Monday Bulletin: Guilty Plea in Columbia Murder; Susie Essman Shines; In Praise of ‘Firesouls’

Photo by Danny Daly. Columbus Avenue bears by QFlorist.

December 20, 2021 Weather: Sunny, with a high of 37 degrees.

Our calendar has lots of local events!

The teenager accused of wielding the knife that killed Barnard student Tessa Majors in Morningside Park two years ago this month, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree robbery, as well as to two prior robberies. Now 16, Rashaun Weaver was 14 years old at the time of the crime, but was charged as an adult. He faces 14 years to life in prison. “In a recorded conversation with his father, who was in prison, Mr. Weaver said that he stabbed Ms. Majors because ‘she was hanging on to her phone’ as the group tried to steal it,” The New York Times reported.

If you want to make a great holiday movie, you need a great set. “Your first step should be owning a Manhattan apartment. More specifically, an Upper West Side apartment, because nothing says Christmas in New York like pre-war buildings steps from Central Park or Lincoln Center.” The Real Deal allows you to act as your own location scout. “To jump-start your search, our Select Spaces team has made a list (and checked it twice) of five Upper West Side homes for sale now. Check out our choices…and live in the spirit of the holiday season all year long.”

Among the comedic “bests” of 2021 highlighted by The Times was “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” buoyed by one of the Upper West Side’s own. “No comedy that started in 2000 should still be this funny. Part of the reason for this feat is the consistently elite supporting performances, none more important than Susie Essman, who shined this year. Famous for her volcanic fury, she can do dry and understated just as well. I have not laughed louder at a television show this year than after hearing her say the word ‘caftan.'”

Simple as it sounds, one of the innovations of The Doe Fund (TDF) was lining city garbage cans with plastic bags, helping to stem the overflow of trash. The “men in blue,” as they’re called, not only fill the bags, but change and stack them for sanitation pickup. You’ve probably seen them working their way back from homelessness on Columbus Avenue, but did you know a Doe Fund truck comes every day, twice a day, to change the bags in cans on: W. 86th Street, from Central Park West to West End Avenue; W. 79th Street, from Amsterdam to West End Avenue; and W. 72nd Street, from Central Park West to West End Avenue? The Doe Fund has a new name for their workers: “firesouls.” You may be one, too. Click here to find out.

Finally, Bill de Blasio may get jeers in the West Side Rag comment section, but author Chris McNickle made a case for the outgoing mayor in an op-ed piece in the Daily News. “Despite his current unpopularity, history will remember him as a flawed but successful mayor,” McNickle wrote. One success story: “On the eve of his 2017 reelection, de Blasio announced his administration was ahead on its plan to preserve or build 200,000 affordable housing units. He upped the target to 300,000 by 2026. Despite COVID-related delays, the most ambitious affordable housing plan in New York City history is pretty much on track.”

Be nice. Santa’s watching.

Merry Christmas 🎄

COLUMNS, NEWS | 16 comments | permalink
    1. blacklikeu says:

      Ok, I get it now.
      Tessa Majors was hanging to her phone when he was trying to steal it from her.
      That is why he stabbed her to death.
      Sounds reasonable.
      Now – even with his plea deal, give him the maximum sentence, and lets hope he will serve the full time.

    2. ben says:

      Murder someone and serve possibly as little as 14 years. smdh

    3. Sarah says:

      Two lives essentially lost: Tessa Majors and the 14-year-old child who killed her. Unbearably tragic. I hope the end of the sentencing process means the family can start seeking peace.

      14-year-olds should not be tried as adults, though. If anything, the kid’s incomprehensible explanation for why he stabbed her highlights how incapable he still is of any kind of adult reasoning (which also shows how limited any deterrent effect will be from sentencing a child so young to such a long sentence; sadly, the boy wasn’t thinking past the next second when he stabbed her).

      • Hambone says:

        I’d beg to differ in that he knew that BY stabbing her she would release the phone. Very logical cause and effect.

      • Rob. G. says:

        If a 14-year-old isn’t “adult” enough to know that stabbing someone will cause harm or death, chances are they never will. Let them figure out their moral compass in prison, not on our streets.

      • Lollerskates says:

        You are consistent if nothing else. I respect that.

      • Susan says:

        The 14 year old’s life was lost way before this and not caused by being charged as an adult. He was 14 and already committed at least 3 robberies and a murder. He was already on a one way street to disaster. Sorry, but my sympathies are with poor Tessa and her family, not this thug and his parents who obviously were not around to raise him properly.

      • demnomore says:

        A 14 years old murders a young woman for her cell phone.
        Read this sentence again, please.
        A 14 years old murders a young woman for her cell phone.

        He knew he was stabbing her.
        He knew he was hurting her.
        He heard her cry for help.
        He heard he cry with pain.
        He knew.

        And yet, he stabbed her, again, and again
        and again.

        For a cell phone.

        He deserves to rot in prison.
        Too bad at most it’ll be 14 years.
        He most likely will be out, at most, when he’s 30.

        Tessa will never see the day again, because she held on to her cell phone.

        He gets what he deserves, and less.
        You do the crime – you do the time.

      • Daniel Malisky says:

        14 year old CHILD…get over the liberal semantics game

    4. Frustrated says:

      No, history will not remember De Blasio as a flawed but successful mayor. The last 4 years of his tenure have brought ruin. No denying it and we’ll finally have a chance for the city to come back when he is finally gone. He and his wife that with $850 million dollars for Mental Health actually created more mentally ill roaming the sidewalks daily. A more unsuccessful opportunistic couple there never was.

    5. No way Jose says:

      Mercy, mercy! You are all very harsh in your judgments about children! 14-year-old does not really understand the repercussions of his doings, otherwise he would not do it. Give him a break as well as to other dysfunctional kids brought up by parents that do not teach their children to value everybody’s life and to be accountable to their deeds.

      • Liz says:

        Agreed. My heart aches for the parents of the girl and for the loss of any life. BUT the rational part of the brain of a 14 year old isn’t close to being fully developed. The prefrontal cortex, which affects how we regulate emotions, control impulsive behavior, assess risk and make long-term plans, isn’t fully developed until at least age 25. Anyone who has ever had a teenager knows this.

        • Pat says:

          It is shocking the people trying to justify that he was 14 and didn’t understand….I am sorry. 99.99% of 14 year olds know not to steal or stab someone. The 14 year old is clearly a sociopath in the making & Tessa Majors lost her life to him.

    6. ml says:

      Tessa Majors’ death was a tragedy.
      And there is no question that the perpetrator Rashaun Weaver, then 14, killed her.

      But seriously surprised to see so many categorizing comments about the actions of a 14 year old.

      Suggestion: google/read about the impact of child abuse, neglect and trauma on infant and toddler brain development. It is life lasting – horrifying and tragic.