Man wanted for gropings at 23rd St. R/W station

Groping suspect

Groping suspect

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police are looking for a man who groped multiple women while donning out-of-season headwear in the Flatiron District earlier this month.

Police said that the unidentified man approached a 32-year-old woman on the platform of the 23rd Street R/W station on February 8 between 7 and 7:30 p.m. and grabbed her buttocks before exiting the subway system. He then allegedly grabbed a 34-year-old woman on the buttocks while she was on the stairs going up to the street level. Police said that the man then walked west on West 22nd Street. The two incidents were reported separately at later times.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips and TIP577 to 274637 (CRIMES). All calls are strictly confidential.

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Opinion: Some Trump in us all

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

Okay, before we all get high and mighty about Donald Trump’s erratic and unpredictable behavior, let’s admit there is a little bit of Trump in all of us.

Have you ever lost an argument on the facts and refused to admit it? Have you ever tried to prop yourself up with assumptions of greatness based on vanity? Have you ever been caught in a lie and refused to acknowledge it? Have you ever thrown a temper tantrum or have been needlessly nasty with some person? I plead guilty to all of the above. How about you?

The difference is that the president of the United States does not have the luxury of such shallowness and self-absorption, and certainly not on an ongoing basis. The consequences can be terrifying. It is immature, but more to the point such mercurial unsteadiness is dangerous.

With age and experience comes some degree of wisdom, introspection and hopefully compassion. Adolescent children and especially teenagers can be mean spirited, cruel and impulsive. But most outgrow such juvenile traits over time and evolve into better selves from a life of successes and disappointments.

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Neighbors concerned over proposal for floodwalls by two playgrounds

Murphy's Brother's Playground (Photo courtesy of Parks NYC)

Murphy’s Brother’s Playground (Photo courtesy of Parks NYC)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Community residents voiced their concerns about a plan to redesign two local playgrounds around a floodwall that’s part of the coastal resiliency project planned for the East Side.

They got a chance to provide input on changes for Asser Levy and Murphy’s Brothers playgrounds in a meeting last Thursday. This was the second public meeting on the subject.

Meanwhile, some residents were frustrated that the proposals from the mayor’s officer were the same as those presented at the previous meeting, held last November. Carrie Grassi, deputy director for planning at the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, explained that this meeting was primarily scheduled to give residents a second chance to provide input at a more convenient location, since some had complained the previous meeting was held too far from the actual project area. The most recent meeting was held directly adjacent to the affected area at the VA Medical Center, while the previous meeting was held at Washington Irving High School.

“We wanted to give more people the opportunity to see the presentation with fresh eyes so they were unbiased in their feedback,” she said.

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Maloney warns seniors about possible repeal of ACA

Crowd at the Stein Center (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Crowd at the Stein Center (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney is putting seniors on alert about how a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) would affect their drug prices.

“(The ACA) is helpful to seniors and it would be dangerous to repeal it,” Maloney told seniors at the Stein Center on Friday. “It would threaten the economy, children and seniors. Healthcare is better under the ACA and seniors have more protections.”

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Opinion: Big Plastic wins, environment loses

By State Senator Brad Hoylman

The winner in Albany’s repeal of the City’s “bring your own bag” law earlier this month wasn’t your average shopper who would have been charged 5 cents per plastic bag – although opponents of the law would like you to believe that.  No, the biggest beneficiary in the year-long showdown between the State Legislature and City Hall over plastic bags was Big Plastic — the plastics industry itself.

Big Plastic is represented by two shadowy groups that have spent millions nationwide to defeat bag laws just like New York City’s, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and American Chemistry Council. ALEC, a consortium of right-wing state legislators, works as a clearinghouse for model pro-business state legislation, ranging from weakening labor unions to loosening environmental regulations, like rolling back restrictions on plastic bags. ALEC is bankrolled by the American Chemistry Council, which also lobbies for Big Plastic on behalf of petroleum and plastics industry companies like Shell, Exxon Mobile and DuPont.

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Former Mendez aide running to replace her in City Council

Former Rosie Mendez aide Carlina Rivera in Madison Square Park (Photo courtesy of Carlina Rivera)

Former Rosie Mendez aide Carlina Rivera in Madison Square Park (Photo courtesy of Carlina Rivera)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Life-long Lower East Side resident Carlina Rivera has been involved in local politics since as young as age 12, so it should come as no surprise that her next move is running for City Council. Until recently, Rivera was the legislative director for Councilmember Rosie Mendez, and she left the position to focus on running to fill the seat in District 2 that Mendez will vacate this year due to term limits.

Rivera’s introduction to politics at such a young age was thanks to tenant advocate Marie Christopher, who lived on the first floor of her building on Stanton Street when she was growing up.

“She was an amazing tenant advocate, always pushing issues of public safety and preservation of NYCHA,” Rivera said of Christopher, who died in 2013. “She brought me to my first community council meeting. She knew that the community was an ecosystem, and she knew the importance of working with elected officials but also holding them accountable.”

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Stuy Town woman: Handy cleaner stole from my apartment

Jennifer Kops (pictured in 2013 at a Peter Stuyvesant Little League Parade) (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Jennifer Kops (pictured in 2013 at a Peter Stuyvesant Little League Parade) (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Earlier this month, the NYPD sent out an email blast, noting that police had become aware of 50 complaints of theft that were traced back to Handy, an app that allows users to hire people who clean their apartments and do handyman type work. The cops added that there has been one arrest within the past month related to such an incident.

However, despite the memo being picked up by a few news outlets, including this one, thefts from apartments have apparently continued. Handy, like Uber, is a platform connecting workers to those in need of service, with customers listing dates and times they would like the work done and contractors responding to accept the job.

And, as one resident of Stuyvesant Town who utilized the company’s services on five occasions told us, she was definitely cleaned out when an estimated $5,000 in cash and jewelry went missing from her apartment.

The resident, Jennifer Kops, a mom of two, said after the first cleaner came and did a “fantastic job,” she didn’t have a problem letting in future cleaners (there were two others) into her home while she was at work.

“To me it seemed like a great plan; I come home to a nice smelling house.”

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StuyTown to offer self-defense classes after attempted rape

Stuyvesant Town (photo by Sabina Mollot)

Stuyvesant Town (photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

StuyTown Property Services will be offering self-defense courses to residents in the wake of the sexual assault in Stuyvesant Town early last Sunday morning, and the management has installed new lighting along the 14th Street corridor. General Manager Rick Hayduk made the announcements in an emailed newsletter to residents on Thursday night.

In addition to new lighting, Hayduk noted that perimeter lighting, particular along Avenue C, as well as interior lighting, is currently being reviewed. SPS will also be working with security consultants to identify areas where new and additional equipment should be placed, including improvements to the configuration of the surveillance system, since the assault on Sunday was not fully visible to the property’s security cameras.

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Beth Israel plans to stop delivering babies in May

Mount Sinai Beth Israel (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Mount Sinai Beth Israel (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Sabina Mollot

Last November, the president of Mount Sinai Downtown, a planned network of hospitals and healthcare centers that will include a downsized Beth Israel, told Town & Village that newborns being delivered would be getting phased out. At the time, the new network president, Dr. Jeremy Boal of Peter Cooper Village, said there wasn’t a hard deadline, but there simply wasn’t enough volume to justify continuing the service.

But Mount Sinai is now applying with the State Department of Health to discontinue deliveries at Beth Israel by late May. Instead, expectant mothers would be admitted at one of the other in-network hospitals like Mount Sinai West. In its written application to have the hospital’s maternity beds and its well-baby nursery “de-certified,” Mount Sinai explained that it only delivers six babies a day at Beth Israel, with half of the mothers coming from Brooklyn.

While the neighborhoods surrounding Beth Israel have no shortage of young families, Boal told Town & Village back in November that proximity to the hospital just wasn’t driving business there from neighbors.

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Man in jail for assaulting his mother in her Stuyvesant Town apartment

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A 48-year-old Stuyvesant Town man arrested for assaulting his mother is currently in jail for the crime, Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney reported at a meeting of the 13th Precinct Community Council on Tuesday.

Timoney, the commanding officer of the precinct, noted at the meeting that police were aware of the man’s abuse of his mother prior to the arrest but he was finally caught after he assaulted her in her Stuyvesant Town apartment.

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Letters to the Editor, Feb. 23

Before my neighbor flew the coop

"Cooper"

“Cooper”

Re: “Hawks ruling the roost in ST,” T&V, Feb. 16

I live in Kips Bay Court (29th Street between First and Second Avenues), not too far from Stuyvesant Town, so I read your article about your resident hawks with great interest.

Just exactly a year ago, a hawk took up residence on a lamppost outside my window, and stayed for several weeks.

He had a good spot to survey the area for “food” and must have been getting good meals because he kept coming back! Needless to say, during his residence there were no pigeons to be seen – they were scared away (except for one unfortunate pigeon I did see end up as dinner).

I named him Cooper because by researching websites I thought he might be a Cooper’s Hawk, but that was only a guess from the drawings on the sites.

I was very disappointed when he left for good. The pigeons eventually returned (not right away, it took them a while to be sure he wasn’t coming back) and everything outside my window has returned to normal, but I do miss seeing him there, so majestic and beautiful!

Audrey Goffin

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Man slashed on Fifth Avenue

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A 19-year-old man was slashed in front of Café 28 at 245 Fifth Avenue last Saturday night at 11 p.m. after breaking up a fight between his uncle and another man on the street.

The victim told police that he went inside the deli to use the restroom and when he went back outside, he found that his uncle had gotten into a fight with someone on the sidewalk. When he attempted to break up the struggle, the man who was fighting with his uncle slashed him in the face and back.

The victim went to the NYU Langone Medical Center by taxi, where he received multiple stitches. No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.

Police Watch: Spa employees arrested, Teen arrested for pooping in stairwell at Straus Houses

MALE SPA EMPLOYEES ARRESTED AT WEST 22ND STREET SPA
Police arrested four men inside Super Men’s Spa at 163 West 22nd Street last Friday at 6:09 p.m. Marek Denert, 22, was charged with prostitution and police said that he agreed to provide an undercover officer with a sex act in exchange for cash.
The other three men arrested, 26-year-old Duvan Gutierrez, 27-year-old Lingyu Hui and 28-year-old Ahmet Eminoglu, were charged with unclassified misdemeanors. Police said that the three men were seen performing massages on customers but none of them had a massage license. The four men were questioned in regards to human trafficking with police concluding this wasn’t an issue there.
UPDATE (March 15): “Mr. Denert’s actions were 100 percent legitimate and in accordance with the law,” said Todd Spodek, Denert‘s defense attorney. “If the establishment or any other masseuses were acting inappropriately, that is separate and distinct from his role there.”

TEEN ARRESTED FOR POOPING IN STAIRWELL AT STRAUS HOUSES
Police arrested a teenager inside 344 East 28th Street last Thursday after he was seen defecating in the 26th floor stairwell of the building. Police said when he was searched, shortly after midnight, he was allegedly in possession of a bag of marijuana in his jacket pocket and a burnt joint that was also in his pocket. Police said that the teen doesn’t live in the building and doesn’t know anyone who lives in the building. He was charged with trespassing as well as a health code violation and possession of marijuana. His name is being withheld due to his young age.

STUDENT ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT AT WASHINGTON IRVING H.S.
Police arrested a teenager for assault last Monday at 9:50 a.m. inside the Washington Irving High School campus. Police said that the teen punched the victim in the face, causing bruising and swelling.

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Editorial: Rents are frozen, landlords need to cool it

While landlords in the city of New York were understandably upset about the Rent Guidelines Board issuing its second rent freeze in a row last year, the fact that an organization has sued the board on their behalf is laughable. Or it might be if it weren’t so sad.

As Town & Village reported last week, the landlord group Rent Stabilization Association has claimed that the board erred by taking into account what tenants could afford to pay as opposed to only what landlords’ operating costs and conditions were. But that completely one-side argument makes no sense. Of course tenants’ overall financial state matters. When you charge a price for a service that’s also one of life’s basic necessities, if that price is beyond what anyone can actually reasonably afford then that’s called price gouging. And this kind of gouging has been going on in New York City, openly and shamelessly, for far too long. The RGB finally recognized this and made its decision accordingly.

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Teen who allegedly tried to rape Stuy Town woman hit with attempted murder charge

Stuyvesant Town (photo by Sabina Mollot)

Stuyvesant Town (photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

A 17-year-old arrested for the attempted rape of a woman in her building in Stuyvesant Town has also been charged with attempted murder.

The alleged attacker, Aaron Kish, was arraigned on Monday night, after police said he admitted he wanted to snap the 22-year-old victim’s neck as she struggled to get away.

According to the criminal complaint, Kish followed the woman as she entered her building vestibule early Sunday morning and grabbed her from behind. She was then pushed against a wall and forced to the floor, police said, before Kish got her in a chokehold and pulled her dress and underwear off.

The victim tried repeatedly to scream for help, while Kish allegedly groped her and told her, “Let me finish I’ll let you go” and also warned her if she fought him, “it will only get worse.” The victim fought back anyway, and managed to elbow and punch Kish, he later told police, according to the complaint. At that point, a neighbor came up to the vestibule and saw the woman naked and Kish with his pants down and said he was calling police. Kish then ran off with some scratches while the victim was left with a bloody lip, pain in her neck and abrasions on her back.

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