This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?

Bordeaux and Burgundy, Napa Valley and Sonoma … and the Finger Lakes and Lake Erie? New York doesn’t typically come to mind as a top wine producer, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants you to think it is – and his annual awards just recognized a Cabernet Franc from Six Mile Creek Vineyard outside Ithaca as the state’s top wine of the year.

For other fine wine-ers (and losers), read on. 


John Brooks & Kimberly Jean-Pierre -

State Sen. John Brooks and Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre made a splash this week when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed their bill to require boaters to take a safety test. The nautical safety legislation is named Brianna’s Law, inspired by Brianna Lienec, who died as the result of a 2005 boating accident. Cuomo reinforced the legislation by ordering state parks to engage in a promotional campaign to remind boaters of the new life-saving requirement.

Laura Curran -

It’s been a long and winding road, but the state has officially given final approval to a new sports arena and entertainment complex at Belmont Park, promising a new Long Island Rail Road Station, hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs. Forget the local NIMBYs who opposed the new development, the Islanders are coming back home, baby! And Nassau County Executive Laura Curran racks up a win after promising to make sure the project happened.

David Ehrenberg -

Everyone loves a good comeback story, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard has not disappointed. David Ehrenberg, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, got to boast two landmark achievements this week. First, the Navy Yard surpassed 10,000 jobs for the first time since being decommissioned in the 1960s. Second, it became the site of New York’s first deployment of autonomous vehicles with the launch of the Optimus Ride self-driving shuttle. After a long road to recovery, let’s hope its next phase of growth moves faster than those self-driving shuttles.

Melinda Katz -

The Queens beep keeps declaring victory, so we’ll keep making her a winner. Her job as Queens’ next district attorney was all but guaranteed this week when Tiffany Cabán’s campaign dropped its court case and conceded defeat in the Democratic primary. Now she just needs to wipe the floor with whatever Republican opposition shows up, and get to the real, difficult job of jailing her political opponents. Kidding! 

Polly Trottenberg -

New York City’s DOT commissioner got a major win this week when a judge gave the agency the green light to move ahead with implementing Manhattan’s 14th Street busway pilot. State Supreme Court Judge Eileen Rakowe took the brakes off of the project by lifting a last-minute injunction filed by block associations along the cross-town thoroughfare back in June. Mayor Bill de Blasio, as well as transportation advocates, also applauded the judge’s decision to jump-start the plan. 


Maruf Alam -

It’s not New York politics without some good, old-fashioned corruption. Maruf Alam, Assemblyman Felix Ortiz’s chief of staff, was arrested by the FBI for allegedly stealing $80,000 from Ortiz’s campaign account since 2012. That sum is nothing to sneeze at. Makes one wonder what, if he’s guilty, Alam spent the cash on. Politicos in the past have spent their illegally obtained gains on vacations, high-end shopping trips and even treats from Dunkin’. Let’s hope whatever he may have purchased, it’s worth the potential prison time.

Saikat Chakrabarti -

AOC’s right-hand man may be young, but he’s over The Hill – and out of a job. The progressive congresswoman’s former chief of staff is leaving Capitol Hill for a new job focusing on pushing a Green New Deal, but everyone’s reading the breakup as a punishment for suggesting congressional Democrats were racist – words even Ocasio-Cortez called “divisive” this week. And as a parting gift from government, the feds are investigating two PACs run by Chakrabarti.

Bill de Blasio -

“This is why it’s such a charade,” the mayor said when he paid a visit to Fox News’ professional pot stirrer Sean Hannity this week – but was he referring to the conservative news outlet or his campaign for president? After the headline of a humiliating profile in The New York Times Magazine described de Blasio as a “punching bag” who “seems sick of his city,” Hizzoner was accused of violating federal election campaign rules in an attempt to obscure the wealthy donors backing him in the presidential race that he’s polling 0.3 percent in.

Fidel Del Valle -

New York City’s top administrative judge officially retired following his outburst at an NYPD officer. After dropping a series of f-bombs on a City Hall officer last year, Del Valle took a medical leave of absence from the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings and then started packing his bags this past week. It looks as if the former judge and chairman of the Taxi and Limousine Commission who once told a female officer,  “Listen babe, I don’t give a f---!” and asked, “Do you know who I am?” is now no one at all. 

Anthony Foxx & Josh Gold -

If New York City had a cafeteria, Uber and Lyft would not be sitting at the popular table. This week, the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission extended its year-long cap on new for-hire vehicles and instituted another cap on how long those drivers can cruise without passengers. For Uber’s Josh Gold and Lyft’s Anthony Foxx, the move is just one more affront in a year of rejection from New York’s regulators.