View Full Version : NYC: Mayor "Comrade" De Blasio in the news....

The Bobster
12-03-2015, 08:36 AM

De Blasio loses his 7th top official in less than two years
By Michael Gartland
December 3, 2015 | 2:02am

Iris Chen, director of the city’s Fund for Public Schools, resigned this week — making her the seventh top official to step down from the de Blasio administration in less than two years.

She follows former Deputy Mayor Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, who quit in September; senior adviser Peter Ragone, who left in February; and Cynthia López, who stepped down as commissioner of the mayor’s film and TV office in August.

Other key figures to bolt include de Blasio Chief of Staff Laura Santucci, Economic Development Corp. head Kyle Kimball and Rachel Noerdlinger, the former spokeswoman for de Blasio’s wife.

The Bobster
12-04-2015, 06:19 AM

Welfare hits nine-year high under de Blasio’s leadership
By Rich Calder
December 4, 2015 | 2:05am

The city’s welfare rolls under Mayor de Blasio have reached their highest point in nearly nine years, rising after years of declines under the previous two administrations, official records show.

There were 373,504 people receiving welfare checks in October, the most since January 2007, when 377,896 were on the dole.

“Since the numbers aren’t looking as impressive as the [de Blasio] administration suggested they would be, this raises serious questions about whether their progressive agenda can improve the lives of poor New Yorkers better than what the Bloomberg and Giuliani administration did,” said Stephen Eide, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute who tracks welfare.

During the final month of the Dinkins administration in December 1993, the welfare caseload hit a startling 1,112,495.

The numbers started dropping under Rudy Giuliani and ended up at 459,159 by the time he left office at the end of 2001.

The reduction was due in large part to strict reforms enacted by Giuliani, including compelling able-bodied recipients to work.

There were also improvements under Mike Bloomberg. By the end of his term in December 2013, the caseload was down to 346,398.

It has been edging up in recent months and rose above 373,000 in October, according to the most recent data on the Human Resources Administration Web site.

Records show that the rolls fell to 336,403 in May 2014, right around the time Steven Banks, the Legal Aid Society’s chief attorney, was named head of the HRA.

Under Banks, a proponent for loosening welfare restrictions, the agency allowed recipients to substitute full-time education — including GED classes — for their work requirement.

Critics say it’s mind-boggling that welfare cases are rising even as the city’s unemployment rate has dropped from 8.3 percent when de Blasio took office in January 2014 to 4.7 percent two months ago.

“It makes you wonder how bad the numbers might look like should the economy suffer another recession,” Eide said.

HRA spokesman David Neustadt insisted that the monthly figures don’t tell the whole story.

“The actual number of people receiving public assistance has not changed since 2008 if you count everyone who receives public assistance during the year,” he said.

He said a fairer analysis would be to count “unduplicated recurring cash-assistance recipients” to weed out people who go on and off the rolls throughout the year.

Banks — who spent years suing the city over its homeless and welfare policies — “believes that the best way to reduce dependency is a combination of education and training and less zeal in enforcing rules and requirements, Eide wrote in a March 2015 report.

The Bobster
12-05-2015, 06:37 AM

De Blasio vows to protect Muslims against hate crimes
By Post Staff

https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/151204_yang_nyp_de_blasio_jamaica_muslim_center_4. jpg?quality=100&strip=all&w=835
Mayor Bill de Blasio visited a mosque in Queens.
Photo: Stephen Yang

Mayor de Blasio told more than 200 people at a Queens mosque Friday night that Muslims have the same rights as all New Yorkers and vowed the city would protect them from hate crimes by bigots :mad: seeking scapegoats for the recent terror attacks in California and Paris.

“We are here to say that with every tool we have as a city and with all the capacity of the greatest police force on earth, we will protect this community,” said de Blasio at the Jamaica Muslim Center. “We reject in New York City hate crimes of all kinds. We take them very seriously.”

https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/151204_yang_nyp_de_blasio_jamaica_muslim_center_12 .jpg?quality=100&strip=all&w=300&strip=all
Muslims watch Bill de Blasio on a TV screen at the Jamaica Muslim Center.
Photo: Stephen Yang

He also said he considers “the Muslim community in New York City an ally in the fight against terrorism,” adding “when acts of terror occur, all communities suffer.”

He also said his administration is on an “important mission” to “deepen the relationship” between the Muslim community and city government, adding it needs to be improved after years of apathy.

“We know we are living in a difficult time in history,” he said. He also thanked the leadership of the Jamaica Muslim center for “sending a very clear message” that it condemns the California attack and that “this is a religion of peace.”

The Bobster
12-05-2015, 07:30 AM

De Blasio blasted for ‘fudging’ Rikers assault numbers
By Tom Wilson and Yoav Gonen
December 5, 2015 | 2:15am

Mayor de Blasio on Friday touted an 11 percent drop in serious assaults against Rikers Island staffers — but was publicly contradicted at a ceremony in The Bronx by the head of the correction officers’ union.

Speaking to a graduating class of nearly 600 correction officers, de Blasio said reforms of the city’s trouble-plagued jails system had reduced serious inmate attacks on staffers to 69 incidents in the 12 months through Nov. 30 — down from 77 the year prior.

“We know the challenges of this job, and this is why we are deploying every tool we have to fulfill our obligation to protect New York’s Boldest,” Hizzoner said.

But Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association President Norman Seabrook took the microphone shortly afterward and blasted the mayor – both for leaving the ceremony early and also for fudging the figures.

Bill de Blasio at the Department of Corrections graduation.
Photo: Natan Dvir

“I have a problem with the fact that he didn’t even say ‘I have to leave, would you excuse me for a minute.’ How dare you!” said Seabrook. “The same way that you want respect you have to give respect.”

His union says serious injuries to staffers by inmates are up nearly 30 percent through November compared to last year — from 216 to 280.

“I heard the mayor say violence is down 11 percent,” said Seabrook. “You’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts.” :D

A review of the city’s own statistics for the first four months of the current fiscal year – covering July through October – shows a 35 percent increase in serious assaults against jail staffers by inmates, compared to the same term last year.

City Hall said those figures are wrong, even though they’re produced by the city, and insisted the data shows a 19 percent drop.

Meanwhile, another attack took place on Rikers Friday night when an officer was assaulted by an inmate, who allegedly is a gang member, sources said.

The Bobster
12-06-2015, 06:35 AM

De Blasio: Syrian refugees are just like Jews fleeing Nazis
By Jennifer Bain and Aaron Short
December 6, 2015 | 6:01am

Mayor de Blasio implored a skeptical congregation of Syrian Jews Saturday to empathize with Muslim refugees from their shared homeland and welcome them to New York. :mad:

Orthodox worshippers at Brooklyn’s Congregation Shaare Zion murmured uncomfortably as de Blasio compared Syrian refugees fleeing their war-torn country with Jews fleeing the Nazis. :no2:

“I know this community understands deeply the pain of any family that must leave a homeland they love because they were forced away by violence and discrimination,” said de Blasio in his Sabbath address.

“When it comes to saving children and families from one of the greatest crises of our times, I remind people to look at history,” he added.

Some worshippers disputed the mayor’s historical interpretation.

“I don’t think it’s a fair comparison . . . The Jews never had a history of being destructive,” said Brooklyn resident Judy Zarug.

“I was sitting next to a woman who is a Syrian refugee and she really reacted and it was uncomfortable.”

Another congregant, whose family fled Syria, also disagreed, explaining:

“The difference between me coming here in 1991 with my family is that we were kicked out for being Jewish.”

The crowd’s only applause came when the mayor vowed to protect the city’s Jews in the wake of targeted attacks in Jerusalem and Paris this year.

The Bobster
12-06-2015, 06:54 AM

Parents: De Blasio’s breakfast program robs kids of education
By Susan Edelman
December 6, 2015 | 4:07am

Parent Vance Gorke holds up a free school breakfast. Photo: Helayne Seidman

Schoolkids can sleep later and eat a morning meal at their desks under the city’s new Breakfast in the Classroom program — but the response by some parents is as cold as the pancakes being served.

The PTA at downtown’s PS 343, the Peck Slip School, wants out of Mayor de Blasio’s pet program, saying it robs kids of instructional time, feeds them junk and turns teachers into waitresses.

The parents are asking the Department of Education to let schools choose the heartier, hot breakfasts the cafeteria used to dish out before the school day started.

Under the $92 million-a-year program, which the DOE is rolling out in elementary schools, students are fed during class time.

“No need to wake up earlier,” the city’s promotional poster trumpets.

De Blasio agreed with groups that argued many families couldn’t get their kids to school at an earlier time, and that giving free breakfast to everyone would mean poor kids were no longer “stigmatized.”

A student’s breakfast, provided by the city.
Photo: Helayne Seidman

The DOE says the free breakfasts should take no more than 15 minutes. But parents and teachers say distributing the food and cleaning up takes as much as 30 minutes — a total of 2¹/₂ hours a week. :rolleyes:

“It’s stealing education from all of our kids,” Peck Slip PTA President Vance Gorke told The Post.

On its Web site, the DOE says teachers use the breakfast time to “conduct many activities . . . like collecting homework and taking attendance.” Or they can use it “as a teaching moment, where students learn about nutrition and health, as well as sustainability and recycling.”

But teachers are busy handing out food, mopping up spills and picking up garbage.

“How many lessons can you do while that’s happening?” one said.

She described a juggling act to get kids who opted out started with classwork while others eat and have to catch up later.

“We have not figured out how to manage it,” the teacher said.

There’s also concerns about nutrition. Instead of the fresh cafeteria breakfasts with choices like omelets, egg-and-cheese sandwiches and hot oatmeal, they get a bagged meal.

Many parents at Peck Slip, where the program started Nov. 9, have “opted out” because the packaged food is largely processed and loaded with sugar, they say.

“I don’t want my daughter to have behavior problems because she’s had all this sugar,” said Kristen Hollinsworth, who has a daughter in pre-K and a son in Kindergarten.

The breakfasts consist of two “grain components” and fruit – sometimes an apple, banana or orange — plus milk or juice. Kids can also get dry cereal.

An “Apple Fruit Pocket” is “like the McDonald’s hot apple pie — except cold,” Gorke said.

“Cinnamon Burst Pancakes,” also cold, are filled with a “syrupy goop,” he said, and come with a liquid topping in a small container.

Other menu items include yogurt and a granola bar, a carrot-zucchini or apple loaf, and a cream-cheese stuffed “Bagel-ful.”

“The bagels used to be real,” Hollinsworth said. “Now they’re processed and packaged in plastic.”

At a recent PTA meeting, a teacher told parents she counted 37 grams of sugar in a breakfast. The American Heart Association recommends that children limit added sugar to 12 grams a day.
The DOE would not release nutritional labels.

A spokeswoman said, "A nutritious breakfast is an important way to start the day and be ready to learn, and now more students have access to this vital meal. As we expand this program, we are working with educators, families, and school communities to ensure a smooth implementation.”


The Bobster
12-07-2015, 06:57 AM

Bad Santa is back and he’s ruining Christmas
By Priscilla DeGregory
December 7, 2015 | 1:41am

Bad Santa Bruce Clark talks to a sheboonette outside Macy's in Herald Square. Photo: Helayne Seidman

A naughty Father Christmas was back in front of Macy’s hitting up naive tourists and their kids for cash on Sunday.

One mom said the man destroyed her 7-year-old son’s image of Santa Claus because the Kris Kringle asked for a cash “donation’’ right in front of the youngster after she took a photo of them together.

“If your child sees you paying a Santa, it destroys it for them,” said Leona Erziak, 35, who lives in Soho. “My son still believes in Santa. He said, ‘Mom, he’s not a real Santa Claus because he asked for money.’ ”

The Santa, who identified himself as Bruce Clark, 35, of Bushwick, Brooklyn, made the front page of The Post last week because of his antics.

He insisted on Sunday, “I’m following all the laws, I’m a street performer!

“I’ve never been arrested, I’ve never been ticketed. If the police need me to move along, I would move along.”

Cops eventually asked him and another St. Nick panhandler to scram at 5 p.m.