Redesigned dog run in the works for Madison Sq. Park

A park goer looks at a diagram outlining the planned dog run. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Madison Square Park Conservancy has announced a plan to renovate the dog run in the park, known as Jemmy’s Run, this past weekend.

The new run will be in the same place as the existing run but will be reconfigured to add more space for small dogs and to include new amenities, such as increased lighting, small hills and a water feature.

“We haven’t been able to serve small dogs in the existing space,” the conservancy’s executive director Keats Meyer said on Saturday at Barkfest, an event at the park for dogs and their owners. “It ends up being sort of like a cage, like a ‘small dog time out.’”

Meyer said that the renovations plans have been reviewed by neighborhood dog owners in previous workshops and surveys and adjusted based on community suggestions and needs. Meyer noted that one aspect of the plan that many respondents of the survey agreed on was changing the surface because users of the run don’t like the gravel that is currently there.

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Hurricane-impacted cats, dogs find owners at Adoptapalooza

Dena Spinelli, a volunteer with rescue organization Husky House with Jake, a now-healthy husky that was rescued from a puppy mill (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Sunday afternoon, over 400 cats and dogs in need of homes were brought to Union Square Park for Adoptapalooza, an event held by the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and the Petco Foundation. A constant stream of animal lovers, many considering adopting or fostering new pets, filled the park’s north end, which was lined with booths manned by shelter volunteers as well as a few booths for games, pet photos and caricatures as well as a grass field.

Jane Hoffman, president of the Mayor’s Alliance, said at Adoptapalooza events, it’s typical for around 200 animals to get adopted.

“The value of it is it creates awareness,” said Hoffman, who also said it’s become a popular destination for families. This year, the event took on some extra urgency though thanks to a flurry of homeless pets from Florida and Texas following the hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

“When we had Superstorm Sandy, we had groups fly out of parts of the country and help us,” Hoffman said. “With Harvey and Irma, our groups stepped up to help them.”

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Editorial: Rage against the Democratic machine

Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh, who recently announced his intention to run for a downtown State Senate seat, just got a big boost this week with the support of the Brooklyn Democratic Party and the Manhattan Party bosses, the mayor, the governor and other elected officials. This was all in lieu of a primary since State Senator Daniel Squadron’s sudden withdrawal from public office ensured there would be no opportunity for one.

Naturally, this process has been widely blasted as being a shady “backroom” deal, for giving too much power to party bosses and allowing Squadron to handpick a successor. We have to say; we couldn’t agree more. Such blatant cronyism reeks of Tammany politics. Along with cheating voters and Kavanagh’s opponent, District Leader Paul Newell, it has also got to sting a little to the dozens of candidates who just went through the grueling process of campaigning for open and vulnerable City Council seats.

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Fire next door to T&V office

FDNY in front of T&V’s office at 20 West 22nd Street (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Town & Village’s office on West 22nd Street was evacuated on Thursday afternoon when a fire was reported in a neighboring building. The FDNY determined that the incident was a duct fire inside Cote, the restaurant on the ground floor of the 12-story building at 16 West 22nd Street. It was originally reported as an electrical fire with a light smoke condition at the scene. Other office workers on the ninth floor reported smelling smoke inside the building but the smell did not reach T&V’s offices on the 15th floor.

The FDNY said that 12 units, which include fire trucks and ambulances, responded to the scene, as well as 60 fire and EMS personnel. Fire marshals are investigating the incident but a spokesperson for the FDNY said that officials believe it was a grease fire.

The FDNY said that the situation was under control by 1:25 p.m. and no injuries were reported.

Kavanagh gets Dems’ nod for Senate in back room deal

Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Democratic leaders in the Brooklyn and Manhattan on Sunday chose Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh as the nominee for the State Senate seat Daniel Squadron resigned from in August. The contentious nominating process pitted Kavanagh against district leader Paul Newell, who received the majority of the votes from county committee members in Manhattan but was not nominated because the block of votes from Brooklyn went to Kavanagh.

Since State Senate District 26 spans two boroughs, Manhattan and Brooklyn, party bosses in each were allowed to determine how to nominate a candidate, either by a convention, vote from committee members or a block vote.

The process in Manhattan included a convention on Sunday in which 100 county committee members took a vote, Gothamist reported. The vote was only advisory but members hoped that Keith Wright, the leader in Manhattan, would heed the results, in which members voted overwhelmingly for Newell.

According to official rules, Brooklyn did not have to hold a convention, although Democrats encouraged party boss Frank Seddio to do so. Seddio ultimately announced on Sunday that he would be backing Kavanagh without a convention or vote from committee members, which he said was because Kavanagh had the most support from elected officials in Brooklyn as well as the Working Families Party.

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Stuy Town gets new public safety chief

New Public Safety Chief Frances Martin is a Stuyvesant town resident.

By Sabina Mollot

On Tuesday, StuyTown Property Services made the surprise announcement that there was a new chief of public safety in the community.

The job has been given to Frances Martin, a Stuyvesant Town resident and a former NYPD officer who has been working as a lieutenant for SPS for the past seven years on the overnight shift. She is the first woman to become head of public safety in the complex.

SPS made the announcement via email, which curiously omitted any reference to the chief of public safety for the past 11 years, William McClellan. McClellan also previously had worked for the NYPD. SPS wouldn’t comment on the reason for the popular employee’s departure, but praised him in a written statement to Town & Village.

“Chief McClellan served the community well over his 11 years and we thank him for his leadership and service,” spokesperson Paula Chirhart said.

As for Martin, the newsletter states: “She served the city of New York for 27 years and retired as commander of the Detective Squad in 2010. She was an appointee of the then police commissioner and has worked task forces with the FBI, Secret Service, and just about every other federal agency including Homeland Security in the aftermath of 9/11. At the time of her departure, Martin was one of the highest ranking female officers in the NYPD.”

Another Stuyvesant Town resident, Joseph Gamba, will be taking on the role of deputy chief of public safety.

Garodnick doesn’t want Kavanagh’s Assembly seat

Council Member Dan Garodnick

By Sabina Mollot

With Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh expected to get the downtown Senate seat he wants, it remains to be seen who’ll be replacing him in the Assembly if he wins in November. One thing is for sure though — it won’t be Dan Garodnick.

The popular City Council member, who’s being term-limited out, told Town & Village he believes there won’t be any shortage of candidates though.

“I think there will be lots of worthy candidates,” he said, “and I will look for other ways to serve New York City.”

 

Police Watch: Caretaker accused of stealing from senior, Man arrested for purse-snatching

CARETAKER ACCUSED OF STEALING FROM SENIOR ON DAY OF HER DEATH
Police arrested 27-year-old Sanaya Mohammed last Thursday after she allegedly try to deposit a check made out to herself from her deceased boss. According to the District Attorney’s office, Mohammed was working as a caretaker for the 73-year-old victim, who lived on West 15th Street in Union Square. Mohammed allegedly deposited a $2,000 check addressed to herself at a Bronx Chase Bank on the same day that the victim passed away.

MAN ARRESTED FOR PURSE-SNATCHING AT EAST 14TH AND THIRD AVENUE
Police arrested 32-year-old Bernard Rivera after he allegedly snatched a woman’s purse at the corner of Third Avenue and East 14th Street last Saturday right after midnight. Rivera was charged with grand larceny possession of stolen property.

MAN ARRESTED FOR MUGGING ON PARK AVENUE SOUTH
Nineteen-year-old Berris McGann was arrested after allegedly mugging a woman at the corner of East 21st Street and Park Avenue South last Wednesday.
Police said that the victim was waiting to cross the street when McGann allegedly forcibly grabbed the victim’s shopping bag, shoving her, and fled north on Park Avenue South. Police searched the area and McGann was arrested shortly after for robbery and possession of stolen property.

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Muggers mace delivery man in ST

Stuy Town

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police are looking for two men involved in the robbery of a delivery man inside the vestibule at 287 Avenue C in Stuyvesant Town last Sunday night around 6 p.m., in which the victim was sprayed with mace and may have broken his ankle.

Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney said at the 13th Precinct Community Council meeting on Tuesday evening that the suspects attacked the delivery man in the building’s vestibule as he was leaving.

They reportedly identified themselves as police officers and when the victim ignored them and initially tried walking away, one of the suspects sprayed mace in his face. In the ensuing scuffle, the victim fell and police said that he injured his ankle, possible breaking it.

The pair got away with the delivery man’s backpack, but the bag didn’t have any valuables in it.

Timoney noted that the suspects may have believed that the delivery person was a rival drug dealer.

Timoney said that the two men were driving a black BMW and had followed the delivery man to Avenue C from a different location, and they are also suspected in previous robberies taking place in the East Village.

Stuyvesant Town Property Services did not return a request for comment by Town & Village’s press time.

Thirteenth Precinct remembers 9/11 at ceremony for 16th anniversary

Officers of the 13th Precinct (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Officers and members of the community commemorated the 16th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center this past Monday morning outside the 13th precinct on East 21st Street.

Manhattan South Trustee of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association John Flynn read the names of the 23 officers who perished at Ground Zero, including Officers Robert Fazio and Moira Smith of the 13th Precinct. Officer Jason Martinoff, who sang the national anthem at the start of the ceremony, introduced Gramercy Park Block Association president Arlene Harrison, who supported the precinct and community in the weeks and months following the attack.

“As Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas and Hurricane Irma slams Florida, our first responders, many from our Emergency Service here, rushed in to save lives while millions fled,” Harrison said. “On 9/11, as our first responders raced into burning buildings as thousands fled, the headline flashed around the world, ‘They saved everyone but themselves.’ We were here to support you then during the many months of the recovery serving thousands of meals and distributing critical supplies. Out of evil, sometimes comes good, and the bonds formed then became permanent.”

Opinion: How NYC Dems turned their backs on immigrant-owned businesses

By Sung Soo Kim

For the first time in over a century, NYC as the Gateway to America for immigrants to achieve the American Dream has been closed.  All of the centuries of risk, hard work and scarifies made leading to success for immigrant business owners is being destroyed. The greatest transfer of wealth from hard working successful entrepreneurs to speculators and profiteers has taken place in NYC over the past two decades.

The Democratic Party is fully responsible for this historic destruction of our city’s diverse capitalistic economy.  In the face of a growing economic crisis, they have willingly joined in “rigging the system” with the big real estate lobby (REBNY) to deny any real solution to save our mom and pop businesses, the majority of which are owned by immigrants who employ immigrant families.

Thirty four years ago myself, along with several Korean business leaders began a campaign to recruit Korean families to invest their life savings in opening small businesses in NYC.  To calm their fears of crime, drugs and clashes of cultures in some communities, I founded, along with a few Korean business leaders, The Korean American Small Business Services Center, to help them start their businesses and be present at all times to deal with their problems. Korean families came by the thousands to risk everything in NYC. I was not prepared for the biggest challenge they would face nor had I any idea it would be caused by our own democratic government.

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Opinion: America’s Soul

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

America is not perfect, never was, never will be. After all, we are a reflection of the collective us, some 325 million imperfect human beings. But each generation has tried to learn by the mistakes of the previous ones and aspires to make this nation a more perfect union, and worthy of the lofty words of our founders. To be a beacon of hope for the downtrodden and to secure for our neighbors the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

 We are a nation of immigrants, by definition. We came here from Europe, then Asia and later from countries south of our border. Sadly the distant relatives of many of our black neighbors arrived from Africa in bondage to be sold as slaves. That stain on our history is one that we are still trying to come to grips with. Most of us have parents or grandparents who were born in other countries and traveled to these shores seeking a better life. And all of us have ancestors who were new Americans at one time. That diversity has been considered a national strength.

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Editorial: The registered Dems have spoken

Congratulations, Keith Powers and Carlina Rivera.

Following, for some candidates, what had been well over a year in campaigning, the primary race for two open City Council seats has come and gone with Peter Cooper resident Keith Powers and Lower East Sider Carlina Rivera winning in crowded fields. In Manhattan, winners of the Democratic primary are unofficially crowned winners of the election. However, there is still a general election where Powers and Rivera will be facing off against Republicans Rebecca Harary and Jimmy “The Rent is Too Damn High” McMillan, respectively.

Still, we congratulate the two primary victors – and their opponents because it was a hard-fought race with only a few vanity candidates cluttering things and relatively little controversy. That said, if those who’ll be on the ballots in November are wise then they should understand that the work of Districts 2 and 4 are already on their shoulders and the time to get organized is now, still a few months before their predecessors are forced out of their offices due to term limits.

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ST/PCV residents list their demands for next council member

Al Ng and Lillian Hsu want to see more affordability for mere mortals. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

A day before the primary, we asked around in Stuyvesant Town for voters’ opinions on what the newly elected City Council member, who’ll be determined in the general election, should focus on.

In response, they gave answers that wouldn’t shock anyone in this city, stressing a need to prioritize affordability, saving small businesses, transit improvements and improvements to public education.

Read on for more on the aforementioned issues that need fixing in District 4, which covers Stuyvesant Town, Peter Cooper Village, Waterside, East Midtown, part of Times Square and the Upper East Side.

Sue Kershbaumer, while strolling through the Oval with her daughter, said her biggest concern was schools — specifically lack of resources and classroom seats for kids with special needs like hers.

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UPDATED: Beth Israel community needs assessment survey open now through September 22

July10 Beth Israel in the distance

Beth Israel’s First Avenue building (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Mount Sinai, which has already begun the process of downsizing and relocating the Beth Israel Medical Center while creating a Mount Sinai downtown network, is seeking public input. The hospital network has put up an online community needs assessment survey, but it will only be open through September 20. A note on the website says it runs through today, but according to a representative for Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh, the date was extended.

UPDATE: The closing date has since been extended again to Friday, September 22.

 

The survey can be accessed through a link  and it is available in English, Spanish and Chinese.

The smaller Beth Israel with reduce its number of beds from over 800 to 220 (70 hospital beds, plus 150 behavioral health beds that will remain at its Bernstein Pavilion). It will be located on East 14th Street and Second Avenue with a focus on an outpatient model of healthcare and include an expansion of walk-in services.