Amazon's NYC digs being built on land that would have been used for low-income housing

Amazon is already known for providing dangerous working conditions, anti-union activities and treating their blue collar workforce like a disposable commodity. Since they're already screwing folks at work, it must have seemed like a natural progression to screw them at home too.

From Politico:

Amazon’s plans to expand into Long Island City may cost Mayor Bill de Blasio — and New York City — approximately 1,500 units of affordable housing.

Two sites that will house the future offices of the e-commerce giant were originally intended for residential development, before Amazon chose them in a nationwide contest for its new headquarters.

Most — if not all — of that intended housing is now off the table.

According to Politico, the 14.7 acres of land Amazon's plopping out of their grossly subsidized new headquarters complex in Long Island City is owned by a company called Plaxall. Before Amazon came along, Plaxall was gearing up to ask New York City administrators for permission to build close to 5,000 new homes on their property. 1,250 of these homes would have been earmarked for use by low and middle-income earning families. In addition to this, Amazon's NYC complex is also eating up turf from a second company, TF Cornerstone: they were ready to build a complex that would contain 250 low-income housing units on the dirt where Amazon is building their new HQ. That's not going to happen anymore, either.

Greed is nothing, if not consistent.

Image via Wikipedia Commons Read the rest

Competitive book-sorting event pits New York library workers against Washington State's

Big library systems struggling with the task of sorting interbranch requests for distribution on the library's delivery vehicles can buy a $2 million Lyngsoe Systems Compact Cross Belt Sorter, whose conveyor takes precisely hand-placed materials down a line of bins, scanning each item and tipping it into a bin destined for the right branch. Read the rest

You can request hand-crafted reading-list recommendations from the Brooklyn public library online

The Bklyn BookMatch is a free service that matches readers with custom lists of recommendations: fill in a webform with "the titles, authors, and/or types of books you enjoy, and why" as well as "movies, TV, games, and other interests" and any books you dislike, as well as format and age preferences and within two weeks, a librarian will send you a customized reading list that you can check out of the Brooklyn library (or your own local library -- the service seems to be open to everyone!). (via Kottke) Read the rest

'AN ACT OF TERROR' — Packages sent to 7+ targets, CNN, Obamas, Clintons, Soros, Cuomo, Holder, Maxine Waters

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS STORY, AND WILL BE UPDATED. Authorities in New York are holding a press conference on 7 or more suspicious packages, some of which contained pipe bombs, sent to political targets, mostly in New York state. On the face of it, the coordinated attack appears to be an attempt to assassinate up to 7 different perceived political enemies of President Donald Trump. Read the rest

RIP The Village Voice

"Today is kind of a sucky day," Village Voice owner Peter Barbey told newspaper staff in a phone call Friday. "Due to, basically, business realities, we're going to stop publishing Village Voice new material.” Read the rest

How the NYPD recriminalized marijuana after the state decriminalized it

Back in 1977, middle class, white New Yorkers got frustrated over being criminalized for smoking weed, so they got the state legislature to decriminalized simple possession of weed -- merely having weed in your possession became a civil infraction and if you were caught, you might get a ticket, but that's it. Read the rest

This is the subway in New York

There have been a lot of iconic images offering the FEELING of a NYC subway ride.

The goth woman and her raven, and the Ramones and their guitars are the first to come to mind. Taking photos of people riding the subway is likely on par with photographers crapping out another image of San Franciaco's Golden Gate Bridge. Once in a while tho, we get art.

I have an MTA card in my wallet. Read the rest

Help crowdfund the Harlem Cryptoparty and 100 unlimited, privacy-protecting wifi hotspots for Puerto Rico

Calyx is an amazing nonprofit, privacy-oriented activist ISP (they were the first ISP to successfully resist a secret Patriot Act warrant); they are notable for offering an unlimited, unfiltered, unthrottled 4G/wifi hotspot for a tax-deductible $400 year (mine has repeatedly saved my bacon). Read the rest

Machine-learning-based image classifier can tell when the bus and bike-lanes are illegally obstructed

New York's cyclists and bus-riders are certain they're being slowed and endangered by an epidemic of illegal lane-obstructions from delivery vehicles, taxis and Ubers, but policymakers have refused to do anything about it, saying that the evidence is all anaecdotal. Read the rest

After Airbnb hosts converted New York's available housing stock to unlicensed hotel rooms, rents soared

Airbnb hosts are supposed to be smallholders: people who rent out a spare room or let out their homes while they're out of town -- but in New York (and other cities), the system is dominated by professional landlords who have illegally converted huge swathes of the city's available housing stock into unlicensed, highly profitable hotel rooms. Read the rest

Learn to speak like a New York City subway conductor

As anyone who travels frequently by bus, plane or train can tell you, important service announcements are best when they're utterly incomprehensible: being able to hear and understand that your gate has changed or that you left your phone at a security checkpoint denies people of that rush of adrenaline and feeling of vitriol that makes getting from point A to B such a rewarding experience.

If you've ever wondered how the men and women behind the microphone are able to ensure that no one EVER has a clue of what in the hell they're saying, you'll want to head on over to Paste Magazine – they've got the goods on how New York City subway conductors warm up their voices before going on shift. It's all useful stuff. Knowing this one handy hint alone could help speed you on your way to a new career in the transportation industry:

When used correctly, your tongue can make any vital service change announcement sound like it’s dialogue in a movie where an explosion just happened and everyone’s ears are ringing. As a warm up exercise, try to keep your tongue completely still, hovering in the middle of your mouth. Now try announcing, “F trains are now running along the A line.” With your tongue motionless, you won’t be able to articulate a single consonant sound. Your passengers will have no idea what the hell is going on. Feel free to also try this exercise while holding your tongue between two of your fingers.

Read the rest

New York cops furious that the union has reduced the number of "get out of jail free" cards they can give to their pals

Every active NYPD cop used to get 30 Patrolmen's Benevolent Association "courtesy cards" from their union per year; now they'll only get 20 (retired cops used to get 20 and now they'll get 10). Read the rest

Racist authoritarians insisted that ending stop-and-frisk would increase violent crime, but the opposite just happened

For years, racist authoritarians in New York City defended the stop-and-frisk program in which primarily black and brown people were repeatedly stopped without any particularized suspicion and forced to turn out their pockets, empty their bags, even strip naked in public on frozen-street corners. Read the rest

New York City's Right to Know Act requires cops to record people's explicit consent to warrantless stop-and-frisks

You could write books about the evils of "broken windows" policing and its handmaiden, stop-and-frisk searches (this is a rather good one, in fact), and few places have been more prolific in the racist pursuit of this policy than New York City, where walking-while-brown is a one-way ticket to being stopped, searched, even stripped, all without a warrant or any particularized suspicion. Read the rest

To do in NYC: David Byrne's Reasons to Be Cheerful

Talking Heads frontman and all-round happy mutant hero David Byrne's "Reasons to be Cheerful" project seeks out "encouraging things that are happening anywhere, and if they have been tested, if they have been proven to work, if they can be transferred and adopted in other places, if they can scale up." Read the rest

Motherboard announces a neutral, meshing community ISP based at Vice's Brooklyn headquarters

Motherboard -- an imprint of Vice -- has announced that it will build a community ISP branching off its Brooklyn headquarters, built on meshing wireless protocols, and connected to the internet via high-speed fiber lines terminating at a network exchange. Read the rest

How killing Net Neutrality irreparably harms public libraries and the communities they serve

New York Public Library president Tony Marx presides over the largest public library system in America, in a city where 2,000,000 people lack broadband internet access, so he understands as well as anyone the way that libraries bridge the digital divide, a divide that gets deeper and more daunting every day, as key services and opportunities move online. Read the rest

More posts