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.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Part 1 of Queens Tribune's city council debate

Featuring: Hiram Monseratte, Rory Lancman, Peter Koo, Alison Tan, Paul Vallone, Paul Graziano, Elizabeth Crowley and Robert Holden

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Queens newspaper publisher may do 20 years in prison

From the Daily News:

A Queens newspaper publisher found herself on the wrong side of a headline after authorities said she was messing with the mob.

Patricia Adams, publisher of The Forum, was arrested Wednesday on a charge of witness tampering in a bizarre offshoot of a loansharking case involving the Bonanno crime family, according to Brooklyn federal prosecutors.

Instead of simply signing off on a story about the scheme, Adams became a key player, using her weekly newspaper to bully a woman out of testifying against a Bonanno associate accused of sexually harassing the woman at his Broad Channel deli.

The harassment accusation against Robert Pisani threatened the freedom he enjoyed after posting $500,000 bail in a $26 million loansharking scheme in and around Howard Beach, officials said.

Adams allegedly stepped in, and tried to make the woman’s father talk his daughter out of cooperating with federal law enforcement.

Days ahead of Pisani’s bail revocation hearing, the local newswoman played hardball with the victim’s dad and said she’d dirty up the daughter in her paper, prosecutors said.

Judge Brian Cogan agreed to release Adams late Wednesday on $150,000 bond. Adams also had to put up her house as collateral.

She’ll be under house arrest, so if she wants to go out and interview people for the paper, she’ll have to get the green light from pretrial services, Cogan said.

Adams is looking at up to 20 years if convicted.

Liz Crowley looking kinda desperate

So Liz Crowley's gotta be pretty worried if she is sending mailers out like this.
1) She's had several opponents and never got this down and dirty with any of them.
2) She's using a 10-year old photo from a blog that attacks her and praises her disgraced predecessor, Dennis Gallagher.
3) Holden is running on other lines in the general election (and she has the WFP line although she was bounced from the Independence line) so it's guaranteed that they will meet in November, no matter what happens in the primary. And a good portion of her district is solidly Republican and non-affiliated voters.
4) The whole focus of this piece is that the guy accepted an award from the Queens GOP. Not for upholding Republican values, but for his civic work over the years. I'd like to thank Ms. Crowley for explaining that civic work is a Republican value and not a Democratic value. This whole time I thought political party didn't matter when it came to caring about one's community, but clearly I was wrong.

Sorry, but an incumbent sinking to this level reeks of desperation.

I'll let Holden have the last word:

“I don’t care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, if you don’t do right by the neighborhood, we’re not going to get along.” - Robert Holden.

What an awful philosophy! All hail the Queens County Machine!

(The funny thing is that if the Queens Dems are so opposed to Trump, why did they endorse a guy who likes him?)