Gov. Kathy Hochul decided to feature non-New Yorker Taylor Swift at the end of her State of the State speech, walking out of the Assembly chamber to “Welcome to New York.” But do you know what really says welcome to New York? A brawl over secret tunnels under the headquarters Chabad-Lubavitcher in Crown Heights. Yes, a total of nine Hasidic Jewish worshippers wound up in handcuffs when a physical fight broke out upon the discovery of the tunnels, which a group of students had apparently dug in an attempt to expand the synagogue. But that’s probably not what Taylor had in mind when she wrote her song.
Elise Stefanik -
Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik announced she’d raised $5.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2023 on the heels of her antisemitism hearing that led to the resignations of two university presidents. The winter haul brings her 2023 fundraising to over $13 million after she pledged to deliver $100 million to help New York Republicans win their congressional races. Stefanik will be working hard to ensure that GOP gains in the state aren’t lost, and a little extra money in the bank won’t hurt.
Eddie Caban, Laura Kavanagh, Jessica Tisch & Sue Donoghue -
Over a two day period, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced partial budget restorations to a handful of city agencies – police, fire, sanitation, and parks. Given the mayor’s emphasis on public safety and cleanliness, these particular reversals are perhaps unsurprising (given they were attached to cuts to police and fire hiring,litter basket removals, and a popular park-cleaning program) but all the same there will no doubt be many questions about the mayor’s decision making in the days and weeks to come. As the UFT recently put it, “Hmmm. Looks like the mayor found some $$$.”
Gary Jenkins -
Gary Jenkins may be out of the New York City Department of Social Services, but he’s not out of the headlines. A new report from the Department of Investigation found that the former commissioner violated city policy by displaying “a lack of full transparency,” delaying to disclose serious legal violations amid the early days of the influx of migrants. Jenkins, who now works at Frank Carone’s consulting firm, may be saying he believes the investigation cleared him of wrongdoing, but it certainly doesn’t paint a flattering picture.
Lou Civello -
It took three years after the repeal of a law that kept police misconduct records from the public, but the Suffolk County Police Department must now hand those records over the New York Civil Liberties Union. That’s a big loss for Lou Civello, president of the Suffolk Police Benevolent Association, and his members. Police unions have fought tooth and nail to delay or prevent the release of as many disciplinary and complaint records as possible since the repeal of the 50a law that kept them private.
Janno Lieber -
Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chair Janno Lieber spoke too soon after a Jan. 4 subway derailment in Manhattan when he described such incidents as “exceedingly rare.” Well, he saw that statement derailed when another train ran off the tracks in Coney Island on Wednesday. He might have gotten away with just saying derailments were “rare,” except a third one happened on Dec. 20, again in Coney Island. Lieber only wanted to reassure straphangers about the safety of the subways. Ending this streak of derailments would accomplish that.