Cops investigate suspicious package at First Avenue L train station

Aug17 bomb scare

By Sabina Mollot

At around 5 p.m. on Tuesday, the NYPD Bomb Squad cordoned off First Avenue near the L train station on East 14th Street and the station itself after getting a 911 call about a suspicious package. However, by 5:40 p.m., the NYPD gave the all clear. As for what the package, which had been seen under a bench on the southbound platform was, a spokesperson for the department said he didn’t know other than “It wasn’t a bomb.” The photo, taken by Stuyvesant Town resident Henry Beck shows a traffic-free First Avenue at around 15th Street at 5:30 p.m. today.

 

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Sinkhole on E. 23rd turns into gurgling tub

July27 Sinkhole July25

Men work at the sinkhole on the bike lane at 23rd Street and the East River on Tuesday. (Photo by Janet Handal)

By Sabina Mollot

A sinkhole that’s been on the bike lane at 23rd Street along the East River for weeks now has grown from being a few feet across to a ten-foot-wide gurgling geyser. It has also been an active worksite manned by a plumbing crew from the Economic Development Corporation, which manages the nearby city-owned Skyport garage. It’s a broken, leaking pipe underneath the garage that has been blamed for the problem.

Town & Village first reported on the sinkhole last week, when a then two-week-old 311 complaint had yet to spur any action from the city. The relevant city agencies finally arrived at the scene last Wednesday evening (following T&V’s press time) to barricade off the area. Additionally, at that time, a spokesperson for the DEP told us the Skyport garage had been ordered to fix the pipe as well as well as the sinkhole.

But by Tuesday evening of this week, a spokesperson for the EDC, Shavone Williams, still couldn’t say exactly when the damaged water line would be fixed, although the expectation was sometime this week. Williams added that the EDC was planning with the Department of Environmental Preservation to shut down a main on Wednesday morning so contractors could repair the line and repave the surface later in the week. Until it’s repaired, Williams said, the crew would remain onsite and keep the area surrounding the water hole secured with cones and tape.

Meanwhile, water service was completely shut off at Waterside Plaza on Wednesday by 8:30 a.m., according to the management office. General Manager Peter Davis said he didn’t know if it was related to the sinkhole, since the property hadn’t gotten a notice from any agency. UPDATE at 10:54 a.m. Water service has been restored to Waterside, and a DEP representative said the agency was looking into why it happened and why residents were not notified.

Janet Handal, president of the Waterside Tenants Association, first reported the sinkhole to the city on July 5, fearing it would become a deathtrap for cyclists and the usual crowds of people headed to the party boats at the marina next to the garage.

However, there was no visible response from the city on the growing hole until Handal reached out to a number of city agencies and elected officials as well as Town & Village. Only then did teams from the DEP and the Department of Transportation arrive to completely barricade off the sinkhole, which had been only partially surrounded by tape.

As of this Tuesday, Handal said it didn’t appear the workers knew yet where the water main actually was. After stopping by the site, Handal said she was shocked by the force and sound of the gushing water in the hole, as thick cords from six water pumps snaked their way inside. The width of the hole, which had originally just been in the bike lane, had stretched across two traffic lanes by then. This may have been done intentionally to allow the workers access, however.

Based on her observations, though, the water pumps didn’t appear to be doing much. She said she was told by a worker that the EDC was waiting for the DEP to turn off the water and that the collapsed pipe was believed to be about 80 years old.

Oil spills into East River after Con Ed transformer failure

May11 Con Ed

Con Ed substation in Manhattan (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

A failure of equipment at a Con Ed substation in Brooklyn has led to a so far unknown amount of oil to leak into the East River.

The U.S. Coast Guard has been responding to the problem since it was reported on Sunday afternoon, though as of Tuesday afternoon, it was unclear if the substance, dielectric fluid, was still leaking into the river in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

The fluid, which is used to insulate transformer cables, is a kind of mineral oil, so “It’s not like sludge or petroleum,” said Coast Guard Public Affairs Chief Warrant Officer Allyson Conroy. However, she added, “It’s still not native to the environment it’s leeching into.”

Additionally, while the Coast Guard is not aware of just how much of the oil has been spilled so far, she referred to the failure of a Con Ed transformer that led to the incident as “catastrophic.

“The transformer is caput,” she added.

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Major explosion causes building collapse, fire on Second Ave. at East 7th

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By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A building on Second Avenue near East 7th Street has collapsed due to an explosion and fire earlier this afternoon, the FDNY confirmed. The collapse occurred at 123 Second Avenue and  FDNY said that 121 Second Avenue had also partially collapsed, but it was unclear whether this was a direct result of the explosion or occurred later. Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press conference on Thursday evening that 119 and 125 Second Avenue have also been affected, and FDNY said that the emergency call came from 125 Second Avenue at 3:17 p.m. Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said that the area around 119 Second Avenue was vacated because of a possible collapse of that building as well, as a result of the fire that extended there following the explosion.

The FDNY does not know the cause of the incident yet but police at the scene said that it was consistent with a gas explosion. The mayor confirmed that explosion appears to have been caused by plumbing and gas work that was going on in 121 Second Avenue, but the investigation is still ongoing. The mayor added that the FDNY is dealing with a seven-alarm incident and have contained fires in all four of the buildings so far. 

Second Avenue was closed from East 14th Street to Houston after the explosion. The affected buildings included a number of apartments as well as restaurants Sushi Park at 121 Second Ave. and Pommes Frites at 123 Second Ave.

Notify NYC reported that the New York City Unified Victim Identification System (UVIS) was activated in response to the fire. Anyone concerned about the welfare of someone who may have been affected by the collapse and are unable to contact them should call 311. From outside of NYC, relatives and friends can call (212) 639-9675. The American Red Cross has also opened a reception center at P.S. 63 at 121 East 3rd Street in Manhattan.

“Today our community’s heart is breaking,” Council Member Rosie Mendez said in response to the tragedy. “My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this tragedy. I am working closely with emergency services, my colleagues in government and with community leaders to respond to this horrible event. I thank the people of New York for the outpouring of concern and support. We pray for the victims and their families.”

On Thursday evening, Con Ed also issued a statement, noting the building had failed an inspection.

“Con Edison is working with fire officials and other agencies at the scene of today’s explosion and building collapse on 2nd Avenue near 7th Street in the East Village neighborhood in Manhattan,” the utility said.

“Earlier today, Con Edison personnel were at the location to evaluate work the building plumber was doing inside 121 2nd Ave. in connection with a gas service upgrade. The work failed our inspection for several reasons, including insufficient spacing for the installation of the meter in the basement.

“We had no reports of gas odors in the area prior to the fire and explosion. A survey conducted yesterday of the gas mains on the block found no leaks. We continue to work with all agencies on the investigation into the cause, and we are praying for the recovery of all the injured.”

Teen from Riis Houses missing

Jemancey Vadon

Jemancey Vadon

Police are looking for an Alphabet City teen who’s been missing since Friday.

Fourteen-year-old Jamancey Vadon was last seen at home at Riis Houses building 90 Avenue D at around 11:30 p.m.

He is described as being black, approximately 5’6″ tall, weighing 115 lbs. With a thin build and black hair.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Police looking for a man last seen at Bellevue

Photo of Elliot Baez provided by NYPD

Photo of Elliot Baez provided by NYPD

Police are looking for a man who was last seen strolling out of Bellevue Hospital on the afternoon of Saturday, July 5.

Elliot Baez, 57, is 5’8″ tall, weighs 150 pounds and has brown hair. He was last seen wearing a blue dress with yellow flowers, yellow socks and black sneakers.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or text tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

 

East Village senior missing

 

Carlos Pena

Carlos Pena

Police are looking for an East Village senior who’s been missing since Tuesday evening.

Sixty-one-year-old Carlos Pena of 620 East 13th Street was last seen on Tuesday at 9 p.m. at home. He is described as 5’8″, 185 lbs. with a stocky build, Hispanic with a light complexion, brown eyes and gray hair. He was last seen wearing tan colored pants with a white belt and a tan button down shirt.

Anyone with information in regards to this missing is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or submit tips online at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

 

CWCapital: Stuy Town’s First Avenue Loop is being closed to make repairs beneath the road

CWCapital says the current closure of the First Avenue Loop wasn't planned as part of the management office construction. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

CWCapital says the current closure of the First Avenue Loop wasn’t planned as part of the management office construction. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot
Following the announcement on Thursday that the First Avenue Loop would be closed to traffic and parking for 4-6 weeks, starting Monday, nearby residents have been left wondering why there was barely any notice and of course, where they were supposed to park in the meantime.
Since last week, Council Member Dan Garodnick said his office has been on the receiving end of many complaints, in particular due to the minimal information offered in official notices that had been posted along the Loop Road.
“I have asked for a complete explanation for the community about the need for the project and why it was not disclosed earlier and for ways they can try and limit the time and the inconvenience,” he said on Monday morning.
He added that for some residents, the closure is “beyond an inconvenience. It really is a necessity for disabled parkers, for school bus pickups and for Access-A-Ride.” The lack of information, added Garodnick, “is extremely disrespectful to people who rely on it.”
The initial notice, which was also announced via an email from the ST-PCV Tenants Association, only explained that the closure was due to necessary work related to an electrical upgrade.
But by this afternoon, more details about the project were made available online by CWCapital.
In the notice, CWCapital said that the work is to replace and repair aged infrastructure and damaged power lines that run directly beneath the road. Though not currently used to power any buildings, they “will be necessary to provide adequate power to the new management office.”
As for why the work had to be done immediately, CW said the work was not planned as part of the construction of the management office, but deemed imminent after the special servicer consulted with Con Ed and other experts.
“We did not expect these power lines to be as badly damaged as they were,” CW said. “We worked closely with Con Ed and our engineers to identify alternate, less disruptive ways to address the issue. Ultimately, all the experts agree that this is the best and safest option.”
Meanwhile, until the work is completed, any drivers that attempt to park on the First Avenue Loop can expect to have their cars towed, management warned. The only exceptions for vehicles even being allowed in is for emergency vehicles, Access-A-Ride and “small school buses.” Large buses “may not be able to access the Loop Road during this work.” While the work is ongoing, public safety officers will be on the scene. The road will be closed from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
One resident strolling by at 2:45 p.m. on Monday overheard an officer at the scene saying that cars could come in for dropoffs, but no through traffic or parking was allowed. At that time, there were four officers manning the First Avenue Loop entrance at 18th Street, who, he said, looked like police, not public safety officers.
In response to the new information, Garodnick said he would like to know, if the roads are only going to be closed during the day, why at least disabled residents  can’t park their cars overnight.
(We’ll update this post if we get a response from management on this one.)
Residents with questions have been directed by CWCapital to call (212) 253-3653 or email projectmgmt@pcvst.com.

Police looking for missing 12-year-old girl

Maleah Decambre

Maleah Decambre

Police are looking for a 12-year-old girl who was last seen at the Administration for Children’s Services building on First Avenue on Tuesday evening at 9 p.m.

Maleah Decambre is described as approximately 5 ft 6 ins. and 145 lbs., with brown eyes and black hair. She was last seen wearing blue jeans and a blue T-shirt.

Anyone with information regarding Decambre is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Police looking for missing 15-year-old girl

ASIA BLOUNT

ASIA BLOUNT

The New York City Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a 15-year-old girl who was last seen on Friday, August 2, near Good Shepherd Services, a homeless shelter and organization for vulnerable youths on 337 East 17th Street.

The girl, Asia Blount, is described as black, 5 ft. 3 ins. and 120 lbs. On Friday, she was seen wearing a light blue shirt, blue pants and a black jacket.

Anyone with information in regards to this missing person is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or texting to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All call are strictly confidential.

Cooling Centers open, Con Ed work complete

WHO NEEDS THE BEACH? Stephanie Krauter, Molly Elverson, Shelly Madick and Clark Chalmers cool down in an $8 kiddie pool on the 14th Street Loop on a recent afternoon. Photo by Sabina Mollot

WHO NEEDS THE BEACH? Stephanie Krauter, Molly Elverson, Shelly Madick and Clark Chalmers cool down in an $8 kiddie pool on the 14th Street Loop on a recent afternoon.
Photo by Sabina Mollot

On Monday night, the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association released an updated list on available cooling centers as the heat wave set to last throughout the week scorches on. Additionally, the Tenants Association noted, in an email to residents, Con Ed has completed repairs to the electric system in Stuyvesant Town and the emergency appeal to conserve energy has been lifted.

Still, the TA wrote, “Although the buildings around Avenue C were – and might continue to be – the most vulnerable in a power challenge, it is suggested that all residents of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village continue to exercise caution in the use of electrical devices to avoid an overload and power outage on the grid serving us.”

Currently, the Stuyvesant Town Community Center, 449 East 14th Street, is open for use as a cooling center for residents until 10 p.m. during official heat emergencies, and the Community Room at Waterside Plaza is also open for use as a cooling center for residents there.

Office of Emergency Management Designated Cooling Centers include: Epiphany Library, 228 East 23rd Street, Stein Senior Center, 204 East 23rd Street and Sirovich Senior Center, 331 East 12th Street. Cooling centers may change hours of operation. Hours may be extended during a heat emergency. For more information, visit the OEM website.

As Town & Village reported last Thursday, locals pools such as Asser Levy and Dry Dock have been seeing

Joey and Sammy Haskell load up their guns at Stuy Town's Playground 9 on a recent afternoon. Photo by Sabina Mollot

Joey and Sammy Haskell load up their guns at Stuy Town’s Playground 9 on a recent afternoon.
Photo by Sabina Mollot

plenty of use, as have playground sprinklers. Local playgrounds that have a water feature are located at Sauer Park on East 12th Street between Avenues A and B and Madison Square Park at Madison Avenue and 25th Street. ST/PCV playground sprinklers are also available for residents.

The Tenants Association has also asked that during the first three days of this week, which are flagged as dangerously hot (at or near 100 degrees), residents check on older neighbors.

“In view of the excessive heat, when you are doing your own errands, think about looking in on elderly neighbors and asking if there is anything you can pick up for them, especially medications and food necessities,” the TA said.

CompassRock has also issued a notice, asking residents to check on the elderly and neighbors who do not have A.C. and also to remind residents that anyone who may need special assistance should register with the department of public safety by calling (212) 598-5233.

UPDATED: Con Ed repair work continues near Stuy Town, but power outages over

Con Ed plant on Avenue C Photo by Sabina Mollot

Con Ed plant on Avenue C
Photo by Sabina Mollot

By Sabina Mollot

As of Wednesday morning, work was still ongoing by Con Ed near Stuyvesant Town that began on Monday in an effort to prevent power outages.

The repairs, which are being conducted on shunts or cables temporarily located above ground on East 14th Street near the Con Ed plant and a new transformer on East 17th Street is expected to be finished by the end of the week, Chris Olert, a spokesperson for the utility said. Eventually, the cables will go underground with ducts that pull the cables from manhole to manhole.

In the meantime, as the company first requested on Monday evening, Stuyvesant Town residents are still being asked to conserve energy by not using non-essential appliances. Electronics like air conditioners, washers and dryers and microwaves should be used “wisely,” said Olert. Fridges and freezers should be kept closed and not opened too frequently.

On Tuesday night, two Stuyvesant Town buildings, 277 and 309 Avenue C and one garage at 279 Avenue C had power outages due to the work. The boilers were also out of service, which meant residents were without hot water. However, that was short-lived, said Olert, since a generator has since been put in place for reliability. “That’s over,” he said. “It’s as normal as it can be, but there may be other calls by people (about outages) as we do more repairs.”

As the repairs have been underway, Con Ed has been working with CWCapital and the ST-PCV Tenants Association to keep tenants posted on the project’s status via email.

On Monday evening, Tenants Association leaders asked how the work might affect Peter Cooper Village and were told that while PCV was not primarily affected, buildings on Avenue C could be so tenants there should conserve.

On Wednesday, TA Chair Susan Steinberg said she appreciated that Con Ed was “clearly being proactive in its attempts to avert a power outage in Stuyvesant Town.

“As soon as they realized the impact of the failed transformer on the grid serving Stuyvesant Town, they moved in two emergency generators along or near Avenue C, the area of greatest vulnerability,” she said. “Although both of these generators may not be needed, they wanted them installed and ready to go should the electrical loads overwhelm the grid while they make their repairs.”

Steinberg added, “Extreme heat is probably our area’s new norm and individual residents need to take responsibility for cutting their energy usage. Individuals can make sure that they don’t run the AC during the day when apartments are unoccupied for the luxury of coming home to coolness, and can cut back on using televisions, radios and computers.”

Waterside woman missing

Ingrid Pilari

Ingrid Pilari

Police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating a missing resident of Waterside Plaza, who was last seen on Thursday, May 16.
Ingrid Pilari, 68, who lives at 10 Waterside Plaza, was last seen in her building.
She is 5 ft 3 ins., 160 lbs and was wearing a grey hooded jacket and black pants, with her hair up in a clip.

Storm advisory for residents from CompassRock

A bus gets stuck in the snow during the blizzard of December, 2010.Photo by Sabina Mollot

A bus gets stuck in the snow during the blizzard of December, 2010.
Photo by Sabina Mollot

The following notice was emailed by CompassRock to residents of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village this morning regarding the impending storm.
STORM ADVISORY NOTICE     2.8.13

In anticipation of the potential storm which is expected to impact the New York City area, we have made extensive preparations. We have procured the necessary supplies, equipment, internal labor and third party contractors to minimize the impact of the storm to the best of our ability, and to deal with any subsequent effects from the storm, including preparations for expedient snow removal.

 We are asking all residents to take precautions and make necessary preparations. Due to the extreme weather over the last several months and the forecasted blizzard conditions, there is a higher risk of fallen branches and trees. Residents are advised to remain indoors for their own safety. All PCVST playgrounds will be closed until after the storm.

 

Please stay indoors and stock up on supplies in your apartment:

–          Water (bottled, jugs)

–          Non-perishable food

–          Battery-operated radio

–          Working flashlights and extra supply of batteries

–           Warm blankets

–          Please DO NOT RELY ON CANDLES. They may cause fire.

 

Additional precautions:

–          Check on emergency supply kit

–          Charge cell phone(s)

–          Check on friends and neighbors especially those who are elderly or have disabilities or special needs and require assistance with their preparation.

Snow blankets everything during the blizzard of 2010.Photo by Sabina Mollot

Snow blankets everything during the blizzard of 2010.
Photo by Sabina Mollot

 

For additional information call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/oem and stay tuned to local radio and TV broadcasts for the latest information.

Call Public Safety at (212) 420-5000 if you require assistance or to report an emergency on property.

Call Resident Services at (212) 420-5000 to report a maintenance emergency and to receive property storm updates. Updates will also be posted on our website atwww.pcvst.com and www.facebook.com/pcvst

As you may know, Management has implemented an emergency phone notification system. To add or update your phone or email, please go to www.pcvst.com.