The Record: October 2004


Government drivers have piled up tens of thousands of dollars in overtime pay - nearly doubling their base salaries. The leader of the pack was Robert Macko, who chauffeured Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz to what was described as a dizzying array of official events. Macko pulled down $79,475 last year on a base of $45,000. (New York Post)


Mayor Bloomberg vetoed a bill banning the sale and operation of motorized scooters in the city, City Council officials disclosed yesterday. It marks Bloomberg's 22nd veto since he took office three years ago … Bloomberg's scooter veto is destined to be overridden by the 51-member Council. An override requires at least 34 votes, which won't be a problem with the scooter bill. All 51 Council members voted for it last month - even the only three Council Republicans. (Daily News)


The Bloomberg administration and the City Council staked out opposing positions yesterday on a new tenants' rights bill, ratcheting up the debate over how New York City can best preserve housing for the poor and working class. (Newsday) (NY Times)

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has taken shots at various opponents this week, at times with glee. But Mr. Bloomberg has had nothing but praise but two people who may indirectly cause his biggest political headache in a year - the two people in charge of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, who suggested this week that fare increases and service cuts are imminent. (NY Times)

Despite a multibillion-dollar budget deficit, the city does not expect to lay off any city workers, Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday. (Newsday) (Daily News)

A city councilman is threatening to go to court to block any construction at the African Burial Ground in lower Manhattan, just weeks before federal officials announce a memorial design for the site. (Daily News)

Columbia University's probe of alleged anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism on campus was applauded yesterday by Mayor Bloomberg. (Daily News)


With a new round of barbed rhetoric, the City Council voted 42-7 Wednesday to offer candidates six public dollars for each private dollar raised against foes who refuse to restrict their campaign spending. (Newsday)

The council yesterday approved a new sidewalk cafe at Le Bilboquet, though several members criticized interested parties for trying to influence the legislative process. (NY Times) (NY Post)

Weeks after Mayor Bloomberg ignored a report that parents were being asked to supply their kids' toilet paper and paper towels, principals were told to expect surprise visits from school health officials to make sure the toilets are clean, stocked and working. The City Council will hold a hearing on the issue. (Daily News)


A City Council committee voted yesterday to increase the amount of public money available to candidates facing wealthy, self-financed opponents -- such as Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The changes, which the full council is expected to pass today, would allow certain contributions to be matched six to one with public funds, an increase from the current maximum of five to one. (New York Times)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg yesterday condemned a City Council proposal that would increase the public matching funds that the mayor's election opponent could receive next year. (New York Post)

City Council Education Committee Chair Eva Moskowitz yesterday advised Mayor Michael Bloomberg to hold fast in his contract negotiations with the teachers union and not abandon efforts to ease work rules that school officials have long complained hamper their ability to run the system. Moskowitz's letter prompted sharp rebukes from Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Gifford Miller (New York Times) (New York Sun)


Straphangers can get a glimpse of what the subway used to look like starting tomorrow, when the underground heart of New York celebrates its 100th birthday. Vintage cars will roll along IRT lines in Manhattan from tomorrow to Friday. (Daily News)

Mayor Bloomberg urged healthy New Yorkers to step aside and save the precious little flu vaccine that's available for their neighbors who really need it.

(Daily News)

The city Health Department expects to soon get the rest of the flu vaccine it ordered, and hopes it can get more from the federal government Ń but there's no guarantee that everyone considered high risk will get a shot. The department has already received between 60,000 and 70,000 doses, out of 140,000 ordered. (New York Post)

Embattled City Councilman Allan Jennings has branded as "racist" the ongoing council hearings into sex-harassment charges against him. (New York Post)

Members of the City Council's ethics committee have spent the equivalent of more than a work week in hearings involving sexual misconduct charges against a council member from Queens and are frustrated by the glacial pace of the proceedings, sources said. The committee, which is trying the case against Allan Jennings Jr., spent more than six hours hearing testimony yesterday alone and has convened 10 times since September 20 for hearings lasting anywhere from three to six hours (New York Sun)


A new report by Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum takes a jab at the city's flu hotlines, saying they provide confusing and faulty information to New Yorkers desperately seeking flu shots amid a frightening vaccine shortage. (Daily News)


Last March, Gov. George E. Pataki and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg stood together and proudly announced an agreement with the Jets to build a $1.4 billion football stadium on the far West Side of Manhattan ..[But] it is Mr. Bloomberg who makes the weekly case for the stadium, both to the public and to officials in Albany, who are needed to see the stadium through, while Mr. Pataki has remained largely silent. (New York Times)


City agencies are going to have to come up with $900 million in additional savings to help close a budget gap next year now estimated at $3 billion, Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday. Just days after dispensing $250 million in property-tax rebates, the mayor warned that the city is going to need substantial help from the state and federal governments to make it through fiscal 2006, which begins next July 1. (New York Post) Aides expect most agencies, including police and fire, will face a 3% cutback (Daily News) (New York Times)

The city has recovered an astonishing $17.6 million from the estate of a former tax assessor who masterminded one of the biggest corruption scams in municipal history, officials said yesterday. The Department of Investigation reported that the ill-gotten haul was recovered in a federal civil action against the estate of Albert Schussler, a one-time tax assessor-turned-consultant. (New York Post)


Donald Trump graciously made room yesterday on his mega-hit TV show, "The Apprentice," for another New York billionaire: Mayor Bloomberg. (Daily News)

City Councilman Hiram Monserrate couldn't have picked a worse day to park illegally on East 63rd Street. (NY Post)


City Comptroller William C. Thompson issued a strongly worded letter yesterday criticizing the Bloomberg administration's $3 billion financing plan for redeveloping the far West Side of Manhattan as an "extremely risky" strategy that could jeopardize the city's ability to use its tax dollars to pay for essential services. (NY Times) (Daily News)

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg urged all New York landlords and homeowners yesterday to install carbon monoxide detectors, a day after three people were poisoned in their home on Staten Island. (NY Times)

A brewhaha is fermenting over how Mayor Bloomberg got hold of a forbidden beer can at the Jets game in the Meadowlands on Sunday. (Daily News)


Faced with a shortage of federal housing vouchers for poor families, the city Department of Homeless Services announced yesterday that it would no longer allow people in homeless shelters to apply for the vouchers but would instead make them available to families of the working poor who are not homeless. As part of the plan, the city says it will create a rent subsidy program funded by the city, state and federal governments for families in shelters, but, unlike the federal Section 8 vouchers, the city ones would be valid for only five years and would decrease in value each year. (New York Times) (Daily News) (Newsday)

Matt Foreman, a longtime gay activist, resigned from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Commission on Human Rights yesterday to protest the administration’s opposition to a law passed by City Council that would require many companies doing business with the city to grant their employees domestic partner benefits. (New York Post) (Daily News)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg yesterday said the city did not have any additional money to give the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and urged the agency to “do more with less” before raising fares. Bloomberg has ordered his four appointees to the MTA board not to vote for a fare hike in December. (New York Post)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a rally with several medal winners from this summer’s Olympics to build support for bringing the 2012 games to New York City. (Newsday)

At a community meeting Monday night, hundreds of residents of Washington Heights and Inwood challenged Mayor Michael Bloomberg to do more to fight crime in their area. They complained of drug sales, prostitution, car thefts, packs of pit bulls in a local park, drag racing, and a less-than-responsive police force. (New York Times)

U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner is running for Congress this year but an advertisement for his re-election campaign attacks Mayor Michael Bloomberg who, of course, is not on the ballot in November. Weiner is considered a likely candidate for mayor in 2005. (New York Times) (Newsday)


Brooklyn Democratic boss Clarence Norman has opened a legal-defense fund to fight pending criminal charges of threats and larceny - but he won't be raiding his campaign treasury, as ex-state Sen. Guy Velella did, to pay lawyers' bills. (New York Post)

Two days after The Post reported a food delivery lag forced P.S. 26 on the Lower East Side to serve each student a hard-boiled egg and corn for a recent lunch, city education officials were on hand yesterday to make sure the kids got meals fit for a king. (New York Post)


Transit officials are planning to close a whopping 164 token booths - leaving riders to walk hundreds of feet belowground or dodge traffic aboveground to get to the nearest clerk. (Daily News


The brouhaha over ex-state Sen. Guy Velella's early release from jail has exposed some eyebrow-raising connections of one of the men behind the controversial decision. Raul Russi resigned last week as chairman of the board that sprang the disgraced Bronx Republican powerhouse from Rikers Island. But he held onto another mayoral appointment that presents an apparent conflict of interest. In March, Mayor Bloomberg named Russi to the Board of Correction - an official watchdog of the city jails - based on a recommendation from Martin Horn, the commissioner of both the city Correction and Probation departments. But Russi also earns $125,000 a year as head of a nonprofit drug treatment agency that relies on Probation Department referrals of recently released inmates. The dual role puts Russi in the position of monitoring Horn's stewardship of the Correction Department while making a salary from an organization that gets business from Horn's Probation Department. (Daily News)


Twenty-seven new medallions, which were auctioned yesterday, will bring the total number of accessible cabs to 30 out of the 12,487 taxis on the streets. There are now only three cabs, all minivans with wheelchair ramps (New York Times)

After federal prosecutors announced this week that they were investigating whether New York City had misrepresented the lead levels in its drinking water, health and environmental officials moved quickly to reassure the public that the problem was most likely in the complex federal testing procedures, not the water itself (New York Times)

Mayor Bloomberg said he'll use his power to nix any subway and bus fare hikes - for now. On his weekly radio show, Bloomberg said he told his four appointees on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board "not to vote for any increases until we get a chance to really see whether there are any opportunities to do more with less." The MTA will hold hearings next month on its 2005 budget and plans to fill a $436 million deficit. Under one plan, monthly unlimited-ride MetroCards would increase $6 to $76 and weekly cards would go up $3 to $24. Commuter rail riders would see prices go up an average of 5% and tolls would go up as much as 50 cents. (Daily News)

Under an obscure section of New York State law, those sworn in as citizens after the registration deadline are allowed to register in person at the Board of Elections headquarters in their county until 10 days before the election, or next Saturday, according to Jerome A. Koenig, a retired chief of staff of the Assembly's Election Law Committee.Officials at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services said the provision could affect about 2,000 new citizens in the New York metropolitan area, all sworn in or scheduled to be sworn in as citizens between Oct. 11 and Oct. 22. (The New York Times)


The City Council issued a rare batch of subpoenas yesterday demanding details from the secretive city board that sprung former state Sen. Guy Velella from Rikers Island. (Newsday) (Daily News)

Thousands of students in failing New York City high schools won't be allowed to transfer this year, despite the federal law that requires options for all students attending struggling schools. (NY Sun)

Two years after promising to build 65,000 units of affordable housing over five years, the city is 40% there, Mayor Bloomberg announced yesterday. (NY Times) (Daily News)

A nonprofit group tied to the chairman of the commission that sprung state Sen. Guy Velella from jail early received a $24 million city grant six days before the panel's vote, it was revealed yesterday. (NY Post)

Mayor Bloomberg yesterday filed suit to block enactment of a law that would force contractors who do business with the city to offer benefits to domestic partners of their employees. (NY Post)

Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff admitted the city can host the Olympics without an extended No. 7 subway line - leading critics to charge the city is rushing the $2 billion project. (Daily News)


The Bloomberg administration and the United Federation of Teachers are closing in on a contract deal. (NY Times)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said yesterday that a little-known mayoral commission erred when it voted to release former State Senator Guy J. Velella from jail three months into his yearlong jail sentence, but the mayor stopped short of saying that Mr. Velella ought to be sent back to jail. (NY Times) (NY Post)

Mayor Bloomberg continued to shake up the secretive city commission that sprang former state Sen. Guy Velella from jail last month - forcing out all three remaining members yesterday. (Daily News)

A bill to create an independent panel of experts and municipal workers to probe child-care deaths was introduced into the City Council yesterday as lawmakers move to tackle the rising fatality rates. (NY Post)

City Council members voted to bring an Ikea store to Brooklyn. The plan received enthusiastic support and strong accolades for Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez, who oversaw the proposal and represents the Red Hook section where the store is to open. (Newsday)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg honored 12 New York scientists yesterday with the Mayor's Awards for Excellence in Science and Technology, an annual program administered by the New York Academy of Sciences that recognizes outstanding achievement. (NY Times)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned yesterday that the state's desire to impose heightened scrutiny of student performance in exchange for more aid would undermine the mayoral control of the schools he has fought so hard to achieve. (NY Times)


The chair of the city commission that emerged from obscurity into a political furor when it granted former state Sen. Guy Velella an early release from jail last month, resigned yesterday. (Daily News) (New York Post) (Newsday)

Some City Council members are proposing creation of a new independent panel to investigate deaths of children in the city. The proposal comes following the release of figures by the city showing that the number of children who have died from abuse or maltreatment has increased sharply this year over last. (Newsday) (New York Post)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has repeatedly complained about a federal formula for anti-terrorism funding that he says unfairly favors rural states, yesterday repeated those complaints, focusing on money going to Alaska. (Newsday)


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg hinted yesterday that he might dismiss the entire four-member mayoral commission whose members voted to release Guy J. Velella, the former state senator, just three months into his yearlong sentence for conspiracy to accept bribes. (New York Times)

A top national law firm is joining New York City's landmark case that claims the firearms industry is responsible for gun crimes, replacing another major firm that stopped representing the city after at least one of its corporate clients complained about its role in the suit. The entry of the new law firm for the city, Thelen Reid & Priest, is to be made in a court filing today, city lawyers said yesterday. Thelen Reid, like the city's prior legal ally, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, agreed to work on the case at no charge. (New York Times)

A day after parents made a stink about toilet paper shortages in schools, Mayor Bloomberg pooh-poohed the problem by saying stalls are stocked. "I think this is the perfect example of a tempest in a toilet bowl," Bloomberg said yesterday in response to a Daily News report that public school parents are being asked to cough up cash for toilet paper and paper towels. (Daily News)

With the mayoral race less than 13 months away, Bloomberg is studying Spanish again - boasting yesterday that he takes daily 7 a.m. lessons. (Daily News)


Howard Mills, for those who have not heard, is running against Charles E. Schumer, the first-term United States senator. (NY Times)

Living the Dream Part II: The ethnic map of the city is changing. As record numbers of foreign-born New Yorkers prosper, immigrants are breaking out of cramped apartments in traditional inner-city enclaves to buy houses once home to Italians, Irish, Jews and African Americans. (Daily News)

The city's economy is waking up from a three-year snooze, creating thousands of jobs in retail and tourism, financial experts said. (Daily News)

Special education students got cheated when Mayor Bloomberg overhauled the schools system, Rep. Anthony Weiner charged yesterday. (Daily News)

The city commission that authorized the early release from Rikers Island of former Sen. Guy Velella may have acted illegally, The Post has learned. (NY Post)

Sen. Chuck Schumer yesterday blamed political "ideology" for the nation's dire shortage of flu vaccine, calling on the federal government to decrease its reliance on private drugmakers and quicken the approval process required for foreign versions of the shot. "Unless the federal government gets involved, we're going to have shortages and crises like this year after year after year," Schumer told an audience at the James Lennox House Senior Residence on East 73rd street. (NY Post)

The New York Philharmonic and the musicians union have agreed to a three-year labor contract that includes a raise, benefit increases and changes to working and touring conditions, the orchestra announced yesterday. (NY Post)

When Jose, ahouse painter, got the letter at his Brooklyn home this summer, he panicked. He was among 600,000 people notified by the state Department of Motor Vehicles that they had 15 days to produce a valid Social Security number or face the loss of their driver's licenses. (Newsday)


Private donations to city public schools in the last two years have injected a staggering $175 million into the cash-strapped coffers of the Department of Education — enough to run seven large high schools for a year, officials say. (NY Post)


Last month, the fancy folding chairs were the literal seats of power, used by Republican delegates at their convention at Madison Square Garden. Now, the chairs play the supporting role in tasks more humble - a game of bridge, a glance at the newspaper, a gaze out the window. (NY Times)

Mayor Bloomberg charged yesterday that political contributions are fueling criticism of his efforts to transfer seven city-subsidized bus lines to the MTA. (Daily News)

City Councilman Vincent Gentile is refusing to meet with council lawyers investigating allegations that he sexually harassed his male chief of staff, The Post has learned. (NY Post)

The city will ration flu shots so residents who need them most will get the lifesaving vaccinations, Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday. (NY Post)

City officials on Friday held the first-ever disaster drill involving the Staten Island Ferry. (Newsday)


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's plan to ship the bulk of the city's residential garbage by barge rather than by truck was met with praise yesterday from several environmentalists and elected officials, but some questioned whether it was the cheapest and most efficient approach to handling the city's waste. (NY Times) (Newsday) (NY Post)

The chairman of the City Council Public Safety Committee denounced a federal judge yesterday as a "pompous, arrogant fool" for requiring an undercover detective to reveal her identity in open court. (NY Post)

New Yorkers across the city are finding a nice bonus in their mailboxes - a $400 property-tax rebate check from Mayor Bloomberg - and are having no trouble coming up with ways to spend their newfound cash. (NY Post)

Responding to a flood complaints from residents overdosing on ads, the city has banned pay phone companies from installing any more street phones with ad panels in most of Manhattan. Fed-up residents and civic groups have been screaming about the growing commercial clutter problem for years. (NY Post)


The Bloomberg administration has drawn up a 20-year plan to deal with the city's residential waste by shipping the bulk of it elsewhere by barge, officials who have been briefed on the plan said yesterday. (NY Times)

Students in New York have made solid gains in math for the third year in a row, suggesting that a range of new programs have begun to have an impact. (NY Times) (Daily News)

After a hearing of the City Council's transportation committee, Council and company officials said that a December takeover of private buslines now seems unlikely because the MTA and the mayor's office have not pursued it diligently. (NY Times)

Plans for the West Side's High Line are looking up, Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday. The city and the state have applied to the federal government to transform the elevated railway into a public promenade, Bloomberg said. Bloomberg also announced that landscape architecture firm Field Operations and architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, have been selected to create a master plan for the High Line. (Daily News)


A City Council subcommittee approved a plan to build a 346,000 Ikea store in the Red Hook area of Brooklyn. The approval of Ikea. comes at a time when the future of the Brooklyn waterfront appears to be taking shape. A Fairway supermarket is under construction near the Ikea site, while Bloomberg administration officials have been formulating a plan that would put a cruise ship terminal nearby . In addition, the city's long-term trash management plan, due out tomorrow, will resolve questions about whether marine transfer stations in Brooklyn will be rebuilt and put into service. And this week, the City Planning Commission began its review of an enormous proposal to rezone parts of Greenpoint and Williamsburg to encourage residential, commercial and recreational development. (New York Times)

City Councilmember Madeline Provenzano is among several people who said that they wrote letters of support for Guy Velella but did not know that their letters would be used to help the former state senator get an early release from prison. Provenzano said she wrote the letter to boost his sprits. (New York Times)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg does not plan to start looking for office space or to hire staff for his 2005 re-election campaign until next year, aides said. He can get off to a comparatively late start because he is the incumbent and because he does not have to raise any money for his campaign. (New York Sun)


Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday he may fire the chairman of a little-known panel that agreed to spring former state Sen. Guy Velella three months into a one-year prison sentence. (Daily News)

As the city prepares to unveil its 20-year plan this week for getting rid of its trash, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will also have to explain how to deal with a different challenge: actually reducing the amount of garbage New York produces and sends to landfills. Waste management experts say that by changing the way New Yorkers think about their waste, the city can exploit some innovative measures to reduce sanitation costs. Options include encouraging residents to increase the composting of food waste and yard material, expanding recycling programs and encouraging the recycling of computers and cellphones. (New York Times)

The crime rate in the city has dipped so far this year and the New York Police Department is crediting Operation Impact, a program that sends police reinforcements into troubled neighborhoods."We keep crime down by staying focused through Operation Impact and through the continued hard work of the men and women of the NYPD," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said in a statement released to The New York Sun. According to the police department's Compstat system, the crime rate slid 4.78% through October 3 of this year compared with the same period of 2003. The figure reflects a trend: Compstat shows a year-to-date drop of 10.18% over the last two years, a drop of 14.21% over the last three, and a plunge of 68.13% since the Compstat system was implemented in 1993. The decline is based on the average tally of criminal complaints for the seven major FBI crime categories. Grand larceny auto had the steepest decline, at 11.2%, though grand larceny rose 2.4%. The homicide rate fell 8.2%, though some precincts at the Bronx and Brooklyn had notable increases. These Compstat figures serve as valuable crime-fighting tools, and Mr. Kelly said they would be used to identify new targets for the deployment of fresh officers. "We are also doing a better job at gathering and analyzing criminal intelligence," said Mr. Kelly in the statement. "We want to apply that knowledge to attack violent crime in those few precincts where it has increased." By that measurement, Bedford-Stuyvesant's 73rd Precinct is a leading candidate for more officers. The 73rd Precinct experienced the most substantial jump in homicides so far this year: an increase of 166.6%, to 24 murders, from nine during the 2003 period. Other trouble spots include the 46th Precinct at University Heights, where homicides jumped 128.5%, to 16 from seven, and the 60th Precinct at Coney Island, where homicides increased 75%, to 14 from eight. (NY Sun)

Schools Chancellor Joel Klein said yesterday the public-education system in New York City and other urban areas is "broken." "And it is broken badly," Klein told a roomful of university administrators at the Marriott Financial Center in downtown Manhattan. "We have to get serious about fixing it," he said. "It's not going to come about with doing a little bit here and little bit there and ... from the incrementalist view that we're almost there."Ę The chancellor implored educators to embrace merit-based pay for public school teachers and to be patient with the slow pace of change. He predicted it would take at least eight years for Mayor Bloomberg to implement his reforms and vowed to stay on as chancellor if Bloomberg is reelected. (NY Post)

Authorities yesterday unearthed a suspected Gambino graveyard in an overgrown Queens lot where at least five men - including the unlucky guy who accidentally ran over and killed mob don John Gotti's son in 1980 - are believed to have been buried. FBI agents, backed by cadaver-sniffing dogs, a helicopter and heavy construction equipment, swooped down on the site on 75th Street in Ozone Park, specifically searching for at least two bodies believed to have been stuffed into steel drums, and three more wrapped in canvas. (New York Post)

The commissioner of the city's Department of Buildings, Patricia Lancaster, is speaking tomorrow at the Manhattan Institute on the revision of the building code. The talk, titled "From the Ground Up: Recreating New York's Building Code," will focus on the city's effort to simplify a code that construction experts deem one of the country's most stringent and complicated.In the revision effort, 400 experts from the public and private sectors have been poring over the building code for several months, conducting line-by-line comparisons with the International Building Code, or IBC, which has been adopted by 47 states and is widely considered the gold standard.Because of the city's unique characteristics, including high levels of population density, widespread bedrock and landfill, and tidal and wind conditions arising from the island locations of four of the five boroughs, the experts have been asked to incorporate those idiosyncrasies into the IBC."We won't adopt the IBC as is, but need to compare each and adopt the best aspects of both codes," a spokeswoman for the Department of Buildings, Jennifer Givner, said.The committees - whose meetings are not public - have largely completed their work and expect to submit a new code to the City Council for approval sometime this fall, Ms. Givner said.Proponents of revising the building code say it will bring down the cost of construction in the city and will enable developers from across the country to operate more easily in the real-estate market. (NY Sun)

Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott vowed yesterday to make sure no more students are jammed into the city's Sardine High - which is already more than 1,000 kids above capacity.Ę "Maxwell should be capped at this moment," Walcott said of William H. Maxwell Career and Technical Education High School in Brooklyn. "No more students can go into Maxwell." His comments came after a Daily News special report yesterday detailed jam-packed conditions at the school - the most crowded in the city, according to the Independent Budget Office. (Daily News)


Despite having to serve only a cushy, three-month jail sentence, former state Sen. Guy Velella was a sniveling coward behind bars, moaning to friends that the conditions were atrocious. (NY Post)

Joseph L. Bruno, the Republican Senate majority leader, has so far declined to send to the governor a bill that lawmakers say would ensure on-time state budgets. (NY Times)

An unattended baby who suffocated at a Queens day care center in August an hour after two city inspectors left without noticing any signs of trouble "probably would have been dead regardless" of whether the inspectors were guilty of any lapses, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said yesterday. (NY Times)

A large group of Republican officials gathered in a Staten Island catering hall last week to endorse Alfred B. Curtis, the candidate for a State Senate seat that covers a portion of the island and part of Brooklyn. And one by one, as guests at the fund-raiser dined on calamari and ziti, the elected officials urged the crowd to work to ensure that Mr. Curtis wins and that the seat shifts to Republican hands. (NY Times)


The number of tourists who visited New York City to enjoy its cultural offerings decreased in 2003, but visitors spent more money on average during their stay. (NY Times)

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is projecting budget deficits of more than a billion dollars in the coming years, and another round of fare increases and service cuts appears imminent. But now transportation authority officials want to spend even more money to continue to maintain the system, and even the authority's critics are hard-pressed to fault them for it. (NY Times)

The rail tunnels into and out of Manhattan are dangerously inadequate and need hundreds of millions of dollars in renovation, Sen. Chuck Schumer said yesterday. (Daily News) (Newsday)

Accusing Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes and his staff of having a "lack of prosecutorial self control," Assemblyman Clarence Norman Jr. is asking a state judge to dismiss larceny and coercion charges involving recent judicial elections. (Newsday)


For the first time in a generation, New York State has had sustained declines in out-of-wedlock births. (NY Times)

The Bloomberg administration has announced a plan to stop shipping the city's commercial waste through the Bronx and Brooklyn. (NY Times) (Daily News)

The chairman of an obscure city commission that created a stir by granting an early jail release to Guy J. Velella said that he did not regret the decision. (NY Times)

Leaders of the union representing janitors and other workers boasted yesterday that they had achieved their main goal in reaching a settlement that avoided a strike at 1,000 New York office buildings, while management's negotiators said the accord was more generous than they had hoped. The two sides acknowledged that the cost of the three-year deal - an increase of nearly 4 percent a year in wages and benefits - could push up rents for office tenants. Additionally, the deal is expected to set the pattern for a separate agreement covering apartment building workers, thus helping to push up maintenance costs for cooperative and condominium owners. (NY Times)

New York City has spent almost $330,000 in lawyers' fees for city employees in the investigation of the crash of the Staten Island ferry last October, the corporation counsel's office said yesterday. (NY Times)

New York's politicians have been accused from time to time of speaking with forked tongues, but they never enacted any laws about them. Until this week, that is, when Gov. George E. Pataki signed one prohibiting the little-known practice of tongue-splitting, except when it is done by licensed physicians or dentists. (NY Times)

A ferry boss charged with manslaughter could be putting himself in hot water by letting the city pay for his lawyer, prosecutors in the Staten Island Ferry crash case cautioned a federal judge yesterday. (NY Post)

Homeowners are swamping the city's 311 number to make sure their $400 property-tax rebate checks are in the mail. (NY Post)

Accusing the DA's office of having a "lack of prosecutorial self control," Brooklyn Democratic Party chairman Clarence Norman has asked a state judge to toss out larceny and coercion charges leveled against him. (NY Post)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg believes that all the area's professional sports teams -- including the New York Mets -- should be playing in New York and not in New Jersey. (Newsday)

Hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities cannot prohibit gay and lesbian domestic partners from visiting loved ones under a bill signed into law Friday by Gov. George Pataki. (Newsday)

A Brooklyn federal judge said the key criminal trial stemming from last year's fatal Staten Island ferry crash could take place in April. (Newsday)

Translation services need to be expanded to help immigrant parents be more involved in their children's education, City Council members, parents and advocacy groups said Thursday. (Newsday)


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said yesterday that he had asked the city's Department of Investigation to examine how a little-known commission of mayoral appointees decided to grant early jail release to former State Senator Guy J. Velella. The mayor also suggested that the panel itself should be abolished. (NY Times) (NY Post) (Newsday)

New Jersey officials hope to woo the New York Mets with an offer of a new stadium, but Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said yesterday that "the Mets aren't going anyplace." (NY Times) (Daily News)

The city Department of Education's method for grading schools is woefully inadequate and in need of an overhaul, the head of the City Council Education Committee charged yesterday. (NY Post)

Council members launched a push yesterday to make public schools provide interpreters for parents who don't speak English. Under a bill, notices and documents aimed at parents - including report cards - would have to be translated into eight languages. (Newsday) (Daily News) (NY Post)


Click here to see The Record for September 2004