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Selvena Brooks-Powers

Monday’s Headlines: Boxing Day Edition

Transportation Committee Chair Selvena Brooks-Powers has racked up a lot of speeding tickets on her gray Nissan. [Editor’s note: We have diffused the Council member’s plate because her office said that showing the plate “puts her and her family at risk.”] Photos: Julianne Cuba (main); Gersh Kuntzman (inset)

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The biggest story of the holiday weekend dropped on Friday when Gothamist became the latest outlet (after us in April and the New York Post in August) to notice that a car belonging to Council Transportation Committee Chair Selvena Brooks-Powers continues to be caught by city speed cameras at a rate that's well past shrugging off.

According to the latest count, the Council member's car has been nabbed 29 times for speeding in school zones since March 2021, when she won the special election that brought her to power. The car has received 17 speed-camera tickets in the last 12 months, making its owner subject to the city Department of Transportation's required safety course. (It is unclear if Brooks-Powers has received her notification letter; so few drivers have, after all.)

The Gothamist story tread some well-walked ground, but added a new twist: "The car was also ticketed outside Hudson Yards in October for fraudulent use of a parking permit. The $65 fine was later dismissed." Gothamist didn't really dig into that — in other words, perhaps a family member was using the Council member's placard, but was let off or the Council member wrongly used the placard for a non-official event, but was let off — but Placardgate was the talk of the weekend.

The Twitter account @placardabuse did a thread on the case that was so epic that Brooks-Powers later pinned a "haters gonna hate" tweet at the top of her account and David Meyer of the Post offered a blow-by-blow:

Brooks-Powers did not talk to Gothamist for its story, which we think is a mistake. As the leader of the Council's committee in charge with overseeing the city's efforts to make roads safer, she needs to respond to allegations that she is simultaneously making them a lot less safe.

In other news:

    • Speaking of speeding, the city's speed cameras work, amNY reported (following our similar stories this fall).
    • It was super cold all weekend — not to mention the weather was in the signal digits! (NYDN)
    • It's about time for cities to be designed for people who are actually here, not for people to come from the suburbs (Slate). But, of course, Ginia Bellafante has known that forever (NY Times).
    • Daily News police bureau chief did a year-end take on Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell — and definitely had a problem with her, how you say?, limited public availability. OK, maybe she doesn't have many press conferences, but she did tweet a picture of cops arresting the Grinch. (NY Post)
    • To paraphrase Ernest Hemingway, phone chargers also catch fire. (NYDN)
    • An FDNY firefighter was arrested for legitimate criminal mischief: drunkenly relieving himself in an Upper East Side sukkah. (NYDN, NY Post)
    • And, speaking of criminal mischief, our old man editor didn't take Christmas off — but instead enjoyed a Christmas miracle: a scofflaw who thanked him for un-defacing her plates:

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