Transformer fire prompts evacuation at NYU Langone Medical Center

NYU Langone Medical Center’s main campus at 550 First Avenue (Photo courtesy of NYU Langone)

NYU Langone Medical Center’s main campus at 550 First Avenue (Photo courtesy of NYU Langone)

By Sabina Mollot

A transformer fire broke out at NYU Langone Medical Center Thursday afternoon, leading to partial evacuation of the facility.

No one was injured, and the FDNY and Con Ed have both responded to the scene.

A spokesperson for the Fire Department said the call came in at 3:43 p.m. but he did not know what the cause of the transformer fire was. A spokesperson for the hospital, at First Avenue and 30th Street, said she didn’t know either, but issued the following statement:

A smoke situation has occurred due to a transformer fire in a non-patient area at NYU Langone. Out of caution a non-patient facility was evacuated, and no injuries have been reported. FDNY is on site and the situation is under control – there is no danger to patients or NYU Langone faculty and staff.”

A spokesperson for Con Ed said at 5:30 p.m. that a team had just been dispatched to the hospital a half hour earlier, and that as far as he knew, there was no power disruption. He also said the utility still wasn’t sure if the incident involved any Con Ed equipment.

Aug6 NYU Langone

Police Watch: Camera ‘perv’ arrested at Cardelino, burglary in Second Ave. building

Police arrested 39-year-old Juan Cardenas for unlawful surveillance inside 948 Broadway, which is home to Cardelino Tailor Shop, last Thursday. The victim told police that she was changing in the changing room at the shop when she noticed a hole in the most eastern wall of the room and then saw a camera in the hole. She said that she then pushed her finger through the hole and Cardenas was allegedly holding a cell phone through it. She left the changing room and confronted Cardenas, who was the tailor at the shop. He allegedly told the victim, “I’m sorry, I have a family, please, I’m sorry.” The victim gathered her belongings, left the store and called the police. Cardenas then closed up and left the store. Police arrived and convinced one of his coworkers to call Cardenas back to the store. He arrived not long after and was positively identified by the victim, who said that he had also changed shirts.

Police arrested 38-year-old Angel Hernandez for burglary at 318 Second Avenue last Friday at 1:48 p.m. Police said that Hernandez removed an Amazon package from a locked vestibule area of a residential building. He allegedly ripped a small hole into the package to look at the contents. Police said that he gained access to the building by claiming to be a messenger. He was also charged with burglar’s tools, petit larceny and criminal trespass.

Police arrested 81-year-old Joseph Calabrese for assault in front of 315 Avenue C last Saturday at 5:25 p.m. Calabrese got into a fight with the victim, who lives in the apartment with him, over a billing issue. During the argument, Calabrese allegedly punched the victim in the head and punctured the victim’s left arm with a pair of scissors.

Police arrested 55-year-old David Rodriguez and 24-year-old Triana Acosta for assault at the corner of First Avenue and East 14th Street last Monday at 3:16 a.m. Rodriguez and Acosta were allegedly involved in an argument on a public bus that escalated with the two hitting each other in the face and causing minor cuts to their faces and hands.

Forty-year-old Wanda Brown was arrested for assault of a peace officer last Tuesday at 5:05 p.m. in front of 224 East 28th Street. Police said that while trying to restrain Brown, who they said was emotionally disturbed, she tried to punch the officer and missed, but she allegedly managed to push her into the wall, causing substantial pain to the officer’s shoulder. When the officer attempted to bring Brown to an ambulance, she allegedly kicked the officer, causing pain to her leg and stomach.

Cody Braxton, 29, was arrested in front of Vin Sur Vingt at 1140 Broadway for sexual abuse last Monday at 10:01 p.m. Braxton allegedly lifted a woman’s dress from behind and grabbed her buttocks with both hands. Police said that he fled the location and he was also charged with resisting arrest.

Police arrested 45-year-old Jose Rea and 26-year-old Daniel Quinones for assault last Monday around 2 p.m. in front of 315 Park Avenue South. Police said that Rea punches Quinones in the mouth, causing physical injury and bleeding, and Quinones allegedly punched Rea in the mouth as well, causing some of his teeth to fall out.

Police arrested 46-year-old Ramon Nunez-Phillips for assault at the corner of Park Avenue South and East 28th Street last Wednesday at 2:06 a.m. Police said that Nunez-Phillips hit the victim over the head with his cane, causing a cut and bleeding. The McDonald’s manager at the scene told police that he saw the argument between Nunez-Phillips and the victim and identified Nunez-Phillips as “that guy down the block with the baby blue shirt and the cane.” When he was questioned, Nunez-Phillips said that the victim had started pushing him and kept screaming, “Why did you take my money?” He allegedly stated, “I hit him out of self-defense.” Another witness confirmed that Nunez-Phillips did hit the victim with his cane.

Police arrested a teenager at the corner of Avenue C and East 20th Street last Wednesday at 2:33 a.m. for possession of marijuana. The suspect was seen holding a lit joint in his left hand in public view and police recovered marijuana from the scene. The teen’s name is being withheld due to his age.

Police arrested Kane Balser, 24, for assault of a peace officer inside Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue last Wednesday at 11:50 a.m. While in police custody for a previous incident that took place in another precinct, Balser allegedly punched an officer in the face, causing redness, pain and swelling to the officer’s lip. Balser was also charged with harassment.

Ruby Reyes, 38, was arrested inside the 13th Precinct last Thursday at 12:45 p.m. for possession of stolen property. Reyes was allegedly in possession of a cell phone that was reported stolen by a victim who was staying overnight in Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital.

Police arrested 46-year-old Louis Colon for possession of a hypodermic instrument and possession of a controlled substance last Friday at 1:38 a.m. on the corner of Irving Place and East 15th Street. Police said that Colon was operating his bicycle on the sidewalk and after he was searched, he was found to be in possession of three alleged hypodermic needles and a glassine bag of alleged cocaine. Upon further investigation, police found that Colon also has an arrest warrant from Jersey City for theft by “unlawful taking.”

Thirty-year-old Kevin Spencer was arrested for robbery inside the CVS Pharmacy at 750 Sixth Avenue last Friday at 5:11 p.m. A store employee told police that Spencer took items from the store and attempted to leave without paying for the items. When the employee attempted to stop Spencer, the suspect allegedly got aggressive, grabbed a glass wine bottle from the shelf and hit the employee on the arm and the leg.

Letters to the Editor, Aug. 6

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Forty years at Peter Cooper Village, USA

August 1st marked four decades of my having lived at PCV. The management (MetLife) was the owner and operator in 1975. Careful screening was done as the waiting list was about 15 years. At that time, all aspects of PCV/ST were perfect.

And the resident manager Bill Potter was one of the finest and most sensitive persons I have ever known. The residents were mixed and included the famous and the middle class. Maintenance was 24/7. Perfecto except that my late wife thought that it looked like a city project.

Then about 12 years ago CEO Robert Benmosche decided to convert the developments to upscale. (From about $1,500 to over $5K.) As Manhattan has become the hot place to live in the U.S…. more $$$! The only significant advantage was an upgrade for the elevators.

Well, you know the rest… Affordable housing was on its way out in Manhattan. So, people convergent in algorithms were replacing the middle class.

Why does my title include the USA? When President Ronald Reagan was elected it was clear that this nation was concentrating on the mantra: greed is good. During the past 35 years union membership is now one third of what it was and the middle class is being squeezed as Fox and friends concentrates on what is supposedly a war on Christmas.

The Judeo-Christian ethic has been replaced by outrageous materialism. And, what has been done to PCV/ST is just a mere microcosm of the morphing of our nation to a new Gilded Age.

And Murdoch, allies and the Koch brothers now through the Citizens United SCOTUS decision have made the election of our politicians according to how much money they can raise. Is this what our founders envisioned?

The changes in PCV/ST are congruent with the changes in our nation since the end of WWII. Or was this period where the middle class shared in the wealth a mere aberration? Who know? But, we do know how flawed the human condition is and the disastrous results it can bring.

David Chowes, PCV

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Elevated park option for East River waterfront

Those in attendance at the  meeting last Tuesday sat at tables while the pros and cons of each option for the project were discussed. (Pictured) Guests seated before the presentation began (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Those in attendance at the meeting last Tuesday sat at tables while the pros and cons of each option for the project were discussed. (Pictured) Guests seated before the presentation began (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

 By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Neighborhood residents recently learned that the East River may be getting a new elevated park along with flood protection. The discussion about the park took place at the most recent workshop for the East Side Coastal Resiliency project, held at the Stein Senior Center last Tuesday. Representatives from the mayor’s office and BIG U, the winning design firm in the Rebuild by Design competition in 2013, said that this type of flood protection was one of the most popular with residents, according to feedback from the community at the previous workshop in May.

Carrie Grassi, senior policy adviser at the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, also discussed the three options for flood protection in the area along the East River between 14th and 23rd Streets, which includes a berm, which would have a park on top, a flood wall or a deployable, and noted that community members saw the advantages of all three depending on the area.

The area along the river from 14th to 23rd is known as Project Area 2 and Project Area 1 extends south from 14th Street to Montgomery Street. The workshops have been split along these boundaries to focus more on the specific needs of each area.

Grassi noted that there is a need for compromise when considering different characteristics even within each designated project area and the specifics of each kind of flood protection, and they’re hoping the workshops will help find the right balance for Project Area 2.

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