Concerns about Illegal Smokeshops

Many people in the community are concerned about the proliferation of smoke shops in the city selling illegal products – including in our neighborhood. So, the community was very happy when this signage went up at the old Health Food business location on 16th street and Third Avenue.

Not only will the neighborhood be getting a new restaurant, but it eases the mind of the neighborhood to know that another smoke shop that was supposed to be opening in this location is no longer going to happen.

We still need to keep the pressure on in regard to the current smoke shop, which continues its business in spite of being given multiple fines for selling illegal cigarettes to underage minors as well as other violations.

We have been advised that filing 311 complaints helps to keep the pressure on the city agencies to keep addressing these illegal activities at these locations.

Here is the link to file a complaint.

Thank you for your help.

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Caring for Our Trees

New York City Council Member Carlina Rivera’s office has organized a street tree demonstration, community planting, and tree bed survey training and information session.

East Side Street Tree Care Demonstration and Community PlantingEast Side Street Tree Survey

Saturday, April 22, 11:30am | Avenue B Open Street b/w East 8th and 9th streets

Sign-up for a street tree care demonstration and community planting that will take place as part of the Car Free Earth Day Avenue B Open Street programming.

The demonstration and planting will mark the kick-off of the East Side Street Tree Survey. Volunteers are needed to assist with surveying the street trees and tree beds in Council District 2. This survey will help inform City agencies about the conditions of the street trees in our neighborhoods. If you are interested in volunteering, please sign up here.

Please contact Eddie Amador with any questions: eamador@council.nyc.gov.

East Side Street Tree Bed Survey Training and Information Session

Tuesday, April 18, 2023, 6:30pm

Click here to register

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Additional Funding from Greenacre Foundation

SPNA is delighted to report that the Greenacre Foundation has agreed to provide a second round of funding of $10,000, which will be used towards Phase 3 of our tree maintenance program. Above are images from Phase 2, which entailed pruning trees that cast a heavy shadow over flower beds, preventing the beds surrounding the fountains from receiving sufficient light and air for the plants to grow.

Phase 3 will focus on the West Park and is tentatively scheduled to take place this summer. The goals of this phase are to:

  • Reduce weight of branch ends
  • Reduce risk of branch failure
  • Reduce likelihood of storm damage
  • Maintain size and shape

We want to thank Eric Anderson of Bartlett Tree Experts for his dedication and enthusiasm for this program.

Thank you also to SPNA board President Jason Money and board member Doris Dieter for making sure we met the deadlines in order to be considered for this funding.

SPNA is very grateful to the Greenacre Foundation for their recognition of the importance of this work and their continued support of our efforts.

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It’s My Park Day

Thank You!

SPNA wants to thank all the volunteers who came out on It’s My Park Day to help clean litter from the garden beds in Stuyvesant Square and the surrounding streets. They did a great job in spite of the heat!

A big shoutout to Sokie Lee and Ken Gray, co-founders of NYC CLEAN Volunteers, who partnered with SPNA for this event. Their participation helped to make this event a success.

We also appreciate the support of Partnership for Parks and NYC Parks for their help in making this event happen twice every year.

And thanks to Trader Joe’s for providing the shopping bags that we used to collect the litter!

It takes the efforts of many to keep our city clean.

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Washington Irving High School

After about five years of construction, which were very hard on many members of the community, the final pieces of the Washington Irving High School project are complete. In addition to the construction, a tree that was destroyed in the process was replaced and the bust of Washington Irving* was uncovered and cleaned. The last bit of scaffolding surrounding the building was finally taken down.

Washington Irving High School, formerly called Wadleigh High School, is a significant institution in the history of women’s education in New York City, being the only school for girls in Manhattan when it was built in 1913. It was the brainchild of progressive educator William McAndrew, who believed that girls training for vocational or technical trades and those undertaking an academic curriculum should be educated together since they had much to teach each other. As a result, construction of the school was exceedingly difficult because of the extensive curriculum. Subjects taught included housekeeping, marketing, garment making, drawing, plain and fancy cooking, picture hanging, dancing, typewriting, bookbinding, and gardening, in addition to the usual high school subjects. The bust of Washington Irving was sculpted by Friedrich Beer and added in 1935, and the school continued to expand as attendance increased. Notable attendees include the artist Lee Krasner, singer Sylvia Robinson, and Academy Award-winning actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg.

Washington Irving High School became co-ed in 1986. Today, Irving’s bust features prominently on school IDs.

We were just notified by a member that the bust has been removed. We will endeavor to find out what happened and when it will be returned.

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