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The Bobster
09-05-2017, 07:37 PM
http://nypost.com/2017/09/05/cuomo-finds-way-to-add-fuel-to-de-blasio-feud/

Cuomo finds way to add fuel to de Blasio feud
By Priscilla DeGregory and Michael Gartland
September 5, 2017 | 10:22pm

Gov. Cuomo twisted the political knife a little deeper with his non-endorsement of Mayor de Blasio by backing Laura Curran in the Democratic primary for Nassau County executive.

Cuomo said Monday he wouldn’t be endorsing anyone in the Democratic primary for mayor because he lives in Westchester County and can’t vote in the race — even though he had already endorsed several City Council candidates.

Apparently, his residency excuse didn’t apply to Curran, either.

Team de Blasio didn’t appear rattled, saying it did not seek Cuomo’s support.

Meanwhile, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, a sometime de Blasio critic who endorsed his re-election bid, urged de Blasio and Cuomo to bury the hatchet.

“The mayor and the governor should sit down and work out their differences,” Stringer said. “The best way to start is to come together over the transit crisis. That’s something that is very serious in the city.”

The Bobster
09-05-2017, 07:39 PM
http://nypost.com/2017/09/05/school-advocates-give-de-blasio-an-f/

School advocates give de Blasio an F
By Selim Algar
September 5, 2017 | 9:59pm

Mayor de Blasio isn’t even close to making the grade when it comes to city schools, according to a scathing new report from a parent advocacy group.

NYC Kids PAC, a progressive consortium of public-school parents, on Tuesday pelted de Blasio with three F’s, four D’s and three C’s in its annual report card on mayoral navigation of the school system.

De Blasio flunked the transparency, overcrowding and English Language Learners categories outright, according to the group.

“Bill de Blasio has now been mayor since 2014 — nearly four years — and our consensus is that his education policies and those of Schools Chancellor Carmen Farińa have been disappointing in many important respects . . .”, the organization said.

The group rallied in front of Department of Education headquarters across from City Hall Tuesday morning to mark the release of the grades and to lobby for reform.

“We are all disappointed,” said group leader Shino Tanikawa of Community Education Council 2 in Manhattan. “We had high hopes for the mayor when he came into office. We expected a lot more.”

The group handed De Blasio D’s in governance, funding practices, curbing privatization and promoting diversity and C’s in special education, student privacy and efforts to lessen testing reliance.

Kids PAC also criticized the DOE for a “troubling disregard for parental input” and “continued spending on wasteful consultants, contracts and bureaucrats.”

The abysmal report card specifically targeted de Blasio’s expensive Renewal Schools program that has doused struggling campuses in cash and consultants with scrawny results.

The DOE botched Renewal Schools reform by “choosing to grow the bureaucracy rather than improve classroom conditions,” the report said.

In addition, Kids PAC disparaged the “timid” approach to curbing racial segregation in schools and moderating class sizes.

“The mayor ran on a tale of two cities,” Tanikawa said. “I don’t see that divide being closed. I’m still puzzled by what he promised and what he has been doing.”

The group noted that more than 300,000 children were “crammed” into classrooms with at least 30 kids last year and that the number of students in Grades 1 to 3 in similarly packed classes has exploded by 4,000 percent since 2007.

But a City Hall spokeswoman rebuked the grim grading, saying the administration has made marked progress in key areas.

“The facts here are clear: New York City publics schools are the strongest they’ve ever been with the highest-ever graduation rate, lowest-ever dropout rate, steady increase in state test scores and 70,000 4-year-olds enrolled in free pre-K,” said deputy mayoral press secretary Olivia Lapeyrolerie.

The Bobster
09-05-2017, 07:41 PM
http://nypost.com/2017/09/05/de-blasio-defends-himself-after-parade-gaffe-its-not-about-me/

De Blasio defends himself after parade gaffe: ‘It’s not about me’
By Kevin Sheehan and Yoav Gonen
September 5, 2017 | 6:05pm

It’s not about me, really!

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday defended his statement about running the city so well “you’d assume they’d be having parades out in the streets” — insisting he was misinterpreted and just wanted to draw attention to all the “good news” going on in the Big Apple.

“I meant very simply that there is a lot of good news in New York City,” he said at an afternoon press conference. “People should appreciate how much everyone has achieved together.”

Ticking off his accomplishments, de Blasio whined in an interview with New York magazine that he’s doing a stellar job, and “you’d assume they’d be having parades out in the street.”

“But that’s not the time in history we’re living in,” he added.

Hizzoner claimed Tuesday that he was actually making “a statement about what’s happened in our civic culture,” as many people “are kind of generically skeptical of government.”

“It’s not about me,” he declared, while going on to complain about there not being enough news coverage about positive things, like more jobs in NYC.

“In general, it’s harder for the good to get through. But I’m certainly not surprised by it. And the job is the same job either way,” de Blasio continued. “It’s frustrating. It’s not about me. Again, I understand what the job is.”

The Bobster
09-05-2017, 07:42 PM
http://nypost.com/2017/09/05/de-blasio-i-should-have-never-made-donor-promise/

De Blasio: I should have never made donor promise
By Yoav Gonen
September 5, 2017 | 5:48pm

Mayor de Blasio said on Tuesday he wishes he hadn’t promised last year to provide a “stunning number” of examples of donors who didn’t get what they requested from City Hall — a drawn out affair that ended only this past Friday with the publication of a short mayoral op-ed that lacked specifics.

“I said it in a moment of frustration that I thought a whole side of the story was not being recognized and obviously it became much more of a dramatic idea than I ever intended it to,” de Blasio said at an unrelated press conference in The Bronx.

“I should have just let it be. But you know, I’m fine with it,” he added. “Would have been better off saying nothing. I still put out something I think illustrates what I’m trying to get across.”

Instead of a “list” of donors who came away empty-handed, the mayor mentioned five examples of requests from four donors in his op-ed — without naming a single one of them.

Unmentioned were the half-dozen cases of alleged pay-to-play donations that were probed for a year by state and federal law enforcement offices.

While those cases were closed in March without any criminal charges, acting New York US Attorney Joon Kim noted at the time that “the Mayor made or directed inquiries to relevant City agencies on behalf of… donors.”

At least one of those cases — of the mayor’s office allegedly pressuring top agency officials to cut a deal with a donor who owed money toward a restaurant lease on city property — is currently under investigation by the city’s Department of Investigation.

Hizzoner also appeared to blame the media for distorting what he promised to provide, noting, “I said I want to show you examples, and then everyone started to interpret it their own way.”

In fact, de Blasio voluntarily promised last year to provide examples of a “stunning number of donors and supporters” who didn’t get what they sought from the city.

Nearly a year later, he told NY1 on Feb. 27 that he would wait until the probes were concluded, saying, “I am going to give you a list when all this is cleared.”

Only in April did he first bring up the idea that he would “probably do it in the form of an op-ed.”

When he missed his own deadline for penning the piece, he said in late May that he was unhappy with the first draft and was planning to rework it.

The op-ed was posted on the website medium on Friday, ahead of a long, holiday weekend.

The Bobster
09-07-2017, 10:40 AM
http://nypost.com/2017/09/06/de-blasio-slammed-for-delaying-charter-school-space-requests/

De Blasio slammed for delaying charter school space requests
By Selim Algar
September 6, 2017 | 11:58pm

Charter school leaders ripped Mayor de Blasio on Wednesday for delaying co-location requests despite ample room in city buildings.

“The city’s own data shows that there are 112 chronically underutilized buildings citywide, far more than enough to meet the demand from charter school families,” Families for Excellent Schools, a charter advocacy group, said in a statement.

But the Department of Education has repeatedly stated that vacancies and school enrollments are in constant flux — and that space is just one co-location consideration.

The Bobster
09-07-2017, 10:58 AM
http://nypost.com/2017/09/06/de-blasio-doe-are-ignoring-subpar-education-at-yeshivas-advocacy-group/

De Blasio, DOE are ignoring subpar education at yeshivas: advocacy group
By Selim Algar
September 6, 2017 | 10:18pm

Mayor de Blasio and schools Chancellor Carmen Farińa are neglecting a massive case of educational malpractice in the city’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools, an advocacy group said Wednesday.

Exposed mostly to intense religious instruction, yeshiva students often lack a basic understanding of math, English, science and social studies, according to Young Advocates for Fair Education, an activist group.

YAFFED founder Naftuli Moster said at a Wednesday press conference at City Hall that de Blasio and the Department of Education are avoiding the issue for fear of tangling with a potent voting bloc.

“This appears, to me, as one of the biggest scandals in this city — tens of thousands of children being denied education, and the mayor and the chancellor turning a blind eye,” Moster said.

The DOE said it initiated a probe into yeshivas more than two years ago but has yet to submit any findings. Citing the extended delay, Moster dismissed the investigation as a “charade.”

Just last month, Farińa declined to comment on the issue at a New York Law School event.

“The investigation is ongoing and we are treating this matter with utmost seriousness,” DOE spokeswoman Toya Holness said Wednesday.

A new YAFFED report estimated that there will be roughly 100,000 Hasidic school-aged kids in New York City by 2030 — roughly 8 percent of all students.

“The average young Hasidic man leaves the yeshiva system completely unprepared to work in — or interact with — the world outside his community,” the analysis found.

The average graduate “marries young and has many children and is forced to rely upon public assistance to support his large family,” according to the report.

The YAFFED report demanded the formation of a city task force to address the academic issue along with a slew of other yeshiva reforms.

While not public, yeshivas still receive millions in taxpayer dollars and are not exempt from state education law that requires them to provide meaningful secular instruction.

Moster said that many in the Hasidic community have been enraged by his campaign and that he fears for his safety.

One protester held a sign referring to Moster as “Monster.”

Rabbi Yoel Loeb told The Post that Moster was luring children astray from their religious duties and origins.

“We are Jewish people and our lives are committed to God,” he said, adding that conventional academic achievement is not compatible with their culture.

The Bobster
09-07-2017, 11:08 AM
http://nypost.com/2017/09/06/de-blasio-albanese-spar-over-corruption-at-latest-primary-debate/

De Blasio, Albanese spar over corruption, monuments at latest primary debate
By Michael Gartland and Yoav Gonen
September 6, 2017 | 8:34pm | Updated

https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/albanese-deblasio.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=664&h=441&crop=1
De Blasio, Albanese spar over corruption, monuments at latest primary debate
The New York Times


Mayor de Blasio and challenger Sal Albanese fought a war of words over government corruption, a statue-removal commission and pockets of high crime across the city during the second and final Democratic primary debate Wednesday night.

Hizzoner began the hour-long face-off defending his administration’s record, which includes several year-long probes of his political fundraising operation that didn’t yield indictments, but prompted prosecutors to admonish him.

“We need a higher standard for mayor than not being indicted :p,” said Albanese, echoing a comment he made in the first debate. “We need a government that people believe in, that you don’t need to be a big donor to get access to government.”

De Blasio responded that he’s “proud of the ethical standards we set,” but then dodged a question on whether the mayor should be required by law to publicly report when political donors ask him or top administration officials for favors.

Thousands of emails the administration has released over the past year — in response to public disclosure law requests from the media — have shown donors repeatedly getting access to top level officials and often making requests for favors.

De Blasio has insisted that no special treatment was given and that all decisions by his administration are based on the merit. :rolleyes:

“I think the laws we have right now make a lot of sense,” de Blasio said about a hypothetical new requirement to report all requests made from donors. “I’m very content with the system we have now.”

Albanese said he “absolutely” thinks such a law should be passed.

The two also fielded questions about whether the Christopher Columbus statue should remain in Columbus Circle. In the wake of violence sparked by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Va., de Blasio has said he would set up a commission to review sculptures and monuments in the city that might cause offense or divisiveness.

The mayor announced the commission weeks ago but has yet to appoint a single member, and repeatedly refused on Wednesday to provide his own opinion on whether Columbus should get the heave-ho.

“I don’t think it makes sense for me to opine on issue by issue,” he said. “We are setting up an objective and smart process.”

Albanese countered that the commission is not the answer.

“I don’t need a commission to tell me that the Christopher Columbus statue should not come down,” he said.

Albanese also slammed the mayor’s launching of a citywide debate over the morality of historical figures as “very divisive,” and jabbed the mayor for withholding his own opinion on Columbus.

“Your ally [Council Speaker] Melissa Mark-Viverito wants to take the statue down and you don’t have the guts to say no to her,” he said.

Albanese, who served as a City Councilman representing Bay Ridge from 1983 to 1997, is considered a long shot in the September 12primary, which includes three other candidates.

He threw fewer punches compared to an earlier debate two weeks ago, and made more of an effort to introduce himself — including by dubbing his immigrant upbringing “The New York City story.”

But he did hit the mayor over the lack of trust he has from police officers, and for crowing about a school system where too few students are passing standardized tests or graduating college-ready.

De Blasio shot back that Albanese’s criticisms – including over pockets of crime in the city – were denigrating police officers and teachers. :rolleyes:

The mayor was also asked what he would tell his mulatto son Dante today about how to interact with police. Following the killing of fat nigger Eric Garner at the hands of a police officer in 2014, the mayor had angered police union officials by saying he told his son to take great care when dealing with police.

“He’s an adult now. He makes his own decisions,” de Blasio said of Dante, who has completed his first year at Yale University. “What I would say is ‘Always respect the specific instructions of a police officer, listen to them, do exactly what they say.’ That’s what I’ve always said, and I think that’s the right approach for people of any background.”

Despite constant bickering over facts, the debate did feature a number of lighter moments — including when both candidates were asked whether they currently or previously smoked marijuana.

Albanese told the moderator, “I hope you don’t think I’m a square, but I’ve never smoked marijuana.”

The mayor said he’s only smoked once or twice when he attended New York University and that he doesn’t puff now, but added, “Some days I wish I did.”