Sunday, October 23, 2016

Abandoned Fresh Meadows property to be sold at auction

From the Queens Chronicle:

An abandoned Fresh Meadows home will finally go up on the auction block after laying untouched for more than 10 years, state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) announced in a statement last Friday.

“I am extremely happy to be able to tell the community today that as a result of the relentless efforts of my office and the incredible help of the public administrator this property is no longer going to haunt the community,” the senator said.

The house, located at 50-19 175 Place, will be auctioned by the Public Administrator on Dec. 7 starting at 11:00 a.m. at the Surrogates Court, located at 88-11 Sutphin Blvd., Courtroom 62.

If anyone is interested in buying the property, you can go to or call (718) 526-5037.

Someone in power finally gets it?

From the Queens Chronicle:

South Corona can’t take it anymore.

That was the message on Monday when Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D-Jackson Heights), state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, Bronx) and Community Board 4 District Manager Christian Cassagnol gathered outside PS 16 to call on the City Planning Commission to look into downzoning the overtaxed neighborhood.

“Corona is growing. Old one- and two- family homes are being replaced by multifamily dwellings and buildings,” Peralta said. “Simply put, development is going too fast right here in South Corona and that is making things very difficult for residents seeking better services and students seeking a quality education.”

According to the lawmakers, the area’s infrastructure network simply cannot keep up with the seemingly never ending construction of multifamily developments.

Fire and police units are already stretched thin and parking is incredibly scarce, they said, but it is the sheer lack of school space that is hurting the community the most.

AirBnB bill signed by Cuomo

From NY1:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on Friday designed to crack down on the online advertising of multi-family dwellings in New York City — a measure seen aimed at limiting the popular online rental service Airbnb.

The bill’s approval is a win for affordable housing advocates who have decried the impact Airbnb has had in New York City. It is also a win for the Hotel Trades Council, a small but politically influential labor union that has backed efforts to regulate Airbnb.

And the legislation was backed by the Real Estate Board of New York, a monied and influential coalition of property owners in New York City.

“This legislation is an important step toward stopping illegal behavior that takes precious housing units off the market, threatens hotel workers’ jobs and hurts the quality of life for residents in our City’s multifamily buildings,” said John Banks, III, President of the Real Estate Board of New York. “We would like to thank the Governor as well as the members of the State Senate and Assembly for addressing this critical issue.”

Airbnb, meanwhile, has signaled on Friday afternoon it will file a lawsuit to challenge the measure.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Homeless family joins anti-shelter rally, tells de Blasio to stop lying

From PIX11:

More than 100 demonstrators, along with bipartisan coalition of three state senators and two city Council Members, stood at the steps of City Hall Friday to speak out on Mayor Bill de Blasio and DHS Commissioner Steven Banks' mismanagement of the homeless crisis.

"Dump the dope from Park Slope! Dump the dope from Park Slope!" they chanted loudly. The chants have echoed in the outer boroughs in recent months and were heard loud and clear Friday morning.

One of the demonstrators at the rally, Alan Diaz, is a working father of two children. He also has been homeless for two years.

"The system is only getting worse," Diaz said.

The evidence is all around the city's landscape with cardboard, shopping carts and mini-encampments becoming more prevalent.

PIX 11 News asked Diaz if he had any message for Mayor de Blasio considering his office was a few yards behind him.

"To make a change, to make the system better, to stop saying that is better and actually make it better. And stop lying to the people and tell them the truth," Diaz said.

A Mayor's Office spokeswoman responded for the Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Banks in an email statement:

“Local elected officials should have the courage to take on this problem with the mayor, rather than rally against housing homeless children in their communities.”

Raw videos from rally can be watched here.

College Point concerned about pipe placement

From the Queens Tribune:

Nearly 100 College Point residents gathered in MacNeil Park on Saturday to protest the Department of Environmental Protection’s plan to build a stormwater outfall pipe in what environmentalists have said is a sensitive area.

The area in question contains wetlands that a local environmental organization called the Coastal Preservation Network (CPN), which called for the protests, has been working on restoring for nearly a decade. Over the years, CPN has orchestrated volunteer clean-ups of the waterfront area, planted sea grasses and installed oyster reefs to help the area thrive.

The pipe is part of a $132 million infrastructure project, funded by DEP and being constructed by the Department of Design and Construction. The stated goal of the project is to reduce sewer drainage into Flushing Bay and the Upper East River. Currently, three combined sewer outfalls overflow into Flushing Bay during heavy storms, flooding the area with untreated sewage mixed with rainwater.

The new outfall will be in a different section of the park, and will contain only stormwater—no sewage.

“DEP is investing more than $130 million to permanently end the annual discharge of nearly 50 million gallons of pollution into the waters surrounding College Point,” said DEP in a statement. “Contrary to the claims, it is quite clear that this work will significantly improve water quality and the health of nearby wetlands and oysters.”

Kathryn Cervino of the Coastal Preservation Network, the organization that organized the “Day of Outrage,” said that the efforts are an improvement for the overall health of Flushing Bay and the Upper East River. However, Cervino argued, by moving the location of the outfall, it could now overflow into the wetlands. And while the new overflow is ostensibly just stormwater, Cervino explained that during heavy storms, stormwater often picks up contaminants from the streets, like asphalt debris, road salt, deicing chemicals and oil from vehicles.

“It still has a lot of drawbacks for the wetlands,” she said. “We just want there to be some safeguards so that all our work hasn’t been in vain.”

A Frank Lloyd Crap special?

You might want to check out the progress of the construction of the Hunters Point Library over at Curbed. The photos are quite something.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Build-It-Back deadline will be missed

From NBC:

The "Build it Back" program will not make its goal to rebuild Sandy-ravaged homes by the end of the year. Pei-Sze Cheng reports.

Willets Point businesses may get evicted from the Bronx

From NY1:

An 80,000-square-foot warehouse in the South Bronx was just renovated.

It was supposed to house a collection of 45 auto-repair businesses, but it stands empty. There is not a car in sight.

For years, the 45 businesses operated in the shadow of Shea Stadium, and then Citi Field, in Willets Point, Queens. But Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration wanted them out to make way for a $3 billion residential and retail development. The city paid them $7.6 million to move to the South Bronx, but their money ran out before their new home - that warehouse - was completed.

The 45 businesses operate as the Sunrise Cooperative. Their money gone, the businesses face eviction by the owner of the warehouse, but they have filed for bankruptcy hoping to prevent that. They want the city's Economic Development Corporation to provide $3 million more so they can pay their bills and finish construction.

And the auto workers aren't asking for a handout. They are willing to pay the city back to simply complete the project.

But the EDC tells NY1 the businesses should look elsewhere to borrow money.

Salamanca says it's the city's responsibility to help these mostly immigrant businesses.

"These businesses didn't ask to be put in this position," he said.

Electeds knew about Queens shelter plan in 2014 - did nothing

During a debate held in Rockaway on Wednesday evening, Joseph Addabbo revealed that Queens elected officials were told by Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Emma Wolfe at a meeting in 2014 that Queens was about to be bombarded with homeless shelters because we didn't have "our fair share" of them.

These fantastic representatives of ours strangely sat on this information and allowed the rollout to happen rather than raise holy hell in an effort to stop it. And they think they deserve re-election?

In fairness, the response of the challenger, Mike Conigliaro, is presented.