Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Four Nabbed After Robbing Man 63, In Flushing Meadows Park After Getaway Car Brakes Down


By Geoffrey Croft

A police officer assigned to the US Open apprehended four robbery suspects in the World's Fair Marina in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park after their getaway car broke down.  

Police Officer Olivares was on his post at the US Open inside Flushing Meadows-Corona Park on September 1st when he was flagged down by passing motorist who informed him that a man was being assaulted in the parking lot of the nearby marina.  

"The officer responded on foot and observed three males pushing a 1995 Honda," according to the police.  

"Police Officer Olivares was then approached by the victim a 63-year-old man who indicated that he was assaulted by the three males and a female. The suspects had removed $ 60 dollars from the victim and attempted to flee but their vehicle stalled. The suspects were placed under arrest at the scene."

The female suspect also had a forged check made out for $ 1990.00 dollars. 

Charged were:   Tuyjuan Glover, 21,  Andrew Ramirez, 21, Angelo Ramirez, 21,  and Bennifer Joakuin, 19.  

All were charged with Robbery, Assault,  and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property and Marijuana Possession.  Bennifer Joakuin was additionally charged with Possession of a Forged Instrument. 

Read More:

NYPD News - September 28, 2015

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Comptroller To Brooklyn Bridge Park - Explore Using Bonds To Pay For Capital Improvements

Battle over Pier 6 luxe and affordable housing heats up

The Change Would Dramatically Alter The Park's Current Financial Model 

Rendering of the proposed 31 and 15-story towers at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation is trying to justify the need to build this additional housing to help pay for the park.  The City's Comptroller's office has asked the corporation that oversees Brooklyn Bridge Park to explore the possibility of issuing bonds to finance future capital improvements instead.


By Geoffrey Croft

The office of the City Comptroller Scott Stringer has asked the corporation that oversees Brooklyn Bridge Park to look into the feasibility of issuing bonds to finance future capital improvements. 

If adopted the move would remove Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation's (BBPC) stated rational for developing the controversial Pier 6 project.  Opponents of the housing want the three acres developed into additional parkland. 

Yesterday First Deputy Comptroller Alaina Gilligo wrote to Regina Myer, president of the Brooklyn  Bridge Park Corporation (BBPC) and raised the issue of whether the corporation can access the municipal bond market for capital needs financing. 

"Since the public hearing on August 6, 2015, the Comptroller's office has received inquries from community stakeholders concerning whether BBPC may use tax-exempt or taxable bonds to finance Brooklyn Bridges Park's capital needs that would then be repaid by BBPC,"  the September 16th letter states. 

"Proponents of bond financing believe that the mechanism could fill the financial gap until the BBPC generates a surplus from concessions and Payment's in Lieu of Taxes ("PILOT'S"). 

The Comptroller's office found that BBPC may be able to issue tax-exempt bonds through an arrangement with a governmental agency to finance park capital improvements. 

"Because BBPC is a New York non-for-profit corporation, it may be able to issue tax-exempt bonds through a conduit governmental agency such as Build NYC Resources Corporation ("Build NYC")  — an arm of the New York City Economic Development Corporation ("EDC") — to finance park capital improvements. "  

The Comptroller's office wrote that the issue requires further analysis and advises BBPC to seek formal outside legal advise.  

Several elected officials who represent the area had asked the Comptroller's office to look into the feasibility of issuing the bonds to cover capital improvements. 

The move would dramatically change the park's current funding model which relies on money generated from real estate, including "PILOT'S",  concessions, and park fees. 

Issuing bonds to finance capital improvements would bring the park in line with the rest of the city park system which the BBPC is unlikely to support voluntarily.  

The corporation claims the funds from the proposed new housing are necessary to ensure the park's long term fiscal stability including maintaining the park's 13, 400 pilings under its piers.  
Open space advocates have long argued that the heavily utilized park should be funded by the government and not by funding schemes. 

The model of paying for the park with housing has been the subject of bitter debate since Mayor Bloomberg wrestled control of the park from the Governor and adopted a "self sustaining" model which has dramatically changed the development and operation of the park.   

Critics also point out that the current funding mechanism creates enormous disparities between the haves and the haves nots, including the well funded Brooklyn Bridge Park and the vast majority of other parks which rely on chronically underfunded municipal funding.  Mayor de Blasio has repeatedly said he was against these disparities. 

Until very recently the General Project Plan (GPP) allowed for building in the park only if a financial need could be demonstrated, which critics maintain they have no done.   

Initially just high-rise luxury housing, Mayor de Blasio added an affordable housing component which the administration had hoped would make the controversial plan easier to swallow. That has not happened.

In June the BBPC awarded the Pier 6 project to developer Robert Levine,  President & CEO of RAL Development Services weeks after Levine donated $10,000 to the mayor’s fundraising committee.  Levine is also the developer of controversial One Brooklyn Bridge Park.

All in the Family:  Prospect Park Alliance flack,  and former New Yorkers for Parks spokesperson James Yolles heads up pr for developer Robert Levine for Risa Heller Communications. Risa tried in vein to help Major League Soccer seize parkland in Flushing Meadow Corona Park to build a new stadium. Belinda Cape,  formerly from State Senator Daniel Squadron office is heading up pr for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation team.  

In May Comptroller Scott Stringer wrote to Regina Myer asking the BBPC provide greater financial transparency including a longer term projections. The office has requested a 50-year  revenue, operating expenses including the capital repair costs projections. 

Read More:

A Walk In The Park -  July 30, 2015 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Pope Francis Will Travel Through Central Park Later This Month


By Geoffrey Croft

Pope Francis is expected to greet thousands of visitors in a historic procession through Central Park on September 25th, the city said in a statement.

Tickets are required for the Central Park Procession which is expected to take place along the park’s West Drive between West 72nd and West 60th streets. 

Event will take place after 5:00pm as the pontiff makes his way from Our Lady Queen of Angels School in East Harlem to Madison Square Garden.   

New York State residents can enter a lottery to receive two (2) tickets via a ticket giveaway contest.  

Space is limited and entrants will be randomly selected to receive tickets. The Central Park Papal Procession ticket giveaway contest will open on September 3rd and close on September 7th. 

Winners will be notified Sept. 10.

This will be Pope Francis' first visit to the United States.

The German-born Pope Benedict XVI visted St. Joseph's School in Yorkville in April 2008. 

Read More: 

The Wall Street Journal - September 1, 2015 - By Sophia Hollander