Saturday, April 30, 2022

Department of Transportation Alternatives seizes streets in Jackson Heights

What exactly are these permanent structures to keep cars out look like? Will the D.O.T.A. monitor this street as horrendously as they have done with the open restaurants program? How will the Sanitation Dept., NYPD and FDNY get to these streets?

And when is PIX News going to acknowledge Jim Burke's ties to Transportation Alternatives?

And how come motorcycles are allowed on the open streets?


Friday, April 29, 2022

New York Democrats gerrymandering attempt kiboshed

City and State 


New York’s highest court tossed out both congressional and state Senate district maps on Wednesday, ruling that they were both drawn in violation of the constitution.

In a majority 4-3 decision, the state Court of Appeals ruled that the maps must be redrawn by a neutral expert, acknowledging that “it will likely be necessary to move the congressional and senate primary elections to August,” Chief Judge Janet DiFiore wrote, ordering the Supreme Court to oversee the process.

While the court ruled both maps were procedurally unconstitutional, the judges wrote that the congressional map was clearly gerrymandered “with impermissible partisan purpose.”

The decision comes after the new, bipartisan Independent Redistricting Committee, established by voters in 2014, failed to come to an agreement on the electoral maps, putting the power in the hands of the Democrat-controlled state Legislature, which approved the newly redrawn maps in February. 

“The legislature responded by creating and enacting maps in a nontransparent manner controlled exclusively by the dominant political party – doing exactly what they would have done had the 2014 constitutional reforms never been passed,” DiFiore wrote. 

The now-voided maps would have given Democrats advantages in 22 of the state’s 26 congressional districts. The new state Senate map redistributed two more of the 63 districts to New York City, following population trends, and gave  Democrats a better position in three Republican-held districts. 

After Democrats released the maps, Republicans promptly filed a lawsuit arguing that the process for approving the maps was “constitutionally defective” and that the congressional map in particular was “unconstitutionally gerrymandered in favor of the majority party,” according to the decision issued Wednesday.

Guns n' students

 There was a shocking discovery after metal detectors were sent to a Queens high school one day after a brazen daylight shooting that left three teenagers injured.

Now, Mayor Eric Adams is taking action, ordering his precinct commanders and top NYPD brass to attend an unusual weekend meeting, CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported Thursday.

One top NYPD official described the meeting at police headquarters this Saturday as a "beat down." The mayor's spokesman told Kramer only that his boss regards himself as a general who intends to lead from the front.

But for many of us, the number of weapons found at Francis Lewis High School on Thursday was astounding.

"The weapons count went to over 20 and they're still counting. I know they have a stun gun and pepper spray from one student, have a lot of knives," Teamsters Local 237 President Gregory Floyd said.

Students at Francis Lewis High in Fresh Meadows had to wait on long lines and take directions from school safety agents on Thursday, following the stunning daylight shooting that left three students wounded, including a 14-year-old Asian girl who was shot in the neck, has a bullet lodged in her spine, and still hasn't regained consciousness.

Police sources said a group of students, many from Francis Lewis High, were walking home on 188th Street. The occupant of a silver sedan began shouting at the kids, police say, and then a man got out of the car and opened fire.

"It's not happening in the middle of the night. It's happening in the afternoon, on a busy street, in a busy area where kids congregate after school," Fresh Meadows parent George Douveas said.

The mayor was outraged both about the shooting and the cache of weapons found at the school.

"There should be no doubt that keeping New York City safe is my top priority," he told CBS2, adding, "It is unacceptable for prohibited items to be taken to school."

Queens Chronicle

Three teens were shot walking on 188th Street near 64th Avenue at approximately 4:10 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

The three victims — a 14-year-old girl and two 18-year-old boys — were walking in a group of 10 to 12 other teenagers, Deputy Inspector Kevin Chan of the 107th Precinct estimated, when the shooter, who had been double parked on the block, approached the group. An argument ensued, and shots were fired at the teens. The 14-year-old was shot in the neck, one of the 18-year-olds in the right hip and the other in the right calf, Chan said.

According to the NYPD press office, the girl is stable but critical and the two boys are stable. Chan, the precinct’s commander, said all are expected to survive.

Wednesday’s incident comes amid a recent uptick in crime in northeastern Queens — generally among the safer parts of the borough. In late March, northeast Queens saw two shooting incidents within the span of a week: one outside a party at a foreclosed house in Bayside, which squatters had been renting out on Airbnb, the other near Cardozo High School, and just days later. The latter involved at least three Cardozo students. On April 16, a woman was robbed and assaulted in the parking lot of the Oakland Gardens Key Food. The shooting Wednesday is the second the 107th Precinct has had this year; it had five all of last year. 

At this time, little is known about the perpetrator. Chan said that his age is not known and that he fled the scene in a gray BMW; the motive is unknown. It is also unclear whether the teens who were shot are the same ones who argued with the shooter, nor  if the group were all walking together, or if they just happened to be in the same place at the same time.

“It’s still early,” Chan said. “We’re trying to do our interviews, trying to, obviously, interview everyone that was there.”

Both Chan and Assemblymember Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows), however, were able to confirm that two of the victims — the 14-year-old and one of the 18-year-olds — attend Francis Lewis High School, a 12-minute walk from the scene.

Thursday afternoon, two school safety vehicles were parked outside the main entrance on Utopia Parkway, and students could be seen lined up outside the school; Rozic said that was because their bags were being searched as they entered the building.

Rozic, Councilmember Linda Lee (D-Oakland Gardens) and Councilman Jim Gennaro (D-Hillcrest) issued a joint statement on the incident late Wednesday evening. In addition to wishing the victims a speedy recovery and thanking the first responders on the scene, the group emphasized the need to take on gun violence. 

“Given recent events including shootings and assaults in neighboring communities, we understand the growing concerns about public safety in Northeast Queens and are calling for a renewed commitment from all levels of government to tackle the rising gun violence across New York City,” the statement reads.

College Point sewer dirt finally removed 

Queens Chronicle

 Just two months ago, a pile of potentially contaminated, excavated dirt stood at least three stories high at 119th Street and 20th Avenue, towering over Flushing Bay.

Now, it seems, the pile, is gone — but only after the state Department of Conservation issued nine different violations to city Department of Design and Construction-hired contractor EIC Associates for its failure to adhere to environmental protection guidelines.

Community Board 7’s environmental chair, visiting scientist and faculty member at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution James Cervino, who not only filed complaints with the state but also with the Environmental Protection Agency, is thrilled.

“They got the pile down to a manageable minimum,” Cervino said. “[That’s what happens] when the DEC comes in.”

The pile’s disappearance comes after the Chronicle reported extensively on the environmental concerns at the site in question. Cervino credited the change in large part to the Chronicle’s work.

The site is part of the College Point sewer update, a project that has been ongoing for more than five years now, and had effectively functioned as a transfer station for demolition dirt from the entire 20-block project.

That excavated material was found to have contained creosote timbers, which can be harmful when in contact with soil and water, which, considering its proximity to Flushing Bay, raised some red flags.

When the Chronicle previously asked Joseph A. Branco, a founding partner of EIC, whether the site was a transfer station, he said, “What we have is the materials that are disposed of [for the whole project], every two or three days, we have materials going out. I mean, these are the excavated material[s] going out, but it’s not a transfer station, per se.”

EIC could not be reached for comment for this story.

Since the Chronicle last reported on the issue in mid-February, a DEC spokesperson has said that the site is not a transfer station, as the permits issued for the project do not allow for one.

However, the Chronicle also obtained documentation of the alleged DDC and EIC violations at the 119th Street location. Among the nine different violations are a “substantially inadequate” Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan. More specifically, that violation notes that the “construction staging/stockpiling area” is not in the SWPPP.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

99 and a half won't do

NY Post

Mayor Eric Adams rolled out a record-busting $99.7 billion budget proposal on Tuesday fueled in part by an uptick in tax revenues, spending that he argued is essential for the Big Apple’s comeback from the coronavirus pandemic.

Adams unfurled his spending pitch to the City Council with great fanfare during a 50-minute speech at the historic Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, during which he highlighted his new anti-gun and homelessness initiatives, hiring hundreds of new corrections officers for embattled jail system and new funding to clean the Big Apple’s streets and parks.

“This budget puts people — especially those who have often been left behind — front and center. Success will be measured by how much we accomplish, not how much we spend,” he said. “Despite the massive shocks to our system in the past two years, our city enters fiscal year 2023 on strong financial footing.”

Hizzoner’s new spending plan would increase the Police Department’s annual budget from the $5.4 billion authorized by lawmakers to $5.6 billion and spending on the Department of Homeless Services would rise from $2.2 billion to $2.3 billion.

The massive Department of Education would see its allocation trimmed back from $31.6 billion to $31 billion, primarily due to enrollment declines and leaving hundreds of unfilled positions open.

21 days to fix Rikers

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Bayside clinic watered down vaccines to produce more inoculations

NY Daily News 

A Queens COVID-19 site systematically diluted vials of the life-saving Pfizer vaccine in order to dole out more doses, according to a new lawsuit filed by an employee claiming he was pushed out of the company after he started asking questions.

Jamie Zheng says Centers Urgent Care, the operator of the vaccine distribution site at Korean Community Services in Bayside, fired him after he learned of a policy to dilute the doses beyond the CDC’s recommendation.

“It makes me feel guilty,” said Zheng, 33, who ran the site from March to July of last year.

“Just thinking about the people waiting on line, mostly the Asian community. They were so excited. They want to get protected but in reality they’re getting a compromised dose.”

The CDC tells providers to mix a vial of Pfizer’s vaccine with 1.8 mL of a saline-based solution for adults. The lawsuit alleges Centers Urgent Care instructed distributors to mix with 1.9 mL, which allowed the company to squeeze seven shots out of each vial as opposed to six, the lawsuit claims.

Future deliveries of the vaccine from Pfizer were based on how many people the company had vaccinated in prior weeks, said Zheng, who sued in Queens Supreme Court .

Private providers who administer the shots are reimbursed for vaccinating individuals through insurance companies or Medicare.

Zheng is the second employee of Centers Urgent Care to sue over the alleged practice. Andrew Palazzo says in his suit filed last year that he was fired from his job administering the vaccines after raising similar objections as Zheng. He alleged 16,000 doses could have been diluted.

A court denied Palazzo’s bid last year for an order blocking the site from administering vaccines. Palazzo’s suit is ongoing and Centers Urgent Care has denied wrongdoing.

Greedy developer steals investor funding and exploits government exemptions for luxury towers to build his own luxury houses Post

Their money was meant to help create jobs — instead it appears to have gone towards buying one man three mansions.

So claims the Securities and Exchange Commission in a case filed against Queens developer Richard Xia.

According to documents the government agency filed in federal court in the Eastern District of New York earlier this month, Xia allegedly defrauded a group of investors by using their money not for the development of two Queens real estate projects, but the purchase of three Long Island manors, Crain’s reported

Xia used assets from his investors — who were part of the federal EB-5 visa program, which provides investors in job-creating US real estate projects with green cards — as collateral to get over $30 million in loans, which went significantly towards the acquisition of two estates in Great Neck and one in Sands Point. Meanwhile, one of the Queens projects the investors believed they were funding — a 498-room luxury hotel, convention center, retail space and performing arts center called Eastern Emerald — remains undeveloped. 

The tony Long Island properties, on the other hand, are very much constructed and Xia, along with his wife, is currently living in one: a 13,000-square-foot Kings Point Road home boasting seven bedrooms, seven fireplaces and 13 bathrooms spread across 3 acres with views of the Manhattan skyline and Long Island Sound.

In a deposition defending his purchase of the property (which is under his wife’s name), Xia claimed it was a business transaction because he uses it as an office, Crain’s reported.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Mayor Adams throwing more city budget money gas on the homeless shelter fire



Mayor Eric Adams announced Sunday the largest investment made by any city administration to combat homelessness.

Adams declared that his administration will add more than $170 million in the Fiscal Year 2023 executive budget to provide what he says will be high-quality services and resources for homeless New Yorkers. 

The announcement comes as his administration works to dismantle homeless encampments throughout the city and get unhoused individuals out of the subway system. Both efforts received criticism among advocates and homeless people themselves, many of whom said they don’t want to be forced to return to city-run homeless shelters that have proven unsafe in the past.

But Adams said the funding will be used for “Safe Haven” and supportive housing beds that offer residents a peaceful and stable environment by which to rebuild their lives. It’s an effort to build confidence among homeless residents to accept the help the city’s offering them.

“This is not a one and done. This is a baseline that every year this is going to have the funding will include expanded outreach efforts to connect those in need to specialized resources,” Mayor Adams said. “This funding will help expand these efforts including safe havens, stabilization beds, and drop off centers. These are the things people have stated constantly, these are the things you need to do, so now here’s the partnership: Every elected official, every advocate, the state, we want these types of beds we’re saying to them, join us, you know, join us we’re not going to oversaturate one community with the beds that we’re looking for because we have done that historically. We’re not going to do that. This is New York City’s problem, so New York City must ensure that this is happening correctly.”

Innovation QNS = Gentrification BS



Astoria residents and activists made their opposition to Innovation QNS loud and clear Wednesday night outside the Museum of the Moving Image where developers held a town hall presenting the project, which would add a set of 12 luxury high-rise buildings centered on five blocks around the intersection of Steinway Street and 35th Avenue.

The $2 billion project, which is led by Kaufman Astoria Studios, Silverstein Properties and BedRock Real Estate Partners, is touted by developers as a benefit to the community, adding 711 affordable apartments and “much-needed” open space. However, residents are convinced Innovation QNS will raise the cost of living, completely changing the economic and cultural make-up of their neighborhood. 

Innovation QNS will reserve about 25 percent of its residential spaces for affordable housing, which would leave 2,120 units priced at the market rate: ranging from $2,000-$3,000 a month for a studio to $4,000 for a two-bedroom. 

Innovation QNS consists of 12 buildings, with eight standing at over 15 floors and the two largest at 27 floors.

About 60 residents passionately chanted “Innovation QNS is gentrification QNS,” outside of the town hall where developers presented the project inside. The protesters, many of whom were immigrants, said that these luxury buildings will inevitably drive up rents in the surrounding area, forcing long-time residents to move — as seen previously in gentrified neighborhoods like Long Island City and Williamsburg in Brooklyn.

Hazra Rahman, a two-decades-long resident of Queensbridge Houses, said that this project would displace her and her husband. 

“Astoria has been a landing place for working-class Bengali people and we have a right to stay,” Rahman said. “Our family should be able to live and thrive in Astoria, but they are being pushed farther and farther away. There are no deeply affordable apartments for us. Our beloved small businesses are going to get priced out too.” 

Bishop Mitchell Taylor, a partner with Innovation QNS and CEO of Urban Upbound, stated that instead of these luxury buildings driving up the cost of living in the area, it will lower rents in Astoria — which angry protesters called out as a lie.

“To create 700 affordable units, then to create an additional supply that will drive prices of existing [housing] stock down, I think creates a tremendous opportunity for us, especially Black and brown communities that have historically been left out of this part of Astoria,” Taylor said. 

As protesters made their way inside the Museum of the Moving Image to join the town hall, they had a chance to directly confront developers during the public comment portion of the meeting.

Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani stood alongside disgruntled residents and directly responded to Taylor’s comments.

“Bishop Taylor, you had been talking about the impact of what those 25 percent of affordable units would do — that they would drive down the rents in the surrounding area — I have a different analysis about the 75 percent of market-rate units where they drive up rents,” Mamdani said. 

Other residents echoed these concerns during the town hall.

Mamdani said that Astoria is in the midst of a massive displacement problem and Innovation QNS’ plan to add 711 affordable apartments masquerades the detriment to the community.

“What we’re looking at is only going to accelerate the displacement faced by so many of my constituents,” Mamdani said. “If you have more than 2,000 market-rate apartments coming up here, we will see more and more landlords looking at those units as the new going rate for living in Astoria.”

Fuel Grannie

Oof, I knew exactly what we were in for the minute I saw Mitchie Taylor seated on the stage.

The presence of Urban Upbound’s notorious CEO at yesterday’s barely-advertised InnovationsQNS town hall could only mean one thing: this project is a scam and Big Sleazy is likely being compensated to promote said scam, as he had been with both Amazon HQ2LIC and YourLIC.

Mitchell Taylor, who owns a $2million home on Long Island, brings that sell out energy as he claims to represent the entire Queensbridge population while his history reflects an exploitation of that community for his own profit.

There’s also his repeated history of sexually harassing women.

And during the summer of 2020, as covid raged and people sought outdoor refuge, Taylor’s nonprofit security company infamously and conveniently profited when Gantry Plaza State Park, a public park, was used by the, ah, public while the wealthy inhabitants of the waterfront luxury towers whined and railed about too many unwelcomed humans visible from their lofty, shiny, windowed perches.

At yesterday’s town hall, as Taylor detailed a planned “community center” to “house neighborhood nonprofits” within the 27-story towers of InnovationQNS, I could not help but wonder that the only nonprofits which might end up using that space will be those umbrellaed under Taylor’s highly profitable Urban Upbound.

Foreclosing going up in the world's borough


 Queens Chronicle

The latest Property Shark report, which was released last week, revealed that since the eviction moratorium came to a close in January, first-time scheduled foreclosures and preforeclosures filings have steadily made a climb in Queens.

While Brooklyn has the most foreclosures and preforeclosures in the city the first quarter of 2022, the World’s Borough is not too far behind on both fronts.

Since the end of the moratorium, there have been 87 first-time foreclosures throughout the city and lis pendens, or preforeclosure filings, have jumped by 13 percent citywide compared to the first quarter in 2020.

In Queens, there were 31 foreclosures, most of which were in the 11434 ZIP Code, which encompasses parts or all of Hollis, Jamaica, St. Albans and South Jamaica. There were also 237 preforeclosure filings — a 54 percent increase from the first quarter 2020, according to the report. Brooklyn had 35 foreclosures and 530 lis pendens filed.

There were 12 foreclosures in Manhattan, nine in the Bronx and none in Staten Island, according to Property Shark. Respectively, they also had 32, 74 and 150 preforeclosures.

The city’s homeowners have increasingly felt the economic pressures caused by the pandemic, said City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica).

“Housing is New Yorkers’ top priority for having safer neighborhoods, and our city must focus on keeping people in their homes,” said Adams via email. “We know that Black and brown homeowners in neighborhoods, like those I represent in Southeast Queens, have historically been at greatest risk of foreclosure and losing the generational wealth built over many years, which we must defend.”

Year after year, the city has funded a multimillion-dollar Foreclosure Prevention Initiative, which remains in the current budget to provide assistance to distressed homeowners, she added.

“In its Preliminary Budget Response, the Council has also proposed a property tax rebate for homeowners, which would provide overdue relief,” said Adams. “These are priorities we support to keep New Yorkers in their homes during this crisis.”

Homeowners who have fallen behind or need help navigating the complicated process or who want to avoid foreclosure can get free legal service by contacting the Center for NYC Neighborhoods network at (646) 786-0888.

Councilwoman Nantasha Williams (D-St. Albans) was disheartened that her district, 27, continues to take the brunt of the foreclosure crisis, which has become a recurring issue.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Mayor Adams is going to spend 900 million dollars to make life difficult for drivers


NY Daily News

Mayor Adams on Saturday said he aims to give New York City’s streets a $904 million makeover over the next five years — adding hundreds of miles of bike and bus lanes as well as revamped pedestrian spaces.

The budget target makes good on legislation passed by the City Council in 2019 that mandated a “streets master plan” for the five boroughs. The plan requires the city Department of Transportation build 250 new miles of protected bike lanes and 150 miles of new bus lanes by the end of 2026.

“This is a historic investment,” Adams said during a news conference on his proposal. “We must do our part, and that is to ensure that the pathways are safe where people can feel comfortable and utilize the bike infrastructure we have. We are so far behind international leaders. If you go to other cities and countries across the globe, they are so far ahead of us.”

Adams — who rode a bike from City Hall to the press conference in downtown Brooklyn —didn’t lay out specific plans for the bus and bike lanes’ makeover, or new pedestrian this year.

The proposed $904 million investment over five years must be worked out with the City Council as part of the city’s budget that’s due at the end of June. The amount is roughly in line with the $1.7 billion the Council in 2019 estimated the street redesigns would cost over a 10-year period, officials said.

But the proposal is well short about $2.2 billion short of the $3.1 billion Council members proposed earlier this year for the city’s streets plan. The Council’s plan goes much further than the benchmarks laid out by the 2019 law, and would add some 500 miles of bike lanes and turn dozens of city streets into pedestrian plazas.

The Daily News, and surely every other news outlet, forgot to mention that this plan was concocted mostly by "public space" and bike zealot lobby groups Transportation Alternatives and Bike New York. Showing once again that the agents of the city are shaping the city for the worse.


The Greek Restaurant Shanty Ruin Of Austin Street

Crappy told me about this shanty, apparently the roof couldn't persevere under the primal forces of Mother Nature or maybe Zeus. But like every other decrepit shanty, it still remains taking up valuable parking space, which is what the regulatory captured Department of Transportation Alternatives wants.


Saturday, April 23, 2022

Still inauguratin' and still vaccine discriminatin'



WHAT: Council Member Julie Won will be celebrating her inauguration ceremony tomorrow at the Museum of the Moving Image.


WHEN: Saturday, April 23, 2022.


2:00pm: Carl Goodman ED of MOMI

2:00pm: Helen Ho emcee welcomes guests and begins the program

2:05pm: Korean Drum Group: Nantah

2:10pm: Invocation Denise Rhrissorrakrai

2:12pm: CCD Executive Director - K Bain

2:15pm: Senator Chuck Schumer

2:20pm: Attorney General Tish James

2:25pm: State Senator John Liu

2:30pm: Comptroller Brad Lander

2:35pm: Manhatitlan Mexican Folkloric Dance Group

2:40pm: Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

2:45pm: Queens Borough President Donavan Richards

2:50pm: Swearing in by former borough president Sharon Lee

2:55pm: Julie Won closing remarks


Digital Learning Suite

3:00pm: Food & Refreshments - outdoor seating also available

3:05pm: Tibetan Community Center Dance

3:15pm: Irish Community Center

3:25pm: Thank you for coming, enjoy the space and feel free to explore the exhibits upstairs

WHERE: Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave, Queens, NY 11106

For inquiries, please contact: Kevin Kiprovski, 646-771-3240

What's with the vaccination requirement Jules? The Key to NYC was abolished months ago. Besides the blatant discrimination banning the public for not getting the failed vaccine injected into their bodies, this museum is actually breaking the law since their will be indoor dining at 3 P.M. When will this bullshit cease?

And what a collection of fauxgressive shitlibs too. (Oh, the absent public advocate got COVID a few weeks ago too)

Steal your face

State Sen. James Skoufis

 NY Post

This could put a real dent in the fake ID market.

The New York State Senate is moving forward with proposed legislation that would allow bars and restaurants to use facial recognition or fingerprint scanners to verify someone’s age before they buy alcohol, tobacco or electronic cigarettes.

“This is the new frontier of age verification,” said state Sen. James Skoufis, who is sponsoring the biometrics bill. “It does advance the interests of convenience.”

Skoufis envisions that bars and restaurants could scan fingerprints, faces or retinas of customers who want to be spared the trouble of showing an ID when they return to an establishment in the future. The proposed legislation requires all data to be encrypted and prohibits businesses from selling biometric data to third parties.

“No one’s forced into engaging with this technology, but they would have the choice,” Skoufis said. “There’s no big brother involved.”

Skoufis, who chairs the Investigation and Government Operations Committee, said he expects his committee will advance the proposal to the full Senate Monday. There is currently no sponsor in the Assembly though Skoufis said several members have expressed interest.

State lawmakers are scheduled to adjourn for the year on June 2.

Washington state approved a similar proposal in 2018, which allows spectators at professional sporting events to pass security and buy concessions with their fingerprints.

The legislative language states that the State Liquor Authority and the state Department of Health would be responsible for crafting regulations controlling the recording and maintenance of biometric data, which the bill states must be “stored in a centralized, highly secured, encrypted biometric database.”

Expanding the use of biometrics means privacy risks for New Yorkers, according to Albert Fox Cahn, a visiting fellow at Yale Law School and executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project. And unlike a credit card number or driver’s license, biometrics canno ever be changed, he added.

“This is a horrifying invitation for identity theft,” he said. “If one bar or restaurant gets hacked, our identities are compromised for the rest of our lives … more biometric data, potentially expands the power of government agencies to track us because this data is just going to be one court order away from being turned into a policing tool.”


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Move it or get booted

 New York City’s alternate side parking regulations will return to pre-pandemic norms starting July 5, officials announced Monday.

NY Daily News

New York City’s alternate-side parking rules are coming back in full force on July 5, meaning most motorists will once again have to move their cars twice a week for street sweeping.

The announcement from Mayor Adams is a reversal of changes ordered by former Mayor Bill de Blasio in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. That policy — put in place March 17, 2020 — required drivers on most residential streets to move their cars just one day a week instead of twice.

De Blasio’s order was intended to help people stay inside to combat the virus, but has remained in place for more than two years. That’s given car owners an extended break while also allowing the city’s streets to become dirtier.

 It went on for far too long and it largely sidelined the best clean streets tool in our arsenal: the mechanical broom,” city Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch said during a news conference on her first day as head of the department. “The dirty little secret here is that when ASP went to one day a week instead of two in practice it was like having no cleaning on many blocks in the city.”

Adams touted the return to pre-pandemic alternate side rules as part of an effort to “clean up the streets.”

Some streets in the city had alternate-side parking three or more days a week before the pandemic. Officials said those would be restored — and promised $65 tickets to drivers who break the rules.

Sean Bellamy, a car owner who lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn said more enforcement was a welcome return to normal.

“Most people don’t move for the sweepers now,” said Bellamy, 55, a contractor. “The streets are way dirtier now than they used to be. I move my car, but other people don’t.”


Council speaker from Queens top aides are from Long Island and Jersey

NY Post 

These bigwigs work for the City Council but they’re not based in the Big Apple.

Speaker Adrienne Adams has granted rare waivers exempting three top Council staffers from a rule requiring such workers to live in the city, The Post has learned.

“People know about it. It has caused dissension. People will say, ‘Why can’t I get a waiver to move out of the city?'” one Council veteran said.

The waivers went to new Council Chief of Staff Jeremy John, Chief Financial Officer Tanisha Edwards and top Finance Division deputy Jonathan Rosenberg.

John, who grew up in Brooklyn, now resides in Westbury in Nassau County and is getting paid at least $220,000, city records show. He comes to his council job with deep Democratic Party and labor connections — he’s the former political director of the District Council 37 union representing city workers.

Edwards, who is making $245,000 according to public records, has a listed address in Valley Stream in Nassau County. She’s a native of southeast Queens, the home turf of Speaker Adams, and most recently was employed as general counsel and chief legal officer of the state Insurance Fund.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Crooklyn Machine resorts to forgery to maintain control over Dem party


The Brooklyn Democratic Party submitted paperwork with at least two forged signatures to the city Board of Elections as part of a bid to knock fellow Democrats off June primary ballots, a grassroots political organization alleges.

On Thursday, Rep Your Block, a volunteer organization, lodged a complaint with the board, citing sworn affidavits from two registered Democrats in Brownsville and East New York who said the signatures on ballot challenges to candidates filed in their names weren’t theirs.

The “filing of these objections with your agency amounts to the criminal act of filing a false instrument,” the complaint to the BOE states. “These objections and any resulting specifications should be dismissed by your agency.”

Rep Your Block, which aims to get more residents to participate in the borough’s Democratic party, also communicated to THE CITY concerns about the validity of at least a half dozen other signatures submitted on formal objections to candidates’ ballot petitions filed with the board.

They point to a similarity in the handwriting among the signatures, obvious discrepancies between the submitted signatures and voter signatures already on file at the Board of Election, and even misspellings of some of the names.

“We just want to be a part of our own political party. It shouldn’t be that hard. And to have to go to a criminal end to block us is just shocking,” said Maggie Moore, campaign director for Rep Your Block. “It’s really, really unfortunate and disappointing.”

The flagged challenges were among dozens linked to the Brooklyn Democratic Party targeting the ballot petitions of nearly 200 candidates who are seeking party positions. 


Reon Sealey, 21, writes his name in a hasty, hard-to-read scribble. So on Friday, when reporters from THE CITY visited his Brownsville, Brooklyn, apartment, he was surprised to see a document with a clear cursive signature purporting to be his — and misspelling his last name, without the second “e.”

The document is an official filing submitted to the city Board of Elections, aimed at knocking a Democratic candidate running for a low-level party position off the June primary ballot.

“This is not my signature, 100% it’s not,” said the young man, wearing a hoodie on a windy day outside his apartment building.

His upstairs neighbor, Osasogie Airhiavbere, told THE CITY she too didn’t sign that form, which showed a tidy version of her signature right beside Sealey’s.

“It’s definitely fraud, and it’s not good,” said Airhiavbere, a 38-year-old administrative staffer at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The neighbors join two other registered voters in Brownsville and East New York who swore in affidavits last week that their signatures were forged on similar election-related documents, THE CITY previously reported.

All four of the residents’ contested signatures appear on ballot objection forms that list a top attorney for the Brooklyn Democratic Party as the point of contact.

The two affidavits alleging fraud formed the basis of an official complaint filed with the New York City Board of Elections last week by Rep Your Block, a volunteer organization that helps Brooklyn residents run for county committee seats.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Seven years of severance pay for shitty shady prinicipal

NY Post 

A Queens principal accused of using fraudulent schemes to boost his school’s graduation rate can never again work with city students — but will get a $1.8 million desk job, The Post has learned.

Khurshid Abdul-Mutakabbir, who was removed as principal of Maspeth High School last July, won’t return to any city school as a principal, according to a settlement of misconduct charges. But he can stay on the Department of Education payroll for another seven years.

Under Abdul-Mutakabbir, Maspeth HS created fake classes, awarded credits to failing students, and fixed grades to push kids out the door, the Special Commissioner of Investigation for city schools found, confirming exposès by The Post.

Instead of trying to terminate Abdul-Mutakabbir, as city investigators recommended, the DOE settled the charges on Jan. 25 by fining him $12,000  – and barring him from working as a principal.But under the sweetheart deal – which DOE officials kept hidden for months – the disgraced educator, now age 47, will sit in an office until he “irrevocably” retires on Nov. 30, 2029.

He will pocket his current $187,043 annual salary, and get all union-negotiated pay raises for principals. He will also enjoy paid vacations and holidays, plus full health and retirement benefits, which will cost at least $78,558 a year in addition. The total cost will come to more than $1.8 million.

City Councilman Robert Holden (D-Queens), who first called attention to Maspeth HS malfeasance after meeting with a group of whistleblower teachers three years ago, was outraged to learn of the golden parachute. 

 “Nothing is more absurd in city government than rewarding dishonesty and cheating,” Holden said, calling Abdul-Mutakabbir’s lucrative deal a huge waste of taxpayer funds.

Chancellor David Banks, who promised to cut waste and bureaucratic bloat when he took the DOE reins on Jan. 1, would not comment on Abdul-Mutakabbir’s case. 

“When I see evidence of egregious actions amongst a small number of individuals in our schools, we will move aggressively and expeditiously to remove those people from our schools and payroll permanently. We seek the best outcome for students and taxpayers,” he said in a statement.

Teachers told investigators that Abdul-Mutakabbir pressured teachers to pass students whether they learned anything or not, the SCI said in a report completed last June.

“I don’t care if a kid shows up at 7:44 and you dismiss at 7:45 — it’s your job to give that kid credit,” Abdul-Mutakabbir was quoted as telling a staffer. He said the school would give a lagging student a diploma “not worth the paper on which it was printed” and let him “have fun working at Taco Bell,” the report said.


Forest Hills woman murdered when she got home after night out with friends 

NY Post

The Forest Hills mom found dead in a hockey duffel bag spent some of her final hours puttering around her yard and enjoying a night out — before video caught a mysterious figure lugging her makeshift casket down the street.

Cops are now trying to piece together how Orsolya Gaal, 51, went from a well-to-do, seemingly typical stay-at-home married mom of two to slay victim.

“It’s a mystery,” an NYPD official told The Post on Sunday. “Now it’s a question of piecing together everything she did that night.”

The source said that during Gaal’s final hours Friday, “She goes out with friends.

“We’re pulling video and receipts from those places,” the source said.

Gaal returned home before midnight and a short time later her killer arrived, another NYPD source said.

 Then] around 4:30 a.m. [Saturday], you see somebody rolling this [duffel bag] down the sidewalk from multiple cameras,’’ the high-ranking NYPD source said.

“[Cops] actually traced it backward from the scene to the house,” the source said, referring to a blood trail from the bag.

“She knew the people she was out with,’’ the source added of the victim. “We’re talking to them. We also have to figure out, did she meet some mysterious stranger along the way?”

Gaal’s body was found with multiple stab wounds in a hockey bag, not unlike the one used by her son, the second law-enforcement source noted.

Detectives have found no sign of a break-in at the house. They believe the suspect knew his victim and stabbed her out of anger, a source said.

Police on Sunday released surveillance footage that showed a person dragging a duffel bag across the sidewalk.

Kill that noise

Queens Post

Queens Council Member Robert Holden introduced a series of bills Thursday aimed at improving the quality of life for New York City residents.

The bills aim to combat everything from noise pollution to sidewalk obstructions—to the unauthorized towing of vehicles. The legislation would also require film crews to provide more notice when they plan to occupy public streets.

Holden introduced 16 bills in total and said that many of the bills address unruly behavior that has contributed to rising crime. Crime is up 40.5 percent citywide for the year through April 10, compared to the same period a year ago, according to NYPD data.

“With the trend of legalizing or ignoring, and thereby normalizing behaviors that diminish our city’s quality of life… it’s time to take measures to bring balance to living in New York City,” Holden said in a statement.

Holden introduced legislation designed to combat disorderly motorists blasting out deafening music from their vehicles.

One of his bills would increase the civil penalties for motorists who blast an unreasonable amount of noise from their vehicle via a personal audio device. The new penalties would range from $200 to $2,100, depending on the number of violations committed within the preceding two years.

Another bill would target raucous motorists who attach speakers to the exterior of a vehicle. Violators would be hit with a civil penalty of between $100 and $225 for a first offense increasing to as much as $575 for a third violation.

Holden has also introduced legislation that targets business owners who pump out loud music from a commercial establishment. He has a bill that would reduce the acceptable level of noise.

Holden, whose district covers Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood and parts of Woodhaven and Woodside, said that noise pollution is a serious concern among his constituents and his bills aim to clamp down on the problem.

“We know that unreasonable noise late at night is not only a nuisance but a threat to New Yorkers’ health,” Holden said. “All New Yorkers are entitled to the quiet enjoyment of their homes.”

Holden’s other bills take aim at film crews operating on public streets. The crews, he said, often disrupt small businesses by taking valuable parking spaces.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Caption Governor Hochul and the interim Lt. Governor

Image  I hope Governor Kathy Clown vetted this one thoroughly unlike the last silly rabbit

Saturday, April 16, 2022

A dead woman got dumped on Metropolitan Avenue

NY Daily News

A woman whose body was found by a dog-walker stuffed in a duffle bag on a Queens street Saturday morning may have been killed by a family member in a nearby home, police sources said.

The dog-walker called 911 after making the grim discovery at about 8:10 a.m. on Metropolitan Ave. near Forest Park Drive, which cuts through Forest Park near the Jackie Robinson Parkway.

The woman had no ID on her and was covered in blood, cops said.

Police focused their attention on a home on nearby Juno St. Saturday afternoon, and were looking into the possibility that a male relative killed her and dumped the body, sources said.

One park-goer, who gave his first name, Jonathan, 30, said he was shocked to hear about the woman’s body being found by his normal walking path.

“We walk here on weekends usually. It’s horrifying,” he said.

NBC New York

Homicide investigators on Saturday were at a home in Queens questioning a teenage boy in connection to the discovery of a woman’s body found that morning in a duffel bag dumped near an overpass, police sources told News 4.

The NYPD said a 911 call was made at 8:18 a.m., alerting police to the Forest Hills crime scene on Metropolitan Avenue at the Union Turnpike.

Officers found the bag and discovered a woman’s body inside, according to the NYPD, which initially reported the body inside was dismembered. The circumstances leading to the victim’s death and her identity have not been confirmed by police.

Investigators spent much of the day scouring the crime scene for evidence, some of which led police to a nearby house, according to law enforcement sources. Those officials said a blood trail was discovered between the nearby residence and the location where the body was dumped.


Friday, April 15, 2022

Pedestrians fears about intersection gets pedestrian response by the D.O.T. 


Several residents of the Kew Gardens and Forest Hills communities joined Community Board 9 members on April 14 at Park Lane and Union Turnpike to demand that the Department of Transportation (DOT) make the intersection safer for pedestrians to cross.

According to Community Board 9 District Manager James McClelland, the community submitted a request to the DOT last November asking for either the timing of the traffic lights to be changed or for the installation of a leading pedestrian interval. The latter would give the green light to pedestrians to cross several seconds before parallel traffic, allowing for extra time to make those who are crossing appear more visible to turning drivers. However, the request was struck down by the DOT last March.

McClelland said the DOT denied the request out of fear that it would’ve further backed up traffic. However, several residents doubted that excuse, citing a lack of traffic buildup on Union Turnpike.


Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Bye Bye Brian

Queens Post 

Assembly Member Brian Barnwell announced via social media Tuesday morning that he will not be seeking re-election.

“It is with sadness that I announce that I will not be seeking re-election to the NYS Assembly for a 4th term,” he announced via Twitter. “… It has been a true honor to serve, and I will never forget that I owe everything to the kindness of the People who allowed me to serve as their representative.”

Barnwell’s decision was abrupt and a surprise to many political insiders since he had filed signatures with the Board of Elections last week to appear on the ballot for the June 28 Democratic primary.

The 36-year-old — who represents the 30th Assembly District that covers areas such as Sunnyside, Woodside, Maspeth and Middle Village — did not provide a reason as to why he was not running again.

“It has shocked a lot of us. It has come out of left field,” said Steven Raga, Barnwell’s former chief of staff who is running to be a district leader. “I hope everything is ok with him.”

Barnwell took office in January 2017 after defeating incumbent Margaret Markey in the Democratic primary — in what political pundits viewed as a major upset. Markey had been elected to the seat nine times, while Barnwell was a political newcomer at the time. He had worked as an aide to former Council Member Costa Constantinides before running for office.

It is unclear what impact his eleventh-hour decision not to run will have on the election of his successor.

Under election law, Barnwell could play a major role in who is elected to his position. For instance, if Barnwell submitted a document called a “certificate of declination” to the Board of Elections by the end of April 11, a special committee would be formed to choose someone to take his spot in the upcoming primary, according to Democratic District Leader Èmilia Decaudin.

The committee, which would be made up of Barnwell’s supporters, is more than likely to pick someone that the assembly member recommends. If he didn’t file the form his name would remain on the ballot.

Caption Brad Pander annoying a commuter on the day of the mass shooting

ImageThis guy is an asshole

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Man shoots 10 commuters on a subway train during rush hour in Sunest Park

Lt. Governor Brian Benjamin arrested for campaign fraud

NBC News 

New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin has surrendered to authorities to face campaign finance fraud-related charges in connection with a past campaign, two people familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

Benjamin is expected to appear in Manhattan federal court later Tuesday. Gov. Kathy Hochul's office couldn't immediately be reached for comment on the arrest, nor could a representative for Benjamin.

His arrest comes after reports that Manhattan federal prosecutors and the FBI were investigating whether Benjamin knowingly engaged in a campaign finance fraud scheme. Subpoenas were issued in connection with the investigation, two sources familiar with the subpoenas said at the time.

The investigators also looked into whether Benjamin helped dole out state money to contributors and/or their projects as part of the alleged fraud.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney and a spokesman for the FBI both previously declined WNBC requests for comment regarding the investigation into Benjamin.  

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins also did not return requests for comment. 

Benjamin was appointed lieutenant governor by Gov. Kathy Hochul in 2021, shortly after losing a primary bid for New York City comptroller. He previously served as the New York State Senator for District 30, which is made up of Harlem, East Harlem (El Barrio), the Upper West Side, Washington Heights, Hamilton Heights and Morningside Heights.

 Wonder who Kathy Clown is going to pick next and if she will bother to vet that person thoroughly.

Long Island Fear City


Queens Post 

 The recent surge in assaults, burglaries and other violent crimes is spurring the Long Island City community into action.

Residents will take part in a public meeting with members of the 108th Precinct this week to discuss soaring crime rates in the area while a local group is planning to bring back private security to the Hunters Point waterfront when the weather heats up.

The public meeting will take place Thursday at Renew Queens, a community center located at 10-15 46th Rd., and Deputy Inspector Lavonda Wise – along with the 108th Precinct’s Neighborhood Coordination Officers and Crime Prevention Unit – will be in attendance. The gathering is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. and finish at 7:30 p.m.

The event is being organized by Johanna Carmona, a former prosecutor running for the Assembly District 37 seat, and aims to provide residents with an opportunity to have their say about the uptick in lawlessness plaguing the area. She expects up to 40 people to attend.

“There is a lot of concern about an increase in crime in the area, it’s pretty bad and very alarming,” Carmona said.

In the 108th precinct—which serves Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside—crime is up 42 percent for the year through April 3, compared to the same period a year ago, according to NYPD data. Robberies are up 108 percent, grand larceny is up 71 percent, while burglaries are up 16 percent.


Monday, April 11, 2022

de Blasio missed the cut again, Trump gets to run his golf course


NY Post

Donald Trump is back in the Bronx.

A state Supreme Court judge ruled Friday that the city did not have the right to cancel Trump’s contract to run the Ferry Point Golf Course. Mayor Bill de Blasio had nixed the deal after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, arguing that Trump would not be able to attract golf tournaments.

In her decision and order filed on Friday, Justice Debra James said there was nothing in the contract that required a tournament — only that the city would share in any proceeds. That means either Trump gets to continue to run the course, or the city needs to pay him to leave. Trump’s son Eric said they’ll stay.

“The judge didn’t buy their nonsense and this is a well-reasoned and appropriate decision and we look forward to running the best golf course for years to come,” Eric Trump said.

De Blasio tried to freeze Trump out of all city contracts. The Parks Department had reassigned Ferry Point to an out-of-state operator, Bobby Jones Links, causing Trump to file an Article 78 to appeal that city move. It’s unclear how much it will cost the city to cancel the Bobby Jones contract.

James granted a temporary restraining order last fall, allowing the organization to continue its operations, and has now sent the matter back to the Parks Department.

“De Blasio did this for his own political theater,” Eric Trump said. “He wasted tremendous amounts of time and city resources on his own vendetta. He is a disgrace to New York and everyone is glad he is gone.”


Sunday, April 10, 2022

Eric Adams gets COVID on day 100 as Mayor



 New York City Mayor Eric Adams tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday, according to a statement from a spokesperson.

"This morning, Mayor Adams woke up with a raspy voice and, out of an abundance of caution, took a PCR test that has now come back positive," press secretary Fabien Levy said in the statement Sunday.
"At this time, the mayor has no other symptoms, but he is already isolating and will be canceling all public events for the remainder of the week," the statement said. "He is also going to immediately begin taking the anti-viral medications offered for free to New York City residents and encourages all New Yorkers eligible for these medications to take them as well."
"While he is isolating, he will continue to serve New Yorkers by working remotely," Levy added.
Covid cases among Washington power brokers put new focus on White House's protocols for Biden
Adams has appeared at several public events in New York this week. On April 2, he attended the Gridiron Club dinner in Washington, DC.
At least 67 people who attended the dinner have tested positive for Covid-19 as of Saturday, according to a letter from the club to its members. But it is unclear where the mayor contracted the virus.
Several members of President Joe Biden's cabinet and various lawmakers are among those who tested positive after attending the Gridiron Dinner, CNN previously reported, among them Attorney General Merrick Garland and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Biden did not attend.
City Hall has been reaching out to some people -- such as heads of other city agencies -- who were in contact with Adams last week, according to a city official. Most already knew Adams had contracted the virus when they spoke, the official said.

What's in the Biggest Ugliest Big Ugly in state history

NY Daily News 

While New York’s $220 billion budget was more than a few days late, no one can say it was a dollar short.

Bolstered by federal COVID funds and higher-than-anticipated tax revenues, the Democratic-led Legislature finally approved a sweeping, week-late spending plan Saturday. The budget language includes funds for boosting child care and wages for health care workers, temporarily suspending part of the state’s gas tax, and overhauling bail laws.

A marathon voting session concluded early Saturday in the State Capitol following two weeks of secretive, closed-door conversations centered around Gov. Hochul’s 11th-hour public safety proposals and a half-billion-dollar handout to the Buffalo Bills for a new stadium.

The final budget, which Hochul signed Saturday afternoon, included some of the governor’s desired changes to bail and gun laws and other policy items like allowing restaurants to resume the popular pandemic practice of selling to-go cocktails.

It also accelerates tax cuts for middle-class families and includes a property tax break for homeowners and a temporary, partial suspension of the state’s gasoline tax.

The state will cut taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel by 16 cents a gallon from June 1 through the end of the year in response to soaring prices at the pump.

Homeowners can expect a little relief as the state will spend about $2.2 billion in one-time property tax rebates for low- and middle-income property owners.

New York is also set to decrease tax rates for middle families by $162 million by April 2023, instead of waiting until 2025 to fully phase in the long-planned tax cuts.

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to not just bring relief to families and put more money in people’s pockets today, but also to make historic investments in New Yorkers for years ahead,” Hochul said in a statement. “With this budget, we are seizing that opportunity and ushering in a new era of a stronger, safer, more prosperous New York State.”

The budget also includes billions in pandemic recovery funds that will add $800 million to the state’s depleted COVID rental assistance program, $250 million in utility arrear assistance and $125 million in homeowner and landlord assistance.

Another $1.2 billion will help fund bonuses for frontline healthcare workers and $3.9 billion in funding to aid hospitals struggling in the wake of the pandemic. Another $7.7 billion will be spent over four years to increase the home care worker minimum wage by $3.

The final tally came in $4 billion over Hochul’s initial budget proposal and includes $7 billion to be spent over the next four years to expand childcare access across the state, a priority for lawmakers in both chambers.

 The Assembly Majority has always believed in putting families first because we know that the success of our state depends on the wellbeing of our families,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx). “The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the childcare crisis and forced too many New Yorkers out of the workforce entirely.”

Hochul didn’t walk away from the negotiations empty-handed as lawmakers gave the green light to $600 million in state money for a new stadium for the Bills and legislative leaders acquiesced and allowed some changes to the state’s bail laws.


Saturday, April 9, 2022

Developer insists on building higher, raising the ire of Kew Gardens Hills community

 community Vleigh Place


A large amount of Kew Gardens Hills residents tuned into a remote public hearing on land use to speak about a housing area being constructed in the lot bounded by Vleigh Place to the west, 78th Avenue to the south, the western boundary of Lot 1 to the east and 77th Road to the north.

Some within the community voiced their support for the project while others expressed their displeasure and concerns about how it may cause more harm than good.

Under the current proposal, the housing area would be six stories tall, contain 80-90 units, with 27 of them acting as income-restricted units and take up around 124,380 square feet for the total floor area. Each tenant would receive a parking spot in the parking garage underneath the building.

According to Jay Goldstein, who was at the meeting on behalf of the developer trying to get the housing area built, the original proposal called for an eight-story building with 119 units.

Managing director of environmental engineering Kevin Williams was tasked by the developer with studying the traffic patterns of the area to determine how the building may impact the community. While he spent a lot of time doing so, Williams emphasized that he does not live in the neighborhood and acknowledged the community’s concerns. According to Williams, the traffic flow “is relatively modest in comparison to many other projects I work throughout the city.”

Despite Williams’ results, one of the common complaints by community members was that traffic in the area was already really bad and adding so many more people to the neighborhood at once would only make things worse.

“We are overpopulated already,” said Alan Sherman, who has resided in Kew Gardens Hills since 1974. “There are already too many cars and too many people.”

The concern among the community about the potential increase in traffic also led many to point out the fact that this building would be across the street from Stepping Stone Day School. In addition to the fact many children would be walking around the area and creating more traffic, some expressed concern about what the harmful carbon emissions from the cars in traffic could do to these kids.


Construction worker falls to his death at luxury public housing tower development site


The Myrtle Point development, also known as Ridgewood Towers, located at 3-50 St. Nicholas Ave., will be 17 stories — making it the tallest building in the area once completed. The mixed-use building will be used for retail and residential spaces.

According to the DOB, the first four floors will be dedicated to commercial use.

In the months leading up to this fatal incident, DOB issued a total of eight violations regarding safety conditions at the construction site. These violations could total thousands of dollars in fines pending an Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings investigation.

One violation issued in March cited a “failure to institute/maintain safety measures resulting in worker injury due to inadequate housekeeping at time of inspection…”

Ted Renz, the executive director of the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District, said that this accident was a tragedy. 

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic accident and loss of life at this construction site,” Renz said. “This is a major development in the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District that will bring major retail and new housing opportunities to the community.”

On March 23, just a couple of weeks before the fatal fall, DOB issued safety violations after another worker was injured due to “poor safety conditions.”

The Ridgewood Towers project was originally met with much opposition from the local community and its leaders when it was proposed over five years ago.