First Read - January 30, 2015

WEATHER: Snow across the state, giving way to wind in the afternoon downstate. New York City, high 34; Albany, high 31; Buffalo, high 14.


WINNERS AND LOSERS: The prophets warned of a Snowmageddon, leading New Yorkers astray with their false prophecies. And yet hell itself froze over, as the followers of Sheldon Silver turned against him. As it is written, every seven days we shall count among us five who win and five who lose:

OPPORTUNITY FOR REFORM: Sheldon Silver was the biggest obstacle to reform in the Assembly, and a slate of Republican proposals would bring needed openness and checks and balances to the chamber, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis writes:



* Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie appears close to securing the 76 votes needed to win the Assembly speakership, with support from the Queens delegation and a bloc of 10 suburban members, The New York Times reports:

* Heastie’s campaign account made two $1,250 payments to Alvita Robertson, the mother of Heastie’s child, for designing a website, even though she subcontracted the work to someone else, the Post reports:

* U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s investigators are examining state Sen. Majority Leader Dean Skelos’ outside income and ties to the real estate industry, but the legal firm employing Skelos said it was not itself being probed, NBC New York reports:

* Mayor Bill de Blasio named Leonard Litwin, a developer tied to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s alleged misdeeds, to the committee spearheading the push to host the Democratic National Convention in Brooklyn, the Post reports:

* The NYPD will create a unit of 350 specially trained officers dedicated to counterterrorism efforts, and the cadre will be equipped with long rifles, machine guns and protective gear, The Wall Street Journal reports:

* De Blasio said the city will take legal and contractual actions against the Bronx Defenders unless the nonprofit can address concerns stemming from its purported role in creating a music video depicting a cop getting shot, the Times writes:

* The United Federation of Teachers asked Albany to cap the number of charter schools around the state at 460, rather than the 560 proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Post reports:

* De Blasio said the city would stop settling “frivolous” lawsuits with the NYPD after it paid $5,000 to a man shot in the leg by cops after he threatened them with a machete and pleaded guilty to menacing an officer, the Observer says:

* New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said her team is looking into an anti-drug initiative Scientologists have been bringing into classrooms, but NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said he was not concerned, the Daily News reports:

* Democratic National Convention boss Debbie Wasserman Schultz will travel to Brooklyn today to hear the city’s final case for hosting the party’s 2016 presidential nominating convention, the Daily News writes:



* Stanley Schlein, a City Island attorney and lobbyist who speaks daily with Assemblyman Carl Heastie, will amass more influence if Heastie is vaulted to Assembly speaker, the Observer reports:


City & State Reports is now officially accepting nominees for its inaugural March 31, 2015 awards ceremony to honor outstanding professionals from New York's Real Estate & Construction Sector. The breakfast event will also feature a "Thought Leadership" panel discussion on Corporate Social Responsibility. Nominate here: For information contact  



The General Contractors Association of New York on Friday February 6th at the Yale Club will host a conversation on the NYS Department of Transportation’s Next Five-Year Capital Plan to be unveiled later this month.  Featuring a keynote from State DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald, panelists including City Council Member Dan GarodnickAAA New York’s John Cortlett,NYU’s Mitchell Moss, and Delta Airlines Executive Gail Grimmett will analyze the program and offer both short- and long-term implications for our region.  Click here to register and purchase tickets.




* The Daily News writes that New Yorkers may look back on Silver’s reign as an era of good government if the boroughs’ Democratic bosses succeed in installing Heastie as speaker:

* The Post writes that NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton stood up for rank and file officers by asking the mayor and the city’s corporation counsel about settling a case brought by a machete-wielding man shot in the leg by police:

* If New York City put the interests of taxi customers ahead of carving out markets for taxi providers it might look more like Portsmouth, N.H., which eliminated medallions and fare regulations altogether, the Post writes:

* A New York City bill that would cap the percentage of the city’s waste that can be handled by any one community district would have many adverse impacts, write Mike Hellstrom of Laborers Local Union 108 and Tom Toscano of the National Waste Recycling Association NYC Chapter in the Post:



The Metropolitan Museum of Art invites you to a community reception hosted by President Emily K. Rafferty on Monday, February 2nd, 2015 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm at 90 State Street in Albany(Between State and North Pearl Streets). Please join us to speak with Museum officials and hear about exciting upcoming plans. The Met in NYC is considered the nation’s premier art Museum and the leading tourist attraction in the state. Learn more about the Met at



CITY & STATE TV:                

* New York State School Boards Association Executive Director Tim Kremer sat down with City & State's Ashley Hupfl to discuss Cuomo's education reform agenda and the 2015 legislative session:

* Buffalo Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, chair of the New York State Conference of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, discusses the upcoming 44th Annual Legislative Conferencefeaturing keynote speaker Danny Glover:



WHO’S HIRING: To advertise your employment opportunities in City & State First Read, or call 646-442-1662.  

Vice President, Public Affairs, Global Strategy Group

Description:  Global Strategy Group seeks a VP, Public Affairs for our Public Affairs practice, specializing in campaign management, coalition building, community engagement and grassroots advocacy for non-profit and corporate clients.  S/he excels at establishing/cultivating client relationships, providing strategic counsel, and developing/executing public affairs campaigns on wide-ranging local, state, and national issues.

Further InfoTo view the full job description and apply, please visit:



HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To Rep. Lee Zeldin … to Lizzie Grubman, publicist … to the Rev. Floyd Flake … to Kate Powers, director of legislative affairs for the state Department of Financial Services … and to The Albany Project founder Phil Anderson.


MOVING ON: Gordon Cuffy, county attorney at the Onondaga County Department of Law, was appointed general counsel of the Thruway Authority … Susan Zimet, who has been serving as town supervisor in New Paltz, was hired as executive director of Hunger Action Network of NYS … The Vera Institute of Justice promoted Fred Patrick to be director of its Center on Sentencing and Corrections … Andrew Doba, former communications director and senior adviser to Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, has joined Stu Loeser & Co. as the firm expands to Connecticut … andMorgan Pehme, former editor-in-chief of City & State, has joined EffectiveNY as executive director.


CORRECTION: In yesterday’s First Read, we incorrectly wrote that New York City and Philadelphia are bidding to host the Olympics. In fact, they are bidding to host the Democratic National Convention.



Global issues ranging from corporate responsibility to immigration to international law and human rights have a direct impact on our lives and our livelihoods. Whether you are interested in advancing your expertise in the global arena or exploring career opportunities that span across international borders, the NYU School of Professional Studies Center for Global Affairs (CGA)offers a wide range of noncredit courses and certificates to help you achieve your goals and objectives. Enroll today.




Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public schedule.

9:30 a.m. - New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer deliver remarks at a Community Education Council 3 legislative breakfast, Frederick Douglass Academy II, 215 W. 114th St., Manhattan.

10 a.m. – Live from the State Capitol with Fred Dicker features former Bronx Democratic Assemblyman Michael Benjamin on likely Sheldon Silver successor Carl Heastie, and Marvin Honig, former chief attorney for Rensselaer County, on changes in state politics, Talk 1300 AM.

10 a.m. - The New York City Council Committee on Juvenile Justice holds an oversight hearing on the Division of Youth and Family Justice’s services and programs for remanded youth, 250 Broadway, 14th Floor Committee Room, Manhattan.

10 a.m. - The Brian Lehrer Show features U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on paid maternity or parental leave, The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik on learning to drive in Manhattan as an adult, and more, WNYC.

10 a.m. – The Geraldo Rivera Show features Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia on Benghazi and Assemblyman Dov Hikind on Israel and Netanyahu-Obama relations, WABC.

10 a.m. - Kenneth Adams, commissioner, president and CEO of Empire State Development Corporation, delivers the governor’s regional “2015 Opportunity Agenda,” Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, Old Bermuda Inn, 2512 Arthur Kill Road, Staten Island.

10 a.m. - Eric Hesse, director of the state Division of Veterans Affairs, delivers the governor’s regional “2015 Opportunity Agenda,” Cazenovia Library, 100 Albany St., Cazenovia.

10:30 a.m. - State Sen. David Carlucci joins local and statewide organizations to support allowing 16- and 17-year-old offenders to be treated as juveniles in the criminal justice system, Sing Sing Correctional Facility, rear entrance on Spring Street, Ossining.

10:30 a.m. - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tours a new “Jobs Plus” center at Van Dyke Houses, followed by a 10:50 a.m. press conference to make an announcement, 330 Powell St., Brooklyn.

11 a.m. - The Capitol Pressroom features City & State’s Ashley Hupfl, Capital New York’s

Jessica Bakeman, Time Warner Cable News’ Nick Reisman, Assemblyman Sean Ryan, Assemblyman and speaker candidate Joe Lentol and Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci , WCNY.

11 a.m. - Brewer speaks at ribbon-cutting for Asser Levy Park hosted by the New York City Parks Department, Asser Levy Park, East 23rd Street between First Avenue and the FDR Drive, Manhattan.

11 a.m. - Assemblyman Marcos Crespo and state Senators Jeff Klein and Ruben Diaz and others discuss the Immigrant Assistance Service Enforcement Act, which goes into effect statewide on Feb. 2, Room 315, Senate Democratic Conference Room, State Capitol, Albany.

11 a.m. - Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance and others discuss the Immigrant Assistance Service Enforcement Act, which goes into effect statewide on Feb. 2, New York Immigration Coalition, 137-139 W. 25th St., 12th Floor, Manhattan.

11 a.m. - State Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito delivers the governor’s regional “2015 Opportunity Agenda,” Herkimer College, McLaughlin College Center, 100 Resevoir Road, Herkimer.

11:30 a.m. - Jerry Boone, state Department of Civil Service commissioner, delivers the governor’s regional “2015 Opportunity Agenda,” Hudson Valley Community College, Bulmer Telecommunications Center, Room 3, 80 Vandenburgh Ave., Troy.

12:30 p.m. - Hesse delivers the governor’s regional “2015 Opportunity Agenda,” Onondaga County Workforce CNY Works board meeting, SUNY EOC Board Room, 100 New St., Syracuse.

1 p.m. - Corinda Crossdale, director of the state Office for the Aging, delivers the governor’s regional “2015 Opportunity Agenda,” Dresser Rand Group, Inc., 500 Paul Clark Drive, Olean.

2 p.m. - Brian Stratton, director of the state Canal Corporation, delivers the governor’s regional “2015 Opportunity Agenda,” Genesee County Community College, Conable Technology Building, Roomý T-102, 1 College Road, Batavia.

2 p.m. - Brewer speaks at press conference announcing the opening of the New York Asian Women’s Center’s Community Office, 9 Mott St., Suite 200, Manhattan.

2:15 p.m. - State Sen. John Bonacic is the keynote speaker on a panel discussion on casinos in New York at the New York State Bar Association’s 2015 annual meeting, New York Hilton Midtown Hotel, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, Manhattan.

3:45 p.m. - Fifth Avenue Committee, Inc. launches “Stronger Together: Creating Opportunities for Public Housing Residents in Red Hook and Gowanus” with City Council Members Carlos Menchaca, Stephen Levin and Brad Lander, The FAC Center for Community Development, 621 DeGraw St., Brooklyn.

5 p.m. - The Ride Home with Pat Kiernan and Rita Cosby features Tim Nudd, Adweek's creative editor, on Super Bowl ads, WABC.

7 p.m. and 10 p.m. - Inside City Hall features the Reporters Roundtable with Azi Paybarah of Capital New York, Karen DeWitt of New York Public Radio and Alyssa Katz of the New York Daily News, Time Warner Cable News NY1.



STATE OF OUR CITY CONFERENCE! RSVP now for City & State’s 5th annual State of our City conference with panels on Technology and Shared Economies; Education; and Affordable Housing.  For more information on speakers, topics and sponsorship opportunities To RSVP please visit:



KICKER: “It will be equipped and trained in ways that our normal patrol officers are not. It will be equipped with all the extra heavy protective gear, with the long rifles and the machine guns that are unfortunately sometimes necessary in these instances.”— NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton on the NYPD’s new anti-terrorism squad, via The Post.