Sunday, September 25, 2016

De Blasio sends crew to film protesters; makes propaganda video

As previously reported here, there was a joint protest held among Maspeth people and Bellerose/Floral Park people yesterday. We'll get to that soon, but in the meantime, we thought you'd like to know that the mayor spent your tax dollars to send a camera crew to the protest to film his constituents exercising their constitutional rights. They then took this footage and incorporated it into a video that exploits homeless children to make the mayor and DHS Commissioner Steven Banks look like heroes when in reality, they are warehousing women and children in hotel rooms without kitchens or access to public transportation. Unless a subway line in Bellerose opened that we weren't made aware of.

If this isn't the epitome of "fauxgressive" behavior, then we don't know what is.

Court Square "civic" forming

From DNA Info:

Court Square, a longtime hub for office workers that's grown increasingly residential over the last few years, is getting its own civic organization dedicated to shaping future development.

The Court Square Civic Association will hold its first public meeting Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. at MoMA PS1. It will feature a panel discussion with City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, Penny Lee of the Department of City Planning and Paul Januszewski of the local developer Rockrose.

You all always have developers at your civic meetings, right? Say no more. ROFLMFAO!!!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Patel's thinking twice about homeless hotels

From PIX11:

Avella, along with Grodenchik and Nassau County Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, announced Friday that the owners of the controversial the Quality Inn in Bellerose, targeted for most of the summer to become a shelter, are looking to end their relationship with the homeless agency and scrap plans to house the homeless, effective Jan. 1. This is the second hotel owned by the Patel Group that has promised no longer to serve and house homeless people.

Coincidentally, this is the same hotel that PIX11 News exposed last December. Back then, homeless services was booking rooms for $175 a night — yet PIX11 was able to book them on their corporate site for significantly less.

Homeless services leadership has not responded to numerous requests for comment during the past month.

Patel has 2 hotels on Jericho Turnpike that he converted into shelters. A protest today will visit two of them.

Not exactly transparent

From NY1:

NY1 and the New York Post have sued the mayor over his refusal to turn over emails between top city officials, including himself, and Rosen.

In this case, though, the city did turn over some e-mails to NY1. But while we received 87 pages of e-mails in all, we learned that when the mayor had something to say, it was often blacked out.

When de Blasio sent a New York Times story about stagnant middle-class incomes to top city advisers, Del Cecato and his wife, Chirlane McCray, his note to the group was redacted.

It was the same with a New Yorker story about Hillary Clinton that he forwarded to his wife and Del Cecato. The mayor's message is blocked.

"These emails show how ridiculous it is to designate these consultants as agents of the city," said Dick Dadey of Citizens Union. "These emails, in particular, are benign. They are talking about political stories and news stories, and for them to be protecting the mayor's comments just shows how ridiculous this whole matter is.

De Blasio's handling of his emails have also raised complaints that he is failing to live up the transparency promises he made as a candidate for City Hall.

Building it Back on the city's dime

From the Wall Street Journal:

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration plans to use $500 million in New York City taxpayer money to fund initiatives related to superstorm Sandy that were expected to be fully paid for with federal aid, city officials said Wednesday.

The city’s plan to infuse half a billion dollars into Sandy recovery and storm-protection programs comes as the cost to U.S. taxpayers for repairing and elevating some of the houses damaged by the 2012 storm could hit about $1 million a home, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Tishman Construction submitted a package of bids to the city earlier this month to elevate 53 homes in Queens damaged by the 2012 storm for $50 million, according to documents and a person familiar with the bids. Tishman is overseeing hundreds of properties in the Build It Back program, an initiative dedicated to assisting owners whose homes were damaged by Sandy.

Build It Back has, to date, been bankrolled with federal Sandy relief funds allocated to the city by Congress through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The federal government is also funding a number of storm-protection initiatives aimed at protecting the city in the future.

But significant cost overruns in Build It Back appear to be leaving city taxpayers on the hook for some of the storm-protection initiatives. The program is about $500 million over budget.

Ciafone looking to flip Sunnyside Theatre

From Sunnyside Post:

...the site that once housed PJ Horgan’s, Dime Bank, a neighborhood dentist and Center Cinemas on 43rd Street and Queens Boulevard is back on the market.

John Ciafone, who bought the property from Dime Bank for $6.65 million in December 2012 has put it on the market for $19 million.

Ciafone originally said he would develop the site and construct a 5-7 story building with about 60-70 apartments and ground floor retail.

At the time he notified the owner of Center Cinemas and the dentist that he would not renew their lease. He also told PJ Horgan’s he wanted them to leave too.

That's quite a firewall!

Sometimes you just pass a Queens Crap specimen that boggles your mind. I have to say that a wall like this is something I've never come across before.

This appears to have been a subdivision in order to build an "attached" two-family house.

The old house needs a lot of work, and the new one apparently still does as well.

Friday, September 23, 2016

W train coming back soon

From NY1:

NY1 has confirmed that the W train will be returning Monday, November 7, running from Astoria to Whitehall in Lower Manhattan.

The W, which was discontinued in 2010, is being brought back in advance of the Q train being rerouted once the Second Avenue Subway opens.

The MTA still is aiming to open three new stations at 72nd, 86th and 96th streets by the end of the year.

Arverne owners file lawsuit over poor construction

From Crains:

Households who bought affordable condominiums in a city-sponsored Queens development are now stuck with $10 million in repairs due to shoddy construction, a lawsuit filed earlier this month alleges.

On Sept. 1, the condo board for Waters Edge at Arverne sued the Briarwood Organization and its principals, which built the 130-unit complex in the Rockaways after winning a request for proposals issued by the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development. The board is seeking a total of about $150 million from the developer and another $60 million from the project's designers, AIA Architects.

Waters Edge, a development for low- and moderate-income households, was approved during the Bloomberg administration and completed in 2009. The complex is composed of 65 two-story buildings featuring a condo unit on each floor. The average cost for a two-bedroom unit was $188,000 and $300,000 for a three-bedroom.

Among several causes of action, the suit alleges that gutters, roofs and the frames of doors and windows were improperly installed and sealed, which has led to standing water, leaks and structural water damage. The findings were detailed in a 2015 report commissioned by the law firm Adam Leitman Bailey, which is representing the board. Many of the boilers in the complex were also installed contrary to the manufacturer's directions, residents said, which has left some homes without enough heat and causes a particular room to remain perpetually cold.

Additionally, the suit claims at least two aspects of Waters Edge's design violate the city's building code, even though the plans were approved by the city's Department of Buildings. For example, a valve to shut off the water supply to the apartments should be located in each unit, according to building code. But at Waters Edge, valves for both units in a house are located in the first floor condo. Similarly, the electric code states that every resident will have "ready access" to a box of circuit breakers. But in the complex, both circuit-breaker boxes are located within the top unit's garage. According to a Buildings Department spokesman, the city conducted several audits of the blueprints before construction began, but did not cite the owner for the locations of the water shut-off valves or circuit boxes.

Preet nails Cuomo donors

From The Buffalo News:

A massive pay-to-play scheme involving alleged bid rigging of state contracts involving hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money was outlined by federal prosecutors Thursday in a case that targets longtime advisers and major donors of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Manhattan-based U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s case alleges bribery, extortion and tax evasion. It also muddies a picture of ethical cleanliness that Cuomo has sought to portray of his administration since taking office in 2011.

Bharara, the prosecutor who has brought high-profile and successful cases against a lineup of state legislators, said Albany’s plague of corruption has now touched the executive branch of government.

“I really do hope that there’s a trial in this case so all New Yorkers can see in gory detail what their state government has been up to,” Bharara said in unveiling the Justice Department’s case against nine people, including Cuomo advisers Joseph Percoco and Todd R. Howe, and Alain E. Kaloyeros, president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

Louis P. Ciminelli, the Buffalo developer who is chairman and CEO of LPCiminelli, also is accused in the pay-to-play scheme. But allegations stretch across the state

They destroyed paradise to put this up

Followup on previous Queens Crap post from 2014.

Above photo was before. Bottom photo is now.

You can judge for yourself whether or not this improves the neighborhood the way the alleged owner claimed he would in the comments section last time around.