Good afternoon and happy Friday! Welcome to The Point.
Pressure builds to join IDC and mainline Democrats
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has often been hands-off regarding the Independent Democratic Conference, the breakaway state senators who have culled the strength of mainline Senate Democrats.
As recently as Tuesday, he said, “If they don’t want to marry, I have no power or role in forcing the marriage.”
That was in a stop in upstate Batavia. On Wednesday, Cuomo got the IDC question again, this time from an interested pedestrian near 41st Street and Third Avenue in Manhattan.
“I hope they come together with the Senate Democrats and unify . . . I can perform marriages, but I can’t force them,” Cuomo said in a video clip by Brooklynite Andy Ratto that captured the continued marriage analogy.
Ratto, 33, who works for a nonprofit organization in midtown and says he saw Cuomo walking by, pressed further, asking whether the governor is doing what he can to bring the IDC and Democrats together. The governor said, “Yes, sir. But it takes two to tango.”
It likely won’t be the last time Cuomo is pressed on the question by reporters or civilians. Ratto says he learned about the IDC only in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. He learned more through attendance at meetings of Rise and Resist, a post-Donald Trump-election group that has also focused on the IDC, one of a number of such groups that has attempted to raise awareness about the IDC’s existence in true-blue NY.
The Point took a ride on the NYC-Glen Cove ferry Thursday night to check out one of the alternatives the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is offering to make up for Amtrak’s “summer of hell.”
It appears to instead be a summer of swell so far for the maritime voyagers braving the ferry’s first week. Happy sailors told The Point that they appreciated the novelty, the decent customer service, and even the free lemonade and coffee in the ferry’s lower indoor deck. But only about 35 people took advantage of the Thursday rush hour 6:20 p.m. run from Manhattan.
That’s not exactly a full ship, but some riders hoped that the ferry would eventually sustain enough interest to warrant a more permanent route, which has long proved elusive. Not only would it provide a transportation alternative, it also might help spruce up a quiet port area, they argued.
To that end, paired with the free refreshments was a stack of fliers from developers working on Garvies Point, the housing and retail complex planned near the new Glen Cove ferry terminal.
“Amazing things are happening on the waterfront in Glen Cove,” the flier said. In smaller letters: “All just a 45-minute ferry from Manhattan.”
Some things never change
The governor’s chances for re-election will be hurt unless the situation on the Long Island Rail Road is improved, a Republican state lawmaker from Long Island said.
The year was 1969 and the names were Rockefeller and Speno. But the LIRR, it turns out, is timeless.
Readers of the Newsday classic edition from July 21, 1969, that will accompany home-delivered copies of Sunday’s newspaper probably and understandably will fixate on the cover story — MEN WALK ON THE MOON.
But deeper in the edition, on the second page not reserved for lunar news, State Sen. Edward J. Speno (R-East Meadow) muses about Gov. Nelson Rockefeller’s 1970 re-election campaign amid a spate of LIRR commuting problems. One day after Speno’s remarks, six morning rush-hour trains were canceled.
The country hasn’t gone farther with manned space travel in the intervening 48 years. And neither has the LIRR.