Holocaust Survivor Elie Wiesel Honored in Upper West Side Street Renaming

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By Tatyana Bellamy-Walker


UPPER WEST SIDE — Mayor de Blasio co-named 84 Street and Central Park West “Elie Wiesel Way” on Tuesday to memorialize the Holocaust survivor and renowned author.

Wiesel, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and author of Night who penned his experiences as a survivor of a Nazi death camp, died last summer at the age of 87 in his Manhattan home.

During his life, the literary activist denounced war crimes and genocide across the world and was recognized for his humanitarian work. 

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“He preached tolerance of religious minorities, and knew first-hand the experience of being a refugee, and the vulnerability of living in this country without citizenship,” said Council Member Mark Levine of District 7 in Manhattan. “Mr. Wiesel’s ties to New York City were deep.  His family made their home on the Upper West Side for many years, raising their children there and attending a local synagogue. 

Levine added, “Generations to come will remember the man who made ‘never again’ among the most important words uttered in the past century.”

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Calls for Small & Large Fixes to City Congestion, Transit Woes

Gotham_Gazette.pngBy Sam Raskin

The New York City Council Committee on Transportation held a hearing Monday to discuss sources of, and solutions to, traffic congestion in the city.

City Council Member Ydanis Rodríguez, chair of the committee, began the hearing by lamenting New York City’s heavy traffic. “As most New Yorkers can tell you, our streets look like parking lots,” said Rodríguez, a Democrat from upper Manhattan. In addition to economic impediments and general inconvenience, the Council member framed congestion as a safety issue as well. “More cars in our road means more dangerous conditions for cyclists, pedestrians and other street users,” he said -- Rodriguez has been a champion of the city’s Vision Zero street safety program.

Council Member Mark Levine, also an upper Manhattan Democrat, agreed with Rodríguez’s characterization of the situation and highlighted its urgency. “Congestion is at crisis levels in this city,” he said. “This is a threat to our economy, our environment, it is a safety threat and frankly, for drivers, it is driving them crazy to be stuck in traffic.”

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Exigen que almuerzos en escuelas públicas sean para todo estudiante

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By Jonathan Inoa

Ningun estudiante de la ciudad debería aprender con el estómago vacío. Es el mensaje de docenas de organizaciones y líderes políticos y comunitarios al alcalde De blasio.

Henry Garrido, presidente del Sindicato DC37, comentó: "Todos los niños tienen derecho a un almuerzo o a un desayuno gratis en la escuela. Sin importar de donde venga, sin importar de su clase social o de su clase económica".

En las escalinatas de la Alcaldía, exigieron al alcalde que cumpla con sus promesas de campaña e incluya dinero en el presupuesto para extender el almuerzo escolar para todos los estudiantes.  

Con un poco más de un dólar al día por estudiante, se puede hacer una diferencia en el aprendizaje de los niños, ya que tendrían un mejor rendimiento escolar si han comido, señalan.

Diana Reyna, vicepresidenta del Condado de Brooklyn, afirmó: "Que puedan concentrarse en el salón. Que puedan ponerle atención a sus maestros. Que puedan sentarse quietos y enfocarse en lo que es el aprendizaje en el salón".

 Actualmente, casi la mitad de las 1,200 escuelas públicas ofrecen el almuerzo escolar universal que, de ser extendido, tendría un costo de unos $26 millones de dólares al año a la ciudad.

Sin embargo, el costo sería reembolsado casi en su totalidad por el gobierno federal. Es por eso que muchos no entienden por quó el alcande de Blasio, quien está en plena campaña para su reelección, no otorga este beneficio a los estudiantes.  

Mark Levine, concejal Manhattan, señaló: "Lo podemos lograr, los fondos están ahí y estamos aquí exigiendo de nuestro Alcalde que lo haga una vez y por fin este año".

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Proposal Would Offer Free Saturday Parking For Electric Cars

CBS_Radio.pngBy Alex Silverman

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A number of New York City Council members have an unusual proposal to help encourage people to purchase electric cars: Free parking on Saturday.

“We think this will be an important boost for people who are trying to make the economics work when they are choosing their next cars,” said Councilman Mark Levine.

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De Blasio opposes bill limiting construction noise near schools, siding with building project backed by one his donors

New_York_Daily_News_logo.pngBy Greg B. Smith

Mayor de Blasio is moving to gut a bill that would quiet down construction noise next to schools — a bill drafted in response to a building project supported by one of his big donors.

The bill is being pushed by parents at Public School 163 on the Upper West Side who are fighting a 20-story nursing home set to be built right next to their kids’ school.

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'Setup for Failure': Tenants and Officials Blast City's Rent-to-Own Program

dnainfo-logo.pngBy Dartunorro Clark

NEW YORK CITY — City officials offered a mea culpa regarding a longtime rent-to-own program that has been labeled a failure by tenants — admitting that the program became “unsustainable” after its launch nearly 40 years ago.

Officials from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development were put in the hot seat Thursday at a marathon City Council oversight hearing to answer questions related to the beleaguered city housing program that is currently under investigation.

Officials from HPD offered some concessions and promised reforms related to the Tenant Interim Lease (TIL) program, which was meant to be a pathway for renters in city-owned buildings to purchase their units for just $250.

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Nearly 900 affordable housing program apartments sit vacant

NY_Post.pngBy Michael Gartland

The city has left nearly 900 apartments vacant in one of its affordable-housing programs — a situation that Mayor de Blasio said on Thursday leaves him “perplexed.”

Of the 2,322 apartments in the Tenant Interim Lease program, 38 percent — or 884 — are unoccupied, according to a report by Public Advocate Letitia James.

Some tenants sent packing for renovations are still waiting to get back a decade or more later.

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How Donald Trump Could Weed Out Your Community Garden

WNYC.pngBy Janet Babin

The Trump administration could decide how green New York City's future is.

More than 500 community gardens in the five boroughs rely on a program called GreenThumb. It was started in the 1970s after a financial crisis left many public gardens abandoned and bereft of funding.

GreenThumb gets 43 percent of its funding from federal Community Development Block Grants, the very funds the Trump administration wants to zero out in its latest budget.

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NYC rent freeze for one-year leases upheld by New York State judge

AMNY.pngBy Sheila Anne Feeney

Tenants were relieved and landlords frustrated at a New York State Supreme Court decision announced Tuesday that appeared to vindicate the rent freeze for one-year leases instituted by the Rent Guidelines Board in 2015 and repeated again last year.

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Tom Cat Bakery Tells Employees To Prove They're Not Undocumented Or They're Fired

Village_Voice.pngBy Nick Pinto

Last Wednesday, employees at Tom Cat Bakery, the industrial-scale provider of high-end breads and baked goods to restaurants and hotels throughout the region, received a letter from the company's payroll administrator: "Tom Cat bakery has been audited by the Department of Homeland Security," the letter stated. "After an ongoing audit, it was brought to our attention that documents you provided at the time of hiring in form I-9 does not currently authorize you to work in the United States." Employees had 10 days to prove that they have the proper documentation to legally work in the country. The letter didn't specify what would happen if they were unable to, but the implication was that they would be fired.

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