With anti-Semitic incidents on the rise, Maloney pushing ‘Never Again’ bill

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney speaks about her bill at Center for Jewish History. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Following a spate of disturbing incidents of anti-Semitism in New York City, including in her district, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney is reintroducing legislation aimed at making holocaust education a mandatory part of the curriculum at schools around the country.

Maloney said she has introduced the Never Again Education Act at least five times already but is hoping that with Democrats in the majority, she can finally get the bill the hearing it has so far been denied. She said she’s also already gotten support from a few senators on a potential companion bill and in Congress, the bill has 22 co-sponsors.

“We’re making progress,” Maloney said, before blaming the bill’s inaction these past few years on what was then a GOP-led house. “It’s really hard to get anything passed in the U.S. Congress,” she said. But, she added. “If it comes to the floor of the Congress, I think it would pass.”

Along with making Holocaust education required, the legislation also provides a $2 million budget for things like textbooks, visits to schools from experts and holocaust survivors, field trips and a website with educational resources for teachers.

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Neighbors demand clarity on Coastal Resiliency project

Department of Design and Construction associate project manager Eric Ilijevich (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Gramercy residents slammed city officials for a lack of updates and lack of response to concerns about the flood protection project planned for the East Side at a Community Board 6 meeting last Monday.

Representatives for the Department of Design and Construction, which is overseeing the plan known as the East Side Coastal Resiliency project, were at the Land Use and Waterfront committee meeting last week ostensibly to provide updates on Project Area 2, which stretches from East 13th Street around the Con Edison plant up to just beyond the Asser Levy Recreation Center and playground at East 25th Street.

But Land Use Committee member and East Midtown Plaza resident Claude Winfield expressed frustration at the meeting that DDC’s presentation encompassed the changes outside the community district without addressing any of the concerns committee members had expressed about the project in their neighborhood.

When representatives for DDC said that there would be additional opportunities to ask questions about the plan, committee chair Sandro Sherrod responded, “We don’t have questions so much as objections to parts of the plan.”

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Investors are still fighting over Stuyvesant Town billions

Stuyvesant Town’s former special debt servicer is doing battle with a company called Cobalt VR. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Jackson Chen

A decade after the cityʼs most infamous apartment deal collapsed, investors are still fighting over the money lost and won in Stuyvesant Town.

The New York State Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that could have forced special servicer CW Capital to shut down sales until a fight over the $1 billion it earned while serving as caretaker to the 11,200-unit apartment community is resolved.

CW Capital — an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group — was appointed special servicer to the $3 billion Stuy Town/Peter Cooper Village mortgage after Tishman Speyer handed back the keys to the historic East Side development in 2010 following the market crash.

The complex was originally purchased in 2006 by Tishman Speyer and BlackRock for $5.4 billion. When they defaulted on the mortgage, CW Capital was put in charge of the property management and creditors for the years the property remained in default.

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Pols get behind female Boy Scout, who is still unrecognized by BSA

Local elected officials held a press conference by the Fearless Girl statue to draw attention to the fact that Stuyvesant Town Boy Scout Sydney Ireland, who’s been in the program for over a decade, still doesn’t have her record of work recognized. (Pictured) Assembly Member Harvey Epstein, Sydney Ireland, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Brad Hoylman and Sonia Ossorio, president of the New York chapter of NOW (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Just as the organization officially began accepting girls into its program on February 1, elected officials last week called on the Boy Scouts of America to officially recognize Stuyvesant Town resident Sydney Ireland’s 13 years of work as a Scout.

Assembly Member Harvey Epstein, along with State Senator (and Eagle Scout) Brad Hoylman and other advocates, joined 17-year-old Ireland at the Fearless Girl statue last Thursday to demand the BSA formally acknowledge Ireland’s work with the organization.

Ireland joined the Cub Scouts at age four with her brother and has been fighting to be recognized by the organization since she was 11. She said that leaders at the local level have been more open to making decisions that allow her and other girls to participate but that despite changes at the national level, much of her work in the Scouts will have to be redone.

“If the (Boy Scouts of America) wants to welcome young women and build our program, we must be treated equally,” Ireland, who has been working to obtain the coveted Eagle rank, said. “(Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh) should not hide behind the discriminatory membership ban against girls to then justify dismissing my hard work and the work of so many young women.”

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Letters to the editor, Feb. 7

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Useful info about Gillibrand

I was pleased to read Steve Sanders’ column in last week’s T&V regarding Kirsten Gillibrand (“Who is Kirsten Gillibrand?”). It was a useful look at and recap of her CV and made several points that may not be common knowledge if one is not a politics wonk. I count myself a wonk, but not yet a pundit.

It is a service to our general voting population to point out that her current Liberal affiliation is second only to Saint Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. It was nearly instantaneous when she found herself downstate after a term as a Representative from upstate complete with the A rating from the NRA.

I would like to make one other point that Sanders did not make mention of in this article. That is the immediate hue and cry she unleashed calling for Al Franken’s resignation from the Senate after allegations of sexual misconduct were discovered. Make no mistake, I found his behavior reprehensible and unacceptable. However, not every crime warrants the death penalty and her reaction to the story was extremely swift as well as loud. It is my opinion that Kirsten Gillibrand tends to stay fit by jumping onto bandwagons.

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Police Watch: Massage therapist charged with sex abuse, Man busted for alleged attempted purse-snatching

MASSAGE THERAPIST CHARGED WITH SEX ABUSE
Police arrested 36-year-old Omar Walrond for alleged sex abuse that took place on December 3, 2018, at 10 a.m. inside Metassage at 12 West 27th Street. The victim told police that Walrond, her former coworker who is a licensed massage therapist, allegedly groped her numerous times during a massage session. She said that during the session, she was wearing underwear and Walrond allegedly reached inside to touch her vagina. He also reportedly groped her breast excessively during the session, and she said that she felt extremely uncomfortable during the massage. Police said that the victim used to work in the massage parlor with Walrond.

Walrond was arrested on Monday, January 28 at 8:15 a.m. and was charged with sexual abuse and forcible touching.

MAN BUSTED FOR ALLEGED ATTEMPTED PURSE-SNATCHING ON EAST 15TH STREET
Police arrested 29-year-old Jerome Richards for an alleged attempted theft in front of 210 East 15th Street on Saturday, February 2 at 7 a.m. The victim told police that she was leaving the Third Avenue L station on 14th Street and headed north towards East 15th Street towards her job when she noticed that Richards was following closely behind her. She then crossed East 15th Street and Richards followed, then allegedly attempted to snatch her bag from her three to four times. Richards failed to get the victim’s bag from her and fled the location, but was arrested when the victim searched the area with officers and spotted him nearby.

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Woman’s wallet stolen at St. Francis Xavier Church

Church theft suspect

Cops are looking for a creep who stole a wallet from a 76-year-old woman worshipper at Saint Francis Xavier Church located at 46 West 16th Street.

The woman had left her purse unattended while receiving communion, and later discovered that $580 in unauthorized charges were made on her credit cards at various stores.

The incident occurred on Saturday, December 22, 2018 at about 12:30 p.m., but police only released details this week.

The suspect is described as a black man with a medium complexion, approximately 28 to 35 years with brown eyes and a medium build. He was last seen wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, black vest, black sweatpants and a black knit hat.

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Carbon monoxide sends construction workers at Kips Bay building to hospital

Firefighters pull ropes to hoist two injured workers out of the construction pit. (Photos by Jefferson Siegel)

By Jefferson Siegel

Nine construction workers were overcome by carbon monoxide late Tuesday afternoon at a construction site on East 29th Street between Park Avenue South and Madison Avenue, the location of a 46-story building that will house condos.

The men were using power saws while working in an enclosed space near gasoline-powered generators when they started to feel dizzy. Most of the workers were able to exit the space on their own, but two had to be lifted out by firefighters. They were taken to a hospital and the Buildings Department issued a stop-work order on the site.

A worker overcome by carbon monoxide is rushed to an ambulance.

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L train service disrupted due to oppressive fumes

L train

By Sabina Mollot

As if the smells in the subway weren’t already oppressive enough, L train service was suspended on Tuesday afternoon at around 1 p.m. when a gas odor began wafting through the Graham Avenue station in Brooklyn earlier in the day.

The smells became so bad one person fainted at the Lorimer station, Gothamist reported, while according to the Daily News, another straphanger passed out as the train approached First Avenue.

By 3:30 p.m., L train service had resumed in both directions with delays, despite the fact that “lingering gas smells may be present at the stations in the area,” the MTA said in an announcement. Still, according to the MTA, the stations were determined to be safe.

MTA spokesman Maxwell Young told Town & Village that after hearing customers complain about the odor that morning, the agency initially thought this was due to leftover fumes from diesel work trains passing through the stations. The MTA expected to fumes to dissipate, explaining this is what usually happens, but when the smell lingered, the agency launched an investigation.

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Stuyvesant Square Park in the dark for two months until light repairs

Light posts were left on while being tested on Monday in the park’s east section. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

After two months of darkness, over a dozen lampposts in Stuyvesant Square Park that had stopped working some time in November finally saw some repairs on Monday morning though the work is apparently still ongoing.

The lamps being out of order were reported to the city early on by the Stuyvesant Park Neighborhood Association as well as another park watchdog, Michael Alcamo and his Friends of Stuyvesant Square Park organization. Six of the lamp posts were in the park’s east section, with another four on Second Avenue, where the park is divided.

However, as Phyllis Mangels, a board member of the SPNA, explained it, while the association had reported the matter to Parks, Parks had to refer the matter to the Department of Transportation and as of Monday morning, Parks hadn’t gotten any feedback on when the lights would be fixed.

This meant the park had remained completely dark after dusk in some sections each night until shortly after Town & Village reached out to the DOT as well as Parks on Monday morning, which also coincided with some additional email nudging from SPNA and Friends.

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Performance on ice in Stuyvesant Town

man holding woman

On Sunday afternoon, Stuyvesant Town residents gathered at the ice rink for a performance by the Ice Theatre of New York. Following the outdoor show, attendees of all ages headed out onto the ice for some skate time of their own. The (residents and guests only) ice rink will remain open for the season through March 3. Tuesdays are free admission days for residents though this doesn’t include skate rental.

Photos by Sidney Goldberg

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Owner of Sal Anthony’s loses battle with cancer

Anthony Macagnone (center) reopened Sal Anthony’s in Gramercy in 2017. (Pictured) Macagnone with wife Cynthia Graham and son Anthony Jr. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Gramercy business owner Anthony Macagnone died on Wednesday, January 23, from esophageal cancer. He was 79.

Macagnone was most well-known throughout the Gramercy neighborhood as the owner of two very different businesses both operating under the name Sal Anthony’s: a restaurant and a fitness studio.

Although Macagnone’s career in the restaurant business started more than 50 years ago, his most constant presence in the neighborhood in the last 20 years has actually been through Sal Anthony’s Movement Salon, which he opened in 1999 after leasing an old beer hall and former restaurant on Third Avenue.

The original restaurant, which Macagnone opened when he bought a spot on Irving Place in 1966 after working at the nearby Pete’s Tavern, was open until about 10 years ago when he was forced to close over a dispute with the landlord about rent, but he was able to reopen the restaurant on Third Avenue and East 19th Street under the same name two years ago.

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Child Victims Act finally passes

State Senator Brad Hoylman during floor debate for the Child Victims Act (Photo by State Senate Media)

By Sabina Mollot

Amidst of a flurry of progressive bill passing and signing in the state capitol, the long-denied Child Victims Act, sponsored by State Brad Hoylman, has finally passed both houses. With Governor Andrew Cuomo having already declared his support — even getting some backlash from the Archdiocese for his newly leftist leanings — the signing of the bill seems just a formality at this point.

The legislation’s language was amended this week to make it clear that secular as well as religious institutions could be held accountable for past incidents of abuse.

Last year it was passed in the Assembly, as it was the year before, but went nowhere in what was then a GOP-led State Senate. This year, however, the bill passed unanimously in the Upper House and nearly unanimously in the Assembly. Opposition to the bill, which has been around at least 13 years, largely had to do with the one-year lookback window of opportunity for starting a claim of abuse in instances where the statute of limitations has expired. The bill will also allow survivors of child sex abuse to file a civil suit against their abusers or institutions that enabled abuse until the age of 55. Currently the age limit is 23. The lookback window will apply to survivors older than 55 as well. Additionally, those abused at a public institution will no longer be required to file a notice of claim as a condition to filing a lawsuit.

Following the bill’s passage, Hoylman admitted he was not expecting to get unanimous support from his colleagues, although he did think it would pass based on the fact that a number of freshman senators had made the CVA part of their platforms. He also credited the bill’s success to new Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins as well as the activism of sex abuse survivors.

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Bike-riding thugs knock man down and steal his phone in Flatiron

feb8bikegangrobbery

Some of the robbery suspects

By Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for 10 or possibly more people who, while on bikes, snatched a man’s cell phone after one of the cyclists ran into him.

It was on January 27 when the victim, a 45-year-old man, was at the corner of East 24th Street and Park Avenue South. The cyclists, who were described as young and may have been teenagers, approached him and one of them spat at the man. Another cyclist then ran into him, knocking the man to the ground. The victim’s iPhone tumbled out of his hand when he fell and when he tried to reach it, realized it was gone. The iPhone was valued a $800. It isn’t clear if the victim was injured.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). All calls are confidential.

Letters to the editor, Jan. 31

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Another view of the new 20th Street

To the Editor:

I was surprised to read the letter describing chaos and danger on 20th Street due to the street redesign (“You don’t have to drive to hate 20th Street,” T&V, Jan. 17). I’ve never witnessed any of this. But if you are interested in street chaos, I recommend the intersection of 14th St and 1st Ave. There you can witness hundreds, perhaps thousands of pedestrians an hour, in crosswalks, dodging aggressive drivers. Personally I’ve witnessed two people get hit (one pedestrian, one bicyclist, fortunately no serious injuries).

On 20th Street, I see a street redesign, which citywide, will prioritize public space for pedestrians, bicyclists and mass transit riders. I support bike lanes, bus lanes, expanded pedestrian space and light rail in this city.

Try this: dare to look at our streets with fresh eyes. Look at the cars passing on First Ave. See how many TLC license plates pass by. Stunning. Second, count how many cars, including the “For Hire” vehicles, which have only one person, the driver, in the car. Think about the public space, our streets, filled with this inefficient and dangerous form of transportation for so many individuals in individual cars. Then, look around and see how much space is devoted to parked cars.

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