Man charged with robbery at Flatiron Coach

Robbery suspect

By Sabina Mollot and Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested 34-year-old Justin Ponder for an alleged robbery at the Coach store at 79 Fifth Avenue as well as an alleged burglary inside 7 East 19th Street on Friday, March 8 at 1:05 p.m.

It was on Thursday, March 7 at 6:10 p.m., when a man later believed to be Ponder strolled into the store at East 16th Street and picked up a $295 bag and an $1,100 jacket. Police said when he tried to leave without paying, an employee confronted him. Ponder then allegedly shoved him out of his way and said, “Do you want to get punched or do you want to get stabbed?” He then fled out a rear door with the luxury label items.

Because of the alleged threat, the incident is being considered a robbery, rather than theft.

Continue reading

Editorial: Transit transparency, please

L train neighbors finally got some good news this week with the announcement that work at the 14th Street construction zone will end significantly earlier each night. We thank the MTA (and the elected officials who’ve been working behind the scenes) for making this happen (finally).

However, as Town & Village has also been reporting, the MTA hasn’t committed to keeping the First and Third Avenue stations open for those looking to get onto a train during the L project slowdown. But what’s just as vexing is that the subject isn’t even being discussed unless riders or elected officials are the ones to bring it up.

The concerns have arisen after a story ran on Streetsblog earlier this year about the possible exit-only station plan based on a leaked internal MTA memo. Recently, the agency confirmed that it is reviewing the matter of station access.

Continue reading

Editorial: Not so E-Z-victions

These days it’s impossible to have a conversation about small businesses without lapsing into how a heady, toxic mix of landlord greed, government fees and online shopping are slowly but surely destroying them all.

The biggest game changer we can think of, the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, is still very much in limbo. However, there are fortunately some lawmakers coming up with some other ideas in the meantime aimed at giving mom-and-pops a break. While not as far-reaching as the SBJSA, we do believe a few will help and they certainly seem to have more of a chance of getting passed in a timely fashion.

A new bill by Council Member Mark Levine of Upper Manhattan would help business owners fight evictions by guaranteeing them the right to counsel, as those facing criminal charges get when they’re poor, and poor tenants facing evictions from their homes get, too.

Continue reading