What does New York City Mayor Eric Adams have in common with a piece of broccoli? Adams twice compared himself to the vegetable yesterday, saying fed up New Yorkers will eventually be glad he made them eat their greens: “I’m like broccoli. You’re gonna hate me now, but you’re gonna love me later.”

The latest issue to place Adams on the defensive is his plan to clear encampments of homeless people across the city, coming on the heels of his crackdown on homelessness on the subway. Adams says he will demolish some 180 encampments over the next two weeks, and doubled down on his plan in the face of criticism.

“It shocks me that we believe it’s alright that someone should live on the street,” Adams said. “You should see the number of hypodermic needles on the ground, human waste. People are not allowed to take showers, they’re not allowed to take care of themselves. That is just so undignified.”

Few would argue with that, but the hitch is that the city does not have the power to stop people from living on the street, as Adams acknowledged, nor compel them to go to shelters, which many people living on the street make a point of avoiding because they view them as unsafe. What it does have the power to do is tear down makeshift shelters that unhoused New Yorkers have erected and remove their possessions, as it did under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway this week. “We cannot stop people from living on the streets, but we cannot tolerate these makeshift, unsafe houses on the side of highways and trees and in front of, you know, schools and parks. This is just unacceptable,” Adams said.

The mayor said he “inherited a dysfunctional city,” but his predecessor, Bill de Blasio, actually had a pretty similar position on the encampments. The city tore them down from time to time, and generally they came back, or were reestablished elsewhere.

To emphasize that he is doing more than just busting up encampments, Adams opened a new safe haven style shelter yesterday — and said one new tactic will be showing brochures touting the new style of shelters to people on the streets and subways. Jacquelyn Simone, policy director for the Coalition for the Homeless, said more safe havens are a good step but encampment sweeps are not. “Without offering homeless New Yorkers a better place to go, these are cruel public relations tactics that do not address the real problem,” she said.

IT’S WEDNESDAY. Got tips, suggestions or thoughts? Let us know … By email: [email protected] and [email protected], or on Twitter: @erinmdurkin and @annagronewold

WHERE’S KATHY? In Albany with no public events scheduled.

WHERE’S ERIC? Appearing on Fox’s “Good Day New York,” signing a rent stabilization bill, meeting with Martin Luther King III, making a social services announcement, meeting with Islamic, Jewish, and Catholic school communities, speaking at NYC & Company’s annual meeting, and speaking at an event celebrating the relaunch of The New York Sun.

As employers vary on checking vax proof, NYC hopes for the best,” by Newsday’s Matthew Chayes: “Some employers aren’t enforcing New York City’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate — and the Adams administration is relying on the honor system for compliance. Under the mandate, which started Dec. 27, employers must seek each worker’s proof of vaccination, maintain a log of who is and isn’t vaccinated, and ‘must exclude from the workplace any worker’ who’s unvaccinated, according to the city’s order. But according to groups representing businesses big and small, New York City — the only U.S. jurisdiction with such a vaccination requirement for the private sector — isn’t enforcing its mandate, which went into effect with days left in Bill de Blasio’s mayoralty.”

— “Unvaccinated NYC workers blast Mayor Adams’ ‘hypocritical’ mandate exemption for pro-athletes, performers,” by New York Daily News’ Chris Sommerfeldt: “Throngs of unvaccinated city employees and their allies gathered in Queens on Tuesday to needle Mayor Adams over his “hypocritical” decision to keep a COVID vaccination mandate in place for them while letting professional athletes and performers off the hook. Nearly 200 municipal employees, local elected officials and others assembled in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park to demand that Adams offer city workers the same exemption he granted last week to unvaccinated players on New York sports teams and entertainers like musicians.”

— “Mayor Eric Adams downplays rift with Council Speaker Adrienne Adams over vax mandate exemptions,” by New York Post’s Kevin Sheehan and Sam Raskin

Mayor Adams unveils vocational training program for NYC foster care kids: ‘We just ignored this population,’” by New York Daily News’ Chris Sommerfeldt: “Mayor Adams pledged to make vocational training for foster care children a ‘hallmark’ of his administration as he rolled out a new program on Tuesday aimed at giving the vulnerable kids a better shot at entering the city’s workforce. The new program, operated by the city Administration for Children’s Services and the City University of New York with funding assistance from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, will offer free vocational training in five different fields of work for youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who grew up in foster care, Adams said.”

Mayor Adams is betting on crypto. Skeptics are hedging,” by Gothamist’s Elizabeth Kim: “New York City mayors have traditionally pursued pet economic development projects. But few in recent memory have been as buzzy and polarizing as crypto — a decentralized banking system based on digital currencies. The $2 trillion global industry has invaded Wall Street, rankled environmentalists and spurred regulatory concerns over a potential speculative bubble. Crypto firms have in recent months exerted more political influence, ramping up their lobbying efforts at the state and federal level. …Indeed, since taking office, Adams has raised his clout as one of the crypto industry’s leading political influencers. He has followed through on a campaign promise of having his first three paychecks converted into Bitcoin and Ethereum — two types of popular but volatile cryptocurrencies.”

NYC’s Promised Public Bathrooms Still Doing the Waiting Dance,” by The City’s Reuven Blau: “As public bathrooms continue to be one of the rarest commodities in the city, the Adams administration has not provided a timeline or any details for the installation of 15 automatic sidewalk toilets unused for more than a decade. In 2006, the Bloomberg administration announced a 20-year franchise agreement with Cemusa, later bought by JC Decaux, to put in 20 automatic public toilets and 3,500 bus stop shelters and at least 330 newsstands in New York City. But only five of the toilets have been installed and the city has struggled to find suitable new spots.”

THE BUDGET’S DUE TOMORROW. ANY DEALS? * shrug*

— “Plan to replace New York’s ethics panel taking shape,” by Times Union’s Chris Bragg: “A deal to replace New York’s much-criticized ethics commission is taking shape in the final days of state budget talks. The plan under discussion among the Democrats who control state government would make several major changes to the enforcement of ethics and lobbying laws, but state lawmakers would continue to appoint the panel’s members — raising questions about the independence of the regulatory body. Senate Democrats and Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office are said to have tentatively agreed on most aspects of a new 11-member ‘Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government.’”

— “Lawmakers to Hochul: Get that developer tax break out of our budget,” by City & State’s Rebecca C. Lewis: “Days before the budget is due, many Democratic lawmakers don’t seem eager to have a discussion about replacing 421-a months before it expires. Members of both chambers are still getting their heads wrapped around the proposal, which leaders did not include in their one-house budget resolutions. ‘What I’m hearing is this is a lot more complicated,’ Assembly Member Marcela Mitaynes told City & State at a rally opposing a 421-a extension. ‘And it shouldn’t be in the budget…We have more than enough time to get into it.’”

— “Local control at issue in downstate New York casino talks,” by Spectrum’s Nick Reisman: “As state lawmakers negotiate whether to extend up to three casino licenses in the New York City metropolitan region, there’s a debate over how much control local government officials and community leaders should have in deciding where the casinos would be built. Lawmakers expect a final agreement on the casino licensing plan for New York City and the surrounding region will be included in a finalized state budget plan, which is expected to be approved in the coming days. ‘We want to make sure all the parties involved have some say as to, if the location as proposed is acceptable by them,’ said New York Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, the Democrat who leads his chamber’s Racing and Wagering Committee.”

— “Kathy Hochul Is Ready to Spend Millions on New Police Surveillance,” by New York Focus’ Chris Gelardi: “Embedded within the dozen bills and hundreds of line items that make up her plan for next year’s state budget, Hochul’s administration has proposed tens of millions of dollars and several new initiatives to expand state policing and investigative power, including agencies’ ability to surveil New Yorkers and gather intelligence on people not yet suspected of breaking the law.”

Hochul’s husband to potentially benefit big from Buffalo stadium costing NY $850 million,” by New York Post’s Carl Campanile, Bernadette Hogan and Josh Kosman: “The $850 million, taxpayer-funded deal to build a $1.4 billion stadium for the Buffalo Bills is not only a touchdown for upstate fans of star quarterback Josh Allen — it’s also a big win for the firm of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s husband. Bill Hochul is senior vice president and general counsel for Delaware North, the major food concessionaire at the Buffalo Bills’ current Highmark Stadium.”

COVID positivity rate spikes in Central New York, state says it is monitoring spike,” by New York Daily News’ Tim Balk: “The state’s Health Department said Monday that a sharp rise in COVID cases in central New York has drawn its attention and warned New Yorkers to remain vigilant against a virus threat that has still not fully abated after a challenging omicron winter. Case rates are dramatically lower in New York than they were in January and early February, when the omicron variant was ravaging the state. But the numbers have ticked up in recent days, with the now-dominant BA.2 omicron subvariant circulating through the Empire State.”

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — Nearly two-thirds of New York nursing homes have staffing levels below 3.5 hours of daily nursing care per resident — the minimum standard set in the state’s halted “safe staffing” requirement — and it would cost facilities an estimated $324.5 million to comply with that threshold, according to a new analysis commissioned by the New York State Health Facilities Association. The findings, compiled by CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors, LLC, raise new questions about the staffing minimum’s potential effects on New York’s long-term care industry. And they come as Gov. Kathy Hochul faces growing pressure from union leaders and Attorney General Tish James to move forward with implementing the regulation that has been on hold due to pandemic-related staffing shortages. The analysis found that 383 of 611 facilities (63 percent) were unable to meet the 3.5 hours per resident daily staffing requirement; and more than 5,600 additional staff would likely be needed for nursing homes to meet the threshold. — Shannon Young

#UpstateAmerica: Imitation is the highest form of flattery. Brooklyn Hots in Clinton Hill opens today with a take on Rochester’s famed Garbage Plates (called Trash Plates, rather, due to trademark issues).

Schumer, Jon Stewart demand passage of Gillibrand’s bill granting full benefits to veterans exposed to burn pits,” by New York Daily News’ Michael McAuliff: “When Gina Cancelino’s veteran husband Joe died in 2019 of cancer linked to toxic exposures in Iraq, he was still fighting for benefits at his home in Seaford, Long Island. Three years later, his widow and two daughters are still fighting, but may finally get their victory from a bill that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) vowed Tuesday to push through the United States Senate. ‘I’m here to say unequivocally — no doubt — I will fully support the Honoring Our Pact Act, and the Senate will vote on it this Congress,’ Schumer said at a news conference with veterans and other lawmakers.”

Dem pols demand Visa, Mastercard halt business in pro-Kremlin Belarus,” by New York Post’s Ben Kesslen: ”A group of seven Democratic lawmakers — including Bronx Rep. Ritchie Torres — are demanding Mastercard and Visa suspend all business operations in pro-Kremlin Belarus, which Russian troops have been using as a staging ground in their brutal war on Ukraine.”

— Mayor Eric Adams is considering naming Transport Workers Union president John Samuelsen to the MTA board.

— A transgender woman is suing Broome County for mistreatment in its jail.

— The MTA announced a new proposal to redesign Queens bus routes, after scrapping a previous plan in the face of opposition.

— The owner of Louie’s pizzeria and his father were stabbed when they intervened to stop an older woman being robbed outside the Elmhurst shop.

— The MTA is moving to upgrade subway signals along three more lines in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.

— Uber and Lyft drivers demanded compensation for surging fuel costs.

— A bill in the Legislature would require driver’s ed with a trained instructor to get a license.

— Suffolk investigators solved a 42-year-old cold case of a publishing company secretary who was abducted, raped and strangled.

— The Taxi and Limousine Commission reversed a plan to issue more livery car licenses.

— A man who tried to steal from a Duane Reade in Manhattan attempted to stab a security guard with a hypodermic needle.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Drew Maloney of the American Investment Council … Aryeh Lightstone … HuffPost’s Jessica SchulbergSuzy KhimmZach Silber of Kivvit … NYT’s Alex Kingsbury … Brunswick Group’s Susan Lagana … Visa’s Jeremy SturchioOded BaliltyCharles KoppelmanPaul Hoffman

MAKING MOVES — Aaron Ghitelman is now deputy communications director at the state Office of Cannabis Management. He was formerly press secretary for Sen. Brad Hoylman.

MEDIAWATCH — Pix 11’s Arnold Diaz is retiring after 50 years in local TV.

— The New Yorker is adding Molly Fischer and Rivka Galchen as staff writers.

ENGAGED — Josh Goldstein, an attorney at Adelman Hirsch & Connors and a member of Norwalk, CT’s Common Council, on Saturday proposed to Lizzy Schapiro, technical instructional designer at Newsela. The couple met on Hinge and he proposed at the High Line Hotel in NYC, where they had their second date and first kiss. Pic Another pic

Entrepreneurship Is Alive in N.Y. Public Housing. Will the City Step Up?” by The New York Times’ Nicole Hong: “Many nights, after a long day of home-schooling two of her children, Tamykah Anthony is standing over the stove, cooking up natural beauty products in her kitchen at Queensbridge Houses, the biggest public housing complex in New York City. Fueled by a lifelong interest in science, she began formally selling the products in 2017, hoping to provide financial stability for her family. Now, after her business, Xanthines All Natural Products, survived the roller coaster of the past two years, Ms. Anthony, 36, is considering looking for factory space. … As New York City officials grapple with how to ensure an equitable economic recovery from the pandemic, a new report this week from the Center for an Urban Future, a nonprofit organization, highlights what the group has described as an urgent need to support the hundreds of entrepreneurs like Ms. Anthony who live in public housing.”

Will NYC Bar Wells Fargo From Municipal Deposits After Alleged Discrimination Against Black Homeowners?” by The City’s George Joseph: “Mayor Eric Adams and Comptroller Brad Lander are facing calls from progressive advocates to cut off Wells Fargo’s ability to hold municipal deposits following allegations of racial discrimination. Wells Fargo is one of 30 banks approved by the city to compete for contracts to host revenue, payroll and other bank accounts for city agencies. On Monday, Public Bank NYC, a coalition pushing for a government-run municipal bank, formally asked city officials to revoke that designation.”

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