Cuomo Doing Better Than The Economy (In The Polls)
by Anthony Stasi
Oct 01, 2014 | 0 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Governor Andrew Cuomo is coasting into November with a large lead in polls over Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. According to a former elected GOP insider, however, Astorino may have a future in the party beyond this election should the polls remain accurate. Astorino is a lot of what the Republicans did not have the last time they challenged Cuomo. He articulates policy well, he holds an important office, and is not new to New York politics. This is already a big plus for the party, which ran Carl Paladino against Cuomo four years ago as more of a rejection of Rick Lazio. Although Cuomo is poised to win in November, there are two statistics that any state politician should be concerned about. People in all 50 states are uncertain about the economy and employment, but New York residents are even more apprehensive when it comes to confidence in those same areas. A recent Gallup Poll asked people in all states where they would rank their confidence in their state’s economy on a scale of minus-100 to 100. The national average was 23, but it was only 8 in New York. On the average, Americans in the same poll said that there was a 40 percent chance to land a decent job in their areas. New Yorkers, however, came in at 27 percent. In fairness, a “decent” job in New York has to be a very good job in order to keep up with the cost of living, but these are still big differences. New York is where people used to come to find work, and now people are suggesting that the prospects of this might be better elsewhere. These polls may not seem that worrisome, but if the governor wants to seek national office, they will re-surface. This is still a state that is overtaxed and under-employed. The governor does not have to debate Rob Astorino on the campaign trail on these issues, but his second term should be focused on restoring economic confidence. Mike Grimm and the 11th CD A man can be alone in a crowd in the most public of places. The Republicans in Staten Island must look at Congressman Mike Grimm’s legal troubles and press missteps and feel a sense of déjà vu. The only time incumbent Republicans lose in Staten Island is when they lose their way...outside of politics. Democrats in Staten Island have come to rely on it. Grimm can still win this November, because as Tip O’Neill liked to say, “all politics is local.” Grimm, like Vito Fosella (the last GOP representative in that district), has a voting record that fits the district. But this election is about Grimm and his upcoming trial for fraud. This is why he is vulnerable. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is spending money helping Grimm’s opponent, Domenic Recchia. The money may be helping, as polls are starting to show a tighter race Why would the Democrats invest this much on winning the 11th Congressional District seat, when they won’t take the majority in the House with this seat? A troubled Republican in the House might actually be more beneficial to the national Democrats than what will only be a placeholder seat. If Grimm loses, the GOP will most likely win the seat back in two years, thus making all that spending on campaign advertising kind of misplaced. And do the Republicans even want to hold this seat right now? This upcoming trial is a headache for Speaker John Boehner, which can be remedied in two years during the next election. This means Grimm has to fight this battle alone, which does not mean he loses, it just means it’s a lonely last month of the election cycle.
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Laura Ward, Choreographer
by Chase Collum
Oct 01, 2014 | 1 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
If you asked Laura Ward's friends about her, they might tell you she's a dancer or they might tell you she is a conceptual artist who uses dance as a tool. That's because while she has been a dancer her whole life, her approach to choreography is one that involves drawing heavily from an alternative, sometimes irreverent view of the world around her. Ward says that as a movement analyst, she looks at dance not just as an art form but as a method of communicating complex ideas. “People get intimidated by dance because they want to understand it. If you go to see modern art, or any kind of art, your response is whatever you feel,” she says. “My inspirations are very broad. It's not just the dance world.” Since 1999, Ward has been working with students from the Long Island City School of Ballet, and at the end of the month students from that class, along with her Octavia Cup Dance Theater troupe, will be performing their latest piece “Maps” at the Maximalist Dance Theater in Manhattan. Ward hopes that her latest piece will challenge audiences to think about where they've come from and where they are heading as a member of modern society. She is well known in the dance world for her nontraditional style, with its sometimes purposefully choppy movements not typical of classical ballet, which she uses to add an element of accessibility to her work. “I think that ballet can be something that you can watch, but if you don't have any connection to that movement then you're not going to be interested,” Ward says. “The way that we move and connect everything together, it's not to be seen as a story but more of a collage and social commentary from a mock-serious perspective. “We have original music in the show and we also have - it's not just all skinny ballerina bodies - it's very diverse,” she added.
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City needs to go further to reduce income inequality
Oct 01, 2014 | 1 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation raising the living wage in New York City to $13.13 per hour, and that's a good thing. No grown adult in this city should be expected to work for less than $12 per hour, and while the increased wages will have their consequences they represent an acceptance of modern reality by the administration. And before people start fretting over the detrimental effects this will have on small businesses, the law only applies to employees who work for companies that receive subsidies from the city, so it's only right that more of that money should go to the employees. In fact, they already make $11.90 per hour, so it's not a huge jump. Still, the new law doesn't go far enough. As stated before, only workers who don't receive benefits and are employed by commercial tenants receiving a minimum of $1 million in city subsidies will be affected. A similar living wage law was passed by the mayor's office in 2012, and only applied to 1,200 jobs once exemptions were taken into account. So we are reasonably cautious about celebrating this latest push to raise wages despite projections that roughly 18,000 employees will receive a boost. Now, if the mayor succeeds in tying the minimum wage to the living wage through legislation as he plans to do, there will be much more cause for celebration. With the cost of living on a galloping rise across the city, the need to establish income minimums that allow residents to hold on to what they've got is more pronounced than ever. We hope this new living wage law will be at least as effective as the administration projections suggest, and that it will spark the movement to reduce the rate of income inequality at the root of so many of our current economic woes. Because let's face it, until we're all doing alright, nobody's doing great.
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