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Anti-Defamation League: Anti-Semitic Incidents Almost Doubled In NYC This Year A pair of swastikas drawn on a subway car back in November 2016. (Tipster Joseph L) Total incidents of anti-Semitic graffiti, threats and assault are up by two-thirds nationally and have almost doubled in New York... NewsDavid ColonNov 2, 2017 0 Comments /* City Will Install 'Blockers' Along West Side Bike Path In Wake Of Deadly Terrorist Attack Cyclists on the West Side Greenway two days after a driver careened down it, killing eight people and injuring twelve more. (Scott Heins / Gothamist) New Yorkers and tourists took to the Hudson River Greenway on... NewsEmma WhitfordNov 2, 2017 0 Comments /* Far Right 'Journalist' Banned From Uber & Lyft After Making Racist Tweets About Muslims In the aftermath of Tuesday's terror attack on the Hudson River Greenway bike path, city officials preached tolerance and unity. But, of course, white supremacist trolls gonna troll, and one far-right activist trolled so hard she got... NewsRebecca FishbeinNov 2, 2017 0 Comments /* How NY Prison 'Slave Labor' Powers A $50 Million Manufacturing Enterprise Governor Cuomo tours Dannemora correctional facility in 2015 (Governor's Office) The hand-soap dispensers in City Hall bathrooms and “Secure Therapy Desks” used to shackle prisoners during class on Rikers Island are just a few of the... NewsJ.B. NicholasNov 2, 2017 0 Comments /* Early Addition: Russians Used Aziz Ansari Photo To Meddle In Election Russian hackers used Aziz Ansari to meddle in the presidential election, Rick Perry thinks expanding fossil fuel use prevents sexual assault, new Last Jedi teaser trailer, and more in today's midday links. Follow Gothamist on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat, and like us on Facebook. You can also get the top stories mailed to you—sign up here. NewsJohn Del SignoreNov 2, 2017 0 Comments /* Trump Wants West Side Bike Path Attacker To Get Death Penalty Continue Reading

Getting from point A to point LGA: Why we need a LaGuardia AirTrain

The Port Authority board of commissioners will decide the future of LaGuardia Airport when it meets Thursday. The airport, bounded by Bowery Bay and the Grand Central Parkway, simply does not have sufficient road capacity for the airport’s anticipated growth of an additional 6 million passengers a year by 2030. It is the only major airport on the East Coast without a rail connection, even though it is the airport closest to the office towers, medical centers and cultural institutions in Manhattan. Airports in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta and Miami are all connected by rail to their central cities. The Port Authority, after decades of neglect, is creating a new LaGuardia Airport, bringing it into the 21st century. LaGuardia will have terminal buildings that can humanely accommodate passengers as they wait to board planes, new gates, dramatically expanded taxiways, state-of-the-art security and a new roadway network. But that is not enough. We must radically improve ground access. There is simply insufficient space for the private autos, car services and taxis that bring more than 80% of LaGuardia’s passengers to the airport. Getting to and from the airport is an experience characterized by unpredictable delays no matter what route you take: the Midtown Tunnel, Northern Blvd., the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway or the Triborough Bridge. Plus, passengers arriving at LaGuardia face a nightmare trying to locate a car service or taxi that then charges extortionate rates. A modern LaGuardia AirTrain would provide a travel time of 30 minutes from Midtown Manhattan to the airport. The proposed AirTrain connecting Willets Point to the airport would relieve congestion at LaGuardia and add capacity by building an elevated train line above the roads used for departing and arriving passengers. The 10 car rental companies that currently serve LaGuardia would also move to Willets Point, taking cars and shuttle buses off the Continue Reading

Daily News readers respond to our ‘Overrated’ list with their own NYC entries

Monday’s column about the most overrated institutions in New York City really struck a nerve with Daily News readers. After revealing my list of unworthy institutions — Sylvia’s, Times Square, Peter Luger, Little Italy, Port Authority Bus Terminal, the Statue of Liberty and The Sony Building — readers flooded my inbox with their additions. Here are our favorites (with my comment after): The Waldorf-Astoria "It was once a standard of luxury, but now more reminiscent of my grandmother’s house with outdated furniture, stuck in the past without any hope of seeing the 21st century.” Frank Taormina, Delaware My comment: Completely agree, though it’s nice to know Frank’s grandma was such a classy lady back in the day. * Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden "Long ago priced out of the range of the rank and file Noo Yawk sports fan, these generic funeral homes have had the charm renovated right out of them. Add in mediocre food and skittish staff, and these supposedly hallowed halls are suddenly total strangers. Sadly.” Ed Bode, Middle Village, Queens My comment: Ed is right, though I do like the Lobel’s sandwiches at the House that Ruth Built (and the Steinbrenners Ruined). And the prices at both places are outrageous. * Staten Island Ferry "I rode it every work day for 30 years, I can tell you it’s a slow, cumbersome method of commuting. Making it worse was the hordes of tourists clogging the aisles and decks. While the "old boats” (the John F. Kennedy, for example) had charm, the new generation of boats have all the ambience of a prison's day room. “The ferry also brings to mind another ‘New York institution’ I could live without: The St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Every St. Pat’s Day, the ferry would be packed with off-duty cops and Continue Reading

Bone disease can’t stop Karl Nguyen but New York’s lack of handicapped-accessible cabs almost did

He was waiting at a bus shelter at 10th Ave. and 23rd St. when we encountered Karl Nguyen, a visitor from California. He was hard to miss. A rare genetic condition called osteogenesis imperfecta afflicted Nguyen with fragile bones and limited his growth. He sat by the curb in a 400-pound motorized wheelchair. For the first 13 of his 26 years, Nguyen lived in Vietnam. There, he used his arms to push himself along the ground. Here in New York, the world's most advanced city, he was all but forced to revert to such primitive mobility. The story of Nguyen's travels here is a perfect illustration of how difficult to negotiate the city can be for the disabled and is a case study in why the Taxi and Limousine Commission must move far more aggressively toward mandating a fleet of fully accessible cabs. There was recent progress when Mayor Bloomberg persuaded the Legislature to add a few hundred accessible taxis in a deal that will also legalize street hails in the boroughs. But that will increase the percentage of wheelchair-capable cabs only to a paltry 5.4%, up from the pathetic 1.7%. Far more needs to be done, as shown by the challenges that confronted Nguyen. Having graduated in May from hometown San Jose State University with a bachelor's degree in advertising, Nguyen flew alone into JFK Airport for five days, for meetings of an international students group, the Gay Pride Parade and sightseeing with friends. He landed at 11 p.m. on his way to a youth hostel at Amsterdam Ave. and 103rd St. Two weeks earlier, he had traveled to Las Vegas, where taxi vans accommodated his chair. No luck at Kennedy, because only 231 of the city's 13,237 cabs are so equipped. Instead, Nguyen took the AirTrain to Jamaica, the E train to Times Square and the No. 1 train to 96th and Broadway. But the elevator that serves the uptown tracks was broken. Nguyen returned to the platform, took a train to the elevated 125th St. station, descended in an elevator, crossed to the Continue Reading

Voice of the People for Jan. 2, 2009

Invasion of the body scanners Whitestone: Here's a solution to all the controversy over full-body scanners. Have a booth that you can step into that will not X-ray you, but will detonate any explosive device you may have on you. It would be a win-win for everyone. Randy Mariscal Bronx: A full-body scan is not only a gross invasion of privacy, it may be a health hazard. There is no safe level of radiation, and, depending on your destination, you could be hit three or four times on one trip. We overreact to these incidents and not only lose the right to privacy and our dignity, but we slowly kill ourselves. Richard Scott Dryden, N.Y.: If some loony ACLU lawyers had been on Flight 253, they wouldn't be against full-body scanners. Gary Simmons Parlin, N.J.: The Department of Homeland Security should reinstate its laid-off bomb-sniffing dogs at all checkpoints and throughout all airports. Since they are already trained, this would be more cost-effective than spending $150,000 for body scanners. Marge O'Neil Brooklyn: Want to get full-body scanners at airports ASAP? Just have one of the senators make that a condition for getting his or her vote in passing the health care reform bill. Thomas Henry Unhealthy choice Glen Oaks: If President Obama weren't so busy shoving his health care bill down our throats, maybe he'd pay more attention to averting another 9/11 by giving more funds to securing the welfare of this country. He should have cut his vacation short, but let's face it - golf is golf. Jo Earvolino Eighty isn't enough Brooklyn: So LaGuardia and Kennedy airports got an additional 80 National Guard troops. Not to disparage our dedicated servicemen and women, but is that number adequate for two major airports? JFK has eight terminals containing 151 gates and serves a whopping 47 million passengers. LaGuardia handles 23 million in four terminals. What about the AirTrain at JFK? Is that vulnerable? Is Continue Reading

Seeds of change: Jamaica’s massive zoning plan spurs residential and retail development

Home to the AirTrain to Kennedy Airport and the Long Island Rail Road, Jamaica, Queens, is one of New York City's major transportation hubs. More than 220,000 people pass through it on the average weekday. Yet few New Yorkers or visitors see more than the train station. That will change soon. On Monday, the City Council approved one of the largest rezoning initiatives to take place during the Bloomberg administration. In all, the rezoning impacts 368 blocks in the Jamaica area. City officials predict the zoning plan and economic development to follow will bring 5,176 new housing units, 9,600 new jobs, and 3 million square feet of new commercial space. "Every major city other than New York has a business center near its international airport," says Dan Doctoroff, the deputy mayor in charge of economic development. "The rezoning of Jamaica with its transportation center, access, and potential for commercial and residential development presents conditions conducive to a vibrant economic area." * The Zoning Changes: A lot goes into rebuilding a neighborhood. In this case, rezoning was the necessary first step to encouraging major development. The Jamaica rezoning plan allows for high-rise buildings such as hotels, office buildings and apartment towers around the AirTrain and Long Island Rail Road station. On Jamaica Ave., it will change restrictions against residential living in a light manufacturing zone, making possible the conversion of abandoned historic buildings into work-live lofts. Around Rufus King Park, the rezoning will protect the current single- and two-family houses from six- to eight-story condominium developments and large McMansions dampening the charming character of other Queens neighborhoods. Furthermore, the upzoning of Hillside Ave. near Jamaica Estates will spur residential development along the well-trafficked thoroughfare, creating a business and residential corridor similar to 125th St. and the Grand Concourse. City planner Amanda Continue Reading