The annual commemoration of the crash of American Airlines Flight #587 was held Tuesday in Rockaway, with mourners gathering for a ceremony centered around a bell ringing and minute of silence marking the exact moment of the crash followed by a reading of the names of the 265 victims. The flight was headed from JFK to the Dominican Republic and the passengers were predominantly Dominican and Dominican-American. Five of the victims were Rockaway residents killed by the falling aircraft.
The cold wet windswept morning brought an added dose of misery to the attendees remembering the lost, with the temperature falling through the 40’s as a light rain fell. There were fewer attendees than recent years, due perhaps to both the weather and the gradual fading that passing years brings, but the memorial remains a deeply sad annual moment in the City’s civic life, resurfacing the attendees’ grief as they gather to focus on their lost family and friends and recall the shock of tragedy as the City struggled to recover from the September 11th attacks that had just occurred.
Like countless previous New York parades the 2019 Veterans Day Parade featured many New York elected officials, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio. In a first, however, it also included an adjacent appearance by the U.S. president, as President Donald Trump spoke at the pre-parade ceremony in Madison Square Park. Trump departed immediately after the pre-parade ceremony, however, and did not attend or march in the parade. Mayor de Blasio attended the pre-parade ceremony, but Gov. Cuomo did not.
The 2019 Columbus Day Parade featured plenty of marching politicians, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio. Cuomo and de Blasio proudly display their Italian heritage and are regulars at the parade celebrating that heritage, but they continued their parade practice of studiously avoiding one another.
NYS Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy brought his anti-impeachment tour to Newburgh Thursday, holding a rally outside the office of Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. An enthusiastic supporter of President Trump, Langworthy launched a series of pro-Trump rallies around the state in a Staten Island appearance Monday, with a focus on appearing in congressional districts that Republicans believe they have a reasonable prospect of taking in 2020.
New York State Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy kicked off his “stop the madness” tour Monday with a rally outside the Staten Island district office of Rep. Max Rose. Rose, a Democrat who defeated incumbent Republican Rep. Dan Donovan in 2018, recently voiced support for a House impeachment inquiry. While his district has more enrolled Democrats than Republicans it has frequently gone for Republicans. Langworthy says he’ll be touring the state to rally supporters in opposition to both an impeachment inquiry and impeachment of Donald Trump, all with an eye on potentially competitive House districts.
Langworthy was joined by Staten Island Republican Chairman Brendan Lantry, NYS Conservative Party Chairman Jerry Kassar and 30-40 supporters. No elected officials attended. The attendees and speakers were fervently pro-Trump and anti-Rose, with no apparent concerns for recent revelations of the president’s problematic conduct.
The County Committee of the Democratic Party of the County of New York held its biannual organizational meeting Thursday, electing its officers in a raucous 90 minutes amid hundreds of chanting and shouting county committee members. The highly structured organizational meeting was in reality rather disorganized, with a lengthy delay to the start and mid-meeting disputes as the organizers were pressed to follow the party’s rules.
A “donut mile,” a 1 mile race that included eating a donut before each quarter mile, was held in Red Hook in memory of a cyclist recently killed in a car crash. About 25 runners met at the track in Red Hook Park on September 25th for the oddball race honoring Jose Alzorriz, a runner and triathlete killed in a car crash while riding his bike in Midwood on August 11, 2019. Organizer Jonathan Cane reported the race had raised more than $3,000 for the Sean Casey Animal Rescue.
Disgraced former U.S. House member Chris Collins pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and making false statements to law enforcement officials Tuesday, bringing his federal insider trading case to conclusion. Collins, a Republican who resigned from the House of Representatives on Monday, had represented the 27th Congressional District since 2013. Collins’ sentencing is scheduled for January 17, 2020.
Tens of thousands of marchers filled lower Broadway Friday, demanding action to fight climate change. The marchers were predominantly young, with students taking advantage of the City’s grant of permission to skip school for the march.
No elected officials were at the head of the march. Mayor Bill de Blasio, fresh off his morning announcement that he’s ended his presidential campaign, marched with his wife Chirlane McCray about 5 minutes behind the lead marchers. It appeared to be a welcome transition for the mayor, making a local appearance after months of criticism for his campaign related absences, but like his campaign focused on a national issue. At the end of the route de Blasio and McCray headed off to the subway, joined by a group of staffers for part of the ride. After passing City Hall it was just the mayor, his wife, one staffer and one press photographer for a relaxed mid-afternoon ride to the Upper East Side.
Governor Andrew Cuomo continued his tradition of commemorating the September 11th attacks with a motorcycle ride to Ground Zero. Cuomo hosted several hundred riders who traveled from Albany and Nassau County at a Javits Center luncheon, then joined them for the last ride segment to the World Trade Center. That final segment retraces the route of the FDNY’s Rescue Company 1 that dark day from their West 43rd Street quarters to the World Trade Center, where 11 of their members perished.
Past years have featured celebrity guests including then-Vice President Joe Biden, Robert De Niro, Billy Joel and reality TV star Paul Teutul Jr. (Joel and Teutul Jr. joined the ride to the World Trade Center.) This year’s celebrity guest and fellow rider was Paul Teutul Sr., while Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and NYS Attorney General Tish James joined Cuomo at the lunch. Several state legislators and NYC council members attended the lunch but none were spotted on the ride. None of the three citywide electeds or Council Speaker Corey Johnson attended.
Following the ride Governor Cuomo spent about 15 minutes greeting fellow riders, receiving a warm reception as he walked through crowd shaking hands and admiring the parked motorcycles. He did not take questions or speak with reporters.
Mayor Bill de Blasio marked the first day of school with a five stop round of school visits Thursday, with his final stop at East Harlem’s PS 146. He was joined for part of his 45 minute visit by Chancellor Richard Carranza. Student reactions ranged from complete excitement to indifference but parents and faculty/staff/administrators reactions appeared quite positive, with many wanting photos with the mayor. There were not any discernible negative reactions from the assemble parents or faculty/staff/administrators.
New York City celebrated the U.S. Women’s National Team World Cup victory with a ticker tape parade up Broadway and a ceremony in front of City Hall. Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife Chirlane McCray hosted the ceremony, with TV personality Robin Roberts joining them as the MC. Several thousand adoring fans welcomed the team for the hour long ceremony, varying between roaring their approval and chanting “equal pay.”
Many city and state legislators were in the audience, but Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Corey Johnson and NYS Senate Temporary President/Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins were the only elected officials on stage. Governor Andrew Cuomo rode on a float in the preceding ticker tape parade but did not attend the City Hall ceremony.
Tiffany Caban appeared to prevail in the Democratic primary for Queens District Attorney Tuesday night, with an election night preliminary lead of just over 1,000 votes out a total of approximately 85,000 reported. Those election night results will be finalized and paper ballots (absentee and affidavit ballots) counted with a final result expected next week, but it appears likely that Caban’s lead over Queens Borough President Melinda Katz will hold.
Caban’s insurgent candidacy and apparent victory over a candidate supported by much of New York’s and Queens’ Democratic establishment drew support from a small but active group of elected officials. Those electeds include NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, NYS Senators Jessica Ramos, Mike Gianaris, James Sanders, Luis Sepulveda and Julia Salazar, NYS Assembly Members Yuh-line Niou and Ron Kim and NYC Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer and Brad Lander, all of whom joined Caban on primary night. Other New York supporters included Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cynthia Nixon. Caban was also endorsed by U.S. Senators and current presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.