Thursday, June 30, 2022

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Juan Ardila wins assembly seat despite his car culture addiction and traffic violence while campaigning

It's Kathy Clown vs. Lee Ze in November

NY Daily News

Gov. Hochul sailed to victory Tuesday as she easily defeated a pair of Democratic primary opponents and took a step closer to becoming the first woman elected governor of New York.

The incumbent Democrat beat out Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.) and Jumaane Williams, the city public advocate, in an early summer contest that saw exceptionally low voter turnout across the state.

The Associated Press called the race at 9:25 p.m.

“I stand on the shoulders of generations of women, generations of women who constantly had to bang up against that glass ceiling,” Hochul said Tuesday night, dressed in white in a nod to suffragists as she addressed supporters at a Manhattan celebration. “To the women of New York, this one’s for you.”

 NY Daily News

Rep. Lee Zeldin clinched victory in New York’s Republican gubernatorial primary late Tuesday, coming out on top after an acrimonious campaign against a field of challengers that included former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s son.

Zeldin, a Long Island Republican and one of former President Donald Trump’s earliest supporters in Congress, was declared the winner by the Associated Press around 10:30 p.m. as early state Board of Elections returns showed him leading runner-up candidate Andrew Giuliani by a wide margin.


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Guerilla parked car vandalism wave hits LIC Post

An office worker in Long Island City got a big surprise earlier this month when he discovered that the windshield of his brand-new Tesla had been smashed by a raging vandal with a large wooden sign.

The worker, 33, named Mike, had just finished work on June 13 at around 11 p.m. before making the unfortunate discovery after walking a short distance to his Tesla that was parked near Queens Plaza. Instead of getting in the car to zip home, he found the vehicle’s windshield shattered and police surveilling the scene.

The police, according to Mike, had received a report that a man had been throwing a large wooden sign at parked vehicles along the roadway, including at his car that was parked at Queens Plaza North — near the corner Crescent Street.

The police didn’t have a description of the suspect at the time, but security cameras installed in Mike’s Tesla appear to have caught the hooligan in action. Mike’s car has four cameras pointing in different angles that automatically record if a sensor is triggered, he said.

The first video shows a man — wearing jeans, a white T-shirt and a baseball cap on backwards — throw a wooden sign on top of a car parked in front of the Tesla. The sign appears to belong to the Baroness Bar, located on the next block on 41st Avenue.

The suspect then drags the sign off the car, lifts it high above his head and flings it on top of Mike’s car – smashing the windshield. A picture of the damage shows the windshield on the passenger side of the Tesla caved in.

A second video captured by the Tesla shows the suspect then walking eastbound along Queens Plaza North, throwing the sign against other vehicles.

He then walks back toward the Tesla looking enraged.

 Mike, who doesn’t want to make his last name public, said cops told him that five vehicles in total were vandalized that night, including his car and a food truck.

Hangry Assassin gets sprung on bail and his wife got busted for gun possession on the same day

 Queens Post

A Briarwood man who allegedly gunned down a food delivery worker in Forest Hills in late April has been released on bail.

Glenn Hirsch, 51, appeared in court in Kew Gardens Monday and a judge set bail at $500,000. He has been charged for the shooting death of Zhiwen Yan, 45, and will now remain free while awaiting trial.

Hirsch’s attorney Michael Horn argues that his client is innocent and that the police have nabbed the wrong person.

Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder set strict guidelines as a condition of Hirsch’s release, which includes monitoring by an ankle bracelet and limitations as to where he can go outside of his apartment.

Hirsch is accused of fatally shooting Yan at around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 30. Yan was shot in the chest while on his scooter making deliveries for the Great Wall Chinese restaurant located at 104-37 Queens Blvd.

Fox News 

Dorothy Hirsch, the 62-year-old wife of the man accused of gunning down a New York City Chinese food deliveryman amid an ongoing dispute with the restaurant over duck sauce, was arrested on Monday after police found eight guns and more than 200 rounds of ammunition hidden in her Queens apartment, according to a report. 

Police arrested the woman and charged her with gun possession after NYPD conducted a search warrant at her 84th Road apartment where she maintains a separate residence from her husband, New York Daily News reported. Her bail was initially set for $150,000. 

Records show NYPD recovered a loaded 9mm semi-automatic with a clip containing nine rounds and a .38 caliber revolver containing 10 rounds from a box in a back closet. 

Authorities discovered a second 9mm and a .45 caliber revolver in a bag in the same closet, according to police, while a .38 caliber revolver, a .357 caliber revolver, a 9mm pistol, and a .25 caliber pistol were located in a black zippered pouch, which also contained the rest of the recovered ammunition. 

Dorothy Hirsch’s lawyer, Mark Bederow, said that the woman — a registered nurse with no prior arrests — is "adamant" about her innocence and has refused to be used "as a pawn" in the case regarding her husband.


No citizenship, no vote

NY Post 

A New York City law allowing non-citizens to vote in local elections was struck down Monday by a judge who said it violated both the state constitution and various provisions of state law.

Staten Island Supreme Court Justice Ralph Porzio also issued a permanent injunction that bars the city Board of Elections from letting around 800,000 non-citizen residents register to vote.

In a 13-page ruling, Porzio said city officials can’t “obviate” restrictions in the state constitution, which “expressly states that only citizens meeting the age and residency requirements are entitled to register and vote in elections.”

“There is no statutory ability for the City of New York to issue inconsistent laws permitting non-citizens to vote and exceed the authority granted to it by the New York State Constitution,” he wrote.

Porzio said the city’s move also violated sections of the state’s Election Law and Municipal Home Rule Law.

City Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island), among the plaintiffs who challenged the law, hailed the ruling, saying it “validates those of us who can read the plain English words of our state constitution” and accused the measure’s proponents of seeking to “skirt the law for political gain.”

“Opposition to this measure was bipartisan and cut across countless neighborhood and ethnic lines, yet progressives chose to ignore both our constitution and public sentiment in order to suit their aims,” he said in a prepared statement.

The Department of Transportation Alternatives undermines community plan for Citibike racks


 Ridgewood Post

The Department of Transportation plans to bring Citi Bike to Maspeth and Middle Village this summer but the agency is coming under fire from Councilmember Bob Holden for dismissing the community’s input as to the workings of the plan.

Holden, who penned a letter to Queens DOT Commissioner Nicole Garcia Friday, argues that the DOT is not paying attention to residents who have been calling on the DOT to preserve parking spaces by not putting the docking stations on the roadway.

The DOT announced February that Citi Bike was coming to the Middle Village/Maspeth area this summer and released a map that included 52 station locations, with as many as 34 stations to be installed on the street—likely to take as many as 100 parking spaces. The other 18 stations/docks planned are to be on sidewalks.

The Juniper Park Civic Association (JPCA), a local civic group, was alarmed by the DOT’s plan and the potential loss of parking. The organization, with the help of Holden, came up with a detailed proposal that called for the relocation of the 34 station/ docks planned to be placed in the streets to avoid any loss of parking.

The DOT notified Holden and the JPCA on June 22 that it had reviewed the organization’s suggestions and would make changes to seven of the stations—but the remainder of the plan would remain in place. (click for JPCA proposal and DOT response)

“I ask you to revisit your rejection of the Juniper Park Civic Association’s suggestions…,” Holden wrote. “Your response to our community’s suggestions seems dismissive, to say the least. Sadly, this is not a surprise.”

The DOT, in a letter written by Garcia to Holden on June 22, said it “took a hard look at each suggestion and where feasible incorporated changes into the updated plan.”

Christina Wilkinson, secretary of the Juniper Civic Association who drafted the proposal, said that the Maspeth/Middle Village community simply cannot afford to lose parking.

“We are a transit desert, and many people rely on vehicles,” Wilkinson said. “We don’t want residents and business owners looking for parking to be inconvenienced.”

“We want Citi Bike, but in a way that enhances our neighborhoods.”

The association’s plan would comprise of 43 stations in total, down from the DOT’s 52.

Wilkinson said that she put the plan together based on her knowledge of the area and after researching the DOT’s Citi Bike guidelines. She said her goal was to preserve parking spaces while making the bike share program a success.

Holden said that the DOT has not listened to local residents who he says know the area best.

“It is greatly frustrating to repeatedly meet with the DOT and have civic leaders and residents offer sensible solutions, only to be turned down each time,” Holden wrote. “The Queens DOT makes a show of community meetings but is indifferent or even hostile to real community input.”

“The options suggested by the JCPA seem very reasonable, well thought out and worth exploring.”

The JCPA’s plan calls for the elimination of 11 of the roadside stations. Wilkinson said many are not needed since the area isn’t as densely populated as other New York neighborhoods.

The DOT, however, said that the 11 were needed to ensure “equal access to the bike share network.” The DOT typically aims to have a station every few blocks within a coverage district. The idea is to have a station within a 3-to-5-minute walk from one another.

The DOT rejected about 15 other suggestions—that involve moving the stations to the sidewalk– on the basis that tree pits or fire hydrants were in the way or the sites weren’t big enough. However, Wilkinson argues the Citi Bike docks are modular and the size of the docks can vary according to the space.

So much for the city's claim of transportation equity, at least they are not being shy about the spite racks anymore.

Tower developer envisions gentrification of Woodside


The Real Deal 

New Empire Real Estate acquired a site in Woodside where it plans to build a 120-unit condominium, a rarity for the quiet Queens neighborhood.

The New York-based development firm, led by Bentley Zhao, paid $16.2 million for a 19,000-square-foot corner lot at 58-01 Queens Boulevard occupied by Walgreens. New Empire is planning to build a mix of one-, and two-bedroom units with an average price of around $750,000, according to Zhao. Construction is expected to start next year.

The new building’s amenities are to include a fitness center, personal storage and parking, a children’s playroom and indoor and outdoor residents’ lounges.

Zhao said the condo will target local buyers and renters in the area looking for an upsize. The 12-story tower will also offer unobstructed views of Manhattan, as many of the surrounding buildings are low-rise, according to Zhao.

Woodside is sandwiched between Sunnyside and Jackson Heights. It is not known for fancy residential developments, but New Empire is betting that as Long Island City and Astoria become more expensive, buyers will look deeper into Queens.

Surely it will be in context with all the other towers on the boulevard of zombie condo development

Monday, June 27, 2022

Surfin' MTA


Ridgewood Post

Reports of “subway surfing” have jumped by nearly 363% since 2020, according to MTA figures provided to THE CITY.

In the first five months of this year, there have been 449 reported incidents of people riding on top of or outside trains, MTA data shows — almost as many as the 461 in all of 2019.

That’s up from 97 for the same time period in 2020, when subway ridership plummeted by more than 90% during the peak of the pandemic and from 68 last year.

“We have hundreds of recorded incidents that this has occurred in our system in the last few months,” Richard Davey, president of New York City Transit, said Monday during an MTA committee meeting. “I am going to implore anyone who is watching this to tell your kids, to tell your friends: Do not do this.”

The MTA provided the numbers to THE CITY last week amid a string of recent high-profile subway surfing incidents, several of which have been posted to social media.

On Thursday, a 15-year-old boy was critically injured after police said he hit his head against an unknown object while riding atop a No. 7 train as it approached the 111th Street station in Queens.

“Oh my God,” gasped Maritza Santos, 44, whose 14-year-son, Eric Rivera, was killed in November 2019 after striking something as he rode on top of a No. 7 train near Queensboro Plaza. “I can’t believe they don’t learn unless they didn’t see what happened to Eric.

“I’m just shocked that kids are still doing this,” she told THE CITY.

Santos, who has three other sons, said she was pulling for the unidentified teenager, who police said was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center after suffering severe head trauma.

“I pray that he gets well,” she said. “I understand what his family is going through.”

In a graphic video obtained by THE CITY, the teen’s legs dangle over the side of the train car while he lays bloodied on top.

The voice of a woman on the platform can be heard saying in Spanish, “I’m sorry, but this had to happen so that they stop doing this.”

Friday, June 24, 2022

War on cars on Queens Boulevard

Smashed car


NY Post 

Dozens of parked cars were left with smashed windows during an overnight seven-block Queens vandalism spree, cops said.

At least one vandal smashed the windows of more than 30 parked, unoccupied vehicles on Queens Boulevard between 51st and 58th streets in Sunnyside either late Wednesday or early Thursday, cops said. 

It’s unclear whether anything was taken from the cars.

Donnie's used redbird car lot

Check it out, Boro Prez Donnie Richards is selling the old redbird next to Queens Borough Hall. 

Jeebus is the city that broke?

 Pawn Pawn Star GIF - Pawn PawnStar 20Bucks - Discover & Share GIFs

Thursday, June 23, 2022

The City Of No rejects Innovation QNS


A Western Queens community board voted Tuesday to reject a developer’s plan to turn a five-block commercial stretch of southeast Astoria into a new 3,000-unit mixed-use neighborhood, citing their concerns over affordability and the impact on local infrastructure.

In a 24-8 vote, Queens Community Board 1 disapproved the plan to rezone a commercial and manufacturing district bound by 37th Street to the west, Northern Boulevard to the east, 35th Avenue to the north and 36th Avenue to the south. Following a lengthy debate, the members agreed to include recommendations on the number of affordable apartments, the impact on local transit, the locations of greenspaces and the proposed heights of the planned towers in a letter to the developers.

The vote marks the first major milestone in the city land use process for the proposed $2 billion project, known as “Innovation QNS,” put forth by Silverstein Properties, BedRock Real Estate Partners and Kaufman Astoria Studios.

The trio of developers already own most of the land and aim to erect at least a dozen towers containing offices, retail space and 2,845 apartments, with about 700 deemed affordable for people earning a percentage of the area median income (AMI) under the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) program. The developers have chosen Option 1 of the MIH program, which mandates that they reserve 25 percent of the units for people earning an average of 60 percent of AMI—about $56,000 for an individual and $72,000 for a family of three. They say that 300 of the income-restricted units would be priced below $1,000 a month. 

“We are living in an unprecedented housing crisis in our city. We need all types of housing if we’re going to flourish,” said the developers’ land use attorney Jesse Masyr during a presentation to the board. 

The proposed rezoning area “is lovely, but it is not highly-producing property,” Masyr added.

CB1 member Huge Ma, a tech engineer who created the TurboVax vaccine scheduling account, agreed that the city’s affordable housing crisis is “unprecedented,” but said the current proposal would not do enough to address the need for more income-restricted apartments. 

“While I do agree that dense, transit-adjacent housing is how we get out of this crisis, I struggle to vote for a development that provides us the bare minimum 25 percent affordability,” said Ma, who voted to reject the project.

Following a question and answer session with board members, several members of the public sounded off on the proposal, with most describing their opposition. 

“Despite calls for more deeply affordable housing, these deep-pocketed developers have refused to commit any more than the bare minimum affordability required,” said Astoria resident Amy Kenyan. “Upzoning is a gift so let’s demand more from it.” 

Others said the development team had not meaningfully engaged residents, especially non-English-speaking immigrants in the area. Organizer Farihah Akhtar from the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence (CAAAV) said she and her colleagues had talked with hundreds of neighbors living within a mile of the project and found that few had heard of Innovation QNS.

A spokesperson for the developers, Sam Goldstein, said the three firms welcomed the latest feedback from the board members and the public.

“We’re glad to receive that input even as we continue to make the case that New York City—perhaps now more than ever—needs this $2 billion private investment that will create urgently needed mixed-income homes and 5,400 jobs, while generating hundreds of millions of dollars to support infrastructure, public safety, and education,” Goldstein said.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Apathy leads New York primaries


New Yorkers trickled in to polling stations over the weekend to cast their ballots for the first of two primary elections this summer.

Early voting started on Saturday, June 18 for state political offices, such as the governor, lieutenant governor, state assembly members, judges, and party positions.

For the first day, only 10,035 people cast their ballots in the Five Boroughs, according to the city’s Board of Elections, down from 16,867 on the first day of early voting during last year’s primaries for mayor and other city positions.

 June Primary Election – Day 1
New York – 3,400
Bronx – 1,364
Brooklyn – 2,578
Queens – 2,122
Staten Island – 571
Total Number of Early Voting Check-Ins 10,035
*Unofficial as of Close of Polls

Thanks to the state’s redistricting, voters can cast their ballots in two primaries this summer, with another vote coming up on Aug. 23 for the U.S. House of Representatives and the state Senate.

“It’s confusing,” said Manhattanite Caroline Miller after voting at a polling station inside a senior center in Two Bridges. “It seems to be disruptive.” 

 NY Daily News

Early voting in the Big Apple will run through Sunday. Polling places will be shuttered the following Monday and will reopen at about 1,200 sites throughout the city on Tuesday, which is the final day to cast ballots in person.

The city’s Board of Elections provides information about early voting, but Ken Sherrill, professor emeritus of political science at Hunter College, suggested that hasn’t done the trick.

He said low turnout in the city over the weekend shows there’s little to no voter education happening when it comes to early voting.

“The television campaigns for governor and lieutenant governor don’t mention when primary day is, or when early voting begins,” he said. “In other words, there is absolutely no voter education going on by any of the candidates or political parties — or virtually none.”

Rent guidelines board made the rents too damn higher



Confirming a preliminary vote in May, the New York City Rent Guideline Board voted Tuesday to approve a range of increases in rent-stabilized buildings affecting more than 2 million tenants across the city.

Renters with one-year leases can expect a 3.25% jump in their rents, while those with two-year leases will see rents the climb 5%.

The vote of the board — composed of nine mayor-appointed members which include two landlords, two tenants and five are considered public members — disappointed plenty of tenants and rental advocates.

“I waited to see how this allegedly neutral process would unfold and frankly, I’ve seen enough,” said board Tenant Member Adán Soltren, as he expressed his disappointment in the increase vote on June 21. “Despite all our good faith efforts, the public members [of this board] decided that rather than listen, digest and make informed decisions, they’d rather keep moving the goalpost. People on this board today are choosing to continue to uphold a racist, classist system that pushes Black and Brown people and low and moderate income working families into cyclic poverty and out of their homes.”

Board Public Member Christian Gonzalez-Rivera also condemned the vote, and addressed the statements made by fellow board members indicating that the only way for property owners to cover their operating expenses is to increase rent – even if the increase means tenants cannot afford to live in the units.

“Landlord representatives that told us [the Rent Guideline Board] at these hearings that, since the HSTPA (Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019) closed their alternative avenues of raising rents beyond the levels that are voted on by this board, that they now depend on high enough increases from this board in order to keep up with increases in operating expenses,” said Gonzalez-Rivera. “This is simply not true. The only way that this could be true is if you think of the rent-stabilized housing market as a closed system, where the only input is rent.” 

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Writing's on the wall against luxury public housing complex Innovation QNS

Jackson Heights Post

A group of activists and artists sent a message to the developers of the proposed Innovation QNS project Sunday night that their development is not wanted.

The artists projected enormous messages on the side of one of the Kaufman Astoria buildings in Astoria that were highly critical of the $2 billion development proposal that would bring 2,800 apartment units, as well as office, retail and community space to the Steinway Street/35th Avenue district.

Some of the messages expressed concern about possible gentrification such as “Mom and pop small businesses can’t afford the rents” and “Immigrants and working-class built Astoria. $4,500 for a one-bedroom will destroy Astoria.” Other messages spotlighted the environmental impact with “Thousands of cars, 27 story buildings, 7,000 residents, and no infrastructure improvements.”

The messages went up two days in advance of Community Board 1’s vote on the project, when the board will make a recommendation as to whether the area should be rezoned so the expansive plans can proceed.

The recommendation is likely to influence the decision Councilmember Julie Won makes as to whether to approve the rezoning or not. She will ultimately determine its fate in the city council.

The developers consisting of Silverstein Properties, Kaufman Astoria Studios and BedRock Real Estate Partners are looking to rezone a 5-block district between 37th Street and Northern Boulevard, bound by 35th and 36th Avenues, so they can move forward with the project.

The proposed development would consist of more than a dozen buildings that would range in height from eight to 27 stories. It would include 711 affordable housings units, in accordance with city requirements, which would be offered at an average of 60 percent of Area Median Income.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Melinda's executive security moving service

 Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz


 NY Post

When it absolutely, positively has to get there … trust your bodyguards!

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz used members of her taxpayer-funded security detail to help her move to her new million-dollar digs — potentially running afoul of ethics rules, The Post has learned.

The borough’s top prosecutor was spotted wearing her gold DA’s badge on her hip last week as she carried four boxes of belongings to a black Ford Expedition parked outside the Forest Hills house where she’s been temporarily living since selling her former childhood home for $1.05 million in February.

She then climbed into the official vehicle and was driven about 1.2 miles by a pair of plainclothes NYPD cops to her new three-bedroom, 2-1/2 bathroom Colonial-style house, which city records show she bought late last month for $1.1 million.

The trip was one of four that The Post saw Katz, 56, and her detail make between her old and new homes Tuesday morning. Later in the day, Katz took part in an online Pride event sponsored by her office and appeared to be sitting behind the driver’s seat in the SUV, which had a row of clothes hanging from a rack visible in the rear.

On Friday morning, The Post also saw members of Katz’s security detail carry various items to the SUV from one of the homes while picking up her and her two kids. One cop made three back-and-forth trips, and the other made two. They carried stuff in their hands and in large black plastic bags.

Sources familiar with Katz’s routine told The Post that members of her security detail also had been hauling flat-screen TVs, groceries and dry cleaning around for her, as well as loading her sons’ bicycles and sports gear into an official SUV, driving the family away and returning several hours later.

Katz also regularly had her security detail show up at her home on weekday​ mornings in time for her to accompany her kids as the​ cops drove them to school, after which she returned home, dressed for work and left around 10 a.m., sources said.


Sunday, June 19, 2022

Queens is still burning: Explosion and fire destroys three houses in South Richmond Hill, kills family of three


Impunity City 

Nine families living in two family houses. A few of them living in the basements, which included the family that perished from the explosion and the inferno. While the block is a close knit community, these families could have lived in a safer home if the city didn’t have such an incremental “affordable housing” program for middle class and working poor families and built 75-80% of it for wealthier people. How many more citizens will have to risk their lives and livelihoods to find an affordable place to live? And how many homeowners can hang on to their properties with the massive taxes they pay compared to ones in wealthier enclaves that they have to rent out their basements to settle in their hometowns?


Robert de Niro betrays union workers at mega studio development

NY Post 

“Never rat on your friends …” is one of his most famous lines, but acting legend Robert De Niro is now co-starring with a giant inflatable union protest rat.

The “Goodfellas” star and his partners broke a promise to use union workers to build a sprawling new film studio in Queens — prompting labor activists to set up their symbolic inflatable rat at the site in protest, officials said Friday.

“If De Niro doesn’t care that workers are being exploited, shame on him,” Chaz Rynkiewicz, vice president of Laborers Local 79, told The Post. “We hope he clears this up ASAP.”

The “Taxi Driver” actor and the development firm he’s using, Wildflower LTD, agreed to “seek union labor” during a public review of the $600 million Astoria complex, according to a July 2021 document from the Queens borough president’s office.

But despite the star’s history as a vocal union supporter,  the vast majority of construction workers assigned to the seven-story studio were non-union — including plumbers, sheet metal workers and electricians, state Sen. Jessica Ramos said.

“It’s not too much to ask that Mr. De Niro live up to his professed values as a union man. If you want to build in my district, you need to build union,” Ramos said.

Cracks and straps on the Kosciuszko

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Two young adults drown in Rockaway Beach where resiliency construction is still going on



The city’s Parks Department is again urging beachgoers not to swim in closed and unguarded areas of Rockaway Beach after two people fatally drowned there on Friday.

The victims died in separate incidents that occurred at about 6 p.m. on June 17, according to police.

Law enforcement sources said the first victim, a 16-year-old girl, was pulled out of the water off the intersection of Beach 108th Street and Shore Front Parkway.

Simultaneously, police reported first responders got the second victim, a man in his late teens or early 20s, who drowned in the waters off Beach 98th Street — ten blocks to the east of the first fatal drowning.

Both victims were rushed to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, where they died, police sources said.

The two victims were among five people pulled out of the waters off Rockaway Beach on Friday, according to WABC-TV. The other three distressed victims survived.

 The fatal drownings occurred at a time when the Parks Department deals with a lifeguard shortage that forced the agency to cut its indoor swim programs this summer.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Juan and done again and for good 

Queens Post

Juan Ardila, a candidate running to represent western Queens in the state Assembly and a crusader against car culture, drives a compact sports utility vehicle that has racked up nearly 30 traffic violations since 2019.

The black Audi Q3 has been hit with multiple speed camera violations in school zones in the vicinity of Queens Boulevard and 55th Street. The vehicle has been ticketed for blocking crosswalks, parking in front of fire hydrants to obstructing driveways. There is also a bus lane violation, and a violation for blocking a pedestrian ramp.

Multiple people have told the Queens Post that he drives the vehicle and have provided photos and videos of him in it. He is often seen driving through western Queens as he campaigns to represent the 37th Assembly District, which covers Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Ridgewood and Maspeth.

His critics argue that his violations undermine his campaign, since he is a staunch advocate for street safety. His platform calls for conflict-free protected bicycle lanes, pedestrian safety measures and an end to car culture. He was endorsed by StreetsPAC today, which he announced via twitter.

Ardila, when questioned about the violations, told the Queens Post “I don’t have a car.” In a short unannounced phone interview, he refused to say who the vehicle belonged to, nor did he address the violations. He said he had to get off the phone but would call back in 5 minutes.

He didn’t call back, and after the Queens Post reached out again, he sent a text asking for the questions to be e-mailed. The questions were e-mailed but there has been no response.

The DMV did not provide the name of the registered owner of the vehicle. Tim O’Brien, a spokesperson for the state DMV, said the agency typically does not share private registration information citing the Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA).

 The Audi has been hit with 41 violations since 2017, although the limited public records available show that the vehicle was sold to an unnamed party in Queens in 2018. Since then, the vehicle appears to have remained in the name of one owner and has generated 29 violations.

Multiple people have said that they have seen Ardila driving the vehicle in recent years. In fact, video was taken of him in the car prior to a candidate forum held at the Ridgewood Presbyterian Church on Thursday June 9.

“I heard that he had a lot of traffic violations, so when I saw him in the car I took photos,” said Stefan Smetko, who was at the forum working on behalf of Brent O’Leary who is also vying for the Assembly seat.

Of course readers of this blog are aware of the evolution of Juan Aridla and his vain attempts to get into elected office. Last year while running for City Council he got involved in silly protests against residents he would have represented if he won and he got into major hot water when he got caught saying homophobic, racist and sexist things on social media platforms yet his base and the NYC's fauxgressive establishment politicians still stood behind him and endorsed him. This year in his mission to get into the State Assembly, Juan embraced the "public streets for people" movement and lobbies like Transportation Alternatives and Streets PAC above to get elected, so it's going to be interesting to see how they will continue to justify backing their chosen one to push and legislate their agenda to usurp streets from driving and make life difficult for residents with a man who is so dependent on car culture he needs multiple vehicles to get around town and is so addicted to car culture that he was willing to risk his political ambitions by driving and parking like an entitled jerk.

Maybe Ardila liked their agenda because he thought the streets would have more room for privileged drivers like him to drive on and also these bike/open street think tank lobbies donors to TransAlt, Streets Pac and Open Plans as well, especially car culture based corporations like Lyft and Uber and all their fellow hypocrite car owners and car dependent people from other corporations like the big banks and elected officials as well. They don't want safe streets "for people", these elitists wants the streets for themselves.


So long Juan. Thanks for sparing us one less regulatory captured politician in elected office. Now go get a real job.



Thursday, June 16, 2022

The Feds want nothing to do with Rikers

City And State

A federal judge approved the city’s plan to make long-sought changes on Rikers Island, essentially eliminating the threat of a federal takeover for at least the next several months. The order filed Tuesday marks a win for the city and the Department of Correction and comes days after the federal monitor in the case expressed doubt about the city’s willingness to follow its recommendations for the proposed action plan. 

“This action plan represents a way to move forward with concrete measures now to address the ongoing crisis at Rikers Island,” Southern District Judge Laura Taylor Swain wrote in the order, while making clear that the case could turn depending on the city’s progress in implementing the plan. “The Court has approved the proposed measures contained within the action plan, in full recognition that further remedial relief may be necessary should Defendants not fulfill their commitments and demonstrate their ability to make urgently needed changes.”

The city filed the proposed action plan in late May after federal monitors appointed to oversee the department threatened to take control of the system if the city failed to comply with their recommendations. The jail system has been under federal supervision since a class action lawsuit in 2015 alleged rampant abuse and dysfunction.

The plan filed in May outlines timelines for proposed reforms, which include tamping down on abuse of sick leave policies among correction officers, hiring new leadership under a modified chain of command, improving infrastructure at the jail facilities and expediting correction officer disciplinary proceedings.

The department submitted an updated version of the plan on Friday after Swain gave it two weeks to come up with a more detailed proposal. During that time, a dispute over the hiring of wardens outside of the department became a point of contention between the monitors, along with the Legal Aid Society, which represents the jail population in the case, and the department. The monitors wrote in a letter to Swain on Friday that the city refused to agree to their recommendation to hire wardens outside of the department, and was unwilling to seek special permission from the court to circumvent city and state laws prohibiting it from doing so. 

Swain indicated that the department has committed to seeking special permission from the court if it encounters other legal barriers that prohibit it from implementing recommendations. She also denied Legal Aid’s request to set a briefing schedule for a possible contempt motion to trigger the federal takeover.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Try to follow the Riders Alliance money


This is Elizabeth Plum, also known as Betsy Plum. She's the executive director of Riders Alliance, the transit concern organization that was featured in those videos of them bullying a fellow transit concern organization member from asking them questions during an event they held where they proposed they were going to save commuting in NYC. 

What's interesting about R.A. is how they became such a big influencer about all things transit (and now plan to expand that influence in housing and policing), especially when looking at their tax forms. 


 Riders Alliance sure pulled in a lot of moolah in such a short time span during a pandemic. But what's going on with Elizabeth Plum here? She's the only full time worker on this list and claims to have made no money as the boss?

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Mayor Adams is not going to tell you shit about his housing plan


Politics NY 

Mayor Eric Adams unveiled his plan to address the city’s housing and homelessness crises Tuesday but refused to commit to any clear metrics for the number of affordable housing units that should be built or the number of homeless New Yorkers that should be housed under the plan.

While presenting his ‘Housing Our Neighbors: A Blueprint for Housing and Homelessness” plan on the rooftop of 90 Sands St. – a former Jehovah’s Witnesses owned hotel that was acquired by the city and converted into 400 units of supportive housing – Hizzoner said the plan doesn’t have any target number for how many supportive and affordable housing units his administration aims to build and he wouldn’t take any questions on the subject.

“It’s often asked, ‘how many units you gonna build? How many units you gonna build? how many units you gonna build?’” the mayor said. “If that is one of the on topic questions you are going to ask me, don’t, because I’m not answering that. How many people we gonna put in housing? We need to put people in housing. That’s the focus that we are on."

When asked by a reporter about what Adams would consider a successful number of people to be placed in supportive housing under the plan, he again refused to give a specific number and only said “as many as possible to get into housing.”

“If you say 30,000 and you have 50,000 that are homeless, then what kind of success is that?” I got 20,000 people that are not,” Adams said. “So, I’m not at this magic number. I’m going to get as many people in my four years to get into housing as possible. And I’m not playing these numbers of ‘what is this number?’ No. Everyone needs to find housing. Those are my goals.”

Adams was joined by the city’s Chief Housing Officer Jessica Katz, city Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr., New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chair and CEO Gregory Russ and Shams DaBaron – a homeless advocate known as the “Homeless Hero.”

The NYPD honored Pfizer instead of those that protect and serve under the rubric of "public safety"

Monday, June 13, 2022

Riders Alliance hold public assembly for their transit plan and claim it's a private event as they try to kick out a commuter activist

What happened to public space for people???

Freedom News Network has an even better angle of the bullying by Fascist Riders Alliance

Here's Fascist Riders Alliance again trying to oppress this genuine riders advocate from filming a car they were using to get to their public assembly private events. Funny with all their talk about transit equity and demands to people to give up their cars, they cruise around from town to town contributing to car culture and traffic congestion

That woman, who appears to be RA's executive director Betsy Plum's muscle and chaffeur, seems to be confused because license plates and the cars they are affixed to is actually public information.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

The New Bad Days are about to get badder


 NY Post

More than 1,500 NYPD officers have either resigned or retired so far this year – on pace to be the biggest exodus of officers since the statistics have been available, The Post has learned.

Some 524 cops have resigned and 1,072 have retired as of May 31, NYPD pension stats obtained by The Post show.

The 1,596 total is a 38% spike from the same period in 2021, when 1,159 cops called it a career, and a staggering 46% climb from 2020, when 1,092 left the force by the same date.

Anti-cop hostility, bail reform, and rising crime have fed into frustration among the NYPD rank and file, according to one NYPD officer who recently fled for greener pastures at a Long Island police department after 6 1/2 years with the New York’s Finest. 

 The city is out of control — especially since bail reform,” according to the former Queens cop, who asked to be identified only as “Joe.” The mantra now is “get out while you still can.”

Joe’s patrol gig “got worse and worse” over time, he said.

“The last few years so many people had been leaving and manpower was so low that you’d go to work and you’d answer 25 to 30 jobs a day and you’re burnt out by the end of the day,” he said, adding, “there was no time for law enforcement” because it would be “radio run, radio run, radio run all day long.”

Even when he made an arrest, “they were back in the precinct picking up their property the same day.”


Amazon truck culture dominates public streets for people

 NY Post

It’s the “law” of the concrete jungle.

Amazon delivery drivers who cause traffic chaos when they commandeer huge stretches of Big Apple streets are getting more brazen, with one claiming that cops gave them license to do so.

“The [NYPD] … said it’s OK to double park here,” said driver Shawn Evans from a frenzied “mobile distribution hub” — a euphemism for the mammoth trucks that double and triple park while workers scurry to unload their contents onto cluttered streets and sidewalks.

Evans said he had been unloading at his location along Columbus Avenue on the Upper West Side for more than three hours with a truck containing “1,500 … 1,600” items.

“The NYPD does not allow Amazon delivery vehicles to double park or violate any parking regulations,” a department spokesman countered. “If these vehicles are observed in violation, a summons is issued.”

Evan’s truck was not an outlier. The Post found at least four Amazon delivery trucks hogging up sections of Columbus this week. Some Amazon employees confirmed they had been double-parked for hours.

Many of the the trucks are surrounded by what appear to be city traffic cones — but actually belong to Amazon, multiple delivery men said.

The problem is not unique to the Upper West Side. With its ultra high-density high-rises, the Upper East Side is also uniquely susceptible to Amazon delivery jams. Last November the City Council passed a bill aimed at curbing the issue by introducing loading-only parking spots in affected neighborhoods — but so far results have been limited.

“It is like Whac-A-Mole,” said Manhattan Councilwoman Gale Brewer, adding that trucks would move from one location after a complaint to another. The veteran lawmaker says she has gotten at least 20 constituent complaints about the issue this year.

“It’s an endless challenge,” she said.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Two boys drowned in Jamaica Bay

 NY Daily News

Two Queens boys celebrating the start of summer died Friday after they fell into Jamaica Bay and never resurfaced, police said.

The two victims, who are both 13, were on an outcropping of rocks near Broad Channel at about 11:40 a.m. when they fell into the water.

Panicked onlookers called 911. NYPD divers recovered one of the two just before 1 p.m. and rushed him to Jamaica Hospital, where he died.

The second teen was found under the waves about 40 minutes later. He was rushed to Jamaica Hospital in extremely critical condition but he could not be saved, officials said.

Their names were not immediately released.

The two boys, accompanied by a group of friends, made their way to the bay in celebration of the first day of summer break, a shaken uncle of one of the teens said outside the hospital Friday evening.

“Yesterday was the last day of school and they were just trying to have a good time, messing around like kids do,” said Michael Rachel. “They were out on the rocks but when the tide comes in you couldn’t see them. They’re gone.”

For a few billion dolllars more...

NY Post

The price of everything is going up — even the city budget!

Mayor Adams and the City Council announced a record-breaking city budget at $101 billion Friday, blowing past the $98.7 billion budget deal his predecessor Bill de Blasio struck with lawmakers last year.

The deal between Hizzoner and Speaker Adrienne Adams (D-Queens) adds $1.4 billion in new spending on top of what the mayor proposed in his formal budget layout in April — and is $2.6 billion above City Hall’s preliminary estimate in January.

“This is not a dysfunctional Council and this is darn sure not a dysfunctional mayoral administration,” Adams said, as he and the lawmakers touted the earlier than usual budget deal. “We’re going to function and we’re going to GSD: Get stuff done.”

Still, the deal swells the Big Apple’s potential budget deficits over the coming three years, prompting new warnings from budget watchdogs over spending amid soaring inflation and worries about a potential recession.

The expected shortfall for the 2024 budget now stands at $4.2 billion, up from $3.9 billion projected in April. The expected gaps between expected revenues and spending for the 2025 and 2026 budgets grew too.


Friday, June 10, 2022

Toddlers finally freed from city's mask mandate


NY Post 

 Mask-wearing will finally be optional for toddlers in city schools soon, Mayor Adams announced Thursday — about two weeks before the end of classes.

The controversial face-covering mandate for youngsters ages 2 to 4 in public schools, daycare centers and other city-run settings will be lifted beginning Monday, according to a press release. The last day of class is set for June 27.

“I have always said that the science will guide us out of the pandemic, and because we have followed the data, which shows that cases are steadily falling, we‘ve beaten back the latest COVID-19 surge,” Adams said in a prepared statement.

The mayor had initially announced the impending end to the policy two months ago, before reneging amid increased spread of the virus.

In the announcement Thursday, Adams said City Hall continues to “strongly” recommend that “New Yorkers of all ages continue to wear masks indoors.”  The city will keep providing masks at DOE schools for those who want to wear them, according to the press release.

Daniela Jampel, an outspoken advocate for lifting the toddler mask mandate, told The Post she was “overjoyed” that little ones would get the same “freedom of choice” as other New Yorkers to not wear masks.

“Toddlers were masked for far too long in this city, and today’s announcement is a step in the direction of restoring normalcy to our youngest residents,” said Jampel, a mother of a 4-year-old and former former city Law Department staffer who in April crashed an Adams press conference in City Hall to demand he lift the rule. 

Asked why Adams had opted to lift the mandate now as the school year comes to a close, a mayoral rep referred The Post to a series of tweets in which the city’s top doctor declared that the Big Apple is “finally past the peak of this wave.”

“Cases have fallen since May 23, giving us confidence that we have passed the peak and we are heading into a safer environment,” wrote Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan.

  They wait til the end of the school year to do this. That's the real safety metric they are basing this on. Vaccine extortion worker mandates remain intact.


Thursday, June 9, 2022

Congestion tax remains in limbo



A day after Gov. Kathy Hochul said “now is not the right time” for congestion pricing, she reaffirmed her support for implementing the long-delayed plan to toll vehicles entering Manhattan — eventually.

Hochul scrambled to emphasize Wednesday that she stands behind a program designed to fund mass transit upgrades and reduce traffic after saying at a Democratic gubernatorial debate the night before that it is “not going to happen over the next year under any circumstances.”

MTA officials, who previously acknowledged a potential two-year delay until 2023 and last month blamed federal nitpicking for a slowdown, said they are “fully committed” to congestion and are “aggressively working” through the process.

“While extensive questions from the federal government are causing delays, the governor directed her team to work closely with the federal government to provide responses as quickly as possible and keep the process moving forward,” Hazel Crampton-Hays, a spokesperson for Hochul, said Wednesday.

The state legislature approved congestion pricing in 2019 — after a 2008 push by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg failed in Albany — but the rollout has been slowed repeatedly, with Hochul and her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, pinning the problems on Washington.

The vehicle-tolling plan is being counted on by the MTA to help fund a significant chunk of the agency’s ambitious 2020-2024 Capital Program to maintain and expand the sprawling transit system.

But the delays are “unacceptable,” said Hayley Richardson of TransitCenter, a research and advocacy organization.

“It’s become increasingly clear to us that the delay has to do with Governor Hochul’s concerns about being elected,” Richardson said. “There’s a lot of sentiments out there that this is policial suicide, and that is incorrect. 

“Congestion pricing is unpopular when you look at it before implementation,” she added. “When it is implemented, things turn dramatically around.”

Porno cockblocks luxury tower development proposal during zoom hearing Post

A development company’s plan to build a 23-story residential tower on Vernon Boulevard was rejected by Community Board 2 last week.

Quadrum Global, an international investment firm, is seeking a zoning variance through the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) in order to develop a tower at 45-40 Vernon Blvd., the site that is currently home to the dilapidated Paragon Paint Building.

The plan would involve rehabilitating the Paragon Paint building and developing a 23-story tower behind it.

The board voted to reject the zoning variance saying that the development would be out of character with the area. The variance, however, is not dependent on the approval of the community board, with its vote being advisory.

The community board vote took place over Zoom Thursday during its regular monthly meeting—but the video has yet to be uploaded to YouTube nearly a week later. Sources say that the meeting was Zoom bombed with porn—and attribute the delay to that.

Quadrum’s application for a variance will not have to go through the standard rezoning process known as ULURP since it is seeking the approval of the BSA. Therefore, its application will not be reviewed by the borough president and City Planning Commission—nor will it go before the City Council for a vote.

The application will go straight from the community board to the BSA, where the BSA will render a decision.

The BSA has a long history of approving zoning variances even when they have been rejected by a community board. For instance, the BSA gave the all clear to a developer to construct a 17-story hotel building at 32-45 Queens Blvd. several years ago, defying the wishes of Community Board 2 and then Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer at the time.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Rapper shot to death outside warehouse studios building

PIX News

Here's a map of what this dump looks like inside. And a review of the "maker" warehouse from someone who also tried to record some tracks.

Since this is mostly a venue to create art, it sounds like this owner wanted to make a couple extra bucks from the drill rap scene and wanted to do this the cheapest way possible.


Kathy Clown revives homeless and broke hotels for affordable housing conversions


PIX News 

 New York has relied on hotels to temporarily house the homeless for years, but now underutilized hotel space will be converted into permanent housing under a new plan announced by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday.

Over the last several years, the homeless crisis in New York City has grown more visible and harder to manage. The coronavirus pandemic shined a light on an existing problems: a lack of affordable housing and a continued reliance on hotels to temporarily house the homeless. Robin, a homeless New Yorker PIX1 News met on the Bowery, is not a fan.

“The hotels, you had no services really, just basically food,” Robin said. “That’s about it really. And a place to sleep.”

Hochul’s new plan involves a detailed application process for hotel owners and developers to convert their facilities. She said that run-down hotels can present a safety risk in their respective neighborhoods.

“With hotels hit so hard by the pandemic, many of them never reopened, an opportunity has arisen to use vacant hotels in a way that’ll lift people up and give them yes, the dignity of a home,” Hochul said.

PIX11 News began reporting on the de Blasio administration’s reliance on homeless hotels almost six years ago. That plan used taxpayer dollars to house the homeless in hotel rooms, with no social service, alongside regular, paying guests. Mayor Eric Adams says this time around, converted hotels will become supportive housing.

“New York needs affordable housing, we cannot argue with that. And to not focus on converting hotels that are currently there, currently on the market, sitting empty – converting those hotels into now apartments with permanent housing,” Adams said. “Repurposing these housing is going to allow older adults, those with families, to take these older buildings and now utilize them to give someone a newer life, a life where they can feel they are receiving the housing they deserve.”

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Water main break floods the streets around the Queensbridge Houses again


There is an ignorant narrative going around from urbanish jerkoffs that poor people and people who live near Manhattan don't drive cars. This should kill that dumbass noise