GREEN, FAIR, TECH-FRIENDLY, SAFE CITIES AND STATES
5/29/08Big Chains Benefit From NYC Tax Incentives but Don’t
Create Jobs, a Report Says,New York Times. In 1976, when New York
was fighting to stem an exodus of high-paying jobs to the suburbs and beyond,
the city created a program of property tax breaks aimed at retaining industrial
companies and other employers. But in the last three decades, as the city’s
economy has evolved, those incentives have been put to some very different uses.
According to a report to be released on Thursday by Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough
president, those tax breaks are going to fast-food restaurants, gas stations and
national chain stores. In many cases, those businesses have not used the
incentives to create jobs, but have simply displaced independent enterprises,
Mr. Stringer said. Comment: The whole concept of giving companies tax
breaks to "retain" them is problematic. It creates an incentive to a company to
develop an exit plan as a bargaining chip.
MAY 2008 5/23/08 (HuffPost) Free Biking in Paris.May is Bike Month NYC, according to Transportation Alternatives, so it's a good time to report on a trip up and down the Seine with my wife Alice using the Velib' ("Velo-libre" or "free bike") system. This is the less-than-a-year-old brainchild of the socialist Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe. Paris has more than 230 miles of well-marked cycling lanes and the Velib' has been a big success with more than 20 million trips as of this month, or 70,000 trips per day. At this pace, by the first anniversary on the day after Bastille Day, July 15, the Velib' will have attracted an amazing 25 million trips. John Tepper Marlin, Free Biking in Paris, Huffington Post, more.
OCTOBER 2007 10/24/07 (Blogspot): "Problems are global, politics is local. In May, an elderly Penn South resident was killed by a truck as she was walking across Ninth Ave. Several fatalities have resulted from cars speeding downtown or turning at this intersection, a neighborhood “dead man’s curve” (see article in ChelseaNow) and ). Something has now been done about it. ..." (See NYC DOT slide show on the twofer innovation.) 10/24/07 Blogspot, Chelsea Intersection Made Safer.
10/23/07 (Blogspot): "The health problems of World Trade Center rescue and recovery workers have been in the news. Now Peter F. Rousmaniere has produced the most comprehensive analysis to date of what actually went wrong. He cites three independent failures at the local or state levels. One, the City’s safety enforcement at Ground Zero was poor, well below recognized standards… Two, employers, insurers, and City and state regulators failed to monitor the health condition of these workers… Three, NY State’s workers compensation system effectively collapsed…" 10/23/07 Blogspot, Why the Safety Net Collapsed for WTC Rescue Workers.