Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Fine mess for Forest Hills shops

From the Daily News:

A couple of missing muffin labels could end up costing bagel shop owner Matt Davidov a whole lot of dough.

Davidov said he is facing hundreds of dollars in fines because city inspectors cited him for failing to place manufacturing information on several wrapped cakes and for not posting a refund policy inside his Forest Hills shop.

“Who posts a refund policy in a deli?” he asked. “If someone complains, I will replace it for them.”

The fines totalled $2,300 but the city offered to settle for $675.

Shopowners in Queens, already squeezed by high rents and a shaky economy, say the city is treating them like cash cows, slapping them with frivolous fines.
But city officials noted that New Yorkers depend on inspectors to protect them.

Some Forest Hills mom-and-pop shops said they feel especially targeted in recent months by the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Jim Hartofilis, owner of Dana’s Flower Shop on Queens Blvd., said an inspector walked into his store last month as he was setting out a new bucket of bouquets.
Before he had a chance to put the pricetags on, he was delayed by a phone order. The next thing he knew he was handed a violation that comes with a $500 fine.

The inspector also cited him for missing price signs on an outdoor plant display.

“The wind must have blown it away,” Hartofilis said. “This was ridiculous.”

The ticket came with a cruel twist. If he wants to challenge it, his court date would on Valentine’s Day — the busiest day on the floral shop calendar.
If he pleads guilty by mail, he gets a reduced fine of $250.


Anonymous said...

This is nuts. Why not give a warning notice first before issuing a fine?

Anonymous said...

why is koslowitz in the picture?

Jon Torodash said...

Councilwoman Koslowitz,

Don't just stand there for a photo-op and pretend like you are a champion for small business.

What about the outrageous fines on toy gun sales?
We all understand - fake guns made to look real are a major source of crime - but where was this guy's 'warning and fair chance?':

Also, why are you making life hard for street vendors if you admit that the system is flawed?
..and you blew off their representative too!

In 2013, "Vote your Conscience"

-Jon Torodash, "Civic Virtue" candidate for City Council district 29

Michelle Cook - Lopez said...

I understand these inspections are meant to protect the public but I walk into big chains and see these infractions all the time. Why are they strangling already struggling "Mom & Pops"?

Anonymous said...

For a second I thought that was Heath Ledger dressed as the Joker...

Anonymous said...

WHy is Koslowitz in the picture?

Well if Queens Crap actually started getting in the habit of posting the entire news for a change, they would know why. Allow me to include the rest of the article they so conveniently left out

"City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz said her office has been flooded with complaints in recent weeks from small business owners who have received violations from the agency.

“In cases like this, people should be warned and have a fair chance to correct the problem,” said Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills).

She said she will explore legislation that requires inspectors to issue initial warnings before slapping merchants with large fines"

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/queens-merchants-frivolous-city-violations-cost-big-bucks-article-1.1253533#ixzz2K2ozWovS

Queens Crapper said...

If I was in the habit of posting entire articles, that would be copyright infringement and this site would be shut down. So I post excerpts and a link to the original source. If my readers are too lazy/mentally deficient to click a link, then too bad for them.

Anonymous said...

just move out of the insane asylum and go elsewhere, try viginia, the shannandoah valley. it's nice here and nearly normal.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about these small stores? What about Trader Joe's and Home Depot? Who is there to protect them?

Anonymous said...

This is how Vlad Bloomberg sucks the life out the small business owner; Health, Sanitation, Parking, the hits just keep on coming.

Anonymous said...

Koslowitz will ALWAYS remain one of the most useless sag of pile out there...Anyone who heard her speak knows she's as incompetent as it gets...Word on the street, she has some PR guy working overdrive to make her look competent come election time