Liz Benjamin

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Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule. This evening, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will depart New York City and travel to Connecticut, where his son, Dante, has started his first year of college at Yale. There are no public events scheduled.

At 10:15 a.m., Sen. George Amedore and Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy will join local officials in the Town of Berne to announce funding for a capital project, Town of Berne Highway Dept, 1811 Helderberg Trail, Berne.

At 10:30 a.m., NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito appears live on MSNBC’s The Rundown with Jose Diaz-Balart.

Also at 10:30 a.m., active and retired police captains and lieutenants and representatives from CEA and LBA endorse Democratic Staten Island district attorney candidate Michael McMahon, outside the 120 Precinct, 78 Richmond Terrace Ave., Staten Island.

At 11 a.m., Rep. Nita Lowey joins White Plains Mayor Tom Roach and others to urge safe driving during the Labor Day weekend and demonstrate promising anti-drunk driving technology, City of White Plains Public Safety Headquarters, rear parking lot, 77 S. Lexington Ave., White Plains.

At 11:30 a.m., Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, VisitRochester President & CEO Don Jeffries, and Rochester City Council Vice President Dana Miller will hold a joint press conference to make an announcement regarding the Drum Corps, Rochester Plaza Hotel, 70 State St., Rochester.

At noon, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will announce FY 2016-17 employer contribution rates for the New York State and Local Retirement System during a teleconference with reporters.

At 6 p.m., a pre-recorded interview with NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina airs on NY 1 Noticias’s Pura Política.

Also at 6 p.m., Rep. Chris Gibson will meet with local farmers and constituents at the 196th Rensselaer County Fair, Schaghticoke Fairgrounds.


A suspect was shot in the leg by officers during a police investigation early this morning in Brooklyn, according to the NYPD.

Roger Tilles of Great Neck, now in his 11th year on the state Board of Regents, called for an overhaul of the state’s use of Common Core test scores in evaluating teachers and principals, declaring the controversial ratings are weakening school staffs’ morale.

After Cuomo acknowledged the current Common Core program is “deeply flawed” and called for another review commission to recommend changed, educators suggested he’s still not going far enough.

The governor said his commission will review the entire program – including the standards, curriculum, guidance and tests – and issue recommendations before his State of the State Address in January.

State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, who took office in July, said in a statement that in meeting with parents and educators she has consistently “stressed the need for high standards” and the need to review them, and she welcomed the new group’s input.

Many students who returned to Buffalo schools yesterday found smaller class sizes and a greater focus on reading in the early grades, and district leaders hope that will lay a stronger foundation for children to achieve greater success in the long run.

Nearly half of the evaluation scores given to Buffalo public school teachers for last school year were wrong. Forty-five percent of the city’s teachers were assigned incorrect evaluation ratings due to a calculation error by a private, Utah-based company, which feels “terrible” about the error.

A settlement agreement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by the state Board of Elections’ independent enforcement counsel Risa Sugarman targeting the so-called “LLC loophole” in election law.

Saying there’s no room in the city for “ruthless tactics,” NYC Mayor de Blasio signed into law a series of bills that will stop unscrupulous landlords from pressuring tenants to move out.

Four days before he leads a delegation to debt-ridden Puerto Rico, Cuomo said he has no position on whether the commonwealth should be allowed to declare bankruptcy.

More >


GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee in next year’s general election, effectively ruling out a third-party or independent run. (However, he’s under no legal obligation to stick to this promise).

Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, a 40-year-old New Hampshire resident, does not have a conventional resume, and doesn’t spend much time trying to actually manage the candidate.

Former NYC Comptroller and mayoral candidate Bill Thompson is the latest Democrat to approach Rep. Hakeem Jeffries about a potential primary challenge to Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2017. The congressman so far is saying he’s only interested in staying in the House.

Jeffries called the mayor’s clash with Gov. Andrew Cuomo “a reckless mistake,” and said he was “shocked” that de Blasio had gone after the governor in “such a personal way.”

A federal judge vacated the NFL’s four-game suspension of New England Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady, giving him a win in the so-called “Deflategate” legal saga that has consumed the NFL for the past seven months. BUT, the NFL plans to appeal the ruling.

HTC is losing its political director Josh Gold to Uber.

Rep. Jerry Nadler, a pro-Israel Jewish Democrat from Manhattan, said he was disturbed and surprised by the “viciousness” of attacks against him after he announced last month he would support the Iran nuclear agreement.

Cheryl Mills, a longtime lawyer and adviser to Hillary Clinton, testified before a Congressional committee this morning about the former secretary of state’s personal email account and the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

Clinton will sit down with veteran NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell tomorrow for the third national interview of her presidential campaign.

Road and bridge construction closures in New York will be suspended during the Labor Day Weekend to allow for better traffic flow, Cuomo announced.

More than 30,000 students headed to Buffalo Public Schools today – the first time in many years that school started before Labor Day. It’s the start of what’s likely to be a year of big changes in the district.

Cuomo may have to keep the state’s struggling nuclear power plants open because of the revenue and jobs they generate for local municipalities and the pollution-free energy they provide, an independent analysis has concluded.

Rockland County lawmakers have approved extending the county’s strict smoking ban to include e-cigarettes.

Making good on a pledge to boost gun control, the father of a Roanoke, Va., TV reporter killed on live TV is joining up with two anti-gun groups backed by former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg to kick off a national protest against gun violence.

As of Jan. 1, City of Albany gun owners will be the latest to have to lock up their weapons in a safe or use a trigger lock whenever a gun is out of their “immediate possession or control.”

EJ McMahon considers what New Amsterdam might look like – economically speaking, and otherwise – if secessionists got their way.

An aging electrical wire that caused Wednesday’s LIRR morning rush-hour meltdown should be repaired in time for the Friday morning commute, the railroad’s president said.

New PEF President Wayne Spence has made official appointments to the union’s staff.

The Naked Cowboy on
the recent uproar over topless panhandlers in Times Square: “They’re naked, I’m naked. I have a hard time having a problem with that.”

A topless Times Square street performer was busted early today when she agreed to perform oral sex on an undercover cop — and her handler offered to sell the officers drugs.

The NYS Stair Fair’s Defibrillator is No. 1 on BuzzFeed’s list of 26 “next-level” state fair foods.

Cuomo: Review of Common Core On Tap – Again (Updated)

While continuing to express conceptual support for the “goal” of the Common Core standards, Gov. Andrew Cuomo today said he sympathizes the frustration of parents who have opted their kids out of standardized tests in growing numbers and believes the time has come for a “comprehensive review” of both the exams and the curriculum on which they are based.

“We must have standards for New York’s students, but those standards will only work if people – especially parents – have faith in them and in their ability to educate our children,” Cuomo said in a statement released this afternoon. “The current Common Core program does not do that. It must.”

“The fact is that the current Common Core program in New York is not working, and must be fixed,” the governor continued. “To that end, the time has come for a comprehensive review of the implementation of the Common Core Standards, curriculum, guidance and tests in order to address local concerns. I am taking this action not because I don’t believe in standards, but because I do.”

Cuomo said he will ask a representative group made up of members of his past education reform commission, education experts, teachers, parents, new state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and state lawmakers to conduct this review and report back to him with recommendations in time for his State of the State address in January.

The governor reiterated that he believes SED’s implementation of the Common Core has been “deeply flawed” – a position of which he becomes more convinced as time goes on. He noted that Elia (whom he did not mention specifically by name) “inherited” this problem, but also said that when it comes to her recent comments about the opt-out movement (which she has walked back somewhat), he sympathizes with the “frustration of the parents.”

In a round of interviews earlier this week – including on Capital Tonight – Elia said that her comments were perhaps misinterpreted as a threat, which she did not intend. She insisted that she was merely trying to provide answers and guidance to superintendents who asked how to handle the fallout from the unusually high opt-out rate – about 20 percent – in the late round of English and math exams.

This is a little bit of a tightrope for Cuomo, who doubled down on the teacher performance evaluation system and education reform during the last round of budget negotiations, insisting on a system that critics say is even more reliant on test results rather than less.

It also, ironically, puts him sort of on the same page as the statewide teachers union, NYSUT, with which he has not seen eye-to-eye on very much. The union has been actively fanning the flames of the parent-led opt-out movement, in hopes of undermining the evaluation system. NYSUT officials and their allies on both sides of the political fence often repeat the “we’re not against standards, just against the implementation” mantra when discussing the Common Core.

UPDATE: It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time the governor has asked a panel of experts and legislators to review the Common Core situation and get back to him with reform suggestions. In fact, his comments on this topic during his 2014-15 budget address sound a lot like the statement he released today.

The members of the 2014 Common Core implementation panel included then-Senate Education Committee Chairman John Flanagan, who is now the majority leader. Critics questioned the necessity of this panel, saying there were already plenty of proposals on how to fix the Common Core problem.

That panel issued a preliminary report in March – about a month or so after the governor announced its membership, and after just two meetings. The preliminary recommendations had nearly all already been adopted by the Board of Regents or proposed by various state lawmakers. A final report was not forthcoming.

Cuomo Admin Seeks DEC Commissioner

From the Morning Memo:

The Cuomo administration is having trouble finding a successor to former state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens, according to multiple sources familiar with the search.

Team Cuomo started looking for Martens’ replacement about six months ago, sources said. At least two potential commissioners have been mentioned – and even unofficially approached – for the job, but have so far declined to sign on.

The names floated include: Stu Gruskin, who served as executive deputy commissioner at DEC from 2007 to 2010 and is now with the Nature Conservancy; and Peter Lehner, who, until very recently, was the executive director of NRDC and the NRDC Action Fund.

The search was quietly taking place even though Martens repeatedly insisted he had no immediate plans to depart, it was widely believed that his time on the job was limited after the biggest decision of his tenure – whether to allow fracking in the Marcellus Shale – was settled with a drilling ban. More >

CSEA’s Danny Donohue To Run For Re-Election

From the Morning Memo:

As the Public Employee Federation, the state’s second-largest state worker union, has undergone internal turmoil and multiple leadership changes in recent years, things at the largest union, the Civil Service Employees Association, have remained stable.

CSEA President Danny Donohue, an often controversial and outspoken figure, has remained at the helm since 1994, and he intends to seek another term in 2016, union spokesman Stephen Madarasz confirmed during a CapTon interview last night.

Madarasz said he is constrained by union rules from speaking at length about the “democratic process” through which CSEA elects its leadership, and was unable to say whether Donohue would face an opponent.

The union is currently in the petition period for would-be candidates. That ends on Sept. 30. Ballots will be mailed out to members on Jan. 19, 2016, and are due back in mid-February. (Like PEF, CSEA conducts its elections by mail). More >

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany.

At 8 a.m., NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito discusses the “most important issues facing the Council” at a City & State Newsmakers event, State Grill & Bar, Empire State Bldg, 350 Fifth Ave., Manhattan.

At 9:30 a.m., LG Kathy Hohcul visits the Albany Damien Center to highlight Cuomo’s initiatives to end the AIDS epidemic in NY, 646 State St., Albany.

At 10 a.m., the head of Catholic Charities, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, outlines plans for Pope Francis’ Sep 25 visit to East Harlem to meet and bless immigrants and refugees, Saint Cecilia’s Parish, 120 East 106th St., Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr, New York Yankees and AT&T hold the fifth annual “Borough President’s Cup” Little League Championship, featuring the Grand Slam Little League and Kingsbridge Knights teams, ankee Stadium, 1 E 161st Street, the Bronx.

At 10:30 a.m., Hochul tours Albany’s Historic Wellington Row to highlight state investment in urban revitalization efforts, 144 State St., Albany.

At 11 a.m., Cuomo delivers remarks at the New York State Police graduation ceremony, Empire State Plaza Convention Center, Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., Democratic Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler and Republican Rep. Pete King call on Congress to prevent the expiration of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, Silverstein Family Park, 7 World Trade Center, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., in advance of Cuomo’s Puerto Rico trip next week, members of the Hedge Clippers Campaign, Strong Economy for All, New York Communities for Change and others will demand the governor will return more than $ 1 million in campaign cash he has received from hedge fund donors driving the island further into economic chaos, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At noon, Emily Lloyd, NYC Department of Environmental Protection commissioner, and Mitchell Silver, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation commissioner, announce progress on water conservation measures at city playgrounds, St. Nicholas Park South Playground, 127th St. and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., Manhattan.

At 12:30 p.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio joins Mark-Viverito to sign legislation to prevent tenant harassment, Borinquen Court
285 East 138th St., the Bronx.

At 1 p.m., Cuomo attends the New York City PBA annual convention, Holiday Inn, 205 Wolf Rd., Colonie.

Also at 1 p.m., NYC Deputy Mayor Richard Buery holds twitter chat for parents whose children will be attending community schools. Parents should use #ParentsLearn.

Also at 1 p.m., the NYPD’s Counterterrorism Bureau holds an informational and training symposium for members of the media in response to the shooting at WDBJ-TV in Virginia last week, One Police Plaza, Manhattan.

Also at 1 p.m., district leader candidates from across upper Manhattan will protest proposed changes by the Board of Elections to poll sites, which will change the voting location for thousands of voters, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 6 p.m., the State Republican Committee hosts its 2015 annual Rising Star celebration featuring special guest Rep. Chris Gibson, 85 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs.

Also at 6 p.m., the Suffolk County GOP holds a “no speeches, no suits” end-of-summer blast fundraiser, Dublin Deck, 325 River Ave., Patchogue, Long Island.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo thinks New York City has a homelessness problem, but disagrees with critics – including the de Blasio administration – who say the state isn’t doing enough to help fix it.

As NYPD officers, mental health workers, lawyers and others visit homeless encampments in New York as part of a City Hall initiative, a prime mission will be determining how people wound up on the streets.

Cuomo, former NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, (now a Cuomo administration aide), and State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico kicked off an awareness campaign at New York University to tout changes to state law regarding sexual assault as students head back to school.

The New York State Police plan to assign 12 senior investigators to help campus and local police statewide deal with college date rapes under the state’s new consent law.

The governor, who has a long (and complicated) relationship with the Clintons and endorsed Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid months ago, said a 2016 run by Vice President Joe Biden would be good for the Democratic Party, though it would put all Democrats “in a bind.”

Top officials in the de Blasio administration said that this summer has been the safest in decades as they tried to stem worries that crime is rising and quality of life is falling in New York City.

New York City has agreed to pay $450,000 to settle a civil rights lawsuit filed by a former Rikers Island inmate who was hogtied by correction officers and then, while his hands were still cuffed, brutally beaten, the man’s lawyer said.

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito of the New York City Council endorsed Clinton for president, reinforcing Democratic support for Clinton in her home state and possibly offering her a boost in Mark-Viverito’s native Puerto Rico.

Some of Clinton’s LGBT supporters worry her campaign is taking their community’s votes for granted.

The former Clinton staffer who oversaw her private email server plans to invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to answer incriminating questions before the House Benghazi Committee, according to a letter his lawyer sent the panel.

James Steinberg, who served as deputy secretary of state under Clinton and is mentioned in dozens of her emails, is stepping down as dean of Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. His departure has nothing to do with the email scandal, an SU spokesman insisted.

More >


US Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland came out in support of the Iran deal, the 34th Democrat in favor. Her decision gives the president the votes needed to assure the deal will survive a congressional challenge.

New York City will open up an online ticket lottery for New Yorkers who want to see Pope Francis when he visits the city later this month.

Sidestepping a race where his backing could do more harm than good, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said he isn’t planning on endorsing a Democrat in the six-way race to replace Councilman Mark Weprin.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he didn’t invite de Blasio to be on his delegation to Puerto Rico that will include a half-dozen elected officials because he wants to provide expertise in finance and health care to the island in fiscal crisis.

The mayor took issue with NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton’s praise of a controversial report by the late US Sen. Daniel Moynihan about the “crumbling” of family structure in poor black neighborhoods, calling the document outdated.

Cuomo’s Huffington Post column about rebuilding upstate’s economy makes no mention of Syracuse.

Cuomo announced that September is Preparedness Month across New York State and urged all New Yorkers to create an emergency plan that they can activate in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.

Work on the new Tappan Zee Bridge is halfway complete.

Former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney took aim at Democratic 2016 frontrunner Hillary Clinton and the email scandal that she is embroiled in and threw his support behind the current second-in-command, Vice President Joe Biden.

Clinton’s popularity is sinking as the spotlight on her campaign intensifies, according to a new ABC News-Washington Post poll that shows the American electorate growing more polarized along racial lines.

In an OpEd in the New Hampshire Union Leader, Clinton outlined her plan to combat what she described as the “disease” of substance abuse.

Republican 2016 candidate Donald Trump said he’s supportive of a Kanye West White House run in 2020, and thinks he may have even been the one to inspire the celebrity rapper to think about a campaign.

De Blasio thinks Clinton “is offering a more and more powerful vision for addressing the issues that I’m particularly focused on,” but he’s still not ready to endorse her presidential bid.

Reshma Saujani, the tech-sector activist and former hedge fund attorney who ran for NYC public advocate in 2013 and Congress in 2010, is hosting a fundraiser for Clinton on Sept. 30.

A new bill sponsored by Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski, a Rockland County Democrat, would add hotel and motel rooms to the list of indoor spaces where smoking is prohibited in New York.

Joined by five college presidents, Rep. Louise Slaughter urged Congress to renew a federal loan program that is more than 50 years old, but is slated to expire at the end of September.

The Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Women’s Policy Research is out with a study, funded by the American Federation of Teachers, showing that New York women who belong to a union have a 25 percent wage advantage over women who aren’t union members.

Following Cuomo’s announcement of a public awareness campaign to educate students about “Enough is Enough,” SUNY has released two new web-based tools to support victims of sexual assault or interpersonal violence, whether the victim attends a SUNY school or not.

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 >

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 >


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.