REP. MALONEY'S OPPONENT TAKES AIM Last week, Republican candidate for Congress Chris Wight took incumbent Rep. Carolyn Maloney to task for her use of a four-letter word-"when." Wight seized on a statement that Maloney made during a rally protesting the presence of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, at the United Nations. "In the last year, Iran has grown ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon-we're no longer talking about 'if'-instead we're wondering 'when,'" Maloney said at the event. "Just last week, Iran's vice president and head of its nuclear program admitted in an interview given to Al-Hayat that Iran gave foreign officials misleading facts about the state of their nuclear progress." Maloney went on to outline the reasons she believed that the UN should reject Ahmadinejad's legitimacy at the assembly. Her opponent was apparently riled by her statement and issued one of his own, saying that he has a much clearer and better plan for Israel. "Carolyn Maloney is emboldening Iran and sending conflicting messages to the international community," Wight said in a statement. "Instead of insisting that the U.S. stand by our policy of not allowing a nuclear Iran, Maloney conceded that it is only a matter of time." CONTRACTOR NAMED FOR MARINE TRANSFER STATION The Department of Design and Construction awarded a contract to rebuild the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station, a project the city continues to move forward with even as residents and lawsuits attempt to throw up delays and roadblocks. The DDC announced that it will give the $181,640,000 contract to a joint venture between construction companies Skanska and Trevcon. A spokesperson reiterated that this is the first step in a process to retain final approval for the contract. It must be approved by the Office of Management and Budget and then move to the Comptroller's office to be registered. Meanwhile, local groups are keeping up the fight. On Thursday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m., the East Side Democratic Club is hosting a meeting at Brown Gardens Community Room, 225 E. 93rd St., with Assembly Member Micah Kellner and attorney Albert Butzel to inform residents about the lawsuit Kellner has brought against the MTS plan. For more information, call 212-861-2014 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. GARODNICK PROPOSES SICK LEAVE COMPROMISE Upper West Side City Council Member Gale Brewer has been pushing to pass the paid sick leave bill that she authored, but has been thwarted thus far by Speaker Christine Quinn's refusal to bring the bill to a vote. Mayor Bloomberg has made it clear that he would veto it, citing a negative effect on small businesses. But now a new version may make its way to the floor of the council and could win over critics. Council Member Dan Garodnick proposed four amendments to the bill that so far have been well received, as the New York Times reported last week. The biggest change would be to lower the number of paid sick days required for businesses with 20 or more employees. Currently, the bill requires businesses with more than five employees to provide five paid sick days annually, and businesses with 20 or more employees to provide nine paid sick days. Garodnick's amendment to "remove the cliff" and simply require all businesses with over five employees to give five days quells small businesses' concerns that the higher number would keep businesses from hiring more workers to avoid bumping up to nine days. Garodnick also proposed exempting seasonal employees, allowing employees in the service sector to swap shifts if they're sick without having to utilize a paid sick day, and limiting the time in which an employee could sue for paid sick leave benefits.
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