Meeting Notes

Midtown South Community Council’s February 16, 2017 Monthly Meeting Minutes

(MSCC) Secretary Eileen Miller, Assistant Secretary Frank Kelly, March 16, 2017 — Midtown South Community Council February 16, 2017 Monthly Meeting Minutes

PROGRAM:

John Mudd opened the meeting by saying there were no updates on the rooftop garden project. John said he talked with a representative of Grand Central Partnership on its policy maintaining newspaper/magazine boxes that fixed. Eugene Sinigalliano is working on it and hopes to have solid updates next time.

Capt. Spataro said that the precinct is keeping up the pressure on the illegally parked commuter buses on W31st St. with a joint operation with the Dept of Transportation. One bus was put out of service, 5 buses inspected, 17 violations were written and a police officer is dedicated to this operation.

Inspector Green acknowledged the presence of Police Academy trainees assign to MTS for their 2 week training with Sgt. Wall and Lt. McKenna and they will be the precinct full time when they graduate.

Inspector Green mentioned  that two prolific robbers were apprehended. Alex Garcia  is suspected of attempting  7 bank robberies in December, 5 of them in the precinct. The second robbery suspect is accused of robbing 4 banks in one day and 6 in 8 days. He was arrested on 1/23/17.

Inspector Green said there has been a small increase in robberies- 23 year to date to 17 in the comparable period a year earlier.  Also there were 8 stolen vehicles with only 1 at the same juncture of 2016. 4 of them had keys in the ignition making it a crime of opportunity.

Inspector Green and Det. Spano attended a meeting with concerned street vendors. They heard from vendors who feel that they are being treated differently by police than those who hold the NYS Veteran vendors license.

John Mudd said the council is organizing volunteers to clear the precinct next week of street clutter: mail crates, milk crates and bicycles illegally chained to sign posts. The launch of the first phase of the council’s homeless app is about two months out.

GUEST SPEAKER

John Mudd introduced the evening’s speaker, Lisa Larkin, Assistant Program Director, Breaking Ground, 505 Eighth Ave, 5th Fl, NY, NY 10018, 212 389 9300, info@breakingground.org, llarkin@breakingground.org. Ms. Larkin described the organization’s work with the homeless population. It covers the area from 59th St to 10th St., river to river. Its goal is to meet people where they are, offering services, taking histories and continuing to monitor their situation. The organization has 9 case managers. Lisa Larkin mentioned that her organization has done info sharing with Sgt. Andrew Ho of Midtown South, who works closely with the homeless.

MEETING OPENS FOR QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS

Resident neighbor of the precinct raised the issue of police vehicles parking on 9th Ave between 34th and 35th St Streets. The far left lane is a left turn only lane and traffic control procedure closed the lane. Parking spaces have decreased. Inspector Green

pointed out that there are 18 parking spots for 48 police vehicles at the precinct and   the department is working with the community to ease the situation.

MTSCC President John Mudd, Vice President Bill Otterson,  Director of Community Relations Sharon Jasprizza,  Beautification Director Eugene Sinigalliano,

Officials in attendance:

Inspector Russell Green, commanding officer, MTS; Capt. Stephen Spataro, Lt. Louis Marines, Special Operations;  Det. Paul Spano, MTS Community Affairs, P.O. Edward McDonald, MTS Crime Prevention,  P.O. Thomas Byrnes, Community Affairs, Sgt Timothy Wall, Training Officer, P.O. Martin Reyes, P.O .Richard Fazio, NYPD Transit District 1

Also attending:

Alfredo Marty, Blarney Stone, 410 8th Ave

John Clancy, Foley’s Restaurant, 18 West 33rd St

Alicia Shepard, Molly Wee Pub, 402 Eighth Ave

Craig Primus, CUNY, 365 Fifth Ave

Eunice Seo, West Garden Spa, 243 W30th St

David Rios, Rick’s Cabaret and Vivid, 50 W33rd St

Gerard McNamee, representing American Beauty Beer Bar & Concert Venue, 251 W30th St.

Brian Hester, Times Square Alliance, 1560 Broadway

 Twitter account handles:  @NYPDMTS, Transit Division @NYPDTRANSIT

The next MTS Community Council meeting will be held on Thursday, March 16, 2017, 7:00 p.m., at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel on 8th Avenue between 34th and 35th streets.

Midtown South Community Council’s January 19, 2017 Monthly Meeting Minutes

(MSCC) Eileen Miller, Frank Kelly, February 16, 2017 — Midtown South Community Council January 19, 2017 Monthly Meeting Minutes

PROGRAM:

John Mudd opened the meeting by asking if all are receiving the council’s electronic

newsletter. The council is working on an app that would give all agencies working with the homeless access to  individuals’ information once they are interviewed. John said that homelessness is a solvable issue once smart people join forces.

John said that the council’s annual report is to be released in February. He acknowledged Joseph Winter and Daniel Mintz, innercityfarmer.com, 205 West 39th St, NYC. The idea is to green the rooftop of the MTS precinct headquarters to produce food and jobs in the precinct.

John introduced Eugene Sinigalliano, Beautification Director, who is preparing for the fixed installation of magazine and newspaper boxes to replace the plastic ones that are being used by the homeless as furniture. The council will sponsor a design contest for the boxes. DOT has final say in the replacement of boxes.

Inspector Green opened his remarks by asking for a moment of silence in honor of

Det. Steven McDonald, the paralyzed NYPD officer whose funeral service was held on January 13th at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Inspector Green outlined crime statistics in the precinct: burglaries and grand larceny account for 85% of crimes in the precinct. He said to always be aware of your surroundings as NYC is a tourist destination. If you are a victim of theft cancel you credit cards as soon as possible.

Inspector Green described the incident on 1/16/17 where a pedestrian was a victim of hit-and-run on 35th St and 7th Ave. One of the biggest problems is the blind spot for cars turning left.

Inspector Green related his experience in participating in tabletop counterterrorism exercises in which he and other precinct commanders, Amtrak Police, National Guard and State Police participated. Goal: site security.

Inspector Green outlined the precinct’s homeless outreach efforts by establishing a unit

consisting of one sergeant and two police officers which they work with about 12 homeless outreach organizations. John Mudd reinforced the importance of documenting and reporting homeless issues.

GUEST SPEAKER

John Mudd introduced the evening’s guest speaker, Marc Greenberg, Executive

Director of the Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing (1047 Amsterdam

Ave, NY,NY 10025, 212 316 3171, www.iahh.org). One of his organization’s initiatives is to insure that 30,000 NY households facing eviction each year in housing court are provided with legal counsel. He said that 90% of landlords appearing in housing court

are represented by counsel, to just 10% of tenants. His organization is seeking an increase in the shelter allowance which currently is $215 every two weeks. Mr. Greenberg noted that the launch of construction on the 35,000 housing units the state and city have pledged to build over 15 years is awaiting the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Gov. Cuomo and the the leaders of the state legislature.

MEETING OPENS FOR QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS

Residents of West 31st St thanked the precinct for being so responsive to their

complaints about the illegal bus stop near their building.  Some issues still need to be

addressed.

Lt. Marines said that one way to solve the situation might be to increase the amount of fines for repeated violations.

 

MTSCC President John Mudd, Vice President Bill Otterson,  Director of Community Relations Sharon Jasprizza,  Beautification Director Eugene Sinigalliano,

Secretary Eileen Miller, Assistant Secretary Frank Kelly

Officials in attendance:

Inspector Russell Green, commanding officer, MTS;

Lt. Louis Marines, Special Operations;  Det. Paul Spano, MTS Community Affairs,

P.O. Edward McDonald, MTS Crime Prevention,

P.O. Joseph McCadden, Community Affairs; Sgt. Erin Rabbitt, Traffic Safety;

P.O. John Hannigan, Field Intelligence Officer; P.O. Martin Reyes, Auxiliary Coordinator; P.O. Richard Fabio, NYPD Transit District 1

Also attending:

Alfredo Marty, Blarney Stone, 410 8th Ave

Craig Primus, CUNY, 365 Fifth Ave.

Noelle Mooney, Stout, 133 W33rd St

Jermaine Moorehead, 1560 Broadway, Times Square Alliance

Representative of West Garden Spa, 243 W30th St

David Rios, Rick’s Cabaret and Vivid, 50 W33rd St

Gerard McNamee, representing American Beauty Beer Bar & Concert Venue, 251 W30th St.

Representatives of McGettigan’s, 70 W36th St

Twitter account handles:  @NYPDMTS, Transit Division @NYPDTRANSIT

 

The next MTS Community Council meeting will be held on Thursday, February 16 , 2017, 7:00 p.m., at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel on 8th Avenue between 34th and 35th streets.

Midtown South Community Council’s November 17, 2016 Monthly Meeting Minutes

(MSCC) Eileen Miller, Frank Kelly, January 19, 2017 — Midtown South Community Council’s November 17, 2016 Monthly Meeting Minutes

 

PROGRAM:

John Mudd opened the meeting by announcing that Inspector Russell Green, C.O., was on duty at Trump Towers and would not be attending the meeting.

John Mudd said a program advancing rooftop gardens is under way which will provide fresh vegetables and jobs. Joe Winter, gardener, is progressing with this mission. Also, MTSCC beautification director Eugene Sinigalliano will be meeting to set up a contest to redesign magazine /newspaper holders in Midtown. West 38th St homeless

Encampment reduced through outreach.

Lt. Marines welcomed 6 new NYPD recruits in training attending the meeting.

Capt. Sputaro addressed the issue of garbage in the rear of MTS Precinct. Collection had been moved from the back of the precinct to the front and along the side, out of public view. He continued the discussion of the precinct’s concern for the homeless issue. Working with residents and businesses. Reminding that loitering is not a crime in New York State. He added that in the most recent 28-day period crime was down 12% and is down 2% year-to-date. The precinct has been targeting robberies, and they were down 20% over the 28-day period and 10% year-to-date.

Capt. Sputaro addressed the issue of illegal buses on West 31st St. More that 30 summons have been issued. An operation is planned the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

P.O. Edward McDonald, crime prevention officer, gave crime prevention tips for the upcoming holidays: Keep an eye on your property at all times and do not leave bags unattended.

John Mudd introduced the meeting’s speaker – Giselle Routhier, policy director, Coalition For The Homeless. Ms. Routhier gave an overview of her organization, which was founded in 1981. In the early 1980s, a lawsuit supported by the coalition established the right to shelter for homeless adult men. Over the years this policy has been expanded to include women and families.

www.coalitionforthehomeless.org, 129 Fulton St, NY, NY 10038, 212 964 5900

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Inner City Farmer Meeting Minutes, January 4, 2017

(MSCC) Daniel Mintz, January 17, 2017 — MSCC/Inner City Farmer January 4, 2017 meeting minutes of the Site visit at Midtown South Police Precinct, 357 West 35th Street, NYC for the rooftop gardening project.

Present:

Inner City Farmer:  Joseph Winter, Daniel Mintz

Midtown South Community Council:   President John Mudd

Midtown South Precinct: Inspector Russell Green, Paul Spano – Community Relations Officer, Officer Thomas Byrnes

YK Structures (Structural Engineers):   Gene Hu

We visited the roof of the MSP, which is on the fourth floor.   Access is via interior stairs from ground level and there is also an elevator to the third floor.   JW thinks the four flights would not be a problem for transporting materials.

Roof level is very open and roof system looks fairly new.    MSP said building was built in the 60s/70s.      Total footprint unknown at this point, but roof is basically open.   There is no water tap on the roof.    MSP said that there is not any sensitive equipment on the rooftop.  PS said tools and materials could be stored in the bulkhead just inside the roof.

GH asked whether MSP had original structural plans, and MSP said most likely no.   JM said he would contact expediter to obtain plans from DOB.

Midtown South Community Council, 331 W 38th St., NY, NY 10018, midtownsouthcc.org, 917-520-3009

All parties discussed with GH threshold issue of whether roof would be suitable.   GH estimate without reviewing the plans was that the decking was most likely concrete and could sustain a load of approx. 50 psf.  JW described for the group types of planters and plant medium used on roof at 205 W. 39th St.

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Midtown South Community Council’s October 20, 2016 Monthly Meeting Minutes

(MSCC) Eileen Miller, Assistant Secretary Frank Kelly, November 17, 2016 — Midtown South Community Council’s October 20, 2016 Monthly Meeting Minutes  

PROGRAM:

John Mudd opened the meeting by introducing himself and thanked all public officials and private organizations who helped shut down Internet service from the LinkNYC Network kiosks.

Inspector Russell Green began his remarks by asking for a moment of silence for

MTS P.O. Anthony Dwyer, who was killed in the line of duty on 10/17/1989.

Inspector Green explained why he missed September’s meeting. He was called to duty for MTS police action in which three officers were injured in an effort to subdue a cleaver-wielding man. He thanked John Mudd and everyone involved in getting Internet connectivity removed from kiosks which had become problematic as these kiosks attracted an unsavory element.

Inspector Green announced that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and said that domestic violence a very underreported crime.  He went onto address crime statistics for the month. There were no major incidents other than the meat cleaver attacks, he said. He said expect an influx of tourists as we move into the holiday season and noted that grand larceny accounts for 75% of crime in the precinct. He said it is imperative to secure ones belongings as a high percentage of grand larceny involves unattended property.

Inspector Green mentioned four arrests for drug sales and use on Oct.7 at 35th Street and 8th Avenue. He said the individuals had been arrested150, 94, 38 and 25 times, they were arrested at 11:05 a.m. and back on the streets at 6 p.m. Inspector Green said that one way to address the recidivism would be for the community

to make their voices heard when such offenders are brought to court, He encouraged all to contact him and community affairs with crime complaints using email, and to take photos when possible.

John Mudd introduced the guest speaker, Pastor Delon Ali of The Bowery Mission (227 Bowery, NY, NY 10002, 212 674 3456 bowery.org) Pastor Ali shared his story of drug addiction and homelessness. Friends suggested he go to the Bowery Mission, which was founded in 1879. He credits the mission’s programs, such as Life Transformation, for turning his life around over a 10 year process.  He described the many ways the Bowery Mission reaches out to homeless and jobless individuals by providing food, showers, clothing and life skills training.  His summed up his journey: “Your past does not determine your future”  (more…)

September 15, 2016 Midtown South Community Council Monthly Meeting Minutes

(MSCC)  Secretary Eileen Miller, Assistant Secretary Frank Kelly, October 20, 2016 — A report on Midtown South Community Council’s September 15, 2016 Monthly Meeting Minutes

PROGRAM:
John Mudd opened the meeting by introducing himself and mentioned that Inspector Russell Green, commanding officer MTS was on assignment for police action that night.

John addressed the issue of the wi-fi kiosks in the west 30s. A number of homeless have been gathering around the kiosks and watching pornography on the kiosks. Through a concerted effort by the MTSCC, Council Member Corey Johnson’s office, Community Board 4, the mayor’s office and others. The operator of the kiosks, LinkNYC Network, shut down the Internet service on the kiosks.

John continued outlining the action plan to address homeless encampment issues.
Working in conjunction with representatives of Homeless Rights Project at Legal Aid Society; Marc Greenberg, executive director, Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing; and the Garment District Business Improvement District. Action is to include:
1. Raising the bar on shelter quality of services and conditions
2. Push state and city budgets for funds
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June 16, 2016 Midtown South Community Council Monthly Meeting Minutes

(MSCC) Sharon Jasprizza, June 26, 2016 — A report on the June 16, 2016 Midtown South Council’s meeting…

PROGRAM:

Inspector Russel Green addressed the meeting after attending a downtown meeting regarding crime. The issues continue to be unattended property such as handbags, laptops et. The opportunities to steal these items are being taken by an increase in organized individuals.

Two fatalities in the past few days as a result of vehicles proceeding eastbound and making a left turn to go northbound Advertising and marketing of Zero Collision via billboards and analyzing the traffic intelligence reports to see if areas can be improved.

Reports of pedestrian summons year to date given for reasons such as cell phone use.

Community member raised concern about buses still complying with the basis of their permit for set downs and pick up. 8th Ave and 26th St very congested.

Inspector Green said that he would stay a few minutes to speak to anyone individually.

John Mudd thanked Inspector Green for the Precincts proactive work with John leading to the Link presentation at the meeting.

John introduced Eugene Sinigalliano as the program director for Midtown South Community Council’s Beautification initiatives.

Eugene spoke about the wish list for beautification for Midtown South, action plan, the network of common goals to beautify Midtown South, email Eugene to add to the wish list.

Eugene distributed a handout to request a tree to be planted. Funding is available from the Million Trees project. For updates on requests go to the website provided or Eugene.

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May 19, 2016 Midtown South Community Council Monthly Meeting Minutes  

(MSCC) Secretary Eileen Miller, Assistant Secretary Frank Kelly, June 16, 2016 — A report on the Midtown South Community Council’s May 19, 2016 meeting…

PROGRAM:

Inspector Green addressed the meeting updating on previous month’s issues:

Which included quality of life issues on 8th Ave between 34th to 38th Streets and intercity commuter bus parking W31st.

He enumerated arrests since January 1, 2016, for quality of life crimes including: possession of open container of alcohol, disorderly conduct, public urination, and possession of marijuana or K2 (synthetic marijuana).

Inspector Green addressed the enforcement effort for the crisis of merchant parking on 35th and 36th Streets and Dyer Ave. 124 summonses were issued and cars & motorcycles were towed. He enumerated traffic violations precinctwide. Grand larceny continues to dominate crime statistics in the precinct.

On May 18, 2016, a disturbed individual  became belligerent in Food Emporium  49th St & 8th Ave. and menaced customers and employees. After being engaged outside the store by an officer on foot patrol the individual displayed a foldout knife and approached the officer. When the man refused to drop the weapon, he was fired at several times by two other officers arriving at the scene. He did not survive. A female bystander was grazed on the wrist by a stray bullet.

Inspector Green cited the example of a man arrested in Penn Plaza on May 13 to emphasize his frustration at the incidence of repeat offenses. It was the individual’s 105th arrest. “We can do better.”

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APRIL 21, 2016 Midtown South Community Council Meeting Minutes 

(MSCC) Secretary Eileen Miller, Assistant Secretary Frank Kelly, May 19, 2016 — Report on Midtown South Community Council’s April 21, 2016 Meeting  

 

PROGRAM:

Inspector Green addressed the meeting before going to s special interagency security meeting at Madison Square Garden before the NY Rangers playoff game.

He said the police had contacted residents in the area of 31 West 31st Street concerning illegal parking by intercity commuter buses. 28 summonses were issued along with 2 moving violations and bus idling. In cooperation with Dept. of Transportation there will be an operation on May 20 involving bus towing.

22 anti-Trump protestors were arrested at a the Grand Hyatt Hotel, 109 E 42nd St, NYC, on 4/14/16 prior to a Republican Party black tie event.

There were two slashing incidents, the first, on 4/6/16 at 34th St and 7th Ave,, involved methadone patients arguing over money, One slashed the other in the back. The second, on 4/13/16 at 31st and 5th Ave., involved a teenager being stabbed after arguing with vendors over counterfeit goods.

A meeting has been scheduled 4/22/16 to discuss the recent surge in grand larceny, which is up 21% year over year

Inspector Green said that he would stay a few minutes to speak to anyone individually.

John Mudd introduces first guest speaker – Beth Hofmeister, staff attorney, Homeless Rights Project, Legal Aid Society, 199 Water Street, NY, NY 10038, 212-577 3496, bchofmeister@legal-aid.org, www.legal-aid. Beth outlined the group’s mission.

  1. Class action suits, 2. Works on policy with City Council members, 3. Helps individuals with quality of life issues, 4. Works on disability issues for homeless

John Mudd introduces second guest speaker-Steven Kelly, Director of Regulatory Compliance, NYC Dept. of Consumer Affairs. He discussed the city’s new Commuter Benefits Law, which took effect on 1/1/2016. It requires employers with 20 or more full time non-union employees to offer them the opportunity to use pre-tax income to purchase transit benefits. Email: commuter benefits @dca.nyc.gov or call #311

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March 17 2016 Midtown South Community Council Meeting Minutes

(MSCC) Secretary Eileen Miller, Assistant Secretary Frank Kelly, April 21, 2016 —

 PROGRAM:

John Mudd opened the meeting by discussing plans to expand the speaker program and put the presentations on social media.

Inspector Green addressed the meeting with a report on St. Patrick’s Day Parade:

“no incidents or arrests.”

He said that the issue of aggressive panhandlers near the Molly Wee Pub, 30th St & 8th Ave, had been resolved. He sent a sergeant to exchange information with the staff.

He reported that in the 28-day period crime was down 7% over all. There has been an increase in felony assaults. Police officers are being challenged physically and surrounded at protests and then spit on, causing a potential HIV issue. Protocols call for the officer to go on medical leave & take strong antibiotics.

Inspector Green reported on a reggae DJ party at BB King’s Club & Grill, 237 West 42ndSt, 5 people arrested 2 officers injured. Plan to talk to promoter and organizer.

Grand larceny continues to be an issue as people leave unattended property such as laptops vulnerable. Officer Thomas Byrnes, MTS Crime Prevention, is assigned to educate the public on how to secure personal property.

Sharon Jasprizza introduced the meeting’s speakers: NYU senior Terrance Coffie, a 2016 recipient of the university’s President’s Service Award, shared his journey from prison to NYU with the help of the Doe Fund, and Tiheba Bain, recruitment specialist at FACES NY, spoke about her role helping recruit new clients for the FACES NY reentry program and SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) program for women. “Lift As We Climb.”

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