Tuesday’s Headlines: ‘Criminal Mischief’ Hits the Really Big Time Edition

Our editor after a recent paint job (main) and in a New Yorker illustration by João Fazenda.
Our editor after a recent paint job (main) and in a New Yorker illustration by João Fazenda.

No disrespect to the New York Times, Gothamist, the Daily MailNY1, Queen of the Click, Road.cc or any of the many publications that have jumped on our old man editor Gersh Kuntzman’s “criminal mischief” campaign to rein in scofflaw drivers, but on Monday, the New Yorker dropped what might be the biggest bombshell of them all:

The top of the New Yorker piece on our editor. Illustration: João Fazenda

The “Talk of the Town” piece by Dan Greene portrayed Kuntzman as a hammy heroish, riding around town (mostly around precinct station houses, frankly) repairing the intentionally defaced license plates of people who believe they should be allowed to drive recklessly in school zones without punishment. Our favorite part? Greene, who had biked around with Kuntzman as he (Kuntzman) committed criminal mischief to fix plates, described Federal Plaza — home to courthouses, judges, federal officials, cops, firefighters and even the FBI, as “a hotbed of malfeasance.”

If that isn’t a pretty damning observation, we don’t know what is.

In addition, Kuntzman continued his criminal mischief crusade with two more videos on Monday:

And this one, where he caught a possible cop:

In other news from a slow Martin Luther King Day holiday (we were off to honor a great American):

  • The Post’s Nolan Hicks did a deep “seven-month investigation” into several ways in which the MTA seems to be wasting money — most glaringly in having different contracts with Metro-North workers and Long Island Rail Road workers, and in having what may be too much staff. As Hicks reports, “The LIRR and Metro-North currently spend $455 million annually on wages, pensions and benefits for conductors and assistant conductors. That means nearly half of the $1 billion the MTA hopes to generate through fares at both railroads in 2023 will be consumed employing individuals whose primary duty is collecting those tickets.”
  • Speaking of the MTA, some Chelsea residents have a problem with the agency installing modern equipment. (amNY)
  • It was nice to see Gothamist jump on the story of the two NYPD officers who may have been watching a soccer game when they slammed into a pedestrian on Eastern Parkway last year. And we appreciate the link to our original story about the release of videos that raised serious questions about the cops’ involvement.
  • The endless fight over New York’s limited public space continues with some residents resentful that pickle ball players are getting their own court in a Hells Kitchen playground renovation. Clearly, the need is for more public space for everyone rather than all of us battling each other for scraps. (amNY)
  • The New Yorker also had a nice feature on the boys behind the daredevil Instagram account, Citi Bike Boyz. Unlike the esteemed magazine, we’ll offer you the link to the Boyz’s videos.

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Two Charged With Criminal Mischief for Williamsburg Bike Lane Action

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Activists from Monday morning’s guerrilla bike lane striping on Bedford Avenue say two individuals were indeed given summonses for criminal mischief, contrary to media reports published today. Police haven’t yet answered inquiries from Streetsblog, but organizers of the action confirmed that two were charged. "The police took the names of two people, but they didn’t […]