Political arena

PS 24 fight gets ugly

Posted

The name of the lawyer representing the Spuyten Duyvil School (P.S. 24) assistant principal’s lawsuit against the Department of Education might ring a bell to some local politics mavens: Ezra Glaser ran against northwest Bronx Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz in 1994.

The suit slams Mr. Dinowitz as a racist who maneuvered to keep minority and lower-income children from joining P.S. 24’s kindergarten next fall. The assemblyman denies the charges — and says they stem from a personal grudge held by Mr. Glaser and his client, Manny Verdi.

“He has a vendetta against me,” Mr. Dinowitz said of Mr. Verdi. “The fact that he only mentions my name repeatedly shows that.”

The suit claims that District 10 Superintendent Melodie Mashel has sought to oust Mr. Verdi at the urging of “certain local elected officials,” but Mr. Dinowitz is the only one mentioned by name — 19 times in the 28-page suit.

In an especially unflattering characterization, the suit claims that Mr. Dinowitz told P.S. 24 administrators in 2009 that “he knows who the children are that are not from Riverdale ‘by the way they walk, talk and wear their pants.’”

Mr. Dinowitz vehemently denied all of the allegations.

For his part, Mr. Glaser insists he holds nothing against Mr. Dinowitz from the 1994 race, in which he vied with Mr. Dinowitz in a special election held when Oliver Koppell left the northwest Bronx’s Assembly seat to become temporary state attorney general. Mr. Glaser eventually dropped out of the race and endorsed Mark Friedlander, who became a well-known judge after losing to Mr. Dinowitz.

“I’m a person that can move on from any fight. We’ve worked together on things,” Mr. Glaser said of Mr. Dinowitz.

Indeed, Mr. Glaser worked pro bono on a lawsuit opposing Department of Environmental Protection work at the Jerome Park Reservoir in 2008. Both men recalled collaborating with one another to fight the city.

“I know that Jeff thinks that there’s some personal blood in the fight. That’s not me anymore,” said Mr. Glaser, who recently moved from his longtime home of Van Cortlandt Village.

Probed as to whether he truly thought Mr. Dinowitz is a racist, Mr. Glaser called the assemblyman a “limousine liberal.”

“I don’t mean that in his heart he’s worse than Donald Trump,” he continued. “But I do think that the whole concept is something that is consistent with Donald Trump because it’s essentially the same as building a wall.”

Mr. Dinowitz sneered at the epithet from Mr. Glaser.

“I guess I’m a limousine liberal without a limousine or a driver,” he said.

Eyeing savings

Budget season is well underway at the City Council. Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed an $82.1 million budget, an increase of less than 1 percent over last year.

The budget “focuses on core initiatives” and “requires agencies to be more efficient,” according to a document from the mayor’s office. There are also some cuts to city services.

Northwest Bronx Councilman Andrew Cohen lauded Mr. de Blasio’s attempt at being fiscally responsible, but not without some grumbling.

“I find it slightly frustrating, I have to admit, but on the flip side I’m sure he’s doing the right thing,” he said.

Mr. Cohen, who chairs the City Council’s mental health committee, said he would have liked to see the mayor propose permanent funding for programs including geriatric services. He also called for permanent funding for Parks Department services such as extended hours at pools.

“I would like to take advantage of a good economy to expand some of these programs,” the councilman said.

Swatting bill advances

There was some progress for a bill that would stiffen penalties against people who make phone calls that prompt law enforcement officers to respond to fake emergencies.

Rep. Eliot Engel said his legislation passed the House Committee on Energy and Commerce last week.

“While it may sound like a prank, ‘swatting’— the act of provoking an emergency response team to respond to a phony crisis — is no laughing matter,” the congressman said in a statement. “Named for the SWAT teams that are frequently deployed in response to these fraudulent emergency calls, swatting puts Americans’ tax dollars and safety at risk.

“According to the FBI, a single SWAT team deployment can cost thousands of taxpayer dollars. Swatting also risks injury to the unassuming victims who are present when a response team arrives at an alleged crime scene.”

Comments

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noclist

Kids from outside Riverdale should not be attending PS 24 when children who do live here can't get a seat and are forced to go elsewhere. Time to crack down and enforce the law, including parents who use a relative's address in Riverdale, so their kids can attend PS 24. I know of 3 in my building alone.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016
JDewey

No child who is zoned for PS 24 who wants to attend the school has been forced to go elsewhere. That's pure fiction. Many families who are zoned for PS 24 choose to send their child to a different school (public, private, religious).

There are several perfectly legitimate reasons for children to be at 24 if they don't live in the zone. They may qualify for gifted and talented or special education services, or are eligible for a transfer from a failing school. They may have been registered and moved out of the zone--such children are entitled to stay at the school until graduation. There is no evidence that the school isn't following the DOE's address verification process to the letter.

Let's stop the smears and fear-mongering, please.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016
CMC

This is troubling for several reasons. First, why is a State official allowed to participate in a local school admission process? Assemblyman's Dinowitz staff has no business being on school grounds taking an active role in a DOE operation. Second, why does the Assemblyman continue to focus so much time and attention on such a small portion of his district? Its as if the only school in his district with any issues is PS24 - from space, to admissions, to furniture, to administration, to traffic, PS 24 is the only school he seems to focus on. Forget about 7, 95, 368 etc they do not exist in the Assemblyman's world. Overcrowding and out of zone students has been more of a problem at PS81 for years yet it garners little attention from the Assemblyman or any of his political peers in Riverdale.

Thursday, May 5, 2016
Riverdale Resident

In an especially unflattering characterization, the suit claims that Mr. Dinowitz told P.S. 24 administrators in 2009 that “he knows who the children are that are not from Riverdale ‘by the way they walk, talk and wear their pants.’”

Wait- is anyone denying that this isn't actually true, whether or not Dinowitz said it? if you are, then you haven't stood on independence avenue at 2:30 on a weekday when school gets out.

Friday, May 6, 2016
BX developer

Many of my section 8 tenants out of the 10471 and 10463 are do attend public schools in South and North Riverdale area.

This has been going on for decades as Riverdale is liberal "politically correct" area and they would rather complain then actually do something about the illegals oops I mean undocumented people living in my buildings getting handouts by the tax payers funding

The fact is I built middle income housing but when I can rent to section 8 I know I will be paid plus as a developer I get all types of tax incentives for no income people to live in the buildings

I feel it is the NYC and r the INS responsibility to check the legality of the people getting tax funding for food stamps and financing

The City of NY has developers set aside "affordable housing" meaning one of the 2 bed room apartments can go for $2,100 per month and another "affordable" rents for $900 for which I we get subsidiaries and tax breaks and federal,state and city funding

Dinbat should be replaced on general principles for just being a moron IMHO

Thursday, May 12, 2016