Tag Archives: Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Ribbon cut on Queens Museum expansion project


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Melissa Chan

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and ranks of officials cut the ribbon Wednesday on the $68 million Queens Museum expansion project.

“There always seems to be something new and magical happening in this incredible space,” the head of the city said. “It really is an experience like no other. This is one of the great cultural institutions that provides art-inspiring experiences that you can find nowhere else.”

The Queens Museum, formerly known as the Queens Museum of Art, shortened its name but doubled its size to 105,000 square feet, officials said.

It will feature new galleries, classrooms, a new wing with nine artist studios and a sky-lit atrium when it reopens to the public on November 9.

“We have expressed openness in this space. We’re open to new ideas. We’re open to the future of arts. We’re open to contemporary. We’re also open to the community, open to the sky,” said Tom Finkelpearl, the museum’s executive director.

Queens Museum will also have its own 5,000-square-foot public library in 2015, library officials said. It will house about 14,000 books.

“The expanded Queens Museum will become an exciting destination for not only our out-of-town visitors but for our residents alike,” said Borough President Helen Marshall. “We are going to have something here that will be unique in the city of New York. I can’t see it do anything but be a wonderful place to come for everyone.”

The transformed city-owned building is located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in the former space of the World’s Fair ice skating rink.

Its massive facelift, designed by Grimshaw, was largely funded by Marshall, Bloomberg, the state and City Council.

MORE PHOTOS FROM THE RIBBON CUTTING

The museum will host a month-long celebratory event lineup starting November 9.

“With today’s ribbon cutting, the Queens Museum, with such an important part and place in our city’s history, is ready to embark on an exciting, new future,” Bloomberg said.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

The Queens Morning Roundup logo.

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast. High of 68. Winds from the West at 10 to 15 mph. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy with a chance of rain after midnight. Low of 48. Winds from the NW at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the North after midnight. Chance of rain 50%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Quality-of-Life Town Hall with Assemblymemeber Francisco Moya and the Jackson Heights Green Alliance

Assemblymember Francisco Moya and the Jackson Heights Green Alliance will host a Town Hall featuring a panel comprised of representatives from an array of city agencies, state agencies and community groups. The event will provide Jackson Heights residents with the opportunity to address these representatives on a wide range of issues and discuss ways in which quality of life in the community can be improved. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Joe Lhota, Bill de Blasio square off in 2nd NYC mayoral debate

Facing a massive deficit in the polls, Joe Lhota plans to be on the attack in the second New York City mayoral debate, which doubles as one of his last chances to start a comeback that could topple front-runner Bill de Blasio. Read more: NBC New York

MTA considers bendable trains that connect without interior doors, making it easier to find a seat

The MTA will consider subway trains that connect without interior doors, making it easier for riders to move from car to car in search of seats. Read more: New York Daily News

Baby Hope’ murder suspect due in court

The man charged with second-degree murder in the Baby Hope case will appear in court Tuesday. Read more: ABC New York

Mayor Michael Bloomberg wins ‘Jewish Nobel’ prize

Israel on Monday recognized New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as the first recipient of the $1 million Genesis Prize, an award popularly dubbed the “Jewish Nobel Prize.” Read more: Fox New York

Builders of Obama’s health website saw red flags

Crammed into conference rooms with pizza for dinner, some programmers building the Obama administration’s showcase health insurance website were growing increasingly stressed. Read more: AP

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain, then thunderstorms and a chance of rain in the afternoon. High of 77. Winds less than 5 mph. Chance of rain 30%. Friday night: Overcast with thunderstorms and a chance of rain, then a chance of rain after midnight. Low of 68. Winds less than 5 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Manuel Valera & New Cuban Express

Manuel Valera and his New Cuban Express are incredibly popular in the NYC jazz scene. This free event at Flushing Town Hall Friday night is part of Carnegie Hall’s Neighborhood Concert Series. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Woman killed in Capitol shooting had ties to CT, NYC: sources

The unarmed woman who was shot and killed following a car chase that began at the White House and ended near the Capitol has been identified as a Stamford, Conn., resident originally from New York City, according to multiple law enforcement sources. Read more: NBC New York

NYPD slapped with $3M lawsuit for illegal search in Queens gun bust

Sure, they took a gun off the street — but the three NYPD cops allegedly did it illegally, then lied to make a criminal case, says a federal lawsuit. Read more: New York Daily News

Obama pins shutdown on Boehner; tri-state businesses start to feel pinch

On the third day of the shutdown, President Barack Obama said House Speaker John Boehner is the only thing standing in the way of reopening the federal government. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Report: biker in road rage attack to turn himself in

The man wanted to for bashing the window of an SUV in a road rage incident in Manhattan reportedly plans to turn himself in to the NYPD as early as Friday. Read more: Fox New York

New York City Marathon balances security worries post-Boston

The New York City Marathon’s finish area will again fill with spectators, some carrying bags. Read more: NBC New York

Essay question about Mayor Bloomberg on test for 7th graders raises eyebrows

Some parents and teachers are upset that New York City public school students are being asked to answer an essay question about Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Read more: CBS New York

Hunter’s Point South Park opens in Long Island City


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Angy Altamirano

Talk about a view.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg gathered with local elected officials, community members and residents on Wednesday to cut the ribbon on the new 5.5-acre Hunter’s Point South Park located on Center Boulevard in Long Island City.

“Opening up more of our city’s waterfront for public enjoyment has been a top priority for this administration,” said Bloomberg. “Around the city, we’ve reclaimed abandoned or neglected parts of our waterfront, and turning them into innovative open spaces. I know that Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park will quickly join the list of beloved green spaces along our city’s shores.”

The park features a central open green space, an urban beach with actual sand, a rail garden, dog run and play area featuring a children’s playground and basketball courts. It will also include a 13,000-square-foot pavilion housing comfort stations, concessions and an elevated café plaza.

“One of the premiere neighborhoods in all of New York City is getting better every single day,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, who helped secure funds to bring natural grass to the park. “For decades to come, future generations of Long Island City residents and Queens parkgoers will be able to enjoy the panoramic views of New York City’s skyline on 5.5- acres of parkland that have never existed before.”

Hunter’s Point South Park was also constructed to be prepared for any future natural disasters and flooding of the East River.

 

The park is part of the Hunter’s Point South development project which broke ground in March on the first phase of construction. The first two residential buildings will include 925 permanently affordable apartments and around 17,000 square feet of retail space. In addition to the buildings, this phase includes a new school which is almost near completion and will house The Academy for Careers in Television and Film High School and a middle school, together seating 1,100 students.

This project will be the largest new affordable housing complex to be constructed in New York City since the 1970s.
“Long Island City is the most exciting neighborhood in New York and as it continues to grow, it is crucial that public access to the East River waterfront is secured,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris. “Together with Gantry State Park, the LIC waterfront will now be a jewel among New York’s parks.”

Construction of the park was led by the City Economic Development Corporation, and landscape architecture firm Thomas Balsley Associates and architect firm Weiss/Manfredi designed the park. It will be operated and maintained by the Parks Department.

 

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Speed cameras to go into effect near city schools September 9


| dromano@homereporter.com

Photo courtesy of the New York City Mayor’s Office

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan have announced that the speed camera pilot program would roll out at yet-to-be-determined locations near schools citywide beginning the first day of school, Monday, September 9.

The law allows the city to install speed cameras at 20 locations within a quarter mile of schools in high crash locations and it allows the city to rotate the cameras to school locations across the five boroughs. The cameras would work much like the red-light cameras already in place; they would not photograph the driver or share the license plate number of the car.

Default penalties for speeding would be set at $25 with a maximum penalty of $50 for speeding between 10 and 30 miles above the speed limit and $100 for speeding over 30 miles above the speed limit.

The mayor and commissioner were joined by NYPD Chief of Transportation James Tuller on Monday, August 26 at W.E.B. Dubois High School in Crown Heights, one of the candidates to receive speed camera technology nearby due to a high crash rate in its vicinity.

“Keeping streets safe for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians is one of the most important public safety challenges any government faces,” said Bloomberg. “Our streets are the safest they have ever been, due in large part to our enforcement efforts and innovative traffic engineering that have brought traffic fatalities to record lows. Curbing speeding around schools will help us continue to make our city’s streets safer for everyone.”

“Over the last six years, we’ve kept an unrelenting focus on the safety of our most vulnerable New Yorkers, and with speed cameras we’re now putting an even sharper focus on safety near our schools,” Sadik-Khan added. “Motorists who play fast and loose on our streets need to learn the critical lesson that the New York City’s speed limit is 30 mph for a reason, and that it’s literally the difference between life and death.”

Transportation Alternatives has been working with the DOT and community groups to identify the best locations for the cameras. Since August 14, 72 requests have been made for 220 locations.

“New Yorkers want to save lives and they know speed cameras will do just that,” said Paul Steely White, TA’s executive director. “Just in time for the school year, several dozen school zones will be safer. We look forward to the day when every school has the same protection against reckless drivers.”

 

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Op-Ed: Comprehensive initiatives to make New York City’s waterfront stronger


| oped@queenscourier.com

MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s weekly radio address

New York City’s waterfront is an incredible resource that contributes to the great quality of life we New Yorkers enjoy. It’s also a backyard for millions of families and our first line of defense against future storms and flooding. We’re hard at work strengthening those defenses – including in the Rockaways and nearby Jamaica Bay, where last week we made major progress on several initiatives that will make the area more resilient than ever, as well as benefit our entire city for decades to come.

The first is our work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete an all-out sand replenishment effort in the Rockaways. It will help fulfill one of the pledges we outlined in “A Stronger, More Resilient New York,” our comprehensive plan to protect our city from the effects of climate change. In the next couple of months, the Army Corps will bring about 3.5 million- cubic-yards of sand to Rockaway Beach, and last week I visited the beach with Parks Commissioner Veronica White to inspect our progress. A first phase of about 600,000-cubic- yards of sand is being pumped now from Beach 89th to Beach 149th Streets.

Replenishing the sand at Rockaway Beach complements our earlier work there, including building a series of protective walls and installing sand-filled “trap bags” that will serve as the core for a new dune. Together, these measures will not only reverse damage to the beach done by Sandy – they will make the beach stronger than it was before the storm, and more protective for nearby communities.

Rebuilding our beaches is vitally important; but in addition to building back stronger, we’re also continuing the coastal protection work that we began before Sandy struck. That includes our effort to both protect one of our great natural treasures – Jamaica Bay – and create a world-class Science and Resiliency Institute there whose focus will be protecting and preserving urban ecosystems from development and from the effects of climate change.

Last summer, the city and the National Park Service signed a historic cooperative agreement for co-managing Jamaica Bay’s 10,000 acres of federal and city-owned parkland. I joined Interior Secretary Sally Jewel to announce the formal establishment of the new Jamaica Bay – Rockaway Parks Conservancy. The organization will help raise funds for the parkland covered by the agreement, collaborate with the community on programming, and help promote the parkland as a destination. We also announced that a consortium led by the City University of New York, in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation, will head the new Science and Resiliency Institute at Jamaica Bay. The Institute will serve as a coordinating body for the fieldwork taking place around the bay, and provide lab space for researchers and students. We expect the Institute’s work will do a lot to help reduce dangers to our city from future storms, and help other cities around the world confront the challenges of climate change as well.

From restoring our coastline to establishing a new ecology research center, we’re helping to prepare our city for all the climate risks we face, both now and in the future.

 

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Affordable art space opens in Long Island City


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYC Mayor’s Office’s Flickr

More performing artists will soon call LIC home.

On Tuesday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg cut the ribbon on Spaceworks LIC, located at 33-02 Skillman Avenue. The new 3,800-square-foot rental location is a pilot site for Spaceworks, a nonprofit organization, and includes three rehearsal rooms for dance and theater, and one music studio.

“Arts and culture is thriving in every neighborhood in all five boroughs, and supporting the artists who make up New York City’s creative community is critical,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “By integrating affordable workspace for artists into neighborhoods across the city, Spaceworks is helping us find innovative ways to attract the talented workers who help shape our city’s economy, identity and quality of life.”

Created in 2011, Spaceworks builds long-term and affordable rehearsal and visual art studios throughout the city by converting underutilized private and public facilities into permanent workspaces.

Spaceworks LIC is the first of five current developing sites which over the next two years will help bring close to 30,000-square-feet of rental workspace for city artists.

“By providing long-term affordable work spaces, Spaceworks will become a vital resource for artists committed to staying and working in New York City, while building lasting connections between artists and communities,” said Paul Parkhill, Spaceworks executive director.

The Chocolate Factory Theater will work as the program partner for Spaceworks LIC and help with community and artist relations throughout Long Island City.

Performing artists can apply for a Spaceworks Card to access Spaceworks LIC by visiting www.spaceworksnyc.org.

 

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NY pols want to create publicly available gun offender registry


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Peter Vallone Jr.

New York politicians are shooting for an open statewide gun offender registry.

Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announced legislation Wednesday to make the city’s gun offender registry publicly available online and create a similar statewide registry.

Vallone will introduce the bill tomorrow in a City Council meeting. State Senator Jeffrey Klein and Assemblymember Carl Heastie will introduce bills in the Senate and Assembly to create a statewide registry.

Vallone, who is the chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee, helped create the city’s gun offender registry in 2006. It is currently only available to the NYPD and doesn’t include law-abiding firearm owners.

Diaz and Vallone want the state to follow suit.

“New York City’s gun offender registry has kept the spotlight of the law on the most dangerous criminals among us—and it is time for the entire state to follow in our footsteps and utilize this effective crime-fighting tool, which helped the NYPD and Commissioner Raymond Kelly make New York the safest big city in America,” Vallone said.

The proposal comes at a time when Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other city officials are up in arms against guns following several tragedies around the country.

Also, on August 19 Bloomberg and Kelly announced the largest seizure of illegal guns in city history as cops recovered 254 firearms and indicted 19 people.

Bloomberg and Kelly touted the controversial stop-and-frisk policy as a reason that selling illegal weapons in the city was more difficult, because one of the men arrested was heard saying he couldn’t bring the weapons to Brownsville, Brooklyn because of the practice.

New York stats show criminals convicted of gun possessions are more likely to be rearrested when compared to other felonies, according to Vallone. There were 595 eligible gun offenders in New York City as of December 2012 and 302 of them are back in jail.

“We cannot allow these violent offenders to slip through the cracks upon their release from prison, and these bills will keep residents and law enforcement officers across the state well aware of their locations,” Vallone said.

 

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City announces largest seizure of illegal guns in NYC history


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

NYC Mayor Office's Flickr/Photo by Spencer T Tucker

An undercover investigation that removed hundreds of guns from local streets is the largest seizure of illegal firearms in New York City history, officials announced Monday.

The bust resulted in the indictment of 19 individuals and the removal of 254 guns, including high-capacity assault weapons, handguns and a fully automatic machine gun.

Those arrested were allegedly involved in trafficking the weapons from North Carolina and South Carolina into New York City, and have been charged with multiple counts of criminal possession of a weapon, criminal sale of a firearm, conspiracy and other related crimes, according to officials.

“New York is the safest big city in the nation, but year after year, illegal guns flow into our city from states that don’t have common-sense laws that keep guns out of the hands of criminals,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “There is no doubt that the seizure of these guns – the largest bust in the city’s history – has saved lives.”

 

 

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Officials detail sand restoration plan for Rockaway Beach


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYC Mayor's Office's Flickr

Rockaway Beach is coming back, potentially better than before.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined the Army Corps of Engineers, city agency officials and various elected officials on Thursday, August 15 to detail the sand restoration plan for Rockaway Beach.

The plan’s first phase will replenish 600,000 cubic yards of sand, while the second phase restores 3.5 million cubic yards to the beach that Sandy washed away.

“Beaches are a crucial defense against flooding and coastal storms,” Bloomberg said. “Now we’re working hard to strengthen those defenses.”

The 600,000 cubic yards is being pumped from Beach 149th Street down to Beach 89th Street. Dredging material in the water, located at the Rockaway Inlet, will clear a navigation channel that “hasn’t been cleared in a long time” while also bringing in “good quality sand” for the beach, said Colonel Paul Owen of the Army Corps of Engineers.

The 3.5 million cubic yards will stretch down the peninsula to Beach 19th Street.

“There’s a lot to be done and there’s great work going on — and we have a lot more to do,” Owen said.

However, residents say the project is a long time coming. For years, groups such as the Friends of Rockaway Beach and various civic associations have advocated for beach protection.

“It’s unfortunate it took a natural disaster for so many people to wake up to the problems that we’ve been facing in Rockaway for so, so long,” said Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder.

When the project is complete, estimated to be by next Memorial Day, Owen said the total will be more sand than the Rockaways has seen since about 1970.

A series of protective walls will also be installed from Beach 126th Street to Beach 149th Street, Bloomberg said.

“Together, these measures will not only reverse damage to the beach done by Sandy, they will make the beach stronger than it was before the storm,” he said.

The roughly $300 million project is funded by federal Sandy relief funds.

Community plans are also helping to rebuild the damaged boardwalk.

The Parks Department has hosted several meetings in various parts of the peninsula to discuss what is needed going forward.

Boardwalk designs will be presented to the community in September, with construction starting potentially by the end of the year, said Parks Commissioner Veronica White.

“When we open the beach next year, Rockaway will be better than ever and that is a day that I am truly looking forward to,” said Councilmember Eric Ulrich.

 

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New research center to study Jamaica Bay ecosystem


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

NYC Mayor's Office's Flickr/Photo by Edward Reed

A top-tier research center promoting resilience in urban ecosystems is coming to Jamaica Bay.

On Monday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced CUNY will house the new Science and Resilience Institute. The leaders also laid out progress on the cooperative management of Jamaica Bay parkland and waters.

“The new consortium is an all-star team of research institution and nonprofits who will do important work to protect and preserve urban ecosystems from development and from the effects of climate change,” Bloomberg said. “Jamaica Bay is one of the greatest natural treasures any city has within its borders.”

The Science and Resilience Institute will integrate research efforts from across the natural and social sciences, host visiting scientists and provide lab facilities for students and researchers.

The site will be formally established by fall of this year, with a temporary space on Brooklyn College’s campus.

“Working together, we will develop and coordinate approaches to coastal resiliency for Jamaica Bay that can serve as a model for communities around the world,” Jewell said. “In CUNY and their academic partners, we have a consortium of world-class institutions to advance our understanding of climate change and its impact on our natural systems.”

Bloomberg and Jewell also announced progress on several other park initiatives. Those include the formation of a Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, chaired by longtime National Park Service philanthropist Tom Secunda.

 

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Judge rules NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy unconstitutional


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Liam La Guerre

Score another win for opponents of the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled Monday that the police department’s use of the policy is unconstitutional and suggested the appointment of a monitor to reform it.

“I find that the city is liable for violating plaintiffs’ Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights,” Scheindlin wrote. “The city acted with deliberate indifference toward the NYPD’s practice of making unconstitutional stops and conducting unconstitutional frisks.”

The ruling comes months after the City Council approved the Community Safety Act, which contained a bill to easy it easier to take the NYPD to court over discrimination cases. Mayor Michael Bloomberg vetoed the Community Safety Act a few weeks ago and criticized Scheindlin’s decision.

“Throughout the trail that just concluded the judge made it clear that she was not at all interested in the crime reductions here (in the city) or how we achieved them,” Bloomberg said at a press conference today.

He later added, “Through the case we didn’t believe that we were getting a fair trial and this decision confirms that suspicion.”

Minorities groups have been fighting the policy, saying that stop-and-frisk is unfairly used against black and Hispanics. Scheindlin confirmed this belief with her judgment.

“In practice, the policy encourages the targeting of young black and Hispanic men based on their prevalence in local crime complaints,” Scheindlin wrote. “This is a form of racial profiling.”

Scheindlin didn’t rule to dispatch the policy completely, but just to reform it.

“The opinion does not call for the NYPD to abandon proactive policing and return to an era of less effective police practices,” Scheindlin said.

Proponents of stop-and-frisk disagreed with Scheindlin’s ruling and called the decision to add a monitor to the program unnecessary.

“The NYPD does not need an additional monitor,” said Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr, although he did agree though that the policy should be reformed. “We can agree on that and move forward to continue reform stop-and-risk but make sure that continues to happen so that we save young lives.”

Opponents of the stop-and-frisk policy are embracing the ruling whole-heartedly.

“The ruling issued by Judge Scheindlin only confirms what so many New Yorkers already know, that the way stop, question, and frisk has been implemented is a violation of people’s constitutional rights,” said Councilmember Leroy Comrie. “The public wants the police to keep them safe, and the reforms mandated by this ruling will help hold the NYPD accountable, while also forcing changes to policies that will build a stronger relationship between precincts and the communities they are trying to protect.”

Bloomberg said they city will appeal the decision.

 

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Op-Ed: More than a sleep-over, a real eye-opener


| oped@queenscourier.com

GREGORY FLOYD

As president of City Employees, Local 237, nearly 9,000 of my members work in developments operated by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). Their work ranges from apartment repairs to grounds caretakers, boiler and elevator services, to rent collections. About one- third of these workers also live in NYCHA apartments throughout the city.

The problems in public housing have gotten a great deal of attention lately, as the long-standing tenant and worker frustration reached a new high due to sequestration cuts in federal dollars—basically, the only source of funding for the largest and oldest public housing in the nation. The $208 million in cuts would mean a loss of jobs and services.

Despite Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s pledge to restore $58 million of federal dollars lost, the fact remains that NYCHA already has a $61 million operating deficit and $6-7 billion in much-needed capital repairs.

This is a case of too little, too late. With a three-year backlog of repairs, security cameras funded but not installed, reminders of Sandy everywhere in affected developments (and still without a plan to overcome the devastation of the next storm) and with a proposal—long kept secret—to build high-end housing on NYCHA property,

I have joined our members and residents to say “Enough is Enough!” We even held a huge rally at City Hall recently to send a strong message to all of the mayoral contenders: “NYCHA is broken. You need to fix it.” All of the candidates were invited to join the protest. Only one showed up—Bill Thompson. Thompson vowed to end the long suffering of the more than 600,000 NYCHA residents if he becomes mayor.

I guess I wasn’t surprised when Thompson invited me to join him and the other mayoral candidates for a “sleep-over” organized by Reverend Al Sharpton at a NYCHA development, Lincoln Houses in East Harlem. The choice of Lincoln Houses was not random. Residents of the aging, 25-building complex are suing NYCHA for 3,800 unfulfilled repair orders dating back to 2009. Thompson knew I had made repeated attempts to address the backlog and other key problems, all of which went unheeded.

So, after the many speeches and the grounds tour covered by dozens of reporters during the night of the sleep-over, Thompson and I met our host, Barbara Gamble, a NYCHA resident for 44 years, 30 of which were in the 10th floor apartment we visited. Without air conditioning on the sweltering night and with mold throughout the bathroom, we could now feel the human pain associated with the repair tickets that dated back so many years. We saw the struggles of Gamble— a proud grandmother who takes matters into her own hands by routinely cleaning the hallways of her entire floor!

When we met with the other candidates the next morning, the talk was about what they saw in their host apartments: ripped-out kitchen cabinets, chipped paint, water damage, faulty toilets, broken flooring and urine in the elevators (which frequently do not work). But, in my view, this was not the worst part of living in a NYCHA development.

No, it was the news that a few days after our visit, a 23-year old woman was shot to death on the project’s grounds in a location where NYCHA failed to install security cameras even though $ 1 million had been allocated by a NYC Councilmember. Despite these conditions, 227,000 people are on a waiting list for a NYCHA apartment because affordable housing in NYC is scarce. With an average of only 5,400 to 5,800 openings annually, the wait can take years.

NYCHA began more than 75 years ago as an experiment in municipal responsibility that developed into a model of social pride. Many former residents, including a NYC mayor, a supreme court justice, and a world-renowned entertainment mogul, have all gone on to make a lasting, positive impact on society.

Yet, as I saw the hardships of Barbara Gamble and her neighbors first-hand, it became clear that what is wrong with public housing today is not only broken buildings, but broken management.

The next mayor, with the ability to appoint a new chairman and form a new board, also has the ability to fix it.

Gregory Floyd is president, Teamsters Local 237, IBT

 

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Renderings leaked of potential Manhattan soccer stadium at Pier 40


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via Google maps

Renderings of a possible stadium for the new Major League Soccer (MLS) team, New York City Football Club, made their way onto the Internet yesterday.

The renderings were made in 2012 by the organization, but it is not known who leaked them online.

“This rendering was a conceptual design that Major League Soccer produced when considering Pier 40 as a potential soccer stadium,” said Dan Courtemanche, MLS executive vice president of communications. “On a daily basis New York City FC is working on a long-term stadium solution.”

 

MLS has considered building a 25,000-seat stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, which was supported by a few politicians. However, recently that idea has seen numerous kickbacks.

About two weeks ago Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on his radio show that Yankee Stadium will be the home for the New York City Football Club. This statement was later retracted.

The Flushing Meadows-Corona Park proposal has also drawn opposition from Councilmember Leroy Comrie, chair of the council’s Land Use Committee, and Senator Tony Avella, who suggested the stadium be built in the Rockaways.

“Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is used by residents from all across Queens, and this usage by Major League Soccer would negatively impact park life,” Comrie previously said to The Courier. “While there are many soccer fans here in Queens, there are more appropriate places to build this stadium.”

Avella recently penned a bill aimed at preventing proposals to change parkland use, which would require parkland taken for projects to be replaced with three times the space and within one mile of the project. If passed by the legislature after summer recess, it would lower the chances of getting the stadium in Queens.

The expansion team, which is jointly owned by English club Manchester City F.C. and the New York Yankees, will not begin play until 2015.

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City’s food waste recycling program expanding to Queens


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Officials announced the expansion of the city’s organic food waste recycling program and a new public information campaign Monday in an effort to significantly increase the recycling rate within the next few years.

“The ‘Recycle Everything’ ad campaign and the expansion of our organic food waste recycling program shows how far New York has come in managing the 11,000 tons of waste generated every day,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “Together, these initiatives will help us double our recycling rate by 2017 and reduce the amount of trash sent to landfills.”

These recycling policies will save at least $60 million in taxpayer money, according to the mayor.

Beginning as a pilot in 90 Manhattan public schools, the voluntary organic food recycling program was later expanded to residents in Westerleigh, Staten Island and the Morningside Gardens apartment high rises. At those Manhattan housing complexes, the total weight of trash has dropped 35 percent and households are recycling about one pound of food scraps each day, Bloomberg said.

This fall, the program will be extended to neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the Bronx. It will come to Beechurst, Bay Terrace, Cambria Heights, Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village in Queens, and more areas of Staten Island this spring

By 2014, the program is expected to reach 100,000 residents, according to city officials.

Bloomberg also announced the new “Recycle Everything” public information campaign Monday that highlights what New Yorkers can recycle.

In addition to extending the food waste pilot, in March, the city’s recycling program was expanded to include all rigid plastics.

 

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