First Read – February 6, 2014

Written by Morgan Pehme on . Posted in Latest.

WEATHER: Mostly sunny for most of the state; chance of snow in Buffalo. New York City, high 30; Albany, high 25; Buffalo, high 13.


CITY & STATE TV: Assemblyman Francisco Moya discusses his push to pass the DREAM Act in New York, which would provide access to financial aid for higher education for young illegal immigrants, in an interview with Jon Lentz:

HOW OPEN IS NEW YORK CITY’S DATA? In 2012 then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed the Open Data Policy into effect, but nearly two years later the battle over data rages on, writes Kristen Meriwether:



* A New York City Independent Budget Office report shows that city workers made nearly twice as much as their private sector counterparts in the final years of Michael Bloomberg’s time in office, the New York Post reports:

* State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico says he doesn’t know when ammunition background checks—a major component of the SAFE Act—will begin, citing an ongoing search for the right technology, the Buffalo News writes:

* According to recordings, Assemblyman William Boyland Jr.’s father allegedly took a $3,000 bribe for his son from an undercover FBI agent as Boyland Jr. sought to pad a salary that he groused could maybe pay his son’s tuition and for some gas, the Post reports:

* Queens Public Library President Thomas Galante defended his salary and the $140,000 he spent to renovate his office last year during a hearing at which City Council members said he is living too comfortably, the Daily News reports:

* Nassau County’s financial control board chairman is proposing the county lift its wage freeze if unions pay some back wages and the county finds additional revenue, Newsday writes:

* A Port Authority project to improve signals on the PATH rail system will force weekend shutdowns and is expected to rise in cost following a December decision to make sure the PATH system complies with a federal mandate, The Wall Street Journal writes:

* Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm voted twice against bringing his own bill to delay flood insurance increases to the House floor, the Daily News writes:

* Despite a report confirming that Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren’s uncle Reggie Hill would reapply for the security post he resigned from last month, he has decided not to seek the job, the Democrat and Chronicle reports:



Dutchess County residents are facing the closure of St. Francis Hospital, a critical source of behavioral and mental health services in the Mid-Hudson region. Vassar Brothers Medical Center and Health Quest have the proven financial track record to save services at St. Francis, keep them local, lower costs, and at the same time, offer employment and a fair contract to its workforce of 1,800 employees.  Learn more about Vassar Brother’s plan by visiting:




* The Post writes that as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio continues his fight against charter schools, there’s an opportunity for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to step in and prove he is the “students’ lobbyist” by rescuing charters:

* Cuomo’s ethics reforms don’t go far enough, and he would be wise to embrace “zero tolerance” rules for legislators who abuse their offices and violate the public trust, Michael Benjamin writes in the Post:

* The Daily News writes that officials who signed an open letter to de Blasio calling for him to bar police and firefighters from marching in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in their uniforms show ignorance to the First Amendment:

* The Daily News writes that given a report showing that city workers make nearly twice as much as those in the private sector, the only hope for keeping service cuts or tax hikes off the table in this round of labor negotiations is that de Blasio will tell unions enough is enough:



ACCA, in partnership with Pace University, presents “Cybercrime in the World Today 2014: Emerging Threats” on Thursday, February 13, 2014. This free event will include a networking breakfast followed by a panel of industry leaders. David Szuchman, Executive Assistant District Attorney Chief of the Investigation Division Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, will updates from the District Attorney’s office and introduce the panel of experts from IBM, Citi, FBI and IFAC.  Please click here for more details and to RSVP.



WHO’S HIRING: To advertise your employment opportunities in City & State First Read, email or call 646-442-1662.  


Communications Manager, Times Square Alliance

Salary: Commensurate with experience

The Times Square Alliance is seeking a smart, creative self-starter to join its Communications Department. The candidate must possess excellent writing and communications skills, experience in project management, digital strategy, content creation and media and public relations. The candidate will create, author, and coordinate key components of our communication vehicles reporting to the Director of Communications.

Further Info: Click here for full job description. Please email cover letter and resume to, Attn: HR – COM – Manager.


Health Law and Policy Advocate, Empire Justice Center-Albany Office

Description- This is a dynamic opportunity to help lead and shape our health law and policy work at the state level. With an initial focus on policy, the successful candidate will work with our Health Team to develop and implement a powerful blend of policy, training, technical assistance, and impact litigation to advance the needs of our clients.

To view the full job description and apply, please visit:


Director of Economic Development, Union Square Partnership (USP)

Description:  The Union Square Partnership is seeking a senior-level project manager to implement initiatives that will enhance the streetscape and promote retail and commercial activity in one of the City’s hottest 24/7 districts.  The Director will develop metrics to track the neighborhood’s overall progress and facilitate connections between businesses and a multitude of resources.  Candidates with excellent communication skills and New York City government experience a plus.

Further info: Send resume/cover letter to


Vice President, Communications, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce

Description: This position is a direct report to the President and CEO and is charged with developing and implementing comprehensive communications and strategic marketing plans to increase the organization’s visibility and sphere of influence as well as developing and enhancing the organization’s media presence. The Vice President for Communications & Marketing must make sure that the look, brand and both written and visual communications of the Chamber continue to match the outstanding programming that is being conducted. Must have press experience as a reporter and/or editor for a newspaper or website.

Further info: Send resume and expression of interest to Carlo Scissura at


HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To The Corkery Group’s Eric Blankenbaker … to political consultant Joe Mercurio … to activist Donny Moss … and to Nick Kelly, formerly of the New York City Economic Development Corporation.


MOVING ON: Ricardo Gotla of the New York League of Conservation Voters is joining the Regional Plan Association as director of public engagement… Haeda Mihaltses has been named executive director of external affairs for the New York Mets … and Jacqueline Alexander, an assistant commissioner at HPD, will join The Community Builders as become the director of development in the Mid-Atlantic region.


IN MEMORIAM: David Bruen, Putnam County’s first county executive, has died.



RACING & GAMING: City & State’s Upcoming Feb. 10 Issue Spotlight

Promote your organization’s gaming benefits and objectives to NY’s public officials in this strategic government relations communications venue. City & State magazine’s comprehensive special section will feature: Public Officials Q&A with Christopher Kay, Steven Cymbrowitz and Joseph Addabbo; Featured Editorial: RFP: Who’s In?  Who’s Out?  | Current Siting Landscape | Gaming Scorecard: Key Players, Issues and Numbers. The ad deadline is Feb. 7 at 2pm. For advertising information, please contact or call 212-284-9714.




9:30 a.m. – The state Senate and Assembly hold a joint budget hearing on higher education, Legislative Office Building, Hearing Room B, 181 State St., Albany.

10 a.m. – The Center for Migration Studies hosts a forum on immigration reform, 307 E. 60th St., Manhattan.

10 a.m. – The Brian Lehrer show features the Fiscal Policy Institute’s James Parrot on the municipal labor contract negotiations in New York City and former NYPD commissioner Bernard Kerik, WNYC.

10 a.m. – New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, state Sen. Michael Gianaris, and Assemblywoman Marge Markey join Transportation Alternatives and Make Queens Safer to call for Northern Boulevard to be incorporated into the mayor’s Vision Zero initiative, 48th Street and Northern Boulevard, Queens.

10 a.m. – New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez joins MTA New York City Transit President Carmen Bianco, MTA Vice Chairman Fernando Ferrer, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat and others to cut the ribbon on the Dyckman St 1 Station Rehabilitation Project, Dyckman Street and Hillside Avenue, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – The SUNY Downstate Coalition of Faith, Labor and Community Groups host a forum on the SUNY Downstate Medical Center with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Public Advocate Letitia James, Assemblyman Karim Camara and others followed by a noon press conference, Saint Lucia House, 438 E. 49th St., Brooklyn.

11 a.m. – The Capitol Pressroom features state Sen. John Flanagan, Siena’s Steve Greenberg, Stan Hope Partners’ Bob Bellafiore, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research President Dr. Arjun Makhijani and New York City Charter School Center’s James Merriman, WCNY.

11 a.m. – New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams attends a flag raising ceremony commemorating Grenada’s 40th anniversary of independence, Brooklyn Borough Hall, Brooklyn.

11:20 a.m. – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announces winners of the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative Grant Program, Council of Fashion Designers of America, Fashion Incubator, 209 W. 38th St., 3rd Floor, Manhattan.

11:30 a.m. – Bronx state senators, Assembly members and New York City Council members hold a rally to protect Girls Prep Bronx Charter School, Girls Prep Bronx Charter School, 681 Kelly St., Bronx.

2 p.m. – Gov. Andrew Cuomo makes an announcement, The Vanderbilt at South Beach, 300 Father Capodanno Blvd., Staten Island.

2 p.m. – De Blasio greets students at The Osborne Association, followed by an announcement at 2:30 p.m., 809 Westchester Ave., Bronx.

2 p.m. – The Assembly Housing Committee and Mitchell-Lama Subcommittee hold a joint public hearing on the current stock of Mitchell-Lama Housing, 250 Broadway, Room 1923, 19th floor, Manhattan.

5 p.m. – James attends an induction ceremony for New York City Civil Court Judge Denise M. Dominguez, Civil Court House, 111 Centre St., Manhattan.

5:30 p.m. – James attends state Sen. Jose Peralta’s Annual African American Heritage Celebration, 100-01 Northern Blvd., Queens.

6 p.m. – New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito delivers a keynote address at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Age Smart Employer Awards Cocktail Reception and Award Ceremony, The Greene Space at WNYC, 44 Charlton St., Manhattan.

6 p.m. – State Sen. Terry Gipson hosts a Tax Relief Town Hall, Hyde Park Town Hall, 4383 Albany Post Road.

6 p.m. – State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner Darryl Towns delivers a regional budget message, Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, McIntosh Conference Room, 3959 Broadway, Manhattan.

6:15 p.m. – New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer speaks at the Chinese-American Planning Council 49th Annual Chinese New Year fundraising dinner, Jing Fong, 20 Elizabeth St., Manhattan.

6:30 p.m. – Canal Corporation Director Brian Stratton delivers a regional budget message, Catskill Central High School, 347 W. Main St., Catskill.

6:30 p.m. – Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer attends the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Anniversary Celebration, 4 Irving Place, Manhattan.

6:30 p.m. – Assemblyman Walter Mosley holds his State of the District address, Medgar Evers College, Founders Auditorium, 1650 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn.

7 p.m. – Brewer speaks at the New York Academy of Medicine’s Age Smart Employer Awards, 44 Charlton Street, Manhattan.

7 p.m. – State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli speaks at the Chinese-American Planning Council’s 49th Chinese New Year Celebration, Jing Fong Restaurant, 20 Elizabeth St., Manhattan.

7 p.m. – James attends the York Community College Black History Month Celebration, 94-20 Guy R Brewer Blvd., Queens.

7 p.m. and 10 p.m. – Inside City Hall features the UFT’s Michael Mulgrew and a panel of transit reporters, Time Warner Cable News NY1.

7:30 p.m. – Brewer attends the Chinese-American Planning Council’s Chinese New Year Celebration, 20 Elizabeth Street, Manhattan.

8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. – Capital Tonight features John Coppola of the Association of Alcoholism and Addiction Service Providers on heroin use, Time Warner Cable News.



SAVE THE DATE: City & State is pleased to announced our 4th annual State of our City conference on February 27th at the Baruch School of Public Affairs. City & State and our partners will convene government officials, business leaders, public policy experts and media to discuss: Getting in, out, and around New York City; Health care for NYC’s Most Vulnerable Populations; Developing in the new New York City. For more information and to inquire about speaking, attending and sponsor arrangements contact us HERE.



KICKER: “Your workforce at the libraries are continually asked to do more with less. It seems that your management is getting compensated more and more. I don’t believe that is fair. I don’t believe that is in the best interest of the taxpayers and certainly not the users of the Queens library.” – New York City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley to Queens Public Library President Thomas Galante during a hearing regarding the library’s finances, via the Daily News.

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