The September meeting of Community Board 10, held last Thursday — the first official day of school — in the Knights of Columbus Hall on Lefferts Boulevard in South Ozone Park, buzzed with words of caution concerning traffic safety.
“Please watch where you’re driving,” state Sen. Joe Addabbo. Jr. (D-Howard Beach) said, reminding residents of the five-point penalty for driving past a stopped yellow school bus.
With less than a week before the Sept. 9 Democratic primary, the race for the 11th District State Senate seat couldn’t be hotter.
Facing off Tuesday will be the incumbent, Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), and former city Comptroller John Liu.
After the Department of Correction’s use of solitary confinement came under fire during a recent Council hearing, a new bill to force Rikers Island administrators to publicly release statistics on inmates thrown into segregation was approved by the City Council on Aug. 21.
According to the bill, drafted by Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) — an avid opposer of solitary confinement — the department would have to publish four reports a year detailing how many inmates are placed in solitary, why they are sent and for how long, whether they attempt suicide or are physically or sexually assaulted.
Seeking to achieve in court what it could not get in arbitration, the United Federation of Teachers last week filed a lawsuit asking a judge to rule that teachers do not have to show their lesson plans to school administrators.
The suit, filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, grows out of an arbitrator’s ruling in May that while all teachers must create lesson plans, what they contain will be left up to them, according to multiple published reports. The arbitrator refused a union bid to also rule that principals and other supervisors would not even get to review the plans, prompting the suit.
Bills to change the admissions criteria for the specialized high schools were defeated in the last state legislative session and won’t come up again until January when the next one starts. But that hasn’t stopped advocates on both sides of the issue from pushing their agendas, especially since election season is approaching.
The issue is especially hot in Queens, which sends more students (1,119) than any other borough to these high schools — Bronx Science, Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Tech, the High School of American Studies at Lehman College, Queens High School for the Sciences at York College, Brooklyn Latin School, the High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College and Staten Island Tech — which currently require that admission is based on a single entrance exam, as mandated by the Hecht-Calandra Act of 1971. Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for the Arts is the only specialized high school that does not require that students take the Specialized High School Admissions Test, but rather admits them through auditions.
The New York City Housing Authority is attempting to create greater transparency when it comes to work orders and vacancies.
The agency, which oversees just under 180,000 units, launched NYCHA Metrics, a webpage that will provide information on the number of open work orders, wait times for routine repairs, vacancy rates and more.
Rebel state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), the vocal populist whose move into the Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference angered the party establishment and prompted a primary challenge from former City Councilman and Comptroller John Liu, has now won the backing of a key congressman in his re-election campaign.
Avella was endorsed last Friday by Rep. Steve Israel (D-Suffolk, Nassau, Queens), who only started to represent part of this borough in 2013, thanks to post-2010 Census redistricting, but is a veteran lawmaker and chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Supporters of the police tactic stop, question and frisk are getting ready to say “I told you so,” now that new statistics show a spike in shooting incidents.
According to the NYPD, shootings jumped 11 percent compared to the same time last year and this past weekend, there were 21 shootings alone, causing some to second-guess Mayor de Blasio’s decision to drop the city’s appeal against amendments added to stop and frisk.
Many brought heated words and emotions to a public meeting condemning proposed changes to the specialized high school admissions policy at the Flushing Library on Sunday. They support the existing system, under which a student’s score on a single multiple choice test determines his or her ranking and acceptance into one of the eight elite schools.
Two bills, at least one motivated by the desire to address the racial disparity between the students at these schools and the city’s overall population by changing the admissions criteria, were introduced in the state legislative session that just ended. Neither passed, but they could be brought up again in the next session.
An advocacy group is trying to push undecided councilmembers to the starting gate in the race to take horse-drawn carriages off New York City streets.
NYCLASS, an animal rights group, began canvassing the districts of councilmembers who remain on the fence regarding the issue, in effort to encourage the public to sign petitions and reach out to their representatives to ensure passage of a proposed City Council bill to remove the horses from their Central Park run.
It has been 36 years since a thoroughbred has been able to win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes to take the Triple Crown. Many have won the first two races only to come up short at the mile-and-a half Belmont Stakes.
In 1979 Spectacular Bid appeared to be a thoroughbred in the same league as Secretariat, Seattle Slew and Affirmed, but he stepped on a safety pin and was not up to the Belmont challenge. In 2004 Smarty Jones, the pride of Philadelphia Park, had his Triple Crown dreams dashed at Belmont, while in 2008, Big Brown, who went off as a 1-5 favorite, proved to be yet another also-ran. Two years ago, I’ll Have Another, who was so dominant at Churchill Downs and Pimlico, was scratched two days before the race. Thoroughbred racing officials are obviously praying that California Chrome will be able to break the Triple Crown hex.