Tuesday, March 31, 2009

NYPD shoots dangerous parolee

From NY1:

According to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, a parolee waiting at Queens I Area Office on Merrick Boulevard objected to revealing the contents of his backpack. When pressed, he pulled out a knife and held it up to a parole officer.

“He took out a knife, apparently, and had held it towards a police officer. He was told to drop the knife, he was overheard by one of our officers – an NYPD warrant squad officer who was present," said Kelly. "The two parole officers fired at this individual."

The man was hit by one bullet in the head and died as a result of his injuries.

Afternoon fire in Woodside

2-Alarm Fire in Queens

MYFOXNY.COM - More than 100 firefighters battled a two-alarm fire at a Queens building on Tuesday. The fire broke out around 4:15 p.m. in a six-story apartment building in the Woodside section.

There were no reported injuries and no immediate word on the cause.

Astoria not too thrilled with state budget

From the point of Hunters Point

Check out CityNoise for more photos from this forbidden spot and other sites in Queens.

Bronx 911 call center still delayed

From the Daily News:

Martin McLaughlin, spokesman for the property owner, Hutch Realty Partners, an affiliate of the Simone Development Cos. of New Rochelle, echoed, "We're still negotiating with the city, and hopefully we'll come to a good conclusion soon."

Hey, why no eminent domain? This has been going on for years and is the perfect example of a public use. I guess the rules are different when a developer owns the property.

Queens jobless numbers bad, but Bronx is worst

From NY1:

New state labor department research shows that the number of people out of work in the borough has risen sharply.

Lobbyists not affected by recession

From the Daily News:

Lobbying data for last year won’t be released until May, but interviews with the main players make clear that Albany’s top lobbying firms are scrambling to switch their lineups to accommodate the shifting political landscape.

Lobbyists pull strings on virtually every issue affecting New Yorkers, including rent regulation, gun control, gay rights, school spending and health care.

It’s a big-bucks business. Though numbers aren’t yet out, officials expect last year’s haul to exceed the $171 million the state’s 5,300 lobbyists pocketed in 2007.

Especially well-positioned, insiders agree, are Patricia Lynch, former top aide to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), and Parkside Group’s Evan Stavisky, longtime Democratic strategist and son of state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Queens).

No lobbyists are closer to the throne than those at Meyer Suozzi English & Klein.

The venerable law firm’s principals include the governor’s father, Basil Paterson, and Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi’s dad, Joseph.

Hey, how much did NYS spend lobbying itself? Did we outdo NJ?

Sears' window

"Helen Sears is so out of touch that she still has a Happy Hanukkah sign in her window on March 28th. The Jackson Heights Times wrote in Thursday's edition that she couldn't make up her mind about what office she was running for. Seems like she is so confused, she can't figure out what time it is." - anonymous

From Jackson Heights Times:

The race in District 25, which includes Corona, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Woodside, was in limbo, although Democratic District Leader Daniel Dromm has raised $79,072. It was unclear if Dromm would even face incumbent Councilwoman Helen Sears (D−Jackson Heights), who is remaining coy over what seat she will seek in the upcoming election. Sears had raised $110,623 by March 15.

Third in the race is Con Edison spokesman Alfonso Quiroz, Sears’ former deputy chief of staff, who had raised $62,558 by March 15. Trailing Quiroz was Jackson Heights lawyer Stanley Kalathara, who had raised $29,632 by March 15.

Con Ed "on it" at Willets Point!

From Willets Point United:

Con Ed came back to Willets Point last week to look for the manhole they couldn't find back on February 28th because of all the water that had collected in the street. They finally found it and got the job done.

Outside CitiField

Why we not only allowed Citicorp to keep the naming rights to the stadium but also gave them the green light to put their annoying logo on top of it boggles the mind. The early renderings did not reveal this.

How pissed off would you be if you spent $400 on a brick and they installed it upside-down?

A bunch of great Mets moments - none of which ever happened at CitiField. But a nice touch.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Willets Point Cleanup Day slideshow & videos

"Councilman Tony Avella speaks about eminent domain and the lack of paving, sewers and sanitation services at Willets Point. While he is speaking, Department of Sanitation workers are shouting at us in the background."

Cleanup along Willets Point Boulevard.

More videos are available at Willets Point United.

A $1,000,000 billboard

From the Daily News:

It's Manhattan's million-dollar billboard.

That's nearly the amount the city is fining a coop board, billboard company and two installers over a giant sign on a building near Astor Place.

More than 70 violations - totalling $955,000 - have been doled out over the single billboard, which the Buildings Department says violates zoning laws.

The groups slapped with the hefty fines call them shockingly high since signs have been plastered on the structure for more than 70 years.

New street signs are confusing Hamilton Beach

From the Queens Chronicle:

Emergency responders, UPS, FedEx, taxis, and food delivery drivers are still having problems trying to find addresses in Hamilton Beach, a small waterfront community in south Queens.

Because it is mostly unheard of, strangers have difficulty navigating Hamilton Beach — which is bounded by Hawtree Basin to the north and west, Jamaica Bay to the south and the A subway line (104th Street) to the east. But now, thanks to some street renaming, it’s the residents who are confused.

They thought their navigational problems would be a thing of the past with the recent passage of street-renaming legislation and the installation of new street signs. But, according to John Bluemke, president of the New Hamilton Beach Civic Association, the new signs are disorienting.

Previously streets were labeled with numbers — now they have names. Bluemke said that he had asked for dual signs containing both the new name and the old street number. But, the city Department of Transportation, which installed the new signs, declined and used just the names.

There's an update from the NY Times.

Work drying up for film industry

From the Daily News:

Since a successful state tax break for film and TV productions ran out of money on Feb. 2, the heads of two major studios in Queens said scheduling for pilots has come to a grinding halt.

"Once the word started to leak out that it was running out of funds, that was it. Boom - it just stopped," said Kaufman Astoria Studios President Hal Rosenbluth.

Rosenbluth said he hasn't gotten a single call to book a pilot since the $460 million the state allocated for the program through 2013 was tapped out.

Silvercup Studios in Long Island City has no pilots right now, said President Stuart Suna. Last year, it was home to four of the eight pilots filmed in the city for the 2008-2009 season.

Those are troubling signs, since pilots are usually booked in January and February and shot in the spring in time for prime-time premieres in September.

Battle over Marty's $64M potato chip

From the Daily News:

With construction set to start on the 8,000-seat amphitheater in Asser Levy Park this summer, community critics are scrambling to block it before it's too late - charging it will be too loud, big and expensive and will take over the entire park.

"It has more seats than Radio City Music Hall," said local activist Ida Sanoff, who is leading the charge to derail the plan - and is hoping to hold a protest rally outside Markowitz's Park Slope home.

"The whole thing is a waste of taxpayers' money at a time when they are cutting services left and right," said Temple Beth Abraham President Al Turk. "They could use this money for day care centers, for hospitals, for police."

Markowitz is paying $54 million of the project's hefty price tag with money from his capital budget. The rest is coming from the mayor and the City Council.

Klein threatens teacher cuts

City schools boss threatens to cut 2,000 teachers

(AP) - The chancellor of New York City's public schools says he may have to cut 2,000 teaching jobs if the system doesn't get a big chunk of federal stimulus funding.

City officials are lobbying for as much as $500 million in the federal spending bonanza, but there is talk that its share of the aid would be less — around $360 million.

Chancellor Joel Klein warned City Council members Thursday that the lower funding figure would lead to cost cutting in the system, including the elimination of about 2,000 teaching positions.

The schools are also facing likely layoffs of non-teaching staff.

What you can't do in CitiField...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, Queensboro Bridge!

From the NY Times:

“Unassuming” is perhaps the appropriate word. “It’s very much like the place it goes to, Queens,” said Barry Lewis, an architectural historian. “Who lives in Queens?” Who, that is, besides Mr. Lewis, who grew up in Woodhaven and now lives in Kew Gardens.

But why not let him answer his own question? “You’re going to have your newsstand guy, your doorman, the guy who runs the store around the corner, they all live in Queens,” he said. “The people who live in Queens are really the people who make the city run in a basic, gritty way, and the bridge is exactly that. It’s not a bridge that you write poetry to.”

Birthday cake will be served Monday night at the Greater Astoria Historical Society at 7pm.

North Shore Towers concerned about antennas

From the Times Ledger:

The North Shore Towers Shareholders Association wants to look into a lease the co−op made in 1988 with a communications company that manages and operates antennas on the roofs of the co−op’s three buildings after a settlement was reached between the company and the co−op.

Continental Communications, the company that manages and operates the antennas, has a lease that gives the company free reign over how many antennas it can install, which led the company to put up more antennas than is allowed under city regulations, according to North Shore Towers Shareholders Association President Barbara Leonardi.

“We, as the shareholders, don’t even control our property,” Leonardi said.

Continental Communications sued North Shore Towers and the co−op’s board of directors individually for $500 million after the co−op held off on endorsing the company’s permit for the antennas, which were up for renewal.

Morgan needs a home

Meet Morgan! Morgan is an as-sweet-as-can-be 5-month old puppy who was rescued from the ACC kill shelter moments before she was to be put down. And although the agency tried to persuade the ACQ from pulling her and "recommended putting her down" - the folks at ACQ felt she was more than worth it.. so they saved her life.

Because of what looks like a deeply embedded collar that caused a huge gash in her neck, they didn't want to treat her. Morgan also has a gash near her eye.

The ACQ does not know her story or who would do this to her but believed she was worth rescuing. When they met her and saw how sweet she is that sealed the deal. This girl is so sweet she never let her wound stop her from being the lovable and playful girl she is. Her wound is healing and soon we will be looking for a loving home for her. Morgan is up to date on shots, has been spayed and microchipped.

Please go down to the ACQ and meet Morgan.. she just may win your heart over!!!

Animal Center of Queens
Rego Park, NY

Adoption Fees Apply, Home Checks are a must! and References needed to be provided.
All the best! and kudos to the ACQ for saving this sweet girl.. Just look at those ears!!!!!!!!!!

Morgan's story

Ridgewood gets preservation attention

From the New York Times:

Many of Ridgewood’s streets are lined with nearly identical rows of bay-front town houses and six-family apartment buildings — most built of warm-yellow bricks and decorated with diamond brick patterns or pressed-metal cornices — that give the neighborhood a sense of place as cohesive as any brownstone block in the Manhattan and Brooklyn areas that more typically attract preservationists’ attention.

But unlike the brownstones built for New York’s gentry, Ridgewood’s historic buildings were made for laborers — mainly for brewery workers — and the neighborhood, on the Brooklyn border, adjacent to Bushwick, has remained largely working- and middle-class.

In September, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission is expected to approve landmark status for both the theater and for several blocks of ornate six-family brick houses.

Here's a line that threw me for a loop:

Queens has fewer official landmarks than any other borough, partly because its buildings are relatively new — much of it was farmland until well into the 20th century...

Bloomie plays the name game

From the Daily News:

A sharp-eyed reader caught some discrepencies in the Bloomberg ads, which went to print this week.

For example:

Who is Rosario Notaro - the man with the baseball hat or the small business owner?

And is he really from Queens, or is he from Brooklyn?

Rego Park robber on the loose

From NY1:

Police are looking for a suspect in connection with two violent robberies in Queens.

Investigators believe the man is responsible for attacking two young women in Rego Park, stealing their pocket books and running off.

Police say the suspect has been spotted using one of the victim's credit cards.

He is described as between 18 and 25 years old, 5'10", and about 140 pounds.

He was last seen wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt.

Anyone with information about the case is being asked to contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-577-TIPS, by texting TIP577 to CRIMES, or by going to NYPDCrimeStoppers.com.

Leave off the last S for "strapped"

From the Times Ledger:

Dial-a-Mattress Operating Corporation, which operates 1-800 Mattress, filed for bankruptcy on March 17. The company, which has its headquarters in Long Island City, was founded more than 30 years ago in Jamaica by Ecuadorian native Napoleon Barragan. On March 23, Dial-a-Mattress International Ltd. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to papers filed with the federal bankruptcy court.

1-800 Mattress employs more than 350 city residents and has more than 100 locations in New York, New Jersey, California, Connecticut and Maryland.

Photo from Steinway Street BID

Forest Hills crap owners threaten to move or sue

From the Queens Chronicle:

If the new zoning is approved, it wouldn’t undo any of the current structures. However, Dayan said it would have a dramatic affect on the Bukharian community, which has always lived close together. If the rezoning passes, he suspects many homeowners would move to Long Island, where they can buy larger lots.

And, if the problem does not get resolved, the Bukharian Jews are willing to take it to court, he said.

Frank Lloyd Crap discovers Bed-Stuy

Bed-Stuy Banana has photos of this and other FLC one-of-a-kind crapitecture.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

CB13 concerned about apt building cell tower

From the Times Ledger:

Buoyed by concern that the effects from cell phone antennas are harmful, Community Board 13 narrowly voted Monday against a proposal by a cellular phone service provider to construct an antenna on top of a six−story apartment building in Bellerose.

Metro PCS, a company that recently received licenses from the Federal Communications Commission to build a cell phone network in the state, said an antenna is needed to fix a gap in service in the area for its customers.

The building at 222−89 Braddock Ave. where Metro PCS wants to install the antenna already has antennas from Verizon, Nextel and the city Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications on the roof.

Staten Island is having issues with them lately, too.

Shocker: Contractor cheated employees

From the Forum West:

“The failure to pay prevailing wages is a prevalent problem all over New York and in Queens, in particular, due to our large immigrant population,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. “Many immigrant workers who come to the United States with skills, like electrical work, are forced to work for private contractors for far below prevailing wages.”

Brown said that in this case, Bar and his corporation are accused of paying the workers between $20 and $30 per hour less than the prevailing wages. In addition, they were not provided with any benefits. “The end result is that the workers are put in the difficult position of complaining and losing their jobs or staying silent and being taken advantage of,” added Brown. “This guilty plea and penalty should serve as a warning to those who would cheat employees out of fair wages that this behavior will not be tolerated.”

Victim plants kiss on Hiram in court

From the Daily News:

In a Queens courtroom, Karla Giraldo smooched the man accused of slashing her face with a broken glass, while Supreme Court Justice William Erlbaum was in another room.

Erlbaum was watching a video that - according to prosecutors - showed Monserrate yanking a bleeding Giraldo in the stairwell of his building.

Word of the brazen buss stunned Giraldo's lawyer, who was in the bathroom when it happened.

"Did you kiss him in the courtroom?" attorney Glenn Marshall asked her later.

"It's been a long time," Giraldo replied in Spanish.

Marshall shook his head in apparent disbelief as they walked back to their cars.

It was not clear if Erlbaum was aware of the kiss, but when he returned to the courtroom he upheld a full order of protection - and ordered Monserrate to stay away from Giraldo.

The fuel of the future?

From NY1:

A Briarwood man is heating his home in an eco-friendly way, but has also added to the debate over a possible citywide mandate.

Despite fines, NYC still full of crap

From the NY Post:

New Yorkers are in for some more crappy news.

The city is on pace to issue roughly the same number of tickets this year as it did last for dog walkers neglecting to scoop up canine poop despite more than doubling the fine from $100 to $250.

The Department of Sanitation handed out an average of 56 tickets per month between Jan. 1, 2008, and Nov. 6, 2008, when the fine was $100, records show.

Since the $250 penalty was put in place Nov. 7, 2008, the department has issued an average of 54 monthly violations, department statistics show.

Man wins lotto by playing Madoff's number

From the Times Ledger:

A 50−year−old Glendale man may be one of the few people in the five boroughs to win money, rather than lose it, from Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

Ralph Amendolaro, a construction worker who lives in Glendale, recently won the state Lottery’s Numbers game by playing the last three numbers of the disgraced investment adviser’s inmate number.

Amendolaro was inspired to play the last three digits of Madoff’s inmate number — 054 — after seeing his picture and number on the cover of a daily newspaper. He said he placed a $3 bet on the number for three days in a row, beginning March 13, and found out that he won $1,500 on March 15.

A super amazing crap pile!

From Lost City:

I was walking by the thing today and—What the hell is that thing on top of the building? The structure has sprouted a two-story tower on its roof, like some sort of Crapitecture Florentine Palazzo. I mean, really, what is that? I've never seen anything like it. Will it be something practical, like a water tower container? A super-sized chimney? A really narrow penthouse? A place to store the tenants' javelins and tentpoles?

Frank Lloyd Crap strikes again!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Workers remove 17,000 lbs. of crap from Willets Point

Willets Point United removed 17,000 lbs. of trash from the streets of the Iron Triangle in 2 hours today.
Sadly, there is still a lot left that they couldn't get to. I'll have more on this as soon as the photos/video are available.

Whitestone Bridge closed both directions

Truck hits overhead sign

BY SOPHIA CHANG | sophia.chang@newsday.com

The Whitestone Bridge is closed in both directions after a painting truck with an extended crane struck an overhead sign on the Queens-bound side just after 1 p.m., a transit official said.

Traffic was being diverted to the Throgs Neck and Robert F. Kennedy bridges, said Joyce Mulvaney, public affairs staffer for the MTA Bridges and Tunnels.

Two contractors in the truck were reported injured though none of the injuries were life-threatening, Mulvaney said. They were taken to New York Hospital Queens for treatment.

"Something on the truck struck the sign," Mulvaney said. The sign, which displays electronic messages, fell toward the roadway.

Photo from Eyewitness News

Dems may take up collection for Hiram

From the NY Times:

Colleagues of State Senator Hiram Monserrate, who has been indicted on six counts of assaulting his companion, have discussed setting up a fund to aid his legal defense, senators said on Thursday.

The idea of helping Mr. Monserrate cover his legal expenses came up during a closed-door meeting of Senate Democrats this week. Though senators were not directly asked to contribute, Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith told them he would not stand in their way if they wanted to assist Mr. Monserrate, who is accused of slashing his companion in the face with a drinking glass.

Bloomberg orders 4 more firehouses closed

From the Forum West:

Local officials, residents and the Uniformed Firefighters Association are ripping the city’s decision to close Engine Company 271 permanently on July 1 as a result of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s budget cuts.

The city announced last year that the company, which is located near the Ridgewood-Brooklyn border and helps serve parts of Queens, would be closed during overnight hours beginning January 17. It was then announced that Company 271 and three others slated for overnight closings would be eliminated entirely as part of FDNY budget cuts.

Four more years!!!!

Rockaway projects to get better surveillance

From the Daily News:

A FAR ROCKAWAY housing complex that was besieged by crime last summer is slated to get high-tech security cameras.

The Redfern Houses - where the senseless killing of a 15-year-old girl last May grabbed the city's attention - is getting 141 cameras to help cops nab criminals and deter crime as part of a $2 million initiative by City Councilman James Sanders Jr.

The surveillance system also detects sounds, and can distinguish between a backfiring car and a gunshot, Sanders said.

The system can snap pictures of a suspect immediately after a gun has been fired.

If at first you don't succeed...

From the Forum West:

Kenneth Guyear, 27, is facing up to 25 years in prison for running down 16-year-old Robert Ogle and 20-year-old Alex Paul on 80th Street in Middle Village in the early morning hours of February 1. However, Guyear’s last two scheduled appearances in Queens Criminal Court were postponed because he tried to kill himself while in custody, according to his former attorney.

Guyear was admitted to the prison ward of Bellevue Hospital after the suicide attempt following his arrest, said attorney Ruth Addadoo-Johnson of the Legal Aid Society. Since he was just recently released from the hospital and returned to Rikers Island, court appearances scheduled for March 12 and March 19 were adjourned.

Guyear, of Middle Village, is now scheduled to appear in court on April 6. His current attorney, Scott Bookstein, refused on Tuesday to comment on the proceedings against his client. When asked to confirm that Guyear had tried to kill himself, Bookstein responded, “What does no comment mean?”

Wow, we almost had a murderous junkie scumbag eliminate himself, saving us legal fees, court costs and jail costs. Let's hope he's more successful next time.

Money is no object for NY State or NYC

From the Daily News:

In the middle of a city budget crisis, the agency that runs New York's water and sewer system has doled out almost $300,000 in raises to just 41 workers.

The huge salary jumps at the Department of Environmental Protection - some as high as 35% - come as Mayor Bloomberg has proposed laying off teachers and shrinking the NYPD and FDNY to plug a budget gap of $24 billion in coming years.

DEP officials defended the raises, saying 29 of the workers were promoted to new jobs and 12 took on new responsibilities.

Many of them held titles such as clerical associate, principal administrative associate, associate project manager, administrative manager and administrative public information specialist.

The raises, which took effect in January, averaged 11.8% and will cost the city $298,079 a year.

From the NY Post:

Despite a ballooning budget deficit and a months-long hiring freeze, the state government added hundreds of six-figure employees last year, an Albany-based think tank reported yesterday.

In 2008, state agencies added 232 employees with base salaries exceeding $100,000, according to the Manhattan Institute.

The well-heeled new hires, who included eight members of Gov. Paterson's personal staff, were added as the overall workforce swelled by nearly 1,800.

City has worst unemployment numbers since 1993

From NY1:

The New York State Department of Labor is calling the current unemployment numbers released today, the worst in 16 years.

The unemployment numbers for New York City shot up to 8.1 percent last month, from 6.9 percent in January.

The numbers for the state have risen to 7.8 percent last month from 7 percent.

Things not looking too bright in the rest of the country, either.

We must be in bad shape...

From NY Magazine:

Could Governor David Paterson's plummeting poll numbers tempt George Pataki to try to win back his old job? Pataki, who was reportedly considering a 2010 Senate run, is also mulling a Republican gubernatorial effort, according to a New York City lawmaker. "I heard he's looking at it. He hasn't made any determination," says State Senator Marty Golden, a Republican from Brooklyn, who is friendly with the former governor. "Pataki in this vacuum setting would be good."

Budget cuts even affect the dead

From the NY Post:

Jewish and Muslim burial rituals are in danger if the state doesn't cough up more cash for the Medical Examiner's office, city officials warned today.

"Respecting the religious beliefs of the dead, and the families who interact with us on a daily basis, is very important," city Medical Examiner Charles Hirsch told the City Council Health Committee this morning. "This budget reduction will greatly impact (our) ability to meet the needs of people of the Jewish and Islamic faiths in particular, religions which require the expeditious burial of remains."

The city ordered the ME's budget be cut by $7 million for Fiscal Year 2010, and the state is threatening to withhold $18.4 million in reimbursements to the city office.

As a result, Hirsch said, his office will not have the staff or resources to expedite burials as quickly as the religions demand

110th Precinct looking out for us!

I'm so happy the NYPD is finally cracking down on serious crime that affects the common man. Even though rape is up 600% in this precinct since 1993, I will sleep well tonight knowing that people are being prevented from parking at the junkyards and being sent to park on the grass at Flushing Meadows instead.

How come no press release about this, Ray?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Since it's (almost) Friday...

This hasn't been done for a long time, but I thought this would make the perfect opportunity for a "caption this photo" post.

The press release contained this gem: Marshall said, “We should all be proud of Peter. I know Astoria claims him but to tell you the truth the whole borough claims Peter Vallone Jr.”

Speak for yourself, lady.

City sends sanitation army to Willets Point

From Willets Point United:

It's interesting that since word got out that we were planning a cleanup this Friday, the Department of Sanitation all of a sudden showed up with their garbage trucks and sweepers and have been in a cleaning frenzy. It's a shame that the only way to get services is to embarrass the City. We're still having our cleanup as scheduled on Friday, however, because there's a lot they missed.

And in other news, CB7 is threatening to nix the Willets Point relocations to College Point unless the Flushing Airport is preserved for passive use.

Community group to fix Rockaway firehouse

From The Real Deal:

The New York City Economic Development Corporation has selected the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance to redevelop the former Rockaway Beach Boulevard Firehouse at 58-03 Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Queens. The environmental advocacy and educational organization plans to spend about $2 million to create the Rockaway Institute for Sustainable Environment, which will be the organization's permanent home. The alliance currently operates out of local schools and other community spaces.

Council no-shows

From the Daily News:

If the 51 members of the City Council were paid based on attendance, all but two would find themselves in a financial crunch.

Thirteen would lose one-quarter or more of their $112,500 salary for compiling attendance records below 75% last year, records obtained by the Daily News show.

Five scored below 72%, including perennial no-show leader Maria Baez (D-Bronx), who had a 47.5% attendance rate, missing 89 of her assigned hearings and sessions.

Ratner's architect thinks Atlantic Yards won't happen

From DDDB.net:

Frank Gehry, unchained and for the first time not toeing Forest City Ratner's PR line, proclaims Atlantic Yards is dead: Q&A: Gehry at 80

Q: ... Which other unrealized commissions do you most wish had been built?

A: The Corcoran Gallery in DC, the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn—I don’t think it’s going to happen. There are projects underway that are being threatened, and may not be completed. That would be devastating to me.

Hey Bruce, I know another architect named Frank who may be interested...