First Read - May 31, 2016

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WEATHER: Sunny skies across the state. New York City, high 85; Albany, high 83; Buffalo, high 77.



* A number of former residents at Hebrew Home, a top-rated nursing home in the Bronx, say they were neglected, subject to abuse or failed to receive adequate care, pointing to failures in state oversight and revealing inconsistencies in nursing home ratings.



* A Siena College poll found 81 percent of voters said it’s “very important” to pass laws to address corruption in Albany this session, and 40 percent say corruption is more serious in the Legislature while 31 percent said it’s more serious in the Executive Branch.

* When Mayor Bill de Blasio began handing out appointments to boards and committees in his first months in office, his team assembled a spreadsheet of major campaign donors, powerful lobbyists and celebrities as candidates for the slots, the Daily News writes.

* De Blasio’s campaign plans to return $32,200 to seven contributors “as soon as possible,” just weeks after it was disclosed that state and federal investigators were looking into possibly illegal donations to his 2013 run for City Hall, the Post reports.

* 10 Hudson Yards, a 52-story, glass-and-concrete skyscraper, officially opens with its first commercial tenant in place, fashion retailer Coach Inc., and is the first building in the Hudson Yards project finally ready for business, The Wall Street Journal reports.

*Success Academy Charter Schools intends to start posting lesson plans online this summer, even specifying what type of snail is the best for kindergartners’ science experiments, to shift education debates away from politics, the Journal reports.

* More news below …



Lissy McMahon, June Dreifuss and Lavern Wilkinson found out about their cancer after it was too late to hold the doctors and hospitals that neglected to tell them about it accountable. Join with the Assembly, a majority of the Senate, and Governor Cuomo in supporting Lavern’s Law, A.285A/S.6596, to make sure the families of the hundreds of thousands of patients who die from preventable medical errors each year can have their day in court.



* U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer called for an additional 100 full-time security agents at each of the New York City area’s three major airports and an additional $28 million in funding for more agents, citing long wait times at screenings and supports, the Journal reports.

* The Long Island Power Authority’s total payroll declined to $5.03 million in 2015, but average pay was up 3.6 percent from 2014 to $109,328 and the average compensation for the 22 top-paid employees and officials for LIPA also increased, Newsday reports.

* New York City continues to struggle to make good on a promise to develop a parkland along the Bushwick Inlet in Brooklyn, stymied by its inability to acquire all the necessary land, which is pocked with industrial ruins and warehouses, The New York Times writes.

* Not leaving it to divine chance, the state Catholic Conference has turned in recent years to some of Albany’s most well-connected and influential lobby firms to help block a bill that would make it easier for child sex abuse victims to seek justice, the Daily News reports.

* Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon went on a six-figure spending spree after taking over in January, forking over $50,000 for carpeting and furniture and another $67,000 for an SUV, which his office attributed to poor conditions left by his predecessor, the Post writes.



Everyone agrees: New York’s hospitals and doctors deliver world-class patient care. But out-of-control medical malpractice costs that are by far the nation’s highest are stark proof of a deeply flawed system. Let’s make sure Albany doesn’t make it worse. Join us in urging the New York State Legislature to reject any bills that would raise medical malpractice costs even higher and weaken the ability of doctors and hospitals to deliver high-quality care:




* Ending the eviction bonus in New York City, which was responsible for $40 million in rent increases for rent-stabilized apartments from 2011 to 2014, would mitigate the rent burden on low-income tenants, the Community Service Society’s Tom Waters writes.

* New York City lost an an effective aspect of its accountability policy when it stopped grading schools, and by no longer singling out struggling schools, the city removed a real incentive for them to improve, the Manhattan Institute’s Marcus Winters writes.



New York’s land-based gaming industry brings billions in economic activity, generates significant funding for education and jobs statewide, but billion-dollar Fantasy Sports corporations that would provide no jobs and minimal revenue put it at risk. New York's top law enforcement official has said that DFS is illegal, predatory gambling – and according to a Siena Poll, the majority of New Yorkers agree. Learn more:




* Changing the law that makes knives that open with “the force of gravity or the application of centrifugal force,” which are largely available in stores, would help to reduce the number of unwarranted arrests without endangering public safety, the Times writes.

* A bill in the state Legislature to legalize fantasy sports betting makes a mockery of the law as written and opens the door for other games of mixed skill and chance, such as poker, to claim a similar exemption,  but is supported by powerful lobbying interests, the Daily News writes.

* A whole new city neighborhood comes to life with the ribbon-cutting on the first tower over at Hudson Yards and it’s an incredible legacy for former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and one that will likely make him New York City’s most successful mayor of the 21st century, the Post writes.

* The plan to redevelop One Seneca Tower and another to redevelop Buffalo’s Central Terminal show that developers have drawn up creative ideas for these challenging properties, but it remains to  be seen if the plans are realistic, The Buffalo News writes.

* It’s time for everyone to get past the mistakes made during the implementation of the Common Core standards and work together to give students the education they need - the war that all sides in this battle must band together to win, Newsday writes.



CITY & STATE CAREERS - WHO’S HIRING: To advertise your employment opportunities with City & State, email or call 646-442-1617. Visit www.CityandState.Careers to view all jobs.

Scheduler, Constantinople & Vallone Consulting LLC

Responsibilities include organizing and handling outgoing and incoming schedule requests, assisting with logistics for local and regional travel, and administrative office duties.  Excellent organizational, prioritization, time management, communications and computer skills required.  Proficiency in excel and google calendar required. Previous scheduling experience a plus.

Director of Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Office of the Queens Borough President

The position will be primarily responsible for developing programs, overseeing discretionary budget requests and managing relationships with cultural organizations and city/tourism agencies. Responsibilities include written/oral briefings, event planning and staffing.  Ideal candidate would be self-motivated and able to manage multiple tasks and projects simultaneously. Resume and cover letter to

Senior Lobbyist

A leading fast-paced government and community affairs firm seeks senior lobbyist. Applicants should have knowledge in managing complex land use projects, legislative initiatives, New York City funding requests, procurements and other. Responsibilities will include drafting and executing strategic plans to achieve client goals and pitching prospective clients.  Successful candidate will be adept at developing and cultivating their professional network in government, politics, and civic leaders Citywide.

Government Relations Associate

A prominent NYC Government and Community Relations firm seeks an associate to support a team of senior public affairs professionals. Experience working in NYC government/politics is preferred. Candidate needs to have strong communication and writing skills as responsibilities will include outreach to offices of elected officials, researching and writing strategic memos, briefing papers on policy and legislation.

Junior Office Manager

A leading fast-paced government & community affairs firm seeks a Junior Office Manger to support Senior Vice-President, the Office Manager and the Director of Scheduling. Ideal candidate has a keen eye for detail and can multi-task. Responsibilities include assisting on regulatory compliance, scheduling, maintaining databases and other administrative work as needed to support office staff.background research. There will be occasional work on nights and weekends.

Press Secretary, Downstate New York Prosecutor

Seeking communications professional to write press releases, letters, briefings and social media; help write speeches and organize press conferences; pitch stories and handle media requests; and serve as an on-the-record spokesperson. Ideal candidate would have experience dealing with major media outlets and possess photography, videography, Web and graphics skills.




* In the four regions likely to decide the presidency — Florida, the upper Southeast, the Rust Belt and the interior West — Donald Trump faces daunting obstacles, according to interviews last week with elected officials, political strategists and voters, the Times reports.

* Asked on “Fox News Sunday” about Hillary Clinton’s stark advantage in staff and organization, Trump‘s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, insisted that the Trump campaign preferred to have a “smaller, leaner, more efficient team,” the Times reports.

* Clinton has upended her campaign schedule, canceling events in New Jersey and adding more stops in California, in an effort to prevent an embarrassing loss there to Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, The Washington Post reports.

* The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will launch an initiative Tuesday to deploy influential Republicans to raise funds for tight Senate races, hoping to keep the GOP from losing control of the chamber in November, the Journal reports.



The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York State Museum invite you to join them for a free celebratory reception for their new exhibit, “Imagine the American West,” featuring selections from The Met. The event will be held on Wednesday, June 1st, 2016, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the State Museum located at 222 Madison Ave. in Albany. This event is open to the public. To RSVP, please email or call (212) 650–2650.



HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To state Sen. Tom O’Mara … and to Carlos Ortiz, former community liaison to Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh.



Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is in New York City with no public schedule.

The New York City Special Education Collaborative hosts its 6th Annual Education Conference, Baruch College, Newman Conference Center, 55 Lexington Ave., Manhattan.

9 a.m. - New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña delivers brief remarks at a professional development symposium for bilingual educators, hosted by the DOE's Division of English Language Learners and Student Support, Fordham University, 441 E. Fordham Road, Bronx.

10 a.m. - New York City Councilman Fernando Cabrera and Assemblyman David Weprin join anti-smoking advocates highlight the impact of secondhand smoke in vehicles, in front of the Philip Morris International headquarters, 120 Park Ave., Manhattan.

10 a.m. - New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, AT&T’s Marissa Shorenstein, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and others announce a deal to extend free public AT&T Wi-Fi and place free charging stations in parks and on beaches, Joyce Kilmer Park, East 161 Street and Grand Concourse, Bronx.

10 a.m. - Assemblyman Michael Cusick and state Sen. Andrew Lanza announce legislation that requires the consultation of the I-STOP prescription-monitoring database and the reporting of opioid overdoses from the emergency room physician to the patient’s prescriber, Richmond University Medical Center, 355 Bard Ave., Staten Island.

10 a.m. – “The Brian Lehrer Show” features Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute; Dr. Kenneth L. Davis, president and chief executive officer of the Mount Sinai Health System; and others, WNYC.

11 a.m. - State Sen. Patrick Gallivan, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, acting Erie County District Attorney Michael Flaherty Jr., Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard and others kick off World Elder Abuse Awareness Month, Old Erie County Hall steps, 92 Franklin, Buffalo.

11 a.m. - Rep. Chris Gibson presents Donald Diamond of Central Bridge with medals he earned for his service during World War II, Gibson’s office, Chestnut Street, Cooperstown.

11:45 a.m. - Local New York veterans respond to Trump for lying about charitable donations to veterans groups,  Trump Tower, 725 5th Ave., Manhattan.

1 p.m. - The New York City Council Environmental Protection Committee holds an oversight hearing on facilitating solar energy adoption in New York City, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

1 p.m. - New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia James, Mark-Viverito and others deliver remarks at Gun Violence Awareness Month Press Conference, outside David Dinkins Municipal Building, 1 Centre St., Manhattan.

1 p.m. - State Sen. Rob Ortt announces his “Shake up the Status Quo” plan comprised of his top legislative priorities, including such ethics reforms as pension forfeiture, term limits and further transparency in Albany, Niagara County Courthouse steps, 175 Hawley St., Lockport.

1:30 p.m. - Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer speaks at Silicon Harlem’s Harlem 2 Haarlem International Pitchfest, MIST Harlem, 46 W. 116th St., Manhattan.

2 p.m. - Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul launches a Community College Council? meeting in the Southern Tier Region, Corning Community College, Spencer Hill campus, 1 Academic Drive, Corning.

4:30 p.m. - Hochul and Co-Chair Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez convene heroin and opioid abuse task force session in the Southern Tier, Binghamton University, Innovative Technologies Complex, 85 Murray Hill Road, Vestal.

5 p.m. - Albany City Hall, In Our Own Voices, Inc. and the Pride Center of the Capital Region hold a panel discussion about work LGBT communities of color are doing, rotunda, Albany City Hall, 24 Eagle St., Albany.

5:30 p.m. - The state Senate Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction and state Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer hold a special community forum on heroin and opioid addiction, Williamsville South High School, 5950 Main St.,  Williamsville.

6 p.m. - Stringer delivers remarks at DC 37's 21st Annual Jewish Heritage Celebration, DC37, 125 Barclay St., Manhattan.

8 p.m. - Public Advocate James attends a meeting with SLS Car Wash workers, 301 Grove St., Brooklyn.


KICKER: “Come on. He’s not getting attention because he’s white. He’s getting attention because he’s different. I can’t remember a time in public life that a candidate says, ‘Vote for me, I’m a stay-at-home dad!’” - U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, about candidate Michael Gallagher, who’s running to replace Rangel, via The Wall Street Journal.