Posts Tagged ‘new york city’
Thursday, May 23rd, 2013
The NEW YORK POST continued its attack on Mayor Bloomberg who claimed yesterday he doesn’t remember unloading an f-bomb-laced tirade on a taxi-fleet kingpin during a Knick game last week. Taxi Club Management CEO Gene Freidman, who won a legal challenge to Bloomberg’s “Taxi of Tomorrow” based on a technicality requiring more Hybrid cabs, told The Post Tuesday that an enraged Bloomberg vowed, “Come January 1, when I am out of office, I am going to destroy your f–king industry!”……I truly wish Bloomberg would destroy the current taxi industry and replace it with something that is more in line with the real world and I wish newspapers like the POST would support this. Surely we should all want what is best for the City at large?
Bloomberg has vowed to battle for reforms after her leaves office…….why? Here are some very compelling reasons why the taxi’s of New York need a revolutionary change:
- A taxi won’t take you to 80 percent of our city: To those who argue that Bloomberg is fighting for them rich folks again, thats simply not true.
- Many cabs don’t stop for people based on their looks or where they might be going.
- Older taxis spew too much pollution. Most are filthy. Many stink.
- The variance in cabs right now is a disgrace: most provide barely enough legroom for midgets or amputees. MOst cannot accommodate a handicapped person.
- Technology has to be installed to allow a cab to be called and to be able to identify the best and quickest routes that avoid traffic and congestion.
- The changing of shifts all at the very same time (between 3 and 4pm) is a joke……the joke is on us.
There are people who go to court to stop using modern technology and the CAB OF TOMORROW may not happen now. Freidman and other taxi operators sued to block the plan. A judge ruled last Wednesday, the day before the mayor’s dust-up with Freidman, that city codes prohibited the plan because they require hybrids to be part of the fleet.
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
Posted on May 22nd, 2013
Anthony Weiner, the texting-twittering-tiranic former U.S. Representative announced in a video message early this morning that he is running for New York City mayor. Two years after resigning from Congress in a lewd photo scandal, he’s ba-ack. Pundits are asking if voters in the conservative state of North Carolina who recently re-elected Mark Sanford to a Congressional seat were able to forgive and forget, can New York voters do the same for Weiner? In 2009 Sanford’s political career seemed to be over when he covered up a trip to Argentina to see his mistress, Maria Chapur, a woman he later described as his “soul mate”, by having his staff cover for him, saying he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, a hiking path in the eastern USA. He and his wife, Jenny, were divorced in 2010 and he finished his second term as governor in 2011. The scandal ended any hopes of Sanford running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Yet for a crime surely much more heinous than tweeting lewd pics of private parts, voters forgave him and voted him into office. Will New York voters be as forgiving?
Surely the Democratic, liberal city of New York that is used to its fair share of scandals and were very vocal that President’s Clinton’s ‘sex-crimes’ with Monica Lewinsky did not impact his ability to do the job should apply the same standards to Mr. Weiner? Or were Weiner’s crimes a bigger message about his stupidity (lets face it, elected officials should consider the risks of tweeting lewd photos…..)? Everyone forgave Newt Gingrich’s philandering ways too and focused on his abilities.
Maybe Weiner could be a great mayor for the City of New York….. Lets face it: it takes quite a dick to manage this town!
P.S: You may ask what this blurb has to do with real estate…..well, a strong mayor is critical to the future success of New York City. The impact of Bloomberg’s reign is monumental by any standards and anything less than the best could be bad for New York real estate.
Monday, March 4th, 2013
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on March 4th, 2013
A new GREEN LAW was signed into effect this past week by Mayor Bloomberg, Intro 887-A: It establishes a Renewable Energy Webportal that consolidates information into an easy-to-navigate website that New York homeowners can access to study new climate change initiatives, how they can implement renewable energy systems, and provides a cost-calculator to help individuals determine the economic benefits of installing new systems.“Renewable energy initiatives should be simple and accessible for everyday New Yorkers as they seek to cut energy costs and reduce greenhouse emissions,” Gennaro said as reported by the Queens Gazette.
Sunday, March 3rd, 2013
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on March 4th, 2013
$ 506,000,000.00 per year wasted: I often wonder why New York real estate taxes are so high? Do we really get that much in the way of services from our government? We all know the unions abuse the system religiously to pay some workers excessively with excessive benefits at the expense of taxpayers (clocking up extreme overtime hours in their last years of employment to maximize pensions, aside from a litany of other abuses, all legal of course). Is it inefficiencies throughout the system?
Now a report shows how much the city wastes of our hard earned tax dollars on frivolous lawsuits: New York City taxpayers shelled out over a half-billion dollars last year to people suing for everything from slip-and-falls to car accidents allegedly caused by city employees……the same employees that cost the city a rising fortune.
The $506 million the city paid to plaintiffs in Fiscal Year 2012 was down from $565.2 million in FY 2011 — the first time in a decade such legal payouts declined……but this figure does not include the cost of DEFENDING the thousands of frivolous cases filed each year: of those cases 70% are dismissed. With over 9,000 claims a year, city attorneys say they are fighting more cases in court rather than settling just to get rid of them. In many cases though, the city still reluctantly settles because going to trial costs taxpayers even more.
A New York Post review found some claimants are still collecting outrageous sums in questionable cases, from a well-manicured transit cop who collected nearly $1 million for cutting her hand on a swivel chair, to a drunken cyclist who reaped $3 million after straying onto an unlit dirt path in a city park.
The juries who award these outrageous settlments are often those who don’t pay taxes at all. Yet we, the taxpayers have to pay for this nonsense…..and the sleazy lawyers who file the lawsuits get richer at our expense. So where is the outrage?
Thursday, September 20th, 2012
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on September 20th, 2012
After ranking a tidier No. 5 last year, New York City has regained its No. 1 spot for grit and grime as the dirtiest city in the USA. Some have argued that littering fines here should be tougher: now you can get up to 10 days in jail. Pollution isn’t always just what you see or smell: New York also won the survey for being the noisiest and rudest city. So how do we fight back? Here are my suggestions:
1) All laws and codes are USELESS if they are not enforced: Maybe the City could generate millions by actually enforcing the laws designed to protect the city?
2) Instant $ 100 fines for littering PLUS a full day devoted to picking up litter.
3) Ban smoking in front of buildings: its vulgar and disgusting that we who don’t smoke have to walk through the clouds of filth that these smokers produce…..maybe we should spray Kim Kardashian perfume at them in retaliation? And lets create bubbles for the smokers so that they can experience what we have to: taking in 80% of the smoke they are creating that they are not inhaling directly into their lungs.
4) Ban all loud motorbikes and cars from the city: any entering the city should be confiscated and auctioned off to generate income….ok, maybe just a large fine to reclaim the vehicle with a rebate if they can prove it has a new silencer.
5) Post signs everywhere informing all who live here about the laws governing noise: they do exist but they are not enforced.
6) Demand all garbage trucks to be tested for the levels of noise they produce and engineer them to change: If busses could do it (we live in the 21st century!) then I feel certain those antiquated garbage trucks can do the same.
7) Encourage more electric vehicles: they are virtually silent. They are clean.
8) The entire trash collecting system in the city is from the dark ages: exposed bags, over-filled trash cans. Its a big mess. Take a trip to some other countries and learn how they are doing it.
9) PEER PRESSURE: See someone litter? SAY SOMETHING! See some litter on the street: pick it up and put it in the trash! Someone making ridiculous noise? CALL 911! Call on your elected officials to make this issue a bigger one.
Yes we live in a large city, and we expect it to be much louder and messier than the suburbs, but much of the noise and dirt is simply excessive and unacceptable…..we need to fight back. It’s good for all real estate! Granted Switzerland is a bit excessive in its enforcement of code, but ask anyone who lives there about the end result…..a better quality of life for all. It works.
Friday, June 15th, 2012
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on June 15th, 2012
While we await the outcome of the Greek elections this weekend, the world seems fixated on a country whose GDP is the size of Indiana, Maryland or Minnesota….if we are to put things into perspective. If Indiana’s economy went bust would America crumble?
Lots of the blame for Greek’s woes is being heaped on their citizen’s reluctance to pay taxes. In fact, a good chunk of the wealthier citizens simply refuse to pay taxes. there are over 100,000 swimming pools in Athens, but only a few thousand owners pay the required taxes on these pools. that translates to a few thousand people paying for everybody else who refuses to pay! This corrupt system has resulted in the lowering of the minimum income requirement for taxation to kick in…unsurprisingly those with small incomes, especially salaried individuals who have no means to avoid paying taxes are feeling the pinch and have to carry the weight of those who are self-employed who have much better opportunities to skirt taxes.
While we can all laugh at the Greeks, lets not laugh too loud: Remember that US darling company APPLE paid corporate federal taxes at an effective rate that was below 10% in 2011……while the rest of the smaller corporations pay double and triple?
It ceases to amaze me how a select few are always able to avoid their responsibility at the expense of the majority: surely if the likes of Apple paid 20% in taxes, the rates could be lowered for all and result in a booming economy the likes of which we have never known?
Surely if the 20% of over-taxed buildings in New York had their tax assessments reduced to match those of the 80%, the 80% would pay a fraction more and the 20% would pay a significantly less (but equally to all)….all based on the clear principles of the Constitution of the United States of America, by the way.
So next time you frown at the Greek ‘system’, know that similar abuses are happening in your own back yard. And are equally disturbing and damaging.
Monday, May 28th, 2012
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on May 28th, 2012
New York is especially well positioned in the NEW TECH ECONOMY: The recent expansion of New York’s Internet industry has forced some entrepreneurs — who recently automatically flocked to California’s Silicon Valley - to focus on New York. New York is now enough of an attractive alternative that a few West Coast-born start-ups are even packing up and moving east….. this is all good for New York real estate, both commercial and residential. People often ask why The Caledonia, a condominium building located in West Chelsea, achieves such high pricing…..does the fact that it is a 3 minute walk from Google’s offices at 111 8th Avenue have something to do with it?
Now that the technology industry has shifted more towards creating consumer products and applications, rather than building the basic framework of computing and the Internet, New York is the most logical location for many new start-ups as they benefit from proximity to the media, advertising and fashion industries, New York’s strengths. And as the city’s industry grows, entrepreneurs say, it is offsetting some of the traditional disadvantages of being outside Silicon Valley. It is also encouraging news as this tech industry growth will further lessen New York’s reliance on the financial sector as the primary source of job and wealth creation.
New York may not be overtaking the Bay Area as the hub of the country’s technology industry just yet, but the trend East is certain now. California’s tax policies that are currently being re-evaluated to offset the State’s mushrooming deficits may also encourage more entrepreneurs to head East: yes, New York’s tax policies may not be much better, but they are certainly better than California’s.
You can build great companies elsewhere, but there are few places in the world like New York where you have the powerful infrastructure to build true global franchises — technology-based franchises. Add into the mix the significant investments being made into colleges training those with the skills needed for the Tech industry.
Monday, May 7th, 2012
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on May 7th, 2012
The Monarch butterflies have landed at the HUDSON RIVER PARK. ….but aren’t they supposed to come in June? Yesterday while strolling down the park I witnessed thousands of these magnificent butterflies scattered over the magical lavender-colored beds of Catmint, New York’s equivalent to Provence’s lavender. Were they really Monarch’s or are they the impostors disguised as Monarch’s who know how birds avoid eating them?
Every year the monarch makes a long journey thousands of miles south to escape the harsh winters of the North. The monarch butterfly begins its migration in September and travels for 30-45 days. Monarchs originating east of the Rocky Mountains and as far north as Canada make their way to the quiet, cool mountains of the Transvolcanic Region in central Mexico, about 60 miles west of Mexico City in the state of Michoacan. Migrating monarchs can be observed along the City’s beaches and coastal parks. Monarchs from New York City travel as much as 2,100 miles, averaging 50 miles a day, to reach their destination by the end of October. Resting in the chilly treetops, the butterflies hibernate for four months, covering oyamel fir trees (Abies religiosa) in thick layers that resemble black and orange leaves. During this period, the monarchs sit quietly with their wings folded, living off of fat reserves.
When the weather warms, usually in March, the monarchs come out of hibernation and mate. After mating, they begin their return trip to the southern USA. There they lay their eggs on milkweed plants and die, entrusting their offspring to fend for themselves. The milkweed is an important food source for monarch caterpillars. As the larvae gorge themselves on the leaves, they accumulate the milkweed’s toxic cardiac glycosides and become poisonous to birds and other predators.
After about a month of feeding, the caterpillars pupate and metamorphose into adults. The adult monarchs continue the journey north and also lay eggs. By late June, the third generation of monarchs reaches New York City, but this year they arrived in EARLY MAY. What exactly does this mean? This fourth-generation spends its time storing energy from nectar so they can make the long journey to Mexico in September. Will they leave later this year?
Ah, the joys of observing nature at its best in the park Downtown New York never thought possible.
Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on April 24th, 2012
As Summer approaches, I am reminded how warmer weather can accentuate the lovely smells of New York. I noted earlier that dog owners don’t seem to care much that the trail of pee and poop schmeers they leave behind for all others to enjoy requires buildings to clean their sidewalks daily. I love dogs, I truly do, but I have to wonder why the majority of New Yorkers who do not own a dog have to not only pay to clean up after these dogs, but are also forced to inhale the smells that are worsened in the Summer months, let alone walk along sidewalks that are often shoe-killing, drippy seas of doggy pee and worse…
Supposedly there are roughly 1,5million dogs in New York City. And yes, many of them are truly adorable. Again: I love dogs. I am not anti-dog. I just have to wonder why the majority of New Yorkers have to pay for the minority of dog owners? Is there someone who explain the logic behind this? There are wonderful dog parks. 80% of dogs in New York are not licensed (the Greek system?). The annual license fee is $ 8.50 for a spayed dog: does the city come and clean your sidewalk? I know they don’t so what exactly are they doing with that money? Surely there should be a doggy tax of sorts to pay for sidewalk clean-up?
New York fines those who do not pick up their doggy poop $ 250.00, a pretty stiff penalty. But how many get caught? Is punishment the only way to pay for what obviously must be a huge cost to the majority of New Yorkers? Don’t you sometimes wonder when you see those people walking their horse-sized-hounds what size of apartment that hound lives in: what does a dog of that size eat and drink, and where does all of that go if its not going into the sewer system? Many dog owners will argue that ‘they are just animals’…..but surely a new etiquette has to be established and enforced to deal with the volume?
I equate this abuse with smokers who inhale about 15% of the smoke they are creating: the rest of us have absolutely no choice in the matter, right? That smoker has chosen to smoke (thereby raising insurance premiums for all), blows smoke in the air or lets it smolder in their hand…..and you have to breath it in. Isn’t the same true for dogs excrements? In Switzerland dogs have to adhere to very specific standards regarding doggy behavior and cleanliness….and it makes the lives of all so much more enjoyable, including their owners who have to consider the well being of the rest of society. Let me not get started on doggy don’t WITHIN buildings……that’s a whole other story and it should not surprise people that there are some buildings that will not allow dogs at all. This is a true dis-service to those who actually take care of their pets properly and are respectful of neighbors: if you knew some of the horror stories you’d understand. (think stairwell’s used as bathrooms on a rainy day!)
I am not a sterile-freak at all, but I have to say, Summer reminds me how messed up this system is. I feel certain that if I were to pee at the doorstep of an elegant building or in front of a restaurant I’d be arrested (rightfully so)…..why are dogs and their owners held to such a very different standard?
Stay tuned for my take on the garbage situation in this city….
Wednesday, April 18th, 2012
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on April 18th, 2012
With 900+ million sq. ft. of rooftops in New York City, why not cover them all with solar panels now that they are cheaper? (The largest manufacturer of panels, First Solar just cut 1/3 of its workforce.) That’s approx. 80 TRILLION Watts of energy per day…..directly above our heads.