First Read 03/15/2019

March 15, 2019
Latest News
Beto O’Rourke already has presidential endorsements from prominent New York Reps. Kathleen Rice and Sean Patrick Maloney, while U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand remains without a single endorsement from the New York congressional delegation.
Brooklyn community board members pressed Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials about the new L train construction plans this week, including concerns about air quality during construction and plans for transportation alternatives.
A federal judge has signed off on a settlement that will see New York City pay back more than $4 million of Superstorm Sandy aid that paid to replace city vehicles that were actually damaged well before the 2012 storm.
New York City is set to buy 17 properties from the notorious Podolsky brothers so it can convert homeless apartments into affordable housing, but the price tag, initially thought to be between $40 million and $60 million, has risen to $173 million.
Nearly half of New York City’s prison population has been diagnosed with mental health problems, but first lady Chirlane McCray’s ThriveNYC mental health initiative has no presence in the jails.
Federal prosecutors filed paperwork dismissing their case that accused the New York City Housing Authority of misleading the federal government about the extent of lead paint and other hazards.
Executives in Rockland, Putnam and Chemung counties said this week they will recommend prohibiting marijuana sales within their borders should Cuomo’s marijuana legalization proposal be approved.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a swanky fundraiser at the posh St. Regis hotel in midtown Manhattan while in the midst of negotiations with state lawmakers to adopt a $175 billion budget by April 1.
Building trade unions and business groups are battling over a state budget provision that would expand the definition of public works that require higher wage rates.
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Insider testimony, emails and other evidence show President Donald Trump turned his charitable foundation into a wing of his White House campaign, state Attorney General Letitia James said in a new court filing.
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Joseph Percoco, a former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, reported to Otisville federal prison in Orange County to begin serving the six-year sentence he received in his 2018 corruption conviction.
Several state senators representing Long Island called for a major audit of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority because of what they said were frequently overcrowded and dirty conditions on the Long Island Rail Road.
Nassau County will pay more than $5.4 million to a nonprofit housing developer to settle a 14-year-old lawsuit charging the county with discriminating against minorities by not offering housing opportunities to people with low and moderate incomes.
Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has won a delay to the start of his prison sentence after appeals judges seemed skeptical about aspects of the government’s case against the once-powerful Democrat.
The 34th Street–Hudson Yards subway station, which connects 7 train riders to the new $25 billion retail and residential complex at Hudson Yards, has three of the ten most failure-prone subway escalators in Manhattan.
New York State Police and the New York Police Department have ramped up security outside mosques and Muslim community centers following the New Zealand shooting spree that claimed 49 lives.
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During an appearance on MSNBC, de Blasio implied that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ high-profile affair was a factor in the e-tailer’s decision last month not to move forward with a planned campus in Queens.
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De Blasio rushed to the defense of AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobbying group some of his fellow progressives have denounced as too right-wing, after being asked about the event he attended during a radio interview.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made an unannounced visit to participate in a discussion about anti-Semitism hosted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, as group commonly known as AIPAC comes under scrutiny within the Democratic Party.
Editorial Pages
Before Friday’s opening of the fabulous new Hudson Yards complex of office towers and apartment buildings and shopping and parks and cultural attractions, there was nothing but an open rail yard on Manhattan’s West Side.
It might seem like a great idea for the next state budget to require all construction projects that receive state money or incentives to pay workers a prevailing wage, but neither a proposal to do so nor the effort to cram it into the state budget is a great idea.
The plan de Blasio rolled out to protect lower Manhattan from climate change and major storms offers a stark lesson in reality vs. fantasy, as it makes a lot more sense than the nutty notions coming from Democrats like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
From City & State
National Politics
Through one-on-one appeals, in closed-door meetings and with even a little arm-twisting, top House Democrats are privately trying to contain defectors within their ranks who want to change decades-old floor rules.
North Korea is considering suspending denuclearization talks with the U.S. unless Washington changes its stance after the breakdown of a summit meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Members of Washington's elite legal community decried the "increasing politicization" of the justice system at a particularly sensitive time: as the special counsel probe of Russian election interference edges toward a conclusion.
President Donald Trump has signed the first veto of his presidency, rejecting a congressional resolution overturning his decision to declare a national emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border.
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In Depth
As Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark says that she wants to reduced overdose deaths in her borough, advocates charge that her opposition to safe injection sites and overall approach to overdoses continue the criminalization of drug users.
It’s a new day in Albany now that Democrats finally have full control of the Legislature; rising stars like state Sens. Alessandra Biaggi and Julia Salazar are injecting the state capital with progressive energy; and the Independent Democratic Conference is no more.
The latest shift toward a rebirth of manufacturing is happening at Brooklyn’s Navy Yard, a converted ship-building site where a new kind of industry – less toxic, better paid, and offering upward mobility – is taking shape.
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