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Posts by Liz Benjamin
Dec 9th - 3:49 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this afternoon the appointment of two new CUNY trustees to the 15-member board – Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro and Barry Schwartz – replacing two Pataki-era appointees whose most recent seven-year terms had expired.
Molinaro, a Conservative Party member who crossed party lines to endorse Cuomo in 2010, and Schwartz, executive vice president at MacAdams and Forbes Holdings Inc., replace Kathleen Pesile and Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, respectively.
“The City University of New York system is a world-class higher education institution that provides quality and affordable education to students in the five boroughs,” Cuomo said in a press release. “It is also a powerful economic engine in our communities, nurturing entrepreneurs and innovators and preparing the next generation’s workforce.”
“I am pleased to appoint Borough President James Molinaro and Mr. Barry Schwartz to the CUNY Board of Trustees, who will bring invaluable experience from both the public and private sectors to the University. I thank them for their leadership as CUNY continues to serve the students of New York City with the highest standards.”
Wiesenfeld, a conservative Democrat who worked briefly for the Pataki administration, is a controversial figure who has engaged in some high-profile verbal battles over the years, including an effort to block the playwright Tony Kushner from receiving an honorary degree. (Weisenfeld called him an “extremist” opponent and critic of Israel).
He also had had a very public war with an equally controversial public figure who is practially his political polar opposite – Brooklyn Councilman Charles Barron.
Wiesenfeld was initially appointed to the CUNY Board by Pataki in June 1999 and was approved by the Senate after a testy public hearing during that focused on his alleged use of objectionable language in describing Hasidic Jews and African Americans. (He refused to respond to the allegations, lodged by Isaac Abraham, a community advocate in Brooklyn). Wiesenfeld was reappointed to a second term in December 2006.
Pesile was originally appointed by Pataki in June 1998 and then reappointed in June 2005. She is a financial advisor and university educator and also a Staten Islander. She served during the Giuliani administration on the New York City Cultural Affairs Advisory Commissions. There was some controversy surrounding Pesile’s appointment, too, as Pataki sought to speed her confirmation to insure that the board passes a curb on remedial classes that he had urged.
Pesile’s eventual confirmation ended up following the board’s approval of Pataki’s plan.
Dec 9th - 6:52 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Washington, D.C. (he spent the night there, which is very unusual), where he’ll be attending a fund-raiser (not on his public schedule) and the meeting of the Democratic Governors Association (I believe it’s his first one out-of-state) at St. Regis Hotel 923 16th Street NW, at noon.
At 7 a.m., NYSUT President Richard Iannuzzi and AFT President Randi Weingarten join educators, parents and others to call for more education funding and less focus on testing at the first of several “Day of Action” events across the state, Nyack High School, Nyack.
At 9 a.m., state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli speaks at the Public Employees Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (He’s due back in New York this afternoon).
Form 9 a.m. to noon, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney will be hosting a free workshop for small businesses at the Orange County Chamber of Commerce, 30 Scott’s Corners Drive, Montgomery.
At 10 a.m., the holds a public hearing on voter access and the prospect of moving the state primary to June, Assembly Hearing Room, 250 Broadway, Room 1923, 19th Floor, Manhattan.
Also at 10 a.m., AARP New York joins advocates and caregivers to announce major recommendations for state support for unpaid family caregivers, Lifespan, 1900 Clinton Ave S., Rochester
At 10:30 a.m., the Rev. Al Sharpton, Manhattan BP and NYC Comptroller-elect Scott Stringer, retail executives and minority advocates hold a news briefing following a working group meeting about store policies and procedures; Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, 7 W. 55th St., Manhattan.
Also at noon, education advocates, NYSUT, UUP, AQE and local parent-teacher groups hold a press conference calling on the state Education Department to slow implementation of the Common Core standards. Similar “Day of Action” events are being held in Binghamton, Rochester, Syracuse, New York City, Yonkers and the Buffalo suburb of West Seneca.
From noon to 2 p.m., Rep. Joseph Crowley presents a keynote speech during a free seminar about the federal health care overhaul, organized by the Bronx Chamber of Commerce; conference center, Hutchinson Metro Center, 1250 Waters Place, Bronx.
At 12:30 p.m., good government groups – the Brennan Center for Justice, Citizens Union of the City of New York, Common Cause/NY, the League of Women Voters/N.Y.S., NYPIRG – urge action on the Moreland Commission report recommendations, 3rd floor of the Capitol, between the Senate lobby and the LCA.
At 2 p.m., Rep. Louise Slaughter holds a press conference after hosting two senior officials from the U.S. Department of Defense on a tour of local facilities and meeting with women-owned, managed and advised defense contractors, RIT Louise M. Slaughter Hall, Center for Integrated Manufacturing, Building #78, Rochester.
At 6 p.m., Schneiderman 2014 holds a birthday celebration for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Eventi Hotel, 851 6th Ave., Manhattan.
At 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., NY1′s “Road To City Hall” features Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and state Education Commissioner John King.
At 7:30 p.m., Mayor Bloomberg speaks at the American Friends of Magen David Adom’s New York Benefit Gala, The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers, Pier 60, Manhattan.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Pat Foye is expected to tell a New Jersey Assembly Transportation Committee what he knows about the unannounced closing of George Washington Bridge access lanes that caused traffic gridlock in September.
As Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Moreland Commission investigates Albany’s pay-to-play culture, two state agencies are soliciting corporations to donate up to $15,000 to underwrite a four-day conference the state is hosting at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says Metro-North signal crews have installed new safety protections at the Spuyten Duyvil curve, the site of last Sunday’s derailment in the Bronx that killed four people.
The new protections are supposed to be in place for all trains along that stretch of track by this morning.
Republicans are upset over the little-noticed City&State column penned by Steve Cohen, a former top Cuomo aide, that blasted US Attorney for the Northern District Richard Hartunian for failing to bring public corruption cases against members of the Legislature.
Dec 8th - 7:57 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in Washington, D.C. tonight to attend the 36th Annual Kennedy Center Honors. He’s scheduled to be in our nation’s capital tomorrow for a fund-raiser.
It’s unclear if he’s spending the night outside state lines (no word yet from his press office), but if he is, it’s a rare occasion indeed.
Brian Stelter’s debut as host of CNN’s ‘Reliable Sources’ included a critique of the conflict of interest present during CNN anchor Chris Cuomo’s New Day interview with his older brother, Gov. Cuomo, on the Bronx train derailment.
Bill de Blasio looked to the late Nelson Mandela for inspiration at a memorial service today, urging New Yorkers to “live out the lessons” of the anti-apartheid hero.
Bill Bratton, who on Jan. 1 will become the next NYPD commissioner, on Saturday made his first public appearance since being appointed earlier in the week at Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network headquarters in Harlem.
Bratton: “(O)ur commitment to you is your police force in your city will be respectful. It will practice what Mandela preached: freedom for all, respect for all, compassion for all.”
Front page treatment from the NYT for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand about her dogged determination and willingness to buck members of her own party.
A federal bankruptcy court’s decision in Detroit last week putting that city’s constitutionally protected public pension on the table for cuts cracks the door open for pension reductions in New York.
President Obama and Rep. Charlie Rangel reportedly don’t get along too well.
Mayor Bloomberg’s styrofoam food container ban is likely to come up for a vote in the NYC Council this week.
With a streak of three consecutive on-time budgets on the line along with pressure to reduce taxes and boost anti-corruption laws, Cuomo’s seemingly frayed relationship with the Legislature will be closely scrutinized when lawmakers return to the Capitol in 2014.
Legislation to ban plastic guns that can’t be detected by metal detectors could head to the White House for President Obama’s signature tomorrow night, hours before the current ban expires at midnight.
Unlike other reporters, Politico’s Jonathan Allen and The Hill’s Amie Parnes got good access for their soon-to-be-released book on Hillary Clinton.
Decades after the country began closing mental institutions en masse, jails and prisons have become America’s de facto psychiatric centers. The new reality is that roughly one of every seven prisoners is on the state Office of Mental Health caseload.
Erie County Conservative Party Chairman Ralph Lorigo says Carl Paladino is getting closer every day to running again for governor in 2014.
Several-hundred people braved freezing temperatures and brisk winds blowing across Lake Erie Saturday to rally in support of transitioning the coal-fueled NRG Power Plant to natural gas.
Dec 6th - 5:54 pm
Sen. Liz Krueger will introduce a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in New York, saying she sees it as a “starting point” for a conversation about “rational” pot policy.
The house Sen. Chuck Schumer shares with two fellow Democrats is a serious pit.
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has terminated her congressional campaign committee and has transferred the remaining funds to her political action committee.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver quietly slipped into Buffalo for a Sabers game and a hockey night fund-raiser.
The Federal Railroad Administration ordered Metro-North Railroad to modify its signal system to provide better safeguards against speeding in response to Sunday’s fatal derailment in New York City.
In his final days in office, Mayor Bloomberg is reaching out to the families of all 69 former city employees who died in the line of duty over the course of his 12 year term.
At least a dozen potential candidates have expressed interest in challenging Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei next year.
The pro-frackers are spending more on lobbyists than the anti-frackers, but to no avail. (So far).
As the dust settles from Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s two-day spree of administrative appointments, all eyes have now turned to his next big decision: who he’ll pick for New York City schools chancellor.
Bloomberg said those who criticize his admittedly halting Spanish should “get a life.”
The Obamas, the Clintons and the Bushes will all travel to South Africa to participate in memorial events honoring Nelson Mandela
Schumer is optimistic about the budget talks taking place in Washington.
Only one of the NYC Council speaker candidates – Brooklyn’s Jumaane Williams – has openly criticized de Blasio’s selection of Bill Bratton to return to the NYPD commissioner’s post.
Williams cited his church-going Caribbean roots and a traumatic personal experience involving a pregnancy in explaining his views on gay marriage and abortion.
A mid-level appeals court dismissed a challenge to New York’s participation in a regional cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions, ruling it was filed well outside the statute of limitations.
A new Nelson Mandela School for Social Justice will be located in Brooklyn’s Boys and Girls High School campus, in honor of the civil and human rights activist.
A controversial appointee of Governor Chris Christie has resigned from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Dec 6th - 3:31 pm
Universal pre-K, which is widely accepted to be one of the best ways to improve student performance in the long term, has been in the news a lot these days, thanks to NYC Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s signature policy proposal to tax wealthy city residents to pay for the program for every student in the five boroughs.
Establishing full day pre-K was chief among the proposals released last December by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s education reform commission. Cuomo subsequently included $75 million in the 2013-14 budget for education reform initiatives – including about $25 million for the expansion of pre-K - with the money to be awarded through a competitive process.
The allocation of this money has been slow in coming, in part because only a fraction of the districts eligible for the cash have applied.
Now education advocates are talking about building on the momentum of de Blasio’s victory and pushing the governor and Legislature to expand pre-K statewide. The Citizens Budget Commission has estimated it would cost $4 billion to achieve that goal, which is $2 billion more than the entire surplus Cuomo has said he expects the state will see at the end of the current fiscal year if spending controls continue. (And he wants to use at least some of that for tax cuts).
Advocates and elected officials have been trying to expand pre-K for decades. But despite all the talk, state spending on this important program has actually gone down instead of up.
That’s according to a report conducted by Rutgers University’s National Institute for Early Education Research, whcih found 28 percent of America’s 4-year-olds were enrolled in a state-funded pre-school program in the 2011-2012 school year – about the same percentage as the year before. That stagnation was compunded by an unprecedented drop in funding of $500 million nationwide – the largest one-year drop in history.
The NIEE found that New York spent $5,306 per child enrolled in pre-K in 2002, but that figure plummeted to $3,707 in 2012.
There were 102,568 New York children enrolled in the 2011-2012 school year, representing approximately 44 percent of the state’s 4-year-olds - a decrease of approximately 1,000 students from the previous year. Approximately 75 percent of those kids attend half-day programs.
The good news for New York was that despite its drop in the number of students attending pre-K, it maintained its national ranking of 9th overall in terms of enrollment. And despite its flat funding, that state’s ranking improved from 24th in the nation to 21st in the nation in the per-child spending category, although in 2002, New York was 11th overall for resources per child.
The report did note the $25 million for pre-K included in the 2013-14 budget, which would allow for more full and half-day K slots across the state.
Dec 6th - 2:48 pm
In the wake of last Sunday’s deadly Metro-North derailment, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is directing the MTA to “explore what new measures” to improve train safety.
Cuomo’s office released a letter the governor sent today to MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast, in which he makes clear that he believes the actions of engineer William Rockefeller, whom federal investigators determined was doing 82 miles per hour heading into a sharp 30 mile per hour curve, “were the initiating cause of this tragic accident.”
“Various state and national agencies are now examining Mr. Rockefeller’s conduct,” Cuomo wrote. “I am sure that the MTA is also taking the necessary disciplinary measures.”
Cuomo has already said he thinks Rockefeller could face criminal charges for his conduct, but legal experts aren’t so sure. Rockefeller has been suspended without pay, and the MTA is reportedly preparing disciplinary charges that could result in his dismissal, though he could appeal that ruling.
In his letter, Cuomo also reiterated his call for the MTA to expedite automated speed control for vulnerable track locations across the Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road systems, and he said installation of positive train control should be “accelerated,” though he acknowledged that to do so will be “challenging” (presumably due to cost contraints). And the governor did not stop there.
“Furthermore, I am requesting you to confer with all relevant personnel and experts to identify what actions can be taken before PTC is installed, and design recommendations to address hazards revealed in Sunday’s derailment in the immediate and long-term future,” Cuomo wrote.
Specifically, please consider and evaluate the following:
- Implementing regular safety stand-downs to reinforce a safety culture among MTA employees, similar to the immediate safety stand-downs I previously directed you to conduct this week.
- Participating in the Federal Railroad Administration’s Confidential Close Call Reporting System, which provides a way for front-line employees to anonymously warn of potential safety hazards without fear of retribution.
- Identifying technical solutions to enforce speed control, compliance with operating rules, engineer alertness and any other measures that can improve safety for New York commuters.”
Train safety is going to be a focus for some time as a result of this accident, and it’s a safe bet there will be numerous proposals on the subject from elected officials at many levels of government.
Dec 6th - 6:24 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.
If you happen to see the governor, wish him a happy birthday. He was born Dec. 6, 1957, and as of today, he’s both the 56th governor of New York AND 56 years old.
NYC Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio is also in the city with no public schedule.
From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Manhattan BP and NYC Comptroller-elect Scott Stringer and executives, philanthropic officials and scholars speak during the Citizens Budget Commission’s conference about budget and economic concerns of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s administration; 58 E. 68th St., Manhattan.
At 8:30 a.m., Rep. Paul Tonko holds a fundraiser, 6 Colonial Green, Loudonville.
At 8:45 a.m., Mayor Bloomberg delivers remarks at the Partnership for New York City’s annual meeting, Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Ave. at Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn.
At 10 a.m., four Assembly committees and the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus hold a public hearing on the state’s laws governing the age of criminal responsibility, Assembly Hearing Room, 250 Broadway, Room 1923, 19th Floor, Manhattan.
Also at 10 a.m., Tonko calls on the U.S. Senate to pass legislation to save money by exempting fire hydrants from EPA lead regulations in primary sources of drinking water, Latham Water Garage, 347 Old Niskayuna Road, Latham.
At 10:30 a.m., Rep. Joe Crowley is joined by elected officials, civic organizations, advocates and community members to announce the Silent Skies Act to address aircraft noise pollution in communities surrounding airports in Queens; LaGuardia Airport’s Marine Air Terminal Rotunda.
Also at 10:30 a.m., AARP NY holds press conference to announce major recommendations for state support for 4.1 million unpaid family caregivers, Lilly Apartments, 36 Arthur Ave., Blasdell.
At 6:30 p.m., New York City Councilwoman and Manhattan BP-elect Gale Brewer serves as a guest ringmaster at the Big Apple Circus, Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center, Manhattan.
From 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., there will be a candlelight vigil for Nelson Mandela outside the South African Consulate, at 333 East 38th St., Manhattan.
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio on his new NYPD commissioner, Bill Bratton: ““I am choosing the best police leader in the United States of America. Plus (he’s) someone I trust on the philosophical level. We are kindred. We share the same beliefs.”
Although a man of modest background, Bratton, 66, has become part of a global law enforcement elite.
“Broadway Bill is gone. It’s Hollywood Bill whom de Blasio just hired.”
The job to which Bratton is returning is very different from the one he left. Crime is at all-time lows. New independent overseers will soon likely monitor the NYPD. Counterterrorism has become an important focus.
There’s skepticism that Bratton was the right pick to enable de Blasio to keep his pledge to reform stop-and-frisk.
People familiar with Bratton’s thinking said there would be significant changes in personnel, priorities and how the NYPD is organized and run.
Cuomo’s second tax commission is weighing a proposal with more than $1 billion in mostly property tax cuts, but debate over former Gov. George Pataki’s plan to slash the personal-income tax on the highest earners has helped delay the release of the group’s report.
It appears the commission will miss today’s deadline for issuing its report; members are now looking to next Tuesday.
Speaking at the Association for a Better New York’s breakfast at the Brooklyn Marriott, Mayor Bloomberg predicted New Yorkers will be living better for a long time due to his efforts on various fronts.
“The biggest risk we face…is the risk of failing to stay true to the values that made our city great, the values that make New York New York,” said Bloomberg, who was uncharacteristically emotion during his speech.
According to documents and interviews, state, local and federal officials had been aware for years that the crucial maps of flood risks were inaccurate; some feared they understated the dangers in New York City’s low-lying areas.
Dec 5th - 5:37 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo heads to Washington on Monday to raise hundreds of thousands more dollars – this time from some of the most wired lobbyists in the nation’s capital.
“Three press aides to the governor could not immediately confirm the event; his 2014 campaign office and the Washington lobbying firm hosting the fundraiser did not return calls for comment.”
Cuomo’s second tax commission is divided over former Gov. George Pataki’s push to recommend an income tax cut, and it may not issue a report tomorrow as planned.
In a rare display of public emotion, Mayor Bloomberg choked up when talking about his unborn grandson and the city that he hopes to leave for him
Chris Smith: “After all that talk about Sandinistas, Bill de Blasio may turn out to be a closet conservative.”
The Rev. Al Sharpton isn’t 100 percent on board with de Blasio’s pick of Bill Bratton to return to his old job as NYPD commissioner.
With this new job, Bratton’s role as an analyst at NBC News will be ending.
In the deeply divided Senate, 30 Republicans have opposed public campaign financing, as well as two Democrats. That leaves the measure one vote short heading into the January legislative session
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was not pressed to weigh in on the most pressuring international current events of the day at a foreign policy forum last night.
Donald Trump cut two checks totalling $15,000 to Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino’s successful re-election campaign this year.
Mayor Stephanie Miner said the Detroit bankruptcy case – and the ruling on pension rights in particular – might influence union contract talks in Syracuse, even though there’s little chance the city will enter bankruptcy.
Former Gov. George Pataki will headline a $1,000 a head fundraiser for Republican Congressional contender George Demos next week.
A new TV ad from Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns appears to show a gunman walking into a school at the same time Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook.
Rep. Pete King is heading back to New Hampshire.
Bill Clinton is a doodler.
De Blasio has trouble being on time.
Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand were in Central New York today.
Former Daily Gazette reporter Dave Lombardo and former Record city editor Jim Franco are teaming up to anchor a Sunday morning public affairs talk show on WGDJ-1300 AM.
Dec 5th - 3:56 pm
Carl Paladino, who is mulling a re-match against Gov. Andrew Cuomo next fall, is still angry about an incident during his failed 2010 bid during which he stood with Orthodox Jewish leaders in Brooklyn and pledged to “oppose the homosexual agenda” – especially same-sex marriage – and said children should not be “brainwashed” into believing that being gay is acceptable.
The Buffalo businessman was roundly condemned for his comments, sopme of which were written for him by Rabbi Yehuda Levin, who endorsed Paladino’s run for governor and advised him in his effort to woo conservative Jewish voters.
The incident came up when Paladino was interviewed on Dec. 2 on 100.7 FM WUTQ, and the hosts suggested the erstwhile candidate had been wrongly portrayed by the “liberal media” as anti-gay.
“Wait a minute,” Paladino retorted. “I got set up by the Hasidics in New York. They set me up on that. I never had a problem with a gay person in my life. That’s total, God-damned nonsense, and I don’t put up with that, all right? They’ll paint me as not politically correct, and they’re perfectly right.”
Paladino went on to say that he had made “mistakes” during his campaign, and considered his reading of Levin’s prepared remarks one of them. He didn’t apologize outright, but did say he felt “terrible” about the incident.
“…Listen, I was a big boy,” Paladino said. “I knew it was a very blue state. I went up there and I laid out values, all right? They wanted to bring me down on social values. And I, being the first time I ever ran for anything, I made a lot of mistakes. And one of them was reading that stupid paper drafted by those Hasidics without having it properly vetted by my campaign manager.”
“That was a terrible, terrible thing. And I felt terrible about it. And I certainly am not anti-gay and I’m not a racist, OK? I will say whatever I please, OK, to anybody who I think is wrong, and then when you want to play the anti-gay and you want to play the racist cards, that’s what they do when devoid of any other excuse for their bad behavior.”
Paladino’s position on social issues will no doubt be back in the spotlight if he chooses to go forward with another run for governor, though this time he has said he will only seek the Conservative line and not participate in the GOP primary.
Dec 5th - 6:55 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.
From 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., during demonstrations planned nationwide, activists, fast-food workers and union members and officials call for increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour and prohibiting employers from interfering with efforts by workers to join unions.
From 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., officials from Newtown, Conn., the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, over 80 area private and public schools and security firms speak during a seminar presented by the Center on Private Security and Safety at The City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice; room 4302, North Hall, 445 W. 59th St., Manhattan.
At 8 a.m., Mayor Bloomberg speaks at his final ABNY breakfast, the New York Marriot at the Brooklyn Bridge, Grand Ballroom, 2nd floor, 333 Adams St., Brooklyn.
Also at 8 a.m., there will be an oral argument on a motion filed by attorneys for Sen. Malcolm Smith to dismiss the corruption charges filed against him, Courtroom 521, U.S. District Court, 300 Quarropas St., White Plains.
At 10 a.m., NYC Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio makes an announcement at the Red Hook Justice Community Center, 88 Visitation Place, Brooklyn.
Also at 10 a.m., the Assembly Health Committee holds a public hearing on medical marijuana legislation, Common Council Chambers, Buffalo City Hall, 13th Floor, 65 Niagara Square, Buffalo.
At 10:30 a.m., the Assembly Banking Committee and Subcommittee on Banking in Underserved Communities hold a public hearing on the state’s Community Reinvestment Act, Roosevelt Hearing Room C, Legislative Office Building, 2nd Floor, Albany.
Also at 10:30 a.m., Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney will host a congressional field hearing on the need for comprehensive immigration reform, Neighbors Link Northern Westchester, 27 Columbus Ave., Mt. Kisco.
At 11 a.m., the Assembly Transportation Committee holds a public hearing on the impact of the 2013-14 budget on upstate transit systems, Hamilton Hearing Room B, Legislative Office Building, 2nd Floor, Albany.
Also at 11 a.m., the Assembly and Senate committees on Children and Families and the Assembly Oversight and Investigations Committee hold a public hearing on NYC child protective practices, Assembly Hearing Room, 250 Broadway, Room 1923, 19th Floor, Manhattan.
At 12:30 p.m., AG Eric Schneiderman will appear on MSNBC’s Now with Alex Wagner to talk about the recent $13 billion settlement with JP Morgan. (This was rescheduled from yesterday).
At 1:30 p.m., the Appellate Division hears oral arguments on the appeal filed by the NY Lawyers for the Public Interest for South Bronx Unite challenging the environmental review performed for the proposed relocation of Fresh Direct from Long Island City to the South Bronx, 27 Madison Ave., Manhattan.
At 3 p.m., Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick joins Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, and Gene Sperling, director of the President Obama’s National Economic Council to attend the “Mayors Manufacturing Summit” at the White House, Washington, D.C.
At 6:30 p.m., GOP dirty trickster and author Roger Stone will “have drinks and talk politics,” Wyndham Garden Amherst, 5195 Main St., Williamsville.
At 7 p.m., LG Bob Duffy attends a ceremony to honor the retiring president of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY ESF Gateway Center, 1 Forestry Dr., Syracuse.
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio named Anthony Shorris as his first deputy mayor and second-in-command, tasking the former Port Authority executive director with putting his progressive agenda into action in city government.
In a DN OpEd, Avi Schick, a former deputy state attorney general and president of the Empire State Development Corp., praises de Blasio for selecting Shorris. Schick and Shorris worked together during the Spitzer administration, and didn’t always get along.
De Blasio also tapped Dominic Williams, 31, his chief of staff in the public advocate’s office, to serve as Shorris’s chief of staff. He named Emma Wolfe, 34, his deputy campaign manager and close confidante, as director of intergovernmental affairs.
“Four years ago, the city’s political world barely knew Emma Wolfe. Now the road to City Hall runs through her.”
Cuomo defended the scope of the Moreland Commission’s investigation, saying: “The whole point here is, there has been evidence of corruption in the Legislature, and that is an undeniable fact.”
The commission’s co-chair, Onondaga County DA William Fitzpatrick says he can’t fathom why state lawmakers, facing a cloud of public suspicion over corruption, aren’t lining up to embrace the proposals in the commission’s report.
The Buffalo News: “(L)awmakers should embrace the report and work to make wholesale changes in a system that is steeped in a tradition of pervasive corruption, whether through political gerrymandering or outright crimes.”
Federal investigators said they are leaning toward blaming operator error in Sunday’s fatal train crash in the Bronx, but legal experts said it isn’t clear that the engineer, who admitted to losing focus and speeding into the sharp curve, will face criminal charges.
The wreck could be a case of “highway hypnosis.”
The Metro-North Railroad train that derailed included a system designed to warn an operator of a potential accident. But such an “alerter,” which can automatically apply the brakes if an operator is unresponsive, was not in the cab where the engineer sits.