In the News: Placard Abusers Arrested

••• “Thirty people were hauled into state court on Tuesday in handcuffs and charged with using fake parking placards made to look like city-issued documents to park in special zones and to avoid paying tickets.” It’s a small start—and the public humiliation was clearly meant as a warning to anyone out there still working this scam. “Prosecutors said about half the people charged in the scam had been parking in special zones with laminated placards for city agencies, including the Administration for Children’s Services, Department of Health, the Fire Department and the Law Department. Others were accused of using forged placards for nongovernmental organizations, which included the American Red Cross and the New York Blood Center. One defendant was accused of parking his Mercedes with a phony Law Department placard in a space reserved for an ambulette that transported people with disabilities to a health care facility, investigators said. Another defendant was accused of using a fake placard while he was attending the city’s academy for new correction officers. Five were accused of using handicapped zone passes, and three were charged with submitting copies of their fake placards to the city’s Department of Finance to avoid paying parking tickets. Several were also arrested on charges they used phony placards to park in loading zones for commercial drivers.” Now let’s start cracking down on the cops who abuse the system. —New York Times

••• “Amazon’s takeover of Whole Foods Market began five weeks ago with a lot of fanfare about lower prices. But while the grocery chain has strategically marked down select items like avocados and almond milk, overall prices have dropped very slightly—about 1 percent—since Amazon ownership, according to an analysis by research firm Gordon Haskett. […] Although Amazon offered discounts on a number of items right away, some of those prices have crept back up, according to the data. The price of frozen foods, for example, was 7 percent higher on Sept. 26 than on Aug. 28, when Amazon officially took over. Snack items had risen 5.3 percent in that period, while dairy and yogurt were up 2 percent. (Among categories where prices are lower: Beverages, down about 2.8 percent; bread and bakery, down 6.8 percent; and produce, down 0.5 percent.)” —Washington Post

••• In the Tribeca Trib police blotter, a slashing, assault, and more thefts, including this: “A 40-year-old Thomas Street resident placed her $5,000 Cartier Ballon Bleu watch on a ledge before entering the locker room shower. When she got out, she discovered that it was gone.” Do you all need me to tell the story again of returning to the Equinox locker room to see a man going through my pants? He had picked the dinky Master combination lock that so many people use. The moral: All gyms are extremely high-risk places for your valuables.

••• “Recognizable to most New Yorkers as ‘that graffiti-covered building on the corner of Spring,’ 190 Bowery [was bought by] developer Aby Rosen for $55 million. Since then, Great Bowery, a creative agency, has taken over five floors, but the lobby and basement have remained empty, until now. The street-facing walls have been scrubbed of some of the spray-painted designs that covered them, and plants line the exterior steps. On Friday, Totokaelo, the cool-kid shop in Seattle that opened a New York outpost on Crosby Street in 2015, begins an 11-month residency in the landmark structure.” —New York Times

••• “The city’s $4.3 million park plan for Peck Slip, idling on the drawing board for more than a decade, will be all but scrapped if residents have their way. […] The opponents, many of them parents in the area, said they would like to see the .65-acre of protected street remain wide open and mostly bare.” In my opinion, what that area needs is greenery, mainly to help block the FDR, but then I don’t have kids, which seem to drive the design of most public amenities around here. —Tribeca Trib



  1. You’d think that by now the city would have the digital capability to upload plate numbers to a database that the meter maids could check. It’s mind boggling that we need laminated pieces of paper in 2017.

    • This is about tolerating petty corruption, not about systems. Meter maids routinely bypass cars with notes or merely folded police vests left on dashboards.

  2. It’s about time!

  3. Paris Baguette on Canal (previously Burger King) is opening very soon. Walked by after work today and saw workers putting finishing touches to the space and the open sign replaced the coming soon sign.

  4. Whole Foods has not only not lowered prices.

    I have noticed price increases and price scanner errors