Who Needs Predictions: I’ve Got the Facts

January 3, 2013

Instead of predictions for 2013, I’m here to give you the facts (and nothing but the facts).

1. Further restrictions on the sale of certain types of firearms will pass both the NYC Council and NYS Legislature in 2013. They will not reduce the number of people who die in NYC subways which currently averages one a week––some as a result of people with mental health issues either jumping in front of trains or pushing someone else off the platform.
2. New Yorker taxpayers will not be told how much federal Sandy relief aid will come out of their pockets. Gov. Cuomo will not inform the public that every dollar in federal relief will be borrowed money that taxpayers will have to pay back in higher federal taxes for decades.
3. The 2013 State Budget will be balanced as the law requires, but Gov. Cuomo and the NYS Legislature will use budgeting tricks, mirrors and slight of hand to accomplish it.
4. More than one locality will file for bankruptcy in 2013.
5. Voters will reject as many school district consolidation votes as they pass, refusing to see the writing on the wall––that it costs more to run two separate small school districts than one combined district and results in inferior instruction to boot.
6. More Democrats will join the Independent Democratic Conference in the NYS Senate when they realize membership gives them more power.
7. At least one daily newspaper will switch to a bi-weekly or weekly publication schedule.
8. Hillary Clinton announce that she will not be a candidate for the Presidency in 2016.
9. The Buffalo Bills will not make the playoffs in 2013.
10. The Empire Page will find a new owner in 2013 and Peter Pollak will retire (once again) to write more novels.


State of our Times

May 27, 2012

Just saw this press release headline: Governor Cuomo Presents New Legislation to Protect Vulnerable New Yorkers in Syracuse. What about vulnerable New Yorkers in the rest of the state?

In the week past 63% of respondents disagree with Gov. Cuomo’s decision to drop finger-printing as a requirement to receive food stamps in NYS. Only 30% approve.

This week we’re asking whether members of the State Legislature should get a pay raise. Vote today at www.empirepage.com.

Do you have a question you’d like used as the Poll Question of the Week? If so, send it to editor@empirepage.com.

Stand Your Ground Draws a Crowd

May 22, 2012

The Empire Page poll question — do you favor stand your ground legislation? — attracted overwhelming support from the public. 98 percent of the more than 2,400 people who voted favor legislation which permits someone to use force in self-defense. Florida’s stand your ground law came under scrutiny as a result of the shooting of Trayvon Martin earlier this year.

Other recent polls saw the presidential race in a dead heat with 44% favoring Obama and 43% favoring Romney. 10 percent saw the race as too close to call.

An earlier poll asking how many people are following the controversy over teacher evaluations that has been taking place in Buffalo drew an interesting response. 42 percent were unaware of the dispute and 38 percent said they were not following it. The question was a sneaky attempt by yours truly to point out how important the Empire Page’s headline service is to its subscribers — many of whom would not be aware of struggles that take place outside of Albany or New York City were it not for the Empire Page’s coverage.

This week’s poll question asks the public to react to Gov. Cuomo’s decision to end fingerprinting of food stamp recipients.

Buffalo Teachers Story

April 29, 2012

Are you following the battle royal taking place in Buffalo between the teachers union versus the Buffalo School Board and the NYS Education Department?

(That’s our poll question of the week. You can vote on our home page.)

If not, you’re missing a major news story — one that you won’t find covered in the New York Times (at least until someone there thinks it’s important enough to cover).

People who need to stay on top of major stories NOT covered by the NY Times subscribe to the Empire Page.

We offer two levels of service:

  • Our basic headline service which costs less than a quarter a day and gives you access to an average of 300 news stories, editorials and opinion columns 7 days a week or
  • NYS E-Clips — an advanced monitoring service that is ideal for lobbying and law firms, large companies, political parties, candidates running for office, etc.

Both can be tested out for two weeks for free. The Free Trial link and more information can be found at http://www.empirepage.com/2012/3/1/two-options-from-the-empire-page.

Editorial Policy on the Empire Page

February 16, 2012

In the aftermath of removing a separate page of headline links from the Empire Page, this is a good time to review the Empire Page’s “editorial policy”.

The Empire Page is a non-partisan news aggregator that focuses primarily on NYS government and politics. Each day we provide subscribers links to on average 300 news stories, editorials and opinion columns drawn from dozens of news outlets (at a cost of about a quarter a day).

In terms of editorials and columns, we post links to all editorials and columns published in the 60 or so news outlets that we monitor unless the subject is apolitical and intensely local. For example, we will skip the mandatory editorial warning drivers to look out for school kids that appears in most local dailies each September and the mandatory editorial telling people to remember the spirit of Christmas is not how many presents you give or receive.

The media we monitor is an ever-changing list. The primary criteria is that the paper posts their content on a schedule — daily or weekly, that the content is fresh (not delayed weeks after it appeared in print) and that they cover NYS government and politics. Thus, we don’t cover arts publications because even though they may from time to time touch on government and the arts, that’s not their main fare. We welcome suggestions for additional media outlets that meet those criteria.

Guest Editorials

The Empire Page prints guest editorials on a first come, first printed basis. The criteria is that the piece must be non-partisan, about NYS and under 1500 words. We occasionally reprint a piece that has appeared elsewhere, but prefer original contributions.

Empire Page Blogs (formerly Columns)

The Empire Page has openings for observers of NYS government and politics who would like a platform. The criteria for being chosen are quality of writing, willingness to contribute on a consistent basis, ability to post content directly to a submission website (Word Press), and ability to provide interesting commentary on NYS topics. Apply to editor@empirepage.com.

Where’s the National News Page?

February 11, 2012

If you look at the home page of the Empire Page, you will notice a big change — no National News Headlines for today (Saturday February 11, 2012). What gives?

The Empire Page is ceasing to produce a daily National Headlines page in preparation for the launch of a new more powerful version of the Empire Page.

Any day now Empire Page subscribers will be introduced to E-Clips New York, a collaborative effort with StateWatch New York.

Watch the home page or if you’re a subscriber, watch your email for details.

School Dropout Poll Results + This Week’s Poll Question

February 5, 2012

Empire Page readers favor Pres. Obama’s admonition to states to raise the drop-out age to 18 by 67% to 25% opposed and 8% having no opinion. Truthfully, however, it’s a hard position to argue against without appearing to be a died-in-the-wool libertarian — i.e., someone who might argue mandatory schooling is an affront to human liberty.

This week we’re asking people to stick out their thumbs and tells us where things stand with NYS’s economy: Is is “on the mend,” “moving sideways,” or “getting worse.” Vote today at the Empire Page website and while you’re there if you’re not already a subscriber why not take out a free trial subscription. Just click on the subscribe link at the top of the page.

We’re certain once you try the Empire Page, you’ll want to subscribe to be able to access each day’s links to hundreds of news stories, editorials and columns divided by topic and news source. The cost is only $95/year, which amounts to $0.26/day.