Asphalt. Huge, heaping obsidian piles of oozing rock and tar, steaming tons of it mounded up on the banks of Flushing Creek in Corona, Queens. More than a million pounds of asphalt a day. This may well be the greatest legacy of the city’s innovative, controversial, visionary, despised Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.
Completed in May 2010, the Harper Street asphalt plant produces 250,000 tons annually, much of it made from recycled rocks ripped from roads around New York. If asphalt could be considered state of the art, this would be it. The plant saves the city $5 million every year and keeps thousands of asphalt trucks that would be importing the road rock off the streets, preventing more potholes as a result.
And that is precisely the point of this plant, one of two the city now owns: to repave and repair the streets more efficiently and sustainably. It is one of hundreds of programs launched in the past four years by Ms. Sadik-Khan and the mayor, part of a $4.3 billion capital campaign. That is more than many states have spent over the same period and as much as had been spent in the first six years of the Bloomberg administration, meaning essentially a 50 percent increase in road spending under the current commissioner.
“One of the things I’m most proud of at DOT is that we’ve really increased our commitment to the basics, even while we launch new programs,” Ms. Sadik-Khan said in an interview last week. “We’ve got an unprecedented commitment to the road and bridge network.” Read More
Shelly Silver has a figure of speech he likes to tell people up in Albany—that if you don’t like the way a table is set, just wait. Maybe it will start to look differently after a while. Maybe the people around it will change. Maybe you’ll change your mind, and start liking the looks of it after all.
The way the table was set this year became clear on the very first day of the legislative session, when lawmakers descended on the Capitol for day one of the Andrew Cuomo-era. The newly-minted governor, fresh-off a commanding election margin, had been calling for a new spirit of bi-partisan cooperation, encouraging lawmakers to slough off their reputation for dysfunction and begin to get something done.
Mr. Silver, who had been presiding over the State Assembly since Cuomo’s father Mario was governor, echoed the call. “Can we make this place work, together? My answer is yes!” One of the remaining liberal lions in the New Deal mode, Silver ceded considerable ideological ground, calling for a property tax cap and announcing that “unquestionably, we must work together to reduce state spending.”
Joe Crowley is both the head of the Queens Democratic Party and the finance chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and he was wearing both hats this afternoon when he sent out in urgent mailer asking for donations to help David Weprin’s congressional campaign.
[Republican Bob Turner] is a radical right-winger ready to fight alongside John Boehner and the tea party. He has promised to push for drastic budget cuts and is even on record as rejecting the Republican’s budget and plan to end Medicare because it did not go far enough,” wrote Mr. Crowley in a DCCC email. “The election is just one week from today. We must immediately raise $25,000 in rapid response funds to help David fight Republican attacks in these final days.”
Want more proof that Rick Perry is the front-runner for the G.O.P. nomination?
Today Texas Congressman Ron Paul unveiled a new ad that whacks his home-state governor for supporting Al Gore in the 1988 presidential election, and contrasts that with Paul’s own early support of Ronald Reagan.
“After Reagan, Sen. Al Gore ran for president pledging to raise taxes and increase spending,” the ad says. “Rick Perry helped lead Al Gore’s campaign to undo the Reagan revolution.”
SO I JUMPED ON THAT SUCKER AND LAID RUBBER
Whether or not Joe Biden has said anything unintentionally funny or cringe-worthy on any given day hinges on a single question: Did Joe Biden give someone an interview? Today's answer is, of course, yes. This time, to Car & Driver.
A Democratic source passed along the following mailer going out to homes in the Ninth Congressional District that takes aim at Bob Turner for comment he made to the editorial boards of the New York Daily News and The New York Post.
On on side is pictured a retiree and on the other a firefighter, and the mailer warns that “Tea Party Bob Turner” is an extremist who wants to cut social security and Medicare benefits and deny 9/11 first responders health benefits in order to protect “tax breaks for the ultra-rich.”
Both The Daily News and The Post endorsed Mr. Turner, and so the ad seems at least partly designed to neutralize those endorsements by using Mr. Turner’s words to the papers against them.
Take a look:
The Goldsmith Report
Manhattan Media publisher and 2013 mayoral hopeful Tom Allon has emerged from a quiet summer to tell his rivals for the Democratic nomination to cool it with the howls of outrage and calls for investigation into the domestic violence arrest of Stephen Goldsmith.
“Mayor Bloomberg has explained why he didn’t divulge the Goldsmith arrest but Read More
The race for Anthony Weiner’s old congressional seat in Brooklyn and Queens is entering its final days and today both campaigns are calling on party stalwarts to get out the vote.
Former governor George Pataki will hold a press conference at Grand Central Station alongside Republican candidate Bob Turner to talk about the federal debt this afternoon.