Good morning, everyone. Feels like Ireland out there with the fine, soft rain (in NYese more of a shpritz). Mix of clouds and sun today with a high of 80 degrees. Chance of thunderstorms this evening. We're a bit short-staffed today and need to work on getting next week's Norwood News ready, so this will be a quick and dirty roundup.
Story of the Day Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. has been batted around good in the tabloids this week for releasing a 267-page report by his Kingsbridge Armory Task Force that seems to have muddied his message of coming up with some good ideas for reinventing the landmark structure. The pressure is especially on the BP because he led the charge on defeating a Bloomberg administration plan, developed by The Related Companies, that would have turned the Armory into a giant shopping mall.
So, the Diaz camp must've been especially pleased this morning with Juan Gonzalez's column in the Daily News showing that Related and the city have fallen far short of promises on jobs while taking advantage of a sweet deal that requires them to pay comparatively very little in taxes. From the column: “Related paid $343,820 in rent this year, the city Economic Development Corp. says. That works out to about 50 cents rent per square foot per year. At the same time, the company collected $27 million in lease payments from stores at the mall.”
Meanwhile, a city promise of over 2,300 full-time jobs has turned into the equivalent of only 986 full-time positions, Gonzalez reports.
Diaz said it ratifies his position on blocking Related from getting hold of the Armory: “We've seen this movie before. These companies get low rents, pay little taxes and they make a killing on sales, yet they want to be able to pay our city residents poverty wages. It's got to stop.
Quick Hits: Today, we'll start with the ongoing information lockdown at the NYPD as evidenced by their contined lack of response to our request for precinct sector stat data. Maybe they're going for a world record for the number of days they've been flouting the state's Freedom of Information Law. Here's the clock:
In 2009, the Mosholu Montefiore Community Center put 3,300 local teens to work. This year it seems like that number will only be 667, reports the Riverdale Press. Yet the city want the Center to register the thousands of kids it usually does to put pressure on the state for more funding. Of course that's important, but we can't handle it,” MMCC director Don Bluestone told the Press.