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Staten Island pols once again float secession from New York City

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Plus, Brooklyn residents complain about Uber Copter, Blade noise—And more intel in today’s New York Minute news roundup

A ferry arrives at Staten Island, with the Manhattan skyline behind it. Krista Kennell/

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Staten Island pols want out of New York City

Back in April, Republican Assembly member David DiPietro introduced a bill to divide the state in three different regions, all with their own governor and legislature, but still under the same state for purposes of the federal government.

Under the plan, the three different regions would include New York City with its five boroughs; “Montauk,” consisting of suburbs in Westchester, Rockland, Nassau, and Suffolk counties; and “New Amsterdam,” consisting of all upstate counties. “It would free us from Albany’s control over the MTA and schools,” a supporter of the plan, Bobby Zahn, told the New York Post.

Now, another Assembly member, Michael Reilly, wants to amend that bill to separate Staten Island from New York City, and annex the borough to the upstate region that would be called “New Amsterdam.” The Post reports that Reilly is “sick of New York City’s high taxes and liberal policies.”

But this is far from the first time that the idea for Staten Island to secede from NYC has been floated around. Last month, Republican City Council members Joe Borelli and Steven Matteo announced their intentions to create a task force to analyze a possible secession of Staten Island from the rest of the boroughs. And back in 1993, residents of the borough voted to secede from NYC in a non-binding referendum; but the State Assembly never voted on those results.

And in other news...

  • Since the launch of services like Uber Copter and Blade, which offer rides to the airport, helicopter noise around several Brooklyn neighborhoods has reached new, annoying levels, according to neighbors.
  • Anish Kapoor’s bean sculpture in Tribeca—New York’s own version of Chicago’s “Cloud Gate”—begins to take shape.
  • A NYC Christmas tree can cost up to $6,500—yes, really.
  • As NYC’s bike lanes continue to expand, hotel doormen worry about their guests, and possible collisions, as the streetscape becomes more crowded.
  • Plastics company Plaxall, which owns nearly 13 acres of property near Long Island City’s Anable Basin, is teaming up with developers to seek public feedback on how to develop a section of the waterfront.
  • Following its May opening, the TWA Hotel has underperformed and not met the developer’s occupancy rate ambitions.
  • A bill to legalize e-bikes and e-scooters in New York state, which passed in June, has been awaiting Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature for a while now. Reportedly, Cuomo was on board with it until the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Jessica Ramos, said something about him to the New York Times.
  • Developer Billy Macklowe is eyeing Park Slope’s Key Food, at 120 Fifth Avenue, for a residential project.
  • Housing advocates are calling on state lawmakers to roll back several tax breaks to corporate landlords and developers, costing around $4 billion annually, and invest that money in public housing.