Saturday, September 25, 2021

In Preparation for Monday Vaccination Deadline, Governor Hochul Releases Comprehensive Plan to Address Preventable Health Care Staffing Shortage


Plan Includes Preparation of State of Emergency Declaration to Supplement Workforce Supply at Health Care Facilities

Would Enable Qualified Health Care Professionals Licensed in Other States or Countries, Recent Graduates, Retired and Formerly Practicing Health Care Professionals to Practice in New York

Other Options Include Deployment of Medically-Trained National Guard, Requesting Federal Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs), Working with the Federal Government to Expedite Visa Requests for Medical Professionals

Governor Holds Firm on Ensuring Health Care Workers are Vaccinated to Protect Public Health

 In preparation for Monday's vaccination deadline, Governor Kathy Hochul today released a comprehensive plan to address preventable staffing shortages in hospitals and other health care facilities statewide.

"We are still in a battle against COVID to protect our loved ones, and we need to fight with every tool at our disposal," Governor Hochul said. "I am monitoring the staffing situation closely, and we have a plan to increase our health care workforce and help alleviate the burdens on our hospitals and other health care facilities. I commend all of the health care workers who have stepped up to get themselves vaccinated, and I urge all remaining health care workers who are unvaccinated to do so now so they can continue providing care."

The plan includes preparing to sign an executive order if necessary to declare a state of emergency that seeks to increase workforce supply and allow qualified health care professionals licensed in other states or countries, recent graduates, retired and formerly practicing health care professionals to practice in New York State.

The Department of Labor has issued guidance to clarify that workers who are terminated because of refusal to be vaccinated are not eligible for unemployment insurance absent a valid doctor-approved request for medical accommodation.

Other options include deployment of medically-trained National Guard members, and partnering with the federal government to deploy Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) to assist local health and medical systems. Additionally, Governor Hochul plans to work with the federal government and other state leaders to explore ways to expedite visa requests for medical professionals.

As of September 22, 84% of all hospital employees in New York State were fully vaccinated. As of September 23, 81% of staff at all adult care facilities and 77% of all staff at nursing home facilities in New York State were fully vaccinated. 

According to the regulation issued by the State Department of Health, all health care workers in New York State, at hospitals and nursing homes, are to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the first dose received by Monday, September 27, and staff at other covered entities including home care, hospice, and adult care facilities are to be vaccinated by October 7. The regulation also applies to all out of state and contract medical staff who practice in New York State.

"As nurses, we are committed to providing the best care for our patients and working with the Governor on these efforts. We need adequate staffing to protect our patients and our colleagues, and we want to do everything we can to avoid returning to crisis levels during the pandemic. We are grateful to Governor Hochul for her leadership and for her bold and strategic plan to support nurses, patients, and ensuring the best possible care," said Pat Kane, RN, Executive Director of New York State Nurses Association.

"UUP will continue to fight for adequate funding and staffing at the SUNY Hospitals and is dedicated to protecting the health and safety of our members and their patients. We understand the step that Governor Hochul is taking in light of the potential staff shortage. We remain hopeful that this step will not be necessary. We continue to urgently call on all UUP members and all New Yorkers to get vaccinated immediately," said Frederick E. Kowal, PH.D, President of United University Professions.



5,000 feet of new water mains; 2,800 feet of new storm sewers; 44,000 feet of new or rebuilt sidewalks to make neighborhood more resilient than ever

 Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) and NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) announced today the completion of a $17.3 million project two months ahead of schedule to improve street conditions, alleviate flooding and upgrade infrastructure in Rosedale, Queens.


The project is part of a $2.2 billion investment by the de Blasio Administration to build a comprehensive drainage system, improve street conditions and alleviate flooding in southeast Queens. The program, the largest of its kind, consists of 43 projects overall, including 16 that are substantially completed, five that are in active construction and 11 that are in design.


“As extreme climate events become more frequent, infrastructure investments in our roads and sewers only become more critical,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The completion of this project will not only improve Rosedale’s street conditions and alleviate flooding, it will also ensure safer and more resilient streets for years to come.”


“This $17.3 million investment to install new storm sewers and catch basins in Rosedale delivers on the de Blasio Administration’s commitment to upgrading and improving the drainage infrastructure in Southeast Queens,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “I want to thank our partners at DDC and DOT for their impressive work on this project, completing it about two months ahead of schedule and just in time for hurricane season.”


“Extreme climate change events underscore the importance of infrastructure projects like this one, and these infrastructure upgrades represent a significant investment in Southeast Queens," said DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman. “We are committed to continuing to work with our fellow city agencies to keep our roads in a state of good repair and protected from flooding.”


“This important component of the de Blasio Administration’s Southeast Queens Initiative was completed about two months ahead of schedule, installing new streets and storm sewers that will help address flooding induced by climate change,” said DDC Commissioner Jamie Torres-Springer. “With DEP and DOT, we continue to implement major infrastructure investments throughout southeast Queens.”


Work in Rosedale occurred on 10 individual blocks. More than one mile (5,500 feet) of water mains, some of which were installed before World War II, were replaced with new pipes ranging from eight to 12 inches in diameter. Fire protection was enhanced with the replacement of 15 fire hydrants and installation of four new fire hydrants. Two bollards were placed in front of each fire hydrant to protect them from potential vehicle damage.


A total of 2,780 feet of new storm sewers were added to the neighborhoods, ranging in size from 15 inches in diameter up to three feet by five feet. To better capture stormwater and direct it to the new storm sewers, 35 new catch basins were installed and nine existing ones were replaced. Nearly 300 feet of new 10-inch sanitary sewer was installed and 400 feet of sanitary sewers were replaced with pipes ranging from 10 to 12 inches. Two new underground sewer chambers help the new infrastructure in the neighborhood operate at peak efficiency.


As part of the final street restoration, 17,570 square yards of new asphalt was laid down over a new concrete base and 43,775 square feet of sidewalk and 8,775 feet of curbs were added or rebuilt. Throughout the project area, 27 old trees were removed but 57 new trees were planted, resulting in a net gain of 30 trees overall.


Compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) was improved with the replacement of 39 old pedestrian ramps and the addition of 10 new ADA-compliant ones.


Councilman Mark Gjonaj's NYC Moving Forward Week in Review - 9/24/2021


Dear Friends,

I hope you and your families are doing well as we are bracing for a full return to normalcy, while we don’t let the guard down and encourage all those non-vaccinated to get vaccinated.

October is right around the corner and in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month we are hosting two Mammogram Events on October 2nd and October 16th. Check the fliers in this newsletter and RSVP to our office at 728-931-1721.

After we passed third-party food delivery app legislation to protect partnering restaurants, this week my colleagues and I passed legislation to protect workers. Delivery for third-party food apps has provided employment and additional income streams as New Yorkers adapt to the turbulent COVID economy. We want to secure these opportunities, elevating the worker experience and their quality-of-life and I am proud to cosponsor three bills in the package.

The City of New York is offering a temporary program allowing constituents to pay a reduced amount for eligible Environmental Control Board judgments. If anyone has unpaid OATH ECB judgments that are eligible for the FAIRER Program, they may be able to save up to 75% and have the penalties and interest associated with your judgments waived. For more information, Click Here.

Please remember we are here for you, contact my office with issues or concerns at 718-931-1721 or email at


NYC Councilman Mark Gjonaj
District 13, Bronx

As of August 17, Key to NYC — proof of Covid vaccination is required for entry into bars, restaurants, fitness gyms, movie and stage theatres, museums and other indoor venues. There are multiple ways to show proof of vaccination such as hard copy of CDC vaccination card, NYC COVID Safe App, NYS Excelsior App, Official vaccine record, A photo or hard copy of an official vaccination record of a vaccine administered outside the US for the following vaccines: AstraZeneca/SK Bioscience, Serum Institute of India/COVISHIELD and Vaxzevria, Sinopharm, or Sinovac. Visit to find additional resources for businesses, including printable copies of required signage, a Key to NYC Pass checklist, FAQs, and more.

98 Days and Counting - Now I have to visit Rikers


If I told you pesky reporters enough times, I will go to Rikers Island when I want to, and no one is going to make me go. What's that my fellow elected officials who have been to Rikers, when am I going? I will be going sometime this week. and I don't want those pesky reporters to know when.

Dr. Chokshi what is that pesky reporter from the Bronx saying that the vaccine we are injecting into people is not the same, and he got sick from his second injection and he wants to sue the city? I don't want this to get out to any of those other pesky reporters.

I now have less than 100 days left in office, and I want them to be trouble free. 

Senator Biaggi's Week in Review: 9/20/21-9/24/21


Dear Community,

I want to begin by saying Chag Sameach to our Jewish neighbors and wish the community a joyous Sukkot, which began earlier this week. I hope that everyone observing has a festive and blessed week. 

Last week, we also recognized the start of Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month, spanning September 15th through October 15th. September 15th was chosen as the start because it marks the Independence Day anniversaries of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. 

This is an important time to celebrate and honor the cultures, intersectional identities, resilience, and contributions of the Latinx diaspora – past and present. There are roughly 62 million Latinx people living in the United States, and the Latinx population accounted for 51% of the country’s population growth. Here in New York State, the Latinx community makes up roughly 19% of our statewide population and 29% of New York City’s population

Throughout this month, it is especially critical we uplift the movements and voices of Latinx New Yorkers, and fight with and for our communities that are often ignored or left behind – particularly Afro-Latinx, Queer-Latinx, and Indigenous peoples. I ask you to join me in elevating their experiences by sharing their stories and supporting their work – visibility and representation matters. I am incredibly proud to represent a district with such vibrant Hispanic and Latinx communities, and look forward to fighting for them each and everyday.

Below is a list of educational resources on Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month as well as personal essays from members of the Latinx diaspora.

With Gratitude,

State Senator Alessandra Biaggi

New York Philharmonic Co-Presents “Honor & Praise,” Tuesday September 28


New York Philharmonic Musicians To Perform on
Honor & Praise: Celebrating the Influence of the African Diaspora on Global Culture

September 28, 2021, at Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx

Co-Presented by the New York Philharmonic, Bronx Arts Ensemble, Van Cortlandt House Museum, and Van Cortlandt Park Alliance


New York Philharmonic musicians will perform on the Van Cortlandt House Museum Lawn in Van Cortlandt Park on Tuesday, September 28, at 5:00 p.m. as part of Honor & Praise: Celebrating the Influence of the African Diaspora on Global Culture. The free event — a co-presentation by the New York Philharmonic, Bronx Arts Ensemble, Van Cortlandt House Museum, and Van Cortlandt Park Alliance — features performances by a string quartet of Philharmonic musicians and a woodwind quintet from Bronx Arts Ensemble (BAE), plus a panel discussion on the intersection of music, culture, and Black identity.

Philharmonic violinists Fiona Simon and Sharon Yamada, violist Robert Rinehart, and cellist Alexei Yupanqui Gonzales will perform Dr. Trevor Weston’s Juba, and the BAE quintet (Theresa Norris, flute; Marsha Heller, oboe; Mitchell Kriegler, clarinet; Kyra Sims, horn; Atsuko Sato, bassoon) will play Valerie Coleman’s Umoja and Enoch Mankayi Sontonga’s Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika, arranged by Coleman. Members of both groups, plus Philharmonic bassist Rion Wentworth, will perform Dorothy Rudd Moore’s Transcension, composed in 1986 in honor of the first observance of a national holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the US. The interdisciplinary panel of scholars includes ethnomusicologist Dr. Fredara Hadley, social anthropologist Dr. Raymond Codrington, and Dr. Weston. The event will open with a traditional African libation ceremony, led by Susann Miles and Rev. Rhonda Akanke McClean-Nur.

Proof of vaccination, masks, and advance registration are required.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Governor Hochul Updates New Yorkers on State's Progress Combating COVID-19 - SEPTEMBER 24, 2021


54,183 Vaccine Doses Administered Over Last 24 Hours

27 COVID-19 Deaths Statewide Yesterday

 Governor Kathy Hochul today updated New Yorkers on the state's progress combating COVID-19.

 "We are continuing to closely watch the numbers in every corner of the state and are prepared to dispatch all necessary resources wherever we see a spike of new infections," Governor Hochul said. "We cannot afford to let our guard down, especially as we get deeper into the fall season and people start to spend more of their time indoors. I urge everyone to continue practicing basic safety measures, and if you still need to get your shot, that should be a priority because every day that you put it off you remain vulnerable to COVID-19."      

Today's data is summarized briefly below:

  • Test Results Reported - 222,958
  • Total Positive - 6,070
  • Percent Positive - 2.72%
  • 7-Day Average Percent Positive - 2.76%
  • Patient Hospitalization - 2,336 (+16)
  • Patients Newly Admitted - 313
  • Patients in ICU - 555 (+3)
  • Patients in ICU with Intubation - 326 (-5)
  • Total Discharges - 199,211 (+276)
  • New deaths reported by healthcare facilities through HERDS - 27
  • Total deaths reported by healthcare facilities through HERDS - 44,340

The Health Electronic Response Data System is a NYS DOH data source that collects confirmed daily death data as reported by hospitals, nursing homes and adult care facilities only.

  • Total deaths reported to and compiled by the CDC - 56,462

This daily COVID-19 provisional death certificate data reported by NYS DOH and NYC to the CDC includes those who died in any location, including hospitals, nursing homes, adult care facilities, at home, in hospice and other settings.

  • Total vaccine doses administered - 24,900,690
  • Total vaccine doses administered over past 24 hours - 54,183
  • Total vaccine doses administered over past 7 days - 337,532
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with at least one vaccine dose - 80.8%
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with completed vaccine series - 72.9%
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with at least one vaccine dose (CDC) - 83.1%
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with completed vaccine series (CDC) - 74.7%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose - 68.3%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with completed vaccine series - 61.5%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose (CDC) - 70.4%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with completed vaccine series (CDC) - 63.0%

Attorney General James Voices Concern to President Biden Over Treatment of Haitian Refugees at the Texas Border


Coalition of Attorneys General Call for Fair, Compassionate Treatment of Haitian Refugees Fleeing Crisis

 New York Attorney General Letitia James joined a coalition of 17 attorneys general in sending a letter to President Joe Biden and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas expressing concern over the treatment of thousands of Haitian refugees currently seeking humanitarian aid along the border in Texas. The coalition also urged the administration to reevaluate its rush to unfairly expel refugees to Haiti. 

“I have seen the devastating and disturbing photos of border patrol officers on horseback using whips to corral Haitian refugees seeking asylum, and it’s clear that they have not been shown the humanity and concern they are owed,” said Attorney General James. “We are a nation built by immigrants, and we cannot be callous and cruel towards individuals fleeing natural disaster, political instability, extreme poverty, and violence in their home country.  I stand with my fellow attorneys general in urging the Biden Administration to end the mistreatment of Haitians at the border and demonstrate the morality and compassion that they deserve.”

In recent days, photographs and video emerged of U.S. immigration officials using inhume tactics, including charging at and attempting to whip Haitian refugees, in Del Rio, Texas. This comes as thousands of refugees continue to flee Haiti as the country faces unprecedented political upheaval following this summer’s presidential assassination and struggles to rebuild critical infrastructure after a destabilizing earthquake last month.

In their letter, the coalition is calling on the Biden Administration to ensure federal officials treat Haitian refugees with dignity and compassion. The attorneys general are also urging the administration to exercise its authority to give Haitian nationals seeking refuge in the United States the same due process other immigrants and refugees receive by assessing each Haitian refugee on a case-by-case basis, rather than continuing a disparate immigration policy that rushes the repatriation of Haitian refugees to a country that has suffered from political unrest after the assassination of their president and a humanitarian crisis on the heels of a devastating earthquake and tropical storm.

The coalition commends the federal government’s commitment to investigating the inhumane tactics of U.S. immigration officials in Texas and for its recent decision to increase the number of refugees who will be allowed into the United States. However, the coalition also expresses concern over the continuation of a summary deportation policy that is forcing many Haitian refugees seeking asylum or other humanitarian assistance in the United States to return to Haiti without any consideration of the legitimacy of their claims for asylum.

The coalition asserts that Haitian refugees deserve the same due process as all other individuals attempting to immigrate or flee to the United States, and the circumstances of every Haitian seeking refuge in the United States should be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The attorneys general argue that this individualized evaluation should factor in both the time a person has been away from Haiti and the circumstances he or she will likely face if forced to return amid Haiti’s current humanitarian and governance crises.

Additionally, the attorneys general note that the federal government has several tools at its disposal to address the dire conditions Haitian refugees are facing in Del Rio, including the president’s ability to exercise discretionary refugee admission authority during a humanitarian crisis. In the event of an unforeseen emergency refugee situation, the president has authority to designate a number of refugees to be admitted into the United States that is separate from the annual cap on immigrants allowed into the U.S. The attorneys general point out that the admission of Haitian refugees is justified by the grave humanitarian concerns currently facing the people of Haiti.



 Mayor de Blasio today appointed Gabrielle Fialkoff as the next Commissioner of the Department of Parks and Recreation. Fialkoff, a former Senior Advisor to the Mayor, brings more than 20 years of experience leading organizations and working across government, nonprofit, philanthropic, and business sectors. She will begin her role on Monday. Fialkoff succeeds outgoing Acting Commissioner Margaret Nelson, who will return to her role as Deputy Commissioner for Urban Parks Services and Public Programs.


“Gabrielle Fialkoff is committed to fighting inequality and has shown her dedication to providing opportunities for open space and outdoor recreation in neighborhoods that have often been overlooked, underinvested in, and disconnected from the possibilities New York City has to offer,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “She has a proven track record of bringing people together, aligning interests, and delivering results to ensure communities get the resources they deserve. She is a natural choice to lead the Department of Parks and Recreation as we guarantee a recovery for all of us.”


“In Gabrielle’s prior work with this administration, she pioneered a new approach to municipal government and philanthropy by establishing the Office of Strategic Partnerships,” said Vicki Been, Deputy Mayor of Housing & Economic Development. “Her work on programs like Building Healthy Communities and Connections to Care will be especially helpful as we continue to make the equitable investment in our parks a keystone of our recovery. I look forward to working with Gabrielle in her new role, and I want to thank acting Commissioner Nelson for her amazing work stewarding the agency these past few months.”

“I am thrilled to take on the role of Commissioner of the Parks Department and have the opportunity to work with its dedicated public servants who, through their enthusiasm, commitment, and hard work, make life better for all New Yorkers,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Gabrielle Fialkoff. “The pandemic has brought into the sharpest focus what an extraordinary resource the City’s parks can be for every New Yorker—they became our classrooms, our living rooms, our respite, and our peace of mind. Together we will continue the work of aiding the City's recovery and ensuring that every neighborhood has access to safe and vibrant open spaces. Thank you, Mayor de Blasio—it’s a privilege to serve the City of New York, and I’m honored to join the Parks team.”  

Fialkoff served as Senior Advisor to the Mayor from 2014-2018 where she established the Office of Strategic Partnerships to engage the private sector in the fight against inequality through high impact public private partnerships. Fialkoff launched Building Healthy Communities, a City initiative that created the first urban farms on public housing properties in the nation, built 50 mini soccer fields in underserved neighborhoods, expanded free exercise classes in parks and recreation centers, supported community gardens and brought together communities to participate in improving their health outcomes. 


She led initiatives such as The Center for Youth Employment, which delivered 100,000 yearly internships and summer jobs for young people, Computer Science for All, a public private partnership to bring computer science education to all NYC public school students, and put more than $420 million of private funding toward combating income inequality.


In March of 2020, Fialkoff temporarily returned to serve as Senior Advisor for COVID Relief Efforts to the Mayor, leveraging her crisis management experience and relationships to aid in the City’s pandemic response efforts. Prior to working in City government, Fialkoff had a successful business career, growing her fashion company from an early-stage business to become an industry leader. Earlier in her career she worked on the campaigns of President Bill Clinton in New York and Hillary Clinton’s historic first run for U.S. Senate. 



"I thank the federal monitor for recognizing the need that I and others have seen – for state and federal outside support to help address the crisis on Rikers that has taken two lives in the last few days. The Mayor finally agreeing to visit Rikers next week, as a result of sustained pressure rather than his sense of duty, does not excuse his long absence in presence or leadership. The monitor is right that the city’s role in allowing this emergency to grow and its failure to respond with the necessary speed and scope have made it clear that additional personnel and resources are needed on the island as we work to simultaneously decarcerate and safely return staff to work. 

"Urgent aid from an outside entity is needed to restore and protect the health and safety of incarcerated people and staff alike. At the same time, care and caution is critical to ensure any outside presence alleviates, rather than adds to, the chaos and confusion inside. New personnel should be focused on medical, humanitarian, and administrative intervention. They must be incorporated with clear instructions and clear command structures to meet the clear need – not for carceral enforcement, but for disaster relief."




This Sunday, September 26th from 12pm - 6pm we will be hosting our 2021 Longwood Festival, Vol. 2!.

Join us for a fun-filled day with performances from George Lamond, Los Hermanos Moreno and our featured headliner, El Bachatero LUIS VARGAS!

See flyer below for more details. See you there!

99 Days and Counting


Another day is gone and I have only ninety-nine days left in office. At least I didn't hear those pesky reporters ask me 'Mayor de Blasio, when are you going to visit Rikers Island'. I'll go when I want to go, when we get staffing up to a safe level, and the guards can control the jail.

I have to start packing now, because it will take that much time for me and Charlene to remove all the things we want to keep from Gracie Mansion. You know Charlene and I had a good eight years in Gracie Mansion and I expect to take much of the fond memories.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Amazon Releases Workforce Demographic Data Following Push by Comptroller Stringer and NYC Funds


 Amazon has publicly released the company’s EEO-101 workforce demographic data for 2019 and 2020 following a concerted push by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and three New York City Retirement Systems. The Consolidated EEO-1 Report is the “gold standard” for diversity disclosure and will enable investors to evaluate the performance of portfolio companies in terms of their ability to hire, retain, and promote employees of color and women. Amazon last released its EEO-1 report in 2016.

“This information is critical for transparency and shareholders,” said Comptroller Stringer. “Amazon’s public disclosure of its workforce demographic data will help investors better understand the company’s labor practices, identify areas for improvement, and benchmark diversity performance. The release of this data brings us another step closer to ensuring companies’ commitment to equity and diversity, but we have more to do. We will continue to hold corporate America accountable and set the tone for EEO-1 disclosure across U.S. public companies.”

As of July 31, 2021, the New York City Pension Funds’ have $2.38 billion invested in Amazon.

In July 2020, Comptroller Stringer and the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, the Teachers Retirement System of the City of New York and the New York City Board of Education Retirement System called on S&P 100 companies to match their public statements in support of racial equality, diversity and inclusion with concrete action by publicly disclosing their annual EEO-1 workforce demographic data. Prior to the launch of the Comptroller’s campaign, only 14 S&P 100 companies disclosed their Consolidated EEO-1 Report.  The Comptroller and three NYC funds subsequently submitted shareowner proposals to two initially unresponsive companies, and to a third company as a continuation of an historical previous engagement.  As of today, a substantial majority of S&P 100 companies disclose, or have committed to disclose their EEO-1 data, including 67 S&P companies that have begun or committed to disclose as a result of the push made by Comptroller Stringer and the NYC Funds:

!00 Bottles of Beer on the Wall, or Days and Counting


That's right, I have one hundred days left in office. Will you pesky reporters stop asking me when I am going to go to Rikers Island. In one hundred and one days when I am out of office.

Next month it will be City Hall in Brooklyn, or should I save that for my last week in office. That way I won't have far to go when I leave office. There is only one thing I love more than Brooklyn, and that is Boston and the Red Sox. At least tomorrow I have no media availability and will not have to sit through those pesky reporters questions. Mayor de Blasio, when are you going to visit Riker's Island. My answer should be when it becomes the runway for 747's to land on as they finally can land at Laguardia Airport.