Monday, August 06, 2007

What exactly is the problem with the economy in Upstate New York?

August 2, 2007


Something’s wrong. Particularly in the regions that lie to the west of Albany, out along the Thruway corridor to Western New York and down along the Southern Tier, new job growth has been weak for more than a decade now. You can see the problem most clearly in cities from Schenectady to Utica, Rochester and Buffalo. But other cities such as Hudson, and rural areas -- from the Catskills to the Adirondacks, and in the middle of the state -- are suffering as well.

You can measure this problem in employment numbers that show Upstate New York lagging far behind the rest of the nation. On a more personal level, groups that serve the needy, such as the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities, tell the painful human stories of families who go without life’s necessities and young people with limited opportunities. One of the most pointed characterizations came during last year’s gubernatorial campaign, when Eliot Spitzer said that much of Upstate New York resembles the poorest regions of Appalachia.

Now, a study from the Buffalo branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York sheds new light on the problems of the Upstate economy.

Business leaders, editorial writers and political candidates have talked for some time about the “brain drain” from Upstate. By that, they mean the loss of talented young people who go elsewhere in search of brighter prospects for the future. According to the new study from the Federal Reserve Bank, roughly one in seven college-educated residents of Upstate left the region during the latter half of the 1990s. Given the increasingly important role that advanced learning plays in the modern global economy, all those moves out of Upstate add up to a real loss.

But, interestingly, the Federal Reserve study found that Upstate’s “brain drain” was not significantly worse than those in most other states. Anywhere you go in this country, at any given time, there’s always a lot of churn in the economy – and that includes some people who are making a change in location. According to the experts at the Federal Reserve, the percentage of highly educated residents who moved out during the late 1990s was just about the same in Upstate New York as it was nationally.

Now, that doesn’t mean all the talk about Upstate’s economic problems is wrong. While the proportion of college-educated individuals leaving Upstate New York was close to the national average, the proportion who moved *into* the region was very low. In fact, it was the lowest in the country, even well below states such as Louisiana and West Virginia that many New Yorkers would consider economic backwaters.

When you combine all those moves out, and all the moves in, you get what economists call a net migration rate. Where would Upstate rank on that measure? Second worst in the country.

What’s the bottom line? Throughout most of Upstate New York,college-educated adults are not moving into the region fast enough to offset the larger numbers who are moving out. The experts at the Federal Reserve added this observation: “Research suggests that job opportunities and local amenities influence choice of location. While regional amenities such as a favorable climate, cultural offerings, and family and social networks are attractive forces, they may not be enough to attract college-educated workers. Similarly, job prospects may not be sufficient to sway a relocation decision if a region is not perceived to be a desirable place to live. Both factors are important policy considerations.”

This new information doesn’t solve the chronic problems of the Upstate economy. But it might help to point policymakers and private-sector leaders in the right direction as they look for solutions.

This interesting article can be found here:

Robert Ward is deputy director of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, the public-policy research arm of the State University of New York. He is also author of New York State Government: Second Edition, published by the Rockefeller Institute Press.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Catskills the new target for Industrial Wind

The above picture is a proposed spot for a wind mill in Meredith, NY.

"The tiny, intermittent output of electricity and the negligible CO2 savings cannot possibly justify the huge sacrifice of that most finite resource -- our unspoilt and irreplaceable countryside. It is our duty to protect our rural heritage for present and future generations from such gross and unnecessary industrialization."

— Angela Kelly, Country Guardian, U.K.

The above video is done by community members in Arkville fighting industrial wind.

What is Industrial Wind you may ask? Well it is a big business and the beautiful Catskill Mountains of New York are now in their sights. Wind power companies have descended on the rural communities of the Catskills in droves and have pitted neighbor against neighbor as they secretly meet with land owners and farmers, have them sign contracts that swear them to secrecy and then court local town boards to get approval before townfolk know what is happening to their towns. This has happened in my town of Meredith, New York. The irony is that we live here because we love nature and love our environments, and these companies profit from huge government subsidies and limitless mutual fund cash because of all the lucrative tax breaks and federal funding alternative energy schemes get. Wind looks like it is good for the environment but it does not make enough power to justify huge wind turbines the size of sky scrapers in rural communities as beautiful as ours.. In fact, Meredith’s planned industrial wind project would not create much power, and would do nothing to make our community sustainable. This power does not go back into our grid, and would do NOTHING to lesson our astronomical energy costs. It is about big business, making money of investment schemes and ruining our beautiful homes with 400-foot wind turbines all our mountaintops. This article says it well! Here is an expert:

"So why, apart from the well-intentioned New York state legislators, who want renewable energy but don't understand the costs and inefficiencies, should the beautiful Catskills await the new industrial rapists? The claim of new jobs doesn't stand any scrutiny, since teams of contractors will be brought into the area and taken out again after the turbines have gone up.

No, the real reason that Goldman Sachs and other big mecantile financiers are backing the giant windmills are good old-fashioned tax breaks. The US government permits a triple depreciation for tax purposes on wind turbines, and those with enough capital can invest in tax shelters that use these depreciations to remove the tax on profits for other ventures.

In the words of one Catskills campaigner: "If I had the ability to invest $1 million in a wind farm, I could avoid paying taxes on another $2 million in profits from some other venture. Yup, that would save me half a million in taxes. Hmmmmm".

Maybe, when it comes to some of the solutions offered by well-intentioned environmentalists, it would be wise to examine the motivation of some of the lobbyists who profess to support them. It's still not too late for the Catskill Mountains."
---Mark Seddon, Gaurdian, U.K.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bloomvile, NY

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bruno has only 26 percent approval rating.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Spitzer, Bruno and my disgust

AS many of you know, I am a big fan of Eliot Spitzer; he is in fact a personal hero of mine. The recent hullabaloo in Albany is really depressing. It seems as if we live in a country that is addicted to scandals that are not even scandals. If Spitzer is in fact guilty of abuse of power, I guess he should be punished but the whole thing profoundly saddens me: is this a scandal worthy of your time when the future of our state hangs in the balance? Bruno has little to nothing to offer New York State in terms of effective policy, he is a terrible fiscal conservative, and seems to be addicted to spending our tax dollars. I just do not understand the audacity he has to say that the governor has abused his power when he has no issue with flying around the state, on our dollar so that he can cozy up with special interests. This whole 'scandal' only shows us how little the Senate and Assembly care about our state, they only care about the status quo which is nasty political deadlock. I am disappointed that our Governor is now mired by the swamp that is Albany, but I do think he will persevere. For those of us that care about fiscal responsibility and what is right stand behind the governor with pride. Hopefully the painfully bizarre hypocrisy of senator Burno will come to the surface. Albany's Status quo is NOT acceptable if we want to save our state: All of our state. Eliot FIGHT ON!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

West Kortright, NY

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Honeoye Falls, NY

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

34th, NY, NY

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Milk producers to get paid by state

This article is from Oneanta's Daily Star, and it made my day!

By Mark Boshnack
The Daily Star Online Staff Writer

Area dairy farmers are the beneficiaries of a $30 million investment in the industry by the state Legislature. The Dairy Investment Act that was part of the recently passed state budget would help farmers by paying them about 33 cents a hundredweight for milk shipped during 2006, according to York Farm Bureau President John Lincoln. It is modeled after programs in Connecticut and Vermont. Andrew Work, a farmhand for Sunny Acres Swiss, washes an International 966 tractor to make it ready to paint on state Route 28 in Milford on Tuesday.
State Sen. James Seward, R- Milford, a member of the Senate Agricultural Committee, said Tuesday that the payments would be dispersed through the state Department of Agriculture and Markets. "This is designed as a quick infusion of capital" to help dairy farmers, especially with the upcoming spring planting, Seward said. The average 100-cow farm would receive about $7,500, with a cap of about $15,000, he said. A couple of farmers and a dairy official said they appreciated the recognition that the industry merited state support. "It will be a help," Franklin dairy farmer Dan Buel said. "I don’t remember feed prices ever being this high," he said. With fuel costs remaining high and the costs of a lot of spring planting needs going up after last year’s low milk prices, "everything is a help," Buel said. To get by when milk prices are as low as they have been, he said, he has cut back on upgrades around the farm, including equipment. "It’s nice they have finally acknowledged that something has to be done," said Hartwick dairy farmer Cliff Brunner. The state shouldn’t provide grants to attract new business and ignore the dairy industry, he said. It is the largest industry in the state, he said. "To ignore it when it is in trouble would be wrong," he said. He borrowed money to get by in 2006. The relief money will be used to pay off creditors, he said. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County Educator Mariane Kiraly said that of the 20 farm-profitability reviews she has done this year, most had to borrow tens of thousands of dollars to make up for losses in 2006. "It’s a positive that the state recognizes that dairy farmers had a bad year" and are offering help, she said. "Any income is good," she said. The state Senate had initially proposed $60 million in relief, Seward said, but the final result was a compromise to make sure farmers got something. This was envisioned as a one-shot deal, but the situation will be examined in the future, he said. What is really needed, Seward said, is help from a federal farm bill that would result in more stable prices that are tied to production costs,. Farm officials have said these costs range from $16 to $18 a hundredweight, depending on a number of factors. While the prices paid to farmers was $16 a hundredweight before deductions in March, it had been as low as $12 per hundredweight last summer.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Far West Chealsea, NYC

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Meredith, NY

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Anti-Budget Commercials Part of New York State's Most Expenisve Lobbying Effort in Our History at a WHOPPING 4.5 Million!

From Newsday:

"No amount of money spent will dissuade me from doing what's right for this state," Spitzer said Friday.

Spitzer called the health care lobbyists' ads "misleading, false and fatuous" to create fear and "hysteria." Spitzer plans to air new ads, paid for through his campaign funds.

Grandeau said Spitzer hasn't filed a report because his ads aren't regulated by the lobbying commission since they aren't a "call to action" for lawmakers.

Spitzer seeks to change the system he said taxpayers can no longer afford to focus more on at-home care and less expensive community health centers that would emphasize preventive care. He said too much health care is currently handled in hospital emergency rooms, where it is most expensive, and his reforms will improve care while insuring millions more children.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Help Eliot Slay Goliath! Contact your Senator and tell them that they must do what is right and NOT EASY, and pass Eliot's budget! New York State's future hangs in the balance!

Find your senator here!

Times Square, NYC

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

What France's Brain Drain Can Teach New York State.

French industry warns of brain drain that If Ségolène Royal is elected president in May it will trigger an exodus of people from France’s financial and biotechnology sectors to London and other foreign cities, according to some of the country’s top business leaders. The warning – fuelled by fears that the Socialist candidate would raise taxes for the highest earners and biggest companies – came as it emerged that the number of people fleeing the country’s onerous wealth tax doubled between 2003 and 2005.

Each day France loses two people who pay its wealth tax, representing a loss of €2.2bn ($2.9bn, £1.5bn) of taxable assets for the government in 2005, according to a senate finance committee report.

“If Ségolène Royal wins, we will go back to the situation we had with Mitterrand between 1981 and 1983. But it would be three-times worse,” said the chairman of one CAC 40 company, referring to François Mitterrand, the last leftwing president of France.

“There are many French people who are ready to leave the country. Mitterrand was quite pragmatic, able to shift his position after a couple of years when he saw it was not working. But Ms Royal is ideologically fixed on her position,” the chairman said.

Philippe Pouletty, honorary chairman of France Biotech, the biotechnology association, said: “If the Socialists were elected and implemented their pre-election policies, a lot of people would say enough is enough and move abroad, just coming back to France for holidays.”

Jean-Luc Placet, chief executive of the IDRH recruitment consultancy and member of the Medef business federation, said: “Many in the financial sector ... would leave for London if she was elected.”

Ms Royal hardly mentioned tax in her manifesto speech. But her proposal to regulate bank fees has infuriated the banking federation.

Thierry Desmarest, chairman of Total, attacked a political debate in France which, he said, swung “between dogmatism and populism”. Reporting the biggest profit of any French company, Mr Desmarest said it was unacceptable that Total should be penalised for its success.

Ms Royal’s manifesto proposed “an exceptional tax on the super-profits of oil companies” to fund public transport. Mr Desmarest said: “We only make 5-6 per cent of our profits in France. We pay our taxes where we make our profits and there is no reason to pay tax a second time.”

Elie Cohen, head of research at the CNRS state agency, played down the risk of an exodus. “If Ségolène Royal does what she is saying then it will be like in 1981. But just like Mitterrand, she will have to reverse everything after 18 months, once the country is in crisis.”

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Rangel Tells State’s Delegation the Eliot Spitzer Has An Anger Problem!

Can you believe this? This is what Rangel said about Eliot? Here is a times article about it!
“Anger and emotion will not help this delegation in trying to help our constituents,” said Mr. Rangel, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and, like Mr. Spitzer, a Democrat. “We refuse to get involved in a food fight when what we need is health care.”

Who wouldn't be angry when the state of New York is so terrible that people are leaving it in droves? I just got back from Oneonta where the employees of stores had no teeth because they have no access to affordable health care OR good jobs. There are many reasons for this but many of them lie with what Spitzer calls the "culture of the status quo." Labor and hospital groups have been clashing with the Governor over his proposed budget and frankly, they all disgust me. Granted actual health care workers are hard working people, but all the farmers I know, and all the self employed artists I know, have little to no insurance because it is too expensive. My parents, who are getting older, retained their own insurance as farmers and it was expensive they shouldered it themselves, dispute ever dwindling checks for lamb meat. After years of coverage they were unceremoniously dropped. IT is great that the health care unions, and hospital groups want to help themselves but we as citizen's of New York State have to help ALL OF US! My parents work very very hard and it is not right that there are no affordable health care options for them. It is with Spitzer's budget and bravery and doing what is right, and not easy that there is a chance for New York State. The audacity of Rangel to say that Eliot has anger problems because he tells the unions that they are wrong, to their faces disgusts me. It really does. I know that I am usually positive on here, but this is the final straw, being polite is not what New York State needs we need what is right.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Tredwell, NY

Friday, March 09, 2007

Dehli, NY

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Bruno Threatens to Undo Some of Spitzer’s Proposed Cuts

This is from the New York Times, today.


ALBANY, March 7 — The State Senate majority leader, Joseph L. Bruno, delivered one of his sharpest and most specific attacks yet on Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s budget plan on Wednesday, pinpointing at least $300 million in proposed health care cuts that the Senate would probably try to restore.
“There’s enough money in this state to do it all,” Mr. Bruno said, referring to health care, education, tax relief and other programs that the Republican-controlled Senate wants to increase spending on. But Thomas P. DiNapoli, a Democrat who was recently appointed state comptroller by the Legislature despite Mr. Spitzer’s opposition, suggested that Mr. Bruno’s projections were too optimistic.
“Spending is still increasing at an unsustainable rate, almost two times faster than revenues,” Mr. DiNapoli said in a statement accompanying an analysis of Mr. Spitzer’s spending plan.
Mr. DiNapoli said that the governor’s plan would lead to a budget gap of $13 billion over three years. And Mr. Spitzer’s $120.6 billion budget will grow as the Legislature weighs in with more spending. The Senate and Assembly are likely to introduce their own budget plans by Friday.
Legislative leaders reiterated on Wednesday that they would restore an appreciable amount of the $1.3 billion the governor is cutting from hospitals and other health care providers. And the Senate, controlled by upstate and suburban Republicans, will seek increases in education aid even above those planned by the governor, asserting that Mr. Spitzer’s plan favors New York City. But the Legislature may have limited ability to impose its changes, since the governor appears to have enough votes to sustain his vetoes.
Mr. Bruno outlined two specific items worth $300 million in all that the Senate would probably alter in the governor’s budget. In a speech on Wednesday morning to the Healthcare Association of New York State, a hospital group, Mr. Bruno questioned why the governor planned to keep in place a tax on hospitals, worth about $137 million a year, that is scheduled to expire and criticized the governor’s plan to eliminate an annual inflation adjustment in Medicaid payments to health care providers.
“Anybody here know anything that’s going down?” he asked, adding, “I know some things that are going down: some parts of this budget.”
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, was more muted in his remarks to the group. Assembly Democrats want to reverse some of the governor’s cuts but are reluctant to worsen an already strained relationship with Mr. Spitzer.
“There are a lot of principles the governor has expounded that we can buy into,” Mr. Silver said after the speech. “There are some places that we may want to soften some of the cuts.”
Mr. Silver also said that he mostly supported the governor’s plan to close more than $400 million in corporate tax loopholes, a proposal that has drawn criticism from the Bloomberg administration. The mayor’s budget director said on Tuesday that the move would encourage large financial companies to leave the city.
“I find that hard to believe,” Mr. Silver said, adding of the tax moves, “We can support most of them on a statewide basis.”
While several hundred health care workers rallied in Albany on Wednesday, the governor promoted his health plan at the Children’s Aid Society’s Dunlevy Milbank Center in Harlem. He toured the center, including its health clinic, asserting that it could deliver primary and preventive care to children at a lower cost than most hospitals.
“We can afford to deliver health care in this setting, because you catch diseases, you prevent diseases from becoming chronic diseases, and you save loads of money,” he said.
With Mr. Spitzer was Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund, who praised his plan to make health coverage available to the state’s 400,000 uninsured children.
“It’s the cost-effective thing to do, it’s the right thing to do for every child, and it’s the smart thing to do,” she said. But far more politically influential groups are opposing his health care proposals, namely the Greater New York Hospital Association and 1199 S.E.I.U. United Healthcare Workers East, the powerful union. The groups have launched a media campaign criticizing the governor’s plan. And their top officials will probably have time to lobby Mr. Bruno and Mr. Silver in Washington on Thursday when they are all to meet with the state’s Congressional delegation to oppose spending cuts proposed by the Bush administration.
“Nobody said creating a budget in the state of New York was going to be easy and fun, or all sugar and milk,” Mr. Spitzer said. “It’s going to be hard fought because there’s much at stake.”
Ray Rivera contributed reporting.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Meat Packing District, NYC

Message from Elliot

The positive change that we sought during the campaign is beginning to percolate in Albany. Just yesterday, we announced fundamental reforms to our state's workers' compensation system. This comprehensive and balanced agreement will raise benefits for injured employees while significantly reducing the costs to businesses over time--and will clear one of the biggest obstacles to economic growth upstate. Developed in cooperation with both business and labor leaders, this is a landmark achievement that demonstrates what is possible when narrow self-interest is put aside and the best interests of New Yorkers as a whole are put first.

And over the past weeks, we have seen ethics and budget reform embraced after seemingly insurmountable opposition. These successes are important to remember in the coming weeks as the budget process continues.

I have been traveling across New York State to bring my proposed budget directly to the people and explain how they stand to benefit from its reforms. As you know, passing this budget is critical, because it finally breaks a long cycle of insider deals and special favors in the State Capitol. This budget is designed to address the priorities and needs of real New Yorkers, rather than line the pockets of entrenched special interests.

Not surprisingly, those very same special interests are determined to stop the budget in its tracks--and they are spending $15 million of insider money to do so. Through a lavishly funded advertising campaign, they, too, have gone directly to the people.

If they succeed, New Yorkers will remain stuck with a broken and inefficient system that puts the well-being of institutions before the well-being of individual citizens. This system epitomizes the wasteful spending and lack of accountability that have been hallmarks of Albany culture for far too long. It is a system that we can no longer afford, and this budget is our best opportunity to fix it once and for all.

Today, we went on air with a television ad to ensure that the public hears the truth. By being supportive now, you will help keep this message on the air.

This is your chance to take a stand--to insist that Albany clean up its act and do what is right. It is an investment in a sound future for our state. As we demonstrated yesterday, when we make the needs of New Yorkers our top priority, we can achieve great things.


Friday, February 09, 2007

Eliot Spitzer the SteamRoller!

Eliot is taking his cause to the people!

During a swing through Syracuse that was originally scheduled for the governor to promote his budget priorities, Mr. Spitzer denounced a local assemblyman, William B. Magnarelli, for reneging on the agreement that the Legislature had made to select a comptroller from a list of qualified candidates put forward by a screening committee.

“Bill Magnarelli is one of those unfortunate Assembly members who just raises his hand when he’s told to do so, and didn’t even bother to stand up and say, ‘Whose interest am I representing?’ ” he told The Post-Standard of Syracuse on Thursday.

It was, by Albany standards, a shocking breach of etiquette for a sitting governor to lambaste a colleague from his own party in his home district.

And it reflected a sharp escalation of the take-no-prisoners approach that has characterized his administration in its first six weeks. During that time, he has derided what he portrayed as the “Rip van Winkle” years of former Gov. George E. Pataki, privately told the Assembly minority leader that he was a “steamroller” who would roll over anyone in his way, and infuriated his fellow Democrats in the Assembly by accusing them of “cronyism” in the fight over the new comptroller.

The battle between the new Democratic governor and Democrats in the Assembly heated up on several fronts Thursday. The governor canceled a getting-to-know-you lunch with Assembly Democrats next Monday, as well as a $10,000-a-head fund-raiser next week for the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee.

And his budget tour included several stops in the districts of Assembly Democrats who had sided with the Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, in the comptroller battle — including some who hold seats in swing districts where the Republicans could be expected to make inroads. An aide said that the governor might criticize their votes on the comptroller at more of these stops.

With the public, Mr. Spitzer has indeed been a steamroller. He won a landslide victory in November, and this week he helped elect a Democrat to a State Senate seat in Nassau County that has been held by Republicans for decades. In Albany, though, only 212 people matter: the lawmakers he needs to enact his budget and his ethics proposals.

Aides to Mr. Spitzer say his aggressive style, willingness to engage, and outspokenness in his first weeks in office are all part of his strategy to push his agenda through a famously recalcitrant Legislature: that way, they believe, he can capture the public’s attention, and enlist it on his side. But lawmakers in Albany rarely face close elections, so, as many of Mr. Spitzer’s predecessors can attest, it can be very hard to put political pressure on them.

Taking the case directly to the people could have its limits, as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California found out.

Mr. Spitzer said in an interview on Thursday that his outspoken approach to governing was rooted in his belief that if the facts are on his side, the public will support him in his reform efforts. He compared his current political battle with the Legislature to some of the battles he waged with Wall Street during his years as the state attorney general.

“A status quo does not want itself revealed, whether it’s to investors, shareholders or voters,” he said. “It pushes back in a strenuous way. My response every time is, let’s just get out the facts, what are we trying to do and why. And I have this very simple-minded belief that we will win by presenting those facts.”

The governor likened his interaction with the Legislature to a chess game. “This is a game that will have many moves and will take time to play out,” he said. “Now the board is set. It is now clear who is genuinely for reform and who is not.”

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Clinton Neighborhood, NY, NY

Spitzer Loses Fight with Assembly

Spitzer has lost the fight with the Assembly over the new comptroller but I still think he will prevail, politics as usual is now the enemy. War on Spitzer, you have the mandate of the PEOPLE!
From the Times today:

Governor Spitzer, facing his first serious political defeat as governor, bristled at what he called the “stunning lack of integrity” of the legislative leaders and charged that they had let “politics and cronyism” triumph over sound judgment.

“We have just witnessed an insider’s game of self-dealing that unfortunately confirms every New Yorker’s worst fears and image of all that goes on in the Legislature of this state,” Mr. Spitzer said at a news conference shortly after the full Legislature voted following a private meeting among Assembly Democrats that selected Mr. DiNapoli.

“When all was said and done, the question legislators asked was not who was best qualified among the 19 million New Yorkers for this job, but rather, who among us will receive as a virtual gift this job that we control,” Mr. Spitzer said. “Nothing could be more fundamentally wrong, especially when dealing with the question of who will make, as sole trustee, the investment decisions relating to the $145 billion pension fund of the State of New York, the retirement money of millions of New Yorkers.”

Spitzer you are my personal hero.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Colds Day, Beautiful Sky

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Chealsea, NYC

Budget IN!

Our New governor's new budget is in and he is ready to fight with the powers that be to get it passed. He has pledged to take it to the people, and with his unprecedented win this past November he has the political capital to do it! GO ELIOT!

Here is an excerpt from a times article:

"Many of the governor’s proposals face a tough sell in the Legislature, with Republicans who control the Senate uncomfortable with Mr. Spitzer’s plans on education, health care and property taxes, and the proposed overall increase in spending. The governor’s relations with Democrats who lead the Assembly have been strained by a battle over how to pick a new state comptroller.

The difficulty of the governor’s task also became apparent when two influential interest groups, the Greater New York Hospital Association and 1199 S.E.I.U. United Healthcare Workers East, the health care workers union, put out a detailed rebuttal to the governor’s health proposals this morning, calling them “riddled with inaccuracies.”

But Mr. Spitzer, as is his way, said in a speech to the Legislature in the capitol complex this morning that he was ready for a fight and would take his case to the public. Polls show the governor is far more popular than the Legislature.

“I’m going to be out there talking to voters, citizens, homeowners, taxpayers, editorial boards,” the governor said in his speech to lawmakers. “I’m going to be speaking to anybody who will listen. This is not a debate that will be cloistered in the halls of this building, this is a debate that I plan to bring to the people of New York.” "

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Why Eliot Has What It Takes to Make Real Change In Albany

Our new governor Eliot Spitzer has made it clear that he is committed to change and good clear government as he stands up against the democratically controlled assembly over controversy surrounding five candidates that were chosen by an independent panel for the empty comptroller seat. Assembly Majority Leader Shelden Sliver has expressed extreme displeasure in the fact that none of the candidates recommended by the panel are Assemblymen and has been trying to pressure Elliot into choosing an Assemblyman, which our new governor has refused to do. Spitzer is in many ways showing the State Democrats that Albany is a new town one that is transparent and ready for real change. Here is an excerpt yesterday the New York Times, which shows how dramatic this all has been up in Albany:

"Mr. Silver spent Friday mulling his options and trying to cool down members of the Assembly, who are furious at what they perceive as a slight. Some of Mr. Spitzer’s deputies are reaching out to the Assembly to take its temperature — trying to see how much political capital the administration used up on the comptroller fight the week before it releases its first budget proposal.

Mr. Silver is in a particularly sensitive position. If he accepts a candidate from outside the Assembly for comptroller, he risks incurring the wrath of the members of his conference, whose support he needs to remain speaker. But if he reneges on the deal he publicly made with Governor Spitzer, he could find himself in an all-out war with the governor’s office fresh off Mr. Spitzer’s landslide victory.

“I think we’re at war, but I’m not sure,” said one Assembly Democrat, who was granted anonymity to describe the private machinations in the Assembly. “This is a clash of the titans, and I don’t know how this plays out.”

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Farmers urge relief on prices

Moon shines over former dairy farm.
This is from the Daily Star an Oneonta paper and the article was written by Amy Ashbridge who writes frequently about farming issues. Here is the link!

By Amy L. Ashbridge
Oneonta Daily Star Staff Writer

Schenevus dairy farmers Doug and Connie Lull have 85 head of cattle.
"We had more," Doug Lull said, explaining that the couple had to sell several head last year. "We didn’t have the feed for them."
Holdridge said they received $14.27 _ in 2006 dollars _ in 1986 for a hundredweight, and now receive $14.21. Although the milk price is essentially the same, Holdridge said, other costs have increased.
Lull said a combination of lower milk prices and higher prices for grain have made it harder for farmers to make a living.
"The price of grain is going to go up higher," Doug Lull said. "Grain prices are not going to come down at all."
Emergency payments from the Milk Income Loss Compact are also three months late, Lull said. That money is $500 a month; Lull said it does make a difference not to have the emergency payment.
Holdridge said his accountant told him that about 92 percent of farmers are losing money; the other 8 percent have only made money because they sold their farms, Holdridge said Sunday.
He said the meeting was an attempt to make politicians see what lower milk prices are doing to farmers.
"If they don’t do something by the spring, there’s going to be quit a few farmers that sell (their farms)," Holdridge said. "Something’s got to change."
Those who went to the meeting included Assemblyman Bill Magee, D-Nelson, and representatives from various agri-businesses.
Magee is the chairman of the state Assembly Agricultural Committee. He said he had been invited to the meeting and considered it important to be there.
"The upstate economy is agriculture," Magee said. "Farmers spend their money in the community."
He said he learned from Thursday’s meeting and planned to take that knowledge back to Albany to share with his colleagues. Magee said he found out farmers hadn’t been buying new machinery when it broke, but opted instead to try to fix it themselves when possible.
The Senate and Assembly committees are having meetings to get testimony from farmers throughout the next several weeks. Magee said the first meeting is at 10 a.m. today in Albany.
The Holdridges are attending that meeting but will not be testifying.
Other meetings will follow in Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo and Jamestown; the Syracuse meeting is scheduled for Wednesday.
"Maybe New York state can do something for some temporary relief," Magee said. "The long-term solution to the problem has to involve the federal government and some sort of relief."
Connie Lull said the meeting Thursday accomplished at least one goal.
"We tried," she said. "We can say we tried."

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

China Town, NY, NY

Friday, January 19, 2007

All American Story From Rochester

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Scottish Highland Cattle

Monday, September 25, 2006

Happy New York Holsteins

New York State Jersey Cow

Golden Rod a New York State Treasure

Golden Rod is one of my favorite things about New York's late summer and early fall it is just lovely. Here a bubble bee snacks away despite the fact that fall has arrived.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Monticello, NY

Friday, September 22, 2006

Treadwell, NY

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NY

Good News!

New York City is the safest big city in the country, according to a report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI’s 2002 "Crime in the United States" indicates that while crime increased nationwide, New York City’s crime rate actually decreased 5% to the lowest level since the 1960s. In addition, the city’s murder rate dropped 9.6% in 2002 to reach the lowest level since 1963.

The FBI’s ranking of
New York City as the safest large city in the United States means that, of all American cities with populations of 1 million or more, New York City has the lowest rate of total crime committed.

So come y'all and visit now!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Why does the New Jersey Skyline Grow and Grow, when New York’s Lower Manhattans Stagnates?

Lack of leadership and red tape. I am being a bit unfair, there are other factors that have led to the fact that ground zero, is well still ground zero but it is still a disgrace.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

West Village, NYC

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Delaware County Fair

Monday, August 28, 2006

Lake Ontario, Rochester, NY

Interstate 88