February 24, 2020 Weather: Partly cloudy, with a high of 55 degrees.
This week’s concerts, readings and other local events are on our calendar!
A non-native turtle species that carries salmonella has invaded New York because of irresponsible pet owners, according to National Geographic. “Red-eared sliders—so named for the brilliant red marks on their heads that look like ears—are consistently designated one of the world’s hundred worst invasive species by the IUCN. When pet owners realize the reptiles require large tanks and expensive filtration systems, and can live up to 50 years, they often dump them outside.” They‘re in Central Park, the Post reports. “Unlike native snapping turtles, the animals also ‘carry Salmonella,’ which can put park-goers who touch them at risk of illness, Allen Salzberg of the nonprofit New York Turtle and Tortoise Society said.”
Real estate prices on the UWS have risen in recent years even while falling in other areas of the city, wrote Financial Times, attributing the rise to “a high concentration of co-op buildings,” as opposed to new condos. The bad news is, “Buying in a Manhattan co-op is one of New York’s more nerve-racking property experiences.” Prospective buyers must be vetted by a resident-composed board, disclose personal and financial information, and may be subject to tough mortgage limits and restrictions on anything, including (gasp) pets. Said a man who experienced it, “It’s not for everyone.”
Early Sunday morning, a 48-year-old man was found hanging from a tree in Central Park, near 74th Street and Fifth Avenue, by a passerby who called 911, an NYPD spokesperson told WSR. “No criminality is suspected,” the officer reported. “There is reason to believe the man did this to himself, and that he was homeless.” “It makes you realize how fragile people’s lives are,” a witness said to the New York Post. Please, if you or someone you know are thinking about suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
A third teen implicated in the stabbing death of Tessa Majors, an 18-year-old Barnard freshman, is in custody. “Luciano Lewis, 14, surrendered to police early Wednesday,” according to the Daily News. He is charged with robbery and murder. This follows the arrest of Rashaun Weaver, also 14, who is believed to have done the stabbing. Lewis and Weaver will be tried as adults. A 13-year-old boy, who is also implicated in the crime and in custody, will be tried as a juvenile. “The [older] teens were arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court, where, in low voices, they pleaded not guilty, as relatives, lawyers, prosecutors and Majors’ heartbroken father looked on.”
The developers and opponents of 200 Amsterdam Avenue are fighting not only in court, but in the press through their attorneys. “Developers who were ordered to chop floors off their already-built Upper West Side tower by a recent court decision contend that the ruling will create a logistical mess for at least 30 other buildings across New York City,” Patch reported. A lawyer for the opponents called the claims “a red herring,” “absurd,” and “a parade of nonexistent terribles.” “‘The real message here,’” he said, “‘is a message to developers to get the community on their side before they go ahead.’”
As the plastic-bag ban is set to go into effect in New York State on March 1st, The Guardian wrote of Greta Thunberg, the young environmental activist whose interest in the planet was spawned by a horror of the devastation caused by plastic. “She went on to become attuned to the climate crisis, with the pivotal moment coming during a film shown in class about rubbish in the oceans, ‘an island of plastic’ in the south Pacific.” Greta’s mother said, “She saw what the rest of us did not want to see. It was as if she could see our CO2 emissions with her naked eye.”