GLYNN: 2018 session in Albany gets failing grades

Don Glynn

After a ho-hum legislative session, what else would you expect from the state’s top elective official seeking re-election? Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is threatening to call the lawmakers back to Albany. That has happened before to no avail.

If an objective observer issued a report card on their performance for 2018, the record for the past six months would be replete with failures.

On some days, both the Senate and Assembly members conveyed the impression they disliked each other. It’s hardly to Cuomo’s benefit that the lawmakers leave with so few accomplishments. After all, he’s the state chief executive and a do-nothing Legislature can be an albatross, especially for an incumbent pursuing a third term. Or even worse, for anyone dreaming of moving into the White House in 2021.

“The lack of any agreement (e.g. ethics reform) is disappointing,” says Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group. “New Yorkers have every right to be angry.”

The failure to address the ongoing problem is even more disgusting in light of the current corruption trials in New York City over the Cuomo administration’s economic development programs.

Among other major issues left on the table: the overhaul of teacher evaluations and school security; a proposal to authorize sports gambling; whether to renew the state law authorizing zone cameras in New York City, meaning that 140 of those devices will now have to come down; eliminating cash bail for most offenses; and gun control legislation which would allow teachers to petition a judge to limit a troubled student’s access to guns and other weapons.

Before they adjourned for the year, the lawmakers did correct the misspelled name of the Verrazzano Bridge. Without any debate, surprisingly, they added back the second “z.” 

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LIVING HISTORY: The three-day French & Indian War Encampment begins Friday at Old Fort Niagara and continues  through Sunday. It still ranks as one of the most popular summer events in Western New York. Robert Emerson, the executive director of the Old Fort Niagara Association, has the attendance figures to prove it.

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PRIME SPOTS: That small lot for diagonal parking along the upper river, close to the American Rapids Bridge to Goat Island, is in steady demand from tourists as well as local residents. By noon, almost every day, the 25 spaces are often filled. Sometimes motorists are waiting just for someone to leave. It’s an ideal place to watch the rapids as they toss and churn toward the brink at Prospect Point.

It’s interesting how quickly tourists have discovered the free parking lot, especially with other signage there directing them to the Prospect Park entrance and the exit to Buffalo Avenue and the Goat Island Bridge. Perhaps, as noted earlier, some bed-and-breakfast operators tell their guests how to avoid the parking fee at the Niagara Falls State Park.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Overheard at a recent birthday party for a 12-year-old boy: “I can’t wait ‘til I’’m 100!” The youngster had just opened a card (with a crisp $10 bill and two singles inside) from his grandmother. Her tradition is to give the honoree on that occasion a dollar for every year lived.

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TRIVIA QUIZ: After leaving public service, William E. Miller, the 1964 vice presidential candidate, was featured in what television commercials? (Answer Thursday.)

(Answer for June 21): Boat & Bus was the name of the sightseeing business in the former Niagara Falls Information Center, Fourth and Niagara streets. That complex, which included a restaurant and NFTA station, was demolished years ago when the five-level parking ramp for the casino was built on that site.

Contact reporter Don Glynn at 282-2311, ext. 2246.

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