First Read - September 5, 2014

WEATHER: Sunny skies across the state. New York City, high 87; Albany, high 87; Buffalo, high 83.


WINNERS AND LOSERS: Labor Day has come and gone, and that means the real work of baby-smooching, hand-shaking and general electioneering has begun. The homestretch to Election Day is finally here. Meanwhile, here are this week’s Winners and Losers:



* Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Tim Wu challenged Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Cuomo’s running mate Kathy Hochul to publicly mention the names of Wu or his running mate, Zephyr Teachout, the Daily News:

* Health insurance companies in New York State will receive average rate increases of 5.7 percent next year, less than half the increases they had requested for individual and family plans, The New York Times reports:

* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is abandoning a $13.2 million contract with NASA to overhaul the city’s 911 system in part because layers of high-priced consultants were driving up costs, the Daily News writes:

* De Blasio said that all charter schools in the city will have to meet City Hall’s standards, including acceptance of special education students and English-as-a-second language learners, the Daily News reports:

* State Sen. Martin Golden is hosting a fund-raiser Sept. 18 to help re-elect U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, who is defending himself against federal tax evasion charges, the New York Post reports:

* State government employees' retirement dollars are invested in a Wall Street firm that's covering the costs of a proposed $280 million Hard Rock casino in Rensselaer, the Times Union writes:

* The Public Service Commission announced a deal that requires National Grid to return nearly $25 million to downstate customers after an investigation revealed accounting errors in its rates, Capital New York reports:

* The New York City Council may help monitor a state-run program Council members say has gone awry and is not only costing the state millions, but is putting vulnerable senior citizens at risk, Gotham Gazette reports:

* Still angry about the UFT’s backing of Rev. Al Sharpton’s Staten Island march, New York City teachers posted photos of themselves in NYPD T-shirts despite warnings against “inappropriate apparel” on the first day of classes, the Post reports:


GERSON BORRERO ON EXPANDED C&S COVERAGE OF LATINO POLITICS: Gerson Borrero explains City & State Media’s new multiplatform series entitled “The Road to SOMOS/El Camino a SOMOS” and previews the coverage leading up to the November retreat in San Juan, Puerto Rico:



The scientists at Indian Point work every day to protect the Hudson, and in our years of operation the river has returned to health. Now the New York Department of Environmental Conservation is recommending forced outages at Indian Point to protect fish eggs and larvae. These outages would increase the risk of blackouts, and mean more expensive power and increased pollution. Thankfully, there's a Smarter Solution. Learn more




* By not appearing with his challengers in a debate, Cuomo deprives voters of a vigorous discussion of state issues, which is the real “disservice to democracy,” the Times writes:

* Four years as Gov. George Pataki’s chief of staff gives state attorney general candidate John Cahill credibility to make the case against Albany’s dysfunction, but talking up his role in Ground Zero’s redevelopment doesn’t help, the Post writes:

* The state should use the $4.2 billion from the sanctions imposed on the French bank BNP Paribas and other institutions to improve the state’s crumbling infrastructure, Manatt’s Bruce Gyory writes in Newsday:



The de Blasio administration has clearly made education the cornerstone of its policy agenda—both securing universal pre-k funding to increased investment for afterschool programs. The Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness is looking beyond the general impact of this commendable agenda and focusing on how the needs of homeless students are addressed. “A Tale of Two Students: Homelessness in New York City Public Schools,” can be found here:




* Jay Hershenson, CUNY senior vice chancellor for university relations, discusses CUNY's role in implementing universal prekindergarten in New York City and initiatives CUNY is implementing to help provide higher education to more city residents: 

* Christopher Erikson, business manager for Local 3 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, discusses the upcoming Labor Day Parade in New York City, in which he will serve as grand marshal, and the decision to allow nonunion workers from the service sector to march for the first time: 

* 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.  

Associate for Top NYC-based Boutique Public Affairs Firm

Salary: Competitive compensation and benefits package

Description: NYC-based boutique lobbying and public relations firm seeks associate.  Candidate must have superior writing skills, knowledge of New York City politics and media skills.  Responsibilities include assisting in lobbying efforts on a wide range of issues, policy research and writing and pitching press releases.  Ideal candidate has 3-7 years experience in lobbying, government, media or public relations.

Further Info: Send cover letter, resume and references to


Director of Communications & External Affairs, Times Square Alliance

Description: The Director of Communications & External Affairs is responsible for shaping and implementing communications for Times Square. The Director oversees graphic design, digital, social media, internal & external communications, crisis communications, marketing and strategic PR for major programming initiatives such as Times Square Arts, New Year's Eve, Summer Solstice & Taste of Times Square. The Director is also responsible for developing the strategic External Affairs program, driving the Alliance’s public policy and government affairs agenda.

Further Info: Please send a resume and cover letter to:


Executive Director, Supportive Housing Network of New York

Description:  The Supportive Housing Network of New York -- a nonprofit membership organization representing more than 200 nonprofits that provide housing and services to vulnerable at-risk individuals and families -- seeks a dynamic executive director. The executive director (i) provides the organization with executive leadership and strategic vision, (ii) oversees the organization's financial management and fundraising activities, (iii) organizes and implements the organization's policy, advocacy and programs, and, (iv) manages the organization's administration and personnel.

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


Public Relations Specialist, Geto de Milly

Description: This position involves coordinating media campaigns for luxury residential and commercial/retail development projects in NYC, Westchester and the metropolitan area. Applicant must have strong relationships in local and national press, especially in the real estate, lifestyle and news media and have the ability to develop and communicate key messages and produce compelling materials that result in coverage across all platforms. Must be an excellent writer, able to craft winning pitches, press releases, strategic and collateral materials, op-eds, speeches, web and social media content.

Further Info: All applicants must submit cover letter, resume, writing samples and/or examples of successful media placements. Please include salary requirement and provide references to   


HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Today, to Iris Weinshall, vice chancellor for Facilities Planning, Construction and Management at CUNY … to New York City Councilman Peter Koo … toEthan Geto, principal at Geto & de Milly, Inc. … to Caroline Press, acting council at the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development … to reporter Ted Mann … and to Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer … on Saturday, to Bob Master, political director for the Communications Workers of America … to Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein … to New York Post reporter Melissa Klein … to Jonathan Chung, chief of staff for New York City Councilman Peter Koo … to Geoffrey Davis, community activist … toSamantha Darche, chief of staff for Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas … to Cathy DelliCarpini-Kruse, senior vice president/COO of the New York Building Congress … to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie … to Tanisha Edwards, chief counsel of the finance division of the New York City Council … and to Randy Peers, Better Tomorrow’s CEO … and on Sunday, to Assemblyman Michael Benedetto … to former New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott … to former mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis … to author and journalist Joe Klein … and to Brigid Bergin, WNYC City Hall reporter.


MOVING ON: Roxanne John, formerly a vice president of marketing at the Institute for International Research, was named executive director of Gracie Mansion … and Jocelyn Lekahas joined the New York City Law Department's media and communications office.


IN MEMORIAM: Comedian Joan Rivers has died.



City & State and AARP New York host #BoomState - Why Boomers are fleeing New York and what's it costing us? How keeping Boomers in New York could be the Empire State’s economic savior. Featuring New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli as keynote, as well as other top officials and experts. Where: Penthouse at Taste Albany | When:September 8th, 8:00am. For more info: or




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

7 a.m. - State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli joins lieutenant governor candidate Kathy Hochul in talking to voters at the Great Neck LIRR Train Station, 9-65 S. Station Plaza, Great Neck.

8 a.m. - New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina visits Kappa IV Middle School, 6 Edgecombe Ave., Manhattan.

8:15 a.m. - Carl Weisbrod, chairman of the New York City Planning Commission, discusses the legal mechanisms needed to achieve the mayor’s planning agenda at the CityLaw Breakfast series, 185 West Broadway, Manhattan.

10 a.m. - New York City Councilman Donovan Richards, state Sen. James Sanders and others hold a press conference on creating a new Q114 bus service, Bus Terminal at Parsons  Boulevard and Archer Avenue, Queens.

10 a.m. - Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. salutes the contributions of health care labor unions to the Bronx in celebration of Labor Week and ahead of the Labor Day Parade, Bronx County Building, Rotunda, 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx.

10 a.m. – The Geraldo Rivera Show features Peter Mansoor, a former U.S. Army officer and a military historian, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA’s Harris Zafar, and the New York Post’s Richard Johnson, WABC.

10:30 a.m. - Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams pays tribute to two NYPD officers for saving the life of a choking infant while responding to an emergency call in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn Borough Hall rotunda, 209 Joralemon St., Brooklyn.

11 a.m. - The Capitol Pressroom features City & State’s Ashley Hupfl, Capital New York’s Jessica Bakeman, Cathy Woodruff, senior writer for On Board, the New York State School Boards Association publication and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout, WCNY.

11:15 a.m. - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio hosts a press conference to make an announcement, NYCHA Coney Island Houses, Nautilus Playground behind Building 3, 3020 Surf Ave., Brooklyn.

11:15 a.m. - State Sen. David Carlucci and the Mental Health Association of Rockland discuss legislation that provides educational resources on suicide prevention to schools throughout New York, Nyack High School Library, 360 Christian Herald Road, Nyack.

11:30 a.m. - Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages and state Senate candidates Dave Denenberg, Adam Haber and Adrienne Esposito join New York Communities for Change and other groups to call a wage raise and for local control of the minimum wage, Piazza Ernesto Strada, Maple and Post Avenues, Village of Westbury.

11:30 a.m. - New York City Councilman Mark Weprin and the Doe Fund’s George McDonald announce funding to provide additional sanitation services at several locations in Eastern Queens, road median at Hillside Avenue, east side of Springfield Boulevard, Queens.

12 p.m. - New York City Councilman Vincent Gentile announces a partnership with The Doe Fund to clean-up district, 7509 3rd Ave., Brooklyn.

12 p.m. – Hochul visits the Goddard Riverside Senior Center with other elected officials, 593 Columbus Ave., Manhattan.

3:30 p.m. – Hochul walks through Penn South housing development with New York City Councilman Corey Johnson, 26th and 8th Avenue, Manhattan.

5 p.m. - The Ride Home with Pat Kiernan and Rita Cosby features Jeff Bell, GOP candidate for Senate, Lawrence Levy of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University and New York City historian Brian Andersson, WABC.

5:30 p.m. - Hochul meets voters at subway stop with elected officials, 96th Street and Broadway stop, Manhattan.

6 p.m. - Attorney general candidate John Cahill attends the grand opening of state Sen. Kemp Hannon’s campaign headquarters, 191 7th St., corner of Franklin Avenue and 7th Street, Garden City.

6 p.m. - Farina is interviewed, NY 1 Noticias’ Pura Politica.

7 p.m. and 10 p.m. - Inside City Hall features Deputy Mayor Richard Buery and the Friday Reporters Roundtable, Time Warner Cable News NY1.

7 p.m. - New York City Councilman Mark Treyger attends the lighting of  the Coney Island Parachute Jump in the color gold to raise awareness for childhood cancer, Brooklyn.

7:30 p.m. - Cahill attends the East Rockaway Republican Clubs Annual Old Fashioned BBQ, Hewlett Point Yacht Club Inc., 75 Seawane Road, East Rockaway.

7:30 p.m. – Hochul attends the MLK Democratic Club Unity is Victory affair, Mist Harlem, 46 W. 116th St., Manhattan.

8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. – Capital Tonight features SEIU 1199 political director Kevin Finnegan and Empire Center’s EJ McMahon, Time Warner Cable News.



According to a major New York-based construction firm: “New York Grant’s help made all the difference to our company. Every dollar counts, and the New York Grant Company made sure we got every benefit as quickly and effortlessly as possible.” – Find out how your company or organization can save money or expand your business through economic incentives offered by New York City or New York State. For more information please email    



KICKER: “Tim who?" – Matt Wing, Cuomo’s campaign spokesman, when asked if Cuomo would publicly address Tim Wu’s campaign, via the Daily News.