The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued its final Hurricane Sandy service assessment yesterday. The report found that The National Weather Service offered valuable services during the storm but found room for improvement. The most prominent area that needed improvement according to NOAA was communicating the impact of storm surges to residents.
Superstorm Sandy caused 11 billion gallons of partially or untreated sewage - the equivalent of Central Park stacked 41 feet high - to leak into rivers, lakes, and waterways, according to this report by Climate Central. New York City reported six sewage spills larger than 100,000,000 gallons, and 28 larger than 1 million gallons. New York authorities estimate it will cost nearly $2 billion to repair flood damaged sewage treatment facilities. Sewage overflow is common in the city, although not on this scale, and climate change will only make things worse, the group warns: "Climate change is making sewage treatment plants more vulnerable to major failures and overflows due to rising seas, more intense coastal storms, and increasingly heavy precipitation events."
More than half of Mexican - and over a third of Ecuadorean - immigrants in NYC do not have a bank account, according to this study by the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs. But 80 percent of immigrant survey participants who make less than $300 a week report having savings.
This new report - by the New York State Youth Leadership Council and NYU Law Schoolâ€™s Immigrant Rights Clinic - outlines the economic and social benefits that would accompany passage of the New York DREAM Act. The act would provide that all New Yorkers, regardless of status, have access to financial assistance for higher education.
The survey by the office of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer finds that despite growth minority and women owned businesses face major hurdles. Of the 500 businesses surveyed, only 25.5% of respondents indicated they had won a single city contract, and nearly 55% of respondents reported that City government had not provided adequate support and resources to help them apply for contracts. Close to one-third of respondents said that they did not attend any workshops offered by the Department of Small Business Services (SBS), in part because the events took place at inconvenient times and locations.Nearly 45% of companies that did not bid on any contracts reported that the process is too time-consuming and hard to understand.
In its second annual report on the state of the city's parks, New Yorkers For Parks found that more parks scored an A or B. "On the face of it, this is encouraging news. But when you scratch below the surface and look at trends across park features, it becomes apparent that the Parks
Department is caught in a property management version of 'Whac-A-Mole:' in
order to address one problem, resources must be pulled from another area, causing a
new problem to arise in that area. Bottom line: the Parks Department simply does
not have sufficient resources to keep up with the endless demands of maintaining the
Cityâ€™s 29,000 acres of parkland â€” including the more than 3,600 acres spotlighted
in this report."
The New York Public Interest Groups Straphanger's Campaign Second Annual Platform Survey found that conditions at subway platforms have mostly improved or stayed the same since last year. Only water damage and graffiti increased. Riders still have a one in ten chance of seeing a rat.
Employment at New York Cityâ€™s law firms has declined over the past two decades, even as legal services jobs nationallyâ€”and overall private sector employment in New Yorkâ€”has increased significantly, according to this new report by the Center for an Urban Future.
New York City spends the majority of its multimillion dollar advertising budget promoting its messages through major newspapers, such as The New York Times, The New York Post, The New York Daily News, amNY and MetroNY, according to a new report from the Center for Community and Ethnic Media. Community and ethnic publications receive about 18 percent of the city's ad budget. "The city's choices about where and how its messages are delivered have important public policy consequences," the report's authors say.
The Center For An Urban Future reports that "New York City’s public libraries are more essential than ever." Rather than becoming obsolete in the digital age, libraries have become "the second chance human capital institution." The author writes: "No other institution, public or private, does a better job of reaching people who have been left behind in today’s economy, have failed to reach their potential in the city’s public school system or who simply need help navigating an increasingly complex world."
The city has failed to respond to a public health crisis festering in the the Rockaway peninsula caused by mold growing on wet sheetrock in homes flooded during Superstorm Sandy, argues a new report by New York Communities for Change, a union-backed nonprofit organization that serves low-income residents.
The city's Independent Budget Office finds the "city faces a budget shortfall of $811 million in the upcoming fiscal year" and that "the next Mayor and City Council are likely to face significant budget challenges." The IBO also warns that "there is little money set aside" to deal with expired union contracts and that "the costs of rebuilding in Sandy’s wake ... also have yet to be fully tallied."
More than a month after Superstorm Sandy, many New Yorkers continue to struggle with the devastation of their homes, neighborhoods and livelihoods. One group that has faced particular challenges, but has received little attention, are the region’s thousands of immigrants.
A report from the Center for Constitutional Rights finds that the New York Police Department has committed over 100,000 unconstitutional stops. The report which follows up on data from 2004-2009 shows that unconstitutional stop and frisks have continued through the first half of this year.
The benefits of the city's start up boom have been concentrated among those with technical and entrepreneurial skills, according to this report by the Manhattan Borough President's Office. The study offers ways the city could ensure that jobs in these industries are accessible to all.
According to this new survey from the Municipal Art Society, 84 percent of New Yorkers are satisfied with living here, a number that has remained the same for the past three years.
This report by the Citizens Budget Commission proposes a new way to fund the M.T.A. called "25-50-25". It recommends that auto user fees cover all drivers' facilities, plus 25 percent of mass transit services. Then mass transit user fees would cover another 50 percent of the operating costs of those services. And state and local tax subsidies would cover the final 25 percent of transit operating costs plus “catch-up” capital investments needed to bring the system to a state of good repair.
Childhood lead poisoning cases dropped 17 percent in 2011, achieving a new low in New York City, according to this Health Department report. The number of lead poisoning cases in young children has declined 56 percent since 2005.
The state's new property tax cap succeeded in its first year in holding average property tax growth to 2 percent – 40 percent less than the previous ten-year average, according to this report by Gov. Cuomo's office. Out of 3,077 local governments and school districts proposing a levy in the past year, the study found that 84 percent reported a levy within the capped amount.
The Mayor's Management Report acts as a report card on city services and is released twice a year. Today's lead story by The New York Times focuses on data initially reported in the transportation section of the MMR.
The National Juvenile Justice Network looks at over 250 advances that have benefitted the reform of youthful offenders. The guide looks at how communities all over the country have changed their systems to better benefit offenders, staff and the public.
According to the New York Building Congress, $6.6 billion worth of construction projects were started in New York City in the first half of 2012, a 16 percent decline from the first half of 2011. But the value of residential construction starts more than doubled, jumping to $1.9 billion in the first six months of 2012.
State agencies are in compliance with an executive order that vehicle purchases be alternative fuel vehicles, but guidelines about when to use which type of fuel are lax, according to this audit by the state comptroller.
If New York were to reduce its body mass index by 5 percent by 2030, it could save $40 billion in health care costs, according to this report by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. But if the state continues on its current trajectory, it could have an adult obesity rate of 51 percent by that time.
This report by the Empire Center estimates that New York’s state and local governments combined unfunded liability for public-sector retiree health insurance comes to nearly $250 billion.
The Supportive Housing Network looks at how to better finance and develop family supportive housing in the city. Supportive housing is designed to keep at-risk families off the street and out of shelters with the right kind of help.
The Independent Budget Office checked up on the Education Department's tallying of graduation rates and found their numbers solid. But they looked beyond that for finer data, such as why and who was discharged.
Nearly one-third of regulated housing units in East Harlem will lose their rent protection by 2040, according to this survey by the Regional Plan Association.
Twenty-two people were killed in motor vehicle accidents this July - including nine people walking and riding bicycles - and 4,840 were injured, according to the latest NYPD crash data report.