Big in Brooklyn
Brooklyn City Councilman David Greenfield is tired of property owners neglecting to clear their sidewalks of snow and ice this winter.
Armed with dozens of complaints, the councilman, who represents Borough Park, Midwood and parts of Bensonhurst, is proposing a new law that would increase the fine to delinquent residential and commercial property owners and use that revenue to pay for municipal workers to clear the sidewalks.
Snow Big Deal
The tweet was maybe two minutes old, but David Greenfield was already walking over to the table of reporters in the City Council chamber to confront the one who had erroneously broadcast he wasn’t wearing a tie.
“You don’t see this?” asked Mr. Greenfield, the City Council’s powerful new land use committee chair. He was clenching the knot of the cream-colored tie beneath his sweater, grinning. “Correct the tweet now.” He wanted the political junkies on his Twitter feed, which he constantly monitors, Cory Booker-like, to know he was properly attired for his coronation.
Mayor Bill de Blasio may have said that his sanitation department could have done more to remove snow from Upper East Side streets after Tuesday’s storm, but at least one Brooklyn councilman thinks the mayor should not be apologizing to the tony neighborhood.
Councilman David Greenfield, who was elevated to chair the council’s influential land use committee thanks to a deal brokered by Mr. de Blasio, delivered a blistering defense of the snow clearing operation on his radio show yesterday, calling the people of the Upper East Side “complainers.”
The New York Post has done it again. No, not a Pulitzer Prize — a new cover headline that sent a wave of disgust rippling through the streets of New York yesterday, by some accounts beating out the worst of the publication’s worst and causing a stir among politicians and community leaders.
“Who didn’t want him Read More
The New York Post sparked outrage today with a controversial front page featuring a photo of Menachem Stark–a Williamsburg businessman whose smoldering body was found in a Long Island dumpster yesterday–with the caption: “Who didn’t want him dead?”
The story, labeling Mr. Sark a “millionaire Hasidic slumlord,” detailed the 39-year-old father of eight’s allegedly shady business practices to argue there could be many potential suspects for his murder.
Councilwoman-elect Laurie Cumbo–who caused a national controversy after writing a letter on racial violence that blamed recent attacks partially on resentment of ”Jewish success” and “Jewish landlords”–is sorry.
A week after the controversy first emerged, Ms. Cumbo is out with a new statement apologizing “for any pain I have caused” and insisting she meant to help bridge the gap between the African-American and Jewish communities as a purported “knockout game” continues in city streets.
Could outgoing Borough President Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn’s de facto ambassador to the outside world, become the official ambassador for the city writ-large?
Public Advocate-elect Tish James and Councilman David Greenfield hope so.
Each year, there are upwards of 3,500 serious injuries resulting from traffic accidents. The NYPD has ten times as many officers, yet it only assigns 19 of them to look into such incidents and investigates less than 1 in 10 as a result. Even then, investigations take place only when those involved are dead or believed to be dying. Sometimes they die without an investigation because on the scene, officers believe the injured will make it.
Members of the City Council and families who have lost relatives on the road arrived on the steps of City Hall this morning to decry what they consider a lack of enforcement and announce the introduction of a set of bills and resolutions they hope will impel the police department and the Bloomberg administration to take action.
Is it possible that requiring every New Yorker to wear a helmet while cycling might actually be more dangerous for bicyclists than letting them continue on their merry way—cranium at the mercy of crazed drivers, hapless pedestrians, flying rats and their own personal incompetence?
That is exactly the argument made by every cycling enthusiast from Mayor Bloomberg to Joe Twowheels after Brooklyn City Councilman David Greenfield proposed a bill last week that would mandate cyclists don a Styrofoam dome before hitting the streets. Right now, that applies to children under 14, who also have the right to ride on the sidewalk, and delivery cyclists, who believe it or not, do not.
Mr. Greenfield wants to charge cyclists $25 for their first helmetless offense, $50 for the second and $100 thereafter. He points out that a good bike helmet does not cost much more than that first ticket, so what’s the excuse? “It’s basically common sense,” he said of his bill.
But bike advocates argue that the bill will have the opposite effect, making the city less safe for cyclists because it will depress ridership—after all, most New Yorkers are more worried about suffering helmet head than head trauma.
The Observer got an alarmed email from a reader, whose thoughtful daughter sent her our article on the proposed bike helmet legislation, which the reader does not like one bit. Her email, cleverly titled “Will mom opt for civil disobedience?,” expresses some serious concerns about the possibilities of being forced to wear a helmet, and the reason such legislation does not make sense.