Last year, the New York Daily News reported that Mayor Eric Adams had been cited by the New York City Health Department for a rat infestation at the Bed-Stuy apartment building that he owns. The mayor later tapped a city attorney to quash the complaint, arguing that he had already spent $7,000 to mitigate the problem, and that was that. Ticket tossed.
But now the News reveals that the mayoral rats are back, according to one Health Department inspector named Shirley Jean, who gave the mayor two tickets on December 7, 2022. The first ticket was for "harborage conditions" (in this case, recycling matter strewn in public view). The second was for "active rat signs," including a rat burrow "along the ledge of the fenceline at front right," and fresh rat poop. The tickets could carry a fine of up to $1,200.
Mayor Adams vowed to fight the tickets.
"I will again challenge these violations and show that rats don't run this city," Adams told the paper.
Curtis Sliwa, Adams's former opponent in the general election last year, and perhaps the world's most famous living proponent for the red beret, promptly issued a press release with his wife Nancy this morning urging the mayor to fight these rats not with lawyers and bureaucracy, but with love...for cats. Specifically, feral cats. The Sliwas rescue them, and currently keep some 16 of them in their studio apartment. Curtis told Hell Gate that he even cast his 2022 ballot with an illicit cat in tow.
"Feral Cats are Mother Natures' way of eliminating Rats, rodents, and mice. Chicago, which had the #1 problem with rats, now uses Feral Cats," Nancy Sliwa said in the release. (Are cats good at catching rats? Not exactly! As the dek on this Smithsonian story says, cats, rather intelligently, tend to opt for "less challenging prey." Though perhaps the Sliwas are counting on deterrence instead of eradication.)
Naturally, the Sliwas will be outside of the Mayor's Lafayette Avenue building at 2:30 p.m. today to talk about this proposal and mug for the live stream. Whatta town.
And now for some links:
George Santos had a very awkward first day in Congress. Via the New York Times: "Lawmakers and aides could be heard snickering about who was having a worse day—Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, who lost three votes to become speaker—or the newcomer from New York." Meanwhile, don't sleep on the Lester Chang drama!
A homeless man who in May of 2020 was punched in the face by cops and then falsely arrested has settled his lawsuit against the City for $135,000. Will the cops involved face any consequences? It's now up to NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell to decide, and well...