New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

New York Daily News

New York Daily News Law firm owed $300G by de Blasio lobbied mayor's top aides, won big favor for high-rise developer by Greg B. Smith

Law firm owed $300G by de Blasio lobbied mayor's top aides, won big favor for high-rise developer

A law firm that Mayor de Blasio owes $300,000 in unpaid legal fees to last fall won a zoning loophole for one of its developer clients after lobbying two of the mayor’s top aides, a Daily News investigation has found.

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel pressed Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and Marisa Lago, the mayor’s appointee as City Planning Commission chairwoman, to halt rezoning that would have killed a residential tower being built on the East Side by the law firm’s client, developer Jonathan Kalikow.

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By then, Councilman Ben Kallos argues, the damage was done. He says the delay allowed Kalikow to build enough of the tower’s foundation to claim the building as substantially completed – the trigger for approval of the entire building by the Board of Standards and Appeals.

“Without this bogus clause, this rezoning could have been done weeks earlier and the community wouldn’t be facing an appeal to a rightfully won rezoning,” said Kallos (D-Manhattan), who opposes Kalikow’s tower.

New York Daily News City pols seek to strip license from sanitation company after its driver killed two people by Cerin Durkin

City pols seek to strip license from sanitation company after its driver killed two people

City Council members are demanding the city yank the license of a sanitation company whose driver killed two people in the Bronx and lied to cops about it.

Councilman Antonio Reynoso and other pols stood outside the city Business Integrity Commission's office Wednesday to push for the shutdown of Sanitation Salvage, one of the city's largest private trash haulers.

 

New York Daily News Construction sites must lower noise during city’s quiet time under new law by Erin Durkin

Construction sites must lower noise during city’s quiet time under new law

Construction done at odd hours will have to turn down the volume under a bill passed by the City Council on Tuesday.

The legislation sponsored by Councilman Ben Kallos places stricter limits on construction within 200 feet of a home before 7 a.m. and after 6 p.m. on weekdays, and any time on weekends.

“New York City may be the city that never sleeps, but that shouldn’t be because of after-hours construction that wakes you up,” said Kallos (D-Manhattan). “Noise is the top complaint in New York City.”

The construction cacophony will be capped at 80 decibels next year, and dropped to 75 in 2020. The current limit is 85 decibels.

New York Daily News City Council passes bill allowing New Yorkers to register to vote online by Erin Durkin

City Council passes bill allowing New Yorkers to register to vote online

New Yorkers will soon be able to register to vote online after the City Council passed legislation to allow it Thursday.

The city Campaign Finance Board will set up a website and create an app to allow would-be voters to register.

“It seems like every election in New York City, it’s a new low for voter turnout,” said Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), noting the dismal turnout in last week’s mayoral election.

New York Daily News East Side residents clash with developer in zoning war over project to build 78-story luxury tower by Greg B. Smith

East Side residents clash with developer in zoning war over project to build 78-story luxury tower

Last month, Kallos wrote to the department questioning the use of “public safety” to justify the after-hours permits. None of the work cited — including excavation and pouring concrete — “should qualify for ‘public safety,’” Kallos wrote.

New York Daily News New York furniture store Waldner’s no longer leaning on union workers after it lays off nearly 40 Teamsters by Ginger Adams Otis

New York furniture store Waldner’s no longer leaning on union workers after it lays off nearly 40 Teamsters

City Councilman Ben Kallos, whose district includes many New York Presbyterian facilities, said Waldner’s was “wrong” to fire its union employees.

"Waldner's shouldn't be locking out hard-working employees, some of which have been with the company for 30 years," Kallos said.

“Any institution currently working with Waldner's should insist they end the lockout and negotiate in good faith,” he added.

New York Daily News NYC students create City Council legislation to help gay kids in schools by Erin Durkin

NYC students create City Council legislation to help gay kids in schools

They originally conceived of a requirement that every school set up a group to help gays but learned the Council doesn’t have the authority to mandate that. Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) introduced the legislation on their behalf Tuesday. “The rise of hate crimes nationally and in the city means it is more important than ever that the city supports our LGBTQ youth through these student-run clubs,” he said.

New York Daily News Mayor de Blasio joins 24 city pols in signing letter to support unionization efforts at DNAinfo, Gothamist by Ginger Adams Otis

Mayor de Blasio joins 24 city pols in signing letter to support unionization efforts at DNAinfo, Gothamist

The mayor might not like to take questions from the press — but he does believe they have the right to join a union.

De Blasio was among nearly two dozen city officials who signed a letter Thursday in support of reporters at two popular local websites who are fighting to get management to recognize their recent union vote.

“We support the editorial staff of DNAinfo and Gothamist as they exercise their right to unionize,” the letter said.

“The work of these reporters and editors is crucial for NYC. We call on management to respect their democratic right to organize and immediately recognize their union,” it concluded.

New York Daily News EXCLUSIVE: Developer who won NYCHA bid to build apartment tower is big de Blasio donor, records reveal by Greg Smith

EXCLUSIVE: Developer who won NYCHA bid to build apartment tower is big de Blasio donor, records reveal

Fetner will pay an upfront fee of $25 million to NYCHA, but between the public subsidies and the loss of millions of dollars in potential property taxes, Councilman Benjamin Kallos (D-Manhattan) predicted the city ends up in the red.Fetner will pay an upfront fee of $25 million to NYCHA, but between the public subsidies and the loss of millions of dollars in potential property taxes, Councilman Benjamin Kallos (D-Manhattan) predicted the city ends up in the red.

New York Daily News Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to tell principals to give lunch to all students, even those who can't pay by Erin Durkin

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to tell principals to give lunch to all students, even those who can't pay

The city has instituted universal free lunch for middle schools, but declined to expand it citywide.

Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) asked  Fariña to also issue rules that school staffers could not go after parents to collect unpaid lunch fees later, but she declined to do that without studying it first.

“Students are not deprived of eating lunch because of money,” she said.