Sunday, July 30, 2023

Eric Adams gave Eric Ulrich the 411 about the feds cracking down on his gambling ties


 NY Daily News

Former New York City Buildings Commissioner Eric Ulrich told investigators that Mayor Adams tipped him off to the possibility he could be reeled into an illegal gambling investigation — months before the Manhattan district attorney’s office executed a search warrant on Ulrich and its probe became public knowledge, two sources with knowledge of the matter told the Daily News.

“Watch your back and watch your phones,” Adams said to Ulrich, according to the two sources with knowledge of Ulrich’s interview with prosecutors at the Manhattan DA’s office in November.

In that interview, Ulrich told investigators he interpreted Adams’ reference to a friend with illegal gambling ties and the statement “watch your phones” as an indication that a probe was underway, sources said.

Former New York City Buildings Commissioner Eric Ulrich, left, and Mayor Eric Adams.

The revelation that Adams may have clued Ulrich into an investigation before it became public raises questions, including whether there’ll be fallout if Adams had prior knowledge of the situation, how he might have learned about it and why he might have shared that information with Ulrich.

Adams’ spokesman Fabien Levy said that “the mayor has not received any requests from the Manhattan DA surrounding this matter and has never spoken to Mr. Ulrich about this investigation, either before or after the matter became public.”

“Not only did the mayor not know anything of the investigation before news of it broke last fall, but it makes no sense for anyone to learn about or even suspect a criminal investigation into a particular person and then decide to promote that same person,” Levy said.

There is no indication Adams is a target of the probe.

News about the probe into Ulrich broke last November, seven months after Adams tapped him to become buildings commissioner. Two days after the probe became public, Ulrich resigned amid allegations he was involved in illegal gambling.

More recently, sources revealed that a grand jury is considering charges against Ulrich and that an indictment could come before summer’s end, as first reported by The News.

According to the two sources, who agreed to speak with The News under the condition of anonymity due to the DA’s probe, Ulrich told investigators that Adams revealed the possibility of an investigation during a conversation in May 2022, just days after Adams announced Ulrich’s appointment as head of the Department of Buildings.

Before taking on the commissioner post, Ulrich, a Republican, served as a senior adviser to Adams, who’s a Democrat. During Adams’ run for mayor in 2021, while Ulrich was a City Councilman representing Queens, he backed the mayor and was instrumental in raising money for his campaign.

In early May 2022, days after the announcement that Ulrich would serve as buildings commissioner, he and Adams appeared at an event in the Bronx. After it ended, Adams pulled Ulrich aside and asked him to hand over his phone to a member of Adams’ NYPD security detail, according to the sources’ recounting of what Ulrich told investigators. The sources didn’t specify who that officer was. Which event the two attended together also isn’t entirely clear, but a review of the mayor’s public schedule shows both attended a Department of Buildings Construction Safety Week event on Friday, May 6.

After Ulrich handed over his phone, he and Adams walked away from the cop, and then, according to the sources’ retelling, Adams told Ulrich that “a little birdie” told him a friend of Ulrich’s was involved in illegal gambling and that Ulrich should “watch your back and watch your phones,” a message both sources took as a reference to a potential wiretap.

According to the sources, Ulrich recounted this exchange to Manhattan D.A. investigators on Nov. 2, a day after the search warrant had been executed.

Levy denied that Adams told Ulrich to leave his phone with anyone during any conversation between the two

Former New York City Buildings Commissioner Eric Ulrich is pictured at Woodhaven Library on September 22, 2021.


Saturday, July 29, 2023

New Bad Girls,683&quality=75&strip=all

 NY Post

A street in Corona, Queens has turned into the city’s boldest open-air market for sex — one so popular with pervs that it’s advertised on YouTube.

As police enforcement wanes and immigration surges, nearly a dozen brothels have set up shop along Roosevelt Avenue near Junction Boulevard.

On a recent weekday in broad daylight, scores of scantily-clad streetwalkers brazenly solicited passersby — including a Post reporter — as sidewalks teemed with kids and legitimate shoppers and merchants.

One sex worker offered a “happy ending” massage for $40 and another offered “full-body massages” for $80.

The women loiter in front of pool halls, dentist shops and massage parlors day and night, and even recruit neighborhood children to hand out their X-rated business cards, concerned moms told The Post.

“How do they have this f–king going on in broad daylight?” one police source asked after seeing photos of the women in the street. “They’re not allowed to arrest prostitutes anymore, supposedly. But they gotta figure something out.”

It’s a perfect storm for prostitution in Corona and other NYC immigrant enclaves, experts say. Vulnerable migrant women unable to legally work are flooding the city, while local district attorneys have chosen to stop prosecuting sex workers.

The Post found the oldest profession has some new tricks:

  • The Roosevelt Avenue red-light district is blatantly advertised on a YouTube channel for Spanish speakers, with 10 minutes of footage showing the women working what they call the “Market of Sweethearts,” and two men guiding viewers on how to negotiate with them.
  • The brothels appear to be cooperating, rather than competing. As The Post spoke with one sex worker, others nearby filmed and photographed, appearing to warn each other of the journalists’ presence.
  • It’s not just happening in the dark of night or inside massage parlors. Women were found plying their trade in the middle of the afternoon, in front of a dental clinic, a pool hall and a barber shop.
  • Cops no longer arrest hookers. The NYPD started focusing on johns a few years ago after a prostitute tragically jumped to her death during a police pursuit. In April 2021, then-Manhattan DA Cy Vance announced his office would stop prosecuting sex workers, and other borough prosecutors soon followed suit.
  • Brothels and sex workers are actively recruiting kids. Some have them hand out cards with a photo of a sex worker offering “delivery service,” according to terrified moms, about 20 of whom have banded together to form the Community of Young Values and Principles in Corona.

“I’ve lived here my entire life and I’ve never seen it get to this point,” said City Councilman Francisco Moya (D-Corona), who is sounding the alarm about the issue and says he’s asked Mayor Adams to help.

Moya was especially incensed by the “Market of Sweethearts” video by the group Comunidad Latina En Usa, which has more than 19,000 YouTube subscribers.


Mayor Adams went to Washington D.C. and all he got was this lousy liaison

 Alejandro Mayorkas

 NY Post

Mayor Adams met with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Thursday — who promised to send a staffer to the Big Apple to help with its relentless migrant surge, The Post has learned.

The meager offer came in response to Hizzoner pleading for months for federal help in handling the mounting crisis that’s left city shelters brimming with 56,000 migrants in their care.

Adams was joined in Washington, DC, by powerhouse leaders of New York’s delegation, including US Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries, for the more than hour-long meeting with Mayorkas.

A source familiar with the Capitol Hill meeting described the New York-based DHS liaison as a way to strengthen “communication” between City Hall and the Biden administration.

“This person would be the bridge,” said the source.

A City Hall spokesperson confirmed Thursday’s meeting in a statement to The Post and said the local leaders had a “productive conversation” with Mayorkas.

“Not only did we discuss the city’s federal funding needs, we also re-emphasized how crucial it is to expedite pathways to work authorization for those who are arriving and are already here,” the spokesperson said.

“Asylum seekers arriving to our country are seeking to build the American Dream, so it’s time we finally give them a shot at it.”

In September, Adams warned that the city was “nearing its breaking point” as migrants flooded in daily from the southern border.

“We are in urgent need of help, and it’s time for our state and federal partners to act — especially those in Congress who refuse to provide the financial resources or issue temporary work authorizations necessary for these individuals to live properly,” he said at the time.

Friday, July 28, 2023

Caption this bike rider


Special double caption day to go with today's heatwave. Wonder why we are seeing so many micro mobility users hiding their faces in the summer.

Caption the Comptroller of New York City


Brad Hander. 

Adamsville migrant tent city green lighted for Creedmoor!/format/webp/quality/90/?


New York City officials are moving ahead with a plan to open a sprawling tent shelter to house 1,000 migrant men at a parking lot on the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center campus in Queens, officials confirmed Wednesday.

At a press conference at City Hall, Zach Iscol, the commissioner of New York City Emergency Management, said they hoped to be able to open the new shelter by early August. The plan was first reported by THE CITY in mid-July, but city officials had declined to confirm details about the plan until the Wednesday meeting.

Another proposal to erect a second 1,000-person tent structure at Aqueduct Racetrack has been nixed due to fire safety concerns and the fact that the state needs the parking lot back by early September for race season, Iscol confirmed. 

New York state owns the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center and is expected to reimburse the city for the cost of the building and running the new shelter, according to Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom.

The plan to build a large-scale migrant shelter on the campus of Creedmoor has been met by pushback from local elected officials who have voiced concerns about the site being so far away from public transit. 

Immigrant and homeless rights activists have repeatedly decried the city’s use of sprawling, barracks-style facilities to house migrants. The city opened and closed similar tent shelters on Orchard Beach and Randalls Island in the fall, when a surge of asylum-seekers first started arriving in New York City.

“Queens will always open its arms to any and all people wishing to seek refuge and build a better life here,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, who is calling for the city to set up a community advisory board to address neighborhood concerns with residents of the shelter as they arise. 

“The success of this effort hinges upon an efficient, constant channel of communication between the state, city and borough, as well as a community-informed decision making process around ensuring the needs of our asylum-seekers are met and the concerns of area residents are heard,” he added.

Monday, July 24, 2023

Why do all these new density housing buildings look like this?


Looks like Richmond Hill has got a new neighbor. Another black and gray density housing apartment building. No indication that's this out of scale behemoth on Atlantic Avenue will be "affordable". 
And you have to do a head stand to see their NYC_Buildings permits.




Crap phoenix arises from the ashes of the old Van Sicklen house


It was only a year ago when a skull was found on the lawn of the Van Sicklen house, but now something new has arisen on the dilapidated blighted property.

It's a lot thinner (and cheaper) than the old house plus it's way behind schedule (or maybe it meant it would be done by Christmas). Hope it holds up against the violent climate or the big bad wolf.

122 won't do



The MTA has received over 100 formal requests for exemptions from congestion pricing, and enacting all of them would carve out virtually everyone from the impending toll to enter Manhattan’s central business district.

That’s hardly an exaggeration. Some of the categories submitted for consideration are exceptionally broad, including residents of New York State, auto commuters from New Jersey, Manhattan residents making less than $147,500 in income, parents, and even “passenger cars.”

The list, which was previously reported by Streetsblog in May, was publicized Wednesday at the inaugural meeting of the Traffic Mobility Review Board, the internal MTA body tasked with devising toll rates, rules, and exemptions for New York’s congestion pricing program, which will levy a toll on motorists entering Manhattan south of 60th Street.

The program, approved by New York lawmakers in 2019, aims to incentivize riding mass transit into Manhattan instead of driving, in a bid to reduce punishing traffic in the central business district, drop carbon emissions and improve air quality, and raise money to improve the MTA’s infrastructure.

The plan has received full federal approval and is set to go into effect by the middle of next year. But before that happens, the complex array of rules governing the program must be codified by the six-member TMRB amid wide-scale lobbying for exemptions by interested parties, as well as looming litigation from New Jersey.

About 100 people packed the boardroom at the MTA’s lower Manhattan headquarters for the TMRB meeting, with many more locked out due to capacity constraints. The largest contingent present was yellow cab and for-hire vehicle drivers, who are seeking a full exemption to prevent what they say will be a third congestion tax on the financially-strained, mostly-immigrant workforce.

Others are hyperspecific and tailored, like Long Island residents battling cancer or 9/11-related illnesses, residents of the Waterside Plaza complex east of the FDR Drive in Midtown, and vehicles “whose manufacturers participate in the ‘circular economy.'”

Still others looking to get out of the toll include artists, musicians, farmers, judges, diplomats, retired cops, veterans, undertakers, senior citizens, persons of color, members of the International Union of Operating Engineers, small business owners, CUNY students, people who park their cars in garages, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, people attending religious services, and residents of most places in the tri-state area.


Saturday, July 22, 2023

MTA raises fares despite congestion pricing go ahead from Pete the Rat Buttigieg
Photo by JQ LLC, taken a few days ago.


 Queens Chronicle

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Wednesday approved fare and toll hikes that will take place in August. The base fare for subway and bus rides will increase to $2.90.

Express bus fares will rise to $7, from $6.75. Seven-day unlimited-ride MetroCards will rise to $34 from the current $33, 30-day unlimited MetroCards rise to $132.00 from $127.00.

OMNY card users will get their bonuses over any seven-day period, rather than just from Monday through Sunday.

Tolls at MTA bridges and tunnels will go from $6.55 to $6.94 for E-ZPass drivers, and from $10.17 to $11.19 for toll by mail. The Long Island Rail Road’s discount Atlantic Ticket, connecting Southeast Queens to Brooklyn, will be gone.

In a press release, Charlton D’souza, president of Passengers United, was disappointed. He said the fare should remain at $2.75 for subways and buses, and an express bus should be $4 rather than $7.

“We are outraged that the Atlantic Ticket weekly LIRR pass ... is being eliminated for Southeast Queens residents,” he said.

Tony Bennett dies at 96 from Alzheimer's


Queens Chronicle

Hearts were left broken from the Hell Gate to the Golden Gate Friday morning as the death of legendary singer Tony Bennett was announced.

Bennett, Astoria’s most famous son, best known for 1962’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” was 96.

Born Anthony Dominick Benedetto on Aug. 3, 1926, at St. John’s Hospital in Long Island City, Bennett grew up in a four-story walkup at 21-15 33 St. His father was grocer John Benedetto and his mother seamstress Anna, nee Suraci, and, according to Wikipedia, he was the first member of his family to be born in a hospital.

“Bennett grew up listening to Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, Judy Garland, and Bing Crosby as well as jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, and Joe Venuti,” the online encyclopedia says. “His uncle Dick was a tap dancer in vaudeville, giving him an early window into show business, and his uncle Frank was the Queens borough library commissioner. By age 10 he was already singing, and performed at the opening of the Triborough Bridge, standing next to Mayor Fiorello La Guardia who patted him on the head. 

“Drawing was another early passion of his; he became known as the class caricaturist at PS 141 and anticipated a career in commercial art. He began singing for money at age 13, performing as a singing waiter in several Italian restaurants around his native Queens.”

Bennett quit school at 16 and worked as a copy boy and runner for the Associated Press along with various other jobs. But he always planned a professional singing career.

He was drafted into the Army in November 1944 and sent to Europe. Though Nazi Germany was on its heels, six months of bitter warfare remained and Bennett took part in brutal combat including house-to-house fighting. He later described his position on the front lines as a “front-row seat in hell” and he became a pacifist, writing, "Anybody who thinks that war is romantic obviously hasn't gone through one.”

After the war, Bennett studied singing technique under the GI Bill. He worked as a waiter and performed when he could. In 1949, the singer Pearl Bailey asked him to open for her in Greenwich Village, at a show attended by Bob Hope. Hope was so impressed he took young Anthony on the road with him and got him to simplify his name to Tony Bennett.

He was signed to Columbia Records the following year and started putting out hits — “Because of You,” “Blue Velvet,” “Rags to Riches” and more. He performed a heavy schedule of shows at the Paramount Theatre before screaming teen fans. He continued to enjoy success even as rock ’n’ roll pushed into the entertainment space occupied by pop songs and standards, famously performing a 44-song show at Carnegie Hall in June 1962 and singing on the first episode of “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” that October. 

Earlier that year he had released “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” — as a B side to a song called “Once Upon a Time.”

“The A-side received no attention,” Wikipedia says, “and DJs began flipping the record over and playing ‘San Francisco.’ 

“It became a hit on the pop singles chart in 1962 and spent close to a year on various other charts, achieving gold record status. It then won the top prize of Grammy Award for Record of the Year, as well as for Best Male Solo Vocal Performance.”

The song became the City of San Francisco’s second official anthem and is played every time the Giants win a ballgame at home. A statue of Bennett was unveiled outside the Fairmont Hotel there in 2016 and a block of Mason Street was renamed Tony Bennett Way in 2018.

Throughout it all, Bennett was a New Yorker who never forgot his Queens roots, not by a long shot.

In December 2000, he addressed guidance counselors and other staffers at what was then Community School District 28 in Forest Hills, pitching them on the planned Frank Sinatra School for the Arts in Long Island City he was establishing.

Jersey electeds come to the rescue against congestion pricing

 Queens Chronicle

New Jersey, as promised by Gov. Phil Murphy (D), has filed a federal lawsuit to block New York State’s plan to charge drivers to enter Manhattan at or south of 60th Street beginning in spring 2024.

Murphy, in a joint statement from his office with federal representatives from the Garden State, said the plan to raise $1 billion for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was approved by the Federal Highway Administration without a full environmental review as required by the National Environmental Protection Act and the Clean Air Act.

The suit has been filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey. The FHWA, which ruled further study unnecessary on June 26, and the U.S. Department of Transportation are named as defendants.

The New York Post reported on Friday that equipment to read license plates already is being installed in western Manhattan. State officials are weighing final regulations, including peak tolling fees of between $9 and $23 per trip.

Murphy says the tolls are discriminatory.

“After refusing to conduct a full environmental review of the MTA’s poorly designed tolling program, the FHWA has unlawfully fast-tracked the agency’s attempt to line its own coffers at the expense of New Jersey families,” Murphy said. “The costs of standing idly by while the MTA uses New Jersey residents to help balance its budget sheets are more than economic. At the MTA’s own admission, its tolling program would divert traffic and shift pollution to many vulnerable New Jersey communities, impacting air quality while offering nothing to mitigate such considerable harm.”

The Post report quoted MTA Chief of External Relations John McCarthy as dismissing Murphy’s claims.

“This lawsuit is baseless,” he said. “The 4,000-page Environmental Assessment performed by MTA, New York State DOT and New York City DOT was supervised at every stage and specifically approved by the Biden Administration … We’re confident the federal approval — and the entire process — will stand up to scrutiny.”

Murphy has the backing of his top federal elected officials.

“As the senior senator of New Jersey, I have made it abundantly clear that it’s unacceptable for New York to try balancing its budget on the backs of New Jersey commuters,’ U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) said in Murphy’s statement. “Their proposed congestion tax scheme is nothing more than a shakedown and must be defeated.”


Tuesday, July 18, 2023

City aborts migrant tent shelter in Aqueduct (again)





So it turns out that Mayor Adams and his "team" considered using Aqueduct's parking lot for tent shelters before and decided to try again for some reason. It sure looks like this was a stunt pulled to make the civics look like a bunch of intolerant xenophobic racist NIMBY's. But that's hard to do when the officials and civic leaders against this plan and the president's and the city's failing policies on the migrant crisis have this much racial diversity.

Monday, July 17, 2023

House Flipping Predators LLC!/format/webp/quality/90/?


Three years ago on a wintry afternoon, JJ was sitting in bed in her Bushwick apartment when she heard a boom at the door. It sounded like an intruder was trying to kick his way in.

JJ, who is Black, peered through the peephole and saw three white men in suit jackets. She was afraid. They looked like detectives. 

“I opened my door, and I’m like, ‘How can I help you?’” recalled the 42 year-old mother of two, who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity, citing safety concerns.

That’s when, she said, one of the men introduced himself as “the new owner of the building.” 

“I’m like, what? Excuse me?” recalled JJ, who had moved in about seven years earlier and previously paid rent to the relative of a friend living upstairs.

The man told JJ she had a few months to move out. As she stood by bewildered, his two associates were already at work putting new locks on her door.

What JJ didn’t know was that months earlier a group of strangers had indeed acquired title to the house, just a short walk away from the bars and clubs popular with Bushwick’s newcomers. They’d found five far-flung heirs of the property’s deceased owner and convinced them to sell their fractional inheritances for a grand total of $35,500, according to city deed records. 

JJ’s home was not their only target. A new investigation by THE CITY has found 119 properties across the five boroughs acquired in part or in whole by companies operated by two brothers, Elliot and Joseph Ambalo, and their business partner Etai Vardi. This crew of speculators nab properties in gentrifying Black and Latino neighborhoods, where many homes are ripe for the taking because their original owners died without wills, leaving a network of dispersed inheritors who may not know the value of their partial shares. 

As THE CITY previously reported, similar rings amass partial shares to shake down longtime homeowners for money or to profit from forced home sales. But the Ambalo brothers and Vardi often capitalize on another method: using generically named LLCs like The Queens Foundation and Jackie 42, they find small, multi-family homes with minimal tenant protections, take over the properties by paying heirs low sums, then rush to evict the residents, clearing the path to flip the properties for many times what they paid.

This ring’s maneuvers, which have displaced dozens of longtime city residents, are largely legal. But in some of their transactions, THE CITY found evidence of possible fraud. One notary public based in California believes that her signature was forged on a deed-related affidavit that Vardi also signed. Four other notary publics across the country said they did not sign or recognize their purported signatures that appear in paperwork signed by Vardi or one of the two Ambalo brothers.

The Ambalo brothers and Vardi rebuffed THE CITY’s attempts to interview them at length in person and on the phone. In response to a detailed set of questions sent to them ahead of publication, Vardi shared a brief statement in an email on behalf of the ring.

“The purchase of fractional shares of properties is a long-standing, lawful business practice in the real estate industry,” Vardi wrote. “We have always and will continue to operate within the law and in an ethical manner.”

Of the 119 properties THE CITY identified, 34 have been the subject of eviction or removal petitions filed by the investors’ LLCs, which named 160 residents they wanted out of their newly acquired properties, according to court records. In 19 of these cases, the speculators failed to register their ownership with city authorities, a violation of New York City’s Housing Maintenance Code, before moving to evict tenants. 

In 29 of the 119 properties, city deed records show the investors completed a flip of partial home shares or entire properties. In all, they paid heirs and other property-holders nearly $4.8 million then subsequently sold the shares to new buyers for $14.3 million — a $9.5 million difference.

In many cases, the flips and displacement went hand-in-hand.



Limited Liability Companies Associated with Joseph and Elliot Ambalo and Etai Vardi










BK 146 LLC

BK 950 LLC













BX 1076 LLC

BX 1331 LLC










MN W 152 LLC











QN 204 LLC












Gilgo Beach serial killer was recently a consultant for the NYC DOB

Next stop Adamsvilles, Aqueduct and Creedmoor

NY Post 

Mayor Eric Adams’ administration is eyeing the Aqueduct Racetrack and Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens as new locations for massive emergency tent cities that would help temporarily shelter the relentless influx of migrants in the Big Apple, officials said Sunday.

City Hall notified Queens Borough President Donovan Richards late Saturday that officials would be touring the grounds of both sites this week, he confirmed to The Post.

If they are deemed suitable, the tent cities would open on the grounds of Aqueduct and Creedmoor at the end of July, Richards said.

The City first reported the locations were in play to be converted into encampments housing 1,000 migrants each.

Both sites are on state property and Gov. Kathy Hochul would have to approve the plans, officials said.

“As the mayor has said, all options are on the table as we deal with this crisis and no humanitarian relief centers are final until announced,” an Adams spokesperson said Sunday.

“With over 53,000 asylum seekers currently in the city’s care, we need additional support from state and federal partners.”

While racing at Aqueduct has been on the decline, one of the state’s cash cows — the Genting NY-Resorts World casino — is located next to the race track and attracts gamblers who use the parking lots there.

That could potentially complicate use of the site as a migrant encampment.

Many of Queens’ hotel airports — particularly those near JFK and LaGuardia — have already been converted into migrant shelters.

Richards said his borough has been doing its part in aiding the asylum seekers, but the Adams ally also emphasized there must be better coordination and communication between City Hall and Queens elected officials.

“I understand we are in a crisis. I’m not playing the NIMBY game here,” Richards said, referring to the acronym for the phrase “not in my backyard,” used to refer to people who oppose undesirable developments in their neighborhoods.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Juan Ardila brought climate change to Maspeth last week



I joined the Department of Environmental Protection and over a dozen residents to tour Flushing Avenue homes in Maspeth that have been experiencing costly flooding during rainstorms. 


The picture on the right was taken this past winter and not recent. Look at the snow on the lawn.


Thursday, July 13, 2023

Endangered plovers nests has led to beach apartheid


The Edgemere Community Civic Association (ECCA) gathered with elected officials on the Rockaway Beach Boardwalk at Beach 38th Street on July 6 to voice their frustrations over the neighborhood’s lack of beach access for the last 26 years.

Since 1996, the one-mile stretch of beach between Beach 38th and 59th Street has been a designated nesting area for endangered shorebirds, including piping plovers, terns and oystercatchers. Because of the nesting area, which is designated and managed by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation under guidelines from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Edgemere residents are unable to access the beach and have to head west of the peninsula in order to do so.

“This is a harsh and cruel injustice to those who live and work in this community,” said ECCA President Sonia Moise, who has lived in the Rockaways for 45 years. “It has been too many years that we have been the forgotten community. Edgemere always gets dumped on. No one thinks about the Edgemere community and what our needs are.”

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Eric Adams's buddies indicted for campaign finance fraud


Mayor Eric Adams on Monday insisted he’s “very clear” about telling donors to “follow the rules” when giving to his campaigns for public office, after six contributors to his 2021 bid for mayor were indicted Friday for allegedly orchestrating a straw-donor scheme to funnel city matching funds above the legal limit to his campaign.

“I am very clear, the system that I put in place with my compliance attorney, with my team, we must stand up to scrutiny,” Adams said. “And whoever comes to me, all the time, when you look at the number of New Yorkers that have donated to our campaign, I’m very clear, you must follow the rules. And that hasn’t changed. My conversation is consistent. I can sleep well at night because I know that I’m consistent in what I say to people.”

Adams made the remarks in response to a question about fundraising discussion he may or may not have had with Dwayne Montgomery, one of the alleged ring-leaders of the scheme who he knew from when they served on the NYPD together, during an unrelated press conference on July 10. 

Montgomery was named in the indictment — brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office — along with Shamsuddin Riza, Millicent Redick, Ronald Peek, Yahya Mushtan and Shahid Mushta. Also named in the indictment was one entity: EcoSafety Consultants Inc — a site safety management company owned by Yahya Mushtan and Shahid Mushta. 

Prosecutors hit the six individuals with charges including conspiracy, attempted grand larceny, offering a false instrument for filing and attempted offering of a false instrument for filing. Montgomery, Riza, Redick and Shahid Mushtaq  pleaded not guilty at an arraignment in Manhattan Supreme Court Friday morning, while the other two will be arraigned at a later date.

Adams himself wasn’t named in the indictment and none of the six defendants worked for his campaign, according to Bragg’s office. 

The defendants were alleged to have recruited and bundled contributions from straw donors — those who are reimbursed for donating to political campaigns in their own names to skirt legal contribution limits — to illegally extract more money out of the city’s matching funds program for Adams’ campaign.

The alleged conspirators’ goal was to boost Adams’ into the mayoralty and score lucrative city contracts for businesses they operate.

During the Monday press conference, the mayor acknowledged he knew Montgomery from their time serving as Black ranking members of the NYPD, but made clear his former colleague had not visited him in City Hall since he took office last year.

Adams did say he would see Montgomery at events, as he used to command the NYPD’s 28th Precinct in Harlem and is well known in the community there.

Community board kept from community workshops for Creedmoor housing conversion


As of the afternoon of July 11, nearly 1,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Creedmoor Property Development project to be halted in its current form.

According to organizer Carin Bail, the purpose of the petition to try and get Queens Borough President Donovan Richards to receive more input from the residents in the area to try and address some of their biggest concerns.

Bail, who is a member of the Hollis Hills Civic Association, brought up multiple concerns she and other community members share about the Creedmoor Property Development potentially being transformed into housing units. While Empire State Construction is still in the process of developing the master plan for the project, many residents in the area are worried that a large influx of people for the developed property will cause overcrowding, creating more traffic in the area and making parking significantly more difficult. Additionally, there is concern over the environmental effect such a project could have, like its impact on the sewage system.

Despite the fact that Richards and Empire State Development announced back in January that a series of community visioning workshops would be held on the matter, Bail questioned the amount of input that truly came from the community during those that have since occurred. She said many living near Creedmoor weren’t aware of these sessions for quite a while, and feels these people should have their voices heard since they will be greatly impacted by it. Still, these offices have been in constant contact with several local civic associations in eastern Queens to keep them updated.

“I’m a civic president in a neighboring community and I wasn’t even aware of this until someone in my community asked if I was going to the Zoom meeting, which was back in April,” Bail said. “I have almost 1,000 people who are not in favor of this because they didn’t even know that this was happening.”

Forget it Jake, this is the "City of Yes"


Socialist transgender plans to primary sexual offender

Queens Post

A Long Island City resident is aiming to become New York’s first transgender state legislator, having announced a run for Assembly District 37, a seat currently held by embattled Assembly Member Juan Ardila, whose term has been shrouded with sexual abuse allegations.

Émilia Decaudin, 24, a transgender woman, launched the political campaign on July 11 on a Democratic socialist platform and is seeking to make New York more livable and inclusive. District 37 covers Long Island City, Maspeth, Ridgewood and Sunnyside.

Decaudin, who is a Democratic Party district leader, wants hundreds of thousands of more affordable housing units built across the state and is looking to bring down the cost of living. Decaudin would be the first transgender person to serve in the New York state Legislature if elected.

“New York cannot be the sanctuary it claims to be if people can’t afford to live here,” Decaudin said. “The high cost of living and the lack of political courage is failing thousands of New Yorkers every day. We must use every tool at our disposal to ensure that every one of us has access to high quality and deeply affordable housing.”

Decaudin is also calling for more social and publicly-owned housing to tackle the housing crisis, as well as eliminating barriers to constructing dense, mixed-income development.

Decaudin also says tackling climate change is a centerpiece of the recently launched campaign.

“We owe ourselves and future generations a world with clean air, safe temperatures, and dry homes,” Decaudin said. “New York state not only has the ability to become a leader in renewable energy production and environmental resiliency, but the duty to do so in an equitable and efficient manner.”



Tuesday, July 11, 2023

AOC feigns ignorance about the vaccine mandate's effect on workers and parents

 NYC For Yourself

I had a very brief conversation with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently that drove this point home. It was at the end of one of her town hall meetings, which I often livestream on my reporting channel.

I have also been reporting on how New York’s vaccine mandates have affected people since 2021, and I’ve been trying to ask AOC about her position on this issue since New York City’s mandates were in full effect. Maybe I’ve missed something, but I have never heard her address the question of mandates in any forum.

AOC and her team have always exercised tight control over interactions with media. I know that because I’m one of her constituents and attended many of her public events before I started reporting on them, going back to her primary race in 2018. At public events like town halls, she takes questions from constituents by having people submit them on slips of paper as they enter. The time she gives to press has always been very limited. 

 So when I wanted to ask about her position on the mandates, I knew the drill. Here’s a question I submitted at a Bronx town hall in January of this year:

Ocasio-Cortez didn’t take my question at that town hall or any of the others where I had submitted it. So I decided to give it a try as a member of the press. At the end of the event, I explained to one of her press aides that I’m an independent journalist and wanted to ask a question.

AOC was simply out of time! she told me, but perhaps I could ask her my question and she could pass it along. I declined that offer and stood by as AOC gave a detailed response to a question from another reporter about whether it was tough to balance being a disruptor with getting things done.

Fate and the press aide smiled upon me a couple town halls later at the July 6 Hunts Point event, and I was granted the opportunity to ask “one question!” of the overscheduled congresswoman. Now my question wasn’t about the government mandates, which were no longer in effect. It was about whether she would support reinstating workers who had been fired for not being vaccinated.

I asked AOC this question for all the reasons you can hear me spell out in the video: Labor rights and civil rights are among her signature issues. She speaks frequently about the importance of bodily autonomy.

She touched on all of these topics at the July 6 town hall, as well as the financial hardships people are facing as they recover from the pandemic. My question was relevant to all of those issues. It should have been right in her wheelhouse.

I was honestly surprised by her inadequate response. Not only did she not answer the question about reinstatement that I had asked, but she seemed only vaguely aware of the facts about mandates in New York.

Her response was about whether there should still be “health care requirements” in place, and she seemed to be saying that she thought there probably should be in some sectors, especially health care and education. So I guess I finally got the answer to my question about her position on mandates.

How could someone who presents herself as an advocate for workers be so unaware of the facts about policies that put tens of thousands of people out of work in her state and forced thousands more to take a pharmaceutical product that they considered dangerous to keep their jobs? 

 Estimates are that nearly 2,000 people in the public sector were fired outright under New York City’s sweeping mandates, while many others were forced into resigning or taking early retirement. It’s impossible to know how many lost their livelihoods in the private sector. An estimated 34,000 health care workers lost their jobs under the state mandate.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Lunatic kills one man and wounds 3 other people during broad daylight mass shooting spree while riding a ghost e-bike


Detectives in Queens have a suspect in custody in connection with a shooting spree in Queens and Brooklyn on Saturday morning that left one man dead and three others injured.

Law enforcement sources said a scooter-riding suspect shot the three victims in Richmond Hill, Queens, between 11:25 and 11:40 a.m. on July 8. He was also linked to a fourth shooting in nearby Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, that preceded the Queens portion of the rampage.

The motive for the shootings, four of which occurred in the 102nd Precinct‘s confines, remain unknown at this time, police sources said. 

“It seems that these acts were random,” Assistant Chief Joe Kenny of the NYPD Detectives Bureau said. “The video shows he’s not targeting anybody, he’s not following anybody. As he’s driving on the scooter, he’s randomly shooting at people.”

Acting Police Commissioner Edward Caban said the suspect, a 25-year-old man with one prior arrest on his rap sheet, was apprehended at about 1 p.m. in nearby Jamaica, Queens, at the corner of Sutphin Boulevard and 94th Avenue.

The suspect had been picked up by officers assigned to the 103rd Precinct, who recognized the man from security video obtained quickly from the shooting scenes and transmitted to every police officer in the city through a “critical message,” Caban noted.

The commissioner said that the shooter rode an illegal scooter, and the weapon allegedly used in the spree, a 9 mm handgun with an extended magazine, was found stored within the illegal ride.

At each shooting scene, police officials noted, the NYPD recovered 9 mm shell casings, as well as video footage and/or witness descriptions of the same scooter-riding suspect. 

Sure looks like this bastard was looking to kill a lot more people while rolling on pedestrian heavy Jamaica Avenue. Anybody want to say defund the police now?

Open Streets propagandist gets agency captured Latina elected officials wrong


Christopher Leon Johnson 

Transportation Alternatives and Open Plans brains must be broken after getting trounced lobbying and cosplay protests for their extreme anti-driving causes like the speed limit reducing Sammy's Law and their idiotic idea to cut two lanes from McGuinness Blvd because a man died jaywalking on it that their version of Leni Riefenstah mistook State Sen.Gonzalez with City Council Crony Gutierrez. Maybe it was just a rush to get publicity for their agenda or Street Films is just a little bit racist...

Sunday, July 9, 2023

What's it all about algae?
Queens Chronicle

“I don’t see the turtles,” said one little girl who excitedly approached the Bowne Park pond on her tricycle Monday.

That’s because passersby could not see much of anything beyond the blooms of algae dispersed throughout the pond.

While that has been a common sight at Bowne Park for years, that was before the city spent $3.6 million and eight years’ worth of work on preventing that very problem, a job completed just over two months ago.

Two women walking around the pond’s perimeter Monday afternoon said they had seen some algae forming in the pond about a month ago, but that the problem has gotten astronomically worse since then.

Around that time, Flushing resident Anthony Szymanski, who first notified the Chronicle of the issue last weekend, noticed the algae building up. He sent a 311 request on June 8, which was marked as closed June 26, saying the Department of Parks and Recreation had “completed the requested work order and corrected the problem.”

“They got to get a hold of the contractor, because after two months, it’s like this?” Szymanski said.

As of Monday afternoon, the southern end of the pond was in slightly better shape than the northern end, where the park’s beloved turtles swam through clouds of algae, maneuvering around plastic water bottles and other debris at the surface. Still, the Chronicle observed two turtles that appeared to be dead, floating atop the green sheet of algae.

When the Chronicle attended the pond’s ribbon cutting on May 4, former Councilman Paul Vallone expressed excitement about the three new sprinkler cannons, which are designed to aerate the water and shoot geysers of water in the air in unison.

But the Chronicle found Monday the fountains were not in their usual aesthetically pleasing form. Instead, they went off sporadically, often producing a weak spurt of water, if at all. Other times, the fountain clicked, but failed to produce any kind of release.

Indeed, that is part of the problem: Parks Department spokesperson Dan Kastanis said one water cannon and the pond’s refill system are “offline due to mechanical issues discovered post-construction.” He added they are expected to be back in action “this summer.”

The office of Councilmember Vickie Paladino (R-Whitestone) said a part is needed to mend the fountain, but that it could be fixed as soon as next week. The Parks Department confirmed that, and said a part for the refill system is also en route.

Paladino is not concerned about the quick return of problems at the pond.

“Things break,” she told the Chronicle in a statement. “It’s a park fountain part and it needs replacement; it’s not a big deal.”


Friday, July 7, 2023

Caption Chirlane McCray and her husband 

Yes I know I should have used this today instead of the Post story post but it's worth it because this will probably be the last picture we see of these two in the limelight. (Until de Blasio gets called to testify for his role in the pandemic extortion scam and surveillance censorship he pulled with Dave Chokshi, Mitch Katz and Ted Long).

These two can't even stand to kiss each other.

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Tony the Tiger,1024&quality=75&strip=all

NY Post 

Former Queens Democratic Councilman Tony Avella and Republican Kristy Marmorato in The Bronx won their primary ranked choice races albeit by very tight margins according to the New York City Board of Elections on Wednesday.

In the Democratic primary in northeast Queens’ 19th Council District, Avella won by just 123 votes — 2,865 votes or  51.1% to 2,742 votes or 49.9% for Christopher Bae.

Avella will have a rematch against Republican Councilwoman Vicki Paladino, who defeated him two years ago. He also served in the state Senate.

Vanishing Queens: Alpha Donuts annihilated by costs of doing business in NYC 

Sunnyside Post 

And just like that, it was gone.

Having served the Sunnyside community for nearly 50 years, the old-school coffee shop Alpha Donuts closed its doors for good last week leaving patrons shocked and in disbelief.

The no-frills diner, located just a few feet from the Sunnyside Arch on Queens Boulevard and known for its donuts and greasy breakfasts, abruptly shuttered on Wednesday, June 28. Around 48 hours later its interior had been completely stripped and dumped.

The only remnant of the Sunnyside staple is its bright yellow and red exterior sign, while a notice attached to the diner’s front window reads: “Thank you for so many years of beautiful memories.”

The Sunnyside/Queens Post visited the location on Monday, July 3, and passersby could be seen gazing through the shop’s windows with astonishment and asking what had happened.

Cab drivers, who were known for parking in a line along Queens Boulevard and then frequenting the business, speculated that massive rent hikes had forced the business to shutter. The rumor was also rife on social media.

However, Patty Zorbas, 62, who owns Alpha Donuts, told the Sunnyside/Queens Post on July 5, that she was forced to close due to inflation and the potential costs of several upgrades needed to keep the business afloat — which she said she could not afford to carry out.

She said that while her rent had increased, it was not the reason behind her decision to close.

Zorbas said equipment such as the grill as well as other items at the eatery needed to be replaced.

“I sat down and put down the numbers together, and with insurance, taxes and inflation, the amount of money I would have to spend was above my reach,” said Zorbas, who is originally from Greece and lives in Woodside.

“I’ve been crying for two weeks. I’ve been there for 32 years.”

She said she decided to close late Tuesday, June 27, and the following day she shut down Alpha Donuts and started stripping out all of the equipment and fittings.

Gone is the establishment’s unique S-shaped countertop that allowed workers to serve customers up close, and gone is the shop’s vintage, button-styled cash register.

“It was tough. I was exhausted both physically and mentally,” Zorbas said. “It’s life-changing and I’m trying to sort my mind. I’m very sad but that’s life.”

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Bill and Chirlie aren't thriving together anymore


Ex-Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, are separating, the pair announced during a lengthy interview with The New York Times that was published Wednesday.

De Blasio, who occupied Gracie Mansion between 2014 and 2021, and McCray told the Paper of Record that after nearly 30 years of marriage they are splitting up and will start dating other people. The pair, however, said they won’t be getting a divorce and will continue to occupy the same Park Slope row house where they raised their two children, both of whom are now in their twenties.

The couple’s interracial status — de Blasio is white and McCray is Black — played a role in him winning the 2013 mayoral primary that brought him to City Hall, many political observers say.

During their interview with the Gray Lady, de Blasio and McCray said they decided to separate about two months ago after having a heart-to-heart conversation that revealed their marriage no longer resembled what it used to be.

“You can feel when things are off and you don’t want to live that way,” de Blasio told the Times.

McCray said she’s looking to have more “fun” with the new arrangement, seeking a relationship with someone who isn’t a public figure.

“I just want to have fun,” McCray said. “There’s a certain weight that goes with being with Mr. Mayor.”

They made clear that de Blasio’s eight years as mayor put a heavy strain on their marriage, given the intensive 24/7 schedule that comes with occupying the city’s top job.

“Everything was this overwhelming schedule, this sort of series of tasks,” de Blasio said. “And that kind of took away a little bit of our soul.”

De Blasio’s tenure as mayor was also marked by years of blistering press coverage, a failed long-shot presidential bid and a torrent of criticism over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which struck during his second to last year in office. The couple said that the pandemic, in particular, hindered their ability to plan their lives after the end of de Blasio’s mayoralty.

McCray, who ran a controversial mental health program within her husband’s administration known as Thrive NYC, said that his ill-fated 2020 presidential campaign also damaged their relationship.

“I thought it was a distraction,” McCray said. In response, De Blasio conceded his wife was right: “kind of true, point for Chirlane.”


Department of Transportation Alternatives truck has traffic violence explosion 

LIC Post


An explosion stunned lunchtime crowds along Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City Wednesday afternoon.

A truck from the city’s Department of Transportation was parked on Vernon near 47th Avenue when it caught fire and exploded just after 1 p.m. on July 5. The four DOT employees who were working on pothole repairs in the Long Island City area parked their truck and went to a nearby restaurant for lunch. They noticed the vehicle smoking and it eventually caught fire before ultimately exploding, causing the evacuation of several stores and restaurants along the corridor.

None of the four DOT employees were injured in the blast.

“Safety of our employees and others is a top priority and we will investigate today’s truck fire,” a DOT spokesman said.

Monday, July 3, 2023

Caption Keechant Sewell's replacement

Acting police commissioner Edward A. Caban during a press conference

Department of Buildings warns public not to fall from buildings on Independence Day



Don’t risk life and limb just to get a better view of the fireworks display! Stay safe this July 4th holiday to avoid becoming a tragic headline the next day


New York, NY –The Department of Buildings today is sounding the alarm to all property owners and residents to be especially mindful of existing safety regulations for the proper use of rooftops, terraces, balconies, and fire escapes in New York City this Independence Day. Ignoring these safety regulations to get a better view of holiday fireworks displays can lead to a deadly accidental fall, providing yet another tragic story for the papers and the six o’clock news the next day. Regulations around these elevated structures apply all year long, but are particularly relevant this month as New Yorkers look for vantage points to view the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks display, which is scheduled for this Tuesday evening. Unlawful gatherings on fire escapes and rooftops that are not specifically designed for regular occupancy have tragically led to multiple fatal falls in New York City in recent years.


“This Fourth of July holiday we are once again strongly urging patriotism-loving New Yorkers and firework enthusiasts alike to prioritize safety,” said Department of Buildings Commissioner Jimmy Oddo. “It simply isn’t safe to watch fireworks from an unsecured building roof or a fire escape, where one false step can have life-altering consequences. For those planning to enjoy the rockets’ red glare tomorrow, our message is to select an appropriate place to watch the show in order to avoid becoming a July 5th story.”


Property owners and tenants should closely follow the following safety rules to avoid becoming a headline in the news on July 5th:


·         Do not access building rooftops to watch the fireworks, unless the rooftop has an approved deck or other approved space for gatherings, equipped with code-compliant guardrails, multiple emergency exits, signage indicating the maximum legal occupancy, and other required safety features.

·         Do not gather to watch the fireworks on fire escapes, which are not designed nor meant to be used as a balcony. For the safety of everyone in the building, fire escapes must be kept free of obstructions at all times.

·         Do not overcrowd terraces, balconies, or legal rooftop spaces. Overcrowding these spaces can pose a serious hazard to occupants.

·         Do not prop open emergency doors or disable door alarms leading to rooftop areas of a building that are not meant to be legally occupied. Unsecured rooftop spaces can pose a serious danger to building occupants, especially children.

·         Do not lean out of a window, over an edge, a parapet wall or over a railing for a better view of the fireworks display.

·         Avoid approaching any building edge that is not protected by a wall or railing.


Property owners are legally obligated to maintain their properties in a safe condition. New Yorkers are encouraged to call 311 to report unsafe building conditions to the Department, and call 911 to report emergencies.