We are two tenant associations who joined together to defend ourselves against a corporate real estate investment hydra that seeks to expel us from our homes in order to maximize their profits.

The Death Letter

 On December 9, 2011, an apartment on the ground floor of 120 East 4th Street was being gutted. The telephone risers to this part of the building were cut and completely removed without explanation. The risers are the metal protective cases that house and protect the phone lines throughout the building. There was a question as to wether it was a Federal offense or just a stupid mistake. Verizon, when contacted, said it was the responsibility of the owner to maintain the risers. Its unclear whether Verizon, or Magnum Real Estate Group took responsibility. It was not until January 5, 2012, that Verizon began to install a wire from the roof to the basement to restore service. This wire, currently flopping in the wind unprotected from the elements, is apparently a temporary solution. One of the tenants disconnected was Rocky. Rocky is one of our retired seniors, and a lovelier man cannot be found. He is a quiet, gracious, generous neighbor, who puts the gentle in gentleman.  On January 10, Rocky received a letter in the mail from a nursing home in one of the outer boroughs where his beloved sister Esme resided. Rocky called Esme frequently and visited often. The letter stated that Esme suddenly became very ill and passed away on January 1st. The nursing home had tried repeatedly to call Rocky without success. They resorted to sending him a letter. She had passed alone without the comfort of family at her side. In addition to not receiving the news of his sister's illness and death when he should have, Rocky had to make all the wake and funeral arrangements from a pay phone on the corner. We cannot put into words our feelings of utter helplessness and sorrow when we learned of his loss. Rocky's "ticket" was one of the last to be addressed on the Verizon work queue. The phone service to his apartment was not restored until January 25, 2012. Rocky had been without phone service for 48 days.

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