Opinion: The Fall of Rudy

By former Assemblymember Steven Sanders

“Men at some time are masters of their fates; the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves.” The precipitous fall of Rudolph Giuliani is like something from a Shakespearean drama.

For a moment not so long ago, Rudy Giuliani was viewed as “America’s Mayor.” That title was given in the days and weeks following the attack against the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. During that horrible time, Giuliani used his considerable skills to rally a city wracked with grief and anger. His resolute leadership inspired the nation. It was a defining moment for Rudy. It was short-lived.

It is worth remembering that before the attack, Mayor Giuliani had fallen out of favor with most New Yorkers who had tired of his combative and snarling personality. He could not run for re-election because of term limits but if he could have, the odds were that he would have lost.

So off he went to the world of lobbying, forming his own firm working closely with his business associate the former NYC Police Commissioner Bernie Kerick until Kerick was convicted of corruption and sent to prison. That was an omen of things to come.

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Week in Review: Oct. 17

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Council Member Carlina Rivera last week announced the publication of the final report on the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (ESCR) by independent consultant Deltares, hired for the review of the project last month. In her Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) recommendation, Brewer requested an independent environmental expert to review the ESCR Project and prepare comments regarding the City’s Preferred Alternative 4 proposal and the other three alternative designs. The independent review by Deltares was led by Dr. Hans Gehrels.

Among the findings in the report, which studied resiliency in the Alternative 3 and Alternative 4 designs, are: the need for improving transparency and stakeholder engagement; ongoing monitoring for air quality impacts to be made available publicly; release of city documents that provide evidence for the analysis underlying the Final Environmental Impact Statement; further investigation of Interim Flood Protection Measures (IFPM) during the construction period; phased construction for continued use of of portions of the park with additional open space mitigation; and additional clean fill for future flood protection against sea-level rise. The full report can be viewed online.

Parents at PS 116 expressed concern on Monday about the school at 210 East 33rd Street being opened as a voting site by the Board of Elections for early voting for 10 days starting at the end of this month. Parents said that there was no warning about the school being chosen, since the mayor’s office initially proposed high schools and universities but PS 116, an elementary school, was not included on the initial lists. One parent noted that identification is usually required to enter the school building but while it is open for early voting, an unknown number of people will be allowed to enter the school without being checked. 

PS 116 will be the early voting site for Peter Cooper Village residents, where early voting will be available starting on Saturday, October 26 through Sunday, November 3. Early voting for Stuy Town residents will be at the Clinton School for Writers and Artists at 10 East 15th Street.

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New workplace sexual harassment protections now in effect

By Maria Rocha-Buschel 

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last Friday that new workplace anti-discrimination and sexual harassment protections have gone into effect. Provisions of the new law, which was signed in August, eliminate the restriction that sexual harassment be “severe or pervasive” for it to be legally actionable and prohibit confidentiality agreements in employment discrimination cases. 

The provisions officially went into effect last Friday and make it clear that workplace harassment, including sexual harassment, need not be pervasive or severe for workers to file suit against an employer. The law also expands protections to include all forms of workplace discrimination for domestic workers and all contractors, subcontractors, consultants, vendors or others offering services in the workplace. 

“The ongoing culture of sexual harassment in the workplace is unacceptable and has held employees back for far too long,” Cuomo said. “This critical measure finally ends the absurd legal standard for victims to prove sexual harassment in the workplace and makes it easier for those who have been subjected to this disgusting behavior to bring claims forward. Now it’s time for employers across the state to step up and review their internal policies to ensure their employees are protected from harassment or discrimination and abusers who violate these standards are held accountable.”

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Man busted for drunk driving after car flips

By Maria Rocha-Buschel 

Police arrested a man for drunk driving after his car reportedly flipped over and burst into flames on the FDR near East 15th Street last week. 

Police said that 38-year-old Cesar Holder was driving south on the FDR on Wednesday, October 9 around 5 a.m. when he allegedly lost control of the vehicle while on the highway and the car flipped over, then bursting into flames. 

Bystanders told police that the driver then crawled out of the vehicle and he was standing nearby when officers responded to the scene because of a call about a motor vehicle collision. 

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Man busted for package thefts

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a man last Thursday for multiple package thefts that took place in Peter Cooper Village earlier this month. 

Wayne Wood, 53, allegedly committed two burglaries on East 23rd Street last Thursday afternoon. 

Police said that Wood entered 420 East 23rd Street on Thursday, October 10 at 2:30 p.m. and removed a package from the building that had been delivered and left outside the victim’s apartment door. Wood was allegedly in the building without permission.

Wood then allegedly went over to 510 East 23rd Street around 3 p.m. and reportedly took another package. Police said that he entered the building without permission and removed a package that had been delivered and left outside the victim’s apartment door. 

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Robbery, burglary up in 13th precinct

Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman at the recent community council meeting (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Robbery and burglary are up in the neighborhood, Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman reported at the 13th precinct’s monthly Community Council meeting this past Tuesday. Both crimes are up by 50% in the last 28 day period, Hellman said, with a citywide bank robbery pattern contributing to the increase in the number of robberies for the precinct. 

Robberies have been an issue for the precinct for the last few months as well, particularly ones committed by teenagers who live at the Administration for Children’s Services facility on First Avenue just north of Bellevue, but Hellman said that none of the robberies from the last few weeks have been attributed to ACS kids. Three teens have been arrested in the last month for robberies out of 21 incidents, Hellman specified, but none of them live at the ACS facility. 

Hellman said that there are currently three patterns that are affecting the increase in robberies and burglaries for the precinct. One is attributed to a bank robbery pattern in which a man who doesn’t have a weapon passes a note to tellers and demands cash. Hellman said that the pattern is citywide, with four of the incidents occurring in the 13th precinct. 

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Female Boy Scout finally approved as Eagle Scout (Story corrected)

Eagle Scout Sydney Ireland (center, in uniform) celebrated her new rank at the office of NOW-NY with friends and family, including Taylor Abbruzzese from Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s office, Jim Nedelka, NOW-NY President Sonia Ossorio, college friend Zora Duncan, her father Gary Ireland, her brother Bryan Ireland and family friend Paul Marshall, along with her dog (pictured at the bottom), Scout. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel 

UPDATE: See below for a correction to this story.

Stuyvesant Town native Sydney Ireland will officially be recognized as an Eagle Scout after a board of review voted to approve her Eagle Scout project on Tuesday evening. 

Now a freshman at Amherst College in Massachusetts, Ireland returned to New York this week for the first time since starting school so that she could meet with the board that ultimately approved her, officially making her an Eagle Scout. 

Ireland has been fighting to be recognized by the organization since following her older brother into scouting at the age of 4, and although the Boy Scouts of America officially changed the name of their premier program to the gender-neutral “Scouts BSA” to allow young women to participate starting this year, Ireland herself was not being recognized for the work she had already completed. 

The BSA even previously recognized her as a catalyst for the changes that were made to the program but denied her Eagle Scout rank by claiming that all the work she had done up to that point didn’t count, likening it to auditing classes in college. Although she had already completed one Eagle Scout project, she finished a second project in June, officially finishing all the requirements to become an Eagle Scout and making the board of review official. 

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Woman arrested for stealing Stuy Town resident’s phone

By Maria Rocha-Buschel 

Police arrested 33-year-old Anne Delacruz for allegedly stealing a man’s phone in Stuyvesant Town at the end of September. 

Police said that Delacruz was involved in a fight in front of 605 East 14th Street on September 22 at 11:32 p.m. when a Stuyvesant Town resident in his 30s attempted to break up the fight and separate Delacruz and the person that she was fighting with. The victim said that in the process of trying to break the fight up, he was assaulted and Delacruz allegedly stole his cell phone. 

The victim told police that Delacruz punched him in the face, neck and back, causing bruising, redness, scratches and substantial pain, then she allegedly grabbed his phone from his hand. 

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Letters to the editor, Oct. 17

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Racist implications in playground protest

To the Editor:

Stuart Levinson’s letter (Oct. 10) is troubling on so many levels.

Mr. Levinson writes that “dangerous unsavory predators” are loitering around the basketball courts. I am in the vicinity at least twice per day and what I see are young people playing basketball.

Some of them are people of color. Mr. Levinson sees them as dangerous and unsavory. Some of the young people are waiting to get into basketball games. Mr. Levinson sees people loitering.

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Police Watch: Man arrested for Stuy Town burglary, Man arrested for bodega robbery

MAN BUSTED FOR STUY TOWN BURGLARY
Police arrested 22-year-old Joel Torrens for an alleged burglary that occurred inside 315 Avenue C on Sunday, October 6 around noon. Police said that one of the roommates left the apartment and shortly after, another roommate who was still inside heard noises in the apartment hallway. When she went to check what it was, she saw Torrens allegedly standing in the hallway, and he reportedly took credit cards and jewelry from the apartment before fleeing. Police said that Torrens does not live in the building but no further information was available about how he got inside the building or the apartment itself. Torrens was charged inside the 13th precinct on Monday, October 7 at 12:15 p.m.

MAN BUSTED FOR BODEGA ROBBERY
Police arrested 50-year-old Edward Abel for an alleged robbery from a bodega at 315 First Avenue on April 23 at 10:50 p.m. A worker at the bodega said that Abel was throwing things inside the store, striking the victim on the arm, and he allegedly left the bodega with beer that he hadn’t paid for. Abel was ultimately arrested for the robbery on Thursday, October 10 at 8 a.m. inside the 13th precinct.

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Opinion: Science-based policy gets a booster shot

By State Senator Brad Hoylman

With the new school year, there’s a new law going into effect, too. This year, faced with a statewide measles outbreak of historic proportions, I sponsored legislation that ends all non-medical exemptions to New York’s vaccination requirements for school attendance.

For some people who’ve been misled by the so-called anti-vaxx movement, vaccines are part of a widespread conspiracy between government and drug companies to harm our children.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

As your State Senator, it’s my job to base public policy on evidence to make our constituents’ lives better. Strong vaccine laws do just that. When California passed a law similar to ours four years ago, their immunization rates for kindergartners rose nearly five percentage points.

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Fall game for Peter Stuyvesant Little League Challenger Division

Stuy Town resident Allegra Abrams takes her at bat with Challenger Coach (and resident) Katie Tamola. (Photos by Benjy Kile)

On October 5, Peter Stuyvesant Little League held a fall baseball game for its Challenger Division. Eighteen athletes with mental and physical disabilities were matched up with buddies from other PSLL divisions to assist them at bat and in the field. The Challenger Division will hold its next season starting in April. Anyone interested in having their child play can reach out to rick.hayduk@stuytown.com.

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Floating billboards officially banned in New York

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Floating billboards are officially banned in New York waterways, thanks to a court order by Judge Louis L. Stanton on Tuesday, reinforcing a new state law originally introduced by State Senator Brad Hoylman and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo at the end of August.

The New York Law Department announced the settlement of a lawsuit against Ballyhoo Media, which has repeatedly displayed large floating LED billboards on a barge that traveled daily along the Manhattan and Brooklyn waterfronts, despite the law that prohibits them.

Under the law, which was originally introduced in the Senate by Hoylman and in the Assembly by Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, boats are not allowed to operate digital billboards or other billboards that use flashing or moving lights. The bill also empowers local governments to restrict or ban the use of outdoor advertising signage on vessels within 1,500 feet from shore.

Violations of the law are subject to a $1,000 civil penalty for the first violation and $5,000 for subsequent violations.

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Man arrested for stealing more than $11k during bank robberies

Bank robbery suspect

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police have arrested 48-year-old Joseph Rivera last Thursday for bank robberies in Gramercy and throughout Manhattan, allegedly taking a total of approximately $11,000 in 12 different bank robberies.

In each incident, Rivera reportedly entered a bank and passed a demand note while demanding cash from the teller.

One of the robberies that took place in Flatiron occurred on Tuesday, September 10 around noon when police said that Rivera entered the Chase Bank at 71 West 23rd Street and allegedly passed a demand note while making a demand for cash. The teller reportedly complied, and Rivera allegedly for away with $3,700.

Police said that Rivera passed a note to a teller inside the Amalgamated Bank at 301 Third Avenue near East 23rd Street on Thursday, September 19 at 1 p.m. and got away with $89. He also allegedly robbed the HSBC Bank at 800 Sixth Avenue and West 28th Street, passing a note to a teller to demand cash, but police said that he fled before the teller complied.

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Controversy over anti-Mormon rhetoric nixes street co-naming

The phrases “The W.M. Evarts” and “The U.S. Senate” are engraved above the doorways of these Second Avenue apartment buildings. A resolution to co-name the street corner was rescinded after the 19th century legislator’s history of anti-Mormon rhetoric was uncovered upon further vetting. (Photo by Ryan Songalia)

By Ryan Songalia

Community Board 6 has reversed its decision to approve a street co-naming in honor of a former New York U.S. Senator and U.S. Attorney General after City Council uncovered anti-Mormon rhetoric in his writings.

After initially approving a co-naming for William Evarts on Second Avenue between East 14th and 15th Streets at a full board meeting last April, the board rescinded the resolution on September 11 when the full board reconvened after the summer recess after the general counsel for City Council had uncovered the parts of Evarts’ history that had not aged well.

The proposal was first brought forward last November by Upper East Side resident Bob Pigott, who used to walk past the apartment buildings located at 231 and 235 Second Avenue on his way to Stuyvesant High School in the mid-1970s.

Above the doorways reads “The W.M. Evarts” and “The U.S. Senate,” and it wasn’t until decades later when Pigott began researching his 2014 book, “New York’s Legal Landmarks: A Guide to Legal Edifices, Institutions, Lore, History, and Curiosities on the City’s Streets,” that he realized who “W.M. Evarts” was.

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