New York City

MTA Warns of 40% Cut in Services Without Federal Aid

Aug 31, 2020
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The financially troubled MTA is warning customers that massive service cuts and layoffs are coming if the federal government doesn’t come through.

MTA Chairman Pat Foye says subway and bus ridership have plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic and this is even more severe than the Great Depression. 

“The federal government must deliver for the MTA," he said. "It is literally our only option for survival.”

Foye says the agency needs $12 billion in the next few months or there will be more fare and toll hikes and a 40% reduction in subway and bus service.

NYC Boosting Quarantine Enforcement

Aug 14, 2020
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New York City is ramping up enforcement of the out of state quarantine rules.

There have been more than 1300 out-of-state drivers stopped trying to cross into Staten Island. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the checkpoints are concentrated there because a lot of people come up 1-95 into Staten Island.

“These checkpoints, you will start to see them more and more and they are going to keep rotating around," he said, "and the idea is to educate people that the quarantine is the law.”

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Governor Cuomo is cracking down on New York City bars and restaurants that aren’t doing their part to stop COVID-19.

Cuomo announced a new policy that will cost establishments big time for not enforcing mask-wearing and social distancing.

“We’re going to enact a 3-strikes and you’re closed,” he said. “Any establishment that receives three violations will be closed for business. Egregious violations can still result in an immediate loss of a liquor license.”

Cuomo said the state has gotten thousands of complaints about this.

NYC Taking Steps to Stop Gun Violence

Jul 10, 2020
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There’s an effort to address the huge spike in shootings that New York City has experienced recently on weekends.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said there will be an increased NYPD presence in hot spots, more foot and vehicle patrols, accompanied by community leaders.

“We will take back our streets in Harlem and all over our city but we’re going to do it from the ground up," he said. "We’re going to do it with community leadership.”

De Blasio says the Parks Department and community leaders will host activities such as pop-up basketball games.

NYC Opens Cooling Centers

Jul 9, 2020
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Officials are trying to keep New Yorkers cool in this intense heat and humidity while keeping coronavirus protocols in place.

Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell says there will be cooling centers opened in all five boroughs where folks are expected to wear masks and socially distance.

“Our cooling options have been adapted this year as a result of COVID 19 and our goal is to ensure that all New Yorkers that live in heat-burdened areas, heat-burdened communities are within a quarter mile of any outdoor cooling element,” said Criswell.

De Blasio Rejects James' NYPD Recommendations

Jul 9, 2020
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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is reacting negatively to a recommendation that he be stripped of control of the NYPD.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James reviewed the recent protests and one of the recommendations she is making is to appoint a panel in place of de Blasio to hire and fire police commissioners and officers.

“I don’t think it will work," de Blasio said. "I think it will be counterproductive.”

The mayor rattled off a list of police reforms and data showing a drop in crime on his watch. 

NYC Reveals Hybrid Plan for School in September

Jul 8, 2020
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New York City officials are revealing a hybrid learning plan for the start of the school year in September to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

Mayor de Blasio says the vast majority of children will head to the classroom two to three days a week. The other days will be remote learning.

“This blended model, this kinda split schedule model is what we can do under current conditions,” the mayor said.

De Blasio to Sign NYPD Chokehold Bill

Jul 7, 2020
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Mayor de Blasio said he will go ahead with signing the NYPD chokehold bill despite some worries about it.

The bill bans police chokeholds in all situations and wording was added right before the city council passed it that bans officers from sitting, kneeling or standing on a person’s chest or back while making an arrest.

"I am concerned about the wording that was added at the last minute, said de Blasio. "I know the NYPD is but we are going to move forward with the law. We're going to do the retraining of officers to address the features of the law."

NYC to Reopen Daycare Centers Monday

Jul 7, 2020
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New York City’s Board of Health voted to allow child care centers to reopen on Monday.

Mayor de Blasio said it’s been a struggle for parents with only a small percentage of daycares open during the pandemic and those were only for children of essential workers.

He said strict coronavirus related protocols will be in place once roughly 3000 city regulated and school based day cares reopen.

“No more than 15 kids in a room," he said. "All kids, all staff will be required to wear face coverings. There will be daily health screenings, regular cleanings.”

Ang Santos / WBGO

Revealed: The Hunt For bin Laden is the latest exhibition from the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.  For the first time, previously sealed evidence and artifacts will be displayed to the public.

IMREY STUDIO LLC / HSANYC.ORG

When Harlem School of the Arts founder Dorothy Maynor was raising money to build the facility, New York City was a much different place. 

“They really wanted to create this safe haven with this oasis on the inside,” said Eric Pryor, president of Harlem School of the Arts.  

The funding from the Herb Alpert Foundation will fix some issues, such as air conditioning, but it’s the 18,000 square foot glass curtain wall set to be installed in the front of the building that will transform HSA.

Robert Morgenthau
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Legendary Manhattan district attorney Robert Morgenthau has died at the age of 99.

His distinguished 35-year career included countless convictions and high-profile cases, including Bernie Goetz and John Lennon’s killer Mark David Chapman. He also developed a reputation for going after white-collar criminals.

The 25th Herb Alpert Award in the Arts is on May 13th in New York City. To honor the 125 Winners of the award who received $75,000 each from the Herb Alpert Foundation.

Ang Santos: The Herb Alpert Foundation has been supporting organizations that promote the arts for a few decades. Particularly in education arenas.  What prompted you to take such action?

In response to a measles outbreak affecting the Orthodox Jewish community in the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has declared a public health emergency.

All residents in Williamsburg are being ordered to receive a mandatory measles vaccination.  New York City Health Department Commissioner Oxiris Barbot says unvaccinated residents could face a fine.

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson wants municipal control of the MTA.

“Municipal control means saying goodbye to the MTA,” he said during his first State of the City address.

Johnson calls the new proposed agency Big Apple Transit. He says the MTA’s current structure has too many decision makers.  In his plan, responsibility would fall on the mayor’s shoulders.

NYC Updates Vision Zero Plan

Feb 19, 2019

The New York City Department of Transportation released its updated Vision Zero Action Plan.  

Officials say nearly half of all pedestrian fatalities occur on a small percentage of streets.  Mayor Bill de Blasio is taking immediate action.

“This year you’re going to see more pedestrian head starts at key intersections.  It’s going to give people more time to cross the street and make them safer.  This year you’re going to see traffic lights retimed in certain key areas to reduce speeding.”

De Blasio calls the initiative NYC Care, a program that will give any ineligible city resident access to treatment through public hospitals.

“Get the heath care you need when you need it,” de Blasio said.  “You won’t end up in the emergency room.  You won’t end up in a hospital bed if you actually get the care you need when a disease starts, not when it’s already too late.”

“For those who can afford something, they’ll pay on a sliding scale.  It they can’t afford anything, care will be for free.  No one will be turned away and care will be comprehensive.”

New York City is phasing in the new Fair Fairs program which offers half-priced MetroCards to low income residents. 

Initially, only working New Yorkers at or below the federal poverty level receiving cash assistance benefits will qualify for discounted passes.  In April, SNAP recipients are eligible.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says 2018 crime stats show overall improvements from the previous year. 

For the second year in a row, Mayor de Blasio says New York City experienced less than 300 homicides. 

“Less than one homicide a day in this city and we intend to go farther.  It’s extraordinary what has been achieved,” de Blasio said.

Overall arrests are down 37 percent since de Blasio took office.

“You don’t have a mass incarceration crisis if people aren’t being unnecessarily arrested,” de Blasio said.

NYC Public Advocate Special Election Date Set

Jan 2, 2019

Over 20 candidates already registered with the New York City Campaign Finance Board will have until February 26th to win over voters.  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed campaign finance legislation that clarifies the city’s current referendum covers the special election.

“To get big money out of our local elections and to empower every day New Yorkers who give small donations and strengthen them by adding to the ability of those donations to be matched with public matching funds.”

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The 'Bronx Action Plan' dedicates 8-million-dollars to increase neighborhood addiction treatment services.  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says another million will go towards an ad campaign warning about the dangers of fentanyl.  

“We’re in the middle of a battle against opioids.  This has gotten harder, not easier over the years, especially because of fentanyl. But what this city decided to do is take this battle head on,” de Blasio said.

Ang Santos / WBGO

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced a plan to create a memorial in The Olde Town of Flushing Burial Ground in Queens.  

Now part of New York City’s parks department, it’s said up to 1,000 people were buried on site in the 1800’s.  Death records from the period show a majority of them are African American or Native American.  

Supplied by Kate O'Brien

For the first time in over twenty years New York City’s has seen a rise in the number of new tuberculosis cases. Public health advocates warn that continued complacency about the potentially deadly, but curable disease could set the stage for more lost ground after a generation of progress. 

Ang Santos / WBGO

The John Lennon Educational Bus Tour was created by Brian Rothschild and Lennon’s life partner Yoko Ono. Rothschild says it’s a non-profit mobile recording studio that provides young people with free hands on opportunities to record.

Percussionist Chief Baba Neil Clarke is performing on Sunday July 1 at Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn as part of the International African Arts Festival, a celebration that kicks off Saturday June 30 and goes until the 4thof July.  

Ang Santos / WBGO

New York City is ranked 9th on The Trust for Public Land annual ParkScore index.  They rate park systems based on access, size, investment, amenities.

“How many residents live within a ten-minute walk of a park, spending per resident, and a bunch of what we call amenities, basketball hoops, dog parks, playgrounds, recreation and senior centers, and splash pads,” said Adrian Benepe, Senior Vice President with The Trust For Public Land.

Jersey City fell 13 spots to 53rd.

Ferry Service Will Connect Carteret to NYC

May 11, 2018
Ang Santos / WBGO

The Carteret Ferry Terminal is part of a redevelopment project on the borough’s waterfront along the Arthur Kill Channel.  Mayor Dan Reiman says the terminals construction won’t be complete until 2022, but the ferry can start operating as soon as they acquire a boat with help from NJ Transit.

“We have an existing 1,200-foot pier.  In fact, last year, two years ago when we did the test runs we operated off of this existing pier.  The infrastructure in town is in place.”

De Blasio To Expand NYC Ferry Service

May 3, 2018

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is planning to further expand the NYC Ferry service.  He says it has far exceeded annual ridership expectations.

“We thought the most we could possibly see with the existing lines was about 4.5 million riders a year.  Now we have a new projection.  In just a few years, that number will double to 9 million a year.”

De Blasio wants to invest $300 million in capital funding into NYC Ferry over the next five years.

Jon Kalish / WBGO

For much of the 20th Century some public libraries in New York had apartments on the premises for custodians who needed to keep the coal furnaces running 24/7. A new play has opened by a woman who grew up in one of these apartments. You can hear a report from WBGO’s Jon Kalish above.

  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says it’s time to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for the opioid epidemic.

“Those who created the problem have to feel the consequences, change their ways and finally address the damage they have done.  The suit targets seven manufacturers and three distributors who are most responsible for creating this crisis.”

He says they deceived the public, while putting lives at risk, all for the sake of profits.

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