Week of November 28, 2005
December 02, 2005City Schools Narrow Racial Gap
New York City has narrowed the racial gap in education, according to national test results released yesterday. The gap between white and black students shrunk by 10 percent, while the gap between whites and Hispanics fell seven percent. New York outpaced other urban areas in reducing these disparities, and was also the top scoring urban district among students eligible for free or reduced price lunches. Still, 43 percent of the city's fourth graders read below even basic levels, and only 20 percent of eighth graders read at a proficient level, a drop from 22 percent last year.
December 01, 2005Woman Named Top Deputy Mayor
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has begun to rearrange his administration for a second term, which he said will remain largely unchanged except for the departure of First Deputy Mayor Marc Shaw. Replacing him is Bloomberg�s long time aide Patricia Harris. Under an executive order Bloomberg signed when he took office, the first deputy mayor assumes all functions, powers and duties when the mayor leaves town. "When people say we've never had a woman mayor, when I'm out of town, we'll have a female mayor," Bloomberg said.
City Takeover Of Bus Lines Nearly Done (Newsday)
City Council Rejects Landmark Status for Brooklyn Warehouse (Gotham Gazette)
High Profile Crimes Post Election (Gotham Gazette)
Crime Links In The News (Gotham Gazette)
November 30, 2005Charges in Police Killing
The man accused of killing police officer Dillon Stewart in East Flatbush Monday morning shot another officer in Brooklyn nine days earlier, police say. Allan Cameron was arraigned yesterday on multiple charges including first degree murder for Stewart�s death and attempted murder for the shooting of off-duty police officer Wiener Philippe during a robber on November 19. Cameron was wanted for assaulting police in Pennsylvania two years ago but was never extradited, apparently because of a bureaucratic mixup. The case has sparked calls by Governor George Pataki and others for New York to reinstate the death penalty.
See Crime Links in the News.
Final Election Results
Only about a third -- 34 percent -- of registered voters -- cast ballots in this year�s mayoral election, according to official results certified by the Board of Elections yesterday. This was the lowest turnout in the last five mayoral contests. In the 2001 race, turnout was 41 percent. And while Mayor Michael Bloomberg beat Fernando Ferrer by a hefty 19.37 percentage point margin, he did not score the biggest win ever for a Republican over a Democrat. That record remains with Fiorello La Guardia, who had a 19.73 percentage-point edge in 1937.
For more, see Voting Links in the News.
Public Gets a Look at New Subway Cars (NY Times)
EPA to Scale Back Testing Near Ground Zero (Washington Post)
Community Development Television (Gotham Gazette)
November 29, 2005Cop Killed
Dillon Stewart, 35, a five-year veteran of the New York Police Department, became the first city officer to be killed in the line of duty this year when he was shot by a man who had run a red light in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. Stewart was wearing a bulletproof vest, but the bullet reportedly entered through a gap in the vest into his left underarm. Seven other officers have been shot (but not killed) in the line of duty this year, and at least seven others have been killed on duty since Sept. 11, 2001. For details of the shooting, see crime links in the news.
With the transit workers contract set to expire on December 15, there are many articles on the negotiations between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Transport Workers Union, though little is certain. Talks reportedly are stalled, or at least progress is slow. Transit union officials say whether or not there is a strike (the first in 25 years) is up to the MTA; the MTA reportedly is asking for lesser benefits for future employees and more flexibility in work assignments. The authority wants to combine the jobs of the train operator and train conductor into one job, though, the Times reports, the jobs �have been separate since the development of the steam engine in the 19th century.� For details, go to transportation links in the news.
Mayor And Council Rushing To Toughen Noise Code (Daily News)
Arts Education (Gotham Gazette)
Arts Links In The News (Gotham Gazette)
November 28, 2005Battle Over Emissions
New York is adopting the most ambitious regulations for automobile emissions since federal fuel economy regulations were enacted in the 1970's. They require a 30 percent reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by the 2016. They will also require a 40 percent improvement in fuel economy for vehicles sold in the state. Environmentalists say the regulations will help curtail global warming and encourage more hybrid automobiles. But automakers, who are moving to block the law, contend that the regulations will limit the availability of sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks, and vans and increase costs for consumers.
Tourism Slogan Revamp
The state’s successful “I Love New York" campaign is getting an upgrade. The New York State Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus has sent out requests for proposals to a dozen research firms to assess the impact of the brand and come up with ways to make it stronger. Officials say competition among neighboring states has increased in recent years and New York has not kept up with promotional spending.
Bed Bug Infestation Hits NYC (NY Times)
City Plans for Potential Transit Strike (Daily News)
Sex Education Gets Makeover (Daily News)
Law Aims to Keep Handbills Off of Cars (NY Post)
Measuring the City Council (Gotham Gazette)
Conversation with Author Jonathan Lethem (Gotham Gazette)
School Choice, School Confusion (Gotham Gazette)
Education Links In The News (Gotham Gazette)