Who's up and who's down this week?
The pipe bombs delivered to at least 10 people this week have a few things in common. All of those targeted are Democrats and progressives. All of the intended recipients are also high-profile critics of President Donald Trump. And it’s looking likely that the same person – or persons – is behind the delivery of all of them. But what also unifies them is this: There are no winners when it comes to terrorism, only losers.
The pipe bombs delivered to at least nine people this week have a few things in common. All of those targeted are Democrats and progressives. All of the intended recipients are also high-profile critics of President Donald Trump. And it’s looking likely that the same person – or persons – is behind the delivery of all of them. But what also unifies them is this: There are no winners when it comes to terrorism, only losers.
Andy Byford -
New York City’s subways are still badly in need of improvements, but there was a glimmer of hope with this week’s news that September marked the best monthly performance for the system in years. Andy Byford, who runs the New York City Transit Authority, cautioned that it could be just a blip, and it’s clear the MTA still needs billions of dollars to fix things up. But with the governor doubling down on congestion pricing, and Byford’s message getting through in the national media, there’s a chance that his tenure could ultimately mark a pivot point.
John Faso -
Rep. John Faso was New York’s VIP at the White House this week, as the only New York lawmaker to stand next to President Donald Trump as he signed sweeping anti-opioid legislation. Faso, facing a tough bid for reelection in the 19th Congressional District, showcased something his Democratic challenger can’t – the ability to pass a piece of legislation in Congress. Delgado may have former President Barack Obama’s endorsement, but this week, Faso was Trump’s right hand man.
Gerard Fitzgerald -
A new report shows that uniformed employees of the New York City Fire Department make more money than workers at any other city agency, on average. That’s a feather in the firefighting helmet of Firefighters union boss Fitzgerald, whose average member appears to take home around $155k. Take THAT, cops. The high pay helps recruit New York’s Bravest – including more women and racial minorities than ever! – even if it doesn’t stop homophobic discrimination, as a new lawsuit alleges.
Henry Garrido -
Following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, first responders who got sick from working on the scene got unlimited sick leave. But other New York City employees got no such benefit, despite many suffering from 9/11-related illness after assisting with the search and rescue efforts. But at long last, and after significant public pressure, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio approved the unlimited sick time for members of DC 37, one of the city’s largest public unions – a big win for Garrido and the union he leads
Marc Molinaro -
GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro got what he wanted – a TV debate with Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Despite the incessant interruptions by the incumbent, the event gave Molinaro a chance to introduce himself to an electorate that doesn’t know much about him. Third-party candidates Stephanie Miner, Larry Sharpe and Howie Hawkins were left off the stage, unlike previous also-ran candidates in 2010 and 2014. But that was an added bonus for Molinaro, who doesn’t need any extra competition if the Dutchess County executive is to have any chance to make the race close with less than two weeks to go before the Nov. 6 election.
Javier Almodovar -
For all the criticism and chaos NYCHA has weathered in the past year, it doesn’t look like much is changing. Exhibit A is the nearly 32,000 people who have experienced heat or hot water loss since Oct. 1, leaving Javier Almodovar, NYCHA’s director of heating management, to answer. The data-driven tracking system that NYCHA uses to inform tenants of outages appeared to not be working either, leaving 3,000 people in Queensbridge South in Long Island City without heat and hot water for an entire weekend before authorities were alerted of the problem. Almodovar said it himself: “If it continues to happen, we have to come to the conclusion that this is not working.”
Pamela Harris -
After living the high life with a cruise ship getaway, Victoria’s Secret shopping sprees and a home spa, former Assemblywoman Pamela Harris is now going to prison. A federal judge sentenced her on Oct. 24 to six months in prison following her guilty plea earlier this year to charges that she misused government funds for Superstorm Sandy victims, lied to the FBI and pocketed New York City Council funds earmarked for Coney Island Generation Gap, the nonprofit she once led. While the prison sentence was lighter than the three and a half years that prosecutors asked for, she will also have to complete 400 hours of community service and pay tens of thousands of dollars in restitution.
Rich Marin -
The world’s tallest ferris wheel is six feet under, after the planned Staten Island tourist attraction was officially killed. New York Wheel founder Marin admitted he deserved some blame for his wheely bad idea, but we can’t let this downturn discourage big dreamers with ideas spinning in their heads. The city needs a ferr share of innovators that can turn commuter parking lots into tourist dollars.
Scott O’Brien -
Exploding equipment isn’t a good lookfor any company. Unfortunately, O’Brien has to deal with that. He’s the CEO at Safariland, which outfits the New York City Police Department with Vievu brand body cameras. And this week, one of those cams exploded. Luckily, no one was hurt because the officer removed the camera when it started smoking, but 3,000 others got recalled. Police may be big fans of finding smoking guns, but smoking body cameras? Not so much.
Dean Skelos -
One convenient way for Republicans to tar certain Democratic lawmakers this election cycle is to link them to former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who was found guilty of corruption for a second time earlier this year. But self-dealing is a bipartisan pursuit in Albany. Indeed, this week former state Senate Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos reminded everyone of that fact when he was sentenced to a little over four years in prison for his own crooked behavior. At least his sentence was a bit shorter than his first time around – and he probably won’t have to serve all of it.