Woman robbed in building on East 13th Street

Robbery suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for a man who robbed a woman in her East Village building on Sunday.

The victim, 20, was entering her building in the vicinity of East 13th and Second Avenue at about 4:30 p.m. when an unknown man grabbed her from behind.

He then demanded her bag, and when she turned it over, he ran out. The victim is believed to have lost $1,100 worth of property, including an iPhone and cash, as well as personal items.

The suspect is described as black and in his twenties; and last seen wearing a baseball cap, black hooded shirt and blue jeans.

Police don’t suspect a pattern at this time.

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Former roommate charged with stealing $40G from ST golf player

Stuyvesant Town resident Bernie Rothenberg, pictured at his 100th birthday party last year at his apartment (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Sabina Mollot

The family of Bernie Rothenberg, a Stuyvesant Town centenarian well-known to neighbors for his daily golfing at a playground by his apartment has recently appealed to the community to help recoup some of the tens of thousands of dollars they said was stolen from three of his bank accounts.

The money, his son Don told Town & Village, totaled $40,000 and was taken over the past two years, until Don happened to notice the disappearing funds on a third account, since that was a joint account he had access to.

Chloe Garcia, a 26-year-old woman who lived with the elder Rothenberg for over five years until April when she was confronted by his family and thrown out, has since been arrested and charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. According to the criminal complaint, which doesn’t name the victim, the withdrawn funds come to around $50,000. In it, Garcia allegedly said she got the pin number to Rothenberg’s debit card in his mail and used it for various charges and also wrote checks to herself from his bank account. She was arrested on May 24.

Her Legal Aid attorney, Rebecca Heinsen, declined to comment on the case.

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Letters to the editor, June 14

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Watch and learn from The Challengers

The final game of STLL’s Challenger Division was played on Sunday, June 10 at 3 p.m. on the Con Ed west field. The sun wasn’t shinning and drops of rain drizzled upon the players who were undaunted by the less than perfect weather conditions.

The game started out with some fashionable femininity when Anna, wearing the number 1 over a tiered flounce skirt and guided by Red Team Coach Katie, hit the first homer of the game. Number 19, Jonathan, gave the ball a powerful whack before removing his cap, showing off his natural red hair, and rounding the bases with the stride of a long distance runner. Neil, always handsome in shirt number 6, toured the bases, with his own unique style, pausing only to consider a career in photography.

Jamison, number 14, wowed the crowd (especially the pitcher) when she slammed the first ball tossed part way to The East River! Robbie, a tough guy to the finish, made his way to second base wearing jersey number 10 and displaying a true sense of sportsmanship. Jaden, who traveled south from Bronx, N.Y., to wear number 17 with pride has a good-natured mom to run him around the bases. Rory donned the number 8 and a good-looking pair of glasses, before demonstrating his skill and speed.

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Police Watch: Man wanted for Dunkin Donuts robbery, Man arrested for CVS robbery

MAN WANTED FOR DUNKIN DONUTS ROBBERY
Police are looking for a man involved in a robbery at a Chelsea Dunkin Donuts at the end of May. The suspect reportedly threatened a 20-year-old employee inside the 225 Seventh Avenue location on Monday, May 28 at 3:45 p.m. and demanded the contents of the register. Police said that he got away with approximately $500 and fled east on West 23rd Street. No injuries were reported.
The suspect is described as a black man in his 40s-50s who was last seen wearing all dark clothing. Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS. All calls are strictly confidential.

MAN NABBED FOR CVS ROBBERY
Police arrested 58-year-old Joseph Green for robbery on June 9 at 3:30 p.m. inside the 13th precinct. Green was allegedly shoplifting in the CVS at 300 Park Avenue South on May 27 at 4:25 p.m. when he got into a fight with an employee while leaving the store. Police said that Green was attempting to steal deodorant.

FOOD VENDORS ACCUSED OF ASSAULT
Police arrested 49-year-old Reda Badawy and 20-year-old Karim Badawy for assault at the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 21st Street on Saturday, June 9 at 8:08 p.m. Police said that the two suspects, food vendors, intentionally pushed a food cart into her body, causing pain to her back and neck.

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Search underway for source of rotten deliveries

By Sabina Mollot

Talk about a rotten neighbor.

Last week, Town & Village heard from a man who’s been getting a not-so-special delivery: spoiled food left at his door.

The longtime resident of Stuyvesant Town, who asked to be kept anonymous, said this has been happening since last November or December, a total of six times. The most recent time, last week, the person who brought the spoiled food chose to gift him with a plastic plate of old rice.

While not exactly a death threat, the man said he considers the vile move harassment and has been left wondering what the person will do next to get a rise out of him. He also doesn’t know who’s behind the stomach-churning prank.

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More ACS teens charged with robbery

Administration for Children’s Services facility in Kips Bay (Photo via Google Maps)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Another group of teenagers living at the Administration for Children’s Services building on First Avenue has been arrested for a violent robbery in the neighborhood, following multiple robberies the week before that were reported by Town & Village.

Police arrested ten teenagers for the most recent incident in Kips Bay, which took place in front of Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue on Tuesday, May 29 around 2 a.m. Police said that the teens punched and kicked a man in his 30s and stole his phone.

Shortly after the incident, three of the teens were arrested at Third Avenue and East 29th Street, one was arrested at Second Avenue and East 28th Street and the fifth teen was caught at First Avenue and East 25th Street. The sixth teen was arrested inside the ACS facility later the same day at 12:30 p.m. Another teen and 18-year-old Dondre Parker were arrested inside the 13th precinct on Wednesday, May 30 at 11:35 a.m. Another teen was arrested at the precinct later that day at 4:10 p.m. The last suspect was busted at precinct on Thursday, May 31.

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Stuy Town author hoping to crowd-fund children’s book

Fran Alongi

By Sabina Mollot

While a trip to the chiropractor’s office might not be too many people’s idea of fun, one Stuyvesant Town resident recently found the experience worthy of writing a book.

Longtime resident Fran Alongi, who frequently sees a chiropractor for adjustments, said it was seeing how inviting the office has been for children and families, in no small part due to the presence of a mascot dog who humors young patients that want to chase him, that inspired her to write a story about it.

The book, her second, is called Max Gets Well-Adjusted and it’s intended for children ages 2-5. Her first book was a novel with fantasy aspects called The Moons of Koda, that she self-published in 2016. This time around she’s also self-publishing, only in this case, she’s hoping to get the associated costs crowd-funded. She currently has a GoFundMe page that’s seeking $3,000 for printing, illustration, advertising and other costs.

According to Alongi, the motivation for the book was to make children who might be scared of going to a chiropractor for a back problem or other issues more confident about the experience. She said she’d noticed while waiting to see the doctor that children who were there alongside their parents never seemed to be uncomfortable. What she soon realized was that this was because their parents didn’t seem nervous, especially since they were often patients themselves. Meanwhile, the office pooch, Cooper, was almost like a therapy dog in his willingness to run and hide from children, then letting them almost catch him.

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Art and robots will call new hospital home

A 37-foot dalmatian balancing a taxi on its nose greets patients outside the new Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On June 24, Kips Bay’s medical and science corridor will have one more hospital building, the 18-story Kimmel Pavilion at East 34th Street and First Avenue. The $1.2 billion facility, which is part of the NYU Langone Health campus, will include the Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital, the first children’s hospital to open in New York City in nearly 15 years.

While still off limits to anyone but construction crews and some hospital brass on Monday, the site was opened briefly for press and others who wanted a tour of the building, which has been in the works for the past 10 years.

The hospital will be unique for a few reasons, one of which is the attention paid to art. “Spot,” a 37-foot sculpture of a Dalmatian balancing a real New York City taxi on its noise, designed by artist Donald Lipski, greets patients at the entrance to the children’s hospital. There are also a number of other sculptures throughout the facility, designed to reflect the light under high ceilings. Others, like a rooftop waffle cone and oversized tennis ball, were clearly designed with underage critics in mind.

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Alyssa Milano pushes for Maloney ERA bill

Alyssa Milano, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright and Carol Robles-Roman, co-president of the ERA Coalition, by the Fearless Girl statue (Photo by Grace Harman)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Alyssa Milano has joined in the fight to pass the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), legislation  Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has introduced 11 times she has been in office. Maloney, the bill’s lead sponsor in Congress, was joined by the “Charmed” actress, along with the ERA Coalition and activists at the Fearless Girl statue on Monday to call for the ratification of the bill. This was a few days prior to a “shadow hearing,” or unofficial hearing Maloney held for the ERA on Wednesday.

Although the amendment passed Congress in 1972, only 35 states ratified it. Thirty-eight states need to ratify it to amend the Constitution. The right to vote is currently the only right guaranteed to women in the Constitution and the ERA would guarantee that Constitutional rights apply equally to all persons regardless of their gender.

“This is an economic issue,” argued Milano on Monday. “When women earn more, it stimulates the economy and this would provide equal pay for women. Discriminatory laws are being enacted all the time but the ERA would put women on an equal footing.”

In addition to Milano, co-president of the ERA Coalition Carol Robles-Román and Jessica Lenahan, plaintiff in Supreme Court Case Castle Rock v. Gonzales, also testified at the hearing on Wednesday.

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Ferry service to start by end of summer

‘Stuy Town’ sign will be changed to ‘Stuy Cove,’ landings will offer some protection from weather

A completed ferry landing in Astoria (Photo courtesy of the Economic Development Corporation)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Service on the new Lower East Side ferry route, including at Stuyvesant Cove, is on schedule to begin at the end of the summer, representatives for NYC Ferry reported to Community Board 6’s transportation committee this past Monday, although spokespeople did not have a more specific date.

The ferry, operated by Hornblower Cruises and managed by the Economic Development Corporation, will run starting from Wall Street, making stops at Corlears Hook on the Lower East Side, Stuyvesant Cove and 34th Street before ending at Long Island City, Queens.

Because construction appears nearly finished at the Stuyvesant Cove landing near 20th Street, one Stuyvesant Town resident, Larry Scheyer, questioned why service wouldn’t be starting sooner.

In response, EDC Vice President of government and community relations Radhy Miranda said that even after the landings are built, there are additional protocols before service can actually begin.

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Hoylman and Epstein call for more transparency in real estate lending

State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly Member Harvey Epstein at a rally on Sunday, held in front of a Jared Kushner-owned property on East 12th Street (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly Member Harvey Epstein hosted a rally in the East Village on Sunday to slam local predatory landlords and to announce a bill calling for more transparency in real estate lending.

The rally was held in front of a building owned by presidential son-in-law and accused slumlord Jared Kushner, Westminster City Living at 504 East 12th Street.

At the event, the elected officials announced the joint legislation that will direct the New York State Department of Financial Services to collect data on financial institutions lending to landlords acquiring property that include rent-stabilized tenants and investigate the role financial institutions play in encouraging anti-tenant practices.

The legislation argues that predatory equity has destabilized rent regulation and the affordable housing market in the city. The practice of predatory equity involves landlords acquiring rent-regulated properties with low to moderate-income tenants through highly speculative loans and then attempting to harass those tenants out to replace them with those who’ll pay market rent.

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Letters to the editor, June 7

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Darth VDER is cheating NYers

Did you know that a recent decision by New York State energy regulators means that 32 percent of all New York City residents are not treated equally when it comes to accessing renewable energy as compared to other New York state residents? This affects all of us who do not pay our energy bills directly to Con Ed, including everyone living at Stuy Town, Waterside and most people living in large multifamily buildings, even though we pay the same amount as the other 68 percent of New York state residents to fund the state’s clean energy programs.

For most of us in New York City, remote renewable energy – also known as community distributed generation (CDG) – is the only option we have if we want to purchase clean renewables energy. Recently the Public Service Commission – a board of utility regulators appointed by Governor Cuomo – changed the rules for valuing clean energy generated at locations remote to where is consumed.

This new method, called VDER (Value of Distributed Energy Resources), applies to solar, wind and hydro-electric generation and is intended to succeed the current net meter value methodology. VDER differentiates between those of who pay their Con Ed bill directly to Con Ed, known as Direct Metered and those that do not, known as Master Metered or Master/Submetered, crediting Direct Metered residents almost 50 percent more value. It’s not fair.

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Police Watch: Arrests for spa burglary, Union Square bank robbery

MAN ARRESTED FOR SPA BURGLARY
Police arrested a third suspect in connection with stealing from the Spring Garden Spa at 344 East 16th Street on April 25 at 10:30 p.m. Police arrested 25-year-old Kristian George for alleged burglary in front of 10 Union Square East on Thursday, May 31 at 5:36 p.m. George allegedly entered the spa with previously arrested Shaquasha Goldstein, 20, and Elijah Rosario, 19, and the three suspects allegedly removed cash from the register. Police said that the three suspects got away with $180 in cash. According to the district attorney’s office, George and Rosario could be seen on surveillance video ringing the bell to get inside the business. Rosario was sentenced to five months in prison on May 18.
Goldstein and another suspect, 33-year-old Eric Dineen, have been charged in connection with additional robberies at the spa in April and May.

MAN CHARGED WITH UNION SQUARE BANK ROBBERY
Police arrested 63-year-old Richard Johnson on Wednesday, May 30 at 10 a.m. for an alleged robbery that took place inside the HSBC at 15 Union Square West on May 17 around 11 a.m. Police said that Johnson went to the bank, passed the teller a demand note and reached, as if to make it look like he had a weapon, while demanding cash. He then fled the scene. Police said that Johnson was already in federal custody for a previous incident when an investigation connected him with the alleged robbery in Union Square.

ACCUSED SHOPLIFTER ALLEGEDLY PULLS OUT NEEDLE AT MARSHALLS
Police arrested 34-year-old Leslie Rodriguez inside the 13th precinct on June 3 at 11 a.m. for an alleged robbery that took place inside the Marshalls at 620 Sixth Avenue on Wednesday, May 30 at 7 p.m. Police said that when confronted for alleged shoplifting, Rodriguez displayed a hypodermic needle and said, “You’re not stopping me,” at which point she fled. She allegedly dropped her benefit card at the scene, which was later used to identify her.

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Burglar stole shirts, paper towels

Burglary suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a burglar who forced his way into a home office at 5 East 17th Street.

According to the victim, he’d left the building at 9:30 a.m. on May 15 and returned at 8:30 a.m. the following day to find his office ransacked.

Additionally, his bag was stolen, as were some shirts, a drill and even paper towels with a combined worth of $350.

Police said the door appeared to be forced open at the locked room in the building, which is also home to the Union Fare restaurant.

The suspect was captured in fuzzy surveillance footage that shows a light-skinned man with facial hair wearing a hat.

Opinion: Same fight, different jersey

By Assembly Member Harvey Epstein

In the ‘90s, New York’s legislature sold out tenants and tipped the scales in favor of big landlords by passing the Rent Regulation Reform Act. This piece of legislation passed in both houses, its sponsors claiming to be sticking up for the mythological “mom and pop” landlord, whose profits were supposedly being squeezed by rent regulation.

Among the most damaging provisions of the act was the invention of “vacancy decontrol” which, since its inception, has eroded New York’s stock of affordable housing by jacking up rents on units if tenants leave or are forced out by unscrupulous landlords seeking to cash in on another perversity of the act: the vacancy bonus.

The assault on tenants has not abated. In response, community groups have had to rise to the occasion and tirelessly defend tenants against the bad actor landlords playing with a stacked deck. I am proud to have been fighting to keep tenants in their homes for decades and as your new Assembly Member, I am eager to continue the fight having acquired a different set of tools to work with and new opportunities to win victories for tenants. The struggle is the same, but my election to the Assembly will afford new ways to achieve our goals.

Small business owners have even fewer protections than residential tenants –– they are at the mercy of their landlords, who have no constraints on how much rents can be raised.

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