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New York State Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation Joseph Martens just appeared on Time Warner Cable News' program "Capitol Tonight". Discussing the issue of crude oil trains, he claimed that the state has no power to prevent these trains from coming through New York. Clearly he has no familiarity with the law, as will be shown below the fold.

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Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 02:32 PM PDT

A New York State of Politics

by andydrew617

Today's revelations by the New York Times regarding Governor Andrew Cuomo's interference with the Moreland Commission is not exactly surprising, but it has the potential to shake up the campaign for his reelection. As of now, this report can only strengthen the candidacies of Cuomo's three main challengers: Zephyr Teachout, who is running against Cuomo in the Democratic primary; Rob Astorino, the nominee of the Republican and Conservative parties; and Howie Hawkins, the Green Party nominee. All three campaigns issued statements earlier today condemning the Administration's actions, and Teachout is circulating a petition calling on Cuomo to resign.

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Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 09:28 PM PDT

A Crash Course in New York Politics

by andydrew617

The decision on May 31 by the Working Families Party to endorse the reelection bid of Governor Andrew Cuomo sent shockwaves through the state of New York. Ten days later, the dust is still far from settled. Old alliances have been broken, new enemies created, strange bedfellows made. The pace at which events have unfolded has been simply breathtaking. I have been in the (un?)fortunate position of playing first-hand witness to all of this.

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The City School District of Albany is currently crafting its budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. As of this writing, the district faces a projected deficit of $5,829,454. This is the product of the combination of expiring grant funding and a sixth consecutive year of insufficient state aid. That is largely due to the “Gap Elimination Adjustment”, designed to close the state’s budget gap starting in FY 2010-2011. Although the state may end up with a budget surplus of $2 billion this year, it is yet to be seen whether this money will trickle down to school districts. Short of this, Albany CSD has two options to resolve their budget gap.

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Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 09:15 PM PST

Tar Sands Crude Oil in Albany, NY

by andydrew617

Note: this is my first Daily Kos diary

Albany, NY currently finds itself at the frontlines of the fight over the use of crude oil extracted from tar sands. A proposed expansion of the Global Partners terminal at the Port of Albany has come under fire from local elected officials, interest groups and citizens alike. The controversy centers around the plan to construct seven boilers at the port facility, designed to heat crude oil freighted in from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota and Canada to temperatures of 120 degrees. This would make it easier to transfer the crude oil onto barges and other vessels for shipping down the Hudson River. Concerns abound over the potential environmental, public health, and safety risks of the project.

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