MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Oct. 19, 2020

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Cuomo Announces Reopening of Ski Resorts

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Photo Credit: www.governor.ny.gov)
Governor Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) announced yesterday that ski resorts will reopen at limited capacity this November.

Starting on Friday, Nov. 6, resorts will be allowed to open at 50 percent capacity. They will also have to abide by strict health and safety guidelines, including: social distancing, through cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, and masks at all times except when eating, drinking and skiing,

“Scientists have told us the virus is going to become more aggressive in the fall, and right now, we are all feeling COVID-fatigue, but our micro-cluster strategy is a smart, data-driven and less disruptive strategy to get us through this season. And so far, the data shows the micro-cluster strategy is working to bring infection rates down in our red zone areas,” Cuomo said. “Beginning next month, Ski resorts will be allowed to reopen with limited indoor capacity, which will allow New Yorkers to have some outdoor activity this winter without having to quarantine when they come back.”


Hoylman, Simon Report Troubling Results from Online Bar Exam Surveys

State Senator Brad Hoylman (photo provided by Avi Small)
State Senator Brad Hoylman

Yesterday, State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown) and Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon (D-Brooklyn) released the results of their snapshot surveys of law students who recently took the New York State Bar Exam online.

Of the 500 respondents:

  • 74.7 percent described the overall experience as negative;
  • 41.1 percent experienced technical difficulties related to internet or software;
  • 71.5 percent expressed concern that other test takers were cheating;
  • and 29.1 percent suspected that the ExamSoft program was accessing personal information on their computers.

“Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, our snapshot survey of New York Bar Exam takers found a substantial number of issues with the administration of an online exam, including immunocompromised examinees having to choose between taking the test in person with accommodations or taking it remotely without needed accommodations, issues with facial recognition software not recognizing examinees’ faces, and the software itself repeatedly freezing or lagging for many examinees,” said Hoylman. “As a result, I don’t think anyone can credibly describe the online bar exam as a success.”


Williams Calls for Expansion and Reform of Remote Learning

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (Photo credit: ballotpedia.org)
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

Last Friday, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (D) spoke at a City Council joint hearing of the Committees on Education and Health, encouraging the expansion and improvement of remote learning.

With the risk of a second COVID-19 wave, we may have to switch to an entirely remote model. Thus, we should focus on strengthening that model instead of continuing to push for in-person learning without adequate safety precautions.

Williams’ bill, Intro 2058, would require the Department of Education to report student attendance at remote learning classes each week.

“Student engagement remains a problem because the DOE has still not provided every single student with a remote learning device,” said Williams. “The money and energy that the Administration is investing in this hybrid approach would be better spent towards improving remote learning, with a phased-in method coming at a later date when our schools have more staff, a standard universal guidance, and additional resources.”


Levine to Host Community Townhall on Sanitation

Council Member Mark D. Levine (Photo source: Wikipediting, CC BY-SA 3.0)
Council Member Mark D. Levine

Tonight, Councilmember Mark Levine (D-Manhattan Valley, Manhattanville) will be hosting a townhall on sanitation, recycling and composting.

Levine will join representatives from the NYC Department of Sanitation, WeAct, and NYLPI to update the community on the City’s sanitation plan during the COVID-19 pandemic. Viewers will also get the chance to ask their own questions and voice their concerns.

The event will take place tonight from 5-6 p.m. over Zoom. To register, click here.

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