Spin Cycle

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

NY top court: No obligation for health clubs to use defibrillators

New York’s highest court ruled Thursday that fitness clubs don’t have an obligation to use defibrillators on a member having a heart attack, overturning an earlier ruling involving a Suffolk County fatality.

The Court of Appeals, in a 4-1 decision, said although state law requires health clubs to maintain Automatic External Defibrillators (AED), it doesn’t carry a duty to use the devices.

“Such...

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D'Amato firm mentioned anew in House probe of Bill Owens

 From the AP in Washington: The House Ethics Committee said yesterday it's continuing a probe into whether a trip New York Democrat Rep. Bill Owens took to Taiwan was arranged by lobbyists for the country's government.

The case had been referred to the House committee by the Office of Congressional Ethics, a separate, outside ethics office.

The ethics committee said merely "conducting...

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In Nassau, Haber assembles team for executive run

Adam Haber, a Democrat candidate for Nassau County

(Credit: Steve Pfost)

Democratic Nassau executive candidate Adam Haber announced Wednesday the formation of his campaign team, including veterans from local and national races.

“Running against Nassau’s notorious machine politics, I need tough, smart campaign veterans who know Nassau County, know how to get our message out to voters and know how to win,” said Haber, a member of the Roslyn School Board.

“With...

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Catsimatidis defends labor practices, blasts 'ambulance-chasing' lawyers

John Catsimatidis, reacting to news reports about past labor-related lawsuits against his businesses, took aim today at “ambulance-chasing attorneys that have wreaked havoc, chasing restaurants, supermarkets, drug stores, chasing everybody.”

“Someone has to expose them,” the billionaire businessman, who owns the Gristedes and Red Apple store chains, told Newsday. “You’ve got to protect employees,...

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Skelos calls utility surcharge a 'new tax,' rejects renewal

The state Legislature’s top Republican Tuesday called Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposal to extend a tax on utilities a “new tax” that hurts ratepayers and New York’s attempts to lure new businesses.

Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) said the tax, known as the “18-a” surcharge, was imposed on utilities in 2009 in the aftermath of the stock market meltdown and is slated to expire...

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Skelos: 'Perhaps we did act in haste'

On Feb. 5, 2013, Senate Majority Leader Dean

(Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa)

Senate co-leader Dean Skelos acknowledged Tuesday the Legislature rushed to approve a gun-control bill in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school massacre – but he didn’t go so far as to say the measure shouldn’t have been enacted.

Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) fielded questions from reporters regarding remarks from another Republican who said Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo acted dictatorially in forcing...

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McKevitt: State law generally favors town board in Islip dispute

  A municipal law veteran said Tuesday that the Islip Town Board holds most of the leverage in its ongoing battle with Supervisor Tom Croci over hiring authority.

  Assemb. Thomas McKevitt (R-East Meadow), a former deputy town attorney in Hempstead and former chairman of the municipal law committee of the Nassau County Bar Association, said he couldn’t comment specifically on the...

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Pol says Hitler, Mussolini 'would be proud' of Cuomo's gun-bill push [updated]

An upstate Republican said Tuesday that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo acted dictatorial -- like Hitler and Mussolini and Vladimir Putin -- for rapidly forcing a controversial gun-control law through the state Legislature last month.

Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R-Melrose) ripped the Democratic governor for pushing through the bill -- which was brought for a vote shortly after it was printed.

“Hitler...

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Labor record of Catsimatidis' ventures starts to draw scrutiny

Surrounded by supporters, John Catsimatidis talks to the

(Credit: AP )

With John Catsimatidis now in the GOP primary race for mayor, the employment practices of his supermarket empire, documented sporadically before in the news media, have begun to attract new attention.

Back when Eliot Spitzer was the state’s attorney general, delivery workers at Gristedes were the subject of a $2.6 million back-pay and damages settlement. Also, as recounted this week by Richard...

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Koch funeral highlighted by eulogies from associates

NYPD officers carry the coffin of former Mayor

(Credit: AP)

The elected officials, current and former, are all collected in camera's eye view at the front of Temple Emanu-El, including former President Bill Clinton, who spoke. Ex.-Gov. Mario Cuomo, current Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, ex-Sen. Al D'Amato, current Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and former mayors Rudy Giuliani and David Dinkins, clustered nearby Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

But the...

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