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Is NY ethics commission leaking?
May 15th, 2012

State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is questioning whether information about an ethics investigation into a top member of his party was leaked illegally.

TheAlbany Times Union reported earlier today that the Joint Commission on Public Ethics is investigating accusations against Tom Libous,the second-highest ranking member of the state Senate.

Skelos, a Republican, said the information was not supposed to be public. “Whoever from JCOPE is leaking this is committing a crime. They’re committing a crime,” hesaid. He said that any allegations against Libous were “garbage.”

JCOPE’s predecessor, the Commission on Public Ethics, was wracked with internal leaks — especially during the Troopergate investigation. JCOPE was designed to address the failings of the CPI and faced controversy regarding the impartiality of a number of appointees.

“Obviously, there is a letter that goes out that is required by law. Look who sent the initial letter, the mayor of Binghamton, D, Democrat, who was looking to run against Tom Libous. If this is a political stunt, that’s all it is,” Skelos said.

Calls to JCOPE requesting information about the process of notifying parties of an investigation have not yet been returned.

Technically, the public is not supposed to know whether JCOPE has decided to follow up on a complaint until the ethics commission makes its findings public.

“It’s not supposed to be made public. It’s a misdemeanor,” Skelos told reporters. “So whoever from JCOPE is leaking this is committing a crime. They’re committing a crime.”JCOPE’s predecessor, the Commission on Public Integrity, had major problems with leaks during Troopergate. The loyalty of the JCOPE commissioners to the interests of the people who appointed them has been a concern since the commission was unveiled.

According to the Times Union, the investigation into Libous is based on a complaint by Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan, a Democrat. Ryan asked JCOPE to look into statements made by Attorney Anthony Magone that Libous offered to help Mangone’s business in exchange for giving his son a job, the newspaper reported. Mangone made the statements during a federal trial. Libous’ son was hired by the firm. Ryan made his accusation and formal complaint public by sending off the complaint in front of reporters.

By on May 15, 2012, 5:13 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany,Gotham City,Governing | 1 Comment »

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Minimum wage bill on the move in Assembly
May 15th, 2012

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced this morning that his house will likely pass a measure that will increase the state’s minimum wage by $1.25 an hour. Silver made it clear that the move is designed to pressure the state Senate into either voting on the legislation or having to go home during an election year to explain to their constituents why they didn’t vote for the measure.

“I think the rank and file in the Senate are going to have difficulty going back to their voters, including the numbers I showed you from conservatives and registered Republicans, they’re going to have a very difficult time showing up on Election Day saying I’m against this when they are all for it,” Silver told reporters.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos has called a minimum wage increase, “a job killer.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo hasn’t come out fully for or against the bill. “Especially in times like now, a minimum wage increase would be in order,” Cuomo told Susan Arbetter host of The Capitol Pressroom, earlier this month. “You can have a discussion about how much over what period of time.”

Silver said that he believes Cuomo now supports his bill and would corroborate his support if asked. The Governor’s office has not yet responded to our inquiry about his stance on Silver’s legislation.

By on May 15, 2012, 2:25 pm
In category: Albany,Economy,Eye on Albany,Gotham City | 1 Comment »

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NYC Council wants banks to detail efforts in communities
May 15th, 2012

The City Council plans to vote onlegislation that would require banks that receive billions in municipal funds to release information on their lending practices in struggling neighborhoods.

The bill is expected to pass today at the council’s stated meeting. Its supporters, including the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, say it will help policymakers make better decisions about where the city’s money is deposited and encourage banks to invest in communities.

“This bill will make the banking capital of the world the responsible banking capital of the world,” Council Speaker Christine Quinn said during the meeting.

Other cities are considering or have passed similar ordinances after a punishing financial crisis. Los Angeles was expected to pass its own today.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg told The New York Times he was wary of putting restrictions on where city money could be deposited. “You would think, between the federal government and the state government, we’d have enough bank regulations,” Bloomberg told the newspaper.

The city currently banks with over 30 major financial institutions, including JPMorganChase, Bank of America, New York Community Bank and Citibank.

At a council hearing in March 2011, the city Department of Finance said it was opposed to the bill, saying it was overly broad and could mislead consumers and businesses into believing it regulates banks.

“When procuring banking services, the city focuses and should continue to focus solely on the financial safety and soundness of each bank, its banking capabilities and its pricing,” said Elaine A. Kloss, in testimony before the committees on finance and community development.

The Department of Finance oversees the city’s money, in conjunction with the city comptroller and the Banking Commission. The commission approves or denies applications from financial institutions seeking to do business with the city.

By on May 15, 2012, 12:08 pm
In category: City Hall,Community Development,Economy,Gotham City | 2 Comments »

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Cuomo visits Westchester to call for agency for disabled
May 10th, 2012

Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited the College of New Rochelle in Westchester County today to push for legislation that would create a new agency to investigate reports of abuse of the disabled.

“This bill puts forth unprecedented reforms that will transform how New York state protects and cares for people with special needs and disabilities,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This is exactly the type of agency that the patients and their family and friends deserve.”

Cuomo announced the legislation on Monday.

Last month, Cuomo told reporters he thought the legislative session would be relatively quiet. However, Cuomo has made it clear the new agency is a major legislative priority and that he will lobby legislators and the public on the issue until he is able to sign it into law.

Both legislative leaders have said they expect to be able to pass the law by the end of the session, which ends in June.

“This bill puts forth unprecedented reforms that will transform how New York State protects and cares for people with special needs and disabilities,” said Governor Cuomo. “This is exactly the type of agency that the patients and their family and friends deserve. I urge the Senate and Assembly to pass this bill so we can start implementing these reforms as soon as possible.”Cuomo said earlier this week that the legislation is a legislative priority for him and the leaders of both legislative houses said they thought they could pass the legislation by the end of the season. The legislation is designed to address what has been called a corrupt, abusive system by a number of observers. Earlier this year Cuomo told reporters that he expected a quiet legislative session because he had achieved the majority of his legislative agenda. But now Cuomo appears geared up to lobby and legislators and the public on the legislation until he is able to sign it into law.

Advocacy groups have generally been supportive of the legislation, though the father of a 13-year-old autistic boy smothered to death by a caretaker has criticized the legislation for not being more proactive. The boy’s father, Michael Carey, told The New York Times he felt the state should invest in cameras and training and limit caregiver overtime.

More about the Justice Center can be found at www.Justice4SpecialNeeds.com. A report by the governor’s special advisor on vulnerable persons is available here.

By on May 10, 2012, 3:33 pm
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Liu Weighs in on GENDA
May 8th, 2012

City Comptroller John Liu is all for the Gender Expression Non Discrimination Act that has been passed in the state assembly and introduced in the senate by Sen. Daniel Squadron.

All people deserve equal protection from discrimination. New Yorks Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act is a necessary and overdue extension of civil rights that will ensure that people cannot be fired or otherwise subjected to bigotry based on gender identity or expression,” said Liu is a statement. “We are grateful to Assembly Member Richard Gottfried and State Senator Daniel Squadron for pushing forward this legislation.

According to the Empire State Pride Agenda, “GENDA would extend basic civil rights protections to all New Yorkers based on their gender identity and expression.”

By on May 8, 2012, 2:44 pm
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Bloomberg Digs Cuomo's Budget
March 27th, 2012

City taxpayers are winners today in Albany. The components of the budget agreement announced today, taken together with the landmark pension reform overhaul announced two weeks ago, herald the best legislative session for the City in a decade. Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Skelos and Speaker Silver deserve our thanks for delivering an on-time budget and doing right by New York City.
Pension reform, which was part of the Governors Executive Budget proposal, was really part one of the budget and a central achievement of the process. It will save the City $21 billion over thirty years which is $21 billion more we can spend to keep taxes down and provide vital services to New Yorkers. On top of that, the States takeover of Medicaid growth will save the City of New York nearly a billion dollars over the next five years.
A planned increase in education funding has been expanded by the Legislature delivering help our schools badly need. This is great news for our kids, but the State must continue working to achieve the unfulfilled promise of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity settlement.
The budget resolution also includes important public policy victories for the City. For years, we have been pushing to overhaul the States juvenile justice system so that our young people can more easily transition back into their communities and productive lives. Agreement on the Close to Home initiative is the culmination of that work. In addition, the budget agreement notably rejected efforts to slow down the implementation of a State law requiring cleaner fuel, which the City helped pass in 2010. And the Governor and the Legislature put parents and schoolchildren first when they rebuffed efforts to prohibit parents from seeing important information about teacher effectiveness.
Finally, an almost unprecedented accomplishment: it appears that the budget includes no new unfunded mandates for New York City. We are hopeful this commitment to fiscal responsibility continues throughout the rest of the legislative session.
Governor Cuomo has demonstrated bold leadership throughout this legislative session and budget process, both in setting forth meaningful public policy solutions to some of our toughest problems and in bringing people together to turn his proposals into reality. Majority Leader Skelos and Speaker Silver have been outstanding partners for the Governor in truly making Albany work for the people and for the City of New York.

And they said it wouldn’t last. Sure Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have had their moments. Some sniping here, some disparaging remarks there but the pair have been happy as clams as of late. Maybe it has something to do with Tier 6–regardless the fuzzy-warm snuggles continue with Bloomberg’s assessment of Cuomo’s budget. Bloomberg says “City taxpayers are winners today in Albany.”

Check out Bloomberg’s full assessment of the budget agreement: Read the rest of this entry »

By on March 27, 2012, 3:50 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany,Gotham City | 3 Comments »

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Bronx "Close to Home" Forum Scheduled
February 29th, 2012

The fifth public hearing on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Close to Home Program” has been scheduled for April 2 from 6-8 p.m. in the Bronx at the Bronx Museum 1040 Grand Concourse. The Administration for Children’s Services is holding the series of five forums to get public input on taking New York City’s juvenile delinquents out of the state system and providing services to them near their homes in the city. You can read more about the initiative that is part of Cuomo’s proposed budget here.

By on February 29, 2012, 4:06 pm
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ACS Schedules Forums on "Close to Home"
February 27th, 2012

The Administration for Children’s Services has scheduled four of five community hearings on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Close to Home Initiative” that would take New York City’s juvenile delinquents out of the state detention system and allow the city to provide them with the placements they think are best for them and near their homes. As I wrote today, the initiative is part of Cuomo’s budget and has been something Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been pressing for for years–as the state system is costly and known for violence and mismanagement.

ACS Commissioner Ronald Richter says that his agency and the State Office of Children and Family Services have been meeting almost weekly to set up the system that will see the state hand over control of the city’s juvenile delinquents. Under Cuomo’s initiative non-secure offenders will be transferred to the city in September and limited secure offenders would be transferred in April 2013.

“We have a number of reasons to be very encouraged by it,” Richter said of the “Close to Home Initiative,” “families haven’t had a chance to be involved in rehabilitation and it has long been a missing piece of the juvenile justice system. They don’t have a dont have parent their to help them figure out why they made these bad choices. It has been a real deficit in the juvenile justice system and they also haven’t had the opportunity for an accredited education. We are going to give them one and thats a big deal for us.”

Richter says he is excited to start the hearings so that he can hear from city residents about how to move forward.

“I’m hoping we will be attentive to appropriate cautionary notes. We will listen to the kids, parents and legislators to make sure we are reflective of their concerns. We cant just make a new juvenile justice system in September. Its wrong to suggest everything will be ideal on that day. We are always trying to improve.”

Here are the dates of the four scheduled hearings. Another hearing in the Bronx is expected to be set by the end of the week: Read the rest of this entry »

By on February 27, 2012, 4:57 pm
In category: Albany,Crime & Safety,Education,Eye on Albany,Gotham City | 6 Comments »

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City Releases First Wetlands Strategy for Comment
February 13th, 2012

Parks Writer Anne Schwartz filed this story:

In its first effort to create a comprehensive policy for protecting New York Citys last wetlands, the Bloomberg administration released a draft Wetlands Strategy in mid-January. The City Council held a hearing on the draft on January 31, and public comments are being accepted until February 18 at planyc@cityhall.nyc.gov.

Of the estimated 100 square miles of coastal marshes that once lined the citys shores, just 14 remain. More than 90 percent of its freshwater wetlands have been lost. The wetlands that remain are key to the survival of waterbirds nesting in the harbor, migratory birds that funnel through the city in the spring and fall, and harbor fisheries. They also help prevent coastal flooding and soak up stormwater, an increasingly important role as climate change brings an expected rise in the number and severity of storm surges. Read the rest of this entry »

By on February 13, 2012, 2:09 pm
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UFT Wants Mediation With City
January 13th, 2012

The United Federation of Teachers is holding a press conference at 3:15 p.m today to announce that it asking the state labor board to mediate talks with the city because of the breakdown over teacher evaluation talks and the Mayor’s insistence in his State of the State speech that he will unilaterally move forward with a teacher evaluation system in low performing schools. Here is the full press release:

Teachers Union Asks State to

Order Mediation in Evaluation Talks

UFT seeks order from state labor board that would

force city to take part in mandatory mediation

on new teacher evaluation system

UFT President Michael Mulgrew holds news conference to announce that in the wake of the citys walking out of negotiations on a new teacher evaluation system, the union has filed an impasse petition with the states Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). If PERB finds that an impasse exists, it will appoint a mediator and force the city to participate in attempts to resolve the issue.

WHEN: Friday, January 13, 2012 3: 15 p.m.

WHERE: 52 Broadway, 2nd floor

By on January 13, 2012, 2:51 pm
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Cuomo on Bloomberg's State of the City
January 12th, 2012

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg may not be the best of buds but Cuomo found a lot to like in Bloomberg’s State of the City message–especially the parts about education and pension reform. “I commend Mayor Bloomberg for outlining a positive vision for New York City’s future and the most important part of building that future, our students. The State and City’s education system is facing a crisis in accountability and performance. Our continuing pattern of being number one in the nation on spending in education and thirty-eighth in graduation rates hurts our students across the State, including the over 1.1 million public school students in New York City,” said Cuomo in a statement.

Here is the full statement: Read the rest of this entry »

By on January 12, 2012, 5:26 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany,Gotham City,Governing | 1 Comment »

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Silver Applauds Bloomberg on Minimum Wage
January 12th, 2012

Mayor Michael Bloomberg used his State of the State address to announce his support for an increased minimum wage. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver backs the idea big time and he issued this statement:

“I applaud and thank Mayor Bloomberg for joining our call to increase the minimum wage. As I have said, it is wrong to expect anyone let alone working families to be able to afford the cost of living today and invest in their future on a salary of $7.25 an hour. Increasing the minimum wage would benefit more than 14 percent of our workforce. Mayor Bloombergs commitment to helping the more than 1.2 million low wage workers in New York climb the ladder of financial security is welcome news.”

By on January 12, 2012, 3:26 pm
In category: Albany,Economy,Eye on Albany,Gotham City | 1 Comment »

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State of the City
January 12th, 2012

Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivered his State of the City Address today at Morris High School in the Bronx. Here are his prepared remarks:

Thank you. Mayors Koch and Dinkins, Speaker Quinn and Minority Leader Oddo, Public Advocate De Blasio, Comptroller Liu, Borough Presidents, District Attorneys, members of the City Council and State Legislature, my fellow New Yorkers its great to be in the Bronx.

This is the birthplace of legends like Justice Sonia Sotomayor and the workplace of legends like Mariano Rivera. And its also the home of future superstars like every member of The Celia Cruz High School Latin Band, the PS 32 Chorus and the Keltic Dreams Irish Dancers. Werent they fantastic?

In a city that is the Capital of Innovation this one borough has given us some of the worlds great authors, artists and architects, not to mention the pioneers of hip-hop and salsa.

The Bronx has always been a borough of innovators and we can see it most recently in the students here at the Academy for Collaborative Studies, who built an award-winning robot. How about the Robot Club? Read the rest of this entry »

By on January 12, 2012, 1:17 pm
In category: City Hall,Gotham City | 195 Comments »

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Bronx Business Incubator Opens
January 9th, 2012

The Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled a city-backed business incubator in the Bronx earlier today. The Sunshine Bronx Business Incubator at 890 Garrison Ave. in Hunts Point is set up to house 400 entrepreneurs. The New York City Economic Development Corporation helped started the incubator with a $250,000 grant. The incubator is the 8th to open as part of the city’s network of incubators.
Here is the release from the Mayor’s office: Read the rest of this entry »

By on January 9, 2012, 1:13 pm
In category: Economy,Gotham City,Land Use,Public Finance,Tech,Work and Labor | 12 Comments »

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Quinn on Fingerprinting for Food Stamps
January 5th, 2012

Gov. Andrew Cuomo seemingly went after the city’s policy of fingerprinting people who want access to food stamps in his State of the State Address. The Bloomberg administration has supported the measure as a way to stop fraud and Bloomberg dismissed Cuomo’s statement in a press conference following the speech. Council Speaker Christine Quinn just weighed in via press release and she is taking Cuomo’s side.

In these tough economic times, we need to help New Yorkers get the federal services they qualify for, not put obstacles in their way. Unfortunately, Mayor Bloomberg and I couldnt disagree more fingerprinting food stamp applicants is a time consuming and unnecessary process, which stigmatizes applicants and has prevented 24,000 New Yorkers from getting the help they deserve. The State has the authority to eliminate finger imaging in New York City, and the Mayor should not even think of challenging Governor Cuomos decision.

Cuomo said in his State of the State yesterday that, “One of the things we do now and makes the stigma actually worse and creates a barrier for families coming forward to get food stamps is we require fingerprinting. I’m saying stop fingerprinting for families, said Cuomo.

Bloomberg told reporters, “Its not a stigma, and it may be elsewhere in the state, and maybe thats what he was referring to, but its certainly not a stigma.”

By on January 5, 2012, 4:51 pm
In category: Albany,City Hall,Eye on Albany,Gotham City,Governing,Health,Social Services | 2 Comments »

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Groups Put Pressure on Cuomo's Tax Plan
December 5th, 2011

Progressive groups are trying to pressure Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislators into negotiating a tax code change that would make the wealthy pay much more than they do now and patch budget cuts. They say “revenue neutrality” for tax code reform is the wrong way to go. Cuomo’s recent op-ed on tax code changes does not mention raising revenue–as the Daily News’ Bill Hammond pointed out and Liz Benjamin points out here.

“If Cuomo wants to stop being labeled Governor 1%, he needs to address the fact that the richest 1% are getting 34% of the state’s income. So far his tax proposals are all about political spin, not real reform for the 99%. Yes, tax reform must correct the fact that the janitor at Trump Tower is paying a higher percentage of state and low-income taxes than Donald Trump is. Our state tax system is one way we have shifted wealth to the rich. But it also must correct the budgetary shortfalls that undercuts investment in our infrastructure, kills jobs and undermines the safety net,” said Mark Dunlea, Executive Director of Hunger Action Network.

Karen Scharff of Citizen Action sent out an appeal to supporters to encourage them to keep calling legislators to push for a plan that would generate enough revenue to patch budget cuts. “With signals coming from the Capitol that there is movement on a large-scale change to New York States tax code, we need to make sure that its the right tax reform. Any tax code plan must include raising revenue to restore the worst budget cuts, and directly creating jobs. And we shouldnt, especially with a budget deficit as big as it is, be giving even more tax breaks to corporations and the 1%.”

Some business groups and conservatives are pushing hard for Senate Republicans to stand against any tax increase.

With signals coming from the Capitol that there is movement on a large-scale change to New York States tax code, we need to make sure that its the right tax reform.
Any tax code plan must include raising revenue to restore the worst budget cuts, and directly creating jobs. And we shouldnt, especially with a budget deficit as big as it is, be giving even more tax breaks to corporations and the 1%.
By on December 5, 2011, 4:58 pm
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Occupy Albany Marches on
November 17th, 2011

The Occupy Albany movement is celebrating the 2-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street with a march to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office today. Buses full of protestors from across upstate have helped swell the ranks of Occupy Albany and they are planning to deliver petitions opposing Cuomo’s economic policies to his office. Protestors from across the state are invited to stay at the Occupy Albany encampment and will be provided with blankets and tents. We could see more arrests tonight if protestors stray over onto state-owned land.

Here is their schedule for the day:

“11:30am Buses arrive at Occupy Albany with supporters from across upstate NY. Occupy Albany welcoming committee will greet them and give tours of our encampment.

12:00pm Joint rally/assembly in Academy Park in front of Old Academy Bldg. by Joseph Henry Monument.

12:45pm March begins. Will stop off at least one corporate lobby target en route to the NYS Capitol Bldg.

1:30pm Action at Gov.s Office, 2nd Fl, of Capitol to deliver letters of protest against Cuomos economic policies.

2:15pm A peoples assembly/session outside of Senate lobby 3rd floor of Capitol Bldg.

3:30pm Bus pickup on State St. outside the LOB.

5:30pm Anyone who can stay is invited to attend the Occupy Albany General Assembly and spend the night at Occupy Albany (tents and blankets will be made available).”

By on November 17, 2011, 12:34 pm
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Rodriguez on His Arrest
November 16th, 2011

For the second time in less than three months, reporters, members of the City Council and other public officials clustered under the overhang at City Hall in the rain to hear a City Council member describe his alleged mistreatment by the New York City Police Department.

This time it was Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez, who spent about 20 hours in police custody after being arrested by police near Zuccotti Park early Tuesday morning. Rodriguez, who has emerged as a major supporter of Occupy Wall Street, said he received a text message at about 1 a.m. Tuesday alerting him that police seemed to be moving in on the protesters in Zuccotti Park. After his wife repeatedly cautioned him to avoid getting arrested, Rodriguez said he proceeded downtown to see what was happening.

A couple of blocks from Zuccotti Park and across Broadway from the plaza — Rodriguez said he was confronted by a group of police officers who began pushing him. Even after, he said, he identified himself as a council members he also said he was wearing a suit, not exactly the standard garb of the Occupy Wall Street crowd the police kept pushing. Rodriguez said he fell, sustaining a cut, and was arrested.

In the time that followed, Rodriguez said he was kept in a van for two hours. He eventually was taken to 1 Police Plaza, where his lawyers were not allowed to see him in keeping with police policy that apparently lets attorneys visit their clients in other jails and station houses but not police headquarters. He was finally released at around 8 p.m. after being charged with resisting arrest.
Read the rest of this entry »

By on November 16, 2011, 4:01 pm
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Shelter Rules Delayed
November 10th, 2011

Correction: Apparently contrary to what we originally reporterd, the court did not order the delay. The city postponed its plans after the Legal Aid Society filed suit to block the new rules. The item has been corrected to reflect that.

The new intake procedures for single adults seeking to enter the city’s shelter system apparently will not go into effect Monday after all. Although we could not confirm this, a statement from the City Council said that a court has order postponement of After the Legal Aid Society filed suit Thursday, the city reportedly agreed to postpone implementation of the rules until next month. According to the Wall Street Journal, the city did this “because of the possibility of a state judge issuing a preliminary injunction.”

Arguments in the case are now scheduled to begin Dec. 9.

In a statement issued Thursday evening, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said, “I am pleased that, as a result of todays court hearing, the city’s dangerous new policy changing the intake procedure for single adults seeking shelter will not go into effect on Monday. I am encouraged that this matter will be heard by the court, and I continue to call on [the Department of Homeless Services] to permanently reverse course and prevent these harmful changes from going into effect.

And City Council General Welfare Committee chair Annabel Palma hailed the move as well. “I am pleased with the court’s favorable decision to stop the city from implementing its proposed eligibility changes for single adults. Absence of leadership from the administration on this issue, once again, has the city;s homeless policies shaped more by the court system rather than through collaboration and partnership with stakeholders,” Palma said.

By on November 10, 2011, 6:50 pm
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The Races for DA
November 6th, 2011

Three of New York City’s five district attorneys are up for re-election this year, but for only one — Staten Island Daniel Donovan — is the contest’ outcome in any doubt.

(For more on who can vote and how this year, go here. For more on the judicial contests, go here.)

Two of the veteran prosecutors, Richard Brown in Queens and Robert Johnson in the Bronx — will appear on the Democratic, Republican and Conservative lines and will not face any opposition.

Brown, who will turn 79 later this month, is headed to his sixth-term.

Johnson, who already is in his sixth term, was the first black district attorney in the state. In a somewhat strange twist, he received a rating of “not approved” by the city bar association this year. Johnson attributed the rejection to his not agreeing to an interview with the association and said he thinks it make little sense for the group to rate candidates in uncontested elections.

“If they think that I have not demonstrated the qualifications to hold this office,” Johnson told Reuters, “they must have been stuck in a cave for the past two decades.”

The bar does not explain or amplify on its ratings although they do not endorse candidates they can’t interview.

The Staten Island race offers a reprise of the 2007race in which Republican Donovan defeated Democrat Mike Ryan with about 70 percent of the vote. Donovan has the backing of the Independence Party too, while — perhaps owing to a long-standing rift between Donovan and Conservative Borough president James Molinaro, Ryan has the Conservative Party line.
Read the rest of this entry »

By on November 6, 2011, 9:58 pm
In category: Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Governing,Law | 6 Comments »

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