Maloney: SCOTUS pick an attack on Roe v. Wade

July12 kavanagh rally maloney

Congress Member Maloney with pro-choice advocates protests the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, despite a small counter-protest. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney joined other local elected officials and pro-choice advocates on Tuesday to oppose the nomination of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

The politicians and advocates gathered in Foley Square across from the New York State Supreme Court and the focus of the rally was the possibility that Roe vs. Wade could be overturned when a new justice is confirmed, which drew two counter-protesters responding to advocates’ call to keep abortion legal.

The small but vocal group didn’t noticeably identify with any particular group but the pair, a man and woman, delayed the start of Maloney’s rally with calls of “Keep abortion legal? No!” and “Put them up for adoption!”

The protesters also made it clear that they vehemently dislike President Trump, although they agree with him on this point. Anti-choice group Created Equal had sent out a call to lobby senators to confirm Kavanaugh at rallies to be held in Washington next week, although the protesters at Maloney’s rally did not specify if they affiliated with that or any other group.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Where to go swimming in Manhattan

july28 waterside-pool

The pool at Waterside Plaza

By Sabina Mollot

While the scorching heat wave that baked the Big Apple for over a week has finally come to a close, the summer has still just begun. Fortunately, there are still opportunities to cool off without traveling far since the borough of Manhattan is not without the man-made oases of swimming pools. Read on for a few local options.

Waterside Health & Swim Club, 35 Waterside Plaza

The heated pool at Waterside Plaza is open to non-residents as well as residents through either a membership to the adjoining health club or a day pass. The gym, with its glass walls and high ceiling (and retractable roof), offers views of the East River and Brooklyn skyline.

A day pass is $20 for adults, $10 for children. Current membership is $655 for an adult or $66 a month, a family membership for 3-5 people is $1,425 for a year or $130 per month, and a full-time student membership is $545 for year or $55 for month. Memberships also include fitness classes and access to a sundeck. For more information, call 212-340-4224 or visit gowaterside.com/healthclub/indoor-pool. 

Continue reading

Brookfield in talks to invest in Waterside Plaza

sept12-waterside1

Waterside Plaza (Photo courtesy of Waterside Plaza)

By Sabina Mollot

Richard Ravitch is looking to find an equity partner for has Waterside Plaza apartment complex on the East River.

City Council Member Keith Powers, whose constituency includes the 1,470-unit former Mitchell Lama complex, said ownership is in “early stage talks” with potential investors, including real estate industry giant Brookfield.

“We know in the short-term it’s to have equity,” said Powers, who made the comments after Bloomberg reported Ravitch was looking to sell Waterside Plaza for up to $600 million.

Powers told Town & Village he spoke with management of the complex after the Bloomberg report surfaced.

Continue reading

July 4th celebrated at Waterside

yellow bursts

Waterside residents gather outside for a closeup view of the fireworks. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Last week’s holiday came at the end of a heatwave that threatened a downpour, but the occasional raindrops didn’t dampen the lively party at Waterside Plaza for the July 4th holiday last Wednesday.

As always, after the sunset, hundreds if not thousands of people headed outside for a front-row seat to the Macy’s fireworks display.

In the hours leading up to the show, residents as well as local elected officials shared hot dogs and hamburgers on the plaza. Local politicians in attendance were reflective on the American experience, particularly of immigrants, because of the recent changes in immigration policy that resulted in children being separated from their parents at the country’s southern border.

Continue reading

Letters to the editor, July 12

July12 Toon Liberty

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Upsets at polls not earth shattering

Steven Sanders in his “Politics & Tidbits” column of July 5 could be completely correct that the results of the primary elections for two New York City congressional seats last month “carry (anti-establishment) messages and meanings. And politicians ignore those messages at their peril.”

On the other hand, primary elections often have extremely low voter turnout – which included those two elections cited by Sanders (the defeat of Joseph Crowley and the strong showing in a losing cause against Carolyn Maloney) – and are far from representative of the electorate. Well-organized and financed outsiders often do well in primary elections when 80 to 90 percent of the electorate stays home. In a general election, usually 60 to 70 percent of the electorate votes.

New York City political history is filled with stunning upsets in primary elections due to low turnout. Those upsets proved to have no carryover to any political trends locally or nationally. In 1970, our local member of Congress Representative Leonard Farbstein lost in the primary to Bella Abzug.

Continue reading

Police Watch: Man arrested for assaulting women, Break-in at Limelight gym

HOMELESS MAN CHARGED WITH ASSAULTING THREE WOMEN
Police arrested a 23-year-old homeless man for allegedly attacking multiple women in the East Village and Gramercy last weekend, The New York Post reported on Sunday.
Carlos Munoz reportedly cut off a 20-year-old woman while riding his bike on East 11th Street near Second Avenue around 11:15 p.m. on Saturday, July 7 and allegedly shoved her to the ground.
Police said that he later hit an 18-year-old woman in the face with a bike lock, knocking one of her teeth out, around midnight at Third Avenue and East 15th Street.
Shortly after, he allegedly hit a 20-year-old woman in the back of the head with the bike lock near East 14th Street and Second Avenue. Police said that the third victim’s friends followed the man who attacked her and Munoz was arrested around midnight, although it was unclear where exactly the arrest took place. Munoz was charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

MAN CHARGED WITH BREAKING INTO LIMELIGHT GYM
Police arrested 22-year-old Efrain Ramos for an alleged burglary inside 656 Sixth Avenue on Monday, July 2 at 5:18 a.m.
A woman told police that she was opening Limelight Fitness at the location when she noticed that the chain and padlock to the front door were unlocked and not attached to the handle. She said that she called her boss, who called police to the scene, and when they entered the building, they allegedly found that Ramos was allegedly inside. Police said that Ramos had items belonging to the gym in his pocket, including packages of protein cookies that he had allegedly taken from the gym. Ramos was also charged with possession of stolen property.

Continue reading

Woman found dead in trash compactor at Zeckendorf Towers

zeckendorftowers

Zeckendorf Towers at One Irving Place

By Sabina Mollot

A woman was found dead on Tuesday evening inside of a trash compactor at Zeckendorf Towers.

Police said that the woman, whose name has not been released but was 48 years old, was discovered at 5 p.m. (Update: She has been identified as Lara Prychenko.) She was pronounced dead at the condo building, which is located at 1 Irving Place and overlooks Union Square.

The woman was seen on surveillance footage entering her building shortly before she was found, according to a source cited by Pix11.

A police spokesperson said she didn’t have any additional information about the condition of the woman’s body or if the case is being investigated as a homicide.

Update: Police said the incident at this time appears to be an accident or a suicide.

An employee at the building’s front desk hung up on a reporter when called for comment.

Rat complaints are on the rise in NYC

East Villagers made 275 rat related complaints to 311 last year.

By Sabina Mollot

New York City’s rat population has grown in recent years, making their numbers roughly the same as 20 percent of the human population here. And as they’ve increased, so have complaints about the critters, by 10 percent, from 2016 to last year.

But their numbers (250,000 to millions in 2017) also vary by neighborhood, or rather complaints to 311 about the aforementioned rodents do.

RentHop, an apartments listings website that has tracked neighborhood rates of things like dog poop offenses and lack of heat in buildings, has, last month, released a study showing which neighborhoods have the most rats.

Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn as well as Harlem and the Upper East Side in Manhattan were the top three in terms of complaints last year, with 1,265, 865 and 731 respectively.

Continue reading

Citi Bike to expand before L shutdown

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Citi Bike will be increasing the number of bikes and docking points, as well as the number of valet stations, around transit points near 14th Street starting next spring to help mitigate the L train shutdown.

The plan, announced by the mayor’s office last Thursday, will add 1,250 bikes and 2,500 new docking points to the network to increase coverage in some of the city’s busiest neighborhoods for the bikeshare and added valet stations will increase service during peak hours. The process of offering denser coverage, known as “infill,” will involve enlarging current Citi Bike stations as well as the addition of new docking stations.

The 10 percent expansion of service will begin in Manhattan for the first stage of its plan, focusing on the neighborhoods from Canal to 59th Streets, a DOT spokesperson told Town & Village. Specific locations for the new docks have not yet been announced.

Valet stations are docking points near transit hubs in Midtown and Lower Manhattan that are staffed by Citi Bike employees who can corral extra bikes during peak hours when docks fill up and empty quickly and the bikeshare is planning to add up to 10 new valet stations in preparation for the shutdown.

Continue reading

Bill aims to help city’s smallest businesses

July5 small biz rally gjonaj

Council Member Mark Gjonaj, the bill’s sponsor, with small business advocates, including one in a carrot costume (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The City Council’s Small Business Committee chair introduced legislation aiming to protect the smallest small businesses in the city during a rally at City Hall last Thursday.

Council Member Mark Gjonaj, a representative from the Bronx, said that his legislation is seeking to get the city to do more to support businesses with fewer than 10 employees by identifying those businesses and developing programs to help them stay in business.

The legislation would also require the city’s Department of Small Business Services to conduct an annual survey to identify those micro-businesses and help them stay open.

According to data from Gjonaj’s office, businesses with fewer than 10 employees account for 80 percent of all jobs created in the city.

Continue reading

Construction worker injured in fall at Asser Levy Center

July12 Asser Levy rescue

Rescue in progress at Asser Levy Center

By Sabina Mollot

A construction worker was injured after falling at the Asser Levy Recreation Center on Thursday morning and taken to Bellevue Hospital.

The fall happened at about 8:30 a.m. and The Department of Buildings later issued a partial stop work order at the site.

Notes in the stop work order said the worker fell two stories from the roof to the sidewalk, sustaining “moderate injuries,” citing an Office of Emergency Management report. However, a spokesperson for the DOB told Town & Village the fall was from a second level of a supported scaffold to the base of the scaffold. A complaint entered on the DOB site said the worker fell 10-15 feet and had pain in his shoulder and was unable to move.

A spokesperson for the department said the workers were doing minor façade repairs, which don’t require a permit.

Continue reading

Cops say pair dropped gun into straphanger’s bag

July12 Gun suspects

Suspects sought for grand larceny

By Sabina Mollot

Police are on the lookout for a pair of teenagers who a fellow straphanger said suddenly stashed a gun into his backpack and then tried to steal his bag to get it back.

On Wednesday, June 27 at about 8:30 p.m., the victim, a 33-year-old man, was walking along the L train platform at the Union Square subway station when he felt something drop into his backpack.

When the victim checked his bag as he walked up the stairs, he found the gun inside. At that point, two men, described as being about 18 years old, suddenly appeared and forcibly tried to take his backpack before they fled on a Brooklyn-bound L train. However, the victim was able to keep his bag and brought the weapon to police.

One of the suspects is described as being black, about six feet tall, 170 lbs. and was wearing a black sweatshirt, black pants and black shoes. The second suspect is described as Hispanic with a light complexion, 5 ft. 8 ins., and 150 lbs. He was wearing a white t-shirt, gray sweatpants and gray shoes. Photos of the two men were recovered from MTA surveillance footage.

Continue reading

L train lawsuit partially settled

Apr5 14th St coalition Schwartz Prentiss

Arthur Z. Schwartz discusses the litigation at an April press conference. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

In April, Arthur Z. Schwartz, an attorney for Advocates for Justice, filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the L train shutdown planned for 2019. The litigation, filed on behalf of a coalition of West Side residents living on or near 14th Street and disability advocacy groups, was over the lack of access for disabled passengers in the plan to upgrade various stations along the L train route.

The lawsuit is also over area residents’ concerns about traffic congestion, due to a planned “busway” on 14th Street and expanded sidewalks causing traffic to be congested on surrounding streets. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Department of Transportation and the Federal Transportation Authority were named as defendants.

However, Schwartz, who’s also a Greenwich Village Democratic district leader, announced late last month that the suit was partially settled with the MTA proposing to make the Sixth Avenue station accessible to the disabled. Previously only two stations included in the renovation plan (Bedford Avenue and First Avenue) were slated to become compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In exchange, the part of the lawsuit alleging disregard for disabled New Yorkers has been dropped. This was first reported by The Villager.

Continue reading

Flats Fix manager cheers former bartender’s primary win

July5 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

By Sabina Mollot

Last Tuesday night, it was the headline read around the world. A 28-year-old woman from the Bronx, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, bested a veteran Congress member and Queens Democratic Party boss Joe Crowley, in the Democratic Primary.

The primary victor has remained immersed in the news cycle since — in this case because before running for office, Ocasio-Cortez served drinks at a Union Square taco bar called Flats Fix.

On Monday afternoon, we called the business to ask employees for their thoughts on their former coworker. When reached on the phone, manager Ralph Milite couldn’t say enough good things about her.

“She’s a great person. I’m so happy for her,” said Milite. “She’s very deserving.”

Continue reading

Campos Plaza TA president says developers have improved NYCHA

July5 Campos Dereese courtyard

DeReese Huff, president of the Campos Plaza 1 Tenants Association, says since the city formed partnerships with developers at certain NYCHA properties, repairs have been getting made and residents feel safer. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Last week, the mayor touted a pilot program in which the city partnered with private developers to improve conditions of NYCHA buildings, which, in recent months, have only drawn headlines highlighting the city’s lack of ability to deal with the crumbling buildings, freezing apartments and even lead paint.

However, based on the results of a study conducted by Citizens Housing & Planning Council, a nonprofit research group that investigates housing policy in New York City, the program that transferred management of six Section 8 properties, including Campos Plaza 1 on East 12th Street and Avenue C, to a public-private partnership has been successful in transforming the neglected buildings. Repairs are being conducted far more swiftly, upgrades have been getting made and residents have reported feeling safer.

While announcing a $400 million expansion to the program for 21 buildings, Mayor Bill de Blasio stated that the results at Campos and other participating properties were “the shape of things to come” at NYCHA. The mayor spoke alongside the president of the tenants association at NYCHA’s Campos Plaza 1, DeReese Huff.

“Everything is updated,” the mayor said. “It’s a place people can be very proud of. It’s a place that now has a strong foundation and whenever there is a need for repair, those repairs are being made quickly to keep it strong. That is the beauty of this model.”

Continue reading