Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics

Cuomo to ban fracking for natural gas in upstate NY

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks at a news

(Credit: Barry Sloan)

ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday said the state plans to ban the drilling of natural gas upstate after a four-year review by his staff determined it would threaten public health and yield far fewer jobs than projected.

State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said there is no solid scientific basis to show that hydrofracturing drilling, known as fracking, is safe. He said the little...

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Denenberg tax workshops scheduled despite court date

A day before Nassau Legis. David Denenberg appeared in federal court Dec. 11 to answer charges of mail fraud, the Merrick Democrat sent out a county-paid mailing announcing a series of workshops he was hosting to teach constituents how to protest their property tax assessments — including four dates after he is supposed to enter a guilty plea next month.

U.S. District Court Judge Joanna Seybert...

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An especially bad day for the NY’s Southern Tier (Update)

(Updates with comment by a casino bidder and credit line)

ALBANY _ New York’s Southern Tier which has struggled with one of the state’s most sluggish economies for years lost out Wednesday on both a bid for a casino and in fracking.

A state commission rejected a bid by Tioga Downs race track west of Binghamton for a casino, opting instead to locate a casino in Seneca County in the Finger...

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Assembly Health Committee chair pitches universal health care in Nassau

New York State could save $20 billion annually through a single-payer health care system that would provide coverage for all residents no matter their ability to pay, said State Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried Wednesday at a news conference in Mineola.

Gottfried (D-Manhattan) was joined by labor leaders, church officials and health care professionals for the fifth of six...

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Cuomo decisions looming on natural gas, casinos

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks at a news

(Credit: Barry Sloan)

Two huge upstate decisions could be handed down by the Cuomo administration Wednesday: casinos and natural gas drilling.

A gambling panel is slated to announce up to four sites for upstate casinos; the panel’s meeting is set for 2 p.m. at the Empire State Plaza in Albany.

Separately, Cuomo has scheduled a late-morning cabinet meeting where he has promised an update in his review of a...

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Silver deposition postponed in Lopez sexual harassment case

New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver attends

(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

A slated deposition by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in a federal sexual harassment lawsuit filed against former Assemb. Vito Lopez has been postponed, sparking the prospect of a pending settlement.

Silver (D-Manhattan) was scheduled to be deposed Wednesday, said Kevin Mintzer, the lawyer for onetime Lopez staffers Victoria Burhans and Chloe Rivera. But that’s been put on hold, said Mintzer,...

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Taxpayers foot bill for sex harassment, fighting corruption probe, Common Core

ALBANY _ Taxpayers spent millions of dollars in November to defend the Assembly in sexual harassment cases, to fight subpoenas so lawmakers could keep details of their outside jobs secret, and to implement the Common Core in public schools, according to a report released Tuesday.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli approved more than 2,000 contracts in November valued at $2.1 billion, including:


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DNA evidence prompts new hearing in 1980 Manhattan rape, murder

New York’s top court has ordered a new hearing for a man convicted of rape and murder in Manhattan in 1980, citing potential DNA evidence.

In a 6-0 ruling, the Court of Appeals said a midlevel court “abused its discretion” by not allowing Clifford Jones a chance to present new evidence that could clear him. The decision means Jones will be allowed to present the evidence at a trial court.


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Union that backed Teachout now fighting Cuomo for jobs

Activist Zephyr Teachout during a news conference on

(Credit: AP)

The Public Employees Federation endorsed insurgent Zephyr Teachout in September’s Democratic gubernatorial primary. Now, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo apparently is taking at whack at PEF membership, according to the union’s website.

PEF, a 50,000-member union that represents the state’s white-collar workforce, said the Cuomo administration has sent notices to nearly 1,000 of its members saying it...

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Cuomo: De Blasio's remarks on son Dante were not 'racist'

Former President Bill Clinton administers the oath as

(Credit: Charles Eckert)

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo defended New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's remarks about his son, Dante, Monday while carefully praising the NYPD's work during recent protests regarding the death of Eric Garner.

De Blasio, in a speech delivered last week after a grand jury declined to indict a police officer in Garner's apparent chokehold death, said he and his wife have had to have difficult conversations...

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Which was the most fevered lunge for self-promotion by a power player?

Sec. of State John Kerry seeking more authority for the administration to fight ISIS. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning of “dangerous concessions” if rivals win election. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.): “Is there ever a good time to admit our country tortured people?"

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