Nick Reisman

This user hasn't shared any biographical information

Posts by Nick Reisman


Set your DVRs: The Lifetime movie based on the prison escape at Dannemora will air on Sunday.

Rep. Claudia Tenney plans to oppose federal funding for the construction of a gondola at the State Fairgrounds outside of Syracuse.

Sandbags are doing their best but much of Mayer’s Marina on Irondequoit Bay is under water, and Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said flooding is not just because of recent rain.

President Donald Trump called the 100-day mark a “ridiculous standard” to score the success of his administration so far.

Trump’s budget director on Friday said Democrats need to agree to funding for border security such as the hiring of new enforcement agents and down payment on the construction of a wall along the Mexican border.

According to the Rockefeller Institute, the overdose death rate in New York has jumped 71 percent between 2010 and 2015.

In Washington, tax reform could include 401(k) retirement contributions, which aren’t currently taxed.

The Trump administration in the form of Attorney General Jeff Sessions once again warned so-called sanctuary cities face the loss of federal grant funds if they do not cooperate.

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a challenge to how legislative districts are drawn that could lead to changes to how lines are drawn in the future.

Manure management at upstate dairy farms is leading to a debate over what to do with the waste.

Subway service in New York City has returned with delays following a major power outage this morning.

Buffalo is among the lead hot spots in the nation, according to a Reuters report.

Hillary Clinton is blasting the Trump administration’s stance on LGBT rights.

A City Council candidate with Palestinian heritage says he supports the boycott, divest and sanction movement.

Cuomo Issues Line Item Vetoes

Gov. Andrew Cuomo late Thursday night formally announced his line item vetoes in the 2017-18 state budget, striking 154 individual lines of spending from the plan.

The measures Cuomo has vetoed underscore just how much of the budget is, in some respects, a copy-and-paste document. The vetoes included 13 items that were re-appropriations and have been fully expended.

Cuomo also vetoed 75 items in the budget that are more than seven years old and have had their funding disbursed.

An additional 58 appropriations were for areas that have already received enough state funding within agency spending. And eight measures were deemed to be unconstitutional.

Final Vetoes Report by Nick Reisman on Scribd

Cuomo Calls For State Probe Of ConEd Failure

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday called for an investigation into the equipment failure that led to delays along the MTA subway system in New York City.

The investigation would be conducted by the Department of Public Service, Cuomo said in a statement, into the equipment maintained by utility Con Edison.

“The loss of power due to a Con Edison equipment failure during the morning rush hour caused a cascading effect and impacted the lives of thousands of commuters,” Cuomo said in a statement.

“Simply put, this was completely unacceptable and I am directing the Department of Public Service and the MTA to conduct an immediate investigation into the Con Edison equipment failure, the cause of the outage and the response to it. The New York City subway system is the lifeblood of the city and a critical means of transportation for millions of people, which is why we are making unprecedented capital investments into modernizing the system. The MTA will continue to deploy emergency resources to address the short-term issues, and our investigation will address all aspects of today’s events to get to the bottom of what happened.”

The New York City Transit subways experienced a loss of station power at the 7th Avenue Station in Manhattan on Friday, leading to a loss of signals, escalators and communications and station lighting.

State Aid Provides Boost When Coal Plants Close

From the Morning Memo:

A report released Thursday by Moody’s Investor Service found the state’s additional $15 million to local governments that have had power plants close is a “credit positive” to the communities.

The state budget the money for Dunkirk and Tonawanda to bolster revenue as part of the Electric Generation Facility Cessation Mitigation — a fund that helps overset losses in tax revenue when coal plants close.

The plants were the largest taxpayer for both communities, so the money also helps the local school districts and has a smaller impact on surrounding counties, the report found.

A community qualifies for the mitigation funding if they lose at least 20 percent in tax revenue due to the closure of an electric generation impact.

“Besides softening the impact of lost tax revenue, the funding infusion will also provide local governments with fiscal flexibility such as an opportunity to lessen the tax burden on residents, bolster reserves and/or address capital needs,” the report found.

Stirpe Recovering From Surgery

Democratic Assemblyman Al Stirpe in a statement on Thursday said he may be taking a break from the legislative session as he recovers from a minor surgery needed to alleviate a hematoma.

In his statement, Stirpe said the subdural hematoma was brought on by a “bump to the head” that led to a persistent headache.

“My doctors have advised me to rest up for a bit, which really isn’t something I often do, but I’m taking advantage of the break in the Assembly session to follow doctor’s orders and should be back to full speed very soon,” Stirpe said.

“I may miss a few days in Albany when session starts back up, but I’ll be working the phones from here in Syracuse. There’s a lot of work left to be done in the final months of session, and I’m hopeful we can get traction on important issues like my bill to create a statewide paint stewardship program and ethics reform. And, of course, my office will remain fully open so that my staff and I can continue to address the needs of constituents in the district.”

Stirpe, a Syracuse-area lawamaker, has been in the Assembly since 2013.

Reformers Praise Syracuse Transparency Policy

The good-government organization Reclaim New York on Thursday praised the transparency steps being taken by Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner.

“At every level of government, proactive citizen oversight is needed to fight against corruption, waste, and abuse,” said the group’s executive director, Brandon Muir. “A strong Open Data policy, like the one the Mayor has proposed, allows citizens to see on demand how their government is operating, and better hold officials accountable.”

Miner, who is due to leave office this year because of term limits, has occasionally been named as a possible candidate for the state Senate or even governor. She has had a strained relationship with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has come under criticism for his own transparency record.

“There is a night and day difference between a government with Open Data standards, and one without them,” Muir said. “That is why Reclaim New York includes such a policy in our transparency indicators, which provide a road map for local governments to become more accessible.”

Crackpot Bunk Can Spread Quickly

Let’s reverse engineer some truly fake news.

On Tuesday this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo did what he does every April: Make his previous year’s tax returns available for public view.

Cuomo’s returns this year showed $218,100 listed “royalties” for a low-selling memoir released in 2014.

His office said the money was the fulfillment of a contract with publisher HarperCollins for the book, “All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life.”

Reporters filed their stories for a dog-bites-man daily.

The Buffalo News’s story — a for-the-record account of the taxes and the book revenue — is then picked up by the International Business Times, an investigative website that presents its scoops with some flair. The story took note of that HarperCollins’s parent company, News Corp., has lobbied the state over the years.

The International Business Times piece — heavy on the News Corp. angle — was then picked up by a conspiratorial kook website called Gateway Pundit, which I won’t link to.

The site questioned whether the governor’s father had ties to the Mafia (an anti-Italian slur the Cuomo family has staunchly denied and has been pretty much debunked, even linking to a New York Magazine piece that noted most of the rumors had been debunked) and suggested News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife was a Communist spy.

It concludes the money may have been a pay off to aid Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid… in Democratic heavy New York. Big if true, since it would have gone down in history as one of the world’s worst and most pointless bribes.

This is bunk. It makes it hard to report on actual stuff going on in New York state government (and there’s a lot) that people can actually trust and differentiate from the crackpot numbskullery.

AG: Allegedly Phony Architect Arrested In ‘Operation Vandelay Industries’

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office on Thursday announced the indictment of a Troy-based businessman who allegedly claimed he was an architect.

The case wouldn’t be so noteworthy if it weren’t for the Seinfeld-laden references.

The businessman’s name is Newman, the nemesis of Jerry Seinfeld’s character on the show. His best friend, George Constanza, had claimed to people he wanted to be an architect. The name of the probe to bring down Paul Newman? “Operation Vandelay Industries” — a reference to the fake business George concocts.

No word on whether he’s being represented by Jackie Chiles.

But the case isn’t about nothing, Schneiderman said in a statement, pointing to Newman’s alleged use of drafted architectural renderings for more than 100 properties in the Capital Region area that had been submitted along with engineer letters, foundation inspections, field reports and energy compliance letters.

“As we allege, for over seven years the defendant has pretended to be a Registered Architect, deceiving hundreds of New Yorkers – including families and senior citizens — with the sole goal of enriching himself,” Schneiderman said.

“By allegedly falsifying building plans, code compliance inspections, and field reports, the defendant jeopardized the safety of those who resided in and frequented the buildings he was contracted to work on. Deceptive actions like these erode public trust — and my office will not tolerate them.”

Professional licenses are managed by the state Education Department, including those of architects.

“The State Education Department’s Office of the Professions investigates and prosecutes professional misconduct in more than 50 licensed professions to help protect New Yorkers,” said State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. “We are grateful for our continuing partnership with Attorney General Schneiderman and his team of professionals as we work together to ensure the safety of the public is protected against the dangers of unlicensed practice.”

Report Finds Thousands Of Petroleum Spill Sites Left Unchecked (Updated)

A report released on Thursday by the new York Public Interest Research Group and the research firm Toxics Targeting found thousands of petroleum spills from oil storage facilities, pipelines and gasoline stations have not been adequately cleaned up.

The report delved into sites linked to ExxonMoible, either through facilities the energy giant owns or has acquired through legacy ownership.

But NYPIRG’s Blair Horner insisted the company itself wasn’t being singled out and the real concern was having state lawmakers look into the remediation efforts at the state.

“This certainly underscores the need for public hearings to look into this. We’ve only identified in a sense the tip of the iceberg,” Horner said. “Hopefully it’s a big tip, but we don’t know for sure. Lawmakers should take a look at this program and see what’s going on.”

“The story is bigger than ExxonMoible,” he added.

The study was conducted by Toxics Targeting, a for-profit environmental research firm.

“We’re not making any assertions. We’re not consultants. We’re simply making this information available,” said Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting.

Hang pointed to one alleged leak along the Olean-Bayonne Crude Oil Pipeline that stretches for 315 miles.

“When we began to compile the data for these oil and gasoline spills, I don’t think we saw any one that was on that level,” he said.

Updated: The Department of Environmental Conservation responded in a statement blasting the report and insisting spills are responded to when they are reported.

“DEC rapidly responds to and cleans up thousands of contaminated sites every year in every corner of the state to ensure that the environment and public health are protected at all times while aggressively pursuing and holding those accountable for the contamination,” said spokesman Sean Mahar. “Our dedicated field staff and first responders will continue their daily response to spills to keep New Yorkers safe and to suggest otherwise or discredit our staff’s commitment, is an irresponsible act by a few headline grabbers to shamefully feed New Yorkers with misinformation.”

King Apologizes For Lewd Cox Remark

From the Morning Memo:

Charlie King, a former state Democratic Committee executive director and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2002 running mate, apologized in a statement issued Wednesday evening for making a lewd and homophobic double entendre criticizing Republican Chairman Ed Cox.

King had issued a statement earlier in the day blasting Cox for his criticism of the Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s appointment of Melissa DeRosa to the post of secretary to the governor, the top staff-level position in the administration.

Allies of the governor, including King, had taken exception to Cox’s referring to DeRosa as a “petty thug.” Cuomo on Wednesday suggested sexism was at play in questioning the appointment as well.

But in his statement, King called the chairman “A Cox sucker.” In a subsequent follow-up phone call, King insisted he had not used a homophobic slur directly, but intended to use it as a pun or a play on words.

King then emailed an apology.

“I believe my criticism of Ed Cox today was over the top and went too far. Mr. Cox should expect from me no less than I expect from him, no matter how disappointed one of us may feel about the other at any given time. I did not live up to my end of the bargain today,” King said.

“If there is a teachable moment here it might be this: look how quickly two relatively rational political players from opposite sides with an affinity for one another raced to the bottom during these uncertain times. Perhaps we all must redouble our efforts against this temptation in the future.”