Cops recognized for giving man Heimlich

June28 cops of the month villota and arthur

Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman gave police officers Angela Villota and Mayela Arthur the Cop of the Month award last Tuesday. The officers are pictured alongside Frank Scala, president of the 13th Precinct Community Council. (Photo by P.O. Vincent Arlotta)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Two 13th precinct cops were recognized last week for their quick actions in saving a man who was choking in Midtown earlier this month. Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman gave police officers Angela Villota and Mayela Arthur the Cop of the Month award at the most recent 13th Precinct Community Council meeting last week for their work in the incident that took place on Wednesday, June 13 around 5:15 p.m.

Hellman said that Officers Villota and Arthur were assigned to the Trump detail in Midtown and were traveling north on Third Avenue near East 39th Street in the 17th precinct when a man walked up to their vehicle holding his neck and saying that he couldn’t breathe because he was choking on a piece of chicken.

Arthur immediately requested backup from EMS while Villota began to perform the Heimlich maneuver. The victim ultimately coughed up a small object, allowing him to breathe normally again.

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Q: To offer or not offer a seat on the bus to an older person?

Apr14 M23

The M23 bus (Photo courtesy of the MTA)

The question of the week is just how old should someone look for a younger person to give up his or her seat on the bus or subway? Town & Village welcomes reader opinions on this question after hearing an M23 rider, when being offered a seat by another passenger, remark to his companion who boarded with him and took a nearby empty seat, “I guess we’re old.”

This question (possibly the first in a series), explores whether it’s worse to offer — and potentially upset someone who doesn’t want to be seen as old — or not offer a seat to someone who looks like they may need it out of concern it may hurt the individual’s feelings. The same goes for individuals who may (or may not be) pregnant.

We would like to publish readers’ thoughts, with anonymity provided upon request. Email editor@townvillage.net.

Editorial: The voters have spoken

On June 26, New Yorkers cast their votes in a primary that was more eventful than usual due to a handful of upstart Congressional candidates who’d fought hard to unseat veteran lawmakers.

One, who identifies as socialist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, even managed to upset Rep. Joe Crowley, a Democrat representing a district in the Bronx and Queens.

Meanwhile, in Manhattan, 25-year congress member Carolyn Maloney managed to hold on to her seat with wide margins, though not as overwhelmingly wide as usual.

Like with the Crowley race, Maloney’s opponent Suraj Patel tried to paint the incumbent as an establishment politician, out of touch with younger members of the Democrat Party. Ultimately voters in the 12th Congressional District either didn’t agree or didn’t care and re-elected her.

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DOT says 14th St. ‘busway’ will operate 17 hours a day

L train plan

MTA graphic depicting proposed mitigation plans during the L train shutdown

By Sabina Mollot

In response to community concerns about the planned “busway” to be in effect on 14th Street for the duration of the L train shutdown, the Department of Transportation has committed to making the road off limits to private vehicles for 17 hours a day, not full time. The busway will be bus-only from 5 a.m.-10 p.m., seven days a week, the DOT has proposed.

In addition, a spokesperson for the agency said the modified busway plan will “allow for pick-ups and drop-offs of local residents and visitors on 14th Street while discouraging through traffic.”

The hours proposed for the busway were based on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s service targets and estimated traffic volumes. Proposed HOV hours on the Williamsburg Bridge will also be 5 a.m.-10 p.m.

The Daily News reported on the plan first on Monday, as well as the fact that the agency has scrapped a plan for a two-way bike on 13th Street, which neighbors were staunchly opposed to.

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Rents will go up by 1.5, 2.5 percent

Tenants protest the dearth and death of affordable housing at the final vote of the Rent Guidelines Board. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Rent Guidelines Board approved 1.5 and 2.5 percent increases for rent-stabilized tenants in the board’s final vote at Cooper Union’s Great Hall last Tuesday evening. The event attracted the usual crowd of chanting tenants, most calling for a rent freeze at the vote and pre-event rally and some even hoping for a rollback, but the increases proposed by RGB chair Kathleen Roberts passed in a narrow 5 to 4 vote.

While the annual vote usually ends with a proposal that is a compromise between high increases from the board’s landlord representatives and low increases, or often a rent freeze, from the tenant representatives, a public member voted differently than members in the same position have in the past.

Rodrigo Camarena, who Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed this year, voted with the tenant representatives for a rent freeze while the other public members, as well as the owner members and the chair, voted against the measure.

“For the vulnerable, for the displaced, for fairness, I vote yes,” Camarena said when casting his vote.

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Letters to the editor, June 28

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

The health impacts of family separation

Dr. Mitchell Katz, president and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals Corporation, parent organization to Bellevue and other public hospitals, wrote the following letter on Thursday, following a press briefing.

Over the last few days, I have received messages from distraught physicians, social workers, and other health care providers in our health system who are understandably horrified by the unjust treatment of immigrants across our county. They are seeing first-hand the serious health impact to children of immigrants who have been torn apart from their families — and not at our border, but here in New York.

After separation, some of these children have ended up in our Emergency Departments accompanied by their government-appointed guardians who are often unfamiliar with the children, have no access to medical records, and have no way of getting in touch with a family member to get a medical history.

We have seen children as young as five and have treated teenagers who have presented with signs of anxiety, trauma and stress-related illness, including one extreme case of a teen with suicidal ideations after being separated from his mother.

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Police Watch: ACS teen charged with robbery, Suspect caught in cell phone snatching

ACS TEEN CHARGED WITH ROBBERY
Police arrested 18-year-old Rayshawn Weir for an alleged robbery inside the Administration for Children’s Services facility at 492 First Avenue on Wednesday, June 20 at 9:20 p.m. Police said that earlier that day, Weir snatched a man’s cell phone at East 20th Street and Second Avenue and physically shoved him. The victim, a man in his 30s, was not seriously injured and police caught up with Weir at the facility, where he is a resident.

SUSPECT CAUGHT IN CELL PHONE SNATCHING
Police arrested 20-year-old Josiah Butts for alleged grand larceny and theft in front of 37 West 23rd Street on Monday, June 18 at 12:43 p.m. Police said that Butts grabbed the victim’s cell phone out of her hands while she was standing on the sidewalk. Police searched the area around the southeast corner of West 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue immediately after the incident and the victim positively identified Butts as the person who had taken her cell phone.

STORE EMPLOYEE ACCUSED OF STEALING LAPTOPS
Police arrested a 36-year-old man for alleged grand larceny and possession of stolen property on Tuesday, June 19 at 3:18 p.m. Police said that Shannon Jex stole laptops from Mike’s Tech Shop at 120 West 20th Street on March 2 and June 16. Jex reportedly stole 12 laptops in March and allegedly sold them on Craigslist and police said that Jex also stole a Macbook Pro from the store in June. He was also allegedly in possession of small baggies of alleged cocaine when he was arrested and was charged with possession of a controlled substance.

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Con Ed hits gas line while drilling at 6 Peter Cooper Road

Con Ed works on the gas line behind 6 Peter Cooper Road on Tuesday. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

As part of drilling work associated with the plan to build at least 16 contaminant recovery wells in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, Con Ed hit a gas line on Monday, causing a shutdown at 6 Peter Cooper Road.

The shutdown of the gas line feeding the building was announced by StuyTown Property Services in the morning via a flier.

In it, SPS CEO Rick Hayduk warned that at another building in Stuyvesant Town, something similar happened last year and it was almost six weeks before the gas was restored.

“Because of regulations and safety protocols, restoring the gas is a complicated process that requires considerable cooperation and coordination by us, residents, contractor and city agencies,” said Hayduk. “Inasmuch as we would like to get gas to every apartment and the laundry room as quickly as possible, we cannot compromise resident health or safety.”

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Maloney wins primary

Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, pictured outside her home on the Upper East Side (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Tuesday, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney defeated her first serious challenger in close to a decade in a primary against NYU ethics professor and former Obama campaign staffer Suraj Patel.

Maloney, 72 and a house representative for the past 25 years, got 58.52 percent of the vote, (24,223 votes) according to unofficial results with 96.28 percent of scanners reported. Patel, 34, meanwhile, got 41.06 percent of the vote (16,995 votes). The rest (173 votes or 0.42 percent) were write-ins.

Interestingly, Patel did better than Maloney in parts of the tri-borough district, getting 2,864 votes from Brooklyn voters, while Maloney got 1,468. In Queens, he came close with 2,856 votes while Maloney got 2,919. It was in Manhattan where Maloney got the most support with 19,836 votes to Patel’s 11,275.

Patel, an East Villager with parents who emigrated from India, had managed to out-raise Maloney in recent months. He ran a pro-immigrant platform that aimed to recruit support from younger people who don’t normally vote while trying to portray the incumbent, an Upper East Side resident, as an “establishment” Democrat.

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Administration for Children’s Services teens arrested for robbing driver

Administration for Children’s Services facility in Kips Bay (Photo via Google Maps)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested two teenagers from the Administration for Children’s Services facility for reportedly robbing a man tasked with providing transportation to the facility’s residents last Thursday, June 14. Police said that a 15-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl surrounded the vehicle outside the facility at 492 First Avenue around 11:15 p.m.

The driver was reportedly sitting in the back seat of the for-hire vehicle when the girl who was arrested let herself into the car and sat in the driver’s seat. When the victim attempted to get out of the car as the teens were approaching, a boy who was later arrested allegedly prevented him from leaving.

The girl then got out of the driver’s seat and ran around the car while opening all the doors to further distract the driver. The boy then spotted a Samsung tablet in the front passenger’s seat and grabbed it through the window while struggling with the victim. The victim said as he tried to get it back, the boy punched him with both fists in his chest to push him off and ran off with the tablet.

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Editorial: Help re-elect Maloney on June 26

While less of a high-profile fight than that of Cuomo and Nixon, locally the hot seat is occupied by Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, who is running against Suraj Patel, a hospitality executive and NYU professor of business ethics who is hoping to ride the “blue wave” against the Trump administration (as well as the former breakaway group of State Senate Democrats) to victory.

This so-called blue wave has been an interesting phenomenon. It has helped Nixon, an actress who has never held office, gain credibility so far in her attempts to argue Cuomo is not a true Democrat. However, her attempt to dethrone an incumbent is still an uphill one as it is also for Patel, despite his being able to outraise Maloney in recent months.

The race has not been without its controversies. As Town & Village previously reported, Patel sued two other candidates over invalid petitions and they’ve since been knocked off the ballot. Additionally, other published reports have shown discrepancies over what has been Patel’s primary residence and where he’s voted in recent years.

Town & Village interviewed Patel, an East Villager who grew up in Indiana with parents who emigrated from India, about his campaign, in March. He has some relevant political experience, having worked on both campaigns for former President Obama and having worked pro bono as an attorney for immigrants stranded at JFK last year during a travel ban. Patel would actually like to defund ICE and with immigration detention centers where families are being separated indefinitely currently making headlines, the idea doesn’t just come off as the rantings of a far-left fringe candidate. (This week, Maloney signed into legislation that would end this despicable and un-American policy and has been protesting the separations.)

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Thief steals $22G in laptops from Gramercy school

Theft suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are looking for a sartorially challenged thief who swiped $22,000 worth of Apple laptops from School of the Future.

The unknown suspect, a light-skinned man, possibly around 30, was seen on surveillance video wearing a backwards blue cap and red jeans, while trying to break into various lockers. Police say on June 17 at around 8 p.m., he somehow gained entry to a room and took 13 MacBooks. It isn’t clear how he got into the public school building at 127 East 22nd Street and Lexington Avenue.

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 at nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Bea Arthur residence for homeless youths opens on E. 13th St.

The Bea Arthur Residence for LGBTQ youth (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A new residence for homeless LGBT youth named in honor of an iconic Golden Girl opened in the East Village at the beginning of May.

That specific Golden Girl, Bea Arthur, was known as a strong advocate for the LGBT community and when she left the Ali Forney Center, an organization that advocates for homeless LGBT youth, $300,000 in her will after her death in 2009, executive director Carl Siciliano promised that he would name a building for the non-profit after her.

Siciliano said at the time that the donation helped the organization make payroll for months because it had been struggling due to the recession as well as a lack of donations. However, he announced the center’s intention to keep his promise in 2015 when the organization held a ground-breaking at the East 13th Street building between Second and Third Avenues. The property was previously a single-room occupancy (SRO) and crack house that had been vacant for almost 20 years.

The city-owned building was transferred to the Ali Forney Center in 2011 after a recommendation from Community Board 3 and the project was made possible through $3.3 million in contributions from City Council and then-Borough President Scott Stringer.

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Pride Parade will now end in Flatiron

The Pride Parade will be switching routes to include an AIDS memorial (pictured here). (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Pride Parade will end in the Flatiron District this year in a departure from the usual route, organizers have announced.

Heritage of Pride, the group that plans official NYC Pride events, said that the change is in preparation for events next year when the city will be commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and the first time that New York will be hosting WorldPride, a global celebration of Pride. The new location will be able to accommodate the record numbers of spectators that are anticipated.

The switch is expected to reduce wait times for the more than 350 marching groups preparing to step off. The new route will also allow the parade to go past the relatively new AIDS monument near the site of the former St. Vincent’s hospital at West 12th Street and Seventh Avenue, giving the memorial a place of prominence in the proceedings.

The parade will begin at noon on Seventh Avenue at West 16th Street and go south to the memorial and passing the historic Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street, before heading north on Fifth Avenue and ending at 29th Street. The dispersal points along the new route are wider than the streets in the West Village where the March usually ends so organizers hope that this will create less of a bottleneck and will allow the parade to move more quickly than in in the past. In previous years, the parade started on 36th Street and went south on Fifth Avenue, ending in the West Village.

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LGBT protection bills collecting dust in Albany

State Senator Hoylman, pictured with his baby Lucy and husband David Sigal, had to work with a surrogate in California since surrogacy isn’t legal in New York. (Photo courtesy of Brad Hoylman)

By Sabina Mollot

Two years ago, State Senator Brad Hoylman told Town & Village that any LGBT-related legislation seemed to be blacklisted in Albany to the point where any bill with the term “LGBT” in it would be “dead on arrival.”

Since then, basically nothing has changed with the most recent significant LGBT-related legislation being the marriage equality act in 2011 that was championed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

In 2016, Hoylman did a study on the lack of action taken in the state capital since then, titled “Stranded at the Altar.” The fact that the Independent Democratic Conference has dissolved hasn’t changed anything, voting dynamic-wise, and Hoylman, as he has before, is laying the blame solely on his chamber’s Republican majority. Hoylman is the only openly gay state senator.

Additionally, while Cuomo is fighting a high-profile battle against a lesbian primary challenger, Hoylman said he wasn’t sure the governor could strong-arm the bills into law through executive order.

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