An Asian advocacy group that criticized a bill to prevent so-called “illegal home conversions” as racist has reversed its position and is the first Asian group to publicly support the measure. In July, Members of the Asian Community United Society said the proposal to boost fines for dicing one- and two-family homes into multifamily apartments unfairly targeted the Chinese who live in such buildings. But now the group’s director says the bill will actually protect Asian immigrants from predatory landlords.
“Initially I was under the impression that Chinese homeowners were being targeted, and we were worried about their safety,” said Warren Chan, the executive director of the society. “We need to come together because these developers are taking advantage of our community.”
The bill, introduced in June, would impose greater fines on landlords who incorrectly subdivide homes and would also let the city put liens on properties when landlords fail to pay the penalties. In its early stages, the bill created a fund for residents displaced when the city vacates illegal buildings, but lawmakers scrapped the provision, because Council does not have the power to designate such a fund.
Chan and others previously argued that the legislation would put immigrant families on the street as the city empties dangerous homes. The city raided two such illegal conversions in Dyker Heights this month, leaving nearly 40 people without a home.
But Chan now says that property owners are the real bad guys, because unsanctioned construction work exposes residents to carbon monoxide poisoning, electrical fires, and building collapse. The city must adopt a two-pronged approach — pass the bill and increase the stock of affordable housing so new immigrants have options — he said.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
From the Daily News:
A major transit hub in Jamaica, Queens, is getting nearly $8 million in state money for upgrades that’ll make it easier to catch a ride, State Sen. James Sanders will announce Tuesday.
The money for the Jamaica Transportation Center Station Plaza — one of the city’s busiest transit stations where commuters can catch a Long Island Rail Road, the E, J and Z trains and a host of bus routes — is intended to give more space to pedestrians at the bustling transit and retail center, said Sanders, who got money for the station improvements as part of a transportation funding plan hashed out with his fellow state lawmakers.
Here's a recent ad: https://beta.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/kghsingles/conversations/topics/19289
I've contacted DOH, DOB, CB8, etc. just sent to Avella's office today as he seems to be the only one who gets anything done in Queens." - anonymous
Monday, August 29, 2016
From the Queens Tribune:
After clearing their violations with the City Department of Buildings, the Yeshiva Gedolah at 74-10 88th St. in Glendale is once again seeking variance to expand its dormitory quarters to accommodate 1,050 students with an additional 50,000 square feet of space.
At a land use hearing at Borough hall last Thursday, attorney for the yeshiva Jay Goldstein said that the goal is to keep more students on site so they can take advantage of early morning classes and decrease busing to and from the site, which is a major complaint in the neighborhood.
Goldstein noted that the current dorm only allows for 282 students to stay on site. He added that with rising rent costs, parents of the students who have in the past lived in Queens and Brooklyn have now moved upstate. “That number will increase,” said Goldstein.
He said if they do not receive this variance, the school will continue to operate as a Use Group 9 trade school and find facilities for the dorm elsewhere.
The school does not have a C of O for dorms and was vacated last year for that reason. They also still have active building violations. How about building a yeshiva upstate where these kids live instead of in the middle of Glendale where they require busing?
From the Daily News:
Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Queens) wants to clean up a stretch of 20 blocks along Roosevelt Ave. that bring in a “bad element” at night.
“It’s a vibrant place in the day ... but at night all kinds of illegal activity occurs, prostitution, human trafficking and more,” he said.
Peralta, who represents the area, wants the city to increase its enforcement of existing quality of life laws and up the fines for certain violations from $1,000 to $10,000.
Sunday, August 28, 2016
|Photo by Robert Holden|
The protesters assembled at the Holiday Inn Express near Maurice Avenue and marched through the streets of Maspeth, led by civic leaders and State Senator Tony Avella. Several candidates for election, including Democratic Assembly candidate Brian Barnwell, Republican Assembly candidate Tony Nunziato and State Senate candidate Michael Conigliaro participated. In fact, the Queens County GOP sent several reps to march with their banner, but not one cog of the Democratic Queens Machine bothered to show up.
The marchers left the hotel area and entered the heart of Maspeth, heading east on Grand Avenue and shutting it down. After marching through almost the entire length of town, they doubled back and marched up 69th Street, stopping to jeer Marge Markey at both her office and her home. They then walked down to Maurice Park and over the pedestrian bridge back to the hotel.
Yesterday was quite hot but thanks to water donated by Rosa's Pizza and O'Neill's Restaurant, nearly everyone who participated made the full 5 mile round trip.
Although the tweeders, through their lackeys in the media, like to portray Maspeth residents (or anyone opposed to a homeless shelter) as "racist", there were a number of non-white people either marching or cheering the protesters on from their homes. People of all races don't want their quality of life destroyed, their families living in fear, or their property investments threatened by the presence of a facility that even the city admits will cause major problems in the community. And that's what Lincoln Restler, Bill de Blasio and the rest of the tweeders need to understand before they get swept out of office by an electoral tsunami.
However, with responses like THIS, it doesn't appear that Liz Crowley is getting the message:
A light rain was falling as Community Board member Jerry Drake addressed about 200 protesters on Thursday night, August 25th in front of the Holiday Inn Express near Maurice Avenue and the L.I.E in Maspeth. Drake was the last speaker of the night and reported on a meeting he had earlier that day with Council Member Elizabeth Crowley in her Glendale office.
Drake told the crowd that he had asked Crowley if she would attend the giant protest march scheduled for Saturday, August 27th through the Maspeth community to protest the de Blasio Administration's decision to convert Holiday Inn Express into a homeless shelter for 220 adults. Crowley told Drake that she would not attend the march. The news however did not surprise the crowd since Crowley had not attended any of the 9 daily protests that regularly draw between 200-300 protesters. A frustrated Jerry Drake asked Crowley why she decided not attend the protests or the scheduled march to support her Maspeth constituents in a show of unity against Mayor de Blasio. "I didn't like the way I was treated at the Martin Luther School homeless meeting (on Aug. 3rd)," said Crowley. Drake reported that he asked Crowley what he should report back to the protesters. "Tell them whatever you want," she replied.
Crowley then told Drake that the Maspeth shelter was going to happen because the Mayor wants to place homeless shelters in Queens and particularly in the Community Board 5 area that has no shelters. When Drake reminded Crowley that she is up for reelection next year she responded, "I'll cross that bridge when the time comes." Crowley's response angered the protesters with many chanting ‒ "Vote her out!"