Stuy Town Citi Bike users frustrated by empty racks

Aug10 Citibike rack empty

An empty Citi Bike rack on East 20th Street on Tuesday morning (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

 

By Sabina Mollot

Last week, the Department of Transportation announced that bike ridership in New York City had reached a record high. This spike in cycling is due to, in large part, the arrival of Citi Bike as well as the addition of many new miles of bike lanes during the Mayor Bloomberg administration. However, this news likely didn’t come as a surprise to residents of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village who, for the past few months, have been finding their Citi Bike racks empty when hoping to ride to work in the mornings.

“They take (the bikes) away at night and they bring them back in the morning but they stop at a certain time,” said Christopher Simonetti, a frustrated Citi Bike member told us recently.

Simonetti, who heads straight for the rack near his Stuyvesant Town building on East 20th Street each morning, said it’s always empty from 9-10:15 a.m.

He’s been calling the bike share service regularly throughout the summer about this issue and has also asked for more racks.

“It’s the forgotten area of Citi Bikes,” he said. “This area is not being serviced.”

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Cops see pattern of burglaries, car, motorcycle thefts

Deputy Inspector  Brendan Timoney, commanding officer of the 13th Precinct (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney, commanding officer of the 13th Precinct (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Overall crime has seen a 20 percent decrease in the last month of summer in the 13th Precinct although Commanding Officer Brendan Timoney stressed that community residents need to be aware of some recent crime patterns, including apartment and office burglaries and a car theft ring.

Timoney reported the stats at the first community council meeting after a summer break this past Tuesday, a day after the former captain was promoted to deputy inspector.

Timoney noted that in terms of general crime, the summer months have seen a small spike in robberies and although burglaries haven’t increased, he said that the incidents seem to correspond to the city’s bouts of warm weather.

“There have been lots of fire escape entries where they’re getting into apartments and stealing jewelry,” he said. “They’re crimes of opportunity. They’re only in there a couple minutes then they’re out the door.”

Timoney added that a man arrested for one of these fire escape burglaries this summer was busted after the officers secured the area and were able to catch him when he was trying to leave the building.

The two officers who apprehended the thief had been honored with the Cop of the Month award for September but since they were both on vacation at the time of the meeting, they will be presented with the award in October.

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Police Watch: ‘Trespassers’ busted, Man found with ‘stolen’ purse and Citi Bike

TWO MEN ARRESTED AFTER CELL PHONE SNATCHING
Police arrested two people following the investigation of a cell phone snatching last Tuesday at 10:18 p.m. at the corner of First Avenue and East 28th Street. Police stopped 23-year-old Shawn Lee at the intersection in regards to the phone snatching and Lee allegedly admitted that he was in possession of a knife.
Police said that the knife recovered measured 7 1/4 inches and Lee allegedly told them that he used it for protection. He was charged with possession of a weapon.
Kevin Hawkins, 22, was charged with possession of burglar’s tools and resisting arrest at First Avenue and East 28th Street at 10:25 p.m.
When police attempted to stop Hawkins, he allegedly fled down First Avenue on a bicycle going the wrong way and riding on the sidewalk, refusing to stop. Police said he then made a right turn down East 26th Street heading west, pulled a U-turn and rode the bike on East 26th Street towards Bellevue Hospital. Hawkins allegedly dumped the bike and police said he was found hiding in the parking lot at Bellevue Hospital. He allegedly flexed and flailed his arms in an attempt to avoid being handcuffed.
Police said that the two men were not charged with the theft because the phone was not recovered and the victim could not positively identify the men as the ones who stole her phone. Police said that they were pursued because they matched the description, as two black men with bicycles, but the thieves grabbed the woman’s phone from behind her while riding a bike and she did not see their faces.

MCDONALD’S ‘TRESPASSER’ ARRESTED
Police arrested 32-year-old Matthew Bowman at Bellevue Hospital inside 462 First Avenue last Wednesday at 1:29 a.m. for criminal trespass at a McDonald’s. Police said that Bowman jumped behind the counter at the McDonald’s and after the manager on duty escorted him out, he allegedly jumped over the counter again and wouldn’t leave.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘STOLEN’ PURSE AND CITI BIKE
Police arrested 55-year-old Kevin Strong for possession of stolen property at the corner of Levy Place and East 23rd Street last Wednesday at 3:34 a.m. Strong was allegedly in possession of a stolen handbag and a stolen Citi Bike worth $1,200.

GRAMERCY PARK TOWERS ‘TRESPASSER’ BUSTED
Police arrested 24-year-old Alexander Schupnick for criminal trespass inside the Gramercy Park Towers at 205 Third Avenue last Wednesday at 7:33 a.m. Police said that Schupnick was seen inside of the building without permission to be there.

MAN NABBED FOR ‘STEALING’ BAG
Police arrested 35-year-old Roger Labady for petit larceny and possession of stolen property at the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 23rd Street last Wednesday at 11:21 a.m. Police said that Labady took a woman’s bag from the ground while she was using her cell phone. After searching the area, police found Labady a block away and when he was questioned, he allegedly told police, “Yes, I took the bag but I was looking for money. There was no money so I dropped the bag across the street.”

MAN CHASED BY COPS, ARRESTED FOR JUMPING SUBWAY TURNSTILE
Willie Kelland, 55, was arrested for theft of services outside 300 Park Avenue South last Wednesday at 2:53 p.m. Police were responding to a report of a larceny at the location and when they arrived, the victim pointed Kelland out. When they approached him, Kelland allegedly fled on foot into the subway station at the northeast corner of East 22nd Street and Park Avenue where police said he hopped the turnstile. He was not charged with larceny because police said they did not have enough evidence to prove that he committed the theft.

MAN BUSTED FOR ‘ROBBERY’ AT D’AGOSTINO
Police arrested 31-year-old Jorge Escobar for robbery inside the D’Agostino grocery store at 341 Third Avenue last Wednesday at 5:57 p.m. A store employee saw Escobar trying to leave the store with stolen merchandise allegedly inside his bag. When the employee stopped him at the door, Escobar allegedly began fighting with the employees in an attempt to flee. Police said that the employee was injured when Escobar flailed and then kicked and punched the victim.

MAN NABBED FOR MCDONALD’S KNIFE ‘ASSAULT’
Police arrested 42-year-old Jemar Banks for assault inside the McDonald’s at 541 Sixth Avenue last Thursday at 6:47 a.m. The victim told police that he knocked on the door to use the restroom and when Banks came out, he allegedly started a fight with the victim, throwing punches at him. The victim said that Banks then removed a knife from his waistband and allegedly proceeded to slash at him. The victim was able to grab the knife, which caused a cut on his hand. He held onto the knife and bent it and Banks allegedly fled the location. He was apprehended around the corner at 100 West 15th Street.

HOUSEKEEPER ARRESTED FOR ‘STEALING’ FROM EMPLOYER
Police arrested 47-year-old Maria Demo for grand larceny inside the 13th precinct at 230 East 21st Street last Thursday at 1:20 p.m. Police said that Demo stole items from the apartment where she was employed as a housekeeper. The value of the property stolen was greater than $3,000. Demo also allegedly swiped items from inside another apartment in the same building while being employed as a babysitter. Demo was also charged with possession of stolen property.

MAN BUSTED FOR ‘RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT’
Police arrested 37-year-old Eran Modan for reckless endangerment in front of 5 West 21st Street last Friday at 5:59 p.m. A police officer was stopped in traffic on East 21st Street close to Broadway when he heard the throttle of a motorcycle coming from behind his police vehicle. Modan was allegedly riding his motorcycle in a clearly marked bike lane on the south side of the street. The officer signaled for Modan to slow down but he allegedly continued, passing five vehicles while still in the bike lane. Once Modan saw another officer on foot signaling him to pull over, he allegedly crossed in between vehicles to pass another five cars, including a marked police car on the right side. The officer began following Modan with lights and sirens, crossing over Broadway and Fifth Avenue. Modan finally stopped when the officer boxed him in with a large delivery truck and a construction site off of Fifth Avenue. East 21st Street between Park Avenue South and Broadway is a single lane roadway with a marked bike lane close to the south side of the street.

MAN BUSTED FOR ‘ASSAULT’ INSIDE DHAKA FASHION INC.
Police arrested 43-year-old Ambia Khairul for assault and menacing inside Dhaka Fashion Inc. at 1167 Broadway last Sunday at 6:17 p.m. Khairul, an employee there, allegedly hit a co-worker in the head with a packaging tape dispenser and chased him out of the store with a baseball bat. The victim was left with a red knot on the left side of his forehead. Police did not have any information about why the fight started.

Man on bike snatching phones and bags from women in Gramercy and Flatiron

Phone and bag snatching suspect

Phone and bag snatching suspect

Police are looking for a man who’s stolen from at least eleven women throughout the Gramercy and Flatiron neighborhoods while riding a bike. Cops say the man has been riding up to women and then snatches their phones or their purses before pedaling away on either a Citi Bike or a bike with a basket.

The 13th Precinct’s new commanding officer, Captain Brendan Timoney, had warned the community about a cyclist stealing phones out of women’s hands while they’re distracted at the last Community Council meeting, but details on the crimes weren’t released by police until Wednesday night.

Cops say the larceny pattern, which began in February, is as follows:

On Monday, February 2 at around 11:30 p.m., the man snatched an iPhone from a a 32-year-old woman who was walking on 6th Avenue.

On Tuesday, February 3 at around 10:30 p.m., he grabbed an iPhone from a a 34-year-old woman walking on West 19th Street near 5th Avenue.

On Saturday, February 28 at 9 p.m., the man stole a phone from a 21-year-old woman walking on East 20th Street at Second Avenue.

On Saturday, March 7 at 11:30 p.m. the man snatched a purse from a 34-year-old woman as she walked along East 27th Street, in the vicinity of Third Avenue.

On Sunday, March 15 at 2:20 a.m., the man swiped a purse from a 29-year-old woman who was in front of 100 West 21st Street.

On Sunday, March 15 at 10:40 p.m., the man grabbed a phone out of a 22-year-old woman’s hand as she was walking along East 22nd Street.

On Tuesday, March 31 at 1 a.m., he grabbed a phone from a 24-year-old woman who was walking on East 21st Street near Park Avenue South.

On Saturday, April 4 at 6 a.m. he stole a phone from a 21-year-old woman who was standing in front of 32 East 32nd Street.

On Monday, April 20 at midnight, the man took a phone from a 27-year-old woman walking on 6th Avenue, in the vicinity of West 16th Street.

On Tuesday, April 28 at 1 a.m., he stole a purse from a 23-year-old woman in front of 544 6th Avenue.

On Wednesday, April 29, 2015, at 10:30 p.m., he grabbed a purse from a 42-year-old woman who was in front of 135 East 17th Street.

There were no injuries reported in any of the incidents and police say the the serial cyclist thief is a black man with a beard.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or submit tips by logging onto www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or texting tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Police Watch: Teen iPhone ‘snatchers’ busted, ‘reckless’ driver arrested

CITI BIKE ‘THIEF’ BUSTED
Police arrested 32-year-old Monica Lang for possession of stolen property last Tuesday at 12:51 a.m. in front of 370 Third Avenue. Police saw Lang littering on a public sidewalk and upon further investigation, police found that she was allegedly in possession of a stolen Citi Bike.

CAR BURGLARIZED IN GRAMERCY PARK
Police arrested 42-year-old Adalerto Soto for burglary in front of 10 Gramercy Park South last Tuesday at noon. Soto was seen casing several cars before opening the passenger side door of a commercial vehicle parked on Gramercy Park South and taking a cell phone, police said. He was also charged with possession of stolen property and petit larceny.

ARREST FOR ‘MENACING’ ON EAST 28TH
Miguel Rivera, 58, was arrested for menacing on the corner of Second Avenue and East 28th Street last Tuesday at 12:01 p.m. Rivera got into a fight with another person and allegedly pulled out an 8.5-inch knife, which the victim said made him fear for his life.

‘MISCHIEF’ AT JAY-Z’S CLUB
Thirty-year-old Safid Bakar was arrested for criminal mischief inside the 40/40 Club at 6 West 25th Street last Tuesday at 10:40 p.m. Bakar allegedly punched a mirror in the bathroom of the club. The manager, Sheldon Robinson, told police that the mirror is worth approximately $1,500.

‘BAG SNATCHER’ NABBED AT PLUG UGLIES
Eighteen-year-old Angel Valentin was arrested for grand larceny inside Plug Uglies at 257 Third Avenue last Tuesday at 11:09 p.m. The victim told police that she was sitting on a barstool with her bag hanging underneath the bar. Valentin then leaned down and while pretending to tie his shoe, allegedly took her bag and fled from the bar. The victim noticed a few minutes later that her bag was missing and witnesses said they saw Valentin leave the bar. When he was stopped, he was in possession of stolen property, police said.

‘MUGGER’ NABBED AT FIFTH AND WEST 22ND
Police arrested 19-year-old Albert Mizrahi for possession of stolen property at the corner of Fifth Avenue and West 22nd Street last Sunday at 1:29 a.m. A woman told police that an unknown man with brown hair and a jacket grabbed her and snatched her handbag containing her cell phone and personal property. She called her cell phone in the presence of police and the person who answered told her that he would meet her at West 22nd and Fifth and would return her property in exchange for money.
Mizrahi met the victim at the stated location and allegedly had her phone in his possession. Upon a show-up, the victim told police that Mizrahi looked like the person who stole her bag, but at the precinct she became irate and refused to cooperate in the investigation, police said. She then told police that Mizrahi wasn’t the person who stole her bag and she wouldn’t press charges but said that he looked like the person who had stolen her bag.

TEENS BUSTED IN 6 TRAIN CELL PHONE SNATCH
Police arrested four teenagers for grand larceny from a person at the corner of East 30th Street and Lexington Avenue last Thursday at 2:32 a.m. The victim told police that while she was riding a downtown 6 train and using her cell phone, the four teens were working together and snatched her phone from her hands, then ran out of the station at East 28th Street and Park Avenue South. The victim flagged down police and the teens were arrested at East 30th Street and Lexington. The names of the teenagers are being withheld due to their age.

‘RECKLESS’ DRIVER BUSTED AT WEST 26TH
A cop pulled a driver from his car by force last Thursday after the motorist, 57-year-old Antonio Pimental, refused to get out during an arrest for reckless driving.
It was at 11:30 a.m. when a pedestrian told police of an accident near the intersection of West 26th and Fifth Avenue and the officer then saw the vehicle involved in the accident driving west on East 26th Street. Pimental allegedly tried to drive onto the sidewalk but then stopped because another vehicle was in his way. The officer told Pimental to roll down his window but the driver refused. Police said that Pimental looked “spaced out” and the officer asked Pimental repeatedly to open his car door. Pimental then took the key out of the ignition and sat with his hands folded. The officer then broke the car window after telling Pimental to get out, and removed him from the vehicle. There was also a passenger in the car who observed Pimental hit a black SUV. It was discovered later that Pimental suffers from seizures.

‘MUGGER’ NABBED IN UNION SQUARE
Police arrested 21-year-old Gage Quinones for robbery at the corner of Union Square East and East 16th Street last Thursday at 7:55 p.m. The victim told police that he was walking on Union Square East talking on his cell phone when he was mugged. Quinones allegedly punched the man, causing him to drop his phone. Quinones then grabbed $100 in cash from the victim’s pocket and the victim’s phone from the ground, police said.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘STOLEN’ BIKE
Police arrested 36-year-old Wilson Perez for possession of burglar’s tools in front of 102 East 22nd Street last Wednesday at 1:59 p.m. Perez was allegedly walking a stolen bike that he had removed from Fifth Avenue. Police said that he was found in possession of burglar’s tools and he was also charged with petit larceny and possession of stolen property.

‘DRUNK’ DRIVER BUSTED ON THIRD
Police arrested 27-year-old Oscar Aponte for intoxicated driving last Saturday at 4:03 a.m. inn front of 364 Third Avenue. A witness saw Aponte driving the wrong way on Third Avenue. He was driving south, while Third Avenue is a northbound street. When police stopped him, he was allegedly intoxicated with bloodshot watery eyes, a flushed face and slurred speech. He refused a breath test at the scene and at the Seventh Precinct.

THREE MEN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT
Police arrested 27-year-old William Maye, 23-year-old Wilson Alvarez and 27-year-old Kevin Harris for assault in front of 235 East 14th Street last Sunday at 5:01 a.m. The victim told police that the three men punched him in the face, causing substantial pain and some cuts.

‘TRESPASSERS’ ON NYCHA BUILDING ROOF
Delano Broadus, 33, and Necola Fowler, 45, were arrested for criminal trespassing last Monday at 8:40 p.m. inside 224 East 28th Street. Broadus and Fowler allegedly went on the roof of the building even though there were signs on the stairwell which said that there was no access to the roof and roof landing except for authorized personnel.

MAN ARRESTED FOR UNTAXED CIGS
Sixty-year-old Diomedes Nunez was arrested for violating tax law last Tuesday at 11:50 p.m. in front of 4 Union Square South. An officer recognized Nunez as a person of interest wanted for a prior incident by the 24th and First Precinct squads. He was allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes in Union Square when he was arrested.

Police Watch: Teen purse snatcher arrested on 5th Ave., Three arrested in assault on E. 23rd

TEEN PURSE-SNATCHER ARRESTED

Police arrested a teenager for robbery in front of 260 Fifth Avenue last Wednesday at 11:32 p.m. Witnesses told police that the teen, along with another person who wasn’t arrested, snatched a woman’s purse. The teen used force to do so, pulling the victim’s hair and dragging her to the ground. The suspect was captured on the scene by a witness and was eventually placed under arrest when police arrived. The victim suffered an injury to her right elbow.

THREE ARRESTED IN ASSAULT

Police arrested three people in connection with an assault at 332 East 23rd Street last Friday at 1:30 a.m. Thirty-seven-year-old Alliesha Joseph-Morgan was arrested for assault and 37-year-old Teddy Wooten and 25-year-old James Barnes were busted for resisting arrest and for assault. Joseph-Morgan, Wooten and Barnes got into a fight with a woman outside a nearby club and allegedly punched the woman in the head and face, causing cuts and contusions. While attempting to arrest Barnes and Wooten, they refused to stop for the officers after being told to do so and refused to be placed in handcuffs. The two men allegedly pushed back, which police said necessitated the use of pepper spray to subdue them, and they refused medical treatment for pepper spray.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT AT BETH ISRAEL

Police arrested 48-year-old Ricky Young for assault last Tuesday at 12:46 a.m. in front of Beth Israel’s 9 Perlman Place building. The victim told police that he got into an argument with Young, another patient at the hospital, and when security attempted to escort him out of the building, Young allegedly threw a garbage can and resisted their attempts to make him leave. While security was attempting to remove him, Young allegedly punched the victim in the eye, causing swelling.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT BY CRUTCH

Police arrested 50-year-old Joseph Oliver for assault last Thursday at 5:59 p.m. inside 127 West 25th Street. The victim told police that Oliver allegedly assaulted him with crutches, cutting him on the left side of his upper torso. The victim said that he didn’t know Oliver and they didn’t have any kind of argument that would have escalated the incident. The victim does not speak English and is only fluent in Spanish and an officer at the scene translated the information.

WOULD-BE TEEN ‘BURGLAR’ BUSTED ON SECOND AVE.

Police arrested a teen for possession of burglar’s tools in front of 444 Second Avenue last Wednesday at 8:06 a.m. Officers saw the teen being chased by two people who were yelling that the teen had stolen one of their phones. They headed north on Third Avenue, then East on East 24th Street. Police then saw the teen going north on Second Avenue on a bike toward East 25th Street. He kept going the wrong way on Second Avenue and police stopped him at the northeast corner of Second Avenue and East 25th Street. He was in possession of a metal bolt cutter and a Samsung G4 cell phone. Police were unable to verify if the cell phone was stolen.

GREENCARD ‘SCAMMER’ BUSTED

Fifty-seven-year-old Jenetta Ferguson was arrested for grand larceny last Wednesday in front of 100 West 23rd Street. A man told police that he had given $8,500 to Ferguson on the promise that she would acquire a greencard for him. Ferguson is the victim’s ESL instructor and she allegedly has been given the money over the span of three months and has asked for more “to continue the visa process,” police said. Ferguson has received no legitimate documentation from INS or any agency to show that the money had been used for its promised purpose. The victim pointed her out on the street and she was arrested. She allegedly stated, “People, people, you think you are trying to help but they think it’s extortion.”

PHONE STOLEN FROM DOCTOR’S OFFICE

Police arrested 55-year-old Osvaldo Vasquez for petit larceny last Wednesday at 3:19 p.m. inside a doctor’s office at 16 East 16th Street. The victim told police that Vasquez is a patient at his office on the second floor. Vasquez was inside the office when the victim stepped out to use the restroom and when he returned, his cell phone was missing from the desk. After he called the police, officers demanded that Vasquez was to return the cell phone if he had it. Vasquez then allegedly reached into his groin area and pulled out an iPhone.

MAN ARRESTED FOR CITI BIKE ‘THEFT’

Twenty-year-old Christian Gonzalez was arrested for possession of stolen property last Friday at 7:21 p.m. on the corner of Seventh Avenue and West 15th Street. Gonzalez was allegedly in possession of a stolen Citi Bike. After searching him, police found that he was also allegedly in possession of a stolen Citi Bike keycard that belonged to someone else. A representative from Citi Bike verified that the bike was last docked on June 5 at 5:52 p.m. in the 5th precinct. Gonzalez does not belong to the Citi Bike program, police said.

‘JETPACK’ SWIPED FROM CONSTRUCTION SITE

Police arrested 32-year-old Jonattan Martinez, petit larceny last Monday at 1:15 p.m. inside the 13th Precinct at 230 East 21st Street. Martinez allegedly took a Verizon JetPack HotSpot from a cabinet without permission to do so from inside the construction site at 444 Second Avenue.

TRESPASSER ARRESTED ON WEST 27TH

Police arrested 52-year-old Michael Mack for burglar’s tools and criminal trespassing last Thursday at 8:23 p.m. in front of 34 West 27th Street. Mack allegedly entered the freight entrance of the building without permission by slipping metal scissors into the lock and forcing the door open. When Mack was stopped, he was also in possession of metal pliers and a metal pick believed to be burglar’s tools, police said.

MAN ARRESTED FOR BAR THEFT

Police arrested 54-year-old Fabian Peralta for petit larceny last Thursday at 11:12 p.m. at 299 First Avenue. Peralta allegedly swiped a guitar and camera from a nearby bar.

MAN NABBED FOR THREATS WITH BOX-CUTTER

Twenty-year-old Matthew Forty was arrested for menacing in front of 111 East 18th Street last Friday at 1 a.m. Forty allegedly displayed a yellow box-cutter knife while stating, “I’ll cut all of you,” the victim told police.

‘MENACE’ ARRESTED ON EAST 28TH

Police arrested 51-year-old Bruce Manning for assault and menacing in front of 14 East 28th Street last Saturday at 1:58 a.m. Manning allegedly hit the victim in the back of the head with an unknown object after he got in the middle of a fight between Manning and another tenant in the building. Manning also allegedly threatened the victim with a knife.

MAN BUSTED FOR STOLEN ACCOUNT INFO

Police arrested 37-year-old Jon Reich for stolen property last Saturday at 5:27 p.m. on the corner of Park Avenue South and East 25th Street. Reich was seen driving a motorcycle without a license plate and when police stopped him, he did not have a driver’s license or registration. He was also allegedly in possession of a credit card that didn’t belong to him, as well as a bank account with a routing number and a credit account number with an expiration date that did not belong to him.

ATM ‘THIEF’ NABBED ON SEVENTH AVE.

Police arrested 35-year-old Curtis Lawson for grand larceny last Wednesday at 1:13 a.m. in front of 307 Seventh Avenue. An investigator for the NCR Corporation was investigating money missing from ATMs that Lawson was servicing. The investigator had Lawson’s manager call him in to question him about possible involvement and he allegedly admitted to taking money from an ATM that he serviced on Lafayette Street. Lawson had $1,126 in cash in his wallet and two screwdrivers in his possession, police said.

Letters to the editor, Aug. 21

That moment when you’re hit by a Citi Bike

After a visit to Chinatown on a recent Sunday afternoon, I was walking north along the river to Waterside, my home. I stayed close to the railing since I am 77 years of age and wanted to avoid being hit by distractions: bikes, skateboarders, etc.

I was enjoying the estuary’s sea air when something hit the back of my left knee with a bang and sent me flying into the air. My glasses flew off, my shoulder bag left my body and I landed with a heavy thud on my lower back and thought, “It is over, I will never walk again.”

I have osteoporosis, arthritis and all the muscular ailments that beset 77-year-olds. As I lay on the ground, I slowly turned my head to my left and saw the wheels of a bicycle. After the initial shock, I began to slowly move my body as I had learned to do as a fitness/health instructor. I saw a bicycle lying beside me and then saw a bicyclist, a young man, standing beside his bike looking shaken.

He said, “I am so sorry, I am so sorry.”

I slowly managed to get up off the ground and when I was on my knees, I groped around for my glasses. He waited until I had my glasses and again apologized. I told him I had to call the police to report the accident since I was afraid I had really damaged my body. He said, “Do not do that. I was not looking and did not see you. I am sorry.”

When I asked him his name he began to shake and said, “I am from Hong Kong.” He then picked the bike off the ground and took off on his Citi Bike. I knew the bike had a number so I looked at the back of the bike for its number. There wasn’t any. I later learned the bike numbers are on the sides of the bike and not the back.

The incident happened near the toilets along the East River esplanade so I slowly, like a beaten animal, limped over, washed up and very slowly, psychologically and physically, limped towards home. At home, I took all the precautionary measures to help my body heal.

The following day, I called Citi Bike to tell them about the incident. They informed me that they are not responsible. If I had a police report and the bicycle number, Citi Bike would then contact the cardholder of the Citi Bike.

I suggested to Citi Bike: the bicycle numbers should be placed on the backs of the bikes as well as the sides so one could follow through if one is accidentally hit by a Citi Bike, especially if the bicyclist takes off.

Arpine Dod,
Waterside Plaza

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Police Watch: Camera pervs, groping and pick-pocketing arrests at Union Square subway

Compiled by Maria Rocha-Buschel

CAMERA ‘PERVS’ BUSTED AT UNION SQUARE
Police arrested two men for “obscene material” in unrelated incidents at Union Square station last week. Rubio Patricio-Palaguachi, 37, was arrested last Tuesday at 2 p.m. Patricio-Palaguachi was allegedly walking directly behind a woman with his Samsung Galaxy phone camera lens facing upward under her dress and while she was walking up the stairs out of the station, recording her underwear as she walked. She told police that she did not know him and did not give him permission to film her.
Oscar Torres, 31, was arrested last Sunday at 4:35 p.m. Torres allegedly placed a recording device under the skirt of a girl as she was walking up the stairs out of the station.

‘GROPER’ NABBED IN UNION SQUARE
Police arrested Carlos Hernandez Saavedra, 50, arrested for groping a woman at the Union Square subway station last Friday at 5:45 p.m. Hernandez Saavedra was allegedly touching and rubbing a woman’s butt while on the train without her permission.

MAN BUSTED FOR SNATCHING WALLET
Police arrested 50-year-old James Davis in Union Square for grand larceny last Monday at 10:40 a.m. Davis allegedly reached into a woman’s purse while on an Eighth Avenue-bound L train and removed her wallet. Police said that he used a dry cleaning bag with a pink shirt to cover his left arm while removing the wallet. He allegedly fled onto a downtown express train to avoid being arrested. Police arrested him on the 4/5/6 platform and he was allegedly in possession of a Samsung Galaxy phone and two MetroCards that belonged to someone else.

PHONE SNATCHER NABBED IN UNION SQUARE
Thirty-two-year-old Billy Decaneo was arrested for grand larceny at Union Square East and East 14th Street last Tuesday at 7:41 a.m. The victim said that he was sitting in Union Square Park on the steps by the fountain. He had his bag on his lap and was looking for his wallet when Decaneo allegedly reached into the bag and took his cell phone with charger attached. The victim alerted a nearby officer and the victim’s phone was in Decaneo’s hand when he was arrested, police said.

ARREST FOR PHONY MUGGING STORY
Police arrested 27-year-old Jennifer Fleischer arrested for perjury last Wednesday at 3:20 p.m. at the Union Square subway station. Fleischer allegedly told police that while she was getting off an uptown M train at the Broadway-Lafayette station, an unknown black man mugged her and stole her purse, containing her MetroCard and $20 in cash. Upon further investigation, she recanted her story, allegedly saying that she made it up as an excuse to not go to work and that her property was in the garbage.

MAN ADMITS HAVING GUN
Police arrested 27-year-old Bobby Robinson for weapons possession inside the 13th precinct at 230 East 21st Street last Sunday at 12:30 a.m. Police said that Robinson freely walked up to an officer, while not in custody, and spontaneously said, “that’s my car and I left a gun in the trunk.” A handgun was recovered from the car.


‘DRUNK DRIVER’ AT THIRD AND EAST 15TH
Police arrested 40-year-old William Mack arrested for intoxicated driving last Tuesday at 2:53 a.m. at Third Avenue and East 15th Street. Police saw him swerving in traffic and he allegedly had a smell of alcohol on his breath when police stopped him. He blew a .157 on a Breathalyzer, police said.

MAN GRABS AND ‘THREATENS’ WOMAN
Police arrested 29-year-old Kevin Newton arrested for criminal mischief in front of 717 Sixth Avenue last Tuesday at 1:50 a.m. The victim told police that she was walking on the sidewalk when she felt Newton grab her wrist. She pulled free and began to walk away from him but he allegedly followed her for about two blocks and began to verbally threaten her. She attempted to call 911 when he smacked the phone from her hand, causing the glass screen to shatter, police said. She also told police that he spit in her face.

BIKE ‘BURGLAR’ BUSTED ON WEST 25TH
Police arrested 54-year-old Lindsay Thomas arrested for possession of burglar’s tools last Wednesday at 1:45 p.m. in front of 40 West 25th Street. Thomas was walking east with two other unknown men when they were seen stopping at a Citibike rack. The first unknown man pointed at the rack while the second unknown man was seen attempting to remove the bike by pulling on the tire. The men then fled in unknown directions and when police stopped Thomas, he was allegedly in possession of burglar’s tools.

SUBWAY BUSKER BUSTED FOR FORGERY
Claudio Soto, 32, was arrested for forgery last Wednesday 6:25 p.m. inside the Union Square station. Soto was allegedly playing an electric guitar with an amplification device on the L platform in violation of transit rules. When asked to produce identification, he gave a forged US permanent resident card and forged Chilean driver’s license

MAN ARRESTED FOR KICKING DOOR
Police arrested 22-year-old Vincent Florido for criminal mischief last Thursday at 12:45 a.m. in front of Friend of a Farmer at 77 Irving Place. Florido allegedly damaged the front lobby door by kicking the glass intentionally.

ATTEMPTED BIKE ‘THIEF’ BUSTED
Police arrested 19-year-old Anthony Barahona for possession of burglar’s tools in front of 10 Union Square East last Thursday at 2:20 p.m. Barahona was allegedly using wirecutters to open a bicycle lock which didn’t belong to him. Police said that he was in possession of another pair of wirecutters, which were in his backpack.

MAN ARRESTED FOR POT
Ibrahima Jalloh, 23, was arrested for marijuana possession last Wednesday at 6:23 p.m. at Broadway and West 28th Street. Police said he had it in plain view on a public sidewalk.

TEEN RIDING BIKE ON SIDEWALK ARRESTED FOR BRASS KNUCKLES
Police arrested a 17-year-old for weapons possession at West 23rd Street and Seventh Avenue last Monday at 5:35 p.m. Miller was allegedly riding a black bicycle recklessly on the sidewalk of Seventh Avenue, causing about 15 people to move out of the way. He was also in possession of brass knuckles in his left shorts pocket, police said.

MAN HIT OVER THE HEAD WITH BOTTLE
James Quinn, 23, was arrested for assault last Saturday at 3:34 p.m. in front of 101 West 25th Street. Quinn got into an argument with the victim and allegedly hit him over the head with a bottle.

TEENS ACROBATS ARRESTED
Police arrested two teens for reckless endangerment last Saturday at 8:10 p.m. at the Union Square subway station. A 16-year-old and 18-year-old Kyle Solomon were allegedly working together, dancing and somersaulting on a crowded L train, causing a hazard to themselves and others, police said. The name of the 16-year-old is being withheld due to his age.

MAN ARRESTED FOR SELLING ‘LOOSIE’
Police arrested 38-year-old Udo Onua for violating tax law at East 14th Street and Union Square West last Thursday at 9:28 a.m. Onua was allegedly selling loose Newport cigarettes from a carton with an Ohio stamp in exchange for cash.

‘DRUNK DRIVER’ BUSTED ON SECOND AVENUE
Police arrested Victor Assante, 44, for intoxicated driving in front of 531 Second Avenue last Friday at 3:01 a.m. Assante was driving north on Third Avenue and then east on East 29th Street and while driving on Third Avenue, he was allegedly swerving back and forth between the far right lane and the middle of the road. He was stopped near East 29th Street because he allegedly didn’t signal when he turned and police said that he had a strong odor of alcohol on his breathe, watery, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet.

Opinion: Quality of life issues need to be addressed

Bus stop construction site on First Avenue and 14th Street (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Bus stop construction site on First Avenue and 14th Street (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By William Oddo
I know we are supposed to feel grateful for only a $50 a month rent increase for “maintenance improvements.” Some might suggest common sense and that these maintenance items should be paid from our monthly rent. In any case, there are some significant day-to-day issues that most residents would like improved but few seem to have addressed.
One is unsafe, substandard and hazardous pedestrian intersection ramp condition at intersections and crosswalks. The other is the loss of significant resident parking due to constant “temporary construction” of one sort or another and lack of government attention and repairs.

Sidewalk pedestrian ramp conditions
Throughout our community at sidewalk intersection ramps poorly designed, unsafe physical conditions, and steep ramp angles create conditions for large water “ponding” to form (think ice skating in winter).
This both blocks passage in warm weather rain and creates slipping conditions after practically every cold rain event. The “ponding” condition is worsened by the placement of Citi Bike stations that block drainage along street curbs.

Worse yet, the steep pedestrian ramp angles lack adequate level and safe sidewalk refuge areas (particularly all along the 1st Ave. west sidewalk area – 15th to 22nd St.), and tripping hazards at pavement and curb intersection.
Even in dry weather the most able of us have to be aware of these and other obstacles like phone/billboard obstructions, newspaper stanchions, and other street furniture that block and impede the 13 access nodes/locations surrounding our community.

Fourteen intersection improvements for 25,000+ people shouldn’t be too difficult for our electeds. Here’s the list if they need: 14th St. at Ave. A, B and C; 1st Ave. at 14th, 16th, 18th, 20th and 23rd St.; 20th St. at Ave. A, B and C, and Ave. C at 23rd, 18th and 16th St.
The fact is these pedestrian street crossing ramps do not assure disabled and aging community residents of a safe crossing let alone meet current engineering design standards (plus substandard federal, state, NYC DOT requirements).

Street crosswalk conditions
Once entering the street crosswalk one is presented with more dangerous crossing conditions; don’t even think of tripping here. The worst conditions exist at 1st Ave. at 14th and 20th Streets. Here it’s due to poor pavement conditions, utility manhole location hazards, the abrupt change in crosswalk elevations (urban hill and dale tripping hazards) and constant construction (destroying just finished improvements).
These conditions are of course beyond the usual post winter pothole repairs.

Bus stop construction
The forever bus stop construction project (over a year in the works) surrounding the busiest transit intersection at 14th St. and 1st. Ave has created more pedestrian safety issues and obstacles and further loss of resident parking.This particular project begins along 14th Street (in front of our closest and one of busiest MTA community bus stops) and extends along First Ave to 16th Street.
So if you need to transfer from a 14th St. bus to 1st Ave. bus or from 14th St. “L” train stop, just hike on over to 16th Street. It’s comical if not a pathetic situation.

Neighborhood parking search
Apparently, pedestrian walking hazards and residents driving in circles after work (yes there are jobs that are not near public transit or require private vehicles) in search for a parking space have escaped the attention of our local elected officials.
Recently, we have lost significant parking along the entire First Ave. Loop road and created pedestrian obstacles with little or no mitigation. We have lost almost 200 parking spaces all 14th and 15th Street due to Con Ed. They said this was a terrorist hazard but only at this power pant.

If you live in a public housing residence on 14th Street there is a good chance private, onsite parking is available for about $100 a month. Better yet for free on the non-terrorist side of the 14th Street power plant.

Some possible solutions
So here’s what our elected officials can do to get to work to help everyday conditions for all our residents:
1. Improve all 14 intersections surrounding our community free of “ponding” and designed to meet NYC/S and federal pedestrian design standards.

2. Identify and create permanent and robust intersection crosswalks at major crossings in our community. Once completed, no major deconstruction work is allowed unless in extreme emergencies. This can be accomplished by building adequately sized utility access conduits (mini-tunnels) for future needs under these crosswalks.
This would require an inter-department and public /private property coordination to establish future design and construction requirements and standards for access. Just think what we did in Times Square – we can do this here. Let’s start with 1st Ave. at 14th and 20th Street as a pilot.

3. Relocate all Citi Bike on street parking to city owned islands and wide sidewalk areas surrounding our community. That effort alone would regain about 30 to 40 permanent parking space for our community and improve drainage and intersection “ponding.” There are plenty of examples of this suggestion all around our community and city. (Hint, photos examples sent to our local officials).

4. Redesign and reopen hundreds of safe parking spaces along 14th and 15th Streets and still keep us safe from terrorists. An added benefit is pedestrian safety adjacent to our schools, parks, churches, and synagogues will be significantly improved and vehicular traffic reduced. Why? Because vehicles to and from the FDR Drive will have access to highway ramps that have been closed.

5. Contact our local electeds and Community Board 6 officers (some even live in our community) to act on your behalf to improve a few everyday community safety conditions.

William Oddo is a Stuyvesant Town resident and founder of Stuyvesant Town Quiet Oval.

Letters to the Editor, July 10

July10 Toon subway busker

One percent increase a positive step

The recently announced one percent RGB increase is a small step toward putting the “stable” back in rent stabilization.
As tenants, we all need to support this action by selecting the one-year option when we renew our leases. This will send a clear message to the RGB and Albany that we want to preserve our community and affordable housing for all New Yorkers.
It will also reject the risky business model followed by the equity predators. This business model is named for its last two words: “It doesn’t matter how much you pay, you can always sell it later to a bigger fool.”  The problem with this model is who is going to be the next bigger fool?
Not the current tenants. We realize that the choice of a 2.75 percent two-year increase is the equivalent of selecting a 1 percent increase this year and a 3.5 percent increase next year! While landlords deserve to cover realistic cost increases, we will not pay for yet another round of replanting because the previous round was done wrong.
Not the future tenants. The equity predators are all targeting recent graduates and other newcomers to the housing market to fill current and future vacancies. But saddled with large student loans and entry-level salaries, the only vacancies they can fill are the empty bedrooms in their parents’ homes.
Not the equity lenders. They have been burned once by the Tishman Speyer default and other failed large real estate deals. They will be following the model established by Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac. (Thank you, Senator Schumer.) The equity predators will have to prove the viability of their projections with more than just an “I said so.”
In other words, the times they are a-changin’ (with apologies to Bob Dylan.) Gone are the days where equity predators can entice bigger fools with frivolous, self-congratulatory costs like the vanity plates on the PCVST security vehicles.
Gone too are the days when the mayor turns a blind eye because, “It’s a private matter.” If the equity predators continue to believe their own hype (the cardinal sin committed by Tishman Speyer), they will find that they are the biggest fools.
Responsible parties within the real estate industry have already shown signs that they are adjusting to accept a different business model based on realistic income forecasts and controlled operating costs.
Let us all give our support to these leaders by overwhelmingly accepting the one-year, one percent increase and rejecting all rent increases that exceed true cost increases.
Bill Huebsch,
ST Resident for 36 years

 

Mayor didn’t deliver on rent freeze

To the Editor:
Mayor de Blasio is now batting with two strikes against him here in Stuyvesant Town.
First, he sandbagged Councilmember Dan Garodnick, by actively campaigning for Dan’s opponent for City Council speaker.
Then, the mayor capitulated to the real estate industry and disavowed his supposedly ironclad campaign pledge of a rent freeze.
Sandbagging tenants like this has a real cost. A rent increase of one percent will cost ST/PCV residents a total of $3,236,680 every year – calculated as an average rent of $2,000 over 11,235 apartments. Plus, everyone’s base rent is now raised in perpetuity.
This $3,236,680 is money that tenants could have used to support our local community. Or, tenants could have strengthened their retirement savings. Instead, it will go to line the pockets of the hedge fund that controls the property.
The mayor needs to decide whether he is on the side of tenants or the side of hedge funds.
Name Withheld, ST

 

Can we give Citi Bike hogs the boot?

June26 Marsh Citibike2 June26 Marsh CitibikeThe following is an email sent to Citi Bike by John Marsh, president of the ST-PCV Tenants Association, shared with T&V.
Subject: “Reserving” or Booting a Citi Bike By For Your Exclusive Use
I wanted to formally bring to your attention the following unfair practice of reserving your own Citi Bike by putting a lock on it, or effectively booting it so other riders can’t take it out.
I came along at 8:20 a.m. on Thursday, June 19th delighted to see a lone bike at the E. 20th and FDR station in Dock #34.  After inserting my Citi Bike key in I was surprised to see that a U-Lock had been placed around the back wheel of bike number 06656. I immediately re-docked the bike, took these photos and called the incident into Citibike Customer Support number.
Whomever (whichever member) successfully undocked and rode this bike next to another Citi Bike station should be warned or disciplined in some manner for this inappropriate behavior.

Spike in burglaries, assaults

Lieutenant Vincent Collins reported a 10 percent increase in burglaries. Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel

Lieutenant Vincent Collins reported a 10 percent increase in burglaries.
Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

In the first 13th Precinct Community Council meeting after the summer break this past Tuesday, police reported that the precinct has seen recent increases in crime, specifically in grand larceny auto, burglaries and felony assaults.

Lieutenant Vincent Collins filled in for the precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector David Ehrenberg, who was tied up with a duty throughout all of Manhattan.

Collins reported that there has been a 10 percent increase in burglaries this past month, although most of them are commercial burglaries committed by what police refer to as “office creepers,” who have been noted as a problem for the precinct in the past.

One resident who works on Fifth Avenue wanted to know about the kinds of buildings where these incidents are occurring, and Police Officer John Considine said that these thieves hit both doorman and non-doorman buildings, often posing as bike messengers or food delivery people.

He suggested that to stop it from becoming more of a problem, buildings should make it a practice not to let bike messengers or delivery people past the lobby to prevent them from wandering freely throughout the building and entering offices where they could potentially steal from employees’ desks. He added that doing so could also help spread the word among criminals, letting them know that certain buildings are more difficult to get into.

Although Collins said that there has been an increase in felony assaults, he noted that there have also been a number of arrests in those cases. “A lot of these have been assaults on officers and have been because of the hospitals that are in the neighborhood,” he added.

A resident and local business owner said that he’s encountered a number of people who seem mentally unstable who could potentially be involved in these assaults, and Collins suggested that anyone who encounters such a situation should call 911, or notify the precinct or 311 if the person is more of an ongoing problem for the area.

Other residents added that they’ve had problems with unruly homeless people in the past and seemed doubtful that the police had the authority to detain them for psychiatric evaluation. Linda Janneh from the District Attorney’s office said that in cases when people on the street are getting undressed, “releasing bodily fluids” or threatening to cause harm to themselves or others, they can be forced to go to Bellevue. If they are found to be in certifiable need of mental help, they will be kept in the hospital for at least six weeks.

Shana Wertheimer, the director of the Prince George Hotel on East 28th Street, was also

Shana Wertheimer, director of the Prince George Hotel on East 28th Street, discusses its housing of low-income and formerly homeless New Yorkers. Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel

Shana Wertheimer, director of the Prince George Hotel on East 28th Street, discusses its housing of low-income and formerly homeless New Yorkers.
Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel

at the meeting to speak about services available to the homeless population in the area. The Prince George is run by the organization Common Ground, which is a supportive housing provider for low-income New Yorkers and the formerly homeless.

Common Ground has apartments and temporary housing available throughout the state, including the original building in Times Square. Forty percent of the units in the Prince George are set aside for low-income residents and 60 percent are for the formerly homeless, and the case managers help residents with services such as medication monitoring, money management or with any issues they have, the goal being to provide a more economically-friendly alternative to the city’s shelter system for homeless people in the area.

The increases in grand larceny auto cases have been primarily in the theft of motorcycles, which has been reported in T&V’s Police Watch recently, including two in the past week. Collins noted that all of the incidents have happened late at night and they have beefed up specialized units in an attempt to deal with the problem.

“We’ve had a decrease in grand larcenies, which has historically been our nemesis,” he added.

It also wouldn’t have been a 13th Precinct Community Council meeting without a number of complaints about bikes. Considine said that the precinct has been up in enforcement for the past few months, to the disbelief of some of the residents at the meeting, who said that the number of rule-breakers they’ve seen on bikes has been increasing.

Considine admitted that the arrival of Citi Bike has added to the problem but noted that officers have been writing more summonses for cyclists who have been disobeying the traffic laws and riding on the sidewalks.

“It’s hard to enforce every time it happens and it’s not an easy problem to solve,” he admitted.

The next community council meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 15 at 6:30 p.m. and will include the presentation of Cop of the Month for both September and October.

Letters to the Editor, June 6

No closet door left unopened

My apartment was recently inspected by CompassRock.  Their notification letter was commanding but having no option and nothing to hide anyway, I waited for the day to arrive.

The inspector entered politely, accompanied by a security guard, and immediately informed me that he would also be “looking at” the closets.

Taken aback yet somehow not surprised in this environment of mistrust, I followed him from room to room and he opened the doors himself.  The security guard remained inside the front door.

The inspection lasted just a few minutes but, sadly, the negative effects on me have lingered. I approached the inspection in good faith, under the impression they were looking for illegal subdivision of rooms or major structural problems or similar. I consider it a violation of privacy and an insult to my integrity for a total stranger to inspect closets which, as well as utilitarian items, hold personal items.
The community newsletter, which arrived after the inspection, writes of ensuring apartments are in compliance with applicable laws, lease terms and community rules, looking for unsafe conditions, unregistered dogs and compliance with the 80 percent carpet rule. It had never occurred to me that closets fell into this category.

With nearly 25 years of tenancy, I have come to love where I live. For the most part, I welcome the physical and demographic changes, which have taken place.  Sadly, my experience with the inspection has left me feeling like some kind of criminal, and has further fostered the culture of unease that successive managements seem to enjoy encouraging. Indeed, a neighbor whose apartment was inspected in their absence with their agreement (but who did not share my feelings), advised me against speaking out for fear of reprisal.

Furthermore, I have now discovered that not all apartment inspections included closets – and not all were conducted by more than one representative.

Eileen Aarons, ST

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Letters to the Editor, May 30

Tenants should pick next mayor carefully

Re: Letter, “Rent hikes will destroy community,” T&V, May 23

To the Editor:

When the chair of the ST-PCV Tenants Association cries, “Where’s our mayor?” several times, we’re in trouble. Susan Steinberg concludes her letter with, “The silence is deafening.” But to me the answer to her question, “Where’s our mayor?” is loud and clear.

First of all, we tenants have not had a mayor we could call “ours” in over 20 years. During the Republican administrations of “their” mayors, Giuliani and Bloomberg, we have suffered rent hikes every year. Why? Because the Republican Mayor’s handpicked Rent Guidelines Board, which is stacked 5-4 against tenants, automatically votes in favor of the landlords every year.

If you want to find “their” mayor, go to a Republican fundraiser where you’ll see him surrounded by smiling landlords and developers. Years ago you could see him shaking hands with Republican Senate Majority Leader Bruno, no friend to tenants, who would travel to NYC from Albany using official state helicopters and official state-chauffeured cars to conduct “state business” with the Republican mayor, but only in person and only at the fundraiser.

I agree with Ms. Steinberg that rent hikes will destroy our community; they’ve been doing that for years. But the question should not be “Where’s our mayor?” but rather where’s an electable Democrat who supports affordable housing?

Surveying the current crop of candidates, that’s not going to be an easy question to answer, but only if we find one and elect him can we stop rent hikes every year and/or at the whim of the landlord.

John Cappelletti, ST

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