LAURELS & DARTS- Opinion from the Editors: Friday, December 10

DART to RUBIN DUKLER, a property owner who made Public Advocate Jumaane Williams’ annual list of “worst landlords,” for 2019, and IRIS HOLDINGS GROUP, the management company for Dukler’s building at 1074 Eastern Parkway, where tenants are suing for $2 million in illegal rent overcharges collected since 2002. The suit, filed in New York Supreme Court by Brooklyn Legal Services Tenants Rights Coalition on behalf of the renters, alleges that Dukler and the management company have continuously overcharged tenants in spite of a freeze in rent increases imposed by the state because of dangerous and unsanitary conditions at the building. Some tenants were charged more than $900 over their legal rents each month, the suit alleges. According to Crains, Dukler has an average of 344 open Housing Preservation and Development violations at his three Crown Heights properties. 

DART to GOV. CUOMO, for threatening to cut off state support for New York City Medicaid recipients. Despite the state absorbing the year-over-year increases to the cost of the program, local governments in New York pay more into Medicaid than counties in other states. New York City paid $5.3 billion into the program in 2018. The governor said he would restructure Medicaid this year to increase “local accountability.” 

LAUREL to the new MACK TRUCK LR ELECTRIC sanitation vehicle, an all-electric garbage truck that will make its debut on the streets of Brooklyn in the second quarter of this year. The pilot program, if it goes well, could result in the Department of Sanitation switching to an all-electric fleet in the near future, which could help the city reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2035. 

LAUREL to UFOs, sightings of which increased three times in New York City in 2019. At least 35 New Yorkers reported seeing alien crafts last year, up from just 12 sightings in 2018. The majority were spotted in Manhattan and Queens, which each had 12 UFO sightings, while Brooklyn logged eight sightings, Staten Island logged two and The Bronx, one. “We are being visited routinely by UFOs,” Peter Davenport, director of the UFO Reporting Center, told The New York Post. “From my vantage point, it’s a daily event. Governments are lying to their respective citizens.” Although we at the Eagle are not in favor of alien abductions, occasional otherworldly visitations are delightful, and a welcome excuse to stare skyward without looking like gobsmacked tourists. 

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