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Morning Spew

Fridays Are For Liberating Giant Warehouses of Legal Marijuana

Some not-so-quiet qutting is happening at City Hall, plus another update on the massive shiny soccer stadium thing.

4:49 AM EST on November 18, 2022

(Hell Gate)

Twitter, the social media company that has delightfully rotted our brains so much that we have to squint and sit down and actually think about our sad little lives before it, seems to be coughing up blood since its new owner wiped out most of the workers who keep it healthy, either through a massive layoff or most recently, by forcing them to sign a loyalty pledge written like a billionaire sixth grader.

"The number of engineers tending to multiple critical systems had been reduced to two, one or even zero, according to people familiar with the situation," the Washington Post reported. Don't worry though, Twitter probably isn't going to shut down entirely. It'll just get a little worse every day, just like real humans.

Also not "quiet quitting" today: First Deputy Mayor Lorraine Grillo will soon be leaving the Adams administration after 28 years in public service.

Grillo was de Blasio's "COVID czar," earned a $270,000 annual salary, and has been a "bright spot" in a vibes-heavy Adams administration. The Mayor surprised Grillo on FOX5 this morning with flowers, and even made a video to honor her.

We hope that when we retire from blogging we'll get a little video too.

Here's some more stuff you should read:

  • There's $750 million in legal weed—hundreds of thousands of pounds!—sitting in New York warehouses, all because the state's legal weed program is dragging ass. Free the weed! Free. The. Weed.
  • Electric garbage trucks are apparently big sissies that can't get the job done *spits tobacco*
  • It's not even close to being the "holiday season" but the Union Square Market does not fucking care, it'll sell it's bullshit right now thank you very much.
  • Two words: managed retreat.
  • The Democratic leaders in the House and the Senate will both be from New York City. It's gonna be a whole new world you just wait.
  • 20-inch pony!!!!!
  • Congratulations to Climbers United, the group of VITAL climbing gym employees, who just voted 13-0 to join a union. Read our coverage of their organizing efforts here.

And FINALLY: Neil deMause has another update on the new Queens Soccer Stadium Housing Complex Maybe-Casino. Take it away, Neil:

To get a better sense of how much the city would be getting from NYCFC if they paid full property taxes—or payments in lieu of them—we asked Geoffrey Propheter, a University of Colorado economist whose book "Major League Sports and the Property Tax: Costs and Implications of a Stealth Tax Expenditure" is due out next week from Springer. Propheter said there are many caveats to calculating property tax payments, but that according to the methodology he’s developed for sports projects (which is explained in the book), granting the soccer team a full tax exemption over 49 years would cost New York City somewhere between $132.5 million and $197 million.

Plugging those numbers into our original cost-benefit estimation, we now have the city providing: an unknown amount of infrastructure spending (estimated by the deputy mayor at $200-300 million, though some of that would presumably be for the housing and hotel portion); property tax breaks worth $132.5-197 million; and the land under the stadium. In exchange, NYCFC would make rent payments worth a present value of under $30 million. At best, then, the city would be taking a $100 million loss on this deal; at worst, somewhere in the higher nine digits. We’ll know more once the mayor’s office provides a draft lease or memorandum of understanding, if and when it gets around to that. 

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