Teen sentenced to five months in prison for spa theft

Spring Garden Spa (Photo via Google Maps)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Nineteen-year-old alleged serial shoplifter Elijah Rosario was sentenced to five months in prison last Friday after he was arrested for stealing from a spa on East 16th Street at the end of April. A fourth person, 43-year-old Marvin Townsend, was also arrested last week in connection with one of the later attempted thefts at the business and was charged with robbery.

Rosario was reportedly working with 20-year-old Shaquasha Goldstein, who is due back in court on May 25, and another person who hasn’t been arrested to steal from Spring Garden Spa at 344 East 16th Street just west of First Avenue on April 25.

Police said that Rosario, Goldstein and the third unknown person got into the spa at 10:30 p.m. that night and allegedly got away with $180. According to the district attorney’s office, Rosario and the third suspect could be seen on surveillance video ringing the bell to get into the business and once they got inside, Goldstein reportedly went behind the register and grabbed the cash.

As Town & Village previously reported, Goldstein and 33-year-old Eric Dineen have been charged in connection with additional burglaries at the spa in April and May. The DA’s office said that Goldstein got away with $200 in cash on April 23 from the business, although it was unclear if she was working with anyone else in that incident.

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Republican small business owner challenging Maloney

Eliot Rabin at his Upper East Side shop for women (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

In June, Congress Member Carolyn Maloney will face off against fellow Democrat Suraj Patel, but already another opponent has joined the race, this one a Republican who’s gotten the backing of Manhattan GOP.

That candidate, who’s just getting started petitioning and organizing his campaign, is Eliot Rabin, also known to some as Peter Elliot, which is his retail business on the Upper East Side.

Rabin, who’s run upscale clothing boutiques in the neighborhood since the 1970s and worked in the fashion industry in other capacities even longer, was motivated to run for office after the latest high school shooting massacre.

“After Florida, I exploded,” he said, while sitting for an interview at his women’s boutique on Madison Avenue and 81st Street. “There’s a lack of moral courage in our government.”

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Waterside Plaza celebrates royal couple

British International School director Abby Greystoke (left) and Peter Davis pose with a cardboard cutout of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Waterside Plaza’s royal wedding viewing party. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Waterside Plaza was honored with typically British weather for the occasion of the royal wedding last Saturday but the spirits of Harry and Meghan enthusiasts weren’t dampened at the community’s viewing party, hosted in a joint event by Waterside and the British International School, which is housed on the property.

Aside from the school, Waterside Plaza has another unique connection to the UK that made it an especially appropriate spot to watch the nuptials of Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle.

“We’re technically on British soil right now,” joked Michelle Glazer, who lives at Waterside Plaza and works at the school. While the school is not an embassy and not recognized as British territory, the statement is still somewhat accurate, even if just in a literal sense.

“Waterside was built on landfill that was brought back from the UK,” Glazer explained. “American ships went to bring supplies to Europe after the war but you can’t send empty ships back across the ocean, so they had to weigh the ships down with rubble that came from bombed out buildings.”

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Disability advocates rally for subway accessibility

Assembly Member Harvey Epstein, City Council Member Keith Powers and State Senator Brad Hoylman (along with Hoylman’s daughter Lucy) rallied with disability advocates for more accessibility in the MTA last week. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Disability advocates and elected officials braved the rain last Thursday to demand that the MTA increase accessibility in the system during the L train shutdown. The advocates and politicians met in front of the Third Avenue L station, one of the stops being closed during the shutdown that won’t be getting an elevator and which is currently inaccessible.

“New Yorkers who depend on mass transit are being locked out,” State Senator Brad Hoylman said. “Less than a quarter of the stations have elevators and on a good day, 10 percent of those aren’t working. We need to tell the MTA to do better.”

Hoylman brought his young daughter Lucy in her strolled to help demonstrate that parents, as well as people with mobility challenges, are often affected by the lack of elevators in the system.

“Think of the lack of vision that the MTA is demonstrating by trying to fix stations with new lights and paint,” Hoylman said, referring to recent station improvements the agency has done throughout the system. “That’s like putting down new carpet when you don’t have a roof.”

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Police Watch: Man arrested for First Ave. assault, Officer assault at Beth Israel

MAN ARRESTED FOR FIRST AVENUE ASSAULT
Police arrested 42-year-old Wesley Walker for an alleged assault in front of 390 First Avenue on Saturday, May 19 at 8:26 a.m. Police said that the 43-year-old victim was walking down the street when Walker, who he didn’t know, approached him and started punching him in the face. Police said that the victim complained of pain to his face and was also bleeding from the back of his head.

OFFICER ASSAULTED AT MOUNT SINAI BETH ISRAEL
Police arrested 39-year-old Jason Marshall for the alleged assault of a peace officer in front of Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital on Monday, May 14 at 3:58 a.m. Police said that an EMS worker was transporting Marshall to the hospital and when they arrived, Marshall requested a wheelchair but one was not available. Police said that Marshall became irate and allegedly punched the EMS worker in the chest.

BOY BUSTED FOR ASSAULT AT WASHINGTON IRVING
Police arrested a teenager for assault and possession of marijuana inside the Washington Irving Campus at 40 Irving Place on Monday, May 14 at 1:24 p.m. The victim told police that she and the suspect got into an argument over the phone the day before, which later led to the suspect posting on social media that the victim was a hoe. The victim said that she and a friend also posted about the suspect and said that she and a friend were going to get beat up. She told police that on Monday, May 14, she didn’t talk to the suspect but later in the day, he walked up to her and punched her in the face, causing a cut on her forehead. The victim was brought to Bellevue Hospital and when the suspect was searched, police found that he was in possession of marijuana. The teen’s name is being withheld due to his young age.

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Teen arrested for second sex crime at Washington Irving

Washington Irving High School, pictured in 2016 (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A student arrested for a rape at the Washington Irving campus at 40 Irving Place last December allegedly had sex with another teenage girl without her consent less than four months after he was allowed to return to the school, police sources told Town & Village last week.

Gramercy Arts High School student Jevon Martin, 18, was charged with sexual misconduct and endangering the welfare of a child at the end of April after a 15-year-old student came forward and told police that on March 26, Martin allegedly put his fingers in her genitals. At this point, police said she told him, “No,” and he reportedly proceeded to have sex with her without her consent. Police said that this incident, like the incident in December, took place in a stairwell in the school building.

According to 13th precinct Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman, Martin made bail after his second arrest but was not allowed back in the Washington Irving campus since then and is currently in a program at an Alternative Learning Center while he waits on an expulsion hearing.

Alternative Learning Centers, managed by the Office of Safety and Youth Development in the Department of Education, provide classes for middle and high school students who are on suspension longer than five days.

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NY Infirmary for Women and Children founder honored with plaque

Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, speaks at the plaque unveiling. (Photo by Harry Bubbins)

On Monday, Elizabeth Blackwell, who founded the New York Infirmary for Women and Children, the first hospital to be run by and for women, was commemorated with the unveiling of a historic plaque at 58 Bleecker Street. Blackwell was also the first woman doctor in America.

The Greenwich Village address was chosen because it was the original site of the infirmary, which was later moved to East 15th Street in Stuyvesant Square. The infirmary in more recent years was incorporated into New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital. The infirmary had originally operated out of a house that’s still standing, though it was originally numbered 64 Bleecker Street.

Built in 1822-1823, the Federal style house was erected for James Roosevelt, the great-grandfather of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who lived there until his death just ten years before Blackwell embarked on her groundbreaking effort. Blackwell’s hospital opened on May 12, 1857, the 37th birthday of Florence Nightingale, whom Blackwell had befriended earlier in her career. The hospital was open seven days a week and provided medical care for needy women and children free of charge.

Monday’s plaque unveiling, which took place almost 161 years to the day after the infirmary opened, was organized by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.

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Opinion: Felder overplays his hand

By former Assmeblyman Steven Sanders

Brooklyn State Senator Simcha Felder is a Democrat. But for reasons best known to him, he has been caucusing with the Republicans in Albany to help enable that Party to maintain control of the State Senate in spite of having fewer members than the Democrats.

But that’s not where the story ends. Last month, the seven Democratic members who have made up the so called “Independent Democratic Caucus” for the past number of years, reluctantly returned to the reservation. That leaves the Senate composition at 32 Democrats and 31 Republicans. Governor Cuomo for years tacitly accepted that odd political marriage because he felt it worked to his advantage. He no longer thinks so. He has been pressured from the left, and from his primary opponent Cynthia Nixon, to stand up for Democrats. So he suddenly got involved and brokered a deal amongst the Senate Democrats.

But with Felder’s continued affiliation with the Republicans, they will maintain Senate control for the rest of this year. In exchange for Mr. Felder’s support, the Republicans have given him legislative perks and pivotal voting deference. But as the current session winds down and the November elections loom large and soon, Mr. Felder’s political strategy may need rethinking.

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This week in history: 70 years ago

The following news stories ran in the May 20, 1948 issue of Town & Village.

14th Street Crosstown service extended following wartime shortage of spare parts

The New York City Omnibus Company announced that it would extend its 14th Street crosstown bus service to go from river to river. Previously, it had been running from the East River to Broadway. If commuters wanted to continue crosstown, they would have to transfer. The vice president of the company, F. Baker, explained the reason for the less lengthy route, saying the problem dated back to the war, when the company couldn’t get enough spare parts to keep its fleet of buses running. They ended up with fewer buses, after resorting to stripping some for spare parts.

New VA hospital

The Veterans Administration announced it had obtained a six-acre plot of land from First Avenue to Avenue A and 23rd to 25th Streets for the construction of a new hospital with an expected price tag of $15 million. The hospital would have 1,000 beds, making it smaller than other local VAs (like Kingsbridge in The Bronx with 1,600 and Halloran in Staten Island with 1,500). The nearby Bellevue Hospital had 3,000 beds.

NY Infirmary stays in the neighborhood

The New York Infirmary ended up forgoing a decision to move from the Stuyvesant Square neighborhood to York Avenue and 62nd Street in order to cooperate fully with the Hospital Council of Greater New York, in its effort to space hospitals where they were most needed throughout the city. Mrs. Frank Vanderlip, board of the infirmary’s trustees, announced instead the new facility would be built at 15th Street and Stuyvesant Square.

“With the sharp increase of other hospital services expected in this part of the East Side, the New York Infirmary may look forward to an expanding future, no longer as a women and children’s hospital but as a community hospital,” said Vanderlip.

Garage rate gripe

Town & Village was hearing from a number of residents complaining about the cost of renting a garage space. One resident fumed that when he was first informed of the garages, he was told they would cost about $10 a month to use. But then then he ended up being charged $20.

While costs of operation and construction had gone up since news of the garages was announced, readers still said they felt $20 a month was a bit too much. Instead, they suggested a slightly lower rate in exchange for a commitment to a longer lease.

Meanwhile, Stuy Town garages still were less expensive than those in the immediate area, which averaged $25 a month without service and $40 with service.

Letter to the editor, May 17

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Sex harassment reforms appreciated

To the editor,

I applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council for their leadership to enact a comprehensive and visionary package of reforms to address sexual harassment in our city.

Collectively, this package of legislation sends a strong message that the workplace must be filled with respect and that violating basic principles of decency will no longer be tolerated. Women’s City Club hopes that this bold action will prompt even further changes in the private sector – and, throughout society.

Carole J. Wacey
President and CEO of Women’s City Club of New York

Opinion: The business of stopping harassment

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation sponsored by Council Member Keith Powers that’s aimed at cracking down on sexual harassment on Wednesday, May 9. (Photo courtesy of Keith Powers)

By City Council Member Keith Powers

Most businesses in New York City are small businesses. Not just small, but really small: a whopping 62.8 percent of businesses in the city have just 1-4 employees, according to census data.

For this reason, I was surprised to discover that workers for New York City businesses with fewer than four employees had no legal protection from incidents of sexual harassment under New York City’s Human Rights Law.

That’s why I introduced my first piece of legislation in January to extend sexual harassment protection to all private employees in New York City regardless of their size. The protection already existed at the state level, but this law wasn’t already in place here. That means every single private employee wasn’t protected. It was important to address this oversight, especially given how many employees fall into this group.

Our country is experiencing a watershed moment as women and men speak up about their experiences of harassment, creating the era of #MeToo. As stories unfold and wrongdoings are revealed, cities and states are taking action to modernize laws and prevent any incidents in the future.

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ST residents concerned about trees and organized play at Playground 1

Rendering provided by StuyTown Property Services shows how the playground will look once renovated.

By Susan Steinberg
President of the ST-PCV Tenants Association

About 35 Stuyvesant Town tenants attended a town hall on Monday night focusing on the reimagined Playground 1. Hosted by Rick Hayduk, general manager of StuyTown Property Services, assisted by Wes Richards, chief landscape designer and Kevin Wyatt, master arborist, the event took place at the community center.

Hayduk reviewed the need for improvements, including unsafe asphalt requiring resurfacing, parapet walls that were collapsing and trees in various states of decay.  Construction work has already begun on rebuilding the parapets, to the chagrin of the residents living around the playground, well represented at the meeting, who are trying to cope with the drilling. The worst of the noise is expected to be over in two weeks. When completed, the playground will consist of two major areas, an AstroTurf section (about one third of the total area) and a resurfaced asphalt area (two thirds) allowing for roller hockey and T-ball. A net will separate the two areas. The decaying trees will be replaced by Princeton Elms 22 feet high. These grow 4-6.5 feet a year and produce food for squirrels. The design showed 28 benches. The playground is envisioned as serving children ages 12 and under.

Several residents challenged the project. They said playground as it existed was one playground where there was no “theme,” no organized play, no schedules and where residents could site and enjoy quiet time. One resident said she had specifically moved to a building overlooking that playground because it was quiet.

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Parade shines light on environment

Costumed dancers from the Artichoke dance company perform as part of the procession that made 20 stops along the East Village and Lower East Side. (Photos by Kristin Reimer for Earth Celebrations’ Ecological City-Procession for Climate Solutions)

By Sabina Mollot

On Saturday, hundreds of costumed revelers walked, marched and danced their way through the East Village and the Lower East Side for a day-long event aimed at celebrating local green spaces, the East River and sustainability efforts.

The event was organized by Lower East Sider, artist and activist Felicia Young, who has a long history of similar events aimed at (successfully) saving community gardens, through her organization Earth Celebrations. Participants in the event, which was modeled after pageants in India, where hundreds of celebrants from multiple communities take part, made 20 stops throughout the neighborhood.

A few included Campos Garden on East 12th Street between Avenues B and C, El Sol Brilliante Garden an avenue to the west, the Earth School on East 6th Street and by the day’s end, East River Park for oyster planting and a river cleansing dance.

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PCV family raising money for daughter, age 3, with leukemia

Damon, Shiloh, Ever and Kana Cleveland at home in Peter Cooper (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

It wasn’t even two months ago when Damon and Kana Cleveland, residents of Peter Cooper Village with two young children, got the news no parent wants to hear. Their three-year-old daughter, Ever, had leukemia.

The diagnosis came as a complete shock. In the months prior, there had been only hints something was wrong. Ever, who normally loved going to the playground or out to ride her bike, would begin to complain of getting tired on the way. At the time, Damon thought nothing of it.

“I thought she was just being a two-year-old,” he said. “Challenging.” He would just tell her to keep walking.

Ever would also get sick a lot with colds and coughs at her nursery school, but this too seemed normal enough.

Then, one day in March, she got a high fever and coughed a lot. But Damon, who’d just begun a new job as an IT project manager, wasn’t alarmed until the toddler told him, “Dad, I’m not walking right. I want to go to the doctor.”

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Cyclists, ‘busway’ concern L train neighbors

Commissioner of Transportation Polly Trottenberg (center) (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

L train riders at a recent town hall on the upcoming shutdown are saying they’re concerned about an increase in bike traffic as a result of the mitigation and the plan to make 14th Street primarily a thoroughfare for buses, as well as accessibility for seniors and disabled residents. The meeting’s venue, The New School’s West 12th Street auditorium, was packed with more than a hundred community residents with concerns about the plans on Wednesday, May 9.

The first question came from an attendee who didn’t mince words.

“How are you going to train cyclists so they don’t kill us?” asked David Hertzberg, a West 16th Street resident. Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg admitted that the increase in cyclists would be a difficult responsibility.

“Cycling will be a hot topic,” she said. “We’ll be working with the NYPD on enforcement and we know we’re going to have a big safety challenge.”

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