Saturday, August 1, 2015

Giving new meaning to "airport hotel"

From the NY Times:

With the addition of two new wings, Eero Saarinen’s T.W.A. Flight Center at Kennedy Airport — a lyrical landmark in search of an everyday purpose — might finally reopen to the traveling public for the first time since Trans World Airlines went out of business in 2001.

The six-story wings, shoehorned into a crescent-shaped area between the T.W.A. Flight Center and JetBlue’s Terminal 5, would be part of a 505-room hotel built by MCR Development. Its holdings include the High Line Hotel in Chelsea, which occupies part of the General Theological Seminary campus.

Pending approvals, construction of the T.W.A. Flight Center Hotel, as it would be called, is to begin next year. It would open in 2018. The budget is roughly $250 million, including a $65 million renovation of the Saarinen building.

Most Precious Blood to become pre-k center

From the Queens Courier:

The site of the former Most Precious Blood Catholic School, which closed its doors in June after 58 years of serving the Astoria community, will now be used as a pre-K center, according to the Department of Education.

Students and parents at the school located at 35-32 37th St. found out in January that the school would be closing at the end of the school year due to drops in enrollment and the need for costly structural repairs. Even though parents and students rallied to keep the school open, the institution shut down.

However, according to the DOE, which has since leased the building, the site will still be used for educational purposes and there are no plans to change the use of the building.

AirBnB is gobbling up affordable housing

From the Daily News:

Airbnb is gobbling up a huge chunk of apartments in some of the city’s hottest zip codes — snagging as much as 20% of vacancies in parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, according to a new study by two affordable housing advocates.

The East Village led the list with a whopping 28% of its units going as illegal hotel rooms on the popular home-sharing site, according to an analysis from New York Communities for Change and Real Affordability For All.

The 20 most popular Airbnb neighborhoods — in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Long Island City, Queens — have lost 10% of their available housing units to Airbnb, according to the study.

Airbnb has maintained that its users are overwhelmingly tenants looking to make a quick buck when out of town, but the study found that the average rental was available for 247 days a year, and rented 109 nights a year.

That number would support criticism that huge numbers of shady landlords were using the website to convert rental units into illegal hotel rooms, exacerbating the city’s housing crisis to make a profit.

It’s illegal to rent out your apartment when you are not home, but you can rent out a room when you are, according to the law.

Markey to have challenger

From the Queens Courier:

Brian Barnwell is looking to be the voice of a district he has called home all his life and one he says needs a big change and new leadership.

The 29-year-old Woodside resident and lawyer has announced that he will run next year for the seat in the state Assembly representing District 30, which covers the neighborhoods of Maspeth, Woodside, Middle Village and parts of Astoria, Sunnyside and Long Island City.

The seat is currently held by Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, who was first elected in 1998.

“I just feel like it’s time for a change. I feel like we need some new energy where people are going to go out and engage the community and bring the community voices into the conversation,” Barnwell said. “Everyone is getting pushed out. The teachers are being thrown under the bus. The students are being thrown under the bus. The middle class is just being destroyed and we can’t take it for granted anymore. So I want to be the voice of the middle class, because I am in the middle class.”

Barnwell’s desire to run for office was fueled recently when he began working as the director of special events for Councilman Costa Constantinides, and experienced many residents coming into the district office complaining about various issues – including affordable housing.

This made him realize that there needed to be a change and he would be that change.

Republican or Democrat? Don't know. He's not saying.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Playground equipment gets burning hot in summer

Condo renting couple was bad news

From the Forum (Part 1):

Police last week executed an early-morning raid and search warrant at a building in Ozone Park, arresting two men and effectively smashing an identity theft scheme based on credit card and gift card fraud, according to the NYPD and sources.

Jacques Joseph and Kaeshawn Kerr were rousted around 6:35 a.m. last Wednesday inside a second-floor residence in the Park Village Condominiums on Centreville Street.

Joseph, 32, was charged with 57 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, and two counts of criminal possession of a forgery device with the intent to use; both are D felonies.

Kerr, 21, has been charged with 59 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, and two counts of criminal possession of a forgery device with the intent to use.

From the Forum (Part 2):

In March 2014, Walker and Joseph were caught with 60 stolen credit cards after attempting to use one at a Garden City Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. In May 2013, Joseph and another woman were caught traveling back home to New York from Charlotte, N.C., after allegedly ripping off stores down south by buying real gift cards with phony credit cards.

Walker is scheduled to be released on Sept. 29. Her Park Village lease expires at midnight on Sept. 30.

Until then, Mary Walsh, the owner of the condo, is left in real estate limbo—and to wonder how the Realtor she depended on to bring her proper tenant candidates could recommend someone with questionable credentials.

Walker allegedly claimed to work for a company at John F. Kennedy International Airport, and produced documentation attesting to such employment. However, The Forum’s investigation has revealed that Walker is not employed by the company, but instead is on government-assistance rolls.

“That’s why you go to a real estate office—to protect you from this,” Walsh said. “Even though I was na├»ve enough to get scammed, they didn’t do their job. They failed me.”

Disgusting shitbox to no doubt replace tasteful North Flushing home

Hey Crapper,

Must wanted to make your North Flushing readers aware that the house at 161-16 33rd ave is scheduled for demolition. Below is the NYC DOB job approving the demolition. This is a beautiful center hall dutch colonial and there is no need to tear it down. It was sold on 4/10/15 for $960,000.
Link to DOB.

Here is a link to some photos of the home.

- anonymous

Let's rethink that LGA AirTrain thing...

From AM-NY:

A new $450 million AirTrain to LaGuardia Airport from the Mets-Willets Point stop on the jam-packed No. 7 line wouldn't be worth the trip, transit advocates warned Wednesday.

"To put a new group of airport-bound travelers and their luggage on the already-overcrowded 7 line for 20 stops would be a disaster," said Andrew Albert, chairman of the Transit Riders Council and MTA board member. "You think the 7 is crowded now? Just wait."

The Mets-Willets Point stop would be the 20 station on the line if a rider boards at the new extension on 34th Street and 11th Avenue.

The MTA is modernizing the No. 7 train's signal system to run more trains in booming Queens, but the line is at 100% capacity during rush-hour.

Ass Hat At Rockaway Beach

How Smoking Is Affecting Young People's Brains

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Why the hell is this 18th century church in Elmhurst not landmarked?

Jim Henderson/Wikipedia
"St. James Church in Elmhurst is looking to develop its property where the old church (later parish hall) sits.

It was built in 1735 and is the oldest surviving Anglican building in the City of New York.

In all likelihood, it will be necessary to tear down the Old Parish Hall to make the property attractive to developers.

The property is on the national register, but does NOT have landmark status by the city, and could be torn down. The building is probably one of the oldest buildings standing in Elmhurst, and one of a few historical buildings left in Elmhurst." - anonymous

Ok, so if the Landmarks Conservancy and the state paid for a full restoration, then why has this building not been designated, Ms. Mary Beth Betts?

Robber steals Resorts World guard's car

From CBS New York:

Police are looking for a man who they said attacked a security guard at a Queens casino before taking off in the victim’s car.

The suspect walked up to the 66-year-old guard around 7 p.m. last Saturday near the Resorts World Casino and assaulted him, police said.

During the attack, police said the victim dropped the keys to his 2008 Lexus. The suspect grabbed the keys, jumped into the victim’s car and took off, police said.

Glendale homeless shelter permits revoked

From the Queens Courier:

Those fighting against the proposed homeless shelter at 78-16 Cooper Ave. in Glendale received a bit of good news last week, when the city’s Department of Buildings (DOB) revoked the floor plans for the shelter after a full audit of the plans.

The notice to revoke — which according to the DOB is pending until the plan review is completed — stalls the progress of the property owner, Michael Wilner, in renovating the former factory, which the nonprofit group Samaritan Village plans to use as a homeless shelter. The full audit found that the plans are not up to full code compliance, according to a DOB representative.

“The project at this site remains under department review, and at this time there has not been a determination of the plan’s compliance with all applicable codes or the zoning resolution,” said a DOB spokesperson in an email.

Why are we only raising the wage for fast food workers?

From the NY Times:

A proposed increase in the minimum wage in New York State will be substantial, but that’s really not what bothers some economists.

It’s that the raise would apply only to fast-food workers, and only if they work for a chain with at least 30 locations. A wage increase applying to such a narrow segment of the economy is bound to have unintended consequences.

“I have lots of concern with sector- and firm-size-specific minimum wages,” said Lawrence Katz, a labor economist at Harvard University whose research on the economic effects of minimum wages has led him to support higher ones that apply to all workers, both at the national level and especially in jurisdictions like New York, where average incomes and the cost of living are above average.

Some of the problems with a narrow minimum wage are obvious. They don’t do much to raise incomes for workers who don’t work at fast-food chains. And they impose higher costs on some businesses than others; in this case, much higher, as chain fast-food restaurants will be required to pay approximately $6 an hour more than their homegrown competitors.

Ruben Wills has worst Council attendance

From the Daily News:

A Queens pol accused of corruption and a Bronx pol accused of sexual harassment have something in common besides legal trouble - the worst attendance records on the City Council.

Indicted Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Queens) and Councilman Andy King (D-Bronx) each missed about a third of their required meetings, putting them in a tie for dead last in attendance on the 51-member body.

King, who was hit with a claim this year charging he wrongfully fired a staffer after she spurned his sexual advances, skipped 29 of the 89 hearings he was supposed to go to, or 32.6%, according to attendance records obtained through the Freedom of Information Law.

Wills missed 26 out of 111 committee and Council meetings during the fiscal year that ended in June - 23.4%.