Police Watch: Box cutter attack outside Stuy Town, Men wanted for bank burglary

TEENS ARRESTED FOR ATTACK ON MAN WITH BOX CUTTER OUTSIDE STUY TOWN
Police arrested four people for assault at the northeast corner of East 14th Street and First Avenue last Friday between 6:45 and 8 p.m. Police said that 19-year-old Yale Garner-Lowery, 20-year-old Jasmine Reyes, a 16-year-old girl and a 17-year-old girl attacked another man, causing cuts and bruising. Garner-Lowery allegedly slashed the victim with a box cutter, which was recovered from the scene. The names of the younger suspects are being withheld due to their young age.
An attorney for Garner-Lowery told Town & Village he couldn’t comment on the case because his client was in the process of getting a new attorney. It wasn’t clear if he had a new attorney by T&V’s press time.

MEN WANTED FOR BANK BURGLARY
The New York City Police Department is asking the public’s assistance identifying suspects in regards to a burglary from the Bethpage Federal Bank at 109 West 26th Street. Police said that the suspects entered the bank last Sunday, May 21 at 12:15 a.m. by breaking a basement window. Once inside, they disarmed the security system and attempted to open the bank’s vault. They were reportedly unsuccessful so they fled empty handed. The men are described as white, last seen wearing a green hat, black sneakers, a blue jacket and black jeans.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) for Spanish. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

MAN BUSTED FOR ASSAULT OF EMT AT BETH ISRAEL
Thirty-year-old Robert McClelland was arrested for allegedly assaulting an EMT inside Mount Sinai Beth Israel at 281 First Avenue. Police said that last Friday at 9 p.m. McClelland slapped a uniformed EMT in the face, causing substantial pain and bruising.

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Peter Cooper Council candidate has 3 club endorsements, nearly $200G in war chest

Photo courtesy of Keith Powers

Keith Powers, a candidate for City Council in District 4, announced on Tuesday that he’d gotten support from three Democratic clubs on the East Side of Manhattan. The Samuel J. Tilden Democratic Club, Four Freedoms Democratic Club and Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club (where Powers is a district leader), voted to endorse Powers, a resident of Peter Cooper Village, last week.

In addition, a spokesperson for the campaign said Powers has amassed close to $200,000 in campaign cash.

The rep said Powers has maxed out on his matching funds at $100,100 and has raised $98,000 in private funds. With the two amounts combined, Powers has hit the $182,000 City Council spending cap.

“With our endorsement, we see Keith as the most qualified candidate who has what it takes to protect our party’s values with new and innovative solutions for the unique needs of our community,” said Greg Martello, president of the Samuel J. Tilden Democratic Club.

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Injured bat found in Peter Cooper released in East River Park

Bat-hilda, prior to being released, hangs upside down from the edge of a cardboard box. What appears to be the bottom of the box to the viewer of this photo is actually its side. (Photo courtesy of Good Samaritan and StuyTown Property Services)

As Town & Village reported on May 11, an injured bat was found by a resident in Peter Cooper Village, and subsequently passed on to a Good Samaritan recruited by management who then began nursing the winged mammal back to health.

That bat, believed to be an Eastern Red bat, has since been nicknamed Bat-hilda, and has been released into an East Village park.

Marynia Kruk, Stuyvesant Town’s community affairs manager, told T&V this happened on the night of Saturday, May 13.

“He put her on a tree inside East River Park, at East 10th Street and FDR Drive,” said Kruk of the Good Samaritan, who has asked to remain anonymous.

“She soon took off and he lost sight of her.”

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Morton Williams reportedly won’t sign lease after learning Trader Joe’s will open across from Stuy Town

Associated Supermarket in Stuyvesant Town (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

That was fast.

A mere few days after employees at Stuyvesant Town’s Associated Supermarket were warned that their new employer (for at least a 90-day trial period) would be Morton Williams, the latter supermarket company decided it would not be signing a lease for the space, said Joseph Falzon, one of four owners of the Associated.

Morton Williams apparently decided to pull the plug after hearing that a Trader Joe’s would be moving across the street from Stuyvesant Town in the site that was formerly home to the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office.

The developers behind that under-construction residential building, Mack Real Estate Group and Benenson Capital Partners, declined to comment through a spokesperson. A spokesperson for Trader Joe’s did not yet respond to a request for comment, nor did a spokesperson for Morton Williams.

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Local Law 11 facade repairs begin in ST

By Maria Rocha-Buschel 

Repairs on Stuyvesant Town building facades began last Monday and will continue through October 2017. Management announced the work in a newsletter sent to residents earlier this month, noting that the work is being done to comply with Local Law 11, a citywide program through the Department of Buildings that requires owners to inspect and maintain building facades.
StuyTown Property Services community affairs manager Marynia Kruk said that the amount and scope of the work are building-specific based on what repairs are necessary, but most of the work may result in noise and will require scaffolds that will be dropped from the roof of the building.

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Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket opens for the season

Shopper at Samascott’s booth (Photos by Maya Rader)

By Maya Rader
The greenmarket returned to Stuy Town for the summer season on Sunday, May 21. To celebrate its opening, there were farm-related children’s activities such as seed germination and creating tissue-paper flowers. A mime roamed the area, entertaining produce shoppers, and a band called Astrograss played live bluegrass.
Katherine McWeeley, a seller at a stand for Liberty Farms, remarked that customers seemed pretty excited about the greenmarket’s return. Jessica Balnaves, Grow NYC regional coordinator for Lower Manhattan, commented, “Everybody that’s shown up is so excited that we’re back, and we got lucky that it’s a beautiful day.”

Senior dies after getting hit by open cab door

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

An elderly woman who was doored while cycling earlier this month died from her injuries last Sunday. Police said that 74-year-old Xin Kang Wang, a Lower East Side resident, was riding her bike east on East 20th Street between Park Avenue South and Broadway at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, traveling within the north bike lane on the street, when a passenger exiting a cab that was stopped in the bike lane opened the rear passenger door in front of Wang.
Police said that the victim then struck the door, bounced into the adjacent lane on the street and fell into the road in front of another car. Wang was transported to Bellevue Hospital and died there on May 14, a little over a week after the incident.
The cab driver was issued a summons for discharging a passenger in the bike lane at the time of the incident but no other charges have been filed. Police said that both cars remained at the scene and the investigation remains ongoing.

Pols pushing mayor to sign Commercial Rent Tax reform bill

Council Member Dan Garodnick, standing next to the bill’s co-sponsor Council Member Helen Rosenthal (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Monday, Manhattan politicians and small business advocates gathered on the steps of City Hall to push the Commercial Rent Tax reform bill sponsored by Council Members Dan Garodnick and Helen Rosenthal.

This was the third public announcement in recent months about the bill, which so far the mayor hasn’t committed to supporting.

Garodnick said at this point, the Council has had a hearing on the CRT bill and although there’s been no vote yet, 38 of his colleagues have signed on as co-sponsors. Asked why there hasn’t been a vote, Garodnick said Council members usually first want to know if the mayor “will support it rather than veto it.”

Rosenthal later said, “We are optimistic that he will embrace it.”

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Street re-dedicated to fallen cop

Officers of the 13th Precinct attend a ceremony in honor of P.O. Anthony Sanchez who was gunned down in the line of duty. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Officers from the 13th Precinct joined friends and family members of slain Police Officer Anthony Sanchez on Friday for a ceremony to rededicate the section of East 20th Street between Second and Third Avenue named in his honor on the 20th anniversary of his death.

Sanchez had worked at the precinct for 10 years with his partner, now-retired Detective Roy Ruland, who attended the ceremony last week, in addition to Sanchez’s widow, Elizabeth, and mother, Loretta.

Sanchez’s son John couldn’t make it to the ceremony but Elizabeth read a statement he had prepared, where he expressed the pride he felt whenever he came across the part of East 21st Street that had been co-named in honor of his father.

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Letters to the editor, May 25

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Bad old days are back on E. 14th St.

The following is an open letter to City Council Members Dan Garodnick and Rosie Mendez whose districts share a border along East 14th Street.

I would like to point out the present poor condition of street crossing on 14th Street and First Avenue.

A homeless man sleeps at a street corner.

Please note:
Southeast corner:
Homeless people on the corner in front of T-Mobile and McDonald’s
Garbage cans overflowing, papers spread out from First Avenue to half of the block
Grease and dirt underneath the garbage cans
Streetlight missing in bus station, stump is still there, but light was removed 20 years ago
Nonfunctioning emergency pole – an eyesore
Bus station not long enough, stopped buses block pedestrian walk

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Police Watch: Man arrested in death of transgender woman, Sex offender arrested for assault

MAN ARRESTED FOR MANSLAUGHTER IN DEATH OF TRANSGENDER WOMAN
Joseph Griffin, 26, was indicted last Friday for fatally striking 59-year-old Brenda/Kenneth Bostick with a metal object in Chelsea in April. Griffin is charged in a New York Supreme Court indictment with manslaughter in the first degree. He is also facing a separate charge of criminal mischief for breaking the windshield of a taxi cab later in the evening of Bostick’s death.
According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, Griffin approached the victim, who identified as transgender and was alternately known as Brenda and Kenneth Bostick, or simply “Bostick,” on Seventh Avenue between West 27th and 28th Streets at approximately 10 p.m. on April 25 and struck her over the head with a long, metal object. The victim immediately fell to the ground and was rushed to Bellevue Hospital. She were declared braindead on May 4 and died on May 7. Meanwhile, Griffin had fled the scene. About an hour and a half after assaulting the victim, Griffin was seen running through traffic in the middle of the street. When a taxi driver stopped his car to avoid hitting Griffin, he allegedly climbed onto the front of the car, smashing the windshield.

SEX OFFENDER NABBED FOR ASSAULT AT BELLEVUE
Police arrested 37-year-old Jamele Manning for assault and harassment last Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. inside Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue. Police said that Manning punched the victim in the face, causing a cut over the victim’s eye that required stitches, as well as swelling.
As of T&V’s press time, the district attorney’s office said that the suspect had not yet been arraigned, but Manning is listed in the New York State sex offender registry as a level 3 violent sex offender. According to the Division of Criminal Justice Services, Manning forcibly sodomized a teenage girl who he threatened at gunpoint, choked and physically overpowered on February 12, 1999. He was convicted on December 10 of that year. He was sentenced to one day to six years in state prison, although it was unclear how much time he actually served.

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Opinion: Five tips to testify effectively for fair rent in front of the RGB

Some of the members of the Rent Guidelines Board, pictured at a hearing last year (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Angela Pham, member, Met Council on Housing

At my day job, I’m a professional storyteller — I use words and stories strategically to get executives to buy something. This kind of persuasion is handy not only in a business context, but also to be heard in other areas.

But you don’t have to be a professional storyteller to see impact. With the upcoming Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) vote, we all have the opportunity to use stories for persuasion.

If you’re a rent-stabilized tenant, or are just an everyday citizen concerned about the lack of affordable housing in our city, you can use your voice for good by providing a 2-minute testimony in one of the upcoming public hearings.

The downtown Manhattan Hearing will be Wednesday, June 14 from 2-8 p.m. at Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs House 1 Bowling Green.

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Morton Williams expected to take over Stuy Town Associated’s space

Associated Supermarket in Stuyvesant Town (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Monday, employees of the Stuyvesant Town Associated Supermarket, where the owners had been negotiating to keep the store’s lease, all got letters informing them that Morton Williams is going to be taking over the space.

According to one employee, the letter says workers, who are unionized, will get to keep their jobs for at least three months and at that point will be evaluated.

“They have a big company and room to grow,” the worker said the letter from Morton Williams informed them.

Meanwhile, one of the store’s owners, Joseph Falzon, had told Town & Village last month he was almost certain his lease would not be getting renewed. Though a lease has yet to be signed with Morton Williams, Falzon said he suspects a new tenant would have to pay double the rent Associated is paying, which is now $60,000 a month.

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City hopes to use ST composting program as model for other multi-family buildings

Stuyvesant Town Director of Environmental Services Rei Moya, Stuyvesant Town General Manager Rick Hayduk, Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, David Hurd of GrowNYC and Stuy Town resident Deborah Brozina (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Stuyvesant Town management and the Department of Sanitation are trying to raise awareness about the property’s efforts to compost food waste, and hopes to use the property as an example of how larger multifamily buildings can do this successfully.

DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia visited Stuy Town last Wednesday with representatives from greenmarket organizer GrowNYC and NYC Organics, the branch of DSNY that runs the compost collection program, to check on its progress.

The program officially started in Stuy Town and Peter Cooper on December 2 and director of environmental services for STPCV Rei Moya said that it took about a month to hit its stride. Moya recommended that residents who want to start composting can collect their food waste in the freezer and empty it directly into the brown bins in building recycling areas. The program will accept food scraps, food-soiled paper and plant clippings. He added that he has started composting in his own apartment and invested in a countertop container, lined with biobags that can be purchased at places like Walgreens or local supermarkets.

“Because the moisture just seeps out and dries up, there’s no smell,” Moya said.

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Fed up by basketball noise, ST man aims to get rid of playground

Stuyvesant Town’s Playground 11 (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

When Stuyvesant Town management announced last year that the sports tent, which had been installed at Playground 11 for a couple of winter seasons, would not be returning, the news was sad to local sports fans but a relief to others. One of the reasons for the oversized tent’s discontinued use was that its usage didn’t justify the energy it took to heat it, but another reason was neighbors’ complaints of noise.

One of the residents who’d been affected by the noise was psychotherapist Stuart Levinson, who said his eleventh floor apartment directly overlooked it. However, even with the tent gone, according to Levinson, the noise from the playground’s basketball courts, is not.

Recently, Levinson, who was also very vocal about his dislike of the tent, started a petition to ask StuyTown Property Services to get rid of the playground as well. Instead, he suggested, the space could be used for a community garden. The petition, which he sent to Town & Village, was signed by 30 people, all in his building, 285 Avenue C.

Levinson has been living in Stuyvesant Town for two years, which is when he married his wife, a resident of 20 years. So, he acknowledged, many of his neighbors have been living in the community long enough to either not notice the noise, anymore, or not care.

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