New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Upper East Side Patch

Upper East Side Patch Street Cleaning Pilot Program Sparks UES Turf War by Brendan Krisel

Street Cleaning Pilot Program Sparks UES Turf War

Wildcat Services will cover two-miles of "problem areas" on the Upper East Side on Second Avenue between East 57th and 72nd streets and East 79th, 86th and 96th streets between East End and Lexington Avenues, Kallos announced. The Bronx-based nonprofit was one of two organizations that bid for the NYC Clean Up contract and currently work with 25 other members of the City Council in every borough except Staten Island through the initiative, Kallos said.

"We're cleaning up the neighborhood block by block, from a new covered trashcan on every corner, to launching and supporting community groups, to partnering with Wildcat to dedicating a crew to keep the Upper East Side clean four days a week," Kallos said in a statement.

A four-person team from Wildcat is expected to begin servicing the new routes as soon as next week, the organization's Manager of Operations Mario La Rosa said.

Kallos balked at The Doe Fund's claim that the organization was unaware of the pilot program funding, telling Patch that the organization's founder George McDonald helped create the NYC Clean Up initiative.

 

Upper East Side Patch Ben Kallos Announces Funds For Street Cleaning In Chaotic Presser by Andrew Fine

Ben Kallos Announces Funds For Street Cleaning In Chaotic Presser

It was quite the scene on East 86th Street early this afternoon as Council Member Ben Kallos hosted a press conference with supportive local community organizations to announce an $85,000 pilot program to fund street cleaners for areas of the Upper East Side not covered by the Doe Fund.

Upper East Side Patch Mayor Blames 'Bad Luck' For NYC's Meltdown During Snowstorm by Noah Manskar

Mayor Blames 'Bad Luck' For NYC's Meltdown During Snowstorm

 "Bad luck" was to blame for the city descending into travel chaos as the first snow of the winter hit Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday. The storm blanketed Central Park in more than six inches of snow, the most for that day in more than a century.

Upper East Side Patch NY's $3B Gift To Amazon Could Pay For Wish List Of Fixes: Pols by Noah Manskar

NY's $3B Gift To Amazon Could Pay For Wish List Of Fixes: Pols

Addressed to Bezos — whom one of its signatories, Councilman Ben Kallos, compared to a "Bond villain" on Wednesday — the letter stated officials' belief that "Amazon will be a strong contributor to our civic and commercial life."

Gianaris, who signed the letter, said the officials thought the jobs stemming from the project would be good, but "never contemplated that public dollars would be secretly given to Amazon to get them here."

Upper East Side Patch High Tech Cameras Set To Protect East 86th Street, Esplanade by Andrew Fine

High Tech Cameras Set To Protect East 86th Street, Esplanade

Council Member Ben Kallos, NYPD 19th Precinct Commander Kathleen Walsh, and representatives from the community gathered this breezy, but gorgeous morning alongside the East River at 63rd Street to announce the installation of high tech "ARGUS" security cameras on the East River Esplanade, and along East 86th Street. The cameras, which cost $35,000 each, utilize several cameras usually housed in a white metal box generally attached to light poles, are high definition, can see 360 degrees, and can be accessed by the NYPD on any type of device real-time. The installation of the ARGUS cameras is intended to deter crime, and to provide more far reaching and clearer imaging to help identify perps when a crime has been committed.

Upper East Side Patch City Begins Work On New Roosevelt Island Library by Brendan Krisel

City Begins Work On New Roosevelt Island Library

The new $7.8 million library will be fully ADA accessible and feature computer work stations, a reading area, a teen area, a children's room and a multi-use community room for events. The project will also result in exterior improvements such as new plantings, a book drop and a bench area that will double as a bus stop.

Funds for the project were allocated by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Council Member Ben Kallos and former City Council Member Jessica Lappin.

Upper East Side Patch Bill Aims To Tackle Empty Stores And 'Landlord Extortion' In NYC by Todd Maisel/

Bill Aims To Tackle Empty Stores And 'Landlord Extortion' In NYC

"We thought the problems in the building were dangerous, but the landlord ignored us and there is no mechanism to get them to fix the issues," Velkov said. "The city said that they couldn't do anything and the landlord could just revoke the lease – we just don't have any rights."

Sarah McNally, owner of McNally Jackson Book stores in Manhattan and Brooklyn, said she is being forced out of her store in Manhattan and will have to relocate.

"We are being replaced by chains," McNally said. It would've helped to have the non-binding arbitration and mediation."

Councilman Ben Kallos, (D-Manhattan) a co-sponsor of the bill, ­­decried the spread of chain stores.

"New York City doesn't need another Starbucks or a bank – it's the last thing we need," Kallos said. "Instead, we get empty storefronts and there are vacancies everywhere. We need to save small business in this city instead of having darkness."

Upper East Side Patch Council Reps Fund UES Community Board Meeting Live Streams by Brendan Krisel

Council Reps Fund UES Community Board Meeting Live Streams

"As the public media station for the New York metropolitan area, WNET is proud to partner with Council Members Kallos and Powers to provide this public service to the community" Neal Shapiro, president and CEO of WNET, said in a statement.

Funding will cover live streams for the community board's next 12 full board meetings. The full board makes the final vote on resolutions that have been passed by community board committees. Resolutions span a wide range of issues such as housing, public safety, business licenses and transportation.

WNET employees will attend the meetings and stream them using professional camera and sound equipment.

Kallos and Powers decided to fund the live streams at Community Board 8's request, a spokesman for Kallos said. The streams will be publicized by Kallos and Powers on social media, the spokesman said

Upper East Side Patch Renovated 2-Block Portion Of East River Esplanade Unveiled by Brendan Krisel

Renovated 2-Block Portion Of East River Esplanade Unveiled

The city partnered with the Hospital for Special Surgery to conduct a $1.8 million renovation of the esplanade between East 70th and 72nd streets when the hospital requested permission to expand its Upper East Side campus, City Councilman Ben Kallos said Thursday.

"When HHS wanted to make a small expansion to one of its buildings they asked how they could best give back to the community," Kallos said. "In addition to the great work they do healing New Yorkers and their existing commitment to be part of the conservancy we asked if they could do even more and they obliged."

The newly-renovated portion of the esplanade features new railings, benches, planters and a new water station where runners and bikers can fill up their water bottles, city Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver said. The renovations also brought sound-resistant walls to the esplanade to reduce noise coming from the FDR Drive.