New York’s Plan for Post-Sandy Wastewater Infrastructure Projects Doesn’t Go Far Enough to Promote Resilience
Deal for New York Avenue Wal-Mart store falls apart as Mayor Gray weighs living wage bill JESSICA RINALDI/REUTERS – A Wal-Mart store. By Jonathan O’Connell , E-mail the writer A developers plan to build a Wal-Mart as part of a New York Avenue shopping center in Northeast D.C. has fallen apart. The big-box retailer now has only five planned stores in the District, three of which are under construction , as D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray decides whether to veto a living wage bill that the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer has been aggressively fighting. Sarah Halzack Accentures 90,000-square-foot office in Arlington is built around a few key concepts: Flexibility, mobility and connectivity. Capital Buzz: D.C. chef gets in on the noodle craze Thomas Heath Newtons Noodles will open in the next two weeks at 1120 20th NW, between L and M streets. D.C. turns to night life to lure more visitors Abha Bhattarai Is Washington cool? A $3 million marketing campaign by Destination D.C. hopes to convince international travelers that it is.
It’s lights out for New York International Latino Film Festival
Updated: 2013-09-06T21:45:44Z By ROGER C. WILLIAMS JR. Midwest Voices As a man who has endured the misfortune of being racially profiled, I was delighted to learn recently that Manhattan Federal Court Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled that the New York Police Departments use of the tactic stop-and-frisk is unconstitutional. Roger C. However, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has an opposing view. Appearing as a guest on NBCs Meet the Press and other talk shows on the Sunday after the ruling, he defended the work of his officers and claimed the judges decision was based on too small of a sample. Furthermore, he dismissed the idea that stop-and-frisk is discriminatory. But, anyone looking beyond his vigorous defense will notice that the New York Civil Liberties Union has published data that challenge his opinion. According to the data, black and Latino communities continue to be the overwhelming target of stop-and-frisk. In 2012, New Yorkers were stopped by police 532,911 times; 284,229 were black (55 percent); 165,140 were Latino (32 percent); 50,366 were white (10 percent). If the fact that 87 percent of those stopped-and-frisked were minority does not raise concerns, then please consider that the New York Police Departments own records revealed that nearly nine out of 10 of the New Yorkers who were stopped-and-frisked were totally innocent (89 percent). This compelling data suggest that minorities are paying a high price to keep New Yorkers and tourists safe. Upset over the ruling, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg lashed out at Judge Sheindlin in a statement to New Yorkers, Your safety and the safety of your kids is now in the hands of some woman who does not have the expertise to do it. And Police Commissioner Kelly predicted that violent crime will rise. The responses to the ruling made by Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly remind me that sometimes leaders can become so committed to achieving the goals of their policies until they either dont realize or choose to ignore the effect of their policies on some of the people they claim to be serving.
It will be a game-time decision by the training staff and the coach, and that will be basically it. The deciding factor may be how Pierre-Paul feels after Saturdays three-hour flight from New Jersey to Dallas. He has not flown since returning from California following the surgery in June to repair a disk in his lower back. I am not going to put my team in jeopardy if I know I cant play well, said Pierre-Paul, who saw his sack output drop from 16 to 6 last season because of back pain last season. Pierre-Paul started training camp on the physically unable to perform list and he didnt start practicing until Aug. 26. He has not missed any workouts since returning, but he also did not appear in any preseason games. Stamina is still an issue for him and he has not faced full-speed blocking or double teams, which the Cowboys will certainly throw at him. Its only three days of practice, Pierre-Paul said of preparations this week. Its not like a real game situation. I am facing my players and we are going against Dallas this week. Its different when you are playing against your teammates.
New York’s stop-and-frisk is unfair
Unlike the last debate, during which the city’s stop-and-frisk law enforcement policies dominated the discussion, the Democratic candidates answered questions on everything from immigration and labor contracts to education. Hours before the debate, a new Quinnipiac University poll showed Progressive candidate Bill de Blasio grabbing the support of 43% of likely Democratic primary voters, with Bill Thompson at 20%, Christine Quinn at 18%, Anthony Weiner 7% and John Liu at 4%. A sixth candidate, Sal Albanese, is polling at 1%. The rest of the respondents were undecided. During the debate, de Blasio came back numerous times to his proposal to tax anyone making more than $500,000 and put the money toward education. “This is a city which has always believed in big, bold ideas,” de Blasio said in response to a question from Thompson. Other candidates stressed the importance of early education, with Thompson noting the importance of an “intensive curriculum” and help with “professional development.” The front-runner also fended off attacks from other candidates on his changing position on term limits and accusations regarding his record with a worst landlords list. According to a New York Daily News article on Sunday , de Blasio, who created the list in 2010 in his role as public advocate, “went to bat” for one landlord with a “rash of violations” when the landlord steered donations his way. Quinn cited the “horrible conditions” of some of the buildings on de Blasio’s list, claiming some people in the buildings complained of still living in “squalor.” De Blasio cited the “300 buildings” that were fixed, saying, “I’m proud of what we did.” Moderators from WNBC News, which broadcast the debate, Telemundo and The Wall Street Journal asked each candidate a specific question, including how much each candidate earned per year. When asked about using a slush fund, Quinn said it was a practice that has been dropped. Thompson was asked why he has not taken a stronger stance on stop and frisk, to which he forcefully replied he believed the policy had been misused and abused and people were targeted for “who they are and what they looked like.” Weiner was asked about his credibility as a candidate. Calling himself “an imperfect messenger,” Weiner indicated he would still be effective if elected mayor. Liu, who spoke over the allotted time limit more than once during the debate, called for a comprehensive plan from childhood to high school and “restoring a learning environment” when answering on education.
Through the Storm Mitigation Loan Program, which is part of the federal Sandy relief package enacted by Congress, the federal government is providing $283 million in funding. New York is required to match that amount with an additional 20%, or about $56 million. The total of $340 million will be used to fund projects that will reduce the risk of damage from future storms or other natural disasters to municipal wastewater treatment works in the 14 New York counties affected by Hurricane Sandy. The SMLP is a one-time opportunity, but it will be administered through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund , an ongoing program under the Clean Water Act that provides funding to the states so that they can offer low-interest loans to wastewater utilities. New Yorks draft plan for spending the post-Sandy SMLP funds states that all projects should protect public health and the environment, and that they should use sustainable practices in their design and construction. These are worthy goals. But if theyre going to be met, New York needs to improve the plans requirements for funded projects in three ways. (1) Climate resilience should be a fundamental requirement for all projects. As Hurricane Sandy illustrated so vividly, New York is vulnerable to a wide variety of climate-change impacts , including sea level rise, changes in storm intensity, and increased flooding. These impacts will affect wastewater utilities throughout the state: intense precipitation events can flood and damage infrastructure like treatment plants and conveyance systems, and they can lead to sewer overflows in systems that use the same pipes for rainwater and sewage . The effects of climate change can even influence the level of treatment needed to maintain clean rivers and streams that receive wastewater discharges. Utilities cant ignore these changes. They must begin to prepare for them immediately to ensure that theyll be able to carry out their responsibilities in the future. These preparations must not be an afterthought they need to be considered as part of every project that a utility carries out. New Yorks draft plan lists preparation for climate change as one of four optional purposes that funded projects must serve. Since this isnt a requirement for all projects, the plan allows for the possibility that utilities will spend their grant and loan money on things like emergency plan development or treatment capacity increases without accounting for the fact that projected future conditions might be different due to climate change. We shouldnt be wasting critical dollars on projects that have to be adjusted or completely redone in a few years because utilities didnt plan ahead. New York should revise the plan to make climate change impacts a required consideration for every SMLP-funded project. (2) The drafts flood risk guidance should be clarified and strengthened. The draft plan directs grant and loan recipients to consider flood risks in the design and construction of their projects. Thats a good idea, but New York should clarify a few details in its guidance. For example, the plan states that certain elevation and construction requirements apply to projects located in a floodplain, but thats a pretty ambiguous term that needs to be defined. The plan should also let utilities know what exactly it means when it directs them to consider best available flood hazard data. And of course, in line with our first recommendation, the draft plan needs to require that all project applicants consider sea level rise as part of their flood risk analysis. Given sea level rise projections for the New York region, this climate change impact could significantly affect flood risks in coastal areas. (3) Green infrastructure should be required to the extent possible. Green infrastructure approaches have many benefits for flood reduction and climate preparedness. These techniques restore or mimic natural conditions allowing rainwater to infiltrate into the soil or evapotranspirate into the air and include things like porous pavement, green roofs, parks, roadside plantings, and rain barrels. Green infrastructure is a great tool for water-focused climate preparedness efforts because of its ability to moderate the impacts of extreme precipitation managing stormwater runoff, conserving water, preventing floods, and protecting against storm surges and sea level rise. A green roof in Brooklyn, NY. Photo credit: NYC Department of Environmental Protection New Yorks draft plan notes in an appendix that green infrastructure projects are eligible for SMLP loans. However, we think that green infrastructure should be emphasized much more prominently in the plan itself because of the many benefits that it provides. Further, the plan should require that it be integrated into all funded projects to the extent that its possible. If a utility proposes not to use these beneficial green techniques, it should explain why it cannot do so. Tell New York to improve the plan!
New York Jets Shouldn’t Worry About Winning During 2013-14 Season
A day after the story was published online, Chinchilla’s partner disputed his claims, saying the annual showcase didn’t have to end. RELATED: QUEENS LATINO FESTIVAL IS CANCELED Elizabeth Gardner, who was co-executive director, insisted that the festival could have gone on. “I chose to leave the NYILFF, and Calixto opted not to continue without me,” Gardner told the Daily News on Friday. Gardner, who said she left the festival for “personal reasons” and because it was “too consuming,” denied Chinchilla’s assertion that the festival had become too costly. “To be clear, although the economy has been a challenge for all companies including NYILFF, this was not a decision based on economy, nor the company’s financial status, which, in fact, is healthy,”said Gardner, who wants to pursue a career as a movie producer. “We end with neither debts, nor liabilities.” Chinchilla declined to respond to his former partner’s claims, and said he stood by his explanation for dissolving the festival. Whatever the case, the discontinuation leaves a major void in the city’s cultural landscape. Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images Producer Elizabeth Gardener, actress Melodie Diaz and founder of the NY International Latino Film Festival Calixto Chinchilla attends the opening night of The New York International Latino Film Festival held on July 22, 2008 at the Director’s Guild of America Theater in New York City. The New York International Latino Film Festival grew to such a degree that it started to attract A-listers including pro athletes, actors John Leguizamo, Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel, and hip-hop heavyweights like 50 Cent and Fat Joe. More importantly, it helped scores of actors and filmmakers many city products to get their careers up and running. The festival started my career, said Michael Diaz, an actor and filmmaker from Washington Heights also known as Juan Bago a name he said he picked up during the annual festival, in which he showcased three films. The festival gave me the vision and inspiration to make films, Diaz said. And the networking and all of the great people at the festival gave a lot of filmmakers an awesome resource (for) future projects. In 2011, Bronx writer Dominic Colon won the short film script competition for his project, Crush, the story of a gay teenager who reveals his orientation.
New York City Democrats wrap up last of three mayor’s race debates
Unfortunately for Ryan, Idzik, looking out for the long-term health of the team, has dismantled some of the few pieces he had in place, including his best player in Darrelle Revis. Rex is in an even more difficult spot because not only does he need to win a decent amount of games, he must show that the arrow is pointing up on the organization and that relieving him of his duties could upset that trend. Naming Geno Smith the starter on Wednesday, albeit by default, was the first step in giving Ryan a sense of direction. The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports Even if Geno Smith was not the starter on opening day, the Jets had to eventually give the keys to Smith before seasons end. Not only does this give Rexs coaching staff something to build around and show promise, it allows John Idzik to determine whether he needs to be in the quarterback market once again in 2014. Of course, the Jets need to know more about their team than just one position. They must find out if they can trust Dee Milliner to be their No. 1 cornerback or if they will need to eventually extend Antonio Cromartie. Austin Howard, working on a one-year tender, will need to prove that last years breakout season was not a fluke if he wants to land a long-term extension. Idzik will also need to figure out if he needs to bring in another guard next offseason, extend Vladimir Ducasse or put his trust in third-round pick Brian Winters. Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Santonio Holmes will be playing for his future with the Jets this season. There are a handful of veterans auditioning for jobs next year as well.