New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Upper East Side Patch

Upper East Side Patch City Invests $75M More In East River Esplanade Fixes by Brendan Krisel

City Invests $75M More In East River Esplanade Fixes

MANHATTAN, NY — New York City is dedicating an addition $75 million to complete and repair sections of the East River Esplanade in Harlem, the Upper East Side and Midtown, parks officials announced Thursday.

Upper East Side Patch UES High Schoolers Petition City For New Gym, Get 3K Signatures by Brendal Krisel

UES High Schoolers Petition City For New Gym, Get 3K Signatures

City Councilman Ben Kallos — who says he's been in talks with the city Department of Education and School Construction Authority to get more physical education spaces in district since he's been elected — helped students facilitate their petition and included it in his monthly newsletter for constituents.

"It's amazing that Eleanor Roosevelt High School has championed athletics given that they don't actually have a gym. Hopefully this can help their sports program grow to the next level," Kallos told Patch.

Kallos noted that while of the Upper East Side's private schools are building or already have field houses for athletics, public schools are left without adequate space.

Upper East Side Patch Residents, Pols Rip NYCHA For UES Private Development Project by Brendan Krisel

Residents, Pols Rip NYCHA For UES Private Development Project

Board members also questioned whether NYCHA could have gotten more than $25 million for the land. When asked by the board, Charney said a NYCHA appraisal put the value of the land closer to $60 million. City Councilman Ben Kallos, who pressed Fetner and NYCHA a number of times throughout the meeting, asked if NYCHA could have made more money by just selling air rights at the development to other sites within the neighborhood.

A NYCHA spokesperson did not immediately respond to Patch's request for comment.

In May 2017, the New York City Housing Authority announced that real estate developer Fetner Properties was selected to develop a plot of land currently occupied by a playground between the two Holmes Towers buildings on East 92nd Street between First and York avenues. Fetner bid on the project through a request for proposals launched by NYCHA as part of its NextGen NYCHA initiative to allow private development on public lands to fund capital repairs.

Upper East Side Patch City Moves To Cut Excessive Mechanical Void Space In High-Rises by Brendan Krisel

City Moves To Cut Excessive Mechanical Void Space In High-Rises

NEW YORK, NY — Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration is taking steps to cut down on the development trend of building large mechanical voids in high-rise towers after neighborhood preservation groups and elected officials sounded the alarm on the practice.

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.