Neighbors, CB6 have concerns over revised East Side Coastal Resiliency project

Some of the people in attendance at the meeting (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Around 200 East Side residents, concerned about sudden changes to a plan that proposes rebuilding sections of the parks close to the water, packed a meeting that was held to update the community on Tuesday night. The most significant departure from the original plan, known as the East Side Coastal Resiliency project, is a de facto rebuilding of the East River Park on top of flood protection rather than building the flood protection around the existing park.

Representatives from a number of city agencies were on hand at the event, which was held at Hunter’s Brookdale Campus on East 25th Street, a day after a similar meeting about the project on the Lower East Side.

Although most of the substantial changes announced at this meeting and an event held the day before on the Lower East Side were related to the plans for East River Park farther downtown, officials scheduled the second meeting at Brookdale at the insistence of Community Board 6 representatives and local elected officials, since the entire project area stretches up to East 25th Street.

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Homeless man charged with rape of homeless woman in Kips Bay

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a homeless man for allegedly raping and robbing a homeless woman behind a building in Kips Bay early last Tuesday. Police said that 54-year-old Karl Dozier raped the 46-year-old woman outside 362 Third Avenue, which is home to a pinball arcade, after they got into an argument at around 4:45 a.m.

According to a criminal complaint, Dozier punched the victim in the head and face multiple times, got on top of her while continuing to hit her and then raped her.

After he was arrested, Dozier allegedly told police that he hit the victim repeatedly because she was “being annoying” and that in addition to hitting her with his fists, also reportedly bashed her with a lead pipe.

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Police Watch: Woman arrested for swiping ice cream, Man charged with assault

WOMAN ALLEGEDLY SWIPED DOZENS OF CARTONS OF ICE CREAM
Police arrested 32-year-old Christina Figueroa for an alleged theft inside the Food Emporium at 10 Union Square East on Monday, December 3 at 7:12 p.m. Police said that Figueroa took 50 containers of ice cream from the store without paying for the items.

MAN CHARGED WITH ASSAULT OF OFFICERS AT BETH ISRAEL
Police arrested 28-year-old Julian Dejesus for an alleged assault inside Beth Israel Hospital at 281 First Avenue on Monday, December 3 at 9:22 p.m. Police said that Dejesus went to the hospital voluntarily to be evaluated but once he became aware that he was going to be admitted into the psychiatric ward, he became irate and allegedly began fighting with security. Police said that two security officers were injured while trying to subdue him.

MAN CHARGED WITH 2017 ROLEX THEFT
Police arrested 32-year-old Tyrone Hood on Monday, December 3 at 10:09 a.m. inside the 13th precinct for an alleged theft that took place last year. Police said that the victim invited Hood and another person who wasn’t arrested back to his apartment at 332 East 18th Street after meeting them at a bar on September 9, 2017 around 3 a.m. When he woke up later, the men were gone and his watch and Rolex were missing. No other arrests have been made.

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Tenants talk strategy at town hall

Sheila Garcia of CASA and State Senator Brad Hoylman (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

With Democrats having taken the State Senate last month, local elected officials and tenant advocates held a town hall last week, essentially to rally the troops for what will still be a battle to pass tenant-friendly legislation next year.

More than 200 people attended the event hosted by State Senator Brad Hoylman last Thursday in the New York Public Library Schwarzman Building.

City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Aaron Carr of the Housing Rights Initiative (HRI), Delsenia Glover of Tenants and Neighbors and Sheila Garcia of Communities for Safe Apartments (CASA) joined Hoylman for the discussion on vacancy decontrol, the LLC loophole and the possibility of strengthening the rent laws now that the State Senate has gone blue.

Hoylman said that in addition to vacancy decontrol, another policy that the State Senate should focus on is the LLC loophole.

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‘Groper’ arrested in Union Square was on parole for murder

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a 63-year-old man on parole for murder for allegedly groping a woman inside the Union Square subway station last Wednesday. Police said that Wilfredo Gonzalez was on a downtown 4 train at 4:28 p.m. on November 28 and was allegedly grinding and pushing his groin area on the buttocks of a woman while the train traveled from Grand Central to Union Square.

When police approached him and attempted to place him in custody, he allegedly flailed his arms violently and attempted to run away to avoid being arrested.

Police said that Gonzalez has three prior arrests for forcible touching and is a registered sex offender. Information about Gonzalez’s sex offender registration is not available through the online registry because he is a level 1 offender. The law permits the registry to make available information online only about level 2 and 3 offenders, which are for more serious crimes.

Gonzalez was previously convicted of forcible touching in June 2018 and February 2012.

Police did not have further information about the murder for which Gonzalez was on parole.

He was also charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct for the recent incident in Union Square.

Tiny owl spotted in Stuyvesant Town

Northern Saw-whet owl in Stuyvesant Town

By Sabina Mollot and Maria Rocha-Buschel

Guess whooooo recently visited Stuyvesant Town?

A resident spotted this brown and white owl on Monday as it perched on a railing by the mezzanine of 525 East 14th Street. He told Town & Village that he’s seen lots of different birds in the neighborhood but the owl was an unusual find in the city. The resident, Mario, who didn’t want his last name mentioned, also noted that he wasn’t expecting to capture this little guy on camera in broad daylight but pulled out his phone and managed to get some shots of the obliging raptor.

Upon seeing the photos, Anne Lazarus, a longtime birder who leads bird watching tours in Stuyvesant Town and Stuyvesant Cove, identified this visitor as a Northern Saw-whet Owl, noting the lack of ear tufts.

“The Northern Saw-whet Owls have been showing up this year,” said Lazarus, adding that a few have been spotted in Central Park. Additionally, despite its size, the owl seen in Stuy Town is not a baby, but an adult, with Northern Saw-whets being one of the smallest owl species in North America. They are comparable, size-wise, to robins.

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Santa Con is coming to town on Saturday

Santa Con revelers, pictured in 2016 at the Flatiron Plaza (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Love it or hate it, Santa Con is here to stay in New York City with the next yuletide pub crawl scheduled for this Saturday, December 8.

Whether you hope to participate (for a $12 donation to charity) or just avoid the red-and-white-clad revelers, the organization that runs the event has begun listing the participating venues on its website. The actual route isn’t usually revealed until 24 hours before the start of the event, where men and women have made a tradition of dressing like Santa, elves, reindeer and in other holiday-inspired attire.

The venues are mostly clustered in the East Village, as well as midtown, mostly in the 30s with a few in Flatiron and Union Square. Some of the venues on the south end of the route include The Phoenix, Nowhere Bar, Crocodile Lounge, SideBar, Plug Uglies, Coyote Ugly, The Continental, Vazac Horseshoe Bar, Machos NYC. In Flatiron, there’s Taj, 230 Fifth Avenue rooftop bar and Slate. In midtown, they’re Feile, Rattle and Hum, Brother Jimmy’s BBQ, Blarney Stone, Jack Doyle’s and Rick’s Cabaret.
For the full list, visit santacon.nyc/route.

Police Watch: Man choked woman on bus, Teen busted for stolen credit cards

MAN CHOKED WOMAN ON BUS, SPIT ON COPS
Police arrested a 30-year-old John Doe for alleged obstruction of breath in front of 489 Second Avenue on Saturday, December 1 at 1:19 p.m. The victim told police that the man approached her while she was on a bus and took his thumbs, pressing them to her neck while pressing her face against the window. The man was also charged with harassment. The man was also charged with resisting arrest and harassment for allegedly spitting on two officers who were attempting to arrest him.

ACS TEEN BUSTED FOR STOLEN CREDIT CARDS
Police arrested a teenager for possession of stolen property inside the ACS facility at 492 First Avenue on Saturday, December 1 at 1:37 p.m. Police said that the teen was in possession of six credit cards that didn’t belong to him.

MAN ARRESTED IN UNION SQUARE FOR ALLEGED MIDTOWN ROBBERY
Police arrested 30-year-old Dejuan Gore at the corner of Union Square East and East 14th on Monday, November 26 for an alleged robbery that took place in Midtown in October. Police said that Gore and another person allegedly robbed the victim inside the subway station at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue on October 17 at 8:45 a.m. The other suspect allegedly punched the victim in the face, causing pain and swelling, while Gore reportedly took cell phones from the victim.

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Town & Village holding toy drive to benefit Mount Sinai Beth Israel

Gifts donated to Mount Sinai Beth Israel in 2016 (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Town & Village is holding a toy drive to help make the holidays brighter for children undergoing medical treatment during the holiday season as well as the children of families in outpatient programs run by Mount Sinai Beth Israel.

Gifts will be accepted for children of all ages as long as they are new. Items for older boys are especially in high demand. No toy weapons, please.

Partnering with Town & Village on this effort is:

Stuyvesant Town Property Services, accepting toys in bins located at Resident Services, 276 First Avenue on the First Avenue Loop Road and the Peter Cooper Village kiosk at 22nd Street and First Avenue

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Opinion: Public advocate: Use it or lose it

By former Assemblymember Steven Sanders

After Letitia James is sworn in as the state’s new attorney general, there will be a special election in early 2019 to replace her as New York City’s next, and sixth, public advocate. But is that really necessary?

The position of public advocate, which pays $165,000 a year, was created when court ordered changes were made to New York City government in 1989. The powerful Board of Estimate was declared unconstitutional and abolished, transferring much of its responsibilities to the more democratic City Council.

The office of president of the City Council, a citywide elected position, was also eliminated and in its place the office of speaker of the City Council was created with significant new powers. Subsequently the citywide elected position of “public advocate” was created in place of City Council president. But its duties were ill defined and vague. It was given virtually no authority over anything.

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Man charged with going on beauty product stealing spree

The suspect allegedly stole thousands of dollars’ worth of products from different Blue Mercury stores. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

One man’s alleged shoplifting spree throughout the last month from a high-end cosmetics store came to an end when police said they caught him stealing from a Flatiron store on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Seamus Limato, 36, was arrested inside the Blue Mercury at 695 Sixth Avenue around 2 p.m. on Black Friday last week after he allegedly tried to steal more than $1,000-worth of products from the store. Police said that Limato also tried to flee but he was caught nearby.

Limato was charged with grand larceny in connection with this incident, as well as resisting arrest after police said that he flailed his arms and legs while officers were attempting to handcuff him.

After he was arrested for the incident on Black Friday, police connected Limato to nine other thefts, primarily taking place in Blue Mercury locations throughout Manhattan. Police said that in a number of the incidents, Limato took as many as 30 different products each time, including skin creams, shampoo and other cosmetics.

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CB6 supports bill aimed at protecting bike lanes near construction sites

Council Member Carlina Rivera

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Community Board 6 has voted to support Councilmember Carlina Rivera’s legislation to protect bike lanes during street construction.

The bill, which Rivera introduced in mid-October, would require holders of Department of Transportation permits that allow construction on city streets to preserve impacted bike lanes and provide a safe and sufficient detour.

The legislation specifies that at least three quarters of the original bike lane or four feet, whichever is larger, should be maintained, and the bike lane needs to be separated from vehicle traffic with a barrier. The bill would also ensure that the bike lane is not open to pedestrian traffic.

At the CB6 meeting on November 12, Stuy Town resident and Community Board member Larry Scheyer raised the issue of whether or not there are already any existing policies addressing this, and member Gene Santoro noted that there is not yet anything specific requiring builders to protect the existing bike lanes.

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Greenway project near Waterside postponed to 2019

 

The bike lane outside of Waterside Plaza (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

After announcing in September that work would begin this fall on improvements to the Greenway on the East Side between Waterside Plaza and the East 34th Street Heliport, the Department of Transportation confirmed this week that it has been put on hold until next year.

A spokesperson for the DOT did not have specific details on when next year the work would begin but said that the agency expects to start work when the weather gets warmer and to complete the project by next summer.

DOT originally presented the project to Community Board 6 two years ago in November 2016 with plans for the bike lanes north of Stuyvesant Cove Park leading up to Waterside Plaza, past the United Nations International School and the Water Club, up to the heliport at East 34th Street, reconfiguring the lanes to make them more visible and separate cyclists from vehicle traffic.

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Man had shotgun in car outside club in Flatiron, cops say

Neighborhood Coordinating Officers Eric Demery and Brittany Vera with others from the 13th Precinct, standing by the confiscated weapon (Photo courtesy of the 13th Precinct)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police have arrested a man who was allegedly in possession of a shotgun in front of a Flatiron club last weekend.

Police were informed by witnesses that there was an intoxicated man nearby, possibly armed, in the driver’s seat of his vehicle. Aleksandr Tsoy, 34, was allegedly sitting inside his car while parked in front of Taj Lounge at 48 West 21st Street on Saturday, November 24 at 9:53 p.m.

When officers arrived at the scene, Tsoy was sitting in the driver’s seat with the engine turned on. Police removed Tsoy from the car and found that he allegedly had an odor of alcohol on his breath and bloodshot, watery eyes. A test at the scene determined that Tsoy’s blood alcohol content was 0.10, police said.

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Police Watch: Alleged subway ‘grinder’ arrested, Men charged with assault outside Food Emporium

ALLEGED SUBWAY ‘GRINDER’ ON 6 TRAIN ARRESTED
Police arrested 64-year-old Mohamed Abdel Rahim for alleged sexual abuse inside the Union Square station on Tuesday, November 20 at 5:30 p.m. Rahim allegedly thrust his erect penis onto the victim’s buttocks while they were on an uptown 6 train. Police said that Rahim and the victim did not know each other.

MEN CHARGED WITH ASSAULT OUTSIDE FOOD EMPORIUM
Police arrested 43-year-old Kitwane Parkinson and 39-year-old Alexander Rivera for an alleged assault on Monday, November 19 at 4:25 p.m. in front of 10 Union Square East. Parkinson and Rivera allegedly kicked and punched the victim inside the location due to an argument they had earlier in the day. Police said that the victim had bruised lips.

WOMAN ACCUSED OF STEALING WALLET FROM HOLIDAY MARKET VENDOR
Police arrested 32-year-old Dominique Elgin for an alleged theft that took place in Union Square earlier this month. A vendor at the Union Square Holiday Market told police that she left her purse on a chair in her booth on Sunday, November 18 and around 5:50 p.m., she noticed that her wallet was missing from the bag. Police said that Elgin had allegedly used the victim’s credit card. She was busted on Wednesday, November 21 at 7:20 p.m. inside the 13th Precinct.

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