Mayor Mike Bloomberg:
I am impressed.
school governance, the teachers’ contract, the budget — although I
personally would have liked to see the Council’s education tax
surcharge — highlight your most recent successes. You have in your
first six months in office very effectively functioned as this City’s
CEO, instilling confidence in the people and bringing government to a
new moral high. While effectively negotiating, you have apparently not
fallen prey to the obscene political deal-making that has marred our
City in the past, nor have you presented yourself in the autocratic
manner that was so divisive in the past administration.
I applaud your exceptional beginning as Mayor.
My alma mater,
, gave me a
first rate education for free. It is no longer free — hasn’t been
for a while. However, for what is a pittance compared to schools of
equivalent quality, Queens continues to offer – or maybe it is
offering again – a first-rate college experience. It is indeed the
jewel of CUNY and does our borough proud.
Okay, politics is about power. But in this country, it is also about
participating in the greatest democracy in the world. We have a system
that offers voters a choice.
have matured into a two- party system with a number of vital third
parties. But no matter what, you know that the Republicans will
challenge the Democrats and the Dems will return the favor. Having
opposition keeps everything honest.
are no free rides here. The
proudly as one of the few great democratic nations where the person in
office is always challenged at election time.
so in Queens. . .
it all just one big comfy, cozy family of incumbents?
The Bus Strike and Lawyers:
Perhaps, the solution is as simple as reading the appropriate section of
the contract — only maybe, nobody can find it.
asked the DOT press office to let us know how many times copies of the
contract have been requested since the labor dispute began back in
request is the first,” was the response.
the solution will require a clean sweep: throw out the contracts; throw
out the bus companies; throw out the union.
first, throw out the lawyers.
Politics and Money:
It’s the tale of the political tape and it isn’t pretty. Like
previous years, the numbers tell the story: if campaigns are not
publically financed, the playing field cannot be close to even –
incumbents have a big advantage.
a redistricting year where, historically, incumbents can lose their
advantage as district lines move, the bucks say something else. . .
Incumbents, on average, have more than 23 times the amount of money for
this campaign than their challengers.
with the numbers, play with our analysis. But sadly, when you go to
vote, the almighty buck may make your decision for you.
Power Of Incumbency:
The moral of the story is not very exciting.
system grinds, it doesn’t jump — except in extreme times. This is
not one of those. Expect all incumbents to return to office. Expect
business as usual. Expect politics and money to walk along hand-in-hand.
expect the good people of our City, of our State and nation to keep
reading and thinking. They’ll listen to the candidates. They’ll
study the issues. They’ll vote with their mind and heart and not based
on the endorsements of parties or politicians. They’ll give the little
guy (read: “under-funded”) a chance; they’ll vote in term limits,
if necessary. They’ll demand campaign finance reform. It’ll take
time. But there will be change.
gotta start somewhere: read, think, vote!
Art and Politics: When
art and controversy share a canvas, discussions of culture come to the
kitchen table. People get involved and interested and begin to think.
Art and Controversy:
Art is beautiful.
art is beautiful for a whole different set of reasons.
The NYS Assembly: We
were in fact rather surprised that Cummings responded to us at all. You
see, she died nine months ago.
it’s not the least bit surprising that no one has bothered to update
the mail server of the NYS Assembly.
seen how quickly they pass a budget; they’ll get around to it someday.
The 1964 Murder of Civil Rights Worker Andy Goodman: The
Goodman story is almost four decades old and the tributes – like the
mountain naming – come less frequently, but to those who were a part
of the civil rights movement of the 60’s, Andy was a giant — a
those of us fortunate enough to know the gentle 20-year-old
his death will always be part of our consciousness. . . . And now there
is a mountain in Andrew Goodman’s memory.
I still can’t make much sense of it all.
And one acknowledgment brought the [
out a table from
groom’s side – and saluted three
firefighters in attendance. It occasioned a standing ovation.
even in the heart of
, the soul
well and celebrated.
Bill Clinton Today: I’ve
met the President twice before — had my photo taken with him both
times. The first time was in the first year of his Presidency and the
last time in its final days. His hair grew grayer, his face now shows
the lines of stress, but his eyes are unchanged. He looks right at you
– at each person he talks to – and in his eyes is the vision of the
world as a better place and mankind hard at work making it better.
Bill Clinton concluded, the personal attacks that marred his life in the
White House were a small price to pay to work for the good of labor and
management, business and the environment, the poor, the less fortunate
and peace throughout the world.
The Olympics 2012: The
Olympics, the world’s games, the athletes of all nations competing,
the televisions of all nations watching, as
Olympic Village and a variety of athletic venues.
International Olympic Committee still must choose. And
pretty heavy competition —
my friends, when I heard the news, it was true poetry.
had the memories of the 1964 World’s Fair and the Unisphere. . . I had
the images of the ’39 Fair and the first meeting of the United Nations
General Assembly right here in Queens — in the very same building
which now is the Queens Museum. I knew that runners from 98 nations
would be running through our
Sunday’s New York City Marathon. It was all there, that spiritual link
that connected our borough and the world. The spirit of
. . .now
glowed as brightly as ever.
though it’s not a done deal, for those few moments listening to the
news, I knew that the stage was again set for the people of
people of the world to be one. The Olympic torch and the spirit glowed
: home to
It is those types of bumps that small businessmen deal with regularly.
You have to admire the entrepreneurs that fuel a large portion of our
borough’s economy. There are the experienced ones like myself and
there are those who are new to this country and face the bumps as well
as the government bureaucracy and language barriers.
experience gave me a renewed respect for small businesspeople. The
experience gave me renewed respect for all of those who have a business
dream and dare to follow it. They are indeed a courageous lot and are at
the heart of the borough of
The City Fiscal Crisis: The
message is simple. There will be new taxes. There will be service cuts.
There will be layoffs.
all have to be ready to deal with them and live with them. They are
essential in this economy.
Bloomberg and Giff Miller have the rare challenge and opportunity to
bring some sense and some solutions to this awful situation.
must work together. They must avoid politics. They must serve our City.
system seems to have worked. We have two people, gifted and capable,
ready to serve. We have a Council that cares.
are going to do their jobs.
rest is up to all of us.
The Reacquisition Of The
paper has come home to
this week, an odyssey I began a year-and-a-half-ago ended as a group of
investors joined Gary [Ackerman] and me in purchasing the Queens
Tribune, the PRESS of Southeast Queens and Multi Media –
our printing, promotions and public relations company.
Congressman Gary Ackerman
reacquired the Queens
shall serve as president and CEO of the new company with the mission of
building and growing the business while providing the people of
with expanded comprehensive coverage of the borough and continuing our
tradition of innovation and advocacy journalism.
this space – in weeks and months to come – you’ll hear more about
our unique publishing adventure. We are here to serve the communities
that have been part of our life well before
and the presses gave birth to the Tribune more than three decades
ago. We are here to serve the advertisers who continue to support us
because they believe in the borough and in our unique response-oriented
style of publishing. Above all, we are here to serve the people — our
loyal readers and our new readers — because it is their stories that
fill our pages and give us the reason to exist.
in the most recent leg of its 32-year journey, the Tribune has
come home to
But the biggest challenge and the greatest rewards lie ahead.
share them with us.
Tribune is your paper.
us know what you think.
by Dom Nunziato