First Read Tonight – May 19, 2017

WEATHER: Mostly clear in New York City, partly cloudy in Albany and mostly cloudy in Buffalo. New York City, low 57; Albany, low 46; Buffalo, low 46.

 

FROM CITY & STATE:

* Seven state senators have been receiving larger legislative stipends, or “lulus,” than they would have normally; New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is suddenly a fundraising juggernaut; and the recent violence Times Square lead this week’s headlines.

 

NEW THIS AFTERNOON:

* Former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, whose sexting scandals ended his political career, pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to exchanging sexually explicit messages with a minor and prosecutors said a sentence between 21 months and 27 months would be fair, The New York Times writes.

* On the same day he pleaded guilty, Huma Abedin filed for divorce from Weiner in Manhattan Supreme Court and she asked the court to seal the case, the New York Post writes.

* The Empire Center for Public Policy released a database of more than 800 “double dippers,” or retired public sector employees who, while collecting their pensions, went back to work for the government and earned more than the $30,000, the Times Union reports.

* The man who drove his car through a busy Times Square sidewalk Thursday was charged with murder and 20 counts of attempted murder after telling police he wanted to kill people and he had smoked marijuana laced with PCP prior to the attack, The Wall Street Journal writes.

* More news below …

 

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* Facing another day of extensive delays, both New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Riders Alliance Executive Director John Raskin took turns pointing out that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is responsible, through the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, for subway problems, the Times writes.

* Republican state Senators are proposing a new grant program, the Great Lakes Flood Recovery Grant Program, to offer $55 million in financial assistance to people, businesses and municipalities affected by flooding in upstate New York, State of Politics writes.

* Two members of the state Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference convened a panel of activists to discuss a plan to end the NYPD’s emphasis on broken windows policing that they said disproportionately targets people of color, the Observer reports.

* Democratic Assembly candidate Christine Pellegrino, who is vying for the Long Island Assembly seat vacated by Republican Joseph Saladino, was endorsed by dozens of female elected officials ahead of Tuesday’s special election, State of Politics reports.

 

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TRUMP ADMINISTRATION:

* President Donald Trump told Russian officials in the Oval Office that firing FBI Director James Comey had relieved “great pressure” on him, calling Comey, “crazy, a real nut job,” according to a document summarizing the meeting, the Times reports.

* The Trump administration is laying the groundwork to expand the use of private, for-profit prisons to house an anticipated influx of undocumented immigrants as a result of stricter immigration policies, Buzzfeed reports.

* Trump, who has frequently aired views hostile to Islam, is traveling to the religion’s cradle in a trip intended to cement ties with Saudi Arabia and also to meet with leaders of around 40 Muslim-majority nations to discuss how to combat religious extremism, the Journal writes.

* During Trump’s eight-day, five-country trip, his daughter Ivanka Trump will hold a roundtable discussion in Saudi Arabia about economic issues facing women in their country, the Daily News writes.

 

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State of New York Women Forum Next Thursday! Hear from New York’s female leaders including Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, Polly Trottenberg, Commissioner of the NYC Dept. of Transportation, and Maria Vullo, Superintendent of the NYS Dept. of Financial Services . Topics of discussion include women entrepreneurship, breaking through in male-dominated industries, and women’s role in health care. Click here to register for the half day forum on May 25th at the New York Academy of Medicine.

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IN DEPTH:

* Former Congressman Anthony Weiner cried as he pleaded guilty to charges related to sexting a 15-year-old girl, but no amount of tears can change the fact that his scandals helped elect Donald Trump, the Daily Beast writes.

* As the voice of the Straphangers Campaign, Gene Russianoff has become well known to New Yorkers as the city’s premier advocate for commuters, but he himself can no longer use mass transit after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, the Times writes.

 

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Still Serving: Honoring Veterans Improving New York. Nominations are now open for City & State’s annual “Still Serving” Award - recognizing the work of New York veterans and active service members who continue to serve their communities through public service, volunteerism, government, or civic engagement. Click here to nominate someone you know for their dedication in serving New York's communities!
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TONIGHT’S SHOWS:

5 p.m. and 6 p.m. – “MetroFocus” features Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Tony Bennett, WLIW21 (5 p.m.) and WNET Thirteen (6 p.m.).

7 p.m. and 10 p.m. – “Road to City Hall” features the reporters roundtable, NY1.

7:30 p.m. – “New York NOW” features Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal on her bill that would ban declawing cats, WMHT.

8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. – “Capital Tonight” features Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, the New York State Council of School Superintendents and the reporter roundtable, Spectrum News.

 

TONIGHT’S GAMES:

7:10 p.m. – The Yankees visit the Tampa Bay Rays, PIX11.

7:10 p.m. – The Mets host the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, SNY.

7:30 p.m. – The Red Bulls host Toronto FC, MSG.

 

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TOMORROW’S SKED:

7 a.m. – New York City Public Advocate Letitia James attends Brooklyn Half Kickoff, Washington Avenue and Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn.

10 a.m. – New York City first lady Chirlane McCray addresses the issue of substance use as part of the Weekend of Faith for Mental Health, Hebrew Tabernacle, 551 Fort Washington Ave., Manhattan.

10 a.m. – “City Watch” features journalist and attorney Seth Abramson, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund's Jerry Vattamala and the Mental Health Association of New York City's Kimberly Williams, WBAI 99.5 FM.

10 a.m. – New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams will be a panelist at the Kings County Hospital’s annual Guns Down Life Up Violence Prevention Program and Resource Fair, Kings County Hospital, 689 New York Ave., Brooklyn.

10 a.m. – U.S. Reps. Joseph Crowley and Gregory Meeks, Public Advocate James, New York City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and others attend street renaming ceremony in honor of professor William H. Pease Jr., 104th Street and 35th Avenue, Queens.

11 a.m. – Community Action for Safe Apartments hosts its monthly Know Your Rights Workshop and legal clinic, 35 Marcy Ave. Brooklyn.

11:30 a.m. – New York City first lady Chirlane McCray addresses the issue of substance use as part of the Weekend of Faith for Mental Health, Mamre Seventh Day Adventist Church, 1623-27 Utica Ave., Brooklyn.

12 p.m. – New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and New York City Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl hold office hours on the results of the public engagement period for the CreateNYC culutral plan, Broadway Library, 40-20 Broadway, Queens.

12:15 p.m. – Public Advocate James delivers remarks at Staten Island PrideFest, Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island.

1 p.m. – U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley, New York City Councilman Daniel Dromm and Assembly members Francisco Moya and Michael DenDekker attend a dedication ceremony to name the post office after LGBT activists Jeanne and Jules Manford, 7802 37th Ave., Queens.

2 p.m. – Assemblywoman Diana Richardson hosts a civic-minded meeting on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Vital Brooklyn initiative, 400 Empire Blvd., Brooklyn.

6 p.m. – Public Advocate James attends the 2017 Bronx Ball, Pelham Bay & Split Rock Golf Courses, 870 Shore Road, Bronx.

 

SUNDAY’S SKED:

10 a.m. – New York City first lady Chirlane McCray addresses the issue of substance use as part of the Weekend of Faith for Mental Health, Rikers Island multifaith service, Rikers Island, Queens.

11 a.m. – Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr. hosts the Bronx Walk of Fame Induction Ceremony honoring Latin music superstar Prince Royce, hip-hop pioneer Funkmaster Flex and others, and a concert featuring Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick, Bronx County Building, 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx.

2 p.m. – New York City first lady Chirlane McCray addresses the issue of substance use as part of the Weekend of Faith for Mental Health, Heavenly Vision, 2868 Jerome Ave., Bronx.

8 p.m. – “State of the Union,” the DC 37 radio show features Social Service Employees Union Local 371 President Anthony Wells on New York City Administration for Children’s Services’ worker safety initiative and Community Food Advocates Executive Director Liz Accles on universal free school lunch funding, WNYE, 91.5 FM.

9 p.m. – LaborPress’ “Blue Collar Buzz” features activist Ray Rogers, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried and Drama Desk President Charles Wright, AM 970.

 

MONDAY’S SKED:

The state Legislature is in session.

8:30 a.m. – The Metropolitan Transportation Authority Metro-North Committee holds a public meeting, MTA Board Room, 2 Broadway, 20th floor, Manhattan.

9:30 a.m. – The MTA Long Island Rail Road Committee holds a public meeting, MTA Board Room, 2 Broadway, 20th floor, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – The state Senate Committee on Banks, the Assembly Committee on Banks, Consumer Affairs and Protection, and the Assembly Committee on Small Business hold a joint oversight hearing on the practices of the online lending industry, Legislative Office Building, Hamilton Hearing Room B., Albany.

10 a.m. – The New York City Council Committee on Public Safety and Committee on Finance hold a joint executive budget hearing on the NYPD, the district attorneys and the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

10:30 a.m. – The state Board of Regents holds a public hearing on the application from Glasgow Caledonian University to establish a degree-granting institution at 64 Wooster Street in SoHo, Education Department’s offices, 1411 Broadway, 10th floor, Manhattan.

10:30 a.m. – The New York City Council Committee on Civil Service and Labor holds a public meeting, 250 Broadway, 16th floor committee room, Manhattan.

10:30 a.m. – The MTA New York City Transit and MTA Bus Committee holds a public meeting, MTA Board Room, 2 Broadway, 20th floor, Manhattan.

11 a.m. – The New York State Thruway Authority holds a public board meeting, Thruway Authority Headquarters, 200 Southern Blvd., Albany.

11 a.m. – “The Capitol Pressroom” features more on the state Senate stipend controversy with New York Public Interest Research Group Executive Director Blair Horner and SUNY New Paltz’s Dr. Gerald Benjamin, WCNY.

12 p.m. – Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and others highlight proposed legislation to allow those who have completed online ordinations to solemnize marriage in New York, Legislative Office Building, LCA Room 130, Albany.

12 p.m. – The MTA Bridge & Tunnel Committee holds a public meeting, MTA Board Room, 2 Broadway, 20th floor, Manhattan.

12 p.m. – The New York City Council Committee on Youth Services holds a public meeting on workforce development, 250 Broadway, 16th floor committee room, Manhattan.

12 p.m. – Assembly members Rodneyse Bichotte, Michaelle Solages, Kimberly Jean-Pierre, and Ellen Jaffe, and state Sens. Kevin Parker and David Carlucci welcome constituents to Haitian Unity Day for a day of celebrating Haitian culture, state Capitol, Albany.

12:30 p.m. – The state Senate Committee on Insurance holds a public meeting, state Capitol, Room 124, Albany.

12:30 p.m. – The MTA Finance Committee holds a public meeting, MTA Board Room, 2 Broadway, 20th floor, Manhattan.

1 p.m. – The state Senate Committee on Elections holds a public meeting, Legislative Office Building, Room 805, Albany.

1 p.m. – The New York City Council Committee on Parks and Recreation holds a public meeting, 250 Broadway, 16th floor committee room, Manhattan.

1 p.m. – New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer makes a fiscal year 2018 budget announcement, Doughboy Park, Woodside Avenue and 56th Street, Queens.

1 p.m. – State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon hosts an Excelsior Scholarship information session, Cayuga Community College, Business & Industry Center, 197 Franklin St., Auburn.

1:30 p.m. – The New York City Council Committee on Technology holds a public meeting on requiring direct telephone access to 911 service, 250 Broadway, 16th floor committee room, Manhattan.

1:45 p.m. – The MTA Capital Program Oversight Committee holds a public meeting, MTA Board Room, 2 Broadway, 20th floor, Manhattan.

2:45 p.m. – The MTA Diversity Committee holds a public meeting, MTA Board Room, 2 Broadway, 20th floor, Manhattan.

3 p.m. – The state Senate is in session, Senate Chambers, state Capitol, Albany.

3:30 p.m. – State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon hosts an Excelsior Scholarship information session, SUNY Oswego, Sheldon Hall Ballroom, 72 Sheldon Ave., Oswego.

6 p.m. – New York City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and the LGBT Caucus host Pride Prom 2017, Queens Museum, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens.

7 p.m. – New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams and the Ernest Skinner Political Association hold a candidates’ forum for City Council districts 40 and 41, Clarendon Road Church, 3304 Clarendon Road, Brooklyn.

 

TOP TWEET: "Is this what you do? How far you've fallen": Anthony Weiner, to me, in May 2013.

-Matthew Chayes @ChayesMatthew