Cooperators overwhelmingly in favor of new no-smoking rules

Last month we inaugurated our Cooperative Question of the Month with (it turned out) a gimme. Following the announcement from the Board of Directors of a new no-smoking policy in the common areas outside our buildings, we asked whether cooperators thought the new rules were appropriate or too harsh. Over 90% of you agreed with the new rules, with just a few people thinking they had gone too far.

The final tally was 29 in favor, 3 against. That’s not exactly a huge sample size, and may not hold up to the standards of professional pollsters; but considering it was our first time soliciting opinions, it’s encouraging that we were able to get any sense at all of how cooperators feel about life at East River Coop.

We’ll have a new question posted soon in the laundry rooms and right on the front page of this site. Spread the word and come back to vote!

Bees all gone? Not so fast

Despite the memo earlier this week assuring us that the bees behind building 2 had all moved on, bees continue to have a large presence in a tree right in the middle of the playground.

It turns out this isn’t really as dangerous as it looks. Apparently it’s common in the spring for a hive’s second queen bee to leave the hive with some percentage of worker bees and drones to look for a place to build a new hive. These bees will swarm, usually huddling around a tree branch or something similar, while scouts are sent out looking for an appropriate tree hollow or other protected area. During this time, the bees have no food or young to protect, so are very unlikely to exhibit any defensive behavior — i.e., they’re probably not going to sting anyone.

Nevertheless, having the swarm right in the middle of he playground is obviously not ideal. And since those bees are actually very valuable, it’s easy to find a beekeeper willing to come lure the swarm away. (In fact, it looks like that’s what’s happening down there right now.)

Hot Water Shut Down Overnight Friday

Some more tweaks to the new boiler?

To: East River Housing Residents
Hillman Housing Residents

From: Harold Jacob

Re: Hot Water Shut Down

Dear Cooperators:

This Friday, June 8, 2012, at 9:00PM the Boiler Room will be shutting down the hot water to do some repair work. The hot water will hopefully be back online by Saturday morning, June 9, 2012, at 5:00AM.

We are anticipating another shut down toward the end of next week. We will send a separate notice to confirm.

We are sorry for any inconvenience.

Well that was Quick: South Courtyard Reopens

TO: ALL COOPERATORS/ EAST RIVER HOUSING
FROM: MANAGEMENT

RE: PARK REOPENED BEHIND 577 GRAND ST.

DUE TO A RECENT INFESTATION OF BEES THIS PAST WEEKEND WE WERE FORCED TO CLOSE THE PARK BEHIND BLDG. 2 AT 577 GRAND STREET.

WE ARE HAPPY TO REPORT THE BEES HAVE MOVED ON AND WE ARE REOPENING THE PARK IMMEDIATELY. WE HAVE CANCELED THE BEEKEEPER.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION.

So the “infestation” has moved on? Maybe not such a big problem to begin with? Does anyone have any more information about this — was closing the courtyard just an overreaction, or is there still a hive hiding out somewhere?

Bees close south courtyard until further notice

We’re losing our parks left and right! Not only is the north courtyard now closed because of inspection and maintenance on buildings 3 and 4, but the south courtyard is closed after many cooperators noticed an unusual activity of bees:

TO: ALL COOPERATORS/ EAST RIVER HOUSING
FROM: MANAGEMENT

RE: PARK CLOSURE BEHIND 577 GRAND ST. / BEES!!!

DUE TO A SERIOUS BEE PROBLEM BEHIND BLDG. 2 AT 577 GRAND STREET IN THE PLAYGROUND AREA, THE PARK WILL HAVE TO BE CLOSED UNTIL A BEEKEEPER ARRIVES EARLY NEXT WEEK TO REMOVE THE HIVE.

THIS SITUATION SHOULD BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY BY PARENTS, WHO SHOULD BE ESPECIALLY CAREFUL WITH THEIR CHILDREN DURING THE WEEKEND, UNTIL THE PROBLEM CAN BE RESOLVED.

Do you get email updates from Management? If not, you can sign up for them here.

North courtyard closure starts Wednesday

Memo posted from Management clarifies earlier announcement:

PLEASE BE ADVISED, the park between buildings 3 & 4 will close next Wednesday, May 30th for mandatory work being done to the buildings. We would like our cooperators to know that we explored a number of issues relating to the specific cause of the park remaining open. Since safety is our overwhelming concern, the decision was made to expedite the work without compromise to safety; therefore the park must be closed. We also realize what time of year it is and the importance of the park to our residents during these summer months. There was no way to know this past winter would be so mild for such an extended period as to risk the start of the project. Again, the City of New York mandates this work, and we will comply.

The inspections are being done to comply with Local Law 11.

No official word yet on when work will begin on buildings 1 & 2, but presumably cooperators in these buildings will face the same inconvenience starting near the end of the summer. Does anyone know for sure when that work will begin?

Great turnout for garden

What a beautiful day for the garden’s coming out party — and a great, encouraging number of families turned out. There were lots of questions (some we’re still figuring out answers to) and lots of enthusiasm.

Names were drawn for the individual plots and some basic guidelines were established for the use of the garden. We’ll be posting more information in the next couple of days, but for now just wanted to say: hurray!

Sign up here if you couldn’t make it but still want to be a part of the community lots. (And tell your friends about the garden with the sharing buttons below.)

Petition aims to stop summer closure of north courtyard

Earlier this month, Management informed the Coop that the north courtyard — the park between buildings 3 and 4 — would be closed for three months because of the scaffolding being set up for the inspection and repair of our exterior walls. In response, there is now a petition being circulated asking Management to reconsider the full closure of the courtyard:

Notification from Management of work to buildings 3 & 4 advised of closing the park situated between the two. This inspection/maintenance is done periodically however this is the first time in the past twenty years that the park will be closed for this purpose. This is a major inconvenience for the elderly who find the park their only refuge and the parents whose children rely on the park for activity. If this petition does not fulfill it’s purpose and gain traction, we will all lose the use of our park for the entire summer, not have that access to parking & bikes and will not have the comfort it brings us on hot summer days.

There’s no indication who is sponsoring the petition, but if you agree you can add your signature online.

Join the garden: Sunday, May 20 at 11am

The garden is ready for you! (Are you ready for the garden?) Join us this Sunday, May 20 at 11am to become a part of this exciting pilot project.

Meet at the garden — just in the back of building 1, section C — or, if it’s raining, in the lobby of building 1. The garden will consist of some land for common use and some plots for personal use. Depending on interest, there may not be enough individual plots for all people who are interested, so names will be drawn from a hat on Sunday. You must be present on Sunday to be awarded a plot, but if your name is not drawn you will be welcome to participate in the community plots.

There will be a lot of work to do to make the East River Garden a success. Your participation and commitment are most welcome.