ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Corruption and a rigged political system are battle cries of both sides in a debate over whether New Yorkers should vote this fall to rewrite the state constitution.Advocates of a "yes" vote say a constitutional convention is the only way to fix dysfunction, corruption and inefficiency in government and throw the bums out of Albany.Environmental groups fear a convention could open the door to delete or weaken protections for clean air and water, healthy forests and the 6-million-acre (2.4-million hectare) Adirondack Park.The real money involved in this is the labor unions that are trying to block a convention because they have great sway with this government and don't want it to change, said Gerald Benjamin, a political science professor and co-editor of a new book, New York's Broken Constitution:Right-to-Life and Planned Parenthood; the Conservative Party and left-leaning Working Families Party; LGBT Network and New York State Rifle and Pistol Association.Benjamin said a convention is the only way to fix problems with administration of elections, campaign finance, the structure of the court system and the Legislature, which he believes would be more effective with one house instead of two.
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AROUND THE WEB
- Fix New York's government? Some say key is new constitution
By MARY ESCH, Associated Press - Sunday Aug 6, 2017
- Nearly 2 tons of seized ivory to be crushed in Central Park
By MARY ESCH, Associated Press - Thursday Aug 3, 2017
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Nearly two tons of trinkets, statues and jewelry crafted from the tusks of at least 100 slaughtered elephants are heading for a rock crusher in New York City's Central Park to demonstrate the state's commitment to smashing the illegal ivory trade.[...] state environmental officials, who are partnering with the Wildlife Conservation Society and Tiffany & Co. for Thursday's "Ivory Crush," say no price justifies slaughtering elephants for their tusks.Last year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service instituted a near-total ban on the domestic commercial ivory trade and barred sales across state lines.Since August 2014, New York law has prohibited the sale, purchase, trade or distribution of anything made from elephant or mammoth ivory or rhinoceros horn, except in limited situations with state approval.The World Wildlife Fund says the illegal wildlife trade not only threatens animal populations, but also endangers national security by funding terrorist cells.
- Need Car-Charging Infrastructure? How About Peer-To-Peer And On The Blockchain
By Ben Schiller - Tuesday Aug 22, 2017
There’s already a fairly robust start to a charging system for EVs, but most of its privately owned. A new plan wants to open it up.
To meet the needs of the millions of electric vehicles that may be on the roads over the next decade or two, we’re going to need a lot more places to plug in. The current facilities are limited to desultory stops in supermarket parking lots (and such places), and offer nothing approaching the peace of mind of the gas station network. There are currently about 44,000 EV charging stations in the U.S, according to U.S. government figures, compared to 168,000 nationwide that sell fuel.
- NY AG presses TransUnion, Experian for cybersecurity details
By DAVID KLEPPER, Associated Press - Tuesday Sep 19, 2017
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is pressing TransUnion and Experian to explain what cybersecurity they have in place to protect sensitive consumer information following a recent breach at Equifax that exposed the data of 143 million Americans.In letters to executives at the two credit monitoring companies, the Democratic attorney general asked them to describe their existing security systems as well as what changes they've made since the Equifax cyberattack."The unprecedented data breach experienced by Equifax Inc.
- NY agency called Justice Center may lack power to prosecute
By DAVID KLEPPER, Associated Press - Wednesday Sep 20, 2017
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A New York state agency launched four years ago to protect the disabled from abuse and neglect was staffed with a team of investigators and prosecutors empowered to bring criminal cases against alleged wrongdoers. But it lacked one key thing, according to three recent court rulings: the legal authority to actually prosecute anyone.That has potentially put dozens of convictions in jeopardy and threatens to undermine the mission of the agency, known as the Justice Center, to protect the 1 million disabled, addicted and mentally ill in state care.
- Rooted in Counterculture, Whole Foods’ Founder Finds an Unlikely Refuge
By MICHAEL J. de la MERCED and ALEXANDRA STEVENSON - Friday Jun 16, 2017
John Mackey wanted to fight off the activist investors attacking Whole Foods. He found a savior in Amazon, a company blamed for laying waste to retailers.