Dinner with a senator

By Former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

Sandersheadshot

Several months ago during one of the late night pauses in the state budget deliberations, I had the occasion to have dinner in Albany with one of the rising stars of the New York State Senate, our own Brad Hoylman.

The meal itself was not all that memorable, although it did consist of my favorite Italian food and it was pretty darn good. But what I remember most about that evening was not the pasta or pastry for dessert but rather the intelligence, humility and the down to earth common sense of the fellow sitting across the table, Senator Brad Hoylman.

Unlike our mayor, Brad arrived pretty close to the scheduled time and without an entourage. But nonetheless he apologized for being just a few minutes late because work in the Senate was running a bit long that evening and he wasn’t exactly sure of the street that our bistro was located on.

I had actually known Brad a little bit prior to his 2012 election to the State Senate. Brad was a vice president of the prestigious New York City Partnership which is a progressive organization of business and civic leaders. I also knew of Brad’s work in local politics from the Lower West Side of Manhattan.

The reviews on Brad had always been good but I never really spent much time with him. We immediately launched into a multi-dimensional conversation involving the need for political reforms, tenant protections, education, health matters and family values. I was so impressed with Brad’s grasp and understanding of a wide range of important topics and his many good ideas about how to make government more accountable to voters and work better.Perhaps because he has only been in the State Senate for three years he has not had time to become jaded. But I suspect that if Brad serves in the Senate for 23 years, he will be the same positive thinking progressive elected official who cares more about good public policy than the personal enrichment either of money or power that some in politics seem to lust after. Brad seems to be cut from a different cloth. A fabric which is made of durable and sterner stuff.

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Flatiron BID expands public access to WiFi

Argo Tea on Broadway is one of the businesses that has a device for public WiFi installed as part of the new program. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Argo Tea on Broadway is one of the businesses that has a device for public WiFi installed as part of the new program. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Flatiron Partnership/BID announced the completion of a wireless corridor in the district on Monday, offering access to public WiFi on the street and in various businesses throughout the neighborhood.

The recently-announced expansion is bringing public WiFi to additional streets throughout the district, strengthening the signal from Sixth Avenue to Park Avenue South along 23rd Street and adding service on Fifth Avenue from 25th to 21st Streets, on Broadway from 24th to 21st Streets and on 21st Street between Fifth Avenue and Broadway.

The BID partnered with 13 businesses, including Alan Tanksley, Inc., Argo Tea, Flatiron Green Café, Marimekko, ilili BOX and others to install equipment for the expanded network.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg initially announced a program to bring free public WiFi to various commercial districts throughout the city in the fall of 2013. The Wireless Corridor Challenge was led by the city’s Economic Development Corporation and was awarded to five organizations in the city, including the Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership. Sky Packets, a company that focuses on providing WiFi for retail businesses, worked with the Flatiron Partnership to implement the network.

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