Week of October 10, 2005
October 14, 2005Fund for Affordable Housing
The Bloomberg administration has reached a deal with banks and foundations to provide up to $200 million for affordable housing, which the city hopes will result in 30,000 new units of low and moderate income housing over ten years. The project establishes the New York Acquisition Fund, through which banks will provide loans of up to $5 million to help non-profit developers compete in a tight real estate market. The city and seven philanthropic foundations will provide money to secure the loans against default. The city's share is $8 million.
Best of New York 2005 (Village Voice)
October 13, 2005Sanitation Contract
Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a tentative contract agreement with the city's sanitation workers that would give 17 percent pay raises, the largest increase for any municipal union in recent years. The mayor said the raises would be financed through cost-saving measures like one-person trucks, which require one worker to drive and collect trash from large garbage bins. The agreement also institutes longer work days, cuts 200 jobs, and reduces the starting salary from $30,000 to $26,000 a year, which is still higher than the $25,100 starting pay for police officers. The 6,000 sanitation workers must vote on the contract.
Bloomberg's Quest for a Legacy (NY Observer)
The School Admissions Scramble (Gotham Gazette)
Education Links In The News (Gotham Gazette)
October 12, 2005Free Parking at Meters on Sundays
The City Council voted 42 to 2 yesterday to override a veto by Mayor Bloomberg and enact a new law doing away with parking meter rules on Sundays. The change, which takes effect in 30 days and will affect 32,000 curbside spots and 4,500 spaces in municipal lots, was praised by supporters, especially worshipers who had complained that they had had to dash out of services to feed parking meters. Charging for parking spaces on Sundays became more common three years ago as the city looked for a way to help ease the fiscal crisis. Sunday metering brought up to $7 million a year into the city�s revenue, along with another $5 million in fines for parking tickets.
The City Council also overrode a mayoral veto yesterday of a bill requiring large grocery stores to increase health insurance coverage for their workers.
For more information, go to City Council Stated Meeting.
FDNY Recalls Safety Rope System (Daily News)
Teacher Delegates Vote For New Contract (NY Post)
Mayor Defends Subway Security Decision (Newsday)
Council Overrides Mayoral Vetoes on Health Care and Sunday Parking (Gotham Gazette)
Hunger and Obesity In The Two New Yorks (Gotham Gazette)
October 11, 2005Subway Threat A Hoax
The newspapers are reporting that the threat of a bomb in the subway was �fabricated� (Newsday) or a �hoax� (the Post), U.S. intelligence reportedly having been misled by an informant. Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced yesterday �over the immediate future we'll slowly be winding down the enhanced security" that has been in place since Thursday. Various criticisms of local and federal handling of the incident are being voiced. For details, see the Transportation links in the news and The Wonkster
A debate is heating up over charter schools in New York, which Newsday defines as �essentially public schools that operate outside local school systems.� The state legislature capped the number of such schools in the state at 100. There are now 84, of which 47 are in New York City. Both Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Democratic opponent Fernando Ferrer believe the cap should be raised. But critics say there should be a moratorium until the existing charter schools can be assessed. Proponents of charter schools say that students do better in them. Critics say the results are skewed; a recent report, for example, found that there are far fewer students with disabilities in these schools, which thus raise the average test scores. For details, see the Education links in the news.
School Buses May Foul Air for Many Years (NY Times)
Mayor�s Management Report for 2005: Thinner, Less Useful (Gotham Gazette)
Finance Links In The News (Gotham Gazette)
October 10, 2005Bloomberg�s Millions
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has spent more than $46.6 million of his own money on his election campaign so far -- exceeding his record in 2001 and putting him on track to spend more than anyone has ever spent to win any office other than the presidency. The mayor, who reportedly has wealth totaling about $6 billion, is expected to be even more lavish in the closing days of the campaign. In contrast, campaign records filed Friday show that Bloomberg�s rival, Fernando Ferrer, who has had to raise money and collect matching funds, has spent approximately $6.5 million. As most New York television watchers know, the bulk of Bloomberg�s millions has gone for television and radio advertising.
For more, see Campaign 2005.
The weekend passed without incident on the city�s subways and buses as officials investigated whether an alleged terror threat to New York�s mass transit system was real. Despite the arrests of three insurgents in Iraq, U.S. intelligence officials said they did not think the attack threat was credible. But Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly defended their announcement of the threat and their aggressive security measures. �"We had to do what we did,� Kelly said.
For more see Transportation Links in the News.
Some Neighborhoods Seek to Curb Development (NY Times)
Election Set to Fill Norman�s Assembly Seat (Daily News)
Weingarten Says Teachers May Reject Contract Deal (Daily News)
MTA Names New Police Chief (Newsday)
Examining Slavery in New York (Washington Post)
New York�s Fiscal Crisis 30 Years Later (Gotham Gazette)
A Guide to Questions on the November Ballot (Gotham Gazette)
Immigrants Links In The News (Gotham Gazette)