Letters to the editor, Nov. 16

Remembering to be thankful

Dear Editor,

During this Thanksgiving time, we at Garage 2 are fortunate to have our local poet, Yves, to remind us of the abundance of our lives.

Especially at this time, when so many of our fellow Americans fall victim to the hands of those who use gun violence, family and domestic abuse and violence, it is so crucial that we report anyone we see as vulnerable to mental illness who needs treatment and who could be a danger to him/herself or others. We are all connected. The armed service severely dropped the ball. Let none of us live with that regret.

Instead, let us follow Yves’ advice and be grateful for our abundance.

Bel-Michelle DeMille, ST

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Democrats vying for Kavanagh’s Assembly seat

epstein

Harvey Epstein (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Sabina Mollot

Following Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh’s easy victory at the polls last week for the downtown Senate seat he wanted, two Democrat candidates have expressed interest in filling the now vacant 74th District Assembly seat.

One of them is Harvey Epstein, a tenant representative on the Rent Guidelines Board and the project director of the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center. The other is Mike Corbett, an aide to Queens-based City Council Member Costa Constantinides and a former teamster. Marie Ternes, a communications consultant who previously worked for then-Congress Member Anthony Weiner, said she is considering running.

Recently, outgoing City Council Member Rosie Mendez told Town & Village she was mulling a run for Assembly, but then later told the local blog Lo Down that she’d decided against it. Council Member Dan Garodnick has also previously said he has no plan to run.

Corbett, Epstein and Ternes spoke with a Town & Village reporter this week, although Ternes declined to be interviewed at this time since she hasn’t yet made a decision on running.

It’s expected that there will be a County Committee vote held by each party to determine who will get onto the ballot for a special election. However, it’s still unclear when the vote will be or when the election will be, since a special election must be called by the governor. Another possible, though unlikely, scenario is that there will be a primary in June when there’s a Congressional primary, or even later.

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Police Watch: Leg found in East River, Men wanted for attempted robbery

HUMAN LEG FOUND IN EAST RIVER
Police responded to 911 call for a human leg found floating in the vicinity of the FDR and East Sixth Street on Thursday, November 9 at 11:43 a.m. Upon arrival, officers discovered the appendage floating against the rocks at the location. ESU responded and removed the body part from the waters. The New York City Medical Examiner will conduct further analysis and the investigation is ongoing.

TWO MEN WANTED FOR ATTEMPTED ROBBERY OF SENIOR
Cops are on the lookout for two men who shoved a 76-year-old man up against a wall and tried to rob him on Monday at around 10:30 p.m.
Police said the incident occurred inside a residential building near West 21st Street and Seventh Avenue.
It wasn’t clear how the men got inside the building, but when they confronted the victim, he fought back so they threw him down to the ground. The assailants then fled the building, empty-handed, westbound on West 21st Street.
The victim was treated at the scene for minor injuries.
The first suspect is a black man, 20 to 30 years old, 5’8” to 5’10”, with a beard and was last seen wearing a dark-colored knit cap, a black hooded sweater and light colored pants. The second suspect is a black man, 20 to 30 years old, 5’8” to 5’10” and was last seen wearing a dark-colored hooded coat, black pants and dark colored shoes.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit tips by logging onto nypdcrimestoppers.com or texting tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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UPDATED: Police looking for Union Square hit-and-run driver

This story has been updated. 

Police are looking for a driver who hit a pedestrian in Union Square, leaving the man in critical condition without stopping.

It was on Tuesday shortly before 1 a.m. when police said a dark colored 2016 Jeep Renegade, traveling east on East 14th Street, made a left to go north on Union Square East and struck a 34-year-old man. The man was knocked down into the street but the driver stopped only briefly before fleeing the scene.

The victim, who suffered trauma to his head and body, was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he remains in critical condition.

According to the NYPD Highway District’s Collision Investigation Squad, the victim was walking eastbound on East 14th Street at the intersection, within the marked crosswalk, when hit.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or for Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). 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. All calls are strictly confidential.

UPDATE: Police reported that the victim, 34-year-old Brooklyn resident Adrian Blanc, succumbed to his injuries at Bellevue Hospital. Blanc’s family has been notified and the investigation is ongoing.

City pouring $250M into Mitchell-Lamas if they stay in program

East Midtown Plaza (Photo via Wikipedia)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The mayor’s office has announced a plan to protect affordability at remaining Mitchell-Lama developments throughout the city through additional financing of $250 million.

A representative from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development confirmed that the funding will be available for all Mitchell-Lama developments, meaning that the East Midtown Plaza complex west of First Avenue and East 24th Street will be getting some of the funds. The specific needs of individual developments will determine how the resources are used, but information on the exact amounts is not yet clear.

“The Mitchell-Lama Reinvestment Program will focus on preserving the long-term affordability of all residences currently enrolled in the program,” HPD representative Matthew Creegan said. “It will utilize an array of financing tools, determined by the individual needs of each project, as an incentive for these properties to remain in the program as stable, sustainable and affordable homes for years to come.”

The mayor’s office noted that the new program will target 15,000 homes over the next eight years. Known as the Mitchell-Lama Reinvestment Program, the initiative is part of the mayor’s plan to create and preserve affordable housing throughout the city by financing 200,000 affordable home and expanding to 300,000 affordable homes by 2026.

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Heroes honored at Veterans Day Parade

 

Photos by Sabina Mollot

By Sabina Mollot

Though the temperature hovered in the 20s, patriotic New Yorkers and those who traveled to the city on Saturday made up a steady stream of spectators during the Veterans Day Parade.

As always, the event began at Madison Square Park, where the mayor and military officials gave remarks as did this year’s grand marshal, Buzz Aldrin.

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Veterans Day celebrated in Stuyvesant Town

Flags on lawn2 Kristy

Residents place flags on the Oval lawn. (Photos by Kristy Ye-Ling)

By Kristy Ye-Ling

Despite frigid temperatures, around 150 Stuyvesant Town residents gathered on the Oval on Saturday morning for a Veterans Day ceremony held by management. General Manager Rick Hayduk welcomed everyone in brief opening remarks and introduced a few veterans. Then, residents had the opportunity to place American flags on the Oval lawn. A total of 7,008 flags were planted to express gratitude towards the servicemen and women who lost their lives since September 11th, 2001. Additionally, yellow paper was tied in bands around the trees in the area where residents (eventually hundreds) wrote thank you messages to veterans.

One of the veterans in attendance was former Navy personnelman Daniel Murphy, who shared, “I was in the Mediterranean three times, the Caribbean four times.” His most memorable experience was having President Kennedy on his ship during the Cuban crisis where he led a flotilla of 86 ships as a flagship.

 

 

Female bag thief preying on women at Union Square Starbucks

Nov16 Bag theft suspect2

Theft suspect at jewelry store

Cops are looking for a woman believed to have stolen wallets and bags from women at Starbucks as well as Gemma restaurant inside the Bowery Hotel. The thief apparently takes bags and wallets that their owners have hung on the backs of their chairs and uses their credit cards.

Two of the incidents took place at the Starbucks at 10 Union Square East.
On Saturday evening, October 14, a 24-year-old woman was having coffee when she realized her wallet was missing. She then discovered her credit card was used at a nearby Taco Bell at 18 East 14th Street.

On Monday morning, October 16, a 25-year-old woman at Starbucks realized the bag she’d placed on the floor next to her had disappeared. In this case, there were no unauthorized charges.

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DEC: Contaminant recovery wells won’t be intrusive

Nov9 DEC meeting cross and macneal.JPG

New York State Department of Conservation project managers Gardiner Cross and Doug MacNeal at a public meeting last Wednesday (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel 

With a contaminant recovery plan having been proposed for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, representatives from the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) addressed concerns of residents last week at a public meeting.

This included making assurances that wells the DEC and Con Edison plan to build in ST/PCV to collect the leftover chemicals so they can be disposed of wouldn’t be intrusive. Con Ed has been working with DEC on what’s been referred to as a “remediation” for the site, which was once home to a manufactured gas plant (MGP).

The DEC had actually directed Con Edison to begin remediation for this project back in 2011. However, DEC project manager Doug MacNeal said during the meeting that the process was delayed for the last five years because of the changes in ownership at ST/PCV.

MacNeal said that exact locations haven’t been determined for the wells yet, but Council Member Dan Garodnick, who was also at the meeting, which held at Beth Israel last Wednesday, said that he would push DEC to site them as far away as possible from doors, windows and playgrounds.

One possible location for the wells, of which there will be 10 in Peter Cooper and six in Stuy Town, would be inside the garages. Meeting attendees burst into laughter when geologist and DEC project manager Gardiner Cross said that this was because the garages already have good ventilation. However, MacNeal backed up his statement, explaining that to be up to code, a garage has to have a functional ventilation system. If it doesn’t, he added, residents should contact DEC.

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Man with cane grabs woman’s crotch at Union Square subway station

Nov16 Forcible Touching

Forcible touching suspect

Police are on the lookout for a cane-carrying man who grabbed a woman’s crotch at the Union Square subway station.

Police said the victim, 43, was standing on the platform while waiting for a southbound 4 train when the man approached her. He then grabbed her before fleeing the station.

The incident occurred at 4:30 p.m. on October 11, though police only released the information on Friday.

The suspect is Asian, 50-65 years old with a medium complexion and is 5’8″ tall. He was last seen wearing a black hat, gray colored pants, dark colored shoes and had a cane.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or for Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA (74782)

The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Letters to the Editor, November 9

Nov9 Toon deBlahzzz

One man’s trash…

Dear Editor,

This is a reference to Brian Loesch’s letter to the newspaper (“Enough from the squirrels’ PR people,” T&V, Oct. 26).

His letter is very full of nonsense. All over New York City, squirrels seek food in garbage cans. This does not only occur in Stuy Town. Where are the squirrels supposed to go – to McDonald’s? If Mr. Loesch does not like it here, he can move out of the complex and let some poor family move in. I hope that he does no harm to the squirrels.

Best,

Maureen Kaine

Thanks for the wake-up call

Not sure what is going on but at this time of the night (3 a.m.). I am hearing intermittent back-up alarms. When I get up all I can see from my home is a flashing light on the backhoe in the construction site on Avenue C and East 13th street. Is the guard practicing operating it at this time of night?

Last night Con Ed had a delivery at 4 in the morning. With all of the structures they have built on the south side of the street, it is difficult for these tankers to maneuver and the back and forth of their trying to get into the docks is quite annoying at that time of the night.

Is it really necessary for such deliveries at that time?

Does this neighborhood need to be continuously subjected to this noise pollution?

Sherman Sussman, ST

 

Bowie biopic recalls singer’s final five years

Nov9 DOC NYC DAVID-BOWIE

The film’s U.S. premiere is on November 10 at the SVA Theatre.

By Wendy Moscow

 

One of the most haunting images I’ve ever seen in a music video is David Bowie lying in a hospital bed, his eyes, swathed in surgical gauze, replaced by buttons. His arms rise upward, as if, Peter Pan-like, he could fly toward some Neverland in defiance of impending mortality. The song is called “Lazarus.” Bowie died on January 10th, 2016, two days after the video’s release.

Director Francis Whatley has crafted a remarkable documentary that celebrates the last five years of this electrifying singer-songwriter-actor’s career, during which some of his most brilliant work was produced.

Intercutting exhilarating concert footage from about a decade before with interviews with the musicians and other creative artists who collaborated with Bowie on his last two albums and a musical theater production (also called “Lazarus”), Whatley allows the viewer to better understand what drove this enigmatic and sometimes elusive icon.

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‘What Haunts Us’ explores suicides following sexual abuse

Nov9 What Haunts Us

“What Haunts Us” will be screened at IFC Center.

 

By Seth Shire
Director Paige Goldberg Tolmach’s fascinating and unsettling documentary, “What Haunts Us,” could not have come at a more appropriate time, which can be fortunate or unfortunate, depending on how one looks at it. The film is part of DOC NYC, which runs from November 9-16.

In the college sociology classes that I teach, we discuss the concept of deviance. I make the point that what, at one time, might not have been thought of as deviant behavior, now, as society progresses, is seen as deviant. The recent revelations about sexual harassment that dominate the news, including testimonies from those who knew what was going on but chose to say nothing, until now, are great examples of this.

“What Haunts Us” concerns Charleston, South Carolina’s Porter Gaud School, the high school attended by Goldberg Tolmach. Alarmed by the number of suicides of male students in her graduating class, from over 30 years ago (six suicides out of a class of 49), the filmmaker delves into what was going on, beneath the surface, particularly with a popular teacher named Eddie Fischer. Fischer sexually abused male students for years and was protected by a wall of silence, from both administrators and students. As one former, now middle-aged, student puts it, “You’re dying to tell someone about it, but you’re scared as hell someone will find out.”

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‘Far From the Tree’ and ‘Mole Man’ at DOC NYC

Nov9 DOC NYC Far-From-The-Tree

“Far From the Tree,” profiling children who are not what they’re families expected, will be screened on November 10 at the SVA Theatre.

By Seth Shire

Two of the most interesting films at the DOC NYC festival, “Mole Man” and “Far From the Tree” concern the definition of what is “normal.”  DOC NYC runs from November 9-16.

I was intrigued by the title “Far From the Tree,” based on the bestselling book by Andrew Solomon. The title reminded me of something my father used to say when I did, or said, something noteworthy: “The apple does not fall far from the tree.” What Dad meant was that I was the apple and he was the tree and that my accomplishments were in accordance with his standards.  Keeping with the theme of family standards, “Far From the Tree” concerns families in which the offspring are, perhaps, not in line with what their respective families expected. The issues involve children who are gay (as was the case for author Solomon, profiled in the film), autistic, have Down syndrome, and dwarfism.

Filmmaker Rachel Dretzin cuts back and forth among these non-conforming offspring, none of whom made the choice to be who they are (do any of us?) but who have embraced who they are and who do not want to have their “abnormalities” cured.

A man with dwarfism questions a drug that will prevent children from manifesting their genetic pre-disposition to dwarfism. Is dwarfism something to be eradicated?

At the center of the film are the reactions of the parents. Some are accepting, or working to get to a level of acceptance. An autistic boy acts out violently and his mother wonders if there is “anyone in there.” Once he learns to communicate, using a keyboard, she can, at last, see the person inside. Their relationship improves immeasurably.

While any of the subjects might have provided material enough for a feature film, Dretzin has created fully realized portraits of these offspring who have made their own ways in the world.

“Mole Man” also deals with the question of what is normal. The film concerns Ron, a 66-year-old autistic man who lives with his widowed mother in rural Pennsylvania. Ron has built, in his seemingly endless back yard, a 50-room structure all on his own. His building materials, and the contents that fill its rooms, were taken from abandoned homes in nearby towns that experienced horrible economic downturns. The ingeniousness, creativity and sheer physical labor of Ron’s feat is impressive, to say the least. It speaks to a larger intelligence and talent hidden beneath, or maybe because of, Ron’s autism.

The issue at hand though, is not Ron’s obvious abilities, but what his future will be. Ron’s mother is 93. Once she dies, what will happen to him? Could Ron function anywhere else? After a lifetime of having the run of a large property and indulging his expertise, living in a group home most likely would not be for Ron.

Could his talents be put to use in the so called “normal” world? His siblings struggle with how to plan for the future, while Ron claims to know of a treasure that could cure all problems… if it actually exists.

“Mole Man” will screen on November 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Chelsea Cinepolis, 260 West 23rd Street and on November 13 at 12:15 p.m. at IFC Center, 323 Sixth Avenue. “Far From the Tree” will screen on November 10 at 6:45 p.m. at SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street. For more information, visit docnyc.net.

Police Watch: Man strolls into woman’s apt. to pee, Teen stabs victim on train, slashes another

MAN BARGES INTO WOMAN’S APARTMENT

TO PEE, THEN ALLEGEDLY MAKES THREATS

Matthew Pryblyski, 25, was arrested after allegedly breezing into a woman’s apartment at 149 West 14th Street, where he then headed to her bathroom and began to pee. The woman, who doesn’t know Pryblyski, said she told him to get out, and he responded by picking up a lamp and allegedly waving it around in front of her in a threatening manner. He also told her, “Shut up, you Arabic bitch. I am going to sue you,” according to a criminal complaint. Police said it is unclear how he got into her apartment in the incident, which occurred last Saturday night. He was arraigned on November 5 and his next court appearance on charges of burglary, menacing and criminal possession of a weapon is on December 20. Town & Village reached out to Pryblyski’s attorney, but did not hear back.

HIGH SCHOOL GIRL ATTACKS TWO WITH

SCISSORS AT UNION SQUARE SUBWAY

Police arrested a teen who, on Halloween night, slashed one teen with a scissor at the Union Square subway station and stabbed another on the train. The victim who was slashed said he was trying to get away from the girl, whose name is being withheld due to her age, when she slashed his wrist, causing a very serious physical injury. On the train, she also stabbed another male victim in the neck, hand and back. The incident may have been part of a larger fight. The alleged assailant attends Susan Wagner High School in Staten Island.

POLICE IMPERSONATION IN KIPS BAY

Police arrested Gerardo Torres, 30, after he allegedly pretended to be a cop to gain entry to a building at 334 East 26th Street last Monday morning. Police said he told a security officer there that he was an officer conducting an investigation at the location and even went as far as providing what appeared to be an NYPD-issued business card. The security officer didn’t buy it, however, and Torres was charged with impersonating an officer and criminal trespass.

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