The Wall Street Journal - 13.08.2019

(Ann) #1

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. **** Tuesday, August 13, 2019 |A10A

before the ban, were subject to
the same rules as apartments.
Although a handful of hostels
still operate legally around the
city, they are limited.
Mr. Gjonaj, a Bronx Demo-
crat, said the lack of more af-
fordable options makes the
city less accessible to some
tourists. The bill would stan-
dardize hostels and allow
more to be built, he said.
“If you can stay in high-end
hotels, thank you for visiting,
come back again. But we want
to afford opportunities for
those with modest means,”
Mr. Gjonaj said.
More than 65 million peo-
ple visited New York City in
2018, with tourism bringing in
around $68 billion, according
to the city’s tourism organiza-
tion, NYC & Company.
Hotel rooms around the city
average more than $200 a
night but can be hundreds of
dollars more, according to an-
alytics firm STR.
Under the new hostel bill,
the city Department of Con-
sumer Affairs would establish

an independent office and di-
rector to oversee and regulate
licensed hostels. The office
would also certify the dwell-
ings’ safety and handle any
complaints and investigations.
A hostel is defined under
the new bill as any building
with more than 70% of its
rooms set aside as hostel
units. Future operators would
apply for a special license to
run a hostel.
A similar bill was intro-
duced in 2015 but didn’t make
it to a vote.
The new bill would have to
make it through various votes
before being signed into law by
the mayor. A spokeswoman for
Speaker Corey Johnson said he
would review the bill as it
moves through the process.
Ms. Chin, a Manhattan Dem-
ocrat, said reauthorizing hostels
could help the city in its fight
against illegal Airbnb rentals,
which officials argue limit af-
fordable housing options.
“As we continue to explore
legislative solutions to curb
this unscrupulous activity, we

also need to correct the anti-
quated laws that have acciden-
tally put alternative options,
such as hostels, out of busi-
ness,” Ms. Chin said.
Josh Meltzer, head of
Northeast policy for Airbnb,
said the bill is a path forward
for changes in the hospitality
“We hope this shift in the
Council’s position on hostels
indicates they are willing to
further adapt to the times and
extend the same courtesy of
clarity to their many tens of
thousands of constituents who
rely on home sharing,” he said.
The potential change could
be a boon to hostel operators.
Rafael Museri, co-founder of
the hostel and hotel company
Selina, said hostel-style ac-
commodation helps to democ-
ratize traveling.
“Buildings that offer more
variety of rooms generate
more revenue and open the
door of New York to an amaz-
ing and global crowd that cur-
rently can’t enjoy this beautiful
city,” Mr. Museri said.

New York City could legal-
ize hostels under a bill set to
be introduced this week in the
City Council, the second at-
tempt to reauthorize the bud-
get hotels after a state law
made them illegal.
Councilman Mark Gjonaj
and Councilwoman Margaret
Chin are co-sponsors of the
bill, which would give hostels
their own department and
classification in the city.
Hostels diminished in New
York City after a 2010 state
law changed the city’s multi-
ple dwelling rules. The law
was meant to curb illegal ho-
tels—especially illegal Airbnb
rentals, which later saw more
regulation through a City
Council bill passed last year.
But that earlier measure
also restricted hostels, known
for dormlike accommodations
and favored by younger travel-
ers looking for a cheaper stay,
the lawmakers said. Hostels
were never clearly defined in
the city’s building codes and,


City Considers Lifting Ban on Hostels

Newark began distributing bottled water after officials warned
that some city-issued filters aren’t sufficiently reducing lead levels.


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color. Only 215 Latino men, 145
black men and 110 Asian men
finished master’s degrees in
education statewide that year.
“The lack of diversity is a
huge challenge in the educa-
tion workforce,” said Lester W.
Young Jr., a member of the
state Board of Regents. “There
needs to be a highly coordi-
nated, clearly articulated
strategy to identify potential
teachers of color and stick
with them through certifica-
tion and placement.”
In the Education Trust’s anal-
ysis, about half of the people of
color who earned a master’s de-
gree attended just seven institu-
tions, including several cam-
puses of the City University of
New York. The group has a new
online tool showing the demo-
graphics of students completing
64 master’s programs, typically
a step toward certification.

Districts nationwide have
long struggled to diversify
their teaching ranks. Educa-
tors blame cumbersome paths
to certification, insufficient re-
spect for the profession and
low starting salaries.

These factors feed into
shortages of teachers from all
backgrounds, especially in
high-demand subjects such as
math and science where indus-
try jobs pay far more. National
research shows attrition hurts
as well, particularly in high-

poverty schools with tough
working conditions, where mi-
nority teachers often are con-
In New York City, only 16%
of teachers were Hispanic,
compared with 40% of stu-
dents, by city data for the
school year ending in 2018.
About 18% of teachers were
black, compared with 26% of
students. And 7% of teachers
were Asian, compared with
16% of students. Those ratios
barely have budged in 15 years.
Such gaps pose a challenge
as the city seeks to offer more
“culturally responsive” educa-
tion. City leaders adopted a
formal policy this month spell-
ing out this approach, which
aims to have lessons better re-
flect students’ backgrounds
and experiences. Some teach-
ers say it is easier for those
who come from students’ own

communities to connect class-
work to their real lives.
The city and state are trying
a range of ideas for recruiting,
including subsidizing college
courses for teachers’ aides to
help them get certified. Such fi-
nancial assistance helped Mi-
chael Simmon become a
teacher five years ago at age 43.
Mr. Simmon, who teaches
U.S. history to eighth-graders at
IN-Tech Academy in the Bronx,
said he wants to serve as a role
model for his students, who are
mostly black and Hispanic.
“I can see the change in
them, by giving them more
self-esteem, hope and pur-
pose,” Mr. Simmon said. He
tells them about how he DJ’d,
played basketball and traveled,
so “now they say, ‘I can relate
to him, let me pay attention.’ ”
The city Department of Ed-
ucation says it is pursuing rec-

ommendations from the city’s
School Diversity Advisory
Group such as exploring a
teaching-career pipeline for
high-school students. It has
partnerships with historically
black colleges, attends career
fairs and posts jobs on web-
sites intended to reach diverse
candidates. In 2015, it
launched an initiative called
NYC Men Teach to bring 1,
men of color into the pipeline
and mentor them.
“We have a holistic ap-
proach to recruiting a work-
force that reflects the diver-
sity of our city,” said Will
Mantell, a Department of Edu-
cation spokesman.
Many teachers say diversi-
fying their ranks will help
close achievement gaps, by
giving children stronger con-
nections to the adults at the
front of the class.

New York school districts
have long sought to diversify
their teaching ranks, which are
mostly white overall, to better
reflect the backgrounds of
their students. A new study of
the pipeline of potential staff
highlights the difficulty of
making headway.
At teacher-preparation pro-
grams statewide, only 11% of
people who completed mas-
ter’s degrees in education
were Hispanic, 8% were black,
and 5% were Asian in 2016,
the latest year for comparable
data collected by the Educa-
tion Trust-New York, a non-
profit that advocates for eq-
uity. About 63% of the roughly
10,500 who earned such mas-
ter’s degrees were white.
The imbalance was particu-
larly acute among men of


Majority in Teacher Pipeline Are White

‘The lack of
diversity is a huge
challenge in the
education workforce.’

action under the federal Safe
Drinking Water Act.
In addition to distributing
bottled water, the city and
state plan to get a wider sam-
ple to understand the scope of
the lead problem and provide
water-safety information to
residents. Ms. McCabe called
on the federal government to
help the city and state meet
the EPA’s recommendations by
providing resources.
Frank Baraff, a spokesman
for Newark, said the city was
surprised to get the EPA letter
because it was already in talks
with the agency Friday. “We
immediately moved to put
ourselves in line with what the
EPA was asking,” he said.
The city has since informed
citizens of the possible issue
with the filters through a press
conference, social media out-
reach and three robocalls.
In October 2018, Newark
gave residents with lead-ser-
vice pipes free water filters.
More than 38,000 filters were
given to residents.
In a statement Saturday,
Kareem Adeem, acting direc-
tor of the Newark Department
of Water & Sewer Utilities,
said: “We encourage residents
to take advantage of all the
important resources the city
of Newark is offering, includ-
ing free blood testing for chil-
dren under 6, free water test-
ing and our Lead Service Line
Replacement Program.”
Shakima Thomas, a Newark
resident and member of advo-
cacy group Newark Water Co-
alition, said she wants officials
to do more. “They failed us
terribly,” she said.

The city of Newark, with
help from the state, began dis-
tributing bottled water to some
residents Monday after offi-
cials warned that certain city-
issued water filters aren’t suf-
ficiently reducing lead levels.
In the past week, two of
three Newark homes tested
were found to be contaminated
with lead above what is con-
sidered safe, even when a filter
was used, according to the city.
On Monday, the city notified
residents that some filters may
not be working as expected
and advised those living in the
Pequannock water-service area
who have lead-service lines to
only use bottled water for
drinking, cooking and prepar-
ing baby formula.
Lead poisoning poses seri-
ous health risks, especially for
children and pregnant women.
The moves come after the
U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency sent a letter Friday ad-
vising New Jersey Department
of Environmental Protection
Commissioner Catherine Mc-
Cabe and Newark Mayor Ras
Baraka to urge some residents
to use bottled instead of filtered
“It is essential for the city
of Newark to advise residents
with known or suspected lead
service lines that until further
notice they should not rely on
the efficacy of the filtration
devices that the city previously
provided,” Peter Lopez, EPA
regional administrator, wrote.
The EPA said if the city
didn’t take the necessary
steps, it was prepared to take


Newark Gives Out

Bottled Water

After Filters Fail

Yankees Beat Baltimore in a Double-Header Sweep

HIGH-STEPPING VICTORY: New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius, left, and right fielder Cameron Maybin celebrated after defeating
the Baltimore Orioles 8-5 in Game 1 of a double-header in the Bronx on Monday. The home team took the second game 11-8.


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