Open Forum

Feel free to write about anything on your mind. This can be comments about this blog, things going on in Forest Hills or nearby communities, or your thoughts about the local news of the day. Whatever you want to talk about, this is your space to do it.

Advertisements
  1. mted
    October 17, 2010 at 7:23 PM

    Just want to say I enjoy reading the blog. I know that you might want more feedback than your getting but I know people enjoy it. Thanks. I think what your doing to organize to make forest hills better is the way to go, once people see that fh can be fh without trying to be astoria or park slope it can develop character with an organization that works; farmers market near austin, events at the stadium, seasonal events…

    • Carol Gonzalez
      April 28, 2011 at 10:34 PM

      Hi ,
      I just got to see this wonderful blog and I think it’s really great.

      I wanted to take this opportunity to recommend to anyone who might want cleaning services to call Nina @ 347 853 6583. Nina is a great house cleaner who would do a great job for you.
      Nina also works well with children and has much experience in families.

  2. Queens Tribune
    February 10, 2011 at 6:02 PM

    Forest Hills This Week: Taking A Stand For Co-Op Justice

    The perils of share ownership within a co-op or condo are numerous. The burden is spread out, typically leaving all to deal with the possible misdeeds of a board.

    But one Kew Gardens Resident is navigating the waters alone, singlehandedly confronting what she claims is a board corrupted by money and power.

    Elizabeth O’Keefe Kuzio, a 70-year-old shareholder at the Steven House, 84-25 118th St., has filled a suit, sans attorney, against the co-op’s board to have them removed.

    “It is corruption within the building, not only in the board,” she said. “They are acting out of their authority. The management is corrupt. The lawyers are corrupt.”

    Kuzio alleges that the continued re-election of the board is an ongoing sham, designed to keep the current board members in power while scaring possible opponents away.

    Their attorney disagrees.

    “You have a hard working board that has made some changes, but she doesn’t like them,” said Abbey Goldstein, legal counsel for the board members and co-op. “Not only did the board not do anything improper, I think they’ve acted proactively in the best interest of the co-op, trying to get it back on its course.”

    Kuzio’s allegations are familiar to many shareholders within the City – increases in maintenance fees and assessments all while her cost of living goes up, but the actual quality of life diminishes.

    The new board was elected in 2006, and Kuzio said she stuck around to act as secretary under the new President Mauro Villacreses for two months before leaving.

    Villacreces came to the helm of Steven House at a time when the co-op was in admitted financial peril. Impropriety by the previous board and management company left the co-op’s coffers thin.

    But according to Kuzio, the bad fiscal times did not merit seven new assessments in four years.

    “[Villacreses] said they were still paying bills,” Kuzio said. “We just said show us the bills. They never did.”

    The hiring of Goldstein’s firm, Goldstein and Greenlaw, has also drawn Kuzio’s ire. The firm’s oversight of elections, which costs the co-op $1,800.00 a year, as well as regular attendance at other supposedly banal events like shareholder meetings, gives the firm’s involvement an air of impropriety, according to Kuzio.

    She also claims the co-op has held onto at least $20,000 in tax abatements owed to shareholders every year under the new board’s tenure.

    Goldstein claims the collection of assessments to offset the doling out of tax abatements is common.

    “It’s perfectly legal and it’s a way to help balance a co-op’s budget,” he said.

    In addition to all her troubles, the co-op has notified Kuzio of complaints from her upstairs neighbors, who ar upset about her hitting her ceiling and shouting.

    Kuzio admitted she has used the method to keep her upstairs neighbors quiet – or at the very least show her displeasure.

    “If you’re above me, you want to move out, move,” Kuzio said. “[Villacreses] had them print letters that I traumatized them, I threatened them. I’m an 80 pound, 70-year-old woman with bladder cancer.”

    Kuzio acknowledges she’s the only one vocally fighting the board, but claims a number of shareholders stand behind her efforts.

    “The shareholders in this building are intimidated by the board of directors, but they’re afraid of retribution,” she said.

    Kuzio’s claims are all too familiar for some unfortunate sharholders, according to Alliance of Co-op and Condo Owners President Larry Simms, but she’s addressing them the wrong way.

    “The biggest problem in a situation like that is you go to court and if you do everything right, six months will pass if you’r lucky, the judge will say havea new election, “Simms, said. “And there is no good mechanism to make sure the election is done or monitored properly.”

    AACCO is currently pushing an Ombudsman Bill that would create an oversight wing within the state government for co-op and condo owners.

    “I almost never try to do things through courts because it’s so slow and so costly,” Simms said. “I tendto advocate guerrilla action.”

    The same democratic process used to put the board in place could be used to create a groundswell of voters and candidates to run against them, Simms said.

    Kuzio, ufazed, is currently waiting to begin the trial.

    Reach Reporter Joseph Orovic at jorovic@queenstribune.com, or (718)357-7400, Ext.127.
    — Joseph Orovic

    You may contact Ms. Kuzio directly at 718 8475181

  3. Susan
    March 24, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    It finally came to pass;
    CORD MEYER TO EVICT 7 STORES on Queens Bloulvard, only Key Food wil remain.
    Fond this on YOURNABE.COM.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: