Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Queens Black Lives Matter mural doesn't matter anymore

 

Impunity City

 

In a few weeks, New York City (and other American cities) will be recognizing the one year anniversary of the extrajudicial murder of George Floyd committed by Officer Derek Chauvin and also the start of the Black Lives Matter mass protest demonstrations that followed it.

Which brings up Mayor de Blasio’s feeble recognition of that momentous tragedy and other preventable deaths at the hands of overzealous police based on the race of the victims. Inspired by Mayor Muriel Browser, who ordered a mural of the movement’s universal political slogan on a street in Washington D.C, the Blaz decided to sextuple down on Browser’s tribute and painted 6 murals on the 5 boroughs. The one placed on the world’s borough of Queens was on Jamaica Avenue in Jamaica, right in front of the landmark Rufus King house and park. 

So the Blaz DOES know crime is up in the subway


  

Wall St. Journal

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says that crime on the subway is low, but his office is still launching a travel-buddy program for government employees who feel unsafe commuting to work.

The city announced the program in an April 30 email to employees ahead of an estimated 80,000 government workers returning on a rotating schedule to their offices this month. Most municipal offices had been closed over the past year because of Covid-19 lockdown measures.

Returning employees have the option of signing up to be matched as travel partners with another worker in their neighborhood, according to the email, which The Wall Street Journal reviewed. A spokesman for Mr. de Blasio said it was too soon to say how many employees signed up for the program.

“Our mission is to make New York City safer for everyone; that’s why we have transit officers and mental health teams in the subway system, and that’s why we’re spearheading this effort to make our colleagues feel comfortable after a year away from the office,” the spokesman, Mitch Schwartz, said in a statement.

Officials at the state-controlled Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs the city’s subway, have spent months calling for more police officers in the system.

Looks like the Blaz doesn't know what the hell he's talking bout either about how unsafe the subway is. 

Oh, look no further where that Thrive funding is being spent; on chaperones for frightened city workers from gentrified parts of Brooklyn.

Monday, May 10, 2021

NYC Thrive continues sending city money and services into the void

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THE CITY

In the fall of 2017, the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene signed a contract to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to rehab a 14,000-square-foot former IRS office inside an anonymous beige Bronx building covered with graffiti.

The project was part of a key criminal justice reform Mayor Bill de Blasio adopted in 2014. The idea: to create state-of-the-art “diversion centers” staffed by mental health experts where police could drop off people experiencing mental health crises instead of escorting them to hospital ERs or jail — institutions ill-equipped to deal with their needs.

The city committed $52 million to fix up and run the Bronx facility for a decade. But nearly four years later, the place sits empty.

Meanwhile, the city dedicated $51 million to a similar operation in East Harlem that opened this past November. The number of people brought in for help so far: 45, or $1.1 million per visit.

Diversion centers eventually became part of the Mayor’s Office of ThriveNYC, a broader program run by de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, to improve the lives of New Yorkers struggling with mental health issues.

ThriveNYC has come under fire for costs upwards of $1 billion and for the administration’s inability to provide evidence the program is working. Last week, de Blasio rebranded ThriveNYC — changing its name to the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health.

The purpose behind diversion centers was to stop cycling people with mental illness through the criminal justice system instead of getting them treatment and other services.

Meanwhile, deadly encounters between NYPD officers and people in emotional distress have led to 18 fatalities in the last five years — driving demands to remove cops from the equation.

Even as the diversion centers sit empty or underused, de Blasio made the surprise announcement April 29 that another $112 million would be spent on a new program to pair EMT teams with social workers to handle 911 calls citywide about people having a breakdown, without sending police.

EMTs, though, aren’t signing up in big numbers.

You can say the only diversion center that actually functions in this city is de Blasio and McCray's joint mayoralty budget money laundering apparatus in City Hall.

Homeless man gets murdered on the street a month after criticizing and avoiding city shelters for their lack of safety

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Queens Eagle

It’s become a weekly event for Lukasz Ruszczyk: Sanitation workers visit him on the sidewalk beneath the train tracks that mark the Ridgewood-Glendale border. A Department of Homeless Services employee encourages Ruszczyk to move into a city homeless shelter and looks on as the Sanitation crew tosses his stuff into a garbage truck.

Ruszczyk declines the recommendation to leave, and the laborers come back a few days later. They have visited three times in March, according to notices left by outreach workers informing Ruszczyk of the pending sweeps.

Ruszczyk, 38, says they can keep coming. He has no intention of leaving unless it means securing a permanent and private home. 

“I went to a shelter. I was robbed several times,” he told the Eagle Tuesday, minutes after the latest sweep. “I’d rather freeze than go back.” 

Queens Post

Lukasz Ruszczyk, who was living on the streets of Ridgewood, succumbed to his injuries at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center nearly five days after he was assaulted by another homeless man, police said.

Ruszczyk was found intoxicated and beaten, laying on the sidewalk by a bus stop at Forest Avenue and Putnam Avenue on Friday, April 30 at 3 a.m. A witness called 911 and an ambulance rushed him to Wyckoff Heights, police said.

Doctors discovered that Ruszczyk had bruising about his torso and had suffered a severe brain injury — signs of an apparent assault. Hospital officials called officers from the 104th Precinct to investigate.

Police later learned that a woman had called 911 just before 6 p.m. on Thursday to report a group of homeless men fighting at the same location where Ruszczyk was found hours later.

Officers arrested 35-year-old Piotr Wilk, who is also homeless, on murder charges.

And now a word from the original Crapper:

So this Ridgewood homeless guy refused to go to a shelter because they are too dangerous yet the RTU calls people racist for opposing these same shelters and fought for him to remain on the street where he was killed. You can't make this up.

What's your opinion? We like to know-JQ LLC (channeling the old WPIX editorial guy)

Two new luxury public housing buildings arise in Astoria and Long Island City

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Queens Post

Two affordable housing lotteries are now open in Long Island City and Astoria, but only to people who make at least $68,500 a year.

In total, 13 apartments are up for grabs across the two apartment buildings — which are both located on Crescent Street. To be eligible for the lotteries, residents must make 130 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).

There are six units available in a newly constructed building at 38-35 Crescent St., with three one bedrooms and three two bedrooms.

The one-bedroom units are open to households of one to three people who make between $72,858 and $139,620 combined annually. Rent costs $2,125 a month.

Three two-bedroom units are open to households of two to five people who make between $86,572 and $167,570 combined annually. Rent costs $2,525 a month.

Tenants must pay for electricity, including the cost of heat, in addition to rent.

The Long Island City building owner is offering three months of rent free on initial leases, according to the NYC Housing Connect site. The building offers a host of amenities such as an elevator, laundry room, parking garage and roof deck.

There are also seven units available through the lottery at 30-82 Crescent St. in Astoria.

One studio apartment is available for $2,000 a month to households of one to two people who make between $68,572 and $124,150 combined annually.

Five one-bedroom units are available for $2,200 a month to households of one to three people who make between $75,429 and $139,620 combined annually.

One two-bedroom unit is available for $2,823 a month to households of two to five people who make between $96,789 and $167,570 combined annually.

 

 


Malcolm Smith was sprung from prison last year and nobody knew about it.

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 NY Post

 Former state Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith was quietly sprung early from prison last year — and is being allowed to complete the remainder of his seven-year public corruption sentence at his home in Queens, The Post has learned.

News of Smith’s home confinement comes after ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was furloughed for a few days after having served less than a year of six-and-a-half year sentence for corruption — but was quickly ordered back to the clink by federal authorities.

The federal Bureau of Prisons said Smith, 64, was transferred from Lewisburg prison in Pennsylvania to “community confinement” on May 27, 2020, during the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Smith’s projected release date from custody is Oct. 22, 2021.

Law enforcement sources said it’s not unusual for the BOP to transition inmates to community supervision or home confinement near the end of their sentence.

Smith is back at his home in Jamaica, Queens, and was outside wearing a bathrobe and watering his lawn Sunday morning. 

 Malcolm is home. I spoke to Malcolm and I spoke to his wife,” said Queens Assemblywoman Vivian Cook. “He’s doing fine.”

Another pal who spoke to Smith said, “Malcolm sounded terrific. He’s a man of faith,”

The Manhattan US Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted Smith, declined comment.

Smith, a Democrat who represented southeast Queens in the state Senate, was convicted of corrupting the political process by trying to buy his way onto the Republican ballot in a scheme to become mayor of New York City in 2013.

He was done in when he unknowingly turned to Moses Stern — a crooked Rockland County developer turned cooperating federal witness — as well as another man Smith thought was a developer but who was actually an undercover federal agent.

Smith pushed both for money to aid in his mayoral dream by steering funds to city Republican Party officials.

In turn, Smith promised them $500,000 in transportation funds for a project in Spring Valley.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

To be the next mayor, the old medium is still the message

  

The Jewish Voice

The city comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, is kicking off his first television ad campaign this week, marking the beginning of a new, intense, and expensive phase of the race eight weeks out from the June 22 primary that is likely to determine the next mayor of New York.

 The first phase of the most important mayoral campaign in our lifetime did nothing to help the public find a new mayor who can reverse the economic destruction caused by COVERT to the city.   Phase one of the campaign consisted mostly of candidates taking selfies with supporters around the city for twitter and Facebook and zoom calls. The zoom calls often had several candidates speaking to special interest insider groups, were not debates, but talking point discussion written to gain the support of the group hosting the call, written by the candidate’s public relations consultants

 So far, we know the candidates want more money for bike lanes, animal rights and everything else, but they do not explain where the city which is suffering the worse fiscal crisis since the depression, will get the funding.  The voters have no idea which of the candidates will better manage or fix the city’s long-term problems like homelessness or the new ones like 40% of the city’s businesses closed permanently, because they are not discussed beyond the candidate promising to fix all the city’s problems.

   There has been no vetting by debates or by journalists of any of these candidates’ promises or plans.As the TV phase of the campaign now begins more New Yorkers will be exposed to the better funded mayoral candidates as their TVs, Phones and Computers will be bombarded with campaign ads, but those commercials will still be talking points written by campaign consultants.  However if the past is prolog those TV ads, if done right. could be enough to elect the next mayor.

In 1977 the Brilliant TV commercials created by media genius the late David Garth were enough to elect Ed Koch as mayor.   Mario M. Cuomo was running for mayor against Mr. Garth’s come-from-behind creation, Edward I. Koch, Mr. Cuomo sardonically demanded: “What hath Garth wrought?”   

Koch often said he would never have been elected mayor without Garth’s commercials.  He was 10 points behind before Garth started his commercials.

 The late Roger Ailes, former Fox News president and political consultant himself, said “Garth was a political guy who learned how to use television rather than a television guy who learned politics,” Mr. Ailes said. “Nobody knew New York better.   Years after his lost to Koch, Mario Cuomo would recruit Mr. Garth for one of his own campaigns for governor, which he won.   So did Rudolph W. Giuliani and Michael R. Bloomberg who both became mayors of NYC.

Shout out to @UnitedNYBlogs, who wrote this post for the Jewish Voice and ran the essential True News blog, for still tagging me in his tweets even though I'm still unreasonably and unjustifiably deplatformed.

  #FreeJQLLC

The South Richmond Hill Horror

 

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Impunity City 

 

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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Two women and a little girl got shot in Times Square in broad daylight

 

Impunity City

Seems like bad old days again in the new Times Square…

Why wait for Broadway to re-open and spend a grand on Hamilton when you can see a duel between two shitty gunmen on the street?

 NY Daily News

Three people — two women and a four-year-old girl — where hit by stray bullets when a gunman took aim at another man in Times Square on Saturday afternoon, police said.

Police were called to the area near W. 44th St. and Seventh Ave. around 4:55 p.m.

The victims were rushed to local hospitals. Two victims taken to Bellevue Hospital, including the little girl, did not suffer life-threatening wounds, said police.

None of the three victims were known to each other, law enforcement sources said. One of the injured woman is 23 years old, and the other is 42 years old.

The mayhem began when two men on a street corner started arguing, and one of them pulled a gun, said police sources.

Caption The Blaz screwing off on the Empire State Building

Dance troupe misses out on city's arts and culture recovery

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QNS

 

As New York City moves toward its COVID reopening May 19, the renaissance comes too late for a dance company in Astoria.

The board of the Pascal Rioult Dance Theatre announced Thursday that it is dissolving the organization, closing its Astoria-based dance center and the dance company due to “the ongoing difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic,” effective immediately.

“On behalf of the board, we’re saddened to announce the dissolution of the organization and the closure of the RIOULT Dance Center,” former Chairman of the Board Hope Greenfield said. “We had expected many great things for the future of the company, especially with our new center in Astoria, but the pandemic has sadly brought an end to our plans.”

For nearly three decades, the Pascal Rioult Dance Theatre was part of the city’s dance community performing 12 of its New York seasons at the Joyce Theater in Manhattan. The dance company also performed at theaters and festivals across the country including: New York City Fall for Dance; Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors; Central Park SummerStage; the American Dance Festival in Raleigh, N.C.; the Annenberg Center; and Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, California.

International venues included the Cannes International Festival, Maison de la Danse in Lyon, France, the Tamaulipas International Festival in Mexico as well as venues in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Japan.

The RIOULT Dance Center opened in October 2018 in Astoria and quickly became a safe and welcoming space for dancers from all across the New York City area to take classes, rehearse and create, as well as function as a home for the dance company. The school was dedicated to community-based arts programming, providing an educational resource for western Queens.

“I am sorry that my dream of establishing a home for the company and school that celebrates the diversity and richness of dance has come to this unfortunate end, and has necessitated the closure of the dance company,” Founder Pascal Rioult said. “I am grateful for the dedication of my Board, my staff, my dancers, my teachers, and the artists who made the center a vibrant place. I am proud of the reputation RIOULT Dance NY has garnered over 27 years. My entire life has been dedicated to dance and even though this chapter is closing, my choreographic career has not come to an end.

 

NY Senate bill is a firestarter

 


 QNS

Two key figures in the western Queens NYCHA community have joined a coalition of leading business organizations and consumer product safety advocates who are warning that a proposed ban on flame retardants in New York state could increase fire-induced deaths, injury and property damage and further ravage an already struggling economy.

The ban would prohibit the sale of a broad range of products for use in residential settings that contain some of the most commonly used fire retardants, products that provide an important layer of protection by helping to stop or delay the onset and spread of fires, providing additional life-saving time to escape a fire, according to the American Chemistry Council.

“The threat of fires is something we live with every day as public housing residents,” Astoria Houses Tenant Association President Claudia Coger said. “It is deeply troubling that lawmakers would consider taking action that could make it easier for fires to spread and even more difficult for residents to escape in a life-or-death situation.”

If enacted, the ban would impact a broad range of fire retardant substances found in everyday household items — including computers, televisions, mobile phones, video game consoles, children’s toys, electronics used for infants, exercise equipment such as stationary bikes and treadmills, couches and mattresses — which would become fuel for fires across the five boroughs. Research has demonstrated that fire death rates are higher in states with larger percentages of people who are African-American, lower-income and smokers, and have less formal education.

Fire safety is also a critical issue for senior citizens. Older adults continue to experience a disproportionate share of fire deaths. Although adults aged 65 and over are only 16 percent of the U.S. population, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) data shows that individuals 65 and over make up 33 percent of fire deaths. According to U.S. Census Bureau projections, by 2060, the number of individuals ages 65 or older is expected to be 95 million — nearly double the amount in 2017. Of the 114 civilian home fire fatalities in New York in 2020, 43 were older adults.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Brooklyn woman sick of de Blasio's denials about subway crime

Maybe more painting and dancing on the subway might help... 

The Blaz's recovery for all of us is being trumped by the new bad days.

de Blasio cares more about unvaccinated tourists than unvaccinated constituents

 

NY Post

A hotdog from Coney Island, an “I heart NY” T-shirt from Times Square… and a COVID-19 vaccine from the Department of Health. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to make a jab in the arm the Big Apple’s next great souvenir — by offering the coronavirus vaccine to tourists, he announced Thursday. But the state would need to approve the idea.

“This summer you’re going to see tourism come alive again in New York City,” de Blasio said during a City Hall press briefing. “We want to go the extra mile, make it easy for tourists, if they’re here, get vaccinated while you’re here.”

The de Blasio administration is hoping to set up mobile immunization sites at popular destinations around the city like Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Central Park, and the High Line in order to get out-of-towners inoculated against COVID-19 with Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine, Hizzoner said.

“It makes sense to put mobile vaccination sites where the tourists are,” de Blasio said. “That is good for all of us that they get vaccinated. It’s good for them, it’s another reason to be here and know you’re going to be taken care of.”

I guess it hasn't dawned on this idiot at all that people from other states and nations might have got their shots where they are from. This might work with visitors from India, but they are sort of not allowed to come here right now. Maybe send these mobile vac sites to people that are here now.

The Blaz adds Thrive to permanent government

 

NY Post

In trouble? Try a rebranding.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has quietly moved to rename and make permanent first lady Chirlane McCray’s embattled billion-dollar ThriveNYC mental health initiative, shifting the program into City Hall and creating the Office of Community Mental Health to house it.

De Blasio signed the executive orders inking the changes without fanfare on Wednesday, a few days after the initial announcement was buried by the news of sexual harassment allegations leveled against city Comptroller Scott Stringer.

The transition was swift.

The next day, City Hall sent a press release that identified ThriveNYC’s top honcho, Susan Herman, as the “director” of the new Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health.

ThriveNYC went entirely unmentioned in the Thursday statement, though the email address for inquiries from the press still used the ‘thrive.nyc.gov’ domain. 

 Meanwhile, the website for McCray’s controversy-scarred initiative quietly added a banner to the top that reads: “We’re becoming the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health. Learn Why.”

It’s a far different picture than the one painted by Hizzoner and McCray as they rolled out the new office during his daily press briefing on April 29.

“And third, we want this work to deepen and we want to make sure it’s community focused. So, [we’re] establishing a permanent Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health,” said de Blasio during that morning press briefing.

“In the end, the way to reach people with mental health challenges is early and often – it’s schools, it’s at community-based organizations, it’s in shelters, it’s in so places where people need help, but, historically, have not had a place to turn,” he continued. “This vision and this office will ensure that mental health services are available at the grassroots all over the city.” 

You know what this means right? This means Chirlie is not leaving. Tweed-le Dumb.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Hi Ho Silver

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 NY Daily News

Corrupt ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver returned home to the Lower East Side on Tuesday, appearing frail and gray as he entered his apartment complex in a wheelchair after spending eight months and eight days in an upstate federal prison.

Silver, 77, was released by the federal Bureau of Prisons over the adamant objections of prosecutors amid claims that he is in poor health.

He arrived at his longtime home in the Hillman Housing Co-op on Grand St. at 5:10 p.m., clad in sweats and a gray baseball cap as he was pushed along a wheelchair ramp into one of the complex’s buildings.

“He needs privacy. He needs to recover health-wise,” said Rabbi Akiva Homnick, president of Pidyon Shvuyai Yisroel, a Jewish prisoner support group. Homnick spoke to Silver after his release.

Asked how Silver is doing, Homnick said: “How could one be doing when you endure solitary confinement for a good chunk of 6½ months? It was quarantine, quarantine, quarantine, imprisoned in solitary confinement.”

“He is stoked to return,” Homnick added.

Desperate times call for desperate measures

So this guy Derek Evers is elected to office as a Democratic district leader, and also was appointed to the local community board by Donovan Richards (which may be a no-no as per the city charter), yet he conveniently neglected to mention he's also Juan Ardila's paid campaign manager...

Prior to reading his ridiculous screed against Ardila's opponent, here's a partial fact check:

- The contentious homeless shelter in the 2017 race was located in a Maspeth hotel. It's gone now.
- Holden was never chair of the community board. If he was, that would be displayed prominently on his campaign material, no?
- The HCQ thing links to an article where Cuomo pleads for it, not Trump.
- There's a screenshot of an undated Facebook post with a blurred out name purported to be from Holden's Deputy Chief of Staff that shows a pro-Trump rally but doesn't show the breach of the Capitol or praise of same. Kinda stalkerish to be snooping on a staff member's Facebook page regardless.
- Chokeholds have been banned by the NYPD patrol guide for decades and the legislation in question was not to make them legal.
- Not sure what Holden's age has to do with anything unless the Ardila campaign is ageist along with everything else (likely).
- By his own measure he's failing on graffiti? Or is it more like police aren't making graffiti arrests because the DAs are declining to prosecute and the judges are dismissing the charges now in New Woke City?
- How can 40% of the district be Latino and also be gerrymandered?
- People of all races hate those loud car speaker/biker/ATV assholes and besides that they are dangerous to pedestrians, cyclists and drivers, but it's good to know the Ardila campaign is in favor of them. (This position seems to be against the progressive doctrine to oppose motorized vehicles at all times. I guess there are exceptions.)

Now go ahead and have a good laugh:

Dear Democratic leaders of Queens,

I’m tired.

I’m tired of living in a District run by an angry man who uses his votes and his rhetoric and his relationship with the press to divide and separate our wonderful community. 

Robert Holden does not represent District 30 in a manner befitting of any elected role, regardless of what political party he wants to align with. At his core, he’s a divider who preys on people’s fears to create a “path to victory” in local elections. 

Of course, this is nothing new. This is what Robert Holden does.

He did it in his 2017 race against Elizabeth Crowley, drumming up hatred for a homeless shelter that was inevitably still built after he was elected. Yet, despite his own failures to stop construction or to address the homeless crisis in his district, he continues to lean into it with hate-filled rhetoric, saying things like the men who live there “will never assimilate into the neighborhood, they'll never blend in." 

Even as far back as his days as chair of the Community Board there are stories of people being scared to run against him because they knew the Juniper Berry would smear them if they tried.

And now that he’s running for re-election he’s going to try to pull the same Trump-like “divide and conquer” strategy. So I implore you, do not look at the Robert Holden who is running for re-election, look at his voting record to see what kind of man he really is.

Robert Holden wasn’t running for re-election when he voted against a bill that would prohibit employment discrimination based on an individual’s sexual and reproductive health decisions. 

Or when he voted against a bill that would allow individuals to change their sex designation on their birth certificate to conform with their gender identity. 

Or when he voted against a bill that would establish diversity working groups in each community school district. 

Or when he appeared on FOX News to say NYC should not be a sanctuary city.

Or when he voted against creating an Office of Diversity and Inclusion within the Department of Citywide Administrative Services. 

Or when he voted against an order that would replace the word “alien” with “noncitizen” in the City Charter. 

Or when he introduced a bill that would re-allow the police to use a chokehold like the one that killed Eric Garner. 

Or when he quit the Immigration Committee because he thinks ICE agents should be allowed in New York state courthouses without warrants

Or when he parroted Trump’s call to use the anti-Malaria drug Hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID patients. 

Or when he remained silent as his Deputy Chief Of Staff praised the Jan 6th insurrection on Facebook, calling it “beautiful” and ending it with “Donald Trump I will fly your flag everyday no matter what”.

Then of course there’s the veiled racism in a district that is nearly 40% Hispanic but gerrymandered so heavily that the Latino portions of our district are under-represented. It’s no coincidence that he continues to target loud music in the park, young men of color who congregate with their cars in park parking lots, or boys of color who ride their bikes in groups.

He’s been on the graffiti task force for 20 years and yet, by his own measure, he’s either failing or repeatedly brings it up as just another dog whistle. And despite the reputation of having one of the best school districts in the city, we have a dismal SHSAT record of racial disparity and zero dual-language programs for public elementary schools that are 70% Latino. 

I am a middle-aged man and Robert Holden is older than my father. I would say he should know better, but this is who he is. This is who he has always been.

So I implore you, as fellow Democrats, please do not buy into his words and heed the warnings of his actions. If you don’t have the bravery to stand up to his hate-filled record of divisiveness, then do what our parents told us to do when faced with a bully — ignore him and try not to engage. 

This is not the leader our community wants or needs. I hope you remember that when you speak to your friends and neighbors, and most importantly, when you head to the polls.

Thank you
Sincerely,

Derek J. Evers
Democratic District Leader, AD37B

Critical mass motorcycle and ATV gangs dominate Astoria Park.

 


LIC Post

Dozens of illegal riders on dirt bikes and ATVs ripped through Astoria Park Sunday pulling wheelies, revving engines and sending dust flying – before eventually being chased out of the park by police.

The unruly sight, which left park-goers angered – and others covered in dust – occurred at around 6 p.m. at the southern end of the park where families were soaking up the evening sunlight and skateboarders were riding the ramps of the skate park.

A long stream of raucous bikers were seen traveling southbound along a pathway inside Astoria Park before descending on the skate park that was full of young children who were forced to flee for safety, video footage obtained by the Queens Post shows.

One biker pulled a “doughnut” just before entering the skate park which showered people in dust, according to Ben Kennedy, a skateboarder who witnessed the disruptive scene.

“It was a complete dust storm for a couple of minutes,” said Kennedy, who estimated that the group consisted of more than 100 vehicles.

 The bikers essentially forced the pedestrians off the pathway and one mother pushing her child in a baby stroller could be seen waiting for the dangerous activity to subside before accessing the walkway, the footage reveals.

The bikers, Kennedy said, then essentially took over the skate park by driving around the concrete purpose-built area leaving irate skateboarders with no choice but to leave or else face being run down. Many of the bikers were not wearing helmets.

Around 10 cops showed up a few minutes later and chased the bikers away, Kennedy said. He said the police confiscated two dirt bikes at the scene after some riders decided to drop their vehicles in order to evade the cops on foot.

“It actually became even more dangerous when the cops attempted to apprehend the bikers because they started to scramble away at speed,” Kennedy said about the hectic episode.

It is unclear if any arrests were made. A police spokesperson did not have any information pertaining to the ugly incident when called for comment.

Kennedy said that bikers have been driving recklessly in groups at the park since the weather began to heat up this year.

“It wasn’t a surprise to see them and everyone is mystified as to why they are not being stopped,” he said. “It’s not safe.”

Other residents said that the illegal activity has been taking place at the park since last year.

 I'm surprised they didn't show up for AOC's little rally at this same spot a week ago.

 

 

Cuomo: Don't kill Nonna, get vaccinated

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 NY Post

Now he cares about the elderly catching COVID-19.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo — whose administration infamously ordered the state’s nursing homes to accept coronavirus-stricken patients at the height of the pandemic last year — tried to guilt young people Monday into getting vaccinated by warning they could kill their grandparents if they don’t.

“There is an attitude that they’ll be fine, why should they take the vaccine?” the governor said at a press briefing, referring to young people.

“My argument is, yeah, maybe you’ll be fine, and by the way, you don’t know that either,’’ the governor said. “Maybe you will get a long-haul syndrome that we’re not really be sure what it is yet but a lingering consequence of COVID.

“Or maybe you’ll go home and kiss your grandmother and wind up killing your grandmother. So show some civic responsibility,’’ Cuomo said.

His comments come just over a year after the state Health Department’s controversial edict that sent nursing home residents who tested positive for the virus back to the facilities — even though the elderly are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19.

A February analysis of data by the nonprofit Empire Center for Public Policy found that “several hundred and possibly more than 1,000” fatalities from the virus in nursing homes in the state could be tied to the policy — despite the Cuomo administration insisting it was not a “significant factor” in the toll. 

Cuomo and his aides are accused of then withholding the true number of nursing home residents who died from COVID-19 by excluding those who ultimately passed away in hospitals — a scandal that is now at the center of state and federal probes.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Subway will be full time and capacity restrictions will be removed (but some quasi-restrictions will remain) in New York in a few weeks.

Gothamist 

 Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he wanted New York City to fully reopen by July 1st for what he dubbed the "Summer of New York." But today, Governor Andrew Cuomo trumped him by announcing that most capacity restrictions for businesses, restaurants and cultural venues would be lifted by May 19th.

Cuomo said that this announcement, which was being made in parallel with the governors across the tri-state area, will affect retail stores, gyms and fitness centers, amusement parks, hair salons and barber shops, offices, Broadway theaters, museums, restaurants and bars. He added that individual venues and businesses could make their own decisions about whether they are ready to reopen in May—most Broadway shows, for instance, won't be able to resume productions immediately, but the option is there.

For all these businesses, the CDC's six foot social distancing guidance is still in effect, but if a gathering or venue can prove that all individuals present are fully vaccinated or have had a recent negative COVID test, then the six foot rule doesn't need to apply. The exception to this is if restaurants put up physical barriers between tables, in which case they don't need to worry about the six foot rule.

"So it's six feet, but if you say, I'm only going to allow press in the room who are fully vaccinated, I'm only going to allow people in the restaurant who are fully vaccinated or just took a negative test, then you can go above the six feet," Cuomo explained. He noted that if the CDC changes their recommendation, New York will reassess the six foot rule as well.

Cuomo went on to note that because of this rule, individual businesses could better incentivize people to get vaccinated — venue operators, he suggested, could allow more seats for vaccinated people, who would not be subjected to the six-foot rule, while those who are unvaccinated would still need to socially distance.

Cuomo previously announced that indoor dining would be expanded to 75% capacity in New York City, bringing the city in line with the rest of the state, starting May 7th. Per today's announcement, it will expand to 100% capacity as of May 19th. The midnight curfew will be lifted for outdoor dining beginning May 17th and for indoor dining beginning May 31st.

The indoor catered gathering limit will increase to 250 people, or 500 with negative COVID testing or proof of vaccination, as of May 19th. Residential gathering limits will increase to 50 people as of that date as well.

According to the state, venues that host live arts and entertainment can exceed social gathering limits of 500 people outdoors and 250 indoors "if all attendees over the age of four present either proof of full vaccination status or recent negative COVID-19 test result and the required social distancing can be accommodated."

Outdoor large stadiums and arenas—such as Citi Field and Yankee Stadium—will increase to 33% capacity as of May 19th, but Cuomo said they are looking to expand that.

Cuomo also announced that in conjunction with the reopening of New York, 24-hour subway service will resume as of May 17th for the first time since the early days of the pandemic.

"We think there's a moment of opportunity here, and we're going to build a totally different New York. We're going to reimagine it, we're going to renew it, it's going to be a New York that never existed before," Cuomo said about the post-pandemic revival. "We're going to fix a lot of the things that we should have fixed all along, and it can be a moment for a New York renaissance."



City council race to replace Grodenchik is tight and diverse

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Queens Eagle 

 Queens’ topsy-turvy political landscape became even more uncertain last year when Councilmember Barry Grodenchik, one of only four councilmembers in the borough eligible for reelection, decided not to run in 2021.

Even before the announcement, a handful of candidates had filed campaigns to challenge Grodenchik, weakened by accusations of sexual harassment and stripped of his role as chair of the Parks committee. His exit plan set the stage for a wide-open primary, with seven people on the ballot and, according to local political observers and insiders, no clear-cut favorite.

The candidates include Grodenchik’s closest aide, Steve Behar; prominent nonprofit director Linda Lee; veteran government official Debra Markell, Sikh community leader Harpreet Singh Toor; and organizer Jaslin Kaur, the first Eastern Queens candidate backed by the Democratic Socialists of America. Two other community leaders, Sanjeev Kumar Jindal and Koshy Thomas, are also running.

The seven hopefuls are vying to represent one of New York City’s oldest council districts, where more than 20 percent of residents are over age 65. It’s also one of the city’s most suburban regions.

Indeed, driving through the neighborhoods of Council District 23 — and without a single subway stop, most people do rely on cars and buses — one would be forgiven for thinking they’ve already crossed into the burbs of Nassau County. 

Detached single family homes take up big tracts of land here, more so than in nearly any other council district in New York City. Major institutions, like Long Island Jewish Medical Center and the massive North Shore Towers co-op complex, straddle the border of Queens and Nassau.

Even neighborhood names give pause: Are you in Floral Park, Queens or Floral Park, Long Island? 

And if all that geographic confusion weren’t enough, there’s an honest-to-god farm here, complete with sheep for shearing and chickens for laying. Granted, it’s nearly 330 years old and preserved as a novel historic site, but still, a farm in New York City. 

But like suburbs across the country, the Northeast Queens pseudo-burbs are anything but homogenous. 

Residents, and candidates, span the political spectrum and incomes vary. In Community Districts 11 and 13, which overlap with Council District 23, more than 43 percent of residents are considered rent-burdened, meaning they spend more than 35 percent of their income on housing. 

Residents also reflect an array of races, religions and ethnicities. 

White New Yorkers, and in particular, Jewish residents, make up a large portion of the population in Bellerose, Douglaston, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks and Oakland Gardens, but the district is also home to some of New York City’s largest Asian, South Asian and Pacific Islander communities. In fact, more than 40 percent of district residents identify as Asian, including about 45 percent of the population in Community District 11, which overlaps with much of the council district. 

About 45 percent of CD11 residents were born outside the United States and many more are first-generation Americans. There are also significant populations of Black and Latino residents in places like Hollis and Queens Village, which are located in the northern portions of predominantly Black Community Districts 12 and 13.

“This is a very ethnically and religiously diverse district and is largely a community of single-family homeowners but with sizable garden apartment co-ops in it,” said Glen Oaks resident Ali Najmi, an attorney extremely active in local politics. He ran for the council seat in a 2015 special election and is representing Kaur in this election. “It’s a great place to live and raise a family.” 

But it could be even better, the candidates agree.

Three major goals emerge in conversations with the people running to replace Grodenchik: Increase transportation options in the subwayless “transit desert,” preserve the quality of the region’s well regarded schools and boost services for seniors. They are also focused on healthcare and reaching residents — like immigrants and low-wage workers — whose experiences don’t fit into the district’s comfortable, suburban reputation.

Pseudoburb? It's sounds like a word shitlib real estate lobbyists on twitter make up to describe residential areas with one and two-family homes, kind of like how said shitlibs weaponize the term NIMBY constantly against people who don't want any more over-development or pseudo affordable housing in this city.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Kathryn Garcia is not the one to be number two

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NY Post

Kathryn Garcia isn’t flattered by Andrew Yang’s repeated insistence he’d make her his deputy if he wins this year’s New York City mayoral election.

The former sanitation commission and mayoral hopeful said it was “sexist” for Yang and other male opponents in the race to suggest she’d accept a role as their behind-the-scene side-kick.

“I would like Andrew Yang to stop saying that. I’m not running for No. 2,” Garcia said in an interview with The New Yorker published Saturday. “It’s totally sexist. Totally sexist.”

Yang, a newcomer to city politics, has said he would appoint Garcia deputy mayor to handle the nuts and bolts of City Hall.

“I’m already thinking about how to staff the administration and make sure we can actually move the bureaucracy,” he told The Post’s Editorial Board on Thursday. “I have my eyes very wide open for people like Kathryn.”

“It makes it sound like they’re giving me a compliment, but they’re not,” Garcia told the New Yorker, referring to Yang and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, another polling frontrunner, who she said has “has straight up told other people, particularly when going for endorsements, ‘Well, I’d make her deputy mayor.'”

 "Are you not strong enough to actually do this job, without me helping you? You should be strong enough. You shouldn’t need me,” she told the magazine.

“To be quite clear: I don’t need you guys, to run this government.”

 For her next campaign ad, Garcia should let the city know that the two leading contenders for the Mayor's office can only lead this city behind a skirt. These hacks are very lucky I'm not on Twitter.

 

Creepy Lincoln Restler's cult recruitment themed campaigning.

 

 You can say "relational organizing" is good way to describe Restler's concept to shuffle and warehouse homeless people and families in hotels and motels during his time working with the Blaz and Banks at the DHS.

 


 

Soccer stadium coming to Jamaica

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Queens Chronicle

Professional soccer is coming to Queens — and York College in Jamaica — next spring.

City officials on Tuesday joined the owner of Queensboro FC to announce plans to build a 7,500-seat stadium on a plot of land just south of York’s Health and Physical Education building.

The stadium will be bounded by 160th Street to the west, Tuskegee Airmen Way to the south and Guy R. Brewer Boulevard to the east.

Queensboro FC is an expansion team in the United Soccer League and will begin play in 2022. In addition to QBFC games and practices, the facility will host York’s commencement ceremonies, CUNY Athletic Conference tournament play, and other events both free and ticketed.

“York College is honored to be the host site for Queensboro FC’s home stadium,” York President Berenecea Johnson Eanes said in a statement issued by CUNY and the club. “We believe their contributions as a community-led sporting organization will greatly advance our facilities, our campus experience, and our neighborhoods. This project will showcase the importance of private and public sectors coming together, and working together, to celebrate diversity and bridge communities.”

Jonathan Krane, the club owner, said it was an exciting day for the team.

“The announcement of our home stadium site at York College represents a bold new chapter for professional sports in New York City,” Krane said. “More importantly, we are proud to deliver our QBFC fans a dedicated soccer specific venue, built by and for the Queens community, bringing us all together to celebrate the beautiful game.”

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Woman accusing Scott Stringer of sexual harassment petitioned for Andrew Yang's nomination

 

 CBS New York

 There’s another bombshell in the New York City mayoral race.

The woman accusing Scott Stringer of sexually assaulting her circulated nominating petitions for one of Stringer’s top opponents, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported Friday.  

 Stringer, New York City’s comptroller and a Democratic candidate for mayor, campaigned in Flatbush, Brooklyn to ask New Yorkers to give him a fair hearing as he continues to forcefully deny startling accusations he groped campaign volunteer Jean Kim twenty years ago.

“We also have to make sure that we investigate, we listen, we look at the facts and follow the facts,” Stringer said.

There are now new facts to consider.

First, Kim collected signatures on nominating petitions to get several candidates – including Democratic primary front-runner Andrew Yang – on the ballot.

Kim, a standup comedian, also wrote a thesis for a master’s degree at CUNY about women and their struggles to be considered funny.

“Fortunately, I have no stories about comics flashing themselves in front of me, or of sexual groping episodes,” she wrote in 2002.

Kim says Stringer sexually assaulted her in 2001.

“Scott Stringer repeatedly groped me, put his hands on my thighs and between my legs and demanded to know why I wouldn’t have sex with him. He kept saying, ‘Why won’t you f*** me, why won’t you f*** me?'” Kim said.

Stringer says it never happened. Kramer asked him how he felt about Kim carrying petitions for Yang.

“I don’t really want to speculate on those motivations,” Stringer said. “But people should take a look at, you know she has a lot of commonality with people who oppose me politically.”

If this story gets more legs, it will show that even nice guy Yang couldn't resist resorting to sleazy politics. At least it'll show he's a true New Yorker.

City Council ratifies permanent open streets

 

The Village Sun

 New York City is going from “Mean Streets” to Open Streets.

The City Council voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to make the Open Streets program, launched a year ago during the pandemic, permanent. There were only eight No votes.

The driving force — scratch that — the walking and biking force behind the program is Councilmember Carlina Rivera, who was the lead sponsor a year ago of the original bill creating the program. Council Speaker Corey Johnson was a co-sponsor. The initiative was approved last April with the stated purpose of increasing space for social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic. At that time, it was said that Open Streets would affect 1 percent of the city’s roadways.

Though COVID is now on the wane, the Council’s vote on Thursday not only made the Open Streets pilot program permanent but expanded it in several ways.

With the legislation’s passage, the city’s Department of Transportation will now be required to operate a permanent program for Open Streets program, which will be managed either by D.O.T. or local community organizations.

Also, D.O.T. will now be required to conduct annual evaluations of existing Open Streets to determine whether to enact permanent design changes — such as transforming them into shared streets or pedestrian plazas, raising the street grade or removing parking.

According to a press release from Rivera, “D.O.T. will be required to annually evaluate and report on any existing Open Streets to determine if any could benefit from a permanent suite of street changes. These include but are not limited to conversions into a shared street or pedestrian plaza, the addition of bicycle parking, signage, street markings, installation of bollards or street barriers, tree plantings, parking removal, street furniture and accessibility improvements, including raising of the street grade.

“Any conversions to permanent shared street or pedestrian plazas would satisfy benchmarks established in the Streets Master Plan, allowing for a more effective, community-led transition to a more pedestrian-friendly city,” Rivera noted.

In addition, Open Streets operators will now have the ability, when they apply, to designate parking spaces that they want to use for programming or other uses instead of vehicle parking. These uses could include event space or “parklets,” for example.

Also, under the newly approved changes, operators also now have the option to run Open Streets 24 hours a day, plus pursue complete road closures, subject to D.O.T. approval.

The picture above is one of the alpha open streets that were approved during the pandemic in Jackson Heights. And it should look familiar because that's one of the open streets where an apartment building went on fire and displaced 400 people.