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The Weekend That Was

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, in a Sunday Mass one day after the execution-style killing of two NYPD officers, told police and city officials in attendance that the Church is praying for the police department, as he called for unity and healing in a city “tempted by tension and division.”

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani blamed President Obama for the officers’ deaths. “We’ve had four months of propaganda starting with the president that everybody should hate the police,” he said.

Obama issued a statement saying he unconditionally condemns the murder of the two officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.

Investigators believe the incident was a crazed gunman’s ­assassination-style mission to avenge Eric Garner and Michael Brown – two unarmed black men killed by white police officers.

The shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, killed himself on a nearby subway platform while being pursued by police.

The Rev. Al Sharpton: “Any use of the names of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, in connection with any violence or killing of police, is reprehensible and against the pursuit of justice in both cases.”

PBA President Pat Lynch said there is “blood on many hands” – including NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s – adding: “Those who allowed this to happen will be held accountable.”

On Saturday, some officers turned their backs on de Blasio as he walked into the hospital following the shooting deaths of Ramos and Liu.

A spokeswoman for de Blasio scolded Lynch for his remarks, saying: “It’s unfortunate that in a time of great tragedy, some would resort to irresponsible, overheated rhetoric that angers and divides people.”

Giuliani said he “feels bad” for de Blasio, and it “goes too far” to blame him for the murder of the two officers or call for his resignation in response to their deaths.

A former NYPD officer was killed in the line of duty this morning in Florida.

Days after his administration outlined its proposed rules to regulate a new medical marijuana program, Gov. Andrew Cuomo reiterated his opposition to the outright legalization of pot.

The Oneida Indian Nation will open a $20 million, Wizard of Oz-themed casino in Chittenango in 2015, expanding its gaming empire as New York welcomes its first non-Indian casinos.

Landowners in the state’s Southern Tier region who had hoped to reap royalties from gas production don’t have that option, thanks to the fracking ban the Cuomo administration plans to put in place.

“You’ve heard of the Buffalo Billion? Well, I want the Southern Tier Billion,” said Sen. Tom Libous. “If Buffalo can get a billion dollars, then we should get a billion dollars here in the Southern Tier for economic development and bringing in new business and companies.”

Bloomberg View: “No one doubts Governor Andrew Cuomo’s concern for the well-being of New Yorkers. It’s just not clear that a ban on fracking protects it – or how the ban can help make fracking safer and less destructive in states where it is practiced.”

The Times Union calls the fracking ban “the right decision.” “There might come a time when the process is safe enough for some use in New York. But the science today is clear: that time isn’t now.”

Joe Nocera called Cuomo’s claim that his health and DEC commissioners made the fracking decision a “cop-out,” adding: “He gets to please his liberal base, abandon the southern part of his state and then wash his hands of the decision.”

Will New York’s fracking ban impact drilling already underway in Pennsylvania or the debate over the controversial practice in Colorado?

Former Gov. George Pataki, who’s flirting with a potential 2016 run, said the United States should declare a “cyber war” on North Korea in the wake of the Sony hacking scandal.

Rather than launch a $100,000 local effort to control the urban deer population, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has asked the state Department of Environmental Conservation to do the job – and to pay for it.

Dominique Sharpton, who grew up visiting her father, says she was “pretty much born into” activism.

Cuomo signed a bill into law that will provide benefits to firefighters and ambulance workers injured while assisting at a scene before an officer in command is established.

The Cuomo administration said that movie theaters statewide will begin screening spots, including one from a mother who lost her son to drug abuse, urging people to be alert for warning signs of heroin addiction.

Michael Goodwin calls Cuomo’s recent actions “weird,” and wonders: “Is he authentic? Is he honest? Does he know who he is and what he believes?”

Between her three kids, her dog and her magazine work, Cristina Cuomo, sister-in-law of the governor and wife of CNN’s Chris Cuomo, has very busy Sundays.

The state is looking to reclassify some 2,500 PEF members as management/confidential – not 1,000 as originally thought.

Melvin Lowe, a former top aide to indicted Sen. John Sampson, was sentenced to three years in prison for tax fraud and for conspiring with his former boss to steal $100,000 from the state Democratic Senate Campaign Committee.

The New York Power Authority’s Board of Trustees announced a 2-percent hike in the statewide public power utility’s operating budget for 2015.

Cuomo will give an inaugural address for his second term at the World Trade Center site in New York City, followed by another in Buffalo.

Obama signed into law a measure that included a provision creating a national historical park at Harriet Tubman’s former home in Central New York and in Maryland.

The Journal News questioned the lack of transparency in the Thruway Authority’s 2015 budget, approved last Friday, which includes a multimillion dollar hole and no mention of toll increases.

The MTA is trying to address the scourge of “manspreading” on the NYC subway system.

Bob McCarthy pens a political Christmas poem.

Judge Approves Limited Release Of Garner Grand Jury Proceedings

A Staten Island judge on Thursday approved a limited release of information detailing the grand jury proceedings and investigation into the death of Eric Garner at the hands of a New York City police officer.

The court revealed that the grand jury sat for nine weeks, and heard 50 witnesses give testimony, 22 of whom were civilians. The rest were police, emergency medical personnel and doctors.

The grand jury also was present with 60 exhibits entered in evidence, which included four videos, records on NYPD policies, medical records on Garner’s treatment and autopsy photographs. Records related to NYPD training were also made available.

No details were provided as to what specific evidence was examined or the identities of the witnesses along with what information they told the jury.

Judge Stephen Rooney wrote in his decision that while the proceedings of a grand jury in state law should continue to be considered confidential, trust in the criminal justice system has been shaken by the decision to not indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in Garner’s death.

“It is from this vantage point that a limited incursion into the sacrosanct principle of grand jury secrecy is deemed necessary to serve overarching public interest,” Rooney wrote in his ruling.

At lengthy, Rooney in his order wrote the confidentiality of grand jury proceedings not be infringed. However, the Garner case warranted what he considered a special consideration.

“Somewhat uniquely in this matter, the maintenance of trust in our criminal justice system lies at the heart of these proceedings, with implications affecting the continuing vitality of our core beliefs in fairness, and impartiality, at a crucial moment in the nation’s history, where public confidence in the even-handed application of these core values among a diverse citizenry is being question,” Rooney wrote.

Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan said in a lengthy statement released on Wednesday that he was seeking the court order to release details on the grand jury proceedings following the vote to not indict Garner.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo indicated earlier today he would seek changes to the grand jury process, including potential transparency provisions.

Garner 2014 by Nick Reisman

Extras

The state will be flush with more than $5 billion in money from bank settlements next fiscal year, but don’t plan on it going to fund schools or other ongoing expenses.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not held a single public event since winning re-election on November 4.

Medicaid has overpaid hospitals and insurers more than $12 million in claims for the care of low-weight newborns, according to an audit released Friday by state Controller Thomas DiNapoli.

President Obama’s Affordable Care Act will face a substantial new test starting Saturday, when the second enrollment period for buying health insurance under the law begins and proponents embark on a three-month mission to persuade millions more Americans to sign up.

Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of the law more commonly known as Obamacare, talked about how the bill would get rid of all tax credits for employer-based health insurance through “mislabeling” what the tax is and who it would hit.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed two bills into law Friday that will change how the city cooperates with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says he’s not worrying about recent media reports that have poked fun at his routine tardiness.

Facebook: The place to share fun photos, goofy videos, and… in the case of one former state assemblywoman, your thoughts on taking off for a year-long stay at Club Fed.

Facing criticism over a potential huge raise, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher in a letter this week rejected a new compensation package, saying she has declined a change in her salary.

The city of Rochester is dealing with a spike in heroin use, with overdose calls more than tripling in the past month.

Erie County is doubling down on its efforts to ensure that vendors doing business with the county adhere to federal and state laws requiring men and women receive equal pay for doing the same job.

A White Plains federal judge shot down a bid by Hasidic community leaders for an order allowing them to complete construction on a 396-unit town house and school.

The House on Friday voted 252 to 161 to approve a bill that would direct the federal government to move forward on the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney was among 31 Democrats who voted in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline today as Congress jockeys to approve the bill ahead of a run-off election for a Senate seat in Louisiana.

All four senators from New York and New Jersey on Friday called for an inquiry into whether engineers for insurance companies routinely rewrote reports to avoid paying claims to superstorm Sandy victims.

8 things new members of Congress definitely should not do.

The federal investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closures likely won’t wrap up until sometime in 2015.

Gov. Chris Christie’s chief of staff will step down from the administration later this month to work for Cooper University Health Center.

Several groups from across the United States, and even from abroad, are preparing to take to the streets [of Ferguson, MO] in actions of nonviolent civil disobedience, particularly if the grand jury finds no criminal trial is warranted.

Prince William and Kate will cross the pond in December.

Cheers to the weekend!

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.

At 8 a.m., NYC Public Advocate Tish James addresses ABNY members during a breakfast event; Alvin and Carnegie rooms, conference level, Grand Hyatt New York hotel, 109 E. 42nd St., Manhattan.

Also at 8 a.m., the blue spruce that will light up Empire State Plaza this holiday season begins its journey to Albany from its current home at 834 Woodland Ave., Schenectady. (The tree is being donated by the VanAken family).

Also at 8 a.m., to introduce a nonprofit journalism project at New York Law School’s Impact Center for Public Interest Law that will report on the criminal justice system, officials from “The Marshall Project” – including the project’s founder and chairman, documentary filmmaker Neil Barsky, and the project’s editor, former The New York Times executive editor Bill Keller – speak during a news conference; 185 W. Broadway, Manhattan.

At 9:05 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers remarks at the Flight 587 13th annual memorial service, Flight 587 Memorial Park, Beach 116th Street, Queens.

At 11 a.m., online publisher AOL Inc. CEO Tim Armstrong, NYC Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen, the dean and vice provost of Cornell University’s Cornell Tech graduate school in Manhattan, Daniel Huttenlocher, and EDC President Kyle Kimball discuss the formation of a “Connected Experiences Laboratory” at the graduate school; third floor, 111 Eighth Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., SUNY Commissioner Bruce McBride and Deputy Commissioner Paul Berger will honor officers from campuses across SUNY for heroism and professional service, SUNY Plaza, Federal Building, Small Courtroom, 353 Broadway, Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle and Monroe County Legislator Justin Wilcox announce the launch a three-part Cybersecurity Panel Series, Ebenezer Watts Conference Center, Large Conference Room, 49 South Fitzhugh St., Rochester.

Also at 11 a.m., MTA officials will join disabled subway customers to challenge app developers to build apps that can help transit riders – particularly the disabled – better navigate the MTA transit system, Grand Central, 42nd Street Subway Station, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., state Education Commissioner John King delivers keynote at forum on pre-kindergarten, Rockefeller Institute of Government, 411 State St., Albany.

At 12:30 p.m., LG Bob Duffy attends a groundbreaking ceremony for the Robert Moses Parkway Reconfiguration, between John Daly Boulevard and 4th Street, Niagara Falls.

At 1:20 p.m., de Blasio appears on “Keepin’ It Real” with the Rev. Al Sharpton. Listen live: http://www.wlib.com/.

At 1:30 p.m., NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray will attend the Hope for Depression Research Foundation’s Annual Hope Luncheon Seminar, where her daughter, Chiara de Blasio, will be honored, 583 Park Ave., Manhattan.

At 2:00 p.m., de Blasio and NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina tour a classroom and then make an announcement, Spruce Street School, 12 Spruce St., Manhattan.

At 4 p.m., anti-frackers will protest the Independent Oil & Gas Association of NY’s annual event to tell keynote speaker Jack Hubbard – an oil and gas industry lobbyist – to “go back to Washington,” Hyatt Regency, Pearl and W. Huron Streets, Buffalo

At 6:15 p.m., former NYC Mayor Bloomberg, architecture critic Paul Goldberger and New Museum Director Lisa Phillips speak during The Dorothy & Lillian Gish Prize award ceremony and reception honoring artist, designer and environmentalist Maya Lin; The Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St., Manhattan.

At 6 p.m., Manhattan BP Gale Brewer and Farina hold a town hall meeting on getting involved with Community Education Councils, discussion of new initiatives, technology in schools (post passage of Prop. 3), John Jay College, 524 West 59th St., Manhattan.

At 6:30 p.m., members of the NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board hold a monthly public meeting; Adult Lounge, main floor, Mosholu Montefiore Community Center, 3450 Dekalb Ave., the Bronx.

At approximately 8 p.m., de Blasio appears live on “All In With Chris Hayes” on MSNBC.

Headlines…

New York City’s defense against the Ebola epidemic — and at least the hypothetical threat that it will percolate through the city’s mass transit system, schools and dense neighborhoods — is a 24-hour-a-day operation now keeping track of almost 300 people, believed to be the largest monitoring effort in the country.

In the days before his release from New York’s Bellevue Hospital Center, Dr. Craig Spencer was able to enjoy some small luxuries as he completed his course of treatment for the Ebola virus. He played the banjo, communicated with friends and family electronically, and watched sports on TV.

Spencer’s fiancee has been released from quarantine.

Like other recovered Ebola patients before him, Spencer faces an uncertain welcome from his Harlem community and neighbors upon his return.

Health workers on the front line of the Ebola crisis say the need for urgent help isn’t letting up, as Congress begins considering President Barack Obama’s $6.2 billion emergency aid request to fight the disease.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio pushed the state Legislature to approve an increase in the state minimum wage “whenever it first can be done” – a request that comes as labor advocates and some elected officials encourage Gov. Andrew Cuomo to call a special legislative session before the year’s end.

Pro-charter groups who spent millions on advertising, lobbying and campaigns in the fall want favorable treatment from the Legislature and Cuomo. They seek to limit de Blasio’s control of charter schools, expand funding and lift the cap on charters in New York, allowing for the creation of more such schools both in the city and across the state.

Cuomo’s plan to redefine “consent” for adjudicating sexual assault allegations on college campuses has presented a political dilemma for New York’s Republican leaders, some of whom have substantive problems with his proposal but risk fueling claims that they are anti-woman if they oppose it.

More >

Extras

The state Democratic Party is writing to registered Democrats telling them that unnamed organizations are monitoring their neighborhood’s election turnout and the party will want an explanation if they don’t cast a ballot.

Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins sidestepped questions about whether NYSUT’s battered woman to knock Republicans was inappropriate.

A day after appearing in person with GOP Rep. Michael Grimm, Cuomo endorsed the congressman’s Democratic opponent, former NYC Councilman Domenic Recchia, but has not plans to campaign for him.

GOP LG candidate Chris Moss said Cuomo’s campaign’s criticism of Astorino over a Westchester County housing dispute is the “pot calling the kettle black.”

“I would say to fellow African-Americans…remember it’s Andrew Cuomo who screwed up Carl McCall’s run for governor and who stepped in the way of David Paterson,” Moss said. (Paterson rebuked the sheriff for his comments).

Errol Louis laments the governor’s unwillingness to debate, saying: “Few politicians in recent memory have gone as far as Cuomo to duck a true accounting of his record.”

El Diario endorsed AG Eric Schneiderman.

The Niagara Gazette endorsed Republican AG candidate John Cahill.

The Onondaga County Board of Elections will try out new electronic poll book technology at polling places visited by about 3,000 voters in Syracuse and DeWitt in Tuesday’s election.

The state has added Erie County Medical Center and Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo to the initial list of 10 hospitals designated to care for patients potentially afflicted with Ebola, joining two other upstate facilities.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown has announced a plan in accordance with President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge, which calls on addressing persistent opportunity gaps faced by young men of color in order to help them reach their full potential.

Brooklyn Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Sen. Liz Krueger, Brooklyn BP Eric Adams, Brooklyn and Queens Councilman Antonio Reynoso and former Brooklyn Councilman Lew Fidler joined activists in protesting Prop. 1.

Cuomo’s plan to make New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport more passenger-friendly by cutting out most cargo facilities risks backfiring, a shipping-industry group and analysts say.

Ben Smith explains explains why BuzzFeed News is investing so heavily in “putting great, experienced reporters around the world, doubling our foreign desk to more than a dozen correspondents.”

RIP former Boston Mayor Tom Menino, who died from cancer at the age of 71.

Past and current lawmakers – including the president – offered tributes to Menino.

Taylor Swift’s new gig as New York City’s global tourism ambassador is getting a Bronx cheer from locals who questioned her street cred and mocked the videos she made for the city’s tourism agency, NYC & Co.

Cuomo: Vote Women’s Equality, Get Them To 50K Votes

As new public fissures open up between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the labor-backed Working Families Party, his re-election campaign is urging supporters to vote for him on the Women’s Equality Party ballot line.

In an email sent this morning, Cuomo writes that a vote for him and his running mate, former Rep. Kathy Hochul, sends a message about backing the Women’s Equality Agenda.

“We have demanded equal rights at the top of our lungs,” Cuomo wrote in the email. “But the Conservative party and other ultra-right-wing forces are out there shouting at the top of theirs to drown us out. Together, we need to speak loudly enough to cut through the clamor. That’s why we need the Women’s Equality Party.”

Cuomo adds that his goal is to get 50,000 votes for the Women’s Equality Party — a ballot line he formed this year — in order for the party to have automatic ballot status in the next election cycle.

More from the email:

“Yes, I’m a man. I’m a man who has seen Albany disregard women, and I’m sick of it. I have made it my mission, as a father, as a governor, and as a human being, to do everything I can to make sure the women I love, and every woman or girl in New York, is every bit as equal under the law as any boy or man anywhere.

That’s why Kathy Hochul and I are putting our names on the ballot on the Women’s Equality Party line. It’s time for a party whose singular goal is equality for women, a party that knows women work as hard as men do and is committed to getting them equal pay. A party where protecting a woman’s right to choose is a priority, not an afterthought. A party that believes women deserve to stand at the front of the line.

The appeal — which includes a very WFP-like ask for signing a petition that also happens to collect email addresses — comes as the Working Families Party is pushing hard for votes this election cycle.

The party’s leadership has been openly skeptical of the Women’s Equality Party and has released two videos over the last several days calling on liberals to vote for the governor on their ballot line.

The concern for the WFP is that it could lose its ballot position (currently Row E), between the competition from the Women’s Equality Party and a surging Green Party candidate, Howie Hawkins.

On Wednesday, the WFP’s director, Bill Lipton, knocked Cuomo in a statement after the governor pledged to break up the public school “monopoly.”

Cuomo had to fight for the Working Families Party’s endorsement in May, which considered running Zephyr Teachout on their ballot in his place.

In doing so, Cuomo pledged to help Democrats take full control of the state Senate and enact a host of liberal measures, including a faster increase of the state’s minimum wage to $10.10.

In a policy book released this month, Cuomo said he backed a minimum wage hike, but left it unspecified.

Here and Now (Updated)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City, and will do a trio of TV interviews this morning.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is in the city, but has not yet released details of his public schedule.

At 7 a.m., Cuomo will be a guest on the Today Show on NBC.

At 7:15 a.m., Chemung County Sheriff and GOP LG candidate Chris Moss greets voters at the corner of Archer Avenue and Parsons Boulevard near Jamaica Station, Queens.

At 7:20 a.m., Westchester County Executive and GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino will be a guest on WIBX 950 with host Bill Keeler.

At 7:30 a.m., Cuomo will be a guest on CNN’s New Day, which is co-hosted by his brother, Chris.

At 7:45 a.m., Astorino will be a guset on WENY with host Frank Acomb.

At 8:00 a.m., Astorino will be a guest on WUTQ 100.7FM.

Also at 8 a.m., Cuomo will be a guest on CBS This Morning.

Also at 8 a.m. (and until 3 p.m.), Sen. David Carlucci and Nyack Hospital will be offering free breast cancer screening at the Breast Center at Nyack Hospital for women over the age of 40. The hospital will be offering free clinical breast exams, mammography, pelvis exams and PAP tests, 160 North Midland Ave., Nyack.

At 8:30 a.m., Astorino will be a guest on WACK/WUUF with host Barry Vee.

At 9 a.m., Astorino will attend the 119th Annual NYS Empire Missionary Baptist Convention, Holiday Inn, 439 Electronics Pkwy., Liverpool.

Also at 9 a.m., AG Eric Schneiderman and state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli make the first stop of a three-stop GOTV tour of Long Island and the Hudson Valley, American Legion, 730 Willis Ave., Williston Park, Nassau County.

Also at 9 a.m., Moss appears live on “Talk of the Town” on WUTQ 100.7 FM Utica.

At 9:45 a.m., during a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Sen. Brad Hoylman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Gay Men’s Health Crisis officials, The Mount Sinai Hospital administrators, executives from Walgreens Co. and Duane Reade drugstores and city officials mark the opening of an HIV-specialized Duane Reade pharmacy in GMHC’s David Geffen Center for HIV Prevention and Health Education; 224 W. 29th St., Manhattan.

At 10:20 a.m., Moss appears live on “Live from the State Capitol with Fred Dicker” on Talk 1300 AM, Albany.

At 10:30 a.m., Brooklyn BP Eric Adams will be joined by local elected officials to respond to the report of the first Ebola patient in New York City, corner of Berry Street and N. 14th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

At 11 a.m., Nanette Bourne, chair of the NYLCV’s Westchester Chapter, will join Senate candidate Justin Wagner for a media availability, endorsement event, and policy announcement in Peekskill, Charles Point Pier Park, end of Louisa Street.

At 11:30 a.m., Schneiderman and DiNapoli make stop No. 2 on their GOTV tour, CSEA HQ, 595 West Hartsdale Ave., White Plains.

At noon, Democratic LG candidate Kathy Hochul attends the Ibero American Action League annual luncheon, Hyatt Regency Rochester, 125 E Main St., Rochester.

At 1:30 p.m., Astorino will hold a press conference unveiling the Astorino/Moss Empowerment and Opportunity Plan with Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, Highland Bowl Ampitheater, South Avenue, Rochester.

At 3 p.m., stop No. 3 of the Schneiderman/DiNapoli GOTV tour, Teamsters Local 445 Hall, 15 Stone Castle Rd., Rock Tavern.

At 4:30 p.m., former President Clinton will attend a rally on behalf of and endorse Democratic NY-24 Rep. Dan Maffei, Syracuse Landmark Aviation Hangar #113, 13 Tuskegee Rd., Syracuse.

At 6:30 p.m., Astorino will attend the Orleans County GOP Fall Dinner, Hickory Ridge Country Club, 15861 Lynch Rd., Holley.

At 7:30 p.m., Moss attends and delivers remarks at the Lynbrook Republican Gala, Lynbrook VFW Hall, 235 Merrick Rd., Lynbrook.

Headlines…

Craig Spencer, a doctor in New York City who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea became the first person in the city to test positive for the virus, setting off a search for anyone who might have come into contact with him.

City officials said that while they were still investigating, they did not believe Dr. Spencer was symptomatic while he traveled around the city on Wednesday and therefore had not posed a risk to the public.

But Spencer’s case has raised complicated logistical issues of how to trace the possible contacts of an infected patient in a city of more than 8 million people with a sprawling mass transit system and millions of commuters – some even from other states.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio: “There is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed. Ebola is an extremely hard disease to contract. It is transmitted only through contact with an infected person’s blood or other bodily fluids – not through casual contact. New Yorkers who have not been exposed to an infected person’s bodily fluids are not at all at risk.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke to President Obama’s Ebola czar, Ron Klain, who following the discussion directed a CDC team to travel to New York to assist at Bellevue in the event it is needed.

Bellevue officials say staff at the 828-bed complex overlooking the East River in Manhattan has been training for more than 2½ months to handle any suspected case of the disease.

Officials said Spencer has come into close contact with at least four people – his fiancee, two friends and an Uber driver. None of the four is showing symptoms and the driver is not being monitored. One of the others is also at Bellevue.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino criticized Cuomo and Obama for not closing air travel between the US and countries in West Africa hit with an Ebola epidemic, saying the Spencer case was “avoidable.”

Bellevue Hospital, where Spencer is isolated, is one of the eight hospitals statewide that Cuomo specially designated earlier this month to treat Ebola patients as part of the State’s Ebola Preparedness Plan.

Schools are responding to fears of an Ebola outbreak by drafting first-of-a-kind policies that include isolating students, querying parents about travel and requiring documents showing a clean bill of health for new enrollees from West Africa.

A 2-year-old girl in Mali has been diagnosed with Ebola, making her the West African nation’s first confirmed case of the disease. WHO officials said the child was brought to Mali from neighboring Guinea.

Astorino tried to capitalize on his one and only televised debate with Cuomo, and said he had received a “flood of donations” after the event. Meanwhile, Cuomo moved on, and sought to downplay talk of any other debates.

The most unexpected news of the day was the midafternoon release of “Moving the New NY Forward,” a 245-page policy manifesto for Cuomo’s longed-for second term. Half adulatory progress report and half blueprint, the book included numerous previous Cuomo proposals yet to be achieved.

More >

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City.

At 7:25 a.m., GOP AG candidate John Cahill is a guest on The Joe Piscopo Show, AM 970.

At 8 a.m., Cahill is a guest on Keeler in the Morning, AM 950 WIXB.

Also at 8 a.m., the AARP holds a roundtable breakfast with Dutchess County leaders to discuss Boomer Flight, Poughkeepsie Grand, One Civic Center Plaza, Poughkeepsie.

At 8:30 a.m., Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner attends an Arbor Day celebration and tree planting, Danforth Middle School, 309 W. Brighton Ave., Syracuse.

Also at 8:30 a.m., Westchester County Executive and Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino is a guest on Fox 5 Good Day New York.

At 9:30 a.m., Astorino is a guest on Univision radio, 1280AM.

At 10:10 a.m., Astorino will be a guest on “Live from the State Capitol” with host Fred Dicker, Talk 1300 AM.

At 10:50 a.m., Astorino will be a guest on America’s Forum with host JD Hayworth.

At 11 a.m., AG Eric Schneiderman makes an announcement about land bank funding, 279 Lake View Park, Rochester.

Also at 11 a.m., supporters of Sen. Ted O’Brien will protest outside GOP challenger Rich Funke’s positions on women’s issues, Funke’s campaign HQ, 137 Pattonwood Dr., Irondequoit.

At 11:30 a.m., Long Island Democratic state Senate candidate Adrienne Esposito and Bill Samuels stand with local homeowners to call for a state takeover of Medicaid payments to ease property tax burden, 58 Canterbury Dr., Hauppauge.

At noon, Cahill address his five-point plan to combat the heroin epidemic, joined by Assemblyman Steve McLaughlan, Troy Atrium, Broadway & 4th Street, Troy.

Also at noon, state Education Commissioner John King delivers remarks at the New York Association of Colleges for Teacher Education annual fall conference, Gideon Putnam Hotel, 24 Gideon Putnam Rd., Saratoga Springs.

At 12:07 p.m., Chemung County Sheriff and GOP LG candidate Chris Moss apears live on “This N’ That with Denise Ward” on WVOX 1460 AM Westchester.

12:30 p.m., Democratic LG candidate Kathy Hochul tours the Corning Museum of Glass, 1 Museum Way, Corning.

At 1 p.m., Astorino delivers a speech on term limits, NYU Kimmel Center for University Life, 60 Washington Square South, Shorin Lecture Hall 802, Manhattan.

Also at 1 p.m., Cuomo addresses the NYS Business Council, Ritz Carlton Battery Park, 2 West St., Manhattan.

At 2 p.m., Schneiderman makes another land bank funding announcement, southwest corner Of Chelsea Street and Northland Avenue, Buffalo.

At 3 p.m., US Sen. Chuck Schumer, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein and Democratic NY-19 candidate Sean Eldridge hold a media availability before going on a tour of small businesses, The Cheese Plate, Water Street Market, 10 Main St #302, New Paltz.

At 3:30 p.m., Green Party candidate for governor Howie Hawkins holds a public reception, 1829 Room, Student Alumni Union, RIT, Rochester.

Also at 3:30 p.m., Hochul tours Stocking Hall at Cornell University, 411 Tower Rd., Ithaca.

At 4:30 p.m., LG Bob Robert Duffy makes remarks to New York State Liquor Store Association’s 2014 annual holiday tradeshow, Rochester Riverside Convention Center, 123 E. Main St., Rochester.

At 5:20 a.m., Cahill is a guest on the Lisa Wexler Show, AM 1230 WFAS.

Also at 5:20 p.m., Astorino holds a press conference with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Exhibit Hall at 42nd Street entrance, Grand Central Station, Manhattan.

At 5:30 p.m., Hochul attends the Chemung County Democratic Dinner, 171 Jerusalem Hill Rd., Elmira.

At 6:30 p.m., Moss delivers keynote remarks at the Yates County Republican Committee annual dinner, Esperanza Mansion, 3456 State Route 54A, Bluff Point.

Headlines…

The sole debate between the state comptroller candidates was a largely civil affair, with GOP challenger, Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci, failing to land any fatal blows on his Democratic target, incumbent Tom DiNapoli.

DiNapoli revealed that his office is continuing to review expense payments to state legislators, like the audit that led to criminal charges against an assemblyman two weeks ago.

A Rochester TV station 13WHAM had its interview with Cuomo, set up by the governor’s publisher, abruptly canceled after it refused to abide by the rules that he be asked only about his new book.

Cuomo’s Manhattan book signing drew about 150 people – protestors and fans alike. There were even some VIPs, including 2013 GOP NYC mayoral candidate George McDonald.

The event was heavily guarded and stage-managed, as befitting Cuomo’s “stature,” the NYT reports. But there were no lines of eager would-be readers.

The governor announced late yesterday that he’ll do a whirlwind tour of the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico on Friday.

An FDNY memo instructs all personnel to use only vague terms when discussing the deadly disease Ebola, which is threatening to become a global pandemic.

The Texas health care worker who tested positive for Ebola late Tuesday flew on a plane just a day before she reported a fever, as the third diagnosis of the deadly disease in the US stoked fear in travelers across the country and sent officials scrambling to make sure it doesn’t spread further.

New York area hospital, political and union leaders called for a coordinated response plan and advanced safety training as Newark Liberty International Airport prepares to begin screening arriving passengers from three West African countries today.

More >

It’s Official: Yogurt Is The State Snack

It’s official: Yogurt is the state snack.

As the Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday signed into law a measure that designates yogurt the snack of New York state.

The legislation’s approval comes as the third annual “yogurt summit” (yes, it’s annual now) kicks off at Cornell University in Ithaca.

Yogurt production — especially of the Greek variety — has been credited with helping revitalize the dairy industry in upstate New York, and Cuomo has sought to capitalize on the industry boom.

“This designation is a fitting recognition of the importance of this state’s yogurt industry, which has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years, making New York the top yogurt producer in the nation,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We will continue to work with New York producers and dairy farmers to build upon this progress and further strengthen this critically important industry.”

The yogurt bill launched a rather contentious debate in the state Senate earlier this year, with Democratic lawmakers questioning the need to bring up a measure. The debate resulted in a segment on The Daily Show.

Nevertheless, Republican Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer bristled at the mockery of the yogurt bill by the Democrats.

In a statement, he congratulated the elementary school students who first proposed the bill.

“Yogurt is now the official snack of New York State, and the fourth-graders at Byron-Bergen Elementary School deserve all of the credit,” Ranzenhofer said. “From initially suggesting the idea to traveling to the State Capitol earlier this year, these students deserve high marks for their efforts to get this legislation signed into law. I am pleased that the Governor has signed my bill into law.”

Sen. Larkin Crosses Party Lines in NY-18 (Updated)

From today’s Morning Memo:

Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney has picked up the support of two more local GOP elected officials as he battles his 2012 nemesis, former Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth, in a re-match in NY-18.

Sen. Bill Larkin appears in one of two web videos being released today by Maloney’s campaign.

In it, Larkin touts his military service – “a retired Army Colonel with 23 years of service of combat in New Guinea, Philippines and Korea” – and says the congressman “has been a staunch supporter of veterans and doing what’s best for veterans.”

Veteran’s issues has been a sticking point in this campaign, with Hayworth attacking Maloney in a TV ad over what she says was his less-than-adequate support of veterans, which caused him to respond with a veterans ad of his own.

Larkin also says Maloney was the first Democrat in his 36 years as a legislator who ever called to congratulate him on an electoral victory.

“He has taken a position of on how we can better work together for the people we represent,” Larkin says of the congressman.

“He’s a very decent honest gentleman. I think he’s been an individual who’s committed himself to the district that he represents…He’s there.”

Larkin is the second GOP senator to endorse Maloney over Hayworth.

However, the first to break ranks and cross party lines – retiring Sen. Greg Ball – has a long history of animosity with Hayworth, and even contemplated challenging her.

The senator, who is not seeking re-election and has been spending a lot of time in Texas these days, is now chairing “Veterans for Maloney.” (He chairs the Veterans Committee in the Senate).

During a recent interview on WAMC, Maloney refused to take sides in the battle for control of the state Senate – a top priority for his fellow Democrats in Albany, not to mention Gov. Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Maloney instead touted his ties to Larkin, though it’s unclear if he’s returning the favor and endorsing the senator for re-election.

UPDATE: Maloney did appear at Larkin’s campaign HQ last month to support him, which caused the senator’s Democratic opponent, Newburgh City Councilwoman Gay Lee, to chide the congressman, saying:

“I get the whole concept of crossing the aisle, but damn, Sean, couldn’t you have picked somebody else to cross the aisle with? Senator Larkin is a staunch conservative Republican who would not cross the aisle to do anything.”

Also at that event, Larkin’s fellow Republicans made an effort not to appear in photos with Maloney, and reiterated their support of Hayworth.

Larkin is the Senate’s oldest member. When he turned 84 in 2012, he said that election would be his “last hurrah,” but apparently he has decided to give it another go.

Maloney also released a video featuring Republican New Windsor Supervisor George Green, who said the congressman is a “genuine person” who “doesn’t care what party you’re from.”

“He’s one of the few Congressmen that I’ve ever experienced that will call me back personally, Green says.

“…When he says he’s going to do something, I know he’s going to do it. I think it’s very important that we keep Congressman Maloney, and coming from a Republican…!”