MORNING BULLETIN: ILLEGAL HOTEL CRACKDOWN HITS UWS, LEAD IN SCHOOL WATER, RACE & POLITICS

calgary hockey
NHL fans got a treat on Saturday as the Calgary Flames practiced at Central Park’s Lasker Rink. Photo by Daren.

February 6, 2017 Weather: Sunny, with a high of 46 degrees.

Notices:
A free screening of Lincoln, a James Baldwin discussion and many more local events are on our calendar.

Want to help tourists get a feel for the neighborhood? There are seven volunteering opportunities at Hostelling International on Amsterdam Avenue.

The deadline to apply to be on the community board has been extended until Feb. 10. More here.

Meet a “yoga celebrity” at a charity event for the Harmony Power Foundation, which confronts bullying.

News:
Two people, including an Upper West Side landlord, were fined under the new law targeting people who advertise illegal tourist rentals in apartment buildings. “[Hank] Freid, who manages the Marrakech Hotel, was hit with 12 violations [at $1,000 each] for listing SROs in the building on several booking platforms, including Booking.com, Expedia, Kayak, Hotwire, Travelocity, and Orbitz, the citations reveal…A lawyer for Freid, Ronald J. Rosenberg, called the summons a ‘misapplication of the law’ and said his client will ‘fight the violations in court, as he has successfully done in the past.'”

The city Department of Education retested lead levels at schools, this time without extensive pre-flushing. The results weren’t quite as crystal clear.

Outrage is building at state Democrats who have have joined the “Independent Democratic Conference”, which has helped throw power to the Republicans in the state senate. A Queens Democrat who switched to IDC faced stiff opposition at an event. Local State Senator Marisol Alcantara now says that opposition to IDC, and the focus on how much money IDC members get, is “racist.” ‘I think it’s like a racist statement that they are questioning the three people of color and they always bring up money,’ Alcantara said in a phone interview, pointing to reports of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions she received from the IDC.” Organizing groups like Rise & Resist are now targeting this issue.

Upper West Sider Harry Belafonte, near his 90th birthday, spoke about art, activism and the history of New York. “He has been the best-selling singer in America and a pillar in the civil rights movement. But these days, he is anxious about the movement he helped build and about his role in the new era.” (If anyone knows him, we’d love to interview him for our Why the West Side series. Email us at westsiderag at gmail dot com.)

Upper West Sider James McMullan has become a sought-after theater poster artist. “For playwrights, having Mr. McMullan, 82, spend so much time considering and visualizing their created world is like having Picasso paint their child’s portrait.”

A guy on Instagram is attempting to achieve George Costanza’s dream of pointing out nice publicly-accessible bathrooms in NYC. His handle is “pooper’s guide”.

Speaking of Seinfeld, you can now buy a tiny replica of Jerry’s apartment.

And who doesn’t love the traveling knife-sharpening guy, seen driving by in the video below?

#sharpen ! #sunday #streetlife #dingdingdingding "точить ножи ножницы" это из маминого детства на малой бронной, и из моего воскресенья в НЙ

A video posted by anna o (@urbanasparagus) on

NEWS | 18 comments | permalink
    1. Margaret says:

      Alcantera didn’t wait long to dismiss criticism of her as racist, did she?

      What a mess. She ran as a Democrat, her district voted for a Democrat to represent them.

      • EricaC says:

        I find it very odd – how is it racist to criticize someone for not following the platform that you elected them to follow? Sometimes you might be relieved that they don’t, but that is obviously not the case here.

    2. Panko R Crumb says:

      love the “sharpen” guy, but damn is he expensive.

      He won’t be around for much longer with those ridiculous prices.

      • Kenneth says:

        Mr. Crumb,
        I’m curious. How much do you think it should cost to sharpen a decent knife – like maybe an 8 or 10 inch chef’s knife?

        • Panko R Crumb says:

          “How much do you think it should cost to sharpen a decent knife – like maybe an 8 or 10 inch chef’s knife?”

          “should” cost? idk. Prob 40-50% less than this guy charges.

          does cost (from this guy)?…WAY too much.

          • UWS_lifer says:

            WELL…..Now I have to know. How much does he charge?!?!?

            Who get knives sharpened anyway? I’ve never even heard of such a thing? What is this? the middle ages where you need a blacksmith or something?? I don’t know…knock yourselves out I guess.

            • Kenneth says:

              People who don’t know how to use a sharpening steel or stone – and then complain about how much it costs to hire someone who does!

            • geoff says:

              there used to be a guy at zabars who demonstrated some brand of electric knife sharpener and he’d sharpen knives for free.something like every other saturday. the value of a sharp knife depends on how much you enjoy using a sharp knife, i guess. i’ve had several types of sharpeners, always looking for one that would not wear out. found one. very old fashioned design. it makes a knife as sharp as a knife can be made, cost $30, no moving parts and will probably last longer than i will. and oh boy, the joy of a really sharp knife!

            • UWS_lifer says:

              Thanks for all the responses. Learn something new everyday.

              Another great reason for these neighborhood centric message boards.

              We all should be looking out for each other

        • RK says:

          Just got 2 8″ chef knives sharpened at Henry Westphal, one of the better places in the city. $8 each plus tax. They have different prices depending on the size of the knife, seems to be between $5-12 with more for specialty things. Took 3 days because of their backlog.

          Crappy knives aren’t worth sharpening.

          When you see people rubbing knives on a stick — that’s steeling a knife, and can/should be done every time you use it, or as often as necessary. It aligns the blade, but doesn’t remove metal. Google it if you want to see the microscopic pictures of why it works.

          When steeling a knife no longer works, and the blade no longer “holds an edge”, it’s time to sharpen it. This takes skill and practice, and many chefs and enthusiasts love doing it themselves. For the rest of us, we take it to a pro every year or two. Small investment for keeping a well-made tool operating at peak efficiency.

          When I couldn’t cleanly slice a tomato after steeling, I knew it was time for a sharpen.

          The problem I have with these roving trucks is finding them when I need them.

          How much does this guy charge?

      • josh says:

        Zabars has free knife sharpening every now and then…

    3. WombatNYC says:

      wow- Wish I knew about the Flames in CP- That would have been cool to see

    4. Sue Susman says:

      The IDC includes Senators Jeff Klein, Diane Savino, Tony Avella, David Valesky, David Carlucci, Jesse Hamilton, Marisol Alcantara and Jose Peralta. Those of us opposed to its division o the Democratic Party in the state Senate have opposed it since long before its minority members joined.

      • EL says:

        Sue — Come to the Rise & Resist meeting Tues at 6 to discuss and organize against IDC! LGBT Center at 208 West 13th St.

    5. LuluT says:

      In the suburbs we would occasionally see the Sharp guy drive through. He would sharpen knives and scissors. I think oir about 5-10 bucks. Worth every penny. This was ten years ago at least.

    6. EL says:

      1. I assume that Sen. Alcantara’s suggestion that criticism of the IDC is racist is meant to convey that she believes betrays a prejudice against racial minorities. Hard to fathom the logic of that when the IDC is mostly white.
      2. And, speaking of racist, Sen. Alcantara should explain why she intends to “best serve her constituents. . .by hosting. . .office hours around the district” and the office hours she has scheduled are only set to take place from W 145th St. and ~4 miles north of 145th. Senator: your district extends down to W 26th Street. What about the rest of us?

    7. Beth says:

      Does anyone know why the FDNY was out in force last night on 98th St and Broadway? I saw one person in an ambulance. Was there a fire or a gas leak?

    8. morris shamah says:

      why are so many stores closing on the columbus 67th st area.Gracious homes, Starbucks, Nick and Tony’s Uggs?