Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Mayor Adams orders involuntary removal of mentally disturbed people from public places and the subway

New York Times

Acting to address “a crisis we see all around us” toward the end of a year that has seen a string of high-profile crimes involving homeless people, Mayor Eric Adams announced a major push on Tuesday to remove people with severe, untreated mental illness from the city’s streets and subways.

Mr. Adams, who has made clearing homeless encampments a priority since taking office in January, said the effort would require involuntarily hospitalizing people who were a danger to themselves, even if they posed no risk of harm to others, arguing the city had a “moral obligation” to help them.

“The common misunderstanding persists that we cannot provide involuntary assistance unless the person is violent,” Mr. Adams said in an address at City Hall. “Going forward, we will make every effort to assist those who are suffering from mental illness.”

The mayor’s announcement comes at a heated moment in the national debate about rising crime and the role of the police, especially in dealing with people who are already in fragile mental health. Republicans, as well as tough-on-crime Democrats like Mr. Adams, a former police captain, have argued that growing disorder calls for more aggressive measures. Left-leaning advocates and officials who dominate New York politics say that deploying the police as auxiliary social workers may do more harm than good.

Other large cities have struggled with how to help homeless people, in particular those dealing with mental illness. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed a law that could force some homeless people with disorders like schizophrenia into treatment. Many states have laws that allow for involuntary outpatient treatment, and Washington State allows people to be committed to hospitals if a judge finds that they pose a threat to themselves or others.

Officials in New York said the city would roll out training immediately to police officers, Emergency Medical Services staff and other medical personnel to “ensure compassionate care.” But the city’s new directive on the policy acknowledges that “case law does not provide extensive guidance regarding removals for mental health evaluations based on short interactions in the field.”

The policy immediately raised questions about who, exactly, would be swept up in it, and some advocates for people with mental illness warned it could face legal challenges.

Existing state laws allow both the police and medical workers to authorize involuntary hospitalization of people whose behavior poses a threat of “serious harm” to themselves or others. Brendan McGuire, chief counsel to the mayor, said on Tuesday that workers would assess people in public spaces “case by case” to see whether they were able to provide basic needs such as food, shelter and health care for themselves.

The city directive states that “unawareness or delusional misapprehension of surroundings” or “delusional misapprehension of physical condition or health” could be grounds for hospitalization.


Tuesday, November 29, 2022

This would be 17 million cheaper to fix than building a fake park in Jackson Heights

Queens Chronicle

Nearly three years after the Flushing Meadows Corona Aquatic Center’s Olympic-caliber pool closed for what was supposed to be “at least six weeks” for an emergency roof repair, it remains off limits to the public as the Department of Parks and Recreation struggles to repair its unique movable floor.

Parks said in a City Council oversight hearing last December that the pool at the 14-year-old, $67 million facility — built as part of New York City’s unsuccessful bid to host the 2012 Olympics — would reopen by January or February 2022. But while the emergency roof repair was completed in July 2021, the pool remains closed with the department’s site now reporting that the closure is “due to needed repairs to the movable floor” that’s designed to move up and down to accommodate diving as well as swimming.

Whirling machine sounds reverberated from the direction of the pool when THE CITY visited the center on Tuesday as a father rushed in looking for a swim meet for his two children waiting in the car — only to be told he was at the wrong location.

“This part of the building is closed, that’s why we have this thing here,” Ashley Bernal, the facility’s deputy director, told THE CITY as she pointed to a black belt cordoning off a section of the chlorine-scented lobby.

Construction work on the floor began this September. Yet the Parks Department capital project tracker shows the $500,000 fix marked as “0% complete.”

Parks spokesperson Dan Kastanis told THE CITY the department plans to reopen the pool around January 2023, before closing it again for 12 to 18 months starting in the summer of 2024 for a complete reconstruction of its roof along with its HVAC and dehumidification systems. In the meantime, safety netting installed onto the ceiling in early 2020 would remain in place to catch concrete shedding from the roof.

Progress on repairing the movable floor has been slow, one source familiar with the project said, because it’s a custom item that does not exist in any other Parks-run aquatic facility and requires specialized materials that are not widely available. The parts are expected to arrive in December and be installed shortly after, the source said.

Queens Chronicle 

More than two years after its transformation began, the 26-block stretch of 34th Avenue between 69th Street and Junction Boulevard in Jackson Heights remains a source of joy to many and angst to others.

The 1.3-mile section of roadway has been part of the city’s Open Streets initiative since May 2020. The longest open street in the Big Apple, it’s considered the “gold standard” of the program. On Oct. 24, the New York City Department of Transportation’s major redesign of the corridor, a project called “Paseo Park,” was officially completed.

The new design includes more “shared streets,” where cars can travel at slow speeds and are directed by diverters and other road treatments, as well as eight traffic-restricted, fully pedestrian plazas. The stretch of the avenue serves as an open street between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. seven days a week.

“We are very happy with this space and design,” says Jim Burke, co-founder of the 34th Avenue Open Streets Coalition, which had helped bring Open Streets to Jackson Heights and push for subsequent improvements. “And I think it’s a pretty fair compromise.”

Not everyone agrees. Cassandra Langer, a resident of Jackson Heights for the past 35 years, believes both the open street and new design have blighted 34th Avenue and the neighborhood in general. She wants the route returned to a standard, functioning street.

“This new design ignores the needs of the retired elderly population, handicapped people and others,” laments Langer, a community activist who works closely with the Jackson Heights Coops Alliance — which holds an anti-Paseo Park stance. “The changes might have made sense at the beginning of the pandemic, but not anymore.” 

Langer stresses that the Paseo Park design negatively impacts parking and the ability to get deliveries, and is “not pragmatic” for older citizens who cannot solely rely on biking or walking to get around. She also points out that barriers aren’t always removed when open-street hours have ended.

“The politicians are not listening to our side or even looking for a compromise,” Langer complains. “They just want a top-down approach. We’re the grassroots taking on the powers that be.”

She said more community meetings about the situation will be held and a lawsuit is possible. And she believes the upcoming winter months “will show how unworkable the Paseo Park design is.”

Jim Burke, unlike Langer, is satisfied with the open-streets format, which he had helped fight to establish. He notes the various family-friendly activities held on 34th Avenue: everything from gardening to arts and crafts to dance classes.

The longtime safe-streets activist also emphasizes that Paseo Park “is a way to get to other thoroughfares without a car,” which is important to many in Jackson Heights. Burke believes the new level of accessibility, along with the chairs and tables peppered throughout the 34th Avenue corridor, is partly responsible for the economic resurgence of some “mom-and-pop stores and vendors” in the area.

In response to those who criticize Paseo Park for being ill-suited to the needs of older citizens, Burke cites his mother: “She has been using Access-A-Ride without an issue.” (Jim Burke's mom lives in Rockaway Beach)

Councilman Shekar Krishnan (D-Jackson Heights), who was instrumental in bringing Paseo Park to the community, is proud to have such a space in his district.

"The 34th Avenue Open Street was designed by DOT, FDNY and NYPD to improve safety and accessibility for our community," Krishnan told the Chronicle. “It is a family-focused oasis on what was once a car-centric corridor, bringing together neighbors of all backgrounds and ages. ” He declined to speculate about future plans.

Really would like to hear what the NYPD and FDNY have to say about their role in the open streets that has impeded accessibility of ambulances, fire engines and patrol cars. And who actually from those departments approved this? This one mile of new fake park land is going to cost us 84 million dollars too, so this dumb experiment is going to leave that Flushing pool high and dry.

Mentally disturbed woman got rental aid and wound up stabbing another tenant.

NY Post

A Queens woman who allegedly spent months harassing her neighbor and landlord was arrested Saturday for stabbing her fellow tenant, police and witnesses told The Post.

The alleged attacker and the victim each rented separate units in the multi-family home in South Ozone Park, where the landlord lived downstairs.

The bloody assault unfolded just before 8 a.m. when Najia M. Vaughn allegedly knocked on her neighbor’s door, began arguing with the woman inside, then pulled out a knife and cut the 31-year-old victim on the forehead, chest and leg, residents and authorities said.

Vaughn, 28, fled and was arrested about a block away, police said. She was charged with felony assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

The accused attacker, who receives rental assistance from the city, moved into the 127th Street home in May, and was referred to the property by the city’s Human Resources Administration, said her terrified landlord, who did not want to be named.

Caption Commissioner Sewell



NY Post 

City straphangers have been more likely to be victims of crime in the last two-and-a-half years compared to before the pandemic, The Post previously reported.

Killings in the subway system since 2020 have also skyrocketed to the highest annual levels in 25 years as the city grapples with an overall spike in random violence, NYPD stats show.

The system had seen nine murders so far this year as of Oct. 31, compared to six during that time period last year, according to the newly released data, according to the newly released data.

The transit violence that has prompted officials to deploy more police officers underground, with the state footing the bill for overtime.

But noteworthy and heinous crimes have persisted, including back-to-back stabbings last Tuesday night that left three people injured including a good Samaritan. 

Usually I just post a picture and just leave it there, but this capture came from the presser announcing this new deployment and that look Commissoner Sewell was giving Adams while he was reading from a script claiming subway crime was down was just too perfect. 

Also from the same press conference, this picture of Mayor Adams presenting honors to two hero cops is just inexplicable.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving from the regulatory captured New York City Council



Once again, Fontas Advisors traversed the five boroughs identifying the City Council's top Thanksgiving chefs, hearing about their favorite dishes, and learning much about their families in the process. The result is our third annual collection of Thanksgiving recipes, the 2022 edition of Thanksgiving with the NYC Council. We love showcasing the diverse cultures and flavors of our great city and curating a Thanksgiving feast fit for the Big Apple!

Fontas advisors is a real estate lobbyist firm that's pushing for the shut down of Rikers Island. Betcha expected that shit. Happy Thanksgiving, your city of yes is fucked.



Wednesday, November 23, 2022

State Constitution Evoked in Lawsuit Against Two Bridges Luxury Public Housing Mega-Development 

Luxury Public Housing



A controversial development that has been tied up in court for more than six years ago is now facing yet another lawsuit from residents of the Lower East Side and Chinatown — this time arguing that the Two Bridges mega-project will infringe upon the new constitutional right to clean air and water in a low-income community of color that already suffers from high rates of asthma.

The latest lawsuit was filed last month by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund on behalf of 12 plaintiffs from the Lower East Side and Chinatown, and Council Member Christopher Marte, who represents the area.

Marte says his constituents face enough pollution and exhaust from the FDR Drive, and that construction of the planned towers along the East River would result in more fumes, while also unearthing toxic chemicals from old petroleum tanks that sit under one of the development lots. 

“This construction is gonna really hurt a lot of the people who historically have health issues. This area is an environmental justice neighborhood that’s already had to bear the brunt of development,” said Marte. “Their whole livelihood, where they go to school, where they go for a walk is going to be a construction site.”

But is a super-dense development atop an already toxic site what the so-called “green amendment” to the state constitution was meant to block … or to allow?

Just one year ago, environmental attorneys and activists pushed hard for Proposition 2 — also known as the Green Amendment — on the November ballot, arguing that it would give New Yorkers legal standing to stop the environmental harms caused by highway expansions or the placement of waste transfer stations. The referendum passed overwhelmingly, supported by 69 percent of state voters.

For many, the purpose was obvious: stop environmental degradation.

“Say there was a defined pollution hotspot with a heavy volume of diesel-truck traffic — the community could petition to the City Council to ask for relief,” Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates NY, told Streetsblog at the time. “The government would then have to weigh [the] individual right to breathe air that doesn’t cut lives short or make people sick. If they ignore the plea, people can say, ‘I’m taking you to court. I think you’re violating my right to clean air.’”

The lawsuit against the Two Bridges project is the first in the five boroughs to cite the green amendment, though others have already been filed upstate, including against the permitting of a waste transfer station in upstate Cayuta.

Similar green amendments exist now only in Pennsylvania and Montana, but there’s been no parallel suit against a development project in those states, according to Maya van Rossum, founder of the Pennsylvania-based Green Amendments For The Generations, which helped write and pass New York’s law.

As such, there’s no way to know if courts will rule against urban development — which by definition is far more polluting than, say, an open field of trees — or rule in favor of urban development on the grounds that dense housing with limited parking is far better for the environment than suburban sprawl, over which there is very little environmental oversight.

To lawyer Jack Lester, who is representing the plaintiffs, the green amendment is clear.

“It enshrines in law the right to every citizen of New York State to have environmental justice,” said Lester, who is also suing on behalf of plaintiffs hoping to stop the SoHo/NoHo rezoning. “The development at that location will destroy both air quality and statutory mandates for air and sunshine. It will set a precedent that developers must abide by constitutional rights.”

But others are pushing back, saying the lawsuit is part of a kitchen-sink effort to defeat an affordable housing project and, worse, could set a dangerous precedent for other much-needed projects. And as feared, that it’s a perversion of the amendment by NIMBYs who are not invoking it in good faith. 

Words from Tenantnet who sent this here:

Jack Lester? Is he even still alive?
Guess where DSA is on this? (I'm blocked so I can't see it-JQ) What about Lincoln Restler? What about Cea?
Of course, this BS is in TA's Streetsblog

Correction: Streetsblog is run by Open Plans. And it's hilarious and also very expected that this yellow journalism digital rag (since when did they do stories about real estate, oh wait, this is also about the parked car menace they bloviate about) and the Demorcat Fauxcialists of America would support something like this that's highly antithetical to what their alleged environmental platforms are about. Didn't know the Green New Deal included cloud piercing iron and glass luxury beanstalks.-JQ LLC


Julie Loser!/format/webp/quality/90/?


A rezoning allowing for a massive new real estate development in East New York that would include 11 residential buildings with more than 2,000 apartments passed a key City Council test Thursday, with support from a local representative best known for his oppositional stances.  

Councilmember Charles Barron (D-Brooklyn), an avowed socialist and frequent opponent of rezonings, backed the plan for Innovative Urban Village after years of negotiations with the developers — an unyielding stance that he says resulted in a project with solely affordable units for the overwhelmingly Black and Latino, working-class neighborhood.

The plan, as initially envisioned by Gotham Organization and the Christian Cultural Center, a megachurch in Starrett City that owns the land, originally proposed rentals for residents making between 30% and 120% of the New York City region’s area median income — currently anywhere from $40,000 to $160,000 for a household of four.

But after community feedback and negotiations with Barron’s office, the developer brought the income limits down to between 30% and 80% of the median income, or between $40,000 and $106,000 for a family of four. According to 2019 data compiled by the Furman Center, the local community district’s median household income was $48,000 and more than half of the area’s households earned incomes that would qualify.

Barron, a former Black Panther and a longtime adversary of Brooklyn’s Democratic Party establishment, said the project should set an example for other City Council members with proposals for large developments in their districts, as well as the Adams administration, about how to get to “yes” without rubber-stamping projects with rents beyond what local residents can afford.

The same Council committee also unanimously approved another large rezoning, known as Innovation QNS, following lengthy negotiations with local Astoria Councilmember Julie Won (D-Queens), who had initially raised objections to what she called insufficient affordable housing.

The $2 billion project is slated to bring nearly 3,000 apartments to an area near Northern Boulevard, about one-third of which are categorized as affordable.  

The project is backed by building workers’ union 32BJ SEIU and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, who ridiculed Won as she held out, citing concerns that the arrival of luxury units will exacerbate gentrification in the area.

In a statement, Won explained her apparent change of heart by pointing to “wins” including an increase in affordable units that her team had secured — though those modifications appeared to fall short of the 55% affordable threshold she had initially demanded.

 We’ve been negotiating daily to secure unprecedented levels of affordability for my immigrant and working-class community,” Won said, adding that she was “finalizing negotiations for commitments from the developer and the Mayoral administration.”

In effect, she let the project proceed through the subcommittee, which is where other lawmakers usually defer to the desires of the local council member, prior to receiving a firm, written commitment.  

“As the council member, I will utilize every accountability measure to ensure that our community wins are actualized,” Won continued.


Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Neir's partner demands removal of major shareholder

NY Post 

 The savior of one of the oldest bars in the city, which served as the backdrop for a scene in the 1990 mob classic “Goodfellas,” should be 86ed until he opens the books to his fellow shareholder, according to a lawsuit.

Andrew Bigan, 65, claims Loycent Gordon, who has been running the day-to-day operations at Neir’s Tavern in Woodhaven for years and spearheaded efforts to save the Queens watering hole, has shut him out of the business. The bar opened in 1829.

Bigan, a realtor, became a 25% shareholder in Neir’s in 2009 with his wife, Melanie, who ran Neir’s for a few years before stepping away in 2012 when she was diagnosed with cancer. She died in 2015.

Gordon took over a 75% stake in Neir’s around that time, buying out two other shareholders and running the place.

But despite keeping Neir’s going through tough times, including the COVID-19 pandemic, Gordon was looking to get out of the business in 2019, according to Bigan’s Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit.

Gordon allegedly complained he was “always in the red” and “could never make enough money,” and asked Bigan to help him find someone to take over Neir’s, according to legal papers.

The following year, with no warning, Gordon announced Neir’s would close — prompting a public outcry and an $80,000 grant from the city to save it, Bigan claims.

The bar was ultimately saved, but Gordon then allegedly ignored Bigan’s calls and texts and shut him out of the bar’s social media accounts, Bigan charges in court papers.

“He just wants to know what’s going on, and also, to get some compensation, because he never gave up his status as a shareholder,” said Bigan’s lawyer, Susan Warnock. “He did offer to help over the years and it was kind of rebuffed.”

Gordon should be removed from the bar’s day-to-day operations and it should be run by a neutral third party, said Bigan, who said he’s not been paid anything since Gordon took over and wants a judge to order an accounting of the business.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

NYC Department Of Transportation Alternatives: You'll get citibike and like it 

Queens Chronicle

The city’s Department of Transportation has approved a plan that will result in more than 50 Citi Bike docks coming to Community District 5, with construction beginning as early as December.

The reception from officials representing the Maspeth-Glendale-Middle Village area was about what might have been anticipated, particularly with the anticipated loss of parking.

Information obtained from Community Board 5 on Monday said about 40 of the docking stations would be on the street, with the others on sidewalks — this in spite of numerous requests to preserve parking.

“The one-size fits all approach of DOT with Citi Bike is nonsensical and ought to be reconsidered,” said Councilman Bob Holden (D-Maspeth). “Time and time again, the DOT pretends to engage the community and waste their time garnering input, only to move forward with a widely unpopular project. The community devised an alternate proposal that made sense and mitigated any issues of losing much-needed parking. The local community board did not approve this project. The community will not accept it.”

Holden said he intends to fight the DOT “until they listen to the community and stop pandering to special interest groups who monopolize public space.”

In a press release sent out Monday evening, District Manager Gary Giordano said the DOT had not given Community Board 5 definitive numbers on the parking spaces to be lost.

The DOT also gave no numbers in a response to the Chronicle.

“Citi Bike has proven to be a wildly popular transportation option with ridership soaring since the pandemic,” DOT Spokesman Vin Barone said in an email. “DOT has thoughtfully incorporated, and continues to incorporate, community feedback into our final proposal in a way that ensures convenient and reliable access to Citi Bike. We look forward to expanding this vital service to help offer Queens residents safe, sustainable, and efficient ways to get around.” 

These pictures where these citibikes were abandoned on this same block were recently taken in the past month in South Richmond Hill, where there are no citibike racks to speak of. Really not sure if it's the same one. This is what's coming to your town even though there is absolutely no security or any effort to maintain them by the bikeshare provider and proprietor Lyft/Citibike. This is spiteful and chaotic theft and corporate privatization of public spaces being done by a regulatory captured municipality. 

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Pheffer-Amato demands a recount

Queens Chronicle 

Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Rockaway Park) is calling for a recount in the general election for Assembly District 23 against Tom Sullivan.

The race, which has remained officially undecided with 246 votes separating the candidates and Sullivan holding the lead with 94 percent of the vote counted, has yet to be called.

Last week, Pheffer Amato said in a statement, “It is important for EVERY vote to be counted. The Board of Elections is currently awaiting absentee, military, overseas and affidavit ballots to be received. While it may take some time, we must embrace the rules and laws in order to have an official result.”

Sullivan was notified of the lawsuit via an email from the Queens Board of Elections office just before 11 p.m. last night, he told the Chronicle. Late last week, he received one informing him that Pheffer Amato was being represented by Sweeney, Reich & Bolz, LLP, Long Island-based attorneys who are mainstays in the Queens Democratic Party. Pheffer Amato and Frank Bolz signed the lawsuit, which lists both Sullivan and the city BOE as respondents.

It calls for the court to order as issue to determine the validity of all ballots cast in the general election, for an accurate tally to be determined under the recanvass of the votes cast and for all ballots to be recanvassed by hand, according to the documents, which were obtained by the Chronicle.

The lawsuit states that over 1,000 absentee and affidavit ballots are left to be counted and that the absentees are done on a rolling basis and the affidavits are scheduled to be canvassed tomorrow, Nov. 16. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

3-year-old boy beaten to death at Pan American Hotel homeless shelter


 Queens Post

A toddler is dead after being found battered and bruised inside a homeless shelter in Elmhurst Sunday — and police are investigating the incident as a homicide.

The victim, a 3-year-old boy named Shaquan Butler, was found at around 7:40 p.m. by police inside the Boulevard Family Residence — a family homeless shelter located at 79-00 Queens Boulevard. The child’s parents called 911, police said.

Butler was unconscious and unresponsive with bruises throughout his body that were in different stages of healing, according to the NYPD.

The child had a faint pulse when emergency services arrived on the scene and he was then transported by EMS to NYC Health & Hospital/Elmhurst but could not be saved, police said.

The toddler was also found to have had a collapsed lung, police said.

The victim’s mother told police that the child began to act strangely and began choking shortly before they called 911, the NYPD said.

He then ran into a pillar inside the shelter, fell back and struck his head on the floor, the boy’s mother told police.

 However, police say that story was inconsistent with his injuries and the NYPD has now launched a homicide investigation.


Soccer trickle down housing

The potential redevelopment of Willets Point in Queens has bedeviled New York City officials for years.

New York Times

The stadium would be the first significant major-league sports venue to be built in the city since 2012, and is set to be the focal point of a 23-acre project that includes a 250-room hotel and 2,500 units of housing. Officials say the project would be the city’s largest development of entirely affordable housing since the Mitchell-Lama developments of the 1970s.

The deal represents Mayor Eric Adams’s most ambitious economic development initiative and comes as he is about to complete his first year in office. It also spells the end of two sagas: the team’s decade-long search for a dedicated soccer stadium and an even longer conundrum about the future of Willets Point, a once thriving conglomeration of auto body shops.

“Queens, which is the world’s borough, now will become the home of soccer, which is the world’s sport,” Maria Torres-Springer, the deputy mayor for economic and workforce development, said in an interview on Tuesday.

Unlike many stadium deals, including one for the Buffalo Bills negotiated this year by Gov. Kathy Hochul that included nearly $900 million in public funds, city officials said subsidies for this project are largely limited to infrastructure improvements at the site and property tax breaks for the stadium.

The soccer team will pay for the entire construction of the stadium, which is estimated to cost $780 million, city officials said. Neither tax-exempt bond financing nor direct city capital infusions will be used, according to Andrew Kimball, the president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. The developers are not getting abatements on mortgage recording or sales taxes, he said. But the stadium owners will not have to pay real estate taxes for the duration of the lease.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Southeast Queens is still the election dealmaker and dealbreaker

NY Post

Democrat Kathy Hochul has black voters to thank for saving her job as governor against hard-charging Republican challenger Lee Zeldin, an election results analysis shows.

While Zeldin’s law and order campaign made inroads with once blue-leaning Asian, Jewish and Latino voters, black voters were Hochul’s firewall in southeast Queens, central Brooklyn, Harlem and parts of the Bronx, the analysis found.

Hochul garnered a staggering 90% or more votes in many of the city’s predominantly Afro-American and Afro-Caribbean districts — the same working and middle class voters who propelled Mayor Eric Adams last year.

“Oh, absolutely. Oh, definitely the black community elected Kathy Hochul governor,” said state Assemblywoman Inez Dickens. In Dickens’ 70th Assembly District, residents delivered 27,968 votes for Hochul, and just 2,287 for Zeldin.

According to Dickens, Zeldin is too closely associated with former President Donald Trump for black voters — and isn’t seen as a moderate in the mold of former three-term GOP Gov. George Pataki. Trump endorsed Zeldin just weeks before the Nov. 8 election.

“If Zeldin was a Pataki Republican, he would have done better,” the Harlem political veteran said. “He was considered a Trumper by black voters. That was a very, very big part of it.”

Sunday, November 13, 2022

NYPD's fortunate son


NY Daily News

The son of a former NYPD police commissioner is being moved to a detective squad — just 18 months after stepping out of the Police Academy, the Daily News has learned.

An internal department memo shared with The News notes that Police Officer Richard Shea, the son of Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, will be transferred from patrol to the 23rd Precinct detective squad, effective Monday.

After some training, Officer Shea will be promoted to detective third grade in 18 months, the department said. The bump will come three years after he graduated the academy.

“This is what #Nepotism looks like,” tweeted John Macari, a trustee for the National Coalition of Front Line Workers. “No disrespect to this kid, but it’s a failure in ‘leadership.’”

Officer Shea, 23, has been walking the beat in the 23rd Precinct, which covers East Harlem, since graduating the academy on May 5, 2021.

The move didn’t sit well with rank-and-file NYPD officers who believe Shea’s father helped pave the way.

“He has done absolutely nothing to deserve that shield,” said one NYPD detective, who wished not to be named. “To go upstairs with zero experience is a smack in the face to everyone who wants to be a detective. There are far more cops with years of experience that should be upstairs.”

Hmm, nobody is going to mention how this promotion happened while NYPD commissioner (in name only) Sewell is in Puerto Rico for the SOMOS conference? Sounds like Shea thinks the streets are not safe for his son to patrol them.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Fauxgressive Fraud fires staffers

NY Daily News

On the morning of Jan. 1, Brad Lander — who’d bootstrapped progressive accomplishments, including the fair-cause law he’d passed as a councilman protecting fast-food workers from being arbitrarily fired by cruel and capricious bosses, into a citywide position for himself — proclaimed in a beautifully done day-one video:

“If we value a fair economy, then we must ensure that people whose work keeps our city and our economy going get the dignity [and] pay…they need to care for themselves and their families,” said the newly sworn-in city controller, and “ensure that we are accounting for our shared values.”

On the morning of Nov. 3, on day 297, Lander and his “shared values” were nowhere to be seen as two dedicated employees of the comptroller’s office — Susan Watts, the director of visual content and before that a brilliant photographer at The News for a quarter century, and Alex Montoya Wunrow, the director of digital content — arrived at a weirdly empty office on Centre St. and received emails telling them to go upstairs to HR.

When they separately did so, Watts and Wunrow, who’d both been hired by Lander’s predecessor, were each told that they were out, effective immediately, and escorted back to their desks to box up their things and leave.

Watts told me days later she had no idea this was coming, having just exchanged pleasantries with Lander while photographing him at a rally.

She hadn’t been fired for cause, but just because, HR told her (and the same for Wunrow) — with no warning and no severance besides pay for unused vacation days.

Happy holidays!

More than a week later, Lander’s said nothing publicly or to most of his staff about the firings. He’s away now, at the Somos political conference in Puerto Rico.

It all seems almost unbelievably nasty and stupid and off-brand, so I reached out to Lander to ask for context and got a text back an hour later from communications director Naomi Dann, who said, in full, “we do not comment on personnel matters.”

Lots of other people in the comptroller’s office are commenting, however.

“It’s shocking for myself and a lot of my colleagues hired under Scott (Stringer), John (Liu), Bill (Thompson),” said one staffer, referring to the previous three comptrollers and speaking anonymously for obvious reasons. “None of them would see this kind of separation for individuals who are hard-working and doing a good job,” but rather gave such workers time to make their own dignified exits.

The staffer continued: “Those of us who are political appointees understand we are employed at-will, we agree to that when we sign up for these jobs. What we do not agree to is, 10 months in, being told that a reshuffling is in order and your services are no longer needed.”

Indeed, “it’s so inconsistent with who I thought Lander is,” Watts said of the boss she’d spent 10 months working closely with and promoting before he outsourced her firing to HR. “I thought this guy walked the walk.”

Soccer team is going to get a new arena

  Queens Chronicle

The possibility of a soccer stadium for the New York City Football Club at Willets Point seemed closer to reality this earlier this week.

During a webinar on the borough’s economic impact with Travis Terry, chief operating officer of the Capalino Group, and Queens Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Grech, Borough President Donovan Richards spoke about the future of tourism in Queens.

“Even if you like soccer, the redevelopment of Willets Point — which I think is gonna, we’re gonna have some announcements on — with the football club, New York Football Club,” Richards said.

Asked for further comment on the borough president’s remarks, a spokesperson for Richards wrote in an email to the Chronicle, “Borough President Richards was expressing his optimism about the future of various infrastructure, transportation and cultural investments in Queens — including the all-encompassing redevelopment of Willets Point.

“The Borough President is laser focused on ensuring Queens becomes a true live-work-play destination, and will work with any organization or entity to help make that happen.”

As the Chronicle previously reported, NYCFC’s owners have pitched a stadium to Mayor Adams, among several other elected officials. That prompted a protest from Corona residents and demonstrators from Nos Quedamos Queens and the Black Leadership Action Coalition, the latter of which is led by longtime activist Bertha Lewis.

Community board tells the Department of Transportation Alternatives to suck it

 Queens Chronicle

Community Board 10 voted in favor of a “nasty letter” being sent to the city Department of Transportation after Rosemary Ciulla-Frisone, chair of the Transportation Committee, shared news that parking spots in the neighborhood will be sacrificed to the Carshare program.

“They did not come to us, the community board, to say, ‘Hey, you know, we need your help to find a location where we can do this pilot program,” said Ciulla-Frisone at last Thursday’s meeting at the Old Mill Yacht Club.

The four locations will include two in South Ozone Park, one in Ozone Park and one in Richmond Hill.

“What that means is we’re going to lose parking and we don’t want that,” she said.

The program provides on-demand access to vehicles for short-term use, designating dedicated parking spots for the use of eligible carshare organizations, according to the DOT’s website.

Chair Betty Braton agreed with one member that the agency was not asking but rather telling the board that this would be done.

“But you guys can ask me to write the nasty letter to them,” Braton quipped. “Is there a motion for me to do that?”

It passed unopposed.


City converts hospital into luxury public housing building with 125 apartments dedicated to renters making over $120,000

 Queens Chronicle

The city is taking steps to address healthcare in ways that go beyond a trip to the doctor’s office.

Mayor Adams and NYC Health + Hospitals announced the “Housing for Health” initiative at the T Building in Jamaica Hills last Thursday. The building, located on the campus of NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens, is a former tuberculosis hospital that has been converted into a 200-unit apartment building, with 75 units dedicated to supportive housing for patients of the hospital system who had been experiencing homelessness.

Residents started moving into the building over the summer. The other 125 units are dedicated for those with incomes from 60 percent to 80 percent of the area median income, which is $120,100 for a three-person family in New York City in 2022.

The initiative is four-pronged, with NYC Health + Hospitals pledging to counsel and help eligible patients find and apply for affordable supportive housing and dedicate respite beds to medically frail patients no longer in need of hospitalization but still in need of medical care, in addition to converting unused hospital land to affordable housing developments and funding social services at the sites.

Services at the T Building are handled by the Brooklyn-based nonprofit CAMBA and funded through a former Mayor de Blasio-developed supportive housing initiative.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Astoria pool hall behind the 8 ball

Queens Post


While there were no table legends in attendance when THE CITY visited on a recent Monday night, spectators watched a weekly nine-ball tournament as reggaeton music blasted overhead. Long-time patrons were absorbed in games of chess and tavli, or Greek backgammon, in the elevated area surrounding the pool tables, where people socialize until late into the night. Inside the pool table pit, red landline phones hung along the walls, hardwired to call the bar directly.

Nikolakakos stood behind the bar, glancing over at its maroon carpet. “I want to change that carpet now,” he said in a deep raspy voice, articulating his words at a relaxed pace and in a Greek accent. “But I cannot do anything because I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

While the pool hall has five-and-a-half years left on its 35-year lease, Nikolakakos said, the possibility that his business might be forced to shutter has been on his radar since his landlord approached him in 2017, when Innovation QNS’ opponents say developers had started to make their rounds along the five-block strip to explore property purchase options.

“He asked us how much we wanted to finish the lease, and when we told him, he offered us peanuts,” Nikolakakos told THE CITY. “So during the pandemic, when we were closed, we asked them to make us a better deal, but they didn’t want to do anything so we had to go to court.”

Over the 10 months that the billiards cafe was closed due to the city’s shutdown, Nikolakakos accumulated over $340,000 in unpaid rent, fees and taxes, according to court documents.

“Even though it was the pandemic, we got screwed,” Mennis told THE CITY. “If we hadn’t violated the lease, they would have had to keep us for another five years or make us an offer.”


Economic Development Corporation gets funding to destroy Hunters Point park space for new NYC Ferry dock 

Queens Post 

The New York City Economic Development Corporation plans to demolish the existing ferry terminal at Hunter Points South Park and build a new dock about 300 feet away in front of the main boardwalk by the Oval.

The EDC, which oversees the city’s ferry routes, filed permits on Oct. 18 to build a floating dock in front of the boardwalk that runs parallel to the outdoor dining area near the Oval. If all goes to plan, the new dock would be completed by 2023.

The new ferry terminal would allow for an expansion of ferry operations at the site with the landing being able to accommodate two ferries simultaneously, according to the permit application. The current terminal can only handle one boat at a time.

The plans would see the construction of a large floating barge about 100 feet out from the boardwalk. Two boats would be able to dock at the barge.

A concrete platform would be built directly adjacent to the boardwalk and a long footbridge, known as a gangway, would then connect the platform to the floating barge.

The new ferry terminal would replace the current landing structure that is located in front of the beach volleyball court. The current terminal, which includes a 20-foot-wide floating barge, would be torn down should the project be approved.

The city has authorized $12.2 million in funding for the project, according to the EDC.

The plans, which were filed with the US Army Corps of Engineers, would bring about significant change to the waterfront. They have already drawn criticism.

For instance, the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, a volunteer group that helps with the upkeep of the waterfront parks, is opposed to the project arguing it would spoil the view of the Manhattan skyline and fill the boardwalk with hundreds of passengers.

The group was also critical of the EDC, saying that it did not consult them about the plans when they were filed last month.

Meanwhile, Councilmember Julie Won, who has been briefed on the plans, said she has not yet taken a position on the matter and is waiting to hear community feedback.

Kathy Hochul wins election for governor of New York



 NY Daily News

Kathy Hochul became the first woman elected governor of New York on Tuesday after overcoming a tighter-than-expected race and defeating Republican challenger Lee Zeldin.

The Democratic incumbent, buoyed by high voter turnout in New York City, declared victory shortly after 11 p.m. and will now serve a full four-year term in office.

“Tonight you made your voices heard loud and clear and you made me the first woman to ever be elected the governor of the state of New York,” Hochul said to a chorus of cheers at Capitale, a Lower Manhattan event space with Greek-style architecture and a glass ceiling. “But I’m not here to make history, I’m here to make a difference.

“I will lead with strength and compassion not with fear and anger,” she added.

At the time, Hochul was up on Zeldin by 55% to 43%, with just more than half of all votes counted across the state, according to unofficial results from the state Board of Elections. Technical issues prevented results from being tabulated from Suffolk County, Zeldin’s home turf. NBC and ABC called the race before midnight.

Hochul’s win was far from certain even in deep blue New York as she faced off against Zeldin, a Donald Trump-endorsed Long Island congressman whose focus on crime boosted his bid to become the first Republican elected statewide in over two decades.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

"The job doesn't care"


NY Post

When Jason decided to join the NYPD in the early 2000s, he did it because he wanted to chase down bad guys, seek justice for vulnerable crime victims and above all, help the people who needed it the most. 

But these days, the longtime cop has become disillusioned with the job, and he’s counting down the days until he can hang up his badge and retire. 

“I hate it, I can’t speak enough terrible things about it,” Jason told The Post during a recent interview.

“I want to actually be free, free of this mental abuse that I’ve been through. I don’t wish this profession upon anyone.” 

The Post spoke with 14 current members of the NYPD, including patrol cops, detectives, sergeants and lieutenants spanning a wide range of ethnicities and time on the force, who painted a picture of a department in crisis. 

While anti-police sentiment, criminal justice reforms and progressive politicians are frequent explanations for the crisis given by police unions and NYPD brass, the officers interviewed for this story say their primary issues with the job come from within.

Those problems stem from mismanagement and nepotism throughout the department, being held to unrealistic expectations, answering to a revolving door of out-of-touch chiefs and working among a force that’s turned its back on itself. 

“You’re abused by your own brothers and sisters in blue and harassed to the point of having thoughts of suicide, then have to deal with the hate from the community while still dealing with everyday life stresses,” said Mark, an NYPD cop. 

“I hate this job.” 

Since 2020, a staggering 9,180 officers have left the job – 36% of whom quit before they were eligible for their full pension – and the NYPD is on pace to see more than 4,000 cops retire or resign this year.

As of Sept. 30, 1,628 officers have retired and another 1,426 quit, the most resignations seen since the post-Sept. 11 exodus in 2002 — and more than 2019 and 2020 combined. 

The NYPD is so desperate to stem the bleeding, community affairs officers have been knocking on the doors of people who passed the exam but never moved forward with the hiring process to encourage them to join the academy. 

“It’s one thing to have a recruitment problem, and it’s one thing to have a retention problem,” said John, who works in a busy Big Apple precinct. 

“When you have both, it’s just a perfect storm for f–king disaster.”

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Open streets and bike lanes of death

NY Post 

More New Yorkers are dying in fires as FDNY response times continue to surge — and some critics blame progressive policies against cars.

There have been 76 fire-related deaths this year — five more than in all of 2021 — as the FDNY’s average response time to structural fires rose by 2.3%.

From January to mid-September, it took fire trucks an average of 5 minutes and 3 seconds to reach a fire — seven seconds longer than during the same period last year, according to FDNY data.

During the same period in 2019, the FDNY was arriving at structural fires nine seconds faster, in an average of 4 minutes and 54 seconds, even though its fire-call volume was usually higher daily, records show.

Critics point to the Big Apple’s controversial street-closure and outdoor-dining programs aimed at boosting economic recovery during the pandemic. They also blame new bike lines, road barriers and other anti-car policies made under former Mayor de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” initiative aimed at reducing traffic deaths.

“When you see the amount of construction with the bike lanes and those issues in certain areas, you have instances where these long [fire] trucks can no longer make the turn onto or off of a block,” said Andrew Ansbro, president of the Uniform Firefighters Association. 

“It definitely causes delays, and delays cost lives.” 



Democrat supremacist Donovan Richards plays race card without a full deck

Queens Chronicle

A series of online comments begun Thursday between Borough President Donovan Richards and Councilman Bob Holden (D-Maspeth) escalated vitriol even by election season standards, including accusations of “white supremacy,” using “racist dog whistles” and “unhinged behavior.”

Holden, who has endorsed U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Suffolk) over Gov. Hochul in next Tuesday’s election, on Thursday posted a photo of the council’s Common Sense Caucus and comments denouncing Hochul’s support of congestion pricing.

The measure would, if approved by the federal government, allow an as yet undetermined surcharge for driving into Manhattan south of 60th Street to raise money for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Estimates have run between $9 and $23. The group has called on Hochul to put it to a vote via referendum

“What is she afraid of? The people have a right to decide,” the post asked.

Richards, from his private Twitter account, replied in less than an hour.

“After he loses this election let’s elect an actual democrat,” Richards tweeted. Holden and the entire council are up for election next year, two years early, because of the 2020 U.S. Census. It didn’t take long for the councilman to reply.

“I’m a Democrat longer than you’ve been alive,” he wrote. “If the party platform is now to further tax its constituents, including those with low income and seniors, you can have it. It’s time to elect a Borough President who actually works for Queens, not against it.”

“So why are you surrounded by republicans?????” Richards asked.

“I guess @KalmanYeger is a Republican. Breaking news,” Holden replied.

Yeger is a conservative Democrat from Brooklyn.

The temperature kicked up several degrees when a poster with the handle Secret Squirrel @sheila.sq defended Holden.

“He’s one of the few that represents us,” she posted. Richards’ reply was direct.

“yeah white supremacy.”

“White supremacy!?? WOW... that’s actually hysterical,” Secret Squirrel replied.

Yeger chimed in a few hours later.

“Drunk tweeting in the middle of the day, Donovan?”

To which Holden posted a GIF of actor Will Ferrell in a movie where he shakes uncontrollably while trying to sip a glass of wine with the comment “Donovan right now ...”

Richards, in an interview on Friday, said the white supremacy comment was not aimed at Holden’s district or the congestion pricing plan, with which he has some issues of his own, including the possibility of a $23 fee.

“This is over his support of Lee Zeldin,” Richard said. “Democrats should stick with Democrats. And this election is high stakes.”

Where was Donnie's twitter and drunk courage when he stood with "white supremacist" "Republican" Holden when they were promoting rain gardens not long ago? And where were his hardcore "Democrat" values when Republican Joann Ariola stood next to him that morning? The only supremacy going on here is for the Democrat Party. 

Saturday, November 5, 2022

There's a delay on the A train because of delays building flood resiliency infrastructure!/format/webp/quality/90/? 


Hurricane Sandy isn’t done messing with subway riders in the Rockaways just yet.

A decade after extensive damage from the October 2012 superstorm knocked out A train service between Howard Beach and the peninsula for more than six months, remaining Sandy-related repairs along the forked line are running with delays and getting pricier, MTA records show.

The cost of federally funded resiliency upgrades to stations, bridges and viaducts along the tracks that links the peninsula with the rest of Queens is now forecast to hit $467 million — up $60 million from an earlier goal, according to MTA documents.

The remaining work is among the lingering remnants of a storm that caused billions in damage to the subway system and specifically wreaked havoc on the coastal section of the A line and the Rockaway shuttle.

“It was a horrible storm and I saw what it did to my community,” said Thomas Atehortua, 23, as he waited Thursday for an A train at Broad Channel. “So I’m not at all surprised that the damage was so impactful and long lasting along this line.”

While the MTA last year wrapped up Sandy-related repairs inside the last of nine under-river subway tunnels damaged by the storm, reopened the flooded South Ferry complex in 2017 and has come up with ways to protect 3,500 street-level subway openings from excess water, the work in the Rockaways is still years away from being completed.

“It is a complicated project,” Janno Lieber, MTA chairperson and CEO, told THE CITY after the agency’s October board meeting on Wednesday. “It also needs to be carefully coordinated with the community because it has impacts on A train service in and out of the community, which is obviously important to that waterfront community.”

Lieber said the agency has already poured $150 million into Rockaway Line resiliency efforts, including erecting a protective seawall to guard against storm surge along Broad Channel, protecting critical station infrastructure and restoring full service in May 2013, just months after Sandy swamped tracks and bridges.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Ulrich folds 'em

 Queens Chronicle

Eric Ulrich has resigned from his position as city Department of Buildings commissioner, the Mayor’s Office announced this morning. 

The move comes after Ulrich, formerly a three-term Republican councilmember representing District 32, reportedly became a focus of a criminal gambling probe by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. He was tapped by Mayor Adams in May to lead the DOB after serving as a senior advisor for the administration.

“This morning, Eric Ulrich tendered his resignation as DOB commissioner in an effort to, in his words, avoid ‘unnecessary distraction for the Adams administration,’” Fabien Levy, spokesperson for the Mayor’s Office, said in a prepared statement this morning.(Sure Fab, when Mayor Adams throws you under the bus at least he leaves you with some dignity-JQ LLC)

He continued, “We have accepted his resignation, appreciate him taking this step, and wish him well. We have no further knowledge of any investigation and, out of respect for his and his family’s privacy, have nothing further to add.”

In the meantime, First Deputy Commissioner Kazimir Vilenchik will serve as acting commissioner and no city services will be impacted, according to the statement. 

Ulrich was reportedly approached near his home in Rockaway Park by investigators with a search warrant on Tuesday, according to The New York Times.

The scope and focus of the investigation are not yet known but outlets have reported that, according to sources, the conduct relates to his time in City Council, not in the DOB, and involve debts racked up during back-room card games.



Thursday, November 3, 2022

Hipster tinderbox

the only regulations that are being enforced for this hazardous shithole is no shoes or socks allowed inside. This cheapskate hipster won't even buy a dresser for his raggy clothes. He also seems to be renting it out too for lodging and entertainment, which technically makes this a commercial space. This is a smaller version of that hipster commune building that went up in flames and killed dozens in California. This hipster's lucky the Buildings Commissioner is a mess

The Gambler


 NY Daily News

Eric Ulrich, Mayor Adams’ Buildings commissioner, was questioned by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office Tuesday as part of an investigation into illegal gambling, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Manhattan DA investigators grilled Ulrich after serving him with a search warrant near his Rockaway Park home, the sources said. The New York Times reported that the investigators also seized Ulrich’s cellphone.

Ulrich did not return a request for comment on his face-off with investigators. Danielle Filson, a spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, declined to comment.

“Our administration has no knowledge of any type of investigation,” said Fabien Levy, a spokesman for Adams. “If an investigation were to be be conducted, we would expect any member of this administration to cooperate fully.”

Ulrich served as a special adviser to the mayor before he was appointed to his current post in May.

Before news broke of the search warrant targeting Ulrich, Adams was abruptly whisked away from a City Hall press conference by an aide Tuesday morning.

Ulrich, who served as a member of the City Council for 12 years before joining Adams’ administration, has a history of gambling.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Transportation Alternatives Jim Burke calls the cops on fellow mass transit advocate during rally for bus services

TransAlt's capo Jim Burke is very powerful and very protected. Here Riders Alliance's shady CEO Betsy Plum pushes Charlton away from him and at the "trick or streets" announcement, Donovan Richards and Catalina Cruz shoved fingers in citizen's faces when they confronted him about his false gay bash allegations against a rival and gay community leader. The public really needs to know more about this guy, because he sure likes to lie about people threatening him.

Cross Bay Blvd on the verge of collapse!/format/webp/quality/90/?


The cracked and crumbling Cross Bay Boulevard, one of the three paths out of the Rockaways, has been the subject of an outsized share of citizen complaints, according to an analysis by THE CITY. 

The thoroughfare has been a problem for decades, according to frustrated residents of Broad Channel. That’s the neighborhood on an island in Jamaica Bay just north of the Rockaways and south of mainland Queens, with the boulevard running through it and A train tracks immediately to the east.

“If there’s a roadway collapse, or if there’s another hurricane, Broad Channel has nowhere to go and people from the center of Rockaway have no way to get out,” local Community Board 14 Chairperson Dolores Orr told THE CITY.

The asphalt of the boulevard is pocked with deep, visible cracks and depressions, even ten years after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy highlighted the need for resiliency work in the area. These days, locals are renewing the call for a complete rebuild of the roadway — which has been the top item on Community Board 14’s capital project list since 1990, including in the most recent budget draft published in mid-October.

Dan Mundy Sr., 85, a lifelong Broad Channel resident and former president of the neighborhood’s civic association, recalled receiving a call in the early 2000s from a local homeowner upset that her house — just doors down from a concrete drainage tunnel that supports a section of Cross Bay Boulevard — shook when trucks passed it. 

Mundy said he eventually learned the problem stemmed from the installation of new sewers in the 1990s — a project that required digging trenches and hollowing out the concrete base that supports both sides of the boulevard. This, he said, in turn destabilized the tunnel — and the boulevard at large — as solid concrete was replaced by a patchwork remedy. 

Three decades later, trucks, buses and even cars thud loudly as they drive over the cracks formed where the tunnel walls meet the road.

 “It’s an accident waiting to happen,” said Mundy, pointing to the tunnel, which is usually walkable when the tide is low but was flooded by a high tide when THE CITY visited Thursday morning. “When you do go under there, you can really see where the concrete is falling off. The [steel] rebars are all sticking out.”

Mundy pointed to another section along the tunnel — also known as a culvert or “sluiceway” to locals —  where he said a pothole has opened up time and again. From inside the culvert, Munday said he can “almost put my hands up to the street” where the weak spot is.

“They keep coming and they fix it, and it falls apart again,” Mundy told THE CITY. “So it’s just a Band-Aid they’re doing on everything here.”

The cracks and potholes along the culvert are just one symptom of how the sewer installations that gutted the boulevard in the 1990s have, over the years, continued to destabilize the nearly century-old roadway, said Mundy. The boulevard is estimated to carry an average of about 25,000 cars a day.

I'm going to put this here like this because the people at the DOT really need the exposure:

The city transportation department, however, seems unworried. “The Cross Bay Boulevard culvert is structurally sound,” DOT spokesperson Vin Barone told THE CITY after conferring with DEP. “DOT is working with its sister agencies to conduct routine inspections while we continue to explore long-term infrastructure upgrades.”

Sure Vinny, tell Ydanis and your fellow bike zealots there to keep exploring, maybe more paint on the bike lanes will stop the next deluge. 


Kathy Clown loses the Penn Station overdevelopment plan

NY Post

The powerful head of Vornado Realty Trust appeared to knock the wind out of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s plan to erect new office skyscrapers in the Penn Station area on Tuesday, when Chief Executive Steven Roth said the time is not right for major new development.

Publicly traded Vornado owns most of the 10 sites in the West 30s earmarked for large-scale rebuilding. Roth made the shocking retreat in an investors’ conference call on Tuesday. After he pointed out improvements Vornado has made in buildings near the station that it already owns, he seemed to call a pause in putting up any new ones.

“I must say that the headwinds in the current environment are not at all conducive to ground-up development,” Roth said.

Asked if it meant he would change or scale down the state-endorsed plan for the Penn Station neighborhood, he said, “That’s not something we’re going to get into now.” He apparently meant he wasn’t ready to discuss the matter.