May 31, 2019 – Weekly News Roundup

June 7th, 2019
Commercial waste bill's debut next week has businesses worried - Crain's New York Business"Legislation appears to be headed to the City Council that would introduce radical changes to the industry—and upend the carefully laid plans of the Department of Sanitation [...] sanitation committee Chairman Antonio Reynoso will introduce a bill next week to create an exclusive system, in which a single carter would be responsible for each zone."

To help more New York City teachers get comfortable teaching computer science, Cornell Tech offers a ‘safety net’ - Chalkbeat


"The city’s new Civic Engagement Commission has some work to do to live up to its name — violating in its first gathering a law requiring city government to webcast meetings. [...] The Civic Engagement Commission is charged with helping equip new board members with the knowledge to make informed decisions on land use, budgeting and other matters."

NYC Ferry riders wait in line for hours on Sunday, City Council member blames poor management - Daily News

"Upper Manhattan Councilman Ben Kallos was stuck waiting more than 40 minutes for a ferry at the E. 90th St. dock, the second stop on the route out of Soundview in the Bronx. He was heading to the Wall St. stop with his wife and 15-month-old daughter. Kallos said the boats were filling up at the Soundview stop, leaving no room for riders at the Upper East Side dock, where downtown-bound ferries stop every 30 minutes on weekends."

City Seeks to Reduce Construction Noise - CityLand

"The new rule made it unlawful to do interior renovation work other than on weekdays between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. An exception was made for interior renovation work performed in an existing one, or two-family, owner-occupied dwelling [...] The new rule required that noise mitigation plans must be filed by the builder with the Department of Environmental Protection [...] Any sites undergoing interior construction, except short-term emergency work, must file these plans."

Brazil’s Safra family now owns all of two Madison Avenue buildings — for $95M
 - The Real Deal

"The Safra family has taken on full ownership of two mixed-used properties on Madison Avenue for a combined price of roughly $95.3 million from entities tied to Ralph Sitt’s Status Capital. Through two limited liability companies, the family paid about $75.7 million to own 711 Madison Avenue [...] Safra also picked up a minority stake — 28 percent — in the six-story building two doors down, 715 Madison Avenue, for about $19.6 million...."

City’s hand-picked “third-party” groups give big $$$ to pols - Daily News

"A Daily News analysis of for-profit and non-profit entities approved by the city to take over the “distressed” buildings found workers and directors for most of those entities donated cash to local political campaigns. Of the 37 outfits approved for the city’s controversial “third-party transfer” program, at least 21 employ or have close connections with someone who donated, campaign finance records revealed. Political observers and critics of the program say the donations, coupled with the city picking the companies to take over the properties, many of which are in quickly gentrifying neighborhoods, raise thorny issues."


"Three community boards in neighborhoods where the new jails would be housed — Boerum Hill, Kew Gardens and Mott Haven — have voted thumbs down. The board that includes Manhattan’s Chinatown is expected to follow suit Tuesday night. [...] But the local board votes are merely advisory. Ditto for the sentiments of the borough presidents."

A gym to call their own - Our Town

"The new gym will be located just down the street from [ Eleanor Roosevelt High School], on the sixth floor of a new pre-kindergarten facility at 355 East 76th St. slated open in September. Work on the $6.5 million gymnasium project will begin in December of this year and is expected to be completed by 2021. [...] Council Member Ben Kallos credited two high schoolers for bringing the issue to the fore last year at a town hall meeting he hosted with Mayor Bill de Blasio...."

UES High School To Get New $6.5M Gym Facility After Petition - Patch"The city will build the $6.5 million gym for Eleanor Roosevelt High School as part of a pre-k facility on East 75th Street and First Avenue, city officials and local elected officials announced Thursday. The facility is located across the avenue from Eleanor Roosevelt's building."  

East Side votes funding to parks, tech and more
 - Our Town

Powerful NYC Landlords Secretly Met With Affordable Housing Advocates To Seek Rent Reform Compromise - Gothamist

City Council passes crackdown on mechanical voids - Crain's New York Business

"The zoning text amendment, which the mayor's Department of City Planning advanced earlier this year, begins counting mechanical space toward a building's floor area ratio once it exceeds a height of 25 feet. 'This is only a start,' said Manhattan Councilman Ben Kallos in a statement after Wednesday's vote. 'We need to go much further by holding City Planning to its promise to expand this change to commercial districts this summer and to address unenclosed voids and ‘gerrymandered’ zoning lots.'"

Why New York Can’t Have Nice Things - New York  Magazine

"It’s best to step back and ask why you’re so bad at everything, whether a systemic problem is causing you to make so many separate mistakes. And in the case of the MTA, the root cause of its capital-construction failures is usually diagnosed as unaccountability: Nobody knows who’s in charge, so nobody has to be terrified of taking the blame for obscene costs and endless delays."



"[District Manager Gerald] Esposito said the board followed proper procedures in buying the vehicle. He said board meeting minutes — which suggested the purchasing decision, not widely revealed until this month, had been made in August by the board’s executive committee — were wrong. He handed out a revised chronology at Wednesday’s meeting showing that CB1 was in touch with officials from the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office and the City Council...."
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