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LAURELS & DARTS- Opinion from the Editors: Thursday, January 16

DART to ZAMPERLA, the Italian amusement park manufacturer contracted by the city to manage Coney Island’s Luna Park, which is raising the rent on small businesses along the Coney Island Boardwalk by as much as 400 percent. Longtime neighborhood standbys, like Nathan’s Famous, Ruby’s Bar & Grill and Paul’s Daughter, may all be forced to close their doors, and would be replaced, most likely, by national chains that can pay the exorbitant rent. “They’re trying to turn the People’s Playground into a playground for the wealthy,” said Diana Carlin, owner of the Lola Star Boutique. 

DART to the subway system’s AGING SIGNALS, which delayed a whopping 78 percent of weekday morning commutes in 2019 due to malfunctions, according to a new analysis from transit groups. Sadly, 78 percent is an improvement over signal performance in 2018, when 92 percent of morning commutes were delayed by signal malfunctions. The report was released just before the Jan. 15 deadline for Governor Cuomo’s Subway Action Plan to improve the performance of the city’s trains, and at the start of the MTA’s 2020-2024 Capital Program aimed at improving the city’s subway infrastructure. “Governor Cuomo and the MTA have broadly described how they plan to fix the subway, but they need to fill in the details with a timetable for signal improvements and other critical upgrades riders are depending on,” said TansitCenter spokesperson Colin Wright. 

DART to the SECRET SERVICE AGENT who shot a dog in Windsor Terrace on Tuesday. The dog allegedly lunged at the off-duty agent near Caton Place and East 8th Street, prompting the agent to shoot and kill it. According to the New York Post, the owner had taken the dog outside, where it did its business under a tree then wandered around the corner, where the agent fatally shot it. A neighbor told the Post that the dog had never “been aggressive toward someone or bitten them.”  This incident raises all kinds of questions, like why is an off-duty secret service agent carrying a gun? Why is a secret service agent, charged with guarding some of the most powerful people in the world, so afraid of a dog? And why was he hanging out in Brooklyn? 
DART to MAYOR DE BLASIO, who celebrated National Bagel Day on Twitter Wednesday by sharing that his favorite bagel is a toasted whole wheat with extra cream cheese from the Bagel Hole, a Park Slope shop. There’s just one problem with that — the Bagel Hole does not toast its bagels. As the disbelieving replies rolled in, de Blasio quickly deleted the tweet and replaced it with one that does not mention toasting — a coward’s move on a sacred holiday, but what else should we expect from a man who eats pizza with a fork? As bagel-based political scandals go, de Blasio’s mishap ranks alongside Cynthia Nixon waltzing up to the counter at Zabars and ordering a cinnamon raisin with cream cheese, capers and lox during her 2018 gubernatorial campaign. New Yorkers deserve better.

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