Monday Bulletin: Protest Impact, Artist Christo Dies, Anxiety at the Opera

Photo of the Apple store on 67th and Broadway all boarded up by Stephen Harmon.

June 1, 2020 Weather: Sunny, with a high of 71 degrees.

Our calendar is full of events you can enjoy from home.

Want to get tested for Covid-19? Here’s a city site that helps you find a location.

Protests in New York may be starting to have some impact on legislators. After little action on this issue for years, Governor Cuomo is now backing changes to the police accountability laws that allow disciplinary records to be shielded from the public, The City news website reports. “At a news conference Saturday morning, Cuomo stopped just short of endorsing a full claw back of the 1976 law, instead throwing his support behind efforts to reform it…Police unions are pushing back, pointing to the current conflicts in the streets.”

Protests may lead to a curfew in the city, the governor said. He says he’ll speak to the mayor about that today.

Christo, the Bulgarian-born conceptual artist who turned to epic-scale environmental works in the late 1960s, stringing a giant curtain across a mountain pass in Colorado, wrapping the Pont Neuf in Paris and the Reichstag in Berlin and zigzagging thousands of saffron-curtained gates throughout Central Park, died on Sunday at his home in New York City. He was 84,” the New York Times reported.

Musicians with the Met Opera wonder what the future of the famed institution will bring, the Daily News reports. “Hundreds of part-time and full-time singers, directors, dancers, musicians, stagehands and supportive staff members have been out of work for over eight weeks due to the pandemic. While the chorus is scheduled to resume rehearsals July 27 to prepare for the fall season, many members wonder whether that too will be postponed.” Update: opening night has been postponed to New Year’s Eve.

The Bloomingdale history blog has an eye-opening post about how the city and the UWS dealt with the 1918 flu. “In October and November 1918, children were directed to report directly to their classroom in the morning with no loitering in the schoolyard. Teachers looked for signs of the flu, and, if found, the medical inspector took over and made sure the child went home and was seen by a family physician or public health doctor.”

The mayor’s proposed budget cuts include major cuts to education and youth services, but not policing. “Under the mayor’s proposal, the NYPD’s nearly $6 billion budget would dip just $23.8 million—a 0.39 percent cut—in the coming fiscal year. During the same period, funding for Department of Education is poised to drop by $827 million—a 3 percent cut of its overall budget.”

NEWS | 18 comments | permalink
    1. B.B. says:

      Since arrival of Mr. Carranza DOE has been spending money like a drunken sailor on leave.
      There is plenty of fat, waste and abuse that can be easily cut without affecting students.

      Start with many of the >$150k or even >$200k administrative positions that have been created since this guy arrived. Then there are very generous wage and staffing increases along with sweetheart outside
      consultant deals.

    2. OllytheOctopus says:

      Nice pic. Christo endures!

    3. Gretchen says:

      I loved the Gates installation in Central Park back in 2005 – the giant saffron gates lit up the park in the otherwise drab dead of winter and brought many crowds of people there to enjoy. And thank Jeanne-Claude too! I still have several pieces of the Gate cloths that they handed out.

    4. Ben David says:

      How dare Apple board up its store and protect its merchandise, not to mention the safety hazards of glass pouring on to protestors heads? Racism will only end when looters are entitled to have their own iPhones, iPads, and MacBook Pros.

    5. Jon Knowles says:

      So a teacher friend has been told that she may be moved to another school or let go because of budget cuts. Meanwhile DOE consultants will continue to draw down $300,000 fees. Kids need teachers, not consultants and administration managers!

      • Jane says:

        The same comments about NYC public schools are also what plague US colleges and universities – both public and private. MOST courses – not all, but MOST – are taught by very poorly paid contingent faculty who are hired by the course. Usually without benefits! But admin gets fat, fat, salaries! And who pays? YOU do, if you are a student. YOU do, if you are a parent. And THAT is the source of big student debt.

    6. Kate Gallagher says:

      re Ben David’s comment I concur ” Are you insane”?

    7. Parent says:

      DOE is refusing to cut any administrative positions or “task forces” that they’ve created for whatever reasons. Meanwhile the schools are charged with cutting or reducing valuable teacher positions. It’s time for changes at the DOE, involve current school administrators in the decision making, not just bureaucrats and politicians. All authorities should to be held to a (higher) standard, there needs to be transparency and accountability.

      • B.B. says:

        Last time one checked DOE is still under mayoral control. But maybe BdeB is afraid is handpicked prima donna schools chancellor will quit if there it too much outside interference.