Cuomo Whips up the Base at Democratic Convention in Huntington

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Facing his parents sitting proudly in the front row next to his three daughters, Gov. Andrew Cuomo let the oratory soar, and the crowd roared, “Four more years!”As the climax of his acceptance speech drew near, he was finally hitting his stride at the podium and it didn’t matter if the rising cheers and standing ovation drowned out his words. Everyone there was on the same page already. Cuomo was beaming broadly because he’d finally generated enough energy in the Grand Ballroom at the Huntington Hilton to honor his old man, the acknowledged master mouthpiece of the Democratic Party back when Mario Cuomo was in his prime as the lyrical liberal and the nation seemed to hang on every word in the summer of 1984.Now, decades later, it was the son’s turn to shine, rhetorically speaking, at the New York State Democratic Convention, and the younger Cuomo’s task was much more pragmatic: unite upstate and downstate, quash any debate over policies he didn’t like, avoid mention of any contentious issues—like fracking, Common Core, and gun control—proclaimed on the placards of protesters lined up outside the hotel grounds, and inspire the Democrats inside to return to their home counties, whether Onondaga or Cattaraugus, Genesee or Montgomery, all fired up for the fall campaign.The semi-official motto for Cuomo’s run for re-election is “New York is on the move,” followed by the variation on the theme: “We ain’t going back,” and “We’re not stopping until we make the Empire State stronger and better than it’s ever been.”Will these words be enough to produce a margin of victory so impressive this November that he could become a possible presidential contender in 2016 should Hillary Clinton do the unthinkable and not run? Certainly Cuomo shows no signs of taking this race for granted even though, in some recent polling, the governor starts the Memorial Day weekend with a 30-point lead over the Republican nominee, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. Certainly, the contest will get closer—it always does—but so far Cuomo is going all out.Anti-fracking activists protest outside Democratic Convention at Huntington Hilton. (Spencer Rumsey/Long Island Press)For his running mate, he picked Erie County’s former clerk, Kathy Hochul, who served one term in Congress, because he wants to be competitive in western New York, where she’s a “household name,” according to current Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, who spoke at the podium right before she did. When it was her turn, Hochul flailed the opposition, which went unnamed but the target was clear to the assembled throng, for spinning “their narrative of negativity” because they “aren’t happy with progress.”“I’m telling you right now,” said Hochul to Republicans, “if you want to mess with Buffalo and upstate New York, you’ve got to get through me!”From the other end of the state, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio made clear there’s very little daylight between his progressive policies and the governor’s, at least when it comes to providing universal pre-k in the state, or so he claimed from the podium. He said that he and the governor have been friends for more than 20 years, starting when Cuomo worked for the Clinton Administration as secretary of Housing and Urban Development. The governor will certainly need a big turnout in the liberal bastion of New York City to offset any Republican gains in the more conservative suburbs and rural counties—so he’s counting that DeBlasio can deliver.But the governor is also keeping his other ballot options open, despite an effort by Nassau County Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs to compel Cuomo to shun the Independence Party endorsement, which Jacobs said was a “corrupting influence.” Jacobs’ proposal reportedly had the backing of the Democrats’ Progressive Caucus but it fell short on the convention floor Wednesday afternoon and was permanently tabled. How that move will play out with the left-leaning Working Families Party at their convention in Albany on May 31 remains to be seen. So far this third party has not announced a formal challenger to Cuomo despite their complaints that the governor isn’t liberal enough, is far too comfortable with Republican control of the State Senate under Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) and the more conservative Independent Democratic Conference. Before Cuomo came to the podium, an array of Democrats from President Bill Clinton to Harry Belafonte, Billy Crystal, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as the former governor and first lady of the state, Mario and Matilda Cuomo, were shown on the giant video screens in the hall endorsing the governor’s re-election.“He’s made this state greater than it was,” said the elder Cuomo about his son in a feeble voice, “and given another opportunity, he will make it still greater.”Once the governor himself took the stage, he thanked “my father, my hero, the greatest governor in the history of New York,” before listing his own accomplishments such as turning a $10 billion deficit into a $2 billion surplus, reducing state income taxes to their lowest level since the 1950s, raising the minimum wage and passing marriage equality. Cuomo’s new running mate, former upstate Congresswoman, Kathy Hochul. (Spencer Rumsey/Long Island Press)He took credit for New York having more jobs now than it ever had. He promised to rebuild the State University of New York (his twin daughters now attend Harvard and Brown) under his “SUNY 2020” project. He boasted that under his administration the Tappan Zee Bridge will finally get a much overdue renovation, and he said he’ll follow that example by rebuilding John F. Kennedy Airport and LaGuardia, although he didn’t spell out how.Judging by their joyous reaction to his speech, this audience was not focused on the details. They were looking at the big picture, and Cuomo was happy to paint it in the broadest strokes.Describing the contrasts of his vision with the other party’s, Cuomo said, “Their view is an ultra-conservative social agenda that sees society through a lens of fear and division. Our view sees society through a lens of optimism and inclusion. They see government as a vehicle for corporate opportunity. We see government as a vehicle for individual opportunity.”He alluded to the Statue of Liberty, calling New York State America’s “laboratory of democracy,” and in halcyon terms barely audible above the cheers, he shouted, “We are one and in our unity is our strength!”Once he was done speaking, he was joined on stage by his parents—his father planted a kiss on his cheek—and his daughters and Sandra Lee, his celebrity chef girlfriend. He raised Hochul’s hand in the air in triumph and then posed for pictures with the rest of the Democratic ticket, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, as the music blared Bon Jovi’s “Who’s Gonna Work for the Working Man?”Tellingly, the next song up was Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run.”last_img read more

Limiting workplace email

first_img 21SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr I came across a New York Times opinion piece by Clive Thompson written over last year’s Labor Day weekend that remains fitting as we launch into this year’s holiday. The crux of the article: limiting workplace email.Thompson cited Gloria Mark, an expert on workplace behavior, who said white collar workers check their email messages an average of 74 times a day. This time spent writing and checking emails is time spent away from important tasks and projects – and possibly a much-needed vacation.Jennifer Deal, a senior research scientist at the Center for Creative Leadership, also quoted in the article, said there may be a reason why some employees are constantly writing and sending emails: lack of confidence. “When employees shoot out a fusillade of miniature questions via email, or ‘cc’ every team member about each niggling little decision, it’s because they don’t feel confident to make a decision on their own,” she said.However, a more empowered employee, she said, feels the freedom to make their own judgment calls and use the phone or have a face-to-face chat rather than type out a new email thread. continue reading »last_img read more

BLOG: Looking Back at the Health Department’s Successful Flu Vaccine Campaign

first_imgBLOG: Looking Back at the Health Department’s Successful Flu Vaccine Campaign SHARE Email Facebook Twitter By: Dr. Karen Murphy, Secretary of Health Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: January 28, 2016 Human Services,  The Blog Last fall, the Pennsylvania Department of Health launched our “Stopping the Flu Starts with You” campaign, aimed at increasing awareness about flu prevention and providing access to free and reduced costs vaccines. During the campaign, we held 140 clinics at our health centers across the state. Remarkably, almost 1,000 PA residents received flu vaccines at these clinics.In a combined effort among myself, Pennsylvania’s Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine, and Deputy Secretary for Health Promotion Dr. Loren Robinson, my department also made numerous public appearances and reached out to Pennsylvanians statewide via our social media in order to further spread valuable information about preventing the flu.We have worked hard to educate people about easy ways to prevent the flu. It is my hope that greater awareness will mean fewer cases of flu in the commonwealth this season.As a culmination of the “Stopping the Flu Starts with You” campaign, we hosted clinics at the eight-day 100th PA Farm Show.Traditionally, visitors flock to the popular Pennsylvania Farm Show each year to enjoy world class milkshakes, pet farm animals and view the famed butter sculpture. But this year, more than 1,000 people also got free flu vaccines.The Department of Health’s daily flu clinics were a resounding success. In addition to protecting their health, and the health of others, by getting a flu vaccine, visitors to the department’s booth had the opportunity to learn a life-saving skill. The hands on, “hands free” CPR demonstration was conducted daily under the guidance of our Bureau of Emergency Medical Services.I want to remind all Pennsylvania residents that it is never too late to get your flu vaccine. Those who missed out on the Farm Show clinics and meet eligibility requirements still have the opportunity to sign up and get free or reduced cost flu vaccines at any of our state health centers while supplies last.Getting the flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting yourself and those around you from seasonal influenza. The Health Department recommends the flu vaccine for everyone over the age of 6 months. It is especially important for older individuals, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions that place them at increased risk of complications from the flu.In addition to getting vaccinated, to best avoid receiving or spreading the flu, everyone should also:Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub.Keep your hands away from your face and don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.  This is one way germs spread.Disinfect frequently used surfaces – like doorknobs, light switches, TV remotes, etc.Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing – then throw the used tissue in the trash.Avoid contact with sick people. If YOU are sick, stay home for at least 24 hours until after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.More information is available at FLUFREEPA.COM or by calling 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258).last_img read more

Premier League clubs committed to finishing season, but no deadline set

first_imgShare on: WhatsApp London, United Kingdom | AFP | Premier League clubs remain committed to finishing the top-flight season, but did not set a June 30 deadline to complete the fixture list at their latest meeting on Friday.With the Premier League postponed since March 13 due to the coronavirus, it had been suggested a firm closing date for the season needed to be imposed.But the 20 clubs did not discuss wrapping up the remaining 92 Premier League fixtures by June 30 when they met on a conference call with league chiefs.With fears that failure to finish the season could cost the Premier League more than £1 billion ($1.2 billion), clubs looked at various models for a potential return to action.However, Britain is on lockdown until May 7 at the earliest to limit the spread of the pandemic, leaving English football to play a waiting game in the hope of an improvement in the health crisis. A Premier League spokesman said a number of complex scenarios were being worked through.“We are actively engaging with stakeholders, including broadcast partners, and our aim is to ensure we are in a position to resume playing when it is safe to do so and with the full support of the government,” added the spokesman.“The health and wellbeing of players, coaches, managers, club staff and supporters are our priority and the league will only restart when medical guidance allows.“Today’s shareholders’ meeting provided an opportunity to discuss possible scheduling models. It remains our objective to complete the 2019/20 season but at this stage all dates are tentative while the impact of COVID-19 develops.”last_img read more

Family plays key role in Colter’s union push

first_imgFILE – In this Nov. 5, 2011 file photo Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, left, shakes hands with Nebraska wide receiver Kenny Bell after an NCAA college football game in Lincoln, Neb. Colter has become the face of a movement to give college athletes the right to form unions and bargain.  (AP Photo/Lincoln Journal Star, Laura Pales, File)CHICAGO (AP) — Kain Colter’s grandmother often spoke about rights and equality, values she brought home from her job managing an office of a Colorado law firm.Those conversations planted a seed for Colter, who would go on to become a quarterback at Northwestern University — and the face of an exploding movement to give college athletes the right to form unions and bargain.“He understands that he’s been put on this earth to serve people,” Colter’s father, Spencer, said.From a start in sports at Cherry Creek High School in suburban Denver to a football revival at Northwestern, Colter has a circle of people around him who say they aren’t surprised he is succeeding in his fight.After a decision this week by a regional director of the National Labor Relations board who said full scholarship players can be considered employees of the university, he also could leave a legacy as the athlete who formed the foundation of a dramatic overhaul of college sports that could potentially give athletes a chance to fight for a piece of an industry that generates billions based on their performance.“Looking out for people and making sure people are treated fairly has always been in our family morals,” Colter said in an interview with The Associated Press in Bradenton, Fla., where he is training for the NFL draft. “Obviously people come from different backgrounds and different situations, but everybody deserves to be treated fairly and they deserve basic rights and basic protections.”Kain Colter, a former quarterback for Northwestern University, sits during an interview with The Associated Press in Bradenton, Fla., Thursday, March 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Tamara Lush)Colter’s grandmother, Betty Flagg, died last month and was buried in some of his Northwestern gear. She only watched television when the Wildcats were playing. Colter, 21, said he thinks his grandmother would be proud of his role in the unionization effort.“We were talking at the funeral and they were telling stories about how she came from picking cotton to working as an office manager in the firm,” he said. The attorney at the firm described how she fought for certain employees to receive fair bonuses for their work.“She was doing that, fighting for their rights and fighting for them to be treated fairly, basically,” Colter said.Colter will never benefit from a union if one is formed, but was thrilled by the decision that moved the issue forward. Northwestern immediately said it would appeal the decision to labor authorities in Washington, D.C., and the NCAA came out strongly against the ruling classifying athletes as employees of the university.“Unionization and collective bargaining are not the appropriate methods to address the concerns these students are raising,” Alan Cubbage, Northwestern’s vice president for university relations, said Friday in a statement. “The life of a student-athlete is extremely demanding, but the academic side and the athletic side are inextricably linked.”Growing up, Colter was regarded as one of the top prep athletes in Colorado. Listed at 6-foot and 195 pounds, he played point guard on the basketball team and competed in the long jump and triple jump for track and field.“Whatever he chooses to do, he can do it, and I mean that sincerely,” Cherry Creek basketball coach Mike Brookhart said. “He’s just one of those kids that gets it and has it.”He had the most success on the football field, following in the footsteps of his father, who was a safety on Colorado’s 1990 national championship team, and his uncle, Cleveland Colter, who was an All-America safety at Southern California. Kain Colter helped the Bruins reach the state championship game during his junior year, accounting for 31 touchdowns.“He was one of the more respected kids at school,” said Brookhart, who coached Colter in football and basketball. “He was a great leader.”At Northwestern, he helped the Wildcats return to respectability in college football. He threw for 76 yards and rushed for 71 more when Northwestern beat Mississippi State in the 2013 Gator Bowl for its first postseason win since 1949.“When he got there, I really could see the fire in his eyes from Day One,” former Northwestern linebacker David Nwabuisi said. “He was always the kind of guy that was always trying to push the team further, always expecting more of us.”Nwabuisi said he helped recruit Colter to the school, and they quickly became friends.Colter set Northwestern records for single-season rushing yards by a quarterback and a career rushing yards by a QB. He also played some receiver with the Wildcats, and that’s the position he’s hoping to play in the pros.The union battle has taken a toll on his relationship with his college teammates and his former school. After the NLRB decision was announced on Wednesday, he took to Twitter to reiterate his love for coach Pat Fitzgerald and Northwestern.“Kain’s never said that he’s been mistreated, never said that he doesn’t love Northwestern,” Spencer Colter said. “He loves Northwestern. He loves his coaches that he played for and his teammates.“But the bottom line is this is bigger than Northwestern. This is about all of college athletics and everybody understands that but nobody is willing to step out and make a change and Kain’s done that.”During hearings on the union effort earlier this year in Chicago, Colter presented himself as calm and precise — and wasn’t afraid to challenge the school.He spoke about abandoning his hopes of entering a pre-med program because of time demands Northwestern makes on football players. He said chemistry was offered at times that conflicted with football practice.“You fulfill the football requirement and, if you can, you fit in academics,” he said at the time. “You have to sacrifice one. But we can’t sacrifice football. … We are brought to the university to play football.”This week was pretty much business as usual after the NLRB ruling. Colter got right back to training at IMG Academy on the southwest coast of Florida, where he’s preparing for a possible late-round draft, or to get a free agent offer to come to an NFL camp.“To the people that think I’m shaking the boat, I’m changing the status quo, I’m a rebel, I’m this, I’m that — I’m just a guy out there doing what’s right, doing what I believe in,” he said.___Reynolds reported from Bradenton, Fla. Associated Press writer Michael Tarm in Chicago contributed to this report.___Jay Cohen can be reached at read more

United Way Launches Make the Match Campaign to Build a Brighter…

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by United Way of Thurston CountyUnited Way of Thurston County announced a Make the Match campaign to raise extra funds for its Community Care Fund. Text-donating has revolutionized the ease and effectiveness of giving money to charities and through community partners, United Way is launching a text-donating application to raise money that supports local non-profits preparing children to be resilient, learn and succeed.In Thurston County, 63 percent of low-income kids don’t start kindergarten with the skills they need to be successful and 1,123 children were recorded homeless in 2013. United Way understands the importance of addressing such community conditions and helps to find solutions in collaboration with partners.In effort to increase fundraising, United Way received support from OBee Credit Union to launch the campaign using Cafe Give, a social fundraising platform. In addition, Puget Sound Energy Foundation will help leverage donations through a dollar for dollar match up to $10K.“Puget Sound Energy is dedicated to helping address local needs and priorities in our community, and our Foundation is honored to help double United Way’s fundraising power through this match,” said Farra Vargas, PSE manager of energy efficiency outreach.Supporters can text “UNITED” to 5-5-1-5-5 to donate or pledge. Those who text the keyword will be directed to a website where they can complete their donation or pledge and announce their contribution through social media.“The text-donating application allows donors to give what they can via their mobile phone or social media,” said Lee Wojnar, United Way board president and marketing vice president of OBee Credit Union.“Advocates of the campaign are encouraged to use their personal social media pages to inform their followers of United Way’s efforts and how they can also contribute.”“We’re embracing the power of social media and mobile giving to shake up our fundraising efforts,” said United Way Communications Director, Michelle Rodriguez. “This is simply a new way for us to reach the online community, strengthen partnerships and increase donations.”United Way continues to build strong relationships with community partners such as local nonprofits, government and businesses to leverage more investing and volunteering in the community. For more information about how to support United Way of Thurston County, go to or call (360) 943-2273.last_img read more