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Car Wash Workers Negotiate Better Benefits and Wage Package

Jul 26, 16 Car Wash Workers Negotiate Better Benefits and Wage Package

Posted by in All, News

Forty-eight Brooklyn car wash workers successfully bargained for an 18-month contract which will bring their base pay up to a tad above minimum wage in exchange for the elimination of a tip credit system. Even more beneficial for the workers is paid sick days and paid vacation of one week per year, as many workers have families overseas. The vacation day plan will allow the workers to visit their families without having to worry about docked pay. Officials of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union say they are happy with the deal, and expect it could be used as a template for other unionized workers to negotiate similar deals. The deal stipulates that some workers will be able to earn $10 per hour, slightly more than the current minimum wage of $9 an hour. The sick day and vacation benefits will be available to all employees. The union viewed the deal as a big victory for them. “That’s a big deal,” said RWDSU spokeswoman Janna Pea. “A lot have families that do not live in the U.S. They will now be able to go back home to visit their families without having to worry about their jobs.” This contract is the tenth such accord for immigrant “carwasheros.” These New York workers voted to join the union in order to get better pay and benefits. This group of SLS workers is the largest to negotiate such a deal, according to union...

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Downtown Brooklyn Welcomes Ashland Into Its Heart

Jul 18, 16 Downtown Brooklyn Welcomes Ashland Into Its Heart

Posted by in All, Real Estate

The transformation of Brooklyn’s cultural center has taken a huge step forward with the opening of the Ashland residential tower. The tower is located at the meeting point of Fort Greene and Downtown Brooklyn, where the cultural institutions are located with the Brooklyn Academy of Music as the anchor. New York has spent over $100 million in public spaces and arts organizations found there. New developments are sprouting up as affordable housing, retail, and office space grow. Ashland is 53 stories with 304 full-rate apartments sprinkled with 282 affordable units. They range in size studios to three-bedroom apartments with monthly rents for market-rate apartments starting at $2,600 and three bedrooms going for as much as $7,500. The affordable units are distributed by lottery. They will start at $801 for a studio, and a three-bedroom unit will cost $3,649 for a three-person household making between $126,995 and $155,400 a year. There were 82,262 applicants for the affordable apartments. “The location is incredible, as you have beautiful Fort Greene as your front yard, Downtown Brooklyn to the west, and you have all the cultural offerings literally right outside your door,” said David L. Picket, the president of the Gotham Organization, the developer of the...

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Daniel Taub and others on the Changing of the Guard in England

Jul 17, 16 Daniel Taub and others on the Changing of the Guard in England

Posted by in Politics

Much of England, and perhaps leaders around the world, are spinning with the quick changes happening in England’s government. Resigning recently at 10 Downing Street, David Cameron delivered remarks to the public. As he said, “It’s not been an easy journey, and of course we’ve not got every decision right, but I do believe that today our country is much stronger.” He went on to wish May the best as she negotiates the country’s “Brexit” from the European Union. When asked what one wish he had, he said it would be the “continued success of this great country that I love so very much.” Many other world leaders have weighed in on Cameron’s departure. In an article recently in the Times of Israel, Israel’s former Ambassador to the United Kingdom Daniel Taub said that the remarkable constant with David Cameron was “the genuine friendship and support he has consistently shown towards the State and people of Israel.” Daniel Taub explained that Cameron’s commitment to learning the lessons of the Holocaust was unprecedented and included his own visit to Auschwitz, his visit to the Holocaust Museum in Berlin with his children and the established of a Holocaust Memorial Commission with a commitment from his government of 50 million pounds. Looking now to the future, the former Home Secretary Theresa May will take over the job Cameron is vacating. Congratulations and analyses have poured in from around the world. London Mayor Sadiq Khan congratulated May and urged her to address the post-EU future for Britain. Russian President Vladimir Putin thanked Cameron for the work that they did together and said that he looked forward to working with May. About the transition, Daniel Taub said that May was very supportive as home secretary of “our efforts to deepen British- Israel ties in the area of homeland security, and also very receptive to the concerns of the Jewish community regarding anti-Semitism and violent extremism.” Finally, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker wrote “The...

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Williamsburg’s Poop Recycling Program Creating Stink

Jul 11, 16 Williamsburg’s Poop Recycling Program Creating Stink

Posted by in All, Lifestyle

The dog run at Williamsburg’s East River State Park launched an innovative program to achieve two goals at once: rid the dog run of doggie do while simultaneously creating potent fertilizer to feed the flower beds in the 11-acre park. Leslie Wright, the regional director of state parks in New York City explained how the idea was hatched: “We figured we can use something people don’t want and turn it into something great,” he said. Wright helped get the program, which is the city’s first, off the ground. He guessed that the cost of the project, including all the materials and other supplies, would come to about $2,000. Dog owners are asked to collect their dogs’ waste using one of six styles of pooper scoopers and brown, environmentally friendly bags, supplied by the park for free, and dispose of it into one of two new, wooden compost bins. The doggie do is then mixed with untreated sawdust and “cooked and cured” before being applied to the park’s gardens. Park officials say they picked the Williamsburg neighborhood to launch the program because they felt the residents of the area would be especially excited about the idea. “I think it’s pretty in tune with the whole Brooklyn vibe,” said one dog-owner, walking in the park with her boyfriend’s golden doodle. “I think it’s great. Not only does it save me money on bags, but it’s also super easy to do,” said another dog owner. “But I’ve definitely seen a lot of people roll their eyes when they see it.” Wright mentioned that this program is one of only three like it in the country. The others are located in Robert H. Treman State Park in Ithaca, New York; and in Alaska’s Denali National Park, especially for sled...

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Airbnb Under Fire in New York

Jul 05, 16 Airbnb Under Fire in New York

Posted by in All, Business

A recent study conducted by “ShareBetter” entitled “Short Changing New York City,” investigated the effect Airbnb rentals have on the housing market in New York City. The report, which was commissioned by affordable housing advocates, longtime critics of Airbnb, found that 55 percent of the approximately 51,000 Airbnb listings in New York are in violation of a state law designed to promote affordable housing. The law states that it is forbidden to rent out an apartment in a building with three or more units for less than 30 days if the permanent resident of the apartment is not there. The report also states that more than one-third of New York’s Airbnb listings are considered commercial. That means that the properties main function is as a source of income through short-term rentals rather than as a dwelling place for the owner or host. Furthermore, according to the report, Airbnb is directly impeding Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to create and/or preserve about 20,000 affordable housing units each year for the next ten years. The study found that in neighborhoods where Airbnb is the most popular rents have risen the fastest. Airbnb, according to the report, has hit Bedford-Stuyvesant, an historically African-American neighborhood, especially hard. The report states that Airbnb is speeding the process of gentrification in the neighborhoods where it is popular, contributing to the scarcity of affordable housing. The study pointed out that hosts in New York City generated about $1 billion in 2015. Airbnb receives a percentage of that revenue. Affordable housing advocates praised the report as further proof that Airbnb was making difficult problems in New York worse. Airbnb criticized the report, saying it is further evidence that entrenched hotel groups, astigmatic politicians and other special interest groups are squashing the positive effects the short-term rental service has on the city. They cited the facts that more customers are brought into minority neighborhood businesses, and that income is generated for people who need the...

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Sign Gives C Train Riders a Run for their Money

Jun 29, 16 Sign Gives C Train Riders a Run for their Money

Posted by in All, Lifestyle

The C train is shorter than most trains, which generally fill the entire length of the platform, allowing commuters to stand anywhere and conveniently step onto the train. Unfortunately for C-train riders, their shorter train means they need to know in advance where on the platform the train will stop. Hopefully a well-placed sign can fulfill that need. But what happens when there is an ill-placed sign instead? For a firsthand experience of what happens, one need only travel over to the Clinton-Washington Avenues station. There a sign tells riders to stop for the C-train, only to discover that the sign is about 40 feet too far away from the end of the train. The shortfall makes for quite a scene of sprinting commuters running to catch up to the back of the train they need. One commuter commented about the sign that it is “strange and unusual — and very misinformed,” she said. “Confusing, especially for non-New Yorkers.” A good Samaritan tried to do his part to end the confusion and help his fellow passengers by placing stickers over the sign. Instead of reading “Train stops here” (which it doesn’t), the sign now says “Train Don’t Stop Here.” Very helpful. But where does it stop, then? A spokeswoman for the MTA said the sign will soon be moved to its correct...

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Francisco D’Agostino demanda por sábanas empapadas de orina en la casa Sag Harbor

Una casa del East End descrita en un listado de bienes raíces como “¡un verdadero oasis en el corazón del paraíso!” resultó ser un infierno para una familia rica de la ciudad. Un vecino de Manhattan de la estrella de los Yankees Johnny Damon quiere llevar al dueño de su alquiler de verano en Sag Harbor a juicio por haberle rentado una casa con mal olor y con sábanas manchadas de orina. Francisco D’Agostino, quien dejó caer $36,000 para un alquiler de 11 días de una casa frente al mar en el poblado de moda de East End, está demandando a Walter Schupfer, el presidente de la agencia de un artista de Manhattan, porque, según dice, Schupfer dejó una situación de mal olor dentro de su casa en Maple Lane . Francisco D’Agostino afirma que encontró toallas y sábanas empapadas de orina dentro de la casa, y él y su familia tuvieron que encontrar una segunda casa de verano – lo que le costó otros $40,000. Francisco D’Agostino ha presentado una demanda por incumplimiento de contrato buscando más de $100,000 en daños y perjuicios, incluyendo la cuota de alquiler de $36,000, un depósito de $3,000 y $25,000 gastados para transportar a su esposa e hija desde y hacia su otra casa en Venezuela. “[D’Agostino] y su familia, incluyendo a su esposa y su hijo lactante, trataron de habitar el lugar, pero en virtud del incumplimiento de [Schupfer], no fueron capaces de hacerlo “, según la demanda. El abogado de D’Agostino, Lawrence Fabian, declinó hacer comentarios sobre la demanda. Schupfer no devolvió las llamadas. Francisco D’Agostino y su familia firmaron un contrato de arrendamiento en mayo para permanecer en la casa de Maple Lane desde agosto 25 a septiembre 4 La escapada planificada por la familia se suponía que era un escape de Venezuela y de 1 Beacon Court, su lujoso edificio de Manhattan, que es también el hogar de Beyonce, el ex jefe de GE, Jack Welch y Damon y Bobby Abreu de los...

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Hip Hop Hall of Fame Seeking Funds to Bring Bust Home

Jun 21, 16 Hip Hop Hall of Fame Seeking Funds to Bring Bust Home

Posted by in All, Entertainment

A six-foot-tall bust of Brooklyn-born rapper The Notorious B.I.G. could end up installed at Putnam Triangle Plaza in Clinton Hill, if organizers can gather together the necessary funding. Behind the project is the Hip Hop Hall Of Fame Museum, which is a organizing a crowd-funding campaign on GoFundMe to raise the $33,000 needed for the sculpture’s design, bronzing and getting approval for its installation from the community board and City Council. B.I.G., whose name is Christopher George Latore Wallace, grew up in Bedford-Stuyvesant and was killed in Los Angeles in 1997 in a drive-by shooting at the height of his career. The sculpture was created by Brooklyn-based artist Tanda Francis and was recently on display at a Brooklyn gallery. There are very few official monuments attesting to the history and popularity of this particular music genre despite its international popularity. If the funding campaign succeeds we can look forward to seeing The Notorious B.I.G. in a bigger-than-life rendition not far from where his most dedicated fans...

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