Michael Anderson, 94, Director, Film.
Bob Dorough, 98, Singer, Songwriter, Schoolhouse Rock
Charles Neville, 79, Saxaphone and Vocals, The Neville Brothers.
Michael Anderson, 94, Director, Film.
Bob Dorough, 98, Singer, Songwriter, Schoolhouse Rock
Charles Neville, 79, Saxaphone and Vocals, The Neville Brothers.
The city will partner with fraternities and service organizations to offer more mental health help to black men, First Lady Chirlane McCray said Monday as she rolled out a program dubbed “Brothers Thrive.”
“People often feel more comfortable talking about these topics when they’re among people who look like them, people who they feel some kinship or affinity with,” McCray said. “It’s just easier to relax and know that their words will have meaning and validity and credibility.”
Holy shit. Chirlane didn’t do what I think she did.
No she didn’t.
Yes she did. Wow, she did. Co-mayor Chirlane McCray is going to siphon from her and the city’s $800 million dollar mental health initiative THRIVE NYC that she runs in her nepotistic appointed bogus government office position (yes, First Lady is now a government job) to focus primarily on black men in a separate but equal program.
This expensive mental health program has been in existence going on 3 years and somehow, someway it has to have an exclusive department to deal with black men and women (Sisters Thrive was initiated shortly before this recent announcement). How come THRIVE not been effective all this time for afflicted Black People before?
And what does this mean for all the other races of people afflicted with mental illness and issues? Hispanics, Asians, Indians, Middle Eastern, and those of European and Russian origins?
What it does mean is that they will be denied focused treatment by members of certain fraternities of interest assigned by the self-regaled First Lady (did I mention that this is now a government job. Yes I did. Even Melania Trump doesn’t have these bonafides and she’s a real first lady).
Members of the organizations — Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., and 100 Black Men — will receive mental health first aid training from the city, which they can then use to reach out to those in their community who might be facing challenges.
So these frats are going to get mental health first aid training from the city. It’s a bit off-putting that being that these are fraternities one would assume that some of them would have doctors or psychiatrists as members. What could this supposed training entail?
And aren’t frats by tradition known by their strict exclusivity? Isn’t having these frats and appointing and providing them government funded training a bit unconstitutional? What would be the reaction if these civic services were bestowed upon a White fraternity? Or to be properly encompassing Chinese, Hispanic, Indian or Jewish and Middle Eastern fraternities? Or even homosexual and transgender groups? Wouldn’t they just be as credible and valid in dealing with suffering citizens of their racial, religious, and national makeup?
You think with 800 million fucking dollars there would be unlimited help being dispensed among all the races. And being that this THRIVE thing has been in existence for 3 years, this Brothers (and Sisters) program confirms that it has been ineffective for and absolutely useless to the Black Communities.
It’s a shame that all that money went to waste when that money could have went to preserve and build new hospitals and community centers for those affected with mental illness and instability and even people under massive duress caused by the cost of living in this city and living in uninhabitable conditions like in NYCHA apartments and homeless hotel rooms.
The motive for this new and selective program might stem from the recent preventable deaths of mentally ill Black citizens in the last few years from excessive and standard procedural force by the NYPD. Will this mean that when 911 is called some frat brother or sorority sister from THRIVE’s team will be embedded with the cops? This is just a simplistic theory but it’s more than what can be said of a program that the majority of New Yorkers don’t know anything about or even if it’s existence is truly justified.
the city and the First Lady knows what’s good for the mental health and stability for it’s citizens Black citizens. Hopefully now that there is selective focus on them, they will get the help they need that was clearly overlooked before.
As everyone knows by now in Toronto, A mentally unstable man drove a rental van onto the sidewalk and ran over 15 people, killing 10 of them, nine instantly. The killer was inspired by some other mass murderer and the savage tactic recommended by terrorist organizations to weaponize their vehicles to kill as many innocents as possible.
But the only truly revelatory thing about this horrific incident was not only about what drove the killer to slaughter unsuspecting pedestrians but was how the Toronto P.D. and particularly one immensely brave cop handled it. As the photos from the video footage show, the cops cornered the wrecked van parked on the sidewalk and the man steps out of the vehicle and is pointing something at the cop who drew his weapon.
The man was quoted telling and challenging the cop to shoot him down, but the cop doesn’t and continues ordering the killer to put his hands down.
The cop then moves closer, noticing that the object the man is holding is not a firearm and then slowly approaches him. He then gets the man to lie down on the ground and slaps the cuffs on him.
Even though the cop was doing his job efficiently detaining a suspect, this was an amazing feat of courage and professionalism. This arrest also debunks and practically destroys the common denominator defense policy and protocol to shoot immediately if the cop assumes a threat during a difficult arrest of a suspect or if the suspect is holding what’s to presumed to be a gun. The so-called split second defense.
Mostly, this also obliterates any justification and the efforts to manipulate the shooting of Saheed Vassell in Crown Heights. Who was gunned down in seconds on the assumption that he drew a weapon but was instead a piece of junk he was playing with.
To compare, the Toronto cop was responding to murders already committed and confronted the killer face to face who was pretending to hold a weapon to provoke the cop to shoot him. The confrontation lasted a little over 90 seconds and the officer did not fire and wound up arresting him. While the 4 cops who shot Vassell rolled up in the intersection and pumped him with bullets just as the last 2 911 calls were taken by citizens calling about Vassell and his assumed weapon. (Still no audio has been released, although the two last calls end abruptly and describe the shooting as it took place, with one woman crying at the end of the third call.)
The easier way to really compare this is video. As the Toronto footage shows the cop was probably about 40 feet from the killer and did not fire his weapon, figuring out he wasn’t holding a real gun.
In the Crown Heights footage, the footage provided by the NYPD shows the angle from across the street and showing people immediately fleeing the area. As the cops go running to the northeast corner with their guns drawn.
In another video shot by the community organization Copwatch, there are a group of men standing over Vassell’s body on the corner with 2 unmarked cars parked in the middle of the intersection. (Note the man waving people off in the end, he is wearing a T-shirt of comic book vigilante killer “The Punisher” as I pointed out on my post on this incident.)
It looks like Vassell was shot down by the four cops by not that far a distance as the Toronto cop was from his mass murder suspect.
If those four cops would have used another second they could have realized that Saheed was not holding a gun and shooting him could have been averted (although maybe giving a verbal warning first would have helped too, which witnesses at the scene claim were never issued). As the Toronto policeman showed, it could have took 60 extra seconds to handle the situation and wind up with an arrest.
It’s clear that police precincts and sheriff departments in this nation dealing with and enabling excessive force shootings driven by panic and fear need to look to the Great White North for proper policing protocol.
South Richmond Hill, Queens, N.Y.
According to this disheveled flier taped on a lamppost that is obscuring another flier for possibly an apartment for rent, the Mayor’s office for film etc. etc., The NYPD and an LLC production company have graciously notified the citizens of South Richmond Hill of an imminent TV show filming.
This notification, which are so frequent in various neighborhoods that it’s more like a warning as subtle as the recent missile attack on Syria, addresses the residents of South Richmond Hill of the Borough of Queens as residents of fucking Brooklyn!!!
It looks like these creative types and some sleepy city officials who are so rubber stamp slaphappy to dole permits for streaming t.v. shows are really obsessed with the whole Brooklyn brand thang that they are not even hiding it anymore.
What’s rigoddamndiculous about this is that HBO filmed their show “The Night Of” on that same block and the same streets on Liberty Avenue a few years ago, so the city knows where they are filming but to the deluded folks at Big Beach LLC this particular town or the whole borough of Queens is just an extension of the most overrated, overpriced and gentrified borough in the damn world.
What’s fucked up about this flier is that even though it says/warns when they’re are going to arrive and plop their trailers, catering tents and cables all over the fucking streets and then have their minion interns harass the residents trying to commute, do errands or even go on a nice walk (with the help of the NYPD Movie and TV patrol) , it doesn’t even say how long they are going to be in the area. This is how they show concern for the community?
It’s a wonder why they chose this particular area. Maybe there are just no gritty places to shoot in Brooklyn anymore because it’s 90% gentrified and sanitized and there are pretentious cafes on every corner on every block.
So this is another dis to a town the city barely acknowledges if you ever drove your car or bike on Liberty Avenue past Lefferts Blvd and seen the craterous minefield of potholes and steep cracks that line the road that would rival a Southern California street after a mild tremor.
Mostly, it’s a dis on society as a whole for the fact that Facefuck is now delving into producing t.v. series after selling out 87 million of their customers accounts and identities to Cambridge Analytica to influence their unwitting users and their friends to support Trump and previously colluded with the 2012 Obama Re-election Campaign staffers to do the same datamining of their unwitting customers and their friends on the social media platform to support their candidate.
And a social media parasite corporation whose past experience in televised programming is Facebook Live where people can record themselves getting killed and killing themselves in real time.
Well, now that the Strangers are here (wow what a show title, can this be anymore apt for this city sanctioned intrusion?), welcome to the neighborhood. Good luck with the production, film your stupid ass show and get the fuck out.
Residents of Brooklyn. Fuck you dummies.
Kendrick Lamar becomes the first rap and popular music artist to win the Pulitzer Prize for music with his third brilliant album in a row, DAMN. This ranks up there with other music cultural historic events like Bruce Springsteen being on the covers of both Time and Newsweek in 1975 and Nirvana’s punk rock commercial mass appeal breakthrough with Nevermind. Actually it ranks higher because of it involves the rewarding of the actual work instead of the effect the artist or album has on the zeitgeist.
And what an album it is. DAMN at first listen doesn’t knock you down immediately, the music is actually very commercial and the songs are more compact and minimal than the long duration tracks of his first two albums, but it grows immensely with each hearing, guaranteeing infinite playbacks and assuring it’s timelessness. It’s interesting that every song on the album all have one word titles and they are in all caps, which in digital communications on social media is the expressing of not only emphasis for making a point but also the equivalent of yelling.
But what’s great about this new recognition is that this saves the full album format from certain death and will give other artists more motivation and make stronger efforts to make passionate, meaningful and even political music again. For the album is currently under threat from the ubiquity of streaming music, mostly bad, soulless music with vapid and inane lyrics and also being declared virtually dead by dubious musicians like DJ Tiesto who has now submitted to make EPs instead by acknowledging the brief attention span of his audience and consumers of all current pop music as well as his own.
But DAMN and it’s dignified artistic recognition puts that theory to pasture. What’s great about DAMN is that it not only has strong memorable singles like HUMBLE and the outstanding LOYALTY (with Rhianna, who gets better with every listen), it has mesmerizing deep cuts on the album like ELEMENT and FEEL. And just like his last two albums, it has tracks that change up styles lyrically and musically in 180 and 240 degrees, like the brooding to banging DNA and the schizoid mashing of XXX that ends with a bluesy coda featuring the band U2 (who in just about a minute, hadn’t sounded that great and soulful on their own in over a decade).
Of course, there is the rapping and the lyrics which is the reason why the Pulitzer voters gave him the award. DAMN is mostly an hour long sermon, mission statement, diatribe and tirade on the ubiquitous strife and perpetual injustices that still continues on black individuals and communities and is more transparent going on in this nation, particularly under Figurehead Trump and the creeping police state he and his administration and law enforcement agencies are encouraging. But the cool thing about DAMN is that it’s content also applies to other races from lower classes (which now includes the dwindling middle class), giving it universal appeal.
DAMN’s Pulitzer status, which comes on the heels of NWA getting congressional landmark status for their album “Straight out of Compton”, gives confirmed legitimacy and credibility for the use of profanities for artistic expression and in a way to hammer down the facts being presented. Which, for self-serving reasons, gives this digital publication a reason to continue it’s muckraking with righteous vitriol.
Way to go Pulitzer Panel and congrats to King Kendrick Lamar, making music and general history becoming a true living legend and actual icon and giving other artists from all genres new motivation to bring their quality levels up a notch. And officially establishing once and for all what Prince, who died exactly 2 years ago from fucking fentanyl painkillers prescribed by a physician slave of the Big Pharma Industry, stated straight up at the Grammys in one of his last mainstream appearances:
“Albums still matter”
In Canarsie Park, a mutilated dead body of a woman with her legs and arms severed off was found wrapped in a white garbage bag barely hidden in a brush by a trail and the limbs in another garbage bag found a half a mile away in the park. The victim, Brandy Odom, lived only 15 blocks away from the park.
This gruesome and savage killing is only two miles away from where Karina Vetrano was murdered in Spring Creek Park on the other side of the Belt Parkway 2 years ago. The search for this butcher (or butchers) should be just as diligent, persistent and thorough.
In Prospect Park, a man committed suicide by pouring gasoline on himself and setting himself on fire on a expansive wide viewed lawn at the front entrance during the early morning hours as people were visiting the park on a nice spring day in this uncharacteristic cold season. In notes left in a nearby garbage can for the police to find were an apology for the mess he made and a statement declaring his self-immolation as a protest about the rising fragility of the environment of the planet from global warming and it’s extreme effects caused by climate change
David Buckel was a lawyer who gained national praise for his lawsuit against a sheriff’s dept. in Nebraska in defense of transgender teenage girl and murder and rape victim Brandon Teena, which inspired the movie Boys Don’t Cry and an Oscar for Hillary Swank who portrayed her in it. He spent his career defending gay people’s civil rights and was a dedicated environmental activist. His public sacrifice to inspire awareness came a week before the annual recognition of Earth Day tomorrow. The spot where he burned in the park where he was involved in compost programs with the city’s parks and sanitation depts. and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, should be memorialized with a statue in honor of his service with his words ingrained:
“Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water and weather,” “Our present grows more desperate, our future needs more than what we’ve been doing.”
In Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, a man got murdered when he was shot three times at point blank range in front of his apartment building.
In Crown Heights, cops answering to 911 call from a woman whose son trashed her apartment, tazed and arrested the wrong man despite him telling them that they got the wrong guy.
Also in Crown Heights, an 11-year-old boy stabbed his younger brother in the throat in a fit of sibling jealousy.
In East New York, a woman was stalked by two men who attacked her from behind as she was about to open her apartment door and stabbed her in the back when she defended herself.
Also in East New York at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Playground, an 18-year-old woman was held up at knifepoint and coerced her to blow him in the women’s bathroom
Again in East New York, a man held up a 73-year-old man at gunpoint, knocked him down and robbed his wallet but not without the victim kicking his ass in the scuffle.
And again in East New York, a man refused a woman to give her cellphone back when she demanded it, then smacked her and ran away with it.
And again in East New York, two men held up a man at gunpoint and stole his wallet containing 10 bucks.
In Bed-Stuy, a man was shot to death in front of a church at 8:30 p.m.
Also in Bed-Stuy, a man was shot to death in front of his house at 8 p.m.
In Downtown Brooklyn at the Borough Hall station, a 2 train had to be put out of service and sent back to the yard because a derelict smeared his shit all over two cars. The name of the disgusting suspect was not disclosed, but there is solid, stinky speculation.
Also in Downtown Brooklyn at the Barclays Center Arena, a professional ultimate fighter and his entourage threw barricades and metal chairs at a tour bus.
Again in Downtown Brooklyn at the High Street Station, a man was holding up the A train at 8 a.m. by sticking his foot between the doors to fight with a commuter. When a frustrated woman intervened to end the argument so the train can go, the man then took out a can of mace and sprayed her in the face.
And again in Downtown Brooklyn, a man attempted to hold up an expensive tea shop with a glue gun as the store opened.
In Brooklyn Heights, a man got into a fight with two other men at a pancakes house chain and wound up getting slashed in the neck.
In Gravesend, two men wanted in four previous holdups in Brooklyn and Queens robbed a store of $1,740 and cartons of cigarettes by assaulting a clerk.
In Flatbush, a man got killed on the job at a fruit market when an illegally installed bespoke freight elevator fell on him.
Also in Flatbush, a homeless man who was caught shoplifting in a grocery store died of a heart attack when three imbeciles who worked there dragged him on the floor then sat on his head, torso and legs as he yelled that he couldn’t breathe.
Again in Flatbush, a man ran into a store and shot his gun twice inside, hitting a man he targeted in the back and an 62-year-old woman in the cheek.
And again in Flatbush, a drunk idiot driving a Mercedes Benz caused a three car wreck and injured four pedestrians crossing the street and on the sidewalk because he was speeding and crashed into the car in front of him that was making a left turn.
In Williamsburg, a man ran up to an 18-year-old man walking with his friend, pulled out a gun and shot him in the back at point blank range and ran off with an accomplice.
Also in Williamsburg, a fire broke out on the top floor of a NYCHA apartment building, injuring two people.
Again in Williamsburg at the Lorimer Street Station, a man punched a commuter in the face by the turnstiles.
Also In Canarsie, at the 76th Precinct House, a man fighting with cops taking him to a holding cell bit off the finger of a cop and swallowed it.
Again in Canarsie, a NYCHA custodian shot a tenant during an argument inside his apartment.
In East Flatbush, a man pulled out a gun and shot at another man twice on the sidewalk and ran away.
Also in East Flatbush, a 65-year-old woman crossing the street got hit by a hit-and-run driver.
Again in East Flatbush and also Flatbush and Midwood, two men meeting up with people selling their merchandise via an app are holding up their marks at gunpoint or pistol whipping and stealing their shit.
In Bay Ridge, two men broke into a jewelry store but ran off when the store manager who was sleeping in his office woke up.
In Gowanus, a man fired his gun multiple times in front of a hookah joint ironically called the Fire Lounge.
In Bushwick, a handicapped bus driver was stabbed to death in his apartment.
Also in Bushwick, a stray dog was walking on the L line train tracks.
In Borough Park, a man climbed into a window of a 14-year-old girl’s room and took off his pants and laid down next to her in her bed then ran away when the girl screamed.
In East Williamsburg, a man broke into a storage room warehouse and stole a laptop and $1000 in cash.
In Brooklyn Heights, scaffolding surrounding a building collapsed to the sidewalk injuring three people
In Sunset Park, a man got stabbed during a fight in front of a karaoke club and died after he took a cab to a hospital.
In Flatlands, a drunk driver smashed his SUV into a lamppost, causing critical injuries to his passenger beside him.
Also in Flatlands, a woman killed her husband by shooting him in the face in their bedroom.
In Williamsburg at the Lorimer Street Station, a man punched a commuter in the face by the turnstiles.
In Dyker Heights, a mailman was hoarding over 15,000 letters never delivered in his house and locker for over a decade.
In Bath Beach, an apartment being used as a stash house for heroin and fentanyl that was tied to an overdose death in Bay Ridge was raided by police.
In Mapleton, a fire torched a house causing injuries to a tenant and 2 firemen.
In Jamaica, a woman was arrested with two other men in their twenties in the front seat of a double-parked SUV for possessing a 9mm gun with it’s serial number scratched off that had 3 in the clip and a spent shell found on the floor by cops who were investigating a shooting nearby where 5 shots were detected by Shotspotter. Her friends were also busted possessing gravity knives and bags of weed and the vehicle reeked of pot smoke.
The woman, Reagan Stevens is a city deputy in Mayor de Blasio’s Office of Criminal Justice and
is currently was tasked with implementing the law signed by Governor Cuomo in raising the age limit for young offenders to be tried as adults from 16 to 18. This recent debacle in the mayor’s confederacy of dunces looks and sounds like a drug deal that went awry. But the severity of the crime will certainly be creatively marked down due to her status in city hall, the massive effort by NYPD high brass to keep crime stats down and good old fashioned political nepotism since Reagan’s mom is a criminal court judge and her stepfather is a judge in Queens Supreme Court.
Also in Jamaica, a man walked into a car dealership and held up a salesman at gunpoint, forcing him into a car with his accomplice waiting, who both then both drove to an area then beat him up and robbed him of jewelry and his own car.
Again in Jamaica, two men impersonating police officers with hazard lights and sirens equipped on their car, robbed two cars and shot a person who defended himself and ran away.
In South Richmond Hill, a man shot at two men after fighting with them inside a niteclub that spilled onto the street.
In Jamaica Hills, a man approached an elderly woman sitting on a chair by a house and engaged in a conversation with her then attacked her and stole her wallet.
In Kew Gardens, 20 cars parked on Park Lane South had their windows smashed in and their glove compartments and consoles open and contents spread out all over the street.
In Ozone Park, a man held up a deli at gunpoint and robbed the register of $2,200.
Also in Ozone Park, a man driving with a suspended license struck and killed a man crossing the thoroughfare road.
In Rockaway Beach, a three-year-old girl was beaten to death by her stepfather in her mother’s apartment.
In Far Rockaway, an ABC news correspondent was attacked and punched in the eye during filming a report on Shoya Olatoye’s
firing resignation announcement at the one NYCHA building that isn’t fucked up.
Also in Far Rockaway, an elderly woman in her 80’s and her 65-year-old daughter were killed in a fire on the second floor of a house.
In Blissville, where the homeless now outnumber the citizenry, a man whipped out his gross penis in front of a 60-year-old woman on the sidewalk.
In Woodhaven, a man fired his gun at parked vehicles near a playground at 4 a.m.
In Elmhurst, a man attempted to burn down a restaurant he was doing construction in because of a wage dispute.
In Queens Village, Laurelton and Rosedale, a man is suspected in brazen afternoon burglaries of four businesses, stealing almost $30,000 worth of electronic merchandise.
In Corona, two men robbed two men of their wallets by knifepoint.
In Astoria at the Steinway St. Station, a man committed suicide by jumping in front of an arriving R train during the morning rush hour.
Also in Astoria at the 46th Street Station, a woman was attacked and assaulted by three men on the platform who then robbed her headphones and ran off.
Again in Astoria, two men robbed a grocery store of 300 bucks.
And again in Astoria, two women volunteering to cleanup Astoria Park found a gun in a plastic bag.
In Rego Park, a man climbed a fire escape of an apartment building and broke into two apartments on the fourth and fifth floor and split with a TV, a package and $300.
In South Ozone Park, a 17-year-old boy escaped a juvenile detention center.
In Forest Hills at the 75th Street Station, a man robbed a woman of her cellphone and ran away.
In Jackson Heights, a woman snatched a wallet inside a purse belonging to an 88-year-old woman inside a chain clothing store.
Also in Jackson Heights, Astoria and East Elmhurst, 16 cars have been stripped of their wheels in a organized theft spree.
In Sunnyside, two women snatched a purse off a chair from a woman at a Dunkin Donuts.
In Flushing, two men teamed up to rob a 66-year-old woman of her wallet containing $660.
In Whitestone, a man stole an SUV, parked it a few blocks away and set it on fire.
Also in Whitestone, a man jumped off the Whitestone Bridge and survived but died later at a hospital.
In Long Island City, a city worker for the Human Resources Administration assaulted her girlfriend in hotel and kicked a cop trying to arrest her.
In Richmond Hill, a fire blazed in the attic of a two-story home wrought with illegal conversions to accommodate five families.
In Bayside, a drunk cop was found passed out with the engine running by the expressway
In Howard Beach and Lindenwood, a rash of reckless driving and bicycling are annoying residents.
In Midtown at Figurehead Donald Trump’s flagship tower, a man got killed in a fire at his luxury apartment on the 50th floor that he had tremendous trouble trying to sell. It was not equipped with sprinklers that are required in all other buildings and it was caused by an electrical malfunction similar to the fire that ignited on it’s roof back in January.
Also in Midtown, a woman was found naked inside the restaurant she worked in where she was sexually assaulted, pissed on, and robbed by a male co-worker who locked her in.
In the Upper West Side by Lincoln Center, an 18-year-old man was stabbed and hit in the head with a bottle after a scrape up during a gang fight on the street.
Again in the Upper West Side by Central Park, two teenagers approached a man and asked him a question then attacked him and stole his wallet.
Also on the Upper West Side on the 1 train heading for 96th Street, an elderly man sexually molested a woman by grinding his old junk into her rear end.
In the Upper East Side, a man pulled out a gun and shot his father to death and killed himself in his apartment. This occurred on the same day that Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD top brass announced 22 consecutive days (specifically pointing out 24% of this year) without a shooting.
Also on the Upper East Side, two chortling young women snatched a purse of a 77-year-old woman as she was about to get on a bus.
In Chelsea, an 80-year-old woman entering her apartment building got hit from behind and knocked down in the doorway by a man who stole her purse containing $170
Also in Chelsea, a man committed suicide by jumping 21 stories off the roof of an apartment building.
In Penn Plaza, a street sign fell off a lamp post and landed on and injured a 6-year-old child.
In Times Square at the 42nd St Station under 8th avenue, a homeless man was found dead slouching on a bench.
In the Garment District, a man bit a cop’s arm who tried to fasten a seat belt on him inside an ambulance.
In Union Square, a man was hassled then had his “make America great again” baseball cap robbed by two men who then threatened him with a knife when he tried to get it back.
Also in Union Square, a 19-year-old man shouldered a woman and kicked another woman as he walked by them.
Again in Union Square, a man threw dirt in the face of a store worker who caught him shoplifting.
In NoMad, a woman looking for an apartment in Queens was swindled of $1900 by a online real estate broker firm using fake names to get her trust.
Also in NoMad, a luxury hotel was swindled by a man using the name Biggie Smalls who lodged there for 3 months, racking up $47,000 in room charges and services.
In Gramercy Park at the stylish and obnoxious Equinox gym, a man sitting in a steam room was taken aback by three other men who dropped their towels and started masturbating in front of him.
Also in Gramercy Park, a woman was robbed at gunpoint around midnight.
In Greenwich Village, a 14-year-old girl committed suicide by jumping out her bedroom window on the 15th floor because she was being punished by her parents.
Also in Greenwich Village, a man stabbed a store worker at a chain pharmacy.
In Kips Bay, 5 kids soliciting money for a fake basketball team entered a restaurant and robbed a patron of his money. When the man gave chase, one of the thugs whacked him in the head.
Also in Kips Bay in front of the office building for the Administration of Children’s Services, a teenage boy repeatedly punched his girlfriend in the face in front of security.
Again in Kips Bay, a man drove his car into a pedestrian who argued about how early he was turning.
In Stuyvesant Town, a man snatched a purse from a woman at a chain donut shop and robbed and assaulted a food vendor.
Also in Stuyvesant Town, a man sidled into an elevator with a woman and unzipped his pants and showed his prick at her.
Again in Stuyvesant Town, a man sneaked into the apartment buildings and robbed and opened delivery packages.
And again in Stuyvesant Town, an 18-year-old man deliberately bumped into a woman and stole her wallet.
In Harlem, a man got stabbed in the shoulder while he was dining at a restaurant by a man he blew off when he asked him for money.
In Harlem on an unidentified subway train, a man took out a joint and blazed it and smoke it. After commuters got upset and annoyed, he passed the joint around and they took some pulls, which brought a tremendously rare pleasant moment and display of camaraderie on the worst fucking transit system of the universe.
In Mount Eden, a mailman was pounced on and beaten up by homeless man high on K-2 inside an apartment building, the suspect died after going into cardiac arrest during his arrest.
In Williamsbridge, a brawl that broke out in a hair salon escalated into a shootout inside, leaving a man dead from a shot in the chest and the shooter wounded in his leg.
In Riverdale, a Target store was robbed of $350,000 during a morning holdup.
In Fordham Manor, a woman working at a homeless shelter was raped by a man who usually helped her with the laundry in the basement.
In Foxhurst, a man was shot to death from a drive-by as he was walking on the sidewalk.
In Concourse Village, a man attacked a woman from behind as she was about to enter her apartment building and put her in headlock causing her to pass out. Then he took her to the roof and raped her then robbed her wallet and forced her to give him her ATM pin number.
In Tremont, a stray bullet broke through a window of a 15-year-old girl’s room then went through a wall of a bathroom.
In Marble Hill, a man was stabbed to death after a fight in an apartment building lobby.
In Wakefield, a cop committed suicide with his own gun in his car.
In Pelham Parkway, a man sexually molested a 15-year-old girl by groping her as she was walking to school
Also in Foxhurst, a fire engulfed a house and killed a man inside.
In Morrisania, a man threw a can of “orange pasta” at a 14-year-old girl when she refused his come-on’s and oily charm.
Also in Morrisania, a man died in a fire that engulfed his apartment.
In Kingsbridge, a woman assaulted and robbed a bag off a wheelchair-bound 62-year-old man. She was stopped by two firemen who were at the scene of the crime.
In Olinville, a 72-year-old man died in a fire in his basement apartment.
In Fieldston at the Van Cordtlant Park Station, a woman was found dead inside a train car at 8:30 a.m.
In Woodstock, Christopher Thomas, who shot and killed 8 children and two women on a Palm Sunday in 1984 and was just released from prison for serving time for murder, is going to reside in his mother’s house in that neighborhood which is next to a day care center and nearby a school.
In Richmond Town, a man crashed his SUV into a land-marked house when he blacked out behind the wheel from a medical condition.
In Grymes Hill, two masked men invaded a house when they attacked the father in his garage and then tied him and his wife and daughter up and threatened their lives as they ransacked their home. Then the scumbags reassured them they will not kill them and that they hit the wrong house but robbed them anyway, stealing $2,900 and jewelry.
In Eltingville, a body was found on the shore of Great Kills Beach.
In Tottenville, 4 teenage boys and 2 teenage girls broke into cars by breaking windows and robbing them of charges, usb cables, earbuds and one fare metrocards. The comments about this crime blot are hysterical.
In New Dorp, a man who was pulled over by cops for rolling past a stop sign, hit the gas and sped off going 65 and hitting a father holding a baby and another cop who tried to flag him down. He was caught with a suspended license.
In Mariners Harbor, a 17-year-old boy was arrested possessing a loaded gun.
In Stapleton, a man armed with a gun broke into his mother apartment and took his baby and robbed cash from a dresser.
In West Brighton, a 5-month-old baby died when his mother’s cousin ran a red light and crashed his van into another vehicle in the intersection as he was speeding to get to the hospital.
In recognition of David Buckel’s sacrifice and Earth Day
Bruno Sammartino, 82, Wrestler, Two-Time And Longest Reigning WWF World Champion, Announcer.
Barbara Bush, 92, First Lady And Wife Of George Herbert Walker Bush 1988-1992 And Mother Of The Worst And Stupidest President In American History, George W. Bush.
Almost everyone I’ve talked to says, ‘We’re going to move to Houston.’ What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality.
And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them.
Barbara Bush on New Orleans residents forced to relocate to Houston and live in a baseball stadium after Hurricane Katrina destroyed their towns.
“Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? It’s not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?”
Barbara Bush pontificating about her son’s illegal invasion, war and occupation in Iraq. Which has led to the death of 5,000 troops, along with permanent mental and physical injuries including the loss of limbs to tens of thousands of veterans and death to over a million of Iraqi citizens. A war that cost American Taxpayers over a trillion dollars and spawned the genesis of the Islamic State Of Iraq And Syria.
Fuck that, Good Riddance.
Harry Anderson, 65, Comedian, Actor And Magician
R. Lee Ermey, 74, Marine Sergeant And Veteran. Actor, Film And Television
Sunset Park and Crown Heights, Brooklyn, N.Y., America
This was some week in Kings County (that’s Brooklyn to all those only familiar with the brand) for high profile encompassing police activity.
It all started early Saturday morning in Sunset Park last week when 5 men ganged up on another man on the street and one of the perpetrators hit the victim with his gun. The goons ran into a motorcycle club with beat cops on pursuit and hid out there amongst revelers as a party was still raging from the night before.
As the suspects refused to come out, the NYPD came back with a warrant and extra backup to dredge them out. Which is actually understating it, because they came with a virtual army.
In what looks like a real-time embedded report by the NY Daily News, the militaristic deployment of local cops dressed in helmets, shields and toting automatic rifles which usually shows a presence at major transit hubs, parades and civil assembly protests crashed the party and emptied out the club of everyone inside and detained the suspects,who actually came out by themselves and surrendered, as they scared the shit out of the citizenry in the vicinity in a scene that looked like it was raid of a suspected hideout of a terrorist group in Fallujah or Gaza or a invasion by President Assad’s own armed forces in a town he would consider gassing in Syria.
Residents including students on spring break in nearby apartment buildings with views of the dramatic raid were told by the cops to stay away from their windows when they were about to film it on their phones, supposedly for their safety in case there was a shootout. Which makes no goddamn sense considering the ratio of firepower the militia outside was packing to the single gun the thugs used to bash a guy. The suspects eventually came out and surrendered and managed to get everyone inside detained and held in a paddy wagon for hours for their little street crime.
What gives this a high level of intrigue, especially considering that people were being discouraged/ordered by the cops not to film the “standoff”, is how the story was published by Tronc on the Daily News website and the city’s hometown newspaper.
Although the digital version has the complete story, the print edition just went with a photo montage and a eerily positive headline:
The online story also underplayed the role the militarized cops from the Emergency Services Division as the print version shows the presence of a armored personnel carrier, or what is more commonly known as a tank.
What the hell is this cop aiming at anyway? There has to be a wider resolution picture that this derived from. And what the fuck is a tank doing there on a local street in Brooklyn that you would normally see in NY Times international section of military incursions in a local town in Syria or Yemen. And again, what the fuck is a tank with a cop pointing his rifle at a steel roll down gated storefront when there were snipers on the roofs of buildings where people lived who were told not to film anything. The same can be asked for this grandiose and pointless use of military hardware and ordinance for a what is basically a typical arrest attempt of a group of hoodlums. Unless the point is to show dominance and intimidation to the citizenry to accept a misleading sense of security and safety and a disturbing and risky new method to detain suspected criminals. Clearly the only people who were endangering the public weren’t only the thugs hiding out in some dank club for a few hours but the excessive frightening display of a militarized police force that looked like they were about to throw a coup against a dictator.
The potential for someone getting hit in the crossfire in the chance of any of these weapons being utilized in a dense local area is not being considered at all by N.Y.’s finest, mostly from the orders of the high brass in the precinct in that area or even from One Police Plaza (eh, Commissioner?).
Well, it’s fortunate it didn’t come to that. This time. Since the raid was confirmed to have come to a peaceful end.
Not so peaceful is the fact that there is absolutely no footage from the militaristic raid, when everything these days is instagrammed, facebooked and twittered by the public.
After this raid reached it’s peaceful end, it might have been safe to assume that some cops might stick around and canvas the area for the rest of the day to protect the public from other street fights or any other random criminal act or more likely to deter sexual assaults since reported rapes are up 25% in the city (no thanks to Harvey Weinstein). But somehow later in the evening there were no cops available by a karaoke club in Sunset Park, where a man inside was stabbed three times in the chest and died after he hailed a cab to take him to a hospital.
But this contradictory coverage of this raid pales in comparison as the vertical integration of journalism imposed by the police reached a nadir a few days later.
In Crown Heights, a man named Saheed Vassell was roaming around the streets holding a metal object pretending to shoot at people. He stopped at a corner in front of a fruit market when 3 patrol vehicles rolled up after 3 911 calls were placed. 5 cops, three plain clothes and two in uniform came out and immediately fired as they exited their cars after Vassal raised his arms holding the object. In less than 10 seconds, 4 of the cops shot him 10 times, 9 bullets hitting vital organs, instantly killing him as he bled on the concrete.
The metal object was a disassembled welding torch.
Video footage of Vassal of menacing passerby from store and street cameras was released by the NYPD a day after the shooting interspersed with dictated 911 calls (it’s swift release which CBS News website found to be unusual) . The video has no audio, making it impossible to determine the reactions of the callers or the operators.
A lot has been written more about Vassell than the 5 cops who showed up and gunned him down. Saheed was a former welder suffering from bipolar disorder, he lived with his family in a two-bedroom apartment and was well-known and beloved by the community there who knew about his mental condition but did not consider him threatening, had a friend who was shot dead by a cop as he tried to steal a car, he had 23 prior arrests.
But as for the 5 cops who gunned him down, no info at all but what the NYPD chose to release. Particularly the alleged fact proffered that the 5 cops assigned to the scene that they never shot at anyone before on duty, have all served on the force for about 6 years (all of them?) and the racial makeup of the officers were two white men, two black men and a southeast Asian man, this being the most specifically transparent of all the information the NYPD released so far. All of the cops were not equipped with body cams. The three plainclothes cops come from the anti-terror and anti-crime units. After shooting him down, the cops cuffed him.
Video footage of when the actual shooting took place was released just a day ago in the NY Post five days after the initial video above showing people running from the scene of the incident and a group of men walking towards Vassell across the street. The video like the others has no audio.
When Saheed’s father went to Kings County hospital to see his son in the medical examirer’s lab, he was turned away by “officials” there, refusing to let him see his son’s body.
The NY Post assisted the NYPD’s narrative by taking witnesses claims of Vassal as unhinged and terrorizing citizens before the shooting and a story in the NY Daily News describing one witness opinion that it was a clean shoot. The shooting went down less than 10 seconds, during that brief period according to the NYPD, cops exited their vehicles and ordered Vassell to drop it 3 times, Vassell aim his object and the cops shot him down. Although CBSNY interviewed two witnesses that claimed no one said a word or even a warning that they were cops, which runs counter to the alleged claims of the NYPD’s source, also an unnamed cop, being that they will not release the names of the officers who fired the shots making it difficult to determine who actually gave the warning since no one knows who these cops are.
In the NY Daily News another witness who also never heard any verbal warnings from the cops described the swift reaction to the shooting by describing it as a hit. But judging how quick the cops were to shoot and how precise their shots were to bring him down (with the exception of one bullet that missed and hit a chicken restaurant nearby) and the fact (of the few available) that three of the cops came from special divisions conveys that it was something that the CIA would pull on a suspected terrorist or a foreign adversary. Which makes this incident just as similar and frightening as the militarized police deployment in Sunset Park.
Even though this has shooting has ignited outrage from the community in Crown Heights, the NYPD has meticulously macro-managed the incident. Even though it’s being covered in the daily papers, it has barely made news on television. (And for some reason, it has not been covered by progressive news sources like The Young Turks, as their youtube channel has not made any videos discussing this tragic and preventable shooting even though they have been meticulous in covering every story regarding excessive police force throughout the nation.)
Press conferences following the shooting from NYPD brass have been startling, starting with cop still calling what Vassell was holding a gun even after it was verified it was a piece of junk. Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce stressed how the cops did not have time for other options so they had to fire giving the immediate threat of Vassal’s stance. Even Mayor de Blasio, who was quick to the punch to prosecute a cop for firing his gun and killing Deborah Danner in her apartment when she swung a bat at him, defended this erasatz professional street killing by citing the split second decision the cops assigned there had to make.
Which flies in the face of the neighborhood policing campaign the city has been promoting for the last month. Vassell was a familiar fixture in the neighborhood and everyone knew he was mentally ill but not a consistent threat. Vassell was also well known by the cops in the precinct there so why the necessity to send undercover cops in unmarked vehicles instead of utilizing the neighborhood policing policy and sending precinct cops instead. (Maybe the two uniformed officers were from the precinct covering that area? Everyone is going to have to wait for that.)
And if there was only a split second to predetermine that Vassell was a danger to citizens and to the cops who rolled up, why couldn’t they take another second to determine that he was wielding a piece of junk so to avoid a tragedy and endangering the citizens and children around there? Considering that even in those 911 transcripts that no shots were fired and people couldn’t tell it was a weapon. Or maybe take another second to utilize a pair of binoculars to see what Vassal was actually holding. Because what he was pointing at them with was garbage. It didn’t have a trigger or a handle to grip on.
Apparently what was utilized instead was the precision policing program that is normally used to neutralize gang violence and gun dealing on one disturbed individual.
And what about those 911 calls. In every heavily publicized policing incident, the audio is readily available. The rationale for not disclosing these calls equally makes no sense and is open to interpretation and cynical suspicion. Is it to prevent people from telling what races the callers are? Being that Crown Heights has seen a rising racial makeup change because of rapid gentrification in the town. But why should that matter because these three callers were only worried about the safety of the people on the street at the time. How are could they or more particularly their voices be culpable for the death of Saheed?
Despite constant reassurances from high brass and our mayor, Vassal’s family and the people of Crown Heights as well as every other citizen demanding answers and full accountability and full transparency are being undermined by the machinations of the NYPD of what is ostensibly to build their case to justify the shooting as the investigation by the A.G. is in it’s nascent stage. As all the conflating descriptions of the shooting by the anonymous cops is set to assure their acquittal or even file a case against them at all.
If there are conflations to be made relevant to this killing of an innocent though mentally disturbed man, the manufactured justification for it to go with the media manipulation of the evidence and the coverage, look no further than any of the shootings resulting from excessive force in the midst of an arrest or an escalation during a routine stop or suspicion in the widespread publicized killings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castle, Tamir Rice and Ramarley Graham, whose mother joined the Vassal family in solidarity to protest in front of City Hall on Friday.
And in eerily similar cases last March when Stephon Clark was gunned down in his grandmother’s backyard in a fusillade of bullets and also handcuffed as he bled out on the grass and Danny Ray Thomas, a mentally disturbed man who was shot to death by a cop after he approached him with his pants down to his ankles.
It’s like there’s a proclivity to shoot immediately under the slightest perceived or arbitrary threat. It might not only be from lack of training to handle situations with mentally disturbed people but from a pragmatic policy. Because video footage from 12 years ago surfaced last week of a sheriff who’s running for re-election was asking and answering a rhetorical question on a hot mic to reporter on how it’s more frugal for government finances to kill a suspect than it is to wound them.
“When a deputy shoots somebody, which way is better financially? To cripple them or kill them for the county?”
“Kill them?” someone off camera asks before Youngblood answers “Absolutely.”
“Because if you cripple them you have to take care of them for life and that cost goes way up,” he said.
Since we don’t know anything currently about the cops who shot down Vassel on a street corner in cold blood, something like this theory this asshole sheriff blathered out loud 12 years ago could be kind of an open secret or unofficial policy to enact swift lethal justice on people deemed to be expendable.
But for now we all have to wait till the investigation is final to know the intentions and names of the four cops and even for the entire footage that the NYPD has released in scant selective drips. This media whitewashing of the killing just might be under the influence and gamesmanship of recently appointed NYPD spokesman Phil Walszak, whose previous duties were to make de Blasio look good and act as an editor-in-chief to the press by demanding of them to only ask questions only about the topic the Mayor was discussing or interested in. His presence and the city’s (current) exploitation of the 50-a civil rights law protecting criminally incompetent and corrupt cops from the public’s demands of prior offenses while on and off the job.
Despite all the care being utilized to mollify the public of these situations, which is being met with hardened cynicism considering recent history and the fact that the handling of this shooting is straining credibility, compounded by the fact that Mayor de Blasio has no credibility at all, this is truly only the beginning. For now it appears that the integration of beat and militarized cops is now being implemented with regular crime-fighting, (d)evolving from the initial use of them for the free assemblage of protesters and exhibitions of defense from unconfirmed terrorist threats.
Which will inevitably lead to more unfortunate events like the street killing of Saheed Vassell and who knows what else since every citizen is being kept in the dark just so the Mayor and his NYPD can look competent and caring. Which will lead to more anger and confusion among the constituency, more protests that will lead to clashes between the people and the heavily armored cops and more expensive lawsuits and settlements against the NYPD, all of which definitely will not result in a-
A video made by a citizen Jose Lasalle of the community activist group CopWatch was released by news magazine The Indypendent of the scene possibly minutes after the shooting of Saheed Vassell by four police officers:
The video shows a police vehicle blocking the intersection and two cars in the middle of it, a woman confronting the cops who are motioning for her to back away but she still is able to get at a cop’s face. Cops surrounding the body and the two plainclothes cops standing on the corner where Vassell is lying dead on the sidewalk.
One of the plainclothes cop’s is wearing a T-shirt of The Punisher logo. The Punisher is a superhero comic book character who metes out justice by shooting and killing his foes and criminals on sight.
The Patch website for Crown Heights has the entire texts of the 911 calls.
The city has still not released the audio of the 911 calls nor the names of the cops.
Yvonne Staples, 80, The Staples Singers, Singer And Manager.
Milos Forman, 87, Director
Mitzi Shore, 87, The Comedy Store Owner And Manager
Cecil Taylor, 89, Jazz Pianist.
Susan Anspach, 75, Actress, Stage And Film.
“Luscious” Johnny Valiant, 71, WWF Tag Team Champion And Manager
Sinclair Broadcasting Group, which owns 193 stations nationwide, gave all of their local news stations a
memo “must run” mandatory order to read a P.S.A. to their viewers warning them of the corporation’s perceived theory of the proliferation of fake news from networks and digital venues that they did not bother to cite. To be more precise, media and digital news outlets and venues that they don’t run.
Initially exposed by one of Trump’s news media nemeses, CNN, Sinclair calls
this memo their command “anchor delivered journalistic responsibility message.”
Hi, I’m(A) ____________, and I’m (B) _________________…
(B) Our greatest responsibility is to serve our Northwest communities. We are extremely proud of the quality, balanced journalism that KOMO News produces.
(A) But we’re concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country. The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media.
(B) More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories… stories that just aren’t true, without checking facts first.
(A) Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’…This is extremely dangerous to a democracy.
(B) At KOMO it’s our responsibility to pursue and report the truth. We understand Truth is neither politically ‘left nor right.’ Our commitment to factual reporting is the foundation of our credibility, now more than ever.
(A) But we are human and sometimes our reporting might fall short. If you believe our coverage is unfair please reach out to us by going to KOMOnews.com and clicking on CONTENT CONCERNS. We value your comments. We will respond back to you.
(B) We work very hard to seek the truth and strive to be fair, balanced and factual… We consider it our honor, our privilege to responsibly deliver the news every day.
(A) Thank you for watching and we appreciate your feedback.
script propaganda above was leaked from a Seattle TV station that Sinclair owns. But it’s dissemination to the other networks was so synchronized that it caught the attention of Think Progress which compiled other Sinclair station’s news feeds as their news anchors read the companies editorial propaganda.
This surreal video portending the potential of a passive fascist state run media was outdone with point blank depiction, remixing and condemnation by the sports website Deadspin.
This video shows not only the obvious irony and projection of Sinclair’s pathetic warning to their viewers about the threats about the networks they target for disseminating misinformation driven by ideological agendas with demagogic accusations inspired by the repetitive words and bilious twitter rants of Figurehead Trump in a deal organized by his daughter’s fucking husband to the media behemoth in his campaign surge to victory that is still being honored to this day. The bigger danger here is the way hundreds of people who have a modicum of celebrity from their TV anchor positions were willing to submit and follow the executive’s insidious and seditious directives to condemn fellow journalists and mislead their audience just to hold on to their jobs.
Sinclair not only wanted to beat their competitors by slandering them but wanted to also send a message that any dissent or disagreement by their employees will lead to retribution. In essence to promote and continue a vile workplace tactic of absolute control exploited by unscrupulous employers. This video and the source inspiring it, the Sinclair memo, is manufacturing obeisance not only among the newscasters reading this with hostage like expressions on their faces but to the general public.
But on the subject at hand, Sinclair’s Order is the most recent case of a history of corporate news media’s hand in manufacturing consent. A few years ago, someone compiled a video of various news networks throughout the nation reading the same weakass news stories with similar scripts as with the Sinclair Order without any variation. Which was pointed out gleefully then distressingly on the Jimmy “Voice Of America” Dore Show.
So the warnings were there all along. And now it’s reached the virtual point of return being that Sinclair saw absolutely nothing wrong with what they were doing and are emboldened thanks to the plague-like media consolidation that spread right after Figurehead Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act in 1996 (which Dore pointed out the other day) that has neutered broadcast news ability to inform the public with honesty and integrity in the last 20 years. Exacerbated by the shutting down of long time print publications from the mergers the Act made possible.
Which is why we have an idiot in the White House right now, a willful and defiantly uninformed idiot. When Figurehead Trump heard that Sinclair was getting reamed for issuing their Order touting his moronic talking points and Fake News refrain, he trashed other networks like NBC and CNN on his social media feed, utterly missing the fact that Sinclair is not a network and simulcasts and makes money off of other networks like NBC.
Days after the damning videos and nationwide outrage from the social networks (except from the familiar faces of corporate national news media of course, even NBC), the chairman of Sinclair Broadcasting, David Smith recently blathered to New York magazine that there was no reason for the print media to exist anymore because it’s all fake to him and controlled by lefties. Tripling down on his demented personal quest to render extinct the original base for journalism that made his massive undeserved wealth and current odious influence on Trump possible.
And in a few weeks, Sinclair is about to get FCC permission to buy Tribune Media which owns and runs networks in major cities including New York’s PIX News, whose news broadcasters and programs already look and sound like a dutiful repetitive soft news factory. Which will continue the programming or agenda of preferring processed useless news stories focusing on entertainment and viral videos over stories regarding civic, civil and political issues and injustices.
But the problem with existential demons like Sinclair it’s not just about profits anymore, it’s about power. And information is power as Gareth (UK) and Dwight (US) from The Office once said and to Sinclair, Trump, and established elected officials from both political parties, both of those things shouldn’t be in the hands and minds of the citizenry but in the hands of said insecure, unscrupulous, greedy leaders and corporations. What they want is their viewers and their constituents (what will be left of them) to continue to be ignorant and enslaved yet still able to be accusatory and consume. And utterly dependent on their not at all benevolent masters.
Can’t be any more extremely dangerous to democracy than that.
New York, N.Y., U.S.A.
Mayor de Blasio must have just wiped the crust off his eyes from one of his daily afternoon naps and “woke” to the almost decade long proliferation of intentionally abandoned stores spread throughout the city’s poor and most conspicuously wealthier and tourist heavy locales. For a decade under “Fun Size Mayor” Bloomberg and 4 years under William, as stores that have been around for decades or more have been closing succumbing to brutal rises in rents, the current mayor now wants to levy a tax on derelict landlord commercial property owners.
As a growing number of vacant storefronts dot the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday said he wants to penalize landlords who leave the shopfronts sitting empty.
“I am very interested in fighting for a vacancy fee or a vacancy tax that would penalize landlords who leave their storefronts vacant for long periods of time in neighborhoods because they are looking for some top-dollar rent but they blight neighborhoods by doing it,” he said on WNYC. “That is something we could get done through Albany.”
The borough’s overall vacancy rates doubled from 2.1 percent to 4.2 percent between 2012 and 2017, according to a City Council report published in December. The report blamed landlords charging skyrocketing rents right as brick-and-mortar retailers are struggling with growing online competition.
When reached for details on exactly how such a penalty would work, the mayor’s office said it was still in the planning phases.
Mayor Big Slow finally takes action. Sort of, yet again. For it’s going to probably take him and his staff who let this slow death of businesses and blight fester and some of his 300 aides another 2 to 3 million dollars to study it.
But it’s not the first time it has been proposed — Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer has already been pushing for such a tax since last year, when her office studied the entirety of Broadway and found 188 empty storefronts — with the most in Morningside Heights.
Gale isn’t the only one, for with anyone who owns a desktop, laptop, tablet or cellphone would know that this local economic induced plague has gone on unchecked for over a decade and has been thoroughly documented by blogger and now published writer Jeremiah Moss on his blog Vanishing New York, who coined the term used in this posts title “high end blight”. He is also behind a hashtag that brings awareness of this with his SaveNYC campaign, which brings up the fact of the legislation for the Small Business Jobs Survival Act to preserve the once enduring reliable stores which have been flagrantly ignored for years by the fauxgressive majority democrat city council and de Faustio.
This small business killing pandemic has been documented by other local bloggers and reported in other established digital and print publications as well. But for pure effect this got the attention of an actual established successful actor of two long-running TV shows. Tony Danza brought this subject up exactly a year ago to Mayor Big Slow when he called WNYC and all the mayor wanted to do
talk about was to change the narrative to mozzarella and Tony was having none of that:
Brian Lehrer: Tony Danza is calling in, how about that.
Danza: Good morning, Brian. Good morning, Mr. Mayor.
Mayor: How you doing, Tony?
Question: I’m very well, sir. Thank you very much.
Mayor: Tony, I want to just commend you. I tried some of your smoked mozzarella.
Can I do an on-air endorsement?
Danza: That’s very nice.
Mayor: Tony Danza’s smoked mozzarella at his shop in Little Italy – go there right now, New York City. And I’m saying that – I’m a grandson of Neapolitan, so I know something about smoked mozzarella.
Danza: Listen, Mr. Mayor, that actually brings me to my question. I’d just like to know what your thoughts are about what I like to call the ‘neighborhood wasting disease.’ You know we have so many longtime establishments that have anchored neighborhoods in this city that are just being pushed out by exorbitant rents. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t know how you legislate that. But I’d just like to know what your thoughts are about going forward. Like, where I live on the West Side, on one block – and this is the truth, this is what’s really kind of startling, is that Starbucks had to leave because they couldn’t pay the rent.
Danza: So, that seems like some crossing of a Rubicon or something –
Mayor: You know you have a problem when Starbucks can’t afford the rent.
Danza: That’s what I’m saying. So, I just would like to know what your thoughts are going forward.
Mayor: It’s a great question. And, Tony, first of all, thank you for all you do for the city and everything you’ve done as an actor. But before I answer the question, why don’t you remind people what your store is and where it is.
Danza: It’s Alleva –
Lehrer: Say it again. The first part of that got clipped. Say it again.
Danza: Alleva. It’s on the corner of Grand and Mulberry in Little Italy. It’s celebrating its 125th anniversary in October. It was in the Alleva family for all these years and a few years ago a friend – a couple of friends of mine and I bought into it. We’ve been trying to run it and keep it alive because we end up feeling more like curators than store owners because there’s, you know, because of this thing that’s going on in the city.
Lehrer: This is not –
Mayor: Well, Tony, I think first of all. Your place is amazing and thank you for helping to save it –
Lehrer: This isn’t your Kellyanne Conway moment – plugging a product, right?
Mayor: I’m not plugging a product. I am talking about our patrimony as New Yorkers. This is a store that’s been there 120 years – you said 120 years, Tony, correct?
Danza: 125 – 1892.
Mayor: 1892. And it is part of our heritage. And I agree with Tony’s point. We’ve got to figure out every conceivable way to keep these particularly – these extraordinarily, meaningful stores that’s so much the fabric of our community.
Danza: You know, Mr. Mayor, not to interrupt but all the stores are meaningful. The smaller mom-and-pop places that I go get my paper in. It’s not there anymore. Just everything. It’s just –
Mayor: Yeah, but Tony, wait a minute. I want to answer your question. But I do – I want to make a little differentiation because I think – I always used to talk about, there was a place called Manganaro’s [inaudible] on Ninth Avenue that was there for also over 100 years that unfortunately closed a couple years ago. My grandfather went there when he first arrived in this country in 1905. I mean some places are –
Mayor: You know, really part of our persona as New Yorkers. I think they need special attention. The public sector has a tough challenge here because we are generally not in the position of subsidizing businesses and we don’t really have another great tool to do it. The first thing I want to say is, this is a case where some people could step up individually. You just did that. So, I want to commend you because there’s plenty of people in this town who have money. There’s plenty of people in this town who have celebrity who could step in and save some of these icons of New York City, and you did the right thing. I would urge more people to do it.
But this is a bigger point about how do we protect small business in general. What we did that we could do, Tony, first, reduce the fines that – and we still have more to do on that. When I was – back when I was public advocate we found that previous administration had a pattern of over-fining stores particularly immigrant stores, particularly outer borough stores are all sorts of examples. But those fines were really making it impossible for a lot of stores to keep going.
We’re steadily reducing the amount of fines. We want health and safety, of course. We want stores to play by the rules but we can achieve that a lot of times without financially burdening them. So, that’s point one.
Point two is we started legal assistance programs and small grant programs for older stores in particular to make sure that they’re not being kicked out because some landlord cheated them on their lease or they didn’t have a lawyer to protect their interests. And again sometimes a small grant can make a big difference for a store. So, we’re trying to innovate. I don’t have a big solution. Some people have talked about tax credits and things like that. The problem is when you compare that to all the other things we need to spend money on, it’s hard to put that over you know policing and schools and so many other challenges we have.
Lehrer: Tony, do you have a policy proposal to make regarding commercial rent?
Danza: I wish I did. I’m at my wit’s end. I mean, I don’t know what to say. I mean, you know, I’m particularly, because, you know, as soon as I walk out the building I see the empty stores, places I used to hang out in like the –
Lehrer: Do you want some commercial – and Tony, I’m going to have to move onto another caller in a minute but do you want some kind of commercial rent control which the administration and City Council have not gone for or something?
Danza: But at some point we many have to think about something like that. I don’t know how you’d do that in our society, you know? Tell landlords this is, you know, a cap. Or make some of a thing where the increases aren’t so large immediately. So, you know what happens, they come and throw you a big increase and then what do you do? You see what I’m saying? So, maybe if we could moderate that, maybe that could be –
Mayor: Tony said something very important, Brian. He said, “in our society.” Look, let’s be really cold here. It’s a free enterprise society that is not particularly warm and friendly to things like older stores, mom-and-pop stores. I would urge the landlords to be less greedy. If you’ve got a store that’s part of the fabric of a community, guess what, you could stop overcharging and let them survive, and you’re still going to be wealthy –
Lehrer: But urging them to be – like, you know as well as anybody that urging them to be less greedy isn’t going to change anything –
Mayor: I’m not saying I believe –
Lehrer: We have residential rent controls of various types in this city.
Mayor: Yeah, but you also know those were created in a different time. And the challenge on commercial rent control, it’s very legally dubious. Look, the entire – this not a news flash. The entire legal system is based on property rights and supporting a free enterprise system that needs in so many ways more regulation but our legal system isn’t built that way often.
So, I do think we should keep looking for a more stringent solution. I’d be very interested in one but I also want to – I want to lay this out exactly as what’s happening here. There’s a series of individual decisions and some stores are so sacred if you will, some are so important to this city, we should put pressure on those landlords to lay off and let them live. And by the way they add to the character of communities and if you want a capitalist argument, they add to the value therefore because they are part of what make communities special.
Danza: You’re preaching to the choir, believe me.
Lehrer: Tony, thank you for adding your voice.
Danza: Thank you very much, Brian. Have a great day. Take care, Mr. Mayor.
Mayor: Thank you, Tony. Take care, brother.
In retrospect, even after his initial attempt at starfucking Tony, de Faustio still blew him off despite bringing up the origins and present causes of the malaise caused by greedy landlords and political insouciance. His response and solution for “landlords to be less greedy” resembles his recent odious response to 400,000 freezing NYCHA tenants regarding neglected boiler maintenance and replacements for them not to expect a rose garden. He also again deferred responsibility and accountability by suggesting that celebrities should come out and address the issues to get attention, which may be why his homegirl Cynthia Nixon is running for governor.
Now that de Faustio has belatedly come to his senses with this issue that has reached it’s tipping point and with his recent funding of NYCHA and the MTA (which was inspired by his douchebag photo op campaigning and the recent budget approval from rival Gov. Cuomo in their battle to be superficially more progressive), I hope he also finds sudden interest in punitive measures for pay to play political favors and the use of luxury condos as tax shelters by foreign and domestic oligarchs, stemming the reckless rubber stamping approvals of building air rights and movie shoots, and the still continuing harassment by construction in buildings with rent regulated tenants.
How long can the endangered species of small business owners continue to hold their collective breath?
Efrain Rios Montt, 91, U.S. Supported Murderous Dictator Of Guatemala
Stephen Bochco, 74, T.V. Show Creator, Producer And Writer, Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, NYPD Blue, And Doogie Howser M.D.
This has to be a first time or once every thousand years thing. Like when Jesus’s dad God shot his semen through the atmosphere and the clouds into Mary’s uterus and impregnated his surrogate mom. And you can’t forget Passover, Bubulas!
This miraculous merger of faith and comedy, which pranking and fooling is a form of concerning both, can only be thoroughly defined by the late legendary comedian Sam Kinison from his heyday prime standup period and Bugs Bunny’s classic cartoon when he aides an exhausted Easter Bunny and fininshes his route with hilarious and violent results.