Police Watch: Man arrested for thefts, Man busted for assaulting officer

MAN ARRESTED FOR MULTIPLE THEFTS
Police arrested 49-year-old Kenneth Henriksen for an alleged theft inside 125 East 15th Street on Monday, July 22 at 2:17 a.m. A bartender told police that Henriksen ordered several drinks from the bar and when it came time to pay, he allegedly attempted to use a stolen credit card. When the card was declined and the bartender asked how else he could pay the bill, Henriksen allegedly left the location without paying. Police said that he was found shortly after officers searched the area and was identified by the bartender. He was arrested for grand larceny, possession of stolen property and unlawful use of a credit card.

Henriksen was also charged with an additional count of grand larceny and forgery for allegedly writing checks and taking money from a business at 137 West 25th Street where he was an employee on March 10 around noon.

MAN BUSTED FOR ASSAULTING OFFICER
Police arrested 59-year-old Larry Davis for an alleged assault in front of Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue on Monday, July 22 at 4:06 a.m. The victim told police that he was outside the hospital smoking a cigarette when Davis approached him and asked for one. The victim said that he didn’t have a cigarette that he could give him but Davis allegedly kept asking multiple times. The victim said that he continued to say that he didn’t have any when Davis allegedly punched the victim in the face, causing a cut above his eye and pain to the back of his head. Davis was arrested after he was stopped by hospital police.

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Opinion: Love it or leave it

By former Assemblymember Steven Sanders

Last week the political rhetoric from the President of the United States sunk to a new low, awash with disturbing invective.

Donald Trump attacked four members of Congress who happen to be women of color and have been very critical of Trump’s immigration policies and his efforts to ban Muslims from entering this country. Trump said of the four that they should “go back to the crime infested countries that they came from.” But each are United States citizens, three of whom were born here.

So “go back to the country that they came from?” Say what?

It was not lost on anyone that the women singled out by Trump were either of Muslim heritage or whose family ties include relatives from Central American countries. To state the obvious, Trump’s comments are as factually wrong as they are repugnant and bigoted.

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City Council passes retail vacancy registry bill and others aimed at helping mom-and-pop

Il Forno on Second Avenue is one of the many small businesses in the neighborhood that has closed in recent months. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Last Tuesday, the City Council passed five bills aimed at helping mom-and-pops, including one that would track retail vacancies and information about those spaces’ leasing history.

Each of the bills passed unanimously, with the exception of the vacancy tracking one, which still easily got through with just two objections.

If signed by the mayor, building owners would be required to submit information to the city regarding ground and second floor commercial spaces. The city’s Department of Finance would then establish publicly available data on those commercial properties, disaggregated by council district. Information would include median average duration of leases, the median and average remaining term to lease expiration, the median and average size of rentable floor area, the number of such premises reported as being leased and vacant, the median and average rent, the length of time a property has not been leased as well as construction information, and the number of such premises where the lease is due to expire within two years of the current calendar year. The bill would also require the release of a list of addresses of commercial properties and an indicator of whether or not such properties are vacant.

The legislation’s sponsor, Council Member Helen Rosenthal, said she thought it would go a long way to fighting retail blight.

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Peter Stuyvesant Little League wins three championships

The PSLL 10U softball team for eight to 10-year-olds brought home the championship banner for District 23 on Friday, July 5, in addition to the 10U and 11U baseball divisions winning their championships for District 23 earlier this month as well. (Photos courtesy of Benjy Kile)

Three teams in the Peter Stuyvesant Little League took home championship banners for District 23, with teams winning in the 10U baseball, 10U softball and 11U baseball divisions.

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New book explores old gangs of the East Village

By Sabina Mollot

Long before it became the birthplace of punk rock, and later home to a glut of luxury high-rises, the East Village was a stronghold of Italian-American mafia activity. The roughly seven-decade-long era began around 1920, with organized crime activity taking place at local haunts of the day like Luciano’s Palm Casino on East 4th Street as well as the more seemingly innocuous Di Robertis Pasticceria on First Avenue.

The local angle as well as the monopoly on crime in the area during this period – mostly heroin trafficking — was of interest to Thomas F. Comiskey, a Stuyvesant Town native who had a long career as a supervisor and investigator with the New York City Department of Investigations. Following his recent retirement, Comiskey wrote and self-published a nonfiction book on the subject, called The East Village Mafia.

“When I worked for the NYC Department of Investigations, my leisure reading was mob books,” Comiskey explained. “As I read them I noticed that over all the situations and dates and people and places and eras, there was always something inevitably leading to the East Village. It’s been told in a general sense, but I don’t think the importance of the East Village gangs was known.”

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Senate passes 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, joined by US Senator Charles Schumer (left) and Congressman Jerrold Nadler (right), cheered the passage of the legislation in the House earlier this month.

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The bill to make the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund permanent passed in the Senate by a vote of 97 to 2 on Tuesday, following its passage by an overwhelming majority in the House earlier this month.

Following the bill’s passage in the House on July 12, lead sponsor Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to call for a vote in the Senate before the August recess during a press conference across from the World Trade Center memorial last Monday. During the event, Maloney donned an FDNY jacket gifted to her by the Fire Department, which she had pledged to wear at all events to raise awareness until this particular bill had passed.

“The true Twin Towers of New York are the FDNY and the NYPD, and fully funding and permanently authorizing the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund is the least we can do to honor their sacrifices,” Maloney said following the vote in the Senate. “I will not rest until the September 11th Victim Compensation Program is made permanent and we finally turn our promise to Never Forget into law. I hope the President signs this legislation quickly, so we can finally give these heroes the peace of mind they deserve.”

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MSBI files Certificate of Need for downsizing plan

A rendering of the new campus, northeast view from the corner of Second Avenue and East 13th Street (Rendering courtesy of MSBI)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Mount Sinai Beth Israel has filed a Certificate of Need (CON) with State Department of Health on Monday to proceed with their downsizing plan that will drastically reduce the number of hospital beds in the Gramercy area, advancing the $1 billion project.

Representatives for MSBI told Community Board 6 members earlier this year that changes to the plan had delayed the submission of the CON, which they had expected to get approved by the end of last year. The process is an endorsement the state requires before the construction of a new healthcare facility.

The hospital system found newly-undiscovered unused space at the New York Eye and Ear facility, adjacent to where the new hospital will be built, and representatives at a meeting in February said that space allowed them to reconfigure the new building at East 14th Street and Second Avenue.

Brad Korn, corporate director of community affairs for Mount Sinai Beth Israel, assured CB6 members that the changes would not further decrease the number of beds but did say that the building could be shorter.

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Blackstone halting renovations on vacant units in STPCV

Stuyvesant Town

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Blackstone Group, owner of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village along with Kips Bay Court and other properties in the city, will stop apartment renovations in Stuy Town as the firm considers the impact that the new rent regulations will have on their business.

Crain’s New York Business first noted the change earlier this month, citing a spokeswoman for Blackstone who said the company is “in the process of evaluating capital investments at Stuy Town.”

A source also noted that renovations on vacant apartments at the complex, which has more than 11,000 units, would halt, possibly in addition to larger construction projects on the property. It’s unclear if management is currently in the process of any major capital improvement (MCI) work. The source confirmed that legally-required repairs to fix leaks or hot water service will continue.

STPCV Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg said that she isn’t sure what precisely this change will mean for current tenants.

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Man wanted for robbery on East 23rd

Robbery suspect

The New York City Police Department is asking the public’s assistance identifying a man wanted for questioning in connection to a robbery that occurred on East 23rd Street this week.

It was reported to police that on Tuesday, July 23 at 6:10 a.m., a 34-year-old man was walking west on East 23rd Street when an unidentified man demanded money and threw the victim to the ground. The man proceeded to punch the victim numerous times in the face and removed his cell phone, $200 and credit cards before fleeing east on 23rd Street.  The victim received cuts to the left side of his face.

Anyone with information in regard to the identity of this male 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 CrimeStoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or on Twitter @ NYPDTips.

All calls are strictly confidential.

Letters to the editor, July 25

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Nike’s flag sneakers disrespectful

Re: “It Seems to Me,” T&V, July 11

While Christopher Hagedorn’s belief that the Betsy Ross flag sneakers were “cool” might be true and while Colin Kaepernick’s reasoning against the Betsy Ross flag sneakers I believe to be faulty at best; both sides of that argument missed a far more serious and important point.

If the Betsy Ross flag sneakers had been sold to the public, what would have happened to those sneakers when they wore out?  From my point of view, throwing those sneakers in the garbage would have been little different then from throwing any other American Flag in the garbage.  Total disrespect!

The proper retirement of the American Flag requires a ceremony at which old and worn our flags are burned.  The ceremony appropriately concludes with the call of the bugle: To The Colors.

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Police Watch: Pair busted for shoplifting, Man arrested for breaking MSBI computer

PAIR BUSTED FOR SHOPLIFTING-GONE-BAD
Police arrested 29-year-old Kevin Jerome and 34-year-old Dominique Lewis for an alleged robbery at the corner of Second Avenue and East 23rd Street on Thursday, July 18 at 3:34 p.m. Police said that Jerome and Lewis entered a store nearby and removed merchandise without paying for it, and when a store employee confronted them, Jerome allegedly swung his arm at the employee, pulled out a boxcutter and reportedly threatened the employee so that he could leave the store. Police said that Lewis also swung her bag at the employee. The employee wasn’t injured and officers found the two suspects at the corner.

Jerome was additionally charged with possession of stolen property and possession of a controlled substance after police recovered an alleged crack pipe in his pocket. The boxcutter was also recovered from his pants pocket.

MAN NABBED FOR BREAKING MSBI COMPUTER
Police arrested 30-year-old Cesar Feliz-Taveras for alleged criminal mischief inside 281 First Avenue on Saturday, July 20 at 1:36 p.m. Police said that Feliz-Taveras grabbed a computer at the location and allegedly smashed it on the floor. A witness told police that the suspect was mad at the service that he was receiving at the hospital.

WOMAN BUSTED FOR HANE ‘DINE-AND-DITCH’
Police arrested 25-year-old Kelly Raquel for alleged theft of services inside Hane Sushi at 346 First Avenue on Saturday, July 20 at 4:03 p.m. Police said that Raquel ordered food and drinks at the restaurant and allegedly had attempted to leave without paying.

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Activists protest Jeff Bezos at his Manhattan apartment on Amazon’s Prime Day

Protesters demonstrated at the Manhattan home of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos on Prime Day, condemning the tech mogul for his company’s alleged connections to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Immigration activists attempted to deliver more than 270,000 petitions to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos during a protest at his new home across from Madison Square Park during a protest on Monday afternoon during Amazon’s Prime Day. Activists were calling on Bezos to cut ties with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and end abusive working conditions at Amazon warehouses.

The company started Prime Day last year offering deals for members of the Amazon Prime and the protest was organized specifically on Prime Day as part of a national day of action against the company. Representatives and activists from New York Communities for Change, Make the Road New York, ALIGN NY, NYC-DSA, Mijente, DRUM, JFREJ, MPower Change, Workers United SEIU, Tech Workers Coalition and Chhaya CDC, as well as immigrant families and former Amazon workers, participated in the protest, which started on the northern end of Madison Square Park and marched to the West 26th Street entrance of Bezos’ apartment at 212 Fifth Avenue.

Curbed reported at the beginning of June that Bezos had purchased three condos, including a penthouse previously listed for $58 million, in the building. The penthouse that Bezos reportedly purchased is a triplex with five bedrooms, five bathrooms and almost 6,000 square feet of outdoor space. The Wall Street Journal reported that the total value of the apartments Bezos bought in the building was around $80 million.

One former Amazon warehouse worker who spoke at the protest, detailing the long hours with no breaks that employees have reportedly been subjected to. While speaking about working with insufficient lunch and bathroom breaks, the former Amazon employee held up a clear water bottle with an unnamed yellow liquid, although an organizer assured protesters that the mystery liquid was not urine.

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Con Edison: Manhattan blackout caused by substation malfunction

Buildings south of West 72nd Street were dark last Saturday night because of the outage. (Photo by Noah Gardy)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Con Edison announced last Monday that the cause of a blackout affecting more than 70,000 residents in Manhattan on Saturday, July 13 was due to a malfunction at the West 65th Street substation.

The outage, which occurred at 6:47 p.m., affected customers from West 30th Street to West 72nd Street between Fifth Avenue and the Hudson River. The six electrical networks that were affected were back in service shortly before midnight on Sunday.

Con Edison said that their inspection of equipment and review of the system data found that the relay protection system at the substation didn’t operate as designed. The relay protection system is designed to detect electric faults and directs circuit breakers to isolate and de-energize the faults but in the case of the outage, the systems did not isolate a faulted 13,000-volt distribution cable at West End Avenue and West 64th Street.

The utility had initially ruled out the 13,000-volt cable fault as the cause, believing that it was unrelated to the transmission disturbance.

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Opinion: The summer of miracles

By former Assemblymember Steve Sanders

Much of my childhood growing up in Stuyvesant Town was shaped by politics, current events and sports. Not surprisingly, it still is.

The summer of 1969, fifty years ago, was a time of extraordinary and nearly unfathomable moments. For those of us who were part of that generation it left indelible memories.

The year before was marked by tragedy and turmoil the likes of which we had not seen before. The urban street riots and looting across the nation. The assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy rocked us to the core. The anti-war protests that enveloped the Democratic National Convention in Chicago while hundreds of American soldiers died each month in Vietnam.

The anger stirred by George Wallace who ran for President mostly on his racist segregation policies, and carried five southern states in a contentious election that ultimately Richard Nixon won by a hair.

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Disability Pride Parade celebrates five years

Marchers from Achilles International participate in the parade. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Disability Pride Parade celebrated five years this past Sunday, with participants marching from Madison Square to Union Square on Broadway. The parade featured members of the disability community, as well as activists and advocates, marching in costume and decorated wheelchairs.

Jazz pianist Mike LeDonne created Disability Pride Day in 2012 in honor of his daughter, Mary, who has a rare syndrome called Prader-Willi. LeDonne ran Disability Pride NYC as a nonprofit for four years before organizing the first parade on July 12, 2015, the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The parade on Sunday culminated in a festival in Union Square with booths featuring representatives from local non-profits and various city agencies offering services to New Yorkers with disabilities. Representatives from the Department of Transportation were showcasing the agency’s newest program, which is surveying the city’s pedestrian ramps and corners and mid-block crossings and pedestrian islands. The agency is prioritizing the completion of pedestrian ramp installations and upgrades pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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