June Newsletter: Better Bus Service, Cleaning Up, Overdevelopment and Summer Events

Dear Neighbor,

I hope everyone had a relaxing and reflective Memorial Day and for those who celebrate Shavuos, please enjoy the coming days.

In May, transportation on the Upper East Side got even better as we kicked off Select Bus Service on the M79 and welcomed a fleet of 79 new buses to the neighborhood. If you've noticed the streets are getting cleaner, it is possible that the 284 new high-end trash cans that my office purchased to blanket 104 intersections in District 5 may have something to do with it. And as you may have heard by now, in April my office led a rally for more Pre-K seats on the Upper East Side. Now, a month later the Department of Education has responded with good news for the neighborhood.

I continue to oppose NYCHA’s plan to rip out the Holmes Towers playground to build a 47-story tower with luxury housing, and in May I rallied with tenants to let the city know their deal is unfair. If you dislike unnecessary scaffolding throughout the City as much as I do, the New York Times agrees with us and they editorialized on legislation I have introduced to force property owners to only be able to use scaffolding when it is necessary.

The Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) is a little-known agency that controls exemptions given to developers on how they build in our City. For decades this agency has been used as a rubber stamp by developers to pave the way for buildings communities opposed. Thanks to a package of legislation getting signed into law in May, which included five bills I authored, the BSA will be much more transparent and accountable to the community.

This month we will hold a forum to discuss Fighting Overdevelopment on the Upper East Side, as well as a registration event for the New York City Rent Freeze Program, and our annual Roosevelt Island Town Hall.

As we get set to welcome summer, my office and the Parks Department have teamed up to bring activities for the community. Whether it is tennis open to the public at the Queensboro Oval, Movie Nights Under the Stars or Skate Night there are plenty of free activities for residents to enjoy as the temperatures increase.

Also back by popular demand is Grow NYC’s Fresh Food Box which will kick off at my office on June 15. Cooking with Kallos will also make a return on June 3 at the 82nd Street Greenmarket.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe start to summer, and Happy Fathers Day!
 

Sincerely,

Ben Kallos

Council Member

SPECIAL EVENTS

June 8, 6PM
Overdevelopment Forum

June 8, 11AM – 1PM
Rent Freeze for Seniors & Disabled

June 22, 6PM
Roosevelt Island Town Hall

OUTDOOR EVENTS

June 3, 17, 24 at Dusk
Movies Under the Stars

June 3, 11AM – 1PM
Cooking with Kallos

June 9, 6PM
Roller Skate Night

June 16 – September 10
Queensboro Oval Tennis

June 15, 22, 29, 3:30PM – 6:30PM
Fresh Foodbox

June 17, 11AM – 2:30PM
Bike Helmet Giveaway

June 7, 14, 21, 28, 7:15AM – 10:30AM
Food Scraps-on-the-Go

DISTRICT OFFICE EVENTS

June 2, 8AM – 10AM
First Friday

June 13, 6PM – 7PM
Brainstorming with Ben

June 22, 6:30PM – 8PM
CitiBike Safety Class

June 13, 27, 28, 11AM – 2PM
Mobile Hours

June 5, 6, 12, 19, 21, 26, 3PM – 6PM
Legal Clinics

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Improving Bus Service with New Buses for the Upper East Side
  2. Improving Bus Service with Off Board Fare Payment for M79
  3. Cleaning Up the Upper East Side with 284 New Trash Cans
  4. Five New Laws to Protect Neighborhoods from Overdevelopment by the BSA
  5. Join the Fight Against Overdevelopment at Our Forum
  6. Personal Democracy Forum
  7. Fresh Food Box is Back at My District Office

TRANSPORTATION

  1. Celebrating Transit Access on the Upper East Side
  2. Bike to Work Day
  3. Bike Safety Program
  4. FREE BIke Helmet Fitting and GIveaway
  5. Citi Bike Street Skills Class
  6. Livable Streets

HOUSING AND LAND USE

  1. Fighting New NYCHA Infill Skyscraper on the Upper East Side
  2. New York Times Coverage and Editorial in Support of My Scaffolding Legislation
  3. Tenants' Rights Forum
  4. Preserving Hundreds of Affordable Apartments
  5. Affordable Housing at Draper Hall Apartments
  6. Affordable Housing in Chelsea

PARKS & ENVIRONMENT

  1. Queensboro Oval Now Open to the Public this June
  2. Esplanade Collapse at Gracie Mansion
  3. Supporting Conservancies
  4. Movies Under the Stars
  5. Roller Skate Night
  6. Cooking With Kallos

YOUTH & EDUCATION

  1. Pre-Kindergarten Seats Won for 2018, Still Fighting for 2017
  2. Free Lunch for New York Children
  3. Lead in Schools

GOOD GOVERNMENT

  1. GovAPI Act Introduced
  2. Fighting the Digital Divide
  3. Pay Equity Bill Signing
  4. Lower East Side Coastal Resiliency Project Stalled
  5. Deed Restrictions and Provisionals Stalled
  6. Fighting for Reform of the Board of Elections
  7. Helping More People Run for Office
  8. Fiscally Responsible Budgeting
  9. Trump Blocks Retirement Security for All
  10. Progressive Caucus Policy Conference
  11. How to Deal with a Summons

OFFICE UPDATES

  1. Here to Help
  2. Free Legal Clinics
  3. Mobile District Hours
  4. Ben In Your Building

EVENTS AND RESOURCES

  1. City Council Events
  2. Events Funded By My Office
  3. Government and Community Meetings
  4. Community Events for Kids
  5. Community Events for Adults
  6. Training and Jobs
  7. Resources Funded by My Office

 

Improving Bus Service with New Buses for the Upper East Side

The Upper East Side is getting 79 news buses serving the M15, M101, M102, and M103, as reported in Our Town. After years of advocacy and analysis of BusTime data, I identified the issue of “missing buses” with the help of BetaNYC, BusTurnaround.nyc, and TWU Local 100. I brought the issue of “missing buses” to the attention of the MTA at a meeting convened by Senator Liz Krueger. The MTA shared that bus lines based out of the Tuskegee Depot in my district were amongst the oldest in the system, leading to more frequent than usual breakdowns, and agreed to prioritize these buses for replacement. The new buses are equipped with WiFi, USB charging, next stop screens, and pedestrian safety measures. For more information, read the release or coverage in Our Town, Upper East Side Patch or DNAinfo.

 

Improving Bus Service with Off Board Fare Payment for M79

The M79 is an award winning bus line, having the dubious honor of wining the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign Pokey Award in 2014 for the slowest speed with a 3.2 mile per hour crawl, slower than Hawaiian Lava flow. According to BusTurnaround.NYC the M79 now goes 4.3 miles per hour, slower than most people walk. That is why in 2016, following great results from Select Bus Service implementation for the M86, I requested it for the remaining crosstown routes in my district: the M66, M96 and of course the M79. In May, the Department of Transportation released its progress report on the M86 SBS route, illustrating the success of the new route. In addition to a 96% customer satisfaction rating, the report notes that since the M86 SBS was established in July of 2015, ridership on the M86 route has grown by 7% and travel times have decreased by as much as 11%. If the M86 is any indicator I hope to see similar improvements in satisfaction for the M79 with the implementation of Select Bus Service. Read my remarks, the release from DOT and MTA, or watch the launch.

 

Cleaning Up the Upper East Side with 284 New Trash Cans

We are cleaning up the Upper East Side with 284 new large trash cans covering 104 intersections, which I purchased with discretionary funding from my office. These new cans supplement the 38 I purchased last year as part of a successful pilot with the East 72nd and East 86th Street Neighborhood Associations. The East Sixties Neighborhood Association (ESNA) joined prior participants in requesting an expansion. The large cans feature a smaller opening designed to keep trash from spilling over onto the street with reports from the pilot of a decrease in litter and rodents. I promise to replace every small wire trash can with a new large trash can on every corner that needs one and add another on those corners that need it, so please email me to request your new large trash can. For more information, including locations, read the release or watch the press conference.

 

Five New Laws to Protect Neighborhoods from Overdevelopment by the BSA

Many buildings on the Upper East Side that contribute to overdevelopment were built in conflict with the zoning law, thanks to permission from a five member agency called the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA). In the past developers have been able to circumvent city zoning laws that restrict building heights, shapes, use, density, and affordability with favorable decisions from the BSA, despite opposition from neighbors, community boards and elected officials. I pledged to reform the BSA when I ran for office and again at my Inauguration. Inspired by the 1976 and 2004 reports of the Municipal Arts Society, the five laws I authored were coupled with a bipartisan package of bills by Majority Leader Van Bramer, Minority Leader Matteo, Zoning Chair Richards, and Queens Delegation Chair Koslowitz that will reform applications, decisions, notifications, staffing and transparency at the BSA. For more information read the release.

 

Join the Fight Against Overdevelopment at Our Forum

On Thursday June 8, my office and the offices of State Senator Liz Krueger and Borough President Gale Brewer will be hosting a forum on the topic of Overdevelopment on the Upper East Side. The event will take place at the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House on 331 East 70th Street at 6PM. The event will feature expert speakers on the topic of how the community can get involved in closing loopholes and stopping overdevelopment. The organizations participating in this event include: The Municipal Arts Society, Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, Historic Districts Council, Carnegie Hill Neighbors, East River 50s Alliance, Community Board 8, and Community Voices Heard. RSVP by calling 212-860-1950 or visit benkallos.com/event/overdevelopment-forum

Over Development Forum
6PM – 8PM, June 8, 2017
Lenox Hill Neighborhood House
331 East 70th Street
RSVP

 

Personal Democracy Forum

Please join me, U.S. Senator Cory Booker, Public Advocate Letitia "Tish" James, leaders from the ACLU, Indivisible, DoSomething.org, MoveOn.org, top technologists, campaigners, journalists, opinion-makers,  and academics for two days of game-changing talks, workshops, and networking opportunities celebrating the power and potential of tech to make real change happen at the Personal Democracy Forum on June 8th and 9th at PDF17.com.

 

Fresh Food Box is Back at My District Office

Grow NYC’s Fresh Food Box is back at my district office starting Thursday, June 15, between 3:30pm and 6:30pm. You will be able to place your order and pay just $12 (cash, credit/debit, SNAP/food stamps, greenmarket bucks) and pick up a bag of farm fresh produce the following week. Learn more at BenKallos.com/FreshFoodBox

You can now drop off your food scraps “on-the-go” with GrowNYC every Wedneday, from 7:15am – 10:30am, at the 96th Street and Lexington 6 train station starting on June 7. Once a week, drop off your household fruit and vegetable scraps to be composted as you head out to start your day — look for GrowNYC’s orange tent! Learn more at GrowNYC.org/compost-go

 

 

TRANSPORTATION

 

Celebrating Transit Access on the Upper East Side

When I took office in 2014, the Upper East Side was considered a “transit desert” without many reliable public transit options. Three years later I was proud to join Department of Transportation Commissioner Trottenberg, Transportation Committee Chair Rodriguez, Deputy Manhattan Borough President Washington and representatives from Riders Alliance and Transportation Alternatives at a press conference touting the new and coming transportation options that have been added to the neighborhood:

  • Second Avenue Subway
  • Select Bus Service for Crosstown Buses
  • East River Ferry at Roosevelt Island, 90th and 60th Streets
  • CitiBike Bike Share

Thanks to these improvements, taxi ridership has plummeted on the Upper East Side and more than 150,000 people a day have opted for the Q train. Ridership in protected bike lanes has increased by 300%. For more information on all the new access to mass transit on the Upper East Side read the release and watch the press conference or NBC News.

 

Bike to Work Day

I joined dozens of riders for our annual Bike to Work Day, as we rode from my District Office on East 93rd Street, stopped at Union Square to pick up more riders from Queens and the Bronx, and continued on to City Hall. There we met a group coming from Brooklyn with Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, who joined us as we celebrated New York City’s improved and expanded bike infrastructure. Watch the Bike to Work press conference or my actual ride from StreetFilms.org.

 

Bike Safety Program

Drivers, riders, bikers and pedestrians have all expressed concerns about their safety, so we’ve expanded our Bike Safety Program with Council Member Garodnick to cover the Upper East Side and Midtown East within the 17th and 19th precincts. Injuries are down for motorists and pedestrians. The program focuses on Education, Equipment, and Enforcement.

FREE Equipment with Education:

  • Vests, Lights, Bells and Helmets for Delivery Bikes following training class.
  • 90-minute training class in English, Spanish and Chinese.
  • Lights and Bells for Recreational and Commuting Cyclists coupled with education.
  • Free Helmets.
  • New Bikes for NYPD Bike Patrol.

Enforcement in 2016:

  • 17,615 moving violations issued to motor vehicles (6,123 for improper turns, 3,003 for running red lights and 1,450 for not yielding to pedestrians).
  • 1,865 summonses issued to bicycle riders for disobeying red lights and riding the wrong way or on sidewalks.
  • 70 seizures of electronic bikes.

We’ve also added a protected bike lane on 2nd Avenue and bike lanes to 70th & 71st and 77th & 78th Streets. Learn more at BenKallos.com/bikesafety

 

FREE BIke Helmet Fitting and GIveaway
Saturday, June 17, 11am - 2:30pm
Good Shepherd Plaza, 543 Main Street, Roosevelt Island
RSVP

 
Thursday, June 22, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Office of Council Member Ben Kallos, 244 East 93rd Street
This quick presentation & discussion focuses on rules of the road and how to navigate Citi Bike. Classes are taught by certified Bike New York instructors. Every participant will receive a free 24-hour Citi Bike pass, worth $12+tax!
RSVP
 

Livable Streets

In my first year in office, I launched a “Livable Streets” initiative for a neighborhood where residents can walk, bike, drive or take public transportation safely. A series of tragic traffic collisions in our neighborhood have reinforced the importance of Vision Zero, Mayor de Blasio's street safety program whose launch I participated in, to eliminate traffic fatalities — because no one should die from a preventable collision.

I've asked 60,000 families in my district to identify dangerous intersections and street-scape improvements, and using this feedback from the community I've released our first two reports on Livable Streets: Part I: Dangerous Intersections (PDF) and Part II: Street Improvements (PDF) as covered in the Daily News. Following the report, the DOT and NYPD also released a Vision Zero Borough Pedestrian Safety Plan for Manhattan. They included included priority corridors on 1st, 2nd and 3rd Ave as well as intersections from my report: Lexington Avenue and East 86th Street, 2nd Avenue and East 79th Street, East 75th Street and 1st Avenue, East 62nd Street and 1st Avenue, 3rd Avenue and 57th Street, and 2nd Avenue and East 53rd Street.

Please report dangerous intersections and corners to my office, so we can pass them along to the relevant agencies. Please also report bus stops that need a shelter, sidewalks where you would like to see benches or bike racks, corners that should be wheelchair and walker accessible, potholes to fix, and any other concerns you have — so we can all have livable streets. Please call or email our office with as much detail as possible or fill out the form at BenKallos.com/livable-streets

If you are interested in getting bike corrals installed visit www.nyc.gov/bikecorrals

 

 

HOUSING AND LAND USE

 

Fighting New NYCHA Infill Skyscraper on the Upper East Side

The Daily News covered the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) announcement of a deal to build a 47-story tower on East 92nd Street between First and York Avenues. This building would have more stories than any other building in my district. Congress Member Maloney, Manhattan Borough President Brewer and I continue to fight the construction of luxury housing on public housing land meant for our city’s vulnerable very-low-income residents. I questioned NYCHA on the deal and learned that the developer will only be paying $25 million for a 99-year lease in lieu of paying real estate taxes and is receiving at least $13 million in taxpayer subsidies. I am concerned that the city is neither making enough money nor building enough affordable housing in a giveaway to luxury developers and that NYCHA residents won’t be able to afford units set aside for them. The Daily News also reported that the developer has donated $39,150 to the Mayor, which I believe warrants further scrutiny. Watch me question NYCHA at BenKallos.com/videos or read coverage in the Daily News.

 

New York Times Coverage and Editorial in Support of My Scaffolding Legislation

New York TimesAs covered in the New York Times, the City of New York just released an interactive map of all 280 miles of scaffolding. The Times also discussed my legislation, Introduction 1447, which would require work to continue uninterrupted for completion within three to six months or have the city do the work to get the scaffolds back down. The legislation has been written up positively by The New York Times Editorial Board.

 

Tenants’ Rights Forum

Thank you to all the attendees of our Annual Housing Forum on Tenants’ Rights hosted with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and State Senator Liz Krueger with sponsorship by Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright. Attendees learned about their rights from presenters Delsenia Glover from Tenants Neighbors, Iliana Garcia from the Urban Justice Center, Samantha Kattan from the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board, Kenny Schaefer from Met Council on Housing and Yoonmee Cho from Lenox Hill Neighborhood House. I hope that residents left the event with their questions and answered and found the presentations helpful. We are here to help and if you missed the forum or have any outstanding questions please make an appointment with our free housing clinic every Monday from 3PM to 6PM.

 

Preserving Hundreds of Affordable Apartments

Lott Community Development Corporation will continue to offer affordable housing in 348 apartments in 18 buildings spanning my district and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s district for generations to come with apartments renting for as little as $296 a month. Contact Lott to see if you qualify at LottCDC.org.

 

Affordable Housing at Draper Hall Apartments

Applications for 51 newly constructed/rehabilitated apartment units at 1918 First Avenue are now being accepted. Amenities: Resident community room, laundry room, outdoor recreation area, high tech security system throughout the building, accessibility features, energy efficient appliances and lighting, on-site adult day-program, and features to allow aging in place (seated showers, rail-bars, and call buttons). Apply online for the housing lottery at NYC Housing Connect.

 

Affordable Housing in Chelsea

Applications are now being accepted for 19 newly constructed units at 221 West 29th Street in Manhattan. Apply online for the housing lottery at NYC Housing Connect.

 

 

PARKS & ENVIRONMENT

Queensboro Oval Now Open to the Public this June

The Queensboro Oval will now be open to the public for indoor tennis from Friday, June 16 through Sunday, September 10 between 6am and 11pm, according to an announcement by the Parks Department. You must have a tennis permit which is $100 for adults, $20 for seniors over 62, $10 for children under 18, or single play and reservations for $15, available online at NYCgovParks.org.

We’ve been fighting alongside Community Board 8 Manhattan’s Parks Committee to open the Queensboro Oval Park back to the public with support from Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, Senator Liz Kruger, Assembly Member Dan Quart, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

Please take our poll on what to do with the Queensboro Oval at BenKallos.com/poll/oval

 

Esplanade Collapse at Gracie Mansion 

Since taking office I have been fighting to keep the East River Esplanade from falling into the river. As Co-chair of the East River Esplanade Taskforce with Congress Member Maloney, I have secured $149 million in private and public dollars to maintain and rehabilitate a crumbling Esplanade. A portion of the $35 million in funding that I secured in my first year in office was already in the process of being used to repair the portion of the Esplanade that fell into the river behind Gracie Mansion with work to begin this summer. While I generally favor fixing underlying conditions over band aids, I am disappointed that this portion of the Esplanade was not protected from falling into the River. I expressed my frustration and pressed the Parks Department for an additional $169 million in funding to continue repairs. You can watch my questions and their answers at BenKallos.com/videos

 

Supporting Conservancies

My district is among the bottom four in square feet of park land per resident, which means we need conservancies for every single foot in order to keep our parks in top shape. I am proud to have helped found the Sutton Parks Conservancy and join its annual fundraiser led by honorary Chair Matilda Cuomo. I am also happy to work with Friends of the East River Esplanade to care for our Esplanade and to thank our volunteer gardners who attended Upper Green Side's first annual Garden Party for everyone who has adopted a planter. I am proud to provide discretionary funding to all these great organizations. If you've got a green thumb, I hope you'll join our efforts.

 

Movies Under the Stars

Grab a blanket and come enjoy a movie in a neighborhood park or playground! Movies depend on the weather and begin at dusk.

Saturday, 6/3, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (PG-13), John Jay Park
Saturday, 6/17, The Good Dinosaur, St. Catherine’s Park
Saturday, 6/24, Jason Bourne (PG-13), John Jay Park

RSVP at BenKallos.com/events

 

Roller Skate Night

Come for a fun night of outdoor roller skating with a live DJ, and more! Skates will be provided. Open to the public and all ages. Feel free to bring your own skates!

Roller Skate Night
Friday, June 9, 2017
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Stanley Isaacs Playground Rink
First Avenue and East 96 Street

RSVP required at nycparks-skatenight.eventbrite.com

 

Cooking With Kallos

Cooking with Kallos is back this summer, for a fourth year of slicing and dicing fresh fruits and vegetables. This year we will be cooking up recipes made up of the day’s best picks for you to eat. Come over to the Greenmarkets, sponsored by my office, and help me cook up some of GrowNYC’s best produce from local farms.

Cooking with Kallos at 82nd Street Greenmarket
Saturday, June 3, 11AM – 1PM
82nd Street between York Avenue and First Avenue
RSVP

Cooking with Kallos at Stanley Isaacs Greenmarket
Sunday, July 16, 11AM – 1PM
First Avenue between 92nd and 93rd Streets
RSVP

 

 

YOUTH & EDUCATION

 

Pre-Kindergarten Seats Won for 2018, Still Fighting for 2017

In April, parents and children joined Comptroller Stringer, Public Advocate James, Senator Kureger, Assembly Members Seawright and Quart, Council Member Garodnick and me at a Rally for Pre-Kindergarten Seats on the Upper East Side. In May, the School Construction Authority shared in response to my questioning that they were opening two new Pre-Kindergarten Centers on the Upper East Side, with two additional sites in consideration, all of which would open for the 2018 – 2019 school year. You can watch my questions and their answers at BenKallos.com/videos

I campaigned on Universal Pre-K, advocated alongside the Mayor for and won $300 million from Albany, and doubled the number of Pre-K seats at P.S./I.S. 217, expanding to ninety seats on Roosevelt Island, with the help of community organizers and parents. As of 2016, the number of seats on the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island has quadrupled from 123, as was originally reported by WNYC in 2014, to 587 in 2016. If you are interested in working with our office to identify new locations in public or private schools or even retail space please email UPKatBenkallos [dot] com.

 

Free Lunch for New York Children

The Daily News reported on a new memorandum from Schools Chancellor Fariña mandating that any hungry child must be fed, regardless of whether they can pay. Advocates rejected this policy and we continue to fight alongside Lunch 4 Learning, Hunger Free NYC and City Harvest to call on the Mayor to make good on his campaign promise of Universal Free Lunch. You can watch my questions and their answers at BenKallos.com/videos

 

Lead in Schools

Clean and safe drinking water in our schools remains a top priority and I continued to question the School Construction Authority about recent reporting by the New York Times on lead levels in the water in schools. I have been in touch with principals in any and all schools in my district with high reported lead levels. I have also reached out to national and local experts for their advice on lead in schools. I will continue to follow this issue and look forward to working with any students and parents with ongoing concerns. You can watch my questions and their answers at BenKallos.com/videos

 

 

GOOD GOVERNMENT

 

GovAPI Act Introduced

Fortune TechFortune, TechCrunch, and Gotham Gazette covered the GovAPI Act that I introduced to use apps to make government as easy as using Uber for car service or Seamless for food. The legislation, Int. 1594, would replace long lines, hold music, and bureaucratic forms with an app for that as the private sector innovates government. Any time a paper form, an operator, or website requests information like a name, email, income, or other details, that information could just as easily be provided by an app through an API. Similarly, any time the city shares information on whether you qualified for public benefits, are registered to vote, or owe taxes, that could just as easily be provided by an app through an API. An Application Programming Interface or API provides a set of definitions, protocols, and tools for building application software, or in general terms, it provides a translation dictionary for different software to communicate to make it easier for developers to program new applications. Read the legislation, the release, or coverage in Fortune, TechCrunch, and Gotham Gazette.

 

Fighting the Digital Divide

I joined NY1’s In Focus host Cheryl Wills for a conversation on how we can fight the digital divide and help the 700,000 households who don’t have broadband in our city. I discussed how in 2015, when Charter Communications sought to merge with Time Warner Cable, I joined Public Advocate James in testifying at hearings and advocating for the Public Service Commission to require any company acquiring Time Warner Cable to help bridge the digital divide by providing low-income residents with low-cost, high-speed broadband Internet. It is my hope that Spectrum Internet Assist, a new low-cost, high-speed broadband program, will help close the digital divide by providing nearly one million people with affordable high-speed internet access for the first time.

Spectrum Internet Assist
$14.99 per month for 30 Mbps downloads and 4 Mbps uploads, email and more
No contract, no cost for modem and no activation fees

Spectrum Internet Assist Eligibility
Families with children in public schools who receive free or reduced cost lunch
Seniors (over 65) who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

For more information read the release, visit SpectrumInternetAssist.com, or watch In Focus on NY1.

 

Pay Equity Bill Signing

After years of advocacy led by Public Advocate Tish James, I was proud to join her and Mayor de Blasio for the signing of a law to prohibit New York City employers from asking for salary history of any prospective employee during the hiring process. By preventing this form of questioning, this legislation will protect women and minorities by ensuring that they are not stuck with unequal wages. Previously, I joined Mayor de Balsio in November of last year as he signed an executive order instructing City agencies to do the same. What someone earned at a previous job should have no bearing on salary negotiations with a potential employer. For more information read the release

 

Lower East Side Coastal Resiliency Project Stalled

The $512 million East Side Coastal Resiliency Project spanning from Montgomery Street to East 25th Street was slated to begin in June 2017, but at a hearing of the Committee on Governmental Operations I questioned why it has been delayed until 2019 at the earliest, putting hundreds of thousands in Lower Manhattan at risk for the next Super Storm Sandy, which could happen in the intervening two years. You can watch my questions for the Department of Citywide Administrative Services at BenKallos.com/videos

 

Deed Restrictions and Provisionals Stalled

As Chair of the Committee of Governmental Operations, I have oversight of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), where I continue to pressure the city to do the right thing on deed restrictions and provisional employees. At least 7 deed restriction modifications continue to move forward through a new process passed by the Council including another nursing home. Provisional employees are individuals hired into civil service titles without taking an exam or having the same rights, leading to some of the same questions of patronage and competence the civil service system was created to address. As of March this administration has more provisional employees than when it started. You can watch my questions at BenKallos.com/videos

 

Fighting for Reform of the Board of Elections

The New York City Board of Elections continues to claim its right to patronage enshrined in the New York State Constitution, but I continue to fight for elections that work for every voter. In May's executive budget hearing, I pressured the Board of Elections to enact the following reforms:

  • Increasing the number of poll sites to reduce wait times,
  • Offer poll workers half day shifts of 8 hours instead of 16 hours,
  • Increase pay for poll workers to $15 an hour,
  • Using skilled city employees to run elections,
  • Voter information portal with email and text message alerts,
  • Fight patronage with publicly posted jobs,
  • Limiting improper purges of voters, and
  • Providing temporary accessibility to schools on a permanent basis for permanent accessibility.

You can watch my questions at BenKallos.com/videos

 

Helping More People Run for Office

The New York City Campaign Finance Board is supposed to help more candidates run for office but ends up fining the majority of candidates including those that do not win. As Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations I learned that the Campaign Finance Board spends 4 times more on audits than it does on helping candidates with liaisons. The candidate liaisons, who help candidates properly follow the rules in the first place, are spread thinly, working with as many as 30 candidates each. Council Member David Greenfield joined me in asking questions, which you can watch at BenKallos.com/videos. Or read coverage in Gotham Gazette.

 

Fiscal Responsible Budgeting

Each year, I pressure the Office of Management and Budget to adopt common sense fiscally responsible budgeting from the private sector including:

  • performance budgeting,
  • long term planning for infrastructure such as school seats,
  • increasing capital reserves or “rainy day” funds for economic downturns,
  • maintaining capital assets, and
  • not overleveraging debt to exceed income and debt limits.

You can watch my questions at BenKallos.com/videos

 

Trump Blocks Retirement Security for All

The Gotham Gazette recently reported on my efforts alongside Public Advocate Tish James to help 3.5 million New Yorkers save for retirement, which was blocked by the Trump administration as one of its top priorities (you can see it "HJ Res 67" at the top of the whiteboard behind Steve Bannon). When I graduated Law School I started off as an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) attorney. Working with Bill Samuels more than five years ago, we began advocating to bring Retirement Security for All to New York City and State. Last year I joined Mayor de Blasio, Comptroller Stringer, Public Advocate James, and Speaker Mark-Viverito to announce our intention to bring Retirement Security for All to New York City. Public Advocate James and I authored Int. 1574 and 1580 for businesses of ten or more employees to automatically enroll new employees in a payroll deduction retirement plan at no cost to the employer. The Trump White House signed federal legislation to block Retirement Security for All. Read more in the Gotham Gazette.

 

 Progressive Caucus Policy Conference

As Vice Chair for Policy of the Progressive Caucus, I was happy to lead a May Policy Conference with fellow Progressive Council Members on our new platform: “18 Progressive Policies for 2018.” The Policy Conference featured activists and organizers alongside whom the Progressive Caucus has and will continue to work to achieve our goals. The 18 progressive causes we are highlighting and pushing for in the next session are “Right to Counsel” for Immigrants, Fair Work Week, Economic Democracy through Worker Cooperatives & Day Labor Centers, Living Wage 3.0, Eliminate the Municipal Gender Pay Gap, Invest in Public Housing, Required and Permanent Affordable Housing, Reduce Homelessness, Right to Know Act, Close Rikers, Universal Childcare, End Youth Hunger, Integrate Public Schools and Provide Culturally Responsive Education, After School for All, Free & Strong CUNY, Climate Works for All, MoveNY, and Pre-Citizen Voting. For more information on the platform and to read the release at nycprogressives.com.

 

How to Deal with a Summons

On Sunday, May 28, the Manhattan News Network aired a discussion on “Represent NYC” between Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) Commissioner Fidel Del Valle and me about how to respond to a summons and the ways OATH may be able to help. If you ever receive a summons for a minor offense like littering or disorderly conduct, this conversation will show you what to do. Watch at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1H5UT7Gn0g

the episode will repeat on this Wednesday at 9 pm, on MNN1 and MNNHD.  And it will air again this upcoming Sunday,  at 7:00 pm on MNN1 (In Manhattan: TWC 34 & 1995, RCN 82, FiOS 33) and on MNN's new HD Community Channel available on Time Warner Cable Channel 1993. The program can also be streamed live online at www.mnn.org or watch on YouTube.

 

OFFICE UPDATES

Here to Help

We are here to help. My social work team can help you find out what services you are eligible for and assist you in your application. Some examples include:

  • Seniors: Medicare savings, Meals-on-Wheels, Access-A-Ride
  • Housing: searching for affordable units, free legal housing clinic at my office
  • Jobs: training resources and assistance, unemployment benefits
  • Families: Universal Pre-K, Head Start, After-School programs
  • Finances: cash assistance, tax credits, home energy assistance
  • Nutrition: WIC, free meals for all ages

Please also call us at 212-860-1950 or email at bkallosatbenkallos [dot] com with any unresolved 311 complaints.

 

Free Legal Clinics

Need a lawyer? Every month I sponsor legal clinics where you can get free legal advice in my District Office at 244 East 93rd Street from 3pm-6pm:

Housing Clinics, Every Monday
Family Law and Domestic Violence, 1st Tuesday
Life Planning Clinic, 3rd Wednesday
Land Use and Landmarking Clinic, 2nd Thursday (5pm-6pm)

Please call my office at 212-860-1950 in advance to schedule your appointment.

 

Mobile District Hours

Get assistance wherever in the district you are when we bring our office to you. Please join us at monthly mobile district hours from 11am-2pm:

 

Ben in Your Building

The "Ben in Your Building Program" is a chance to discuss issues of importance to you and your neighbors in person, in your home. If you gather 10 or more friends, I will come to you. Over the past year, I have visited several buildings to discuss matters of importance in the neighborhood, including efforts to fight the Marine Transfer Station, sanitation and condo owner issues. Please schedule a "Ben in Your Building" today by calling 212-860-1950 or email scheduleratbenkallos [dot] com.

 

EVENTS AND RESOURCES

City Council Events

6/2:  First Friday
8:00am-10:00am, District Office, 244 East 93rd Street
Meet Ben in person and meet with your neighbors to discuss what's important to you. Feel free to drop in or leave at any time during First Friday. Learn about what is happening in your community and how to get involved in working together to make our neighborhood a better place to live.
RSVP

6/3: Cooking with Kallos
11:00am - 1:00pm, East 82nd Street Green Market
See Above
RSVP

6/3, 6/17, 6/24: Movies Under the Star
Dusk, St. Catherines or John Jay Park
See Above

6/8: SCRIE & DRIE Event
11:00am - 1:00pm, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House,331 East 70th Street
Enroll in the NYC rent freeze program! Seniors and people with disabilities, keep your rent from increasing if you:

  • Are 62 years or older or 18 years old with a qualifying disability
  • Have a household income of $50,000 or less
  • Live in a rent regulated apartment, and
  • Spend more than 1/3 of your income on rent

RSVP

6/7, 6/14, 6/21, 6/28: Food Scraps-on-the-Go
7:15AM – 10:30AM
See Above

6/8: Over Development Forum 
6:00pm - 8:00pm, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, 331 East 70th Street
See Above
RSVP

6/9: Roller Skate Night
6:00pm - 8:00pm, Stanley Isaacs Park Rink, 96th and First Avenue
See Above
RSVP

6/13: Brainstorm with Ben
6:00pm, District Office, 244 East 93rd Street
Brainstorm with Ben is a chance for residents who have a policy idea they want to pitch and help implement; the goal is to empower residents who are looking to do the research, community organizing, and advocacy needed to turn ideas into real solutions.
RSVP

6/15, 6/22, 6/29: Fresh Foodbox
3:30pm – 6:30pm, District Office, 244 East 93rd Street
See Above

6/17: Bike Helmet Fitting & Giveaway
2:30pm, Good Shepherd Plaza, 543 Main Street, Roosevelt Island
RSVP

6/22: Roosevelt Isalnd Town Hall
6:00pm, Good Shepherd, 543 Main Street, Roosevelt Island
RSVP

6/22: CitiBike Safety Class
6:30pm - 8:00pm, District Office, 244 East 93rd Street
RSVP

 

Events Funded in Whole or Part by My Office

6/1: Cider and Ale Tasting
6:30pm-8:30pm, Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden
Join New York Adventure Club at our historic museum for a casual evening of museum tours and ale and cider tastings in our private garden.   Enjoy after-hours tours of the period rooms, delicious Blue Point Colonial Ale and Stella Artois cider, and socialize with other historically-centric New Yorkers enjoying beverages which were popular and made in New York in the 19th century. 21 and older.

6/6: Mount Vernon Hotel Museum Tavern Tunes
6:00pm Mount Vernon Hotel Museum 421 East 61st Street
Frank Hendricks and Bob Conroy of STOUT will perform an evening of tavern tunes, combining hearty vocal harmonies and acoustic instruments.  Museum tour and complimentary beverages included. $15 Adults, $5 Children under 12, Babies under 1 free.

6/6, 6/20, 6/27: Summer Garden Concerts
6:00pm, Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden
Listen to live music while relaxing in the garden. Museum tour and complimentary beverages included.  Join as a museum member and admission is free. $15 Adults, $5 Children under 12, Babies under 1 free.  To purchase tickets, call the Museum at 212-838-6878 or go to Brown Paper Tickets here to purchase on-line.

6/6: Frank Hendricks and Bob Conroy of STOUT will perform an evening of tavern tunes, combining hearty vocal harmonies and acoustic instruments.
6/20: Toma Iliev, a graduate of the Juilliard School, will enchant with a historically informed performance on Baroque and classical violin.
6/27: Christopher Morongiello, Mannes College of Music, the Royal College of Music and the University of Oxford will captivate with a performance of lute music of the Renaissance and early Baroque.

6/9-6/16: Volunteers Of Legal Service, Inc
Volunteers of Legal Service, Inc. Elderly Project Legal Clinics on the Upper East Side  are held at the Carter Burden Center for the Aging (351 East 74th Street) on the second Friday at 2pm and at the Stanley Isaacs Senior Center (415 East 93rd Street) on the 3rd Friday at 10am. Contact information is as follows:
At Carter Burden: Velda Murad, LMSW at 212-879-7400 (fax 212-879-9864) (Second Fridays)
At Stanley Isaacs: Amy Loewenberg, LCSW, ACSW at 212-360-7620 ext 112 (fax 212-360-7629)(Third Firdays)

6/10, 6/11, 6/15, 6/16: Opera in the Garden! Purcell’s Fairy Queen
6/10 at 6:00pm, 6/11 at 3:00pm, 6/15 and 6/16 at 7:00pm, Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden
This June, at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum outdoor garden venue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Gramercy Opera will mount the company’s first main stage production in its inaugural season. The Fairy Queen will be a novel, re-imagined version of Purcell’s work. Rearranged by classically trained stage director Brittany Goodwin, this production will follow the  story of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Our main characters will take their names from Shakespeare’s play –performing Purcell’s score infused with the poetry and drama of Shakespeare’s timeless classic. What better way to dream of “midsummer” than by experiencing Opera’s beauty under the stars!

6/12 Carter Burden Second Annual Senior Law Day
11:00am -2:00pm, 312 E 109th Street New York
Providing free legal and financial resources and information to East Harlem seniors and their families. For more information, or to register to attend, please contact Alexandra Jurenko at jurenkoaatcarterburdennetwork [dot] org or 212-423- 9665 ext. 458.

6/14: Sunset Garden Party
5:00pm-8:00pm, Franklin D. Roosevelt Park on Roosevelt Island
Four Freedoms Park Conservancy’s signature fundraising event – its 5th annual Sunset Garden Party - will honor award-winning journalist, Tom Brokaw, and his incredible commitment and extraordinary leadership in the defense of free speech and expression.

6/17: The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden Ice Cream Social
1:00pm-3:00pm, 421 East 61st Street, New York
Join us in the garden of our old stone house on East 61st Street for a Path Through History special: a 19th-century Ice Cream Social.  It's an afternoon of ice-cream making, period games and toys and historical tunes for the whole family. $15 Adults, $10 Members and Children Under 12.

6/24, 6/25: Imagination Playground & the Uni Project
1:00pm-4:00pm, Four Freedoms Park
Join us for a fun-filled weekend with these family friendly events! At Imagination Playground, channel Louis Kahn by building whatever you imagine with oversized, architectural blocks on the lawn. At the Uni Project, our pop-up reading room, come sit, read, draw, and explore a curated collection of books and hands-on materials.
Free; no registration required.

6/25: Vocal Ease
2:00pm, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Auditorium
Founded by Eva Swan in 1999, Vocal Ease performs cabaret-style shows, generally with four singers performing solos, duets and group numbers with piano accompaniment. The group has a rotating roster of more than 80 performers, most with professional experience in cabaret, musical theater and jazz.

6/27: Summer Garden Concert
6:00pm-7:30pm,421 East 61st Street, New York, NY 10065
Listen to live music while relaxing in the garden.  Christopher Morongiello, Mannes College of Music, the Royal College of Music and the University of Oxford, will captivate with a performance of lute music of the Renaissance and early Baroque. Museum tour and complimentary beverages included. Join as a Museum member and admission is free. $15 Adults; $5 Children under 12; Free to Babies under 1 year -Please call the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden at (212)838-6878 for more details and to purchase tickets.

6/28 Stanley Isaacs Center Community Festival
1:00pm -4pm Senior Center & Youth Center Playground,415 E. 93 rd Street
Join us, to celebrate the community and also to learn about the resources available to the youth and seniors we serve. Tables and chairs will be provided.  Please note this is an outdoor event. If you have any general questions or concerns, please contact Eileen Farrar, Executive Assistant at (212)360-7620, Ext. 116.

 

Government and Community Meetings

These meetings are subject to change after the publication of the newsletter. Please check updated websites and notices for confirmation

Community Board Meetings

6/1: Community Board 8 (59 to 96th Streets) Parks & Recreation Committee
6:30pm - 9:30pm, Church of Holy Trinity - Draesal Hall, 316 East 88th Street
Esplanade Repair & ConEdison Site

6/5: Community Board 8 (59 to 96th Streets) Voting Reform Working Group
6:30pm - 9:30pm, Brick Presbyterian Church - Living Room, 62 East 92nd Street
NYC BOE Executive Director Mike Ryan

6/7: Community Board 8 (59 to 96th Streets) Transportation Committee
6:30pm - 9:30pm, New York Blood Center, Auditorium, 310 E 67th Street (First-Second)
79th Street Traffic Pattern Changes

6/7: Community Board 6 (14th to 59th Streets) Land Use & Waterfront Committee
6:30pm:  NYU School of Nursing, Dentistry & Engineering, 433 1st Ave, NY NY 10010 Rm.220

6/14: Community Board 8 (59th to 96th Streets) 147-155 East 86th Street Task Force
6:30pm: Ramaz School - Heyman Auditorium, 125 East 85th Street

6/14: Community Board 6 (14th to 59th Streets) Full Board Meeting
7:00pm: TBD

6/15: Community Board 11 (96th to 145th Streets) 25th Precinct Community Council
6:00pm-7:00pm: 120 E 119th Street, New York NY, 10035

6/15: Community Board 11 (96th to 145th Streets) Executive
6:00pm-7:00pm: CB11M Board Office, 1664 Park Ave, New York, New York
TBD

6/20: Community Board 11 (96th to 145th Streets) Full Board Meeting & Public Hearing
6:30pm-8:30pm: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Goldwurm Auditorium, 1425 Madison Ave, New York NY, 10029

6/21: Community Board 8 (59th to 96th Streets) Full Board
6:30pm - 9:30pm, Nightingale-Bamford School, 20 East 92nd Street, New York, NY 10128

6/24: Community Board 11 (96th to 145th Streets) CB11’s Housing Forum NYCHA: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow…
10:00am-2:00pm: Silberman School of Social Work, Hunter College, 2180 3rd Ave, New York NY, 10035

 

New York Police Department

First Monday: 19th Precinct Community Council
7:00pm, 153 East 67th Street

Third Thursday: 23rd Precinct Community Council
6:00pm, 162 East 102 Street

Fourth Tuesday: 17th Precinct Community Council
6:00pm, 167 East 51st Street

 

Neighborhood and Tenant Associations

First Wendesday, 6/3: Roosevelt Island Residents Association
8:00pm-10:00pm, Good Shepherd, 543 Main Street, Roosevelt Island

First Wednesday: Lexington Houses Tenant Association
6:00pm, 1536 Lexington Avenue

Second Tuesday: Stanley Isaacs Tenant Association
7:00pm, Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center, 415 East 93rd Street

Third Tuesday: Holmes Towers Tenant Association
7:00pm, Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center, 415 East 93rd Street

Third Thursday: East 79th Street Neighborhood Association (Subject to Change)
6:00pm -8pm Upper East Side Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, 211 E 79th St, New York, NY

East 86th Street Neighborhood Association
TBD

 

Community Events for Kids

6/1, 6/8, 6/29: Picture Book Story Time
4:00pm, Yorkville Library
Come meet your friends at the library and listen to some of your favorite picture books. It's a great way to end a busy day. Ages 3 and older.

6/7: Build a Better World Themed Magic Show
3:00pm, Roosevelt Island Library
Incredulous Chris and Presto Pete perform their comedy magic with the Build a Better World Theme in the show with comedy, slapstick, and audience Participation. Recommended for children of all ages. Presented by Pete and Chris Amusements.

6/7: Party with Bubbles
4:00pm, 96th Street Library
A Summer Reading Program! Elaine Gil's show includes face painting, balloon animals, parachute games, bubbles, singing, dancing and a lot of audience participations. Best for children of all ages.

6/7: DIY Dream Catcher
4:00pm, Webster Library
A Summer Reading Program Learn about the origins of dream catchers and then make your own! Presented by Jailin Acevedo For ages 13-18 years old.

6/12, 6/26: Open-Ended Art
11:00am, Webster Library
Let your imagination run wild! Join us for an hour of uninterrupted, creative fun. Pick and choose from our craft supplies to make a masterpiece to take home.

6/12: Preschool STEAM: Food and Nutrition
4:00pm, Yorkville Library
Join us for Preschool STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math! In this series, we will explore different areas of STEAM through read-alouds, group demonstrations, and hands-on activities. This month's theme is food and nutrition! For children ages 3-6 and their caregivers. Registration required; limited to 12 children. Please register in person or by calling 212-744-5824. Phone or in-person

6/14: Beautiful Words, Beautiful Writings
4:00pm, Yorkville Library
A Summer Reading Program Swirls and scrolls come to life as you learn to draw your own calligraphy. Learn about this elegant art form and create your own written treasures. All materials will be provided. Presented by Elinor Holland. For ages 13-18 years old.

6/14: Beginner Robotics for Kids
4:00pm, Yorkville Library
Attention all problem-solvers and creative thinkers! Do you like building, creating and inventing? Are you fascinated by how mechanical engineering and robotics are transforming the world we live in, and want to learn more? If so, then join us for this beginner-level robotics class! Students will learn about the basic components and functions of robots and then design and prototype their own robot. Your class presenter will also share information on more robotics programs and competitions, such as the FIRST Robotics Competition, for those who are interested in pursuing robotics further. -  Presented by Alex Purdy.
8 slots available for sign-ups. Ages 10 and up

6/16: June Craft Time
3:00pm, Yorkville Library
It's Craft Time at Yorkville!!! Drop in for a quick craft. Bring your creativity and make something special to take home. Ages 3 and up.

6/21: DJ Workshop for Beginners
3:30pm, 67th Street Library
A Summer Reading Program An introduction to the equipment and some DJ software from a well-versed DJ herself! Presented by Carol C. For ages 13-18 years old..

6/21: Make @ NYPL: How to Talk to a Robot
4:00pm, Yorkville Library
A Summer Reading Program In the first half of this program, you will work in pairs to learn basic robot programming. Once you’ve got the basics down, test your knowledge by programming your robot to make it through a series of mazes that are complete with robot swallowing holes! Presented by David Peins, Robodyssey. For ages 13-18 years old.

6/22: Tales from Dr. Seuss
4:00pm, Yorkville Library
A Summer Reading Program! A rollicking celebration of Dr. Seuss! LuAnn Adams will be using puppets, visuals, sound effects, music and LOTS of audience participation to bring the following four amazing Dr. Seuss tales to life. "The Cat in the Hat", "Green Eggs and Ham", "Horton Hatches an Egg", and "Yertle The Turtle” to life! Best for ages 5 and older.

6/22: Webster @ the Movies - Aladdin
4:00pm, Webster Library
When street rat Aladdin frees a genie from a lamp, he finds his wishes granted. However, he soon finds that the evil has other plans for the lamp -- and for Princess Jasmine. But can Aladdin save Princess Jasmine and his love for her after she sees that he isn't quite what he appears to be?
Walt Disney Pictures.  Directed by John Musker & Ron Clements.  Rated G.  90 minutes; 1992.  Copyright Swank Motion Pictures, Inc.

6/26: Kid Flicks
4:00pm, Yorkville Library
Join us in our community room for our children's film showing. Watch short films based on popular picture books. The perfect way to meet up with friends and end a busy day. All films subject to last minute substitutions. Showing: Blueberries for Sal, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble and Harold's Fairytale.

6/29: Butterfly Boogie
1:00pm, 67th Street Library
These bugs are gross? Think again! We'll take you and your students on a 3,000-mile adventure and show you why they're actually the coolest creatures around. The musical, interactive performance introduces students to metamorphosis and the interdependence of plants and animals. Best for children ages 4 and older.Presented by Central Park Zoo

6/29: Macaroni!
4:00pm, Webster Library
In this high energy, full band, summer celebration, children are excited to play air guitar, jump high, party under the parachute, shake it loud, pop the bubbles, stroll in the garden, do the Macaroni dance, and enjoy a special visit from a puppet named “Moochachka” the Monkey. Little ones are thrilled to see Meredith LeVande in person after watching her in-between PBS Kids shows. Best for ages 3 and older.

Every Monday through Saturday: Quiet Study Room
Mondays and Thursdays 12:00pm-5:00pm, Tuesdays-Wednesdays 1:00pm-5:00pm, Fridays-Saturdays 10:00pm-3:00pm, 67th Street Library
No talking, no cell phone, and no noise are required in our quiet study room. This room is open thanks to our volunteers, and is subject to their availability. If you are interested in keeping the quiet study room open more hours, please see a staff member about becoming a volunteer! Quiet Study Hours: Mondays 12-5, Tuesdays 1-5, Wednesdays 1-5, Thursdays 12-5, Fridays 10-3, Saturdays 10-3. Subject to cancellation / change of hours without prior notice.

Every Monday: Stories and Crafts
4:00pm, 96th Street Library
Messy craft program for children from age two to six. Smocks will be provided, but wear your art clothes!

Every Tuesday: Baby Lap Sit for Pre-Walkers
10:15am, 12:00pm, Yorkville Library
Babies from birth to 18 months old (Pre-Walkers) and their parents/caregivers can enjoy great books, lively songs, and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. Programs are first come, first served and limited to 15 children and their caregivers. Please note: There is no elevator available, and stroller parking is limited. First come, first served

Every Tuesday: Toddler Story Time
10:45am, Yorkville Library
Toddlers from 18-36 months old (Walkers) and their parents/caregivers can enjoy great books, lively songs, and rhymes, and meet other toddlers in the neighborhood. Programs are first come, first served and limited to 15 children and their caregivers. Please note: There is no elevator available, and stroller parking is limited. First come, first served

Every Tuesday: Adult One-on-One Computer Help Workshop
11:00am, Yorkville Library Work one-on-one with a volunteer tutor. Improve Internet skills, create, and use e-mail, Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, Power Point). Tuesday 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Pre-registration required in person or by phone at 212.744.5824.

Every Tuesday: Fresh Food Boxes from GrowNYC
3:30pm-6:00pm, Center at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House
Purchase high quality, farm fresh produce at below retail prices. For only $12, receive $25 worth of fresh greens & fruit every week! To sign up, go to www.grownyc.org/foodbox and contact your site coordinator, Abby Lee, at aleeatgrownyc [dot] org.

Every Tuesday: Reading Aloud
4:00pm, Webster Library
A librarian will share favorite picture books, providing children with the wonder of books, and the joy of reading.

Every Tuesday: Falun Dafa Meditation & Exercise Class
4:00pm, Yorkville Library
Join us at the Yorkville Library to know more about Falun Dafa. You will learn: Practice of meditation and exercise. Increases Energy and Vitality. Eliminate stress, enjoy peace of mind.

Every Wednesday: Preschool Story and Films
10:30am, 96th Street Library
Read aloud and short films for preschoolers.

Every Wednesday: Toddler Time
11:00am, 11:30am, 11:45am, Webster Library
Toddlers from birth to 3 years and their parents/caregivers can enjoy interactive stories, action songs, fingerplays, and spend time with other toddlers in the neighborhood. There is a limit of 15 children and their caregivers. Tickets are given out the morning of the program on a first come, first serve basis. Times of the programs are approximate.

Every Wednesday: T(w)een Lounge
3:00pm, Yorkville Library
Come hang out, explore, learn, use technology, make music, computers, the Wii and more! We will be exploring the intersection of fun and learning, while looking into the various technologies that surround us daily. All of this takes place at T(w)een Headquarters here at Yorkville Public Library. Agers 9 - 18 are welcome to take part in this program!

Every Wednesday: Wacky Wednesday
4:00pm, Yorkville Library
Join us for Wacky Wednesday afternoons at the library this month for a rotating series of classic group games and S.T.E.A.M. challenges. This is a first come-first served program, no pre-registration is required. The activity will be a surprise, but the fun is guaranteed!

Every Thursday: Computers for Seniors
10:30am, Roosevelt Island Library
Have computer trouble? We can help.

Every Thursday: Knitting and Crochet
11:30am, Roosevelt Island Library
Knitting and Crochet

Every Thursday: Computer Lab
12:00pm, 96th Street Library
At the 96th Street Library Computer Lab our tech volunteers assist you with almost any computer topic you want to learn. Topics include computer basics, Microsoft Word, online shopping, email, downloading eBooks, resume assistance, Facebook, phone apps and more!  Students are encouraged to bring their own laptop or tablet device. If you can't bring yours, we will lend you one for the duration of the class.
** Space is limited and sign-up is required.  Late arrivals may be turned away, so please arrive on time to secure your spot.
Sign up in-person or call 212-289-0908.

Every Thursday and Saturday: Computer Tutoring Sessions
Thursday at 5:30pm and Saturdays at 12:00pm and 2:00pm, 67th Street Library
Join us for an one-on-one tutoring sessions! Our computer tutors can help you with everything from learning how to use a mouse, formatting a resume, setting up an email address, posting photos on the internet, starting a blog, using Microsoft Office, and more. Call or stop by the branch to sign up for one of our help sessions and get a personal tutor at your service! This program will run every Thursday and Saturday. Space is limited. Phone or in-person

Every Friday: Puzzle Fun for Kids
3:00pm, Yorkville Library
Come to the library for some puzzles and fun! This program is great for all ages.

Every Saturday: Year-Round Volunteer Gardening
9:30am-12:30am, 86th Street and East End Avenue
The Carl Schurz Park Volunteer Gardeners are an adult group that meets monthly to work in the park. Students or children who wish to participate must be accompanied by adults or parents who work along with them.

Every Saturday: Kids’ Coloring Club
10:00am, Yorkville Library
Join us every Saturday morning from 10am-12pm for our Kids' Coloring Club -- children of all ages are invited to color coloring sheets featuring their favorite characters, seasonal designs, and more. Feel free to bring your favorite coloring book!

Every Saturday: Read to Fritz, our New York Therapy Dog!
11:00am, Yorkville Library
Come read to our therapy dog Fritz! These licensed therapy dogs and their owners can't wait for you to come read them a story. Enjoy one-on-one, no-pressure reading time with a furry friend! Pre-registration is required for each 15-minute slot and opens 1 week in advance. For ages 5 and up. Available every Saturday in the children's story time room.

Every Saturday: English Conversation Group
11:00am-1:00pm, 67th Street Library
Talk with native speakers and other language learners about current events, New York City, family life, holidays, and much more. For adults 16 years old or older.
This program is provided in partnership with New York Cares, a leading volunteer organization that helps people find easy ways to make meaningful, rewarding contributions to their communities. Led by New York Cares volunteers, this program provides an opportunity for intermediate level ESOL speakers to practice speaking English and improve their conversational skills.No registration necessary.

 

 

Community Events for Adults

6/1, 6/15: eBook Help
11:00am, Yorkville Library
Get one-on-one help downloading library books and audio books via our SimplyE, 3M and OverDrive platforms. Please bring your phone, tablet or e-Reading device. Registration is required. Please sign up personally at Yorkville Library or call 212-744-5824.

6/1: Film - ACE IN THE HOLE (1951)
2:00pm, 96th Street Library

6/1: Origami For All Ages!
3:00pm, 67th Street Library
Origami Frog Origami For All Ages Thursday, June 1, 3 PM Learn how to fold paper into works of art! We will be making frogs and lily pads. Feel free to take them home or donate your work to the library to help decorate! No Registration Required Adults/ Teens/ Children Age 10+

6/1: Finding Lasting Happiness Through Meditation
4:00pm, Yorkville Library
Too often incessant stress, distraction, and constant challenges leave us worn out and worn down.  Many of us assume there is no way out of this and resign ourselves to an uninspired and unfulfilling life.  Meditation can be the key that unlocks the inner doorway to a life of deep and lasting inner happiness. In this workshop we will learn a simple yet highly effective method to help still our restless mind and achieve a state of lasting happiness.  Experience for yourself how meditation can change your life significantly. Join Dr.Frank Pawlowski who has been meditating for over 30 years for this powerful and engaging program.

6/3: First Avenue Street Fair
First Avenue, Manhattan
Join us for our annual First Avenue Street Fair on Saturday, June 3! Staff and supporters will share our various programs with thousands of members of the community. The day will feature a stage with a full lineup of performances and demonstrations and games for children hosted by our Early Childhood Center staff.

6/4: Art Deco on the Upper East Side: A Walking Tour
2:00pm, Location provided upon registration
Straight from the source of the “definitive guide to New York City’s Art Deco architecture,” veteran tour guide Anthony W. Robins will help uncover the somewhat elusive Art Deco architecture of the Upper East Side. Although the more conservative Upper East Side never attracted as much Art Deco flash as other areas in New York City, nestled amongst the townhouses and stately apartment buildings are fine examples by some of the greatest architects of the period. Robins, who has been leading architectural tours for over 25 years, will point out buildings detailed in his latest book, New York Art Deco: A Guide to Gotham’s Jazz Age Architecture (June 2017, Excelsior Editions). Join us as a “Deco Detective” as we visit an apartment house by Raymond Hood (of Rockefeller Center fame); one of Manhattan’s very few Art Deco townhouses; the elegant Carlyle Hotel; and one of the first Art Deco apartment buildings in New York City. Following the tour will be a book sale and signing.

6/5: Mystery Mondays: Book discussion featuring stories of suspense, secrets, and lies.
4:00pm, 67th Street Library
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

6/6: Excel Genius Class 5: Pivot Tables
11:00am, 67th Street Library
Excel Genius is a new set of classes aimed at students who have taken the Beginner and Intermediate Excel courses, or who have good fundamental knowledge of Excel, and who would like to gain a deeper understanding of the world’s most popular spreadsheet application.  Each class will cover a topic in depth and then give students exercises that apply that knowledge to real world situations. While we recommend that students take the classes in order, there are no attendance requirements, and students are welcome to repeat or skip classes as they choose. This class will cover Pivot Tables, a powerful tool used to analyze relationships between data.  We will cover setting up data for use in Pivot Tables, how to format results, filtering techniques, and interactive elements.

6/6, 6/13, 6/20: Adult Coloring
11:00am, Roosevelt Island Library

6/6: Ballet Exercise Class for Adults
2:00pm, 67th Street Library
Come dance with us! Here’s your chance to experience the ballerina in each of us. Learn basic ballet steps and experience the joy of dancing in a class that combines ballet and exercise specifically for older adults. You’ll have fun as you dance and see for yourself the benefits of ballet for good balance, agility and grace. Wear comfortable clothes and be ready to have fun.  Come for the whole month or just drop in. No experience necessary. About the instructor: Jennifer Grambs, trained in both ballet and exercise for older adults, will show you how ballet helps us feel fit, not only in class, but everyday as we travel the sidewalks of New York City. Register in-person at the 1st Floor Circulation Desk. Consent/release waiver must be signed in order to attend. Limit 18 persons per class. Doors close at 2pm. Late arrivals will not be admitted.

6/6: Science Fiction Book Discussion: A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
6:30pm, Roosevelt Island Library

6/8: Film - Beat the Devil (1953)
2:00pm, 96th Street Library

6/8: Transgender 101
4:00pm, 67th Street Library
The guiding principle of the Working with Transgender Communities workshop is to combat discrimination based on gender identity, gender expression, and create awareness about treating all persons with dignity and respect, including transgender and gender non-conforming persons. Transgender New Yorkers face discrimination in all areas covered by the NYC Human Rights Law: employment, housing, public accommodations, as well as discriminatory harassment and bias-based profiling by law enforcement. In the workshop, basic terminology is explained.

6/10: Webster @ the Movies - La La Land
2:00pm, Webster Library
Sebastian and Mia are drawn together by their common desire to do what they love. But as success mounts they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.
Paramount Pictures. Directed by Damien Chazelle.  Rated PG-13.  128 minutes; 2016.  Copyright Swank Motion Pictures, Inc.

6/11: Frederick Katzenberg
2:00pm, Lennox Hill Neighborhood House Auditorium
Join us for an oboe and piano concert including pieces from Baroque to the 20th century.

6/13: Excel Genius Class 6: VLOOKUP and INDEX/MATCH
11:00am, 67th Street Library
Excel Genius is a new set of classes aimed at students who have taken the Beginner and Intermediate Excel courses, or who have good fundamental knowledge of Excel, and who would like to gain a deeper understanding of the world’s most popular spreadsheet application.  Each class will cover a topic in depth and then give students exercises that apply that knowledge to real world situations.

6/15: Film - Hail the Conquering Hero (1944)
2:00pm, 96th Street Library

6/15: Healthy Living for Your Brain and Body
3:00pm, Yorkville Library
Tips from the Latest Research Join us to learn about the latest research providing insights into how to make lifestyle choices that may help you keep your brain and body healthy as you age, and use hands-on tools to help you incorporate these recommendations into a plan for healthy aging. To register please call the library at 212-744-5824.

6/15: Webster @ the Movies - Storks
4:00pm, Webster Library

6/15: Discussion Group: MEET ME IN ATLANTIS by Mark Adams
6:30pm, Roosevelt Island Library

6/16: Marine Corps Band New Orleans Performs at Four Freedoms Park
7:00pm-8:30pm, Four Freedoms Park
Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the US Marine Corps Reserve with this free sunset concert by the Marine Corps Band from New Orleans.

6/17: Excel Genius Class 7: Importing Data, String Functions, and Goal Seek
11:00am, 67th Street Library
Excel Genius is a new set of classes aimed at students who have taken the Beginner and Intermediate Excel courses, or who have good fundamental knowledge of Excel, and who would like to gain a deeper understanding of the world’s most popular spreadsheet application.  Each class will cover a topic in depth and then give students exercises that apply that knowledge to real world situations.

6/17: Don’t Be Fooled by Fake News
11:00am, Yorkville Library
Come learn about the thing everyone is talking about-Fake News! In this class, you will learn what fake news is, how to analyze news sources for credibility, and practice looking over sample articles to determine their validity.Skills/Prerequisites: Basic internet skills

6/17: Diller-Quaile String Quartet Performance
12:30pm, Yorkville Library
Please join us for a performance by the Diller-Quaile String Quartet as they perform Joseph Haydn's String Quartet in C Major, Op. 20 No. 2 and Paul Hindemith's String Quartet No. 4, Op. 22. The audience is invited to ask questions after the performance. All ages are welcome.

6/17: Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever: Goal Setting
2:00pm, Yorkville Library

6/18: Lumiri Tubo
2:00pm, Lennox Hill Neighborhood House Auditorium
Come for an electrifying, dazzling and wonderful performance by Lumiri Tubo!  Her honest and pure emotional interpretations coupled with her outstanding vocal ability put Lumiri at the top of everyone's must see list.

6/19: Yorkville Writing Circle
5:30pm, Yorkville Library
Need a quiet space to write? Want to meet other writers in the neighborhood? Come join our writing circle at Yorkville! All writing styles, levels, and genres are welcomed. Participants will free write in our quiet Community Room and have the opportunity to discuss their work with other participants. No sign-ups required.

6/20: Transformers: Age of Extinction
2:00pm, 96th Street Library

6/21: The Pizza Bats
3:00pm, Roosevelt Island Library
The Pizza Bats carry a rare wisdom and charm and add a welcoming, loving sincerity to any atmosphere. Our songs take listeners to a special oasis in their minds distant from daily life. We delight in our repertoire, which has been carefully curated from some of the most powerful, treasured songs ever written with our performance styles modeled off of the most touching recordings ever captured. Tastefully tapped into the bedrock of American song, we keep our lavish stock of tunes firmly rooted in the timeless standards of the early jazz and swing eras.

6/21: Hopalong Andrew
3:00pm, Yorkville Library
Hopalong Andrew is an American Western and Folk music singer and humorist who revisions classic cowboy and folk songs to playfully reflect city life for urban cowpokes. “As a former city kid I wanted to adapt the classics to make them more more meaningful and relevant to families in an urban environment,” says Hopalong Andrew, who was known as “The Singing Ranger" during his time as a NYC Park Ranger in Central Park. “It’s always been very important to me that people share a connection to our folk music traditions, which contain so much joy and wisdom," he continues. Hopalong Andrew takes things a step further by creating a playful fantasy world where cowpokes roam the city's streets and parks, celebrating the people and our history, and appreciating its precious natural resources

6/21: Make Music New York
4:00pm-7:00pm, John Finley Walk at the top of the East 86th Street Staircase
Enjoy this city-wide concert series to celebrate the first day of summer! A collaboration with Manhattan Borough President, Gale Brewer.

6/22: Friendly Persuasion (1956)
2:00pm, 96th Street Library

6/24: Music - Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI recital by New York Opera Forum
1:00pm, 96th Street Library

6/24: Be Happy Now! How to Cultivate High Levels of Happiness
2:00pm, Yorkville Library
We all want to be happy. But many of us find happiness to be elusive, at best. Speaker, trainer, and certified professional coach, Barbara Phillips, will share practical steps for cultivating happiness and building your capacity to live your life by design rather than default.

6/27: Excel for Beginners
11:00am, 67th Street Library
This is a class for anyone who is new to Excel and would like to get started using the world's most popular spreadsheet application. Topics covered will include: Using and Understanding the Excel Interface, Data Entry, Selecting and Formatting Cells, Basic Formulas and Functions, and Inserting Charts.
Skills Required: Must be able to use a mouse and keyboard. Must be able to open programs and folders on a windows computer

6/29: Film - Midnight (1939)
2:00pm, 96th Street Library

6/29: The NEW Retirement: Finding Purpose in Your “Third Act”
3:00pm, Yorkville Library
Are you retired? About to retire? Thinking about retiring? Welcome to the “NEW” Retirement! Baby boomers are healthier and living longer than previous generations. We are pioneers in the search for a meaningful and purposeful “third act." Come join speaker, trainer, and certified professional coach, Barbara Phillips, to clarify (or re-clarify) what is most important to you at this stage of life AND learn from other retirees.

 

Training and Jobs

Access Code

C4Q’s Access Code program teaches coding and professional skills to talented adults from diverse and low-income backgrounds. Our 10-month program prepares individuals for software engineering jobs at companies like Kickstarter, Capital One, and IBM. Graduates have gone from making $18,000 to over $85,000 a year on average. The upcoming Access Code program will teach Android app development, iOS app development, and Full-Stack Web development. We are selecting 144 students for the this coming year. We will offer both a daytime as well as a nights and weekends schedule. The program has no upfront costs. Instead, all participants commit to paying a percentage of their future earnings back to C4Q upon securing a job in the tech industry. For more details, check out our website.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The final application deadline is Monday June 12. To learn more, join us at an upcoming information session!  All info sessions are hosted at C4Q Headquarters (47-10 Austell Place, 2nd Floor, Long Island City, 11101, 3rd Floor).  RSVP here.

 

The Port Authority of NY & NJ Police is Recruiting

If you have the passing to protect and serve the Port Authority of New York and New
Jersey has the jobs for you and they are hiring. If you are interested visit http://www.papdrecruit.com/

 

 

Resources Funded by My Office

Each year my office provides discretionary funding to non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations that serve residents of Council District 5. We have curated a list of resources funded in part by my office so that you can take advantage of them for free.

Learn How to Increase your Financial Stability

Sign up for Lenox Hill’s Financial Empowerment workshop. Classes are every Tuesday June 8-July 7 (5 sessions) at 331 E 70 th Street (between 1 st and 2 nd Avenues)

There you can learn how to:

  • See Your Credit Report
  • Meet one-on- one with a Financial Advisor
  • Open a free Savings Account
  • Reach your Financial Goals

To enroll, please contact Lauren Bernstein by June 2nd. 212-218- 0413 or lbernsteinatlenoxhill [dot] org