First Read – February 21, 2014

Written by City & State on . Posted in Daily.


WEATHER: Unseasonably balmy with showers and thunderstorms. New York City, high 50; Albany, high 45; Buffalo, high 53.


WINNERS AND LOSERS: A mayor filling potholes. A governor who insists he isn’t running for president tweeting about past presidents on Presidents’ Day. A state senator accused of plagiarism. And a fury over educating prison inmates. This week felt like a tennis match–your head bobbing back and forth from story to story. And like any game, there were winners and losers:



* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s two-car caravan was seen speeding, blowing through stop signs and violating other traffic laws just days after announcing a plan to stop traffic deaths, CBS New York reports:

* De Blasio will announce today that his administration will transfer over 400 children and families from two city homeless shelters repeatedly cited for poor conditions in the past decade, The New York Times writes:

* The state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that state auditors would have to prove out-of-state residents used New York properties as their own houses in the course of a year to pay city and state income taxes, The Wall Street Journal reports:

* Assemblyman Micah Kellner, who has been dogged by accusations of sexual harassment, announced that he will not run for reelection, citing his appeal of Assembly sanctions, Politicker reports:

* Assemblyman Karim Camara said he’s studying whether a state authority could provide housing support for new charter schools if the de Blasio administration makes it difficult to build new facilities, the Post reports:

* New York’s EngageNY database of identifiable student information has been delayed to the start of the next school year, with the remaining data scheduled to be shared with the state’s partner, inBloom, two months prior to the full release, Gannett Albany writes:

* National Republicans began airing an attack ad against Rep. Tim Bishop highlighting the unresolved ethics investigation into a campaign donation from a constituent he helped with a fireworks permit in 2012, Newsday reports:

* State Sen. Greg Ball’s office fired an employee responsible for cribbing uncredited writing from an array of sources for use in his legislation banning killer whales from New York aquariums, the Times Union writes:

* The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is prepared to request a second round of mediation in its labor dispute with Long Island Rail Road workers that would delay a strike until July 20, the Daily News writes:

* Suffolk Republicans named Anthony Senft, an Islip Town Board member, as their candidate to succeed congressional candidate state Sen. Lee Zeldin, over a more senior Brookhaven Town Board member, Timothy Mazzei, Newsday reports:

* Republican Bruce Bakeman launched his campaign to succeed retiring Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, attacking President Barack Obama and House Democrats alongside Rep. Peter King, who endorsed his candidacy, Newsday reports:

* David Ranta, a man wrongfully convicted who spent 23 years in prison of murder after being framed by a New York City detective, will receive $6.4 million in a settlement issued by the city comptroller’s office, the Times writes:



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* Some say rules reform in the New York City Council will weaken the Speaker, but it is better to have a system to build consensus than to encourage bullying and soft bribery, Councilman Brad Lander writes in City & State:

* The Times hails a decision by state corrections officials who agreed to new guidelines for the maximum length prisoners may be placed in solitary confinement, after similar reform in the New York City jail system:

* The Post is “encouraged” by de Blasio’s remarks to the Real Estate Board of New York that he plans to build “aggressively” and vow to let builders “use height and density to the maximum feasible extent”:

* In the Daily News, Ben Max of writes that no state should have committed to the Common Core education standards without committing to a rewrite of its content standards focused on reducing breadth:

* With the spotlight on full-day pre-K, the governor and Legislature have failed to protect access in the state to kindergarten, writes Sister Ana Maria Causa and Rev. Bruce Baker of Westchester United in City & State:



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HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Today, to Assemblyman Michael Cusick … to Pat Barrientos … to Jovana Rizzo, senior associate with BerlinRosen … to Anne Michaud, interactive opinion editor for Newsday … to Shontell Smith, counsel to the Senate Democratic Conference … to Assemblyman Dan Stec … to New York City Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo … and to Patricia Nixon Cox … on Saturday, to state Sen. Patty Ritchie … to state Sen. Joseph Robach … to Acting Queens County Supreme Court Justice Cheree Buggs … and to Eric Schoen, Yonkers Rising and Rising Media Group Newspapers columnist and WVOX radio host … and on Sunday, to Craig Hammerman, district manager for Brooklyn Community Board Six.


MOVING ON: WRGB CBS 6’s Pat Bailey will join the New York Post’s statehouse bureau …  Peter Ajemian has been hired to serve as senior adviser for communications and research for state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s re-election campaign … George Damalas, formerly of New York City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr.’s office, has been hired as state Sen. Jose Serrano’s press secretary … and Health Republic Insurance of New York has hired Michael Fagan, a deputy commissioner at the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, as a senior vice president, as well as Chris Keeley, formerly the communications director at Community Voices Heard, as vice president for government affairs, and Bill Abrams, communications director for Centers Plan for Healthy Living, as director of communications at Health Republic.


CORRECTION: In Thursday’s First Read we linked to an August story regarding an upstate visit from President Barack Obama. That story was about Obama’s visit at that time, not an upcoming visit.



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Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.

10 a.m. – The Geraldo Rivera radio show includes an interview with Rep. Peter King, WABC.

10 a.m. – The Brian Lehrer Show includes interviews with Personal Democracy Media’s Andrew Rasiej on broadband internet in New York and New York City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg on Vision Zero and potholes, WNYC.

10:10 a.m. – State Sen. David Carlucci hosts The Albany Report, WRCR AM 1300.

11 a.m. – The Capitol Pressroom features City & State’s Matthew Hamilton, the Daily News’s Ken Lovett and Newsday’s Mike Gormley, Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick, and Capital District YMCA Youth in Government Program Director Phil Lanoue.

11 a.m. Rep. Paul Tonko joins local stakeholders call on House leadership to pass immigration reform, Irish American Heritage Museum, 370 Broadway, Albany.

11 a.m. – Reps. Hakeem Jeffries and Jerry Nadler join Long Island Rail Road union leaders and other elected officials to discuss strategies to avert a strike, Transport Workers Union Local 100 headquarters, 195 Montague St., 3rd floor, Brooklyn.

12:30 p.m. – State DMV Commissioner Barbara Fiala delivers a regional budget message, Hornell City Hall, City Council Chambers, 82 Main St., Hornell.

1:30 p.m. – Attorney General Eric Schneiderman joins Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Binghamton Mayor Richard David to make an announcement about his efforts to help struggling homeowners statewide, Metro Interfaith Housing Management Corporation, 21 New St., Binghamton.

3:45 p.m. – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Public Advocate Letitia James join advocates at a press conference to discuss the agreement for Long Island College Hospital, Blue Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

5 p.m. – Local 372 holds “Holding It Together with Unity, Strength and Power,” a Black History Month event, DC 37 headquarters, 125 Barclay St., Manhattan.

6:30 p.m. – Immigrant community members meet with Rep. Steve King to discuss immigration reform, 1090 Suffolk Ave., Brentwood.

7 p.m. – State Sen. Ruben Diaz, Assemblymen Luis Sepulveda and Marcos Crespo, and New York City Councilwoman Annabel Palma host “The African-American Abrazo,” Maestro’s Caterers, 1703 Bronxdale Ave., Bronx.

7 p.m. and 10 p.m. – Inside City Hall features a panel on arts in the de Blasio era with Tamara Greenfield from Fourth Arts Block, Lynn Kelly from Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Heather Woodfield from One Percent for Culture, and the Reporters Roundtable, Time Warner Cable News NY1.



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KICKER: “I like both Kathleen and Kevin personally. I just think they have bad ideas.” – Bruce Bakeman, a Republican vying for retiring Rep. Carolyn McCarthy’s seat on his counterparts in the Democratic primary, Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice and Nassau Legislature Minority Leader Kevin Abrahams, via Newsday.

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