Man arrested for bank robberies in Kips Bay, Upper East Side

Robbery suspect

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested 50-year-old Jon Waulters on Wednesday in connection with seven bank robberies throughout the city, including one in Kips Bay.

Waulters allegedly got away with cash after passing a demand note to a teller inside a Kips Bay Chase Bank at 450 Third Avenue between East 31st and 32nd Streets on March 13 around 1:10 p.m.

Police said that Waulters’ spree began on March 9 on the Upper East Side and he allegedly robbed another bank on the Upper East Side on May 11.

Waulters allegedly conducted two bank robberies on the Upper East Side about 15 minutes apart last Wednesday, reportedly pointing a gun at a teller while passing a demand note inside the HSBC at 1165 Third Avenue at East 68th Street and getting away with cash from a Capital One at 1295 Second Avenue, also at East 68th, at 4:17 p.m. He fled south on Second Avenue but was arrested about a half an hour later at 4:49 p.m.

Waulters was charged with seven counts of robbery.

Gramercy restaurant Sal Anthony’s returns after closing a decade ago

Anthony Macagnone (center, outside his restaurant) with his wife Cynthia Graham and Macagnone’s son, who is also named Anthony (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Ten years after Sal Anthony’s closed on Irving Place, the Italian restaurant has come back to the neighborhood, although owner Anthony Macagnone insists he hasn’t really been gone this whole time. Aside from living adjacent to the old restaurant on East 17th Street, Macagnone and his wife, Cynthia Graham, have been running a movement studio on Third Avenue for the last 18 years, but the new space on Third Avenue at East 19th Street marks the first Sal Anthony’s restaurant in the immediate Gramercy Park area in a decade.

The spot on Irving Place expanded over the 40 years the restaurant was open and although the new space on Third Avenue is only a fraction of the size, Macagnone said that he has a much better relationship with his current landlord than with the owner of the building on Irving Place.

Macagnone was forced to close the previous restaurant due to a long court battle over rent but he said that he has been drawn to this neighborhood because of a sense of community.

Continue reading

Historic park fence finally repaired

A section of fence gets lifted into the park late last month. (Photo by Mark Thompson)

By Sabina Mollot

After years of delays due to budget and contractor related issues, work finally began to complete the restoration of the historic cast iron fence that surrounds Stuyvesant Square Park’s east section.

Starting late last month, large sections of the landmarked fence were hoisted in via crane as were the fence posts, which were placed temporarily on the lawn.

At some point in the coming months there will be a ribbon cutting, but in the meantime, the construction itself is something to celebrate for community activists who’ve been pushing for this project’s completion for 20 years.

Continue reading

Letters to the editor, May 19

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

More money than brains

Back in the time when human beings were bought and sold to provide free labor and other perks for their owners, I imagine that slaves wore clothes that were basically old, tattered jeans handed down to others. Nowadays, people of all races, ages, genders and nationalities are wearing “shabby chic” jeans that are ripped, torn and threadbare. These jeans are extremely tight on females or too loose on males as evidenced by some men’s exposed jockey/boxer shorts or plumber’s crack. In addition, these shabby jeans now have permanent fake mud stains. In fact, I believe Nordstrom’s is selling these “filthy jeans” for $425.

Who can afford these jeans? Probably those who will benefit from Trump’s tax “plan,” which redirects our investing in clean air/water/food, health care, education, scientific research and our citizens’ pursuit of happiness to investing our taxes in corporations and the ultra-wealthy One Percent who stand to pocket hundreds of thousands so a few bucks can “trickle down” (a Trump fave) to the rest of us. He revealed a tax plan so simple it fits on a single 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper, unlike his own personal taxes, which, if he’d reveal them, would speak volumes.

Continue reading

Police Watch: Officer assaulted in Kips Bay, Bike ‘thief’ busted for stolen credit cards

MAN CHARGED WITH ASSAULTING OFFICER IN KIPS BAY
Police arrested 39-year-old Kevin Legenza after he allegedly punched a cop in front of 124 East 28th Street last Friday at 3:13 a.m.
Police said that Legenza was sitting down on the hood of an operating vehicle in front of the location and refused to move. Police officers at the scene asked him to move several times and he allegedly refused. Police said that they told him he was blocking traffic and would be issued a summons if he didn’t move. Legenza then allegedly tried to stop the officer from doing this by pushing him and attempting to walk away. Police said that they attempted to arrest the suspect but he allegedly flailed his arms and actively resisted being restrained, so officers brought him to the ground. This is when Legenza allegedly fell on top of one of the officers and also punched the officer in the face multiple times.
An attorney for Legenza did not respond to a request for comment.

BIKE ‘THIEF’ BUSTED FOR STOLEN CREDIT CARDS
Police arrested 26-year-old Benjamin Marcial for petit larceny and possession of stolen property last Friday at 2:11 p.m. at the corner of East 20th Street and the FDR Drive. Police said that Marcial took a bicycle from the sidewalk without permission and allegedly attempted to put the stolen bike in a taxi to flee the scene.
While Marcial was in custody after being arrested for stealing the bike, police said that he was found to be in possession of stolen credit cards. Police said that the credit cards had been swiped from a Blink Fitness location in the 9th precinct.

Continue reading

Editorial: Small businesses need pols’ help and ours

City Council Members Dan Garodnick and Helen Rosenthal have been doggedly pushing a bill that if passed would give some relief to many of the Manhattan retailers who are forced to pay Commercial Rent Tax. The tax, they’ve argued, is discriminatory as it punishes retailers and restaurants for the crime of doing business below 96th Street and above Chambers. We have to say, we agree it’s obviously unfair, and we hope the legislation doesn’t face any obstacles in getting signed.

However, as any Manhattan storefronter can attest to, taxes are just the tip of the iceberg. Amazon is an ever-present competitor and the rent is too damn high with commercial tenants not having much in the way of bargaining power when it’s lease renewal time.

Rosenthal, following the press conference that was held for the CRT bill, said the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, which is aimed at giving business owners an automatic ten-year lease renewal, is being looked at by the council’s counsel. The legislation has been languishing for decades though recently it has gained steam as neighbors have grown weary of seeing their local small businesses get pushed out by chains.

Continue reading

Con Ed continues oil spill clean-up

Con Ed substation in Manhattan (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Con Edison and environmental contractors have continued a clean up effort this week after insulating oil leaked into the East River when a transformer in a Brooklyn substation failed last Sunday.

Spokesperson Allan Drury told Town & Village that the utility has removed 560 gallons of the oil from the water, and Con Edison is also removing soil from the substation that has soaked up oil from the spill.

Since heavy rain is forecast for this weekend, Con Edison will also be securing the impacted area around the transformer so there is no additional saturation that could cause more oil to seep into the river.

Con Edison is working to remove the damaged transformer and expects to replace it with a new unit by next week.

Continue reading

Opinion: Trumpcare is no care bill at all

By Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney

Last week, House Republicans voted to rob millions of Americans of affordable healthcare when they passed the so-called American Health Care Act, also known as Trumpcare. This bill, should it become law, will devastate our healthcare system, drive up healthcare costs, and cause enormous harm to millions of American families. It also has several pieces that single out New York, making it particularly harmful to our state. That’s why dozens of medical associations, patient advocates and public health experts joined me and every single Democrat in the House to oppose this bill and it’s why I hope this bill goes nowhere in the U.S. Senate.

Trumpcare is probably one of the most damaging and devastating bills to pass the House during my time in Congress. It will result in at least 24 million Americans, including 2.7 million New Yorkers, losing their healthcare coverage. For those that do not lose coverage, Trumpcare dramatically increases your out-of-pocket health costs – including premiums, deductibles, and other copays. The average marketplace enrollee will see costs rise by $3,174 in 2020 and individuals with incomes below 250 percent of the poverty line will see their costs increase by $4,815.

Continue reading

Letters to the editor, May 11

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

How city can help small businesses

This letter was originally published on town-village.com as a comment to the story, “Garodnick: Commercial Rent Tax Bill would hardly cost the city anything,” T&V, May 4.

Instead of doing this tax reduction by increasing the amount paid on the leasehold, it should be based on each proprietor’s, LLC member’s, partner’s, or S Corp shareholder’s distributive share of rent expense. Why should the sole proprietor paying $300,000 in rent be exempt from the CRT when the competing store down the block with two partners which pays $600,000 (i.e., $300,000 each from each partner) be exempt?

Continue reading

Moms we interviewed said they don’t want stuff on Mother’s Day

By Sabina Mollot

With Mother’s Day taking place on Sunday, May 14, Town & Village’s email inboxes have been flooded with press releases from various companies that are all convinced what moms want just happens to be what they manufacture and sell.

However, based on responses we got from women about what it is they actually want for Mother’s Day, it turns out all the PR people who pitched us were wrong. Those we spoke with, while they watched their kids at playgrounds or just strolled with strollers through Stuyvesant Town, said what they want is some quality family time. Others admitted they could use some much needed time to themselves.

Shorn Burke, a mother of a 12-year-old and a seven-year-old, said she needed the latter. “Rest,” said Burke, without hesitation, saying she worked long hours as a babysitter. “A peaceful day. A quiet day. Just relaxation.”

Kate Raizenberg, an interior designer, when asked, said she would be happy with any kind of effort.

“Anything,” she said, “but,” she added, “I know I’m not getting anything.” With her one child being a baby, she instead is hoping for a chance to sleep in and would also like for her family to take her to brunch. “That’s what I’d like to do,” she decided.

Continue reading

Advocates call for transparency on MSBI downsizing

Anthony Feliciano, director of the Commission on the Public’s Health System (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Non-profit organizations and healthcare advocates are urging the community to demand transparency when it comes to the planned downsizing of Mount Sinai Beth Israel.

The subject was discussed at a meeting held by the Lower Manhattan chapter of the New York Progressive Action Network, a coalition of progressive activist groups, at the property service workers’ union 32BJ SEIU’s headquarters on West 18th Street last Thursday.

Anthony Feliciano, director of the Commission on the Public’s Health System, moderated the meeting, which was attended by over 100 people. He encouraged the public to contact the Department of Health about the project and demand a community needs study, which the hospital system has said it will not be doing.

Arthur Schwartz, the Democratic District Leader for Greenwich Village, said that residents should also demand an environmental impact study and encouraged the neighborhood to resist zoning changes for the areas where current Beth Israel buildings will be sold, to prevent developers from building luxury high-rises.

“At St. Vincent’s, we lost because they went into bankruptcy but Mount Sinai doesn’t want to take Beth Israel into bankruptcy,” Schwartz said, referring to the closure of St. Vincent’s in Greenwich Village in 2010. “The state has power here and we have to demand transparency during this process. It’s basically (Mount Sinai’s) own plan and not based at all on input from elected officials or the community.”

Continue reading

Injured bat found in PCV

Local veterinarian Dr. Timothy Mann said he suspects this bat is an Eastern Red bat, although it’s not normal to see one during the day. (Photo by Lisa Kuklinski)

By Sabina Mollot

Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village have long been well known as sanctuaries to birds as well as squirrels, and in late 2015, the park-filled property was even visited by a coyote.

Still, a Peter Cooper Village mom was shocked on Saturday morning when she and her young son spotted a bat lying on the ground.

Additionally, the bat, which was motionless near 2 Peter Cooper Road, did not appear to be in good shape.

“I thought it was dead because it was lying face up on the ground,” the mom, Lisa Kuklinski, later told Town & Village. “Then I got closer and I could see it was trying to breathe.”

For a moment, she thought about taking it home, “but I don’t know anything about bats,” she said. So, instead Kuklinski called the Public Safety department. She went out again a couple of hours later but by then the bat was gone.

She isn’t sure what happened to the bat to cause it to have lost the use of its wings. “I don’t know if one of the hawks got it.”

Hawks have been spotted more frequently in ST/PCV, as T&V reported in February.

Fortunately, the bat did make it off the pavement alive, according to management.

Continue reading

Police Watch: Transgender woman killed, Man busted for bank robbery

TRANSGENDER WOMAN KILLED ON SEVENTH AVENUE
Police said that 59-year-old transgender woman Brenda Bostick was found unconscious in front of 343 Seventh Avenue on April 25 at 10:30 p.m. Police reported that Bostick was transported to Bellevue Hospital and died from her injuries last Thursday. Bostick was a resident of the BRC Shelter on West 25th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues and had suffered head trauma.
Her death has been ruled a homicide and the investigation is ongoing.

MAN ARRESTED FOR CHASE BANK ROBBERY
Police arrested 52-year-old Charles Queen for robbery last Friday at 10:19 a.m. inside the Chase Bank at 501 Second Avenue at East 28th Street. According to the district attorney’s office, Queen passed a teller in the bank that read, “Don’t make a sound at all. This is a bank robbery. Need money now!!! Nobody will get hurt. Don’t make a sound.” The teller secretly alerted police and Queen was arrested.

WOMAN ARRESTED AFTER CAR FLIPPED ONTO SIDE
Police arrested 24-year-old Corey Kaminski for allegedly drunk driving after her car flipped on its side at the corner of East 24th Street and Lexington Avenue last Saturday at 4:32 a.m. Police said they were responding to a call about an accident when they found a car on its side with the driver still in the vehicle. Police said that Kaminski, who had been driving the car, had watery eyes, a flushed face and an odor of alcohol on her breath, but she told police that she only had a beer. Kaminski was taken to Bellevue Hospital to be treated for her injuries.

Continue reading

Police looking for men behind two attempted bank robberies

May11 Chase robber number two

Kips Bay Chase Bank attempted robbery suspect

Police are looking for two men who attempted to rob local Chase Banks in separate incidents.

On Tuesday at around 5:30 p.m., a man strolled into a bank at 501 Second Avenue and 28th Street, approached a teller and passed a note demanding money. The teller didn’t comply, though, and the suspect fled the scene. He was last seen walking southbound on Second Avenue.

The would-be robber of the Kips Bay bank is described as being white, 35-40 years old, approximately 5’5″ tall, with a slim build. Police also said he had a light complexion with blisters around his mouth and a tattoo on his neck. At the time of the incident he was wearing blue jeans, a beige baseball cap, a gray sweatshirt and a black hooded jacket.

Police are also looking for a man who tried to rob a Chase Bank in NoMad on Friday, but left emptyhanded.

Continue reading

Oil spills into East River after Con Ed transformer failure

May11 Con Ed

Con Ed substation in Manhattan (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

A failure of equipment at a Con Ed substation in Brooklyn has led to a so far unknown amount of oil to leak into the East River.

The U.S. Coast Guard has been responding to the problem since it was reported on Sunday afternoon, though as of Tuesday afternoon, it was unclear if the substance, dielectric fluid, was still leaking into the river in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

The fluid, which is used to insulate transformer cables, is a kind of mineral oil, so “It’s not like sludge or petroleum,” said Coast Guard Public Affairs Chief Warrant Officer Allyson Conroy. However, she added, “It’s still not native to the environment it’s leeching into.”

Additionally, while the Coast Guard is not aware of just how much of the oil has been spilled so far, she referred to the failure of a Con Ed transformer that led to the incident as “catastrophic.

“The transformer is caput,” she added.

Continue reading