Sunday, July 14, 2024

Worst FDNY Commissioner in New York City history resigns

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GSaNmFYXwAANqb1?format=jpg&name=medium 

NY Post

Embattled FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh is quitting her $243,171-a-year post, she told The Post Saturday.

The stunning development comes amid a slew of controversies that left some members of Mayor Adams’ administration questioning her ability to lead the country’s largest fire department.

Kavanagh, who Adams tapped as the city’s first female fire commissioner in 2022, said in an email to The Post she feels it’s “time for me to pass the torch” and explore other career opportunities. She plans to stay on the job for now and help pick a replacement, Kavanagh wrote.

“My dedication to the FDNY has never and will never waver,” she wrote. “It has been the honor of a lifetime to devote the last 10 years — five as first deputy commissioner and more than two as commissioner — to advocating for the men and women of the FDNY.

 Kavanagh sent the email mere minutes after Adams gave her a huge vote of confidence and tried to squash rumors her resignation was imminent.

“I love her style — I want her in my administration, whichever she decides to do,” he told The Post following an unrelated Brooklyn event. “She sat down with me some time ago and said ‘I’m looking to do some other things in my life at this moment,’ and whenever she decides to do so, she will. As long as she wants to be my fire commissioner, she will be my fire commissioner.”

 Although Adams remains supportive of Kavanagh, she’s felt plenty of heat within the administration over a slew of firestorms under her watch.

They include rising FDNY emergency-response times, surges in lithium-ion battery fires citywide, repeated criticism from underlings and an age-discrimination lawsuit filed by department honchos she demoted.

“She was a political operative – not a firefighter – so her selection [as commissioner] was always an unusual choice, and she’s been unable to do what she was brought in to do: put out political fires,” a City Hall insider said.

Kavanagh, who began her career working campaigns for ex-President Barack Obama, ex-Mayor Bill de Blasio and other Democrats, has dealt with a series of public relations nightmares since Adams named her commissioner, in part to tackle the department’s longtime struggle to diversify

This woman's entire career before being anoninted FDNY commissioner was being a publicist, and she even couldn't do that right 

 Lithium Ion Laura couldn't fight a fire by blowing out a match.

Image 

ImpunityCity


Saturday, July 13, 2024

Donald Trump survives assassination attempt at campaign rally

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GSZvkScbIAAwHQi?format=jpg&name=small

Former President Donald Trump was wounded on a Pennsylvania campaign stage by a sniper’s bullet Saturday night in an apparent assassination attempt that nearly claimed his life, law enforcement sources told The Post.

The Secret Service said Trump is safe. A campaign spokesperson added that he is “fine” and being checked out at a local medical facility.

“He came within inches of having his face shot open,” a senior law enforcement source told The Post. 

The shooter was killed by a Secret Service assault team.

One other person, believed to be a civilian standing behind Trump on the podium was killed by the sniper, sources said. Another person was reportedly wounded.

The gunman was believed to have been positioned on the roof of building hundreds of yards from the former president at the Butler County Fairgrounds — outside the security perimeter, according to law enforcement sources. Trump confirmed his own brush with death in a post Saturday night on Truth Social: “I was shot with a bullet that pierced the upper part of my right ear.

“I knew immediately that something was wrong in that I heard a whizzing sound, shots, and immediately felt the bullet ripping through the skin. Much bleeding took place, so I realized then what was happening.”

The bullet may have been deflected by glass before Trump was struck in the face, law enforcement sources said.

Following the attack on Trump at a rally in Butler — about 35 miles north of Pittsburgh — nine shots rang out and Trump ducked for cover before being surrounded by Secret Service agents, video from the event shows.

11 hours of stories of the City of Mess and here's a few of them

City Planner Paul Graziano makes NYC Planning Commissioner and Developer Mascot Dan Garodnick uncomfortable with dire warnings of the desecration of towns from the one size fits all plan to build a little more affordable housing in every neighborhood. Because it really is just a little that won't end the infinite housing crisis the city has made. Jackson Chabot from the public streets usurping 501 c 3 lobby cult Open Plans rambles on about removing parking mandates from buildings and towns and gets laughed at, but not before he trashes Graziano for how he got his house and remained in his neighborhood. But wouldn't you know the best take about the City Of Yes/Mess literally came from the street from the ubiquitous NYC political media gadfly Christopher Leon Johnson who remarked that this will do nothing to help people who make less than 60% of the AMI to qualify for the prospective tall and dense luxury public housing towers to end the housing crisis NYC Planning created and now they want a do-over. CLJ also blows the whistle on lobbyist infiltration of community boards that were placed there by borough presidents.

 Update:

 Well, it looks like Dirty Danny and the City Of Yes people at NYC Planning is censoring the public from isolating clips and embedding the whole video of the public hearing. Paul comes around the 3:45, Jacko around 4:37 and CLJ around 5:08.  

Image

Watch how Danny tells people not to clap for people against City Of Yes because it would "take up valuable time" but he allows extended time for borough presidents Mark Levine and Vanessa Gibson to shill for the overdevelopment apocalypse program. He also spends time interrogating council members who announced they will vote no against it and gave nearly an hour to an architect to describe and justify the plan.

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Saturday in the Park

Tenants displaced by apartment building fire gets temporary housing from the landlord they are suing

 https://queenspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/07/Photo-Dec-20-2023-2-12-59-PM.jpg?resize=700,467

 Queens Post

A breakthrough was reached just days after tenants of a Sunnyside apartment complex filed a lawsuit against their building’s landlord stemming from their displacement following a 5-alarm fire in December.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and A&E Real Estate, the landlord, announced a plan Monday to provide 22 tenants of 43-09 47th Ave. who were forced out of their apartments on Dec. 20 due to fire damage with an additional round of six-month temporary housing agreements.

After the fire, which was determined to have been caused by a contractor using an unregulated blowtorch, A&E offered the tenants the option of signing a temporary relocation license agreement for “up to six months if needed,” allowing them to rent apartments at other A&E properties at the same monthly rate they had paid at their Sunnyside building. Those original agreements were set to expire on Tuesday, July 2.

“Through no fault of their own, our neighbors tragically lost their homes and their possessions in the heart of the holiday season,” Richards said. “I’m thankful to A&E Real Estate for its partnership and for its support of these families by offering additional temporary lease agreements. Going forward my office will work tirelessly with our partners in city government to ensure those displaced by the fire have continuous access to stable and affordable housing.”

A spokesperson for A&E Real Estate said the agreement was with 22 households that are still in A&E temporary housing as of Monday.

“Borough President Richards picked up the phone and asked how we could work together to do more for residents. Working through the weekend, we found a path forward that will enable us to offer temporary housing for residents affected by the fire for up to six months more,” the spokesperson said. “While we know this has been challenging, we have worked hard at every step to go above and beyond to give residents some security and breathing room to plan for the future.”

The additional temporary lease agreements will run through Jan. 15, 2025, giving impacted families another six months to secure more permanent housing.

“Ultimately, it’s the insurance settlement that will compensate all parties for their losses in the fire,” the A&E spokesperson said. “We appreciate Borough President Richards’ partnership in finding an approach that we can sustain for several months more.”

The lawsuit filed on behalf of 200 tenants seeks $10 million in damages for gross negligence in failing to properly supervise their contractors and/or employees. Brett Gallaway, the tenants’ attorney from the law firm of McLaughlin and Stern, emphasized the severity of the situation.

“The reckless actions of A&E have caused irreparable harm to these families,” Gallaway said. “This lawsuit seeks to hold them accountable for the devastation they have caused and their continued failure to provide adequate support and compensation to the displaced tenants.”

 Considering the stupidity of the developer's contractor, A & E should just let those tenants have those apartments they are only temporarily staying in. Wonder what they look like and I wonder if they are building new "affordable housing" in this town.

 

 

Friday, July 5, 2024

Man murders younger half-brother and stabs parents, then gets gunned down by NYPD at "affordable" housing tower

 

 

AMNY 

The 4th of July holiday became a nightmare in Queens on Thursday afternoon after a man stabbed a child to death and police fatally shot the knife-wielding suspect in a domestic dispute, police brass said.

According to NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell, cops from the 103rd Precinct rushed to a luxury apartment building  at around 5:20 p.m. in the Jamaica section of the borough, located at 147-25 94th Ave after several residents called police for help.

“A female came out of this building pleading for help. She ran down to the corner to MTA police to get help and simultaneously the security desk called 911 for assistance,” Chief Chell said. “Members of the 103 Precinct responded in three minutes.”

Upon arrival at the 5th floor apartment, authorities said, cops were confronted with a man, in his 20’s, holding a knife to his 43-year-old father’s neck. Inside that same apartment a 29-year-old woman had been wounded and an 8-year-old boy had been stabbed to death, all in the same apartment as an 8-month-old-baby. Chief Chell told reporters that cops demanded the man drop the weapon, but he refused, resulting in the officers shooting the suspect. The baby was unharmed.

Police say the perpetrator was rushed to a hospital; sources close to the investigation report that he later died.  

 Chief Chell said the 8-year-old and his killer were stepbrothers, however, the ultimate reason for the holiday rampage remains under investigation.

This is not a luxury tower per se, it's one of those "affordable housing" towers from the 421a program to set aside 20%-25% of units under market rate (it's the one with the now leasing sign)

Besides the tragic domestic slaughter, this is bad all around for the "city of yes" and what may be another indictment of the city's continuing lack of mental health services. 


 https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GRr6gY3XoAAH1sg?format=jpg&name=large


 

 

 

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Home of the free

Image

NY Post 

 New York City officials are dramatically expanding a controversial program that gives debit cards pre-loaded with cash to migrant families staying in taxpayer-funded hotels across the city.

The Adams administration says another round of debit cards is expected to be distributed to more than 7,300 migrants over the next six months, costing the city about $2.6 million. The move represents a major expansion of a pilot program that began earlier this year that doled out cards to about 3,000 migrants. 

New York City Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom says the program allows newly arriving families the ability to “make choices for themselves and their children” by using debit cards. 

“They can buy from local shops, support small businesses, and manage their own resources,” she said in a statement. “When we empower people, we help them achieve self-sufficiency and access the American Dream.”

Mayor Eric Adams has defended the program as a “cost savings measure” that “temporarily” replaces New York City’s existing system of providing non-perishable food boxes to migrant families staying in hotels and other city-funded shelters.

The program is a partnership between the Adams administration and the company Mobility Capital Finance, which says the plan will help migrants with food, baby supplies and other necessities as they await authorization to work from the federal government. 

Under the program, a four-person family with children under five can receive up to $350 per week, or about $18,200 a year, according to published news reports.

Critics, including New York Council member Joseph Borelli, have argued that the debit cards are “fundamentally unfair” to the city’s working poor, who don’t receive similar benefits from the city. 

Borelli and other Republicans argue that the city’s right to shelter law, which requires it to provide housing, food and other necessities — coupled with the city’s ‘sanctuary’ policy cooperation with immigration crackdowns — are drawing a record number of migrants to the city. 

 Great, now these families can continue selling candy and deliver food for multiple apps. Ain't that America?

Happy 248 USA

 

 Image

 The Sutter Ave. Of Americas. Have a great holiday and be careful with those fireworks.

 Image

Image

Friday, June 28, 2024

Zip-e-dee-MTA

 https://www.amny.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/20240625_121452.jpg?resize=1200,900 

 NY Post

Queens straphangers are worried after spotting zip ties along the tracks at an Ozone Park subway station.

What keeps the trains running in the Big Apple?

Queens straphangers are praying it’s not plastic zip ties.

Dozens of zip ties wrapped around one of the tracks at the Rockaway Boulevard A train station in Ozone Park have been raising eyebrows and making some subway riders queasy.

“Should I be worried?” asked nursing student Kayle Persaud. “If I cut one zip tie, does it start to fall?”

 

The troubling scene, first reported by AM New York, shows a long line of the plastic ties along the middle track at the elevated subway station – which one straphanger noted is “not a good look.”

“The first time I saw it I thought, ‘Hmm… Is it holding the tracks together?'” said subway rider Eliana Rodriguez. “Even the screws look like they’re not all the way in.”

Another subway rider, who only identified himself as Ibrahim M, agreed it was a tad concerning.

“Even if it’s not actually holding the track together, it just looks awful,” he told The Post on Thursday. “They could have cut it off or painted it the same color. I hope it’s not holding the tracks together for all the money we pay to travel on the subway.”

Adding to worries was this week’s MTA announcement that the railroad is halting planned capital projects following Gov. Kathy Hochul’s decision to hold off on the controversial congestion pricing plan.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

MTA Board kills congestion pricing

https://s3-prod.crainsnewyork.com/styles/width_792/s3/412528982.jpg 

Crain's New York

 The MTA’s board voted Wednesday to indefinitely pause the implementation of congestion pricing tolls, formalizing an eleventh-hour postponement announced by Gov. Kathy Hochul earlier this month and officially blowing a $15 billion hole in the authority’s capital budget.

In a 10-to-1 vote, the board at its monthly meeting advanced a resolution that hits the brakes on a long-awaited toll program that would have charged most motorists $15 to enter Manhattan below 60th Street to reduce traffic and raise funds to improve the region’s mass transit. The vote firmly shut the door on the MTA’s board possibly attempting to advance congestion pricing against Hochul’s wishes.

MTA board member David Mack, who voted against the tolling program in March, was the sole vote that sought to block the resolution, instead preferring a permanent halt on the program.

“The fact is the MTA, it’s just a reality, cannot start implementing congestion pricing without the New York State DOT sign off,” said a dour Janno Lieber, the board chair and chief executive of the MTA during the vote. “Others may litigate that very issue, if so, so be it, but we are right now where we are.” 

As a result, MTA officials said Wednesday that without a replacement to anticipated toll revenue the authority must defer $16.5 billion worth of construction projects to modernize the region’s aging transit system, including a high-profile extension of the Second Avenue subway to Harlem, signal upgrades and new train cars, among many others. Stop-work orders have already gone out to some projects, sending the region’s contractors into a panic.

Tim Mulligan, the MTA’s deputy chief development officer, said the authority will have to prioritize essential maintenance and upgrades to keep the system functioning and defer less critical, but long sought, accessibility, expansion and modernization work.

“Our guiding principles for the last 21 days, as we've been going through this process, has been to maintain the safe and functional operation of the system,” said Mulligan as he detailed likely changes to the MTA’s capital program.

“There are things that make the system better for our customers and for operation,” Mulligan added, “but they aren't directly related to maintaining existing service in all cases, and so more deferrals [will happen] to projects that are from those categories."

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

NYC Planning wants a little more upzoning on Sutphin

 



 Queens Chronicle

The Department of City Planning provided residents an online refresher course about zoning ahead of a Zoom town hall about proposed reforms of Downtown Jamaica and parts of Hollis, last Thursday.

During the Jamaica Neighborhood Plan Town Hall, people had questions about what will be developed in the area and if its needs will be met with the plan.

DCP agency reps said they hope to get more feedback from community members regarding the rezoning. The initiative would transform Jamaica Center, the downtown area where straphangers catch the E, J and Z trains, along with nearby regions stretching to the Jamaica and Hollis Long Island Rail Road stops to Hillside Avenue in the north and the Van Wyck Expressway to the west. Last Thursday’s event was designed to lay the groundwork for an environmental review of the plan. The proposal also calls for rezoning sections of Dunkirk and 160th streets and Merrick, Sutphin and Guy R. Brewer boulevards, according to DCP. There will be no zoning changes to single- or two-family areas, said Shavvone Jackson, a DCP representative.

More than 200,000 people who live, work or go to school in and around Downtown Jamaica would be impacted by the rezoning of the area, said DCP Borough Planner Alisa Nurmansyah, using data from the 2020 Census.

“Zoning is a set of rules that control how land in a community can be used,” said Jasmin Tepale, the senior program manager at DCP, who is overseeing the Jamaica rezoning plan. “It tells us what you can build and where you can build it ... this includes the type of uses you see in a neighborhood like residential or commercial zoning ... and what a building looks like and how tall it can be.”

The three main types of zoning districts include residential, commercial and manufacturing, or R, C and M zoning districts. R1 is a low-density residential district, while R10 is a high-density district.

The purpose of the rezoning plan is to build up Downtown Jamaica, which consists of mostly two- to six-story homes and residential, commercial and manufacturing buildings to create eight- to 16-story buildings to address the growing population and low housing production in the area, according to the DCP presentation.

Data from the American Community Survey, released in 2022, said that from 2010 to 2020, Jamaica’s population increased by 13.4 percent, higher than the rest of the city, which grew by 7.7 percent. Housing production in the area increased by 10.1 percent while housing production in the city grew by 7.3 percent, which is closer to the citywide population increase, according to DCP.

Profiles of Queens Community District 12 (Jamaica, Hollis and St. Albans) said the population was approximately 225,900 in 2010 and 248,158 in 2022.

U.S. Census data said that the city’s population was 8,804,190 on April 1, 2020. A World Population Review census said the city’s population decreased to 7,931,147, but is expected to be around 9 million by 2040, according to a Fox News report on March 28.

Blossom Ferguson, one resident who was on the Zoom call, asked if any of the housing will be available to people with low incomes.

A city Housing Preservation & Development spokeswoman said that if an area is mapped for mandatory inclusionary housing, its required that a share of new housing will be permanently affordable. If a developer comes in to erect a building with more than 10 units, a percentage of them must be permanently affordable.

“Do you plan on having condos or co-ops?” Ferguson asked. “Is that already established or still in the works?”

Tepale said that based on previous feedback, many seniors who would like to leave their single-family home have expressed interest in still owning property, and condos and co-ops are something that can be created in residential zones, along with other housing types.

Lisa Edwards, another resident, said that she believes the whole rezoning plan is simply gentrification and that the whole process for the initiative is undemocratic.

“This has not been properly publicized,” Edwards said. “It does not allow for community members to hear each other’s voices and discuss.”

Jackson, who spoke during the zoning refresher, said there are 38 people on the steering committee, 26 meetings were held and that DCP has reached out to more than 2,000 people since May 2023.

“We are going to continue to create opportunities for people to engage in this process,” Jackson said.

The rent is too damn higher

 


 Queens Chronicle

In a vote affecting the roughly million New York households in rent-stabilized apartments, the New York City Rent Guidelines Board voted Monday night to allow rent increases of 2.75 percent for one-year leases and 5.25 percent for two-year leases beginning Oct. 1.

The 5-4 vote capped a contentious voting session, part of an annual process in which the city board weighs landlord and tenant economics in setting permitted rent hikes.

A crowded tenant group on the Park Avenue sidewalk outside Hunter College calling for a rent freeze preceded the vote inside. Eleven demonstrators were arrested after police ordered them to step away from the entrance.

The final decision comes after a volatile few months of meetings, including a preliminary vote April 30 during which two tenant members of the board walked out in protest. In that earlier meeting, the board decided on a potential range of rent adjustments of between 2 and 4.5 percent for a one-year lease and 4 to 6.5 percent for two-year leases.

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, a former tenant organizer, spoke at the protest, calling on the board to decide on the “lowest rent increase humanly possible.”

“Raising rents on tenants does not help landlords that are suffering,” Williams said to the crowd. “You can’t raise rent on people that do not have it.”

Landlords and their representatives assert larger increases are necessary to help them maintain buildings and afford taxes.

“Rent is income that buildings need to meet escalating costs, and we are hoping for an upward adjustment that recognizes the need to maintain buildings that are at and approaching 100 years old,” Michael Tobman of the Rent Stabilization Association told THE CITY.

According to an annual report the Rent Guidelines Board produces on building operating costs, buildings that contain rent stabilized apartments had expenses projected to increase 3.9 percent this year. Meanwhile, tenant advocates generally argue that raising rent to make up for operating expenses will only result in more evictions and homelessness.

“There are small landlords that are dealing with issues and need assistance,” Williams told THE CITY. “But we need the landlords to get help from the state and the city, and not from tenants who can’t afford it.”

 

Caption Linky Restler

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GQ4fTMwXUAA5oId?format=png&name=small 

 

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

No No No

https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qchron.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/4c/14cb214a-29a9-11ef-b6a5-9b68d9f0f55f/666b2a54f3ac0.image.jpg?resize=750%2C500

 Queens Chronicle

Apples to oranges.

That is what one Community Board 13 resident called Mayor Adams’ City of Yes housing proposal versus the possible reality of the actual plan, which promises a “little bit more housing in every neighborhood,” before the board’s Land Use Committee unanimously voted no on the scheme on Monday.

The purpose of the initiative is to create 100,000 units of housing citywide for 250,000 people by allowing new apartment complexes on properties such as church parking lots and the reconstruction of office buildings, garden apartments, commercial buildings and accessory dwelling units in both commercial and residential areas to make them affordable in the future. Residents at the meeting pointed out that there is no actual language in the mayor’s plan that guarantees low-cost homes for those who need it most.

“I’m looking at the numbers associated with increasing the housing stock and reducing homelessness,” Jax Dolly, a CB 13 resident, said during the meeting, held online.

“I’m seeing that 17 percent of the population make $20,000 and below — this is in New York City — and 45 percent make $50,000 and below. When you look at the average rent across the boroughs, it ranges from $3,000 to $5,000 in average rent.”

Dolly went on to say that if 3.9 million, or 45 percent of people in the Big Apple, can’t afford to live in the city, how will upending zoning laws to house 250,000 people address the housing crisis in 15 years?

“It makes no sense,” she said. “It feels like three-card Monte here. You are going to essentially be handing a gift to developers to come and do a land grab where they can build all of these new units, but they don’t have to offer below market rate to anyone or if they initially do they can eventually put it at market rate or above at some point. So how is this going to address the housing crisis long-term?”

Scott Solomon from the Department of City Planning said it’s understandable to have healthy skepticism about 100,000 units putting a dent in the housing crisis, but there is a lack of homes, and the hope is that with more housing stock, prices would go down.

Jackie Wilson, a CB 13 member, said she does not see the benefit of the plan for people who live in Queens or within the board’s area.

 “You’re going to pile a bunch of people [together], you’re going to pile on a bunch of traffic and there’s going to be fewer resources,” Wilson said. “What’s the benefit for us?

“What’s the benefit to homeowners here?”

The idea is that housing would be more affordable because there will be more options and there can’t be more housing options without more housing production, said Solomon.

“The goal is, primarily, to facilitate incremental housing growth so that housing prices can stabilize,” Solomon said.

Wilson said that people in residential areas in Eastern Queens already have homes, so why should the character of their neighborhoods change to benefit others while her neighbors potentially lose parking spots due to the housing development mandate making parking optional wherever any new housing is created?

“There are thousands of people who do live here who are leaving often,” Solomon said. “They are leaving the city because they can’t afford it so they sell their home because they can’t afford living here anymore, or they live in the area, don’t own a home, they want to buy a home, they leave the area, the city, the region, the state.”

Queens Chronicle 

 

Community Board 9 voted against City of Yes for Housing Opportunity at its monthly meeting Tuesday.

Prior to the vote, during the public forum, residents expressed opposition to the mayor’s sweeping proposal to update zoning laws, citing overdevelopment concerns, quality of life and overcrowded schools. The opinions echoed those of many at a Zoom meeting held a few weeks prior, where residents living in Community District 9 largely spoke against the proposal.

The group’s Land Use and Housing Committee, led by members Sylvia Hack and Andrew Taranto, introduced a resolution against the zoning text amendment.

When the resolution was brought before the board, almost all in attendance voted in favor of the decision to not support the proposal. There were only two abstentions and no dissent.

Queens Chronicle 

 

Residents of Community District 10 largely do not support City of Yes for Housing Opportunity — and they’re making it clear to their community board.

At Board 10’s meeting last week, the community turned out to make its opposition heard, alongside written notice of residents’ opinions.

The Howard Beach Lindenwood Civic, led by Phyllis Inserillo and Barbara McNamara, had spread the word for weeks about the board’s June 6 meeting, where the Department of City Planning presented the mayor’s zoning text amendment that aims to loosen restrictions and address the housing crisis.

The proposal includes removing parking mandates, legalizing accessory dwelling units and more housing above businesses, adding transit-oriented development and a new Universal Affordability Preference, which would allow developers to add at least 20 percent more housing to buildings if the additional homes are affordable to households earning 60 percent of the area median income.

After the board voted “yes” with conditions to the economic portion of the City of Yes proposal, which passed the City Council last week, Inserillo, who is also the chief of staff for Councilwoman Joann Ariola (R-Ozone Park) but recused herself from her duties for the meeting, cautioned against a similar type of vote.

She said she had not spoken to a single person within the confines of Board 10 that supported the text amendment. She also said that at a City Council Land Use Committee meeting in April, the chair of the DCP, Dan Garodnick, said a vote of yes from the community board with conditions is still a yes — even if those conditions are not met.

“You did that the last time in the economic portion but you cannot do that again,” Inserillo said. “Our community does not even want a ‘no’ vote with conditions. This plan will be a disaster for this community and the only vote we want to hear from this board is ‘no.’”

“We say no,” said McNamara during the public forum. “We live here because we want our suburban feeling while being close enough to go into the city to enjoy our theaters, museums, restaurants, etcetera. We do not want ADUs or basement dwellers or housing above our stores on Crossbay Boulevard or many apartment buildings in old Howard.”

Both Inserillo and McNamara received loud applause from the crowd following their words.

Other residents spoke on concerns that the new zoning would leave schools overcrowded and put too much pressure on the neighborhood’s firehouse on Cross Bay Boulevard, which would have more units to tend to.

The civic later posted a photo of the meeting turnout on social media, writing, “Howard Beach is saying NO to the City of Yes at the Community Board 10 meeting. We have a packed house with standing room only and there isn’t much more room to stand.

“Together, we have collected over 2,500 signatures on letters opposing the City of Yes and we will continue to collect up until the vote. Thank you to everyone who has signed and a huge thank to all those who have collected letters. Our voices are being heard loud and clear.”

 

Rescue delay 911

Nobody is going to mention the bike lanes with the cars parked in a former driving lane?

Ending the Sanctuary City lies

 

Migrant hotel shelter by Penn Station-Photo by JQ LLC

NY Post

 New York City voters in November could have the power to repeal “misguided and dangerous” “sanctuary city” laws that severely limit the NYPD’s ability to cooperate with the feds on immigration matters and are a clear “threat to public safety.”

Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island), Robert Holden (D-Queens) and six other members of the City Council’s “Common Sense Caucus” fired off a letter this week to a newly-appointed Charter Revision Commission, asking it to put a referendum question on the ballot to determine whether to roll back the “sanctuary” laws that help criminals avoid deportation.

“We are writing to urge the Charter Revision Commission to advance a ballot initiative asking voters if New York City should repeal recent so-called ‘sanctuary city’ laws that prohibit members of law enforcement and other agencies from cooperating with federal authorities to help detain or remove unauthorized, non-citizens who have committed crimes in our city,” says the letter dated Tuesday.

“We feel these laws, as currently construed, are not only misguided and dangerous, they have strayed far from their original purpose of fostering public safety. Ultimately it should be put to voters to decide who is right.”

Earlier this month, Holden and Borelli drafted legislation to repeal the sanctuary laws — but they realize it’s a pipe dream to think the Council’s left-wing majority would pass it.

So they’re hoping for better luck with the commission, which was appointed by Mayor Eric Adams, a retired NYPD cop and moderate Dem who has said the current rules are too soft on crime.

Some Common Sense Caucus members expect to pitch the referendum plan in person during a future public hearing hosted by the commission. Both Holden and Borelli said they believe voters would back their proposed ballot initiative.

Woman beats down child rapist wanted by NYPD

https://img.thedailybeast.com/image/upload/c_crop,d_placeholder_euli9k,h_675,w_1200,x_0,y_0/dpr_1.5/c_limit,w_1044/fl_lossy,q_auto/v1718759203/061924-daly-hero_gx70qw 

The Daily Beast

A sweeping manhunt in New York City ended on Tuesday after 23-year-old Angela Sauretti recognized a man in a black hoodie who entered the 108th Street Grocery in Queens at 1 a.m.

Sauretti was all but certain this was the face she had seen on Instagram—in an NYPD wanted poster for a man suspected in the machete-point rape of a 13-year-old girl as she walked with a boy her age last week.

Sauretti called out to a friend who stood nearby who had also seen the police Instagram posting. She asked if this was indeed the man more than 60 detectives had been seeking since Thursday’s broad daylight attack in a park across from the victim’s junior high school.

“I pointed him out,” Sauretti told The Daily Beast. “I’m like, ‘Yo, that’s him?’ [The friend] said, ‘Yes, that’s him.’ That’s what confirmed it. And everything just spiraled from there.”

Sauretti grabbed the man in the hoodie.

“He tried to run, so I put him in a headlock,” she told The Daily Beast.

He continued to struggle and she took an opportunity to administer her own brand of street justice

“He got something that his mother should have done to him,” she said. “I’ll put it that way.”

She added, “As a woman, I had to really set the tone and remind him, ‘It wasn’t a man that did this to you. It was a woman.’”

He kept resisting, allowing her to further impart a particular lesson.

“You did that to a woman, and a woman got back and did this to you.” she said. “So it had him contemplating, ‘Maybe I won’t mess with the next woman.’ Because you never know. There’s nice ones and there's ones that will really defend themselves and go all out.”

The man protested.

“He said, ‘Let me explain!’ I’m like, ‘There’s nothing to explain. You’re a rapist,’” she recalled. “He said, ‘I don’t care.’ I’m like, ‘What do you mean you don’t care? You’re a rapist.’ He said, ‘I don't care.’”

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Motorcycle mayhem terrorizes residents at the 34th ave open streets in Jackson Heights

Not much has been written about what a disaster these open streets have turned into and it's easy to see why. Council member Shekar Krishnan held a sham town hall about this and it mostly was about preserving the open streets than stopping the "traffic violence" that goes on there every day and night.

The Department of Transportation Alternatives is holding a survey for these dangerous open streets tonight in the hopes they will get 88 million dollars to turn those 25 blocks into an official fake park.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Expressway Haunted Mansion

Image 

Riding along the Van Wyck Expressway while it's still under construction, I did a double take and saw this huge house on the corner of 105th ave.

 Image

Parking is forbidden by the entrance but it hasn't discourage this ricer car owner. Although it looks like this house had a steady occupation by squatters for some time.

Image

A full dumpster indicates gut renovations.

Image 

Like every other abandoned house or vacant lot, the plywood fence is covered with numerous posters of festivals coming to town.

Image 

It kinda looks like the Bates Motel.

Mother?

Image

Image 

Looked up the address on the Buildings Dept. website and there isn't much information about who is renovating this house. But it did have a record of multiple families living in this quasi-mansion from 30 years ago, which surely still continued considering the number of satellite dishes. But with the City Of Yes coming, the owner of this house can get away with building a little more housing for another 10 families and a dozen single men delivering food on motorcycles.





Saturday, June 15, 2024

Frank Lloyd Crap special in Southside Queens

 

Image 

This house got some facelift. It looks they made a few extra rooms.

Image 

This reminds me of the second little piggy house.

Image 

Maybe the extra space is store these grills?

Image 

One side has shingles, the other side has brick paneling.

Image 

Maybe this is the little mo' housing from the City Of Yes doctrine.

Image 

 

Saturation pricing now

 
 

New York City officials signed off on an 8.5% water bill hike for property owners on Thursday — the largest increase since 2011.

The city Water Board begrudgingly approved the new rates during a meeting where the group also passed a resolution saying they were forced to approve such a steep hike due to a budget maneuver by Mayor Eric Adams.

The members said Adams imposed new fees on the Water Board, an independent agency that oversees the city’s water supply. The resolution said the increase will make it more difficult to justify water bill hikes in the future, which could limit board's ability to fund infrastructure to handle increasing rainfall and rising sea levels caused by climate change.

“It undermines the board's ability to consider rates in the future for critical water infrastructure, like storm water resilience and coastal resilience,” board member Dan Zarrilli said in an interview after the vote.

The increase will add $93 to the average city property owner's water bill, from $1,088 to $1,181. The new rates go into effect July 1.

 

 

Thursday, June 13, 2024

More little housing

https://qns.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/top-20-cities-with-the-smallest-size-of-new-apartments-.png?resize=1200,1106

QNS 

The average size of apartments in Queens was the smallest among all New York City boroughs in 2023, as well as the third-smallest among cities in the United States, according to a report by the real estate firm RentCafe.

At 692 square feet, Queens boasts slightly smaller apartments on average than Brooklyn’s 712 square feet. Among major U.S. cities, only Seattle and Portland have smaller averages, at 661 and 685 square feet respectively.

Compared to the historical average square footage of rentals in Queens, the borough had a decrease of 32 square feet over the last ten years, marking a 4.4% decline. Over the same period of time, Brooklyn had a 21 square feet decrease for a 2.9% decline.

In addition to Queens and Brooklyn, which placed third and fourth among the smallest average apartment sizes in the country, a third New York City borough, Manhattan, was found within the top ten, placing sixth at 737 square feet. However, unlike Queens and Brooklyn, Manhattan actually increased in square footage over the last decade. Apartments there grew 2.2% in the last ten years, adding 16 square feet to the average size of apartments there.

 

 

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

NYC Planning to hold a town hall on zoom for the Jamaica Neighboorhood Action Plan (but don't call it the City Of Yes)

 

Jamaica Plan  

Why wouldn't Natasha Williams and Dan Garodnick and all those urbanist plants from the NYC Planning office hold an in person town hall now that the weather is a lot warmer out. Maybe it's because everyone in Jamaica knows this is part of the notorious City Of Yes plan to rezone and upzone residential blocks and make driving and parking difficult for them. Here's another thing, the toxic lobbyist Cerebrus who supported the failed congestion pricing scheme-transportation alternatives, open plans and Open New York have heavily influenced the Jamaica Plan from the very beginning. This zoom town hall is going to be rigged with those lobbyist creeps and their cult supporters unless the people from Southeast Queens stops them.

Bill de Blasio DEP office staffer currently working under Mayor Adams indicted for bank fraud

 https://qns.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/860982_10201840495927448_1840875902_o.jpg
QNS

A Forest Hills man was arrested by FBI agents on Thursday morning for participating in a multi-million dollar bank fraud scheme while he was a high-ranking official in the administration of former Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Tommy Lin, 41, was charged in a superseding indictment along with two co-defendants for defrauding financial institutions which resulted in the theft of over $10 million while serving as the Director of Constituent Services in the Community Affairs Unit.

Beginning in 2018, Lin participated in a scheme with his co-defendants Zhong Shi Gao and Fei Jiang, and others to steal millions of dollars by causing transfers of funds between accounts they controlled, then falsely and fraudulently reporting that the transfers were unauthorized, which induced the financial institutions to credit them the amount of the transfers, according to the indictment. The scheme was responsible for over $10 million in actual losses to nearly a dozen banks.

“Tommy Lin allegedly participated in a complex bank fraud scheme while also serving as a Director in the New York City Mayor’s Office and Senior Advisor to the NYPD’s Asian Advisory Council,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said. “Leveraging his connections to law enforcement, he allegedly leaked personal identifying information to members of the scheme, ran background checks for them and even arranged for federal immigration authorities to arrest an individual in exchange for $20,000 in cash.”

Lin allegedly accepted that $20,000 bribe in cash in exchange for arranging for a Deportation Officer with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to arrest a disgruntled accountholder who had previously participated in the scheme, according to the indictment.

“To facilitate this conspiracy, Lin allegedly assisted members of the scheme in running background checks and accepted a significant cash bribe to arrange the arrest of a slighted account holder by immigration authorities,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge James Smith said. “Those in municipal offices are expected to conduct themselves with rectitude and obedience to the law, not engage in the purposeful manipulation of our economic infrastructure.”

Lin is charged with one count of bank fraud conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison; and one count of aggravated identity theft which carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison to be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed.

Caption Transportation Alternatives

Advocate Corey Hannigan with TSTC speaking at a microphone with fellow advocates.

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Congestion pricing is dead


 The Village Sun

 Bowing to political pressure and in the face of numerous lawsuits, Governor Hochul on Wednesday declared that the Manhattan congestion pricing plan is on an “indefinite pause.”

“After careful consideration I have come to the difficult decision that implementing the planned congestion pricing system risks too many unintended consequences,” Hochul said. “I have directed the M.T.A. to indefinitely pause the program.”

The Metropolitan Transportation’s traffic-tolling plan was set to start later this month on June 30. It would have walloped car drivers with a $15 once-a-day fee for driving into Manhattan south of 60th Street ($3.75 during off-peak hours) — and trucks with repeated fees of $24 to $36 for each time they entered the zone.

However, the scheme faced eight lawsuits, with plaintiffs ranging from New Jersey, to the teachers union to Chinatown merchants and Lower East Side residents, all of whom said the plan’s financial impact would be unfair and onerous. Among the top arguments was that a comprehensive environmental impact statement, or E.I.S., for the sweeping, first-in-the-nation plan was shockingly never done.

Retired judge and former Councilmember Kathryn Freed, who lives on the Lower East Side and is a plaintiff on a class-action lawsuit against congestion pricing, has become a sort of poster person for the opposition. Yet, she described her reaction to the plan’s shelving as “mixed.”

“I’m not one of the people who’s crazy pro-car or whatever,” she said. “The whole thing is a mess. I don’t know what Hochul was waiting for — it was massively unpopular.”

Indeed, according to a recent Siena College survey, 63 percent of New Yorkers statewide and 64 percent of Big Apple residents oppose the Manhattan congestion pricing plan, with opposition in the suburbs even higher at 72 percent. Fourteen percent said they would not come to Manhattan as often due to the toll.

At the urging of then-Governor Cuomo, the state Legislature passed congestion pricing into law five years ago, with the target of raising a total of $15 billion — at a clip of $1 billion per year — for the constantly cash-poor transit agency.

 

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Assemblywoman advocate for safe streets is a traffic violence recidivist

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GLzpL5UW0AAI_JV?format=jpg&name=large
Emily is the smirking fauxgressive on the left. Photo by JQ LLC

 

NY Post

 

Assemblywoman Emily Gallagher (D-Brooklyn) — who has demonized drivers for years as she calls for “safer streets” — has racked up at least 46 traffic tickets totaling over $4,000 over the past two-and-a-half years, a review of public records by The Post found.

The socialist pol’s 2014 White Buick Encore was caught on camera blowing through a red light in the Bronx in November 2022, and ticketed for parking in front of fire hydrants at least six times, according to city records.

Her utter disregard for the rules of the road extends beyond the Big Apple: In March 2022, Albany traffic cops slapped the far-left lawmaker with an expired-meter ticket that she has yet to pay, records show.

 

Gallagher has been upfront about her war on cars, and called driving a “very kind of aggressive activity” in a 2022 interview.

The scofflaw lawmaker backed a bill known as “Sammy’s Law,” which allows the city to lower speed limits to as low as 10 mph on some streets.


Thursday, May 30, 2024

Senator Ramos kills Cohen's casino

 https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qchron.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/c0/ec012054-1d2b-11ef-a7ab-c7526d18a8db/665636cbedb1f.image.jpg?resize=750%2C500

 Queens Chronicle

After more than a year of deliberation, state Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-Jackson Heights) on Tuesday announced that she will not be introducing the legislation necessary to make way for Mets owner Steve Cohen to build a casino next to Citi Field. 

Instead, she is introducing her own plan.

“We’re not in a place to host a casino,” Ramos told New York magazine, which first reported the decision Tuesday morning. “The people who are here, they’re hoping to build generational wealth. And I just don’t see how a casino helps us meet that goal. I mean, it’s literally the opposite. It’s the extraction of the very little wealth we have.”

In a statement, she elaborated, “Whether people rallied for or against Metropolitan Park, I heard the same dreams for Corona. We want investment and opportunity, we are desperate for green space, and recreation for the whole family.

“We disagree on the premise that we have to accept a casino in our backyard as the trade-off. I resent the conditions and the generations of neglect that have made many of us so desperate that we would be willing to settle.”

Since the parking lot at the stadium is legally parkland, in order for anything to be built at the site, the state Legislature must pass parkland alienation legislation allowing the spot to be used for that purpose, be it a casino or otherwise. While Assemblyman Jeff Aubry (D-Corona) had introduced that legislation to back a casino as part of Cohen’s Metropolitan Park plan — which would include a casino, a hotel, 25 acres of green space, a concert hall and a Queens food hall — Ramos had not, and said Tuesday she will not do so. Aubry did not immediately respond to the Chronicle’s request for comment on the matter. 

The senator’s alternative plan, parkland alienation legislation that she introduced Tuesday, essentially includes Cohen’s entire proposal, minus the casino. Instead of 25 acres of green space, she’s calling for 50 acres. 

Ramos’ decision follows several town halls on the issue over the last year and a half, some of which she has hosted and others of which Cohen has. The senator also conducted a poll on the project within her district, which found that 75 percent were opposed to a casino; Cohen’s own poll, meanwhile, showed that 62 percent were in favor of one, with 75 percent backing the plan as a whole.

Throughout the process, Cohen and his chief of staff, Michael Sullivan, have been adamant that the project cannot go forward without a casino, saying there would be no year-round economic driver for the complex without it. But Ramos called that idea into question while speaking with reporters via Zoom Tuesday afternoon. 

“Cohen is worth an estimated $18 billion-plus, to my estimation, and so math would dictate that a casino would not be necessary to build out any part of the remaining project,” the senator said. “My hope is that he sees that people are counting on him to do the right thing here. He will remain our neighbor as long as he is the owner of the Mets, and he can gain trust and good public will by being responsive to our neighbors’ desires.”

When the Chronicle asked Aubry about Ramos’ desire for Cohen to foot the bill without a casino, the assemblyman cut in, “Stop. Just stop.”

“She isn’t hoping that they would — she’s only trying to cover up so that no one will blame her that she has denied the kind of real benefits that the community would get if the whole plan is going,” Aubry said. “You don’t take out the money-generating portion of this plan, and then say, ‘Oh, well, do everything else.’”

Meanwhile, Cohen’s camp still thinks a casino is the only way to build anything financially feasible at the site, which the team has under lease for another 81 years. Asked whether Cohen and his team will consider Ramos’ proposal, Karl Rickett, a spokesperson for the project, told the Chronicle, “Year-round entertainment is core to any realistic vision for this area, and casino gaming is that economic engine. So it’s an absolutely critical part of this process.”

As such, per Rickett’s statement, Cohen and his team “remain committed” to making Metropolitan Park a reality, and to getting the parkland alienation and one of three downstate casino licenses the state Gaming Commission will award in 2025.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Sanctuary City For Sale

https://i0.wp.com/www.thecity.nyc/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/adams_hu_1.jpg?resize=683%2C1024&ssl=1
THE CITY

It was already dark when Mayor Eric Adams and his security detail pulled up to the curb of the Wyndham Garden, a drab hotel next to a strip mall in Fresh Meadows, Queens.

At the time, his administration was paying for the hotel to shelter more than 100 formerly incarcerated New Yorkers integrating back into society after their release.

But the mayor wasn’t here to check in on one of his criminal justice initiatives. On that November evening nearly two years ago, Adams was visiting Winnie Greco, a top mayoral staffer, who had recently moved into one of the rooms at the Wyndham Garden.

Adams got out of the car, walked through a side door and went up to Greco’s specially arranged suite on the 11th floor, according to two sources with knowledge of the visit.

The mayor had been to the hotel before. Its owner, Weihong Hu, had thrown two campaign fundraisers with Adams present when he was running for mayor in 2021. Now Hu, who was reaping millions of dollars in city business through this very facility, was housing Greco in a room paid for by taxpayers, business and government records obtained for this story show. 

Greco ended up staying at Hu’s hotel for more than eight months, initially as she recovered from surgery, according to two sources with knowledge of her stay.

The lodging arranged for the mayor’s advisor is just one facet of a mutually beneficial relationship between Adams, an aggressive campaign fundraiser, and Hu, an ambitious hotel operator who bundled tens of thousands of dollars in campaign checks for his mayoral campaign and subsequently scored behind-the-scenes benefits and millions in contract dollars from his administration, an investigation by THE CITY, The Guardian US and Documented reveals.

The details of how this relationship blossomed in the odd setting of a hotel-turned-shelter offer a rare window into the way transactional dealings have taken shape in the Adams era. 

This report is based on a review of thousands of pages of city and business records and interviews with more than 20 of Hu’s former associates and current and former government officials. Nearly all sources spoke on the condition of anonymity citing fears of retaliation from Hu or the administration. Several provided reporters with photos, text messages, emails and videos to back up their claims.

In Hu’s case, multimillion-dollar city-funded contracts to her companies’ hotels continued to flow as she befriended a tightly knit core of the mayor’s longtime associates, some the subject of law enforcement investigations and ethical controversies who multiple sources say pledged to go to bat for her with city agencies.

It was at a 2021 fundraiser with Adams at her hotel that Hu became acquainted with a longtime pal of the future mayor, John Sampson. Formerly a state senator, Sampson had been released from federal custody only a month earlier, after being sentenced to a five-year prison term for trying to obstruct a probe investigating allegations that he embezzled more than $400,000. 

Hu named Sampson as CEO of one of her hotel companies in early 2023, and, according to a former city official familiar with the situation, he committed to helping her land a lucrative contract for a migrant shelter at a hotel she operates in Long Island City, Queens. A month later, the Department of Homeless Services approved a city-funded migrant contract slated to disburse $7.5 million annually to the hotel.

Hu also enlisted the help of another trusted Adams advisor, Rev. Alfred Cockfield II, whom she introduced to colleagues as a “consultant,” according to one former associate who said he attended business meetings with Hu and Cockfield. The former associate and another source with direct knowledge of the matter said Hu enlisted Cockfield to help her reverse city orders halting construction at two major hotel developments in midtown Manhattan.

Cockfield is a politically wired pastor who, after Adams won the mayoral primary, launched a political action committee, Striving for a Better New York, which he told Politico was intended to uplift “moderate,” “pro-business” candidates in the Adams mold. 

“The work I’m doing is God’s work,” he said. 

Yet campaign finance records show the PAC paid Cockfield $144,000 in wages and consulting fees — many times more than what it ever gave to an individual candidate. It also gave $60,000 to a charter school Cockfield leads. Last year, the school returned the entire sum after the state’s Division of Election Law Enforcement sent inquiries to the PAC about some of its allocations. 

The mayor’s son, Jordan Coleman, dressed in black and pushing a roller suitcase, and an unidentified woman also stayed in a room in November 2022 at the Fresh Meadows hotel where Greco was staying, according to a former worker at the hotel. That room, too, was among the 148 paid for by taxpayers.

Coleman hung up on a reporter and didn’t respond to text messages seeking comment. In a phone call, Hu’s attorney, Kevin Tung, denied that the mayor’s son stayed at the hotel overnight, but said he may have visited to discuss business with Greco, who has at times accompanied him to events.

The administration’s largesse flowed back to Hu in a variety of ways, the investigation’s findings show. After Adams came into office, his administration authorized the renewal of Hu’s six-month shelter contract at the Fresh Meadows hotel four times, reaping her business $6.2 million a year in income. 

It also finalized a second contract sending $6.3 million a year to Hu’s hotel in Long Island City, despite a history of elevator breakdowns and minimal housekeeping detailed to reporters by former workers and claimed in court documents. 

Last year, the Department of Homeless Services twice approved a more lucrative arrangement for the Long Island City hotel, bumping its annual potential revenue to a total of $8.8 million, government records show.

The help a close Adams ally can offer was evident on two occasions in which, according to sources, Hu tapped Cockfield for assistance with city authorities.

After a building inspector halted construction at one of her hotel developments, near Bryant Park on West 39th Street, citing a serious safety issue, the minister made a late-night call to top Department of Buildings officials and urged them to allow construction to proceed, according to a source familiar with buildings department operations. 

Roughly an hour later, the agency reversed the stop work order, which department records show was lifted just after 11 p.m.

At the second hotel development, Hu retained Cockfield to help lift a city Department of Buildings stop-work order issued after Hu’s team had begun an illegal demolition of rent-stabilized apartment buildings on West 35th Street in Manhattan, according to a source who said he attended meetings with Hu and Cockfield about the situation. That source said Cockfield and another individual he couldn’t identify promised to call city agencies on the hotel owner’s behalf. 

In late 2022, the Department of Buildings gave Hu permission to resume construction on that site, approving a plan that ignored a previous commitment to neighborhood leaders and the city’s housing agency to preserve affordable apartments.

Monday, May 27, 2024

Low Standard Mayor lowers qualifications for lifeguards

 QNS

Rockaway Beach welcomed back tens of thousands of New Yorkers on Saturday as the city reopened 14 miles of public beaches, one day after Mayor Eric Adams announced a surprise deal between NYC Parks and DC37, the union representing lifeguards, so more beaches could open during the Memorial Day weekend.

During a hastily scheduled press conference at City Hall on Friday, the Mayor and NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue said an arbitration panel issued an award in the city’s ongoing negotiations with the DC37 bargaining unit that will “functionally pave the way” for the city to be able to hire more lifeguards, allow more swimming capacity at beaches and pools, and improve operations of the city lifeguard program.

 “Today’s a big win for public safety at our pools and beaches means we’ll be able to hire more lifeguards for this summer and get even more in the pipeline for summers to come,” Adams said. “All our lifeguards will still be trained in CPR, first aid, and rescue skills, and we’ll be able to have our strongest swimmers focused on our beaches, where conditions are rougher.” Like the beaches along the Rockaway peninsula where rip tides can be particularly dangerous, posing a threat over the last several years due to chronic lifeguard shortages.

“Since the pandemic, it’s been an enormous challenge throughout the country, we know, to hire lifeguards and New York City has been no exception,” Donoghue said. “At Parks, we have been working hard to rebuild our lifeguard ranks and have implemented new policies to bring as many lifeguards as we possibly can.”

Fully staffed beaches are crucial to the economy in the Rockaways, but after multiple fatal drownings in recent years, Council Member Joann Ariola has reservations about the lifeguard deal.

“We absolutely should not be slashing standards in such an important area,” Ariola told QNS on Saturday. “Our lifeguards need to be supremely qualified to ensure that, if a crisis happens, they are in the best condition possible to save a life. The city should be devoting more resources towards swimming education, so that young New Yorkers will have the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to make them excellent lifeguards. Cutting standards like this is dangerous, and I can’t see anything good coming from it. It is a tragedy waiting to happen.”

.

 

In Memoriam

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Queens is burning by the open streets

 

Image
Photo by Shebbie

 Eyewitness News

Several people, including a mom and her baby, were rescued by firefighters after a fire broke out at an apartment building in Queens Friday.

FDNY officials say the fire broke out just after 7 p.m. on the second floor of a four-story apartment building located at 34-09 83rd Street in Jackson Heights.

They say the fire originated in the kitchen area. When firefighters arrived, they encountered the fire coming from an open door leading to the public hallway.

As first responders began searching the building, they found several people trying to escape from the flames.

One of the tenants was located on the fire escape, while another tenant, a woman with a baby, was located on the roof of the building.

Firefighters rescued those tenants and brought them to EMS.

Officials say three civilians suffered minor injuries. It's not clear if those are the same three people rescued by first responders.

No firefighters were injured.

The fire was placed under control just after 8 p.m.

FDNY Deputy Chief Joseph Jardin said an e-bike or lithium-ion battery scooter was discovered near the kitchen, but it's not clear if that was what sparked the fire.

 

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Liquor Store owner shoots shoplifter by accident while pistol whipping him


https://qns.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/thumbnail.jpg  

QNS

The owner of a Ridgewood liquor store was arrested and charged for shooting an alleged shoplifter from Brooklyn on Monday evening.

Francisco Valerio, 53, was taken into custody and booked at the 104th Precinct in Ridgewood on a first-degree reckless endangerment charge after he accidentally shot a 20-year-old who was assaulting him during a chaotic struggle inside his Franja Wine and Liquors shop at 785 Wyckoff Ave., according to the NYPD.

Upon further investigation, Edwin Poaquiza and Kevin Pullutasi, 20, both from Brooklyn, entered the shop just before 7:45 p.m. and began to take bottles of liquor without paying. Valerio noticed the shoplifting in progress and chased both men out of his store. Both men returned a short while later and assaulted Valerio, who had a registered handgun. As the struggle escalated, Valerio allegedly fired a shot that struck Pullutasi in the abdomen. His accomplice Poaquiza ran from the store but was arrested moments later around the block at Ridgewood Place and Putnam Avenue.

EMS responded to the crime scene and rushed Pullutasi to Elmhurst Hospital where he was listed in stable condition and placed under arrest, police said

 

Saturday, May 18, 2024

City Of Don't Mess With Us

 https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qchron.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/f0/0f001eb2-71df-59cb-870f-bb1daa631c0c/66462c5b4e67d.image.jpg?resize=750%2C423

 Queens Chronicle

None of the members of Community Board 12’s Land Use Committee were for Mayor Adams’ City of Yes housing plan after listening to a presentation from the Department of City Planning on May 7.

In fact, many felt downright disrespected by the proposal, which they said was created without any community input.

The mayor’s plan calls for upzoning single-family areas to make way for denser multifamily buildings.

The measure would allow low-density housing areas with three to five stories to be eligible for higher density; more houses to be built by subway stations; basement, attic and garage apartment legalization; and religious institutions dedicating parcels of their land to housing. The purpose of the plan is to build enough units to help bring down the costs as the city goes through a housing crisis.

Rene Hill, a CB 12 member, said she does not consider herself a “not in my backyard” person, but she along with others on the committee and the community board bought their homes because of the area’s low density. She doesn’t believe the housing plan will work as intended, and worse, it will drive up prices in residential areas, pushing homeowners out.

“We are trying to keep our homes,” Hill said. “We are middle-class people who want to stay here. We do not want to move into Long Island.”

Hill said developers are renting single bedrooms for upwards of $3,000 a unit and if the administration wants to solve the housing crisis, probably it should put a cap on rent instead of investing in high-rise hotels.

“It should be $650 or $750,” Hill said about rent at apartment complexes. “This is ridiculous, this is an insult, this is disrespectful to us and you should tell the mayor stay away from us. He needs to because he will not be elected again. You can let him know that ... We are going to vote Republican if we have to.”

Michelle Keller said instead of the DCP trying to defend the mayor’s housing plan, it has sent different representatives to the board’s meetings trying to “cajole us.”

“You need to listen to the taxpayers and the constituents here,” Keller said. “You are trying to tell us here that having these high-rise buildings or [accessory dwelling units] is going to be minimal and is going to help us. The elephant in the room is that you are helping these people who are coming from these other countries and now you want us to be onboard with that. I’m not on board with it.”

“Stop acting like you are for us,” Keller said to the DCP representatives. “I do not even know where you live, but when that happens most of us will be in a pickle and we will have to deal with the taxes on our homes and the quality of life has already gone down the drain.”