MTA Misbehavin’

The Lefferts Blvd. Stairway in 24/7 still life.

It’s almost the middle of May, about 6 weeks into the 2nd quarter of 2017, and the notorious tardiness renovating the Lefferts Blvd. station continues unabated and sadly unconcerned by the higher administrative brass and even the thousands of commuters who rely on this heavily populated hub. The stairway and the handicap accessible elevator looks complete but is still surrounded by machinery, giant orange thimbles and partition fencing obstructing the majority of the sidewalk. And it’s still causing massive bottlenecks of people exiting and entering the station.

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But during my last visit, I happened to meet the curators of the year long fecal art exhibition at the turnstiles.

Apparently, in spite of recent attempts to clean the area, the pigeon populace has settled quite nicely and comfortably during this essential and glacial upgrade.

In fact, it looks like the MTA’s hired contractors built a coop

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But, for the sake of empathy and pretension, I might doth protest too much. For this is just standard procedure.

The Worst Transit System In The Fucking Universe has been giving their customers a wild ride for the last couple of weeks, for there has been a plethora of coverage of the MTA’s atrocious construction and daily service delays that are verging on the tragicomic, frustrating, nerve-rattling, and surreal and a true test on human collective sanity.

For starters, an event, and it seems you can’t go a second without hearing one these days, was held for the 100th anniversary of the 7 line in Queens that was followed by an alarming report of the horrid condition of the elevated structure which hasn’t been painted for 3 decades that was shedding chunks and chips of old lead paint over the densely populated Roosevelt Avenue.

There was the grand unheralded opening of the elevator at Briarwood/Van Wyck on Queens Blvd, an achievement that would have got some praise if Mario’s son threw a craft brew festival surrounding it but it turns out that it took 3 years to build because of the need for super special mechanical parts. I surmise that it took a worldwide expedition to find these vaunted materials and the hiring of an adventuring Indiana Jones type for the amount of time expended.

The timing of it’s opening is quite impeccable considering a recent report on a massive percentage of inoperative elevators and escalators for the handicapped and elderly commuters, most recently spotlighted by the perpetually malfunctioning people mover by Court Square in Long Island City and the masking tape decorated paperweight collecting dust that is the subject of this posting.

These necessities being denied the state tax paying commuters barely competes with delays occurring almost daily from signal and electrical breakdowns, homeless spillover occupying cars, sick passengers, decaying infrastructure and ambiguous investigations throwing the city into chaos. The timing of these mass transit travesties mostly happening during the peak rush hours.

There was the day when a mysterious blackout at the 7th avenue station in Manhattan which serves the B, D & E that caused hours of delays and rerouting of almost every line. A similar incident happened recently at 36th street station in Brooklyn, causing reroutes of over 8 lines. One day the Q train had to be shut down for an investigation because a swastika was drawn on a seat. A big slab of concrete fell on an train that pulled into the Franklin Ave station on the 3 line in Crown Heights. Yesterday, a sick passenger shut down the city bound A and C lines.

There are the now weekly breakdowns and delays at Penn Station, notably the feces spewing ceiling geyser. And the 4 billion dollar luxury shopping mall atrocity Oculus couldn’t even hold the force of nature’s fluids during last weeks downpour, which had the semblance of the skies vomiting water. It should not be a surprise of that hub’s vulnerability since it’s designed like a dish rack.

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What can be done to stem this inexcusable, disgusting and just plain shitty service that the people of this city are paying for day after day, fare increase after fare increase.  Maybe 65 million dollars might be enough to keep the trains coming on time and make the essential upgrades for the systems antiquated signal system, perilous underground infrastructure and aging rails and tracks. But remember, Mario’s son Governor Cuomo inexplicably reallocated that funding to the city he so anecdotally talked about when he christened the Kosciusko Bridge with that cheesy Window Media Player 9 light show. That’s why it boggles the collective frustrated mind of the citizenry that Andy allocated some funding to redesigning 3 stations by Sunset Park and fitting it with free wifi, and the only improvements the transit system has seen is just cosmetic and goddamn wifi. It’s also bewildering with the amount of space sold to advertisers, even fully covering train cars to turnstiles and the billions of tourists that would populate Jupiter and Saturn that the money generated is still not enough to finance our transit system city and state wide. Where does all the fucking money go????

So it’s time to adapt then die to the further malaise of commuting on The Worst Fucking Transit System In The Universe. If there is a proper analogy for this, it’s like what commuters are experiencing is the Kübler-Ross theory, the 5 stages approaching death every early morning and evening in the past few weeks, but skipping grief and went straight to anger and is holding steady there. Let’s make sure Mario’s Son feels the wrath breathing down his wrinkled neck by remaining pissed and not bargain and succumb to fear and acceptance. And not to take any more shit.

Especially and specifically this shit.

Whose trains? OUR TRAINS!!!

 

Update: I profanely asked where does the money go from all the space that are sold to advertisements, and it seems to go into overtime for some certain dedicated workers. From an audit by a conservative think tank, the Empire Center of Public Policy, overtime pay cost the taxpayers close to a billion dollars. The most ludicrous was a track worker who actually earned more than the MTA commissioner at the time. Supposedly, these massive earnings, for technically a few hours of work, are justified because of the alleged efficiency it brings to the transit system with workers on the job. Somehow it might be more cost effective to hire people work those hours into later shifts and it would probably save a few hundred grand.

Governor/Self-Promoter”Mario’s Son” Cuomo’s Windows Media Player Kosciusko Light Show And A Bridge Too Far To Bother With

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Whoop-dee-shit

Brooklyn-Queens, N.Y.

On an overcast Thursday evening above the polluted creek dividing the boroughs, our governor and tax payer funded glorified event planner and party promoter, Andrew “Mario’s Son” Cuomo opened the new Kosciusko bridge, a name he still can’t pronounce, to great cheesy fanfare to about under a hundred attendees and assembled elected officials, appointed aides, corporate news vans, and assembled cops and EMT’s to provide security and medical aid in the unlikelihood of a terrorist attack.

He christened the bridge with a drive in a vintage car once occupied by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which had to be procured from a state museum and restored for use. The speculative costs for this vanity joyride is surely not cheap and sure to infuriate everyone who has to commute after this pompous act of self-aggrandizement. The only good takeaway from this sight and the subsequent mocking footage of Andy’s little trip is that he resembles Raymond Babbitt driving his dad’s car for the first time on a hotel driveway at Las Vegas in Rain Man.

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I’m an excellent driver, EXCELSIOR!!!!!

After fulfilling his life long dream of driving a car that was used previously by a politician that Andy will never hold a candle to for what is ultimately some aspirational photo op for his DNC approved presidential bid, the long awaited and heavily promoted  promised debut of the bridge light and music show. It did not disappoint to say the least, for you can’t disappoint if it already sucked. Get ready as Governor Cuomo pulls the switch!!

Immediately noticeable is that the title posting on the youtube supplied by Mario’s son’s office refers to new infrastructure as the “K”, maybe it’s for brevity or to start a nomenclature trend, but that not only that Andy still can’t pronounce the name but probably can’t spell it. And to thwart any silly internet wisecracking or valid counterpoints, unfairly derided as trolling, GovNYCuomo closed the comments section (very clever Andy).

And for all the pomp and circumstance and millions of dollars in ad production and paying for broadcasting time promoting it (these ads are not available for online viewing, very clever again Andy), what the gargoyle prince of the state gave all those passing by and in attendance by the polluted creek was a display of cheesy lighting befit of two decade old windows media player 9 visual download plug in. So lame was the visuals that when the lousy laptop dj supplying the tunes, who sped up the city ballad anthems of Billy Joel and Frank Sinatra so they terribly segue into and from heavier and danceable jams by Ace Frehley and Alicia Keys. The worst part may have been when “New York State Of Mind” went into “New York Groove” and the visual produced on the latter song hilariously was syncopated to the beat. A drunk with a flashlight could probably do something comparably entertaining. And this was just the first part, this thing actually had an intermission.

The second part played 3 songs in their entirity that was supposed to fit the theme of Mario’s son’s glory hogging achievement (why didn’t they just play the NY songs in full instead of poorly mixing them in a medley?) The first was the worst song of all time, “Happy” by Pharell Williams, the second was “Signed,Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder and the last was inexplicably was “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga. The meaning behind this setlist could mean that with this bridge and show, Andy brought happiness, he signed, sealed and delivered it, and his political legacy was anointed to him at birth or yearns to be a unapologetic flaming drag queen.

All this effort exhibited and executed for a little ass bridge over a smelly ass creek in grossly, obscenely overvalued rental market rate areas certainly took precedence, if Cuomo and his stalwart aides deigned or cared to notice over the alarming recent state of a bridge across the borough of Queens, the Whitestone Bridge, reported by a concerned citizen, Alfredo Centola, last Sunday.

Queens Crap: The Whitestone Bridge Is Leaking Big Time

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Severely scary stuff. This was after a rainy day of scattered storms. Looks like there is an alarming breach on the south side of the bridge. I am not an engineer, but this comment should be noted for future reference:

The new roadbed is already cracked, the runoff isn’t making into the drains.
The real issue here is whats going on inside the structure we cant see (or some contractor doesn’t WANT anybody to see)!!

Its a drainage failure alright. The fail could be 800 feet away in the suspended part of the roadway
Now if an expansion joint or roadway rebar and steel re-enforcement eventually fails due to rust & corrosion guess what happens ?

And this following comment for it’s sardonic morbidity

GERONIMO!!!!

What is it going to take to get this the refurbishment or attention it needs. Does it count in this new New York, it does feature the bridge in the new ads promoting growth and prospective bridge light shows, but it has various big buts against it. There isn’t any mass transit near the bridge in both boroughs, it’s not bike accessible, and the residency there lacks the millenial demographic with all their senior citizens and families with children. Still this is one of the major bridges, if not one of the biggest in the city. And it would really be a bit of a disaster if it developed a sudden sinkhole as cars are finished crossing over or heading to the Bronx, and who knows the conditions of the middle of the bridge.

So our stargazing future and event promoter governor better not park FDR’s car back in that museum or let go of his tech laser light show buddies yet, because he has to roll up his sleeves, creak his neck east, come up with some other fond memory of his cursing father and get some professionals over to Whitestone, stat. If he is such the big boy bridge builder and want’s to be the next leader of the free world in 4 years.

EXCELSIOR!!!

MTA, Re: Lefferts Blvd Station-The First Quarter Of The Year Is UP

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Richmond Hill, Queens, N.Y.

Where does the time go? It sure flies when you’re being stagnant, right MTA? Right Governor Cuomo? It’s April 9th as this is written and the station, 10 days after the first quarter of the year. While it has shown some improvement and new structure, is still one bottleneck forming staircase and inoperable elevator poor excuse for a station.

The stairs were supposed to be ready on April 1st. Can’t say enough about the uncanny scheduling as this has made fools of thousands of commuters. Although with the horrendous way the worst transit system in the fucking universe operates, sometimes at times these little big annoying things seem intentional.

Anyway, there was some encouraging things to see the other day in these first new days of spring as I actually saw life forms donning proper apparel and protective head wear, 3 of them, actually putting the pieces together on the looooooonnnnnggggg anticipated completion of the south stairway.

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I assure you readers, they were there, I saw them really. One of them actually turned around and saw me observing them and paused as if he recognized me. Another hardhat also suddenly stopped for a bit too. Noticing my smartphone and assuming correctly of it’s camera setting. But being respectful of people’s sensitivity, I waited till they went back to work to snap a pic so not to spark a confrontation and distract from the relevant matter of finishing this goddamn fucking staircase as soon as possible. You think 2 years to modernize a station would be long enough. Did the Empire State Building take this long to build? Hell Fucking NO. And it was built AHEAD of schedule by a week. This daily combination slog and eyesore is behind by at least a damn year and a half.

At least they noticed the health hazard bird shit partition and scoured as much as they could…

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…yet to no avail

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Yet they missed a lot of spots elsewhere

This delay is offensive enough. Really, MTA, you only got 3 contractors working on the weekend? So I had to be reminded again with a visit (can being reliant on the nearest subway entrance to commute count as a visit?) to the 86th street station in Yorkville about how the second avenue subway/galleria got the priority fast track so our megalomaniac ambitious governor had to build his pseudo legacy in real time with his command and worker bee swarm deployment to finish it on time. Well, more precisely for his stupid new years eve party.

Behold such envious beauty, although I take some smugness at the fact that after 4 months they have no one working the newsstand.

Admittingly, these are great pieces. It’s a fine reverential immortal tribute to NYC’s greatest songwriter that eradicates the stain of sweet Lou’s last aural shit sandwich collaboration with Metallica, Lulu (“I AM THE TABLE”, yes “I AM THE TABLE”). But come on, Chuck, as great as they are, 2 self-portaits? Is this why, as with the other 2 stations, it took so years to get the trains running down there? Well, they are there and they’re awesome so C’est La Vie, Que Sera Sera, IT IS WHAT IT IS (somebody brutally kill that last saying)

Hopefully, commuters will show up this lovely Monday morning to 2 staircases, if going by the might and skill of those 3 mortals can probably attest. I wouldn’t count on it at all since it still looks a bit skeletal and they have to move all that shit surrounding it. In all probability it might get done by Friday or maybe a strike of lightning by the Zeus of state officials, Mario’s son. He has plenty of time to wield his mighty authority to summon an army of flourescent safety vest clad drones to complete the task now that he is done crafting his vote pandering budget. Unless he has the misguided gumption of starting his 2020 presidential campaign early.

Governor Andy Loves Toy Train Station Digital Renditions-Southwest Brooklyn About To Get A Taste Of MTA Renovation Futility

Ha ha ha.

AMNY: Brooklyn subway stations on R line facing six-month shutdowns

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s glassy subway station makeovers are hitting Brooklyn — and they come with lengthy closures. Six-month shutdowns will begin on Monday at the first of at least 30 stations set for design overhauls that Cuomo announced last January.The first three stations on tap — 53rd Street, Bay Ridge Avenue and Prospect Avenue — are each 102 years old. Their renovations will bring new architectural flourishes, like canopies over station entrances and new granite tiling.Painted metal cages flanking turnstiles will be replaced with glass barriers. Digital wayfinding screens will be installed at street level and LED lighting will brighten the mezzanines and platforms below.“These first three stations to be renovated represent the start of a new age for our subway system,” said MTA Interim Executive Director Ronnie Hakim. “By using the design-build method, we are putting the onus on one contractor to get the work done seamlessly and on time.”

Sunset Park’s 53rd Street station will close first, on Monday, March 27, and won’t open again until the fall. The Bay Ridge Avenue station is scheduled to close on April 29 for six months; and the Prospect Avenue station is scheduled to close on June 5 for six months.

The three station makeovers will come at $72 million, led by a joint venture between the Citnalta Construction and Forte Construction corporations.

“The emphasis is on giving them complete access to the stations and the ability to get in, get done and get out as quickly as possible,” Hakim continued.

Sunset Park, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Oh me oh my, the people, especially the working poor people remaining in Brooklyn that are precariously living from check to check with the breath of the gentrifying vultures and denizens down their necks, are about to get their daily commutes and routines totally wrecked. Thanks to the supposed skills and faint influence of Mario’s Son’s ability to get things done on schedule. For he is still under the delusion of an effective politician because of his fast tracking to get the overtly elaborate 2nd Avenue subway line and modern art gallery done by New Year’s Day for his lame party.

What struck me about this plan is not the superfluous and unnecessary modern designs and ridiculous expense going into just 3 stations on the very long R line and the selective choice of just these three first when all it needs is just a once over scrub down and obviously new platforms (is this the first phase of his VitalBrooklyn fait accompli, which the announcement of these improvements actually are according to the area councilman). The thing that hit me like a punch in the nuts is the plan to use one contractor for each stop. Which is the same method being used for the pre-climate change glacial or larch tree growing process of the renovation of the Lefferts Blvd train station.

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Which according to the sign above, is scheduled to be done at the end of the “first quarter” 2017. Not only does this type of dating is as antiquated as a deadline by King Arthur to rid a village of dragons, but it’s ambiguity is quite lame. Well, the end would be March 31st, which this Friday. Here’s how it looked a few days ago:

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How on this planet or on what astral plane will this be done in 5 days.

Here is the “one” contractor tasked with this continuing 2 year mission:

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The reasons for this delay are many, which mostly hinge on economical, racial and cultural makeup and demographics of the vicinity. And the lack of hipster sightings like coffee shops (not even a Starbucks) and cupcake stores, bespoke and thrift clothing shops. And with his recent decision to give a few stations in Brooklyn a long overdue makeover with a pretty sheen, and the ominous threat of federal transportation budget cuts by Figurehead Trump, this transportation hub, one of the biggest and most used in the 5 boroughs, will continue to get fucked over and neglected by our oblivious governor. So consider this a stern warning and prophecy.

But being that those stations are in Brooklyn, once mostly a working class borough now the biggest fucking marketing brand in the world, and after Andy’s 2nd avenue dubious achievement, it might actually get done on schedule. Or maybe not. Considering that the  Gentrification Industrial Complex of government and real estate are not done remaking the borough into some upscale member high rent globalization theme park, and that will only be achieved by vexing the communities with massive inconvenience like turning their lives upside down for half a year by forcing them to new commutes and bus transfers. For that area has seen a lot of new transients lately and a lot of new commercial ventures involving tech companies and lucrative though mediocre entertainment and event planning. Transients will be able to work it out, because they have various driver apps to get to their preferred destinations. This will probably lead to more Shitibike dock installations by those stops too.

But of course if those plans don’t pan out, they should expect a massive delay that will extend to the next year. Unless Andy is planning a grand opening party on the Bay Ridge Ave. Stop with craft beers and folk/edm music.

Hang in there working people of the former borough of Brooklyn, it’s going to good wait. But it would be better if there was at least a proverbial bumpy ride.

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.

The Station Aegis: Stairway To Lefferts

Richmond Hill, Queens, N.Y.

A recent post on the essential Queens Crap linked my last update and essay on Mario’s sons’ willful ignorance on the glacial and nearly 2 year pace on providing a simple stairway and handicap and elderly accessible elevator. For which this digital publication is thankful.

So, it’s only fair to acknowledge that other stairway has been installed. 063064065

Although not the hope that it will be done on schedule, which, according to the worst fucking transit system in the universe, will be done in the first quarter of this very year, whenever the ambiguity of that prediction will manifest with completion. And finally end the bottle-necking inconvenience, leading to commuters missing trains and buses and the gross eyesore of exposed wiring and disease ridden exposed pigeon shit as one pays his or her overpriced daily fare.

As a service to the hundreds of thousands that have to use and see this daily, here’s the info of the contractor of this slow ass rebuild and the curator of the daily disease ridden pigeon mosaic.

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Update: Exposed spikes…

…and a new gallery wing of artisanal pigeon shit. Move over Jackson Pollock. Vibrancy!

 

Governor “Mario’s Son” Cuomo To NYC Commuters: Fuck You!

The governor of New York and overseer of mass transit. In the flesh and being an obstruction.

NY Daily News: EXCLUSIVE: Gov. Cuomo’s executive budget includes hidden $65M cut in MTA funds

The suffering subway, bus and rail system may have less money to move New Yorkers.

A line tucked deep in Gov. Cuomo’s executive budget from last month calls for a $65 million cut to a chunk of money the state gives to the MTA — down to $244 million from $309 million last year. The 21% cut, if it survives the budget process, would hit the MTA at a time when commuters are fuming over frequent delays, spotty service, overcrowding and constant fare hikes.

“If Gov. Cuomo wants to take credit for opening the Second Ave. subway, he also has to take responsibility of the day-to-day operations in the rest of the subway system,” said John Raskin, director of the Riders Alliance.

The money from the state’s general fund is supposed to keep the MTA whole after the state in 2011 slashed a politically unpopular payroll tax on businesses in the region served by the transit network. “This funding is based only on a promise,” Raskin said. “We had a fear that a moment like this would come to pass, where the governor is proposing to break that promise.”

The Riders Alliance and about 20 commuters will rally with lawmakers at the capitol Monday to get the legislature to reverse the cut.“We want more service and better transit options. The MTA always says they don’t have the money for it,” said Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Queens), who will be at the rally.

The Dirty Southeast, Richmond Hill, Queens, N.Y.

What a nasty surprise Mario’s son Governor Andrew Cuomo has gave us after his vainglorious grand opening of the most expensive and massively delayed minor subway expansion in recent memory.

Never mind that the worst transit system in the fucking universe has seen daily preposterous delays and scattershot line changes every weekend. The impending and irresponsibly overdue suspension of the L line to Manhattan. And the rise of habitation of indigent and mentally ill homeless people and criminal trends like petty larceny, deviant sexual exposure and harassment, and track deaths via suicide and pushing commuters into oncoming trains.

Never mind hour long delays caused by recent incidents of flooding after storms or even a few days after a modest snowfall or even during an extraordinary windy day.

Never mind the painfully obvious fact of overpopulation and overcrowding, no thanks to greedy developers and the groveling pandering spineless whores being our corrupt mayor and city council taking their filthy donor lucre, leading to hyper-development near the transit lines. Suffocating the cars and platforms as one gets closer to the city.

And mostly never mind the fact that the subway is still being guided by a century old signal system. Consisting of little bulbs, faucet levers, rusty boxes and dangling wires and tags.

For you, the transit customer, will just have to remain tolerant and accept these hapless yet preventable inconveniences, for our governor somehow needs the monies for other pressing matters, or maybe just squandered it for his gilded age new year’s eve party in the 86th street gallery station.

Of course, when in light of the aforementioned 2nd avenue celebratory debut that Andy hosted, a lot of lesser structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing stations that are devoid of modern art are going to have to wait a little longer for crucial repairs and updates.

For example. The 2 year modernization of the Lefferts Blvd. A Line Station for which this digital publication has documented previously. Apparently those posts have not made the impact I initially hoped for, despite the highest viewer count I got for my screed against our oblivious governor. By happenstance, I wound up at the end of the workday by the 2nd Ave  72nd street station Q line and took some snapshots on what selective proactive and diligent government action can do.

From left to right, then left to right. The entrance at 69th street, the awning gives the impression of going into space mountain. The deep, well illuminated escalator from top to bottom. The stupid art, notably the popsicle wielding cop. The pointless latin inscripture. And, last but not least, a bland jazz cover band consisting of hipster stereotypes for vibrancy. The enormity of this station will not be immune to inevitable homeless habitation that will certainly consume all this unnecessary space and the lame unprotected art will surely be defaced with graffiti by more crude creative hooligans. Since millions are going to reallocated, ensuring the station’s vulnerability to blight.

The Lefferts stalled stairway entrance on the other hand:

lefferts-station-2017-001lefferts-station-2017-002lefferts-station-2017-005lefferts-station-2017-006

lefferts-station-2017-008

There has been some mild progress, there are more orange buoys surrounding the area awaiting the long anticipated stairway. They somewhat scrubbed most of the pigeon shit off by the turnstiles, although quarter-assed, because apparently they left it there so long that it has now become a permanent stain. Which is as close to art as you can get. They removed some of the tarp off the elevator. And they finally updated the duct taped completion date sheet for reassurance and long overdue acknowledgement of the inconvenience this pathetic elongated neglect has caused for the masses. So instead of being completed on January 2016 2017 it will be done whenever the end of the first quarter is. I’m not fluent in Albany or MTA front office bureaucrat-speak but I am going to guesstimate that this daily eyesore will finally be of use in June.

Now with this nasty surprise by Mario’s son, I think this is going to remain dormant for a long time, as well as other stops in towns with less cache, glass towers, marked up studios, wine bars and cupcake shops. And with the recent decision to keep the fare at 2.75, this blatant indifference will continue still, for now the agency has warped justification to keep the status quo of shiftless and lousy service.

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.