The Lpocalypse Project: The Gaslighting Of And Austerity Plan For The New York City Transit System By Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio And The MTA

043And just imagine a barely functional and safe transit system and mobile daily commutes. 72nd Street Station surface upgrade by Yoko Ono Lennon. Not ADA compliant.

New York, N.Y.

2019 has and will become quite an historic year for New York City transit. But most definitely not in a good way. For the future of it looks fucking bleak despite all the optimism being expressed by elected and appointed officials about all the moolah for infrastructure improvements coming.

Now that it has been decided to keep the base fare of a subway/bus ride at 2.75 while eliminating the bonus charges and raising the cost of unlimited weekly and monthly cards, this would be a good time make a layman’s assessment about the current state of the New York City Transit System run by the MTA, the worst fucking transit system in the universe. Because recent incidents and decisions have given sunlight to the crisis below, as well as above and at ground level regarding our mass transit options, which will also have a deleterious effect on traffic on the island of Manhattan and on the streets and highways that will surely continue to deteriorate and the commutes regarding the and safety by all dependent on the buses and trains (not ferries, fucking please). And it’s also shown that no one is truly capable of being assertive, proactive and having independent or rational thoughts or ideas at MTA. It surely isn’t the board whose dithering members are appointed by the mayor and governor, despite it’s alleged independence and expertise.

But it’s clear who is and always was in charge and that’s our third go-round and self-christened progressive Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose very wrong hands and demented disruptor mind has determined the fate of the MTA transit imbroglio. Apparently, the governor is under the borderline mental delusion that he doesn’t have enough control and has divined himself the autocrat savior of the transit system. This is not even as ego driven like his overzealous order to get the 2nd avenue line finished so he can throw a new years party, this is Andy’s id taking control now with this idiotic and dangerous plan to keep the L train running on time. Even Moussilini would’ve shown more restraint and self-awareness.

But how did we get to this current lowly state of mass transit and the commuting crisis in general? It all began back in January, when the decrepit saltwater hurricane Sandy corroded Canarsie Tunnel was about to be shut down in a mere 3.2 months away. After three years of meticulous research and planning by the MTA board and recently installed transit president Andy Byford along with efforts by the D.O.T. to redesign the streets of the L’s path to remediate traffic with bike lanes and improve bus service on 14th st. (despite the haphazard designs), the Governor suddenly had an epiphany induced by a dubious recollection of being grabbed by a stranger who yelled at him, which led to a visit to the tunnel when he last looked longingly at things in there, and bemused to himself that the commute could still be saved.

So Mario’s son looked and pointed at things with an entourage of hoity-toity college academic officials with absolutely no experience assessing mass transit infrastructure, and decided to scrap the 15 month thorough renovation of the tunnel and rely on an earlier rejected plan to rearrange and restructure the infrastructure’s power supplies on top of the tunnel instead. Instead of fixing and fortifying the corrosion and cracks with good old concrete and mortar, the governor and his new egghead crew decided to go with a polymer glass coating instead. During this new surface coating, the L train will continue to run as scheduled on the weekdays while running on one track on the weekend and on nights after 8 p.m. in 20 minute intervals during the two year (or more) reconstruction.

Transit crisis averted? Not exactly, because this plan was previously and soundly rejected by Cuomo’s board because of the deadly risk of spreading and exposure of cancer causing silica dust that would be released during the construction as transit service re-opened. And the GIF NYC transit provided the public with showing how the trains will flow in one tube underwater looks scary as fuck. But Andy’s id was not going to let potential environmental hazard get in the way of slaying the Lpocalypse. This mentally ill megalomaniac decision is already causing reverberations to commutes and literally the environment along the L train’s tunnels path in the niche towns of Williamsburg and Bushwick.

Exactly a month after Andy’s L plan, the Graham Ave. Station in East Williamsburg (or Bushwick as it used to be called) had to be shut down because of an overwhelming pungent gas smell that sickened a few commuters on the train when it was stalled on the tracks and then nauseated the rest of the passengers as it was slow crawling to the ground zero station. In spite of this incident, an MTA official somehow discerned that the air was safe and the L train resume it’s schedule despite the peculiar appearance of high-powered fans laid on the gratings above the tunnel to extract the noxious fuel odors out.

Screenshot_2019-02-21 L-train smell source is abandoned gas station fuel tank, MTA says

The following day after this announcement, three MTA workers got violently ill from the fumes that were alleged to be gone as other workers took the precaution of pulling their sweaters over their mouths until they received protective face masks.

The source of the fumes had become an evolving mystery but for some bizarre reason, MTA chief safety officer Pat Warren still claimed that the air at Graham Ave. was still safe to breathe. According to lifestyle and occasional actual news blog Gothamist and the NY Daily News, the MTA attributions of the source of the toxic entity changed during the first 48 hours. First it was determined that it was fuel that was accidentally spilled from diesel trains being used during weekend work construction; then it was blamed on an abandoned fuel tank underneath an abandoned gas station; and finally and absurdly, the MTA tried to pin the blame on superfund site Newtown Creek from a Greenpoint refinery spill from the 70’s. Of all those theories, the one that makes the most sense is the first one, being that weekend work has already begun. The other two theories are asinine considering that both of them were unfounded given that there was no evidence the station tank leaked, which probably led to conjuring up some ooze from Newtown Creek that suddenly migrated to the subway tunnels. It seems the MTA is coming up with these theories not to be more transparent but to obviously gaslight commuters and the press from finding out what the fuck is actually going on.

Or maybe the MTA is feigning ignorance. Because when the FDNY showed up in full Hazmat suits to determine the toxic levels of the leak, they did not bother to measure it on orders from the city and state environmental boards.

That’s not the only gaslighting by our servants of mass transit. A month following the gassing of Graham Ave., as the pungent toxicity rose from the crisis below and spread into the ether above permeating apartment buildings and stores in the area, evidence of the error of Cuomo’s Id and his crack Ivy league team’s L revival decision manifested at Bedford Avenue station in Greenpoint, as a cloud of thick dust inundated the station on another Monday morning rush hour.

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Well, guess what was the contents of the contamination that scared the shit out of commuters, it was the presence of the predicted silica dust that was prophesized. But the MTA spokesman wasn’t divulging much but did proclaim that despite evidence of the thickness and noxious odor of the particles and the sight of workers and police with protective face masks on the platform, that the air was still safe to breathe! It evidently seems that the MTA is utilizing the same spin control that Christie Todd Whitman utilized to assuage the public back in 2001 that the air was safe to breathe at Ground Zero weeks after 9/11/2001 so the traumatized city service workers could resume excavating remains at the destroyed WTC site.

 

 

 

Evidently, the MTA is clearly trying to distract their worried commuters from the fact that the weekend work that was approved by Cuomo’s id is causing the environmental hazard it was expected to cause. Which is why this plan that was revived was rejected in the first place. And the MTA’s crass denials of the air quality should cause immediate pause to anyone that what if these were attempts by terrorists to poison the tunnels instead of just causations from worker incompetence.

Another little problem with Cuomo/MTA tunnel surface remediation plan? Well, last summer on the Jersey Transit, a PATH tunnel with similar infrastructure with overhead wiring exploded causing a metal bracket to pierce through a train’s ceiling like a spear, causing 700 passengers to evacuate awaiting a rescue train and another 350 remaining stuck on a train behind it from the sharpnel and debris on the tracks . Fortunately for them, they were near Penn Station. What’s going to happen when this happens on the L train when they are done moving that wiring on the Canarsie roof and putting that polymer balm on the cracks and crevices around the walls and the floor bed?

With the frightening prospect of taking the L as construction continues for the next 20 months (but certainly more than that). Mayor de Blasio, while nowhere to be found during those two toxic transit disasters as well as four recent incidents of transit debris falling from the elevated tracks in Woodside and Richmond Hill, continues to push his stupid and expensive NYC Ferry transportation option as well as funding another study for the loathed and loathsome BQX trolley.

As was expected of anything de Blasio promotes and focusing his attention on, the NYC Ferry has turned into a disastrously expensive boondoggle. For the subsidized costs for each $2.75 ride amounts to $10.73, which went up four and change from the 6 buck estimate from last year and went up two bucks from estimates a few months ago. As the costs of the new ferries on the way is going to cost another $369 million. The timing of this report coincides de Blasio’s announcement of the ferry’s expansion of new stops in Staten Island and Coney Island, which will not be ready till 2020 and 2021 respectively and another one at the Brooklyn Navy Yard which will be ready to launch this May. The launching of the Coney Island one next year is expected to balloon the already high subsidy costs to $24.75 for every fare.

As if de Blasio’s prioritizing of the ferry over the dilapidated condition of the subway and roads and the snails pace speed of the city buses wasn’t crass enough, somehow he couldn’t placate residents of the town of Canarsie with a ferry stop of their own, even though they compiled 6,000 signatures and actually have a dock ready for renovation. Which unsurprisingly validates the fact this ferry are basically ersatz yachts and is only beneficial and necessary for the wealthy and tourists and not meant for the commuting needs of the proletariat masses. Which the ready made stop at hipster frequented Brooklyn Navy yard as well as all the luxury development stops on the East River in Manhattan proves the inequitable treatment against the more frequented subway and bus services in spades (or anchors?). Besides, Canarsie didn’t have a chance because those real estate gentrification enabling porch monkeys at the city’s Economic Development Corporation didn’t put the town on the feasibility list, even though the Bronx town of Soundview never even had a pier before and they were declared feasible by the EDC. Amazing what becoming a real estate speculative hot bed with looming parasitic tower hyperdevelopment can do for an selective area. But despite being a reverse revenue generator, de Blasio’s inducement of the NYC ferry is a city taxpayer funded investment now even though the only benefit to come from this seasonal leisure  service will go straight into the bank account of EDC board member Mark Patricof who has a conflicted invested interest he holds in Hornblower from previously working in  private equity firm with holdings in the transit yacht provider.

But these are not the only transit offenses against the citizenry he swore to serve these last 6 long years, especially the poor he pandered to get elected in 2013. After much cajoling by house speaker Corey Johnson, Da Mayor relented and implemented the Fair Fares program to begin at the start of 2019 to be available to 700,000 struggling citizens. And what came naturally from the notoriously tardy and slow mayor, the program took nearly a month to send the discounts out and limited the distribution to 30,000 applicants. Expectedly from the two-faced liar, it was nothing but a half-measure because the cards were sent out as unlimited weekly or monthly cards instead of day to day purchases which these commuters usually spend, being that they don’t have 20 or 60 dollars to plunk down right away or even have the cash at all if they are without a job. The expected diminished result is barely over hundred people are using these Fair Fares. Why couldn’t the city tell the MTA to arrange the card like its done with the school and senior citizen reduced cards. But being helpful to the most financially burdened has never been much of concern for the notorious Mayor Big Slow.

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Andy Byford 

Of course, forgotten in this whole MTA mess is the man who was assigned to save it while stressing transparency and credibility for the agency, Transit President Andy Byford who arrived last year with such great fanfare and who was recently featured on 60 minutes last autumn, whose nfluence, authority and plans now been undermined and virtually eliminated by Andy’s id . His absence from the L train aborted shutdown announcement and his lack of input of the decision to sugarcoat the cracked tunnel walls and floorboards with polymer, which the initial contractor rightfully thought was a stupid and dangerous idea 2 years ago, was majorly conspicuous. Compounded with Gov. Stugots autocratic decision to junk Andy’s proven idea to upgrade the anachronistic signal system with a computer based CBTC that has been used successfully when he ran the tube in London and the subway in Toronto and has been effective since it’s been applied to the L line (figures) with some ultraband radio wave bullshit idea that Andy’s id got from Elon Musk, while Byford’s thoroughly detailed Fast Foward plan has not gotten one penny for its funding to this day since it was announced with great fanfare and widespread media coverage.

And it was looking very certain that he and FF will never get it, and recent and current history validates that horrendous fact according to NYS Comptroller Thomas de Napoli’s report as surmounting debts are going to interfere with all other moderation and renovations of the subways infrastructure. The Fast Forward plan as devolved into the Flying Fuck, meaning that Governor Stugots doesn’t give one about it at all. These two have not been in the same photo op together since I don’t know fuck when.

And Byford’s plan to make 50 stations handicap accessible was about to get chopped to 36 because of these looming debts, which derived from the blowback of the underfunding for the accessibility retrofits over a decade ago when just 1.8% was allocated for it and with the funding about to dry up as the final days of the current five year transit plan is about to end this year  If this wasn’t horrendous enough consider that 6 stations were shut down for months for surface and aesthetic modernizations like self-indulgent art and led screens flashing MTA bulletins and maps. The 72nd St B/C Station and the 23rd Street Station comes to mind.

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With these dubious upgrades, Andy’s id’s MTA proves that the only subway improvements are designed for tourists to navigate through the city and niche parts of Brooklyn and Queens (and even the Bronx) on nice screens like the theme park this city has turned into. And all this art being installed is just there for the Instagram addicted. Supposedly the funding is only a morsel of budgetary spending, that morsel could have been allocated for initial funding on an elevator that could have been installed at a station where a mother killed herself falling down the steps while carrying a full stroller and her toddler daughter.

Too bad and too little too late that a federal judge recently decided that the MTA had to require all station renovations must be ADA compliant. The problem of course is where to get the funding again to honor the judge’s decision, because Mario’s son’s MTA burned through all the money that was to upgrade other stations, which would have also went into art that nobody asked for instead of signal and infrastructure upgrades, unsightly dilapidation of the ceilings, walls and stairs and of course elevators for the disabled as well for the elderly and children’s strollers. The latter which recently got tragic attention when a woman died trying to carry her stroller with child down along with shopping bags as she fell down the stairs when there was no escalator available in the city’s 7th avenue station.

But all is not lost for these looming and practically insurmountable expenses, for Governor Stugots budget passed with the ratification of congestion pricing to supposedly fix the MTA once and for all. Expected to accrue funding for the subway, a tolling system will be put in place to charge regular car drivers $11 and commercial truck drivers $25 to enter Manhattan below 60th street to downtown. Because that’s the way to derive funding for mass transit and levy it on people who choose to own a vehicle so they never use it and also to people that are just in town to do their jobs.

The thing is this tax levy on car owning commuters and delivery workers (a glut of them who don’t make a living wage) won’t be implemented until 2020, conveniently after the next election for Albany’s assembly and senate.

The only saving grace for car owners is that the congestion fees/taxes for driving in Manhattan will not be implemented until December 2020 (conveniently after the next election) and won’t go into effect in another two years, or maybe more being that there will have to be a system to take all the congestion tolls. Probably something like those ugly ass LINKNYC data succubi kiosks.

Of course there were more reliable and faster ways to come up with the billions to fix the crisis below; like the long overdue, sensible and fiscally responsible legalization of marijuana. But the arguments among all officials (mostly paranoid) about how it will be distributed and who should profit from it first and also expected resistance from rigid Republican elected officials and the upper echelons of law enforcement. But it got nixed from consideration in the budget hearings, so New York is going to continue to lag behind other states like Colorado, Massachusettes, California and the nation of Canada and lose billions in tax dollars from the manufacturing and selling of it.

And the big dirty obscene open secret of the minuscule taxes oligarchs pay for pied-e-terres in supertall dark luxury towers. But that immediately got crushed when REBNY sent their wormtongue minions to inundate news sites with developer agitprop and to Albany and persuaded the Assembly that these investor citizens ossified personal wealth absolutely can’t be sacrificed for the transit needs and safety of daily commuters. Despite recent heinous news of a billionaire hedge fund owner who paid $238 million for a sky high home on Central Park South and Jeff Bezos looking to purchase another multi-million dollar abode in the same building along with the four other ones he owns nearby on Central Park West. Hundreds of millions of dollars that would have been extracted from these welfare oligarchs and also from other American and foreign billion and hundred millionaire sloths who purchased these tax shelters in various luxury monoliths that have sprouted in Manhattan as well as the East River coasts of towns in Brooklyn and Queens are now gone. Gone with all the money that was never accounted for prior to this proposal.

You think the feckless Albany cowards would have debunked whatever bullshit REBNY’s wormtongues were spewing when all they had to do is look at Hudson Yards, where a train station built there before the gilded age girder and glass beanstalks were planted. While the developers, city and state were gerrymandering districts (and including Central Park) to pilfer billions from areas that needed it for affordable housing to fund it’s manifestation, the station flooded every time it rained and the escalators consistently break down even to this day. In a way, it looks like having people walk up almost 3 flights from the subway is a good way to train for the useless shawarma art staircase that you first see coming out of the station.

Which leads to the obvious conclusion that our elected leaders, appointed officials and the fucking MTA are relying on the neoliberal doctrine of using austerity measures to rebuild and improve mass transit. What usually happens with cutting costs for government projects and the abject refusal from officials to accrue funding from the wealthiest individuals, austerity always devastates the livelihoods of the lower tiers of the income ladder. Because with congestion pricing, the needs of the few (or the one) outweigh the needs of the many.

Like the taxi drivers, who currently contribute $2.50 to add on to the base fare while  tech corporations like Uber and Lyft only charge an extra quarter even though there are five times more of those app-hail cars on the streets that’s actually is at fault for all the congestion. Because of cab and livery drivers taking their own lives in the past year, this has been dubbed as the “suicide surcharge” by taxi veterans and representatives.

And everyone else will also be levied with this tax when you go to any store that sells goods, from supermarkets to department stores, because those costs are going to be added right to your purchases, adding to the prices that are already rising because of onerous state and city taxes and rent ossification. Even all you pious non-driving, bike, scooter and skateboard riding dependent on your butler apps for Amazon to deliver shit to your shiftless asses, you will be seeing costs escalate for your online consuming too and y’all know Bezos is not above gouging his customers as you’re transit commutes get more chaotic.

As for the #LpocalypseProject’s schedule, Northeast Brooklyn’s millenial urban professionals (hey, Muppies!) who will not tolerate waiting for 20 minutes or more or even the risk of getting poisoned from silica wafting in the air, they will predictably press their little apps and take pricey trips in those Ubers, Lyfts and all their imitators (and certainly more to come) to the city. While the added fees will get accrued for MTA funding it will predictably cause more congestion. No wonder Uber spent 2 million dollars lobbying to get this austerity measure ratified. They are going to make huge bank in the next year and no wonder the city rushed to get the suicide surcharge approved for just the cabs and apphails. That actually makes fiscal sense despite the levies it’s placing on their customers. But if they can afford 1700 to live in an SRO or 2200 for an “affordable” studio, the Muppies can deal with this hardship. But it still going to be a pain in the ass commute for everyone from the not yet gentrified towns of East New York, Brownsville and the ferry-less Canarsie.

As for the Canarsie Tunnel, that also is an austerity measure with inequitable results between the affluent and the working class grinders. Because this polymer coating  is just a half-measured temporary fix that is going to have disastrous consequences when the next hurricane hits this city (remember that bitch Sandy was just a cat. 1, what’s going to happen when it’s a cat. 3 or even 2?), and this infrastructure donut glaze coating of the walls and floorboards is just as cheap and effective as treating a wall with mold and grime on it by painting over it, which the MTA actually did at Union Square last winter.

 

 

 

 

 

Or covering it up with a nice poster

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While service will continue to lag behind in the borough’s towns without niche, the city provided frequent bus transfers for L project sufferers so they can get to the J/M and G trains across town. Which will certainly be busier on the evenings and weekends than the rest of the borough’s long bus routes that are still suffering from slow speeds and late arrivals caused by…traffic congestion.

The appalling inequities that are present with the Lpocalypse Project I base on the fact that the MTA should have fixed this and shut down this tunnel immediately after the flood waters emptied out back in 2011. But that would have thrown a wrench on the over-luxury-hyper-development and fabrication-speculation market rate values of Williamsburg and then onward to neighboring Bushwick and Greenpoint and the Gentrification Industrial Complex of real estate, venture capital, private equity and the government they bought and now own were not going to let something like the safety of millions of commuters get in the way of the demographic  they want that are willing to spend frivolously and mindlessly to live in proximity of the dreaded L line.

The coddling of the moneyed hipster demo that overspends and resides along the L train line fearing that they won’t make any readjustments to their morning and evening commutes or routines. More essential to the Guvner and the Hotel and Hospitality overlords is that this L train fakeout will keep service still convenient for tourists residing in high end flophouse hotels and airbnbs in the Meatpacking district, Chelsea, LES, East Village and Williamsburg to continue frequenting all those theme bars, beer gardens, restaurants and cache take out joints in those areas being that they only need to travel a few stops in Manhattan and Brooklyn

And even the MTA is cognizant of this, because they are going head on to phase out the metrocard and replace it with a stylish but lamely named access card called OMNY, which operates as a worker I.D. card which will be used to tap a screen to pay instead of swiping. And it also will be app-accessible so you can use your cellphone to pay. Even though the brainiacs behind this stupid tech bullshit method refuse to reveal how this will effect people who pay cash (and people that will still prefer to pay cash). These type of transactions have proved to be discriminatory and the prospects for unwanted data extraction will be (hopefully) met with universal anger from commuters. Of course, the officials pushing this pay method (including Byford) responded with the tone-deaf default excuse that everyone already is distributing their data with their cellphone social media and app purchasing habits, so what does the right to privacy and individuality matter when convenience takes precedence over constitutional rights.

But like Moussilli, Andy’s Id still kept the trains running (assuming on time is pure conjecture at this point) despite all the ominous toxic signs from the two incidents in February in March. Further evidence of Governor Stugots austerity measures for the MTA is assigning his Ivy league team who convinced him to keep the L running during the tunnel reconstruction for every other remediation and renovation projects, which includes the upgrading of the signals thus superseding and undermining Andy Byford in the same manner that former Mayor Giuliani projected his seething jealousy on former Commissioner Bratton for his accomplishments in bringing down crime.

Cuomo’s adamant megalomania and de Blasio’s spineless indifference will add to the risks and dangers of the continued exacerbation of the subway. In the midst of this MTA manic depression breakdown, at least one of their board members reassured the reality of their transit surroundings by admitting and actually apologizing for the existential lousiness of the subway.

Now it’s day two of the Lpocalypse Project and as expected shit went wrong on the L with delays lasting up to 40 minutes. It looks like the folks at NYC Transit thought the GIF they provided of the trains navigating the single tube passage looked easier than they thought. But at least they deployed MTA workers to act as commuting ushers to help the critical masses of people to get on board the trains.

But tomorrow is Monday and that’s when shit gets real. Because there is still the menacing prospect of particle pollution that will surely appear again on Bedford Ave if the MTA doesn’t contain it, some of the workers moving commuters were already wearing masks as a precaution. And the shit’s gonna hit the fan now that it’s May and it’s almost summer. Will Governor Stugots Cuomo whoosh down from Albany to look at the results of his manic change of mind when the crisis below exacerbates?

Wait with abated breath. Which actually would prudent to do if you still are taking the L all the way through.

Good luck L commuters. You’re gonna really need it. But you’re gonna need a chemical mask even more.

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Just Walk Away From The MTA, Transit President Andy Byford

https://s7d2.scene7.com/is/image/TWCNews/010719_nyc_andy_byfordpngAndy Byford and that moment of clarity he abandoned to take the reins of the MTA, the worst fucking transit system of the universe.

Andy Byford may have just realized he is in way over his head and out of his league in his well-paid state service leadership position (yeah it’s redundant, I’m writing about the MTA again so fuck off).

President Byford is trying really hard though. He did come up with that budget study assessing that it would take $37 billion dollars to overhaul the mega-shitshow mass transit system, despite having no current idea or plan how to pay for it. I mean, he is not a bad bloke, he kind of resembles a mixture of Moby and Thom Yorke and he is a big fan of legendary new wave band The Smiths, so big that he thought it was prudent to mention and discuss fave tracks by them during a live social media style town hall with frustrated commuters complaining about consistent shitty service a while back (my personal fave by the way, is the WLIR extended remix of “This Charming Man”), but at least he has been apparently honest and straightforward.

But with recent incidents unfortunate and even optically progressive, he’s starting to sound like and resemble a harrowed Karl Pilkington, trying to cajole and persuade the public that their commutes will be fine in light and in spite of delays, dubious improvements, and potential and real time infrastructure hazards. In which all three occurred at once at Borough Hall one lazy afternoon.

 

 

 

 

The Borough Hall station, which serves the 4 and 5 express trains, had a giant slab of plaster and concrete from the platform’s ceiling collapse on a woman, whose life was spared by the dangling lamp above. This station, which is one stop away from the gloriously renovated Atlantic Avenue Station thanks to the existence of the Barclays Arena and was visited by gubernatorial longshot candidate Cynthia Nixon on June 1, has been going through it’s own purgatory-like state of neglect by the MTA that makes the five year (but scheduled for three) upgrade at the Lefferts Blvd. Station look almost punctual and efficient by comparison.

President Byford showed up with his safety vest and his expertise and pointing his fingers at the obvious problem made clear by the exposed brick and ribar displayed above and stating that “There is evidence of water ingress. You’ve got a bit of paint peeling,” (a bit?) and “This is a very old station, at the end of the day, but we will get to the bottom of what happened.” I guess it’s a good display of transparency, but sandwiching that wretched cliche “at the end of the day”?  What the fuck you need to say that for, Andy? Really failed to reassure and salve the public there. Although it’s hard to really do damage control when the damage is a big pile of jagged plaster lying on the platform.

The woman assaulted by the MTA’s neglect made a great point how she could have been killed, but also how fortunate that it was 3:30 in the afternoon, a few hours before rush hour and school is out for summer, because certainly a group of kids would have got killed or injured at that moment.

In spite, or maybe more like passive indifference towards social media sharing by commuters and solid reporting by the now digital Village Voice, the MTA’s approach for maintaining this station has been quite an embarrassment. For all the cosmetic improvements that have graced certain stations, this is what one of the station entrances looks like a few months ago:

DaIgPUFX4AA_Elx(Jason Rabinowitz)

 

Speaking of such station cosmetic improvements, I mean, errrr enhancements, Byford even got a little defensive and testy trying to explain the admirably swift completion of two elevated stations in Astoria featuring more art, windowed walls, aesthetically pleasing benches, wifi and usb ports. although it also has the obligatory fuckup with a low hanging destination sign that a commuter bonked his head on.

“Don’t be fooled by the beautiful artwork and cosmetic nature,” Byford said. “These were fundamental, deep-rooted repairs that we made to the underlying fabric of the station. It’s very important.”

Surprisingly, Andy was not the slightest sussed by the utter absence of an elevator at these new decorative stations, again denying the handicapped, elderly and mothers and children in baby strollers for safe egress. A necessity that was previously a crucial concern for the overburdened transit president in his previous job in Toronto.

But the worst gaffe to come from the president’s mouth in his myriad efforts to spin these issues and pathetic attempts at damage control may have been what he said just days before the Borough Hall ceiling collapse. Andy Byford, your humble transparent public servant, believes that the presence of overcrowding does not effect the slow service of the trains. And he is/they are going to eradicate this debilitating and growing contribution in future transit reports.

This is an interesting development as well as a demented irony being that the only overhauling being done at the MTA is re-categorizing reasons and origins for horrible service, which they did rather deftly when they previously blamed it on Con Ed. Something is afoot here. Although the passengers only offense is actually paying $2.75 for crappy service and not for the notorious pace of and indifference to essential repairs to the system, most likely the tracks, the singles and now the ceilings, it is undeniable that overpopulation from the amount of people that have moved to this city and the relentless yearly amount of tourists has had a massive effect. Especially and most devastatingly on the stations in the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn closest to Manhattan and in the metropolis itself.

Here’s proof, this photo was taken on the A train while between the Jay St. and Hoyt St. stops, and there was barely even a delay

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This is the result when the train is late for less than 2 minutes. The capacity for trains at the end of the day like the F going to Brooklyn, the E going to Queens and the 6 in Manhattan, the latter a fucking local train, is where it’s actually like sardines in a crushed box and it’s in areas where the most and highest tower development pestilence has occurred. And then there is the fucking L train to northeast and central goddamn Brooklyn, where airbnb and other moronic app-based room rentals are consuming dwellings where regular folks with common sense used to occupy and definitely in buildings owned by LLCs’ where one room apartments were converted to two rooms by predatory landlords, packing in more dumb frivolous spending bodies. It makes it easy to cynically assume that perhaps the cabal/pogrom/overlords of the Real Estate Board Of New York might have had an influence in Andy’s decision (as they do with every other fucking thing to make the city impossible to afford and run your own business) to exempt the moneyed, condo-owning and arrested development types in their 20’s and 30’s overpopulation of this city from being partly responsible for these delays.

Speaking of these demographics, these people are the worst violators of commuting with their eyes constantly averted down and fingers relentlessly tapping their phone screens as they are entering the train, blocking the doors and even exiting and entering the station. And they also crowd into the cars nearest their exits at their stop, leaving everyone completely fucked as they are not able to board because of the crush of the bodies concentrated as the doors open and shut.

https://s7d2.scene7.com/is/image/TWCNews/byfordadelays_jpg?wid=640The Andys. The disappointed and the overwhelmed but still arrogant.

But what else can Andy do, the poor sod. He’s only been here barely a year and he is wracking his brain trying to fix the MTA and over a half century of incompetence, profligacy and neglect and the ramifications which seem to be manifesting all at the same time. It would have been nice to have Andy around when the MTA gave Forest City Ratner a big ass gift with their knuckleheaded sale of the Atlantic Transit Yard a decade and a half ago.

And it must be thrilling to wonder what’s going on in Andy’s mind now that these very  ramifications resulting from said profligacy by the other Andy, Governor Cuomo with his decision to accelerate the first half of the 2nd Ave Line for his New Year’s Eve party along with the 7 train extension to the Blade Runner development Hudson Yards and the billion dollar one-stop Metro-North extension to Grand Central from Penn Station. And how even the new aesthetic masonry of Penn Station and even the 2nd Ave line are starting to show cracks and debilitation. And don’t forget all those tech inspired enhancements! And the Kusciusko Bridge laser light shows!

There are many, many more that can be sited for the reason that the Borough Hall station looks like and has got the same maltreatment as a NYCHA apartment. But it’s clear that Andy Byford, admirable and courageous that he is to take on the worst fucking transit system in the universe, is not going to last long in this town despite putting up a brave front. So maybe it’s best if he just walks away and leaves it for another man or woman to deal with this festering shitshow.

There’s too much to handle, too much money that’s not available, too much bullshit, too much pain. Just walk away Andy. It’s really not worth it. This subway will never be fixed in our lifetimes and will barely be there in the future. Sorry about this fatalistic and bleak prognosis, but this is the reality all these rich, educated derelicts responsible for it have created.

If you haven’t figured it out Mr. President or are just a trusting nice guy; the MTA held off on repairing the Canarsie Tunnel right after Sandy hit because it would have interfered with the continuing gentrification and luxurification of Williamsburg, Greenpoint and the cancerous creep into Bushwick. If the tunnel was repaired like it should have been, if the MTA showed any responsability and common sense and got it enhanced, every stupid hipster and yuppie would have moved out of those aforementioned towns and the real estate magnates would have never built or bought anything and the rental and housing market wouldn’t be insanely overvalued and inflated like it is now for them to heinously profit from.

Besides, you don’t wanna be around when the L shuts down in 10 months (10 minutes to midnight ha!), because there is no fucking plan for it. I don’t think you even have one. Just admit it, believe me you’re definitely not alone. No. One. Has. A. Fucking. Clue.

Just walk away, Andy. Fuck the MTA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrath Of The Scumlords: Jared Kushner’s Real Estate Firm Falsifies Building Permits To Force Gentrification

Image result for kushner westminster
Jared Kushner. Gentrification mongering punk.

Astoria, Queens, New York

Looks like demoted advisor to the imbecilic Figurehead Trump and husband of his reminded like a pornstar daughter, Jared Kushner is gonna get it. With the same approach and dubiously absent-minded attempt Jar-Jar took to file his applications for security clearances to access top secret documents so he can oversee foreign policies that would benefit him and his trust fund baby peers financially and influentially was exploited by his real estate company who outsourced agents to falsify documents for 3 apartment buildings in Astoria they owned and ran regarding the presence of rent-stabilized tenants so they can do disruptive internal construction to force them out. 2 years later and a bulk of affordable renting systematically driven out, the buildings sold for a $40 million dollar profit.

This was perpetrated with the simple checking of a box on Department of Buildings applications that their Kushner Cos. signatory filled hired by Kushner Cos. claiming that there were no rent regulated apartments, giving them permission to do internal construction in these buildings along with 80 other apartment buildings in the agency’s portfolio that they rented out during the years 2013 to 2016, causing hazardous environments and rodent infestations inducing tenants to move out of their apartments, dwindling the amount of rent-stabilized units by 75% with just a few hold-outs remaining in buildings in other trendy neighborhoods with low income tenant presence in the East Village, Williamsburg, and Brooklyn Heights.

Let this be abundantly clear. Jared Kushner and his company, before he divested from it taking his current gig in the White House and with a majority of presumed progressive democrat lawmakers in city hall and city council, engaged and perpetrated in forced gentrification by blatant and brazen predatory means for personal ill-gained profit. Resulting in the current overvalued market rates affecting citizens in this city who can barely make the rent and buy groceries, and having a deleterious effect on the current crop of affordable housing units on new structures being built under Mayor de Faustio’s affordable housing plan and transformation of neighborhoods into investment opportunities and high end brands.

For some reason though, Kushner Cos. mischievous signatory check the box for rent-reg tenant on their Department Of Finance applications, which can only be so they can get the required tax abatements. So not only is Kushner Co’s perpetuating forced gentrification, they are technically embezzling the city of tax dollars during the process of inducing rent-regulated tenants to leave.

Reaction was swift of this half-decade criminal gentrification spree. Councilman Ritchie Torres aptly labeled Kushner Cos. tactics as weaponized construction and has called for belated punitive action.  And the Mayor for predatory developers Bill de Blasio muttered that Jared “might have problems on his hands” and chided him for his lying to the government in another display of blissfully ignorant hypocrisy pertaining to his obstinate advocacy for NYCHA commissioner Shoya Olatoye and her similar insouciant lying to the government.

So this sudden awareness and acknowledgement and the recent filing of a probe of Kushner Cos. predatory business model and perjuring by D.A. Schneiderman is quite late. And the recent rezoning proposals by the Mayor and current approvals by City Council has already had an effect on towns borough wide, as opportunistic bush league landlords have already and are currently employing the same tactics despite the few recent busts of some who have got by with ineffective fines and the conviction of scumlord pioneer Steve Croman.

Like in Baychester in the Bronx, where a middle age couple with a son suffering from asthma had their heat and electricity cut off because their landlord wants to begin renovating the apartments. And in a Foxhurst apartment building where an LLC is using the same disruptive gut renovation, service refusals and intimidation to drive out tenants to raise rents in total imitation of Kushner Co’s brand of tenant terrorism.

And like in trendy Williamsburg in Brooklyn, where tenants had to vacate their lofts because the landlord told them he had to make repairs to keep the building in code, instead kept delaying their return until they were able to access their apartments after 3 years to retrieve their belongings to find their doors jimmied and windows broken, all their property damaged and covered in bird shit.

 

Even though it’s now being taken seriously with the acknowledgement of the fine reporting of the Housing Rights Initiative, Kushner and Kushner Cos. tactics have been an established business model for quite a while now. Especially with the omnipresence of Airbnb. And the city and the D.O.B. did nothing but let that model and unaffordability metastasize.

And not helping at all is the recent comment vomited by city planner Winston Von Engel  at a community meeting in Bushwick on the subject of rezoning and gentrification that the cities intention “is to preserve the character and the buildings, not the people in them”.

Supposedly all that new money the City Council added to their office budget will go straight to hiring people to investigate the diabolical deeds of predatory landlords and developers instead of hiring glorified interns, marketers and sycophants which probably made up the majority of de Blasio’s 300 staffers in his first term. It’s a wonder how the mayor could have missed the chicanery by the son-in-law of his alleged politically ideological rival. Not to worry…

“We have to do a better job of cross-checking our information too, and that’s something that we want to do,” the mayor said.

De Blasio said he realized that agencies don’t often share information when he first took office four years ago.

“We tried to break down some of that, some of those silos, some of that separation, but we’ve got a lot more to do. So I think it’s a valid concern and I want to see how we can get those two agencies to be coordinating. Because if someone violated the rules, we want to get them. It’s as clear as that,” he said.

NY Post

Got it. Well it’s a good thing the co-mayor, the city council and the A.G. are focused now after the quasi-complicit honest graft sanctioning in not acknowledging Kushner Cos dishonest certification, weaponized construction and terrorizing tenants for over 5 years (and counting). It shouldn’t be that hard to draw up subpoenas or even a warrant to get that scrawny weasel Kushner to face the music in light of just recent allegations of his loan hookups totaling 500 mil with Citibank and Apollo Equity this month, the latter promising to get the CEO a job in the White House.

We, specifically all those under the daily passively menacing threat of displacement and disenfranchisement by Kushner Co’s and their yearly overlooked predatory peers and bush league amateurs engaging in the same nefarious acts, shall see.

And I didn’t even get to NYCHA’s current derelict bullshit yet.

 

 

 

 

The Oligarch Welfare Bill

https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/9785531/871814086.jpg.jpgWith god on their side, Speaker Ryan and Senator McConnell in a moment of solemn praise for growing wealth disparity. Say your prayers, nation and society.

Washington D.C., The Cesspool By The Potomac, U.S.A.

“The city of Washington was built on a stagnant swamp some 200 years ago, and very little has changed. It stank then, and it stinks now. Only today, it is the fetid stench of corruption that hangs in the air” 

Lisa Simpson

“Cash rules everything around me, CREAM get the money, dollar dollar bill y’all”

Method Man

The “Tax Cut and Jobs Act”, this abominable bill to further continue the repatriation of wealth that has been going on for over 30 years is a virtual death sentence and double taxation on the citizenry of this nation. Unless anyone in the middle and lower classes wins the state lottery or avoids injury or sickness, in 10 years they will be more responsible maintaining the solvency of this country and it’s budget than all the greedy misers it is solidly ascertained to benefit.

This is a budget plan for corporate and inheritance welfare that no one is confident in. No one that counts anyway according to the Senate leader, House speaker, Figurehead Trump and his plutocabinet, which consists of the Tax Policy Center and about 70% of the people of this nation who are aware of this circle jerking by the donor money whoring GOP members of the legislative and the current executive branch.

You think after the last national tax cuts passed with bipartisan approval from the 80’s and 90’s, and the truly irresponsible hazardous ones from 2001, 2003 and the one approved a year after the bailout of the banks in 2009, which was one of the greatest acts of unacknowledged socialism since the New Deal, that these ultra successful corporations and beneficiaries of personal wealth would feel somewhat content with what they have achieved and earned with all the breaks they got. Fuck, no. You think that these people (including corporations, for they are considered individual persons) gave a shit if they were willing to spend so much money on lobbyists influencing legislation to install loopholes and donating to dutiful congressional whores instead of using that cash to give dutiful raises to their employees? Fuck, no.

The gargantuan cut to repatriating money from offshore bank accounts placed there by corporations is supposedly to encourage them to use the savings to create jobs here. So with these obscene tax cuts, will there be raises, better health plans and retirement benefits for all their efforts, eliminating the need for a nationwide raise of the minimum wage to $15 and universal coverage? Fuck no, either. Will all that money they will save legally evading their fair share of taxes go towards innovation or opening up new facilities for manufacturing products like clothes? Fuck no, either. For all that money will continue to stay put in their personal portfolios and accounts, only now they will keep the money in the basements of their sprawling mansions. Hell, they might just be able to build actual poolside banks of their own to keep their government sanctioned ill-gotten gains in and the money they will save on a p.o. box in a hut on some island resort. As the working poor will continue to live check to check and the middle class will continue to struggle to maintain themselves and accrue their own savings.

According to the authors of this bill, these cuts will pay off in the long run with all the new business it’s prospected to generate. What is not prospected by these jackasses is the inevitable burdens this will place on the people and their livelihoods it’s proclaimed to help. What is not prospected is the immediate effect it will have on the people, who vote but don’t donate, on the deleterious effects on their health insurance programs, their ability to own a home or rent, and what will happen when they are aged and unable to work.

It doesn’t even take into account on what happens when the affordable care act gets repealed, which will give millions of people a virtual death sentence lead to a jump in mortality rates. Or even how the future military conflicts, which might include a new world war induced by the idiotic social media insulting by Figurehead Trump and his catastrophic stupid executive order determining Jerusalem as the sole capital city of Israel, will affect the oligarch welfare tax cut. But the small mega-moneyed population doesn’t want to pay taxes for their vast personal property and foreign investments.

And they certainly don’t want to pay for their other properties in coastal cities and metropolises in New York and California, via the cuts for pass-through companies like LLC’s that consist of partners unnamed and unverified and foreign, which have been wholly responsible for the spread of rampant gentrification of them and the elimination of state and local tax deductions for it’s citizens. These new profits will come at the expense of street infrastructure and transit services, law enforcement, fire prevention and public education, which will certainly be vulnerable for privatization.

The obvious beneficiary and most important to our leader Trump, is that all these cuts will benefit him and his brand (though both are not mutually exclusive), his businesses and his family. Making this look like the brazen quid pro quo between this president and the GOP hacks that disgruntledly backed him last year after all the disparagement he gave them. It looks like their masochism paid off.

This bill if verified will have the most detrimental impact on the nation and it’s citizens since the Patriot Act, which has dwindled the freedoms entitled to everyone in the first and fourth amendments and has not stopped or discouraged terrorism at all and like this oligarch welfare bill, was rushed into legislation and approved without a thorough reading. But at least that didn’t have chicken scratch revisions to it placed just hours before convening to vote on it.

https://i2.wp.com/static3.businessinsider.com/image/5a21ee6ef914c31f008b789c-906/screen%20shot%202017-12-01%20at%2070525%20pm.png

This is less legible than the letter Navin Johnson got from Bernadette Peters in The Jerk, which in his case he had difficulty reading because his dog Shithead gave it to him while he was taking a bath.

Besides, according to two sniveling senators, you should take responsibility and be more frugal. Sen. Chuck Grassley advises the people, which includes his constituents, to avoid spending money on booze, women and movies. For leisures like those can only be enjoyed by his moneyed donors and trust fund babies, which they will be able to partake more in with all the extra money being doled back to them to enable their frivolous spending habits.

This 500 page abomination is nothing but a government sanctioned Ponzi Scheme. For the multi-trillion dollar plan to be funded, it has to rely on induced investment monies extracted from the paychecks of the current workforce, then the future workforce once they get old and retire, depriving them of their hard earned money that would have went to pay for college debts and/or expensive health plans. And in the next 10 years their paychecks as retired people dependent on the social security and medicare that they invested in by working all their lives to enhance more obscene personal wealth for oligarchs and their heirs and the avaricious executives of multinational corporations and their shareholders.

Most of all, Trump and his family and his oligarch peers make off like the bandits they are. As their long time American Dreams, which will by law become a luxury, for collective wealth concentration will become infinite.  And no one will be able to do a fucking thing. Even a true revolution would be thwarted, because they will have the finances to own their own police and military. Which in the case of Figurehead Trump, he already has with the votes of you, the people. 

Essentially, it’s a domestic attack on everyone and the nation, not immediate like being attacked by a foreign enemy looming on the horizon, but a gradually slow disemboweling of people’s personal dwindling finances. It is plain and simple economic fascism. In a way, the oligarch welfare bill is sort of like how that hypothetical question given at polls of what would you do if you just a got a million dollars, except it’s billions over time with the help of a compliant congress of spineless beggars. The answer is clearly “I got mine”, because is if this piece of shit bill does pass, those whores who are in congress and the senate certain to lose their seats by the screwed over voters would not even give a shit because they will be set for life via their investments and personal fortunes, which they had no trouble building while remaining in their elected positions. These tax cuts will give them absolute finality to retire in tax payer funded comfort.

If “It’s A Wonderful Life”‘s Mr. Potter, the biggest symbol of selfishness, corruption and avarice, was still alive or even real, he would be doing donuts in his wheelchair all over the snow covered streets. Just like all those certainly to benefit for the next decade will do in their new private jets and yachts.

Wrath Of The Scumlords: NYCHA Takes Responsibility For Misleading Lead Reports By Making Their Tenants Lives Difficult And Propagandizing And Flattering Commissioner Olatoye, Two Queens Town’s Gentrifications Gives Affordable Rent Tenants The Heave-Ho, A 100-Year-Old Woman Getting Pressured To Leave While Incapacitated, And A Guy Convicted By A Judge Of Being An All Around And Actual Scumlord

https://i2.wp.com/www.asafehome.net/SiteGraphics/SMII_BrokenDoorwDeadbolt.jpg Left to right: dramatization of breaking a lock for lead prevention, the “Lead Lady” Shoya Olatoye, senior citizen and tenant Justa Lopez placed on notice, convicted criminal landlord/developer Daniel Melamud.

Looks like the folks at NYCHA and probably their purveyors at city hall might be taking their jobs seriously now after last week’s revelation of covering up bogus lead inspections and infinite other oversights. And they are not showing a millimeter of class about it.

After appointing a redundant position to assure accountability, for real this time, Shoya and her new crack committee decided to take immediate yet invasive action for actual lead inspections by breaking the locks if no one is home at the time. Leading to new aggravation and inconvenience for the suffering tenants who will certainly be at work or picking up kids at school, for this effort will mostly be done mid-afternoon. Also obviously for more costs with replacing locks and making new keys. Though it’s not certain if some deduction from tenants rents will be considered from this moronic bureaucratic decision, as if the year of neglecting to do federal ordered inspections isn’t enough of a price to pay. Or even if the people they hired are even certified professionals, for it turns out that NYCHA did not even vet the contractors assigned to inspect and repaint the units. Fucking grave.

As NYCHA is now a functioning entity on lead extraction, instead of previously being an optical one, they actually have been quite active on asbestos removal. And just has reckless and irresponsible as the agency’s recent approach on lead, as evidenced at the Seward Park Houses on the Lower East Side by the FDR drive. As the contractors they hired for the toxic removal placed contaminant tents on the project’s playground, exactly right next to the jungle gym and a slide, denying the kids of tenants a safe place to have fun for the last 3 months and certainly for the rest of their remaining childhood

Asbestos huts in a dilapidated playground at the Seward Houses. Sick and twisted.

This is absolutely deranged. And it looks like those playthings need a lead inspection and repainting itself, for it looks like it hasn’t been upgraded in a decade. With this revolting development here, this spot looks like prime bait for the odious NextGen plan to take  unused space like this and parking lots for future development of new buildings with market rate rentals with help from the private real estate industry. Which is naturally the case here, as is NextGen being a program for city sanctioned plunder of government property for predator developers.

While this irresponsible misuse of an public funded amenity is outrageous, NYCHA’s asbestos abatement process is standard procedure.

There’s a lot more where this came from, check out this woman’s youtube channel, she’s got over a dozen more documented flagrant offenses and NYCHA cruelty and brazenness. This building, which is in the super trendy world fascination destination Brooklyn™ makes it seem that Steve Croman, Jared Kushner or Daniel Malemud was running NYCHA. (Yeah, who’s Malemud, you’ll see at the end).

Well, it looks like the Commish is starting to feel the pangs of shame from the general public, mostly from the poor, demanding her termination despite the arrogant, obstinate orders from Day Mayor de Faustio demanding that she remain in her undeserved post. And even from the deluded Ms Olatoye herself, who absolutely has not learned a fucking thing, for she has just summoned her staffers to distribute a hilarious petition letter to the suffering tenant associations for them to sign to advocate for her to remain at her job, as she is about to face the city council in a few days:


A blind person can see the defensive nature of this petition. This letter might be the first of it’s kind that was actually commandeered by an executive instead of the normal protocol which involves actual community participation. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty fucking demented. What does Shoya via the petition mean by we? The royal we, maybe.

With this obnoxious self-preservation letter NYCHA again finds the funds, in spite of being $17 billion dollars in debt and being forced to seek the aid of the real estate overlords, to piss away on bureaucratic bullshit instead of making their buildings habitable and depriving the civil and civic rights and peace of mind of it’s residents. As is wont of the perpetually troubled and corrupt agency, for with the dispatching of actual lobbyists at the bidding of Shoya it falls directly in line for their historic usage of lawyers commissioned to boot tenants out into the streets. A NY Daily News story from 2013 showed that NYCHA under the direction of asshole technocrat John Rhea spent as much money and hiring on lawyers (8 million plus at the time for 98 lawyers), that you and their poor tenants they hassled paid for, than they spent on bricklayers (6 million plus at time at a total of 65 workers). And roofers (2 million plus for 29 workers) and exterminators (3.8 million for 90 workers) combined. Surely this is a big factor in the decrepit and decaying conditions of these publicly funded buildings and the ongoing deliberate attempts to dissuade poor citizens from living there.

The crazy lady commissioner apparently is cognizant of the reaming she is going to get even from the self-serving hacks of the city council. The majority of electeds are looking for her removal and it syncs well with prominent members looking to extend their terms in another voter referendum, the third time it’s been considered and a sound trashing would make for great optics among voters, if they show up of course. Despite that, she still has got to go. And go down hard.

Meanwhile in Astoria and Long Island City in Queens, rent-stabilized tenants have been under duress from their stingy and avaricious proprietors for over a year, driven by the hyped cachet and hyperdevelopment in those respective towns and exorbitant rent speculation/fabrication in both. A fire that engulfed the L.I.C. building that forced section 8 tenants to take up shelter with their relatives as the city-ordered repairs and renovations continued to be delayed by the building’s owners, conveniently keeping them away.

The rent-regulated building in Astoria is another quite sordid affair as the tenants there have been in constant battle with a proclaimed Christian non-profit that has ran the building for quite some time now wants to kick all of them out so they can run the place as a homeless shelter. In a morbid twist of irony, the group known as NYSUM, the  claims that they are not making enough money to sustain affordable housing there and would do better if they just house the homeless, which current city policies have turned into a profitable quasi-industry. Just ask some certain hoteliers. To do this, which NYSUM has been doing for almost a year and a half, they have relied on less measured predatory tactics like disconnecting free wifi and hardcore ones like tearing up a garden the tenants cared for and sending goons under the non-profits name to intimidate the tenants.

The tenants there have been persistent and have been able to remain. Unfortunately so is NYSCUM who served them eviction notices. The evil being dealt by the pseudo-Christian group cannot even be measured considering that the people that they are disenfranchising from their homes will certainly be homeless with nowhere to go because of the lunatic market rate induced on their town, and clearly will not be invited back despite being qualified for the non-profits purported mission because of their forced status. That they are causing. NYSCUM is more like it.

In another case of savage cruelty and contempt for the aged, Justa Lopez, a 100-year-old woman and resident of this city for 70 years, received an eviction notice from her landlord accusing her of not being present at her residence even though she got injured from the uneven floor she walks on. If the building management would have repaired the damaged surface they would have noticed her presence, so it seems that refusing service to her is another way, another cheap underhanded tactic to not acknowledge her existence and a deliberate criminal way to gradually force her out. And with her time away from her home getting healed at a nursing home makes her tenancy status conveniently untenable, giving the landlords fabrications of her convalescence at a nursing home then her daughter’s house as an extra residency a warped and technically legal justification to deny to return to her rent-stabilized apartment on the upper east side.

In a little bit of good news and rare justice being served. A landlord tormenting rent-stabilized tenants in a building he ran in Crown Heights in an brutal and common practice attempt to spread gentrification by refusing to turn on heat and gas and doing environmentally hazardous gut renovations on empty apts. of the tenants he bought off causing contaminants to spread throughout the building in daily clouds of lead, got thrown in the slammer for his egregious and nefarious dirty deeds which included grand larceny and forgery for creating shell companies to buy more properties and flip them for profits (sound familiar, Bill? you recall Rivington House?) and falsifying applications to get loans from H.U.D. (sound familiar, Shoya and you too Bill?).

The NY Post determined this vile man with a vile plan guilty plea as a admission of being an unadulterated scumbag. Which if one can humblebrag is a validation of my term for this kind of lowlife and bag of dicks and shit assembled and stitched in human form.

The scumlord phenomenon and scourge might just catch on, and it damn well should to cure the affordability crisis pandemic and give NYCHA executives and this fucking mayor a sense of shame in perpetuity as long as these unnecessary conditions continue for the real affordable housing plan in the 5 boroughs.

 

 

 

The BQX Trolley Car Is Here, So This Line Is Getting Built Regardless

#FuckNo!!! (photo by Gabriella Bass, NY Post)

Brooklyn, New York

A day after the same newspaper reported that the ground transit line was going absolutely nowhere, this thing arrived from France.

Despite an outright vehement rejection from the communities of Queens and Brooklyn, civic and economic experts, and frustrated drivers on the streets where this thing will pass through, this thing and the low-ball estimate 2.5 billion dollar plan that will fuck up these areas for the next half decade or maybe more is obviously being greenlighted no matter what. This must be part of the mandate the mayor was talking about.

This thing is happening even though there was a short film that thoroughly pointed out the negative ramifications on the citizenry and businesses, and stupidity of this unnecessary service, which can be less costly supplanted by providing more buses and more cops to direct traffic at the busiest intersections.

 

Even though the stupid mayor with his stupid feud with Cuomo and Albany will not get this support or funding, stemming surely from the city and state rescue plan the Day Mayor doesn’t want to be involved with. Mostly this stupid collective of minstrels, these friends of the BQX, doing the bidding of predatory developers that want this pretty joyride are not going to stop pushing this because they wasted so much money promoting it and so much money buying city hall to get it on the E.D.C.’s agenda.

This is getting built no matter what. This is getting built at the expense of the daily deteriorating service and infrastructure of the transit system, including the city buses. This is getting built without any projections on how the trolley is going to run or even the effect on the environment of the towns, roads and even highways that the next 5 years or more of construction it’s going to cause. This is being built despite it being on flood zones because of rising sea levels caused by the continuing extreme effects of climate change (I thought these progressive folk where believers of this topic). And there will probably take a new bridge to build also or modernization of the Pulaski Bridge, for this line traverses a creek on the border of the boroughs.

https://i0.wp.com/weheartastoria.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Brooklyn-Queens-Streetcar-Proposal-Map-NYC.jpg

This is being built because real estate owns this city and they own the fauxgressive mayor and city council. Thanks to de Faustio and the apathy, cynicism, ignorance and fear from the voting public.

This shit is being built regardless of what you want, don’t want and what you think. This will probably be officially announced without notice like the city does with homeless shelters or even a four month public art installation.

This thing is nothing but another marketing toy for the Gentrification Industrial Complex. Including the lame ferry and road shrinking bike lanes.

Hopefully, and there is a scant amount of hope these days, this will get struck down hard because of the aforementioned rejection by the areas’ residency and of course by the vindictive governor, which strange enough both happen to be right in this. Unfortunately more money, millions of it, is going to pissed away studying this as it was last year in addition of doing outreach and advertising in free borough weekly papers.

It doesn’t mean that the frugal citizenry concerned have to stop condemning it though. Even though this boondoggle couldn’t be nipped at the bud, there is still the power of words to stop this bullshit from happening.

And even video snippets to convey the general sentiment about that trolley lying in wait at the Brooklyn Navy Yard:

Fuck the BQX. Fix the fucking subway and improve bus service NOW!

Update

The board chairwoman of the Friends of the BQX (and the enemies of the citizenry and efficient transit) is Jessica Schumer, daughter of hack Senate Minority Leader (and minor person) N.Y. Senator Chuck Schumer.

Another update:

The planners, friends, or whatever the fuck they are have cut the route in half and will no longer go to Sunset Park. Looks like the Gentrification Industrial Complex no longer sees any crass affordable luxury tower overdevelopment potential for the working class area.

 

 

 

Colluding Developer/Real Estate And Contracting Firms Ordered To Pay $76,000,000 To Workers In Money Laundering Conspiracy To Deny Their Complete Wages And Benefits.

https://previews.123rf.com/images/koya79/koya791305/koya79130500112/19776432-dollar-stacks-Stock-Photo-money-cash.jpg

NY Daily News: Union workers win $76M from Midtown construction firm that used alter-ego company to skirt collective bargaining

A Midtown construction company accused of creating a bogus business to avoid union wages and union benefit payments has to cough up $76 million to the workers it cheated.

In a decision with potentially far-reaching consequences for city developers, Manhattan Federal Court Judge Colleen McMahon found that Navillus Tile fraudulently invented an alter-ego company to try and get around collectively bargained agreements it had with several major city construction unions.

The company also had one of its legitimate offshoot businesses act as a Navillus stand-in on a job it wanted to do non-union, the ruling found.

The collusion also involved real estate giant Related, one of the city’s most prolific developers.

It knowingly engaged with one of the alter-ego companies on its Upper East Side luxury development on 92nd St., Judge McMahon’s ruling said.

In her scathing, 95-page ruling delivered late Thursday after a three-year court battle, McMahon said that Navillus’ founder, Donal O’Sullivan had “perjured himself” more than once and noted that another company principal was “obviously lying” in some testimony.

Her feelings were clear in the $76 million award — a massive hit for Navillus Tile.

The financial pain has to be carried by Navillus, which was the main generator of the alter-ego scam, but developer Related – which is currently doing the city’s Hudson Yards project — also played a role, the attorney noted.

The lengths certain people will go through to save a boatload of money in the name of progress or hyper-development, depending who you ask.

This lawsuit was filed 3 years ago when it was discovered that $35 million dollars never made it to the checks of their hard working employees. Navillus, a masonry company that usually gets 4 to 5 star ratings, shit on their workers and fucked them over despite the efficiency that gave them accolades. Related Properties, who run some of the biggest commercial and residential buildings in Manhattan and tonier parts of the outer boroughs, saw nothing at all wrong with partaking with Navillus in laundering the workers hard earned pay through 2 bogus firms with bland and downright stupid names so they can employ and underpay desperate immigrant workers and thought they were shrewd enough to fool them and their union lawyers. Really, Time Square Construction?

And for what cause. Instead of paying them the 35 million they earn and nefariously stealing it, now they are out an extra 41 million and who knows how much more to their counselors trying to defend their stupid grand theft scheme. It’s amazing that these fiends have this much money and reputation to burn.

But they and the city, especially the DOB, doesn’t care because the city has to keep improving. Every little crack on the sidewalk is prime real estate ready for taking and laying mortar, steel and glass up to the skies. Tower building is arguably the only manufacturing the city has done in the past decade and a half. Governor Andy didn’t give them those skyscraper welfare tax abatements just for his developer donor overlords to do nothing.

The sick thing about this criminal conspiracy is the fact that apparently no one from Navillus or Related will go to damn jail and serve 5 to 10 years, which I presume would be the same amount of time that some poor schmuck or recidivist would get if they tried to hold up a bodega or deny people their collective bargaining rights and steal their wages and funnel it through bogus shell companies. I guess because they have contributed so much and continue to add to the hyper-development of the city that these two corporations are too big to fail also. For they are involved in the construction of the massive Hudson Yards mini-metropolis and other city affordable housing mixed-use tower projects and government buildings.

It’s a terrible predicament with the over-saturation of development suffocating the city, but at least the people building it will get paid in full. It be a lot better if these executives would see a bit of divine justice and get indicted, imprisoned and clad in orange jumpsuits along the way. And maybe the old ball and chain for these greedhead executive assholes to approximate the toll the body takes building their behemoths.