Showing posts with label MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO. Show all posts

Monday, March 10, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING
Cousin Brucie With Micky Dolenz

THE HOOK MAN --- For more than 25 years, songwriter Rick Nowels has written some of the most memorable hooks in pop music. From Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" (1987) to Madonna's "The Power of Goodbye" (1998), New Radicals' "You Get What You Give" (1999), Santana's "The Game of Love" (featuring Michelle Branch) (2002), Dido's "White Flag" (2004) and John Legend's "Green Light" (featuring Andree 3000) (2008), Nowels' songs have become radio constants.

Nowels was most recently back on the Hot 100 as co-writer (and co-producer) with Lana Del Rey on "Summertime Sadness." Aided by its Cedric Gervais dance remix, the song marks her first entry on the Pop Songs airplay tally. The pair also co-penned "Young and Beautiful," which became Del Rey's first top 40 Hot 100 hit in June.

He recently said to Billboard magazine, “I met Lana in summer 2011. I had heard some of her songs on YouTube and I loved what she was doing. When we wrote it, I realized that she was a brilliant songwriter and a magical artist. She writes the kind of music I want to listen to.”

And about his craft, “I grew up on great records and always absorbed everything I heard. I could hear the chords to songs from a young age, so I would always figure out how to play songs that I liked. I'm just trying to do work that is as good as the music that I love.”

“I started writing songs when I was 13. By the time I was 15, I strongly identified as a songwriter. I went to Berkeley, where I studied music, and then moved to San Francisco and had two original bands during my early and middle 20's."

"Both bands became popular and we played a million club gigs. But, I ended up leaving each group. I moved to New York and never got a band together again. I was writing and recording my songs and, very luckily, Stevie Nicks heard "I Can't Wait” in 1986."

"I was also extremely lucky to be mentored by Jimmy Iovine for the first five years of my record-producing life. I learned so much from Jimmy and got to work in great studios and met so many legendary artists, producers and engineers. It made me really up my game.”

ONE TERM BILL --- Seems Mayor Bill de Blasio can't catch a break. That Liam Neeson event over the weekend, where he hosted a dozen City Council members Sunday at the stables that house Central Park carriage horses showed some unbridled anger at de Blasio’s absence. “He should have manned up and come," Neeson said about the Mayor. "I'm disappointed he's not here."

The Non-Stop actor invited all 51 council members to the stables to show the horses are treated humanely in a bid to derail the Mayor's planned ban on the industry. "These horses are well cared for," said Neeson, who has become the carriage drivers' highest-profile ally, at the Clinton Park Stables on W. 52nd St., where 78 carriage horses bed down.

"It's a connection with our past, it's a connection with our history," he said. "And it has to be said — the great white elephant in the room, four prime locations on the West Side of New York that realtor's must be salivating to get their hands on."

De Blasio said Sunday he does plan to visit the stables. "I'm firm about the fact that we have to make this move," said de Blasio, who skipped the tour, owing to other plans. Seems to me, had Bill attended it would have helped his dwindling approval numbers, which as of last Friday, it was at his lowest point ever.

He did say, "I want to visit the stables and will do it when the schedule allows, because we want to work with the folks who operate those horse carriages and get them new opportunities in other types of related work," he continued. "We want to make sure we're listening to their concerns as we do it, but I'm clear about where we need to go." During the tour, the Irish actor made hay with de Blasio’s electric car idea.

"The Mayor wants to replace them with electric cars. That's exactly what New York needs, more cars. This experiment has been tried with electric cars in San Francisco — failed abysmally," he said.

"The horses clearly seem calm and like it's their home," he said. "If there are legitimate concerns regarding the safety of the animals, then let's bring them out and have a conversation about a compromise plan."

Advocacy group NYCLASS, which has been the force behind the ban, said the stables’ conditions aren't the primary reason to ban the carriages.

"It’s the inhumanity of horses working in dangerous midtown traffic. Horses are easily spooked, and forcing them to work in loud, congested Lincoln Tunnel traffic is cruel and unsafe," the group said in a statement.

To be honest, the only time I’ve ever seen a horse spooked is when he was eating. This is part of NY-history and to see it banished would indeed be a shame. Another part of history is being torn down.

De Blasio … like Al Roker predicted …. one term for sure. What a disappointment!

CLOSING NOTES --- Monkee-Micky Dolenz, who celebrated his birthday over the weekend, called into Sirius/XM’s Cousin Brucie to tub-thump next weekend’s Monkees Convention 2014 in New Jersey. We'll be there as the group gets inducted into the American Pop Music Hall of Fame on Saturday. Visit their page HERE

Billboard has confirmed with multiple sources, that U2 has postponed the release of their new album & tour until 2015. The band has recently scheduled additional sessions with producers Ryan Tedder and Paul Epworth (Danger Mouse remains on board as the project's central producer). While an Interscope/Island Records representative maintains that with a release date never announced the album shouldn't be considered delayed, Billboard has learned that the tour, initially on track for a mid-March announcement and September start date, will now begin in summer 2015.

"It seems to be taking longer for them to finish an album as they get older, but the great thing about U2 is that the whole of a record is always better than the sum of its parts," says a source close to the project. "That magic that the band always seems to capture ... they have yet to capture it" ...

It’s been a while since we've seen Coldplay dominating the world, but it looks like Coldplay-less music charts will soon to be a thing of the past. The British rock group announced that its sixth album, a follow-up to 2011′s Mylo Xyloto, will be a nine-track record called Ghost Stories and will hit stores on May 19. The band promptly shot to No. 2 on the U.K.’s iTunes list.

Just last week, Coldplay released a new track from the album called “Midnight,” which is a haunting, Bon Iver-esque pivot from their usual sound. Check out the brilliant video here on YOUTUBE.

Photo Courtesy Of: David Salidor

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Governor Cuomo And Mayor De Blasio Announce Affordable Housing Protection For Low-Income New Yorkers Living With HIV/AIDS

Story By: James Edstrom

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

We applaud Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio's decision to help New Yorkers with HIV/AIDS. It will save money and will save lives.

I remember a few years back I had a friend that lived in supportive housing where his rent was capped at 30 percent. He wanted to move on and won a lottery for a affordable housing apartment in Manhattan. The building was beautiful, affordable housing was mixed in with the rich apartment renters. The only problem was my friend had limited disability checks coming in every month, his rent went from around two hundred a month to about five hundred a month, leaving him with nothing to buy food with. He lasted only two months and finally he had to decide, pay the rent and don't eat or become homeless and have food. He chose being homeless. And he ended up in the hospital endless times due to being homeless, which in the long run cost the city and state more money than if he had a apartment in the first place.

Lucky after a few months, he was able to get another supportive apartment with low rent, but he did not need supportive housing, and by him taking another apartment meant that someone with HIV/AIDS that did need the services, did not have a place to go. This is the major problem with supportive housing. Even if the person with HIV/AIDS does not need caretakers and supportive housing, they are forced to stay there, because that is all they can afford. So they stay there for years, taking up a apartment that could be used for someone that really needs the services. Supportive housing also is for people with mental Disabilities, War Veterans and other health problems as well as other issues. So this bill will allow people that do not need these services to move on. It will open up housing for people that really need it.

Perhaps one more thing can be accomplished next. Currently the state and city will pay twenty dollars per month towards the electric bills of people with HIV/AIDS. This is just not enough. I can not tell you how many people I know with HIV/AIDS who are always on a final disconnect for their electric bill. Their bills range from a hundred a month in winter to over two hundred in the summer when electricity demand is high and so are the prices. Either the city or state or both should raise the help they can give with these bills. Better yet, Con Edison of New York City should give a deep discount towards people with HIV/AIDS as well as people with other disabilities. Considering how much CON ED makes a month in profit, maybe a bill is needed in Albany, that would require this utility to give people on limited income electricity and gas at cost. It is only right considering how much money Con Ed rakes in every month.

On another note, Dr. Frank R. Lipton from The Human Resources Administration (HRA), who has been called the quintessential unsung hero in media outlets, should be named the new Commissioner of The HRA. Under Dr. Lipton's direction, almost 15,000 supportive housing apartments have been created. Considered widely successful, Dr. Lipton has put New York City on the right track to end homelessness.

But Their Are Problems With HIV/AIDS Programs

There are some problems though. Currently a provider of Scatter Site and Supportive housing can do what they want. If a tenant has a complaint about services received by a provider, there is no outlet for the tenant to complain and take action against the provider. It is the provider that has the power to take the tenant on, but the tenant has no recourse to say to the HRA, "Hey, I am not receiving services". Currently apartment providers for the HRA can call level one, two and three meetings against the tenant and the next step is eviction. But if the provider is not living up to the contract for which they are being paid, no action can be taken against the landlord provider. This has to change, as providers are taking advantage of this loophole and people with disabilities, HIV/AIDS, Mental or other, have no recourse. They can be abused by the provider, which happens more often than anyone can imagine. I have heard more horror stories on this issue and recently I wrote Dr. Lipton asking him to put safeguards in place, so the City's HRA HASA program for people with HIV/AIDS, can take action against a provider who is being paid for services and not rendering them.

Another example of the abuses of providers. People with HIV/AIDS are told they will have Case Management. Yet none of the providers can tell you what that is. They demand that the person living with HIV/AIDS meet with them every week or every other week, yet provide no services. The caseworker will sit there and ask the client, what have you done, yet they never have any answers to what they have done to make the person living with HIV/AIDS live a easier life.

One recent example is St. Nicks Alliance of Brooklyn. I spoke to a caseworker who was recently fired because she wanted to help people with HIV/AIDS. She was told she did not manage her time well. But the reason she was not managing her time well, was she really was trying to help her clients. Helping takes time.

When I put the question to St Nicks Alliance about their Scatter Site program, they denied they had anything to do with their founding fathers, St. Nicks Alliance The Landlord. They said they were a separate entity, and the Landlord had nothing to do with the Scatter Site program. I could have believed this, since I live in one of St. Nicks buildings in Williamsburg. But when this case worker lost her job, she was called down to Frank Lang's office.When doing a search on Frank Lang, this is what several websites say.

Frank Lang is the Director of Housing for the St. Nicks Alliance since 2006 overseeing all of St. Nicks’ housing programs including real estate development, tenant assistance and property management. St. Nicks, founded in 1975, is one of the premiere community development companies in NYC.

St. Nicks Alliance Scatter Site programs separate from  St. Nicks Alliance the landlord? I THINK NOT!

When I e-mailed the fired caseworker on what St. Nicks Alliance Scatter Site Case Management meant, this was her reply.

"Case management is an intangible construct. I don't know how they measure their results of case management. They are unbelievably infatuated with getting program fees. But you are right, they are not exactly managing anything."

Now for anyone who wonders what program fees are, they are the rent paid by the tenant and the monies paid to the program by the City, State and the HRA.

Now in a e-mail to Michelle Sainsbury Deputy Director of Supportive Housing, AKA Scatter Site, I have requested her definition of Case Management. I look forward to her reply, if there is one. 

Now to keep things out in the open, St Nicks Alliance is also my landlord. Since day one here, we have been abused by several of their tenants. Since day one, we have been plagued with Mice and Rats and many maintenance issues. We were robbed the first hour we were here and their tenants harass us day and night. They call us faggots, white trash and everything else in the book. The police refuse to help almost every time and the St Nicks Alliance is protecting these tenants. Recently St. Nicks Alliance showed up to finally fix some of the problems, after 15 months of complaints, but the vermin problem persists. Building manager Hayde Cordero also showed up to speak to me. But she refuses to enforce the building rules. This one tenant who is always outside our window, smoking pot, drinking and yelling and screaming is allowed to continue in this manner. When I asked Ms. Cordero to take action, she said she had no proof. I told her she did. I told her she had numerous police and security reports, and most recently this tenant was arrested in our stairwell smoking pot and drinking with his friends. I also informed her that ST. Nicks Alliance's recent installation of cameras everywhere would show that this tenant was in front of my windows for hours at a time on several nights, smoking pot and drinking with his friends. I told Cordero that the police have been to this persons apartment a dozen times, St. Nicks personal have been to this guys apartment several times and he is not going to stop. He does not care and refuses to follow any rules of this building. The harassment is pure racism, plain and simple. If I was acting in this manner, if I was calling other tenants the N WORD and I was breaking all these rules, I would be evicted. No doubt about it.

Considering we are very quiet, and we don't break any rules, I can only assume not only are these tenants anti-gay, they are racist. And since St. Nicks Alliance refused to enforce the rules against these tenants, I can only assume they are also racist. We will be writing about this more very soon, but you can read our first story HERE. You can also be sure, St. Nicks Alliance will try to get revenge against my son and I, but I am very prepared for that.

The following statement was sent to us by The Governor's Office.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have announced a new affordable housing protection for low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS. With today’s announcement, New Yorkers who are permanently disabled by HIV/AIDS and receive rental assistance will pay no more than 30 percent of their income toward their rent. Without this protection, more than 10,000 New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS are denied affordable housing and required to pay upwards of 70 percent of their disability income toward their rent.

“This action will ensure that thousands of New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS will no longer be forced to choose between paying their rent or paying for food and other essential costs of living,” Governor Cuomo said. “By implementing a 30 percent income cap for low-income renters with HIV/AIDS, we are protecting New Yorkers in need and making our communities stronger, healthier, and more compassionate for all.”

Mayor de Blasio said, "I'm very proud to work with Governor Cuomo to provide some measure of security to people struggling with the debilitating effects of HIV-AIDS. And we come to the table ready to shoulder two-thirds of this program's costs because we are committed to lifting up the most vulnerable among us. This is the mark of a compassionate city."