Morning Bulletin: Whale Sightings Surge, Senior Center Closing, Jacob’s Pickles Expansion, Bike Chain Assault

Photo by Paul Lashin from West 96th Street.

June 3, 2019 Weather: Sunny, with a high of 72 degrees.

Concerts, readings and many other local events are on our calendar.

Several important issues could be discussed at the Community Board 7 meeting on Tuesday night, including residential parking permits and the reconstruction of the 79th street rotunda.

The hearing about whether James Baldwin’s former home on 71st Street should be landmarked is scheduled to start at 10:50 a.m. on Tuesday at 1 Centre Street, 9th floor North. Landmark West will be there.

The Hudson was polluted for decades. But a recent resurgence in whale sightings is a hopeful sign for the waterways around New York. “Sieswerda said the increase in sightings was down to a confluence of happy events, including legislation such as the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act that have mopped up pollution flowing from the Hudson River and helped safeguard humpbacks from direct harm.”

NYCHA is closing the Frederick Douglass Senior Center. “As of June 28, the cozy space for community at this Upper West Side NYCHA development will shut down and members will be asked to visit another senior center several blocks north. Senior center members have penned a petition and are gathering signatures to keep the center open. Elected officials have written a letter in protest…The Douglass center is one of 12 senior centers or clubs on NYCHA developments that will be closed this summer in an effort to trim the city’s budget.”

La Guardia High School students are protesting a shift in the school curriculum, which they say increasingly favors academics over arts. “‘We feel our voice isn’t being heard,’ said Tali Natter, 17, a senior in the drama department. ‘There are specific issues from each department. We used to see music and dancing in the hallways, and now rehearsal hours are being cut.'”

A lawsuit contends rents were jacked up on hundreds of rent-stabilized apartments in a kickback scheme.

Upper West Side favorite Jacob’s Pickles is branching out. It’s one of the featured vendors at a new food hall in DUMBO’s Time Out Market.

We wrote about people who don’t like Mount Sinai’s ambulance sirens, after Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell said the hospital was unresponsive. The hospital now tells the Post that “it did respond to the lawmaker. As for the siren noise — a representative said there was no way to lower the volume, it is either on or off.

And we got news about a weekend crime. At 8:42 p.m. Sunday night, a 35 year-old man was waiting for a bus near 941 Amsterdam (106th) when an assailant approached from behind and struck the man with a bicycle chain. Police say the injuries were minor and the victim refused medical treatment. The victim told police the assailant was a “rival gang member” and described him as a 5’7″ Hispanic male with a long black ponytail wearing a white tank top.

NEWS | 23 comments | permalink
    1. Michael says:

      The siren thing is silliness. The current sirens are much less disturbing than the old, and their volume is appropriate for an emergency vehicle.

      • geoff says:

        The siren issue is a serious issue and plays into the sensory assault felt with emergency vehicle strobe lights.

        Strobe lights can induce seizures in some people; god forbid that should happen while they are driving, let alone anywhere else.

        Warnings for such assaults are commonly seen in theatrical presentations, and are required.

        The strobe light thing is ridiculous. I recently counted 27 flashing lights on an ambulance. The only beneficiaries are the manufacturers, the same who provide police kits to police departments everywhere. Is there a emergency vehicle lobby somewhere working the back rooms?

        There must be a way to test these things. After all, a revolving red light atop police cars and ambulances sufficed for decades. The strobes are the result of technology breakthroughs and being brighter than the lights used in the past, fewer are needed, not more.

        As for the sirens, being only on or off may be true, unless the buyers ask for a volume control. Watch the manufacturers fall all over themselves complying, and offering retrofit packages at high prices, using the very same argument I am trying to make as a sales pitch.

        • Dorothy Del Rio says:

          I’m told these are the same sirens that have been in use in European capitals for decades. That might be worth checking out.

        • Ted says:

          It disgusts me that virtually no one commenting on the “siren” issue has mentioned the welfare of patients or the safety of first responders. Sadly, it is typical of Upper West Siders to think only of themselves and the small bubble they exist in instead of the patient awaiting EMS services or trying to reach a hospital before dying.

      • Debbie says:

        I strongly disagree. The current sirens are way louder and shriller, and they have strobe lights which induce seizures and make it hard to see when you’re driving in the opposite direction. Of course sirens need to be loud, but these are louder than they need be.

      • West 90th Street resident says:

        They don’t shut off the sirens because of the urgent need to warn the east-west traffic approaching the intersection not to enter it until the emergency vehicles have passed!

    2. Mark Moore says:

      That’s real Hells Angels stuff, a bike chain assault. How do you hold the chain? Isn’t it greasy and slippery?

    3. Robert W says:

      35 year old men are now in gangs?

      • UWS_lifer says:

        If that is the only crime worth reporting on then we are truly living in an amazing time on the UWS.

        As a civilian, non-gang member, I am really not that worried about gang related bike chain attacks.:)

        Thanks to Det. Malin and the whole 24th!! Keep up the great job.

    4. Pedestrian says:

      The City can find 3 Billion for Amazon and 6 billion for Hudson Yards but to save mont NYCHA has to close a senior center. Ah yes, and the mayor is a progressive. No he isn’t he’s all about developers. He will soon throw up his hand and say NYCHA can’t be managed it has to go private. That’s what the developers want. The needs of the people are irrelevant,

    5. LJ says:

      NativeNYers have been listening to sirens, Mr Softee and roaring subways since the beginning of time. Too bad the transplants can’t get used to it. Those are the “cons” of living in the BIG Apple. But yet they’ll have their blasting headphones on ready to cross the street when a siren vehicle is passing…because they can’t hear it. Go back to quiet Sunny Brook Farms.

      • NativeNYer says:

        Sirens and strobe lights and Mr. Softee have been around since the beginning of time? All kidding aside, when I traverse the sidewalks of Manhattan, I’m forced to stop to cover my ears when ambulances are nearby because the sound is piercing. And I am a native New Yorker.

        • Ken says:

          Yes, & the issue here, which so many people seem to be missing, is that the Mount Sinai siren is on full decibel-level while it is just cruising the streets. It is not taking anyone to emergency care; it is cruising the streets looking for, hoping for some emergency that, thankfully, is NOT happening!

    6. Sue L says:

      As a ’57 graduate of M&A, I’d add that neither it nor LaGuardia can properly be called “the ‘Fame’ school”–thatbdesignation belongs only to the High School of Performing Arts. Re the current arts-vs.-academics demonstrations at LaGuardia, when we first heard that the two schools were to be merged, we protested too–citing PA’s low academic standing compared to ours!

    7. Parker says:

      The city needs to trim its budget by…closing senior citizen centers?!? Really – how much money is that going to save in a budget of 92.2 BILLION dollars?

    8. Martha Dwyer says:

      Sirens – I can’t imagine that Mt. Sinai can’t change those sirens. I hope that Assemblyman O’Donnell will keep pushing on this.

    9. Rwc says:

      Give us back The space now taken by bike lanes and give us back emergency lanes … then the ambulances and fire trucks wouldn’t have to honk and scream their sirens they can pass easily down the street .
      Now taxi, Uber’s and delivery trucks that stop narrows the road.
      I watch this play out daily in Columbus Avenue.

      There is a purpose for that loud siren it’s to get traffic out-of-the-way which is clogged up on all avenues !
      We used to have emergency lanes for these vehicles .
      Now we have unused bike lanes.
      For the selfish and thoughtless folks who don’t like the sound of the ambulance wait until you need an ambulance you will be happy to hear that sound coming to help you .

      • geoff says:

        then why do i, who also overlook columbus avenue, see half of the emergency vehicles driving through the traffic voids (there are voids created every time a traffic light turns red, and the emergency vehicle enters that void) not only driving at traffic paced speeds but with sirens blaring and screaming?

      • Christian says:

        Actually, with a little effort, I think bike lines can double as emergency lanes. Most of them already seem wide enough to accommodate an ambulance. As a cyclist, I’ve often ridden in the protected bike lane past ambulances stuck in traffic which is crazy. When that siren is heard, it’s much easier for cyclists to dismount and get out of the way than it is for motorists to pull over. And cyclists will also benefit, because there will be more enforcement to keep the lanes clear of parked cars and other obstructions. Post some signs saying “emergency lane- yield to emergency vehicles,” widen the lanes in a few places, and you’ve solved the problem.

    10. Jeff from W. 90th St. says:

      @Paul Lashin, Great shot of cloud-to-cloud lightning. How did you manage to capture it? Hat’s off to you, sir.

      • Paul says:

        Thanks Jeff. I used the “Live” function on my iPhone and just clicked away. Then used the slider to choose the best image within the range.

    11. Miryam says:

      Too bad the entire Jacob’s Pickle restaurant isn’t moving to DUMBO. The noise level of that place is so out of line, you can hear it from across the street. Great if you’re in your 20s, looking for cheap eats, and enjoy shouting over your meal to be heard, but a plight on the local residents who have to listen to you.