Saturday, August 31, 2013

Peter King Is A Despicable Human Being And A Joke of A Congressman

Pete King Says Obama Is 'Abdicating His Responsibility' on Syria
I think the title sums it up. [EDIT: Of course the rare time I say that, and I had a typo in the post title :facepalm: -  But the point stands.]  What a complete and utter piece of garbage Peter King is.

"By making this statement, Mr. King, the former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, puts himself at odds with House GOP leadership, who released a joint statement praising Mr. Obama's announcement. "Under the Constitution, the responsibility to declare war lies with Congress," they said. "We are glad the president is seeking authorization for any military action in Syria in response to serious, substantive questions being raised.""
- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app

Electrifying Picture of Lady Liberty

Speaking of sending signals
Send us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses.  Oh, and by the way, we will bomb your country.
Speaking of sending signals
Speaking of sending signals by digby h/t @IncredibleViews
- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app

NYPL and Booz Allen Hamilton

The Hidden History of New York City's Central Library Plan | The Nation
An interesting read.  This mayoral election can't happen soon enough.  The Bloomberg culture is toxic. 
In January 2007, Booz Allen Hamilton was hired to assist the trustees with "the strategy." On February 7, the trustees went into executive session (the substance of which is never covered in the minutes) to discuss "certain real estate…matters." Booz Allen appears to have finished its work by May, because the board held two "special meetings" the following month (June 6 and June 28), at which the strategy was unveiled and discussed. (At this time, First Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris was told of it, and she and her colleagues expressed "initial enthusiasm." NYPL officials also met with Mayor Bloomberg in 2007.) At the first special meeting, Paul LeClerc, the NYPL's president from 1993 to July 2011, presented the "pillars" of the strategy. A crucial pillar entailed "transforming the Library's physical footprint"—bureaucratic language for the sale of NYPL real estate and the remaking of the 42nd Street library. But why would the NYPL want to sell its own real estate? Its leaders have insisted for two years that consolidation and efficiency were always the central ideas behind the CLP; the trustee minutes state in passing, and without elaboration, that the strategy was developed to address the library's "structural deficits." And so the NYPL decided, in the words of David Offensend, its powerful chief operating officer, on a plan of action that entailed the "monetizing of non-core assets." (The other pillars of the strategy included the strengthening of the NYPL's digital presence, "encouraging innovation" and "securing the Library's financial future.")
Shared from the Digg iPhone app:

Weekend Subway Service Advisories

Could it be? No notices for the F or G trains this weekend.

http://secondavenuesagas.com/2013/08/30/weekend-work-impacting-eight-subway-lines-kittens/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SecondAveSagas+%28Second+Ave.+Sagas+%7C+Blogging+the+NYC+Subways%29


Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Friday, August 30, 2013

Twittershop Gems

The world according to @darth
I've got to get off of Facebook and get with the Twitter.  Now to find my old password from 4 years ago.
*poster* RT @MikeIntaglietta: CC @darth RT @HayesBrown: John Lewis: National Treasure.
"Darth" is an pseudonymous Twitter user with a terrific sense of humor, a loyal and highly interactive following, and a special gift for fast, funny, topical, reference-heavy, and often bespoke Photos…
- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app
Want more stories like this? Check out Digg Reader →


Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Two More Polls Put deBlasio In 1st

Two New Polls Put de Blasio in Lead, Quinn in Third
And Quinn at 17% in each of them.  Nice to be vindicated on this point.  The incessant press coverage of Quinn as prohibitive frontrunner, which was never true, really grated on me last year.
Two more polls have Public Advocate Bill de Blasio far ahead of his Democratic rivals less than two weeks before the primary--with former front-runner Christine Quinn now lagging in third. According to a new New York Times/Siena College poll out this morning, Mr. de Blasio is now head-and-shoulders above his rivals, with 32 percent of the vote. Former Comptroller Bill Thompson and Ms. Quinn appear to be fighting it out to for a slot in the expected run-off, with Mr. Thompson at 18 percent and Ms. Quinn at 17 percent.
Let's put the Bloomberg era behind us once and for all.  No fourth term for Quinnberg.

Bloomberg Era Waste and Incompetence, Yankee Edition

Soccer Club's Latest Stadium Proposal Would Give the Yankees a New Neighbor - NYTimes.com
Heckuva job, Bloomie, Doctoroff and NYCEDC:
It will not be easy for the club to put the Bronx site together. Sitting on the parcel under consideration is a parking garage for Yankee Stadium that is run by a troubled nonprofit, the Bronx Parking Development Company. In April, the company defaulted on a $237 million civic bond.The soccer club would have to strike a deal with the parking company that would compensate it for the garage and put it on more solid financial footing.
Why, it seems like just yesterday we were squandering tax dollars to build that utterly unnecessary and expensive parking garage.  And now we'll tear it down.  Prosperity!  And the EDC is STILL pushing for unnecessary parking in their projects.  This election can't happen soon enough. 

Rutgers vs. Fresno St. Season Opener

I only made it through the first half - a 10:30 start on a school night is pretty brutal for us old timers.  A heartbreaker of a loss at 52-51 in OT, and if I stayed up for that I'd be considering hari kari.  Nevertheless - what a game.  It looks like this is going to be a good season for the Scarlet Knights.  Feeling good about our prospects this year.

In related news, Union Grounds on Smith Street (between Sackett and Degraw) is a good spot to catch a game.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Latest Snowden Leak: The Black Budget

U.S. spy network's successes, failures and objectives detailed in 'black budget' summary - The Washington Post
$500 Billion spent on spy agencies since 9/11.  And not a single word of public debate. Until now.


NSA Security Is Ridiculously Poor

Edward Snowden Accused of Pretending to Be Top NSA Officials
Damage a 12?  These asshats should be thanking god that Snowden exposed their preposterously bad security before some foreign government mole got in and cranked it up to infinity.
"The NSA still isn't exactly sure about what Edward Snowden knows, but one former U.S. intelligence official told NBC News, "The damage, on a scale of 1 to 10, is a 12." Anonymous officials also said, according to a new report, that Snowden, while working as a system administrator at Booz Allen, "borrowed the identities of users with higher level security clearances to grab sensitive documents," and that the ongoing forensic investigation "has already identified several instances where Snowden borrowed someone else's user profile to access documents.""

It's A Slam Dunk!

General Idris' Close Watch on Assad's CW

In the George Tenet sense.  If Obama attacks Syria it will be his undoing.  I hope he's not so spineless he'll allow himself to be bullied into another illegal and disastrous war. 

"8 days after an attack they say they're certain came from Assad loyalists, the intelligence community says it doesn't know where all the CW are, doesn't know who controls it all, and has questions about whether rebels seized (or took) CW after they were moved into place by Syrian forces. With that in mind, I want to return to the stunning report from NBC last night that casually quotes General Salim Idris, head of the Free Syrian Army, claiming he has "sources" in Assad's inner circle."

http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/08/29/general-idris-close-watch-on-assads-cw/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=general-idris-close-watch-on-assads-cw

- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app
Want more stories like this? Check out Digg Reader →



Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Vision: Future NYC Subway v2

Oh, yes.  Oh, yum yum yum.

I could dwell on this vision for the future of the NYC subway system all day long.  Unfortunately I have work to do.  But feast your eyes on a vision of the future in Vignelli style maps with narrative.

There is a lot of fodder for discussion with elected officials and mass transit planners.  Now if only we were governed by people who prioritized building things here, instead of blowing things up overseas.  For the price of Iraq we could have built everything on this map plus interstate high speed rail with money left over for skittles and ponies.

Judge Orders A Constructive Trust For LICH

Hands Off, SUNY: Brooklyn Judge Puts LICH Property in a 'Constructive Trust'
More positive developments:
"Supreme Court Justice Carolyn Demarest has imposed "a constructive trust for the benefit of the Othmer Endowment Fund" on all of Long Island College Hospital's (LICH's) real estate currently in control of SUNY Downstate. According to the Brooklyn Eagle, this type of trust is meant to transfer property to "the rightful owner." This could be the first step towards righting a terrible wrong -- the looting of a trust set up by a local wealthy couple to benefit LICH. In her ruling, Justice Demarest reminded SUNY that funds previously "borrowed" in 2000, 2006 and 2011 from the Othmer Endowment Fund at LICH must be restored by SUNY/ LICH."
- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

New Quinipiac Poll Shows deBlasio With A Commanding Lead

You know how I feel about polls - grain of salt, yadda yadda.

But this is nothing if not encouraging:
With 13 days until the primary election, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio surges ahead of the Democratic pack for New York City mayor with 36 percent of likely voters, close to the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. 
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is at 21 percent, with 20 percent for former City Comptroller William Thompson, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner has 8 percent of likely Democratic primary voters, with 6 percent for City Comptroller John Liu, 1 percent for former Council member Sal Albanese and 8 percent undecided. 

Now, a year ago I couldn't tell you with certainty who would win the primary.  But what was always obvious to people actually paying attention was the gross overstatement of Chris Quinn's support. 

New Design For Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6

The latest schematic for Pier 6.
No time frame reported that I noticed, and nothing that blows my socks off, but I'm looking forward to some more park.  And it beats the salt marsh they were originally proposing for the site.  From the Brooklyn Eagle:
BBP honchos unveiled design drawings at a Community Board 2 meeting Monday night – revealing plans for an inviting piece of parkland where visitors will sit or stroll, with a vast lawn, generous helpings of shade trees and a big field of meadow flowers.
Its most dramatic feature is a triangular wood-covered platform that lifts off from a corner of the pier at the water's edge like a barely tethered magic carpet. At its high point, the platform rises 17-and-a-half feet, offering a vantage point to take in killer views of the Lower Manhattan skyline.

Chemical Weapons and The Passive Voice

Cruise Killing on the Passive Voice
If they had a solid case against Assad they would not be using such weaselly language.  Later, we'll get to "mistakes were made".  This is a fool's errand, and if Obama goes down this road it will be his undoing.
Before I lay out the chronology of the road to war against Syria, check out the language National Security Advisor Susan Rice used to blow off the UN investigation. Ms. Rice sent the email to Ms. Pow…
- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app

Stop and Frisk Rate Down As Much As 75% From Q1 2012

The NYPD Is Stopping and Frisking a Lot Less These Days
And yet violent crime continues to fall.  Glorious Leader Mike Bloomberg and Generalissimo Ray Kelly had to torture the numbers to trump up any correlation at all.  Stop and frisk is a fraudulent disgrace and an inexusable abuse, and that will be the legacy of Mike Bloomberg. 

But that sort of misses the point that both crime and stop-and-frisk are declining simultaneously. And those who study police work can't find a provable link to stop-and-frisk as a crime reducer.
The NYPD Is Stopping and Frisking a Lot Less These Days
"But that sort of misses the point that both crime and stop-and-frisk are declining simultaneously. And those who study police work can't find a provable link to stop-and-frisk as a crime reducer."
- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app

Pants On The Ground, Pants On The Ground

Robber Literally Caught With His Pants Around Ankles
Lookin' like a fool with your pants on the ground.
Joel Donaldson got himself arrested and unintentionally vindicated the more crotchety elements of our society when his attempt to flee police was foiled by his saggy pants. The 21-year-old allegedly p…
- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

mcbrooklyn: The Difference Between Quinn and de Blasio, and Why the New York Times Is Out of Touch

McBrooklyn weighs in on the Times endorsements:
Yeah, why bother? Quinn may not have much of a vision for the city or plans to improve the lot of the ever-expanding poor or the real middle class (not that $400,000-a-year-middle-class the Times aims at), "but neither has she made a long list of unrealistic promises," the Times says. She may be in the pocket of real estate interests, and may support Ray Kelly's scorched-earth policing policies, but what do we expect in a diminished city?
According to the NY Times, the era of getting things done that benefit all New Yorkers is over. Because it's just too hard.

As world prepares to act on Syria, Russia scrambles to apply brake - CSMonitor.com

Why does it take a Russian diplomat to state the obvious?  Why are we incapable of having this kind of discussion in our national media?
"To us, it looks as though [George W.] Bush, [Dick] Cheney and [Donald] Rumsfeld never left the White House. [...] It's basically the same policy, as if US leaders had learned nothing and forgotten nothing in the past decade. They want to topple foreign leaders they regard as adversaries, without even making the most basic calculations of the consequences. An intervention in Syria will only enlarge the area of instability in the Middle East and expand the scope of terrorist activity. I am at a complete loss to understand what the US thinks it is doing."


Hamptons McMansions Herald a Return of Excess - NYTimes.com

The Second Gilded Age continues apace, after a brief hiccup, while wealth and income inequality continues to skyrocket:

But many Hamptons-goers were wary of flagrant spending, out of either anxiety or decorum. So, Porsche and yacht sales slowed. High-rolling holders of black American Express cards tossed them around less frequently. And the practice in nightclubs of offering V.I.P. treatment to those willing to buy bottle service — entire bottles of alcohol, at a huge markup — fell out of favor, a development marked by the 2009 closing of the Southampton club that was known for it, Pink Elephant.Now local Porsche and yacht sales are climbing once again, and Pink Elephant reopened this summer in East Hampton offering Methuselah (six-liter) bottles of Dom Pérignon for $30,000. It is not just a novelty; the club's co-owner David Sarner said Pink Elephant had sold "a few" this season, and many more "trains" of smaller Dom Pérignon bottles for as much as $8,000. "It was a bit lean for a couple of years in the Hamptons," Mr. Sarner said in an interview, acknowledging that the term is relative. "There's this at least perception that we're doing a lot better than perhaps we were, so people are freer to spend money because they're being psychologically conditioned with the highs in the market."
33 years of relentless, one-sided class warfare has certain perks for the winners.

On Syria

Penny Lou Pingleton, You Are Absolutely, Positively, Permanently Punished
Using American military force is not only reckless, destructive and foolhardy - it will not solve anything or please anybody.  

There are two audiences for our actions here: Assad and the neocon warmongers. The former is in a fight to the death. How do you punish someone who is seeking a victory at any cost? Lobbing a few bombs in his general direction won't do much unless he's hit by one of them. The warmongers want a fucking war, and sending over a few cruise missiles is like giving a starving man a couple of peanuts. McCain and Graham are looking for the full meal deal, and this ain't it.
I feel like I'm trapped in a Twilight Zone episode where we keep repeating the same awful mistakes and no one ever learns.

Let Me Explain Why Miley Cyrus’ VMA Performance Was Our Top Story This Morning | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

Twerkin' hard, or hardly twerkin?

The Onion nails it yet again.
So, as managing editor of CNN.com, I want our readers to know this:
All you are to us, and all you will ever be to us, are eyeballs. The
more eyeballs on our content, the more cash we can ask for. Period.
And if we're able to get more eyeballs, that means I've done my job,
which gets me congratulations from my bosses, which encourages me to
put up even more stupid bullshit on the homepage.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Brad Lander: Make Outside Political Expenditures More Transparent

Councilman Proposes Cigarette-Style Warnings on Independent PAC Ads
You can bet your life that the big money in this city, the REBNY and other moneyed interests are spending a small fortune to elect a Mayor friendly to their interests, be it Christine Quinn or Joe Lhota.  They'll be pulling out all the stops to try to prevent a man of the people from running New York . . . and they'll be doing it furtively, in the dark, wrapped in corporate secrecy.  Brad Lander wants you to know what they're up to.

Another good initiative from our local Councilmember.  You'd be hard pressed to find a more effect representative in NYC.

A mock independent expenditure warning. (Photo: Councilman Lander's office.) City Councilman Brad Lander is looking to rein in exploding expenditures from super PAC-like groups with proposed new legi…
- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app
Want more stories like this? Check out Digg Reader →


Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Rails To Trails To Rails

The Cap'n has a list of 5 rail trails that ought to go back to rail.  While I do appreciate a good walking/cycling trail, mass transit is the greater good when it comes to these pre-assembled rights-of-way.

And don't even think about wasting park money on a "Queensway".  Put some trains back on that route for the transit-starved residents of Queens.

Eliminate Minimum Parking Requirements

Kill Parking Minimums
This can not be repeated enough.  It is against code to build a Carroll Gardens or a Park Slope or a Cobble Hill today. That is insane policy.
I know most of you don't care about these types of subjects at all, but parking minimums make it illegal to build urban hellholes even in urban hellholes. You don't need to have giant skyscrapers to h…
- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app

Journalists Against Journalism

NYT's David Carr on Wikileaks and the journalists who hate them
David Carr has a great piece in the NYT. 
If the revelations about the N.S.A. surveillance were broken by Time, CNN or The New York Times, executives there would already be building new shelves to hold all the Pulitzer Prizes and Peabodies they expected. Same with the 2010 WikiLeaks video of the Apache helicopter attack.
NYT's David Carr on Wikileaks and the journalists who hate them
"If the revelations about the N.S.A. surveillance were broken by Time, CNN or The New York Times, executives there would already be building new shelves to hold all the Pulitzer Prizes and Peabodies they expected. Same with the 2010 WikiLeaks video of the Apache helicopter attack."
- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app

Domestic Spying

Laura Poitras Chips at the Terrorism Lie
Agreed. 
If Obama and everyone else want to start rebuilding credibility, they need to stop lying, and get rid of the more substantive liars like Clapper and Alexander. But they also need to square with the American people about what this dragnet is for. Congress has repeatedly rejected internet-based surveillance to protect Hollywood IP and to socialize the private cybersecurity risk of corporate owners of critical infrastructure. Even Congress doesn't approve the use of this technology for some applications.And until the government stops pretending this is exclusively about terrorism, and stops pretending that terrorism is an existential threat or even the country's greatest one, it will continue to lose credibility.
Laura Poitras Chips at the Terrorism Lie
"If Obama and everyone else want to start rebuilding credibility, they need to stop lying, and get rid of the more substantive liars like Clapper and Alexander. But they also need to square with the American people about what this dragnet is for. Congress has repeatedly rejected internet-based surveillance to protect Hollywood IP and to socialize the private cybersecurity risk of corporate owners of critical infrastructure. Even Congress doesn't approve the use of this technology for some applications. And until the government stops pretending this is exclusively about terrorism, and stops pretending that terrorism is an existential threat or even the country's greatest one, it will continue to lose credibility."
- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app

Washington Post Still A Font of Disinformation

How To Invent A Misleading Statistic | Blog | Media Matters for America

The inexcusable incompetence* of David A. Farenthold soils the WaPo's front page.  Me. Bezos, I hope you're taking notes of the kind of dreck you need to strip out of your new press organ. 

* That's the most generous interpretation I can give.  I'm inclined to believe he's deliberately disingenuous, but we'll give him the benefit of the doubt for this post. 

Shared from the Digg iPhone app:
How To Invent A Misleading Statistic | Blog | Media Matters for America

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/08/26/how-to-invent-a-misleading-statistic/195585



Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Say Hello To My Little Friend!

I've caught and released thousands of frogs and toads in my day, but never one of these.  Surprising jumping power and impressive vertical climbing skills.
I'm pretty sure this is a Spring Peeper. Found yesterday morning in
the Berkshires.

Watermelons?

Tantalizingly out of reach.
Some kind of squash or melons growing by the Eight Avenue N station in
Bay Ridge. Smooth skin, more of a zucchini shape but coloring more
like a watermelon. In any case an unexpected sight.

In other news - that Maimonides property adjacent to the rail tracks has got some incredible development potential.

Establishment Newspaper Endorses Establishment Candidates For Mayor

Two Endorsements - Quinn and Lhota - NYTimes.com
To the surprise of no one, the foremost newspaper of the establishment the New York Times has endorsed the most establishment status quo candidate of any party in the race for mayor, Chris Quinn. 

I enjoy reading the times but we should all stop kidding ourselves that it is anything approaching a "liberal" newspaper.  It is the voice of a firmly entrenched, socially moderate establishment.  Progressive on women's issues, gay rights, racism, religion . . .but hawkish on foreign policy and deferential to power.



Community Board 6 Permits and License Committee Tonight

Summer is over; at least that's what the cold nights seemed to be telling me.  And now another harbinger of fall - the Community Board meeting cycle begins anew.  Tonight, Permits and License.  To wit:


  • Review of a new on-premises liquor license application submitted to the State Liquor Authority on behalf of BK-IX Restaurant & Bar, LLC at 62 5th Avenue (between Bergen Street/Saint Marks Avenue) in our district. 
  • Review of a new on-premises liquor license application submitted to the State Liquor Authority on behalf of Lady Bird Brooklyn LLC at 213 Union Street (between Clinton Street/Henry Street) in our district. 
  • Review of a new on-premises liquor license application submitted to the State Liquor Authority on behalf of Young Fox Inc. dba Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant at 254-258 5th Avenue (between Garfield Place/Carroll Street) in our district. 
  • Review of a new on-premises liquor license application submitted to the State Liquor Authority on behalf of Kao Soy Inc. at 283 Van Brunt Street (between Pioneer Street & Visitation Place) in our district.


   Park Slope YMCA
   357 9th Street
   (Between 6th/7th Avenues)
   7th Floor Cafeteria.
   Brooklyn, NY 11215

   6:30 PM

LICH Still Hanging On

SUNY Downstate Eats Its Words: Signs on LICH Entrances
More encouraging news. Any ideas on a viable partner for this newly single hospital?  Seriously, please share any thoughts you have on shoring up the foundation of our community hospital.

SUNY Downstate Eats Its Words: Signs on LICH Entrances
Hanging on entrance at LICH. Photo: MK Metz As part of an order issued August 16, Supreme Court Justice Johnny L. Baynes required that SUNY Downstate issue a formal "retraction letter" telling patient…
- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Fascinating Gruesome History

Murder and Mayhem in Miniature: The Lurid Side of Staffordshire Figurines
Humans can be a bloodthirsty species.  Reminds me of "The Body of the Condemned", an excerpt we read in freshman lit back in college.

Murder and Mayhem in Miniature: The Lurid Side of Staffordshire Figurines
Ben Marks of Collector's Weekly says, "Recently, in the course of building a new family for Figurines , staff writer Hunter Oatman-Stanford learned that the ceramic pieces coming out of Staffordshire …
- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app

Weekend Subway Service Changes :: Second Ave. Sagas

The local:


From 9:45 p.m. Friday, August 23 to 5 a.m. Monday, August 26, Jamaica-bound F trains are rerouted via the M line from 47th-50th Sts to Queens Plaza due to station work at Lexington Avenue-63rd Street for Second Avenue Subway project.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, August 23 to 5 a.m. Monday, August 26, Coney Island-bound F trains skip Sutphin Blvd , Van Wyck Blvd and 75th Avenue, due to signal modernization at Forest Hills-71st Avenue and Kew Gardens-Union Turnpike.


From 11:45 p.m. Friday, August 23 to 5 a.m. Monday, August 26, there is no G train service between Court Square and Nassau Avenue. G trains operate between Nassau Avenue and Church Avenue. There is no G service at Greenpoint Avenue, 21st Street and Court Square.

Free shuttle buses operate on two routes:

  1. Via Manhattan Avenue between Nassau Avenue G and Court Square
  2. Via McGuinness Blvd between Lorimer Street L and Court Square

Customers may transfer between:

  • G trains and shuttle buses at Nassau Avenue
  • L trains and shuttle buses at Lorimer Street
  • E and 7 trains and shuttle buses at Court Square
And system wide:

http://secondavenuesagas.com/2013/08/23/la-guardia-parking-spots-maps-and-weekend-service-changes/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SecondAveSagas+%28Second+Ave.+Sagas+%7C+Blogging+the+NYC+Subways%29


Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Friday, August 23, 2013

Union Street Bridge Closed For Three Successive Saturdays

Starting tomorrow. From Brooklyn Community Board 6 District Manager Craig Hammerman:

Greetings!

DOT has advised us of the following...

Union Street Bridge over the Gowanus Canal
FULL BRIDGE CLOSURE 

The Department of Transportation Division of Bridges will fully close the Union Street Bridge over the Gowanus Canal on three Saturdays - August 24thAugust 31st andSeptember 7th, from 7:00am to 2:00pm. These closures are needed to repair the bridge deck grating. The adjacent bridge at Carroll Street as well as the 3rd Street and 9th Street Bridges are available as alternates.

The official flyer is available for downloading at:
http://brooklyncb6.org/_attachments/2013-08-24%20DOT%20Union%20Street%20Bridge.pdf

Guardian Outsourcing Some Snowden To NYT

Spartacus the mule

It's ok when the NYT does it, because Jeff Toobin is an authority-worshipping douchebag.

Spartacus the mule by digby This report from Buzzfeed says the New York Times is going to be collaborating on some new NSA reporting with The Guardian . The Times's involvement in the story also b…

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2013/08/spartacus-mule.html

- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Environmental Nightmares: Louisiana Sinkhole

Terrifying Louisiana Sinkhole Swallows Up Entire Trees In Seconds

Terrifying is an understatement.  Lets outsource all of our regulatory and oversight functions to the private sector. What could possibly go wrong?

It was just over a year ago that the ground suddenly opened up beneath the residents of Bayou Corne, Louisiana, and swallowed their lives whole. Read more...

http://gawker.com/terrifying-louisiana-sinkhole-swallows-up-entire-trees-1182340826?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+gawker%2Ffull+%28Gawker%29

- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app
Want more stories like this? Check out Digg Reader →



Typos courtesy of my iPhone

State DOT Needs A New Culture

Residents Furious Over Continued Danger On Ocean Parkway In Brooklyn « CBS New York

Like many states DOT, NYSDOT has got a major cultural problem when it comes to livable streets.  Street safety for pedestrians seems to be almost an afterthought. 

We need a change.  Kudos to our own Brad Lander for keeping the pressure on NYSDOT to do the right thing. Lives are at stake. 

Shared from the Digg iPhone app:
Residents Furious Over Continued Danger On Ocean Parkway In Brooklyn « CBS New York

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/08/21/residents-furious-over-continued-danger-on-ocean-parkway-in-brooklyn/



Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Sackett-Union Comes To Life

Move-Ins Happening at the Sackett Union

Seems like forever since this project first came on our radar back in 2007(?), but the last year has moved pretty fast. And now people are moving in.  Welcome, wealthy new neighbors!  

Move-Ins Happening at the Sackett Union
Closings have commenced and residents just started moving into the condo units at Sackett Union, the hugely popular new development in Carroll Gardens. The 32 units, priced between $1,105,000 and $3,1…

http://www.brownstoner.com/blog/2013/08/move-ins-happening-at-the-sackett-union/

- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app

This Van Looks Dangerous: Carlos Dangerous

No . . .  Danger is my middle name.
Spotted outside last night's debate.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Rowdy Crowd of deBlasio Supporters

Welcomed the next Mayor to tonight's debate.  A nice touch was the drum kit (not pictured) which made for much better chanting.

Jeffrey Toobin Is A Deceitful Hypocrite

How to gain expertise in stealing secrets

I couldn't recall at first precisely what it was that a young Toobin did that showed what a sleazy turd he is.  This refreshed my memory.  BTW, Lawrence Walsh's Firewall is a worthwhile read. 

How to gain expertise in stealing secrets by digby Oh my. In light of Jeffrey Toobin's scathing indictment yesterday of Greenwald, Snowden and David Miranda (comparing them to political assassins an…

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2013/08/how-to-gain-expertise-in-stealing.html

- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app
Want more stories like this? Check out Digg Reader →



Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Televised NYC Mayoral Debate Tonight at 6:30pm

Watch it on NY1, CSPAN or listen to WNYC for live coverage.

Watch for:

  • Christine Quinn's increasingly desperate flailing.
  • Bill Thompson struggle to remain relevant
  • Potential Weiner mid-debate sexting
  • and
  • Bill deBlasio mopping the floor with the above contenders
Should be fun times tonight.

Related:  I wish Verizon FiOS could work out a deal to carry NY1.  I understand why its not likely to ever happen. The only thing I miss about Time Warner and not enough to go back.

Jeffrey Toobin's Toadying Subservience to Power

Jeffrey Toobin Thinks David Miranda Is Like a 'Drug Mule'

Especially galling since Toobin's entire career was based on betraying the confidences placed in him when he was a court clerk.  Modern access "journalists" like Toobin, David Gregory, Bob Woodward and Andrew Ross Sorkin, to name a few, don't in any sense serve to inform the public. They serve as mouthpieces to glorify and speak on behalf of the privileged millionaire class they socialize and identify with.  

New Yorker staff writer and CNN legal pundit Jeffrey Toobin has not been shy about his distaste for the actions of NSA leaker/"grandiose narcissist" Edward Snowden, and that goes for Snowden's associa…

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/08/jeffrey-toobin-david-miranda-drug-mule.html

- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app
Want more stories like this? Check out Digg Reader →



Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Judge To SUNY: Mitts Off LICH Loot

More encouraging news in the battle to save LICH:
Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Carolyn Demarest found that the State University of New York Downstate (SUNY Downstate) violated a contractual obligation in the asset transfer of Long Island College Hospital (LICH) property and has ordered that LICH assets be transferred back to the hospital.
. . . .
Believing it her “legal and moral responsibility” to correct an “error”, Demarest, without petition from LICH or any of its supporters, vacated the 2011 order granting asset transfer to SUNY and ordered that Continuum Health Partners Inc (Continuum), the “sole member of LICH” and former operator, take possession of the physical assets of LICH.
If, for whatever reason, Continuum is not deemed qualified, Demarest requested that a caretaker or receiver be appointed to takeover the responsibilities of LICH’s hospital administrator. 
It looks more and more like e're going to see the third party conservator route.  It's a good thing we're going to have a new Mayor who actually gives a damn about this sort of thing in a few months.
 

Centrism!

Republicans are immune to their own extremism...for now. by @DavidOAtkins
Centrist pundits are flat earth society fools at best. A good read.

Republicans are immune to their own extremism...for now. by @DavidOAtkins
But for most Republican legislators staring down the next few election cycles, the biggest threats still come from the right rather than the left or the middle. Extremism, in short, will be rewarded.

Most centrist pundits don't want this to be true. There is a cottage industry in pundit land to declare that Americans are basically centrists or center right, and that extremism on either side will be punished. Political parties are seen as polarizing influences and necessary evils at best, clouding the natural agreements that most Americans share about public policy.

But the reality of American politics is very different. There is a liberal America mostly concentrated on the coasts, highly educated populations, heavily minority populations, and in larger urban areas. There is a conservative America concentrated in whiter, more exurban and rural areas. There's frankly not that much in between. One of the reasons that the Affordable Care Act has such tepid support is that most Americans are either against it completely, or would prefer something stronger. Most Americans want to increase taxes on the wealthy; the minority who oppose that policy want to cut them. Most Americans favor significantly stricter gun controls; those who don't are adamant about relaxing them. There's very little constituent support on most policy issues for a centrist, Third Way approach.

America, then, is a polarized nation. But it's not equally polarized. It's clear to almost everyone that the Right has shifted dramatically farther to the right, while the left has only shifted leftward on a smattering of social issues such as gay rights, but mostly shifted rightward on issues like economics and civil liberties. The politics of Eisenhower and Nixon on economics and foreign policy would find themselves comfortably at home on the leftward side of the Democratic Party, while Ronald Reagan would be considered a RINO in today's Republican Party.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bloomberg and Kelly Take A Shameful Tour if National Media

NYC's frisking twins beg: Please let us profile! - Salon.com

To defend the indefensible racial profiling they've been engaged in.  And Bloomberg's BFF Chris Quinn would keep this unjust and counterproductive policy going. 

Shared from the Digg iPhone app:
NYC's frisking twins beg: Please let us profile! - Salon.com



Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Cobble Hill Shower Rated G

Scandalous Cobble Hill Shower Not Actually Scandalous at All

Now what am I supposed to do with all this popcorn?

The respectable citizens of Cobble Hill were thrown into an absolute tizzy last week over Gothamist's report that a "not unattractive" husband and wife had installed a giant, transparent glass shower …

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/08/cobble-hill-shower-cavoli-not-visible.html

- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app
Want more stories like this? Check out Digg Reader →



Typos courtesy of my iPhone

That Burning Plastic Smell?

Video: Huge Fire Rages At NJ Scrap Metal Recycling Plant

I smelled it when I walked out the door this morning. Looked around, didn't see anything, went to work.  And now I know what it was:

Late last night, a fire broke out at a scrap metal recycling facility in Jersey City. Firefighters have been on the scene at Sims Metal since after 11 p.m. and they are still trying to contain it. Smo…

http://gothamist.com/2013/08/20/video_huge_fire_rages_at_nj_recycli.php

- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app
Want more stories like this? Check out Digg Reader →



Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Monday, August 19, 2013

Charcoal Chimney

The best way to start a charcoal barbecue

Unbelievably I had never even seen one of these until I moved to Brooklyn back in 2004. My brother-in-law to be at the time had one and I was mesmerized.  My dad would killed for one of these if he had known they existed.  Never experience the disgusting chemical taste of lighter fluid again - this simple to is a miracle for charcoal grillers. 

No need to buy charcoal lighter fluid (or "boy scout water" as they call it in my home state of Colorado) or self-starting charcoal briquets. Just put two crumpled sheets of newspaper in the bottom ch…

http://boingboing.net/2013/08/19/the-best-way-to-start-a-charco.html

- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app
Want more stories like this? Check out Digg Reader →



Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Beautiful Mural

Painting on utility box presents an alternate universe
I despise most graffiti but when artists get permission to use public (in the sense of out in the open) space the results can be amazing.

Painting on utility box presents an alternate universe
Matthew says: "Artist Mona Caron has painted Manifestation Station , a mural on a utility box in San Francisco. When viewed from a specific vantage point, the mural replaces the unsightly box with a u…
- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app

Incompetent Board Of Elections Shafts Gowanus Residents

This is completely insane.  Getting to the PAL Micchio Center from anywhere but Red Hook is like playing a game of Frogger.  It's a nightmare.  As if voter turnout wasn't low enough already:
For the past several years, Gowanus residents have cast their votes at Camp Friendship on Eighth Street in Park Slope, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, but 1,683 registered voters recently learned that they will have to schlep to the Joseph Miccio Community Center in Red Hook for the Democratic primary election on Sept. 10. The Board of Elections says it made the move because Camp Friendship was deemed “inaccessible” to people with handicaps following a recent federal ruling that all polling places must be Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, an election board spokeswoman said. But area voters say the new polls are less, not more accessible.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Weekend Subway Service Changes

On circular subway maps; weekend service changes

Go see Ben. 

A close-up of the circles radiating out from Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn. (Courtesy of Max Roberts) A few weeks ago, I ran a brief post on Max Roberts' circular subway map . With a focal po…

http://secondavenuesagas.com/2013/08/16/on-circular-subway-maps-weekend-service-changes/

- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app
Want more stories like this? Check out Digg Reader →



Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Ex-CEO of Body Armor Supplier Sentenced to 17 Years for Fraud -DOJ - WSJ.com

A blast from the past. I remember writing about this profligate degenerate back in 2007 or 2008. He of the $2MM bar mitzvah [EDIT: $10MM bat mitzvah! - my recollection was less outrageous than the reality], David H. Brooks is a shining avatar of our second gilded age. 
The founder of a company that supplied body armor to the U.S. military was sentenced to 17 years in prison for his role in a $200 million fraud scheme, the Justice Department said.David H. Brooks was formerly chief executive of DHB Industries Inc., a Long Island-based company that also supplied armor to law enforcement agencies. He was convicted in Sept. 2010 on charges that he overstated the company's financial performance and misappropriated corporate funds for his own use.



Mayor Bloomberg, Read This

Race, Lead, and Juvenile Crime | Mother Jones
Mike Bloomberg insists stop and frisk is responsible for declining crime rates.  What about lead?  Never mind that crime rates have declined nationwide, while stop and frisk is a local policy. Correlation does not equal causation.

Mike Bloomberg is an asshole, and his indefensible defense of stop and frisk is a disgrace.  Amazing to watch the man unravel his own legacy in real time.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Liu: Legalize Pot

Skateboarder John Liu Wants to Legalize Weed in New York, But Not Smoke It
I wholly agree with Liu's position. Weed should absolutely be legalized, regulated and taxed.  But anyone who still believes Liu can get elected this year after last week has already been toking.

John Liu speaking at today's press conference. Former Congressman Anthony Weiner may have Big Thought Thursdays , but city Comptroller John Liu just had a big pot Wednesday. Mr. Liu, whose campaign …

- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app

More School Reform Grifting

Lawyers, Guns & Money » Blog Archive » Rahm's War on Public Schools Continues » Lawyers, Guns & Money
Rahm Emanuel is an asshole.  

One of my early heartbreaks as an Obama supporter was when he named Rahm chief of staff.  
That along with Summers and Geithner were the writing on the wall for the type of administration 
we were going to get.

Bill de Blasio triumphs over Anthony Weiner, Christine Quinn in NYC debate - Daily News

Daily News called last night's debate for deBlasio:

He is the one who seemed to have the best command of the moment, of his narrative about how he wants to end "the tale of two cities," meaning those who are wealthy in New York and those who are not; how his City Hall "will serve all five boroughs."



Think Before Spending

A good read:
THE HEADFIRST rush to spend billions while squandering existing
assets runs afoul of a basic German transit planning nostrum:
organization before electronics before concrete. That is to say,
though-running—which involves organizational reform and new
electronics—is cheaper than the sort of multibillion dollar "concrete"
projects that New York loves so much and should therefore be done
first.

Weiner TV

Watch a Trailer for Anthony Weiner's Would-Be Reality Show
It all makes sense now.

As if Anthony Weiner's run for mayor wasn't reality-TV enough already, the New York Post reports that the candidate is being trailed by a former producer for the MTV show Made , a series that followed…

Shared from the Digg iPhone app

Rome, If You Want To …

Rome's New Mayor Seeks to Pedestrianize The Monuments
enjoy some major tourist sites on foot.  A good move.

Rome 's new mayor, Ignazio Marino, is leading a crusade for walkability by eliminating noisy, out-of-control traffic surrounding the ancient monuments. Starting with the Via dei Fori Imperiali – a maj…

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

deBlasio Moves Into First Place

De Blasio Leaps To First Place In Latest Mayoral Poll

I take all the polls with a huge grain of salt.  But it's hard to interpret this as anything but great news.  As you read here many months ago, Bill deBlasio will be the next mayor of 

Christine Quinn's worst nightmare has become a reality. Mere days after she finally finished fighting off Anthony Weiner from her top spot in the polls, Bill de Blasio has come in and knocked her off …

http://gothamist.com/2013/08/13/bill_de_blasio_is_now_leading_the_p.php

- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app
Want more stories like this? Check out Digg Reader →



Typos courtesy of my iPhone

New Jersey Senate Primary Today

Alex Pareene urges Democratic voters in New Jersey to cast their ballots against "an avatar of the w

If you're in NJ, the clear choice is Rush Holt.  I'll outsource the attack on Cory Booker, corporatist charlatan, to Alex Pareene:

Alex Pareene urges Democratic voters in New Jersey to cast their ballots against "an avatar of the wealthy elite, a camera-hog, and a political cipher" in today's special Senate primary: "Cory Booker …

http://gawker.com/alex-pareene-urges-democratic-voters-in-new-jersey-to-c-1121718859?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+gawker%2Ffull+%28Gawker%29

- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app
Want more stories like this? Check out Digg Reader →



Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Robert Samuelson, Your Rightwing Hypocrite of the Day

Typewriter-Hoarding Pundit Robert Samuelson Hates the Internet

An atrocious writer with an even worse mustache, and no sense of self-awareness.  Another one for Jeff Bezos to fire if he has any hope of improving the Washington Post. 

In the category of Luddite rants against the Internet, nothing will ever top John R. MacArthur's famous exposition of his belief that this Internet fad is nothing more than a "gigantic Xerox machine."…

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/08/typewriter-hoarding-samuelson-hates-internet.html

- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app
Want more stories like this? Check out Digg Reader →



Typos courtesy of my iPhone

Miserable Flying Disease Vectors From Hell

Oh Oh: West Nile Mosquitoes Are Spreading Across Brooklyn As We Speak

Crap. Our daughter is highly allergic to these damned things as it is.  Now we're adding West Nile to the pot?

Wikipedia Those carefree summer evenings are about to get a little more complicated in Brooklyn: Health officials are suggesting that people cover up and spray themselves with bug repellent, and mayb…

http://mcbrooklyn.blogspot.com/2013/08/oh-oh-west-nile-mosquitoes-are.html

- - -
Shared from the Digg iPhone app
Want more stories like this? Check out Digg Reader →



Typos courtesy of my iPhone