Construction worker injured in fall at Asser Levy Center

July12 Asser Levy rescue

Rescue in progress at Asser Levy Center

By Sabina Mollot

A construction worker was injured after falling at the Asser Levy Recreation Center on Thursday morning and taken to Bellevue Hospital.

The fall happened at about 8:30 a.m. and The Department of Buildings later issued a partial stop work order at the site.

Notes in the stop work order said the worker fell two stories from the roof to the sidewalk, sustaining “moderate injuries,” citing an Office of Emergency Management report. However, a spokesperson for the DOB told Town & Village the fall was from a second level of a supported scaffold to the base of the scaffold. A complaint entered on the DOB site said the worker fell 10-15 feet and had pain in his shoulder and was unable to move.

A spokesperson for the department said the workers were doing minor façade repairs, which don’t require a permit.

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CB6 eyes city-owned sites for open space

Baruch College’s pedestrian block on East 25th Street (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Baruch College’s pedestrian block on East 25th Street (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Community Board 6 is exploring opportunities to create more open space in the district and discussed the possibility of utilizing city-owned property to do so at the most recent Land Use and Waterfront committee meeting earlier this month.

Committee Chair Terrence O’Neal said that the board is currently combing the neighborhood for spaces owned by the city that might be available, but it isn’t always a straightforward transaction.

“When (the city does) own property, they want to make something out of it,” he said, referencing the deal the city made with Brookdale and Hunter College for the planned sanitation garage.

Although residents are still fighting the plan, the sanitation garage proposal for the Brookdale site at East 25th Street and First Avenue came about because the original site of the sanitation garage, at East 74th Street and York Avenue, was sold to Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital. The sale provided funding for the garage, which needed to be replaced, and the land on East 25th Street will revert back to city ownership when Hunter College moves the facilities currently in that space up to Yorkville as part of the MSK project.

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Teachout: I’d repeal Urstadt Law, support retail diversity

Zephyr Teachout  (Photo courtesy of campaign)

Zephyr Teachout
(Photo courtesy of campaign)

By Sabina Mollot

Despite allegations that the Cuomo administration compromised the governor’s own corruption watchdog panel and despite the fact that Cuomo’s opponent in the primary has been interviewing non-stop — thanks to an unusually interested press in a longshot candidate — that opponent has still retained her title of just that, a longshot.

Still, there’s no doubt at this point that Zephyr Teachout is gaining momentum. Cuomo recently attempted, unsuccessfully, to have her tossed off the ballot over allegations she didn’t live in New York for the past five years. Meanwhile, the move to keep her from running may have backfired. Along with pointing out that Teachout, a Fordham law professor, was an underdog candidate, it also alerted New Yorkers to a fact many weren’t aware of previously, which was that there was even a primary election at all.

During a recent interview over the phone, Teachout shared her thoughts with Town & Village on why voters are starting to pay attention to this race. She also spoke about her ideas on what can be done to keep New York affordable for tenants (including small businesses) and why developers like Extell are part of the problem. (The interview has been edited for length.)

Why do you think people are finally noticing your campaign? Do you think it’s just the Moreland Commission?

There’s a latent, deep frustration about our economy, about how New York State has the most segregated schools; it’s the most unequal state. It’s a closed all-boys club in Albany. It’s supposed to be an egalitarian state. I’m anti-corruption. Extell gives $100,000 in campaign donations — and this is Extell of the poor door fame — and Extell is getting subsidies that other New York businesses aren’t. What I think people are starting to see is that Extell is not just a developer. They’re spending so much money on developing political power and connections. One thing about me. You’ll always know where I stand. Andrew Cuomo is hiding from the issues. He’s hiding from a debate right now. He’s scared of bringing more attention to the campaign. I won’t tell you that the reason people are (paying attention) is any one thing, but Moreland is pretty shocking. I think he’s governing like an ad man. He’s putting on a lot of ads, but he doesn’t engage reporters. We like to say that Andrew Cuomo is my biggest campaign donor. That (Cuomo has taken me to court) has perked up a lot of reporters’ ears.

As a political outsider, how do you feel about political alliances, like the recent announcement that the Independent Democratic Conference was breaking away from the Republicans, and the expectation of a Democrat-led Senate as a result?

Not to toot my own horn, but Andrew Cuomo only started fighting for a Democratic Senate when I entered the race. I entered the race at the end of May and within three days Cuomo was making all kinds of concessions that he hadn’t agreed to in years. He could have made a Democratic Senate years ago if he vetoed the redrawn districts, which had been a campaign promise. There’s no excuse for not having a Democratic Senate in New York. The reason we don’t is Andrew Cuomo. If it was in Democrat control we’d be a lot better off in terms of affordable housing.

As a political outsider, how would you handle the actual politics of governing? Dealing with the various alliances in order to get things accomplished?

I think the job is leadership. You’re not going to win every fight. My vision of leadership is hiring great people and respecting people who work for the state.

In Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, everyone’s rent-stabilized, so there’s concern over the fact that the Rent Stabilization Law is coming up for renewal in 2015. What would you do to strengthen it?

I’m very familiar with Stuyvesant Town. I used to live near there on East 7th Street and I would go up there to go swimming at Asser Levy. (On Rent Stabilization Law), there is precisely a role for the city to play. We need to repeal the Urstadt Law. At a minimum the city should be free to directly do things. It’s a crisis of people living in expensive housing. It’s a crisis for our economy.

In ST/PCV, some people pay affordable rents, while others pay double for the same apartments. A big concern is all the legal ways owners can raise rents from major capital improvements (MCIs), to individual apartment improvements (IAIs) to vacancy bonuses.

Rent stabilization is still one of the best sources of housing for low income people in the city. We have to make sure affordable means affordable, not unaffordable.

Zephyr Teachout with running mate Tim Wu, candidate for lieutenant governor (Photo courtesy of campaign)

Zephyr Teachout with running mate Tim Wu, candidate for lieutenant governor (Photo courtesy of campaign)

It seems that more and more small businesses are being priced out of their locations and being replaced with chain stores. What do you think of the idea of rent regulation for commercial tenants?

We have two different visions. One is commercial rent control for small businesses. The other is making sure big box stores aren’t getting an unfair advantage. We have to make sure our lending system is accessible to entrepreneurs who need it. You have to have a blend of strategies. We also have to make sure for retail diversity that there’s a range of minority owned businesses.

What made you write a book about corruption?

I began writing it years ago. I began writing in 2008 because the New York Supreme Court’s vision of corruption was narrow and cramped. They said it was only about illegal bribery, so it wasn’t about Extell. If you’re giving $100,000 in donations and getting tens of millions in subsidies, it is a violation of democratic principles. I think the core of it is if you want to be a public servant, you have to serve the public and not just serve yourself.

When you meet with voters, what are their top concerns?

Housing is one of the top concerns. People just don’t have the money to meet the basics. Another concern is people feel there aren’t enough (services) for people with psychiatric disabilities, but the more mainstream (concern) is housing. Upstate it’s property taxes and schools are central. With schools, it’s high stakes testing and over-crowding.

What would you do to alleviate classroom crowding?

There needs to be smaller classes, no more than 20 in a class. I used to be a special ed teacher’s aide, and you can’t give each child the attention they need when there are 33 kids in a classroom. There needs to be art and music for every child. They’re not extras. They’re essentials. We should be the best public school system in the country.

What’s your opinion of charter schools?

Charters have a role, but a very small role. Eva Moskowitz’s assault on education is not what charters are supposed to do. I am opposed to colocations and I don’t think charter schools should get money that was intended for our public schools.

What would you do to create jobs?

I’m a traditional Democrat. One (idea) is investing in the infrastructure, in the MTA, in transit. Upstate it’s in renewable energy. All of these create jobs in the short term and enable jobs in the long term, and affordable higher education.

If elected, what is your first priority?

My first priority is taking on the old boys’ network that allows corruption to continue. The school system is unequal and there’s immigration. Andrew Cuomo has a running mate who’s anti-immigrant. Every child at the border should see New York as a sanctuary.

Upcoming Events

Town & Village has compiled a list of events that we believe are of interest to the community, from health fairs to community board meetings. See T&V’s blog for arts and entertainment listings, local health workshops and events at local houses of worship.

Art in Odd Places begins on Oct. 5 along 14th Street

September 29
Stuy Town Yoga
Stuyvesant Town is celebrating National Yoga Month with free outdoor classes on Sat., Sept. 29. Sun Salutation with Erin will be at 9:15 a.m. Power yoga with Chintamani will be at 10:15 a.m. Yoga master class with Justin will be at 11:15 a.m. Classes are free to all residents and will be held in Playground 10.
National Prescription Pill Take Back Day
Precincts throughout the city will be participating in National Prescription Pill Take Back Day on Sat., Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Additional information about the event is available by calling 311. Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village residents can bring their unused prescription pills and medication to the 13th Precinct at 230 East 21st Street.

October 1
CB6: Public Safety, Environment & Transportation meeting
There will be a Community Board 6 meeting about the sanitation garage proposed for East 25th Street and First Avenue. The meeting will be on Mon., Oct. 1 at the NYU Medical Center, 550 First Avenue, Coles 109 at 7 p.m. and will include a presentation from Daniel Klein, the director of the Department of Sanitation Office of Real Estate. Edward Janoff of the Department of Transportation will also be at the meeting to provide updates on Kips Bay Plaza.

October 2
CB6: Parks, Landmarks & Cultural Affairs meeting
Community Board 6 will be hosting a meeting about the new Asser Levy playground and about crime reporting in public parks on Tues., Oct. 2 at the NYU Medical Center, 550 First Avenue, Coles 101 at 7 p.m.

October 4
Senior Resource Fair
Senator Liz Krueger will be hosting the 6th annual Senior Resource Fair on Thurs., Oct. 4 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Temple Emanu-El, 1 East 65th Street at Fifth Avenue. Various exhibitors will be available to provide information to older adults about food stamps, health care, senior centers, social security, technology, legal services and other issues. Lenox Hill Hospital will be on site to offer blood pressure testing and NY Legal Assistance Group will offer help with health care proxies and living wills.

October 5
Art In Odd Places
Art In Odd Places is an annual art festival that takes place along 14th Street from Avenue C to the Hudson River. This year the festival will be from Oct. 5 to Oct. 15 and will feature poetry, performance, site-specific installations, videos, painting, sculpture, drawing, illustration, street art, mobile studios, design and music.

October 6
Roller Hockey Tournament
The annual roller hockey tournament will be held on Sat., Oct. 6 at 10 a.m. in Playground 7. The event will be open to residents 21 years old and up.
Paddle Tennis Doubles Tournament
The annual paddle tennis doubles tournament will be in Playground 5 on the weekend of Oct. 6 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The tournament is open to residents age 16 and older.
Worldwide Day of Play
Stuyvesant Town will be hosting a Worldwide Day of Play for residents on Sat., Oct. 6 from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. on the Oval. All residents ages 5 to 11 will be able to participate in games, field events and Zumba.
Zumba
There will be a Zumba class on Sat., Oct. 6 from 12 p.m. to 12:50 p.m. at Oval Fitness. This class is free to all residents on this day only and attending will earn a point for Maintain Don’t Gain.
Outdoor Sports Screening: MLB Division Series
Residents will be able to watch the 2012 MLB Division Series Playoff on Sat., Oct. 6 from 1 to 7 p.m. on the Oval. The event is free for all residents and their guests.

October 13
Bocce Tournament
Playground PCV 1 will be hosting a singles and doubles bocce tournament on Sat., Oct. 13 at 10 a.m. The event is open to residents 16 years old and up.
Thriller Dance
Stuyvesant Town residents will be able to learn the choreography to Michael Jackson’s iconic Thriller music video at Oval Fitness on Sat., Oct. 13 from 2 to 3 p.m. This event is free for all residents.