The Briefly for November 19, 2019 – The “Is The Rent Finally Too Damn High?” Edition

No one buys Bloomberg’s remorse, the opening of the new Milk Bar, Midtown BINGO, what to do if you find a coyote in Central Park, and more in today’s daily NYC news digest

A Midtown BINGO card, to make going to Midtown only slightly less terrible. (Gothamist)

There are signs that, to quote Jimmy McMillan, “the rent is too damn high.” The volume of apartments for rent has increased for the fourth month in a row, raising the vacancy rate across the city. (amNewYork)

Got 100 years? That’s all it’ll take the average New Yorker to save up enough money to buy a home here. (Patch)

Chef Amanda Cohen, best known for Dirt Candy on the LES, is unveiling Lekka, a new restaurant. The main event is a new veggie burger. The entire restaurant, including the name, has a South African influence. Lekka opens today. (Grub Street)

The globes on the Manhattan Bridge are coming back as part of a $75.9 million rehabilitation of the bridge. (Untapped New York)

Video: One of the three new Staten Island ferries getting launched into the water. The first is expected in the city in August. (Untapped New York)

The MTA is not known for being gentle, and their work in the 86th Street R station in Bay Ridge is no exception. Renovations have damaged the station’s historic tile work, which dates back over a century. (The Brooklyn Home Reporter)

Martin McDonagh’s dark drama about a British executioner “Hangmen” is coming to Broadway with previews in February. “Hangmen” won the Olivier Award for best new play in 2016 in London. (NY Times)

No one is buying Michael Bloomberg’s “remorse” over stop-and-frisk. (The Root)

Holiday pop-up bar season has come for us all. (Eater)

Here come the holiday markets. (6sqft)

There’s a parent-led concerted effort going on in District 15 to integrate their middle schools and the results are encouraging. District 15 covers Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Sunset Park, Cobble Hill and Windsor Terrace. (Gothamist)

Don’t believe the NY Post when it comes to the city’s supervised release program. Despite the headlines, the city doesn’t give everyone “gift cards, cell phones, and Mets tickets.” The supervised release program is in place to help ensure people make their court dates, and appearances have held steady at 88% when intake has increased over 50%. Pretty good track record. (Gothamist)

The Playboy Club is dead and changing into the Live Nation Theater at Cachet Hotel. Turns out not many people were interested in a $100,000 membership. (Brooklyn Vegan)

The boyhood home of Donald Trump was for sale in an auction and no one bid on it. Maybe if everyone puts in money we can buy it and throw a sledgehammer party to demolish it. (6sqft)

In tribute to the Diamond District, which sits on W 47th between Fifth and Sixth, “one of the last New York blocks left in Manhattan.” (Gothamist)

After being pressured to leave Bed-Stuy, Charlotte Taillor’s BDSM Collective and Domination School Taillor Group has settled into their home in Bushwick to host kink/BDSM workshops, self-defense classes, and private sessions, all of it legal. (Bushwick Daily)

Photos: Opening day at the new flagship Milk Bar, including the “neon hallway.” (Gothamist)

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams told the City Council’s Public Safety Committee Monday that they should pass a bill mandating the public release of NYPD body camera footage. (amNewYork)

Esquire’s list of the best new restaurants in America for 2019 is out and it includes NYC’s Rezdôra, Kawi, Oddo, Wayan, and Red Hook Tavern. (Patch)

The city is making a big push to offer services to the homeless in Outreach NYC, but the program is being met with skepticism. Yes, the outreach is improving, but the shelter system itself still has all of its own problems. (Gothamist)

Photos: The Brooklyn Botanical Garden unveiled its new Robert W. Wilson Overlook, which gives viewers a sweeping view of the Cherry Esplanade. (Curbed)

There have been more and more coyote sightings in Central Park. If you come across one, stay calm and try to avoid it. If it comes up to you, try to make yourself look bigger and make loud noises until it retreats. (Gothamist)

Pot arrests have dropped dramatically in the city, but the people arrested are still predominantly black and Hispanic, making up 90 percent of arrests last quarter. OF the 260 people arrested for possession, less than 20 were white. (Patch)

Ben Kallos, running for Manhattan Borough president, got a cease and desist from Marvel Comics for dressing up like Captain America in a recent political mailer. (Patch)

The death of 25-year-old Brooklynite Ola Salem, found in a wooded area of a Staten Island park, was ruled a homicide. (Gothamist)

The MTA is planning to renovate the 52nd Street, 61st Street, 69th, 82nd, 103st and 111th Street stations along the 7 line with renovations getting started in the second half of next year. (Jackson Heights Post)

The best burgers in the Upper West Side. (I Love The Upper West Side)

The Briefly for November 18, 2019 – The “Curiously Timed Stop & Frisk Change of Heart by Bloomberg” Edition

De Blasio opposes commercial rent control, the Lizzo of scones in Prospect Heights, Cuomo goes after the Proud Boys, a $350 axe, and more in today’s Daily NYC news digest.

This week’s late night subway disruptions are taking large chunks of the 4, 6, 7, A, D, E, L, and Q lines out of service. (Subway Weekender)

Mayor Bloomberg is “sorry” for supporting stop-and-frisk and the trust he lost from supporting it still bothers him. He has had a very opportune change of heart that timed coincidentally alongside his future-failed presidential run. (HuffPost)

Mayor Bloomberg marketed stop-and-frisk as a way to reduce crime by deterring it before it happened. Instead it was a policy of indirect racial profiling of young black and Latino and was used in an unconstitutional manner. (NY Times)

It was not lost on anyone that a majority of the families first in line for a recent open house were white and wealthy. They were some of the 500 parents paying $200 for a newsletter that gives them the advantage when it comes to high school tours and open houses. (NY Times)

Meet Ashley James, the Guggenheim’s first full-time black curator. (NY Times)

Is anyone surprised to find Mayor de Blasio siding with the real estate industry when it comes to commercial rent control? (Gothamist)

A look at the violent history of Randy Santos, the man arrested for killing four homeless men in Chinatown, and claims he remembers nothing from the night he was found with a bloody metal bar in hand and recorded on video making the attacks. (NY Times)

A look at Decolonize This Place, the activist group behind the viral videos of the NYPD arresting churro ladies and teens in the subways. (NY Times)

Today starts an official effort by City Council staffers to unionize over pay disparities, long hours, and low wages. (Politico)

Congestion pricing goes into effect in January of 2021, which isn’t a lot of time for the MTA’s board to get moving on getting the details of the program together. (Streetsblog)

“Crawl back into your hole, Bigot Boys — there’s no place for hate in our state.” Governor Cuomo may not be the best with insulting nicknames, but it’s good to see him telling the neo-fascist group the Proud Boys to go to hell on behalf of all New Yorkers. (amNewYork)

Of the city’s $20 billion in contracts to private businesses, only 4.9% of them went to minority- or women-owned businesses, which seems like an insanely low number. (amNewYork)

This week’s restaurants ordered closed by the Department of Health is relatively tame, but still unnerving. (Patch)

Three people were convicted of manslaughter in the 2015 East Village building explosion that killed two men and triggered by an illegally installed gas line. (amNewYork)

The head of the state’s Committee on Open Government, Bob Freeman, committed a series of inappropriate touching and sexual harassment according to a report from the state’s inspector general. He was fired in June. (Gothamist)

What the hell is anyone in New York City going to do with a $350 axe? No matter, now you can buy one in Williamsburg. (Bedford + Bowery)

Getting real-estate developers to create low-income housing was a fight, getting them to remove “poor doors” was a fight, and getting them to treat all their tenants equally is just as much a fight. (Gothamist)

15 great Caribbean restaurants around the city. (Eater)

An extension of LaGuardia Airport? A solar farm? Homes? Let the speculation on what replaces Rikers Island begin! (NY Times)

Brooklyn Bazaar is closing at the end of the month and is having a liquidation sale. (Brooklyn Vegan)

This review of MeMe’s Diner in Prospect Heights compares its pretzel scone to Lizzo, so take that as high praise. (Grub Street)

Maya Lin’s Eclipsed Time hung from the ceiling in Penn Station for 25 years and while I’ve lived in or near the the city for 100% of that time, I never once noticed it while making my way around the dreadful station. It’s been disassembled and stored off-site while renovations continue, perhaps one day to be noticed and appreciated. (Untapped New York)

Photos: The Penn Station renovations have uncovered some pieces of the original station, the Guastavino tiles and vaulted ceilings of a passageway that was sealed up in the 80s. (Gothamist)

Things are not going great in the contract talks between the MTA and transit union workers. No talks of a strike like in 2005 just yet, even if a strike is technically illegal. (amNewYork)

A guide to NYC’s casual Italian restaurants. (The Infatuation)

NYC’s 2019 Ballot Questions

Early voting begins October 26, 2019 and runs through November 3, 2019. Election day is November 5th.

Here are the 2019 ballot questions for NYC.

Check your voter registration.

Find your early voting and Election Day polling location.

Early voting begins October 26, 2019 and runs through November 3, 2019. Election day is November 5th.

BALLOT QUESTION # 1 – ELECTIONS

This proposal would amend the City Charter to:

Give voters the choice of ranking up to five candidates in primary and special elections for Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller, Borough President, and City Council beginning in January 2021. If voters still want to choose just one candidate, they can. A candidate who receives a majority of first-choice votes would win. If there is no majority winner, the last place candidate would be eliminated and any voter who had that candidate as their top choice would have their vote transferred to their next choice. This process would repeat until only two candidates remain, and the candidate with the most votes then would be the winner. This proposal would eliminate the separate run-off primary elections for Mayor, Public Advocate, and Comptroller;

Extend the time period between the occurrence of a vacancy in an elected City office and when a special election must be held to fill that vacancy. Special elections would generally be held 80 days after the vacancy occurs, instead of 45 days (for Public Advocate, Comptroller, Borough Presidents, and Council Members) or 60 days (for Mayor); and

Adjust the timeline of the process for drawing City Council district boundaries so that it is completed before City Council candidates start gathering petition signatures to appear on the ballot for the next primary elections. This process occurs every ten years.
Shall this proposal be adopted?

BALLOT QUESTION # 2 – CIVILIAN COMPLAINT REVIEW BOARD (CCRB)

This proposal would amend the City Charter to:
Increase the size of the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) from 13 to 15 members by adding one member appointed by the Public Advocate and adding one member jointly appointed by the Mayor and Speaker of the Council who would serve as chair, and to provide that the Council directly appoint its CCRB members rather than designate them for the Mayor’s consideration and appointment;

Require that the CCRB’s annual personnel budget be high enough to fund a CCRB employee headcount equal to 0.65% of the Police Department’s uniformed officer headcount, unless the Mayor makes a written determination that fiscal necessity requires a lower budget amount;

Require that the Police Commissioner provide the CCRB with a written explanation when the Police Commissioner intends to depart or has departed from discipline recommended by the CCRB or by the Police Department Deputy (or Assistant Deputy) Commissioner for Trials;

Allow the CCRB to investigate the truthfulness of any material statement that is made within the course of the CCRB’s investigation or resolution of a complaint by a police officer who is the subject of that complaint, and recommend discipline against the police officer where appropriate; and

Allow the CCRB members, by a majority vote, to delegate the board’s power to issue and seek enforcement of subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of records for its investigations to the CCRB Executive Director.

Shall this proposal be adopted?

BALLOT QUESTION #3 – ETHICS AND GOVERNANCE

This proposal would amend the City Charter to:
Prohibit City elected officials and senior appointed officials from appearing before the agency (or, in certain cases, the branch of government) they served in for two years after they leave City service, instead of the current one year. This change would be applicable to persons who leave elected office or City employment after January 1, 2022;

Change the membership of the Conflicts of Interest Board (COIB) by replacing two of the members currently appointed by the Mayor with one member appointed by the Comptroller and one member appointed by the Public Advocate;

Prohibit members of the COIB from participating in campaigns for local elected office, and reduce the maximum amount of money that members can contribute in each election cycle to the amounts that candidates can receive from those doing business with the City ($400 or less, depending on the office);
Require that the citywide director of the Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) program report directly to the Mayor and require further that such director be supported by a mayoral office of M/WBEs; and
Require that the City’s Corporation Counsel, currently appointed by the Mayor, also be approved by the City Council.

Shall this proposal be adopted?

BALLOT QUESTION #4 – CITY BUDGET

This proposal would amend the City Charter to:
Allow the City to use a revenue stabilization fund, or “rainy day fund,” to save money for use in future years, such as to address unexpected financial hardships. Changes to State law will also be needed for this rainy day fund to be usable;

Set minimum budgets for the Public Advocate and Borough Presidents. The budget for each office would be at least as high as its Fiscal Year 2020 budget adjusted annually by the lesser of the inflation rate or the percentage change in the City’s total expense budget (excluding certain components), unless the Mayor determines that a lower budget is fiscally necessary;

Require the Mayor to submit a non-property tax revenue estimate to the City Council by April 26 (instead of June 5). The Mayor may submit an updated estimate after that date, but must explain why the updated estimate was fiscally necessary if the update is submitted after May 25; and
Require that, when the Mayor makes changes to the City’s financial plan that would require a budget modification to implement, the proposed budget modification shall be submitted to the Council within 30 days.
Shall this proposal be adopted?

BALLOT QUESTION #5 – LAND USE

This proposal would amend the City Charter to:
For projects subject to the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), require the Department of City Planning (DCP) to transmit a detailed project summary to the affected Borough President, Borough Board, and Community Board at least 30 days before the application is certified for public review, and to post that summary on its website; and

Provide Community Boards with additional time to review ULURP applications certified for public review by DCP between June 1 and July 15, from the current 60-day review period to 90 days for applications certified in June, and to 75 days for applications certified between July 1 and July 15.

Shall this proposal be adopted?