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WHY THE

NATION’S EYES (and money) ARE ON

NY-19

THAT’S A LOAD OF ASPHALT:

CUOMO’S $100B infrastructure plan

Simcha Felder’s balancing act WHY THE INFLUENTIAL BROOKLYN LAWMAKER DOESN’T SEE THE POINT OF EITHER POLITICAL PARTY

CIT YANDSTATENY.COM

@CIT YANDSTATENY

October 24, 2016


City & State New York

October 24, 2016

EDITOR’S NOTE / Contents

JON LENTZ Senior editor

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump started their final presidential debate by actually engaging in a debate over their policy positions, from gun rights to abortion to immigration. One issue that was mentioned only in passing is the state of the country’s infrastructure – even though both candidates have rolled out multibilliondollar plans to pay for desperately needed upgrades. Clinton has called for spending $275 billion on highways, airports and other projects over the next five years. Trump has pledged to invest at least twice that amount. Of course, such an ambitious slate of public projects would hinge on cooperation and collaboration at the state level. And one state that would be well-positioned to take advantage of an influx of federal funds is New York. Indeed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo would likely be among the first governors to line up for money to pay for his new Tappan Zee Bridge, a revamped Penn Station, a rebuilt LaGuardia Airport, and much more – regardless of which candidate wins.

8.

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 19

John Faso and Zephyr Teachout face off in a high-stakes, high-spending congressional clash.

20.

INFRASTRUCTURE

In the wake of scandal, the decision to shift oversight of state projects away from SUNY Poly could increase transparency. But at what cost?

12.

WHO IS SIMCHA FELDER?

Why the influential Brooklyn state senator isn’t loyal to either political party.

30.

SLANT

Former Mayor’s Office of Sustainability Director Nilda Mesa on how superblocks could save New York City.

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CityAndStateNY.com

October 24, 2016

LAST WEEK’S ROUNDUP

BACK& FORTH A Q&A with New York City Councilman

CARLOS MENCHACA C&S: WHAT INFORMS YOUR VALUES AND THE STANCES YOU TAKE? CM: I’m dedicated to this bigger movement about civic participation and getting everybody at the table. .... I first got these concepts through my childhood experiences, growing up in El Paso, Texas, in public housing, single mom. There were seven brothers and sisters total. Engaging government happened at many levels, from our health care to food stamps. And then also … going to Mexico, crossing the border, and seeing how (my cousins) lived, they had the same kind of existence that we did, but without any government services. … Government very quickly became – like so many people who live in our district – a place for engagement. C&S: YOU SAT DURING THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO PROTEST RACIAL INJUSTICE AND VOTED AGAINST A RESOLUTION TO CONDEMN ANY EFFORT TO BOYCOTT, DIVEST FROM OR SANCTION ISRAEL. HOW DO YOU WEIGH ISSUES LIKE THIS THAT MIGHT BE A HIGHER PRIORITY TO YOU THAN YOUR CONSTITUENTS? CM: Black men right now are getting shot without any consequences across the country. These are things that are felt deeply by … me as someone with immigrant experience, openly gay, representing a community that is feeling it on a daily basis. … Moments of solidarity become important to us as leaders within our communities, to come back and say, look, we’re trying to solve it here. … For me (the BDS resolution) was very, very clear in the stance that I needed to take to support freedom of speech for non-violent protests. That wasn’t easy. I represent a big Jewish community.

NYC RESPONDS TO SHOOTING NYPD Sgt. Hugh Barry shot and killed 66-yearold Deborah Danner at her apartment in the Bronx on Tuesday evening. Danner, a black woman with schizophrenia, allegedly swung a baseball bat at Barry before he fired on her. But Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill condemned the shooting by Barry, who also had a stun gun and was accused of excessive force before. DE BLASIO 2017 REVS UP The mayor is putting his re-election campaign in motion, moving top adviser Phil Walzak to a campaign job and separating his Twitter accounts into @ NYCMayor, for official business, and @BilldeBlasio, for electioneering. Meanwhile, the Times reported that a federal investigation into his campaign fundraising has not turned up enough evidence to file charges – but the probe continues. MANGANO GONNA GO Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano was arrested Thursday along with his wife, Linda Mangano, and Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto. The trio are accused of engaging in a bribery scheme with restaurateur Harendra Singh, giving Singh contracts and guaranteeing loans in exchange for trips to Caribbean islands, gifts like a massage chair, and a well-paid noshow job as a “food taster” for Linda Mangano.

THIS WEEK’S EVENTS TUESDAY, OCT. 25 6 p.m. - Queens Councilman Eric Ulrich hosts a 2017 fundraiser, another step toward a mayoral bid. Those giving $1,000 to the 31-year-old Republican become “Dump de Blasio” donors. The event is in Ulrich’s district at Resorts World Casino, where he won a $7,515 jackpot this year. RW Prime, 11000 Rockaway Blvd., Ozone Park, Queens

THURSDAY, OCT. 27 8 a.m. - City & State hosts a State of NY Health conference keynoted by Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and U.S. Health and Human Services Regional Director Jackie Cornell. One panel discusses confronting New York’s biggest public health risks, from the opioid abuse epidemic to combating the Zika virus. New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Ave., Manhattan

Upcoming events: Planning an event in the next few weeks that our readers should know about? Submit details to editor@cityandstateny.com. We’ll pick the most interesting or important ones and feature them in print each week.

THE

Kicker

“WHAT IS CLEAR IN THIS ONE INSTANCE: WE FAILED.” – NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill on a sergeant fatally shooting a mentally ill Bronx woman, via The New York Times Get the kicker every morning in CITY & STATE’S FIRST READ email. Sign up at cityandstateny.com.


City & State New York

October 24, 2016

DID YOU MISS IT?

Our 11th annual celebration of the rising stars at the intersection of New York City politics and policy was held at Hudson Terrace in Manhattan. City Councilman Dan Garodnick, a former honoree, shared three tips for the latest class: “If someone says don’t worry – worry.” “Never, ever wear the hats that people hand you at events.” “Your reputation matters. Don’t stab people in the back. It’s always going to come back to hurt you.”

FROM THE WEEKLY PODCAST

HILLARY’S QUINN-TESSENTIAL SURROGATE

WITH FORMER CITY COUNCIL SPEAKER

CHRISTINE QUINN

New York City Councilman Dan Garodnick

ANDREW KIST

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito

John Powers, Rising Star Keith Powers, Barbara Powers and Tony Constantinople of Constantinople & Vallone Consulting

Rising Star Kevin Elkins, Staten Island borough director for the city comptroller’s office, with Charles Fall

When she's not leading one of New York's largest nonprofit homeless shelter providers, former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has been a steady presence on your TV screen advocating for Hillary Clinton. “The city needs to more clearly and more specifically articulate what their plan is to deal with the homeless crisis. I think the Maspeth folks have been horrendous. But they are based in fact when they say there’s no plan – you’re just taking over this hotel and that hotel without a plan. So that they’re not wrong about. But the city needs to more clearly articulate a plan and stand by it.” “At the moment, I am really, incredibly focused on getting Hillary elected and running WIN, and there are barely enough hours in the day to do both. For me, given how hard I’m working at both – and I know there’s going to be eye-rolling – but I don’t have any plans at the moment to run in 2017.”

Rising Star David Rozen, assistant counsel, the Department of Investigation’s Office of the Inspector General for the NYPD, and Karen Rozen

Center for an Urban Future's Christian GonzálezRivera, and New York City Department of Environmental Protection's Vlada Kenniff

Have photos from an event you’d like to see here? Send them to features@cityandstateny.com.

Listen, subscribe and review this week’s podcast by searching for “New York Slant” on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud or your favorite podcast app.

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October 24 , 2016 July 18, 2016

CityAndStateNY.com

MENCHACA

GETTING

A 2017 PRIMARY?

A R A C ¡ AY,

! A MB

BUZZ IN THE 38th Council District in Brooklyn is that Carlos Menchaca will have a primary in 2017. The name most mentioned to take on the El Paso, Texas, native is former state Assemblyman Javier Nieves. Some of the Bochinche on Menchaca is that many of the locals have resented his rapid rise to City Council, considering he has only been in Brooklyn for about five years. Additionally, the fact that he is Mexican and not a puertorriqueño like Nieves doesn’t sit well with some, since Puerto Ricans still make up a sizable portion of the diverse district. Menchaca beat the not popular or effective incumbent Sara M. González back in 2013, thanks in part to the support of Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, a prominent Puerto Rican. Menchaca is no pushover. He is very active and visible member of the council. He chairs the Committee on Immigration and authored and introduced legislation to create the municipal identification card program. He is also a member of the LGBT Caucus. Veremos, if this is all Bochinche or turns into an ethnic turf pelea.


SOMOS City & State New York

July 18, 2016 October 24, 2016

7

Strategies

MAYOR HAS A

FIESTA AND ...

POR AHORA, the only event in Bill de Blasio’s Somos schedule is a reception on sábado the 12th of November. According to the bochinchero, hizzoner could also be the keynote speaker at the gathering’s dinner that follows BDB’s fiesta.

STRINGER NO SE

QUEDA BEHIND

IN THE MEANTIME, Scott Stringer will be hunkering down in PR for the duration of Somos. The city comptroller (and rumored 2017 mayoral primary challenger) is supposed to arrive on Wednesday, Nov. 9 – the day the conference begins – and work the Latino pols, activists, professionals and potential supporters … just in case he takes on the mayor.

CUOMO’S

SMOKE & ESPEJOS

FOR HIS PART, Gov. Andrew Cuomo will more than likely not attend this year. Pero, there may be a report on Latinos in state government issued before or during the conference. Buzz is that it may be a report in which the governor will be tooting his own trompeta about the number of Latinas in his administration. An inquiry to an Albany insider got me this response: “His father did that when he was governor.” Nada new? “It’s all smoke and mirrors,” was the veteran bochinchero’s response. OK. REMEMBER, GENTE, IT’S ALL BOCHINCHE UNTIL IT’S CONFIRMED.


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CityAndStateNY.com

October 24, 2016

PAUL BUCKOWSKI/TIMES UNION

VS.

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 19 CANDIDATES REPUBLICAN JOHN FASO AND DEMOCRAT ZEPHYR TEACHOUT FACE OFF IN A DEBATE AT WAMC'S PERFORMING ARTS STUDIO LAST MONTH IN ALBANY.

John Faso is running on experience. Zephyr Teachout is campaigning as an agent of change. In an unpredictable election year, it’s anyone’s guess which approach will win in this high-spending, high-stakes contest for the 19th Congressional District. By ASHLEY HUPFL


City & State New York

October 24, 2016

IN 2014, SEAN ELDRIDGE bought a $5 million mansion in the Hudson Valley with his husband, a co-founder of Facebook, and mounted a campaign for Congress against U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, the popular Republican incumbent. Republicans launched a successful counter-attack against Eldridge, portraying the Democratic candidate as anoutsider who was oblivious to the needs of the 19th Congressional District, which spans parts of 11 counties in the Hudson Valley. Eldridge significantly outspent Gibson, but ultimately lost by 30 points. So when Gibson announced he would retire in 2016, and the primaries were won by John Faso, a Republican who has lived in the district for decades, and Democrat Zephyr Teachout, who moved there last year, it seemed like a safe bet the GOP would deploy the same tactic. Indeed, Faso’s campaign has labeled Teachout as a carpetbagger and a “downstater,” an epithet implying that she is beholden to New York City interests. Teachout moved from Brooklyn to Dutchess County in March 2015, while Faso has lived in Kinderhook, a town in Columbia County, for 35 years. The strategy hasn’t worked as well this time around. The two candidates are in a virtual dead heat, according to a late September Time Warner Cable News/Siena College poll showing Faso ahead of Teachout 43-42, a negligible advantage well within the poll’s margin of error. Teachout has sought to establish common ground with local voters, apparently with some success, by touting her own rural roots in nearby Vermont (though some might consider a “Vermonter” only marginally better than a “downstater”) and the local support and connections she built up during her campaigns against hydrofracking and the state’s Common Core education standards. Downplaying her party affiliation as a Democrat, she is also promoting herself as an “outsider,” in contrast to Faso’s long tenure in the state Assembly. “I think you’re seeing people saying, ‘Let’s have some structural fundamental changes,’” Teachout said. “The lobbyist, career politician isn’t working for us and you see that on the right and left and I believe the beating heart of this district is its independents.” Of course, Teachout isn’t exactly new to New York politics. She ran against Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary in 2014 and drew attention for winning about a third of the vote thanks to the support of liberals who were frustrated with

Cuomo’s centrist policies. Republicans hope that voters who supported Gibson, who was respected for his deep ties in the district, will see Faso as the same kind of candidate. One obvious difference is Gibson’s relatively brief tenure as an elected official. Gibson, who has endorsed Faso, pledged to serve no more than four

terms, and is voluntarily stepping aside after just six years in Congress. In a sign of Gibson’s crossover appeal, Teachout has also been quick to say she respects the outgoing incumbent. Faso, who served in the Assembly from 1987 to 2002, was the chamber’s minority leader from 1998 until 2002, when he made

WHERE THEY STAND SAFE ACT Teachout: Supports gun ownership, but also supports stronger background checks, closing the “Gun Show” loophole and wants to improve mental health services to address root causes of mass shootings and remove the ban that prevents the CDC from researching gun violence. She also opposes the SAFE Act. Faso: Has been endorsed by the NRA and received a lifetime “A” rating. He opposes a return to the federal “assault weapons” ban, opposes the SAFE Act and a national gun registry. PROPERTY TAXES Teachout: Supports property tax relief for middle-class homeowners, but has opposed the state’s current property tax cap. She has proposed lowering property taxes by using a “circuit-breaker” or tax credit based on income and need. However, the plan would need to be passed on the state level, not in Congress. Faso: Supports the property tax cap and believes federal law should be amended to eliminate the local government share of Medicaid within a fiveyear period. JOBS & THE ECONOMY Teachout: Opposes trade deals like NAFTA and the proposed TPP. She supports forcing big banks to lend to more independent businesses and supports expanding antitrust tools to support smaller competitors. Faso: Supports cutting taxes and simplifying the tax code, wants to switch to a system in which profits are only taxed once, instead of double taxation on foreign earnings, and supports lowering maximum corporate tax rates, in addition to closing some corporate tax loopholes. He also supports a tax reform plan that would allow small businesses

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to file taxes as subchapter “S” entities and reforming Dodd-Frank. NATIONAL SECURITY Teachout: Advocates international alliances to prevent dictators from obtaining nuclear weapons and has long opposed the Iraq War and intervention in Libya. She also wants to improve the accuracy of the terrorist watch list. Faso: Supports increasing the number of active duty personnel and modernizing the country’s weapon systems. He supports a military presence in unstable regions of the world and believes no administration should be allowed to establish agreements affecting national security without input from Congress. EDUCATION Teachout: Opposed to the Common Core standards and the related state tests. When she ran against Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary in 2014, she was backed by many in the state who sought to repeal the Common Core standards. Faso: Has also been critical of No Child Left Behind and Common Core education policy and has long supported charter schools. He also supports a 529 tax plan to address the rising cost of college and wants to develop a college affordability agenda. HEALTH CARE Teachout: Supports reforming the Affordable Care Act to control “skyrocketing” premium costs. Faso: Supports repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with a health care system that would allow the same tax treatment for health insurance purchased by individuals and small groups, such as employer-provided health care. He would also expand access to community health centers for the indigent and uninsured.


CityAndStateNY.com

October 24, 2016

THE INCUMBENT REP. CHRIS GIBSON, LEFT, HAS ENDORSED FELLOW REPUBLICAN JOHN FASO ...

a failed run for state comptroller. In 2006, Faso announced a gubernatorial bid against Eliot Spitzer, but lost that race, too. Since 2003, he has been a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, a consulting firm. That experience is a strength, Faso asserts. “I do know something about government and I think that experience if useful,” he said. “You don’t want to get on an airline with a pilot doing his first flight. I think the reason she’s attacked me unfairly and falsely is that she just moved here. She has no record here, she has never voted in a general election here in the district.” Their agendas overlap on some matters, at least according to their official campaign websites. Both list job creation and economic development as a top priority, along with lower property taxes, support for gun ownership and national security. But on such hot-button issues as abortion rights, immigration and environmental issues, the candidates align predictably with their respective party platforms. During the 2014 gubernatorial primary, Teachout called for increased education funding, decriminalizing marijuana and passage of the DREAM Act, which would provide state-funded scholarships for young undocumented immigrants. She praised the SAFE Act, Cuomo’s signature gun control law, but has drawn scrutiny for shifting her stance and coming out in opposition to the controversial legislation. During his own run for governor against Spitzer, Faso, who had developed a reputation as a budget expert in Albany, emphasized lower taxes, fiscal conservatism and education reform. What remains to be seen is which combination of arguments and experiences

wins out in the contest, which is one of the most expensive House races in the country. Democrats have narrowed the enrollment gap in recent years, putting the two major parties on fairly equal footing – although a large bloc of independent voters makes the swing seat even more unpredictable. “Maybe this isn’t one to make your election bets with,” Bruce Gyory, a Democratic political consultant who also works at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, said of the marquee matchup. “This is just one to just observe.” EARLIER THIS MONTH, Faso appeared at an event in Petersburgh to listen to an update from state and local officials on the water contamination that has rocked the area, including Hoosick Falls. He was not scheduled to speak at the event, and instead took a seat in the crowd to listen with other citizens. Given the serious nature of the contamination, Faso was reserved while speaking to citizens and state officials as they arrived, but he cracked a smile and joked with a young mother who was teaching her child to walk before the event began. In an interview with City & State before the event, Faso brought up Gibson as a model for how he wants to work across party lines to get things done and appeal to both Democrats and Republicans. But Faso said he also knows that voters tend to revert back to their party affiliation in an open contest. “I think many Democrats who live in the areas I’ve previously represented are supporting me, but it’s harder when you’re first running to get them to go across party lines,” Faso said. “You listen to people and

you understand that not all the political wisdom resides on one side of the political aisle. Compromise is not a dirty word. Our system is predicated on compromise.” When delving into policy issues, Faso provides specific details of his agenda without any prompting. One of the major issues for voters in the 19th Congressional District is the rising cost of property taxes. Faso has proposed federal legislation that would eliminate a state’s ability to impose some of its Medicaid costs onto localities, which he said contributes largely to the cost of property taxes. Faso said $9 billion is the total amount localities spent on Medicaid costs throughout the whole country – with $7.5 billion of that coming from New York. “Remove that provision which authorizes it in federal law and then over a five-year period, under my proposal, the state would have to gradually assume that cost and reform its program to fix this mandate on the taxpayers,” he said. Faso also supports broad tax reform but criticized the state’s economic development programs, such as Start-Up NY, which he said favor only a few and gives government officials too much influence in deciding who gets state contracts. “If you just inspire people broadly to do this, you’ll have more synergistic activity in the economy,” he said. “I think that’s the fundamental difference in what I see as this top-down economic development that Cuomo does, which has gotten a lot of favor from state and local officials. Level the playing field and make it easier for businesses to invest.” THE FOLLOWING DAY, Teachout was scheduled to appear at a festival in Coxsackie, a town in Greene County. Her event was scheduled for 3 p.m., but the festival’s organizer was never told Teachout was going to appear and told venders they could pack up after the band finished at 3 p.m. Teachout arrived to a mostly empty parking lot to introduce herself to the remaining vendors still packing up. Still, about 10 supporters showed up to the empty parking lot. The first question was about property taxes. Denouncing the property tax burden on homeowners, Teachout laid out her plan for a “circuit breaker,” a tax credit based on income. However, when pressed on the matter later, she acknowledged it would need to be passed at the state level, not in Congress. Teachout took questions from residents for nearly an hour, interjecting with jokes and teasing. Where Faso comes across as more reserved, Teachout is vivacious and cheery.

FACEBOOK

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City & State New York

October 24, 2016

small business owners, small-scale farms, and that means working across the board with members of my own party, working with Republicans, just to try to get things done and move past some of the nonsense,” Teachout said later during an interview. “What I hear from people everywhere in the district is that they’re looking for someone who is going to be independent.” According to the latest campaign filings, Teachout leads Faso in campaign contributions, raising $1.6 million since July, and has about $1.5 million on hand. Faso raised about $922,000 since July and has about $356,000 on hand.

... BUT TEACHOUT ALSO SPEAKS HIGHLY OF GIBSON.

While answering questions, Teachout emphasized how she is running against “big donors” and “special interests,” and the lines resonated with the small gathering. One of the attendees remarked that the U.S. economy is “like it’s back to when two, three trusts controlled everything.” “When I’m in Congress I’m going to be really focused on economic development,

LOOMING OVER Teachout and Faso’s campaigns is the presidential contest, which could be a major factor in the race. “The other factor is with obviously what’s going on at the top of the ticket,” said Republican political consultant John McArdle, who believes Hillary Clinton will win the presidency. “For people who are concerned about her, don’t like her, don’t trust her – which is I think most of the country – having a Republican Congress is critical. For all those reasons, I

Our Perspective Like Unions, BLM Movement is a Fight for Justice

B

By Stuart Appelbaum, President, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, RWDSU, UFCW

lack Lives Matter is one of the most important civil rights movements in recent years. And it is one we in organized labor must embrace, not only because it is morally right, but because fighting for justice is what unions do. Created four years ago after the acquittal of the man who killed Trayvon Martin in Florida, Black Lives Matter became a rallying cry when subsequent police shootings across the country claimed the lives of Black men including Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Philando Castile in Minnesota and Eric Garner and Akai Gurley in New York. It is a movement that demands the end of police brutality and mass incarceration, and is dedicated to improving the lives of all Black men, women, and families regardless of economic status, religious beliefs, immigration status and sexual or gender identity.

What it is not is a movement that is anti-police, or anti-white — yet it has been unjustly portrayed as both. It also has been the target of racist hatred: In recent weeks, a BLM float was vandalized at a college homecoming celebration in Idaho, a Virginia college professor compared it to the KKK, and some police groups across the country have vilified it. Critics have responded to the phrase “Black Lives Matter” by saying things like “All Lives Matter,” or “Blue Lives Matter.” That misses the point. Of course, all lives matter, but the tragic, historical truth of our country is that for more than 400 years black lives have not mattered as much as white lives or even other groups of color. Black people have been enslaved, lynched, segregated, disproportionately jailed, and routinely subjected to a different standard of justice than whites. Time after

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think John is going to win.” McArdle also argued that Bernie Sanders supporters will not turn out to vote with Clinton at the top of the ticket; Sanders has campaigned for Teachout in the district. Faso has received criticism for expressing support for his party’s candidate, but he has refused to say whether he will actually vote for Trump, even after the recent allegations of sexual assault against Trump. “Anything that’s said in a campaign in October, you have to take with some skepticism, so I’m still waiting to see how this unfolds,” Faso said. Teachout accused Faso of “talking out both sides of his mouth.” She says she will vote for Clinton in November. Yet some political observers believe the outcome will come down to Teachout and Faso, not the presidential candidates. “The stakes are very high. I’ve been calling this the marquee race in the state and I’m sticking with that characterization of it,” Gyory said. “It’s drawn the most outside money, both candidates are raising money.” He added: “It’s gonna be wild.”

time, police officers involved in the shooting deaths of black people — many of whom were unarmed — have either not been charged or were acquitted. While it is a movement created by and for Black communities, all of us, regardless of skin color, must come to understand and respect it and to stand shoulder to shoulder with men and women demanding equal justice and equal treatment under the law. That is something we are deeply committed to at the RWDSU, where many of our members are people of color who work largely in relatively low-paying jobs. We must continue to organize in communities of color to help the workers who need it most. And, we must attack racism in all of its forms. As the union pioneer A. Philip Randolph once said: “Freedom is never given; it is won.” That is the aim of the Black Lives Matter movement — and it is why we in the labor movement, and society at large, must embrace it and fight for its ideals.

www.rwdsu.org


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CityAndStateNY.com

October 24, 2016


October 24, 2016

WHO IS

City & State New York

SIMCHA FELDER? “Heretic.” “Maverick.” “Opportunist.” “Advocate.” Not even Felder himself can say who he is.

Story and photos by FRANK G. RUNYEON

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CityAndStateNY.com

AS POLITICAL JOURNALISTS pelt voters with daily revelations about presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – be it leaked emails from the former or assault allegations against the latter – many local politicians are worried about how the fallout from that toxic race might affect their own political fortunes. Simcha Felder is not one of those people. Impervious to the steady thwack of newsprint-wrapped bombshells before Election Day, Felder is running unopposed for his state Senate seat in the 17th district – on the Republican, Democratic and the Conservative party lines. Political analysts call him an anomaly, an outlier, a maverick even. He’s been called worse. “I would say the average loyal Democrat sees me as a heretic,” said Felder, admitting that they have a point – he did defect from the Democratic Party to caucus with Republicans in 2012. “Of course I betrayed the party! The parties are not a religion.” But despite donning a yarmulke and being ordained as a rabbi, Felder does not define himself by religious conviction either. “I don’t consider myself the ‘Jewish senator,’” he said. “That part is irrelevant – except that it is very important to my upbringing and my background.” He wishes he was known by his personal qualities: “That he tries to help, that he’s caring, that he’s sensitive – I’m writing my eulogy here,” Felder joked in his Brooklyn brogue, reclining slightly in an office chair. The 57-year-old gestured freely, easing back into a gentle repose, his hand lightly touching his forehead. “But I hope the last thing would be, ‘Oh yeah, he’s an Orthodox Jewish guy who grew up in Brooklyn.’” He is a political character that defies easy labels. Felder served two terms as a Democrat in the New York City Council beginning in 2001. He was elected to serve a third, but resigned instead to work as deputy comptroller, a position he held for two years. He then ran for state Senate on the Democratic line in 2012, beating out Republican David Storobin to win a newly-formed 17th district centered on Borough Park. But shortly after his election to the state Senate, the lifelong Democrat announced that he planned to caucus with the Republicans. Party leaders were furious. Frank Seddio, chairman of the Democratic Party in Brooklyn, called it “both a disgrace and a complete betrayal of his constituents.”

October 24, 2016

Political commentators weren’t impressed either. A New York Times reporter described the state senator-elect as “a serial political jumper, someone who makes a weather vane look like a symbol of constancy.” But despite the vitriol, Felder has come out on top. By joining the 31 Republicans, he tips the balance of power in the 63-seat state Senate, 32 to 31. Felder’s gambit has made him one of the most influential politicians in Albany. “He wields a lot of power,” said Ezra Friedlander, a political consultant and CEO of the Friedlander Group. “He’s in a time when he’s literally the deciding vote.” “When everyone is courting you and everyone wants a piece of you, that’s a good thing,” he added. “That’s a very good thing.” Indeed, perusing the political press, readers often see the names of four major players in the state Senate side-by-side: the Democrats, the Independent Democratic Conference, the Republicans, and Simcha Felder. While Felder’s political play is currently paying off, there’s still the question of what’s really motivating him to break ranks with his party. Twenty minutes into a far-ranging twohour interview with the senator, City & State posed the question: Who is Simcha Felder? Sitting in his office above Avenue J in Brooklyn, Felder answered. “I don’t know,” he said quietly, adding quickly, “I don’t know who he is. I really don’t.” He paused, sitting silently for a moment. “I don’t know who I am.” THERE WERE EARLY indications that New York state Sen. Simcha Felder might stir up trouble for people in power – long before he defected from the Democratic party to caucus with Republicans, long before he ever held elected office. Perhaps, he admits, there were signs in his childhood. From a young age, he said, “I did not have the sitzfleisch.” That translates, roughly, as the ability to sit still. And for a rabbi’s son growing up in Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox community, where long hours studying sacred texts is expected daily, that meant he was bound to clash with the higher-ups. “I made trouble all the time,” Felder said with a playful smile, the hallmark of a youngest child. “I was the bane of their existence.” “Example number one: We had this reb-

be whose constant mantra was, ‘No one can fool me,’” Felder said, lowering his voice and wagging a finger. Young Simcha, then in 10th grade, couldn’t resist the challenge. He took a photo of the rabbi as he padded the hallways of the shul, smoking with his tongue hanging out. Simcha blew up the image, printed the picture and showed the rabbi, who sternly admonished him. Days later, he pulled his friends into the prank. “I told the guys in class to tell him I made thousands of copies of the picture and hung it up all over the streets.” Only he hadn’t. The rabbi stormed across the street, grabbed Simcha – who was wielding only a stapler and a stack of blank cardboard – and dragged him into the principal’s office, ranting about the scurrilous schoolboy. The principal was amused, but he posed a blunt question to the boy: Would he fall in line? Or did he want to be transferred to another school? Did he want to stay – or go? “I don’t know,” the future senator told the principal. “Flip a coin.” NOW, 40 YEARS LATER – with little more than a mile between his yeshiva and his Senate office – Simcha Felder has come a long way for someone who never went very far. The boy who couldn’t sit still pushed through his classes at Yeshiva Karin Stolin, completed rabbinical studies at ultra-Orthodox Yeshiva Torah Vodaas, picked up a bachelor’s in accounting at Touro College, then got an MBA at Baruch College. But it turned out he was neither best suited as a rabbi or merely an accountant. After serving as a tax auditor for the New York City Department of Finance, he began his political career as chief of staff to Borough Park’s veteran Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a fellow Orthodox Jew. Politics, Felder said, is the way he hopes to carry on his father’s ministry of helping others, by doing what he can for the people in his community. It’s a community that needs a lot of help. Felder’s district centers around the Borough Park, Flatbush, Midwood and Kensington neighborhoods. A 2011 UJA community study showed that 60 percent of all Borough Park households were poor or near poor, with 68 percent of household incomes falling below $50,000. The Flatbush/Midwood/Kensington area fared only slightly better. That’s why Felder has done his best to bring money home to the district.


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“I WOULD SAY I LOVE SLUSH, EVERY FLAVOR. WHAT PEOPLE CRITICIZE AS SLUSH IS THE ENGINE THAT ALLOWS GOVERNMENT TO HELP IN AREAS WHICH WOULD NEVER EVER GET THE HELP.”

A prime example, he said, was his role pulling down $42 million in funding for door-to-door privatized busing citywide to accommodate students who get out after 4 p.m. – primarily yeshiva students. Otherwise, Felder said, parents would have had to pay for that busing, have their children take public transportation, or let them walk home in the dark. Going forward, he is continuing to push for the Education Investment Tax Credit, which would bring further funding to religious schools. While some have criticized such earmarks as pork barrel spending or pandering, Felder is not opposed – but he has another name for it. “I would say I love slush, every flavor,” an outgoing City Councilman Felder explained to The Jewish Star in 2010. “What people criticize as slush is the engine that allows government to help in areas which would never ever get the help,” he said, citing funding for parks, libraries and local nonprofits. “What comes to my mind first are the people who are the most vulnerable,” Felder told City & State when asked about his district, highlighting the large population of elderly residents, young children and people with special needs.

But a half dozen political analysts consulted by City & State were skeptical that his political jockeying is driven by compassion. Dr. Samuel Abrams, a professor at Sarah Lawrence University and an expert on political sociology, has a very different theory for what could be motivating Felder. “Ruthless ambition,” Abrams said. It’s possible that Felder simply took advantage of the newly-drawn district, Abrams explained, by exploiting weak party organization there. Now, he’s simply playing them off one another to enhance his position. As long as the state Senate remains closely divided, Felder is in a position to

play kingmaker. But several associates of Felder’s dispute the image of a self-seeking politician. “Simcha is not your typical player,” Friedlander said, explaining that Felder has repeatedly rejected offers to be honored at community events. “He doesn’t demand the limelight. He shuns it.” But when considering the political risk Felder is making, Abrams said, “This whole thing is just bizarre.” The parties’ political machines are simply too strong to allow a single politician to switch teams the way that Felder has done, Abrams said. So, it’s only a matter of time before one of the parties targets his district.


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“That’s very dangerous politically,” Abrams said. “You can’t operate as a free agent anymore in any legislative body. It’s too difficult.” And at the moment, the Democrats have the clearest motive to target the senator’s district. After all, the Democrats would have a majority if Simcha Felder caucused with them instead of the Republicans. “Simcha is the best example of loyalty to one’s self,” said Seddio, the chairman of the Brooklyn Democrats. But despite Felder’s snub to the party in 2012 and his caucusing with the Republicans for the last four years, Seddio said, the Democrats have no plans to unseat him. Not least of all, because they can’t. “Well, it’s too late now. But we couldn’t find someone to run against him if we wanted!” Seddio said, chuckling. “No one will run against Simcha in his community,” he explained. His community now sees him as “the exemplary elected official that cares about them more than politics.”

October 24, 2016

After stridently denouncing Felder in 2012, Seddio has changed his tune. “Nothing wrong with being angry,” he said of his past comments. “There’s something wrong with being vengeful.” “For the good of the party, you have to work together to make things happen,” Seddio continued. In fact, he’s happy to welcome Felder back into the fold if the Democrats win enough seats in November to take back the majority. The feeling is mutual. “I would do it,” Felder said. “If tomorrow it made a lot more sense for me to caucus with the Democrats” and it would better serve his constituents and New Yorkers, he said he’d have no problem switching teams again. “I am not a faithful, loyal Republican and I’m not a loyal Democrat,” Felder said, explaining that he’s always been clear: His policy positions don’t fit neatly into either party’s box. Perhaps then, other political analysts

said, Felder is simply a “party switcher” driven by his own independent political ideology. He would not be the first. There’s Richard Shelby, the Alabama congressman who safely flipped from Democrat to Republican in 1994. And Arlen Specter, the Pennsylvania senator who pulled the trick off successfully once, turning Republican in 1965, but lost his Senate seat after he crossed the aisle again in 2009. Then there’s Joseph Lieberman, the Democratic Connecticut senator and onetime vice presidential candidate, who never changed parties but voted conservative on social issues – not unlike Felder. SIMCHA FELDER’S LEGISLATIVE record shows that he is no party-line Democrat. In the state Senate, Felder was the only no-vote on the $15 minimum wage. He cast pivotal votes killing the immigrant-friend-


City & State New York

October 24, 2016

ly DREAM Act as well as shooting down the pro-abortion Women’s Equality Act. He called the elimination of stop-and-frisk policing a mistake. He helped torpedo 5-cent plastic bag fees and won himself the 2016 “Oil Slick Award” from the advocacy group EPL/Environmental Advocates. Felder also supported pro-Israel policies like anti-BDS legislation and Iran divestment. But Felder takes his cross-party ideology to a new level. This election he’s wearing three hats – Democrat, Republican and Conservative – and running on each party’s ticket. “What’s unusual about this case is to have somebody who’s done this and still surviving in all parties,” said Dr. Bruce Oppenheimer, a professor at Vanderbilt University who studies party switchers in congressional politics. Felder is not party agnostic or impartial – far from it. If he could, he would abolish them. “Political parties? I don’t see the purpose,” Felder said. “I’m not claiming there was never a purpose for them.” “If I could, I would rather there be causes,” he said, advocating for political clubs organized around a single policy goal. “For example, if people were in favor of family leave, if they had a line. If people were in favor of cutting taxes, if they had a line. Issues like that are much more important

But for a maverick welding as much political clout as he does, Felder has remarkably humble goals. He counts cutting down on parking tickets, outlawing unsolicited mailers and his attempt to ban the feeding of pigeons among his great legislative stands. Tackling public nuisances and local concerns are what he wishes to be known for – perhaps by a title like “Senator Pothole,” to borrow from U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, Felder said. Voting behavior experts say that Felder’s political maneuvering is best explained by the unique cultural group that makes up the majority of voters in his district – conservative Jews. In fact, the Borough Park, Flatbush, Midwood and Kensington neighborhoods, south of Williamsburg and east of Sunset Park, may have greatest density of Jews in the country. “It is the most Jewish Senate district in the state,” said Jerry Skurnik, an expert on voter data at Prime New York. He estimates that about 44 percent of the nearly 131,000 active voters in the district are Jewish, based on the number of voters with a Jewish last name. Other estimates are higher. David Pollock, director of public policy at the Jewish Community Relations Council, estimates 57 percent of all active voters are Jewish, since voters with less “Jewish” names are often missed in Skurnik’s count. And based on data in the 2011 UJA re-

“I AM NOT A FAITHFUL, LOYAL REPUBLICAN AND I’M NOT A LOYAL DEMOCRAT.” to me.” But as much as Felder might wish they didn’t exist, political parties aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. A growing partisan divide is making parties more powerful, not less, research shows. “State legislatures are becoming increasingly divided by party,” said Marjorie Hershey, a professor at Indiana University and an expert on party politics. “And that’s perfectly understandable because the voters and the candidates who are elected are becoming much more polarized by party.” With voters and candidates hewing more closely to party lines, there’s little hope that either major party with vanish anytime soon, Hershey said.

port, Pollock estimates that 66 percent of all residents in Felder’s Senate district are Jewish, 42 percent of residents are Orthodox, and 26 percent of residents are ultra-Orthodox. And those numbers appear likely to increase, driven by large and growing families in the Orthodox community. Still, Felder objects to labeling his district an Orthodox Jewish district. “I hate that. I hate being characterized that way,” Felder said, his voice rising. “I don’t think people identify districts as Catholic districts or Muslim districts – which they shouldn’t!” “But the facts are the facts,” he said. “I’m not trying to make something not ex-

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ist that exists.” While his district is certainly a multi-ethnic area, it is hard to miss the Hebrew lettering on many storefronts on Avenue J, the street vendors selling essentials for the High Holy Days, or the fact that Felder’s district office shares a building with a high school yeshiva. Moreover, a large and growing percentage of his district belonging to ultra-Orthodoxy might explain Felder’s focus on local issues and getting the most for his constituents, several experts in Jewish political behavior said. “The ultra-Orthodox practice what we call patron-client politics,” said Kenneth Wald, a professor at the University of Florida who studies Jewish voters. “That is to say they basically look at their representative as someone who is going to achieve very specific group-centered goals that they have. In exchange for which they’ll provide the vote. It’s a kind of trade.” This transactional politics aims to preserve the cultural enclave of a community that values separation from mainstream American society but needs help tackling poverty and safety concerns. They wish to be separate, Wald explained, but they need outside support. “I think the ultra-Orthodox tend to be fundamentally concerned with things that will affect what they see as group survival,” Wald explained. And while this socially conservative group can appreciate a candidate who makes a stand against a broader political issue like abortion, he said, “Larger issues don’t really matter. It’s a question of will you give us this tangible thing that we need.” “It’s almost like (the ultra-Orthodox are) fixed in that same 19th-century style of American politics,” Wald said. It would be true of the Amish too, he added, if they voted. Quid-pro-quo politics, whatever the reasoning, raises eyebrows. Deals struck between influential community leaders and politicians smack of machine politics, good government groups warn. There’s a potential for influential religious leaders in the Orthodox community to command votes in exchange for favors. Felder regularly seeks advice from prominent rabbis, but played down any political significance. But Orthodox Jewish news site Vos Iz Neias? reported that Grand Rabbi David Eichenstein, of the Burshtin Hasidic dynasty, endorsed Felder during his hotly-contested 2012 state Senate campaign. The story featured a photo of them affixing


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a mezuzah to the campaign office door. The Forward highlighted the act as a sign that New York’s ultra-Orthodox leadership is now more willing to be public in its political involvement, calling the move “something that would have been unheard of less than a generation ago.” Yehuda Meth, Felder’s communications director, said Eichenstein is not a figure who could deliver votes. Friedlander, an Orthodox Jew who has been very active in the community’s political life, brushed off insinuations that rabbis deliver votes. “The notion that you have a handful of rabbis that control the vote is a myth,” he said emphatically. The idea that a rabbi with the long white beard gives nodding endorsements to pick a candidate is false, Friedlander said. “I’m not telling you my opinion. I’m telling you a fact.” Still, Yeruchim Silber, executive director of the Boro Park Jewish Community Council, said that some of the larger ultra-Orthodox sects are very successful with bloc voting. “They usually vote one way,” Silber said. “The leaders will endorse a candidate and most of them will follow along with the endorsement of the leaders. That is a big deal.” And while there’s always the privacy of the voting booth, religious leaders are generally trusted as liaisons with the government who understand what’s best for the community, Silber explained. “In an election they can turn out a couple thousand votes – 2,000 votes, 4,000 votes – some of the big groups can turn out,” Silber said. “That’s pretty significant in a local election.” And while that level of bloc voting is powerful, it’s worth noting that Felder handily won his 2012 state Senate election by almost 20,000 votes – besting Storobin by twice as many ballots. “The bloc vote exists,” said Meth, the Felder staffer. But it’s broken down into small segments, he said. “The Orthodox vote is not a monolith, it’s a bunch of little Legos.” The simple fact that Storobin was not Orthodox was significant, Meth said. Felder maintains that “bloc voting was not a factor at all” in his election with Storobin. And of course, there were many other factors in play. Felder received significant backing from Borough Park’s elected leaders, including Assemblyman Hikind, his former boss, and City Councilman David Greenfield. Amid any discussion of political influ-

October 24, 2016

ence and power in Borough Park’s Orthodox community, there is the specter of a federal corruption probe involving a prominent businessman there accused of bribing senior NYPD officials in return for official favors. Unfortunately, Felder said, corruption in his home district and in the state Capitol is not news. Nothing has changed, he said, and he doesn’t expect it will. “I see corruption on Avenue J,” he said. “I see corruption everywhere.” When asked, Felder said he has “never knowingly” done anything corrupt himself. “That’s like saying, ‘Did you ever do anything wrong?’” Felder said. “‘I hope I never did.’ That’s what I can say. But I can’t emphatically say, ‘No, I never did.’” But despite the corruption swirling around New York politics, he reasons, that doesn’t mean you stay out of it altogether. “When I first was in the Council there were a lot of things that I noticed – I don’t know if they were corrupt but – were certainly not right,” Felder said. “And at one point I came home and I said to my wife, ‘I don’t think I can take it. This is really bad.’” “As long as you can’t take it, it’s okay,” Felder recalled her saying. “Once you start being able to take it, get out.” But Felder’s experience hasn’t made him an advocate for ethics reform or greater accountability in politics. In fact, he’s wary of those efforts. People who hold public office should be held accountable, Felder said, but overregulation of legislators – include proposals for publicly financed elections or banning outside income for politicians – won’t help. “The deterrents exist already and adding more deterrents aren’t going to dissuade someone who is determined to steal and lie from doing so. All you’re doing is making it more and more and more difficult for people who are honest to do their job.” BY THE END of the interview, Simcha Felder appeared to best be defined as a remarkable stack of contradictions. Who is this state senator who freely flips parties without any consequences? And in the absence of an easy answer, perhaps his own is best. Nearly a month after the first interview, Felder told City & State, “I don’t think I really know who I am.” “Maybe I just don’t want to know who I am,” he added. “I’m sorry, I can’t help you. I don’t know who I am.” But while he cannot define who he is,

“I DON’T THINK I REALLY KNOW WHO I AM.”

he’s more than happy to say what he does. “I try to help people,” Felder said. A job, he quipped, that is currently called “senator.” “But if it was called something else,” he said, “I’d like that as well.” One recent October morning, on a shady street by the Midwood Branch Library, Felder greeted the many pedestrians who recognized his face. One elderly woman he greeted warmly by name – Clara Bishop – holding her hand and hunching over, bringing himself to her level. After a few minutes, she set off down the street. But then she stopped and turned around. “Felder, you should run for president!” she hollered back to him. “I am! I am!” the state senator said with a wry grin and a wave. “Just wait!”


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City & State New York

FELDER OBJECTS TO CHARACTERIZATIONS OF HIS DISTRICT AS AN ORTHODOX JEWISH DISTRICT. “I HATE THAT. I HATE BEING CHARACTERIZED THAT WAY. I DON’T THINK PEOPLE IDENTIFY DISTRICTS AS CATHOLIC DISTRICTS OR MUSLIM DISTRICTS – WHICH THEY SHOULDN’T!”

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SPOTLIGHT

NEW YORK INFRASTRUCTURE The novelist O. Henry used those words to describe New York over a century ago, but the witty observation is as apt as ever. The most visible manifestation of the perpetual state of transformation is perhaps the evolving Manhattan skyline. But there are plenty of other places where the city and the state continue to build, rebuild and rebuild again. A complete overhaul of LaGuardia Airport’s dilapidated terminals is underway. A revamped Penn Station, new tracks on the Long Island Rail Road and a major new rail tunnel under the Hudson River are being planned. The Second Avenue Subway continues to creep along toward completion, while a replacement for the aging Tappan Zee Bridge is rapidly coming together. Many of the projects have been championed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has put renewed emphasis on public projects in his second term. Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to pursue an ambitious affordable plan, which will reshape the city in other ways. A planned skyscraper next to Grand Central Terminal will bring new transit investments. And the de Blasio administration this year recommitted to investing in a critical new water tunnel. These kinds of public projects – and the constant rebuilding they require – are what make New York New York. In this special section on New York’s infrastructure, we interview top officials, assess the biggest public projects and examine the oversight of upstate economic development projects.

“IT’LL BE A GREAT PLACE IF THEY EVER FINISH IT.”


City & State New York

October 24, 2016

CONTENTS

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REHEMA TRIMIEW /MTA CAPITAL CONSTRUCTION

THE UPSTATE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SCANDAL COULD LEAD TO MORE TRANSPARENCY – BUT WILL IT INCREASE DELAYS?

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HOW THE CUOMO ADMINISTRATION ARRIVED AT A $100 BILLION PRICE TAG FOR PUBLIC PROJECTS IN NEW YORK.

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SLOW INFRASTRUCTURE

In the wake of scandal, the decision to shift oversight of state projects away from SUNY Poly could increase transparency. But at what cost?

PHOTOS BY BRENDAN BANNON

By JUSTIN SONDEL

AND STEADY?

UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO'S NEW MEDICAL SCHOOL UNDER CONSTRUCTION LAST YEAR AT THE BUFFALO NIAGARA MEDICAL CAMPUS.

WHEN NEWS BROKE last month that some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s closest associates were being charged with bid rigging, bribery and fraud, allegedly exploiting the very programs used to carry out Cuomo’s signature economic development initiatives, the governor began the work of shifting oversight and separating the programs from the alleged crimes. A day after the charges were formally brought by the U.S. attorney’s office, Cuomo announced in Buffalo that Howard Zemsky and his team at Empire State Development

would take control of all the economic development projects run through the SUNY Polytechnic Institute and its quasi-governmental subsidiaries. “Howard's first mission is to learn from what happened and to see how we improve the system to make sure this never happens again," Cuomo said. "I want the taxpayers of New York to know that every dollar is guarded and guarded professionally.” But so far, details on how the transition will work have been scant. Zemsky recently said that the transition

has become a top priority for his team. Neither Zemsky nor Chris Schoepflin, ESD’s Western New York regional director, agreed to be interviewed for this article, but an ESD spokesperson provided a statement on behalf of the agency. “We (ESD) are currently in the process of identifying and assessing the steps necessary to establish ESD’s oversight of projects within SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s economic development portfolio,” the spokesperson said. “During this transitionary period, ESD will conduct our standard due diligence


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on all projects with the goal of continuing to foster economic development and job growth throughout the state.” Many things remain unclear, including whether SUNY employees will now be under the direction of Zemsky, or whether the administration even has the legal authority to transfer oversight of the projects midstream. But many observers see this as a potentially positive development. Michael Elmendorf, president and CEO of the Associated General Contractors of New York, said his organization and contractors around the state have long sought changes that could come with the shift in oversight, including more open reporting in the bidding process and more transparency from state agencies that administer the projects throughout the construction process. Elmendorf said such changes would make for a more level playing field for everyone involved, including the public. “We need to try to make sure that this really ugly situation is an opportunity to make some real improvements,” he said. “We’ve got some really specific ideas on how to do that, and it all comes down to one thing, and that’s increased transparency.” However, with that transparency could come further delays. State leaders often argued that by having government-associated nonprofits like Fort Schuyler Management Corp. and Fuller Road Management Corp. administer projects, they were able to move with the speed that the modern construction industry demands. Even under the SUNY Poly system, the state often struggled to keep up on payments to contractors. In Buffalo, Syracuse and Albany, subcontractors have walked off the job at state run projects, or threatened to. Delayed payments even showed up in the criminal complaint from the U.S. attorney's office. Officials at COR Development, a Fayetteville-based developer at the center of one of the alleged schemes, sent emails pressuring pressuring Todd Howe, a lobbyist who was also working for SUNY Poly at the time, and Joseph Percoco, one of Cuomo’s top aides and close friends, to get the funds disbursed to their company. “He built one building on time and completed it and can’t get final payment and he’s halfway done on a second building and hasn’t gotten paid a penny, we constantly ask him to help us,” Howe wrote to Percoco and another state official in response to complaints from COR Development President Steve Aiello. Elmendorf said reporting from state agencies on their payment of vendors and con-

City & State New York

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“WE NEED TO TRY TO MAKE SURE THAT THIS REALLY UGLY SITUATION IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE SOME REAL IMPROVEMENTS.” – MICHAEL ELMENDORF, Associated General Contractors of New York


CityAndStateNY.com

October 24, 2016

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO ANNOUNCING PLANS FOR THE RIVERBEND FACILITY IN 2013.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has put renewed emphasis on revitalizing cities in upstate New York, but some projects spearheaded by his administration have been plagued by funding delays. Here are five upstate economic development projects that had to deal with late payments from the state: RIVERBEND: In February, hundreds of workers walked off the job site where developer LPCiminelli is building a massive solar panel factory. After a wave of negative publicity, the Cuomo administration resolved what they described as bureaucratic delays and workers returned shortly after payments were disbursed. Additionally, SolarCity, the company scheduled to begin production in the state-owned structure next year, has seen its stock plummet. ATHENEX: The pharmaceutical research company made headlines in 2015 for a new partnership with the state to expand operations in downtown Buffalo and build a manufacturing plant in Dunkirk, a lakeside burg to the south that had seen significant job loss after a power plant shut down. But this summer, company officials raised concerns over delays with both projects and threatened to take their business elsewhere. Cuomo moved the project from

SUNY Poly to ESD, a move that seems to have placated Athenex executives. PHOTONICA: The California technology company slated to be the focus of Rochester’s $750 million photonics technology hub is now waffling on its commitment to the state project. With little movement on the project since it was announced in March, the company says it is now reconsidering its involvement. CENTRAL NEW YORK HUB FOR EMERGING NANO INDUSTRIES: Subcontractors and vendors working on a $90 million production facility for Soraa, a company that produces high-tech LED lighting, filed liens against the property this summer after state-controlled payments were delayed for months. The state has said that funding for the project remains in place, and it appears the project is continuing to move forward. NEW YORK POWER ELECTRONICS MANUFACTURING CONSORTIUM: A contractor at the SUNY Polytechnic Institute facility stopped work in July after not receiving payments for almost six months. Work resumed at the $35 million silicon carbide chip wafer manufacturing line – part of a partnership between the state and GE – in September after payments were disbursed.

tractors would hold them accountable and could cut down on delays like those COR executives were experiencing. “You shouldn’t have to call in political favors to get paid in a timely manner,” he said. Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, who has praised Cuomo’s focus on upstate New York, said the expected shift in oversight does raise some concerns about the expediency with which construction proj-

“WE HAVE A LOT OF FAITH AND TRUST IN HOWARD ZEMSKY AND HIS STAFF’S ABILITY TO HANDLE THE INCREASED WORKLOAD THAT THEY’RE GOING TO HAVE.” – ZACK HUTCHINS, Business Council of New York State

DARREN MCGEE/OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

LATE PAYMENTS

BRENDAN BANNON

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ects will be completed. The additional scrutiny and requirements that will come under ESD’s supervision could create greater obstacles for builders. “Not only can it slow things down, but it can make things not happen at all,” Peoples-Stokes said. “That is a possibility.” However, state leaders need a system that can both provide transparency and deliver efficiently for contractors, Peoples-Stokes said, while adding that she believes Zemsky is capable of achieving the right balance. “In many ways you can’t really control how people are going to deal with whatever their respective responsibility is,” she said. “What you can do is put all the things in place that will have the ability to look at those things, should anyone want to look, and hopefully it won’t be one of those things that will slow down the process.” In this uncertain situation, there is one matter of widespread agreement: Zemsky, Cuomo's top economic development official, is the right man to clean up the mess allegedly made by other former aides to the governor. “We have a lot of faith and trust in Howard Zemsky and his staff’s ability to handle the increased workload that they’re going to have,” said Zack Hutchins, communications director for the Business Council of New York State. “While it’s probably natural to assume that there will be some hiccups as the process is changed, we take Howard Zemsky at his word that he would expect nothing less.”

An Agenda for New York’s Future  Protect New York’s assets by adequately funding critical infrastructure needs: Make capital investments exempt from the property tax cap; allow use of pension funds to support infrastructure improvements  Create smart alternative delivery options: Give public and private owners additional tools to deliver projects  Extend Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS): Allow public authorities and public benefit corporations to use QBS to achieve higher quality design and lower project life-cycle costs  Deliver infrastructure projects cost effectively: Increase use of private design firms  Support indemnification fairness: Ensure that design professionals are responsible only for work they perform

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF ENGINEERING COMPANIES OF NEW YORK

LEADERS IN THE BUSINESS OF

ENG INEER ING www.acecny.org

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INFRASTRUCTURE

ON THE ISSUES C&S: This year’s budget included over $55 billion for transportation. What projects is the state undertaking? MD: Through Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s historic commitment the department has the resources to not only maintain our infrastructure, but make strategic improvements for all modes of transportation at all levels. PAVE NY provides $500 million in state assistance to local governments that otherwise couldn’t afford rehabilitation and reconstruction projects on their local highways and roads. BRIDGE NY is a $500 million competitive program to help local governments ensure the safety and reliability of their bridges and culverts. The $200 million Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition will help transform selected airports into state-ofthe-art transportation hubs while increasing economic opportunities.

MATTHEW DRISCOLL

Commissioner, state Department of Transportation

C&S: Climate change has brought more extreme weather. Is this causing our infrastructure to deteriorate more quickly? MD: The state’s transportation infrastructure is among the nation’s oldest, most utilized,

C&S: What is the impact of NYPA taking over the Canal Corporation? GQ: In the many ways New Yorkers know the canals, it will be business as usual. The same dedicated cadre of workers who work on the 524-mile system will be on the job and remain Canal Corporation employees. Boaters on the waterways and the bikers and joggers who use the trails along the Erie Canal will continue to be able to enjoy this wonderful state asset. We do plan to increase the emphasis on maintenance and ensure that this historic and treasured resource is firmly rooted in the 21st century.

GIL QUINIONES

President and CEO, New York Power Authority

C&S: How can NYPA cut costs at the Canal Corporation? GQ: NYPA already operates three hydroelectric facilities along the Erie Canal. We've worked closely with the Canal Corporation for decades to operate them. Now we can avoid some duplication of effort

and subject to some of the harshest weather conditions. But safety is our top priority and despite these challenges, the department employs a rigorous inspection process – exceeding federal standards – to ensure the safety and integrity of our transportation network. Additionally, recognizing that severe weather is the “new normal,” the Department of Transportation’s five-year capital plan allocated $500 million to make safety and resiliency enhancements to roadways susceptible to flooding and extreme weather-related events. This program complements the $518 million in funding Cuomo secured from FEMA in 2012 to enhance 105 bridges through the Scour Critical/Flood Prone bridge program. By the end of this year more than 60 of those bridges will have been repaired or replaced. C&S: Upstate ridesharing legislation has stalled. Could ridesharing help maintain infrastructure by reducing traffic? MD: Generally any policy which reduces the number of vehicles on the road would help to increase the longevity of our infrastructure. We’re following the legislation closely.

and have one agency make coordinated decisions about how the plants and canals are run. Be it at NYPA or the Canal Corporation, we will always look for efficiencies without compromising our core mission. C&S: What is NYPA doing to prepare for the Erie Canal's bicentennial next year? GQ: We're very excited about assuming operating control of the canals the same year as the bicentennial of the Erie Canal's groundbreaking. Canal staff is planning a series of events along the system in partnership with local stakeholders that will be worthy celebrations of a public works project that enabled the U.S. and New York to become an economic superpower. It's an incredible resource. We want more people to learn about the canals. But more importantly, we want them to use the canals. Once they do, they'll keep coming back.


City & State New York

October 24, 2016

ROBERT RODRIGUEZ

Chairman, Assembly Subcommittee on Infrastructure

C&S: You’re the sponsor of Move NY, which would alter tolls so that everyone pays to drive into the Manhattan core and use the money to fund transit infrastructure. How would local communities want the money spent? RR: We are hearing some common threads, but also about some very unique projects that were looking for either funding or consideration. When speaking with Ron Kim in Flushing, there was a discussion about a bus terminal in Flushing because of the concentration of bus lines they have meeting in one place. The farther you get out, the more reliance there is on cars, so it’s really about creating improved access. One of the proposals that we have in Move NY is to lower the fares for people in the city to utilize the commuter rails – that takes places like Jamaica and Bayside that have stations but perhaps people use cars instead because when you break out the cost of gas and

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comfort and convenience, it’s not there. But if you lower that price and make it equivalent or a little bit more than a subway ride, that’s a game changer. C&S: How much of the reluctance is related to a similar proposal advanced by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg that failed? RR: There’s a little bit of a legacy, a hesitancy around that proposal. But we spend a lot of time really educating people about how this is a very different proposal. We don’t even call it congestion pricing. It is not the same. Some of the things that we’re proposing came out of all of the things that people were critical about the last discussion: MTA not getting all the money without making sure that there’s local priorities (and) the dedicated transit gap investment fund that focuses strictly on projects that have been ignored.

Reach New York’s decision makers and influence policy. Feature your message in this must-read daily morning round-up of New York government and political news. Contact Tom Allon at Tallon@CityandStateNY.com for more information.


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October 24, 2016

INFRASTRUCTURE

THE HUNDRED

BILLION DOLLAR

$750 MILLION SOLARCITY

By JON LENTZ

$28

$20

BILLION

BILLION

MTA CAPITAL PLAN

$350 MILLION CLEAN WATER

$1

BILLION STATEWIDE BROADBAND

GATEWAY TUNNEL PROJECT The federal government would provide half, or $10 billion, of this. The remainder would be split between New York and New Jersey.

$3

$3

BILLION

UPSTATE DEVELOPMENT

BILLION MTA BRIDGES AND TUNNELS

This month the governor announced that automatic tolling systems would be installed at all MTA bridges and tunnels by 2018.

$27

BILLION ROADS AND BRIDGES, PRIMARILY IN UPSTATE NEW YORK

The new Tappan Zee Bridge will cost $3.9 billion, but it's unclear where all the funding will come from.

$900 MILLION STATE PARKS


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City & State New York

October 24, 2016

LATE LAST MONTH, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled the latest plans for an overhaul of Penn Station, he reminded the audience that the project is part of what his administration likes to call its $100 billion plan for public projects. However, it doesn’t quite add up. First of all, perhaps only a third of the sum actually comes from the state. Secondly, it’s unclear whether everything on the ambitious list will actually be built. And third, the state’s figures actually add up to $106.6 billion. (Also, it’s a lot more than just transportation.) Here’s a quick look at the administration’s most recent tally of the expected expenditures.

$2.6

$8

BILLION

BILLION

NEW AIRPORT AT LAGUARDIA & JFK MASTER PLAN

$6

HOSPITAL RESTRUCTURING AND REINVESTMENT AT DASNY

$3

BILLION

HOUSING CAPITAL

BILLION

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

$3

BILLION

NEW PENN-FARLEY COMPLEX The project, which would revamp Penn Station and convert the adjacent Farley Post Office into another terminal, was delayed for years. Related Companies and Vornado Realty, which were selected along with Skanska AB, failed to move forward after winning the bid in 2005.

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NYSlant.com

T October 24, 2016

A fresh perspective on opinions/ Edited by Nick Powell

By NILDA MESA

AN AERIAL VIEW OF EIXAMPLE, A NEIGHBORHOOD IN BARCELONA, SPAIN WHERE “SUPERBLOCKS” ARE BEING IMPLEMENTED.

IAKOV FILIMONOV

FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE, BLOCK BY BLOCK


T IAKOV FILIMONOV

October 24, 2016

raffic congestion, a lack of walkable spaces, noise, ozone alerts, asthma attacks, flooding and heat waves: These are byproducts of living in a large waterfront city as dense as New York. The stubborn creep of climate change coupled with the city’s rapid growth only makes these problems worse. New Yorkers love their neighborhoods. We could learn from some cities across the globe that are figuring out ways to find solutions for these problems by solving them from the ground-up – starting with the neighborhood and block level. Cities like Barcelona are introducing “superblocks” to improve air quality and social bonds in neighborhoods, reduce noise and improve transportation networks. Superblocks overlay new traffic patterns over a neighborhood’s street grid to make open space and livability in the neighborhood a focal point, rewarding mostly carbon-free transportation like bicycles and pedestrians with access into the core of the superblock, while preserving the perimeter for other vehicles. Barcelona city officials cite America’s own neighborhood champion Jane Jacobs as an inspiration for their system “to win streets back for the people.” City and neighborhoods work together to coordinate and design, with an eye toward pedestrians walking no more than a few hundred yards to access public transportation. The superblock idea is proving so

popular that neighborhoods are asking they be added to the list. Projected benefits include reducing traffic by 21 percent, reducing the 3,500 annual deaths from respiratory illnesses, improving safety and enhancing neighborly connections. Here’s how superblocks could work in New York City. A superblock ideally is shaped more or less as a square, with the main park or plaza in the middle. As New York blocks tend to be rectangular, streets more than avenues would need to make up the squared area. If we were to use a similar proportion to Barcelona, a superblock in the city could be about five Manhattan streetside blocks to about two or three avenue blocks, or roughly one-quarter mile on each side, depending on the neighborhood. In Manhattan, the theater district area and Rockefeller Center come to mind as good candidates, as does Washington Square. The streets encircling the perimeter of the district would allow the usual vehicles and trucks at the current speed limit. In contrast, traffic patterns today alternate one-way traffic flows on streets, allowing vehicles to weave and circle endlessly, mostly stuck in traffic. The interior of the superblock would be restricted in several ways. The new traffic pattern would set up one-way, U-shaped loops several blocks long from the perimeter streets into the center. You could not circle the center in a vehicle. Speed limits would drop to 5 mph, slightly less than the average traffic speed in Midtown Manhattan today of about 8 mph. Aside from small trucks making deliveries to local businesses, vehicles would be restricted. Otherwise, travel lanes would be reserved for low-carbon transportation – public buses, bicycles and people. An added benefit is that the decreased traffic would lead to quieter neighborhoods, and noise is the biggest livability complaint for New Yorkers. Several neighborhoods could be prime candidates for a trial, though there may be others: midtown Manhattan, Greenwich Village, downtown Brooklyn and Hunts Point. These areas have some of the worst air quality in New York City, so there would be immediate health benefits to the people who live and work there. They have iconic open spaces. They have also experienced great growth in traffic and density, and are already served by public transportation. Parts of these neighborhoods were also designed before cars became commonplace, and lend themselves to foot

City & State New York

31

traffic and shared transportation, which are crucially important to the efficacy of superblocks. Implementing this idea would not be easy at first. It would require input from City Council members, residents, business owners and delivery services. It would be best to start small – to measure the difference in air quality, the congestion, the effect on local businesses, and safety as well as whether the opened up streets and plazas work as they were intended to. And then, as we learn what works and what doesn’t, the input of local residents, businesses, workers and leaders can help improve the system. Climate change is real, and so is the impact it has on our communities. Yet too often the discussion revolves solely around the charts, graphs and maps that project temperatures and flooding decades from now – a mighty narrow scope. Urban sustainability must include New Yorkers in the here and now, limiting their exposure to health impacts, improving the livability of neighborhoods and allowing them to move around more easily. New York has one of the richest collections of architectural treasures and parks, best seen by looking up and around. Accessible open areas allow people to interact without walls, to stroll, and as they say in the musical “Hamilton,” “Look around, look around.” The more we open streets up so that neighbors and co-workers can see each other outside of the glass, steel and brick that encloses them for so much of the week, the better. The time is ripe to try out superblocks in New York City, and search for other neighborhood-based ideas to improve livability and health for the here and now as well as combat climate change for the future.

Nilda Mesa is the director of the Urban Sustainability and Equity Planning Program as well as adjunct senior research scientist at Columbia University’s Urban Design Lab in the Earth Institute, and an adjunct professor with the School of International and Public Affairs. Until August, she was director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability.


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Art. of Org. filed with the Centerville Rd., Ste. 400, 19901. Purpose: all lawful copy of process against SSNY on 09/26/16. Office: Wilmington, DE 19808. purposes. LLC to: 11 Eighth Ave, New New York County. SSNY Cert. of Form. filed with York, NY 1011. Principal designated as agent of the DE Secy. of State, Div. of business address: 200 OCTOBER 24, 2016 Notice of Qualification LLC upon whom process Corps., 401 Federal St., Corporate Blvd. Lafayette, of Cerberus Redwood against it may be served. Ste. 4, Dover, DE 19901. LA 70508. Certificate of Levered Opportunities For reservations and SSNY shall mail copy of Purpose: Any lawful LLC filed with Secy of State rates please email: GP A, LLC. Authority filed process to the LLC, 128 activity. of FL Located at: 1200 S with NY Dept. of State on legalnotices@ East 70th Street, New Pine Island Rd, Plantation, cityandstateny.com 9/30/16. Office location: York, NY 10021. ATTN: FL, 33324. Purpose: any or call NY County. Princ. bus. Downing Realty. Purpose: lawful act. Notice of Qualification of 212-268-0442, ext. 2017 addr.: 875 3rd Ave., NY, Any lawful purpose. CAITHNESS SERVICES NY 10022. LLC formed in LLC Appl. for Auth. filed Notice of Formation of DE on 9/15/16. NY Sec. of CAPPAWORLD, LLC. with Secy. of State of Aten Lighting Design, State designated agent of Articles of Organization Notice of Formation of NY (SSNY) on 10/14/16. LLC. Articles of Org. filed LLC upon whom process filed with the Secretary of meemama productions Office location: NY County. with Secy. of State of against it may be served State of New York (SSNY) LLC. Art. of Org. filed with LLC formed in Delaware NY (SSNY) on July 18, and shall mail process on 07/07/16 Location: the SSNY on October 6, (DE) on 10/04/16. SSNY 2016. Office location: NY to: c/o CT Corporation New York County. SSNY 2016. Office: New York designated as agent of County. SSNY has been System, 111 8th Ave., NY, designated as agent for County. SSNY designated LLC upon whom process designated as agent upon NY 10011. DE addr. of service of process on LLC, as agent of the LLC upon against it may be served. whom process may be LLC: c/o The Corporation SSNY shall mail a copy to: whom process against SSNY shall mail process served and shall mail copy Trust Co., 1209 Orange CAPPAWORLD, LLC 19 it may be served. SSNY to c/o Corporation of process against LLC to St., Wilmington, DE W 8th Street, Apt. 7, New shail mail copy of process Service Co., 80 State St., principal business address: 19801. Cert. of Form. filed York, NY 10011. Purpose: to the LLC, 150 West Albany, NY 12207-2543. 350 Cabrini Blvd., Apt 3H with DE Sec. of State, 401 Any lawful act or activity. End Ave, 9F, New York, DE addr. of LLC: 2711 NY, NY 10040. Purpose: Federal St., Dover, DE NY 10023. Purpose: Any Centerville Rd., Ste. 400, any lawful purpose. 19901. Purpose: all lawful lawful purpose. Wilmington, DE 19808. SAR 17, LLC Articles purposes. of Org. filed NY Sec. of Cert. of Form. filed with Notice of formation of DE Secy. of State, 401 State (SSNY) 10/12/16. Notice of Qualification of Federal St., Dover, DE Office in NY Co. SSNY SempreLei LLC. Art. Of Notice of Forma LLC. Art CRAFTSTONE CAPITAL, 19901. Purpose: Any desig. agent of LLC upon Org. filed with SSNY or Org filed with Secy. LLC Appl. for Auth. filed lawful activity. whom process may be 6/8/2016. Office: NY of State of Ny (sony) with Secy. of State of served. SSNY shall mail County. SSNY designated 0n 10/20/2015. Office NY (SSNY) on 10/11/16. copy of process to c/o agent upon whom process location: NY county. Notice of formation of Office location: NY County. Cornicello, Tendler & may be served and shall SSNY designated agent Pristine Credit Solutions, LLC formed in Delaware Baumel -Cornicello, LLP, mail copy of process to upon whom process may LLC. Arts of Org filed (DE) on 11/30/15. SSNY 2 Wall St., 20th Fl, NY, business address: 246 be served and shall mail with Secy of State OF designated as agent of NY 10005. Purpose: Any Mott Street, NY, NY 10012. copy of process against NY (SSNY) on 8/10/16. LLC upon whom process lawful purpose. Purpose: any lawful act. LLC. to: Us Corp. Agents, Office loc: NEWY. SSNY against it may be served. Inc. 7014 13th Ave, Set. designated agent upon SSNY shall mail process 202, Brooklyn, NY 11228 whom process may be to c/o Corporation Service Notice of Formation of Notice of formation of Purpose: any lawful act. served: 7014 13th Ave Co., 80 State St., Albany, Belnord Holdings LLC. NY A TUS PIES, LLC. Ste 202 Bkyn NY 11228 Arts. of Org. filed with NY 12207-2543. DE addr. filed with the Secy. of Principal business addess of LLC: Harvard Business NY Dept. of State on Notice of Formation of NK State of NY (SSNY) :300 E75 St 3O NY NY Services, Inc., 16192 7/19/16. Office location: Grant Writing & Nonprofit on 10/07/2016. Office 10021. Coastal Hwy., Lewes, DE NY County. Princ. bus. Consulting LLC. Arts location: NY County. 19958. Cert. of Form. filed addr.: 209 W. 87th St., of Org filed with Secy. SSNY designated agent with DE Secy. of State, NY, NY 10024. Sec. of of State of NY (SSNY) Notice of Qualification upon whom process may John G. Townsend Bldg., State designated agent of on 7/1/2016. Office of Cerberus Redwood be served and shall mail 401 Federal St., Dover, LLC upon whom process location: NY County. Levered Opportunities copy of process against DE 19901. Purpose: Any against it may be served SSNY designated agent GP B, LLC. Authority filed LLC to principal business lawful activity. and shall mail process to: upon whom process with NY Dept. of State on address: 20 W 64th St., Belnord Holdings LLC, c/o may be served against 9/30/16. Office location: #43O, NY, NY 10023. Talbert & Talbert LLC, 80 LLC to principal business NY County. Princ. bus. Purpose: any lawful act. Notice of Qualification Maiden Lane, Ste. 1506, address: 308 W. 103rd addr.: 875 3rd Ave., NY, of CROISIC BUILDING, NY, NY 10038. Purpose: St., #10E, NY, NY, 10025. NY 10022. LLC formed in LLC Appl. for Auth. filed 210 THE LLC. Art. of all lawful purposes. Purpose: any lawful act. DE on 9/15/16. NY Sec. of with Secy. of State of Org. filed with the SSNY State designated agent of NY (SSNY) on 10/05/16. on 10/14/16. Office: LLC upon whom process Office location: NY County. Notice of Formation of Notice of Qualification New York County. SSNY against it may be served LLC formed in Delaware Belnord Hotel Operating of Comprehensive designated as agent of the and shall mail process (DE) on 09/27/16. SSNY LLC. Arts. of Org. filed Hospitalists of Florida, LLC upon whom process to: c/o CT Corporation designated as agent of with NY Dept. of State on LLC. Authority filed with against it may be served. System, 111 8th Ave., NY, LLC upon whom process 7/19/16. Office location: Secy of State of NY SSNY shall mail copy of NY 10011. DE addr. of against it may be served. NY County. Princ. bus. (SSNY) on 7/7/2016. Office process to the LLC, 210 LLC: c/o The Corporation SSNY shall mail process addr.: 209 W. 87th St., location: NY County, LLC West 77th Street, New Trust Co., 1209 Orange to c/o Dino & Sons Realty NY, NY 10024. Sec. of formed in FL on 5/13/11. York, NY 10024. Purpose: St., Wilmington, DE Corp., 1590 Troy Ave., State designated agent of SSNY designated agent Any lawful purpose. 19801. Cert. of Form. filed Brooklyn, NY 11234. LLC upon whom process upon whom process may with DE Sec. of State, 401 DE addr. of LLC: 2711 against it may be served be served and shall mail Federal St., Dover, DE 725 ELEVENTH AVE LLC.

PUBLIC & LEGAL NOTICES


October 24, 2016

City & State New York

33

and shall mail process to: NOTICE OF FORMATION Bowery LLC. Articles of 7014 13th Avenue, Suite against it may be served. Belnord Hotel Operating of SHADMOOR, LLC. Arts Organization filed with SSNY shall mail process 202, Brooklyn, NY 11228. LLC, c/o Talbert & of Org filed with Secy. of Secretary of State of NY Purpose: any lawful act or to Brad M. Kaplan, Esq., Talbert LLC, 80 Maiden State of NY (SSNY) on (SSNY) on 5/2/2016. The Kaplan Law Group, activity. Lane, Ste. 1506, NY, NY 9/28/2016. Office location: Office location: NY County. PC, 51 John F. Kennedy 10038. Purpose: all lawful New York County. SSNY SSNY designated agent Pkwy., Ste. 1E/RXR, Short NOTICE OF FORMATION purposes. designated agent upon upon whom process may Hills, NJ 07078. Purpose: OF ORESTE DRAPACA be served against LLC to: Any lawful activity. whom process may be ARCHITECT, PLLC. served and shall mail copy 41 Carmine St. NY, NY Name of LLC: SIGN Articles of Organization of process against LLC to: 10014. Principal business Networks LLC. Arts. of Notice of Qual. of 500 filed with the Sec’y. of 652 Grandview Avenue address: 302 Bowery, 2nd Org. filed with NY Dept. State of NY (SSNY) on 27 Seventh Mezz Funding #2R, Ridgewood, New Fl, NY NY 10012. Purpose: of State: 5/1/15. Office JUN 2016. Office location: LLC, Auth. filed Sec’y of York 11385. Purpose: any any lawful act. loc.: NY Co. Sec. of State NEW YORK County. State (SSNY) 8/5/16. Off. lawful act. designated agent of LLC SSNY designated agent loc: NY Co. LLC org. in DE Notice of Qualification of upon whom process upon whom process may 8/3/16. SSNY desig. as Notice of Formation HAWKING LLC Appl. for against it may be served be served against PLLC agent of LLC upon whom of Broadsheet Auth. filed with Secy. of and shall mail process to principal business proc. against it may be Communications LLC. Art. State of NY (SSNY) on to: James P. Healy, Jr., address: 419 PARK AVE served. SSNY shall mail of Org. filed with SSNY 09/08/16. Office location: 200 E. 10th St., Ste 719, SOUTH 7 FLR NEW YORK copy of proc. to NRAI, 9-1-16. Office Location: NY County. LLC formed NY, NY 10003, regd. agt. NY 10016. Purpose: any 111 Eighth Ave., NY, NY NY County. SSNY in Delaware (DE) on upon whom process may lawful act or activity. 10011, the Reg. Agt. designated as agent of the 06/10/16. NYS fictitious be served. Purpose: any upon whom proc. may be LLC for service of process. name: HAWKING DE lawful act. served. DE off. addr.: 160 Notice of Formation of LLC. SSNY designated as Greentree Dr., Ste. 101, SSNY shall mail a copy MATTHEW BERNSTEIN, of any process to c/o The agent of LLC upon whom Dover, DE 19904. Cert. 315 Rose Hill Holdings M.D., PLLC Arts. of Org. LLC, P.O. Box 427, NY, process against it may of Form. on file: SSDE, LLC – Arts of Org. filed filed with Secy. of State of NY 10272. Purpose: To be served. SSNY shall Townsend Bldg., Dover, with Secy. Of State of NY (SSNY) on 09/07/16. engage in any lawful act or mail process to the LLC, DE 19901. Purp: any NY (SSNY) on 7/18/2016. Office location: NY activity. 125 Cambridgepark Dr., lawful activities. Office location: New York County. Princ. office of Ste. 301, Cambridge, MA Co. LLC address c/o PLLC: 406 Massachusetts 02140. DE addr. of LLC: Notice of Formation of Mrs. Ganfer & Shore LLP, 360 Ave., Arlington, MA 02474. Notice of Qual. of 500 Incorporating Services, Gallery, LLC. Arts of Org Lexington Avenue 13th SSNY designated as Seventh Funding LLC, Ltd., 3500 S. Dupont filed with Secy. of State of Flr., New York, NY 10017. agent of PLLC upon whom Auth. filed Sec’y of State Hwy., Dover, DE 19901. NY (SSNY) on 7/14/2016. SSNY designated as process against it may be (SSNY) 8/5/16. Off. loc: NY Cert. of Form. filed with Office location: agent of LLC upon whom served. SSNY shall mail Co. LLC org. in DE 8/3/16. Secy. of State, John G. NY County. SSNY process against it may process to c/o Abrams SSNY desig. as agent of Townsend Bldg., 401 designated agent upon be served. SSNY shall Fensterman, et. al., LLP, LLC upon whom proc. Federal St., Ste. 4, Dover, whom process may be mail process to: Ganfer & 1111 Marcus Ave., Ste. against it may be served. DE 19901. Purpose: Any served against LLC to: 26 Shore LLP, 360 Lexington 107, Lake Success, NY SSNY shall mail copy of lawful activity. Apollo St., #2, Brooklyn, Ave., 13th Flr, New York, 11042. Purpose: Medical proc. to NRAI, 111 Eighth NY 11222. Principal NY 10017. Purpose: any purpose. Ave., NY, NY 10011, the business address: 60Notice of Qual. of Galeon lawful activities. Reg. Agt. upon whom Navigation Management proc. may be served. DE 40 56th Drive, Maspeth, Notice of Formation of NY 11378. Purpose: any (USA) LLC, Auth. filed off. addr.: 160 Greentree NOTICE OF FORMATION SkyFloat LLC Arts. of Org. lawful act. Sec’y of State (SSNY) Dr., Ste. 101, Dover, DE of GRS Lab USA LLC. filed with Secy. of State of 19904. Cert. of Form. on 7/29/16. Off. loc: NY Co. Arts of Org filed with Secy. NY (SSNY) on 09/14/16. LLC org. in DE 6/24/16. file: SSDE, Townsend NOTICE OF FORMATION of State of NY (SSNY) Office location: NY County. SSNY desig. as agent of Bldg., Dover, DE 19901. OF LIMITED LIABILITY on 8/5/2016. Office SSNY designated as LLC upon whom proc. Purp: any lawful activities. COMPANY. NOBLE location: NY County. agent of LLC upon whom against it may be served. HOUSE USA LLC Articles SSNY designated agent process against it may be SSNY shall mail copy of Notice of Qual. of 333 of Organization were upon whom process may served. SSNY shall mail proc. to CSC, 80 State East 22 Lessee LLC, Auth. filed with the Secretary of be served against LLC process to c/o Gonen St., Albany, NY 12207. DE filed Sec’y of State (SSNY) State of New York (SSNY) to: US Corp. Agents, Inc. Productions & Talent, Inc., off. addr.: 2711 Centerville 7/19/16. Off. loc: NY Co. 9/21/16. Office location: 7014 13th Avenue, Suite 105 E. 34th St., Ste. 240, Rd., Ste. 400, Wilmington, LLC org. in DE 7/15/16. NY County. SSNY has 202, Brooklyn NY 11228. NY, NY 10016. Purpose: DE 19808. Cert. of Form. SSNY desig. as agent of been designated as agent Purpose: any lawful act. Mobile device accessory on file: SSDE, Townsend LLC upon whom proc. manufacture, sales and of the LLC upon whom Bldg., Dover, DE 19901. against it may be served. process against it may be distribution. Purp: any lawful activities. SSNY shall mail copy of NOTICE OF FORMATION served and shall mail a proc. to NRAI, 111 Eighth OF Slow Sugar, LLC. Art. copy of process to NOBLE Ave., NY, NY 10011, the of Org. filed with SSNY on Notice of Formation of T/S HOUSE USA LLC, 708 Notice of Formation of Reg. Agt. upon whom 07/15/16. Office location: NY 221 EAST 17, LLC Arts. of Third Avenue, 5 Fl., New BitsyBoho, LLC. Art. of proc. may be served. DE County. SSNY designated Org. filed with Secy. of York, New York, 10017, Org. filed with the Secy. off. addr.: 160 Greentree agent upon whom process State of NY (SSNY) on attention Rubin Ferziger. of State of NY (SSNY) Dr., Ste. 101, Dover, DE against it may be served. 09/15/16. Office location: Purpose: for any lawful on June 6, 2016. Office 19904. Cert. of Form. Principal business address: NY County. Princ. office purpose. location: New York on file: SSDE, Townsend 860 Park Avenue, NY, NY of LLC: 221 E. 17th St., County. SSNY has been Bldg., Dover, DE 19901. 10075. Purpose: any lawful NY, NY 10003. SSNY designated for service of Purp: any lawful activities. Notice of formation purpose. designated as agent of process. SSNY shall mail Katonah Yoga LLC upon whom process ADVERTISE HERE copy of process to LLC at: of


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CITY & STATE NEW YORK MANAGEMENT & PUBLISHING Chairman Steve Farbman, President/CEO Tom Allon tallon@cityandstateny.com, Vice President of Strategy Jasmin Freeman, Comptroller David Pirozzi dpirozzi@cityandstateny.com, Business & Sales Coordinator Patrea Patterson, Junior Sales Associate Cydney McQuillan-Grace cydney@cityandstateny.com

Who was up and who was down last week

SLANT Slant Editor Nick Powell npowell@cityandstateny.com, Editor-at-Large Gerson Borrero gborrero@cityandstateny. com, Slant Columnists Nicole Gelinas, Bruce Fisher, Richard Brodsky, Karen Hinton CREATIVE - creativedepartment@cityandstateny.com Creative Director Guillaume Federighi, Senior Graphic Designer Alex Law, Junior Graphic Designer Kewen Chen

LOSERS KRINER CASH – Little more than a year on the job, and the Buffalo schools superintendent was able to do what a long list of predecessors failed to accomplish: negotiate a new contract with the Buffalo Teachers Federation. The 12-year stalemate is said to be the longest in the history of state collective bargaining. Phil Rumore, the combative president of the union, even gave Cash a passing grade.

OUR PICK

OUR PICK

WINNERS

The latest debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump wasn’t the only political spat to make headlines last week. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli sparred over the state pension fund, and new arguments and counter-arguments have come out of the Bridgegate trial. But fear not, faithful readers! Whenever our federal and state leaders put politics above the people, there will always be Winners & Losers to put them in their place.

EDITORIAL - editor@cityandstateny.com Editorial Director Michael Johnson mjohnson@ cityandstateny.com, Senior Editor Jon Lentz jlentz@ cityandstateny.com, Albany Reporter Ashley Hupfl ahupfl@ cityandstateny.com, Buffalo Reporter Justin Sondel jsondel@cityandstateny.com, City Hall Reporter Sarina Trangle strangle@cityandstateny.com, Managing Editor Ryan Somers, Web/Engagement Editor Jeremy Unger, Editorial Assistant Jeff Coltin

DIGITAL - digital@cityandstateny.com Digital Manager Chanelle Grannum, Digital Content Coordinator Michael Filippi MULTIMEDIA Multimedia Director Bryan Terry

EDWARD MANGANO – Preet’s the sheriff of Albany, but Robert Capers is the sheriff of Long Island. Capers, the U.S. Attorney for New York’s Eastern District, filed bribery charges against Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, Mangano’s wife and Oyster Bay’s town supervisor. They’re innocent until proven guilty – but we bet the governor’s figuring out how to distance himself from his latest ally to be embroiled in scandal.

THE BEST OF THE REST ERIC GONZALEZ – filling in as

THE REST OF THE WORST BILL DE BLASIO – fundraising

Brooklyn D.A. until ’17 elections

probes, chopper rides, Build It Back

CHRISTINE QUINN – on an

delays, fatal NYPD shooting

any-homeless-plan-but-de-Blasio’s

ANDREW CUOMO – nuclear

crusade

subsidies lawsuit, Bridgegate

WAYNE SPENCE – PEF president

backlash, bickering with comptroller

reaches a tentative deal with state

TIMOTHY HOWARD – Erie County

A.G. SULZBERGER – promotion

inmate death ruled homicide on

makes him heir apparent at The New

sheriff’s watch

York Times

HARRY D. SILVERSTEIN – the worst landlord in New York City

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Vol. 5 Issue 41 October 24, 2016

WHY THE

NATION’S EYES (and money) ARE ON

NY-19 THAT’S A LOAD OF ASPHALT:

CUOMO’S $100B infrastructure plan

Simcha Felder’s Balancing Act WHY THE INFLUENTIAL BROOKLYN LAWMAKER DOESN’T SEE THE POINT OF EITHER POLITICAL PARTY

CIT YANDSTATENY.COM

@CIT YANDSTATENY

October 24, 2016

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Wednesday, November 30th • 8:00am - 11:00 am Hebrew Union College • 1 West 4th Street • New York , NY 10012 Topics Include: at 30th • 8:00am - RSVP 11:00 am •Wednesday, Changing Rules November of Labor

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Robert Asaro-Angelo, Lorelei Salas, Phil Boyle, Robert Asaro-Angelo, Lorelei Salas, Phil Boyle, Eastern Regional Commissioner, Department New York State Senate Eastern Regional Commissioner, Department New York State Senate Representative, United Consumer Affairs Committee- Commerce,Committee- Commerce, Representative, United States States of ConsumerofAffairs Department of Labor Economic DevelopmentEconomic Development Department of Labor & Small Business & Small Business sponsord by: by: Sponsored For more information on programming and sponsorship opportunities, please contact For more information on programming and Lissa Blake at lblake@cityandstateny.com

Sponsored by:

sponsorship opportunities, please contact Lissa Blake at lblake@cityandstateny.com OnLaborCS0016_FP.indd 1

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10/7/16 12:48 PM

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We Join New York in Honoring

ew Cuomo r d n A . v o G

Local 46 Commitment Commitment to to Infrastructure Infrastructure & & Being Being the the True True Progressive Progressive Leader Leader of of New New York York

Local 46 Metallic Lathers & Reinforcing Ironworkers Business Manager: Terrence Moore Business Agents: Kevin Kelly, Ronnie Richardson, John Coffey and Michael Anderson President: John Skinner 1322 Third Avenue @ East 76th Street New York, NY 10021 • 212-737-0500 • www.ml46.org

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