04/21/2017 07:19 AM EDT
By Jimmy Vielkind in Albany and Azi Paybarah in Manhattan, with Addy Baird and Daniel Lippman
Penn Station is overcrowded and in need of upgrades, we all agree; the questions in play are simply how much to spend trying to fix it and who will pay. But in Buffalo, at the far corner of the state, planners and politicians confronted a more complex question when the roof on the city's downtown depot collapsed last year: Should the station even be downtown?
One one side of the ongoing debate is Rep. Brian Higgins, who argued that the city should seize on $25 million in coming state funds and redevelop the iconic Art Deco terminal that has been rotting in the city's languishing East Side since Amtrak abandoned it in 1979. On the other side were allies of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who have poured millions into developing Buffalo's waterfront, hotels and new housing. They said a train station should follow, and on Thursday, they were victorious as a panel voted to build a new station a few hundred feet from the old one. Cuomo also got his way.
GOOD MORNING AND HAPPY FRIDAY. Former Vice President Joe Biden will speak to the Regional Plan Association's annual conference, and the Democratic Rural Conference will have its annual meeting this weekend in Syracuse. Got a tip? Feedback? News to share? Let us know. By email: JVielkind@politico.com, APaybarah@politico.com, ABaird@politico.com, and email@example.com, or on Twitter: @JimmyVielkind, @Azi, @addysue, and @dlippman.
WHERE'S ANDREW? In New York City and then Onondaga County, to hobnob with rural Democrats.
WHERE'S BILL? Calling into WNYC's "Brian Lehrer Show."
PREET'S TWEETS: He promoted a luncheon event on Staten Island, and said he hopes the "rule of law" will reign when tweeting about how Rudy Giuliani lobbied to resolve a criminal case involving a Turkish citizen.
TABS - Daily News: "BRAVEST'S TRAGIC FALL: Firefighter plummets 5 stories to his death in Queens blaze" - Post: "FDNY hero dad in fatal plunge" - SEE THEM
- Newsday: "FDNY Tragedy: 'WE LOST ANOTHER HERO TODAY'" - El Diario [translated]: Abusive relationships - SEE THEM
FREEBIES - amNew York: "BRAVEST DIES IN FALL" - Metro: "BEATING THE ODDS" - SEE THEM
BROADSHEETS - Wall Street Journal, 1-col., above the fold: "U.S. to Probe Steel Imports" - New York Times, 2-col., below the fold: "Steel Is Pouring Out of China And It Won't Be Easy to Stop" - 4-col., below the fold: "Why Giuliani Was Granted a Meeting With Turkey's President" - SEE THEM
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I'm sure the station will adjust. and it was their decision - it couldn't have been an easy one. My guess is the evidence was overwhelming for FOX to make that decision." ~ Cuomo reacting to Bill O'Reilly's ouster.
BONUS QUOTE: "[Donald Trump's] Border is Broken Windows, on a massive, thousand-mile scale." - MSNBC host and author Chris Hayes, via NY1's Road to City Hall
WHAT ALBANY IS READING:
- LOBBYING GREEN - POLITICO New York's Josefa Velasquez and Bill Mahoney: Several medical marijuana companies that did not receive a state license to grow and dispense the drug in 2015 kept up their lobbying efforts in Albany, hoping to persuade the Cuomo administration to broaden the program. The strategy appears to have worked. The administration is preparing to double the number of licenses to 10. Although the amount of money which the runners-up spent on lobbying dropped after the state awarded the initial five licenses two years ago, three applicants continued to maintain a presence in the capital. Valley Agriceuticals, also known as Gloucester Street Capital, had a $10,000 a month retainer with Public Strategies in 2015. The amount was adjusted a few times, but the most recent contract in December listed the firm as being retained for $3,000 a month. Read more here
- Medical marijuana company Vireo Health of New York will launch delivery service in two of the five boroughs of New York City and on Long Island today.
- DEROSA'S CONFLICTS - Wall Street Journal's Mike Vilensky: "When the New York Senate and Assembly hit an impasse over budget negotiations earlier this month, Melissa DeRosa, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's chief of staff, headed late in the evening to the Senate office to try to work it out. As Ms. DeRosa huddled inside a closed-door meeting, an Albany lobbyist paced outside the office: Giorgio DeRosa, Ms. DeRosa's father, and a familiar face around the Capitol. Ms. DeRosa and her father have become two of Albany's most influential figures, leading to questions about how they keep their jobs at a distance. With Ms. DeRosa promoted on Monday to the top position in Mr. Cuomo's office, she is facing calls for more disclosure and said she is taking steps to allay concerns." Read more here
- BARRON WANTS STATE TO CONSIDER REPARATIONS - POLITICO New York's Bill Mahoney: While discussions of reparations for slavery usually focus on action at the national level, Assemblyman Charles Barron says state government should consider compensating the descendants of African slaves. Barron, a Democrat who represents East New York, introduced legislation on Monday that would create a 14-member "Commission to Study Reparations for African-Americans and to Recommend Remedies." "When I look at most of the street names in my Brooklyn district, they were named after slaveholders," Barron said. "Most people don't understand that New York City was one of the largest slave cities in the union, only next to Charleston, South Carolina. So I want us to - at the very least - let's study, let's put a commission together, have some hearings, go to professionals, scientists, historians, and let's study the impact of slavery on the African family past, present and future." Read more here.
WHAT CITY HALL IS READING:
- TRUMP EFFECT: "New York City tourism agency projects drop in foreign visitors under Trump" - POLITICO New York's Addy Baird: New York City's official tourism agency is projecting a drop in international tourism this year because of policies set forward by President Donald Trump. That drop, NYC & Company estimates, could result in New York City businesses losing $1.4 billion in business this year compared to what had been previously anticipated, and the city and state collectively could see $120 million less in 2017 tax revenue related to international visitor spending compared to initial projections. "New York is in a vulnerable position when it comes to these executive actions and we need to do everything in our power to push back," Councilmember Daniel Garodnick, a Democrat from Manhattan and the chair of the Council's Committee on Economic Development, said at a hearing Thursday. Garodnick focused Thursday on the economic impact the president's immigration and travel orders could have on the city. "It's a very harmful message for New York City," he said. Read more here
- DEATH OF FIREFIGHTER - Daily News' Kerry Burke, Thomas Tracey and Larry McShane: "It was a routine call like so many others across William Tolley's 14 years with the FDNY, a two-alarm apartment fire - until something went horribly, inexplicably wrong. Tolley, 42, the married father of an 8-year-old girl, died after a bizarre five-story plunge while working on the roof of a Queens building hit by a small blaze three floors below, officials said. ... FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro ... said Tolley - assigned to Ladder 135 - was the 1,172nd member of the FDNY to die in the line of duty. ... The fire, contained to a single room in a one-bedroom apartment on Putnam Ave. in Ridgewood, was "mainly extinguished" by the time of Tolley's fatal fall, just before 2:30 p.m., Nigro said. A source bluntly described the fire as a minor blaze that firefighters would typically put down without any risks - much less a death." Read more here
- OBJECTIONS TO NYPD BODY CAMERA RULES - POLITICO New York's Azi Paybarah: Days before 1,200 New York City police officers are to begin patrolling the streets equipped with body cameras, more than three dozen organizations asked a judge to stop the program's implementation, arguing the NYPD rules surrounding the devices will exacerbate the problem they were meant to alleviate. ... The NYPD rules do not require officers to turn on the cameras for most low-level street stops, which advocates say can quickly escalate into more serious confrontations. Not recording the initial encounter, they argue, increases the likelihood that crucial, early information will be omitted.
The NYPD rules also allow officers to review their own footage before filing official reports, which could enable officers to tailor their statements about an incident, rather than have the videos reveal potential discrepancies. Some of the same objections were outlined recently by the city Department of Investigation's Office of the Inspector General for the NYPD. ... "Think about Eric Garner," said Lurie Daniel Favors, a lawyer at the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College. "Do we honestly believe that the police, as currently constituted, would have turned on cameras early enough for us to get enough context to truly understand" what took place? ... Another attorney, David Rankin, said allowing police to review their footage before filing official statements obviates the main value of wearing the devices. "If they do not know what is on the body cameras, what we are going to get in those police reports is, hopefully, the truth," Rankin said. Read more here.
- Also: "After Stampede at Penn Station, Amtrak Police Point to Security Flaws" - WNYC's Stephen Nessen. Read more here.
EAT BEAT -- "Immigrant Bakery Workers Plan 'Day Without Bread' to Protest Layoffs," by Eater's Serena Dai: "A group of Queens bakery workers who will be laid off after an immigration audit plan to protest the decision tomorrow - including asking others to forgo selling or eating bread as a statement for immigrant rights in a 'Day Without Bread.' In March, longtime Long Island City business Tom Cat Bakery told more than 30 of its veteran employees that they had been flagged by the Department of Homeland Security for not having legal immigration papers. They either had to show papers, or get fired within ten days. The workers got a little bit more time to gather documents, but according to the Daily News, most of them will get fired on Friday. The employees and activists will be outside the 43-05 10th Street bakery protesting at 6 a.m tomorrow. They are also asking restaurants, bakeries, and diners across the city to go a 'Day Without Bread' by not selling or eating bread, a way 'to protest the Trump administration's inhumane clapdown on immigrants,' according to a statement... [T]he protest has received widespread support, including from elected officials like Public Advocate Tish James and Comptroller Scott Stringer. Most of the workers have worked at the artisanal bakery for more than a decade." Read more here
MORNING MEDIA with POLITICO's Joe Pompeo:
- THE O'REILLY EMAILS - ICYMI, from my story yesterday evening : The day before Bill O'Reilly was cut loose from Fox News after 20 years with the network, his handlers appeared to believe they had at least one more card to pull that might help save his job in the midst of a sexual harassment scandal engulfing the top-rated prime time host. On Tuesday, O'Reilly and his legal team debated whether to share with the leadership of parent company 21st Century Fox an April 13 email from Mary Pat Bonner, a Democratic fundraiser and ally of the liberal watchdog group Media Matters, which had spearheaded what she called an "advertiser education campaign" ... The email announced two conference calls with Media Matters ... to discuss "the success of the campaign so far, and our plans moving forward."
To O'Reilly's camp, it was evidence of a left-wing plot to oust the profit-making anchor and conservative media star, who maintains that the sexual harassment allegations against him, including $13 million worth of settlements first reported by The New York Times on April 1, are "unfounded." Perhaps Rupert, James and Lachlan Murdoch, the top executives of 21st Century Fox, could be convinced that O'Reilly was unfairly under attack? Probably not. But in any case, O'Reilly was against going to them with the Bonner email, anyway. Read more here.
- DARREN ARONOFSKY GETS ON BOARD NYT TRUTH CAMPAIGN - The Times is announcing this morning that the surrealist auteur has contributed four films to the next wave of ads for its brand campaign promoting "fact-based, independent journalism" in the misinformation age. The films, according to the Times, "focus on critical stories that have been covered extensively by Times journalists," on subjects like refugees, terrorism and Ebola.
Aronofsky: "Instead of being maligned and mistrusted, journalists should be respected and thanked. For me, it was an honor to speak with them about their methods and some of their toughest assignments. I hope the commercials pay tribute to the important work these men and women have done and continue to do."
- WANT TO FIGHT FAKE NEWS FOR FACEBOOK? Recode reports: "Facebook is looking to hire someone to head up its news products, a significant new role charged with helping to combat the proliferation of so-called fake news on its service. Facebook is talking to veterans of both the tech and media industries, according to multiple sources, but is having trouble finding someone with both the news and technology chops necessary to fill the role."
You can read the full Morning Media column and sign up to receive it in your inbox by clicking here.
REAL ESTATE, with POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg:
- "At Port Authority, a Cuomo-friendly opportunity to remake the board," by POLITICO New York's Dana Rubinstein: His term may not end until 2020, but Port Authority commissioner and Blackstone president Hamilton "Tony" James is planning to leave the Port Authority soon, after all of two years. The same holds true for Port Authority commissioner and real estate executive Michael Fascitelli, whose now 2-year-old term technically expired last June, but has been serving in a holdover capacity. Both Fascitelli and James have informed fellow Port Authority insiders and the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo - who appointed them in 2015 - that they are planning to leave the Board of Commissioners in the coming months, according to two people knowledgeable about those conversations. Meanwhile, the term of commissioner Ken Lipper, a Cuomo appointee who has evolved into a Cuomo antagonist, expires in June. No one expects the governor to reappoint him. Thanks to two pre-existing vacancies on the New York side of the board, Cuomo will soon be presented with the rare opportunity to fill five of his six seats at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, giving him the chance to remake the New York side all at once. This opportunity comes at the same time Cuomo is tightening his grip on the sprawling bi-state infrastructure agency, which controls the region's cross-Hudson bridges and tunnels, its ports and airports, as well as the World Trade Center site and PATH. Read the story here
-"JPMorgan Said to Plan Tripling Size of New York Technology Hub," by Bloomberg's Hugh Son and David M Levitt: "JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest U.S. lender, is planning to more than triple the size of its technology hub in New York City to increase space for the bank's coders and data engineers, a person with knowledge of the matter said. The firm is in discussions with Brookfield Property Partners LP to lease an additional 300,000 square feet on the upper levels of 5 Manhattan West near Hudson Yards, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren't public. The bank currently occupies about 125,000 square feet in the building. The talks are ongoing and could still fall apart, the person said. Banks are competing fiercely for technologists as the industry enters a new era of automation, fueled by cheap computing power and fears of losing customers to startups." Read the story here.
- "Rockrose Development plans 18-story,123-unit building in LIC," by The Real Deal's Miriam Hall: "Rockrose Development Corporation is planning an 18-story residential building across the street from its rental complex in Long Island City. The proposed building at 43-12 Hunter Street would feature 123 units across 86,560 square feet, according to permit application filed with the city Thursday. There are also plans for 4,000 square feet of retail space, as well as a lounge, an exercise room and a rooftop terrace. SLCE Architects is the architect of record. Rockrose paid $1 million for the site in 2006, records show." Read the story here
You can find the free version of Sally's real estate newsletter here: http://politi.co/2a1DgJk
THE HOME TEAMS - POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: The NFL schedules were released. Week 1 is September 10. The Giants open at Dallas. The Jets visit the Bills.
- Phillies 6, Mets 4: 10 strikeouts for Noah Syndergaard, but Jay Bruce hadn't played first base in three years, and it showed. Also, Yoenis Cespedes left the game with a hamstring cramp.
- The day ahead: the Yankees are in Pittsburgh. The Mets welcome the Nationals to Citi Field.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY - Friday: Craig Johnson, former State Senator ... Katherine Towell, press officer at the New York City Council ... Marco DeSena, adjunct professor at Baruch ... John Waldman, former aide at the New York City Council ... Jada Yuan, writer at New York magazine ... SKDKnickerbocker's Jon Reinish ... Tavi Gevinson, founder and editor-in-chief of the online Rookie Magazine, is 21 (h/t Jewish Insider) ... Saturday: State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., who is running for New York City Council ... Erik Joerss, who works at the New York City Charter Center ... Sunday: Assembly aide Roy Moskowitz ... radio reporter Beth Fertig.
- Birthday spotlight: Jodi Kantor, a reporter at the New York Times and an author and "CBS This Morning" contributor - how she's celebrating: "My plans got totally wrecked by reporting-my husband [Ron Lieber] is in Wyoming for a story, I was supposed to travel too, and now that's been called off. But I'm really happy just to stay home and snuggle our two daughters. Watching our tween play guitar for our toddler is the highest, most intense form of everyday happiness I have ever experienced." Read her Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2ox1rpY ...
#UpstateAmerica: Travel Channel host Andrew Zimmern snubbed Rochester, the original home of the garbage plate, and instead ate one in Buffalo.
#PlanetNYC: How and why Mayor Bill de Blasio's property in Park Slope keep losing money, on paper at least, via Nicole Gelinas in the Post.
PLAYBOOK INTERVIEW: Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, a marine biologist who grew up in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, is one of the organizers of the March for Science on April 22. The goal, leaders say, is to show the importance of science and it's relevancy, as it comes under attack in the Trump era. Johnson says scientists need to engage more with public policy. If only there were a few more Carl Sagans to explain it all on late night.
Why do you need to march?
We need to march because science right now is under attack. You're seeing some really concerning things in the federal government in the U.S. but also all over the world. ... This is a march that's happening in over 500 cities around the world. This is not just the U.S. and that's because people are really concerned about what's happening to science and how it's being completely disregarded in policy-making. You have scientists who are being censored, silenced by governments, not able to talk about the results of their research.
You have said scientists have to do a better job of telling their story. John Oliver addressed this once, with a Ted Talk parody, which made it sound like a science literacy problem.
Yes. Full stop. And the Ted Talks headquarters are right upstairs, so be careful what you say.
Speaking of policy, there are debates in New York about recycling styrofoam, reducing the use of plastic bags, fracking...
My mother actually hired a scientist to do a study on the relationship between acquifer and earthquake fault lines because that study had not been done. She submitted it to the state government. That's the point we're at: Private citizens are hiring scientists to synthesize existing research because there's not adequate funding or political will for government to do it. And that's really problematic.
What kind of music is most popular among scientists?
I don't know. I would love to find out - my next research project.
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