Earlier this month, over the course of one week, three opinion polls on the New York gubernatorial race, all released by university-based institutes, had significantly different results (Sienna, 57-24 for Cuomo; Quinnipiac, 49-43 for Cuomo; Marist, 53-38 for Cuomo). There are all kinds of methodological and logistical reasons this kind of thing is happening more frequently.
1. CareerBuilder.com’s respected annual survey finds that 77 percent of American workers “always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck. This is up from 61 percent in 2009, 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
Even I’m surprised at how fast libraries, archives and other information services have been thrown out of the lifeboat across this country. Closed branches, reduced hours, canceled programs, discarded materials, no access, no information. I have tons of stories.
1. There is still time to work out some of the biggest problems with the new voting machines. Some of them could have been avoided with consumer testing and quality control. Some of the polling inspectors at the training sessions were saying that the printed fill-in circles were too light and were hard for some people to see. The publicized instructions didn’t match the actual voting experience at many locations (no “privacy sleeves”). There was avoidable confusion at my polling place over what machine I should vote on, and I could clearly see from 10 or 12 feet away how two other people voted. The most ominous problem is that it all took a long time, compared to the lever machines. This has to go faster. Anything like a reasonable turnout and people are going to be walking out on Election Day.…
It was more than just a pretty plan on a blueprint. For four years, starting in early 1964, it was the official policy of Nassau County that 186 of the 574 county-owned acres at Mitchel Field would be the site of the John F. Kennedy Educational, Civic and Cultural Center.
A large banner is still stretched across the face of Nassau County Veterans Memorial Coliseum, our Coliseum, promoting The Lighthouse project.
The New York State Department of Transportation workforce is one-third smaller than it was in the early 1990s. In the past year alone, the total state workforce has been reduced by 10,000 slots. Meanwhile, there’s some kind of contest among candidates, pundits and some elected officials to sound the toughest against the scourge of public sector employees. The rhetoric has never been more heated. And it’s given license to all kinds of impolite, antisocial behavior.
1. A new study by the privately-funded New York State Health Foundation estimates that when it all kicks in several years down the road, 1.2 million uninsured New Yorkers will probably have health insurance. Unfortunately, there are at least 2.6 millionm New Yorkers now without health insurance, including some 350,000 in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. See item No. 4.
1. With more and more economists and analysts warning that the economy is on the brink of sliding backward, our President and our Congress have basically raised their hands and declared that they’ve already done too much to try to put citizens to work and the economic engine back in gear.
Governor Paterson made some rather incredible statements last week. The one that got the most publicity was his assertion that he would now be in the process of being re-elected if he had not ended his candidacy. The most disturbing was his bragging to the media (called, in multiple outlets, his “victory lap”) that the new state budget has “no borrowing. We didn’t borrow a dime.”
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Michael Miller is a freelance writer, designer and strategic consultant who has worked in state and local government. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org