The completely unnecessary wars over education launched by Mayor de Blasio continued this week, with the specter of dueling rallies in Albany.One was a protest against de Blasio’s decision to undercut charter schools at every turn. The innova…
We never hopped on the anti stop-and-frisk bandwagon, believing that while the police tactic warranted some reform, it was not the mass violation of constitutional rights its detractors claimed. And we were among those who worried that drastically reducing stops would lead to a rise in gun violence because criminals would be more inclined to carry, and thus more likely to blast away in the heat of the moment.
But though it’s too early to say anything definitive, the numbers so far this year show that violent crime continues to fall even as the number of stop and frisks drops off the cliff. According to DNAinfo, citing police sources, murders are down 18.5 percent so far this year, with 44 people killed compared to 54 to the same point last year. Shootings are down 13.5 percent. Meanwhile police stops continue to drop, down nearly 90 percent from their peak in 2011.
Build it Back, the city program established after Hurricane Sandy to help people who lost their homes to the storm, has so far done anything but.
The numbers tell the story of complete and utter failure. Approximately $1.5 billion has been allocated for the program, and so far less than 2 percent of that money has actually been released. Nearly 20,000 people have applied for assistance, and the number of homes rebuilt is zero.
Moving ahead quickly, the City Council on Wednesday passed the Earned Sick Time Act, the new, more comprehensive bill mandating paid days off for employees of all but the tiniest companies here. It will take effect April 1.
Last week we expressed our ambivalence about the bill — we believe in such protections for workers but recognize they come at a price for employers.
It’s flu season. One of the last things you want to see is the guy making your sandwich down at the deli coughing and wiping his nose, gloves or no gloves. And yet there’s a decent chance that’s exactly what you’ll see.
One reason is that a small business such as a deli is not as likely as a large corporation to provide its employees with paid sick leave. So many come to work even when they’re unwell, increasing the chances that colds or worse illnesses such as the flu will spread.
The New York State Pavilion is now 50 years old, and for far too many of those years the iconic Tent of Tomorrow and Observation Towers from the 1964-65 World’s Fair have been left to pretty much just rot away.
But with the fair’s anniversary around the corner, the push has been on to restore the landmark buildings, and last week that push got verbal support from a key player, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.
Well, the story wasn’t quite the way the New York Post reported it — surprise, surprise. Crystal Windows and Doors, a major manufacturing success story based in College Point, is not expanding to Westchester County simply because it faces too many government regulations here in the city. At least not for the most part.
The firm, the city’s largest manufacturer of windows and doors, does need to expand but says it probably cannot find all the space it needs in Queens. So it may open a facility in Westchester — as it already has in California, Illinois and Missouri.
Mayor de Blasio fired his opening salvo in the war on charter schools last week, cutting $210 million that was slated for their expansion and redirecting it to his prekindergarten program, as well as the addition of more space to traditional schools.
While we support full-day pre-K for all 4-year-olds, we do not want to see it established by undercutting charter schools, which are largely providing an excellent education to the children they serve.
State Sen. Malcolm Smith of Jamaica is entitled to a fair speedy trial under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. He is not entitled to delay the trial over the felony corruption charges he faces until after the voters decide to renominate him or not in a primary.
Yet that’s what’s the senator’s attorney will formally ask a federal judge to do tomorrow. Smith faces conspiracy, wire fraud and extortion charges in a case in which he allegedly sought to run for mayor as a Republican. He was charged almost a year ago, along with five other co-defendants, two of whom have reached plea deals. Naturally Smith doesn’t want the trial to be going on while he’s running for re-election, but it should.
The Queens Library is one of our borough’s most important institutions, its 62 locations vital to children learning to read, people seeking jobs, immigrants looking for material in their native language and just about everyone else, in one way or another.
That said, it is, like any human institution, imperfect. And some of its imperfections were revealed this week by the Daily News, sparking an oversight hearing by the City Council and an audit by the city comptroller.
If a public agency is barred from dumping toxic sludge into the ocean, shouldn’t it be barred from dumping it into Jamaica Bay?
Yes. And yet the law doesn’t say so.
A McDonald’s is not a senior center. It’s a business.
And while its parent corporation is a global giant, an individual McDonald’s franchise is a small business. Like the one at Northern and Parsons boulevards in Flushing, where some area seniors have been driving the owner nuts by sitting there all day without ordering much. Often he has had to call the police to try to get them to leave. They threatened a boycott in response.
If you don’t have to raise taxes, don’t raise taxes.
Seems a simple enough dictum, but not for man on a mission Bill de Blasio. The mayor continues to insist that the state should raise taxes on all income above $500,000 earned by city residents, to pay for universal prekindergarten and more afterschool programs — even though Gov. Cuomo pledges to fund pre-K statewide in his new budget plan.
Are black and Latino students in New York City schools disciplined at a higher rate than their classmates because of their ethnicity, or because they break the rules more often as a whole?
That’s a question on which good people may differ, and one the city may find itself having to address head-on sooner rather than later, because of new federal guidelines issued last week.