First Read Tonight – July 25, 2017

WEATHER: Mostly cloudy in New York City, mostly cloudy with patchy fog in Albany and mostly clear in Buffalo. New York City, low 64; Albany, low 57; Buffalo, low 58.

 

FROM CITY & STATE:

* Eleven counties in New York have passed laws protecting transgender people, but the statewide version that’s been proposed since 2003 still hasn’t been approved, and state Sen. Daniel Squadron explains why he’s making another push for the bill in a recent Q&A.

 

NEW THIS AFTERNOON:

* Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joe Lhota unveiled the agency's plan to “stabilize and modernize” the subway system, including a pilot program to remove some seats on L trains, adding more cars to C trains and targeting problem areas for expedited repairs, amNewYork reports.

* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration escalated its battle with Gov. Andrew Cuomo by issuing its own list of priorities for the subway system, including focusing on the basic needs of the transit system rather than on cosmetic changes, The New York Times reports.

* The state Democratic Committee adopted a resolution that backed the unification of the party in the state Senate – continuing to put pressure on the Independent Democratic Conference to form a new alliance with the mainline conference, State of Politics reports.

* Zephyr Teachout, the Fordham Law school professor who challenged Cuomo in a gubernatorial primary in 2014, was elected to a post on the state Democratic Committee, State of Politics reports.

* President Donald Trump will speak Friday afternoon at the Suffolk County Police Academy in Brentwood, near communities rocked by MS-13 gang violence, according to two Long Island Republicans, Newsday reports.

* More news below …

 

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In addition to robbing NYC’s neighborhoods of affordable housing, illegal Airbnb rentals are a risk to the safety of our communities. Short-term rentals have been used in terror attacks, often fail to meet fire-safety standards, and can lead to increased instances of burglary and violent crimes. Airbnb refuses to share addresses with NYC officials, making enforcement of illegal rentals impossible. Other cities like San Francisco, New Orleans, and Chicago are fighting back, forcing Airbnb to share addresses. We must do the same in NYC to give law enforcement the essential tools they need to keep our neighborhoods safe. Call 646-979-4117 if you feel your neighborhood is at risk and learn more.

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* Subway fare beating would be decriminalized and punished only by a civil fine, instead of a misdemeanor arrest, which carries jail time, under legislation introduced in the state Legislature, amNewYork reports.

* Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa was handcuffed Tuesday outside Gracie Mansion for trying to serve de Blasio with a lawsuit seeking to have the mayor removed from the Working Families Party ticket on a technicality, the New York Post reports.

* Cuomo signed a bill banning the use of electronic cigarettes in schools in New York, with e-cigarettes, vaping pens and other electronic smoking devices banned on both public and private school grounds, State of Politics reports.

* The driver of a sport utility vehicle that was hit by a Metro-North Railroad train caused the accident that killed her and five train passengers when she drove onto the tracks in Westchester County two years ago, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, the Times reports.

 

* Your feedback matters. We are looking forward to getting to know our readers better and producing an exceptional service for you. Please take a moment to fill out our First Read survey. The survey will take approximately five minutes to complete.

 

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City & State magazine’s upcoming Spotlight: MASS TRANSPORTATION

Educate and influence NY’s Public Officials on your organization’s transportation-focused objectives and benefits in this strategic legislative messaging venue. The special section features editorial coverage of: MTA Analysis | Congestion Pricing | Fair Fares | MTA Timeline. The Public Officials Q&A features: Polly Trottenberg | Jeff Dinowitz | John Porcari | Patrick Nowakowski | Ydanis Rodriguez. Ad deadline: July 28 | Issue Date: July 31. For further information, please contact advertising@cityandstateny.com

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TRUMP ADMINISTRATION:

* The U.S. Senate narrowly voted to begin debate on a bill to repeal major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, taking a pivotal step forward after the dramatic return of U.S. Sen. John McCain, who cast a crucial vote despite his diagnosis of brain cancer, the Times writes.

* U.S. Senate Democrats have dragged out confirmations for even the least controversial nominees while the chamber remained mired in the health care debate, but they’re pledging to drop their blockade if the GOP’s Obamacare repeal effort fails, Politico reports.

* A U.S. Navy patrol boat fired warning shots near an Iranian vessel that came close to it during a tense encounter in the Persian Gulf, and Iran's hard-line Revolutionary Guard later blamed the American ship for provoking the incident, The Associated Press reports.

 

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HR Conference + Career Fair on August 3rd at Hebrew Union College. New York’s government agencies, nonprofits, and business leaders will discuss best practices for recruitment and retention, building senior management teams, leadership transition challenges, and more! Visit our Career Fair Room to meet recruiting, consulting, and coaching companies and graduate schools offering advanced education programs to take your career to the next level. Click here to register!

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IN DEPTH:

* Away from the manic platforms and crazed commuters, sit 12 train dispatchers in a peaceful, dimly lit control center – the shot-callers for New York Penn Station’s “summer of hell,” amNewYork writes.

* Millions of New Yorkers rely on the subway every day, but many don’t know much about the inner workings of the vast system, so the Times answered some basic questions about who controls the subway, the mayor’s role in running the system and what the MTA board does.

 

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Let's Talk About New York's Education System. Join us on August 16 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage for the annual On Education forum. Distinguished speakers include Carmen Fariña, Chancellor of NYC Schools, MaryEllen Elia, Commissioner of NYS Education Dept., Betty Rosa, Chancellor of NYS Board of Regents, Councilman Daniel Dromm, Committee on Education Chair, and representatives from SUNY and CUNY. Leaders in education, government, and advocacy will discuss the effects the Trump Administration will have on the privatization of NY schools, opportunities and challenges for higher education, and innovative classroom technology. Click here to register!

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TONIGHT’S SHOWS:

7 p.m. and 10 p.m. – “Road to City Hall” features Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, NY1.

 

TONIGHT’S GAMES:

7:05 p.m. – The Yankees host the Cincinnati Reds, WPIX.

10:10 p.m. – The Mets visit the San Diego Padres, SNY.

 

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Boogie Down Bronx! City & State’s Borough Series comes to the Bronx. Celebrate the borough at a lively cocktail reception with government leaders and special guest speaker Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. We will also recognize the 25 Influentials from the borough. Stay posted for the Influentials to be announced. Join us the evening of August 24th at the Bronx Museum of Arts to mix and mingle. CLICK HERE TO RSVP!

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TOMORROW’S SKED:

8:30 a.m. – The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Safety Committee meets, MTA Board Room, 2 Broadway, 20th Floor, Manhattan.

9 a.m. – New York City Councilman Bill Perkins and the city Department of Veterans’ Services host the fourth annual Veterans Resource Fair, Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building Plaza, 163 W. 125th St., Manhattan.

9 a.m. – Commuters and advocates hold #MTAlightshow protest to demand Gov. Andrew Cuomo stop decorating bridges and fix the subways, in front of MTA board meeting, 2 Broadway, Manhattan.

9:30 a.m. – The New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings continues its five-borough Outreach at the Beach initiative, Staging Area in Section 9 at Orchard Beach, Bronx.

10 a.m. – Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer and elected officials from Yonkers commemorate the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Grinton I. Will Library, 1500 Central Park Ave., Yonkers.

10 a.m. – The New York City Planning Commission holds a public hearing, 22 Reade St., Manhattan.

10 a.m. – The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board meets, MTA Board Room, 2 Broadway, 20th floor, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs hosts an informational session about applying for and securing city funding for arts and cultural activities, Department of Cultural Affairs, 31 Chambers St., second floor, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul visits the AT&T CNY STEM Hub Summer Camp for Young Women to address the importance of girls engaging in a science, technology, engineering and math education and career path, Le Moyne College, Science Complex, Room 100, Syracuse.

10 a.m. – New York City mayoral candidate Sal Albanese holds a press conference on issues in the immigrant community, Reception House, 167-17 Northern Blvd., Queens.

10:30 a.m. – Queens Borough President Melinda Katz holds a public hearing, 120-55 Queens Blvd., Queens.

10:30 a.m. – State Sen. Jose Peralta will join Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City at a special ceremony to honor Sinahi, a 14-year-old Queens student and mentee, for her outstanding academic achievements as she prepares to begin high school,  82-11 37th Ave., Queens.

11 a.m. – State Sen. Daniel Squadron, New York City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, New York City Parks and Recreation Commissioner Mitchell Silver, celebrate with a ribbon-cutting on the first Manhattan park to be reconstructed under the Community Parks Initiative, Henry M. Jackson Playground, Henry Street and Jackson Street, Manhattan.

2 p.m. – The New York City Department of Transportation holds a public hearing, 55 Water St., Manhattan.

2 p.m. – The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs holds a public hearing, 42 Broadway, fifth floor, Manhattan.

7 p.m. – Brooklyn Young Democrats holds its Women’s Caucus Launch, BK9, 62 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn.

 

TOP TWEET: The bottom line is, I put this out here, hold me accountable, -Joe Lhota on MTA subway turnaround plan

-Laura Nahmias @nahmias