PCV man pays it forward after getting mystery gift

 Jack Goldfarb

Jack Goldfarb

By Sabina Mollot

Peter Cooper Village resident Jack Goldfarb, who in the past several years, has done much in the way of activism to honor those who perished in the Holocaust, more recently found himself tasked with a much more light hearted and local mission.

It started, Goldfarb shared with Town & Village this week, with a routine trip on the M23 from his home to Madison Square Park.

When he got off the bus, he was approached by a young woman who handed him three twenty dollar bills. She then told him, “This is from the bank.” Naturally, Goldfarb had questions about what this was all about — and if he was being scammed somehow — but before he could ask anything of his mysterious benefactor, she had already vanished into the crowd. However, he recalled that the woman was black, about 25 years old and had “a mischievous smile.”

Although she hadn’t given him any hint on how to spend it, Goldfarb said he felt that since the cash was given to him, he should give it to someone too, specifically someone who looked like they could use it.

But first he took it to the bank, where a teller confirmed it was in fact real money. After that the sixty dollars just sat on his dresser for a few weeks.

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Why NY needs the Export-Import Bank

By Congress Member Carolyn Maloney and Council Member Dan Garodnick

In the last eight years, nearly 350 exporters, including 200 small businesses in New York have created or sustained jobs by exporting $11 billion worth of their products with the assistance of the Export-Import Bank. The bank is a little-known but important part of our country’s efforts to help businesses sell everything from peanut butter to airplanes abroad.

Even though the bank is operating at no cost to taxpayers and provided a $1 billion profit in 2013 alone, for a second year in a row Congress is threatening to shut it down. And as the clock ticks, New Yorkers’ jobs are hanging in the balance.

In April, the New York City Council Committee on Economic Development held a hearing to examine what would happen if Congress failed to extend the bank. The findings were alarming. The bank has created an estimated $4 billion in export value for New York City alone — and we know that every $1 billion in new exports creates nearly 5,000 new jobs. Nationwide, the bank created or sustained more than 164,000 jobs last year.

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Tenants finally get that rent freeze

Tenants packed the Cooper Union auditorium on Monday for a brief vote that resulted in a historic rent freeze. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Tenants packed the Cooper Union auditorium on Monday for a brief vote that resulted in a historic rent freeze. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Rent Guidelines Board voted for a rent freeze for the first time since the board was established in 1969 on Monday night. However, the historic freeze is only a partial victory for tenants since it applies only to one-year leases. Two-year leases will see a two percent increase.

This was the first year that all nine members of the board were appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who last year echoed tenant calls for a rent freeze. This year he refrained from making any comments on the rollback advocated for by tenants, although he praised the board’s decision following the vote.

“This was the right call,” de Blasio said. “We know tenants have been forced to make painful choices that pitted ever-rising rent against necessities like groceries, childcare and medical bills. Today’s decision means relief.”

Despite the jubilant atmosphere in the auditorium of the Cooper Union directly following the vote, some tenant advocates felt that a freeze only on one-year leases was not far enough.

“I knew they wouldn’t vote for zero and zero but in my mind, a rent freeze isn’t zero and two,” TenantsPAC treasurer Mike McKee said. “Anyone who just signed a two-year lease (before the vote) won’t get a chance to take advantage of the zero percent increase. The fix was in as usual. The tenant members realized they couldn’t get anything better so they just settled for what passed.”

ST-PCV Tenants Association members attended the vote, including new president Susan Steinberg.

ST-PCV Tenants Association members attended the vote, including new president Susan Steinberg.

Susan Steinberg, who was elected as the new president for the STPCV Tenants Association last week, was also cautiously optimistic.

“It’s a partial victory,” she said. “It was certainly historic. Tenants will breathe easier tonight, but I just wish the increase for the two-year leases was a little less.”

Marietta Hawkes, a 38-year resident of Stuyvesant Town, was more disappointed by Albany’s failure to strengthen the rent laws than she was excited about the rent freeze.

“It’s the MCIs that really kill us,” she said. “I’ll never vote for Cuomo again. He and (Assembly Speaker Carl) Heastie are not sticking up for tenants.”

Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh was enthusiastic about the vote, noting that the increase for two-year leases shouldn’t belittle the achievement of a zero percent increase on one-year leases.

“It’s a great victory for tenants,” Kavanagh said. “We had a tough setback last week. We fight these battles on many fronts and we’ll continue to fight for affordable housing in Stuyvesant Town and all over the city. It’s a big thing that tenants can renew their leases with no increases. I think it’s fair to say that we got a rent freeze.”

Tenant representatives Harvey Epstein and Sheila Garcia had originally proposed a rollback of up to -4 and -2 percent for one and two-year leases at the preliminary vote in April. RGB Chair Rachel Godsil had rejected that proposal, saying that there were landlords also struggling, but she also rejected the owner’s suggested increases of up to 4.2 and 6.7 percent.

Epstein and Garcia, who offered their proposal first on Monday night, seemed resigned that their final proposal of zero percent for one-year leases and two percent for two-year leases was the best they were going to get for the moment.

Tenants at the rally call for a rollback.

Tenants at the rally call for a rollback.

“The data supports a rent rollback but we don’t have the votes to make that happen tonight so I am proposing what I think is the best option,” Garcia said. “Think about what kind of city we want to live in.”

Tenants initially jeered at the proposal, reacting to the two percent increases for two-year leases. Epstein himself had criticized Godsil’s proposal at the preliminary vote that called for up to 3.5 percent increases for two-year leases, but in response to the negative reaction of the crowd at the final vote, explained that while it wasn’t what they had been hoping for, it was a small step in the right direction.

“Tonight let’s realize this is a marathon, not a sprint,” he said. “Today we have the opportunity to have a historic rent freeze. There have been 46 years of landlords getting increases, of not following their responsibilities. We take a stand that a zero is a huge victory. If we don’t get a rollback, a freeze is a start so we’ll be back next year to get what we want.”

When asked to cast her vote, owner member Sara Williams Willard called the entire process “biased” and “myopic” before voting “absolutely resounding no.”

The mood in the auditorium was triumphant after six of the nine members cast “yes” votes, with tenants almost drowning out Godsil when it became clear that the vote was in favor of the tenant representatives’ proposal. Godsil called for a lull in the cheers long enough so she could provide an explanation for her affirmative vote.

“The majority of owners are faring well but half of rent stabilized tenants are considered to be rent burdened,” she said. “Rent stabilized housing remains unaffordable for majority of tenants living in these units. Increasing rent burdens lead to increasing numbers of people who can’t stay in their apartment while owners have several other sources of income. In light of this year’s current data, a zero percent increase is appropriate. The two percent increase is to protect owners for costs that may arise. We need a careful balance.”

The Rent Stabilization Association, which represents landlords, was less enthusiastic about the vote. RSA President Joseph Strasburg criticized the decision, saying that the board was pandering to the mayor’s political agenda at the expense of tenants.

“It is despicable that politics prevailed over common sense. There is no basis for a rent freeze. Previous mayors let this independent board do what was necessary to preserve the city’s largest source of affordable housing,” Strasburg said. “Ironically, de Blasio’s mantra has been the preservation of affordable housing, but his support of a rent freeze, coupled with last year’s one percent rent increase, will have the opposite effect, spurring the deterioration and eventual eradication of affordable housing.”

The vote itself was surprisingly short, lasting only half an hour and only requiring the board members to vote once because the first proposal presented was the one that passed. Despite the quick vote, the meeting didn’t start until 7 p.m., an hour after the scheduled time. McKee theorized that this was because the board members were negotiating on a deal, although a representative from the RGB said that the delay was to ensure that everyone who wanted to get in had a chance to see the vote.

The event, attended by about 900 tenants, took place at the Great Hall as it typically does but due to construction taking place at the entrance of the building, the usual place for pre-vote demonstrations was relocated to a too-small spot on Cooper Square next to Bahr Che wine bar, resulting in the group spilling over into the street and cops having to nudge tenants back towards the sidewalk to keep them out of oncoming traffic.

ESU detective aims to educate New York on what state Constitution actually means

Detective James Coll of Emergency Service Unit #1 and ChangeNYS (Photo by Marc DeGeorge)

Detective James Coll of Emergency Service Unit #1 and ChangeNYS (Photo by Marc DeGeorge)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

All members of the NYPD are required to swear an oath to the New York State Constitution when they begin their service, but Detective James Coll said that it wasn’t until after he swore his oath that he actually took the time to read it. Since he felt like he wasn’t the only one who was unfamiliar with the document, he started a non-partisan and non-profit organization called ChangeNYS that aims to educate New Yorkers about the contents of the state’s constitution.

Coll, who is one of the detectives that was honored with the Cop of the Year award in 2009 for rescuing passengers from the US Airways flight that landed in the Hudson River, has been a member of the NYPD since 1997 and since 2002 has been a member of the Emergency Squad Unit 1, which is directly adjacent to the 13th Precinct on East 21st Street.

Coll has been an adjunct professor of American history at Nassau Community College since 2001 but he said that he started thinking about the state’s constitution when he decided to go to graduate school shortly after joining the NYPD. He started ChangeNYS about two years ago as an educational program and to offer a forum for discussion to anyone who wanted to learn about the government.

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Rent Guidelines Board vote postponed to June 29

By Sabina Mollot

The final vote of the Rent Guidelines Board has been postponed by five days due to the failure of Albany officials to renew rent regulations last week.

The vote, originally scheduled for June 24, will now take place today at the Cooper Union Great Hall, 7 East 7th Street and Third Avenue, at 6 p.m.

A spokesperson for the RGB explained that the decision was directly tied with Albany’s ongoing negotiations. In the meantime, said the spokesperson, the board has concluded its process of conducting four public hearings.

“They were crowded, well attended,” he said, with over 200 tenant speakers, 50 owners and a handful of elected officials.

The announcement about the postponement was made last weekend, and the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association sent an email blast to alert neighbors.

In April, the board made a preliminary vote of increases ranging from 0-2 percent for one-year leases and 0.5-3.5 percent for two-year leases.

Neighbors still feel ‘steamrolled’ by plans for sanitation garage

Attendees at Monday’s meeting, including Waterside Tenants Association President Janet Handal (above right) expressed their concerns about the sanitation garage that’s expected to be be built at the CUNY Brookdale site. Photo by Daryl Baurer

Attendees at Monday’s meeting expressed their concerns about the sanitation garage that’s expected to be be built at the CUNY Brookdale site. (Photo by Daryl Baurer)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Almost 200 residents living in the area around the Brookdale Campus where a sanitation garage has been proposed expressed their frustration on Monday night when the Department of Sanitation and the Economic Development Corporation continued to move forward with the plans, hosting a public scoping hearing on the draft Environmental Impact Statement.

While some of the aggravation stemmed from the lack of notice for the recent hearing, as well as the location on East 17th Street and Second Avenue, an inconvenient venue for the many Waterside Plaza residents who wanted to attend, many residents were primarily concerned that plans for the garage were going ahead with little consideration for the community’s objections.

Terence O’Neal, who is chair of the Community Board 6 Land Use and Waterfront committee but who submitted his testimony at the hearing as an individual and not a representative of CB6, said he was frustrated that the draft EIS failed to mention any of the work the community board has done in looking at alternate sites and alternative solutions.

“While the working group from EDC is prominently mentioned, the city planner that the community board hired is glaringly left out,” he said. “When a community takes its time and energy and its own funding, it’s telling that the city agency doesn’t even mention the study. One would hope this oversight doesn’t reflect their opinion of the study and we hope our comments given tonight are taken seriously.”

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Adriatic closes, space to become pizzeria/lounge

Adriatic has closed after over 25 years on First Avenue. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Adriatic has closed after over 25 years on First Avenue. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

 

By Sabina Mollot

On Friday, Adriatic pizzeria and restaurant, which had been across First Avenue from Stuyvesant Town for over a quarter century, closed, to the surprise of the community.

A board member of the ST-PCV Tenants Association learned about the imminent closure in the morning when she went to check out a Tenants Association dropbox that was at the location.

Town & Village attempted to reach the owner at around 2 p.m. but it was too late, with no one picking up the phone. A visit there shortly afterwards also produced no luck with a metal grate closed around the restaurant, located at 321 First Avenue between 18th and 19th Streets.

The restaurant switched ownership three years ago and also renovated the space. Like many businesses along First Avenue near the VA Medical Center, owner Nino Geni told T&V in the months after Hurricane Sandy, there had been a drop in business. Customers said recently the place never seemed busy.

Susan Steinberg, the chair of the Tenants Association as well as a member of Community Board 6, said she’d first gotten wind of the closure last December when another company tried to get the board’s blessing for a liquor license at the address. The new business was to be a pizzeria and lounge.

However, Steinberg said when the owners of Adriatic were asked about it, they denied that they were closing.

“All the small retailers are disappearing; the bagel shop, the (Cooper) laundromat,” said Steinberg. “They’re falling one by one.”

On the upside, Steinberg noted, “At least it’s not another bank or a pharmacy.”

Reached on the phone on Monday, David Jaffee, the co-owner of the new pizzeria/lounge, said it will be called Visana.

The front will be a pizzeria with both regular and gluten-free options, separated in order to avoid cross-contamination. The back area will be a bar and lounge with a focus on after work cocktails and events. The problem at Adriatic, Jaffee added, was that the owners “couldn’t make money on the restaurant portion.”

The menu at Visana will feature organic spirits and ingredients as much as possible, but not exclusively.

“It’s a balance between cost, reasonable selling price to our customers, spoilage,” explained Jaffee. “Some fruits and vegetables don’t need to be organic because they have a low pesticide load or are protected by their coverings, such as pineapple. Others should always be organic, such as strawberries and blueberries.”

Jaffee, who moved to Stuyvesant Town three months ago, added that he is “very committed to the community and I hope they will embrace us.” This is the first business venture for him as well as his partner Ross Rachlin. There is no set date for the opening since there is going to be some renovation work needed first. However, a note that’s been taped to the door does state the place will open at some point in August.

When going before CB6’s Business Affairs and Streets Activities Committee, Jaffee and Rachlin of Pure Hospitality LLC had pitched a pizza restaurant/lounge that would focus on organic food and beverages. The owners had hoped to stay open until 4 a.m., but CB6 prefers establishments to commit to closing at 2 a.m. In January, CB6 authored a resolution opposing the application, citing concerns from neighbors about a growing nightlife scene in the district and concerns from the Gramercy Park Block Association over having a lounge open until 4 a.m.

Jaffee said the board told him it would have no problem with his concept if he agreed to close at 2 a.m. for the first year. However, he didn’t want to commit to that time frame.

“We didn’t sign their stipulation because we felt confident that we could do better at the SLA level, which we did,” he said.

Last week, he got the business’s liquor license approved and liquor can be served until 3 a.m. for the first six months. Then after that he’s allowed to return and request permission to serve alcohol until 4 a.m. He’d requested permission to remain open until 4 a.m. but the SLA cited the community board’s concerns and the fact that Jaffee is a first-time operator as reason for the one less hour when he can serve alcohol. He doesn’t have to close at 3 a.m. though so from 3-4 a.m., Jaffee told Town & Village the plan is to make this a “detox hour,” when coconut water and healthy juices are served.

Politics & Tidbits: Playing chess in Albany

By Steven Sanders,

former Assembly member, 74th District

Steven Sanders

Steven Sanders

To begin to understand the machination of Albany politics especially with the state legislature, a basic understanding of chess is necessary. For they are based on the very same principles.

Chess is a game of strategy. Unlike other games, the moves made in chess are often times disguised and not always what they appear to be. First of all, in chess each player starts with 16 pieces. The pieces are of different values and are capable of making different moves across the 64 squared checkerboard. The goal in chess is to navigate across the board using your pieces in different ways to ultimately capture the opposing player’s “King.” Each player knows that in spite of starting out with 16 pieces they will lose some pieces along the way and even sacrifice some pieces in order to position themselves for victory.

To some extent that explains why Senator John Flanagan, the newly minted Senate (Republican) Majority Leader from Long Island, is so interested in New York City rent regulations. There are many more important local issues to Senator Flanagan’s constituents and fellow legislators from Nassau, Suffolk or upstate districts. But Flanagan is deftly holding on to the rent regulation issue near and dear to virtually every city legislator in the hopes of trading it or sacrificing it for something more important to his constituents and colleagues in the Senate. Each issue is like a chess piece. Each has a relative importance and each has a value if it is to be given up for something else.

No issue stands alone in Albany. Each issue is part of the bigger picture of what can be gained or lost in negotiations. This is probably also true of New York City mayoral control of the public schools which like New York City rent regulations must be renewed. It is very important to New York City politicians. But Flanagan and his mostly suburban and rural colleagues are holding on to both of those issues like a dog and its favorite bone.

Senator Flanagan cares much more about upstate property taxes and even some changes to the state’s restrictive gun laws (although that may now be a nonstarter following yet another gun tragedy, this time in a church in South Carolina). Flanagan also cares about upstate economic revitalization issues and even tax cuts to underwrite private and parochial school costs for parents who send their children to those schools or individuals who donate funds to those schools.

So the leaders in the Democratic Assembly led by Speaker Carl Heastie and the Senate leaders will move those issues along the checkerboard of negotiations knowing that to achieve their ultimate goals they will sacrifice some of those less important issue to gain more important issues for each of them. As for the governor, He will try to broker a deal that satisfies his political priorities by cobbling together issues that are of importance to the Assembly and the Senate that satisfies his political needs. In this case the governor is using the rent

regulation issue as leverage to procure approval from the Assembly on issues that it is less interested in, but ones that the governor has a great interest.

This is the traditional horse trading that has always been part of the Albany legislative culture of getting things done. But this gamesmanship causes great anxiety to ordinary citizens who feel like pawns in the game, especially one million New York City tenants.

Rent regulations and protections against eviction or huge increases in rents is a matter of life and death for many apartment dwellers.

So my advice to the leadership of Albany is to get this done this week and allow the people of the State of New York to proceed with their lives without the uncertainty and intrigue of Albany machinations.

Really, Mr. Cuomo, Mr. Heastie and Mr. Flanagan… this is not a game!

 

Tenants blast ‘framework’ deal for rent regulations

June25 Cuomo Heastie Flanagan

Assembly Member Carl Heastie, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (Photo via Governor Andrew Cuomo Flickr)

By Sabina Mollot

On Tuesday afternoon, the rent regulations, over a week after their expiration, were discussed in what was called “the framework of an agreement” that was immediately blasted by tenant advocates for not repealing vacancy decontrol or reforming preferential rents. The plan was announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan in an Albany press conference.

The plan, which, as of Town & Village’s press time, was still being discussed by both legislative houses in conference, calls for a four-year extension of the rent laws, reforming major capital improvements (MCIs) so that tenants’ payments are lower though they will still have to be paid in perpetuity. Other changes include increasing penalties on landlords who harass tenants and raising the threshold at which an apartment can be subject to vacancy deregulation. Additionally, according to a press release put out by Cuomo, the state housing agency’s Tenants Protection Unit will be put into statute and vacancy bonuses and will be limited for tenants paying preferential rent, although how much or in what way it would be limited wasn’t explained. Cuomo’s office did not respond to a request for clarification by Town & Village’s deadline.

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Letters to the Editor, June 25

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Unanswered questions about sanitation garage

To the editor and our community,

This is an open letter prepared for comments regarding a DEIS for the sanitation garage planned for the Brookdale site in our neighborhood.

This consolidated garage will be a big industrial facility located in between to two public hospitals, the NYU Dental School and just a few blocks from at least two large middle class apartment complexes and several schools. I believe we in this community are owed detailed, scientific explanations of New York City’s plans to handle various industrial activities within and around this garage.

1) The trucks will be washed with some regularity. Assuming this will take tons of water and chemicals to disinfect, how will this be handled? Assuming it will go into the sewer system, can the existing sewers handle these copious amounts? Are you planning to dig and expand the current pipes? For how many blocks? What sewage treatment plant will receive this? Will any of this go into the East River when there are storms? Are there any VOCs (volatile organic chemicals) used in this process and how are they handled?

2) A garbage truck has many moving parts and at least one hydraulic system. They will be repaired and/or serviced in this garage.  Such processes have to use petroleum products and benzene or similar solvents. Again, how are any VOCs handled? Please describe how waste from these repairs, refittings etc. will be handled.

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Police Watch: ‘Trespassers’ busted, Man found with ‘stolen’ purse and Citi Bike

TWO MEN ARRESTED AFTER CELL PHONE SNATCHING
Police arrested two people following the investigation of a cell phone snatching last Tuesday at 10:18 p.m. at the corner of First Avenue and East 28th Street. Police stopped 23-year-old Shawn Lee at the intersection in regards to the phone snatching and Lee allegedly admitted that he was in possession of a knife.
Police said that the knife recovered measured 7 1/4 inches and Lee allegedly told them that he used it for protection. He was charged with possession of a weapon.
Kevin Hawkins, 22, was charged with possession of burglar’s tools and resisting arrest at First Avenue and East 28th Street at 10:25 p.m.
When police attempted to stop Hawkins, he allegedly fled down First Avenue on a bicycle going the wrong way and riding on the sidewalk, refusing to stop. Police said he then made a right turn down East 26th Street heading west, pulled a U-turn and rode the bike on East 26th Street towards Bellevue Hospital. Hawkins allegedly dumped the bike and police said he was found hiding in the parking lot at Bellevue Hospital. He allegedly flexed and flailed his arms in an attempt to avoid being handcuffed.
Police said that the two men were not charged with the theft because the phone was not recovered and the victim could not positively identify the men as the ones who stole her phone. Police said that they were pursued because they matched the description, as two black men with bicycles, but the thieves grabbed the woman’s phone from behind her while riding a bike and she did not see their faces.

MCDONALD’S ‘TRESPASSER’ ARRESTED
Police arrested 32-year-old Matthew Bowman at Bellevue Hospital inside 462 First Avenue last Wednesday at 1:29 a.m. for criminal trespass at a McDonald’s. Police said that Bowman jumped behind the counter at the McDonald’s and after the manager on duty escorted him out, he allegedly jumped over the counter again and wouldn’t leave.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘STOLEN’ PURSE AND CITI BIKE
Police arrested 55-year-old Kevin Strong for possession of stolen property at the corner of Levy Place and East 23rd Street last Wednesday at 3:34 a.m. Strong was allegedly in possession of a stolen handbag and a stolen Citi Bike worth $1,200.

GRAMERCY PARK TOWERS ‘TRESPASSER’ BUSTED
Police arrested 24-year-old Alexander Schupnick for criminal trespass inside the Gramercy Park Towers at 205 Third Avenue last Wednesday at 7:33 a.m. Police said that Schupnick was seen inside of the building without permission to be there.

MAN NABBED FOR ‘STEALING’ BAG
Police arrested 35-year-old Roger Labady for petit larceny and possession of stolen property at the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 23rd Street last Wednesday at 11:21 a.m. Police said that Labady took a woman’s bag from the ground while she was using her cell phone. After searching the area, police found Labady a block away and when he was questioned, he allegedly told police, “Yes, I took the bag but I was looking for money. There was no money so I dropped the bag across the street.”

MAN CHASED BY COPS, ARRESTED FOR JUMPING SUBWAY TURNSTILE
Willie Kelland, 55, was arrested for theft of services outside 300 Park Avenue South last Wednesday at 2:53 p.m. Police were responding to a report of a larceny at the location and when they arrived, the victim pointed Kelland out. When they approached him, Kelland allegedly fled on foot into the subway station at the northeast corner of East 22nd Street and Park Avenue where police said he hopped the turnstile. He was not charged with larceny because police said they did not have enough evidence to prove that he committed the theft.

MAN BUSTED FOR ‘ROBBERY’ AT D’AGOSTINO
Police arrested 31-year-old Jorge Escobar for robbery inside the D’Agostino grocery store at 341 Third Avenue last Wednesday at 5:57 p.m. A store employee saw Escobar trying to leave the store with stolen merchandise allegedly inside his bag. When the employee stopped him at the door, Escobar allegedly began fighting with the employees in an attempt to flee. Police said that the employee was injured when Escobar flailed and then kicked and punched the victim.

MAN NABBED FOR MCDONALD’S KNIFE ‘ASSAULT’
Police arrested 42-year-old Jemar Banks for assault inside the McDonald’s at 541 Sixth Avenue last Thursday at 6:47 a.m. The victim told police that he knocked on the door to use the restroom and when Banks came out, he allegedly started a fight with the victim, throwing punches at him. The victim said that Banks then removed a knife from his waistband and allegedly proceeded to slash at him. The victim was able to grab the knife, which caused a cut on his hand. He held onto the knife and bent it and Banks allegedly fled the location. He was apprehended around the corner at 100 West 15th Street.

HOUSEKEEPER ARRESTED FOR ‘STEALING’ FROM EMPLOYER
Police arrested 47-year-old Maria Demo for grand larceny inside the 13th precinct at 230 East 21st Street last Thursday at 1:20 p.m. Police said that Demo stole items from the apartment where she was employed as a housekeeper. The value of the property stolen was greater than $3,000. Demo also allegedly swiped items from inside another apartment in the same building while being employed as a babysitter. Demo was also charged with possession of stolen property.

MAN BUSTED FOR ‘RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT’
Police arrested 37-year-old Eran Modan for reckless endangerment in front of 5 West 21st Street last Friday at 5:59 p.m. A police officer was stopped in traffic on East 21st Street close to Broadway when he heard the throttle of a motorcycle coming from behind his police vehicle. Modan was allegedly riding his motorcycle in a clearly marked bike lane on the south side of the street. The officer signaled for Modan to slow down but he allegedly continued, passing five vehicles while still in the bike lane. Once Modan saw another officer on foot signaling him to pull over, he allegedly crossed in between vehicles to pass another five cars, including a marked police car on the right side. The officer began following Modan with lights and sirens, crossing over Broadway and Fifth Avenue. Modan finally stopped when the officer boxed him in with a large delivery truck and a construction site off of Fifth Avenue. East 21st Street between Park Avenue South and Broadway is a single lane roadway with a marked bike lane close to the south side of the street.

MAN BUSTED FOR ‘ASSAULT’ INSIDE DHAKA FASHION INC.
Police arrested 43-year-old Ambia Khairul for assault and menacing inside Dhaka Fashion Inc. at 1167 Broadway last Sunday at 6:17 p.m. Khairul, an employee there, allegedly hit a co-worker in the head with a packaging tape dispenser and chased him out of the store with a baseball bat. The victim was left with a red knot on the left side of his forehead. Police did not have any information about why the fight started.

About that kitten abandoned in a Stuy Town closet

Stevie is doing well in a new home in Stuyvesant Town. (Photo by Marilyn Pascarelli)

Stevie is doing well in a new home in Stuyvesant Town. (Photo by Marilyn Pascarelli)

By Sabina Mollot

Last month, Town & Village ran a story about a mom in Peter Cooper Village who spent nearly a year in an apartment made unlivable by a group of around 15 squatters who lived directly above her family. Along with being a noisy, rowdy and vindictive lot, the upstairs neighbors were also cruel, abandoning their pet kitten in a locked closet. As T&V also noted at the time, the now nine-month-old calico has since been placed in a new home.

This week, we chatted with popular Stuy Town pet sitter Linda Ayache, for whom the lucky feline, named Stevie, is a charge.

“She’s adjusting well,” said Ayache. “She’s in a loving home. She’s going to be fed all the time and taken care of. I’m thrilled.”

(Stevie is named after the singer Stevie Nicks, with the name having been given to her by her rescuer, Marilyn Pascarelli of City Critters.)

The kitten has also been given her shots, tested negative for various feline health conditions and has been fixed. Her owners, who live in Stuyvesant Town, are also friends of Ayache’s. She didn’t want their names published in case Stevie’s old owners are delusional enough to try and get her back.

After they were evicted, Pascarelli had suggested that management call the authorities about the abandonment, but the former residents, who skipped before the marshal came, couldn’t be reached. Their cell phones had been disconnected.

The family that has since adopted Stevie includes another cat, who’s male, “so she’s already making trouble for the boy,” said Ayache. The family currently has multiple cats, all rescues.

Police arrest Con Ed employee for ax attacks, stabbing

A weapon allegedly used by Trevial Terry (Photo courtesy of NYPD)

A weapon allegedly used by Trevial Terry (Photo courtesy of NYPD)

By Sabina Mollot

Police have arrested a Con Ed employee who allegedly attacked three people on Monday afternoon, including the mother of his child, using an ax.

Trevial Terry, 40, who lives at 580 St. Nicholas Avenue in Harlem, is accused of stabbing the 35-year-old mother of his child at 135 East 64th Street. Officers, when arriving at the scene found the victim in the building’s vestibule bleeding from multiple stab wounds in her stomach and back. She told them that Terry had approached her, pushed her into the building’s vestibule and then stabbed her. She was taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital in serious but stable condition.

According to the Daily News, the victim was Alicia Sylvia, and the two were in the midst of a custody battle. She’d been attacked at the building where she works.

Then later, Terry walked into the Con Ed building at 4 Irving Plaza where he’s worked for the past 15 years. His title is commercial service representative for the Department of Energy Services. Once there he headed to the 10th floor office and allegedly pulled out an ax when he saw a 49-year-old colleague and struck him in the face with it. A witness, a 40-year-old man, tried to help the victim, but then was struck in the arm by Terry who police said was using a “pointed tip hammer.”

Terry then attempted to flee by running down the stairs and into the parking lot, where officers arrested him. According to the Daily News, the cops had help from employees who’d chased him out of the building. A Times story stated that when Terry entered the office, he’d asked for a supervisor but was told the supervisor was unavailable. The two victims were taken to Bellevue Hospital where they were both listed in stable condition. Terry was also taken to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition.

He’s been charged with three counts of attempted murder, six counts of assault and four counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

Allan Drury, a spokesperson for Con Ed, said he didn’t know what would make the longtime employee snap and that as far as he knew there had been no prior incidents involving Terry. He said the victims’ injuries were non-life threatening.

An NYPD spokesperson said Terry has no prior arrests, unless they’ve been sealed.

Investing in Stuyvesant Cove Park and planning for the community

Four members of the John Colianni Quintet at a previous concert at the Cove (Photo courtesy of Stuyvesant Cove Park Association)

Four members of the John Colianni Quintet at a previous concert at the Cove (Photo courtesy of Stuyvesant Cove Park Association)

By Jo-Ann Polise

The Stuyvesant Cove Park Association is stepping up again this year to help improve conditions at Stuyvesant Cove and to lure area residents to the river with a series of free outdoor concerts.

The concerts are offered free of charge to all and include a variety of styles including swing, jazz, blues and bluegrass as well as an evening of traditional Irish music and dance.

Plans for the annual series begin in March and among this year’s musicians are several past performers including John Colianni, the Rutkowski Family Trio, Sean Mahony and David Hershey-Webb. New to the roster are Jason Green and The Labor of Love, New Harvest and Niall O’Leary and friends.

I serve on the board of The SCPA and am the coordinator for the annual concert series. I met Jason Green when I went to hear another artist perform at an East Village restaurant. I spoke to the guitarist during the break and Jason Green and The Labor of Love will be opening the concert series later this month. In a similar fashion, fiddle player Clarence Ferrari was part of a group that performed last year and will be performing country and bluegrass with New Harvest in July.

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Petite Abeille on the hunt for new logo

The Belgian restaurant is turning 20. The Peter Cooper location is now over 10. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

The Belgian restaurant is turning 20. The Peter Cooper location is now over 10. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Petite Abeille, the Belgian restaurant well known for being family-friendly as well as its mouth-watering Croque Monsieurs, will soon be turning 20.

Yves Jadot, who owns the restaurant’s two locations (one in Peter Cooper Village, the other in Chelsea) with his brothers Christophe and David, said the company is going to be celebrating the landmark in part with a contest to design a new logo for the restaurant. Currently, it’s an image of a cute, smiling bee, since the meaning of Petite Abeille is “little bee.”

“What we’re saying is she’s all grown up,” explained Jadot. “She’s going to be 20 on July 19. She needs a facelift because she’s not a little girl anymore. The logo is a bit childish so we’re trying to make it more mature.”

July 19 is also when the restaurant in Peter Cooper will be holding its annual Belgian Day celebration, which usually includes a Miss Belgium pageant.
As for the art contest the company plans to hold, the winner will get a $1,000 cash prize as well as a life time of free brunch. Details on how to enter will soon be on the restaurant’s website.

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