Maloney’s opponent: Corporate tax cuts will spur job growth

By Sabina Mollot

Nick Di Iorio (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Nick Di Iorio (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Although primary day is just around the corner, local elected officials aren’t facing any challengers. After all, defeating a popular incumbent is a next-to-impossible task for an unknown candidate. There’s only thing even more difficult. Defeating a popular, 22-year incumbent in the general election when you’re an unknown Republican and democrat voters outnumber Republicans six to one.

But Nicholas Di iorio, a former seminary student who was more recently a contractor with Pfizer, believes he’s got a shot. The reason, said the 28-year-old Upper East Sider (who lives a few blocks away from his opponent, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney), is redistricting.

The district today encompasses much of the East Side of Manhattan, including Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, midtown and the Upper East Side as well as Astoria, Queens and part of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. The redrawing of the district maps in 2012 means that the area that became the 12th district is “now more Republican than it’s ever been,” said Di iorio.

So much so that he’s lost interest in a reality show he’d last year planned to participate in that would have followed his campaign and another race deemed to be unwinnable. A July Daily News story reported that the show idea was turned down by the Esquire channel, but according to Di iorio, though he did want to do it initially, he’d changed his mind even before it was rejected by the network.

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Stuy Town teen blows competition out of the water in 17-mile swim

By Maria Rocha-Buschel


Simona Dwass at the finish line in Coney Island (photo by Agnus McIntyre)

Simona Dwass at the finish line in Coney Island (photo by Agnus McIntyre)

Four intrepid swimmers took a dip in the East River last Saturday morning to participate in the annual Rose Pitonof Swim, traveling 17 miles in the chilly water to Coney Island. Stuyvesant Town resident Simona Dwass was attempting the feat as the swim’s youngest participant in the five years since it started, and not only did she finish, she also set a course record, reaching Coney Island in four hours and 24 minutes.

The 17-year-old Hunter College High School student has been swimming in open water since she was 12 and although she also competes in swimming events in a pool, she said that she prefers the open water.

“There are no boundaries so you don’t have to flip-turn to keep going,” she said. “You can just swim forever. And there are so many courses you can do and I like just playing with the currents in the open water.”

The swim, first organized by Urban Swim founder Deanne Draeger, starts in the East River at 26th Street because that’s where its namesake started out in 1911. The swimmers all boarded their boats from the pier at East 23rd Street and headed up the river three blocks for the race’s 8 a.m. start time.

The other three swimmers this year were Kathryn Mason, who got a head start on the race because she was attempting to do butterfly (and succeeded), Kenn Lichtenwalter and Kathleen Jaeger. Mason was also the swim’s first international participant, flying over from England just for the event. Alan Morrison, who swam breaststroke in the race last year, was on Mason’s safety boat and had helped her mentally prepare for choosing a slower, more unconventional stroke.

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14th Street Y is home to ‘Fringe Jr.’

By Sabina Mollot

By now, most theater buffs in New York City are familiar with “The New York International Fringe Festival,” the mega-festival of plays put on by over 200 companies in 16 days each summer for the past 18 years. However, what’s less known is that there’s also “Fringe Jr.,” a selection of plays in the festival that are geared towards kids. Each show is around an hour and put on by local as well as overseas companies.

The Fringe Jr. show “Vagabond$”

The Fringe Jr. show “Vagabond$”

The venue this year for Fringe Jr., which kicked off August 8 and will run through August 24, is the 14th Street Y. There are four plays to choose from, each one suitable for families with kids ages 5-12, and tickets are $18 for adults, $13 for kids.

This is the second time Fringe is showing children’s plays exclusively at the Y’s LABA theater.

Previously, Fringe Jr. plays had been shown at more than one venue each year.

“The 14th Street Y has been a very good friend to us,” said Ben Cohen, an associate producer for Fringe’s community and social marketing. The venue, he said, was ideal due to the fact there are already other activities for kids going on, making it convenient for parents who want to introduce their kids to theater.

“All of us at Fringe definitely feel that theater is so important for kids,” Cohen said. “I know it had an impact on me growing up.”

This year, there were over 1,000 applications for Fringe Festival plays, although the Fringe Jr. plays have a separate application process. But like with the other plays, Fringe looks for stories that are “current, present and topical.”

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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.

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.

Etiquette at the dog run

Volunteers planning new rules for Madison Square Park dog run

Jemmy’s dog run volunteers John Thomas with his dog Higgins and Emily Khasidy with her dog Finlay (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Jemmy’s dog run volunteers John Thomas with his dog Higgins and Emily Khasidy with her dog Finlay (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot
When it comes to behavior at the dog runs, the rules for humans are pretty universal; pick up after Fido, don’t let him get into fights with other dogs and don’t allow any other behavior you wouldn’t want a child strolling by to witness.

And while most dog owners are responsible, there always seem a few bad apples that give the rest a bad rep. So, at one local dog run, the volunteers who help maintain it are planning to implement a few new, albeit basic rules, which they shared with Town & Village.

This would be at Jemmy’s Dog Run, the 12-year-old dog run at Madison Square Park. Jemmy’s is maintained by the Parks Department and the Madison Square Park Conservancy with the help of volunteers in a dog run association.

Two of the association’s core group of active members are Flatiron residents John Thomas, owner of olde English bulldogge Higgins and Emily Khasidy, owner of Finlay, a rhodesian ridgeback. Both dog owners checked out a number of other dog runs’ rules and policies before coming up with a list for Jemmy’s, which they said will go up on signage soon after the association reviews them.

A few of the rules (which may or may not end up on the official list) are as follows:

Do not feed the dogs, unless they’re your own.

According to Thomas and Khasidy, it isn’t uncommon for dog lovers to want to feed others’ dogs treats. But this isn’t appropriate, since dog runs are not petting zoos.

Do not play rough with dogs. While dogs will play rough with each other, this doesn’t give people a free pass to do the same. Khasidy said sometimes it’s necessary for one owner to say to another, albeit nicely, “You’re playing too rough with him and he doesn’t like that.”

Don’t bring children into the run for the purpose of playing with dogs. Thomas and Khasidy said they occasionally see parents bring children into the run to attempt to get them socialized with dogs or to see how they are around them. But dog owners wish they wouldn’t.

“Some people let their kids in here, but I wouldn’t let my dog in the playground,” said Thomas. While this may sound harsh, dog owners, he reasoned, have a reason to be. “If he bites you, you can have him put down.” Khasidy agreed, noting if her dog bites someone, “a judge isn’t going to side with me. So we want to put a sign since not all dogs like kids and not all kids like dogs.”

Be mindful of behavioral issues of dogs that haven’t been neutered or spayed.

Khasidy said sometimes those dogs just won’t get along with other dogs. If that’s the case, “If your unneuetered dog is causing a problem, it might be best to remove your dog from the park for a while.” This, Thomas acknowledged, may lead to fights between owners over who has to leave. However, even more fights tend to occur over the next rule.

Don’t hold the gate open any longer than necessary. The dogs could get out and end up in traffic.

Don’t bring in poorly socialized dogs.

“One example,” said Thomas, “is a guy whose dog was a rescue pit bill, who spent most of his life in a crate. Dogs in that situation, he explained, will end up scared in a dog run with other dogs, and could also end up scaring other owners. “Because it was a pit bull, to someone else it could be very scary.”

Pick up after your dog. Though it may sound obvious, even seasoned dog owners can get distracted and end up not noticing that their dog has left something behind. “People are on headphones an they don’t look at their dogs,” said Thomas. “You have to make an effort to be aware of what your dog’s doing.” Dog poop, he added, is the number one infraction at the dog run. In Khasidy’s view, the best way to deal with this is directly; with dog owners sometimes having to point out poop piles to other owners. When she’s done it, owners have handled it politely, she said.

Meanwhile, along with its goal of new signage, the dog run association is trying to raise funds for some improvements for the Jemmy’s. Short term goals are to get new gravel (since the current gravel, larger pebbles, can get stuck on dogs’ paws) and to fix a bench that was partially dismantled when a smaller dog got a paw stuck inside the planks. Since then, with the surface removed, dogs that have been jumping around it have managed to sail inside and get hurt. More longterm goals are to get a water feature more elaborate than the current one (a garden hose), better drainage and some sort of structure that would offer more shade.

Jemmy’s Dog Run came about when the Conservancy orchestrated a renovation of the entire park, which was at the time run down and drug-ridden. Twelve years later, around 75-100 dogs use Jemmy’s run each day, mostly neighborhood dogs during the week, and others from further away on weekends. It’s named after James Madison, whose nickname was Jemmy.

Along with the dog run and its fence in 2002 (a separate fence for an area for smaller dogs wouldn’t come until 2011) the park also got new lighting and a reflecting pool for the north end.

More recently, an association of local dog owners was formed with the aim of maintaining as well as improving the dog run. The dog run costs the Conservancy about $50,000 each year to maintain, including the cost of the staffer to clean it, and repairs on infrastructure as well as the recently added large shade umbrellas. Those, branded with the conservancy logo, cost $1,000 each.

Currently, a website aimed at raising money for the run has been confusing to some would-be donors, since it refers to the spot as James’ dog run, so Thomas recommended that anyone with questions about Jemmy’s email volunteers at maddogcommittee@gmail.com.

Ice cream dream becomes reality for Stuyvesant Town resident

Mikey Cole, owner of Mikey Likes it on Avenue A, with operations manager Pete Rosado, said his business will support local artists and youth programming. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Mikey Cole, owner of Mikey Likes it on Avenue A, with operations manager Pete Rosado, said his business will support local artists and youth programming. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

When Michael “Mikey” Cole opened his ice cream shop on Avenue A at the end of May, he did so with little fanfare, in the hopes that everyone’s favorite summertime treat would be enough to lure hoards of customers in.

Since then, Cole has gained a loyal customer-base, but that’s on top of all the people who already knew him. He’s lived in Stuyvesant Town for all his 35 years and Pete Rosado, the operations manager for Mikey Likes It, presented a challenge: walk more than two blocks down Avenue A without bumping into someone who would greet Mike with a big hello.

“It’s impossible,” Rosado insisted.

Before opening the shop just outside Stuy Town, Cole started in the ice cream business about two years ago after trying out an old family recipe for vanilla ice cream.

“(My aunt) was a cook and cooks always save their recipe books,” he said. “We were going through her things after she passed two years ago and one of the recipes fell on the floor. It was a page for a vanilla ice cream recipe. Me being curious, I went to Associated, bought ingredients and just made it to her specs. That’s what became my base for all of the ice cream.”

Originally, he sold the ice cream out of a cart in the neighborhood, in essence building up a customer-base before the business was even fully formed.

In its current incarnation as the shop on Avenue A, there are a handful of different flavors that will be rotating from month to month, but none of them with recognizable ice cream names.

“We’re like the Ben & Jerry’s for the urban community,” Cole said. “We wanted to create signature flavors. I make my own vanilla and even that has three different kinds of vanilla. Everything we do is a little far fetched and out there.”

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Deadline has passed, but Stuy Town affordability talks will continue

Mayor Bill de Blasio, seated with Council Member Dan Garodnick, ST-PCV Tenants Association President John Marsh and others, meet at Garodnick’s apartment on Tuesday. (Photo by Bob Bennett, mayor's office)

Mayor Bill de Blasio, seated with Council Member Dan Garodnick, ST-PCV Tenants Association President John Marsh and others, meet at Garodnick’s apartment in July. (Photo by Bob Bennett, mayor’s office)

By Sabina Mollot

Sunday, August 10 marked the end to a 60-day deadline that CWCapital had given to the Tenants Association, the mayor’s office and local elected officials to come up with a plan aimed at keeping ST/PCV apartments affordable (that is, the ones that are still affordable — around 6,000). However, according to a spokesperson for the mayor’s office and Council Member Dan Garodnick, all parties have agreed more time is needed.

“We’ve had productive conversations with CWCapital about protecting affordability at Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village,” said Wiley Norvell, a spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio. “And all parties have agreed it’s in the best interests of the city, the tenants and CW Capital to continue those talks in the months ahead before any action is taken.”

In July, the mayor joined local politicians and Tenants Association leaders for a coffee klatch at Garodnick’s apartment, which was aimed at discussing proposals that would interest CW. One possibility has been using tax incentives to preserve affordability. The TA discussed its condo conversion plan, and later said the mayor was open to the idea, though he ideally would prefer the apartments kept as affordable rentals.

Following the deadline, Garodnick said, “The conversation has started but certainly not ended.” The time is needed to “get into greater detail about ways to protect longterm affordability.”

This post will be updated if CWCapital responds to a request for comment.

Citizen Preparedness Training on Tuesday, August 12 at UNIS

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Borough President Gale Brewer, Senator Brad Hoylman, Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh, Council Member Daniel Garodnick and Community Board 6 invite you to participate in the New York State’s Citizen Preparedness Training Program.

The program will take place on Tuesday, August 12th 2014 at 7 p.m. at United Nations International School (UNIS), 24-50 FDR Drive (just North of 23rd Street).

All participants must register in advance at: http://www.prepare.ny.gov or by calling (212) 681-4605.

Through the Citizen Preparedness Corps Training Program, approximately 100,000 New Yorkers will be provided with the tools and resources to prepare for emergencies and disasters, respond accordingly, and recover as quickly as possible to pre-disaster conditions.

Trainings participants (one per family) will receive a free Citizen Preparedness Corps Response Starter Kit, which includes:
–          AM/FM pocket radio with batteries
–          Regular flashlight
–          Plastic drop cloth
–          Light stick
–          (2) D Batteries
–          First Aid Kit
–          Face mask
–          Safety goggles
–          (6) packs of drinking water
–          (6) food bars
–          Emergency blanket
–          Duct tape
–          Work gloves
–          Water bottle

Police looking for missing teen from East 14th Street

Miguel Fontanez

Miguel Fontanez

Police are looking for a teenage resident of East 14th Street who they say was last seen on Wednesday, August 6.

Miguel Fontanez, lives at 612 East 14th Street. He is described as being 5’7″, 160 lbs., medium build with brown eyes and black curly hair.

Anyone with information in regards to this missing person is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or by text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Aug. 12 SCRIE/DRIE workshop to be held at Community Center

Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh held a press conference about the DRIE income limit increase on July 24, just moments before the City Council gave its blessing to the increase. Kavanagh is pictured with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Public Advocate Letitia James, Ellen Davidson of Legal Aid and Council Member Helel Rosenthal

Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh held a press conference about the DRIE income limit increase on July 24, just moments before the City Council gave its blessing to the increase. Kavanagh is pictured with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Public Advocate Letitia James, Ellen Davidson of Legal Aid and Council Member Helel Rosenthal

A workshop on recent expansion of eligibility for the programs SCRIE and DRIE (income caps for both programs have been raised significantly in both cases to $50,000) will be held at the Stuyvesant Town Community Center on Tuesday, August 12.

State Senators Brad Hoylman and Liz Kruger, Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh and Council Members Rosie Mendez and Dan Garodnick will be co-hosting the event, which is aimed at helping senior and disabled constituents apply for SCRIE and DRIE. One-on-one sessions at which eligible candidates can get personal assistance with their applications, or get their questions answered, will be held 1:30-4:30 p.m. at the community center, located at 449 East 14th Street (on the First Avenue Loop, near 16th Street).

If you are 62 and think you may be newly eligible for SCRIE (Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption) or are 18 or older and eligible for DRIE (Disability Rent Increase Exemption), you can learn how to apply at this event.

The SCRIE and DRIE programs provide exemptions from future rent increases and some MCIs (major capital improvements). They are now within reach of many more ST/PCV residents, due to legislation authored by Kavanagh ecently enacted at city and state levels.

If you plan to attend, call the Community Center at (212) 598-5297, so staffers will know how many to expect.
For those who can’t make it, there will be two additional informational events/registration drives.

One will be at Tompkins Square Library, 331 East 10th Street between Avenues A and B, on Monday, August 11 from 1-3 p.m.
Another will be held at Stein Senior Center, 204 East 23rd Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, on Tuesday, August 21 from 1-3:30 p.m.

Patios to be included in Ave. C building construction

 A building under construction outside the Avenue C Loop (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

A building under construction outside the Avenue C Loop (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Along with work on the old Stuyvesant Town management office to turn it into the new home for daycare center The Manhattan Kids Club, CWCapital’s also been building new apartments in the Avenue C building that was badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy, and patios are also currently being built. A spokesperson for CWCapital confirmed that the patios were currently under construction but said more details wouldn’t be revealed until they’re completed. Demolition work has also been getting done to install air conditioners under the windows rather than in them, which should provide better views. According to CWCapital spokesperson Brian Moriarty, the tenants in those apartments will pay the same A.C. surcharges as other tenants.

Community, 13th Precinct celebrate National Night Out Against Crime

(From left) Police Officer John Considine, 13th Precinct Community Council President Frank Scala, Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, Rebecca Lynch, Captain Steven Hellman, Police Officer Vincent Arlotta, Community Council treasurer Pat Salin and event organizer Jo-Ann Polise

(From left) Police Officer John Considine, 13th Precinct Community Council President Frank Scala, Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, Rebecca Lynch, Captain Steven Hellman, Police Officer Vincent Arlotta, Community Council treasurer Pat Salin and event organizer Jo-Ann Polise (more photos inside)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Community residents and local law enforcement celebrated National Night Out Against Crime on Tuesday evening, marking the 31st year for the annual event. At Simon Baruch Middle School’s playground, police officers from the 13th Precinct on the next block over manned the grill, including the precinct’s former executive officer, Frank Sorensen, who was recently promoted to commanding officer for Specialty Units in Manhattan South.

The event, organized by the 13th Precinct Community Council, is aimed at raising crime awareness and building working relationships between law enforcement agencies and communities. In recent years though, it’s also become just as much about having a block party on a usually sweltering day.

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