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POLITICO New York Playbook, presented by the United Federation of Teachers: CUNY funding fightback -- TISCH exit interview -- RIKERS reveal?

03/11/2016 07:00 AM EDT

By Azi Paybarah in Manhattan, Jimmy Vielkind in Albany, and Mike Allen in D.C., with Daniel Lippman

ASSEMBLY DEFIES CUOMO ON CUNY - POLITICO New York's Jimmy Vielkind: Democrats who dominate the State Assembly are reversing Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to shift $485 million of state support for CUNY to the New York City budget and would freeze tuition for the next two years, officials from the chamber said. The counter-proposals will be baked into the Assembly's one-house budget resolution, a statement of priorities set to pass next week that will kick off the final round of budget negotiations. Leaders in both the State Senate and the Assembly have been trickling out details of their one-house documents this week; yesterday, Republicans who control the Senate outlined a plan to cut income taxes for middle-class New Yorkers.

-- Advocacy groups and CUNY faculty, staff and students protested Cuomo's proposed cuts and tuition increases outside his office.

-- Cuomo spokeswoman Dani Lever: "The Governor has always been a champion and advocate for these students and is committed to ensuring this system remains strong, healthy, and viable for generations to come. We will review the legislation when it's released."

PHOTOS FROM LAST NIGHT: Cuomo speaks at the NoRuz gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

EXIT INTERVIEW - Merryl Tisch talks to the Times' Kate Taylor: "She tried to do too much, too fast. That is Merryl H. Tisch's appraisal of her tenure as chancellor of the Board of Regents, the top education post in New York State, as she prepares to step down at the end of the month. Her critics say the same thing. A champion of the Common Core learning standards, Dr. Tisch, 60, pushed for the creation of new, harder tests based on those standards and for teacher evaluations tied to students' performance on the exams. That set off a backlash in which a fifth of the eligible students sat out the state's third- through eighth-grade reading and math tests last spring. Cuomo, once her ally on using test scores in teacher evaluations, did an about-face."

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "They say dead men tell no tale. That's what the mob do. They wipe everybody out so nobody can't tell the story later on. Well, that's what Officer Haste did. He wiped out Ramarley Graham so no one could tell the real story." -- Councilman Andy King, via POLITICO New York:

TWEET OF THE DAY -- "'I'll do whatever they need,' - @BilldeBlasio on HRC. Meanwhile, @MMViverito canvassing in Orlando on behalf of HRC who asked her to come." -- @GloriaPazmino:

** A message from the United Federation of Teachers: Check out this web app that allows NYC's parents and teachers to see how much Albany owes each public school. Overall, NYC schools are owed $2 billion. See what that means for your child's school. **

GET THE POPCORN: "NY historic St. Patrick's Day parade to be shown live in Ireland" -- "The New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade, the largest and most renowned St. Patrick's Day parade in America, will be broadcast live for the first time ever in Ireland and the UK on March 17."

TABS -- Post: "DONALD DOC: Carson backs Trump" -- Daily News: "THIS IS GREAT? Trump says of protester: 'I'd like to punch him in the face,' longs for 'good old days' when they were taken out on stretchers; Donald supporter who sucker-punched peaceful protester at rally: 'Next time we see him, we might have to kill him.'" -- amNY: "FOLLOW THE MONEY: NYC nabs that gave the most to each presidential candidate" -- SEE THEM:

-- Hamodia: "Economists: $15 Wage Aids 3M, Hikes Prices, Cuts Jobs" -- Epoch Times: "Trump, GOP Rivals Fight On - but Politely - in Late Debate" -- El Diario [translated]: Lunch for all: Ask the mayor 'Learning 4 Lunch' to include the 1.1 million students of the city. They say that expanding the program would eliminate the stigma of poverty

FRONT PAGES -- NYT, 2-col., above the fold: "Candidats Lower Volume As Five Key Primaries Near" -- WSJNY, 4-col., above the fold: "Lead Levels Unnerve Newark"

LOCAL -- Manhattan -- The Villager: "Lookin' for love on the Hillary trail" -- East Villager: "New Extell building is wrecking the hood, in many ways: Locals" -- Downtown Express: "Pulling Teeth: Dental study examines kids' post-9/11 toxic exposure" -- Queens Tribune: "SHE'S ON BOARD: Katz backs LIC-Jamaica light rail plan" -- Queens Chronicle, south: "$B$: Could bus plan end up costing $400M - or more?" -- QC, northeast: "ENOUGH PARK PATROLS IN QUEENS: Councilman Lancman and advocates don't think so" -- The Brooklyn Spectator News: "SPIN CITY: Coney's B&B Carousell added to National Register of Historic Places" -- Brooklyn Courier: "Mugged at 91 in P'Slope" -- Bay News:"S'HEAD BAY RISIN: Analysis: A tide of new development is washing over nabe"

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: PR man Mark Bardack, Daily Gazette reporter Haley Viccaro (Friday), Councilman Ritchie Torres of the Bronx, Albany County Comptroller Mike Conners (Saturday), Cuomo spokesman John Kelly, Wilson Elser lobbyist Jonathan Bing, JCOPE spokesman Walt McClure and Republican standard bearer Rick Lazio (Sunday).

BEYOND THE BUFFALO BILLION - City & State's Justin Sondel: "The announcement was one of dozens that have played out since Cuomo's pledge to the region. Indeed, the planned projects, as well as a series of concrete and very visible changes in the region, have altered Buffalo's image in ways that many residents could not have imagined a decade ago. Where there was once an empty parking lot in the heart of downtown there is now Terry and Kim Pegula's shrine to hockey, HarborCenter, a megaplex replete with ice rinks, a massive sports bar and a "signature" Tim Horton's decked out in Sabres colors. Across the street, where there was once a gravel parking lot and the old Buffalo Memorial Auditorium - the asbestos-ridden former home of the Sabres - there are now replica canals that serve as ice rinks in the winter and a large green space and boardwalk where free concerts are held."

SUPERVISING HEROIN - Daily News' Glenn Blain: "A Manhattan Assemblywoman wants to give heroin junkies and other drug users a state-sanctioned place to shoot up. Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Democrat, said Thursday she planned to introduce legislation legalizing 'supervised injection facilities' for users to self-administer drugs under the supervision of medical staff. 'It provides individuals who are struggling with substance abuse with a safe place, a clean place, and a place where there's medical supervision,' Rosenthal told the Daily News. 'It also connects them with vital services that will hopefully put them on the path to detox and recovery.' ... 'We do not support supervised drug dens,' added Sen. Terrence Murphy (R-Westchester County), co-chairman of the Senate's Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction.

TRANSITIONS -- Lindsay Scola, director of external affairs at the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, is joining the Television Academy in LA in a newly created position of Director, Talent and Public Relations.

UNDER FIRE -- Ramarley Graham's family call on NYPD to fire Richard Haste, the cop who killed unarmed teen -- Daily News: " A fleet of city politicians stood beside the mother of police shooting victim Ramarley Graham in demanding the firing of the cop responsible for the unarmed teen's killing. More than a half dozen city pols railed against the NYPD two days after federal prosecutors announced there was not enough evidence to pursue criminal charges against Officer Richard Haste. 'Commissioner, it's time to fire Richard Haste,' Councilman Andy King said Thursday on the steps of City Hall, his words directed at NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton.

-- NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said he misspoke when he told city lawmakers earlier this year that U.S. Attorney in the Southern District Preet Bharara asked the NYPD to delay any probe or action against the officers involved in the 2012 fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager in the Bronx - but Bratton said it did not matter, since he would have held back any probe until the federal investigation concluded. The acknowledgement by Bratton at a Thursday press conference came after a handful of city lawmakers said the commissioner misled them about the NYPD's inaction following the the police shooting death of Ramarley Graham. POLITICO New York's Azi Paybarah:

-- Charged -- NYT's Al Baker and Ashley Southall: "The department filed internal disciplinary charges in June 2012 against Officer Haste, who joined the force in 2008, as well as against a sergeant from the unit and another officer. Asked about the matter on Thursday, Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said that departmental lawyers were assembling a case and moving forward. 'Normally, when the federal agencies begin an investigation, usually a civil rights investigation, we take a step back until they finish their investigation,' Mr. Bratton said. 'And that's what we did.'"

MESSAGE PROBLEM -- Ponte says he is open to shutting Rikers while requesting funds for fixes -- POLITICO New York's Gloria Pazmino: Department of Correction commissioner Joseph Ponte said on Thursday that he was open to talking about the possibility of closing Rikers Island, despite Mayor Bill de Blasio's negative response to calls to shutter the jail. "I think it's a concept that is worth talking about, worth exploring," Ponte told the City Council during a preliminary budget hearing at City Hall. The commissioner's comments were in stark contrast with de Blasio's outright dismissal of the proposal in recent days. The plan was first laid out by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito last month ... As part of the agency's preliminary budget requests, Ponte said the department will need $68 million to fix facades, windows, and other structural improvements alone, plus an additional $67 million for air handling units, duct work, heating, cooling and ventilation equipment. Ponte also told the Council the department is moving ahead with a $400 million plan to build an additional jail on the island ... Ponte defended his budget calculations, stressing that closing the jail or building others off-site would take some years and that current facilities still need to be maintained.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT -- Supermarket trouble -- WNYC: "Fairway, New York City's iconic supermarket, founded as a fruit stand back in 1933 and run by the same family for decades, is risking possible bankruptcy. According to a report from Moody's Investor Service, the company could breach financial requirements for the quarter ending April 3, 2016, if the company doesn't raise enough funds to meet its obligations."

THE TALK OF WALL STREET - MATT WINKLER, Bloomberg's editor in chief, "Stop Bashing Wall Street . Times Have Changed" in Bloomberg View: "There's a perverse competition among some U.S. presidential candidates: Who can most loudly blame Wall Street for the problems of Main Street. They've got it wrong. Financial firms are doing more to help consumers, business and industry in America than they have in decades. And for the first time since the early years of the 21st century, global investors consider U.S. banks among the world's best. One of the reasons the American economy is performing better than any of the largest in Asia and Europe is that its regulators have repaired the damage of the financial crisis and the worst recession since the Great Depression."

--"Bridgewater Names Jon Rubinstein a Co-Chief Executive," by Dealbook's Alexandra Stevenson: "Jon Rubinstein, who worked closely with Steven P. Jobs for many years and earned the nickname 'the Podfather' for his work leading Apple's iPod team, will join the $154 billion Bridgewater in May. At that time, Greg Jensen, who is co-chief executive and co-chief investment officer, will step away from his role as co-chief executive to focus on overseeing the firm's investment strategies."

WELCOME TO THE WORLD -- Jason Schechter, chief comms. officer of Bloomberg L.P. and Diana Benton Schechter, strategic advisor to the CEO of Atlantic Philanthropies, email friends and family: "We're thrilled to welcome Ava Benton Schechter to the world! Born Wednesday ... at 12:34pm, weighing in at 7lbs 4oz, measuring 19 3/4 inches. Mommy, daddy and Norah are as happy as can be and can't wait for everyone to meet her!" Pic

FERRY COMPANY THREATENS CLOSURE - POLITICO New York's Dana Rubinstein: Shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon, one of the companies vying to run Mayor Bill de Blasio's citywide ferry service sent an email to its staff warning them that if the city chooses another company, their jobs will cease to exist.

"After 15 years of providing waterborne transportation in New York City, we have come to the conclusion that we have no choice, unless New York City's Economic Development Corporation changes its present course, but to close New York Water Taxi and cease all operations by the end of 2016," wrote company co-presidents Helena Durst and David Neil, in a letter shared with POLITICO New York. New York Water Taxi, a ferry company based in Red Hook, employs 200 people, from deckhands and line catchers, to captains and marketing directors. Durst and Neil said they would do away with all those jobs should the administration award the ferry contract to the California-based Hornblower, as it appears it very well might.

-- Post: "New York Water Taxi threatens to shut down by end of year" --

ZERO VISION? -- "Bratton casts doubt on Mayor de Blasio's goal of zero traffic related deaths" -- WPIX's Jay Dow:

REAL ESTATE -- DIRTY MONEY-"ONE57 tower linked to global money-laundering probe," by Post's Jennifer Gould Keil: "New York's first billionaires' building, ONE57, was funded by a subsidiary of an Abu Dhabi company linked to a global money-laundering investigation, The Post has learned. Gary Barnett, of Extell Development, started to build the 75-story skyscraper, at 157 W. 57th St., during the height of the recession when Western funding was scarce. Barnett owns only a small piece of the $1.6 billion tower, which was mainly funded by Aabar Investments and a second, privately held Abu Dhabi-based investor, Tasameem Real Estate Co., sources said. 'Gary Barnett used this Abu Dhabi connection to bail him out,' one source familiar with the situation said."

RENT REVEAL-"Rent Limits Just a Fiction for Thousands of NYC Tenants, Records Disclose," by ProPublica's Cezary Podkul and Marcelo Rochabrun: "About 28 percent of New York City apartments subject to rent limits can easily get around them. It takes New York housing officials six to nine months to resolve overcharge complaints from renters. And surprisingly few tenants ever file harassment complaints against their landlords - only 207 last year in a city with hundreds of thousands of renters in regulated apartments. Those facts about renting in the city, previously shared only among a few policymakers who set city rent limits, are now all in the public domain thanks to a freedom of information request by ProPublica. The information comes from lengthy questionnaires sent each year from the city's Rent Guidelines Board to the state's Division of Housing and Community Renewal, or DHCR."

SENIOR OUTREACH-"Mayor says city must improve senior rent exemption outreach," by POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg: "Mayor Bill de Blasio acknowledged his administration needs to step up efforts to get senior citizens with fixed incomes enrolled in an existing program that freezes rents. 'We have to do more. There's no question. So many senior citizens are struggling to get by, and here's something that can really put money back in their pocket by avoiding rent increases,' he said after a separate housing announcement Thursday afternoon in Brooklyn. The mayor's finance department has increased its outreach to get New Yorkers enrolled in the program, known as the Senior Citizens Rent Increase Exemption. But 80,000 people who qualify for the benefit and a similar program for New Yorkers with disabilities have yet to enroll, the finance agency said last week, down from 94,000 the year before."

THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: The day ahead: HOOPS! Atlantic 10 men's quarterfinals at The Garden. Atlantic 10 men's semis at Barclays. The Nets are in Philly. The Knicks are out west to face the Clippers.

#UpstateAmerica: "You can google Jesus and find bad stuff, too," says the conservative and outspoken owner of a Syracuse diner that serves anti-Obama and Cuomo dishes, and who is also facing charges of welfare fraud.

** A message from the United Federation of Teachers: Check out this web app that allows NYC's parents and teachers to see how much Albany owes each public school. Overall, NYC schools are owed $2 billion. See what that means for your child's school. **

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