"A beautiful day"

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

February 13, 2014 2:08:45 PM PST
Ya know when you say something and the minute the words leave your mouth you want to reach out, grab them, and stuff them back down your throat?

We have to believe Carmen Farina feels like that tonight, after the new chancellor of New York City Schools told a news conference that "it's a beautiful day" in the city - as the 73 year old schools chief explained why the school system - with 1.1 million students - didn't shut down. This - even though Mayor de Blasio had issued a hazardous travel advisory and urged people to stay off the streets. It was contradictory at best by the new mayor - asking folks to stay off the streets, but giving the green light to little kids to head to school on those same streets.

It can't be easy, being the mayor of a city with 8.3 million people. And with 6 major storms in his first 6 weeks, Bill de Blasio has been hit hard by challenges. He's handled his mistakes with contriteness - except for today. And the anger and outrage from parents and teachers spewed forth - as many found traveling just too difficult.

The proof's in the pudding - the attendance pudding: 44.65 percent of New York City public school students showed up today, compared to a normal attendance rate of about 89 percent. Staff didn't show up, so the Mayor's and School Chancellor's insistence that school is often the only place some kids get a hot meal all day - well, that didn't hold up when the folks who cook the food couldn't get to work. In my daughter's school, teachers couldn't get into work, and many students stayed home. Private schools, which often follow the decision by public schools to close, went rogue. Or at least many of them did - shutting down when the Mayor refused to close public schools. It spelled some stressful times for parents, especially those who work.

The blowback on social media - including our Eyewitness News Facebook and Twitter pages, and our own personal social media pages - was swift and loud. Peeps were ticked. Big time.

Again, it's a difficult job being mayor, and there's no way to make everyone happy, not with 8.3 million folks in New York City. But the new Mayor, who has never run a big organization before, is now getting a trial by fire. Or by snow might be more accurate.

Tonight, we get another round of snow. Meteorologist Lee Goldberg, teaming with his colleague Jeff Smith, is tracking the last round of this system, and the round of snow we're getting on Saturday. It's all happening tonight at 11.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

And if you tire of the slippery slopes - why wait for your news? @abc7ny has your news at 11 p.m. with @billritter7 and @sadeabc


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