Thursday, April 22, 2021

The Blaz diverts federal stimulus funds to tourist ad campaign

 

NY Post 

 New York City is launching a $30 million tourism advertising campaign — the largest in Big Apple history — to revive an industry that’s been gutted by the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday.

“We need to let people know we’re open for business. It’s safe to come here. Join this amazing moment. Come to this city that’s been so heroic during this crisis,” de Blasio said during a City Hall press briefing.

The campaign aims to boost Gotham’s hotel, restaurant, arts, entertainment and taxi industries and bring back the 400,000 jobs that were connected to tourism pre-pandemic.

It’s the “largest campaign ever to promote tourism in New York City and it will remind people this is the place to be,” de Blasio said. “There is no place like it in the world.”

The campaign is being funded through federal stimulus money, according to City Hall. Typically, the city spends around $3 million annually in tourism advertising.

“Tourism has been an important part of life for this city, an important part of our economy — hundreds of thousands of jobs depend on tourism,” said Hizzoner, who insisted the 400,000 jobs in the city supported by the tourism industry “will come back.”

“We are absolutely certain,” the mayor said. 

 Fred Dixon, president and CEO of the city’s tourism bureau NYC & Company, explained during the briefing that the “major comprehensive marketing and advertising campaign” will kick off in June with the message that “all five boroughs are open, vibrant and ready to safely welcome back visitors and business events.”

There should be no more fucking doubts about who Mayor Big Slow de Blasio prefers to serve, besides himself and his running gag political career. This dumbass decided to devote 30 million dollars from President Biden’s stimulus recovery bill for an ad campaign begging tourists to come back to New York City. Showing once again that he is more concerned for the leisure of visitors than for services for his constituents who still go wanting.

Although this ludicrous boondoggle city p.r. campaign is supposed to start in June, it’s clear that this money was already spent wasted before the Blaz announced it in the most surreal daily briefing he has done so far during the still existing pandemic for a video produced by the city’s office of tourism, NYC And Company (a city government bureaucratic agency that really has absolutely no use for the residents of the five boroughs).

This 30 million could be used for the basics of city services. Increasing transit service by hiring more drivers, fixing storm drains and catch basins, reallocate funding for sanitation and restoring more hours for corner trash pickups and all fixing all the fucking potholes and cracks on the streets, avenues and boulevards.

But the most interesting and overlooked thing this 30 million could be used for, especially how often de Blasio speaks about equity, is to implement a Universal Basic Income stimulus for the poorest citizens of NYC until the merciful end of his final term as mayor. Doing this would also put a crimp into Andrew Yang’s own campaign for mayor, since it’s the most recognizable policy of his platform.

Rents go down near subway stations

 https://www.renthop.com/content-manager/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/2021-nyc-subway-median-rent-map-hi-res.jpg

 QNS

With many New Yorkers avoiding the subways this past year, rents for apartments above major train stations, including several in Queens, saw a severe drop in price during the first quarter of 2021, a new report found. 

Rents decreased in the areas immediately surrounding 418 of the city’s 473 subway stops from January 2021 until the end of March 2021, according to the report from RentHop. In Queens, the biggest drop came around the M train’s Forest Avenue stop in Ridgewood, where the median rent for one-bedroom apartments dropped by over 21 percent year-over-year. 

Renting for $1,800 on average, the one-bedroom apartments’ drop in price around the Forest Avenue stop was among the top five biggest declines in pricing across the city. 

Just one little unsettling thing about this data. The median rent nearby Mott Ave. in Far Rockaway went up, which is where "affordable housing" apartment buildings just went up. And the other four areas in the Bronx that saw the rents rise follow recent rezonings approved by the Blaz. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Judge approves luxury public housing over-development around toxic Gowanus Canal

 


 NY Post

A Brooklyn Supreme Court judge allowed City Hall to move ahead Monday with controversial plans to build thousands of apartments near the Gowanus Canal, the site of one of the biggest pollution cleanups in the country.

Judge Katherine Levine made the ruling after the Department of City Planning offered to hold hearings for the proposal outside and virtually — instead of entirely by video conference, as officials had previously sought.

City planners have been pushing to rezone Gowanus since the Bloomberg administration — arguing the area would be far better served by building housing amid the city’s pressing shortage than by hanging onto warehouses, which have had little use since heavy industry moved out of the Big Apple.

Under the current proposal, developers would be allowed to build more than 8,500 apartments in the neighborhood — 3,000 of which would be rent-stabilized and set aside for low-income, working-class and middle-class families.

The exact income levels have not yet been determined. Officials estimate it could take until 2035 for all of the newly allowed buildings to be finished.

de Blasio comes out against Astoria power plant because it's not green enough

 


 LIC Post

Mayor Bill de Blasio has come out against NRG Energy’s proposal to overhaul its Astoria power plant, saying that the plan should be nixed since the plant would continue to rely on fossil fuels.

The mayor joins more than a dozen elected officials who have come out against the proposal over the past year arguing that the plant should tap into renewable energy sources.

NRG plans to replace its 50-year-old Astoria Generation Station with a natural gas-fired generator that it says would significantly reduce its carbon footprint at the site.

But the mayor, like many other elected officials, argues that the plant should rely on green energy.

“We must break our addiction to fossil fuels,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement. “The best way to do that is to champion projects that put us on a path to clean energy and stand against projects that reinforce our addiction.”

De Blasio also announced his opposition to the replacement of a power plant located in Gowanus, Brooklyn, operated by the Astoria Generating Company. That company plans to overhaul one of its two plants—which is powered by natural gas‐fired units. It will also close the plant that isn’t upgraded.

The mayor says that NRG and Astoria Generating Company should be building plants that don’t depend on “fracked gas.”

“Replacing the Astoria and Gowanus plants are the wrong projects. We need our partners to explore solutions that advance our transition to a green economy, because those are the solutions that ensure a healthy and safe future for all New Yorkers,” de Blasio said.

The Mayor, at his press briefing Monday morning, added that the plants “would take us backwards, not forwards.”

“They are plants that would unfortunately place us in the past,” he said, noting that it would continue “a fossil fuels dependency.”

“They should not be allowed to go forward,” he said.

It's going to get pretty dark in LIC and Astoria pretty soon. On the bright side, at least a lot of people moved so some energy will be conserved.

de Blasio restores funding to build new NYPD station in Southeast Queens and patrols to stop vagrancy in Midtown

 

QNS

After 40 years of advocacy and hard work, southeast Queens residents can rejoice as Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday, April 20, that funding for the new 116th Precinct and community center has been restored to the city’s capital budget. 

The long-awaited 116th Precinct and community center — that will serve the neighborhoods of Rosedale, Springfield Gardens, Brookville, Laurelton and the southern portion of Cambria Heights— will be fully funded, according to de Blasio, as he unveiled his Safe Summer NYC initiative during a press conference. 

“These are things that the community has said will improve the quality of life and will allow the community to literally get what they need. This fight has been going on for decades, and once and for all, we will be able to provide the support for the community in southeast Queens,” de Blasio said. 

Plans for the precinct include a street plaza and a community center with a food pantry to help feed families amid the pandemic. Southeast Queens community leaders commended the mayor for addressing the issue by restoring funding to the capital budget. 

Referencing the struggle that started in the 1970s for the creation of a new police precinct amid public safety concerns, Congressman Gregory Meeks said it is “indeed a day of celebration” for the residents of southeast Queens.

“We want this new police precinct to be a part of this community and that’s why it was essential to have a community center attached to it. We will have that inter-exchange and engagement so that we can work closely together,” said Meeks, who created the 116th Precinct Task Force when he was elected to the state Assembly in 1992. 

Newly elected Council member Selvena Brooks-Powers said the announcement is a “major victory” for her district’s civic organizations that have fought for equity, city resources and calls for the creation of a new precinct. 

“This group has spent countless hours fighting for much needed and deserved equity. They have dedicated many hours towards strategizing and organizing around the need for a new precinct that would help to reduce response times,” Brooks-Powers said. 

For Brooks-Powers, the creation of the 116th Precinct represents more than merely a station house — it represents equity and also a step toward a more progressive and inclusive approach to community safety, she said. 

The 116th Precinct was approved by Community Board 13 in October 2018. In its 2019 statement of community district needs and budget requests, the board cited youth and children’s services as one of its three most pressing needs, citing the fact that “there is no community center in QCB 13 for our young people to socialize and exercise.” The Roy Wilkins Recreation Center will not fulfill that need, as it’s located with Community Board 12’s district. 

The neighborhoods that would have been covered by the 116th Precinct are currently being policed by the 105th Precinct — the fifth largest precinct in the city, covering 354 miles of roadway — which has set up a satellite office on North Conduit Avenue next to the Rosedale Long Island Rail Road station. The satellite precinct has been in operation at a limited capacity since 2007.

The 105th Precinct posed consistent challenges to fully serving neighborhoods in the southern half of its jurisdiction, according to Brooks-Powers. This resulted in long-standing disparities, response times and safety of families in the district. 

“The new 116th Precinct requested by the community since the 1970s was designed and slated to remedy this gap. It has been a long time coming to this point — a lot of frustration and loss of funding in last year’s budget,” Brooks-Powers said. 

NY Post

Mayor Bill de Blasio finally realized that defunding the police didn’t work out as he hoped — and has now ordered the NYPD to make Midtown Manhattan safe again so workers will come back after more than a year of pandemic lockdowns.

At least 80 uniformed officers and supervisors are expected to flood the area within the next two weeks after being redeployed from around the city to combat violent vagrants and other safety issues, sources familiar with the plan told The Post.

An NYPD deputy inspector will be in charge of the newly created “Business Improvement Unit,” which will be based out of the Midtown South Precinct, sources said.

The plan didn’t originate from the NYPD but was developed in response to a series of recent meetings the mayor held at City Hall with his staff and police brass, sources said.

It followed months of pleading by business leaders and others for the mayor to crack down on criminals and vagrants running amok around Penn Station and elsewhere.

As an example of the long-festering problem, a Vornado Realty maintenance worker said there’s “a whole crew” of vagrants who lie on the sidewalk near 34th Street and Eighth Avenue “every morning.”

 “The people come out of the stations shocked. You can see in their faces, they can’t believe what they see,” the workers said.

“I am finding vomit, feces, needles. There is no one here controlling them.”

Recently, the situation has raised concerns that it will keep people who’ve been working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic from returning to their offices.

“They are afraid for their safety walking from the train to work, and they are afraid to ride the train,” one source said.

A Midtown office supervisor said that without a dramatic turnaround, it could cost the city “hundreds of millions of dollars” in business.

“There are too many random assaults by people wandering through the street,” a source said. “The attacks are being done by people who were just dumped in Midtown with no one providing any services.”

A real estate industry source summed it up: “We need action.”

 Under the NYPD’s plan, the redeployed cops will be assigned to foot posts across Midtown and accompany workers from the Department of Homeless Services and the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection when they go out into the field, sources said.

“The mayor and the local politicians didn’t want the police to deal with the homeless and peddlers but now that their plan failed miserably, the mayor is asking the police to help clean up the mess they created,” a Manhattan cop said.

Another source said, “The mayor’s plan failed and privately he realizes it.”

Paul Dimino, third-generation owner of the Sea Breeze Fish Market on Ninth Avenue, called de Blasio “an idiot.”

 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Leaving LIC and Astoria

 


 LIC Post

 Thousands of residents fled western Queens in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report published by the real estate group CBRE.

The report — which analyzed 29 million USPS address changes across the nation — found that nationwide people last year vacated large, costly cities in much bigger numbers that in previous years.

The nationwide trend rocked New York City. When the city became the epicenter of the pandemic, New Yorkers left in massive numbers. The Big Apple was second only to San Francisco in terms of the number of people who left large cities last year.

In Queens, most neighborhoods lost residents in 2020. Though the same was true in 2019, the net losses were significantly higher.

Long Island City and Astoria saw a mass exodus last year, the report shows.

Taken together, more than 21,500 residents left the two neighborhoods in 2020. However, on a net basis– people moving in and out– the number approached 7,000.

Many large residential towers in Long Island City saw their occupancy rates plummet in 2020, The Real Deal reported in January.

For instance, the publication reported that the occupancy rate at the 1,871-unit Jackson Park development, located on Jackson Avenue in Long Island City, declined from 96 percent in 2019 to 59 percent in September 2020.

Nearby, Linc LIC, a 715-unit building at 43-10 Crescent Street, saw its occupancy rate decline from 91 percent in 2019 to 67 percent in the third quarter of 2020.

Spurred by the pandemic, many residents ended their leases and moved to suburbs with more outdoor space when the city was largely shuttered, according to the authors of the report. This trend, however, is beginning to reverse.

The Long Island City ZIP code of 11101 saw 6,783 people leave last year, more than any other ZIP code in the borough. Last year — accounting for those who moved into the area — the 11101 district lost 2,278 residents, more than any other ZIP code in Queens.

Both Long Island City and Astoria have a high percentage of adults in their 20s and 30s, census data shows. Many are young working professionals, a group prone to moving, according to the report.

“The increase in moves in 2020 was driven by young, affluent and highly educated urban dwellers,” the CBRE study states.

Does this mean our developer overlords built all these towers for nothing? I'm outraged.

 

 

Monday, April 19, 2021

Maya Wiley's advisory malfeasance extended to City Hall's official non-profit fund

 

 NY Daily News

Before Maya Wiley became an MSNBC commentator and candidate for mayor, her most public moments came when she fell under the media’s glare for her role advising Mayor de Blasio and his administration on how to raise money legally.

The unwanted attention started during the first three years of de Blasio’s first term and it continues to linger.

In 2015, in what may now seem like a prescient assessment, Wiley summed up her role as de Blasio’s legal counsel in a video posted online by his wife, Chirlane McCray.

“I’m Maya Wiley. I’m counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, and that means I’m — I keep him out of jail,” she said jokingly. “I advise him on legal issues, but I’m also part of his senior team.”

De Blasio has so far avoided jail, despite allegations of fundraising malpractice. But now, about four months into Wiley’s run for mayor, exactly what role she played in counseling Team de Blasio — and in vetting donations to his cause — is still not entirely clear.

But documents obtained by the Daily News show that the part Wiley did play appears to be much more extensive than has previously been reported.

The newly unearthed records show that, aside from her connection to the controversial Campaign for One New York, Wiley also appears to have played a key part in vetting donors to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of New Yorkers.

Wiley, who served as the mayor’s legal counsel for about two years, joined the de Blasio administration in the first year of his first term in office. Within months, she became involved in providing legal advice on how to ensure compliance with conflict-of-interest rules when it came to the Campaign for One New York, part of de Blasio’s fundraising apparatus.

The Campaign for One New York, also known as CONY, was established just weeks before de Blasio took office in 2014 and almost immediately began collecting donations to help promote his efforts to launch universal pre-K, widely regarded as his signature policy achievement in City Hall. After pre-K launched, the nonprofit took on a more general focus, but continued to raise — and spend — money to promote de Blasio’s priorities.

But it didn’t take long for CONY’s operation to come under scrutiny. Eventually, that led to probes from the city’s Department of Investigation, the Manhattan district attorney’s office and the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

Boosters for Monserrate campaign suing city to get matching funds


 Queens Eagle

A team of Hiram Monserrate campaign contributors are going to bat for the ex-Queens councilmember as he attempts to claw his way onto the June primary ballot.

Queens Democratic District Leader Sonya Harvey and three other Monserrate allies are suing the New York City Campaign Finance Board in Manhattan federal court after the agency denied matching funds to their candidate in his bid for Corona’s Council District 21. 

Monserrate was blocked from appearing on the ballot Wednesday based on a new city law that prohibits former elected officials with public corruption records from holding municipal office. Monserrate was convicted in 2012 of steering council money into a nonprofit and using the cash to fund his successful bid for state senate. He was also convicted of an unrelated domestic violence-related misdemeanor. 

In their lawsuit, filed April 8, the Monserrate allies contend that the new measure, “did not bar Monserrate (or any theoretical candidate who the law might also apply to) from having his contributors’ donations matched from running for office, or from appearing on the ballot.”

Monserrate opted to participate in the city’s eight-to-one matching funds program and raised $18,070 from 282 contributors as of March 11, according to his most recent financial disclosure report. He received nearly all of the contributions before the new law was enacted Feb. 25, the lawsuit states.

The plaintiffs also challenge the constitutionality of the measure intended to keep Monserrate off the ballot.

“Even if the law did address the candidate’s right to appear on the ballot in the first instance (it does not), for perhaps obvious reasons, it is unlikely that there exists ‘any legislation that has been found constitutionally sound when enacted during an election cycle that disqualifies previously qualifying candidates from appearing on a ballot,” the complaint continues, citing case law.

Two other Democrats vying to unseat incumbent Councilmember Francisco Moya have received city matching funds. Ingrid Gomez has so far taken in $117,405, while Talea Wufka has received $43,616.

Harvey and the co-plaintiffs, Malikah Shabazz, Rosa Sanchez and Frank Taylor, are represented by election lawyer J. Remy Green — no fan of Monserrate.

“I would never vote for the guy, but this is not how we do things,” Green told the Eagle. “This is not democratic. This is not constitutional and, ultimately, it’s tragic that the New York Democrats seem to be providing a blueprint for national Republicans to override the will of the people.”

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Recidivist criminal lunatic assaulted an Asian cop because he knew he would get off

 Ricardo Hernandez at Queens Court, Sunday. 

NY Post

 The man charged with trying to shove an Asian undercover cop onto Queens subway tracks was cut loose without bail Sunday — as the judge claimed, “My hands are tied.”

Suspect Ricardo Hernandez, 32 — who faces three hate-crime charges in the attack on the unnamed cop on a Long Island City train platform around 5:30 p.m. Saturday — has at least 12 prior arrests under his belt.

At Hernandez’s arraignment over the attempted push onto the tracks, Queens Supreme Court Justice Louis Nock said the state’s bail-reform measures barred him from holding Hernandez in jail.

“My hands are tied because under the new bail rules, I have absolutely no authority or power to set bail on this defendant for this alleged offense,” the judge said.

Under the new measures passed last year, attacks that cause no injury are exempt from bail in New York.

The judge also agreed with Hernandez’s lawyer to dismiss a warrant against the suspect involving a previous open-container summons. The suspect had had a can of Coors Light beer.

A police source said Hernandez was previously arrested for possession of a controlled substance in 2019 and turnstile jumping in 2016 and 2017 and has nine other sealed arrests on his record.

Meanwhile, his alleged cop assault came after another previous attack this month on an Asian undercover officer — in which the suspect also was almost immediately freed.

Hernandez, who lives near the subway station where the latest attempted shove took place, told The Post as he left court, “I don’t want to talk about this.”

According to police, Hernandez confronted the undercover cop on the N train platform at 31st Street and 39th Avenue in Dutch Kills and tried to shove him onto the tracks.

“That’s why you people are getting beat up,” Hernandez allegedly snarled. "I got nothing to lose."

“I will f–k you up!” Hernandez added, according to cops. “This is my house.”

The bail reform law is not progressive. And de Blasio's and Shea's plan to catch Asian hate crime in the act is a disaster.

 

50 up

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftheavtimes.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2021%2F04%2FPfizer-vaccine.jpg&f=1&nofb=1

AM NY

Any New Yorker 50 years of age and older can now walk into a city-run vaccine site and get their COVID-19 vaccine without pre-scheduling an appointment, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Saturday.

“Our priority for the next few months is clear: we need to vaccinate as many New Yorkers as possible,” said de Blasio. “By making it easier for New Yorkers 50 and older to get vaccinated, we are on our way to fully vaccinating five million New Yorkers by June.”

The change took effect on April 17; previously, the city-run vaccine sites were open to walk-ins who were 75 years of age and older.

1. Modell’s – Queens Center Mall, 90-15 Queens Blvd., Elmhurst.
2. Korean Community Services, 203-05 32nd Ave., Bayside.
3. Beach Channel Educational Campus, 100-00 Beach Channel Dr., Rockaway Park.
4. Long Island City Vaccine Site (Plaxall), 5-17 46th Rd.
5. Queens Public Library – Flushing Library, 41-17 Main St.
6. Queens Public Library – Ozone Park, 92-24 Rockaway Blvd.
7. Citi Field, 41 Seaver Way, Flushing.

No breaks for the NYPD this week


 NY Post

 

The NYPD has told cops there will be no unscheduled days off beginning Monday, according to an internal department memo obtained by The Post.

The memo — effective Monday “until further notice” — is in preparation for any possible protests following the Derek Chauvin trial verdict in Minnesota.

The missive was issued Friday evening.

Officers can still take their scheduled days off at this point, “but that could change depending on the verdict,” police sources say.

The NYPD confirmed Saturday that the order was “necessary in order to satisfy personnel requirements for any post Derek Chauvin verdict protests.”

This makes sense since Rep. Maxine Waters just decided to do some good instigating the other night in Minnesota.

Flushing community gives a collective thumbs down to Main St. busway

 Busway is a ‘tax’ on Flushing residents 1 

Queens Chronicle

 Ridiculous, unreasonable, idiotic.

Those are just some of the words Ellen Young used to describe the Flushing busway.

“The concept itself was not a bad idea, but it has been designed by politicians in Manhattan with no real understanding of what it means to live here and what the people of Flushing actually need,” the District 20 City Council candidate said April 12.

Just a few days earlier, the city Department of Transportation began issuing bus lane camera violations to vehicles using the 0.6-mile portion of northbound Main Street from Sanford Avenue to Northern Boulevard, as well as northbound Kissena Boulevard from Sanford to Main. Only buses, trucks and emergency vehicles are permitted as through-traffic — all other vehicles are required to take the next available right turn, except at 41st Avenue, where left turns are permitted.

Those who ignore the rules can be fined $50 on the first offense. The rate will continue to rise as one continues to ignore the regulations to as much as $250.

Young, who lives in a Kissena Boulevard complex, said she and her neighbors are suffering from the busway. Drivers diverted from Main Street are forced to circle around the surrounding blocks, which has greatly increased traffic congestion and pollution in the area, she said.

Young called the busway a “punitive tax” on those who live in the neighborhood — they are penalized for driving down the street on which they live. Furthermore, she said the signs along the roadways are poorly marked. Young pointed to a warning sign on the corner of Kissena Boulevard and Barclay Avenue, which directs traffic but doesn’t warn about violations.

“This is simply a quality-of-life issue that has made the lives of Flushing residents dramatically harder,” she said.

In her City Council bid, Young promises to reduce the 24/7 busway hours of operation to just six hours a day during peak transit times: from 7 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Young’s plan would suspend the busway during weekends and holidays, as well.

Community members have decried the busway since plans were announced last June. Most of the opposition comes from small business owners, who believe the limited private car roadways will deter outside customers from traveling into the neighborhood.

Don't just blame city officials, blame the odious influence and infiltration of  the "Department of Transformation" by Transportation Alternatives and the relentlessly intolerant anti-car propaganda of their allies at Streetsblog NYC.


Saturday, April 17, 2021

Blue Bloods fucked up


Where's the 411? 

Anyone wanna guess where this actually is? Looks like Woodhaven to me.

 

Man who executed a cop 40 years ago appointed to reform policing

 Cop killer on police reform board 1 

Queens Chronicle

Off-duty Police Officer Robert Walsh was in a bar near his home on Jan. 12, 1981 when a gang of men entered to rob the place.

Richard Rivera shot Walsh in the shoulder, walked up to him and shot him in the head. Walsh, a 36-year-old husband and father of four, was killed.

Today Rivera sits on a police reform panel for Ithaca and Tompkins County as part of its “Reimagining Public Safety Collaborative.”

“To me, it’s pretty shocking,” former NYPD Commissioner Robert McGuire told the Chronicle Tuesday. McGuire served in the role from 1978 to 1983.

“I’ve heard of police killers getting out of jail,” he said. “I’ve never heard where the person would then go on a panel reviewing police conduct.”

The state granted Rivera parole on his sixth attempt in 2019.

“I tell people, in no uncertain terms, that the system is stacked against them,” he told The Appeal after being released. “You were given a definitive sentence that was imposed upon you with the idea that you will get a meaningful opportunity for release. And then you’re denied over and over again, despite your best efforts.”

Rivera told the New York Post in late March that he didn’t know if Walsh’s family would find his advisory position acceptable.

“I can’t control that. What I can control is the way I’ve been living my life,” he said. “I’m holding the memory of Officer Walsh to the highest standard of policing in terms of a protector to the community, somebody who cares for the community.”

Walsh’s family does not find it acceptable, calling it “heartbreaking.”

“We cannot believe that such a misguided and irresponsible choice was made,” the family said in a statement. “It is an absolute outrage that anyone even broached the idea of appointing Rivera. That it came to fruition is despicable!”

Rivera was convicted of the slaying in 1982 and served 37 years in prison.

“It was an execution,” First Deputy Police Commissioner William Devine said in 1981. “The officer no longer was a threat to the men. He was given a death sentence for being a police officer.”

Devine added, “It’s ironic that a cop can get a death sentence for being a cop but there are no death penalties for people who kill cops.”

Councilman Bob Holden (D-Middle Village) remembered the shooting at the BVD Bar and Grill on Flushing Avenue in Maspeth and said people were “horrified” by the act.

“This was a time in New York City when that was happening a lot,” he said.

Walsh was the third cop shot in the first two weeks of 1981. The other two survived. The year before, there had been 22 cops shot, with 10 killed.

The advisory group Rivera is on was formed after Gov. Cuomo ordered municipalities to submit police-reform plans to the state by April 1 following the 2020 killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.

A Tompkins County spokesperson did not respond for this story.

“That’s how absurd this society and this state has become. This guy is a symbol of that,” Holden said of Rivera’s appointment. “What does he know about police reform? Because he was arrested? He killed an officer. That should disqualify him.”


 

Councilman Ulrich is on the wagon

 https://nypost.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2021/04/queens-councilman-eric-ulrich-admits-alcoholism-103.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=1024

 

NY Post

Queens Councilman Eric Ulrich admitted he is suffering from alcoholism in a Facebook message he posted Friday, writing that the COVID-19 pandemic had turned what used to be a social activity into something “self-destructive.”

“The COVID pandemic has affected people in different ways,” Ulrich (R-Queens) acknowledged.

“What used to be mainly a social activity, and a way to cope with stress, has now become far too frequent and self-destructive,” he wrote. “After talking about this with my family and friends, I have decided to finally quit and get sober.”

UIrich was elected to the City Council in 2013 and will leave office at the end of the year under the city’s term limits law.

Friday, April 16, 2021

New York abolishes federal opportunity zones land grab program

 


NY Daily News

 This is one opportunity New York won’t miss.

The state budget passed by lawmakers last week includes a provision decoupling the city and state tax codes from the federal Opportunity Zones program, a Trump-era policy that opponents say is nothing more than a handout to wealthy real estate investors.

Part of the Republican-led 2017 federal tax overhaul, the program was aimed at incentivizing private investment in economically distressed areas.

Critics, however, derided the designations, saying they included many areas already suffering from over-development and gentrification.

“The opportunity zone program is a scandalous giveaway to wealthy developers who didn’t need the money to do the development, and I’m glad the state pulled ourselves out of wasting state dollars for this effort,” said Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens), who first introduced a measure to end the tax breaks on the state side in 2019.

Under the federal program, developers who put money into an opportunity zone project could defer federal and state capital gains taxes for up to seven years with a modest cut in the taxes owed.

Additionally, they would not face any capital gains taxes on properties within the zones as long as they don’t sell it for at least 10 years. When New York decided to conform to the federal program, it meant capital gains deferred or excluded from taxation at the federal level were similarly deferred or excluded from state and local taxes.

New York designated 514 “low-income community” census tracts as Opportunity Zones. However, the program allowed investors in projects in neighboring tracts to also benefit from the tax breaks, regardless of how wealthy or developed the areas were.

Parts of Hell’s Kitchen on Manhattan’s West Side were included in the program, as was a stretch of the Upper East Side and already-gentrifying areas of Queens from Astoria and Long Island City to Flushing.

Hudson Yards in lower Manhattan, New York

Thursday, April 15, 2021

NYPD unleashes their own dynomutt in public housing building

 

NY Post

 

A viral clip of the NYPD’s new robotic “Digidog” had the internet chasing its tail over whether the dystopian “future” of science fiction has already arrived.

“By the time my kids are old enough to watch Black Mirror it’s going to be a documentary series,” Twitter user @hella_leigh posted Tuesday along with the video, which shows cops ushering around a robo-dog during an arrest at a city housing project.

“I never seen nothing like this before in my life. You seeing this?” asks the woman in the original TikTok video.

“Ooh, that sh-t move better than a dog!” she exclaims. “That’s R2D2!”

An NYPD rep said the clip showed the arrest of 41-year-old Luis Gonzales after police responded to a 911 call regarding a domestic dispute and possible firearm and hostage situation at 344 East 28th Street in Manhattan.

 Impunity City

This is only the beginning. For all we know, there might be more of these fucking droids coming down the pike thanks to President Biden’s stimulus funding and also with protests that are sure to come up during the summer and de Blasio and Shea would want to get more of these little buggers following demonstrators around and grabbing their features and logistics.

 It’s uncertain if the NYPD’s Dynomutt is going to do anything about the widespread crime that is raging from gang warfare and attacks from mentally ill people prone to violence wandering around on the streets. Mostly it’s just another annoying distraction from the troubled recovery for all of us here in New York City, albeit one that will probably fundamentally change how we think about our liberties and the safety the NYPD thinks the citizenry should sacrifice them for. 

MTA survey confirms commuters fears of daily subway crime and violence, de Blasio calls it fear mongering lies

 

 

NY Daily News

Fear of crime and harassment in New York City subways is keeping many New Yorkers out of the system even as COVID-19 restrictions start to loosen, according to a survey released Monday by the MTA.

Roughly 36% of straphangers who relied on the subway before the pandemic said they “are not using transit because of crime and harassment,” said the survey, which drew on answers from roughly 33,000 riders between March 15 to March 28.

Subway turnstiles clocked 2 million trips on Thursday for the first time since March 16, 2020, when schools, restaurants and other entertainment venues across the five boroughs began to close as the city became the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

Ridership remains about 65% lower than the 5.6 million subway trips recorded each day before the pandemic as unemployment in the city remains high and most offices remain closed.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s new survey says 73% of riders who haven’t returned are “very concerned about crime and harassment” on transit, while 76% also cited “health safety” on the subway as a major fear.

“We know that if our riders feel safe from crime and safe from COVID, they will come back to transit and back to the city,” said MTA spokeswoman Abbey Collins. “We are throwing every resource at continually tackling these issues to keep breaking ridership milestones day after day as New York reopens.”

NY Post

Mayor Bill de Blasio took a shot at the MTA Tuesday, claiming the agency is “discouraging” ridership after its release of a survey highlighting commuter safety concerns.

Hizzoner vented his frustration with the agency during a subway ride with reporters in Upper Manhattan, insisting the mode of transportation is safe, citing the recent addition of 644 cops to its patrols.

“Look, the MTA should be telling people it’s right to come back, not discouraging them. Because regular everyday New Yorkers know that the subways are safe,” de Blasio said.

“I’d urge the MTA to work with us — not put down their own subways, but actually promote their own subways,” he railed.

According to a March survey from the transit agency, 72 percent of over 25,000 active subway and bus riders said they were “very concerned” over crime and harassment during the commute.

The survey showed just 26 percent were “satisfied” with “safety from crime and harassment on trains” — a 15.1 percent dip from September.

Interim Transit President Sarah Feinberg used survey’s findings to reiterate her call for a beefed up NYPD presence in the transit system.

But de Blasio on Tuesday argued there are already enough cops patrolling the subways.

“There’s no question,” the mayor responded when asked if 644 additional officers is enough. “It’s a huge show of force.”

Rather than expose its perceived shortfalls, de Blasio said the MTA should celebrate its successes.

“They need to talk about what’s working — because the subways are cleaner than they’ve ever been. That’s great! That’s a good thing,” he said.

Impunity City 

Sage advice from The Blaz again, it’s better to reinforce optics than to acknowledge problems and try to fix them. Just like with his continuing demented response to the pandemic, he has no concern for the safety of his constituents.

Bernie Madoff is dead

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse3.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIP._1dbwgSirhdG2X6fvTtfowHaD2%26pid%3DApi&f=1 

CNBC

 Bernard Madoff, mastermind of the biggest investment fraud in U.S. history, ripping off tens of thousands of clients of as much as $65 billion, died Wednesday. He was 82.

His death at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina, was confirmed by the federal Bureau of Prisons.

Madoff died apparently from natural causes, the AP reported earlier, citing an unidentified person familiar with the matter. He would have turned 83 on April 29.

Madoff was serving a 150-year sentence at the prison, where he had been treated for what his attorney called terminal kidney disease. His request for compassionate release from prison was denied in June.

 He pleaded guilty in 2009 to a scheme that investigators said started in the early 1970s and defrauded more than 40,000 people in 125 countries over four decades by the time Madoff was busted on Dec. 11, 2008 — after his two sons turned him in. Victims included the famous — director Steven Spielberg, actor Kevin Bacon, former New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon, Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Weisel — and ordinary investors, like Burt Ross, who lost $5 million in the scheme.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

New schools way past schedule for openings in over-developed areas

  

LIC Post

 The opening date of a number of schools undergoing construction in western Queens has been pushed back in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Philip Composto, Community Superintendent of District 30, provided Community Board 2 with an update Thursday on several schools in western Queens that are under construction—and many are opening later than initially planned.

There are two schools that are opening in September on time, which were of particular concern to parents in those areas who feared that there would be a shortage of school seats.

An elementary school in Long Island City, located on Parcel F of the Hunters Point South development, will open on time in September—despite doubts last summer by officials due to city budget constraints. Furthermore, a 180-seat addition planned for P.S. 2 at 75-10 21st Ave. is also on track to open in September—as planned.

There were concerns that these openings would be delayed, since the city put a halt on school construction last year when it faced cash flow problems at the beginning of the pandemic. The pause was later lifted and the School Construction Authority made these two schools a priority.

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer called it a victory that the Long Island City school– PS-384, located at 1-35 57th Ave. on Parcel F — is opening on time. “We have fought alongside the parents and school community in Hunters Point for this building and despite the COVID-19 pause on construction this building is opening.”

Amazon puts a stop to open streets

  

Streetsblog

 Another day, another easily avoidable setback for the city’s open streets program.

In the latest evidence that a tiny minority of increasingly aggressive opponents is seeking to stop the widely popular open space program, North Brooklyn volunteers announced that they are “suspending” their efforts to prop up the city program on Driggs Avenue and Russell Street in Greenpoint after all of the city-owned barricades were stolen by a man with an Amazon-branded van on Monday night.

A video of the apparent Amazon worker stealing the barricades was posted on Nextdoor, a neighborhood-focused website, and downloaded by Streetsblog into a handy video (which we shared with Amazon, which has not responded to our request for comment)

 The open streets suspension — announced in a tweet on Tuesday morning — came on the heels of an earlier two-day suspension after a North Brooklyn volunteer being assaulted, two Department of Transportation workers being berated at a meeting, and equipment was vandalized

 Streetsblog has reached out to the DOT for comment and for an explanation of what comes next for the beleaguered open streets initiative. The program brought miles of recreation space to COVID-stricken neighborhoods during the height of the pandemic, but has lost steam as the mayor has promised that it would be a “permanent” fixture of the cityscape, yet has not announced any plan beyond relying on volunteers.

Transportation Alternatives condemned the theft but said it was easily avoided — if the DOT stepped up its game.

“Open Streets require infrastructure that can’t be stolen, can’t be destroyed, and can’t be tossed aside by entitled motorists,” said Erwin Figueroa, the director of organizing for the safe streets group, which has previously urged the mayor to do better. “Permanent infrastructure is what the Open Streets Coalition has been demanding from City Hall. We need Mayor de Blasio to move with much greater urgency, especially after the violence and vandalism over the past week, to implement the permanent solutions that will secure the success of the program. Any delay will cause these unacceptable incidents to escalate and for an extraordinarily popular program to be jeopardized.”

 If Bikeblog and the bike zealots really want this to stop, they should delete their Amazon accounts. And maybe reach out to the tower people near them and demand they delete theirs too. 

Update: 

Gersh Kuntzmen of Streetsblog deleted all my comments and marked a lot of them as spam for some reason. Even though my comment was visible for about 2 days. Just like with twitter, this sniveling coward and editorialist and even their puny readership will fabricate accusations against anyone having a dissenting opinion to their stories or even to respond to others. Truly sickening times we are living in.








Although Gertz apparently thinks that the comments saying that the guy who removed the barricades was NYPD has unquestionable credibility. My response to this hysterical theory was memory holed because I blamed Amazon.



Pussy.




 


Spring cleaning at unsightly Steinway Creek

 

LIC Post

 

A number of Queens environmentalists who want to revitalize a filthy inlet in northern Astoria got to work over the weekend with a cleanup around the short waterway–called Luyster Creek.

Located alongside the Steinway & Sons Factory, Luyster Creek – also known as Steinway Creek – branches off from the East River into the top of Astoria. The inlet is estimated to be about 1,000 feet in length and ends at 19th Avenue and 37th Street.

Mitch Waxman – a board member at Newtown Creek Alliance – set up Saturday’s event together with Gil Lopez, from BIG Reuse and Smiling Hogshead Ranch; Katie Ellman, the president of Green Shores NYC; and Evie Hantzopoulos, co-founder of Astoria Urban Ecology Alliance

They were joined by the team from Proud Astorian and other volunteers to pick up discarded items – including engine parts, tires, shipping pallets, bags of household garbage and giant sheets of plastic – around the creek.

In total, the group of about 30 people collected between 10 to 15 cubic yards of trash – filling half of a dumpster.

The crew also removed random items such as fabric roses, potatoes and a taxi cab divider crawling with snails. Volunteers returned the snails to the water, and the divider went into the dumpster, which was provided by the Department of Environmental Protection.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Hunters Point residents hopes the NYPD stops the noise this year

 

LIC Post

 This year it will be different.

That was the message from officials at a virtual public meeting Wednesday who plan to make sure that there isn’t a repeat of the unruly activity that took place along the Long Island City waterfront last summer.

The meeting, which was organized by the non-profit Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, brought together elected officials, city and state park representatives as well as local law enforcement.

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and State Senator Michael Gianaris spoke at the meeting, along with representatives for U.S. Congress Member Carolyn Maloney and Assembly Member Cathy Nolan.

Around 150 residents were on a Zoom call that lasted nearly two hours.

“What happened last year… was wholly unacceptable,” Gianaris said, referring to the late-night booze parties, illegal fireworks and dangerous drag racing that took place in the area.

“This is a neighborhood with a lot of families, a lot of young children and the kind of activity that was going on… cannot be allowed to happen again,” Gianaris said.

A record number of parkgoers visited the waterfront parks last year, according to the HPPC, with many discarding litter—leading to piles of trash. Food vendors also stayed open late to serve large crowds.

Police Officer Andrew Diaz, who represented the NYPD 108th Precinct at the meeting, said that the entire force was overstretched last summer – given the outbreak of COVID-19 and civil unrest across the city. He assured residents that there would be more boots on the ground to tackle any problems like those that surfaced last year.

“Last year was a perfect storm with the pandemic and protests – we didn’t have enough police officers to address these issues and we apologize,” Diaz said. “But this year will be different.”

He said that Capt. Lavonda Wise, the NYPD 108th Precinct’s new commanding officer, has made Center Boulevard a policing priority.

Diaz said that the precinct is also changing the work hours of its officers—to ensure that more cops will be available on weekends.

He said there will be a greater “uniform presence” with a lot of NYPD auxiliary officers also on patrol this summer.

Did Gianaris, Jimmy V and any of these tower people ever consider that these violators could be their tower neighbors? 

Show us the money Joe

  



NY Post

 New York’s roads, bridges, mass transit, housing stock and care for children, veterans and seniors would all see federal investment under President Biden’s proposed $2 trillion infrastructure package, the White House claimed Monday.

The so-called “American Jobs Plan” would also provide money for climate-resilient infrastructure, clean drinking water and expanded internet access, according to a state-specific “fact sheet” posted online on Monday.

“For decades, infrastructure in New York has suffered from a systemic lack of investment,” according to the fact sheet.

“The need for action is clear.”

Among New York’s infrastructure shortcomings the Biden administration said would be addressed are the state’s $22.8 billion tab over the next 20 years to maintain clean drinking water, “lack of available and affordable housing” and $2.91 billion in school maintenance needs.

“Manufacturing” and “clean energy jobs” also make the list of potential funding items.

The White House fact sheet does not, however, promise to meet all of the state’s infrastructure spending needs. It also neglects to include how much funding each item would receive under Biden’s plan — citing total proposed nationwide spending instead.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has suggested the multitrillion-dollar spending spree would boost subway expansion into southeast Brooklyn and Harlem, as well as the construction of a new tunnel under the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey.

Both efforts would cost many billions of dollars — without addressing maintenance of the state’s existing, ailing infrastructure.

The Lefferts Blvd. bridge isn't over for small businesses


 

 QNS

Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal and Senator Leroy Comrie on Tuesday, March 30, announced passage of their legislation to protect the character of the Lefferts Boulevard bridge amidst restoration, and to give protections to existing small businesses atop the structure. 

“The Lefferts Boulevard bridge serves as both a historic landmark and a community hub for Kew Gardens,” Rosenthal said. “Over decades, the diverse small businesses along this corridor have been entrenched in the civic and cultural life of our neighborhood. To destroy their livelihoods without cause during a pandemic is both unconscionable and preventable. I am grateful for the partnership of Senator Comrie and all the advocates who worked to bring this issue the attention it deserves.”

Since the late 1920s the Kew Gardens Lefferts Boulevard bridge over the Long Island Rail Road has been home to mom-and-pop stores that give the town its character and serve the shopping needs of the urban village in the city. 

In October 2020, the MTA, which owns the property, announced that the compromised structural integrity of the storefronts atop the bridge would require major capital investments. The MTA introduced a request for proposal (RFP) for a new master leaseholder to manage the stores on the Lefferts Boulevard bridge with no provisions for existing tenants. 

According to Save The Kew Gardens Coalition, a broad-based group of civic and resident organizations and Kew Gardens businesses, the RFP also specifically stated that the stores will be delivered empty. Existing small mom-and-pop stores who have served the community for over 20 years and are already hit hard by the pandemic would be forced to close under these conditions. 

To save the stores which are central to the neighborhood’s economic life, Kew Gardens community organizations partnered with the Mutual Housing Association of New York (MHANY), a nonprofit housing and commercial property development organization, to submit a unique response to the MTA’s RFP.

“The Lefferts Boulevard Bridge has suffered from years of MTA mismanagement. Because of this neglect, approximately $11 million in capital improvements will be required for the buildings, and an additional $5.5 million will be necessary to repair structural work on the bridge,” the organizations said in a petition that was shared in January. “The MTA expects the master lessee to bear the considerable cost burden of these repairs even after the city has given money to the MTA in the past to make repairs to this structure.”

Monday, April 12, 2021

Young woman from Williamsburg got vaccinated and got COVID anyway

 https://nypost.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2021/04/ashley-allen-main.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=1024 

NY Post

 A Brooklyn woman who managed to avoid catching COVID-19 throughout 2020 went down with the bug this month — three weeks after being vaccinated.

Ashley Allen, 31, spoke to The Post by phone while quarantined in her Williamsburg apartment and in between calls from city contact tracers.

The contact tracers “started asking me questions about what I was doing three weeks ago,” Allen said. “And I said I was getting vaccinated.”

Allen was thrilled when she was able to book an appointment for the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the Javits Center on March 10. 

 The sprawling convention space had just received new shipments of vaccine and was jabbing New Yorkers around the clock — Allen’s appointment was at 2 a.m. As a wine and spirits distributor, she was able to get a coveted early spot even while vaccines remained unavailable to most New Yorkers. Though she experienced a brief fever the next day, her side effects from the jab quickly resolved.

Even after Allen was vaccinated, she was careful to always mask up when outside and wash her hands frequently.

“On Wednesday, March 31, I started feeling like a scratch, a tickle in my throat of some sort. It was super dry,” she recalled. “Then I kept having this dry cough. It kinda felt like I had allergies.”

As her cough persisted, debilitating fatigue set in.

“It started getting really bad, to the point where I did go to City MD,” she said. “I thought I had Lyme disease. I spend a lot of time upstate.”

But a rapid coronavirus test on April 4, plus a second rapid test on April 5, showed COVID. A PCR test, which is more accurate, confirmed it.

The City MD staffer “asked when did you get your vaccine? And I said March 10, and she was like just shocked,” Allen said.

Allen’s case is rare, experts say, but not unheard of.

“The vaccine does not necessarily prevent you from getting COVID. It prevents you from being hospitalized or dying from it,” Dr. Kris Bungay, a Manhattan primary care physician, told The Post. “That is why we all still have to be careful.”


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update: Here's another one. 

The best vaccine is not the one that you can get now.

NY Post

A Brooklyn man found out on Monday that he’d tested positive for the coronavirus — more than two weeks after getting the jab.

Matthew Sambolin, 39, told The Post that though he opted for the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine because it was “convenient,” he now wishes he’d gotten the Pfizer or Moderna shot instead.

“The risk was there, I was willing to take it. Now I’m wishing I made a different decision,” he said in a phone call from the spare bedroom of his Bath Beach home, where he’s currently quarantining.

Sambolin said he was experiencing minor symptoms, including a light cough and fatigue.

While a rapid test he took Saturday came back negative, a PCR test, which is more accurate, returned positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, according to documentation he provided.

“It was a shock,” Sambolin said of learning about his positive test on Monday.

An operations manager for two local radio stations, Sambolin said he had “no ambivalence” about the COVID vaccine and had been looking forward to getting his.

“I wanted to help get the herd immunity up,” he said.

Mayor de Blasio’s fear and loathing of the public record

 

Impunity City

Good day everyone on the call.

Not long ago, the NYC Council cronies ratified a bill into law that revoked the NYPD from issuing press credentials to journalists, a truly historically groundbreaking paradigm shift in city policy of what was a standard procedure for approving access to events, briefings and police crime scenes for decades. This came about after the NYPD basically sabotaged themselves last summer and in the following months when reporters became collateral damage as they got caught up in the throes of the NYPD’s overtly aggressive militaristic tactics battling and kettling protesters during last summer’s George Floyd protests and various BLM demonstrations and rallies that followed that have occurred in later months. Thanks to the menacing optics of a police state in NYC, it actually justified the necessity of this bill.

So now in a year’s time, the issuing of press passes will be approved by the officials inside the Mayor’s Office of Film And Television Movies And Entertainment. While it sounds progressive and better than having a law enforcement agency determining the qualifications of a news source and who they assign, in essence the determination of who is a journalist or not will be  mostly under the purview of the Mayor of New York City.

Why this is being brought up now is to illustrate what an actual danger this will be considering who is mayor as well as who the next mayor will be. And in the last week since this transfer of press duties was ratified, Mayor de Blasio is setting up a very dangerous precedent with his office’s recent actions regarding his daily briefings. Actually it even started days when the press cred bill was being written up.

Back in January, de Blasio put out a 25 minute b-roll video and passed it out as his State of the City address. Entitled “A Recovery For All Of Us”, the overarching theme of the video was about how the city will make a gloriously historic comeback from the pandemic, optically highlighting programs and policies that will be dispensed equitably that will return the city to normalcy (or at least a semblance of it). In the last 3 months since his office produced that feature, The Blaz has with persistent repetition brought up his “recovery for all of us” during his briefings, aligning his brand title with his self-proclaimed gold standard re-opening of schools and revival of city culture with the widening spread of vaccine distribution.

But The Blaz’s recovery, well the “recovery for all of us”, has hit some snags. The vaccine distribution has been not been as equitably distributed, as higher income neighborhoods have received the vaccine than lower income areas and the school re-openings have resembled more of a brown standard than gold according to frustrated parents and students. Then there was the sudden vanishing of the COVID case data map for three days after it revealed about 30 zip codes with over 15% of the population with positive cases, which revealed that even with hundreds of thousands of citizens inoculated, the contagion was still prevalent and persistent.

As for the contagion, COVID-19 as evolved to four different variants, including a New York strain for fuck’s sake. But it’s the UK strain that’s been the most stubborn as cases continue to plateau again in the five boroughs despite the prevalence of vaccines. What’s disturbing about these variants is how they mostly effect younger people.

About those vaccines, there’s been a little hitch there too, especially with Johnson and Johnson brands. If there wasn’t a problem with them being 30% less effective than the Moderna and Pfizer vacs, the Big Pharma corporation recently had to trash 15 million vaccines because they got mixed up with another brand at the warehouse building where both were being manufactured. It should be noted that the warehouse wasn’t even approved by the FDA.

The FUGAZIed vaccines presents a major quagmire for The Blaz, because he has been utterly dependent on these vacs for the recovery for all of us in New York City. And he was surely hedging his bets for them to correlate nicely with his recent decision to bring all his city employees working remotely from of their $2,500 studio apartments and back to the city offices in the merry month of May even though commercial office buildings still have to follow pandemic guidelines and keep staff levels low.

Somehow, having all city employees back in municipal buildings is tied to de Blasio’s recovery, along with his mission to revive NYC culture by having entertainment spring up on the streets and to open up Broadway by prioritizing vaccine access to theater workers and entertainers with mobile sites.

The Blaz has to explain how all this is going to work and because of his notorious proclivity for being secretive and unaccountable when it comes to his policies and decisions. When he does his weekday media availability (even that sounds Orwellian), it airs on the city’s station on Channel 25 and streams live on the Mayor’s Office youtube channel. Then the Mayor’s Office uploads the entire video to their channel not long after it’s done before noon. But on three recent uploads, de Blasio’s and even his crack quack health commission squad of Dr. Chokshi, Dr. Varma and Dr. Katz responses to questions regarding recovery and COVID cases were suddenly memory holed.

Fortunately, the Mayor’s Office website has the entire transcript of his daily briefings, which makes the butchering of these videos a fool’s errand (especially when the one giving the orders is a fool), but not necessarily moot because the video medium is still the one people go to and is easily available, so it makes sense from the standpoint of a scoundrel looking to cover his ass even though it won’t stop anyone from releasing his words in full. Like on this blog here.

 

City and state officials have had it with the Rockaway pipeline

  



Queens Eagle

Over two dozen New York City leaders have urged the federal government to kill a controversial pipeline project that would run underneath the waters off the Rockaway Peninsula. 

The proposed Williams Northeast Supply Enhance Pipeline, or Williams Pipeline, would deliver fracked gas from Pennsylvania to New York city via a tube underneath New York Harbor. The plan was rejected last year by New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation. 

In a letter Wednesday, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and State Sens. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., Jessica Ramos and James Sanders called on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Richard Glick to also reject the Williams Pipeline once and for all. The pipeline would move the city and state further from achieving its climate goals, they said.
“We take climate change seriously, as we have already lost loved ones here in New York City to climate-fueled superstorms and heat waves that caused death, illness, debt, and scarcity,” the leaders wrote. “For our constituents and for the future generations who will live with the consequences of allowing the Williams Pipeline to be built, we urge you to deny Williams’ request.”

The letter cites Glick’s own condemnation of the initial FERC approval of the project in 2019, when he said that declaring the pipeline safe “fails to give climate change the serious consideration it deserves and that the law demands.”

On March 19, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company requested a two year extension to kickstart the project. The 17.4-mile-long, 26-inch diameter connection would transport fracked gas under the Atlantic Ocean off the shores of Rockaway Beach.

The letter cites the emissions impact of the gas being brought into the city once burned, new FERC recommendations that take into account the effects of transporting the gas  — like methane leaks — and climate justice for the city’s most vulnerable communities.

“We will not allow the racist legacy of environmental and climate injustice to continue by building infrastructure that will increase the amount of polluting fracked gas in our city,” the letter continues