What to make of Stephen Ross betting $1M on mayor’s race

first_imgShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Stephen Ross of Related (Getty, Wikipedia Commons)After 12 years of loving Michael Bloomberg and seven despising Bill de Blasio, some titans of real estate are ready to splurge on a pro-business mayoral candidate.But which one? And can real estate’s money make a difference anyway? Don’t count on it.First, the news: Related Companies Chairman Stephen Ross just poured $1 million into a campaign fund to influence the city’s 2021 elections for mayor and City Council, the New York Times reported Monday. Jack Cayre of Midtown Equities gave $100,000 to the independent expenditure Common Sense NYC, which has received $1.47 million.Jack Cayre of Midtown Equities (Urban Land Institute)Some perspective: Bloomberg spent $75 million to $100 million on each of his three campaigns for mayor. He won them all, but Common Sense NYC is unlikely to raise anything close to that. One campaign veteran said it would have to spend $25 million to have any real effect. And, as an independent expenditure, it cannot coordinate with a candidate directly.Moreover, evidence is accumulating that campaign advertising is not as effective as once believed and is often inconsequential. Campaign consultants insist that good ads — especially negative ones that define a candidate — do work, but ad gurus obviously have a financial incentive to say that.(It is widely believed that de Blasio owes his victory in 2013 primarily to his son Dante’s campaign ad, but a larger factor was probably that voters soured on the other Democratic candidates.)Read moreMayor’s race goes from bad to worse for real estateCatsimatidis considering mayoral runCorey Johnson drops out of race for mayor Share via Shortlink Full Name* Message*center_img Real estate’s bigger problem in the 2021 Democratic primary for mayor, though, may be too much of a good thing: pro-business candidates.Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, former Obama housing secretary Shaun Donovan, banker Ray McGuire and Rep. Max Rose can all be considered “common sense” candidates by Ross and his brethren. If elected, they would not stand idly by as proposals like Amazon HQ2 and the Industry City rezoning die, deprecate the city’s billionaires, or fantasize about government getting to decide exactly what gets built and who can live where, all of which de Blasio has done.Kathryn Garcia, the former sanitation commissioner running as a manager type, will likely go after the business vote too, as will former veterans’ services commissioner Loree Sutton. A digital media CEO named Zach Iscol is in the race as well.If these folks split the pro-business vote, real estate could end up with a mayor who cozies up to real estate’s enemies. City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who in September launched his mayoral campaign pledging to “end the crushing cycle of speculation, eviction and displacement,” and a month later called for shutting down office buildings although they were already 87 percent empty, comes to mind.Several candidates are running to Stringer’s left: former de Blasio counsel Maya Wiley, City Council member Carlos Menchaca (the Industry City killer) and social services executive Dianne Morales, to name three. But Stringer is the only citywide official and established name of that bunch. A bigger problem for him could be ex-presidential candidate Andrew Yang, he of the universal-basic-income platform.The mayoral contest is by far the most important to New York’s real estate executives next year. The money they muster, though, will not likely move the needle much. They might also consider trying to stop six Democratic Socialists of America candidates from winning City Council seats. Those races will present a different dynamic and could be even more difficult for the industry.The primary is in June. It’s going to be an interesting next six months.Contact Erik Engquist Email Address* TagsBill de BlasioPoliticspolitics and real estatescott stringerlast_img read more

Where de Blasio went wrong on property tax reform

first_imgThe city in 2018 had created a reform commission, initially co-chaired by Been. It has yet to make final recommendations for the city and state legislatures, through which property tax changes must go.De Blasio was asked about this unmet goal during an unrelated state Senate hearing last week. He claimed the idea of reviving the reform effort had just been discussed internally and promised final recommendations soon. On Monday he told NY1, “We’re going to have the final report out in the next few months.”As with everything he failed to get done in 2020, de Blasio blames Covid. The pandemic apparently prevented the property tax commission from gathering feedback on the 72-page report it issued in January 2020. Never mind that community boards, agencies, judges and the rest of the universe have been holding hearings via Zoom for the better part of a year.New Yorkers would have appreciated some Been-like honesty from de Blasio about why this has not happened with property taxes. It would have been refreshing to hear, “We screwed up,” or, better yet, “Sorry, my approval rating is not high enough to increase anyone’s property taxes.”With all the means of communication these days, the reform commission has lots of ways to hear from New Yorkers other than its archaic plan for public gatherings in each borough. Having people schlep to a school auditorium and line up behind a microphone won’t make the recommendations any better or people any less upset when their taxes go up.Besides, the commission has already held public hearings in every borough, plus three hearings with invited experts and two other public meetings. That’s 10 meetings. Its preliminary recommendations were mostly sensible but not new. Zoom will suffice from here on out.No one denies that fixing property taxes will be hard, but this is the year to do it. De Blasio cannot seek re-election and has nothing to lose. Most City Council members also cannot run again, so they vote purely for the city’s benefit, not their own. And it’s an odd-numbered year, so state legislators are not on the ballot either. The stars are aligned.Adding to the urgency, Affordable New York, a program that eliminates or reduces property taxes on new apartments for up to 35 years in much of the city, expires next year. Developers must start planning now to break ground then on desperately needed housing. They need to know what the tax regime will be.Affordable New York, like 421a before it, is a workaround that is supposed to encourage apartment development but increases the price of land, which obviously does not help affordability. We need a tax system that does not depend on temporary carve-outs to get new housing built.Making property tax reform even more imperative, the system is unfair to minorities, whose financial disadvantages got even worse when Covid hit. Pound for pound, rental housing is taxed more heavily than single-family homes that sell for millions, tens of millions, and even hundreds of millions of dollars. Tax reform is a way to keep rents down.Moreover, houses in white areas have lower property taxes relative to their value than houses in places like Brownsville and the South Bronx. This is because assessment increases are capped at 6 percent per year (and 20 percent over five years) while home values in gentrified enclaves have risen much faster. De Blasio’s two Park Slope houses are commonly cited as examples, but there are far more egregious ones.The list of problems with the system goes on from there. Virtually no one understands how their taxes are calculated or the rationale behind them. For instance, a co-op or condo is taxed based on what “comparable” units rent for, even though they are not rentals.I used quotes because often the “comparable” units are anything but. Tax assessors don’t actually visit the apartments. How could they possibly know what units are similar?Market-rate apartments are sometimes compared to rent-stabilized units, which gets especially absurd when ritzy Park Avenue co-ops are assessed. And no one can explain to Mrs. Jones why the taxes on her humble house in Ocean Hill are much higher relative to its value than the taxes on Ken Griffin’s $238 million penthouse.The eventual reform is supposed to be revenue-neutral, meaning that the increases on some properties will be entirely offset by the decreases on others. This is supposed to make things easier for the politicians — “We’re not raising taxes,” they can say. Perhaps, but it will also pit winners against losers. That provision could be rethought.It has been eight years since de Blasio made fixing property taxes part of his campaign for mayor. Covid was a bad excuse for stalling in 2020 and no excuse for all the other years. Reform needs to get done now, before another mayor takes office and creates another commission to kick the can down the road yet again.Contact Erik Engquist Share via Shortlink Full Name* Message* Tags Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Deputy Mayor Vicki Been and Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)Deputy Mayor Vicki Been is known for policy expertise, not political savvy.Case in point: When she was asked in September 2019 whether property taxes would be reformed during the de Blasio administration, she answered honestly.“I don’t know that that’s realistic. I think the foundation can be laid,” Been said. “Laying the foundation now makes it a topic that has to be front and center in the next mayoral election, and I think that’s really important.”Her boss, Mayor Bill de Blasio, did not appreciate that. Been had to quickly walk back the statement. “The de Blasio administration is working to reform property taxes before we leave office,” she wrote to Crain’s.ADVERTISEMENTRead moreSame-old, same-old: Reformers pan tax commission’s reportState’s highest court dismisses property tax reformers’ lawsuitCity announces panel to reform property taxes Email Address* Bill de BlasioPoliticsProperty taxeslast_img read more

Modelling ice dynamic contributions to sea level rise from the Antarctic Peninsula

first_imgThe future ice dynamical contribution to sea-level rise (SLR) from 210 ice shelf nourishing drainage basins of the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet (APIS) is simulated, using the British Antarctic Survey Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet Model. Simulations of the grounded ice sheet include response to ice-shelf collapse, estimated by tracking thermal ice shelf viability limits in 14 IPCC Global Climate Model ensemble temperature projections. Grounding line retreat in response to ice shelf collapse is parameterized with a new multivariate linear regression model utilizing a range of glaciological and geometric predictor variables. Multi-model means project SLR up to 9.4 mm sea-level equivalent (SLE) by 2200, and up to 19 mm SLE by 2300. Rates of SLR from individual drainage basins throughout the peninsula are similar to 2100, yet diverge between 2100 and 2300 due to individual basin characteristics. Major contributors to SLR are the outlet glaciers feeding southern George VI Ice Shelf, accounting for >75% of total SLR in some model runs. Ice sheet thinning induced by ice-shelf removal is large (up to ∼500 m), especially in Palmer Land in the Southern Antarctic Peninsula, and may propagate as far as 135 km inland. These results emphasize the importance of the ice dynamical contribution to future sea level of the APIS on decadal to centennial timescales.last_img read more

Bees Fall To River Cats

first_img Tags: PCL/Sacramento River Cats/Salt Lake Bees Written by April 22, 2019 /Sports News – Local Bees Fall To River Cats The Bees play the final of a five-game series against the River Cats today in Sacramento. FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmail (Sacramento, CA)  —  The Bees couldn’t hang on to the lead late as they fell to the River Cats 3-2 in Sacramento.  Matt Ramsey gave up the losing two-run single in the eighth inning and took the loss for Salt Lake.  Jose Briceno and Luis Rengifo drove in runs in the seventh.  Robert Lovelllast_img read more

Bar Wars: St Peter’s strike back at Regent’s cocktail theft

first_imgOxford College Bar Review has called Regent’s Park College bar “the best in Oxford” amidst allegations that it has plagiarised St Peter’s College’s ‘Cross Keys’ cocktail recipe. The supposed “theft” has caused uproar at St Peter’s, with students describing it as “an outrage”, “a crime”, “annoying”, “the greatest compliment they could’ve given us”, and “only a way for them to acknowledge” that St Peter’s Bar is “at the top of the chain”.According to the bar treasurer of St Peter’s, the Oxford College Bar Review divulged the Cross Keys recipe on Facebook, where he believes Regent’s Park found it. He added that the Cross Keys cocktail is a staple of the college. He said: “If this was between Wetherspoons and something else, they would sue each other, but because it’s at college level it’s trivial.” When asked, the bar manager of Regent’s Park, Trevor Lau, denied the allegations of theft. He admitted there are certain similarities between their ‘Paradise’ drink and the Cross Keys, but stated that their drink was made independently through their own trial-and-error process.The drink has subsequently been renamed the ‘Salty Peter’s’, as a “response to undue saltiness over such a small matter.” Lau also expressed a wish to “congratulate St. Peter’s Bar for being the first ever bar to mix fruit juice with alcohol.” St John’s College has also been criticised for using a cocktail with a similar recipe to the Cross Keys. When asked about the matter, St John’s Bar Manager Yannick Joseph told Cherwell: “We can stop serving the drink, it was a trial run anyway.“I only started serving it because students were asking for it. I got the recipe from a student who came to the bar.”last_img read more

Spring Snow Covers Ocean City

first_imgThe folks at Sunrise Cafe on the 900 block of Asbury Avenue shared this image from Wednesday evening with the message, “Memorial Day can’t come soon enough!”Cape May County bore the brunt of a coastal storm that moved up the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday night.While other part of the state received much less snow, more than four inches had fallen by 10 p.m. Tuesday in Ocean City, and most parts of the Cape were expected to see 5 to 8 inches before the snow ended before dawn on Wednesday.The wet snow did not stick to the streets in the early hours of the storm on Tuesday afternoon, but it left a heavy slush as it continued into the evening.As the storm moves away on Wednesday, high winds and bitter cold are in the forecast. The high temperature is expected to be only 39 degrees, and northwest winds of 26 to 28 mph will gust to 40 mph.There’s better news by Thursday, when high temperatures are expected to return to a more seasonable mid-50s.last_img read more

COVID-19 hits Mishawaka, Concord High School athletics programs

first_imgCoronavirusIndianaLocalNews (Photo supplied/School City of Mishawaka) COVID-19 has hit home at Concord and Mishawaka High Schools.Concord Community Schools announced that a member of the football team coaching staff tested positive for COVID-19.The staff member experienced symptoms associated with COIVD-19 on July 17 and received a presumed positive test.The football program has been suspended until July 27, according to 95.3 MNC’s reporting partners at ABC 57.Mishawaka Head Football Coach Keith Kinder tested positive for the virus after being exposed to another person with COVID-19. Kinder says he did not come into close contact with anyone in the football program. He’s in quarantine for two weeks.A Mishawaka High School volleyball player has also tested positive for COVID-19. The student had been attending workouts. All volleyball players and coaches have been told to quarantine for two weeks. The volleyball program has been suspended during the isolation.The following information was supplied by School City of Mishawaka:Today we were informed of two separate incidents related to COVID-19 involving Mishawaka Athletics:MHS Boys FootballOn Tuesday, July 14, 2020, School City of Mishawaka was notified by Mishawaka High School Varsity Head Football Coach, Keith Kinder, that he had been exposed to an individual with COVID-19. Coach Kinder immediately notified SCM administration and was directed to quarantine at home. He was tested for COVID-19 the following day and was notified today of a test positive. In accordance with the HEALTHY ACTIVITIES and HEALTHY POLICIES outlined in the School City of Mishawaka: Roadmap to Reopening 2020, officials at the St. Joseph County Department of Health were contacted immediately to begin the process of contact tracing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a “close contact” as anyone within 6 feet of a confirmed case for more than 15 minutes. Following our assessment, we can say with confidence that there were no close contacts involved with the Mishawaka High School Boys Football program.As a result, the St. Joseph County Department of Health is confident the already established pre-season conditioning and workout schedule can continue as planned; however, as an added safety precaution, the entire coaching staff has been tested for COVID-19 and the team workout schedule for next week will be adjusted.Coach Kinder said, “I’m confident that I have followed SCM protocols and that I was not in close contact with any of my players before, during, or after a workout which minimized the risk of exposure. I will continue to put the safety of our players as our top priority as we prepare for the 2020 football season.”MHS Girls VolleyballOn Friday, July 17, 2020, School City of Mishawaka was notified of an individual involved with the Mishawaka High School Girls Volleyball program who had been attending workouts tested positive for COVID-19. Per the order of the St. Joseph County Department of Health, all MHS volleyball players and coaches need to quarantine through Wednesday, July 29, 2020. As such, all pre-season conditioning and activity days for the MHS Girls Volleyball program will be temporarily suspended through at least the duration of the isolation period.SCM Director of Athletics, Dean Huppert, will be communicating directly with the families of the student athletes with additional information and guidance. Please contact us at [email protected] or (574) 254-7719 if you have any questions. Google+ Facebook Google+ Pinterest Twitter By 95.3 MNC – July 18, 2020 0 462 Twitter WhatsApp Pinterest Facebook WhatsApp COVID-19 hits Mishawaka, Concord High School athletics programs Previous articleUPDATE: Boy, 5, pulled from Pike Lake in Kosciusko County has diedNext articleIndiana student-athletes taking online courses can participate in sports 95.3 MNCNews/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel is your breaking news and weather station for northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan.last_img read more

Watch The Aquaducks Funk Out In New “Rewind” Video Ahead Of Debut Album Release [Premiere]

first_imgNashville-based funk band The Aquaducks are releasing their debut full length album on October 21st, Live At The Beast. Recorded at The Basement East in Nashville, Tennessee; “Live at the Beast” captures the musicality and live energy of the band and showcases their diverse songwriting and musical influences. With eleven musicians taking the stage, “Live at the Beast” has a powerful sound and features some of the band’s staples such as, “Bill’s Toupée” and “Nightlife”.While we await the release of the full album, take a look at the video for “Rewind” now, and pre-order the full album on iTunes, CD, or Vinyl as early as September 23rd! You’ll get a copy of the new song when you do.For more info about the band, be sure to visit their official website.last_img read more

Hometeam New Years Rally: Bringing Music, Family, & Community Together For Annual Celebration

first_imgThere tends to be a lot of pressure surrounding New Years plans. Do you spend it with friends? Family? How do you make it special without having to dig too deep outside of your comfort zone? The Hometeam New Years Rally focuses on community, with a concentration on vibes – and just might be your perfect solution. What better way to ring in 2017 than surrounded by the people you love, the music that inspires you, and holistic workshops to cultivate change in our daily lives and practices?Celebrating their fifth year, the Hometeam New Years Rally is taking over Maddox Ranch in Lakeland, Florida from December 29th to January 1st. The gathering began as a way to showcase the array of talent in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area and provide a safe and fun environment for all ages, but has evolved into a union and reunion that encourages all patrons to believe in their unique talents, find others with like-minded interests, and reignite passions that may have taken a back seat to their regular everyday lives. The event seeks to provide the perfect balance between the intimacy of a small festival, and the professional feeling and quality production of bigger events. There are several reasons to welcome the new year with the Hometeam, but here are five particularly special ones.5. The Location – The Maddox Ranch is family owned and operated in Central Florida. Without being too hold or too cold, it’s the perfect time of year to camp with your family and friends and enjoy the beauty of life. Yes, there will even be horses and a designated petting area as part of the full ranch.4. The Playshops – Aside from the music, there will be holistic playshops to spur the refresh button into the new year. The holistic playshops are brought to you by Rising Light and the Illumination Project.Festival organizers had this to say about what to expect from this year’s playshops, “For a lot of our patrons, the Hometeam New Years Rally is about more than just the music. It can be a transformational weekend for many, so we put a special amount of effort into fostering the holistic experience. We’ll be providing a variety of PLAYshops that promote sustainability, social empowerment, community enrichment and personal growth. Highlights include: Morning yoga all 3 days, Arts and Crafts, DIY Natural Health and Beauty Care, Tiny Homes and Simple Living, Community Songwriting with Este Loves and other Hometeam Heroes, and a Drum Circle Basics 101. The Hometeam realizes that the community we have built is important, and in order for that to prosper, we must create a positive and sustainable environment.”3. Coffee Shop Sessions by: Joose – Joose, known for their unique sound and mind-melting Herbie Hancock Tribute show, is a refreshing Fusion collective based out of central Florida. With influences ranging from Jazz, Funk, Latin, Soul, and Groove; this energetic live show experience is going to be the perfect way to start your day both Saturday and Sunday. Joose includes members from Come Back Alice, Holey Miss Moley, and Ajeva and is quickly becoming a crowd favorite in the region. You can listen to a live version of Joose’s original song “We’ve Got a Lot of Work to Do” from their performance at The Great Outdoors Jam on their website.The sessions will be held Saturday Morning from 10:30am – 11:30am and Sunday Morning from 11:30am – 12:30pm. Get up early and have some Joose with your coffee!2. The Family –  The Hometeam New Years Rally is a family friendly event. Whether the kids are playing on the big down tree at the ranch, or at the Future Music Makers tent, they are sure to be enjoying themselves. FMM involves the kids, in combination with the musicians in order to form an inspiring learning environment. With workshops ranging from Music Lessons, to interviews with Artists of the festival, to jam sessions, the FMM tent is going to be packed with a lot of beneficial experiences for all ages. Additionally, kids under 12 get free entry and there will be designated areas for quiet family camping. There will also be plenty of family experiences offered, consisting of music and art workshops throughout the day! The familial community will only be continued for the teens, who get their own “Teens Only” lounge for after-dark hours. Bringing the family together is important, especially to ring in the New Year.According to festival organizers, “Hometeam is not just a festival… it’s a family.  It’s an ever growing community of individuals whose shared love for music, arts, and good intention has become a launching pad for making dreams come true.  While music is the common denominator that initially draws new patrons in, it’s genuine friendship and sense of family that has fueled our community to thrive and grow over the last 4 years.  Whether you are a musician, an artist, a teacher, a lawyer, or just a fan of life, you will find not only acceptance, but uplifting support within the Hometeam.”1. The Lineup – The Hometeam is known for continuous artist collaborations throughout the weekend. You will see one-of-a-kind sets from all the bands that include multiple sit-ins built to create an entertaining show. A majority of these musicians are always playing and sitting in with each other on a regular basis, so hometeam feels like a big family reunion from the get-go. Not to mention Christian Ryan’s Year in Revue: A funk-filled and soulful reflection to the icons of music we’ve lost in 2016, Ajeva playing Santana, and After Funk playing Hendrix. The homage tributes always make for a sing-a-long marathon.To futher inspire the specialties, there are six artists-at-large this year, including Roosevelt Collier, Isaac Corbitt, Joe Marcinek, Christian Ryan, Mark Mayea, and Sara Phillips.With headlining acts from The Nth Power, Zach Deputy, and The Mantras, the New Years Rally will also feature specialty showcases from Roosevelt Collier’s Hometeam Getdown, the weekend inevitably rounds out to something special. Funk rockers The Fritz and Backup Planet will be on deck, with southern-gypsy-funk band Come Back Alice and bluegrass extraordinaires The Applebutter Express. The festival’s foundation is in Florida, so plenty of local bands will be on-site to represent, including Juanjamon Band, Holey Miss Moley, Displace, The Groove Orient, Heather Gillis Band, Savi Fernandez Band, Guavatron, and a whole lot more. Check out the lineup announcement video below!Check out the full lineup in the poster below:via GIPHYlast_img read more

La Soiree to Close Off-Broadway

first_img Created by Brett Haylock, La Soiree combines cabaret, new burlesque, circus sideshow and contemporary variety in one seductive setting. The evening features a rotating cast of over 20 artists, including Stephen “Bath Boy” Williams, The English Gents, Mario, the Queen of the Circus and Ursula Martinez. View Comments La Soiree first appeared in New York in 2006 under the title Absinthe: Les Artistes de La Clique. Subsequent versions of Absinthe shows were inspired by the original production but did not have any of the same creative or production team. Since its inaugural production in London at the South Bank, La Soiree has played Australia, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. It is set to play an engagement May 15 to 25 at the Polo Circo International Festival in Buenos Aires, Argentina and there are future plans for the show to play other South American countries including Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. La Soiree is leaving town. The internationally acclaimed live circus-cabaret, which is playing at off-Broadway’s Union Square Theatre, will shutter May 11. It will have played 10 previews and 200 regular performances at time of closing. La Soiree Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on May 11, 2014last_img read more