The Briefly for January 9, 2020 – The "300 Defective Subway Cars and State of the State" Edition
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Clear throughout the day.
Video: Watch the full State of the State Address. (NYGovCuomo on YouTube) An overview of homeless funding, small business tax cuts, a "Restore Mother Nature" bond, and other proposals that could come from the speech. (Kathryn Brenzel for The Real Deal) With the state legislature being in firm control of Democrats in 2019 and making real progress on Cuomo's agenda, the governor was forced to find new material for this year's speech. (Politico) The state failed to legalize weed in the summer of 2019, could 2020 be the year? The governor called it an ethical imperative to legalize it. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch) During the speech, Cuomo called for labeling certain hate crimes as domestic terrorism, which is punishable by life in prison. (Zack Fink for NY1) The governor is calling to end the "fraud" of the gig economy, comparing gig economy corporations to sweatshops and legislation could re-classify independent contractors as employees, similar to the recently passed (and challenged) California law. (Dana Rubenstein for Politico) The Restore Mother Nature Bond Act, mentioned in the speech, would pump $3 billion into resiliency efforts across the state, city included. (Mark Hallum for amNewYork) Governor Cuomo vetoed a bill that independent pharmacists said would protect them and patients against health care middlemen causing higher fees. The governor cited higher fees and anti-competition concerns in his message. (Gabe Herman for The Villager) Governor Cuomo wants to ban repeat sex offenders from the subway. How? No one has an answer to that question and this is the second year in a row he's expressed that desire. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist) The MTA pulled nearly 300 brand new-but-faulty subway cars from their tracks overnight on Tuesday for "repeated issues." The cars represent 4.5% of the MTA's fleet. These are the same cars that the MTA paid $600 million for and only received 18 on time and have since cost the city $35 million in repairs and $300 million in lost labor. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch) The OMNY system celebrated its 5 millionth payment, but there's more to this story. It seems that some scanners have been double charging unwitting riders. As riders scan their MetroCards, the sensitive scanners pick up the near field signal and also charge their credit cards. In order to fix this on an iPhone, disable "Express Transit Card" in your Wallet and Apple Pay settings. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist) In a very MTA moment, someone managed to jump a turnstile in the middle of an OMNY press conference. (Bowery Boogie) The MTA is being sued by Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (yeah, it spells STOP) to get information about a camera in the Times Square station installed to deter fare evasion. STOP believes the MTA is deploying facial recognition technology, but the MTA denies any facial recognition. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist) 46% of families living below the poverty line do not have broadband internet access as home. To alleviate this, the mayor announced an Internet Master Plan. It's low on details, but the idea is the city will partner with private providers to expand the current infrastructure. (Adam Nichols for Patch) The LaGuardia AirTrain situation is a complete mess. If the AirTrain moves forward, it will be Governor Cuomo's sheer force of will, and not what is the best actual option. (Benjamin Kabak for Second Ave Sagas) Ever sine the L train shutdown was shutdown, rent in Williamsburg started creeping up and are now 26.7% higher and have hit an all-time high of $3,675/month. (Valeria Ricciulli for Curbed) The city witnessed a 12 bloody hours as four pedestrians were killed or critically injured. A man was killed but he driver of a bus in Midtown, a 10-year-old boy and his mother were hit by a garbage truck and the boy was killed by the driver, and a 68-year-old woman was killed by the driver of a cement truck in Borough Park. 122 pedestrians were killed in 2019, up from 105 in 2018. (Jen Chung for Gothamist) Mulchfest continues through January 11, so bring your Christmas trees to one of the 67 drop-off sites across the city to participate. (Gabe Herman for The Villager) The best momo (Himalayan dumplings) in the city, ranked. (Joe DiStefano for Grub Street) Phots: The vintage typewriters of the closed to the public Bankers Club on the 40th floor of the Equitable Building. (Michelle Young for Untaped New York) 2019 seemed like the year for Universal Healthcare in New York state. What happened? (Ross Barkan for Gothamist) Stop buying books on Amazon and borrow them from the library. An arduous task, I know. Use Library Extension to make it easier, the Chrome and Firefox extension will tell you what books and audiobooks are available at the nearest libraries to you. Shaye Weaver for Time Out) Book Culture, the beloved book shop on the Upper West Side, suddenly closed due to owed rent payments. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft) Here's a different kind of "world's tallest." The 707-foot tall 270 Park Ave is about to become the tallest building to be intentionally razed. chase has decided it wants a 70-story building there instead, nearly twice the height of the old building. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist) Renderings: See inside Peak, the 101st-floor restaurant coming to Hudson Yards. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft) Another food hall is opening in Midtown. Take a look at the 12,000 square foot Urbanspace, which will include Roberta's Pizza, LoLo's, Call Me Pasta, City Tamale, an Eisenberg's sandwich shop, and more. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist) Brooklyn Public Library’s Sheepshead Bay branch reopened Tuesday after a five-month closure. (Jessica Parks for Brooklyn Paper) Is the city's healthiest neighborhood Midtown? (Emily Davenport for amNewYork) Meet Dena Cooper, the artist transforming Alexander Jackson into Harriet Tubman on $20 bills. (Scott Enman for Brooklyn Eagle) A look at The Duplex, the city's longest running cabaret bar. (Dawson Knick for GVSHP) The finest bagels of NYC, mapped. (Eater) How the city's bagel union fought off a mafia takeover. (Jason Turbow for Grub Street)