Monday, July 6, 2015

Halloran disbarred

From NY Law Journal:

A former New York City councilman from Queens who was convicted of bribery last year and sentenced to 10 years in federal prison in March has been disbarred.

Daniel Halloran, 44, who was found guilty in July 2014 for his role in a scheme to get former Democratic state Sen. Malcolm Smith to run as a Republican in the 2013 race for New York City mayor, was automatically disbarred, said an Appellate Division, Second Department panel on July 1, which ordered his name stricken from the roll of attorneys.

So this happened again...

From CBS New York:

Witness Joe Illescas said his family was shopping when he believes the driver was trying to park in a handicap spot in front of the store.

“You can see that she was parking, trying to put it in park, she didn’t have it in park, took her foot off the brake and must have accelerated, right inside,” Illescas said. “Thank god there’s no tragedy, call it luck, a miracle, thank god everybody is okay.”

The driver was not injured.

About 15 people were inside of the store at the time. The manager reported she was cut by glass, but no one was seriously injured. Castro reports only the manager reported a small injury
The store is expected to be shut down for a week.

Oh, the hardship!

From Brooklyn Daily:

Community Board 15’s zoning committee roundly rejected a developer’s appeal to get around regulations for a property on Avenue Z, between E. 21st Street and E. 22nd Street over concerns about parking and building height.

The panel voted unanimously against the request at a June 23 meeting after nearby residents showed up to say the planned building would destroy the neighborhood’s character.

“These kind of developments are killing Sheepshead Bay,” said Daniel Colon, who lives across the street from the lot.

Another neighbor even called the developer, Aleksandr Finkelshteyn, a “bull in a china shop.”

Finkelshteyn has filed a request for a variance with the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals seeking exemptions from several zoning regulations. He wants to build up to four stories rather than the three allowed, and to include commercial and retail space in a residential zone. Most controversially, he doesn’t want to provide any parking — even though regulations would require a development of that size to include 32 parking spaces.

The proposed structure’s floor area would be twice the size permitted by the zoning rules, and would include retail space on the first floor, a commercial office on the second floor, and medical offices on the third and fourth floors.

The developer’s attorney told the committee that it was not feasible to develop the property under the current regulations. The lot hosted a gas station until 1995 and an auto shop since then, precluding residential use, and the lawyer claimed there wasn’t enough room for all the parking required.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

State bill outlaws most clothing bins

From the Queens Chronicle:

A state bill aimed at eliminating clothing collection bins from fake charities and introduced by Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) has been passed by both houses of the Legislature.

The measure, which prohibits placing bins on public property, goes a step further than city law by forcing the owners to disclose whether they are operated by a nonprofit group or a for-profit business.

In addition, the owner must reveal whether a bin is operated by a for-profit business partnering with a nonprofit group, a practice known as rent-a-charity.

The owners are subject to fines of up $500 for violations and must meet maintenance requirements.

Will John Paulson stop Steinway Mansion destruction?

From George the Atheist

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day from Queens Crap!

Flag burners run away from flag protectors

Daily News photo
From the NY Post:

Nothing says “rebel” quite like being saved from a pummeling by the men and women you’re protesting against.

The anti-cop group “Disarm NYPD” staged a pre-Fourth of July flag-burning Wednesday night in Fort Greene Park — but the protesters’ plans went up in smoke when a group of furious bikers moved in to teach them a lesson.

The activists had publicized the event as a response to “systemic racism” in NYPD policies. They originally intended to burn a Confederate flag to (somehow) make that point, then changed their minds, opting instead to light up Old Glory. “We maintain, unwaveringly, that both the Confederate flag and the American flag are symbols of oppression,” the group announced.

But when the handful of protesters arrived at the park, they were met by dozens of counter-protesters equipped with water guns.

Then members of the Hallowed Sons Motorcycle Club lit into the flag-burners — at which point New York’s Finest came to the rescue, sheltering the protesters and escorting them safely out of the park.

Seeking solutions for Fresh Meadows flooding

Daily News photo
From the Queens Tribune:

The Department of Environmental Protection is not doing enough to stop the flooding that has plagued Fresh Meadows for decades, residents said at a town hall meeting last Wednesday.

Billed as a meeting “to educate homeowners on how to protect their property from rainwater” and to inform them about recent infrastructure developments to reduce flooding, the town hall at the Utopia Jewish Center turned into a platform for homeowners to vent their frustration about a problem that’s been plaguing their neighborhood since the 1940s.

The strategies addressed two kinds of flooding, both of which occur in Fresh Meadows. The first is sewer backups, caused when sewers exceed their capacity due to heavy rain, and overflow out of basement toilets or floor drains. The second is street-level flooding.

Causes of flooding can range from cooking grease in the sewer pipes to tree roots to roads that slope the wrong way. In Utopia, chronic flooding has led to an abundance of theories on the causes – like a special valve that prevents flooding to LaGuardia airport and redirects the water towards Utopia.

That rumor was dismissed by the DEP. But either way, it’s clear that the problems with flooding in Utopia and Fresh Meadows are systemic. The question is how much the city can, or will, do.

Shelly won't reveal his income

From the Daily News:

Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is already taking the Fifth about disclosing his outside income.

In a financial disclosure statement made public late Thursday afternoon, Silver (D-Manhattan) declined to answer questions about his non-government jobs or outside salary in 2014, citing his looming corruption trial.

“Given pending proceedings in Federal Court it is inappropriate to answer this question,” Silver wrote. “However, this answer will be amended upon completion of the proceedings.”

Cocklofts will hopefully be phased out at some point

Photo from the Forum
From the Queens Chronicle:

When state Sen. Joe Addabbo’s (D-Howard Beach) plan to give tax credits to property owners who seal off cocklofts passed the state Senate on June 18, he grabbed the bill and ran to Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D-Brooklyn), who was sponsoring the legislation in the lower chamber.

“I said ‘Joe, it just passed the Senate we got to get it passed,’” Addabbo told the Queens Chronicle in a telephone interview last Friday.

But the bill sat in the Ways and Means Committee, of which Lentol is a member, as the legislative session in Albany came to an end on June 25.