New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Madeleine Thompson

Our Town Waste Hauling Rules Could Change by Madeleine Thompson

Waste Hauling Rules Could Change

Councilman Ben Kallos said he has written a letter to DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia requesting more information about the plan.

“The big concern that many constituents have is whether or not commercial carters as part of a franchising system would be required to dump in the neighborhoods that they pick up, or whether they might use this marine transfer station to force all the private carters who have franchises for Manhattan to dump on the Upper East Side,” Kallos said.

Our Town UES Gets 60 Pre-K Seats Added by Madeleine Thompson

UES Gets 60 Pre-K Seats Added

Combined with the 90 seats added by fellow Councilman Ben Kallos — whose district borders Garodnick’s on the Upper East Side — back in May, there has certainly been an improvement, but a 2014 WNYC report estimated that there are 2,118 four-year-olds in Kallos’ district, the majority of whom will have to go far outside their neighborhoods for pre-k.

Our Town Esplanade Project Gets City Funding by Madeleine Thompson

Esplanade Project Gets City Funding

The final piece of the funding puzzle that has been missing from the East River Esplanade project fell into place last month when the City Council approved roughly $2 million for several revitalization purposes. Combined with the $45 million rounded up by Councilman Ben Kallos from various sources in past years, funding for the project has reached just over $47 million, though that may not be the final tally.

“A lot of East Siders are envious of the West Side parks,” Kallos said. “When I came into office, the East River Esplanade was literally falling into the river and in some places still is.”

Our Town Father’s Day Strike At The Hamilton BY MADELEINE THOMPSON by Madeleine Thompson

Father’s Day Strike At The Hamilton BY MADELEINE THOMPSON

A group of families celebrated Father’s Day last Sunday by participating in a union strike at 1735 York Avenue and E. 90th Street.

Members of 32BJ who work at the building — along with their children, some of the tenants, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council Member Ben Kallos — were there to protest their treatment by Bonjour Capital, which bought the building from Glenwood Management. The strike started last Thursday and ended Monday morning

Our Town East Side’s Bikes Get Attention by Madeleine Thompson

East Side’s Bikes Get Attention

Last week’s focus on cycling was also a collaboration with Councilmembers Ben Kallos’ and Dan Garodnick’s offices, which collectively represent the area from about East 92nd Street to about East 34th Street and have prioritized bike safety, and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero program. The 19th Precinct first handed out pamphlets and then switched to handing out tickets. On Thursday afternoon, they estimated that they had issued around 100 tickets during the previous two days. The officers present declined to comment on the record, but expressed their understanding for and awareness of community concerns.

Kallos’ office has been prioritizing bike safety since he took office in 2014, and reports significant improvement. A recent press release announcing the expansion of the bike safety program to cover Midtown East touted a 15 percent decrease in bike and pedestrian collisions as of August 2015, and a 52 percent increase in enforcement.