The Briefly for May 26, 2020 – The "Summer of Cannibalistic Rats" Edition
Today - Low: 60˚ High: 72˚
Partly cloudy throughout the day.
The city remains on PAUSE, with 4/7 metrics met. Here's a beginner's guide to biking to the beach, for the uninitiated. (Christopher Robbins for Gothamist) ConEd says the city should expect higher than usual electricity bills this summer in a combination of people being home more often and an increase in supply charges. (Collier Sutter for Time Out) Also, this summer is predicted to unusually hotter and rainier than usual. (Adam Nichols for Patch) Why stop the bad news train now? This year's hurricane season has been described as "brutal," with double the number of hurricanes expected with six major storms and 19 named storms expected in total. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch) The bad news train keeps on rolling. The city's rats have depended on the trash from restaurants for hundreds of generations, with restaurants either closed or producing much less food waste, rats are getting desperate and aggressive. They don't pose a threat to humans but are turning on each other, turning to cannibalization. (Mariel Padilla for NY Times) The city will be contacting you if you've had exposure using the same technology that Uber uses to text you that your driver is arriving. (Rachel Kraus for Mashable) Queens DA Melinda Katz is breaking one of her campaign promises less than a year into office. While campaigning, Katz claimed she supported the legalization of sex work, but according to DecrimNY she has been targeting the buyers of sex work as part of her new Human Trafficking Bureau. (Matt Tracy for Gay City News) Errick Allen, an NYPD officer, was arrested on murder charges for fatally shooting his childhood friend in the head on Long Island. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch) If you're looking for a new apartment and pizza is your #1 priority, here are listings available near some of the city's best pizzerias. (Localize.City) As part of a new four-part plan to support nursing homes during the pandemic, the city will offer on-site COVID-19 testing to patients and staff at all 169 nursing homes across the city. (Jason Cohen for Bronx Times) Every public school student in New York City will soon receive $420 to help pay for food while school buildings are shut down, regardless of family income. (Christina Veiga for Chalkbeat) The NYPD's enforcement of social distancing measures continues to hit black and brown New Yorkers hardest, according to new data gleaned by the Legal Aid Society. (Mark Hallum for Brooklyn Paper) The city has opened up 45 miles of open streets in May, surprisingly exceeding its own goal for the month. (Dana Schulz for 6sqft) Mayor de Blasio set new thresholds for the city to begin reopening, separate from the state's thresholds. Fewer than 200 daily hospitalizations, fewer than 375 patients in the ICU, and a positive testing rate below 15%, all for at least 10 to 14 days. (Brendan Krisel for Patch) It's not the mayor's decision on when the city reopens, as Governor Cuomo said in a press conference on Friday "it's a statewide decision across the board." The city's guidelines, if met before the state's, only serve to confuse. (Elizabeth Kim for Gothamist) More than 100,000 small businesses have shut down permanently since the start of the pandemic, so the state is putting forward over $100 million towards a loan program for small businesses to help them amid the pandemic. Pre-applications start today. (Emily Davenport for amNewYork Metro) Anybody who believes they have symptoms or who has been in contact with somebody who has tested positive is now urged to be tested for Covid-19. Here's how to get tested. (Adam Nichols for Patch) At this point it seems like people are expecting Councilmember Brad Lander and Mayor de Blasio to botch the Gowanus rezoning. With both leaving power in 2021, will they rush a poorly-thought plan through or will both of their legacies be an empty promise for the neighborhood? (Eddie Small for The Real Deal) New York will pay death benefits for essential government workers who lost their lives to novel coronavirus. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch) What is the "new normal?" No one knows yet, but it could look something like the wall of vending machines full of N95 masks on Delancey Street. (Elie Z. Perler for Bowery Boogie) Swimming at the city's beaches remains banned, but the City Council is working on guidelines to help open the city's waters to swimmers. (Sydney Pereira for Gothamist) Video: A walk through an empty Grand Central Terminal. (ActionKid) The woman who started the #ClapForOurCarers at 7 pm says it's time to stop. Annemarie Plas says that people have shown their appreciation and its time for people in power to reward them and give them the respect they deserve. Plas started the clapping in the UK, we'll see if her calls for it to stop are heard across the Atlantic. (Derrick Bryson Taylor for NY Times) Daci Zudi was riding his bike when he was hit and killed by Faustino Rebollar Garcia, driving his pickup truck. For the death of Zudi, Garcia was charged with failure to exercise due care and driving without a license, both minor charges. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog) If you've got a soft spot for doughnuts, three Doughnut Plan locations have reopened. (Scott Lynch for Gothamist) The governor allowed religious gatherings of 10 or fewer people at the end of last week and was sued by the New York Civil Liberties Union, forcing the governor to change his executive order to allow non-essential gatherings of ten or fewer people across the state. The NYCLU seems to be pushing that responsibly distanced protests should be allowed, but it's difficult to not see this being bused in other ways. (Jen Chung for Gothamist) Where to get frozen cocktails. (Hannah Albertine for The Infatuation) The amazing story of Alice, the elephant who escaped from Coney Island and swam the five miles to Staten Island. She retired to the Bronx Zoo, which is a whole other story. (Thomas Hynes for Untapped New York) 20 Michelin-starred restaurants still open. (Ryan Sutton for Eater) Thank you to reader Ariana for today's featured photo.