Heroes honored at Veterans Day Parade

 

Photos by Sabina Mollot

By Sabina Mollot

Though the temperature hovered in the 20s, patriotic New Yorkers and those who traveled to the city on Saturday made up a steady stream of spectators during the Veterans Day Parade.

As always, the event began at Madison Square Park, where the mayor and military officials gave remarks as did this year’s grand marshal, Buzz Aldrin.

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Man wanted for gropings at 23rd St. R/W station

Groping suspect

Groping suspect

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police are looking for a man who groped multiple women while donning out-of-season headwear in the Flatiron District earlier this month.

Police said that the unidentified man approached a 32-year-old woman on the platform of the 23rd Street R/W station on February 8 between 7 and 7:30 p.m. and grabbed her buttocks before exiting the subway system. He then allegedly grabbed a 34-year-old woman on the buttocks while she was on the stairs going up to the street level. Police said that the man then walked west on West 22nd Street. The two incidents were reported separately at later times.

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 or by texting their tips and TIP577 to 274637 (CRIMES). All calls are strictly confidential.

Neighbors concerned about hotels used as shelters

Representatives from the Department of Homeless Services, the Human Resources Administration and non-profit organizations focusing on homelessness participated in the panel, which was facilitated by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (far right). Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Representatives from the Department of Homeless Services, the Human Resources Administration and non-profit organizations focusing on homelessness participated in the panel, which was facilitated by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (far right). (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Recently, the city has begun using hotels in Flatiron and NoMad as temporary homeless shelters, and the practice has area residents outraged.

New shelter neighbors gathered at the American Sign Language School last Tuesday evening to voice their concerns about the shelters as well as the homeless population in general.

A number of residents at the meeting insisted that they were empathetic to the homeless and acknowledged that it is a small percentage of the population that is causing problems, but many who spoke said that safety was a serious concern.

“The risk doesn’t come from the 70 percent of the homeless population who are working poor, who are just trying to get by,” Third Avenue resident Thandi Gordon-Stein said. “We’re worried about the other 30 percent who are convicted criminals and sex offenders. When you add so many facilities in one neighborhood, it becomes a danger. They say we should call 311 or the police but that’s not working.”

Many at the meeting said they were worried that the neighborhood could become oversaturated with homeless facilities. Matt Borden, Assistant Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Homeless Services, argued that the decision to use hotels in Flatiron and NoMad was based on the so-called “Fair Share Criteria,” which is supposed to prevent neighborhoods from getting saturated with shelters and making sure other areas are home to some. According to the data from DHS, which examines the homeless population within community district lines, Community Board 5 is under the city average of 1,016.

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On 50th anniversary, FDNY remembers the 23rd Street fire

 

By Sabina Mollot

Fifty years ago on Monday, October 17, twelve firefighters lost their lives battling a blaze in Flatiron, making the date the deadliest the department would ever know until 9/11.

The fire, which was hidden at first due to illegal building alterations, had prevented firefighters from knowing just what a dangerous situation they were in for.

On Monday, dozens of fire officials and rank and file, along with family members of the fallen firemen, gathered at the Flatiron Plaza for a remembrance ceremony and then a wreath laying at the site of the fire at the corner of 23rd Street and Broadway. Today, it’s home to a high-rise residential building with a plaque alongside it memorializing the deceased firemen.

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro spoke at the ceremony about how the 1966 fire is still a big part of training for firefighters today.

“Every probationary firefighter learns about this in the academy; 23rd Street has been the subject of countless drills,” the commissioner said. “This was the department’s darkest tragedy… and remained so until 9/11.”

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Three women shot, one fatally, outside Flatiron club

Oct15 Motivo5

Detectives outside Motivo on Monday morning (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

A 24-year-old woman was shot and killed outside of a nightclub in the Flatiron District early on Monday morning, and two other women were also shot and now in stable condition.

Police said that at 4 a.m., the victims were found in front of the club, Motivo at 915 Broadway and 21st Street. The 24-year-old woman who was later pronounced dead at Bellevue Hospital had been shot in the back. A 30-year-old woman was shot in the shoulder and a 25-year-old woman had been shot on the hip and foot.

Police officers keep the street in front of Motivo blocked off. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Police officers keep the street in front of Motivo blocked off. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

There are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing. Police are withholding the name of the woman who was killed pending family notification.

The Post reported the victims were not likely the intended targets and that the suspect is believed to be in his 20s and was last seen wearing a red and black hoodie, according to cops.

UPDATE: The Daily News reported that the shooter had been kicked out of the club, and then vowed to get his gun before retrieving it from his vehicle. The woman who died was identified as Walikque Faussett, a Bronx resident and mother to a three-year-old son named Alex. The News also reported that the suspected shooter is also from the Bronx and believed to be a member of the “DYMES R US” gang, according to police.

Woman seriously injured by van on Fifth Avenue

Police respond to the scene of the accident at Fifth Avenue and 21st Street. (Photo by Dan Orlando)

Police respond to the scene of the accident at Fifth Avenue and 21st Street. (Photo by Dan Orlando)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A 51-year-old woman is in serious condition after a van hit her while she was crossing Fifth Avenue near 21st Street on Monday morning. A spokesperson for the FDNY said that the call about the incident came in at 8:48 a.m. and the victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital. No further information about her condition was made available.

Police said that the victim was crossing the avenue when she was struck by the driver, who was turning left from 21st Street, and it was unclear if she was in the crosswalk at the time of the collision.

According to Gothamist, the driver remained on the scene. Police said that the driver has not been charged.

Flatiron BID expands public access to WiFi

Argo Tea on Broadway is one of the businesses that has a device for public WiFi installed as part of the new program. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Argo Tea on Broadway is one of the businesses that has a device for public WiFi installed as part of the new program. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Flatiron Partnership/BID announced the completion of a wireless corridor in the district on Monday, offering access to public WiFi on the street and in various businesses throughout the neighborhood.

The recently-announced expansion is bringing public WiFi to additional streets throughout the district, strengthening the signal from Sixth Avenue to Park Avenue South along 23rd Street and adding service on Fifth Avenue from 25th to 21st Streets, on Broadway from 24th to 21st Streets and on 21st Street between Fifth Avenue and Broadway.

The BID partnered with 13 businesses, including Alan Tanksley, Inc., Argo Tea, Flatiron Green Café, Marimekko, ilili BOX and others to install equipment for the expanded network.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg initially announced a program to bring free public WiFi to various commercial districts throughout the city in the fall of 2013. The Wireless Corridor Challenge was led by the city’s Economic Development Corporation and was awarded to five organizations in the city, including the Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership. Sky Packets, a company that focuses on providing WiFi for retail businesses, worked with the Flatiron Partnership to implement the network.

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Man rapes woman at bar on East 27th Street

Police are on the lookout for a man wanted for rape at Turnmill, a bar at 119 East 27th Street.

On Saturday, April 11, 7:45 p.m. the suspect grabbed a 23-year-old-woman by the throat and raped her inside of a stall in the women’s bathroom.

After the attack, the suspect fled the scene and the victim was taken to Lenox Hill Healthplex Hospital for treatment and evaluation.

The suspect is described as a white, 45-55 years-old, 5’8″-5’10” and 150-175 pounds with brown hair. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a black shirt and black framed glasses.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.

The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.