It’s been a tasty week for those who view politics, rather than bread, as the staff of life.
*Hizzoner heaped praise on city workers’ response to Tuesday’s near-foot-deep frosting, though countless commuters were hours late for dinner. Sanit commish and Bloomberg leftover John Doherty dished out the data, icing suggestions that the Upper East Side got so-so service.
de Blasio continues to stir the pot over Governor Cuomo’s plan to pay the tab for Universal Pre-K. The Gov, no fan of sharing the limelight, offered to spoon out the gravy from Albany in his recent budget speech. Big Bill’s recipe calls for the city to skim some fat from the rich and not let upstate “apple knockers” spoil the broth.
- Sweet desserts were the main course at the City Council on Wednesday, when newly-risen Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito officially handed out plum committee assignments and leadership roles.
Queens Library alum Jimmy Van Bramer, an early bird supporter and only leadership member from the borough, will be Majority Leader and chair Cultural Affairs.
Former teacher Danny Dromm heads the Education Committee, while Corona’s Julissa Ferraras sits at the head of the powerful Finance Committee table.
Flushing’s Peter Koo, who has probably better finances and more business chops than anybody at City Hall, isn’t on the Finance or Economic Development Committees. He got Landmarks, Public Siting & Maritime Uses Committee, last chaired by Leroy Comrie.
Though Republicans are a political endangered species, the carte includes “Elephant Surprise.” Eric Ulrich will chair the Veterans Committee – or maybe not so surprising, since the GOP maverick reversed course and supported MMV.
Mark Weprin retains his chair of the Zoning subcommittee, which reports to the powerful Land Use Committee, now headed by Brooklyn’s David Greenfield.
*Flushing was in the news because of a bubbling feud over how long it should take to drink your coffee – with Assemblymember Ron Kim cooking up a deal to turn down the heat.
The McDonald’s at Parsons and Northern Boulevards in Flushing had been the subject of tales because of a bunch of Asian seniors who would coddle a coffee or small fries for hours, leaving no seats for other diners at the pint-sized location.
Ron got a little steamed about the flavor of some of the reports, which he felt put race on the menu, noting that franchise owner Jack Bert has been a staple in the nabe for 20 years – and the store manager is Korean, as are many of the store-stuffing seniors.
Multiple news purveyors also garnished the stewing story with a Kim quote comparing the situation to bocce ball in Bowne Park. Ron knows Queens Parks Commish Dorothy Lewandowski doesn’t have to come up with the lettuce for rent every month, while Bert has to earn it.
Kim, along with Senator Toby Stavisky and community leaders, served up the settlement – time limits will rise when they don’t make a lot of dough anyway, and the seniors won’t jawbone when the place is overstuffed. Hopefully, the heavyweight media outlets will get off their buns to review how it turns out.
*In other place settings, LaGuardia saw a realignment of the Council’s jailbird caucus, when eight Councilmembers, including Van Bramer, Dromm and Ruben Wills, wound up in the can for being like peas in a pod with workers who clean and stock passenger cabins, curb check bags and do other grunt work at the nation’s worst airport.
The at-or-near minimum wage employees, some of whom have to rely on food stamps, want Delta Air Lines – which turned a $10.5 billion profit last year – and the other carriers to raise their dough and sweeten the pot with sick time and a paid holiday for Martin Luther King Day.
While boiling over the airlines’ blindness to day (and night) Labor’s plight, other electeds, including the Speaker and Public Advocate Tish James, skirted a booking by not sitting in.
But as John Milton – who was born on London’s Bread Street – once wrote, “They also serve who only stand and wait.”