Here And Now
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany.
At 10 a.m., he’ll attend the second round of economic development awards, Hart Theatre, Egg Center for Performing Arts, Albany. (CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo will be there again, too).
At 9 a.m., NYC Council Speaker Chris Quinn kicks off inaugural meeting of Building Resiliency Task Force to examine how to strengthen New York City’s buildings after Superstorm Sandy; City Hall, Manhattan.
At 9:30 a.m., the MTA Board meets to vote on the toll and fare hike proposal made by Chairman and CEO Joe Lhota. MTA HQ, 347 Madison Ave., Manhattan.
The state Assembly will hold a public hearing to examine the efficacy of the Brownfield Cleanup Program. 9:30 a.m., Hearing Room C, LOB, Albany.
At 11 a.m., the Assembly Will also hold a public hearing to examine the policies and procedures adopted by the Departments of Labor and Civil Service to promote workforce diversity while improving access to higher paying jobs and careers. St. Francis College, Maroney Theater, 7th Flr., 182 Remsen St., Brooklyn.
Mayor Bloomberg attends the wake for former NYC Schools Chancellor Frank Macchiarola. 4 p.m., St. Francis College, 180 Remsen St., Brooklyn.
A wake was held for another Sandy Hook victim, Daniel Barden, 7, who had attended kindergarten in Pawling, NY.
Also laid to rest: Jessica Rekos, age 6.
Victoria Soto, a 27-year-old teacher who is being hailed as a hero for trying to protect her young students from the shooter, was remembered in her hometown of Stratford, Conn. (Her funeral is today).
Though gun control has long been a focus for Mayor Bloomberg, sources close to him say it won’t be the only issue he works on after he leaves office.
Bloomberg notes there are some actions Obama can take to curb gun violence without approval form Congress.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, a Republican, vetoed a bill that would have allowed people with concealed pistol permits to carry guns into schools and other public spaces.
In Ohio, Gov. John R. Kasich, also a Republican, announced that he would sign legislation that would allow people to keep guns in their cars at the Statehouse garage and make it easier to renew licenses and to carry concealed weapons.
The nation’s largest teachers’ pension fund, CalPERS, is reviewing its firearms holdings after determining that its investment in a gun maker was linked to one of the weapons used in the shootings.
The Sandy Hook mass shooting has put school officials nationwide on edge, with some locking down campuses or calling for more police protection after real or perceived threats.
The prospect of a renewed assault weapons ban has reportedly sparked a gun-buying spree.
Sources close to Lhota insist he hasn’t yet made up his mind about running, but felt he needed to step down to have more freedom to investigate – and possibly prepare for – a campaign.
Lhota already has the support of Staten Island powerbroker Guy Molinari, who said: “He’d make a great mayor. He’s sharp, tough and he can handle the City of New York. Not that many people can.” (See above link).
In response to inquiries about his interest in City Hall over the past several weeks, Lhota has emailed copies of a section of the New York public officers’ law, which forbids public officials from engaging in political activity while in public office.
Lhota’s departure comes at a busy time for the MTA. He reportedly will tap Fernando Ferrer, a former Bronx borough president and member of the authority’s board, to become its vice chairman.
The sniping at Lhota by other 2013 contenders is already underway. Quinn’s top consultant, Josh Isay, said: “Voters aren’t going to forget that MTA chief Joe Lhota saddled New Yorkers with a bus and subway fare hike just prior to running for Mayor.”
Calling a court’s repeal in August of the MTA payroll tax an “error,” the authority has filed a legal brief saying the tariff passes constitutional muster and must be reinstated.
An independent inquiry into the attack on the US diplomatic mission in Libya that killed four Americans on Sept. 11 sharply criticized the State Department for a lack of seasoned security personnel and for relying on untested local militias to safeguard the compound.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Hillary Clinton 2016: “I hope she goes – why wouldn’t she?”
Schools that fail to get state approval by Jan. 15 for new evaluation systems for their teachers and principals will not get any last-minute reprieve from Cuomo. Districts that miss that deadline will miss out on a 4 percent state aid increase.
Even as late as Tuesday morning, the Education Department was still listing job offers on its main web page for people to help process the flood of evaluation plans, a signal that the agency might not have enough people to help districts meet the deadline. (See above link).
The North Syracuse School District could lose $4.7 million in state aid next month because it has not submitted a plan for evaluating its teachers and principals.
A New York City health department study has found no clear link between cancer and the dust, debris and fumes released by the burning wreckage of the twin towers.
The state’s 11-member Mandate Relief Council voted to forward three sets of suggestions to Cuomo for closer consideration and, perhaps, legislative action to help contain local government costs.
A nonpartisan task force headed by former LG Richard Ravitch says New York is plagued – as it has for decades – by “structural budget problems” and partisan politics in budgeting, and relies too heavily on “one-shots” to close its deficits.
Ravitch: “There are expenditures that are growing at a rate faster than revenues. As long as that happens, then we are on an unsustainable course.”
EJ McMahon on the task force report: “(W)ith a few details altered, many of the same findings could have been issued 25 years ago, when Mario Cuomo was governor.”
New York senators defended the $60.4 billion Sandy disaster aid package against allegations that it’s larded with pork.
The NYT editorializes on why the state needs disaster aid now.
Cuomo wants to make the DMV friendlier and more geared toward customer service.
A coalition of environmental groups called on state officials to release details of a health impact study for shale gas drilling and a procedure that involves blasting chemical-laden water deep into the ground.
The Bronx surrogate judge, Lee L. Holzman, was censured by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct for failing to take appropriate action after learning that one of his appointees had collected unauthorized and excessive fees.
The LCA gave Cuomo a singing fish for Christmas.
A TU story that upset Capital Region realtors got noticed (and not in a good way) by Jim Romenesko.
Retiring Rep. Maurice Hinchey is having his last hurrah.
The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle calls the Thruway Authority’s about-face on its proposed 45 percent toll hike for commercial vehicles “half a victory.”
Western New Yorkers might get a white Christmas.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on December 19, 2012 at 6:59 am, and is filed under Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|