New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

CBS New York

CBS New York Cuomo To De Blasio: The Graffiti Has Got To Go, ‘Cleaning Up The City Is Important’ by Marcia Kramer

Cuomo To De Blasio: The Graffiti Has Got To Go, ‘Cleaning Up The City Is Important’

The governor said that the combination of increased gun violencemore homeless on the streets, and the surge in graffiti are factors people consider in deciding whether to move back to New York City from the places where they’ve taken refuge from COVID-19.

“People need to see that progress. They certainly don’t need to see deterioration, and graffiti is something we can handle. We’re not talking about curing COVID,” Cuomo said.

As CBS2 showed you, graffiti is everywhere, and it comes as the city has zeroed out the budget for graffiti removal and stopped taking 311 graffiti complaints. It’s so bad that New York City Councilman Ben Kallos started cleaning the graffiti himself because he couldn’t get the city to spend the money to clean it up in his district.

CBS New York Graffiti Is Making A Big Comeback In NYC, But There’s No Money In The Budget To Fight It by Marcia Kramer

Graffiti Is Making A Big Comeback In NYC, But There’s No Money In The Budget To Fight It

If you’ve been wondering why the city has been a whole lot more colorful — and not in a good way — it’s because the budget for removing graffiti has disappeared, and not everyone is happy about it, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported Tuesday.

“We’ve been getting a lot of complaints about graffiti,” said Manhattan City Councilman Ben Kallos. “We’re seeing more graffiti complaints now than ever before since I’ve been a council member.”

Kallos is not exaggerating. In a depressing sign of the times — a return to the bad old days of the ’70s and ’80s — graffiti has been popping up all over the city. On storefronts, buildings, construction barricades, the Fairway sign on the West Side Highway, and most visibly on the surrogates court and David N. Dinkins Manhattan Municipal Building near City Hall, painted by City Hall protesters who still occupy City Hall park.

And there’s a reason.

CBS New York Council Bill Proposes Ban On RoundUp Chemical Glyphosate Amid Cries Of ‘Environmental Racism’ by Vanessa Murdock

Council Bill Proposes Ban On RoundUp Chemical Glyphosate Amid Cries Of ‘Environmental Racism’

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The city has been decreasing its use of chemical pesticides over the past several years, but now there’s a call to stop using them entirely.

One organization says they’re using them more in communities of color declaring “environmental racism,” reports CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock.

“Poison Parks” is the claim of a special report just released by The Black Institute. They focus on New York City’s use of the chemical pesticide glyphosate, a likely carcinogen that’s found in the weed killer Roundup.

The Black Institute asserts the city engaged in “environmental racism” by using the pesticide more frequently and at higher concentrations in parks used by people of color.

“The specific problem is that folks on these communities, on a nice day they don’t go to the Hamptons upstate – they go to their local park in the city around them,” said Dan Hogle, campaign organizer at The Black Institute.

“The racial analysis in this report does not align with reality,” said the Parks Department when asked about the institute’s accusations.

The report, released Wednesday demands Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city council “ban the use of glyphosate.” It comes the same day members of the city council held a hearing on Bill 1524.

“This bill basically says glyphosate and other carcinogens can’t be sprayed on city property, particularly parks,” said District 5 Council Member Ben Kallos, the bill’s author.

Kallos introduced a similar bill years ago after listening to kindergarteners from PS 290 sing. Some of the same students showed up to testify.

“It will affect a lot of people in a positive way,” said Jesse Balsam, now an 11-year-old sixth-grader.

“I don’t want me, or any of my siblings, or anyone else I don’t even know from running around the park getting sick from the pesticides,” said 10-year-old Leo Balsam.

Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh says the Parks Department supports not using chemical pesticides but acknowledged it would limit managing invasive species.

“Estimate it would take three to five mechanical applications to replace one successful application of properly used and targeted herbicide,” he said.

Bill sponsors expressed confidence they have a veto-proof majority to get the bill passed this spring.

The Black Institute also wanted to see glyphosate banned at the state level.

 

 

 

CBS New York Demanding Answers: Why Can’t Parents Use GPS To Track Their Kids On NYC School Buses? by CBS News 2 New York

Demanding Answers: Why Can’t Parents Use GPS To Track Their Kids On NYC School Buses?

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s a story we’ve been following for months.

New York City parents remain infuriated over their inability to track their kids on city school buses.

Now they say a backup plan using the bus’ GPS system is also experiencing issues.

For Bunny Rivera, waiting for her son’s school bus is the most stressful part of the day. 13-year-old Chazz Rivera is on the autism spectrum and Rivera says she was depending on a new phone app to alert her of his location, but it never came.

“No one knows where their child is, and it’s terrifying. My child is somewhere in the city he special needs and I have no idea where he is,” Rivera told CBS2’s Christina Fan.

Under the law, the DOE was required to install a GPS in every bus and have parents be able to track their child on their phone by the start of the school year. The DOE only fulfilled half of its obligations.

Councilmember Ben Kallos, who spearheaded the legislation, says it’s unacceptable.

CBS New York Demanding Answers: Why Can’t Parents Use GPS To Track Their Kids On NYC School Buses? by Christina Fan

Demanding Answers: Why Can’t Parents Use GPS To Track Their Kids On NYC School Buses?

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s a story we’ve been following for months.

New York City parents remain infuriated over their inability to track their kids on city school buses.

Now they say a backup plan using the bus’ GPS system is also experiencing issues.

For Bunny Rivera, waiting for her son’s school bus is the most stressful part of the day. 13-year-old Chazz Rivera is on the autism spectrum and Rivera says she was depending on a new phone app to alert her of his location, but it never came.

“No one knows where their child is, and it’s terrifying. My child is somewhere in the city he special needs and I have no idea where he is,” Rivera told CBS2’s Christina Fan.

Councilmember Ben Kallos, who spearheaded the legislation, says it’s unacceptable.

“Pretty standard technology, and they had to get it done by the first day of school. I’m very disappointed it wasn’t done by the first day of school,” Kallos said.

CBS New York Parents Fuming, Say NYC Failed To Deliver On Promise Of GPS Tracking Of School Buses by CBS News 2 New York

Parents Fuming, Say NYC Failed To Deliver On Promise Of GPS Tracking Of School Buses

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Just one week into the new school year and hundreds of parents are complaining that a new GPS system that was supposed to keep track of all city school buses does not work.

On Thursday, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge spoke to parents who said they were lied to.

Mother of two Lainie Gutterman meets her kids, 9-year-old Ian, who is autistic, and his sister, 6-year-old Greenly, who is non-verbal, at the bus stop. She said wondering where their school bus is every day is stressful.

“I was promised that there would be GPS, that I could see my children’s bus, where they were at all times, on my phone, which would be a great way to follow my kids,” Gutterman said.

CBS New York NYC May Miss Deadline To Install GPS On All School Buses by Lisa Rosner

NYC May Miss Deadline To Install GPS On All School Buses

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It looks like the city’s Department of Education is going to miss the bus on a crucial deadline.

A new law CBS2 first told you about in January requires the city to install GPS devices on every school bus. But we’re less than a month away from the first day of school and parents say they’re still in the dark about bus safety, Lisa Rozner reported on Monday. 

Workers are prepping P.S. 77 on Third Avenue for the first day of school, but what isn’t getting an upgrade are the city’s school buses.

Back in January, legislation was passed that mandated the city equip its nearly 10,000 buses with GPS tracking for the 2019-20 school year, so parents can monitor their children’s whereabouts.

“I just can’t see another school year go by where parents don’t know where their kids are,” City Councilman Ben Kallos said.

Kallos first introduced the law back in 2014. It finally advanced this year after the freak November snowstorm that paralyzed city streets and had children sitting on school buses without food, water or a bathroom for hours on end.

Back then, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “I never want to see public school parents have to go through what they went through last night.”

So this spring, nine different vendors submitted proposals to the city to develop a bus tracking app for parents. In May, Kallos asked Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza if the city would meet this year’s deadline.

He said, “We’re not going to be late with our homework. We’re going to get it right.”

CBS New York Manhattan Man Sues Construction Company, Local Stores Over Late Night Noise And Wins by Natalie Duddridge

Manhattan Man Sues Construction Company, Local Stores Over Late Night Noise And Wins
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – When his calls to 311 about extreme noise didn’t get any results, a Manhattan resident decided to take his case to court.

Honking, construction noise, trucks and crews banging.

Most New Yorkers simply put up with living in a noisy city, Upper East Side resident Mike Edison is fed up with it.

CBS New York City Hopes New Bike Lane Near 59th Street Bridge Will Make Dangerous Area Safer For Cyclists by Andrea Grymes

City Hopes New Bike Lane Near 59th Street Bridge Will Make Dangerous Area Safer For Cyclists

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new bike lane that snakes across the busy entrance to the 59th Street Bridge on Second Avenue is a safety concern for some people.

But others say once everyone gets used to it, the area will actually become safer for cyclists, CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported Wednesday.