Gore and Cuomo get down and clean in energy talk

Governor Andrew Cuomo and former Vice President Al Gore (Photo by Michelle Deal Winfield)

By Michelle Deal Winfield

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore along with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo both rolled out their vision of how to provide clean energy throughout New York State at a discussion hosted by New York University.

Hundreds attended the event on Friday, which was held at NYU’s Washington Square South Kimmel Center.

Gore, who received thundering applause upon stepping up to the podium, described how New York can help reclaim its environment by reducing fossil fuels. In 2011, 143 countries became involved in Gore’s Climate Reality Project which educates and advocates for climate change. He reiterated how scientifically, it’s known that the use of fossil fuels disrupts the water cycles. The North Pole and Artic regions are spilling out due to increased temperatures. The recent hurricanes are increasing every six months. Gore listed the following suggestions: 1) adding solar panels, 2) wind turbines and 3) the use of electric vehicles.

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TA member recalls first conversation with Blackstone

The ST-PCV Tenants Association’s John Sheehy (pictured) and Blackstone’s AJ Argarwal have neighboring properties in the Hamptons.

By Sabina Mollot

John Sheehy, treasurer of the ST-PCV Tenants Association, recalls exactly the moment when he learned of The Blackstone Group’s interest in Stuyvesant Town.

Sheehy, who has a summer home in East Hampton, has a neighbor in Blackstone’s AJ Argarwal, a senior managing director in real estate. Though they didn’t know each other particularly well, one day they happened to see each other as Argarwal was pulling into his driveway with his wife and Sheehy asked Argarwal if he had any interest in Stuyvesant Town.

His response: “Of course,” recalled Sheehy. It wouldn’t be until a year later, though, when the two men actually met again on the subject of Stuyvesant Town.

This was when he’d arranged for Agarwal, whom he called “a pleasant fellow,” to meet with then-Council Member Dan Garodnick at his midtown office. This was in October 2014, and the Tenants Association still had hopes of going condo.

But CWCapital hadn’t yet shown any interest in that plan.

“CW was saying, ‘We’re not ready to sell, and what’s all this talk about selling?’”

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TenantsPAC, on Cynthia Nixon for governor, says: Anyone but Cuomo

Cynthia Nixon

Update: Cynthia Nixon has announced that she is officially a candidate for governor.

By Sabina Mollot

Recently, actress Cynthia Nixon spoke with experts about a possible run for governor, according to numerous published reports. It’s also been reported that Governor Andrew Cuomo has since slammed the potential candidate as not being serious, figuring the move must have been orchestrated by his old adversary, Mayor Bill de Blasio, who Nixon has been a supporter of.

We reached out to TenantsPAC to see how the organization would feel about a Governor Nixon, and the response, from spokesperson and treasurer Mike McKee was not a surprise.

“I’m ABC,” said McKee, the acronym for which naturally stands for “anyone but Cuomo.”

“He’s been a complete failure on tenants’ rights and has failed to pass fundamental protections even though he gives lip service,” said McKee. “Actions speak louder than words.”

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Two women violently mugged on Avenue B

Mar22 Ave B mugger

Robbery suspect, pictured at a building on Avenue B near 13th Street

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are looking for a man who violently robbed two women in their East Village apartment buildings on St. Patrick’s Day.

At about 12:30 a.m. ion Saturday, a man followed a 22-year-old woman into her building lobby at East 13th Street and Avenue B. He then threw her to the ground and punched her several times. He grabbed her bag before fleeing the scene.

At about 2 a.m. the same man followed a 31-year-old woman into her building in the vicinity of Houston and Avenue B. Claiming he had a gun, he pushed her into a corner and demanded money. When the victim refused he struck her over her left eye, leaving her with a cut. He then grabbed her bag, which contained $40 and credit cards and fled east on 2nd Street.

Both victims refused medical attention at the scene.

The suspect is described as Hispanic and about 5’10.” He was last seen wearing a black jacket, dark blue sweat pants, white sneakers and white cap.

Mar22 Ave B mugger2

Robbery suspect

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers nypdcrimestoppers.com website at or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Maloney trying to pass women’s equality bill… for the 12th time

Congress Member Carolyn Maloney (center) with Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright and Girl Scouts of Greater New York CEO Meridith Maskara (Photo courtesy of Carolyn Maloney)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney is calling on her colleagues to pass a federal and state Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which despite having been introduced at the federal level 11 times by Maloney, has yet to even get a vote.

Alongside Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright and the New York Girl Scouts at the Fearless Girl statue in Lower Manhattan on Saturday, Maloney emphasized that the only right guaranteed to women in the Constitution is the right to vote. The amendment, she argued, would prohibit denying equal rights to women under the law by ensuring that government programs and federal resources benefit men and women equally and would guarantee equal footing for women in the legal systems of all 50 states.

While the bill was passed by Congress in 1972, it was three states short of ratification and has still not been brought to a vote. Maloney noted on Saturday, however, that her legislation has 28 new co-sponsors as of last Friday, for a total of 144, and Nevada ratified the amendment just last year, bringing the number of states needed for ratification down to two.

The bill needs to pass two successive legislatures and be brought to an election in New York to pass on the state level.

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Maloney’s former opponent writes book about race

By Sabina Mollot

Two years ago Robert Ardini, a marketing executive, was running a campaign against Carolyn Maloney for her long-held seat in Congress. The Republican political outsider ultimately only got 16.08 percent of the vote, but said he learned a number of lessons from the race, which he has since outlined in a new book called Running for Congress in Trump’s Backyard.

Ardini, formerly a Manhattanite who now lives in Long Island City, spoke with Town & Village about the book, which was semi-self-published through CreateSpace. This means while the book faced editorial scrutiny from the South Carolina-based publisher, Ardini still held most of the control. He also said he wanted to do the promotion for the book himself, which he’s just begun.

He said he wrote the book for the following reasons.

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Stuy Town flea market will return with designated space for artists on April 21

At this year’s flea market, sellers will only be located inside playgrounds. (Pictured) Vendors at Stuy Town’s Playground 11 at the 2017 event

By Sabina Mollot

On Friday, Stuyvesant Town management announced that the flea market, which returned last year after a hiatus of over a decade, will take place this year on Saturday, April 21.

In an email to residents, a few changes to the way the market is set up were mentioned. For one thing, instead of circling the Oval and sprawling out into the loop roads, with playgrounds included, this year, the market will only take place inside three playgrounds.

Asked about this, General Manager Rick Hayduk said this isn’t to limit the number of participants. (Last year, there were over 500.) Rather, management is confident the same if not more vendors will be able to fit this way.

The new layout may also improve visibility for vendors who may have otherwise been stationed on the outskirts of the event. (A few vendors in the playgrounds and on the loops furthest from the Oval told Town & Village last year they suspected they were getting less foot traffic.)

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Man charged with stealing thousands of dollars worth of bags from Flatiron stores

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a man believed to be responsible for a number of thefts from high-end designer stores in the Flatiron area since January. Kevin Gonzalez, 36, has been charged with grand larceny and petit larceny in connection with four thefts from the Coach store at 79 Fifth Avenue and the Michael Kors store at 133 Fifth Avenue.

According to the district attorney’s office, Gonzalez entered the Coach store on January 22 around 1:35 p.m. and stole several items from the store, including three purses. Representatives for the store told the DA’s office that the merchandise was valued at $1,080.

The next day, Gonzalez allegedly returned to the store and swiped three purses, in addition to other items, which were valued at a total of $2,315.

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Office cleaner charged with burglarizing client’s office

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A cleaning company employee has been arrested for allegedly burglarizing an office he had access to through his job, police said. Christian Holmes, 25, was arrested on Tuesday, February 27 for reportedly stealing laptops from an office at 122 West 26th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues last December.

Police said that video surveillance showed two individuals wearing hoods, masks and gloves entering the lobby of the building at 3 a.m. on December 12, 2017 using an access key card and allegedly entered the offices of Skipper, a company on the 11th floor of the building, using an office key. When the two individuals got back on the elevator on the 11th floor at 4:13 a.m., they were allegedly carrying full bags that were previously empty.

The DA’s office said that the face of the individual who used the elevator access card and key was partially visible on the surveillance video when the two were getting into the elevator and another employee for the cleaning company identified the person as Holmes.

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As students protest, gun safety legislation languishes

Congress Member Carolyn Maloney with student protesters in Washington (Photo courtesy of Congress Member Carolyn Maloney)

By Sabina Mollot

State Senator Brad Hoylman, who’s been pushing for stronger gun laws for years, was in Albany on Wednesday negotiating Republican-proposed budget measures as the walkouts were taking place. His own second-grade daughter Silvia Hoylman-Sigal was participating in one of them at her school.

However, when reached on the phone, Hoylman said that gun control bills, including his own, have recently been blocked by the Republican majority before they could even be heard on the floor.

This includes his own legislation, co-sponsored with State Senator Brian Kavanagh, which would allow families and law enforcement officials to intervene when a person known to be dangerous has a gun.

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Students take aim at lax gun laws

Across the nation, students participated in a 17-minute walkout from their schools on Wednesday morning as a protest against gun violence. One school with many protesters was Gramercy’s School of the Future. Town & Village intern Kristy Ye-Ling, a high school student there, attended and reported a crowd outside of Gramercy Park that appeared to be over 1,000 strong. Students circled the park while chanting and holding signs that read things like “We shouldn’t be afraid to go to school!” and “Parkland? Yikes!” The high school walkouts were in response to last month’s massacre at the Parkland, Florida high school where a disturbed 19-year-old shot 17 people to death. (Photos by Kristy Ye-Ling)

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Tenants asked to speak at Council hearing on rent stabilization

The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association is asking neighbors to share their stories about why rent stabilization is needed at an upcoming hearing.

On Monday, March 19 at 1 p.m. the City Council Housing and Buildings Committee has scheduled a public hearing on two measures introduced by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. One is to renew the city rent control law (which doesn’t apply to ST/PCV), and the other (Intro 600-A) is to renew the NYC Rent Stabilization Law of 1969 (which does), for three more years.

In an email to residents on Friday, the TA stated, “As long as the city vacancy rate is below 5 percent the city can renew a declaration of housing emergency. The vacancy rate is currently 3.63 percent, according to the Census Bureau.”

Tenants will have the opportunity to give testimony or simply attend the hearing to support neighbors.

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Tenant lobbying event in Albany

Real Rent Reform (R3), a coalition of tenant advocacy groups, is organizing a lobbying day in Albany on Thursday, March 22 to tell the State Senate to close the loopholes that are making housing in this city unaffordable. Even in rent-regulated apartments, the rent is too high and stability is at risk. Nearly 266,000 tenants live with a preferential rent which means their rent can jump hundreds of dollars when their lease is up.

Transportation will be provided free of cost by R3 as well as a light breakfast and lunch.

The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association will have representatives there and is asking neighbors to attend.

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UPDATED: Kips Bay Ricky’s shop robbed at gunpoint

Mar15 rickys robbery

Robbery suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are looking for a man who robbed a Ricky’s beauty supply store in Kips Bay at gunpoint.

Police said that on Wednesday night, the man walked into the business at 369 Third Avenue and 27th Street, turned a gun on a worker and demanded cash. The employee turned over $217 and the robber fled north on Third Avenue. No one was injured in the incident.

The suspect is described as being black, in his 40s and about 5 ft. 8 ins. tall.

Representatives for Ricky’s, which has 19 locations, declined to comment.

Anyone with information is asked to call the 13th Precinct Detective Squad at (212) 477-7444.

UPDATE: Police have linked the suspect to two other robberies.

On Sunday, February 18 at approximately 10:35 p.m., police believe the same man turned a gun on an employee at a Harlem 7-Eleven at 1400 5th Avenue.  He then jumped over the counter and helped himself to $100 from the register before fleeing.

On Sunday, March 11 at almost 9 p.m., the man robbed a 47-year-old woman in  her car in Brooklyn. Police say he opened the door of a Ford Explorer that was double parked in front of a Brooklyn bakery at 139 Smith Street and turned a gun on the driver.  The victim was able to escape the car, but the gunman got away with her purse, which contained $200 in cash, four credit cards and four debit cards. The suspect fled east on Dean Street.

Letters to the editor, Mar. 15

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Hicks wrong about Israel and Maloney

Re: Candidate blasts Maloney on Israel, Middle East,” T&V, Mar. 8

Sander Hicks is no match for Mrs. Maloney. Firstly, what kind of activist is he? I also have a book he should read, if he’s smart enough, Old-New Land by Theodor Herzl. Herzl said, “Zionism is a return to Judaism and that even before the return to the Land of the Jews.” He needs to learn that anti-Zionism is the same as anti-Semitism, which means hating Jews. Is his kind of “activism” spray painting swastikas on synagogue doors in the dead of night? It wouldn’t surprise me. I don’t trust him to listen to me with his immature and idiotic viewpoint.

I read your article and so did many Jewish friends and we were all scared to see “men” (bigots) like him rise. Maloney does respond. I worked on her campaign before and people like him called all the time requesting, often impolitely, to be called back pronto. There simply weren’t enough hours in the day for her. As well, if she didn’t jump when he called, why didn’t he just call back? That’s what I do in that situation.

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