Elderly man fatally struck by ambulance at 14th St. and Second Ave.



Accident1 cropped

A man was hit by this ambulance as it turned left onto East 14th Street. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

An 81-year-old man died after being hit by an ambulance on Monday afternoon as he crossed the street at the 14th Street and Second Avenue intersection.

According to police, the man, who was later identified as Gen Zhan, a resident of East 29th Street, was crossing as the ambulance was on Second Avenue, making a left turn onto 14th. 

Zhan suffered severe body trauma after being hit and was taken to Bellevue, but doctors were unable to save him.

Later at the scene the ambulance’s emergency lights were still flashing although police didn’t have information on whether there had been a patient inside at the time of the accident.

One emergency responder said Zhan had actually gone against the light and hit the side of the ambulance, a blind spot, after it turned. He then fell back and hit his head. A police spokesperson said she didn’t have any information on whether he was going against the light. However, she said he had tried to run across the street, but didn’t make it and was hit while on the crosswalk.

Around two dozen cops and FDNY emergency officials responded to the scene and part of the intersection was closed to traffic for the remainder of the afternoon.

A rep for police said the matter was still under investigation, but no criminality was suspected. The ambulance driver, 22, remained at the scene. The case is being handled by the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad.

Zhan was a resident of Renwick Gardens, an apartment complex for seniors in Kips Bay.




Medicaid office at Bellevue closed

By Sabina Mollot

A Town & Village reader alerted us last week to some outdated information online with regards to Medicaid services that ended up causing her to go to the wrong address for help on one of the summer’s hottest days.

The reader, a Stuy Town resident, said she’d read online that the most nearby Medicaid office was at 462 First Avenue inside Bellevue Hospital. But when she got there, she was informed that the location had been closed for two years.

“Not two days, not two weeks, two years,” she said. She was then redirected to the Medicaid office at 115 Chrystie Street on the border of Chinatown and the Lower East Side.

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Get to know your native plants, one streetside planter at a time

Boy Scout Baird Johnson, Epiphany Church custodian Fidel Rivera, and Solar One employees Diana Grueberg, Stuyvesant Cove Park gardener, and Liza Mindemann, park manager

Boy Scout Baird Johnson, Epiphany Church custodian Fidel Rivera, and Solar One employees Diana Grueberg, Stuyvesant Cove Park gardener, and Liza Mindemann, park manager

By Liza Mindemann, Stuyvesant Cove Park manager

In an effort to add some green to Second Avenue, Stuyvesant Cove Park, which is managed by Solar One, recently partnered with Epiphany Church to fill unclaimed street planters at the corner of Second Ave and 22nd Street.

Stuy Cove supplied the plants, carefully dug and potted by community volunteers from areas where the park’s plants were spreading too aggressively, while the church offered to take over the maintenance and watering of the planters going forward. The two parties jointly organized a volunteer event around planting day and with the help of Baird Johnson, a volunteer and also a member of the Boy Scouts, the soil in the planters was replenished with compost from Stuy Cove and filled with an array of native plants, curated to bloom throughout the season.

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ST mayoral candidate focused on charters, affordable housing

Stuyvesant Town resident Joshua Thompson, formerly an employee of the Cory Booker administration in Newark, New Jersey, recently ditched a City Council campaign to run for mayor instead. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Stuyvesant Town resident Joshua Thompson, formerly an employee of the Cory Booker administration in Newark, New Jersey, recently ditched a City Council campaign to run for mayor instead. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Back in February, Town & Village interviewed the first person to officially become a candidate for the City Council seat currently occupied by a term-limited Dan Garodnick. That individual was Joshua Thompson, a resident of Stuyvesant Town who previously worked for then-mayor Cory Booker in Newark, New Jersey as well as for the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut. His platform, he admitted, was still in the works, but he considered education and affordable housing priorities. Then, in May, as T&V first reported, Thompson dropped out of the race, because he was running for mayor instead.

On a recent afternoon, Thompson met with a reporter to discuss his campaign and his surprising decision to run against an incumbent mayor (albeit an embattled one), as an unknown in the world of New York politics.

Asked if running for mayor was the plan from the beginning, Thompson said no. He’d been interested in running for the Council but later felt he wanted to help more under-served communities than those in the 4th District (which runs in a crooked, gerrymandered way from Stuyvesant Town to 96th Street along the East Side of Manhattan).

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Stuy Town’s sports tent won’t return next year

Management cites environmental reasons, but will partner with PSLL on alternate practice location

The sports tent at Playground 11 a.ka. The Courts at Stuy Town (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

The sports tent at Playground 11 a.ka. The Courts at Stuy Town (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Courts at Stuy Town, the name given to the tented basketball courts open during colder months at Playground 11, will not be returning this coming winter. ST/PCV General Manager Rick Hayduk made the announcement in an emailed newsletter last Wednesday, noting that analysis showed that “the actual usage of the basketball courts did not contribute to the overall quality of life” for residents.

The newsletter noted that the decision not to bring back The Courts after just two seasons was because of environmental factors, but Hayduk clarified that this explanation had two meanings. The first related to Stuy Town’s “Good Neighbors” campaign aimed at reducing noise and other complaints related to quality of life.

“This was almost a three story tent and we got a lot of complaints about that,” Hayduk said.

STPCV Tenants Association president Susan Steinberg said that the TA also received a number of noise complaints about The Courts when they were open.

“From the perspective of tenants who were unhappy, we’re pleased for them,” Steinberg said on the decision to not reopen the tent. “We agree it’s an environmental issue in terms of noise. There were too many tenants around the tents who were suffering.”

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Letters to the Editor, Aug. 25

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

T&V letter could give sick people ideas

Dear Ms. Mollot,

In response to your July 21 issue letter to the editor regarding squirrels (“Bushy tailed beasts have taken over” by William Kelly), and with all due respect to freedom of speech, I can’t believe you printed this letter. I’m hoping he had nothing better to do and was just kidding, although it wasn’t such a funny letter if so.

To put such vicious actions into the minds of our children — and yes even adults — living in and enjoying our beautiful oasis is insane.

First of all there are strict rules on the books in New York City regarding animal cruelty — with serious fines and jail consequences.

But, additionally, can you visualize children, teens and adults walking around with bats and killing these living creatures on our property?

I’m sending a copy of Mr. Kelly’s letter to: the mayor, the ASPCA, Bideawee and the Humane Society of the USA in Washington, DC. I am sure that the 13th Precinct is already aware of this. In short, Mr. Kelly needs to be watched very carefully and taken very seriously!

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Police Watch: Terrorist threat to Bellevue, Heroin deal at First and East 14th

Police arrested 63-year-old Laron Vinson last Friday morning after he allegedly threatened to “blow up” Bellevue Hospital. Vinson called Bellevue Hospital on Wednesday, August 3 inquiring about his missing property. An employee informed him that his case was closed due to lack of evidence and Vinson allegedly became enraged, stating, “This is why people get shot, because property is stolen. I am coming tomorrow. I am going to blow the place up.” Vinson was charged with making a terrorist threat, aggravated harassment and harassment.

Sixty-year-old Mark Serrano was arrested for possession of a controlled substance at the corner of First Avenue and East 14th Street last Saturday at 1 p.m. Serrano was seen allegedly making a hand to hand transaction exchanging a quantity of heroin for cash with another person who fled on foot. Police said that Serrano was found in possession of cash, heroin and a gravity knife, and he was also charged with possession of a weapon.

Police arrested 25-year-old Christopher Burns for possession of a controlled substance in front of 25 East 15th Street last Tuesday at 6:40 a.m. Police said that Burns was injecting heroin into his left forearm and was also in possession of several decks of alleged heroin.

Police arrested 36-year-old Daniel Hernandez for petit larceny inside 10 Union Square East, home to the Food Emporium, last Monday at 1:29 p.m. Police said that Hernandez took 50 containers of Haagen Daz ice cream from the freezer and put them into his book bag. He then allegedly attempted to leave the store without paying for any of them.

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Opinion: Winning at any cost

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

There are things said in the heat of a political campaign battle that you shrug off. There are other things which are said that can be taken as hyperbole. But Donald Trump twice crossed a line last week that is both dangerous and distorted and entirely unprecedented in modern American political campaigns.

First Trump claimed (incorrectly) that Hillary Clinton wishes to abolish the Second Amendment which provides protection for gun ownership. He then went on to say that if Clinton is elected president and appointed justices to the Supreme Court who concur in her point of view, the Second Amendment would be done away with “and there will be nothing that you can do about that, but maybe the Second Amendment people can… I dunno.”

This “joke” about people who possess weapons “doing something about it” can surely be interpreted and processed by sick minds as a call to take action against Hillary Clinton to preserve the Second Amendment and their guns. The Trump people say that their candidate was only talking about voting. But the candidate did not actually say that but rather implied something much differently. Responsible and mature people don’t even joke about things like that. We have witnessed too many mentally disturbed people taking cues to commit violence and we have seen too many American politicians slain in our own lifetimes to be so cavalier about that. Oh and by the way, a president cannot repeal the Second Amendment. That can only happen with a 2/3 majority vote in both houses, the House of Representatives and the Senate, and then the approval by at least three quarters of the individual states. But details, details, details.

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Shake Shack gives away burgers to promote 100th location

The line before 10 a.m. on Tuesday at Madison Square Park (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

The line before 10 a.m. on Tuesday at Madison Square Park (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Tuesday, Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack empire offered free ShackBurgers to customers at the restaurant’s various locations in celebration of the opening of the 100th Shack at the Boston Seaport. However customers were warned to come early as only the first 100 burgers would be free.

So, by 9:55 a.m., at the original Shake Shack at Madison Square Park, the line had already snaked around the park’s south end to over 50 people long, each individual clutching a flier advertising the promotion. The shack wouldn’t open until 10:30. Meanwhile by 12:45 p.m., the line was still about as long, which is a typical lunchtime line the shack, the promotion having ended.

The Shake Shack, which is now a publicly traded company, started as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park to support the park’s first art installation, “I (Heart) Taxi.” It officially became the shack in 2004 when the Union Square Hospitality Group won a bid to open a permanent kiosk in the park.

The company has since opened locations in 15 states and the District of Columbia as well as overseas, including in London, Tokyo, Moscow and Dubai.

Whole Health holds dog adoption event

Guests at the adoption event (Photos by Maya Rader)

Guests at the adoption event (Photos by Maya Rader)

By Maya Rader

Whole Health Veterinary Hospital usually isn’t open on Sundays, but on Sunday, July 24, it unlocked its doors from 1-4 p.m. for a dog adoption event.

The event at the First Avenue health clinic was facilitated by Waggytail Rescue, an organization that finds homes for dogs (and occasionally cats) in need.

Throughout the day, people came to the clinic to visit the rescued dogs available for adoption. If someone wanted to adopt, they filled out an application and then left for a couple hours to think about their decision. If adopting seemed like too big of a commitment, they also had the option of fostering instead.

One person who became a foster parent at the event was David Chambers, who explained, “I can’t have a dog because I work too much.” Another fosterer, Yasmin Fodil, explained, “I wanted to adopt a dog and thought (fostering) was a good first step.”

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Canines who care: Therapy dogs from PCV fixtures at local hospitals

Christy Brown at home with Lacey and Rudy (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Christy Brown at home with Lacey and Rudy (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

In Town & Village’s first ever Dog Days of Summer issue four years ago, we profiled the dog therapy duo Christy Brown and her Maltese pooch Lacey, who together brightened the days of patients undergoing treatment at the Hospital for Joint Diseases.

Recently, however, team Brown became a power pooch trio thanks to the addition of another Maltese, Rudy — and he’s actually developed a following of people who request to see him.

“It’s a very rewarding experience,” said Brown, a resident of Peter Cooper Village. “Patients look forward to seeing the dogs.”

Thanks to both dogs being pint-sized (Lacey’s six and a half pounds while Rudy’s four and a half) even patients who’ve recently undergone surgery can hold and enjoy them.

The holding and petting is important in dog therapy, which, Brown noted, can help to alleviate conditions such as high blood pressure, depression, anxiety and even pain.

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MCIs for façade work at Peter Cooper buildings approved

Susan Steinberg

ST-PCV Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg, pictured at a Rent Guidelines Board hearing in June, describes the ways stabilized rents are legally padded until they’re unaffordable. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

The state housing agency has approved major capital improvement rent increases (MCIs) for four buildings in Peter Cooper Village that underwent exterior restoration work — and more are expected to be approved.

The Tenants Association warned neighbors about the approvals of the MCIs, previously referred to by TA President Susan Steinberg as CWCapital’s “goodbye present,” in an email blast on Sunday.

As of July, the association had heard about the MCIs being filed for 19 different buildings in Peter Cooper and Stuyvesant Town. The cost varies at different addresses, from about $1.15 to $3 per room per month.

Reached on Monday, Steinberg said the association, which did challenge the MCIs, will continue to do so.

“There are a variety of reasons,” said Steinberg. “In a couple of instances, it was past the two-year window when it should have been submitted. There was some question whether Sandy insurance money had been used for some of the work. So we are not letting it go.”

Some of the MCIs were requested as far back as August of 2014.

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Cheryl Krist with her husband Joseph and disability dog Bocci, pictured at a Dog Days event in Stuyvesant Town in April Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Cheryl Krist with her husband Joseph and disability dog Bocci, pictured at a Dog Days event in Stuyvesant Town in April (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

For Stuyvesant Town resident Cheryl Krist, having a dog has literally been a lifesaver. She got her disability dog, Bocci, eight years ago, in response to a neurological condition that causes her to get tremors. The shaking, which can happen any time, make her unsteady on her feet so she walks with the aid of a cane.

While Krist said the 40-pound brittany pooch has protected her more than once, one major incident was when he saved her from being hit by a car. This was a year and a half ago on a rural road in Pennsylvania, where Krist owns a home.

She had been walking along a road where there were a lot of ferns on one side, and because of all the plants she didn’t notice that there was also a wild turkey inside. As she walked past, the turkey, apparently startled, flew up towards Krist.

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Dog poop complaints decline in ST: study

A dog waste bag dispenser at a Stuyvesant Town playground during a Dog Days event (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

A dog waste bag dispenser at a Stuyvesant Town playground during a Dog Days event (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A new study from apartment listing company RentHop has found that Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village residents have seemingly become much more diligent in their pooper scooper duties in the last five years. The company examined the number of 311 complaints submitted about dog waste on the sidewalk and found that the neighborhood had seven complaints in 2010 alone but only one in every year since then except 2015, in which there were zero. RentHop data scientist Shane Leese said that the numbers for the neighborhood are lower than most of the other areas around it.

Although Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village and the surrounding neighborhoods saw big decreases in the number of complaints, other Manhattan neighborhoods saw increases, as high as 180 percent on the Upper West Side.

Leese said that both Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village and the Flatiron neighborhood have had decreases in the number of complaints this year, with the decrease in Flatiron being the most significant: last year there were 10 complaints and this year there have been two, for an decrease of 80 percent. The Gramercy neighborhood is doing less well with five complaints so far this year, a 400 percent increase from last year when there was only one complaint in the same period.

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Mayor, pols ask for $1.9B in Zika funding

Aug18 Mayor Maloney Kavanagh

Mayor de Blasio holding a letter to the leaders of the Congress and U.S. Senate, with State Senator Adriano Espaillat, Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Health Commissioner Mary Travis Bassett at the city’s public health lab (Photo by Sabina Mollot)


By Sabina Mollot

As the threat of the Zika virus spreads, Mayor Bill de Blasio and other elected officials called on Congress on Tuesday to authorize $1.9 billion in funding for research and prevention efforts.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who was at the announcement with the mayor at the city’s public health lab in Bedpan Alley, said the problem was that Congress, specifically Republicans, were only willing to fund $1.1 billion. In February, President Obama had asked for Congress to allocate $1.9 billion.

Additionally, Maloney said, the debate in the house over funding has led to Republicans including a rider that would ban funding to Planned Parenthood, limiting access to abortions and contraceptives to women here and abroad. Meanwhile, Zika, Maloney argued, is known to cause serious birth defects so New York City’s health department has been actively advising safe sex for people traveling to Zika-impacting areas.

“They added a poison pill,” said Maloney, who argued that the immediate health threat posed by Zika shouldn’t be turned into “ideological crusades.”

With Congress deadlocked on the issue, money to fund Zika efforts has been taken from other existing health initiatives, including $589 million in Ebola funding. “They’re stealing from Peter to pay Paul and it’s not a good way to solve a crisis,” Maloney said.

De Blasio noted how the city had launched a $21 million Zika offensive effort in April that includes the spraying of larvacide in different areas and outreach to warn people, especially those who travel to impacted regions, about the disease which has at last official count infected 530 New York State residents. Of those, 438 are city residents. The latter figure includes 49 pregnant women, with all of the cases being travel related except four that were sexually transmitted. One baby in New York City has been born with microcephaly, a severe birth defect caused by Zika that causes the baby to be born with a small head, a sloped back forehead and mental challenges due to a smaller brain.

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