Mayor and State Reach Deal to Pave Way for Schools Chief

The state’s education commissioner, David M. Steiner, and the Bloomberg administration have reached a deal that will allow Cathleen P. Black, a media executive, to become the next schools chief.

A top education official in the city’s schools system, Shael Polakow-Suransky, the chief accountability officer, will be named the chief academic officer to serve as the No. 2 to Ms. Black, according to a person with knowledge of the agreement between the state and the city.

In return, Dr. Steiner on Monday will grant Ms. Black a waiver from the state law requiring the chancellor to have certain education credentials that Ms. Black, the chairwoman of Hearst Magazines, lacks.

Dr. Steiner had expressed reservations about granting Ms. Black an exemption and had made the appointment of a chief academic officer a condition for considering her nomination.

The move is a major concession from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who typically resists any intrusion into his management of city agencies.

The Bloomberg administration did not dispute the details of the agreement, but refused to comment.

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First the Parade, and Then the Apocalypse

Visitors to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade may have been surprised to learn that not only were there only 30 shopping days left till Christmas, there were also only 177 days left until the world ends.

“Judgment Day May 21, 2011,” read the signs being carried by a sub-parade on the crowded side streets off the parade route, including Broadway and West 62nd Street. “King Jesus returns.”

The signs were carried by adherents of the liverwurst-voiced 89-year-old radio evangelist Harold Camping, whose crotchety corrections to the benighted can be heard locally, seemingly 24/7, on WFME-FM (94.7), and around the world via his Family Radio network.

Those who were around on Sept. 6, 1994, will recall that the world did not end that day, in defiance of Mr. Camping’s previous prediction. But he has corrected his math, and the evidence for the apocalypse of May 21, 2011, is there on the Family Radio Web site for all to inspect.

Ignore it at your peril.

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Complaint Box | Sitting Tight

Complaint Box
Fit to Be Tied?

Send your tales of ire and indignation — no more than 500 words, please — to: [email protected].

I still remember the first time I flew. Meals were served, blankets were plentiful — it was great fun, and not just because I was 7 at the time.

I think we can all agree that flying is no longer fun. That’s O.K. I don’t mind that the airlines have stopped serving food or that passengers need to buy a blanket these days. Food from home tastes better, and sweaters are easily carried. I have yet to expose myself in the full-body scanner, but when I do, next week, I will take some comfort in the thought that the experience will be over quickly — unlike the flight itself.

For me, the fun left flying when the extra rows of coach seats arrived. I’m not a freak. I’m only six feet tall, yet my toes often go numb after being squished up against the seat in front of me. And that’s before the person sitting there lowers the seat back. And, parents, you may think your child is adorable bouncing around beside you, but if I’m behind her, every bounce is a painful slam into my kneecaps. I have the bruises to prove it.

Heaven forbid I wear heels on a flight because they make my knees even higher. Once I did, and midway through the flight, the circulation was cut off not just from my toes, but also from my feet. I couldn’t even bend forward to take my shoes off and rub my arches because the person in front of me was fast asleep with his seat so far back that his head was practically in my lap. It was a bumpy flight, and the seat belt sign was constantly on, so squiggling into the aisle and walking in place till the blood flow was restored was not an option. All I could do was wiggle my toes as often and vigorously as possible.

For tall people, getting an exit-row seat is like attaining nirvana. On one business trip, I had just reached my seat when the woman behind me, sitting in the much-desired exit row, asked me, “How far back do you plan on putting your seat back? I’m tall and want to make sure I fit.” I was slightly taken aback, but also impressed with her audacity. “How tall are you?” I asked. She smugly replied, “I’m 5-8.”

The woman was obviously too short to understand the tall-flier code. Those of us who are 6-foot-plus often look at one another with a sympathetic smile. On one flight, I actually gave my aisle seat to a man who was at least 6-foot-5 and stuck in the dreaded middle.

I used to date a guy who was 6-foot-8. “How do you fit on planes?” I asked him.

“I get to the airport several hours early to get an exit-row seat or I pay for first class,” he said.

That was before airlines allowed you to choose a seat online. But even on the Web, roomy seats are at a premium. In the past two years, I have traveled on about 10 airlines, and nearly all of them require elite status in their mileage program to score an exit row. I have that status on one of the 10, but I often fly to places the airline doesn’t.

Some airlines now charge a fee to people who require an extender on their seat belts. Understandably, this upsets people of a certain girth. But no one seems to care that tall people don’t fit in the current seat configurations and so must pay fees for additional legroom. Diets may reduce the number of people paying for seat-belt extenders, but they’re not going to make me any shorter.

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A Guide to Union Square Park

Happy Cathie Black Friday. Attention fair-weather shoppers: any lingering rain should cease by 1 p.m., according to the Weather Channel.  Here’s what we read.

In Union Square Park, an artist and self-appointed anthropologist who calls himself Normal Bob Smith has spent years as referee, ringmaster, curator and chronicler of the cast of regulars who who consider the park their living room. There are Junky the Barbarian, Pretty Boy Jake and Green Graver Girl, for starters. Then there are the categories of park regulars, which include scenesters, peepers, fundies, gravers and Griswolds.

Normal Bob has them all charted out. His maps show that peepers gather at the south side of the park, so they can blend in with pedestrians while peering under the skirts of women sitting on the steps. The gravers — Goth-ravers who usually dress in wide, black Tripp pants — gather nearby, near the statue of George Washington. The drug addicts do their nodding in the rear of the park, on the benches toward the east side. The Griswolds, or naïve tourists, gawk at it all from the periphery. [NYT]

Chancellor Watch

Elissa Gootman of The Times tries to figure out why the mayor’s appointment of Cathleen P. Black as schools chancellor has engendered so much more resistance than his appointment in 2002 of Joel I. Klein, who was only marginally more qualified.

L’affaire Black, Ms. Gootman concludes, has become a proxy for what New Yorkers think of the mayor and his imperial, to-heck-with-term-limits governing style. “You can’t separate her candidacy from the mayor himself,” one public policy expert says. “A newly elected mayor who had just gotten mayoral control had a much broader mandate than he enjoys now.”

Meanwhile, as the state education commissioner considers whether to allow Ms. Black to manage city schools with the help of a seasoned educator, Chicago principals who have a similar arrangement advise against it. [Daily News]

Crime & Public Safety

The most serious crimes — murders, rapes, robberies — are all up so far this year, even though lesser crimes continue to decline. Some skeptics see this fact as yet another piece of evidence that the police are fudging crime statistics by downgrading minor felonies to lesser violations that are not counted in the figures. [NYT]

Michael Brea, the actor accused of hacking his mother to death with a sword in Brooklyn on Tuesday, tells The Daily News: “I didn’t kill her. I killed the demon inside her.” And he calmly describes the drawn-out killing in excruciating detail. “I didn’t want to kill her right away,” he says. “I wanted to give her time to get right with God.”


There is a dress code for New York City cabdrivers. Seriously. Its provisions include no tube shirts; no tank tops; no bathing trunks. But the rule has long been seen as at once overly specific and underenforced. Now, taxi regulators are issuing a new, broader dress code, in the hope that it can be more widely followed: all cabdrivers, the new code states, must “present a professional appearance.” [NYT]

Housing & Economy

By 10:30 Thanksgiving morning, a line of gaunt figures clutching bags of belongings stretched 300 long outside the Church of the Holy Apostles in Chelsea. This was the scene at soup kitchens across the city on Thanksgiving Day, with unemployment at 9.2 percent, home foreclosures at record levels and the chill of winter fast approaching. [Daily News]

The rampage of foreclosures that ripped through a small slice of Staten Island two years ago may be over, but it left behind a street littered with boarded-up homes, for-sale signs and broken dreams. [New York Post]

A Williamsburg kosher food company is locked in a battle with former workers who charge they were stiffed out of overtime pay — and then fired when they complained. [Daily News]

Government & Politics

Sales of bootleg cigarettes are costing the state as much as $20 million a month in lost tax revenue. [New York Post]

People & Neighborhoods

In his NYC column, Clyde Haberman of The Times tries to view the Thanksgiving Day Parade from the prime viewing corridor of West 61st Street and finds that just as it was last year, the street is privatized for the benefit of guests at Trump International Hotel and Tower and residents of fancy buildings on the block. Commoners are sent packing.

Elsewhere on the parade route, the family of a Long Island house painter ensures a good view by bringing its own scaffold to West 69th Street. [NYT]

The Wall Street Journal profiles Zelda, the wild turkey of Battery Park. [paid subscription required]

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A Tiny Restaurant Ceases and Desists, but …

Patrice Carter and Doreen Simpson tasted the love, though briefly.

Their in-boxes overflowed with e-mail in early October, just days after City Room visited A Taste of Hawthorne, the West Indian-inspired restaurant run by both women out of Ms. Carter’s backyard in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens in Brooklyn on Saturdays and Sundays.

Neighbors who had enjoyed the women’s inexpensive salmon sliders, sweet potato fries and intimate dining atmosphere piled on praise. Hungry strangers said they were eager to stop by for a bite.

The health department, it would turn out, was less enthusiastic.

In an e-mail on Oct. 5, the agency asked Ms. Carter and Ms. Simpson to “cease and desist” from operating their backyard restaurant, which lacked licensing from the city. An inspector followed up with a visit to Ms. Carter’s home a few days later.

In less than a week, A Taste of Hawthorne went from a buzz-worthy Brooklyn haunt to a shuttered afterthought.

“We went out with a bang,” said Ms. Carter, who insisted that she and Ms. Simpson had planned to close up shop for the season even before all the unexpected attention put them in the health department’s spotlight.

Ms. Carter, along with the help of her longtime friend Ms. Simpson, opened her home’s kitchen and cozy backyard for business in August. Every Saturday and Sunday, the two prepared comfort foods inspired by their mothers’ West Indian cooking, like jerk chicken and black bean veggie burgers topped with roasted red peppers and an avocado purée.

Word-of-mouth spread quickly among neighbors, friends and friends of friends, who would stop by and ring the buzzer to Ms. Carter’s ground-floor brownstone apartment. They would lounge comfortably in the backyard, seated in wicker chairs or around a communal picnic table.

Now Ms. Carter and Ms. Simpson are contemplating a new culinary odyssey. Inspired by the encouragement of their customers, they believe there is an opportunity to open a formal restaurant in their neighborhood. They plan to make a final decision in the next four months.

“If you have a dream or a passion, you just have to move forward with it,” Ms. Simpson said.

Ms. Carter agreed.

“Somehow,” she said, “I don’t feel like it’s over.”

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A Happy Thanksgiving to ‘Sad Person’

The other day, we asked readers for Thanksgiving horror stories. We got tons, including some of the most hilariously harrowing domestic tales we’ve heard. But we also got this, from a commenter who posted under the name “sad person”:

My Holiday horror story is that every year I am reminded that my family doesn’t want me and I don’t have any friends. I wish the world wouldn’t stop for eight weeks every year and I could just be in peace.

Sad person’s cri de coeur touched something in our commenters’ hearts. Here’s what they said to him/her:

Dear sad person,

I hope this holiday season isn’t another turkey for you. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite: all the family and festivity without the greed of Cashmas.
— phil

I feel really bad for “sad person.”

You might be surprised who wants you. Give it a chance and hang in there.

— sarah strohmeyer

Dear sad person: I once had a Christmas all by myself (too long a story) — it was awful, so I know. I know now that I should have gritted my teeth, left the apartment and volunteered somewhere, but I was new to New York and didn’t know how to go about it. Never mind missing out on the food and the family/friends — anything to get you out of the house, even though it takes the most enormous and heroic effort that no one else will ever know you managed, is the best recipe for a difficult “holiday.”
— Olivia, Rhinebeck

Sad person … you touched my heart. I know about being unwanted and alone. I am sending you a big hug.
— carol

Sad person, I am sorry. The holidays are overwhelming with both real and perhaps all too frequently feigned joys. Hoping for a turn for the better for you.
— marymary

I’m worried about you, sad person. You’ll be in my thoughts.
— Nancy Lobao

A note to sad person. What you say about your family may be true, but I certainly hope not. However, remember, if you want a friend you have to also be a friend to someone, too. It’s not a one-way street. Be kind to someone who is lonely, do a good deed for someone in need, do volunteer work at a hospital/charity, and smile at everyone you meet. You will make people feel very special and you will feel wonderful for doing it.
— Wally Wolf

Dear Sad Person: Stop feeling sorry for yourself. You have a computer so you must have a job and a place to live. Go to the shelter in your neighborhood and spend the day dipping food for the homeless, for whom that plate of food will be all they eat that day before hitting the street and trying to find a warm place to sleep. You’ll feel like a millionaire after that. No wonder your family doesn’t want you. Get a life and take something to the party besides sadness. There’s enough sadness in the world without your dragging a sack of it around.
— betty

To Sad Person: Makes me wish more people thought of their friends and acquaintances who might be alone on Thanksgiving, and invited them to theirs.
— Karen Anne

Sad person:

You have a choice. You can wallow in your sorrow, and spend the day feeling miserable, or you can get out of the house, volunteer at a nursing home, soup kitchen or other place, and do your best to make someone else’s Thanksgiving joyful. If you choose the latter, you’ll find that your Thanksgiving will be joyful as well. I’d choose to spend it at an animal shelter, feeding animals their own Thanksgiving dinner.

Best of luck.

— Chris Shustak

Sad Person–

I feel bad for you and I know that if you have the gumption to write into The New York Times for the world to see your sadness, then you have the gumption to go out for dinner on Thanksgiving. When I worked in a 24-hour diner, I loved the holidays because my “regulars” would come in. We had Thanksgiving and Christmas together! I still love each and every one of them. Go find a diner (or your other favorite restaurant) and have a great time. There’s a waitress there holding coffeepot, waiting to hear your stories. She’s glad her friends thought to come in to see her on Thanksgiving.

— Daisy

Sad person, I can totally relate. It’s only a day. Don’t worry about it. Find a food you like or something, and a movie you like or something, and promise yourself a good treat, like a big walk in a beautiful park on a day you can call your own Thanksgiving. Even if you don’t have friends or a family that cares about you, you are still connected to your fellow humans and we need you. You’re not alone.

— Heart sad person

Wow … To Sad Person, and everyone responding in kind, I hear you. I hope you’ve been able to take in the loving and humanistic thoughts expressed to you today. It’s good that you could reach out. I remember when all I could do was to keep breathing; reaching out was not possible. Life can be terribly hard and painful, and some people just don’t understand that. I appreciate your drawing my attention to the lonelier people in my midst. Keep breathing, if you can. Keep reaching out. As you’ve seen today, most people will be kind. Any engagement you have with another person who needs help can be a good thing. Here in SF, I help tourists. I have simple, helpful interactions that really make a difference. Wherever you are you can make a difference, and you don’t have to ‘hide’ — go to an animal shelter. Offer your kind touches, your soothing voice.

The very idea of “family” can be painful, for so many reasons.

Thirteen years ago, I volunteered to serve children who were in foster care. Their extended family had effectively abandoned them. Some of them are now doing O.K.! With no one close to show them how, they are creating a new way of life. Sometimes we need to cast off what we were taught, little by little, free ourselves of some of the weight of what’s been done to us. Scars and terrible psychic injuries are often so deep they’ll never be expunged. They shape who we are — that’s what haunts me; I never got to be the person I could have been. But sometimes, with help, we can learn to live with that damage, if we can get away from those who caused it. I feel for those physically trapped in such cycles as much as those who are psychically trapped.

I got away and had lovely Thanksgivings with:

  • My high school teacher’s family; she had moved from California to New Jersey, and I had a lovely evening with her imperfect family.
  • My wonderful friend Christie’s family; we went to a restaurant somewhere in New England — kind, loving people — such a delight!
  • At a restaurant with a friend of a friend in New York City: lost my shoe in a snowdrift on Central Park East and they let me in anyway.
  • This week — my sister’s broken up her family, but her two children are healthy — that in itself is worth celebrating!

Good luck everyone, and happy Thanksgiving.

— Kathy

To the NYTimes moderator:

You have the email addresses of the people who posted. Please send an email to Sad Person and the others like him or her and let them know that the other 270+ people are thinking of them and are with them at a virtual Thanksgiving dinner.

— P.Ellen

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Are Grants For Small Business For Real?

You may have been intrigued by the allure of obtaining grants for small business from the federal federal government to start or broaden your operation. As fantastic as it may possibly sound to obtain a federal government grant that you don’t have to compensate back again, such grants don’t genuinely exist. You didn’t think tiny business financing was that straightforward, did you?

Whilst the federal authorities does not supply grants for starting or growing modest businesses, it does offer a myriad of providers to help entrepreneurs in pursuit of their dreams. A single of the mechanisms in spot to encourage tiny business progress and economic growth is the CDFI Fund managed by the US Division of the Treasury. In the existing fiscal yr the federal federal government is allocating a lot more than $12 Million to support CDFIs.

CDFIs fall into three categories:

1. Community Improvement Mortgage Resources
2. Group Advancement Credit rating Unions
3. Community Improvement Banks – Including Thrifts and Holding Organizations
4. Neighborhood Advancement Endeavor Money Resources

The genesis of the CDFI Fund was the Riegle Local community Advancement and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994. The cause for the fund’s existence is to foster fiscal revitalization and neighborhood improvement.

All participants in the CDFI system go by way of a certification process performed by the Treasury Department. The certification allows CDFIs access to a variety of applications supplied by the Fund. These applications offer financial and technical support to CDFIs by way of the CDFI System, the Native American CDFI Assistance System, the New Markets Tax Credit history Program and the Financial institution Enterprise Award Plan.

Tiny business owners really should compensate distinct attention to the offerings offered by the Compact disc Banks, Cd Bank loan Cash and Compact disk Enterprise Money Resources.

Compact disc Financial institutions offer you a broad selection of financial and consulting providers to individuals and businesses living and operating in underserved or economically deprived areas.

Compact disc Bank loan Cash are set to to offer you advancement and financing providers to businesses, organizations and individuals in low-income rural and urban places. They serve a selection of organization sorts including microenterprises, tiny businesses, and housing and local community providers organizations.

Compact disc Endeavor Capital Resources are an exceptional supply of fairness or near-equity financing for little businesses in underserved neighborhoods. Quite a few of these money present business consulting companies in conjunction with financial providers.

While Group Advancement Financial institutions are for-income institutions with important neighborhood representation on their boards of directors, Neighborhood Development Mortgage Money are generally nonprofit entities. Neighborhood Advancement Endeavor Money Money can either be for income or not-for-earnings institutions.

CDFIs provide companies around the nation to underserved and reduced-income populations. There are also a subset to these entities that concentrate on places of excessive economic distress, including the Mississippi Delta, the Gulf Opportunity Zone, Native Communities, Colonias, and Appalachia.

If your modest business operates in a area of that is underserved, has a considerable lower-income population or in an location of excessive monetary misery, you need to investigate how a CDFI can support you in growing your business.

Michael Saunders has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He edits a internet site on grants for small business from Authorities Grants and one more on Tips to Begin Your Own Business.

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Loans for people on benefits-Financial aid for disabled people

It is difficult for a disabled person to fulfil all the requirements with the financial support given by the government. It becomes worse for them when the sudden expenses occur. For such people, the financing companies of UK have specially designed loans for people on benefits. With the assistance of these loans, the disabled people can lead a life, which is worth living. Whenever unexpected expenditures knock at your door, you can opt for this financial scheme. These loans are helpful in meeting the day to day needs of life.

Loans for people on benefits are availed to you in two forms, secured and unsecured form. If you are going for the secured form, you are required pledging a collateral security against the borrowed amount. With the help of these loans, you can borrow the amount ranging from 10000 pounds to 75000 pounds. The repayment period of these loans is of 10 to 25 years. The rate of interest on the borrowed amount is low because of presence of security. On the other hand, unsecured form is availed to you for the amount ranging from 1000 pounds to 25000 pounds for the repayment period of 1 to 10 years. These loans are collateral-free. The rate of interest on this form is high due to lack of security.

These loans are also available for the poor credit holders. You can go for these loans even if you are holding arrears, defaults, bankruptcy or late payments. There are absolutely no credit checks and no verification of credit history. The lenders do not ask you about your credit worthiness.

To apply for these loans, you can use online method. This online mode provides convenience and comforts to the disabled people. You just need filling an online application form and submit it online. The online lender will go through the application form and grant you the loan after the verification process.

The advices of Jeckle Levi have always proven to be benefitted for the borrowers who are seeking instant help for their problems. He always gives his valuable suggestions time to time to them. For further information about disability loans , loans for disabled visit

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