Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Last crap post of 2019: Separated at birth

Smell ya next year crapiteers!

The Queens Machine makes a special endorsement

Hilarious update, BP candidates Costa and Van Bramer are bellyaching about this: 

NY Post 

The Queens Democratic Party machine was up to its old tricks Monday — holding a hastily called, barely publicized meeting before 9 a.m. to endorse leaders’ chosen candidate for borough president, critics said.

“This could’ve been that opportunity to bring in those who want to be part of something larger,” contender and city Councilman Costa Constantinides tweeted. “Sad that won’t appear to happen.”
Party leaders were voting on who to endorse to replace Beep Melinda Katz, who is Queens’ new district attorney, in a special election likely to be held in March.

City Councilman Donovan Richards easily won the executive committee’s vote.

But Constantinides and other contenders were furious over the way things went down, saying the move smacked of a backroom deal.

“Received a letter yesterday, not email, saying @Queens_Dems will hold a district leader meeting this Monday at 845am. No agenda is set …,” the councilman tweeted.

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer also railed against the endorsement process.

“The corrupt Queens Democratic Machine is the opposite of democratic, and Monday’s meeting & endorsements are clearly a sham,” he tweeted. “I beat the county machine in my 2009 insurgent progressive campaign for Council and have proudly stood up against the machine since.
“Queens needs an independent Borough President, not another machine puppet.”

MEGA developer wants rezoning permit for apartment buildings with movie theater and affordable housing components in Astoria


The proposed zoning actions seek not only to facilitate the development but also bring block’s current uses in conformance. On December 4, 2019, the City Planning Commission heard an application by Mega LLC and the Pancyprian Association of American to rezone and redevelop an entire block in Astoria, Queens. The applicants proposed two eight-story buildings connected at the ground floor level with a green space between the buildings. The development includes affordable housing components and the creation of a new theater for the Pancyprian Association.  Nora Martins from Akerman LLP and Emanuel Kokinakis from Mega LLC presented the application.

The rezoning will occur on Block 769 in Queens which is bounded by Ditmars Avenue to the north, 23rd Avenue to the South, 46th Street to the east and 45th Street to the west. The proposed development site is home to two one-story manufacturing buildings located respectively at 22-60 46th Street and 22-61 45th Street in Astoria. One building is vacant and the other is used by a contracting business for parking. On the same block but north of the proposed development site is Pistilli Grand Manor’s parking garage and just north of the garage is Pistilli Grand Mannor itself. Pistilli Grand Manor is a six-story residential condo building that was once home to the Steinway Piano Factory. To the south and east of the site, but still on the block, are one to two family residential homes and Joes Garage Bar, a one-story restaurant. Just a bit further south of the block and development site is the Grand Central Parkway.

The proposed development is a two-section, mixed-use building setback from the property line. The design features a six-story base with two setback floors above. There will be a shared residential landscaped green-roof courtyard between the buildings. The development includes 88 residential units, 28 of which dedicated to affordable housing. The residential tenants will have access to valet parking (70 spaces), a fitness center, resident lounge, play room, party room and an office center. The applicants have 7,060 square feet of commercial space planned for 45th street, adjacent to Joe’s Garage Bar. The 250-seat/ 11,000 square foot theater would be controlled and operated by the Pancyprian Association, but will be made available to other community based groups. Anticipated uses include youth orchestras and choirs, art exhibitions, book talks and panel discussions.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

South Ozone Park illegally parked trucks; it's happening again...


In 2017 and 2018 I wrote into queens crapper about the illegally parked tractor trailers parking in south ozone park on south conduit aves between 125th streets to 127th streets we are now heading into the year 2020 and as you can see the 106 pct is still doing nothing about the illegally parked tractor trailers obstructing drivers views of traffic on south conduit and tractor trailers parking next to residential homes. 

Happy new year. Here is to another year of dealing with this garbage in south ozone park.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

The Boulevard Of Zombie Condo Development

Impunity City

Remember when Queens Boulevard was called the boulevard of death? Well, it has got comparably safer to commute than in the past, but it has been replaced by a new form of existential threat, and that is over-development. With this post, I bring forth three technically new buildings that have been built but have remained strangely unfinished and to this day still yet to be occupied. Yet strangely are already on the market.

Welcome to the christening of Queens Boulevard as the Boulevard Of Zombie Development
Lets begin at this mesh covered monstrosity at 64th St.

 This sign has aged quite a bit, but upon closer inspection, this building was supposed to be completed a few days from now in the year 2018

Next we cross the BQE and find this budding condo building by 70 St.

 Looks like it already is garnering interest..,

 Too bad they are going to have to wait a little longer, this was supposed to be done in Winter 2018.

But the one down the block after 70 St. is more undead than both of them.

 This zombie building is behind schedule for 4 years now.

 This zombie condo building gives off quite an aura of mystery. For who knows when construction actually started for this development and when it actually stopped. And of course why it stopped, for there is no D.O.B. certificate on it like the others and a stop work order was clearly and vainly ripped off the building placard

These photos were taken around late August/early September. I went back around Thanksgiving to see if any progress was made...

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

More flooding in South Ozone Park...this time with abandoned cars on the streets

I live in south ozone park just off south conduit and 130th street. One of the big problems we have here are cars parking in the same spot for weeks and months and not moving.. most of the cars do not belong to people who actually live here. Over the last 5 months it has become unbearable here. This is a very small neighborhood maybe 100 homes in this section of south ozone park. Yes every neighborhood deals with this issue but since it’s so bad here I thought I would let people know how bad it is.. if there was a way to find out what part of south ozone park has the most 311 complaints I’m sure my section would be number 1 on the list.. I must of done a 311 complaint every single day since September. Wether it’s for a abandon car parked over seven days. A car blocking a driveway or hydrant a commercial vehicle parked over night which is another big problem here but that’s a story for another day . Here are some pics of cars parked over seven days some even marked for tow cars with missing plates on the street.

 Some more pics the Honda Civic has been parked on the opposite side of the street for almost two months it’s been ticketed to 

New Queens D.A. Melinda Katz promises less prosecution


NY Post

 Queens District Attorney-elect Melinda Katz announced Tuesday she will go softer on criminal defendants when she takes over as the borough’s chief prosecutor on Jan. 1.

Katz said she will make it easier for criminal defendants to have their cases heard by a grand jury within five days of an arrest, without losing their right to plea bargain.

The former borough president said defendants have a legal right to have a grand jury hearing within five days. But the current policy of the Queens DA’s office refuses to bargain with a defendant who does not wave his right to the five-day grand jury rule.

“Beginning with cases newly arraigned on January 1, 2020, the DA’s staff will at all times be open to discussions aimed at resolving cases and will not withhold plea offers from persons who choose to exercise this statutory right,” a press statement put out by Katz’s transition team said.

Likewise, Katz said the existing policy of refusing to engage in plea discussions with defendants who’ve been indicted by a grand jury “will also be abandoned.”

“The level of evidence necessary to secure a grand jury indictment is a ‘reasonable cause’ to believe that the person has committed the crime. Based on such a low standard of evidence, the rigid refusal to consider options other than a ‘top count’ guilty plea or trial is inconsistent with DA-elect Katz’s commitment to an open minded approach to case resolution that considers all possible dispositions of a case that will serve the ends of justice,” the statement said.

Katz said she made the changes to “foster a new spirit of cooperation” with all parties — including defendants — to seek justice.

Crappy wishes Happy Holidays to everyone

 Impunity City

... and good tidings of comfort and joy. Which you won't get visiting Rockefeller Center.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Resorts World scapegoats gambler for their busted slot machines

https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2019/12/121611casino10matt.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=915  121611casino10MATT

NY Post

Hundreds of angry gamblers at Resorts World Casino in Queens have been busting slot machines in fits of frustration — but a regular claims he was falsely accused by security of attacking a one-armed bandit.

Almost 500 people have been arrested for criminal mischief, many for breaking slot machines, since the gambling mecca opened in 2011. But Bronx resident Pren Mrijaj says the casino has gotten into the habit of accusing people of breaking the machines, and then detaining them until they pay up — “larceny by extortion.”

“At least 150 people have been improperly detained by Casino personnel,” Mrijaj alleges in his Bronx Supreme Court lawsuit, which is seeking class-action status.

Bitter bettors bashing slot machines is not unheard of — but seems to be more of an East Coast phenomenon, casino security expert Alan Zajic told The Post, noting the display or “belly” glass on the machines can be vulnerable.

“If a person gets mad, they hit it with their bag or punch it with their fists and break it,” he said.

“I will tell you it tends to happen more often in markets on the Eastern seaboard,” he said, as opposed to Las Vegas.

 The Queens District Attorney’s office confirmed 493 arrests for criminal mischief at Resorts World since its 2011 opening.


A Long Island City homeowner persisted...


NY Post

They made him many offers he could only refuse.

A Long Island City man rebuffed what could have been a multi-million dollar payout for his home, and now a 45-story condo tower will be built surrounding his property.

Benito Barba’s brick rowhouse with its red trim will be all that’s left on a stretch of 23rd Street next to the elevated 7 subway tracks and a block from the Citigroup tower.

Tavros Capital snatched up seven similar surrounding homes on 23rd Street and on 45th Avenue for prices that ranged from $3.75 million to $6.8 million. Demolition permits were recently filed with the city.

But Barba didn’t budge. He didn’t even want to entertain the offers for his valuable corner property, which is more than 100 years old. The home still has Ely Avenue — the original name for 23rd Street — etched in stone on its front facade.

“This house is very precious to him,” explained his grandson, Omar Aboelneil, 24, who lives with Barba.

He said his 86-year-old grandfather was a retired baker who bought the house with a cousin decades ago.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Broken 30 year old sewer main pipe caused raw sewage to flood houses in South Ozone Park


NY Post

The massive sewage spill that forced dozens of families out of their homes in Queens was caused by a catastrophic pipe collapse — and not a grease clog caused by residents, as city officials initially claimed.

The city Department of Environmental Protection’s six-page review, a copy of which was obtained by 
The Post, found the key clue came from a massive sinkhole that opened in a roadway above where the massive 42-inch sewer main broke.

“The road collapsing due to the subsidence of overburden demonstrates that the 42-inch sewer constructed in 1987 is significantly collapsed, and that any other cause for the November 30th blockage is extremely unlikely,” DEP concluded.

The massive 20-foot deep sinkhole revealed that an estimated 250 cubic feet of dirt had disappeared from the site.

“DEP accepts responsibility,” for the flood of sewage and resulting damages.

It filed the report with the City Comptroller on Dec. 16, clearing the way for the city to pay the South Ozone Park residents for damages.

All told, the DEP said 74 homes were flooded when the sewer line, which was built in 1987 and buried 40 feet beneath ground, broke along 150th Street, near JFK Airport.

The result mess left dozens of residents in the southeast Queens neighborhood waking up on Nov. 30 to the putrid smell of sewage in their basements.

City officials initially pinned the mess on a grease clog in the pipe and even suggested that residents may have caused the problem by dumping grease from Thanksgiving meals down drains.

How did it take 3 weeks to find this out when there was a massive sinkhole in the middle of South Conduit Blvd? When did the EPA actually show up there?

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Undocumented immigrants form a big line to apply for state drivers licenses


PIX News

 Undocumented immigrants in New York will be able to apply for driver's licenses this week after the state's so-called "Green Light Law" went into effect Monday.

The law, which was signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in June, expands the forms of identification that can be used by applicants to obtain a driver's license in the state, including foreign passports and a foreign driver's license.

Unless required for federal ID purposes, the law also stipulates that "the commissioner, and any agent or employee of the commissioner, shall not disclose or make accessible in any manner records of information that he or she maintains, to any agency that primarily enforces immigration law or to any employee or agent of such agency, unless the commissioner is presented with a lawful court order or judicial warrant."

At the time of it's adoption, the law was heralded by supporters as a way to allow undocumented immigrants a way to live and work in the state without having to fear deportation.

"As New Yorkers, we have an obligation to defend other New Yorkers," Gustavo Rivera, D-Bronx, said from the state Senate floor in June. "And every one of these individuals, whether they're documented or not, are New Yorkers."

The law comes into force after a last-minute legal challenge brought by the Rensselaer County Clerk was thrown out by a federal court judge Friday.

"The Green Light law is legal and enforceable, and two separate federal courts have now already dismissed the meritless claims of two county clerks," New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement Friday, referencing challenges to the law.

"Beginning Monday, the law will help make our roads safer, our economy stronger, and will allow immigrants to come out of the shadows to sign up as legal drivers in our state," she said.

"I am disappointed, and hopefully, this is only a setback," Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola said in a statement posted on the county's Facebook page Friday.

On Monday morning, Merola told CNN the county was referring undocumented applicants to the state Department of Motor Vehicles, citing a lack of training.

"We've never accepted foreign documents, and never had to," he said.

de Blasio is setting up a new deal for the city to buy cluster buildings from another slumlord

 NY Daily News

Ashley Taliercio and her two children have been in their Harlem apartment for three months, but it feels like years.

Each day they’re forced to walk a gauntlet of squalor: caved-in ceilings, used condoms, cigarette butts lining the stairways and constant cold inside their claustrophobic studio.

All of it has begun to numb the 30-year-old mother.

“There’s roaches, there’s fighting. There’s people doing drugs in the hallway,” she told the Daily News, her son crying in her arms, her daughter sitting stone-faced on the bed they share. “It’s not safe. But it is what it is.”

Taliercio lives at 148 W. 124 St., one of 14 buildings in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx the city is planning to buy from Mark Irgang, a landlord who already earns money from the city by housing homeless people in emergency “cluster-site” housing.

The land deal, which the city has treated as a closely guarded secret since announcing it in November, is the second part of its plan to phase out cluster housing by buying it and converting it into permanent affordable apartments.

The practice of housing people in cluster, or scatter-site, apartments has come under fire because the units cost the city a fortune to rent, and are often in a terrible state of disrepair.

Buying the Irgang’s 14 apartment buildings outright will also cost the city, however. Property records show the buildings are worth at least $41 million.

And it won’t just cost in terms of taxpayer money. Buying property from shady landlords does not happen without at least some political fallout. The purchase price in phase one of Mayor de Blasio’s cluster site conversion plan was a major headache for him both before and after the deal’s completion.

He came under fire earlier this year when The News revealed the city would be buying 17 buildings from notorious landlords, Jay and Stuart Podolsky. That was phase one of the plan. The brothers ultimately ended up making $173 million on the deal — despite one city appraisal that valued the properties at just $49 million. The city comptroller launched a probe into the appraisal process, which is ongoing.

Further complicating matters in phase two is that the controversial Acacia Network manages some of the Irgang properties.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

NYC Department Of Environmental Protection debuted new sewer infrastructure in Southeast Queens a few days before South Ozone Park homes got deluged with dung water


After breaking ground in the community of Brookville in southeast Queens earlier this year marking the beginning of an $84 million infrastructure upgrade project, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced on Nov. 26 the installation of new storm box sewers to help alleviate flooding. 

DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza joined with the Department of Design and Construction’s (DDC) Deputy Commissioner for Infrastructure Eric Macfarlane and Councilman Donovan Richards to review the progress of the project that includes the installation of 9-foot-by-5-foot storm box sewers. 

“To date, 1,650 feet of storm sewers, 2,500 feet of sanitary sewers and 11,800 feet of water mains have been installed,” the DDC said in a statement to QNS. “Additionally, 25 hydrants were replaced and seven additional fire hydrants were installed as well.” 

The project, which is funded by DEP and managed by DDC, is anticipated to be completed in the summer 2021. The large box sewer will form one of the major spines for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $1.9 billion buildout of the drainage system throughout southeast Queens. 
It was a much-needed development for the area which has historically flooded even with the slightest bit of rain, Richards said. 

“This is one of 55 projects that are slated for southeast Queens over the course of the next decade or two, and these are projects that have been on the books for a very long time, like many other projects in southeast Queens,” said Richards, former chairman of the Environmental Protection Committee, who lobbied for infrastructure investment in the community. 

Going by what happened on Thanksgiving weekend, it looks like this upgrade didn't make it to South Ozone Park yet.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

City Council gets to hear it from South Ozone Park residents about city's shitty response to sewage overflow

120219queenssewer20MATTJamaica Patch

In the basement of Laron Harmon's South Ozone Park home, no space went to waste. It was fully furnished, and Harmon kept all his clothing down there. It's where his daughter, who was back home from college for Thanksgiving, had put her clothes into the washing machine. His 10-year-old son's toys and bicycle were there too.

About 2:30 a.m. on Nov. 30, that basement started filling with waste. Harmon had gotten used to sewage and flooding issues in the three decades he'd lived there, and he cleaned out the sewer trap in his basement twice a year. But he had never seen anything like this.

"By nine o'clock in the morning, I had close to four feet of sewage in my basement," he said.
Harmon was one of four South Ozone Park residents who recounted tales of raw sewage flooding their homes that morning as part of a City Council oversight hearing Wednesday on how city officials dealt with the crisis, which affected an estimated 74 homes.

"I'm one of those families that had to sleep in their car, in my driveway with my children," Harmon said in his testimony.

 Nearly two weeks later, residents like Harmon continue to grapple with the aftermath of the sewage that devastated their homes. Harmon said he still hasn't gone back home, where there's no heat or hot water. Instead, he's living in a hotel.

"I've never seen nothing like this before," he said. "This was a disaster."

City Council representatives lambasted the Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees the city's wastewater plants and sewer system, for being slow to respond to the crisis and promoting a narrative that blamed the backup on residents pouring grease down their drains.

"They certainly didn't deserve to be publicly shamed in the midst of a tragedy," City Council Member Adrienne Adams said.

Adams said her constituents' calls to 311, the city's emergency hotline, went unaddressed for hours and that it took the Department of Environmental Protection hours to arrive at the scene and start fixing the issue.

Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said crews had arrived that morning, hours before Adams claimed, but acknowledged that issues communicating with 311 representatives meant they were slow to realize all the flooding complaints were connected.

Queens Eagle 

 Some lost prized possessions, like clothes, toys and furniture. Others said they waded through knee-deep muck to try to stem the tide of raw sewage. One man questioned how he would ever get the stench of human waste out of his basement, where the wastewater rose more than four feet.

Inside the City Council chambers on Wednesday, South Ozone Park homeowners took turns describing the impact of the sewer backup that flooded dozens of basements during Thanksgiving weekend.

The wastewater affected about 80 houses in the early morning hours of Nov. 30, destroyed belongings and filling home with a lingering odor.

“It was almost like I was in a horror movie,” said Kari White, president of the 149 Street South Ozone Park Civic Association. White described moving from house to house in his neighborhood as wastewater filled neighbors’ basements. He said he refused to even enter one house because it was the stench was so foul.

Comptroller Scott Stringer, who is tasked for making sure these residents get compensated for their destroyed belongings, did not show up at the hearing.