Posts Tagged ‘Roberto Ramirez’

12th March
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, March 12, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

Tomorrow afternoon, the members of the Legislature will gather in joint session to make four critical appointments to one of the state’s most important panels, the Board of Regents. The board controls virtually all aspects of education, including the appointment of the education commissioner.

The much-criticized concept of “three men in a room” — the governor, the speaker of the Assembly and the Senate majority leader — looks downright democratic next to the process by which our regents are chosen. This process can be called “one man in a room.” Even so, that one man, Speaker Sheldon Silver, is willing to let party hacks, or even lobbyists, recommend candidates to sit on this critical board. (more…)

9th January
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, January 9, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

Herman Badillo and his new book, “One Nation, One Standard,” will be celebrated today at a luncheon held by the Manhattan Institute, where he will be introduced by Mayor Koch. Even before it hit the stores, the ideas expressed in the book have been a source of controversy because Mr. Badillo takes his fellow Hispanics to task for not stressing the importance of education to their children. “Education is not a high priority in the Hispanic community. … Hispanics have simply failed to recognize the overriding importance of education.”

Mr. Badillo’s standing comes not only from his own ethnic background and service as Bronx president and a member of Congress but also from his service as the chairman of the board of trustees of the City University of New York. After decades of declining reputation brought on by an “open admissions” policy, Mr. Badillo led the charge to end the practice of offering remedial classes for ill-prepared students in the system’s senior colleges. With remediation limited to the system’s two-year community colleges, high standards at the City University have returned and ignited a renaissance. (more…)

29th December
2006

First Published in The New York Sun, December 29, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

On the first day of the new state administration everything is supposed to change, but if one of Governor-elect Spitzer’s key appointments is any indication of things to come, the current Albany atmosphere will change little.

Last week, Mr. Spitzer appointed Lorraine Cortes-Vasquez to the post of secretary of state. Ms. Cortes-Vazquez is a prominent ally of the Bronx Democratic organization. (more…)

27th June
2006

First Published in The New York Sun, June 27, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

Bronx Community Board 4 has in recent days become among the best known of the city’s 62 community boards. This is the board that voted against the plan to build the new Yankee Stadium. These boards only have advisory power. But having the weight of these “official” representatives of the local neighborhoods behind a project can influence the higher officials who really make the decisions.

Tonight, at Bronx Lebanon Hospital on the Grand Concourse, the board will hold its final meeting before old terms expire and new ones begin. Fireworks are expected. The board that will be in place next week will look quite different from the one that will meet tonight. Members of the board who ignored the wishes of the Bronx president, Adolfo Carrion, have been removed, and new, presumably more pliable members will take their place. (more…)

9th June
2006

First Published in The New York Sun, June 9, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

The victory of John Faso in last week’s Republican state convention has been portrayed as an upset. It shouldn’t be. Mr. Faso, the former Assembly minority leader has routinely been underestimated. Although he faces a hard road ahead, he can be elected governor. Conventional wisdom says Eliot Spitzer. Tell that to “Governor” Howard Samuels, “Governor” Ed Koch, and “fourterm” Governor Mario Cuomo.

Mr. Faso demonstrated that he had the right stuff four years ago when he came out of nowhere to finish strong in the race for state comptroller. In that contest, Mr. Faso faced a well-known opponent, Alan Hevesi, who had served as the city’s comptroller for two terms and for a while was considered the front-runner to succeed Mayor Giuliani. (more…)