Mayor de Blasio applauded the work of both Dr Spencer in Africa and the Bellevue medics (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Mayor Bill de Blasio was at Bellevue Hospital as Dr. Craig Spencer, New York City’s first and only case of Ebola, was discharged on Tuesday morning.
“Dr. Spencer is Ebola free and New York is Ebola free,” the mayor announced at the news conference, attended by Spencer, his parents and the team of doctors and nurses who were responsible for his care.
Mayor de Blasio emphasized the importance of the work that Spencer had been doing in Guinea before he returned to New York. “It’s a good feeling to hug a hero, and he is a hero,” the mayor said.
Dr. Ram Raju, president of the Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), echoed this sentiment.
“I’m elated because we could treat and cure a hero and Dr. Spencer personified this,” he said. “Had he not contracted Ebola, few people would ever have known him and there are many more like him. They are the heroes of our time.”
Spencer, in turn, tried to bring the focus away from himself and back to the efforts in West Africa where doctors are still fighting the virus.
“My infection represents but a fraction of the more than 13,000 reported cases to date in West Africa,” he said, recounting the sadness he felt when holding infected children and the joy he felt when patients were cured. “I will not be commenting publicly beyond this and urge you to focus on the source of the outbreak.”
Residents of a Stuy Town building were in for a nasty shock when they turned on their faucets last Friday morning and saw brown water gushing out.
One resident at 278 First Avenue, who first discovered the Stuy Town tea after 2:30 a.m., said he was told by a property manager later that morning that a major pipe had burst.
At around 7:30 a.m., he was informed the problem had been fixed and that he could just let the water run until it turned clear. As far as he could see, though, it was still brown.
When asked about the pipe, a spokesperson for Con Ed told T&V he hadn’t heard about the problem and a spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Protection said he hadn’t either. However, he noted that of the 2,000 water leaks the DEP is called to fix each year, 80 percent of them are directly related to the pipes of private properties rather than city lines.
A spokesperson for CWCapital didn’t respond to a request for comment on where the pipe had burst.
In a separate incident on Monday, 19 buildings had their water shut down temporarily in the afternoon due to a water main break on the Avenue C Loop. Management announced on Facebook that the water was shut down so that emergency repairs could be made and that the water would be turned on again in the evening.
Impacted buildings were: 245, 271, 277, 281, 283 and 285 Avenue C, 605, 615, 625, 635, 645, 647, 649, 651, 653 and 655 East 14th Street and 6, 8 and 10 Stuyvesant Oval.
Kayakers paddle around at an event at Stuyvesant Cove Park in June. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Local waterfront organizations attended CB6’s Land Use and Waterfront committee meeting to provide options for East River access.
At the committee’s October meeting, City Council member Dan Garodnick called on community members and organizations to come up with suggestions for how to use the $1 million in funding that his office has secured for East River access so representatives from waterfront groups returned in November to offer their proposals.
Stuyvesant Cove Park has served as a launching point for kayakers for the last three summers and representatives from the Watertrail Association, Long Island City Boathouse, Urban Swim, the Lower East Side Ecology Center and Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance have been working to provide easier access to recreational boating on the East Side.
The area of the East River around Stuyvesant Cove Park has a natural beach, which has made it an adequate launching site for kayaks when the tide is low, but one of the main problems is access to the beach itself.
During the summer when free kayaking events are available, there is usually a cooler for kayakers to step over and a ladder to get down to the beach, making it difficult and precarious to get to the boats.
“It gives people the impression that they’re doing something they shouldn’t be doing,” Nancy Brous, of the Watertrail Association, added.
Ted Gruber, a volunteer with the Long Island City Boathouse, was skeptical that any of the proposals would be implemented by next season and suggested that an interim solution be used in the meantime.
“It would be a lot better if we had an opening in the fence we could use to get to the beach,” he said. “This is something we think could be achieved before the next season.”
Brous outlined the plans for the eventual kayak launch that would potentially be functional by the summer of 2016 and which would include permanent storage for boats, a floating dock and educational space.
Gruber emphasized that storage space for boats is crucial because it increases the number of volunteer hours to have to transport the boats back and forth between other storage facilities and the water.
Steven Leslie, a resident of East 24th Street and Second Avenue, created a Stuy Cove Kayaking listserv and has been working on programming to get residents involved with the water. He said that the educational space is a key part of getting children and students interested in the water quality and environment.
“We could liaise with local schools because the park is already a place where a lot of students come for educational activities,” he said.
The committee ultimately proposed a resolution to support the plans for a floating dock and a 3,000 s/f structure with an educational component, as well as the interim solution of moving the gate to make the beach more accessible.