Malliotakis Looks for Mental-Healthcare Shift; De Blasio Accuser in Spotlight: Headlines for Nov. 3

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“I believe we’re turning a blind eye to the mentally ill on the street.”

—Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis

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De Blasio Accuser Shifts Stories, Irritates Jury

The New York Times

“Mr. Rechnitz made no attempts to win the sympathy of the jury. He admitted asking his father-in-law to lie to investigators for him, falsely telling a potential investor that he was his best friend and lying to his wife about a private flight to Las Vegas with police officers and a prostitute aboard. His face showed little emotion, even as he professed great remorse and deep shame for his actions. Other times, he was by turns sullen or combative, self-pitying or defiant. He often tangled with defense lawyers over nuances of wording and other technicalities, or claimed faulty memory or ignorance as reasons he could not answer a question. Several times, jurors appeared visibly irritated or skeptical. Perhaps Mr. Rechnitz’s least credible moment came on his final day of testimony, when Mr. Shechtman asked Mr. Rechnitz about the time he painted his face black to attend a celebration for Purim, a Jewish holiday where people often wear costumes. ‘What is blackface?’ Mr. Rechnitz responded.”

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City Looking to Reform Summer Youth Employment

City & State

“Funding for the city’s Summer Youth Employment Program increased to $126.4 million for fiscal year 2018, which covers summer 2017, up from $51 million in 2015. Additionally, much of the funding was baselined earlier in the budget process, allowing nonprofits to plan ahead with more certainty. Now, the city Department of Youth and Community Development is preparing to issue its first requests for proposals for the Summer Youth Employment Program in six years. These RFPs will be informed by a task force set up to study the program and will reflect changes previewed in a recently released agency concept paper.”

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Malliotakis Eyes a Switch in Mental Health Policy

PoliticoNY

“Health care has not received much attention during this campaign between Malliotakis and Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is widely believed to be on the verge of winning a second term. The two candidates have chosen to spar, instead, over ethics, transportation and policing. But treatment of the severely mentally ill has become the most frequent critique of the mayor’s first term, lobbed by those who feel he has focused too much money and resources on the 96 percent with mild mental health issues and not enough on the 4 percent of mentally ill New Yorkers who have serious and persistent mental illness.”

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Why Putting Bollards Everywhere Might Not be a Practical Response to Terrorist Attack

WNYC

“Bruce Schaller is the former deputy for traffic and planning with the city’s Department of Transportation, and he’d like to put the problem in perspective. ‘There are an untold number of locations in New York City or any other major city,’ says Schaller, ‘where there are lots of pedestrians and one could make a high profile attack. Can you put bollards to protect all of them? You just…it can’t be done.'”

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