UWS Council Members Want Residential Parking Permits, So Neighborhood Doesn’t Become a Parking Lot for Out of-Towners

Local City Council members Mark Levine and Helen Rosenthal are proposing a bill that would create residential parking permits for people in some neighborhoods, so they have priority to park in street-parking spots.

With congestion pricing seen as more likely to pass the state legislature this year, drivers may have to pay a toll every time they go below 60th Street in Manhattan, raising the possibility that they’ll simply park their cars on the UWS to avoid the fee.

“As momentum continues to build for the creation of a desperately needed congestion pricing program to fund public transit, now more than ever, the City needs to address the prevailing issue of suburban commuters dumping their cars in our neighborhoods, only to transfer to the subway on their way downtown,” said Council Member Mark Levine in a statement.

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New tax on part-time NYC homes picking up momentum

By Henry Rosoff

New York could soon join the ranks of cities likes of London, Paris and Hong Kong with a lucrative new real estate tax.

Newly reintroduced state legislation would tax the owners of pricey second homes, or "pied-à-terres" as they're called, that are making the city less affordable for many.

"The buildings are going up here and nobody is using the local businesses. There just aren't people here," said Nancy Braithwaite who lives in Manhattan part-time.  "There’s money to be had here and they're hiding it, so why shouldn't New Yorkers get a piece of it?"

One issue is that people who own pied-à-terres do not pay NYC income tax, but enjoy city services.

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Calls To Tax Rich People's Second Homes In NYC Grow Louder

By Elizabeth Kim

Capitalizing on public outrage over a billionaire’s purchase of a $238 million Manhattan penthouse as a part-time pad last month, City Council members are urging the state to pass a pied-à-terre tax, which would levy annual fees on secondary homes worth $5 million and up.

Council members Mark Levine and Margaret Chin on Monday said they planned to introduce a council resolution supporting a state bill that was originally introduced by State Senator Brad Hoylman in 2014.

The next step is for the City Council to adopt what is known as a “home rule” provision allowing the state to pass the bill, since it will only affect New York City.

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Lavish Second Home Owners Could Be Hit By NYC Pied-A-Terre Tax

By Brendan Krisel

A new tax that targets people who buy lavish second homes in the city is being proposed by two councilmembers.

Mark Levine, who represents parts of the Upper West Side, Harlem and Washington Heights and Margaret Chin who represents parts of Chinatown, the Lower East Side and Lower Manhattan, will introduce a resolution in support of the so-called pied-a-terre tax on Thursday, the legislators said.

State Senator Brad Hoylman and State Assemblymember Deborah Glick have been fighting for a pied-a-terre tax in the state legislature since 2014. Levine and Chin's resolution wouldn't put the tax into law, but would instead signal the city's willingness to support such a tax if passed by the state.

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Pied-à-terre tax backed by NYC Council members

By Devin Gannon

Council Members Mark Levine and Margaret Chin announced on Monday that they plan on introducing a resolution in support of the pied-à-terre tax, as amNYreported. The tax would be modeled after the measure sponsored by State Sen. Brad Hoylman and apply an annual surcharge on non-primary homes worth more than $5 million.

Last month, billionaire Ken Griffin closed on a penthouse at 220 Central Park South for over $239 million, making it the most expensive home ever sold in the United States. Griffin, the founder of the hedge fund Citadel, said he will not use the pricey pad as a primary residence, but instead as “a place to stay when he’s in town.” The staggering sale has renewed support from public officials for a pied-à-terre tax, which would place a yearly surcharge on homes worth $5 million and up, and apply to non-primary residences, as reported by the New York Times.

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Hundreds of School Cafeterias Flunk City Health Inspections

By Myles Miller

Hundreds of city schools aren’t making the grade, flunking city health inspections, a NY1 investigation found.

The worst offenders?

I.S. 227 in Queens, one of the borough's most sought-after schools. Health Department Inspectors found 140 mouse droppings there, including in the students' dining area.

There was moldy watermelon at P.S. 277 in the Bronx, and at PS 42 in Queens, moldy green beans.

In all, inspectors last year found roaches crawling on 99 lunchroom floors, fruit flies in 80 cafeteria kitchens, and in 22 drains, flies where serving utensils are washed.

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Swastikas found at Queens school, Cuomo orders State Police hate crimes task force to investigate

By Ben Chapman

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered State Police to help find the vandals who scrawled dozens of Swastikas and other anti-Semitic symbols and “Hail Hitler” in a Queens schoolyard.

The Nazi symbols and slogan were discovered on Friday at Public School 139 by a school custodian who reported it to the NYPD, Education Department officials said.

"I am appalled and disgusted by the Swastikas and other anti-Semitic symbols of hate that were scrawled in a Queens schoolyard,” Cuomo said in a statement on Sunday.

"In New York, we have zero tolerance for such vile acts of anti-Semitism. I am directing the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to immediately assist the NYPD in the investigation of this hideous act and hold those accountable to the full extent of the law.”

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NYPD investigating anti-Semitic graffiti on Queens elementary school playground

The NYPD is investigating anti-Semitic graffiti that was scrawled all over an elementary school playground in Queens. 

The disturbing discovery was made Friday afternoon at PS 139 in Rego Park. 

Swastikas and terms including "Hail Hitler" and "No Jews Allowed" were discovered scribbled in chalk. 

The Anti-Defamation League called the graffiti horrifying and said the NYPD Hate Crimes unit is investigating. 

Councilman Chaim Deutsch released the following statement: 

"Yet another act of anti-Semitism in our City brings the total of anti-Semitic Hate Crimes in our city to nearly 50 since the start of the new year. This has gotten completely out of hand. I urge Mayor de Blasio to immediately implement mine and Councilmember Mark Levine's bills that recently passed in the City Council, which would require educational outreach to teach about the impact of hate, bias, and anti-Semitism." 

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New Amtrak Billboard Will Block WaHi River View, Pols

By Brendan Krisel

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, NY — Washington Heights residents and elected officials are angry at Amtrak for constructing a billboard over its tracks that may ruin views of Fort Washington Park and the Hudson River.

Local City Councilman Mark Levine sent a letter to the transit company this month demanding that all work a billboard at West 155th Street between Riverside Drive and the West Side Highway be stopped until a proper public outreach campaign is completed. Borough President Gale Brewer and Congressman Adriano Espaillat signed onto the letter.

"There is absolutely no basis for this construction of a billboard that will fundamentally alter the skyline of the neighborhood and be a massive detriment to the beautiful views that our community has always been able to enjoy," Levine wrote in the letter.

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Fact Sheet On The Measles Outbreak in Orthodox Jewish Communities in Brooklyn

The Health Department announced Thursday that it has identified 17 cases of measles in the last week.

The Department has confirmed 90 total cases of measles in Brooklyn since early October. Eight of the 17 newly reported cases were identified after the fact of their illness because they had not sought medical care at the time of their symptoms. The additional 9 cases were diagnosed in February. Two of the newly reported cases are located in Borough Park, and 15 are in Williamsburg.

To further protect the community during this outbreak, the Health Department is expanding vaccination recommendations for providers serving the Orthodox Jewish community to include an early, extra dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine for children between the ages of 6 months to 11 months who live in Williamsburg and Borough Park. The Health Dept is working with the affected community, schools, and healthcare providers to prevent contact between unvaccinated children and individuals who might have been exposed to measles.
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