Friday, August 17, 2018

Queens has good tax value (whatever that means)

From the Times Ledger:

SmartAsset, a financial technology company, released a study last week comparing counties across the United States by measuring local crime rates and school quality relative to their effective property tax rates. Among the city’s five boroughs Queens homeowners fared the best in terms of value.

Queens ranked ninth out of New York state’s 62 counties and was one of two counties within the city to make it in the top 10 in terms of value.

With its 0.84 percent property tax rate, it received an eight out of 10 school rating, and had 1,734 crimes per 100,000 people, according to the July 27 study.

In comparison, the statewide average rate for property taxes is 1.65 percent, according to SmartAsset. Outside the city, tax rates in New York counties exceed 2.5 percent.

Queens had a better school rating then Richmond County (Staten Island), which had a seven out of 10 school rating, 1,531 crimes per 100,000 people and .87 percent in property taxes, according to the study. Kings County (Brooklyn) had a .65 percent property tax, a nine out of 10 school rating, but 2,2276 crimes per 100,000 crimes were committed there.

Well, it certainly seems we get what we pay for, doesn't it? (end sarcasm)

Dragon boat race experience was crappy

"Hi Crappy,

I attended the races in Flushing Meadow and want to report the crappie conditions I witnessed on Sunday.

First of all the north end area of the lake is getting a much needed makeover and large sections are fenced off where trees are being planted and roads resurfaced. Many people had problems including me trying to figure out how to get to lake area where the races were. There were no signs set up to direct people thus people had to walk down a path only to find they could not get thru. I ran into two DEC officers and wanted to complain to them but they were having the same problem and said, "don't complain to us, call Parks Dept."
When I finally got to the lake I saw that our Park's Dept. did nothing to spruce up the viewing area which was on both sides of the boathouse. People lined up along the shore got to view a lake full of algae, a 10' long board, a sunken barrel a dead turtle and along the shore a rotting pigeon.

There was also an inadequate amount of litter baskets and people were just leaving trash on the ground. There were many corporate sponsors that gave away free stuff for the kids and that added to the trash.

I attended the races last year and saw the same conditions and even wrote to the Park's Dept but I guess they think it's not a problem.
One would think that for a big event like this the Park's Dept. would at least try and spruce up the area ,no I saw the same conditions I see in my bike rides around the park. This really is a tale of two parks. The area by the Unisphere, the theater, the museum and the tennis stadium gets all the attention. Hopefully the upgrades by the lake area will keep coming." - Rich

Thursday, August 16, 2018

DOT admits they made a mistake with Clear Curbs

From the NY Post:

The de Blasio administration is putting the brakes on a controversial pilot program aimed at limiting deliveries along some of the Big Apple’s busiest commercial corridors following complaints it was killing local businesses.

City officials confirmed Monday they are halting the “Clear Curbs” program along affected zones in Queens and are working with community stakeholders to “adjust” the program along parts of Flatbush Avenue and other bustling sections of Brooklyn.

The six-month program, which began in March, won’t be altered in any way along its remaining, most traffic-heavy zones in Midtown.

Middle Village basements fill up with crap after heavy rain

From the NY Post:

Residents in Middle Village are up to their knees in their own waste any time there’s heavy rain — thanks to aging sewer lines the city hasn’t fixed despite a decade of promises, The Post has learned.

“I pray when I hear storms coming,” said Pat Donovan, 66, one of many local residents affected by the overflowing sewers.

Last Tuesday, a powerful storm pounded the central Queens community, causing the sewers to back up and leaving homeowners with as much as 3 feet of waste in their basements, with “actual turds” floating in the noxious waters, residents and a local official said.

“We had a waterfall just coming out of the toilet in my basement,” said Louisa Gennari, 61, who called dealing with the floods a “horrific” battle.

“Somebody came in to help us at some point and he went home and put his feet in alcohol,” she said. “It was disgusting.”

The problem goes back decades, but came to light on Aug. 8, 2007, when a flash flood left Middle Village residents with tens of thousands of dollars in damage, with many needing help from FEMA.

The city’s Department of Environmental Protection said the existing storm drains can handle only 1.5 inches of rain — and after that storm, it vowed to fix the issue with drains that can handle 1.75 inches.

It slapped a $22 million price tag on the project, but waited nine more years to break ground in May 2016. It was then halted in November 2017 when contaminated soil was discovered.

The city’s Department of Design and Construction said an additional $8 million was needed to finish the job, but those funds were never allocated.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Avella: Unsafe trees need removal, now

From PIX11:

Queens State Senator Tony Avella is calling on the Parks Department to respond to hundreds of constituent complaints about dangerous city trees in front of their homes.

Avella said he conducted a tree survey in February, and received 700 responses from homeowners claiming dead trees or damaged sidewalks. He then submitted 700 complaints to the Parks Department. Of those complaints, Avella said about 600 of them have been logged with the 311 system. He said only about 20 have resulted in tree removals.

"Homeowners said they're scared for the safety of their family and their property," said Avella.

Avella said the complaints remain largely unanswered because he said the Parks Department is understaffed and underfunded. "I know at least one homeowner is waiting over a year for a dead tree to be removed," said Avella.

St. Albans comfort station renovation delayed

From the Times Ledger:

On the eve of LL Cool J’s 14th annual basketball camp in St. Albans, elected officials from southeast Queens and Comptroller Scott Stringer blasted the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation at a news conference for failing to fix a comfort station for three years.

“It’s time to wake up and get your act together,” Stringer said. “The kids should be running through the sprinkler and they should be able to use the bathroom in the safest way possible.”

According to officials from LL Cool J’s free basketball camp, nearly 200 campers are expected to attend the camp every weekend in August.

The comfort station, which is located on Daniel O’Connell Playground at 113-01 196th St., received nearly $1.2 million from former Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) and was expected to break ground in August 2015, with the project’s estimated completion time August 2016, according to officials at the Aug. 3 news conference.

“I’m disappointed to be back here on the same issue,” said Comrie, now a state senator. “LL Cool J, who grew up in this community and played in this park – this is his 14th year providing a free program for an entire month for young people in the community — and we have to give them port-a-potties that are not maintained.”

The updated comfort station was supposed to be fully renovated and include ADA-compliant bathrooms, energy-efficient light fixtures, and a slate roof, according to the officials. Instead, there were problems with the vendor hired to do the upgrades in 2016, and in 2017 the contractor had been removed after more than $400,000 of the original contract was spent. According to NYC Park’s Capital Project Tracker, money was spent on designing a new comfort station, procuring materials and doing 38 percent of construction work.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Dems don't want de Blasio's help

From the NY Post:

Thanks, but no thanks.

That’s the message some Democrats running in competitive state Senate districts have quietly delivered to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who started a federal political committee in part to help their campaigns.

Politico-New York surveyed 15 Democrats facing stiff competition from Republicans this November and found the majority of them wouldn’t accept de Blasio’s money.

“The further you get from Park Slope, the less popular Bill de Blasio gets,” said one senior Democratic strategist. “His support would be counterproductive.”

Monday, August 13, 2018

Parking rates going up

From Sunnyside Post:

The cost of a metered parking spot is going up throughout New York City—with Queens to be hit with the increase starting Nov. 1

The new rates will see the cost of metered parking spaces in the commercial districts of Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights and Forest Hills go up from $1 per hour to $1.50. In downtown Flushing the cost will be hiked from $1 to $2 per hour.

Outside traditional commercial districts in Queens, the cost will go up from $1.00 per hour to $1.25.

The DOT in announcing the roll out, which starts in Brooklyn Sept. 4, said that this will be the first time since 2013 that rates are going up.

Abandoned Glendale site to become senior housing

From QNS:

More details have emerged about the affordable housing facility for seniors coming to Glendale after the permits for the project have been filed through the Department of Buildings (DOB).

The permits filed on Aug. 3 reveal that the structure to be built at 80-97 Cypress Ave. will rise to 57 feet tall with 45,420 square feet of residential space. The six-story building will contain the previously reported 66 living units as well as a parking lot with 19 spaces, records show.

The basement of the building will include a community room and lounge, an office, a laundry room and a bicycle room for up to five bicycles. The ground floor will house the building’s central office, another community room and four apartments. The second through fourth floors will each contain 14 apartments, while the fifth and sixth floors will contain 10 apartments each.

Ah, We're familiar with this particular pile of crap. Ten years ago, it was featured on this blog. Whatever happened to Mr. Angry?

Previous article:

Formerly known as PSCH, Inc. until a rebranding in 2017, the WellLife Network has owned the site since 2004, according to city records. The building currently on the lot, widely regarded as an eyesore in the community, was never completed because the previous contractor used bad materials that were porous and caused the building to flood every time it rained, Scott said.

The Department of Buildings (DOB) eventually issued a stop work order on the project, and WellLife Network has been formulating a new plan since then.

According to Scott, the old structure will be demolished to make way for the new building, but there is no timetable yet.

The often forgotten building on Cypress Avenue regained attention this year after the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) issued a request for community boards and elected officials to recommend possible homeless shelter sites. Not knowing the current status of the site, Councilman Robert Holden suggested the Cypress Avenue building be used as a homeless shelter, he said.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The many sidewalk sheds of Queens

From the Queens Chronicle:

For years, residents of the city have been looking at levels of large metal-and-wood structures obstructing their views and detracting from the architecture of their workplaces. Some forms of the composition remain standing for a few weeks, while others become multiyear props that stir controversy among community members.

Often referred to as “sidewalk sheds,” the structures are erected over sidewalks to shield pedestrians from falling debris caused by building construction. According to the city Department of Buildings, the sheds are temporary structures meant to keep sidewalks open for pedestrians while structures undergo renovations.

Residents of Queens are quite familiar with them.

According to an interactive online map released in April by the DOB, the borough has 961 active sheds that stretch over 240,000 linear feet. As of Monday, it was noted that each shed is up for an average of 371 days. But many remain in place for several years.

Some note that they’re unattractive. Others cite the purpose they serve.

101-year old man swindled out of home

From the Forum:

A Queens man who took advantage of his friendship with a 101-year-old neighbor is facing up to 15 years in prison for tricking the centenarian into signing over the deed to his home.

Authorities say Ricardo Bentham, 58, of 118th Avenue, has been charged with grand larceny and other crimes for allegedly conning a neighborhood friend into transferring the deed of his long-time home into the defendant’s name in October of 2017.

According to the criminal complaint, the defendant submitted a quitclaim deed to be filed with the city on October 5, 2017. The document stated that 101 year-old Woodrow Washington was transferring ownership of his 143rd Street home which has a value in excess of $50,000 to the defendant for a sale price of $0. The victim realized something was wrong when he received a letter from the Department of Finance stating that the deed to his home had been transferred to Bentham. An inquiry was conducted and revealed the document that was filed bears the signature of the Mr. Washington along with a notary stamp and signature of a notary.

Mr. Washington stated that the signature on the form is his, however, he is adamant that he never signed any documents in front of a notary.

Mr. Theodore White, the 93-year-old notary, acknowledged knowing Bentham and would often sign documents for him because he trusted him. The document bearing his signature was missing the notary seal, which White always added to a document.

Mr. Washington identified the defendant as a neighborhood friend who offered to help him collect rent from tenants. He recalled signing documents that the defendant brought to his residence and that some were blank.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Johnny vs. Tony

From City Limits:

The two men agree on most policy issues. They both disagree, for instance, with Mayor de Blasio’s bid to change the entrance process for the city’s specialized high schools. Voters will, of course, decide what the race is about, but if the candidates have anything to say about it, the contest will come down to whether the supposed practical benefits of Avella’s having joined the IDC outweigh the allege damage that did to the chances for a Democratic senate.

Both men appeared on Max & Murphy on WBAI this Wednesday. Below are each of their interviews:

City's biggest sinkhole?

From PIX11:

Rene Rodriguez says he was dumbfounded but not surprised, when he saw a massive sinkhole open up outside his home on Manhattan Avenue near 101st Street on the Upper West Side Tuesday morning.

It’s a sinkhole he and many residents who live in the area have complained to the city about since 2013.

“It just got bigger and bigger and they would fill it up with asphalt, asphalt and more asphalt and yesterday it finally gave in,” Rodriguez told PIX11 News.

After calling 311, both ConEdison and the Department of Environmental Protection arrived to the scene. Workers assessed the damage, put up a few cones and then, according to Rodriguez, left.

“It’s what, Wednesday the eighth, 2 o’clock in the afternoon and the sinkhole is still here,” he said. “If it was Fifth Avenue or Park Avenue this matter would’ve been settled already.”

The sinkhole measures roughly 15 by 7 feet in size, and nearly 4 feet in depth, consuming an entire side of Manhattan Avenue.

The crater makes it almost impossible for traffic to get through, but it isn’t stopping some drivers from trying.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Caption contest doubleshot!

(Interesting how all the Crowley kiss assers are lining up behind someone who not only beat him but doesn't have much competition in the general election. Where were they before the primary?)

"I’m a fan of Bob’s more than anyone but it’s a great one." - Jack

How exactly does this happen?

From NBC:

Eight families have lost their homes after an apartment building in the Bronx partially collapsed, sending several tons of bricks cascading onto the ground.

Chopper 4 was overhead as firefighters responded to the Fteley Avenue building Soundview Thursday evening, with bricks and debris strewn on the sidewalk and on the street. Bricks fell with enough force to mangle the front gate and cave in the awning, with some hanging precariously over the entrance.

No one was hurt in the collapse, and the cause is under investigation. FDNY officials on scene said an occupant started some repair work but "it just looked like the age of the building, maybe weather."

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Two acres of tweeding at Willets Point

From Willets Point United:

A new video released by Willets Point United demands that the de Blasio administration act before a December 2018 contractual deadline, to protect taxpayers’ interests by reclaiming two acres of Willets Point property which the Bloomberg administration gave to Queens Development Group.

In the video (below), Willets Point property owner Irene Prestigiacomo explains the give-away of the two acres to Queens Development Group; the comprehensive development project which the property was supposed to facilitate; the court decision that effectively prevents that project from proceeding; the contractual provision that allows the City to take back the property under present circumstances; the lack of action by the de Blasio administration thus far to reclaim the property; and City officials’ fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers to do so before the deadline lapses.

Ms. Prestigiacomo asks (06:38): "As corrupt as this City sometimes can be, have we really reached the point where a developer can keep public property worth tens of millions, without delivering any of the project that was the basis for it to receive the property in the first place?"

McMansion to replace former Halloran house

Ex-Council Member Dan Halloran is still in the clink, but his former Whitestone home won't be waiting for him when he gets out.
The property was sold and is in the process of being redeveloped.
One last pagan parting gift.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Pam's Place is a hellhole

"From July 11 through July 25, 2018 the Dutch Kills community was forced to endure three completely unacceptable incidents directly related to clients at “Pam’s Place,” a shelter for homeless women at the former Verve Hotel at 40-03 29th Street in Long Island City.

• At 10:30 p.m. on July 11th, shelter client Yaremis Perdomo, 33, became enraged and set her 51-year-old roommate on fire. Perdomo has since been arrested and is being held on attempted murder and other charges related to the attack. The roommate remains in critical condition at the New York Presbyterian Hospital’s Cornell Burn Unit with third-degree burns to her face, arms and hands.

• An unidentified shelter client stood in the center of the intersection at 29th Street and 39th Avenue at about 5 p.m. on July 23rd, tossing loose change into open windows of passing vehicles – snarling traffic, alarming motorists and creating serious safety concerns for pedestrians. Eyewitnesses told police that the shelter client backed off when she spotted police pulling up to the scene, making it impossible for the officers to observe her actions. This unfortunately made it impossible for the officers to charge or summons the woman. The best they could do under current law was to tell the woman to stop, which she promptly did.

• A shelter client viciously, and without provocation, attacked a local woman who was walking on 29th Street near 40th Avenue on July 24th. The unidentified assailant approached the woman, punched her in the mouth and fled. The attack was not reported to police at the 114th Precinct, an NYPD spokesperson said.

I have requested Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer’s chief of staff, Matt Wallace, to call an Emergency Meeting of the Community Advisory Board of “Pam’s Place.”

The purpose of this meeting is to discuss ongoing violent and/or dangerous conditions that spill from the shelter into the Dutch Kills community. These conditions result in a fearful, dangerous environment that substantially affects our residents’, business and quality of life.

The Dutch Kills Civic Association has requested that this meeting to be scheduled for a Tuesday or Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m. Mr. Wallace has assured us that such meeting will take place in the near future.

The following is a portion of our agenda for this upcoming meeting. We are requesting:

• A listing of all incidents reported to the 114th Precinct regarding Pam’s Place, both inside and outside the shelter – including a client assault on a 114th Precinct officer.

• A complete breakdown of responses by FDNY and other ambulance crews relevant clients at Pam’s Place, both inside and outside the shelter.

• A complete listing of 911 and 311 calls seeking response to conditions at Pam’s Place, both inside and outside the shelter, from October 2016 current to the date of the upcoming meeting.

• A comprehensive report of all disciplinary actions taken by the operators and managers of Pam’s Place regarding troubled or combative shelter clients, from October 2016 current to the date of the upcoming meeting.

• A complete breakdown from the Department of Homeless Services and Sena Security of all incidents related to clients at Pam’s Place, both inside and outside the shelter.

Lastly, in order to ensure an open, transparent dialogue of issues surrounding Pam’s Placer Shelter for Homeless Women, we strongly urge that members of the press be informed and invited to provide coverage of the upcoming meeting.

George L. Stamatiades,
Dutch Kills Civic Association of
Long Island City

Overdevelopment hath wrought horrible flooding

When you pave just about everything over, and fail to upgrade infrastructure, you get a foot of water flowing across streets and into basements. This isn't a hard concept to understand. Yet we continue down that road, and call it "progress".

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

One Flushing cat caught, others escape

From PIX11:

A group of felines stuck behind a wall in Queens were able to find a way out — but now their whereabouts are a mystery.

The cats were stuck behind the 15 foot wall for three days, likely thirsty and hungry when PIX11 arrived on the scene last Thursday. After the story aired, city officials, and those with Animal Care Centers of NYC and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals tried to help the cats.

They put up a ladder to look over the wall, but were surprised to see no kittens. It seems the felines had escaped through a small hole at the back part of the ally.

One of the kittens was found roaming around where the ally once was, and was captured and treated, Carol Yao, a trained animal rescuer who works with organizations Kitty Kind and Angelico, said on Sunday.

Hopes are high they will locate the rest of the kittens on the building property.

Losing their religion in Astoria

From the Queens Gazette:

The Episcopal Diocese of Long Island has filed plans to develop a five-story apartment building at 46-09 31st Avenue in Astoria, the former home of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.

The new building will feature a ground floor community room and lobby, 6 apartments on each of the second through fourth floors, and three apartments on the fifth floor, according to the plans.

The Diocese has not announced plans for demolition of the existing building, which is no longer used for Episcopal services, a spokesperson said.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Who is lying when it comes to supply & demand?

From Crains:

New York City and the surrounding area, including northern New Jersey, the Hudson Valley and southwest Connecticut, is home to 22.8 million people working at 10.4 million jobs, the Metro Economic Snapshot released Tuesday by the Department of City Planning found. Since the last recession, the region has added around 708,000 new jobs—much more than anywhere else in the country in terms of raw numbers—but at a growth rate of just .9%, which is about half that of other metros and roughly on par with the country as a whole.

Over the same time period, the New York area added just 378,000 new housing units, far fewer than the number of jobs created and not nearly enough to meet demand. The mismatch was centered in the five boroughs and helped drive around 100,000 people to the suburbs each year between 2012 and 2016.

The metro area also lost a significant number of recent college graduates to lower-cost cities elsewhere in the country—something Glen has experienced personally.

"I just moved my daughter to Minneapolis," she said. "It was great, but it was also really sad."

From Forbes:

Researchers at the Fed found there were no "direct estimates of the rent elasticity with respect to new housing supply in the literature." No one knows how much housing you'd have to add to have any significant impact on costs. So, the researchers built a simulation to estimate, directly from data, the elasticity of rent with respect to housing supply.

They wanted to know how much rents might change if there was an influx of new housing. Given metropolitan housing crises and a lack of other data, it was an important study.

However, elasticity isn't a simple phenomenon. There are products where changing the price doesn't necessarily result in big shifts of demand. Look at the Apple iPhone X: $1,000 for the device and tens of millions purchased it.

The Fed report suggests that housing will be much the same:

The implication of this finding is that even if a city were able to ease some supply constraints to achieve a marginal increase in its housing stock, the city will not experience a meaningful reduction in rental burdens.

Add 5% more housing to the most expensive neighborhoods and the rents would drop only by 0.5%.

The reason is that people like the amenities in given neighborhoods and want to live there, so will continue to pay higher prices. Amenities can include shopping, schools, and ease of access to public transportation.

Happy Monday from Forest Hills!

From Forest Hills:

let’s take a look at the Austin St. Underpass Walkway, which after months of complaints had the graffiti finally removed only for it to reappear along with garbage and human excrement (CRAP), plus out of control weeds on a public sidewalk right along with garbage dumping. Photos don’t lie about the FILTH OF FOREST HILLS.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

City pushing through rezoning that no one has seen

From PIX11:

A rezoning plan for Inwood has been heavily protested by large groups of residents over the course of many months, but on Thursday, a scaled down version of the proposal got onto the fast track to approval.

A city council subcommittee gave the plan the green light, before residents who've long opposed change got a chance to get a good look at it.

It's a proposal that would change the look and feel of this neighborhood, one of Manhattan's last pockets of relative affordability, forever. The proposal, which will see some 5,000 new units of housing built in this northern Manhattan neighborhood -- more than 25 percent of it classified as affordable -- was revised overnight Wednesday, and then re-negotiated in closed door meetings among city councilmembers all morning on Thursday.

The resulting proposal will allow for taller buildings in the western part of the neighborhood near Manhattan's northern tip. The area west of 10th Avenue will be upscaled, but new construction will not be as tall as originally proposed, according to preliminary assessments. To the east of 10th Avenue, buildings will be allowed to be even taller. The proposal will also add new schools and other additions to the community.

At the council subcommittee hearing, which was attended by developers, building trade union members and residents alike, there was a theme: that because the proposal that was being voted on had been newly minted, there was inadequate opportunity for analysis.

Cyclists think rules don't apply to them

From CBS 2:

Surveillance video shows a child run off a bus and get run down by a person on a bike, who blew past the bus’s flashing stop sign.

“Bikers need to abide the laws,” said community activist Gary Schlesinger, who’s been leading a social media campaign that highlights bikers behaving badly in Brooklyn. “Passing a stopped school bus that’s a terrible thing, because it’s almost impossible not to hit a child.”

In May, another bicyclist sped through a bus’s stop sign and hit a child; another raced through a red light and crashed into a woman pushing a baby stroller.

“People feel frustrated at so many accidents happening,” Schlesinger said.

So frustrated, in fact, they’ve begun taking matters into their own hands. One bus nearly hit a bicyclist trying to block him from going past.

“That is absolutely dangerous,” said Schlesinger.

Parents and drivers Layton spoke with said they’re concerned that if the NYPD doesn’t step up enforcement fast, a child might get seriously hurt.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Rory gunning for Queens DA

From the Times Ledger:

Although his candidacy has not yet been declared, City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest) is eying a run for Queens district attorney -- a title that has been held by 86-year-old Richard Brown since 1991.

Lancman, who represents Fresh Meadows, Jamaica and parts of eastern Queens, said his platform in the potential race for DA would be reshaping the criminal justice system.

“We need significant criminal justice reform here in New York City, and that includes Queens,” said Lancman, who is the chairman of the City Council’s Justice System Committee, which has jurisdiction over the city’s five DA offices, the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor and the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.

Lancman said that as of July 16, he has more than $793,000 combined from three separate campaign finance funds in his coffers.

According to the New York City Finance Board of Campaign Elections, Lancman has $273,768 from the state committee; $354,055 remaining from his 2017 re-election campaign fund; and $165,741 donated from friends.

The lawmaker has been an advocate of pushing for cash bail reform, decriminalizing low-level offenses like smoking marijuana in public, turnstile jumping, and protecting workers’ safety and wages.

Property owner traps kittens by building a wall

From PIX11:

The clock is ticking to rescue a group of cats trapped behind a brick wall in Queens.

They’ve been stuck for three days and are likely thirsty and hungry. Animal rescue groups and concerned residents are trying to save them; they reached out to PIX11 for help.

For months, the cats had been living in a narrow alley like area between an apartment building and garage on Northern Blvd. They’ve won the hearts of people in this neighborhood who stopped by to feed them.

A wall about 15 feet high was built on either end trapping the felines inside.They’re now out of sight - and their conditions unknown.

Sadly, the one cat that did escape before the wall went up now wanders on the other side and gazes up at the wall, trying to find a way to get back with his family.

[Carol] Yao says they have offered to pay for the cost to knock down a section of the wall.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Help stop idling

From NBC:

Vehicle idling in NYC is not only bad for the environment, it's also not strictly enforced, but now you can help enforce a decades-old law and get paid for it. The I-Team's Andrew Siff reports.

Area may have been hit with a tornado

From CBS 2:

Queens residents are waking up to storm damage Friday after severe weather moved through the area.

After 10 p.m. Thursday, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Queens, the Bronx and northern Nassau County and some College Point residents reported seeing funnel clouds, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported.

It’s still not clear if a tornado did in fact touch down, but severe thunderstorms did roll through the area, knocking down trees and power lines.

A two-mile stretch of College Point to Whitestone took the brunt of the damage, however there have reports elsewhere. In Jackson Heights, pictures of downed trees were taken near 86th Street and Roosevelt Avenue.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Z Hotel sold, may see tall building behind it

From the NY Post:

The Z NYC Hotel in Long Island City has been sold to Merchants Hospitality for $43 million.

The 7-year-old hotel at 11-01 43rd Ave. was developed in 2011 by former taxi magnate Henry Zilberman. He died in March 2014, and Merchants purchased the hotel from the estate.

The pricing was not just for the hotel but also included additional land behind the hotel that Merchants can use to add value through another building with 109 apartments.

It's not just here

From PIX11:

Nearly three dozen people were found living in a single-family home on Long Island in what police called “dangerous and hazardous conditions.”

Officers with the East Hampton Town Police Department served a search warrant at the house shortly after 6 a.m. on Monday, after the town’s Ordinance Enforcement Department issued an investigation into the property.

In all, 32 people were found to be living in the house.

Police said 18 of the inhabitants were found sleeping on mattresses in the basement near the gasoline generator and gasoline storage tank.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Rego Park teardown

From Forest Hills Post:

A standard-sized house on a standard-sized Rego Park street is going to be demolished.

A demolition permit was filed for 64-53 Ellwell Crescent on July 27, about two weeks after the home was bought for $1.4 million.

The owner is listed as NLA Realty, with Nikadam Aylyarova signing the paper work on behalf of the company. No building permits have been filed to replace the structure.

The house is located directly across the street from a new development, which features large Greek columns and a concrete yard.

Ozone Park filing lawsuit to stop shelter

From CBS 2:

Some residents in Queens say they’re going to take the New York City Department of Homeless Services to task for its plans to bring a new men’s shelter to their neighborhood.

They fear a very different kind of housing could stand in the middle of family homes on 101st Avenue near 86th Street in Ozone Park.

The department wouldn’t confirm its shelter proposal, but a document obtained by CBS2 shows a letter sent to elected officials earlier this month explaining the plan to create a transitional housing facility for 113 men facing homelessness and mental health challenges. Residents say it would be far too close to several schools.