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We cannot vouch for the truthfulness of any report on this site. If you feel a location has been reported in error, or want to dispute a report, please contact us.

ZIP Codes :: 07030, 07086, 07087, 07097, 07302, 07303, 07304, 07305, 07306, 07307, 07308, 07309, 07310, 07311, 07390, 07395, 07399, 10001, 10002, 10003, 10004, 10005, 10006, 10007, 10008, 10009, 10010, 10011, 10012, 10013, 10014, 10015, 10016, 10017, 10018, 10019, 10020, 10021, 10022, 10023, 10036, 10038, 10041, 10043, 10044, 10045, 10046, 10047, 10048, 10055


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Bed Bugs – New York City Forum – TripAdvisor

November 25th, 2019 by admin

I may have no right to chime in here as, to the best of my knowledge, I have never encountered bed bugs. But check as others have said when you get to your room, then relax. If you get bites (from bed bugs or something else; it has never been clear to me from complaints I see here and elsewhere if they really were certified bedbugs) then don't worry; as far as I know they cause a rash, not a fatal illness. Take whatever precautions you're supposed to take once exposed to avoid carrying them elsewhere, then get on with your life.

I think they were far more common in the generations of our immigrant ancestors, perhaps even taken for granted, and I think some of the horror, embarrassment associated with them have to do with the fact that this is something we associate with poor immigrants, not our superclean, successful selves. I could only laugh when I read the accounts of people who got them in their Park Avenue apartments. Should they or should they not tell their coop board or neighbors? SHould they or should they not fire the immigrant household employees who may have brought them in (on the other hand, it could have been their own clean selves on that safari to Namibia).

Immigrants learned to deal with them and maybe we should too.

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Bed Bugs - New York City Forum - TripAdvisor

Bedbugs Myths & Facts – NYC Health

November 24th, 2019 by admin

Bed bugs only bite in the dark.

FalseAlthough bed bugs tend to be more active at night, they can bite at any time.

FalseAnyone can get bed bugs. Bed bugs have been found in the homes of the wealthy and poor. Unsanitary conditions will not cause bed bugs but getting rid of clutter will help to reduce the number of places bed bugs can live and hide.

False Bed bugs are small but can be seen with the naked eye. A magnifying glass will help. Young bed bugs are about the size of a poppy seed and mature ones are about the size of an apple seed.

False Other insect bites may resemble that of bed bugs. Presence of live bed bugs or their eggs will confirm their infestation in an area.

False Clothing can be laundered to get rid of bed bugs. In most cases furniture can be treated and should only be discarded if there are no acceptable treatments that can rid them of bed bugs.

True Bed bugs have not been shown to cause or spread diseases. Some people will react to bed bugs bites and excessive scratching can lead to secondary infections.

TrueBed bugs have no wings and cannot fly, jump or hop.

False Although they are called bed bugs they are not only confined to the bed. Bed bugs are commonly found in beds, on sofas, in chairs and areas near where people sleep or lounge.

True Some people do not have a reaction to bed bug bites and may be unaware that bed bugs are in their home until they actually see them.

True Bed bugs can live for many months without feeding.

False Bed bug scent dogs can be helpful, but are rarely necessary. Some bed bug scent dogs can signal the presence of a bed bug even when there is none, and may even miss some, with results varying according to the training the dog receives, the experience of the handler, and other factors.

False Encasements will help prevent a mattress or box spring from becoming infested or being a reservoir for bed bugs, but bed bugs can still find their way onto a bed to bite. And if bed bugs cannot live in a mattress or box springs, they will live somewhere else. Encasements are a good tool, but are not sufficient to prevent or treat an infestation.

TruePesticides registered with the Environmental Protection Agency do have to have data to back their claims. But products without pesticides, or with pesticides that are exempt from registration requirements may make exaggerated claims without proof. Use common sense. If it sounds like a miracle product, it probably isnt.

True Insect foggers do not effectively control bed bugs. Insect foggers are dangerous in that they can leave unwanted residue throughout the treated area. Most insect foggers contain a flammable propellant and some have been associated with a number of fires.

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Bedbugs Myths & Facts - NYC Health

Bedbug Registry: Recent Bed Bug Reports for New York City

November 22nd, 2019 by admin

Recent Bed Bug Reports for New York City

November 17

593 Rogers Ave On Fri, 11/15/19, I discovered a bed bug infestation in

November 15

Fairfield Inn New York Manhattan/Financial District We stayed 8/16-8/18

24 Thayer St Bed bugs noticed (and confirmed) coming up through the cra

November 13

643 10th Ave Bites and bedbugs noticed May 2019. Landlord had extermina

November 11

992 Willoughby Ave In September of 2019, I began to notice odd stains i

November 07

1215 Church Ave This building has had bedbugs four times in three years

November 05

193 Martense St update: at least 8 apartments affected. Landlord still

November 04

165 Christopher St as of october 2019 there have been no complaints of

The Jane Hotel Stayed 5 nights at the Jane and by the time I arrived ho

November 03

406 W 44th St Began waking up with bites in mid October of 2019. Bed bu

November 01

2525 Beverly Rd There has been a bed bug infestation in this building f

W 122nd St Bedbugs at 515 West 122nd st in 2018 and possibly longer

October 31

350 Sterling St This apartment building has failed to take adequate mea

October 30

400 Rugby Rd JULY 2019 - Bedbugs discovered in Apt 5A. Tenant bitten.

October 29

1332 Riverside Dr Have had them 3 times over the past two years, once i

446 W 36th St Late october, confirmed photo with exterminator. Buildin

October 28

The Roger Smith Observed a bed bug on my back pack after spending a nig

October 26

4148 40th St I found bedbugs in my headboard in Apartment C10 over Labo

The Roosevelt Hotel, New York City Found bedbug on my pillow upon awake

October 25

32-02 34th Ave Bed bugs detected and then found based in newly ordered

October 24

591 Ocean Ave May 2018, May 2019 Our apartment has had bedbugs at le

932 Columbus Ave Building infested with bedbugs

Excerpt from:
Bedbug Registry: Recent Bed Bug Reports for New York City

Bedbugs – nyc.gov

November 21st, 2019 by admin

Pursuant to Administrative Code sections 27-2018.1 and 27-2018.2, property owners must:

Left untreated, bedbugs can spread quickly in multi-dwelling housing. Both the housing and health codes require that property owners address infestations promptly. The surest strategies to keep bedbugs from spreading are prevention, early detection and rapid treatment. As a landlord, the first action you should take is to conduct an inspection of the reported condition. Knowing what to look for is key!

Integrated Pest Management is the safest and most effective way to manage pests. It includes learning about pests and frequently checking for and eliminating conditions that can cause or sustain them. It involves the use of non-chemical methods first and then, if necessary, the use of pesticides. For more information, visit theDepartment of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH)website.

Below are three helpful resources for tenants, property owners/agents and homeowners wanting to know more about how bedbugs thrive, how to recognize and inspect for their presence, steps to take to prevent them from infesting a home, how to safely rid an area of bedbugs if they do occur, and how to select and work with a pest management professional.

Bed Bug Sniffing Dog

ComplaintsHPD provides a special service for the inspection of bedbugs: HPDs Canine Unit. The beagles are available to assist a team of Code Enforcement Inspectors who have been trained to work with them. The Canine Unit will respond to bedbug complaints where the 311 operator has confirmed that the tenant would like to have the inspection performed by a dog; although not every such complaint can be inspected by the Canine Unit. The dogs were trained at an accredited facility to alert by sitting when they detect live bedbugs or viable eggs. The findings are confirmed by visual inspection before a violation is issued.

ViolationsIf the HPD inspector finds bedbugs, the property owner is issued an HPD Notice of Violation (NOV) ordering that the condition be addressed.

When a NOV is issued by HPD, the property owner also receives a DOHMH Order of the Commissioner. The Commissioners order provides property owners more detail on the requirements for addressing bedbugs, including:

Certification of HPD's NOV is the only required notification back to the City that the condition has been corrected as instructed. There is no response directly to the DOHMH. The HPD NOV Certification of Correction requires a sworn statement that the above corrective actions have been taken, in compliance with the DOHMH Commissioners Order.

For information about completing your certification documents for HPD, you can contact your Borough Service Center or certify online using eCertification.

Pursuant toAdministrative Code sections 27-2018.1 and 27-2018.2 (Local Law 69 of 2017), all multiple dwelling property owners must attempt to obtain the bedbug infestation history from the tenant or unit owner, including whether eradication measures were employed for a bedbug infestation. This information must be filed annually with HPD through theAnnual Bedbug Report filing application. Note: You must establish a new user account for this application (you cannot use your existing PROS or eCertification accounts). The online application will only allow validly registered property owners and managing agents of multiple dwellings to disclose bedbug infestation history. A building's property registration must be current. If you have not registered your property, please do so by visitingProperty Registration.

From December 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019, property owners are required to report the bedbug infestation history for November 1, 2018 through October 31, 2019. After this current filing period, property owners will be required to file between December 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. Failure to file during the period may result in a violation for failure to file. You can address the violation by filing at any time.

Pursuant to the law, HPD will make the submitted information publicly available throughHPDONLINE.

Property owners will be required to report the following information:

When submitting, the owner will certify that either:

Once this filing with HPD is completed, in addition to taking the action which the owner certifies to (either providing the filing to each tenant, upon commencement of a new lease and with each renewal lease, or posting in a prominent location within such multiple dwelling), the owner must either distribute or post a brochurethat provides information about the prevention, detection, and removal of bedbugs.

Please note that New York State law requires property owners to disclose bedbug infestation history dating back one year to new tenants through the Bedbug Disclosure Form. For more information, visit theNYS Homes and Community Renewalwebsite.

Questions?See the Bedbugs Annual Report FAQs.

Here is the original post:
Bedbugs - nyc.gov

Brooklyn Today: ‘Overworked and underpaid’ – Brooklyn Daily Eagle

November 16th, 2019 by admin

THE LEDE:Happy Friday! New York City Council members voted in 2016 toraise their own wagesby $36,000 a bump that is more than dozens of council staffers make in a year. Some councilmembers cruise on by and are getting paid a lot of money and really exploit their staff, one Brooklyn aide said.

Think theres something we should cover?Let us know.Also, if you like what were doing,tell a friend, and follow us onFacebook,TwitterandInstagram.

THE RUNDOWN

~ FREEZING CONDITIONS AT BROOKLYN JAIL DURING SEASONS FIRST COLD SNAP: As temperatures dipped below freezing last Friday, incarcerated people on some floors at BrooklynsDowntownjail wereleft in the cold, moving around the lockup in their blankets, public defenders said on Thursday.

~ OVERWORKED AND UNDERPAID COUNCIL STAFFERS WANT A LIVING WAGE: At least 81 full- and part-time district staffers earn less than $36,000 in base salary, according toan analysisof staff pay by theEagle.

~ QUIET ON THE SET! GIANT SOUNDPROOF WALL GOING UP AROUND GOWANUS CANAL FILM STUDIO: One of the main parties responsible for the Gowanus Canals pollution is building amassive soundproof walloutside a neighborhood movie studio to reduce noise related to the waterways cleanup.

~ JUDGE SET TO TOSS DECADES-OLD MURDER CONVICTION TUESDAY:A Brooklyn man who has been behind bars for more than 20 years will have his murder convictionoverturnedon Tuesday, after his lawyers argued that the confession secured in his case was coerced.

~ SALSA AND CIDER: 10 THINGS TO DO IN BROOKLYN THIS WEEKEND: Its very chilly out there, Brooklyn, which is why all of theevents this weekendeither take place indoors, or feature a means of warming yourself up think physical exertion or alcohol.

~ SOFTWARE GIANTS TOR AND PYTHON HEAD TO DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN:Two of the most prominent open-source software companies in the world in the worldare comingtoDowntown Brooklyn.

~ WATCH ARTISTS AT WORK THIS WEEKEND AT CROWN HEIGHTS OPEN STUDIOS: More than 100 Brooklyn artists will give visitors a behind-the-scenes view of their creative processes at theCrown HeightsOpen Studiostomorrow.

~ OPINION: NEW YORK MUST DIVEST FROM CLIMATE DISASTER: The rainforest mitigates global warming by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. When we lose huge amounts of the Amazon to deforestation, we are losing one of our best bulwarks against this crisis,writesBorough PresidentEric Adamsand CouncilmemberCosta Constantinides.

~ ALLEGED ARSONIST BEHIND 5 FIRES AT BROOKLYN NYCHA COMPLEX ARRESTED: Policearresteda man yesterday in connection with five separate fires that happened earlier this year at a New York City Housing Authority complex in Brooklyn.

~ COUNCILMEMBERS DEMAND MORE DETAILS ON NYC LEAD INSPECTIONS IN SCHOOLS: City Council memberspressedEducation Department officials Wednesday on the robustness of lead inspections in schools and pushed them to release records of past work to remove the toxin.(Chalkbeat)

MORE BROOKLYN NEWS

~ Heres a look inside the lives of subway churro vendors.(Edible Brooklyn)

~ Did a Brooklyn artist unleash bedbugs on aTrumphotel?(Gothamist)

~ A new charter school is coming toProspect-Lefferts Gardens.(Commercial Observer)

STAFF PICKS

~READ:How the tiny town of Roundup, Montana,became a hubin Amazons supply chain(The Verge)

~EAT:Just in time for the holidays, here are the14 best pie shopsin New York City, including seven in Brooklyn.(Eater)

~CARTOON:Insideimpeachment proceedings.(The Week)

~ DRINK:Here aresome tipson how to pick Thanksgiving wines, according to wine criticEric Asimov.(NYT)

WHATS HAPPENING

7:00PM The Pushcart Prize XLIV: Best of Small Presses 2020 at The Strand.Details.

7:00PM10:00PM Scientific Controversies No. 21: Extra Dimensions at Pioneer Works.Details.

8:00PM Brooklyn Chamber Music Society presents: Bach, Beethoven & Dohnnyi at First Unitarian Church.Details.

THE WRAP

ON THIS DAYIn 1925, theBrooklyn Eaglereported, The new Madison Square Garden, which is being constructed at 8th Ave. and 50th St., Manhattan, is rapidly nearing completion, and plans for the grand opening have been completed.

IMPRINTReese Witherspoonposes in denim on the DecembercoverofInStyle Australia.

ROYAL WATCHThe royal family makesa lot more moneythan you think(Harpers Bazaar)

SPORTSThe NetssignedIman Shumpert.(New York Post)

BIRTHDAYS

Happy birthdayto Yaphet Kotto,Shailene Woodley, Ed Asner, Karl-Anthony Towns,Kevin Eubanks, Joanna Barnes,Beverly DAngelo, Petula Clark,Jonny Lee Miller, Daniel Barenboim andSam Waterston!

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Brooklyn Today: 'Overworked and underpaid' - Brooklyn Daily Eagle

7 Best Home Remedies to Soothe Itchy Skin – How to Relieve Itching – Prevention.com

November 16th, 2019 by admin

Itchy skin doesn't always require a run to the drugstore. Home remedies for itchy skin can help you quit scratching too.

Generally speaking, the key to soothing an itch is getting rid of whats causing it in the first place, says Melanie Grossman, M.D., a New York City-based board-certified dermatologist, whether that means treating your apartment for bed bugs (ugh), stripping off that irritating wool sweater, or getting treatment for an underlying condition (of which there are many).

Just remember: While itching is usually easy to treat (thank you, moisturizer!), if you try a couple of home remedies for itchy skin and youre still scratching, see a dermatologist, says Alix J. Charles, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).

Youll want to rule out a skin condition like psoriasis or eczemaor complications from pregnancy or diabetes. And if you have blisters, sores, or ulcers, head for help sooner rather than later.

Find relief ASAP with these dermatologist-approved home remedies:

This one is simple: If youre itchy, changing your clothes can make a big difference. Heat, irritating fabrics (scratchy leggings), and detergent or fabric softener clinging to your clothes can cause or worsen itchy skin, says Dr. Grossman. Letting your skin breathe can reduce the intensity of that must-scratch feeling.

A hot shower isnt always a cure-all: Heat and water exposure dial up the itch factor from mosquito bites, peeling sunburn, and dry skin alike by further drying out your skin, making it feel worse in the long-run.

A cold compress, on the other hand? The cold (and the anti-inflammatory benefits that come with it) can help relieve an itch. Aim for 10- to 15-minute icing sessions until your itch is resolved, suggests Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Entire Dermatology.

A short-term solution for bug bites: Press an ice cube to your most bothersome hot spots, suggests Dr. Grossman.

Think about it: Do you ever moisturize? Many people dont, says Dr. Charles. If your skin is dry, itchy, and perhaps even a bit scaly-looking, it might just be super parched (which, yep, triggers an itch). Lather up every day with a body lotion or moisturizer free of additives, fragrances, and perfumes, per the AAD. (We love CeraVes Itch Relief Moisturizing Lotion, which is free of steroids and fragrances.)

Pro tip: Keep some in a jar in your fridge and put it on for a one-two punch of coolness and moisture, suggests board-certified dermatologist Lauren Ploch, M.D., fellow of the AAD.

Over-the-counter lotions, gels, and creams with ingredients like menthol, camphor, calamine, and aloe vera make for great natural remedies to spot-treat itchy skin, says Dr. Charles.

If youre dealing with milder itchy skin issues like bug bites, a rash from poison ivy, or peeling sunburn, all of the above ingredients can help soothe your skin and relieve the need to scratch, which can actually aggravate the irritated area and increase your risk of infection.

Sure, an oatmeal soak is far less luxurious than a steamy bubble bath, but it might help soothe your itchy skin, says Dr. Kanchanapoomi Levin.

Colloidal oatmeal (a.k.a. finely-ground oats) has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities that can rehydrate your skin and dial down the intensity of an itch, per a small study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.

Not a fan of baths? Colloidal oatmeal is also available in a number of OTC creams and lotions, like Aveenos Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion.

LOTION

CeraVe Itch Relief Moisturizing Lotion

OATMEAL SOAK

Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment with Colloidal Oatmeal

ANTIHISTAMINE

Allegra Adult 24 Hour Allergy Tablets

HYDROCORTISONE

Cortizone 10 Maximum Strength Anti-Itch Ointment

When your body comes into contact with any number of irritants (think: allergens, plants like poison ivy and oak, or insect bites), it reacts by releasing histamine, a compound that results in hives, rashes, and itchy skin.

In this case, taking an antihistamine can be a great way to treat your itchy skin at home, says Dr. Grossman. For mild to moderate cases (as in, you dont have full-body hives or other symptoms like trouble breathing), try an OTC medication like Allegra or Zyrtec, suggests Dr. Kanchanapoomi Levin.

Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can help the itch that comes along with many common skin conditions, says Dr. Charles. Look for an anti-itch cream with at least 1% hydrocortisone to calm a must-scratch sensation, like this one from Cortizone 10.

Just note: If a week passes and youre still itching, stop using the cream and make an appointment with a dermatologist for a proper ID and treatment, per the National Institutes of Health.

Like what you just read? Youll love our magazine! Go here to subscribe. Dont miss a thing by downloading Apple News here and following Prevention. Oh, and were on Instagram too.

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7 Best Home Remedies to Soothe Itchy Skin - How to Relieve Itching - Prevention.com

Did A Brooklyn Artist Unleash Bedbugs On A Trump Hotel? Read This Transcript – Gothamist

November 14th, 2019 by admin

Imagine, hypothetically, you were driven to engineer a bedbug outbreak in the nations capital. Youd need some bedbugs, first and foremost, plus a few canisters for transport, maybe some hazmat gear, and a suitable target. For those set on infesting the halls of power, the White House seems like the obvious choice. But the logistics are challenging. Perhaps a nearby luxury hotel, teeming with lobbyists and diplomats and corporate chieftains jockeying for access to the presidents business empire. That wouldnt be too difficult, would it?

Such is the premiseor at least one of the premisesof Duke Rileys latest work, Non-Essential Consultants, Inc. On view at Pioneer Works in Red Hook through November 24th, the multi-media exhibition features footage of a person who appears to be Riley letting loose a bunch of bedbugs in what appears to be a room of the Trump International Hotel in D.C. Presented alongside this fragmented video is a medically retrofitted suitcasethe same one from the videocrawling with live bedbugs.

On a conceptual level, it reads as commentary on the easily penetrable nature of the current administration. On a literal level, its hard to shake the question: did he really do it?

Rileywho you may remember as the guy who unleashed thousands of pigeons from a decommissioned naval ship in the Brooklyn Navy Yardspoke to us by phone on Thursday about his latest skin-crawling, head-scratching work. (A spokesperson for the Trump Hotels did not respond to Gothamist's inquiries.)

Lets get this out of the way: Have you ever put bedbugs in a Washington D.C. hotel? I basically licensed out my name to a production company and I'm not familiar with all of the processes of how the production went down. I personally don't ever recall booking any rooms in that area.

So its not outside the realm of possibility? It's possible you did infest a hotel owned by the president of the United States? You know, I'm not really up on current events. I don't watch the news. I'm not on social media. I don't really stay up on that stuff.

I would never personally encourage a person to infest a hotel with bedbugs and I never have. I would imagine that there are probably people out there that think about doing things like that. There are probably people out there that don't think about doing things like that. I'm sure that there are some very fine people on both sides.

A still from Duke Riley's film, now on view at Pioneer Works

The exhibitions title seems to be a riff on the name of Michael Cohens shell company, Essential Consultants, LLC, which was used to pay off Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. Can you talk a bit about your approach to politics and art, and how that may have changed in the Trump era? I think that there's an underlying feeling in the film that is very reminiscent of late 1960s, early 1970s spy culture. There was a particular amount of distrust in the government and the mediawith Watergate, the end of Vietnam, rapid advances of technology, the idea that someone could destroy a city with something that fits into a suitcase. These ideas were all kind of indigestible at that period of time. I think we're in a similar time period where it's almost too much for people to fully process yet. I think there are reflections on that in this piece. I would say I'm looking at history to understand the time we're in.

After your opening on Saturday, I actually spoke with someone who was extremely freaked out that she was going to get bedbugs. I guess because of the ambiguous nature of the film, combined with overhearing some rumors as she was walking out, it left her feeling shed just walked into a den of bedbugs. Should this person be concerned? I think that, you know, anybody can get bedbugs anywhere or anytime. It's New York City. I can't say that person is not going to have bedbugs because they could have gone to a bar or a restaurant or ridden the subway that same day and maybe gotten bedbugs. But I don't think there's any reason for anyone to think they would ever get bedbugs in the location that we're doing the exhibition.

To be clear, this work does involve live bedbugs though, yes? Yes.

Does that feel like especially provocative territory to you? Does it seem like bedbugs are, if it's not off limits necessarily, something that people typically don't mess with for art or entertainment? I don't know if there is ever a line you don't cross in art. I think that's part of an artist's job. I think there are probably very few people that don't find bedbugs disturbing, including myself.

I assume you spent a good amount of time with bedbugs for this project? Yes. I would say that reading, doing a lot of research about bedbugs and even working with them in a super secure and a controlled environment, you are constantly affected by it. I have nightmares about them. They're essentially a human predator. They can't reproduce without coming into contact with living human blood.

The suitcase seen in Riley's film, which is also part of the Pioneer Works exhibition

How does one come to own live bedbugs. Is there like a website? Id say that if somebody was trying to acquire bedbugs, for some reason, they could probably find them just about anywhere in New York City. If you just look for a pile of mattresses that somebody is throwing out from a building. It wouldn't that hard.

Youve done work with live animals in the past. Most recently the pigeon piece, and youve also staged races involving real life animals. What keeps drawing you back to urban wildlife? In general, my work tends to draw correlations between the geography and environment and the kind of transgressive behavior that sometimes arises in those areas. There's an aspect with things like pigeons or bedbugs where they're definitely creatures living within the margins. And my work often investigates permeability. Bedbugs are clearly an example of permeability.

The stuff you produce tends to get described as boundary-pushing, punk-inflected, occasionally unlawful, etc. We hear a lot about how the city is losing its edge, but do you still see a space for that sort of art in the city? I think there are certain waves. I would have to say that my long-term projection for this city is that there will probably be a point of time in which there will be endless amounts of space for artists to work and people will be able to do whatever they want.

I think that at some point there will probably be a large shift where people will be moving out of the city, maybe at that point there will be places where people who live more, you know, transient lifestyles will find that there's plenty of spaces they can occupy to do whatever they want. I can't tell you when that's going to be but I feel pretty confident about that.

Non-Essential Consultants, Inc. is presented by Pioneer Works as part of the Performa 19 Biennial, on view through November 24th at Red Hook Labs, 133-125 Imlay Street, Brooklyn. More information here.

This interview has been edited and condensed for (some) clarity.

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Did A Brooklyn Artist Unleash Bedbugs On A Trump Hotel? Read This Transcript - Gothamist

A man in Brazil accidentally blew up his yard while trying to kill some cockroaches – INSIDER

October 23rd, 2019 by admin

A man in Brazil went to extreme lengths trying to kill some cockroaches in his backyard and ended up blowing up part of his lawn.

Cesar Schmitz told FocusOn News, translated by the New York Post, that his wife had complained about roaches invading their garden in the southern city of Enas Marques.

"She is scared of them and begged me to destroy their nest under the ground once and for all," he said.

In an attempt to kill the roaches, he poured gasoline into a hole that he believed led to the nest, and started tossing matches into it. It turns out that wasn't a great strategy.

Read more: 'You don't feel safe in your own home:' Bed bugs' biggest health threats are psychological, triggering flashbacks, extreme anxiety, and other symptoms of PTSD

At first, nothing happened. But then, after the third match was thrown, Schmitz's lawn exploded. No one was injured including the roaches.

Cockroaches, they say, will be here long after we're gone, and the roaches in Schmitz's yard are proof. In the clip of the explosion, one can be seen scurrying away.

Read more:

25 fascinating facts about animals that have gone extinct

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A man in Brazil accidentally blew up his yard while trying to kill some cockroaches - INSIDER

Syracuse Slumlord Reaps $1M from Taxpayers, While City Fights Him – Governing

October 23rd, 2019 by admin

(TNS) One of Syracuses most notorious landlords has raked in nearly $1 million in taxpayer money, even while city lawyers have tried in vain to punish him for letting tenants live in squalor.

Endzone Properties, a company that hasfloutedhundreds of property code citations from the city in recent years, received $998,000 in public rent subsidies from Onondaga Countys Department of Social Services between 2016 and 2019.

At the same time, Endzone let more than 200 code violations go unfixed, including broken windows, missing smoke alarms, infestations and lack of heat.

Endzone is a symptom of a systemic failure that allows bad landlords to reap huge sums of public money intended to help struggling families and tenants.

Among the citys 10 worst property owners, half have received rent from Onondaga Countys public assistance program since 2016. Officials from the countys Department of Social Services said state law ultimately sets the terms for doling out public money. Theres nothing they can do unless there is an immediate health and safety hazard.

The disconnect highlights one of the many hurdles facing the city as it tries to crack down on blight and bad landlords. Even as city officers try to combat bad landlords, county taxpayers are padding those landlords wallets while allowing low-income people to live in shoddy conditions.

This may be fixable. In a neighboring city, the mayor drew up a one-page agreement to tighten the rules for landlords who collect county money. Officials in Onondaga County, however, dont think the solution would survive legal scrutiny, since state law dictates how public money is doled out.

Sarah Merrick, commissioner of social services for Onondaga County, said her department can only stop payments to a landlord once a city code inspector determines a property is unfit to live in. The county doesnt do code inspections.

A property can only be declared unfit if it is structurally unsound or has issues that put the immediate safety of the occupants at risk. Problems like broken windows or missing doors or even an infestation of cockroaches dont qualify, even if they are ignored for months.

An unfit notice from the city triggers the county to stop payments to the landlord for that property. Once the violation is corrected, money starts flowing again.

But the county cant stop payments for non-urgent code violations on the same building. Nor can it block money from going to a landlord who is delinquent on other properties. Those rules are set by the states Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

For example, if an apartment has 20 code violations, including one for lack of heat, it would be deemed unfit, since heat is a safety issue. If the landlord fixes the heat, but not the other 19 violations, it would be considered fit for occupancy and the landlord can once again receive public money. The city would be fighting the landlord to fix those other violations, but the county money couldnt be used as leverage.

Its likely landlords like Endzone have had county subsidies frozen at times, but hard to pinpoint for how long and how much. County officials said they could not release payment details on individual properties because it would compromise the privacy of DSS clients.

Endzone Properties is owned by John Kiggins, one of Syracuses most notorious landlords. He spent time in jail for mortgage fraud in the 1990s and again for flouting code violations in 2006. In 2016, a young girl died in a fire in one of his apartments, caused by candles the family was using to heat the house.

Endzone owns the two-family house at722 Pond St. on the North Side. Tawanda ONeal lived there for three years, until two weeks ago. For several of those years while ONeal was out of work, her rent was subsidized by public assistance.

During that time, Endzone ignored multiple code violations, including a hole in the roof that led to leaks in ONeals ceiling, an infestation of bedbugs and broken doors and windows.

Endzone owns 48 properties in Syracuse. The city has taken the company to court five times seeking payment of fines or the correction of violations.

Cleghorn Properties has received $221,400 in public assistance from Onondaga County since 2016. City records show that company had 80 code violations open past the comply-by date between 2016 and 2018. Many of those violations, however, were on vacant properties and more than half were there before Cleghorn bought the property.

Gregory Cleghorn, one of that companys owners, said his company buys properties, rehabilitates them, then rents them out. Many of the buildings he buys come with violations, which are fixed during the renovations.

He said he ensures all his properties are up to code before renting them. Sometimes violations go unfixed on vacant properties while theyre being fixed up, but he prides himself in addressing code concerns in occupied properties as soon as theyre identified.

Weve got a really good relationship with the code department, he said. If there are violations, he added, he wants to know about them so he can get them taken care of.

Some downstate landlords are less responsive.

Emmanuel Blum, a downstate landlord who was the citys second-biggest code scofflaw, has received $23,203 in county dollars since 2016. Blums properties had 126 outstanding code violations at the end of 2018.

A code violation is considered outstanding if its not fixed before a deadline given by the city. Those deadlines vary depending on the severity of the violation.

In Syracuse, landlords are required toapply to a rental registryeach year. To get approved for the registry, a property must be current on its taxes and have no outstanding code violations. It also must pass an inspection.

The registry is intended as a tool to hold landlords accountable to code inspectors and city lawyers. But there are no real repercussions for renting a property without first applying to the registry.

Unregistered rentals can still receive money from the county DSS, as long as they havent been deemed unfit. That means properties that get public subsidies arent forced to submit to a regular code inspection.

Both the city and county would like to be able to withhold public assistance to landlords not on the rental registry, but the state has previously determined thats not legal. In 2008, OTDA told lawmakers in Suffolk County that such withholding violated state law and couldnt be approved.

In Oswego, Mayor Billy Barlow faced a similar problem, but he said he found a way around it.

Last year Barlow did a ridealong with an Oswego city code inspector. He met a man living in wretched conditions, he said. There was no heat at the house and only one working electrical outlet. The bathroom was a bucket in the back yard.

According to Barlow, the man said he had been placed in the house by the Oswego County Department of Social Services after getting out of jail.

If youre a landlord you can go and put your name on a landlord list at DSS, Barlow said this summer. But there was no vetting at the time on the county side Thats where we saw there was a big issue.

The city and county wrote up a memorandum of understanding to fix the problem. Every time a landlord asked to be put on the list for public assistance, the county would first call the city codes department and ask if that landlord had a valid rental permit and if there were any outstanding code violations.

Oswego County is no longer doing business with landlords whose properties are delinquent or arent authorized to rent in Oswego. Barlow said hes gotten no push back from landlords.

It didnt take long, Barlow said, But the problem has virtually gone away.

2019 Syracuse Media Group, N.Y..Distributed byTribune Content Agency, LLC.

Continued here:
Syracuse Slumlord Reaps $1M from Taxpayers, While City Fights Him - Governing

Kansas Made This Sex Trafficking Survivor A Criminal She Wants Another Chance – KCUR

October 15th, 2019 by admin

Hope Joy Zeferjohn was missing from the Kansas Capitol on the day her family was posing for pictures with the governor.

It was May 22, 2015, and then-Gov. Sam Brownback was signing a proclamation for Family Reunification Month.

Zeferjohns parents and siblings stood behind him, literal poster children for Brownbacks efforts to return children to their homes from foster care.

But Zeferjohn, 16, was in state custody in Salina, already under the violent control of a man who trafficked her for sex.

A year after the photograph was taken, Zeferjohn was charged in June 2016 with 10 felonies, including aggravated human trafficking. She was 17. Despite federal and state laws that bar prosecuting children for prostitution, Zeferjohn is serving a nearly six-year sentence in the Topeka Correctional Facility and will spend a lifetime on the state sex offender registry.

I deserve another chance, said Zeferjohn, now 21, who is seeking a pardon from Gov. Laura Kelly. As long as I get hope, I can give hope to people.

The Kansas Sentencing Commission says human trafficking charges, whether for men or women at any age, are rare and are often pleaded down to other lesser crimes.

But advocates for trafficking survivors say misguided criminal charging, and the resulting plea bargains reached in cases like Zeferjohns, are more common than state records indicate.

Along with Zeferjohn, a dozen other young women are facing criminal prosecutions after being placed in state custody, running away, and falling prey to sex traffickers while they were minors, said Karen Countryman-Roswurm, director of the Center for Combating Human Trafficking at Wichita State University.

Weve waged war on the very population that we said we were going to serve, she said.

Prosecutors defend their case against Zeferjohn, saying she victimized other girls.

How do you deal with somebody like Hope Zeferjohn? said Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay. If you give a pass to everyone who does the sort of things Miss Zeferjohn did? I dont know that society actually wants that to happen.

A freckle-faced tomboy

Hope Joy Mae Zeferjohn was the second child born to Terry and Melody Zeferjohn. It was Terrys third marriage, and he had two other children from previous relationships. He would eventually have six with Melody.

A Topeka cab driver for 20 years, Terry Zeferjohn died in September 2018. Obese and on disability, his home was violent and poor, and he was always looking for income, said Stacey Kelly, one of his ex-girlfriends and the mother of one of his children.

Kelly remained close to the family and is Hope Zeferjohns godmother. She remembers Terry telling his daughters: You bleed, you breed, meaning when they came of age they should start having children.

The only reason that they had children was so they could get more help, any sort of assistance, Kelly said.

Still, Hope Zeferjohn remains devoted to her parents.

It could be good sometimes, Zeferjohn said of the family home. Sometimes it can be hectic because of all of us kids. I feel like they raised us as best they can and they did a pretty good job of it.

As a child, Hope Joy lived up to her name, Kelly said, describing her as a sweet, freckle-faced tomboy who liked to be outside.

Zeferjohn was just 14 when her older sister brought 24-year-old Anthony Angel Long to the home. Long had a record, having been charged in 2013 with domestic battery, assault and criminal threat against an ex-girlfriend.

Terry Zeferjohn welcomed him as a friend, Kelly said, adding that Long often stayed overnight.

In January 2014, police arrived at the home in response to a call about a fight between Hope and another one of the children. Officers discovered neglect and a failure to send the kids to school.

When the police came into the home, it was full of feces, full of trash and clothes everywhere. Roaches were out in the daytime because they were so infested, Kelly said. And they had horrible, horrible, horrible bedbugs.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families arranged for Kelly to take three of the girls. Zeferjohn, then 15, was sent to an out-of-home placement in Salina, her sentence for a misdemeanor battery charge. She was sentenced in August 2014 to 16 months in the custody of the Department of Corrections, in the juvenile offender program.

It looks a lot like foster care, said Randy Bowman, a DOC spokesman.

Zeferjohn graduated from high school and bought her first car while in state custody. She also got pregnant and gave birth to her son, Tye, in March 2015.

The system failed me

Then Long showed up in Salina. He found Zeferjohn in early 2015 by tricking authorities into giving him her location.

For me, it failed me, thats how I feel, Zeferjohn said of the state system. It allowed Anthony to find out my address, where I was staying, by pretending like he was my father.

Zeferjohn and Long had a relationship that soon turned abusive. She uses his two different names to describe his two sides.

I loved Angel, OK, when he treated me good and everything, she said. And then when he became all rude I was like, Where is the one I love? Thats a different Anthony. Some people put up a different side for you to fall in love with, but its not the real them.

He began to take videos of them having sex, which he sold, Zeferjohn said. He controlled every detail in her life.

I was like the prisoner and he was like a warden, she said. Coming to prison, its not no big adjustment to me, which is pretty bad. I had no choice but to obey him."

Long brought Zeferjohn back to Topeka, where, according to court documents, he forced her to recruit other girls for his prostitution business, sometimes through Facebook. Long ran the operation from a family members home, Zeferjohn said.

Kelly remembers Zeferjohn saying she was the house mother, cleaning, cooking and keeping the other girls in line.

(Hope) started prostituting and bringing home money, Kelly said, and if she didnt give her money to him, it was going to be hell to pay.

The hell included beatings Zeferjohn said they were so severe that she miscarried twice. Long threatened to hurt her son and anyone close to her if she disobeyed, she said.

He destroyed my life, Zeferjohn said. He tried to kill me twice and I tried to think about it like I need to go, I need to get out, but Im stuck in this whole situation.

Ultimately, Zeferjohn and Long traveled to New York, where Long had family. There, she said, she was arrested for shoplifting at a Walmart. When police discovered that she was a runaway from Kansas, she was returned to the state.

In June 2016, Zeferjohn was charged as an adult with 10 felonies: aggravated human trafficking; conspiracy to commit rape; conspiracy to commit aggravated criminal sodomy; indecent solicitation of a child; electronic solicitation of a child; aggravated intimidation and criminal threat. She was also charged with two misdemeanors: endangering a child and contributing to a childs misconduct or deprivation.

The charges stem from when Zeferjohn recruited a 14-year-old girl she met while in living in a foster home, court documents show. Hope introduced Long to the girl through Facebook, where Long was using a false identity. Long offered to let the girl live with them in exchange for sex, and threatened to kill her if she told police, court records say. The girl reached out to Zeferjohn, who ordered her to submit to Long, court documents say.

In another instance, Zeferjohn recruited a 15-year-old girl by offering her drugs, which Long then supplied, requiring both girls to have sex with him as payment, court documents show. Long took photos of the girl and told her they were for johns, according to court documents.

The 15-year-old girl reported this to police, said Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay, and Long was arrested. Later, Zeferjohn reached out to the girl and connected her back to Long, who was out of jail. Court documents say Long and Zeferjohn retaliated several times, including once forcing the girl to go to Junction City, where she was sold to a man and made to stay in a motel room for a weekend where she earned $6,000 for Long.

Victim or predator?

In April 2017, Long was sentenced to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted aggravated human trafficking, indecent solicitation of a child, electronic solicitation of a child and four counts of sexual exploitation of a child.

As the right hand of the organization, Kagay said, Zeferjohn was responsible for recruiting, identifying targets, locating and trying to earn their trust for Longs sex business.

She had to be held accountable, Kagay said. She actively recruited and allowed minor children to be sexually abused, to be prostituted.

That sort of role is not uncommon, said Yazmin Vafa, co-founder and executive director of Rights4Girls, a human rights group that focuses on gender-based violence.

Vafa said Zeferjohn served as whats called a bottom girl, a term used to describe young women who ascend to a position of power and are at the top of the exploitation hierarchy, where they are often relied upon by the trafficker to assert order and authority among the other young women who are being victimized.

Kagay said the Shawnee County District Attorneys office was fair to Zeferjohn given that she victimized at least two other girls, minors who were not charged with crimes.

Prosecutors dropped nine of the 10 felonies and two misdemeanors she originally faced and Zeferjohn assisted in Longs prosecution. She ultimately pleaded guilty to one charge of aggravated human trafficking. That helped reduce her sentence from a possible 15 years in prison to nearly six years, Kagay said.

Zeferjohn also was sentenced to prison time because one of the victims asked that she be incarcerated, Kagay said.

I have no doubt that between the two of them, Anthony Long is much more culpable and he also paid a much higher price, Kagay said.

If hes ever released from prison, Long must register as a sex offender for 25 years. As part of her sentence, Zeferjohn will spend a lifetime on the registry.

I think you started out as a victim in this case, District Judge David Debenham told Zeferjohn when he sentenced her in August 2017, just a few days after she turned 19.

You crossed the line, Debenham said, at some point in time.

You deserve what you get

Since 2000, federal and some state laws have specified that anyone under 18 who performs a commercial sex act is considered a victim of sex trafficking. But advocates for sexually abused girls still face a cultural battle, Vafa said. Advocates rallying cry is: Theres no such thing as a child prostitute.

So many of the young girls that we deal with on a day-to-day basis are really seen as bad girls, or complicit in the exploitation theyre experiencing, Vafa said. Theres still a great amount of victim-blaming going on.

Thats the bias at play in Zeferjohns case and 12 other cases in Kansas, said Karen Countryman-Roswurm, director of the Center for Combating Human Trafficking, which offers education, training and technical assistance to survivors. The girls were runaways from the Kansas Department for Children and Families or the juvenile justice system, wound up under the control of sex traffickers, then were charged as criminals when they were actually victims, she said.

In interviews with KCUR, three of those young women said their experiences were similar to Zeferjohns. At some point during their progression through the foster care and criminal systems, social workers and law enforcement officers turned on them, they said, speaking on the condition that they would not be identified.

Im still looked at as a perpetrator, said one, a 17-year-old girl who has been in and out of the juvenile justice system since she was 10. Im still looked at as my (criminal) charge. And its hard to put yourself in that victim setting when everybodys pushing you to Youre a perpetrator and you deserve what you get.

An analysis of the Kansas Public Offender Registry by APM Reports shows that convictions of girls in cases like Zeferjohns are extremely rare. A review of Shawnee County District Attorney data ranging from 2015 to March 2019 shows that Zeferjohn was the only person prosecuted and convicted for trafficking in that county.

But not all juvenile offenders appear on the sex offender registration website, because Kansas law allows a judge, in some instances, to keep a minors case from being made public. The Kansas Sentencing Commission says human trafficking charges, whether for men or women, whether minors or adults, are in the single digits and are often pleaded down to other crimes.

Countryman-Roswurm said girls like Zeferjohn struggle in the legal system because of stereotypes about victims of sex crimes. Rather than being beaten-down little girls who welcome rescue from law enforcement, she explained, the reality is that some girls grow up in tough environments and dont attach to anyone because of so much mistreatment. So these girls she prefers survivors take control of their situations and appear hardened. They have a streetness, she said, that makes them look to first-responders as if they are perpetrators.

In trafficking, part of that lifestyle as a whole, you dont just stay in the role of the misbranded perfect-worthy victim, Countryman-Roswurm said.

When those girls get processed through the criminal justice system, advocates said, prosecutors frequently offer plea bargains because they dont want to invest the time and expense of taking their cases to trial. Lawyers, family members or others convince survivors to plead guilty to lesser charges to avoid the risk of prison time if their cases do go to trial, Countryman-Roswurm said.

The greatest injustice in America is (being) poor, lower-class, she says. Youve been in custody and you take a plea.

Second shot at a pardon

In May 2015, then-Gov. Brownback, a Republican, was using his photo op with Hope Zeferjohns family to tout a 7% increase in reunification of families to a safe and loving home, as a DCF news release said.

KVC Kansas, the foster care contractor to DCF, also put out a news release with the Zeferjohns picture. The agency quoted one of its social workers saying reunification of the family promotes stability in the childs life and eases the burden on the state to care for them.

The request for a family for the event came from Brownbacks office, said Jenny Kutz, a spokeswoman for KVC Kansas, and KVC chose the Zeferjohn family.

We chose the family because they met the criteria of recently reunified and they were able to participate in the photo within the short notice given, she said.

But things quickly returned to the way they always had been at the Zeferjohn home, and within six months the children were back in foster care, Kelly said. Kutz would not comment, citing a federal privacy law.

Brownback resigned in 2018 to take a job in the Trump administration, serving as ambassador for religious freedom. He declined comment for this story. His successor, former Gov. Jeff Colyer, turned down Zeferjohns first request for clemency last year, Kansas Department of Corrections records show. Colyer also declined to comment.

Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, said she is considering Zeferjohn's new request for a pardon.

The story of Hope Zeferjohn is a sad one, Kelly said in a statement to KCUR and The Topeka Capital-Journal. I will consider every clemency request I receive after a full process of developing facts and with input from those affected, but more importantly our state has a structural criminal justice problem that needs to be addressed."

Zeferjohn deserves a pardon because she was forced to do things that would otherwise be unimaginable to you and I, said her attorney, Vicki Smith. She was a child. She was a victim. This is just a matter of human justice.

Countryman-Roswurm, pro bono attorneys and other advocates are also trying to work within the legal system to resolve the legal problems for the 12 other women who have cases similar to Zeferjohns.

Efforts to change state laws are also underway at the Kansas Legislature. Last year, two bills were introduced that call for setting aside convictions and records in hopes of helping young survivors of the sex trade. The bills got stuck in committee, said Benet Magnuson of Kansas Appleseed, a nonprofit social justice group, but advocates hope to bring them up again this year.

Asked if the agency did enough to help girls like Hope, DCF Secretary Laura Howard said in a statement that continuous and improved efforts are needed to prevent and reduce human trafficking, recover runaway kids, connect families and keep children safe.

Clearly, there were significant breakdowns in the system under the prior administration, and we know more needs to be done to protect children like Hope, Howard said. The agency is currently ramping up its ability to learn and institute more effective strategies and partnerships needed to prevent and address human trafficking.

Kelly said she is ready to work with the Legislature to "revise our approach to incarceration so that we can be smarter about who we send to prison and for how long."

"My administration is determined to do more to change the focus from punitive to rehabilitative programs as a way to ease the pressure on our prisons," she said.

The earliest Zeferjohn could get out of prison is Aug. 26, 2021, when she will be 23. Shes lost custody of her son, Tye, who was adopted.

She says she feels the need to apologize for what Long did to all the families affected, including hers. She hopes speaking up and showing strength will help other victims in similar situations.

When she gets out of prison, Zeferjohn said, she wants to try to get her son back and she wants to open her own restaurant, a bakery, that she would dedicate to her mom and dad.

I really would like to see people have hope in doing something with their life and getting their life back in order, she said. When I got locked up, after that adjustment, I just started getting my life back together. It feels great that I can say that.

TOMORROW: In Day 2 of our series, we report on the growing number of runaways from the Kansas foster care system and what is being done to help these children.

This story is part of a partnership between KCUR and The Topeka Capital-Journal, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in collaboration with APM Reports, the investigative reporting unit of American Public Media.

Peggy Lowe is a reporter at KCUR. Shes on Twitter @peggyllowe.

Sherman Smith is a reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal. Hes on Twitter at @sherman_news.

Geoff Hing of APM Reports contributed to this story. He's on Twitter at @geoffhing.

Read the rest here:
Kansas Made This Sex Trafficking Survivor A Criminal She Wants Another Chance - KCUR


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