Hello. A death at a subway station over the weekend highlighted the challenges Mayor Eric Adams faces in delivering on his promise to make the city safer. We will also look at new efforts to generate electricity from offshore wind projects.
A death at a subway station over the weekend highlighted the challenges Mayor Eric Adams faces in delivering on his promise to make New York City safer.
Michelle Alyssa Go, a 40-year-old Asian woman who worked for consulting firm Deloitte, was shoved to death on Saturday in front of a train entering a Times Square station. The man who confessed was homeless and has a history of mental illness, police said.
The violence beyond the subway caught Adams’ attention on his first day as mayor, when a bullet hit an off-duty police officer who was napping in a car between shifts. And last week, a 19-year-old woman was fatally shot in a failed robbery at an East Harlem Burger King. Adams and other officials announced the arrest of a 30-year-old man who police say pulled a gun on the woman, Kristal Bayron-Nieves, as she cowered behind the counter and searched for a key to open the cash register.
Such widely reported incidents have heightened the fears of many New Yorkers about the direction of the city as it struggles through the pandemic. Go’s death has reignited conversations about public safety, a defining issue of Adams’ campaign last fall. But as my colleague Katie Glueck writes, there is a difference now: as mayor, he will be held accountable.
“That’s the biggest challenge he’s really facing,” said Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of the business-aligned organization Partnership for New York City. “It’s one thing when you’re on the campaign trail, but it’s another when you actually have to make political decisions.”
She stressed that business leaders “support the mayor and his commitment to restoring public safety.”
Asked about the issue on Monday, Adams said, “I want expectations to be high.” He added: “The stakes are high.”
Officials need to “make sure we don’t have these incidents where an innocent person is murdered,” he said. “And we also have to struggle with the fact that there’s a feeling that our system is unsafe and out of control based on what’s going on every day.”
Even before the subway murder on Saturday, Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul said they would assign more police to patrol the system and work with homeless outreach teams — proof of Adams’ determination to find a balance between, as he puts it, “intervention and prevention”.
“Our recovery depends on public safety in this city and in this subway system,” he said Sunday. “We can do that with the right balance, a balance of safety and a balance of proactively giving people the help they need when they’re in a mental health crisis.”
Officials to Adams’ left note politically that there has long been a significant police presence in Times Square; two officers were on the platform when Go was pushed, transit officials said.
“This notion that just adding more police is going to solve something, that notion is proven to not work in a place like Times Square,” said Jumaane Williams, public defender for the City of New York and Democratic candidate for governor. “That doesn’t mean law enforcement doesn’t have a role to play.”
It’s a windy day, mostly sunny in the mid 30’s. The evening is partly cloudy, with temperatures reaching 20 degrees.
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Electricity from offshore wind projects
Last week, officials including Jennifer Granholm, the US Secretary of Energy, and Governor Kathy Hochul, said contracts had been finalized for two offshore wind projects. They said it was a milestone in the development of wind power in New York State. I asked Anne Barnard, a Metro reporter who covers climate and the environment, to put the ad into context.
What is the importance of the two projects?
New York State’s goal is to generate 9,000 megawatts of electricity from offshore wind turbines by 2035, keeping in mind that the primary goal is to get all of our electricity from zero-emission sources by 2040. This is a big step forward.
When we talk about 9,000 megawatts, that’s enough to generate 30% of the electricity New York State needs, enough to power six million homes. Currently, only about 5% of the state’s electricity comes from renewables, even though the state has been talking for at least a decade about developing this sector.
The idea of two large offshore wind projects sounds impressive. Is it?
On the one hand, yes, because the United States does not have offshore wind power as such. There are only two offshore wind farms in operation so far, one off Block Island, RI, the other off Virginia Beach, so all to get us started.
On the other hand, if you ask any climate or renewable energy expert, they will tell you that wind power needs to be developed quickly and massively. These projects are just the beginning.
You can’t just order a ready-to-use wind turbine and have it delivered the next day. Where will the wind turbines for the two projects be built?
The new administration of New York City Mayor Eric Adams
Large towers are to be built in Albany and floated in pieces down the Hudson River on barges. They will go to a terminal in Sunset Park in Brooklyn, where the blades and generators will be attached. Then, everything must be loaded onto a specialized ship in the Atlantic Ocean, where it will be planted at the bottom of the ocean.
The ships are amazing. To put the turbines in place, the ship puts down stilts to stabilize itself while an onboard crane lifts the huge and heavy turbines into place.
One of the problems is that there are not enough ships. I think there is only one who can do the offshore installation and who is available to work in those waters. The others are in Europe.
The announcement of the two projects wasn’t the only wind energy development in New York last week. The Department of the Interior, along with Hochul and Governor Philip Murphy of New Jersey, announced they would lease 488,000 acres for offshore wind development in the New York Bight. What will it bring?
Eventually, more wind turbines and more electricity. The turbines will be installed in the New York Bight, the triangular-shaped section of the continental shelf between the New Jersey shore and the south coast of Long Island. The reason they put them further out to sea was because the winds are stronger and more consistent there.
New York and New Jersey hope there will be a coordinated offshore wind supply chain centered in New York Harbor – architectural and engineering firms and other businesses with the blue and white collar jobs necessary to provide this effort.
The Sunset Park, Brooklyn community has been a big supporter of this. They have been pushing for two decades to revitalize the maritime industry. They want the community to have industrial jobs, so they are excited for those industries to take hold. Uprose, a longtime community group in Sunset Park, has been at the forefront.
One of the concerns is that Sunset Park is what is called an environmental justice community, disproportionately affected by environmental issues over the decades – factory smokestacks, then BQE and whatever gets thrown into a working area. Sunset Park wants to see that when the ships come in to service the turbines, the ships themselves will be green and not bring diesel fumes into the area.