Hoylman bill would help LGBT veterans who’ve been denied benefits

State Senator Brad Hoylman

State Senator Brad Hoylman

By Sabina Mollot

On Tuesday, State Senator Brad Hoylman released a report focusing on how LGBT veterans have been denied a multitude of benefits for decades and announced his plan to introduce legislation that would address this longstanding issue. The reason, he explained in the report, is that over 50 state benefits are contingent upon a veteran’s discharge status. This would make those who were discharged solely for their sexual orientation or gender identity potentially ineligible to receive those benefits, which include scholarships, job opportunities, health screenings, tax breaks and even reimbursement for burial costs.

On his “New York Restoration of Honor Act,” Hoylman said, “It’s appalling that there are generations of LGBT veterans right here in New York who continue to be discriminated against and denied important benefits by the very government they fought to defend. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ thankfully is over (having ended in 2011), but my report shows that the holdover of the widespread injustice against LGBT service members remains.”

Around 114,000 U.S. service members have been discharged for their sexual orientation or gender identity since World War II.

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Old Ess-a-Bagel space’s neighboring storefronts are now being marketed

A sign above the former Ess-a-Bagel shop announces that the Grill 21 space and others are available. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

A sign above the former Ess-a-Bagel shop announces that the Grill 21 space and others are available. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Back in January, Town & Village reported that three neighboring restaurants, Ess-a-Bagel, Grill 21 and Rose restaurant, had lost their leases. Then a couple of weeks ago, a sign went up over the former Ess-a-Bagel space (soon to be home to Tal Bagels) saying the spaces around the corner were also now on the market. Grill 21 is still there as is the shoe repair shop next door as is a small storefront that’s vacant and had been used for storage by Ess-a-Bagel.

The real estate firm listing the spaces is Walker Malloy and according to the exclusive broker for those listings, Eric Fisher, the owner of the building is looking for anything “neighborhood service related” to fill the space.

Additionally, while all three storefronts are being listed, Fisher said that “ideally,” the shoe repair shop can remain.

“We have allegiance to the cobbler,” he said, although the owner would be willing to relocate the shop somehow. The listing notes that parcels of the property can be combined, and the now vacant storage space could be used as traditional retail. The storefronts have actually been getting marketed “very softly” for the past few months, said Fisher, but that changed earlier this month with the sign going up. The only type of retail Fisher could think of that the landlord, an LLC owned by L&M Development CEO Ron Moelis and others, doesn’t want, is a liquor store. The listing described the space, on East 21st Street west of First Avenue, as “ideal for a wine bar or a commissary kitchen.”

Prices also have been made available with the vacant space at 380 square feet going for $4,750. The 415-square-foot shoe repair shop is listed as $5,190 a month and the 715-square-foot Grill 21 is listed as being $8,940.

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