Monday, May 25, 2020

Red Hook field hospital opens too late and goes to waste
NY Post

 A roughly $21 million Brooklyn field hospital authorized by the de Blasio administration at the height of the coronavirus pandemic opened and closed without ever seeing one patient, according to city officials.

The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook was one of several sites across the five boroughs converted into a medical facility as a way to relieve the city’s overburdened hospital system as the COVID-19 crisis mounted.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans on Mar. 31 — a day after the USNS Comfort hospital ship arrived in New York Harbor to aid in the coronavirus fight — for the $20.8 million Red Hook field hospital with an estimated capacity for 750 beds.
The field hospital was built by Texas-based construction company SLSCO.

Chalk up another pop-up medical care facility going unused and millions and millions and millions of tax dollars descended into the void.



The coronavirus crisis has forced more than 100,000 small businesses in New York to close permanently, the governor said Friday. The huge swath of closures means main streets will look at lot different when the state is allowed to reopen.

At most risk have been businesses that are owned by minorities, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
"Small businesses are taking a real beating," he said. "They are 90 percent of New York's businesses and they're facing the toughest challengers.

"The economic projections, vis-a-vis small business, are actually frightening. More than 100,000 have shut permanently since the pandemic hit. Many small businesses just don't have the staying power to continue to pay all the fixed costs, the lease, etcetera, when they have no income whatsoever."

All but essential businesses have now been closed since New York's shutdown started on March 22. Millions of former employees are now registered as unemployed.

Curtis Sliwa goes for a forbidden swim in defiance of de Blasio's pandemic beach protocol

Remember the fallen

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Veterans Nursing Home releases names of residents who succumbed to COVID-19 in defiance to Cuomo's Health Department death counts


Workers at a 250-bed state-run veterans nursing home in Queens are circulating a list naming nearly 50 residents who died during the coronavirus crisis — an act of defiance and remembrance ahead of Memorial Day.

The list identifies 48 veterans or spouses of veterans who passed away between March 27 and April 29 at the New York State Veterans Home in St. Albans, one of five veterans nursing homes operated directly by the state Department of Health.

Staff members, who served many of the fallen veterans for years, have been critical of facility administrators for their handling of the outbreak — and accuse them of failing to publicly account for the full scope of fatalities.

“In memory of our beloved veterans,” reads the one-page list. “These veterans deserve justice!!”


A Queens veterans nursing home run by the state Department of Health has been violating protocols set by the department itself that are intended to keep patients and staff safe from coronavirus, multiple staffers told THE CITY.

This includes not separating roommates when only one was suspected of having COVID-19, and failing to isolate those infected in a separate section of the facility with a dedicated team of staff members.

And like their counterparts at private nursing homes, workers at the 250-bed New York State Veterans’ Home in St. Albans say protective gear has been in short supply and at times absent — with recommended N95 masks handed out just once in late March and expected to last for weeks.

Only last week were supplies replenished, they said.

Meanwhile, the staffers say, the home had suffered resident deaths totaling at least twice or even three times the official tally of 19 that was publicly reported through May 1— essentially by the state Department of Health to itself.

“There was just no effort to try to even maintain any kind of minimizing transmission or anything,” said one staffer. “Nobody took it seriously.”

State Department of Health officials countered that the home has been a “leader in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic” — and that the agency is ensuring all of its coronavirus guidelines are followed.

On Tuesday, the health department released new and more detailed statistics on coronavirus fatalities in individual nursing homes across the state. They showed nine confirmed COVID fatalities at the Queens veterans’ home and another 24 presumed to be caused by the virus.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Man dies after trying to swim in Rockaway Beach

NY Post

A 24-year-old man drowned in the waters off Rockaway Beach on Friday afternoon — setting an ominous tone for what could be a dangerous Memorial Day weekend on the city’s lifeguard-less beaches.

The unidentified man was pulled from the waters off of Beach 91st Street just hours after Mayor Bill de Blasio detailed plans to open the city’s beaches for people to play on the sand, but also begged them to not go in the water.

A witness who shot cellphone video of first responders hauling the victim expressed fear that pleas to stay on land won’t be heard, and will lead to tragedy.
“Why are there no lifeguards? People are on the beach and allowed on the sand but not in the water. This is going to happen over and over,” the witness told The Post.

“If there were lifeguards, we wouldn’t have had to call in helicopters and fire trucks. People were freaked out, saying ‘Oh my gosh, there’s no one to help.’”

Cops said the unidentified man and at least one other person had been jumping into the water.

The man was pulled from the water around 2:50 p.m. and was rushed to St. John’s Hospital in critical condition, cops said.

He couldn’t be revived and was pronounced dead around 3:40 p.m., cops said.

Sadly this didn't take long at all that someone had to die to expose how moronic and lethal de Blasio's pandemic policy decisions have been. As if not putting lifeguards out there would discourage people from going to the beach. Now 20 people have to do the job of what one or two would have done to save this guy.

Maybe if the distancing and activity bans on the beach included surfers and not favorably exempted them it wouldn't have encouraged this person (or even anyone else) from going into the ocean for a dip.

Department of the Aging is starving the aging


 Marnee May, 75, was told by the city she’d be getting shipments of weekly meals in late March. She lives in Lower Manhattan and was getting the “grab-and-go” meals from the senior center in her building.

Toward the end of last month, as the coronavirus tore through the city, the center was shuttered. 

Weeks have since gone by and her meals haven’t arrived.

“Why weren’t we set up for this? That’s what I don’t understand,” May said during a phone interview Thursday afternoon. “What happened to the food? And where is that food? Where is it?”
The coronavirus pandemic that has seized New York City has created an almost impossible situation for its older residents. With that population particularly vulnerable to the disease and much of the city on lockdown, their families and friends have been officially warned against visiting. That leaves precious few options for elderly New Yorkers to get meals.
New York City’s massive effort to deliver food directly to the homes of the elderly, spearheaded by the Department for the Aging, has left many behind, according to interviews with seniors, advocates and government officials. Throughout the city, many of its most vulnerable residents are trapped at home, wondering when their next meal will come.
“I could say funeral homes weren’t prepared for this, but Jesus, the city should have been prepared to give people meals,” May told POLITICO.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Mayor de Blasio opens the beaches for only the surfers to play in

NY Post

Wipe out!
City beaches will be a surfers’ paradise, but swimmers will be sidelined under a wishy-washy set of rules dropped by the city and the NYPD on the eve of Memorial Day Weekend.
“The beaches are open, but the water is not for swimming,” said Brian Conroy, assistant chief of the NYPD’s Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, in a press briefing at the Abe Stark Sports Center in Coney Island.
“You can go in ankle deep, wade in the water,” Conroy continued. “Surfers will be allowed into the water.”
The half-measure move was swiftly blasted as all wet.
“This is just more mixed messaging,” said City Councilman Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn). “We need to have very clear guidelines here, because if you don’t you’re just setting yourself up for tragedy and-or confrontation.
“If I carry a surfboard, can I go in the water even if I don’t know how to surf?”
City Councilman Donovan Richards, a Queens Democrat representing sandy Far Rockaway, said that he was left “scratching my head” over the gnarly policy.
“Are they going to give swim tests to surfers before they go into the water?” asked Richards. “If you’re saying the water is closed to anyone then they have to be closed for everyone.

 “It sends a bad message. It says the waters are open.”
Politicians weren’t the only ones who feared that the rules would confuse beachgoers trying to enjoy a little sea air and sunshine amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s the same water. If you’re surfing, you have to go out and swim first, right?” pointed out Pat Singer, head of Brooklyn’s Brighton Neighborhood Association. “The mayor ought to rethink that one. It’s going to cause mixed messages.”

de Blasio has been exploiting this pandemic and confusing his constituents since the day he told everyone to go to the movies when the outbreak began.

But there is nothing mixed about this. As seen in multiple viral videos, there is a caste system with enforcing pandemic protocols. This is another blatant act of favoritism to the only citizens the mayor appreciates the most, the frivolous spending hipsters.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

NYC D.O.T. recent street redesign in Ozone Park cul de sucks

 A lot of infrastructure improvements have been happening in Ozone Park after decades of oversight. But this one here, which was done between February and March according to a resident who was watching me photograph this is quite the curiosity. And as you will see, the stupidest and ultimately hazardous street redesign I have seen in this town.

This street is Albert Rd., a one way going west that intersects with Cross Bay Blvd. and is adjacent to 149 ave.. A lot of flooding always happens here after it rains so that may be why this was done going by all the bioswale looking spots recently installed. But prior to the D.O.T.'s decision to place a dead end here, drivers used to be able to turn right into Cross Bay and into 149 ave. heading east, being a two way street.

Surely, this new dead end will cut off any potential accidents but here's where it gets really stupid

Why would the D.O.T. put a cul de sac on a one way road?

 And why isn't there a stop sign placed heading towards it?

 The D.O.T. did think to put a stop sign to alert drivers who were shocked to find this path blocked during their return east to access 149 ave., but it's obscured by a tree.

And instead of a two way traffic sign on the right there (which is already indicated on the sign on the south side of the street) why not a right turn arrow sign? I know we got those.

That former intersection used to be pretty dicey and it's good to see new infrastructure after decades of neglect because this area tends to flood a lot when it rains, but even when the city does something good they find a way to mess things up and produce a new hazard after getting rid of an old one.

So it goes.

NYC Parks and Con Edison are being hard on Ron Jeremy's tree

View image on Twitter

NBC 4 New York

 Adult film star Ron Jeremy is fighting to save a tree his father planted outside their New York home the day he was born.

Jeremy took to Twitter on Saturday, saying that utility Con Edison was going cut down the tree that was planted in Queens in 1953. 

The tweet includes a 2018 photo of Jeremy hugging the tree outside the home on Bell Boulevard in Bayside.

Jeremy, who has been staying at a Hollywood hotel during the coronavirus pandemic, told the New York Daily News that a neighbor let him know the trunk was wrapped in yellow tape last week.

“I looked after that tree all my life. They tried to chop the tree down years ago but I wouldn’t let them,” Jeremy said. “I even belted myself to the tree.”

 The tree is on city property, and the Parks Department can choose to remove it, according to Con Edison, who replied to Jeremy's tweet. It is up to the city to decide whether to remove the tree to avoid any potential damage it may cause to surrounding power lines.

Whatcha gonna do when the D.O.B. comes for you?

NY Post

City building inspectors are running speed trap-style operations to catch contractors violating a coronavirus ban on “non-essential” construction work — and to slap homeowners with maximum, $10,000 fines, The Post has learned.

A Department of Buildings inspector spent at least 45 minutes Tuesday morning staked out at the intersection that leads to the ritzy Douglas Manor neighborhood in northwestern Queens.

“I’m an elevator guy normally but they got us all doing this now,” the inspector told The Post.

“Except for essential work, there are no inspections. So to keep us all working, they got us out making sure everybody complies with the governor’s order

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Contractor Gadget loses city deal after botching ventilator and PPE deliveries


City Hall has canceled a $91 million emergency contract for ventilators and other medical equipment after the vendor failed to deliver the goods — even after receiving an initial $9.1 million payment in late March.

Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed the company’s owner — a major donor to his failed presidential bid — to his small business advisory panel.

Digital Gadgets LLC, a New Jersey-based electronics wholesaler, supplied none of the 2,000 Aeonmed VG70 ventilators and 200,000 “breathing kits” agreed to under a March 30 deal with the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, according to an agency spokesperson.

“The city canceled this order because it decided to order a different ventilator model,” said the spokesperson, Nick Benson. “This was an amicable decision with the vendor.”

Digital Gadgets’s CEO is Charlie Tebele, who with family members made contributions totaling $32,000 to de Blasio’s now-abandoned campaign for the Democratic nomination for president and related political action committees, state and federal records show.

Tebele and family members also gave at least $12,750 to de Blasio’s 2017 reelection campaign.
As THE CITY reported last month, medical equipment was apparently a new line of business for Tebele, a wholesaler of hoverboards and other electronic devices to QVC and similar outlets, operating out of Monroe, N.J.

On May 6, de Blasio appointed Tebele to his 31-member Small Business Sector Advisory Council, formed to “provide guidance to shape the City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” a statement from the mayor’s office said. Tebele’s appointment was first reported by the Daily News.

A spokesperson for the mayor’s office, Jane Meyer, told THE CITY: “Every single New Yorker has a stake in the city’s recovery. These bodies are purely advisory and participants were selected based on their expertise — nothing else. From the NAACP to the Catholic Church, Teamsters and Etsy —  we are proud to have New Yorkers from all backgrounds involved in this recovery effort.”

THE CITY attempted to reach Tebele by phone and email for comment, but did not make contact.

City finally releases coronavirus map data by zip code

NYC Health


  Asked about the data on NY1 late Monday, de Blasio called the disparities “horrible.” 

“What we’re talking about here is the really painful, really unfair history of race and class in this city and in this country,” he said. 

 The mayor cited the city’s work to secure insurance or medical care for all its residents to address the preconditions associated with poor COVID outcomes — which include diabetes, hypertension and compromised immune systems. 

“These are things that obviously get back again not just to racial disparity but to economic disparity — to folks who never got the health care they deserved because they didn’t have the money they deserved,” de Blasio said.

 Elected officials have argued that access to testing has not been equitable across neighborhoods, and a number of them said they’d been pushing City Hall to release more specific data on deaths sooner. 

Councilmember Inez Barron (D-Brooklyn), who represents Starrett City, said her district was left to suffer for weeks as she pleaded with the mayor’s office to release more details about neighborhood impacts of the virus. 

“Why aren’t residents — which is the hotbed for this disease — why aren’t these people being tested? It’s illogical to me,” she said. “They know that senior concentrations, and black and brown communities and other areas are hotbeds, but yet you don’t make provisions in the very areas where we see the numbers soaring.”

Mighty Mosque

Check this out. It's a mosque that expanded but looks hideous attached to the small house.

If you look back on the street view, you see the house that was there prior to this.

If you build them, less will die

Commercial Observer

A once-in-a-century pathogen overwhelmed New York medical centers this spring and at least part of the blame lies in decisions state and health care leaders made to eliminate 20,000 hospital beds over the past two decades.

 Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned New York could need between 55,000 and 110,000 hospital beds to treat COVID-19 patients through the end of April. But the Empire State only had 53,000 licensed hospital beds to begin with, down from the 73,931 that existed in 2000. 

The surge in patients has overloaded both the city’s pricey academic medical centers and its deficit-ridden public hospital system. By the end of April, 41,316 New Yorkers would seek treatment for coronavirus symptoms at a hospital and 17,589 residents died from the disease. At the apex of the pandemic, which occurred around April 12, hospitals contained close to 19,000 COVID patients.

Hospitalizations have declined since then but Cuomo acknowledged the state must be better prepared for the future. The health care system’s ability to protect the public would be imperiled if 70 percent of hospital beds were occupied, he said.

“Governors don’t do global pandemics,” Cuomo said in a briefing on April 28. “It’s not a state responsibility in this system who was supposed to blow the bugle and didn’t. I would bank on this happening again.”

The governor may be right that another wave of illness will strike this fall but the state’s lack of preparedness was due to decades of deregulation, systemic racism, and political apathy that led to dozens of hospital closures across the city.

“The chickens are coming home to roost,” Community Service Society Vice President Elisabeth Benjamin told Commercial Observer. “The people that are suffering and disproportionately dying are living in communities where all these hospitals got closed. Hospital capacity there is so woefully under-resourced it’s an outrage.”

Monday, May 18, 2020

It's a small world's borough


Out of the top 10 cities with the least apartment space per person, 5 are in California, with Fremont, Chula Vista (340 sq. ft. per person), Anaheim (353 sq. ft. per person) and Los Angeles (412 sq. ft. per person ) being the 2nd, 4th, 6th and 10th on the list, respectively.

The most crowded metropolitan area in the U.S., New York is also present in our top with some of the lowest average apartment sizes and largest number of persons living in the same household. Although many would expect to see Manhattan in the lead for smallest space per person, Queens is actually the one with the most crammed apartments, with only 329 sq. ft. per person. It’s followed by Brooklyn, with 351 and Manhattan, with 393.

Conversely, renters are living large in Louisville, KY, boasting the largest apartment space per person, at 731 sq. ft. This is due to an average apartment size of 933 sq. ft. and an average of 1.3 persons per household, which means that renters here have a great deal of apartment space – well above the national average. Next in the top is Winston-Salem, NC, with a total living space of 723 sq. ft./person. Not far behind is Omaha, NE, third in our top, where each renter has an average of 689 sq. ft. to roam around.

COVID-19 killed affordable housing initiative to include basement apartments

 City Limits

 The de Blasio administration’s basement pilot program is headed to hiatus after taking a hit in the city’s proposed budget, where funding is being reallocated towards more urgent budget matters related to the COVID-19 epidemic. 

The program aimed to test ways to legalize basement apartments as a way to create new, sanctioned affordable housing units for tenants and help the moderate-income homeowners who might rent some of the spaces out. It was a key community demand during the negotiations over the East New York rezoning, the first of the mayor’s neighborhood redevelopment plans.

In the mayor’s executive budget, the basement pilot program is expected to see funds cut by $1.09 million in the coming year — leaving the program with only $91,580 for operations. Initially, the basement pilot program, which was launched last year, was slated to receive $12 million dollars for operational costs during a three-year period. 

Dozens of nonprofits signed onto a letter last week asking the city to continue its financial support of the program. While acknowledging the stark budget reality facing the city, the signers insisted: “this is not the time to draw back support from programs that are critical to the most COVID-impacted populations in our city.” 

“The virus is exposing the desperate need for safe spaces for vulnerable populations who need to socially distance,” the letter read. “It’s now more important than ever to help modernize and bring up to code informal basement apartment units, where living conditions may put people at risk of disease transmission.”

The basement pilot program stemmed from over a decade of advocacy by nonprofits such as the Chhaya Community Development Corporation, which founded the Basement Apartments Safe for Everyone (BASE) campaign in 2008.

A 2009 study by the Pratt Center for Community Development and Chhaya estimated that there are more than 114,000 units in New York City’s basement apartment housing stock. 

It also became a featured capital investment in the 2016  East New York rezoning plan; the terms of agreement included the stipulation that legislation would allow for the study of the basement program to be piloted in the Brooklyn neighborhood, where low-income homeowners and low-income housing were at risk for predatory lenders and speculative investment.

“The dynamic of the housing market in the neighborhood, before COVID-19, has been that those homeowners really, really struggle,” says Michelle Neugebauer, the Executive Director at Cypress Hills LDC, a key player in community advocacy around the East New York rezoning. They struggle, some of them with high-price mortgages. They struggle against predators and house flippers and people that want to rip them off, the rising water bills and utility bills. It’s not easy,” 

“And I would say that it was considered one of the few wins of the rezoning battle; there could be this pilot in East New York that at least for a small number of homeowners could help stabilize their finances by bringing in this additional source of income that would provide safe, habitable, healthy living accommodations for renters, not at high rates.”

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Life in NYC: 2020 edition

This is satire. Or is it?

Enjoy the weekend.

Friday, May 15, 2020

NYPD raids store operating legally under Cuomo order


"Any business that only has a single occupant/employee (i.e. gas station) has been deemed exempt and need not submit a request to be designated as an essential business."

From Fox News.

On April 18, Besshtanko said a number of officers approached her door asking to come in. Besshtanko said her door was locked and the officers failed to present a warrant. “They just started aggressively knocking on my door and I wasn't sure what happened, so I opened the door," she said, "They told me that I had to let them in, and I did. The officer did not present a warrant.”

During the encounter, Besshtanko said the officers searched her store and asked to go into her basement all without telling her what they were looking for. "They just went through every bag, they looked at every shelf of my showcase, they checked little bottles just to see what's in them, but they never actually said, we are looking for such and such, they were just looking. The only time they asked for my permission was to go to the basement, they also asked if there [were] any boxes from China. That [sounded] funny to me, but obviously I had none. They went downstairs to check for it, came back with no results. And that was that,” Besshtanko told Fox News.

“The police are not only coming to these shops one or two times, but it's a pattern. Meaning, they're coming in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening. And they're making remarks again about importing products from overseas, particularly Asian countries and that is unnecessary. I’m not sure what they're trying to accomplish by doing that. No one has presented a search warrant or any order from a judge to confiscate anything. There's no customs investigation. There's nothing that would lead to this sort of behavior. So it seems to me like these are frustrated officers who are essentially taking out their frustrations on retail shop owners," Spodek told Fox News.

I don't vape, but I may just have to support this woman's business in some way.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Big protest banner against Governor Cuomo found on highway in Monticello

This happened on Mother's Day. Someone draped this monster protest banner on the I-86. Surprising this didn't make the news at all, or maybe it didn't because the establishment news media is unabashedly in adoration of the Governor of New York.

This is the source

Sunday, May 10, 2020

The city paid a big price for a toxic site to place an animal shelter in Ridgewood

Just like de Blasio's deal with the Podolsky's it looks like the city way overspent again. This time for the animal shelter in Ridgewood. The city paid 13.2 million dollars for property worth about $946,000. That's 12.3 million dollars that could have been used in an emergency like, oh, I don't know, in case there was a global pandemic or something less catastrophic but economically devastating.

The real kick about this is that this deal was made when Bill de Blasio was running for president and was barely showing up to City Hall at the time.

 Thank you Lucky for this scoop.

Chancellor Carranza proposes crisis advantage school admission changes and rails against Councilman Holden for being tardy for caring for his ill mother.


NY Post

New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said he doesn’t have “a nefarious plan” to use the coronavirus crisis to overhaul middle and high school admission policies, but so far he has given no hint of the “tweaks” he has in mind.

Carranza, who was caught on tape last month telling a national group of Latino school leaders, 
“Never waste a good crisis to transform a system,” seemed to back-pedal Thursday while addressing a virtual public meeting of the advisory Panel For Educational Policy.

“We are not planning a nefarious plan to use this pandemic to change policy,” the chancellor said. 
“We know there must be some tweaks to admissions, not permanent changes.”

Adding to the confusion, Mayor de Blasio at a press conference the day before bluntly spoke about using the pandemic to change the “status quo.”

“Many things are going to be reevaluated as a result of this crisis,” he said. “We are not just going to bring New York City back with the status quo that was there before. But we’re going to try to make a series of changes that favor equity and fairness.”

Both Carranza and de Blasio have voiced their disdain for selective “screened schools,” even though their own children attended them.

A DOE spokeswoman had nothing to add on the issue Friday, but parents are buzzing about the possibilities. Among those under discussion:
  • A lottery system: This would eliminate all “screens” and accept students randomly, perhaps with priority fo the disadvantaged. This plan would mirror the controversial system in Brooklyn’s District 15, where the middle schools no longer select students based on report-card grades, test scores, or even auditions for performing arts programs. The District 15 lottery sets aside seats for kids from low-income families, those learning English as a new language, and the homeless.
  • Use prior test scores: Schools could use scores from the 3rd- and 6th-grade state exams. Schools with a ranking system could simply plug in metrics from the previous year. But it’s not the fairest way to go, parents say, because kids were told that the 4th- and 7th-grade scores counted for admissions and tried harder then.
NY Post

 Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza angrily scolded a City Council member for being late to a virtual public hearing, ignoring the elected official’s explanation that he was tending to his ailing 96-year-old mother.

Carranza’s outburst, which came during a meeting of the advisory Panel for Educational Policy on Thursday, recalled the time he walked out of a Queens district meeting when parents complained their children were physically and sexually assaulted. He later accused the parents of “grandstanding.”

This time, Carranza blew up at Queens lawmaker Robert Holden, who was not logged in to the video meeting when called upon about 7:30 p.m.

“I had a number of issues to handle tonight including my mother in a nursing home fighting for her life and may have COVID,” Holden explained when he was finally called upon two hours later.

 Holden then criticized the chancellor’s recent comment to school leaders — “Never waste a good crisis,” as reported in The Post.

 That comment “was an insult to everyone fighting COVID,” Holden said. “That comment was disgraceful, and he should apologize for it.”

New York stays shut down til a week into June


NY Post
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is quietly keeping his finger on New York’s “Pause” button — essentially extending stay-at-home and mask-wearing directives to June 7.

However, any of the state’s seven regions will still be able to phase in re-openings sooner if they meet a series of benchmarks.

Those benchmarks include a decline in hospitalizations and deaths, and a 30 percent vacancy rate in ICU and regular hospital beds as safeguard against a sudden spike in sicknesses.

“Yesterday’s Executive Order extended the underlying legal authority for the Emergency Order, but did not change the text of any of the directives in NY ON PAUSE and so the expiration date of May 15 still stands until further notice,’ the secretary to the governor, Melissa DeRosa, said in a statement.

“At that time, new guidance will be issued for regions based on the metrics outlined by Governor Cuomo earlier this week.” 

But a state legal source told The Post that the new directives indeed extend the pause until June 6 or 7.

“The order specifically states it is extending dates for 30 days,” the source said. “It’s fair to conclude it extends the closures, which are directives.”

The ban on non-essential gatherings continues as the state’s coronavirus death toll exceeded 21,000 on Saturday.

COVID-19 acclimation message found in Whitestone

 Outside with No Mask fuhgeddaboudit sign

Untapped Cities

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Mayor de Blasio's thirst for power led to kids getting dumber

NY Post

 Mayor Bill de Blasio was personally involved in a deal with Orthodox Jewish leaders to delay a long-awaited report on shoddy yeshivas in exchange for an extension of mayoral control of city schools, emails obtained by The Post show.

Internal emails among de Blasio and his top aides at City Hall and the Department of Education reveal that the mayor made key phone calls to the powerful religious leaders to clinch the support of two state lawmakers voting on his power to run the nation’s largest school system.

“These internal communications reveal what we suspected all along: Mayor de Blasio abused his power by interfering with the yeshiva investigation,” said Nafuli Moster, founder and executive director of Young Advocates for Fair Education (YAFFED). The group filed complaints against 39
 Brooklyn yeshivas in July 2015 for allegedly shortchanging children on secular subjects such as math, English, science and history.

The DOE launched an investigation of the yeshivas, but as it dragged on, critics charged City Hall was delaying the probe to curry favor with the Orthodox Jewish voting bloc.

Even an investigation of the mayor’s suspected interference was stalled, whistle-blowers told The Post. In response to that complaint, the Department of Investigation and the Special Commissioner of Investigation for city schools finally issued a report last December confirming “political horsetrading” on the mayoral control issue.

For the first time ever, an incriminating email from the de Blasio administration is not redacted

And it exposes Emma Wolfe as de Blasio's political gun moll.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Drivers have to pay full toll again crossing the Cross Bay Bridge


The MTA is suspending a planned toll rebate for Queens residents driving across the Cross Bay Bridge as its revenue plummets during the coronavirus pandemic, state legislators said Tuesday.

The refund, which would go through E-ZPass and apply to drivers whose cars are registered in Queens, was due to go into effect this summer but is now indefinitely postponed.

"To say I'm disappointed by the postponement of the Queens Resident Cross Bay Bridge Rebate is an understatement, but I understand that the MTA is experiencing never before seen economic hardship and tough decisions have to be made during unprecedented times," Assembly Member Stacey Pheffer Amato said. "We fought so hard for this, for our communities, and it was seen as something that would never be able to happen."

Under the current rebate program, Broad Channel and Far Rockaway residents pay a discounted toll of $1.41 with their E-ZPass, then receive a refund for that amount from the MTA, which operates several bridges citywide.

Crossing the bridge, which connects Far Rockaway to the rest of the borough, costs other drivers $2.29 with an E-ZPass or $4.75 without one, according to the MTA.

 The bridge is the city's only crossing that requires drivers to pay a toll to travel within the same borough, according to

The nursing home with the most deaths from COVID-19 is in Glen Oaks


When Mary Ann Sudlow showed up at Long Island Jewish Medical Center one day in late April, she was dehydrated and her kidneys were failing. She had tested positive for the new coronavirus earlier that day at the rehabilitation center next door, where she was recovering from a hip replacement.

Six weeks before she ended up in a hospital ICU, the 85-year-old was seemingly healthy and living on her own. Then it became painful to walk. She landed in the operating room for surgery to replace her hip, then, on March 30, she moved to the Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation to recover.

What Sudlow's family didn't know was that, four days prior, Parker had reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Sudlow tested positive for the virus just under a month after arriving at Parker.

She was immediately transferred to Long Island Jewish, which is next to Parker but run independently. There, ICU doctors told her family it was only a matter of time. She died three days later.

Interviews with the families of four current or recent Parker residents, including Sudlow, paint a picture of a facility under siege amid the coronavirus pandemic, with too few protective measures, not enough health care workers and little-to-no communication about what's going on inside — claims the facility disputes.

To Sudlow's son, Michael, what happened can be summed up by a text message he got one day from his brother: "The nursing home is who killed mom."

Nurses protest lack of PPE's and enforcement of social distancing protocols at Rikers Island

NY Post

Frontline nurses at the notorious Rikers Island jail say they are struggling to treat inmates who don’t even have enough soap and running water to keep the coronavirus at bay.

Social distancing is not enforced at the jail, and there is a dangerous shortage of protective gear and test kits, nurses complained at a rally there on Thursday.

“Let me tell you something — COVID has hit hard beyond these walls,” said Rikers nurse Neshia McDonald, one of 30 nurses to march outside the jail.

“We are Rikers nurses, and we’re asking the public, please, we are doing the job that people are not lining up to do. And we are asking for your help.”

Nurses at the jail are mourning colleague William Chen, who McDonald said died after a COVID-19 patient threw up on him.

“This is not about coffee, donuts,” she said. “This is not about ‘Likes.’ This is reality. We’re asking you to keep us in your prayers because we are working.”

Department of Homeless Services supplies city workers with garbage bags to wear to move homeless people's belongings


NY Post
 Department of Homeless Services laborers tasked with helping move the Big Apple’s least fortunate in and out of shelters are wearing trash bags to protect themselves from the coronavirus — as they demand additional protection from city officials.
The members of AFSCME District 37 Local 924 shot the photos as they moved a family from a Bronx shelter and submitted them to DHS officials to support their claims they need protective bodysuits to remain safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
“At the end of the day, you need to protect yourself by any means necessary and you have to put garbage bags around you to do that, you need to do that,” said Local 924 President Kyle Simmons. “If you’re going to do the job, you’ve got to protect yourself — or do the best you can.”
Simmons says his members need protective gowns for their clothing, commonly known as Tyvek suits, to stay safe while working with the homeless and moving their belongings.
The city, he says, has refused to provide them for the laborers while giving them to other employees.

Film production set team builds and donates intubators under supplied hospitals

A team of film and television set builders are using their carpentry skills to build life-saving equipment for struggling hospitals. 

Greenpoint set builder Bret Lehne learned about the need for intubation boxes — plexiglass containers that keep doctors safe during the most dangerous moments of operation — when a doctor friend contacted him a week into the pandemic asking if he knew anyone who could make them. After reviewing the schematics, Lehne came to a realization.

“This, both in material and in complexity, is an average blueprint that I might get in a workday,” he said to himself. “I know an entire industry that can build these.”

With set workshops empty due to social distancing guidelines, Lehne first had to search for a space that would allow him and a team of volunteers to work there for free, eventually landing on the training workshop of the IATSE Local 52 Studio Mechanics Union in Queens.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Cy Vance puts justice in quarantine


Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. is blaming the coronavirus pandemic to justify dropping charges in a major construction fraud case tainted by allegations of prosecutorial misconduct, THE CITY has learned.

In what appears to be the first instance of COVID-19 knocking out a high-profile criminal prosecution in New York City, Vance revealed in court papers filed Monday that he won’t put a key bribery case back before a grand jury.

That’s because the actions of sitting grand juries have been suspended and no new panels have been convened since mid March when the coronavirus forced the shutdown of much of the state’s court system.

The case dropped by Vance involved one of several defendants in a wide-ranging construction bribery prosecution that’s now the subject of an internal review. At issue are accusations that the lead prosecutor in the case, Diana Florence, withheld evidence undermining her star witness.

 One of those defendants was Henry Chlupsa, a former executive of an engineering firm charged with bribing the witness, a city bureaucrat, for inside information to win multi-million-dollar contracts.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Thomas Farber convicted Chlupsa in November following a three-week non-jury trial. Weeks later, Chlupsa’s attorney, Nelson Boxer, learned that the DA’s office had failed to turn over thousands of internal emails and interviews with the informant in which he claimed he never took bribes from anyone.

In January, Nelson asked Farber to vacate the conviction and dismiss the indictment.
In a court filing Monday, Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Moore Jr. agreed the conviction should be vacated, conceding the DA’s office hadn’t handed over the disputed material as it should have.
Moore insisted, though, the criminal charges against Chlupsa were still viable. But because of the COVID-19 restrictions on grand juries, the DA decided not to bring a new case against the now 77-year-old Chlupsa, Moore said.

“In an effort to conserve resources, especially in light of the coronavirus pandemic, and for the other reasons described below, the People will not be seeking to re-present new charges against the defendant to a new grand jury,” Moore wrote.

“In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, no new grand juries will be convened for the foreseeable future,” he noted.

The tragic bus

NY Daily News

Nine homeless riders on the No. 2 train, evicted from their usual all-night tour of the underground early Wednesday, toted their belongings upstairs to a city bus soon cluttered with their garbage bags and a handcart.

“I’m not going to a shelter,” shouted Tyronne Batte, 35, who struggles with drug addiction and spends many nights riding the rails. “I went five years ago. I got robbed. People tried to rape me three times. It’s like prison with fewer guards.”

Night one of the 1 a.m.-to-5 a.m. sanitizing sweep and shuttering of the sprawling subway system over coronavirus concerns sent more than 2,000 confused homeless people onto the streets and aboard city buses, with Mayor de Blasio declaring the policy imposed by Gov. Cuomo would remain in place for “a matter of months” at minimum.

“My general hope is that we’re going to see more and more normalcy through the next few months,” the mayor said. Asked specifically when things might change for the late-night trains, he replied, 
“When the crisis is over.”

NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said most riders knew what was coming, and “no one was really taken by surprise” that the nation’s largest subway system would not run on its round-the-clock schedule.

Batte loudly disagreed before leaving the Flatbush Ave.-Brooklyn College station for the B44 bus shortly at 12:55 a.m.: "They didn’t make any announcement on the train.” He declined help from a group of six homeless outreach workers before boarding.

Another policy failure decision by Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Governor Cuomo proposes isolation based education system to be run by Prinicipal Bill Gates


Remote learning could replace the practice of a teacher standing in front of a classroom instructing students in the post-coronavirus area, Gov. Andrew Cuomo suggested Tuesday.

Cuomo dropped the bombshell while announcing a partnership with the Gates Foundation to “reimagine” education in the post-COVID era.

“One of the areas we can really learn from is education because the old model of our education system where everyone sits in a classroom is not going to work in the new normal,” the governor said at a press briefing Tuesday at his Manhattan office.

“And you do that all across the city, all across the state, all these buildings, all these physical classrooms,” he said. “Why? With all the technology you have?”

“When we do reopen our schools let’s reimagine them for the future, and to do that we are collaborating with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and exploring smart, innovative education alternatives using all the new technology we have at our disposal.”

What's this "the new normal" shit he keeps bringing up? Obviously to justify then implement privatization of all government departments and services while maintaining a climate and culture of fear and a stranglehold on power. This is dangerous.

Judge orders presidential primary election back on, Bernie Sanders back on ballot

Ballots NY election

 NY Post

A federal court judge has ordered New York Democrats to reinstate the presidential primary election for June 23 after one-time candidate Andrew Yang challenged its cancellation.

Judge Analisa Torres in her decision Tuesday ruled that the New York Board of Elections’ decision to cancel the vote was unconstitutional and that all qualified candidates as of April 26 must be on the ballot.

“[T]he removal of presidential contenders from the primary ballot not only deprived those candidates of the chance to garner votes for the Democratic Party’s nomination,” Torres wrote in her opinion.
“…but also deprived their pledged delegates of the opportunity to run for a position where they could influence the party platform, vote on party governance issues, pressure the eventual nominee on matters of personnel or policy, and react to unexpected developments at the Convention.”

Yang sued the New York State Board of Elections last week, claiming the cancellation “fundamentally denie[d] [voters] the right to choose our next candidate for the office of President of the United States.”

Arthur Schwartz, an attorney for plaintiffs in the case, called the decision an “extraordinary victory for the democratic process.”

“This decision is not a win for Andrew Yang or Bernie Sanders. It is a win for democracy,” Schwartz said in a statement. “And it is also a warning to President Trump not to mess around with our right to vote him out in November.”

Jim Quinn drops out of Queens Borough President race

Quinn out, Ariola in, Dem primary next 1

Queens Chronicle 

When Gov. Cuomo canceled the June 23 nonpartisan special election for Queens borough president, it knocked retired prosecutor Jim Quinn out of the race.

Quinn was one of six candidates vying for the spot but, after consideration, had not put his name in for either of the primaries to be held the same day.

Queens GOP Chairwoman Joann Ariola-Shanks is running on the Republican and Conservative lines in the general election.
Quinn was unsure if he wanted to go forward and decided he didn’t want to run on the Republican line, meaning that even if he won the special election he would have had the job only through the end of 2020. When the party was getting signatures for the general election, it was Juniper Park Civic Association President Tony Nunziato’s name on the petition.

“We were very clear that we were supporting Jim throughout the special election and that Tony’s position on the ballot was as a placeholder to give Jim the amount of time of he needed to decide which way he wanted to go,” Ariola-Shanks said.

Monday, May 4, 2020

A tale of two Queens towns impacts from the coronavirus


On paper, Flushing and Corona, two bordering neighborhoods in Queens, are more alike than different.
Separated by two highways and 
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, the working-class neighborhoods have a large share of foreign-born residents. Corona is predominantly Latino, while Flushing is home to a large Asian community.

Both are high-density areas with similar socioeconomic profiles. They’re linked by the usually crowded No. 7 train.
Nearly half of workers in both neighborhoods are employed in food service, construction, cleaning and transportation — jobs that New York State has deemed essential through the pandemic.

Residents of both places typically have household income below the Queens median and a similar share of people who lack health insurance, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau. And almost half of apartments and houses in both areas have more than one occupant per room, the Census definition of crowded.

Yet when it comes to COVID-19, the differences between the neighborhoods couldn’t be more stark.

Corona emerged as the early epicenter of the outbreak in New York City and shows no sign of slowing down. Meanwhile, the rate of test-confirmed positive cases of the virus among Flushing residents has remained among the lowest in the five boroughs.

The divergent impact of the virus in two similar neighborhoods suggests that low incomes and poor access to health care alone do not predicate the virus’s damage, public health experts say.

The divide between Corona and Flushing also highlights a striking possibility: that early measures many Flushing residents, workers and businesses took to protect themselves — during crucial weeks while city and state government held back — may have made a difference.

“I was very aware when the virus first started in China,” said a Flushing nurse, originally from China, who spoke with THE CITY on the condition of anonymity.

“I knew we’d be hit hard if America didn’t prepare,” she said.