Photo by @nycwestside.
November 11, 2019 Weather: Cloudy, with a high of 59 degrees.
Concerts, readings, and other local events are on our calendar!
Today marks the 100th annual Veteran’s Day Parade, which is on 5th Avenue.
Volunteers are needed for Goddard Riverside’s big book sale this month. “Volunteers needed! Grab a shift and help make this Book Fair the most successful ever. We especially need people next Saturday 11/16 and the following Sunday, 11/24.” Sign up here: https://signup.com/go/
A fruit vendor on 67th and Broadway has almost no fruit to sell, and it’s been like that for weeks. “Despite the nonexistent inventory, Mohamed Ismaiel proudly mans his ghost stand from dawn until late evening, doling out the few bananas on hand for free…Ismaiel refused to speak about his situation, but his Facebook page points to conspiracies involving the “Turkish mafia” and “a war” that began when he pushed two carts together. Vito Rappa, who owns Francesco’s Pizza, cobbled together a few people to loan Ismaiel more than $40,000 last year so he could go out on his own.” But Ismaiel complains that competitors have made it tough to stay in business because they keep lowering prices.
The shelter on 83rd Street where 22-year-old Geronal Washington was killed on Sunday is run by a controversial nonprofit. “Mr. Washington’s death has also added renewed scrutiny to the nonprofit, Acacia Network Housing Inc., that operates the shelter where he was stabbed. Acacia is one of the largest providers of homeless housing in New York City and has been mired in controversy over its security practices…In July, The Wall Street Journal reported that the nonprofit’s executives had failed to disclose ties to a for-profit security company, SERA Security Services, that it had hired to provide security at some of the shelters. The city then began investigating Acacia, which has received hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts from the city since 2010.”
Columbia University is one of the country’s richest nonprofits. “Columbia University landed at the ninth spot nationwide, and first in New York, with $1 billion in cash donations last year, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s list of the country’s 100 favorite charities based on the dollar amount of donations.”
Drug arrests have fallen in city parks, including Riverside, but some residents think that drug use is up. “In Riverside Park on the Upper West Side, Carin Gilfry said her 2-year-old daughter found tiny, brightly colored vial caps that appeared to be coated in drug residue. They resemble pieces of a child’s toy. ‘Luckily, I grabbed them from her before she could put them in her mouth,’ Gilfry recalled. ‘You can overdose on a few grains of fentanyl. If that was fentanyl, my kid could be dead.’ Cops nabbed 20 people for drugs in the 267-acre park through Oct. 15 of this year — an average of 0.48 arrests per week. Arrests totaled 48 in 2018, with a weekly average of 0.92, and 174 in 2017, an average of 3.3 per week.” Some are skeptical, however, of the idea that the mother found Fentanyl.