It wouldn’t be Christmas without a good Grinch story, and this year that story comes in the form of Victor Einhorn, the new owner of the building housing the Swinging Sixties Senior Center in Williamsburg.
The center houses a daycare, an after-school and a senior program. Mr. Einhorn gifted the senior citizens and kids who use the building an eviction notice this year, giving them until the end of January to vacate the premises.
The move has been widely criticized as contrary to the holidays, and Community Board 1 member Jan Peterson claims “He knew what he was doing when he served those papers on Christmas Eve.” Mr. Peterson suspects that the center is being demolished to make room for condos.
The fight is on to save the building, and the outlook seems cautiously optimistic for advocates of the center. The programs housed in the center have received city funding for decades, and Mr. Peterson hopes that he can rally city politicians to talk down the current landlords.
The onset of winter brings an extra surprise for New Yorkers this year, who may want to prepare for some new, not-so welcome neighbors. Periplaneta japonica is a cockroach species common in Asia known for being able to survive outside in freezing temperatures, and they’ve just been identified by entomologists in Manhattan.
The new species was identified by an exterminator in 2012, and subsequent research confirmed the identity of the new cockroach species but researchers Evangelista and Wares say not to worry, “this species is very similar to cockroach species that already exist in the urban environment,” says Evangelista, “they likely will compete with each other for space and for food.” More time spent competing means less time spent breeding and harassing humans.
Concerns of cross-breeding to create a new super roach are also mostly unfounded, as genitalia between different species don’t match making interbreeding understandably difficult. Still not the greatest holiday season news, but at the very least your knowledge of insect biology is now a little expanded.