Archive for September, 2006
Recent Posts
NYC Blogs
Click here for a list of NYC blogs
Newsfeeds
Search This Blog

Weighing In On Fat
September 30th, 2006

There has been much comment already on City Halls effort to curb the use of trans fat in New Yorks restaurants. (See Food Fight). An editorial in the New York Times points out that Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden, asked city restaurants to voluntarily stop using artificial trans fatty acids a year ago. Many ignored him. So now he is following the lead of Chicago, and proposing to ban them outright (or, more precisely, require the citys more than 20,000 restaurants to phase out trans fats from their kitchens over 18 months. )

“Mayor Michael Bloomberg has frequently been accused of nanny tendencies in pursuing laws to control behavior, like the ban on smoking in public places. That runs contrary to the anything-goes traditions of the city,” the paper concedes, “but with epidemic rates of heart disease, obesity and diabetes, New Yorkers could use more pressure toward healthy behavior.”

But on the same day and in the same paper, Times columnist John Tierney disagrees, saying that the move “is the biggest step yet” in turning New York into the Big Nanny. “For all the rhetoric against trans fats, they’re not worse for you than the old-fashioned saturated fats in lard and butter and various cooking oils,” he writes. The ban on trans fats might push restaurants “to go back to using saturated fats. The food wouldn’t be any healthier, but it would sound more virtuous…So New Yorkers could well decide that it was safe to eat extra fries and doughnuts and cheesecake, which would just increase their risk of heart disease.”

By on September 30, 2006, 11:51 am
In category: Gotham City,Health | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Politics, Marriage, the Pirros, and the Hevesis
September 29th, 2006

The recent hoopla over Jeanine Pirro’s turbulent marriage has shined the light on what happens when you pick the wrong people to place your trust in, writes John Podhoretz of the New York Post.

“How on earth did we get to a point when the wife of an ex-con — an ex-con with a love child and a record of driving a thousand miles an hour through a known speed trap — is the best and most solid candidate that the Republican Party can field in a state where it was once a powerful force?” he writes in his column about the “Party in Ruins.”

Poderhoretz’s piece is one of many grabbing what seems to be the first event of interest in this fall’s campaign. Pirro’s marriage isn’t the only one that has the potential to be a political liability, however.

A New York Times editorial argues that “a second campaign scandal , involving Alan Hevesi, the state comptroller, deserves more attention.” (It should be noted that it does this only after spending well over half of its space kicking Pirro).

Hevesi recently admitted to having the state pay for his wife’s chauffeur. After being called out on it, he agreed to pay back the $82,000 that this had cost the state. The Times doesn’t think that’s enough: “He is going to have to explain to the voters how he can continue telling officials around the state that there is no tolerance for mishandling public money when he has broken the rules so egregiously himself.”

The fact that Hevesi, and not his opponent, Chris Callaghan, is the one explaining the situation to voters is only more evidence of the Republican ineptitude, says Podhoretz.

“How … did the GOP fall into such disrepair that it can’t capitalize on – well, on anything?” asks Podhoretz.

He gives the answer at the end, and it has to do with someone who just opened an office in Iowa, George Elmer Pataki.

By on September 29, 2006, 7:19 am
In category: Electoral Politics,Gotham City | 3 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


If Only Rudy Were Here ...
September 29th, 2006

In today’s New York Sun, James Coll finds a way of combining two of New Yorkers’ favorite activities — hand-wringing over the lack of progress at Ground Zero and making emphatic arguments about former mayor Rudy Giuliani.

If only we had forgotten about term limits and kept Giuliani in office, he says, Ground Zero would be built up by now.

By on September 29, 2006, 6:48 am
In category: Gotham City,Governing,Land Use | Comments Off on If Only Rudy Were Here ...

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


We'll Help You With Guns, But ...
September 28th, 2006

A reader of a Poconos newspaper bristles at the idea of New York officials seeking to monitor who buys guns in others states, but finds some inspiration in the idea. New York, writes Robert Basile Sr., sends something to the Poconos that Pennsylvanians don’t want:

“I think that we should send a ‘monitor’ to New York, to inspect each and every trash hauler leaving New York for Pennsylvania, just to keep illegal drivers, illegal loads and non compliant vehicles off of our roads.

“It might also be time that Pennsylvania “seize” illegal vehicles entering our state. If they have brakes that don’t work or if the driver doesn’t have the proper documents, seize the vehicle.”

By on September 28, 2006, 6:25 am
In category: Crime & Safety,Gotham City | Comments Off on We'll Help You With Guns, But ...

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Sex, Lies and Audio Tape?
September 27th, 2006

Last year, when Jeanine Pirros campaign to run against Hillary Clinton ran into trouble, leading Republican Party successfully persuaded her to run for state attorney general instead. Now they may be ruing the day.

Pirro held a press conference this evening to basically confirm an WNBC report that she is under federal investigation for plotting (with disgraced former NYC police commissioner Bernard Kerik no less) to secretly tape her former-convict husband to find out if he was having an affair. Pirro has denied she did anything wrong and called the investigation politically motivated. It reads like a subplot in a Soprano’s episode, no?, says I Cant Believe It’s Not a Democracy.

Leaving aside that sexual dalliances may be the least of Albert Pirros failings, the revelations immediately prompted musings about whether Jeanine Pirros campaign against Democrat Andrew Cuomo is already doomed. It was an uphill race anyway. But this seals it. Andrew Cuomo can start fitting the drapes in his office, says Robert George in Ragged Thots.

Blaine the Mono is flummoxed by Pirros charges of political skullduggery. After all this ia a federal investigation, and, the blog says, I think right about now, the last thing the Bush Administration Justice Department is interested in doing is reviving the career of a northeastern liberal like Andrew Cuomo.

Some reveled in the bizarreness of the story. A Texas blogger called Bluebonnet titled her item on the disclosure And I thought Texas politicians were bad and urged readers, Just go read the story; it’s too crazy. But others had some sympathy.

I don’t want Jeanine Pirro to win the election for New York attorney general, but I’m sorry to see her personal life splashed all over the papers. This is really sordid. I also don’t wish a federal investigation on anyone, especially over marital problems, writes Lynn Sher in her Leftword blog.

Oh-oh, moans the Republican blog Urban Elephants. Then again, could anyone blame her for checking up on Al?

By on September 27, 2006, 8:19 pm
In category: Albany,Crime & Safety,Electoral Politics,Gotham City | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Faso vs. Spitzer
September 27th, 2006

Be as cynical as you want about the allegedly one-sided nature of the race for governor, but, as these things go, last nights debate between the two major party contenders got generally good reviews.

Sure there were the standard reactions. “At this point, Republican whatshisname could probably promise every New Yorker a personal back rub and still lose by a landslide,” said the Daily Gotham, while from the other side,
New York Young Republican Record concluded,” Eliot performed much as expected: snide comments and asides, and lots of pie-in-the-sky ideas with no realistic plan to implement them Faso had a couple of painful missteps early on, but he recovered well, and did a good job of poking holes in Spitzer’s rhetoric.”

But many commentators praised both men.

“If you were looking for zingers, the first gubernatorial debate delivered them in bunches,” writes columnist Lawrence Levy in Newsday. “But any voter who decided to tune in last night also saw lively and illuminating exchanges that revealed much about these two very different men with (mostly) very different ideas. That they also managed to be pointed but not personal, aggressive but not nasty, made the debate at Cornell University especially appealing. It makes you wish this were a close race.”

ICGayBlog was similarly impressed: “Edged attacks, wry humor and sharp differences on issues from taxes and state government corruption to gay marriage and abortion brought a Cornell audience, and viewers across the state, a lively first gubernatorial debate.”

“Generally it struck me as a pretty good debate,” concluded Daily Politics. “Both of them think they’re too smart for talking points and consultants and it makes for interesting watching, if not perfect sound bytes.”

By on September 27, 2006, 2:13 pm
In category: Albany,Electoral Politics,Gotham City | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Food Fight
September 27th, 2006

The Suns editorial writers must like their French fries and the more trans fat the better. Reacting to the Board of Healths plan to sharply restrict the serving of food with trans fat in city restaurants, the paper reminds the mayor, “some people like a good French fry and deserve to be able to buy them in restaurants that want to serve them.”

On the other hand, Cityboy writes on From the Mountains to the Flatlands, “NYC is getting tired of seeing its citizens lining up in the emergency room because they eat crap for food. Suspect the rest of the country should get on the bandwagon.”

Even some restaurant owners support the almost ban. Mark Maynard-Parisi of Blue Smoke, a barbecue restaurant, told the Times the plan is “wonderful.” But Naidre Miller who owns two Brooklyn restaurants, both named Naidres, said that, while she would comply with the rule, “Its a draconian measure. Its not our job as restaurant owners to always make the healthiest food choices under all circumstances.”

In the Daily Politics, Ben Smith sees the move as another indication that Bloomberg wants to have a major impact on public health. “His public safety policies are a continuation of Rudy’s, his poverty commission was kind of a Clintonian set of mini-initiatives, and his administration in general is guided by a fairly standard, if unusually independent, big-city ideology,” Smith writes, “But he’s really out front on public health, and has given [health commission Thomas] Frieden — a visionary or a zealot, depending on whom you ask, but certainly a serious player — an unusually free hand to do politically risky, cutting-edge things.”

Not all of Smiths readers think this is a good thing. The latest move, writes GregNYC makes [Bloomberg] look like the love child of Stalin and Bill.” And Anonymous reminds Smith that Bloomberg seems more concerned about some aspects of public health than others: “Out front on public health? Are you crazy? . You’ve got untold thousands of residents of Lower Manhattan and 80,000 rescue workers from the Pile who are sick and have trouble breathing and the Mayor won’t acknowledge them for five years and actually spends $20 million on city lawyers to fight them:

But many New Yorkers may share Geoffs ambivalence. Writing in Sparkgrass Community, he says, “The physician in me applauds this potential move, the French fry lover in me is a bit more cautious.”

By on September 27, 2006, 8:28 am
In category: Gotham City,Health | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Heavy Blow To "Light" Cigarettes
September 26th, 2006

An editorial in the New York Sun entitled
Blowing Smoke disapproves of the decision by federal judge Jack B. Weinstein in Brooklyn to allow to move forward a $200 billion class action lawsuit by smokers of light cigarettes, which were promoted as being less harmful than regular cigarettes, but were not. The Sun is liberal in its attacks on the judge, calling him a legal loon extraordinaire but is less explicit in stating its reasons why it objects to the lawsuit moving forward; it implies that the lawsuit resembles past tobacco litigation which, it says, had little to do with health claims and a lot to do with greed on the part of state politicians and trial lawyers

By on September 26, 2006, 7:32 am
In category: Health,Law | Comments Off on Heavy Blow To "Light" Cigarettes

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


The Sun Shines on Faso
September 25th, 2006

The Sun gets an early start on election endorsement season this morning, coming out with a front-page paean to Republican gubernatorial candidate John Faso.

It all comes down to dollars and sense. Faso agrees with the Sun that high taxes are hurting the state, the editorial says, and understands that government spending drives tax increases, an insight that seems to have eluded Mr. Spitzer thus far. The writes also laud him for standing up to unions, refusing to give city schools more money under the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case, and calling for more electricity generation.

What Albany must have, the paper concludes, is staying power on fundamental principles of limited government, free markets, and economic growth. In Mr. Faso we see the kind of Republican who has maintained over many years… a fidelity to exactly the combination of these principles that New York needs.”

By on September 25, 2006, 12:20 pm
In category: Albany,Electoral Politics,Gotham City | Comments Off on The Sun Shines on Faso

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Half Empty or Half Full?
September 25th, 2006

Are there any numbers that get spun more than student test scores? Witness Thursdays release of scores on the statewide reading test for third through eighth grade. The disturbing though not completely surprising news: The longer kids throughout the state stay in school the worse they do. In the city, 51.5 of city third graders met standards on the test, but by eighth grade, only 36.6 percent of students passed the test.

Beyond that, everyone seemed to see what they wanted to see. The News released the scores a day early, declaring proudly, The city’s fourth-grade reading and writing scores are holding steady, maintaining the historic gains that helped Mayor Bloomberg win reelection last year, the Daily News has learned. (Now, who do you think might have leaked this story?)

On Friday, after the state released the results, the Times, in a comment later removed from its updated story, said the city Department of Education had prepared a briefing to put the best face on the scores.

Chancellor Klein held a press conference to announce the city results this afternoon. Predictably, he spun it all super positively for the city, observed Edwize, the United Federation of Teachers blog.

And there was good news for the city. Although the test is new, making comparisons difficult, as the Times reported, 61.5 percent of the citys third graders scored at or above grade level in English, up 8 points from a similar test the previous year. And while fourth grade scores, fell in the state as a whole, they remained unchanged in the city. On the down side, the number of city fifth grades reading at or above grade level declined by about 10 percentage points.

In the Daily Gotham, Daniel Millstone cites another alarming figure: a 50 percent increase in the number of children reading at the lowest level and a decrease in the number at the highest level. This may mean that we’re losing our better students and increasing the number who are failing completely, he writes. Years of rigid mayoral control, lockstep curriculum and ceaseless test-prep are not helping our children learn.

And what about that middle school drop?

Is the problem in testing or in the students? wonders Danny Homeschooling Dad, a California father who saw the results. Or just teaching? Or something else, like the students are becoming less of a conformist and become more creative and rebellious, i.e., less likely to become slaves followers.

And in its editorial the Daily News holds to its faith in Bloomberg and Klein. The city’s schools have been making great strides, it says. The improvements began after Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein refused to accept the status quo. Klein has already taken aim at middle schools, and the paper says, If anything, these dismal test results should give him more muscle in a fight to stop teachers and principals from treating kids as if they naturally become dull at the age of 12.

He has a lot of work to do. The middle school mess has long been a problem in New York and throughout the country. In conversations few parents around the city even those who have found god elementary and high schools for their kids have much good to say about their kids middle schools. And a quick look at the results show even some of the citys most respected public middle schools saw that the sharp declines between sixth and eighth grade in the number of kids scoring at the highest levels.

By on September 25, 2006, 12:05 pm
In category: Albany,Education,Gotham City | 4 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


More on Poverty
September 24th, 2006

The Times and the News look at Mayor Michael Bloombergs plan to reduce poverty and like what they see.

The News praises the mayor for taking on the task. With more than 1.5 million New Yorkers with incomes below the poverty line, the paper says, Bloomberg gets credit for taking on a problem that has remained unsolved since the U.S. lost the 1960s’ war on poverty.

The News is taken with the idea of a tax credit to help parents pay child care costs: a hand up, not a hand out.

The Times is less enthusiastic about that idea, saying, Tax credits and the paperwork required to claim them could be onerous; a direct refund …would be less cumbersome.

But it too gives the mayor high grades for effort: Mr. Bloomberg deserves applause for listening to critics who have pressed him to pay attention to the citys neediest.” Now, the editorial continues, the mayor has to create specific policies, find money to pay for them and work to increase the number of good jobs to help people get ahead. Right now, the Times says, about one-quarter of the jobs in the city pay poverty wages, often without health care or other benefits. That all but guarantees a dead end for the poor, no matter how hard they work.

For other takes on poverty, see The Many Faces of Poverty

By on September 24, 2006, 9:10 pm
In category: Gotham City,Social Services | 2 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Passion and Poverty
September 22nd, 2006

The mayors commission on poverty has some worthy suggestions, but writing in the Daily News, Errol Louis worries the Bloomberg administration could end up blowing this historic chance to really do something about poverty the city.

Louis chastises the mayor for a lack of public passion on the issue and his commission for being cautious and even timid, and for ignoring the roles the private sector and churches could play. Even worse, the national politics of poverty get little attention in the report, even though federal cuts for job training and public housing will cripple any local attack on poverty, Louis writes. To those of us who believe a new war on poverty is needed, the commission report looks more like a BB gun than heavy artillery.

(To read reactions to the report from many experts, along with their suggestions on fighting poverty, visit Gotham Gazette on Monday.)

By on September 22, 2006, 12:38 pm
In category: Gotham City,Social Services | Comments Off on Passion and Poverty

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


This Budget Is Out of Service
September 21st, 2006

Think those garbled subway announcements are confusing. What about the latest pronouncements from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority itself?

On Tuesday, the MTA said it would cut service and boost fares all to stave off looming billion dollar deficits. Within several hours, MTA chair Peter Kalikow said there would be no such cuts and no fare increase.

This little scare has a happy ending, The Daily News said in an editorial, but once more the riding public suffered whiplash from the confusion surrounding MTA finances. The culprit – not for the first time – was the eternal warning of giant deficits that don’t mesh with the so-far endless growth in receipts that the MTA is enjoying.

MTA officials and observers of transit issues appeared to be caught off-guard by Mr. Kalikow’s abrupt change of course, the Sun reported and then quoted Nysa Pranger, coordinator for the Straphangers Campaign, saying “The chairman’s statement is truly unprecedented.”

The confusion provided an easy target for transit workers union president Roger Toussaint to score points: “We are glad it took Chairman Kalikow only a couple of hours to see the light this time… We stand with the riders when we say that not another dollar should be cut from the service or safety concerns of passengers until the MTA trims the fat from its own bloated administrative staff — they need to cut the suits, not the service.”

Could politics be involved?

The Sun notes, Kalikow’s statement also comes as his stewardship of the MTA may be winding down. Governor Pataki reappointed Mr. Kalikow to another six-year term, but the gubernatorial front-runner, Eliot Spitzer, has said he will try to oust the chairman in January. Mr. Kalikow has vowed to stay on, prompting a possible confrontation if Mr. Spitzer is elected.

And Gothamist points out the whole gambit had Kalikow remaking himself from zero to hero.

Will it work? The Straphangers Campaign’s Gene Russianoff tells the Times, “All the big issues are now squarely in the lap of the new governor: fare hike, service cuts, more state aid, MTA. efficiencies.”

Keep that in mind when you’re voting in November, advises Gothamist. Know what the candidates’ platforms about MTA service will be.

By on September 21, 2006, 12:26 pm
In category: Albany,Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Transportation | 2 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Housing and Tax Breaks
September 20th, 2006

Brooklyn Democratic Party boss Vito Lopez is an unlikely candidate for Robin Hood — yesterday we noted his propensity to use the courts as patronage playgrounds — but nonetheless the State Assembly member is apparently set to take on the mayor and real estate interests over tax breaks for developers of luxury housing, Matthew Scheuerman reports in todays Observer. Under the 421-a system, Scheuerman explains, outer-borough builders earn certificates for each unit of affordable housing they produce, and them to Manhattan developers who then reap tax breaks.

Lopez, who represents rapidly gentrifying areas of Bushwick, fears the program will make those communities more expensive and push people to less desirable areas. The real estate industry likes 421-a, and efforts are underway to fix rather than abandon it.

But Lopez has lots of clout in City Council and in Albany, and some experts think his position make sense. Brad Lander, the director of the Pratt Center for Community Development, told Scheuerman the program should be eliminated, and … market-rate developers should pay full taxes and [the city] should use those dollars to build affordable housing.

By on September 20, 2006, 11:59 am
In category: Community Development,Gotham City,Housing,Public Finance | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


All In The (Lopez) Family -- The Courts As A Patronage Playground
September 19th, 2006

Brooklyn Democratic Party Leader Vito Lopez views the courts as a patronage playground where judgeships are awarded based on personal ties, according to an editorial in the Daily News, which points out that Lopez plans to give a Supreme Court judgeship to his girlfriends brother Jack Battaglia at the judicial convention this week, and to ask Governor George Pataki to appoint his daughter Gina Marie Lopez Summa to the state Court of Claims for a nine-year term at $136,700 a year.

By on September 19, 2006, 7:50 am
In category: Albany,Electoral Politics,Governing,Law | 2 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


NY Sun: Dont Give Those Billions To NYCs Schools
September 19th, 2006

An editorial in The New York Sun asks who should fund the billions of dollars extra for New York City public schools mandated by the court in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity The state only? The city and the state? What percentage for each? and then answers: Nobody. Rather than bickering over who over will pony up an amount of money that the courts have no right to spend, the state and city have no way to pay, and the schools have no productive way to use, it would be far better for candidates to be discussing innovations like school choice that would allow parents who want to decide where to send their children to contemplate any of the many private schools that offer better educations for less money than city schools currently spend

By on September 19, 2006, 7:48 am
In category: Education,Gotham City | 2 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Saving Stuyvesant Town?
September 18th, 2006

An editorial in the New York Times, entitled A Battle on the Lower East Side, explains New Yorkers’ sense of crisis in reaction to the news that Metropolitan Life is planning to sell Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, 80 acres containing 110 buildings along the East River (which are not located on the Lower East Side, but north of it) that have long been an oasis of reasonable rentals for the citys middle class.

The editorial understands the effort by the tenants to buy the property as a way to keep the apartment buildings from going luxury, but adds: While they deserve sympathy, there is a limit to what they can reasonably expect in the way of public support either legally (Met Life’s deal with the city “gives it the legal right to sell”) or financially (“There are more pressing demands for limited public dollars…”)

For the demographics of the residents of the two housing complexes, see Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, Then and Now

To learn about this and other housing matters culled from several recent reports, see as well Gotham Gazettes Issue of the Week, Housing In New York City — Figuring Out The Big (And Little) Picture

By on September 18, 2006, 2:50 pm
In category: Gotham City,Housing | Comments Off on Saving Stuyvesant Town?

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


ACTIONS FOR CHANGE
September 18th, 2006

Candidates for governor are campaigning across the state promising to reform New York government. Whoever gets elected will have the power to deliver on those promises. New Yorks governor has constitutional powers that greatly exceed those enjoyed by the executives in other states. If the new governor chooses to tackle needed changes and to fight for reforms, New Yorkers soon could see real action on important issues.

However, in order for the new governor to have a real chance to change Albany, he will need to create momentum momentum based on the enactment of real reforms.

Immediate changes are unlikely in the normal legislative process. Either house could offer resistance sometimes the resistance will occur due to ideological differences, other times resistance will come from tactics designed to extract concessions. Therefore, it’s important that the new governor use his vast executive powers to make immediate changes changes that will jolt Albany out of its lethargy.

New York’s Executive Branch is extremely powerful arguably the most powerful in the nation. If the new governor uses that power to immediately implement important reforms, he will whet the publics appetite for more changes and make it extremely difficult for the legislative branch to stop other initiatives.

My colleagues at the New York Public Interest Research Group have offered a package of reforms that if embraced by the new governor could create that momentum. Those proposals most of which can be unilaterally accomplished by the new governor are included in a report entitled, Actions for Change. The report is available on the Internet at www.nypirg.org.

The first Actions for Change deal with governmental openness. The cornerstone of a representative democracy is the ability of the public to choose its representatives. In order for a democracy to work best, it is important that voters are educated on the options facing government policymakers. Without easy access to governmental information, the public cannot be adequately educated on those issues and therefore cannot knowledgeably vote for candidates or grant informed consent to policy decisions of its representatives.

The report recommends measures such as a gubernatorial executive order to require state agencies to follow the spirit not just the letter of New Yorks Freedom of Information Law and urges the creation of a C-SPAN to allow the televised access to coverage of governmental events.

Openness is important in ensuring real change in New York, but it is not enough. Mechanisms must be put in place to ensure that state government can be held to account for its actions.

Central to ensuring accountability is the establishment of new independent entities that will act as impartial watchdogs. These entities would be responsible to the public, not the political parties or political leadership of the state. In the same way Governor Theodore Roosevelt championed the civil service system, as a way to reduce cronyism in government, so should the new governor champion measures to reduce political interference and bolster oversight. Actions for Change offers recommendations such as urging the new governor to ensure that the head of the states budget office be free of political interference and calling for the creation of a new fiscal watchdog to monitor the quality and cost of health care.


Ultimately, it is the job of government to offer solutions to serious problems facing society. Of course, no government can solve every problem, but the public rightly expects government to tackle the most important ones if not to solve them, at least to try to minimize the size of the problem.

Those proposals contained in Actions for Change focus on the areas of governmental reform, environmental preservation, consumer protection and higher education.


To review the 50 recommendations, access them on the Internet at www.nypirg.org. And if you get the chance to discuss issues with candidates for state office, ask them what are their strategies for reforming New York.

By on September 18, 2006, 8:34 am
In category: Eye on Albany | Comments Off on ACTIONS FOR CHANGE

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Cell Phone Outlaws
September 15th, 2006

Newly released figures from the Mayors Management Report show that there were 159, 431 arrests during the fiscal year ending in June for talking on cell phones while driving an increase of 19 percent from the year before (and almost 300 percent from three years ago). But what the report does not reveal is an apparent hotbed of cell phone criminality in the metropolitan area — McKee High School on Staten Island. That, anyway, must be the reason why McKee Principal Linda Waite sent a letter to students’ homes warning them that their cell phones (and iPods and CD players) would be confiscated if they brought them to school and would not be returned until parent conferences more than six weeks away! Ban cell phones in the classroom, by all means, says an editorial in the Staten Island Advance entitled Heavy-handed On Cell Phones, but students should be allowed to carry them to and from school and they shouldnt have to wait six weeks to get them back. Like it or not, students, as well as lots of other people, use cell phones to communicate, including with their parents. They’re a necessary evil

By on September 15, 2006, 7:40 am
In category: Education,Gotham City,Tech | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


President Bloomberg
September 15th, 2006

Reacting to a poll purporting to show Michael Bloombergs chances if he ran for President of the United States, an editorial in the New York Post seems taken with the idea: Bloomberg is as qualified to be president as anyone else in the running. We’re not endorsing anyone for president yet; it’s way too early for that. But Mayor Mike’s puckishly iconoclastic approach to politics would lend substantial clarity to the process. Plus it would be terrific fun. Run, Mike, run!
Ben Smith of The Daily Politics reacted a bit more cynically to the poll by political consultant Frank Luntz, calling it an example of something that most of us don’t usually get to see: The case that political consultants make to the super-rich to talk them into expensive campaigns for political office.

By on September 15, 2006, 6:57 am
In category: Electoral Politics | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Gotham Gazette the Place for Politics and Policy

Gotham Gazette is published by Citizens Union Foundation and is made possible by support from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Altman Foundation,the Fund for the City of New York and donors to Citizens Union Foundation. Please consider supporting Citizens Union Foundation's public education programs. Critical early support to Gotham Gazette was provided by the Charles H. Revson Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

RSS Feed