Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Here's your new bus map Queens

A bus with an electric screen at the top that reads Q53


Here are what the MTA are calling the "remixed" express and the local lines

And Crappy pointed out that the transit agency made up a town called Fresh Pond in these maps. 


Queens Chronicle 

Proposals in 2019 by the Metropolitan Transportation to rework the entire bus system in Queens were roundly hammered by the public and elected officials.

In the two years that Covid-19 put the project on the far, far back burner, the MTA, as promised, reviewed the feedback it collected.

The preliminary draft was unveiled Tuesday at a Jamaica press conference that included MTA CEO and Chairman Janno Lieber, Borough President Donovan Richards and city Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez.

“The Queens New Draft Plan is the third to be released, but in some ways, may be the most important of the five because Queens has, historically, had less subway service relative to its size and population than the other boroughs,” Lieber said. “So many people depend on buses for access to jobs, education, culture and everything else New York has to offer.”

Lieber acknowledged that the 2019 proposal was not well-received by the public. He said the new plan is an effort to increase the speed and frequency of service, balanced with convenience. He said the new plan applies to local and express service and emphasized that it still is a draft “to address the evolving needs of Queens communities, with a focus on more reliable service, faster travel, better connections, and ease of use.”

“A bus is mass transit in many parts of Queens,” he added. “It is the only way [in some areas] to connect to the subway system and the commuter rail system, so we are really emphasizing this.”

Craig Cipriano, New York City Transit’s interim president, also emphasized the draft nature of the document.

“This is going to be one of the largest bus redesigns in the country, with over 100 routes serving over 800,000 customers a day,” Cipriano said. “We’re eager to hear what you have to say, and there’s lots of room to make changes.”

Richards said the selection of Jamaica for the unveiling was no accident.

“For the residents of Queens who get up every day and go to bus stops, today is a great day,” Richards said. “If you come from Southeast Queens, like I do, you know it can take an hour just to get to one of the train stations here on Jamaica. I often joke, and it’s really not a joke, that it is easier to get to Florida by plane than it is to get to Manhattan from here on some days.”

While Richards said buses are a lifeline to parts of Eastern, Southeast and Southwest Queens, they often are unreliable, overcrowded and slow.

“The routes are outdated, and the schedules haven’t changed with our neighborhoods,” the borough president said. “They not only went back to the drawing board, they’re coming to us with a better product.”

One of the major complaints heard throughout community meetings in 2019 is that while eliminating some existing bus stops speeds up each bus trip, those who use those stops regularly will be at least slightly, maybe greatly, inconvenienced.

Lieber and Cipriano said the idea is to focus on stops that are closer together, which cost riders time at the curb.

“The focus is on connecting people more quickly to the subways and commuter railroads,” Lieber said in a question-and-answer session. “It also tries to balance the needs to move buses more quickly with the elimination of some bus stops while maintaining local bus service, especially with seniors.”

He said that is essential for anyone who does not live in an area close to subway lines.

“Buses have to be faster than walking,” he said.

Among the things Lieber said the city can do to help are things like signal prioritization for buses at traffic lights, and especially bus lanes.

Ex-TransAlt CEO presents scooters for the handicapped


Bronx Times

It’s electric!

On Thursday, e-scooter company Bird launched a program that can make wheelchairs electric.

People who use wheelchairs and live in the east Bronx neighborhoods included in the city’s e-scooter pilot can now receive a free attachment for the duration of the City Council-mandated program, which began in August 2021 and will run up to two years.

The three companies participating in the pilot: Bird, Lime and Veo are all offering options for people with disabilities, as required by the city as part of the pilot. But Bird’s newly launched program is unique because it offers free devices that users can hold on to for the rest of the pilot period.

Bird has been offering four-wheeled electric power chairs that can be rented through the company’s app for 1-14 day intervals at $10 per day and can be picked up or delivered for a fee depending on the location.

Lime has been offering a similarly structured program, but for free, with a $5 refundable deposit. The company’s three-wheeled seated scooters can be reserved in advance online or through the app 24 hours to 7 days in advance, and be used for 24-hour periods, with free delivery.

Veo offers free adaptive wheelchair attachments — like the ones Bird is now offering — by reservation for up to a week with free delivery, and customers arrange everything through Veo customer service.

Bird’s new program will offer 350-watt motor lightweight removable li-ion battery-powered attachments that are compatible with most wheelchair models, according to the company.

Residents in the phase one e-scooter pilot area — which includes the northeast Bronx, spanning from Woodlawn to Eastchester down to Van Nest and Pelham Bay — can utilize the program. When the second phase begins this summer, residents in the phase two area, which spans from Parkchester to Country Club down to Clason Point and Throggs Neck

The motors can make wheelchairs go up to 12 mph, according to a Bird spokesperson.

 People who use wheelchairs will be able to navigate hills, inclines and long distance trips throughout the city, according to Bird.

12 mph is about the average speed a bike rider can go. This attachment kind of turns a wheel chair into a makeshift ATV. Can't wait to see gangs on these things rolling on the streets like the motorcross and ATV gangs do.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Pizza avengers

NY Post 

A heroic pizzeria owner and his father are fighting for their lives after being stabbed multiple times when they jumped in to stop a 61-year-old woman from being robbed outside their Queens restaurant, relatives and police told The Post on Tuesday.

Louie Suljovic, a 38-year-old military veteran, was working behind the counter of his Elmhurst pizzeria, Louie’s, when he and his father, Cazim Suljovic, saw the elderly woman being robbed by two men Saturday night.

Without hesitation, Suljovic and his 68-year-old father jumped in to help — but ended up being stabbed and struck with an unidentified object, cops said.

Both father and son suffered punctured lungs in the attack, a relative told The Post.

“Cazim is in a serious situation … Louie is improving, he’s hanging in there and I believe he’s going to be okay,” said Cazim’s cousin, Remzija.  

Robert Whack, 30, and 18-year-old Supreme Gooding were taken into custody over the attack. Both were charged with robbery, assault and criminal possession of a weapon.  

Whack was also found with a large amount of what cops believe was heroin and was hit with a criminal possession of a controlled substance charge, police said.

The father and son are being treated at Elmhurst Hospital — the same facility where the pizzeria donated meals to staff and first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bills Mafia's goumada!/quality/90/?

 Times Union

Gov. Kathy Hochul and western Democratic lawmakers on Monday announced a plan to publicly finance about $850 million of a new $1.4 billion stadium in Orchard Park for the Buffalo Bills.

The plan, which includes $600 million from the state and $250 million from Erie County, came out in the final days of state budget negotiations and rankled progressive advocates and left-leaning economists who view it as a poor use of taxpayer dollars at a time when the state is flush with cash from federal aid and there are competing interests for how to spend that money.

The deal would target opening the stadium in 2026 and keep the professional football team there for at least 30 years; if the team received court authorization to leave that location, it would have to pay back all of its public subsidy, according to the governor's office.

Further, the Bills are required to pay any cost overruns during construction, a provision that was not included in the development of other facilities in the state, including Yankees Stadium, which ran at least 30 percent over its budget.

The $850 million public subsidy would be the largest for any NFL facility on record, according to the Associated Press, but the state and Erie County would be paying a smaller share of the construction costs than other taxpayer-funded stadiums. The current facility, Highmark Stadium — which was previously known as Rich Stadium and Ralph Wilson Stadium — opened in 1973 and was buoyed by taxpayers footing nearly three-quarters of the construction costs.


Red Light Camera Obscura

 Impunity City

As we all know from the past decade since it was implemented, the Vision Zero program to bring down traffic accidents and fatalities initiated by the abominable Mayor Bill de Blasio failed in its mission to do just that as more people got maimed and killed since it’s implementation as the years went on and exacerbated to new extreme numbers during the last two years of the pandemic. Well, look no further on why Vision Zero as well as enforcement and punitive charges traffic violations continue to fail New Yorkers with the condition of this red light traffic camera post; which has been violated with those obnoxiously ubiquitous Cash for Cars advertisements that are always illegally posted on traffic and electric utility poles all over the five boroughs.


Monday, March 28, 2022

AOC's optical illusion open street campaign rally

AOC's perception of a movement...and the reality of one she tried to hide



 Teens’ car shot at in Bayside; one, 19, hit 1

Queens Chronicle

Shots were fired at a group of teenagers’ car as they rode along 38th Avenue and 209th Street in Bayside early last Saturday morning, the New York Police Department reported. One passenger, 19, suffered a gunshot wound to the right side of his back. He was rushed to NewYork-Presbyterian Queens and as of Monday was in stable condition.

According to Capt. John Portalatin, commanding officer of the 111th Precinct, the group of teens, at least one of whom is from Nassau County, were looking for parking near an AirBnB party at approximately 2:50 a.m. when a group of four to six individuals began firing rounds at their car.

An arrest has not been made in the incident, nor is the shooters’ motive known; the investigation is ongoing. Portalatin added that the NYPD is still looking for video footage of the shooters fleeing the scene.

The NYPD’s 111th Precinct, which includes Bayside, has long been considered one of the safest — if not the safest, alongside the 112th — precincts in Queens or even the city. Saturday morning’s occurrence is the 111th’s first shooting incident this year; the injured passenger is its first shooting victim.

“The police are on top of it, we’re taking it very seriously, and we’re doing everything we can to avoid these incidents in the future,” Portalatin said.

According to the office of Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside), the house where the party in question was held, located at 208-16 38 Ave., has been occupied by squatters for roughly two years, and that they are renting it out on AirBnB. His office told the Chronicle that it has been working to get in contact with the bank that owns the house, which is in foreclosure.

Stephen Markowski lives across the street from that house, and heard the shots fired on Saturday morning — in fact, he initially thought it was fireworks before a neighbor corrected him. He has been monitoring the squatting situation since its beginning.

“Not only don’t they own it, but they’re making money off of it,” he said.

 Residents throw rally after shooting in Bayside

 Queens Chronicle

A rally was held in Bayside on Friday to address a recent shooting that took place in front of a foreclosed home that was being used as an Airbnb rental by squatters, according to the community.

 “This has been going on for two years,” said Stephen Markowski, who lives across the street from the house located at 208-16 38 Ave. “They tried to keep a low profile, but we were joking one day that they are probably renting it out on Airbnb. Sure enough there was the house listed on the website, not once, but twice.”

The rental of the home by squatters has been a cause of public safety concern for the surrounding homeowners who live within the 111th Precinct, which has been considered one of the safest if not the safest precinct in Queens, according to the NYPD. Saturday morning’s shooting was the first shooting of the year within the precinct. 

Nearly 20 shots were fired at a car the victim, 19, along with a group of other teenagers rode along 38th Avenue and 209th Street in Bayside as they were going to the Airbnb for a party, according to officials. The victim was later sent to NewYork-Presbyterian on Monday and was in stable condition. 

“Twenty shots,” said Markowski. “What is it going to take for a public official to act on it?”

Robbie Schecter, 74, was out of town during the shooting, but lives around the corner from the foreclosed home. 

“We’ve been here for 43 years,” said Schecter. “We’ve never seen anything like this happen before. It’s an incredibly peaceful place. We take walks around here to go to Bell Boulevard to go to the restaurants. Our kids love to come here to visit us from Long Island because there it’s just a bunch of strip malls. This is a neighborhood.”

Schecter’s neighbor Donald Chen, 73, agreed. 

“I’ve lived here since 1983,” said Chen. “The worse thing that happens sometimes was a set of robberies. We are very close to Clearview Expressway, so it’s easy to get away, but something like this? No.”

The squatting has become a scourge, according to state Sen. John Liu (D-Bayside).

“The transient occupants have held late night parties and threatened the neighbors here,” said Liu. “We’ve seen just last week shootings on this block — could you imagine 19 shots being fired on this block — one shot landing in someone’s stomach. Another landed in a car seat. Thankfully there was no baby in that car seat.”

Liu and Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) said they have called upon the city, specifically the Department of Buildings to take a look at what is happening at the house and to issue a vacate order. 

The DOB sent inspectors to the home ahead of the press conference, according Liu. He said he is giving them to time to make a determination on a vacate order. 

“We are exploring every option to get these people out of this neighborhood,” said Braunstein. 

Liu said he was demanding that Airbnb stop listing the property. 

Markowski said that the squatters use different names for every time they list the house. 

“Every time we get Airbnb to take down a listing they put one back up,” said Braunstein. “We have also been in contact with the bank to expedite eviction proceedings and foreclosure proceedings. This has been going on for two years now and this past weekend this issue has reached a new level of urgency.”

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing), who lives a few blocks from where the shooting took place, called into the meeting from Washington, DC. 

“I received calls from some of my neighbors about the horror that happened,” said Meng. “This has been a nightmare for our community. Bullets were literally flying around in the middle of the night. It could have hit any of our family members, friends or neighbors. Airbnb needs to take this problem more seriously, otherwise they have blood on their hands.”

Hours after the rally, Airbnb said that it has cancelled all bookings for that house and will continue to do so in the future, according to the congresswoman via Twitter. She further iterated that Liu and Braunstein will be watching closely to make sure the company keeps its word.

As the rally concluded, former homeowner Joe Carrollo spoke to residents, police and elected officials to clarify that he cannot evict the homeowners himself because the house has been the property of Citi Bank and Bank of America since 2018. He personally handed over documents to the 111th Precinct to prove that he is no longer responsible for the property and said he was equally upset about what has happened to his former home of 15 years. 

He later noted that one of the banks has plans to auction the house on June 16 and who ever takes over the property will become the person who has to evict the squatters unless Citi or Bank of America steps in to evict.

Stephen Markowski lives across the street from that house, and heard the shots fired on Saturday morning — in fact, he initially thought it was fireworks before a neighbor corrected him. He has been monitoring the squatting situation since its beginning.

“Not only don’t they own it, but they’re making money off of it,” he said.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Rockaway civics hyper pissed about rampant hyperdevelopment

Obscenity building photo by JQ LLC


Rockaway Times 

 As the Belle Harbor Property Owners Association reconvened, the hot button issue of the night was building, building, building.

About 50 people gathered at P.S. 114 on Tuesday, March 15 for the BHPOA’s first meeting since November. BHPOA President Paul King immediately addressed the main topic of the meeting saying, “There’s been a lot of overdevelopment on the peninsula. Some of those projects are closer to home,” he said. Those projects closer to Belle Harbor were later discussed, but King first provided some updates on the beach action. He said with new leadership at the Parks Department, the civic and Councilwoman Joann Ariola are hoping to hold a meeting with them soon. He announced the Army Corps of Engineers would be at their next meeting in May or June to provide updates. In the meantime, King said that groin work planned for Beach 125th and 130th this summer, will instead happen next year, as work is currently taking place further downtown, and expected dredging and sand replenishment later this year will change the original schedule.

Next, Belle Harbor’s elected officials, Senator Joe Addabbo, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato and Councilwoman Joann Ariola were all on hand to provide updates. Addabbo explained that Albany is currently negotiating its $216B budget and he addressed a topic of concern for the meetings—Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). Legalizing ADUs would allow homeowners to turn things like attics, basements, garages or backyard sheds into additional apartments. After seeing the effects of flooding from Hurricane Ida causing deaths in illegal basement apartments in Queens, locally, the legalization of ADUs doesn’t have much support. “I don’t agree with ADUs,” Addabbo said. He explained that Governor Hochul took it out of her budget as a statewide issue, but $25 million had been allocated for localities to decide whether they want to legalize ADUs.

 The meeting then switched gears to focus on all of the new developments taking place or in planning stages. A neighbor named Eric Rasmussen, who is on a committee focusing on the Neponsit Home, provided some updates. The building, which hasn’t been used since 1997, is slated to be demolished. Once that happens, the property, currently overseen by NYC HHC, will be transferred to the Parks Department, as a covenant in the property deed says it must be used as a healthcare facility or parkland. Demolition was expected to begin this spring but will instead begin after the summer is over as NYC Lifeguards currently utilize this property as a shack and storage facility. The BHPOA says they will keep a close eye on anything going on with the property as progress is made.

John Signorelli provided some updates on the demolition of the old PS 256 building and development of a playground. Abatement will be completed this month and the demolition is expected to be complete by September, six months ahead of schedule. The playground is expected to be complete by February 2023. While the building is demolished, a wooden fence and netting will go up around the area to protect surrounding homes from debris.

Another development of concern is the plan for ALMA’s Surfside property from Beach 105th to Beach 108th Street. The tenant association SHAFT asked the BHPOA for their support in fighting against a proposal to build four new buildings on the property that would bring an additional 2,000 units with only 1,500 parking spaces, while eliminating current parking for the existing units, the dog run and the pool on the property. A Rockaway Civic Association survey showed 94.3% of people are against this project. Councilwoman Joann Ariola chimed in, saying she’s been on top of it with meetings and when it comes to the ULURP process for the zoning changes for this development, she will do everything to make sure it doesn’t become reality. “That’s the most narrow portion of the peninsula. It cannot support a project like that, but beyond that, they’re not talking about infrastructure, roadways, schools, everything else that’s needed. We’re a hard no on this. That’s not happening,” she said.

A plan to demolish the Chai Home on Beach 125th and replace it with a nine-story rental property was also addressed. The 90-foot building, thirty feet higher than neighboring oceanfront buildings, would have 58 units and 29 parking spots on a street that doesn’t allow summer parking. A Rockaway Civic Association poll showed 88.5% of people are against this proposal. Ariola said she would not back the project. “I will not support the proposal as put forth,” she said.


Avarice by the sea


Queens Eagle

A group of more than a dozen Arverne by the Sea homeowners are under investigation for  illegally renting out their homes while collecting approximately $1 million in tax exemptions, the Department of Investigation said this week.

A Department of Investigation report, issued Feb. 8, includes 11 recommendations to expand city oversight and prevent violations following the investigation into a 2018 complaint.

The DOI found that there were 15 homeowners in violation of the primary residence requirement; eight used the properties as rentals or investment properties — one as a hotel that was registered with the city to collect occupancy tax — and four who each owned one property and used them as rentals instead of living there.

There were 11 homeowners with multiple Arverne by the Sea deeds.

According to the DOI, they “were in violation of primary residence requirements by illegally renting their properties while being unjustly enriched by tax exemptions meant for owner-occupied homes.”

The apartments were designated in the early 2000’s as an Housing Preservation and Development Urban Development Action Area Project with a 20-year property tax exemption to homeowners requiring they maintain the homes as their primary residences.

Impunity City 

You wouldn’t think if you looked at them on first impression, but these beautiful beach front houses are actually government sanctioned public housing…

 These Arverne homes are actually impeccably designed, a bulk of them even have patios on the top floors which resemble something like penthouse condos like on Miami and Venice Beaches  with gorgeous views of the Atlantic Ocean and somewhat pleasant views of Jamaica Bay and the poorer parts of Rockaway Beach, where there at least three public housing projects in the same neighborhood.

 You don’t have to be much of a detective to figure out why these 15 motherfuckers took advantage of a government housing program and made millions off it while getting tax breaks and write-offs for nearly a decade. It doesn’t take much sleuthing to figure out why these homes were easily poached for illegal renting and airbnb lodging and why some nefarious scumbags would conspire to take advantage of this government housing program and try to make massive profits from it.All it took was a casual bike ride around this sunny oasis of pirated housing equity, it’s gets real plain to see why some nefarious scumbags would try to take advantage of this government housing program and try to make massive profits from it. Bookending this HUD financed utopian village are two massive vacant lots, one of which is still a landfill.


Saturday, March 26, 2022

The Department Of Transportation's Citibike spite rack policy is now verified

Here we go again: MTA holds hearings for redesigning bus routes in Queens


Remember the last time they tried this a few years ago? Citizens yelled at Andy Byford and practically helped drive him out of town because of how screwed up they were. Engage by filing this form for the routes that affect you and here are the dates.
#1: W March 30 - Citywide /Boroughwide Groups
#5: Th April 7 - Southeast (CBs 12, 13, 14)

Friday, March 25, 2022

The NYC Open Restaurants Clustershanty Of Koreatown

Impunity City

 It wasn’t much long ago when yours truly did a expansive on the street eyewitness story about the much ballyhooed NYC Open Restaurants program (albeit ballyhooed by our feckless and bought elected officials in NYC Council, former mayor Bill de Blasio and current Mayor Eric Adams) and what an actual clusterfuck it was and making a case out it shouldn’t exist anymore. Now thanks to a judge’s recent decision to order the city to make a thorough environmental review of the restaurant shanties all over the five boroughs, it has thankfully put a pounding kibosh on the City Council Cronies plan to make these unsafe, blighted, filthy, ugly and traffic congesting eyesores a permanent part of the street infrastructure which the restaurants have been using for free for the last two years.


But before the Council Cronies begin their study, I would like to present exhibit A on why every public space these restaurants has usurped must cease to exist and that’s the massive triple cluster shanty on the southwest corner of 32nd St. and 5th Ave, just two blocks away from the Empire State Building.

This is truly the tipping point of public space misuse and the heinous blight that has befouled the streets in the last year, which continues unencumbered because of the willful obliviousness of elected officials and the persistent bickering demands of the hospitality industrial complex lobby, represented by some neoliberal runt named Andrew Rigie.





Impunity City 

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Eric Adams officially starts two-tier worker vaccine mandate system exempting/benefiting pro athletes and entertainers



 New York City will exempt performers and athletes from its Covid-19 vaccine mandate for private-sector workers, Mayor Eric Adams announced Thursday, allowing unvaccinated professional athletes like Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving to play at venues across the city.

Adams announced Executive Order 62—which he said was signed and is effective immediately—during a press conference at Citi Field.

The mayor said “we’re making [this change] because this city has to function,” as he noted the need for more employees and tourists to improve the city’s economy.

Adams also said the change will allow New York City’s players to be on “an even playing field,” and will affect venues such as the Barclays Center, Yankee Stadium and Citi Field.

Adams lifted the city’s vaccine mandate for customers in indoor venues earlier this month, but left vaccine regulations in place for private-sector employees, meaning New York City athletes could not compete unvaccinated.

The previous rule did not apply to unvaccinated players on competing teams who traveled to New York City for away games, leading NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to ask city officials to review the “oddity” last month.

Several labor unions criticized Adams for lifting the mandate for wealthy and famous performers while leaving vaccination rules in place for other employees in the city, including public-sector workers. “There can't be one system for the elite and another for the essential workers of our city,” Harry Nespolli, chair of a group of unions representing about 350,000 city workers called the Municipal Labor Committee, told the Associated Press.

The exemption comes amid pressure from the sports world ahead of the NBA playoffs and the MLB’s opening day next month. Due to his vaccination status, Irving has only been playing during away games since returning to the Nets this season, although he was allowed to attend the Nets’ home game as a spectator. The NBA has a vaccination rate of about 95%, while the MLB has the lowest vaccination rate among the four major U.S. sports leagues, ESPN reports.

Governor Kathy bails out Mario's son's machinators on the two year anniversary of the edict for nursing homes to treat COVID-19 patients

NY Post

Gov. Kathy Hochul is seeking to spend up to $5 million in taxpayer money to pay the legal bills of dozens of current and former state employees who got caught up in the sexual harassment scandal that forced ex-Gov Andrew Cuomo from office, The Post has learned.

The move could benefit Cuomo cronies who stayed loyal to the disgraced ex-governor to the very end of his scandal-scarred tenure — including former aide Melissa DeRosa.

But DeRosa, when reached by phone Wednesday night, said, “I am not seeking reimbursement for either the nursing-homes investigation or the attorney general’s sexual-harassment investigation.”

But, she added, it was “appropriate” for the other public employees to get reimbursement for outside counsel at the advice of the state.

Hochul has been discussing the matter with Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Attorney General Letitia James, sources familiar with the matter said.

Sources said Hochul has been working to determine what, if any, legal avenues exist that would allow the state to cover the bills.

 The governor’s office expects law firms representing about 30 current and former chamber employees to apply for any such reimbursement estimated to be up to $5 million, a source said.

NY Post 

Lawmakers and advocates commemorated the more than 15,000 nursing home deaths in New York amid the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday, as they pitched a measure to get to the bottom of the missteps made under disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo that caused the fatalities in elder-care facilities.

During a press conference in Albany, an ideologically diverse coalition rallied behind a bill to designate March 25 as “We Care Remembrance Day,” and another to create a body tasked with studying the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic response on deaths in nursing homes.

Friday marks exactly two years since the state Department of Health under then-commissioner Howard Zucker implemented a directive that required nursing homes to readmit residents who tested positive for the coronavirus. 

“It wasn’t just an executive order — it was a declaration of eldercide in the state of New York,” charged Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens), a fierce Cuomo critic whose uncle died in April 2020 of COVID-19 in a Flushing nursing home. 

“This executive order was one of the biggest mistakes in the history of the state of New York,” Kim said.

The infamous state Department of Health order, rescinded under public pressure on May 10, 2020, forced sickened seniors into facilities housing those most vulnerable to COVID-19 and increased the death toll among residents of them, according to a New York State Bar Association report.

Monday, March 21, 2022

Big Trouble In Little Guyana


Impunity City 

 So this happened on a Sunday in broad daylight on the first day of Spring in New York City. Two men causing a ruckus on a street corner at Lefferts Blvd. and Liberty Ave yelling at each other about a money dispute that nearly got even more violent and bloody when one man pulled out what looked like a 24 inch bike chain and the other man retaliated by whipping out a very polished and sharpened meat cleaver in an attempt to defeat his foe and stain it and the pavement with his blood.

Pathetic 5G pole position


Supertall 5G-transmitting “smart poles” destined to sit atop LinkNYC kiosks won’t roll out until later this spring, but one early version of the 32-foot-tall towers stands alone on a quiet street in Queens, offering a first glimpse of how hundreds more could pockmark the city.

The new structure in Long Island City is dystopian future chic, with its steely exterior and technical components emitting vibes both familiar and alien to passersby.

“After like a day or two of walking around it, it blends in,” said Walter Cannon, vice president for business development at ZenFi Networks, a digital infrastructure company investing $200 million in CityBridge LLC, the private consortium behind LinkNYC and its successor, Link5G.

The city’s only Link5G so far, at the corner of 30th Place and Hunters Point Avenue, is just used for testing, Cannon explained. It doesn’t have a screen for digital advertisements like the 1,816 LinkNYC kiosks citywide, but future versions will.

The installation of Link5G in commercial and manufacturing zones could begin as early as April, May or June, Cannon noted.

The reboot of LinkNYC will add fifth-generation cellular network technology, on top of existing features like free Wi-Fi, a 911 button and USB chargers. Multiple telecom companies are in talks to house their 5G equipment in compartments in the upper chambers of the poles, Cannon said.

In addition to selling ads as it has been, CityBridge is also poised to make money by selling space to telecommunications giants — like AT&T and Verizon — to house their speedy 5G tech.

But unlike the free Wi-Fi, consumers will have to pay for service via their data plans. And under an amendment to the deal signed last year, the city is promised a much smaller cut — as little as $3 million a year — after CityBridge fell far short on past revenue projections.

Reps from the city Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) emphasize that Link5G-funded expansion of Wi-Fi and other LinkNYC services to neighborhoods that have not been served before comes “free” of charge to taxpayers, and that CityBridge agreed to pay the city for the privilege of providing the service.

“Importantly, and key to understanding why DoITT ultimately chose to reboot the program, the city has never spent a dime on the program,” said Brett Sikoff, a DoITT official, during a presentation on Link5G at the Public Design Commission meeting in December.

That should raise red flags, concerned observers warn, considering the history of LinkNYC, which has seen several snafus since it started in 2016 with promises of bridging the digital divide.

“There’s a cost of free things,” said Sean Khorsandi, executive director of the Manhattan-based neighborhood preservation group Landmarks West!, which opposed LinkNYC and now opposes Link5G for the kiosks’ size, look and tendency to attract loiterers.

“There’s ways of integrating this type of equipment on existing infrastructure,” said Khorsandi, who teaches design and architecture at the New York Institute of Technology. “You don’t need to build these lollipops in the middle of the street.”

Landlords publicly shames DSS worker tenant for stiffing them on rent

NY Post 

In a sign of the times, a fed-up Queens landlord posted two giant banners calling out his allegedly deadbeat tenants for owing him $17,000 in back rent.

“MY TENANTS ON THE FIRST FLOOR ARE NOT PAYING RENT” read the bold posters slung above the first-floor rental on 175th Street in Springfield Gardens.

Landlords Calvin and Jean Thompson posted the banners — which can be seen from the Belt Parkway — in the hopes of shaming their tenants into paying up. It was also featured in a TikTok video that got more than 14,000 likes — and supportive comments like, “Not paying your bills is ghetto.”

The Thompsons, who are married, have owned the two-family home since 1989. They began the process of trying to evict Marie and Eugene Lamour and their daughter Kathia in Queens Housing Court last month.

But with nearly 200,000 eviction cases pending in the city after pandemic protections and the state’s eviction moratorium created a historic backlog, the landlords see humiliation as the next best tactic.

“The signs are very embarrassing and shameful for them,” said the Thompsons’ son, Calvin Jr. “That’s the only voice we have at this stage: freedom of speech.”

The signs seem to be working: Kathia Lamour tried to cut one sign down, Calvin Jr. claims.

“When she calls Uber, she won’t do it in front of the house anymore,” he said. “She runs to the end of the block, so they don’t see them.

“It’s uncomfortable that we have to hang these up, but we’re $20,000 uncomfortable, so I think a sign is very minor.”

Problems began in July when the Thompsons raised the rent on the Lamours’ three-bedroom pad from $1,800 a month to $1,900, the first rent hike in nine years, according to Calvin Jr.

The Lamours didn’t want to pay the 5% increase. Kathia, who works for the city Department of Social Services and makes $46,731, according to, told The Post she tried to drop off $1,800 in rent instead of the new amount, but the Thompsons refused to take it — so she stopped paying altogether.

It's easy to sympathize with Ms. Lamour for standing her ground here, because in her municipal position she's probably very aware of how dangerous the shelters the DSS "runs and monitors" are

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Meet the new public health boss, same as the old public health boss
The city's new smug asshole doctor


 NY Daily News

Mayor Adams’ newly minted health commissioner recommended Friday that the city should indefinitely maintain its mask mandate for kids younger than 5, striking a more cautious tone than his boss, who would prefer to scrap the restriction sooner rather than later.

Dr. Ashwin Vasan laid out the case for continued pandemic caution during a COVID-19 briefing in Queens, his first since taking over as the city’s health commissioner earlier this week.

The two primary coronavirus restrictions that remain in effect are the school mask mandate for kids younger than 5 and the vaccine mandate for the city’s private workforce — and Vasan said he believes neither of those requirements should be lifted anytime soon.

“I think it’s indefinite at this point,” Vasan said of the workforce mandate, which requires all private employees in the Big Apple to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. “People who have tried to predict what’s going to happen in the future in this pandemic have repeatedly found egg on their face, as they say, and I’m not going to do that here today.”

In terms of the mask mandate for kids younger than 5, Vasan offered a personal plea for why it shouldn’t be rescinded for the time being.

“I would love nothing more than to send my son to daycare without a mask,” said Vasan, whose kid is 4. “But as a scientist ... I want to keep him safe because he’s not eligible for a vaccine.”


Jamaica is still a mess


Queens Chronicle

Borough President Donovan Richards, joined by several other community leaders, led a walking tour of Jamaica Avenue from Parsons Boulevard to 165th Street to address quality-of-life issues in the rapidly changing downtown area.

During the tour on March 11, business, crime, homelessness, drugs, busways and poor infrastructure were just some of the topics discussed by Richards, fellow elected officials, business owners and other community stakeholders.

Richards said that Downtown Jamaica needs a facelift that may cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

“The pavers got to go, new lighting, paving the boulevard over, planting new trees for clean air, but aesthetically this whole place needs an uplift,” said Richards. “The vacancy rate is 6 percent, because the customer base is so loyal. But imagine how much more of Southeast Queens would shop here if it felt safe, if it felt modern and if the city made a commitment in addressing many of the systemic issues here.”

Richards, City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica), Mayor Adams, state Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) and new edition Councilwoman Nantasha Williams (D-St. Albans) all grew up in the Jamaica region, said the borough president.

“What we have discussed is putting together a task force,” said Richards. “This can’t just be a one-day tour. We need to meet monthly, not to just talk, but to incentivize the agencies to do some improvements here as well.”

Those agencies will have no shortage of issues to address.

Property owners say that they have trouble trying to lease to quality tenants in Jamaica, according to Jennifer Furioli, the executive director of the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District.

“One of the biggest issues that people are concerned about is the quality of retail here,” said Furioli. “We have property owners who are trying to lease to responsible tenants.”

Mark Lucaj, the property manager of the retail building at 159-02 Jamaica Ave., which includes Jamaica Multiplex Cinemas, said the landowner that he represents missed out on a deal with a national retailer as a tenant.

“They want a safe place to operate,” said Lucaj. “We had a national retailer come in for one of vacant spaces, which was vacant for some time ... they saw someone peeing on the side of the building and said that this is not for us.”

Lucaj said that retailers who come to Jamaica want to see a clean, safe and walkable area.

“You got the traffic at least,” Richards said, as dozens of people walked by the corner of the movie theater.

The building where the movie theater, eateries and other retail outlets reside used to be a parking lot over 20 years ago, Lucaj told the Queens Chronicle.

“The landowner here was one of the first people to invest in this area 20 years ago and saw what Jamaica could be,” said Lucaj. “They built this building and it now it’s a landmark to a certain extent ... People reference the movie theater and say, ‘That building. Got it.’”

Samantha Champagnie, who co-owns the Golden Krust Caribbean Restaurant with her husband, Conrad, at 92-21 Parsons Blvd., said that a man pulled down his pants in front of the place on March 6.

“We had to get him out of the store because he was dealing with a mental health issue,” said Champagnie. “We have people with those issues, but it doesn’t seem like there is any place for them to go.”

Champagnie, Conrad and Beverly Hills Furniture storeowner Leran Ruben also had issues with the new busways that were implemented on Jamaica Avenue, a major shopping corridor.

“These busways have impacted my business,” said Ruben. “It’s decreased foot traffic from more than 50 to 75 percent. Passenger vehicles from Sutphin Boulevard all the way to 168th Street can’t stop by for business.”

Queens Chronicle 

Six days after a Queens Chronicle report on placard abuse was released Leran Ruben, one of the business owners who had made complaints about city workers parking in truck-loading docks and busways, which was causing traffic in Jamaica and driving customers away, had a meeting at his store with representatives of the NYPD’s crime lab and the city Department of Transportation on Feb. 16.

“They said they are going to look into the placard abuse and discuss with their employees who were abusing and who wasn’t abusing it,” said Ruben. “What I got out of the meeting, was that only someone who was on active duty is allowed to use their placard, and not just someone coming to work.”

Earlier, Ruben said he noticed most of the placard vehicles seem to belong to members of the NYPD Forensics Laboratory at 150-14 Jamaica Ave., which is near his business, Beverly Hills Furniture, at 149-01 Jamaica Ave.

Ruben was confounded by why employees at the crime lab would park in busways when they have their parking garage at the corner of their building.

“They said only part of the garage was theirs,” said Ruben about the crime lab employees. “Some of the garage belongs to the court, some of it belongs to the Police Department and some of it belongs to the parole officers.”

After sending the story to the Mayor’s Office, Ruben said that he got a call from Deputy Inspector Brian O’Sullivan of the Transportation Bureau.

“He’s a gentleman,” said Ruben. “He said that he was going to make sure that his officers were not abusing plaques over here, but he has no pull over other agencies. He said he will reach out to parole officers and others to see if they could assist in this matter.”

Despite the meeting, not much has changed since, according to Ruben.

“But, when you go outside, I don’t see any improvement,” said the furniture store owner on March 1. “When the placards take up the truck parking and the passenger vehicle parking, trucks don’t get to stop where they need to stop to unload.”

Ruben showed the Queens Chronicle pictures from Feb. 22 of placard vehicles taking up a loading spot, resulting in a truck double-parking in the road and buses going in the opposite lane to get around the delivery driver.

Another truck had to park in the crosswalk to get enough space to deliver goods.

“Nobody is obeying the bus lane, so it’s not even serving its purpose to increase speeds for public transportation,” said Ruben. “Now this is forcing pedestrians to scatter in the streets, which is unsafe.”

With too much traffic plaguing the area and a lack of parking spots for customers, even at metered parking spaces, which were also taken up by placard vehicles, the third-generation entrepreneur has lost 50 to 75 percent of his once-thriving business.

Approximately 90 businesses in Downtown Jamaica are struggling with the same issue.

New luxury public housing building in Astoria

 6 Sq Ft

 A housing lottery opened this week for 36 middle-income units at a new residential development in Queens. Located at 30-77 Vernon Boulevard, Astoria West is designed by Fogarty Finger and consists of three buildings spanning 2.5 acres of land across the waterfront. The new development is a joint project between Cape Advisors and Wainbridge Capital. New Yorkers earning 130 percent of the area median income, or between $77,143 for a single person to $167,570 for a household of five, are eligible to apply for the apartments, which range from $2,250/month one-bedrooms to $2,950/month two-bedrooms.

Qualifying New Yorkers can apply for the affordable units until May 19, 2022. Complete details on how to apply are available here. Thirty percent of the units will be affordable. Questions regarding this offer must be referred to NYC’s Housing Connect department by dialing 311.

If you don’t qualify for the housing lotteries mentioned, visit’s no-fee rentals page for other apartment deals in the city.


Getting stiffed on the rent relief


6 Sq. Ft. 

New York on Tuesday received an additional $119 million in rent-relief funds from the U.S. Treasury Department, a fraction of the $1.6 billion requested by Gov. Kathy Hochul in January. Hochul’s office estimated 8,500 pending applications for rent relief will be fulfilled with this new funding, as Crain’s reported.

This is the second time the Treasury Department’s allocation of funds for NY’s rent relief has fallen short. In November 2021, the state was granted a mere $27 million, or just 3 percent, of the $996 million Hochul requested.

As of March 14, more than 318,000 New Yorkers have applied to receive back rent paid through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). But just 127,000 applicants have been paid, according to the state’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

“Every dollar is meaningful; however, this falls woefully short of meeting the financial struggles of the nation’s largest population of income-insecure renters,” Joseph Strasburg, president of the Rent Stabilization Association, said in a statement. “It is deeply disappointing and frustrating that the federal government is failing to come through with the $1.6 billion the state requested in January.”

According to Crain’s, the Treasury Department will soon be releasing information on how states can request additional funds for rent relief. The process is scheduled to begin on March 31. Until then, the state will be forced to take from its own resources to provide relief to New Yorkers in need.

When the state’s eviction moratorium, first instated by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and extended by Hochul in her first week in office, ended in January, Hochul reopened the state’s rent-relief portal to give struggling New Yorkers an alternative support option following a court order. The state’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) exhausted its funding and as of now will no longer be able to fulfill applications filed after September 21, 2021, according to the program’s website.


Saturday, March 19, 2022

The D.O.T. is inducing Citibike on Maspeth and Middle Village.


The draft plan for Citi Bike stations in Maspeth and Fresh Pond Road has been released! NYC DOT representatives presented the plan to Queen's Community Board 5's Transportation Services and Public Services Combined Committees. If you'd like to send feedback regarding the draft plan, please send an email to

 This is not going to go well Ydanis.


The DOT's street infrastructure negligence and useless bike lane chronicles

All pictures and posts were provided by Northwest Queens resident Dorothy Moorhead. Great job exposing the Transportation Alternatives influenced kakistrocacy that has taken over the D.O.T. - JQ LLC




















This is where the westbound Queens Boulevard bike lane ends. How is this safe? If it weren’t for the fact that very few bikers use the bike lane—in a full week I saw a total of 11—there would be many accidents. (Admin note: This part of the road has always been damaged, and it's funny how TA never brought up this hazardous lane merge with vehicular traffic and also how the bike lane ends in Sunnyside. Utter proof of the lack of interest from the bike scientology cult and of actual bike commuting seen on Queens Blvd. Which I have seen myself for nearly 3 decades)

It would be nice—not to mention safer—if DOT paid more attention to faded street signs and potholed streets than it does to bike lanes. Since Transportation Alternatives started running the DOT, it seems like every issue other than expanding bike lanes has taken a low priority.


Here’s another DOT fail. Years ago alternate side parking restrictions were changed. Instead of two days a week, they are now one day in most parts of the city. In Astoria the DOT has yet to change the signs. I guess they need the money for the bike lanes that seem to have unlimited resources. (The second day on the signs are the street cleaning days.) If the DOT can’t afford new signs, they could at least cover the incorrect information.


DOT: Do as I say, not as I do.




















Last post today on the DOT and its short-sighted effects on NYC streets. This shows an oil delivery truck in the bike lane where Skillman Avenue has been reduced to a single through lane. The driver had no option other than pull up between the row of parked cars and the bike lane. Had he parked in the through lane for the fifteen or twenty minutes it takes to deliver the oil, he would have backed traffic up past PS11, with horns beeping. At 8:00 am.