New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

CBS New York

CBS New York NYC Elementary Students Want City Council To Ban Toxic Pesticides In Parks by Erin Logan

NYC Elementary Students Want City Council To Ban Toxic Pesticides In Parks

It was first introduced in May 2015. Council Member Ben Kallos was one of its sponsors, and some of the children have been in the chambers advocating before.

“We protested a little bit,” Savann Basen said.

Kallos said his goal is to use only biological pesticides that come from natural materials instead of synthetic materials. He said what’s most concerning is the herbicide spray called Roundup.

“The World Health Organization found that it was a carcinogen, so we introduced legislation right away,” he said.

CBS New York Children Are Being Sent To Pre-K Far From Home, UES Parents Complain by Mike Smeltz

Children Are Being Sent To Pre-K Far From Home, UES Parents Complain

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Officials and parents rallied Sunday on the Upper East Side, calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to open up more pre-kindergarten seats in neighborhood schools.

As WCBS 880’s Mike Smeltz reported, Irina Goldman was planning on placing her 4-year-old into the City’s Pre-K program this upcoming school year. Living at 83rd Street and First Avenue, she was really looking for anything within a 20-minute walk.

But as many parents in the neighborhood are facing, her child was placed in a school six miles away in Lower Manhattan.

“When I found out, honestly, I cried, just out of frustration,” Goldman said.

Upper East Side parent Rob Bates was also hoping he could get his son, Michael, a pre-K seat a program somewhere – really anywhere – in the neighborhood. But Michael, 4, was assigned to a program in Union Square – at least a 30-minute subway ride away.

Bates said the trip was a huge burden for their family.

“The subways are very crowded, and it makes us nervous,” he said. “You know, you have a fragile little child. You don’t want to put him on a crowded subway like that, especially for that length of time.”

In all, more than 900 Upper East Side families with 4-year-olds applied for the Pre-K program. A third of them were given seats outside the neighborhood, creating a logistical nightmare for parents.

Goldman said her family has no clue now if they are going to send their child to pre-K at all.

CBS New York Sides Battle Over City Scaffolding Regulations by Marcia Kramer

Sides Battle Over City Scaffolding Regulations

A New York City councilman has declared war on building scaffolding, claiming landlords should be forced to take them down if no work is being done.

Councilman Ben Kallos (D-5th) is seeking a new law that imposes a time limit of 90 days to fix a dangerous condition, with the possibility of a 90 day extension if needed.

“Sidewalk sheds are the guest that you invite to your home but never leaves,” he tells CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer.

CBS New York De Blasio’s Top Deputy Falls On His Sword In Nursing Home Scandal by Marcia Kramer

De Blasio’s Top Deputy Falls On His Sword In Nursing Home Scandal

CBS2’s Kramer asked Shorris if the administration thinks building the new facility will help the mayor dig out of the Rivington scandal.

“I don’t think it deals with all of the issues,” Shorris responded.

Council members said it won’t make Rivington disappear.

“The Rivington scandal is too deep to be gotten out from under. The whole thing is just a debacle,” said Councilman Rory Lancman, D-Queens.

Councilman Ben Kallos, D-Manhattan, said, “What happened at Rivington is wrong. There is no way that they dig out from this. Not only do they need to fix the policy, they need to change it so that something like this never happens again.”

And in another attempt to get out from under the scandal, the city is also going to hold public hearings. Members of the public will be allowed to testify about proposed restrictions to dead restriction laws.

That hearing is Nov. 1

CBS New York Harlem Residents Furious After Lot Goes To Developer With Connections To De Blasio by Marcia Kramer

Harlem Residents Furious After Lot Goes To Developer With Connections To De Blasio

“I am concerned that this is just the tip of the iceberg, and there may be other situations just like this,” said city Councilman Ben Kallos (D-5th).

At a hearing, Kallos put that question to Lisette Camillo, the head of the obscure city agency that is responsible.

Kallos: “How many more situations like Rivington and St. Nicholas are coming down the pike?”

Camillo: “Right now, none. They’ve all been put on hold.”

Kallos: “How many are currently on hold?”

Camillo: “I believe it’s about 13 to 14 currently.”

Kallos: “Wow.”

CBS New York Mayor De Blasio, Volunteers Fan Out Across NYC To Count Number Of Homeless Living On The Streets by Stephanie Colombini

Mayor De Blasio, Volunteers Fan Out Across NYC To Count Number Of Homeless Living On The Streets

State and city elected officials from Manhattan’s Upper East Side have formed a task force to combat homelessness in the district.

City Council Member Ben Kallos said he was surprised when a recent survey on district needs showed Upper East Side residents’ number one complaint was homelessness and panhandling on the streets.

“That was a real awakener,” Kallos told WCBS 880’s Stephanie Colombini.

Kallos said the task force will pool resources from city and state agencies, nonprofits and religious institutions to provide targeted assistance to the homeless community on the east side.

“We’re hoping this can be a model for other neighborhoods,” Kallos said.

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CBS New York New Citi Bike Stations Open On Upper East And West Sides by CBS New York

New Citi Bike Stations Open On Upper East And West Sides

City Councilman Ben Kallos called the expansion critical to reducing crowding on the streets and over-packed 4, 5 and 6 subway trains.

“Even when we have the Second Avenue subway it’s still going to be overcrowded, Citi Bike will offer an alternative to so many people,” he said. “Our commutes are about to get a lot better, especially on the Upper East Side where we live the furthest distance from any public transportation.”