Monday Bulletin: What’s Behind Election Problems, Central Park Music and Roller-Skaters

Photo in Central Park by Stephen Harmon.

October 26, 2020 Weather: Misty/foggy, with a high of 53 degrees.

Our calendar is full of local events.

The West Side Democrats tell us they’re holding a virtual watch party for Election Night via Zoom. “It’s going to be a fun UWS gathering of like minded Democrats as we watch the returns come in together.” Link to RSVP here.

Wonder why city elections often seem dysfunctional? It’s worth understanding the patronage system at the NYC Board of Elections, whose structure is controlled by the state and is mostly staffed by people chosen by local party bosses. And the people who work there tend to do things like watch Netflix during work and head out to go shopping, former employees told the Times. “As the workings of American democracy have become more complex — with sophisticated technology, early voting and the threat of foreign interference — New York has clung to a century-old system of local election administration that is one of the last vestiges of pure patronage in government, a relic from the era of powerful political clubhouses and Tammany Hall,” the Times reported.

Composer Ellen Reid created an app connected to GPS that will play different music depending on where you are in Central Park. NPR interviewed her. “After Reid composed the music, members of the New York Philharmonic recorded their parts remotely. She and an engineer mixed them together, and then Reid walked through the entire park with a sound designer to beta test where and how the music is triggered.”

The famed roller-skaters of Central Park are back for their 31st year, though some things have changed, ABC reports. “Coronavirus has impacted these dance skaters, like all New Yorkers. Jamie “J-Love” Rivera recently laced up her skates for the first time since losing her father, a beloved pediatrician, to COVID-19. ‘It feels really nice to be back on skates,’ Rivera said. ‘It feels like I’m coming to therapy when I come to the circle. It just felt like I was free again.’ Davis encourages all skaters to wear masks and keep six feet from others. The CPDSA has even designed its own line of roller skate-themed masks.”

My mom’s dog passed away recently and I’m trying to locate a small, companion dog (not a puppy) for her to fill the void.  She lives alone and, if we could find one, it would make her very happy. If you know of one that might be available, please email me at

NEWS | 6 comments | permalink
    1. Sue says:

      I have been unable to get an absentee ballot! First was “out for delivery on October 4. Never arrived. A new one was supposedly sent on October 16. The status on this one reads “reviewing application” (since October 17) The last person I spoke to at the BOE said I just needed to be a little patient.
      I will vote if it kills me – which this year it actually could…

      • HelenD says:

        I hope you receive it soon. I signed up for ‘informed delivery’ at and they show you photoscans of your mail/packages for the week. You might want to try that so it least you’ll know when it’s on the way. 🙂

    2. V. N. says:

      Ellen Reid’s app is pretty cool and can be found here

    3. robert says:

      city elections often seem dysfunctional?
      Yes are things that could be done better but……
      Here come Part I ask i only have 100 words per post

    4. robert says:

      Part I
      Cuomo said quote not going to give you a penny when NYS BOE ask for 50 million to distribute to local county BOE’s This request was months ago (link below) And the NYC council votes on all BOE commissioners, with a only 3 republicans out of 51 members, the other 48 being Democrats At de Blasio office request the school’s chancellor pulled 20 schools and 9-day care centers that had been slated to be early voting sites, after the contact’s had been signed in the last days of Sept.

    5. Pedestrian says:

      I just read that Cuomo and DeBlasio now agree that the BOE should be reformed! Wow, you’d think they didn’t know there was an election this year. The BOE has been a mess for years but they are only finding out about it now. It’s pathetic.