8:42 am May. 24, 2012
A handful of New York City Council members proposed that subway stations get letter grades, just like city restaurants currently do. The idea was floated during a City Council budget hearing where officials from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority were testifying.
The response? One M.T.A. spokesman at the hearing simply said, "No." Later, another spokesman, Adam Lisberg, said, "We don’t see any value in giving subway stations letter grades for cleanliness."
The idea seemed to comport with the emphasis placed by the mayor and governor on assessing public services and exposing inefficiencies. The proposal comes as the authority also plans a hike in fares for commuters. The chair of the City Council's transportation committee, Jimmy Vacca of the Bronx, said that fare hike is what makes the grading system a necessity.
"If they are going to raise the fare, damn it, we're entitled to accountability," Vacca said.
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10:30 a.m. Andrew Cuomo speaks to the New York State Democratic Party at 40 Lodge Street.
11 a.m. The city's Youth and Community Development officials will testify at a City Council budget hearing at City Hall.
12:30 p.m. City Sanitation Department officials will testify at a City Council budget hearing at City Hall.
4 p.m. Bloomberg breaks ground on a new park on Governors Island.
"The teachers unions don’t fight for our children. That’s our job" said Mitt Romney, rolling out his education plan: eliminate caps on charter schools, impose stricter teacher evaluations and increase the use of vouchers. [S.A. Miller]
Brian Lehrer: "Going after Bain is questioning what kind of capitalism we want to have. The other is a racially coded fiction that tries to tell a fiction that Americans that you think you know who Barack Obama is after four years as president, but don't believe your own eyes: He may act like Barack Obama, but he's really Bobby Seale." [The Brian Lehrer Show]
Issues? "Strategists tied to the various candidates have suggested that the Queens race may boil down to ethnic ties: with such politically similar candidates, voters may use the shorthand of choosing a candidate who looks most like them or has the same background." [Sarah Maslin Nir]
Republican Dan Halloran is recovering nicely after brain surgery. [Celeste Katz]
"About-Face": Adam Clayton Powell IV endorsed Rep. Charlie Rangel, despite what Powell said about him "only two years ago." [David Seifman]
Adriano Espaillat countered that news by announcing he was endorsed by Herman Badillo. [Bobby Cuza]
Ray Kelly's proposed changes to stop-and-frisk are "weak" and miss the point. New York City should follow what they did in Philadelphia. [New York Times]
Rockland County's former district attorney argues the changes to the Rockefeller drug-sentencing laws are responsible for a rise in crime throughout New York City and New York State. [Michael Bongiorno]
Bloomberg will stop using the 34th Street Heliport during off hours. [David Seifman]
"The mayor’s office would not say where Mr. Bloomberg had been traveling last weekend, or why his helicopter apparently took off from or landed at the 34th Street helipad eight times in two days." [Michael Grynbaum]
Will the M.T.A. consider the City Council's proposal to grade subway stations? "No," said M.T.A. spokesman Kevin Ortiz during a budget hearing. [Jill Colvin]
M.T.A. spokesman Adam Lisberg: "We don’t see any value in giving subway stations letter grades for cleanliness." [Stephen Robert Morse, Sally Goldenberg, Jennifer Fermino]
Councilman Jimmy Vacca: "If they are going to raise the fare, damn it, we're entitled to accountability." [Pete Donohue]
Cuomo's takeover of the New York Racing Association is temporary and that's a good thing. [Daily News]
Pension Explainer: The state's pension fund grew by 5,9 percent, which is better than it's done in recent years, but it fell short of the 7.5 percent anticipated. That means the state will have to contribute money to make up the difference. [Erik Kriss]
The Brooklyn D.A. Joe Hynes said he'll advocate a new state law requiring rabbis and other religious leaders to be required to report sexual-abuse allegations to law enforcement officials. Hynes was unaware that there has been a bill on that issue in the Assembly since 2003. [Ray Rivera]
New York State should not raise its minimum wage unless Washington does on the federal level, or until the state moves "out of the business-climate desert." [Buffalo News]
The latest high-profile African-American to endorse it: Colin Powell. [Corky Siemaszko]
Sean Hannity: "You say you're still a Republican … Are we better off than we were four years ago? And are we better off than we were $5 trillion dollars in debt ago?"
Colin Powell: "It depends who you ask. If you ask the financial community, the system has been stabilized and we're not going off a cliff … If you ask auto workers, they'd say yeah, we're better off than we were four years ago." [Fox News]
New York City gets a high ranking for its parks system, but San Francisco beats it, in part by spending more per resident. [Dana Rubinstein]
Jerry Nadler says private equity is OK, but Romney did it wrong. [Reid Pillifant]
Marco Rubio is coming to C.F.R. [Reid Pillifant]
Oprah Winfrey and Arianna Huffington join forces. [Joe Pompeo]
The head of the New York Public Library tries defending his plan to move 3 million volumes of books from the flagship Schwarzman building to a storage facility in Princeton. [Dan Rosenblum]