- Pitchforks, Torches and Facebook
- A Better Place to Get Better
- Westchester Politics, Never Boring..
- Relentless Mother Nature Pummels Westchester Again!
- Stray Dogs. Why do People Let Them Stray?
- Don't put away that shovel just yet...
- Olympic Hopes Dashed
- Squeezing Blood from Upstate Stones
- Take Nothing for Granted
- He WILL Get That Dinner... and a New Spirit of Political Cooperation
Governor David Paterson announced today that he has asked President Barack Obama to provide a major disaster declaration for Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Suffolk, Nassau and Richmond counties as a result of the March 13-15 Nor'easter which caused flooding and severe beach erosion and cut electric power to more than 270 thousand customers.
A Democratic State Senator is recovering following a health scare.
Friday Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D, WF-Mount Vernon) was briefly hospitalized in Albany after experiencing chest pains.
The State Senate was planning to take up a budget extender bill, but Thompson's absence ground work in the upper chamber to a halt until Monday. The emergency measure would cover payments to state workers, local governments, and schools if the state budget is not on-time. Senate Democrats hold a slim majority in the Senate and need a unified bloc to pass bills over Republican opposition.
This is the second time in two years Hassell-Thompson has been hospitalized. New York faces a nine-billion-dollar budget gap. Governor David Paterson has said it is unlikely that State lawmakers will pass an on-time budget due to the Passover and Easter holidays. The new fiscal year begins April 1.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino met Monday with Governor David Paterson, and officials with FEMA and Con Edison along with the County's Department of Emergency Services to determine if the County qualifies for federal disaster relief aid.
NY Governor David Paterson got an earful during a town hall style meeting Monday in Greenburgh. It was the latest in his series of forums designed to allow the public to weigh in on the 2010-2011 budget proposal. Hundreds were on hand at The Theodore D. Young Community Center for the Governor's event. Audience members called on the governor to restore money to education,to the poor, for historic preservation and parks in Westchester and from beverage industry workers concerned that the Governor's proposed tax on sugary beverages would result in a loss of jobs for them. Westchester is home to the Pepsi Bottling Group, Pepsico, whose headquarters are located in Somers. An estimated 500 workers are employed at the Somers location.
Each time, the Governor countered by saying the state's looming $9.2 billion dollar budget gap is so severe, that "everyone will be forced to face painful decisions and make financial adjustments just as they do in their personal lives."
Just minutes after word came this afternoon that Governor David Paterson's top aide, Peter Kauffmann is resigning, Westchester Assemblyman, George Latimer (D-Larchmont) said the time has come for the Governor himself to step down.
Kauffmann is the third administration official to quit after last week's domestic violence bombshell. Said Kauffman via email to reporters, "I have been honored to serve the people of New York during a difficult time in our state's history," adding, "Unfortunately, as recent developments have come to light, I cannot in good conscience continue in my current position."
Latimer told Westchesternewsonline.com, "The Governor's resignation is really a matter of time. The inability to govern effectively with the clouds of scandal above you, even if you can clear your name on one of them or two of them, is gonna make it impossible for him to function the way he needs to function."
Westchester Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (D-Ossining) on Wednesday responded to the growing list of embarrassing incidents involving local lawmakers in recent weeks. Her comments come following the most recent controversy surrounding New York Governor David Paterson after the New York State Public Integrity Commission in Albany announced that it has charged Paterson with state code ethics violations for accepting free tickets to Game 1 of the 2009 World Series at Yankee Stadium. The violations come with at least 80-thousand dollars in fines. The Commission says Paterson made matters worse by appearing before them and "lying under oath" by claiming he had intended to pay for the tickets.
Said Galef, "I share my constituents' frustrations, deep concern and embarrassment over the rash of unacceptable behavior which has been attributed to a slew of elected officials in both parties over the last couple of weeks, and in the past months and years.
Westchester Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-18th District) expressed concerns Thursday over allegations that Governor David Paterson interfered in a domestic violence case involving a top aide. Lowey said, "These are very serious allegations that must be fully and swiftly investigated." She adds, "If they are true, the governor should no longer be in office as he cannot be an effective candidate or official for the State of New York."
Her comments come in the wake of a New York Times article which questions whether the governor and State Police tried to intimidate a Bronx woman who was pursuing a restraining order against Paterson aide David Johnson. Johnson has been suspended without pay as State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo investigates the matter. Speaking in New York City Thursday night, Paterson says he will talk to key New York Democrats, but for now, says he will continue his gubernatorial campaign.
Around the Country
- Southwest to Cancel Flights as Jets Checked for Cracks - BusinessWeek
- Schumer: Dems slicing budget with scalpel, Tea Party using meat ax - CNN (blog)
- Duke lacrosse accuser arrested in boyfriend's stabbing - CNN International
- House GOP: $4 trillion in cuts - CNN
- Bachmann bids for 'bama eyes - Seattle Post Intelligencer
Around the Planet
- Afghans Continue Protests Over US Quran Burning - Voice of America
- Japan's nuclear workers try to trace leak, dump radioactive water - Los Angeles Times
- OSCE raps Kazakh election, presses for reforms - Reuters
- Newsmaker: Yemen survivor Saleh juggles forces to keep power - Reuters
- France says finds bodies in Atlantic crash wreckage - Reuters