It’s not often that somebody disturbing a dude’s workout gets sympathetic coverage. But this wasn’t your typical dude – or your typical disturbance. This was a homeless Vocal-NY activist confronting New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio about his administration’s homelessness policy during one of Hizzoner’s much-maligned workouts at a Park Slope YMCA. Now that the spotlight’s on, you better believe City Hall is planning a better response than, “uh, no cameras.”
Who's up and who's down this week?
Who's up and who's down this week?
There’s a saying in politics: Don’t let a good crisis go to waste. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, for example, has mastered the art of responding to natural disasters, and this week he made a point of deploying National Guard members from New York to respond to Hurricane Michael. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, meanwhile, was set to head down to storm-ravaged Florida in person … to, um, campaign for a candidate for governor. Neither man made this week’s list, but read on to see who got drenched – and who’s feeling as right as rain.
He never came to the continental U.S., but explorer Christoper Columbus is not leaving midtown Manhattan. The New York State Board of Historic Preservation voted unanimously on Sept. 20 to designate the statue of the controversial Italian at Columbus Circle as a culturally and historically significant landmark. The move will make it difficult for the city to remove it in the future. While a commission appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio has recommended that the 76-foot statue stay put, there is still plenty of animus towards Columbus statues nationwide. Heck, even Columbus, Ohio, is giving up on its namesake.
Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, is just one of many winners this week, after the union and New York City education officials reached a new multibillion-dollar contract. Teachers in the union are set to receive a 2 percent wage hike in February, followed by progressive increases reaching 3 percent in 2021, assuming the contract is ratified. The 43-month contract also includes a program to incentivize taking jobs in underserved Bronx schools. Between students, teachers and Mulgrew – who negotiated the deal through the wee hours of Thursday morning – winners abound.
Much like President Donald Trump can arguably thank Anthony Weiner’s sexting for his presidency, star New York magazine reporter Olivia Nuzzi can credit a disastrous internship with Weiner for launching her journalism career. But Nuzzi has only Trump to thank for inviting her to a bizarre, private meeting in the Oval Office where everyone from Mike Pence to John Kelly just totally, coincidentally, showed up. Her amused questioning and incredible written account will be read for years as a distillation of Trump’s West Wing.
In what may be his first stroke of good luck in a very long time, Anthony Weiner is set to get released from federal prison three months early after being sent there for sexting with minor. Yes, Carlos Danger has been a model prisoner and he’s being rewarded for his “good conduct.” But the release date won’t be until May, so Weiner still has plenty of time to screw this up. For his sake, he has hopefully learned his lesson from 2011. And 2013. And 2017. Though who knows, maybe 2019 will finally be a turning point.
Add Assemblyman Joseph Errigo’s name to the long list of Albany politicians charged with corruption. The Republican lawmaker has been charged with accepting bribes to help a local development project. Errigo actually got out of Albany in 2010 scandal-free. But he returned to his seat in 2016 as a last-minute replacement for the late William Nojay, who killed himself rather than face embezzlement charges. With that death looming over his election, Errigo seems to have decided it was time for him to cash in, too.
David Hansell is stuck in sticky situation, dealing with the rocky transition of teens being moved from Rikers Island to more age-appropriate facilities. When the state’s “Raise the Age” law went into effect earlier this month, correction officers at the Horizon Juvenile Detention Center apparently were not equipped to deal with an uptick in violent incidents that left 40 officers injured. The commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services has spoken to the need to treat young people like young people, with education and support, but the state’s approval of the temporary use of pepper spray at Horizon may call that ideal into question.
In a tragic turn of events this past weekend, a group of 17 young people were riding a limo to a birthday celebration when the driver careened off the highway, crashed into another car and killed everyone aboard, along with two bystanders. Investigators quickly turned up problems with the limo company – multiple safety violations, failed tests for the limo that crashed, the lack of authorization for the driver – that led to the arrest of Nauman Hussain, the limo company’s operator, on charges of criminally negligent homicide. A bigger question is whether regulators or lawmakers take steps to prevent similar accidents from happening in the future.
After a tough primary fight against state Sen. Tony Avella, the general election was looking to be the easy part for former New York City Comptroller John Liu’s bid for a political comeback. Republican candidate Vickie Paladino was an afterthought with about $6,000 in the bank. But then came the news that Avella would continue his reelection big as a third-party candidate to represent northeast Queens. Liu is still in a good position to win, but he’s not out of the woods yet.
Funny that the ex-Newsweek exec notable for firing journalists for reporting on the company would try to blame the district attorney’s investigation into the company as retaliation for the stellar work of its other reporters. Now that investigation has resulted in fraud and money-laundering charges against the media executive who was trying to keep a failing news company afloat. There are better, legal ways to survive in a tough media environment – like writing snarky winners and losers lists!