This week in T&V history: Epiphany gets money to rebuild

The old Epiphany Church goes up in flames.

The old Epiphany Church goes up in flames.

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Town & Village Newspaper has been providing news for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village for over 65 years. Here is a snapshot of what was happening in the neighborhood 50 years ago this week.

Epiphany gets money to rebuild

This issue of T&V reported that the fundraising campaign to rebuild Epiphany Church had surpassed all expectations, raising $360,000. The church had been almost completely destroyed in a fire a few days before Christmas the previous year. The amount raised almost reached the suggested minimum of $400,000 that the church would need to rebuild and the story noted that the rate of donations indicated that the real need of $900,000 was likely to be pledged by the time the campaign ended in November.

Architectural firm Belfatto and Pavarini designed the new church, which was “strikingly modern.” The estimated cost of the new building was a total of $1.3 million. The insurance from the fire covered $704,450, which left about $600,000 of that sum, but the church had also purchased additional property, adding about $300,000. The rebuilding process started in 1965 and took two years, completing in 1967. It ultimately cost $1.2 million. The rectory on East 21st Street, which was built in 1936, was not burnt down in the fire.

Students aid “needy Southern Negroes”

Local residents and about 20 Stuyvesant High School student volunteers participated in a food drive in front of a supermarket on East 14th Street the previous Saturday, raising food, clothing and money for people in Mississippi and other areas in the South.

The event was the third annual food drive hosted by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which was also affiliated with local and national civil rights organizations. At the time, Mississippi law stated that the names of all people who had taken the voter registration test had to be printed in the local paper for two weeks, which subjected black families to retaliatory actions. Many of the children didn’t go to school because they didn’t have clothing to wear and many families were the target for homemade bombs and telephone threats.

The story reported that the kindness of residents exceeded expectations and volunteers found themselves deluged with clothing and food, and monetary donations from the sale of books, buttons and bumper stickers were also overwhelming.

PCV dog trainer denies competing with Happy Dogs, poaching clients

Peter Cooper resident Blake Rodriguez of DCTK9, with other dog walkers, walks a dog close to home in August. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Peter Cooper resident Blake Rodriguez of DCTK9, with other dog walkers, walks a dog close to home in August. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

In September, new doggie daycare center Happy Dogs, which is located on First Avenue north of 23rd Street, sued a former trainer the company had worked with, accusing Blake Rodriguez, a Peter Cooper resident, of poaching customers and starting a competing business, Dream Come True K9 (DCTK9).

The problem, said Ien and Jennifer Cheng, who own Happy Dogs, was that during the course of their working relationship, Rodriguez said he wanted to open his own rehabilitation center for dogs with behavioral issues. Though they knew this, they became concerned that despite his having signed an agreement not to compete, his center, located a mile and half downtown of Happy Dogs in Manhattan, would do just that by offering overnight boarding as Happy Dogs also does.

The contract called for him not to start a competing business within three miles of of Happy Dogs after the working relationship had ended. Happy Dogs also accused Rodriguez of illegally boarding dogs in his apartment.

A month after the suit was filed, last Thursday, a judge at a city Civil Court heard arguments from both sides and while he didn’t come to any decision, indicated he didn’t think Rodriguez’s dog walking and training company posed much of a threat to Happy Dogs. Noting that DCTK9 is a startup while Happy Dogs has two locations (one in Kips Bay and another in McCarren Park in Brooklyn), Judge Robert Reed said, “It’s like a gnat causing annoyance to an elephant.”

Reed brought up how many dogs there were in the city, saying that just that morning he’d been emailed an ad for a doggie daycare service “and I don’t have a dog.” He added that he wondered why Happy Dogs was so worried about losing clients when “there’s a lot more people with dogs within that three mile radius” of Manhattan.

Happy Dogs owner Jennifer Cheng at the First  Avenue facility in 2013 (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Happy Dogs owner Jennifer Cheng at the First Avenue facility in 2013 (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

In response, attorney Robert Landy, who was representing Happy Dogs, said that while Happy Dogs didn’t consider itself unique, it was trying to keep its clients from being poached by Rodriguez. The lawsuit had stated that the Chengs had seen testimonials on DCTK9’s website from former clients of Happy Dogs. In response to Reed’s earlier comparison of the two businesses, the attorney said that he “wouldn’t consider Happy Dogs a giant elephant,” but agreed that Happy Dogs was a bigger operation. He said the company recently expanded so that there are now 30 employees.

Landy added that Rodriguez and the Chengs had worked on the group training sessions held at Happy Dogs together and as a result Rodriguez got confidential information about the company’s clients and their dogs’ needs. He also said that during a time after the working relationship had ended but when the Chengs and Rodriguez were still trying to renew it, there was a lot of back and forth on what Rodriguez was going to do with his company, with boarding being a murky subject.

Rodriguez’s website, he added, initially described DCTK9 as a one-stop shop for various dog-related services. But DCTK9, in a written response to the lawsuit, had said Rodriguez had been unaware of this at first since he hadn’t been the one to designed his recently revamped website. The website also utilized SEO services aimed at bringing more traffic to the site. This, Rodriguez’s counter-complaint explained, was the reason for the “one-stop shop” wording. In court, Landy said he found that difficult to believe.

“The defendant will say what’s most useful for himself and then back away from it,” said Landy.

Reed, however, said he was concerned that “stopping (Rodriguez) from being able to go off on a new venture, I don’t know if that’s in keeping with public policy.” He also said he thought the two businesses’ neighborhoods’, DCTK9’s on the Lower East Side vs. Happy Dogs near Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper and Gramercy Park were different in the latter ones “have a bit more money.”

In arguing for DCTK9, attorney Aglaia Davis said Rodriguez doesn’t advertise or solicit clients, and when he gets calls, refers the caller to his website to make sure what the person is looking for is training or walking as part of a training program, rather than daycare. “If someone was to say, ‘I don’t want to be with Happy Dogs, anymore. I’m looking for somewhere to drop off my dog and pick it up at 5,” DCTK9 wouldn’t be able to offer the service, she said. “Their businesses are not competing.”

At this point, Reed said he couldn’t even understand why there was a dispute.

Following the arguments, Rodriguez who’d been present at court, said he thought “this whole thing is silly.” He said the only dogs he offers boarding to are the ones participating in his training program or that have used the training program in the past.

“We do make an expectation for dogs we’ve trained,” he said. “It’s not for everybody. It’s not daycare.”

He also denied boarding dogs in his apartment in Peter Cooper Village.

“I have a center. That’s where I live. I have a dog,” he said.

The Chengs weren’t present at the court appearance, and Landy declined to make any further comment. A spokesperson for CW declined to comment on whether or not Rodriguez has boarded dogs at his home.

Di iorio holds press conference with guy in panda suit to mock Maloney

Nick Di iorio and “Kevin” at last Friday’s press conference

Nick Di iorio and “Kevin” at last Friday’s press conference

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s Republican challenger, Nick Di iorio, held a unique press conference last Friday to criticize the record and what he called inaction of the incumbent.

Playing off of the Congresswoman’s attempt this past summer to bring a panda to a New York City zoo, Di iorio announced that he got the job done for her.

“I’ve adopted my own panda,” he said, introducing a man wearing a panda suit as Kevin and pointing to the excited two-legged creature parading in front of a group of Di iorio supporters. “And now we can get that off the table and focus on the real issues.”

Kevin, presumably a Di iorio supporter, enthusiastically hugged the Congressional hopeful and trotted out a scroll displaying the number of bills that Representative Maloney has been unable to pass.

Di iorio said at the press conference that Maloney had been avoiding his request for a debate and emphasized that although she had agreed to appear opposite Di iorio at the 17th Precinct Community Council’s Candidate Night this past Tuesday, he emphasized that this was not a formal debate.

Maloney was ultimately unable to attend the Candidate Night event because President Obama had asked the Congresswoman to lead a U.S. delegation to mark the opening of the new exhibit of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, but she did agree to a “no notes” debate with Di iorio, scheduled for this Thursday.

“Representative Maloney took a month and a half to agree to debate. I am glad that we finally will have one debate,” Di iorio said. “It is unfortunate that it took so much pressure to debate, especially a 22-year incumbent.  However, I am looking forward to debating her on Thursday.”

Halloween event for kids in Stuyvesant Town

Nate and Robbi Marmur with their children Ellery and Gorel, dressed up as Peanuts characters. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Nate and Robbi Marmur with their children Ellery and Gorel, dressed up as Peanuts characters.

On Saturday afternoon, hundreds headed to the Oval for Stuyvesant Town’s annual Halloween fair for kids. Thanks to sunny skies and weather warm enough for kids to wear their costumes sans jackets, the crowd was even bigger than usual. This year, the free event also included live music, a pumpkin patch, crafts, bounce houses and a pop-up haunted house. There was plenty of creativity from families for costumes, including Peanuts characters (complete with Lucy’s psychiatric help stand), a homemade sanitation truck, a Day of the Dead character and some attendees also dressed up their dogs for a pooch costume contest.

The next big event scheduled to take place in Stuy Town will be the opening of the ice rink on Halloween. Kids who come in costume will get in free.

(Click through for more photos from the event. All photos by Sabina Mollot.)

Continue reading

Winter sports coming to ST Playground 11

A promotional photo shows what the Courts at Stuy Town will look like.

A promotional photo shows what the Courts at Stuy Town will look like.

By Sabina Mollot

Last week, CompassRock announced, via its tenant emailed newsletter, that Playground 11 would soon become home to “The Courts at Stuy Town,” a center for various winter sports programs to be held under a heated tent.

The programs, which have separate fees, are for residents and their guests and include Super Soccer Stars, batting cages with the Peter Stuyvesant Little League, golf and instructional basketball for kids and basketball games for adults. During hours where there’s nothing scheduled, residents can still use the space for ping pong and basketball. There will also be free film screenings and arts & crafts, management said. The Courts are set to open on November 15 and run through March 1 with the hours of 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Currently, registration is only open for the instructional basketball with Dribbl and Super Soccer Stars. Dribbl will be $360 or $450 depending on the session and the soccer program costs between $365 and $400 depending on the session.

Prior to CompassRock’s announcement, the Tenants Association gave neighbors a heads up via email blast that the indoor sports programming were on the way. The TA noted that while it would have appreciated if the owner had consulted with tenants before digging up the the area around the playground to start installing the electrical system, the center could be a positive addition as long as it doesn’t become disruptive to tenants in neighboring buildings.

This week, Tenants Association Chair Susan Steinberg said that while tenants haven’t really been asking questions about The Courts, the TA still has its own concerns. One is potential disruptive noise from the scheduled activities or the tent’s heating system. Another is making sure that users of the space are screened to make sure it remains for residents and their guests. Steinberg said another concern is security if the roof of the structure is tall enough to block out lighting.

“The TA is keeping its eyes on the progress of Playground 11,” she said.

Council Member Dan Garodnick added that the noise issue “has been raised with management and we will stay on top of them.”

In response, a CWCapital spokesperson that the tent should actually help reduce the noise.

“As far as noise, the playground will be open the same hours and have the same activities as in the summer, spring and fall, and we expect the tent will dampen much of the noise. We will monitor the noise and take additional mitigation steps if it is necessary.” The spokesperson, Brian Moriarty, added, “PCVST is a very active community, and based on the enormous popularity of the ice skating rink, it’s clear that people like to stay active during the winter too. So we’re very excited that people will now be able to enjoy the playground throughout the year, just as they have in the warmer months.”

Meanwhile, a couple of residents in buildings close to the playground, which is on the east side of the Oval, told T&V said they were still concerned about noise.

Jill Pratzon, a resident in a building overlooking the playground, said she and her husband would prefer the playground as it is.

“We value the quiet immensely. It makes the extra 15 minute walk to Avenue C from the L train count for something,” said Pratzon. “Our view is great, too; we can see the Oval across the basketball courts. The view and the tranquility are also amenities that we pay for; if we lose those, my husband asks, do we get an MCR? You know, a Major Capital Refund? Management says on their website that the sound will be minimized by the tent, but they don’t say that it will be eliminated.”

Pratzon also offered an update on Wednesday morning, noting that due to the bleating of a construction vehicle, there was “no need for an alarm.” Work began at around 8 a.m. “This is going to be a tall structure,” she noted.

Another resident, who didn’t want his name published, said his main concern was security and the structure blocking views around the playground. “We have a plethora of carts and construction vehicles and this will create blind spots along the pedestrian paths,” he said. He added that with the time it would take to assemble and then disassemble the structure, “for two months, this is going to be a construction zone.”

Letters to the Editor, Oct. 30

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

No grace period for this Stuy Town driver

All due respect to Council Member Daniel Garodnick (story, “Stuy Town drivers to get grace period,” in the Oct. 16 issue of Town & Village) but his request — “to be effective immediately” was apparently not heeded.

On Wednesday night, October 22, I drove into the Avenue C Loop, put on my hazard lights and made two trips from my car to my apartment and then swung around to the parking garage where I noticed I received a parking ticket for $65. I was not double parked, blocking traffic or a crosswalk, or near a hydrant.

I have lived in Stuy Town for 16 years and have done this very thing on the average of once a week. This is the first time I’ve received a ticket (which I will fight), but am I supposed to be grateful I wasn’t towed? What’s the real policy here?

Nancy Brennan, ST

Town & Village passed this letter along to Council Member Dan Garodnick who gave this response:

“If the resident left her car, with blinkers, for less than 15 minutes, it should not have led to a ticket under the policy outlined by Public Safety.

“Management should re-state their procedures publicly so that there is no ambiguity, and no unnecessary tickets.”

Bellevue was ready for Ebola, administrator says

Medical Director Dr. Nathan Link speaks at a Bellevue Community Advisory Board meeting with Associate Director for Community Relations Melissa Henry (left) and Associate Executive Director of Public Affairs and Community Relations Evelyn Hernandez. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Medical Director Dr. Nathan Link speaks at a Bellevue Community Advisory Board meeting with Associate Director for Community Relations Melissa Henry (left) and Associate Executive Director of Public Affairs and Community Relations Evelyn Hernandez. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Almost exactly 24 hours after Dr. Nathan Link provided updates on Ebola at the hospital’s monthly Community Advisory Board meeting last Wednesday, Bellevue’s isolation facilities were put to the test when Harlem resident Dr. Craig Spencer was admitted last Thursday evening with a confirmed case of the virus.

At the meeting the night before Spencer’s admittance, Link expressed confidence that the hospital was prepared as the city’s authorized center for treating Ebola, noting that the CDC had been there earlier that day and gave high praise to their preparations.

“We’ve been working on this since late July and preparations are complete,” Link assured the CAB members. At the time of the meeting, Link emphasized that there had not yet been a confirmed case of the virus in any of the patients who came in with suspicious symptoms and up until that point, there had been 30 people who came in with possible Ebola symptoms. “In all of these cases, Ebola was ruled out and they were released,” Link said. “Two patients from other facilities were brought to Bellevue, treated in isolation and both were discharged. We’ve had a number of opportunities to practice.”

When a committee member expressed anxiety about the situation with healthcare workers in Dallas, Link noted that Bellevue staff and administrators were learning from the missteps in Texas and had the proper equipment and training to deal with a confirmed case of the virus.

“We have state of the art equipment for the staff,” Link said. “We’ve used recommendations from Emory University Hospital and the University of  Nebraska  Medical Center  and biosafety experts from NYU. We’ve purchased equipment that was recommended and masks with a higher standard of protection. We have the same level of protection that Emory and Nebraska have in their facilities that have successfully treated patients with Ebola. The patients treated at those facilities have survived and are all safe.”

Link added that the isolation unit in 7W had specialized equipment with ICU-level care, including dialysis available in the room so patients don’t have to be brought anywhere else and a separate lab available so tests can be done right in the unit. “The patients are completely sealed off with no possibility of mixing,” he said.

The Wall Street Journal also reported last Friday that Bellevue has actually long been prepared for such an event, as the hospital already had an isolation ward that was put in place in the 1990s to deal with the AIDS crisis. The unit was developed when health officials were struggling to control the increasing number of tuberculosis cases driven by the rise of HIV, which lowered resistance to TB in infected adults. The ward has special anterooms, as well as plumbing and ventilation separate from the rest of the hospital, which became crucial in the city’s successful fight against TB.

Since Spencer was admitted to Bellevue, there was an additional scare with a five-year-old Bronx resident who had recently returned from Guinea and was also exhibiting the tell-tale symptoms of the illness, including a fever. He was tested on Monday and the result was negative. The hospital conducted an additional test “out of an abundance of caution” and kept the boy for observation. He was found to have a respiratory infection, which can have similar symptoms of Ebola. He was removed from isolation on Tuesday and remained at the hospital for treatment of the infection.

Bellevue reported that Spencer, who had also recently returned from Guinea, remained in serious but stable condition as of Tuesday.

Police Watch: Teen iPhone ‘snatchers’ busted, ‘reckless’ driver arrested

CITI BIKE ‘THIEF’ BUSTED
Police arrested 32-year-old Monica Lang for possession of stolen property last Tuesday at 12:51 a.m. in front of 370 Third Avenue. Police saw Lang littering on a public sidewalk and upon further investigation, police found that she was allegedly in possession of a stolen Citi Bike.

CAR BURGLARIZED IN GRAMERCY PARK
Police arrested 42-year-old Adalerto Soto for burglary in front of 10 Gramercy Park South last Tuesday at noon. Soto was seen casing several cars before opening the passenger side door of a commercial vehicle parked on Gramercy Park South and taking a cell phone, police said. He was also charged with possession of stolen property and petit larceny.

ARREST FOR ‘MENACING’ ON EAST 28TH
Miguel Rivera, 58, was arrested for menacing on the corner of Second Avenue and East 28th Street last Tuesday at 12:01 p.m. Rivera got into a fight with another person and allegedly pulled out an 8.5-inch knife, which the victim said made him fear for his life.

‘MISCHIEF’ AT JAY-Z’S CLUB
Thirty-year-old Safid Bakar was arrested for criminal mischief inside the 40/40 Club at 6 West 25th Street last Tuesday at 10:40 p.m. Bakar allegedly punched a mirror in the bathroom of the club. The manager, Sheldon Robinson, told police that the mirror is worth approximately $1,500.

‘BAG SNATCHER’ NABBED AT PLUG UGLIES
Eighteen-year-old Angel Valentin was arrested for grand larceny inside Plug Uglies at 257 Third Avenue last Tuesday at 11:09 p.m. The victim told police that she was sitting on a barstool with her bag hanging underneath the bar. Valentin then leaned down and while pretending to tie his shoe, allegedly took her bag and fled from the bar. The victim noticed a few minutes later that her bag was missing and witnesses said they saw Valentin leave the bar. When he was stopped, he was in possession of stolen property, police said.

‘MUGGER’ NABBED AT FIFTH AND WEST 22ND
Police arrested 19-year-old Albert Mizrahi for possession of stolen property at the corner of Fifth Avenue and West 22nd Street last Sunday at 1:29 a.m. A woman told police that an unknown man with brown hair and a jacket grabbed her and snatched her handbag containing her cell phone and personal property. She called her cell phone in the presence of police and the person who answered told her that he would meet her at West 22nd and Fifth and would return her property in exchange for money.
Mizrahi met the victim at the stated location and allegedly had her phone in his possession. Upon a show-up, the victim told police that Mizrahi looked like the person who stole her bag, but at the precinct she became irate and refused to cooperate in the investigation, police said. She then told police that Mizrahi wasn’t the person who stole her bag and she wouldn’t press charges but said that he looked like the person who had stolen her bag.

TEENS BUSTED IN 6 TRAIN CELL PHONE SNATCH
Police arrested four teenagers for grand larceny from a person at the corner of East 30th Street and Lexington Avenue last Thursday at 2:32 a.m. The victim told police that while she was riding a downtown 6 train and using her cell phone, the four teens were working together and snatched her phone from her hands, then ran out of the station at East 28th Street and Park Avenue South. The victim flagged down police and the teens were arrested at East 30th Street and Lexington. The names of the teenagers are being withheld due to their age.

‘RECKLESS’ DRIVER BUSTED AT WEST 26TH
A cop pulled a driver from his car by force last Thursday after the motorist, 57-year-old Antonio Pimental, refused to get out during an arrest for reckless driving.
It was at 11:30 a.m. when a pedestrian told police of an accident near the intersection of West 26th and Fifth Avenue and the officer then saw the vehicle involved in the accident driving west on East 26th Street. Pimental allegedly tried to drive onto the sidewalk but then stopped because another vehicle was in his way. The officer told Pimental to roll down his window but the driver refused. Police said that Pimental looked “spaced out” and the officer asked Pimental repeatedly to open his car door. Pimental then took the key out of the ignition and sat with his hands folded. The officer then broke the car window after telling Pimental to get out, and removed him from the vehicle. There was also a passenger in the car who observed Pimental hit a black SUV. It was discovered later that Pimental suffers from seizures.

‘MUGGER’ NABBED IN UNION SQUARE
Police arrested 21-year-old Gage Quinones for robbery at the corner of Union Square East and East 16th Street last Thursday at 7:55 p.m. The victim told police that he was walking on Union Square East talking on his cell phone when he was mugged. Quinones allegedly punched the man, causing him to drop his phone. Quinones then grabbed $100 in cash from the victim’s pocket and the victim’s phone from the ground, police said.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘STOLEN’ BIKE
Police arrested 36-year-old Wilson Perez for possession of burglar’s tools in front of 102 East 22nd Street last Wednesday at 1:59 p.m. Perez was allegedly walking a stolen bike that he had removed from Fifth Avenue. Police said that he was found in possession of burglar’s tools and he was also charged with petit larceny and possession of stolen property.

‘DRUNK’ DRIVER BUSTED ON THIRD
Police arrested 27-year-old Oscar Aponte for intoxicated driving last Saturday at 4:03 a.m. inn front of 364 Third Avenue. A witness saw Aponte driving the wrong way on Third Avenue. He was driving south, while Third Avenue is a northbound street. When police stopped him, he was allegedly intoxicated with bloodshot watery eyes, a flushed face and slurred speech. He refused a breath test at the scene and at the Seventh Precinct.

THREE MEN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT
Police arrested 27-year-old William Maye, 23-year-old Wilson Alvarez and 27-year-old Kevin Harris for assault in front of 235 East 14th Street last Sunday at 5:01 a.m. The victim told police that the three men punched him in the face, causing substantial pain and some cuts.

‘TRESPASSERS’ ON NYCHA BUILDING ROOF
Delano Broadus, 33, and Necola Fowler, 45, were arrested for criminal trespassing last Monday at 8:40 p.m. inside 224 East 28th Street. Broadus and Fowler allegedly went on the roof of the building even though there were signs on the stairwell which said that there was no access to the roof and roof landing except for authorized personnel.

MAN ARRESTED FOR UNTAXED CIGS
Sixty-year-old Diomedes Nunez was arrested for violating tax law last Tuesday at 11:50 p.m. in front of 4 Union Square South. An officer recognized Nunez as a person of interest wanted for a prior incident by the 24th and First Precinct squads. He was allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes in Union Square when he was arrested.

This week in T&V history: Police presence upped in Stuy Town

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Town & Village newspaper has been providing news for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village for over 65 years, so here is a snapshot of what was happening in the neighborhood 50 years ago this week.

Police presence upped in Stuy Town

Considering the violent incident of attempted rape that occurred recently in Stuy Town, an article on the front page of the October 22, 1964 issue is especially relevant. The story noted that the area’s assemblymembers and the police were working together to increase security around the complex due to muggings, holdup and beatings that had been happening The Commanding Officer of the 13th precinct at the time, William Rockwell, agreed to have police officers go into Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village more often during their tours, particularly at night.

Assemblymember John Sullivan, a resident of 6 Stuyvesant Oval, and Assemblymember Paul Curran also suggested that members of the Auxiliary Police force who live in Stuy Town and Peter Cooper be deployed within the property and the commanding officer said that he would take action to implement the idea.

Gunman escapes in taxi

Another crime-related story in this issue described an incident in which a gunman escaped via cab after firing shots in a Chinese restaurant on Park Avenue South. Cab driver Arthur Brantman drove wildly in an unsuccessful attempt to attract police’s attention to the fact that he had an armed gunman as a passenger, the story said.

The shooter had just wounded the owner of the restaurant with one of four shots fired in the building. The proprietor managed to hit the gunman in the head with a glass ashtray but he ran out of the restaurant and, with blood streaming from his head, hailed Brantman’s cab, ordering the driver to take him to the 14th Street subway.

Brantman drove wildly to the station at Union Square where the gunman leapt out and disappeared into the subway.

Local Halloween events for adults

(Pictured L-R) Elizabeth Barkan, Elena Shadrina and Charles Battersby as Eco-Witches in a skit for Theater for the New City’s Village Halloween Ball (Photo by Jonathan Slaff)

(Pictured L-R) Elizabeth Barkan, Elena Shadrina and Charles Battersby as Eco-Witches in a skit for Theater for the New City’s Village Halloween Ball (Photo by Jonathan Slaff)

Halloween is coming up, and while one could always head to a nightclub or the parade that evening there are other things for adults to do. Read on for details of a few local events.

Ghosts of Greenwich Village Tour—In the days leading up to Halloween (every evening at 7:30 p.m. until the 31st of October) Ghosts of New York presents “Edgar Allan Poe and His Ghostly Neighbors of Greenwich Village.” Participants will go in search of the spirits of Eleanor Roosevelt and her pet dog Fala, Aaron Burr, the ghosts of the New York University Library and of Washington Square Arch, and, of course, several Edgar Allan Poe sites.

Meeting place is 85 West Third Street, one block south of Washington Square Park between Thompson and Sullivan Streets, Greenwich Village in Manhattan opposite Fire Patrol Station no. 2. Tours are $20 for adults, $15 students and seniors. For more information or to book the tour, visit www.ghostsofny.com.

Ghosts of the East Village Tour—Ghosts of New York presents “Peter Stuyvesant and His Ghostly Friends of the East Village” tour on October 31 at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Participants will go in search of Peter Stuyvesant’s ghostly friends such as Edgar Allan Poe, August Belmont, Joe Papp, Washington Irving, Tredwell sisters of the Merchant House Museum, Samuel Clemens, Harry Houdini, and many others in the East Village.

This tour departs from the lion sculpture in Abe Lebewohl Park in front of St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, northwest corner of Second Avenue and 135 East Tenth Street. Tours are wheel-chair accessible, 90 minutes in duration, and approximately a mile in length. The cost is $20 for adults, $15 students and seniors. For more information, visit www.ghostsofny.com or call (646) 493-7092.

Theater for the New City Costume Ball and performances—Theater for the New City presents its 38th annual Village Halloween Costume Ball on Friday, October 31 at TNC, 155 First Avenue at 10th Street. The event takes over all four of TNC’s theater spaces, plus its lobby and the block of East Tenth Street between First and Second Avenues.

Hot Lavendar Swing Band, an all-Gay and Lesbian 18-piece orchestra, and Maquina Mono (The Monkey Machine), a Latin Salsa Rock band, will perform at The Johnson Theater. The theater will also have aerial dance by Suspended Cirque. Holiday dishes are contributed by neighboring East Village restaurants. There will be performance artists, songwriters, poets and variety artists including Phoebe Legere, Penny Arcade, Evan Laurence, Arthur Abrams, Norman Savitt, Richard West, Ellen Steier, Dawoud Kringle (sitar) and Gary Heidt.

Outside, there are R&B and Dixieland bands, fire eaters, jugglers, storyweavers and stilt dancers, all free to the public and a gift from TNC to its neighborhood. Inside, there is theater all evening. The lobby will be divided into rooms featuring rooms for astrology/numerology readings. Phyllis Yampolsky will throw the I-Ching.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and indoor entertainment begins at 8 p.m. There will be two continuously-running cabarets. Outdoor entertainment, free to the public, will start at 4:30 p.m. Outdoor entertainment is capped by “The Red and Black Masque,” an annual Medieval ritual show written by Arthur Sainer, scored by David Tice and directed by Crystal Field which is performed by torchlight. Reservations are strongly recommended. The TNC box office number is (212) 254-1109. Admission is $20; costume or formal wear is required. Once inside, everything is free except food and drink. For tickets, call (212) 254-1109 or visit www.theaterforthenewcity.net.

Calvary-St. George’s gets new associate minister

Associate Minister Ben DeHart

Associate Minister Ben DeHart

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Calvary-St. George’s Church’s new Associate Minister Ben DeHart officially took up the position at the Gramercy house of worship on September 28, but the New Jersey native said that he’s still in the process of acclimating himself to the change of scenery.

“I’m still transitioning,” he said. “It’s been fun. During the first week I started to realize that I was kind of over stimulated, but it’s been nice not owning a car.”

DeHart ended up at Calvary by way of Pittsburgh, where he went to seminary. He was ordained there in 2012 and has lived in that area for the last 10 years, although he has only officially been a priest since January.

For the last few years, the church’s priest-in-charge Reverend Jacob Smith has been taking on most responsibilities on his own, so as associate minister, DeHart will be helping to ease the burden.

“Calvary has grown a lot in the last couple years,” he said. “Jake was really being overloaded for a while.”

DeHart will be responsible for pastoral care and new members ministries, going on hospital visits and working on events for newcomers like connecting them to devotion groups, as well as helping run the soup kitchen.

“I hold devotion groups in my apartment and that’s really nice because it’s small, about five to 10 people max,” he said.

He also spends some of his time visiting people who are homebound and stops by to see others who ask for visitations.

“I love doing that because I’m seeing their lives outside this place. You see the people behind the mask and they see behind mine,” he said. “In a self-sufficient place like New York, I have to take the initiative sometimes but people always appreciate that. I always have to have ears everywhere. It’s a way to get to know them very well. People share the most remarkable things, some very, very good and others very, very bad. Very few people get that opportunity to connect on that level.”

Continue reading

Editorial: A little information goes a long way, Say yes to debating, not mud-slinging

A little information goes a long way

Last week, an attempted rape of a woman in a Stuyvesant Town elevator sent shockwaves through the community, which despite the occasional assault or robbery, has a reputation for being safer than most neighborhoods.

Far less shocking, but still disturbing was the fact that there was no attempt by the owner of the complex to reach out to residents. Town & Village reported on the crime on our blog shortly after the police released information about the attack, as did other local news outlets, and the Tenants Association sent out an e-mail blast to warn neighbors.

There was a time when, if there was a crime in the community, fliers would be posted in prominent spaces in lobbies, but sadly that hasn’t been the case in years.

In a recent high profile sex crime incident, in which, the “Stuy Town groper” victimized two women in the complex, fliers were distributed, but they came from local State Senator Brad Hoylman and his aides, not property management.

CWCapital didn’t respond to a request from this newspaper on Friday to speak with the chief of Public Safety or anyone else who could provide more details about the attack, other than to say (on Monday after the arrest) that security had been beefed up over the weekend and that a comment would be forthcoming. We’re still waiting.

The point here as long as management prefers to let tenants hear about crime in their apartment complex from the media and the TA, it’s going to appear that they care more about not scaring away potential renters than protecting those who’ve already signed on the dotted line.

CW already knows how to communicate with tenants when management wants to, sending emailed newsletters and Facebook posts to promote events and the soon to open ice rink. It would take no more effort to keep tenants in the loop about criminal activity.

Say yes to debating, not mud-slinging

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who’s held her position in Washington for 22 years, is currently running against Nicholas Di iorio, a former seminary student and former Pfizer employee whose party (Republican) automatically makes him a longshot. Di iorio has spent the past several weeks calling Maloney out for not accepting invitations to publicly debate him.

When asked why she wasn’t debating him, a rep for Maloney said she has agreed to a debate (scheduled for October 28 in an event held by the 17th Precinct Community Council).

Still, Di iorio this week issued press releases accusing Maloney of not debating him, but rather only agreeing to “show up” at the event, a candidates forum, then “speak for 20 minutes and take questions from the audience for 10 minutes.”

Maloney spokesperson Kathy Lynn responded to say the event, which she described as a debate, would have the format of candidates each getting a five-minute opening statement, followed by each candidate getting a short rebuttal.

Following that, the audience asks questions that are facilitated by a moderator,” Lynn said. “This is the format proposed by the 17th Precinct and both campaigns agreed to this when they accepted the invitation to participate.”

When asked for clarification on what the event was, an officer at the 17th Precinct told a T&V reporter it’s “not really a debate,” because there would be no formatted questions, but candidates from local races would have the opportunity to speak and take some questions.

So okay, it’s not technically a debate, but she’s also not shying away from questions.

Now this event aside, as to whether or not we think Maloney (or any candidate) should agree to participate in a debate event if invited and if their schedule permits, the answer is of course.

In Maloney’s case, the fact there hasn’t been a Republican elected in Manhattan since Roy Goodman left the State Senate may make expending the energy on a debate seem like a waste. Maybe, for her, it is.

Still, we think it’s still important for longtime candidates to continue to prove themselves to voters and also to show that they have nothing to hide.

That said, we also think Di iorio might have a better shot at being taken seriously if he’d tone down the near weekly ripping of Maloney via press releases.

As the election looms closer, the candidate has begun sending out statements bashing Maloney on everything from her trip to China to get a panda for New York (while Di iorio went to Israel) to authoring lots of bills that haven’t passed the house to not doing enough about Ebola.

These are fair game topics, but after a while, constant mud-slinging can begin to look like a too-desperate attempt to get attention and voters tune it out.

It’s also worth noting that the past two elections Maloney has run in, most recently with Republican Chris Wight and prior to that with Democrat Reshma Saujani during the primary, were pretty contentious. The attacks on Maloney in both races were nonstop and still Saujani and Wight were easily clobbered by Maloney.

It’s hard to say whether or not the negative campaigning had anything to do with it, since a well-known incumbent is always going to have an extreme advantage over a political newcomer. But it obviously didn’t help.

Local Halloween events for kids

Kids are invited to get up-close and personal with various critters at a family day event at Solar One on Saturday, October 25.

Kids are invited to get up-close and personal with various critters at a family day event at Solar One on Saturday, October 25.

By Sabina Mollot

From parties to the parade, there are plenty of Halloween events for kids coming up on the day of as well as on the days leading up to the holiday. Read on for details of events children can do their their families or on their own.

Events for kids
Kids’ Night Out at Waterside’s Creative Dream Parties—Creative Dream Parties at 25 Waterside Plaza will hold a pre-Halloween “movie night monster mash” bash, showing “Monsters, Inc.” on Friday, October 24 from 6-9 p.m. While parents get the night off to party elsewhere, kids will be invited to play games, do arts and crafts and get treats (a treat bag for each child as well as popcorn and soda). Each kid will also get a balloon and the chance to participate in a raffle. Costumes and sleeping bags are encouraged. The cost is $30 per child. To RSVP, call (212) 477-7263 or email info@creativedreamparties.com.

Creepy Critter Day at Stuyvesant Cove—Stuyvesant Cove Park Association will present a special, Halloween-themed family day event featuring black and orange bugs, lizards, frogs, crabs and a few critters with lots of legs plus an appearance by a cute, furry nocturnal creature. Art Farm in the City will be on hand to give children of all ages an opportunity to get up-close and personal with an array of creatures. The event is offered free and will take place at Solar One (23rd Street and the East River) on Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Haunted Highline—Friends of the High Line presents the fourth-annual, family-friendly Halloween celebration on the High Line. Kids are invited to come in costume on Saturday, October 25 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on the High Line between West 14th and 17th Streets to trick-or-treat on the High Line. Guests will meet ghosts from the West Side’s industrial past and have the chance to turn their fears into kites to be set free, explore a haunted train tunnel made by puppet master Ralph Lee, dance to the horns of the Trummytones and hear stories performed by the Story Pirates. For updates on this event, follow @highlinenyc on Twitter.

Stuyvesant Town's annual Halloween event for children (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Stuyvesant Town’s annual Halloween event for children (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Stuyvesant Town Halloween Fair–Stuyvesant Town will hold its traditional Halloween carnival for the residents on Saturday, October 25 from 2-6 p.m. on the Oval. Kids will enjoy a haunted house, live music, Halloween magic show, inflatables, games, face painting, a pumpkin patch, food and more. Prizes will be given to two lucky winners of the PCVST costume contest. Lines will be cut off at 5:30 p.m. and The Oval will be cleared at 6 p.m.

Waterside Halloween party—The Waterside Kids Halloween Party
Date will take place on October 31, from 6-8 p.m. Location is outside on the Plaza (weather permitting) and inside the Health Club at 35 Waterside Plaza. Kids of all ages are invited to enjoy music with a live DJ, a costume contest at 7 p.m., interactive games, kids’ craft activities and face painting.

The Other Halloween Parade—New York University and Community Board 2 will host the 24th annual Greenwich Village Children’s Halloween Parade. Led by the Soul Tigers Marching Band, children and families will march around Washington Square Park.
Following the parade, the children will be treated to candy, face-painting, rides and live entertainment to include New York City Children’s Theater presenting “The Amazing Adventures of Harvey and the Princess,” and DJ Ben the Beyonder. The parade is on Fri., Oct. 31 starting at 3:30 p.m. Marchers gather at 3 p.m. at the Arch. The parade assembles along Washington Square North, near the Arch and ends at LaGuardia between Washington Square South and West 3rd Street where various activities await the children.

Haunted Garden—At La Plaza Cultural Community Garden on Ave C and 9th Street, there will be a spooky story in the witch’s house with hot cocoa on Thursday, October 30 from 5 to 7 p.m. for the little ones and then on Friday, October 31 from 4-9 p.m. there will be a huge haunted garden with amazing treats, a fortune teller, a magician, a labyrinth, a crypt and lots of crazy people in the insane asylum.

Police Watch: Woman busted for ‘stealing’ Rolex, serial ‘robber’ nabbed at Bellevue

MAN REVIVED IN UNION SQUARE
Last Friday at 3:40 p.m., Police Officers Joshua Rivera and Juan Rodriguez were on patrol in Union Square when a passerby alerted them to a man who was unconscious at the corner of East 15th Street and Union Square West. The officers ran over to the corner where they saw the unconscious man, not breathing and with no pulse.
Rivera immediately began CPR on the 60-year-old man while Officer Rodriguez went downstairs to Transit District 4 and retrieved a Department-issued Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Officer Rivera continued to perform CPR until Officer Rodriguez returned with the AED. The officers then activated the AED and while the first two attempts were unsuccessful, after they activated the AED a third time it was successful in resuscitating the man.
EMS also responded to the scene and transported the man, conscious and alert, to Bellevue Hospital where he was listed in stable condition.

ROBBERY SUSPECT BUSTED AT BELLEVUE
Police arrested 27-year-old Dennis Nemirovskiy for robbery in front of Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue last Friday at 12:09 p.m. He entered an Investors Bank located at 267 Fifth Avenue and allegedly told the teller, “I have a gun. Give me 50s and 20s. I dare you to give me a dye pack.” The New York Post reported that Nemirovskiy allegedly robbed a bank near Herald Square earlier that day and the dye pack with the cash exploded and covered his clothing.
He fled the Investors Bank with $1,870 in cash and following that incident, he got into a cab and an officer spotted him standing in front of Bellevue.
Nemirovskiy was charged with five counts of robbery and possession of stolen property for robberies on previous dates in which he allegedly handed over demand notes and fled with money, primarily in banks in Midtown South and the 17th precinct.
According to the Post, Nemirovskiy is a methadone patient at the hospital. Police said he’d asked the cab driver to wait outside while he changed his clothes.

MAN BUSTED FOR HEROIN
Police arrested 56-year-old Edwin Martinez for possession of a controlled substance in front of 401 East 14th Street last Thursday at 2:52 p.m. Martinez was allegedly near the location with a plastic bag containing several decks of heroin. Police said that Martinez threw the bag onto the sidewalk in an attempt to destroy the evidence and avoid being arrested. He was allegedly in possession of 20 decks of heroin.

WOMAN HIDES ROLEX IN VAGINA, D.A. SAYS
Police arrested 25-year-old Shacarye Tims inside 125 West 26th Street for robbery last Sunday at 5:25 a.m. The victim told police that he went back to his hotel room with Tims after meeting her at the bar. While in the room, Tims said numerous times that his Rolex watch was scratching her, so the victim took the watch off and put it on the nightstand.
Soon after, he noticed that the watch was not longer on the nightstand, and Tims then tried to leave the room. The victim followed her and stopped her from leaving the hotel in the lobby, where she allegedly hit him in the face. According to a criminal complaint from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, Tims removed the watch from her “vaginal cavity.” Tims was also charged with grand larceny. The Rolex is valued at $25,000.

BELLIGERENT BAR-GOER SKIPS ON TAB
Ampiel Melendez, 26, was arrested inside Taproom at 307 Third Avenue for theft of services last Thursday at 12:52 a.m. Melendez told police that he was on his way home when a man asked him if he wanted a drink. He then went to the bar with the man and had four drinks when the other man got up and left. The bartender said that at that point, Melendez asked for the bill so he could pay it but when the bill was brought out, he allegedly refused. The bartender then called 911 and police said that when they arrived, Melendez was refusing to pay the bill. After an officer asked him if he had anything to drink, he allegedly said that he had four beers but never said he was going to pay for them. When the officer told him that he had to pay, Melendez allegedly said, “Well, lock me up because I have no money.”

MAN ARRESTED FOR APARTMENT BURGLARY
Police arrested 53-year-old James Deese for burglary inside the 13th precinct last Wednesday at 7:20 p.m. Deese allegedly swiped items from a woman’s apartment on East 24th Street without permission. Police said that based on DNA, his fingerprints were on a bottle of lotion that belonged to the victim and that was located inside her apartment.

‘DRUNK’ DRIVER NABBED ON FIRST AVE.
Police arrested 33-year-old Chris Kuriakose for criminal mischief in front of 485 First Avenue last Saturday at 5:17 a.m. Kuriakose was seen by three witnesses driving the wrong way on Madison Avenue between East 28th and 26th Streets. He allegedly crashed into the glass bus shelter on the east side of Madison Avenue at East 26th Street, leaving his front license plate at the scene. He was then seen leaving the scene heading east on East 26th Street and he allegedly struck another vehicle, causing damage. A witness told police that after he hit the other car, he continued east. Police said that he began driving north on First Avenue between East 26th and 29th Streets and was driving recklessly. When he was stopped, he allegedly admitted to drinking and had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. His speech was also incoherent and he wasn’t able to stand. He was also charged with reckless endangerment of property, leaving the scene of an accident and impaired driving.

WEAPONS ARREST ON GRAMERCY PARK WEST
Police arrested 27-year-old Michael Sanders for possession of a weapon last Tuesday in front of 3 Gramercy Park West at  1:18 a.m.  Sanders was casing a residential area and was seen rolling an alleged marijuana cigarette in public view. Police said that after he was searched, he was found to be in possession of a billy club, chukka stick and a dangerous knife with intent to use it. He was also in possession of a zip lock bag of alleged marijuana.

MASSEUSES BUSTED ON BROADWAY
Police arrested two masseuses for prostitution inside 1162 Broadway last Tuesday at 5:40 p.m. Wumei Song, 34, performed a massage on an undercover officer and allegedly offered to perform a sex act in exchange for $80. Forty-nine-year-old Jinshu Zheng allegedly agreed to have sex with an undercover officer in exchange for $140.

MEN NABBED IN ‘DRUG DEAL’
Two men who were involved in a drug deal were arrested at the corner of Park Avenue South and East 23rd Street last Wednesday at 10:16 a.m. Jose Molina, 43, was arrested for possession of an alleged controlled substance and 43-year-old Julio Arroyo was charged with sale of a controlled substance.

PAIR BUSTED FOR ‘MARIJUANA’ SALE
Police arrested two people for the sale of marijuana last Thursday at 3:50 p.m. on the corner of Second Avenue and East 15th Street. Eighteen-year-old Ezequiel Ospina and 19-year-old Antonio Whyte allegedly sold a quantity of marijuana to an undercover officer.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘SWIPING’ CASH
Nelson Lockett, 48, was arrested for petit larceny last Friday at 10:38 a.m. inside 71 West 23rd Street. The victim told police that Lockett entered his office and asked him a question and when he left, Lockett allegedly took money off of the desk. The victim called security who found Lockett on the 13th floor and held him there for the police. Lockett was originally in the building on the fourth floor because he was looking for employment services but he was refused and escorted to the stairwell.

MEN ARRESTED FOR DRUG SALE NEAR WASHINGTON IRVING
Police arrested two people for sale of a controlled substance on school grounds last Friday at 6:40 p.m. in front of 125 East 17th Street. Andre Medina, 26, and Richard Robinson, 36, allegedly sold a controlled substance to an undercover officer. The sale took place within a thousand feet of Washington Irving High School at 40 Irving Place. Medina and Robinson both allegedly resisted arrest by refusing to be handcuffed and Robinson attempted to hit the officer, police said. Medina also allegedly first gave his name as Andrew Castro and was charged with impersonation.

FOUR ARRESTED FOR SELLING ‘DRUGS’
Police arrested four men for selling drugs inside Union Square Park last Friday at 8:10 p.m. Nineteen-year-old Vinod Seenanan, 22-year-old Ganesh Jaman and 31-year-old Frederick Penn were arrested for the sale of marijuana and 38-year-old Fernando Lagares was arrested for the intent to sell a controlled substance. The four men were working together and allegedly sold marijuana to an undercover officer.

ASSAULT ON WEST 23RD
Thirty-year-old Kazem Moradi was arrested for assault in front of 69 West 23rd Street last Saturday at 2:50 a.m. Moradi allegedly hit the victim in the face and then kicked him in the face, causing cuts on his lips and swelling to his forehead.

CAB DRIVER ASSAULTED ON PARK
Police arrested 31-year-old Sagar Ashok Patel for assault in front of 355 Park Avenue South last Sunday at 4:58 a.m. A taxi driver told police that Patel, who was a passenger in his cab, assaulted him. Patel allegedly kicked the driver in the arm and wrist, causing severe pain. The driver said that he was unable to bend his fingers when he was examined by EMS.

Letters to the editor, Oct. 23

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Tenants don’t deserve the silent treatment

Last Friday a man tried to rape a young woman in an elevator in Stuyvesant Town. Thankfully, the alleged perpetrator has now been caught.

While the Tenants Association quickly sent out an email informing tenants as to what had happened and urging them to stay alert and be careful, not one word about the incident was heard from CWCapital or Compass Rock. There were no emails from them. No warning flyers were posted in buildings or put under apartment doors. Nothing.

Unfortunately, their disgraceful behavior all too amply demonstrates and reinforces the feeling of many tenants that CWCapital, Andrew MacArthur and Compass Rock show little or no regard for tenants. Management was willing to risk tenants’ safety – maybe even their lives – by saying nothing to them about this crime. Why? To protect their bottom line.

Rather than acknowledging the attack publicly, Management sought to avoid scaring off current or future renters, especially those whose parents foot the bill for them to live here. Protecting management’s bottom line is also the reason that crimes in STPCV are often reported as having occurred in “Gramercy.” Tenants need to demand that the 13th precinct start reporting the location of these crimes accurately. If it doesn’t, it will be viewed by tenants as nothing less than a tool of CWCapital, Andrew MacArthur and CompassRock.

Name withheld, ST

Continue reading