Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket opens for the season

Shopper at Samascott’s booth (Photos by Maya Rader)

By Maya Rader
The greenmarket returned to Stuy Town for the summer season on Sunday, May 21. To celebrate its opening, there were farm-related children’s activities such as seed germination and creating tissue-paper flowers. A mime roamed the area, entertaining produce shoppers, and a band called Astrograss played live bluegrass.
Katherine McWeeley, a seller at a stand for Liberty Farms, remarked that customers seemed pretty excited about the greenmarket’s return. Jessica Balnaves, Grow NYC regional coordinator for Lower Manhattan, commented, “Everybody that’s shown up is so excited that we’re back, and we got lucky that it’s a beautiful day.”

Senior dies after getting hit by open cab door

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

An elderly woman who was doored while cycling earlier this month died from her injuries last Sunday. Police said that 74-year-old Xin Kang Wang, a Lower East Side resident, was riding her bike east on East 20th Street between Park Avenue South and Broadway at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, traveling within the north bike lane on the street, when a passenger exiting a cab that was stopped in the bike lane opened the rear passenger door in front of Wang.
Police said that the victim then struck the door, bounced into the adjacent lane on the street and fell into the road in front of another car. Wang was transported to Bellevue Hospital and died there on May 14, a little over a week after the incident.
The cab driver was issued a summons for discharging a passenger in the bike lane at the time of the incident but no other charges have been filed. Police said that both cars remained at the scene and the investigation remains ongoing.

Pols pushing mayor to sign Commercial Rent Tax reform bill

Council Member Dan Garodnick, standing next to the bill’s co-sponsor Council Member Helen Rosenthal (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Monday, Manhattan politicians and small business advocates gathered on the steps of City Hall to push the Commercial Rent Tax reform bill sponsored by Council Members Dan Garodnick and Helen Rosenthal.

This was the third public announcement in recent months about the bill, which so far the mayor hasn’t committed to supporting.

Garodnick said at this point, the Council has had a hearing on the CRT bill and although there’s been no vote yet, 38 of his colleagues have signed on as co-sponsors. Asked why there hasn’t been a vote, Garodnick said Council members usually first want to know if the mayor “will support it rather than veto it.”

Rosenthal later said, “We are optimistic that he will embrace it.”

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Street re-dedicated to fallen cop

Officers of the 13th Precinct attend a ceremony in honor of P.O. Anthony Sanchez who was gunned down in the line of duty. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Officers from the 13th Precinct joined friends and family members of slain Police Officer Anthony Sanchez on Friday for a ceremony to rededicate the section of East 20th Street between Second and Third Avenue named in his honor on the 20th anniversary of his death.

Sanchez had worked at the precinct for 10 years with his partner, now-retired Detective Roy Ruland, who attended the ceremony last week, in addition to Sanchez’s widow, Elizabeth, and mother, Loretta.

Sanchez’s son John couldn’t make it to the ceremony but Elizabeth read a statement he had prepared, where he expressed the pride he felt whenever he came across the part of East 21st Street that had been co-named in honor of his father.

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Letters to the editor, May 25

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Bad old days are back on E. 14th St.

The following is an open letter to City Council Members Dan Garodnick and Rosie Mendez whose districts share a border along East 14th Street.

I would like to point out the present poor condition of street crossing on 14th Street and First Avenue.

A homeless man sleeps at a street corner.

Please note:
Southeast corner:
Homeless people on the corner in front of T-Mobile and McDonald’s
Garbage cans overflowing, papers spread out from First Avenue to half of the block
Grease and dirt underneath the garbage cans
Streetlight missing in bus station, stump is still there, but light was removed 20 years ago
Nonfunctioning emergency pole – an eyesore
Bus station not long enough, stopped buses block pedestrian walk

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Police Watch: Man arrested in death of transgender woman, Sex offender arrested for assault

MAN ARRESTED FOR MANSLAUGHTER IN DEATH OF TRANSGENDER WOMAN
Joseph Griffin, 26, was indicted last Friday for fatally striking 59-year-old Brenda/Kenneth Bostick with a metal object in Chelsea in April. Griffin is charged in a New York Supreme Court indictment with manslaughter in the first degree. He is also facing a separate charge of criminal mischief for breaking the windshield of a taxi cab later in the evening of Bostick’s death.
According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, Griffin approached the victim, who identified as transgender and was alternately known as Brenda and Kenneth Bostick, or simply “Bostick,” on Seventh Avenue between West 27th and 28th Streets at approximately 10 p.m. on April 25 and struck her over the head with a long, metal object. The victim immediately fell to the ground and was rushed to Bellevue Hospital. She were declared braindead on May 4 and died on May 7. Meanwhile, Griffin had fled the scene. About an hour and a half after assaulting the victim, Griffin was seen running through traffic in the middle of the street. When a taxi driver stopped his car to avoid hitting Griffin, he allegedly climbed onto the front of the car, smashing the windshield.

SEX OFFENDER NABBED FOR ASSAULT AT BELLEVUE
Police arrested 37-year-old Jamele Manning for assault and harassment last Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. inside Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue. Police said that Manning punched the victim in the face, causing a cut over the victim’s eye that required stitches, as well as swelling.
As of T&V’s press time, the district attorney’s office said that the suspect had not yet been arraigned, but Manning is listed in the New York State sex offender registry as a level 3 violent sex offender. According to the Division of Criminal Justice Services, Manning forcibly sodomized a teenage girl who he threatened at gunpoint, choked and physically overpowered on February 12, 1999. He was convicted on December 10 of that year. He was sentenced to one day to six years in state prison, although it was unclear how much time he actually served.

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Opinion: Five tips to testify effectively for fair rent in front of the RGB

Some of the members of the Rent Guidelines Board, pictured at a hearing last year (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Angela Pham, member, Met Council on Housing

At my day job, I’m a professional storyteller — I use words and stories strategically to get executives to buy something. This kind of persuasion is handy not only in a business context, but also to be heard in other areas.

But you don’t have to be a professional storyteller to see impact. With the upcoming Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) vote, we all have the opportunity to use stories for persuasion.

If you’re a rent-stabilized tenant, or are just an everyday citizen concerned about the lack of affordable housing in our city, you can use your voice for good by providing a 2-minute testimony in one of the upcoming public hearings.

The downtown Manhattan Hearing will be Wednesday, June 14 from 2-8 p.m. at Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs House 1 Bowling Green.

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Morton Williams expected to take over Stuy Town Associated’s space

Associated Supermarket in Stuyvesant Town (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Monday, employees of the Stuyvesant Town Associated Supermarket, where the owners had been negotiating to keep the store’s lease, all got letters informing them that Morton Williams is going to be taking over the space.

According to one employee, the letter says workers, who are unionized, will get to keep their jobs for at least three months and at that point will be evaluated.

“They have a big company and room to grow,” the worker said the letter from Morton Williams informed them.

Meanwhile, one of the store’s owners, Joseph Falzon, had told Town & Village last month he was almost certain his lease would not be getting renewed. Though a lease has yet to be signed with Morton Williams, Falzon said he suspects a new tenant would have to pay double the rent Associated is paying, which is now $60,000 a month.

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City hopes to use ST composting program as model for other multi-family buildings

Stuyvesant Town Director of Environmental Services Rei Moya, Stuyvesant Town General Manager Rick Hayduk, Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, David Hurd of GrowNYC and Stuy Town resident Deborah Brozina (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Stuyvesant Town management and the Department of Sanitation are trying to raise awareness about the property’s efforts to compost food waste, and hopes to use the property as an example of how larger multifamily buildings can do this successfully.

DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia visited Stuy Town last Wednesday with representatives from greenmarket organizer GrowNYC and NYC Organics, the branch of DSNY that runs the compost collection program, to check on its progress.

The program officially started in Stuy Town and Peter Cooper on December 2 and director of environmental services for STPCV Rei Moya said that it took about a month to hit its stride. Moya recommended that residents who want to start composting can collect their food waste in the freezer and empty it directly into the brown bins in building recycling areas. The program will accept food scraps, food-soiled paper and plant clippings. He added that he has started composting in his own apartment and invested in a countertop container, lined with biobags that can be purchased at places like Walgreens or local supermarkets.

“Because the moisture just seeps out and dries up, there’s no smell,” Moya said.

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Fed up by basketball noise, ST man aims to get rid of playground

Stuyvesant Town’s Playground 11 (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

When Stuyvesant Town management announced last year that the sports tent, which had been installed at Playground 11 for a couple of winter seasons, would not be returning, the news was sad to local sports fans but a relief to others. One of the reasons for the oversized tent’s discontinued use was that its usage didn’t justify the energy it took to heat it, but another reason was neighbors’ complaints of noise.

One of the residents who’d been affected by the noise was psychotherapist Stuart Levinson, who said his eleventh floor apartment directly overlooked it. However, even with the tent gone, according to Levinson, the noise from the playground’s basketball courts, is not.

Recently, Levinson, who was also very vocal about his dislike of the tent, started a petition to ask StuyTown Property Services to get rid of the playground as well. Instead, he suggested, the space could be used for a community garden. The petition, which he sent to Town & Village, was signed by 30 people, all in his building, 285 Avenue C.

Levinson has been living in Stuyvesant Town for two years, which is when he married his wife, a resident of 20 years. So, he acknowledged, many of his neighbors have been living in the community long enough to either not notice the noise, anymore, or not care.

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Man arrested for bank robberies in Kips Bay, Upper East Side

Robbery suspect

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested 50-year-old Jon Waulters on Wednesday in connection with seven bank robberies throughout the city, including one in Kips Bay.

Waulters allegedly got away with cash after passing a demand note to a teller inside a Kips Bay Chase Bank at 450 Third Avenue between East 31st and 32nd Streets on March 13 around 1:10 p.m.

Police said that Waulters’ spree began on March 9 on the Upper East Side and he allegedly robbed another bank on the Upper East Side on May 11.

Waulters allegedly conducted two bank robberies on the Upper East Side about 15 minutes apart last Wednesday, reportedly pointing a gun at a teller while passing a demand note inside the HSBC at 1165 Third Avenue at East 68th Street and getting away with cash from a Capital One at 1295 Second Avenue, also at East 68th, at 4:17 p.m. He fled south on Second Avenue but was arrested about a half an hour later at 4:49 p.m.

Waulters was charged with seven counts of robbery.

Gramercy restaurant Sal Anthony’s returns after closing a decade ago

Anthony Macagnone’s (center, outside his restaurant) with his wife Cynthia Graham and Macagnone’s son, who is also named Anthony (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Ten years after Sal Anthony’s closed on Irving Place, the Italian restaurant has come back to the neighborhood, although owner Anthony Macagnone insists he hasn’t really been gone this whole time. Aside from living adjacent to the old restaurant on East 17th Street, Macagnone and his wife, Cynthia Graham, have been running a movement studio on Third Avenue for the last 18 years, but the new space on Third Avenue at East 19th Street marks the first Sal Anthony’s restaurant in the immediate Gramercy Park area in a decade.

The spot on Irving Place expanded over the 40 years the restaurant was open and although the new space on Third Avenue is only a fraction of the size, Macagnone said that he has a much better relationship with his current landlord than with the owner of the building on Irving Place.

Macagnone was forced to close the previous restaurant due to a long court battle over rent but he said that he has been drawn to this neighborhood because of a sense of community.

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Historic park fence finally repaired

A section of fence gets lifted into the park late last month. (Photo by Mark Thompson)

By Sabina Mollot

After years of delays due to budget and contractor related issues, work finally began to complete the restoration of the historic cast iron fence that surrounds Stuyvesant Square Park’s east section.

Starting late last month, large sections of the landmarked fence were hoisted in via crane as were the fence posts, which were placed temporarily on the lawn.

At some point in the coming months there will be a ribbon cutting, but in the meantime, the construction itself is something to celebrate for community activists who’ve been pushing for this project’s completion for 20 years.

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Letters to the editor, May 19

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

More money than brains

Back in the time when human beings were bought and sold to provide free labor and other perks for their owners, I imagine that slaves wore clothes that were basically old, tattered jeans handed down to others. Nowadays, people of all races, ages, genders and nationalities are wearing “shabby chic” jeans that are ripped, torn and threadbare. These jeans are extremely tight on females or too loose on males as evidenced by some men’s exposed jockey/boxer shorts or plumber’s crack. In addition, these shabby jeans now have permanent fake mud stains. In fact, I believe Nordstrom’s is selling these “filthy jeans” for $425.

Who can afford these jeans? Probably those who will benefit from Trump’s tax “plan,” which redirects our investing in clean air/water/food, health care, education, scientific research and our citizens’ pursuit of happiness to investing our taxes in corporations and the ultra-wealthy One Percent who stand to pocket hundreds of thousands so a few bucks can “trickle down” (a Trump fave) to the rest of us. He revealed a tax plan so simple it fits on a single 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper, unlike his own personal taxes, which, if he’d reveal them, would speak volumes.

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Police Watch: Officer assaulted in Kips Bay, Bike ‘thief’ busted for stolen credit cards

MAN CHARGED WITH ASSAULTING OFFICER IN KIPS BAY
Police arrested 39-year-old Kevin Legenza after he allegedly punched a cop in front of 124 East 28th Street last Friday at 3:13 a.m.
Police said that Legenza was sitting down on the hood of an operating vehicle in front of the location and refused to move. Police officers at the scene asked him to move several times and he allegedly refused. Police said that they told him he was blocking traffic and would be issued a summons if he didn’t move. Legenza then allegedly tried to stop the officer from doing this by pushing him and attempting to walk away. Police said that they attempted to arrest the suspect but he allegedly flailed his arms and actively resisted being restrained, so officers brought him to the ground. This is when Legenza allegedly fell on top of one of the officers and also punched the officer in the face multiple times.
An attorney for Legenza did not respond to a request for comment.

BIKE ‘THIEF’ BUSTED FOR STOLEN CREDIT CARDS
Police arrested 26-year-old Benjamin Marcial for petit larceny and possession of stolen property last Friday at 2:11 p.m. at the corner of East 20th Street and the FDR Drive. Police said that Marcial took a bicycle from the sidewalk without permission and allegedly attempted to put the stolen bike in a taxi to flee the scene.
While Marcial was in custody after being arrested for stealing the bike, police said that he was found to be in possession of stolen credit cards. Police said that the credit cards had been swiped from a Blink Fitness location in the 9th precinct.

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