GOTHAM GAZETTE: SEARCHLIGHT 2002:The Record

The Record: October 2003

10/31/2003

The New York City comptroller, William C. Thompson Jr., urged the Bloomberg administration yesterday to cancel a deal giving Snapple exclusive rights to sell drinks and snacks on city property, saying the bidding process was flawed and tainted by ethical conflicts. In a letter to the city's top lawyer, Mr. Thompson cited overlapping relationships among companies and officials involved in the negotiations with Snapple that he said raised "clear conflict-of-interest concerns." He also said that while two other companies submitted proposals that were at least as profitable for the city as Snapple's offer, they were rejected. (NY Times) (NY Post)

On the steps of City Hall, on public affairs television programs and in the offices of civic organizations and political parties, the chatter these days dwells on a single topic: nonpartisan elections. The referendum to end party primaries and make party affiliation an afterthought in local races has so dominated conversations that it is referred to simply as Question No. 3, reflecting its order on this Tuesday's ballot. Out in the real world, though - laundries, coffee shops, stores and dog runs in neighborhoods throughout the city - it is a different story. There are few signs that voters know or care much about an issue that has the potential to transform politics, and possibly government, in New York City, even though it is before them in just four days. (NY Times)

Crossing party lines - and just days before the election - Mayor Bloomberg threw his support behind Queens Councilman James Sanders yesterday. It's the Republican mayor's first endorsement of a council Democrat. (NY Post)

10/30/2003

Rudolph Giuliani is lending his clout to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's campaign to ban party primaries, appearing in a mailing that the mayor is sending out urging voters to support the ballot measure. (NY Times)

Mayor Bloomberg unveiled an ambitious plan yesterday to keep 32,000 Mitchell-Lama apartments rent-stabilized by offering owners tax breaks and other incentives. (Daily News) (NY Times) (NY Post)

Mayor Bloomberg yesterday called for an overhaul of the city's hodgepodge of "out-of-school" programs. "The system of out-of-school programs have lacked accountability," Bloomberg said during a summit at Baruch College. (NY Post) (Daily News)

Mayor Bloomberg is urging Gov. Pataki to reject legislation that could boost retirement payouts for thousands of emergency workers who responded to the World Trade Center attacks. (Daily News)

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer sent off a nasty message to Mayor Bloomberg yesterday, denouncing his call for the Food and Drug Administration to allow the city to buy prescription drugs from Canada. (NY Post)

10/29/2003

Margarita Lopez Torres, the longest serving Civil Court judge in Brooklyn, is trying to defeat the Democratic party bosses and win election to the state Supreme Court on the Working Families Party line. (Village Voice)

Twenty black and Latino legislators yesterday denounced Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan for nonpartisan elections, saying it will hurt minority voters. The proposal will be on the ballot next Tuesday. (New York Post)

Mayor Bloomberg yesterday endorsed three Republicans who are challenging Democratic City Council members -- but he did it very quietly. Behind closed doors, the mayor endorsed Josh Yablon, who is running against Gale Brewer on Manhattans Upper West Side, Michael Cohen, who is challenging Eva Moskowitz on the East Side, and Stephen Evans, who is taking on Christine Quinn in Chelsea. (New York Post)

In the latest round in the never ending war on rats, City Council yesterday proposed legislation to establish a pest control board and to sharply increase fines for the improper disposal of trash. (New York Times)

The Bloomberg administration yesterday endorsed a proposal to hike fines for improper trash disposal for repeat offenders. The measure, sponsored by City Councilmember Phil Reed would increase the current top fine for three offenses within two years from the current $250 to as much as $2,000. (New York Post)

Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said the city's campaign against rats has paid off, especially in Brooklyn. As part of a crackdown announced in August, the city is buying rat-proof trash cans and boosting public education and has assessed more than 2,900 publicly owned properties. But members of the council's Health and Governmental Operations committees, who held a joint hearing on the problem, said the measures aren't enough. (Daily News)

The city will hold a day-long summit on child care today at Baruch College but the gathering will be open only to city officials, contractors and a few handpicked parents. The general public -- as well as elected officials and the teachers union -- was not invited, drawing outrage from some. (Daily News)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has publicly expressed his ardor for actress and singer Jennifer Lopez, yesterday got a kiss from the star after he named her to serve as honorary chairwoman of his new Latin Media and Entertainment Commission. (Daily News) (New York Post) (Newsday) (New York Times)

10/28/2003

Mayor Bloomberg conceded yesterday what every New York parent already knows: There's a child care crisis in the city. "We've got to find other ways to get day care slots," he said (Daily News) (NY Times).

Mayor Bloomberg is looking to the Great White North to save New Yorkers some green when buying prescription drugs (Daily News) (NY Post).

Can you hear me now? If not, you've hit a cell phone dead zone - and Mayor Bloomberg wants to know. He's asking New Yorkers to dial 311 when their cell phones fizzle out (Daily News) (NY Post) (Newsday).

The Bloomberg administration is looking at tripling the number of charter schools in the city in order to dramatically increase the choices available to parents and kids, The Post has learned (NY Post).

The head of a City Council committee Monday slammed one of the proposed charter changes on the Nov. 4 ballot as a Bloomberg administration bid to end-run a more thorough legislative process (Newsday).

Mayor Bloomberg conceded yesterday what every New York parent already knows: There's a child care crisis in the city. "We've got to find other ways to get day care slots," he said. (Daily News)

10/27/2003

In addition to spending at least $2 million of his own money to promote his proposal to abolish party primaries in New York City elections, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is spending a much scarcer personal resource: his political capital. The mayor's proposal to change the City Charter to ban party primaries has put him at odds with every other citywide elected official in New York, not to mention almost all of the city's political parties, municipal unions and major civic organizations. (NY Times)

In the estimation of this New Yorker, we do not know enough about the likely impact of nonpartisan elections on the city's politics yet. This idea simply has not grown to maturity. It's been fed and watered, but by partisanship. Supporters led by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg say it would revolutionize city politics, encouraging greater voter turnout and creating more opportunities for minority candidates. Its detractors say that it would do precisely the opposite, while benefiting celebrities and the wealthy. (NY Times)

10/26/2003

Opponents of Mayor Bloomberg's bid to abolish primary elections may have two secret weapons: the mayor's wealth and his lack of popularity. (Daily News)

10/25/2003

Nine New York City Council members gathered on the steps of City Hall yesterday to honor the memory of the slain Councilman James E. Davis and to endorse his brother, Geoffrey A. Davis, who is running for his Council seat in Brooklyn. Council Speaker Gifford Miller was not there, though he has previously endorsed Mr. Davis. (NY Times)

Mayor Bloomberg has opened wide his billionaire wallet. The mayor gave $2 million to the Committee to Empower All New Yorkers, a group he created to persuade the public to support a Nov. 4 referendum to abolish partisan primaries. He is the only contributor listed in a disclosure statement filed with the Board of Elections yesterday. (Daily News) (NY Times)

10/24/2003

Mayor Bloomberg blasted a new tax on absentee landlords yesterday, suggesting it could be revoked as early as next year. "The problem with the absentee landlord tax is that it is a very difficult tax to administer and it's not clear that it's fair," he said yesterday. Bloomberg said he agreed to a 25% surcharge on property taxes for one-, two- and three-family houses not occupied by the owner - as part of a compromise with the City Council. (NY Daily News) (Newsday) (NY Post)

Mayor Bloomberg cut a deal with the fringe Independence Party to place nonpartisan elections on the ballot in exchange for an endorsement in the 2001 mayoral race, controversial party activist Lenora Fulani testified yesterday. The mayor repeatedly has denied making any deal with the party, but Fulani testified yesterday at a City Council hearing that Bloomberg negotiated an agreement. "We negotiated an agreement, which is what you should do under a political process," she said. (NY Daily News)

10/23/2003

The Bloomberg administration, along with the Partnership for New York City, will be issuing a report card of sorts on each federal legislator. Business owners and other big contributors will be asked to evaluate how New York-friendly a legislator is before handing over the big bucks. (Daily News)

Many New Yorkers may not like Mayor Bloomberg, but that doesn't mean they want to see him terminated in a California-style recall. A new poll yesterday showed that while 57% of New Yorkers would like to see "someone else" in City Hall in 2005, a solid two-thirds say recalling Bloomberg - as California voters did Gov. Gray Davis - is a bad idea. "New Yorkers don't want to reelect Mayor Bloomberg, at least for now," said Quinnipiac University pollster Mickey Carroll. "But they're willing to finish the dance before they choose a new partner." (Daily News)

City Council officials say they are poised to reject the landmark status granted to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, hoping to prevent the construction of large new buildings on the grounds surrounding the church, a 111-year-old Gothic structure in Morningside Heights. (NY Times)

10/22/2003

It was billed as a major economic development speech, but the 12-page address Mayor Bloomberg gave yesterday sounded more like the kickoff of his 2005 campaign. (Daily News)

The City Council's Education Committee blasted school officials for doing such a sloppy job getting the word out that thousands of parents did not know about their options by last Wednesday's deadline. (Daily News)

A veteran Brooklyn legislator told a rally of thousands of teachers outside City Hall yesterday that Mayor Bloomberg should be recalled for bungling the takeover of the school system. (NY Post)

10/21/2003

A push to get a referendum about limiting public school class sizes on the Nov. 4 ballot hit a snag yesterday when an appeals judge overturned a lower court decision. (Daily News)

There's one prominent name missing in the first mass mailing by Mayor's Bloomberg newly formed committee to promote nonpartisan elections - Mayor Bloomberg's.

The mayor's name is nowhere to be found in the glossy eight-page booklet that reached thousands of mailboxes Saturday and features endorsements by 11 New Yorkers of the Nov. 4 ballot proposal to end party primaries starting in 2009. (NY Post)

Mayor Bloomberg signed into law yesterday the "Calvin Klein" bill to crack down on unruly fan behavior at sporting events. (NY Post)

10/19/2003

The city Department of Finance will launch a tax amnesty program Monday for New Yorkers who have yet to pay business and excise taxes. (Newsday)

In February, Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Brooklyn) mailed a flyer lambasting Bloomberg for raising property taxes by 18.5% - and illustrated the leaflet with a picture of the billionaire's Manhattan townhouse. Now it's payback time: Bloomberg has given $2,750 - the maximum allowed - to Gentile's Republican opponent, Pat Russo. (Daily News)

10/18/2003

For months, a major question in local political circles has centered on what role Mayor Michael Bloomberg might play in advancing a proposal he has championed, the elimination of party primaries in city elections. The answer became clearer yesterday, when the Committee to Empower New Yorkers, formed and financed by the mayor, registered with the City Board of Elections to campaign for the proposal, which will be on the Nov. 4 ballot. The committee plans to mail literature and make telephone calls to thousands of city residents, urging them to vote in favor of the measure, administration officials said. (NY Times) (Daily News) (NY Post)

If City Council Speaker Gifford Miller makes good on his pledge to cut property taxes for the elderly, it could lead to layoffs, Mayor Bloomberg warned yesterday. (Daily News)

10/17/2003

Saying pots of money don't "suddenly appear," Mayor Bloomberg took a swipe yesterday at a property tax cut proposed by Council Speaker Gifford Miller. Miller, a Manhattan Democrat likely to run for mayor in 2005, has suggested using a $110 million surplus from the past budget to give seniors a break on last November's record 18.5% property tax hike. Many at City Hall saw the idea as an effort to one-up the mayor on tax cuts. But Bloomberg shot back that with deficits of up to $3 billion still looming, the only way to pay for a tax cut is to save elsewhere. (NY Daily News)

10/16/2003

Ending a feud that has lasted nearly a decade, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced yesterday that New York City would extend its lease of La Guardia and Kennedy Airports to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey until 2050 in exchange for a $700 million upfront payment and a steep increase in annual rents. (NY Times) (Daily News) (NY Post)

Mayor Bloomberg went from rooting at Yankee Stadium to grieving at a disaster site yesterday. The mayor helicoptered from the Bronx, where he was set to cheer the Bombers on to a World Series appearance. (Daily News)

The City Council speaker, Gifford Miller, tossed a political knuckleball to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg yesterday, proposing that the city use $110 million in unexpected revenues to cut property taxes for elderly residents on fixed incomes. (NY Times) (Daily News) (NY Post) (Newsday)

After decades of talk, the city is finally putting pay toilets and uniform news kiosks on its streets. The City Council approved legislation yesterday to replace more than 300 sidewalk newsstands, removing the last major hurdle in the city's long-awaited plan to spruce up its street amenities, and in the process, create a consistent look for everything from bus shelters to trash cans. (NY Times)

10/15/2003

It looks like pay toilets are finally a go, but you may have to hold it a little longer: the first ones aren't expected to appear until early 2005. The City Council is scheduled Wednesday to pass the last piece of its long-delayed street furniture package, unclogging an impasse that has delayed the construction of 20 public pay potties for months. The legislation will approve the leasing of advertising space on 350 newsstands in exchange for lengthening leases for stand owners. (Newsday)

Ranking City Council members and Asian civil rights leaders denounced "Ghettopoly" as racist and hurtful Tuesday at a City Hall news conference demanding that the maker donate sales proceeds to charity as Internet bidding for the board game reached $300. The board game, which normally sells for about $30, replicates Monopoly but replaces the game pieces with "ghetto" characters including "playas," pimps and crack houses. The object of the game is to own stolen property and buy crack houses, according to the manufacturer's Web site, which was not operating Tuesday. (Newsday)

If you want to drive an off-road behemoth, you might start by getting off the city's streets, a state lawmaker says. A Queens assemblyman wants to ban monster sport-utility vehicles from New York City's streets and parkways. (Daily News)

10/14/2003

Mayor Michael Bloomberg was so eager to make nice with Bostonians Monday that he took a moment during his press conference to extol the virtues of Beantown's "Mayor Marino." (Newsday)

Thousands of spectators welcomed Mike Bloomberg with polite applause as he marched in Manhattan's Columbus Day Parade after skipping last year's event to eat lunch with two "Sopranos" actors. (Newsday)

10/13/2003

Several prominent Democrats, including U.S. Representative Major Owens and City Councilmember Robert Jackson, yesterday gave their support to a Working Families Party candidate for City Council - Letitia James. James is running against Geoffrey Davis, the brother of assassinated Councilmember James Davis and a Democrat. James Davis defeated James to win election in 2001. (Newsday)

The mayor's plan to crack down on overdevelopment will probably extend to communities in Queens and elsewhere, even though the initial focus has been on Staten Island, city officials say. (New York Post)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said yesterday that Boston Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez would have been arrested if he had been in New York - not Boston - when he threw 72-year-old Yankee coach Don Zimmer to the ground Saturday. Bloomberg neglected to mention that Zimmer had charged Martinez during a brawl that interrupted Game 3 of the American League championship series. While Boston officials did not bring charges against either man, Major League Baseball fined Martinez $50,000 and Zimmer $5,000. (New York Post)

Bloomberg wore a Yankees cap when he marched in a Bronx Columbus Day parade yesterday - but why was the Boston-bred mayor sporting red sox? (New York Times) (Daily News)

10/12/2003

Former Mayor Ed Koch condemned the indictment of Brooklyn Democratic leader Clarence Norman. Koch said the indictment grew out of a probe into whether judgeships were sold in the borough but have nothing to do with the original subject of that investigation. Instead of leading to an indictment, the former mayor said, the charges against Norman, a member of the State Assembly, should have been referred to an Assembly ethics committee. (New York Times) (New York Post)

10/11/2003

Brooklyn Democratic Party leader Clarence Norman pleaded innocent to charges of financial misconduct and was released on $25,000 bail (New York Times) (Newsday)

Clarence Norman was upbeat and playful as he was arraigned on financial misconduct charges Friday. (New York Post)

Democratic Party leaders in Brooklyn worry that the indictment of party leader Clarence Norman could damage the party's image and boost the effort to have non-partisan elections in the city. New Yorkers will vote in November on whether to amend the city charter to abolish party primaries and substitute a system of non-partisan elections. (New York Times)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed two Republicans running for City Council though neither agrees with the mayor on his 18.5 percent hike in the property tax. (Daily News)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed Jennifer Arangio, the Republican running against City Council Speaker Gifford Miller for the council seat from the East Side. The endorsement prompted Democratic council members who voted for the mayor's unpopular tax increase to accuse Bloomberg of going back on his word to support them in next month's election. Bloomberg professed not to know that Arangio was running against Miller. "I don't know if there is somebody running against her or not, but she's a Republican," he said. "She is put forward by a party that gave me an opportunity to really make a difference." Meanwhile Arangio said she might not have supported Bloomberg's tax increase, which Miller helped push through the council. Also appearing with the mayor was Philip Ragusa, the Republican running for the seat now held by Tony Avella, who voted against the property tax hike. Ragusa said he would also have opposed the tax hike along with the mayor's controversial smoking ban. (New York Times) (Newsday) (New York Post)

10/10/2003

City Council Deputy Majority Leader Bill Perkins tried to block the city from taking over a dangerously decrepit Harlem tenement, even though the landlord has accrued hundreds of serious violations and a $2.2 million tax bill. Newsday

The city's top development agency has been used as a "little bank account for the mayor's office" - paying for mayoral aides' cars, lavish parties and out-of-town trips, a scathing audit found. The Economic Development Corp., whose mission is to generate business in the city, also did not hold open bids for at least four contracts, in apparent violation of the law, according to an audit by city Controller William Thompson. (Daily News) (NY Times)

City legislators plan to raise fines for bus operators who idle their vehicles for minutes on end, spewing noxious fumes, officials said yesterday. "The longer the buses idle, the shorter our breaths become and the faster we get sick," said Speaker Gifford Miller. (NY Post)

Back in January, Mayor Bloomberg called City Council members who voted for his unpopular tax hike "brave" and said he would support them regardless of political affiliation. Cut to the present - and now the mayor is poised to toe the party line and endorse the Republican opponents of Council Speaker Gifford Miller (D-Manhattan) and Councilman Michael McMahon (D-Staten Island). Bloomberg will stand on the steps of City Hall today with Jennifer Arangio, Miller's opponent in his Manhattan district. (Daily News)

The city's sidewalk newsstands would get an upscale makeover under a bill approved yesterday by two City Council panels. The measure, sought by Mayor Bloomberg, adds 300 newsstands to the long-debated street-furniture franchise arrangement. The plan already includes 3,500 bus shelters and calls for building 20 pay toilets. The city expects to make $400million during the 20-year deal. (Daily News)

10/09/2003

City Comptroller William Thompson has launched an inquiry into last month's selection of Snapple as an official beverage of New York City. Thompson is questioning the citys decision to have a private contractor control the bidding for the $166-million dollar deal and whether some bidders were denied a chance to compete. City officials say they did everything by the book. (New York Daily News) (New York Post) (Newsday) (New York Times)

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes is expect to ask a grand jury today to indict Brooklyn Democratic Party leader Clarence Norman on larceny charges for his alleged use of party funds for personal reasons and for improperly billing the state for expenses. The expected indictments of Norman and his top aide, party executive director Jeffrey Feldman, come out of a six-month investigation into the alleged sale of judgeships in the borough. If the jury hands down the indictments, both men could have to surrender to authorities later today. Norman and Feldman have both denied any wrongdoing. (New York Post) (Newsday)

New York politicians reacted yesterday to the California recall election. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said recalls are not "a great idea," while several City Council members used the recall election to highlight their opposition to Bloomberg's proposal to abolish partisan primaries. That measure will appear on the New York ballot November 4. (Daily News) (Newsday)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Mark Green had lunch yesterday, their first private meeting since Bloomberg defeated Green in the 2001 mayoral election. Both sides characterized the meeting as little more than a friendly get-together. (Daily News) (New York Post)

10/08/2003

More than 70 Democratic Party faithful, including some elected officials, rallied yesterday in support of Brooklyn Democratic Party chief Clarence Norman. Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes is expected to indict Norman perhaps as soon as today on corruption charges stemming from an investigation into the alleged sale of judgeships in the borough. Many at the rally criticized Hynes for his investigation of Norman, charging that the district attorney has not found evidence that party officials sold judgeships so has now turned his attention to minor issues, such as Norman's credit card expenses. Some speakers seemed to suggest that race is a factor in the probe. Norman is African-American. (Daily News) (Newsday) (New York Post) (New York Times)

Members of City Council and the Department of Education clashed yesterday at hearings over a bill that would require school officials to report and tally all incidents of "harassment and bullying" in city public schools. School safety chief Benjamin Tucker said the Education Department was committed to stomping out harassment but called the proposed reporting requirements "burdensome." He said there were just 16 reported student bias incidents in the 2002-03 school year, up from 12 the year before. But members of the council said many incidents of harassment go unreported. (Daily News) (Newsday) (New York Post)

Despite a new report showing tolls on East River bridges would generate $693 million in annual revenue, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who once endorsed the idea, now shows little enthusiasm for it. (Daily News)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has long professed loyalty to his hometown Boston Red Sox, said yesterday he would root for the Yankees when they begin play against the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series tonight. "I am rooting for the Yankees, make no mistake about that," the mayor said. (Daily News) (Newsday) (New York Times) (New York Post)

City Councilmember John Liu has proposed a new law that would prohibit stores on congested streets from putting product displays on sidewalks. (Newsday)

Borough President James P. Molinaro is a cheerleader for Staten Island, where, he says, Mayor Michael Bloomberg must retain his support if he is to be re-elected in 2005. (New York Times)

10/07/2003

The governor is taking to the airwaves in a $9 million ad blitz to tout a health program for small businesses - but Democrats charged yesterday he's really just promoting himself on the public dime. The Pataki administration says it's convinced the governor is the most effective pitchman for the Healthy NY program, aimed at employers with 50 or fewer workers. (Daily News)

The City Council is taking on bullies who harass teachers and students. It will hold a hearing today on proposed legislation that would force the Education Department to draw up policies prohibiting harassment based on race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, physical appearance and mannerisms. It would also hold principals accountable for making the rules known to students. (NY Post)

The investigation of Kings County Democratic party leader Clarence Norman will likely come to a head Tuesday or Thursday, as a grand jury is expected to release the results of its probe, sources said. (Newsday)

The leaders of three minority fraternal organizations said Monday that they will begin a campaign Tuesday night to get voters to support a charter referendum aimed at eliminating party primaries. (Newsday)

10/06/2003

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said yesterday that he hoped the city would be able to cut a further $300 million in spending without resorting to some of the unpopular service cuts that he had proposed — and then abandoned — when drafting the budget last spring. (NY Times)

10/05/2003

Anyone who thinks Mayor Bloomberg isn't running for reelection should check his public schedule. In the past 4-1/2 months, Bloomberg has more than doubled the time he spends visiting the city's neighborhoods. (Daily News)

City Council candidate Geoffrey Davis, the brother of slain Councilman James Davis, is accused of threatening two of his opponent's campaign workers. (Daily News)

The Bloomberg administration is touting its nonpartisan elections referendum as a way of registering and energizing voters, but the city agency responsible for those tasks has been allowed to wither for more than a decade. (Newsday)

10/04/2003

An angry Mayor Bloomberg yesterday called a lawsuit teachers won over class sizes a union "publicity stunt." The city is appealing a ruling Wednesday by Manhattan Judge Louise Grunner Gans. (Daily News)

Put on your hiking shoes. Pedestrians should be able to cross the majestic Verrazano Bridge - just the way they can walk overother spans citywide, Mayor Bloomberg said. (Daily News)

In a major shake-up of the city committee planning the 2004 Republican National Convention, Mayor Bloomberg is installing a top aide and diminishing the role of the group's frequently absent president. (NY Post)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he thinks an industrial section of Greenpoint, Brooklyn would be a "much better place" for a power plant that a developer wants to build on the Williamsburg waterfront. (Newsday)

10/03/2003

Opponents of nonpartisan elections could push Mayor Bloomberg to dip into his vast personal wealth to promote the ballot initiative if they insist on spending in a campaign against it, the mayor warned yesterday. "I read in the paper every day of people raising money and hiring people and getting together and doing polls," Bloomberg said, adding that he had yet to decide whether he would use his own resources for advertising on behalf of the initiative. (NY Post)

A private advocacy group has accused the Bloomberg administration of laxity in enforcing human rights laws -- an allegation hotly disputed by city officials. The report, issued this week, comes from a nonprofit entity in Brooklyn called the Anti-Discrimination Center of Metro New York, directed by lawyer Craig Gurian. (Newsday)

10/02/2003

When Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave the keynote speech last month at the annual retreat held by the city's labor unions, he repeatedly razzed the union leaders in the audience for holding their conference outside the city in Melville, on Long Island. (NY Times)

A clerk at the city's Board of Elections was accused this week of leaving a threatening racist message for a black manager who is the wife of City Councilman Bill Perkins, police and city officials said. (NY Times)

Three weeks after Mayor Bloomberg blasted the municipal unions for holding a retreat outside city limits, the Education Department is planning a getaway for 90 parent support officers in Westchester. (Daily News)

10/01/2003

The City Council passed a bill yesterday that would tighten penalties for fans who run out onto the playing field during professional sporting events. The measure passed 42 to 1, with Charles Barron the only member voting against it, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to sign it. The bill creates what are said to be the harshest penalties for such offenses in the country -- fines of up to $1,000 and a year in prison. (Daily News)

At almost the halfway point in his term, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has grappled with some of the citys problems but suffers from low approval ratings among city voters. As a result, Bloomberg, who touted himself as a manager not a politician, is turning to more ceremonial and political events. (New York Time)

A civil rights group, the Anti-Discrimination Center of Metro New York, yesterday released a released a report charging that the city Commission on Human Rights, is not creating a "serious deterrent" to discrimination. The report charged that the agency rarely finds probable cause to proceed with civil rights cases, accepted fewer new cases last year than usual and did not seek stiff enough penalties in cases that were settled. The agency hotly disputed the report's characterization. (New York Times)

A panel headed by state Chief Judge Judith Kaye yesterday denied requests by two Brooklyn judges to remain in their posts past retirement age. The judges are Brooklyn Supreme Court Justices William Garry, who had been criticized by a state ethics committee, and Edward Rappaport, who was investigated and then cleared of charges by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct for not telling authorities about a judge who solicited a bribe. (Daily News)

A group of Brooklyn elected officials will rally on October 7 to support the Kings County Democratic organization and its leader, State Assemblymember Clarence Norman, State Senator Carl Andrews said Tuesday. Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes is currently investigating the partys role in the selection of judges, whether judgeships are for sale and how the party leadership spent campaign money. Andrews said Representative Major Owens, City Councilmember Al Vann and Assemblymember Roger Green have agreed to attend the pro-Norman rally. (Newsday)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced yesterday the completion of a 32-mile trail - including 23 miles of waterfront pathways - around Manhattan for biking, jogging and walking. For now, the greenway includes nine miles of routes along city streets that are interim links to the waterfront paths. The next phase will includes a bikeway on the Battery in lower Manhattan to connect the East and Hudson rivers. Officials are also working with the United Nations in the hopes of creating a connection adjacent to the UN between East 41st and E. 51st Streets. (Daily News) (Newsday)

Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder yesterday announced that she was resigning from her post in Criminal Court and indicated she might try to run against longtime Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau. (Daily News)


Click here to see The Record for September 2003