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NYPD sergeant blames beatdown on Starbucks feeding homeless

New York Post

An NYPD sergeant urged a Midtown Starbucks to stop giving free food to the homeless after dozens of disturbance calls at the location. But the coffeehouse, not far from the Port Authority Bus Terminal, ignored the warning and that same cop wound up being assaulted by a vagrant — who was angry over the quality of his free croissant, the officer charges in a lawsuit. “I warned that someone would end up getting hurt — it was an unsafe environment. It turned out to be me,” Sgt. Timothy Wall told The Post. And despite 80 disturbances involving vagrants at the latte palace in 2017 alone, according to Wall’s suit, Starbucks says the cop has no one to blame but himself. Starbucks lawyers say Wall brought on his injuries through his own “culpable conduct . . . and assumption of risk,” according to response papers filed in February. Wall, a community-affairs officer with the Midtown South Precinct — whose job is advising businesses on crime reduction — said he and colleagues repeatedly told managers at the branch on Eighth Avenue and West 39th Street to stop giving away food. They said it was attracting emotionally disturbed individuals who urinated on cafe seats, got high in a second-floor seating area and assaulted patrons. In fact, cops were called to that Starbucks for such disturbances 80 times in 2017, the suit alleges. Midtown South officers including Wall met with local …

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Judge: Bars are allowed to throw out Trump supporters

New York Post

Cheers, Trump haters. A Manhattan judge ruled Wednesday that there’s nothing “outrageous” about throwing the president’s supporters out of bars — because the law doesn’t protect against political discrimination. Philadelphia accountant Greg Piatek, 31, was bounced from a West Village watering hole in January 2017, just after Trump took the oath of office, for wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap, according to his lawsuit over the incident. “Anyone who supports Trump — or believes in what you believe — is not welcome here! And you need to leave right now because we won’t serve you!…

NYC restaurants propose surcharges for all diners

New York Post

Big Apple restaurants are at a tipping point. With record hikes in wages over the past couple of years — on top of rising rent, food and other costs — restaurant owners pressed City Hall lawmakers to allow them to levy a surcharge on all diners to cover their bloated expenses. Without the surcharge, which could range from 3 percent to 5 percent, or more, many owners said they will go out of business. A group representing more than 100 restaurateurs — including Nobu, Tao, Smith & Wollensky, Tribeca Grill and Daniel — drafted a giant letter that was displayed on the steps of City Hall We…

De Blasio’s Charter Revision Commission holds first public meeting

New York Post

Mayor de Blasio’s handpicked Charter Revision Commission held its first public hearing Wednesday with little fanfare as a only nine people testified. Although de Blasio asked the commission to concentrate on campaign finance reform, most members of the public who spoke at McKee High School on Staten Island addressed other topics. Staten Island Chamber of Commerce President Linda Baran said the charter should be changed to “give more local control back to the boroughs,” power that was lost three decades ago when the city switched to a strong mayor form of government. Follo…

Cuomo urges rogue senator to rejoin Democratic caucus

New York Post

Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent a letter to Brooklyn state Sen. Simcha Felder asking him to rejoin the Democratic fold for the sake of his constituents, saying “now is the time that matters.” Felder, a Democrat, announced Tuesday that he would continue caucusing with Republicans. That denied Democrats control of the Senate by a single vote — his. “I understand your point that a majority shift will cause an upheaval in the Senate, but the state budget has been passed and no significant legislation currently has the chance of moving,” Cuomo wrote. “I strongly urge you to join the 31 othe…

Norovirus confirmed after 50 college students fall ill in New York

New York Post

CLINTON, N.Y. — Officials at an upstate New York college have confirmed that norovirus sickened over 50 students. Hamilton College said Wednesday that testing confirmed norovirus. The highly contagious bug causes diarrhea, nausea, muscle pain, vomiting and other symptoms. College officials say dining halls, bathrooms and other common areas will be cleaned. The college is also providing disinfectant wipes for students and staff. Health officials say norovirus can be transmitted through human contact and contaminated surfaces. Students and staff have been advised to frequently wash their han…

City investigating outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease in the Bronx

New York Post

The city’s Health Department is investigating an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease at Co-Op City in The Bronx, officials said Wednesday. In the last 12 months, three people in three connected buildings at the residential complex that share a hot water supply have contracted the disease and elderly person died, said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Basset. The other two individuals recovered and have been released from the hospital. Basset would not say when the three contracted the disease, which is a severe form of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria found in water systems. The Health De…

Landlords to ask for hikes for rent-stabilized apartments

New York Post

Landlords plan to ask for rent hikes as high as 7 percent Thursday when the Rent Guidelines Board meets to set this year’s preliminary increases for 1 million rent-stabilized apartments. The Rent Stabilization Association, which represents 25,000 landlords, says it will request an increase of 4 percent for new one-year leases and 7 percent for two years. There’s little chance the landlords will get what they want. Last year they asked for 4 and 6 percent hikes — and ended up with 1.25 and 2 percent. The final increases will be announced in June ­after public hearings. The property owners…

Gillibrand proposes legislation to bring banking to post offices

New York Post

Finally a reason to visit the Post Office. Every one of the 36,000 US post offices around the country will be forced to offer basic banking services — like savings and checking accounts and short-term loans — under legislation introduced Wednesday by Sen. Kristin Gillibrand. With the bill, the New York Democrat hopes to “wipe out” payday lenders that charge sky-high interest rates. Post offices, many of which are in under-banked neighborhoods, would also offer debit cards in addition to lower-cost loans, according to an internal memo about the bill obtained by The Post. “This idea could w…

De Blasio skeptical of sex harassment complaints at DOE

New York Post

Mayor de Blasio Wednesday questioned whether 471 sexual harassment complaints filed by Department of Education workers were actually legitimate – and blamed the staggering statistic on a “hyper-complaint dynamic” at the city agency. De Blasio’s explanation came in response to a question from The Post about the low number – 1.5 percent – of substantiated claims at the DOE, which topped the list of city agencies in number of complaints. “Any sincere reporting, whether it’s about sexual harassment or you know cheating on tests or anything, we take very, very seriously … and we have…

Ex-stripper scores six-figure inheritance from dead customer

New York Post

Bodacious bottle blonde Veronica Beckham, 34, said she became “friends” with the cable network’s obese IT director, Micky Liu, after meeting him at the Atlantic City Scores strip club in July 2014. Less than a year later, Liu, 50, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment. Her “everlasting friendship” with the diabetic, heart-diseased, chronic alcoholic is why, Beckham says, he named her the beneficiary of his retirement accounts and a life-insurance policy worth a combined $223,000. Micky’s sister, May Liu, however, claims “Beckham, as a professional exotic dancer, was adept at app…

Cop-killer to walk free while police union makes new bid to block his parole

New York Post

Cop-killer Herman Bell can now walk out of prison a free man Friday — after a judge Wednesday denied a last-ditch attempt to keep him locked up ahead of his scheduled release date. Albany appellate Judge Eugene Devine rejected the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association request for a temporary restraining order to keep the former Black Liberation Army member behind bars while it files another appeal against his parole, the cop union says. Still, on May 4, a full panel of appellate judges will hear the motion to put Bell back in state prison, a week after he is slated to leave upstate’…

De Blasio announces $125M in school funding, slams Cuomo

New York Post

Mayor de Blasio announced an additional $125 million in school funding Wednesday — while accusing Gov. Cuomo of failing to adequately help shore up shallow classroom coffers. Drawing from city revenues, de Blasio said the cash will go to 854 schools next year that are currently underfunded according to Department of Education formulas. Flanked by schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, de Blasio said details of the dispersal would be issued at a preliminary budget hearing Thursday. Hizzoner then took advantage of the City Hall press conference to bash his gubernatorial nemesis. “We’ve waited…

Rockefeller heiress ​sues JPMorgan Chase over trust fund

New York Post

A Rockefeller heiress who is also a major donor to Gov. Andrew Cuomo is suing JPMorgan Chase claiming the big bank nearly wiped out her multimillion – dollar trust fund. Sleepy Hollow psychiatrist Lucy Waletzky, 77, whose grandfather was Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller Jr., says that bankers who administered her trust sold off the family’s oil stocks to win fees from corporations like Boeing. Her $2 million account would have topped $24 million had the bankers held on to her family’s stocks, she argues in Manhattan Supreme Court filings. Instead they sold them of…

NYC has more than 600K ‘supercommuters’

New York Post

The number of “supercommuters” in the country is on the rise — and more than 600,000 live in metropolitan New York. Unlike typical commuters, who take about 26 minutes to get to work, according to the Census Bureau, supercommuters spend 90 minutes or more each way on their daily trek. Between 2005 and 2016, the ranks of supercommuters increased by 15.9 percent — meaning there are now 4 million nationwide, according to an analysis of census data by Apartment List, an online real-estate marketplace. “You hear [of] people commuting two to three hours one way, which is pretty insane,” said Syd…

Judges vote to keep interim US attorney in top prosecutor role

New York Post

A group of Manhattan federal judges has taken the unusual — but by-the-book — ​step of voting to keep interim US Attorney Geoffrey Berman in his job as Manhattan’s top prosecutor. The panel of judges made the move ​days before Berman’s term was set to expire on May 4 due to the lack of an appointment by President Trump. Berman, a former law partner of ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani, was ­appointed interim US attorney by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in January. But that appointment was set to expire after 120 days. Berman can still be replaced if Trump chooses to appoint someone else and that ap…

Republicans will control state Senate for rest of 2018 session

New York Post

Republicans will maintain control of the New York Senate for the remainder of the 2018 legislative session — no matter the outcome of Tuesday’s special elections. That’s because conservative Brooklyn Sen. Simcha Felder said Tuesday that he would continue caucusing with the GOP. Currently, there are 31 Republicans and 30 Democrats, with two empty seats. Even though he’s one of the Democrats, Felder provides the GOP with a reliable 32nd vote. The two empty seats are being contested Tuesday — in the Bronx and in Westchester. Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda is expected to handily…

Brooklyn rats are getting huge by feasting on Chipotle: neighbors

New York Post

Monster rats are growing bigger by the minute feasting on trash outside a Chipotle restaurant in Brooklyn Heights, according to the eatery’s fuming neighbors. The rotund rodents — some as big as a cat — gnaw through trash bags put in front of the eatery to chow down on discarded burrito bowls and other grub, according to residents and nearby workers. “The rats are gorging themselves,” said Peter Bray of the Brooklyn Heights Association. “Chipotle piles the trash bags several feet high at the curb. It’s a field day for rats.” Workers dump bags of garbage in front of the eatery o…