Soapbox: Stuyvesant Cove Park going strong thanks to support from neighbors

Children planting flowers at the park

By Liza Mindemann, park manager at Stuyvesant Cove Park

Saturday, November 18 was the last community volunteer Day of 2017 at Stuyvesant Cove Park, and there couldn’t have been any better way to celebrate. A first in many years, the event was a partnership between Stuyvesant Town and Solar One — the rekindling of the collaboration between neighbors that will grow into next season. New York Cares, a strong partner of the park for quite some time, also joined for a healthy turnout of almost fifty people of all ages.

As part of Stuyvesant Town’s Good Neighbors Program, residents and employees joined the event to volunteer, and the group included several kids.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Four teens charged with beating and robbing cab driver in Flatiron

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested four teenagers last Tuesday for allegedly robbing and assaulting a cab driver in Flatiron, requiring the victim, who’s in his 60s, to get seven stitches and 15 staples.

The victim was driving on West 21st Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues last Tuesday night when he got out of his cab to remove a construction cone that one of the teens had allegedly thrown into the street.

When he got out of the car, 18-year-old Cervantez Viera, 19-year-old Dumar Kindle, 19-year-old Danziell Taylor and a 17-year-old approached him, the District Attorney’s office said. He and the teens got into an argument and Taylor allegedly smacked the driver in the face, knocking his glasses into the street. The 17-year-old, whose name is being withheld due to his age, told police that the driver got back into his car to park it, then got out again to look for his glasses when he and Kindle got into an argument.

Continue reading

Stuyvesant Town store selling dolls made by Syrian refugee women to benefit their creators

The dolls come in sets of three: a father, a mother and a child, and each set tells the true story of a different family. (Photos by John King)

By Sabina Mollot

This holiday season, Stuyvesant Town boutique Ibiza Kidz is hoping to spread some cheer to Syrian women refugees, by selling dolls they’ve made with 100 percent of the money from the sales going towards helping them and others who are in the same position.

The elaborately embroidered dolls, which have just made their debut in the United States, arrived at the kids’ clothing shop last Friday. They come in sets of three (a mother, a father and child) and are meant to tell the stories of real refugee families.

Each one comes with a story parents are encouraged to read to their children that Ibiza Kidz owner Carole Husiak describes as “reality in a meaningful, kid-friendly way.

“It demystifies and explains the concept of people starting a new home, not to frighten children but explain what some families go through,” she said.

Continue reading

Council approves bill for predatory equity watch list

Council Member Dan Garodnick at a rally against predatory lending in 2016 (Photo by William Alatriste)

By Sabina Mollot

Last Thursday, the City Council passed legislation aimed at making it more difficult for speculative landlords to price or harass tenants out of the buildings they’ve just bought.

City Council Members Dan Garodnick and Ritchie Torres are the authors of what’s been dubbed the “Predatory Equity Bill,” which calls for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development to establish a list of recently sold, rent-regulated buildings owned by potentially predatory investors.

Garodnick, who’s been working on the legislation for over a year, said it was inspired by the disastrous sale of Stuyvesant Town in 2006.As has been well documented, then owner Tishman Speyer tried to make up for its over-leveraged $5.4 billion purchase by issuing primary residence challenges to over 1,000 rent-regulated residents, before finally defaulting and walking away in 2010.

Continue reading

What Senate Dems’ unification proposal means for tenants

Mike McKee of TenantsPAC called the proposal a bad idea (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Last week, Democrat leaders in Albany laid out their hopes for a reunified Democrat body in the Senate, which is currently made up of Democrats, Republicans and the Independent Democratic Conference, eight breakaway Democrats who are aligned with Republicans. The IDC members were warned that if they didn’t start playing nice with their own party that the mainline Democrats would actively support their opponents in upcoming primaries. The warning came by way of a letter from the party that was sent to mainline Democrats as well as IDC members.

Because the State Senate is the legislative body chamber where tenant-friendly legislation goes only to flatline, Town & Village turned to TenantsPAC spokesperson and treasurer Mike McKee to ask what this attempt at a deal means for New York City’s renters.

According to him, it does have some impact despite no deal being hammered out yet.

“It’s fallen apart as it should,” said McKee. The deal would have allowed the mainline Democrats and the IDC to keep their chairs (Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Jeff Klein, respectively) as co-chairs to more effectively pass a progressive agenda. In response, the IDC said it would want to make sure progressive issues important to its own members were passed.

Continue reading

Student accused of rape at Washington Irving

Washington Irving High School, pictured last April (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A high school student was arrested for raping a classmate in a stairwell at the Washington Irving Campus earlier this week. Police arrested 18-year-old Jevon Martin after he reportedly lured a 16-year-old girl into the stairwell and raped her between the third and fourth floors of the building on Monday morning at 8:20 a.m.

Martin allegedly grabbed the victim’s backpack to pull her into the stairwell, the Daily News reported. According to the district attorney’s office, Martin pushed the victim to the floor by her waist, pulled off her pants, kissed her neck and then raped her. The victim told police that she repeatedly told Martin to stop and pushed against his face and shoulders, the DA’s office said.

The New York Post noted that the girl reported the incident quickly and Martin was arrested around 12:30 p.m. the same day.

Continue reading

Residents celebrate Stuyvesant Town Christmas tree lighting

Dickensian Carolers stroll through Stuy Town. (Photo by David DuPuy)

On Friday evening, residents of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village gathered for the annual Christmas tree lighting on the Oval. Highlights from the event included Dickensian Carolers singing as well as General Manager Rick Hayduk reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Prior to the lighting, cookies and hot beverages were served.

In addition, Santa Claus will soon make his annual appearance on Monday, December 11 and Wednesday, December 13 from 5-7 p.m. for residents who wish to take pics with St. Nick. The venue is the ice rink (no rink admission required for photos).

The Hanukkah menorah lighting will take place on Tuesday, December 12. Rav Shoshana Mitrani Knapp will lead the blessings at 6 p.m. The menorah lighting will be followed by dancing, music, donuts and hot beverages until 7:30 p.m.

Click through for more photos

Continue reading

Police Watch: Parks officers assaulted, Man arrested for ‘drugs’

OFFICERS ASSAULTED AT ASSER LEVY CENTER
Police arrested a 45-year-old man after he allegedly assaulted two Parks Department officers inside the Asser Levy Recreation Center on East 23rd Street last Monday at 7:35 a.m. Police said that the Parks officers were attempting to get Robert Robinson to leave the rec center when he reportedly hit one of them in the head with a 2×4, causing bruising. Robinson was charged for the assault at the 13th precinct last Tuesday at 1:10 p.m. but he was originally stopped for allegedly smoking K2 at the corner of Park Avenue South and East 29th Street on Tuesday at 11:12 a.m.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘DRUGS’, FAKE CREDIT CARDS AND SKIMMING DEVICE
Police arrested 33-year-old Justin Aiello for alleged possession of a controlled substance inside Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue last Saturday afternoon. Police responded to a call from the London NYC hotel at 151 West 54th Street for a wellness check, possibly an emotionally disturbed person. When they arrived, police were unable to get into the room. Emergency Services responded and was able to get in, secure the suspect and take him to Bellevue Hospital.
While hotel staff were gathering Aiello’s belongings, they allegedly found a fraudulent ID, credit cards, drug paraphernalia, skimming devices, alleged methamphetamines, blank credit cards and cash. Hotel staff notified police about the items and Aiello was arrested at the hospital.

Continue reading

Soapbox: When no one’s eyes are on the road

This column is an indirect response to another Soapbox column, “The bicycle purge of 2018,” T&V, Oct. 26, in defense of e-bikes.

By Billy Sternberg

Quality of life misdemeanors vex me. I saw a young guy’s dog almost get hit by a car because he was multitasking, running on the sidewalk with his dog by his side. Where is this guy from, I wondered? His dog doesn’t know to look both ways at a red light when his master stops abruptly. But, I wondered, would the driver have stopped had he hit the dog? The driver’s priority is a fare. The problem was the master’s mindlessness.

Before he got to the intersection, however, had the dog’s leash blocked or tripped a senior or mother with a stroller, he may have said, I’m sorry.” A basketball coach told me that if I was sorry about something I wouldn’t have done it.

But that guy probably endangers his dog every weekend. Manhattan has become a mobile play land between bikes, skaters, scooters, runners and dogs on long leashes while their masters are texting, watching videos and playing games while yelling at their kids to slow down and watch for others doing the same.

Continue reading

Opinion: The death of honor

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

It was on life support…honor in government, that is. But the President pulled the plug last week.

So many cases of political corruption and personal misdeeds by our elected officials in the past number of years. Greed, lying and sexual indiscretions had become so prevalent that the public was nearly numbed by it and almost accepting such behavior as a new norm.

But with the cascading revelations and accusations against powerful men (and some women) engaging in sexual abuse and intimidation towards their underlings and others, there was a national consensus building that such behavior is simply beyond the bounds of decency or acceptance, until President Trump weighed in.

With the precipitous downfall of such important and famous persons as Bill Cosby, Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, Harvey Weinstein and most recently Charlie Rose, as well as Senator Al Franken and others in Congress, it appeared that America had reached a watershed moment where such sexual abuse could not and would not be tolerated, no matter what or who. But then the President of the United States declared that politics was more important than the abuse of women or even minors.

That’s right, Donald Trump who himself stands accused of improper conduct by over a dozen women, whom he calls liars and losers, last week asserted that it was preferable for voters in Alabama to elect an alleged Republican pedophile than to vote for any Democrat. Most rational people regardless of party affiliation including the three leading newspapers in Alabama say that they believe the women who have accused Senate candidate Roy Moore of vulgar touching and unwanted aggressive sexual advances towards young girls and even one who was fourteen years old. But Trump supporters including the Alabama governor say they will vote for Roy Moore on December 12. Astonishing!

This American President who has sworn an oath “to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution,” to stand for justice and be a role model for our youth has chosen to side with Mr. Moore because he does not like the politics of his opponent.

But perhaps we should not be surprised. After all this is the same man who by his own words bragged about groping women because “celebrities can.” And of course this is the same man who could find no difference between white supremacists and Neo Nazis espousing their twisted ideologies in Charlottesville with those who opposed them. This is the man who denigrates the appearance of female political opponents and calls them by derogatory names and mocks a disabled reporter.

Once again Donald Trump is sending a clear message that the nefarious actions from generations gone by when white men suppressed minorities and objectified women is fine with him. So while much of the rest of the country is turning the page and will no longer be silent or tolerate such behavior, the leader of our nation sides with America’s past as well as his own.

There is no honor in this administration, just the politics and proclivities of one man who defends only himself.

 

Stuy Town gets new temporary bus stop shelter

The new shelter at the northeast corner of East 14th Street and Avenue B (Photo by Lawrence Scheyer)

By Sabina Mollot

On Saturday, a temporary bus stop shelter was installed on the northeast corner of East 14th Street and Avenue B as preliminary work continues along 14th Street for the looming L train reconstruction.

A rep for City Council Member Dan Garodnick told Town & Village the shelter’s installation is unusual for a couple of reasons. First, because the city had initially said that temporary shelters aren’t normally installed at stops that get relocated due to construction. However, Garodnick was able to convince the city to install this one as well as another at a different stop on Avenue A over the summer.

The new shelter is also unusual because it had to fit alongside the L train construction site and still have an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant sidewalk.

“With winter rapidly approaching, it became even more important that Stuyvesant Town residents have shelters on 14th Street as they wait for the crosstown bus,” Garodnick told us in an email. “Just in time for the holidays, we have delivered this temporary shelter, which will serve the community during the ongoing L train construction.”

Stuy Town resident and Citi Bike rider Lawrence Scheyer noted that this corner was previously occupied by a very popular “valet” Citi Bike station. The bike share program announced in July that valet service was moving to East 13th Street.

At the Avenue B and 14th Street intersection, a new electrical substation and circuit breaker room are being constructed. Scheyer, who’s also a Community 6 board member, noted that this will allow MTA NYC Transit to run a couple of more trains per hour on the L line. This is being done in preparation for the repairs and shutdown of subway service from Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn to 8th Avenue in Manhattan commonly referred to as the “L-Pocalypse.”

Letter to the editor, Nov. 30

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

To-do list for next Assemblymember

To the editor:

This is a comment on Marie Ternes’ “Moving onto the next election,” T&V, Nov. 16, and in a way a comment about the campaign of Keith Powers. Ms. Ternes, like Mr. Powers, has been a member of PCVST for years — likely for longer than I, but her idea of issues (issues that were, I hope, known to Mr. Powers, but tactically absent in his campaign literature) provoke my asking “Is that it?!?!” Ms. Ternes says that she wants to “Preserve and support middle and low-income housing.” I wondered, “Doesn’t everyone these days say they want to preserve middle-class everything?” So, having gone that far, I anticipated that I would soon see the complement of “preserve,” namely “affordable.”

Continue reading

Hoylman to push for lower MTA fares and congestion pricing

State Senator Brad Hoylman (pictured at right) spoke about the need for transit improvements at a recent meeting of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

State Senator Brad Hoylman, who’s been an outspoken critic of the bus used by many of his constituents, the M23 a.k.a. the turtle, is now setting his sights on the MTA as a whole, saying he’s sick of seeing funds intended for mass transit get steered elsewhere.

Hoylman brought up the subject on Sunday, November 19 at a public meeting held by the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association during a Q&A period.

The topic was first brought up by a woman who, during a Q&A period, said she didn’t like that a fleet of 200 diesel buses have been announced as a solution to the looming L-Pocalypse in 2019, rather than hybrid buses.

At this, Hoylman said he agreed and wanted to help “wean Albany off of Diesel,” despite the pollution-spewing option being cheaper.

Continue reading

Car break-in on East 11th

Police are looking for a man who broke into a car parked on East 11th Street between Avenues A and B, making off with roughly $2,500-worth of electronics and clothes.

It was last Wednesday at 9 p.m. when the man used some sort of object to pry open the door to get inside the car, which was located outside 526 East 11th Street.

The suspect is described as Hispanic, around 35 years old, 5’5″ and 155 lbs. with a medium complexion. He was last seen wearing a green hat, black sneakers, black jacket and dark blue jeans.

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 nypdcrimestoppers.com or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Residents concerned over recent squirrel deaths in Stuy Town

Deceased squirrel found in Stuy Town on Tuesday (Photo by Marilyn Pascarelli)

By Sabina Mollot

Several reported sightings over the past couple of weeks of dead and dying squirrels in Stuyvesant Town have had residents wondering what’s going on — since they clearly weren’t devoured by hawks.

One resident, Noam Freedman, said he saw a dying one near Playground 7, with his wife spotting another one behind 7 Oval. The one he saw was lying on the ground, its legs twitching.

“I’ve been here for 50 years and I’ve never seen a single dead squirrel,” said Freedman. “To see two in two days seemed strange.”

On November 15, Freedman noted the incidents on the Tenants Association’s Facebook page. This was followed by a few more residents commenting that they’d seen dead squirrels in different areas in the complex recently.

Continue reading