WPCNR THURSDAY GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO CORONAVIRUS BRIEFING. By John F. Bailey. May 28, 2020:
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo introduced a new Executive Order this morning, giving business owners the right to bar customers not wearing a mask to enter their stores.
He also introduced Chris Rock and Rosie Perez, two well-known entertainers from Brooklyn asked by the Governor to volunteer to help spread the message to wear masks everywhere in the city, and particularly in the hard hit communities in Brooklyn, The Bronx and Queens where new coronavirus infections are double the rate of the rest of New York City boroughs.
Mr. Rock, in the news conference said he estimated only about 40% of persons he has noticed to be wearing a mask.
Ms. Perez speaking the ‘Q & A” in the press conference that disputes arise in street retail stories between patrons telling an unmasked person they should bwe wearing a mask. She welcomed the governor’s new executive order giving storekeepers the right to bar patrons not wearing a mask as they attempt to enter the store.
The Governor said: “Facts today are looking good,” citing the lowest number of new infections (163) since the coronavirus started to spread.
Asked whether New York City with daily death rate from the virus running at 74 a day would have a higher threshold for opening than other regions, the governor said “New York City will have the same metrics as all other regions in the state.”
The governor said he would attempt to avoid layoffs in any cuts to the state budget, but he will not make cuts until he sees how much aid congress eventually provides to New York funding relief. He said he doubted it would be all that the state needs,.
WPCNR REOPENER REPORT. From the New York State Department of Labor. May 27, 2020:
The April 2020 unemployment rate for the Hudson Valley Region is 14.2 percent.
That is up from 4.0 percent in March 2020 and up from 3.3 percent in April 2019. In April 2020, there were 156,200 unemployed in the region, up from 45,600 in March 2020 and up from 37,100 in April 2019.
Year-over-year in April 2020, labor force decreased by 37,900 or 3.3 percent, to 1,096,800. The region’s April 2020 unemployment rate of 14.2 percent is the highest (regardless of month) in the history of the current series (dating back to 1990).
The Hudson Valley Region’s April 2020 unemployment rate at 14.2 percent is ranked third among the 10 Labor Market Regions in New York State, trailing only the Capital Region (12.9 percent), and the Southern Tier Region (13.9 percent).
- Capital Region 12.9 percent
- Southern Tier Region 13.9 percent
- Hudson Valley Region 14.2 percent
- Mohawk Valley Region 14.5 percent
- New York City Region 14.6 percent
- Finger Lakes Region 14.9 percent
- North Country 15.3 percent
- Central New York 16.0 percent
- Long Island Region 16.0 percent
- Western New York Region 18.6 percent
In April 2020, the highest unemployment rate within the region (15.6 percent) was recorded in Orange County.
- Orange County15.6percent
- Ulster County 14.6 percent
- Westchester County 14.1 percent
- Putnam County 14.1 percent
- Dutchess County 14.1 percent
- Rockland County 13.4 percent
- Sullivan County 13.1 percent
Jobs data for May 2020 will be released on Thursday, June 18 and the labor force data will be released on Tuesday, June 23.
I am deeply saddened by the passing of Larry Kramer, a great New Yorker who helped galvanize the nation’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
At a time when the federal government sat paralyzed in denial of a disease that was ravaging an entire generation of LGBTQ people, Larry Kramer was fearless, uncompromising, relentless and loud — characteristics that ruffled feathers but that forced a response to a public health crisis.
He was “one of the men who fought the war” – the epitome, in the midst of a different plague, of New York Tough. He demanded action, and countless people are alive today because of his work, and the work of so many others who refused to accept indifference.
On behalf of the family of New York, my thoughts are with Larry’s loved ones today, especially his husband David. We will miss him, and we will remember him.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
WPCNR WEDNESDAY GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO CORONAVIRUS BRIEFING. By John F. Bailey. May 27, 2020:
President Donald Trump, meeting with Governor Andrew Cuomo this morning in Washington, listened to the Governor’s case for starting major infrastructure projects to bring jobs back to New York sooner rather than later.
Governor Cuomo said he and the President “had a good discussion” about building new railroad tunnels across the Hudson River that link AMTRAK to the Northeast, to replace tunnels now in dilapidated condition. He said the President was aggressive about getting these projects done on time.
The two also discussed expediting Washington environmental approval of the Second Avenue Subway extension to 125th Street, Manhattan, that has already been approved by New York State awaits Washington Department of Transportation approval. Governor Cuomo said President Trump listened to the proposals and said he would discuss the two projects with “his people,” and he and governor would “talk next week.”
The Governor said the other projects the Governor had mentioned yesterday, an Airtran to Laguardia Airport; speeding construction of LaGuardia Airport and building a new Penn Station (“Empire Station”) were not discussed. T
The governor focused on the positive, saying he thought the President wanted to see the economy recover and believed in the projects: “He’s a builder, he’s a developer. He gets it. It’s been his career. ”
Mr. Cuomo ended the “Question & Answer” part of the briefing, saying “ It was about what we could do to supercharge the opening and getting up and running and we need jobs now more than ever. When is there a better moment to do it (infrastructure), at least building these we have something we can leave our children.”
The governor strongly pleaded with the U.S. Senate to give the states that have suffered the most in the coronavirus pandemic, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, California, Delaware the funds needed to get them back contributing to the U.S. economy.
He predicted that there will be no recovery if the U.S. Senate does not want to send aid to relieve the deficits the states face:
“There cannot be any national recovery if states and local governments are not funded, because those states contribute 1/3 of the nation’s Gross National Product. State and local spending is essential to the health of the economy. Act accordingly. This partisanship is toxic for the country. You represent the United States. Can’t there be one moment of good government? Over partisan politics? Politics 365 days a year is poison. It is not red and blue, it is red, white and blue.”
Finally, the Governor confirmed 1,129 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 364,965 confirmed cases in New York State. Of the 364,965 total individuals who tested positive for the virus, the geographic breakdown is as follows (MIDHUDSON COUNTIES IN BOLD FACE. THE GOVERNOR ALSO CONFIRMED YESTERDAY THERE ARE 170 CASES OF PEDIATRIC MULTISYSTEM INFLAMMATORY SYNDROME (AFFECTED CHILDREN 1 TO 25, WHO HAVE HAD CORONAVIRUS AND ANTIBODIES IN THE STATE, CONTINUING TO RISE BY 10 CASES A DAY.:
|County||Total Positive||New Positive|
WPCNR TUESDAY GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO CORONAVIRUS BRIEFING. By John F. Bailey. May 26, 2020:
Today was Opening Day.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Westchester County and the rest of the Midhudson region is starting Phase 1 of Reopening. (Details on the reopening are provided in the story below from County Legislator Benjamin Boykin.)
He said New York City still has too many infections in poor neighborhoods rising and not enough tracers signed on yet to open.
He said New York City would be concentrating on getting the high rate of infections in the poor minority districts of New York in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx by zip code, and meeting the number of tracers needed for New York City to follow and get the new infections (occurring at rates up to double the infection rates in the rest of the city). There was no target date of when NYC could expect to do that. Long Island is expected to open tomorrow.
The Governor said he has been in touch with County Executives across the state allowed to reopen, to watch their infection rates and when they see numbers of corona virus infections rise steadily to “jump on it.”
Moving ahead the Governor said he wanted to accelerate major projects now under way that by acceleration would create 8,000 jobs. The projects are the Empire Station complex at old Penn Station, speed completion of LaGuardia Airport, build an Airtrain to LaGuardia; construct an extension of the new 2nd Avenue Subway to 125th Street; refurbish the AMTRAK TUNNELS under Manhattan.
The Governor’s Daughter, Michaelia Kennedy Cuomo introduced the winning Public Service Commericals for the state “Wear a Mask Campaign.” Ms. Kennedy Cuomo said 186, 117 people voted in the contest among 5 productions. Governor Cuomo said the top two spots split 96,000 votes between them and were separated by only 500 votes, so he made an “Executive Order” to run both “Wear the Mask” spots alternately in the upcoming public service campaign
In the Question and Answer session, the Governor was asked if he would consider borrowing to finance the state budget deficit. The Governor said the state had to be “fiscally responsible…we don’t want to create more debt than the state can repay it—now we’re in a downward spiral. Decisions call for hard choices
He said the subways would continue to cleaned every night because the Center for Disease Control did say the coronavirus could not be caught from hard surfaces, only that hard surfaces were not the primary source of infection. (Air droplets are.)
Asked about enforcement of wearing a mask on public transportation, the governor appeared to indicate there were no penalties or enforcement measures at this time planned. He recommended “polite, curious” reminders to persons not wearing a mask, to wear one.
On the matter of the budget deficit the state faces, the Governor said he wanted the federal government to own this issue. “Tell me what the Federal Government does, and I will tell you what the New York State budget is. Congress has to deliver. Federal government it’s your turn to deliver.”
WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From Chairman of the County Board of Legislators, Benjamin Boykin. May 26, 2020:
New York’s Mid-Hudson Region — which includes Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan, and Ulster Counties — has met Governor Andrew Cuomo’s criteria to begin Phase 1 re-opening.Re-opening refers to non-essential businesses and business activities.
Essential businesses and business activities that are open will remain open.Businesses that are seeking to re-open must develop a written Safety Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19.
This plan does not need to be submitted to a state agency for approval but must be retained on the premises of the business and must be made available to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection.
Detailed industry-by-industry specifics, summary guidelines for how to reopen and business safety plan templates are available online from New York State at https://forward.ny.gov/industries-reopening-phase.Here is a breakdown of industries that are eligible to re-open in Phase 1:Construction
- Building Equipment Contractors
- Building Finishing Contractors
- Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors
- Highway, Street and Bridge Construction
- Land Subdivision
- Nonresidential Building Construction
- Residential Building Construction
Non-Food Related Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
- Animal Production
- Crop Production
- Support Activities for Animal Production
- Support Activities for Crop Production
- Support Activities for Forestry
Retail – (Limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off)
- Clothing Stores
- Direct Selling Establishments
- Electronics and Appliance Stores
- Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses
- Furniture and Home Furnishing Stores
- General Merchandise Stores
- Health and Personal Care Stores
- Jewelry, Luggage, and Leather Goods Stores
- Lawn and Garden Equipment and Supplies Stores
- Office Supplies, Stationery, and Gift Stores
- Used Merchandise Stores
- Shoe Stores
- Sporting Goods, Hobby, Musical Instrument and Book Stores
- Other Miscellaneous Store Retailers
- Apparel Manufacturing
- Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing
- Electric Lighting Equipment Manufacturing
- Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing
- Furniture and Related Product Manufacturing
- Leather and Allied Product Manufacturing
- Machinery Manufacturing
- Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing
- Paper Manufacturing
- Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing
- Plastics and Rubber Products Manufacturing
- Printing and Related Support Activities
- Textile Mills
- Textile Product Mills
- Wood Product Manufacturing
- Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing
- Apparel, Piece Goods, and Notions Merchant Wholesalers
- Chemical and Allied Products Merchant Wholesalers
- Furniture and Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers
- Household Appliances and Electrical and Electronic Goods Merchant Wholesalers
- Machinery, Equipment, and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
- Metal and Mineral (except Petroleum) Merchant Wholesalers
- Paper and Paper Product Merchant Wholesalers
- Professional and Commercial Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
- Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers
- Miscellaneous Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers
- Miscellaneous Nondurable Goods Merchant Wholesalers
WPCNR NEWS & COMMENT. By John F. Bailey. May 26, 2020:
It was not really Memorial Day in White Plains without the Memorial Day Parade.
In years past, I recall Jewish Veterans of Foreign Wars marching stalwartly. Korean War Veterans with measured purpose and quiet honor. The White Plains High School Band playing. The Thomas Slater Center Drum and Bugle Corps rumbling down Mamaroneck Avenue, somber cadences, rolling thunder, chilling thrilling celebrating the resolute courage of young men and women with everything to live for offered their lives to preserve the ideal of America, 244 years ago.
Then the Vietnam War veterans would parade past greeted with respect and applause. Younger faces from the newer wars, the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts would march. The Common Council and Mayor would proceed from the White Plains Library to Mamaroneck Avenue then down Mamaroneck Avenue swinging right onto Main Street and past the reviewing stand in front of city hall. Then up North Broadway to the White Plains Rural Cemetery
Older veterans would receive rides up to the Rural Cemetery, children would march alongside the bands and contingents of veterans as they marched.
At the Cemetery, the National Anthem would be played. They would read the poem, Flanders Fields. Remarks would be made by an honored veteran, and reminisces of what the young patriots who died who might have been if they had not lost their lives fighting for truth, justice and the American Way for freedom for this country.
Mayors, veterans themselves, of the past would speak whether it was Joe Delfino, Alfred Del Vecchio, Dick Hendy they would place wreaths before the old faded stones of American Revolutionary patriots.
The tombstones of the first Americans who gave their lives are virtually unreadable today, but the stones speak their eloquence of excellence, not to be forgotten.
Coronavirus caused many ceremonies to be cancelled out of fear of spreading the virus.
It is poignant that when you needed the veterans to march on Memorial Day, this year they could not. Previously they often did even when it rained.
I remember along the sidewalks of Mamaroneck Avenue, citizens holding hands of children and grandchildren came out. Not huge crowds but spectators to give tribute, thanks, and credit to everyday persons who stepped out up out of the crowd to another level and made a difference for millions, with their lives.
The parade goers applauded politely with dignity as the fighters for freedom, the keepers of the American Dream marched quietly, somberly acknowledging the applause, somewhat humble as the veterans marched to remember and the citizens remembered too.
This year the parade was cancelled on the one day we all needed to remember what it takes to be free and the dear cost our freedom was purchased with—lives, hopes, dreams.
In the distant past of memory at the Rural Cematery in white plains there would be a 21 gun salute with muskets. Taps would be played, mellow, drifting with melancholy on the fresh spring air, remembrance and respect soothing over the graves with the little American Flags by the stones, whisking back and forth.
I hope the parade will be back next year. We like it. We need it. The country needs it.
Thank you, veterans. Thank you to the departed.
WPCNR MEMORIAL DAY GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO CORONAVIRUS BRIEFING. By John F. Bailey. May 25, 2020:
Governor Andrew M. Coumo observed remembrance of America’s War Dead today in a ceremony held on the U.S.S. Intrepid in New York this morning.
As remembrance wreaths for cast into the waters off the deck of the Intrepid, the governor began his briefing coronavirus by quoting John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln, saying America honors its war dead: “We honor them by growing stronger.”
He announced he would provide death beneifts for public workers: police, fire, transit workers, EMS workers, doctors, nurses, hospital workers who died of Covid-19 during this emergency. He repeated his call for the federal government to provide hazard pay to those public workers who survived and continue to deal with the emergency.
The governor said he admired those workers “who were scared to death but went to work anyway.”
He said the decision to ask them to work in the face of death “weighs heavy on me…I have such respect and esteem for what they did.” He said we should not just show what he called “pretty commercials,” but show your gratitude.’
In a short Question and answer period, the Governor said state health personnel were aiding nursing homes across the state to test their workers twice a week to relieve the burden placed on the nursing home staff. The Governor also said all patients in the nursing homes were now being tested to isolate any that may test positive for corona virus going forward.
Queried on weather different numbers were determining what regions could open, Governor Cuomo said “This is not pick your numbers (to reopen). We know what we are doing (leading covid-spread indicator counts) on each day.”
Asked about congestion pricing coming about in New York City with traffic expected to increase with NY reopening when it happens, Governor Cuomo said “after multiple negotiations between the MTA and the federal government which owns roads leading into Manattan,” there has been no approval yet from the federal government to allow congestion pricing.
Asked about the state legislature deciding to return to Albany (after six weeks absence due to the Covid virus), the governor said that he has kept the Assembly and Senate informed on all he has done in managing the Covid crisis. He said he did know at this time, what they had in mind (spending to help New Yorkers suffering as a result of the Covid dictated shutdown has been announced by Senate Majority Leader Andrew Stewart Cousins and Assembly Leader Hastie who are convening a hearing Tuesday to discuss such issues).
The governor said any spending would result in higher cuts to Schools, Hospitals, and Cities and Counties, which now would mean 20% cuts across those three areas. The governor said he would like to spend more aid on food supply to citizens and relief for the Covid essential workers.