TenantPAC’s top 3 priorities for 2018

Mike McKee of TenantsPAC (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

When it comes to resolutions for tenants in the coming year, TenantsPAC treasurer and spokesperson Mike McKee says time is of the essence.

“They have to pass some of our reform bills this year, not 2019,” the activist said.

McKee is adamant about the timing of a growing, organized effort to strengthen the rent laws, explaining that the following year when the rent regulations are up for renewal or expiration, tenants will no longer have leverage that exists this year. The reason for this is simple. Elected officials, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, will be up for reelection in 2018, and, explained McKee, six months after the new term, “he’ll have no interest in June 2019 of doing anything for the tenants” nor will the Republican-aligned members of the Independent Democratic Conference.

McKee, who was reached on the phone last Friday, added that he was planning, along with dozens of other activists, to protest outside Cuomo’s State of the State speech. A number of participants, he added, had committed ahead of time to getting arrested for blocking the entrance to the capitol.

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“Bomb cyclone” hits New York

Union Square on Thursday morning

By Maria Rocha-Buschel 

The city was experiencing blizzard-like conditions on Thursday morning, with four to eight inches having fallen on some parts of the city by early afternoon. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect until Friday at 1 a.m. and the mayor’s office reported that eight to 12 inches of snow are anticipated before the storm ends, with higher amounts locally. Gusty winds are expected to increase, with sustained wind from 30 to 45 miles per hour and gusts up to 50 miles per hour.

Meteorologists were calling the storm a “bomb cyclone” because of the extreme drop in pressure in a short amount of time, causing the storm to strengthen quickly. A storm is classified as a “bomb cyclone” if pressure drops 24 millibars in 24 hours and this storm dropped 53 millibars in 21 hours and 59 millibars by 24, making it one of the most intense storms the East Coast has ever experienced.

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New Beth Israel building may be built higher

Brad Beckstrom, senior director for community and government for Mount Sinai pictured at a public meeting in June 2016 (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Mount Sinai Beth Israel is planning to build additional floors at the new East 13th Street facility to accommodate more beds if necessary, representatives announced. This is a change from the previously-announced plan since the hospital system had said that a smaller building would be constructed initially but with the ability to build additional floors if demand increased.

Representatives from the hospital system announced the adjustments to members of the Budget, Education and City Services committee for Community Board 5 on Tuesday and noted that this does not change the reduction in beds.

“We still believe we’ll have enough beds but we’ll be building up and adding the extra floors,” said Brad Korn, corporate director of community affairs for Mount Sinai Beth Israel. “(The space) might not end up being beds but it will cut down on the process if we do need it for that.”

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