First Read - February 27, 2015

WEATHER: A chance of snow downstate, sunny and cold upstate. New York City, high 25; Albany, high 22; Buffalo, high 10.  


WINNERS & LOSERS: State lawmakers felt like winners with legendary pitcher Pedro Martinez in town, but Red Sox fan Bill de Blasio missed the appearance by a day. The mayor did have an old rivalry to deal with, though, dueling for the spotlight with the governor—or did that just happen in our "twisted" mind?

MEGA MICROGRIDS: City & State explores Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to spur the development of microgrids throughout the state in an effort to decentralize and diversify New York’s antiquated power system:

CONSERVATION FOR CONSERVATIVES: In a Q&A, Republican Rep. Chris Gibson talks about reconciling his beliefs in environmental and fiscal stewardship and the need for public investment in renewable energy technologies:



* State legislators want Gov. Andrew Cuomo to let minority legislative leaders join budget negotiations now that Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeffrey Klein is in the talks, The Wall Street Journal reports:

* Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said he is disappointed Cuomo inserted ethics reforms into budget measures released last week because it “kind of ties the Legislature’s hands” in negotiations, the Daily News reports:

* The Staten Island Democratic Party nominated Brooklyn Councilman Vincent Gentile to run against Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan in the congressional seat vacated by Michael Grimm, the Observer reports:

* New York City is backing off of two questionable bids—one from an employment services company that failed to disclose an executive was accused of murder, and another with a firm headed by a friend of the NYPD commissioner, the Post reports:

*A day after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio traveled to Albany and requested to remain in charge of turning around the city’s poorest performing schools, Cuomo challenged that with a report highlighting the schools’ struggles, Chalkbeat reports:

* New York City Housing Authority Chairwoman Shola Olatoye called agency spending prior to her tenure “reckless” and said NYCHA is taking a more prudent approach and using a centralized office to track purchases, the Daily News reports:

* Police reformers slammed the New York City Council’s push to add 1,000 officers to the NYPD, saying there is no need for more cops to enforce so-called broken windows policing, the Daily News reports:

* The New York City Council passed legislation to require tracking how many veterans apply for and receive city benefits and a second measure to make the Veterans Advisory Board more transparent, the Journal reports:

*The New York Gaming Facility Location Board will review Southern Tier casino bids today and is also expected to approve a report with detailed findings on all 16 applicants in earlier bidding, The Associated Press reports:

* Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie filed court papers about ten days after assuming the speakership that ask a judge to add his last name to his daughter’s, and Heastie’s office declined to discuss the matter, the Post reports:



* Low teacher ratings at New York City’s chronically troubled schools highlight the difficulty of turning around schools as de Blasio implements a new strategy for them and Cuomo seeks more power to take them over, the Journal reports:



New York City is building a dangerous truck ramp to send 150 garbage trucks daily between a toddler playground and the ball playing fields of Asphalt Green. This will bring 400,000 children face-to-face with these trucks each year, a safety nightmare. Fortunately, there is an alternative plan that moves the ramp just one block which The New York Times said "could go a long way toward making parents and children breathe easier." Let's help the Mayor bring vision zero to the 91st street waste station by moving the ramp just one block. Sign the petition by clicking here.




* Cuomo created a version of the Cold War’s East Berlin by banning hydraulic fracturing, leaving the Southern Tier watching it benefit neighboring Pennsylvania and discussing secession, the Journal write:

* Mitchell Silber, the former NYPD director of intelligence analysis, writes in the Journal that the arrests of Brooklyn men who allegedly sought to join ISIS shows the changing nature of the threat of homegrown extremism:

* The Daily News writes that a “clear-eyed” mayor with fewer allegiances to the teacher’s union would recognize that Cuomo is offering a chance for greater control and to try fresh strategies for students in struggling schools:

* The City University of New York’s approach to community college, with its web of support services, is a “highly promising strategy” for raising graduation rates among the disadvantaged, the Times writes:

* The Times Union writes that the state government can improve an imperfect system guiding where sex offenders can and cannot live and that laws should be based on safety and fairly treating those who have served their time, not gut feelings:



New Yorkers deserve the best hearing healthcare possible.

Patients should be allowed to acquire hearing aids from the physicians who know their medical history and needs best, not forced to buy at big box stores who don't know them at all. Support A127. The Medical Society of the State of NY (MSSNY) does. The NYS Society of Otolaryngology (NYSSO) does.  Consumer Reports Magazine (June 2014) agrees...Allowing physicians to dispense makes good sense.  And it makes good legislation. Learn more at



CITY & STATE TV:                 

* Editor-At-Large Gerson Borrero spoke with political consultant Mike Nieves shortly after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was forced into a runoff with Jesús 'Chuy' García, who Nieves served as an advisor:

* Nancy Rankin from Community Service Society of New York discusses the push to pass paid family leave in New York through a change to existing law, in an interview with Executive Editor Michael Johnson:



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

Director of Corporate Communications, Cablevision

Description: Cablevision seeks a Director of Corporate Communications to develop corporate communications and media relations activities in support of the company’s corporate, financial and key business developments. Strong background in traditional corporate communications and media relations, public affairs/government support, crisis communications and social media tactics.

Further Info: Click here to apply


CSEA Western Region Communications Specialist

Description: Multi-faceted position, based in Amherst, NY, works with union staff and leadership to advance strategic communication objectives with various audiences, including membership, news media, public policy makers and general public. Ability to articulate positions and move people through verbal, written and multimedia presentation is essential.

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


Lobbyist, Albany Government Affairs Firm

Description: Established Albany government affairs firm with diverse clients seeks an experienced lobbyist with strong writing, advocacy and organizational skills.  Demonstrated experience working successfully in the Legislature and Executive agencies is a prerequisite.  Law degree preferred, but not required.  Position is Albany based.  

Further Info: Please email resume and cover letter to


Assistant Commissioner, Office of Tax Audit- Job Opening # 182235

New York City Dept. of Finance’s Division of Tax Audit & Enforcement is looking for a dynamic, innovative leader to serve as Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Tax Audit.  Reporting to the division’s Deputy Commissioner, the selected candidate will be responsible for managing a large, diverse, professional staff of tax auditors and support staff, along with their management.  The assistant commissioner will be expected to provide the vision, technically and managerially, to help carry out the strategic initiatives set by the Commissioner of Finance.  NYC is an equal opportunity employer, and is dedicated to providing opportunities to New Yorkers of diverse backgrounds.  

Further Info- Those interested in this important opportunity should apply Job Opening # 182235.  Annual Salary is $150K.



HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Today, to Erie County GOP Chair Nick Langworthy … to State Committeewoman and District Leader Theresa Freeman … and to Chelsea Clinton … and on Saturday, to New York City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez … to state Sen. Jose Peralta’s chief of staff Nancy Conde … to Dan Cho, director of candidate services at the New York City Campaign Finance Board … and to Millennial Strategies Partner Jeff Guillot … and on Sunday, to Assemblywoman Jane Corwin … and to Queens Community Board 6 member Jonathan Silverman.



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

9:30 a.m. - The state Legislature holds a joint hearing on mental hygiene spending in the executive budget, Legislative Office Building, Hearing Room B, Albany.

9:30 a.m. - Public Advocate Letitia James attends My Brother’s Keeper community event, 515 Malcolm X Blvd., Manhattan.

9:50 a.m. - Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer speaks at the Young Men’s Initiative My Brother’s Keeper community convening, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Blvd., Manhattan.

10 a.m. - Assemblyman Keith Wright, former city comptroller John Liu, New York County Clerk Milton Tingling and others participate in the New York City Administration for Children’s Services event entitled “Men of Color: Responsibilities, Successes & Challenges,” 150 William St., 19th Floor Manhattan Room, Manhattan.

10 a.m. - The New York City Council Housing and Buildings Committee discusses the establishment of an emergency repair program for elevators, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

10 a.m. - The New York City Council Economic Development and Waterfronts committees hold an oversight hearing examining the use of mitigation banking for waterfront restoration, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

10 a.m. - The New York City Council Environmental Protection Committee holds a hearing on site-sourced and stored renewable energy, CUNY Advanced Science Research Center, 85 St. Nicholas Terrace, Manhattan.

10 a.m. - Stop the Pipeline and the Center for Sustainable Rural Communities hold a press conference before delivering comments to the state Department of Environmental Conservation regarding the proposed "Constitution" pipeline, Room 130, Legislative Office Building in Albany.

10 a.m. - The Alliance for Tenant Power and residents of Crown Heights harmed by gentrification rally at Brooklyn Housing Court, 141 Livingston St., Brooklyn.  

10 a.m. - Acting Commissioner of the State Tax and Finance Department Kenneth Adams discusses tax exemption for Wine, Beer, Cider and Spirits Industries, Flagship Brewery, 40 Minthorne St., Staten Island.

10:30 a.m. - The New York City Council Governmental Operations and Civil Service and Labor committees hold an oversight hearing examining the civil service system, 250 Broadway, 14th Floor Committee Room, Manhattan.

11 a.m. - The Capitol Pressroom features City & State’s Ashley Hupfl, the Daily News’ Ken Lovett, Newsday’s Yancey Roy, state Sen. John DeFrancisco and Adam Flint of the Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition, WCNY.

11 a.m. - State Sen. Michael Gianaris, New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer and New York City Councilman Costa Constantinides attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Mount Sinai Queens Infusion Center, 27-15 30th Ave., Queens.

11 a.m. - New York City Councilman Fernando Cabrera is joined by George McDonald from the Doe Fund to announce funding to clean the streets of his district, Burnside Avenue and Jerome Avenue, Bronx.

11 a.m. - State Broadband Program Office Director David Salway discusses new NY Broadband Program, Swain Ski Resort, 2275 County Road 24, Swain.

1 p.m. - The state Legislature holds a joint hearing on workforce development and labor issues in the executive budget, Legislative Office Building, Hearing Room B, Albany.

1 p.m. - The New York City Council Immigration Committee holds an oversight hearing on labor trafficking in the domestic worker industry and resources for victims, 250 Broadway, 14th Floor Committee Room, Manhattan.

1 p.m. - The New York City Council General Welfare Committee holds an oversight hearing on interagency coordination between DHS and ACS to protect homeless children, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

1 p.m. - The New York City Council Parks and Recreation Committee discusses an annual report on compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act by the parks department, 250 Broadway, 16th Floor Committee Room, Manhattan.

3:30 p.m. - Brewer attends a UFT Community Forum, Church of the Holy Trinity, 316 E. 88th St., Manhattan.

5:30 p.m. - New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli hosts the 3rd annual

Lunar New Year Celebration to mark the “Year of the Goat” with Assemblyman Ron Kim and others, Mudan Banquet Hall, 136-17 39th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Queens.

6 p.m. - New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer appears on “Pura Politica,” Time Warner Cable News NY1 Noticias.

6:30 p.m. - Brewer attends the UFT Lunar New Year Banquet, Grand Harmony Restaurant, 98 Mott St., Manhattan.

7 p.m. - Inside City Hall features a roundtable on Dominican-Americans and politics with State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, Assemblyman Victor Pichardo and Councilman Antonio Reynoso the Reporters Roundtable with Brigid Bergin, Jonathan Lemire and Matt Flegenheimer, and a panel on staying fit with NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt and two personal trainers, Time Warner Cable News NY1.

7 p.m. - New York City Councilwoman Debi Rose hosts an annual Black History Month celebration, St. Philip’s Baptist Church, 77 Bennett St., Staten Island.

7:15 p.m - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers remarks at DC37 Black History Month Celebration, 125 Barclay St., Manhattan.

7:30 p.m. - State Sen. James Sanders presents a Salute to Gospel, Jamaica Performing Arts Center, 153-10 Jamaica Ave., Queens.

7:30 p.m. - Public Advocate James hosts Dominican Independence Day Celebration, 112 Dyckman St., Manhattan.



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KICKER: “What happened 12 years ago, in 2003, when NYCHA was running low on paint, but instead recklessly ordered leather attaché cases, will not happen on my watch.” – New York City Housing Authority Chairwoman Shola Olatoye, via the Daily News.