WCBS: Harlem Public School Parents Rally In Support Of Mayor’s Stance On Charters

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A group of public school parents, teachers and others rallied on the steps of City Hall in support of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s efforts to block co-location of some charter schools.

As WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond reported, teachers at P.S. 149 in Harlem, where Success Academy already runs an elementary school, said they’re being squeezed out.

“I’m an art teacher without a classroom,” a teacher told Diamond. “I take the classroom with me from class to class because they took space from us.”

City Councilman Danny Dromm, D-Queens, declared that 42 council members, including Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, have signed a letter to Albany demanding an additional $1.9 billion in funding for New York City’s public schools.

“We are living in an unjust state with an unjust governor,” Natasha Capers, a public school mother, told WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb.

Queens Chronicle: Plazas may be more useful than you think

Community leaders reflect on the benefit of having open spaces

by Tess McRae, Associate Editor | 0 comments

They’ve been popping up all over and elected officials, community leaders and residents are hoping the trend of pedestrian plazas will continue.

Since 2008, dozens of plazas have been installed or renovated in New York City and Queens has gotten a good deal of them.

“Originally, when we were working on Diversity Plaza, there was some push back from the nearby businesses,” Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) said. “Now, since we’ve had presidential debates, community board meetings and a tree lighting ceremony down there, the businesses are starting to appreciate the increase of people in the area.”

In urban areas like Jackson Heights, Jamaica and Corona, plazas are less green spaces than they are town squares where people can sit and enjoy a coffee with friends and family.

“Even when I go to Diversity Plaza late at night I see all of the different ethnic groups sitting down and talking with each other,” Dromm said. “It brings people together and lets them share the day’s news.”

Many plazas, including Diversity, are placed in intersections where a high number of serious car accidents have occurred.

“It was one of the most dangerous corners in the area and we wanted to bring the crash rate down to zero,” Dromm said. “When we built the plaza, we had zero crashes.”

read more: http://www.qchron.com/editions/western/plazas-may-be-more-useful-than-you-think/article_ac5b1f11-33a8-52ab-b94a-6f2ea1bbc912.html

TimesLedger: Boro Council members back Mark-Viverito as speaker

The 14 members of the borough’s City Council delegation fell in line with their colleagues Wednesday to unanimously elect East Harlem Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan) as the body’s speaker, putting an amicable end to the power struggle between Mark-Viverito’s progressive allies and the outerborough political machines that traditionally held sway in the selection.

Mark-Viverito enjoyed large support from the Council’s progressive caucus and Garodnick positioned himself as a more moderate voice who would more effectively serve as a check on the mayor’s authority.

In late December, it appeared Mark-Viverito would become the Council’s first female speaker of color when she released a list of 30 Council members and members-elect — four more than she needed — pledging their support, including six from Queens: Daniel Dromm, Julissa Ferreras, I. Daneek Miller, Donovan Richards, Eric Ulrich and Jimmy Van Bramer.

read more: http://www.timesledger.com/stories/2014/2/speakerrace_all_2014_01_10_q.html