Gulick Park Reconstruction Fully Funded, Thanks to $1 Million Grant

Non-Kosher Diner Chosen for Noah’s Ark Space

New York Times: Silver, Rapfogel “Kept a Lower East Side Lot Vacant For 47 Years”

The Seward Park site, looking south on Delancey Street. Photo by Vivienne Gucwa/nythroughthelens.com.

The Seward Park site, looking south on Delancey Street. Photo by Vivienne Gucwa/nythroughthelens.com.

The Times just posted  a lengthy article examining the roles of Sheldon Silver and former Met Council head William Rapfogel in stopping redevelopment of the Seward Park urban renewal site for decades. 

Gulick Park Receives $2.5 Million, Rounding Out Budget For Revamp

City Council Members Chin, Mendez Re-Elected; Silver Congratulates Democratic Victors

It was a landslide for Bill de Blasio last night, as New York City elected its first Democratic mayor in two decades.  There wasn’t much suspense down the ballot; local office holders Margaret Chin and Rosie Mendez coasted to easy victories and will be returning to the City Council for four more years.

Report Highlights Judy Rapfogel’s Payments to Insurance Firm Named in Husband’s Indictment

Judy Rapfogel, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s chief of staff, is the subject of two news stories today concerning the investigation of her husband, the former head of the Met Council on Jewish Poverty.

Following Rapfogel Charges, Reporters Zero in On Grand Street Apartment

Following the arrest of William Rapfogel on charges that he allegedly stole funds from the Met Council, attention has shifted to his wife, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s chief of staff, as well as the Rapfogel family’s Lower East Side apartment.

Report Looks at Rapfogel Fundraising, Ties to Silver

There was new reporting over the weekend regarding the investigation of William Rapfogel, the Lower East Side power broker and former head of the Met Council.

Silver Offers New Support For East River Ferry Stop at Grand Street

Earlier this summer, a local resident started a petition drive to urge the city to add ferry service on the East River at Grand Street. 

Silver Apologizes; Albany’s “Master of Power” is “Still Standing Strong”

In Albany yesterday State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver apologized for his handling of the Vito Lopez sex harassment cases, but he rejected calls for his resignation. Here’s an excerpt from his remarks:

When I became Speaker of the Assembly, I made regular sexual harassment training a requirement for every assembly member and every member of the staff. I also made sure that a system would be in place to deal with such misconduct should it occur. That I allowed this system to be bypassed in the first instance, even though I believed I was acting in good faith, was a failure on my part and now that we know the atrociousness of the misconduct, it only makes the failure more glaring. I accept the criticism and deeply regret not referring the original complaint to the Assembly’s Ethics and Guidance Committee, and for this I am sorry.

Sheldon Silver Under Scrutiny: Today’s Headlines

File photo.

File photo.

Assemblyman Vito Lopez was forced to resign his position effective today but for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver the fallout from the Albany sex harassment scandal continues.  Here’s a roundup of this morning’s newspapers.

The Times notes that the “scrutiny is not over for Silver,” the longtime Lower East Side Assemblyman, who was sharply criticized for his handling of the Lopez matter:

Over the last several days, he has faced mounting criticism from women’s groups, government watchdog organizations and newspaper editorial boards. On its cover last Thursday, The New York Post published photos of Mr. Lopez and Mr. Silver under the headline “Dirty Old Men.” The editorial boards of The Buffalo News, the Daily News, The New York Times and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle have called for the speaker’s ouster.

Tabloids Call On Silver to Resign Following Lopez Reports

Sheldon Silver; file photo.

Sheldon Silver; file photo.

Lower East Side Assemblyman, Speaker Sheldon Silver, woke up to a second day of bad press following yesterday’s scathing ethics reports regarding the Vito Lopez sex harassment scandal.   The Daily News says it’s time for Silver to go:

The Democrats who control the New York State Assembly must summon the conscience and the courage to oust Sheldon Silver from the speakership of their house.  The report on Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s victimization of young women staff members indisputably nails Silver as a participant in a coverup that enabled Lopez to continue subjecting female aides to gross conduct, including assault… Silver’s fellow Democrats have backed him through thick and thin for 19 years as the Assembly’s top leader. To stand by him now would be to share complicity in assaults on the dignity and the persons of women.

Sharp Criticism For Silver in Ethics Report

sheldon silver

In a report released today, the state ethics commission was sharply critical of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s handling of the Vito Lopez sexual harassment cases.  The long-awaited report accuses Silver’s office of protecting Lopez from public scrutiny and of disregarding Assembly rules for failing to refer complaints from several employees to the legislative ethics committee.

Has Cuomo Had It With Sheldon Silver? Pick Your Tabloid Truth

Sheldon Silver; file photo.

Sheldon Silver; file photo.

If you collected a dollar every time the Post talked up Sheldon Silver’s potential demise, you’d probably be rich.  So take this item about our local Assemblyman, Speaker Silver, with a heavy dose of skepticism.  This morning, Post columnist Fred Dicker reports “exclusively” that Governor Cuomo is “considering ousting… Silver over Albany scandals.”

Two members of the Assembly are facing charges for allegedly accepting bribes.  Last week, U.S. attorney Preet Bharara said, “It becomes more and more difficult to avoid the sad conclusion that political corruption in New York is indeed rampant” and “that a show-me-the-money culture in Albany is alive and well.”

Ethics Panel Sends Lopez Report to Legislature; Silver Reportedly Cleared of Charges

Speaker Silver at last weekend’s Firecracker Festival in Chinatown. Photo by Tim Schreier.

This week, there was some news on the ongoing investigation of the Vito Lopez sex harassment scandal and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s handling of the ordeal.  The state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics referred its recommendations to two Legislative panels but did not reveal the substance of those recommendations.

Multiple news organizations reported that Silver will not face charges as a result of the investigation.  The longtime Lower East Side Assemblyman admitted making mistakes in dealing with the sensitive situation.  He came under fire for approving payments to two of Lopez’s accusers.  As the Times noted, “there was widespread doubt that the (ethics commission) would take any action against Mr. Silver, since his appointees to the commission’s board have effective veto power over its investigations.”