Morning Bulletin: An ‘Irruption’ of Owls, Madonna Loses to Her Co-Op, Manhole Fires, ‘Impeachable Offenses’

Photo of Columbus Avenue by Jason Haber.

December 10, 2018 Weather: Sunny, with a high of 31 degrees.

Holiday markets, a documentary about social media stars and more local events are on our calendar.

Bill Raudenbush sends a sad note about longtime community advocate Claudia DiSalvo: “The Upper West Side suffered a terrible loss with the passing of Claudia J. DiSalvo, 79, late Friday evening. Claudia was a longtime resident of 79th St. and is survived by her longtime partner Melanie Fisher, as well as her large family, many of whom live in and around the Buffalo area. Claudia was a strong presence and leader on the UWS, from her work with the 79th Street block association going all the way back to the 1970s, to her stalwart and heralded leadership as President of Community United to Protect Theodore Roosevelt Park. Leadership skills she undoubtedly honed with her long career as an educator often in executive roles. In this great neighborhood of ours filled with so many caring, kind, and compassionate people, Claudia DiSalvo impacted a tremendous number of so many of our lives. She had the rarest of qualities: an ability to not only share great love and kindness through friendship, but also the ability to impart some of her own depth of character on those who were lucky enough to know her. Claudia, you are missed dearly.”

Several Northern Saw-Whet Owls have been spotted in Central Park, a relatively rare occurrence that has bird-watchers intrigued. “Gabriel Willow, a naturalist and educator with New York City Audubon, says it’s not just in our heads (and Twitter feeds). We’re experiencing what’s called an ‘irruption’ of owls, which is a mass shift in migration patterns usually due to a lack of food up north. ‘Irruptive species are kind of exciting because it only happens every couple of years,’ explained Willow. ‘It’s unpredictable.'” One problem, though: the owls keep flying into windows in the area, ending up at the locla nonprofit Wild Bird Fund.

A UWS co-op has defeated the Material Girl herself. “Madonna has lost a nearly three-year-old legal battle against her Manhattan co-op over a rule that requires her to be physically present in the $7.3 million pad when any of her family members or staff are there. The Queen of Pop sued Harperley Hall on West 64th Street and Central Park West in April 2016, two years after the board changed the building rules to say that her children and domestic help cannot live in the unit unless she herself is ‘in residence’ at the time.”

An electrical issue appears to have sparked two manhole fires last week. “The first fire happened on 104th Street and Columbus Avenue around 2:30 Sunday afternoon. The second fire happened two and a half hours later on the same street – just feet away.”

If President Trump directed Michael Cohen’s hush payments to women he allegedly had affairs with, those would be “impeachable offenses” says local Congressman Jerry Nadler, though he’s not clear if they will lead to impeachment.

Former City Council Member Ronnie Eldridge writes an op-ed in favor of the Museum of Natural History expansion project. “I get it: Change is hard. But this change is enhancing what matters, not destroying it.

NEWS | 31 comments | permalink
    1. Kat French says:

      Thank you to Ms. Eldridge for a very reasonable response to the modified museum expansion. The world needs science education! The museum compromised on its original plan, and the community needs to compromise, as well.

    2. EricaC says:

      The Wild Bird Fund is an amazing place. They always need support – if you can chip in, your money or time will be out to good use!

    3. Ben David says:

      Thank God we have Jerry Nadler focusing on impeachment. There are NO LOCAL issues that need his attention: the subways are a delight; street crime is not on the rise; NYCHA buildings are better than ever; construction permits are under control; schools are not in need of repair and more space; there are no potholes. So, thank you, Jerry Nadler, for focusing on what will make our lives on the UWS much better: impeachment hearings in Washington, DC.

      • Cato says:

        Mr. Nadler is our representative to the *federal* government in Washington. The issues you mention are *local* issues for our representatives to the state and city governments.

        There is little, if anything, Mr. Nadler as a member of Congress can do directly to address the City’s mismanagement of subways, street crime, public housing, local schools or potholes on the local roads. Your grievance should be addressed to them, not to our congress-member.

        However, if Mr. Nadler can get the federal government straightened out and move it out of its rampant hostility toward New York City, maybe he can get the support needed by the state and city to address those problems. Shouldn’t he be doing that?

        Or did you want him to do your grocery shopping for you also?

        • soldier says:

          Speaking of the *local government: it became our bloated, crass *local overlord grabbing our money with no accountability. For start, we MUST abolish the positions of
          Borough President
          Public Advocate
          and ask the wife of Mayor De Blasio why does she have a staff with people making over $100K of our money – she does not have a job.
          And let’s go from there.

      • patrick says:

        You know we have a criminal running our government, right? As the incoming chair of the Judiciary committee, I hope he spends all the time he needs focusing on whether to impeach Trump.

      • Wessi says:

        Hmmm… I agree these points are valid issues Ben, but they don’t really seem to fall within the direct purview of a member of congress. Happy to have you educate me about it, but you may want to consider talking to our state and local elected officials about that, no?

        • Ben David says:

          Wessi, thanks for your civilized and thoughtful reply, which takes a different tone from some of the nasty others (Cato: Or did you want him to do your grocery shopping for you also?).
          The reality is that a Congressman deals with many of these issues! Here is a quote from Nadler’s website. Not my website. Nadler’s webiste: “He is a fierce advocate for…New York’s mass transit systems, and for improved roads and infrastructure …” And here is another: “Congressman Nadler’s robust community relations program has long played a key role in preserving affordable housing, stopping senseless over development, reducing crime, and enhancing our children’s educational opportunities. Additionally, the Congressman has brought billions of dollars to the district for its infrastructure, social welfare, and cultural needs.”
          So, I was right — he can deal with these issues, if he wants to.

          • NGold says:

            Ben, as always, great comments.Do not let the snarky comments get you down. White supremacy is such a silly come back from one of your detractors. We are all humans trying to live a better life in a great city that can still use some improvement.

          • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

            It seems like Nadler’s IS dealing with these issues.

            If you knew anything about Nadler, Ben David, you would know that he almost singlehandedly kept the issue of cross-harbor rail tunnel(s) on the front burner, literally for decades.

            But he’s now going to be chair of the Judiciary Committee, a key post… and THE key position for House investigations of high crimes and misdemeanors. So… how about supporting him in doing his job?

          • Jen says:


            I agree with you. Understood things above may not be what the Congress deals with directly, but the point is that lots of politicians including Nadler don’t want to focus on local and hard to address issues that require lots of effort. They’d rather make noise and go for “bigger things” such as hypothetical impeachment. So we are looking at the politician who couldn’t and didn’t want to achieve much but goes higher to address bigger things? Solely because hashtag culture appreciates this more.

          • Tim says:

            Right on point Ben. Simple minded detractors of President Trump can only sling mud. ….”orange man bad”….And what about Russian collusion? Hmmm. Crickets

            • EricaC says:

              Agree that the nasty comments whenever someone disagrees are not helpful – but you cannot really ascribe those totally to the liberal/Democratic side.

              But on the question of criminality – crickets? The indictments are coming so fast and furious at this point, it’s hard to keep up. Unlike “Uranium One”, which was disproved.

      • Tim says:

        Exactly Ben. Luckily we have representatives who know what their priorities are – pandering to their constituents, in order to stay elected. -sigh-

    4. Steph says:

      If I paid 7+ million dollars for a townhome…I dare a bunch of old snobs to tell me I can’t have visitors unless I am home.

    5. Denton says:

      But she bought a co-op…

    6. Allison says:

      Oh I bet Madonna’s children will be perfectly happy to live in the three townhouses that she combined on east 81st street.

    7. Yimby says:

      Thank you Ronnie — Great op-ed!! I know you truly care about the UWS, both as my former City Councilmember and now as a private citizen. Brava!