Kronfeld drops out of City Council race

MJ Kronfeld at T&V’s debate last month

By Sabina Mollot

Melissa Jane Kronfeld, one of two Republican candidates running for the City Council seat now occupied by Dan Garodnick, has dropped out of the race.

Kronfeld, better known as “MJ,” offered no explanation for her change of heart after having been an active candidate, even participating in a debate co-hosted by Town & Village at Waterside last month.

The self-described “progressive Conservative” announced her withdrawal in an email to supporters on Thursday evening and in a Twitter post.

“It is with great humility and gratitude that I am writing to let you know I will no longer be seeking the City Council seat in Manhattan’s District 4,” she said. After expressing gratitude to her supporters, she added, “I look forward to the next opportunity to continue my service to my community, city, state, country and all humanity in the months and years to come.”

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Neighbors celebrate restoration of Stuyvesant Square Park fence

A ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by Community Board 6 chair Rick Eggers, Ana Maria Moore of the Stuyvesant Square Park Neighborhood Association, CB6 Parks, Landmarks and Cultural Affairs committee member Gary Papush, City Councilmember Rosie Mendez, Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver and Eliza Fish, eight-time granddaughter of Peter Stuyvesant. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

After waiting for decades, community residents and activists finally got to witness the completion of a newly restored fence along the eastern end of Stuyvesant Square Park.

Neighborhood residents and local elected officials had been working to fully restore the historical structure since at least the late 1980s, when the 170-year-old fence was first partially restored. Reasons for the various delays included problems finding a contractor to do the job of restoring a landmarked but badly rotted fence as well as having money that had been allocated for the $5.5 million project get steered towards other priorities of the city.

So a ribbon cutting ceremony held by a section of fence facing Nathan Perlman Place was well-attended on June 15.

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Letters to the editor, July 13

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

This tenant doesn’t want to be ‘public’

To the Editor:

The Tenants Association is up to its old tricks again – forcing residents to list their name publicly (even if they don’t pay dues), or the TA will not act on their behalf, as a tenants’ representative.

I received an official looking letter from the TA, even though I have never paid dues to them.   The letter said I must choose between two unappealing choices:

Choice A:  I must list my name as a “Public Member” of the TA. The letter says that the TA will only speak for those who are willing to be listed publicly as Public Members.

Choice B:  If I do not list my name, the TA states that I waive all rights to any benefit that a Court may award to residents of Stuyvesant Town. Choice B states:

“I do not wish to become a Public Member and hereby grant to the STPCV TA, its President or Secretary, and any legal counsel chosen by the Board of Directors standing permission to enter into settlements of legal claims with benefits which may accrue solely to those who sign the Public Member Pledges, and we waive any claim to such benefits.

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Statues coming to life at parks

Historical figures will speak through technology

July13 Statue Peter Stuyvesant

Statue of Peter Stuyvesant in Stuyvesant Square Park (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

 

By Sabina Mollot

Most of the time, the monuments built to honor historical figures go unnoticed by New Yorkers. Up on their pedestals, how could they even hope to compete with whatever is below, flashing on park goers’ cell phones? Fortunately for our forefathers, a history-loving Dane has found a way to get the stories behind the statues told today in a modern way.

David Peter Fox, a TV producer and documentary maker from Copenhagen, has for the past 18 months been organizing installations in different cities where statues speak to park goers via their smartphones. The project began in Denmark, then later went on to London and then the Unites States in San Diego and Chicago. Then on Wednesday, July 12, Talking Statues came to New York.

“I got the idea in 2013,” said Fox, reached on the phone this week. “I was curious about the stories that are behind statues.”

To make the project a reality, Fox and others fundraised to be able to hire a team of actors, one to play the part of each statue, and writers to come up with the material. To hear any of the 35 city monuments’ stories, participants just approach a statue, and scan a code on a sign. They will need a wi-fi connection and a QR scanner or scanning app on their phones to do this or they can type the web address they see on the sign. After that, the individual will be contacted from the great beyond.

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Police Watch: Senior arrested for threats, Bellevue patient arrested for assault

SENIOR ARRESTED IN KIPS BAY FOR THREATENING MAN WITH KNIFE
Eighty-year-old Sergio Richiez was arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on a man who confronted him for urinating in the street.
Police said that according to the victim Richiez was urinating at the corner of East 28th Street and First Avenue last Monday at noon. When the other man angrily demanded to know why he was doing this, in response, the octogenarian allegedly pulled a kitchen knife out of his pocket and waved it at the victim. He was arrested for menacing and weapons possession. There were no injuries.

BELLEVUE PATIENT ARRESTED FOR ASSAULTING OFFICER
Police arrested 55-year-old Harvey Henry for assault of a peace officer in front of 421 First Avenue last Thursday at 12:33 p.m. Police said that Henry was being discharged from the Bellevue Psych ward and an officer was attempting to handcuff him for transport when he allegedly punched the officer, causing an injury that required five stitches.

MAN ATTACKS FEMALE DUANE READE EMPLOYEE
Police arrested a 32-year-old man after he beat up a woman working at a Kips Bay Duane Reade. Police said that the man entered the store at 465 Second Avenue between East 26th and 27th Streets last Sunday and began harassing the employees there, causing alarm. The employees told him to leave multiple times and he refused, then began following one of the employees around the store and allegedly grabbed her hair, punching her in the face and head, and purposely broke the victim’s glasses. Police said that the man refused to give his name or date of birth.
“John Doe” was arrested for assault and criminal mischief

MEN BUSTED FOR HEROIN ON IRVING PLACE
Thirty-year-old Max Goren, 38-year-old Jason Hawk and 32-year-old Igor Pasikov were arrested for possession of a controlled substance at the corner of Irving Place and East 15th Street last Thursday at 3:25 p.m. Police said that the three men were in possession of heroin that was in plain view on a public sidewalk. Goren was also in possession of alleged cocaine and police said that Hawk was in possession of alleged Clonazepam.

MAN ARRESTED FOR TRESPASSING AT GUITAR CENTER
Police arrested 42-year-old Dashan Pinckney for criminal trespass inside the Guitar Center at 25 West 14th Street last Thursday at 6:16 a.m. An employee told police that when he was opening the store that morning, he saw Pinckney sitting inside on a staircase without permission to be there. Police said that Pinckney had gained access to the store while it was closed.

MAN ARRESTED FOR TRESPASSING AT BETH ISRAEL
Police arrested 32-year-old Jamel Holiday for criminal trespass inside Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital at 281 First Avenue last Wednesday at 4:26 p.m. Police said that Holiday was medically cleared to leave the hospital but he refused to leave after being discharged.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT ON WEST 23RD
Police arrested 21-year-old Issaga Sow for assault in front of 171 West 23rd Street last Thursday at 9:02 p.m. Police said that Sow punched the victim in the face, causing a number of cuts. No further information about what prompted the attack was available.

MAN NABBED FOR BURGLARY AT CLEANERS
Police arrested 22-year-old Philyaw Najre for burglary inside Apple Cleaners at 149 West 24th Street last Friday at 1:23 a.m. Police said that Najre could be seen on surveillance video through a live feed inside a closed business without permission to be there. Police said that Najre could be seen walking away from the store and when he was searched immediately afterwards, he was allegedly in possession of items stolen from the store.

MEN ARRESTED FOR UNION SQUARE BURGLARY
Police arrested 24-year-old Blake Cummings and 25-year-old Sow Alioune for burglary and possession of stolen property last Friday at 1:43 a.m. at the corner of Fifth Avenue and West 15th Street. Police said that Cummings and Alioune entered the basement of a nearby building and took items without permission. Police said that the basement is a restricted area, but no further information was available about the specific building.

MAN BUSTED FOR HEINEKEN THEFT
Police arrested 24-year-old Gary Williams for petit larceny at the corner of Union Square West and East 14th Street last Friday at 2:32 a.m. Police said that Williams took a 12-pack case of Heineken beer in a nearby store and attempted to walk out without paying. While police were attempting to place Williams in custody, he allegedly resisted by pulling his arms away, tensing up his body and refusing to be handcuffed. He was also charged with resisting arrest and possession of stolen property.

MEN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT
Thirty-year-old Reginald Wilson and 24-year-old Shaquille Urgent were arrested for a fight in front of 37 West 24th Street last Sunday at 5:17 a.m. Police said that Wilson and Urgent got into a fight with another person, causing swelling to the victim’s head and face, as well as a bloody lip and cuts to his neck and chest.

DRIVER ARRESTED AT FIRST AND EAST 23RD
Police arrested 53-year-old Aurelio Romero for allegedly intoxicated driving at the corner of First Avenue and East 23rd Street last Friday at 1:41 a.m. Police said that Romero was driving north on First Avenue towards East 23rd Street and was allegedly driving erratically, swerving in and out of the lane. Police conducted a vehicle stop and while talking with Romero, police found that he had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, along with slurred speech, bloodshot, watery eyes and an unsteady gait.

Opinion: Who is Gerry Mander?

By former Assemblymember Steven Sanders

Well, actually, Gerry Mander is not a who but a what.

Gerrymander is the practice of reapportioning voters by drawing political districts from the local level to congressional seats that are designed to favor one political party over the other or even one particular officeholder, and in so doing virtually preordain the outcome of elections. It was coined after Governor Gerry of Massachusetts who engineered such a plan for his state legislature early in the 19th century. Evidently one district was drawn in such a way that it resembled a salamander… hence gerrymander!

This practice is as old as politics itself, but of late it seems to have become more sophisticated and more pervasive, so much so that the United States Supreme Court has agreed to take up a case when the Court reconvenes in October to determine whether efforts at redrawing political maps violates the United States Constitution.

Every ten years after the national census is completed, political district lines are required to be re-drawn so that districts comprise approximately the same number of persons. This is to insure that the power of the voters is evenly distributed.

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Teens wanted for string of electronic toothbrush thefts

Surveillance photos of suspects from the third incident in Murray Hill

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police are looking for a group of teenagers suspected of stealing thousands of dollars worth of electronic toothbrushes from Duane Reades throughout the city, including from a store in Gramercy. The four incidents all took place in April, although police only announced the pattern this week. The first theft took place inside the Duane Reade at 125 Third Avenue near East 14th Street on Sunday, April 9 at 9:18 p.m. when the suspects reportedly grabbed $1,264 worth of electronic toothbrushes from the shelves and fled.

The next two incidents took place two days later on April 11 in stores on the Upper East Side. Police said that the suspects entered a Duane Reade at 1091 Lexington Avenue at 5:07 p.m. and swiped $1,210 worth of electronic toothbrushes before fleeing, then stole $3,030 worth of electronic toothbrushes from a Duane Reade at 1352 First Avenue at 5:20 p.m.

The last known incident took place on Sunday, April 23 when the suspects made off with  $160 worth of electronic toothbrushes from a Duane Reade at 155 East 34th Street near Third Avenue.

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Woman’s credit cards used after she may have dropped wallet on 6 train road bed

July13 Credit cards

Larceny suspect

 

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are looking for a man who used a 22-year-old woman’s credit cards in the Bronx after she may have lost them in the tracks of a subway station at 23rd Street.

The victim told cops she believes she dropped her wallet on the northbound 6 train road bed on June 23 and that this is where the suspect found it. Purchases were later made at a MetroCard vending machine inside the 149th Street and 3rd Avenue subway station in the Bronx. The suspect is described as black and was wearing a black t-shirt with a gold Adidas symbol on the front.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Pride Parade was part celebration, part protest

Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The annual Pride Parade marched down Fifth Avenue from 36th Street down to the West Village at the end of last month, with the event doubling as a protest against the Trump administration.

Although the organization also had its usual presence as a group later in the parade, the American Civil Liberties Union’s appearance as one of the grand marshals at the very beginning set the tone early as representatives carried “Resist” signs, which appeared throughout the march from various other participants and groups.

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Police on lookout for woman who shoved and robbed senior on 6 train

July 13 Purse snatch

Robbery suspect

Police are looking for a woman who knocked down an elderly woman to snatch her bag on the 6 train.

 

On Thursday, July 6 at about 8:30 p.m., as the train was in Union Square, the suspect grabbed the 75-year-old victim’s bag from the floor of the train. When the victim tried to stop her, the younger woman pushed her down to the ground and dashed off the southbound train.

The victim lost her cell phone, bank cards and approximately $100 in cash.

The suspect is described as black and last seen wearing a black hooded sweater, blue jeans and white sneakers.

 Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

Man who fatally shot teen at Campos Plaza gets 40 years

By Sabina Mollot

A man who fatally gunned down a teenager in Campos Plaza five years ago was finally sentenced to 40 years behind bars last Wednesday.

Hockeem Smith got a 25-year sentence for manslaughter and an additional 15 for criminal possession of a weapon, according to the district attorney’s office. Both terms are to run concurrently.

On the evening of October 16 in 2011, Smith, then 25, shot Donovan “Keith” Salgado, a 17-year-old resident of the NYCHA complex. Salgado, a senior at Washington Irving High School, was hanging out with his friends outside when shots rang out on East 12th Street and Avenue C.

At the time, the victim’s death spurred community outcry about ongoing violence and gang activity in the community. In response, youth programs were introduced onsite and promises made to enhance security at NYCHA complexes. But things didn’t go that smoothly. There was another shooting the night of the youth center’s opening. Security upgrades took a long time to come to Campos Plaza and the youth programs were discontinued by 2013, according to The Lo Down. The local blog also reported at the time that Smith’s trial had been delayed again and again due to teenagers with knowledge of the situation refusing to talk.

PCV Council candidate fighting for affordable housing

Barry Shapiro in Peter Cooper Village (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

In the City Council race for the seat currently occupied by a term-limited Dan Garodnick, a Peter Cooper Village resident has recently stepped in as a candidate, with a platform of affordable housing and maintaining quality of life in the district.

Barry Shapiro, 72, who’s lived in Peter Cooper for 25 years (with another 15 in Stuyvesant Town before that), said he entered the race “quietly” in April and is now in the process of petitioning.

“I know a lot of people are concerned about rent stabilization and the continuation of the Democrats having a majority (in the State Senate),” said Shapiro.

Housing regulations, of course, are determined in Albany rather than in City Hall, but Shapiro maintained that it still helps for the local Council members to fight in the ongoing battle for tenant protections.

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Quik Park to refund customers $60 for no-notice increases

Quik Park operates garages in Stuyvesant Town.  (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Stuyvesant Town garage customers who were given a rent increase earlier this year without any notice can expect to see their money refunded.

The refunds of $60 will be paid in the form of credits to customer accounts in September, following the garages’ parent company, Citizens Icon Holdings, agreeing to pay a $1.2 million settlement. The settlement was announced by the Department of Consumer Affairs last Wednesday.

Council Member Dan Garodnick, who’d alerted the DCA to the increases after becoming concerned they were invalid due to the lack of notice, said he felt it was necessary to go through the enforcement authorities in order to get results from Citizens Icon, which runs Icon and Quik Park garages.

The $1.2 million is to be spread around its customer base in various garages around the city, since, according to Garodnick, “They were doing different sorts of things in different garages.”

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Bus stop shelters on East 14th Street removed, will be relocated

 

 

Bus stop removal1.jpg

The MTA said the removals were because of impending work. (Photos by Hermann Reiner)

By Sabina Mollot

On July 1, an eagle-eyed reader informed us an unannounced removal of M14 bus stop shelters had occurred that day and the day before from Avenues A to B. We reached out to the Department of Transportation for an explanation and the agency responded via email Thursday evening to say the stops were removed due to impending work, but would be relocated this week.

The agency didn’t say what project the impending work is for, but Council Member Dan Garodnick said he was told by the MTA it had to do with the looming L train line repairs, which include building an Avenue A subway entrance.

According to the MTA and DOT:

The existing bus stops on the westbound side of 14th Street on the island at Avenues A and B have shelters which were removed this past Friday in advance of the two bus stops being relocated this week. Both of these stops which are on the west side of the intersection now and will be moved to the east side of the intersection. The bus shelters will not be installed at the temporary stops but will be replaced at the end of the project when the stops are relocated back to their permanent location.

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Roof painting in ST/PCV should make buildings cooler in summer

Painters at work in Stuyvesant Town (Photos by Gursimran Toor, StuyTown Property Services)

By Sabina Mollot

Early in June, Stuyvesant Town Property Services (SPS) announced that work had begun on a project aimed at cooling the complex’s buildings down in the summer — by painting the roofs.

Dubbed “Cool Roofs,” the initiative is part of a city program that debuted in 2009. For Stuy Town’s buildings, the city is footing the bill for the painting of the building roofs in white, reflective paint. (So tenants do not have to worry about a looming major capital improvement rent increase.)

An email sent to residents on June 8 said the work began that day with all of Stuy Town’s and Peter Cooper Village’s roofs to be included.

As the email from SPS notes, “during a typical summer day, flat, black asphalt rooftops can reach temperatures of 190°F. A roof treated with a specialized white coating can reduce internal building temperatures by up to 30 percent due to the sun’s rays reflecting off the roof instead of being absorbed. As an added benefit, this lessens the power needed to run A/C units resulting in less greenhouse gas emissions. Every 2,500 square feet of roof coated with the reflective paint can reduce the city’s carbon footprint by 1 ton of CO2. The program aims to coat 1 million square feet of rooftop annually.”

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