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POLITICO New York Playbook, presented by PhRMA: DE BLASIO rezoning concerns in East New York -- MTA gets refurbishment plan -- WNYC expands

10/29/2015 07:35 AM EDT

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

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORMERS TO PROTEST MAYOR'S FIRST RE-ELECTION FUND-RAISER -- POLITICO New York's Laura Nahmias: Activists who think Mayor Bill de Blasio is a "phony" are planning to protest Thursday night outside the hotel where the mayor will hold the first official fundraiser of his 2017 re-election campaign.

The activists, including several groups that have been calling for criminal justice reforms , such as Coalition to End Broken Windows, New Yorkers Against Bratton, NYC Shut it Down, Jails Action Coalition and Copwatch Patrol Unit, are calling de Blasio a "fake 'progressive'" who is "literally selling out the city," according to an advisory the group sent out about its planned protest. De Blasio is holding the fundraiser at 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Sheraton Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, with a maximum individual contribution level of $4,950 per person. ... Josmar Trujillo, a spokesman for the Coalition to End Broken Windows, said he expects 65 to 75 people to attend the protest. A spokesman for de Blasio's 2017 campaign declined to comment on the planned protest.

EAST NEW YORK RESIDENTS, WARY OF DE BLASIO'S REZONING PLAN -POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg: As the de Blasio administration prepares to drastically alter one of the poorest areas in Brooklyn, dozens of residents registered complaints and concerns about getting priced out of the neighborhood. One by one, politicians and residents raised their fears with city agency representatives at an East New York community board meeting Wednesday night, following a presentation from a Department of City Planning official.

-- The Department of City Planning has proposed that 11 percent of the two-bedroom units would be rented at less than $583 a month; 16 percent at less than $777 a month; 14 percent at less than $971 a month; and 39 percent at less than $1,165 a month. The remaining 20 percent could be rented for up to $1,748 a month.

The administration has promised to use public dollars to subsidize the low-income units-enough money, officials say, to ensure half the apartments built through the rezoning are affordable for current East New York residents. And the city has promised 1,200 such low-income apartments would be built within the two years after the rezoning is approved by the City Council. But those rents are too high for many current residents, [Councilwoman Inez Barron, her husband, Assemblyman Charles] and others in attendance said. ... Councilman Rafael Espinal, who represents the majority of the area to be rezoned, has spoken favorably about the plan.

MTA APPROVES REFURBISHMENT PLAN -- POLITICO New York's Dana Rubinstein: The MTA's journey to a fully funded capital program has been long and contentious. Last September, the board approved a $32 billion plan with a $15 billion hole. Then, Cuomo put $1 billion toward the program in his executive budget, and the MTA, which he controls, somehow identified $2.4 billion in additional resources. Finally, Cuomo promised to increase his contribution to $8.3 billion, and, following an extraordinarily heated dispute between Cuomo and de Blasio in which Prendergast weighed in forcefully on the governor's side, the mayor increased his contribution to $2.5 billion. How each side will come up with those funds remains unclear. So, too, do the details surrounding some of the MTA's cost-cutting measures.

On Wednesday, the MTA said that it had put off some work that it no longer considered as urgent as it once did, like repainting the Whitestone Bridge. The program also cuts $1 billion in funding from the second phase of the Second Avenue Subway up to 125th Street, to just $535 million.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "[T]hat's how we will honor his legacy. We can learn from him that we are all in this together. We can learn from him that the police and the community must become one, because, at the root of it all, we are one. Police represent all of us and protect all of us, and it is our job to protect them as well." -- Mayor Bill de Blasio, at the funeral for now-NYPD Det. Randolph Holder, Jr.:

BONUS QUOTE OF THE DAY: "They're going to tell you we need a diversity of income ... What that means, translate-you need white folk in here. If you want to have an economy you need to have white folk in here. ... If you want to build a new school, you need white folk to come in." -- Assemblyman Charles Barron, at a meeting about de Blasio's rezoning plans for East New York, via POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg:

STATS OF THE DAY -- 1,214; 1,611; 1,135; 1,794: Word count for Mayor Bill de Blasio's speeches at funerals for slain NYPD officers Rafael Ramos, Wenjian Liu, Brian Moore and Randolph Holder, respectively.

DISCOVERY OF THE DAY: "Last Friday, Irish-born, New York-based singer Maxine Linehan recorded an ode to Murphy set to the tune of the popular Irish folk song 'Danny Boy.'" Village Voice's Jackson Connor:

NEWS ABOUT NEWS -- WNYC expands: From their official announcement: "John O'Connor will become WNYC's first Washington Correspondent, producing accountability reporting on members of the House and Senate who represent New York, New Jersey and Connecticut directly from the nation's capital. ... Rebecca Carroll joins WNYC as the producer of a year-long series of in-depth projects about race in New York City. These will range from an exploration of the racial and class dynamics of school redistricting to a series examining gentrification in partnership with The Nation, and other audio projects and live events with The Brian Lehrer Show, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, and Radio Rookies."

TABS -- Post: "TRUE BLUE: Out in force for slain cop's funeral" -- News: "PANIC CITY: Listless Mets blown out, return hoe in 0-2 hole"-- amNY: "'GUARDIAN ANGEL'" -- El Diario [translated]: Sandy is a thing of the present

FRONT PAGES -- NYT, 1-col. above the fold: "G.O.P. CANDIDATES TAKE SHARP TONE IN THIRD DEBATE: BUSH AND RUBIO DUEL: Volatile Race Reflected - Trump and Carson Take Heat" -- WSJNY, 5-col. above the fold: "Tributes to Fallen Officer as City Grieves" -- Epoch Times: "Fed Keeps Rates at Record Low: Signals December rate hike an option" -- Hamodia: "Funeral of Slain NYPD Officer Draws Thousands"

** A message from PhRMA: In 2013 alone, the biopharmaceutical industry invested more than $553 million dollars in clinical trials in New York. Learn more about the economic impact of clinical trials in our communities at **

BLOOMBERG'S OPINION -- "Demand Better Schools, Not Fewer Tests": "President Barack Obama is in danger of squandering one of his most important legacies -- better public education policies -- and doing real harm to our poorest students and America's future. Over the weekend, the president and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called for limiting the amount of time that students spend taking tests. It's an unfortunate and tragically oversimplified response to the challenges facing our schools."

CUOMO CANCELS WORLD SERIES EVENTS - Buffalo News' Tom Precious: "Facing mounting criticism for mixing politics and the World Series, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo canceled plans Wednesday night to hold a $5,500 per person fundraiser during two games this weekend at Citi Field when the New York Mets return to Queens for the start of their home stand. The governor, who took a private jet on a Long Island-based charter service with the owners of the Mets to the first game of the World Series Tuesday night in Kansas City, said he was canceling the Friday and Saturday night fundraisers because of an 'overwhelming demand for tickets' to the games. His campaign on Monday sent email invitations to donors asking for contributions of $5,500 apiece to attend a pregame reception and seats for either Game Three or Four or the World Series when it returns to New York this weekend. Word of the scrubbed fundraiser was released during Wednesday night's game in Kansas City. ... 'Given the overwhelming demand for tickets for Friday and Saturday night's games, we have decided to reschedule this weekend's events to a future date so that more tickets are available,' a Cuomo campaign spokesman said in a written statement Wednesday night."

--Speaking outside the World Series game, Cuomo said it was "way premature" to say whether or not he'll endorse de Blasio for mayor.

-- David Sirota presented Cuomo as a hypocrite for hosting the event after cracking down on ticket scalpers as attorney general.

AKSHAR'S LEAD SWELLS - POLITICO New York's Bill Mahoney: Republican Fred Akshar's lead in a special state Senate election has grown substantially over the past month, according to a new poll by Time Warner Cable News and Siena College. In a poll released in September, Akshar had a 28-point lead over Democrat Barbara Fiala. That has nearly doubled, with Akshar up 72 percent to 20 percent. According to the poll, which was conducted from Oct. 22-25 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points, only 8 percent of voters are undecided. Fiala's popularity has plummeted, with the percentage of voters who hold a favorable view of her falling from 32 percent to 19 percent. Akshar, meanwhile, has seen an increase in his favorability ratings from 53 percent to 68 percent.

NO FOLLOW UP ON DISABLED ABUSE CASES - The Associated Press: "In a video he made with his PlayStation, a 12-year-old developmentally disabled boy in a group home points to his swollen right eye and says, 'Mom, this is what it looks like. ... He slammed me.' His camera keeps rolling as his adult caretakers enter his room, where they can be heard but not seen on the video. One calls the boy 'stupid ass,' and another warns: 'I'm gonna kill a kid and you might be the one I kill. ... You want me to f------ hurt you, boy?' The recording ends with the boy looking again into the camera, on the verge of tears, whispering, 'Mom ... I'm scared.' That was last year, and to date, no one has been prosecuted. New York's Justice Center, the state agency created to hold caretakers accountable, investigated and said it substantiated allegations the boy had been physically and psychologically abused. But a judge refused to sign off on charges. In fact, an Associated Press examination of misconduct complaints against caretakers in New York found that only a small percentage - a disturbingly small one, according to some activists - are prosecuted."

MUSEUM OF POLITICAL CORRUPTION TAKES SHAPE - The Albany Business Review's Michael DeMasi: "The museum would be a place to explore, understand, and poke some fun at the fact New York's past and present are filled with tales of politicians-gone-bad. New chapters in that long history are being written seemingly every day. Visitors would first walk into the Lobbyists Lobby, with a 'perpetual revolving door' installation, then experience an interactive exhibit where they can build their own political machine, then take a seat in Tammany Lecture Hall for a talk in the S.C.A.M series (Scandal, Corruption, and Misconduct). Solutions Hall would explore how the public can curb corruption. And, of course, there would be a store to buy gifts (how much does a kickback cost?)"

ARRIVING SOON, SUBWAY COUNTDOWN CLOCKS -- All stations by 2020, says MTA -- POLITICO New York's Miranda Neubauer: By 2020, New Yorkers will be able to access real-time arrival information data for all subway stations and lines online and through third-party applications, according to the MTA, an effort that is part of the capital plan the board approved Wednesday.

There are now 152 stations on the numbered lines and 24 stations on the L line that have countdown clocks. An additional 33 stations on the lettered lines have some type of train arrival information, such as announcements about the location of the next train.

Kevin Ortiz, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said that by the end of 2016, an additional 27 stations on the lettered lines, including the Astoria line in Queens, the Concourse line in the Bronx and the Sea Beach and West End lines in Brooklyn will have countdown clocks. Portions of those lines already have a train-tracking system in place, he said.

By 2020, about 320 of the more than 400 subway stations will have train arrival information , up from the current 209. That will include 22 stations on the 7 line that will get train arrival information through the installation of communications-based train control.

NYCHA REPAIRS, AFTER SANDY -- News' Greg Smith: "Mayor de Blasio stood at the Red Hook Houses in Brooklyn last spring to announce that the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) had agreed to hand NYCHA its single biggest check - a stunning $3 billion to restore developments slammed by Hurricane Sandy.

"What was not clear was that thousands of residents in Sandy-affected NYCHA buildings will see none of those FEMA repair funds upgrading their buildings - even structures that FEMA had determined were underwater during the storm. In the days after the storm hit on Oct. 29, 2012, NYCHA officials said repeatedly that 402 buildings in developments were heavily damaged by Sandy. A Nov. 12, 2012, NYCHA press release said 79,000 residents were affected by the storm. Yet under the agreement worked out with NYCHA, FEMA will fund upgrades to only 219 NYCHA buildings that house just 47,000 residents, a Daily News review of records found."

DE BLASIO PRAISES SLAIN OFFICER -- Calls for stricter gun control laws -- POLITICO New York's Azi Paybarah: Delivering a eulogy for a fallen New York City police officer for the fourth time in less than a year, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday hailed Officer Randolph Holder, who was shot and killed in East Harlem last week, as "a remarkable man who made us better by his presence."

"All of New York City is in pain at this moment," de Blasio said from the lectern at the Greater Allen AME Cathedral of New York in Queens. "Our hearts are with all his family, all his friends, his neighbors, and also with his second family - his extended family, the NYPD, in particular with all the men and women of [Public Service Area] 5, who miss him so much." ... De Blasio has generally avoided using police funerals as a forum for policy or political statements. On Wednesday, however, he briefly spoke about the need for federal gun control.

--"Sea of blue at funeral for slain cop lauded as hero," by Post's Frank Rosario, Shawn Cohen and Larry Celona: "Murdered NYPD Officer Randolph Holder finally got his gold detective's shield - complete with his father's former badge number - at a funeral that drew thousands of stricken Finest to Queens on Wednesday. 'He is a hero,' top cop Bill Bratton said simply of the 33-year-old slain officer, his voice breaking before handing a box with the shield bearing No. 9657 to Holder's dad in the packed Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York in Jamaica. On the verge of tears, Bratton addressed the tragic cop, saying, 'We send you on your new assignment - to be a guardian ­angel at the gates of heaven.' A sea of grief washed over the city as an estimated 20,000 of the city's Finest and family and friends of Holder flocked to the service."

--"One Officer, in a Sea of Blue, Saying Goodbye," by Times' Al Baker : "Four New York police officers have been killed in the line of duty since December. Their funerals drew officers from all corners of the city, the suburbs and points beyond to honor their colleagues' sacrifices. On Wednesday, Officer John Denora, 33, woke, dressed and stood shoulder to shoulder with his peers, assembling that sea of blue for yet one more funeral, that of Officer Randolph Holder."

-- Mayor de Blasio's speech:

-- NYPD Commissioner Bratton's speech:

REAL ESTATE -- THROUGH THE ROOF-"NYC construction boom will lead to $40 B. in spending by next year," by POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg: "New York City's construction boom is triggering a 10-percent spike in spending as costs are expected to keep rising and soon surpass their pre-recession peak, according to an annual report from the New York Building Congress that will be released Thursday. According to the trade organization, construction spending is on pace to hit $39 billion this year, compared to $35.4 billion in 2014. The group says there are no signs spending will cool in the coming years. ...

"While private investments are on the rise, government spending on infrastructure is declining, the Building Congress reported. By the end of 2015, public agencies will have spent $12.6 billion on mass transit, roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects, down from $13.4 billion last year and in 2013. 'And, if realized, would mark the lowest level of infrastructure spending in actual dollars since 2006, when spending reached $11.8 billion,' the group added."

LOST CAUSE-"Brooklyn retailers are missing out on $6 billion worth of sales," by Crain's Erik Engquist: "Business leaders in Brooklyn have long suspected that local shoppers were spending lots of their dollars elsewhere. Now they have numbers that not only prove it, but reveal the most gaping holes in the borough's retail landscape. The biggest ones will surprise those who know the borough for its hip culture and busy sidewalks: cars, auto parts and gasoline.

"A study ... by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce found that borough retailers are losing out on $6 billion in consumer spending, including $2.6 billion missed by car dealerships and parts stores and $1.3 billion by gas stations. Another $1.1 billion in general merchandise sales is being lost, along with $629 million to grocery stores outside of Brooklyn."

THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: Royals 7, Mets 1: Outplayed in every facet of the game, the Mets collected just two hits-both from Lucas Duda-as Johnny Cueto pitched the first complete game by an American League pitcher in the World Series since Jack Morris in 1991 to take a 2-0 series lead. The Mets will not win this series unless they maintain an edge in starting pitching, their one advantage over the Royals, and so far it hasn't happened.

-- From POLITICO New York: The Nets opened their season with a 115-100 loss to the Bulls at Barclays Center, but it was striking how indifferent virtually everybody was to the whole enterprise.

-- Knicks 122, Bucks 97: Whoa: Derrick Williams scored 24 points to lead seven (!) Knicks in double figures. Kristaps Porzingis scored 16 in his NBA debut. It was an undermanned Bucks team missing some key players, and Carmelo Anthony shot just 4-for-16, but this is some encouraging work.

-- The day ahead: the Knicks come home to host Thabo Sefolosha and the Atlanta Hawks. The Sabres are in Pittsburgh. The Islanders host the Hurricanes at Barclays. Everybody talks about how the 1986 Mets fell behind 2-0 in the World Series, too-and that was at home.

#UpstateAmerica: Teachers outside of Watertown have built a house using 1,300 recycled tires and about 10,000 repurposed wine and liquor bottles.

** A message from PhRMA: Every day in New York, countless people fight life-threatening diseases. Their bravery inspires countless researchers and scientists across the country in their quest to develop medicines that help patients live longer, healthier lives. Here in New York, the biopharmaceutical industry has invested more than $553 million during the 2,476 clinical trials that took place in 2013 alone. Each step brings us closer to a cure. To learn more, please visit **

FOR MORE political and policy news from New York, check out Politico New York's home page:

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