New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

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WCBS 2 Debate Continues To Swirl About Return To In-Person Classes For All Public School Students This Fall by Vanessa Murdock

Debate Continues To Swirl About Return To In-Person Classes For All Public School Students This Fall

As CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock reports, September will be a big month for Lily, 5, and her mom Jennifer Rescalvo. Lily starts kindergarten and says she can’t wait for the playground.

Jennifer says she’s ready for full time in-person learning.

“She needs that interaction with other kids,” she said.

“The plan is to get them back in action. I don’t want to go through what I go through already last year,” said parent Rafet Olian.

Olian needs a break, and 6-year-old Sami is excited to go back.

COVID VACCINE

“I can see all my friends and read,” Sami said.

“Our health care leadership has been very, very clear; our kids suffer when they are not in school,” Mayor Bill de Blasio saidTuesday.

De Blasio said in-person learning will get students back on track with their education, offer support to heal post-pandemic, and provide the food so many New York City School students rely on. The mayor says there’s enough room for all students to safely return to in-person learning.

“That three-foot rule is there now; we will make it work,” he said. “We proved that our gold standard of health and safety measures works.”

De Blasio added safety standards won’t change, but circumstances have.

“A huge number of people have now been vaccinated. A much, much better environment than what we had to deal with last year,” he said.

Despite the positive outlook projected by the mayor, the City Council education committee wants the DOE to “offer a fall remote option.”

Council member and public school dad Ben Kallos says parents are asking for it.

WCBS 2 Repairs Expected To Last Days After Sinkhole Opens Up On Upper East Side by Andrea Grymes

Repairs Expected To Last Days After Sinkhole Opens Up On Upper East Side

Still, Councilman Ben Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side, said he is concerned.

“We need the Department of Environmental Protection, which manages our water supply, Con Ed working together to find any leaks underground, making sure that we’re not having any compromised spaces, and make sure that this doesn’t happen again,” Kallos said.

Con Edison said gas and electric were not impacted in the area.

Kallos told CBS2 the DEP believes a 12-inch water main — or a 6-inch sewer main — may be the cause.

WCBS 2 NYC DOB Pressured To Take Action Regarding 15-Year-Old Sidewalk Shed On Upper West Side by Lisa Rozner

NYC DOB Pressured To Take Action Regarding 15-Year-Old Sidewalk Shed On Upper West Side

Over the last five years, one councilman has introduced multiple pieces of legislation addressing the issue, but he believes lobbyists from the real estate industry have prevented the city from enacting them.

“I have legislation that says that when the sidewalk sheds go up, work has to start. If it doesn’t, the city would step in, do the work and make bad landlords pay,” Councilman Ben Kallos said.

All under a 90-day deadline.

WCBS 2 New York City Council Passes Bill Mandating IRAs For Small Business Workers by Alice Gainer

New York City Council Passes Bill Mandating IRAs For Small Business Workers

“Nearly half of New Yorkers who are retirement age have less than $10,000 saved up,” said City Council Member Ben Kallos.

The plan is sponsored by the city for private sector employers that have at least five workers and don’t already offer a retirement plan.

Employees will be automatically enrolled with 5% of their wages going into their retirement fund. They can adjust the amount or opt-out. Gig workers are allowed to opt-in.

“There will be no employer matching. No employer liability. All the employer is doing is facilitating the payroll deduction,” Kallos said.