From NY Post: Mayor de Blasio abruptly ended his daily exercise session at the Park Slope Y when confronted by a homeless activist — admonishing her, “I’m in the middle of doing my workout,” according to a video posted online Friday.
The video shows Hizzoner executing an intense butterfly stretch when the woman approached on Thursday to push for more housing for the homeless.
“I’m in the middle of doing my workout, I can’t do this now,” the mayor responded. With his security detail blocking the woman, de Blasio quickly got up and scurried away.
“He made it clear that his morning workout was more important to him,” Nathylin Flowers Adesegun told Patch NYC. “Am I just supposed to stay homeless?”
Adesegun was among a group of VOCAL-NY activists who showed up at the Y to demand more affordable housing units for the homeless. Specifically, they asked that the mayor provide at least 30,000 extra units.
“Why won’t you commit more housing for homeless New Yorkers Mayor de Blasio?” demanded one advocate outside the gym. “Five percent is not adequate!”
“Mayor de Blasio may love working out, but his plan for housing homeless New Yorkers is just weak,” said Coalition for the Homeless policy director Giselle Routhier.
“This is simply unacceptable and perpetuates the ‘Tale of Two Cities’ he vowed to fix.”
It wasn’t difficult for the advocates to track down the mayor — he works out at the Y most mornings after being driven there from Gracie Mansion.
Emails released under court order show aides usually block out 3 hours most mornings for the mayor to be transported to the gym, do his exercises and be driven to City Hall or his next appointment.
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Her son was brutally killed by gang members with machetes. This story went viral on Twitter and has caused much outrage on social media.
Yet de Blasio has plenty of time to head down south to try and visit illegal alien children.
From NY Post: An innocent city kid who dreamed of becoming a cop was executed on a city street last week, yet Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O’Neill had yet to reach out to his family with even a phone call days later.
“I have not heard from them. No, no one in their offices contact me,” Lesandro Guzman-Feliz’s tearful mom, Leandra Feliz, told The Post on Sunday, stopping at one point to kiss a framed photo of her dead son that she clutched during the interview.
“This is him,” she said motioning to the photo. “He was a very good kid. He dreamed about being police.”
Guzman-Feliz, 15, was stabbed to death Wednesday outside a Bronx deli by a pack of gangbangersin a suspected case of mistaken identity.
Instead of paying his condolences to Lesandro’s family Sunday, de Blasio instead spent the day holding press conferences on speed cameras and attending the Gay Pride Parade.
A de Blasio spokeswoman said Hizzoner would call the mom “soon” but could not say specifically when pressed by The Post. NYPD officials said O’Neill would attend a wake for Guzman-Feliz on Monday to pay his respects.
Leandra Feliz spent Sunday making funeral arrangements for her son. He will be buried Wednesday.
Council Speaker Corey Johnson called the killing “a horrible crime against one of our young people. We need people like Lesandro in this city, and it’s just such a tragedy to lose him in this brutal, brutal manner. His is such a loss for all New York. I’m sure he would’ve have grown up to be a police officer and make this city a better place,” Johnson told The Post in a statement. At least five men have been arrested in the slaying, according to police sources. The goons — believed to be part of the ruthless Dominican gang Trinitarios — mistook Guzman-Feliz for another youth who allegedly taped a gang member’s female family member having sex, according to police sources.
I’m sure anti-gun advocate de Blasio will not let his aide plea bargain her way out of this gun crime, right?
From NY Post: The Mayor de Blasio aide charged with riding around with a loaded gun was nabbed in an SUV that reeked of marijuana, according to a criminal complaint.
Reagan Stevens, 42, was in the back seat of the 2002 Infiniti when she and two others were allegedly caught with the loaded 9mm Hi-Point semiautomatic pistol tucked in a green velvet bag in the glove compartment, court papers said. Cops noticed there was a “strong odor of marijuana” wafting from the SUV, which was double parked in Jamaica, Queens, near the scene of a shooting Saturday night. Stevens — whose mother, Deborah Stevens, is a Queens Criminal Court judge and whose stepfather is an acting Queens Supreme Court justice — works as a deputy director in the mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. The Bay Ridge resident manages youth and strategic initiatives, including implementing a state law that will raise the age at which kids can be prosecuted as adults for nonviolent crimes from 16 to 18. The gun, which had its serial number scratched off, was loaded with two rounds of ammunition, and a spent round was found on the driver’s side floor.
Cops also found a paintball gun and carbon dioxide cartridges from the rear cargo area of the vehicle and a gravity knife in 25-year-old driver Caesar Forbes’ waistband.
Another man, Montel Hughes, 24, who was sitting in the passenger seat, was charged with marijuana possession after cops allegedly found five Ziploc bags of pot in his coat pocket, the complaint said. A gravity knife was also recovered from the pocket of his pants. Stevens, Hughes and Forbes were each charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon. Forbes and Hughes were charged with criminal possession of a weapon related to the gravity knives and Forbes was ticketed for double parking. Stevens was suspended without pay.
Their arrests followed a burst of five gunshots that activated an NYPD ShotSpotter gunfire-detection device at 9:42 p.m. Saturday at 174th Street and 109th Avenue, sources said.
The trio was parked near the corner of 177th Street and 106th Avenue and arrested around 10:25 p.m.
Former bus driver Sumatie Kalladeen/Facebook photo
Via NY Post: City school-bus driver Sumatie Kalladeen’s scoldings terrified a little girl to the point where she was too afraid to ride the bus. The city Department of Education fired Kalladeen — but not before she racked up 37 complaints since 2001, seven of which were “substantiated,” records show. She was suspended at least twice before, once after leaving 24 kids and teachers behind on a field trip, and once after she was arrested for assaulting her husband.
That a driver with so many offenses could remain behind the wheel for so long illustrates the city’s lax and ineffective disciplinary system for school-bus personnel, insiders charge.
The DOE’s Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT) has gone too easy on some bad bus drivers and attendants because it caters to the school-bus companies it contracts with to hire the workers, one OPT investigator alleged.
“They make sure the bus companies don’t lose too many drivers due to disciplinary decisions,” the investigator said. The OPT worker said a seasoned supervisor who tried to get rid of lenient investigators was stopped by his boss. DOE contract officials even pressure investigators on behalf of the bus companies, he charged.
Making it worse, the number of bus investigators has dwindled from 12 to five since last summer, and each one struggles with more than 200 open cases at a time.
Kalladeen denied wrongdoing. “To my knowledge, no one was crying,” she said of the little girl.
In another disturbing case, attendant Patricia DiBenedetto was accused of throwing a boy off the bus before his regular stop — and later using a racial slur. “He’s a “troublemaking n—-r,” DiBenedetto told the kid’s mother when asked why her son was abandoned, records state. The city Department of Education suspended DiBenedetto, but she kept her job.
DiBenedetto generated a dozen complaints for “obscene language.” Last May, she rang a school’s exit bell for 30 to 40 seconds — so long that administrators thought it was an emergency. The principal described DiBenedetto as “very aggressive and angry with the children.” The Department of Education insisted all was done by the book. “All bus drivers involved in misconduct were appropriately disciplined,” a DOE rep said.
She’s a Bill de Blasio appointee (February 2014).
From NY Post: Embattled Housing Authority chair Shola Olatoye is working overtime to keep her job — by getting paid underlings to mount a public relations campaign on her behalf before an oversight hearing next week. A form letter created by two New York City Housing Authority staffers has been circulated to tenant associations, urging that they sign a petition praising Olatoye as a great leader. Tenant leaders also say they’ve received phone calls as part of the unprecedented PR push after NYCHA was found to have falsely claimed for years that it had been inspecting apartments annually for lead paint.
“NYCHA residents overwhelmingly support Chair Shola Olatoye because she has improved public housing and is making a significant difference in our lives as well as the lives of our children and grandchildren,” reads the form letter. Anyone who is standing-up for NYCHA residents and has any knowledge of public housing understands that the Chair is the right person to continue leading the Authority.” The letter also takes a shot at the Council ahead of what’s sure to be a heated oversight hearing on Tuesday, warning that tenants supposedly fear it’s going to devolve into “political theatre [sic]” and grandstanding. Even after NYCHA officials discovered in mid-2016 that they had been violating city and federal laws requiring lead paint inspections since late 2012, they never informed tenants about the dangerous lapse.
This includes four years without inspections at more than 4,200 units that house children younger than 6, who are most susceptible to the health dangers of elevated lead levels. Mayor de Blasio also knew about the failings as early as April 2016, but has suggested the city wasn’t obligated to inform residents about it — characterizing doing so as going “an extra mile.”
He also didn’t move to discipline any employees until after the city’s Department of Investigation issued a scathing report on the scandal earlier this month.
The City-Wide Council of Presidents, a tenant group that represents NYCHA developments, was quick to issue a harsh condemnation of the self-serving petition. “The residents of NYCHA will not be used as pawns to further NYCHA’s self-interest,” the group wrote in a statement obtained by The Post.
“The City-Wide Council of Presidents will not stand by while NYCHA attempts to ‘spin’ the lead paint fiasco into something else. NYCHA has severely jeopardized the health and safety of the residents and while this is far from their first offense, it is certainly the final straw.”
Council member Rafael Salamanca (D-Bronx) also slammed the NYCHA outreach efforts as “spin.”
“The reality is that lead paint testing is a serious issue in my mind and the minds of my public housing constituents,” said Salamanca, who has previously called for Olatoye to resign in the wake of the scandal. “We want answers and progress instead of a letter seeking support.” Data embedded in the circulating letter indicates it was created by NYCHA community coordinators Makeba Price and Denise Guess. NYCHA officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The mayor has been downplaying the fiasco by claiming just four children in NYCHA units tested positive for lead poisoning since 2014. But the city has no idea how many children living in public housing were never tested.
Health Department data from 2016 shows that only 51 percent of children citywide were tested for lead poisoning at ages 1 and 2, despite being required by state law.
I’d say anger management classes should be on the agenda for this “committed activist.”
From Fox News: The Rev. Al Sharpton’s daughter got an unexpected gift early Saturday at her birthday celebration — handcuffs for allegedly attacking a cab driver in New York City, according to reports. Ashely Sharpton, 30, is accused of shoving and punching the cabbie after snatching his keys in midtown Manhattan just before 1 a.m., it was reported. “She told me it didn’t happen the way they said it happened but I can’t speak for a 30-year-old woman,” the activist preacher told the New York Daily News. His daughter couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.
The trouble started when Sharpton and three pals hailed the cab. All jumped in and gave different destinations, confusing the cabbie who became annoyed and stopped the vehicle.
He told his passengers he wasn’t going anywhere until they figured out where they wanted to go, the paper reported. Cops said Sharpton, who was sitting next to the cabbie, then snatched the keys from the ignition and jumped out of the cab.
Things got physical when the cabbie got out and tried to grab the keys from Sharpton, telling her, “Give me my keys back,” cops told the New York Post. “I don’t have your keys,” she allegedly spat before later admitting she tossed them, the paper reported.
One of her pals might have given her an awful birthday present by filming the encounter, according to the paper. Cops said the footage shows Ashley Sharpton punching the driver in the chest. By the time cops arrived she had vanished. Cops found her two hours later on a nearby street.
She was issued a summons to appear in court at a later date, the Post reported. She was charged with petty larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.
“Happy Birthday to my youngest, Ashley,” Sharpton tweeted Friday referring to his daughter. “A strong black woman and committed activist. So proud to be your Dad.” Ashley Sharpton was one of 16 protesters arrested in January for blocking traffic outside Trump Tower to protest President Trump’s Supreme Court justice nominee Neil Gorsuch.
Prosecutors agreed in March to dismiss the arrest if she stayed out of trouble until Sept. 20, the New York Post reported at the time.
UPDATE (Sept. 12):
Here’s the video of Ashley Sharpton assaulting the cabbie (h/t CP):
From Fox News: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday the city will begin linking funding for arts groups and museums to how quickly they increase diversity at their organizations, posing a challenge for the city’s major institutions.
New York City is renowned for its diversity – 67 percent of residents identify as people of color – but only 38 percent of employees at cultural organizations are employees of color, according to a recent study from the city’s Cultural Affairs Department.
However, the 175-page report comes amid the mayor’s re-election campaign, as de Blasio works to strengthen his standing as someone who fights inequality. Theplan to tie funding to diversity was unveiled as part of CreateNYC, the city’s first comprehensive cultural plan that received feedback from 200,000 New Yorkers and took 10 months to complete.
In a press conference, de Blasio said the city would collect data on the diversity of staffs and boards at places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall and dozens of other organizations, according to the New York Times. “This will be a factor in the city’s funding decisions going forward,” Mr. de Blasio said at the announcement in Queens, reports the Times. “We do this because we believe in fairness.” “The least-white jobs are maintenance and security,” Tom Finkelpearl, the commissioner of cultural affairs, told the Times. “And the whitest are curators. That points to some problems.”
Although it remains to be seen how much cultural organizations will now feel pressured to change their hiring tactics — and whether or not this move boosts the mayor’s campaign in any way — de Blasio’s announcement drew praise from some city officials.
“Our city draws strength from its diversity. No matter who you are, what language you speak, or how much money you have, you have a right to take part in the city’s rich cultural resources,” said New York City Council Member Stephen Levin.
De Blasio hardest hit.
From NY Post: Federal sources on Friday shared details about the 41 illegal immigrants arrested during a raid in and around New York City last week — and they include 12 people convicted of rape or sex offenses.
Of the 41 people rounded up by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, 38 had criminal convictions, according to sources. Seven of them had been previously departed from the US but sneaked back in. One of the foreign nationals, a 49-year-old from Jamaica, had sexually assaulted a child under the age of 11. He was busted in the Bronx. Three others had rape convictions. A 31-year-old from El Salvador was a “self-admitted MS-13 gang member” and had been convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon. He was arrested in New Hyde Park.
ICE announced last week that more than 680 people, mostly criminals, had been rounded up during operations in cities across the country.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly described the operations as “routine” in a statement released Monday. “Of those arrested, approximately 75 percent were criminal aliens, convicted of crimes including, but not limited to, homicide, aggravated sexual abuse, sexual assault of a minor, lewd and lascivious acts with a child, indecent liberties with a minor, drug trafficking, battery, assault, DUI and weapons charges,” he wrote.
Via NY Post: New York City is offering its municipal workforce counseling services and other support for dealing with election-year stress brought on by Donald Trump’s election.
In a Dec. 1 email, the de Blasio administration pointed to mental health resources that are available to workers who are “feeling distressed or vulnerable following the election results.”
“We have seen the concerns expressed on social media and we are monitoring them closely,” the email reads.
The half-dozen agencies involved include the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Department of Education, as well as Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policies Richard Buery, who is overseeing the city’s mental health initiative known as Thrive NYC. Since the election, Mayor de Blasio has been reassuring New Yorkers that his administration will work to protect them from potentially harmful polices that have been proposed by Trump over the past year — particularly on immigration.
Asked about the email, City Hall press secretary Eric Phillips said it was a show of care for employees’ well-being. “The post-election period has been anxiety-producing for many people, understandably,” he said. “When you throw the holidays into that, it can be a very difficult time for those coping with mental health challenges.”
Nearly 80 percent of city votes cast in the 2016 presidential election went to former Secretary of State and former New York Senator Hillary Clinton. Trump got less than 20 percent of the votes and lost to Clinton in every borough except Staten Island.
I have no doubt that the kids will be just fine.
Via NY Post: Protesters in the city may chant, “Love trumps hate,” but that’s not stopping some from piling on Donald Trump’s family.
“You can’t be a Trump supporter in the city,” an old Buckley School classmate of Donald Jr. admitted to The Post. “I wanted to throw a fund-raiser for [the elder Trump last spring], and my fiancée was like, ‘Don’t you dare! You’ll never get one ounce of business again in this town,’ ” said the classmate, who has his own hedge fund.
Ever since the president-elect’s win in November, his family’s life in the Big Apple has been turned upside down. With 78.5 percent of city voters casting their ballot for Hillary Clinton, liberal New Yorkers are still waging an anti-Trump campaign — often aimed at his three oldest children, Donald Jr., 38, Ivanka, 35, and Eric, 32, all born and raised in Manhattan.
So what’s it like when your hometown — supposedly the most tolerant city in the nation — turns intolerant toward you?
Donald Jr.’s wife, Vanessa Haydon, who grew up in an Upper East Side townhouse and lives at Sutton Place with five children ages 2 to 9, isn’t handling her newfound pariah status well, a close family friend says. “It’s not wonderful when you’re being trolled on Twitter, with people saying really bad things and you have five kids. It’s horrible,” the friend said.
Eric and Lara Trump
In mid-November, eight teenagers heckled a visibly irritated Eric Trump and his wife, Lara Yunaska, outside the Quality Italian restaurant on 57th Street, yelling, “Eric, f- -k your father!” and, “Love trumps hate!
And on a recent Monday evening, some 150 protesters descended upon the Puck Building in Nolita to protest Ivanka Trump. Her husband, Jared Kushner, owns the building. Artists had crafted bearing messages such as “Dear Ivanka: your daddy is scary as hell,” and chanted, “Tell Daddy no,” as they circled the posh building. (Ivanka Trump and Kushner don’t live at the Puck, but rather on the Upper East Side.)
Among those marching were painters Nate Lowman, whose work is reportedly in Ivanka’s personal art collection, and Marilyn Minter, whom Ivanka follows on Instagram. Also in attendance was socialite filmmaker Arden Wohl, a friend of Ivanka’s. “This is a plea to Ivanka to talk some sense because she’s in this transition committee for her father, and hopefully she can be his voice of reason,” Wohl told New York magazine. “She’s the smartest of the children.”
But all three are resilient, sources told The Post. One New York media executive who has worked with Ivanka said the three grown children “have the thickest skin I’ve ever seen.”
“During the campaign, I went to Ivanka’s office to review a Web site, and the top story on the site was a really negative piece about her father accompanied by an unflattering photograph [of him],” he said. “She just laughed and moved the conversation forward.”
No doubt, the president-elect’s children are a bit more unflappable than their late-night-tweeting father. When Donald Jr.’s Facebook page is inundated with hateful posts, he and brother Eric simply ignore the comments, according to the Buckley classmate. “But usually, 100 friends come and back them up and say, ‘Go f- -k yourself,’ ” the classmate said.
And despite the lack of love in the Big Apple, the close family friend said that unlike Ivanka — who has announced that she and Kushner will move to Washington, DC, with their children, ages 8 months to 5 years — Donald Jr. and wife Haydon won’t be ditching their Manhattan life for the Beltway. “No way,” the friend said. “They’re not going to be chased out of their home.”
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said The Donald’s three eldest children would keep their New York roots. “They’re living their lives as they always have,” she said. “They’re classic New Yorkers. They love the city, they soak it in — the culture, the cuisine, the friendships.”
Ivana Trump, the first wife of Donald Trump and mother of the three adult children, told The Post in November that while she’s confident her kids can handle the uproar, she worries about Barron, Trump’s son with wife Melania. “Barron is 10 years old. It’s so new for him. I think [my kids] are around cameras all their lives and are prepared for it,” she said. “Protests are protests,” Ivana added. “It is a divided country. People on the other side, they just have to get over it, because America voted and that is that.”
But even if New Yorkers don’t love the Trumps, the tourists do.
“Now that the holidays are upon us and the rest of ‘real America’ from ‘flyover country’ is on Fifth Avenue, selfie-seekers, the happy faces, are out in full force at Trump Tower,” Conway said. “They are literally ebullient.”