Recent Posts
NYC Blogs
Click here for a list of NYC blogs
Newsfeeds
Search This Blog

The housing deal that wasn't
June 21st, 2012

Last night a deal on housing legislation came together between the Assembly and Senate that would have extended the controversial J-51 tax abatement until 2015 without making any changes to it, as well as making changes in the housing code for loft tenants.

The deal looked like it was going to become reality when Gov. Andrew Cuomo said earlier today that he might issue messages of necessity but the governor has seemingly changed his mind and therefore the deal is dead, for now. Of course, anything can happen in Albany: legislators could hang around to pass the bill or return later this year.

Michael McKee of Tenant’s PAC sees that as a good thing. “Its a complete sell out and I am shocked to see some of the Assemblyman who have signed their names to it.” The legislation is sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Martin Golden and in the Assembly by Assemblyman Vito Lopez.

Check out our story on J-51 and the tenant community’s mobilization before the elections.

By on June 21, 2012, 8:21 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany,Housing | Comments Off

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Election night results reporting bill passes Assembly
June 21st, 2012

The Assembly passed member Brian Kavanagh’s Election Night Poll Procedure Act today a bill that would allow the state Board of Elections to use modern techniques and digital data to tally un-official results on election night.

The current process involves time consuming hand counts that produce unreliable results.

Public confidence in our elections is eroded when we cant say with any confidence what the results are until long after the voters have spoken, and when the numbers change as clerical errors are uncovered days after the election, said Kavanagh. This bill will improve the integrity, accuracy and speed of this process and take advantage of the best features of the new voting machines.

The bill’s fate in the Senate was not clear at the time of writing. The bill is sponsored in that chamber by Sen. Martin Golden. The bill may have a good chance of passing both houses. The New York City Council, the office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a number of good government groups are backing it.

By on June 21, 2012, 6:37 pm
In category: Albany,City Hall,Eye on Albany,Governing | Comments Off

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Bloomberg reacts to teacher evaluation bill
June 21st, 2012

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he is “disappointed” that the teacher evaluation bill just passed by both houses of the Legislature because it doesn’t meet “full disclosure.”

Bloomberg was lobbying hard for Senate Republicans to block the bill because he wants teacher evaluations to be made available to the public. But the Republican caucus came together today and decided to bring the bill to a vote. It passed with only one nay vote.

Bloomberg pseudo-nemesis Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, issued a statement praising the bill and the legislature.

Bloomberg did take a conciliatory tone in his statement (at least when it came to Cuomo) saying he appreciated the governor’s “insistence that the State Education post school data so that parents can analyze how districts perform.”

Here is Bloomberg’s full statement: Read the rest of this entry »

By on June 21, 2012, 5:59 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany | 4 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Mulgrew praises teacher evaluation bill
June 21st, 2012

United Federation of Teachers head Michael Mulgrew is praising the legislature for putting limits on the release of teacher evaluations. “I want to thank Governor Cuomo, Speaker Silver and Majority Leader Skelos for their leadership in working to strike an appropriate balance — ensuring that parents can have information about their childrens teachers, while helping to prevent the kind of vilification of teachers that resulted from Mayor Bloombergs insistence on releasing the misleading and inaccurate Teacher Data Reports last year.”

Needless to say, Mulgrew and Mayor Michael Bloomberg aren’t on the greatest of terms and the Legislature certainly handed Bloomberg a defeat today.

Here is Mulgrew’s full statement: Read the rest of this entry »

By on June 21, 2012, 2:37 pm
In category: Albany,Education,Eye on Albany | Comments Off

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Cuomo's gamble on teacher evaluations pays off
June 21st, 2012

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s teacher evaluation bill has passed the state Senate. Last Friday, with talks seemingly stalled on a bill limiting access to the state’s teacher evaluations, Cuomo rolled the dice. His administration issued a bill late at night that didn’t seem to go far enough for some legislators.

But late last night, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said his conference would discuss the bill this morning. Low and behold, the bill came to a vote and passed with little debate and only one dissenting vote from Republican Sen. Andrew Lanza, of Staten Island.

Senate Republicans faced quite a bit of pressure from their financial benefactor Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who wanted Cuomo’s bill to fail so that all teacher evaluations would be public. Teachers’ unions supported Cuomo’s bill, but would have liked more limits on the disclosure.

Cuomo issued this statement of congratulations:

“I applaud the Senate and Assembly for taking up the teacher evaluation disclosure bill. I believe it strikes the right balance between protecting teacher privacy and a parents right to know. I also appreciate all those who participated in this important dialogue over the past few months. The teachers unions made important points and the bill respects their members legitimate right to privacy. I also appreciate the opinion of Mayor Bloomberg and I believe the final bill reflects much of his perspective. I know this was a difficult issue for the Legislature and I applaud their courage and leadership. This bill is the metaphorical cherry on the cake to the end of what I believe is one of the most successful and broad ranging legislative sessions in modern political history. From transformative economic reforms to historic social progress, this session was a magnificent accomplishment for the people of New York State.

By on June 21, 2012, 2:03 pm
In category: Albany,Education,Eye on Albany | 2 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Cuomo chides Senate Republicans on marijuana bill
June 20th, 2012

Gov. Andrew Cuomo took to the airwaves this morning to criticize Senate Republicans for not backing his plan to reduce charges for carrying small amounts of marijuana.

Cuomo has previously shied away from criticizing legislators he has to negotiate with, especially Senate Republicans, who brought his landmark same-sex marriage bill to a vote. Cuomo’s deal on redistricting also saved Senate Republicans major headaches if not their majority.

But Cuomo was clearly irked his marijuana bill met with resistance. Speaking to Fred Dicker on Talk 1300, Cuomo said he believed that the Conservative Party had influenced Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos into backing away from the bill.

“I think there’s no doubt that the state Senate heard the conservative wing of the party and they’re reacting to it,” Cuomo said. The governor also went further, saying that Conservative values don’t appeal to most New Yorkers. “To the extent the Republican Party is successful, it’s because they are moderate… There is just no place in this state for extreme conservative theory.”

Senate Republicans have been fairly clear that they plan to use their relationship with Cuomo as a campaign tool, while Senate Democrats want to try to put a wedge between Senate Republicans and mainstream Democratic values.

By on June 20, 2012, 1:35 pm
In category: Albany,Civil Rights,Crime & Safety,Eye on Albany | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Cuomo's final offer on teacher evaluations
June 19th, 2012

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made it clear at a 1 p.m. press conference today that he is done negotiating on teacher evaluations. The Cuomo administration introduced a bill late last night that would allow teacher evaluations to be made public but without the teacher’s names.

Thats the bill, the bill is not going to change. Theres not going to be a substitute bill. They act on it or they dont. But theres not going to be changes or discussions at this time,” Cuomo told reporters.

Cuomo issued this statement when his bill was introduced late last night, after negotiations broke down: I am introducing my bill, the Teacher and Principal Evaluation Disclosure Act, for consideration by the Senate and the Assembly. I believe the bill strikes the right balance between a teachers right to privacy and the parents and publics right to know. If the Senate or the Assembly do not agree with this position, we can continue discussions and negotiations, and consider legislation in a future session, as the teacher evaluation system does not become operational until next year. I am sending the bill because I wanted my thoughts and position to be clear and specific in order to further the ongoing public dialogue on this important issue.

The Assembly Majority indicated earlier in the day that they intend to vote on Cuomo’s bill before Thursday. Senate Republicans have indicated they have concerns and are not likely to vote on the bill as it stands.

By on June 19, 2012, 3:06 pm
In category: Albany,Education,Eye on Albany | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Bill banning smoking outside schools awaits Senate vote *Update*
June 18th, 2012

A bill prohibiting smoking 100 feet from the entrances, exits and outdoor areas of private and public elementary or secondary schools passed the Assembly today.

New York State successfully banned smoking indoors to protect all New Yorkers from the harmful side effects of secondhand smoke,” said the bill’s sponsor, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz. “This bill seeks to further protect our youth who are now exposed to secondhand smoke at entrances and exits of their school buildings from unwanted exposure. Smoking is particularly dangerous to children. This bill will help to protect them from the scourge of secondhand smoke.”

Sen. Gustavo Rivera sponsored the bill in the Senate. The legislation is one of several health-oriented measures he has sponsored. Rivera has been focused on improving his own health and looking at how Bronx kids develop habits that are bad for their health.

He supports Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban on large soda cups. A spokesman for Rivera said on Monday that they hoped the smoking bill would be on the Senate’s active list on Tuesday.

While the bill’s passage was a cinch in the Assembly, Rivera is in the minority in the Senate and it is up to the Majority to bring the bill to a vote.

*The bill was passed by by the Senate last night and awaits Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature*

By on June 18, 2012, 6:41 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany,Health | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


CSNY, Cuomo and JCOPE
June 5th, 2012

The New York Times reported today that a lobbying group controlled by major casino interests donated $2 million to a group closely aligned with the governor as he was beginning his push to expand gambling in the state.

New York Gaming Association President James Featherstonhaughtold The Wall Street Journal that it was his understanding that the group aligned with Gov. Andrew Cuomo was “somewhat supportive of the general concept of the expansion of gaming.” Otherwise, he added, they would not have donated to the group, known as the Committee to Save New York.

Spokesmen for Gov. Andrew Cuomo have denied that the governor was influenced by the donations.

Cuomo dedicated a large piece of his State of the State address to a proposed convention center and casino in Queens to be built by Genting, an Asian multinational corporation. Earlier this week, Cuomo announced that his deal with Genting had soured.

The news comes as a number of groups have called for greater disclosure from groups like the one aligned with the governor, known as the CSNY. Cuomo engineered the creation of the uber-powerful lobbying group to protect him from labor attacks during the budget process.

The Joint Committee on Public Ethics, controlled by two Cuomo appointees, is set to discuss its new disclosure requirements for lobbyists this Thursday.

Two advocacy organizations, VOCAL- NY and Community Voices Heard, released a statement today jumping on the revelations in the Times’ article. They have already put in a complaint to JCOPE about the relationship between Cuomo and CSNY, but said theyhave yet to get a response.

“We are seeing a governor that seems to have put his editorial byline, his State of the State, and even the State’s Constitution up for auction, with the most well-connected New Yorkers brokering the sale and the only available watchdog someone who was appointed by the Governor himself,” reads the statement.

The release also notes that Cuomo’s spokesman have changed their responses to stories about Cuomo’s relationship with CSNY — from denying the relationship to now simply saying such a relationship is not “improper.”

By on June 5, 2012, 3:19 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany | Comments Off

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Reaction to Cuomo's marijuana bill
June 4th, 2012

When news broke today that Gov. Andrew Cuomo wanted the Legislature to lower the penalty for possessing 25 grams or less of marijuana from a misdemeanor to a violation, the perception was that he was taking a shot at Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city’s stop-and-frisk program.

But Bloomberg announced his support for the measure along with a host of city-based legislators and groups.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly even attended Cuomo’s news conference to announce the plan.

“This is an issue that disproportionately affects young people they wind up with a permanent stain on their record for something that would otherwise be a violation,” Cuomo said. “The charge makes it more difficult for them to find a job. Together, we are making New York fairer and safer, and ensuring that every New Yorker has access to [a] justice system that doesnt discriminate based on age or color.”

The move seemed targeted at New York City — 94 percent of the more than 500,000 arrests for 25 grams or less of marijuana in the state took place in the five boroughs.

The New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk program has been the target of massive criticism because it is said to disproportionately target and result in the convictions of black and Latino youth. Cuomo said that 82 percent of those arrested for carrying marijuana were black and Latino.

Read the rest of this entry »

By on June 4, 2012, 9:00 pm
In category: Albany,Civil Rights,Crime & Safety,Eye on Albany | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Senate Dems "thank" Cuomo for redistricting help
May 23rd, 2012

New York’s Senate Democrats offered up a video response to last night’s Legislative Correspondent’s show — and it’s a bit of a doozy. The video features Sens. Michael Gianaris, Liz Krueger and Kevin Parker sitting around a speaker phone anxiously waiting to speak to the governor about redistricting. Gianaris happily lays down the law on redistricting to a dial tone after an executive chamber secretary insists the governor is not available. That is when the hijinx start. Former Gov. David Paterson makes an appearance with Errol Louis on NY1’s Wise Guy’s segment. Paterson delivers his patented SNL “NEW JEERRSEY!” line. Check it out.

Cuomo famously changed the standards for what kind of lines would earn a veto while Senate Republicans and Democrats held their breaths. In the end, Cuomo came to a deal with Senate Republicans and Assembly Democrats that allowed the Legislature to draw district lines one more time in exchange for a constitutional amendment that will change the process the next time around.

By on May 23, 2012, 10:11 am
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany,Gotham City | 7 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


NY proposes regs ending fingerprinting for food stamps
May 17th, 2012

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration has proposed regulations prohibiting agencies from requiring fingerprints from food stamp recipients.

The regulations will most significantly affect New York City, the only jurisdiction in the state that currently fingerprints people who want to receive the benefits.

City Human Resources Administration Commissioner Robert Doar said in a statement that fingerprinting “identifies potential duplicate payments and prevents fraud.” He said the policy has “saved more than $35 million over the last decade in a program that now provides services for 1.8 million New Yorkers annually.”

“We remain committed to doing everything we can, consistent with state and federal regulations, to protect the integrity of the food stamp program,” he continued.

There will be a 45-day public comment period before the regulations issued by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance are finalized. Under the regulations, counties will not need a waiver to be exempt from fingerprinting.

The move will leave Arizona as the only state that requires fingerprinting for food stamp access.

The administration and advocates say the practice stigmatizes recipients and makes it more likely that children will go without food.

“There is never an excuse for letting any child in New York go to bed hungry,” Cuomo said in a statement. “For too long, requiring finger imaging from those eligible for food stamp benefits has created an unnecessary barrier to participation in the program, causing a negative stigma and keeping food off the table for those in need.”

Council Speaker Christine Quinn and General Welfare Committee Chair Annabel Palma issued a statement praising Cuomo’s decision. “We are confident that the integrity of the food stamp program will be maintained and are pleased New Yorkers will no longer be forced to go through this process,” they said in their statement.

“We’ve found that finger imaging identifies potential duplicate payments and prevents fraud, which saved more than $35 million over the last decade in a program that now provides services for 1.8 million New Yorkers annually. We remain committed to doing everything we can, consistent with state and federal regulations, to protect the integrity of the food stamp program.”
By on May 17, 2012, 1:34 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany | 4 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Is NY ethics commission leaking?
May 15th, 2012

State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is questioning whether information about an ethics investigation into a top member of his party was leaked illegally.

TheAlbany Times Union reported earlier today that the Joint Commission on Public Ethics is investigating accusations against Tom Libous,the second-highest ranking member of the state Senate.

Skelos, a Republican, said the information was not supposed to be public. “Whoever from JCOPE is leaking this is committing a crime. They’re committing a crime,” hesaid. He said that any allegations against Libous were “garbage.”

JCOPE’s predecessor, the Commission on Public Ethics, was wracked with internal leaks — especially during the Troopergate investigation. JCOPE was designed to address the failings of the CPI and faced controversy regarding the impartiality of a number of appointees.

“Obviously, there is a letter that goes out that is required by law. Look who sent the initial letter, the mayor of Binghamton, D, Democrat, who was looking to run against Tom Libous. If this is a political stunt, that’s all it is,” Skelos said.

Calls to JCOPE requesting information about the process of notifying parties of an investigation have not yet been returned.

Technically, the public is not supposed to know whether JCOPE has decided to follow up on a complaint until the ethics commission makes its findings public.

“It’s not supposed to be made public. It’s a misdemeanor,” Skelos told reporters. “So whoever from JCOPE is leaking this is committing a crime. They’re committing a crime.”JCOPE’s predecessor, the Commission on Public Integrity, had major problems with leaks during Troopergate. The loyalty of the JCOPE commissioners to the interests of the people who appointed them has been a concern since the commission was unveiled.

According to the Times Union, the investigation into Libous is based on a complaint by Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan, a Democrat. Ryan asked JCOPE to look into statements made by Attorney Anthony Magone that Libous offered to help Mangone’s business in exchange for giving his son a job, the newspaper reported. Mangone made the statements during a federal trial. Libous’ son was hired by the firm. Ryan made his accusation and formal complaint public by sending off the complaint in front of reporters.

By on May 15, 2012, 5:13 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany,Gotham City,Governing | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Minimum wage bill on the move in Assembly
May 15th, 2012

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced this morning that his house will likely pass a measure that will increase the state’s minimum wage by $1.25 an hour. Silver made it clear that the move is designed to pressure the state Senate into either voting on the legislation or having to go home during an election year to explain to their constituents why they didn’t vote for the measure.

“I think the rank and file in the Senate are going to have difficulty going back to their voters, including the numbers I showed you from conservatives and registered Republicans, they’re going to have a very difficult time showing up on Election Day saying I’m against this when they are all for it,” Silver told reporters.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos has called a minimum wage increase, “a job killer.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo hasn’t come out fully for or against the bill. “Especially in times like now, a minimum wage increase would be in order,” Cuomo told Susan Arbetter host of The Capitol Pressroom, earlier this month. “You can have a discussion about how much over what period of time.”

Silver said that he believes Cuomo now supports his bill and would corroborate his support if asked. The Governor’s office has not yet responded to our inquiry about his stance on Silver’s legislation.

By on May 15, 2012, 2:25 pm
In category: Albany,Economy,Eye on Albany,Gotham City | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Espada Found Guilty of Theft
May 14th, 2012

Former state Sen. Pedro Espada has been found guilty of embezzling from his Bronx health care network.

After finding Espada guilty of theft, the jury continued to deliberate other charges, including conspiracy and fraud.Espada’s son, who also worked at the Soundview network, is also on trial.

The senior Espada, who had long cast himself as an underdog fighter, had blamed his political foes for stirring up the allegations against him.

Common Cause is using today’s verdict to call for more aggressive ethics investigations from the state-level Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause/NY, said in a statement thatEspada is “the poster child for corruption and the wholesale flaunting of our campaign finance and ethics laws.”

Espada was at the center of the 2009 state Senate coup that left the body paralyzed for a month. He was eventually named senate majority leader as part of a deal that allowed him to return to the Democrats.

A good number of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle refused to even speak to Espada while he carried the title. Before the coup, Espada had wracked up thousands of dollars in unpaid fines from the state and city board of elections. He also faced accusations he didn’t even live in his district.

In early 2009, just before the coup, Espada granted the Gazette a rare interview and took us on a tour of his alleged Bronx residence and one of the health clinics. At the time, Espada mocked and challenged then Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to come after him.

After five years of investigating me in his own tenacious way he should have said, to remove the taint that he himself had helped develop over me, he should have said he investigated Soundview and regrettably several people did bad things but Sen. Espada is absolutely not guilty of any wrongdoing. If I had been, I would have been charged. I’m sure personally he regrets that because what goes around really does come back around.”

Espada lost his seat in a primary election to Gustavo Rivera in 2010. Read the rest of this entry »

By on May 14, 2012, 5:03 pm
In category: Albany,Crime & Safety,Eye on Albany | 2 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Neighboring Bronx Dems split on nutritional standards bill
May 9th, 2012

Two Bronx Democratic legislators with bordering districts are on different sides of a debate over a bill that would require higher nutritional standards for any meal packaged with a toy.

State Sen. Gustavo Rivera, whointroduced the legislation earlier this week, told the Gotham Gazette today that the new standards are designed to get children accustomed to eating a healthier diet.

“If parents want to feed their kids horrible stuff, god bless America, they can do that, but we know kids develop their eating habits early on and they should be given the chance to eat healthy,” he said.

But fellow state Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., disagrees. In an email sent to the press and his constituents, he wondered how elected officials had the right to “tell moms how they should feed their children.”

“Parents struggle to do what’s best for their children, and at least so far, in this country parents are not dictated to by local elected officials about how to feed their children,” he said in his email.

How can these same two officials think they have the right to tell moms how they should feed their children or what to what restaurant they should take them?
Parents struggle to do what’s best for their children, and at least so far, in this country parents are not dictated to by local elected officials about how to feed their children.  If they want to cook at home, they can. If they want to go out and eat, they can

A 2009report by the office of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand found that 62 percent of Bronx residents are overweight or obese.

Other cities have looked at ways to control the sale of toys with meals. San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors recently passed a law banning toys with meals, and the Center for Science for Public Interest is leading a national charge to push for similar laws.

McDonald’s Happy Meals may be the most well-known food products accompanied by toys. But the company said efforts to regulate the products as part of a strategy of tackling the problems of obesity are misplaced.

“We don’t think removing a toy will reduce childhood obesity,” said Cheryl Forsatz, a spokeswoman for the company. “The issue is much more complex and we are committed to giving families choices.”

Rivera said he has yet to talk to the Republican majority about his legislation, but said he expects it to be included in a package of mostly health-related bills that he called “common sense legislation.”

State Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, also a Democrat,introduced a similar bill. He did not return a phone call earlier today requesting comment.

By on May 9, 2012, 4:41 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany,Health | Comments Off

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Bloomberg: Obama support of same-sex marriage is civil rights 'turning point'
May 9th, 2012

Mayor Michael Bloomberg called President Barack Obama’s newly announced support for same-sex marriage “a major turning point in the history of American civil rights.”

“No American president has ever supported a major expansion of civil rights that has not ultimately been adopted by the American people — and I have no doubt that this will be no exception,” Bloomberg said in a statement today.

President Barack Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage during an interview earlier today with ABC’s Robin Roberts. The president’s official announcement of his evolution on the matter came a day after he visited Albany, N.Y., accompanied by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The governor, who championed the landmark passage of same-sex marriage legislation in New York last year, told reporters in Albany earlier today that he did not discuss the subject with Obama.

Bloomberg has long been a supporter of same-sex marriage.

Though the billionaire mayor has not announced whether he will endorse a candidate in the presidential race, his support would be valuable for attracting independent voters.

By on May 9, 2012, 3:58 pm
In category: Albany,City Hall,Civil Rights,Eye on Albany | 2 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


MMA Beaten by Assembly
May 8th, 2012

Yesterday Assembly Democrats decided not to advance a bill that would legalize and have the state sanction mixed martial arts. The Senate has passed the bill a number of years only to see it stall in the Assembly. One of the bill’s most outspoken opponents, Assemblyman Bob Reilly has announced his retirement this year and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he was torn about the legislation so boosters thought this might be their year.

They were wrong. In a closed door meeting yesterday the bill was shelved–meaning it won’t come to a vote this year. The Ultimate Fighting Championship–the largest organization that puts on MMA fights and has a television contract with FOX–said the Assembly was acting in an “un-American” fashion.

The controversial sport where men and women use multiple types of martial arts to knock each other out, submit each other with jiu jitsu or win on points, is now legal in every state except New York and Connecticut. The UFC has promised that the state will reap major financial rewards and see tourism boosts in west and upstate New York where the economies are flagging. But the UFC’s real goal is to hold an event at Madison Square Garden. Such an event would be seen as a coming out party for the UFC as a legitimate, mainstream sport.

How important is it to the UFC? The merchandise stands at the I-Zod center in New Jersey where they held an event this past weekend were stocked with shirts that read UFC NYC in a fashion aping the classic red and black RUN DMC shirts.

Madison Square Garden has made it clear that they want UFC to come to town. But legislators like Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari say the sport is “brutal” and goes against the anti-bullying and messages of tolerance. However the UFC insists the struggle to have the sport legalized in New York is actually tied to labor unions in Las Vegas that are upset with the UFC’s owners the Fertitta brothers who also own Station Casinos.

By on May 8, 2012, 4:15 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany | Comments Off

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Liu Weighs in on GENDA
May 8th, 2012

City Comptroller John Liu is all for the Gender Expression Non Discrimination Act that has been passed in the state assembly and introduced in the senate by Sen. Daniel Squadron.

All people deserve equal protection from discrimination. New Yorks Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act is a necessary and overdue extension of civil rights that will ensure that people cannot be fired or otherwise subjected to bigotry based on gender identity or expression,” said Liu is a statement. “We are grateful to Assembly Member Richard Gottfried and State Senator Daniel Squadron for pushing forward this legislation.

According to the Empire State Pride Agenda, “GENDA would extend basic civil rights protections to all New Yorkers based on their gender identity and expression.”

By on May 8, 2012, 2:44 pm
In category: Albany,Civil Rights,Eye on Albany,Gotham City | Comments Off

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Obama in Albany
May 8th, 2012

The Capital Region is abuzz about President Barack Obama’s visit to UAlbany’s School of NanoScale Science and Engineering. Obama will deliver a speech on the economy. For those of you who don’t know–the nanotech school is attached to the UAlbany campus and it has been gradually, or should I say, quickly expanding over the years. The high-tech building it resides in looms over the road to Albany’s biggest mall like some sort of alien space craft and now construction has begun on a major expansion with a cool bridge doohickey that will eventually allow gear heads to safely cross over mall traffic in space age comfort.

Anyway it is all pretty neat and the President will certainly get to have the opportunity to pose with funky head gear/head covering as the building features clean rooms and workers routinely wear neat-o space suit looking things.

Last time the president visited the area local businesses broke out the stops to try to attract his attention. His patronage of Five Guys in DC had local chain restaurants crossing their fingers. But this time it is a strip joint called Shenanigans that is trying to lure in Secret Service members.

Of course no one is as excited to have Obama in town as the politicians themselves. Democrats and Republicans are tripping over themselves to take credit for the nano college.

This dry press release may not convey his joy but Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is definitely amped by the President’s visit.

Read the rest of this entry »

By on May 8, 2012, 1:16 pm
In category: Albany,Economy,Eye on Albany | 6 Comments »

| 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