First Read - April 1, 2014

WEATHER: Beware of playing the fool today! Sunny across most of the state; decreasing clouds in Western New York. New York City, high 56; Albany, high 55; Buffalo, high 57.


TOUGH START FOR SANDY RECOVERY APPOINTEE: Amy Peterson, a new member of the de Blasio administration, was appointed just in time to be questioned about the city’s slow-moving post-Sandy housing recovery:



* State lawmakers approved in the 11th hour an on-time budget that includes a bump in education spending, relaxed Common Core requirements, tax breaks for businesses and some property tax relief, the Buffalo News writes:

* The demise of the Moreland Commission has angered and disappointed some government watchdogs, because while the state budget does include new ethics laws, it left intact a loophole allowing unlimited donations to housekeeping accounts, The New York Times writes:

* A consulting firm—Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin—that helped Melissa Mark-Viverito in her runs for City Council and Council speaker has lobbied her on behalf of four clients, the Daily News reports:

* State education advocates claimed victory for funding in the state budget, which includes roughly $22 billion for schools after a $1.1 billion increase, the Times Union reports:

* Mayor Bill de Blasio said the state budget provides New York City with five years of reliable funding for his education initiatives, though budget experts warn the state could adjust the funding if the economy or priorities change, The Wall Street Journal reports:

* Not everything made it into this year’s state budget, including a dedicated tax stream for the MTA that was rerouted to pay down MTA debt, the Moreland Commission—which was cut—and the DREAM Act, the Journal writes:

* The multiple developers seeking casino licenses will have to shell out big money to obtain one, including $1 million to apply and $70 million for the actual license, the Times reports:

* A bill from state Senate Racing, Wagering and Gaming Committee Chair John Bonacic would legalize, license and tax online poker in New York, though the lawmaker said he doesn’t expect it to pass this year, the Associated Press writes:

* Tappan Zee Constructors was penalized by the state Thruway Authority after a runaway barge carrying steel floated down the Hudson River Sunday afternoon, the Times writes:

* In a column published Sunday, Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy said he regrets leaving the City of Rochester when he did and that whatever he does next will be on the local level, Gannett Albany reports:


ISSUE SPOTLIGHT: In our Last Read email, check out the new spotlight section with links to must-read stories on education (on Monday), energy and environment (Tuesday), healthcare (Wednesday), infrastructure (Thursday) and labor (Friday).



UNION CONSTRUCTION PROVIDES OPPORTUNITY TO EXPAND MIDDLE CLASS CAREERS: A newColumbia University report calls The Edward J. Malloy Initiative for Construction Skills “a national model” and “the most successful construction industry pre-apprenticeship program in the country” that delivers “an extraordinary return on investment for minority youth.”   1,485 NYC residents placed in union apprenticeships.  89% are minorities.  80% remain actively employed.  THIS IS WHAT UNION CONSTRUCTION LOOKS LIKE.  SHOULDN’T IT BE WHAT ALL CONSTRUCTION LOOKS LIKE?Click HERE to download the full report.




* The New York Times writes that Mayor Bill de Blasio can call the state’s financing of prekindergarten expansion a political victory for him and a victory for the tens of thousands of children who will benefit:

* The Daily News writes that in pulling his children out of this week’s Common Core tests, Westchester County Executive and gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino is fanning flames of fear mongering on the Common Core:

* Developer Larry Silverstein is looking for more money to build his 3 World Trade Center project—despite having just one prospective tenant—though when he’s sought money in the past, he’s found ways to get it, the Times’ Michael Powell writes:

* In the latest Astorino TV episode, Astorino says his children will not take the Common Core tests, a move that is nothing more than symbolic but undoubtedly grabbed the attention of parents who vote, Phil Reisman of the Journal News writes:



We Can End the Tale of Two Cities. NYC can create good jobs with family-sustaining wages and build affordable housing at the same time.  The Domino Sugar project proposed by Two Trees Management is the place to begin.  Let’s make sure the Domino Sugar rezoning raises up our communities with good jobs for all workers, real affordable housing, and community benefits for all. Sign the petition: Ironworkers Local 46



HEARD AROUND TOWN:                                                                        

* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined an exclusive club Monday afternoon: That of high-profile New York politicians to toss out ceremonial first pitches at major or minor league baseball games. De Blasio’s first pitch before the Mets’ home opener at Citi Field yesterday preceded a Mets’ loss to the Nationals. He became one of numerous mayors to open Major League games for either the Mets or the Yankees. Governors have also tossed pitches, with Mets fan David Paterson throwing out a first pitch in 2008 onJackie Robinson day, Eliot Spitzer opening a Buffalo Bisons game in 2006 when the team was a Cleveland Indians affiliate and George Pataki teaming up with then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani to throw outdual ceremonial pitches at Yankee Stadium in 1995. Presidents have also gotten in on the action.Franklin D. Roosevelt threw out 11 first pitches, though nine were for Washington Senators’ games and only one was for a Yankees game in New York. A month after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, George W. Bush—a Texan born in Connecticut—threw an emotional first pitch strike prior to Game 3 of the World Series game between the Yankees and Diamondbacks in the Bronx.



Don’t be fooled: replacing carriage horses with electric cars is a myth, not a solution. Opening Central Park to cars throughout the day would endanger the park’s walkers, joggers, and cyclists, which is why advocates for Central Park and its pedestrians oppose the idea. Banning carriage horses means losing 300 middle-class jobs. Join park advocates, labor unions, and tourists in supporting New York's carriage horses.




* New York Building Congress President Richard Anderson discusses a report released this morning detailing the need for transportation infrastructure improvements to match New York City’s growing population:


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


Deputy Director, New York Immigration Coalition

Description: We seek an experienced, dynamic candidate to work closely with the Executive Director to provide leadership for the NYIC, the nation’s largest statewide immigrant rights coalition. The Deputy Director will have key internal responsibilities – operations, communications, finance and fundraising – as well as important external responsibilities – advocacy and strategy, support for Coalition members, and management of political relationships.

Further Info: To view the full job description, please visit:  Please send a cover letter and resume to


Government Relations Associate

Salary: Competitive salary commensurate with experience and excellent benefits.

Description: Leading NYC-based government relations firm is looking for experienced, highly-motivated, organized professional who will thrive in a fast-paced environment. Responsibilities: Manage multiple accounts and provide strategic support to our diverse client base. Qualifications: Candidates must demonstrate an understanding of NYC/NYS government affairs and the political landscape; 4+ years’ experience in NYC/NYS government/politics strongly preferred.

Further info: Email resumes and cover letters to


HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito … and to former New York State First Lady Michelle Paige Paterson.


MOVING ON: Daniel Cort has been appointed chief of the state attorney general’s Public Integrity Bureau … Kathleen McGee has been appointed chief of the state attorney general’s Internet Bureau … andThomas Teige Carroll has been appointed chief of the state attorney general’s Taxpayer Protection Bureau.



City & State’s Upcoming April 7 Issue Spotlight: AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Promote your organization’s affordable housing objectives and benefits to NY’s public officials in this politically strategic communications venue. City & State magazine’s comprehensive special section will feature: Public Officials Q&A with Alicia Glen, Vicki Been, Keith Wright and Shaun Donovan (officials pending confirmation); Featured Editorial: Domino Deal | Defining Affordable Housing | Astorino vs. HUD | Scorecard: Key Players, Issues and Stats.  The ad deadline is April 3.  For advertising information, please contact or call 212-284-9714.




6:45 a.m. – Gubernatorial candidate and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino is a guest on Fox & Friends, Fox News Channel.

 8:30 a.m. – Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye gives details about the authority’s capital plan at a New York Building Congress forum, New York Hilton Midtown, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, Manhattan.

8:30 a.m. – Developer Bruce Ratner presents details of his redevelopment plans for Nassau Coliseum, Long Island Association headquarters, 300 Broadhollow Road, Melville.

9 a.m. – Westchester County Legislator Pete Harckham and others review legal and environmental issues involved in the Playland Improvement Plan, Michaelian Office Building, Board of Legislators Committee Room, 8th floor, 148 Martine Ave., White Plains.

9:30 a.m. – The New York City Council Zoning and Franchises Subcommittee meets, City Hall, Council Chambers, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – The Geraldo Rivera radio show includes an interview with New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, WABC.

10:30 a.m. – Astorino is a guest on Fred Dicker: Live From the State Capitol, Talk 1300,

11 a.m. – The Capitol Pressroom features Astorino, Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh and Carl Paladino, WCNY.

11 a.m. – The New York City Council Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses Subcommittee meets, City Hall, Committee Room, Manhattan.

11 a.m. – Members of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence and State Legislators Against Illegal Guns hold a press conference to discuss ongoing implementation of the SAFE Act and to call for legislative action to reduce gun violence, State Capitol, Million Dollar Staircase, 3rd floor, Senate side, Albany.

11 a.m. – New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer tours the Chareidim Matzoh Bakery, 4312 New Utrecht Ave., Brooklyn.

11:30 a.m. – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio begins taped television interviews, Governor’s Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

11:30 a.m. – Astorino, Carl Paladino and Donald Trump attend a Stand Up For Your Rights Rally calling for a repeal of the SAFE Act, West Capitol Park, Albany.

12 p.m. – Stringer speaks at Boro Park Y Senior Center, 4912 14th Ave., Brooklyn.

12:30 p.m. – SUNY and CUNY undergraduate students showcase their research in various disciplines at an Innovative Exploration Forum, Legislative Office Building, The Well, 181 State St., Albany.

12:45 p.m. – Stringer volunteers at Masbia Soup Kitchen, 1372 Coney Island Ave., Brooklyn.

1 p.m. – The New York City Council Planning, Dispositions and Concessions Subcommittee meets, City Hall, Committee Room, Manhattan.

1:45 p.m. – De Blasio hosts a radio roundtable, Committee of the Whole, City Hall, Manhattan.

2:15 p.m. – De Blasio hosts a bureau chiefs roundtable, Committee of the Whole

City Hall, Manhattan.

3 p.m. – New York City Councilman Donovan Richards joins the Richardson family and community members in reaction to the tragedy that cost the life of the 19-year-old college student, 145-56 229th St., Queens. 

6 p.m. – Former New York City mayoral candidate Jack Hidary holds a fundraiser to benefit Virtual Enterprises International, Tribeca Three-Sixty, 10 Desbrosses St., Manhattan.

6:30 p.m. – New York City Public Advocate attends a New York City Bar Association Women in Courts Task Force event, 42 W. 44th St., Manhattan.

7 p.m. – New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and others hold a Brooklyn Vision Zero Town Hall meeting, Brooklyn Borough Hall, Brooklyn.

7 p.m. and 10 p.m. – Inside City Hall features a one-on-one with de Blasio; the NY1 Wise Guys with Alfonse D'Amato, Mark Green and Carol Bellamy; and a preview of Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen's ABNY address on technology with ABNY’s Bill Rudin, Andrew Rasiej from Tech Meetup, William Floyd from Google, Time Warner Cable News NY1.

7:30 p.m. – Astorino attends and delivers remarks at the Queens County Conservative Committee Dinner, Roma View Caterers, 160-05 Cross Bay Blvd., Queens.

8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. – Capital Tonight features the Insiders on state budget highlights, Time Warner Cable News.  


KICKER: “The fact that ethics reform was on the table as a bargaining chip suggests to me that we have much more work to do. It’s a terrible irony that the Moreland Commission is being defunded as part of a larger discussion and negotiation.” – State Sen. Brad Hoylman on the dismantling of the Moreland Commission, via The New York Times.