Sunday, June 30, 2019

Disgraced, steroid using retired baseball player becomes a New York City real estate magnate

NY Post

Yankee legend Alex Rodriguez is continuing his apartment buying spree in New York City — just not with Barbara Corcoran.

Earlier this month, The Post exclusively reported that the retired third baseman had teamed up with the “Shark Tank” judge to buy a 21-unit rental building in the East Village — the first of what was billed by Corcoran as an ongoing partnership to buy multifamily buildings across the city.

Since then, however, the slugger’s A-Rod Corp. has teamed up with real estate investor and operator 
Ofer Yardeni of Stonehenge NYC and brokerage guru Adam Modlin of the Modlin Group in what they say is an exclusive as-yet-to-be-named venture to root out and purchase all sizes of apartment buildings and bulk condominium units in the Big Apple.
Corcoran says she and Rodriguez have already discussed his new venture — and that she’s fine with the pivot.

“They buy big stuff, and I’m a private investor and find scrappy stuff,” Corcoran explained.
As to whether or not Rodriguez continues to invest with her, she adds, “I hope so, because he’s a great partner.”

A-Rod also suggested he made the switch because he wanted to go bigger.

“I have always had the ambition of owning rental apartments in New York,” Rodriguez said in a statement.

“Over the years opportunities arose to do so — however, I was hesitant until I could team up with a local partner in New York with a proven track record for managing through the highly regulated environment,” the former Yankee said.

“After several one-on-one meetings with Ofer Yardeni … I concluded that Stonehenge NYC was the perfect partner for me,” Rodriguez said.

 What is this "big stuff" and "scrappy stuff" Miss Corcoran is referring to? Kind of juvenile descriptions for properties worth 7, 8 and even 9 digits.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

The Chutulu Tower of East Flatbush

NYC Gentrification Watch

Last summer when I rode down Linden Boulevard, I was shocked the see the usually quiet, tree-lined street of wood-frame houses, row houses and 1920s apartment buildings had become one gigantic construction site. Literally dozens of men in hard hats and yellow vests were walking every which way, and cement trucks and materials lined the street on either side. As I explored further, to my shock and dismay, I saw several of Linden Boulevard’s signature low rise town and wood frame houses getting replaced with fugly generic modernist boxes. But just when things couldn’t have gotten worse, I encountered this huge, sprawling hulking monstrosity, right off Rogers Avenue:

The date? July 22, 2018.

The thing was so huge, so massive, I almost passed out. I couldn’t believe it. It took up of what looked like the place of three large apartment buildings, and could’ve have been more out of scale. But a hopeful part of my brain tried to see a silver lining in what looked like a very dark cloud. I thought, 

“Well, this is bad, but at least it’s not overshooting the local area buildings too much. What’s it gonna be? Ten, twelve stories? That’s bad, but it could be worse.”

Fast forward almost a year later, and this…thing…has topped out at 27 stories. It is so huge that the once open skies of East Flatbush and other surrounding areas have been forever blotted. As of June 2019, it is now visible from at least a 3 mile radius in every direction.

 Seeing this thing in photographs, it’s very hard to gauge just how obscenely large, out of context and out of scale it is. But trust me–this thing is so huge, so obnoxious that it is the biggest F*** YOU by developers I have ever seen since the proposed development for Two Bridges

She's not kidding. I went there myself and it's literally a hideous daylight devouring monster certain to cause displacement of the residents of those rowhouses and the neighboring apt. buildings and homes down the boulevard.

Also like to add that it's also the derelict mayor de Blasio's biggest fuck you to the people he swore to help in the still developing "tale of two cities" (pun intended).

Check out those precarious balconies too.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Lumarie Maldonado Cruz wins Civil Court Judge primary


Tuesday night brought an historic upset triggered by an insurgent candidate running against the Queens political establishment.

No, not Tiffany Cabán — this one was a landslide.

Lumarie Maldonado Cruz scored a resounding victory in the borough’s first primary for a civil court judge seat in over a decade, defeating the Queens Democratic Party’s pick, Wyatt Gibbons, by more than 17,000 votes.

Maldonado Cruz, 47, told THE CITY Wednesday she owed her victory to people that are “hungry for change.”

“From the very beginning, people realized that the communities all throughout Queens are being underserved, undermined and ignored,” Maldonado Cruz said. “Last night was another example as to how people will not sit on the sidelines anymore.”

With Cabán leading in the district attorney primary race and Maldonado Cruz’s resounding win, the Queens Democratic Party suffered a double blow.

Maldonado Cruz said she believes Tuesday’s results send “a clear message again that people are taking their power back.”

“Reform starts from within and it is about time that the legal system treats everyone with fairness regardless of race gender creed or other traits,” she said. “It’s about time that the people who bear that responsibility do so without bias or favor.”

Maldonado Cruz, a former Bronx resident who recently moved to Jackson Heights, is currently an attorney for the Character and Fitness Committee of the state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division in Manhattan, which conducts background checks on individuals seeking admission to the New York bar.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

City Rolls Out Blacktop Carpet For Film Shoot In Richmond Hill

Impunity City

In light of the insulting neglect towards the auto shops at Willets Point, here is unadulterated proof of how Bill de Blasio's Department of Transportation prioritizes road improvements for promotional and ceremonial events and film shoots over the needs of the taxpaying citizens from a post I wrote last November. And Liberty Avenue past 122 st. is still in horrid, dilapidated and hazardous condition.

As it was written:

 A week before Halloween, an encouraging sight sprung forth to auto owners and cyclists. The decade long dilapidation of Liberty Avenue beginning at Lefferts Boulevard was about to get repaved with fresh tar and asphalt. Being a cyclist myself, it was elating to finally look forward to a smooth path and finally see the cracks and crevices produced by many winters, persistent double and triple parking and K and illegal U-turns by overtly aggressive drivers remediated.

What’s frustrating about this is that a while back the D.O.T. milled and repaved the entirety of Liberty under the elevated train from Rockaway Blvd to the last stop at Lefferts Blvd but they decided for some damn reason not to stretch out the repaving 15 blocks east to the Van Wyck Expressway to at least make it look compatible as well as prevent the road from suffering from further degradation.

But in yet another case of diminishing returns of half-ass efforts from your city, it turned out that they only repaved 2 fucking blocks.

 Even more frustrating and fucking maddening is that the long overdue road repair was permitted and possibly inspired and demanded to make way for a film shoot.


Willets Point United: DOT Gives Mets Brand New Roadbed, “Stolen” from Willets Point

Willets Point United

On Thursday, June 27, 2019, the New York Mets will hold a ceremony to rename a portion of 126th Street “Seaver Way” – aided and abetted by the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT).

It’s no coincidence that DOT very recently repaved the seven-block stretch of 126th Street to be renamed “Seaver Way.” And DOT repaved it, even though the condition of that street beforehand did not require resurfacing.

Could it be any more obvious, that DOT repaved that street to beautify it for the photo op during the Mets’ street renaming ceremony? That's an unjustifiable expenditure of taxpayer funds
But for Willets Point, the biggest insult is that DOT needlessly repaved 126th Street, while not repairing the nearby, severely dilapidated streets in Willets Point, which property and business owners have pleaded with the City for decades to fix.
If these street conditions existed in any other neighborhood of the City, they would be deemed an emergency and repaired right away on that basis. 
It's like this city is showing contempt for these businesses and telling them to get out right to their faces. This is no different than what a slumlord does to rent-stabilized tenants.

Francisco Moya, who represents this district, is not helping these businesses and doesn't seem to want to.

“Tom Seaver may not have laid the bricks of Citi Field, but he helped set the foundation this franchise is celebrated for,” said Councilman Francisco Moya, who sponsored the street-renaming legislation.

“Whether you were fortunate enough to watch Tom Seaver lead the Amazin’s to a World Series championship in 1969, or you grew up in the glow of that greatness, Queens residents have always known their ballpark was built on his right arm.”
Hey, Frankie, how about naming this neglected road after Pat Zachary? One of the guys the Mets traded for back in '77.


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Bus stop clocks don't know the time

Inactive countdown clocks along an Upper East Side route, seen on June 7, 2019.
Photo by Jose Martinez/THE CITY


Countdown clocks have sprouted at more than 500 MTA bus stops citywide over the last five years, offering one way for commuters to learn how long they’ll have to wait.

But at many stops, time stands still.

THE CITY spot-checked 40 countdown clocks across the five boroughs — and found that one of every five of the high-tech signs didn’t work.

The eight clunky clocks included sites where malfunctioning modems cut off access to real-time bus information — like at West 57th Street and 7th Avenue in Manhattan —  or where power problems have caused extended outages.

“I’ve never seen this thing work,” Bavly Hanna, 21, said of the clock at the Lexington Avenue and East 89th Street stop for the M101, M102 and 103 buses. “I don’t even bother looking at the clock because I know it’s not going to work.”

That’s because the East 89th Street sign has been out of service since July 2, 2018, according to the city’s Department of Transportation, which maintains the countdown clocks through its own crews and contractors.

A few blocks north on Lexington, at East 94th Street, the countdown clock has been on the blink since May 8. THE CITY also found malfunctioning timers along Second Avenue and on West 57th Street in Manhattan, at Vernon Boulevard and 50th Avenue in Queens and at Jerome Avenue and Bedford Park Boulevard in The Bronx.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” said Ray Colon, 74, of The Bronx. “Why put any money into something that doesn’t work?”

Countdown clocks have cost the city millions of dollars since they began appearing at some bus stops in 2014. Last year, five City Council members spent more than $1 million in capital funding to install more.

The rent just got too damn higher

NY Daily News

Rent reform advocates may have notched a big win in Albany this month, but they couldn’t stop the Rent Guidelines Board from raising the rent on stabilized apartments for the third year in a row.

The nine-member board voted 5-4 Tuesday to increase rents by 1.5 % for one-year leases and 2.5 % for two-year leases during a raucous meeting at Cooper Union where protesters often drowned out statements from the panel.

The hike comes days after the state legislature passed a sweeping rent reform package that included lowering the cap on monthly rent increases for major capital improvements to 2% a year from 6%.

“Small building owners are struggling due to high operating costs,” said David Riess, the board’s chair, who introduced the rent hike.

The hike was comparable to 2018′s increase, which saw a 1.5 % hike for one-year leases and a 2.4 % hike for two-year leases.

 Rent advocates and the Legal Aid Society blasted the vote Tuesday night.

“People making minimum wage and with big families can’t take rent increases and pay bills. All this money is going in the landlords’ pockets," said Randy Dillard, 63, a member of Community Action for Safe Apartments.

Legal Aid’s Adriene Holder, who once sat on the board, said the “panel chose to heed the fear-mongering of landlords.”

Infernal amplified chanting heard for blocks by Barclays Arena

No need to worry, Saudi Arabia is our "ally" and are a great and reliant customer of our beautiful weapons. And Al Qaeda wound up being very useful too as proxies in Syria and Yemen. I think our derelict mayor and quixotic presidential candidate would call this vibrancy in action.

Governor Cuomo's LaGuardia choo choo is getting expensive and ultimately useless.

NY Post

It’s off the rails.

The cost of the controversial LaGuardia Airport AirTrain project — which was originally priced at $450 million, then at $1.5 billion — is now estimated to be roughly $2 billion, Port Authority officials revealed Tuesday.
Officials insisted the 1.5-mile-long project will pay for itself — even as they simultaneously announced plans to increase fees on bridges, tunnels, railways and airport facilities.
But critics have panned the proposed service for its bizarre route, which goes past Citi Field instead of into Manhattan. And many travelers say they have no plans to use it.
“People like the privacy, the independence of being in their own cars,” said one commuter at the airport Tuesday.
“I’ll stick with my SUV. It’s worth it.”
In 2015, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo first proposed the route, his office said the AirTrain would cost just $450 million, but the authority said in 2017 that it would actually be $1.5 billion.
The latest estimate of $2.05 billion — which officials say reflects the going rate for new AirTrains — comes out to nearly $800,000 per yard.
The governor argues the AirTrain will provide traffic relief at the Queens airport, which is currently only accessibly by car, bus or foot.
Nearly 90% of travelers currently arrive by car compared to just 6% by public transit, according to Port Authority data.
But while half of LaGuardia travelers are Manhattan-bound, the train’s proposed route will carry travelers east to Willets Point — away from Manhattan — from where they will need to take the Long Island Rail Road or subway into the city.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Katz litter box will relocate from Kew Gardens in 2021

The face you make when you need to find a real job in 2021 (along with the guy who screwed you). Great photo from QNS' Mark Hallum.

Poor Liz Crowley, Jimmy Van Bramer and Paul Vallone will have to wait a little longer to run for BP. Oh, the humanity!

Update: CBS NY this morning and the NY Daily News are still saying this race is too close to call with 3,000 absentee votes still uncounted and Melinda is katerwauling for a recount.

Looks like Lasak wound up giving Caban a hand:

 Gregory Lasak, a Queens prosecutor, took nearly 15 percent of the vote, possibly siphoning support from Katz.
Cabán ran strong in Astoria, Long Island City and Sunnyside. Katz, meanwhile, underperformed in Broad Channel and the Rockaways.

There were Lasak posters everywhere in Howard Beach, Broad Channel, Rockaway Park, Neponist and Belle Harbor. Over 3,000 absentee votes still have to be counted but it's a certainty it went to the retired prosecutor.

Admin Note: The first funny scheadenfruede post was written by the original Queens Crapper, the update is written by your friendly neighborhood LLC.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Some improvements in Flushing Meadows Park

Dear Queens Crapper:

A few years ago I sent you some pictures of this stretch of road in Flushing Meadows Park.  After extensive work there was still significant flooding. Well, that stretch was under construction again recently (for a long time!) but they seem to have solved the drainage problem.  There is still a bit of water but this picture was taken today after a ton of rain this week.  This is on the north side of the lake.  They also fixed a chronically flooded spot on the south side. 
As you can see from the second picture, there is still work to be done, but I thought to be fair to the parks department I should let you know of the improvements.

Rory Lancman drops out of D.A. race to support Melinda Katz

NY Post

In a stunning move mere days before the election, Rory Lancman announced Friday that he’s dropping out of the Queens district attorney race to endorse rival Melinda Katz.

The decision was just as much about old-school Queens Democrats circling the wagons to ensure insurgent Tiffany Caban – a young public defender being endorsed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – doesn’t win as it was about backing Katz, the borough president whom Lancman harshly attacked during the campaign, sources said.

“The numbers are simply not there for me to win this Tuesday’s Democratic primary,” said Lancman, a city councilman.

“And I owe it to the voters, and particularly to my supporters, to acknowledge that fact and withdraw from the race.”

Lancman, who was joined by Katz at a Queens press conference in making the announcement, attributed his bowing out to being “especially concerned about causing a split in the South Queens vote” and “effectively diluting the voice of the community most impacted by the decisions our next DA must make.”

South Queens consists of predominately African American communities, a critical vote in borough primary races.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo also is backing Katz.

One Queens Democratic Party official told The Post that Lancman did the right thing.

If you’re Rory, you don’t want to play spoiler. You don’t want to burn down the house. It’s a big blow to Queens County if we lose this race,” said the official, who requested anonymity.

What does that official mean by "we lose this race"? These are all democrats that are running, how does the whole party lose? It's clear the candidate they are targeting is Caban, but do they consider candidates like Lasak or Malik and the other 3 spoilers too?

More importantly, why did the NY Post protect the identity of this person if he or she serves the constituency of the "world's borough" and says shit like this? Clearly this "insider" as well as "the house" doesn't have the voter's interests in mind and is more concerned with maintaining the power structure of the Queens Machine.

This is all just warped.

And now you readers see why I included that SE Queens article a few days ago.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Rep. Gregory Meeks is a Queens queen maker


NY Post

Rep. Gregory Meeks slammed Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday for their endorsement of insurgent candidate Tiffany Cabán in the race for Queens district attorney.

“I don’t know who they spoke with, but clearly they did not speak with the elected officials of Queens County, or the people who elected them,” Meeks said in a statement. “African Americans have the largest stake in this DA race . . . Yet Warren and Sanders saw fit to endorse without even considering what African Americans thought.”

Meeks, chair of the Queens County Democratic Party, is supporting Melinda Katz in the race to replace the late Richard Brown.

Apparently the congressman doesn't think African-Americans live anywhere else in Queens County. And as for his claim that those presidential candidates don't know what African-Americans think, he must think he has "the Shining".

Joe Crowley is not done with Queens


FOX News

Former U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley may get his revenge by proxy on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a district attorney race -- after being embarrassingly dethroned last year.

Crowley, previously a top Democrat whose years-long political career was derailed by the self-described Democratic Socialist, is opposing Ocasio-Cortez’s growing influence in New York state politics.

He’s helping raise money for Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, a district attorney candidate who’s competing against public defender Tiffany Cabán, the candidate backed by Ocasio-Cortez, Politico reported.

"Melinda and I both grew up here, went to school here, have sung together at countless community parties here, and most importantly have dedicated our careers to improving the lives of the people who call this wonderful borough home,” Crowley wrote in the fundraiser email, asking for donations of $50 to $200.

 “For as long as I’ve known Melinda, she’s always shared my commitment to making Queens a safer, more just place for our families, and I know she’ll do the same from the DA’s office.”
Katz is among the leading candidates in the seven-way Democratic primary to fill the seat that became vacant after DA Richard Brown died last month.

A landlord and his relatives and friends ran illegal Airbnbs in apartment buildings in Astoria

Inside one of the units allegedly turned into a constant short-term rental for tourists.

A ring of illegal hoteliers is facing a lawsuit from the city for allegedly using Airbnb and other "home sharing" websites to turn dozens of NYC apartments into short term rentals for tourists.

On Wednesday, the Mayor's Office of Special Enforcement [OSE] filed a lawsuit against 13 people and entities for allegedly participating in a housing scheme that converted 36 buildings into illicit hotels using Airbnb,, and The complaint named Elvis Tominovic (a licensed realtor with Progressive Realty Group), his father Franko Tominovic, and his mother Loreta Tominovic, of Astoria, Queens, as defendants in the case. Other members of their family and friends, including Susana and Sanya Colic, Dragan Mavra, Neo Panayiotou, and Elvis's sister, Romina, were also allegedly involved in the plot, according to the complaint.

Since at least 2015, the defendants in question "collaborated and conspired with each other, as well as with other unnamed defendants, in a wide-ranging operation to profit from illegal short-term rentals that have converted dozens of permanent residential dwelling units into de facto hotels, and misled thousands of transient guests into booking such unlawful and unsafe accommodations" while netting over $5 million in profits, according to the complaint submitted to the Queens County Supreme Court.

The investigation, which was initiated following a tip from a concerned neighbor, found that the defendants allegedly advertised units in Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx, renting out rooms in dozens of buildings, some of them rent-stabilized, to almost 60,000 guests over five years—while not alerting them that where they were staying was both illegal and unsafe.

Investigators believe the defendants used several shared bank accounts to collect travelers' money, as well as shared phone numbers and IP addresses, to create host accounts on multiple websites. All told, the ring allegedly rented units to almost 60,000 guests over five years.

A three-story building located at 25-58 48th Street, for instance, was advertised as “Big Wonderful NYC Apt in Astoria” for $130 a night. And another, going for $90 a night, boasted: “Big Gorgeous Room for Rent with 2 Closets Astoria," the complaint details. The Queens neighborhood has become a particular epicenter of illegal renting schemes, and, as a 2018 report from the Comptroller's Office posited, home sharing websites have contributed to rising rents in NYC, by taking potential residential apartments out of the rental market. Earlier this year the OSE determined that roughly 

450 permanent housing units in Astoria are turned into short-term Airbnb rentals ever year. In turn, that's exacerbated the neighborhood's rent increases (median rents rose 30% from $1,700 a month in 2010 to $2,200 in 2018, according to the OSE complaint).

In reviews, guests shared much different experiences than the ones they'd been promised at said apartments. They wrote that their units were cramped, had no hot water and heat, and lacked windows. The investigation found that the defendants failed to install the likes of fire alarms and automatic sprinklers when they turned the units into short-term rentals, and purposefully overcrowded spaces: At the likes of 12-10 31st Drive, for instance, a three-family dwelling was turned into 12 different hotel rooms. The New York City Department of Buildings has since issued three partial vacate orders stemming from the overcrowding and fire safety concerns that pose “imminent danger to life or public safety."

Furthermore, the complaint also notes that defendants convinced travelers to lie about their stays, and "misleadingly instructed transient guests to deny access for inspections and to refuse answering the inspectors’ questions, with the goal of: 'Let’s keep Airbnb alive!'"

Thursday, June 20, 2019

City worker ripped off party planning money for years at the Oak Ridge House

 NY Daily News

A city parks worker allegedly filched $30,000 in payments from people reserving space in a historic Queens mansion for weddings and other celebrations during a four-year spree, authorities said.

Nicole Gamory, 44, of Brooklyn, diverted security deposits and four-figure payments to her personal account from clients booking events at the Oak Ridge House, a stunning 1905 Dutch Colonial building in Forest Park.

“Gamory was entrusted with payments from clients looking to reserve a singular experience for joyous milestones, including birthday celebrations and wedding receptions,” said Margaret Garnett, commissioner of the city Department of Investigation. “Instead, (she) crashed their parties by allegedly pocketing the funds.”

The crooked clerk was suspended from her $59,000-a-year job. She was charged with a string of larceny and fraud charges.

Starting in 2014, Gamory allegedly collected checks and money orders from clients for planned events.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Dead baby abandoned in Bayside park turns out to be a toy.


An infant who was allegedly found dead in Bayside’s Crocheron Park turned out to be a lifelike doll set up by a sick prankster, according to police.

Multiple sources confirmed that what was initially believed to be the body of a deceased infant was actually a doll “made to look like it was decomposing.”

At around 8:15 a.m. on June 18, officers from the 111th Precinct responded to a call about a baby who was unconscious and unresponsive in the vicinity of 215th Street and 35th Avenue. A runner had reportedly stumbled upon the baby’s body around 7:40 a.m.

The report triggered a massive response by the NYPD and the Fire Department. Nearby residents were alarmed by the response. People in Bayside who heard about what had allegedly occurred took to social media to express their shock and condolences.

But then the truth was uncovered.

Reports later confirmed that the “baby” was actually a doll that was colored pink and blue, which police described as “very realistic.” The fake baby was so realistic that it initially fooled NYPD and EMS personnel who responded to the scene.

It’s not clear, at this point in the investigation, who planted the doll in the park and called in the “dead baby” report, nor did police know of a possible motive for the sick ruse. They are currently searching for cameras in the park to see if they can catch the culprit.

Despite this being a warped prank played by some stupid asshole(s) that wasted emergency service time from the citizenry, how the living hell the cops and the EMT's could not tell that it was a doll?

NY State Senate legalizes street usage of e-motored cycles and motor scooters


The state legislature is on the verge of legalizing e-bikes and e-scooters in New York City after a deal was reached Monday.

Lawmakers will vote Wednesday on legislation originally introduced be state Senator Jessica Ramos and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic that would end the de Blasio administration ban on e-bikes used by thousands of immigrant delivery workers as a public safety issue while NYPD statistics show they caused just 9 pedestrian injuries in 2018.

“For many of my neighbors, who are immigrant delivery workers, using alternative modes of transportation is a matter of livelihood,” Ramos said during a June 17 rally with workers in the State Capitol Building. “Legalizing e-bikes and e-scooters is a matter of equal access to our streets and our city.”

Ramos added the legislation will decriminalize the work of the estimated 30,000 food delivery workers who use e-bikes daily across the five boroughs.

“From lost wages and confiscations, delivery workers in New York City have been impacted by the ongoing criminalization of unregulated e-bike for far too long,” Rozic said. “Passage of this bill would not only deliver economic justice for thousands of workers, but also bring New York into the fold as micro mobility takes shape across the country as a means to provide affordable transportation alternatives.”

The de Blasio administration adopted a conciliatory tone.

“We appreciate this commonsense legislation that clarifies the rules around e-bikes on our streets,” City Hall Spokesman Seth Stein said. “Safety for everyone on our roads is a priority, and we look forward to work ing with legislators and communities as we deliver plans to implement the new law.”

 I wonder which foot delivery app Assemblywoman Rozic ordered for that word salad. I don't know what economic justice will be served now that these electric motorcycle users will certainly be emboldened to break traffic laws to make their deliveries. "Micro-mobility"??

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The rats have gentrified Long Island City

Long Island City residents have been complaining about trash piles around Queens Plaza North, June 15, 2019.
Photo By Christine Chung, THE CITY


 Glossy skyscrapers aren’t the only things rising in Long Island City: On one street, garbage — and rats — are mounting outside a building filled with city agencies.

On 28th Street and Queens Plaza North, next to JetBlue’s offices and near two major subway stations, trash piles regularly tower several feet high.

Dozens of translucent trash bags brim with discarded food, with a Tetris-like grid of cardboard boxes piled alongside. Then there are bags of shredded document confetti, all produced by the occupants of 28-11 Queens Plaza North — a nine-floor building housing various city agencies, including outposts of the Departments of Education and Transportation.

Local residents say the trash has forced them to share the sidewalk with a mobile mischief of rats.

“You see them every night scattering and you hear them,” said Maria Halpern, 63, who has lived on the block for a year with her daughter Katie. “You know the dead people in ‘Game of Thrones?’ The White Walkers? That’s how they march down the block.”

Last summer, Whitney Booker, 36, moved into a newly constructed 16-story building just down the block, enticed by lower rents than where she’d previously lived in Manhattan.

“There were like a mafia of rats living there…. You know how at the Jersey Shore the seagulls aren’t even afraid of people anymore?” asked Booker. “The rats would almost give you a death stare if you’d try and go there.”

This story mostly focuses on the city office building. Pretty sure the mountains of garbage produced by the dozens of luxury towers in that dense area is a big factor too.

Governor Cuomo ratifies State Senate bill for undocumented immigrants to get drivers licenses


Undocumented New Yorkers notched a historic win on Monday night as Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law restoring their right to apply for a driver’s license.

The governor’s signature came after the state Senate narrowly approved the bill, which had passed the Assembly last week, marking the latest show of force by the newly Democrat-dominated Legislature.

Cuomo injected some last-minute drama earlier in the evening when he publicly weighed a veto, expressing concerns the measure would expose license-holders to the scrutiny of federal immigration officials.

He asked for assurances from state Solicitor General Barbara Underwood that the bill was legally defensible. When her boss, state Attorney General Letitia James, declared the “legislation is well crafted and contains ample protections for those who apply for driver’s licenses,” Cuomo gave in.

“Governor Cuomo has supported this policy for over a decade,” Alphonso David, the governor’s counsel, said in a statement. “The key to this bill is not the political intent but the legal effect. We hope the Attorney General’s assessment is correct for the safety of the thousands of undocumented individuals who are relying on her legal opinion.”

 The bill passed the Senate 33 to 29, with all six Democrats from Long Island and one Hudson Valley Democrat voting against the measure, raising the political stakes for the governor.
Opponents of the bill argued it would handcuff law enforcement officials, and some county clerks have threatened not to follow the law. Supporters say the change will ultimately make roads safer, cutting down on unlicensed drivers.

The bill carries high stakes for an estimated 200,000 immigrant New Yorkers who would be eligible to apply and have been navigating life without access to state-issued identification. For them, standard interactions with law enforcement can lay down the groundwork for deportation.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Southeast Queens towns still being underestimated in elections
Queens Eagle

The predominantly black neighborhoods of Southeast Queens comprise one of the country’s largest and most reliable Democratic strongholds.

The region is rich with engaged and informed voters who head to the polls in high numbers, and yet, neighborhoods like St. Albans, Cambria Heights and Hollis are often ignored by local election-watchers — and candidates themselves.

Local leaders and organizers say that is the case again in the wide-open, seven-candidate Democratic Primary to replace the late Richard Brown for Queens district attorney.
“We’re used to it,” said Donnie Whitehead, a local activist who has endorsed Mina Malik for Queens 

District Attorney. Whitehead and his wife JoAnn Whitehead co-founded the organization CommUnity 1st alongside organizer Oster Bryan. “Black folks have been voting Democratic for the past 60 years only to see the Democratic Party ignore black voters.”

“If they don’t spend time here during their campaigns, then when they get into office, forget about it,” Whitehead continued.

The influential organizers gained notoriety when they rallied behind Barack Obama in the 2008 New York Democratic primary and helped deliver the 5th Congressional District for the future president, even though party leadership had backed Hillary Clinton.

Southeast Queens elected officials with deep ties to the Queens Democratic Party have lined up behind Borough President Melinda Katz, who has a campaign office in Rochdale. U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, the county party chairperson; Assemblymember Alicia Hyndman; and Councilmembers Adrienne Adams and Donovan Richards are among the dozens of elected officials who have endorsed Katz.

Whitehead said they don’t necessarily represent the perspective of everyday voters.
“That has nothing to do with what people are thinking on the ground,” Whitehead said.

One of the overlooked factors in Bernie Sanders losing the NY primary to Hillary Clinton back in 2016 is that he didn't stop by there and Hillary did by going to a baptist church.

Better know your civil court judge candidates



 The Democratic primary election for Queens district attorney isn't the only race coming up this month. Queens Democrats will also get to vote for civil court judge — for the first time in decades.

Typically the Queens County Democratic Party chooses candidates for judicial openings and they run unopposed. This year, one of the four open seats is contested: Attorney Lumarie Maldonado Cruz is running against the party's pick, defense lawyer Wyatt Gibbons.

The election is countywide, meaning that anyone in Queens who is registered as a Democrat can vote in this particular race.

The New York City Bar Association, which evaluates candidates in contested primary elections, recently rated Gibbons approved and Maldonado Cruz not approved. But a campaign staffer told 
 Patch that Maldonado Cruz chose not to participate in the bar association's interview.

"Candidates rated Approved have affirmatively demonstrated qualifications necessary for the performance of the duties of the position for which they are being considered," the bar association's website says of its ratings.

 The city's civil courts deal with "everyday legal problems," mainly cases involving less than $25,000. The relatively informal small claims court, which deals with matters involving under $5,000, is also part of civil court.

Civil court judges serve 10-year terms, during which they're assigned to different court divisions, known as "parts," or to do miscellaneous court work. Assignments may include family or criminal courts.