Editorial: Make Epstein an Assembly member

On April 24, there will be a special election in which voters of the 74th Assembly District will choose their next Assembly member. There are four candidates on the ballot, but we are solidly in camp Harvey.

Harvey Epstein, a social justice attorney, is no stranger to the community he hopes to represent. Over a decade ago, when residents of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village were being issued residency challenges like they were going out of style, it was Epstein who ran a free legal hotline for tenants. More recently, he served for five years as a tenant member of the Rent Guidelines Board and in two of those years, the board issued rent freezes for tenants signing one-year leases and low increases for those signing two-year increases.

If someone wants to top that act, they’ll need to get a rent freeze for three years or a rent rollback. (And hey… please do try!) But since none of the other candidates have yet managed to demonstrate how they’d be a better champion for affordable housing, we don’t see why voters should favor someone’s campaign promises over someone’s results.

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Man charged with bag snatching and violent mugging on First Ave.

Stuyvesant Town Dunkin Donuts

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police have arrested a man they say punched and robbed a man on First Avenue and also snatched a woman’s bag at the Stuyvesant Town Dunkin Donuts.

Raymond Velez, 23, allegedly walked up to a table at Dunkin Donuts at 266 First Avenue last Wednesday at 9 p.m. where the victim was sitting and grabbed her purse, which contained three credit cards.

Ten minutes later, police said he was walking near 253 First Avenue when he allegedly grabbed the second victim who had cash in his hand. Police said that Velez attempted to throw the victim to the ground and in the scuffle, Velez allegedly punched the victim in the mouth and he sustained a bruise on his lip and a cut on his hand.

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Residents grieve for downed trees

Tree stumps line the south end of the playground on Friday. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

SPS says removals were for resident safety

By Sabina Mollot

Though it did come with warning, a number of Stuyvesant Town residents were nonetheless unprepared for the moment when trees that were nearly as old and as tall as nearby buildings began getting sawed down and carted away.

The old oaks’ removal was explained by management in an email on Friday (and in a prior email blast) as being necessary due to disease and decay. Additionally, StuyTown Property Services CEO Rick Hayduk added in the Friday email to tenants, they’d be replaced in June by Princeton elms and the remains of the oaks would be mulched. Still, for some residents whose windows overlook Playground 1, the removal of the 18 mature trees around it hit home as hard as the loss of an old friend.

“As I speak I hear a chainsaw cutting down a 70-year-old tree,” Stuart Strong, a resident of 330 First Avenue told Town & Village on Friday. Strong, who was horrified, added, “They’re sturdy as anything. We’re looking at stumps that used to be oak trees. I don’t see any decay. They provide environment and enjoyment.”

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Man charged with lewdness in ST building

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a man who allegedly exposed himself to a woman in a Stuy Town elevator after he followed her into the building early on Saturday morning.

The victim told police that she was entering 610 East 20th Street at 2:16 a.m. when 27-year-old Anthony Ashley allegedly came into the building behind her. She said that when she got in the elevator, Ashley entered the elevator behind her. When they were inside, he allegedly unzipped his pants and exposed himself.

Police said that Ashley is not a resident of the building. He was charged with public lewdness and trespassing.