Thursday, October 17, 2013

Choosing A New York City Kindergarten For Your Roosevelt Island Child Panel Discussion On November 5 and 10 - Get Answers From Parents With Recent Experience

Are you a Roosevelt Island parent about to choose a kindergarten for your child? If so, two upcoming question and answer sessions hosted by the Roosevelt Island Parents' Network and Main Street Sweets are for you.

Just RSVP by October 28 to the email adress listed at the bottom of the flyer.

Here's an excerpt from Getting In ... Kindergarten, a documentary aired in 2007 on The Learning Channel describing the NYC Kindergarten admission process.

Also, info from prior posts on the Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Gifted and Talented program including a plea from a Roosevelt Island parent to establish the program and a tweet from Inside Schools:

More information available from PS/Is 217 portal and the school's PTA web site.


Bill Blass said...

Yea I guess these people are too good to sent their kids to,217

KTG said...

Or maybe its the fact that 217 under performs consistently, and gets very little support from the community including Eastwood.

YetAnotherRIer said...

217 is getting better in elementary school and I am glad to see that is it becoming popular with RI families (especially with the addition of the G&T program). The middle school, though, it's way too iffy and I am honest with you about why. The kids are of a difficult age and require good parenting at home to stay on the "good side." Unfortunately, plenty of kids attending 217 for 6-8th grades are too much a disturbance in the classroom. I see Kitty attacking me already but I tell you the way I see and experience it.

Luckily, school district 2 allows you to have choices and none of my children will attend 217 for middle school.

Bill Blass said...

When you are moving people from being able to take care of themselves to being dependent on someone else to take care of them a society is not moving in a progressive direction .this was said by Rudy Giuliani. This is what happened to the 870 families of Eastwood. Thats why Eastwood will never change

KTG said...

I agree with that. So I am guessing that means you are advocate of school who actively participates in fundraising and community activities. Since education is key to economic independence and progression and successful community development.

Bill Blass said...

Yes we always participant in school activities and fun raising

Bill Blass said...

But what happened to me in eastwood has made me a person depending on you to pay my rent me and many others in eastwood.I would love to here what rudy would say about this mess

Bill Blass said...

Kitty I read in the wire that by law every tenant must be offered the same deal . The a g. Has very specific rules against special deals which are called discriminating inducements this was not the case in eastwood.should this be looked at

CheshireKitty said...

It's too late now. I haven't seen the Wire article you're referring to. Why not put in the link to the article when you get a chance. Ideally the entire building should have been given the same deal, I agree: The LAP. In exchange for not downsizing those with up to 2 BR apts, and being permitted to transfer the apt to descendants/relatives, the tenants stay at the same low rent they had on bldg exit with rent-stabilized +1% increases thereafter.

Try to refer it to the AG if you wish - I doubt if anything will come of it but who knows maybe a case can be filed on that basis. If successful then the landlord would have to extend the LAP to all the original tenants.

Westviewer said...

When the island was first developed, P.S. 217 was one of the best schools in the city. People moved here so their children could go to that school. Regrettably, the excellent principal, who had been at P.S. 6 before R.I. had a terrible accident that forced her into early retirement. Once she was gone, the school began to go downhill. Once it began to go downhill, parents who could afford to, either moved away or sent their children to private school.

Bill Blass said...

The article at am talking about is the one about island house privatization dated October 12 2013 read where the lawyer for island house says all tenants must be given the same deal

CheshireKitty said...

Rudy would have nothing to say, I assure you, Bill. Rudy is too busy living it up with the Eisenberg family - the beneficiaries of the Federal $ flowing in from all their properties.

As long as the Eisenbergs and the other landlords can keep the rents high, they could care less who pays the rent: Tenants or the Fed gov. This is what the "believers in the market" don't understand.

The Eisenbergs and the other landlords aren't playing according to the rules. Prices are artificially inflated in the housing market. If you extrapolated the value of housing to other markets, you wouldn't be in a position to buy a loaf of bread, that's how bad the bubble really is.

The landlords have the inside track. They pay off all the pols in return for favorable tax breaks and other goodies. The tenants are soaked but that's called "the market". Really?

What do the tenants have to counter the so-called "market"? Rent strikes? Forming affordable coops? Law suits - by the AG?

The has to be sweeping change on a State level to counter the insidious influence of the r/e industry on politicians, their PACs, and so forth. The problem leads back to the systematic "buying" of pols. If politicians were really free of the influence of the r/e industry, if campaign finance were really reformed, they could be more responsive to the tenant instead of to the landlord. Then tenant protection laws could be strengthened - perhaps the same controls that you see on the price of other vital goods and services could be applied to housing.

Many other markets aren't completely "free" in the US. There are all sorts of controls in place to prevent the consumer from getting taken advantage of, i.e. soaked. This happens especially in instances where there may be a near-monopoly where pricing could otherwise be at the discretion of the provider. In those instances, it's perfectly understandable that regulations might be signed into law regulating a market, because, unfortunately the market does not always arrive at the just, or correct, price.

CheshireKitty said...

At Eastwood, the landlord wanted the building to become a luxury building. That was his wish - he didn't want it to stay affordable. The "solution" was Sec 8, which was offered to every tenant. Tenants weren't required to apply for Sec 8 - it was only made available to all tenants if they wished to sign up. The alternative was double the rent - naturally probably 99.99% of tenants then applied for Sec 8 at mass sign-up sessions. Since it was understood that a percentage of tenants would exceed the income eligibility limit for Sec 8, the LAP was negotiated - so as to give those somewhat better off tenants a comparable deal.

The question is, is LAP a comparable deal or a better deal than Sec 8? Which group got the preferential treatment, or did neither?

The bottom line, though, is the landlord chose to convert the low- to moderate-income project into luxury housing by doubling the rents without first making the improvements etc. He could get away with it once the building exited M-L. This is the problem with the market. Since he could get away with it, of course he'll do it: It's a monopoly play. He gets to call the shots and the tenants have no negotiating power whatsoever. Yet in many other markets this is not the case.

So, IMO, actually the "deal" was doubling the rent. That was the deal Belson "offered". Since it would have resulted in mass evictions, Sec 8 was made available. Those that didn't qualify, were in turn offered the LAP.

CheshireKitty said...

Do you think the consolidation of the mini-schools into 217 had anything to do with it? Was the school system better or worse when it was dispersed? I heard they consolidated the mini-schools because they didn't want to pay for security guards at each location as opposed to one or two at one location.

Bill Blass said...

Kelly sec 8 was not offered to every tenant there was a income line if your over it you get lap if you are under it you get sec 8 did not matter if you warned.we were not given a choice go on the internet go to the wire October 15. 2004 you can read it ppeople were not given a choice

Westviewer said...

No. The physical plant(s) of the old school were the weakest element.

CheshireKitty said...

I'm not saying that wasn't the case. There was no choice - unless the tenant wanted to simply pay the new higher rent.

The EBC & landlord of course could see that a percentage of tenants wouldn't qualify for Sec 8, so they negotiated a LAP. There were 3 choices on exit: Either pay the market-rate rent (double the M-L rent), the Sec 8 rent (30% of income), or LAP rent (same as M-L but with increases henceforth pegged to rent stabilization + 1%).

All tenants could apply for Sec 8, but not all qualified. Serge, the EBC, Belson, Berman and the rest all knew this from the beginning and that was why the LAP was negotiated. In this way, they thought all the tenants were protected.

Incidentally, the landlord didn't have to do anything. He could have opted for mass evictions although it would have looked bad. Do you really think Berman/Pataki would have done anything? Berman was a hack carrying out Pataki's wishes. Pataki by then had either been term limited out of running again, or had had enough of being Gov. What did either of them care if hundreds of families were forced out, without even a voucher?

Remember the sign-up sessions? I do. The point was made abundantly clear to the sorrowful families - this is a sticky voucher. It means you can take it with you anywhere. The strong hint was you go - anywhere with it; or, to be precise, it's best if you go, leave RI with your voucher. It was very sad.

CheshireKitty said...

Weren't they built at the same time as the WIRE buildings? How could the schools be weaker than those buildings?

Bill Blass said...

Kitty did you read the article in the wire October 15 2004

Bill Blass said...

They're lied you cannot take the voucher with you .it becomes a sec 8 vvoucher not a enhance voucher it pays less. See the voucher in eastwood is only good in eastwood it become a regular sec 8 voucher when you move so they lied

CheshireKitty said...

The one with the ghastly photo of the grinning greedy Belson?

CheshireKitty said...

It pays what the landlord charges minus 30% of your income. The value varies according to the rent.

You are saying this is not so?

CheshireKitty said...

The commentary by Chira?

Bill Blass said...

Yes see a sec 8 voucher in eastwood will cover a 3 bedroom renting for 3400 dollars now if you move the voucher you take with you will now cover a 3 bedroom up to 1600 dollars. The

Bill Blass said...

Yes see they already knew who the 130 families who were going to get the lap

CheshireKitty said...

There's a second article - on page 8. I'll try to read both pieces.

CheshireKitty said...

I see. There's a limit as to how much the voucher will cover except in Eastwood, where there's no limit?

Bill Blass said...

Yes thats it hud gave belson thisdeal for eeastwood.I wonder who did he pay off for a deal like this

CheshireKitty said...

Interesting. So the building really became a goldmine for Belson.

It would be interesting to know if the other properties in the Putnam Portfolio exited M-L under similar deals. If so, they all became instant cash cows for the landlord.

CheshireKitty said...

RIOC was lucky to have found the The Child School to take over & rehab the former mini-schools, as opposed to converting them into condos - an idea they were toying with at one point. The Child School on RI has been superb IMO.

Frank Farance said...

BillBlass: The AG requirements for the same deal are for purchasing apartments, not for renting apartments (which is not the case for NYC rentals).

I read the 2004 WIRE article your cited. The Sec8 enhanced vouchers do transfer with the family/person, see "", which has useful info (but its median income numbers are out of date, they're higher now).

So we don't have to repeat the discussion again, here's all the prior comments (see "") where we learned:

(1) You make more money than many Eastwood residents, somewhere in the $70-73K range for a family of 4.

(2) You were within $300 if the LAP limit (which could have easily been bridged by a "gift" from a family member), but you chose sec8 over LAP, most likely because the sec8 rents were lower at the time.

(3) But now you have buyer's remorse because you make so much money that sec8 is taking 30% of your income for rent which, in fact, is less than most New Yorkers in their share of rent vs. income.

(4) You're unwilling to have your son work because, even though your household would make more money with his income (including the loss of sec8 benefits)

(5) You still hang on to your benefits with your high income depriving some other needier family of sec8 benefits.

Folks, the problem here is: BillBlass raises these same issues over and over again: Society Forces Me Into Dependency And Not To Work, But Golly If I Had LAP Apartment That Would Be Great. About a month ago, several of us explored BillBlass's purported situation and found many inconsistencies, the above points are a summary. Please don't take the bait.

Bill Blass said...

Frank the income they went by was for, 2004 belson came to eastwood with this deal In October 2004 my taxes were done by April 2004. So how was i getting another 300 put on my income also lap rents and sec 8 rents were the same after one year lap got their frist rgb raise so what you are saying about what I did or didn't do is bs for some reason your will never admit this this was a mess got working people

Bill Blass said...

Lol i should give my sec 8 to a needier family really in 2004 they gave people making up to 79.000. , in eastwood do you really think these people were needy
I didn't want it then and i dont want it now.but I must keep it.but can you do Mr a favor and ask the lawyers you got for island house about this

CheshireKitty said...

He's not going to ask Mr. Saft about it since he already has said the law doesn't apply to differences among classes of renters.

That is Frank's opinion.

However, there is nothing stopping you from contacting Mr. Saft anyway to run your theory by him, although I doubt anything will come of it.

It can be argued that the Sec 8 tenants got a better deal as they only fork over a set amount of income, and, technically, if their income were to fall to zero, then their rent obligation would be zero; i.e. the entire rent would be paid for by Sec 8. No-one can beat a deal like that.

OTOH, the LAP tenants' income can rise and fall, yet they are still obligated to keep paying the slowly but steadily rising rent. They are not subject to an income minimum or maximum, so I suppose you could say they lucked out in getting a deal of rent-stabilized + 1%.

However, in terms of a long-term deal, which might reflect the reality that some tenants may wish to stay at Eastwood on an indefinite basis, then Sec 8 is by far the better deal - as it's pegged to income, and will make up income shortfalls, periods of unemployment, or going on to a fixed income etc.
You may wish you were in the LAP now, but 20 years from now, if you are still in Eastwood, you'll appreciate being in Sec 8.

CheshireKitty said...

Bill: It wasn't that Sec 8 was a mess, it was that UDC or whatever the name of the Dept was, didn't lean harder on Belson to extend a better affordability deal to Eastwood.

The State caved in to Belson - if it had been Shane in office at the time, you can be sure he would have used any bargaining chips at his disposal to delay the exit and exact further concessions from Belson.

Belson wanted to double the rents overnight and he did. It was the same old building, with the same old cinderblock halls, the same old AVAC often with masses of roaches crawling all over it, the same damaged carpeting in the halls - clearly, Eastwood wasn't a luxury building, but overnight it was termed a luxury building by virtue of the rents having doubled.

Thus, to prevent mass evictions, the State handed out Sec 8 vouchers, which, at the time, to many, seemed like a good deal. The downside only became apparent later - when rising incomes bumped into the income eligibility limit.

The logical thing would have been for the landlord to transfer the tenants who no longer qualified for Sec 8 into LAP - as they were still part of the original group of tenants that Belson had promised to protect forever as a condition of exiting M-L.

Or, let's put it this way: LAP tenants are protected forever, but Sec 8 tenants are subject to losing protection if their income exceeds even by $1 the Sec 8 income eligibility limit.

That is the glaring unfairness between the two programs, which the landlord could easily remedy if he extended the LAP to tenants who no longer qualify for Sec 8.

However, as we all know, the way the exit agreement was structured meant that there is no transferring back and forth after the initial sign-up period: You can have 1 program or another.

That too is rather unfair for the LAP tenants, who, in future years, might qualify for Sec 8 vouchers: If these existing tenants, part of the original group of tenants, later either become unemployed/ disabled or retire, and then present a Sec 8 voucher to the landlord, will the landlord refuse to accept the voucher?

The lack of flexibility in the overall program in terms of future protection provisions is the most glaring weakness of the entire program. Had the flexibility been written into the program, then it would have been truly fair, and perpetual protection plan for the original group of tenants.

Bill Blass said...

Kitty tell me what would happen if this deal was not appoved by the tenants and rioc

CheshireKitty said...

The building would have stayed under M-L just like Westview has. It could not have emerged without the agreement of RIOC. RIOC held the high cards. RIOC could have forced the landlord to agree to a better deal but it didn't. RIOC sold out Eastwood tenants in agreeing to let the building exit the way it did.

Unlike Westview, however, since Eastwood was not going to go coop, whether or not Eastwood tenants agreed to anything was immaterial. They had next to zero leverage or influence.

The tenants signing on to the agreement served to paper over the realities of the shameful deal - that screwed the tenancy and the State out of the largest bloc of affordable housing on the RI.

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