First Read - June 30, 2015

WEATHER: Showers and thunderstorms likely. New York City, high 82; Albany, high 80; Buffalo, high 73. 


EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to the July 4 holiday weekend there will be no First Read from Wednesday, July 1, throughSunday, July 5. First Read will be back in your inboxes on Monday, July 6. City & State will deliver Last Read the rest of this week. We wish all our readers a happy Fourth of July!



* The Rent Guidelines Board, which regulates rents for more than a million New York City rent-stabilized apartments, voted to freeze one-year leases, an unprecedented move in its 46-year history, The New York Times reports:

* The FBI in Albany opened a corruption inquiry focusing on employees and inmates at the maximum-security prison in northern New York State where two convicted killers escaped this month, the Times writes:

* Until this weekend, investigators tracking the two escaped convicts from an upstate prison were a step too slow, bogged down by dense vegetation, slow responses and miscommunication, the Times writes:

* Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the federal government provided $1 billion in additional funding for the state's Medicaid waiver program, a move the federal government denied within an hour, Capital New York writes:

* Pitta Bishop, the consulting firm that helped Melissa Mark-Viverito become New York City Council speaker, scored at least $1.08 million in discretionary funds for 14 nonprofit clients in the city’s budget, the Post reports:

* Edul Ahmad, a Brooklyn real estate agent indicted in a $50 million mortgage fraud scheme in 2011, is the star witness in state Sen. John Sampson’s corruption trial, which completed its fourth day, Capital New York reports:

* Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation to prohibit employers from inquiring about a candidate's criminal record prior to a job offer and to step up regulation of the car wash industry, the Daily News reports:

* The New York City Council will hold a hearing that could place a temporary cap on the number of vehicles that popular car services like Uber and Lyft are allowed to put on the road, the Post reports:

* A dozen current and former Metro-North Railroad employees were in state court in Manhattan in handcuffs on charges that they cheated on exams to become a train conductor or locomotive engineer, the Times reports:



NYC has invested in libraries! New Yorkers will have more library hours, more staff to assist patrons, more English classes for immigrants, more homework help, technology access, job search assistance, and books at each of our 217 libraries.  Many thanks to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras, Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, Committee Chair Costa Constantinides, incoming Chair Andy King, the entire City Council and our partners at DC37.




* State lawmakers again refused to pass real campaign finance reform, such as closing the LLC loophole, tightening the use of campaign funds and creating a system of public financing, the Times Union writes:

* The Daily News writes that New York City tenants got a good deal when the state Legislature renewed the city’s rent regulation laws for four years and when the Rent Guidelines Board voted to freeze regulated rents:  

* Prison administrators are responsible for security policy and ensuring proper enforcement and should be held accountable for the two upstate escapees, former state Department of Corrections Deputy Inspector General Patrick Dunleavy writes in the Post:

* Leonard Levitt in amNewYork writes that de Blasio’s word cannot be trusted now that he reversed his position on hiring more cops, suggesting the mayor yielded to the New York City Council speaker or was outfoxed by NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton:



NY has the chance to update outdated infrastructure, create thousands of jobs and inject up to $1.6 billion in economic activity to upstate NY — all with private investment, not government funds. A growing coalition of businesses, labor organizations, local officials and economic development experts agree: It’s time to update our aging power grid. Join the Power NY Coalition:




* The AARP’s Beth Finkel discusses the “High Anxiety” survey on Gen Xers and baby boomers and the organization’s push to implement a state-facilitated system to encourage employees to save more money:



CITY & STATE CAREERS - WHO’S HIRING: To advertise your employment opportunities with City & State, or call 646-442-1617. Stay tuned for the www.CityandState.Careers official launch onJuly 15th & follow us on Twitter @Careers_CS


Assistant Press Secretary, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Description: Assistant Press Secretary will work closely with the press office team to help develop proactive press strategies that align with the agency’s initiatives and announcements of major public health campaigns;  will strengthen new and existing relationships with local media, draft press materials, respond to media inquiries, coordinate press events, and assist during emergency activations.

Further Info: CITY EMPLOYEES: Apply through Employee Self-Serve (ESS).  OTHER APPLICANTS:Visit  Search for Job ID# 197073.


Press Secretary, NYC Department of Investigation

Will serve as the right hand to the Director of Communications and regularly interface with media, city and law enforcement press offices, all divisions of DOI, and assist the Director in researching and preparing speeches, talking points and other communication matters.

Further Info: Current City Employees: visit the Employee Self Service (ESS) http://cityshare/ess. Click on Recruiting Activities/Careers and Search for Job ID# 196788.

All other applicants, click here.


Vice President of Capital Project and Facilities Management, Queens Library

Description: Will manage all facility maintenance operations and capital construction projects for 65 service locations. BA in architectural design, engineering-related field, or construction required; professional engineering license and/or advanced degree preferred. Minimum 10 years of management experience. Excellent salary and benefits package.

Further Info: Send resume and cover letter to and reference “Vice President, Capital Project and Facilities Management” in the subject line.



HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To New York City Councilman Rafael Espinal … to Assemblyman Dov Hikind … to Clarkstown Town Councilwoman Stephanie Hausner … and to Stu Osnow, partner in Prime New York.  


MOVING ON: Maria Torres-Springer, commissioner for Small Business Services in New York City, has been appointedthe next president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation … and Jacob Tugendrajch will be moving from state Sen. Mike Gianaris' office to become communications manager at The Museum of the City of New York.



MTA FOCUS! City & State magazine is set to publish a comprehensive MTA focus section on July 20th, featuring a Q&A with MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast, profiles of key MTA leadership, an analysis of the MTA’s largest capital programs and initiatives and the agency’s budget, and more! The issue will include expanded distribution, including direct mailings to the MTA’s main office. Contact for more information.




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

Mayor Bill de Blasio participates in a bilateral meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations.

8:30 a.m. – Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul delivers a keynote address at the Business Council of Westchester leadership speaker series event, 800 Westchester Ave., fifth floor, Rye Brook.

9 a.m. – New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer delivers a keynote address at the Asian Women in Business Procurement Opportunities conference, BNY Mellon, 101 Barclay St., Manhattan. 

10 a.m. – Hochul and Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner tour downtown small businesses, 224 East Hartsdale Ave., Hartsdale.

10 a.m. - The New York City Council Transportation Committee meets, City Hall, Council Chambers, Manhattan.

10 a.m. - U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez attends a naturalization ceremony at the Old Stone House of Brooklyn for recent immigrants, Old Stone House and Washington Park, 336 Third St., Manhattan.

10 a.m. - The Brian Lehrer Show features David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times and author of Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power, state Sen. David Carlucci, WNYC.

10:15 a.m. – De Blasio delivers remarks with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, United Nations, basement floor 1B, Conference Room D, Manhattan.

11 a.m. – The Capitol Pressroom features state Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter Conservation Director Roger Downs, Toxic Targeting President Walter Hang and Business Council President and CEO Heather Briccetti, WCNY, listen here:

11 a.m. – Hochul, Feiner and officials tour the Theodore D. Young Community Center, 32 Manhattan Ave., White Plains.

11 a.m. – New York City Council members Andy King and Vanessa Gibson and advocates hold a press conference to announce a City Council initiative serving incarcerated men and women on Rikers Island, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

11 a.m. – New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito speaks at Community Board 2 Senior Action Day with Councilman Corey Johnson, LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St., Manhattan.

11 a.m. – State Sen. Jeff Klein, New York City Councilwoman Annabel Palma and Bronx residents rally against a proposed “hot sheet motel,” in front of the city Department of Buildings, 280 Broadway, Manhattan.

12 p.m. - Tenants and advocates protest Cuomo’s push to extend “weaker” rent laws, Kirby Plaza, near Mount Kisco’s train station, Mount Kisco.

12 p.m. -  Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer speaks with students participating in PENCIL ‘Boss for a Day’ program at the Borough President’s office, 1 Centre St., 19th Floor, Manhattan.

12 p.m. - Uber drivers and driver-partners rally in protest of legislation to limit the number of for-hire-vehicle licenses, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

1 p.m. – Hochul and Beacon Mayor Randy Casale tour local small businesses in Beacon, Beacon City Hall, 1 Municipal Plaza, Beacon.

1 p.m. – Citizen Action of New York, Alliance for Quality Education and parents deliver a petition to state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to invest in the chronic underfunding of public schools, 120 Broadway, Manhattan.

5:30 p.m. - New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams co-hosts the Council's 2015 Caribbean Heritage Celebration, City Hall, Council Chambers, Manhattan.

6 p.m. – Stringer hosts Heritage & Culture of the Russian Speaking community celebration, Tatiana Garden, 3152 Brighton 6th St., Brooklyn.

6 p.m. - The state Senate Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases meets, The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, Henry A. Wallace Visitor and Education Center, Multi-Purpose Room, 4079 Albany Post Road, Hyde Park.

6 p.m. – Formerly homeless men in the Doe Fund’s “Ready, Willing & Able” program protest and rally to stop the transfer of sex offenders to Brooklyn’s Peter Jay Sharp Center for Opportunity, Gracie Mansion, 88th Street and East End Avenue, Manhattan.

6 p.m. – Mark-Viverito speaks at City Council Caribbean Heritage event, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

7:45 p.m. - Brewer speaks at ‘Love and Politics’ National HIV Testing Day event, The Attic Rooftop, 251 W. 48th St., 16th floor, Manhattan.



CITY & STATE CAREERS PRE-LAUNCH OFFER! The go-to platform to list and apply for jobs in New York government, advocacy, media, and business. City & State readers get an exclusive special: 5 FREE listings and 10% DISCOUNT on 1 post in 2015! Visit www.CityandState.Careers/postCode: INSIDER  - EXPIRES JULY 10th. for more info.



KICKER: “Everyone needs a digger. They can open the doors we can’t get in.” – State Sen. John Sampson, referring to Brooklyn real estate agent Edul Ahmad to a retired FBI agent, via Capital New York.