First Read Tonight – November 21, 2017

WEATHER: A chance of rain in New York City, mostly clear in Albany and rain in Buffalo that will briefly turn to snow overnight. New York City, low 47; Albany, low 39; Buffalo, low 33.



* One of the most vocal opponents of the congressional Republican tax reform plan, Rep. Dan Donovan discusses why he opposes the bill, his thoughts on former Rep. Michael Grimm’s primary challenge and his reaction to a recent Staten Island-themed “Saturday Night Live” skit.

* New York City uses complex algorithms to decide everything from classroom sizes to bail. Amid the growing reliance on technology and complicated formulas, criminal justice advocates and watchdog groups are seeking more transparency and input over the way they’re used, Dan Rosenblum reports.



* With New York City’s subway system facing a crisis, transportation officials on Tuesday turned to a veteran transit leader, Andrew Byford, credited with turning around Toronto’s once beleaguered system to take over the city’s buses and subways as president of New York City Transit, The New York Times writes.

* James Milliken, the chancellor of the City University of New York, the largest public urban university system in the country, announced that he would step down at the end of the academic year, the Times reports.

* Two months before Dan Loeb accused state Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins of doing more harm to people of color than the Ku Klux Klan, he sent an e-mail to New York City Deputy Mayor Richard Buery about Buery’s apparent ignorance of the obstacles faced by the city’s black children, Politico New York reports.

* The New York City Council struck a deal to approve a controversial development project at Brooklyn’s Bedford Union Armory, after the plan was overhauled to lower rents for the building’s affordable apartments and scrap the condos that were in a previous proposal, the Daily News writes.

* Chris Burdick, the Democratic town supervisor of Bedford, has filed papers with the state Board of Elections to run for the state Senate seat being vacated at the end of the year by Westchester County Executive-elect George Latimer, State of Politics writes.

* More news below …




The Committee, nearly 100 professionals, represents 70 firms and companies from  Design, Construction, and Real Estate.  It was born from the Building Congress’ understanding that for the industry to be successful, it must embrace new technology, best practices, and innovation.  “At NYBC, our forward thinking is helping create the projects of tomorrow, and the biggest projects of the day after tomorrow – the people on this committee will be the ones who conceive, design, and build these projects,” said Building Congress President & CEO Carlo A. Scissura. Read More Here.



* Former Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto was indicted Tuesday with more than 20 new federal criminal charges involving securities fraud in the issuance of the town’s public offering of hundreds of millions of dollars in securities between 2010 and 2016, Newsday reports.

* State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said tens of thousands of New Yorkers may have had their identities stolen in a “massive scheme” during the Federal Communications Commission’s public comment process on net neutrality, the Times Union writes.

* State Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janet DiFiore appointed her husband, retired attorney Dennis Glazer, to lead a 14-member panel that will recommend constitutional reforms to make the state’s court system more efficient and accessible, Gannett Albany reports.

* Rep. Tom Reed feels confident the U.S. Senate will pass its version of the tax reform bill on schedule, sometime shortly after returning from Thanksgiving break, State of Politics writes.

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* The Federal Communications Commission announced on Tuesday that it planned to dismantle landmark regulations that ensure equal access to the internet, clearing the way for companies to charge more and block access to certain websites, the Times reports.

* CBS Corp. and the Public Broadcasting Service severed ties with veteran broadcast journalist Charlie Rose on Tuesday, a day after The Washington Post published accounts from several women who said Rose sexually harassed them, The Wall Street Journal writes.

* House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called for the House Ethics Committee to investigate sexual harassment charges against Rep. John Conyers Jr., the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, who confirmed the settlement of a wrongful termination complaint in 2015, the Times writes.



City & State and WNET present a two-night special edition of MetroFocus: Who Will be the Next New York City Council Speaker? A televised forum with the eight candidates vying to lead the City Council for the next four years. Airing on MetroFocus Tuesday, November 21st and Wednesday November 22nd . Get the full schedule here: and watch online:




* Leaked data in the Paradise Papers reveals that the University at Buffalo Foundation quietly invested in an offshore fund that finances fracking and oil companies, even as the university declares itself a leader on combating climate change, Investigative Post reports.

* Outgoing Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is considering whether to challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo next year, but not because of how the administration has handled the sexual harassment allegations against former top official Sam Hoyt, The Buffalo News writes.

* While the campaigns won’t begin for years, potential candidates for New York City mayor are beginning to position themselves for 2021, when de Blasio will reach the office’s term limits, before the field gets more crowded, the Journal reports.



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7 p.m. and 10 p.m. – “Road to City Hall” features NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill and New York City Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr., NY1.

8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. – “Capital Tonight” features Common Cause New York Executive Director Susan Lerner, Spectrum News.



11 a.m. – “The Capitol Pressroom” features Albany Law School professor Christine Chung; former Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch; Angela Warner, director of the food pantry and social justice ministries at the Church of St. Vincent de Paul; and Bruce Gyory, senior adviser at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips and adjunct professor of political science at the University at Albany, WCNY.

11:30 a.m. – New York City first lady Chirlane McCray and city Health Commissioner Mary Bassett will visit an opioid treatment program in the South Bronx to announce new funding to expand public education about the opioid epidemic, 804 E. 138th St., second floor, Bronx.

12 p.m. – Asian Americans for Equality holds its annual Thanksgiving Community Lunch with Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, Golden Unicorn, 18 E. Broadway, Manhattan.


TOP TWEET: “Point at him! Shame on you, shame on you!” – Bill de Blasio yelling at a building.

-Gloria Pazmino @GloriaPazmino