WEEKLY NEWS BULLETIN: SENIOR CITIZEN BULLY, ANTI-VAXXERS, BIKE WARS, CRIME AND MORE

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Photo by Gwen Solomon at the 68th street block fair on Sunday.

The old-school deli man, the senior citizen bully, the anti-vaxxers — they could all be on an episode of Seinfeld. Instead, they’re part of our bulletin. Check out some local news updates from other outlets.

A woman felt bullied by a senior citizen who wanted a seat on the M72. “Perhaps she didn’t see my daughter at first, but when she did, she audibly groaned. Then she turned, muttering something along the lines of, “I can’t believe people let their children sit on the bus.” Gothamist’s Jake Dobkin argued that the woman should have gotten up and relinquished her seat: “On a bus, the NYC order of precedence is: Disabled old person, Disabled person, Very pregnant woman, Child, Regular old person, Not very pregnant woman, Regular adults.” (Gothamist)

Some Upper West Side parents appear to be anti-vaxxers, although they can often be convinced to vaccinate their kids. “Among mothers and fathers coming in for an infant’s two-week visit, about 10 percent express opposition to vaccination, Barney Softness, a prominent Upper West Side pediatrician, told me, speaking of his practice. Dr. Softness works with patients to persuade them to immunize. Often he is successful, he told me, but often, “they give me lip service and then delay.” (NY Times)

Harold Horowytz, Zabar’s 86-year-old meat counter man, never really retired. “Who is this guy? No, he is not a high-flying gourmand with a crack team of assistants or a celebrity chef with a computerized database of delicacies. He is something better: an 86-year-old retiree with bad knees, a wry sense of humor and a penchant for profanity, one of the last of the old-school deli men.” (NY Times)

More on the battle over expanding the Trinity School. “The school has finalized plans to raise a playing field by two stories, allowing for two more floors of classrooms. The problem the tenants association has with this plan is that it would knock out the balconies of their fourth floor loggia, an area designated as a quiet place for families to relax, offering an outdoor play area for children, and a space to garden”. (West Side Spirit)

A man convicted of attempting to rape a woman in Central Park last year was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison. He fainted after the sentence was read. The victim gave stirring testimony. “The victim, a VP of a small company, said she mourns the unstoppable woman she once was, no longer runs and is overwhelmed by anxiety and fear. ‘Sleep doesn’t provide relief. I wake up screaming from nightmares and other times I toss and turn and question why it happened.’ (NY Post)

The Central Park bike rental wars continue. “Unless you’re there 24/7, they turn into an angry mob,” said Wogas. “They constantly keep trying to come back. They’ve not given up. We’d love to see the program gone.” (NY Post)

The bizarre tale of a family searching for a dog (they put up tons of fliers in the neighborhood). It turns out the dad had actually given the dog away, and he thinks the new owners live on the UWS. “The Zagharis are hopeful that someone on the Upper West Side will spot Cooper out on a walk with the people who showed up at the De Witt Clinton dog park a month ago and took him home.” (West Side Spirit)

Several ideas were floated for how to spend $1 million through participatory budgeting. “A computer center, bike racks and playground resurfacing were a few of the ideas floated by local residents Wednesday for how to spend $1 million under the City Council’s participatory budgeting program…Under city rules, the funding can only go toward capital projects, which typically involve new construction, infrastructure work or repairs, as opposed to funding for salaries, overhead or supplies.” (DNAinfo)

The Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center across from Amsterdam Houses is starting to rebound, after executive director Mary Mulvihill expanded fundraising. It’s raised $430,000 so far, although it needs more to expand programming. “For the center, Ms. Mulvihill and board members have reached out to nearby co-op boards, businesses and religious institutions. The center has teamed up with restaurants to hold wine and cheese fund-raising events. Ms. Mulvihill has made presentations before high-profile foundations.” (NY Times)

The Central Park Conservancy helps other parks volunteers throughout the city learn how to take care of urban parks. “This month, it started a new program with a team of gardeners, called the Five Borough Crew, to share its expertise with 10 parks across the city. The idea is to impart the strategies and techniques that have served Central Park so well.” (NY Times)

The attorney general says 72% of the Airbnb rentals his office analyzed were illegal. (NY Times)

A man and his girlfriend were accused by police of beating up the man’s mother in her 94th street apartment. (Daily News)

Parents say the pre-K rollout was smooth on the UWS. (Columbia Spectator)

More on the art shows at Bard Graduate Center. (Hyperallergic)

Police are looking for a man they say robbed a livery cab driver on the Upper West Side on Friday, August 22. (CBS)

How a comedian got part of West 121st street named after George Carlin, even after the church on the block opposed him. (Village Voice)

Beware the lottery scam, which has been pulled on the UWS and other neighborhoods. “One of the suspects tells the victims they have a winning lottery ticket they cannot cash in because they are undocumented, police said. The second suspect then approaches, claiming to know a lawyer who can help, and convinces the victim to give them money for the lawyer and a split of the winnings.” (Metro)

New York state gives out more corporate subsidies than any other state by far. (Journal News)

Giorgio Armani expanded his Central Park West penthouse. (NY Post)

How desperate is the city for more affordable housing? 53,000 people applied for 90 East Harlem apartments. (Crain’s)

NYCHA housing on West 103rd street continues to leak two years after being damaged in Hurricane Sandy. “The building, 74-76 West 103rd Street, is nicknamed the “forgotten house,” part of the Frederick Douglass Houses, operated by the New York City Housing Authority.” (Pix11)

A suspect is wanted in four city robberies, one of which occurred on the UWS. (ABC News)

Henry Wachtel, accused of killing his mother, La Guardia high school teacher Karyn Kay, pleaded “not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect,” and was ordered into treatment at a state facility. (CBS)

A Ghostbusters sequel? Can they destroy the San Remo twice? (Examiner)

More restaurants have been opening in NYC in recent years. (WSJ)

But more have been closing too. (Eater)

A nice profile of the Bloomingdale Neighborhood History Group: “According to a post on the neighborhood history group’s blog, the historical neighborhood name “Bloomingdale” comes from the Dutch “Bloemendaal”—a town in the Netherlands that, like its American namesake, borders the city of Haarlem.” (Columbia Spectator)

For our last bulletin, click here.

NEWS | 23 comments | permalink
    1. denton says:

      Re the bus seats, the senior should have taken whatever seat was offered her. Nevertheless, whatever happened to that old NYCTA jingle?

      “Little enough to ride for free, little enough to ride your knee?”

      • geoff says:

        i raised two children, i’m fairly able (physically) and i’m reasonably reasonable, yet sometimes i cringe when i see bus riding children, capable of standing, sitting while even their weary escorts stand, and especially when old folks, like me would rather sit.

        on the one hand it looks like loving parenting (or whatever) but on the other it is an example of children’s escorts being unobservant and inconsiderate, in my opinion.

      • ScooterStan says:

        Re: “little enough to ride your knee”

        Bad idea!

        Those who may ride for free include MTA employees, NYPD, etc.

        Picture yourself with a 250 pound MTA bus mechanic perched on your knee as the M5 crawls up Sixth Avenue in rush hour traffic!

        • Christina says:

          Uh I think it means if you are LITTLE enough to ride for free then you are LITTLE enough to ride the knee. Operative word here is Little…not an adult. 🙂

    2. paul smadbeck says:

      regarding the 53,000 applications for the 90 Harlem apts, yes, there is a housing shortage, but I think some of this story is simply price logic – if I offered lobster at 99 cents a pound at Fairway, you’d have a few takers as well.

    3. Joan S says:

      I would suggest that the odious woman with the child either move to Park Slope or back to the suburbs (from surely whence she came). It’s people like her, raising entitled horrible children, that are ruining this city.

      • Eddie says:

        Horribly entitled children? Wow! What planet are you living on. Clearly you have never had a child. There are plenty of entitled kids in NYC, but this was not one of them. Once this elderly woman rejected an offer of one seat, she gave up her right to any seat. And I agree that kids (generally those under 5 or so) are entitled to seats over elderly people who do not have visible ailments.

      • webot says:

        No Joan it is people like you who ruin this city.

        Self entitled, judgmental, nasty, ugh. enough already.

      • Paul RL says:

        Joan, I would suggest that YOU move to Park Slope or the suburbs, but I have friends in both places and I wouldn’t want to subject them to your nastiness. Your childish rant tells me that your mommy didn’t put you in the corner enough.

      • Christina says:

        I think people should just use common courtesy when it comes to the elderly, pregnant women, people with disabilities or injuries.

    4. LIsa says:

      Parent here….we always had our kids get up and give their bus seats to the elderly. My kids get many thank yous!
      (I would like to think that my kids are also especially mindful because they know that their grandparents sometimes cannot get seats on the bus because kids are sitting.)

      Parents should be mindful and have kids relinquish bus seats. It is the right thing to do. It makes me very sad to see the entitled attitude and bad manners of the newer, wealthy, suburban-reared parents now on the UWS.

      • Paul RL says:

        I’ll take newer, suburban-reared parents any day over self-righteous holier-than-thou parents that spew venom at anyone that wasn’t born here.

    5. Amy says:

      The thing is – there are seats reserved for seniors & disabled. I’ve noticed many parents have their kids sit there, because it’s easier than walking their kids & strollers down the length of the bus (I’ve certainly used those seats, too!) So the seniors should usually be able to get a seat there. If not, people should get up. No question.

      • DMH says:

        She wasn’t sitting in the priority seats though. It’s worth reading the article. She had specifically walked further back with her daughter, and pointed out to her daughter that those front seats were saved for people who need them most. After the bus became full, other people had offered their seats to the woman who instead picked a fight with this mom.

        I read it a couple weeks ago but I think the author mentioned she has back issues and was grateful for the seat for that reason. I don’t think she mentioned whether her kid rode for free or not, but either way, it seemed mean-spirited to me to call out a tired mom to give up their seat, when other people were offering one. Not the worst thing in the world, just one of those NYC stories where you’re stuck fuming in close quarters with others.

        • DMH says:

          Also, funny sign of the times, I guess: 8 comments so far on the seated mom with a kid on the M72 bus. No comments so far on the UWS parents who don’t vaccinate their children. !!!

          • Emilia says:

            Good point re vaccinations. That is a tremendous concern. I can’t wait for the day when polio makes a comeback here in the US. To think that we worked so hard to eradicate such deadly and crippling diseases just to have ignorant people think that the vaccinations are worse than the disease. Pox on them. And actually, they will get smallpox. And measles, mumps, rubella, tuberculosis, polio, and diphtheria. Those parents better not complain if, God forbid, their child ends up contracting such deadly and debilitating diseases. Stupid complacent people. Look at what FDR went through with polio – and he fared better than most.

            • Upper West Side Mom says:

              Emilia – You “can’t wait for the day when polio makes a comeback here in the US”????? I totally agree that all parents should vaccinate their kids, and that it’s irresponsible to fail to do so. But, here’s yet another example of an UWS’er that is so sociopathically mean spirited towards children and/or anyone that does not agree with your opinions that it defies all reason, empathy and humanity. WHY ARE YOU SO MISERABLY UNHAPPY THAT YOU FEEL IT NECESSARY TO TAKE YOUR VENOM OUT ON KIDS? I’m truly interested in your rationale, and if you don’t have one, you should be institutionalized before you actually hurt someone – like an innocent child.

          • Sally Smile says:

            Since many of those kids who are sitting in the bus seats reserved for the elderly and handicapped probably do not have their vaccinations, pretty soon when they get polio and become disabled, they will all qualify for those special seats as handicapped riders themselves. Problem solved!

            • Upper West Side Mom says:

              Ugh, what a vicious thing to say about any child. Why would you wish polio on a child? Reading these posts is quite alarming and depressing. Why do so many UWS’ers clearly detest children? Sure, there are brats out there, but are you so far removed from humanity that you don’t remember yourself as a child, or have relatives/friends with children that are usually great – but sometimes horrible? Kids, like adults, just aren’t perfect. Are you so unhappy with your own lives? Have any of these children said anything similarly nasty to you or been similarly malicious? Are you so resentful that maybe these parents and children have more than you? Or, do you just regret the course of your own life, and hate children because you were never fortunate enough to have one? I really would like to know, as so many posts on this website are sociopathically anti-children and families.

              Should a parent and child give up their seat to the elderly, no questions asked, regardless of where the seat is located (unless as in this case they were offered a seat and chose to reject it)? ABSOLUTELY, as we all have parents and grandparents, and WE ALL WILL BE OLD ONE DAY so let’s pay it forward! My children do it without asking, as do many, many of their friends.

        • Lisa says:

          Per the article, it was a weird situation as other seats were actually available to the older person.

          But unfortunately (in my opinion) it is common on the UWS, particularly the 104 bus in the afternoons, to see children sitting while there are elderly people standing. And many parents who are oblivious and/or unwilling to put small children on their laps or have two kids share a seat or have an older child relinquish a seat for an elderly person.

          • Sean says:

            If this bus was going uptown, you know that this senior was on her way to torture people in Fairway.

    6. BDole says:

      I bought my ED pills from Dr. Barney Softness’ brother, Richard. He’s a great guy.

    7. jill says:

      when i was growing up in nyc there was an unspoken rule under five on your lap kids did not get seats on buses and trains. people showed had maneres and gave seats to older people.