Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Woodside twin luxury public housing towers looks even worse than when it was first proposed

This is some development. Well, some over-development. It wasn't long ago when the city promised to build a school here along with promises to devote more units for families, but the folks at Madison Realty Capital had some other plans thanks to the former Mayor de Blasio's HPD very generous upzoning approval, much to the chagrin of the community's and Council member Holden's objections.


Have to admire the tenacity of this one holdout homeowner



Admin note: I was notified that I implied this was a NYCHA building and that's not the case at all. Luxury public housing is what I describe every new "affordable housing" building that has gone up in the last decade, mostly those built during the Blaz years, because of the ratio of incremental low rent units to higher market rate units.

A bridge and bike lane too far




The MTA is gearing up a plan to improve bike and pedestrian access to its mass transit system and bridges.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will release its so-called Bike, Pedestrian, and Micromobility Strategic Action Plan sometime this year after long resisting calls from advocates to open its bridges to New Yorkers who aren’t behind the wheel. 

“We want to improve customer access to our environmentally friendly MTA services, however they get to their train or bus,” MTA Chairperson and CEO Janno Lieber said in a statement. “As a cyclist myself, I know that biking can be the perfect complement to mass transit.”

The state agency hired Sam Schwartz Engineering to consult on the project, which officials say will work toward better access to transit stations for bikes, pedestrians, and micro-mobility like e-scooters; integrating bike sharing services, and improving access to the infrastructure controlled by MTA’s Bridges and Tunnels division.

The Authority is also looking for written public comment on the project’s website

The MTA is required by law to come up with the plan under legislation signed by Governor Kathy Hochul in late December, and one of the bill’s sponsors said it was time for the region’s main transportation agency to meet the growing demand for travel that isn’t dependent on cars.

“Expanding access for cyclists and pedestrians on MTA bridges, stations, buses, and trains will help us meet the growing demand of New Yorkers who are choosing sustainable forms of transportation,” said Bronx state Senator Alessandra Biaggi.


Monday, May 30, 2022

Rockaway property owner can't evict crazy deadbeat tenant


 NY Daily News

A Queens woman does her damage from a third-floor apartment with an ocean view: Water left running for days, flooding the building. Smoke pouring from beneath her front door. Hoarding old junk in the hallway, from bicycles to shopping carts. Taking a sledgehammer to her kitchen cabinets.

But her exasperated Rockaways landlord and unnerved neighbors can’t get help from anywhere. Not from the cops. Not from the Fire Department. And not from a Housing Court crippled by the pandemic.

 I’m trying to evict her because she’s a nuisance and the courts are supposedly open for business,” said building owner Martin Hanan, who is out roughly $40,000 in lost rent. “But apparently they’re not, because they really don’t care. They don’t want to hear a word ... Honestly, I gave up on calling the city.”

Hanan compiled a staggering six-page litany of Annamarie Hosang’s behavior, from allegedly tossing a fire extinguisher at the building superintendent to once blasting music from her apartment for 20 straight hours.

A Daily News review of Housing Court documents detailed the woman’s alleged activities, with multiple reports of flooding the Beach 113th St. building, ringing her neighbor’s doorbells and even threatening one of her neighbors with a pipe.

When the NYPD and FDNY arrived on multiple occasions, they dealt with the situation and moved on, the landlord said, adding his tenants declined to bring charges against the woman over fear of reprisals.

Hanan is still awaiting a long-delayed hearing for her eviction, a process that began in Queens Housing Court in September 2020. Things became even more complicated after Hosang twice applied — in October 2021 and this past February — for a COVID relief program that assures her a home during the pandemic.

Hanan says Hosang has paid no rent for her $1,725-a-month residence since April 2021 and that he can’t even lease out the apartment downstairs because the cascading water from above collapsed its ceiling. The stench of mildew from her water-soaked apartment seeps through the building.

Two longtime residents of the nine-unit building shared their own tales, with both asking for anonymity rather than risk incurring their neighbor’s wrath. One of the pair, referring to Hosang only as “the squatter,” recited a list of unnerving incidents — including one where she chased his wife with a shovel.

For the soldiers who fought and died for this country and our freedoms

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Gonna need a bigger boat...


Roosevelt Islander

 Earlier this month, a Roosevelt Island resident asked on Twitter:

"why is it impossible to get on a ferry at Roosevelt Island?! They are coming full from East 90th. This is a constant issue on weekends"

This Memorial Day Weekend Sunday afternoon was a perfect example of a full NYC Ferry Boat coming from East 90th Street with little room for passengers waiting to board at Roosevelt Island. After a few people boarded at Roosevelt Island, a NYC Ferry Crew member announced only "one more" spot on the boat was available even though there were at least 25 other people in line to board.

Upon hearing this, a frustrated man waiting with his family to board walked to the front of the line and told the NYC Ferry Crew member that the people already allowed on the boat cut ahead of those waiting in line and that NYC Ferry needs to do a better job organizing the line at the Roosevelt Island dock.

This is not a new problem. Larger capacity boats are needed during the summer.


A proposal by mass transit guru Larry Penner:


 I enjoyed reading "Gonna need a bigger boat" concerning Roosevelt Island customers left at the dock unable to board.

My old friends at NYC EDC (who directly manage their Private Ferry Operator program) for some reason I can't understand continue year after year to ignore Federal Transit Administration funding that could be used to purchase larger size ferry boats. Perhaps you might consider the following...

Why Not Apply For Federal Funding Available To Purchase Larger Ferry Boats for Roosevelt Island Service by Larry Penner

Here is one way City Hall can find additional funding to pay for larger ferry boats to support greater passenger capacity benefiting Roosevelt Island and other destinations served by the NYC Economic Development Corporation Private Ferry Operator program. The United States Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration will announce a NOFA (Notice of Funding Availability) in coming months. This is an opportunity to apply for a portion of the $30 million in Fiscal Year 2022 competitive grant funding for passenger ferry projects nationwide. FTA’s Passenger Ferry Grant Program, funds capital projects to improve existing passenger ferry service, establish new ferry service including the purchase of ferry boars along with repair and modernize ferry boats, terminals, and related facilities and equipment. Under this program, a portion of these funds are usually set aside for low or zero-emission ferries or ferries using electric battery or fuel cell components and the infrastructure to support such ferries.

FTA recipients such as NYCDOT can also choose to spend whatever they receive under their share of 2022 Fiscal Year Section 5307 Urbanized Area; $6.4 billion, 5307 Passenger Ferry $36.5 million or Section 71102 Electric or Low Emmiting $49 million for ferry projects. The Federal Highway Administration has funding under several programs including Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ), Surface Transportation Program (STP) and others which can be flexed or transferred to FTA can also finance capital ferry projects.

New ferry services can be implemented more quickly than construction of new subway, commuter rail or highways. These can take years or even decades until completion of environmental reviews, planning, design, engineering, real estate acquisition, permits, procurements and construction before reaching beneficial use. Completing all of the above, along with finding funding for ferry boats, docks and parking with costs in the millions is easier than finding the billions of dollars for construction of new or extended subway, commuter rail or highways. Utilization of ferry boats equipped with fuel efficient engines can make a positive contribution to air quality

Consider past history for federal support of the NYC DOT Staten Island Ferry. The nation's largest municipal ferry system moving 66,000 pre COVID-19 daily riders has benefited by over $1 billion in grants from the FTA (previously known as the Urban Mass Transportation Administration), going back to the 1970's. A majority of the Staten Island Ferry system capital program, including the purchase of ferries, Staten Island Pier 7 ferry maintenance facility, both renovated St. George, Staten Island and Whitehall Street, Manhattan ferry terminals, midtown Pier 79 West 39th Street ferry terminal, St. George, Staten Island ferry terminal replacement bus ramps and other support equipment necessary to run the system were all paid for primarily with federal funding. Additional funding was provided to purchase and preserve the old abandoned North Shore Staten Island Rail Road right-of-way for future restoration of transit service. The original service was terminated in 1953. This would reestablish a direct connection with the St. George, Staten Island Ferry Terminal. A past $450 million Federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Improvement Act (TIFIA) loan paid for rehabilitation of the St. George, Staten Island Ferry terminal bus ramps.

Mayor Erik Adams, Queens Boro President Donovan Richards, Manhattan Boro President Mark Levine and the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation should ask NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez to apply for these funds which could help finance new capital improvements for initiation of ferry service to Coney Island. NYC Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Andrew Kimball can do the same on behalf of the Private Ferry Operators Program. This is another great example of Washington providing financial assistance to promote public transportation.

NYC can also apply for capital grants from the New York State Department of Transportation to assist in funding. Albany also provides State Transportation Operating Assistance (STOA). Ridership on any transit service generates yearly federal transportation capital assistance via the annual FTA Section 15 annual reporting process. Numerous past private ferry operators have come and gone. They could not financially survive without government subsidy. MTA bus, subway, Staten Island Railway, Long Island and Metro North Rail Road along with NYC DOT Staten Island Ferry is subsidized by a combination of City, State and Federal assistance for both capital and operating costs. All new ferry services will require similar subsidies to survive.

Who wouldn't want to enjoy the fresh air and breeze that only waterborne transportation can provide. Riding a ferry can be less stressful than being on a crowded subway car.

(Larry Penner is a transportation advocate, historian and writer who previously worked for the Federal Transit Administration Region 2 New York Office. This included the development, review, approval and oversight for billions in capital projects and programs for the MTA, NYC Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Metro North Rail Road MTA Bus, NYC DOT Staten Island Ferry along with 30 other transit agencies in NY and NJ.)

CBS catches up with illegal airbnbs in houses at Arvene on the Sea

 CBS New York

 A controversy over property rentals is heating up in a beachfront community in The Rockaways.

Some homeowners are being accused of taking advantage of a city program to cash in on a major tax break, CBS2's Lisa Rozner reported Wednesday.

It's prime waterfront property: several homeowner communities made up of around 1,500 homes known as "Arverne by the Sea" in the Rockaway peninsula were built in the early 2000s as part of an urban renewal project.

The city designated it an "urban development action area project," which means homeowners would get a huge break on their taxes.

"We were also first-time homebuyers, so that was helpful," homeowner Adam Linet said. "Our tax rates are probably around 25 percent of what they would normally be."

It was a great deal, which is why the Department of Housing Preservation and Development required every homeowner make it their primary residence.

"One of the same zip codes that has among the deepest pockets of poverty in the entire city of New York. So, this was a real opportunity for folks who had been stuck in generational poverty," Assemblyman Khaleel Anderson said.

In February, a Department of Investigation report uncovered at least 15 homeowners violating the primary residence requirement, receiving in total more than $1 million in tax exemptions. Seventy properties had tax bills mailed outside of the development and one couple even turned its home into a fully licensed bed and breakfast.

Three months after the findings, Inn Your Element is available on reservation web sites. CBS2 also found on Airbnb entire homes available for $350 a night, another for $288, so residents believe there are many more homeowners violating the policy.

"I don't feel safe when so many people are coming in and out of a house," one woman said. "There are addresses that have been turned into three rental units rather than two."

"We have trash issues. We have quality-of-life issues with noise complaints," Linet added.

Finance records show one man who is a real estate investor according to LinkedIn owns at least three properties and also has an address at a luxury high-rise rental building in Manhattan.

Emails and calls to him and other alleged absentee homeowners were not returned.

CBS New York also caught up with yours truly who did a story and synopsis about this continuing scandal on Impunity City back in March. Looks like Mayor Adams and his HPD Dept are not going to do anything about this. Bunch of lily-livered scalliwags.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Greg Meeks was an actual Putin puppet


NY Post 

Queens Democratic Rep. Gregory Meeks’ recent trips to Ukraine are an about-face for the former Russia-loving pol who once referred to Vladimir Putin’s government as “an important allied relationship” and “strategic partner” for the US

Meeks, chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, founded the House’s Russia Caucus, along with disgraced former Staten Island pol Michael Grimm, once lobbied hard to remove impediments to trade with the country.

And Meeks’ sister, Janella Meeks, works for Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment, a company once tied to Russian oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov, a Putin confidant who used to own the New Jersey Nets. Janella Meeks is deputy director of government and public affairs for the company, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Unlike dozens of other Russian billionaires close to Putin, Prokhorov has not been sanctioned by the US or Europe. He sold the team and Barclay’s arena, pocketing more than a $2 billion in the deals, in 2019. The sale of the NBA franchise was allegedly at the behest of Putin, The Post recently revealed.

But Meeks has recently embraced Ukraine’s fight against Putin, accompanying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on an official Congressional delegation visit to Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last month.

“We assured him of the United States and Congress’ unwavering and bipartisan support for Ukraine’s defense,” said Meeks in a statement earlier this month.

Caption New York City's doctor


Friday, May 27, 2022

Rage against the Rockaway Beach restoration


Impunity City 

From what it looked like on the first 90 degree day of the spring on the week before the “official start of summer” this Memorial Day weekend, the possible was achieved. For the fences that were supposed to deter people from going on the shore that were there for their safety were torn apart and beach combers made do with what little space on the sand there was.

The beachcomber rebellion was most glaringly apparent by B 91 street where the temporary summer shut down of the beach began. Two large stop signs were pried off and fencing was cut off to prevent access to the citizenry for their safety.

 Heading down the ramp towards the perilously eroded shore was a sight to behold as people made do and set up their places with what little sandy real estate they can find under the omnipresent cranes and some plows left behind for the continuing reconstruction of the shore to save the peninsula from being submerged.

Queens is still the city's bastard stepchild

City sues developer for damages to Elmhurst firehouse


PIX News  

  Firefighters are a beloved part of the neighborhood and the firehouse represents safety and security.

But in Elmhurst, Queens along Grand Avenue, the building that houses the FDNY is showing some wear and tear. Neighbors fear it may have to close. The city says the structure needs to be rebuilt or significantly repaired.

In a lawsuit filed this month, the New York City Law Department, which represents the mayor and city agencies, seeks to recover $23 million.

“We are determined to hold these owners and their contractors responsible. They should pay for the costs the City has incurred to address the dangerous conditions and get this firehouse fully repaired,” said NYC Corporation Counsel Sylvia Hinds-Radix.

The city built a shelter across from the firehouse in a side street to park the heaviest vehicles.

James McMenamin lives nearby and works with the Newtown Civic Association. “There had been no work for 11 years and then this past year work began again by another development company,” he said.

Neighbors are working with local elected officials and community boards. “The firehouse must stay open. If they’re thinking of closing it, it has to be relocated close by,” said Sally Wong.

Part of Councilmember Bob Holden’s district is covered by the firehouse. “It’s unfortunate a firehouse is to be displaced and an entire street closed. The community is distressed by this on a number of levels. What do we do if we build another building? How long will that take,” he said.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Ray Liotta dies

Wall muito GIF - Find on GIFER 

Star of the greatest movie based in Queens.

MTA's depleted workforce has exacerbated transit delays


NY Daily News

Train crew shortages are the leading cause of the thousands of subway delays straphangers endure each month, new MTA data shows.

Crew shortages delayed 10,563 subway trains last month, or 18% of the 58,266 subway train delays reported, MTA data show.

A lack of crews accounted for more delays this year than any other cause — including public conduct and crime, which delayed 5,355 trains, or 9% of the total delays, and and signal failures and emergency track repairs, which delayed 2,701 trains, or 5% of the total, the MTA’s data shows.

Delays pegged to crew shortages in April were down from the 16,783 reported in August, when Janno Lieber took over as Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman and launched an aggressive hiring effort.

The MTA employed 7,773 people in April for subway service delivery — mostly train operators and conductors. That’s down slightly from 7,812 in January and about 9% fewer from the end of 2019, when the agency employed 8,562 people in subway service delivery.

One cause of the shortages was a hiring freeze put in place during the first year of the pandemic, a decision MTA leaders at the time defended as a cost-saving measure to keep the agency’s finances above water.

Hiring was also slowed by the agency’s “transformation” team formed in 2019 under former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. MTA chief administrative officer Lisette Camilo during a board meeting called that effort a “tornado” that consolidated teams “so quickly that some functions were left without a home.”

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Donovan Richards civic engagement committee features the Department of Transportation Alternatives dominating the bus redesign hearing



Conspicuously absent from the city bus redesign hearing is anyone from the MTA. Also funny is how there are more people who desire to screw up the streets and bus routes than there are about discussing the housing crisis. 

Oh, and hold the hearing on zoom instead of doing a live town hall or even a hybrid hearing of course so the bike/public space scientologists can also dominate the discussion and cut off residents whose lives will be impacted by their shit ideas. Another grossly unethical exploitation of antiquated pandemic guidelines.

The deliberately forgotten woman of NYCHA



The headline is fixed. This is what NYCHA did instead of making the apartment accessible for a low income earning citizen or family

Sprawling (alleged) affordable housing development approved in Far Rockaway



The city’s plan to rezone a portion of the Rockaway peninsula in order to transform neglected publicly owned vacant lots into affordable housing, retail, amenities and open spaces, while mitigating flood risk and growing the coastal ecology was unanimously passed by the City Planning Commission on May 11.

The city’s Housing Preservation and Development initiative which would place eight acres into a community land trust, which was set in motion in 2015, will now head to the City Council in the next step of the public review process.

“The City Planning Commission’s unanimous support of the Resilient Edgemere Community Plan conveys its strength and marks an important step forward,” HPD Press Secretary William Fowler said. “We are grateful to the Edgemere community, the local elected officials, and partners across city government for their continued input as we look forward to building a more resilient future for this neighborhood.”

The proposed land-use changes will bring more than 1,200 much-needed affordable homes, including more homeownership opportunities to Edgemere, which was inundated by the flood surge from Superstorm Sandy nearly a decade ago.

“On top of ongoing work from the federal government to help make this neighborhood more resilient, the city is also dedicated to protecting it from flooding and storm events,” City Planning Commission Chairman Dan Garodnick said. “The creation here of a Special Coastal Risk District will limit development along Edgemere’s low-lying Jamaica Bay shoreline, which is a really high-risk area that experienced significant damage from Superstorm Sandy. We are taking lessons learned from that tragic event and putting them into action to create a more resilient and protected neighborhood on the Rockaway Peninsula.”

AMI is not enough to pay the rent



New Yorkers need to double their average income just to afford the escalating median rent in the Five Boroughs, a study from the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) revealed.

That was just one finding released Tuesday in the HPD’s annual survey conducted to evaluate housing and vacancy throughout the city.

These findings concluded – among other things – that in 2021, the city’s overall household income would need to double in order to afford the median rent price of $2,750.

Even so, the vast majority of available residences are taken, as the HPD reported a citywide vacancy rate of 4.54%.

The survey aims to create a comprehensive profile of the city’s housing stock, neighborhoods, populations as well as housing vacancies in order to glean crucial insight to inform policy to make a more equitable city.

The New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey is a critical tool for our understanding of the city’s housing market,” said Mayor Eric Adams following the release of the report on May 17. “New Yorkers can be confident that, despite all of the challenges, this year’s survey was conducted professionally and methodically — thanks in part to Intro 70, which I signed in March. The findings are clear: Our city’s affordable housing crisis is as dire as ever, and that’s why I am working every day to create and preserve the high-quality, affordable housing hard-working New Yorkers need and deserve.”

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

MTA undermines and represses community and commuter's concerns at town hall meeting


The Wave 

In a setting more akin to a Cold War Soviet show-trial than a NYC Town Hall meeting, MTA officials at Feb. 6’s transit meeting in the YMCA spent time patting themselves on the back discussing their accomplishments and future plans before moving on to pre-screened questions from the audience.

A group of five transit officials sat at a table at the front of the room and began the meeting with a series of stats and charts to show how the MTA has improved service over the year before opening up to a Q&A session. Many in the audience, however, felt the bureaucrats ignored the real questions and censored the voices of those in the room – a fact which led to at least one person to call out “I thought this was America!” during the proceedings. 

 “Tonight was a sham,” said an exasperated John Cori.  Cori, a Community Board 14 executive board member who made the aforementioned “America” statement, spoke to The Wave following the meeting.

“It was censorship, it violated our constitutional rights to freedom of speech by censoring our questions. I put two in, and they both were not read. I was one of the first ten people to put questions in, and the woman went through them, picked and chose what she wanted to give, and gave them the cream-puff questions.”  

“The meeting was mind-numbing because of the way MTA chose to filter the questions, but not surprising” added local transportation advocate Rick Horan. “They like to control the conversation and so the value of this… is a little dubious.”    

 Among the hard-hitting questions that MTA rep Lucille Songhai pitched to the panel were whammies like “can everyone talk about how they got here this evening,” and even then the bureaucrats on the board failed to appease. “We came here on the A-Train of course!” was the answer many gave, an answer which left several in the audience wondering if the blatant pandering had any truth to it. 

 “I will gladly escort you to the station!” an incredulous Glenn DiResto replied from the rear of the room, echoing the doubts of many as to the “everyman” persona the officials were trying to portray for themselves. Like so many other comments of the evening, however, this too was ignored by those on the panel, and Songhai teed up yet another softball for the board.

“You talked a little bit about what you’re doing for people with disabilities beyond elevators. I was hoping that you could talk about one particular aspect that you feel most proud about,” and “who cleans up racist graffiti” were among the other thrillers the MTA decided to regale the crowd with during the Q&A session. And even when they did touch upon questions locals were interested in – questions regarding the possibility of a revitalization of the H-train from Mott Ave. to Beach 116th or the truncation of the Q22, among others, – the officials again failed to deliver.

The H-train, it seems, is nothing more than a pipe dream, as the officials stated that the inclusion of the H-train would create further reliability issues on the A-line because the new train would displace other cars in the terminal. As for the Q22, panelists said that the ridership numbers west of 116th were very low, but officials did say that they were still listening to community input and would take that input into account before rolling out any final changes.

The lack of any solid, productive answers led to more than a few outbursts from the crowd, and local Democratic District Leader Lew Simon at one point – tired of being ignored – made his way to the front of the room and tossed a letter from a local student on the panelist table, urging them to read it and see how their proposals would impact the people of the peninsula.

“This is a petition from an 8-year-old child who rides the Q53 every day,” Simon shouted, reminding the agency reps that their decision was impacting the way local children would get to school. 

 Admin note: A commenter alerted me this post was 2 years old. My fault for not checking it date since I put it up in a rush. 

Monday, May 23, 2022

Mayor Adams normalizes censorship


Reclaim The Net 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has used this month’s Buffalo shooting to call for more social media censorship.

Speaking live on PIX11’s Morning Show, Adams was asked by the host Hazel Sanchez what could be done about regulating social media.

“Governor Hochul, she was on PIX11, demanding social media platforms be held accountable. Now, you’ve been calling for that since the suspected Brooklyn subway shooter, Frank James, allegedly posted racist rants online,” Sanchez said. “But social media’s been around and unregulated for a long time. So what kind of change can you see happening?”

Mayor Adams responded, saying that it was time for social media platforms to start using “artificial intelligence to identify words, identify phrases, to immediately remove and censor some of this information.”

Mayor Adams likened the censorship techniques to the removal of President Trump’s Twitter account; “We did it to Donald Trump on Twitter. He was dangerous to the country. So why aren’t we doing it to the everyday people who are using it and is dangerous to our neighborhoods and communities?”

Likening his censorship demands to his similar demands for social media platforms to censor some forms of rap on social media, Adams stated, “The type of violence that’s being promoted on social media is beyond anything I’ve ever witnessed before.

“Particularly in some of the drill music that actually taunts and threaten people. There’s a direct correlation. That’s the type of social media monitoring we believe the social media companies should do.”

Sunday, May 22, 2022

South Queens electeds re-assemble another task force to improve Jamaica

Queens Chronicle


Two months after touring Jamaica to learn more about issues in the area, Borough President Donovan Richards launched a task force last Thursday to help improve the downtown hub.

The Downtown Jamaica Improvement Council, which is co-chaired by Richards and Councilwoman Nantasha Williams (D-St. Albans), also consists of U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica), state Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-St.Albans), Council Speaker Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica), Council Majority Whip and Transportation Chair Selvena Brooks-Powers (D-Laurelton), Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman (D-Springfield Gardens) and Councilman Jim Gennaro (D-Hillcrest).

The purpose of the task force is to streamline communication with stakeholders, which also include city and state offices and agencies, business improvement districts, chambers of commerce, the Greater Jamaica Development Group, York College, the Association for a Better New York and Community Board 12, to fast-track projects that would support the area’s commercial hub, enhance the quality of life for residents and upgrade transportation, according to the BP’s Office.

“We carefully listened to the Downtown Jamaica community about the issues impacting the quality of life in the neighborhood and are committing to make sure they are addressed quickly and comprehensively,” Richards said in a prepared statement. “Our Downtown Jamaica Improvement Council will work diligently to ... make it an even better place to live, work and visit. The Council will not rest until Downtown Jamaica reaches its fullest potential as a thriving commercial, residential and transportation hub.”

Williams sees the task force as a way to make Downtown Jamaica thrive as a place where people want to work, play and dine.

“Jamaica is one of the most important economic hubs in Southeast Queens and plays a vital role in New York City’s economy,” Williams said in a statement. “This is an opportunity to improve Downtown Jamaica by leveraging our collective resources. I look forward to ... make sure this vibrant part of our borough is even better than what it already is.”

Queens Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Grech is excited about the task force.

“As a board member of both the Rufus King Manor House and the York College Foundation, I know all too well the challenges that we face in this area of downtown Jamaica,” Grech told the Queens Chronicle via email. “I see it and sense it on my regular visits to the area. As we turn the corner on the pandemic we continue to beat the drum of public safety first and foremost among all things. We firmly believe there can be no prosperity without public safety.

“All the pieces of the economic puzzle are in place; we just need to assemble them properly efficiently and equitably.”

The Southeast Queens Chamber of Commerce also wants the downtown area to be prosperous.

“The SEQ Chamber of Commerce’s number one priority is to improve the health and wellness of our community,” SEQCC Executive Director Roxanne Simone Lord Marcelle told the Chronicle via email. “That encompasses the cleanliness and safety of Southeast Queens.”

The Jamaica Center Business Improvment District is thrilled to be a part of the task force.

This is probably the 999th task force to figure out how to improve this area. Apparently all that new tower overdevelopment has not translated to the streets. It's stories like this that make me miss Joe Moretti's legendary blog Clean Up Jamaica Queens.


Governor Kathy's Clown's Word Police Squad

Reclaim The Net

New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday tweeted that her office would come up with a comprehensive plan to deal with domestic terrorism.

As part of this plan, Hochul announced, the state would introduce more stringent gun laws, but also launch investigations into social media platforms that the governor says “promote” violent extremism.

This is happening in the wake of the Buffalo shooting, when 18-year-old Payton Gendron, who described himself as a white supremacist and has in the meanwhile pleaded not guilty to first degree murder, is charged with killing ten people in a racist massacre.

In comments cited by the New York Times, Hochul, a Democrat who is hoping to get reelected later this year, said that the state is now “doing something” in response to this type of crime.

In addition to making New York’s strict “red-flag” law on guns even tougher, the focus is on the internet, where Gendron is said to have been “radicalized.”

The governor’s executive order (obtained for you here, though note that the signed EO incorrectly lists the date of the shooting as being March 2022, instead of May 2022) instructs the State Police to establish a “dedicated unit within the New York State Intelligence Center (NYSIC) to track domestic extremism and increase social media monitoring at the Intelligence Center.”

“The unit will be responsible for developing investigative leads based on social media analyses focused on radical extremist activities motivated threats by identifying online locations and activities that facilitate radicalization and promote violent extremism,” it says.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Caption this smoking citibike rider


Back the unvaxxed blue


NY Post

The city’s vaccine mandate has been put on “pause” for the NYPD so the force can avoid losing nearly 5,000 cops and employees as the weather — and crime — heats up, The Post has learned.

Currently, 91 percent of the NYPD’s uniformed cops and other personnel are vaccinated, City Hall says. That leaves an estimated 4,659 NYPD employees unvaccinated despite a deadline to get the shots by Oct. 29. 

“In a nutshell, no decisions will be made, no further members will be forced to leave until further notice,” said a veteran NYPD sergeant, explaining the unwritten rule. “There hasn’t been any memo, just basically keep everything status quo and if issues arise we will revisit it down the road.”

Last month, an undisclosed number of officers received final notices rejecting their requests for religious or medical exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for municipal employees.

But an unspecified number of requests remain pending, letting cops and others in a state of limbo keep working.


Biking to work on Queens Boulevard

It was bike to work day Friday so I thought I would see if other riders would be making the trek on the longest bike lane in Queens. Considering how perfect the weather was, very little decided to participate. Which is how it is every day on this route.

Friday, May 20, 2022




The clock is ticking on the final days of a likely-to-expire tax break real estate developers rely on to build new apartments — and the rush is on to get foundations in the ground before June 15, when 421-a will end unless the state legislature passes an extension.

In Astoria, Queens, the second phase of the Durst Organization’s massive Hallett’s Point development will have laid all its foundations by the middle of next month — allowing those buildings to qualify for the lucrative property tax incentive. But Phase 3 and its 800 more apartments will be shelved if 421-a expires, says the developer.

“The only place we could build a market rate apartment building without 421-a is near Union Square or maybe in a few other slices of Manhattan,” said Jordan Barowitz, a company vice-president.

In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Two Trees Management Co. has begun constructing 350 Kent as part of its equally massive Domino development, which will add 400 units — 30% of them designated as affordable, or rented to households earning specific incomes, under the city’s inclusionary housing program. But a rep for the developer says the future is “cloudy” for another planned building at Domino and the first two structures planned at its newly approved River Ring site because they may not be able to pour their foundations before the deadline.

New units issued permits soared to 4,091 in March, according to Census Bureau’s building permits survey data analyzed by THE CITY, compared with 2,678 in January and February combined. Sources who have seen preliminary data for April and early May say the surge has continued.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The war on cars is being won by criminals


 NY Post

 New York City car thieves have shifted into high gear, with auto thefts soaring 61% so far this year, according to the latest disturbing statistics.

There have been 4,467 car thefts so far in 2022, as compared to 2,769 in the same time period in 2021. The crime category has jumped a whopping 97 percent compared to 2020, NYPD data show. 

The Ford Econoline is the preferred vehicle of the sticky-fingered set, followed by the Honda Accord, Honda CRV, Honda Civic and Toyota Camry, according to the NYPD.

Bronx motorists have been hit the hardest: 1,437 vehicles have been boosted so far this year in the borough, the most in the city, and a 70% spike from the same time last year, when 845 cars were stolen, the stats show.

In Brooklyn 1,183 vehicles have been ripped off in 2022, compared to 806 in 2021, a 47% surge.

Auto larceny in Queens is up 63% in 2022, with 1,107 incidents to 678 the year prior, and has jumped 62 percent in Manhattan, which saw 604 thefts to 2021’s 373 incidents, the data shows.

Even Staten Island, the so-called “cop borough,” isn’t safe. While The Rock has logged the fewest car
thefts in the city this year which 136, that number is deceiving — it’s an 103 percent increase from the 67 vehicles snatched last year.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Kew Gardens tower jail already is a pain in the ass

 Showing the Construction of the upcoming Kew Garden Jail at 80-25 126th Street.

NY Post

New York City is ramping up construction of a new jail in Queens as part of its plan to phase out problem-plagued Rikers Island — sparking outrage from residents, The Post has learned.

The presence of a lockup became more tangible for Kew Gardens locals recently when the Department of Design and Construction sent out a notice that it was restricting access to the area around Queens Borough Hall to lay the groundwork for the jail.

“We are upgrading the infrastructure in your community. These temporary access restrictions are necessary to facilitate preliminary work for the offset of a 48” Trunk Water Main for the Queens Borough Based Jail in the above-mentioned location,” the DDC said.

The community bulletin was a gut punch for many residents who said they don’t want their neighborhood to house accused criminals.

“I oppose the jail. It’s simply a safety issue,” said 31-year-old neighbor Michael Brocking.

Yan Lin, a mother of three boys ages 7 to 14, added: “We don’t need the criminal element around here.”

  don’t like the jail. We have a good community. I love this community,” the concerned mom said.

Howard Cohn, a 75-year-old retired school teacher, said, “I don’t want to be living next to criminals.”

“A jail is going to lower the property values here,” he added.

Mayor Eric Adams had promised to deliver on former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $8.3 billion plan to shutter Rikers Island’s troubled jail complex and replace it with four smaller, more humane high-rise lockups in each of the city’s boroughs but Staten Island.


This was found at one of the borough tower jails development site in Chinatown. The DDC is being quite defiantly defensive about what they are doing.

The Department of Transportation Alternatives figurehead screws up speed camera negotiations


 NY Daily News 

An off-the-rails trip to Albany last week by city Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez put at risk the city’s push to run red light and speed cameras around the clock, according to DOT sources and lawmakers with knowledge of his meetings upstate.

Before the May 3 trip to the state capital, Rodriguez and DOT staffers had prepared to brief lawmakers on legislation to permit the city’s speed and red light cameras to issue tickets beyond the 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. window currently authorized by state law.

But Rodriguez went off script, DOT sources said, by pressing for even more speed and red light cameras across the city — a proposal that was previously floated by Transportation Department staffers and shot down by lawmakers.

“They prepped for extending the current cameras, not brand new ones,” said a source, who described Rodriguez’s trip to Albany as a “total f--- up.”

DOT staffers had already asked lawmakers for “home rule” for the city’s traffic camera program, which would allow the city to put as many eyes in the sky as they want without state approval.

Mayor Adams and Rodriguez have for months called for the provision, but legislators have made clear they don’t buy into the idea. It’s no secret that home rule for cameras was off the table weeks before Rodriguez’s visit, said a City Council official who asked not to be named.

But, to the surprise of lawmakers and his staffers, Rodriguez during his trip pushed for home rule for the camera program anyway, sources said.

Ydanis didn't go off script, he's doing what Danny Harris and his Transportation Scientology cult is telling him to say and do.

Friday, May 13, 2022

wE neEd mORe pROteCtEd bIkE lAneS



Almost $200 million in Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) repair funds may be shifted out of this year’s city budget if Mayor Eric Adams gets his way — raising concerns among local lawmakers that City Hall is kicking the can down the road when it comes to keeping the highway’s crumbling triple-cantilever section safe.

The mayor’s Executive Budget proposes to cut $180.5 million from the Department of Transportation’s spending on BQE fixes this year — a drop from $225.1 million to just $44.6 million — and moves those funds into later years, according to a City Council briefing document from Thursday.

City Council Member Lincoln Restler, whose district includes the Brooklyn Heights waterfront area with the deteriorating section of the highway between Atlantic Avenue and Sands Street, accused the agency of moving the project over to the slow lane.

“The dramatic reductions in funding by upwards of $180 million that should have been spent this year… is of grave concern and, frankly, is indicative of the lack of urgency the DOT is placing on making the necessary repairs at this location,” said Restler at a lengthy May 12 Council budget hearing on transportation.

The city still plans to spend the same $1.5 billion overall through 2031 on BQE repairs, according to the brief, but Restler warned that holding off on short-term repairs could hamstring a larger revamp of the highway. 

“I am disappointed and concerned about the safety of our community, about our ability to preserve the lifespan of the triple-cantilever for these 20 years, so that a bolder, more transformative solution can take place,” the pol said.

The funding shift was first brought up by the Council’s Finance Committee chairperson Justin Brannan, who also questioned the move.

“Has it been determined that, with the cantilever reaching the end of its useful life expectancy, is shifting the planned work from ’23 into the out years safe?” the Bay Ridge lawmaker asked.

DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez assured the politicians that the structure remains sound.

“There is no issue related to safety,” Rodriguez said. “None of this decision to move money puts anything at risk.”

City neglects park space on the Maspeth side of the Kosciuszko Bridge


Queens Post 

At the Brooklyn base of the Kosciuszko Bridge a gleaming new park attracts visitors from around the world. On the Queens side they have anger and frustration.

Residents of Maspeth who were promised some green space instead got a bridge to nowhere.

In late 2008, as part of a project to reconstruct the Kosciuszko Bridge between Brooklyn and Queens, state officials determined a park could be built at the base of each side. Initial projections said it would be done by 2020.

The state Department of Transportation completed the $873 million renovation of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway’s span over Newtown Creek in 2019.

Last year, officials cut the ribbon on the Under the K Bridge Park in Greenpoint, on the Brooklyn side of the suspension bridge.

But nearly 14 years after transportation officials identified a space for recreation in the Queens neighborhood of Maspeth, they’re not even close to completing a park there.

“What’s the delay?” said Tom Mituzas, a member of Queens Community Board 2, who has been asking for progress updates for the last two years. “Get it done.”

The designated park space, located on two parcels of land in an industrial area at 43rd Street and between 54th and 55th avenues, is currently shielded by a chain-link fence, a green tarp and signs that warn: “DANGER CONSTRUCTION AREA KEEP OUT.”

 Inside, mounds of rubble and construction equipment reveal scant signs of progress on the nearly one acre site, previously used as a staging area for the bridge’s construction.

Van Wyck plaza has let itself go

Queens Chronicle

 The plaza above the Jamaica Avenue-Van Wyck E-subway station at the edge of Kew Gardens has been in a state of disarray for over a decade, according to Roxanne Simone Lord Marcelle, the executive director and founder of the Southeast Queens Chamber of Commerce, who wants to raise $100,000 and revitalize the space as a thank-you to first responders a stone’s throw away at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.

For years the park-like area has become a haven for the homeless and people using drugs, according to Lord Marcelle, who had to pass it when going to the juice bar she owns when it was located in Kew Gardens. It also suffers from a lack of lighting.

“There are too much disparities and some places end up distressed,” Lord Marcelle told the Queens Chronicle by telephone on April 15. “We need awareness and funding, but awareness first.”

For years Lord Marcelle says she has been concerned for the students, medical staff, families and business owners that have to cut through the park to get to the station, but she had difficulty figuring out which agency manages the park.

“We want to do more,” said Lord Marcelle. “This is such a big area at Van Wyck and Jamaica ... This isn’t about money, money, money. We want to revitalize the area and help it look better.”

She plans to hold a press conference later this month to draw more attention to the issue.

After the Queens Chronicle shared Lord Marcelle’s concerns with the MTA, the agency referred the paper to the city Parks Department, the Department of Sanitation and the NYPD about the issue.

The NYPD did not comment on the concerns, but after sending people to Kew Gardens, the Parks Department said it believes the MTA owns the 3 feet surrounding the escalator at the station entrance and the stairs below. Days later the agency said the remainder of the property might belong to the city Department of Transportation.

Lord Marcelle also reached out to Borough President Donovan Richard’s Office and after days of research of property records a representative confirmed the property has belonged to the DOT since 1993.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Cop's son shot in a ride-by near Maspeth High


NY Post

The teenage son of an NYPD cop was shot across the street from his high school in Queens Wednesday afternoon, police sources said.

The 17-year-old, who was hit in the left arm, ran bleeding into Maspeth High School in Elmhurst after the 1:40 p.m. incident and was taken to Elmhurst Hospital as the youth’s girlfriend looked on and was “crying,” according to witnesses and law enforcement sources. 

The teen, a student at the school, was expected to survive, according to police.

The suspects fled down 74th Street on scooters and were arrested shortly after, cops said. 

The shooter was also a student at the school. 

One student, Isaiah Perez, told The Post the victim was with one of his friends and was on the way to the gym. 

“I was inside school on the second floor and they ended up locking the building down completely…I saw [the victim’s] girlfriend crying,” Perez said. 

“I went up to her and asked what was going on. I saw him on the stretcher with the patch on his arm so he was shot in the arm.”

Perez said he was “surprised” because the victim was “not that kind of person to go out and cause trouble like that. I wouldn’t see anything like that happening.”

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Rockaway Summertime Blues

Pimp raped and forced teenage girl to sell her body at the Umbrella Hotel


Queens Post 

A Brooklyn man who trafficked a 16-year-old girl across Queens for sex—including at the now shuttered Umbrella Hotel in Kew Gardens—has pleaded guilty to an array of sex crimes and is expected to be sentenced to eight years in prison.

Jordan Adderley, 32, pleaded guilty Tuesday to sex trafficking of a child, sex trafficking, rape in the third degree and other crimes for manipulating a 16-year-old runaway to perform sex acts for money.

According to court records, Adderley met the victim in September 2020 and rented a room at the Hillcrest Hotel in Queens where he taught her how to make money by selling her body for sex. He also had intercourse and oral sex with the girl at the hotel.

Adderley, according to the authorities, drove the teen to various hotels in September and October 2020 to meet strangers who would pay for sex.

He was busted by an undercover NYPD unit while prostituting the teen at the now-defunct Umbrella Hotel, which was located at 124-18 Queens Blvd. Cops found him in the parking lot waiting for the victim. When officers nabbed him, he had dozens of glassines of cocaine in his possession.

“No one can undo the trauma inflicted upon this young teenager by this defendant’s callous actions, but as a result of his guilty plea, secured by my Office, the defendant will serve prison time and be held accountable for these egregious crimes,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz in a statement.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Return to the South Richmond Hill Horror


Impunity City 

Spring in South Queens is off to a despairingly dangerous start, particularly with targeted muggings of elderly Indian Sikh men in the same vicinity that’s located on Lefferts Blvd near a Guawdara Temple one block west. First was a violent assault on a 70-year-old man going on an early morning stroll and a little over a week later two other elderly Sikh men were mugged and robbed by two men on the same corner around the same time. In both incidents, the criminals knocked their turbans  religious headwear off their heads, giving credence to Sikh community leaders theories of being hate crimes against them.


The two men involved in the brutal attacks eventually got arrested after being on the lam for a few weeks, one of them who was involved in both crimes. Yet something caught my eye from the Queens Chronicle report after the young man involved in the second attack:

Two Sikh men were attacked Tuesday morning in Richmond Hill near where a hate crime against a member of the same community occurred last week. One man is in custody and another is still at large.

The incident occurred near the intersection of 95th Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard just after 7 a.m., according to police, a block from the Sikh Cultural Society gurdwara.

Officers found the two men, 76 and 64 years old, with minor injuries to the head and body. A preliminary investigation determined that the victims were approached by two men who struck them both on the head and body with closed fists and a wooden stick. The victims were taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.

The assailants removed religious headwear from the men and stole their money. The incident is being treated as a robbery and a hate crime, according to police.

Hezekiah Coleman, 20 years old, who police say was squatting at 95-54 Lefferts Blvd., was taken into custody and charged with robbery, assault, hate crimes and aggravated harassment, officials said.

Police believe the suspect they have not caught also committed last week’s assault against Nirmal Singh, 70, said Community Affairs Officer Scott Adelman of the 102nd Precinct at the Community Board 9 meeting on Tuesday night.

The 102nd has a directed post at 95-54 Lefferts Blvd., which appears to be abandoned. It is believed that both suspects were squatters there.

“That car will not leave until the perpetrator is caught,” said Adelman.

Sukhjinder Singh Nijjar is the chairman of external affairs and the elections commission at the Sikh Cultural Society. He says the society is working with the precinct and hate crimes unit in the aftermath of the attacks.

He hopes to see increased police presence and is working to get a car permanently assigned for the temple area. On Wednesday, he and a group of about 15 community members met at the temple at 3 a.m. to patrol.

“We’re exploring all these avenues to see if we can have this area covered, not only for our local Sikh community, but also many other multicultural communities in this area,” he said, adding that the society will continue to hold elected officials accountable on delivering on their promises.

Strong words indeed, especially to elected officials who continue to remain insouciant to the rapid rise of crime in Queens and the other four boroughs and most of all to the party all the time mayor Eric Adams. But in the case they should hold the Queens Chronicle accountable for getting the address of the house were the suspects were squatting in (twice in the same article). The actual address is 94-54 Lefferts Blvd, and  this house has a sordid past and currently is casting an ominous aura. I covered this house exactly one year ago right after a man was found dead on the porch one morning, a result of being bludgeoned in the head by two other homeless men.

Evidently, this abandoned house has got even worse and more squatters are occupying it even if they can’t get inside. 




COVID hits Kathy Clown



Governor Kathy Hochul tested positive for COVID-19 Sunday, and the state’s chief executive said in a social media post that she did not show any symptoms of the illness.

Hochul’s diagnosis comes as virus cases spike again across New York City — though thanks to vaccinations, booster shots and antiviral pills, most infected New Yorkers are winding up asymptomatic or with mild cases.

“Today I tested positive for COVID-19. Thankfully, I’m vaccinated and boosted, and I’m asymptomatic. I’ll be isolating and working remotely this week,” Hochul said in a Tweet on May 8.

“A reminder to all New Yorkers: get vaccinated and boosted, get tested, and stay home if you don’t feel well,” she continued.

 Two booster shots and this fool is telling people to get them. She will not even question how they failed to protect her from contagion.