Trump in the Russian Tea Room?
By Arlene Kayatt

Nyet 101 — While everyone’s figuring out who’s in and who’s out for 2020’s Big Race, Staten Island’s former assemblywoman and mayoral candidate, Nicole Malliotakis, is now tossing her hat in the ring and going for the gold with a run for Congress against first-term Democrat Max Rose, who beat then incumbent Dan Donovan last November. Malliotakis voted for Trump and is a Trump supporter. It’s amusing that the venue for her big coming-out fundraiser on March 21 is, of all places, the Russian Tea Room. With the ever-vigilant wags out, it’s hard to imagine that Trump won’t resist a tweet about “No collusion.” But then he probably won’t show up anyway. It would be fun if he did — imagine all the “fake news” that would accompany a Trump visit to the Russian Tea Room! And who knows, Malliotakis could find herself in a primary against two avid Staten Island Trump supporters and erstwhile congressmen — the aforementioned Dan Donovan, and the inimitable Michael Grimm. With three supporters, whom would Trump choose? Could be Russian Roulette.

Liking bikes — Bikes have become a rallying cry in our town. How much bike space? How much pedestrian space? How much space for other life activity that is appropriate for the city’s streets and sidewalks? In most instances, it comes down to how old you are. Nothing unusual about that dynamic in the public square. As a transportation issue, there’s the individual biker biking to get where he or she is going. Then there’s the non-biker crossing the street to get to where he or she is going — maybe to a bus, a train, or just the other side of the street. The age part also falls into the safety aspect of all-bike-all-the-time. The young are resilient and can take a fall-off-the-bike in stride and get right up. Not so for the not-so-young and perhaps the very young. Recently, a twenty-something related that there was nothing to worry about, she easily got up, dusted off, and continued on after a bike accident. Lucky lucky.

E-bikes are a growing hazard on the streets, and the Stuyvesant Town area is doing something about it. The 13th precinct has confiscated 135 e-bikes and has issued summonses. As reported in Town & Village, there is some confusion among residents about what’s legal and what’s not regarding e-bikes.

These and other bike-related issues are vital and important and need unbiased listening and decision-making. It doesn’t do the community any good for electeds to use a litmus test when selecting community board members and to choose those who favor bikes. Or not. The tendency, I’m told, is that those being selected favor bikers. Public officials are entitled to their own bona fide preferences, but as electeds they have a duty to be open-minded and to listen to and rely on diverse opinions and input from the community, experts, and interested entities. Same holds true for all matters that come before governmental bodies, including housing, homeless shelters, landmarks. No litmus tests for getting on community boards or other governmental bodies.

Hospital city — Can’t ignore it. There’s barely a block in Manhattan that isn’t home to some sort of hospital entity. Be it a City MD, a walk-in affiliated with a teaching or other hospital, or a dormitory or housing facility for medical students and staffers. And more are coming. And not only for humans. Look for drop-in medical facilities for pets. New York’s new real estate. Nobody’s thinking moms and pops anymore.