NEW WEBSITE MAKES GOVERNMENT MORE TRANSPARENT
Want to know more about how city officials are spending taxpayers’ money? Now there’s a website that helps you follow the buck. The website, called Checkbook 2.0, was recently launched by City Comptroller John Liu. City residents can now see inside New York’s purse and look up department payrolls, capital spending or search the largest checks paid out by the city. (A check to the School Construction Authority, which was paid $99 million for a project in July, is the biggest.) People can even look up financial trends across the city, like average income, and compare those numbers to nationwide patterns. Coming soon to the website: the city’s budget and revenues on view for curious taxpayers.
MICRO-APARTMENT DESIGN WINNER ANNOUNCED
New Yorkers are used to living in tiny apartments, but the shoebox is about to get even smaller. Last week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the winners of the “My Micro NY” apartment design contest. The winning designs, by a team from Monadnock Development LLC, Actors Fund Housing Development Corp. and nARCHITECTS, feature 9-to-10-foot ceilings and somewhere around 300 square feet of space. Almost half of the 55 micro-units, which will be built on East 27th Street, will be available at an affordable price.
“New York’s ability to adapt with changing times is what made us the world’s greatest city,” the mayor said when announcing the winner. “And it’s going to be what keeps us strong in the 21st century.”
The space includes ample storage, a tiny kitchen with a full-size fridge and a living/sleeping area. The building itself is a part of Bloomberg’s program adAPT NYC. Construction will begin in the fall.
EDUCATION 311 CALLS GETTING LOST
It is no secret that 311 calls get lost in the shuffle, even though the calls are supposed to be answered within seven days. But according to City Councilmember Gale Brewer, parental calls about schools have been re-routed to school networks instead of the superintendent. This makes many of the calls go largely unnoticed, she said in a letter to the Department of Education.
“Parents are desperate to have their questions answered,” Brewer said. But she also allowed that the 311 system might not be the most efficient place for school concerns; in her view, “311 is great for simple things and information,” not so great for more complicated educational questions.
SPEAKING OF LINCOLN
The New-York Historical Society presents a special historical treat. Watch the critically acclaimed movie Lincoln and then hear from the movie’s screenwriter, Tony Kushner, (Angels in America), and Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer (Lincoln: How Abraham Lincoln Ended Slavery in America). They will discuss the film’s treatment of our 16th president. Tickets are $35.
FIGHTING HEART DISEASE IN WOMEN
On Friday, Feb. 1, Lenox Hill Hospital is offering free screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure, calcium scores, glucose, BMI and vascular health. Visitors can also sample heart-healthy snacks and check out free yoga demonstrations. At the Einhorn Auditorium, 131 E. 76th St., 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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