First Read - August 23, 2016

WEATHER: Sunny across the state. New York City, high 82; Albany, high 79; Buffalo, high 77.



* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio should revoke the appointment of James O’Neill as police commissioner and conduct a thorough, transparent nationwide search for Bill Bratton’s replacement, The Black Institute’s Bertha Lewis writes.



* Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Central New York Hub for Emerging Nano Industries currently supports two of an expected 350 high-tech jobs, and its anchor tenant has been been dogged by lawsuits, tax liens and seven-figure legal judgments, the Times reports.

* While addressing the state AFL-CIO, Cuomo blamed much of the anger across the nation on the fact that “the working men and women of this country have gotten screwed over the past 30 years,” saying wages haven’t kept up with productivity, the Daily News writes.

* State Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos notified federal officials that General Electric Co.’s seven-year, $1.6 billion dredging campaign to remove industrial pollutants from the Hudson River has been inadequate, The Wall Street Journal writes.

* The Cuomo administration is recommending significant expansions to the state's medical marijuana program just nine months after it began, offering 12 recommendations like registering more growers and letting schools administer the drug, Politico New York reports.

* The state’s Gaming Commission issued temporary permits to five daily fantasy sports sites, including DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo, allowing them to resume operations immediately, just weeks after Cuomo signed a bill legalizing the practice, the Daily News reports.

* More news below …



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* A grand jury has returned a five-count indictment, including one for first-degree murder, against 36-year-old Oscar Morel, who is accused of the execution-style shootings of an imam and his assistant on a Queens street in Ozone Park, The New York Times reports.

* Despite City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito having no clear next step in terms of elected office, her city campaign account has raised more than $185,000 and spent nearly $40,000 over the most recent six-month filing period, Gotham Gazette reports.

* New York City’s Department of Education recommended renewing its contract with Pearson PLC with a six-year deal worth up to $13.4 million in which it would continue providing entrance exams for the city’s specialized high schools, The Wall Street Journal reports.

* A testing program used by Buffalo to determine whether drinking water is safe does not target the minority neighborhoods where the lead poisoning problem is concentrated but instead focuses on predominantly white neighborhoods, Investigative Post reports.

* Cuomo touted the completion of a new track on the Long Island Rail Road between Central Islip and Ronkonkoma — a key step in an effort intended to address delays on the busy rail line, The Associated Press reports.



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* There is a long history of New York City mayors taking vacations. But how much time should they spend away from City Hall? Vote in the latest Slant poll.



Are your friends, clients, or colleagues New York City rising stars? Every year, City & State honors 40 exceptional individuals under the age of 40 working in NYC government, advocacy, media, and more! Who will be in the class of 2016 New York City Rising Stars? Click here to nominate!




* Having slowed the system by challenging primary rival Flip Pidot’s petitions, congressional candidate Jack Martins shouldn’t be permitted to benefit from the breakdown by delaying the general election vote until December, Newsday writes.

* Contributing to political nonprofits through a law firm or other entity allows donors to hide their identities, and the Legislature that ought to be closing such loopholes as quickly as lawyers find them instead leaves them gaping for years, the Times Union writes.

* With $1.2 million wasted on “lessons” in banned inmate-control practices, New York City Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte doesn’t seem to have changed the corruption and mismanagement that have plagued Rikers, the Post writes.

* As a leader of the progressive movement, de Blasio is swimming helpfully against an anti-Israel and anti-Semitic tide on America’s left flank by voicing strong opposition to the BDS movement, the Daily News writes.

* Allowing 16 - and 17-year-olds to become organ donors allows the state to build a network of givers at an early age, The Buffalo News writes, giving more New Yorkers the opportunity to save lives, and more should be encouraged to become organ donors.

* Police Commissioner Bill Bratton eulogizes in the Daily News the late former Chief of Department John Timoney, calling him “a cop’s cop,” who “never became trapped in the ‘blue cocoon’” and an innovator, a leader, and a police philosopher.



* The scandals swirling around Hillary Clinton kicked up a notch, with the release of more emails showing the sway Clinton Foundation donors held at the State Department and an order by a federal judge that could dump of thousands more emails before the election, Politico reports.

* Donald Trump, tempering the tone of his hard-line approach to tackling immigration reform, said he wants to come up with a plan that is “really fair” to address the millions of undocumented immigrants now in the country, the Times reports.

* Trump and Clinton have been more secretive and selective than many recent presidential nominees in providing up-to-date details about their personal health — a particularly striking departure, experts say, given the candidates’ age, the Times reports.

* Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, who almost ran against Clinton for the Senate in 2000, has emerged as one of Trump’s most incendiary advocates, The Washington Post writes.



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HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To Andrew Ball, director of scheduling for Gov. Andrew Cuomo … to Justin Collins, director of strategic partnerships and development at Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation … to Ann Kayman, CEO of New York Grant Company … to Adam Lubow, staff attorney at Legal Aid Society … and to Michael Nussbaum, publisher of the Queens Tribune.



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Associate Vice President, Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood of NYC is currently recruiting for an Associate Vice President, Public Affairs.  In this key management role, the AVP will provide strategic oversight for the activities of the Government Relations, Community Organizing, and Political Affairs teams. The AVP will also develop and implement electoral strategies and engagement plans.

Account Manager, Kirtzman Strategies
Kirtzman Strategies, a growing communications firm, is looking for a mid-to senior-level strategist to oversee accounts. We’re looking for a great writer with excellent client management skills, a superior media sense and a deep understanding of government and politics. Must thrive in a fast-paced, campaign-style work environment. Agency experience preferred.




Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in the New York City area with no public schedule.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, first lady Chirlane McCray, and Chiara and Dante de Blasio left New York City on Sunday for family engagements in Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut and will return to New York City on Sunday, Aug. 28. They have no public schedule.

9:30 a.m. - Business owners and advocates hold press conference in response to Crestwood Crestwood Midstream Partners’ proposed changes to liquid petroleum gas storage project, Watkins Glen Village, Marina Park, 2 Seneca Harbor, Watkins Glen.

10:30 a.m. - New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres holds press conference to present food shoppers, families, seniors and children with Health Bucks coupons which are redeemable for healthy foods at farmers markets, Poe Park Greenmarket, 192nd Street between Grand Concourse and Valentine Avenue, Bronx.

11 a.m. - Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Consul General of India Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das, and Chair of the Diwali Stamp Project Ranju Batra present a final update on the Diwali Stamp, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

11 a.m. - Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul highlights state’s commitment to rural health care during Wyoming County Hospital tour, 400 N. Main St., Warsaw.

11 a.m. - “The Capitol Pressroom” features Michael Kink, the executive director of the Strong Economy for All Coalition, Inc, Jasmine Gripper, the legislative director and statewide education advocate for AQE, AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento, state Sen. George Latimer, and Bruce Gyory of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, WCNY.

12 p.m. - Hochul delivers remarks during Wyoming County Agricultural Business Center ribbon cutting, 36 Center St., Warsaw.

12 p.m. - New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, Building Trades Council President Gary LaBarbera, and workers from the Building Trades Unions rally to protest construction of G&M Realty site without union workers, G&M Realty site, 45-46 Davis St., Queens.

12:45 p.m. - New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina delivers remarks at a professional development for Single Shepherd, an “Equity and Excellence” initiative that pairs 16,000 students with a school counselor or social worker, NYC Administration for Children's Services, 492 First Ave., first floor auditorium, Manhattan.

2 p.m. - Hochul announces Yahoo Community Fund for Niagara County grant recipients, Yahoo Data Center cafeteria, 5319 Enterprise Drive, Lockport.

5 p.m. - Members of the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement hold actions in Ithaca to call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature to pass the Humane Alternatives to Long Term Solitary Confinement Act, Tompkins County Public Library, Green Street and Cayuga Street, Ithaca.

5:30 p.m. - Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan hosts “City Hall on the Road,” Giffen Elementary School, 274 S. Pearl St., Albany.

5:30 p.m. - State Senate candidate Sara Niccoli holds event marking opening of her campaign headquarters with Rep. Paul Tonko, state Sen. Neil Breslin, and Assemblymember Pat Fahy, 2020 Western Ave., Guilderland.

6 p.m. - Members of the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement hold actions in New York City to call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature to pass the Humane Alternatives to Long Term Solitary Confinement Act, Marcus Garvey Park, Manhattan.

7 p.m. – Rep. Dan Donovan and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene hold Zika Virus Forum, Richmond University Medical Center Sipp Auditorium, 355 Bard Ave., Staten Island.

7 p.m. and 10 p.m. – “Inside City Hall” features Van Bramer and the NY1 Wise Guys featuring Anthony Weiner, Alfonse D’Amato and Ruth Messinger, Time Warner Cable News NY1.


KICKER: "For me, I am not comfortable leaving the state. If I leave the state and something happens, I like to be hands on, I like to be there.” – Cuomo, in comments about de Blasio’s out-of-state vacation, via Politico New York.