First Read 10/09/2019

October 09, 2019
Latest News
Rochester City School District Chief Financial Officer Everton Sewell has resigned in the wake of the district's $30 million budget shortfall, although he has been largely absent since the shortfall was disclosed last month, initially because of a death in his family.
Stemming from an investigation that started four years ago, the state’s lawsuit against Exxon Mobil alleging the company mislead investors is set to go to trial in state Supreme Court in Manhattan on Oct. 23.
New York Chief Judge Janet DiFiore said the state has made significant progress in reducing case backlogs in Nassau and Suffolk counties but an amendment to the state constitution would further curb inefficiencies in the massive state court system.
Ballyhoo Media agreed to stop operating bright electric billboards in the waters around New York City – which City Councilman Justin Brannan had described as “ugly” and “monstrous” – to conclude a lawsuit initiated earlier this year.
Some experts and activists say months of hearings by a panel tasked with shaping the state's Census preparations produced a 126-page report that is light on specific recommendations and defers much of its authority to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
As New York City lurches toward the Oct. 26 start date for early voting, education leaders are raising concerns about why they weren’t consulted sooner about their facilities being used for 11 days.
Wednesday is the deadline for all New York workers to have completed sexual harassment training mandated by state law, but in the state Senate, such training hasn’t been conducted for legislators and staff in the Capitol since March of last year.
Hate crimes in New York City continue to rise, driven primarily by increases in anti-Semitic incidents but also by crimes targeting white people, attacks on black people and incidents related to sexual orientation.
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The Civilian Complaint Review Board, New York City’s independent police oversight agency, is not investigating the majority of recent cases in which New York Police Department officers have killed civilians.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio defended his administration’s handling of mentally ill people living on the street, as police revealed that the man accused of beating four homeless men to death is also suspected of attacking another man a week earlier.
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Editorial Pages
Throughout the MTA capital plan’s approval process, lawmakers must make sure the Long Island Rail Road keeps its $5.7 billion share, and that ways to improve how the railroad serves Queens and Brooklyn commuters get priority.
There are lots of ways to pick up the garbage, and now the New York City Council wants to fix one of the worst ways: fly-by-night carters backing up down one-way streets and blowing red lights – but fixing it the wrong way could make a bigger mess, Nicole Gelinas writes.
There is nothing illegal in Cuomo’s decision to raise Medicaid reimbursement rates shortly after a powerful union donated $1 million to the state Democratic Party – the rates have been low and the increase is small – but the context stinks.
From City & State
National Politics
The furor over the decision to pull U.S. troops out of northeastern Syria began late Sunday night with a poorly conceived White House statement about an ominous telephone conversation between President Donald Trump and the Turkish president.
The White House declared war on the House impeachment inquiry, announcing that it would not cooperate with what it called an illegitimate effort “to overturn the results of the 2016 election” and setting the stage for a constitutional clash.
In Depth
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