First Read - July 29, 2014

WEATHER: Chance of showers in Western New York. Sunny skies in the rest of the state. New York City, high 80; Albany, high 77; Buffalo, high 70.


SANDY RECOVERY 18 MONTHS LATER: In City & State’s Brooklyn Special Issue Nick Powell examine the slow recovery many storm victims are enduring more than a year and a half after Hurricane Sandy struck New York City:

OUTER BOROUGH NO MORE: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio should appoint the first ever Deputy Mayor for Brooklyn to devise a master plan for the borough’s future and execute it, City & State Editor Morgan Pehme opines:

WEPRIN CONCERNED WITH CITY’S PLANNED PAY PHONE WI-FI HUB: City Councilman Mark Weprin penned a letter to the de Blasio administration, saying the decision to award a 15-year contract to a single franchise operator for the city’s planned conversion of pay phones to Wi-Fi hubs could create a monopoly:



* The state Democratic party launched a pro-Andrew Cuomo ad blitz as the governor's office braced for an embarrassing Times story about the governor's handling of the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption, Capital New York writes:

* The MTA said recent contract agreements with its unions will cost an added $1 billion through 2016, setting the stage for a debate over how the agency will pay for construction and repairs in coming years, The Wall Street Journal reports:  

* De Blasio and other officials denouncing “poor door” entrances for subsidized tenants in luxury buildings actually voted in favor of a measure that made such separation possible, the New York Post writes:

* Italian-American Democrats and one prominent Italian-American group are pouncing on Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino's comparison of Governor Andrew Cuomo to a mafia boss, Capital New York writes:

* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio defended NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton’s style of policing, which entails the aggressive pursuit of individuals who commit minor infractions, The New York Times writes:

* The federal government overpaid the state's Medicaid program at least $200 million and the money should be refunded to Washington, according to findings of a new audit to be unveiled Tuesday, the Times Union reports:

* The state Gaming Commission said it plans to hold public hearings in each of the three regions vying for four casino licenses in late September, but the locations and times have yet to be set, Gannett Albany reports:

* A leading medical marijuana advocacy group met Monday with officials from the state Department of Health amid calls to accelerate the rollout of the state's recently approved program, the Times Union writes:

* Almost no planes fly into the New York City area using a high-tech navigational system the FAA developed for the airports nine years ago, although it makes planes less noisy, arrive on time more often and burn less fuel, the Post writes:



* The Gotham Gazette looks at state Attorney Eric Schneiderman’s legal and political position as both Democrats and Republicans call for him to speak up and act regarding the Moreland Commission:



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* Cuomo’s claim that the Moreland Commission was a “phenomenal success” because it forced the legislature to pass the Public Trust Act does not pass the laugh test, the Daily News writes:  

* The state should rethink tenure as a way to reward teachers so that public schools become enterprises of learning, not a jobs program for bad teachers, the Post writes:

* De Blasio does not acknowledge the role government plays in making New York City so unaffordable for middle-class families, Steven Malanga, contributing editor to City Journal, writes in the Post:



Greenberg Traurig congratulates Richard Barth, Gail Benjamin, Christopher Collins and David Karnovsky on 100 years of combined service to the people of New York in Planning and Land Use.




* In part two of his interview with Young Lords founders Mickey Meléndez and Pablo Guzmán, Gerson Borrero delves deeper into how the movement grew and discusses its legacy in East Harlem:

* You can now follow us on Twitter for the latest videos— @CityAndStateTV


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

Communications and Public Affairs Position for NYC Construction Trade Association

Salary:  Competitive compensation and benefits package

Description:  NYC Construction Association seeks Business Development Manager.  Will provide support to association marketing and communications program, assist members with business objective and assist with association special events. Qualifications include excellent written and oral communications skills. Must be hands on and comfortable in a team-oriented environment.

For More Information: Send cover letter, resume and sample of writing ability to


Deputy Commissioner, Bureau of Customer Services (DC-BCS), NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection

Description: NYC Department of Environmental Protection is seeking a new Deputy Commissioner, Bureau of Customer Services (DC-BCS). The position is a critical, visible position for a highly intelligent and skilled individual requiring strong management experience, business and financial acumen, and a successful track record of working with or for government and/or large utilities. The DC-BCS must provide leadership in managing approximately 500 employees and approximately $32 million expense budget.

Further Info: To view the complete job description and apply, please go to:


High Profile NYC Official Hiring

Description: High profile NYC elected official seeking candidates for the following positions: Speech Writer, Policy Associate, Investigator, Budget Analyst and Communications Director. Ideal candidate will have at least two years of relevant experience and a demonstrated ability to work on challenging projects.

Further Info: Email resume and cover letter to

Lobbyist, Malkin & Ross

Description: Malkin & Ross, an established Albany government affairs firm with diverse clients, seeks an experienced and motivated lobbyist with strong writing, advocacy and organizational skills.  Demonstrated experience working successfully with the Legislature, Executive and agencies is a prerequisite; a background in health and human services work is a plus.  Law degree preferred, but not required.  

Further Info: Please email resume and cover letter to


HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To Assemblyman Marcos Crespo … to Johanna Garcia, executive director for City College Partnerships … to Annalicia Finol, communications director for state Sen. Gustavo Rivera … to Sujean Lee, vice president of philanthropy at Chobani … Philip Kelly, state Department of State director of human resources … and to Dan Amira, writer at “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”


MOVING ON: Alan Rubin has joined Mercury as a Managing Director … Nicole Flotteron has joined Mercury as a Director … Abbey Fashouer has been promoted to Director at Mercury. … Fran Winter, formerly first deputy and acting commissioner at the New York City Department of Homeless Services is now deputy commissioner of programs at the Department For Aging … Ellen Howard-Cooper is joined Build it Back as Deputy Director … Cory Carey, formerly Chief of Staff at DHS, is joining IBM … Doug James has joined the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs as a senior adviser.



Alma Realty must make a strong commitment to good jobs and affordable housing in Astoria Cove. The community also deserves a complete environmental investigation before any construction begins. The City Planning Commission will hold a hearing about the proposed development on Wednesday, August 6 at 10:30 am. Join Build Up NYC as we call on Alma Realty to bring good, safe jobs and responsible development to Astoria.




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

8 a.m. - State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli addresses the Brooklyn business community at Brooklyn Newsmakers, 6 Metrotech Center, Brooklyn.

8:15 a.m. - New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and state Sen. Simcha Felder speak at the Shema Koilanu Legislative Breakfast 2014, Renaissance Ballroom, 5902 14th Ave., Brooklyn.

8:30 a.m. - New York Power Authority Board of Governance Committee meet, 123 Main St., 16th Floor, White Plains. Watch here:

9:05 a.m. - Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino is a guest on Talk of the Town, 100.7FM WUTQ. Listen here:

10 a.m. - The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation join wood-fired renewable heating industry leaders to announce the roll-out of a comprehensive set of programs under Governor Cuomo’s Renewable Heat NY initiative, Evoworld Inc. at Troy Boiler Works, 2800 7th Ave., Troy.

10:30 a.m. - New York Power Authority Board of Trustees meet, 123 Main St., 16th Floor, White Plains. Watch here:

10:30 a.m. - New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer and others hold press conference to announce expansion of street cleaning initiative to Long Island City and other communities in the 26th District, underneath the Pulaski Bridge at the northwest corner of 11th St. and 50th Ave., Queens.

10:40 a.m. - Astorino is a guest on Live from the State Capitol with Fred Dicker, Talk1300 AM. Listen here:

11 a.m. - Republican Lt. Gov. candidate Christopher Moss holds press conference to discuss Gov. Cuomo’s role in directing criminal investigations away from political allies, Broome County Courthouse, 92 Court St., Binghamton.

11 a.m. - New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres joins the New York League of Conservation of Voters, the New York City Department of Health and others to announce the launch of the Health Bucks program, Poe Park, Grand Concourse between East Kingsbridge Road and East 192nd Street, Bronx.

11 a.m. - Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, state Sen. Michael Gianaris and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas announce the recent passage of a bill that would crack down on persistent sexual abusers, Queens District Attorney’s Office, 3rd Floor Conference Room, 125-01 Queens Blvd., Queens.

11 a.m. - Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and state Sen. Andrew Lanza call on the New York City Department of Transportation to improve its bus lane camera program, Hylan Boulevard and Garretson Avenue, Staten Island.

11 a.m. - NYPD Mounted Unit Officers, Kids from the Police Athletic League (PAL), Mark Bellissimo of Equestrian Sports Productions, Donald Trump and others host press conference To announce inaugural Central Park Horse Show, Central Park, Tavern on the Green, Manhattan.

11 a.m. - The Capitol Pressroom features re-runs of interviews with Jamie Dangler, vice president for academics at United University Professions and parent Tom Pinto on teacher certification; Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara and retired U.S. Navy veteran Barry Moore; and Times Union contributor Paul Bray, WCNY.

12:30 p.m. - Moss holds press conference, Chemung County Justice Building, 211 William St., Elmira.

1:30 p.m. - Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo and Assemblyman Walter Mosley announce a new initiative to connect Brooklyn families with affordable housing, Brooklyn Borough Hall Rotunda, 209 Joralemon St., Brooklyn.

1:30 p.m. - Astorino holds press conference calling on Gov. Cuomo to answer questions about his administration’s role in the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption, steps of the state Capitol, Albany.

3 p.m. - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and city Comptroller Stringer attend the New York Financial Control Board Meeting, governor’s New York City Office, 633 3rd Ave., Manhattan.

3:30 p.m. - Astorino holds press conference, Plattsburgh City Hall, 41 City Hall Place, Plattsburgh.

6:30 p.m. - Long Island Wins, Make the Road New York, SEIU 32BJ and other Long Island organizations call on President Obama to take action to protect immigrant children and families, Maple Avenue and Post Avenue, Westbury.

7 p.m. - Public Advocate Letitia James and City Council members Mark Treyger, Carlos Menchaca and Donovan Richards and others hold a summit on the rebuilding in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York, 110-31 Merrick Blvd., Queens.

7 p.m. - Casino researcher Robert Goodman speaks about economic and social impacts of casinos on host regions, Community Gospel Church, 487 Third Ave. Ext., Rensselaer.

7:45 p.m. – Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer greets the audience for Manhattan Night at Shakespeare in the Park’s King Lear, Delacorte Theater, by W. 80th Street, Central Park, Manhattan.

8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. – Capital Tonight features Don Levy, Siena Research Institute pollster and state Attorney General candidate John Cahill, Time Warner Cable News.


KICKER: “To suggest that he was suggesting to the commission members where they should go with an investigation is like a mafia boss coming forward and saying that he wants to make a suggestion, an offer you can't refuse.” – Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, on Cuomo’s interference with the Moreland Commission, via Capital New York