Friday, October 20, 2017

Ulrich alleges that Crowley put the squeeze on Broad Channel restaurant owner

From the Queens Chronicle:

Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) dropped a bombshell on one of his colleagues this week, an allegation that could shake up her bitter race less than three weeks before Election Day.

In a Monday interview with the Chronicle, Ulrich accused Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Glendale) of abusing her power as a lawmaker — claiming she sent a “SWAT team” of city agencies after a popular Broad Channel restaurant last year, not long after one of her sons, then an employee of the eatery, was injured in a fight nearby.

The establishment is in his district.

According to Ulrich and Bayview co-owner Anthony Martelli, Crowley’s two sons Dennis, 20, and Owen O’Hara, 19, were involved in a physical altercation about a block away from the restaurant on July 1, 2016.

Two sources with knowledge of the situation told the Chronicle that a criminal investigation into the incident is still ongoing.

However, Martelli said he believed Dennis O’Hara, who worked at Bayview at the time, to be the aggressor, while Ulrich said those who witnessed the incident “all know who kicked the kid’s ass and thinks he deserved it.”

“The irony here is that the kid and his brother are known for making trouble,” Ulrich said. “I don’t want to attack Crowley’s kids or anything, but her son got smart with his mouth and they followed him outside and kicked his ass down the street from the place.”

In response, the Republican lawmaker said his “idiot” colleague prompted a multiagency task force — including officials from the FDNY, the State Liquor Authority, the MTA, the Board of Standards and Appeals and the departments of Buildings and Health and Mental Hygiene — to be deployed to the restaurant on or around Sept. 2, 2016.

“There was never any underage drinking there,” Ulrich said. “But this is what she did. She did everything she could to shut this guy down. It’s like someone went in there with instructions to bang [Bayview] over the head until it got shut down.”


Well, the one thing we can all agree with Ulrich on is that Crowley is an idiot. How refreshing for a fellow tweeder to come out and say it, though!

In all seriousness, though, this is a lot to digest, and there are several more allegations at the original link, but let's stick with this for now. We already know that one of the Crowley boys likes to be verbally abusive and this fits in with that pattern. There was no press for some reason about this alleged incident at the time it happened. An assault this violent most certainly was a 911 call and the city's NYPD mapping tool confirms 2 felonious assaults at the location on that day. But if what Ulrich said - "all know who kicked the kid’s ass" - is true, then why have there been no arrests? And why would the mother of these 2 launch her own assault against the restaurant instead of the perp?

What's missing from this story is when Dennis O'Hara was let go from the restaurant. Was it that night? Was it because of this incident which was apparently witnessed by many and with an identifiable suspect? Who exactly did he piss off? It seems to be someone untouchable. A mother's natural inclination, one would think, would be to make sure justice was served to the punk that beat up her kid and not go after a business owner. She's hooked up real good with the PBA and other NYPD unions, so why haven't they arrested the perp?

Why were the MTA and BSA called in? What in tarnation do they have to do with any of this?

City suggests LIC to Amazon

From LIC Post:

Long Island City has been selected by the city as a proposed site for Amazon’s second headquarters, officials announced last night.

The bid, submitted by the city to Amazon on Oct. 18 in partnership with New York State, and just a day shy from the tech company’s deadline, includes four districts within the five boroughs that meet the “essential criteria” Amazon listed in its request for proposals announced early September.

In describing Long Island City within the proposal, the Economic Development Corporation noted the neighborhood’s legacy as an industrial innovation center and its proximity to transportation networks, including train lines and airports. The neighborhood’s restaurants, bars, cafes, and arts and culture institutions were also listed as attractive components to lure Amazon to the area.

The proposal also identified over 13 million square feet of real estate that could be used to fulfill Amazon’s RFP.

Other districts included in the proposal were Midtown West, the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, and Lower Manhattan. The districts were chosen from more than two dozen proposals submitted to the city. Letters of support for Long Island City as a possible site were also sent to de Blasio by Queens Borough president Melinda Katz and Assemblymember Catherine Nolan, with Council member Jimmy Van Bramer also expressing his support. All three signed a letter, along with more than 70 elected officials from the five boroughs, sent to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, on New York City’s potential as a home for Amazon HQ2.

Queens architectural photography exhibit

From Curbed:

In 2012, architect Rafael Herrin-Ferri began photographing low-rise houses in Queens not just to understand the differences in the borough’s low-rise housing stock, but to examine how Queens’s attached, semi-detached, and detached houses, along with its small apartment buildings, reflected the rich diversity of the borough’s population.

To date, he has documented one third of the borough in over 5,000 photographs, and now his work is the subject of a new exhibition by the Architectural League of New York titled, All the Queens Houses.

The exhibit, which opens October 20 and can be seen by the public at the League’s office gallery on Fridays, is comprised of 273 of Herrin-Ferri photographs. Herrin-Ferri focused on the buildings’ facades, side elevations, and any other distinct features in his photographs.

At the exhibit, the photographs are lined up in alphabetical order by neighborhood, starting with Astoria. In addition, Herrin-Ferri has decided to give his photographs humorous names, which the Architectural League describes as “part academic, part broker listing, part New York magazine caption.”

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Mayor suddenly notices dumping in SE Queens

From the Queens Tribune:

At a town hall on Monday in Jamaica, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he will address one of the biggest issues facing Southeast Queens for decades—illegal dumping.

For years, the streets of Southeast Queens have been littered with garbage and waste left behind by drivers. The dumping has long perturbed residents, who often find trash on their private property, reducing the quality of life in the area. While the city has relied on tickets to curb the issue, it has done little to crack down on those committing the crime repeatedly, residents have said.

“We will double the number of sanitation officers here in Southeast Queens,” the mayor said to loud applause. “We need to do a better job and put more personnel on it.”

The mayor said that the longstanding issue was brought to his attention by Community Board 12 and its former chairwoman and City Council hopeful, Adrienne Adams.

So as chair of the community board she noticed it and nothing got done, but now that she's the party pick, the mayor is listening? Doesn't say much about the mayor's respect for community boards, does it?

The MTA cost is way too high!

From AM-NY:

Extraordinarily high construction costs are keeping the MTA from meeting the demands of a growing city, elected officials who rallied for spending reforms charged on Monday.

The politicians from the city and the state — all Democrats — called on the MTA to create an independent commission of experts to study why the agency’s capital projects cost nearly three or four times that of projects in similar cities like London, Paris or Los Angeles.

The focus on costs comes in the wake of rising subway delays, as well as high-profile service failures that continue to plague morning commutes. On Monday morning, signal problems at midtown stations caused delays and service changes on eight lines, leading to the suspension of B and M trains.

“The MTA has the highest construction costs compared to any other city on the planet. The MTA regularly spends three to six to ten times more money for a capital project compared to anywhere else,” said Manhattan City Council member Helen Rosenthal. “New York City cannot afford to keep spending more and getting less as service delays and disruptions have been growing from bad to worse.”

Cy stops taking money from de Blasio's lawyers

From the Daily News:

By the time Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. met with the lawyer representing Mayor de Blasio in his year-old campaign finance probe of Hizzoner, the attorney’s firm and its partners had donated $70,000 to the top prosecutor.

But unlike Vance’s decision to return the donation of a lawyer representing Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. to avoid a conflict of interest, the DA kept the contributions from Kramer Levin Naftalis, the firm representing the mayor.

These donations by a law firm handling one of the DA’s most high-profile cases are yet another example of potential conflicts of interest that have dogged the DA in the last two weeks — scrutiny that prompted Vance to announce Sunday that he was suspending fund-raising.

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.