El Diario: Playas y piscinas estarán abiertas por una semana adicional

Por Redacción

Jun 24, 2015

Por primera vez en décadas, las playas y piscinas de la ciudad estarán abiertas una semana después del Día del Trabajo. El alcalde Bill de Blasio procuró una partida en el recién aprobado presupuesto de $79 mil millones para ampliar la temporada.

Actualmente, las ochos playas de la ciudad operan bajo vigilancia de salvavidas y personal de la ciudad desde el Día de Recordación hasta el Día del Trabajo, pero gracias a un fondo de $687,000 el servicio de extenderá a una semana. El dinero servirá para el pago de los trabajadores que asegura la seguridad de los bañistas y la limpieza de los sitios.

El sitio web DNAinfo reportó que mantener las playas abiertas fue una iniciativa impulsada por el concejal Mark Levine, quien presentó un proyecto de ley el mes pasado en su posición de presidente de la Comisión de Parques.

“Estoy emocionado de que por primera vez en la historia reciente, innumerables neoyorquinos podrán disfrutar de nuestras hermosas playas una semanas más”, dijo el funcionario a la web de noticias.

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New York Daily News: NYC Parks Department's budget boost will extend beach season one week after Labor Day

BY LAURA SANICOLA , ERIN DURKIN

June 23, 2015

On the boardwalk, they’re delighted by news that beaches will stay open an extra week after Labor Day this year.

A $687,000 budget boost for the Parks Department will extend the beach season through Sunday, Sept. 13.

“September is getting warmer and warmer,” said Councilman Mark Levine (D-Manhattan), the chair of the parks committee who had pushed for a longer season.

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JP Updates: NYC Budget Deal Secures $1.5M For Holocaust Survivor Initiative

By Jacob Kornbluh

June 23, 2015

The newly agreed upon $78.5 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2016 , finalized Monday night between NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark, includes $25,185,585 to expand services to New York City’s aging community. This includes $1.5 million as part of an initiative to assist Holocaust survivors living in poverty.

City Council Members, led by Councilmembers Rafael Espinal (D-Brooklyn) and Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) recently called on the administration to secure in the FY2016 budget the amount of $1.5 million in public investment to help all Holocaust survivors living in poverty, as part of the Survivor initiative...

“There is a clear moral imperative to provide a measure of dignity to the thousands of Holocaust survivors in New York City who live in poverty,” Councilman Mark Levine, Chair of the NYC Jewish Caucus, told JP. “I’m thrilled that the budget agreement recognizes our responsibility to meet this challenge and will help ensure Holocaust survivors in our city live out their final days comfortably.”

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NY1: Budget Filled with Victories for City Council, But Some Question Whether City Can Afford it All

By Courtney Gross

June 23, 2015

From beaches to gym class, there was one message coming from the City Council after Monday night's budget deal...

Every library in the city will now have six-day service. The beach season will be a week longer. Senior services that were set to be slashed last month? Well, those were saved...

They are doing it all without raising taxes or fees, and it's spending that's raising some red flags...

"Big wins for the Council, for sure," said City Councilman Mark Levine of Manhattan.

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Gotham Gazette: Mayor & Council Announce $78.5B Fiscal 2016 Budget Deal

By Ben Max

June 23, 2015

A little after 10 p.m. Monday night and more than a week before deadline, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced that they had reached a deal on a balanced fiscal year 2016 city budget. The $78.5 billion budget is for the fiscal year beginning July 1 and includes additional spending from the mayor's Executive Budget, released in May, for several Council priorities - including the hiring of 1,297 new NYPD officers. Along with the expanded NYPD headcount, the budget includes funding for six-day library service around the city, parks workers, senior citizen services, a city bail fund, and other key items that were negotiated over the past months. The budget also reflects new agency savings and increased tax revenue, thus showing only a $200 million increase from the mayor's executive budget.

The deal received a mostly positive response from Council Parks Committee Chair Mark Levine, who said in a statement, "I am thrilled that the City Council has restored funding for gardeners and maintenance workers--saving 150 vitally needed jobs, and protecting a critical resource for parks in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. I am also excited that we will be extending the beach season, allowing countless New Yorkers to enjoy these resources for a week past Labor Day," said Council Member Mark Levine. "I am disappointed the budget does not provide additional funds for community gardens, playground staff, mid-sized parks, and other important needs our park system faces. I look forward to continuing to work with the Mayor and my colleagues in the Council to bring greater resources to a park system that has been underfunded for far too long."

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Capital New York: Mayor to extend beach season, at Council’s request

By Dana Rubinstein

June 22, 2015

For the first time in recent history, New York City beaches will not close on Labor Day.

At the urging of the City Council, Mayor Bill de Blasio has allocated $687,000 to keep the beaches open seven additional days this year, Karen Hinton, a spokeswoman for the mayor confirmed Monday night.

The Council has also restored $8.7 million in funding for the Parks Department, which will enable it to avoid laying off 150 gardeners and maintenance workers. That $8.7 million has been a key demand of parks advocates...

“I'm thrilled the City Council was able to reverse the cuts to gardeners and maintenance workers, saving 150 jobs that support many struggling parks in low to moderate income neighborhoods. I’m also excited by the extension of the beach season," Councilman Mark Levine, who chairs the parks committee, said in a statement. "However, I am disappointed that additional critical areas of parks budget, like community gardens, mid-size parks, play-ground staffing and other needs were not addressed."

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New York Daily News: City execs who helped create contract program to daycare providers take jobs at nonprofit that won two of the bids

By Jennifer Fermino

June 21, 2015

Two high-ranking city officials who helped create a program that awards city contracts to day- care providers jumped ship for gigs with a nonprofit that won two of the bids...

One of those that lost out was the Nasry Michelen Day Care Center, which bills itself as the city's first Dominican-owned day care center.

Nasry, which has operated in West Harlem for more than 30 years, consistently got good reviews from the city but twice lost out to Lutheran, which has minimal ties to the community, said City Councilman Mark Levine (D-Harlem).

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New York Post: Majority of NYC parks forced to operate with part-time crews

By Rich Calder

June 20, 2015

More than three-quarters of all parks in the Big Apple are operating without permanent staffers — even during the busiest summer months, a top city official said Friday.

Park Department First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh told a City Council committee that a mere 23 percent of parks have designated maintenance workers during the summer...

“It’s all about figuring out the fairest way to distribute resources,” said Councilman Mark Levine (D-Manhattan). “Right now, we are flying blind.”
Levine also said he would share the information with the public.

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Village Voice: A MANHATTAN LANDLORD IS EVICTING AN ENTIRE BLOCK OF LATINO BUSINESS OWNERS

By Solange Uwimana

June 19, 2015

This is the kind of neighborhood joint in which the menu is entirely in Spanish (with no pictures), most patrons order in Spanish (the mofongo is popular), and the three women behind the counter greet you in Spanish (“¡Mi amor!”). It doesn't have a website. It has stood for at least 40 years at the corner of Broadway and West 162nd, but over the last several months Angel Santos, who has owned the restaurant with his family since 1997, has been fighting to keep it for another 40.

Punta Cana will most likely close its door in the next few weeks, when a judge is expected to order the restaurant’s eviction...

In March, seven businesses at 3800 Broadway, including Punta Cana, were given eviction notices and told to vacate by the end of April. The businesses' owners were each given the option of paying higher rent — for the restaurant, nearly double the current rate of $5,000 a month. When the Santos family declined because they couldn't afford the new rent of $9,000, they were given another month’s extension and then another, when the Legal Aid Society and Councilmember Mark Levine rallied to the business owners’ cause...

Levine has been highlighting the issue of these disappearing businesses because, he says, there is not as much attention paid to the epidemic.

“All the attention in the press is going to the residential displacement, but what small businesses are facing in commercial rents is in essence even worse because there’s far fewer protections,” he says.
Levine says the city should be increasingly concerned with these community businesses because they are vital to the economy. Levine, a Democrat, represents District 7, which includes West Harlem and a portion of Washington Heights.

“I reject the notion that bringing in higher-paying tenants equals economic development,” he says. “The longtime tenants, they are community-based, many are local entrepreneurs. They're hiring locally, they're producing economic activity in the neighborhood, they're providing a way to earn a living for people in the neighborhood.”

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NY1: NY1 Online: City Councilmembers Discuss Budget Negotiations

By Inside City Hall

June 19, 2015

Watch video clip here: 

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