Monday, September 1, 2014

Rush job at the Times Ledger?

It appears that someone was sloppy at the Times Ledger. If I ran the Avery campaign, I'd request a correction.
Here's the original article.

22 beds in a downtown apartment

From WPIX:

A man is renting out an East Side apartment for “young professionals” for $900. 22 to be exact.

In a video uploaded to YouTube, you’re given a tour of what looks like a cramped dwelling.

It’s a two-bedroom apartment with 22 beds.

The man claims to have plenty of storage space (perhaps under the beds?) and tells how the apartment is walking distance from the subway trains.

He doesn’t mention the word hostel, but a city spokesman says they are investigating this place as a possible illegal hostel.

Monetary dispute shuts down Atlantic Yards construction

From the NY Times:

Forest City Ratner, the developer at the sprawling Atlantic Yards complex (renamed Pacific Park this month) in Brooklyn, boasted in 2012 that it had “cracked the code” sought by builders for more than a half-century, enabling the company to build residential, high-rise towers faster, better and more cheaply.

But a dark shadow was cast over those claims on Wednesday. Slow-moving work on the first tower shut down completely amid a battle over tens of millions of dollars in cost overruns between Forest City and its partner, Skanska, the giant Swedish construction company that is also the construction manager for the building.

This dispute over a high-profile development is unusually bitter and public, even for the typically rambunctious New York real estate industry.

Skanska on Wednesday unilaterally closed the factory in the Brooklyn Navy Yard where 157 workers assembled and built the steel-framed modules for the first of a planned 14 prefabricated apartment buildings, at Flatbush Avenue and Dean Street.

A day earlier, Skanska ceased work at the construction site, where the building rises to only 10 floors of its 32-story height, 21 months after work started.

Candidates for Governor address Bay Terrace Community Alliance

Video of Candidates Forum held August 26, 2014 by Bay Terrace Community Alliance, moderated by Warren Schreiber and Phil Konigsberg. Copyright 2014 LoScalzo Media Design LLC. All rights reserved.

Andrew Cuomo did not attend...

Fresh Meadows hotel project is underway

From the Queens Courier:

Foundation work is progressing on a planned 12-story mixed-use hotel near the Fresh Meadows Shopping Center.

The hotel, which is designed by Tan Architect, will be divided into 14,672 square feet of residential space, 40,675 square feet of retail space and 2,239 square feet of community space, according to filings with the Department of Buildings.

The new structure will have 22 rooms and is expected to be completed in January 2016, according to the work poster at the site.

The permits say 29 rooms... Why does it look larger than that?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Murray Hill video tale

Hello! I bid you well.

My name is Julian Kim and I am a filmmaker who grew up in Flushing, Queens.

I would like to share my latest work with you entitled "Flushing Web Series".

It's funny how this whole thing started. I was walking down Roosevelt Ave one Monday to take the 7 train, but Monday morning's trash day. So you can only imagine what the smell is like: with all the crap and garbage from various restaurants lined up right up against the curb mixed in with their sad attempt to cover the smell up by pouring hot diluted soap water... The commutes on Monday mornings always are the worst. I grew up in Flushing my entire life but I still can't get used to the smell.

So I realized then how much I hated Flushing. I hated everything about Flushing and everything about Queens. Starting with the smell, loud music, hobos, and how crowded it gets with obnoxious people who either walk really slow or walk straight toward you for that annoying shoulder-to-shoulder collision. Oh, and all those dead animals on display for people to eat...

But at the same time, I realized this is also my hometown. Yes, it sucks (a lot) but every corner here in Flushing has a story of its own. Every piece of garbage probably has a story, too!

I wanted to highlight parts of Flushing and this would be my humble attempt. And I also humbly ask if you would just take your time to watch it and share your thoughts on your blog and Facebook page! You can be real and honest - I just would love to hear back from fellow Queens natives about the whole series!

Thanks and hope you have a good one!

Julian Kim
Creative Director ➶ || facebook
(516) 312-7525

Candidates Forum for U.S. Congress, 3rd District of NY

Video of Candidates Forum held August 26, 2014 by Bay Terrace Community Alliance, moderated by Warren Schreiber and Phil Konigsberg. Copyright 2014 LoScalzo Media Design LLC. All rights reserved.

The latest crap that architecture nerds think is cool

From Curbed:

Only one rendering—and few details—has been revealed for the ODA-designed apartment building that's rising next to 5 Pointz (RIP), but the eagle eyes over at New York YIMBY spotted another one on the architect's website.

Wow. I hope the cab will be permanently parked on the sidewalk. Provides a nice touch of authentic LIC.

Shalimar Diner needs to clean up its act

"When you walk in Rego Park, make sure you're walking in the middle of the block as you pass the Shalimar Diner at 63-68 Austin Street.

Although the Shalimar has knowledge that they are responsible for keeping up the area around the curbside tree, they just ignore it. The grass is nearly waist high and the garbage strewn and hidden in the tall grass makes it a trip & fall waiting to happen.

If you walk too close to the building, you may get hit in the head by pieces of the cement facade that are falling off. Makes one think what is going on in their kitchen with all this obvious neglect!" - Anonymous

Elevators out of service for months at Howard Beach complex

From WPIX:

What goes up must come down. Unless it’s an elevator at the Dorchester complex in Howard Beach. In that case, the elevator may be going nowhere.

I had to go back out there earlier this month. And I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it.

There are two buildings. Over the winter they had problems in the Dorchester Two. The elevator was out. Senior citizens, including a World War II vet, were forced to use the stairs if they could.

And I ran into two very unpleasant people. A VP of the co-op board and a foul-mouthed secretary in the management office who actually called the NYPD on me. Even though we were invited in by owners, she claimed we had no righto be there.

Imagine that.

Anyway, we helped expedite the long-delayed elevator repairs.

But now the same situation arose in the other building, the Dorchester One. I’m told that secretary no longer works at the complex. But the problem was still severe. Five months without a functioning elevator!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

DeBlasio planning to destroy something that actually works

From Huffington Post:

Even though nearly 70 percent of New York City's public school students are black or Hispanic, very few will be attending the city's most elite public schools when the doors open next week. According to some alumni of these specialized high schools, that doesn't mean their admissions systems are necessarily unfair.

The chance to attend one of the eight exam-based institutions -- like Stuyvesant High School -- depends on the student's score on the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT). These schools are considered among the city's best, and competition to get in can be fierce.

"In my opinion, the test system is purely on the basis of merit. There's no room for discrimination or bias," Larry Cary, president of the Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation, told The Huffington Post.

Cary is part of the newly formed Coalition of the Specialized High School Alumni Organizations, which represents over 100,000 graduates of those New York City schools. This week, the group announced that it believes the admissions process based on a single exam should remain unchanged.

According to data from the NYC Department of Education, black and Hispanic students last year made up only 12 percent of incoming ninth-graders offered spots at the exam-based high schools. This year, the numbers are basically the same: The share of black and Hispanic students accepted to the prestigious schools adds up to 11.5 percent.

The New York state legislature established the entrance exam system in the early 1970s for Stuyvesant, Bronx High School of Science and Brooklyn Technical High School. As more specialized schools opened, they adopted the same system for the most part. (The city has a ninth specialized school, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, that chooses its students based on a combination of auditions and academics.)

Over the years, there have been attempts to reform the admissions process to ensure that the benefits of attending the best public high schools reach all communities in the city. Just this June, state legislators introduced a bill that would require the specialized high schools to factor multiple measures, such as GPA, into their admission decisions, as opposed to relying only on the SHSAT.

The Coalition of the Specialized High School Alumni Organizations disagrees with that approach. The group argues instead for a new initiative to give underrepresented communities access to better SHSAT test preparation and for a policy of letting students on the cusp of admittance apply again.

There are bright children of all races. The reason why there are fewer Black and Hispanic students accepted into prestigious schools is mainly because they tend to be stuck going to shitty middle schools which don't prepare them adequately for test taking of this caliber. So instead of fixing the middle schools, DeBlasio wants to dumb down the admissions process. Of course, the graduates of these schools are smarter than DeBlasio.

Assembly stalling on Forest Park cameras

From The Forum:

While a sexual predator responsible for six attacks in Forest Park remains at large, the application to install security cameras on the grounds is still being reviewed by the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, with no firm date set for the completion of the process.

“There was an initial delay by the city Police Department returning the preliminary application to the Ways and Means Committee,” said Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven), who formally requested the extra security measure. “After final review, the application will be sent to the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York for their own independent review of the NYPD’s application for the security cameras. Since we have no control over these processes, I cannot guarantee a date for the installation of the cameras; however, the process is moving swiftly and we will continue to follow up to ensure the cameras are installed as soon as possible.”

The bureaucratic procedure has done little to assuage the anxiety of park patrons and area residents. According to the NYPD, the suspect has struck half a dozen times during daylight hours over a two-year period inside the expansive, 507-acre flagship green space: On Aug. 26, 2013 he used a stun gun to subdue and rape a 69-year-old woman near Myrtle Avenue and Forest Park Road; on March 29, 2013, the suspect sexually assaulted a 23-year-old jogger; on Nov. 18, 2012 he assaulted a 40-year-old woman as she walked her dog; on Aug. 15, 2012, the man fondled a 34-year-old woman at Woodhaven Boulevard and Park Lane South; he struck and attempted to disrobe his youngest victim, a 13-year-old girl, on Sept. 7, 2011; and on March 25, 2011, in what cops believe was his initial attack, the man jumped a 54-year-old female jogger from behind on Park Lane South, the NYPD said.

Overdevelopment headed to the Bronx

From DNA Info:

The Department of City Planning would like to see waterfront development come to the areas around some Metro-North stations as part of a plan to foster economic growth and accommodate a booming population in the borough, according to a new report.

In the study, which focused on improving underused areas around the stations as well as better integrating them into the community, the department advocated redeveloping the waterfront by the University Heights and Morris Heights stations to help people more easily reach the Harlem River.

Many of the Metro-North stations in the Bronx have underutilized areas around them or are next to recreational areas that are cut off from the rest of the community by highways and other obstructions. They also are underutilized despite being in densely populated areas, compared to the subway, the report said.

Wills instroduces jail voter bill

From the Times Ledger:

Although jail detainees are kept behind bars, City Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) says their votes should not be.

Wills introduced a bill at last week’s Council meeting outlining a process for the city Department of Correction to administer absentee ballot applications ahead of elections, distribute them to eligible voters and then return their ballots to the city Board of Elections.

In New York, inmates convicted of misdemeanors and those awaiting judicial rulings on felony charges are eligible to vote. Close to 81 percent of those in the state prison system are detainees who have been charged but not convicted of crimes, and are therefore eligible to vote, according to the Brennan Center for Justice policy institute, at New York University’s School of Law.

“I encounter more constituents than I would like ... that if they were in Rikers or another jail, they didn’t know they could vote. I have had people come up to me and tell me their voter record is messed up and they were never locked up or they had a misdemeanor conviction,” Wills said.

Neither the BOE nor DOC responded to requests for comment on the bill and how voting currently works in city jails.