Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Brooklyn roof collapse injures 6

From the Daily News:

Six construction workers were hurt, two seriously, when a load of cinderblocks sparked a partial collapse at a Brooklyn building Tuesday morning, officials said.

The half dozen hardhats suffered head, arm and chest injuries when the roof of the Crown Heights building gave out from under them about 9:45 a.m.

One construction worker suffered a compound fracture to his left leg and needed to be carried out of the building, a source said.

“A concentrated load of cinderblocks was placed on the roof level in a concentrated area and it was too much weight,” said FDNY Brooklyn Borough Commander Assistant Chief Dwayne Cartwright. “It collapsed into the basement.”

City to shelter providers: "Name your price"

From the NY Times:

Under pressure to shelter close to 58,000 homeless people on a daily basis, New York City has been paying widely varying rates to shelter providers and, until recently, had no set procedure for determining how much to pay, according to a new audit.

The state comptroller’s office could not determine whether the city is paying reasonable rates for nearly 750 shelters that have cost the city more than $1.1 billion annually, according to the audit, which looked at a sampling of contracts over a four-year period.

Examining 23 new contracts for shelters, auditors concluded that shelter providers named their own prices with little pushback from the Department of Homeless Services. The rates charged by two comparable shelters might differ by as much as $225 per person per day, according to the audit.

Fresh Meadows concerned about oversized day care center

From the Queens Chronicle:

About 75 concerned Fresh Meadows residents, many of whom are senior citizens, on Tuesday vehemently opposed the construction of Great Sunshine Daycare on 67th Avenue and 172nd Street saying, despite the center’s name, the site will cast a dark cloud over the suburban neighborhood’s already busy intersection, just one block from PS 173’s playground, and steps from MS 216.

Resident Cliff Hamburger — who presented at a town hall meeting held to discuss concerns about the proposed development — explained potential traffic congestion.

“You can’t unload a school bus in less than a minute,” Hamburger said at the meeting in PS 173’s auditorium.

The drop-off route for the day care will follow the already congested 67th Avenue, and exit from 72nd Street.

“[Or], the mother will have to drop off a toddler, take the child in, get him/her settled, resulting in idling engines,” Hamburger said, adding that staff will need “street parking, weekly deliveries and garbage collection.

“The DOT has agreed to finally conduct a traffic study,” Hamburger added. “So pending that, there is a stop-work order in place for the facility.”

The facility will be equipped with nine classrooms for approximately 290 students, and 30 staff members. It’s also proposed to have 11 parking spaces on the ground floor, one elevator and two staircases.

Rob Agnello, another presenter, discussed sewer capabilities for the facility, which currently only has one at 36 inches in diameter.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The mysterious and creepy abandoned nursing home

Hi Crappie, I was wondering if anyone knows what's going on with the Nursing Home that's on the beach in Neponsit. I remember that Mayor Giuliani ordered an evacuation in the middle of the night in the winter because of structural problems with the building.There was an outcry that some people died from the move and there was talk that the mayor was doing his developer friends a favor by condemning the property. Recently I was at Riis Park and noticed a police car sitting by the building all day. What's up?

The Nursing Home on the boardwalk at 116 street has a dead tree hanging over it's main entrance.The tree was half dead before Hurricane Katrina pushed the boardwalk against the building. You think someone would have removed the dead tree before it clobbers someone and they will sue the city for millions.


- Rich

State would make more money off filming if it ended subsidies

From the Village Voice:

When the D.C.-based subsidy watch group Good Jobs First released its analysis recently of the $1.2 billion that New York State hands out in tax breaks to private industries each year, one item stood out: $621 million in subsidies for film and TV shoots that take place in the state. That means every man, woman, and child in New York shells out an average of $31 a year in public money into the coffers of studios and production companies.

...though both the city and state film offices provide data showing that the film industry has grown here since Governor George Pataki instituted the state’s tax credit program in 2004, economic experts aren’t so sure, pointing to other numbers that show that film and TV shoots don’t employ many more people in the state than they did fifteen years ago — and that any gain is nowhere near worth the hundreds of millions of dollars a year that the state pours into it.

And even if a positive impact does exist, New York’s film industry spending may just be a way of treading water: a zero-sum game where states compete to throw increasing amounts of tax money at the same number of jobs. It’s a problem that corporate-subsidy experts in other industries have dubbed “the economic war among the states” — and it serves mostly to funnel money out of public treasuries and into private pockets.

How could one set of numbers show that film tax credits have led to a huge boom in production jobs, while others show little to no effect? One issue is that the state’s audits separately report each job stint, no matter how short, rather than converting to “full-time equivalent” jobs — a tiny footnote in the Camoin study indicates that “if one person is employed part-time for four months, then takes two months off and is hired again for four months that would be counted as two jobs.” As a result, the official state numbers double- or triple-count crew members who work on multiple productions in one year.

Thom says that a study by the California legislature estimated that one-third of production activity in that state would take place in that state with or without subsidies. If the same ratio holds true in New York, then even if the state cut off the subsidy spigot and two-thirds of productions hightailed it to more budget-friendly climes, the state would still collect more than $250 million a year in tax revenues on an expense of zero dollars. With the current program running about a $100 million annual return by the state’s own figures, this implies that New York state would bring in about $150 million a year more in net revenues if it cut off film credits entirely — money it could conceivably then spend on more effective job-creation programs.

Kew Gardens residents upset that their building became a homeless shelter

From the Queens Chronicle:

Tenants living in the apartments above the Kew Gardens Comfort Inn — where the city is renting 42 rooms and housing homeless individuals in 19 of them — only found out about the move through media reports, according to one resident who spoke at Community Board 9’s meeting Tuesday night.

“I myself found out watching the evening news,” said Jonathan, who only wanted his first name used. “And then my mother called me to tell me she saw it on the news as well.”

According to Jonathan, residents at The Kewl — the name for the apartments above the hotel — have been unable to get in contact with their management company about the situation.

“We know nothing,” he said.

He pleaded with board members to provide the tenants with any information they can.

“Help us know what’s going on so we can make decisions for our family,” Jonathan said.

Raj Rampershad, chairman of CB 9, said he, too, was irate at the lack of notice.

“We weren’t consulted on this,” Rampershad said.

A Department of Homeless Services source said the agency plans on using all of the 42 rooms it’s rented at the 123-28 82 Ave. Comfort Inn to house homeless individuals — despite Mayor de Blasio’s promise last year to reduce the city’s reliance on hotels to alleviate the homelessness crisis.

(Despite disrespect like this happening on a regular basis throughout the borough over the past 4 years, Queens will dutifully march to the polls in less 3 weeks and re-elect de Blasio.)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Liz Crowley claims her opponent is anti-LGBTQ, but her record is much worse

In our previous post, we cited the Queens Chronicle article about Elizabeth Crowley's candidacy which quoted her as saying her opponent, Robert Holden, has "a record of taking strong anti-woman, anti-LGBTQ stances" because of items published in the Juniper Berry, the newsletter of the Juniper Park Civic Association, of which Holden is president. Let's examine the anti-LGBTQ accusation this time.

We discovered an Op-Ed about gay marriage written by someone else on Juniper's website and also one by the Bishop of Brooklyn, but they are both clearly marked as opinion pieces. Newspapers print various op-eds all the time (like this one from Crowley), it doesn't mean they endorse the positions presented. There also was a letter to the editor printed in support of gay marriage which criticizes one of the original pieces. Basing her "anti-LGBTQ" accusation on this is a bit weak. We found nothing authored by Holden that broached this topic. A Google search came up empty as well.

Now, let's see what Crowley's record reveals.

Crowley denied that she supported gay marriage when asked about it, tried to dodge a question about it and defended taking money from a renowned white supremacist as per her own 2001 interview with the Juniper Berry - the same magazine she cites as proof that her opponent is unqualified for public office.
Q: In the Queens Tribune you said you support gay unions (marriages), can you tell me why?

A: Sigh...That was Frank [Borzellieri]. I never said that, I said equal rights for all people.

Q: Does that mean you do or do not support it?

A: {No comment} I'd rather not discuss this.

Q: Speaking of Frank Borzellieri, knowing his history, do you think you should have accepted his endorsement money?

A: We have only two things in common...same district and same beliefs. 
Q: So you have the same right-wing controversial beliefs as he does?

A: No, but he wants a hard working city council member. We don't agree on all issues.

Q: But that's not what you just said.
(Mr. Borzellieri, as member of the local school board, pushed for the removal of then-teacher Danny Dromm for being openly gay. Crowley's mother, Mary, was president of the District 24 board at the time.)

- In addition, Crowley is the only candidate in this race with a history of OPPOSING gay marriage.

- She lied to get the endorsement of an LGBTQ political club (then hid the fact that they endorsed her by refusing to put their logo on her mailers).

- She completely avoided answering questions from another LGBTQ club.

- Crowley had the most to gain from a mailer put out to disparage a past Democratic opponent for being openly gay which she never denied. She even went so far as to attack then-candidate Tom Ognibene for joining the victim, Charles Ober, in denouncing it and in the same statement called on Ober to drop his bid for office and unite behind her, which is pretty damn arrogant.

- Ober struck back in a press release.

- A strikingly similar flyer was dropped on people's doorsteps the night before the 2001 election that attacked Crowley's only opponent for supporting gay-friendly candidates, among other things, with the last 3 lines thrown in as a lame attempt at a smokescreen:

Voters in the district were not moved by either cowardly smear attempt and she lost both races.

Liz Crowley: Proud supporter of LGBTQ rights!

Since Crowley has spent most of her campaign complaining that her opponent "lacks Democratic values", we're happy to show you what Miss Crowley, a supposed "real Democrat", believes and practices. Bringing up your opponent's alleged anti-LGBTQ history when your own is this shitty is probably not a wise campaign move, Diz.

Why gay groups and self-described "progressives" have lined up to endorse someone who has a documented 16 year history of homophobia is a good question. Why other liberal candidates would seek a female Trump's endorsement is another. It all just proves what a joke Queens politics is.


Monday morning photo caption contest

Embed from Getty Images
Well, this weekend felt a bit dreary and now those of us fortunate to be gainfully employed have to return to work. Don't know about you but the Crapper feels like it's time for a photo caption contest. And what better subjects than a guy who was Anthony Weiner's mentor and another who actually did the things that Horny Tony just fantasized about on social media.

City ordered to turn over Maspeth shelter's RFP documents

From the Queens Chronicle:

The city is not planning to appeal a court ruling ordering it to turn over documents related to last year’s highly controversial planned conversion of the Maspeth Holiday Inn Express into a homeless shelter.

The Sept. 27 ruling, made by Justice Allan Weiss of Queens Supreme Court, stems from an Article 78 case brought against the city earlier this year by the civic Citizens for a Better Maspeth.

Under court order, the Department of Homeless Services must provide CBM with the city’s original request for proposals and the response documents from applying companies as it related to the proposed operation the 59-40 55 Road hotel as a shelter.

“It is ordered and adjudged that the petition is granted solely to the extent that respondents are directed to provide petitioner with copies of the Request For Proposals that were received in connection with the proposal to convert the subject Holiday Inn Express to a homeless shelter,” Weiss’ ruling reads, “and any and all plans submitted along with the RFPs which demonstrate that the space would be a conforming use under the zoning resolution.”

Zoning law only permits hotel stays of 30 days or less in manufacturing zones — the Holiday Inn Express is located in an M1-1 zone — and CBM alleges that homeless men have been staying at Patel’s building for months at a time.