Compiled by Megan Bungeroth & Amanda Woods
UWS Slasher Convicted
A state Supreme Court jury found Upper West Side resident Julian Kurita guilty of second degree murder last week. Kurita was convicted of killing his father, Fumitaka Kurita, in their shared Upper West Side home on July 19, 2010. That night, police received a 911 call from the defendant, a former sushi chef, at his West 87th Street apartment. He told police that he had stabbed his father, slitting his throat, and then slashed his own wrists. When officers arrived on the scene, they found the father face-up on the floor, bleeding from neck and not breathing. Kurita had killed him as he was sitting down to the dinner table. His attorney argued in court that he was mentally ill at the time—Kurita told police he had gone off his medication—and didn’t know what he was doing, but the jury sided with the prosecution and agreed that he was responsible for, and guilty of, the murder.
Property Taxes Demystified
Upper West Side City Council Member Gale Brewer and representatives from the city’s Department of Finance will be available to help residents with property tax questions at a seminar on Thursday, June 7 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the American Folk Art Museum, 2 Lincoln Square. Bring questions about commercial, residential, condo and co-op property taxes and get answers directly from the department that handles them.
New Cardiac Treatment at Local Hospitals
Two Manhattan hospitals—St. Luke’s and Roosevelt—are getting ahead in the treatment of slow heartbeats. The two hospitals will be among the first in the nation to treat patients with INGENIO pacemakers, which help people who suffer from bradycardia, a heart rate of usually less than 60 beats per minute.
“The INGENIO device enables physicians to treat pacemaker patients with an advanced and comprehensive set of therapies,” said Emad Aziz, a doctor in the Department of Medicine and Cardiology at the hospitals. “The INGENIO pacemaker’s MV sensor is easy to optimize and will provide needed therapy for patients to help them feel less fatigued during physical activity.”
With this new device, doctors can keep tabs on their cardiac patients’ health from a distance; the device’s wireless technology can transmit patients’ data to doctors in several locations in North America.
Parking Regulation Map Goes Online
The Department of Transportation announced the launch of an online map that will show parking regulations for every block in New York City. The new tool came about as a result of legislation authored by East Side Council Member Dan Garodnick designed to increase transparency of street and transit data. The map shows parking signs, indicates when roads were last resurfaced and gives a street evaluation for roads in good, fair or poor condition. The DOT hopes that the tool will make resident parking easier, allowing people to check the map for alternate side regulation days before setting off on the daunting task of finding a spot in whatever neighborhood they’re in. This could cut down on the time that drivers are wandering the streets if they know which streets to avoid before they set out.
“New Yorkers shouldn’t be flying blind when they are looking for parking,” said Garodnick, who attributes the idea for the map to his mother. “It can be extremely annoying to drive to a new neighborhood and only learn the parking limitations once you have arrived. This map will let drivers know what they are getting themselves into when they plan a trip, and ultimately will save them some unnecessary headaches.”
Council Member James Vacca, chair of the transportation committee, compared deciphering parking regulations to “understanding Morse code” and praised the city for making it easier, and DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan promised to continue using technology to help residents navigate the city’s transportation system.
Central Park Walking Tour
Local preservation advocacy group Landmark West is sponsoring a walking tour through Central Park led by professor Andrew S. Dolkart, director of the Historic Preservation Program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation. The walk will be Wednesday, June 20 at 6 p.m., and tickets ($25, $15 for members) for the limited number of spots must be purchased in advance. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP or call 212-496-8110 for more information.
Plants and Crafts Festival
The Broadway Mall Association is dedicated to maintaining and enhancing the malls of Broadway from the Upper West Side through Harlem. On Sunday, June 10, the organization is hosting its 35th annual Plantathon and Music Festival. At this free festival, participants can sample international cuisine from over 50 food stands, browse the displays of over 400 craft and plant exhibitors and listen to the music of Linda Miller, Havana Central, and Blue Haze on Broadway between 72nd and 86th streets. Famed actor Eli Wallach will be signing autographs and discussing his autobiography at the Author’s Corner from 2-4 p.m. The festival runs from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and is open to all. For more information, call 212-764-6330.
Over $1 Million Raised for Health Care
Last month, St. Luke’s and Roosevelt hospitals held their annual joint fundraising gala on the Upper West Side at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on West 113th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. The event honored world-renowned endovascular neurosurgeon Dr. Alejandro Berenstein, as well Richard E. Cappetta, president and CEO of MicroVention, the company that makes the microcatheters that Berenstein uses to treat patients. The gala raised more than $1 million to help support the hospitals’ initiatives.
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