Opinion: Living in NYC isn’t a privilege

By Harvey Epstein

Maria has lived in her apartment for more than 40 years. However, a few years ago, a new landlord purchased the building. The landlord started a lot of work in the building and filed for Major Capital Improvements (MCIs). The rent has gone up over 30 percent in the last 5 years. Maria is getting ready to retire and now really worries whether she will be able to afford to live in her rent stabilized apartment for the rest of her life. There are thousands of Marias living in our city today unsure what their future holds.

It all starts with a stable home. Opportunities for better employment, our children’s success in school, and the ability to lead healthier lives. But when being able to stay in our homes in New York City is a day-to-day struggle, so is everything else. Affordable housing is the cornerstone of a thriving society, but for far too long it has been under threat in our city.

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Opinion: See no evil

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

As you drive into New York City across the George Washington Bridge and then south down the West Side Highway you can see huge cranes and glittering new buildings being built. You can be sure that these constructions are for the very well off and not middle income residents.

A tale of two cities indeed.

In part, Bill de Blasio was elected mayor because he promised to do better than his recent predecessors on the matter of decent affordable housing. During his 2013 campaign de Blasio vowed to create some 200,000 units during his two terms. He is way behind schedule. In fact when one calculates the loss of rent-regulated housing each year at about 10,000 units, NYC has made little progress during the mayor’s entire first term of office.

And then there is the New York City federally funded Housing Authority.

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CB6 reso. calls for orientation program for residents of NYCHA who’ve been victims of domestic violence

At Straus Houses, a man was arrested in October for allegedly killing his girlfriend, who had recently moved in. (Photo via Google Maps)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A resident of the Straus Houses on East 28th Street is pushing NYCHA to re-implement a program that he feels could have helped a victim of domestic violence who was killed in the building at the end of October.

Aaron Humphrey, who is also a member of the Housing, Homeless and Human Rights committee of Community Board 6, helped to research and write a resolution for the committee in 2015 that would create an orientation program offering meetings for tenants who are new to the building who have also been victims of domestic violence. However, the Residents Association hasn’t yet been able to coordinate with the Housing Authority to implement the program.

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Teen charged with raping girl, 14, in building on E. 28th

Straus Houses (Photo via Google Maps)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested an 18-year-old man for allegedly raping a teenage girl inside a stairwell at the Straus Houses. Elijah Mclendon, 18, allegedly forced himself on a girl while they were inside the building at 344 East 28th Street on Nov. 10. He was arrested there on Nov. 15 at 3 a.m.

The district attorney’s office said that Mclendon held down the victim and pulled off her pants. He allegedly began to have sex with her while she repeatedly told him to stop, the victim told police.

The victim said that she told Mclendon that she had a sexually transmitted disease in an effort to get him to stop raping her.

According to the district attorney’s office, the victim was 14 years old at the time of the incident and Mclendon was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Police said that neither the victim nor Mclendon live in the NYCHA complex and it was unclear how they got inside. Mclendon’s attorney did not respond to a call for comment on the case.

Kips Bay shelter resident charged with murdering girlfriend

By Maria Rocha-Buschel 

Police arrested 33-year-old Charles Pratt, a resident of the 30th Street Men’s Shelter, for allegedly murdering his girlfriend, 38-year-old Latisha Fowler, inside 344 East 28th Street last Sunday.

The New York Daily News reported that two NYCHA handymen found Fowler’s body around 9:30 a.m. that day after the victim’s six-year-old son let them inside. The workers had been dispatched to her apartment to fix a clogged pipe and when the child opened the door, he reportedly told them that his mom was hurt and needed help.

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Council votes to support low-income tenants’ right to counsel

Council Member Vanessa Gibson, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Council Member Mark Levine at the vote on the legislation (Photo via Mark Levine’s Twitter page)

By Sabina Mollot

On Thursday, the City Council voted overwhelmingly to support the right of tenants facing eviction to access free legal representation. In support were 42 Council members with three opposed and one abstention.

The mayor has already indicated his support for the bill, which was sponsored by Council Members Mark Levine and Vanessa Gibson. The legislation, introduced in 2014, has since been pushed along by the Right to Counsel NYC Coalition, which is made up of dozens of civic, tenant and legal assistance organizations.

The legislation likely took three years to get voted on due to the cost, which is estimated at $155 million a year. That figure is based on $93 million to be added to city money that’s already budgeted for similar services, around $62 million, according to Andrew Scherer, the policy director of Impact Center for Public Interest Law at New York Law School, who’s been deeply involved in the coalition’s efforts. Continue reading

Council candidate focused on housing, mental health services

Jasmin Sanchez (Photo courtesy of Jasmin Sanchez)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Lifelong Lower East Side resident Jasmin Sanchez had already been working in public service for most of her career when she decided to try to transfer those skills to the City Council.

Sanchez, who still lives in Baruch Houses in the Lower East Side where she grew up, has experience in the nonprofit sector, working with community leaders at Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) and in State Senator Daniel Squadron’s office, which is where she said she learned how to be a community advocate. She is running for the Council seat in District 2, with City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez being term-limited out next year.

A major focus of Sanchez’s campaign is mental health services, primarily because it’s an issue that ties into not only healthcare, but can affect housing and education as well, and has an impact on homelessness. She added that she feels having affordable housing can sometimes be the lynchpin for communities and families, and that it can be especially detrimental for students if they have a tenuous living situation.

“If you don’t have housing, you don’t focus as much on everything else and your performance suffers,” she said.

“It’s not a stable life for kids from shelters. It can be very stressful for them not to have a stable place to live. Schools have mental health services but they have to be holistic and make sure that families are receiving those services as well.”

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Man who fatally shot teen at Campos Plaza gets 40 years

By Sabina Mollot

A man who fatally gunned down a teenager in Campos Plaza five years ago was finally sentenced to 40 years behind bars last Wednesday.

Hockeem Smith got a 25-year sentence for manslaughter and an additional 15 for criminal possession of a weapon, according to the district attorney’s office. Both terms are to run concurrently.

On the evening of October 16 in 2011, Smith, then 25, shot Donovan “Keith” Salgado, a 17-year-old resident of the NYCHA complex. Salgado, a senior at Washington Irving High School, was hanging out with his friends outside when shots rang out on East 12th Street and Avenue C.

At the time, the victim’s death spurred community outcry about ongoing violence and gang activity in the community. In response, youth programs were introduced onsite and promises made to enhance security at NYCHA complexes. But things didn’t go that smoothly. There was another shooting the night of the youth center’s opening. Security upgrades took a long time to come to Campos Plaza and the youth programs were discontinued by 2013, according to The Lo Down. The local blog also reported at the time that Smith’s trial had been delayed again and again due to teenagers with knowledge of the situation refusing to talk.

Police Watch: Man arrested for ‘kicking’ dog, Teen busted for ‘groping’

MAN ALLEGEDLY KICKED DOG OUTSIDE STUY TOWN BUILDING
Police arrested 38-year-old John O’Connor for kicking a dog in front of 430 East 20th Street on Friday, December 19 at 9:30 a.m. Police said that O’Connor got into an argument with the victim over her dog barking at his dog. The victim bent down to check on O’Connor’s dog, who she said seemed scared, when O’Connor allegedly kicked the victim’s dog in the mouth, causing the animal to yelp and cry. The victim said that she brought her dog to the ASPCA Hospital for further examination and her dog didn’t have any life-threatening injuries. Stuyvesant Town surveillance video was able to identify O’Connor and Public Safety worked with the NYPD to arrest him. O’Connor was charged with torturing and injuring an animal at the 13th Precinct last Wednesday at 9:45 a.m.

TEEN BUSTED FOR GROPING AT WASHINGTON IRVING
Police arrested a teenager for sexual abuse inside the Washington Irving High School building at 40 Irving Place last Thursday. The victim told police that while riding the elevator at school at 4 p.m., she felt the boy touch her back but thought it was because the elevator was crowded, so she shrugged it off. She then felt a hand squeeze her buttocks and when she turned around to face him, the teen put his hands up. When a school administrator asked him what happened, he apologized but didn’t give an explanation as to why he did it. The victim is a student at Gramercy Arts High School and the suspect goes to International High School. The name of the suspect is being withheld due to his young age.

TEEN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT AT WASHINGTON IRVING
Police arrested a teenager for assault inside 40 Irving Place last Friday at 2:34 p.m. Police said that the teen punched the victim in the face, causing a cut on her lip and bruising.

MAN ARRESTED FOR DRUNK DRIVING ON FDR
Police arrested 37-year-old Henry Tinajero for intoxicated driving on the FDR near East 25th Street last Friday at 11:25 p.m. Police were responding to the location because of a collision Tinajero was allegedly involved in. Police said that the suspect was driving and allegedly had an odor of alcohol emanating from his breath.

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Police Watch: ‘Perv’ takes plea deal, Burglars wanted

SUBWAY ‘PERV’ TAKES PLEA DEAL
The New York Post reported that 46-year-old Daniel Galantter pleaded guilty on Monday to attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a woman on August 8, 2015 while she was waiting for the train at the 23rd Street N/R station. Galantter will need to complete an intensive one-year long sex addiction program and register as a sex offender as part of the no-jail plea deal. Galantter had wrapped one arm around the victim’s shoulder while slipping his other hand under her skirt and penetrating her. Police said that at the time of his arrest, he told them he was sexually repressed because women wouldn’t date him and he doesn’t like going to prostitutes.

Office burglary suspect

Office burglary suspect

CLOSET HIDING BURGLAR WANTED
Police have released details about a burglary in which an office prowler conned a building security guard.
As Town & Village reported last week, 13th Precinct Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney spoke about the burglar at the latest meeting of the 13th Precinct Community Council. At the time, Timoney seemed shocked at the reaction of the guard, who, upon discovering a man inside a building closet and claimed he was looking for somewhere to charge his phone, showed the man a spot where he could do so instead of calling the police. The unknown man then went to another floor, hid again and ended up stealing numerous laptops.
Police have since said that the man entered the offices of Gravity Advertising at 114 West 26th Street on Friday, April 22 around 6:09 p.m. and removed an undetermined number of laptops from the office. Police said that the man is black, approximately 25 years old, 5’10” tall and 185 lbs. with brown eyes, a bald head and dark complexion, and was last seen wearing a white baseball hat, multi-colored sneakers and a black shirt. 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. All calls are kept strictly confidential.

Burglary suspect

Burglary suspect

MAN WANTED FOR BURGLARY AT BARN JOO
Police are on the lookout for a burglar who swiped alcohol and a laptop from Barn Joo, a Korean bar/restaurant located at 893 Broadway between 19th and 20th Streets.
On Sunday, April 17 at 4:30 a.m., the suspect is believed to have gotten onto the premises, where he took the computer and four bottles of liquor.
The individual is a black man, 35 to 40 years old, 6’, 200 to 220 lbs., with a beard. He was last seen wearing a two tone jacket, a du-rag and light blue jeans. Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers. All calls are strictly confidential.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘TERRORIST’ THREATS AGAINST VA WORKERS
Police arrested 32-year-old Dmitriy Ulanov for a terrorist threat last Saturday at 11 a.m. inside the 13th Precinct. Police said that Ulanov made threats by telephone and social media posts to injure Veterans Administration workers at the VA Hospital, and also allegedly made threats against his psychiatrist.

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Police Watch: Man wanted for Q train groping, Convicted killer arrested in Union Square for ‘groping’

Groping suspect

Groping suspect

MAN WANTED FOR GROPING WOMAN ON Q TRAIN
Police are looking for a man who groped a 54-year-old woman on a downtown Q train near Union Square last Sunday at 7:22 a.m. According to Gothamist, the victim was sitting on the train when the man sitting next to her reached over and rubbed his hand on her leg. She said that the suspect then fell asleep and she took a photograph of him before she got off at Union Square. The suspect is described as 25 to 30 years old with an afro. He was last seen wearing a black jacket with grey sleeves, grey jeans and black sneakers.
Anyone with information in regards to either of these incidents is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). Tips can also be submitted by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting TIP577 and tips to 274637 (CRIMES). Commuters can also report incidents of improper sexual misconduct online.

CONVICTED KILLER BUSTED FOR ‘GROPING’ WOMAN
Transit police arrested 48-year-old Phillip Smalls for forcible touching and sexual abuse in the Union Square station around 8 a.m. last Thursday, The New York Post reported. Police said that Smalls rubbed against a 22-year-old woman on a downtown 4 train.
The Post noted that Smalls had recently served 25 years in prison for second-degree murder after fatally shooting a man in Astoria in 1986 and has been serving lifetime parole since being let out in 2013.
Jennifer Rosario, a member of the Transit Manhattan Task Force Anti-Crime Unit who was one of the officers who caught Smalls, was given a special MVP award by Police Commissioner Bratton earlier last week.

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR ‘ASSAULTING’ HOMELESS MAN
Thirty-two-year-old Sandra Zelazny was arrested for allegedly shoving a 70-year-old homeless man into the tracks at the Union Square subway station last Wednesday, The New York Daily News reported. The man was shoved following an argument, although it was not clear what they were arguing about. Police said that Zelazny pushed the man onto the 6 train’s tracks and then boarded the train, where she was later arrested after the man identified her as his attacker. Zelazny was charged with felony assault on a victim 65 years or older and reckless endangerment, and she had a court appearance this past Monday.

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Police Watch: Serial ice cream ‘thief’ busted, ‘Bank robber’ nabbed on East 28th

SERIAL ICE CREAM ‘THIEF’ NABBED
Police arrested 28-year-old Philip Jaudoa last Tuesday evening for allegedly stealing over $3,000 worth of ice cream and energy drinks from multiple stores.
Police said that the pattern began on December 18 when Jaudoa strolled into the Duane Reade at 777 Sixth Avenue and allegedly distracted store employees while the two other people he was with took ice cream without paying for it. Police said that the total amount of treats stolen was $1,470.
On January 14, Jaudoa went to a CVS at 215 Park Avenue South and allegedly swiped $106.03 worth of Haagen Dazs ice cream. Police said that he went into another CVS location at 750 Sixth Avenue on December 20, 2015 and took energy drinks without paying.
Police also said that Jaudoa stole $248 worth of ice cream from that same CVS location on January 14.
Jaudoa was additionally charged in an incident in the 6th Precinct where police said that he and two other people who weren’t arrested stole $1,683 worth of ice cream from the CVS at 20 University Place.
He allegedly also stole merchandise from a CVS at 300 Park Avenue South on November 16, 2015 but police did not specify what was taken that time.
Police didn’t have information on whether the sugary substances were intended for a lifetime of personal use or some other purpose like starting a mid-winter pop-up stand, but it seems that Jaudoa liked the good stuff. In one case, 54 pints of Haagen Dazs were allegedly pilfered along with 90 pints of Ben & Jerry’s. Jaudoa was slapped with four counts of petit larceny and two counts of grand larceny in connection with the aforementioned incidents.

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Police Watch: Man wanted for attempted rape, Dunkin Donuts employee arrested for sex abuse

suspect Dominique Frazier

Dominique Frazier

MAN WANTED FOR ATTEMPTED RAPE
The New York City Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect wanted for attempted rape within the confines of the 13th Precinct.
Police said that 31-year-old Dominique Frazier forced the victim, a 48-year-old woman, into the 17th floor stairwell where he forced her to perform a sexual act and then attempted to rape her on Thanksgiving at noon inside of Straus Houses at 344 East 28th Street.
The victim resisted and Frazier allegedly grabbed her handbag before fleeing down the stairwell. The victim chased him to the lobby and, with the assistance of a witness, was able to get her bag back from the suspect. Frazier allegedly fled into an elevator in the lobby. The victim was taken by EMS to Bellevue Hospital, where she was treated and released.
Frazier was previously arrested for robbery on November 9.
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 and TIP577to 274637(CRIMES). All calls are kept strictly confidential.

MEN ARRESTED IN ‘SHOOTING’
Police arrested 33-year-old Gadell Gibbs and 32-year-old Ronald McPhatter last Wednesday for assault, weapons possession at 3:10 a.m. inside 13th Precinct. Police said that Gibbs and McPhatter engaged in a shootout, resulting in the victim receiving a gunshot wound to her inner right calf.

DUNKIN DONUTS EMPLOYEE NABBED FOR ‘SEX ABUSE’
Police arrested 41-year-old Ahmed Mechebek for allegedly sexually abusing a coworker and endangering the welfare of a child inside the Dunkin Donuts at 818 Sixth Avenue last Wednesday. The victim told police that it was her second day of training at the Dunkin Donuts and Mechebek followed her when she went into the back to check her phone. Mechebek allegedly attempted to hug her and kiss her on the mouth without her consent. The victim said that she told him to stop and attempted to push him away. Mechebek allegedly said, “Just one kiss,” and again tried to hug and kiss her. She said that she pushed him away again.
Police said that video surveillance showed Mechebek grabbing the victim around her waist and trying to kiss her while she attempted to move away.

MAN ARRESTED IN THANKSGIVING ‘ASSAULT’
Police arrested 29-year-old Brian Miller for assault on Thanksgiving at 3:16 a.m. in front of 257 Third Avenue. Police said that Miller got into an argument with the victim and he allegedly punched the victim in the face, causing minor pain and bleeding. EMS responded to the incident and the victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital. Police said that Miller, during the arrest, claimed that he punched the victim in the face.

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Men indicted for rape, robbery; Officer assaulted at Bellevue

THREE MEN INDICTED FOR RAPE, ROBBERY

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced the indictment of Fernando Sandel, 27, Isaias Rivera, 31, and Joey Cruz, 26, for allegedly conspiring to rape and rob prostitutes. The defendants were charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with predatory sexual assault, rape, burglary, and robbery, among other charges, including conspiring together to commit those crimes.

On August 3, Sandel, Rivera, and Cruz contacted a prostituted woman online and met her in a Midtown hotel room, where they allegedly sprayed her in the face with mace and bound her wrists and ankles with zip ties before repeatedly sexually assaulting her. The three defendants are similarly accused of attacking a prostituted woman whom they met online in a Gramercy apartment the next day, spraying her in the face with mace and binding her wrists and ankles before sexually assaulting her. In an earlier incident on June 28, Sandel and Cruz allegedly sexually assaulted a prostituted woman on the roof of a Bronx apartment building after spraying her in the face with mace. The men are also charged with stealing property from each woman, including the purses of two victims.

MAN ARRESTED IN CONNECTION

WITH SEPTEMBER ROBBERY

Police arrested 25-year-old Mohamed Diaby inside the 13th Precinct last Tuesday at 10 p.m. for a robbery that took place at the corner of West 27th Street and Sixth Avenue on September 26 at 3:05 a.m. Police said that Diaby drove up next to the victim in a black Jeep and told him that he had a gun. He allegedly forced the victim into the back of the vehicle while two other suspects snatched his property. Police said the suspects then pushed him from the vehicle and fled north on Sixth Avenue. The victim tracked his iPhone to West 29th Street and Ninth Avenue but the phone was not recovered. The other two suspects have not yet been arrested.

TEENS ARRESTED FOR

‘THEFT’ FROM FOOD VENDOR

Police arrested a 16-year-old and 18-year-old Xavier Chalas for petit larceny at the corner of First Avenue and East 25th Street last Tuesday at 2:28 a.m. Police said that the teen and Chalas removed cash from a food cart at the corner without permission. Chalas was also allegedly in possession of a scalpel and was charged with possession of a weapon.

OFFICER ASSAULTED AT BELLEVUE

Police arrested 23-year-old Andrew Baker for assault of a peace officer inside Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue last Friday at 7:20 p.m. While he was in police custody, Baker allegedly punched the officer who was guarding him in the face, causing swelling and pain.

TWO MEN ARRESTED FOR

‘MUGGING’ ON SEVENTH AVENUE

Police arrested 28-year-old Spencer Daly and 25-year-old Daniel Maldonado for grand larceny last Tuesday at 3:25 p.m. in front of 333 Seventh Avenue.

Police said that Daly and Maldonado removed property from the victim without permission, and Daly was found to be in possession of the victim’s property. Maldonado allegedly refused to be handcuffed and police said that he kicked out the passenger’s side rear window of a marked Radio Motor Patrol vehicle. He was also allegedly in possession of several credit cards that didn’t belong to him.

Daly was also charged with theft and Maldonado was additionally charged with criminal mischief, possession of stolen property, jostling and resisting arrest.

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR ‘ASSAULT’ WITH JEWELRY BOX

Twenty-year-old Hannah Sperber was arrested for assault last Tuesday at 12:07 p.m. inside 201 East 15th Street. The victim told police that Sperber hit her in the face with a jewelry box, causing broken front teeth and an injury on her head that required two stitches, and also caused a fractured wrist. Police did not have any information about how Sperber knew the victim, but she told police that Sperber is very aggressive.

‘DRUG’ SALE ON THIRD AVENUE

Eighteen-year-old Vincent McLeod was arrested for the sale of a controlled substance in front of 171 Third Avenue last Tuesday at 6:10 p.m. Police said that McLeod agreed to sell a quantity of a controlled substance to an undercover officer for a sum of money. McLeod was also charged with petit larceny and fraudulent accosting. Police said that McLeod is known as an MGZ crew member, which is a gang in Brooklyn known as Marcy Gangstas.

MAN NABBED FOR VERIZON STORE ‘BURGLARY’

Eighteen-year-old Fernando Rodriguez was arrested at the 13th Precinct last Tuesday for burglary. Police said that Rodriguez forcibly entered a Verizon store overnight and removed three cell phones without permission. After he was read his Miranda rights, he allegedly identified himself on surveillance video removing the phones.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ‘TRESPASSING’

IN WEST 26TH ST. BUILDING

Police arrested 34-year-old Patrick Gaillard for criminal trespass inside 25 West 26th Street last Wednesday at 8:35 a.m. Gaillard was allegedly in the basement of the building without permission to be there. Police said that he was also in possession of a gravity knife, and he was charged with possession of a weapon.

MAN NABBED FOR SELLING ‘DRUGS’

Police arrested 24-year-old Kyle Ayala for sale of a controlled substance and intent to sell a controlled substance in front of 125 West 26th Street last Saturday at 11:40 p.m. Police said that Ayala exchanged a quantity of a controlled substance with another person who wasn’t arrested. When police stopped him, he allegedly fled and once he was detained, he began to flail his arms to prevent being handcuffed. He was also charged with resisting arrest. When he was searched, police said he was also in possession of a quantity of a controlled substance and packaging for drugs.

MEN ARRESTED FOR ‘TRESPASSING’

IN NYCHA BUILDING

Two men were arrested for trespassing in a NYCHA building at 224 East 28th Street in separate incidents last week.

Police arrested 43-year-old Juan Nieves last Tuesday at 2:42 p.m. Police said that Nieves entered and remained unlawfully on the roof landing at the building even though a sign in the stairwell clearly states that roof access is not permitted except by authorized personnel.

Nineteen-year-old Kaliel Frazier was arrested last Thursday at 9:47 p.m. Frazier was allegedly trespassing on the second floor of the building.

MAN BUSTED FOR TRESPASSING

IN EAST 27TH ST. BUILDING

Vincent Querrazi, 48, was arrested for criminal trespass inside 243 East 27th Street last Wednesday at 8:58 p.m. Police said that Querrazi was trespassing in the sixth floor stairwell in the building. After he was searched, police found that he was allegedly in possession of a controlled substance and he was charged with possession of a controlled substance.

 

NYCHA buildings getting energy efficiency upgrades

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Nearly 300 New York City Housing Authority developments will be upgraded and retrofitted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate cost savings with at least $100 million in work through a series of Energy Performance Contracts, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office announced last Thursday.

Facilitated by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the upgrades are part of the mayor’s commitment to an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The reduction in consumption will also help NYCHA mitigate the impact of rising utility costs to save funds for other building upgrades and repairs.

Utility costs for water, electricity and heat in NYCHA developments have increased 64 percent over the last ten years even though consumption has only increased 9 percent, so the upgrades planned include energy-saving measures for heating plants and distribution, as well as the installation of energy efficient lighting.

The Request for Proposal, released today, will try to find energy services companies that maximize energy savings and cost savings throughout 50 percent of NYCHA’s properties, 89 developments encompassing 87,000 apartments and representing more than 200,000 residents. Currently, the annual utility cost for these developments is almost $300 million. Subsequent RFPs will seek bids for additional properties, for up to 300 NYCHA developments. In the mayor’s green buildings plan, the city has committed to retrofitting all public buildings with significant energy use by 2025 and public housing is a key component to the plan.

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