New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Upper East Side Patch

Upper East Side Patch UES City Council Rep Pushes For Universal After School Program by Brendan Krisel

UES City Council Rep Pushes For Universal After School Program

Councilmember Ben Kallos authored two bills that require the city to meet all after school slot requests for public school students.

An Upper East Side lawmaker authored two bills that would require the city to fill all requested after school slots. (Shutterstock)

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — An Upper East Side representative in New York's city council is helping lead the push for universal after school programs by authoring bills that would require the city to offer programming for nearly 600,000 students who want after school but are kept on a waiting list.

Under legislation authored by City Councilman Ben Kallos awith Staten Island's Debi Rose and Brooklyn's Mark Treyger, all public school students between the ages of three and 21 would be guaranteed space in a program through a Universal After School initiative. The bill requires city education officials to keep an annual report on the availability and need of after school slots as well as costs of the program.

The lawmakers are also pushing a bill that mandates annual reporting on funding, applications and demographics of after school programs at city schools. Both bills were discussed Tuesday during a public hearing at City Hall.

 

Upper East Side Patch Bike Safety Improves On UES Amid Deadly Year For City, Pols Say by Brendan Krisel

Bike Safety Improves On UES Amid Deadly Year For City, Pols Say

Traffic & Transit

Bike Safety Improves On UES Amid Deadly Year For City, Pols Say

The number of cyclist deaths in New York City rose sharply in 2019, but safety improvements on the Upper East Side are working.

By Brendan Krisel, Patch Staff

Jan 3, 2020 3:32 pm ET

 Reply (2)

2

Bike safety on the Upper East Side has improved in recent years due to new bike lanes and education programs.

Bike safety on the Upper East Side has improved in recent years due to new bike lanes and education programs. (David Allen/Patch)

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Bike safety measures taken on the Upper East Side in recent years have reduced the number of cyclists hurt and killed in collisions in the neighborhood despite an uptick in cyclist deaths in 2019, local elected officials announced this week.

Additional protected bike lanes, increased enforcement against cyclists violating traffic rules and new bike safety education programs have shows success in keeping both cyclists and pedestrians safe in the neighborhood, City Councilmembers Ben Kallos and Keith Powers said in a joint statement.

"Our first priority is to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe from cars, and we've made great strides doing so on the Upper East Side," said Council Member Ben Kallos. "Particularly older residents are also afraid of getting hurt in a collision with bikes that disobey the rules every day. Whether it is 'near misses' from a failure to yield to pedestrians, or reports of cyclists who run red lights, go the wrong way, or ride on sidewalks, everyone must know the rules of the road in order to share it safely.

Upper East Side Patch New UES Soup Kitchen To Distribute 200 Meals Per Day by Brendan Krisel

New UES Soup Kitchen To Distribute 200 Meals Per Day

Locals may be surprised that a soup kitchen is opening on the Upper East Side — generally considered one of Manhattan's more affluent neighborhoods — but food insecurity can afflict people in any area, City Councilmember Ben Kallos said.

"No community, including the Upper East Side, is immune to the sad reality of families facing hunger during this holiday season," Kallos said in a statement. "As a City, we must prepare for looming federal cuts to SNAP benefits and bolster outreach to the homeless whenever and wherever possible."

People interested in volunteering at the new soup kitchen can reach out to Bronx Parent Housing Network by emailing

Upper East Side Patch City Commits 184 Additional K-8 Seats To Upper East Side by Brenden Krisel

City Commits 184 Additional K-8 Seats To Upper East Side

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Nearly 200 additional K-8 public school seats are being allocated to the Upper East Side as a result of a 2018 law that changed the way the city determined the need for seats, local City Councilman Ben Kallos announced Thursday.

The School Construction Authority is now planning to build 824 new K-8 seats on the Upper East Side by 2024, a spokesman for Kallos said. In last year's SCA proposed five-year master plan, the city agency allocated just 640 seats to the neighborhood. The amendment represents a gain of 184 seats for the neighborhood.

Kallos attributes the additional Upper East Side seats to a law he authored and passed in 2018 that requires the SCA to disclose the methods and formulas it uses to decide where and when to build new schools.

Upper East Side Patch School Lab Funded By Participatory Budgeting Debuts On UES by Brendan Krisel

School Lab Funded By Participatory Budgeting Debuts On UES

The new hyrdoponic greenhouse facility will teach students about sustainability, climate change and science

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Students at an Upper East Side public school will have the chance to learn about issues such as sustainability and enhance their science skills at a brand-new lab facility funded through participatory budgeting.

Nonprofit organization NY Sun Works — which installs hydroponic science labs in New York City schools — celebrated the opening of its newest facility last week at PS 183 Robert Louis Stevenson, the company announced. Funding for the lab was provided by City Councilman Ben Kallos through a participatory budgeting vote in 2017.

"We must invest in STEM education to prepare students for jobs of the future and today, we cut the ribbon on a $600,000 science lab," Kallos said in a statement. "Voting creates real change. The 11-year-olds and parents who voted can see for themselves, as they learn first-hand the power of democracy, not to mention all the science they'll get done."

 

Students at PS 183, a pre-k through 5th grade school located on East 66th Street between York and First avenues, will be able to use the facility to grow food and other plants. The experience of growing crops will provide firsthand knowledge of science, a spokesperson for NY Sun Works said.

The new science lab can also be used to teach students lessons about climate change and sustainability efforts such as urban farming. NY Sun Works has built more than 125 similar labs in schools in all five boroughs, teaching about 40,000 students. Construction on the lab at PS 183 took less than a year to complete and included electrical upgrades, a heating unit and new

Subscribe

sinks, flooring, counters, cabinetry and furniture for the classroom.

"The hydroponic lab will provide students with the opportunity to grow food while learning hands-on about science and climate education as well as food justice and community service," NY Sun Works Executive Director Manuela Zamora said in a statement.

Upper East Side Patch NYC Invests $391 Million In Communities & Comprehensive Reforms To The Criminal Justice System by By Press Release Desk

NYC Invests $391 Million In Communities & Comprehensive Reforms To The Criminal Justice System

"Closing Rikers now is essential. The Progressive Caucus has won commitments in the communities being most affected for more transitional housing, healthcare support, and connection centers along with more programs to help local residents with mental health. Thank you to Speaker Johnson and Mayor de Blasio for working with the Progressive Caucus in making this commitment to these communities," said Council Member Ben Kallos.

Upper East Side Patch New Esplanade Bait Station To Aid East River Anglers In Harlem by Brendan Krisel

New Esplanade Bait Station To Aid East River Anglers In Harlem

EAST HARLEM, NY — The men and women who fish off of the East River Esplanade have a vital new resource in the form of an ADA-accessible bait station on a stretch of the East Harlem waterfront.

The station — where fishermen and fisherwomen can prepare bait, inspect catches to see if they require release and clean catches to take home — was funded by the group Friends of the East River Esplanade through a $15,000 grant from Sea Grant New York, according to the organization's board chair Jennifer Ratner. In addition to serving as a useful tool for East River anglers, the bait station is outfitted with public art depicting sketches of the types of fish that call the urban river home, Ratner said.

Upper East Side Patch Yearlong Project To Upgrade Carl Schurz Playground Breaks Ground by Brendan Krisel

Yearlong Project To Upgrade Carl Schurz Playground Breaks Ground

For City Councilmember Ben Kallos, renovations to the playground are personal. The local lawmaker played in Carl Schurz Park while growing up in the neighborhood and now takes his daughter to the playground, he said Thursday.

Visiting Nurse Service of New York  |  Featured Advertiser

When Self-Care Seems Impossible

Magazines, self-help journals, and websites counsel the importance of seeing to your needs so you can care for others. When you’re stretched to the limit, what are your options?

"A lot of parents have brought concern about the condition of the equipment — at one point there was actually plywood up," Kallos said. "Thankfully that is now down but this park has been desperately in need of an upgrade."

Kallos and the City Council allocated $2.5 million in funding for the project. Another major backer was Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, whose office allocated $775,000.

Upper East Side Patch John Jay Park's New Ball Courts Result Of UES Dad's 4-Year Fight by Brendan Krisel

John Jay Park's New Ball Courts Result Of UES Dad's 4-Year Fight

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — The basketball courts at the Upper East Side's John Jay Park were bustling with activity Thursday. Neighborhood kids flocked to the courts after the first day of school to practice their shots, play one-on-one and partake in one of the park's largest games of knockout in history.

Upper East Side Patch 180-Seat Pre-K Center Opens On UES For 2019 School Year by Brendan Krisel

180-Seat Pre-K Center Opens On UES For 2019 School Year

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Hundreds of Upper East Side families sending their children to their first days of preschool this week can breathe a sigh of relief knowing they don't have to take their four-year-old's to school in Lower Manhattan.