Markey: meeting with Stringer key to stopping shelter
Aug 24, 2016 | 0 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Assemblywoman Marge Markey confirmed last week that she spoke to Comptroller Scott Stringer stopping the city from using a “homeless emergency declaration” to fast-track the conversion of the Holiday Inn Express into a shelter. “They must go through a review process,” she said. “And since the comptroller is on our side, the city should pay attention.” A spokesperson for the comptroller said the office spoke with Markey last week. “Siting a shelter without consulting the community does a disservice to clients and local residents,” the spokesperson said. Stringer confirmed he is planning to meet with community leaders and local elected officials to ensure that everyone is heard and has a seat at the table. Markey also questioned the Department of Homeless Service's figures that 240 registered homeless people listed Maspeth as their last permanent address. “Were they burned out of their homes?” she asked. “Did the family throw them out?” Protesters call for boycott Among the protest signs this week in front of the Holiday Inn Express the city wants to turn into a homeless shelter were a few that called for a boycott of Holiday Inn Hotels nationwide. “This is a beautiful hotel,” said Michael LoCascio, one of the more vocal leaders of the protests. “A Holiday Inn which was built 40 months ago should not be turned into a shelter. “Holiday Inn should not sanction this, it’s a big conglomerate,” he added. “They don’t need this to hurt their reputation around the country. I certainly won’t stay in a Holiday Inn anywhere, and a whole bunch of people in that ‘pen’ over there are doing the same.” LoCascio alleges he spoke to a man who is staying at the hotel with his 96-year-old mother on a ventilator. “The man told me the city is paying for his room,” he said. The city has repeatedly denied the Department of Homeless Services is sheltering homeless at the hotel. CB5 to hold public hearing In response to a proposal by the city Department of Homeless Services and the Human Resources Administration to use the Holiday Inn Express at 59-40 55th Road in Maspeth as a residence for homeless couples or parents with an adult child, Community Board 5 will conduct a public hearing on Wednesday, August 31, at 7 p.m. The hearing will be held at the Knockdown Center at 52-19 Flushing Avenue in Maspeth. CB5 district manager Gary Giordano said there will be a formal opportunity for local residents and business representatives to hear specifics of the proposal, to ask questions of city agency representatives, and to testify for or against the plan. He added that every effort will be made to have this hearing conducted respectfully and thoughtfully. Anyone wishing to speak at the hearing is asked to register in advance by calling Board 5 at (718) 366-1834 or sending an email to qnscb5@nyc.rr.com. Depending on the number of speakers registering, speaking time will be limited to three minutes or less for each speaker. Speakers are asked to provide a written copy of their testimony at the time of the hearing.
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ALEXIS URBANSKI
ALEXIS URBANSKI
slideshow
Help Us Yoenis Cespedes, You're the Mets Only Hope!
by John Jastremski
Aug 24, 2016 | 66 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Before Saturday’s afternoon affair with the San Francisco Giants, I was fully preparing to write the Mets obituary for the 2016 season. The Mets had lost four of the first five games on their west coast trip, they were 1-5 against a team that was 20-plus games under .500 and just looked like a dead baseball team. However, before the start of Saturday’s game, something at least for the time being changed for this underachieving Mets group. Their swagger, demeanor and lineup presence at least for Saturday and Sunday’s games in San Francisco changed just by welcoming back the most dynamic hitter that their team has to offer. Yoenis Cespedes put the Superman cape on, hit three home runs in two days and essentially carried the Mets to two much-needed wins against the Giants, pushing them back to the .500 mark and setting the stage for a make-or-break series this week against the St. Louis Cardinals. There’s no denying the fact that this Mets season has been a bitter disappointment thus far for a variety of reasons. However, despite all the injuries and under performance the team still has a pulse, being only 4.5 games out of a playoff spot with a little over a month to play. This team has no chance to make the playoffs unless they are going to receive the same sort of shot in the arm Cespedes provided over the weekend. The good news for any Mets fans dreaming of a return to the month of October is that Cespedes provided a blueprint for such heroics only a season ago. If you recall before last year’s trade deadline, the Mets featured one of the most horrific lineups you will ever see. It was anemic, it was unable to deliver runs on a consistent basis, and there was not one guy in the lineup that scared you. After the Mets traded for Cespedes, his production was off the charts. He was able to put the team on his back and helped carry the Mets to their first division title in nine seasons. Not only can Cespedes carry a team, but also his presence alone makes everyone else in the lineup better. Mets fans can only hope that the return will help spark struggling Jay Bruce, who was brought in to provide the same sort of spark that Cespedes did last year, but instead has only resembled a “JB” that lives in Mets infamy: Jason Bay. The Mets will need to pitch better and they’ll need to do a better job hitting with runners in scoring position, but Cespedes’ ability to carry the team might just mask some of these season-long deficiencies. Will we look back on this weekend as the moment when Yoenis Cespedes brought the Mets back to life in 2016? Or will it just be prolonging their stay of execution? The next six weeks will give Cespedes the chance to see if he can save the Mets once again. You can listen to me Friday and Monday from 2 to 6 a.m. on WFAN Sports Radio 660/1019 FM. You can also hear me this Wednesday and Thursday from 2 to 6 a.m. and Saturday from 6 to 10 a.m. on CBS Sports Radio. I’ll also be a panelist on Geico Sports Night this Thursday and Friday after Mets postgame on SNY.
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Spence cements status as boxing’s top prospect
by Bryan Fonseca
Aug 24, 2016 | 97 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As Errol Spence backed an unsteady Leonard Bundu into the ropes, the thousands of fans packed into Coney Island’s Ford Amphitheater could sense the end was near. The cheers grew louder, the clapping more thunderous, and the expectation that something major was destined to transpire could not be more evident. And then, it happened. As Bundu began to desperately weave along the ropes, hoping for Spence to leave himself open for a counter-punch, Spence relentlessly threw bombs with each hand. Bundu dipped his head and – boom! - he was met with a right hook from hell delivered by the young phenom Spence, who recorded his eighth consecutive knockout victory. Bundu (33-2-2, 13 KO’s) suffered his lone previous defeat to current WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman, who Spence’s name has been linked to for close to a year now, by a unanimous decision for Thurman’s then Interim WBA strap in December, 2014. Thurman (27-0-0, 22 KO’s) knocked Bundu down in round one, but Bundu was able to last the full twelve rounds of punishment from the hard-hitting Thurman. Spence on the other hand, had a similar performance to his dominant display from earlier this year, a five-round TKO throbbing over former champion and Manny Pacquiao-decision victim, Chris Algieri. Spence, for the second consecutive time, knocked out a “name” opponent who had never been knocked out previously, by perhaps the class of the division. “Errol was more precise than Keith Thurman,” Bundu matter-of-factly said after the fight. “I really tried to get up and I couldn’t. He certainly lives up to the hype.” While praising Bundu’s awkward style and grit in the post-fight conference, Spence recognizes his skill level, and continues to exude confidence with each passing knockout. He’ll now stand as the top contender for Kell Brook’s IBF welterweight title. “I thought my performance was great. I was shaky in the first and second rounds, but was able to get into a rhythm the rest of the fight,” Spence said. “Once I was able to catch his rhythm and break him down, I knew I had him. I am one of the top fighters at 147 pounds. With this performance, I proved that again today.” With this KO victory, Spence (21-0-0, 18 KO’s) is due for a title shot this fall or early 2017. With Brook moving up two weight classes to fight opposite middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin on September 10, it looks as if Brook may be done at the welterweight division. Whether he remains at middleweight or drops to junior middleweight after losing to Golovkin (spoiler alert!) next month remains to be seen, but Spence is now in the driver seat and will be ready for whatever stands in the way of him and a world championship. “I want to fight for a title next,” Spence said. “I would want to fight Kell Brook, but if he doesn’t go down in weight, he vacates or is stripped. I don’t care, I just want to fight for the belt.” For the man who once reportedly gave Floyd Mayweather a black-eye during a sparring session, it seems as if championship status is simply destined. It shouldn’t be too long before we find out ourselves. Show stealers? Heather Hardy (18-0-0, 4 KO’s) and Shelly Vincent (18-1-0, 1 KO), who fought for the WBC International featherweight title, easily took home fight of the night, capitalizing on a rare televised opportunity for female boxers. The only negative aspect of the fight, aside from the result if you’re a “Shelito’s Way” supporter, was the lopsided (and straight-up wrong) 99-91 scorecard of judge Bernard Bruni. Bruni was seemingly the only individual in the arena who didn’t actually watch the fight, and being a judge, that kind of goes against his job. But for two women to put on the fight of the night is no small feat, especially since women have already become a fixture in UFC, where in boxing, we may never see them fight unless it’s through Youtube. Hardy and Vincent went blow-for-blow with heavy exchanges, heart-filled efforts, and a display of championship-level boxing that the crowd was very appreciative of, giving the ladies a standing ovation after the final bell. Each side brought a legion of fans, especially the Brooklyn girl Hardy, and fans sparred with chants of “Hardy” and “Shelly” all fight long. In the end, Hardy was just slightly better, and with WBO featherweight champion Amanda Serrano (29-1-0, 22 KO’s) in attendance, one has to wonder if the two Brooklyn natives will clash sometime soon. If or when they do, it’ll hopefully be a televised encounter, because they’re certainly deserving of the spotlight. Follow Bryan Fonseca on Twitter at @BryanFonsecaNY.
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