Last night at the Egg I heard Bill McKibben talk about climate change. I was very proud of Joe and Alan and WAMC for organizing it and proud of the WAMC audience for coming out in droves to hear him. The message he brings is not a happy one but it is a message we have to hear and understand; more, it’s a message we have to act on.
After long and contentious negotiations that extended late into New Year’s Day, Congress passed a measure to at least temporarily avert the most immediate consequences of the so-called “fiscal cliff.” As you no doubt saw in media coverage over the holidays, on New Year’s Day Democratic and Republican leaders settled on a fared-down package of income tax rate increases for the well-to-do and did little on spending reductions.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo will deliver his third annual State of the State address Wednesday in the Empire State Plaza Convention Center.
A tip for first-time attendees: Don’t check your coat. The governor likes to keep things cold.
Cuomo has declined to keep up the tradition of official pre-speech leaks. But he has dropped hints about the topics he'll be discussing, including responses to the two highest-profile tragedies of recent months: Superstorm Sandy and the Sandy Hook massacre.
Two of the year’s very best films-- and these are must-see items-- are arriving in movie theaters at the tail-end of 2012. They are Quentin Tarantino’s DJANGO UNCHAINED and Kathryn Bigelow’s ZERO DARK THIRTY, and they are as different as TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and a Hope-and-Crosby road picture. But DJANGO UNCHAINED and ZERO DARK THIRTY are not the only must-see films released during the year. Some also are big-budget items that feature A-list directors and major stars. Others are more modest independent titles or foreign films.
It's time for my fearless New Year's predictions. Here are the rules: some of these will be based on things that I want to have happen. Others will be conjured up to put a hex on things that I don't want to see happen, while still others are things that I believe actually will happen.
It seems the topic of the hour is government spending. So I’ll continue that dialogue, at least as it pertains to the state of Pennsylvania. The current governor of that state Tom Corbett is angry about $60 million of state funds that are scheduled to be spent largely out of state. It’s a result of the penalty levied by the NCAA on Penn State for its part in the recent child abuse scandal in its athletics department.
The dawn of a new year is the time to reflect and to plan a new course. When it comes to fighting cancer, in 2012 New York took one significant step forward by restricting the use of indoor tanning booths. As 2013 dawns, more steps are needed.
First some background: In July, Governor Cuomo signed into law a new restriction on the use of tanning beds by children. The law, which went into effect in August, bans the use of indoor tanning beds for those aged 16 years old and younger.
Members of Congress are ringing in the New Year down in Washington, D.C. racing against time to get a deal in place that averts sending the country over the so-called fiscal cliff.
After spending Christmas with the possibility of getting called back to Albany by Governor Cuomo for a special session hanging over their heads, it looks like state lawmakers can relax and enjoy themselves tonight. Meanwhile, Cuomo has spent the past several days on a family ski vacation up in the North Country. It looks like it’ll be an Adirondack New Year’s for him.
In Great Britain, where much of my family is from and still lives, there is an annual tradition known as the Royal Christmas Message. Begun in 1932 by then King George V as a radio broadcast, the tradition has evolved into an annual event in which the sovereign head of the British Empire delivers a speech on that year's events, as well as personal and national triumphs and tragedies.
So as years go, 2012 may not have been our finest. But, alas, and mercifully, it is coming to a close. Yet generally time is not the best aid to remembrance nor perspective. And with that we look back on the year that’s nearly past, not with an acute vision on recent events but with a more reflective eye on this year’s whole body of work. In other words, sometimes it’s hard to remember something that happened even a month ago, much less 10 or 11.