Tuesday, February 21, 2017

If you can't tax them, ban them

From the Daily News:

Mayor de Blasio said he's "very open" to banning plastic bags outright after the state legislature and Gov. Cuomo blocked a city law to impose a five cent fee on the bags.

Albany intervened to stop the city for at least a year from requiring stores to charge five cents for plastic and paper bags. City pols say they wanted to encourage shoppers to ditch the environmentally harmful bags for reusable ones.

"That was one way of doing it. A ban is another option, which I'd be very open to," de Blasio said Monday night on NY1. "The one thing I know is the worst possible outcome is what we have right now. Vast number of plastic bags are just harming the earth. It's not good for any of us."

Are DOT's plaza projects misguided?

From QNS:

Local businesses in Ridgewood are feeling the pain during a months-long project to make the 71st Avenue Plaza a permanent site.

Much like their Glendale counterparts — who are facing plaza construction issues of their own — several businesses that abut the ongoing construction site along Myrtle Avenue are seeing a decrease in customers, and in turn, a decrease in profits.

Although businesses are hurting right now, Ted Renz, executive director of the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District (BID), asks business owners to look at the bright light at the end of the tunnel.

“Once the sewer project is complete, then work will be going on in the plaza itself,” Renz said. “Vincent Arcuri (chair of Community Board 5) and I met with the contractor with DDC (Department of Design and Construction) on [Feb. 16] and he expects the sewer project, with the big gray sewer connections, to be completed in three weeks. Then work will be commencing in the plaza itself and the visibility will be greatly improved.”

Renz also mentioned that once construction is completed — scheduled for September of this year, according to the contract — that the new permanent plaza will be a major boon to the same businesses that are suffering right now.

Defective cables cause frightening explosions

From CBS 2:

A series of manhole explosions rocked a Queens neighborhood Monday, damaging several cars parked cars and leaving dozens without power.

Just before 11 p.m., an electrical fire shot blue flames out of a manhole on Queens Boulevard between 67th and 68th avenues in Forest Hills.

Some people who live nearby captured one of the blasts on video. In a matter of minutes, two more explosions sent smoke billowing into the air.

Con Edison officials told CBS2 the blasts were caused by defective cables underground.

“Then all of a sudden I saw huge pieces, I couldn’t tell if they were — if they were metal or concrete, but I saw three huge pieces fly,” said Ben Benyamin.

That airborne debris landed on parked cars, cracking windshields and crushing hoods. It took the FDNY nearly two hours to extinguish the raging flames underground.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Bronx parking garage collapses

From CBS 2:

Dozens of cars were damaged when a parking garage in the Bronx suddenly collapsed on Sunday morning.

Collapsed concrete crushed cars inside a two-story parking garage, with the wheels of one vehicle clearly visible coming down through the roof of 3000 Jerome Avenue in the Bronx.

Firefighters got the call just after 6 a.m. Sunday when part of the second story loaded with cars came crashing down on vehicles below.

One employee was inside at the time, but wasn’t injured.

The Department of Buildings ordered the structure to be vacated and issued the owner a violation for failing to properly maintain the building.

De Blasio jobs prediction is full of crap

From the Observer:

Nearly everyone noticed the lack of detail in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s State of the City proposal to create 100,000 “good-paying jobs”—and it appears that’s because it’s simply an extension of what the city’s mayoral-controlled Economic Development Corporation has done for the past 15 years.

The jobs proposal was the centerpiece of the State of the City address de Blasio delivered at the Apollo Theater in Harlem last Monday night. De Blasio vowed his policies would produce 100,000 positions over 10 years in a variety of sectors throughout the city, with salaries ranging anywhere from $50,000 to $75,000 a year or more.

The mayor promised work in film and TV, technology, life sciences and “advanced manufacturing,” though declined to offer much in the way of an explanation of how the city would generate these jobs.

“This new addition, this new focus on creating more and more good-paying jobs, this will be the new frontline in keeping New York City affordable,” he said.

For the mayor’s emphasis on what a “new” and ambitious undertaking this is, a 2016 report from the New York City Industrial Development Agency, a public benefit corporation that the EDC runs, credited its combination of tax incentives and bond financing with the creation and preservation of approximately 146,000 jobs since 2002. That would average roughly 10,428 jobs a year.

This would suggest that the mayor’s plan for 100,000 jobs between Fiscal Year 2018 and Fiscal Year 2028 is merely a projection of a pattern of growth the IDA and EDC established over the past decade and a half.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Brooklyn house hole

Just wanted to point out that a construction fence around the side yard is not very effective for a house demolition...

Not sure what happened here; an application for mechanical demo was approved in 2014, yet this is what the building looks like today, vacate order and all. They want to replace it with an 8-unit building.