Tapped In

Written by Our Town on . Posted in Notes from the Neighborhood, Our Town.


Compiled by Megan Bungeroth and Jon Lentz

Synchronized Septuagenarians: The Harlem Honeys & Bears synchronized swimming team performs inside the Thomas Jefferson Park Pool to celebrate the expansion of the Senior Swim program to 14 outdoor public pools. The program runs through Aug. 24.

Espaillat Eyes Senate & Concedes to Rangel
City & State reports that State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who conceded defeat on Monday in his contested primary race against Rep. Charles Rangel, declined to say whether he would run for re-election to the state Senate.

But Espaillat signaled that he would run for his seat, revealing at a press conference Monday that he had given district leaders permission to circulate petitions on his behalf after the June 26 congressional primary.

“I authorized some of the district leaders to begin circulating petitions after the 26th, after Election Day, and I will be considering my personal decision as to whether or not I will accept those signatures and move forward with re-election,” he told reporters outside his district office. “I promise you that in 48 hours, I will have that answer for you.”

Petitions to run for the state Senate and Assembly are due by Thursday.

A source close to Mark Levine, an Espaillat ally who had been planning to run for Espaillat’s seat, also confirmed the senator will run for re-election. The source said that Espaillat will use his own petition signatures and not get on the ballot through a Levine vacancy committee, as had been speculated.

During the campaign, Espaillat said he only had his sights on the congressional seat, not his own. Rangel, the longtime congressman who faced his toughest primary challenge in over four decades in office, seized on Espaillat’s comments, saying that he didn’t know where the senator would find a new job when he lost.

Whether he runs for re-election or not, Espaillat could be a serious candidate for Rangel’s congressional seat again in two years. Espaillat, who is Dominican, came within 1,000 votes of ousting the incumbent, capitalizing on changing demographics and redrawn lines that made Latinos a majority in the district.

“There’s no question I come out of this process strengthened,” Espaillat said. “I think two years down the line is a long time. I will not make a decision right here, but I feel very strongly that I have been strengthened in this process.”

Espaillat could also find himself taking on the state’s other leading Dominican elected official, Assemblyman Guillermo Linares. Linares said he would run for Espaillat’s state Senate seat after Espaillat announced his run for Congress, and reiterated his intention to run when Rangel initially declared victory.

The Nabe’s Bad Landlords
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio released his updated list of the city’s worst landlords last week, and four of the culprits are located on the Upper East Side.

The worst offender of the four is Golden State Holding, which according to de Blasio, operates a building at 408 E. 64th St. that has 16 units. The property has a total of 96 violations, placing it 38th on the list of the worst Manhattan buildings. The other locations on the list are M/S Capitol NY LLC, with an 81-unit building at 1531 York Ave.; 33-39 East 65th Street LLC, with a 48-unit building at 35 E. 65th St.; and 501 ½ East 83 Street LLC, with a building at the same address with 39 units.

“It takes years of neglect for a building to deteriorate to the point where it ends up on our Watch List. But with enough public pressure and strong tenant organizing, we can turn these buildings around and make life better for thousands of New Yorkers,” said de Blasio.
He began the list in 2010 in order to highlight repeat offenders and pressure landlords with dangerous conditions to make necessary repairs. According to de Blasio’s office, each entry on the list has a minimum of two hazardous housing code violations per unit, such as lack of heat or hot water, lead paint, toxic mold or broken plumbing.

For the Win For Now
While his lawsuit against Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the City Council is still pending, Assembly Member Micah Kellner is touting a temporary win in the fight against building a new marine waste transfer station (MTS) at East 91st Street. Attorney Michael Cardozo, serving as corporation counsel for the city, signed a stipulation last week that prevents the city from doing any construction at the MTS site, where a defunct station and a community recreation facility, Asphalt Green, currently sit, until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approves the permits needed to start the project.

“We don’t know the true environmental impact of this transfer station,” Kellner said of the reason for his lawsuit, which demands that the city submit and receive approval on a new environmental impact statement that takes a larger capacity for waste processing into account. “We’re going to let a jury decide who was right on the law.”
The Army Corps must issue permits in order for the city to start construction because the proposed facility sits on a body of water.

Disabling the Training Wheels
A special training camp for children with disabilities will be held in New York City for the first time this summer. Lose the Training Wheels, a nonprofit organization that teaches people with disabilities to ride two-wheeled bicycles, is holding a free camp for children Aug. 6–10 in Brooklyn sponsored by the National Down Syndrome Society and the Lyle Foundation. The event will be held at the Aviator Sports & Event Center in Floyd Bennett Field, at 3159 Flatbush Ave.

The program uses special adaptive bicycles to gradually transition kids to riding regular two-wheeled bikes without assistance.
Participants must be at least 8 years old and have a disability. They must be able to walk without an assistive device and sidestep to both sides, as well as be under 220 pounds and have a minimum inseam measurement of 20 inches. All participants must be able to attend a 75-minute session for each of the five days of camp. Those with their own two-wheeled bikes are strongly encouraged to bring them the first day.
Registration is limited; email bikecampnyc@gmail.com for more information or to sign up.

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