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POLITICO New York Playbook, presented by RBC Capital Markets: TROUBLE in City Hall -- OPT OUT spike complicates assessments -- PERKINS files

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

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TROUBLE IN CITY HALL -- Last week, a senior adviser to the mayor, Phil Walzak, publicly recanted a statement from mayoral spokeswoman Karen Hinton, questioning Gov. Andrew Cuomo's handling of the Legionnaire's outbreak. -- NYT's Michael Grynbaum and Matt Flegenheimer: " The episode, recounted by several people familiar with the discussion, was an extraordinary public moment of discord, laying bare a host of challenges confronting the de Blasio administration in a messy second year: tension among aides; a perilous, often powerless relationship with Mr. Cuomo, a fellow Democrat; and the struggles of Mr. de Blasio, a political operative by training, to control the perception of his stewardship. ... [In] conversations with more than two dozen mayoral allies, advisers and current and former city officials showed widespread befuddlement over how Mr. de Blasio had allowed so many self-inflicted, seemingly preventable headaches to add up.

"In the past week alone, the mayor has been questioned about why his administration created a $150,000-a-year position for the companion of a top aide, and why the first lady, Chirlane McCray, requested a postponement of her federal jury duty. On Friday, Mr. de Blasio even ran into trouble for exercising at his old gym in Brooklyn during a police standoff on Staten Island with a gunman who injured a firefighter.

-- "I think there's a huge dichotomy between what's happening in the mainstream media and what people are feeling and understanding,' Mr. de Blasio said, speaking by telephone. Asked if he believed that his administration had been covered less fairly than those of past mayors, Mr. de Blasio replied that his predecessor, Michael R. Bloomberg, 'was covered in a very particular fashion.' 'I think the media had a kind of kid-glove sensibility toward him,' the mayor said. 'I think that's well-established.'" http://goo.gl/00FjeO

TEACHER EVALUATIONS HINDERED BY 'OPT OUT'-POLITICO New York's Keshia Clukey: With more than 20 percent of eligible third through eighth grade students choosing not to take the New York State math and English Language Arts exams, school districts statewide may not have enough data to evaluate student and teacher performances. Unions and the state Department of Education have battled over how districts should handle teacher evaluations, with the union saying scores should be thrown out entirely and the state saying a backup measure should be used.

"With more than 220,000 students opting out, a volatile and unstable growth model will become more volatile and more unstable and more meaningless,' New York State United Teachers spokesman Carl Korn said. 'The repudiation by parents of the state's testing program in such large numbers undermines any credibility the state's growth score has."

Each educator receives a "growth score" -a state-produced calculation that quantifies students' year-to-year improvement on standardized tests while controlling factors like poverty. The growth scores must be based on no fewer than 16 test scores, but some schools didn't even have that. Districts like Dolgeville in the Mohawk Valley, which, thanks to an outspoken group of parents, had one of the highest opt-out rates in the state. Only 44 of the 391 eligible students in grades third through eighth took the ELA exam, and 36 of the 389 students took the math exam, according to data from the school district. http://politi.co/1HQ67sQ

TABS -- Post: "MORGAN'S AGONY: Freeman's grandkid slain in NY" -- News: "TOO MUCH TO BARE: Pols call Times Sq. flesh pit a disaster and unacceptable - but say hands are tied to clean it up" -- amNY: "Higher rents are driving longtime businesses ... STRAIGHT OUTTA SOHO" -- Newsday: "PLANE CRASH ON LIRR TRACKS" -- Metro: "Frontier art: Beyond Bushwick..." -- El Diario [translated]: Pre-K, an opportunity for parents and children ...

FRONT PAGES -- NYT, 1-col. above the fold: "Messes Pile Up For de Blasio in 2nd Year" -- WSJNY: "New York Disputes FEMA on Flood Risk"

HAPPENING TODAY - "Global Citizen is mobilizing a 'check-in' at NBC's Today show plaza this morning, offering 100 pairs of tickets to the Beyoncé, Pearl Jam headlined Global Citizen Festival on September 26th - hosted by Stephen Colbert and Hugh Jackman." http://www.globalcitizen.org

MARIJUANA SUMMONSES ON THE RISE -- East New York hit hard -- amNY's Lauren Del Valle: "The NYPD is on pace to give out more summonses for public marijuana use in 2015 than last year, with numerous violations in black and Latino neighborhoods, data shows. East New York, which is policed by the 75th precinct, has the second-highest number of pot possession summonses in New York in the first three months of 2015. Police have issued more than 3,800 marijuana-related violations citywide alone in the first three months of this year -- putting them on track to exceed the 13,377 summonses issued in all of 2014. They are the fourth-most frequent summons charge, following public consumption of alcohol, disorderly conduct, and public urination. East New York is home to nearly 175,000 people, according to the city. Less than 10 percent are white, and most residents are younger than 45 years old. Many seldom leave Brooklyn. About 35 percent live below the poverty line-- and only about 8 percent have earned a college degree." http://goo.gl/HCw62f

SIGN OF THE TIMES -- "After decades, Guardian Angels resume Central Park rounds," by AP's Jennifer Peltz: "The squad in stop-sign-red jackets and berets ... was a familiar sight a generation ago, when New York was plagued by lawlessness that police have worked for years to dispel. Yet Guardian Angels volunteers made a pointed return this month to Central Park for the first time in over two decades, citing a 26 percent rise in crime there so far this year. ... [T]he renewed patrols by the Guardian Angels - known for both crime-fighting and controversy over their 35 years - are bright-red signals of unease about whether New York, touted for years as the nation's safest big city, is slipping." http://yhoo.it/1LejDLP

DEBATING 'THE FLOOD ZONE' -- FEMA vs City Hall -- WSJ's Corrine Ramey: "FEMA's map, a preliminary document still subject to final approval and its first significant update since 1983, would expand the number of city residents in the 100-year floodplain by 83% to 400,000. It nearly doubles the number of structures in the zone to 71,500. Now, the city is challenging FEMA's map, saying it overstates the risk of flooding in much of the expanded flood zone, unnecessarily imposing insurance and other costs on homeowners. In late June, the city released the results of its own analysis, conducted by consulting firm Arcadis, which produced a smaller flood zone, one the city says is more reasonable than FEMA's.

-- "Whichever interpretation prevails, the city's appeal has sparked a debate about balancing home affordability against flood risk, and the outcome has potentially huge economic stakes for homeowners, businesses and neighborhoods near the water's edge. ... The city's map would remove about 26,000 structures and 170,000 people from FEMA's floodplain, potentially sparing them a steep increase in insurance costs. Homeowners in a 100-year zone are effectively required to buy flood insurance-especially if they have a federally backed mortgage-and the premiums can cost $5,000 to $10,000 a year, [Daniel Zarrilli, director of the Mayor's Office of Recovery and Resiliency, which appealed the FEMA map]: Inclusion in a flood zone 'can have a devastating impact on neighborhoods,' he said." http://goo.gl/gVvily

2017 CHATTER OF THE DAY: After Page Six's Richard Johnson published an item noting a former Democratic National Committee member said secret meetings were being held to find a challenger to de Blasio in 2017, POLITICO New York heard from a Democratic voter in Harlem on Saturday who said, "I just got polled on de Blasio - 20 minutes. A ton of negative questions ... [And] one question was if the election were today, would I vote for Ray Kelly or BDB."

HAMPTONS REPORT - "Gov. Cuomo visits Hamptons after Sandra Lee's surgery" -- Page Six Team: "After a difficult week during which his longtime girlfriend Sandra Lee underwent another surgery to deal with infection following her breast-cancer surgery, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was spotted letting off some steam in the Hamptons. Cuomo and a male companion dropped by 75 Main in Southampton on Friday, where they were spotted drinking vodka on the rocks over dinner and chatting with owner Zach Erdem." http://pge.sx/1Nmc73B

'IT COULD HAPPEN': Washington Post reporter Anne Gearan, during a conversation about Joe Biden on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, said it was "more plausible" this week that Joe Biden could enter the Democratic presidential primary. Then Wallace asked about someone else, like Andrew Cuomo or Elizabeth Warren. "I mean, we're not hearing that," Gearan replied. "I certainly, it could happen, I mean Andrew Cuomo could be looking at this from afar and thinking, wow, if she continues to look weak, if things don't turn around fairly quickly, that there might be a path to run, maybe not to win, but to get out there and, and be a part of it. We're certainly seeing that dynamic on the republican side. and it could happen on the Democratic side." http://bit.ly/1Jlqp4O

BIRTHDAYS: NY1 transit reporter Jose Martinez, Schneiderman spokesman Matt Mittenthal (h/t Devora Kaye), senior adviser for public affairs for the Manhattan district attorney Erin Kramer, and political fund-raiser Darren Rigger.

**A message from RBC Capital Markets: RBC Capital Markets ' U.S. Municipal Finance group strives to help our clients build better communities. We believe design-build procurement enables clients to do so more efficiently and effectively with existing resources. To learn about the successes of design-build implementation, click here for a full report by NYU's Rudin Center. **

BLAMING CITY HALL -- Letter to the editor in the Times, Javier Nieves, Chairman, Campaign for Fair Latino Representation: "Speaking as a former elected official (a former state assemblyman from Brooklyn), I find the persistence of this underrepresentation of Latinos in city government hiring under a so-called progressive administration to be inexplicable and egregious. Latinos remain the city's most economically unequal constituents. Barred from a historical avenue from which to move into the middle class - a city government job - ensures that this marginalization will continue. Mayor de Blasio's continuing failure to address this basic civil rights matter in the Latino community will surely cost him our support." http://goo.gl/rvQpCN

QUESTIONING THE UBER EFFECT -- New Yorker's Ben Wellington: "At the start of 2013, cabs were getting faster by about 0.0015 miles per hour per day. By mid-2014, they were getting slower by about 0.0013 miles per hour per day-or about one mile per hour every two years. In other words, every day, cabs were getting slower less quickly than they had the previous day, even as Uber was expanding its fleet. This is the opposite of what we would expect if for-hire vehicles were the main force behind falling traffic speeds. ...[T]raffic is an incredibly complicated thing, and the people who argue about it are prone to overstating their cases." http://goo.gl/aab74v

FLICKR NIXES POLICE UNION'S HOMELESS PHOTOS CAMPAIGN -- Daily News's Jennifer Fermino: 'A controversial campaign to highlight quality of life offenses by one of the city's police unions - which included pics of down and out homeless lying on the streets - has been shut down by the photo-sharing website Flickr, the union said. The images - which received dozens of negative comments from outraged users on the site - were taken down 'without our knowledge,' the Sergeants Benevolent Association said in a statement to the News on Friday.'The posting of the photos was not intended to vilify these populations, but to make the public and City Council members aware that this is a very real problem that cannot be ignored,' the SBA said.' http://nydn.us/1JbjXvp

LOBBYING FIRM FOR SALE? -- Pat Lynch Associates eyed for purchase: sources -- News' Ken Lovett: "Patricia Lynch, a former top aide to indicted ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, is selling the influential lobbying company she founded in 2001, sources say. MWW, a powerful public relations and crisis communications firm, is close to finalizing the purchase of Patricia Lynch Associates, which for years was among the state's three biggest lobbying groups, the sources say. Lynch, who is highly respected by Democrats and Republicans in Albany, will stay on in an executive role, a source said. She is said to have already moved into MWW's Park Avenue South offices in New York City." http://goo.gl/d5t6gH

REPLACING RANGEL -- Bill Perkins enters the race -- POLITICO New York's Azi Paybarah: State Sen. Bill Perkins of Harlem has filed paperwork to run for the congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Charles Rangel after 23 terms. Rangel, 85, announced last year he would not seek re-election in 2016, saying he wanted to "wrap it up" with President Barack Obama when he leaves office in January, 2017. Perkins registered his election committee on Wednesday afternoon. A message left at his district office was not immediately returned. One political operative who has worked with Perkins in the past said 45 percent of those who voted in the 2014 congressional primary were in Perkins' district, more than any legislative district within the congressional district. http://goo.gl/CI3nSy

REAL REAL ESTATE -- Gravesend is pricey, St. George is not -- Post's Amber Jamieson: "The blue-collar neighborhood of Gravesend is Brooklyn's most expensive, thanks to a small Syrian Jewish community whose members shell out millions for McMansions within walking distance of the neighborhood synagogues around Ocean Parkway. Prices rise as high as $2,000 per square foot in blocks around Gravesend synagogues, according to NeighborhoodX, a new Web site that provides real-estate information on city neighborhoods. ... By neighborhood, the most affordable area of the city is St. George on Staten Island, where sales average $162 per square foot. Tribeca is the most expensive, at $2,680 per square foot." http://goo.gl/AzJBml

HORROR -- "Morgan Freeman's step-granddaughter stabbed to death in 'exorcism,'" by N.Y. Post's Reuven Fenton, Daniel Prendergast, Kathleen Culliton and Beckie Strum: "[Edena] Hines - whose grandmother, Jeanette Adair Bradshaw, was Freeman's first wife - was stabbed in front of West 162 Street near St. Nicholas Avenue just before 3 a.m. ... Her live-in boyfriend continued stabbing her even after her body went lifeless and was still screaming incoherently over her when police arrived at the bloody scene ... Freeman issued a sorrowful public statement within hours of the attack, saying: 'The world will never know her artistry in talent, and how much she had to offer.'" http://bit.ly/1IUTy3r

#PatakiWatch: "I'm from New York, but I don't have a plane," Pataki said at the Iowa State Fair. "I have three tractors. In fact, I was out on a tractor last week moving hay." http://bit.ly/1Jlr9XB

PIC OF THE DAY: Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on a tour of the Queen City. http://on.fb.me/1gMPmZX

MANHUNT OVERTIME-POLITICO New York's Bill Mahoney: State troopers and prison guards earned millions of dollars in overtime as they conducted an around-the-clock search for two escaped convicts. On June 6, Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility, launching an intensive manhunt that lasted several weeks. In the three biweekly pay periods following their escape, the New York State Police paid $13.4 million in overtime to its employees, more than three times the $4.2 million paid in the comparable period in 2014, according to records obtained from the Office of the State Comptroller. The Department of Correctional and Community Supervision similarly saw a surge in its overtime pay to employees working at the Clinton Correctional Facility. In the pay periods ending June 24 and July 8, these individuals received $3.2 million. A year prior, they received $687,868, about a fifth as much. These officials were reportedly involved in intense investigations of Matt and Sweat's fellow prisoners following their escape. http://politi.co/1gMSJ2U

HILLARYWATCH --"How Voters Try, Fail, And Sometimes Succeed To Talk To Hillary Clinton," by BuzzFeed's Ruby Cramer: "'...I would love to say hi to her.' It's a simple request to make of another human being. But for voters who want a conversation with Clinton - now four months into her second presidential campaign - the proposition remains more difficult and complex than with perhaps any other candidate, Republican or Democrat. At many of Clinton's public events, causal interaction is overwhelmed, and often made altogether impossible, by a spectacle that neither she, nor her aides, can much control: the aggregate effect of, in varying degrees, the media attention she commands, celebrity status she assumes, and the Secret Service detail she has required, in public and private life, since the '90s." http://bzfd.it/1DZsS2k

WEEKEND WEDDINGS -- Anna Sale, host of WNYC's Sex, Death and Money podcast, got married this weekend in Cody Wyoming to Arthur Middleton, an associate research scientist at Yale. Hear the story, with a cameo by former senator Alan Simpson: http://goo.gl/9fbewV

-- Jason Weingartner, executive director at the New York Republican State Committee got married to Nicole Weingartner (nee Russo), a wellness coach and member of the Young Republican National Federation.

-- "Jeffery Povero, Jeffrey Schneider" - Times announcement: "Mr. Povero, 43, is an architect who is the founder of Povero & Company, an architecture firm in New York. He graduated from the University of Texas and received a master's degree in architecture from Yale. ... Mr. Schneider, 46, [is the former SVP of comms at ABC News and] a founder of The Lead PR, a public relations and crisis management firm in New York. He graduated from Georgetown." With pic: http://nyti.ms/1Jlk2yj

-- Witnesses in front of Judge Alvin Hellerstein were Yvette Vega, EP of Charlie Rose, and Iva Zoric of the Council on Foreign Relations. They had a very small lunch for friends and plan a big party in the fall in NYC. They met in Provincetown MA 14 years ago this weekend through mutual friends. Pic on the courthouse steps http://bit.ly/1UGTo4T

--"Sydney Ember, Michael Bechek" -- Times: "The bride, 25, and the groom, 27, met at Brown, from which they graduated magna cum laude. The bride is an intermediate media reporter for The New York Times. ... The groom is to begin studying for an M.B.A. at Harvard on Aug. 24." With pic http://nyti.ms/1hGGshk

SPOTTED: Ben Schreckinger, Rachel Abrams, Nicole Friedman, Amanda McGowan, Britta Greene and Scott Lowenstein of Global Strategy Group. Pic by Anne Speyer of the couple on the dance floor http://bit.ly/1UMVuQS

REAL ESTATE -- "New deck to top view from Empire State Building," by Post's Jennifer Gould Keil: "The Hudson Yards development will have the tallest outdoor observation deck in the Big Apple, beating out the view from the Empire State Building by 50 feet, project developers revealed Thursday. The deck will be 1,100 feet in the air and stretch more than 5,000 square feet, boasting spectacular 360-degree views of Manhattan and beyond, said Joanna Rose, a spokeswoman for the Related Companies, which is developing a 27-acre development complex on Manhattan's Far West Side." http://bit.ly/1IVHFrP

THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: Pirates 8, Mets 1: What a disaster of a weekend for the Mets. This one unraveled when Bobby Parnell entered a 1-1 game in the seventh. Miscues, hits and many relievers later, it was 8-1 in the eighth. The sweep dropped the 4.5 game lead the Mets had entering the weekend all the way to... 4.5 games. The Nats got swept, too. Still, if the Nats ever remember how good they are, dropping these three winnable games could come back to haunt them.

-- Blue Jays 3, Yankees 1: Jose Bautista homered, and Toronto took one, but the Yankees did what they had to do, winning the series and taking back first place.

-- Red Bulls 3, Toronto FC 0: The stingiest defense in MLS held Giovinco scoreless, the new DP Gonzalo Veron scored, and further evidence now exists that the Red Bulls may just be the best team in Major League Soccer.

-- The day ahead: the Yankees come home to host the Twins.

#UpstateAmerica: "Lancaster archer Joe Famiglietti traveled to Greenland and successfully bow-hunted for a muskox that might be close to record status." http://bit.ly/1JlqIww

**A message from RBC Capital Markets: RBC Capital Markets is a recognized leader in U.S. Municipal Financing. RBC is North America's 5th largest bank and has been named by The Economist as the World's Most Trusted Investment Bank. With the resources, national presence and global experience, we focus on assisting our clients with their infrastructure financing needs. **


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