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WNYC News

Bronx Tops in Poverty and Unemployment, 14th in Stimulus

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hunts Point, the Bronx

Hunts Point, the Bronx

Under the federal stimulus bill, areas suffering economic distress are supposed to get the most help. But while Bronx County has the highest unemployment and the most poverty in New York, 13 other ...

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WNYC News

Transparency Addicts, Start Clicking

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is the newest entrant in the stimulus tracking sweepstacks, with Open Book New York. The site lets you find the names of stimulus contractors and what theyr'e doing, but only to a point -- where money goes through a local government, the money trail stops ...

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WNYC News

What's a Recovery Zone?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

NYC Economic Development Corporation

NYC Economic Development Corporation

Which neighborhoods in the city are economically distressed enough to warrant an extra boost for real estate developers?

From the look of the map above, the Bloomberg administration apparently thinks pretty much ...

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WNYC News

Stimulus Announcements Flooding In..

Monday, April 06, 2009

Now that the New York state budget has passed, Governor Paterson is losing no opportunity to tell us how he's spending the state's $24 billion in stimulus funding. Today, it was housing money and money for Long Island Infrastructure. Late last week it was bike paths ...

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WNYC News

Staten Island Big Winner in City Stim Funds; Tracking Tool Released

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

NY Highway Infrastructure Investment Projects

NY Highway Infrastructure Investment Projects

The city released its list of transportation stimulus projects yesterday, and Staten Island is walking away with the lion's share of funding -- $175 million out of $261 million total. But ...

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WNYC News

The MTA Cuts, by the Numbers

Thursday, March 26, 2009

subwaywJust how bad are they? MTA Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger earlier this week predicted riders would be calling up their legislators later this year, saying, 'My God, I can't get to work on time!'

The MTA has put up on its ...

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WNYC News

Higher MTA Fares and Service Cuts

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sound off in the comments below: 'How would higher fares and service cuts affect you?'

exit doors

The MTA votes in favor of higher fares and service cuts:

Don't like the 25 percent fare and toll ...

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WNYC News

Stimulating NJ's "Stately Pleasure-Dome"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

domeblueBack in 2002, Xanadu, the 2.3 million square foot mega entertainment and retail complex, was intended as a way for New Jersey’s Sport and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) to rebrand its aging Meadowlands Complex. The NJSEA was facing the loss of three of its sports franchises, the Devils, the Nets and the Jets. For years, the commercial potential of the sports complex, just 25 minutes from New York City, had never really materialized. The site was only accessible by auto and traffic jams plagued its busiest days.

New Jersey is always strapped for transportation dollars. So the odds were stacked against the NJSEA to get the hundreds of millions needed for a mass transit link that would only serve Sunday football fans. But if they could add a “Xanadu', that would also include office and hotel development, the Sports Authority could make its case.

Xanadu, As Built, March 17, 2009

Listen to Hennelly's tale of Xanadu:

The Port Authority did shell out $182 million for the 2.3-mile rail spur that ties the entire Meadowlands complex into New Jersey Transit’s rail network. The NJSEA kicked in over $6 million to buy land it needed to complete the rail right of way, also a Superfund site in the midst of remediation.

A rail spur that was supposed to cost $150 million would cost almost 30 percent more and be years behind schedule. It is scheduled now to open in June. As far as holding on to the three sports franchises for the NJSEA? It was one for three. The Devils skated to Newark, the Nets look to be bouncing to Brooklyn and the Jets landed in the neighborhood. They teamed up with the Giants to build a brand new stadium. Was the private public partnership a “win win? Time will tell. Xanadu says it is 70 percent leased, but concedes it does not yet have an anchor retail tenant.

The History: The Vision, Early Supporters, Key Documents

The Vision

Images courtesy of Meadowlands Xanadu
'A world of opportunity'

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WNYC News

Senator Gillibrand Meets with Lobbyists -- and Tells Us!

Monday, March 16, 2009

(Getty)

(Getty)

In an early meeting with journalists after her appointment, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand noted she was among the first members of Congress to post her schedule -- including meetings with lobbyists and so-called 'private meetings' -- on the internet. She's barely got a website up and running (spokesman Matt Canter says a more complete one is coming within the week). But we asked anyway, who has she met with? (We were curious if anyone was lobbying her on the stimulus funding, and our interest was piqued by the conspicuous presence of former Senator Alfonse D'Amato, who IS lobbying on stimulus funding, , at the press conference announcing Gillibrand's appointment.) Canter sent us over this list -- anything on it look interesting to you?

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WNYC News

What 'Shovel Ready' Really Means

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Despite the hype over shovel-ready projects, and a list 787 transit projects that are "ready-to-go within 90 days", it's going to take well over a year before the $8.4 billion that the federal stimulus bill allocates for mass transit is actually spent.

Last week, the Federal Transit Administration put out its regulations on spending that money (PDF). They stipulate that half of the money allocated to a particular state or transit agency must be "obligated" within the next six months, and the rest of it in the following six months.

But "obligate" means simply this: that the FTA agrees that the local transit agency is planning to spend the money in an appropriate way. It does not mean that the agency has to have put the project out to bid by that point, much less that it be put under contract.

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WNYC News

EPA's Lisa Jackson On a Return to Science, Transparency and the Rule of Law

Monday, March 09, 2009

Lisa Jackson with WNYC's Amy Eddings

Lisa Jackson with WNYC\'s Amy Eddings

Lisa Jackson, the new administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, recently made her first visit back to the metropolitan area since being named to the post by President Obama ...

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WNYC News

Mayor Says He Was "Screaming" Over Stimulus Allocation

Friday, March 06, 2009

Mayor Bloomberg's staff has been all over the state in the last two days, slapping them upside the head for "shorting" the city Medicaid stimulus money to the tune of $200 million -- or $600 million -- depending on how severe unemployment gets in the city. (The state says its ...

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WNYC News

Transparency, the Latest

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Craig Jennings, the federal fiscal policy director at OMB Watch, still has concerns about the level of transparency in the stimulus bill. Tracking on Recovery.gov will be 'pretty useful,' he says -- 'but not ideal.' For example the level of disclosure only requires contract summaries down to the subcontractor level. Say New York gets federal money (making New York the contractor) for a bridge. The contractor building the bridge -- e.g. ABCXYZ Construction -- is the sub, and the contract summary stops there. If ABCXYZ hires Concrete Boots to provide the asphalt, we won't necessarily know. Moreover, if the state gives money to the city, the city is technically the sub, and that contract trail ends.

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WNYC News

Corzine on NJ Stimulus, Jobs and Marijuana

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D-NJ) participates in a House Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, December 11, 2008. (Getty)

New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D-NJ) participates in a House Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, December 11, 2008. (Getty)

New Jersey ...

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WNYC News

Common Cause Wants Transparency -- State Sez "Maybe"

Friday, February 20, 2009

A coalition of New York groups, spearheaded by Common Cause/New York, is seeking to have Governor Paterson agree to a high level of disclosure standards (something New York state government historically hasn't championed) for economic stimulus money (in line with President Obama's promise that "every dollar" will be ...

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WNYC News

Transparency? Notsofast...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

'Transparency' is the buzzword of the day, but looks like, in conference, stimulus package negotiators removed some provisions that would make stimulus $$ easier to track. To wit, an OMBWatch report says, language requiring that each contract or grant be posted on the internet fell out of the ...

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WNYC News

Morning News By the Numbers

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Port Authority commissioners vote today on plans for a $375 million renovation of JFK runways

A $375 million runway renovation is on the docket for JFK international airport. Port Authority commissioners are expected to approve the plan when they meet today. Photo credit: BlueBusDriver ...

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WNYC News

A Long, Long Night...

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Mayor Bloomberg with House Education Chairman

Even though a 'deal' has been announced, negotiators worked through the night on the bill's details -- and details mean a lot when even 0.1 ...

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WNYC News

Stimulus $$: Numbers by State

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Wondering what’s in the stimulus bill? So were we. So here’s a table from the HOUSE appropriations committee on the spending THEY allocated. Of course, the Senate is working on massaging the numbers as we speak, but if you want to use an accurate working number, here you go:

FY09 ...

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