Let’s Listen to the Communities

| 07 Jun 2021 | 02:19

Un-bloody Sunday - You know NY’s back when everyone shows up for a rally. And so it was on a recent Sunday when the community, candidates, campaigners, friends, neighbors and their counterparts from throughout Manhattan came out in full force to protest the expansion of the Blood Center on East 67th St. Public officials took to the mic and candidates handed out their literature. CB8 members, after having voted down the Blood Center’s proposal, were out in full force. Board Chair Russell Squire was there as was board member Ed Hartzog, and others. In the crowded street, I noticed a woman wearing a mask with what appeared to be a name and an identifier below it. Looked like a candidate to me. One I hadn’t seen or known. So I asked. And, yes, she is a candidate for NYC Comptroller in the June 22 Democratic Primary. Her name’s Terri Liftin and she’s listed among the 10 candidates in the Comptroller race in the NYC Votes Voter Guide. She was at the protest with her husband. When asked about why she was there and her campaign, here’s what she says:

“The rezoning proposal for the Blood Center would set a terrible precedent for mid-block development. Instead of ad hoc zoning changes and variances that produce unintended consequences, what’s really needed is a revision of the outdated 1961 zoning system. Until then, our city’s leaders should listen to the communities. In the case of the Blood Center, Mayor de Blasio should recuse himself from the rezoning process. He owes six figures to the law firm representing the Blood Center, a clear conflict of interest. We need to restore the people’s trust in our government’s decision-making process.

“The controversy surrounding the Blood Center is a perfect example of why we need a professional as our next NYC Comptroller, not a politician. I am the only person running who has the fiduciary experience and political independence to make sure decisions are made and our money is spent in the best interest of all New Yorkers.”

In checking out her website, it was interesting to see how Terri Liftin sees her role as Comptroller: She would conduct surprise audits of all existing agencies and programs that spend City tax dollars. But, she says, it is not enough to issue an audit report or outline a policy on a website. She will invite the next mayor to a weekly public meeting to discuss her findings so as to force real change by holding the next mayor publicly accountable, keeping the focus on serious issue, and pressing for swift follow-up measures to be taken.

Let the voting begin.

Millennials on board - Appreciated hearing newly elected District Leader Alex Bores in response to my lament about email policing by the likes of Katie Couric and Senator John Hickenlooper, among others. Alex emailed that he found the “you haven’t opened my email emails so annoying,” and thanked me for calling it out. And I’m thanking Alex for joining the rankled among us from other generations who hate the invasion of email police.

Once there was Hisae’s - Back in the 70s and 80s, Hisae’s was the go-to restaurant of the era. Make that restaurants. There were several locations that I recall. One near Cooper Union, one in the Village, one in the West 50s, and one on West 72nd between Columbus and CPW. While I haven’t checked out the existence or location of present day Hisae’s, I do know there’s 212 Hisae’s at the old Cooper Union location on Third Ave. and 9th St. The menu’s Asian cuisine. Don’t know if it’s still run by Hisae Vilca. Hope so. It was the best.