Author Archive

Quit Bloomberg to Join Bloomberg
December 6th, 2007

Daniel Doctoroff, deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding, is leaving the Bloomberg administration at the end of this year. A video message has been sent out to Bloomberg L.P. employees this morning that Doctoroff will be their new boss.

Here is a look at some of his ambitious plans (remember that 2012 Olympics?).

By on December 6, 2007, 12:57 pm
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Undocumented Immigrants Get Driver's Licenses
September 21st, 2007

Undocumented immigrants in New York will be allowed to apply for driver’s licenses without Social Security numbers, according to a new rule announced by Governor Eliot Spitzer. Since 2004, the Department of Motor Vehicles has required applicants to provide valid Social Security numbers , making thousands of illegal immigrants ineligible for the licenses. Under the new rule, the department will accept foreign passports, birth certificates, previous state driver’s licenses and other verifiable proofs of ID.

By on September 21, 2007, 11:56 am
In category: Immigrants | 10 Comments »

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A Trip To London, 'Lame' Idea, Medallion Monopoly
August 27th, 2007

The Timeseditorial encouraged the 17 members of the newly formed congestion pricing commission to “book flights for the whole team to London and Stockholm, two cities that have come to embrace a system of congestion pricing as good for commuters and good for business.”

The New York Post called Councilmember David Weprin’s idea to create a commission to assess the city’s infrastructure “lame.”

“Weprin’s idea might make sense – if Mayor Mike hadn’t just completed this very task,” wrote the Post, referring to his PlaNYC 2030.

A strike by taxi drivers will give the city an opportunity to end the taxi medallion monopoly once and for all, argued The New York Sun.

“If the 10,000 taxi drivers don’t want to work next Wednesday and Thursday, plenty of other drivers are available to pick up the slack.”

By on August 27, 2007, 12:47 pm
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Noise Level, "A Witch Hunt"
August 20th, 2007

The Times praised Mayor Bloomberg of his attempt to reduce noise level in the city but warned that an enforcement staff of about 50, or about 10 per borough might not enough. “The city may eventually need to consider building a staff more equal to the size of the mission,” the paper said.

Meanwhile, Mona Eltahawy wrote in The Daily News that the firing of Debbie Almontaser as principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy was “a witch hunt.”

“Critics had targeted Almontaser for months, ” she said. ” You can be sure that if it hadn’t been the T-shirts – which had nothing to do with Almontaser or her school – it would have been something else.”

By on August 20, 2007, 12:06 pm
In category: Education,Gotham City | Comments Off on Noise Level, "A Witch Hunt"

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Who is Debbie Almontaser?
August 15th, 2007

“I came to this country from Yemen, Arabia at the age of three. I remember it was a cold March night, and when I woke up the morning after we had arrived in upstate New York, I looked outside the window and saw, to my delight, that there was sugar everywhere, sugar covering the streets and all the trees. My father said “no, honey, it’s not sugar, it’s snow,” she wrote for The Gotham Gazette. “But not everything about America was as sweet. As I grew up, I faced great difficulty searching for my identity as an Arab-American.”

By on August 15, 2007, 12:11 pm
In category: Gotham City | 6 Comments »

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MTA Must Keep Riders Informed, Cellphones Ban
August 13th, 2007

Last week’s torrential rains closed much of the subway system and forced many straphangers to find alternatives to get to their destination. Now, argues the Times’ editorial, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority need to “work overtime to regain the public’s confidence in mass transit. ”

“Of all the indignities suffered last week, among the worst was feeling that no one cared enough to keep riders informed.”

The Post’s editorial praises Mayor Bloomberg for “standing up” to the city council’s bill that took aim at the ban on cellphones in public schools.

“Not only are phones a serious classroom disruption,” the Editorial writes, “ but they’ve also been used to cheat on tests, bully, deal drugs and coordinate gang activity.”

By on August 13, 2007, 11:56 am
In category: Education,Tech,Transportation | 2 Comments »

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Pure Tap Water, Access To Ground Zero
August 6th, 2007

New York tap water is so clean that it does not need filtration, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. “The city owes a lot to former Governor George Pataki, who helped devise the original agreement between the city and the upstate communities,” writes the New York Times. “But it also owes a special debt to his successor, Eliot Spitzer, who, with an assist from City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, pressed for and won an even stronger watershed protection plan.”

The Daily News questions Mayor Michael Bloomberg on his decision to deny the families of the men and women killed on 9/11 access to Ground Zero on the upcoming sixth year anniversary. “There is no question that circumstances have changed at Ground Zero as building has progressed. Greater care would be needed this year so that dangerous places are clearly cordoned off, and the NYPD may have to concentrate a bit more on crowd control,” the editorial writes. “Both those considerations seem manageable.”

By on August 6, 2007, 11:46 am
In category: Albany,Environment,Gotham City | 3 Comments »

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Floating Pool
July 9th, 2007

Floating Pool Lady at the Brooklyn Bridge Park.

By on July 9, 2007, 12:49 pm
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Con Ed, Welfare Recipients, Police Salary
July 2nd, 2007

Con Ed’s answer to its occasional outages is to upgrade the system. “That’s fine,” said the The New York Times. “But state regulators must make sure that consumers don’t get mugged in the process”

“Get a job!” is “one simple message, loud and clear” to welfare recipients from the New York Post editorial. Last month Albany passed a bill that requires officials to push recipients toward “sustainable” jobs – ones that pay almost twice the poverty level. The “problem is too few welfare recipients have the skills needed to get good jobs – many never having held any job,” The Post said.

“It all comes back to that lousy salary,” said the Daily News editorial, which argues low salaries, not the hazards, have cut police recruitment to dangerous levels. “The next academy class is expected to number a paltry 800 – even though the city budgeted for 2,800.”

By on July 2, 2007, 12:19 pm
In category: Gotham City | Comments Off on Con Ed, Welfare Recipients, Police Salary

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Gay Pride Parade
June 25th, 2007

City Council speaker Christine Quinn, left, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, center, wave as they march down Fifth Avenue in New York’s Gay Pride Parade, Sunday June 24, 2007. Religious leaders Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum and Reverend Dr. Troy Perry, both grand marshals of the parade, complained that Mayor Bloomberg stuck to a script that Mayors Koch and Giuliani had followed at previous pride parades: Joining the parade after it passed St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

By on June 25, 2007, 1:13 pm
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One Step Forward For Gay Marriage
June 20th, 2007

Just in time for Pride Week, the State Assembly voted yesterday to legalize same-sex marriage, marking the first time that a legislative body in New York has approved such a measure. The majority of Democrats voted in favor of the bill while only four out of 42 Republicans did so.

Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who is an Orthodox Jew, argued that gay marriage would lead to state’s sanctioning of incest. “He said he would support gay marriage if God gave him a signal,” the New York Sun reported. “Moments later, there was a loud crack of thunder.”

But gay rights advocates expect an uphill battle in the Senate. “We’re not doing gay marriage by Thursday; that’s for sure, or this year,” said Senate majority leader Joseph L. Bruno. “We’re not going to spend hours debating an issue that, you know, is not going to be of consequence.”

By on June 20, 2007, 2:02 pm
In category: Albany,Civil Rights,Gotham City | 4 Comments »

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Legalizing Undocumented Immigrants: Cost Benefit Analysis
June 11th, 2007

Mayor Michael Bloomberg lamented the the collapse of immigration reform in Congress. “We will not have an economy, we will not have an America without a constant stream of immigrants coming into this country,” he said. But not everyone agrees with the mayor. “The bill, which would make millions of undocumented immigrants eligible for all kinds of benefits, would bear a monumental cost to the taxpayers of the United States, no matter what their color or background,”said Stanley Crouch of the Daily News. “How much? By some estimates, $2.5 trillion”

Today at a news conference, President George W. Bush vowed to get the immigration legislation passed, saying, “I’ll see you at the bill signing.” To be continued…

By on June 11, 2007, 12:49 pm
In category: Gotham City | 2 Comments »

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New York To End Price Cap On Tickets, Scalpers Rejoice!
May 31st, 2007

New York State is about to approve a bill ending current price caps on how much scalpers and brokers can charge on tickets to sports and entertainment events. “There was no way, even before the internet, to successfully regulate and succeed in enforcement,” said Governor Eliot Spitzer who could sign the measure by Friday, when the state’s old anti-scalping law expires. Some argue that Broadway theatres, sports teams and arenas only agreed to the new law because they have become scalpers themselves. “Both a [Madison Square] Garden Web site and live Rangers games now are decorated by come-ons to “bid” on “premium” tickets in an “auction,” said Phil Mushnick of the New York Post. “In other words, whatever the Garden can get over face value.”

By on May 31, 2007, 6:31 pm
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Asian American Heritage Week
May 17th, 2007

To honor Asian American Heritage Month, NY1 launched a week-long series of coverage on Asian immigrants who have come to the city from non-Asian countries. The first two stories are South Asian immigrants from Guyana and Chinese immigrants from Jamica.

By on May 17, 2007, 12:07 pm
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What They’re Saying This Morning
April 30th, 2007

The federal government is planning to fund Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan, but “there is one bump in the road — Albany,” said a New York Times editorial. The plan will also help create revenues, as much as $500 million a year in fees. “Congestion pricing is just one piece of the mayor’s visionary agenda for sustaining New York. He is right to try to seize this moment to advance the idea,” the paper says.

The Daily News’s editorial argues that the police department should be able to videotape mass demonstrations because it would be “an effective tool in safeguarding protesters from terror attacks.” Videotaping of this kind is constitutional, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the New York Police Department is a notable exception thanks to a federal court case that has gone on for more than a quarter-century.

The Post editorial recommends that Bloomberg use a record-setting $4.4 billion surplus to pay off the 1970s-era debt that the state took off the city’s hands after 9/11: “It’s also a rare chance for City Hall to do the fiscally prudent – and morally correct – thing.”

By on April 30, 2007, 1:16 pm
In category: Albany,Civil Rights,Gotham City,Public Finance,Transportation | 1 Comment »

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Immigrant History Week
April 16th, 2007

“Where else do you have a Muslim family living next to a Hindu family living next to Caribbean family living next to a Hasidic Jewish family?” said Azadeh Khalili, deputy commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. Monday-Sunday, April 16 – 22, 2007, is an Immigrant History Week, a city-wide celebration that honors the experiences and contributions of immigrants in NYC. Click here for a slide show of Ellis Island with a song from Ragtime, “The Wheels Of A Dream.”

By on April 16, 2007, 2:41 pm
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March for Justice
December 18th, 2006

One of thousand protesters who marched on Saturday to protest the New York City police shooting death of Sean Bell.

By on December 18, 2006, 5:51 pm
In category: Gotham City | 1 Comment »

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Man of $teal
October 26th, 2006

Illustration: NYS Comptroller: Man of $teal From Urban Elephants

By on October 26, 2006, 4:23 pm
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Not Forgotten
September 11th, 2006

By on September 11, 2006, 5:26 pm
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New Towers At World Trade Center Site
September 7th, 2006

Designs for the three towers surrounding the spot where the Twin Towers stood were released today, showing a 78-story tower with a roof sliced into four diamond shapes (which would light up at night) by British architect Norman Foster; a 71-story tower topped by 100-foot spires at each corner by Brit Richard Rogers; and a 61-story tower clad in perforated aluminum by Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki. All three would be shorter than the Freedom Tower.

By on September 7, 2006, 1:49 pm
In category: Gotham City,Land Use | 4 Comments »

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Gotham Gazette the Place for Politics and Policy

Gotham Gazette is published by Citizens Union Foundation and is made possible by support from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Altman Foundation,the Fund for the City of New York and donors to Citizens Union Foundation. Please consider supporting Citizens Union Foundation's public education programs. Critical early support to Gotham Gazette was provided by the Charles H. Revson Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

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