“Everyone in the city who cares about the cultural identity of their neighborhood should be watching Yorkville as a warning sign,” said City Councilman Ben Kallos, a grandson of Jewish Hungarian immigrants whose district includes Yorkville. “The last thing a residential neighborhood needs is more glass towers for billionaires.”
New York Times
Mr. Edison asked that the exact amount not be disclosed because he had signed a confidentiality agreement.
Mr. Edison said he gave half the money to a local soup kitchen and several nonprofit groups. “I don’t think you should make money on the suffering of other people — a lot of people around here were upset by the noise,” he said.
Mr. Mihalis declined to comment and Mr. Cohen and lawyers who handled the settlement did not respond to requests for comment.
City Councilman Ben Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side and is also a lawyer, said Mr. Edison was pursuing an unusual legal route.
Small claims court is typically the last resort for settling disputes over specific monetary damages — not a venue for fighting quality-of-life issues.
“I’m pleasantly surprised that he was able to win some small victory,” he said.
Jack Grant, a longtime friend of Mr. Edison’s, said Mr. Edison does not back down. “When he believes in something, Mike will stick to it until it gets done,” he said.
Council Member Ben Kallos represents the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The 168,000 residents in his district, the second largest in the city, mostly live in high rises. Mr. Kallos has proposed a measure that would mandate the mayor’s Zero Waste initiative to include targets and updates. The measure failed, and the effort to bring residential composting to his district has been frustrating, he said.
“We’ve worked with a number of residents and buildings to get composting,” Mr. Kallos said. “But I’ve yet to hear of any successes. I’ve never seen any brown bins in my district and I’d be surprised if there are any.”
New York Times The New York Area Was Nearly Paralyzed by 6 Inches of Snow. What Went Wrong? by Emma G. Fitzsimmons
Thousands of commuters were stranded outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan, the busiest bus station in the country, after more than 1,100 scheduled buses were canceled. The line of people stretched a full city block.
On a bitterly cold day last winter, Sumaya’s mother placed her on her school bus in Brooklyn. Later that morning, her mother received a frantic call. Sumaya, a nonverbal 13-year-old with autism, had been found at a school far from the one she attended. The bus driver had left her, unsupervised, outside the wrong school. Luckily, instead of wandering off to the park across the street, Sumaya had walked into the school building, where she covered her ears and screamed repeatedly, until a staff member found her. A search of Sumaya's backpack turned up a notebook with her mother's phone number. Her mother still has nightmares about how differently the day could have ended.
New York Times 320,000 High Schoolers to Get Free Water Bottles. The Goal? 54 Million Fewer Single-Use Drinks by James Barron
Displacing single-use bottles is an issue that Mark Chambers, the City Hall official in charge of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, said was related to a fundamental question of urban life: “How do we change our relationship to waste?”
Obviously, it is a question that has come up often as the country has debated pollution and environmental consciousness has surged. In April, Councilman Rafael L. Espinal Jr., a Democrat from Brooklyn, and Councilman Ben Kallos, a Democrat from the Upper East Side, proposed a ban on selling disposable plastic bottles in city-run parks, golf courses and beaches. The measure would cover soft drinks and juices as well as water. Other proposals would ban plastic straws that can be used only once, or plastic bags.
Mr. Chambers sees Bring It and the S’well bottles as “a great opportunity for us to make a strong public statement around why this matters” — and it is a statement that can be made without having to wait for a City Council vote.
New York Times This Time It’s Uber on the Defensive in Battle With New York by Emma G. Fitzsimmons, William Neuman
Ben Kallos, a City Council member from Manhattan, said that he planned to vote against the cap ... he was bothered by the idea that the cap would halt new licenses while studying the industry.
“The scientific method says we test our hypotheses before we act on them,” Mr. Kallos said. “I don’t support any legislation that creates a solution before we know it actually fixes a problem.”
Councilman Kallos said the Trump decision spurred him to action. He said he has wanted to ban disposable plastic water bottles since trying to buy one himself while visiting San Francisco several years ago and being told he could not. So he bought a reusable bottle to tote around — something he now does in New York.
“You see plastic bottles everywhere,” he said. “It makes New York look like a dump and we can do better.”
This is not the first time that New York has taken a stand against plastic bottles. In 2008, the office of the City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, stopped buying bottled waterfor Council offices. A 2009 state executive order barred state agencies from buying bottled water, to save taxpayer dollars and improve the environment.
The city has also targeted other plastic waste. In 2016, the Council sought to encourage shoppers to give up plastic store bags by charging 5 cents for most plastic and shopping bags. But that law was blocked last year by state legislators, some of whom argued that it imposed a regressive tax on the poor, and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
Mr. Kallos and Mr. Espinal said their proposed ban on plastic bottle sales was more limited than the plastic bag fee and less likely to draw interference from state lawmakers.
Michael Whyland, a spokesman for the Assembly speaker, Carl E. Heastie, said that while Mr. Heastie, a Democrat from the Bronx, had not yet seen the proposed ban, “The speaker has always said that the city has the ability to enact a ban on unnecessary plastic waste.”
Mr. Kallos and Mr. Espinal said they will introduce bills next week to lay out more details about the proposed ban. Mr. Kallos said that vendors in city recreational areas could face penalties for selling plastic bottles, including possibly having their concessions revoked.
New York Times Council Adopts a Gloves-Off Stance With Mayor de Blasio by Jeffery . Mays J. David Goodman
Mr. Johnson’s more assertive posture is reflective of an attitude shared by many Council members, including those who ran against Mr. Johnson for speaker and others who did not support his bid.
Councilman Benjamin Kallos of Manhattan welcomed a new era of debate. “I think conflict is good for resolving problems,” he said.
“The notion that the mayor is the sole branch of New York City government is an anachronism,” said Ritchie Torres, a councilman who represents the Bronx. “It has no place in the age of Corey Johnson.”