Monday, January 28, 2013

Manhattan in the Spotlight for the 2014 Super Bowl

Though the Super Bowl in 2014 will be played in New Jersey, the focus of the events and activities associated with the Super Bowl will be Manhattan.

Super Bowl Boulevard

Last week, Mayor Bloomberg unveiled Super Bowl Boulevard, a section of Broadway from 34th Street to 44th Street that will be only be for pedestrians for the four days prior to the 2014 Super Bowl.

As stated in Crain's
"The ten blocks will be the site of a massive fan event called the NFL Experience, which will offer free activities such as football clinics and competitions, outdoor concerts, player appearances and possibly, according to sources, a toboggan event."

Key 2014 Super Bowl Events in Manhattan

The most important events will be held in Manhattan:
"The media center at the Sheraton New York Times Square, which will accommodate more than 5,000 credentialed members of the media and the media party, which will be held at Chelsea Piers on January 28; The Friday Night Party, known as NFL House, a hospitality center for business partners of the event, will also take place in Manhattan."
 As Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer stated in 2010, "This is gonna set New York City on fire in the best way."

New Jersey Benefits As Well

New Jersey will share in the excitement:

"New Jersey will host both teams as well as Media Day on Jan. 28 and the NFL's Tailgate party at the Meadowlands Racetrack on Feb. 2" in 2014. "The Super Bowl is not a game anymore. It's really a week of events," said Roger Goodell, National Football League commissioner. "We expect hundreds of thousands of people to come to this region for the game. Other folks are here to be entertained."

Monday, January 21, 2013

Four More Years

Today, President Obama celebrated his second inauguration.


As we learned that NYC's own Shaun Donovan would remain in his post as the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for another four years and listened to Republican Congressman Pete King call his Republican colleagues "disgraceful," we saw NYC's own Chuck Schumer lead the inauguration ceremony while giving it a decidedly New York flavor.

"I am using it as an opportunity to highlight the best of New York," said Schumer.


The choice for the benediction at the inauguration changed in order to address anti-gay remarks made by the original choice for the benediction.

President Obama's 2013 Inauguration Speech

The entire inauguration address is available to be read online, and it includes some striking thoughts:
It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm. 
We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage. Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Gov. Cuomo Leads on Gun Control

Governor Cuomo's State of the State speech included an inspiring statement of support for reducing gun deaths. 

Cuomo Leads from the Front on Gun Control

Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State speech included passionate calls for new legislation to reduce gun violence. He spoke about gun deaths in Newtown, Connecticut and demanded that the state legislature “reject the extremists” and “save lives” by sending him "sensible” gun control measures to sign into law. 

Governor Cuomo's eagerness to bring the “strongest assault-weapons ban in the nation” to New York State is backed up by a desire to impose a ban on high-capacity magazines. “It’s simple -- no one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer and too many people have died already."

“End the madness now. Pass safe, reasonable gun control in the State of New York. Make this state safer. Save lives. Set an example for the rest of the nation. Let them look at New York and say this is what you can do. This is what you should do."
Cuomo 2016?

Some political experts are seeing Cuomo's push for gun control legislation as a move to build support from his left-of-center base in advance of his own re-election fight and perhaps a run at the Presidency in 2016. Cuomo took on unions and disappointed some Democrats by supporting (at least implicitly) the Republicans as they sought to remain in control of the state senate. 

NRA vs. Cuomo

The National Rifle Association, of course, opposes Cuomo's call for increased gun control legislation. But, the NRA is wrong about gun control and is particularly wrong on New York State's influence over the rest of the country. While the NRA says that increased gun control in New York will not influence other states, the reality is that New York is indeed a state that can drive national debate. 

We praise Governor Cuomo for demonstrating the courage to take on the NRA and for having such a clear vision for a safer New York and a safer United States. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Bloomberg Takes Anti-NYC Stance on Sandy Relief

In a disgusting move, Mayor Bloomberg has sought to support the Republican majority in the US House for its decision to block emergency relief for victims of Sandy.

Sandy Relief Blocked

Last Tuesday night, as the fiscal cliff vote neared, the US House took the $60 billion Sandy relief bill off the list of bills to get a vote before the end of the 112th Congress. The package had already received the support of the Senate and was assured of a Presidential signature. But, because the 112th Congress didn't pass the bill, it must start over in the 113th, which will, at a minimum, cause major delays. Beyond the delays, the Republicans seem to be planning to significantly reduce size of the package. They belatedly approved less than one-sixth of the amount requested and approved by the Senate and by the relevant House committees.

While aid after Katrina was just two weeks after the tragedy began, Sandy victims are still waiting for aid more than two months after this latest natural disaster.

Bloomberg Criticizes Sandy Aid Package

From Politicker:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who previously declined to slam House Speaker John Boehner over Congress’ stalled Hurricane Sandy aid, took his argument to the next level this morning and suggested federal lawmakers are partially to blame for the delay in the vote on the package because they insert “things that are totally extraneous” into bills such as this. Although Mr. Bloomberg didn’t specify the extraneous problem items, the legislation has been criticized by Republicans like Rep. Paul Ryan for being “packed with funding for unrelated items, such as commercial fisheries in American Samoa and roof repair of museums in Washington, D.C.”

“There’s this ‘Christmas Tree effect’ where legislators put in their favorite bills and tack them onto something. The [Obama] administration does that, that’s why you have an omnibus bill–to force everybody to vote for things that would never stand up in the light of day if they were individual,” Mr. Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show with John Gambling. “I’m sympathetic. Yelling and screaming at [Mr. Boehner] is just not my style. It may be effective, it may not be. Everybody’s got to make their own decisions. I think the legislative leaders who criticize and those in the Legislature should stop and think, they do exactly the same thing in terms of ladling on things that are totally extraneous but it’s the only way they get them through.”

Mr. Bloomberg’s relatively subdued stance places him at odds with the overwhelming majority of the politicians in the New York region in recent days, with one exception in the form of Councilman Dan Halloran. But while name-checking several politicians, including Governors Andrew Cuomo and Christie Christie, as well as Congressman Pete King, who “worked hard” on the bill but have subsequently vented loudly at Mr. Boehner, Mr. Bloomberg reiterated that it’s simply not his “style.”

Bloomberg Opposed Obama Visit After Sandy

Perhaps we should not be surprised that Mayor Bloomberg is not eager to see the Sandy relief make its way to NYC. He was the only leader in the areas affected by Sandy to state that he did not want the President to visit and survey the damage.