New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Upper East Side Patch

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.

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"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.

Upper East Side Patch Supportive Housing Facility Opens On Upper East Side by Brendan Krisel

Supportive Housing Facility Opens On Upper East Side

"I'm thrilled for message we are sending across this city," Quinn said Tuesday. "It's priceless for families to know they are welcome in this neighborhood and that they will be part of this neighborhood."

The seven-story facility will house 17 families made up of mothers and their children and will provide services such as to help place mothers in good jobs and children in a steady school environment, Quinn said.

"The opening of this facility is a critical step forward for 17 families in fight to find good quality, stable housing and it's a step forward for our city embracing supportive housing as an option that will prevent people from returning to shelter," Quinn said Tuesday.

Upper East Side Patch Cyclists, Pols Celebrate Closing Second Avenue Bike Lane Gap by Brenden Krisel

Cyclists, Pols Celebrate Closing Second Avenue Bike Lane Gap

The city Department of Transportation painted new lanes in June between East 68th and East 59th streets in June including the portion of the avenue that crosses the Queensboro Bridge. The avenue's bike lane now stretches from East 125th Street down to East 43rd Street, DOT Manhattan Borough Commissioner Ed Pincar announced.

The new lanes have turned an area previously considered a "deathtrap" into a safe passageway for cyclists, local City Councilmember Ben Kallos said Friday.

Upper East Side Patch East Side Public School Debuts New $600K Playground by Brendan Kristel

East Side Public School Debuts New $600K Playground

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Students at a public school that serves the Upper East Side and East Harlem celebrated the opening of a brand-new playground at the school this week.

The new playground at PS 77 and PS 198M, located on Third Avenue and East 95th Street, features upgraded play equipment, new safety tiles and additional seating. Improvements were funded with $500,000 from the 2017 participatory budgeting cycle, with local City Councilmember Ben Kallos chipping in an additional $100,000 to finish the project.

"Children and adults alike are getting a lesson in democracy as they get to enjoy the playground for which they voted and campaigned," Kallos said at a ribbon cutting for the new playground. "Thank you to the parents and students age 11 and older who voted for this new playground and saw it built while they were still students at the school."