Police Watch: Teen arrested for threatening rape, Teen busted for pushing student into tracks

Police arrested a teenage boy for sexual abuse, aggravated harassment and harassment inside the Washington Irving campus at 40 Irving Place last Friday at 9:55 a.m. The victim told police that the teen has been touching her without her permission, including her breasts and side. Police said that the teen also kissed the victim without her consent.
The victim told police that the teen said he wanted to have sex with her and when she said no, he said, “I will rape you.” The victim said that the teen also told her in Spanish, “You are trash and have a sh–ty body. You’re only good for sex.”
The teen’s name is being withheld because of his age.

Police arrested a teenage boy at Union Square East and East 14th Street for assault last Thursday at 10:40 a.m. Police said that while waiting for the train, the teen and two other suspects who weren’t arrested punched the victim in the face, causing the victim to fall onto the train tracks. Police said that once the victim got back onto the train platform, the teens continued to punch him, causing an injury to the back of his head. Police said that both the victim and the boy who was arrested attend Manhattan Academy for Arts and Language in the Norman Thomas Campus at 111 East 33rd Street.

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Police Watch: Arrests for public lewdness, backpack thefts

Police arrested 49-year-old Kevin Townsend for public lewdness and criminal trespass inside 234 East 29th Street last Wednesday at 11:42 a.m. A witness told police that Townsend was masturbating in public view. Police said that Townsend also followed firefighters while yelling at them and allegedly followed them into a firehouse. Police said that he was told multiple times to leave but he reportedly refused. Firefighters told police that he became irate and they held him down until police responded.
Townsend was previously convicted for public lewdness this past April in Grand Central.

Police arrested 54-year-old John Solomon last Tuesday morning for allegedly swiping bags at a coffee bar and restaurants in Flatiron and Gramercy.
Police said on September 18, Solomon took a victim’s backpack from inside Gregory’s Coffee at 327 Park Avenue South at 3 p.m. while it was on the floor next to him. Surveillance video shows Solomon allegedly removing the bag while the victim was distracted and then leaving the location.
Solomon was also charged with theft for allegedly stealing a laptop and another backpack. Police said that he stole a laptop from the counter inside New York Kimchi at 160 East 23rd Street at 8:50 a.m. without permission and video surveillance shows him allegedly going behind the counter and taking the laptop. Around 9 a.m. the same day, Solomon allegedly stole a victim’s backpack from the floor inside the Outback Steakhouse at 60 West 23rd Street. Police said that the victim was distracted and Solomon picked it up before walking out of the location.
Police said that Solomon was also spotted stealing a bag outside 2 Broadway and a restaurant at 225 Liberty Street in the Financial District earlier this month.

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Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket opens for the season

Shopper at Samascott’s booth (Photos by Maya Rader)

By Maya Rader
The greenmarket returned to Stuy Town for the summer season on Sunday, May 21. To celebrate its opening, there were farm-related children’s activities such as seed germination and creating tissue-paper flowers. A mime roamed the area, entertaining produce shoppers, and a band called Astrograss played live bluegrass.
Katherine McWeeley, a seller at a stand for Liberty Farms, remarked that customers seemed pretty excited about the greenmarket’s return. Jessica Balnaves, Grow NYC regional coordinator for Lower Manhattan, commented, “Everybody that’s shown up is so excited that we’re back, and we got lucky that it’s a beautiful day.”

ST composting effort keeps 10,000 lbs. of garbage out of landfill each week

Rei Moya, the director of environmental services at Stuyvesant Town with Rick Hayduk, general manager (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Rei Moya, the director of environmental services at Stuyvesant Town with Rick Hayduk, general manager (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Last summer, Rick Hayduk, the general manager of Stuyvesant Town, announced that the new owner was looking for ways to reduce the 80-acre property’s carbon footprint. This was mentioned after a decision was made not to bring back the heated sports tent that had been in the complex for two seasons. At the time, Hayduk said it wouldn’t be returning due to all the energy it took to keep the nearly three-story tent a comfortable temperature during the winter months, as well as noise complaints from neighbors.

Since then, Blackstone and StuyTown Property Services have made good on their commitment to undertake some environmentally-friendly initiatives. One in October was the installation of a weather monitor to be used by the property’s landscapers to prevent the grounds from getting over-watered. In June, the owner planted 30 new trees around the complex to replace those that had died over time due to disease or pollution.

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$378G raised for Union Square Park from record-breaking Harvest event

Rooda Shankar of sweetgreen

Roopa Shankar of sweetgreen

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Union Square Partnership raised more than $378,000 for the 21st annual Harvest in the Square that took place at the end of last month, raising more than in any previous year. The amount brings the fundraising total to more than $5,728,000 in the last two decades.

Since it started in 1995, the event has grown to include more than 50 local restaurants and 15 wineries and breweries, including old neighborhood favorites like Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Cafe and Blue Water Grill, as well as newcomers like The Poke Spot, sweetgreen, Cava Grill and Flats Fix.

Salad-focused sweetgreen has only been in the neighborhood since last December but Roopa Shankar, who attended her first Harvest this year, said that she talked to attendees from previous years who noticed a definite increase in restaurants similar to the DC-based chain.

“There’s a lot more fast-casual food that’s also healthy this year,” she said.

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Meet Your Local Farmers: Valley Shepherd Creamery

Daego Albero at the Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket (Photo by Maya Rader)

Daego Albero at the Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket (Photo by Maya Rader)

By Maya Rader

Daego Albero has been working for the past three months at Valley Shepherd Creamery, a 120-acre sheep farm and cheese making facility in Morris County, New Jersey. The creamery makes sausages and dairy products including cheese, butter and yogurt.

On an average day, Albero pumps milk, boils it, presses it and molds it. He also cleans dishes. “Everything has to be clean, always,” explained Albero.
One of Albero’s favorite parts of his job is working in the aging caves.

“We age the cheese in a cave because the conditions are not the same (as elsewhere),” said Albero.

Cheesemakers have been using caves for centuries because of the high humidity and cool temperature. Albero likes working in the caves because it is cooler. In other areas of the facility, Albero explained he’s “working in a cheese room that is maybe 100 degrees and really high humidity.” The heat is his least favorite part of the job.

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Meet Your Local Farmers: Acevedo Farm at ST Greenmarket

Alexis Acevedo mans the booth for the Goshen-based farm. (Photo by Maya Rader)

Alexis Acevedo mans the booth for the Goshen-based farm. (Photo by Maya Rader)

By Maya Rader

Acevedo Farm is the definition of a family farm. The entire operation is run by 16-year-old Alexis Acevedo, his brother, his sister, and their parents in Goshen, NY. Although the ten-acre produce farm is not organic, it doesn’t use pesticides (except on their corn). They opted not to become certified organic, like many other farmers at the Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket, because of the complex and bureaucratic process to get certification. “It takes up to ten years,” said Acevedo. Acevedo Farm sells many types of produce including peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, and chard.

Before Acevedo was a farmer in Goshen, he lived in the nearby city of Middletown. When he was ten years old, he moved to Goshen, where his family started the farm.

Acevedo said one of his favorite parts of working on the farm is driving a tractor, which he has done since he was eleven.

“That’s the most fun thing to do on the farm,” said Acevedo.

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Greenmarket Spotlight Migliorelli Farm at Stuy Town

Tenzin Khechok at the Migiorelli Farms stand (Photo by Maya Rader)

Tenzin Khechok at the Migiorelli Farms stand (Photo by Maya Rader)

By Maya Rader

Tenzin Khechok has never been to the farm he works for. However, that doesn’t limit his passion for the vegetables and fruits he sells at markets all over the city for Migliorelli Farm. “I enjoy it every day,” Khechok said.

Migliorelli Farm is located in Dutchess County in Upstate New York. The farm sells a wide range of produce, from apples to corn, at many markets across the city, including Stuyvesant Town’s own greenmarket. The farm is not certified organic, though it does limit the use of pesticides and is GMO-free.

Khechok started working for Migliorelli Farm two years ago as a salesman and cashier at farmer’s markets. He said he “learns almost every day” by selling food at the markets. He explained that customers tell him what they know about different foods he sells, and then he imparts that knowledge to other customers. “You learn from each other,” commented Khechok.

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Letters to the Editor, July 21

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Bushy tailed beasts have taken over

Re: “Are Stuy Town squirrels getting more aggressive?”, T&V, July 14

When walking through the beautiful grounds of Stuyvesant Town, it is a melancholy sight to behold  furry tailed rodents on their hind legs begging, especially female squirrels who clearly have been nursing yet another generation of newborns destined to develop into increasingly aggressive beasts.

The reports of squirrels sinking their sharp teeth into babies is just the latest phase of the invasion of the aggressive squirrel. (We know it’s true; after all we “heard” about it on the internet!) One  squirrel bite today means there will be another one tomorrow, but even more aggressive, and another deeper one the day after, and so on, until what had started as simple begging inevitably develops into ripping the flesh off of us all.

Not too long ago, I myself witnessed a woman issue a blood-curdling scream of  terror as an infant squirrel followed her, hoping that the plastic bag she carried might have a nut for him. A pox on those who say it is only a few bad apples, a few squirrelly individuals, because we know it’s not one or two or three, but many — no, not many — all of them. They are out to get us.

Clearly we residents of Stuyvesant Town are under assault. There’s no other way to look at it. We are being attacked by vicious long-toothed terrorizing monsters who will stop at nothing. It’s time to stand up to this enemy. With that in mind I have a modest proposal for a solution to the squirrel problem.

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Meet your local farmers: ST Greenmarket’s Liberty Farms

Joseph Koovalloor, pictured with another farmer, of Liberty Farms in Stuyvesant Town Photo by Maya Rader)

Joseph Koovalloor, pictured with another farmer, of Liberty Farms in Stuyvesant Town Photo by Maya Rader)

By Maya Rader

It may seem crazy that a chef at a Japanese restaurant in New York City became a farmer in upstate New York. However, this is exactly what happened to Joseph Koovalloor, who is now a farmer’s apprentice at Liberty Farms.

When Koovalloor was working as a chef, he became interested in how the food he worked with traveled from farm to table. He said that he “wasn’t really too sold on the idea” of the long and unknown path his ingredients took before they reached him. He moved to Japan to visit friends he made at the Japanese restaurant, and began volunteering at a Japanese farm. After he experienced farming, he was sold.

He then found his way to Liberty Farms, located in Ghent, NY, two and a half hours north of Manhattan, and became a farmer’s apprentice there last February.

Liberty Farms sells chicken and a wide variety of vegetables on Sundays at the Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket. The farm began selling at the greenmarket at the end of last season and continues to sell at the market this year.

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14th Street Y composting program is offer members can’t ‘refuse’

Camille Diamond, who runs the new composting program, in front of the Y’s bin and scale Photo by Sabina Mollot

Camille Diamond, who runs the new composting program, in front of the Y’s bin and scale
Photo by Sabina Mollot

By Sabina Mollot
At the 14th Street Y, administrators have been hoping to get members to learn the joy of composting, a form of recycling of food scraps that reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.
And so far, the new compost drop-off program — essentially a bin at the East 14th Street center’s lobby alongside a scale — has actually been a surprise success with its members, residents of Stuyvesant Town and the East Village, who’ve been showing more than just a fleeting interest in the waste-reducing activity.
This may be because, according to Camille Diamond, the Y’s communications director, who runs the program, the goal of the project was actually to demonstrate that composting is actually pretty simple. However, New Yorkers generally only get the opportunity to do it at greenmarkets, and even then, the food that can be composted is usually limited to produce and other items available at the markets. At the Y, other food waste can also be composted and then it’s all taken to a plant in Delaware that processes and then sells the compost to farmers.
“Composting is not something residents can do on their own,” said Diamond, adding that Y is “going to keep doing it until Manhattan decides to starts its own residential composting program. What we wanted to do is show people it’s pretty easy once they get into the habit of it.”
The program has also been used as an educational tool at the Y, which has a summer camp, and said Diamond, the kids have shown a genuine interest in the process.  “Kids understand what a landfill is,” she said. “My kids are saying, ‘Does this go into the landfill or compost?’”
Adults have too, considering that a composting workshop held at the end of June was a big hit and a couple of local restaurants, Northern Spy Food Co. and Hotel Tortuga, have offered gift certificates for participants who are automatically entered into monthly giveaways.
The composting program, which was the idea of Y member Laura Rosenshine, has been in place since March. Diamond said the Y had been looking at ways to make the building more green.
When food waste is emptied into the bin in the lobby, it goes into bio-bags, which are bags made of corn. Initially, the bags were picked up and taken away twice a week, but the pickups have become a little more frequent recently as more members have begun to participate. On average, around 300 pounds of composted materials have been coming into and leaving the Y each week and 180 member families have signed up for the program. To learn more, email camille_diamond@14streety.org.

Letters to the Editor, Apr. 11

Another gas leak that didn’t smell

Re: “Resident concerned over gas leak in apt,” T&V, Mar. 28

I had a gas leak in my apartment several years ago. And you could not smell it in the kitchen.

I noticed the smell of gas in the hallway on my floor, and more of it just inside the apartment door. So I checked in the kitchen; the jets were all off, and there was no smell of gas. So I wrongly concluded it had come from some other apartment.

A couple of days later a group of neighbors rang my bell and said I must have a gas leak. They had smelt it in the hallway and it seemed strongest near the door of my apartment. We called Stuy Town security and the man who came verified my claim that there was no smell of gas in the kitchen. The neighbors were not satisfied. Two more security officers came and they agreed there was an odor of gas in the hallway and near my apartment door, but not in the kitchen. Finally they brought in a device that dings in the presence of gas and the device went berserk.

The leak was in the connection between the gas pipe and the tube that leads to the range.

Why could it not be detected by a person’s unaided nose in the kitchen? I think the answer is that, because there is no window in the hallway, the building has an exhaust system that draws air out of the hallway and replaces it with air drawn out of the apartments by suctioning it from under the apartment doors.

Air, including gas, in the kitchen is therefore pulled to the apartment door. Since all the gas cannot get out through the small space under the door, it builds up at that place, and you can smell it there.

Don Murray, ST

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Letters to the Editor, Apr. 4

Don’t kick nonresidents out of greenmarket

To the Editor,

Six months ago, the Tenants Association said it was taking our case “directly to the bondholders.”

Instead, we learn this week that the TA is again fighting the farmers market, this time demanding the equivalent of a “gated community” – to prevent non-residents from enjoying our farmers market and purchasing fresh zucchini, blueberries, Finnish rye bread, cage free eggs or wild flounder.

In the words of New York City law, the farmers market can be held on the Oval because it is an “accessory use” which is “substantially for the benefit of residents and guests.”

If 10 or 20 people come in from East 12th Street, we should welcome them with open arms, not make them feel like second-class citizens.  If we let the TA have its way, soon, the TA will be demanding identity cards from anyone who wishes to play basketball or to sit quietly by the fountain and read a newspaper, or sunbathe on the Oval lawn.

In fact, we need more diversity in the farmers market, not less.

We should be encouraging neighboring apartment complexes to patronize the farmers market, so that our farmers will sell more produce, not less produce. In the interest of diversity, we should ensure that at least 10 percent of the customers of the farmers market reside outside of ST/PCV itself.  We should treat these customers as our guests and make them feel welcome. As long as the market is “substantially for the benefit” of ST/PCV residents, it can remain as long as we want it to.

If the TA dislikes fresh fruits and vegetables, and wishes to spend its time and energy on a quixotic effort to ban the farmers market, then it is more than welcome to shop at The Associated.

Yours sincerely,

Name Withheld, ST

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Letters to the Editor, Oct. 4

Beautiful day at the Farmers Market

To the Editor,

Another beautiful weekend in Stuyvesant Town, and another great opportunity to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables at the Farmers Market. Local farmers were out with organic eggs, cheeses, breads, Macouns and Jonagold apples, not to mention organic turkey sausage, cinnamon apple pork sausage, cider donuts, jams and jellies, and Finnish flatbreads.

Congratulations and thank you to those tenants who stood up to the naysayers in the Tenants Association who wanted to shut down the market.  Special thanks to Council Member Daniel Garodnick and his staff who worked out a fair compromise with the City’s Planning Department to keep the market in place for tenants and their guests.

Truly, there is nothing that a small group of committed individuals cannot accomplish.

All tenants are encouraged to support our local farmers in the weeks to come, and enjoy end of the season fruits and root vegetables.

Name Withheld, ST

Busted FDNY units pose danger to residents

(Left) Emergency unit with Fire Department emergency push button and Police Department emergency push button (Right) Emergency unit

Having subscribed to Town & Village for well over 35 years, it has always been a newspaper that served this community by printing pertinent articles dealing with the social and public safety of its citizens.

I have written numerous letters to a Mr. Gerald Neville, who is the director of communications for the New York City Fire Department. These letters, I am sad to state, prove beyond reasonable doubt that the Fire Department’s infrastructure is in hazardous condition, which greatly affects the public safety of our citizens.

My credibility is based upon the fact that I have had over 30 years as a professional engineer in the construction field, working for the NYC Housing Authority, the Department of Education, the NYC Comptroller’s Office and the Department of Transportation.

Fires are the worst type of destruction because they are never extinguished without horrendous damage and death. The NYC Fire Department infrastructure must be maintained in perfect condition, so as to ensure public safety. Sincerely,

Louis Buffalano, ST

Letters to the Editor, May 17

In defense of squirrel and bird feeders

Re: Letter, “The scoop on bird poop,” Apr. 19
Dear Ms. Mollot,

I do not understand why you have space in your newspaper dedicated to letters from people who just complain and complain about anything and everything.

Last month it was a letter from a person – who I bet is a miserable old lady of Stuyvesant Town — complaining about feeding birds and squirrels. What is wrong with feeding squirrels? Doesn’t this person eat as well? I have had several unpleasant run-ins with old ladies complaining about the squirrels.

The person wrote asking us not to feed pigeons and squirrels and saying that poop from pigeons will hit kids and older people. Are you kidding me? Maybe this complainer should never leave his/her apartment. There are thousands of pigeons in NYC, not only in Stuy Town.

I am a mother of three small children in Stuy Town and I am teaching my kids to love and care about animals. We walk around Stuy Town every day and enjoy feeding the squirrels.

I think it is beautiful to have squirrels in your yard. After all, they are part of Stuy Town. I couldn’t imagine Stuy Town without squirrels.

There are more important quality of life issues in Stuy Town than squirrels and pigeons: empty beer bottles on the grounds, noisy weekend parties by college students, drug addicts on 14th street and First Avenue, low-class high school students from Brooklyn that attend classes nearby and use our grounds as picnic tables and to smoke marijuana.

Alice Malhotra-Freeman, ST

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