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Adams’ first veto nixes stiffer fines on non-artists living in up-zoned SoHo

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Mayor Eric Adams issued his first veto Friday, blocking City Council legislation that would have stiffened penalties for SoHo residents living there without the required artist licenses.

The legislation was backed by the area’s former councilwoman, Margaret Chin, who was term-limited.

It would have imposed a $15,000 fee, for the first time, on residents who lived in the area and decided to sell their property to another person without an artist license.

The money would have gone to a fund to bolster neighborhood artists.

“We are still committed to increasing options for existing [arts zone] owners by providing a legal pathway to residential use for non-artists in the neighborhood should they elect to legalize or sell, and to make sure windfall profits of those sales get invested back into the artistic legacy for SoHo and NoHo,” said Adams in a statement.

For decades, city law limited residency in the neighborhood to just those who qualified for an artist license, a relic of the area’s industrial past and pitched battles over how to redevelop it after it was left largely abandoned in the 1960s.

Former city councilwoman Margaret Chin
Former city councilwoman Margaret Chin spearheaded the legislation to help fund local SoHo artists.
Ron Adar / M10s / MEGA

But SoHo and its iconic iron buildings became a much-desired destination for well-heeled New Yorkers — many of whom signed letters while purchasing their apartments that acknowledged that City Hall could require them to prove their eligibility in the future.

Adams’s decision does not impact the recently departed de Blasio administration’s hard-won rezoning of the neighborhood — potentially bringing 3,000 new apartments to the area, which is among the most-well-to-do in the Big Apple.

The SoHo neighborhood is set to build 3,000 new apartments under former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s rezoning plan.
The SoHo neighborhood is set to build 3,000 new apartments under former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s rezoning plan.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Traffic on Broadway in the Soho neighborhood of New York, U.S., on Thursday, April 8, 2021.
Mayor Eric Adams promises that SoHo property owners can sell their houses to “non-artists.”
Bloomberg via Getty Images

The artist requirements would not apply to the newly built housing.

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Knicks’ Obi Toppin seeing his minutes decrease

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Mitchell Robinson already had fouled out when Taj Gibson also was assessed his sixth foul with three minutes remaining Tuesday night at the Garden.

Almost immediately, the home crowd began loudly chanting Obi Toppin’s first name.

Boos quickly rained down, however, when Tom Thibodeau instead called for Alec Burks to come off the bench, essentially choosing to employ a lineup of four guards and wing players — Burks, Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier and RJ Barrett — around power forward Julius Randle.

Such has been the slide back to the periphery in recent games for Toppin since he logged a career-high 45 minutes — and matched a season-best with 19 points — with Randle out of the lineup on Jan. 2 in Toronto.

The 2020 lottery pick has averaged just 11.3 minutes over his past eight appearances, including just nine in Thursday’s late-developing loss to the Timberwolves.

Obi Toppin
Obi Toppin
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

The hometown crowd had erupted when Toppin snared an offense rebound of Barrett’s missed 3-point attempt for a put-back bucket in the second quarter. The second-year forward also sank two free throws in seven minutes before halftime, but those marked his only four points for the game.

The Brooklyn native’s stint in the second half was even shorter, playing only the first 1:53 of the fourth quarter before Randle came back following a brief rest.

The 23-year-old Toppin didn’t get off the bench thereafter, with Thibodeau opting to have Burks on the court in the closing minutes instead of Toppin or another big body, such as rookie center Jericho Sims.

Thibodeau’s small-ball alignment didn’t work at either end of the floor down the stretch of the giveaway loss, with Randle fouling Minnesota big man Karl-Anthony Towns for a go-ahead drive and free-throw conversion with 29.3 seconds remaining.

“Julius stepped in and played center, so next guy in, get the job done,” Thibodeau said after the game. “It’s a hard-fought game. We didn’t get it done down the stretch.”

Obi Toppin slams home a reverse dunk during a recent game.
Obi Toppin slams home a reverse dunk during a recent game.
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

Indeed, the Knicks also didn’t connect on any field-goal attempts over the final 3:41 while committing three turnovers — two by Barrett and one by Fournier — in the final two minutes. Randle also missed one of two free throws with a chance to tie the score five seconds after Towns’ go-ahead score.

“Well, I think a big part of our turnovers late was because we had four guards, and so we had either myself, RJ or [Burks] playing the 4, which we never do,” Fournier said. “So when you’re playing against a team that’s aggressive, that’s basically when you need space the most.

“You can just go pass-pass and take advantage of that, but when you’re supposed to play at a position that you never did, it can be a little tricky.”

Randle wasn’t made available to the media after the game, a more regular occurrence since he was fined for directing a thumbs-down and “shut the f–k up” explanation at the Garden fans on Jan. 6. The Knicks (22-23) also held no practice nor media availability on Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s home game against the Pelicans.

Thibodeau noted Tuesday night that the players need to understand that the game often is played and officiated differently down the stretch of close games and that they needed to take better care of the ball during the sloppy final minutes of their second straight loss at the Garden.

“Coach is right. We have to do a better job with the ball,” Fournier added. “It’s too important. We have to get a good shot and our execution could have been better down the stretch, 100 percent.”

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‘Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’ star Jennie Nguyen apologizes for social media posts

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Well, that didn’t take long.

“Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star Jennie Nguyen has apologized for the controversial social media posts she caught heat for on Wednesday.

“I want to acknowledge and apologize for my deleted Facebook posts from 2020 that resurfaced today,” Nguyen wrote via Instagram. “At the time, I thought I was speaking out against violence, but I have since learned how offensive and hurtful my words were.”

“It’s why I deactivated that account more than a year ago and why I continue to try to learn about perspectives different from my own. I regret those posts and am sincerely sorry for the pain they caused.”

(When Page Six visited the account Nguyen had posted from earlier Wednesday, it had not been deactivated.)

Nguyen allegedly posted and reposted images throughout 2020 at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, using phrases like “BLM Thugs” and “Violent Gangs.”

Jennie Nguyen's Instagram apology.
Jennie Nguyen’s Instagram apology.
Jennifer Nguyen/Instagram

Material posted by the Vietnamese-American Nguyen also included mentions of “blacks” and a debunked theory about George Floyd assaulting a student in Spain.

Another cartoon appeared to make light of the rash of protesters who were rammed by cars during the protests, a figure the Boston Globe found at least 139 instances of between May 2020 and Sept. 30, 2021 — three of which were fatal.

Fans pointed out that the discovery of the posts was especially galling in light of a recent “RHOSLC” moment in which Nguyen accused co-star Mary M. Cosby of being racist after Cosby told her that she has “nice slanted eyes.”

Neither Bravo nor Nguyen’s reps responded to Page Six’s request for comment,

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Cuomo crony Malatras bags $450K SUNY ‘leave,’ $186K tenured post after resignation

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ALBANY – James Malatras, the pressured-to-resign State University chancellor, is being paid $450,000 for his recently started year-long “study leave” — and next year he’ll get a six-figure tenured SUNY faculty position, his approved exit contract reveals.

The SUNY Board of Trustees officially greenlit Malatras’ employment contract, a copy of which was obtained by The Post, three days ago, on Jan. 16 – meaning he’s already started his $450,000 paid leave.

Once the year is up, he’ll assume a tenured faculty position at SUNY Empire College – where he used to be president – and he’ll be paid a $186,660 annual salary.

Malatras resigned following intense pressure from SUNY faculty, students, state lawmakers and even Gov. Kathy Hochul for smearing one of disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s sexual harassment accusers, Lindsey Boylan. 

The former SUNY executive served as a top confidante to Cuomo during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and was his director of state operations. 

Jim Malatras, President of SUNY Empire State College attends Andrew Cuomo media briefing.
Malatras will take over a tenured faculty position at SUNY Empire College for a $186,000 annual salary.
Pacific Press/LightRocket via Ge

His resignation as SUNY chancellor was effective on Friday, Jan. 14, per the document.

“After a thorough review by outside counsel, the SUNY Board of Trustees have resolved and fulfilled its contractual obligations to former Chancellor Dr. Jim Malatras. Consistent with his initial contract, Dr. Malatras will be provided one-year study leave followed by a tenured faculty position at Empire State College.  We believe this resolution is fair and equitable,” SUNY spokesman Leo Rosales told The Post in a statement. 

Malatras has also agreed not to sue “with respect to any matter related to SUNY,” according to the contract.

SUNY hired outside lawyers to review the agreement, for roughly a month — since Malatras announced plans to step down on Dec. 9.

Lindsey Boylan closeup
Malatras resigned following intense pressure for smearing Lindsey Boylan, one of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s sexual harassment accusers.
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“SUNY thought it was important to obtain independent legal advice before reaching any agreement,” said a SUNY spokesperson, who declined to name the law firm.

Malatras slammed Boylan over a workplace issue dispute in May 2019 — 18 months before Boylan accused Cuomo of harassment, according to interview transcripts released by state Attorney General Letitia James’ office as part of her bombshell Aug. 3, 2021 sexual harassment report into Cuomo.

In one text to Cuomo staffers, Malatras wrote: “Malatras to Boylan: Go f–k yourself.”

“Let’s release some of her cray emails!” he said in another text.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo prepares to board a helicopter after announcing his resignation.
Malatras rushed to the defense of Cuomo, under whom he served as a top confidant and the director of state operations.
AP

SUNY Board Chair Merryl Tisch remained a supporter of Malatras until the end, praising his tenure since he started on Aug. 31, 2020.

He served just over a year of his five year appointment.

SUNY hastily approved SUNY Oswego President Deborah Stanley to replace Jim Malatras as interim chancellor on Dec. 20 – causing the longtime educator to stall her retirement plans slated for Dec. 31, 2021. 

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