New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

NY1

NY1 Proposal to Change Social Media Policies at Tourist At­trac­tions by Pat Kiernan

Proposal to Change Social Media Policies at Tourist At­trac­tions

MORNINGS ON 1

Proposal to Change Social Media Policies at Tourist At­trac­tions

BY SPECTRUM NEWS STAFF 
PUBLISHED 9:38 AM ET MAR. 21, 2019

 

Next time you take a picture at a tourist attraction, you may want to read the fine print first. 

The most recent installation to pop up in the city is the Vessel at Hudson Yards. 

It's already caused a social media frenzy, with New Yorkers and tourists alike snapping selfies in front of the 150 foot-tall, honeycomb-like structure. 

But, critics are questioning a policy that grants the owners of the Vessel access to content taken at and of the site. 

After backlash, they softened the original language to make it clear visitors own their photos, but that the Vessel retains the right to re-use those images.

Councilman Ben Kallos says this issue has shone a light on the issue of ownership in the age of social media.

He is now proposing legislation to ban tourist attractions from forcing visitors to give up ownership of their photos or identities.

NY1 City Council Passes School Bus Reform, Includes GPS Tracking for Buses by LINDSEY CHRIST

City Council Passes School Bus Reform, Includes GPS Tracking for Buses

"We now have legislation that takes lessons from cities like Boston, where parents get bus routes weeks ahead of the school year, in time to challenge routes as well as from the Chancellor's home city of Houston, where since 2015 parents have had access to GPS apps, so they know where the buses are," City Councilman Ben Kallos said.

In September, bus problems began before the first school bells rang, when many kids were not picked up for the first day of classes. Other children rode for hours, arriving late to school. By the end of the month, the city had received 130,000 complaints about the school buses, significantly up from previous years, when bus problems had also plagued the start of school.

NY1 City Officials Face Mounting Criticism Over Snow Response by Spectrum News Staff

City Officials Face Mounting Criticism Over Snow Response

Cleanup efforts are underway across the Big Apple after the first snowfall of the season downed trees and brought the Thursday evening commute to an icy halt.

It was the biggest snow storm in November, a record for the most snow for the day.

All five boroughs were hit hard with some areas seeing as much as six inches of snow.

NY1 Councilman Targets a Blight on the City - Thousands of Buildings Surrounded By Scaffolding, Sometimes for Years by Michael Scotto

Councilman Targets a Blight on the City - Thousands of Buildings Surrounded By Scaffolding, Sometimes for Years

They are a common sight around the city -- scaffolding surrounding buildings. But once they go up, many scaffolds do not come down for years -- creating eyesores and quality-of-life problems in their neighborhoods. One Councilman is trying to change that. NY1's Michael Scotto filed the following report:

When Fernando Salomone opens the door to his fire escape, he often finds trash spread across the top of scaffolding surrounding the building next door.

"You see fresh food. There's a sandwich over there, diapers over here," he said, examining the scaffolding.

Salomone says it's been a problem since he opened his gym on Broadway and West 104th Street nearly three years ago. Sometimes it is so bad, he leaves his windows closed to keep out mice and the smell of rotting trash.

"I'm on Broadway, it should be clean," Salomone said. "If I throw garbage from the window, they will give me a ticket, right?

"No one does anything with this garbage."

The scaffolding surrounds a city-owned building that is used as a homeless shelter. It went up four years ago to prevent parts of the deteriorating facade from falling onto the sidewalk. But since then, the city hasn't done anything to repair that facade.

"I think the city should be embarrassed about any scaffolding around any city building," City Councilman Ben Kallos said.

This scaffolding highlights a citywide problem of landlords erecting sidewalk sheds and not taking them down.

One building has had scaffolding since 2006. Another in East Harlem has had one for ten years, as has a building in Chelsea, all of which are seen in the video above.

Kallos has proposed legislation to end the nuisances and eyesores of perpetual scaffoldings.

"Anytime somebody puts up the scaffolding, they have to immediately start work or take it back down, and if they can't afford to do the work, the city would end up doing for them and charging for them later," Kallos said.

There are 7,800 active sidewalk shed permits, half of which are in Manhattan.

A law requires owners of buildings taller than six stories to erect scaffolding every five years to inspect the facades.

Landlords who don't make the repairs in 90 days face fines of $1,000 a month. But some choose to leave the scaffolding up and pay the fines to avoid costly facade repairs.

The de Blasio administration said it is reviewing Kallos's bill.

As for this sidewalk shed on Broadway, it is expected to come down soon, but it will then be replaced with another sidewalk shed. Once that happens, work will finally begin on the building, with repairs to the façade expected to be completed in 2019.

NY1 Number of state lawmakers look to trade jobs in Albany for City Council seats by Bobby Cuza

Number of state lawmakers look to trade jobs in Albany for City Council seats

But if experience matters, so does name recognition, which critics say creates an unfair advantage. The irony is that Council term limits and the city's robust public campaign finance system are designed to attract political newcomers, not professional politicians.

"The point of term limits is, we're supposed to have a citizen legislature," said City Councilman Ben Kallos of Manhattan.

NY1 These Manhattan Residents Call for City to Limit Some Mega Towers by Michael Scotto

These Manhattan Residents Call for City to Limit Some Mega Towers

"I think every New Yorker is tired of super tall towers going in that have no place in residential neighborhoods, and for the first time residents have banded together and fought back," Manhattan City Councilman Ben Kallos said.

NY1 Building Owners Could Soon Be Facing Deadline for Taking Down Scaffolding by Roma Torre

Building Owners Could Soon Be Facing Deadline for Taking Down Scaffolding

Sometimes it feels like once scaffolding goes up in the city, it stays up forever. But building owners could soon be facing a deadline for taking it down.

Manhattan Councilman Ben Kallos is pushing a bill that would put strict limits on how long scaffolding can be installed on city buildings.

The story was first reported by The New York Times.

The measure would give building owners up to six months to finish repairs so the scaffolding can be removed. 

If the repairs aren’t completed in time, the city would finish the work and charge the owner.

The city requires scaffolding to protect pedestrians from falling debris during repair work.

Supporters of the bill say the structures are ugly and hurt business. 

Critics say building owners don’t always have the money on hand to make expensive repairs.

NY1 NYers, Council Members Discuss Ways to Improve Buses in Light of Drop in Ridership by NY1 News

NYers, Council Members Discuss Ways to Improve Buses in Light of Drop in Ridership

"Why can't we just pay with our cellphones like you can in so many other places? Why can't you just tap and go as you get on every single entrance of the bus?" said City Councilman Ben Kallos of Manhattan.