This week in T&V history: T&V publisher gets death threat

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Town & Village newspaper has been providing news for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village for over 65 years and we’ve decided to start taking a look back to see what was going on in the community 50 years ago. Here are a couple of snapshots from the August 13, 1964 issue of Town & Village.

T&V publisher threatened

Note left after Town & Village’s office was broken into

Note left after Town & Village’s office was broken into

This week’s edition of Town & Village from 50 years ago featured a story about a pair of “hoodlums” who wreaked havoc on the T&V offices, leaving behind a death threat for editor and publisher Charles G. Hagedorn. Although the letter said, “You’re gonna die, CJH!” and had the incorrect middle initial, detectives thought that it was intended for Hagedorn.
T&V reporter Arnold Reisman caught the thieves in the act on the previous Sunday when he entered the paper’s closed offices at 614 East 14th Street to return a camera. Although Reisman spotted one of them in the office, he was able to escape with the help of his accomplice, who was parked outside the office and who sped off when the teen ran into the car.
The office was reportedly left in shambles, with an ashtray’s contents spilled over the desk and the wire of the public address system cut. The only thing of value that was taken was a typewriter, but as evidenced by the fact that he left a handwritten note, he may not have known how to use it.
The threat was not attributed to any particular story or issue, but Hagedorn didn’t seem worried.
“A newspaper knows it’s doing a good job when it gets sued every now and then and the editor receives periodic threats,” he said. “But I wish my enemies were a bit more literate and could at least spell my initials right.”

Stuy Town cop exonerated
A short blurb mentioned that the lieutenant who shot a black teenager the previous month was to be exonerated by a grand jury investigating the killing. Lieutenant Thomas Gilligan maintained that he had acted in self defense and that the boy “seemed to be the size of a giant” as he lunged at him.
At the time, the medical examiner had reported that the boy was 5’6” and 122 pounds, whereas Lieutenant Gilligan was 6 feet tall.

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Letters to the Editor, Aug. 14

When history is written by the west

To the Editor:

I am reacting to David Chowes’ letter, “Hamas is the reason for Gaza bloodshed,” in T&V, July 31.
Reading it brought me back to the Sioux Wars in the middle of the nineteenth century when the Dakotas attacked and killed some 800 men, women and children. Their eventual defeat, one might argue, was something they brought about themselves, but that “It’s their own fault,” conclusion would require that one’s story opens with the massacre of 29 soldiers near Fort Laramie: “The savages killed 29 of our boys!’ But the expression of “savagery” points back to a history and to an attitude toward natives and settlers.

In other words, what we have here is not a description of a nasty series of events. There is no acknowledgement that a chief had just been killed by a trooper, nor an acknowledgement of uninvited settlements in (acknowledged) Indian territory, nor an acknowledgement that natives had been forced by treaty, when not forced by military power, to accommodate the flood of foreigners from Europe and the eastern states — an accommodation which, they well-knew was, after tens of thousands of years In-This-Place, their demise.

For some it was then, and now, unfathomable that the natives of This Place did not feel it their duty to go out of existence so that the settlers might “live in peace.” For some it was then, as it is now, unfathomable that those in This Place just might have a moral duty to rebel according to their own terms — a moral duty ever-so precisely described in our Declaration of Independence.

I am not a historian, nor am I suggesting that we go back to the origin of the universe, but it seems to me that Mr. Chowes’ pitch had no more accuracy then we find in “Rockets raining down on Israel!”

We can of course avoid the moral obligation that we have toward the mess created in Palestine by western imperialism, and we do, but we do it at our own peril.  Yet, if we do not know that history, and more important, if we make no attempt to know it, then Mr. Chowes’ words and the pathetic dribble coming out of The White House are secure.

The choices we have supported for the natives of Palestine are 1) disappear, 2) live on your knees, 3) die fighting. Too many of us have the gaul to object when they choose number 3.

John M. Giannone, ST

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Guterman hopes to get 5,000 tenants to hire him

By Sabina Mollot
Developer Gerald Guterman, who recently expressed his desire to see Stuyvesant Town tenants organize to demand a conversion and re-settle the “Roberts” and MCI settlements, while also hiring him as a consultant to help with the effort, has continued to pursue tenants as clients by drawing up a contract over the weekend.

However, he wants to see at least 5,000 tenants participate in such an effort. Otherwise, he warned, his LLC company, West Palm Beach-based Guterman Partners, won’t take the job.
“Before we can accept an ST/PCV assignment, it will be necessary for at least five thousand (5,000) separate residents families to sign a Consulting Agreement with a consulting subsidiary of Guterman Partners, LLC,” he said.
In exchange for his services as an independent contractor, he’d get $10 per participant (a total of at least $50,000).

His statement was part of a letter he wrote directed to tenants (though so far unmailed) asking them a number of questions such as whether tenants were told they’d be charged for the MCIs they received and for the “Roberts” tenants, if they received “the full dollar recovery” in damages for all the rent they overpaid. The letter also went into quality of life issues.

“ST/PCV residents, were you told (when you signed your lease) that the building you lived in was being converted to ‘high population’ student/dormitory housing?” He also blasted the recent concerts in the Oval as a scheme to attract students.
He also said, after the news that CW’s parent company Fortress was preparing a bid of $4.7 billion, that he wasn’t sure he was still interested in preparing a bid of his own, preferring instead to be a consultant in a tenant-led effort.

The contract itself, while saying Guterman would provide consulting services, makes no mention of the re-settlement of litigation, student housing or other issues he wants tenants to fight. Those issues are instead mentioned in the letter. Questions include asking if tenants were told, upon signing their leases, that the Oval would be rented out for commercial purposes or that businesses would come “alive” right on the Oval or that the quiet of tenants’ apartments would be disrupted “because the landlord is using mass-entertainment to attract students to the recently converted dormitory housing?”
He also invited tenants to contact him through the email address: stpcv@gutermanpartners.com.

A spokesperson for CWCapital declined to comment on Guterman’s letter.

As for the odds of Guterman being able to secure all the signatures he wants, it may prove a challenge. In May, 2013, attorneys representing tenants in the “Roberts” suit had a tough time just getting tenants to file their paperwork authorizing them to receive their damages checks. So much so that the Tenants Association and local elected officials stepped in to go door to door in ST/PCV in an effort to get tenants to file. This, recalled lead “Roberts” attorney Alex Schmidt, was even after all the “Roberts” tenants received documents in the mail with application forms.
Schmidt declined to comment on Guterman’s letter.

In previous statements directed at tenants, Guterman urged a “gloves off” fight in court against CWCapital in order to renegotiate “Roberts” and the MCI settlement and force a conversion and the end to student housing and apartments with pressurized walls.

When asked about this, an attorney very familiar with “Roberts,” Leonard Grunstein, said he thought that a court agreeing to re-consider the case was highly unlikely. After Stuy Town was put up for sale by Met Life, Grunstein was hired by the Tenants Association to help with a tenant-led bid. It was then that he discovered that landlords benefiting from J-51 tax abatements could not deregulate apartments, which is what ultimately led to the “Roberts” lawsuit.
“I don’t think that can change,” said Grunstein. “Anything is possible, but it doesn’t sound realistic. You would have to prove that they are overcharging new tenants.”

Another attorney, Jeffrey Turkel, who represents owners and groups representing the real estate industry, told Town & Village that generally, courts don’t like to overturn cases.
Turkel, along with a partner at his firm, Rosenberg & Estis, represented the Rent Stabilization Association, an owners’ organization, in “Roberts” when the RSA submitted an amicus brief, or document in support of Tishman Speyer.
Although he didn’t want to comment on “Roberts” specifically, Turkel said, “If someone wanted to undo or overturn a stipulation, they would have to establish fraud or mistakes or overreaching or something like that. Once a stipulation of a settlement is signed by two parties it is binding. What courts don’t like is for people to sign a stipulation and then come back and say, ‘We didn’t mean it.’ That’s basic, settled New York law. Otherwise, you’d have chaos.”

The Tenants Association, meanwhile, responded to the letter by defending its own conversion plan and partnership with Brookfield Asset Management.
“Now that our property is in play again, we expect old and new players to surface from time to time,” TA Chair Susan Steinberg said. “We are committed to delivering on our goals of long term affordability and stability for this community, and believe we have the right advisors and partners to accomplish that goal.”

Police Watch: Camera pervs, groping and pick-pocketing arrests at Union Square subway

Compiled by Maria Rocha-Buschel

CAMERA ‘PERVS’ BUSTED AT UNION SQUARE
Police arrested two men for “obscene material” in unrelated incidents at Union Square station last week. Rubio Patricio-Palaguachi, 37, was arrested last Tuesday at 2 p.m. Patricio-Palaguachi was allegedly walking directly behind a woman with his Samsung Galaxy phone camera lens facing upward under her dress and while she was walking up the stairs out of the station, recording her underwear as she walked. She told police that she did not know him and did not give him permission to film her.
Oscar Torres, 31, was arrested last Sunday at 4:35 p.m. Torres allegedly placed a recording device under the skirt of a girl as she was walking up the stairs out of the station.

‘GROPER’ NABBED IN UNION SQUARE
Police arrested Carlos Hernandez Saavedra, 50, arrested for groping a woman at the Union Square subway station last Friday at 5:45 p.m. Hernandez Saavedra was allegedly touching and rubbing a woman’s butt while on the train without her permission.

MAN BUSTED FOR SNATCHING WALLET
Police arrested 50-year-old James Davis in Union Square for grand larceny last Monday at 10:40 a.m. Davis allegedly reached into a woman’s purse while on an Eighth Avenue-bound L train and removed her wallet. Police said that he used a dry cleaning bag with a pink shirt to cover his left arm while removing the wallet. He allegedly fled onto a downtown express train to avoid being arrested. Police arrested him on the 4/5/6 platform and he was allegedly in possession of a Samsung Galaxy phone and two MetroCards that belonged to someone else.

PHONE SNATCHER NABBED IN UNION SQUARE
Thirty-two-year-old Billy Decaneo was arrested for grand larceny at Union Square East and East 14th Street last Tuesday at 7:41 a.m. The victim said that he was sitting in Union Square Park on the steps by the fountain. He had his bag on his lap and was looking for his wallet when Decaneo allegedly reached into the bag and took his cell phone with charger attached. The victim alerted a nearby officer and the victim’s phone was in Decaneo’s hand when he was arrested, police said.

ARREST FOR PHONY MUGGING STORY
Police arrested 27-year-old Jennifer Fleischer arrested for perjury last Wednesday at 3:20 p.m. at the Union Square subway station. Fleischer allegedly told police that while she was getting off an uptown M train at the Broadway-Lafayette station, an unknown black man mugged her and stole her purse, containing her MetroCard and $20 in cash. Upon further investigation, she recanted her story, allegedly saying that she made it up as an excuse to not go to work and that her property was in the garbage.

MAN ADMITS HAVING GUN
Police arrested 27-year-old Bobby Robinson for weapons possession inside the 13th precinct at 230 East 21st Street last Sunday at 12:30 a.m. Police said that Robinson freely walked up to an officer, while not in custody, and spontaneously said, “that’s my car and I left a gun in the trunk.” A handgun was recovered from the car.


‘DRUNK DRIVER’ AT THIRD AND EAST 15TH
Police arrested 40-year-old William Mack arrested for intoxicated driving last Tuesday at 2:53 a.m. at Third Avenue and East 15th Street. Police saw him swerving in traffic and he allegedly had a smell of alcohol on his breath when police stopped him. He blew a .157 on a Breathalyzer, police said.

MAN GRABS AND ‘THREATENS’ WOMAN
Police arrested 29-year-old Kevin Newton arrested for criminal mischief in front of 717 Sixth Avenue last Tuesday at 1:50 a.m. The victim told police that she was walking on the sidewalk when she felt Newton grab her wrist. She pulled free and began to walk away from him but he allegedly followed her for about two blocks and began to verbally threaten her. She attempted to call 911 when he smacked the phone from her hand, causing the glass screen to shatter, police said. She also told police that he spit in her face.

BIKE ‘BURGLAR’ BUSTED ON WEST 25TH
Police arrested 54-year-old Lindsay Thomas arrested for possession of burglar’s tools last Wednesday at 1:45 p.m. in front of 40 West 25th Street. Thomas was walking east with two other unknown men when they were seen stopping at a Citibike rack. The first unknown man pointed at the rack while the second unknown man was seen attempting to remove the bike by pulling on the tire. The men then fled in unknown directions and when police stopped Thomas, he was allegedly in possession of burglar’s tools.

SUBWAY BUSKER BUSTED FOR FORGERY
Claudio Soto, 32, was arrested for forgery last Wednesday 6:25 p.m. inside the Union Square station. Soto was allegedly playing an electric guitar with an amplification device on the L platform in violation of transit rules. When asked to produce identification, he gave a forged US permanent resident card and forged Chilean driver’s license

MAN ARRESTED FOR KICKING DOOR
Police arrested 22-year-old Vincent Florido for criminal mischief last Thursday at 12:45 a.m. in front of Friend of a Farmer at 77 Irving Place. Florido allegedly damaged the front lobby door by kicking the glass intentionally.

ATTEMPTED BIKE ‘THIEF’ BUSTED
Police arrested 19-year-old Anthony Barahona for possession of burglar’s tools in front of 10 Union Square East last Thursday at 2:20 p.m. Barahona was allegedly using wirecutters to open a bicycle lock which didn’t belong to him. Police said that he was in possession of another pair of wirecutters, which were in his backpack.

MAN ARRESTED FOR POT
Ibrahima Jalloh, 23, was arrested for marijuana possession last Wednesday at 6:23 p.m. at Broadway and West 28th Street. Police said he had it in plain view on a public sidewalk.

TEEN RIDING BIKE ON SIDEWALK ARRESTED FOR BRASS KNUCKLES
Police arrested a 17-year-old for weapons possession at West 23rd Street and Seventh Avenue last Monday at 5:35 p.m. Miller was allegedly riding a black bicycle recklessly on the sidewalk of Seventh Avenue, causing about 15 people to move out of the way. He was also in possession of brass knuckles in his left shorts pocket, police said.

MAN HIT OVER THE HEAD WITH BOTTLE
James Quinn, 23, was arrested for assault last Saturday at 3:34 p.m. in front of 101 West 25th Street. Quinn got into an argument with the victim and allegedly hit him over the head with a bottle.

TEENS ACROBATS ARRESTED
Police arrested two teens for reckless endangerment last Saturday at 8:10 p.m. at the Union Square subway station. A 16-year-old and 18-year-old Kyle Solomon were allegedly working together, dancing and somersaulting on a crowded L train, causing a hazard to themselves and others, police said. The name of the 16-year-old is being withheld due to his age.

MAN ARRESTED FOR SELLING ‘LOOSIE’
Police arrested 38-year-old Udo Onua for violating tax law at East 14th Street and Union Square West last Thursday at 9:28 a.m. Onua was allegedly selling loose Newport cigarettes from a carton with an Ohio stamp in exchange for cash.

‘DRUNK DRIVER’ BUSTED ON SECOND AVENUE
Police arrested Victor Assante, 44, for intoxicated driving in front of 531 Second Avenue last Friday at 3:01 a.m. Assante was driving north on Third Avenue and then east on East 29th Street and while driving on Third Avenue, he was allegedly swerving back and forth between the far right lane and the middle of the road. He was stopped near East 29th Street because he allegedly didn’t signal when he turned and police said that he had a strong odor of alcohol on his breathe, watery, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet.