New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

NY1

NY1 Second Election Official Suspended Amid Investigations Into New York Primary Voter Purge by Grace Rauh

Second Election Official Suspended Amid Investigations Into New York Primary Voter Purge

Resolutions passed by the council Thursday advocate for no-excuse absentee voting, and would allow people to register with a party up to 10 days before an election.

"For me, voter empowerment and barriers to registration is something I've been working on for nearly a decade," City Councilor Ben Kallos of Manhattan said. "In fact, it's one of the issues that brought me into government."

Meanwhile, the board failed to accomplish what it set out to do at its meeting Thursday: certify the citywide results from last month's primary.

Instead, that was postponed because officials from the Manhattan office failed to show up for the official vote.

NY1 Annual Hope Count to Document Number of City's Homeless by Michael Scotto

Annual Hope Count to Document Number of City's Homeless

The Eastside Taskforce for Homeless Outreach and Services will provide support for meals, legal services, supportive housing and other programs benefiting the city's homeless.

Council Member Ben Kallos tells NY1 it's meant to help New Yorkers struggling to stay afloat. 

"These are actually services for anyone who's homeless, at risk, or even just hungry. And so, we have between the churches, synagogues, and non-profits we have meals, lunch and dinner, even sometimes breakfast. We also have food pantries," said Kallos. "One of the things that we're really focused on is trying to find additional beds so people have a choice." 

The taskforce is comprised of a handful of religious centers, non-profit groups, the Department of Homeless Services and Human Resources Administration.

NY1 Plans for Overhaul of Second Avenue on Upper East Side Unveiled at Community Board Meeting by NY1 News

Plans for Overhaul of Second Avenue on Upper East Side Unveiled at Community Board Meeting

Plans for a major overhaul of Second Avenue on the Upper East Side were revealed Wednesday at a community board meeting.

They include a protected bike lane, a parking lane, a bus lane and three travel lanes.

The redesigned street will look much like Second Avenue currently does above 105th street.

The proposed bike lane changes drew mixed opinions.

"I think it's great we're finally going to get our street back on Second Avenue. We're going to get more parking back on Second Avenue, and all the bikes going the wrong way on First Avenue will finally have a place to go," said City Councilman Ben Kallos of Manhattan.

NY1 Exclusive: First Look at Second Ave. Redesign Plans by Michael Scotto

Exclusive: First Look at Second Ave. Redesign Plans

City Councilman Ben Kallos says residents might be pleasantly surprised by the changes to Second Avenue.

"We haven't had parking on Second Avenue for quite some time, so having any parking back should be a good thing for drivers and riders alike. People will no longer be going the wrong way on the First Avenue bike lane because they will have a bike lane to go downtown," Kallos said.

NY1 City Councilman Makes Push for Relocated Car Tracker by NY1 News

City Councilman Makes Push for Relocated Car Tracker

When cars are moved because of things like parades or movie shoots, drivers often have no clue where their vehicles are, and now one city lawmaker is looking to change that.

Manhattan Councilman Ben Kallos is pushing a bill that would require the city Transportation Department to notify 311 and put information about relocated cars on its website.

Drivers would then be able to visit the website or call the city's helpline to find their cars.

That's the way it currently works when a car is towed to an impound lot for a normal parking restriction.

Kallos tells the Daily News he decided to introduce the bill after his disabled mother's car was towed several blocks from her home, and was covered in tickets once she found it.

NY1 Study: Plan for UES Waste Transfer Station Would Triple Current Costs to City by NY1 News

Study: Plan for UES Waste Transfer Station Would Triple Current Costs to City

A new study finds that the plan for an Upper East Side waste transfer station would triple its current costs to the city.

The Independent Budget Office's study says it currently costs $93 a ton to drive trash from Manhattan to New Jersey and Yonkers.

It indicates the transfer station would bring that cost to $278 per ton.

The total cost over the next 20 years would increase from $253 million to $632 million, which is actually a more expensive estimate than the budget office made two years ago when it looked at the issue. 

City Councilman Ben Kallos, who requested the report, hopes the numbers will encourage Mayor Bill de Blasio to end the plan for the transfer station, which has drawn several protests over the months.

NY1 Councilman Wants Healthier Fast Food Meals for Kids by NY1 News

Councilman Wants Healthier Fast Food Meals for Kids

 

Happy Meals will need to become healthier meals if one city councilman gets his way.

Manhattan Councilman Ben Kallos plans to introduce a bill requiring strict new health standards on fast food kids meals that offer free items like toys.

The legislation would ban fast food restaurants from including the freebies if the meals exceed 500 calories and more than 600 milligrams of sodium.

Restaurants would also be forced to include at least half a cup of fruit or vegetables, or a serving of whole-grain products in kids meals.

First-time offenders would face a fine of $200 to $500.

A third offense could cost as much as $2,500.

NY1 Manhattan Bus Routes to Get Countdown Clocks by Jose Martinez

Manhattan Bus Routes to Get Countdown Clocks

They're among the busiest bus routes in Manhattan, shuttling more than 70,000 riders across town every weekday.

But riders at 15 stops along the westbound M66, M79, M86 and M96 will soon have one more way of finding out just where that next bus is.

The real-time bus signs are thanks to a city-funded measure pushed by an Upper East Side councilman in the city's latest round of Participatory Budgeting.

They're also coming to the southbound M31 on York Avenue.

"People from all over the district voted for bus clocks. It was something that they wanted and there was a need for,” said Councilman Ben Kallos.