Liz Benjamin

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Posts by Liz Benjamin

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Schenectady County and New York City. At 10 a.m., he will attend the funeral for Trooper Jeremy VanNostrand at St. Gabriel’s Roman Catholic Church, 3040 Hamburg St., Schenectady.

At 5 p.m. this evening, Vice President Mike Pence delivers remarks at the lying in state of the Honorable George H.W. Bush.

At 7:45 a.m., former NYC Council Speaker and current NYC public advocate candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito greets subway riders at the 181st Street 1 Subway Station, Washington Heights.

At 9 a.m., NYC Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr. holds a press conference to unveil a statue of Shirley Chisholm, Children’s Museum, 145 Brooklyn Ave., Brooklyn.

At 9:30 a.m., the NYC Council subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions meets, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Justice System meets jointly with the Committee on Criminal justice, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 10:30 a.m., the Assembly Standing Committee on Codes, the Assembly Standing Committee on Health, the Assembly Standing Committee on Governmental Operations, and the Assembly Standing Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse hold a joint public hearing, Babylon Town Hall, 200 E. Sunrise Highway, Lindenhurst.

At 11 a.m., Rep. Nydia Velázquez holds a dedication ceremony to rename the Post Office at 6 Doyers St. after local groundbreaking figure Mabel Lee, First Chinese Baptist Church, 21 Pell St., Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Land Use meets, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. and Sheriff Robert Maciol will sign an agreement with Utica City School District Superintendent Bruce Karam to place special patrol officers in all of Utica’s elementary schools, Jefferson Elementary School Gymnasium, 190 Booth St., Utica.

At 11:30 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Standards and Ethics continues a recessed meeting, 250 Broadway, 15th floor, Manhattan.

At noon, NYCHA tenants and local clergy members will endorse Assemblywoman Latrice Walker’s NYC public advocate bid, Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Jorelmon St., Brooklyn.

Also at noon, dozens with Sunrise New York and Indivisible Brooklyn will rally outside U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office to demand that he use his power to ensure that the ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee rejects fossil fuel money and supports a Green New Deal, 780 3rd Ave., Manhattan.

Also at noon, immigrant New Yorkers and elected officials will rally to demand passage of legislation in Albany to restore access to driver’s licenses for all and the New York Dream Act, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

12:30 p.m., the NYC Council Committee on Standards and Ethics meets, 250 Broadway, 14th floor, Committee Room, Manhattan.

1 p.m., the NYC Council Committee on Education meets, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 1:30 p.m., the NYC Council Committee on Public Safety meets jointly with the Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities and Addiction, 250 Broadway, 16th floor, Committee room, Manhattan.

At 2 p.m., Steven Aiello is scheduled to be sentenced for his role in the Buffalo Billion corruption case, federal courthouse, 40 Foley Sq., Manhattan.

Also at 2 p.m., Assemblywoman Nily Rozic speaks at ADL’s Annual Summit on Anti-Semitism and Hate, Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th St., Manhattan.

At 3 p.m., Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan joins School Construction Authority President Lorraine Grillo and Principal William Bassell to mark the beginning of construction of the new Academy of American Studies building, 28-01 41st Ave., Queens.

At 4:30 p.m., CUNY holds a Board of Trustees public hearing, LaGuardia Community College, mainstage theater, 31-10 Thomson Ave., Queens.

At 5:30 p.m., the MTA holds a public hearing on proposed fare hikes, 2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island.

At 6 p.m., Bloomberg Philanthropies’ documentary “Paris to Pittsburgh” has its NYC premiere, Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, 165 W. 65th St., Manhattan. (Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg will attend).

At 6:30 p.m., Rep. Yvette Clarke and immigration experts host a roundtable regarding the proposed public charge rule change, Lenox Road Baptist Church, 1356 Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn.

At 7 p.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will appear live on NY1’s “Inside City Hall.”

Also at 7 p.m., the New York Immigration Coalition, the New York State Immigrant Action Fund, Neighbors Link, and Indivisible Westchester will join State Sen. Shelley Mayer for a community forum in support of legislation to expand access to driver’s licenses for all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, White Plains Public Library, 100 Martine Ave., White Plains.

At 7:30 p.m., Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer speaks at the Interfaith Center of New York’s Civic Leadersh

At 8 p.m., Mark-Viverito attends the Lesbian & Gay Democratic Club of Queens holiday party, Club Evolution, 76-19 Roosevelt Ave., Jackson Heights, Queens.

Headlines…

Former FBI Director James Comey announced he has dropped his legal challenge to House Republicans’ efforts to compel him to testify in a closed-door setting about the political bias and mismanagement they say permeated the Hillary Clinton and Trump campaign probes under his watch.

Republican lawmakers agreed to release a transcript of his testimony in 24 hours and to allow Comey to speak about the meeting publicly, he said on Twitter. “This is the closest I can get to public testimony,” he said.

Staring down a Friday deadline with major conflicts left to resolve, lawmakers were discussing a short-term spending bill that would avert the possibility of a partial government shutdown as Washington mourns former President George Bush, according to people familiar with the talks.

The C.I.A. has evidence that Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince, communicated repeatedly with a key aide around the time that a team believed to have been under the aide’s command assassinated Jamal Khashoggi, according to former officials familiar with the intelligence.

The top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerry Nadler, of Manhattan, said that a new plea deal from Michael Cohen, Trump’s former longtime lawyer, raises questions as to whether the Kremlin still has a “hold over” the president.

China agreed to cut tariffs on American cars, Trump said on Twitter.

Qatar said it is quitting OPEC from January 2019 but would attend the oil exporter group’s meeting this week, saying the decision meant Doha could focus on cementing its position as the world’s top liquefied natural gas exporter.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have ordered government flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of the late former President George H.W. Bush.

Sully H.W. Bush, service dog of the former president, will accompany the late commander-in-chief one last time — traveling alongside his casket as it heads to Washington, DC, this week for his funeral.

At the time of his death, Bush was the most popular former president alive.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama celebrated her memoir, “Becoming,” with fans at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn Saturday, and shocked the crowd when she swore. While speaking about inequality for women in both the workplace and marriage, she noted women can’t be responsible for changing their own placement.

Obama canceled part of her book tour so she can pay her respects to Bush, who died Friday at the age of 94.

Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris, of California, said she will make a decision about a potential 2020 presidential bid during this year’s holiday season.

A giant menorah, which shined bright against the dark fog that blanketed Central Park, has been lit hundreds of times by rabbis, mayors and governors, was lit again last night. But this time – coming amidst a rise in antiSemitism – felt different.

De Blasio — who was booed at last week’s Christmas-tree lighting in Rockefeller Plaza – was late to the menorah lighting ceremony in Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn.

The Daily Gazette breaks with most other media outlets and editorializes against linking a legislative pay raise with a ban on outside income.

Former Assemblyman Richard Brodsky: “Andrea Stewart-Cousins presents as a woman of grace and flair. She has considerable political skill as well. She will need all that and more as she becomes the new Senate majority leader.”

Spurred by the election of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Congress and Julia Salazar to the state Senate, the Democratic Socialists of America has become a potent political force to be reckoned with in New York City politics.

The already-popular waterfront Queens neighborhood of Long Island City was named as the future home of Amazon’s Gotham headquarters last month — and buyers have been on a feeding frenzy looking for investment properties ever since, according to real estate local brokers.

Some hardcore Amazon foes broke into a company-owned building in Long Island City Saturday evening, scrawling “Scama­zon.con” across its floor-to-ceiling windows from the inside.

With state Sen. Michael Gianaris positioning himself as a leading opponent to the deal bringing Amazon to New York, Democratic insiders are wondering what his endgame is and whether he will work to try to kill or change the agreement.

More >

The Weekend That Was

Trump declared that Wednesday will be a national day of mourning for former President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday night at his home in Houston, Texas at the age of 94.

The New York Stock Exchange said it will suspend normal trading on Wednesday, and will observe a minute of silence to honor Bush on Monday.

Bush’s death came less than eight months after his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush, passed away.

“I love you, too,” were Bush’s last words. He said them to his son, former President George W. Bush, on speakerphone.

Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will attend a funeral service for Bush at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C.

Bush, after a state funeral in the nation’s capital, will be buried on the grounds of his presidential library at Texas A&M University alongside his beloved wife of 73 years and the couple’s 3-year-old daughter, Robin, who died in 1953.

That town, Kennebunkport, Me., lowered its flags to half-staff on Saturday to honor the death of its most famous summer resident.

After the death of the man he beat for the White House, Bill Clinton remembered a famous letter left in the Oval Office and said: “I just loved him.”

“I like you,” the first President Bush wrote to NYT columnist Maureen Dowd, after he was out of office. “Please don’t tell anyone.” The two of them had a long relationship of correspondence.

The father of a student killed in the Parkland, Fla., high school mass shooting remembered Bush for eviscerating the NRA in a fiery resignation letter from the pro-gun group.

Clinton and his wife, Hillary Clinton, issued a formal statement about Bush’s passing.

Though he never visited Western New York during his four years as president, Bush came to the area at least seven times between 1980 and 2000 as presidential candidate, vice president and former president.

The G-20 summit in Argentina on Friday was a political minefield for Trump, who avoided Vladimir Putin and exchanged only a brief pleasantry with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman while cozying up to more amenable leaders.

The United States and China reached a 90-day ceasefire in a trade dispute that has rattled financial markets and threatened world economic growth.

Longtime Trump advisor Roger Stone said that there is “no circumstance” under which he would testify against the President “because I’d have to bear false witness against him.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson, renowned astrophysicist and host of the popular television show “Cosmos” “is being investigated by National Geographic networks amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie told a state commission that he’s open to restricting outside income for lawmakers as part of a deal to get them their first pay raise in 20 years — but questioned whether the panel has the power to impose such a restriction.

The National Action Network agreed to pay its activist preacher president, the Rev. Al Sharpton, $531,000 for his “life story rights for a 10-year period,” according to the non-profit’s latest tax filing, which was obtained by The NY Post.

The week before Thanksgiving, Rep.-elect Anthony Brindisi delivered the news in a private meeting to Nancy Pelosi: He won’t support her historic bid to regain the House Speaker’s post, and there’s nothing that will change his mind.

The head of the federal Housing and Urban Development’s New York office, Lynne Patton, said she plans to move into a New York City Housing Authority apartment for the month of January to “fully understand” public housing.

More >

Extras

As many as 500 million people who made reservations at Starwood properties may have had their personal information accessed in a breach that lasted as long as four years.

Anyone who made a reservation at a Starwood property on or before September 10th this year is at risk of having been caught up in the breach. Marriott will be emailing all those potentially impacted, from a starwoodhotels@email-marriott.com address.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort may face additional charges after lawyers in the special counsel’s Russia investigation said he lied to them and broke his plea agreement, prosecutors said.

Former FBI Director James Comey’s lawyers are challenging a congressional subpoena that demands he testify behind closed doors to a House panel allegedly powered by “a poisonous combination of presidential tweets and the selective leaking that has become standard practice” for GOP lawmakers.

A federal judge in Manhattan landed another blow to the Trump administration’s immigration policies, blocking efforts to punish cities for protecting immigrants from the feds by blocking grants to local law enforcement.

Trump and his Mexican and Canadian counterparts sought to put the acrimony of the past two years behind them as they signed a new agreement governing hundreds of billions of dollars in trade among the neighbors that underpins their economies.

Soon-to-be Deputy state Senate Majority Leader Mike Gianaris says his campaign will no longer accept contributions from the real estate industry – a move inspired by incoming senators, like Brooklyn’s Julia Salazar, who made this a key components of their campaigns.

A study published this month by the Federal Reserve found millennials are less financially well-off than members of earlier generations when they were the same ages, with “lower earnings, fewer assets and less wealth.”

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she is interested in a seat on the powerful House committee overseeing the financial sector – one of the chamber’s most sought-after committees.

Though they backed Hillary Clinton over the Vermont senator in the 2016 Democratic presidential campaign, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, are being welcomed with open arms at a conference hosted by the Sanders Institute. The Mayor’s Office is paying for the trip, expected to cost about $2,000.

Mark Green, the first person to hold the post of NYC public advocate, endorsed Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams’ bid for the job.

De Blasio has no clue how an email he received from a corrupt donor begging him to save the career of an NYPD boss disappeared — but insisted it wasn’t something anybody needed to see, anyway.

Sarfraz Maredia is the public face of a kinder Uber. But New York’s cap on new vehicles could make it difficult for the app to keep growing.

It isn’t easy to have a natural, nonmedicated birth in New York – in part because midwives in this state cannot legally operate birthing centers on their own. After years of hospitals trying to accommodate the option, most seem to be slowly backing away from the idea.

Outgoing House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley, of Queens, who was ousted by Rep.-elect Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez in the June primary, played a key role in securing his soon-to-be former role for his protégé, Brooklyn Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. i

New York’s statewide teachers union is collecting cash from 28,057 fewer people than it was before the Supreme Court ruling that ended compulsory union fees for public employees.

The Success Academy charter school network shortchanged kids with disabilities, according to a complaint filed with state Education Department officials.

Nuisance black bear complaints and the number of bears that had to be killed by state Department of Environmental Conservation staff in the Adirondacks rose considerably in 2018 compared to last year.

As Miles Bottrill, the newest Onondaga County legislator, was sworn in this morning, he vowed to fight poverty. He’s replacing Ryan McMahon, who departed to become county executive and appointed his successor.

New York City will erect a statue of Rep. Shirley Chisholm, a political trailblazer who was the first black woman to serve in Congress and the first woman to seek the Democratic nomination for president, at an entrance to Prospect Park.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public events scheduled as of yet.

Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence this morning depart D.C. for Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where the VP will deliver remarks at the 5th Israeli-American Council National Conference at the Diplomat Beach Resort.

The couple then heads to Houston, Texas, where they will remain overnight.

At 9 a.m., NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen will make an announcement about She Built NYC, Prospect Park, Ocean and Parkside avenues, Brooklyn.

At 10 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will appear live on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show, and take calls from listeners.

In the afternoon, McCray and the mayor will will depart New York City and travel to Burlington, Vermont to attend the Sanders Institute Gathering.

At 11 a.m., Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone joins state Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon to sign the RISE Act, which would prohibit employers from requesting the wage history of a prospective employee, H. Lee Dennison Building, Media Room, 100 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge.

Also at 11 a.m., Queens Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott welcomes New York City Councilman Eric Ulrich to the Woodhaven Library to thank him for his $250,000 capital funding allocation, 85-41 Forest Parkway, Queens.

Also at 11 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul addresses the End AIDS NY 2020 Coalition World AIDS Day Event, Baruch College, Mason Hall, 17 Lexington Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., CUNY students, staff and allies rally against CUNY’s board of trustees Chairman Bill Thompson for endorsing the Amazon HQ2 deal, 100 Wall St., Manhattan.

At 12:45 p.m., AARP volunteers deliver over 8,300 petitions urging U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to resist pharmaceutical industry lobbying to overturn this year’s bipartisan Medicare “donut hole” deal to save seniors money on prescription drugs, Rochester Federal Building, 100 State St., Rochester.

At 3 p.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is the guest lecturer at a government class, Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Queens.

At 6 p.m., Diaz Jr. presents a proclamation at the opening of Circo Hermanos Vazquez, Harlem River North Lot near the Bronx Terminal Market, the Bronx.

Also at 6 p.m., Hochul delivers remarks at the Canalside Tree Lighting, Main Street and Marine Drive, Buffalo.

Also at 6 p.m., former NYC Council Speaker and current NYC public advocate candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito appears on NY1 Noticias Pura Política.

At 7:30 p.m., Diaz Jr. attends NYC Councilman Mark Gjonaj’s Albanian Independence Day celebration, Marina Del Rey, 1 Marina Dr., the Bronx.

Headlines…

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former longtime personal lawyer, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about pursuing the construction of a Trump Tower in Moscow in 2016, the first charge he faces from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Trump himself was more involved in discussions over the potential Russian business deal during the presidential campaign than previously known, Cohen said.

Following his guilty plea, Democratic lawmakers on the Hill said they would like Cohen to join them for another round of questioning.

While Trump was busy running for president, his namesake company reportedly wanted to give Russian President Vladimir Putin a $50 million penthouse apartment in a Trump-branded building it was trying to develop in Moscow.

Trump says the amount of money the government spent on Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria is “beyond belief” and “has to be studied.”

Sheryl Sandberg reportedly asked Facebook’s communications staff to research George Soros’s financial interests in the wake of his high-profile attacks on tech companies, indicating the company’s second in command was directly involved in the social network’s response to the liberal billionaire.

Roughly two million people who work for the federal government have now been told that it may be illegal for them to participate in work discussions about the “resistance” to Trump – a pronouncement that legal specialists say breaks new ground, and that some criticized as going too far.

Democrats who’ll be chairing top congressional committees next year say they won’t back down on investigating Trump because he has threatened to release “devastating” documents if they do.

Beginning this weekend, Air Canada, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines will taxi over to the new Concourse B at LaGuardia Airport, part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $8 billion overhaul of the much-maligned hub.

NYC Council members will host a trio of hearings to grill city officials and Amazon.com about the closed-door negotiations that led to the tech giant agreeing to build its second headquarters in Queens.

Reps. Elise Stefanik, who won he re-election bid, and John Faso, who lost his, have both styled themselves as independent-minded Republicans, but they diverge on the extent to which Trump’s negatives affected their races and others – and what the message is for the GOP looking toward 2020.

A bill that would force the state’s private schools to report incidents of sex abuse by teachers or other staffers to the police has been sent to Cuomo’s desk where it will be signed or vetoed in coming days.

Cuomo directed the State Police Hate Crimes Unit to assist in the investigation into two swastikas and an anti-Semitic slur that were found Wednesday spray-painted on the walls of the office of a Jewish professor and Holocaust scholar at Columbia Teacher’s College.

New York hospitals illegally billed survivors for hundreds of forensic rape examinations, a new investigation by state Attorney General Barbara Underwood finds, with charges ranging from $46 to $2,892.

Underwood’s office has reached civil settlements with the hospitals, who agreed to refund patients and to implement formal policies to ensure that it would not happen again.

In January, when the state Senate Democratic conference takes control, all three of Albany’s most powerful politicians will have authored some form of the “Fair Elections Act,” a dramatic overhaul of New York’s campaign finance system.

NYC lawmakers ripped the de Blasio administration’s woeful response to a 6-inch snowstorm that crippled the Big Apple this month — demanding apologies and asking whether any heads would roll.

NYC is again using fuzzy math to give municipal unions credit for health-care savings that are largely created by inflating projected costs, budget watchdogs said.

Saying he’s out to “declare a real war on poverty,” NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer called on the city to triple the number of new affordable apartments set aside for the homeless.

Lyft Inc. plans to invest more than $100 million in Citi Bike during the next five years, more than tripling the number of available bikes in New York City and doubling the popular bike share’s service area.

More >

Extras

Michael Cohen, the president’s former lawyer and fixer, admitted in court that he had engaged in negotiations to build a tower in Moscow for Trump well into the 2016 presidential campaign, far later than previously known.

This revelation came as Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, and were a startling turn in the special counsel’s investigation of Trump and his inner circle. The president is referred to as “Individual 1” in the court documents.

Here are the charges brought against Cohen by special council Robert Mueller.

Trump called Cohen “a weak person” who was “lying to get a reduced sentence” behind bars.

Trump abruptly canceled his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin two days before they were scheduled to sit down on the sidelines of the G20 summit, pinning the blame on Russia’s refusal to release Ukrainian Navy ships and sailors seized during a maritime confrontation between the two countries on Sunday.

Public-sector unions are gearing up to fight legislation that would establish New York State as the health insurance provider for all residents, worried the sweeping bill would curtail their benefits and negotiating power.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who was born on Thanksgiving Day, 1950, revealed his father missed his birth because he was watching the iconic Macy’s T-Day parade in NYC – and also getting a drink.

Cor Development executive Steven Aiello will be sentenced on corruption charges next week, but he’s already hired a high-powered New York City attorney – Alexandra Shapiro – to represent him in his appeal.

Trump, a born-and-raised New Yorker, said he misses his hometown and plans to return there after his presidency.

The gender pay gap is worse than originally thought, according to a new report.

Citi Bike will double its service area and triple its number of bikes over the next five years, NYC officials announced.

State Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced a settlement with seven hospitals that billed rape survivors instead of the state Office of Victim Services or private insurance, as outlined in state law. The hospitals have agreed to full restitution, pay costs and implement policies to ensure the mistake doesn’t happen again.

New Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon: “Syracuse and Onondaga County is on the rise and open for business.”

The judge who rejected a proposed plan to impose a federal monitor to handle NYCHA’s many problems today gave a thumbs up to a much narrower plan that focuses only on one persistent issue – toxic mold.

Amazon’s Emmy-award-winning show about a 1950s New York City comedienne, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” will take an upstate turn in its second season, which is due out next week.

Dunkin’ is giving a heads-up to its customers that a cybersecurity incident may have comprimised some DD perks accounts.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and top lawmakers in the state Legislature have hired attorneys to defend them in a lawsuit against legislation that will create a special commission to investigate cases of misconduct by the state’s prosecutors.

A lawsuit filed today seeks to dismantle New York’s sweeping new lobbying regulations, which are set to go into effect in January, that were passed by the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

Two more members of the far-right group known as the Proud Boys are facing charges in connection to a street fight that broke out on the Upper East Side in October, bringing the total number of arrests up to eight, police said.

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro is about to be a father – again.

Take a virtual walk around Anable Basin – Amazon’s future home in Queens.

Whole Foods stores across the city are seeing a whole new kind of sticker shock. Vengeful vegetable vandals have gotten creative in their demonstrations against parent company Amazon by slapping protest stickers on the grocery store produce.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Queens, where he will be announcing the next milestone in the redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport at 11 a.m.

At 9 a.m., NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray will visit a Trauma Smart location where Pre-K students will participate in yoga as a part of the Thrive NYC Day of Action, Bronx Community College, 2010 Sedgwick Ave., the Bronx.

At 9:30 a.m., the NYC Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises meets, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 9:30 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul attends the Oak Orchard Health Center ribbon cutting, 7309 Seneca Rd. N., Hornell.

At 10 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Civil Service and Labor meets jointly with the Committee on Finance, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., Hochul delivers remarks at the opening of a medical office building at St. James Hospital, 7309 Seneca Rd. N., Hornell.

At 10:15 a.m., Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano announces his plans to introduce new legislation regarding the use of plastic and paper bags, 77 Park Hill Ave., Yonkers.

Also at 10:15 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will deliver remarks at the 42nd Annual Legislative Conference of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, 333 Adams St., Brooklyn.

At 11 a.m., “The Capitol Pressroom” features state Sen. Luis Sepúlveda, Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri and others, WCNY.

At noon, the NYC Council Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime uses meets, 250 Broadway, 16th floor, Committee Room, Manhattan.

Also at noon, Hochul discusses Watkins Glen DRI projects with local elected officials and business owners, Watkins Glen Village Hall, Board Chambers, 303 N. Franklin St., Watkins Glen.

Also at noon, McCray and Deputy Mayor Thompson will participate in Thrive outreach at Atlantic-Barclays subway stop as a part of the Thrive NYC Day of Action, Atlantic and Flatbush avenues, Brooklyn.

At 12:30 p.m. – Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and NYC Department of Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver host a groundbreaking ceremony for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Elmhurst Park, northwest corner of Grand Avenue and 79th Street, Queens.

At 1 p.m., the NYC Council Committee on Education meets jointly with the Committee on Sanitation and the Committee on Transportation, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 1 p.m., the NYC Council Committees on Transportation, Sanitation and Solid Waste Management, and Education address the crisis that resulted from Winter Storm Avery and the city’s lack of preparedness and inter-agency coordination, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 1 p.m., the NYC Council Committee on Economic Development meets jointly with the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations, TWA Lounge, One World Trade Center, 86th floor, Manhattan.

At 6:30 p.m., City & State hosts the Manhattan Power 50 networking reception, featuring keynote remarks by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, The Mezzanine, 55 Broadway, Manhattan.

Headlines…

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his surf-and-turf lunch meeting with President Donald Trump was “all positive,” though the Republican president did not pledge any particular amount of funding to build a new rail tunnel across the Hudson River.

Just weeks ago, Cuomo was slamming the president on everything from immigration to tax reform, calling Trump the “main risk to the state of New York.”

“I think it’s fair to say the president was receptive to what we were talking about,” Cuomo told reporters after the lunch, which included chocolate cake for dessert. “The president said he wanted to take the next steps to find a way forward.”

After the lunch, Cuomo proposed cutting Amtrak out of efforts to rebuild a critical rail tunnel beneath the Hudson River and is seeking new estimates about what it would cost to construct a new tube connecting New Jersey to Manhattan.

Trump had some tough words for GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro, who lost to Cuomo earlier this month, saying: “He made a big mistake because he lost a big chunk of the party when he didn’t embrace Trump. There are a few of them around and they are all right now sitting at home watching television.”

The president retweeted an image of his so-called enemies behind bars that said: “Now that Russian collusion is a proven lie, when do the trials for treason begin?”

Democrats nominated California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who faces no challengers to be speaker – again. But she still must get through a full House vote in January, when Democrats take control of the chamber for the first time in eight years.

In a closed-door caucus session, 203 Democrats voted for the California congresswoman to take on the powerful post while 32 voted against her. That spells trouble for Pelosi. She needs 218 votes when the full House convenes on Jan. 3 to vote on her nomination.

Just before the balloting began, Pelosi dispensed with one major obstacle that had threatened to strengthen her foes, securing the support of a small but critical bloc of Democrats after she agreed to change House rules to give rank-and-file members more influence in Congress.

The deal isn’t as far-reaching as what the Problem Solvers, co-chaired by Rep. Tom Reed, a New York Republican, originally sought, but it would open up the legislative process to popular bipartisan measures while diluting the influence of lawmakers on the far right and far left.

Brooklyn Rep. Hakeem Jeffries was elected by his fellow Democrats to the relatively obscure position of chairman of the House Democratic caucus. It is the No. 5 leadership spot, but he is now on the fast track, with the potential to make history as the first black speaker.

Furious over being denied a C.I.A. briefing on the killing of a Saudi journalist, senators from both parties spurned the Trump administration with a stinging vote to consider ending American military support for the Saudi-backed war in Yemen.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is treating former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort “like he’s a terrorist,” the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani said.

Hudson Valley Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney has dropped his bid to become the next chairman of the Democratic Party’s congressional campaign arm, according to a letter sent to Pelosi that cited his recent hospitalization over a bacterial infection as the reason behind ending his effort.

Sinclair Broadcast Group defended a segment it aired on its local networks this week justifying U.S. Border Patrol agents’ use of tear gas at the U.S.-Mexico border as “commentary.”

The Trump administration reportedly plans to announce the long-anticipated federal rule officially banning bump stocks in the coming days.

Dozens of local and federal law enforcement officers conducted a surprise search of the offices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, looking for evidence in a clergy sexual abuse case that has ensnared the local archbishop, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, who is president of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ conference.

Outdoor clothing company Patagonia has pledged to donate the money it’ll save from Trump’s corporate tax break to initiatives that help the planet.

Porn actress Stormy Daniels might ditch attorney Michael Avenatti, saying he hit Trump with a defamation suit against her wishes.

Daily fantasy sports offerings from DraftKings, FanDuel and similar companies are in line for a temporary reprieve in New York, according to the state Gaming Commission.

The owner of the 2001 stretch Ford Excursion involved in the tragic Schoharie County crash appears to have circumvented the state’s inspection process repeatedly after buying the vehicle in 2016, according to state records obtained by the Times Union.

If state legislators and executive branch officials want pay raises, they didn’t make their feelings known yesterday, when the committee tasked with considering their compensation took input from the public in Albany.

As the commission considers whether state lawmakers deserve their first pay raise since 1999, it might also look into whether reforms are needed in the stipends awarded to individual legislators.

More >

Extras

After a meeting in D.C. today, Donald Trump said he’s fond of his fellow Queens native, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has repeatedly bashed the president since he took office, and signaled a willingness to work on funding the Gateway Tunnel project that is a top priority for the governor.

Trump today used his Twitter account to promote a false claim on immigration, and retweeted a post from a pro-Trump account that calls for deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, former law enforcement officials and other political opponents of the president to be put on trial for “treason.”

He’s never discussed a pardon for Paul Manafort, Trump said, but it’s “not off the table,” either.

Trump may trash Amazon on Twitter, but he refused to criticize the deal that brought one of the company’s new headquarters to New York.

Stocks surged after investors took comments by the Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome Powell, to mean that the central bank could be closer than expected to ending its current push to lift interest rates.

House Democrats nominated Representative Nancy Pelosi of California to be the speaker in the new Democratic House majority, but with 32 Democrats voting no, she was well short of the number she will need to be elected speaker in January.

In perhaps the most contentious battle for House Democratic leadership, New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries beat out fellow Congressional Black Caucus member Barbara Lee, of California, in a 123-113 vote to take the Democratic Caucus chairman position, the No. 5 spot in Democratic leadership in that chamber.

U.S. Senate Republicans blocked a vote on a bill to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller, despite a threat from a GOP senator to hold up judicial nominees until action is taken on the measure.

Mazel tov to U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is a grandpa for the first time.

The state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics will probe allegations that a former chief of staff for state Sen. Simcha Felder groped and sexually harassed a female lobbyist during a campaign fundraiser for Sen. George Amedore.

Rep. Tom Reed announced he sent a letter to Cuomo raising concerns over the $1.7 billion in subsidies offered in exchange for Amazon locating their second headquarters in New York City.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio punted on the issue of allowing electric scooters in the five boroughs, saying he’s open to the idea, but it’s up to Albany to legalize it.

Two new New York Democratic congressional members – Max Rose and Anthony Brindisi – have joined the Blue Dog Coalition.

Some Syracuse groups that help the city’s neediest people have been forced to take out loans to pay their bills because the federal government has held up almost $5 million in promised aid to the city.

As a commission considers whether state lawmakers deserve their first pay raise since 1999, the panel might also look into whether reforms are needed in the stipends awarded to individual legislators for chairing committees.

New York state began the process of appealing a state Supreme Court ruling that the operation of interactive fantasy sports by companies like DraftKings and FanDuel violates the prohibition of gambling in the state constitution.

Following a decision by the New York Appellate Division, Second Department, Attorney General Barbara Underwood issued a supplement to her office’s legal guidance to support local governments and law enforcement agencies in their efforts to protect vulnerable immigrant communities.

A broad coalition of organized labor, environmental advocates, business groups and private companies, called the Fix Our Transit coalition, is launching a new lobbying effort to introduce congestion pricing in Manhattan.

A judge from Western New York was publicly admonished by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct for failing to immediately recuse himself from three criminal cases involving his neighbor, whom he spoke to informally about the matter months before the litigation.

The 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair will be celebrated with a festival in 2019.

NPR’s “Fresh Air” has parted ways with contributor David Edelstein after the film critic made a joke about the rape scene in “Last Tango in Paris” on his Facebook page following Monday’s death of director Bernardo Bertolucci.

Rivera: New Version of Single Payer Bill Coming in January

ICYMI: We spoke last night on CapTon to Sen. Gustavo Rivera, the Bronx Democrat who is currently the ranking minority member of the Health Committee and also the co-sponsor, along with Assembly Health Committee Chair Dick Gottfried, of the New York Health Act, which would establish a universal, single-payer health care system in New York – something no other state (or the nation, for that matter) has managed to do.

Single payer was a very big issue in the 2018 election cycle. Everyone from the governor on down was asked for their position on this issue, and a number of incoming members of the Democratic Senate majority made universal care a central issue in their respective campaigns.

The trouble is, as erstwhile Democratic gubernatorial primary candidate Cynthia Nixon found out, this is a very expensive proposition, and no one has figured out how to pay for it yet – except to say that eventually, the money currently being spent on things like premiums and out-of-pocket costs would be shifted to pay for a single payer system.

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who, along with all her fellow Democrats, co-sponsored the New York Health Act, has insisted that she doesn’t support the idea of higher taxes in the state and is sensitive to the needs of upstate and suburban areas where that’s of particular concern. She has not yet committed, as leader, to a timeline for when a single payer bill gets to the floor for a vote.

Whenever that does happen, we know one thing for certain: The legislation will not be identical to the one passed for several years running by the Democrat-controlled Assembly.

Rivera told us last night that he and Gottfried will soon be introducing a new version of the New York Health Act, that will include “changes” based on conversations that the two lawmakers are having with “stakeholders,” who were previously reluctant to engage on this issue because they knew the Repiublican-controlled Senate would never take it up.

Rivera would not provide any details of what the new legislation would look like, saying only:

“This is the bottom line…We know this is a fundamental change in the way that we would deliver care in the state of New York, and we want to make sure that if we do it we do it right…We know that this is an incredibly complicated piece of legislation because we are changing a fundamental way of how we deliver care, and it would be a model not only for the state but for the entire country. We have a lot of work left to do to make sure we get it right.”

When asked whether the new legislation would address the key issue of how to pay for a complete state takeover of healthcare, Rivera pointed out that a number of studies have determined that doing so is indeed feasible and may actually save money in the long term. Of course, these are completely hypothetical, since no other state has managed to accomplish this feat before.

He also pointed out that even if the bill were to pass in its current form today, it would still take several years for regulations to be promulgated in order for it to be implemented, which gives lawmakers time to wrestle with the how-to-pay-for-it problem.

I noted that perhaps the biggest hurdle to all this is Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has repeatedly expressed skepticism that a single payer system would ever be established in New York, though he supports the idea, conceptually speaking.

Rivera acknowledged that many people are skeptical, but that hasn’t changed his fundamental belief that the current system is broken and needs to be changed. And, so far, he noted, no one else has come up with any potential solutions other than the one he and Gottfried are advocating.

“We start with the moral question, which is whether we believe that if somebody is sick, regardless of whether they’re wealthy or not, they should be healthy,” Rivera said.

“We believe that this is the case. So, we have to design a system that actually achieves this. And we’re going to do it, which again, is going to change based on the conversations that we have had with stakeholders, who have already pointed out, as you’re going to see in the version of the bill that comes in January, some things in the bill that need to be thought about a little bit more.”

“But the bottom line is we believe the system is broken,” he continued.

“We want to move forward with a system that actually provides care for everyone, and is fiscally responsible. Even though I might be some downstate lefty, I want you to understand that we want to make sure that we do not bankrupt the state. We do not want to do that. What we want to do is to provide care for everyone while providing a fiscally conservative system, which is what this would do.”

For the record, Rivera is not yet the Health Committee chair, since Stewart-Cousins hasn’t made any committee assignments yet. There was a brief dust-up earlier this month over a Facebook post in which Rivera used an expletive to brag about how he’s going to be a chairman.

He admitted he had used inappropriate language one his private Facebook page, which one of his Republican colleagues – he said – then ran with. But Rivera was also unapologetic about the incident, explaining that he was merely excited about the prospect of being in the majority.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Washington, D.C., where he is scheduled to meet with – and potentially have lunch with – President Donald Trump at 12:45 p.m. at the White House to discuss the Gateway tunnel project.

Vice President Mike Pence this morning participates in the portrait unveiling for Chairman Jeb Hensarling at the Longworth Building, and then, in the afternoon, participates in a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Finland.

In the evening, Pence will host a reception for new Republican members of Congress at his residence.

At 7:45 a.m., former NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, now a candidate for the NYC public advocate’s office, greets commuters outside the F, M, L Subway
at 14th Street and 6th Avenue, Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., NYC Councilman Antonio Reynoso and other council members rally with sanitation workers and NYCHA residents to commemorate the deaths of Mouctar Diallo and Leo Clarke, who both died in incidents allegedly involving private carting company Sanitation Salvage, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Finance meets, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., state Education Commissioner Maryellen Elia will deliver the keynote address to Superintendents and College Presidents during their regional forum on the topic of college readiness, Krasnoff Theater, Tilles Center, LIU Post, Brookville.

At 11 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections meets, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli attends the Compensation Committee public hearings, State University Plaza, 353 Broadway, Center Tower, Boardroom, Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray will host a press conference to make an announcement on opioids, Immaculate Conception Church, 389 E. 150th St., the Bronx.

Also at 11 a.m., state Sen. Michael Gianaris, Assemblyman Ron Kim, NYC Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union President Stuart Appelbaum make an announcement about Amazon workers and New York City, City Hall Park, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., the Assembly Committee on Agriculture holds a public hearing, Roosevelt Hearing Room C, Legislative Office Building, second floor, Albany.

At noon, NYC Council members Ydanis Rodriguez, Fernando Cabrera, Rafael Espinal Jr. and Margaret Chin announce four bills that would legalize electric bicycles and electric scooters in New York City, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 1 p.m., the NYC Council holds a stated meeting, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 1 p.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. hosts the borough’s official celebration of the 106th anniversary of Albania’s independence, Bronx County Building, Veterans’ Memorial Hall, 851 Grand Concourse, the Bronx. (LG Kathy Hochul will attend and deliver remarks).

At 5:30 p.m., Diaz Jr. and the Bronx Jewish Historical Initiative co-host the fourth annual Bronx Jewish Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse, the Bronx.

At 6 p.m., state Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Gianaris hold a fundraiser holiday reception, Cantina Rooftop, 605 W. 48th St., Manhattan.

At 6:30 p.m., , Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis will hold a workshop for parents in conjunction with Tackling Youth Substance Abuse, Michael J. Petrides School, 715 Ocean Terr. Staten Island.

At 7 p.m., the Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club hosts a Public Advocate Candidates Forum featuring nine candidates, Leo Hall, Scala Academy Room 215, 3825 Corlear Ave., the Bronx.

Also at 7 p.m., Mark-Viverito will be a guest on NY1’s “Inside City Hall.”

At 9:30 p.m., de Blasio will light the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, 610 Fifth Avenue, Concourse Level, between 49th and 50th streets, Manhattan.

Headlines…

President Donald Trump will meet today at the White House with his frequent critic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to discuss the Gateway Project, which would rebuild passenger rail lines between New York City and Newark, N.J.

The governor several weeks ago sent Trump a video of the current two aging and crumbling tunnels used by Amtrak and New Jersey Transit that he says threatens commerce in the northeast corridor should it collapse.

A deal crafted in 2015 with President Barack Obama’s administration to split the price tag between the states and federal government was rejected earlier by Trump, but Cuomo has continued to advocate for the project.

Saying he has a “full plate” as governor, Cuomo ruled out a 2020 presidential run.

Cuomo did, however, share his thoughts on what sort of attributes the Democratic presidential candidate should have – many of which he has used to describe himself.

The Trump administration said it would appeal a judge’s order barring it from enforcing a ban on asylum for any immigrants who illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border, after the president’s attack on the judge prompted an extraordinary rebuke from the nation’s chief justice.

A study by the Pew Research Center put the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States at 10.7 million in 2016, down from a peak of 12.2 million in 2007.

Trump threatened to pull the plug on government kickbacks for General Motors in light of the automaker’s announcement that it’s laying off as many as 14,000 American workers and shuttering five plants.

A lawyer for Paul Manafort, the president’s onetime campaign chairman, repeatedly briefed Trump’s lawyers on his client’s discussions with federal investigators after Manafort agreed to cooperate with the special counsel.

John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, defended the fact that neither Trump nor top national security officials had listened to audio of the killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying that they did not speak Arabic and would not be able to understand what was on the tape.

A trade truce could be in the offing between China and the United States, which would delay new tariffs for several months while the world’s two largest economies try to work out the issues dividing them.

A federal judge criticized the U.S. Department of Justice for trying “everything” to avoid a decision on a proposed question regarding citizenship status on the 2020 census — before announcing he would likely rule in the coming weeks.

Trump strongly defended the U.S. use of tear gas at the Mexico border to repel a crowd of migrants that included angry rock-throwers and barefoot, crying children.

Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith is projected to win Mississippi’s Senate runoff, fending off a stronger-than-expected challenge from Democrats after she stumbled with a series of missteps that brought race to the forefront of the campaign.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has obtained emails from author Jerome Corsi that shows he had advance knowledge about the release of stolen emails damaging to Hillary Clinton and communicated with Roger Stone about the release of the documents.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blasted as “one of the worst” Thomas Farr, a judicial pick expected to get a vote in the Senate as soon as this week.

Former NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito officially joined a crowded and ever-growing field of Democrats seeking the office as current Public Advocate Tish James prepares to take over as state attorney general, taking a swipe at her former ally, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio as she did so.

Marl-Viverito cast herself as a strong woman of color willing to fight to improve the subways and public housing at a time when the city’s leadership lacks racial and gender diversity.

“Every day, somebody tells me I’m too harsh, too brutally honest, too confrontational. And would they say that to a man? I don’t think so. You know what this city needs? Someone who tells the truth,” Mark-Viverito, who was NYC’s first Latina speaker, said.

Other public advocate hopefuls include state Assemblymen Michael Blake and Danny O’Donnell; Councilman Jumaane Williams; former Hillary Clinton campaign staffer Dawn Smalls; activist and journalist Nomiki Konst; Columbia University professor David Eisenbach; and political activist Theo Chino.

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins’ “first test of leadership? Whether she can open that three-person budget-crafting system to allow others legislators, and the public, a peek at the process. So far, she’s noncommittal.”

More >

Extras

President Trump lashed out at Robert Mueller in a trio of tweets, claiming he’s a “conflicted prosecutor gone rogue” and harming the “Criminal Justice System” — a day after the special counsel dumped a plea deal for Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort for lying to the feds.

U.S. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, of Texas, indicated that GOP senators could get behind voting on legislation aimed at protecting Mueller. But it would come at cost: More appointments for judges put forth by Trump.

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow fled from the White House press podium after being confronted with a difficult question about Trump’s recent decisions on Saudi Arabia.

Former U.S. Sen. Al Franken is staying silent in the face of attacks on his former colleague, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has been shunned by major Democratic donors and criticized heavily online after calling for Franken’s resignation last year in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations.

The NRA, the nation’s leading gun-rights organization, saw its income drop by $55 million last year, after a record-breaking 2016 in which the group and its political affiliates spend unprecedented sums to elect Trump.

Lu Guang, an award-winning Chinese photographer and resident of New York, has gone missing while visiting China, his wife says.

Tom Arnold was questioned by the Secret Service last month for messages that could be perceived as threats against the president.

Pegula Sports & Entertainment has hired a consultant to look into stadium options for both the Buffalo Bills and the Buffalo Sabres. And everything is on the table.

State Sen. Fred Akshar launched an online survey regarding Sen. Kevin Parker’s legislation that would require New Yorkers to submit to social media and search engine history checks prior to purchasing a firearm.

A private garbage hauling company that had its license temporarily suspended after killing two people now has active contracts with NYCHA and the NYC Council.

New York State Police say a trooper, Jeremy VanNostrand, has died from injuries suffered in an accident at a trooper station in the Mohawk Valley.

Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of the megahit Nickelodeon cartoon series “SpongeBob SquarePants,” died at the age of 57 after battling ALS.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney could lose out on a key Democratic leadership post after being hospitalized this week with a bacterial infection that his staff described as “an urgent but temporary medical condition.”

Former New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito officially announced that she is running for public advocate, launching her bid with a video promoting her progressive bona fides and accomplishments.

The company that does business as Bottini Fuel pleaded guilty to falsifying business records and agreed to pay more than $3 million in criminal restitution and civil damages, according to state officials.

Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who is mulling a 2020 White House run, was in Rhode Island to learn more about a medication assisted treatment program for opioid addiction.

Motorized e-bicycles and e-scooters would be legalized in New York City through legislation set to be introduced in the City Council tomorrow. Mayor Bill de Blasio last year launched a ticketing and confiscation blitz on the same throttle e-bikes the legislation would legalize.

State Sen. Jose Peralta, who died suddenly last week of apparent septic shock, was laid to rest this morning in Queens, the borough he represented.

Two New York State Thruway Authority toll collectors made more than double their annual earnings in overtime in 2017. They were among the 50 Thruway workers who earned the most in overtime, many over $30,000, in 2017.

Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter apologized publicly for a comment she made comparing the town’s tax increase for homeowners to “a couple of lattes at Starbucks.”

Why the communities that “lost” out on the Amazon HQ2 contest shouldn’t feel bad…

Zephyr Teachout tweeted out a photo of her new baby.