Federal, state and city lawmakers have the power to reduce the region’s traffic congestion while also promoting mass transit. If the past is prologue, they will decline to use it.
Congress, for instance, has until the end of this month to extend a law allowing mass transit users (e.g., bus, subway, commuter rail) to use up to $245 in pre-tax dollars toward their monthly commute. The federal government already allows $245 in pre-tax dollars to be used by drivers each month for their parking expenses, a figure which will increase to $250 on Jan. 1, 2014. The monthly pre-tax limit for transit users will fall to $130 on New Year’s Day should Congress fail to act on this matter by year-end 2013, something which happened in late 2011. D.C.’s inaction left transit users at a competitive disadvantage to drivers in 2012.
The Cuomo administration has expended millions of taxpayer dollars for television ads aimed at promoting state government and burnishing Governor Andrew Cuomo’s image. The latter goal is a tough sell, a Siena College Poll indicates.
The current taxpayer-funded TV advertising campaign began around Sandy’s one-year anniversary, and steers viewers to http://stormrecovery.ny.gov/, The Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery. Narrated by actor Chazz Palminteri, the slick spot closes with a visual tag line which says “Better than before.”
The just-released Long Island Railroad Massacre is a compelling documentary about one of the most notorious crimes in Nassau’s history, and a must-see if you lived here in the early 1990s.
Charles Minn, its director, will screen the film on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 2 p.m., at the Cinema Arts Theatre in Huntington, and preside over a question-and-answer session afterwards. The date has significance. Twenty years earlier, on Dec. 7, 1993, six commuters were killed and 19 other people were wounded by a gun-wielding Colin Ferguson while traveling eastbound on the LIRR between the New Hyde Park and Merillon Avenue stations. Investigation Discovery (ID), a cable channel, is airing the film as Terror on a Train on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 10 p.m. ID is carried on Cablevision’s Channel 171 and FiOS’s Channel 123.
The Newsday/News 12/Siena College Poll had County Executive Edward Mangano leading by anywhere from 11 to 17 percentage points in the weeks leading up to Election Day 2013.
The Siena College Poll’s analyses were covered accurately by the reporters at Cablevision-owned Newsday and News 12 Long Island prior to Tuesday, Nov. 5. So, when the county executive was re-elected by 18 points (59-41 percent), a decisive result should not have caught many people off-guard, right? Well, it did if you were a Newsday editorial board member, or a News 12 commentator, one of whom said on-air on Election Night that they were not surprised at the county executive race’s outcome, but stunned at Mangano’s margin of victory. Newsday and News 12 commission the Siena College Poll. Is it too much to ask that the pundits who offer political opinions for Newsday and News 12 either read or occasionally acknowledge Siena College Polls? That’s a rhetorical question.
Manhattan is filled with landmarks chronicling the nation’s origins, whether it is the statue of George Washington on Wall Street, or Fort Tryon Park, named after William Tryon, the last British governor of New York.
Less well known are the names of the previously unsung heroes featured in George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution (Sentinel), the engaging, just-published book co-written by Brian Kilmeade, a Massapequa resident and co-host of Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends program, and Don Yaeger, an accomplished writer best known for his work at Sports Illustrated.
The state Board of Elections’ (BOE) commissioners are not casino industry employees, but they’ve shown an ability to stack a deck.
Exhibit A can be seen when voters read the state BOE-approved language for Proposition 1 on their Tuesday, Nov. 5 ballot. The text is as follows: “The proposed amendment to section 9 of article 1 of the Constitution would allow the Legislature to authorize up to seven casinos in New York State for the legislated purposes of promoting job growth, increasing aid to schools, and permitting local governments to lower property taxes through revenues generated. Should the amendment be approved?”
The late Philadelphia retailer John Wanamaker said half the money he spent on advertising was wasted. The trouble is, Wanamaker added, he didn’t know which half.
Yet Wanamaker would have realized the NY 529 College Savings Plan is wasting its advertising dollars on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). NY 529 purchased billboards on LIRR properties to urge parents to establish a 529 because tuition at public colleges has risen “37 percent over the past 10 years.” That’s it, a regular LIRR rider might ask. No wonder public higher education remains a bargain compared to the cost of mass transit.
When I learned New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio was born Warren Wilhelm, it was as if someone told me the president of the United States used to be Barry Soetoro. Oh, wait.
The vetting of a political candidate — who is this person, and how did they get here — is an important part of the electoral process, but figuring out who’s on the other side of a major business transaction is also pivotal. The latter wasn’t always the case in the National Hockey League (NHL).
To get a sense of Taylor Dayne’s abundant vocal talent, and her ability to navigate the vagaries of show business, a quick visit to YouTube is in order.
You’ll immediately see the music video from her first breakout hit, “Tell It to My Heart,” and, digging deeper, an interview from Arsenio Hall’s original talk show where Dayne, a Baldwin High School graduate, sat alongside actor Judd Nelson. Dayne would go on over the next quarter-century to produce 17 other Billboard Top 10 hits, earn three Grammy nominations, and remains to this day a compelling performer with a loyal fan base.
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s appointment of Jon Kaiman as the Nassau Interim Finance Authority’s (NIFA) chairman marked the unofficial launch of Kaiman’s 2017 bid for Nassau County executive.
How else to explain the timing of the governor’s announcement (Sept. 19)? It came only nine days after former County Executive Tom Suozzi won a convincing victory over Roslyn school board member Adam Haber in a contested Democratic primary for Nassau County executive. Suozzi made an unsuccessful gubernatorial bid in 2006; so Cuomo, looking down the road, has reason to believe Suozzi might make another run for governor in 2018. Cuomo could be seeking a third term that same year.
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Mike Barry, a corporate communications consultant, has worked in government and journalism. Email: MFBARRY@optonline.net