*Stricter MTA conduct rules [enforced by NYPD] effective 12-4-205. No taking up more than one seat even with a little bag put on a seat[!], no moving between subway cars [can be arrested and held 24 + hours!] at ANY time and harsher enforcement on NO open beverages in subway cars [why not just fines for spills and littering?] *Early 2010 find raising: Arrest for these offnses on the rise - beware, it is illegal to walk subway car-to-car EVEN when train is not moving.*
In the late 1990s Giuliani instituted permit requirment for any group to use park space even to sit down to have a picnic. Performers are summonsed by Parks Enforcement for causing 20 or more people to gather watching, and possible be arrested.
UN-BLOOMberg? Stealth uber limousine-liberal Mayor makes political brownie points over "PlanNYC" greener NYC + better parks - PARKs DEPT already paved-over 20+ acres of poorly maintained ball fields for fake[-carcinogenic!] turf. Mature trees were cut for Washington Sq Park makeover. Queens community stunned by plan to cut the trees Parks Commish OCT 2007 announcement of $46mil pave and make over of 20 acres of "pristine forest" at disused Ridgewood Reservoir for a Rec center even existing facilities are in disrepair.
"Places like Washington Square, Union Square Park and the Sheep Meadow are dangerous for demagogues and autocrats."- from letter to editor NYTimes ov 30 2008 S. Bunin Jackson Hts, re: NOV 23 article "The Battle for Washington Square"
Have lots of cash or good plastic ready to be able to sit down or go to the bathroom after the stores and parks close.
ALL public parks in NY and squares -no matter how small- have added signs with closing times. After closing time they ARE CLOSED and illegal to enter even if there are no gates. Central Park has 1am curfew.
"He's making sure that the fines and tickets are being given to people who can pay the tickets."[-Mr. Colon]..Mr. Giuliani went after the squeege men, while Mr. Bloomberg is going after the citizen inside the car."-See "Bloomberg Assaults Our Quality of Life, Alicia Colon, NYSun 9-13-2005.
NO permit was issued for Flag Day Parade JUN 14 2007 - was oldest in US, held since the 1770s.
"Nearly 2,000 city-owned buildings have been cited for outstanding problems over the past five years. Department of Buildings offices at 280 Broadway had 24 [any still?] outstanding violations, and its Borough offices in the Bronx and Brooklyn have 58 between them."
APOLOGY by CITY ON ART [-Goldstein, NYSun 6-7-2007] Students got $750 ea and their lawyer got $42k. PARKS DEPT really f__ up by not checking out the very offensive stuff BEFORE they gave the OK. "The city is backing down from a court battle that ould have tested its authority to block offensive artwork from being displayed on public property." Came out of forced closure of Brooklyn College Masters art student show that included of sexual-political art from the interior "gallery" of the Brooklyn War Memorial in Cadman Plaza after its first day in May 2006.
NOTE -WORSE! was demonization of art "Virgin Mary" at SENSATIONs show when Giuliani was about to cut funds form Brooklyn Museum,- I SAW IT! The MAYOR and EVERY REPORTER talking about it LIED - they all said it was "SMEARED with dung! Thre was NO SMEARING of DUNG on it -- it was African folk- art style where some paint was put on in little droplets and circles with bigger round "blobs" actually were dung, but NOT on the face or such. It was a bit umm different, but it was NOT in a disrespectful manner though yes there were pasted on little magazine cut-outs of female crotches that probably got Giuliani bent out of shape!
Art groupies: NYC funds $115mil+ towards major cultural institutions: "Culture Vultures: Museums' brass roll$ amid layoffs
Example: American Museum of Natural History Director  $1.14mil salary/benefits + $50k bonus annd $144k housing allowance. Taxpayer funding for museum $16.7mil. No. 1 receipient of tax $$ Metropolitan Mus. $26.9mil -Edelman/Klein NYPost 2-1-2009. But all of them cut regular jobs adn their operating budgets at starting as early as Summer 2008..
NYC: Sealed for Your Protection
Fundamental transformation shoved down our throats so fast, you can only leave, or if you have to stay, take solace in religion and family, creature comforts or plain ol vice [such as left in NYC 2010 style]. The big chill advances . More and more stringent requirements [city mandates *hiring* off-duty police for security!] for using the streets for any gathering, race, walk, fun are very much political tools.
Principles are out. The rule of justice is out. Individual rights are out, Coalitions and special-interest blocs are in. Yet EVERYONE and EVERY GROUP has some big beef with the city. The velvet-gloved fist steers money to those who have the "juice." Nothing ends the Bloomberg honeymoon and no one holds the ultimate teflon* politician accountable. The rest of the local pols are too deep into the same game. Because most of YOU are buying most of it.
The Mayor played a huge part of sucking public street life away as a result of increasing the privatization of public spaces and stricter fines and regulations. Public order is further kept by harsh increasing amount of quashing active or threatened dissent and harsh enforcement of old and new Giuliani, now Bloomberg s "Quality of Life" initiatives. Out of mind in general of post 9-11 anti terror measures plus the need and desire to submit to authority somewhat stemmed public alienation and lead to grudging acceptance of our new contemporary police state. Obscure [to you] laws are selectively enforced. Homeowners must keep their patch of sidewalk clean all day and put out or cover trash at proper times and now never put yard waste mixed into the regular garbage bags. You cannot poster, [of course] not pee in the streets [but read on-], harass pigeons, climb a city tree, cannot enter a park or cross a public square after posted closing are fine-able and some are arrestable offenses, many by undercovers. Then if you are arrested you are handcuffed, fingerprinted and will likely be illegally held without if not arraigned in OVER 24hrs [had been avg 2-1/2 days in Manhattan!] before appearing in Criminal Court..or release without being charged. City Council failed to pass a 2005 "Charge or release" bill. 2001 [$50mil Manh and Queens] and Jun2004 [$650k 20 people Brooklyn-not allowed to become class-action] big lawsuit settlements over strip searches for *misdemeanors*. Don't laugh it is happening in the suburban counties too.
Crime is both LOW and HIGH. Like with doctors now, you gotta be able to use a specialist to get results. Overall the police force is down lots since 2001 AND a big chunk of efforts are the anti-terrorism duties. Low-crime numbers the Mayor loves to trumpet to the world are brought about by harsh enforcement [and some fudged stats] in -targeted- "Operation Impact" hot spot areas, not to mention private policing [generally] in affluent areas. Some non-targeted, "bad" areas have rising violent crime, murder rates NOW after some years of stabilisation or declining rates. More limited regular patrols also account for still-high or increasing numbers of non-murder crimes in even such "safe places" as ASTORIA. [-see Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. "Police staffing crisis impacts entire city" 1-17-2008 METRO] Note NYPD graduating cadets JAN 2008 to be ENTIRELY assigned to "Operation Impact areas.
They Shoot Tour Groups, Don't They?
To uphold the intent of the law, shouldn't they?. NO demonstrating without a permit. At many significant events - NO permits! 1st Amendment Rights gone! Police can fine or imprison EVERY person in ANY ride, procession/ parade for which a permit is not issued. This further tightening of existing restrictions on public assembly was proposed by NYPD [at whose initiative?], made public July 17 2006 and finalised in 2007 to FIFTY [50! Admin code 10-110 NO "parading" without a permit Bloomberg-Kelly wanted to extend their reign of terror [well if picked out and beaten by a cop or held overnight in jail for a minor offense IS terrifying..] on the public in 2006 by reducing the number to TWO  persons going 2 blocks or more violating any traffic rule. THAT would be considered being "Protestors" and require a permit in advance. 35 or more people on the SIDEWALK together would have also required a permit in advance! In light of criticism of those draconian provisions, I guess the Police would have to shoot some large tour groups - that means *YOU* from Allentown! But it still seriously means a ban on peaceful groups walking together too.
Late MAR 2007 FED lawsuit challenged constitutionality of NYPD "parade" permit rules that were revised FEB 25 2007. "The NYPD's parade rules essentially outlaw large bike rides under the dubious claim that bicycle rides are a danger to public safety.. " - bureaucratic nightmare to get a permit [even need it to use existing bike lanes!] because the width of every road en route has to be listed, a "chief officer" responsible for conduct must be appointed too! -a permit is needed for any lawful procession of any group of 50 or more -whomever whatever- in the street. Despite denials, this is payback beyond any "public safety" issues, to "Critical Mass" riders who were prime targets and prime abusers of public space were ecretely videod and infiltrated besides public arrests and confrontation as their rides increasingly took on a hippie-radical chic antisocial manner. Critical Mass rode without being asked by NYC to get a permit - until the ride of Fri Mar30 2007.. 3 arrests and lots of tickets given out! There also was no permit JUL 25 2008, but the riders got really mass-obnoxious and a cop on 7Av[?] Times Sq took it out on a rider. P. O. lied on arrest report that rider assaulted/ resisted arrest, YouTube seen around the world a few days later with the truth is still causing ripples and emboldening resistance/new 'video the police' campaign! NOTE see down in scroll box below -re martial law-ish zones during parades-they shut down and lock down surrounding streets create dangerous crowding PLUS when police use mass arrests to diffuse problems.
'In order to fund them' select NYC Parks [see MORE->] are enhanced, patrolled and maintained in part through the public-private parks conservancies and corporate events. ALL NYC parks are CLOSED at night - whether POSTED or NOT - GATED or NOT! You are subject to fines by PARKS DEPT enforcement and if caught by them your may be arrested by NYPD if you have no ID and cuffed and taken in. This may even be for walking through a small mid Avenue "park" space that looks like little more than a traffic island or dipping your feet in the water at which is prohibited OFF LIMITS when NO lifeguards are present! Benches *around* Madison Square -not in the park, but on the street had a posted closing time of 11pm [-since removed]! The 3 sq. block park itself was gated after its major renovation.
Juan Gonzales [Daily News 2-9-2007] wrote that BLOOMBERG LLPsealed off the southern portion of Randalls Island for nearly 2 weeks early JULY 2006 to make an amusement park for its company picnic. NYC Park playgrounds are for children only..since 1996 posted in small letters that is NO adult without a child allowed - BEWARE it is being enforced and you are subject to 90 days in jail and $1000 fine-it is very damaging to citizens to be threatened by POLICE, guns at ready, calling for backup if they pick you out for sitting in the wrong place is enough to make an average person, umm, dislike cops. I surprised we have not had reports of people fined or arrested for sitting on the *sidewalk* or public benches at the sidewalk.
Washington Sq. is barricaded and closed midnight-6am by Police. A new iron fence is included in secretive rebuilding plans [See MORE->]. Is the PUBLIC sold out though BENEFITTING? Plans were made SECRETLY without community input - it was mostly a deal between a big donor, NYU and the Parks Dept. Many high-profile Manhattan public spaces and small parks such as Greeley and Herald Sq., were renovated and operated for NYC under stewardship of BIDs such as 34th St. Partnership, and Bryant park, under the Bryant Park Restoration Corp since 1985. They are all gated and close as early as 7pm. In the past as dirty old places, they were OPEN. Madison, Union, and especially Bryant Park [which now receives NO public funding] have also been very commercialised with some public events, but closed during many private corporate events.
In 2009, NYC projects fines and fees will be $900 milion - up $100mil in a year. Mr. Bloomberg is not and never has been a Republican as some of y'all keep saying. That was a paid-for flag of convenience.
A city agency for first time in years fined MANY shops up to $2500 re printed stuff on their awnings - since law was passed, almost ALL old fashioned retractables disappeared, replaced by huge roll-down-gate covering "waterfall" sign-awning which are a design horror. The law only allows 12-inch high store name and address [-City Council voted six-month moratorium on fines while it considers updated the 1961 regulation]. Having a garbage container on the sidewalk on a non-collection day is subject to a $100 fine. Commercial vehicles i.d. lettering MUST be 3 inches high *ONLY*. Yet I see there are no such rules for commercial establishments - "clubs" and such can be anonymous. Bars are picked out to be fined [& now padlocked for days] for people dancing in violation of the remnant of the race-baiting depression-era cabaret law-requiring 2-year licenses for three or more people "moving in synchronized fashion" [no social dancing]. Challengers were rebuffed conclusively when the law was found constitutional FEB 2007 by State appeals court. There are only 255 180 licensed bars/clubs where dancing is permitted legally in NYC now! [-and only one team of inspectors left who really check on the fire safety issues of the real, large clubs] There is a somewhat welcomed anti-noise [early 2005 first hearings on new regs held] crusade. Giuliani-Bloomberg anti adult-entertainment and porn [9-10-03 NYS Supreme Ct ruled 60/40 rule unconstitutional but APR 2005, now thats thrown out by court and even stricter rule is OK].
Ashtrays are banned from all bars, clubs, restaurants. It is a prime itme to be inspected for - any in public on premises can result in large fines. Licensed "Night" clubs CAN be shut after 3 smoking violations in a year. Fines are a revenue source; the NYPost 12-27-2009 reported NO club with repeat violations had been shut. Cigar bars [mostly upscale] can have smoking and Hookas are sort of OK! There's scattered reports of smokers outside fined for loitering. A dozen inspectors were hired spring 2003 for a night shift in addition to force of other restaurant inspectors policing 25,000 establishments. Three fines in 12 months and place could lose its license. Maybe next if some State lawmakers have their way is smoking ban in YOUR car, if children under 16 present [anything in the name of the children - more on 'Zero-tolerance heads.] Public Defender Laura Safet [J. Murphy, Village Voice Apr 26-May 1 2006 'Out-Rudying Rudy'] said spike in quality of life offense arrests are up sharply and are cruel, such as arrests for trespassing in housing projects "If you're in a building looking for a friend and he isn't there, they arrest you."
Individuals and small businesses are bing 'nickeled and dimed' [more like seriously harasssed]. "Butters" East Village cupcake cafe July 12 2010 was fined and temporarily closed for 3 days as an "illegal sidwalk cafe" for putting a couple of little tables out. Chain stores are fined by Dept of Consumer Affairs for leaving doors open with the AC on. Famously, in May 2003 a man was fined big for sitting on a milk crate on street [business law fine for private use of delivery milk crates]. *Revised noise code passed 12-21-2005 finally in effect July 1 2007 a year after first intended. It says dogs at night gotta stop barking after 5 minutes! The DEP has 25 portable noise meters and in 2005 they received 335,000 noise complaints. These noise fines levied by the Environmental Control board rose 30 percent from [NYC FY] 2002-2005. Public schools cell phone ban is strictly enforced where metal detectors are used.. so students are becoming proficient in smuggling on their bodies, burying or paying approx $2 a day to local stores to hold their phone through the school day; so local shoplifting, stolen phones are on increase.
Dogwalkers are a target. Jake Albright, a Bat. Pk City resident was handcuffed [by plainclothes PEPatrol officers] and taken to First Precinct besides being summonsed winter 2003. Others who were harassed filed complaints against PEP in this "zero-tolerance" actions in no-dog walking zones round Battery Park City[-Downtown Express Mar 4-10 2003 PEP were back in uniform in beginning of MAR 2003]. JUN 2003-Crackdown on unlicensed dogs announced [est only 100,000 of 1.5 mil dogs licensed], but NYC Public Advocate shows that NYC cannot quickly process dog license requests. NOTE June 2009 'pooper scooper' law fine is increased to $250. *HIGH LINE: No DOGS. No BICYCLES*
*Must read* James Gardener 6-8-2011 in NYPost and elsewhere - "Slowly Crushing Central Park's Spirit" re: Central park under the adminsitrative regime of the Central park Conservancy especially since 1998 after it got control of the park under long-term renewable contracts with NYC - and they are accontalbe only to their funders and the Mayor. NYPost "Park Cops Vanish Amid Crime Wave" 7-20-03 reported PEP Parks Enforcement]-was downsized about 75 percent since "10 years ago" though somehow summonses are UP! Surely back then there were more city paid PEP and less of heavily privatised/ hired by the parks Conservancies like they are NOW. AUG 2008 NYC paid for 26 PEP in Manhattan + 19 for whole of the other 4 boroughs[=total 27,200 acres] while Conservancies funded 75 of their own PEP for Battery Park City[-park space], Hudson River and Union Square[=180.5 acres]! -see L. Colangelo, DailyNews 10-5-2008.
*Truly out of control graffiti that is widespread but particularly in the boroughs conspicuously visible from the elevated lines, and scratching subway glass leads to fascist laws being upheld! JAN 2006-New law effective [upcoming are constitutional challenges] makes it a CRIME to POSESS aerosol spray paint, etching tools, broad tip permanent markers, other "graffiti tools on public property"-oh I add for those under 21 NO EXCEPTION, NO EXEMPTION. What if you are under 18 o r21 and not in this new protected-class of "students" - and you are friggin WORKING in an OFFICE and use them? It is NOT right [maybe barely constitution] to increasingly criminalise *POTENTIAL* behavior and try to stem it by criminalising possession of various legal items which in practice means the Police will stop, detain, whatever, potential graffiti miscreants -or YOU even- because they CAN! Peter Vallone Jr shepherded this bill thru the City Council. My personal comments regard the common student situtuiaon - no police assurances that it is not their aim to beat down students carrying art supplies is satisfactory. From High School at "Art & Design" and through college as an architecture and design I "ALWAYS" had art supplies with me! The Mayor decided in cause of fighting graffiti it was worth criminalising and subjecting to ARREST ALL under-21 -of course not only- art students and employees possessing such materials, though they are most likely to possess them. Even the city's attorney Scott Schor [10-17-06] conceded that point! They say some kind of similar law was upheld in CHICAGO [ALSO I went to college there at 18 and carried art supplies!]
"Bloomberg Wants to Get in Your Genes... Compared to the present Mayor's contempt of civil liberties, Giuliani was a piker."
as Nat Hentoff wrote in VillageVoice Feb 6-12 2008. BLOOMBERG is tougher than Giuliani, but maintained a false, less harsh image. Many of us already knew this. Though NYState allows DNA sample collection from convicted felons, Hentoff quoted 1-19-08 Jim Dwyer in NYTimes "This week the mayor proposed that everyone arrested for any crime in New York City -before the case has been judged-should be required to provide a sample of DNA." [375,669 arrests 2007]. Hentoff prods the NY bar Assoc., civil rights advocates and those of you railing against "revision" of the constitution by BUSH-CHEYNEY, where are you on THIS?
Do not count on it that *YOU* have nothing to worry about or have no pics or files about you. Better to be a panhandler than a protestor or bicyclist on the streets sorta - though officially recognised by a Manh FED judge in 1992 as protected free speech, follow up cases resulting from arrests require NYPolice at end of 2006 to spread the word down 'hands off.'
NYC Surveillance City 911 changed everything.
YOUR cams are restricted. Your - or independent use of air pollution/bio/ chem/ radiation detectors early 2008 are about to be criminalised to keep us "safe" from any "panic" caused by reportage of false test results [or the FACTS!]. This was reported as another NYPD - City Council "thing" but the bill [Intro. 650] was demanded by the Mayor [perhaps prodded by Fed DHS] under the Councilman's name- [Peter Vallone Jr. had to write to press /METRO 2-7-2008 'the Mayor did it; I am only the Committee chair..']. Unlicensed POSSESSION was going to be an arrestable offense. A compromise draft released by NYPD late APR 2008, exempted individuals' smoke, carbon monoxide, radon and geiger counter, but penalties for users without permits of regulated equipment will be confiscation, summonses, and criminal liability of sponsoring organisation[s].
Some restrictive/ screwy measures that seem to be Council initiatives are at behest of the Mayor that he does not want go public with! The PBA [Police Union] [FEB 2006] even sued the city ["Police vs Police"] for violating their First Amendment rights [Internal Affairs Division] taped *them* during 2004 contract dispute demonstration[s]. PBA said their pre-Republican Convention contract demonstration were an embarrassment to the Mayor so that was one motive for that crackdown. But the Mayor gave the final push of those masses to the streets when he denied a permit for use of the Great Lawn, Central Park! NYTimes said 12 arrested at Feb-Mar 2004 anti-war demonstrations were questioned about their political thinking. CCRB [Civilian Complaint review Board findings confirmed protestors who are not in absolute conformity to all restrictions set up by permit[-IF issued] have no civil rights. Police confine and mass arrest them. They sent a report to the Police Comm MAY 5-9-2006 that said AUG 31 2004 demonstrators were penned in with no exit, yet Police brass shouted unintelligible orders to disburse or be arrested, and then moved in. The Police Commissioner wrote back that he is "surprised and dismayed by the CCRB report. Police do not have to follow CCRB recommendations.
Maybe they really need to cut down spying on their own, to control press leaks! Village Voice lists [Mar 5-11 2008 "When Cops Go Bad..Does the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau Even Notice?" Sean Gardiner] examples ineffectiveness against growing cases of crimes & misconduct. Also looks as if politics drive some investigations "..more and more of their time is spent "dumping "tracing" the cellular phones of detectives and making other efforts to uncover leaks to the media in high-profile cases.."
Post 9-11 NYC the new Bloomberg Admin went to FED court in 2002-03 to loosen early 1970s restrictions requiring approval for surveillance of political etc demonstrations [got "Handschu decree"] on ground for the "spying" and what to do to get an OK. Spying on the public officially is still in flux. The cases and the legalities are very confusing. Except for a 1990s temp set up, there are no court rooms cams in NYState.
Arrestees who were seen as potential violent threats at the "DAVOS" World Economic Forum NYC Jan 31-Feb 4 2002 were held for up to 40 hours Lawyer for arrested protestors said they were held "twice as long as people accused of murder, rape and robbery.."[-NYTimes 3-17-06 Police Memos Say Arrest Tactics Calmed Protest]. The report - memo follow-ups suggested also using undercovers to distribute disinformation into crowds. This is going far beyond law enforcement even beyond spying or intelligence gathering The anti war movement was growing, case can be made for NYPD suspending first amendment during the 2004 Republican Convention furthered by tools such as NOV 2005 Police Commissioner Interim Order 47 allowed practically unlimited NYPD public surveillance.
The resulting lawsuits led to further discovery of surveillance and infiltration to the point of police 'dirty tricks.' JAN 2007 it was hinted--| "A federal magistrate-judge will not launch an inquiry into how a New York Times reported how police intelligence documents [further detailed MAR 25 2007 in NYTimes "City Police Spied Broadly Before G.O.P. Convention"] 'From Albequerque to Montreal, San Francisco to Miami.." (besides actual anarchist types) the secret intelligence division "chronicled the views and plans of (innocent) members of "street theater companies, church groups and antiwar protestors as well as environmentalists and people opposed to the death penalty, globalization and other government policies. Three New York City elected officials were cited in the reports." - "Until the city could prove the leak did not come from city or police officials [Judge Francis said] "he would not as plaintiff attorneys to give affidavits stating they did not violate the confidentiality order."
What would the law allow? "In what amounts to a significant victory for the city, Judge Haight distanced himself from an earlier order in which he accused the police of routinely videotaping peaceful protests. In that February  ruling, Judge Haight threatened the department with contempt proceedings if it continued to tape political rallies without evidence of criminal activity" [-"In Reversal, Police gain Videotaping Freedom" J. Goldsmith, NYPost 6-14-2007] I head ONE major radio report that said the judges loosened the restrictions again due to further [secret - are they these?] revelations. NYC in APR then JUN 4 2008 subpoenaed "I-Witness Video" for arrest videos ALL of their tapes of 8 days of anti-War-Republican demonstrations which the group used to help dismiss approx 400 cases. NOW the group says this is TOO MUCH. would have a "chilling effect" on their work and make then an "agent" of the authorities. Some of that evidence proved that a tape made by he police had frames removed that showed peaceful behavior by a person who was later described by a police officer under oath as having behaved disruptively." [-C. Moynihan, City Subpoenas for Access To Tapes of 2004 Protest" NYTimes 6-20-2008] Video taping of public gatherings and police entering demonstrations undercover under Interim Order 47 continued until NYCLU seemed to prevail, No. 47 was rescinded APR 13 2007 it took little time for new [__ 2008] Interim Order 22 to give big loopholes to [NYC seeming to comply with the court restrictions] taping/surveillance of public demonstrations. These are big loopholes, and so they will do what they feel they need to and some of these guy may just WANT to spy or detain. After all, if push comes to shove and lawsuits, ultimately, the federal security apparatus will back or aid them despite any court restrictions because under new guidelines, anything goes if warranted. See [MORE->] on new 2008 FBI /Dept of Justice "Guidelines for Domestic Operations."
In class-action lawsuit stemming from Y2001 arrests, DEC 2006 a FED jury found 1st and 14th amendment rights and free-assembly rights of about 30 jailed-overnight demonstrators were violated when it arrest instead of ticker for this misdemeanor was official from MAY 1-JULY 13 2001, but it agreed that the city did not have this as a prior UNWRITTEN policy so the rights of 300 other protestors jailed from early 1999 were not violated.[-NYPost, Newsday DEC 19 2006]. After militant celeb chic was added to anti-Police demonstrations after Diallo was killed 2-4-199 they say Police Commissioner Safir was ferklempt. With all the Bloomberg admin obfuscation, the city could have its own Guantanomo but the press is whipped.
Severe restrictions on civil liberties taken during the AUG 2004 convention mass arrests and detention of 1,806 where for up to 2 days in a temp detention camp caged-in areas on bare floor of Pier 57 before being released. Core groups of anarchists posted violent plans to disrupt, infiltrate, assault convention participants and commit arson and some actual training sessions were held in NYC and elsewhere. And the NYC push back was "extra-constitutional! Couldn't the Police done better and respect civil rights of the more peaceful protestors and not swept up so many bystanders and especially photogs and members of small press from the arrests?
*ACLU distributed "Pier 57 Intake Forms" 9-3-04 the day after the convention ended -they want to keep these secret no matter that it was not indicated the ACLU trolls by not disclosing they use these to initiate cases. No one indicated that those arrested could choose to keep the form private, so it was ruled MAY 23-2007 must be turned over for "discovery.* |- code name for police operations against demonstrators was "Overlord II" [prior DEM convention NYPD plan was "Overlord I"] about out of state and abroad surveillance and infiltration of various groups of suspicion dated back to 2003. At the end of 2006 as lawsuits dragged on. NYC kept arrest transcripts, videos, and the "R.N.C. Executive Summary of June 24 2004 re terrorist etc potential disruptions during the convention secret. We just found out how widespread intelligence gathering was a year plus before the convention even to overseas surveillance and infiltration of groups and a NO-summons policy was decided on -from latest documents city was forced to release [600 pages released MAY 16 2007] about NYPD pre-convention security preparations. As result of an ACLU etc lawsuit[s] fighting the arrests, a judge 8-6-2007 ruled city must release field intelligence reports with privileged, confidential data redacted. NYC trolling for more intelligence or just gonna protect itself in these ongoing lawsuits?
A judge found NYC in contempt of court for failing to meet a 24-hour state- mandated release deadline. NYSUN 6-6-2007 For a long while little was publicly known "City Fight Efforts to Release 2004 Convention Arrest Records" Dwyer, NYTimes, 12-13-2006] said 22 of those arrested were been convicted and 15 pleaded guilty.
PIER 57 got protestors sick [- the City wants to bury those reports, if not those people]. This former bus garage is a severe toxic hazard...even 42 Police officers stationed there filed hazardous exposure reports- and are in a lawsuit against NYC and the Hudson River Park Trust [loaned the pier to NYC], their ID was kept secret. It is owned by Hudson River Park Trust and reports of conditions where people were thrown into would upset development prospects for the Pier [announced in 2005 as Cipriani's "The Leonardo"! "Only" 1,900+ were arrested out of crowd[s] of about 800,000.
Mayor said there were new rules against using newly fixed-up Central Park open space for demonstrations, "Permits for demonstrations should be for Brooklyn or the Bronx" during 2004 Republican convention. Bloomberg is taking the Great Lawn of Central park for hoity-toity friends, they say. In 2005 Bloomberg finally said the Great Lawn could handle six events a year- and 4 were reserved for the opera and symphony. So the lefty loonie groups are suing - but they have 1st Amendment rights, too.
"Vertical" hold: Trumped up Trespassing Arrests
The NIGHTMARE has come to pass that going into a NON-DOORMAN [of course] regular ol bldg [oh are they f__g over Jehovah's witnesses and salespeople, too?] without meeting you host outside first may be dangerous in non white, poorer areas BECAUSE of the POLICE. "
Clean Halls has been touted as a tool for keeping drugs and drug dealing out of low-income housing, but once a landlord sign a Clean Halls affidavit, no one can leave their home without their papers." OR ELSE... "Operation Clean Halls"[-in NYCHA "projects"] and "Clean Halls" in private properties are snaring mostly innocent residents and visitors. Perhaps [really prob is] a QUOTA system as part of COMPSTAT forcing boost of trespassing arrests orig intended to keep out drug dealers etc but now are "a public policy run amok" [-"The Trouble with Trespassing Law", R. Parascandola, Newsday 7-30-2007] Highlighting at this bit o' reign of terror, BX Supreme Court "tossed out" trespassing arrest of E. Ruiz an ordinary, innocent citizen arrested 10-25-2006, stopped and frisked on street held for 3 days in 2006 after going over to a neighbors building - yet city did not say if they would APPEAL!
In another case that was unusual because it went to trial Police officer LIED 1]-told judge at trial when they "asked" man arrested what they were doing in the building he "told them" to "buy marijuana" and 2]-This officer presented himself as the arresting officer, but was there only driver of the "paddy wagon" [(defendants lawyer) M. Chris Fabrikant-"Rousting the Cops: One man stand up to the NYPD's apartheid-like trespassing crackdown", Village Voice NOV 7-13 2007] Targeted areas are flooded with rookies "trying to make as many arrests as possible. In 28 month after 2003 launch of the program, 72,000 of these arrests were made. Most take plead guilty to trespassing..few challenge it at a trial.
A record 508,540 "stop and frisks" on NYC streets in 2006 are up 5x since 2002 but only resulted in 21,000 arrests. Police say it is for drugs, guns etc, others see racial profiling driven by POLS dictating arrest numbers to the Police thru the Compstat [statistics system]. Those stopped were 52% black and 29% "hispanic." City Council was concerned over disproportionate # of "minorities" stopped but was further stonewalled. The NYCLU sued NOV 2007; the most info court will make NYPD release is raw data coming early FEB2008 [no locations, times etc.] so the legal challenge this NYPD secrecy will probably continue. Surveillance from 5 new mobile towers with high tech digicams and recording systems [one even used during APR 2007 Auto Show at Javits Ctr]. Police were given authority over public school safety by Giuliani in 1998. Ironically, as teacher's classroom ability to discipline was taken away, and many schools still are chaotic, metal detectors, pat-downs and searches are now widespread. But innocent students have been detained or arrested on whim of Police and minor infractions have been me with actual rough force by Police. It is a BIG issue..to point of NYCLU [Aug?] 2007 released report "Criminalizing the Classroom: The Over-Policing of NYC Schools." -not that I am a NYCLU lawyer of course, but we should not bury our head in the sand over the actual abuse because this is mostly happening in "those" neighborhoods.
Regulation of Public Photography
SUBWAY photo arrests continue despite the law, could happen to anyone in any location, beware particularly where it is NOT busy! Police use implied threats of arrest when they demand [illegaly] one show them and delete pics! NOTE the FEB 12 2009 arrest of Robert Taylor [see Dwyer, NYTimes Feb18 2009] at Freeman St #2 'el' BX, handcuffed, taken in and given 3 summons: taking the photos without "authority" [despite it not being illegal], addressing the officers in "an unreasonable voice" and "impeding traffic" [despite near-empty station] and held for 2 hours. Officially, the NYPD HAD to drop the charges of taking pics. The MTA employee[!] filed a $2million worgful arrest lawsuit against NYC on JUNE 29 2009. NYPD favourite all purpose CYA charges when you f__ over civilians are 'disrespect', "resisting arrest' and ever-popular to bust too-curious bystanders "interfering with Police activity. More about street arrests for public photos here, related to general '9/11' security concerns.
Ponder this! Who knew for example-> Under the “old” rules you were required to have a permit to use a tripod in city parks! A lawsuit filed JAN 2006 on behalf of award-winning filmmaker Rakesh Sharma who was detained by police in May 2005 who saw him use a handheld camera in Midtown lead to a deal the friggin New York Civil Liberties Union reached with city and was the drafting of a crazy civil-rights limiting scheme by the Mayor's film office as a result. After that was settled the NYCLU falsely boasted "Filmmakers and photographers using handheld equipment on city streets will no longer be required to obtain permits... - which was a load of B.S. for most of US-> [AP] [-"Civil rights group, N.Y. settle video suit" 5-24-2007 METRO]->PROTEST and PETITION against this!<-
The Mayor's Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting was going to clarify the rules in reaction to that lawsuit. The rules were casually floated before official publication and received little attention outside the photog. and activist communities. No legal distinction was made in the proposed rules between pro or COMMERCIAL and amateur. ANY group of two or more people who wanted to use a camera in a single public location for more than a half hour or -ANY- group of five or more people who would be using a tripod for more than ten minutes including setup and breakdown time. -(Excerpted from the Gothamist) and would have been required to get a city permit and $1 million in liability insurance. The PRESS is/was exempt but will be beaten into submission [-more or less!]
There was public comment period thru a DEC 13 2007 scheduled public hearing after which time NYC was going finalise rules on film permits and shooting/taking pics on public property. AUG 3 2007 official "publishing" date [first implementation] of harsh regulations originally proposed late JUNE 2007 did not raise a peep until late that summer. SO then it was put off for re-consideration but not scrapped. It took two more months of mobilisation of amateur and small- professional film /photography community for MAYOR to relent and present re-written proposed regulations OCT 29 2007 that were in a finalised form in JULY 2008. The rules in general are no permits or insurances for non-professionals will be required. Permits and insurance are required for uses of anything other than hand held equipment and for taking over traffic lanes, or blocking 8' width or more of sidewalk.
Three was no talk of justice, freedom or common sense. The Mayor's main statement was about $$$; the importance of film to the NYC economy. This community [IFP- Independent Feature Project] is giving the Mayor an award NOV 27 2007 at the annual Gotham Awards! Ms. Micehlle Byrd, Exec Director of IFP said "This is not just a politician, but a business man with a background in media. He gets it." [J. Snyder, "Bloomberg to the Rescue"-NYSun 11-23-2007]
The public is gripped by mass hysteria or hyper-PC [See MORE-> in a case in UK]. NYCLU in ongoing/ various lawsuits on behalf on arrested/ searched/ detained photographers says the NYPD may be keeping tabs on everyone "investigated for photography..regardless of the outcome of the investigation." in a special database. -S. Gardner, Village Voice JUNE 11-17 2008 First Amendment Watch. Simon Lund on Memorial Day 2008 to NYPD, was shooting the mise en scene [rides etc] with his wife at Coney Island, after complaint from uppity stranger that he was shooting pics of her son! They both ended going over to the police. Lund really tried to cooperate, But other public joined in and got angry at LUND over 'How can he take pictures of my child crap!' and they started to chant. SO the officers did what was expedient but not right.- they threatened him with "much worse" than surrendering his film. SO he gave up his film to the woman, with his personal info asking her to get it developed and send film back to him minus any "offending shots- which the bitch from hell did not return or contact him. NO one has privacy from photogs in public! You only have to get a release for commercial use! I know how bad it can be when I was threatened around the Central Park Bethesda Fountain taking pics a few years ago, when clinically "psycho"-whatever actual name of the condition women [w- her passive husband standing by, later confirmed she just goes off like that..] threatened me that I was taking her picture, tried to take my cam, would not leave me alone until I deleted a pics she might have been one person amongst the crowd! NOW I am glad I did NOT try to get the Police!
Police cams everywhere..but for YOU, NO Peeking!
A growing number of location NYPD street cam stations are installed. Subway station entrance and turnstile areas cameras were installed [at least one cam per each turnsitle] They were also intended to be [from mid 2007 or so] in busses, and [in 2009] subway cars but technical problems slowed that. If this is live monitoring of the coming tens of thousand of cams, we would have to be like ol East Germany where sorta half the population was needed to spy on the other half.
The NYC Police stated there are 20 park cams, UK style with speaker to call you out and a flash for night pictures active as of April 2011.
To really protect us, count on Council members like Peter Vallone [Jr.] "A bill that could make it illegal to glance at a naked neighbor is moving forward in the City Council...[C]ouncil member Peter Vallone Jr. said he introduced the bill to fight back against perverts, such as people who stand at the bottom of a flight of stairs and look up women's skirts." [-G. Paul, ". NYSun 11-15-2007] Vallone, Police Commissioner Kelly, NYPD Chief Esposito and no one know how many other NYC officials[-no comment] now have NYC Police cams in front of their HOMES! [-R. Parascandola, Daily News 9-12-2008]
Moving Violations - Still Under the Rug
"..the City Council has summoned Buildings Commissioner Patricia Lancaster to an emergency hearing on building safety [2-4-2008.]" -B. Kates, Daily News 2-3-08 'Big Gap In Safety Net: Hi-rise deaths, falling debris stir city probe'
*Restaurants are closed for a while when there are a few bugs. Health inspection results are posted, but at buildings where there are deaths and injuries, the bodies are swept up quickly and the work just goes on.*.
Feb 20 2003, Dept. of Investigations announced arrest of four owners of various small properties who tried to bribe Bldgs. Dept. Inspectors, but there have been more notorious corruption case with bigger fish to fry:->NY Times Metro 6-27-02 1/3 of the Manhattan Property Assessors announced under indictment -by Fed. Prosecutor- June 2003 a [woman] was 20th person pleaded guilty shortly after retirement. 2-25-02 after years of city investigation, as taking $10 million in bribes since 1997 and costing the city approx $150 million since then, though it was said in the news that this has been going on for about *thirty five years,,,in the center of it was Albert Schussler who had at least has been employed at the Dept. for over thirty years to 1967 and retired to become an important real estate consultant [died of stroke 1-6-03]. Trial was to begin 1-27-03..."So far, 15 assessors have pleaded guilty.." [Nov 2002 Trump suing city for $500 mil in damages and demanding property taxes on World Tower be cut and maybe sue other major NYC landlords who profited from the bribery schemes]. "..Mayor Michael Bloomberg has called [this case] "the largest and most financially damaging corruption scheme ever conducted within city government." -[NY Times, Metro 1-8-03]..The biggest buildings tied to the biggest builders in NY are key to the $$$ involved...oh how they must be relieved that Schussler died.
Broken HONOR SYSTEM
There are construction union and government PIGS. But there are also DEVELOPERS and PROPERTY OWNER PIGS who cheat for their own gain, and are partners in crime willing to do PAY OFFS As a COST OF DOING BUSINESS
Such as LEHR Construction and four senior execs indicted May 4 2011; offices were raided early 2010. The four were charged with stealing $30 mil 1998-2010. Subcontractor's costs were infaltied, some of them are going to be indicted on related charges. "It is the second time in 13 years that executives at Lehr .. have been charged with fleecing their corporate customers, annd the third corruption case involving a member of the Lazar family which founded Lehr.[-see Bagli, NYTimes 5-5-2011].
In Sept. 2000, five high Bldg. Dept. employees were indicted on bribery and corruption charges incl. accepting bribes from expeditors.Contractor and Architects routinely need to hire expeditors to get paperwork handled faster and correctly at the Dept. of Bldgs. [if you go to the offices you could hardly tell the expeditors from the Bldg. Dept. employees the way they mingle.] Village Voice Feb 20-26-2008 [Tom Robbins about expediter-brothers, the Feketes f__ the system, "Fake It Til You Make It"- doctored pics for plan[s] approvals for leading to C of 0] says there was an INCREASE in registered expeditors of almost 31% in 2 years [2005-07] to 2,800!
Guiliani wanted to move inspections to the Fire Department, while now due to such a low number of inspectors, 2003 Dean Massari resigned from Buildings Dept., May 15 2007 arrest warrant unsealed in BK fed court he was accused of taking kickback in $500 payments from the supervisor of a plumbing contractor, $17,000 during 3-years to overlook sewer violations and approve faulty work. [-S. Coeh, NYPost 4-16-2007] Note NYC allows contractors, to self-certify home building projects even to 3 floor bldgs [in effect since some time under Giuliani] and architects to self-certify even bigger jobs. Opponents cite shoddy, illegal construction, building collapses and accidents. But the MAYOR wants just some penalties for [like the laws NOW have any effect..] and is opposed to an effort by a Councilman in Feb 2007 to end this self-certifying. Bloomberg says it would crimp new building. At most, the Dept of Buildings AUDITS less than 20% [target] of self-certified projects.
Late June 2002 19 "current" and former NYC Plumbing Inspectors, including the chief Plumbing Inspector of NYC, were charged with extorting payoffs, 3 of whom had faced similar charges, one tried and cleared and the others have sealed records in a 1993 case. Re: staffing and recruitment problem the Dept. of Bldgs. Commish said "We don't pay anywhere what the industry does.. " adding that the department has not filled the ranks of elevator inspectors reduced by indictments spring 1996 when 3/4 of NYC's elevator inspectors were suspended for taking bribes including the majority of the Chiefs and Supervisors. They would help overlook things etc., for a few dollars.
The Daily News printed a summary of what was found after a five year investigation of the elevator inspection division (8/24/96). Forty (40) of 58 inspectors were busted for taking bribes...they join a long list of "modestly paid inspectors wielding power over big-bucks industries such as construction and real estate." fostering corruption Stephen MacFarland Daily News 4/24/97.
In 2002/03 [NY POST 8-31-03] elevator accidents were at 10 year high - 7 dead and dozens injured, paper finds some elevators not inspected since mid to late 1990s. Violations and complaints have since skyrocketed. Non-hazardous elevator violation are fixed on an honor landlord self-certifying system and many of the inspection are done by private contractors hired by landlords, city inspection of hazardous condition can take weeks. There were [mid 2006] 43 elevator inspectors. [See NYTimes 8-14-2006] - there are few audit checks on the self-certified repairs and bldgs with a large number or serious violation are not umm, oh they say we can't single out a bldg. for enforcement.
"Since February 2002, more than 30 officials and members in Local 1 [International Union of Elevator Constructors] have been indicted for no-show jobs at more than 20 construction sites [including the MTA's 2 Broadway HQ project which was a RENOVATION cost $430Mil...the original budgeting was $135Mil!] The former Vice Pres of the union was found guilty 3-1-04 , facing to 20 yrs. for racketeering, money laundering, and conspiracy to take unlawful labor payments. Pay is low, there is no reward-incentive for doing better or increasing revenue to the city, but *private industry*- property and business owners DO have an incentive to [bribe] lower their costs.
Six former or current officials of the School Construction Authority were arrested NOV 16 2005 for "shaking down" contractors for approval of their payments or aiding them with inside info to aid their bids on new work. An investigation centered on payoffs in 2000-04 [before -and- after Bloomberg assumed more direct control over SCA], officials otherwise say new project tracking and now requiring supervisors to sign-off ALL change orders are in place, so bad guys, beware...[-NY Post and NYDailyNews 11-17-2005]. More construction related union corruption hit the fan mid 2004 when Mason Tenders District Council and Local 79 was placed under supervision of Laborers International Union of North America. Five top officers of Local 79 in NYC resigned, two face criminal charges, the secy-treasurer used embezzled funds in hundreds of thousands in no-bid furnishing of the union HQ, and sued a union credit card for $150k unauthorized personal use incl expensive "gifts" to two of the other union officials who resigned and prev. in 2003 was a Dem member of city council of Long Beach LI and resigned, he used union funds to by political influence there. [-see citystate, "Laborers looted" Vil. Voice Nov 3-9 2004] It was supposedly cleaned up since the 1990s when, the VVoice said org crime in this Local was entrenched, $25 mil in funds misused and "shakedowns" of vendors and contractors was the rule. Fed civil and criminal charges changed the leadership of the union.
1998 charges of bribery and 2004 conviction of the exec secy M. Forde and business agent M. Devereaux to allow non-union workers on the job sites were tossed "because jurors improperly discussed the case." they read about in a Village Voice article. [6-11-2008-Daily News "Carpenter bigs nail bribe rap acquittal" /NYPost "2 union bigs bear bribe rap'], as with many notorious cases show the undoing of American Society is the FACT that entrenched in the legal system is two wrongs make a right -for scum and criminals to get over us. Settlements and sale of real estate restored [Spring 2005] most funds misappropriated at my own union LOCAL [within DC37] is down most of its treasury funds after its treasurer used a couple of million or so in funds for his own real estate transactions.
Not only public sector Unionistas are PIGS. VERIZON worker CWA 1101 "whistle blowers" got death threats and harassed in the wake of a Federal investigation in to their union leaders and board members personal pig outs on the members due$. see Kates, Daily News 5-15-2011.
*Fatal Construction Accidents in the City Rise Sharply -S. Chan, NYTimes Metro 11-22-2006. Though the Times prints in smaller text further back about the rising number of non-union and illegal aliens [and if they mention it, they are called "immigrants"] in construction. "Fatal construction accidents have grown at an alarming rate in New York City, rising 61 percent in the year that ended on Sept. 30 amid a continuing building boom, official [ ] said yesterday. Many of the 29 victims were Hispanic immigrants working for small contractors in nonunions jobs."-OSHA.* *Construction emergency complaints rose 600% in Williamsburg since 2003 re-zoning. In 2007 approx 60 bldg dept inspectors to be hired to bring TOTAL up to [only!] 200 to monitor 100,000+ projects! "Bldg. [fire] inspections down sharply in '06" Lisber, Lemire - Daily News 9-5-2007 "The number of field force inspections - which are done by local firehouses - dropped 28% from 2005 to 2006, according to data in the Mayor's Management Report." FDNY answers back- more taste, less filling "the inspections are more thorough."* [More->] on apartment building collapses.
After was meek talk in the new 2007 Spitzer regime of upping the WICKS Law contract $bid amounts as far up as $1mil. A proposal to raise the threshold for invoking WICKS in NYC to $3mil / $1.5mil NYC suburbs / $500k "upstate, FAILED, JULY 2007 at the hands of J BRUNO and NYState Senate said to be from "pressure" from upstate contractors through BRUNO to get some hundreds of million$ in construction contracts. --F__ them! Too bad Spitzer did not find a better way to hang Bruno by his own slimy, greedy tentacles!-- There has NOT been ANY talk of repeal of the 1921 WICKS Law. NY State law requires all govt [yeah NYC] to accept low-bid, split up all construction contracts for all work over construction over $50,000 into separate electric, plumbing, mech, and general contractors! It raises all local gov't construction costs in the name of preventing corruption but probably causes plenty. It's all an ongoing and seemingly bottomless problem. I don't hear the biggest developers doing much about this or other labor and gov't regulation craziness and corruption issues endemic to their industry. They pay whatever it takes to get things built and pass on the cost. Giuliani considered the Dept. to be plagued by a 30 year "systematic lack of integrity."
Housing Inspectors, Health Dept. (restaurant) Inspectors, etc. frequently busted. The number of housing inspectors, already LOW, DECLINED - CUT by 20 percent from 1990  to approx 400 in 2004 this 400 said by NEWSDAY 8-31-05 to include 100 of them hired for new required LEAD inspections - the Mayors office said there were more housing-code inspectors now than any time since 1991. Whos zoomin who? Mar 2003 NYC hired a dozen new SMOKING inspectors added to existing no. of health inspectors, to enforce new smoking ban rules. Justified in tough budget times that they are expected to pay for themselves via fines imposed. Places will be checked at night. Restaurateurs, club mgmt. are expected to stop customers from smoking or call the police, sure no problem. What can go wrong? (-see NYU Post 1/7/96) An HPD Housing Inspector worked as a butcher, four days a week, for two years, to Aug. 1996, while claiming to be on the job until leaving it to work at that other particular (supermarket) location. Stephen Fiore, was arrested 1/6/97; City salary was $30,530. Some 14 Sanitation Dept. workers were busted, incl. 7 supervisors in all in same garage, in 1998 for taking bribes to actually take the trash away on their terms or else...they gave an extra collection or to businesses at a lower price than the regular commercial collector. Yes this is all part of NYC unions and real estate-construction, all built into the cost of doing business and to taxpayers.
"New York City is believed to be the only city where custodians operate as free agents."-NYPost 7-2-03. Though a court order in 2004 forbade NYC Dept of Education awarding of no-bid cleaning contracts privatising cleaning away from those custodians, the still Department  still awarded tens of million$ of no-bid private contracts, substituting one abuse of public trust; the custodial pig-out, for another. "Schools still cheat with no-bid custodial deals" Gones, NYPost 7-5-2011. It begs the question: what pols are connected to Temco Service Industries?
NYC school custodians "technically private contractors" are given a kind of fiefdom over school buildings in that they award contracts, hire "help", buy heavy equipment [such as vehicles, known to be diverted for personal use], get fees for extra services like opening up for extra activities. 2009 salary range $80.6 to $113.9K Large dollar contracts are [as in some other Agencies] without overview, broken down into smaller amounts to favored contractors without competitive bidding. $40 million or so in contracts awarded by custodians each year. Other contracts and work rules in the schools are near-archaic but sacred cows Also paid responsible for monies for maint. work such as paint jobs are divvied up in schools part way up the walls for custodians and the upper part of wall and ceiling to union painters ["10-foot-rule"- has that been changed yet?].
Summer 2003 - Schools Chancellor Klein contracted out custodial service at approx 250 bldgs. in Brooklyn and Queens to cut costs and stem abuse. The teachers union pleads and whines how much they are looking out for "the children" but they are as much covering their own sweet teacher asses in their 250-page contract. It just never ends...NOV 14 2006 "Report Says 13 Custodian Cheated Schools ..by rigging contracts for cleaning supplies. Bid rigging scheme lead to 16 arrests in 2005. JUN 19 2003 announced that 7 custodians "[P]leaded guilty to rigging bids on cleaning contracts in exchange for cash kickbacks..." bet 1996 and 2001 getting $1000 to $4000 from favored window cleaners, NO jail, $50,000 in restitution agreed to. DEC 11 2001, 11 were arrested for allegedly accepting kickbacks on window cleaning contracts [NY POST 12-12-01].
Teachers got a raise that was nearly TRIPLE what DC37 members [incl myself] got earlier that year AND that the Mayor mostly caved in to them on work rules reform in the contract negociations 2004. "Circular 6" for example forbids teachers from monitoring hallways, lunchrooms and homerooms, Principals can't retain Assistants they choose and train, grievance procedures are ineffective. Maybe more generous than NYC, Sctot Johnston in NYpost 5-19-2011 tells us how much the local Bedford NY teachers are pigs, but not notices so mich since it's a rich town - those teachers work 181 days year, with 15 sick days + 4 personal days +5 bereavement days and get schedueld raises every 6 months and can retiree with full benefits 70 percent of base pay for life, at age 57 includes family health benefits.
SO it is too easy for the POST and other rags [in a fancy shell -] like the NYTimes, to unjustifiably demonise the whole of public workers, in DC37 particularly. The teachers union barely cooperated and some witnesses had their i.d. disguised in public hearings on work rules Oct-Nov 2003. The biggest sweetheart deal has got to be for the Union officials, who keep their perks, their power and the organization in line using membership dues, contract dollars and fees to reward each level down in the organization at a corresponding rate. "United Fed. of Teachers -UFT payroll a dues-y" NYPost 7-19-04 with their top 15 officials making from $154,028 to $280,202 of 83 staff "up from 33 in 2002" making over $100k year and 50 staff on paid union business "leave time" making $20k-$60k in addition to their teacher's salaries. Commonly member elect chapter officers and delegates. They carry much business in closed meetings and vote in the higher leadership or another layer of reps who do. Union leaders reward themselves very well indeed and dole out funds in turn for travel and entertainment and donations [tix to dinners etc] to favoured [leftist and progressive] candidates and causes. Not UFT chief Ms. Reandi Weingarten, one of NYC lesbian power elite like C. Quinn, left the UFT salary of over $200k with a $600k nifty extra payout a couple of yeras ago.
JuicedCompStat crime figures. Barely suppressed from the news since input of figures into the system in started late 1990s.
Retired Police Officers anonomously surveyed [see NYTimes 2-9-2010] by "two criminologists". The Mayor called it suspect because of 'union funding - false - it was funded by MOLLOY college L.I. with Union of Superior Officers cooperation as needed, 'found that tremendous pressure to reduce crime, year after year, prompted some supervisors to distort crime statistics."
Daily News reported 2-2-2010 Bed-Stuy 81st Pcct officer Schoolcraft complained to Internal Affiars and NYPD Quality Assurance of felonies routinely downgraded to misdemeanoers and refusing to take some crime victim's reports prompting investigation. And little general fuss in public.
Police undercover delivers POT to a Brooklyn High school
Police security agent as "integrity test" gets the guy sick and causes
Police, ambulances, Fire Dept to storm in as school is evacuated NOV 8 2007.
[-See R. Parascandola, "Test of Integrity Ends in Chaos" Newsday 11-19-2007]
- - SO this type of crap is common! Cash and drugs spread around to see who is tempted,
just most times it does not become a public mess...
HOW can there be labor OR political reform in NYC at all if the core, older group are all paid-off [yes, politicians, labor leaders, and SOME of the workers] fat rats that have no incentive to buck the rotten system that feeds THEM? But the majority of State and City workers are NOT overtime "Kings" and are pilloried by association as "fat rats" in the tabloids. Professional NYC workers battle even to keep behind the private sector in salary and fight to keep jobs even as NYC hires consultants to do their jobs, notably MTA-TA privatizing engineering services.
NYC overtime expenses went over $1 billion in FY 2005 or 2006. Penny-wise and ton foolish, NYC spends massively on OT rather than hiring prudently. There are a favored and fortunate few unionized staff in various agencies, frequently unionized blue-collar workers who make overtime equal or exceeding their salaries, some to the point of exceeding the salaries of their commissioners! Top 5 2009 NYC O/T earners cited 4-15-2010 in the Dauly News earmed extra $99.7 to $116.5 on top of their regular salaries, part of the NYC annual overtime bill in 2009 of $1.14 bil [which was a 3.4 per cent DECREASE from the prior year!]
Overtime piles up as an entitlement for senior staff to boosts their retirement salaries. Leaving service entitles Civil Servants to "lump sum payments" for unused vacation and leave which reached over $100,000 for some. 46 of 499 SI Ferry workers doubled their salary through overtime in 2004; toatl overtime expense was $10mil. [-Staten Island Advance Sun Apr 17 2005] IN Y2000 the top 10 NYC overtime earners were mostly painters, a Health & Hosp. [HHC] Stationary Engineer and a HHC plumber, and a Police lieutenant all more than doubling their salaries. The Y2000 no. earner. a NYPD painters Supv. made $101,601 in overtime pay on top of a $56,893 salary. In fiscal 1999, of the top 50 overtime earners in Mayoral Agencies, 11 people more than *doubled* their salaries. Way back, the total o.t. bill for the period 7-1-98 to 6-30-1999 was $564.3 million dollars. [NY Post has printed top overtime workers each year for several years.] Some workers have collected two pensions or held two "full time" jobs. Brooklyn gym teacher and [$10k year] Pres of lifeguard-supervisors union Peter Stein left city payroll with a sabbatical deal June 30 2004 after double-dipping was found out. Being a union official at ANY level gets you release time from regular city job duties. He sued the city for "allegedly revealing to The Post details of his sabbatical payout."[-Union Big In O.T. Dip", NYPost 11-7-04] NYC Police overtime costs skyrocketed above their usually obscene levels even in the wake of recent layoffs as usual, needs do not mean new hiring in such things as Police, and construction related jobs.
For most of these guys involved regular overtime is the main thing bringing their pay into line for what it takes to support a family here and is for some is truly the main relief from thinking about taking bribes, whatever to keep going. No 1 O.T. earner in 2003 and in 2004 was Mr. Martinez, chief liaison, security officer and webmaster jack of all trades at the of Bd of Elections, with $93k OT on base salary of $89k plus an out-of-title grievance awarded him $83k for the years 1998-2003. Many of the other OT kings of 2004 included 8 of the top 10 were bridge repairers [ironworkers] base pay $70,052; OT added 50k-90k during double or triple shifts[-Seifman "Inside City Hall" NYPost6-12-05]. Tops among NYPosts "Overtime Kings" in 2003 was HHC senior comp. programmer Norman Sherman $81,021 OT added to base salary of $68,710 among 4 other HHC OT top-ten overtime "champs", plus 3 Dept of Transportation employees were in the top-ten -range of total salaries in top-ten was $137,136 thru $149,731. "The Mayor has dramatically reduced the amount of overtime worked by city employees since taking office."[-Jordan Barowitz speaking for the city, NYPost 3-28-04].
Biggest group of chiselers may be [MTA] LIRR retirees! Majority [93 to 97 percent] getting phony disability $$ around $3,000 a month added onto pensions from Y2000 thru 2008 per "Railway Retirement Board" [RRB] as a fed. "Railway Labor Act" covered railroad. So LIRR had to pay out almost $250mil to them which tripled its pension contributions from Y2000 to 2004! Under resulting contracts, they are getting away with stuff ALL other MTA and local govt employees are -NOT- allowed to such as strike, earn multiple day's pay for a single day's work and such. ->NYTimes blew it open 9-21-2008, NY Atty Gen to "investigate, files seized from RRB 9-24-08 and on way to Fed investigators too.
The overtime costs for Police and fire are real city budget breakers with costs of tens of million$ NYPD blue "..two dozen Brooklyn[-South] Narcotics detectives and six sergeants have been bumped down to patrol duty as part of an investigation into an overtime scam.." One way some of the cops were found out is E-Pass record showing they had crossed the Verranzano Br to go home to S.I. as buddies in the teams stayed on duty to process suspects and evidence on real OT, and seargeants signed-off timesheets to OK OT.[-NYPost 11-17-03] -There is no paid OT for Captain thru deputy Chief, but they could accumulate *unlimited* comp time and get paid [stay on the books] while NOT working as they started retirement using the comp time up -this was partly changed APR 28 2004 limited it to 1,556 hrs-NINE MONTHS equiv. Legitimately earned OT is a huge chunk of personnel costs.
Many high-OT earners are who live out-of-area either cheat and risk their jobs or forego promotions are not acting primarily out of simple GREED but are skilled blue collar or professionals mostly have FAMILIES and HOUSES and are trying to keep them as they [we all do] competing with others in the PRIVATE sector who are better compensated and set the MARKET[-beloved of the MAYOR, Pres, elites] prices for housing etc. The licensed PE's [Professional Engineers] and architects here, who are lowest-level managers make up to only about $66k  and I am just a little behind them. Many live outside of NYC in various counties, some are different for different unions such as sanitation. Give HIRING preference to residents but after that job PERFORMANCE is the only way to rate someone, not all these different residency rules for different classes of employees, should be eliminated as unconstitutional discrimination. TEACHERS have NO residency rules of any kind. Subway, bus drivers etc are MTA [NY State] and NYC Hosing Auth workers have NO residency rules of any kind. 175 NYC titles classified as "hard to recruit" are TOTALLY EXEMPT from residency requirements! Many of these exempt titles are building-trades related. Police, FDNY, and SANITATION workers have close-in lower-NY State counties [NAU, SUFF, Rock, Wes Put, OR] only -NO, not NJ- residency rules. DC37 workers under new contract agreement proposed JULY 12 2006 will also be allowed to live in same 6 counties outside NYC. All these people have to pay city income tax -even though the commuter tax was eliminated by State pols.
New York STATE workers get in on it too. NYPost found 7-14-2003 that NYState overtime expenses steadily increasing. FY 2002-03 OT expense was one-third higher than even FY 2001 with 9-11, going to $393 million. POST 1-15-2007 said the State overtime QUEEN was a mental hospital nurse who made $93,581 overtime on top of a $50,187 salary in 2006 and that of the top 20 State O/T earners, 17 worked in "understaffed" mental-health facilities or prisons. NYState spent record $437.5 million in 2006 on overtime including $78mil prison guard/corrections and %2.4mil State police.[-NYPost 1-29-2007]. NYState MTA - ah another similar system that gave top earning 77 railroad engineers and conductors double-plus salaries up to $210,000 [in 2004] by "penalty payments" [for duties outside their job descriptions], which also counts toward the retirement salary. As the number of staff was reduced by the agency, the extra duties and O/T was sorta needed, so it cost US more, and benefitted a select group.[-see "Pay rules plague LIRR" Newsday 3-120-2006]. In 2002 Post Authority Officer Robert Fabiszal worked 360 days officially 3,737 hrs. of OT quadrupling his $70k base pay [NYPost 5-15-03] which came to his benefit as counting towards his retirement salary right afterwards. Almost 200 Port Auth officers at least doubled their salaries, at $86 mil extra PA expense .
"Today we allege what many have long feared: The CityTime project was corrupted to it core by one of the largest and most brazen frauds ever committed against the City of New York" -see Cehn/Rashbaum, NYTimes 6-21-2011. A $700mil+ project with $600mil of it tainted spending that somehow the Mayor 'demands' be given back to NYC!. Under the original main contract, SAIC retains rights to the software.
One city staffer connected with the project, Payroll Director Mr. Bondy had to resign so far. Gerard Denault of SAIC who headed the project for 8 years was arrested late May 2011 on money laundering and wire fraud charges, the 8th so far after others associated with other consultant including Spherion, for quality assurance, were arrested mid DEC 2010, after their stealing $80 mil from the project. Denault got $5.6 mil kickbacks from his $464 mil subcontractor on the project, TechnoDyne which he also helped by approving false timesheets..thru India outsourced/ subsidiary workforce. TechnoDyne chiefs Reddy and Padma Allen were indicted June 20 2011 but they fled to Indai. Also-see Juan Gonzalez, Daily News 6-1-2011 for this and past series of colums on what seems to be biggest scandal of its type of the Bloomberg years, "CityTime".
Trying to keep track of all Mayoral Agency staff, NYC tried moved from paper time cards and sheets and a few thousand timekeeping staff to an electronic system. In the 90s "AutoTime" was licensed [just like you own OC software!] under Giuliani was rolled at some Agencies - such as HRA, which is not leaving it until end of JUNE 2010] for CityTime. CityTime is a bigger idea that was supposed to SAVE money. SIAC got a $114 mil contract Spring 2006, perhaps $630mil [getting re-upped July 1 2009 to Sept 30 2010 for another $139mil] so going past $700+ million with City of N Y to install an all-encompassing "CityTime" customised computerised employee 'timeclock'/timekeeping system system. Which was launched in 1998 and sold as bill of goods to taxpayers to cost $63mil and even was a pain to SAIC to develop at $113mil -they were not allowed to walk out on the contract.. The system still cannot function without SAIC - they keep the manuals etc. to themselves. Great way to keep mking the city renew their contract. The project engaged "some 230 "consultants an average salary of $400,000 a year...[T]he 40 highest-paid people on the project bill taxpayers at least $50000 a year." [-see J. Gonzales and DailyNews reporters 3-26-2010 "Consulting Contracts' Black Hole"] And 2010 it is not finished and covers less than 1/3 of the staff it was supposed to.
..items from a 2 year, 5 volume study of the Citizens Budget Commission...showed that $13 billion in City and State tax dollars will be wasted in (1997) alone. Well, it only reinforces what any semi-informed citizen should have realized already. 1997? I've been editing my home page since 1996. Last of the good ol days I guess. Why ask why..stick a fork in us, we're almost