A Tale Of Two Brooklyn Park Houses: One Getting Renovated, The Other One Going Away

https://impunitycity.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/12208-tennishouse.jpgThe Tennis House In Prospect Park
 
The Park House In Bensonhurst Park (Geoffery Croft photo)

Park Slope and Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, N.Y.

DNAinfo: 107-Year-Old Prospect Park Tennis House to Get $5.1 Million Makeover

The long-shuttered Prospect Park Tennis House is getting a $5.1 million facelift to revamp the dilapidated architectural gem. “It’s a much loved building that needs a lot of work,” said Christian Zimmerman, the vice president of capital and landscape management at the Prospect Park Alliance. “We would like it to be open to the public again, so the idea is to do a complete renovation.”

Today, the building is used as an office for park landscape management workers, and although run down, still maintains its architectural charms, including a vaulted ceiling, a colonnaded pavilion, and mosaic tile.

Borough President Eric Adams also kicked in $1 million from his office to restore the green’s Parkside Avenue perimeter, including reconstructing the sidewalk, new lighting, street furniture and planting new trees.

A Walk In The Park: City Closes “House of Horrors” Park House In Brooklyn

Apparently this is the city’s definition of “equality,” in the park system.A dangerous and decrepit park house in a Brooklyn park was finally closed by the city over the weekend after park employees complained and a media inquiry was made about the deplorable conditions,  NYC Park Advocates has learned.

On Friday a dead rat greeted visitors at the entrance to the men’s room where users are forced to pass under a severely eroded ceiling on their way into in a putrid smelling bathroom room where an abundance of flies await  as well as broken windows. On the outside rotten wood and nest make up the crumbling facade.

The charred remains of a fire were evident throughout the building.  A burnt and partially melted fire EXIT sign hangs on the inside above the building’s entrance.

 For years the city has been forcing its employees to work in  a rat invested, crumbling park house building in Bensonhurst Park located Cropsey Avenue and Bay Parkway. 

Its uncertain how many codes, safety and health violations exist in the building but apparently no one from the parks department management thought it was a concern. 

In the public “rec room,” rodent feces were everywhere. Two air conditioning units were mounted above window treatments stuffed with garbage.  

 The city’s initial response – the Park’s Department’s press office chastised a reporter for sending an inquiry at the end on a Friday.

The press office also represented that the section of the building where employees work out of was now was closed as multiple workers were seen entering the exiting the building.

“Its disgusting, It’s unbelievable,” said a park worker speaking on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retribution. 

“It’s a house of horrors in there, It’s scary,” another worker said. 

This is a interesting way of preserving parkland and green space in an era of hieghtened proactive environmental awareness, especially in a mostly progressive thinking and enlightened borough like Brooklyn. Especially since the borough, and in niche areas in the other boroughs, have seen the appearance of green spaces and plazas and rooftop gardens and farming.

So why the monetary concern and treatment and the abandonment of them for these two park houses? Yet again, it’s all about location. Prospect Park is surrounded by luxury towers completed and currently developed, overvalued speculative property rates and two way bike lanes, Bensonhurst Park is surrounded by Bensonhurst, a town that is populated with working class families and individuals that doesn’t seem to be on the real estate industry radar or even of interest of leisure and style sections of the elite newspapers and fashion magazines (and the citizenry there probably don’t give a shit not to be included in such focus features). Also apparently, not on the parks department or borough president Eric Adams radar either.

Bensonhurst Park is also not near any major subway stops. Or inundated with hipsters for now.

It’s not the least bit or even at all cynical why or where city tax dollars are going to the tennis house by Park Slope, second hometown of Mayor De Faustio, and the Bensonhurst Park house gets put to pasture after years of criminal neglect and turning into a rat litter box. To think that a facility meant for humans, the city and the park’s dept. let it devolve to an environment suitable for rodents. To think that park workers were subjected to do their job there and citizens had to use those toilets. Where is the supposed concern about the environment in southeast Brooklyn?

It’s a real insult to the citizens of Bensonhurst that visit the park and an massive insult to taxpayers in general to let a facility decay, and an utter colossal failure of the parks dept and city hall, the former doing absolutely nothing and blatantly ignoring the blight and the latter who can’t see beyond the giant towers and corporate sponsors hogging territory when they have events in public spaces and parks. So much effort goes into the promoting of parks to encourage the citizenry to enjoy these free spaces but all it is just shallow marketing. Especially now that the existence of parks has been reduced to jack up the market rental rate by the Gentrification Industrial Complex by describing them as another “amenity”.

Well, the powers that be of this city should be happy they have one less abomination to deal with. Why should they since they didn’t even spend a penny to equip Bensonhurst park with a shit shovel, cleaning supplies or even a broom.

This should be a signifying cause of alarm concerning any other parks under gradual dilapidation or ones under construction. Or even any program that’s suppose to better the lives of everyone in this unfair city.

The Grenfell Tower In London: Gentrification’s 9/11

britain-fire

Kensington And Chelsea, London, England, United Kingdom

The Grenfell Tower’s torching was absolutely and undoubtedly preventable. The tenants there have been complaining for years about it’s negligence, even with an excellent and thoroughly detailed community blog about the terrible building managers and the willful indifference of city and parliamentary officials.

This horrific disaster was brought forth not only by the cause of the fire, which allegedly was sparked by a malfunctioning refrigerator that had plastic coils, but how it accelerated so fast in the first place. It was caused by the “cladding” encompassing the entirety of the building, supposedly to be used as protection from rain but the popular opinion is that it was used more for decorative purposes to gussy up the area to mesh with recent looming luxury tower development and recently installed fancy public spaces. This cladding is actually banned to use here in America, yet paradoxically this nation has industries that make it and sell it for import where there is little to no regulation, the same with the crappy plastic coiled fridge that ignited the fire.

It’s also more for the actions from those responsible for it’s upkeep and the deeply hidden but naked contempt for it’s residents, made up of working class poor people, recent Syrian refugees and those of modest means.

The NYC DOB and the 100 worst landlords have nothing on the Tories. For it was their rigid ideological conservative thinking that led to the homelessness and deaths of the residents of that building from the majority ruling shutting down of the Labour Party bill to provide safety measures that was actually called the “Homes Fit For Human Habitation”, for the reason described as the culture of safety. And for good measure, the majority of those upper class twit MP’s happen to own and rent properties for habitation themselves.

And it the borough council’s hoarding of 274 million pounds meant for the building’s upkeep and safety, the latter which was legally blown off by officials and exacerbated by gruesome government cutting, seems inspired from the grotesque money managing of NYCHA. Since Grenfell did not even have a sprinkler system installed in the building and apparently was bereft of fire extinguishers. The insane thing is that the RBKC and the KCTMO board had decided that cosmetic improvements were more important than emergency preparedness, as the cladding cost 11 million pounds to install.

The victims of what is being called corporate manslaughter were told to stay in their apts. by phone operators during the inferno. Reportedly most of the advisory signs in the building also suggested that tenants remain inside too if that isn’t too ironically warped. For hours the building blazed people remained inside because of this advice leaving them trapped. To this date, 79 people perished and died and there are still some missing. A mural of photographs of family members and neighbors cover a fence by the charred remains.

Apparently, as is going on here in the boroughs of NYC and all over the nation’s biggest cities (even Nashville) there has been a rush of influx tower hyper-development and ambitious and haughty city planning promoting luxury living and dining, and brand vibrancy nearby the struggling project complexes. The Gentrification Industrial Complex influence and manipulation of cities apparently has no limitations. Although in Britain, it’s called “regeneration”.

And as it is in NYC and other metropolises, London also is experiencing a dwindling middle class and a widening economic gap between the rich and poor.

Days after the inferno and the horrendous protective photo ops and embarrassing video of P.M. Theresa May fleeing a church from the yelling hordes and press photographers, there was actually a report on CBS News at 11 that focused on Grenfell and the pestilence of tower development on the coasts of Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn (and soon the Bronx) that wondered if it could happen here also. In the 2 minute segment fragment, they interviewed a DOB official who looked like he shit himself when he claimed that there is nothing much to worry about, which may have some truth because these new behemoths packed by the rivers don’t have the cheap cladding that ignites easily. The fire inspector they skyped with basically gave the same advice as those useless posters in Grenwell’s stairwell.

Since the devastation and destruction of the community of Grenfell, proactive though arbitrary measures were taken that led to the entire evacuation of another public housing building with the same cheap cladding and the transfer of the surviving tenants into a hotel for temporary shelter, a Holiday Inn Express (this chain does great business with the destitute even in London). Unfortunately, they all got kicked out of the hotel after a few weeks on short notice because of prior reservations and of course lack of warning and funding by the horrendous and primeval management group that destroyed their homes and livelihoods.

Not only is this Gentrification’s 911, but it’s neoliberalism’s WTC cleanup site or Iraqi Freedom, since it’s now producing collateral damage and existential dread among the displaced and disenfranchised from the massive tragedy. And like those analogies, the ones truly responsible, the elected and the appointed officials will not face any consequences or express genuine remorse, for this is how the preternatural way of progress works when it comes to shaping societies and economies in the new century. It comes to the point were Some Lives Don’t Matter when it comes to the lower and middle classes because their incomes don’t speak loud enough to be heard or to even give a fuck about, even if the people have a meticulously detailed blog about the rancid incompetence and vile indifference of the former Grenfell management group.

 

 

Wrath Of The Scumlords: Pine Management’s Imbecilic Effort To Force Senior Citizens To Use Fire Escape For Egress And A Volatile Super Installs Pointy Spikes On A Entrance Path Ledge Seating

At a building on 165 West 83rd st., a walk up apartment building undergoing renovation attempted to force their tenants, the majority of them rent-stabilized and senior citizens, to use a fire escape for a week as they finish replacing the stairs.

The developer and owner, Pine Management, has quite a record of tormenting their tenants and is currently under investigation by the A.G. Eric Schniederman, stemming from an incident in December when Pine attempted to evict a 94 year old man from his apartment so they can convert it into two market rate apartments. The notorious company has a terrible rating in tenant review poll websites.

So it’s no surprise at all that they would try something as morally bankrupt as this. One would assume that a developer with hundreds of properties in the richest borough would at least arrange to have them stay at hotels while still collecting the legal rent as they finish repairs, but no, it’s easier to make peoples lives difficult. Especially the aged people, who mostly don’t have the stamina or even the training to achieve such athletic feats like jumping for that ladder to slide it down. And walking down that staircase with all that exposure from the grating of the ground below can be quite intimidating.

,Even though the DOB did react fast after this was exposed on the local news and streaming video, which is the only occasion they do, to put an immediate stop work order on the site, Pine Mgmt. apparently still feels secure that they can get away with such egregious and sadistic treatment of their tenants and denying their basic civil and human rights to even issue complaints without fear of reprisal.

What is not even addressed is the sheer stupidity of their zeal to discourage and disenfranchise their tenants. That if the only way to enter and exit is through fire escape, surely the ladder will be down for easy access most of time which will certainly encourage criminals to either burglarize their apts. or even rape the women there all hours of the day.

Despite the halting of the “renovation” and even ensuing litigation against Pine Mgmt., they seem to be secure in the fact that they will not see any punishment or strict punitive charges for their actions, which is why they can place sadistic orders like this like some kind of cartoon villain tethering his fingers.

Meanwhile, in Kew Gardens, Queens; A superintendent for an apartment building at 118th st. and 84th ave. under orders by the landlord, Perrone Calogero , to implement a nasty and menacing looking row of spike strips onto concrete ledges designed for seating on the path to the building’s entrance. These strips are commonly used by parking lots to discourage delinquent customers from skipping payment and punk rockers and death metal bands to make their attire look mean.

As per the usual process of creative renovations and modernizations of these properties, the spikes were placed there without notification and the input of the tenants of the building. Leading to inevitable and justified indignation about the unsightly dangerous new additions, and overwhelming concern of children frolicking up and down the path. In the video you can see a little girl about to place her hand on the ledge like out of habit.

Needless to say, as CBSNewYork tried to get some valid reasons from the super about the strips, they got muscled off as the thug attacked the cameraman with the grace of a club bouncer.

The reasons supplied by the management for this medieval ornamentation is discourage skateboarders and raccoons, but according to tenants there have been no such witnessing of these things. And in the age of uploading videos on myriad platforms, there certainly would have been footage of these alleged rogue trespassers.

As these diabolical attempts to stress out tenants of modest and poor status, Pine Mgmt. and Perrone obviously feel secure that they will not be punished or perhaps don’t care if they are.

And why not, there has been too much corruption in the past 3 years under Mayor De Faustio involving the Gentrification Industrial Complex’s developers and their goons and flunkies like that syphillic pussy that attacked the reporter, trying to force people out and bring in a new young sucker demographic to pay the fabricated market rates, that they will go to even more sadistic and demonic means to coax poorer people to move. This has become standard procedure and it’s actually encouraged by p.r. adviser groups.

And there are so so many of them, it’s a shock they actually got those lowlife Israel brothers and Steve Croman, the latter who only got busted because he tried to cheat the banks. Jared Kushner was doing the same shit for years in the East Village and was lucky enough that his poppop-in-law became predisent. The construction as harassment tactics employed by Kushner is the model clearly being used by Pine Mgmt. displayed above.

So these two property runners, despite government intervention and T.V. exposure, will probably continue their stupid demonic ways. For the rental market continues to rise, young people, national and foreign, are coming to New York in droves, which makes speculation easy to exploit and fabricate and the scumlords will find even more creative and destructive methods for their quest for personal monetary gains.

We’re going to need a bigger, better and badder enforcer to stop these property pimps.

 

 

Wrath Of The Scumlords: Slimy Disservice And Tactics At Seagirt 711, Displaced Elmhurst Residents Demand Independent Monitor

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The 711, Rockaway Beach.

On the gorgeous yet still gritty shores of Far Rockaway, there sits a beachfront apartment complex on 711 Seagirt Avenue called the Sandcastle, and it actually resembles one. Actually four, the color of the brick buildings matches the sand just feet away from the lots. But aesthetics is not what this is about. This is about another story about people, in this case elderly people, being undermined, mistreated, intimidated and expendable by the perpetrating owners and more indifference by elected higher-ups.

A report by the local paper “The Wave” focused on the “711”, a building marketed and designed for senior citizens, and the myriad problems consuming the building and the frustrations and complaints from the tenants. Insufficient and inefficient security conditions abound with broken intercoms and no guard personnel (the listing for the building states that it has a doorman and conceirge), leading to strangers roaming and suspected drug dealing in the halls and staiways all day and night, and homeless people settling in the concierge area. And of course there are pressing maintenance problems that get ignored.

The management of the complex, Sarasota Gold LLC, according to stressed-out residents has never made a concerted effort to show up for tenant meetings.

It’s a safe bet that the only effort the mysterious gentlemen (and maybe a few token women) of this LLC is to discourage the people from living there. And being that they are at an advanced age and vulnerable, it’s practically easy pickings. Now why does this seem quite nefarious, because these are the usual brass tactics of avaricious landlords when an area suddenly becomes “hot” or “cool” like Rockaway has become in the past 5 years. West of the 711 has seen a lot of development up the boardwalk with sleek new towers, a major upscale “hip” hotel, and actual luxury condo buildings on 116th street. But more essentially, a massive and still shocking and ludicrous expensive designer food and craft brew culture scene.

Basically, Sarasota is just conducting savage business as usual as was done in other areas consisting of working poor, retired and even middle class (there are just too many to name right now). And now it’s Rockaway’s turn, especially now that the boardwalk is complete and ferry service has returned. For the goal of the Gentrification Industrial Complex is to turn the entire 5 boroughs into a luxury theme park for the disposable income transients and transplants to our state. The G.I.C. turned Brooklyn into a brand and now it’s Queens’ turn.

So why not put a scare into old people and let the place rot from the inside and outside. Hell, NYCHA has been doing this for decades, sure the feds didn’t provide them enough funding, but the money they got from them and the city they found ways to piss it away. They don’t spend enough money anymore, well mostly because they can’t, and maybe because they won’t, being that they have to spend on other things, like medicine and food they can afford. They are unable to ride bikes like the target and favored demographic does.

https://images1.apartments.com/i2/n_C2tqKPAXXVCJU2QvIQWoT1Rjz1ijroRyk2ErZgw-Y/117/the-martinique-elmhurst-ny-martinique-plaza.jpg

The Martnique Plaza before some idiot blazed it.

Meanwhile in Elmhurst,  hundreds of people displaced when a fire engulfed their apartment building, the Martinique Plaza, ignited by an idiot contractor using a torch and propane which were forbidden for the work he was assigned to do, are demanding to appoint an independent monitor to determine the feasibility and the improvements of their homes.

The tenants were moved to hotels (thanks Mayor De Faustio, the only good aspect of your homeless policy) and later moved to shelters when they found the hotels environment to be unsafe and repressive (so much for that, these hotels aren’t even good for a night or two, what they are actually meant and exist for). Since then, they have organized and are very shrewd and quite cognizant of the methods and motives of landlords borough-wide and are very concerned of being disenfranchised from their dwellings. A good reason for their justified skepticism is that the buildings management offered them to move to new apartments if they don’t sue, a bigger reason is that they hired that imbecile who forced them on the streets, and the hugest reason is their superintendent initially lied about the schmuck on the roof until the NYFD came.

The good news is that the building management is being a bit more cooperative. Still, they tried to discourage them and that’s still scummy. It took some nifty assembling and good counseling by the tenants to put their balls on the coals. The folks at the 711 got a harder and higher dune to climb because of their presence on fabricated high end real estate and are relying on some guy running for public advocate.

Speaking of advocacy, where is Letitia ” Fatty Fat Fat” James? Or Councilman Donovan Richards, who was last seen crowing about the Mott St shopping center redevelopment,  or even their congressman Gregory “Squatter” Meeks? The 711 is practically under siege and people who spent their whole lives working, paying taxes so they can live near the nice beach are afraid to open their doors and go outside to enjoy it. And the owners and management are not only avoiding the building but letting the wolves run amuck. And these are elderly people for christsakes

This has been asked before and will be asked over and over. Does someone have to get killed first to get the services needed?

Good Riddance

Leonard Litwin, 102, Real Estate Magnate, Pioneer Of Pay To Play For Tax Breaks And Municipal Services.

NY Times

In 2015, two extraordinary federal corruption trials in New York led to the convictions and resignations of the state’s two most powerful legislative leaders in Albany and exposed long-hidden bribery connections to Mr. Litwin’s empire, laying bare a seamy world of payoffs, political favors and legislation that reaped staggering profits and savings for the real estate industry, and for Glenwood Management in particular.

Mr. Litwin was not charged with any crime, though he was named a co-conspirator in one case, and never appeared in a courtroom for either trial as the juries convicted Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat and former Assembly speaker, and State Senator Dean G. Skelos, a Long Island Republican and Senate majority leader, of bribery, extortion and conspiracy charges.

In both trials, prosecutors showed that Glenwood had received favored treatment in Albany by giving $10 million to political campaigns since 2005, mostly through a maze of 26 limited liability companies. Under a nonprosecution agreement, Mr. Dorego, a senior executive of Glenwood, testified that payoffs to leaders and members of the State Legislature assured Glenwood of continued benefits in taxes, state financing and rent laws. One program alone, he said, saved up to $100 million.

In the Skelos case, the jury found that the senator and his son, Adam B. Skelos, had pressured Glenwood and two other companies into providing benefits worth $300,000 to the son, who was also convicted. By naming Mr. Litwin a co-conspirator of Dean Skelos, prosecutors were able to elicit testimony from Mr. Dorego about conversations he had with Mr. Litwin on the amounts and recipients of payments.

While Mr. Litwin carefully avoided publicity, he was in the news periodically for his political donations. Campaign finance records showed that over many years he gave millions to governors, state legislators, City Council members, candidates for office, and Republican and Democratic organizations. Public records also showed that he spent millions on lobbying.

In July 2013, the New York Public Interest Research Group reported that Mr. Litwin had given Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo a total of $625,000 in campaign contributions since December 2010, apparently making Mr. Litwin the governor’s largest donor. At the time, Mr. Cuomo was raising $1 million a month from contributors for his 2014 re-election campaign.

Mr. Litwin also gave large sums to former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat, and to many Republican officials, including former Gov. George E. Pataki and state legislators, particularly members of the Senate who favored real estate interests. Money trails in the 1990s showed that Mr. Litwin and other developers were heavy supporters of Republicans who pledged to abolish or limit tenant rent protections.

Like other wealthy campaign donors, Mr. Litwin circumvented contribution limits by funneling many smaller gifts through dozens of limited liability companies he controlled. While legal, such gifts are worrying to advocates of campaign finance reforms, especially when the donations are made by individuals or companies doing business with the government.

While politicians tend to minimize the impact of such donations, tenant advocates and others contend that the money is a prime mover in debates over rent laws and state and city regulations affecting the real estate industry. In any case, Mr. Litwin’s corporation benefited from special state financing, tax breaks, construction subsidies and other largess.

In 2002, federal investigators said Mr. Litwin and dozens of other property owners had received illegal tax breaks arranged by a consultant who was charged with bribing tax assessors in a scheme that cost the city $160 million in revenue over four years. But the suspect, Albert Schussler, died of a stroke before he could testify, and Mr. Litwin and other owners denied knowledge of a crime and were not accused of wrongdoing.

Liberty Plaza won approval for nearly $100 million in special state financing and a 20-year real estate tax exemption, and was the first new apartment building erected in Lower Manhattan after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Congrats, you got away with it. And influenced a new generation of unconscionable avaricious and opportunistic power hungry scumbags. Thanks for having the decency to avoid running for president of the United States.

About Judge Johnathan Lippman, The Alpha Guy Who Initiated The Unrealistic Gradual Shutdown Of Rikers Island

https://i0.wp.com/ww3.hdnux.com/photos/41/22/32/8726146/3/rawImage.jpgJudge Johnathan Lippman (Ret.)

Queens, N.Y.

The gears are now getting oiled for the delusional and inevitable to fail, crash and burn plan to close Rikers and transfer them to new structures to be built, supposedly near to each boroughs nearest district court house to avoid pissing off the natives. Although not realizing, or refusing to realize that there are residential areas near courthouses. Since there has been a steady but not yet ample amount of constructive and virulent criticism towards the two self-enlightened self-righteous assheads, Speaker Mark Viverito and Mayor Big Slow De Faustio, it would be sorely remiss if the one who spearheaded this stupid, alienating and dividing and conquering plan would escape unscathed, and that’s the Honorable Judge Johnathan Lippman (Ret.)

He is currently employed at the mega power white shoe and collar firm Latham & Watkins. It is pointed out at the end of his bio of his expertise in civil rights issues. But it conveniently neglects his other diabolical skill sets and the company he once kept.

NY Post: Feds investigating Silver’s influence over civil court

The country’s most important civil court is under federal investigation, an insider says. The probe is focusing on the state Supreme Court’s civil division at 60 Centre St. in lower Manhattan, where many tentacles reach to disgraced Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the court source said.

Silver was arrested last month on corruption charges, and Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara warned the public to “stay tuned” for more developments. The case against Silver centers on his freelance legal “work” and the millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks he hauled in from real-estate and asbestos claims, the feds say.

Many of these cases landed in the courtrooms at 60 Centre St., presided over by judges with ties to Silver and his lifelong pal, Jonathan Lippman, the chief judge of the state Court of Appeals.

Both men grew up on the Lower East Side, and Silver has been Lippman’s political godfather, pushing him to reach New York’s top judicial post. “The appointment of Sheldon Silver’s childhood friend, Jonathan Lippman, as the state’s chief judge based on his administrative experience made about as much sense as the Yankees making their accountant the manager of the team,” said Charles Compton, former president of the Supreme Court Officers Association. He added that Lippman was appointed “to protect and promote Silver’s interests.”

The indictment accuses Silver of steering billionaire developer Leonard Litwin, the state’s largest political donor, to the firm, along with another unnamed developer. In exchange, Silver reaped referral fees. Litwin owns a rental building, The Fairmont — the same high-rise where Lippman and his wife rented a one-bedroom apartment between 2007 and 2010, The Post found. And Lippman’s son, Russell, a Harvard-educated lawyer, rented an apartment there between 2003 and 2005, public records show.

Lippman, who earned $156,000 in 2010, moved into the rent-stabilized building in 2007 shortly after he was appointed presiding justice of the Appellate Division in Manhattan and was required to live in The Bronx or Manhattan. He had lived in Westchester.  Lippman did not know Litwin owned the property.

And!

As The Post reported Sunday, US Attorney Preet Bharara is now investigating the state Supreme Court’s civil division in lower Manhattan.

Its courtrooms handled many of the asbestos and real-estate claims that provided Silver with much of his outside income. The stink here is that it isn’t just the plaintiffs Speaker Silver had ties to. He was pals with the judges as well.

The most prominent is Jonathan Lippman, whom Shelly has known since childhood. Shelly helped engineer Lippman’s appointment as chief judge of the state Court of Appeals.

In that post, Lippman appointed Arthur Luxenberg — yes, of the same Weitz & Luxenberg that was paying Silver — to a committee that helped decide which judges are appointed to the division handling the asbestos cases that are among Weitz & Luxenberg’s specialties.

There are also the two landlords who are being represented in the same courtrooms by Silver’s other law firm, Goldberg & Iryami.

Their case is being heard by Judge Martin Shulman. Not only does Silver live in the same building and go to the same synagogue as Shulman, Silver helped get Shulman his appointment.

No one besides Silver has yet been charged with any wrong-doing. But with a state court now under federal investigation along with the governor’s office and the Legislature, Bharara now has all three branches of New York government in his crosshairs.

In other words, a state trifecta. And not one New York should be proud of.

It figures given his recent past in appointing a commission of slithery like-minded thinkers that he would be the go-to guy in writing up a speculative report on such a utopian project like ending the existence of Rikers.

It should also be noted that although L & W is a massive firm with thousands of clients in hundreds of industrial and corporate fields, that one of them that will surely come into play is the Real Estate and REIT divisions. REIT’s have been a major financial resource behind the rash (or scourge or pestilence, whichever you prefer) of the majority of hyper-development that has enveloped the city and the coastlines of the boroughs in the past 10 years, maybe even the last 3 under De Faustio. Most of these creative investments are through mysterious LLC’s which don’t actually divulge the identities of the partners that are profiting.

A lot of these REITs reportedly also go to warehouses, hospitals and hotels. Which brings the recent interest in occupying dormant space in Sunset Park and the shutdowns of LICH in Brooklyn, Rivington House and the recent modernization of Beth Israel to mind. And most disturbingly, the proliferation of hundreds of hotels built in the past 10 years designed for the massive influx of tourism and the hyping of Queens as a destination, only to be used mostly as indefinite homeless shelters

It doesn’t say on his bio if he specializes in real estate at his new workplace, but judging with his prior experience and his binding friendship to the disgraced, convicted “Shelly Shady” Sheldon Silver, he does seem to have an obvious inkling how to dole favors and shekels to certain real estate overlords. And he got a nice hook up pad to boot.

The irony behind the closure of Rikers by a self-righteous conspiratorial hypocrite leading it and the prospect of releasing prisoners to alleviate the transfer and the recent decision to let Shelly Shady walk free as he awaits his sentence or acquittal is just too nauseatingly glaring. And why this plan must be stopped with furious condemnation and persistence.

This is a fucking land grab, nothing more nor less. And they are doing this under the rubric fallacious guise of human rights and the memory of Kalief Browder. De Faustio, Speaker Missy, Lippy, and whoever else is on this academic panel most likely lobbyists than scholars, are avaricious bullshit artists, who don’t give a fuck about communities and care only about their portfolios and bank accounts. This is as dumb, distracting and obvious as Figurehead Trump’s dumb ass wall that will never see one bag of cement reach the Mexican border.

This must fail also. Preferably in a comical fashion.

Lunatic Decision To Close Rikers Island Now Ratified; Borough Communities Won’t Be Smilin’

https://i0.wp.com/static4.businessinsider.com/image/51b38377eab8ea1e63000007/new-yorks-main-jail-complex-looks-gorgeous-from-a-seaplane.jpg

The Guardian: New York City’s notorious Rikers Island jail complex to close under new plan

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday that he was developing a plan to shut down the massive jail within 10 years.

“It will take many years and it will take many tough decisions along the way, but it will happen,” De Blasio said.

It would be replaced with several smaller jails based in the city’s boroughs.
To make it work, the mayor said the jail population would have to be cut roughly in half.

Key details of the plan, including the cost and the location of alternative jails, are still a long way from being worked out, the mayor said.

A commission headed by the state’s former chief judge has been considering options for Rikers as part of a broad examination of the city’s criminal justice system.

That commission was formed in the wake of a string of brutality cases that exposed poor supervision, questionable medical care and corruption.

In the past, De Blasio had said that replacing the jail would be too expensive.

Advocates for prisoners have been arguing that smaller jails, based in the city’s neighborhoods, would be better able to provide services and reduce delays getting criminal suspects to and from court.

It was not immediately clear how local elected officials in the communities where new jails might be built would react. Past attempts to build or expand existing jails in the boroughs have been met with significant resistance from neighborhood groups and others. It is also unclear how the politically powerful jail guards union would react to such a plan, which could conceivably shrink their membership.

The city currently employs about 10,000 correction officers.

A union spokesman did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. The union’s former president was indicted by federal prosecutors last year in a sprawling municipal corruption case. He has pleaded not guilty.

Violence, mismanagement and corruption have been the subject of intense scrutiny by the media and federal prosecutors in recent years.

A 2015 settlement of civil litigation over pervasive brutality led to the installation of a monitor responsible for overseeing the city’s progress in adding thousands of surveillance cameras and stricter policies on use of force.

The Associated Press and other news outlets first exposed conditions on Rikers in a series of reports in 2014 that highlighted violence, poor supervision, questionable medical care and failures to prevent suicides.

Those deaths included a homeless ex-marine who essentially baked to death in a hot cell and a mentally ill man who sexually mutilated himself while locked up alone for seven days.

Politico: De Blasio commits to closing Rikers, with few specifics

Just days before a special commission was set to release a report calling for the closure of Rikers Island, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday he supports a ten-year timeline to shutter the troubled jail.

“This is the first time in 85 years, since Rikers Island opened in 1932, that the official policy of the city of New York will be to end our efforts on Rikers Island and close the jails there,” de Blasio said flanked by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Department of Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte and director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, Elizabeth Glazer.

The press conference, which was not initially listed on the mayor’s public schedule, came nearly a year after City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito called for the complete closure of the facility.

De Blasio said his own evolution on the idea — which he had previously dismissed as a “noble” but impractical undertaking — came after weeks of conversations between he and Mark-Viverito, describing a consensus that formed around the general idea that the facility could be closed after it reaches 5,000 inmates. The first step would be reducing the inmate population to 7,000 as the city figures out where to house the inmate population would be displaced.

“I didn’t see how it was attainable under the conditions we were facing,” the mayor said, noting that he’d been speaking with Mark-Viverito about the subject for the past two years. “My feeling from the beginning was that if I didn’t believe it couldn’t be done, I wasn’t going to say it. I had to honestly go through all the paces to say, what would it look like, how long would it take.”

The mayor’s announcement in the rotunda of City Hall came two days before a commission impaneled by Mark-Viverito, and chaired by former chief judge Jonathan Lippman, is set to release a report recommending the closure of Rikers in support of smaller, community focused facilities spread across the five boroughs.

The report, a copy of which was obtained by POLITICO New York, calls for the construction of five “state of the art jails” — one in each borough at a cost of $11 billion over the next ten years. De Blasio did not commit to any specific plans for siting new facilities, repeatedly saying it would be up to the Council to approve any new jail facilities.

Mark-Viverito first called for the closure of the jail over a year ago during her State of the City address, shortly after several cases of violence and abuse put Rikers Island in the national spotlight. During that speech, Mark-Viverito also laid out a wide-ranging criminal justice reform agenda which included the reclassifying of low-level nonviolent offenses and a restructuring of the bail system.

De Blasio’s turnaround means top city and state elected officials are in agreement on the need to shutter the jail facility, which currently holds approximately 7,500 inmates — an average daily total that is down 23 percent since de Blasio came into office.

The mayor’s announcement came with few details about how the city would further reduce the inmate population or how the the administration would approach the need to site new jails around the city — a thorny issue sure to cause headaches for an administration already facing a strong backlash to new homeless shelters in a number of communities.

De Blasio said the continued drop in crime, combined with a raft of new policies at the jail, and changes in how certain offenses are policed and prosecuted led him to believe that a two-stage process for closing the facility was possible.

First, he said, the city’s overall inmate population needs to reach 7,000, at which point he said the actual work of closing Rikers could begin. Second, the city’s detainee population must continue on a steady decline to 5,000 before Rikers can close.

“We believe that can be achieved in the next ten years — that is the goal that the speaker and I have agreed to, a 10-year timeline. Again, it will take a lot of work and a lot of things will have to go right,” de Blasio said.

It hinges on a decades-long reduction of crime that has continued during his time in office, though De Blasio acknowledged the timeline could change. “Job one is to reduce crime, reducing crime means reducing jail population. Any talk of getting of Rikers is meaningless if we don’t keep reducing crime,” he said.

De Blasio, who has also been facing pressure from Governor Andrew Cuomo to close the jail, said the state would have to be a willing partner, citing a need to make the court and bail systems more efficient, along with alternative to incarceration programs that could help decrease the population.

“Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito have prioritized criminal justice reform since entering office, and their shared decision to finally close Rikers Island is a testament to those priorities and concerns,” Legal Aid Society’s attorney-in-chief Seymour James said in a statement. “We join New Yorkers from every borough today flushed with many emotions that the dream of closing Rikers Island will finally become reality.”

https://i0.wp.com/s3cf.recapguide.com/img/tv/119/5x10/South-Park-Season-5-Episode-10-12-d174.jpg

Mayor De Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito

New York, N.Y.

This decision is a huge mistake. It’s the basic definition of lunacy. It was lobbied profusely by the council speaker, an opportunistic shrew that’s about to relinquish her seat by term limits, pushed by the image and legacy hungry governor of this state and pressured on a spineless power grasping mayor easily led for the progressive cause of the moment.

Although to be fair, the shutdown of this hellhole has been coming, especially with the perpetual and entrenched corruption and anarchy among guards and convicts through the decades and that has furiously manifested in just the last 5 years. Most notably with the food poisoning, the conviction of the C.O.’s union head Norman Seabrook from his theft and money laundering of their pension funds, and the scandalous torture and indifference that led to the suicide of Kalief Browder, who was initially imprisoned there by the NYPD over a theft charge that was unsubstantiated and who remained incarcerated for 3 years, 2 years in solitary, because he and his family couldn’t afford bail. The Browder case became a big cause celebre’ that went from rappers to singers to actors then all the way to the White House, when Barack Obama made an obligatory acknowledgement on his social networking account.

But it damn sure should not lead to developing new jails and the transfer to prisoners to local towns. The costs of these logistics combined will be humongous. And the rage among the chosen area’s constituencies against them will be massive.

The timing of this announcement, which clearly Mayor De Faustio And Speaker Sphincter-Face decided to drop prematurely on the weekend to avoid wider attention was pretty lame. Despite this tactic being standard procedure. Also, the fact that Missy is about to leave the speaker position and the possibility that De Faustio might not be re-elected means that they will not be around when these jails get built. But all those who just gave themselves 32 % raises last year are going to have their work cut out for them when they meet the pissed off masses against any prospects of a jail near their supermarket, their kid’s schools or even craft beer gardens and faux speakeasy bars.

But now it’s out here, some pertinent questions and observations must be met. Like how are they going to convince said citizenry when they can’t even convinced them to open a shelter or even the 6th shelter in their district. Also, how the mayor and speaker assume and speculate that crime will go down enough to justify building a jail in each borough. And also the big question is exactly where will they be built. Will they resemble the jails in Hazard County and Mayberry? Or maybe Arkham Asylum?

According to the fair use stipulations, naturally they should be in affluent areas, preferably populated by enlightened liberal thinkers like our mayor and speaker, and every celebrity from the fields of entertainment, sports and punditry. More naturally, and to cut the costs certain to accrue from meaningless studies and contracts to prison complex developers, why not reign in all those who have took advantage of generous rezoning, upzoning and deed lifting from our caring mayor with their massive CONY PAC donations and have them use whatever condos they are currently having trouble selling  and whatever developments that are currently in progress, say the Domino Sugar buildings by Two Trees or Ratnerland Greenland Properties by Atlantic Yards Pacific Park and devote some of the higher floors and re-purpose them as prison cells.

And speaking of Bill’s philanthropist predator developer caring pals from the Gentrification Industrial Complex, it’s not coincidental at all that these demented, twisted visionaries were already discussing luxury living tower and destination (!!!) potential or even as a 100 % affordable housing complex (more likely a poverty colony) as early as last winter.

Here’s a quote from some guy at Slate Properties from just 2 weeks ago (remember these motherfuckers?)

“The possibilities really are endless,” said David Schwartz, co-founder of development firm Slate Property Group. “You really have never had a piece of property in New York City that is this large that you can do almost anything with. This is as blank a canvas as you get.”

Blank canvas. This guy saw a blank canvas despite the existence of multiple buildings, thousands of incarcerated prisoners, and most essentially thousands of officers and staff who will soon lose their jobs. Also despite the fact that it’s not going to be demolished any time soon. An observation this crass and soulless is not a surprise considering that Schwartz and his moneyed and privileged peers now see any vacant space, no matter how minute or incongruous to it’s surroundings as billion dollar properties that should be modeled in their wannabe fountainhead fantasies.

But the speculations even more ridiculous than those of the G.I.C. are the ones the speaker and mayor are spouting from their face assholes, that crime is going to magically decrease. Therefore, the tearing down of the island’s buildings will begin and the new borough prison facilities will commence construction. It also hinges on the hopes of good behavior by the release of prisoners under supervision during the 10 year duration.

The biggest hedge is probably the omniscient inequitable economic divide, inflated cost of living and unaffordability of a large percentage though ignored populace in the 5 boroughs of NYC.

Basically, this is going to be a huge gamble on communities. And a preposterous bet that, basically, all crime will cease. Which is going to be a bit hard considering that most major crimes, though lower than 20-40 years ago as everyone is constantly reminded, has remained steady and rose in some. This goal might be slightly attained if marijuana was legalized, but recent stats show that despite the decriminalization of pot last year, possession arrests are still high (no pun intended at all), and largely disproportionate towards Blacks and Hispanics.

But hey, what does it matter if it makes some officials feel good about themselves and raises the financial investment prospects of certain individuals and corporations. Everything is for our own good and in the name of progress, even if it’s mostly theirs. Maybe one day these good and swell feelings will trickle down to the people who clearly no longer have a say on how this city should run, in the hopes it will shield all from the next random crime or violation of their space.

And just maybe, the cost will not be much of a burden, if Figurehead Trump’s budget proposal favoring military and law enforcement actually gets the congressional go ahead. Which may be the ulterior reason why the judge decided to phase out Rikers in congruence with the human rights violations issues involved.

But for all the self-satisfaction and eerie gloating, especially by speaker Missy, and the ensuing outrage surely to come by people that have to live near these prison branches as if they are ATM’s, whom already are being maligned as NIMBY’s by some news media networks, the one person who may be truly against it should have the last word on the abrupt termination of this plan.

And that’s Akeem Browder, Kalief’s brother.

“It wasn’t the walls or the conditions that killed Kalief, it was the human beings behind the walls that abused and ultimately drove him to suicide”

So how the hell are smaller jails going to improve the environment and the entrenched violence, corruption and anarchy instilled in the culture of incarceration. When the same culture and environment is already on the public streets. How do you think they got to Rikers in the first place, Miss Speaker? In fact, why haven’t the cops who actually arrested Kalief Browder on bogus charges been exposed and punished?

For now, all the young thugs out there and repeat offenders should try, try to fly right so as to fulfill the utopian wishes of our exalted elected officials. Because this utopian plan cannot be realized if robbing, killing, fighting and raping is still remaining statistically steady. Hopefully the words below are still significant and can still influence and inspire…

Well listen to me, you young hoods, this is some advice
You do the crime, you’re payin’ the price
Cause if you’re in the drug spots, sellin’ crack on the block
Snatchin’ chains, bustin’ brains, like a real hardrock
If you ever hear a cop say you’re under arrest
Go out just like a trooper, stick out your chest
Cause you might have been robbin’, you might have been whylin’
But you won’t be smilin’ on Riker’s Island

Kool G Rap & DJ Polo

 

Wrath Of The Scumlords.

NY Daily News: East Harlem landlord, her cohorts tried to drive sisters out of their home with threats of deportation: suit

Two sisters said they had to flee their East Harlem apartments after a landlord and her crew — including her Trump-supporting son — made life unbearable with increasingly ominous threats of harm and reports to immigration authorities.

But now they are fighting back to come home and stop the “relentless campaign of discrimination” being waged against them, according to their new Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit.

Araceli Ramos, 32, and younger sister Rosa, 29, lived in their apartments at the 115th St. building for more than a decade. The problems started in January when the landlord, Diane Marrero Pedrez, told the women that they and the rest of the tenants would have to get out because “she intended to sell ‘her’ portion of the building.”

According to the suit filed Friday, the woman is the day-to-day manager and the executor of the estate that has a 50% interest in the building, which the suit says is worth $2.2 million.

That’s when the harassment started, the lawsuit says.

One time, Araceli was outside the building when Pedrez and a defendant, identified only as “Bob,” said Araceli had to leave.

Bob let it slip he knew where Araceli’s kids went to school. The same man allegedly referred to Araceli and her family as “immigrant pieces of s–t.”

Another time, Pedrez allegedly “lunged” at Rosa after another attempt to make her move out, the suit claims. According to the suit, the unnamed son yelled he was happy he’d voted for President Trump and he was tired of “all of these immigrants.” The son said he was going to be sure someone “rounded up” the sisters and the rest of the family.

The lawsuit said things got even darker. Two days after Telemundo showed up, Dicks came back with demands the plaintiffs and their families leave. “This is an old building and the boiler isn’t working very well. It could catch fire anytime, and no one would know if it was on purpose or not,” the lawsuit quoted him as saying.

The suit said Rosa and Araceli “were terrified that remaining in the building would result in immigration consequences for, or grave physical harm to, them and their family.”

This may be an actual confirmation of using the culturally volatile environment set by the policies of Figurehead Trump and the unscrupulous abuse of the real estate market speculation/fabrication and sadistic chicanery slumlord tactics that’s been enabled by the campaign fund whoring by Mayor De Faustio.

What is truly confounding is that here we have 2 young women who are actually part of the millenial demographic that these slumlords are trying to replace them with. Maybe these long time citizens of East Harlem are not the types who frequent designer pizza joints and craft beer gardens or wait on lines around the corner for a disgusting rainbow bagel. And are not stupid to pay $3500 a month to live in modest apartment in Manhattan. But it’s certain that they live there because they need to, they want to, and despite the amount of money they earn for a living they have every goddamn right to.

And how the fuck is that building worth 2.2 million dollars? It doesn’t even have bland and shitty street art on the side of it. This supposed real estate market is going batshit crazy. I wonder if the rise of those hideous behemoth monoliths on 57st in midtown is having an effect on the worth of regular apartment buildings.

Meanwhile in Queens:

Queens Chronicle: Elderly Kew Gardens tenants fight eviction

A pair of elderly Kew Gardens residents who survived World War II in their native Ukraine are facing possible eviction, as the owner of the co-operative building they live in wants to charge more in rent, according to the Legal Aid Society.

Sateesh Nori, the attorney in charge of the Legal Aid Society’s Queens office, says the two people — an 89-year-old great-grandmother Nellya and a 93-year-old Ukrainian Air Force veteran named Soloman — pay rent because they’ve been there since before the building was co-oped.

Because they pay less than $1,500 in rent with the help of Section 8 vouchers in a neighborhood where rents approach or exceed $2,000, Nori said, the landlord, Forest & Gardens Owners, started the eviction process more than two years ago.

But the housing cases stalled while Nellya and Soloman, whose last names were asked to be withheld, had guardians to handle their legal defense, finances and other aspects of life appointed to them.

Soloman has significant health problems that hampers his ability to represent himself in court, Nori said, while Nellya has been bedridden for about two years.

“Now that the eviction case is no longer on hold, their guardians contacted us saying, ‘we need your help,’” Nori said. “We’ve since looked back into the original court case and found numerous errors in the landlord’s legal argument.”

Nori added that Forest & Gardens Owners has failed to submit a lease renewal for the elderly residents, endangering their Section 8 vouchers.

“They’re aware, though,” he added of the residents, who don’t speak English. “What they’ve said to us through their translator is, ‘Why do you want us to leave? What have we done wrong?’”

Nori said the Legal Aid Society had no reason to believe the landlord has preyed on residents before, as the group has “never heard of them.”

Forest & Gardens Owners could not immediately be reached for comment by press time.

The Legal Aid group needs to be a little more cynical and aggressive, especially since Forest & Gardens (what a pretty, unthreatening name) couldn’t be “reached for comment”. As if persistently demanding two elderly people to move for 2 years doesn’t construe harassment. They got their rent on time, so what’s the problem. It’s not enough. And there is a demo market out there for this generation that is stupid enough to pay a grand or twice the amount to rent. Especially once an area gets deemed hip by the New York Times or any hack adverjournotainment website (say, Bedford and Bowery or DNAinfo and Gothamist, well for the latter two both now).

Though F & G owners are not letting the building rot from the inside or doing environmentally hazardous gut renovations or denying basic utility services. These are still, as with the East Harlem case, slumlord tactics. But maybe it’s time for a new malignant term for these scourges that ruining the fabric and soul of the 5 boroughs. Let’s call these awful people, scumlords. Because the behavior exhibited by these kinds resembles the traits of the scumbag, and since the Gentrification Industrial Complex of government, real estate (REBNY), private equity and the news media considers every crack on the sidewalk and streets hot property that definitively, there are no slums anymore.

These are precarious, trying times for tenants living in the most unaffordable city with the biggest homeless population in the nation. These 4 citizens are the lucky ones to get media attention and help from their communities. There needs to be more, possibly a lobby or real non-profit interest group for the poor and middle class to stop the scumlord scourge, for it’s obvious our overpaid city council don’t have the guts, will or stamina to aid their constituencies. For now, renters just have to use their own wits and know their rights. And not let the corrupt and the stupid disenfranchise them.

 

Breaking News: The Governor Does Notice Things

Governor Andy Cuomo, activating the pressure point for his observational ability.

The consternation by some, which consists of the 40% who view him unfavorably including the author of this site, might have to acknowledge the recent acts by Governor “Mario’s Son” Cuomo as evidence of his ability to take proactive responses and action to address the distressing demands of his constituents.

Even if it is motivated by being confronted by the irrepressible Marcia Kramer and his pathetic reoccurring and costly to the citizenry feud with Mayor “Big Slow” de Blasio.

Take a recent report covering a complaint of a Metro-North commuter and the unsanitary conditions of the train cars seats:

Needless to say, it was a bit encouraging. Too bad following this terribly brief report, the MTA reverted back to their daily routines of futility and neglect, as witnessed by thousands of commuters as bus stops still contained snow piles and elevated platforms in the outer boroughs were covered with sheets of ice and frozen snow, conditions more preferably to polar bears if they currently had it.

And since the Governor, who is wholly responsible for the MTA and the upkeep and running of it, as shown that he can wield his authority when he has to, maybe he can tell the contractor hired to renovated and rebuild the Lefferts Blvd. A line station to do some thorough cleaning also. Because as repeatedly documented here, it has been a feathered rat outhouse for the past year and half and possibly poses a bigger health risk than the grimy cushioned seats on the metro-north. Here’s a compilation of from autumn and early winter last and this year:

And this is from a few days ago:

As Ms. Kramer attests, it seems that the only way this gets any attention is to guilt Andy to submission in person. Of course after hearing a response coated with feigned concern and condescension and a lame statement by an MTA spokesperson. But what’s been going on in this station in Southeast Queens is utter bullshit and unacceptable. And should be rectified pronto and cleaning up this eyesore and obvious health hazard shouldn’t have to wait for this modernization to be complete. Which is late again, being that the first quarter of the year is almost up in a few weeks.

The Governor, in the proverbial zone, also noticed something striking, that there is still poverty and a dearth of crucial services in the borough of Brooklyn

The Brookyn Eagle: Cuomo’s $1.4B ‘Vital Brooklyn’ plan would invest heavily in Central Brooklyn

Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined a $1.4 billion initiative on Thursday that aims to transform Central Brooklyn, long one of the most troubled areas in the city.

Central Brooklyn includes Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Bushwick and Crown Heights, neighborhoods that struggle chronically with poverty, crime, poor health and low educational achievement.

The initiative, dubbed “Vital Brooklyn” would target and invest in eight areas in an integrated manner, Cuomo said. The largest chunks of the $1.4 billion would be spent on improving community health services ($700 million) and affordable housing ($563 million).

The remaining $166 million would be spent on increasing access to open spaces and recreation, assuring access to healthy food, resiliency, economic development and job creation, youth education and development and community violence prevention.

Cuomo said that the state’s former piecemeal approach to Central Brooklyn had proven ineffective.

(No shit Sherlock, emphasis mine)

“We are going to employ a new holistic plan that will bring health and wellness to one of the most disadvantaged parts of the state,” Cuomo told the approving crowd that included Central Brooklyn officials and union members from TWU and 1199SEIU health care workers. 

“Every New Yorker deserves to live in a safe neighborhood with access to jobs, health care, affordable housing, green spaces and healthy food, but you can’t address one of these without addressing them all,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo told elected officials that while the state would provide the funding, they would have to provide the leadership and bring in the community, spread over ten Assembly districts. Districts would choose from a menu of options.

 “You can’t impose anything on the community,” he said.

Cuomo also warned officials that it would not be easy to convince Albany, which will deal with the budget on April 1, to invest in the plan.

“Be ready for war when we go back” to Albany, he said.

Times Union: Cuomo touts $1.4B budget package for Brooklyn

In outlining his “Vital Brooklyn” plans at Medgar Evers College, Cuomo said Brooklyn lawmakers should prepare for a war in Albany as they try to shepherd the funding past colleagues from other regions of the state who might try to poke holes in the plan. But, the governor contends that $1.4 billion in spending now is money better spent than on dysfunction down the road.

“You want to talk about expensive: $50,000 a year to keep a person in prison, that is expensive,” Cuomo said, noting that tuition at Harvard University is cheaper. “Drug abuse is expensive. New York Police Department of 50,000 policemen, that’s expensive to keep people safe. Murder is expensive. It is dysfunction that is expensive.”

“I would much rather invest early on, prevent the problem in the first place, than pay for the manifestation of it later on,” he added.

The plan covers key themes state officials believe can make struggling communities more vibrant, including the creation and improvement of open green spaces, construction of affordable housing, promotion of violence prevention initiatives like midnight basketball, promotion of healthy food programs and improvement of connections between upstate food growers and downstate consumers.

So now the state recognizes the persistent and perennial blight and plight of the residency of this massive enclave. Which going by the towns targeted is actually larger in capacity and density than the recent tony and former affordable areas in the western coastal areas of the borough.

And you bet that the long suffering citizenry of these towns are skeptical at the intent of Governor 2020, with justified concerns of fear and anger of the obvious prospect of gentrification. Government sponsored gentrification.

New York Times: Cuomo’s $1.4 Billion Plan for Brooklyn Stirs Fears of Gentrification

Residents in central Brooklyn met the announcement with a mix of elation and skepticism. Parents who keep their children mostly inside for safety warily embraced it. Others worried about the potential for gentrification, leading to the displacement of the area’s mostly black and Latino residents.

“Why now? You had all these times to make these changes, now Brooklyn is a hot spot — everyone wants a piece of it,” Ms. Vieira said. “If you want to make it better for the community, why 2017? The community has been the way it has been since the ’70’s

In East New York, Dayon Hopkins, 28, walked with his cousin, Troy Millhouse, 7, along Fountain Avenue, scooping wet snow off the hood of parked cars and slinging snowballs at each other.

Mr. Hopkins, who used to live in Bedford-Stuyvesant until rising rents forced him to move farther east, said Mr. Cuomo’s initiative, known as Vital Brooklyn, sounded like a prelude to more gentrification and a forced exodus of current residents.

“They’ll take this right here,” said Mr. Hopkins, pointing to a building facade across the street, “And put a glass door, a brick wall on one side of the hallway, and now it’s a loft” he said. “And now it costs way more than people are making around these parts.”

He continued: “And I understand: It does get nicer. But where’s everybody else going to go? Down south? Where are we going to go?”

(I am always wondering about that too, my theory is that the predator developers and our spineless sellout elected’s want to push the rent-burdened as far east to the Atlantic Ocean off Montauk Point)

Andy’s big presentation happens to jibe with actual and disturbing development that is happening right now in East New York by the Broadway Junction and elevated train stations, as it seen rents rise and reviled hipster sightings, thanks to and enabled by Mayor de Faustio’s  target genesis AQZ plan for the district, . Granted it expands more, but it needs a bigger push from the Assembly upstate. So possibly this plan and project will not manifest and it’s just another superficial presentation by our bloviating governor. But he has been on a roll lately with his fast tracking of the Tappan Zee and Kociosko Bridge replacements and the grand opening and craft brew cocktail new year’s eve party on the 2nd avenue subway line. A result of his slightly dictatorial style of legislating upstate.

One cannot argue about the allocations and programs in this proposal. Targeting affordable housing, healthy food access, park spaces (confusing since there are many parks in the area, and recent stats show that green spaces don’t guarantee safety and security), resiliency focusing on renewable energy, education, violence prevention (night basketball, a fave but slightly effective program by his dad), and health care. It’s just if the same perennially suffering residents will still be around to use and enjoy them. And if anything, it’s a crass insult to even name this superficial business conference posing as a sincere government proposal Vital. Like it’s a barren wasteland without signs of life or viable businesses, like the small businesses our elected officials like to praise so much. Like the people that already lived there now don’t matter enough to get prior attention. It’s like how developers and electeds like to constantly refer to vibrancy to bolster or even impose projects on towns they are targeting.

It’s still a real shame and a coincidence that improvements and necessities only come when someplace gets sudden cachet. Especially the case of Vital Brooklyn, or soon to be known as Brooklynland presented by Spectrum/ Citibank/ WeWork , for it’s been blessed and plagued with this label of coolness for at least a decade at the expense of thousands, possibly a bulk of the 60,000 currently homeless.

It’s like the Governor got inspired by this tax payer funded philanthropy by the lack of hipster sightings, pretentious restaurants and bars, superfluous cafes, and last but not least, luxury towers in places like Brownsville and Canarsie.

But mostly this could be just another undermining of his nemesis in City Hall. Which is getting old by the second and seems as genuine as feud between professional wrestlers.

All the surviving citizenry, the true residents of this part of Brooklyn, have to do is stay informed, organize and remain vigilant. Take a cue from the residents of Crown Heights, who are getting bombarded with combined gentrification and homeless placements from oblivious city planners. For any plan, no matter how progressive, is to be thoroughly scrutinized and vetted, for there are jackals that still have to profit immensely no matter the cause. And Andy should know from recent prior experience with the Buffalo Billion mess. And as shown, criminal embarrassments like that will not deter him at all.

Which confirms his continuing inability and even unwillingness to notice things, mostly the obvious.

Executive Carnage Proceeds: Figurehead Trump’s Congressional Address Involving Expensive, Expansive Police State And Military Budget Spending Impresses Corporate News Conglomerates. WWWBD? (What Would Wayne Barrett Do?)

Image result for Trump congress speechThe President Of The United States in dickface mode as those next in command, Fric And Frac behind him dutifully applaud

Washington, D.C., U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

What an uncomfortable and yet unpleasant sight it still is to see the words President Trump together, as well as the everyday reality of accepting that fact and of the bedlam he is causing in his position. Which made it even worse when the day arrived of his first address to Congress. To see him walk down the aisle in the role given to him by a desperate, disillusioned and disgusted with the status quo and elitism in government, it still looks unnatural and it gives the impression that his election victory and current occupation is just a spin-off from his rotten reality genre NBC program.

But before he addressed congress he acknowledged the First Lady Melania Trump and it may have been the first time that raucous wolf whistling and guttural whoos ever greeted a woman of such a dignitary position.

The contents of his speech he gave mostly was another rerun of all his shallow campaign promises, ludicrous budget spending proposals and pandering jingoistic bromides. More billions for the fucking wall on the Mexican border which is based on speculative profits and theories about returning jobs but for now WE THE PEOPLE are going to pay for. Something called VOICE, which looks like his crack(ed) team aides struggled to come up with a mnemonic for asinine program, which a special victims unit for those subjected to crimes by alleged illegal immigrants. More billions for the Military and Surveillance Industrial Complex. To pay for all this government expansion, which for some reason all the supposed conservatives in the house and senate based their campaigns and tenures rallying and fights against wasteful government spending and overreach, there will be drastic cuts to arts and education, and inevitably on the abolishment of the taxpaying citizens health care apparatus of Medicare, Medicaid and the ACA, along with the de-funding of social security.

These plans, although little detailed and devoid of any substance or sustenance as effective policies, anticipates that international wars are on the horizon. As shown by Figurehead Trump’s bonehead attack on a village and Al Qaeda base in Yemen, resulting in the deaths of not only enemy fighters but civilians including children and the destruction of multi-million dollar fighter chopper and the death of Navy Seal, Chief Petty Officer William Ryan Owens . This was the result of Trump leaving all his war making decisions on Defense Secretary Mad Dog Mattis, whose prior experience supervising quagmires in Iraq should have gave this attack some slight hesitation. But it’s horrible results just made a soldier’s wife a widow and an excuse for the Figurehead to pass the buck and blame the generals (after all, it was their decision). If there is a lesson here, it’s shown that despite Trump’s repeated assertions, not warning about an attack on the enemy like his predecessor did, doesn’t yield success or even intel, no matter how many times he invokes it and how his press secretary over-enthusiastically yells it.

And nothing will be questioned by the sycophantic lobotomized monkey Republican  majorities in the House and Senate for his mystery war plans, especially after the elongated standing ovation, deservedly so, to sad sight of the widow Carryn Owens, praying and weeping to the heavens. Despite the sick, make that SICK, comment of the ovation breaking a record, any mission Figurehead Trump will assign will get partisan majority support in homage to yet another fallen fighter on a misguided and poorly planned attack. Despite the call of a thorough investigation by the Navy Seal’s father William Owens

Which brings this to the crux of this post, the mainstream news media of print, digital and broadcasting.

Prior to the address, former Daily Show and actual Fake News Anchorman, Jon Stewart, made a plea to the fourth estate to be aggressive with their collective reporting on the daily diarrhetoric bullshit, brazen incompetence and policy bedlam results coming from the Trump Administration, in addition to Trump’s libelous, slanderous accusations of their networks, newspapers, and news websites reporting. Jon, still funny and current but very rusty, implored them with a very old and kinda lame popcult reference to “get their groove back”.

Which apparently fell on deaf ears, because the general and collective response after the speech was numb and neutered. For the reason that he spoke his best words about his best plans in a somber tone. Stunningly overlooking all the shit he spewed about the news media in the past month as President Figurehead. Stephen Colbert, comeback player of the year, aptly remarked as if the media was impressed that the unhinged president had become hinged. After all the twitter vomit the Figurehead spewed from his stubby vienna sausage fingertips, the news conglomerates resumed normalizing him.

In denial of the omniscient fact that…

 

 

Well, since they won’t get their groove back, and they never had any groove in the first place, I like to also offer some proactive motivation. In the hopes of inspiring the insipid throngs that are actually paid to inform the masses. And to use a legend’s recent passing to guilt them into it.

WWWBD?

What Would Wayne Barrett Do?

Wayne Barrett was a stalwart, tenacious, muckraking award winning journalist for the Village Voice. And the most persistent chronicler on the wheeling, dealing and stealing tactics of Figurehead Donald J. Trump when he was a real estate scion wonderboy developer in NYC in the late 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s. While Donnie was making a name and local celebrity of himself with his grand ventures in redeveloping hotels, sweeping up prime Manhattan real estate, and starting his idiotic ruinous conquest of casino franchises in Atlantic City, Wayne Barrett was dissecting his deal-making by diligently and thoroughly and uncompromisingly reporting on the corrupt machinations within them. Wayne got under Donald’s skin and broke his brain to the point when the few times they ever met or were acquainted, Donald actually offered to buy tried to bribe him with a luxury apartment when he learned he resided in Brownsville and an incident that got him arrested pursuing Trump on his birthday.

The dogged determination and persistence of Wayne Barrett to inform the public about the habitual cheating and sociopathy of Trump, before he became the brand and the leader of the free world and the mess he inherited, may be the inherent reason why the Figurehead has such a vehement imagined distrust and the modus operandi for controlling them and the narrative around his deranged directives.

Wayne Barrett was the under-heralded seer regarding Don Worthless. For he saw and wrote how unmerited his earnings and status were, by ripping off many contractors and exploiting migrant workers. Associating with a nod and a wink with mobsters and gangsters, characters he can easily identify with their similar achievements of dishonest wealth. By frivolous litigation at the expense of city taxpayers to get zoning permits and tax abatements, which he would eventually get with the aid of spineless elected majority democratic officials. He had fucking perditious subhuman traitor to Americans, Roy Cohn for a lawyer. And through his biography of his subject, which was unfortunately renamed to make Trump look like a fucking hero, confirmed and set in stone his documenting of the trust fund baby and predatory developer he was. Which subsequently led to his temporary diminishing of his personal wealth and investor and bank support, forcing him to regain his celebrity and wealth with creative tax evasion and becoming a charlatan on TV by becoming a recurring character on WWE shows and his own culture killing show The Apprentice, parlaying that to his transformation from human to brand, slapping his names on towers around the world without lifting his stubby vienna sausage finger or losing a hair, or in his case without mussing his weave. And still dealing with mobsters and gangsters.

Which as this nation now knows, did not deter him the least.

For if it wasn’t for the news conglomerates obsession with celebrity, no matter how lame, the elevation of Trumpy would probably never happened. If they would have did what Wayne Barrett did and reminded the nation and him personally of all the shit he pulled, the strife he caused, and the lives he ruined and the weakening of government he opportunistically took advantage of, maybe he would not be goddamn fucking president.

Now there are some out there carrying on the spirit of indefatigable intrepid reporting, but like Wayne Barrett, in a limited setting, despite the omniscience of the internet. The Young Turks, The Intercept, Reason, Democracy Now, Propublica  come to mind. But they are not big enough like the whales that are the major networks of CNN, FOX, NBC, CBS, ABC and their cable and local affiliates or the corporate owned establishment papers like the Washington Post and The New York Times. And the only anchorman that approaches the zeal of Ed Murrow, Walter Chronkike, and Bill Moyers, is Keith Olbermann, who is limited in 5 to 10 minute snippets via GQ magazine. So the majors and the celebrity anchors, editors producers and writers, if they truly give a million shits and flying fucks about this country, the environment, it’s laws and the need to inform the masses, who are getting massively pissed off on both sides of the ideological aisles, better start doing their jobs that they are getting paid billions of dollars from advertising and ratings to do.

If anything there is no excuse to avoid the uncomfortable facts to show a celebrity’s appearances, spending habits and palatial dwellings. Because the biggest and dumbest celebrity is signing the orders and directing the laws right fucking now and for the next 3 and 3/4 years.

So all of you professionals in the news industry and even you executives, (especially you Les Moonvees) and especially those attending the White House Correspondents dinner next month…

What Would Wayne Barrett Do?

Wayne Barrett, 1982

“There’s No Check on Trump Except Reality”

Required reading and further inspiration:

Bill Moyers Journal: The Donald Trump Story Your Not Reading About

Democracy Now: A Shocking Threat To The World

Village Voice: Wayne Barrett: How Donald Trump Managed To Turn Triumph Into Disaster

Persist.

Peace.

 

The Class Action Lawsuit Against de Blasio’s CONYgate ally Two Trees: The First Strike At The Gentrification Industrial Complex

Brooklyn Goddamn*, NY.

https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/170201-walentas-split.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=664&h=441&crop=1Predator Developers and corporate welfare cheats, Jed and David Walentas

NY Post: Billionaire landlords extorted tenants ripped off city: lawsuit

The billionaire real-estate dynasty behind Brooklyn’s hipster DUMBO neighborhood bilked struggling tenants out of a fortune in rent, a new lawsuit alleges. The Walentas family — whose ties to Mayor de Blasio have been scrutinized in the investigations into the city’s pay-to-play scandal — allegedly filed false statements to help land $92 million in city tax breaks and other subsidies, the suit says.  Then patriarch David, son Jed and associates used “extortion’’ and other alleged forms of deceit to jack up the rents at downtown 125 Court St. over the years and illegally pocket $10 million, according to the residents’ lawyer and the document, which was filed in Brooklyn federal court Tuesday. “This is a racketeering enterprise — it’s basically organized fraudulent activity,’’ the tenants’ lawyer, Matthew Berman, told The Post.

The plaintiffs even claim to have a company mole as a witness. That person is a former rental agent and Two Trees worker who acknowledged that the defendants “intentionally sat down and agreed in advance to take part in an unlawful scheme to illegally charge inflated rents to rent-stabilized tenants,” the suit says.

According to the suit, the family’s powerhouse company, Two Trees:

  • Duped the city and state to net lucrative tax breaks meant for rent-stabilized and affordable-housing properties.
  • “Committed extortion’’ by allegedly tricking tenants into shelling out more than they owed in monthly rent by sending phony notices saying rent was due.
  • “Coerced’’ the cheaper-paying residents into vacating their apartments so the developer could charge new tenants 20 percent higher rents.

The lawsuit suggests that government officials turned a blind eye to the allegedly illegal shenanigans because they were “influenced no doubt by campaign contributions made by Defendants and their associates.

“It is a matter of public record that seven developers wrote checks totaling $245,000 to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York before de Blasio announced plans for a streetcar along the Brooklyn waterfront, with stops near the developers’ projects, including $100,000 from Defendant Jed Walentas,’’ the suit says. De Blasio has denied any connection between the big bucks and pushing his street-car plan.

Court papers describe the Walentases as a $4 billion family empire “known for its singular role in transforming the Brooklyn neighborhood of “DUMBO” (an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) where the company’s holdings include 12 buildings comprising more than 3 million square feet of commercial and residential real estate.’’ The family also is behind the $3 billion conversion of the old Domino Sugar factory in Williamsburg into luxury pads.

Two Trees bought the 125 Court St, property at Atlantic Avenue in 2003 for $16.5 million, according to reports. They then went after millions of dollars in public funding by promising to provide rent-stabilized and affordable housing, the suit says. But over the years, the developers knowingly misrepresented the market value of units so they could illegally inflate rents, the court papers say.The lawsuit adds that “despicably, Defendants even perpetrated this fraud upon the low-income tenants of the units designated as ‘affordable housing.’ ” The tactics led to a 300 percent tenant turnover rate at the building between 2005 and 2013, or 10 times the citywide figure, the suit says.

Finally. Even though this lawsuit is in it’s nascent stage, let this be the absolute confirmation of the superficial intentions and broken false promise to end the tale of two cities Mayor de Faustio exhorted on his public inauguration ceremony 3 years ago, and the horrid existence of the gentrification industrial complex of avaricious real estate and venture capital interests, compromised government officials and an complicit apparatus of public relations firms, housing website services and a fawning news media to drive up combined fabricated speculations of rental and housing market rates.

These two repulsive maggots are just a few of the enabling predatory developer cabal that is the Real Estate Board Of New York, of whom Dad and Boy Walentas are members, which is beyond any doubt where the last word on whatever legislation regarding what areas get re- and up-zoned, what exemptions are dealt and how the hardhats will get compensated for the difficult and at times perilously hazardous work they will do to build their unsightly out of scale behemoths in established hurricane flood zones.

As this damning lawsuit states, they allegedly utilized the dirty tactic exploiting the perennially outlandish trendy status of the borough of Brooklyn via following the constant refraining bogus real estate speculation derived from the news media (none more garrilous than the NY Times real estate section) and various apt. rental service providers and blogrolls like Streeteasy and Propertyshark. They also got millions in tax breaks from the 421a law to provide a sliver of affordable housing and reneged on that state contract by raising the rents on the rent-stabilized tenants on their building on 125 Court St. in downtown Brooklyn.

This pilfering of tax payer and tenant dollars and their collective sanity and dignity is akin to other odious ploys to drive out poorer and even modest salaried tenants who are deemed unworthy and uncool. Like those who offer lowball buyouts and gut renovations of neighboring apartments. The refusal of basic utilities and maintenance requests; The denial of check payments; And the use of hired goons to intimidate residents by stalking and violating their privacy. These fiendish tactics are bit more sophisticated than the days when slumlords used the dregs of society; gangs and rodents and the use of arson to free up their buildings and properties. Although the latter tactic might be making a not so subtle comeback. Not to be overlooked is the neutered, weak and borderline indifferent enforcement of the Department of Buildings officers.

All this was made possible to make the branding of the hottest borough in the world (but not the world’s borough, that was dubiously regaled to Queens) that made it the faux luxury resort theme park, and upscale bar and food court that it is today. With the help of dispensing a few hundred large to a 501 (c) (4) kitty run in a government office in City Hall.

The devious philanthropy provided by the Walentases towards our whoring and now troubled mayor also led to minor to non-existent monitoring of their new developments, like the former Domino sugar plant and the hastening process of the idiotic BQX trolley line that happens to traverse their Blade Runner towers of glass properties. The latter giving them access to the offices of city hall via a shady group concern or how they are more commonly know as “friends of the BQX”, not at all as pathetically opaque as the “agents of the city”.

Speaking of those “agents”, the wormtongue adviser firm, BerlinRosen that was illegally loitering in the conference rooms of city hall during meetings regarding city services and planning represents Two Trees. And also the abominable Forest City Ratner, who for the past decade and a half has been destroying and rebuilding the downtown Brooklyn area to the detriment of the residents who don’t reside in their towers and the sunlight that used to shine there. The BQX, not so coincidentally will run by the streets by Ratner’s synthetic metropolis.

The slithering machinations the Gentrification Industrial Complex has done to reshape the shorelines of Brooklyn has wreaked havoc on the rest of the borough, causing rents to ludicrously skyrocket even in still high crime risk areas like Bushwick, Bed-Stuy and East New York, in still middle class and poor areas like Crown Heights and Sunset Park, and is now bleeding into the middle class enclaves in Queens, none more apparent than the hastening out-of-scale tower development in Long Island City.

It also is having a pernicious effect on the area median rates for affordable housing, influencing the fabricated speculative market rates that the Walentas duo engaged in, even leading low level slumlords to exploit this hustle in addition to devaluing their buildings and denying tenants rights and demands for maintenance. Which may have not only led to the further tax paying sanctions of public funded condo housing, but also the incredible record rise of the homeless consensus, which includes working families and veterans.

This lawsuit, long overdue and looks pretty cut and dry, cannot be more timely since it’s coinciding with the impending hearings with D.A. Preet Bharara and the meltdown of their of their long time pal and personal aide, Mayor “Big Slow”” de Faustio” de Blasio and his merry band of neo-liberal deputies and staffers, who still insist on claiming legality for their chicanery and that they have committed no wrong-doing. They will probably cite precedent by mentioning when Donald Trump was buying elected officials and exploiting similar loopholes back in his baby predator days building hotels and a shrine tower to himself in the 80’s

This may be a stretch and maybe hoping too much, but these subhumans might actually see hard time for their twisted ties and underhanded nefarious acts. Maybe it will bring a semblance of closure to all those choosing between eating and paying rent, all those trying to transition from a crappy existence in an apt. filled with mold and vermin, a room with barely any privacy and security, or shacking up in hotel room with no kitchen at the mercy of security contractors and subsiding on shitty city provided sandwiches for lunch and dinner as they wait to win the lottery for that sliver of 20 % affordable housing because of the greed for money and land of Two Trees and the concentration and control of power for our corrupt mayor and his staff.

*apologies to Nina Simone

All Of The Mayor’s Legal Aid Consiglieries.

https://i0.wp.com/www.theyeshivaworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/deb.jpgThis is going to come back to haunt him

New York, New York, New York

NY Daily News: Mayor de Blasio proposes $84.67B budget with more money for streets, schools, homelessness

Mayor de Blasio proposed a $84.67 billion city budget Tuesday, pumping more money into streets, schools, and homelessness amid fears about federal funding cuts under President Trump. De Blasio said his spending plan does not factor in reductions in federal money, which are still widely unknown. Instead, the city has socked away more cash in reserves to prepare for the worst.

The financial plan contained few flashy new initiatives, but funded new projects to bolster street safety, education and the NYPD. There’s $317 million for projects in the Vision Zero push to cut traffic deaths — including street redesigns, new lighting, and traffic signal retiming — as well as another $12 million to repaint crosswalks. Meanwhile, spending on homelessness has surged — up $70 million in the current fiscal year and $150 million for next year as record numbers of homeless New Yorkers continue to pack shelters.

The city is also spending another $6 million more on outside lawyers, including to represent de Blasio’s administration in several corruption probes, on top of $6.5 million in legal costs added to the budget in November.

The NYPD is installing bullet-resistant window inserts in 3,813 cop cars — paying for the plan with $10.4 million in asset forfeiture funds. There’s $16.4 million to provide faster internet at city public schools, on top of plans for more school seats and summer classes. As the Daily News first reported, the city is also pledging $1 billion over 10 years to replace roofs at hundreds of NYCHA buildings.

NY Times: Contracts to Defend de Blasio and Aides May Cost City $11.6 Million

The bill for defending Mayor Bill de Blasio and other city officials in state and federal criminal investigations into fund-raising practices has grown, with six city contracts for outside law firms now totaling more than $11.6 million. Taken together, the contracts contain a constellation of white-collar criminal defense and trial lawyers from law firms big and small, as well as the maximum they can bill the city: Debevoise & Plimpton, $10 million; Carter Ledyard & Millburn, $750,000; Walden Macht & Haran, $350,000; Lankler Siffert & Wohl, $250,000; Cunningham Levy Muse, $200,000; and Paul B. Bergman, P.C., $99,000.

NY Post: De Blasio defends spending $11.7M on city’s legal bills

Anything related to city employees — and I’m not talking about myself, I’m talking about all the other city employees who have been a part of this process — they need representation. It’s an American right,” Hizzoner said on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show. “Obviously they shouldn’t have to pay for it out of their own pockets in regards to their city responsibilities.”

The mayor also insisted the probes are a huge waste of time and money because everything his administration has done has been above board. The mayor raised $4.3 million for a political non-profit that backed his agenda — including six-figure donations from entities with business interests before the city — but he has maintained that no one got special treatment for their financial support. “A lot of money is going to end up being spent here and I wish it wasn’t because I’ve said 100 percent consistently, no one did anything wrong,” de Blasio said.

At one point in the 30-minute interview, de Blasio grew irritated when Lehrer suggested city funds were being used to defend the mayor’s political campaign work — which is also under law enforcement scrutiny. “That’s entirely inaccurate,” de Blasio shot back. “That’s just crazy.”

Is it now?

Crazy is precisely what this pay for play scheme was. And under the guise of a superficial progressive  fauxgressive agenda.

So in order for the constituency to get services due to the people, Mayor de Faustio and his confederacy of neoliberal dunces, through government and taxpayer largesse for their upscale defense teams, whom specialize in vast white collar criminal cases, insist that they remain in city hall. Apparently, the germane logic behind this is that because of loopholes in campaign fundraising along with the heinous Citizens United supreme court decision and the jolly good intentions of their programs justifies their unscrupulous actions. They think with all the cheap whoring they’ve done for the predatory developer cabal/pogrom of REBNY and even from strict conservative types, it would be prudent to just let them ride it out to a second term.

Never mind the gross and arrogant misallocation of funding of the city’s budget for their eventual day in court. Actually do mind it. It’s hard to overlook the hubris of Team Big Slow when the cost to defend these cretins is going to be more than the amount this year going to crucial fixes and improvements to NYCHA buildings suffering from persistent mold and rodent infestations, and mostly from their dilapidated and perilous roofs. And the sudden yet selective frugality in denying money for those struggling to keep pace with affordability with denying fare breaks for poor commuters, free school lunches (how Milton Friedman), and modest raises for younger and newer cops.

But maybe 11.5 million may not even be enough to properly defend this shitshow. For this has been going on since day one. And even though he won decisively in a low electoral turnout, he kept his campaign office open and moved it from Park Slope to Park Row. From the campaign for the mayoralty to the Campaign for One New York. Taking his prior experience campaign managing for Manifest Hillary’s initial senate run to consume his time neglecting his duties being elected to run the city.

And it started with Universal Pre-K. Mayor De Faustio and CONY spent a year fundraising for the implementation of that, even though it got the funding approved by his vindictive glory hogging rival Mario’s son Governor Andrew anyway. After that long slog, Mayor Big Slow decided to get affordable housing done (why he didn’t do that first seemed a mystery, considering the rise and now record high of the homeless population…or maybe isn’t much of a mystery at all now). There had to be a key to make it easier, to get state senate seats upstate to swing the ideological pendulum leftward, and get a majority rule in getting more money downstate from Albany for his plan to build and preserve 200,000 affordable units. So to assure victory and leverage in Albany under the guise to help the poor get proper shelter, the mayor, his aides and his crack farm team continued to use CONY to raise money through nefarious means like accepting donations over the limit caps of $4950 and from straw donors, and the recent revelations about the use of money laundering.

As is the way of the world, life and karma, the diminished returns of high expectations, and just plain skullduggery / douchebaggery from fucking amateurs, all of these efforts went to naught. Those senate candidates lost. Pre-K is an abysmal failure. And affordable housing is still unachievable for the majority of citizens in need of it. The ugly obvious irony about both of those programs is that they are detrimental to the poor and they are being staffed on the cheap. Universal Pre-K pays it’s teachers low salaries, is centers are located in richer areas which leaves poor working families to rely on unregistered day care centers,    and the labor for the 80-20 buildings are non-union, which has led to a disturbing uptick in worker injuries and deaths and as previously mentioned the amount of units reserved is not commensurate with the consensus amount of lower and even middle class people that populate the areas they are built in.

Of course there are the deed flips and plunder of medical centers, Rivington House on the lower east side and the LICH in Brooklyn (otherwise known as Crooklyn). This where the deputy mayors and a certain wormtongue lobbyist come in. A combination of brazen obfuscation and deceit and willful defiant ignorance made these deals possible, done with the morals of a mobster and the deftness of an oaf. The Rivington plunder was so obvious that even Alicia “The Fixer” Glen realized it was a huge mistake and pathetically attempted to undo it by giving the seller, the Allure Group, it’s money back for the original deed, which was officially and legislatively dead. Both predatory developer deals were arranged by James Capalino, a fundraiser and long-time friend to our corrupt mayor.

 

 

       James Capalino, Super Lobbyist from his humbler activist times.

Needless to say, Capalino, has seen a lot of good fortune along with his peers like Berlin/Rosen, assisting in the stratospheric and super dense hyper-development of this city and enriching himself in the process. And why wouldn’t our Mayor and his minions trust him, considering his prior dalliance of turning the St. Vincent’s Hospital into a luxury multi-million dollar condo/ pied a terre off shore bank deposit box complex. That’s some progress made there since a certain historic tragic and somber day of our nation.

This progress has also seen the expansion of the city’s skylines, continued unabated from the prior Mayor “fun size” Bloomberg’s blitzkreig signing of rezoning and upzoning permits, the out of scale suffocating tower development in northeast Brooklyn and Queens, the odious rise of app driven business ventures like Airbnb, Uber and the cult-like We Work and the bland and marked up costs of cultural outputs of designer fast food, faux speakeasies and beer gardens. All of which contributed to this slush fund farce monikered for and have made the cost of living grossly overblown for the majority of residents of this fraudulently proclaimed One New York. And has led to the plain sight integration of the real estate market and government depicted here as the Gentrification Industrial Complex.

So now they are going to have to convince the federal courts of their persistent claims of innocence and not the most craven and insidious abuse of the use of government office since the city for sale days of Donald Manes and Stanley Friedman, and probably an equal to the days of Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall a century ago. It’s a bit of a disappointment and discouraging that the Blaz is meeting with D.A. Bharara without being frogmarched out of city hall in plasticuffs like he did for the vote pandering show at the hospital he sold out the medics, nurses and the future sick and injured for (hmmm, that’s were that 11.5 million can go to also, funding non-invested hospitals), but here’s hoping these are just formalities like when Lenny Briscoe and Rey Curtis from Law And Order confronts a skel for info.

Other than that, it will be either the establishment, a temporary halt to or the end of Honest Graft.