Well, although there's been much talk around 250 Broadway about all the great work done to get NYCHA beyond this New Year without having 600,000 people screaming as their developments get tied up in Y2K knots, it seems that fear still runs rampant at the upper echelons. An example was pointed out to us just this week.
Back in April, in what was said to be a precautionary measure, a memo was sent out from Chair Martinez explaining that a review of personnel needs for the New Year would preclude the approval of vacation time from December 29, 1999 through January 9, 2000. (Memo can be viewed by clicking here.)
Of course, the Martinez memo said, "The review should be concluded in the next few weeks . . ." and promised a notification of the outcome.
As of this past week, people who requested that vacation time long ago are still being held in limbo.
Combining that fact along with the failed predictions of Charles Aquavella about dates wherein moves would be accomplished, and it looks as if the incompetence of NYCHA's leaders will be visited on the innocent employees.
For some reason, as the Authority flails wildly to justify the extra millions of dollars in rental fees being paid to a group of present day real estate barons to house the departments that are on hold at 50 John Street while NYCHA tries to pull it's collective head out of it's ass in getting 90 Church Street into some form of readiness, employees are being left in some Y2K lurch. Most are certainly not needed to perform any duties over the New Year's holiday period; yet they are being denied vacation time that they applied for WAY in advance.
You can do better!
Spotty's fax line!
Okay, there have been some gripes that those without an Internet account can't communicate easily with Spotty. And those who had a fax number for us bemoaned getting constant busy signals. (It was also a shared line, with normal household calls using the same number.)
So we've opened a new Spot-specific fax/voice line. If you have something to send to us, just fax it to 718/745-0170. If you have a voice message to leave, the same number can be used.
The incoming call will then automatically be handled differently depending on whether it is a fax or voice message. You need to do nothing but send a fax as you normally would, or listen for the outgoing message to end if you're sending a voice message.
If you do get a busy signal, try back a few minutes later. Nights should be the best time for getting through to this line.
But remember, DON'T use a NYCHA fax machine. Anything you send to Spotty is personal. If you use a NYCHA fax, they can justify firing you. (See our Extra Issue.)
Where have you been?
Actually, working on page changes that are invisible to most of you.
As there are so many different browsers in use those of you accessing Spotty's pages, various conflicts in page presentation take place.
One simple example involves the drop down menu for linking to other issues. It is now gone. Turned out that we had been unfair to folks who use text-only browsers (Linx is just one example). Those browsers would not recognize the java applet that formed the drop-down menu So, for now, we're back to having the links to all pages being shown at page bottom.
(Soon, we will have a directory page and then there will be a single link at page bottom taking you to a directory/index.)
The good news is that there are a lot of you visiting. We're even getting International visitors, with Saudi Arabia leading the race. Even though we opened the new site in mid-August, we had 407 visits by September 1, 1999. Since then, things have progressed. During the month of September, we had 838 visits to our pages, and October has brought 1064 thus far.
And we're still getting visitors at the old address, and a few at the Geo-Cities mirror site. Much of the increased traffic is a result of our creeping up on the results of Internet searches. For example, if you search for the term NYCHA on either Netscape search, Open Directory, Snap Search or Yahoo Web Page searches, you'll find at least one of our pages listed ahead of anything the Authority has to offer. Of course, that helps us to make more people aware of how their tax money is being (mis?) handled.
Our email has increased. We now even correspond with Public Housing Executives in other States, as they are becoming aware of the charges laid out at our site. So let's keep up the info flow, and maybe things will improve!
© 1999 Public Housing Spotlight and John Ballinger. All rights reserved.
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