First Read - October 20, 2014

WEATHER: Chance of showers in Western New York. Mostly sunny in the rest of the state. New York City, high 59; Albany, high 55; Buffalo, high 56.


MYTH OF INCLUSION: City Council members have recently expressed outrage over “poor doors,” but the bill allowing them was approved by Mayor Bill de Blasio the Council voted unanimously to approve them in 2009, Seth Barron writes in an op-ed for City & State:


CITY & STATE TV: Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren sits down with City & State's editor-in-chief Morgan Pehme to discuss her first year in office, her hope that the state will invest in Rochester in coming years the same way it has invested in Buffalo, and her commitment to tackling poverty:


CLASH OF THE GOO-GOOS: Citizens Union Executive Director Dick Dadey and Common Cause New York Executive Director Susan Lerner will face off in a live debate tomorrow night over Proposition 1, which would change the state’s redistricting process, hosted by City & State and co-moderated by Fordham Professor Dr. Christina Greer and C&S Editor-in-Chief Morgan Pehme. To attend the debate at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus, 113 W. 60th St., Room 902, RSVP to



* Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that compared to roughly 140,000 people hospitalized in the state for mental illness in a year, 34,500 added to a state database barring them from gun use for five years seemed conservative, The New York Times reports:

* Cuomo may have violated state criminal and ethics laws by using his public position and employees to promote his newly published autobiography, “All Things Possible,’’ a sworn complaint charges, the New York Post’s Fred Dicker writes:

* A Manhattan woman who last week admitted to committing fraud when she helped two Republican candidates get on a new anti-Common Core ballot line may have done the same thing in at least two other races, the Daily News’ Ken Lovett reports:

* A political activist claims state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, New York’s highest-ranking law-enforcement official, snorted cocaine in the back room of a bar while he was a state senator, the Post writes:

* A new report to be released Monday says hospitality workers in the state are twice as likely to live in poverty as workers in sectors who don’t rely on tips, The Wall Street Journal writes:

* First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris will meet Monday morning with the Municipal Labor Committee and officials from the NYPD, FDNY, the Department of Education and others to plan a citywide response to Ebola should it take hold in New York City, the New York Post writes:

* Critics are ripping a $420,750 technology contract New York City handed to a former Education Department official’s nonprofit group in September, the Daily News reports:

* The voice of the New York Racing Association from 1990 to his retirement at the end of the Saratoga meet this summer has a contract which pays him $440,000 in 2014 for 100 days of calling races at NYRA tracks, the Times Union’s Jim Odato reports:

*Two top deputies of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who campaigned on creating a new era of government openness, commonly use their personal Gmail accounts to discuss city-related issues, the Daily News writes:

* Under a plan expected to be approved Monday by the state Board of Regents, New York students would be able to use an exam in culinary arts, welding, accounting and other trades to meet one of their graduation requirements, the Journal reports:

* Donald Trump said that the planned casinos will generate excitement and revenue in the short term—but he predicted the state will take a loss on the risky gamble in the not-too-distant future because the market in the Northeast is saturated, the Daily News reports:



* A newly created database of New Yorkers deemed too mentally unstable to carry firearms has grown to roughly 34,500 names, a previously undisclosed figure that has raised concerns among some mental health advocates that too many people have been categorized as dangerous, the Times writes:

* De Blasio, who has immersed himself in statewide politics this year, will headline a fund-raiser for state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli this Tuesday, the Observer reports:

* Republicans are questioning the timing and movement of more than $600,000 in funds they are characterizing as legally excessive contributions to Kathy Hochul’s Democratic primary campaign for lieutenant governor, the Buffalo News reports:

* Cuomo’s relationship with some Latino leaders took a turn for the worse this year, when the state Legislature didn’t pass the Dream Act, the Journal writes:

* While much of the attention in this year's legislative races has focused on the closely divided state Senate, the Assembly has its own dramas—albeit in a limited number of competitive contests, the Times Union reports:

* Former New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley argues a travel ban from Ebola-stricken African countries could put Americans at even greater risk, the Daily News reports:



* In two well-financed statewide political campaigns, in 2006 for attorney general and in 2010 for governor, Cuomo emerged victorious virtually everywhere except for one place: western New York, the Journal writes:

* In a third part of a series examining Cuomo’s record, Gotham Gazette looks ethics and reform during his first term:


If you have tips or story ideas about the state Legislature, email Albany Bureau Chief Jon Lentz at



Doctors in New York City’s public hospital system (HHC) are on the frontline fighting to keep our communities safe and healthy. But HHC and its affiliates, Mt. Sinai, NYU, and PAGNY, are ignoring our concerns at a time when communities need a unified public healthcare system.Join Doctors Council SEIU doctors, community members, and elected leaders for a rally at noon on Wednesday, October 29, at Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn to demand respect for doctors and patients.




* De Blasio would do better to educate and encourage people to make smarter, healthier choices through honest public-serving advertising rather than reviving the failed soda ban in the city, the Times writes:

* De Blasio was surely right when he described an ever-escalating homeless population as unacceptable, but now he faces the tough realities of stemming the tide while providing decent service at a remotely economical cost, the Daily News writes:

* Voters need to pay attention to the state comptroller race because New Yorkers need a choice on the fiscal policies that hold us back, the Post’s Nicole Gelinas writes:



* Democratic nominee for Assembly Rebecca Seawright is likely to coast to victory in the heavily Democratic 76th AD, but still she is leaving nothing to chance. Today Seawright, who would be the first woman to ever represent the Upper East Side district if elected, is rolling out the endorsement of U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, after already securing the support of U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, among a host of other top federal, state and local officials. “Rebecca Seawright has a history of fighting for New York’s women and families and issues we care about. Albany could use more reform-minded women like Rebecca,” said Gillibrand in a statement. Seawright, a community board member and former assistant district attorney, faces management consultant David Garland, the Republican and Independence Party nominees, in the general election next month for the Manhattan seat.




Before the City Council allows them to build in Astoria Cove, shouldn't Alma Realty have to show they're a good neighbor? More than 1,200 open HPD violations in buildings owned or managed by Alma or entities associated with Alma across the city. Hiring a contractor at its Long Island City project whose principal has been sued for paying racially discriminatory tiered wages. Declining to increase the number of affordable housing units to serve working families in Astoria. Join us on Monday, October 20 at 9:30 am in City Hall for the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises' hearing on Astoria Cove.




* Last week, City & State hosted a New York – Canada summit discussing border issues, opportunities for increased economic growth and much more. You can watch panel discussion from the event here:


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


Account Director-Vice President, The Marino Organization

Description: The Marino Organization, a fast-growing NYC-based communications firm, seeks public relations professional with at least 5  years experience.  S/he will be responsible for day-to-day management of several high-profile accounts, including creation and implementation of strategic communications plans, and supervising staff members.  Proven track record of pitching and placement a must.

Send resume and cover letter to or apply at:



Description: IPRO is currently looking for analytical professionals who enjoy working in a fast-paced, dynamic environment, to work closely with the NYS Department of Health on Medicaid Health Reform initiatives. These positions present a unique opportunity to participate in developing data collection systems & analyzing utilization patterns & health care outcomes for high-risk populations.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: To view the full job description & apply, please visit:


Description: IPRO’s is currently looking for an individual to work closely with senior managers in the NYS Department of Health/Office of Health Insurance Programs to develop, implement, & evaluate Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) initiatives, with an emphasis on behavioral health for children & adults.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: To view the full job description & apply, please visit:  


HEALTHCARE PROGRAM SPECIALIST, IPRO                                                             

Description: IPRO is currently looking for experienced Medicaid & Medicare benefits, products, services & policy specialist to work closely with the NYS Department of Health, Office of Health Insurance Programs based in Albany in implementing & evaluating health reform initiatives with a primary focus on the Fully Integrated Duals Advantage Program (FIDA).

Further Info: To view the full job description & apply, please visit:  


HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To state Sen. Tim Kennedy … and to David Rivel, CEO of the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services.


MOVING ON: Jordan Isenstadt, deputy director of the Association for a Better New York, has joined Ducere as its first Chief Communications Officer. 


IN MEMORIAM: Former Republican State Comptroller Edward V. Regan died at the age of 84.



HONOR THE INTENT OF THE LEGISLATION. Grant two casino licenses to Mohegan Sun and Montreign to: Create more than 3,000 jobs; Deliver $1.5 billion in new development; Revitalize Sullivan County’s once grand tourism industry; Provide a memorable and entertaining experience for the whole family including 2 casinos, 20 restaurants, shopping, outdoor sports, golf, spas and live entertainment. For more information click here.




9 a.m. - Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer attends NYSE Opening Bell Ceremony to celebrate the public launch of .nyc, the new top-level web domain, instigated by Brewer, former chair of the City Council Committee on Technology, 11 Wall St., Manhattan.

9:30 a.m. - New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, New York City tipped workers and advocates for eliminating sub-minimum wage hold rally and march before Wage Board Public Hearing, starts at Domino’s Pizza, 409 W. 125th St., Hearing takes place at Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building, 163 W. 125th St., Manhattan.

9:30 a.m. - New York City Council Land Use Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises holds hearing on Astoria Cove development, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

10 a.m. - New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito delivers opening remarks at Joint Women’s Issues, General Welfare and Courts and Legal Services Committee Oversight Hearing on coordination of services for victims of domestic violence, 16th Floor, 250 Broadway, Manhattan.

10 a.m. - State Sen. Ted O’Brien is endorsed by New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, the Brady Campaign and others, 1150 University Ave., Bldg. 5, Rochester.

10 a.m. - Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. welcomes Urban Land Institute to stadium district for tour, tour starts at E. 161st St., Bronx.

10:30 a.m. - New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer testifies before City Council Land Use Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises regarding Astoria Cove, City Hall, Manhattan.

10:35 a.m. - The Geraldo Rivera show features Rep. Peter King, WABC. Listen

10:45 a.m. - Rep. Nita Lowey holds press conference with local doctors on Ebola preparedness, Westchester Medical Center, 100 Woods Rd., Valhalla.

11 a.m. - Gov. Andrew Cuomo hosts Vice President Joe Biden at event to discuss infrastructure modernization, Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, William Decota Hangar, 8601 23rd Ave., Queens.

11 a.m. - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio makes announcement about Hurricane Sandy relief, 1206 Cross Bay Blvd., Queens.

11 a.m. - The Capitol Pressroom features attorney Tom Marcelle and Sean Casey from Eric Mower and Associates, state Senate candidate Justin Wagner, state Senator Kemp Hannon and congressional candidate Elise Stefanik, WCNY. Listen here:  

12 p.m. - Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. brings greetings to the 161st Street BID’s Urban Land Institute tour participants. Yankee Tavern, 72 E 161st St, Bronx.

12 p.m. - Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy delivers remarks at the RTS Transit Center ribbon cutting ceremony, 60 Paul St., Rochester.

12 p.m. - Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Kathy Hochul tours the Three Brothers Winery, 623 Lerch Rd., Geneva.

12:50 p.m. - Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino will be a guest on Long Island News Radio. Listen here: 

1 p.m. - Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and State Education Commissioner John King hold press conference, Room 146, New York State Education Building, 89 Washington Ave., Albany. 

1 p.m. - Rep. Dan Maffei welcomes Vice President Joe Biden for a get out the vote rally, Syracuse Hancock Int’l Airport, Syracuse.

1:30 p.m.- Senate Democratic leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, state Sen. George Latimer, Assembly members Shelley Mayer and Gary Pretlow and Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano announce $285,000 in funding for new tech center at public library, Yonkers Public Library, 1 Larkin Center, Yonkers.

1:45 p.m. - Hochul visits the Athenaeum, 150 East Genesee St., Skaneateles.

3 p.m. - State Sen. Tony Avella and community leaders hold press conference calling for New York City Board of Standards and Appeals to stop development of Indian Community and Cultural Center, 82nd Ave. and 242nd St., Queens.

3 p.m. - Hochul visits the Cottages at Garden Grove with state Sen. David Valesky, 5460 Meltzer Court, Cicero.

4 p.m. - De Blasio holds public hearing on Intro 466-A and Intro 295-A, Blue Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

4 p.m. - Republican lieutenant governor candidate Chris Moss meets editorial board of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester.

4:30 p.m. - Borough President Diaz bring greetings at the BronxWorks Roof Re-Opening Ceremony, The Carolyn McLaughlin Community Center, 1130 Grand Concourse, Bronx.

5:15 p.m. - State Sen. David Carlucci announces funding to complete Nyack Skate park project, Main St. and Bridge St., Nyack.

6:30 p.m. - Melissa Mark-Viverito attends District 8 participatory budget meeting, Woodycrest Center for Human Development, 153 W. 165th St., Bronx.

6:30 p.m. - Astorino hosts a Staten Island Town Hall, Cespino Russo American Legion Post, 200 McLean Ave., Staten Island.

6:30 p.m. - Astorino delivers remarks at the Corning Republican Dinner, Union Hall, 100 Nasser Civic Center Plaza, Corning.

7:30 p.m. - Borough President Diaz attends Casita Maria’s 80th Anniversary gala, The Plaza Hotel, 768 5th Avenue, Manhattan.

8:30 p.m. - Astorino attends the Pleasant Plains, Prince’s Bay, Richmond Valley Civic Association meet the candidates night, CYO Community Center at Mount Loretto, 6450 Hylan Blvd., Staten Island.



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KICKER:  “Schneiderman was there, and everybody was using like a bump or two bumps of cocaine … we were all snorting there, everyone was in the back room using white powder.” – Randy Credico, Democratic activist and comic, via the Post