Posts Tagged ‘NYC’
Almost 2,700 New York students excluded from a gifted and talented program due to test scoring errors will get another chance to apply, school officials said.
The city’s Education Department said…the company that created and scored the admission tests has apologized and department officials were notifying parents that students originally blocked from the talented and gifted programs can apply…
Thirteen percent of the students in kindergarten through third grade who took the tests — 4,735 students — were affected, Education Department spokeswoman Erin Hughes said.
Of that total, 2,698 students were newly declared eligible for district-wide programs, scoring at or above the 90th percentile.
Chancellor Dennis Walcott said the errors made by the testing company, Pearson, were “unacceptable.”
“Pearson has an established record in this field and we depend on its professionalism and deep capacity to deliver for the public,” Walcott said in a statement. “But in this case, they let our children and families down. I have told the company’s officials in no uncertain terms that I expect this will never happen again.”
The only acceptable part of this fiasco is that someone caught the screwup in time for students to be retested. Cripes, imagine how they felt. No doubt in my mind they had a personal idea of how well they did on the test – only to be shot down.
Brendan Fay helped start a new St. Patrick’s Day parade in 2000 after his arrests for trying to march in three under a gay banner.
Brendan Fay pointed to an e-mail on his computer screen from the New York Fire Department’s Emerald Society Pipes and Drums corps confirming that it would be marching in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Queens, on Sunday.
“Now that’s how you know the tide has turned for us,” said Mr. Fay, 54, adding that this would be quite a change from the lone bagpiper that the fledgling parade had most years…
“I’d try to get pipe bands to participate, and they’d say something like, ‘Oh, you’re that parade – no, we’re not available,’” said Mr. Fay, who helped start the Queens event after being arrested at three St. Patrick’s Day parades in 1999 after he tried to march under a banner for a gay alliance…
With the phone ringing constantly, Mr. Fay finalized details for portable toilets, pipers and puppets to be held aloft by children. The parade has grown in size every year, and this year he expects more than 2,000 participants…
As for the parade, he said, “We err on the side of hospitality and inclusiveness.” And with the doors wide open, he has certainly amassed a wide array of regular attendees, including from many ethnic groups in this extremely diverse area of Queens…
It was easier a decade ago when barely any politicians marched. That has changed, especially after Hillary Rodham Clinton showed up several times. Now elected officials are practically trampling over children to engage with spectators, joked Tom Moulton, Mr. Fay’s husband, who for the past week has been baking cakes and cookies for preparade events.
Now Mr. Fay’s in-box is full of e-mails from the offices of elected officials and politicians jostling for favored positions, including Joseph J. Lhota, a Republican candidate in the hotly contested race to succeed Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who will also be marching.
Ain’t politics wonderful?
The best of the breed learn to look ahead. Part of being a bona fide leader is having enough good sense to comprehend the best of any several paths people are going to take on their own – and then get there alongside them if not a few feet in front.
Given the number of priests, politicians and pundits who still are struggling to hold folks back, being a leader shouldn’t be as difficult as so many make it out to be.
We blogged about this competition when it was initiated. Interesting to see the results, winner, etc..
The apartment of New York City’s future, as the city imagines it, has all the amenities of modern life: wheelchair-accessible bathroom, a full kitchen, space for entertaining and access to a gym, communal lounge, front and back porches and a rooftop garden — all in 250 to 370 square feet.
The city on Tuesday unveiled the winner of a competition to design and build an apartment tower on city-owned land composed entirely of micro-units, 55 homes the size of hotel rooms that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg hopes will be the first in a wave of tiny apartments aimed at addressing the city’s shortage of studio and one-bedroom apartments.
Small as it might be, the winning design was chosen for the way that it maximized light, airiness and storage space through the use of 9-foot-high ceilings, large windows, lofts and Juliet balconies.
“We have a shortfall now of 800,000, and it’s only going to get worse,” Mr. Bloomberg said during the news conference announcing the winning team, a partnership between Monadnock Development, Brooklyn-based nARCHITECTS and a nonprofit that serves creative arts professionals, the Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation. “This is going to be a big problem for cities with young people.”
In another futuristic twist, the 10-story tower at 335 East 27th Street in the Kips Bay neighborhood will rise thanks to modular construction, becoming Manhattan’s first apartment building to do so: units will be prefabricated, then stacked on top of one another like Legos.
Forty percent of the units will be affordable, restricted to tenants earning no more than $77,190 a year, with the rest at market rate. Rents start at $914 a month for those earning up to $38,344 a year, well below Manhattan’s average studio rent of $2,000, and go up to $1,873 for those making $77,190 or less.
Eric Bunge was quick to caution that the micro-units could be for anyone, from retirees to the nurses at nearby Bellevue Hospital Center. Apart from the kitchen and bathroom, the space is designed to be flexible, he said: “It’s all about appropriating your space, really.”
Of course, “affordable” by NYC standards is a misnomer in most of the rest of the civilized urban world.
A lawyer claims that the arrest of a man accused of trying to pay a police officer to kidnap a Manhattan woman was done to prevent him from testifying about Internet sexual fantasies at the officer’s cannibalism-tinged trial.
Authorities say the man, Michael Vanhise, agreed to pay Officer Gilberto Valle $5,000 to kidnap the woman in New York and deliver her bound to Vanhise’s home in New Jersey, where she would be raped and killed.
Attorney Julia Gatto spoke Friday after Vanhise, 22, of Trenton, appeared briefly in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, where he was ordered held pending a bail hearing Monday on a conspiracy to commit kidnapping charge…
Gatto said Vanhise “would have exonerated our client” with testimony about his own participation in a world of Internet sexual fantasies where people could speak of unspeakable acts they would never commit. She said the arrest Friday appeared to be a tactical move by authorities to prevent testimony by Vanhise or others about Internet fantasies…
The lawyer said the government appeared to be pressuring potential defense witnesses not to take the witness stand by saying in court documents filed against Vanhise that there were other co-conspirators who had not been charged in the case…
Vanhise’s lawyer, Alice Fontier, said her client, an auto mechanic who seemed to wipe tears from his eyes during his court hearing, was “very upset,” especially because he wanted to be home after his wife gave birth to a daughter last month, one of several young children the couple has.
She said he had been in contact with the FBI since late October and there had “certainly been ongoing meetings.”
“He has not stopped cooperating,” she said, though she added: “Obviously, the relationship has changed since he was arrested.”
In court papers filed Monday, defense lawyers wrote that Valle was accused…of conspiring with others he met on a website devoted to the exploration of deviant sexual fantasies…discussed, among other things, their violent sexual fantasies of abducting, raping, murdering and cannibalizing women,” they wrote…though he never intended for any acts to be committed in the “real world.”
Um, OK. I have to wonder how well these looneys differentiated between the real world and their fantasy world. It’s not a long trip from spending your idle time planning horrendous crimes – and committing them.
Here’s a link to my post on Valle’s arrest.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, a leading voice for gun control, all but demanded on Sunday that President Obama confront the prevalence of guns in the nation after a shooting rampage at an elementary school in Connecticut.
“It’s time for the president to stand up and lead,” Mr. Bloomberg, an independent who endorsed Mr. Obama for re-election, said during an appearance on “Meet the Press” on NBC. “This should be his No. 1 agenda. He’s president of the United States. And if he does nothing during his second term, something like 48,000 Americans will be killed with illegal guns” in the next year.
Mr. Bloomberg noted that he had given his sought-after endorsement to the president because he agreed with his views on matters like gun control. But in blunt terms, the mayor said he now expected more from Mr. Obama.
“The president has to translate those views into action,” he said. “His job is not just to be well-meaning. His job is to perform and to protect the American public.”
Mr. Bloomberg was among an array of elected officials who appeared on the Sunday morning talk shows, to express sadness and shock over the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown — and discuss the need to strengthen to the nation’s gun laws.
Advocates for gun rights were noticeably absent among the television guests. David Gregory, the host of “Meet the Press,” noted that the show invited “31 pro-gun rights senators” to join in the discussion. “We had no takers,” he said.
In a separate appearance on “Meet the Press,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, said she would begin pushing her colleagues in Congress to pass an assault-weapons ban in the coming weeks.
“I’m going to introduce in the Senate, and the same bill will be introduced in the House — a bill to ban assault weapons,” Ms. Feinstein said.
Democrats have repeatedly failed in their efforts to pass an assault-weapons ban in Congress since a law prohibiting such weapons expired in 2004. In fact, Ms. Feinstein called for a renewal of the ban earlier this year after another deadly mass shooting, in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.
As much as any NRA member I have legitimate fears for my 2nd Amendment rights. After all, I supported the right of Black folks, civil rights activists, arming themselves for self-defense against racist attacks. Something that could come from racist cops as easily as any civilian Klan member. I owned guns then, as now. That’s enough to get me on some kind of Homeland Security watch list.
Still. I support the range of measures proposed by Mike Bloomberg to qualify anyone for gun ownership. Not that I trust government bureaucrats; but, I’m willing to take my chances in a court of law if my rights are sanctioned unfairly.
The 18th annual Salon du Chocolat has been running in Paris — it’s the world’s largest event dedicated to the art of chocolate, with some 130,000 visitors coming to meet cocoa farmers and artisan chocolatiers from around the world. One highlight, especially for anyone counting calories: a fashion show of chocolate couture. The show stays in Paris until November 4, is scheduled for New York November 9–11, and lands in Seoul and Tokyo in January 2013, but if you can’t make it to any of the festivities, click through our slideshow for an eyeful of the incredible dresses…
Enough to make your mouth water.
…Sitting in the elegant town house in Manhattan that is home to his private foundation two and a half weeks before Election Day, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who has endorsed neither candidate, had sobering words for both.
For Mr. Romney: “I do think that Romney’s business experience would be valuable, but I don’t know that running Bain Capital gives you the experience to run the country.”
For Mr. Obama: “This business of ‘Well, they can afford it; they should pay their fair share?’ Who are you to say ‘Somebody else’s fair share?’ ”
For both: “Their economic plans are not real. I think that’s clear…”
Mostly, Mr. Bloomberg was stepping forward as the nation’s newest billionaire “super PAC” donor, with a vow to spend millions beyond this election year supporting candidates willing to do what he implied Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney were not: taking “leadership and standing up to do things that aren’t going to be popular…”
His new group, Independence USA PAC, which was officially unveiled last week, has pledged to spend up to $15 million in the next two weeks on state, federal and local candidates whose views align with Mr. Bloomberg’s in support of gun control, same-sex marriage and overhauling public schools.
From where I sit, I think the majority of Americans would agree with him. A bit close on same-sex marriage; but, that’s marching forward with greater understanding, every day. Americans have a view of civil rights grounded in equal opportunity – regardless of what preachers and pundits may say. Looking at actual plans for reviving our moribund education system, providing legitimate measured oversight of assault weapons – both are possible with courageous leadership.
Calling that “getting your feet wet,” he said he wanted to provide a financial bulwark for those who occupy his definition of the political center, as George Soros does for those on the left, and as Charles and David Koch do for those on the right.
In essence, though, Mr. Bloomberg is seeking to give the candidates a taste of the political freedom that he has enjoyed as a self-financed billionaire politician whose money helped him withstand the powerful opposition he faced because of his unpopular initiatives, including a smoking ban and an 18.5 percent raise in property taxes, to name just two.
The article goes into more depth than I need to post here. Read it, consider his position. I think it’s as encouraging as any alternative suggested in recent years. In particular his willingness to start as an issue-oriented PAC at the grassroots level. That alone puts him light years ahead of our Greens, hippies, Paulista libertarians and assorted ivory tower think tanks.
Coming from the workingclass activist Left, I appreciate unity around a common understanding of what moves this nation forward. The three issues he has chosen all support the greatest good for the whole population. That subversive quality called “democracy” by most threads through his definitions of action. Fiscal responsibility holds equal stature with raising understanding and social consciousness. My conservative kin – traditional American conservatives who left the Party-formerly-known-as-Republican after decades of service – I believe would agree, as well.
Tornadoes touched down in NYC and Brooklyn, today
Almost 50 percent of global investors in a survey said government efforts to combat climate change will have little effect on corporate profits, while most say global warming is a danger to the planet…
Actions to limit pollution will have “not much impact” on profitability, according to 49 percent of respondents in the Bloomberg Global Poll, while a third said profit may fall. Eight percent of the investors, analysts and traders surveyed among Bloomberg’s global customers said such efforts would have a positive impact on corporate profitability in their nation…
“Business must realize that without some form of socially responsible behavior with regard to concerns over the environment, very high costs will fall upon society eventually,” John O’Connell, chief executive officer of the Toronto-based investment firm Davis Rea Ltd., said in an e-mail. “I do not see a major impact on profitability.”
Measures to control heat-trapping gases from power plants and factories vary by nation. The U.S. never ratified the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement adopted in 1997 that aims to limit greenhouse gases from industrial nations. The European Union has set a target of cutting the emissions in its nations by 20 percent in 2020 from 1990 levels…
Only a majority of American corporate officials echoed the anti-science ideology which rejects responsible action against climate change. European and Asian, Latin American business leaders had only a distinct minority who preferred to sit on their hands.
In a move to curb emissions that doesn’t need approval from Congress, the Obama administration has required automakers to double by 2025 the average fuel economy of passenger vehicles sold in the U.S. Kim Caughey Forrest, an analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group, in Pittsburgh, said…”The move to smaller more efficient cars will happen as gas prices rise,” Caughey said in an e-mail. “We saw this happen in the past few years. I don’t know if the market needs the artificial incentives.”
I’m not certain which cart is before which horse. Given that so many portions of the American corporate demographic are as insular as our conservative politicians, parochial, ignorant of science – and only care about next month’s balance sheet – I’m not certain if they support the agitprop that makes us the only Western nation backwards enough to ignore climate change – or they helped originate propaganda to aid their perceived threat to profits.
The encounter was breathtakingly brief: a surveillance video showed a gunman outside the Empire State Building on Friday pulling a pistol, pointing it at two police officers, their firing at him and his falling to the sidewalk.
All the yelling and cries of pain occurred out of camera view, just north of where the gunman, Jeffrey T. Johnson, collapsed and died: nine bystanders were struck, cradling bloody arms or lying on the sidewalks and curbs.
The police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, confirmed on Saturday that all nine were wounded by police bullets, bullet fragments or shrapnel from ricochets. Mr. Kelly also confirmed that the shooter, Mr. Johnson, never fired another shot after killing a former co-worker, Steven Ercolino, moments earlier…
It was the second time in two weeks that police officers fired fusillades on the crowded streets of Midtown — 28 shots fired between the two episodes — and with it, there were once again questions of police protocol in urban settings. In the first shooting, no bystanders were struck when officers fired 12 shots at a man with a knife just south of Times Square…
In many police shootings, stray shots are almost inevitable; a study based on New York’s annual firearms discharge reports indicated that officers hit their targets 34 percent of the time…
The patrol guide, the department’s manual, states that officers should not fire their weapons when, “in their professional judgment, doing so will unnecessarily endanger innocent persons.”
Of the nine bystanders wounded, at least two remained hospitalized in stable condition on Saturday…
Most folks understand the danger of the job. Most folks can see the difficulty of getting into a shootout with a suspect in a heavy duty urban situation. That doesn’t excuse the overkill we see again and again, with dozens of wild shots.
RTFA for anecdotal tales of other shootouts in NYC, decisions offered by the city that sometimes make sense, sometimes nothing but covering blue butt.
A New York City mother said she was shocked to find out the city medical examiner’s office kept her baby’s brain after an autopsy.
Cindy Bradshaw and her husband received a call from Dr. Rachel Lange, of the medical examiner’s office, on May 4, alerting them that their infant son Gianni’s brain was still at the medical examiner’s office…
The call came in just hours after Gianni’s funeral and four days after his body was picked up from the medical examiner.
“She said, ‘Oh, I forgot to tell you the brain was missing,’” Bradshaw said of her conversation with Lange. “And she said that like she had known me for many years and we were having a casual conversation.”
The brain was returned to Bradshaw and her husband, who had to pay additional costs to have it cremated…
Bradshaw was even more shocked to find out her son was at least the fourth person whose brain had been kept without their families’ knowledge by the medical examiner’s office after an autopsy…
A spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office said only that “the city shares its greatest sympathy with the family on their loss.”
Har. Not entirely off the subject – but, this reminds me of the classic description of the writer Richard Matheson. Harlan Ellison once said – “”Matheson has the heart of a small child. He keeps it in a jar on his desk.”
There is more to discuss of course. Starting with bureaucratic insensitivity. But, you aren’t surprised by that — are you?