Friday, May 27, 2022

Rage against the Rockaway Beach restoration


Impunity City 

From what it looked like on the first 90 degree day of the spring on the week before the “official start of summer” this Memorial Day weekend, the possible was achieved. For the fences that were supposed to deter people from going on the shore that were there for their safety were torn apart and beach combers made do with what little space on the sand there was.

The beachcomber rebellion was most glaringly apparent by B 91 street where the temporary summer shut down of the beach began. Two large stop signs were pried off and fencing was cut off to prevent access to the citizenry for their safety.

 Heading down the ramp towards the perilously eroded shore was a sight to behold as people made do and set up their places with what little sandy real estate they can find under the omnipresent cranes and some plows left behind for the continuing reconstruction of the shore to save the peninsula from being submerged.

Queens is still the city's bastard stepchild

City sues developer for damages to Elmhurst firehouse


PIX News  

  Firefighters are a beloved part of the neighborhood and the firehouse represents safety and security.

But in Elmhurst, Queens along Grand Avenue, the building that houses the FDNY is showing some wear and tear. Neighbors fear it may have to close. The city says the structure needs to be rebuilt or significantly repaired.

In a lawsuit filed this month, the New York City Law Department, which represents the mayor and city agencies, seeks to recover $23 million.

“We are determined to hold these owners and their contractors responsible. They should pay for the costs the City has incurred to address the dangerous conditions and get this firehouse fully repaired,” said NYC Corporation Counsel Sylvia Hinds-Radix.

The city built a shelter across from the firehouse in a side street to park the heaviest vehicles.

James McMenamin lives nearby and works with the Newtown Civic Association. “There had been no work for 11 years and then this past year work began again by another development company,” he said.

Neighbors are working with local elected officials and community boards. “The firehouse must stay open. If they’re thinking of closing it, it has to be relocated close by,” said Sally Wong.

Part of Councilmember Bob Holden’s district is covered by the firehouse. “It’s unfortunate a firehouse is to be displaced and an entire street closed. The community is distressed by this on a number of levels. What do we do if we build another building? How long will that take,” he said.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Ray Liotta dies

Wall muito GIF - Find on GIFER 

Star of the greatest movie based in Queens.

MTA's depleted workforce has exacerbated transit delays


NY Daily News

Train crew shortages are the leading cause of the thousands of subway delays straphangers endure each month, new MTA data shows.

Crew shortages delayed 10,563 subway trains last month, or 18% of the 58,266 subway train delays reported, MTA data show.

A lack of crews accounted for more delays this year than any other cause — including public conduct and crime, which delayed 5,355 trains, or 9% of the total delays, and and signal failures and emergency track repairs, which delayed 2,701 trains, or 5% of the total, the MTA’s data shows.

Delays pegged to crew shortages in April were down from the 16,783 reported in August, when Janno Lieber took over as Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman and launched an aggressive hiring effort.

The MTA employed 7,773 people in April for subway service delivery — mostly train operators and conductors. That’s down slightly from 7,812 in January and about 9% fewer from the end of 2019, when the agency employed 8,562 people in subway service delivery.

One cause of the shortages was a hiring freeze put in place during the first year of the pandemic, a decision MTA leaders at the time defended as a cost-saving measure to keep the agency’s finances above water.

Hiring was also slowed by the agency’s “transformation” team formed in 2019 under former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. MTA chief administrative officer Lisette Camilo during a board meeting called that effort a “tornado” that consolidated teams “so quickly that some functions were left without a home.”

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Donovan Richards civic engagement committee features the Department of Transportation Alternatives dominating the bus redesign hearing



Conspicuously absent from the city bus redesign hearing is anyone from the MTA. Also funny is how there are more people who desire to screw up the streets and bus routes than there are about discussing the housing crisis. 

Oh, and hold the hearing on zoom instead of doing a live town hall or even a hybrid hearing of course so the bike/public space scientologists can also dominate the discussion and cut off residents whose lives will be impacted by their shit ideas. Another grossly unethical exploitation of antiquated pandemic guidelines.

The deliberately forgotten woman of NYCHA



The headline is fixed. This is what NYCHA did instead of making the apartment accessible for a low income earning citizen or family

Sprawling (alleged) affordable housing development approved in Far Rockaway



The city’s plan to rezone a portion of the Rockaway peninsula in order to transform neglected publicly owned vacant lots into affordable housing, retail, amenities and open spaces, while mitigating flood risk and growing the coastal ecology was unanimously passed by the City Planning Commission on May 11.

The city’s Housing Preservation and Development initiative which would place eight acres into a community land trust, which was set in motion in 2015, will now head to the City Council in the next step of the public review process.

“The City Planning Commission’s unanimous support of the Resilient Edgemere Community Plan conveys its strength and marks an important step forward,” HPD Press Secretary William Fowler said. “We are grateful to the Edgemere community, the local elected officials, and partners across city government for their continued input as we look forward to building a more resilient future for this neighborhood.”

The proposed land-use changes will bring more than 1,200 much-needed affordable homes, including more homeownership opportunities to Edgemere, which was inundated by the flood surge from Superstorm Sandy nearly a decade ago.

“On top of ongoing work from the federal government to help make this neighborhood more resilient, the city is also dedicated to protecting it from flooding and storm events,” City Planning Commission Chairman Dan Garodnick said. “The creation here of a Special Coastal Risk District will limit development along Edgemere’s low-lying Jamaica Bay shoreline, which is a really high-risk area that experienced significant damage from Superstorm Sandy. We are taking lessons learned from that tragic event and putting them into action to create a more resilient and protected neighborhood on the Rockaway Peninsula.”

AMI is not enough to pay the rent



New Yorkers need to double their average income just to afford the escalating median rent in the Five Boroughs, a study from the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) revealed.

That was just one finding released Tuesday in the HPD’s annual survey conducted to evaluate housing and vacancy throughout the city.

These findings concluded – among other things – that in 2021, the city’s overall household income would need to double in order to afford the median rent price of $2,750.

Even so, the vast majority of available residences are taken, as the HPD reported a citywide vacancy rate of 4.54%.

The survey aims to create a comprehensive profile of the city’s housing stock, neighborhoods, populations as well as housing vacancies in order to glean crucial insight to inform policy to make a more equitable city.

The New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey is a critical tool for our understanding of the city’s housing market,” said Mayor Eric Adams following the release of the report on May 17. “New Yorkers can be confident that, despite all of the challenges, this year’s survey was conducted professionally and methodically — thanks in part to Intro 70, which I signed in March. The findings are clear: Our city’s affordable housing crisis is as dire as ever, and that’s why I am working every day to create and preserve the high-quality, affordable housing hard-working New Yorkers need and deserve.”

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

MTA undermines and represses community and commuter's concerns at town hall meeting

The Wave 

In a setting more akin to a Cold War Soviet show-trial than a NYC Town Hall meeting, MTA officials at Feb. 6’s transit meeting in the YMCA spent time patting themselves on the back discussing their accomplishments and future plans before moving on to pre-screened questions from the audience.

A group of five transit officials sat at a table at the front of the room and began the meeting with a series of stats and charts to show how the MTA has improved service over the year before opening up to a Q&A session. Many in the audience, however, felt the bureaucrats ignored the real questions and censored the voices of those in the room – a fact which led to at least one person to call out “I thought this was America!” during the proceedings. 

 “Tonight was a sham,” said an exasperated John Cori.  Cori, a Community Board 14 executive board member who made the aforementioned “America” statement, spoke to The Wave following the meeting.

“It was censorship, it violated our constitutional rights to freedom of speech by censoring our questions. I put two in, and they both were not read. I was one of the first ten people to put questions in, and the woman went through them, picked and chose what she wanted to give, and gave them the cream-puff questions.”  

“The meeting was mind-numbing because of the way MTA chose to filter the questions, but not surprising” added local transportation advocate Rick Horan. “They like to control the conversation and so the value of this… is a little dubious.”    

 Among the hard-hitting questions that MTA rep Lucille Songhai pitched to the panel were whammies like “can everyone talk about how they got here this evening,” and even then the bureaucrats on the board failed to appease. “We came here on the A-Train of course!” was the answer many gave, an answer which left several in the audience wondering if the blatant pandering had any truth to it. 

 “I will gladly escort you to the station!” an incredulous Glenn DiResto replied from the rear of the room, echoing the doubts of many as to the “everyman” persona the officials were trying to portray for themselves. Like so many other comments of the evening, however, this too was ignored by those on the panel, and Songhai teed up yet another softball for the board.

“You talked a little bit about what you’re doing for people with disabilities beyond elevators. I was hoping that you could talk about one particular aspect that you feel most proud about,” and “who cleans up racist graffiti” were among the other thrillers the MTA decided to regale the crowd with during the Q&A session. And even when they did touch upon questions locals were interested in – questions regarding the possibility of a revitalization of the H-train from Mott Ave. to Beach 116th or the truncation of the Q22, among others, – the officials again failed to deliver.

The H-train, it seems, is nothing more than a pipe dream, as the officials stated that the inclusion of the H-train would create further reliability issues on the A-line because the new train would displace other cars in the terminal. As for the Q22, panelists said that the ridership numbers west of 116th were very low, but officials did say that they were still listening to community input and would take that input into account before rolling out any final changes.

The lack of any solid, productive answers led to more than a few outbursts from the crowd, and local Democratic District Leader Lew Simon at one point – tired of being ignored – made his way to the front of the room and tossed a letter from a local student on the panelist table, urging them to read it and see how their proposals would impact the people of the peninsula.

“This is a petition from an 8-year-old child who rides the Q53 every day,” Simon shouted, reminding the agency reps that their decision was impacting the way local children would get to school. 

 Admin note: A commenter alerted me this post was 2 years old. My fault for not checking it date since I put it up in a rush. 

Monday, May 23, 2022

Mayor Adams normalizes censorship


Reclaim The Net 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has used this month’s Buffalo shooting to call for more social media censorship.

Speaking live on PIX11’s Morning Show, Adams was asked by the host Hazel Sanchez what could be done about regulating social media.

“Governor Hochul, she was on PIX11, demanding social media platforms be held accountable. Now, you’ve been calling for that since the suspected Brooklyn subway shooter, Frank James, allegedly posted racist rants online,” Sanchez said. “But social media’s been around and unregulated for a long time. So what kind of change can you see happening?”

Mayor Adams responded, saying that it was time for social media platforms to start using “artificial intelligence to identify words, identify phrases, to immediately remove and censor some of this information.”

Mayor Adams likened the censorship techniques to the removal of President Trump’s Twitter account; “We did it to Donald Trump on Twitter. He was dangerous to the country. So why aren’t we doing it to the everyday people who are using it and is dangerous to our neighborhoods and communities?”

Likening his censorship demands to his similar demands for social media platforms to censor some forms of rap on social media, Adams stated, “The type of violence that’s being promoted on social media is beyond anything I’ve ever witnessed before.

“Particularly in some of the drill music that actually taunts and threaten people. There’s a direct correlation. That’s the type of social media monitoring we believe the social media companies should do.”