Man killed in hit-and-run on the FDR

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A 29-year-old man was hit by a car and killed in a hit-and-run on the FDR Drive near East 28th Street early on Friday. FDNY received a call around 12:35 a.m. and police responded to the scene, the northbound side, at about 1:05 a.m. The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

A preliminary investigation found that the victim was either standing on the FDR or was attempting to cross the highway when he was hit by the car, but no further information about how he got into the roadway was available. Police said that he was struck by a dark grey vehicle that did not remain on the scene and continued north. The NYPD said that the investigation is ongoing by the department’s Collision Investigation Squad.

Identification of the victim is pending family notification.

City insists no sex offenders live at shelter

Community residents expressed concern about sex offenders and violent felons. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Community residents expressed concern about sex offenders and violent felons. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The status of the 30th Street Men’s Shelter, and whether sex offenders are still staying there was one of the main topics discussed at a forum on homelessness, which was attended by over 100 people.

The forum, held at the Epiphany Parish Hall on Tuesday evening, was hosted by City Councilmembers Dan Garodnick and Rosie Mendez. Representatives from the NYPD, the Department of Homeless Services and various non-profit agencies dedicated to assisting the homeless also showed up to discuss street outreach programs and employment resources made available to help homeless people get back on their feet.

Mayor Bill de Blasio recently appointed Human Resources Administration Commissioner Steven Banks to do a 90-day review of homeless services throughout the city and Banks was at the forum to focus on specific issues that affect the neighborhood, primarily the 30th Street Men’s Shelter.

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Editorial: SBJSA could be the only hope for saving mom-and-pop shops

Council Member Annabel Palma, prime sponsor of the SBJSA City Council photo)

Council Member Annabel Palma, prime sponsor of the SBJSA City Council photo)

The Small Business Jobs and Survival Act, which had been languishing in the City Council for 30 years up until a recent organized push helped get 27 Council members to indicate their support for it, has been blasted by critics as being unconstitutional. What’s interesting though is that no one, not even its stiffest opponents, are giving any reasons why this is the case.

We won’t pretend to be legal experts but what we know is this. Owners of small businesses in this city are in desperate need of some bargaining power because right now they have none. At any time, any business that is doing well and meeting the needs of the community it serves could still disappear overnight, whether it’s due to an obscenely high rent hike or a refusal from a speculative landlord to even offer a renewal at any price.

We appreciate the effort being made by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer on a bill that would at least force property owners to negotiate in good faith with a tenant. However, with the only sure thing in that scenario being a one-year lease extension for a business at a 15 percent rent hike, it just won’t be enough to stem the tide of mom-and-pops being forced out by chains and banks.

The SBJSA, however, if passed, would give an existing tenant another 10 years. This would actually make a huge dent in bringing back the stability the city’s retail landscape hasn’t known in many years.

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