Monthly Archives: August, 2015


Aug. 31, 2015: Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, James Heaney, Dr. R Karl Rethemeyer

Published - August 31, 2015

Today, Susan Arbetter speaks with Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins about whether the Algonquin Pipeline should run near the Indian Point nuclear energy plant. The Leader will also look at the race in the 52nd Senate District between Democrat Barbara Fiala and Republican Fred Akshar. James Heaney, the editor and executive director at the Investigative Post, discusses his reporting on the Buffalo Billion and explains the financial risks faced by SolarCity. We look at the Iran Deal with Dr. R. Karl Rethemeyer, the interim Dean at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at UAlbany. Dr. Rethemeyer is also

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Aug. 28, 2015: Ashley Hupfl, Scott Waldman and Bill Hammond, Travers Stakes, secession movement

Published - August 28, 2015

Ashley Hupfl of City & State shares this week’s Winners and Losers. Reporters Bill Hammond of the NY Daily News and Scott Waldman of Politico New York weigh in on the news of the week. Karl Sleight, a Partner at Harris Beach PLLC, looks at what’s ahead for Travers Day in Saratoga. Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh will race in Saturday’s event. New York’s ban on fracking and stricter gun laws are prompting some New Yorkers to call for secession of Upstate from the state to join Pennsylvania. Aaron Price, a documentarian and secessionist activist, explains.

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Aug. 27, 2015: Christopher Amato, Sen. David Carlucci, NYSCOPBA, Blair Horner

Published - August 27, 2015

Earthjustice Staff Attorney Christopher Amato discusses Western New York’s energy future. The cost of construction on the new Tappan Zee Bridge could spike tolls for commuters. To prevent that from happening, Sen. David Carlucci (IDC, Ossining) released a “4 Point Toll Affordability Plan”. He joins Susan Arbetter to explain. James Miller, the director of Public Relations for the New York State Corrections Officers and Police Benevolent Association, argues the public should withhold judgment until investigations into alleged brutality at two correctional facilities in upstate New York are complete. The so-called “LLC loophole” is facing a lawsuit by a unit within

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More Thoughts on Tipping

Published - August 26, 2015

I’m not clear why you and I are asked to subsidize sub-minimum wages for servers through tipping. The jobs they perform are every bit as essential to restaurant operations as those of cooks and dishwashers. Actually, the idea of increasing servers’ wages is catching on and there are now about a dozen restaurants in the country that have adopted the policy of forbidding tipping. I thought you might be interested in an example. According to Gene Johnson of the Associated Press, the management of Ivar’s Salmon House on Seattle’s Lake Union decided to institute the city’s $15 minimum wage two

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Aug. 26, 2015: Utica nanotechnology, Cayuga Power Plant, Matthew McMorrow, Bruce Gyory

Published - August 26, 2015

The State is planning to invest $250 million on a nanotechnology hub in Utica. Sen. Joseph Griffo (R-Rome) looks at what the public/private partnership could do for the region. But E.J. McMahon, a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and President of the Empire Center for Public Policy, argues that the payoffs of such initiatives are hard to weigh, especially if the investments come at the cost of neglecting infrastructure. There are plans in the works to repower the Cayuga Power Plant from coal to natural gas. But a report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA)

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Aug. 25, 2015: Wayne Spence, Luna Droubi, Dennis Walcott, Michael Rebell

Published - August 25, 2015

Wayne Spence, the new President of the Public Employees Federation (PEF), explains his vision for the union. We speak with Luna Droubi, an Associate at Beldock Levine & Hoffman LLP, about the death of Samuel Harrell, a prisoner at Fishkill Correctional Facility whose death was ruled a homicide. Ms. Droubi is representing Harrell’s family. Former New York City schools chancellor Dennis Walcott will lead a three-member State Education Department monitoring panel for the East Ramapo School District. Racial, religious and economic tensions run high in the district. Walcott, who has dealt with complicated education environments before, discusses how he plans

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First Day!

Published - August 25, 2015

Hello! My name is Rio Fernandes and I’m the newest intern here at WCNY. This is the first of many blog posts I’ll be writing in the next few months as I chronicle my time at the station.  I figured the best way to kick-off this blog is to talk about my first day, which, as I’m sure you know, is always an experience. Debbie Stack: the first person I met. She immediately made me feel welcome and invited me on a tour of the the Broadcast and Education Center. I happily accepted and got to see the station in its entirety;

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Comptroller DiNapoli on Wall Street Jitters

Published - August 24, 2015

August 24-Albany—Wall Street may be seeing what stock market watchers call “a correction”, but it won’t impact the state’s $182.5 billion pension fund in the short term, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli told the Capitol Pressroom on Monday.  “Like all investors we don’t like when the market goes down, but we’re not in a position where we have an immediate reaction to it,” DiNapoli said.  The U.S. markets initially fell by 1000 points at the opening bell Monday after a sell-off last week in response to China’s economic  turmoil. Listen to The Capitol Pressroom.

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Aug. 24, 2015: Comptroller DiNapoli, Ed Farrell, Carol Burris

Published - August 24, 2015

Comptroller DiNapoli looks at foreclosure rates in NYS. Ed Farrell, executive director of the Retired Public Employees Association, explains how retiree pensions affect the state’s economy. We discuss what’s ahead for the Common Core, teacher evaluations, and opt-outs with Carol Burris, executive director of the Network for Public Education Fund and Co-Director of the National Education Policy Center’s Schools of Opportunity Project.

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Tipping Topics

Published - August 24, 2015

I’m happy to be resuming my regular food and beverage column at WCNY CONNECT. This first discussion will be a topic that has interested me for a long time: tipping. Frankly, I’m uncomfortable with the custom and wish that restaurant owners would simply pay servers a fair salary. If they did it would send the topic of tipping to the dust bin of irrelevancy. I’m not clear why you and I are asked to subsidize restaurant owners to pay servers who are just performing their assigned jobs. Actually the idea of increasing servers’ wages is catching on and there are

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Aug. 21, 2015: Jon Lentz, reporters, JCOPE review

Published - August 21, 2015

City & State Senior Correspondent and Associate Editor Jon Lentz looks at this week’s Winners and Losers. We host a reporter roundtable with Joseph Spector, the Albany Bureau Chief for Gannett, and David Klepper, a Capitol Correspondent for the Associated Press. Government reform advocates met recently with JCOPE’s review board. Dick Dadey, the executive director of Citizens Union, and Barbara Bartoletti, the Legislative Director for the League of Women Voters NY, explain the reforms they would like to the see in the ethics watchdog commission.

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Aug. 20, 2015: Judith Enck, Soffiyah Elijah

Published - August 20, 2015

We look at the President’s Clean Power Plan and the EPA’s methane emission cuts for new oil and gas sources with EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck. The Correctional Association of New York says New York’s prison system is out of control and irreparably broken. We will speak with Soffiyah Elijah, the group’s executive director, about a call for the Department of Justice to fully investigate the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) in light of the homicide of Samuel Harrell, a prisoner in the Fishkill Correctional Facility.

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Aug. 19, 2015: Heather Briccetti, Tim Kremer, Sheri Lederman, Larry Levy

Published - August 19, 2015

The Business Council President and CEO Heather Briccetti explains the group’s objections to the Wage Board’s recommendation to raise the fast-food minimum wage to $15/hr. Tim Kremer, the executive director of the New York State School Boards Association, analyzes the 3rd – 8th grade state scores and looks at what is in store for the coming school year. A New York State Supreme Court heard arguments last week from Great Neck public school teacher Sheri Lederman that the state’s teacher evaluation system is irrational. Lederman joins us to discuss the hearing. How will moderate swing suburban voters affect the 2016

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Aug. 18, 2015: Rep. Paul Tonko, James Parrott

Published - August 18, 2015

Rep. Paul Tonko (D, NY-20) joins us to discuss President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, the Iran Nuclear deal and the future of the Export-Import bank. The Fiscal Policy Institute’s Deputy Director and Chief Economist James Parrott analyzes the $15/hr fast-food minimum wage recommendation.

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Aug. 17, 2015: S.C.O.P.E., Peter Newell, Susan Lerner, Erie County microbeads ban

Published - August 17, 2015

Shooters Committee on Political Education (S.C.O.P.E.), a second amendments rights group, won an open-records legal battle against Gov. Cuomo in state supreme court last week. S.C.O.P.E. President Stephen Aldstadt explains why the group believes Gov. Cuomo and his staff illegally set rules for a 2014 rally, which the group claims were meant to intimidate second-amendment rights advocates. S.C.O.P.E. will use the documents the judge ordered Gov. Cuomo and his staff to turn over to make its case. We look at the uncertain future of NY’s Child Health Plus, a program that insures many New York children, with Peter Newell, the

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