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News Archive

November 4, 2009 @ 1:20 am

2009 Mayoral Election Returns

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Single digits. As Bill Thompson said in his concession speech tonight, it’s important that the all the issues we’ve highlighted during the last few months doesn’t disappear into the shadows of public discussion.

Returns Via NY1:

mayoral-election-results

Filed under In the Trenches, News · 1 Comment »

November 3, 2009 @ 4:29 pm

New Efforts Fail to Reduce Homelessness

From Jillian Jonas, freelance journalist and former national political analyst for U.P.I.:

As Mayor Michael Bloomberg approached the end of his first term in 2004 with his eye toward re-election in 2005, the administration was able to momentarily turn away from the city’s economic turmoil. Bloomberg began re-examining some of New York’s social service policies, putting fighting poverty and homelessness at the top of his list.

In June 2004, Bloomberg announced an ambitious five-year plan called “Uniting for Solutions Beyond Shelter” with the goal of tackling the complex questions of homelessness — particularly ending chronic homelessness within 10 years — and cutting the homeless population by two-thirds. “At its heart, this new plan aims to replace the city’s over-reliance on shelter with innovative, cost-effective interventions that solve homelessness — and to make visible headway in reducing homelessness on the streets and in shelters,” said the mayor.

To be sure, there have been bumps along the way: controversial moves offering homeless individuals one-way tickets out-of-town or enforcing a never utilized Pataki-era state law charging homeless families for their shelter stay. There also was an extremely unpopular attempt to move a Manhattan intake shelter to Brooklyn. And, at a recent Working Families Party mayoral forum, media reports quoted Bloomberg as saying New York’s homeless find shelters “a lot more attractive” than “permanent living situations.”

But more significantly, Bloomberg’s lofty goals have not materialized. In fact, rather than cutting the population by two-thirds, the administration has seen homelessness increase substantially.

[See the rest of the story at Gotham Gazette]

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November 3, 2009 @ 11:23 am

Polls Open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Today

Make your vote count.

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November 2, 2009 @ 12:26 pm

Reading List: Thompson Trailing by 12 Points, One Final Push


Illustration by Roberto Parada

* A Quinnipiac Poll released this morning has Thompson trailing Bloomberg 38 to 50 — 12 percentage points. Last week, Thompson was trailing by 18 percentage points.

* The City Room has Thompson and Bloomberg gearing up for election day. The Daily News says they’re both pulling out all stops.

* New York magazine, which thinks that Bloomberg’s third term is all-but-official, says that Bloomberg will have a hard time working with the UFT.

* Michael Barbaro writes about the usual truth-stretching that seeps into campaign ads every election.

* City Hall News reports that the Bloomberg campaign believes it has neutralized the Working Families Party as a factor in the mayor’s race.

* The Daily News reports that there are still a significant amount of New Yorkers who don’t know who Bill Thompson is.

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November 1, 2009 @ 3:49 pm

Jon Stewart on Bloomberg and Term Limits

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October 30, 2009 @ 6:37 pm

Reading List: The Marist Poll, Bloomberg – The Education Mayor?

* Bloomberg asked Lance Armstrong to ask Daily News reporter Celeste Katz if she will vote for him on Tuesday:

* A Marist Poll released today shows Bloomberg leading Thompson by 15 percentage points. An internal poll the Thompson campaign released last night showed Bloomberg leading by only 3 to 7 percentage points.

* Meredith Kolodner reports that a study by the Dept. of Education shows charter schools performing worse than public schools, and is doing a poor job of reaching out to special-education children and English language learners. Mayor Bloomberg has called for the state to lift its cap of 200 charter schools.

* Yoav Gonen reports in the Post that the National Center for Education Statistics, which compared state testing standards between 2005 and 2007, found that New York has set its benchmarks for student proficiency in math and reading well below of a gold-standard national test. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said states are setting the bar too low and are “lying to our children when we tell them they’re proficient but they’re not achieving at a level that will prepare them for success once they graduate.”

* Elizabeth Benjamin reports that SEIU 1199 is officially staying neutral in the mayor’s race, despite opposing Bloomberg’s term limits extension and voting in favor of giving Bill Thompson the WFP nod this summer. Another union staying neutral? The UFT — just when the teachers’ contract is set to end.

* David Chen: “A Mayor Thompson would be likely to focus on quality of life concerns, like water rates or parking tickets. Major decisions on schools, housing and other issues would probably be an exercise in consensus, with more participation by advocates and citizens.”

* Suzannah B. Troy is capturing some of the protests today, and interviews Brenda Stokely:

Filed under Education, In the Trenches, News, Reading List, term limits · 2 Comments »

October 30, 2009 @ 11:50 am

New Taxi Tax Hits the City on Sunday


Photo Credit: Official Location

Via Heather Haddon AM New York:

Taxis will soon have a new tax.

Starting Sunday, cab passengers will be forced to pay a 50-cent fee on top of the base fare of $2.50.

“It was already out of control. Now it’s even worse,” said Kim Dae, 23, of the West Village, a frequent taxi rider.

Apparently, about 4,000 riders already paid the fee without knowing it, as two taxi meter companies had started including the surcharge in its devices, the Taxi and Limousine Commission said Thursday. Passengers in 292 cabs were charged 50 cents extra on Oct. 22, 25 and 26. Riders with a receipt or credit card can submit a claim for a refund by calling 311.

The tax, part of the MTA bailout passed earlier this year, is expected to raise $85 million annually for the agency.

Taxi drivers are livid about the new fee, saying it will be difficult to collect and hurt their business. They are also fuming that new door stickers list the initial fare as $3, making it seem like drivers are getting a raise, said Bhairavi Desai, director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, which represents 12,000 drivers.

“We think it’s deceptive,” Desai said.

The tax will be itemized on ride receipts, and listed on the interior TV screens and rate cards, a Taxi and Limousine Commission spokesman said. “The TLC will continually monitor the proper implementation of the meter change,” the agency said in a statement.

The fee is among a basket of taxes that staved off a massive subway fare hike earlier this year.

“No one likes a tax, but no one likes a sky-high transit fare or cuts to service either,” said Gene Russianoff, of the Straphangers Campaign.

Andrew Vacca contributed to this story.

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October 30, 2009 @ 10:37 am

UFT Splinter Group Says Vote Anyone But Bloomberg

Via Andrew J. Hawkins and City Hall News:

This year, the powerful United Federation of Teachers skipped endorsing in the mayor’s race.

But a small, dissident faction within the union has decided to break ranks, calling the UFT’s silence a sell-out.

So who did the group of rabble-rousers lift up their voices for?

None-of-the above.

“The decision to sit out the contest between Michael Bloomberg and his opponents speeds us to the brink of more disasters,” the dissident group, Independent Community of Educators (ICE), said in a statement, adding however, “It is difficult to offer [Democrat Bill] Thompson unqualified support when he has thrown support to mayoral control and supports much of the underlying corporate agenda for education.”

Their advice? Vote for anyone on the ballot. Anyone not named Michael Bloomberg, that is.
Read rest of story…

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October 29, 2009 @ 6:18 pm

What Bloomberg’s Green Jobs Will Really Mean

Via Max Schulz, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, for The Daily News:

Mayor Bloomberg hyped his PlaNYC save-the-planet initiatives again last week, this time announcing an intention to double the city’s green-sector workforce by creating 13,000 green jobs. How to do this? In part by establishing Wall Street as the hub of the nascent international carbon permit trading market.

At first blush this sounds like smart planning. Why shouldn’t New York profit from our nation’s shift to a green economy? The mayor envisions thousands of carbon traders buying and selling the permits that private companies will need to participate in an economy governed by ever-more-stringent global warming regulations.

Turns out the Bloomberg green jobs plan isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. A focus on creating financial-sector carbon trader positions merely underscores the core criticism of green jobs: That they aren’t real employment a free economy would value enough to create on its own. The mayor’s ambitious plan depends on Congress passing a controversial cap-and-trade scheme to combat global warming.
Read rest of story…

Filed under A Good Manager?, News, Reading List · 3 Comments »

October 29, 2009 @ 3:26 pm

Bloomberg Sleeping at the Top of the 9th Inning

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As this photo of Mayor Bloomberg at Game 1 of the World Series shows, buying oneself a third term can get pretty exhausting.

[Via The Sports Hernia]

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