Winners & Losers
This week’s biggest Winners & Losers
Who’s up and who’s down this week?
One story has rightfully dominated the news cycle this week: the beautiful escape of Flaco the Eurasian eagle-owl from the Central Park Zoo. The majestic 13-year-old has drawn crowds as he learns the basics of living outside captivity since vandals cut open his enclosure around Feb. 2. It’s the most exciting animal escape since Barney the bull evaded slaughter after spending two months on the run on Long Island in 2021. This week, Flaco improved his flying strength around Central Park and made headlines when he successfully hunted a rat all by himself – leaving us all to wonder… what do I not yet realize I’m capable of?
Linda Mills -
Consider another glass ceiling shattered. Linda Mills already has a host of accomplishments under her belt. She's a social scientist, an award-winning filmmaker, a clinical social worker, and an attorney known for her scholarship on domestic violence. Now after more than a decade serving as NYU’s vice chancellor and senior vice provost for Global Programs and University Life, Mills will soon further expand her influence at the university as its next president – the first woman to ever serve at the helm of the massive institution.
Asim Rehman -
Nobody gets a free pass! The commissioner of the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings should be proud of running a tight ship. It’s a lot tighter than the recycling bins outside Mayor Eric Adams’ Brooklyn townhouse, which created “harborage conditions that encourage the nesting of rats.” One of Rehman’s judges, Samantha Chetrit, levied a $300 fine on the guy who signs the budget. If Adams hated rats before, he’ll REALLY hate them now.
Andrea Stewart-Cousins -
In the over four decades since Court of Appeals judges became gubernatorial nominees, state Senate confirmations have been a near rubber stamp. This week, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins arranged a final vote to finish off Hector LaSalle’s nomination as chief judge. Gov. Kathy Hochul may not want to tell ASC and the Senate “go ahead make my day” during budget negotiations. The Senate may take up the challenge.
Hector LaSalle -
As if being rejected once wasn’t bad enough! While the fate of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s controversial chief judge nominee, Hector LaSalle, had remained unclear, the bitter nomination fight finally came to a head. Amid a Republican lawsuit and political grandstanding, the state Senate held a full floor vote resulting in a 39-20 decision to reject LaSalle. But hey, at least LaSalle had a great view watching his rejection live in the Senate.
Deshan Rainey -
Don’t tell this Department of Correction captain that New York is a sanctuary city. Deshan Rainey featured prominently in newly released emails between 2015 and 2019 that revealed coordination between the DOC and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to deport undocumented immigrants involved in the criminal justice system – even though such coordination is restricted under city law. City lawmakers blasted Rainey, who still works for the DOC. But now that her name is appearing in the same sentences as “xenophobic,” who knows how much longer that will last.
Ydanis Rodriguez -
We could make jokes about New York City’s progress on legally mandated bus lane installation being slower than the M102 or more poorly organized than the B12. But the city’s Department of Transportation’s apparently disappearing progress on protected bus lanes is almost too depressing to laugh about. The city reported that it completed just 4.4 miles of protected bus lanes that are camera-enforced or physically separated from traffic in 2022 – far below the 20 miles required under the Streets Master Plan.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the city DOT did not revise a number regarding protected bus lanes.
NEXT STORY: Elon Musk’s controversial history in New York