New Ramp is Part of Face Lift For Good Companions Senior Center

Good Companions Senior Center.

Good Companions Senior Center.

It took almost a decade to complete, but everyone was all smiles at the Good Companions Senior Center Friday for the unveiling of a new ramp leading into the facility.

The center, located at 334 Madison St., is in the Vladeck public housing development. It’s run by Henry Street Settlement. Back in 2006, City Council member Rosie Mendez paid a visit to the Vladeck Houses, noticing that the ramp was very steep. “That incline was bad on my knees,” she explained, “so I know it had to be a challenge for our seniors.” The first round of funding for the project came in fiscal year 2008 from both Mendez and the Manhattan Borough President’s office. Over time, Mendez allocated about $965,000 for the project. The ramp was redesigned and there were, of course, the usual NYCHA bureaucratic delays.

On Friday, Mendez was joined by City Council member Margaret Chin, NYCHA officials, Henry Street Settlement head David Garza and Nancy Ortiz, tenant association president of the Vladeck Houses. As part of the project, new lighting was installed alongside the ramp. More improvements are ahead at the senior center, including ADA-compliant bathrooms and a revamped kitchen. “This is going o be an incredible center when it’s complete,” said Mendez, “and that’s what our seniors deserve.”

The Good Companions Senior Center is part of a Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC).

good companions ramp

good companions inside

NYPD: Suspect Shot After Stabbing Woman at Vladeck Houses

Firefighters Respond to Dumpster Fire at Vladeck Houses

Fire at the Vladeck Houses. Photo from @cooperativelyyours.

Fire at the Vladeck Houses. Photo from @cooperativelyyours.

Firefighters worked this afternoon for more than an hour to put out a fire that had been set inside a dumpster at the Vladeck Houses.  The dumpster is located in a courtyard at the public housing complex, between Water and Madison streets. No one was injured, but the smoke could be seen throughout the neighborhood.

Hunting Rifle Goes Off at Vladeck Houses; 4-Year Old Hospitalized For Observation

According to police, a four-year old child at the Vladeck Houses was taken to the hospital after his dad accidentally fired a hunting rifle into the ceiling. It happened this morning at around 10:30 at 16 Jackson St.  The Daily News reported that the child was not inured when debris came falling from the kitchen ceiling.  The man had a permit for the weapon and was planning to go hunting.  Police are deciding whether he’s going to face charges.  Seven people were in the apartment at the time of the incident.

UPDATED 11/29: The New York Post reports the father, 50-year-old Luis Gonzalez, was charged with reckless endangerment and assault.  The boy suffered minor injuries from the falling debris.  According to NY1, Gonzalez was also charged with assault and endangering the welfare of a child.  Police confiscated two rifles and a shotgun from the apartment.





National Night Out Held at Vladeck Houses

National Night Out 2012 at the Vladeck Houses.

Community activists, politicos and local residents came to the Vladeck Houses on Henry Street last night for National Night Out, an event intended to improve relationships with neighborhood police precincts.  7th Precinct Commanding Officer Peter Venice and Captain David Miller were there, along with officials from PSA 4, the housing bureau responsible for the Lower East Side’s public housing developments.

City Council members Margaret Chin and Rosie Mendez, Comptroller John Liu and Community Board 3 Chair Gigi Li made the rounds. There was food, a petting zoo, dunking tank and other activities. In past years, the 7th Precinct and PSA 4 have held separate events but a decision was made to join forces this year.  Click through for a few more photos.

Fire at the Vladeck Houses

This afternoon at the Vladeck Houses. Photos by Damien Acevedo.

Thanks to Damien Acevedo for sending in these photos from the Vladeck Houses, where an apartment fire broke out earlier today. Firefighters were on the scene at about 12:30 p.m. We’re making calls but please let us know if you have info from the scene.


Prosecutors: Woman Kept Apartment in LES Projects, While Buying Upper East Side, Hamptons Homes

Nataliya Dyakovskaya says she came to this country from Russia is 1977 with only $30 in her pocket but an “endless supply of determination.”  She’s acquired a few more things during her years in New York, including an Upper East Side condo and an East Hampton Home.  Sounds like the American dream, right?  Well, prosecutors allege there’s only one problem:  Dyakovskaya was also renting an apartment in the Vladeck Houses, a public housing project on the Lower East Side, defrauding the NYC Housing Authority of more than $79,000 in the process.

Security at Vladeck, Housing Fraud, Orchard Hotel and Art

  • Tenants in the Vladeck Houses push for new security cameras in wake of recent violence. (DNAinfo)
  • Seven people, including an Elizabeth Street Tenants Association leader, were charged yesterday with defrauding the city’s housing program of more than $250,000. (WSJ)
  • You are invited to the funeral for 35 Cooper Square. (EV Grieve)
  • More on yesterday’s news that the stalled construction monstrosity at 180 Orchard would become an upscale hotel. (GlobeStreet, The Real Deal, Curbed)
  • An Orchard Street art gallery’s sexually explicit paintings spawn outrage. (NY Post)