The recent political chatter about “Obamacare” before the Supreme Court of the United States got a great deal of media attention. President Obama added fuel to the fire when he declared, “Ultimately, I am confident the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”
For someone who was a law professor those words were absurd. Even if a bill passed unanimously in the house and senate, it could still be overturned – if the law was in violation of the Constitution.
Giving up is not “reform.” County Executive Ed Mangano’s proposal to transfer property assessment from the county to the towns might possibly speed up assessment decisions by replacing one large and overwhelmed bureaucracy with several somewhat smaller ones. It will likely recreate problems that were major motivations in creating our highly centralized county government 75 years ago.
The 1938 county charter merged the town Boards of Assessors and the County Board of Equalization, ending three decades of complaints, lawsuits and hard feelings about the lack of specific, uniform levels of property assessments between the towns. In a tax system screaming out for simplification, clarification and a sense of certainty, spinning off assessments to the towns will reintroduce “equalization” as an annual issue. Tens of thousands of residents are still trying to figure out why their assessment went down but their tax bill still went up. The division of taxes heading up the tax food chain in an equitable manner is the most complex subject in local government, and it’s all going to make people very sad, particularly in villages and school districts that are split between townships.
Manhattan District Attorney (D.A.) Robert Morgenthau was facing a spirited Democratic primary challenge from a former judge in 2005, but his opponent had trouble finding anything substantively negative to say about Morgenthau.
The reason I know this: a city-based tabloid newspaper reporter called me weeks before the election, asking whether it was legal to have a Manhattan driver’s license while at the same time registering and insuring a car in Dutchess County, where auto insurance premiums are much lower. The answer: yes, so long as the insured vehicle is primarily garaged in Dutchess County. I was the director of public affairs for the New York State Insurance Department at the time and knew immediately the question pertained to Morgenthau because he met those criteria.
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net Friday, 05 July 2013 00:00
The countdown to Major League Baseball’s (MLB) All-Star game begins officially on Friday, July 12, when the T-Mobile All-Star FanFest opens its doors at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in midtown Manhattan.
MLB’s mid-summer classic will be held on Tuesday evening, July 16, at Citi Field in Flushing, yet there are numerous events being held between July 12 and 15 that will give baseball fans a chance to enjoy an extended All-Star weekend. Before making plans, check which players are headed to New York for the MLB All-Star game. The rosters will be announced on Saturday, July 6, at 6:30 p.m., on Fox.
Billed as the “world’s largest interactive baseball theme park,” the All-Star FanFest at the Javits Center (655 W. 34th St.) starts Friday, July 12, at 9 a.m. It closes on that day at 8 p.m. The FanFest will maintain those hours of operation on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. On Tuesday, July 16, its final day, the All-Star FanFest runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Daily tickets are $35 per adult and $30 for each child aged 12 and under. To see which MLB players will be appearing at FanFest, and signing autographs, go to www.allstargame.com for details.
Brooklyn and Manhattan will be the site of All-Star Game-related events on Saturday, July 13. The All-Star 5K (3.1 miles) & Fun Run (1.5 miles) begin at 8 a.m. in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. The charity runs will raise funds for Sandy Relief, so adults are each being charged $35 to participate, and they’ll pay $30 for each child who joins them. Register online at the New York Road Runners’ website, and do so by day’s end Thursday, July 11.
Central Park’s Great Lawn in Manhattan will be the venue for the Saturday, July 13, All-Star Charity Concert, with Sandy Relief again the beneficiary. Featuring two sets from the New York Philharmonic and its music director, Alan Gilbert, who will be joined by Mariah Carey, the 7:30 p.m. concert is free of charge, with MLB making a $1 million Sandy Relief donation. General admission tickets can be found at www.allstargame.com/concert.
The action turns to Citi Field on Sunday, July 14, with the Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game getting underway at 2 p.m., followed by the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game.
The Futures Game traditionally showcases some of MLB’s best prospects from the U.S. and around the world. The All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game will include three retired Met greats — John Franco, Dwight Gooden, and Darryl Strawberry — along with Hall of Famers Andre Dawson, Rollie Fingers, and Ozzie Smith. The former major leaguers will play alongside celebrities from the fields of music and television.
Meanwhile, on Monday night, July 15 at Citi Field, David Wright of the Mets and Robinson Cano of the Yankees will serve as captains of the National League and American League squads for the 2013 Chevrolet Home Run Derby. The home run hitting contest will be televised live on ESPN beginning at 8 p.m. The Home Run Derby also will raise funds for Boys & Girls Clubs of America and MLB’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program, as well as charities selected by the captains.