Friday, June 30, 2023
Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency so he could cut a ribbon on Broadway so restaurants can take roads that once had traffic and turn them into open streets for outdoor dining. Based on EO from the pandemic— JQ LLC (@ImpunityCity) June 29, 2023
He did this 3 days after he signed it
Covid Lies are funny https://t.co/smRwBFqZnE pic.twitter.com/nUkQFNXb81
On Tuesday, Mayor Eric Adams announced plans to extend New York City's state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The extension comes one day after the previous state of emergency expired on June 19. This is happening in the backdrop of both the federal and state COVID-19 emergency declarations having been ended earlier this year.
In a press release, the mayor's office lists the city's unemployment rate, 5.4% compared to the national average of 3.7%, as one of the leading reasons for this state of emergency.
Additionally, his office notes that the city’s office occupancy rate is approximately 48% of the pre-pandemic rate, and the city’s subway ridership is at 70% of pre-pandemic levels -- revealing that multiple sectors are still reeling from the affects of COVID.
The order also announced an extension to the Open Restaurants and Open Storefronts program, allowing restaurants to use sidewalk space to seat customers. The Open Restaurants program was seen as being successful in saving 1000s of jobs and supporting food establishments during the pandemic.
The city council is currently considering legislation that would establish a permanent Open Restaurants program.
Thursday, June 29, 2023
According to multiple reports, hundreds of tenants were outside Hunter College in the Upper East Side jeering at members of the Rent Guidelines Board after the group voted 5-4 last Wednesday night to move forward with a 6 percent rent hike over the next two years.
Mayor Adams thanked members of the RGB after the vote on June 21 for protecting rent-stabilized tenants from unsustainable rent increases, while also ensuring small property owners have the necessary resources to maintain their buildings and preserve high-quality and affordable homes for New Yorkers.
“Finding the right balance is never easy, but I believe the board has done so this year — as evidenced by affirmative votes from both tenant and public representatives,” Adams said in a statement.
Rents on one-year leases will go up by 3 percent, and there will be a bifurcated increase of 2.75 and then 3.2 percent on two-year leases.
Earlier this year, the RGB also released a report that it wanted to increase rent by up to 15.75 percent over two years because of rising of fuel costs and inflation. Last month, it approved hikes up to 7 percent in a preliminary vote before going down to 6 percent as a final increase.
Jeremy Maldonado, a tenant activist from South Ozone Park, who also works as a community organizer in Far Rockaway and Flushing for New York Communities for Change, a progressive nonprofit, was disappointed in the mayor.
“By vetoing critical reforms to the city’s voucher program and raising rents for rent stabilized tenants, Mayor Adams has turned his back on tenants,” Maldonado said via email. “Thousands more New Yorkers will face homelessness and eviction because the Adams administration is failing to take the housing crisis seriously.”
City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica) said that while the rent increases were on the lower end of what was proposed, the hikes will further exacerbate the homelessness and housing crisis at a time when New Yorkers can least afford it.
“As our city grapples with a record-high shelter population, an affordable housing shortage that remains unabated, and rising costs, New York City tenants increasingly struggle to make ends meet,” Speaker Adams said in a statement.
The speaker also said the rent hikes will deepen the lack of affordability and make it more difficult for New Yorkers to remain in their homes and work in the city they love.
She said there needs to be action on the state level to address the housing crisis.
Don’t slice me up!
The lawmaker responsible for passing the 2015 law requiring pollutant-spewing coal-and-wood-fired pizzerias to dramatically curb emissions said Mayor Eric Adams should enforce the controversial edict.
That would be Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, who was then a councilman who authored the bill.
“Tell the pizza lobby please don’t slice me up. I’m not trying to take their dough. I want them to be able to roll longer,” Richards quipped.
More seriously and lost in the furor, he said, is that pizzeria workers and owners — as well as pie-loving customers — are breathing unhealthy particulate matter every day.
“We’re talking about the wildfires and bad air from Canada? Workers with these coal-and wood-oven fired pizzerias are breathing in a wildfire every day,” Richards said.
He said the City Hall and the Department of Small Business Services should help impacted pizzerias comply with the rule, which requires the installation of air filtration devices to slash particulate emissions up to 75%.
“We’re not trying to take away a slice from the business. We’re not trying to put people out of business,” Richards said.
Five hundred guests attended a groundbreaking ceremony Friday to celebrate the $150 million expansion of Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Emergency Department, which will double in size to accommodate more than 150,000 patients annually.
The funding is a grant from the Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program.
Despite having to attend a funeral later that day of a former first responder who died because of a 9/11-related illness, Gov. Hochul made a keynote speech at the Level 1 trauma center in Richmond Hill because she wanted to emphasize that the time of disinvestment in Southeast Queens has ended.
“This is a day of a new beginning,” Hochul said at the June 16 event. “For so many years and decades ... people thought that the people of this community didn’t have political clout to make real transformative changes. That time is over, my friends. With this new beginning, we say that this community matters. This hospital matters.”
Hochul thanked the doctors, nurses, staff and other healthcare workers for their efforts in saving the lives of people who suffer from mental health issues, along with those who fall victim to fentanyl and opioids or contract Covid-19.
“We are going to enhance our psychiatric services, because my God, people are going through so much right now,” Hochul said. “All the work to save lives from overdoses ... we are doing that in real time. We have so much more to do.”
The governor said that the new facility was delayed a bit because of the pandemic, but the commitment of the hospital to get the expansion done while taking care of patients during the height of the spread of coronavirus further highlighted the need for safety-net hospitals.
“There were a lot of hopes and dreams and then in the middle of it all there was a pandemic,” she said. “This demonstrated the compassion and incredible resiliency of this organization and so many of your members, from nurses to doctors to the people who worked in the kitchens, the custodial staff, the doulas and everybody else [who] pulled together to save this community.”
Bruce Flanz, JHMC’s president and CEO, said the hospital was at the epicenter of the pandemic, but with the new funding it will be able to serve more people.
“When completed, the Emergency Department will double in size,” Flanz said.
The hospital will go from having one trauma bay to four major trauma bays, from one isolation room to 22, and the number of treatment areas will nearly triple, he said. There will also be two new intensive care units: a 12-bed neuro-ICU and a 10-bed ICU.
“When the project is complete we will have a total of 48 intensive care unit beds,” Flanz said. “The project will also add much needed space to our mental health program and to our CPAC,” or chest pain center.
Flanz said the improvements are not just necessary to the community, but to its uniformed officers, who say JHMC is their preferred choice for treatment.
Officer Brett Boller, who was shot earlier this year in Jamaica, shared the sentiment.
“I had multiple surgeons and multiple teams work on me,” Boller told the Queens Chronicle. “They communicated well to my family about what was going on and the recovery process. They made me and my family comfortable.”
Lindsey Boller, the officer’s sister, told the Chronicle she was grateful for the care her brother received.
“I’m studying to be a nurse one day and it was just really inspiring to see how great all the nurses and all the doctors were to him,” said the aspiring healthcare professional.
NYPD Chief Kevin Williams, commanding officer of Patrol Borough Queens South, shared their sentiments.
“I’m grateful for their care and the services for our members in the service,” Williams told the Chronicle. “When they come to get treated it’s first-class and we appreciate it.”
U.S. Rep. Greg Meeks (D-Jamaica) said it was a 10-year journey to get here.
“I want to say thank you to all the providers,” Meeks said. “What do we have in life if we don’t have health?”
Meeks’ 700,000 constituents look to JHMC for treatment, said the congressman.
“If it wasn’t for the members of the state Legislature doing their part, this wouldn’t have happened,” he said.
Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman (D-Springfield Gardens) told the Chronicle that Springfield Gardens doesn’t have a hospital so the constituents in her area look to JHMC for help.
“I don’t have any hospitals in my district,” Hyndman said. “While growing up, everyone knew if you had a car accident, if you were hurt on your bicycle, if there was a shooting, this is the place to come. The chances of you surviving was high because this is a Trauma 1 Center.”
Hyndman’s godson, who was wounded after falling through shower glass, was treated at JHMC.
Borough President Donovan Richards, who was born at the hospital in 1983, was also in attendance.
“We’ve been talking for many years now about the need to invest in healthcare especially coming out of this pandemic,” Richards said. “Today we are changing that. Like the congressman said, it’s about ensuring that no matter what your socioeconomic status is, no matter who you love, no matter what your immigration status is, at Jamaica Hospital, you are welcomed.”
We could have built 4 more hospitals with the money that went to that Bills stadium.
Wednesday, June 28, 2023
The city Department of Transportation has announced it will begin work on safety improvements for the Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge this month, with markings scheduled to begin this week.
The repairs aim to fix unsafe conditions on the bridge, which runs from Howard Beach to Broad Channel. The project limits are Cross Bay Boulevard from 165th Avenue to the Kite Board Launch, the DOT confirmed to the Chronicle.
In the plan, the DOT detailed the southbound bike lane will become a two-way protected bike lane, and the northbound bike lane will become a protected single bike lane. The plan also includes adding painted pedestrian islands and updated corridor markings.
The project maintains the existing number of vehicular travel lanes, though some will be narrowed. The western bike lanes will be protected by new Jersey barriers. The sidewalks will not be affected.
In a statement to the Chronicle, state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Woodhaven) said, “These repairs are necessary to ensure the safety of the many New Yorkers who cross the bridge every day ... We shouldn’t have to wait for an accident or fatality to occur before we take action.”
Why put a two way bike lane when there's a bike lane on the other side? While these will protect cyclists from cars, they won't protect pedestrians from bikers. Especially ebikes and unlicensed mopeds. The DOTA needs an enema.
Just 44,611 New Yorkers took advantage of the nine-day early voting period for the June 27 primary elections for City Council, Queens and Bronx district attorney and several judgeships, according to unofficial tallies from the city Board of Elections (BOE).
That means only about 1.3% of the city’s roughly 3.6 million registered Democratic and Republican voters checked-in at over 100 early voting sites spread across the city over the period.
The sad showing among New Yorkers voting early could be due to this being an off-year election, with no higher ticket races for citywide, statewide or national office on the ballot and the City Council having just run for reelection two years ago. The short-turnaround for reelecting all 51 council members, which usually takes place every four years, is a result of last year’s redistricting, where the council map was redrawn in accordance with the biennial U.S Census.
Further adding to the low early voting turnout, this year saw only a handful of competitive races across the four of the five boroughs — with no primaries at all in Staten Island.
Ben Weinberg, director of public policy at the good government group Citizens Union, said about two-thirds of the City Council races this year are uncontested, so the low turnout is “unsurprising.”
“Many New Yorkers don’t even have anything on their ballots, or they might only have stuff like judicial delegates and positions that usually people are not really familiar with,” Weinberg said.
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz declared victory in her primary race against two Democratic challengers Tuesday night.
Katz held a convincing lead over retired Judge George Grasso and public defender Devian Daniels, having secured nearly 71% of the vote with 96% precincts reporting as of 11 p.m. on June 27.
Grasso and Daniels each have approximately 14% of the vote,with Grasso ahead by only 187 votes as of 11 p.m.
Katz delivered her victory speech at the Queens Boulevard barbecue joint Queens Bully after she amassed an avalanche of endorsements from law enforcement unions and most major labor organizations in the city, nearly all of the borough’s Democratic elected officials, Mayor Eric Adams and, most recently, Gov. Kathy Hochul, who joined Katz during her victory party at Queens Bully.
Throughout her campaign, Katz hammered home the point that she provided a steady hand running the Queens DA’s office through turbulent times, having been sworn in just months ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.
She said she worked to keep Queens families safe by leading the effort to take illegal weapons and ghost guns off the streets and held human traffickers and domestic abusers accountable. At the same time, she has launched Queens’ first-ever Conviction Integrity Unit to ensure justice for those wrongfully convicted.
Tuesday, June 27, 2023
Federal regulators have given final approval to New York City’s congestion pricing program, setting up the long-awaited implementation of tolling on vehicles entering Manhattan’s central business district to reduce congestion and fund the region’s mass transit.
A spokesperson for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) confirmed to amNewYork Metro that it had issued a “Finding of No Significant Impact,” or FONSI, for congestion pricing. That means the feds are satisfied that the program will not cause adverse environmental impacts on the region, and the MTA can officially move forward with its plan to toll motor vehicles up to $23 for entering Manhattan below 60th Street.
“Congestion pricing will reduce traffic in our crowded downtown, improve air quality and provide critical resources to the MTA,” Hochul said in a statement. “I am proud of the thorough environmental assessment process we conducted, including responding to thousands of comments from community members from across the region. With the green light from the federal government, we look forward to moving ahead with the implementation of this program.”
The MTA declined to comment.
I like to make a few:
Richard Ravitch saved the subway without congestion pricing, and he sure didn't lobby for it like a cuck like our agency captured elected officials have been doing for the last few years.
Also, the guy in charge of the U.S. Department of Transportation Alternatives is a sociopathic replicant.
Locals took to Facebook on Monday, June 26, to celebrate after news broke regarding the arrests of two suspected mail thieves who have been wreaking havoc in Maspeth.
News of the arrests made by USPIS Postal Police Officers, alongside the NYPD’s 104th Precinct, was shared in a now-viral post on the Juniper Valley, Middle Village, Maspeth, Ridgewood area Facebook group, with several commenters applauding the news.
Photos of the alleged thieves and vivi of their arrest were first shared with QNS by a Maspeth resident who wished to be identified as Hubert K.
Law enforcement officials could be seen on video taking the two suspects from a black van and images captured the two thieves in handcuffs near 60th Road and Mt. Olivet Crescent in Maspeth.
Another video shared by Facebook user and Maspeth resident Jon Brewsky also captured officers with both mail thieves in handcuffs.
“They’re lucky the police got them and not the people,” said one Facebook user.
Monday, June 26, 2023
Richard Ravitch, a politically savvy, civic-minded developer and public citizen who helped rescue New York City from the brink of bankruptcy and its decaying subways from fiscal collapse, died on Sunday in Manhattan. He was 89.
His death, in a hospital, was confirmed by his wife, Kathleen M. Doyle.
Mr. Ravitch never won elective office. But he left an outsize mark on government at every level as one of the backstage wise men recruited to stave off the financial collapse of New York’s Urban Development Corporation in 1975 and, a few months later, of New York City’s own overdrawn municipal accounts.
By rallying public support for inventive means of raising revenue, he was also instrumental in rejuvenating the city’s mass transit system in the 1980s as the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
He later served as New York’s lieutenant governor, enlisted by David A. Paterson in 2009 to lend gravitas to his teetering administration. (Mr. Paterson had succeeded Eliot Spitzer, who resigned in disgrace after a prostitution scandal.)
Mr. Ravitch, who inherited a construction company, also left his mark on the cityscape with signature apartment projects like Waterside and Manhattan Plaza.
A progressive in the tradition of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Adlai Stevenson, he espoused an Emersonian faith in democracy as a dynamic symbiosis between politics and good government. Invoking a lesson learned from Daniel Patrick Moynihan, whose successful Senate candidacy he helped promote in 1976, Mr. Ravitch recalled in his 2014 memoir, “So Much to Do: A Full Life of Business, Politics, and Confronting Fiscal Crises,” “There is a more powerful connection than people think between the world of ideas and the world of practical politics.”
Saturday, June 24, 2023
The Big Apple’s shelter population has now surged to nearly 100,000 – doubling in size since last year — as a never-ending flow of migrants continues to flood into the city amid what has fast become a humanitarian and fiscal crisis.
As of this week, 98,400 people were being housed in city-run shelters — a population roughly equal to the size of Albany, according to City Hall’s latest headcount.
Nearly half of them – 48,700 – are asylum seekers.
In the last month alone, 13,000 migrants have been processed solely at the historic Roosevelt Hotel ever since it was repurposed into an asylum seeker welcome center.
But it’s not just the sheer number of migrants that’s staggering.
It costs roughly $385 a night to put up a migrant family in one of the city’s shelters, officials said – meaning the asylum-seeker crisis is setting taxpayers back about $7.9 million every day.
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, warned the growing crisis will only set taxpayers back even more.
“The problem New York City is facing aren’t really Mayor Adams’s fault,” Krikorian told The Post on Friday.
“It’s Joe Biden’s fault. The root cause of these problems is sitting in the Oval Office.”
Deputy Inspector Kevin Coleman, the commanding officer of the 104th Precinct, encouraged the public to remain vigilant as felony assaults and car thefts are on the rise within the precinct’s coverage area spanning Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village.
During the final 104th Precinct Community Council meeting before the summer break, membership and attendees met inside Martin Luther School, on 60-02 Maspeth Ave. in Maspeth on Tuesday, June 20
As the meeting progressed, the deputy inspector noted an increase in felony assaults (25%) and grand larceny auto incidents (36%) recorded over a 28-day period. The precinct saw five more assaults and seven more grand larceny auto crimes when compared to the same time period as last year.
NYPD crime stats in June also reveal an increase in both categories between the beginning of the year and June 18, 2023.
Coleman says the precinct is “headed in the right direction” when it comes to addressing these crime increases, but he also stressed that residents should not engage or interfere with criminal activity.
“Whenever this happens — and it does happen — that person that goes to engage the perpetrator either gets assaulted, punched or something else happens and obviously it’s not worth risking it,” said Coleman. “If someone’s stealing something and you try and stop them, more than likely they’re not going to listen to you or stop. They’re going to fight back with you and so we want to avoid that.”
Coleman said there were two incidents
where catalytic converter thefts almost turned deadly as one victim was
held at gunpoint after confronting the group of thieves. Another
resident was punched after approaching the attacker for being illegally
parked at a fire hydrant, Coleman said.
Another example of retaliation by perpetrators was regarding a Facebook post showing a group of teenagers who were testing car door handles along 60th Lane and 59th Avenue, in Maspeth. The teens allegedly vandalized cars along the neighborhood after a resident yelled at the trio, all captured on a Ring camera.
Police also told residents to first file a police report instead of going to social media platforms. Lieutenant George Hellmer, special operations lieutenant for the 104th Precinct, said many incidents go unreported but make their way on social media.
“We need somebody to come and make
that police report. When we do get the police reports, we follow up on
every single one of them. So it’s important that 911 is called and a
report is generated because we can know all these things, but we can’t
charge the person unless we have a complainant saying ‘that’s my
property, they’re not allowed to have it,’” said Hellmer, in response to
package thefts concerns.
Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar alongside state Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. celebrated the passage of a bill that would require freight trains carrying waste to cover their cargo at the New York and Atlantic Railway location on 68-01 Otto Road in Glendale.
The assemblywoman held the event on Friday, June 23, with other local leaders as well as Mary Parisen Lavelle, chair of Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions (CURES) to urge Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign the bill (A4928/S2022) into law.
Our legislation takes a major step towards overseeing waste by the rail industry, which has expanded for 15 years,” Rajkumar said. “As the waste by rail industry booms, expanding by 35% every year, it is time to take action to protect the health of the people of New York and our precious environment.”
Rajkumar’s office also fought to pass the bill in the legislature for seven years and those who’ve advocated for long-term action say they’ve been waiting for a lot longer.
“It is with our deepest gratitude that we express our appreciation to both Assemblywoman Rajkumar and Senator Addabbo on their monumental accomplishment in getting state legislation passed to containerize waste on rail cars,” Lavelle said. “The victory we’re celebrating today belongs to them, it belongs to the residents, the civics, and Community Board Five. CURES has been working for the past 14 years to end this needless pollution in our neighborhoods, and in all neighborhoods, where this waste travels.”
Residents who live along the railway described the foul odors
and general concern over the substances they were being exposed to by
the uncovered waste freight.
Friday, June 23, 2023
MTA representatives appeared before Community Board 14 at the Knights of Columbus in Rockaway Beach last week to preview the Rockaway Rehabilitation and Resiliency Project, a 44-month construction project that will redesign and rebuild much of the peninsula’s existing transportation infrastructure.
The project, scheduled to start later this year and finish in the summer of 2026, will repair the Rockaway Viaduct, Hammels Wye Viaduct and South Channel Bridge, while also adding a signal tower to Beach 105th Street in Rockaway Park. This undertaking by the MTA is inspired by Hurricane Sandy, which resulted in seven months of repair to the train tracks to get them back in service from late 2012 to early 2013.
“It was a tremendous feat in such a short period of time,” said Deirdre Harvey, the project CEO at MTA Construction & Development. “We’re here to try to make the line even more resilient so we don’t have such an interruption in the future.”
During the project’s construction, south Queens residents will face service interruptions for the A-train and the Rockaway Park shuttle, starting later this year as the MTA works on the tracks at Broad Channel and Howard Beach.
The project will then eventually move toward major structural repairs at the Hammels Wye Viaduct, where the A-train and Rockaway Park shuttle separate, and South Channel Bridge, which connects both of these lines from Broad Channel to the Rockaway peninsula. As a result, there will be a required 16-week shutdown of service from January 2025 to May 2025.
Alternates modes of commuting during this period include a non-stop bus shuttle from Far Rockaway to the Howard Beach-JFK Airport station, a local bus shuttle from Beach 67th Street and Broad Channel to the Howard Beach-JFK Airport station, and a subway shuttle that goes across the peninsula between Rockaway Park and Far Rockaway.
The MTA representatives said they would also “enhance” the existing bus service in the area, which includes the Q53 and Q22, as well as cross-honor MetroCards on the Long Island Rail Road at the LIRR-Far Rockaway branch station. There are also ongoing conversations with the New York City Economic Development Corporation to potentially increase ferry service, according to the representatives, but this has yet to come to fruition.
Friday, June 16, 2023
Monday, June 12, 2023
According to a new Douglas Elliman report, the median rent in the northwest region of Queens for the month of May was the second-highest on record, just short of the prior month’s record.
The median rental price increased by 15.3% from the previous year. For the month of May, the average rental price was $3,662, which was the same as the prior month. However, May’s average rental price was an 11.1% increase from 2022.
The average rental price for a studio was $3,157 in May, a 4.6% increase from April and a 21.7% increase from 2022.
A one-bedroom unit averaged $3,209 in May, a 6.6% decrease from the prior month and an 8.3% increase from 2022. The average rental price for a two-bedroom unit was $4,691, a 4% increase from April and a 13.4% increase from 2022. The average rental price for a three-bedroom was $4,239, an 8.6% increase from April and an 18.4% increase from 2022.
New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell is resigning from her job as top cop, ending her 18-month tenure amid an ongoing power struggle with City Hall.
In a statement on Monday evening, Mayor Eric Adams thanked Sewell for her leadership. “When we came into office, crime was trending upwards, and thanks to the brave men and women of the NYPD, most of the major crime categories are now down,” the emailed statement read. “The commissioner worked nearly 24 hours a day, seven days a week for a year and a half, and we are all grateful for her service. New Yorkers owe her a debt of gratitude.”
But even if Adams has publicly praised his commissioner, there has been tension behind the scenes. Sewell wasn’t able to make even simple moves like promoting a cop to detective without approval from City Hall, the New York Post reported Saturday. Police insiders have long said it seemed like Adams and his Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Phil Banks – both of whom are retired police officers – were bigfooting Sewell, and the problem reportedly got worse when the commissioner followed through on disciplining Chief of Department Jeff Maddrey for wrongly intervening in an arrest. Maddrey is a favorite of Adams and others in City Hall, and the mayor seemed to undermine Sewell by publicly defending Maddrey.
One City Council member who asked for anonymity to discuss a developing situation, suggested that Sewell leaving One Police Plaza was more a question of when than if. “If someone is surprised,” they said, “that’s because they haven’t been paying attention.”
Cannot blame her at all, live long and prosper Commissioner Sewell.
Mayor Eric Adams wants you to goo goo. pic.twitter.com/Vp9xVA7dIE— JQ LLC (@ImpunityCity) September 1, 2022