Tragedy in Surfside July 24 2021 2:00am building collapse

Tragedy in Surfside
July 24 2021 2:00am building collapse

Condo building partially collapses in Miami-Dade, killing at least one and prompting mass search-and-rescue operation

A large condo building along the beachfront in Surfside, Fla., partially collapsed early Thursday morning, killing at least one person, injuring at least 10 and prompting a mass search-and-rescue response from local authorities.

More than 80 units from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue rushed to the scene in the city just north of Miami Beach after 2 a.m., the agency said on Twitter, joining first responders from multiple other agencies. Champlain Towers South, a 12-story building that was built in 1981, has more than 130 units.

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett told reporters Thursday that in addition to at least one death and multiple injuries, dozens of residents have been displaced. He added that 50 hotel rooms located next door to the residential building were also evacuated. Burkett said people from at least 15 units need temporary housing.

The mayor told NBC’s “Today” show that it “looks like a bomb went off,” calling the partial collapse “a catastrophic failure of that building.”

“It’s hard to imagine how this could happen,” Burkett said. “Buildings just don’t fall down.”

Frank Rollason, director of Miami-Dade Emergency Management, said Thursday morning that first responders believe they have cleared all survivors from inside the condo, adding that more than 70 of the units had been either destroyed or badly damaged.

“Everyone who is alive is out of the building,” he told the Miami Herald.

Rescuers pulled one boy from the rubble, video shot by WTVJ shows, while firefighters used ladders to rescue other tenants from balconies in the still-standing portion of the tower. Nicholas Balboa, who lives next door to the condo, said he could see the boy’s hand waving through the rubble as he helped rescue him.

Champlain Towers South Condo, 8855 Collins Ave., Surfside, Miami-Dade, Florida 33154.


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Aquarius Gym Gets New Mirrors

Aquarius Gym Gets New Mirrors


In October of 2020 Buck, the President of the Board of Directors, accepted the suggestion to hang additional mirrors on the walls of the Aquarius Exercise Room.

After a good number of email messages and phone calls besides visits to the Management Office of Aquarius the mirrors were installed last week.

The mirrors were installed in the elevator landing on all Aquarius’ floors. They were removed when the hallways got a facelift. As it is easy to imagine the mirrors would, eventually, end in a landfill. So now the Gym has a new more professional look more like the commercial gyms.

Visit our Gym and see for yourself how the studio looks now. And the cost? A few work minutes by our maintenance team. A very good price for good results indeed.




Hey Cecilio- (via email)
The Mirrors in the Gym look awesome👍, hopefully a lot more people, will come to the gym we need to
 replace the T.V. which needs to be sent to garbage terrible screen video and the sound system is awful
Joe Tejada


How many of these musicals can you remember?   

22 Musicals in 12 minutes!      21 million views and counting!


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Aquarius Gym Equipment Issues

Aquarius Gym Equipment Issues

The email message, bellow transcribed, contains important information provided by Orlando Herrera. Keeping up with developments in our Aquarius Condominium helps management to take care of problems at their onset. It does only make our home safer and beautiful as it saves money. After a while uncared for problems become expensive and it takes a longer time to fix them.  “The eye of the master fattens the horse.”

It seems that the new manager will look into the issue at hand.

Thank you Orlando for sharing:

Hollywood, FL  June 2, 2021

Dear members of the board and  Marie Goehl,

Your help is needed in guiding and instructing the housekeeping supervisor and the cleaning personnel in stopping the use of the spraying pistol device and the corrosive liquid being used to disinfect the gym equipment. Although the continuous use of this device and liquid has already done the damage in the metallic parts of both the new and old gym equipment (please see the attached pictures of before and after the use of the corrosive liquid), we can still stop the rust deterioration and maintain the gym equipment better

Last year after the cleaning personnel started to use a spraying pistol device to spray a liquid to disinfect the gym equipment.  I noticed that the liquid used to disinfect was damaging the gym equipment both the new one and the old one.  The cleaning personnel was spraying the liquid into the air and sometimes directly into the equipment.  As a result,  when the liquid fell on the equipment, it settled on the surface of each piece of equipment and left a corrosive film that has been damaging the equipment by creating corrosion everywhere the liquid touches the metallic parts of the equipment.

The solution was: 1. To stop using the corrosive liquid and stop spraying this liquid with the spraying pistol device.  2. The disinfection process of the equipment should be done by only wiping the parts each of equipment that is touched by the users.  There is no need to spray or wipe metallic parts that the users of the gym equipment don’t touch, common sense needs to be exercised.  3.Management should instruct maintenance personnel to remove the several layers of the corrosive liquid that has accumulated in the metallic parts of each piece of the gym equipment with a rust remover or WD-40 and where applicable use a very fine sandpaper to remove the rust.  I will be happy to direct maintenance personnel in how to perform these tasks.

I brought this to the attention of the previous manager Adrian on several ocassions and I also mentioned it to Buck.  Adrian said to me that the sales person that sold him the liquid and the cleaning equipment said to him that the liquid was not corrosive.  Well the PP presentation in PDF attached  and the pictures below say the opposite.  Nothing happened for several months last year, the cleaning personnel continued to use the pistol fogging device and the gym equipment both the new equipment and the old equipment continued to deteriorate.  After talking to Adrian several times, I spoke to the housekeeper supervisor, I also spoke to the cleaning ladies and finally I asked Buck to walk with me at the gym so he could see himself what I was talking about it, I finally saw that some cleaning personnel stop using the pistol fogging device.  However, during the weekend I saw some security personnel using the pistol fogging device.  When I asked they, they said that they were not aware that the device was not longer used anymore. So apparently the device was still being used on weekends.

The reason for this email is because last week, the cleaning lady that cleans the gym, stop wiping the equipment  and started to use the spraying pistol device again.  When I asked her why she started to use the device and a liquid  that has been damaging the equipment, she answered that she was following orders from her supervisor.

Please see attached PP presentation with pictures of before and after and how the equipment has been deteriorating and getting worse as time goes by.

I invite the board members and the new manager to visit the gym and see the deterioration of all of the gym equipment as a result of the use of this disinfectant liquid and this spraying pistol device.

It is really upsetting to see this damage and deterioration of the gym equipment especially when it could have been prevented if the previous manager would have done his job of following up on the severall complaints I mentioned last year and this year too.

I will be happy to meet with Marie and walk with her in the gym to look for a solution and a better way to disinfect the gym equipment and discuss the solution and what we can do to resolve this issue.  Let me know if you would like to do that Marie.

Best regards,

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It is easy to have updated information on the availability of COVID-19 in Broward County.  Please click here  or     MyVaccine (  and provide your information  so updates will be given to you concerning the vaccine.

You may also contact County Commissioner Beam Furr  954-357-7006/786-559-2306  or eMail him  for additional information.

Bellow the full message from Commissioner Beam Furr as provided by Frank DeRisi, President of HBCA.


Dear All ( 2823 HBCA Recipients )
The following is a message from County Commissioner Beam Furr with the most important updates in Broward County regarding the Covid-19 vaccines issues.
” We continue to take a leading role in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. As we continue to deal with the economic fallout of the pandemic and take steps to combat it with the vaccine, we are laying the groundwork for a very important year in Broward County. Along the way, my office is always here to assist you with any needs you may have.”
For a complete vaccine update including how to registered for an appointment , key telephone numbers, web sites and other resources please see full message below:
In the Loop January 2021 Edition
It is hard to believe that we are already a month into 2021! We continue to take a leading role in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. As we continue to deal with the economic fallout of the pandemic and take steps to combat it with the vaccine, we are laying the groundwork for a very important year in Broward County. Along the way, my office is always here to assist you with any needs you may have.
Read on below to find out some of the most important updates in Broward County this month regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccine Update:
Residents throughout Broward have many questions about vaccine distribution. Rightfully so – medical experts agree that in addition to masks and social distancing, the best way to defeat this pandemic is the efficient and effective distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. There are currently two approved COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer) which have been made available to Broward County hospitals. Florida’s vaccine plan is currently coordinated through the Florida Department of Health. Our Broward County Department of Emergency Management is working directly with the Florida Department of Health to assist in vaccine distribution within Broward County. We are making sure that we work closely with the state to facilitate effective distribution to our residents. My office is available to answer your questions or provide any assistance you may need when it comes to the vaccine.
The Florida Department of Health is currently vaccinating seniors 65 and over at five Broward County parks (Markham Park, Vista View Park, Tradewinds Park, Holiday Park, and Central Broward Park). Plans are in the works to add a site in southern Broward as soon as it is feasible.
Reservations can now be made using an easy appointment system. Appointments for COVID-19 vaccination sites operated by the Florida Department of Health in Broward can be scheduled using the State appointment system. Seniors age 65+ and frontline healthcare workers can call 866-201-6313 to request an appointment. Those who are eligible for the vaccine (65 and older and frontline healthcare workers) can pre-register and get in line for a vaccine at
If you have not already been vaccinated, we recommend doing so – the required two doses of the vaccine have been shown to be over 95% effective. You can click here to see a continually updating list of vaccination sites.
Moving forward, we have much work we must continue to do. This work includes moving as quickly as possible to vaccinate the essential frontline workers such as teachers, grocery store workers, bus drivers, and first responders that we count on to keep our society going. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.
Vaccinations for Senior Residents
Broward County is working to vaccinate seniors in communities throughout Broward County. This month, my office worked with Pembroke Pines Commissioner Angelo Castillo and State Representative Robin Bartleman to help bring a vaccination program to Century Village Pembroke Pines. Currently, we are attempting to bring similar programs to Hillcrest, Hollybrook, and other large communities in District Six. Additionally, the city of Hollywood has established a similar program at Carriage Hills. We need to have a plan to reach residents who cannot make it out of their home to get vaccinated.
COVID-19 Testing
While not everyone who wants it can get a vaccine right now, we can all make sure to get regularly tested to ensure we are not spreading the COVID-19 virus. There is a rotation of constantly updating sites with plenty of tests and appointments available. Wait times are usually relatively short, and results are usually available within a day or two. It is imperative that residents quarantine and get tested if they come into contact with someone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. For more information on testing, click here.
Contact Us
Our District office is conveniently located in the lobby of the Hollywood Branch of the Broward County Public Library at 2600 Hollywood Blvd, next to Hollywood City Hall. However, during the COVID-19 crisis, it has been temporarily closed. My staff is working from our office in Fort Lauderdale and from other remote locations within our District.
The Fort Lauderdale office is open for your convenience Monday through Friday from 9AM to 5PM. If you would like to schedule an appointment, or you have a great idea, suggestion or an issue that needs my attention, feel free to call me at 954-357-7006/786-559-2306 or send me an email at
End of the Message
Frank DeRisi
President, On behalf of the HBCA Board.
 954 547 2828                          

Laugh time
r/CoronavirusWA - Don't be a Covidiot, Covid is no joke.
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Covid 19: Thanks Adrian!

Covid 19: Thanks Adrian!

Last Wednesday, January 20, 2021, Adrian Paredes, our Property Manager of Aquarius, shared the information that his brother Ivan Paredes manager of the Carriage Hills Condominium had obtained authorization from the Board of that Condo to give priority access to Aquarius residents to the COVID-19  vaccine. The registration was possible via a special HIPPA JOTFORM.

Many Aquarius residents were able to register and take the vaccine on Friday January 22. Unfortunately the number of shots was limited and not all willing to be vaccinated  were able to register. Let’s hope that the opportunities to get the vaccine in Florida are enhanced so all willing are able to do so.







A bit of enchantment

Maurice Jarre music composer.


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Aquarius Board Elections January 19, 2021

Aquarius Board Elections January 19th, 2021

This year we have 9 candidates for the Board of Aquarius. Here the list in alphabetic order. If you did not get the elections material the Management Office will provide a second set. Do not forget your important opportunity to participate.


-Paul Finfer, 702S  – 7 years Board intermittent member since 2004  *  ♦
-Bhagwan (Buck) Gupta, 804S – 5 years  Board member since 2016 *  ♦
-Stephen H. Koslow, Ph.D., 704N ♦
-Edward Olshanksy, 1608S
-Judith Ort, 1605N, 5 years Board member since 2016 *
-Victor Rocha, 1404N,  5 years Board member since 2016 *
-Linda Satz, 1108N, 6 years Board member since 2015 * ♦
-Nellie Simkim Zeltsman,  1805N
-Marina Zoob, 1502 N   

* Incumbent
♦ Full Time Aquarius Resident

Owners of Aquarius Units may vote for up to 5 candidates. Voting for more that 5 will void the vote. Proxy votes are allowed. Vote counting could be followed remotely on a Zoom Video and Audio Conferencing. The URL and telephone of the video and audio conference will be announced via email message. 

It is important to consider if non full time residents may offer the support, dedication, time and effort that Board Members that are full time residents may offer.

To survive heathy  democracy requires participation of all.


Laughing Matter


I used to call people, then I got into e-mailing, them texting, and now I just ignore everyone


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Covid 19 and Elevators Rides

Covid 19 and Elevators Rides

This note came in the mail. It is very relevant to share it. Some neighbors prefer to ride the elevators just by themselves. It costs just a few seconds. It is a healthy practice. Let’s do it.

Elevator Courtesy during Covid-19

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We all know how COVID-19 is serious and how it’s affecting the population in unbelievable numbers here in Florida.

We also know the average age here at the Aquarius is quite high and more at risk.

I have noticed some people are not respecting those who wish to ride the elevator alone in order to avoid exposure.

Any of us can be a non-symptomatic carrier. Waiting for the next elevator can save a neighbor’s life.

Therefore, I ask all to take the next ride if you see someone who asks to ride alone for the sake of their health and of their loved ones.

It’s worth it.

Thank you!

A concerned friend


Beauty time


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Aquarius Board of Directors Election – December 10th important date

Aquarius Board of Directors Election – December 10th important date.


Are you running for the Board of Directors 2021 term? December 10 is the last day to give written notice to the Association.

You may use certified mail, First Class Mail, personal delivery or other form. It must be written.

Remember that a democratic institution can only function with the active participation of its members.

Elections are held January 21st, 2021 but notice of intention to run must post by December 10th. 2020


Have a beautiful day:


Posted in Board of Directors, Governing Documents | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

YES, I do want hard floors in my hallway at Aquarius

Yes, I do want hard floors in my hallway at Aquarius  – almost 30 notes wish we had hard floors


Here are a few comments on the post “The Beautiful Floor of the Penthouse of Aquarius”  on the site.

I have not included the number of people that stop me at hallways to emphasize how much they strongly dislike the idea of going back to mold prone carpeting.  Carpeting promotes allergies, COPD, bronchitis and many other respiratory ailments. These health problems make you vulnerable to Coronavirus and many other health problems. Word of the Wise: Do not play games with Covid19.

The comments are posted from with the more recent ones last.

21 Written  Comments and counting, keep on reading and do not loose you hope. Tiles Now!⇓

If you wrote or called me and your name is not listed let me know

Stephen Koslow

“too bad we don’t all have that elegant flooring that we are all probably paying for.

Thanks for your continued updates and information. on issues.”

Stephen Koslow     #704 N

Bhagwan ‘Buck’ Gupta

“Cecilio! You should also report that it was a majority decision by the Board to have carpeting instead of tile for various reasons cited by different unit owners at the meeting. I stated my reasons in support of using tiles in the hallways, however the majority supporting carpeting prevailed.”

Bhagwan ‘Buck’ Gupta, BOD President (2016 – present)   #804 S

Simon Blonik

“Thank you for your comments/pictures.  We are for stone flooring.”
Simon Bolonik    #405N

Fran Katz says:

I agree- Carpet harbors dust, mold and dirt.

Fran Katz  #808 N

Nury Gupta

I agree with you with you 100%. From the very beginning of the renovation of the hallways, I always wanted tiles, but no one wanted to hear it. I had no choice but to give up trying.

Nury Gupta, Member of the Beautification Committee (2016-2018)    #805 S

John Youssef

With the first leak of a water heater the new carpet will be gone. Let’s have tiles.

John Youssef, President of the BOD 2015, #1106 N

Yvana F.B. Berndsen

I had lung cancer and I have a allergic rhinitis. Carpet is a problem for my health. I hope the Board of Directors of Aquarius installs the same floor cover that was installed in the elevator landing all over the hallways. It will be a blessing.

Yvana F. B. Berndsen, Member of the Beautification Committee 2016-2017, #1005N

Dennis Lantigua says:

It would be a shame to go back to carpet. And sound should not be an issue since there are not that many rooms per floor. And people have tiles in the rooms already. What is the difference if it is in the hallways as well. We have come this far and we should finish right.

Dennis Lantigua, # 1003S

George Ottoni

Dear Neighbors,

I have lived here in 1001-S for 9 years.  I would say once a year there is some water leaked coming from one of the 8 condos on my floor, making a puddle in the hallway.  A few years ago, the water heater broke across the hall and water came into my condo.  That’s a lot of water to do that.  It would still have happened if the hallway floors were tile, but there would be a long stretch of damaged carpeting in the hallway.

Plus, I have allergies, and welcome a hard surface over carpeting.  I also have a little dog, and she has never had an accident.  Still, I never walk her without some paper towels in my pocket in case of an accident.

Noise is not an issue.  I work from home and can’t hear a thing from the hallways all this time with the bare floors, except for the custodian vacuuming the hallway.

I thought the comment about the weight for our building was funny.  In that case, no one should ever fill up their bathtub when there’s a hurricane.  Can you imagine the weight of 100 bathtubs filled?  There is a generous safety margin designed in.  Just like elevator cables have a 17X safety margin.  So, don’t panic if someone overweight joins you in the elevator.

George Ottoni – #1001-S

Sylvia Fahrner

Yes, I prefer Tile Floors in the Hallways, it is the better alternative, it will save money in the long-term.

It looks beautiful and will not harbor Mold, Mildew and Dust!

Count me in!

Sylvia Fahrner, #1401 N

Sorgen Carole

Personally, I like the warmth and look of carpeting but in an old building such as ours with old pipes, the possibility of water leakage is probably more likely to happen than in a newer building. Therefore, it makes more sense to upgrade the hallways with tile.

Open to comments.

Sorgen Carole, # 1505 S

Scot Bennet

The carpet is beautiful, but tile is more pragmatic and will last longer and should not be as effected by traffic and tragedy.

Scot Bennett, CPA,  # 302 S

Gilbert Melloul

Yes, I do want hard floor on my hallways.

Gilbert Melloul  – #406 south

Lazlo Stern

(voice mail transcribed by iPhone IOS operating system, inaccuracies possible)

Hi Cecílio

This is Lazlo

Thank you very very much for you following this question on carpet and hard floor.

When I, at the Board meeting, asked the question Carole and the Board simply said the choice is because this is a money question. Carpet is cheaper.

This seems what governs decisions in this building. This is very unfortunate. I am very pleased you are following this. If It is possible, I vote for tiles.

Lazlo Stern, # 1106 S

Nathan Weinstein

I think it’s still possible to go with tile installation since the carpet hadn’t been installed.
I remember at the meeting Mr. Gupta said that tile had a slight price increase compare to carpet. I don’t remember that we voted and than it was announced that board decided to install carpet. All the data comparison is for the tile installation.
Hope the Board can revisit it’s decision and install the tile instead of carpet.

Nathan Weinstein, #807S

Alex Brik

Putting a carpet on the floor would just destroy the looks of our beautiful hallway. We want to raise value of our building, and tile really does the job. Also agree, a little leak from water heater or a/c and mold problems would be all over.

Alex Brik, # 401N

Lariza and Leonid Blyumin

From very beginning at all board and construction meetings we ask for tile installation and support it now. Sure our community will have only benefits from tile floor (include dog’s owner) Please “Board”reconsider Your decision. All our neighbors and friends demanded tiles. Lot of younger generation moved to building past few years and tiles will make life more healthy.

Larisa and Leonid Blyumin,  # 1103S.

Joseph Tejada

Yes to hard floors.

Joseph Tejada, #1706-S

Teresa Manchisi

I agree. Tiles are the best way to go.

Teresa Manchisi, # 307 S

Anna and Gregory Yalkut

YES,YES,and YES AGAIN to tiles floors!

Anna and Gregory Yalkut, # 1007S

A few people that told me they want tiles in the Aquarius Hallways:

Maya Brodsky, # 1106 N
Leonard Finkelberg, # 1602 N
Ilya Gonorovsky, #1201 N
Arkady Chase, #PH 05 N
Gerald (Jerry) Lento, 1004

Many others declare in favor of tiles. Since I am terrible with names I just list those I can remember.

Please read the other post where residents voice their opinion in favor of carpet. Please make your voice heard. We are making a serious investment. We should be prudent. There is a say that is very a propos:  “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  Some believe this is an Albert Einstein quote.


fun time:


Meanwhile in the tasting room: The aroma is of stress… A well-balanced taste of rage and panic… No doubt it is a Merlot 2020.

Posted in Construction & 40 Year Inspection, Hallways | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Aquarius: Carpet in the Hallways are good

Aquarius: Carpet in the Hallways are good  –  8 notes

Here the notes of residents that like carpet in the hallways of Aquarius: 

We have 8 notes that favor carpet in the Aquarius’ hallways. Here are their opinions: ⇓

Carole Pumpiam to Cecilio Berndsen

Each paragraph of the text Carole Pumpiam wrote has a comment, in red, I prepared in response (red):

Cecilio, I am happy that you are happy with your hard surface penthouse hallway floor. However, may I suggest that you do not disparage the carpet throughout the rest of the hallway floors.

Carpets are a sanitary problem. In time of pandemic, they are not to be used.

The decision and suggestion by both the designers and the industry state that carpet is the way to go for many reasons: one of the most important to remember is the sound amplification. Anyone living in the middle units can hear sound echoing throughout 24 hours.

It surprises me that after 4+ years of bare concrete in the hallways sound was never an issue. Funds had been provisioned by the Special Assessment 2017, but the project was kept dormant for a long time. During this period, I am not aware of complains regarding the sound in the hallways. I had been reassured by Board members that the Condominium would not go back for vulnerable and mold prone carpets.

Also, I hope that measures are being taken and noticed by the board for residents to train, hold, and manage their pets.

So, the Board will take measures, so the pets do not have accidents? I think this is to ask too much to the Board or to the pets. I see pet owners every day. It seems to me they are careful, and they follow the rules. Could they prevent accidents? In addition, I did not mention accidents with leaky trash bags being taken to the trash room. It is difficult to imagine anyone intentionally carrying a leaky trash bags, but you know sometimes trash bags leak. On drop is enough to ruin the carpet forever.

One topic that seems to be forgotten: Aquarius is on the beach. The beach has sand. It is hard to remove all the sand from the feet of beachgoers. Some sand will end up on the hallways carpet.

Warning to residents with hard surface hallways beware of slipping. We have many elderly residents and one slip or fall on the hard surface is no fun.

This statement has two problems. The Lobby Level floor with beautiful Italian marble has not had a slip and fall during the 48 years of our Aquarius, that I am aware of.

The second observation is that the junction between the tiles in the elevators landing and the carpet is a problem. In the past I am aware of people tripping on these junctions. In addition it is obstacle for a seamless traffic of apparatus with wheels such walkers. Tiles may be much safer than poor combination of carpet and tiles. 

And finally, our old building really is not built to withstand the weight of hard surface hallway floors. The penthouse floors were given leeway because of their proximity to the roof access….and I hope that he owners of the penthouse floors will help to maintain the new clean look.

I have visited inside many, many units at Aquarius. All of them had tiles installed. When we compare the surface area of the private residences with the hallways the area of the later is minimal. How come apartments with tiles (large area) are OK but hallways (small area) are a menace?

Carole Pumpiam, Chair Beatification Committee 2016-2018,  1107 N

Diane Benson

As someone whose apartment is on the 18th floor, I’m really angry that you chose tile for the penthouse floor. It will be NOISY when women wear heels clicking, clacking on our heads below. Did you even consider the idea that this flooring would DISTURB the tenants underneath?  Probably not. I, for one, am thoroughly disgusted that you didn’t even consider the inhabitants of the 18th floor and how they would feel about tile on their heads!  Probably not.

Diane Benson      #1802N



Thank you for your opinion.  

I have two observations: 
1. I did not participate in the decision to install tiles. Although the Hallways project had funds since December 2016 the Board decided to start this project in 2020. At that time – 2020 – I had no say in the business of the Aquarius Condominium. None. But I must confess that I applaud what they did in the penthouse.
2.The tiles installed in the penthouse have (or should have) a “Crack Isolation and Sound Membrane” underlayment. I believe this has been done because the Aquarius Condo Association Board of Directors determines that tiles installed inside the apartment must have such sound and crack protection. During 4 long years the penthouse had a floor of bare concrete. It had no isolation for soundproofing or any other protection. Now with the underlayment under the tiles the sound must have been significantly diminished.

Diane, I live on the 10th floor. I must confess that, during these 4 long years of bare concrete floor on the 11th floor, I never heard any sound coming from upstairs when people come in and out of their places of residence.

Cecílio-Augusto Berndsen, Board Member 2016-2018     #1005N

I don’t know if Phillip is in favor or against tiles, here is his note.

Phillip Cooper

The most significant oversight in my humble opinion was not the carpet but how the Association did not mandate all owners to replace those outdated shutters with hurricane windows. Seriously… 1970’s era accordion style junk shutters are going to keep this building safe from water and wind damage? That’s the big issue in my mind.

Phillip Cooper



Thank for your opinion. When I was on the Board (2016-2018) I put forward a proposal that all shutters should have an annual review and they should be replaced by impact windows if found faulty. The idea got a warm reception from Board members. I am not sure it was formally approved or if it is implemented. I agree that impact windows are the way to go.

Cecilio-Augusto Berndsen, Board Member 2016-2018, # 1005N

Emma Smith

We already voted for the carpet. Let’s stop this commotion.
We would like to see the end of hallways project.

Emma Smith, # 703 S

Larisa Mitnitsky

I do prefer carpeting  It is less sound softer and looks richer. I believe it was decided  already.

Larisa Mitnitsky, # 1506 S

Zina Bluband

Hi Cecilio,

As I was reading all discussions on the issue of hallways floor covering , there was a feeling of déjà vu. Last time this issue was discussed during the construction committee meeting on February 20, 2020. The record indicates that only penthouse floors will have tiled floors. The roof access for maintenance of building equipment is from the penthouse level and it will be difficult to preserve carpet from the oil stains. There were plenty of opportunities for residents to express concerns about carpet floors before today, including one during the presentation of hallways design by the interior decoration team. Unless we spend all these months in a state of deep freeze, the timing of renewed interest on this issue, when we are almost done with the project, is rather strange. As of today, I personally have no preference for the type of floor covering. There are pros and cons associated with any material. In addition, in Aquarius there are about 269 individual preferences based on prior life experiences or taste. I do however have one preference — I would like the hallway project to be completed ASAP. we had enough. And yes, I care about my money and how it is spent. Typically, the cost of tiled floors is more than the cost of carpeted floors because the tiles installation is labor intensive. It is my understanding we have ordered and purchased carpet already. What do you propose to do with it? There is also concern that change in floor material from the original represents the material alteration that has to be approved by the majority of membership (whatever this majority might be), thus delaying the project completion.

There is always the right time for everything and as far as the floor covering selection goes, this time was almost a year ago, not now. Ship called “floor covering” has sailed.

Best regards,
Zina Bluband, # 902 N



I appreciate your hard work on the Construction Committee. When I asked you why have you suspended the CC meetings on the Aquarius hallways project you told me that this project was not construction. Now you mention that the CC had decided or recommended carpet and no tiles. It is curious.

The recent discussion on the floor of our hallways may have been triggered by a few important issues: The beauty of the penthouse floor. The pandemic of Covid19 and the fear that the allergens harbored by carpet that may be a serious threat.

Least but not least does not surprise you that so many people feel that tiles are the way to go? It may be that the discussions you allude to have not been as ample and as deep as desired. I was an assiduous assistant of the CC. I do not recall any discussion on the hallways project. Maybe I missed all of them.

It is better to spend a couple of months and do the right thing than to have to replace smelly, fat, mold contaminated carpet in a short period. Or even worse: to live with the terrible frayed, stained carpet like we have before.

With Gratitude

Cecilio-Augusto Berndsen, # 1005N

Eugenia Aulov-Volchek 

Dear Aquarius unit owners who expressing a desire to have tiled hallways,
I would like to ask where have you been up to now? Is now the right time for expressing your wishes and concerns about sand and dirt on the carpet, about accidental issues with your dogs, etc.? All of you have seen the Hallway project presentation either in person or by email and all of you have been satisfied. Now, in the last stage of the hallway renovation, when everything is done except for the carpet, when the carpet is ordered, made according to design and paid for, when almost all money allocated to this project have been spent and the credit line is almost used-up, when you are facing a new upcoming assessment, you saw the tiles on the penthouse floors and liked to put them in all our hallways.
This is the strangest and unthinkable discussion. Have you ever been in the most prestige and high class condominiums? Have you ever seen tiles in the hallways there? Tiles on penthouse floors in Aquarius was a necessity. Tile in the hallways of condominiums almost never used for many reasons. I have researched the Internet on this issue. Below is what I found:

“Classification of Noise Control in Residential properties:
Minimum Quality: Normal Apartments, Nursing Homes, Hospitals
Medium Quality : Good Apartments, Normal Condominiums
High Quality : High Quality Condominiums
Our Condominium falls into the high-quality category and our unit owners are particularly sensitive to footfall noise which may occur relatively frequently. Floor coverings play a very important role in expected level of insulation.
It is relatively easy to achieve high impact insulation class ratings by using carpet and pad. Medium quality ratings are achievable with a vinyl floor surface on a 1/2 inch rubber mat. When hard surface materials such as quarry tile, marble, or hardwood floors are installed, low impact ratings are obtained. This rating can be improved by using relatively thick (1 inch) isolating underlayerments.
Therefore, carpet is the floor treatment most recommended by designers because of the amount of foot traffic a hallway gets on any given day. In hallways of condominiums, it is very typical to see commercial grade wall-to-wall carpeting used on much of the floors space. Carpeting wall-to-wall makes the area look more expansive. Plus, since sound bounces like crazy on a floor, it’s great for soundproofing which residents really appreciate. Additionally, there is just a “homely” feeling that is unmatched by laminate or tile.
In the past decade, floor covering quality and design have come a long way. In public spaces such as corridors, wall-to-wall carpet is best used. It is more comfortable than hard surface and it reduces noise levels. Commercial carpeting can last 15 years or more with proper care. Commercial carpet is made from synthetics or synthetic/natural blend wool fibers. Synthetics can absorb oil and stains quicker than wool blend. However, nylon can easily be cleaned and stays looking newer longer, thus making it a great choice for commercial carpeting.”

Do you want to spend money for ordering tiles for all 28 hallways in both buildings and 1 inch thick underlayerments for proper noise insulation? Do you want to throw money already spent on the carpet and contract with the contractor down the drain? Dear unit owner, please come to your senses. Dear Cecilio, why do you continue collecting opinions?

As Zina Bluband said: “Ship called “floor covering” has sailed”. It is already in ocean waters and will return with the Hallway project completed.

Albert Volchek 

I express other important reasons for having carpet in the hallways: water leaks and slippery.
The carpet soaks up the water, the water from the tiles would run into the apartments. The tiles, especially wet, become very slippery. Accidents, falls and injuries on hard surfaces create huge liability for condominium and unit owners.
In addition, Aquarius Board decisions reflect wishes of all unit owners. Therefore, collection of few opinions later on, must not affect it, especially if it comes to spending significant amount of money.

Please check the residents’ notes that favor porcelain tiles in the hallways of Aquarius. Click here.


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Posted in Construction & 40 Year Inspection, Hallways | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments
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