Video: Persons of Interest in Raphael Ward Murder

Today police have released security camera video they say shows “persons of interest” wanted for questioning in Friday night’s murder of 16-year old Raphael Ward on Columbia Street.  The video, recorded a short before the fatal shooting, shows four young men inside a deli at 49 Columbia Street.

According to the New York Times, the NYPD is declining to elaborate about the roles of these four, saying only “we want to speak to these people.”   Anyone with information should call Crimestoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

Arts Watch: Winter Theater & Dance Festivals Kick Off 2013

Body Cartography Project with Zeena Parkins will premier at this year’s American Realness Festival. Photo by Gene Pittman.

2013  is off to an incredible “art start” here on the L.E.S. with three theater festivals kicking off this week.  A few blocks north, The Public Theater’s annual Under The Radar Festival (UTR), now in its ninth year, opens on Wednesday and runs through January 20th. UTR is known for its mostly international lineup of new and experimental work by ensembles, solo artists and independent writers. If you want a crash course in exciting independent theater, The Public is the place to be this week.  A highlight for me is the return of the remarkable Belarus Free Theatre, a radical human rights based company devoted to resistance of the current Belarus political regime.

Dental Vita Opens This Week at 114 Delancey Street

114 Delancey Street, at Essex.

There’s a new dental practice in the neighborhood. Doctors William Corbett and Elena Agilina are putting the finishing touches on a new office at 114 Delancey Street (Essex) this week.  Dental Vita is a full service office, offering checkups, cleanings, implants, oral surgery, etc. Corbett has practiced on Staten Island since 2007.  Agilina has an office uptown, as well as the Delancey Street location.

The deal at 114 Delancey was done by Lower East Side-based broker Ben Landy.  Dental Vita is taking about half of a 4,000+ square foot space in the commercial building that also houses Henry Street Settlement’s Workforce Development Center.  They’ll be sub-leasing a portion of the space to another tenant to be determined.

If you’re interested in making an appointment, call 212-260-4646.  A web site,, will go online soon.  Most insurance plans are accepted.


Celebrating Three Kings Day on Suffolk Street

Suffolk Street, between Delancey and Rivington.

A big crowd gathered yesterday to celebrate El Dia De Los Tres Reyes Magos, Three Kings Day. The celebration outside the Clemente Soto velez Cultural Center was sponsored by Teatro Sea, the Latino theatre company.

Morning Reads: Discount Bus Winners, Gun Control Politics, Hurricane Planning

Megabus, Bolt and Greyhound are the big winners after the Chinatown bus crackdown (Bloomberg).

A state panel recommends sweeping changes in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy (NYT).

Governor Cuomo will go on the attack, if necessary,  against GOP efforts to stymie gun control legislation (Daily News).

Violinist Miranda Cuckson showcases a new work at the Spectrum, an intimate space on Ludlow Street (NYT).

The LES might have a lot of graffiti but most of it sucks (Gothamist).

It looks like Max on Avenue B is history (EV Grieve).


Police Continue Search for Raphael Ward’s Killer; Funeral on Wednesday

Raphael Ward; photo via Facebook.

This morning police are still looking for the gunman who took 16-year old Raphael Ward’s life Friday night during a confrontation on Columbia Street.  Police believe the suspect is also a teenager, perhaps a boy even younger than Ward.

Police released a description of the gunman: 5-feet-6-inches tall, 120-140 pounds; at the time of the shooting (around 9 p.m.) he was wearing a black wool hat and a ski mask, a black hoodie, a green jacket and blue jeans.

Over the weekend, Ward’s mom, Ali Delgado, stayed in seclusion in the family’s apartment inside the Baruch public housing development. On Wednesday, friends and loved ones will be able to pay their respects at the Provenzano Lanza Funeral Home, 43 2nd Avenue.  Viewing hours are 2-5 and 7-9 p.m.

In a story published yesterday, Ward’s cousin, Nae Delgado,told the Wall Street Journal he tried to steer clear of bad influences, and wasn’t interested in the local gangs that are strong influences in all of the neighborhood’s public housing projects:

“He was a good kid… He didn’t cause trouble. I grew up here, this is the first place I ever lived, and we never got into trouble, nothing… He thought that if you couldn’t run by yourself then you weren’t brave.”

Good Morning!

Essex Street, looking downtown. Photo by Nancy Linn.

Sunny skies today with a high of 42.  We could see 50 by mid-week.

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