Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Despite whatever it says on the signs on Mayor de Blasio's dais or podiums, crime has gone up in Queens.


“Look, I want to put this in perspective; we had in 2017 a record setting year,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio at a press conference about citywide crime on Jan. 3. “We had crime down in ways that no one believed possible previously. And in 2018 the NYPD beat the record again. ”

But according to NYPD data, rapes, murders, felony assaults and incidents of grand larceny have increased in Queens.

In 2017, there were 50 murders, 307 rapes, 2,823 robberies, 3,820 felony assaults, 2,914 burglaries, 7,842 incidents of grand larceny and 1,568 incidents of grand larceny auto in the borough.

According to NYPD end-of-year crime statistics, there were 63 murders, 389 rapes, 2,523 robberies, 3,848 felony assaults, 2,496 burglaries, 8,070 incidents of grand larceny and 1,555 incidents of grand larceny auto in 2018.

It was the bad old days, it is the new bad days.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

High school freshman assemble at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge to protest it's closing during Trump's shutdown of the government


About 120 ninth-grade students from Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School in Forest Hills, rallied at the shuttered Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center on Thursday in an effort to raise awareness on how the ongoing federal government shutdown is impacting their education, school and communities as a whole.   

Students presented their solutions to environmental issues on Jan. 17 and advocated for the opening of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center — located at 175-10 Cross Bay Blvd. — where they’re unable to complete their fieldwork investigations, due to the government shutdown.

The students acknowledged the hardworking rangers at the refuge — and other national parks — who aren’t being paid, saying, “They’ve done so much for the bay such as cleaning it up, and making sure people have a good time.” 

Together they chanted, “Don’t shut down my education…whose parks…our parks!” as they concluded with their final message: “Speak your mind, reach out, make your voice heard, after all power comes with unity.”

Each year, ninth-grade students in Living Environment class work with the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, which is part of the National Parks System, to study ecological systems and human impact in a real-world setting. At the conclusion of every semester, students present their findings at the Visitors Center as part of their final presentation of learning.

Conflicting asbestos controversy at upcoming homeless shelter in Glendale.


The city Department of Buildings (DOB) has confirmed that work on a defunct Glendale factory was not outside the bounds of the existing permit on the site, but Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) confirmation is still pending that no asbestos was disturbed during work on the building to convert it into an office building after a Tuesday morning inspection.

Multiple city agencies were investigating allegations that workers illegally removed asbestos material from 78-16 Cooper Ave., which was long rumored to be a potential homeless shelter.

That plan may be a step closer toward becoming a reality. In August, the owners of the building submitted an amendment to their application to include a “transient lodging house” which has not yet been approved, according to a DOB spokesman.

The DOB said they have not received specific floor plans for review on the amendment yet, but that the owners hoped to build a facility to accommodate about 100 beds.

Holden’s office, however, has said the DOB informed him of an issue with their records and this amendment goes back to August instead of January which the DOB confirmed.

Video surfaced on the Glendale Civic Association Facebook page on Monday night that depicted two individuals who claimed to be “from the community” confronting a worker who had been supposedly removing floor tile from the site.

 Last night, Glendale residents noticed workers at the property and expressed their concerns by contacting my staff and I, and submitting 311 complaints,” Holden said on Jan. 15. “One of my staff members went to the scene last night, and I stopped by the site this morning when NYC Environmental Protection was responding to the situation. After placing several calls to the commissioner’s office, the DEP has informed me that a stop-work order was issued until test results confirm whether or not asbestos was disturbed by the workers.”

"World's Borough" Queens has lots of houses for sale.

 The number homes that were on the market in Queens took a sharp increase at the end of the year, according to a recent report.
StreetEasy recently released their Q4 2018 Market Report, which tracks the real estate trends throughout the city. According to their findings, the number of homes for sale in New York City as a whole grew at double-digit rates, particularly in Queens, which saw a 30.8 percent annual increase in 2018.
In the wake of the Amazon HQ2 announcement, Long Island City saw a 45.2 percent increase annually in sales inventory, which was the most out of all the Queens neighborhoods.
The report found that the number of homes that were offered a price cut rose to 19.3 percent, marking a 5.6 precent increase year-over-year in Queens. However, the median price cut amount remained unchanged at 4.5 percent.
The fourth quarter report also found that the StreetEasy Queens Rent Index increased 2.6 percent annually, reaching $2,164. However, the share of rentals advertising concessions fell to 9.6 percent in Queens, marking a 5.6 percent decrease annually.

Burglaries are up in northeastern Queens

 Image result for burglar


Northeastern Queens residents beware: burglaries are on the rise in the 111th Precinct according to area police.

The Bayside-based precinct reported on their Twitter account that house break-ins were becoming especially prevalent in areas west of the Clearview Expressway.

According to precinct Captain John Hall, nine burglaries occurred from Jan. 10 to Jan. 18. The map shared on their Twitter page showed that five out of the nine burglaries happened within the Auburndale neighborhood.

 In the precinct’s yearly crime recap, Hall reported that the precinct experienced their “lowest burglary number ever” in 2018, with 163 reported incidents in 2018 versus 167 burglaries in 2017.

Wow, down by four! Keep your eyes peeled anyway.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Councilman Ulrich, one of 24 candidates running for Public Advocate, targets the Dope From Park Slope on his platform.

 De Blasio issue No.1 in Ulrich campaign 1

 Queens Chronicle

The field of candidates running for public advocate next month is starting to resemble the start of the New York City marathon. So Eric Ulrich, the three-term Council member from Ozone Park, has found a simple message to stand out.

“If people love Mayor de Blasio, if they think he’s doing a great job and think the city is headed in the right direction, then they have 20 other candidates to pick from,” he said in an interview this week with the Queens Chronicle.

“If someone is looking for someone to be a public advocate [who] is not afraid to be independent of the mayor, then I’m their candidate. That’s why I’m running.

Ulrich, who turns 34 two weeks before the special election February 26, is a popular figure in his South Queens Council district after his surprise victory in a 2009 special election and then winning re-election three times in an area that is overwhelmingly Democratic.

He is barred by term limits from running for City Council again when his current term expires in 2021.

I personally think this position is redundant, after all the majority of these candidates are already in city council, so they are already advocates for the public.

Amazon sends glossy junk mail to Queens residents.

Queens Chronicle

“Happy New Year from your future neighbors at Amazon.”

That’s the message in one of two fliers being sent to residents in Queens as the company tries to win over residents in its controversial move to the borough.

“The announcement of our new headquarters in Long Island City was the beginning of what we hope will be a long and mutually beneficial partnership between New Yorkers and Amazon,” the mailer says.

The positive aspects of the move are touted in both fliers, including the creation of 25,000 new jobs over 10 years and career training for residents.

The first flier says Amazon will be a “partner” with the community.

The flier also encourages people to call state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) or other state lawmakers to tell them to support the project.

Gianaris has been a critic of Amazon’s move to Queens.

"It's ironic that Amazon wants billions of our taxpayer dollars and is spending so much to convince the people of western Queens that it is entitled to those dollars," Gianaris said in a statement. "People will not be fooled by slick advertising — they will continue to be against the Amazon deal and so will I."

Critics of the company’s move to Long Island City have pointed to the $3 billion in tax breaks as well as concerns about the impact on housing prices and if there is enough transportation to handle all the new commuters.

Monday, December 17, 2018

How San Francisco deals with illegal teardowns

From KPIX5:

The San Francisco Planning Commission made an unprecedented ruling against a developer this week, demanding that he rebuild a replica of a famous house he had illegally demolished.

The residence — known as the Largent House — was in San Francisco’s Twin Peaks neighborhood. It was built in 1936 and designed by one of the most important modern architects, Richard Neutra. Among the unique features of the 1,300-square-foot house was an indoor swimming pool.

The owner, Ross Johnston, bought the property last year. The planning department gave him a permit to renovate the house, but they did not give him the permission to demolish it.

The city believes he wanted to build a 4,000-square-foot mansion on that lot and flip it for a profit.

Earlier this week, the planning commissioners voted 5-0 to order Johnston to build the exact replica. They also want him to put up a sidewalk plaque that would let people know the original Neutra house was demolished.

Johnston’s lawyer declined to comment on our story. The city says even if he tries to sell the property, whoever buys the lot will have to build the replica.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

It's our 12th anniversary

Hi all,

This blog was started 12 years ago today. Not much has changed. Actually, as we're sure you've noticed, it's only gotten worse.

Many crappy returns.

- Crappy

Friday, December 7, 2018

UPDATED: Is the Parc Hotel being converted into a shelter?

Response 12/8/18:

"Hi, this is owner from the parc hotel. I saw your blog posted the parc will be homeless shelter. That’s all rumor, parc hotel is planning to renovate floor by floor during this winter but still bookable during renovation. its never gonna be homeless shelter!

Thank you so much."

Guangyang An

Original post:

"Not sure if you've heard but they are converting the Parc Hotel on College Point Blvd in Flushing to a homeless shelter. The apparent move in date is Sunday, 12-9-2018. The management team that runs the hotel had been fired a few days ago and they are moving forward with this conversion. I've tried to contact CB7 to confirm about this, but if its true, this is pretty major considering there was no meeting or notice about this and to only find out about it the Friday before the move in date is pretty extraordinary. I really hope this isn't true but I was wondering if you had heard anything about this.

Flushing Resident"

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Call to reopen Engine 261 in light of Amazon deal

From the Queens Chronicle:

Even before Amazon opens its doors to 25,000 additional workers, Long Island City’s fire response infrastructure is already stretched too thin. The area needs a new firehouse, and with Amazon on the horizon, there is no longer time to wait.

Fifteen years ago, long before many of Long Island City’s high-rise towers emerged and tens of thousands of residents moved to a once industrial part of town, the city closed a longstanding firehouse dedicated to the protection of the neighborhood, Engine Co. 261.

This shortsighted move to close Engine 261 left the neighborhood highly vulnerable even at the time of its closing. The Uniformed Firefighters Association, elected officials and civic leaders alike protested the closing, and Mayor de Blasio himself — then a member of the City Council — was part of a lawsuit attempting to block the move.

Fast forward to 2018 and Long Island City has continued to transform, with new high-rise apartments and office buildings worsening the problem.

The nearest fire engine company is 10 blocks away from the old Engine 261, and the greater distance trucks must travel has meant an increase in response times, putting lives at stake — not to mention the increase in traffic and congestion due to the influx of people. Across the city, our firefighters are doing more now with fewer resources than ever. The FDNY has broken its run record for five consecutive years, and unit availability is at an all-time low.

Long Island City, more than any other neighborhood in New York and by some estimates the country, has seen an incredible amount of growth in the last decade. But unacceptably, its fire response infrastructure has not grown with it.

Katz shills for Amazon and BQX

From Metro:

Since Amazon announced that its HQ2 was coming to Queens, New Yorkers have wondered how the fraught NYC subway system and other infrastructure throughout the city will be able to handle the influx of workers. Now, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz has an idea.

Katz on Monday called for Amazon to pay for the construction of the Queens-Brooklyn Connector (QBX), also called the Brooklyn-Queens Connector (BQX).

The BQX is expected to stretch 16 miles, from Sunset Park, Brooklyn to Astoria, Queens, Mayor Bill de Blasio detailed back in 2016.

“A substantial and meaningful investment by Amazon that helps ensure the feasibility of QBX would be a fair investment into its new home, and a welcome opportunity for a good corporate neighbor to directly benefit the existing, impacted communities of Western Queens,” she continued.

The connector should also include a free transfer to MTA subways and buses and reduced ‘Fair Fares’ for lower-income New Yorkers, according to Katz. But since subways can still easily become overcrowded when Amazon HQ2 moves into Queens, she added that the Long Island City and Hunterspoint Avenue LIRR stations should become “full-time stations with enhanced service.”

Katz previously said that Queens is “primed” for Amazon and overall supports the deal, but is now acknowledging the neighborhood’s infrastructure needs.

Let's hope this ass becomes DA so we don't have to deal with her land use stupidity anymore.