November 29, 2004

FEMA restores funding

The Ithaca Journal reports this morning (as I reported Thursday) that FEMA has decided to restore the $170,000 in funding they had removed because they claimed the project had changed since it was authorized.

The McLean Fire Department has purchased ten new self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA) using a federal grant. (You can also see Congressman Boehlert's press release on the grant.)

Residents of the southwestern corner of Dryden may want to attend a forum on redistricting elementary schools in the Ithaca City School District, which will be held at 7:00pm on Tuesday at the district's administration building.(map).

The Monitor reports on a tire theft along Dryden-Harford road and a one-car accident on Caswell Road.

There's another notice about adding farmland to agriculture districts in November, which is quickly running out.

Attorney General (and likely candidate for governor) Eliot Spitzer is calling for an end to all lobbying gifts, another angle on the complex discussions of reforming Albany.

On the opinion page, the Journal's editorial isn't impressed with the budget reform package Governor Pataki just vetoed, while Jay Gallagher looks at the intersection of death penalty politics and reform in New York, as the Assembly insists on holding hearings on the issue. Gallagher points out that:

"holding hearings does vary from the normal way of doing business at the Capitol, where the general rule is, the more important the bill, the less time is spent debating it in public, much less getting input from citizens....

the Senate passed the bill in August not only without any hearings but also without even waiting the normal three days after it was printed to vote on it. Pataki gave the Senate a "message of necessity" to pass it less than a day after it was introduced -- a common procedure for potentially controversial measures that politicians want to dispose of quickly. The exact nature of the "necessity" was, as usual, not disclosed....

[reform] either provides Silver with a) a convenient political cover to delay a vote on the death-penalty measure while he assesses how the issue plays (the Republican version) or b) a chance to hear what the public has to say about an important policy question (what the Democrats say).

Will the hearings be shams? Maybe. But these days it's hard to be against the public speaking out.

I have to agree with him on that last sentence, and hope the public will speak out on more issues.

Posted by simon at November 29, 2004 8:55 AM in , , , , ,
Note on photos