Stuyvesant Town residents shocked by polling site changes

A polling site in Stuyvesant Town during last November’s election (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Stuyvesant Town residents in multiple buildings were shocked to learn last Wednesday that their polling sites had changed to a location in Campos Plaza Community Center at 611 East 13th Street. The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association said in an email on Wednesday that residents who got the notices bombarded Councilmember Keith Powers’ office and the TA’s message center about the changes.

The message from the TA noted that residents from as far away as East 20th Street were being instructed to vote at the Campos Plaza polling site across East 14th Street.

The Board of Elections has been shifting polling places around in recent years, primarily to make sure that the sites are ADA compliant, and Powers’ office has been working with the BOE to find spaces in Stuy Town that can be used as polling sites.

Powers said that the changes are due to accessibility concerns because there are a number of long-term poll sites that the BOE has been using that are not fully ADA compliant. Schools are often a popular spot for polling sites but Powers said that a number of the schools in the neighborhood are not actually ADA compliant yet, although the city is also working to correct that discrepancy. In the meantime, he is still hoping that spaces in Stuyvesant Town can be usable and his office has been working with management to get access to those spaces.

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Associated closing in Stuyvesant Town

Associated Supermarket in Stuyvesant Town (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Associated Supermarket in Stuyvesant Town on East 14th Street will likely be closing by the end of this year, StuyTown general manager Rick Hayduk announced in an email to residents last Friday afternoon.

Hayduk noted in the message that management has been working with the store in an attempt to keep the market open through the holiday season, including by offering free rent, but the store reportedly still would not be able to guarantee that it could stay open through the end of the year.

The owners told management that the competitive environment for supermarkets, both locally and due to online ordering, led them to the decision to close.

Norman Quintanilla, who has been the manager at the store for the last 16 years, told Town & Village on Tuesday that they have notified employees that the last day would be December 10, but the store will likely end up closing by the end of November.

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Letters to the editor, Sept. 19

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

City’s plan will hurt Stuy Cove

In response to the ad in the September 5 issue of T&V, the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association received a number of comments and questions. The following letter has been sent to elected representatives in Washington, Albany and New York. The SCPA thanks to all those who took the time to contact them.

On Monday, October 21, the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association will hold its annual Friends of Stuyvesant Cove Park meeting. The meeting will take place at the Stuyvesant Town Community Center, located at 449 East 16th Street. Among our agenda items is the planned razing of Stuyvesant Cove Park as part of the East Coast Resiliency Project.

It is the opinion of this body that the planned destruction and modification of the park, a project estimated to deprive the community use of the park for two years or more, will do nothing to prevent flooding in Stuyvesant Cove Park in the future. In addition, despite the surge in 2012, regular park-goers observed that within months, most of the flora was alive and well, with only a few exceptions, and within six months, you would not know anything had happened. All this in spite of the fact that the park had been under four feet of river water.

We understand that funds are being provided by the federal government. However, spending money simply because it is available should not be confused with justification and we are in total disagreement with the city’s decision to choose years of construction, hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs and no discernible new protections for the park itself. Moreover, Stuyvesant Cove Park’s natural resiliency in the wake of Hurricane Sandy proves that this is an ill-conceived over reaction to this event.

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Man wanted for forcible touching on 4 train

Forcible touching suspect

By Maria Rocha-Buschel 

Police are looking for a man wanted for a forcible touching incident that occurred on the subway in Union Square earlier this month. 

The 37-year-old victim told police that she was riding a crowded uptown 4 train on Monday, September 9 around 8:35 a.m. and when the train was near Union Square, an unknown man who was standing behind her allegedly exposed his private parts and rubbed up against the victim’s buttocks. 

When the victim called attention to his behavior and protested to what he was doing, he got off the train at an unknown station and fled on foot. The victim was not injured. 

The suspect is described as a black man between 20 and 30 years old, clean-shaven, and was last seen wearing a patterned long sleeve shirt and glasses. 

Anyone with information about the identity of this man is asked to call the NYPD’s CrimeStoppers 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 CrimeStoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or on Twitter @NYPDTips.

All calls are strictly confidential.

Housing, transit major issues at District 4 town hall

Councilmember Keith Powers and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson at the town hall on Tuesday. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Top priority for residents at a City Council District 4 town hall this week was affordable housing and transportation issues, in addition to addressing homelessness.

The town hall, hosted by Councilmember Keith Powers and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson this Tuesday, was held at CUNY’s Graduate Center and was attended by more than 300 residents.

Susan Steinberg, president of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association, brought up the issue of affordable housing and the new rent laws for the first question of the night.

“Right away landlords went into a tailspin,” she said of the strengthened rent laws. “Blackstone who are the owners of Stuyvesant Town, have decided that they had to regroup and re-strategize because their business model no longer worked. And the way they did this was to hit the pause button on renovating vacant apartments and making them unavailable, so it’s tantamount to warehousing. And we were very concerned about that.”

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UPDATE: Teen arrested for robbery in Stuyvesant Town

Suspect David Young

This is an updated version of a previous story posted yesterday.

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A 17-year-old girl was arrested for assaulting a senior while she was trying to get into her building in Stuyvesant Town on Monday evening. 

Police said that the victim, who is older than 65, was walking up to the building at 430 East 20th Street around 7:40 p.m. on September 16 when she spotted the teens, a boy and a girl, standing outside the door. As she approached the building, she said that one of the teens told her that his phone was dead and wanted her to let them inside the building. 

The victim said that she told them they needed to call security if they wanted help getting inside and one of the teens allegedly responded, “You’re not opening the door because we’re black.”

The victim said that she then turned around to walk away from the building when the teens grabbed her from behind and knocked her to the ground before grabbing her purse and fleeing the scene by heading west. 

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Men wanted for East Village jewelry store theft

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The New York City Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying two men wanted for a grand larceny that occurred in the East Village.

It was reported to the police that on August 23 at 8 p.m., two individuals entered the Still House, located at 309 East 9th Street, where they were trying on jewelry at the counter.  The individuals removed two rings, valued at approximately $2,980, when the store employee was distracted.  The individuals also used a counterfeit $100 bill to purchase two $25 gift cards before leaving the store.

Anyone with information in regard 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 CrimeStoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or on Twitter @NYPDTips.

All calls are strictly confidential.

Opinion: What’s on the governor’s plate?

The winning design

By former Assemblymember Steven Sanders

There was an election last week. Cuomo lost.

Being governor of New York State with its nearly 20 million population and world important venues is a really big job. To govern successfully requires great intelligence, leadership skills and a focus on what matters most.

Andrew Cuomo has had this job for the past nine years. But one must wonder if he momentarily lost his attention on what is really important. Of all his significant policy initiatives during his first two terms, Cuomo’s preoccupation with issuing new license plates for motorists is a head scratcher. Of course, the change is estimated to raise upwards of $100 million for the state coffers, whether the replacement is necessary or not.

It will tax each car owner up to $45 to replace their current plates, once in circulation, for ten years. Governor Cuomo says that is needed because EZ pass terminals are having a hard time reading the existing plates. Since when?

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Teens wanted for robbery in Stuyvesant Town

430 East 20th Street (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police are looking for two teenagers who reportedly robbed a woman while she was trying to get into her building in Stuyvesant Town yesterday evening. 

The victim told police that she was walking up to the building at 430 East 20th Street around 7:40 p.m. on Monday, September 16 when she spotted the teens, a boy and a girl, standing outside the door. As she approached the building, she said that one of the teens told her that his phone was dead and wanted her to let them inside the building. 

The victim said that she told them they needed to call security if they wanted help getting inside and one of the teens allegedly responded, “You’re not opening the door because we’re black.”

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Three wanted for assaulting elderly man

Suspect 1

The New York City Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying three individuals who are wanted for questioning in connection to an assault that occurred in the East Village.

Police said that the three individuals approached the 84-year-old male victim from behind near East 6th Street and Avenue D on Wednesday, September 4 around 6:30 a.m. The male suspect punched the victim in the right side of the face and the three then fled.

Suspect 2

Police said that the first suspect is a black boy, approximately 15-18 years old and was last seen wearing a multicolored t-shirt, black pants and black sneakers. The second suspect is a Hispanic girl, approximately 15-18 years old and with long hair. She was last seen wearing a red t-shirt, dark pants, and purple shoes. The third individual is a black girl between 15 and 18 years old and was last seen wearing a floral dress and sandals.

Suspect 3

Anyone with information in regard to the identity of these individuals 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 CrimeStoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls are strictly confidential.

Flea market founder dies at age 86

Dolores Dolan

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Longtime Stuyvesant Town resident Dolores Dolan passed away at age 86 on Sunday, September 1.

A former news clerk at the New York Times as well as a model, Dolan was the Stuyvesant Town resident who originally pitched the idea of a flea market to management about 45 years ago, and also encouraged current management to bring the market back.

Town & Village spoke with Dolan when the flea market initially returned to Stuy Town. She was excited about the prospect and said that she was considering setting up a table herself.

“Maybe it’s time for me to get rid of some of my stuff,” she said when management announced the market would make a comeback in 2016. “That’s the idea and hopefully other people have an interest, but it’s also a social thing, particularly when the weather’s nice.”

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Non-profit offers singing opportunities for seniors at Third Street

Third Street Music School (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Gramercy resident Loretta Marion rediscovered choral singing after her husband died almost a decade ago but has found community in a group of older adults who perform with a non-profit with origins in Annapolis that has organized in New York for the last couple of years.

The organization, called Encore, provides adults age 55 and over with singing opportunities, and the New York chapter began its new season at a new, local location for its fall season earlier this month. Encore Rocks, a rock & roll chorus that covers hits from the 50s to the 80s, and Encore Chorale, which is a choral group singing arrangements from classical and Broadway, both have a new home at Third Street Music School Settlement on East 11th Street.

Marion, 80, has lived on Third Avenue between East 18th and 19th Streets since she got married in 1968 and before that, lived in a studio apartment on East 22nd Street at Second Avenue.

“I’ve been in this neighborhood for a long time,” she said. This year, she will be a volunteer chorale master for Encore Chorale.

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Gristedes across from Peter Cooper Village to become D’Agostino

The store is expected to have an official grand re-opening next Friday, September 20.

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Gristedes at 355 First Avenue across from Peter Cooper Village will be converted into a D’Agostino, owner John Catsimatidis confirmed last week.

Catsimatidis told Real Estate Weekly last week that the change was at the request of neighbors, since there was D’Agostino east of First Avenue in Stuyvesant Town for over 50 years. That store lost its lease over a decade ago and was replaced with a new gym. Catsimatidis said that there are no plans right now to re-brand at other Gristedes locations.

Neighbors notified Town & Village at the beginning of this month that a sign announcing the change was posted in the window and the Gristedes sign had been removed by September 3.

Signage outside the store had already changed over to D’Agostino by this past Tuesday and renovations were ongoing in the store at the time. Construction workers outside the store on Tuesday said that the store will be staying open during the renovations and the grand re-opening is scheduled for next Friday, September 20.

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Police Watch: Girl arrested for stealing cash, Man accused of throwing urine

GIRL ARRESTED FOR STEALING CASH FROM KIPS BAY RESTAURANT
Police arrested a teenager for a robbery that took place inside Asia Express at 493 Second Avenue on Friday, September 6 at 10:25 p.m.

Police said that the teen, along with two other girls who weren’t arrested, removed cash from a nearby restaurant and fled the location. The victim then ran after the suspects, who dropped the money. While the victim was picking the cash up from the ground, the teen who was arrested reportedly punched the victim in the face, causing substantial pain, and grabbed the money from her before fleeing. The girl was caught at the corner of Second Avenue and East 28th Street on at 12:52 a.m. No other arrests have been made.

MAN ACCUSED OF THROWING URINE
Police arrested 42-year-old Michael Gordon for the alleged assault of a police officer inside Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue on Thursday, September 5 at 12:12 a.m. A police officer said that he encountered Gordon at the hospital inside the psychiatric unit and the officer overheard Gordon say, “The last time I was discharged, I threw a cup of urine at police officers because I knew it would get me arrested.”

The officer said that Gordon then used the bathroom and returned with a cup of urine, so he told the nurses to remove the cup from his possession and told Gordon to drop the cup. Police said that Gordon then threw the cup of urine at the officer, causing irritation to his eyes and face. The officer then discharged his Taser and placed Gordon under arrest. The same police officer said that Gordon took a cup of urine and threw it at hospital security.

Gordon was charged with assaulting a police officer, an unclassified public administration misdemeanor and an unclassified public safety misdemeanor, as well as aggravated harassment.

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Letters to the editor, Sept. 12

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Frustrating ‘rush hour’ M23 service

I am a senior living on East 20th Street and Avenue C near the SBS bus stop. I arrived at the bus stop at 8:45 a.m. (well within “rush hour”). There was a bus outside with the front door open.

I showed the bus driver my MetroCard and said, “Just give me a second to get a slip.” I ran to the machine that was about 5 steps away from the bus. While I was inserting my MetroCard, the bus driver shut the door and drove away.

During this “rush hour,” I had to wait an additional 20 minutes for another bus. If this was the first time this or a similar incident happened, I would let it go. But this happens frequently. The bus parks away from the stop, pulls up when there’s a red light and takes off when the light changes.

Marilyn Levin
Stuyvesant Town

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