New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

DNAinfo.com

DNAinfo.com Parents and Pols To Hold Rally to Demand More Pre-K Seats by Shaye Weaver

Parents and Pols To Hold Rally to Demand More Pre-K Seats

More than 900 4-year-olds and their families applied for pre-K this year, but there were only 596 seats available on the Upper East Side, meaning that 300 students and their parents must travel outside the neighborhood to get to school, according to City Councilman Ben Kallos.

DNAinfo.com Hundreds of Upper East Siders Sign Petition to Stop 'Spitting Lady' by Shaye Weaver

Hundreds of Upper East Siders Sign Petition to Stop 'Spitting Lady'

Kallos, who was one of several politicians to create the Eastside Taskforce for Homeless Outreach and Services (ETHOS) last year, said that until the woman is proven to be a harm to herself or others, he can't do anything about her.

"She's been brought to the hospital on numerous occasions and assessed by a psychiatrist," he told DNAinfo New York on Tuesday. "If anyone has been spat on, touched without consent, chased, or threatened, I will go with them personally to the 19th Precinct to swear out a complaint so that the city has additional resources to help her."

Kallos said he's successfully helped connect homeless New Yorkers with services in the past, and even sat down with the Department of Homeless Services last October to go through a list of local homeless people one by one to see what kind of services they needed. 

"We've had success in some places, but there are some folks we haven't seen recently because people have accepted help, or found help on their own," he said. "The worst case is that they just disappear and we don't know what happened to them."

Kallos noted that the Upper East Side is very dense, so when there is one person singing or screaming, it's bound to impact thousands of people and amplify the the problem.

"We have been putting immense pressure on this administration to address the homeless concerns in this community and we have asked them to use every tool [they have]," he said.

DNAinfo.com Hydroponic Lab and TV Surveillance on Upper East Side $1M Budget Ballot by Shaye Weaver

Hydroponic Lab and TV Surveillance on Upper East Side $1M Budget Ballot

Councilman Ben Kallos has set aside $1 million in capital funds under the participatory budgeting program to go toward improvement projects on the Upper East Side. Starting Saturday, residents of District 5 who are 14 and older can vote on which ones should receive the money.

 

DNAinfo.com Developer Rushes to Get Tower Plan OK'd Ahead of Rezoning Effort: Neighbors by Noah Hurowitz

Developer Rushes to Get Tower Plan OK'd Ahead of Rezoning Effort: Neighbors

The rezoning proposal is currently being reviewed by the Department of City Planning, and the group expects an answer on whether the city will move forward with a uniform land-use review process, or ULURP, in the next few weeks.

The process, which would begin as soon as DCP certifies the application, would take months to complete, requiring reviews by Community Board 6, the Manhattan Borough President, the City Planning Commission, and City Council.

But the proposal already has the support of key figures in that process, including Borough President Gale Brewer, CB6, and city council members including Ben Kallos and Dan Garodnick.

DNAinfo.com UES Tower Developer Who Tried to Skirt Zoning Law Is At it Again: Officials by Shaye Weaver

UES Tower Developer Who Tried to Skirt Zoning Law Is At it Again: Officials

If the DOB decides to uphold its decision, then the developer can appeal with the city's Board of Standards and Appeals.

The challenge against DDG's plans, which can be submitted by individuals or organizations, was filed by local group Carnegie Hill Neighbors as well as politicians including Brewer, Councilman Ben Kallos, State Senator Liz Krueger and the law firm Carter Ledyard & Milburn. 

Their petition argues that DDG has made no changes to resolve zoning issues raised when it first filed plans with the city.

DNAinfo.com Hourslong Waits During Election Spark Push For More Polling Sites on UES by Shaye Weaver

Hourslong Waits During Election Spark Push For More Polling Sites on UES

UPPER EAST SIDE — A "broken" voting system is to blame for the hourslong waits endured by voters during the election this year, say local elected officials who are calling for an overhaul including more polling sites and the option to mail in ballots.

Lines to vote in the next election could be shortened by opening new polling sites to spread out the crowds, Councilman Ben Kallos said.

"If you are part of a church, a synagogue, a nonprofit center, you could be incredibly helpful. If you're from a school and not a poll site let us know," he told residents during a Community Board 8 meeting Wednesday.

"We need to expand the number of poll sites. We can even put one in your lobby, as long as it is ADA accessible," he said.

DNAinfo.com Elderly and Disabled Need Select Bus Service Stop at 72nd St., Locals Say by Shaye Weaver

Elderly and Disabled Need Select Bus Service Stop at 72nd St., Locals Say

UPPER EAST SIDE — Thousands of locals have signed a petition to add East 72nd Street to the M15 Select Bus Service route along First and Second avenues.

The stop was removed from the M15's express route when the MTAreplaced limited bus service with Select Bus Service along the line six years ago.

Now, residents have to walk to East 68th Street, East 67th Street or up to the East 79th Street stop to catch the Select Bus, a hike they say is difficult for the elderly and disabled. The other option is to wait up to 30 minutes for the local bus, residents said.

DNAinfo.com Deputy Mayor Admits Full Blame For Rivington House Fiasco by Allegra Hobbs

Deputy Mayor Admits Full Blame For Rivington House Fiasco

Council member Kallos told those present at the hearing that he agreed to limit Shorris' questioning to two-and-a-half hours because the mayor's office told him that Shorris had to be on a plane to Oklahoma for a mayoral conference the same day.

But Shorris said he was not going to Oklahoma and added that he had no idea why the City Council got that impression.

Kallos said he found the misinformation "disturbing." The city council later released a statement on the matter.

DNAinfo.com 'Tenant Blacklist' Firms Could Be Regulated Under Proposed Legislation by Dusica Malesevic

'Tenant Blacklist' Firms Could Be Regulated Under Proposed Legislation

 'Tenant Blacklist' firms could be regulated under proposed City Council legislation.  'Tenant Blacklist' firms could be regulated under proposed City Council legislation.View Full CaptionDNAinfo/Dartunorro Clark

NEW YORK CITY — Companies that create so-called "tenant blacklists" — used by landlords to deny prospective renters from getting apartments — could become regulated under a new piece of City Council legislation. 

The "blacklists" are created using housing court cases but the reason for the court case and its outcome are often not included in the reports, officials said. The lists are sold to landlords along with credit reports.