WEEKLY NEWS BULLETIN: GRANDMA-MUGGING, ANTIQUE STORE SCANDAL, DRAMATIC DEATH AT THE SAN REMO

central park winter
Photo by Ernest Ackermann of Sheep Meadow the day after Christmas.

Crime, real estate, and Miles Davis all make an appearance in our roundup of local stories from other publications this week.

An 81-year-old grandma was mugged by a panhandler on 96th street and Broadway after offering the man money. Cops found her emptied wallet on 105th street. She said the goon was about 6 feet tall and 250 pounds. “I will continue to give,” 81-year-old Betty Rose Nelson told the Daily News. (Daily News)

A charity run by the owners of Olde Good Things antique store has been accused of shortchanging an orphanage it supports in Haiti. “The store’s Christian missionary owners offer their well-heeled customers a heart-warming story: Part of the proceeds pay for the group’s orphanage in Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world. What they don’t say is that even though they claim in IRS filings to be spending around $2.5 million annually, the home for boys and girls was so dirty and overcrowded during recent inspections that the government said it shouldn’t remain open.” (Associated Press)

Robert W. Wilson, a wealthy 87-year-old philanthropist, was found dead in the courtyard of the San Remo on Dec 23 after apparently leaping from the building. He had given away much of his $800 million fortune. “Even in the suicide note…Mr. Wilson insisted on a kind of full disclosure. ‘The gist of it was that he had had a great life, and done all the things he wanted to,” Mr. Schneidman said, “and that the way he chose to die was nothing to be ashamed of and shouldn’t be kept secret.'” (NY Times)

One of the Central Park muggers this weekend refused to take a victim’s cell phone because it was a flip-phone. (NY Post)

The results are in from Audobon’s annual Christmas bird count in Central Park: “The birders divided into teams to cover the park’s large land area on Sunday. Along the way, they spotted 5,414 birds representing 62 species, including 165 blue jays, 78 cardinals and one bald eagle, which are a few of 11-year-old bird lover Max Goldstein’s favorite birds. Max’s mother, Abby Goldstein, a speech pathologist, brought him and his 9-year-old sister, Sadie, who is also an enthusiastic birder, to their first Christmas Bird Count.” (Wall Street Journal)

A coach at the Trinity School says the lesbian athletic director fired him “for being straight.” He’s suing. (NY Post)

Granny-Made’s Michael Rosenberg blames Amazon in part for forcing the store to close. “I couldn’t compete with Amazon,” he said. “They’re selling it so close to cost, and with free shipping, that I can’t compete against that.” (International Business Times)

The city Department of Investigation blamed human error on the delay in getting an ambulance to Ariel Russo. (Daily News)

A school called the Manhattan Star Academy is scheduled to open on the third floor of the Lincoln Square Synagogue and serve students with special needs. (DNAinfo)

A carriage driver was charged with animal cruelty for allegedly forcing an injured horse to work. (NY Times)

Bill de Blasio is likely to ban horse and carriage rides in Central Park. Some tourists are rushing to experience them before he takes office. (Daily News)

Renters could get a tax rebate under a tax-cutting plan being considered by Governor Cuomo.  (Capital NY)

Local resident Shirley Zafirau fought for years to name part of West 77th street after Miles Davis, who lived at 312 West 77th for about 25 years. This month, she got her wish. (NY Times)

The blind lawyer suing the city after being hit by a bicyclist in Central Park  laid out his evidence of ADA violations. (CBS)

The Greystone on 91st street changed hands. “Brack Capital Real Estate has sold rental building The Greystone to Acuity Capital Partners for $139.05 million, according to a press release. The Greystone was built as a hotel in 1923 and converted into rentals in 2009.” (Curbed)

Charges may be reduced for the motorcyclists accused of beating a man they chased on the West Side Highway. (NY Times)

Thanks to everyone who sends in items for our bulletins.

NEWS | 2 comments | permalink
    1. Laurel says:

      I really like this page with all of the comments about not only the UWS, but Manhattan.

      Happy holidays.

    2. Scooter Stan says:

      Re: “The blind lawyer suing the city after being hit by a bicyclist in Central Park laid out his evidence of ADA violations.”

      And he is absolutely correct!

      This commenter loves Central Park and contributes often to the wonderful Central Park Conservancy, which has done such amazing work in making the park the jewel of Manhattan!

      BUT, although so much of the park IS perfectly accessible, there ARE too many places which are impossible for mobility-impaired users to access, such as too-high curbs with no curb-cut, stairways, etc.

      It would be great if the Conservancy agreed to accept public suggestions for improving these places so that the entire park can be enjoyed by the mobility-impaired.