Friday, May 22, 2015

Cornfeld Tenants News Update: May 19, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

In this mailing:

*2020 Bway store formerly known as Tani

*Wrought Iron door connecting 2020 Broadway + 143 W 69 St leading to receiving area for restaurants

*Rat Infestation at 2020 Bway + 143 West 69 Street (Notice from New York..

*Food Delivery: Changes

*Cleaning of West 69 Street where garbage piles up in front of 143 W 69 St

*Fire Hazards for all buildings >> update

2020 Broadway: Store formerly known as Tani

The store formerly known as Tani where residents and friends joined hands in our campaign to keep Tsu Yue Wang from finalizing their lease with ABC properties seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

Although the space was kept unoccupied for one month following our petition to ABC Properties, on Saturday May 16th our landlord allowed their new tenant to take over the space. (See photo of Tani taken on 5/16/2015). (1)

On Monday, an Asian crew claiming not to speak any english began demolition work on the space. See photo taken on 5/17/2015. (2)

Wrought Iron Door Connecting 2020 Broadway + 143 W 69 Street leading to receiving area for restaurants

As can be seen from a photograph taken May 1, 2015 the door has gotten *alot* of attention. (3) This door, which has been left unlocked and open for decades, was finally locked by our landlord ABC Properties.

Additionally, a second door (see photo taken May 17, 2015) (4) was recently installed.

A mesh covering on the bottom of the door has been added, along with a new piece of mesh on the side of the door to keep the rats from running into the garbage which continues to be left on the side of West 69th Street. (See photos dated Mary, 2015) (5/6)

Although many of you have told me: “The Cornfelds only put those measures in place to keep you from taking any more photos and videos of the goings-on in the alley” – it is a victory for us.


As far as many of us are concerned, it doesn’t matter how we got from point A to point Z. We got there. And now the rear of these 2 buildings is a lot safer.


RAT INFESTATION + food Delivery Changes

Noi Due, the restaurant located in the basement of 143 W 69 Street has begun to accept most of their food, according to Golan (the owner), who has demonstrated a desire to be attentive and responsive to tenant issues.

Golan told me personally, as well as discussing the issue with Sue, that there are “no more deliveries left to sit unattended in the alley.”

Deliveries, he claims, are made only when the restaurant is open from 11am to 11pm -- when an employee can meet with the delivery person and accept the food straight into the restaurant.

Additionally, Noi Due has made every attempt at trying to mitigate the rat infestation (and noise) by 1) giving keys to some of the deliverymen who need to deliver food before 11am. And 2) by having deliveries not arrive too early so as not to awaken those of you who are trying to sleep in the rear of both buildings.



On May 17, 2015 the Cornfeld Tenants’ Association received the following email from New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene:

**This is an auto-generated system message. Please do not reply to this message.**
Service Request #: C1-1-1079741229
Date Submitted: 03/17/15 3:02:02 PM
Request Type: Food Establishment
Details: Rodents/Insects/Garbage
Your Service Request was closed.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has sent official written notification to the Owner/Landlord warning them of potential violations and instructing them to correct the situation. If the situation persists 21 days after your initial complaint, please make a new complaint."

While 2020 Broadway and 143 West 69 Street are not “out of the woods” with regard to the rat infestation, we are certainly on the way.



For the first time, the side street is getting hosed down. See photo taken recently. This was noticed by several of you on our infamous “Rat Rally” day. Although it does NOT happen every time the garbage is hauled away – IT IS A START. See photo taken May 1, 2015 (7)


I want to thank all of the people who contacted me after the last email to you regarding GAS LEAKS.


In a previous email to you, we suggested you dial 3-1-1 if you smell gas. This information is incorrect.

YOU MUST DIAL 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.


We are still waiting on the fire chief and fire battalian chief to make a stop at all buildings that are part of the Cornfeld Tenants’ Association. Those of you who want to be notified WILL BE NOTIFIED prior to a visit. (We have your names, however, if you wish to be added to this *notification list – please advise).

Updates on our news is regularly posted to our website:

Since I have paid for almost everything, if you wish to make a small contribution, there is a “Subscribe” button on the website. Any amount is greatly appreciated and goes toward our flyers, printing, and other events, such as the recent petition (which was not free).

I am so happy that we have come together. United as one. Neighbors helping neighbors. We have come a long way.

Together we can conitnue to make a difference in our buildings and in our homes.

Warmest Regards,

Kirby Sommers, President
Cornfeld Tenants Association

May 19, 2015

May 1, 2015

Posted by Kirby Sommers

Arthur Cornfeld: The Replacement of the 15,000 lbs HVAC + The Night of Terror For Residents


I am sure I speak on behalf of every one of your tenants when I say you exercised extreme poor judgment in how you replaced the 15,000 lb HVAC unit on the roof of 143 West 69 Street.

  1. Notice should have been given to tenants 2 weeks before this very dangerous undertaking. Everyone should have been given the option of choosing to stay in their apartments OR FINDING ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATIONS for the night IN THE EVENT OF A CATASTROPHIC ACCIDENT.
  1. Your track record when replacing small HVAC units in apartments or when making other “minor” repairs/renovations is exceedingly bad.

  1. To remove a 15,000 lb monster during the night through early morning hours WHILE INNOCENT PEOPLE slept is a risk you were ill-advised to take.

While you may own the building, you do not have the right to jeopardize anyone’s life.

You do not have the right to endanger even one person’s life – let alone – the lives of every single tenant in the building.

Your continued disregard for the safety of the people who pay you rent, month after month, is appalling.

On behalf of everyone who calls you their landlord everywhere I will, once again, urge you to exercise caution. To respect the lives of those who unwillingly rent an apartment in one of your properties.

In closing, I will note that I am 100% sure you would not have exposed either your life, your son’s life or the lives of your grandchildren. Again, you have ZERO right to endanger anyone’s life.

You owe everyone a huge apology for the night of terror you inflicted on many.

Kirby Sommers, President

Cornfeld Tenants Association

HVAC unit on roof of 143 West 69 Street. A part was changed as we slept.

HVAC unit that replaced the larger one

Crane going up past my window as we all slept at 5am


Added this as this was clearly illegal.

When a crane is used (in this case to swap out a part of the very heavy HVAC) on the roof of 143 West 69 Street - the top two floors are VACATED.


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Fire at 2020 Broadway Due to Gas Leak on May 1, 2015 at approximately 10:08pm

Dear Neighbors,

Once again there has been a fire because of the installation of a new stove performed by a handyman instead of a Licensed Master Plumber as required by law, and as repeatedly pointed out to our landlord.

The fire was contained at 2020 Broadway, Apt #4F last night, May 1st at approximately 10:08pm and reports indicate it was caused by a gas leak.

This is NOT the first time there has been a fire because of a faulty stove installation. Further it is NOT the first time we have gas leaks in stoves installed by unlicensed workers.

If our landlord continues to disregard the safety of his tenants, then we must take matters into our own handsOur lives literally depend on this.

A few of us will be speaking to an attorney about what we can do to ensure we are not continually put at risk because of ABCs disregard for the law and obvious lack of concern for their residents.

Attached are two photos. One taken on the 4th floor during last night's fire. 

The second photo shows the fire escape ladder over Barcibo Enoteca's "APPROVED" outdoor cafe.

We do not know HOW Barcibo was allowed to BLOCK a fire escape, but we certainly intend to find out and try to correct this very serious fire hazard.

Many of you have reported gas leaks in your apartments or vacant apartments. 

If your stove has been REPLACED, if you know an apartment was recently "renovated" and know that a new stove was installed by a handyman instead of a Licensed Master Plumber, if you have JUST MOVED IN, or if you smell gas CONTACT CON ED immediately by dialing 3-1-1. They will come to the premises, inspect the stoves and prevent a possible fire . 

It is far better to be safe than to have a tragedy occur.

HERE IS A LINK TO AN FDNY Apartment Fire Safety Manual:

Please take a few minutes to review it. I cannot over emphasize how important it is to be prepared in the event of a fire, or how to actively participate in fire prevention.We live in very old buildings. None of them are fire resistant. 


The Fire Department has to make sure the fire escapes are in working order and that any of the issues, such as broken, steps, or any of the rusted areas do not cause the fire escapes to detach themselves from the building.

Once this inspection occurs and the fire escapes are PROPERLY FIXED -- then we can begin to try our fire drill exercises. I urge you all NOT to try to use the fire escapes on your own UNTIL THEY ARE INSPECTED.

Please pass this information on to your neighbors who may not be on our mailing list.

Thank you.

Kirby Sommers, President
Cornfeld Tenants Association