Tuesday, August 31, 2021

The Parking Games

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Rest in peace bubala

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Crains New York

Rumors about the future of a Jewish funeral home in Queens have been laid to rest.

Parkside Memorial Chapel at 98-60 Queens Blvd. in Rego Park will become a 51-unit residential project spanning about 72,000 square feet, according to plans that owner David Matatov filed Tuesday with the city Department of Buildings.

The mixed-use development would stand 7 stories tall and include commercial and community space, along with 15 parking spots. JFA is the architect of record.

A firm linked to RB Realty Capital purchased the building from Parkside Memorial Chapels in July for slightly less than $11 million, property records show. The developer filed an application Wednesday to demolish the 2-story building, but the application has not been approved yet, and the demolition permit has not been issued, according to the DOB.

Parkside has multiple other locations in the city, including at 1700 Coney Island Ave. in Midwood, Brooklyn, and at 114-03 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills, Queens, according to its website.

Representatives for RB Realty did not respond to a request for comment.

City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz told the Queens Chronicle in February that the project planned to replace the funeral home would be an affordable-housing development for senior citizens. Her office did not respond to a request for comment on whether that is still in the works.

Why are these people so shy? Don't they want to help the housing insecure and retired senior citizens?


Vaccine mandate makes COVIDIOTS out of tennis fans clustering on line at the U.S. Open

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Gothamist

 Tennis fans who flocked to the first in-person U.S. Open in two years were forced to endure hours-long lines on Monday, leading to “completely chaotic” and dangerous crowding outside the stadium, according to attendees.

The full capacity tournament drew thousands of visitors to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Queens. But while the event was slated to begin at 11 a.m., fans said they were forced to wait outside for close to 2 hours — keeping them from some of the early matches and leaving attendees at risk of heat-related illness.

 Jessica Pearson, a Greenpoint resident who previously worked at the U.S. Open and has been coming to the tournament for more than two decades, said the lines and confusion were unprecedented.

“It was out of control,” said Pearson. “There was no crowd control from the stadium all the way back to the subway.”

In a statement, the U.S. Tennis Association said the delays were primarily caused by fans bringing an “inordinate number of bags this year.” They also said that patrons had arrived at the gates earlier than usual. "Previously, the number of patrons arriving to the grounds prior to 11 a.m. averaged approximately 10,000," the group said. "This year, the number arriving prior to 11 a.m. was only 3,000."

Others speculated that a last-minute decision to require COVID-19 vaccinations at the tournament was to blame. The USTA announced the mandate on Friday, after facing criticism for their original plan not to require vaccines or masks.

Pearson said the hold-up seemed at least in part due to broken metal detectors and a lack of staff. However, the association denied that vaccination requirement was a factor.

“The slow down seems to be centered on the Bag Check area,” the USTA statement noted. “The process to check proof of vaccination seems to be working smoothly and is not a major contributor hampering entrance to the site.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Southside Queens Trailer Hideaway

Crappy word on the street...

 If you drive on 134 street before south conduit by the Nassau express overpass or the Nassau expressway service roads you might notice these RVs tractor trailers. Box trucks and other commercial vehicles using this strip as a rest stop.


 
 
Problem is the trucks and RVs do not ever move they just sit here. Who is enforcing the law in this location?

 It’s absolutely ridiculous how they are getting away with this. But does this fall under the NYPD or port authority jurisdiction? Nobody seems to know. Maybe queens crap can help.

JQ: Maybe Rockaway Hideaway is expanding?


Turf trouble in Far Rockaway


QNS 

 For almost 20 years, the Rockaway Ravens, an all volunteer nonprofit youth sports organization that offers cheerleading, soccer and football programs, have been part of the Far Rockaway community.

Without a single recreational football field on the peninsula, its football team had to shuffle between Far Rockaway High School and Beach Channel High School football fields for practice for years. Then, with the support of then-City Councilman and current state Senator James Sanders, the Ravens petitioned for a field.

And when Rockaway Parks, a $30 million investment in recreation areas in Far Rockaway, opened on Aug. 6, 2012, the team finally had a gridiron they could call home.

Located on Beach 32nd and a mere “Hail Mary” pass away from the Atlantic Ocean — with the boardwalk serving as a divider — the players got to practice and play against other teams on their “field of dreams.”

Only a few months later, on Oct. 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy hit New York City. The Category 1 hurricane battered the Rockaways, and a 10-foot storm surge flooded the peninsula, demolishing homes and leaving many residents without shelter.

Sandy’s wrath also destroyed the football field.

Dexter Archbold, president and founder of the Rockaway Ravens, said the ground was covered in about three to four feet of sand after the surge moved out.

“You couldn’t see the green top, you couldn’t see the benches — nothing. Everything was completely covered,” Archbold said.

Archbold said that the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) did a great job removing the sand from the field.

But the saltwater eroded the shock padding — a layer below the turf that provides safety during athletic activities — and turned the turf, which should feel like a shag carpet, into a matted, sandpaper-like flat rug sitting on concrete.

Archbold said from what he understands, there was a lot of back and forth between DPR and the builder, and that they went to court.

Almost nine years later, the field — the only public recreational football field on the Peninsula — is still in the same condition.

Looking at the field and the players practicing tackles and blocks, he said, “I don’t know what the outcome is. But this is what we have to play with until better can be done.”

Caption the current mayor


Sunday, August 29, 2021

Public hearings for congestion austerity tax against drivers are coming soon

 


 CBS New York 

  Public meetings on New York City’s congestion pricing plan will begin in September.

The MTA, along with the state and city transportation departments, announced they will hold 13 virtual meetings between Sept. 23 and Oct. 13.

They will target 28 counties in the Tri-State Area to educate commuters about congestion pricing and allow them to voice their opinions.

Each meeting will focus on a different part of the Tri-State Area.

The meetings will take place at the following dates and times:

  • Thursday, Sept. 23, 10 a.m. to noon: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island
  • Thursday, Sept. 23, 6-8 p.m.: Manhattan Central Business District (60th Street and below)
  • Friday, Sept. 24, 10 a.m. to noon: New Jersey
  • Wednesday, Sept. 29, 10 a.m. to noon: Northern New York City Suburbs
  • Wednesday, Sept. 29, 6-8 p.m.: Long Island
  • Thursday, Sept. 30, 6-8 p.m.: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island
  • Friday, Oct. 1, 1-3 p.m.: Connecticut
  • Monday, Oct. 4, 6-8 p.m.: New Jersey
  • Tuesday, Oct. 5, 6-8 p.m.: Northern New York City Suburbs
  • Wednesday, Oct. 6, 6-8 p.m.: Manhattan Outside the Central Business District (61st Street and above)

There will also be three other public meetings for individuals and stakeholder groups in identified environmental justice communities in the Tri-State Area.

New York’s meeting will be held on Oct. 7, New Jersey’s meeting will be held on Oct. 12, and Connecticut’s meeting will be held on Oct. 13. All three meetings will take place from 6-8 p.m.

Parks Dept opens up more accessible paths to the Ridgewood Reservoir

 


 NY1

What once provided water for Brooklyn, now delivers peace and quiet for New Yorkers, and a habitat for a variety of wildlife. 

It’s the Ridgewood Reservoir, which sits on the Brooklyn-Queens Border at Highland Park. The East Causeway of the reservoir, with its original fencing from 1858, is now open weekends thanks to the work of the Parks Department and not-for-profit environmental education group NYC H20. 

"We bring students and families and community groups out to natural places like the beautiful Ridgewood Reservoir to teach about nature, water ecology and the water system, and to give people an appreciation for it and why they should care about it,” said Matt Malina, the executive director and founder of NYC H2O. 

Fed by 13 reservoirs reaching out east through Queens and Nassau Counties, the reservoir was built in 1858 to provide the then city of Brooklyn with water. It provided water for 100 years, and was last used in the 1960s when it was drained. Two of the basins have become forests again, the middle basin a freshwater pond.

"It's home to ducks, dragon flies and other birds and there are also dozens of species of birds that come through on their spring and fall migrations,” said Malina, who also noted that if you look closely there are even Italian Wall Lizards that call the area home. 

Here's hoping that the initial 're-imagining" plans to build a waterslide and performance space got thrown in the garbage.

 

Thursday, August 26, 2021

DHS ceases using neighboring hotels for sheltering homeless families

 

Redding St. 2017, JQ LLC

 

Queens Chronicle 

The city will be phasing out the use of two Ozone Park hotels to shelter homeless families in the fall, according to the city Department of Homeless Services.

Travelodge by Wyndham Ozone Park located at 137-30 Redding St. is slated to close Sept. 30, and the Ozone Inn & Suites at 137-08 Redding St. will close on Nov. 30.

The DHS will work with approximately 23 households residing at these locations over the coming weeks to connect some to permanent housing and others to alternative shelter placements.

The agency’s use of the two Ozone Park locations goes back to late 2016. They are not Covid-period commercial hotels, which the agency used throughout the pandemic to provide social distancing for its clients, and also began dismantling in July.

The agency maintains that the effort to transition from its use of hotels for homeless shelters is part of a longer-term process of phasing out the stop-gap use of commercial hotels that goes back to previous administrations.

“No one will be displaced and turned out onto the street. This is normal course-of-business work that is part of the plans/commitments we laid out in the Mayor’s Turning the Tide plan several years ago,” wrote a Department of Social Services spokesperson in an email response to questions from the Chronicle.

These hotels have been used as shelters for nearly a half a decade, so why do this now with the Delta Variant spreading?


The U.S. Open is exempt from city vaccine mandate and federal face mask guidelines

  

NY Post

Usually the U.S. Open is just about super tennis. Now it’s trying to avoid being a super spreader.

When the two-week tourney starts Monday in Flushing Meadows, health is going to be the priority, both mental and physical.

Players will get COVID-19 tests upon arrival, and again every four days with a positive result forcing a withdrawal.

Whereas Wimbledon required proof of negative tests and asked fans to wear masks around the grounds, the U.S. Open will do neither. Despite cases spiking due to the Delta variant, fans won’t have to be vaccinated or wear masks outdoors at Flushing Meadows.

With local vaccination rates around 70 percent, they’re banking on their protocols and common sense to keep the tourney from becoming a super-spreader.

“This is not a USTA decision or a U.S. Open decision, this is a decision made with New York City. Of course, we’ve been tracking what’s been happening at the baseball games and other events,” said Dr. Brian Hainline, a U.S. Tennis Association first vice president. “The goal is not to prevent a single infection: The goal is to prevent an outbreak and an uptick.

“We’re still relying on the goodwill of people. The unvaccinated, although it’s not going to be enforced, really should be wearing masks. … It’s like any other aspect of New York City, going to the baseball game, you make an informed decision. But based on all the data we have — we believe the current policy makes good sense in terms of avoiding any sort of a regional outbreak as a result of this event.”

Fans won’t have to wear masks in Arthur Ashe or Louis Armstrong even when the roofs are closed, because both are considered outdoor venues. Players won’t be sequestered like last year (although 75 percent will be at one of the two designated hotels) and the USTA had no figures on how many were vaccinated.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Mexican restaurant says no to Bill de Blasio


 

Rikers Island Blues

 


NY Post 

Inmates are running wild on Rikers Island amid an ongoing staffing crunch that’s left charges free to stab each other, answer the phones and run through corridors destroying maintenance equipment, The Post has learned. 

On Sunday morning, three inmates from the Folk Nation gang jumped a Bloods member and slashed him in the face inside of an unmanned housing area at the Anne M. Kross Center, the jail’s largest facility, internal records obtained by The Post show. 

At the time, 26 corrections officers were working quadruple shifts, 35 were on triple shifts and 30 patrol posts across the AMKC were unmanned as the jail grapples with an ongoing staff shortage, internal communications show. 

A day earlier at the Otis Bantum Correctional Center, another Rikers facility, a group of inmates ran wild through the corridors and destroyed a slew of fire safety equipment before officers could stop them, according to an internal email seeking “emergency maintenance.” 

“Numerous inmates were running through the corridors. They [sic] inmates broke the fire cabinets and numerous exit signs throughout the corridors. They also removed the hoses and nozzles from the cabinets,” the email, sent by an assistant deputy warden, states. 

On Monday, the chaos continued, according to Patrick Ferraiuolo, the president of the Correction Captains’ Association.  

“One of my captains in AMKC called a housing area and the inmates answered the phone,” Ferraiuolo recounted. 

“[The inmate] said ‘Hey how you doing captain? The officer went home, he was tired, he was going into his triple or fourth tour and he left, he left us here alone.’ So it’s a housing area with no correctional officer watching over them… this is an everyday occurrence,” he continued. 

NY Daily News

For five grueling days, hip-hop artist 2 Milly says he found himself in a fetid, overcrowded bullpen on Rikers Island — and then he was transferred to a quarantine unit that seems worse, where he gets no outdoor time and prisoners are often left unguarded.

“They treat us like we’re animals,” said 2 Milly, whose 2014 track “Milly Rock” has been played more than 25 million times on Spotify, and who is doing Rikers time on a gun charge under his birth name, Terrance Ferguson.

Ferguson, his fellow detainees and correction officers are thrown together in Rikers Island’s summer of hell — a staff shortage during the pandemic that has broken down basic services at the city’s giant prison complex and brought misery to everyone there.

 It’s so bad that Ferguson and other Rikers detainees have a grudging sympathy for the officers, who suffer stifling heat amid broken-down air conditioning and not enough rest during too-long work shifts.

“The officers are losing their minds,” Ferguson told the Daily News. “It’s the same guard for 24 hours. They’re sweating bullets, not getting meal breaks. I start feeling bad for them after a while.”

In turn, Rikers officers also offered some sympathy for the detainees’ living conditions. “For the most part, the inmates have been sympathetic,” said a veteran correction officer who asked for anonymity fearing Correction Department reprisals.

“They’ve actually offered me food when I’m working a triple,” the officer said. “The officers recognize the conditions are bad for the inmates and the inmates feel for the officers.”

Another detainee, Herman Williams, 37, convicted of attempted burglary, agreed. “They do them just as bad as us,” he said in a phone interview during which he was watched over by an officer.

“The lady [officer] sitting here right now, [is] sweating to death,” Williams said. “They say no one wants to do nothing.”

DOC officials acknowledged the problems have become more concerning in recent weeks, attributing them to a large volume of sick or unavailable staff. Of 8,500 officers, they said, roughly 3,500 either called in sick in July or were medically exempt from working with detainees. Another 2,300 simply didn’t come in at some point in July.

“We agree with many of the issues raised here,” DOC Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi said. “We have been taking extensive measures to encourage staff to return to work, to relieve those who have been heroically working extra shifts to compensate, and to make this an environment where any parent would feel like their own son or daughter was safe working or living here.”

This Schiraldi guy is another willfully oblivious ghoul. Just like the scumbag that hired him 


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Manhattan's open restaurants shanties inspired by Queens Crap

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Here she is, the new governor

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 NY Daily News 

 Kathy Hochul, the first woman to serve as governor of New York, was sworn in Tuesday during a private midnight ceremony.

The 62-year-old Democrat is taking over the Empire State following the resignation of disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who stepped down amid sexual harassment allegations.

Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals Janet DiFiore presided over the early morning transition of power at the State Capitol.

“While it was not expected, it is a day for which I am prepared,” Hochul said a day after Cuomo announced his resignation earlier this month.

 The newly christened leader has already vowed to help New York turn the page from the tumultuous final six months of Cuomo’s tenure which were shadowed by the misconduct claims, an impeachment probe and questions about his administration’s handling of the COVID crisis.

It took 6 days...


 

 NY Post

Union leaders representing 350,000 city workers plan to file a legal action to stop Mayor de Blasio from implementing a vaccine mandate for Department of Education employees without their input.

“Many of the unions support and urge their members to be vaccinated. However, the city is required to collectively bargain the steps to be taken for implementing this policy” said Harry Nespoli, chair of the Municipal Labor Committee.

His group is filing an unfair labor practices complaint over the new directive.

“Our members’ bargaining rights in this situation must be preserved. We are willing to discuss the steps for implementation as well as situations where accommodations would be appropriate,” Nespoli said in the statement released just a few hours after de Blasio announced the new policy.

All 148,000 Department of Education workers, including people who are employed in the DOE’s central offices and contractors who work in schools, will be required to have at least one shot by Sept. 27, the mayor said at his daily press briefing Monday morning.

De Blasio said he’d implement the policy with or without the support of unions. But Nespoli threatened Monday afternoon that “unilateral action by the city will only lead to a delay in the implementation of a policy that is designed to protect the public and its employees.”

Henry Garrido, head of District Council 37 that represents school crossing guards, lunch aides and other DOE staff, said he does not believe the city has the legal authority “to change the terms and conditions of employment without bargaining.”

It takes a village to raise zombie trees


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Queens Chronicle

For decades there have been dead trees and an overgrowth of grass and weeds that has caused cracks in the medians that stretch from Springfield Boulevard on Hillside Avenue to 231st Street and Hillside Avenue next to Martin Van Buren High School in Queens Village, according to Kirby Lindell of Bell Park Manor Terrace, a housing cooperative for veterans within the neighborhood.

“It looks like a jungle now,” said Lindell. “Nothing gets done. The trees have been there for years, and they put up a couple of live ones and left the dead ones there. It looks like ‘The Addams Family.’ It is right in front of the high school and is not a good optic.”

Lindell fears that the dead trees and the cracks in the curb from the weeds are not only a possible safety hazard, but they could affect the property values of the area and might dissuade parents from sending their kids to Martin Van Buren High School, which has started to turn things around after facing possible closure in 2012.

“This is an ongoing thing year after year and they never clean up the weeds,” said Lindell. “If you are ever around that area, some of the weeds are 4 feet or taller — all over the median it looks like a rainforest. It makes the whole neighborhood look rundown and the city just ignores us. Other parts of the city, like Brooklyn, Manhattan and Western Queens, are taken care of, but it feels like we are forgotten over here.”

If nothing gets done now, Lindell fears it will take even more years to get rid of the unsightly weeds and dead trees.

“It took 10 years to get Braddock Avenue repaved,” said Lindell. “This is a very good middle class neighborhood, with a strong school system, but the city has left us ... maybe because it is Southeast Queens, I don’t know why they don’t help us.”

Lindell has reached out to 311 and Councilman Barry Grodenchik’s (D-Oakland Gardens) office, but fears that the elected official, who will not be running for re-election after a sexual harassment scandal in 2019, will spend the remainder of his four months in office as a lame duck.

Caption Captain

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Monday, August 23, 2021

Noise annoys nuns, plans exodus from Brooklyn


  

The Tablet

A small community of Carmelite nuns living in a monastery on the Brooklyn-Queens border has cloistered themselves from the rest of the world, but not to escape it.

Rather, their mission is to quietly pray for the world, and the Church in particular, with special attention to the salvation of souls and the sanctification of priests. This work continues unfettered by the distractions of current events, pop culture, or the media.

As a result, the Monastery of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Joseph on Highland Boulevard in Brooklyn is permeated with serenity.

That is, except on the weekends when next-door Highland Park undergoes a conversion from popular greenspace to a nighttime magnet for teenagers and young adults who come to party. Criminal activity ensues — including drinking and fighting — and music blasted from dueling car speakers rattles the monastery’s windows.

High cement walls shield the sisters from hooliganism, but the noise disrupts their prayers. Consequently, the Carmelites plan to relocate to a 13-acre plot near Scranton, Pennsylvania, that has been gifted to them. Although the actual move might take years to complete, the nuns are already sad to leave their current neighborhood and the Diocese of Brooklyn.

“We’ve been here since 2004,” said Sister Maria, who speaks for the community, in a recent telephone interview. 

“And everyone in the neighborhood has been wonderful. And one thing is for sure — how we loved this diocese and the people,” she added. “But this [noise] problem has escalated over the past year. The police are also still trying as much as they can, but once they go, they come right back. It’s crazy.”

Since the nuns are cloistered, they only venture outside the monastery for essential tasks such as medical appointments, explained Jim Krug, who helps the sisters as a member of a lay group, the Carmelite Oblate Confraternity.

His regular job is teaching theology and religion at Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, New York.

Krug reiterated that the nuns have minimal contact with the outside world. Occasionally, he said, they receive guests — such as relatives or even Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio — in a special parlor with a metal grate separating them from the visitors.

Therefore, the sisters asked Krug to conduct a tour — inside and out — of the monastery. He pointed to graffiti and garbage on the sidewalk along Highland Boulevard, just outside the monastery’s walls. The discarded junk included an empty liquor bottle, fast-food wrappers, and a busted vaping pen.

The north wall of the monastery’s enclosure faces the park. Trails cut through the thick foliage and trees surrounding the walls. Numerous tissues clinging to the ground indicate people use the secluded spot as a public restroom.

But the exterior has also been the venue of another activity — SanterĂ­a rituals including sacrifices of animals, usually chickens, Krug said. In addition, animal bones, makeshift altars, and statues have been left outside the walls, Krug said.

Ingenious parking

 
Last Saturday, Utopia Parkway, between 33rd Ave and 35th Ave. "I'll park anywhere I want." 




I would call it "re-imagining"-JQ

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Bill deBacle

https://impunitycity.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/billdefiasco.jpg?w=676 

Impunity City

Current mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio might be suffering under a massive hangover after the abrupt ending of the final and biggest concert of his NYC Homecoming Week, which he and the New York City Economic Development Corporation planned nearly 3 months in advance, as remnants of Hurricane Henri hovered over Central Park and delivered some lightning bolts to force the concert promoters to kill the show after only 2 hours and in the middle of sappy songwriter Barry Manilow’s set. 

Nothing couldn’t have been more apt of The Blaz’s incompetence and megalomania than when he went onstage and tried to salvage the festival by yelling at the crowd not to depart and promised the show would resume while shielded by a saran wrap slicker, only to have it kiboshed 8 minutes later. But it’s not like this wasn’t just spur of the moment desperation from the Mayor, because this idiot actually had held a press briefing with the NYC Emergency Mgmt. Commissioner to warn about Hurricane Henri’s arrival. At the exact time when the concert began at 5 P.M.

 So The Blaz and the Emergency Dept. Commissioner John Scriviani knew the severity of the tropical storm, warned citizens to take precautions and to avoid any plans that would jeopardize their safety and they still allowed the show to go on. These two boobs knew the storm would be unpredictable and both acted like that Henri was just going to remain in Long Island until the next day. Ludicrously unscientific claims the Blaz made earlier in tweets 4 hours before he declared a state of emergency right when the We Love NYC concert first act was performing on stage (and about 6 hours after the current governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency!).

Community Boards want to keep hearings virtual during pandemic resurgence

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Patch

Community board chairs are pushing back on a requirement that their meetings resume in person next month — with some saying they plan to defy state law if necessary to keep their sessions COVID-safe.

And as interpreted by New York's official watchdog for public access to government, the state's open meetings law means that every community board member who Zooms into a meeting now technically must advertise in advance the address they are dialing in from — even if that is their home — and open their doors to all who wish to join.

"Opening up people's homes? That's insanity. That's ridiculous," scoffed Frank Morano, chair of Staten Island's Community Board 3.

After Gov. Andrew Cuomo suspended in-person government meetings last year in declaring a state of emergency at the dawn of the pandemic, the city's 59 community boards migrated to online video platforms such as Webex and Zoom.

Civic engagement soared as members of the public, the boards and government agency reps easily participated from the comfort of their homes via the internet, mastering the mute button and other video conferencing features.

But once vaccinations made gathering safer, the state lifted the emergency order on June 24. Community boards were once again subject to the state's open meetings law — requiring public access to the physical premises of an official gathering.

With the return of board meetings following a summer break coming up in September while virus risks remain, volunteer board members and boards' government-employed managers are sounding the alarm on the risks of in-person gatherings, pleading with city and state officials to allow them to continue meeting remotely.

"Not only are we still in the midst of this ongoing health crisis, but we're on a trajectory with cases going up," said Alexa Weitzman, chair of Queens Community Board 6, which represents Forest Hills and Rego Park. "This is not a time to reconvene in person."

Because board members are not employed by the government, the vaccine and testing mandates covering city workers do not apply. Nor can boards screen members of the public in the way that restaurants, gyms and theaters now must.

All in the room must wear masks, according to a City Hall memo, which also directed community boards to keep six feet of distance between participants.

Morano and Weitzman told THE CITY that they plan to keep holding virtual-only meetings, either because of virus concerns or because of a lack of space to socially distance.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Bill de Blasio's COVID carnival gets worse

 Rendering of a giant Ferris wheel coming to Time Square.

NY Post

 A giant Ferris wheel is coming to Times Square — and the idea is to roll out a welcome for tourists as the city looks to bounce back from the pandemic.

The massive amusement ride — which will stretch 110 feet high, the equivalent of 11 stories — will start getting assembled as soon as Thursday and be ready to hoist passengers high above the Crossroads of the World beginning early next week, The Post has learned.

The outsize attraction will be located just west of Duffy Square on Broadway between West 47th and West 48th Streets for about a 22 days, according to Vito Bruno, who heads up the Brooklyn-based entertainment company that’s behind the project.

“The city needs something fun, happy and nostalgic that brings you back to your childhood,” Bruno told The Post.

He added that he approached the Times Square Alliance about the idea several months ago, “and it’s been a sprint ever since,” with a myriad of permits, inspections and signoffs from multiple city agencies.

The hope is that the wheel will give Times Square a boost while area businesses and restaurants wait for Broadway shows to reopen in September. Foot traffic has been steadily returning and is nearly two-thirds of what it was pre-pandemic, according to the Times Square Alliance.

The Ferris wheel “fits perfectly into the mayor’s overarching summer of fun campaign which includes the five borough concerts and Five Boro Bike Tour,” Alliance president Tom Harris told The Post. “We want to give people that ‘wow’ moment to show them Times Square is back.”

Thursday, August 19, 2021

It took less than 2 days...

 

 

NY Post

A group of restaurants and businesses have filed suit against Mayor Bill de Blasio in opposition to a mandate requiring proof of vaccination at city eateries, gyms, movie theaters and other establishments, new court papers show.

The businesses argue that the mandate violates their constitutional rights and unfairly targets certain establishments but not others like churches, grocery stores, schools, offices and medical facilities, the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Staten Island Supreme Court alleges.

The suit says that the mandate is “arbitrary and capricious” for a slew of reasons including that the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant can spread among both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, the court documents claim.

The mandate also doesn’t accommodate certain exceptions for getting vaccinated such as those who’ve already gotten the virus; those who are allergic to ingredients in the vaccine; those who have pre-existing conditions that make getting the vaccine risky; and those whose religious beliefs stop them from getting it, the filing argues.

“The decision to get the vaccine should ultimately lie with the individual and his doctor, who knows that persons’ complete medical history, rather than a politician,” the court papers claim.

Further, emergency orders have been in effect for almost two years and instead of easing off, “the mayor implemented even more arbitrary executive orders, trampling more recklessly on constitutional rights,” the suit charges.

The mandate also threatens people’s livelihoods, making it “impossible for anyone who chooses not to be vaccinated for whatever reason, to work in the designated industries,” the court papers claim.

Mask the police

 NY Post 

 The NYPD will discipline unvaccinated cops who don’t mask up while on the job — regardless if they are indoors or outdoors — as city officials try to prevent a surge of serious coronavirus cases in response to the highly infectious Delta variant, The Post has learned.

The department’s new guidance for masking was shared with the entire police force Tuesday evening in an administrative bulletin that spelled out instructions for officers to provide proof of the vaccination with the NYPD’s Medical Division, according to a copy of the bulletin obtained by The Post.

The move comes as the department has struggled to convince its workforce to get the jab, with only 43% of its uniformed and civilian employees vaccinated as of last month.

“Members who do not have official proof of COVID-19 vaccination on file with the Medical Division must wear a face covering at all times while working, whether indoors or outside, including while driving in Department vehicles,” according to the bulletin.

“These members may temporarily remove their masks when engaging in reasonable activities such as consuming food, drinking beverages, adjusting the face coverings due to temperature or to correct a breathing condition.”

 

 

Senator Liu warns City Hall to be prepared for the Delta school year

 


NY Post 

 The chairman of the state Senate’s New York City education committee warned Wednesday of a troubled start to the school year — and didn’t rule out a delay if ongoing issues aren’t solved in the coming weeks.

State Sen. John Liu told The Post that a lack of clear guidelines from City Hall is fueling uncertainty among parents and staffers.

“All the ingredients are there for another chaotic reopening — and possibly a delayed reopening — based on this administration’s track record,” he said. “There are still so many unanswered questions that don’t make me totally confident.”

Liu cited a raft of concerns ahead of the new term — including confusion over social distancing rules, the lack of a concrete plan for COVID-19-infected students, and stalled vaccination rates among school staffers.

“The mayor is trying to project certainty,” he said. “But unfortunately, people are not confident in the certainty he is trying to project. I hope there’s not going to be any delay. But everyone remembers what happened last year.”

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Goodnight, RKO Keith's Theater

 



Hello luxury tower.

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Queensbridge tenants draw up class action suit against NYCHA for purposeful neglect

A crumbling bathroom in an apartment at the Queensbridge Houses.
 

 NY Daily News

 Fed-up tenants of the Queensbridge Houses sued the New York City Housing Authority on Tuesday, citing hazardous conditions in the nation’s largest public housing complex and what they describe as illegal harassment.

Pamela Wheeler, 72, and Marilyn Keller, 58, are among 11 plaintiffs named in two lawsuits — one representing residents of the complex’s northern section, the other representing its southern section — filed in Queens Housing Court.

The suits come after years — and for some residents, decades — of complaints about quality-of-life issues in their homes, including asbestos, lead, mold, severe leaking and flooding, vermin, and other biohazards.

“I am tired of living with mice, roaches, waterbugs, lack of heat, holes in my walls and sink, waterlogged and rotting cabinets, and many more repair issues that are a threat to my health and safety and an affront to my dignity,” said Wheeler at a press conference.

Keller, abreast cancer survivor who suffers chronic health issues, described exposed electrical wiring, a broken radiator, rotted kitchen cabinets, and a broken door in her apartment she said frequently gets jammed.

 Her calls to NYCHA rarely, if ever, result in action, Keller says.

“Any type of repairs that need to be done in my house — I have to wait forever to get them done,” said Keller. “I put the ticket in. Then NYCHA calls me back to tell me the date they are coming.

“So, I prepare for the appointment, take everything out of the closet and cabinets, and ask for the day off work. But then they never come. They are a bunch of no-shows.”

The plaintiffs further allege the city’s trouble-plagued housing authority declines to make repairs in the hope that the Queensbridge Houses can be handed over to “private entities who would receive federal money in exchange for their agreement to keep the units affordable” under federal housing regulations and laws.

The “private entities” could be for-profit companies, or new government entities, the lawsuit says. In any case, the lawsuit says, it’s not clear that handing the project to new public or private managers “will benefit low-income renters more than it will harm them.”

So they don't care much about the new basketball court de Blasio's NYPD built there?

Donnie Richards approves luxury public housing tower in Woodside...a month ago.


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Queens Post 

 A developer’s application to rezone a large piece of property on Roosevelt Avenue received the blessing of the Queens Borough President last month and the project’s fate is expected to be determined by the city council in October.

The application calls for the development of a 13 story, 213 unit complex—including 54 affordable units—on Roosevelt Avenue­ between 62nd and 63rd Streets. About 10 stores along the avenue will have to be bulldozed to make way for the project.

The project was approved by Queens Borough President Donovan Richards on July 20, about six weeks after Community Board 2 voted in favor of the project, 30-5, on June 3.

The developer seeks to construct a 211,500 square foot building that would also include 7,500 square feet of space dedicated to arts groups—in addition to the affordable housing.

Without a rezoning, the building would be limited in size to 119,500 square feet (nine stories)—and only 123 units could be built. The developer, however, would not be required to provide affordable housing or offer art space.

Richards came out in favor of the project, subject to a number of commitments from the developer that Community Board 2 also sought.

He called on the developer, Woodside 63 Management LLC, to provide family sized units and to make sure that the 54 “affordable units” are offered to households earning an average Area Median Income of 60 percent. This equates to a household income of $68,220 for a family of four.

 

Afghan refugees will be heading for the world's borough following Joe Biden's foreign policy debacle.

 

PIX News 

  Thousands of refugees and immigrants from Afghanistan could arrive in Queens in the coming weeks after the collapse of the government as U.S. troops withdraw from the country.

U.S. military forces secured the airport in Kabul this week and began a massive evacuation effort, even as the Taliban began to formally assert its authority over the entire country.

Many in the Queens communities of Flushing and Fresh Meadows, including Sunita Viswanath, know people scrambling to get out of Afghanistan.

“This is the time the world needs to stand with Afghanistan and not abandon Afghanistan,” said Viswanath, the co-founder of Women for Afghan Women.

The organization is the largest Afghan women’s rights group in the world — founded in Queens nearly 20 years ago when the war began.

WAW has been on the ground in Afghanistan running child care centers and helping out women who have suffered human rights violations.

“We have been running a women’s rights organization, so we are at particular danger because we’ve been doing this work, so our hope and prayers we can get people,” Viswanath said.

The group’s immediate goal is to get about 500 staff, women and children out of the country by working with the U.S. government, American allies and private operators.

However, they say just getting to the airport in Kabul is risky not just because of the Taliban, but also because of roving gangs.

 

U.S. military commanders insist the security situation is improving, to an extent, after the initial mad scramble to leave. Thousands of U.S. troops have secured Hamid Karzai Airport and are ramping up airlift efforts, which will move out 5,000 to 8,000 passengers per day.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Fearless girl, chicken investors

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 NY Daily News

 Fearless Girl’s backers seem a little scared of COVID’s effect on business in the Big Apple.

State Street Global Advisors — the financial mega-firm that set up the symbol of women’s empowerment in the heart of the Financial District — is reportedly closing its two New York City offices.

The Boston-headquartered company recently told about 500 employees they won’t be going back to Midtown offices that have been mostly shut since the start of the pandemic, according to the Wall Street Journal.

State Street reportedly plans to lease its offices, located near the Rockefeller Center, to other companies.

It made headlines in 2017 for installing a four-foot-tall bronze stall of a girl in a defiant pose just steps away from the Wall Street Bull. The work was later moved to Broad St., across from the New York Stock Exchange.

 

Eric Adams goes to the Hamptons and The Blaz goes to a concert in the Bronx as C.O.'s and nurses protest against horrible and dangerous working conditions at Rikers Island

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PIX News 

  Correction officers protested outside Rikers Island on Monday over what they described as dangerous working conditions. 

AIR11 was over the scene around 2:45 p.m. as several hundred people gathered outside the jail complex holding signs.

A Correction Officers Benevolent Association spokesperson told PIX11 News the protest was not a walkout of on-duty guards. It was not immediately clear if inmates were left alone.

In a tweet on Monday, the Correction Officers Benevolent Association urged retired and off-duty city Department of Correction members and their families to join the protest.

“We’re calling on ALL retired and active, off-duty DOC Uniformed members and your families to meet COBA at the bridge on Monday, August 16th at 3PM. We’re joining forces with our union brothers and sisters from across NYC and we will make our voices heard!” the union tweeted.

The tweet also included a flyer that suggested members of the Correction Captains’ Association and Assistant Deputy Wardens Association would also join the protest.

“We need safer jails now. Enough is enough! City Hall has failed to protect us. Their reckless policies have put our lives in jeopardy,” the flyer read. 

COBA filed a lawsuit against the New York City Department of Correction in Queens Supreme Court last month, calling conditions for officers at D.O.C. facilities nothing short of a human rights emergency requiring immediate attention.

The complaints include back-breaking triple shifts of 24 hours or more, with few breaks or access to food and water, shortages of PPE to protect against COVID-19, and increased violence against officers and within the inmate population.

Veteran nurse Paulette McGee has spent 20 years working at Rikers in what she described as an environment of constant fear.

“We are now faced with urine being thrown at us, knives held to our neck,” McGee said. “I was assaulted in 2018: punched so hard in my jaw I was knocked out straight on my back.”

Joseph Russo, who’s with he Assistant Deputy Wardens Union, said inmates get away with things all the time. He said they’re not afraid to commit crimes and acts of violence behind bars.

“Our hands are tied. We cannot defend ourselves,” Russo said. “We’re here because of conditions on Rikers are outrageous; this is a chaotic gangland controlled area.”

 NY Post

Mayoral hopeful Eric Adams hit the Hamptons over the weekend, where his political talks — and outfit — impressed East End insiders.

The candidate attended a Water Mill fundraiser — wearing a bright red blazer that would’ve made The Weeknd jealous — on Sunday at a private home. The bash was hosted by a group including Democratic backer businessman Dennis Mehiel and Republican billionaire John Catsimatidis, as well as Victoria Schneps and Todd Shapiro. 

Two media owning oligarchs raising money for the news media's prematurely anointed predetermined mayor of NYC. This is some fucked up shit right here.

Adapt or die small businesses

  

Crains New York

 

Restaurants, bars and indoor venues may face up to $5,000 fines if they don't require patrons to show proof of vaccination, under an executive order by Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

All indoor venues will have to check that everyone age 12 and up who enters their premises shows proof of vaccination, under de Blasio’s edict. That proof must match the information on their official identification document, which they must also show.
 
Enforcement will begin Sept. 13. After that, violations will incur penalties of at least $1,000, which will rise to at least $2,000 for a second violation and at least $5,000 for a third. The city will send out inspectors from various agencies to check compliance. 

Between now and the enforcement date, the city has said it will send out 570 canvassers to all businesses in the city to help them understand the plan. Venues must all put up a sign communicating the vaccination requirement.
 
The executive order defines a wide range of indoor venues that must check for vaccine passes, including movie theaters, casinos, indoor portions of botanical gardens, adult entertainment spaces, commercial event and party venues, museums, aquariums and zoos, sports arenas and indoor stadiums, convention centers and exhibition halls, bowling alleys, arcades, indoor play areas and billiards halls, as well as any indoor part of a restaurant, and all indoor gym and fitness settings, including pools, dance studios and hotel gyms.

Some venues were surprised to see themselves included on this list, which the mayor had not previously detailed beyond mentioning "indoor entertainment venues."

"I am extraordinarily hesitant to instruct my staff to do this," said Eli Klein, owner of the Eli Klein Gallery in the far West Village, noting that he would not have known the mandate applied to his business if he had not tuned into the mayor's announcement this morning.

 

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