This week's biggest Winners & Losers

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This week's biggest Winners & Losers

Who's up and who's down this week?
February 11, 2021

It was a good week for New York sports (and by extension, James Dolan) with Gov. Cuomo announcing that stadiums and arenas with a capacity for 10,000+ people can reopen with limited attendance starting Feb. 23rd. The exception that proves the rule? Citi Field has been turned into a city-run mass vaccination site for Queens residents, but was only given enough vaccines to start distribution at 200 each day. If Mr. Met wanted more vaccines to give out, maybe he should’ve cozied up to Cuomo instead? But speaking of who’s up and who’s down, here are the rest of the week’s winners and losers.

Winners: 
Costa Constantinides

On Thursday, City Councilmember Costa Constantinides won big: he got to see his long-championed Renewable Rikers bill passed. The bill commits to converting Rikers into a renewable energy hub — that is, when the dang island finally closes in the first place. Here’s to hoping there’s not another year-long delay in its death sentence, which was pushed back to 2027 last year. 

Bill Hammond

It took a six months of public records-seeking, a lawsuit and plenty of public outcry, but New York state's Health Department has finally released more detailed information on COVID-19-related deaths among nursing home residents. The reveal was sparked by inquiries from Bill Hammond, a health researcher at the right-leaning think tank, Empire Center for Public Policy. Legislators, reporters and members of the public who have been in the dark analyzing COVID-19 spread in New York's nursing homes are now finally armed with more transparency into the state's approach after consistent stonewalling.

Claudia Tenney

At long last, the final open House seat in the country has been called, and Republican Claudia Tenney has been sworn in to represent New York’s 22nd congressional district. Only several dozen votes separated Tenney from incumbent Rep. Anthony Brindisi, but that’s all it took for the Central New York seat to switch hands for a third time in as many election cycles. This time, let’s see if Tenney can hang on to her seat for more than a single term. 

Losers: 
Victor Rivera

Sure, maybe “nobody tells daddy no,” but that doesn’t mean that they don’t tell him to step down from his lofty position, running one of New York City’s biggest network of homeless shelters. That’s exactly what happened to Rivera, Bronx Parent Housing Network’s chief executive, after The New York Times published a bombshell report alleging that he sexually assaulted shelter residents, as well as members of his staff. The shelter operator was also accused of nepotism and his hefty salary is raising some eyebrows. Now, the city is launching a full criminal investigation into Rivera’s activities while running the vast network. 

Sarah Feinberg

“A gaffe is when an MTA Twitter account tells the truth,” so the saying goes, and New York City Transit President Sarah Feinberg had a truth bomb on her hands after tweeter “JP” said that benches were removed from a subway station “to prevent the homeless from sleeping on them.” Critics called it “evil,” and “anti-homeless.” But maybe the MTA was just trying to keep people waiting longer and longer for the F train from inhaling the highest levels of air pollution on the Eastern Seaboard? 

Carolann Cardone & Rose Marie Grimaldi

They literally had one job – running the November elections in Oneida County. But election commissioners Carolann Cardone and Rose Marie Grimaldi really dropped the ball. There were a lot of mistakes made by officials in the race for the 22nd Congressional District, but failing to process thousands of timely voter registration applications before the election takes the cake. Now, calls are mounting for the governor to take the extraordinary step of firing them. Such a move hasn’t happened since 1932, when FDR ousted the Manhattan sheriff, but the conduct here might just inspire historical action.

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