New York A-Salted
The second of two winter storms to slam into the Big Apple in three days has left New York’s salt supplies a tad depleted. Read More
New York State of Mind
After a New York Post reporter sent a confidential email inquiry to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, the Cuomo administration released the email to other journalists, reports the Associated Press.
This comes on the same day that The Washington Post revealed that the Department of Justice had snooped on a Fox News reporter’s private emails, and only a week after the AP reported that the DOJ had surreptitiously obtained their reporters’ phone records, making it an easy addition to the government versus press narrative. Three, after all, is a trend.
It looks like UFC is fighting hard to make its way into the New York arena.
In an exclusive report, the Daily News found that Zuffa LLC—which owns the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and World Extreme Cagefighting—has spent $1.6 million on lobbying in New York State since 2007. Of that $1.6 million, Read More
Governor Andrew Cuomo has been waging a war against puritans, trying to lift the last pieces of legislation in place to curb gambling in New York. No, he’s not going to so far as to propose full-blown casinos– though the $2,000,000 kickback contribution to his office from the New York Gaming Association, along with the $138 million revenue for the state’s education budget created by the Quick Draw game this year make it sort of hard to argue against creating QD casinos, like the faux-version spotlighted in today’s New York Times article.
But here’s the thing: Don’t do that. Please. I don’t want to be poor.
“Wow. We live in a horror movie,” my husband opined one morning not long ago. He was reading an article about the melting of the Arctic tundra releasing massive bubbles of methane gas into the atmosphere, which in turn causes more melting, which in turn causes global warming, which in turn creates monster storms that threaten to end civilization as we know it.
I love scary movies, the creepier the better. But this Halloween season, they’re bleeding off the screen and into real life.
Can we please turn it off now?
Actually, no, we cannot.
A week ago, I was invited to the premiere of a deeply alarming documentary called Chasing Ice. It follows the work and adventures of a National Geographic photographer named James Balog in his endeavor to document, with time-lapse photography, the epic melting of the Arctic glaciers, a melting that is filling the world’s seas and atmosphere with water that has nowhere to go but onto land.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has been very careful to pay attention to the long-running economic catastrophe in upstate New York. He has paid particular attention to the North Country, dominated, of course, by Adirondack Park, one of the greatest tracts of wilderness in the nation. Just last month, during a surprise visit to Lake Placid, the governor announced a deal that expanded the park by almost 70,000 acres. It will be the park’s largest expansion in almost 100 years.
That’s wonderful. But as the governor and his advisors know, the upstate economy requires more than preservation of the Adirondack region’s forests.
It would seem obvious—except that for many, it is not—that governments have every right to make sure that the benefits they distribute are going to the right people, and that those people are eligible to receive them.
For nearly two decades, New York City has been cracking down on food-stamp fraud by fingerprinting eligible recipients. The measure has saved millions of dollars. But it now appears that the program is doomed—Governor Cuomo has said he will put an end to fingerprinting food-stamp recipients and so remove what critics see as an unnecessarily harsh requirement for needed benefits.
New York’s economy may be on firmer ground than, say, Michigan’s, but that’s not saying much. Statewide, the unemployment rate of 8.5 percent is nearly a half-point higher than the national jobless rate. In New York City, the unemployment rate is about 9.5 percent.
So now is not the time for politicians to pass an election-year increase in the state’s minimum wage, currently set at $7.25 an hour. Hikes in the minimum wage invariably lead to fewer new entry-level jobs, and that’s something the city and state can ill afford.
For years, decades even, New York has been dithering about an impending budget catastrophe: the ever-escalating cost of offering gold-plated and utterly outdated pension benefits to public employees. Everybody knew something had to be done. There were some brave attempts to create a fix here and there, but unions made it clear that they would Read More
Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver held a celebratory news conference last week during which they announced an agreement on implementing a 2 percent cap on property tax increases. Welcome though that announcement was, it’s clear that the work of achieving real property tax reform is far from over. Read More