New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Brendan Krisel

Upper East Side Patch Council Rep To Hold Info Session On Roosevelt Island Apt Lottery by Brendan Krisel

Council Rep To Hold Info Session On Roosevelt Island Apt Lottery

ROOSEVELT ISLAND, NY — Roosevelt Island's representative in the City Council is hosting an information session with the developers of a new development on the island about a lottery for more than 300 below-market units in the building.

Councilman Ben Kallos, who also represents the Upper East Side, will educate residents on how to apply for apartments at the new Hudson Related development River Walk Park. The Roosevelt Island development is offering units to people earning 40, 50, 80, 130 and 165 percent of the area median income. The city Department of Housing Preservation and Development classifies these income levels as ranging from "very-low income to middle income."

The info session will be held Tuesday, June 30 at 6 p.m., just about one week before the housing lottery's July 6 application deadline, according to Kallos' office. Those interested in attending can sign up for the virtual event on the councilmember's website.

Upper East Side Patch Outdoor Cafes May Solve Overcrowded UES Sidewalks: Lawmakers by Brendan Krisel

Outdoor Cafes May Solve Overcrowded UES Sidewalks: Lawmakers

New York City should create open space for businesses to establish outdoor cafes where customers can safely take in a meal or drink outdoors while remaining at a safe distance from others, City Councilmembers Ben Kallos and Keith Powers wrote in a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio this week. Both lawmakers said that restaurant owners will continue to risk fines and create dangerous, crowded situations if the city's approach does not change.

"Rather than rely on enforcement or fine individuals and small businesses that may already be hurting financially from the pandemic, we should adapt our city's streets to allow for and encourage safe practices. Without granting businesses a better option, we are afraid restaurants and bars may just take the risk and pay whatever violations may be issued as a cost of doing business rather than shutter their doors permanently," Kallos and Powers wrote.

Upper East Side Patch UES Council Rep's Cat Steals Show During Zoom Meeting by Brendan Krisel

UES Council Rep's Cat Steals Show During Zoom Meeting

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — The New York City Council held its first-ever remote meeting using the videoconferencing service Zoom on Wednesday and an unlikely star emerged from the municipal proceeding — Upper East Side Councilmember Ben Kallos' cat.

The local lawmaker's furry friend, a gray short-haired feline named Pandora, was perched atop a shelf near Kallos for nearly the entire hours-long council meeting. Pandora received numerous pets, an Eskimo kiss and at one point in the meeting appeared to be holding hands with Kallos.

Reporters and New York residents tuning into the meeting praised Pandora on social media.

"Ben Kallos' cat wins the day!" one Twitter user posted.

Kallos revealed on Twitter that he adopted Pandora — originally named Tigger — more than one decade ago, putting that cat's age at nearly 20 years old. Pandora's adoption profile labeled her as "shy" and "independent" but Wednesday's meeting is proof that the feline has warmed up to the Upper East Side lawmaker over the years.

"Its been over a decade since I adopted Pandora (born "Tigger")," Kallos said in a Twitter post. "She had to make an appearance today for [Earth Day] and we finally get to vote together in the City Council."

Upper East Side Patch Planters Installed At Upper East Side Intersections: Council Rep by Brendan Krisel

Planters Installed At Upper East Side Intersections: Council Rep

Kallos' office partnered with the Horticultural Society of New York to install planters on "bike islands" at the intersections of Second Avenue and East 91st, 92nd, 93rd and 95th streets, the local lawmaker announced this week. The $50,000 public-private partnership was approved by the city Department of Transportation.

"We're greening bike islands that were previously empty with planters to beautify our streets," said Council Member Ben Kallos. "Thank you to the Horticulture Society of New York for their partnership and help beautifying our streets.

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.