Archive for April, 2005

7th April

First Published in The New York Sun, April 7, 2005

By Andrew Wolf

Gifford Miller, the City Council speaker, came to the Bronx Sunday morning bringing a gift to voters in Riverdale, a community with a tendency toward huge turnouts in Democratic primaries. Mr. Miller is one of four Democrats running for mayor, and Riverdale is an area that either he or Rep. Anthony Weiner is likely to win in September’s primary election.

Mr. Miller has found $200,000 in his budget to pay for improvements to the ball fields of Seton Park, at the heart of the community. That’s the reason he was standing in a muddy field on a rainy Sunday. In tow was the area’s council member, G. Oliver Koppell, who has become fast friends with the speaker. (more…)

6th April

First Published in The New York Sun, April 6, 2005

By Andrew Wolf

A few weeks ago, he was Front-Runner Freddy, but now he’s Flip-Flop Freddy, Flub-a-Dub Freddy, and, worse yet, Free-Fall Freddy.

In part, that’s a reminder of the fragility of the early lead in political contests. Four years ago, the suggestion that Michael Bloomberg, a businessman unknown to the vast majority of New Yorkers, would become mayor was laughable. Early last year, local Democrats were elbowing each other to be at the head of the line to support the candidacy of Howard Dean for president. The City Council speaker, Gifford Miller, was recruiting his lemming-like colleagues to line up behind the former Vermont governor, who seemed a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination — until real voters got into the act.


5th April

First Published in The New York Sun, April 5, 2005

By Andrew Wolf

We live in a society that demands instant information. Before the last ticket is sold Sunday evening, we know which film had the highest gross over the weekend. Before the last of the leftover turkey is consumed after Thanksgiving, analysts have already evaluated pre-Christmas retail sales. And it seems to me that our mayor made a lot of money during a previous career putting instantaneous information on the desks of those working in our financial markets.

Living in a world of huge technological advances, one would think that it would take almost no time to grade the test papers of the children in our school system. But that isn’t the case. It takes weeks to generate test results on the city’s standardized tests. The state is even slower at marking its exams. There are still no results for the 4th Grade English Language Arts test administered two months ago, or the 8th Grade ELA administered in mid-January. (more…)