PIO Shuffle At DOCCS

prisonFrom the Morning Memo:

Another round of changes is being made to the ranks of the spokespeople who serve as mouthpieces for a variety of state agencies – including one that has been in the news as of late: The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

In an internal memo sent yesterday by acting DOCCS Commissioner Anthony Annucci and obtained by CapTon, it was announced that Tom Mailey, a “seasoned PIO”, is returning to the agency to serve as director of public information after a year at the DEC.

Mailey, a former TV newsman who was the spokesman for Stewart’s Shops before he did his first stint in the DOCCS press office in 2013, is replacing Linda Foglia, whom Annucci thanked for her “many years of dedicated service” to DOCCS. More >

Will Secession Push Lead To Local Control?

upstatenyFrom the Morning Memo:

The push by some hydrofracking and Second Amendment supporters in the Southern Tier to have the region sever its ties from the rest of New York is unlikely to be successful.

But the secession push in New York is nothing new, nor is it historically confined to the upstate region.

“New York City politicians for many, many years — going back for a century or more — have chafed at decisions made in Albany and they have their own interests in having more autonomy,” said EJ McMahon, the president of the Empire Center for New York State Policy. More >

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City and Albany.

This afternoon, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will meet separately with Mayor of Rome Ignazio Marino, and member of European Parliament and former Italian Minister of Integration Cécile Kyenge at City Hall. Both events are closed to members of the media.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie continues his upstate tour with 11 events in the Hudson Valley.

At 9 a.m., Heastie holds a breakfast meeting with Assemblyman James Skoufis and local leaders, 263 Main St., Cornwall.

At 9:30 a.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., NYC Councilman Andrew Cohen, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Sen. Gustavo Rivera and others release a report on the Kingsbridge/Broadway business corridor, West 231st St. and Godwin Terrace,the Bronx.

At 9:35 a.m., Heastie attends a downtown business tour with local leaders, beginning at Butterhill Day School, 265 Main St., Cornwall.

At 10 a.m., Diaz Jr., the New York Yankees and AT&T will co-host the fifth annual “Borough President’s Cup” Little League Championship, Yankee Stadium, E. 161st St., the Bronx.

Also at 10 a.m., Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, visits Madison Square Garden and unveils the chair Pope Francis will use when he celebrates mass there on Sept. 25, 8 Penn Plaza, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., Rep. Paul Tonko tours Von Roll, 200 Von Roll Dr., Schenectady.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC Councilman Mark Treyger and Assemblyman William Colton hold a press conference to talk about dangers to the environment from the construction site of the Southwest Brooklyn Garbage Station, 155 Kings Highway, Brooklyn.

At 10:15 a.m., Heastie attends an 131 Interchange outdoor presentation, Central Valley Elementary School, 45 Route 32, Central Valley.

At 10:30 a.m., Cuomo makes an announcement, Eisner & Lubin Auditorium, New York University, 60 Washington Square S., Manhattan.

Also at 10:30 a.m., de Basio holds a public hearing and signs Intros. 145-A, 287-A and 586-A, and holds a public hearing on (to be signed at a later date) Intros. 682-A, 700-A and 757-A, Blue Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 10:45 a.m., Heastie tours downtown Goshen with local officials, beginning at Hudson Valley Awards, 158 Greenwich Ave.

At 11:50 a.m. Heastie has lunch and participates in a cider tasting/agriculture meeting at Soon’s Orchard, 23 Soon’s Circle, New Hampton.

At 1:15 p.m., Heastie visits the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, 374 Temple Hill Rd., New Windsor.

At 2 p.m., Rep. Chris Gibson attends the opening ceremony of the Columbia County Fair, Chatham.

Also at 2 p.m., Heastie tours Stewart Air Force Base with Assemblymembers Skoufis and Frank Skartados, 2 Maguire Way, Newburgh.

At 2:30 p.m., Tonko attends HVCC a civil rights exhibit, Marvin Library Learning Commons, 80 Vandenburgh Ave., Troy.

At 3:15 p.m., Heastie visits the Newburgh Armory Unity Center, 321 S. William St., Newburgh.

At 3:45 p.m., Heastie takes a walking tour of downtown Newburgh and waterfront, beginning at Washington’s Headquarters, 84 Liberty St., Newburgh.

At 4 p.m., Rep. Carolyn Maloney, NYC Councilman Costa Constantinides, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and businessman John Catsimatidis join Greek-American leaders gather to announce new recommendations that will help ensure international remittances are received in full by family members and friends in Greece, Atlantic Bank, 2910 Ditmars Blvd., Queens.

At 4:50 p.m., Heastie visits Alyssa’s Fields, 1900 Route 9W, Milton.

At 5:15 p.m., Heastie takes a walking tour of downtown Poughkeepsie and the Walkway over the Hudson, beginning at 140 Main St., Poughkeepsie.

At 7 p.m., LG Kathy Hochul and Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan hold a “women’s roundtable” to discuss Cuomo’s economic development initiatives in the Capital Region, Fort Orange Club, 110 Washington Ave., Albany.


NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio initially tried to play down the homelessness crisis in NYC, but now appears to have changed course. One important decision will be the choice of a replacement for Deputy Mayor Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, who for 20 months had overseen the city’s strategy on homelessness, and this week announced her resignation.

Barrios-Paoli, a former nun who also worked for the Bloomberg, Giuliani and Koch administrations, reportedly didn’t think she was a “good match” with the administration, despite being committed to helping the city’s most vulnerable.

After clashing repeatedly this year over a new traffic safety law, de Blasio and the city’s major bus drivers union, TWU Local 100, came to a fragile truce this week, reaching a settlement on a federal lawsuit challenging the law that led to the arrest of several bus drivers involved in serious crashes.

After 12 years of former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a self-made billionaire with a corporate executive’s approach to management, de Blasio has brought a decidedly different and sometimes unorthodox style to City Hall. Some aides said they have been frustrated by the mayor’s management style, but they also said they have been inspired by his deeply held principles and commitment to liberal causes.

The NYC Campaign Finance Board has been looking into possible violations by de Blasio’s 2013 campaign committee for coordinating operations with powerful Local 1199 SEIU — his most important supporter.

It will be another whole school year before New York’s controversial standardized tests receive a major revamp, but the state’s new education commissioner said that teacher feedback being gathered this year may influence the exams in the spring.

Eleven schools across the state, including two on Long Island, lost their chance to win federal Blue Ribbon awards because of high student opt-outs from state testing in the spring, Albany officials confirmed.

A Suffolk County school superintendent, in a letter to principals and teachers in his district, slams the state’s controversial performance-evaluation methodology that links ratings to students’ test performance as “meaningless, invalid and inhumane.”

After a year of negotiations with warring parties at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, AG Eric Schneiderman is expected to announce that his office has crafted a settlement that would end litigation and create an independent monitor of the college’s management and finances.

A man arrested in Brooklyn after allegedly trying to sell a small amount of heroin to an undercover police officer was taken to Rikers and, within 15 hours, died of complications of diabetes. According to surveillance video, he asked for help and did not receive it.

A $20 million exposition center, a larger midway, a new RV park and an “experience center” will all take the place of the Grandstand and historic racetrack at the New York State Fairgrounds.

The operator of Super DIRT Week, the five-day dirt car racing spectacular that draws 60,000 fans and more than 300 race cars, is looking at several locations for its new home due to the changes at the State Fairgrounds – including two in nearby Oswego County.

New Buffalo Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash outlined for the first time some of the changes he intends to seek as he tries to overhaul the troubled district. He said he’s seeking a “system reboot.”

More >

Jeffries Backs Iran Nuclear Agreement

jeffriesBrooklyn Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries on Tuesday announced he will support a multinational agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear capabilities in exchange for lifting economic sanctions.

Jeffries becomes the latest member of the New York City House delegation to back the agreement.

On Monday, Reps. Yvette Clarke, Gregory Meeks and Nydia Velazquez announced their support for the deal.

New York’s senior senator, incoming Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, is the most prominent New York Democrat to oppose the agreement. More >


Pope Francis will ride through Central Park later this month in his most massive public appearance during his visit to New York City. Tens of thousands of people are expected to line the West Drive of the park on Sept. 25, as he travels between an East Harlem school and his Mass at Madison Square Garden Friday evening.

Cuomo visited the New York State Fairgrounds this morning to detail exactly how a $50 million state investment will be spent.

As expected, Cuomo’s plans include razing the fair’s grandstand and century-old racetrack. He did not indicate where Super DIRT Week will go, saying that will be announced later.

The governor, whose girlfriend, Sandra Lee, is recovering from breast cancer surgery, shared an emotional moment at the fair with three-time breast cancer survivor, Judy Rice, of North Syracuse.

While at the fair, Cuomo sported a purple “Carey On” bracelet made by Syracuse YNN to remember the late great Bill Carey.

Cuomo wrote an OpEd for the Huffington Post outlining his economic development accomplishments and strategy for upstate.

After discussion with AG Eric Schneiderman’s office, Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore has decided to investigate the death of a 61-year-old Mount Vernon man accidentally shot and killed during an undercover gun buy.

Brooklyn Federal Judge Sandra Townes refused to postpone next week’s sentencing of ex-Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. despite his claim that he’s hiring a new lawyer.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio attacked former Mayor Rudy Giuliani for his claim that the solution to the mushrooming homelessness population is to “chase them out of the city,” saying his predecessor should instead remember the charitable precepts espoused by Catholic leaders like Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Pope Francis.

Republican presidential candidate and former Florida governor Jeb Bush criticized de Blasio for the second time in as many weeks today, citing the mayor’s record on charter schools.

A crackdown on underage drinking at summer concerts and hot spots will last through Labor Day weekend, Cuomo said.

New Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash says he intends to stay for the full four years of his contract, and roll out changes as quickly as possible to turn around the struggling city district.

Another day, another Women’s Equality Party takeover attempt – this time by Republican women.

Not everything revealed in the latest batch of Hillary Clinton’s emails released by the State Department was serious. More here.

Former Rep. Michael Grimm is asking a judge to delay the start of his prison sentence for about two weeks so he can have surgery. He’s scheduled to start his eight-month prison sentence on Sept. 10. A judge is considering his request to do it on Sept. 22.

Asked about former Governor and GOP 2016 contender George Pataki’s assertion about police being ordered to back off enforcement of quality-of-life laws, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said, “Not at all.”

At least a dozen staffers have been cut from Bloomberg’s Washington bureau as the company looks to cut around 80 to 100 employees across the company. The national security team was particularly hit hard, as were the economics and defense teams.

A woman who escaped from police custody by slipping out of a handcuff when an officer left her alone to use the bathroom was arrested this morning in Manhattan.

Cuomo says a plant that will process food waste into clean energy is coming to eastern Long Island. The so-called anaerobic digester project is slated for a 62-acre site in Yaphank. It will be operated by American Organic Energy at its compost facility, and is expected to be completed in August 2016.

New York’s top court has declined to hear the appeal of “Tommy” and “Kiko,” ending the chimpanzees’ bid to gain “legal personhood” status.

Brooke Shields showed up for jury duty in NYC today and appeared “happy to serve,” according to a court official. Supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis also was called, but got out of serving due to a medical procedure scheduled for next week.

For the first time in its 50-year history, the Chicago-based International Polka Association is holding its annual convention where God surely intended – in Cheektowaga.

The harder states make it to get guns — like New York — the fewer people die because of them, a new analysis of firearm restrictions by the National Journal shows.

The state Office of General Services’ Capitol tours program was the winner of a “Certificate of Excellence” from the popular online travel site TripAdvisor.

SD-52: Board of Elections Denies Ballot Access To Third Party Challengers

sd52The state Board of Elections on Tuesday ruled against two candidates who sought to gain third-party ballot lines for the 52nd Senate district special election.

The board ruled against the petitions submitted by Rich Purtell, who had sought the Libertarian ballot line, as well as Denver Jones, a Republican businessman who had petitioned for the Taxpayers ballot line.

Both can appeal the decision, but Jones recently lost a ruling that would have given him more time to collect petitions for the independent nominating process.

Jones had last ran against then-Sen. Tom Libous in a Republican primary in 2014. More >

NY Lawmakers Want To Preserve View Of New Jersey

espaillatA group of Senate Democrats in a letter to a New Jersey state lawmaker are backing a bill that would preserve the (New York) view of the Palisades.

Signing on to the letter included Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein, along with Sens. Adriano Espaillat, David Carlucci and Brad Hoylman.

“In 1900 New Jersey Governor Foster Voorheers, and the great conservationist, New York Governor Theodore Roosevelt, came together to create the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, an organization that still works to protect the Palisades today,” the lawmakers write in the letter. “As elected officials representing the shores of the Hudson we will continue to stand with you, to carry on the great tradition of New York and New Jersey elected officials banning together to protect the Palisades Park.”

More >

Samuels Cheers WEP Takeover Attempt

womensequalityBill Samuels, the Democratic donor and founder of the good-government advocacy group Effective NY, is cheering the effort by former Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk to wrest control of the Women’s Equality Party from allies of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“The Women’s Equality Party has an important role to play in securing pay equity, access to reproductive health care and eliminating discrimination against women in the Empire State,” Samuels said. “A robust Women’s Equality Party run by women and for women benefits all New Yorkers. I applaud Senator Tkaczyk’s bold move to make that make that a reality.”

Samuels, in a statement posted to Facebook on Tuesday, wrote that Tkaczyk’s effort will make the ballot line formed last year “an effective vehicle” for women in New York.

“New York’s Women’s Equality Party was created for the cynical purposes of advancing the political fortunes of one man, Governor Andrew Cuomo,” Samuels said in the statement. “It was run by men, funded by men and endorsed mostly male candidates. Since securing over 50,000 votes on the WEP line last November, Governor Cuomo has worked to further tighten his control over the WEP.”

More >

Cuomo Acknowledges ‘More Work To Do’ In Southern Tier

upstatenyAs supporters of gun rights and hydrofracking push to have the Southern Tier region separate from New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday acknowledged “more work” is needed to help the area.

“We have other regions where we have more work to do and I will be the first to admit it. Parts of the Southern Tier — we have more work to do,” Cuomo said during a visit to the state fairgrounds outside of Syracuse. “We have more work in bringing back jobs. The state can only do so much, then it’s up to the localities. But Southern Tier, there’s more work to do, no doubt about it.”

The acknowledgement of the Southern Tier’s economic woes come as Cuomo, more broadly, has sought to assert his own efforts of helping the region which he says has been ignored by the rest of state government over the decades. More >

In Syracuse, Cuomo Praises Out-Gunned Upstate Lawmakers

cuomostatefairAs he touted a $50 million upgrade to the State Fair in Onondaga County on Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo heaped praise on upstate lawmakers he said were outnumbered in Albany by New York City interests.

“Not only do they have to advocate and push, but they have to advocate and push for upstate New York, central New York, when the bulk of the Legislature is from downstate New York,” Cuomo said. “Each legislator has to do the work of 10 people. They’re really in the minority in the Legislature and that’s one of the reasons why upstate New York hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves.”

It’s a variation on a common theme for Cuomo lately, who has decried the influence of New York City elected officials in Albany, who he says has had more influence over policy and spending over the years to the detriment of upstate regions.

Attending the announcement at the fairgrounds included Republican Sen. John DeFrancisco, the deputy majority leader, and Democratic Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli. More >