Capital: Midtown community board defends ‘access to sunshine’

By Dana Rubinstein

May 18, 2015

Photo: JDS Development

Seeking to protect “access to sunshine,” Midtown’s Community Board 5 on Monday called on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration to better regulate skyscraper construction south of Central Park.

Councilman Mark Levine, who chairs the parks committee, recently introduced a bill that would establish a task force to examine the issue.

 

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DNAinfo: Illegal Gas Hookups in Uptown Buildings Were 'Time Bomb,' Councilman Says

By Lindsay Armstrong

May 18, 2015

Photo: Lindsay Armstrong/DNAinfo

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — A handful of Uptown buildings with illegal gas hookups run by a single management company were "time bomb[s]," according to a city councilman.

“[We] demand action in the face of irresponsible and dangerous behavior by Alma Realty, who installed in this building an illegal hookup that was stealing gas and, more importantly, was a time bomb,” Levine said.

 

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Observer: Council Speaker Launches ‘Task Force’ to Save Rent-Regulated Apartments

By Will Bredderman

May 13, 2015

Photo: William Alatriste/New York City Council

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced today the formation of a new, 14-member “Affordable Housing Preservation Task Force” consisting of council members whose districts have hemorrhaged rent-regulated apartments—and several of which are targeted for “upzoning” for greater development under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan...

“It’s going to create pressure in those neighborhoods, because it’s going to increase property values. And for buildings that are in programs that are expiring out, it’s just going to make market-rate that much more attractive,” Mr. Levine told the Observer, even as he called upzoning “the best tool we have to get more affordable housing.”

 

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DNAinfo: $1.3 M Voted to Fund Greenhouses, Ball Courts and Trees in Hamilton Heights

By Gustavo Solis

May 11, 2015

HAMILTON HEIGHTS — The people have spoken and what they want most are more trees, a greenhouse and playground and basketball court repairs.

Although this was only the district's first year involved with participatory budgeting, the community was very active, Councilman Levine said. “It exceeded out expectations in every way from the number of volunteers that came out, the incredible diversity, originality and strength of the ideas"

 

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The New York Times: Dr. Ruth, Visiting City Hall, Discusses Heritage, Not Sex

By Matt Flegenheimer

May 11, 2015

Photo: Michael Appleton/The New York Times

...on Monday evening, before a standing-room crowd that defied recent precedent, city lawmakers filed into their seats with uncommon purpose. The city’s foremost octogenarian sex therapist was holding office hours at their place of business. And she was not to be missed...

Councilman Mark Levine, addressing the crowd, noted that “a few of our visitors tonight were hoping you would do a Q. and A.”

 

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Next City: New Yorkers Could Get More Swim Time

By Casey Tolan

May 7, 2015

Photo: Bebeto Matthews/AP Photo

For many New Yorkers, nothing symbolizes summer more than a scorching day at Coney Island or a blissful swim in McCarren Park Pool. And some are urging the city to make it easier for locals to escape the heat by extending the season of public beaches and pools beyond the typical definition of summer...

“The average New Yorker isn’t going to be able to go to the Caribbean for a vacation, or even to the Hamptons for that matter,” Levine says. “To have this wonderful, healthy venue for summer recreation that is just a subway ride away, with no admission cost for everyone, is an incredibly important feature of New York City. We want to extend and expand this wonderful resource by a few weeks.”

 

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MNN: On the Next Represent NYC: Affordable Housing with NYC Councilman Mark Levine

By Manhattan Neighborhood Network

May 7, 2015

In the past decade, median apartment rents in New York City rose by 75 percent, compared to 44 percent in the rest of the United States. At the same time, the City is losing affordable housing units at an alarming rate.

On the next episode of "Represent NYC," NYC District 7 Councilman Mark Levine talks with Rodrigo Sanchez-Camus, Supervising Attorney at Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation; Adriene Holder, Attorney-in-Charge at The Legal Aid Society, Civil Practice; and Larry Wood a Community Organizer at Goddard Riverside Community Center about key issues that impact access to affordable housing, including the availability of civil legal services in Housing Court and succession of rent control and rent-regulated apartments.

 

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The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/07/nyregion/fewer-limbs-but-healthier-trees-as-new-yorks-parks-budget-rebounds.html?_r=0

By Lisa W. Foderaro

May 6, 2015

Photo: Richard Perry/The New York Times

This year, with a budget of $5.5 million — nearly four times the amount allotted in 2012 — the pruning of London planes, Norway maples and pin oaks has picked up pace. Forestry specialists for the parks department say crews are now working on a five- to seven-year cycle, which is considered ideal for street trees in a city setting...

“Tree pruning is first and foremost about the safety of New Yorkers and also happens to be critical to the health of the tree,” City Councilman Mark D. Levine, the parks committee chairman, said. “People who think this is only about aesthetics are mistaken. This is a very small amount of money within the scope of the parks budget, let alone the broader city budget.”

 

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The Washington Post: In the shadows of booming cities, a tension between sunlight and prosperity

By Emily Badger

May 4, 2015

“Billionaires' Row” is rising over midtown, a collection of glassy new pinnacles that promise the kind of condo views you can only get in Manhattan by building taller than everything else around...

"Parks have become the place where we go for this incredibly important experience of being in the sun," says Mark Levine, the New York councilman who introduced the bill that now awaits public hearings. "And if even parks lose the sunlight, then I think it diminishes the experience of living here."

 

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Amsterdam News: DC 37 calls on extension of city beach/pool season on lifeguards' behalf

By Stephon Johnson

April 30, 2015

District Council 37 and City Council Parks Committee Chair Mark Levine voiced support for expansion of city beach and pool season. They want it to end the last week of September instead of Labor Day...

“This end date may have made sense in the past, but for a variety of reasons, I believe it is now anachronistic,” Levine said during his opening statement. “It’s time for an update. The tragic reality of global warming means that, like it or not, over time September is becoming ever warmed. Last year, the first week of September was one of the hottest of the year.”

 

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