First Read - March 13, 2014


WEATHER: Windy downstate; more snow elsewhere. New York City, high 28; Albany, high 21; Buffalo, high 17.



* State Senate leaders are considering including in their budget proposal a provision that would allow the state to use the money it receives from legal settlements to fund a campaign public financing system, rather than use direct taxpayer money, the Daily News reports:

* A state Supreme Court judge declared Nassau County’s financial control board has the authority to impose a wage freeze, while the first of five expected union deals to lift the freeze was filed with the county legislature, Newsday writes:

* The Assembly budget plan would require the state to make PILOT payments to the City of Albany if it built or demolished buildings at the Harriman State Office Campus, though the plan drops the governor’s proposal for a new public health laboratory, the Times Union reports:

* New state Gaming Commission Chairman Mark Gearan says he wants to improve prevention and treatment programs for those addicted to gambling before the commission tackles decisions about where casinos will go, the Times Union writes:

* In praising the state Board of Elections investigation of political operative Steven Pigeon’s WNY Progressive Caucus, state Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox criticized the Moreland Commission for ignoring complaints about the fundraising committee, the Buffalo News reports:

* A study of prekindergarten practices is being conducted as New York City and the state debate universal pre-K proposals, with the results possibly being used to shape a program in the city and elsewhere, The New York Times writes:

* The Harlem public school that critics and the de Blasio administration say is too crowded to accommodate a Success Academy charter school has 15 percent fewer students than anticipated, the New York Post reports:

* Environmental advocates praised a move by Albany County to place a moratorium on plans to expand crude oil processing by Global Partners at the Port of Albany amid growing concern about oil shipment by train across the state, the Times Union writes:

* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is asking for a judge to toss out the police unions’ challenge to a law that makes it easier to sue officers for racial profiling, the Post reports:

* UFT says that if New York City doesn’t raise teachers’ salaries in the upcoming contract negotiations, there could be an exodus of educators to the suburbs for higher-paying jobs, the Post writes:



* Medical marijuana in New York state could turn into an expensive enterprise because of taxes, housing and energy costs that are some of the highest in the nation, the Times union writes:


LABOR AND ALL THINGS CITY HALL: Have a labor or New York City news tip? Contact City Hall Bureau Chief Nick Powell at or 212-268-0442.



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* While some educators fight hard for charter schools, some top charter officials are making close to or more than schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s $212,000 per year, The New York Times’ Michael Powell writes:

* In his radio comment about party politics that included an expletive, what state Sen. Greg Ball meant to say was that party politics don’t matter unless they benefit Greg Ball, the Journal News’s Phil Reisman writes:

* The Daily News writes that a judge’s decision to toss a lawsuit accusing Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver of failing to protect two women from sexual harassment by Vito Lopez is preposterous:

* The Post writes that the Domino Sugar factory redevelopment deal shows that Mayor de Blasio is for co-location as long as he’s forcing it on the private sector, not when it comes to making space for charter schools:

* The Times Union writes that state leaders can either pass a gimmicky election year tax scheme or deliver a “circuit breaker” that would truly help people struggling to pay property taxes:



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* Since announcing his intention to run for Rep. Bill Owens’ seat in the 21st District last month, Democrat Aaron Woolf has said little publicly. On Wednesday he broke his silence with wide-ranging interviews with several North Country news outlets. The Watertown Daily Times reports that Woolf—a part-time resident of Essex County—took a different approach than some Democrats on the controversial SAFE Act, playing to both sides by saying that gun control is needed at the state level to curb gun violence but that he would protect North Country residents’ Second Amendment rights in Congress, a sentiment he echoed to the Post Star in Glens Falls. Woolf has been out of the spotlight during the early part of his campaign. Last month he told the Adirondack Daily Enterprise that he was more of a “press release kind of guy.” On Wednesday, he also spoke with the Saratogian, Denton Publications, the Press-Republican and North Country Public Radio

* In response to the deadly explosion that toppled two buildings in East Harlem yesterday, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat called for improvements to New York City’s outdated and in some cases deteriorating infrastructure. “We often talk about homeland security and preparedness in general, and yet the infrastructure in our city is in a dilapidated condition,” he told City & State, echoing comments made by an ally in the New York City Council. “If it had anything to do with the condition of our infrastructure, then we need to take a look at that.” The senator noted that one of the buildings had 60 open housing violations, “so obviously the building was in bad condition.” The senator tied the problems to a broader infrastructure crisis facing the city, from decrepit buildings to aging gas and sewer lines. The cause of the explosion was attributed to a gas leak.

* With New York’s request for proposals for casinos due this month, potential bidders are touting their plans and shoring up support. Today the Monticello Casino & Raceway’s owner and partners are making stops in New York City, Albany and Sullivan County, where the racino is located, to unveil plans for an expanded resort casino in the Catskills. The owner, Empire Resorts, is partnering with EPR Properties to relocate the racino to the old Concord Hotel. “We have been working on bringing a world-class destination gaming resort to the Catskills for years and have assembled the best team possible and are in a position to move quickly to make this casino and four season resort a reality,” said Charles Degliomini, Empire Resorts’ executive vice president. “What we unveil will no doubt ‘up the ante.’ ” Meanwhile in the Southern Tier, the Seneca County Board of Supervisors on Tuesdayunanimously endorsed another proposed project, the Wilmot Casino and Resort. Local support is one of several factors that will be taken into account in selecting winning bids.



Did You Know…students attending the 25 colleges that compose the New York’sAssociation of Proprietary Colleges (APC) earn associates degrees at rate that exceeds the statewide combined average of all sectors of higher education. By combining the state’s investment in the Tuition Assistance Program with nearly $123 million in college provided scholarship and aid students across New York are given a chance to succeed. Please and follow us on Twitter @APCColleges.




* Tim Hoefer, the executive director of the Empire Center, talks about how the organization’sSeeThroughNY website lets taxpayers see where their money goes and the challenges he faces in obtaining public data:


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


Account Director, Nicholas & Lence Communications

Description: NLC is growing! Our communications and PR firm features diverse NYC based clients. An experienced Account Director with 5-7 years of NYC PR agency experience is needed, who can secure media coverage and brainstorm and execute strategic PR plans. Strong writing skills, personal media contacts and social media strategy knowledge are required. Applicant must reside in NYC/NJ area.

Further Info: Please email resumes and cover letters to Shin-Jung Hong


Government and Public Affairs Position for Major NYC Construction Trade Association

Salary:  Competitive compensation and benefits package

Description:  NYC Construction Association seeks Chief of Staff to the President and CEO. Responsibilities include development and implementation of association’s legislative and public policy agenda for NYC and NYS. Will provide support to association committees, communications program and 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


Digital Project Manager for Political Media Company

Salary: range of $45,000 - $50,000 / year, with possible incentives

Description: City & State NY seeks driven, experienced individual to consult on digital and rich media efforts, with specific emphasis on web and email execution and management. Candidates should have knowledge of HTML, general web development, ad opps and email marketing. Knowledge of ModX CMS and Sailthru a plus. Duties to include: Coordinating all emails and digital marketing, enhancing overall web experience, growing online audience, helping drive digital revenue opportunities. Previous experience at a news organization also a plus. Relevant degree preferred, but not required.  

If you are interested please send a cover letter, resume and salary requirements  


HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To Assemblyman Gary Finch … to former assemblyman Jonathan Bing … and to Emily Arsenault, state director for U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.


MOVING ON: Andrew Kirtzman has joined Global Strategy Group … former Bloomberg administration aide Corey Chambliss is joining the public affairs group at Edelman … andLincoln Restler has joined the de Blasio administration as a senior policy adviser.



City & State’s Upcoming 3/24 Issue Spotlight: TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE

Promote your organization’s infrastructure objectives and benefits to NY’s public officials in this strategic government relations communications venue. City & State magazine’s comprehensive special section will feature: Public Officials Q&A with Joan McDonald, Tom Prendergast, Polly Trottenberg, Pat Foye and Joseph Robach (officials pending confirmation); Featured Editorial: MTA Capital Plan | Top Projects in Bridges, Highways, Ports and Railroads | Scorecard: Key Players, Issues and Stats.  The ad deadline isMarch 20.  For advertising information, please contact or call212-284-9714.




Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public schedule. 

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio attends an evening reception at the United States Mission to the United Nations.

8 a.m. – The New York City Bar Association hosts a forum on New York’s construction safety and insurance laws, New York City Bar Association, 42 W. 44th St., Manhattan.

8:30 a.m. – Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball and NYU’s Katepalli Sreenivasan open an Urban Future Lab at the NYU School of Engineering, Urban Future Lab, 15 MetroTech Center, 19th floor, Brooklyn.

8:30 a.m. – Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. speaks at a Government Affairs Professionals monthly breakfast, Penn Club, Manhattan.

9 a.m. – State Sen. Ruben Diaz and the New York City Hispanic Clergy Organization attend a prayer rally for justice for the victim and family of a sexual assault victim, Bronx Criminal Court Building, 265 E. 161st St., Bronx.

9 a.m. – De Blasio meets with first responders at the site of the East Harlem explosion and building collapse, 116th Street and Lexington Avenue, Manhattan.

9:30 a.m. – EPR Properties and its co-developers unveil plans for a destination resort casino in Sullivan County, Park Central Hotel, Gotham Room, 870 7th Ave., Manhattan.

10 a.m. – The New York City Campaign Finance Board meets, NYCCFB Conference Room, 19th Floor, 40 Rector St.

10 a.m. – The Brian Lehrer Show includes interviews with Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, who are supporters of Common Core standards, WNYC.  

10 a.m. – The Geraldo Rivera radio show includes interviews with Donald Trump, the Alliance for Quality Education’s Zakiyah Ansari, Rep. Peter King and former FDNY commissioner Tom Von Essen, WABC. 

10 a.m. – The New York City Council Health Committee holds a preliminary budget hearing, City Hall, Council Chambers, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – The New York City Council Civil Rights Committee holds a preliminary budget hearing, 250 Broadway, Committee Room, 16th floor, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – State Sen. David Carlucci, Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, ARC Executive Director Carmine Marchionda and others hold a rally for a tax credit to spur job hiring for people with developmental disabilities, State Capitol, Room 124, Albany.

10 a.m. – Parents in Educational District 6 rally against co-location of schools, Juan Pablo Duarte, P.S. 132, 185 Wadsworth Ave., Manhattan.

10:30 a.m. – Attorney General Eric Schneiderman makes an announcement on workplace discrimination during welcoming remarks at the Out In Law Leadership SummitNew York University School of Law, 40 Washington Square S., Manhattan.

10:30 a.m. – Global Gateway Alliance’s Stephen Sigmund, Vancouver International Airport’s Chris Gilliland and Delta’s Patricia Ornst call for more passport kiosks at New York City airports, Penn Station, main concourse adjacent to the Amtrak information desk, Manhattan. 

11 a.m. – The Capitol Pressroom features state Sen. David Carlucci, Assemblyman Bill Nojay, Stanhope Partners’ Bob Bellafiore and Siena’s Steve Greenberg, WCNY.

11 a.m. – The state Senate convenes, State Capitol, Senate Chambers, Albany.

11 a.m. – Lincoln Square Business Improvement District President Monica Blum and Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty discuss the city’s new pilot community recycling program in the Upper West Side, W. 63rd Street and Broadway, Manhattan.

11 a.m. – Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, the Northeast Kidney Foundation and the New York Alliance for Donation raise awareness of kidney disease and call for more organ donations, Legislative Office Building, LCA Press Room, Room 130, Albany.

11:45 a.m. – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio gives an update on the East Harlem explosion and building collapse, Blue Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

12 p.m. – The New York City Council Oversight and Investigations Committee holds a preliminary budget hearing, 250 Broadway, Committee Room, 16th floor, Manhattan.

12 p.m. – State Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk joins Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple and other law enforcement officials with service dogs to discuss her bill to make March 13 K9 Veterans Appreciation Day, State Capitol, 4th floor, outside the state Senate galleries, Albany.

12 p.m. – A statewide coalition of labor, faith and community groups hold a rally in opposition to the governor’s proposed tax breaks for the wealthy, 633 3rd Ave., Manhattan.

1 p.m. – The Tenants’ Associations, NYCHA residents and Urban Justice Center attorneys announce the withdrawal of their lawsuit against NYCHA’s Land-Lease Plan, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

2 p.m. – EPR Properties and its co-developers unveil plans for a destination resort casino in Sullivan County, Legislative Office Building, LCA Press Room, Room 130, Albany.

5:30 p.m. – State Sen. Jose Peralta, Assemblyman Francisco Moya, Council Members Daniel Dromm and Julissa Ferreras and others join an event with NYPD captains as keynote "listeners,” Jewish Center of Jackson Heights, 3706 77th St, Queens.

6 p.m. – Brooklyn Community Board 3 hosts The State of Education: Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights forum, Restoration Plaza, Community Room, 1368 Fulton St., Brooklyn.

6 p.m. – EPR Properties and its co-developers unveil plans for a destination resort casino in Sullivan County, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, 200 Hurd Road, Bethel.

6 p.m. – Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Diana Reyna, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James and others hold a Brooklyn Housing Court on Trial event, Brooklyn Borough Hall, Ceremonial Courtroom, 209 Joralemon St., Brooklyn.

7 p.m. – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell gives her State of the County Address, Putnam County Golf Course, 187 Hill St., Mahopac.

7 p.m. – State Sen. Martin Golden hosts his annual Women’s History Month Celebration and Awards Ceremony, Bishop Kearney High School, 2202 60th St., Brooklyn.

7 p.m. and 10 p.m. – Inside City Hall features City Board of Elections’ Michael Ryan
congressional candidate Michael Walrond and a panel of police reporters on Commissioner Bill Bratton, Time Warner Cable News NY1.  

7:30 p.m. – New York City Public  Advocate Letitia James attends the Working Families Party event Why She Ran and Why You Can Too, Southern Queens Park Association, 177-01 Baisley Blvd., Queens.

8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. – Capital Tonight features the New Economy Project’s Josh Zinner and others, Time Warner Cable News.   


KICKER: “I understand that the mayor is new to his position and most likely has not fully digested the duties and role of the NYPD. Bill de Blasio was elected mayor and not appointed (to be) a Supreme Court justice. Ultimately it is up to an experienced judge to make this decision.” – Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins on a de Blasio administration request to have a judge toss a police unions’ lawsuit challenging a law that makes it easier to sue officers for racial profiling.