Week of October 3, 2005
October 7, 2005Subway Terror Threat
City officials increased subway security yesterday after federal authorities tipped them off to what was described as the first terrorist threat specifically naming the city's transit system. Thousands of officers have been deployed -- at least one at each of the city's 468 subway stations -- and increased bag searches are being carried out on subways, busses, and ferries. The tip, which came from a military operation in Iraq, was "specific but noncredible", according to federal authorities. It involved a plan calling for a dozen people to attack the subway with explosives hidden in suitcases and baby carriages. Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged New Yorkers to continue using the subway.
To Read More, go to City Hall News
New Plan for Preschools
Mayor Bloomberg yesterday proposed doubling the number of children enrolled in city-financed preschool programs to 250,000 children, part of a plan that he says will better help children prepare to enter a school system without social promotion. The mayor's plan also calls for consolidating the work of the three agencies that currently deal with preschoolers, and expanding preschool programs offered to municipal employees. The changes would cost $500 million; Bloomberg expects to pay with the state money from the lawsuit over the Campaign for Fiscal Equity.
Federal Funding for First Responders Cut (Daily News)
NYC Calendar: Architecture Week, Open House New York, and More (Gotham Gazette)
October 6, 2005Construction Jobs Initiative
Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced plans yesterday to bolster job opportunities in the construction industry for minorities and women. Trade unions have agreed to reserve over 40 percent of slots in apprenticeships for veterans, women, graduates of public high schools, and other disadvantaged workers, giving such groups access to up to 1,000 jobs each year. The city is also planning a new high school whose curriculum will be based on preparing students for building trades. Several prominent Democrats publicly supported the mayor's proposals. Critics cite unemployment among minorities as one of Bloomberg's major failings, however, and Democratic mayoral candidate Fernando Ferrer said that Bloomberg's initiative was "a day late and a dollar short."
Cracks Emerge in Teachers Union Pact (Daily News)
City Strengthens Human Rights Law (Gotham Gazette)
Civil Rights Links In The News (Gotham Gazette)
October 5, 2005Ropes for Firefighters
Five years after the Fire Department stopped issuing ropes to firefighters, the department yesterday introduced a new rope system that features 50 feet of rope, a descent device modeled on those used by rock climbers, and a metal hook that can be attached to a radiator or a window sill. The move to give all firefighters the ropes, which will cost $11 million, comes after two firefighters -- neither of whom had ropes -- died when they jumped from a burning building in the Bronx last January.
The Harlem Debate
Furor continues over Mayor Michael Bloomberg�s refusal to attend tomorrow night�s mayoral debate in Harlem. Three good government groups yesterday issued a statement saying the mayor�s decision not to take part in the debate at the Apollo could damage the integrity of the campaign finance system, which requires that candidates receiving public funds debate. Bloomberg is not accepting public funds. Floyd Flake, a key black supporter of the mayor, said Bloomberg might still show up, but a spokesperson for the mayor said Bloomberg had to take time off for the Jewish holiday this week and so had not had time to prepare.
For more, see Campaign News .
Most Subway Crashes Caused by Human Error (Daily News)
Money from Filtration Plant Begins to Show Up in Bronx Parks (Norwood News)
East River Access From The Lower East Side (Gotham Gazette)
Waterfront Links In The News (Gotham Gazette)
October 4, 2005A New Deal For Teachers
After working without a contract for more than two years, the city�s public school teachers now have a new deal after the United Federation of Teachers and the city reached a tentative agreement yesterday. The 52-month contract calls for a 15 percent pay raise for teachers over the next four years, requires teachers to work longer days, eliminates some seniority rights in staffing decisions and establishes a new master teacher position with higher pay. The administration said the pact would cost $350 million more than had been budgeted this fiscal year.
For more information, go to City Hall News
Who Can Afford to Live in New York City? (Gotham Gazette)
Demographics Links In The News (Gotham Gazette)
October 3, 2005First Debate, Not
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has declined to participate in the first official mayoral debate of the general election, sponsored by the Campaign Finance Board and scheduled for this Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Apollo Theater in Harlem, prompting criticism from his opponents, Democrat Fernando Ferrer and Conservative Thomas Ognibene, and their supporters. For details go to Campaign 2005
NYC Has Longest Green-Card Wait In Country (Daily News)
3. Portrait Of A South Asian Political "Fixer" In New York (New York Times Magazine)
Best Of Manhattan (New York Press)