Monday, August 21, 2017

Details released about Vallone petitions

Forgery - Garden Variety and the Real Deal - Part 1 by Paul Graziano on Scribd

WOW, and this is only part 1!

Good times.

Lobbyists basically run City Hall

From Politico:

As Mayor Bill de Blasio’s staff first learned to navigate the city’s vast bureaucracy, they sought regular help from an eager lobbying firm that had much to gain in return.

Commissioners and employees across city agencies solicited the advice of the firm Capalino + Company to shape policy, raise funds for events and answer technical questions on myriad aspects of municipal government, according to thousands of pages of emails reviewed by POLITICO New York.

The emails, obtained through a records request, show Capalino's stable of lobbyists was so entrenched in the minutiae of de Blasio's first term, they formed an unofficial, additional layer of government — sometimes instructing staffers how to do their jobs — all while advancing the interests of their paying clients.

Bureaucracy keeps small business in the dark

From CBS:

Anil Argawal, wiping away tears, explains the frustration of sitting in his dark Kew Gardens, Queens, grocery store, with no electricity, empty coolers and freezers, and no business for months.

“I came 30 years ago in this country hoping to make a bright future for my kids and my wife,” he told CBS2’s Marcia Kramer. “Now I feel like I got nothing to provide them.”

CBS2 first reported about Argarwal’s plight six weeks ago after the electricity was turned off as the result of a complicated series of events involving the MTA, which owns the property because the store is on a bridge over the Long Island Rail Road; the landlord, who has a deal with the MTA to sublease the 13 stores on the bridge; and Con Ed, which was called in to help upgrade the power lines, a move necessary to serve the freezers and coolers installed in the grocery.

Putting aside the blame game, an Aug. 4 letter from Con Ed to landlord Kunal Kapoor said he had to install something called a “sleeve” in the foundation before Con Ed could get started.

The landlord’s lawyer said he thought the sleeve came after Con Ed did the work. Now he knows differently. He said he expects the sleeve will be installed next week.

The real question is whether Argawal will ever be able to restock all the empty shelves

“I don’t even have the money to fill it up,” he said.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

A crap above, Ridgewood edition

Here we are at 1874 Hart Street, which is on a nice, quiet, rowhouse-lined block in Ridgewood.
What we have here is a horrendous vertical enlargement.
The 4-apartment building will soon be an 8-apartment building.
Some of the complaints are quite interesting.
One resulted in a stop work order.
Looks like they're also moving the entrance over to the left and installing a ramp which no other building on this street has. Sigh.

Seriously stupid

So is there one DOT crew that installs these and another that comes and takes the plastic off? Or did someone just do a half-assed job, which is what I suspect?

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Worker dies at Manhattan building project site

From the Daily News:

A 22-year-old construction worker from Yonkers died after falling 20 feet down an elevator shaft while working on a high-profile luxury building, police said.

Jonathan Lupinski fell two stories to the basement at 281 Fifth Ave. at E. 30th St. about 9:40 a.m. He suffered grave head injuries.

“While stripping the elevator shaft, the worker fell to the cellar level,” a Department of Buildings report said.

Medics rushed him to Bellevue Hospital, where he died, officials said.

What killed the Flushing Creek fish?

From the Queens Tribune:

With reports last week of “thousands of dead fish” floating in Flushing Creek, the city’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) placed the blame on predatory TK fish, which the agency said chased the defenseless fish into low-oxygen areas where they ultimately died.

But Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) and local environmentalists tell a different story, blaming the deaths of the fish on the polluted conditions in the creek, where the city is currently looking to reduce combined sewage overflows (CSOs). These are instances where, during heavy rainfall, sewage-treatment plants cannot handle the increased load, and a combination of excess rainwater and untreated sewage seeps into local waterways.

On Aug. 11, Koo used the deaths of the fish as evidence that the city should rethink its long-term control plan for Flushing Creek and Flushing Bay—which is the DEP’s plan to reduce CSOs. Alongside environmentalists, Koo argued that the plan’s use of chlorine to disinfect the waters could have a negative impact on the waters’ ecosystems, and that the city should invest in increasing the capacity of the area’s sewage infrastructure.

The DEP also says it sampled the waters the Monday before the fish kill, which occurred on Aug. 9, and found sufficient oxygen to support marine life. Additionally, it says the rain that occurred that Monday was all captured by the $350 million sewer overflow tank. It argues that fish kills like this have happened before, and if the water conditions were at fault, the predatory fish would be dying as well. The DEP is building green infrastructure in the area to capture stormwater before it enters the sewer system.

But marine immunologist James Cervino, who is the chairman of Community Board 7’s environmental committee, said that he analyzed the dead fish and concluded that the fish were killed by polluted waters. He said that had the fish been killed off in a predatory event, there would be “massive lesions and bitemarks.”

“There [are] no bitemarks,” he said. “Some of the fish have been eaten by blue fish and chased, which is a normal process, but a majority of fish that died off were due to a harmful algal bloom.”

What the hell is a TK fish?

Development along coast is questioned

From DNA Info:

Critics of the city's plan to build a school, offices and 1,000 apartments on the Long Island City waterfront called it "irresponsible" to develop the site because it's located in a hurricane evacuation zone that's prone to flooding during storms.

Advocates said they would rather see the two city-owned parcels — located next to the East River at the end of 44th Drive — converted to public parkland, with plantings, oyster beds and other green infrastructure to help make the area more resistant to floods.

"We think continuing to build in a flood plain is irresponsible," said Diane Hendry, a member of the LIC Coalition, an advocacy group that launched a petition last week opposing the city's plans. "The land is a natural wetlands. It should be preserved. We do not want this land used for 1,000 luxury units."

The city's Economic Development Corporation and developer TF Cornerstone are planning the mixed-use project, which will include a 600-seat school, offices and light manufacturing space, as well as at least 1,000 apartments, a quarter of which will be set aside for affordable housing.

The development will rise on two sites across the street from one another: 5-40 44th Drive, currently a Department of Transportation facility, and 4-99 44th Drive, which includes a Department of Education parking lot and the shuttered Water's Edge restaurant.

The site is located within Hurricane Evacuation Zone 1, what the city has designated as the most likely to flood during a storm. The parcels also sit on the border between two FEMA flood zones with the highest risk of flooding, according to a map from the agency.