Wednesday, November 06, 2013

One Big Win and Seven Big Losses

Nov. 6, 2013--By Jen Benepe--New York State

Yesterday New York City won by electing a new mayor who has promised to make life in the city easier for the
middle class, by adding more affordable housing, and reducing the frequency of stop and frisk by the police department. 

He is the first Democratic mayor to be elected to the city in 20 years. 

But we also lost big when voters agreed to allow seven casinos to be developed upstate.

Sure, it seems like such an easy plan. Build seven casinos and the money will come rolling in. That's what the pols kept telling you. 

It was like the sleazy guy on the corner offering candy to your kids so they will come into his apartment.

We heard "$94 million dollars," going to schools and the state coffers, and "10,000 jobs," promises rolling off the tongue of Keith L.T. Wright, New York State assembly member representing central and west Harlem and co-chair of the Democratic Party.

Then we confronted a ballot that was written to be checked off with a "yes." That ballot basically promised the same thing--lots of money to the state that will help our schools and help reduce property taxes. 

Wait a second--don't we already have that in the form of the New York State Lottery? What happened to that money?

We don't have access to the pols' planning estimates, but we can pretty much guarantee that they are based on the best possible scenario--all seven casinos running with 100 percent attendance. That's a tall order for a number of reasons. 

First there was the argument that all these people who are now going to gamble in Atlantic City in New Jersey and other states will now go upstate. That's the real joke. We already HAVE 18 casinos upstate, and "those people"--many of them lower income gambling addicts, already voted with their feet--they don't WANT to go upstate. It's too cold, far away, and difficult to get there. 

To get people to come upstate even those casinos have to litter their websites with ad slogans like, "With what happens here we gotta be in the middle of nowhere," and "Worth the drive if you're driven to win."

What's worse, the seven new casinos are going to cannibalize an already seriously slumped industry: The Atlantic City gambling halls are doing so badly, that they need tax exemptions from the state of New Jersey! 

Clearly no one was listening either to  David Blankenhorn, founder and president of the Institute for American Values, when he debated with Mr. Wright on NPR radio Nov. 3 while appearing on the Brian Lehrer show

Mr. Blankenhorn pointed out that the casinos don't provide any products, or growth to the state because all they do is take money from the pockets of people who live there, who already can't afford to gamble. It's just a different way to skin a cat--either tax everyone, or take money from poor gambling addicted fools. Wow, that makes a lot of sense. 

If the planners had asked for casinos in New York City that would have been a lot more reasonable. Then you would have some of the 47 million tourists who are drawn to New York City every year and spent $34 BILLION dollars in 2011, try their hand at some gambling the way many of us do when we travel to Las Vegas, NV.  

Then at least we would be fleecing the rich Europeans and South Americans, instead of hunting for hand-offs from the splintered casino participants at the18 existing upstate, and declining New Jersey casinos. 


Sunday, July 08, 2012

Dave Jordan, Previous CRCA President, Dies

Dave Jordan, bicycle coach, bicycle advocate and all around nice guy died on Thursday, July 5 in New York City.

The cause was brain cancer.

Jordan was a fixture in the New York bicycle-racing community.

Previous Century Road Club Association President, Jordan organized opposition to the crackdown on cyclists in Central Park last year. He spoke passionately about the injustice foisted on cyclists compared to the ease that scofflaw motorists enjoyed in the park, and in the city in general.

Dave also enjoyed a long-term business as a bicycle-racing trainer and coach. His passion for cycling was infectious.

Early in his racing career he demonstrated a strong physique, an amiable, broad smile, and a strong shoulder to depend on.

Jordan was well known for disrobing in the middle of a race when he got too hot. One year as he approached Cat's Paw Hill on East 72nd St., he caused a crash in the race by removing his shoe covers while racing.

Hundreds of Jordan's friends, most of them from the cycling racing community around Central Park, reacted with shock and sadness.

Most did not know Jordan was ill, and few had a chance to say good-bye.

Jordan was 48 and left behind his wife and two young teenage children.

A memorial ride is being planned for him that will leave Central Park after a morning race this coming weekend.

It will ride up to the George Washington Bridge, meeting a group of cyclists from New Jersey, then proceed on to Piermont, NY.

It is one of the rides that Jordan himself did on a regular basis, and is being organized by a committee headed by Jordan’s good friend, Ray Alba.

Sunday, July 15, 2012
Where: Central Park, New York @ Cat’s Paw Hill - 79th East Side Dr.
When: Sunday July 15, 2012
Time: 8AM for signing of the poster for the family - ride start @ 8:30
Ride: Pace casual - Memory lap around Central Park
2nd Lap exiting- North end of Central Park to RS...D
Over George Washington Bridge right onto Hudson Terrace
North on 9W – stop at New York state line & Piermont, NY
More Info:
Donations: To help Dave’s family – PayPal address

Monday, April 09, 2012

New York Bike Share Looking for A Boss

We spied this posted on Craigslist today, of all places!

For those of you who don't know, the Bike Share of New York City is starting this spring and is supposed to be in full swing by July. Did we tell you, 10,000 bicycles in the system by this summer?

A full roster of sponsors? Full scale interaction with the City of New York's Department of Transportation?

How about, dealing with Community Boards? And the Manhattan Borough President, Scott Stringer? And everyone else in the city's huge political landscape.

Thought you hated the NYPD? Wait till you take this job: you'll have to be nice to them!

This person not only has to be at the top of their craft, they likely need to be politically connected, have tough skin, smile under duress, and live on air and adrenaline for the next five to 12 months because they'll be working 20-hour days. But, we don't know this for sure, we're just guessing.

We dare you to apply for it! Good luck.

New York City Bike Share -- General Manager (NYC, Manhattan, Brooklyn)

Date: 2012-04-06, 7:53PM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

New York City Bike Share -- General Manager

Job Summary
Bicycle sharing is a sustainable, healthy, and community-based transport option that enhances urban livability and mobility. New York City Bike Share is excited to announce the beginning of its operations in New York City with up to 10,000 bikes and 600 stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

New York City Bike Share is seeking a dynamic General Manager who will be responsible for all activities from the launch this summer to managing the New York City Bike Share system on an ongoing basis. This includes, but is not limited to, operations, marketing, public relations, finance and administration, community outreach, site planning, equipment procurement and delivery, and coordination with multiple NYC agencies and sponsors. You'll be a part of a ground breaking management team that has a focus on city acceptance, exceeding membership and ridership targets, and is dedicated to consistently delivering a top notch product.

Primary Responsibilities

• Lead all aspects of the New York City Bike Share system, including Marketing, Finance, Operations and Customer Service to ensure overall success of the system.
• Coordinate and maintain strong ongoing relationships among multiple parties, including employees, sponsors, manufacturer, subcontractor(s), clients and Board of Directors.
• Develop a team culture that embraces a mission-driven, team-oriented, environmentally sustainable organization.
• Assist expert team in all aspects of launching New York City Bike Share system while learning all aspects of the system, culminating in a major high-profile event in summer 2012.

Launch activities will include:
o Budget, finance, human resources, subcontracting and administration.
o Community engagement and site planning for several hundred on-street station locations.
o Multi-faceted marketing and media effort.
o Facilities, vehicles, equipment and training to assemble and install hundreds of stations and thousands of bicycles.
• Lead all aspects of ongoing operations for NYC Bike Share system after launch, including:
o Revenue and expense forecasting, finance, human resources, subcontracting and administration.
o Community engagement, including working with multiple community organizations and NYC agencies.
o Operations, including rebalancing, bicycle maintenance, station maintenance and cleaning, emergency response.
o Execution of marketing plan to maximize membership, ridership, revenues and media acceptance.
o Continual coordination among multiple city agencies, media, sponsors and other city stakeholders.
o Oversee staff of at least 150 people.
o Oversee all aspects of system operations including customer service, vendor, and client interaction.
o Hire, train, schedule, and manage employees. Delegate tasks as needed.
o Manage multiple subcontracts.
o Develop, execute, and share operational, marketing and customer service best practices.
o Identify and share opportunities for improvement and efficiency.
o Identify and address key strategic barriers and opportunities critical to the success of local operations.
o Ensure OSHA compliant workplace and practices.
o Ensure contractual obligations are met or exceeded.
o Ensure reporting metrics are met, and where needed, improved.
o Ensure reporting is complete and timely delivered to project officers and managers.
o Ensure a positive relationship between Alta Bicycle Share and system project officers.
o Ensure overall success and future growth of system.
• Work under the guidance of the President.

• Undergraduate degree in business, engineering, transportation, public administration or related field. Advanced degree desired.
• Minimum 15 years of related experience, including experience managing and negotiating major service and supply contracts.
• Proven executive management experience in high visibility, high pressure environments with a minimum $5 million budget.
• High proficiency in Excel, Word, Microsoft Project, Google Applications, Quickbooks preferred, and ability to learn new software.
• Extremely strong public presentation skills both written and verbal, to key stakeholders including government, media, community and business.
• Strong finance and administration skills and experience.
• Demonstrated experience in high level negotiations with proven results.
• Demonstrated personal and professional commitment to the vision, mission and values of sustainable transportation.
• Demonstrated ability in undertaking and/or managing marketing and public relations.
• Ability to understand technical aspects of the software and the hardware capabilities and needs of a bike share system.
• Effective management, continual monitoring and reporting of the business performance against service levels, membership and profit targets.
• Ability to drive continuous improvement of the business in line with international standards and company corporate initiatives.
• Ability to learn, to understand, to simplify, and communicate complex technical and business issues.
• Job may require hours that exceed 8 hours per day and/or 40 hours per week.
• May require bending, stooping, lifting up to 35 pounds.
• May require travel.

Note: The above description is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, or qualifications associated with the job. All personnel may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities due to the nature of work performed to accomplish Alta Bicycle Share's Mission.
Alta Bicycle Share is proud to be an equal opportunity/ affirmative action employer.

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter and resume to: ops (at)
Please, no phone calls
For more information, visit our website at

  • Location: NYC, Manhattan, Brooklyn
  • Compensation: DOE
  • Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
  • Please, no phone calls about this job!
  • Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.
PostingID: 2944475576

Stolen Bicycles and Parts in Conn.

Several bicycle, parts and other equipment were stolen from a van parked in West Haven, CT on Saturday, according to a communication from Glen Goldstein, president of Bicycle Shows U.S.

Among the items stolen and not yet recovered were a Specialized Tarmac bike, a FELT, a Ghisallo and a Cannondale bike, all belonging to the Harvard cycling team.

Apparently the van's lock was smashed and all of the equipment removed. Some items were recovered as of yesterday, but the remaining items listed below have still not been found.

If you or anyone you know comes across these items either in a bike shop or as a "special" item that someone wants to sell you, please contact the numbers below.

1.    Specialized Amira bicycle (blue carbon fiber) with Shimano Ultegra; Mavic Open Pro wheels with powertap hub and Michelin Pro 3 tires; HED Stinger 4 race wheels (black, carbon fiber, HED on the side wall)
2.    White/red 61cm Felt Z5 with Shimano 105 components; Mavic CXP-22 wheels; Garmin Edge 305 bike computer
3.    Black/red Specialized Tarmac bicycle w/ Ultegra. Bontrager Race XXX-Lite front wheel (rear wheel separate in wheel bag), Mavic Open Pro rear with Powertap. Joule 2.0 computer attached to stem.
4.    Black Ghisallo bicycle; Shimano 105 components; Look pedals; yellow Japanese police sticker on frame
5.    Cannondale CAAD10 bicycle, Cateye double wireless bike computer, shimano pedals
6.    LeMond Nevada City bicycle (Color: Blue and White); white bar tape, blue saddle, silver Mavic Aksium wheels; Cateye Micro Computer (attached)
7.    Wheel - Bontrager Select, Bontrager race lite tire, front
8.    Wheel - rear Mavic Ksyrium - black, black tire
9.    Mavic Carbone race wheels with black tires; Shimano training wheels with yellow and black tires

Contact Sophy Lee (832 364 1615; with information.