Thursday, August 22, 2013
On today’s show: a live report on the latest events in Egypt. Nicholson Baker explains why he thinks that advanced algebra shouldn’t be a high school requirement. Director Bill Siegel talks about his documentary “The Trials of Muhammad Ali,” about the legendary boxer’s life outside the ring. New York Times reporter Ron Nixon explains how the sequester is affecting the nation as a whole. And with grain prices on the rise, Temple Grandin describes what cattle farmers are feeding their herds to keep costs low, and its dramatic effects.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Sequestration began in March and a second round of cuts is looming for October. Ron Nixon, a New York Times Washington correspondent who covers the impact of legislative and regulatory policy on consumers, tells us how the sequester is affecting the Postal Service, food and agriculture policy, and consumer safety.
Thursday, May 09, 2013
Thursday, May 09, 2013
There was another hearing yesterday on the Benghazi attack last year. We'll discuss the implications. Plus: yet another corruption case in Albany begs the question about what kind of reforms are needed and if prosecutors should have more or less leeway; sequestration impacts; and journalist Charles Graeber tells the story of The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder.
Monday, April 29, 2013
The sequestration cuts are being felt, and Congress is rolling back some of the bill they passed earlier this year. Nancy Cook, economic and fiscal policy correspondent for National Journal, talks about the latest news from Washington, including the congressional response to sequestration-induced flight delays.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
By Martin DiCaro : WAMU
WAMU - Washington —
When automatic federal spending cuts under a process known as sequestration loomed in March, federal officials warned the furloughs of air traffic controllers would snarl the air travel system and leave passengers waiting in terminals for hours.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
By Eddie Robinson : Weekend Edition Host, WNYC News
Due to federal budget cuts, Federal Aviation officials say furloughs are taking effect Sunday and that could mean delays for local airline travelers.
Tuesday, April 09, 2013
The request by the lawyer for Osama bin Laden's son-in-law to delay his terror trial because of mandatory furloughs of federal lawyers brought on by the sequester is just a portion of the difficulties facing the city’s federal courts, officials say.
Monday, March 25, 2013
By Kate Hinds
Forced to trim $637 million from its budget, the FAA is closing 149 air traffic control facilities around the country.
The closures will start taking place early next month and will take four weeks to complete.
Air traffic controllers say this means more work for the pilots -- and could lead to delays. "When there’s no controller in the tower, it then becomes a one-in, one-out operation," said Sarah Dunn, a spokesperson for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, meaning pilots, not controllers, will be coordinating air traffic at these airports. "All the pilots are on the same frequency checking to see who’s landing, who’s coming in and out."
But the FAA says the closures won't affect safety. “We will work with the airports and the operators to ensure the procedures are in place to maintain the high level of safety at non-towered airports,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in a statement.
See the list of towers below.
Monday, March 18, 2013
In an era when the Violence Against Women Act has proven to be hugely divisive, and budgets are being slashed because of the sequester, the Department of Justice has awarded millions in grant money to domestic violence prevention programs.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Budget cuts brought about by sequestration could force the closure of more than 100 air traffic control facilities -- including control towers at smaller airports across the US.
Kissimmee Gateway Airport, which is just outside of Orlando, is on the list of towers which could be shut down April 7th. City leaders say that would put the brakes on one of the main economic drivers in the area.
“It’s an economic engine, not only necessarily because of what happens on the field, but also what happens adjacent to it," says Mayor Jim Swan. He says the economic impact of the airport is estimated around $100 million a year. Swan says losing the tower will make it tough to market a $3.2 million dollar business airpark which is being built with state and local funds.
A large part of the airport’s traffic includes business jets bringing people to functions at nearby Disney World and conventions on Orlando's International Drive.
Last year the airport saw 129,000 departures and landings from a mix of business jets, and propeller planes. Aviation director Terry Lloyd says losing the control tower- which is operated under a contract with the Federal Aviation Administration- could decrease flights to under 100,000 a year.
"I think it's something that we have a lot of dread [about], and there are a lot of unknowns," he says.
He says having a tower to help manage traffic makes Kissimmee a more attractive destination for business jets.
"The corporate traffic- that's kind of on the top of their checklist, if there's an airport with a tower, that's where they go," he says. "And then if there's not a tower they make a decision- is it important enough for us to go in there, and a lot of it's driven by the aircraft insurance companies."
Aircraft operators also have fuel agreements at airports - like Kissimmee- that guarantee the price of aviation fuel if they land there. Lloyd says those agreements could also be jeopardized by the loss of the tower.
Other airport users say they're concerned about safety. John Calla, vice president of operations for Italico Aviation-- a company that plans to import and assemble light sport aircraft at Kissimmee -- says he's worried about the mix of traffic if there's no tower. "You see the jets that take off here and the speed they operate," says Calla. "You get a smaller aircraft that's used to flying about 60 miles per hour, integrating with something of that size, and you could get some conflicts.
Calla says the tower is important to separate and sequence the arrival and departure of planes. "They know the speed of the aircraft and they know how much to sequence it so traffic flow is not impaired. It also improves the safety as well."
Florida Congressman Alan Grayson has written to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and the FAA urging them to consider the impact of closing the tower.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Today the papal conclave convenes in the Vatican to begin the process of electing the next pope. David Gibson of Religious News Service explains the politics behind the scenes. Plus: the city's Chief Digital Officer Rachel Haot on reinventing NYC's payphones; WNYC's Beth Fertig on the impact of test prep on city high school admissions; the latest sequestration news; and the new novel from Mohsin Hamid.
Monday, March 11, 2013
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made his first overseas trip to Afghanistan as head of the Pentagon. By most accounts, it wasn’t exactly a diplomatic success. In this week's Washington Report, David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times, talks to Marc Garber about the bumps and bruises from the trip, as well as the debate that is brewing over how much can be cut from the defense budget.
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
By Jim O'Grady
(New York, NY - WNYC) New York area transit has received a double setback, both having to do with Storm Sandy and what's needed to recover from it: money.
Thanks to the sequester, the U.S. Department of Transportation will be disbursing five percent less in Sandy disaster relief to transit systems damaged by the storm. That means 545 million fewer dollars for the NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority; the PATH Train, which connects northern New Jersey to Lower Manhattan; and transit agencies in six northeastern states battered by the storm.
The NY MTA officially learned of the funding reduction in a letter sent Tuesday from the president of the Federal Transit Administration to the authority's acting executive director, Tom Prendergast.
"Dear Tom," the letter began. "I have regrettable news..."
The letter went on to say that "due to inaction by Congress" -- meaning the failed federal budget talks -- there would be less money to recover from Sandy, "the single greatest transit disaster in the history of our nation."
Millions Less For Mitigation
The cut won't be felt right away because the first $2 billion in aid, out of nearly $10.4 billion, is in the pipeline. The NY MTA's first grant was $200 million "for repair and restoration of the East River tunnels; the South Ferry/Whitehall station; the Rockaway line; rail yards, maintenance shops, and other facilities; and heavy rail cars."
The PATH Train, which is operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, received $142 million "to set up alternative commuter service; repair electric substations and signal infrastructure; replace and repair rolling stock; and repair maintenance facilities."
Future grants were supposed to be used, in part, to protect transportation assets and systems from future disasters. But the letter goes on to say that the cut will curtail those efforts: "FTA will now be required to reduce these investments by the full $545 million mandated by the sequester."
The feds say that the reduced pile of Sandy recovery money means priority will given to reimbursing transit agencies for "activities like the dewatering of tunnels [see photo above], the re-establishment of rail service ... and the replacement of destroyed buses."
Also Affected: A Troubled Megaproject
A spokesman for the NY MTA said the reduction in funds won't affect progress on mega-projects like the Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access, which will bring the Long Island Rail Road into Grand Central Terminal.
"East Side Access and Second Avenue Subway will keep rolling along," the spokesperson said.
But at what cost? In the case of East Side Access, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli gave a detailed answer on Wednesday, which constitutes transit setback number two. He said in a report that the cost of the project had nearly doubled from an original estimate of $4.3 billion to the current price tag of $8.25 billion. The completion date has also been pushed back ten years to 2019.
These semi-appalling facts are generally known. Less well known is the report's conclusion that the NY MTA's current estimates for the East Side Access timetable and final price tag "do not take into account the impact of Superstorm Sandy."
The storm did little to no damage to the project's eight miles of tunnels. But DiNapoli said it diverted NY MTA resources, which resulted in a construction delay at a key railyard in Queens, costing $20 million. The comptroller added, "Within the next three months, the MTA expects to determine whether the delay will have an impact on the overall project schedule."
In other words, there's a chance that East Side Access could be more than ten years late. A spokesman for the NY MTA declined to comment.
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
The nation’s Homeland Security chief says that JFK airport could see major delays at as a result of sequestration.
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
Sequestration: Is our Budget System Broken? | New Obama Appointees for E.P.A., Energy, and OMB | How 'Qualified Private Activity Bonds' Subsidize Corporate Projects | Unique American Attractions: Coral Castle | Fighting for Wrestling to Stay in the Olympics | What It Takes To Restore The Voices of Performers Like Adele
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
The United States is officially in the midst of the sequester. Lawrence White, a professor of economics at NYU's Stern School of Business, explains how sequestration will impact the economy, particularly unemployment and the markets.
Monday, March 04, 2013
By Brigid Bergin : Reporter
City officials are sizing up the impact of the federal government's sequestration cuts. At a city council hearing on the Mayor Bloomberg's preliminary budget proposal Monday, Mark Page, the director of the city's Office of Management and Budget, said the city faced a potential $800 million loss of funds.
Monday, March 04, 2013