Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy New Year everyone!


Saturday, December 25, 2021

Dec. 27: NYC Vaccine Mandate Goes Into Effect for Workers




























This includes employees in your home, like babysitters, painters, and house cleaners. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Happy Holidays!

Let's all stay healthy and united!



Thursday, December 16, 2021

Get vaccinated and boosted against the omicron variant of COVID

Omicron is spreading  (the number of cases doubles every 3 days), so get yourself vaccinated. 




Here's an excerpt of a chart from the NY Times showing COVID cases in New York.  The red line is going higher and higher. 




The omicron variant of COVID can infect you even if you've had COVID before, and even if you're vaccinated.  BUT you are not likely to get sick if you've had your booster shot.  All COVID vaccinations are FREE, whether or not you have insurance. 

You can get it at the local RiteAid or CVS or Walgreens or the Ryan Center on West 97th Street.. If you haven't been vaccinated at all, you can sign up for vaccination in your own home if you are 75 or older or have a disability. 

Governor Hochul has ordered masks in all public indoor spaces where vaccines aren't required - including our corridors and lobby and laundry room and mailroom. 

Unfortunately, people who are elderly or immune-suppressed remain likely to become seriously ill, and we have several of those in our building.  Be kind and save lives.  Please continue to wear a mask and get yourself vaccinated and "boosted."   If you're living alone and worried about a reaction, please let the tenant association know and we'll try to have someone available to help you. 


You should be able to get yourself tested on West 97th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam or at home. 



Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

The tenant association thanks all of you for your generosity and making us a stronger, kinder community .








Thursday, November 11, 2021

Time to change State law to help more tenants

Rally on Tuesday Nov. 16 at 11 AM at Hudson Yards (10th Ave. /32nd St.) or sign the petition to #HouseNY.

After Housing Justice for All won major legal changes in 2019, a few things were left.  And COVID made some of the needs starker.  We need: 

  • Eviction and steep rent increases for good cause only.  Rent stabilized , rent controlled, and a few other tenants have this, but the rest don't.  If we're to be a community, we all need it.  The bill would limit rent increases above 5% to those cases where landlords can show they really need it.  And evictions would be because the tenant misbehaved (or the landlord is going to live in the apartment), and not just because the owner wants the tenant out.  So even market tenants could complain about poor conditions without fear of losing their homes.
  • Permanent rental assistance to those who need it. 
  • No more tax breaks for luxury development.  Why should our tax dollars subsidize construction of luxury units?  (And on my own personal corollary, why should buildings that the government subsidized for years be allowed to go private?)

Housing Justice for All (HJ4A) is the Upstate/Downstate Coalition that brought us the revolutionary 2019 housing law (the law that caps Major Capital Improvement increases to 2% annually and bars de-regulating apartments, among other things). Our tenant association is a member. 

Watch the Medicare Zoom at your leisure

Our tenant association hosted Medicare expert Jess Joseph on November 3, 2021, talking about how to save money with your Medicare plan(s).  You can view that Zoom here. 








Jess highly recommended that people watch State Senator Liz Krueger's annual virtual town hall on Medicare at 2 PM on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, detailed below.  

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Save money with your Medicare plans

Our tenant association is presenting a Zoom on Medicare.

TONIGHT - Wednesday, November 3, 2021  at 8 PM

Hear Board Certified Patient Advocate Jess Joseph talk about how to save money with Medicare.  As a licensed New York State health insurance broker and consultant he represents clients only and does not accept commissions or fees from insurance companies or other third parties.  Some of you may know him from the 92nd St. Y senior program. 

sample medicare cards.jpg




or by phone: 929-205-6099
Meeting ID: 836 5837 6237
Passcode: 078670

Those of us who participated in the smaller conversation he did for City retirees - who have distinct issues - appreciated his expertise.  Everyone else should take advantage of this opportunity. 

Jess is the partner of our board member Barbara Geller, and we thank both of them for suggesting and doing these useful events for free for our tenant association.



VOTE on TUESDAY, NOV. 2, 2021!

We vote at P.S. 163, on West 97th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues.  

The polls are open until 9 PM. 

Monday, October 25, 2021

Heat Season: Oct. 1 through May 31 each year

(Illustration from the NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development)

Landlords must provide heat to tenants from October 1st through May 31st each year under these conditions:

DAY:  6 AM to 10 PM - If the outside temperature is below 55° F, the inside temperature must be at least 68° F.  

NIGHT:  10 PM to 6 AM - The inside temperature must be at least 62°F regardless of the outside temperature. 

Measure the indoor temperature with a digital thermometer in the middle of your room. If the temperature on that thermometer is below the legal limit, file a 311 complaint.  Then send the complaint number, including your name, apartment, and the time, date, and temperature to CPGTenAssoc  at  gmail  dot com.


Thursday, October 21, 2021

Making Medicare Choices - with expert Jess Joseph

Thanks to Medicare expert Jess Joseph who will do two free presentations on how to save money with your Medicare plan.

THIS FRIDAY, Oct. 22nd at 8 PM:  Only for City retirees on whether to opt in/out of Medicare Advantage, especially given the Oct. 21, 2021 State Supreme Court decision.  See The City article. 
Jess will focus on what questions to ask the plan - and City retirees will have some date-to-be-determined to decide whether to opt in or out. 

THEN ON WEDNESDAY, NOV. 3 at 8 PM, he'll do a more complete zoom presentation on how to save money with Medicare.





Friday, October 8, 2021

Tour the Conservatory Garden with our own Barbara Geller

Thanks to our own Barbara Geller for offering a personal tour of the Conservatory Garden in Central Park. Barbara, a certified garden designer, has volunteered at the Conservatory Garden for several years. 

FRIDAY, OCT. 15, 2021 at 4 PM
Meet in the lobby and walk over (about 3/4 of a mile).
Home before dark. 


CreativeCommons Attribution


Contact BarbaraGellerNYC [ at ] aol  {dot] com if you're interested.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Manny Vega's design for the Tito Puente Monument - unveiling and celebration on Oct. 11, 2021

Join our own Manny Vega at the unveiling of his design for the Tito Puente Monument. 

October 11, 2021
6-9 PM
El Barrios Artspace  P.S. 109
215 East 99th Street
New york, NY 10029

Live Music by Jimmy Bosch Salsa Masters

PROOF OF VACCINATION REQUIRED
or 72-hour COVID-19 Rapid Test.
Masks required. 

Friday, September 17, 2021

Summary of the SEPT. 14, 2021 Tenant Meeting

Central Park Gardens Tenants' Association
Summary of the September 14, 2021 Meeting

We met in the backyard on a lovely evening, surrounded by flickering tea lights (battery of course) and lots of good feelings are we saw neighbors in person and smiled through our masks.  

Remembering

We began with a moment of silence for tenants who have died since the last in-person meeting, including Abe Pitsirilos, Naomi Kelly, Louis Gonzalez and Jerome Nemzer.  And one for 9/11 – with thanks to heroes who are very much alive, like Denise Rivera who drove her MTA bus down and back to ferry people away from the World Trade Center that day. 

Financial Report

Treasurer Joan Browne reported on our current bank account and contributions. If you haven’t renewed your $10 membership this year, or contributed anything to our legal fund – now’s the time. Make your check out to the Central Park Gardens Tenants’ Assoc. and get it to Joan in Apt. 12F. (Please don’t leave cash under the door! If you’re contributing in cash, make sure you get a receipt.)

 Building issues

MCI: If you get any papers from the state’s Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) about a Major Capital Improvement rent increase for the balcony and fa├žade work, please contact Sue immediately. We haven’t heard anything yet.  This directly affects only rent stabilized tenants.

Pedestrian safety: Thanks to Cynthia Hanratty for her dogged pursuit of safety mirrors at the exit to our garage. Drivers, please use them to keep all passers-by safe.

 Personal safety: We have immune-compromised tenants in the building. So even if they get vaccinated (and they should get 3 doses!), they remain vulnerable. Please wear a mask. In addition to masks being required by Stellar and protecting yourself, it shows consideration for your neighbors.

If you can afford it, carry a couple of disposable masks with you to offer to anyone who forgets theirs.

 Meanwhile, “The unvaccinated are a big highway of transmission. The vaccinated are a little side street.” (Dr. William Schaffner, prof. of infectious disease at Vandrbilt University.)  So please get off that big highway: get vaccinated!  It’s free and you can get it at the local pharmacy. 

Some NY City, CVS, and other vaccine sites offer rewards as well.

Cameras and smoke detectors in the stairwells: Cynthia Hanratty and Ray Carroll will look into whether Stellar has or must provide working smoke detectors in the stairwells and whether cameras are possible – and their cost.  

Politics

We have a new governor: Kathy Hochul.  She has picked our state senator, Brian Benjamin, as her Lieutenant Governor. That means that we will have a special election (this November 2, 2021) to replace him. The Democratic candidate will be chosen by the party’s county committee, rather than with a primary election.  Our neighbor Helen Merber is member of that very large committee.)

Warehousing and “Frankensteined” apartments

The 2019 state rent law bars landlords from taking apartments (occupied or empty) out of rent stabilization.  To pressure the legislature to change the law and to increase the shortage of apartments, many landlords responded by saying they wouldn’t rent out empty stabilized apartments.  CHIP, an association of landlords of rent stabilized apartments, said last year there were 70,000 warehoused rent stabilized apartments.  Meanwhile there are 60 to 90,000 homeless in NY – many of them working families - and lots of us have friends and family looking for affordable homes.  But warehousing is also a way for landlords to exploit a loophole in the 2019 law.  If landlords create a new apartment out of two or more units, the Frankensteined apartment has a new base rent.  And there’s no easy way to regulate what that new starting rent is.

The End Apartment Warehousing coalition and other groups are working with our state legislators to close that loophole.  We want the new rent to be the last rent of each apartment + the $81 that landlords are allowed to add for individual apartment improvements. Stellar Tenants for Affordable Housing is part of that group, and you can join in the every-other-week Tuesday meetings on zoom. Ask Sue for the link.

 

Rent issues?













If you can’t afford your rent because of the pandemic (your work was cut, or were ill, or were caring for a sick relative), apply for the
NYS Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). You can’t be evicted while your application is pending, and if the state grants your application, it will pay up to a year’s worth of rent and electricity for the past and up to 3 months going forward.  It must be done on line, so if you don’t have a computer, call Goddard Riverside’s West Side Law Project, 212-799-9638.

Also, Gov. Hochul convened a special session of the State Legislature to pass a renewal of the eviction moratorium since so many people remain unable to pay their rents. The moratorium now expires on January 15, 2022.  This means that while the landlord can’t evict you for nonpayment during that period, you will still owe the money due – and the landlord can get a judgment against you in court.  (You can still be evicted if the court finds you created a nuisance – like loud noise.)  Given the US Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the previous moratorium, tenants who file a hardship declaration can now be challenged to prove their hardship in housing court, but they can and should get a free lawyer. (Thanks, Right to Counsel NYC and Council Member Mark Levine!)

 If you’re having other difficulties with the landlord, contact a member of the Executive Committee of the tenant association. Our names and contact information are below.

 Got questions or comments?

If you’re not already on the tenant association email list, please send your email to sue.susman@gmail.com. Your email address won’t show to anyone else.  And check out our website, www.cpgta.org, and our Facebook page, CPG Tenants.

Contact us with your suggestions and questions and join the tenant association!  

Dues: $10/apartment/year. 

Legal fund:  $100/yearly (as you can afford)

 _____

 The Executive Committee of the CPGTA: 

 Sue Susman, sue dot susman (at) gmail {dot}com

Joan Browne, joanbrownefaison  [at] gmail \dot\ com

Andrew Dubin, ardubin (AT) gmail |dot| com

Denis Hayward, denis{dot]hayward at gmail /dot/ com

Steve Koulish, eskoolman [aT] yahoo (dot) com

Ray von Dohren, vondohren [At] comcast {dot} net

 

 

 

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Our next tenant meeting: TUES., SEPT. 14 in the backyard at 7:30 PM

JOIN US on

TUESDAY, SEPT. 14, 2021
at 7:30 PM

for our in-person, outdoor, fully-masked, socially-distanced
TENANT MEETING
in the backyard. 

We'll discuss 
  • the upcoming November elections - not only for Mayor, Manhattan Borough President, and City Council, but also for a new State Senator for us!
  • Building issues (new mirrors for garage users, the MCI, and more)
  • Staying safe
and more. 

If you haven't yet paid your dues or contributed any legal funds for 2021, Tuesday, Sept. 14th will be a good time to do it. 

All masked tenants are welcome. 

Friday, August 27, 2021

Getting complacent about COVID?

The unvaccinated are a big highway of transmission. The vaccinated are a little side street.”

DR. WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, a professor of infectious disease at Vanderbilt, about the Delta variant.


August 26, 2021, NY Times

______________


Many tenants have ditched their masks or are only covering their mouths or (even worse) their necks.  If you breathe through your nose, please cover it as well as your mouth. (Surgeons are often masked for many hours and don't suffer from a lack of oxygen.)

You don't know whether the other person on the elevator with you or in the corridor has been getting chemotherapy, or has a child who's immunocompromised, or lives with an elderly parent with breathing difficulties.  And we don't know whether we currently have COVID without symptoms - and can spread it even if we're vaccinated.  (Yesterday's test is already outdated.) 

So PLEASE wear your mask every time you step out of your apartment into the corridors and laundry rooms - and please get vaccinated.  Almost all of the hospitalized people with COVID are there because they were not vaccinated. 

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Sad News: Jerome Nemzer has died

https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/nytimes/name/jerome-nemzer-obituary?pid=199773211

1947 - 2021
It is with sorrow that we report the death of Jerome S. Nemzer, 74, who died suddenly at his home on August 10, 2021. He was the much beloved son of Irving and Ruth Nemzer who pre-deceased him, and cousin of Joyce Nielsen (deceased), Hedda Hurvich, Ann Brandwein, Alan Grodman (deceased), Sue Rosenzweig, Beth Gallop, and Ina Nemzer. He will be cremated with his ashes scattered on the graves of his parents whom he adored, and his uncles Julius Cohen and Samuel Grodman. Donations can be made in his memory to The Muscular Dystrophy Association or the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Wear your mask in public for 3 reasons


Those reasons and protecting yourself and the health of others are also reasons to get vaccinated. It's free and can save lives. 

Friday, July 2, 2021

Our landlord in the news

https://www.businessinsider.com/jennifer-weisselberg-trump-org-cfo-worried-about-prosecutors-2018-2021-6

EXCERPTS:

Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg took measures as far back as 2018 to keep his financial documents from prosecutors examining the company's practices, his former daughter-in-law said.

In a series of interviews with Insider, Jennifer Weisselberg described in detail how the Trump Organization's chief financial officer, who CNN reported was a target in the Manhattan District Attorney's investigation into the company, made an unusual housing arrangement for her as she divorced his son Barry. The arrangement allowed Allen Weisselberg to act as a guarantor on an Upper West Side apartment without showing any proof of income, she said.

Complications from that arrangement arose in recent weeks, as court records show her landlord is trying to evict her — a measure she alleges is retaliation for her cooperation with prosecutors.

Allen Weisselberg's arrangement has allowed her to live in an apartment building managed by one of his friends in the real-estate business, she said. The friend, Laurence Gluck, permitted her to live in the unit without requiring her or Allen Weisselberg to show any proof of income, she said.

Rental agreements typically require tenants and guarantors to show pay stubs or tax forms demonstrating income of at least 40 times the monthly rent amount. Jennifer Weisselberg said the arrangement allowed Allen Weisselberg to avoid showing pay stubs from the Trump Organization.

She also said she preferred to live in a different apartment building but Allen Weisselberg forced her to live in that location because of Gluck's closeness to him and to President Donald Trump.

"I found several other apartments," Jennifer Weisselberg told Insider. "And he said, 'No, you're going to have to move. I called Larry Gluck. And because Donald and Larry and I have a long history of doing real estate together for decades, he's going to allow me to be the guarantor without having to show any actual financial documents.'"

Following the publication of this story, a spokesperson for Gluck's company Stellar Management, said Allen Weisselberg submitted standard financial forms to be a guarantor on the lease.

"Mr. Weisselberg shared all the standard financial forms needed to demonstrate his ability to be a guarantor on the lease in question," the spokesperson said. "Any commentary from the resident about personal conversations with Mr. Gluck or representatives of Stellar Management and the Trump Organization surrounding the lease approval process are completely false."

July 6: Library and Senior Center both reopen!

Tuesday, July 6th will be a big day. 







Masks are required for both.

In addition to grab-and-go meals at Goddard, seniors can now also sign up for breakfast and lunch there (you have to sign up for meals), and there are many activities to participate in. 

NYS's Emergency Rental Assistance Program - Apply NOW!

Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)


ERAP was enacted through this year’s state budget, and is expected to provide up to $2.7 billion in emergency assistance to low and moderate-income tenants impacted by the pandemic. Households approved for ERAP may receive:

 

·         Up to 12 months of rental arrears payments for rents accrued on or after March 13, 2020.

·         Up to 3 months of additional rental assistance if the household is expected to spend 30 percent or more of their gross monthly income to pay for rent.

·         Up to 12 months of electric or gas utility arrears payments for arrears that have accrued on or after March 13, 2020.

 

Applications are being accepted now and there's not enough money for everyone eligible. So apply now. To view eligibility details and to apply, visit this link. Please note that you are eligible to apply regardless of immigration status if your household income is below 80% of “area median income,” which you can check hereIf you have an eviction case, it will be stayed while you apply, so you can't be evicted while your application is being processed.

 

There have been glitches with th online application process and long wait times for the OTDA call center. The situation appears to be improving, and you should go ahead an apply. If you are experiencing difficulty, or have questions about the application process, you can call the following ERAP “enrollers” for assistance:

 

·         Catholic Charities Community Services at 888-744-7900

·         University Settlement at 212-453-4500

 

The following resources are also available to help New Yorkers with the ERAP application process:

 

·         Call New York State at 844-691-7368 for assistance with the application.

·         Older adults and people with disabilities can call LiveOn NY for assistance with the ERAP application. Call 212-398-5045 or email benefits@liveon-ny.org.

·         The New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) is answering questions about the ERAP application. Call 929-356-9582 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Monday – Friday, or Contact NYLAG Online

 

This is taken from State Senator Liz Krueger's 7/2/21 email. 

Are you a new tenant?

Welcome to the many new tenants moving in!

Here are some things to check and know:

  • Check out the tenant handbook with resources, information about the building and your rights as a tenant, and contact information  for the tenant association and Stellar Management. 


Thursday, June 24, 2021

Rent Guidelines for lease renewals

The Rent Guidelines Board voted

 

1-year renewal

0% increase for 1st six months, and 

1.5% increase for 2nd six months

 ____________________

2-year renewal: 2.5% increase

____________

These apply to rent stabilized leases whose renewal goes into effect any time from Oct. 1, 2021 through Sept. 30, 2022.

Friday, June 11, 2021

VOTING in the JUNE 22, 2021 PRIMARIES

ABSENTEE BALLOT

 Apply by June 15:     Click here to apply. 

Submit the ballot so it is received by June 22, 2021.

 

EARLY VOTING at the West Side High School

(140 W. 102nd Street)

Saturday, June 12        8 AM to 5 PM

Sunday, June 13          8 AM to 5 PM

Monday, June  14        7 AM to 4 PM

Tuesday, June 15       10 AM to 8 PM

Wednesday, June 16  10 AM to 8 PM

Thursday, June 17      10 AM to 8 PM

Friday, June 18             7 AM to 4 PM 

Saturday, June 19         8 AM to 5 PM

Sunday, June 20           8 AM to 4 PM


REGULAR VOTING Tues.June 22, 2021 

at P.S. 163 on West 97th Street


RANKED CHOICE VOTING  

Vote for UP TO 5 people for each office (except Manhattan DA since that’s a State office).  Fill in the circle for each candidate, as in this example: 






DON’T vote for anyone more than once and DON’T make more than 1 candidate your “number 1” choice. (Your ballot will not count.)

How it works: If one person get over 50%, that’s the winner.

If no one wins over 50%, the candidate in last place is eliminated, and that candidate’s votes will go to the candidate those voters ranked second, and the votes are re-counted. The same process continues until one candidate gets 50%.

This counting could take a few weeks.