New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Brendan Krisel

Upper East Side Patch UES Lawmaker To Hold Virtual Constituent Talks During Quarantine by Brendan Krisel

UES Lawmaker To Hold Virtual Constituent Talks During Quarantine

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Upper East Side City Councilmember Ben Kallos isn't planning to let social distancing measure get in the way of constituent outreach.

Kallos will be holding his customary "First Friday" meetings — where residents of his district can drop in to his office to discuss neighborhood issues — via video conference as New Yorkers are encourage to stay home to help curb the spread of coronavirus.

The Upper East Side lawmaker is planning to host at least 100 constituents on Friday, April 3, via the video conferencing service Zoom, according to a spokesman. Upper East Siders interested in attending should RSPV on Kallos' website.

Kallos' conference will go live around 8:15 a.m. on Friday.

Upper East Side Patch NYC Student Chess Tournament Moves Online Due To Coronavirus by Brendan Krisel

NYC Student Chess Tournament Moves Online Due To Coronavirus

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — More than 200 students played in an online chess tournament funded by an Upper East Side lawmaker over the weekend, marking the first time the annual event was played virtually.

A total of 235 student participated in this year's Council Member Ben Kallos Chess Challenge, a spokesman for the lawmaker told Patch. The tournament, originally set to take place at the Upper East Side's Eleanor Roosevelt High School, was played online because New York City school are shut down as the city deals with the outbreak of coronavirus.

Upper East Side Patch UES Councilman Asks For Volunteers At Senior Center by Brendan Krisel

UES Councilman Asks For Volunteers At Senior Center

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — An Upper East Side lawmaker is asking neighborhood residents to lend a helping hand to a local senior center that has its hands full aiding those who are most vulnerable to the serious effects of coronavirus.

Councilmember Ben Kallos asked healthy Upper East Siders to reach out to staff at the Isaacs Center — located on the campus of the New York City Housing Authority's Stanley Isaacs Houses on First Avenue and East 93rd Street — to volunteer at the center in a tweet sent Monday. The center is helping seniors deal with the coronavirus outbreak by delivering meals to seniors who ar being advised to stay in their homes to reduce contact with people who may be able to transmit the virus.

The Isaacs Center has suspended all of its services except for meal delivery and case management to reduce the potential for exposure for the seniors who rely on the center, according to a statement released by the center's executive director Gregory Morris.

Upper East Side Patch French Dual-Language Program To Launch At UES Pre-K by Brendan Krisel

French Dual-Language Program To Launch At UES Pre-K

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — The New York City Department of Education will launch French dual-language education programs at an Upper East Side pre-k facility to promote bilingual education at an early age, local City Councilman Ben Kallos announced Wednesday.

Two French dual-language pre-k classes will open for the 2020-2021 school year at the recently-opened East 76th Street and First Avenue pre-k center, Kallos said. The local lawmaker urged city education officials to launch the dual-language program by holding two community meetings with education officials and French-speaking families in December and March where 200 families signed a petition in favor of the programs.

New York City families have until March 16 to apply for pre-k for all programs. Families that have already applied can update their applications to include the French dual-language program by searching for the program code 02Z128 on the DOE's "MySchools" website.

"I hear so many languages spoken in my district from every corner of the world and now we are working with the Francophone community to address a need in the neighborhood as we hope to increase the overall diversity of our schools," Kallos said in a statement.

Upper East Side Patch Tower Ruling May Endanger Upper East Side Development: Report by Brendan Krisel

Tower Ruling May Endanger Upper East Side Development: Report

 

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — A recent court ruling that could force Upper West Side developers to chop floors off of a controversial Amsterdam Avenue development may have a ripple effect on the other side of Central Park, according to new reports.

Upper East Side City Councilman Ben Kallos may use the ruling as the basis of a challenge against the super-tall development planned for 430 E. 58th St. in the small Sutton Place neighborhood, he told the New York Post. The building has long been the bane of neighborhood preservationists, who proposed and passed a Sutton Place rezoning plan to implement strict building height limits.

 

 

 

Upper East Side Patch Use Of Toxic Pesticide In Harlem Is Environmental Racism: Study by Brendan Krisel

Use Of Toxic Pesticide In Harlem Is Environmental Racism: Study

HARLEM, NY — Parks in Harlem were sprayed with the dangerous pesticide Roundup, which contains the potentially carcinogenic chemical glyphosate, much more often than parks in other Manhattan neighborhoods, according to a study released Wednesday.

Of the 50 Manhattan parks and playgrounds sprayed with the Monsanto-produced pesticide in 2018 only eight were located outside the Harlem neighborhood, according to records acquired by The Black Institute. The group released its study titled "Poison Parks" on Wednesday in support of a City Council bill to ban the use of toxic pesticides and herbicides in city parks.

Upper East Side Patch City To Install 152 Scaffolds In Crackdown After Woman's Death by Brendan Krisel

City To Install 152 Scaffolds In Crackdown After Woman's Death

MIDTOWN MANHATTAN, NY — A vast majority of New York City building owners cited with violations for unsafe facades in a crackdown following the Dec. 17 death of Erica Tischman ignored the city's demands to put up scaffolding, Department of Buildings Commissioner Melanie La Rocca said during a Monday City Council hearing.

Upper East Side Patch UES City Council Rep Pushes For Universal After School Program by Brendan Krisel

UES City Council Rep Pushes For Universal After School Program

Councilmember Ben Kallos authored two bills that require the city to meet all after school slot requests for public school students.

An Upper East Side lawmaker authored two bills that would require the city to fill all requested after school slots. (Shutterstock)

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — An Upper East Side representative in New York's city council is helping lead the push for universal after school programs by authoring bills that would require the city to offer programming for nearly 600,000 students who want after school but are kept on a waiting list.

Under legislation authored by City Councilman Ben Kallos awith Staten Island's Debi Rose and Brooklyn's Mark Treyger, all public school students between the ages of three and 21 would be guaranteed space in a program through a Universal After School initiative. The bill requires city education officials to keep an annual report on the availability and need of after school slots as well as costs of the program.

The lawmakers are also pushing a bill that mandates annual reporting on funding, applications and demographics of after school programs at city schools. Both bills were discussed Tuesday during a public hearing at City Hall.

 

Upper East Side Patch Bike Safety Improves On UES Amid Deadly Year For City, Pols Say by Brendan Krisel

Bike Safety Improves On UES Amid Deadly Year For City, Pols Say

Traffic & Transit

Bike Safety Improves On UES Amid Deadly Year For City, Pols Say

The number of cyclist deaths in New York City rose sharply in 2019, but safety improvements on the Upper East Side are working.

By Brendan Krisel, Patch Staff

Jan 3, 2020 3:32 pm ET

 Reply (2)

2

Bike safety on the Upper East Side has improved in recent years due to new bike lanes and education programs.

Bike safety on the Upper East Side has improved in recent years due to new bike lanes and education programs. (David Allen/Patch)

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Bike safety measures taken on the Upper East Side in recent years have reduced the number of cyclists hurt and killed in collisions in the neighborhood despite an uptick in cyclist deaths in 2019, local elected officials announced this week.

Additional protected bike lanes, increased enforcement against cyclists violating traffic rules and new bike safety education programs have shows success in keeping both cyclists and pedestrians safe in the neighborhood, City Councilmembers Ben Kallos and Keith Powers said in a joint statement.

"Our first priority is to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe from cars, and we've made great strides doing so on the Upper East Side," said Council Member Ben Kallos. "Particularly older residents are also afraid of getting hurt in a collision with bikes that disobey the rules every day. Whether it is 'near misses' from a failure to yield to pedestrians, or reports of cyclists who run red lights, go the wrong way, or ride on sidewalks, everyone must know the rules of the road in order to share it safely.

Upper East Side Patch New UES Soup Kitchen To Distribute 200 Meals Per Day by Brendan Krisel

New UES Soup Kitchen To Distribute 200 Meals Per Day

Locals may be surprised that a soup kitchen is opening on the Upper East Side — generally considered one of Manhattan's more affluent neighborhoods — but food insecurity can afflict people in any area, City Councilmember Ben Kallos said.

"No community, including the Upper East Side, is immune to the sad reality of families facing hunger during this holiday season," Kallos said in a statement. "As a City, we must prepare for looming federal cuts to SNAP benefits and bolster outreach to the homeless whenever and wherever possible."

People interested in volunteering at the new soup kitchen can reach out to Bronx Parent Housing Network by emailing