A coronavirus ‘czar’? Trump took the opposite course: a 12-member committee

first_img WASHINGTON — President Obama had an Ebola “czar.’’ George W. Bush and Clinton had AIDS czars. So as the outbreak from China spreads, some lawmakers and public health experts say that an obvious step is for President Trump to appoint a White House-level coordinator, a coronavirus “czar.’’What works best, they said, is to have a quarterback who has both the ear of the president and the backing to corral the sprawling federal agencies that would respond to an epidemic. A coronavirus ‘czar’? Trump took the opposite course: a 12-member committee Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar speaks at a news conference about the federal government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak originating in China. Patrick Semansky/AP Photo Maggie Fox Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. What’s included? By Maggie Fox Jan. 31, 2020 Reprints About the Author Reprints Log In | Learn More center_img Politics What is it? GET STARTED STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Unlock this article — plus daily intelligence on Capitol Hill and the life sciences industry — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED @maggiemfox Tags CoronavirusDonald Trumpgovernment agenciespublic healthlast_img read more

Rent law’s unanswered questions vex landlords, tenants

first_imgThe industry is also waiting on the courts to determine whether the rent law barred tenants from being charged broker fees for agents hired by landlords. A hearing is slated for September.Landlords have also filed legal claims asserting major capital improvements completed with the expectation of rent increases under the old rent law should be grandfathered. The new law lowered the cap on annual rent increases through the program to 2 percent from 6 percent, and made them temporary.“I’ll concede that they have an argument,” Gribben said. “I don’t think they should win it.”Homes and Community Renewal is preparing a schedule of reasonable costs for MCIs, which will provide guidelines for acceptable prices for certain types of renovations.Landlords can expect some clarity on at least one issue this week. The state’s rent law eliminated the Rent Guidelines Board’s ability to apply vacancy bonuses to stabilized leases, but the board must still decide whether to allow increases on vacancy leases all together. Based on the four proposals the board is poised to consider Wednesday, and the likelihood of a rent freeze, members don’t seem likely to allow such increases.“Even if they did, it’s still a political issue every year,” said Alvin Schein, attorney at Seiden & Schein. “Owners have to hope and pray vacant apartments are included.”Write to Kathryn Brenzel at [email protected] This content is for subscribers only.Subscribe Now One year later, New York is still figuring out key aspects of its new rent stabilization law. (iStock)When state legislators set out to change New York’s rent law, Two Trees Management was not concerned about its portfolio. The developer does not invest heavily in rent-stabilized properties.“We didn’t think that the changes initially would impact us,” said David Lombino, managing director of external affairs at Two Trees. “And I don’t think it was the intention of legislators to do so.”But when lawmakers eliminated high-rent decontrol in the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019, they inadvertently changed a key aspect of the popular tax break formerly known as 421a.They quickly amended the law so buildings using the break, renamed Affordable New York, could still remove non-affordable units from regulation when the rent exceeded a given threshold, most recently $2,816.The fix, however, didn’t apply to properties receiving the old 421a. That trapped market-rate units in Two Trees’ Domino Sugar mega-development, Brookfield Properties’ Greenpoint Landing, the Durst Organization’s Hallets Point and others in rent regulation for the duration of the abatement.That result is just one of several unresolved issues from the rent law’s passage one year ago. The state’s housing regulator, the Division of Homes and Community Renewal, is still finalizing rules for the law’s application, including guidelines for landlords to increase rents on stabilized apartments that they fix up.Some aspects of the law, including how to calculate past rent overcharges, are being hashed out in court, while real estate executives are seeking legislative fixes for others.Teaching an old 421a new tricksIf the legislature doesn’t change the rules for buildings receiving the old 421a to allow for high-rent deregulation, Lombino said the Domino development will likely have to opt into Affordable New York. This would increase the 25-year tax break to at least 35 years and make some apartments less affordable: Instead of being set aside for households earning up to 80 percent of the area median income, the AMI threshold would be 130 percent.The switch would appeal to many developers. Although Affordable New York projects must include more income-restricted apartments, landlords can charge higher rents and enjoy a longer property-tax break.“We think raising the rents and AMIs on the affordable units would be a mistake and represent an abandonment of the commitments that everybody made when Domino was approved,” Lombino said.But Two Trees also has reason to be sensitive to the restrictions around deregulating market-rate apartments under the old 421a. Years ago the developer faced a flurry of lawsuits alleging it overcharged tenants at 125 Court Street by ignoring rent-stabilization rules. The firm told ProPublica in 2016 that it had discovered overcharges in a 2013 audit and reimbursed tenants more than $300,000. At the time, owners could apply vacancy bonuses and raise preferential rates upon renewal in stabilized apartments, two rent-hike options eliminated by last year’s law. Under the old 421a, units must remain under rent stabilization for the duration of the tax break Two Trees is now seeking a change to the law that would only apply to developments in Greenpoint and Williamsburg, not retroactively to all properties receiving the old 421a, Lombino noted.“There’s no one arguing that you should regulate high-rent, market-rate units at the cost of less affordability on affordable units,” he said. “That’s why the legislature already fixed it on Affordable New York.”Lawmakers seem willing to address the rent law’s interaction with old 421a. Assembly member Joseph Lentol said he is working with nonprofit developers to figure out a solution.“They are in agreement that amendments are needed to deliver a very important target of affordable housing,” he said in a statement. “I will certainly work to make that happen.”Sen. Brian Kavanagh, who chairs the Senate’s housing committee, said he is open to discussing the issue.Looking to the courts State courts have also shaped how the rent law is applied. In April, the state’s highest court ruled in favor of landlords in a Regina Metropolitan Company lawsuit, finding thatthe rent law couldn’t be applied retroactively to rent-overcharge cases.The Regina ruling specified that overcharge cases pending when the rent law passed would rely on a four-year lookback, rather than the six years permitted by the new law. But the case also opened the door to using a different formula to calculate overcharges if “the owner engaged in a fraudulent scheme to deregulate the apartment.”“Fraud is a pretty wide open concept,” said tenant attorney William Gribben, a partner at Himmelstein, McConnell, Gribben, Donoghue & Joseph. “As a tenant attorney, my focus is going to be on if the apartment has been deregulated, it’s fair game to see why.”Read moreNew Yorkers’ exodus could unravel rent regulationRent law dented property values, not tax assessments How rent control battles are playing out across the USlast_img read more

Trump’s war with Palm Beach

first_imgWhen the airport considered expanding by adding another runway, Trump threatened another lawsuit.The expansion never came, but Trump sued the airport again this year, this time asking for $100 million from county taxpayers for the sooty residue left by planes flying over Mar-a-Lago.But if history is a guide, this may not be about the airport at all.He may be just using it for leverage to get something else he wants, but at the moment, can’t have.The thing with Trump is that he’s always at war, a man on a mission to get the next thing, whether it’s the biggest pole, the best social gathering of the season, or the idea that the rest of America should be calling him “Mr. President.”And woe be to those who get in his way. First you should know that Palm Beach is a town where measurements matter. Leaf blowers require inspections to verify they emit no more than 65 decibels from 50 feet away. Residents holding a garage sale are restricted to one sign that can’t be more than 4 square feet in size. And residents flying flags on their property are restricted to flagpoles that are no higher than 42 feet and flags that are a maximum of four feet by six feet.In October of 2006, without getting a permit or a variance, Trump put up an 80- foot flagpole on the front lawn of Mar-a-Lago, with a car dealership-sized American flag of 15 feet by 25 feet flying from it.Oh, he knew what he was doing. Trump, after all, had been fighting with the town poohbahs from the very moment he’d crashed into the complacent, clubby world of Palm Beach to buy Mar-a-Lago—the former estate of blue-blooded cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post — which turned out to be one of those great deals he couldn’t afford. More on that later.Trump knew from experience that Palm Beach was a stickler for adherence to its ordinances. He had once paid a $5,000 fine to the town for replacing a section of dead hedges with replacements that weren’t quite tall enough.But Trump had bigger changes in mind than merely out-flagging his neighbors. He was plainly inviting a lawsuit. The town council took the bait, citing the oversized pole and flag as violations of the town code, and fining Trump $250 a day for every day they remained on the estate.“The town council of Palm Beach should be ashamed of itself,” Trump responded. “They’re fining me for putting up the American flag. This is probably a first in United States history.” He went on Nancy Grace’s national TV show to complain that the Town of Palm Beach was unpatriotic. Then, ignoring the town’s violations, which grew to be a $120,000 fine and counting, he filed a lawsuit against Palm Beach, asking for $25 million in damages to what he called an abridgment to his constitutional right to free speech. Tucked into his patriotic posturing was a completely unrelated legal matter that he made part of his multi-million lawsuit: a complaint about the town code that requires large commercial enterprises to be “town serving.” The town requires proof from local businesses that at least 50 percent of their business comes from town residents. So, for example, when Neiman Marcus opened on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, it was allowed to do so by promising that it would only advertise in the town’s newspaper, and not in publications that circulated to shoppers who don’t live on the island.For Trump, eliminating the “town serving” requirement would mean that he could offer more memberships to his Mar-a-Lago social club to people who had no connection to Palm Beach, making it easier for him to keep his club full. Softening up the town on the flag issue to pursue some other angle was classic a Trump move. Though he has yet to get this particular exemption waived, Palm Beach has learned from experience that Trump’s lawsuits are never settled, just dominant. One of his Palm Beach lawyers said recently that the “town serving” issue is still unresolved and ripe for more litigation.As for the flag, guess who won?Trump eventually dropped his lawsuit over the flag, and in exchange the town waived its fines. As terms of a court-ordered mediation, Trump would file for a permit and be allowed to keep an oversized pole on Mar-a-Lago that was 10-feet shorter than original pole and on a different spot on his lawn. The agreement also called for him to donate $100,000 to veterans’ charities.That’s some expensive defiance. But maybe you’ve got look at in a more Trumpian light. He essentially got what he wanted: The biggest pole on Palm Beach. (Paging Dr. Freud?)Advantage, once again, Donald Trump. And for Palm Beachers, just another encounter with the human shock wave from New York. And I still haven’t written the sort of nice column he has been expecting.Two years ago, I wrote a column about him during his frivolous lawsuit against comedian Bill Maher, who said that Trump should produce a birth certificate to prove he’s not related to orangutans.My column quoted an orangutan expert who said that it’s the orangutans, not Trump, who ought to be offended by the comparison.Trump responded via Twitter:“One of the country’s dumbest newspapers—The Palm Beach Post—should be put to sleep. It’s dying.”What’s not dying is Trump’s continued war against Palm Beach International Airport. Palm Beach County agreed by assessing Mar-a-Lago’s property at $11.5 million, 64 percent more than he paid for it. This left Trump in the tough position of bragging publically about getting his spare mansion in Palm Beach for a bargain, while arguing privately in court filings he should get a tax deduction.  *  *  *So it has been all along down here, from the moment in 1985 when Trump decided that Mar-a-Lago would be his personal castle. Mar-a-Lago, the last of Palm Beach’s estates to stretch from the ocean to the Intracoastal Waterway, was a single-family home of gargantuan proportions: Its Mediterranean-Revival-style mansion had 118 rooms, including 58 bedrooms and 33 bathrooms and a 75-foot tower that could be seen for miles. The property was roomy enough for its own 9-hole golf course and citrus grove.Built in 1927 for Post, then the richest woman in America, she later willed it to the federal government to be used as a winter White House for American presidents. The home became a National Historic Landmark. But presidents didn’t use it and the federal government grew weary of paying for the $1 million a year it took to maintain it.So the estate was put up for sale. At the time, Trump was a hotshot 39-year-old New York real estate developer who two years earlier had opened his signature 58-story Trump Tower skyscraper in Manhattan. And the federal government, eager to unload the Florida mansion, agreed to a $10 million sale — $7 million for the property and $3 million for the furnishings — in a contract that required Trump to put down only $2,812 of his own money.A Palm Beach County property appraiser would later write in a court brief that a person buying a “rabbit warren condo” in a lower-middle class neighborhood would have had to put more money down than Trump did. And in his first book, The Art of the Deal, Trump wrote about his purchase of Mar-a-Lago as an example of his deal-making prowess.“I’ve been told the furnishings in Mar-a-Lago alone are worth more than I paid for the house,” he wrote. Mar-a-Lago was “as close to paradise as I’m going to get,” he wrote. Donald Trump’s noisy, rule-breaking entrance into national politics may be a revelation for some. But not for residents of his home town of Palm Beach, Fla., where for the past 30 years he has shattered old-money conventions and sensibilities with the same thin-skinned, sue-you-in-a-heartbeat, self-congratulatory ethos that has made him such a mesmerizing character on the national stage.For decades I’ve watched most of this comedy-drama from my perch at The Palm Beach Post, where I work as a local news columnist on the hunt for humor. And when humor’s your bag, there’s no greater gift than Donald Trump. A gift I must now share, reluctantly, with my countrymen.Where do I begin, America, to tell you what life dominated by The Donald is like — an experience you too will have if he enters the White House? There are many stories, but I think I should start with the flagpole on the front lawn of Mar-a-Lago, the 17-acre Palm Beach property Trump bought decades ago. But after four years of heavy promoting, fewer than half of the units had been sold, and Trump had borrowed $60 million from Marine Midland Bank of New York to pay for the project, money he couldn’t repay.In 1991, two months before he would file for corporate bankruptcy on his Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, Trump turned over Trump Plaza of the Palm Beaches to Marine Midland Bank, in exchange for the bank agreeing to forgive Trump for his $14 million personal guarantee on the loan.If it was a humbling moment for Trump, he didn’t act that way. For just as we’ve seen more recently on the campaign trail, no matter what he does — whether it’s embarking on a ridiculous birther quest or poisoning his party’s chances with key voter demographics — Trump is always capable of packaging his own failure as success.So when he lost his West Palm Beach luxury condo to the banks, he took a victory lap.“It’s great for me because I get off a guarantee,” he said. “Only because of the success of the development could I have done that.”But it was hardly a success. Only 100 of the 221 units had been sold. And once the banks took over the project from Trump, they unloaded the unsold units in a fire-sale auction that accepted bids of $75,000 for units that had been previously priced as high as $470,000. As the real guests arrived, which included busloads of fashion models from Miami, I was part of a local media contingent who wasn’t allowed to actually come into the party, but instead would form a visual tableau of over-eager reporters playing the role of gate crashers to those who would see us as their cars drove up to the portico of the mansion.Trump left us standing in his driveway in a little cluster. We were unaware, at first, of our role. But he couldn’t help coming over to wring out every last drop of publicity for the night.“We’re just having a great time in Palm Beach,” Trump said at one point, as he walked to our assigned spot on the driveway. “Everybody is coming. Some people are inviting themselves. It’s going to be a wild party.”Trump, who seemed to be going out of his way to show he was winning his divorce, had invited a national television news reporter Judd Rose, and his crew from ABC’s Prime Time Live show, into his home as guests for the weekend. Rose and his crew eventually filmed the money shot of the invited, but shunned local reporters yelling across the driveway at Trump to let us in, while Trump made shooing gestures with his hand, as if to be waving us off.Rose later told us that we were described by Trump as the people who were inviting themselves to the party. I left, never getting inside that night, and wrote for the next day’s newspaper about my experience as a party prop.Trump called me two days later, saying that I should have told him who I was. My brother, a lawyer in New York, had done some legal work for Trump. “You should have told me,” Trump said. “I would have let you in.” Frank Cerabino has been a local news columnist for the Palm Beach Post for the past 24 years. He writes five columns a week. Also On POLITICO Trump bluffs past another crisis By Ben Schreckinger Donald Trump’s 11 worst foreign policy gaffes By Nick Gass The Palm Beach Town Council shot down all of Trump’s proposed changes to the property, even when he reduced his mini-mansion plans from 10 to seven. Instead, they encouraged him to find a buyer if he couldn’t afford to keep the estate intact. After all, New York packaging magnate Nelson Peltz had spent $21 million to buy the Palm Beach oceanfront estate, Montsorrel, two years after Trump bought Mar-a-Lago. Go find another Norman Peltz to take Mar-a-Lago off your hands, Trump was advised.Instead, when the town’s government refused to bend to his demands, Trump sued. The lawsuit against the Town of Palm Beach, which would prove to be not his last, would eventually cause his neighbors to lawyer up against him.“There are rules around here,” Ron Kolins, a lawyer representing one of Trump’s neighbors, told the Palm Beach Post at the time, “and those rules apply to everyone, whether or not you have a famous name.”After his Mansions of Mar-a-Lago plan was rejected, Trump found another way to salvage his stake in Mar-a-Lago. He offered to drop his lawsuit if council members allowed him to convert his estate into a new private club on the island. The Mar-a-Lago Club.This was a tempting offer. So much of Palm Beach social life was dictated by club memberships. The gentiles and Jews each had their clubs. And there hadn’t been a new club on the island in a quarter century. The town would get to have Mar-a-Lago remain in appearance as it was in the Merriweather Post days. And Trump would unburden himself of its expenses by selling off memberships while retaining his ownership of the property.Membership would be capped at 500, not including spouses and children. The initiation fee would be $50,000 with $3,000 annual dues. The members would get to dine there, swim in the pool and attend private parties and special events with world-class singers, lecturers and entertainers. So it didn’t help that Trump was an irrepressible salesman, always looking to push limits, or to promote his club with the kind of zeal that made it hard to separate fact from fiction.Like the time he claimed that Princess Diana and her estranged husband Prince Charles had joined the Mar-a-Lago Club, and that he personally signed them both up.center_img “It’s complete nonsense,” the Buckingham Palace information officer responded. *  *  *By the time Trump was hawking club memberships, I had already gotten a little first-hand experience with Trump’s insatiable appetite for shameless self-promotion.The first January after the divorce to his first wife, Ivana, was final, Trump’s publicist called all the local TV news and newspapers outlets in Palm Beach County to say that Trump was about to hold the party of all parties for that winter’s Palm Beach social season.The publicist explained that one reporter from each news outlet would be allowed to attend this party-of-the-year to mingle with a guest list of invited celebrities such as Tom Selleck, Sylvester Stallone and football star Herschel Walker.I was on the guest list to cover the event for my newspaper. But it turned out that my role in the party was far more complex than I had imagined. Trump, who was still trying to find a way to salvage his Mar-a-Lago deal, didn’t want to give his Palm Beach neighbors the idea that he was drowning in debt.So after the bank sold off the units of the Trump Plaza of the Palm Beaches, Trump took out a full-page ad in The Palm Beach Daily News, the island newspaper known to locals as “The Shiny Sheet” for its high quality paper that eliminates ink rub-off stains. The ad didn’t mention that he had completely lost his financial stake in the condos, or how the project achieved full occupancy.“This is an advertisement to explain the great success of a development, Trump Plaza of the Palm Beaches, which many people, until recently, had not been fully aware,” the ad said. “When I look at Trump Plaza from Mar-a-Lago, I am proud that even in the horrendous real estate market of the early 1990s, I was able to rescue this previously troubled and unsold development, add management, construction expertise and the name Trump … and make it into one of Florida’s greatest success stories.” *  *  *That “success” didn’t change the fact that Trump still couldn’t afford Mar-a-Lago as a single family home, and nobody was coming along to relieve him from the deal on “paradise” he had made.His proposed solution was to chop his National Historic Landmark into something he called Mansions of Mar-a-Lago, a development that would put a public road through the middle of the estate, which would lead to the 10 mini-mansions he would build on the property, including one on the front lawn. There is no issue too petty in Palm Beach, and Trump’s combative early years set the stage for retaliation. For example, when Trump changed the coat of arms on Mar-a-Lago’s tower to add the name “Trump” he was brought before the members of the town’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. They advised him that he needed permission to do this, and they thought the use of his name was too tacky.“I think it’s blatant advertising,” landmarks commissioner Wendy Victor said at the time.Jane Day, the town’s landmark consultant, said, “Using the coat of arms to sell real estate in New York is a real problem.”Trump’s response: “What am I gonna say, Jones?”Trump never quite shared the Palm Beach aesthetic that understated elegance was much preferred over ostentatious self-promotion. He was a look-at-me brawler of a guy in a town that had once banned shirtless jogging by men as too tacky, and had scented its sewer water with lilac and honeysuckle fragrances so that even the local residents’ effluent would be understated and pleasant. But many Palm Beachers were still reluctant to trust Trump.“A lot of people like to think Palm Beach is a little more genteel and old money,” socialite Tamara Newell said at the time. “This is a new-money idea at an old-money location.”Though the town eventually approved the club, it only gave Palm Beachers more reasons to peck at him with their disapproval.The town council met in special session to deny Trump the approval to have wedding night fireworks at Mar-a-Lago, where he held the reception for his 1995 wedding to his current wife, Melania.“We have not approved any fireworks on land in at least 20 years,” Councilman Norman Goldblum said.And when an Elton John AIDS benefit at Mar-a-Lago drew 900 people a year later, the town fined Trump $5,000 for allowing more than the agreed maximum of 700 at events there. “That’s OK,” I told him. “I got a much better column the way things worked out.”The truth is, the arrival of Trump’s oversized ego in Palm Beach was like an insurance plan for a steady stream of readable copy.And over the years, I’ve long known what national political reporters are just finding out: That you can’t write too much about Trump. He’s an inexhaustible source of good stories equally read by people who both admire him and despise him. *  *  *While Trump was playing defense against the town’s constant attempt to rein him in, he went on the attack against the county and its airport. Airlines routinely used a flight path in and out of Palm Beach International Airport in nearby West Palm Beach that brought the planes directly over Mar-a-Lago.This didn’t sit well with Trump, who argued that the noise and fumes were ruining his investment, and that the decent thing for the county to do was to move the airport farther west. Trump had been arguing this for years, to no avail, while calling the airport director Bruce Pelly, among other things, a “moron” and “the worst airport director in the country.” “I paid the highest price for a piece of land that’s costing $2 or $2 ½ million a year to maintain,” he testified. “Maybe the tax assessment will force us to develop the land, which I’m sure won’t make the town very happy.”This was the kind of brash talk the old-money aristocrats feared from Trump, who wasn’t the sort of genteel patrician favored by the Palm Beach Social Index-Directory, a yearly published, privately circulated little black book designed to separate the island’s socially acceptable wealthy from the uncouth rich. He was regarded by some as a kind of barbarian at the gated community, a hustler too eager to impress. And his threat of chopping up Mar-a-Lago was an omen of some rough relations on the horizon.It’s the kind of tactic that the GOP establishment is getting a taste of now, as Trump breaks with party orthodoxy on some issues while bad-mouthing its A-list politicians and pundits. Republican elites would do well to learn that Trump pursues what he wants without much regard for rules. And that rather than fold on his gambles, Trump tends to double down.At the time his Mar-a-Lago investment was in doubt, Trump had launched another local real estate venture across the Intracoastal Waterway in West Palm Beach — an ailing 33-story, twin-tower complex that a Palm Beach developer had lost in foreclosure. Trump bought the property in 1986 for $40 million cash, $3.2 million less than the Bank of New York paid to reclaim the property at a public foreclosure auction. Like Mar-a-Lago, it was panning out to be a deal he couldn’t afford.Trump renamed the West Palm Beach condo project after himself. And he spent millions to spruce up the public areas of the Trump Plaza of the Palm Beaches and advertise the sale of its luxury condos in Northeastern newspapers.“This is not a very large deal for me, but it’s a quality deal,” Trump said at the time. “We expect a lot of people in Palm Beach to be buying apartments for family, et cetera.” The tough guy’s not above working the refs. *  *  *Over the years, Palm Beach has gradually come to accept Trump’s outsized personality along with his private club as more of an asset than a potential source of trouble. The club has hosted many glittering social events, charity balls and political fundraisers. And as a concert hall, it has housed Palm Beach Opera shows and performances from some top-notch entertainers such as Celine Dion and Tony Bennett.As town officials moved on, their successors gradually loosened up their tight reins on the club, easing the restriction on the numbers of outdoor beach barbecues it would allow, permitting the construction of an outdoor pavilion, and allowing the club to build a 14,000-square-foot kitchen on the grounds so waiters wouldn’t have to use golf carts to haul food from inside the mansion.Trump also figured out a good solution to paying lower taxes on Mar-a-Lago. By giving up development rights on the land to the National Trust for Historic Preservation it eliminated the county property appraiser’s ability to tax the property on the “highest and best use” standard that contemplated that the property could still be chopped up into lots and sold off.Trump has become a Palm Beach fixture now, but it would be wrong to say he has mellowed. Rihanna had been booked to sing at Mar-a-Lago for a Saturday evening event, but bailed at the last minute, claiming a case of bronchitis.It turned out that Rihanna wasn’t in bed, nursing a sore throat that weekend. She was in Southern California, pushing her new fragrance, Reb’l Fleur, at Macy’s and singing at the halftime show at NBA All-Star Game.“I would think if he could control the price of Arab oil with the sound of his voice, he certainly could have restored respect to Mar-a-Lago by getting the foreign-born Rihanna on the phone Saturday morning and saying, ‘That bronchitis you don’t really have better get cured, and it better get cured fast.’”Harmless jab, right?Trump called me up to complain.“When are you going to write something nice about me?” “Perhaps, Mr. Cerabino has problems with the fact that his brother, Tom, is a highly paid lawyer whose firm works for the Trump Organization or that he forgot to thank me for the free meals he received at Mar-a-Lago.”When my brother and his wife were guests at Mar-a-Lago, my wife and I ate dinner there with them, and Trump arrived at the table for dessert, joined us, then insisted on picking up the check.I’ve learned that Trump admires or despises journalists based on how useful they are to him, and that his sense of humor doesn’t include anything directed at him.Four years ago, when Trump was pretending to run for president, and making his now-familiar broad statements about how America would change for the better once he brings China and the Middle East to its knees, I wrote another column he didn’t like.He had just told a Republican group how oil prices would drop once a President Trump delivered the news to OPEC: “That price better get lower, and it better get lower fast.”I pointed out in my column that at the same time this theoretical future President Trump was browbeating the world into submission, the real Donald Trump was being pushed around by a featherweight pop singer from Barbados. It turned out to be a useful gripe for Trump, one that he could turn into a new business opportunity, because just south of the airport was 214 acres of vacant scrub land owned by Palm Beach County, land he wanted. So Trump sued the county for $75 million over the airport noise, then negotiated to drop that lawsuit in exchange for the county giving him a 75-year lease on the nearby property for $438,000 a year.That land became the Trump International Golf Club, a $40 million, 18-hole, Jim Fazio-designed course that imported nearly 2 million cubic yards of dirt to transform the flat scrub land into hilly terrain with waterfalls, rock formations, and a clubhouse four stories above sea level.Trump, who was planning to open the course with initiation fees starting at $100,000, wanted the county to do one more thing for him: Move the jail.That’s’ because no matter how much landscaping he brought to the course, there was no way of disguising the ugly 12-story Palm Beach County Jail that towered over the north side of the course and was visible from some of the holes. So as he had done with the airport, Trump asked county officials to move the jail. They refused. The sheriff found the idea amusing.I suggested that the least the county could do was to put a sign on top of the jail to make it appear to Trump’s golfers that it was a luxury hotel. I held a rename-the-jail contest in my column. The entries submitted included Bar-a-Lago, and the Breakers In, a takeoff on the famous Palm Beach hotel.Trump wasn’t laughing along. I was banned from covering the opening of the course, and Trump wrote a letter to the editor of the Palm Beach Post to complain. “Doesn’t Post columnist Frank Cerabino have anything better to write about than my golf course?” his letter said.last_img read more

Gillette Stadium walls

first_img 9,699 posts Share this post Share on other sites Location:Boston RyanB06 Members 26,196 1 0 By DGivens87, October 9, 2006 in Sports Logo News Posted October 9, 2006 4,155 26,196 Link to post Share on other sites Sports Logo News josh1068 1 2 1 Hat Boy Location:About a mile from Lambeau Field Share on other sites Members Sign in to follow this   Share this post Share this post Members SportsLogos.Net 26,196 I just remember red walls at Gillette (just to stay on original topic)It is somewhat unfair to label soldier Field in any rennovations/new facilities. Remember that an entire level of suites, most notably in th US with Philips Arena, was a necessity in Chicago. The “new stadium structure” of Soldier Field has been made from between the original columns and original stadium. For the suites and club seats, they had to basucally build up. Club seats and suites at Soldier are really close since it is built up and not out.FYI, sitting in the stands at Foxboro is beautiful this time of year. From the upper levels, all you see around you is autumn foliage in bright reds, oranges and yellows. On clear days, to the north you can see the skyline of Boston.Can you see the field from the upper levels? It was nice of Mr. Kraft to perch the upper deck above the equivalent of 3 levels of suites (2 suite levels, and 1 club level concourse with a view of the field). The Cardinals and Patriots built their stadium a few years too early, as the standard is now to have a closer upper deck, and then build a 4 story suite structure where one of the upper decks would be (a la New Soldier Field, Camp Randall Stadium renovation, and the new 49ers Stadium). That way, the suites replace what would be the most distant seats. patsox Members 0 Link to post 3,831 posts 28,545 posts Bostonian AF Veteran Either-or. Signs use “Foxboro”, newspapers “Foxborough”. Sports Logo News Page 1 of 2   0 Posted October 9, 2006 Page 1 of 2   Favourite Logos:North Stars Share on other sites 79 Share this post 1,576 posts Medical Crab Moderators Lucky Number sharplcd Share this post Share this post Prev Members Posted October 9, 2006 0 26,196 721 Share this post Posted October 9, 2006 Members I apologize for any decorum 339 posts 0 57,917 posts doafhat 66 0 Forums Home sharplcd the admiral 0 I think it’s because a new football movie starring The Rock is going to be filmed there over the Patriots’ bye week. Isn’t it Foxborough? Or am I making that up? Share this post Recommended Posts Gillette Stadium walls 12 Is there anything around that stadium or is it just in the middle of nowhere? Members 66 0 I noticed it. It looked wierd. I have learned a lot about the history and logistics of Foxboro! Location:Massachusetts the admiral 66 805 Link to post 197 posts 805 1,110 posts jkrdevil 1,147 slapshot 0 Link to post Favourite Logos:North Stars jkrdevil doctorpeligro 0 the admiral 1,147 the admiral Posted October 10, 2006 I believe they chose Foxboro because it is about the same distance from Boston as it is from Providence, Rhode Island. Posted October 9, 2006 I apologize for any decorum Posted October 9, 2006 Members 0 Banned Link to post Link to post 0 Pharos04 Sports Logos 26,196 Location:Boston, MA 4,155 66 1 Is there anything around that stadium or is it just in the middle of nowhere?Pretty much was built on a very heavily settled section of Route 1 in Foxboro. there are no skyrises, not tall buildings at all. just a couple of Dunkin Donuts, a Ford Dealership across the street, and the highway. oh and an occasionally used train station 2,062 posts 17,857 posts Share on other sites Share on other sites 9,699 posts 66 Share on other sites Link to post Pharos04 66 7,537 posts Members Aside from being convenient to both Boston and Foxboro (both with major airports), the site of both stadiums is convenient to a few major highways (routes 95, 128, 495) and a major roadway (Route 1).There was never enough space in Boston proper for a big stadium, so Foxboro was chosen as a less expensive alternative that had enough real estate for the stadium and parking.Before Gillette Stadium was built, Robert Kraft was looking into a few other options: the Boston Waterfront (too expensive) or moving the team to Hartford (at the site of what is now Uconn’s Rentschler Field).In fact, within a week of deciding to build the stadium just outside of Hartford, a new deal was struck to buy out the homeowners and land around the current Foxboro Stadium to build Gillette Stadium (formerly CMGI Field). The new area included a new training camp and practice facility, new team offices and housing for players, new pro shop, and restructured parking. There were also renovations done around Route 1 to accommodate the larger stadium and all the increased traffic that would come with it. Once Gillette was completed, Foxboro Stadium was torn down and made into a parking lot for the new stadium.However, the construction of Gillette Stadium meant the demise of one of its displaced neighbors, Spooky World (America’s Horror Themepark), through eminent domain. Link to post Share this post Posted October 9, 2006 They picked Foxboro on the basis that since the team named changed from Boston to New England they should pick a spot that is near two of the bigger cities: Boston and Providence. And Foxboro was relative centered between the two and had land to build the original stadium FYI, sitting in the stands at Foxboro is beautiful this time of year. From the upper levels, all you see around you is autumn foliage in bright reds, oranges and yellows. On clear days, to the north you can see the skyline of Boston.Can you see the field from the upper levels? It was nice of Mr. Kraft to perch the upper deck above the equivalent of 3 levels of suites (2 suite levels, and 1 club level concourse with a view of the field). The Cardinals and Patriots built their stadium a few years too early, as the standard is now to have a closer upper deck, and then build a 4 story suite structure where one of the upper decks would be (a la New Soldier Field, Camp Randall Stadium renovation, and the new 49ers Stadium). That way, the suites replace what would be the most distant seats. 0 You don’t kill people you don’t know. That’s a rule. Share on other sites 57,917 posts 0 Share this post patsox Share on other sites Share on other sites 12 The reason the stadium is in Foxboro(ugh…and you can take THAT any way you wish) is that when the Pats were looking after 1969, with no place to go, the guy who owned the old harness track there made some of his excess land available. (I don’t think the track is operating any more, although I did go there 20 years ago.) Had it not been for that – just in time for the NFL meetings before the 1970 season – the Patriots might have asked for permission to move and got it as nothing else was showing up. The promise of the new stadium also allowed Harvard, which had vowed not to allow the pros on their sacred turf, to bend for one year (1970) so as not to be seen as chasing the team out of the area when a new stadium was being built.Also forgotten – the track was the Bay State Raceway, and for about 24 hours, the Patriots were going to be called the Bay State Patriots until wiser heads prevailed. Posted October 9, 2006 Link to post Posted October 9, 2006 Link to postcenter_img Link to post Share on other sites the admiral Link to post 0 Share this post 0 Location:East Providence dfwabel 0 1 DrBear Can’t help but think there must’ve been a site closer to Boston to put the new stadium. Posted October 9, 2006 Actually, the design on the walls are the red and white stripes of the U.S. flag, albeit at an odd angle.FYI, sitting in the stands at Foxboro is beautiful this time of year. From the upper levels, all you see around you is autumn foliage in bright reds, oranges and yellows. On clear days, to the north you can see the skyline of Boston. Also, just a mile away from the stadium on Route 1 begins a several-mile long stretch of malls and restaurants, so you’re not exactly out in the middle of nowhere…civilization is close by! Share on other sites 11,387 posts 1,576 posts slapshot 17,857 posts Actually, the design on the walls are the red and white stripes of the U.S. flag, albeit at an odd angle.Red and white stripes at a 45 degree angle look more “candy cane” than US flag. The walls at Schafer Stadium (and I think during some of the Sullivan Stadium years) had red/white stripes that resembled a waving flag. They also had blue fields with stars on them to complete the design. DGivens87 Link to post Location:Miami, Florida Followers 0 0 0 1,147 370 posts Share on other sites 120 Location:Latitude 47° 132 Link to post Prev Pharos04 Favourite Logos:North Stars 783 posts 26,196 Link to post 721 Next 26,196 Share this post 66 OMMF 132 patsox 79 CCSLC Night Crew leader? (edited) 120 Share this post Share this post 132 4,155 1,147 Share on other sites Link to post Gillette Stadium walls 0 All Activity 721 Sports Logos I miss Michelle. Posted October 9, 2006 Members Share this post 120 Don’t know if anyone else caught this, but apparently the walls surrounding the field at Gillette Stadium are now red and white…Anyone know if this is just temporary with some new designs to be added to the white spaces, or if this is the final product? 0 Posted October 10, 2006 0 Is there anything around that stadium or is it just in the middle of nowhere?It’s a town of about 16,000 approximately 20 miles southwest of Boston. Yeah there’s not much around it. Share this post Link to post whats saban doing? explaining how to toss a challenge flag or somethingIMO: while watching the game i kinda liked the way the walls looked-sharplcd patsox Members Edited October 9, 2006 by patsox#1 66 Posted October 9, 2006 Location:Massachusetts Link to post Share this post Members All Activity doctorpeligro Sign in to follow this   721 Forums Home Share on other sites Posted October 9, 2006 DrBear 66 26,196 0 Share this post Members Members Posted October 9, 2006 12 dfwabel Members Followers 0 Medical Crab Posted October 9, 2006 Posted October 10, 2006 2 0 SportsLogos.Net RyanB06 0 Hat Boy Share on other sites Next Go To Topic Listing 721 slapshot 2,396 posts Pharos04 slapshot the admiral 721 0 Location:Boston Bostonian AF Veteran Members 0 1,147 Share on other sites doafhat 79 57,917 posts 0 1,147 Share this post This topic is now closed to further replies. 0 26,196 josh1068 Share on other sites I apologize for any decorum Bemused member DGivens87 Gillette Stadium walls Share on other sites Posted October 9, 2006 Share this post Share on other sites 805 Link to post Link to post OMMF Members Moderators Posted October 9, 2006last_img read more