Afternoon Bulletin: Board of Elections Faces Scrutiny, NYers Remember Prince and More

Voting booths in Manhattan. (Photo: John Moore for Getty Images)
Voting booths in Manhattan. (Photo: John Moore for Getty Images) John Moore/Getty Images

The suspension of a top NYC Board of Elections official late Thursday is the latest development in a week of intense scrutiny on the agency. A WNYC analysis earlier this week found that 126,000 Brooklyn Democrats who were registered to vote were removed from the rolls before the New York Primary on Tuesday. The official, Chief Clerk Diane Haslett-Rudiano from the agency’s Brooklyn office, was suspended without pay while an investigation is conducted by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The political nature of positions at the Board has been a specific area of criticism—party members currently make up the staff. (WNYC)

Public school teacher evaluations will soon undergo an overhaul by the state, and several ideas have been brought up for how they may be changed. Along with the role of standardized testing, where a bulk of the focus has been placed, in-classroom observations are the subject of a few different options currently being considered. City Department of Education sources told DNA Info one of these would see the hiring of evaluators, or educators with experience as principals, whose starting salary would be more than $142,000, costing the city $60 million. (DNA Info)

As part of the Car Free NYC initiative taking place for the first time this Earth Day, several city streets are closed. These areas include the streets surrounding Washington Square Park, a portion of Wadsworth Avenue in Washington Heights, and a part of Broadway in the Flatiron District. Various events will be taking place, including fitness classes, tennis lessons, and theatre workshops for kids. Citi Bike will also be offering free rides. (DNA Info)

A Daily News and ProPublica investigation has found that city nuisance abatement law is being used overwhelmingly on mom-and-pop shops in immigrant and minority communities. Ninety percent of nuisance abatement actions were leveled against businesses in neighborhoods where the majority of residents are people of color. Shop owners interviewed for the story reportedly felt “entrapped and then strong-armed into signing settlements with steep fines and onerous conditions” by the NYPD. City Public Advocate Letitia James called the situation “a form of legal harassment and coercion.” (Daily News)

The death of the renowned musician Prince yesterday put music lovers all over the world in a state of mourning, but throughout the day New Yorkers honored his life and career in creative ways that were only fitting for the memory of the eclectic pop artist. Questlove performed a Prince-themed d.j. set at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg, Spike Lee hosted a block party, and fans created a makeshift memorial in the Prince Street subway station in Soho. (New Yorker)

Afternoon Bulletin: Board of Elections Faces Scrutiny, NYers Remember Prince and More