Monday Morning Politics: Domino, Charters, de Blasio and More

Monday, March 03, 2014

The Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn. (Mario Tama/Getty)

Dana Rubinstein, Capital New York political reporter, and Errol Lewis, NY1's host of Road to City Hall, set the week in local politics, from Bill de Blasio's counter-proposal for the Domino Sugar development, his moves to close some charters schools, and more.


Errol Lewis and Dana Rubinstein

Comments [20]

Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights

Marilyn is right. You can't judge the LICH of use by how many people are in there right now when they have been trying to drive people away. I have a friend in the hospital right now in Methodist who started to go to LICH but never got there. He consulted with me as he set out to the emergency room. There was concern about where to go, not because LICH hasn't been a good hospital, but because it has been so besieged.

He set out to go to LICH. It was closer. It would have been easier for me to visit him there too. He didn't get there because the cab driver, concerned about how crazy the attacks on LICH have been, persuaded him not to go. But LICH is right next to the Cobble Hill nursing home where he is headed next. It would have been better if these assets stripping attacks on LICH hadn't manufactured these questions.

No, you can't judge the need for LICH by the use it is getting right now in the middle of this attack.

The casualness with which Mr. Lewis offered this judgment is entirely flawed.

Mar. 03 2014 05:40 PM
marilyn berkon from Brooklyn

Just a few years ago LICH was a busy hospital where it was hard to find an available bed. The population using that hospital has not changed, nor has the need for the good medical care it provided. But greedy real-estate developers,with their eye on lucrative property,invented a need to close the hospital. They spread the word that it had to be up for sale because it was run down and underutilized. Of course, people stayed away and chose other places for their medical needs. And now greed does not allow the natural solution to the problem the developers caused. Methodist Hospital in Park Slope insists upon expansion, cutting down beautiful brownstones in its way and creating environmental hazards. The neighborhood is outraged. Yet Methodist, financially successful, could purchase LICH to save that good hospital and avoid the unnecessary expansion that invades its own neighborhood. But Methodist seems to resist the idea. We can only assume that all kinds of lucrative contracts are involved.

There is an epidemic of land grabs throughout our city. The endangered Brooklyn Heights library is a prime example. Reasons have been invented to tear it down. It serves all of the neighborhoods in downtown Brooklyn, and even in Manhattan, but apparently a high-rise luxury condo on that spot is more important to real-estate developers, who promise a useless library replacement, one third its present size located in the condo basement. We have to stop this greed from stealing all the things so essential to our health, welfare, happiness.

Mar. 03 2014 04:00 PM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

@Martha from Greenpoint-

Gee, I don't remember you posting your bitterness over "petty" coverage during Brian's maniacal obsession with the GW Bridge/Christie story ... which he led with every day for two weeks. It is only bad and biased journalism when Lefties are the targets, eh?

And, LOL, YOU certainly wouldn't appear to have an "axe to grind" now would ya?
Gosh, ain't life unfair when everyone, even your heroes, are criticized?

Mar. 03 2014 03:23 PM
martha from greenpoint

embarrassed correction: I learned how biased and petty the mayoral coverage has been and is going to continue to be from listening to supposed news stations WCBS and WINS. WNYC has been rather more neutral or at least aspirational

Mar. 03 2014 11:21 AM
martha from Greenpoint

wow, this segment was a train wreck! I guess the "takeaway" is don't ask political reporters to rate their own reporting—or how to avoid seeing the forest for the trees. It was apparent from day one that the press corps saw an opportunity to go after the new mayor hammer and tongs. I learned this from listening to the supposed news stations WCBS and WNYC, whose reportage was snide, disrespectful and gotcha-oriented from the get-go. I then listened to a few more AM radio stations and found the same tactic at work. (I also learned form this segment how conservative Errol Lewis is leaning.)
The focus on "does he hate rich people, not plowing the upper east side?" showed the press' willingness to go for the death from 1,000 cuts tactic, which they haven't had the chance to use since Dinkins (remember the 'expensive headboard" chase?). The Times itself has let loose its reporters to crack wise whenever possible about the mayor in each and every story.
The fact is, we have had no opportunity to gauge the mayor because virtually all stories are petty. I have been a bit shocked about this so far. Brian was lucky there was a rational caller at the end, not just someone with a very particular axe to grind. How about some real assessments?
Some of the comments here represent both sides: the rational and substantive versus the gleefully petty.

Mar. 03 2014 11:18 AM

Capital New York does not present the concerns of real life residents of this City. It is lobbyist driven and to survive must represent the monied interests. We need news coverage such as one gets from the smaller newspapers closer to ground in New Jersey. DNA Info does well for New York City, better than the far right monied Politico snide (snotty)$6000/year in it for the money "news" group.

Mar. 03 2014 11:15 AM
Steven from Brooklyn

To the extent that the issues with Methodist and LICH are real estate related, and they are to a large extent, strong consideration should be given to locating facilities along 3rd and 4th avenues between Atlantic avenue and ninth street. Lots of open space and good access for ambulance and patient traffic.

Mar. 03 2014 11:01 AM

I found this entire discussion as a cynical attack om the new Mayor. Mayor DeBlasio has been elected to a New York that has basically been imprisoned financially and land-wise by policies of the former plutocrat, Bloomberg.Mayor DeBlasio is a progressive who will attempt to govern on behalf of the citizens in contrast to the former Mayor Bloomberg. As such, he will be hampered and can only begin the changes needed as there is so much to overcome. I can never forgive what Mayor Bloomberg designed in such a manner as to exclude the majority of us from a real community of New York. He left us a desert, and with all in the hands of the non-taxed rich who care not for others.

Mar. 03 2014 10:57 AM

i supported diblasio, mainly as a change from bloomberg, thinking lhota would have been more of the same. so far i see an empty suit, surrounding himself with some people of questionable motives and integrity. i am very discourgaged by the talk of increasing vouchers, EBT, raising aid to this and that, with zero talk of responsibibilty. people respond best to the , for lack of a fancier term, "carrot and stick". if you try to motivate people by just by force, you get nowhere. still, if you just hand things to people, they dont value it, and dont take care of it. people need to know if they do something positive, there is an upside. act irresponsibly, there is a downside. that works pretty much on every level of society, from the workplace, to child rearing, all types of social situations. unfortunately , children are basically used a pawns to keep the welfare coming, and having been brought up in that environment, continue that behavior as adults, the cycle continues. how do you change that, without punishing children who didnt ask to be brought into it? quite frankly, i dont know, but people who's business and education are geared to dealing with social issues need to figure it out, and soon. more handouts will only perpetuate the problem, and the longer it goes on ,the deeper its ingrained, and the harder it is to change. as far the comment from the woman who said the welfare workers are disrespectful to the people they are serving, that is exactly what I'm talking about. the system creates that kind of schism between people. imagine going to work in a dreary welfare office, and day after day having to deal with too many people who take no responsibility for there actions. of course, not all, but far to many. many more than enough to create that kind of animosity. i dislike nothing more than standing in line at the checkout, watching someone swipe a EBT card, then drive away in a lexus or bmw. go to any housing project and look in the parking lots. again, not all. its never all. but its too many , and it speaks to the way the system is severely flawed, and will only get worse unless a way is found to change it.

Mar. 03 2014 10:43 AM
sp from nyc

When charter schools enroll children in the same way as the public schools, I will believe they are public schools. Parents have to list the schools they are interested in their children attending (one application for all schools), EXCEPT THE CHARTER SCHOOLS, then wait to see where they get in. Charter school enrollment is by individual school, so it automatically selects for parents with the wherewithall to get the application together. Although the charters claim enrollment is by lottery, it is skewed by who gets into the lottery. Charter schools must be required to take and retain all children in the same way as public schools--only then will it be possible to fairly determine which schools have better outcomes.

Mar. 03 2014 10:34 AM
Joyce from NYC

Charter Schools:

Now we are seeing the truth -- the Mayor and his administration HATES achievement, and wishes to suppress all to mediocrity.

Anyone who disagrees, please explain why.

Mar. 03 2014 10:28 AM
Dan from Long Island City

I don't have anything really substantial to add here but I wanted to mention that whenever anything goes wrong, from a neglected pile of garbage bags on the side of the street to a long line at Costco, my wife and I turn to each other to say, "Welcome to De Blasio's New York."

Mar. 03 2014 10:27 AM
NJ from New Jersey

Dana Rubenstein's breathy vocal drag is so annoying. It's really hard to even pay attention to what she says. I wish these smart, accomplished women would stop with the affected voices.

Mar. 03 2014 10:26 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Caller Muktar -

Sorry, pal, but you and your child don't give the money that the teachers' union can. Big union money always wins. You lose.

Mar. 03 2014 10:23 AM
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights

Mr. Lewis has got it reversed when it comes to the hospitals and fleecing the taxpayers. The real question is why should the taxpayers be expected to pay for tearing down part of Park Slop and changing a lot of its character to hugely expand Methodist and then have to pay again for tearing down LICH? The answer is to use (and to an extent upgrade) existing facilities by having Methodist expand into LICH. That will make two communities a whole lot happier and serve them better.

And the taxpayers will be saved a lot of money.

See: Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Too Little Information And Perhaps No Good Explanation: Can Anyone Say Why Methodist Hospital Should Be Expanding When Nearby LICH Is Closing?

Mar. 03 2014 10:21 AM
Rachel from Harlem

Dana and Errol are indicative of a self righteous right wing drifting media, very very weird these talking radio heads are, created a niche ala the manhattan institute fibbers

Mar. 03 2014 10:16 AM

hospitals mean jobs

Mar. 03 2014 10:14 AM

Mr Lehrer is wrong to mock public concern about the mayor’s driving policy as a “cheap little gotcha item”.

the safety of nyc streets depends greatly on the real commitment of the mayor and the nypd to enforcing traffic laws, which is undermined by the message deB sends by flouting them.

please focus respectfully on this crucial issue.

Mar. 03 2014 10:14 AM
Margot Jacqz from manhattan valley

Two months in do we have a Parks or Culture commissioner? While understandably focused on his own agenda, it is a mistake to neglect these areas much strengthened by Bloomberg.

Mar. 03 2014 10:12 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Reading about France made me think of Mayor Bill de Blasio and Obama ... don’t these guys read anything? (You don’t have to answer that.)


“As the young and entrepreneurial flee, the country struggles to compete and pay for its massive welfare state. Hollande imposed onerous new taxes on the wealthy; the government’s tax haul has hit 46 percent of GDP, reports The Economist. The president has taken to roaming through France’s cities and towns, but his diatribes against the well-off—“I hate the rich,” he said on television—provide no more encouragement to young entrepreneurs than do his tax policies. A striking indicator of this attitude is the massive emigration that the country has witnessed over the last decade, with nearly 2 million French citizens choosing to leave their country and take their chances in other locales. No longer a world leader, France has increasingly abandoned itself to self-denigration.”

Pascal Bruckner:

Mar. 03 2014 07:37 AM

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