Ask and ye shall receive … for some. Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the new federal relief bill “a drop in the bucket” for New York’s budget shortfall. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the measure “immoral” because it didn’t provide the city with enough funds. But at least one person got what he wanted: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Pat Foye requested $4 billion from the feds, and that’s just what he got. Unfortunately, Foye still needed to cut service across the system as the agency hemorrhages $125 million a week, and he says that the federal aid won’t actually be enough for the long haul. But a win’s a win, and these days those are hard to come by.
This week's biggest Winners & Losers
This week's biggest Winners & Losers
It turns out that New York’s prisoners aren’t making hand sanitizer for the state after all. They’re just taking hand sanitizer made somewhere else and putting it into NYS Clean containers. (It’s unclear who’s responsible for adding the floral scents.) Oh, and according to Vice, inmates are working around the clock – and are still unable to use the sanitizer themselves, despite the rising coronavirus risk. If this news has you feelin’ downright dirty, how about reading a fresh new batch of Winners & Losers – made in house.
The new leader of New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk, hasn’t been on the job long, but she already appears to be putting the maxim “when one door closes, another one opens” to practice. Heredia Jarmoszuk and the de Blasio administration are hiring licensed taxi and ride-hail drivers who are put out of work by the coronavirus to help with delivering meals to sheltered-in-place New Yorkers. At a difficult time for both taxi and ride-hail drivers, this is some positive news and good press coming out of the TLC.
Julie Menin's call to New Yorkers to fill out their census forms has paid off – even in the middle of a global pandemic. During the first week in which people could fill out their census forms, New York City residents responded to the census at a higher rate than they did a decade ago. Whether it was having easy access to filling it out online while stuck at home, or the city's messaging, or both, Menin has plenty to cheer about. Plus, she now has Cardi B on her side. And if her star-powered video encouraging New Yorkers to get counted gets the same viral attention as her plea about the coronavirus, we can definitely expect to see even better census numbers to come.
Has billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk ever heard of Assemblyman Sean Ryan, representative of the great 149th Assembly District in Buffalo? We can’t be sure, but that shouldn’t stop Ryan from claiming credit if Musk reopens Buffalo’s Tesla factory to produce ventilators. On Tuesday, Ryan was quoted saying that Musk should make ventilators in his Buffalo factory, because the coronavirus is hitting New York particularly hard. Then, the next day, Musk tweeted that he would do just that. Recent history would suggest that Musk’s tweets aren’t exactly as good as his bond, so who knows what will come of this, but Ryan can at least credibly claim that he has the ear of the storied founder.
Stores looking to make a quick buck jacking up the price of face masks and soap, beware. Salas' New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection has slammed down about 1,000 violations for those price gouging during the health crisis. The city's making sure the cost of being caught keeps potential offenders from cheating the public at a time where simple hand sanitizer feels like liquid gold.
The former New York City mayor gave Scrooge a run for his money when he fired hundreds of his former presidential campaign staffers in the midst of a global pandemic. Even worse, Bloomberg had promised to continue paying his staffers throughout the 2020 election cycle. However, a few of his staffers decided to sue the former mayor for skimping out on their pay – and insurance, for some – so he may have to cough up some of the cash he’s been hoarding.
New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza hasn’t exactly had an easy go of things even before a global pandemic forced the closure of city schools. That hasn’t changed since he’s been forced to reckon with the new coronavirus. Kids aren’t showing up to enrichment centers set up to help essential workers with child care. And as remote learning ramps up, some of the system’s most vulnerable students still haven’t been provided the necessary technology – like Wi-Fi – to participate. Plus, he’s being accused of putting teachers and students in danger due to a lax response to reported cases before schools shuttered.
The longtime frenemies have both called on the federal government to show them the money. But the new federal stimulus bill does not include the billions of dollars in additional funding the governor and mayor say they need to balance the books. “Immoral,” de Blasio called it. “Reckless,” added Cuomo. We know that everyone is supposed to observe social distancing and all, but you gotta wonder why Cuomo and de Blasio didn’t work alongside each other on this one if it is as horrible as they say.
People have never had such … reservations about making reservations. So while everyone is hurting financially during this coronavirus pandemic, hotels and restaurants and experiencing a different level of financial ruin. It’s up to Dandapani of the Hotel Association of New York City and Rigie of the New York City Hospitality Alliance to keep them from crumbling completely and to help them rebuild when the Big Apple is open for business again.
The state Senate minority leader’s main problem hasn’t been Democrats as of late – it’s been his own conference, as they announce one by one that they’re either finding another job or not running for reelection. Nine out of 23 might have been the tipping point, because now Flanagan himself, a legislator since 1987, says he’s not seeking re-election. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.