September, 2015
Can’t Cuomo and de Blasio just get along?

Can’t Cuomo and de Blasio just get along?

After a careful review of the bestseller lists over the past 10 years, I’ve found over a thousand books advising people how to get along when they’re under stress. There have been 412 books on the art of negotiating (not counting Donald Trump’s) and they’re readily available to anyone in need of help or advice.

The continuing feud between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has a historic basis, which most people ignore. Over the past 65 years, there has been a lot of battling between mayors and governors. As a member of the State Assembly, I recall watching Gov. Nelson Rockefeller and Mayor John Lindsay going at it on a daily basis.

Elected as a Republican, Lindsay eventually became a Liberal Party candidate, and the intense dislike between the two men was obvious to all. On one occasion, Lindsay was in need of help in Albany, and he asked Rockefeller to set up a meeting with the Long Island Assembly delegation. At the agreed-upon time, the mayor walked in, shook hands with the governor and, before we could all sit down, Rockefeller disappeared.

Life wasn’t any better with Gov. Mario Cuomo and Mayor Ed Koch. Neither man hid his dislike for the other, and there were few examples of any real cooperation between the two. The city did get mass-transit money and other benefits, but they were similar to the ones previously granted by other governors.


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Reviewing REV: New York’s Transformational Energy Proposal

Reviewing REV: New York’s Transformational Energy Proposal

Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is a New York initiative that would create a radically different electric system and change the way power is generated and distributed in the state. Utilities would direct the distribution of electricity produced by thousands of smaller entities.

REV encompasses areas such as regulatory reform; load/peak demand management; consumer management of energy use; and the development of solar and other distributed energy sources, including electricity production by customers.

The state Public Service Commission is currently working with investor-owned utilities in New York on “demonstration” projects that have been developed for potential statewide deployment. These and future REV projects encompass micro grids, smart grids, and the marketplace.


Click to Read the Full Article as featured in Breaking Energy

Kremer’s Corner: Mets, Yankees offer hope; but county?

Kremer’s Corner: Mets, Yankees offer hope; but county?

Things are looking up these days in one of our worlds. Not the  political world,where confusion reigns supreme. I am talking about the sports world. For a change,our two local baseball teams are in competitive races and at least one of them, the Mets, looks like they are going to be in the playoffs

The surprising rise of the Mets is not only welcome but long overdue. For the past 10 or so years,Mets fans have been faced with defeat after defeat and a team strangled by lack of cash due to the owners losses of their money to Bernard Madoff.

At the beginning of this season there were few sportswriters willing to predict that the New York Mets were going to be a competitive team.


Click to Read the Full Article on The Island Now

Iran Nuclear Deal Our Best Option

Iran Nuclear Deal Our Best Option

I must confess that like many other Americans I learned my lessons about foreign affairs by watching movies like “Casablanca” and a host of others that focused on corruption, deception and all the other unspoken evils.

The average citizen is too busy raising children or holding on to a job and has no time for intense discussions about international politics.

But the current debate over whether the United States should enter into an agreement with Iran is quite important based on its potential impact on our families for years to come and it deserves notice by the public.

I am not going to use the statements by all of the Republican presidential candidates as a guide to making smart decisions.

All of them are against the deal because they detest President Obama and want to appease the pro-Israel  pressure groups whose support they want in 2016.

I would like to say that President Obama has made a good case for approval of the pact, but like in many other instances, he has been a very poor salesman.

You can’t win an argument by bullying the other side with name calling and threats. Victory is often won by honest discussion and not being a nasty proponent.

Having spent the greater part of my life in government and being a curious reader of anything and everything on the subject of the Iran agreement, I have raised a number of questions to people who know the facts and feel like there are some real answers.

First of all, let’s say the agreement between the United States and Iran collapses. What happens then?

The sanctions that we have put in place against Iran will still be in effect, except all of our allies will be rescinding theirs.

Our allies have their own agenda and removing their sanctions suits their purposes.

Under that scenario, Iran gets a substantial amount of relief and our sanctions become meaningless.

Opponents of the agreement say that after the 10-year period of inspection and curtailment of nuclear activities, Iran will be free to quickly get access to a nuclear weapon.

Let’s think about what happens if the multi-nation agreement falls apart this year.

If you think the leaders of Iran are going to take an extended vacation and shut down their race to get a bomb you are totally off base.

Without any inspection process and none of the safeguards in this agreement, Iran will be free to work towards a nuclear presence in a lot shorter time than 10 years.

That possibility worries me even more for the future of my children and grandchildren.

Opponents argue that Iran will gain access to billions of dollars to use to further destabilize the rest of the world.

But that only happens after inspection of sites, full transparency and verification on how far Iran has gone to produce any type of weapon.

Without an agreement, they will continue doing exactly what they have been doing up to now and get a bomb much sooner.

Another of my deep concerns has to do with relations between the two countries.

Never before, in my lifetime, has a foreign country ever inserted itself into our national affairs.

The Prime Minister of Canada or any other leader wouldn’t even think to lobby the Congress for or against some matter before it.

I resent the continuing efforts of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to try to sway American opinion on this difficult issue.

The bond between the United States and Israel has always been strong and meaningful. We have been a generous supporter of Israel and they share many positive advancements with our country.

Netanyahu has done his country a “disservice” in its long-term relationship with America.

Luckily for the world the bonds between the two countries will not be ruptured.

The feelings on both sides of the issue are strong but I would rather have an imperfect agreement than none at all. Isn’t that what compromise is called?