable.

On February 5th, you can make a difference!

#1 Million Homes
2.5 Million Tenants
Join the movement.

Contact Tenants & Neighbors 212-608-4320

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Summary of the Jan. 20, 2016 General Tenants Meeting with NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

Weather Alert: With snow and winds expected this weekend, remove blow-able objects from your balcony!


NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer spoke to a full house.  Focusing on diversity, he said that the City should be exactly like Central Park Gardens:  with many different types of people living side by side.  As powerful as we are economically, it is our diversity that is our great strength.  

To promote diversity, he and the comptrollers of other municipalities and states (like CalPers) formed the Boardroom Accountability Project to pressure big companies like Walmart and Apple to increase the diversity of their ownership and boards - with the right for the Project to appoint a director.  Similarly, the NYC Comptroller's office rated every NYC agency (including its own) for diversity.  Last year and this, the Comptroller's office got a "C" grade, but is improving with more Minority and Women-owned Businesses (MWBs).

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Come hear NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer TONIGHT Jan. 20, 2016

Join us at our General Tenants Meeting 
Wednesday, Jan. 20th 
8 PM 
in the Community Room, to hear and talk with

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
about housing, NYC finances, pension plans, and more.