Visit the Group News Blog operated by friends of Steve:

Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


When will Spitzer demand parental involvement

You might not like your 7 year old alone on

Bad bus-ness

Irate parents rip pricey consultants over transit chaos


The brains behind the city's school bus fiasco that left thousands of kids out in the cold is a pricey private consulting firm now drawing the anger of parents and politicians.

Last year, school officials hired controversial consultants Alvarez & Marsal for $15.8 million to recommend numerous cost-saving plans - including the now.controversial school bus cuts projected to save $20 million a year.

After months of delays, the overhaul is expected to save $12 million annually, a price that critics say isn't worth the headache.

"Parents at this point are skeptical that any of these so-called savings will find their way into the classroom. They seem to go for consultants and no-bid contracts," said Tim Johnson, president of the chancellor's parent advisory council.

Taxpayers have been charged $1.2 million since last summer for two of the consultants who worked on the busing situation full time.

Mayor Bloomberg downplayed the drama yesterday and maintained the reorganization worked with only a handful of exceptions. "I think we've accommodated most of the people, and it is a shame that some people are inconvenienced," Bloomberg said.

But Schools Chancellor Joel Klein sounded contrite later in the day. "I am genuinely sorry that this week's changes inconvenienced some families," he said in a statement. "I believe we have addressed many of their concerns. If any concerns remain, parents should call 311 so we can work with them to figure things out."

First of all, why was this switch planned for the middle of winter?

Who thought that was smart?

Then Bloomberg was pissed that the angry parents called the media, wondering why they didn't call the city's general information number, 311.

Spitzer will have to, at some point, reform this system. It is not responsive to
parents and too many private agendas are at play.

Labels: ,