Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day from Queens Crap!

Tickets going fast! Oh wait, there are no tickets. Just a big Irish tweederfest. Who wouldn't want the Tom Manton Irish Person of the Year award?

CB4 votes against requested zoning change

From the Times Ledger:

Developers at a site in Elmhurst may not be getting the zoning change they need for a 13-story housing complex and Target location if Community Board 4 and anti-gentrification groups have the final say.

The advisory board at Tuesday’s meeting voted against the variance to allow Sun Equity Partners and Heskel Group to build an additional three floors on the proposal site and asked that the city accept their recommendation to downzone the area to further prevent the development from happening.

More than 30 public speakers, including political hopefuls, filled the roster at the March 13 meeting and sitting space in Elmhurst Hospital’s auditorium was exhausted with activists from Queens Neighborhoods United filling the periphery with signs calling to protect their neighborhood from gentrification.

One resident during the public speaking portion of the meeting pointed out that nobody spoke in favor of the proposal while representatives from the developers were seen making snide remarks and gestures at the remarks being said.

The community board eventually voted nearly unanimously against the zoning change that would grant the extra building height with recommendation to lower the zoning to below the current height restriction.

City doesn't really care what Blissville (or anyone) thinks

Friday, March 16, 2018

Dulcken demolished

From George the Atheist.

Homeowner gets stuck with sidewalk repair bill

From NBC:

A New York City man was stuck with a charge for the sidewalk outside his home even though he was involved in a free repair program with the city. Lynda Baquero reports.

Bill's Blissville B.S.

From CBS 2:

Less than 500 people currently live in Blissville, yes, that’s what they really call it, a five-block area in the southeast corner of Long Island City. But they will soon be outnumbered by homeless people.

The Department of Homeless Services is turning the Fairfield Inn on Van Dam Avenue into a permanent homeless shelter for hundreds of adults. More than 100 men already live in a temporary shelter in the City View Hotel two blocks away, and even more homeless families are staying in another hotel less than a mile away.

“People’s cars have been broken into. There have been robberies. People hanging out, asking for money cigarettes and what not, odd behavior,” Perez said.

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said he and Blissville residents aren’t opposed to helping the homeless. The issue, he says, is about fairness.

“My district now houses four times the number of homeless individuals than we produce,” Van Bramer said. “And the mayor’s whole plan is about equity.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the homeless population in Blissville will decline as the temporary shelters close, but added, “We’ll keep looking at that community to make sure what’s done is fair.”

Thursday, March 15, 2018

LIC is not having it

From QNS:

Earlier this month, Long Island City residents rallied against a proposal to develop two city-owned lots along the waterfront. But developers are arguing that their plan was made with the community in mind.

Last July, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that TF Cornerstone was chosen to develop two sites that sit on 44th Drive. The plan includes 1,000 units of housing, an elementary school, manufacturing and commercial space, a performance space and waterfront access.

Almost immediately after the plan was announced, residents began to express their disappointment at Community Board 2 meetings, through a petition and a rally held on March 3.

Since the land is publicly owned, residents feel that they should have been consulted before the city finalized any plans. According to the LIC Coalition, the group that created the petition, residents want a portion of the land to be turned into a wetland park. Since the sites sit in a flood zone, they argue that constructing large buildings would make the land vulnerable.

Residents also want to see a community recreation center, “school seats, artist and light manufacturing space, a cultural center, a climate change educational center, job training, space for NGOs and other community benefits,” the petition said.

A great job by all...

From the Daily News:

The average nightly population in city homeless shelters last December was 63,495 — a record high, the annual State of the Homeless Report from the Coalition for the Homeless found.

“It’s a huge amount of people,” Giselle Routhier, policy director at Coalition for the Homeless, said. “There’s only nine cities in the entire state that have populations greater than our shelter system.”

It comes a year into Mayor de Blasio’s “Turning the Tide Plan,” which only aims to cut the shelter population by 2,500. The coalition has been calling on de Blasio to help the homeless through one of his other plans — to build affordable housing. They want him to set aside at least 10% of units for the homeless.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The MTA did this to themselves

From the Village Voice:

In the summer of 2014, New York City Transit intern Philip Betheil was finishing up his master’s in urban planning at Columbia University when his boss, David Greenberger, gave him a project. The two worked for NYCT’s operations planning division, and Greenberger tasked Betheil with looking into an arcane bit of subway minutiae called signal modifications and what effect they had on train service. They worked on the report on and off over that summer, tossing more than a dozen drafts back and forth.

In August of 2014, after Betheil’s internship had ended, the draft report languished in the organization’s digital innards. (Betheil declined to comment on the record for this article. Greenberger did not respond to a request for comment.)

But now, more than three years later, the report, which was obtained by the Village Voice along with other internal documents, provides a radically different explanation for the subway’s declining performance than the one that MTA leadership has given the public. The root cause of the subway system’s decay, it turns out, isn’t budget cuts or overcrowding — rather, the collapse of the subway system appears to have been primarily self-inflicted by the authority itself, in response to a single accident two decades ago that set the transit system on a path to disaster.

Moreover, these internal documents suggest that much of what the MTA is doing to fix the subways, including the authority’s $836 million Subway Action Plan, is not addressing the bulk of the delays that are plaguing the city’s transit system. And only now has the subway’s leadership, since the recent hiring of New York City Transit president Andy Byford, begun to seriously consider its own role.

“It’s not that complicated,” a source with direct knowledge of the situation who asked not to be identified told the Village Voice. “The trains are slower because they slowed the trains down.”

Because 1 de Blasio hasn't done enough damage

From Politicker:

New York City’s First Lady Chirlane McCray opened up about what has led her to consider higher office in 2021 and the challenges that come with her job during her first-ever gaggle with the media amid heightened scrutiny of her role in appointing top City Hall staffers.

On Monday night, McCray told NY1’s Courtney Gross that 2021 is among timeframes she is considering for a possible political office run. In November 2017, she told Cosmopolitan magazine she isn’t ruling out public office. And last month, she told Observer that running for office or leading a not-for-profit are both possibilities.

On Tuesday morning, after announcing that the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City—of which she is chairwoman—and the Hispanic Federation would provide $200,000 to support mental health services in Puerto Rico post-Hurricane Maria and send a 12-person team to aid in recovery, McCray said she’s undecided on a position.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Glendale landlord hoards tenants' trash

From CBS 2:

For tenants in one Queens building, it’s a living nightmare.

They claim their landlord hoards their trash and that the smell has caused a cascade of problems, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported Sunday night.

Kathleen Midlaw is literally bugging out inside her Glendale apartment. It’s infested with gnats.

When she invited CBS2 to the building, Sanchez sensed the root of the problem — a horrible stench coming from the basement

Garbage, huge bags of it, were stacked up, wall to wall in the basement of the building on 65th Place. Midlaw and her neighbors blame their landlord, Maria Hlawaty. Tenants say she has been hoarding their garbage for years.

Here's where they want you to hold onto your poop

From QNS:

The next time it rains, the city’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) wants Queens residents to wait until it stops before doing the dishes, taking a shower or flushing a toilet.

The appropriately titled “Wait…” pilot program is expanding throughout western Queens, the DEP announced on Monday. Participating homeowners and tenants are sent text messages alerting them that the Newtown Creek and Bowery Bay Wastewater Treatment plants are near capacity — and that they should minimize their water use in order to prevent sewer overflows from spilling into already polluted waterways such as the Newtown Creek and Flushing Creek.

The pilot program area of Queens covers all neighborhoods north of the Jackie Robinson Parkway and west of the Van Wyck Expressway, as well as portions of Kew Gardens Hills and Briarwood.

According to advocates, the Wait Program is geared at educating the public about where their dirty water winds up after going down the drain. Wastewater produced whenever someone washes clothes or dishes, or even flushes a toilet, travels into the city’s vast underground sewer system, destined for one of many sewage treatment plants for cleanup and processing.

But in a heavy rain event, not all of the storm runoff and wastewater winds up in the sewage treatment plants. When the plants hit capacity, excess wastewater is expelled through combined sewer overflows into waterways across the city. About 90 percent of the overflow is comprised of storm runoff, and the rest is household wastewater containing detergents, chemicals and raw sewage.

Hey, how about limiting the building in these boroughs until the city gets a handle on how much waste they produce?