Thursday, August 15, 2019

Asswipe Mayor de Blasio overspends on city toilet paper


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NY Daily News


New York City is literally flushing millions down the toilet.

The city has spent at least $8.8 million on cheap toilet paper since June 2013 – and the costs are piling up under Mayor de Blasio.

Around $1.58 million was wasted on toilet paper last fiscal year, a 12% bump since 2014, according to records obtained by The Daily News. Last month alone, the city bought $126,000 worth of toilet paper rolls.

The city uses about four million rolls every year, buying only cheap, single-ply toilet paper, according to the Citywide Administrative Services. An average of $1.45 million was spent on potty paper annually over the last few years.

That’s about 35 cents a roll.

DCAS dumps the rolls in all municipal buildings, including City Hall, police precincts, parks and firehouses.

"It’s a waste of money,” one Democratic councilman, who asked not be name in order to cover his behind, quipped. “Taxpayers are watching their money flushed down the toilet.”
 
Another councilman tried to perfume the issue slightly.
 
 “It seems like a lot of money for toilet paper, but at least we now have a solution for all the crap coming out of City Hall,” Councilman Joseph Borelli (R-Staten Island) said.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Mayor de Blasio's affordable housing scam presents parasitic building in Jamaica with apartments going for $2,100 a month

Jamaica Patch

 Three new "affordable" apartments are up for grabs in Jamaica, but households need to earn at least $72,000 a year to apply.

The two-bedroom units at 170-19 89th Ave. rent for $2,300 a month, records show.

Households that earn between $72,000 and $138,710 are eligible to apply.


The brand new building has an elevator, recreation area and laundry room.

 It says $2,100 a month on this. But the actual area median income of renters in that area is $42,800. 30,000 less than those who can qualify. Interesting that the window for higher income applicants is about $40,000 to $64,000, this is how the city is redefining affordability. Affordable for the wealthier only.

Gentrification brazenly by design.



Wednesday, August 7, 2019

St. Albans residents demand Billie Holiday monument to be placed in Addesleigh Park, Chirlane McCray wants it by Queens Borough Hall







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Jamaica Patch

 First Lady Chirlane McCray in March made a much-heralded announcement: The city would build a monument to jazz singer Billie Holiday, one of four new statues honoring trailblazing women.

It was a first step in eliminating the gender disparity in city monuments. Of the 150 statues in New York, just five depict women.


But some residents in Southeast Queens felt slighted.



The Billie Holiday monument, the city announced, would rise by Queens Borough Hall in Kew Gardens — and that didn't seem right, they thought.

"She's a major part of our neighborhood," Southeast Queens resident Amir Abbady told Patch. "The statue should belong in the neighborhood she's from."
 
Abbady, who chairs Queens Community Board 12's parks committee, is championing an effort to bring the Billie Holiday monument to the Addisleigh Park Historic District, where the pioneering jazz artist once lived.


"Our Southeast Queens community would benefit from a statue of this successful black woman for cultural heritage purposes," Queens Community Board 12 Chair Rene Hill wrote in an email to Patch.


Jeff Gotlieb, president of the Central Queens Historical Association, suggests that the city instead put the monument in St. Albans Park. The park is just blocks away from Holiday's former home on 
Linden Boulevard.


The city hasn't yet decided on the exact site for Billie Holiday's monument, but a spokesperson for the city's cultural affairs department said they are focusing on the area by Queens Borough Hall, calling it the "most appropriate" location.

Guess what monument used to be at that "most appropriate" location...

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The Statue of Civic Virtue.

Like the statue, civic virtue in your city ceases to exist or literally thrown in a graveyard.

There is a demented cult in de Blasio's administration, and it's being led by his co-mayor wife. 





Nothing but nets for Astoria's elevated train tracks

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Astoria Patch

  As the MTA moves to install protective netting under stretches of the elevated subway tracks that run through Queens, elected officials are calling for the transit authority to put nets under the entire N/W line in Astoria.


The MTA plans to install netting under the N/W tracks at the Queensboro Plaza and 39th Avenue stations, which City Council Member Costa Constantinides says leaves two miles of track in Astoria still exposed.

The MTA's plan excludes four N/W subway stations along 31st Street in Astoria: 36th Avenue, Broadway, 30th Avenue, Astoria Boulevard and Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard.

"The MTA can do right by Astoria residents by installing protective netting under the entirety of this line — not just a few stations," Constantinides, who represents Astoria, said in a statement. "Given the aging infrastructure of this line and the years of work still ahead to fix it, this is a no-brainer."

Flushing Meadows playground sprinkler turned into a viral petri dish last July





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Flushing Post


Parts of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park have been sanitized following a Shigellosis outbreak that infected 32 people.

In mid-July, during the blistering heat wave, scores of Queens parents took their children to cool down in the water sprinklers across NYC parks.

However, many parents who took their children to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to escape the heat came to regret their decision.

Within a few days many children became feverish, nauseous, and/or had diarrhea.

The Health Department said in a statement that it investigated a Shigellosis outbreak associated with the park after “several individuals reported symptoms after playing in a playground with a splash pad or a large fountain.”

The Health Dept. noted that there have been 32 cases associated with the park and that it worked with the Parks Dept. to sanitize a number of areas to reduce the risk of Shigella transmission. One section that was targeted was the Playground For All Children, located by 111th Street in Corona.

The Parks Dept., in a statement, said that it “cleaned and disinfected Playground For All Children’s spray shower and other water features to [Health Dept.] specifications. As an additional precaution staff also cleaned and disinfected all other spray showers in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.”

Apparently, lead isn't the only thing in the city parks pipes you have to worry about.

75th Street Middle Village - The Ghetto

This has been like this for nearly a year...

Property owners not summoned and have not cleaned this.

Why....??

Affidavit votes disqualified by the Board of Elections pushed Katz's slim victory




NBC News

 Eighty percent of the approximately 2,800 affidavit ballots cast in the 2019 Democratic primary for Queens DA were disqualified — but it’s not clear how many of the voided voters still don't realize their ballots didn’t count.

 The I-Team obtained a list of more than 2,300 disqualified voters.

Though the list was not confirmed by the Board of Elections, two sources close to the ongoing court challenge between Tiffany Caban and Melinda Katz did confirm the list.

Some voters on the list said the Board of Elections has so far failed to notify them — even as a high stakes court battle proceeds to determine if Katz's narrow victory over Caban should stand.

 “I have not received any such notification (or any mail otherwise) from the Board of Elections,” said Sophie Epstein, a registered Democrat who said her vote for Tiffany Caban disqualified because she failed to check the “Democrat” box on her affidavit ballot.

 Mark Miller, a long-time Astoria resident, told the I-Team his vote for Caban was voided after a poll worker advised him to cast an affidavit ballot at the wrong polling place.

“We should be finding reasons to count the votes, right? Not reasons to not count the votes,” Miller said.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Katz wins primary. The Queens Machine rolls on


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NY Daily News


Tiffany Cabán conceded the Democratic race for Queens district attorney on Tuesday, officially cementing Melinda Katz’s razor-thin victory after six weeks of contentious recounts and court battles.
Addressing supporters at the Katch beer garden in Astoria, Cabán said she would keep fighting for progressive criminal justice reform.

“To every woman, to every young person of color, to every queer person, every single human being who was inspired by the movement we built, you are next," Cabán said after supporters had chanted her first name for nearly a minute. "And I promise that I will be the first there knocking on doors for you.”

Cabán, a Manhattan public defender, added, “This campaign may be over, but the movement does not stop ... We are just getting started.”

Katz, the establishment favorite and Queens borough president, now claims victory by a mere 55 votes — 34,913 to Cabán’s 34,858. The borough president is all but certain to win the general election against long-shot Republican candidate Daniel Kogan on Nov. 5.
 


Monday, August 5, 2019

City screws Astoria homeowners financially from shitty water main repair job

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(Photo by Jeff Fox/THE CITY)

THE CITY

 Astoria homeowners are fighting to recoup tens of thousands of dollars they say they were forced to spend after a city water main repair snafu sent raw sewage spewing into their homes.

The Department of Design and Construction acknowledged in letters obtained by THE CITY that a “number” of sewer-to-house connections were “inadvertently damaged” as a result of a water main project that began two summers ago.

 “The contractor when excavating on 38th Street affected a series of private sewer connections that were not indicated on the maps,” DDC spokesperson Shoshana Khantold THE CITY. “As a result, several of those lines were severed.”

 Yet some residents on the quiet stretch of 38th Street between 21st Avenue and Ditmars Boulevard say they can’t get city government to pay back the cash they were forced to spend on cleanup.

Some say they’re getting no clear answer on the holdup, while others say they’re caught in a bureaucratic Catch-22: a 90-day statute of limitations that ended before problems emerged.

“All of us got negatively impacted by this work,” said Jeff Fox, 40, a longtime homeowner. “It strikes me as incredibly unfair they can get away with doing shoddy work.”


Mayor de Blasio got mortgage extensions from bank lender owned by one of the Podolsky brothers


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NY Daily News


Mayor de Blasio got mortgages on his Park Slope homes from a bank founded by the brother of men who received $173 million from the city in a controversial real estate deal, The Daily News has learned.


The bank de Blasio secured the mortgages from is Wall Street Mortgage Bankers, which operates under the name Power Express Mortgage Bankers, city Finance Department records show.



The bank’s treasurer, secretary, former president and founder is Abraham Podolsky, public records and multiple sources revealed.

 Abraham is the brother of slumlords Jay and Stuart Podolsky, who earlier this year sold 17 buildings to the city for $173 million. Abraham did not respond to several messages.

 The $173 million deal — ostensibly aimed at providing affordable housing for poor New Yorkers — came under intense scrutiny for months from critics who pointed to Jay and Stuart’s criminal past, a federal probe into their real estate empire and wildly divergent appraisals on the land they ultimately sold to the city.


Abraham’s company’s loans to de Blasio as well as his family connections are now renewing concerns about potential conflicts of interest surrounding the deal.


Fordham University political science professor Christina Greer said she wants to see the web of connections investigated.


“Something doesn’t smell right. I’m not willing to say something is wrong just yet,” she said. “...This is worth an inquiry.”
 
City Comptroller Scott Stringer is probing appraisals of the Podolsky properties — one city appraisal valued the 17 properties as low as $49.67 million. In April, he demanded de Blasio’s administration make them available through a subpoena.


Stringer declined to comment on that investigation, de Blasio’s mortgages and whether those mortgages potentially could have given Jay and Stuart Podolsky any leverage during negotiations.


Mayor de Blasio’s hand-picked Department of Investigation Commissioner Margaret Garnett refused to comment as well.

The ironic thing about this disgusting bribe (which the mayor is allowed to get away with) is that this hook up with the Podolskys, who use to run dilapidated and rodent infested cluster apartment buildings to house the homeless for decades, technically prevents the mayor from being homeless himself.


Saturday, August 3, 2019

Amazon is looking at Maspeth site for next "fullfillment center"


QNS


Nothing happens along Newtown Creek without Mitch Waxman knowing about it first, so he was not surprised to see Crain’s report that Amazon was eyeing an industrial property in Maspeth for a new distribution facility.

As the historian for the Newtown Creek Alliance, Waxman walks along the Queens and Brooklyn shores and updates his Newtown Pentacle website with the daily chronicles of western Queens as it transforms under over-development.

He posted photos of his discovery on his website July 24, nearly a week before the Crain’s report.

“I was on my way to a meeting when I came across heavy demolition going on over on Grand Avenue,” Waxman said. “I noticed the old Cascades Containerboard factory was being torn down by crews from Breeze Demolition so I started asking questions.”

Waxman learned that 54-15, 55-15 and 56-19 Grand Ave. were recently acquired by a California-based company called LBA Realty for $72 million. The deal involves a partnership with another realty company, RXR, to build a four-story warehouse large that would be ideal for the “last mile” of logistics of an e-commerce company.

“Yeah it’s only four stories tall but that thing is going to be massive, massive, massive,” Waxman said. “It’s going to be large enough that heavy trucks will be able to drive around inside the facility, so that the first floor would have to be at least 30 feet tall. As an environmentalist with the Newtown Creek Alliance this set off all kinds of alarm bells with me. This will be a gigantic magnification of truck traffic in residential areas that are already very sensitive to heavy truck traffic.”

QNS reached out to Amazon and is awaiting a response. Amazon scuttled its plan to build to build an HQ2 campus in Long Island City, and create more than 25,000 high-paying jobs, in February.
Now the e-commerce giant is reportedly scouting a million square feet of space in Brooklyn’s Industry City for a new storage and shipping facility in Sunset Park. Amazon may be looking to lease the entire Lord & Taylor building in Midtown, according to Crain’s. 

Waxman, an Astoria resident, is concerned about what is happening in Maspeth.

 This sort of footprint tells me we’re looking at well over a hundred heavy trucks a day as well as additional delivery vans,” Waxman said. “It’s like you’re throwing the whole Green New Deal right out the window with that type of truck traffic clogging Maspeth’s residential streets as they make their way from the Long Island Expressway. This part of industrial Maspeth has a rail spur and it runs right along the back of this property with a direct connection to JFK International Airport. Instead, we just keep building more and more infrastructure for trucks.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff steps off


Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY., right, and her chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti, left, walk back together after joining other members of the freshman class of Congress for a group photo on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The Intercept


Saikat Chakrabarti, her chief of staff, and Corbin Trent, her director of communications — who, through their work with Justice Democrats, have been alongside Ocasio-Cortez since her primary run — will leave the lawmaker’s office. Chakrabarti will go to New Consensus, a nonprofit focused on climate issues and promoting the Green New Deal. Trent will direct communications on Ocasio-Cortez’s 2020 campaign, the same role he played during her first congressional run.
 
“Saikat has decided to leave the office of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez to work with New Consensus to further develop plans for a Green New Deal,” Trent said in a statement to The Intercept. “We are extraordinarily grateful for his service to advance a bold agenda and improve the lives of the people in NY-14. From his co-founding of Justice Democrats to his work on the Ocasio-Cortez campaign and in the official office, Saikat’s goal has always been to do whatever he can to help the larger progressive movement, and we look forward to continuing working with him to do just that.”

Good. Now this guy can do his get richer schemes exploiting progressive values and policies on his own time.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Lead is still a persistent problem in Queens public schools


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Jackson Heights Post


Classrooms in nearly 50 different elementary schools in Queens tested positive for lead, according to new data released by the Department of Education Wednesday night.

Inspectors hired by the DOE found lead-based paint in 48 borough schools where children below the age of six study, according to the data. Many of the schools have multiple classrooms where peeling lead paint was found.

 In total, the department inspected 797 school buildings across the city built prior to 1985 that house students younger than six years old. More than a third of the pre-K and kindergarten buildings, 302 schools, tested positive for lead, according to Chalkbeat.

Deteriorating lead paint is especially dangerous to young children who may breathe in lead dust or swallow paint chips. According to the CDC, lead poisoning can cause damage to the brain and nervous system, learning and behavioral problems, slowed growth and development and hearing and/or speech issues.

Van Bramer has gone bike lane batty

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NY Post



With cyclist fatalities on the rise, a City Councilman from Queens wants to blanket Long Island City with protected bike lanes — a proposal that could likely cost the neighborhood hundreds of parking spots.

“We have got to understand that this is about saving lives and we have to act now,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer told reporters at the foot of the Pulaski Bridge on Wednesday morning.“We have to prioritize people’s lives over parking spaces and over cars, once and for all in this city.”

Under the proposal developed by Van Bramer and cycling advocates from Transportation Alternatives and Bike New York, Long Island City would be a testing zone for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $58.4 million “Green Wave” plan to increase the number of new protected bike lane miles each year by 50%.

The proposed lanes would go on Skillman Avenue, Jackson Avenue, 11th Street, Center Boulevard, 44th Drive, 46th Avenue, 48th Avenue and Borden Avenue — the street where a driver struck and killed Robert Spencer in March.

Vernon Boulevard’s protected bike lane, meanwhile, which currently ends at 46th Avenue, would be extended south to Borden.