The New York Times:

By Lisa W. Foderaro

May 6, 2015

Photo: Richard Perry/The New York Times

This year, with a budget of $5.5 million — nearly four times the amount allotted in 2012 — the pruning of London planes, Norway maples and pin oaks has picked up pace. Forestry specialists for the parks department say crews are now working on a five- to seven-year cycle, which is considered ideal for street trees in a city setting...

“Tree pruning is first and foremost about the safety of New Yorkers and also happens to be critical to the health of the tree,” City Councilman Mark D. Levine, the parks committee chairman, said. “People who think this is only about aesthetics are mistaken. This is a very small amount of money within the scope of the parks budget, let alone the broader city budget.”


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The Washington Post: In the shadows of booming cities, a tension between sunlight and prosperity

By Emily Badger

May 4, 2015

“Billionaires' Row” is rising over midtown, a collection of glassy new pinnacles that promise the kind of condo views you can only get in Manhattan by building taller than everything else around...

"Parks have become the place where we go for this incredibly important experience of being in the sun," says Mark Levine, the New York councilman who introduced the bill that now awaits public hearings. "And if even parks lose the sunlight, then I think it diminishes the experience of living here."


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Amsterdam News: DC 37 calls on extension of city beach/pool season on lifeguards' behalf

By Stephon Johnson

April 30, 2015

District Council 37 and City Council Parks Committee Chair Mark Levine voiced support for expansion of city beach and pool season. They want it to end the last week of September instead of Labor Day...

“This end date may have made sense in the past, but for a variety of reasons, I believe it is now anachronistic,” Levine said during his opening statement. “It’s time for an update. The tragic reality of global warming means that, like it or not, over time September is becoming ever warmed. Last year, the first week of September was one of the hottest of the year.”


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CBS: Community Board Meets To Address Concerns Of Megatowers Casting Shadows On Central Park

By CBS New York

April 28, 2015

There are concerns megatowers going up in the 57th Street area could dim parts of Central Park. A community board meeting was held Tuesday night at the New York Public Library to discuss what has become a contentious issue.

As 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported, City Councilman Mark Levine, who chairs the parks committee, is proposing a bill that could stop future development and keep parks out of the dark

“Sunlight and warmth bring parks to life and we’re losing it on the southern end of Central Park, and parks all over the city are vulnerable,” he said.


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El Diaro: La desigualdad también afecta a los parques de Nueva York

By Juan Garnham

April 27, 2015

Photo: Mariela Lombard

Nueva York   – Por las últimas cuatro décadas, Antonio Hernández ha considerado el parque Rufus King, en Jamaica, como el jardín que su departamento no tiene

“Es un buen comienzo, pero hace falta mucho más”, dijo el concejal Mark Levine, que preside la Comisión de Parques del Concejo Municipal. “Hay parques medianos, como St Mary's Park en el sur de El Bronx, que han sido realmente olvidados. Faltan decenas de millones en apoyo”.


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Telegram: 88,000 applicants and counting for rentals in NYC 'poor door' building

By Mireya Navarro

April 26, 2015

Photo: The New York Times

NEW YORK — A glassy new tower in New York City attracted an outcry for featuring one entrance for condominium owners and another for low-income tenants.

A bill introduced last week in the City Council would create a task force to review the lottery system and recommend whether it should be more flexible and other changes. For example, the council might change the rules so that applicants would not lose their spot in line for an apartment if their income or family status changes while they are waiting, said Councilman Mark Levine, the sponsor.
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The New York Times: Councilman Wants New York City’s Pools and Beaches Open Past Labor Day

By Nikita Stewart

April 24, 2015

Photo: Kirsten Luce/The New York Times

Citing the effect of global warming, Councilman Mark D. Levine is trying to change the tradition of closing the pools and beaches on Labor Day. He wants the City Council to pass a law keeping them open until the first day of public school, and then on the weekends through Sept. 30.

“Now’s the time for an update,” Mr. Levine, chairman of the Committee on Parks and Recreation, said in an interview.


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WNYC: How Your Vote Can Allot $1 Million to Community Improvements


April 14, 2015

Daneek Miller, Queens City Council Member, Ydanis Rodriguez, Manhattan City Council member, and Mark Levine, Manhattan City Council member, discuss the participatory budget process, which allows anyone over the age of 14 who lives in a New York City district to vote on the allocation of $1 million for community improvement to parks, libraries, streets and more. Voting takes place from April 11 to 19.

Listen to the interview here

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Columbia Spectator: Participatory budgeting aims to increase political participation

By Ariela Martin

April 13, 2015

Local politicians hope that participatory budgeting—a process that allows West Harlem residents to vote on neighborhood improvement projects—will increase voter participation. City council member Mark Levine, who represents West Harlem and Hamilton Heights, is spearheading the program...

“This is proof that people come up with amazingly creative and powerful ideas that we probably would not have thought of had it not been for this grassroots leadership,” Levine said at the event.

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Capital New York: Challenging Success Academy, charter group and Council raise ‘backfill’

By Eliza Shapiro

April 10, 2015

Photo: William Alatriste/New York City Council

The school choice advocacy group Democracy Builders and the New York City Council are highlighting the issue of "backfill," or refilling vacated charter school seats with new students—a longtime source of contention among the city's charter sector...

"If all you know about a school's performance is their test scores you don't have the full picture," Levine said in an interview on Thursday. "A school that performs well while backfilling is really achieving something impressive, while a school achieving high numbers without backfilling are effectively whittling down to a less representative mix of students."


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