City offers more data on campaign finance
The city’s Campaign Finance Board has upgraded its online databases to make it easier for the public to see where candidates’ money is coming from and where it’s going. The improvements include information on independent expenditures for the first time.
Users can, for example, search for all contributions made by any individual to any candidate, or they can get a detailed summary of how an independent organization has spent money either for or against a given candidate.
The public can find the data at nyccfb.info, by clicking on the button marked “press.”
The CFB is also encouraging New Yorkers to vote in its #IVoteNYC Sticker Contest, designed to promote civic pride. Residents can pick their favorite sticker design on the NYC Votes Facebook page, also reachable through nyccfb.info, through Aug. 5.
NYHQ kickin’ it with pro soccer’s Cosmos
The revived New York Cosmos, who will play their first game in the North American Soccer League on Aug. 3, have selected New York Hospital Queens in Flushing as their official medical center. That means NYHQ will provide care to Cosmos players and that the two entities will jointly hold events such as youth health and wellness clinics in Queens, they said in a joint announcement on Tuesday.
The Cosmos will be playing at Hofstra University on Long Island and hope to build a new soccer stadium adjacent to Belmont Park, on the Queens-Nassau border. Plans by another soccer league to build a stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park appear to have been killed due to public opposition, though no official statements to that effect have been made.
Qns. pol eyes racy ads
Prompted in part by an energy drink company’s aerial banner featuring a scantily clad woman, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) is asking the city to regulate advertising more aggressively, with an eye toward community standards. He said that can be done without violating advertisers’ constitutional rights, and noted that he does all he can to keep his two young children from seeing “vulgar and inappropriate material.”
Bill seeks Sandy aid for co-ops, condos
Rep. Steve Israel (D-Suffolk, Nassau, Queens) is introducing legislation that would allow condo and co-op associations to receive grants to repair damage from Hurricane Sandy, the same as other homeowners are able to get.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency sees condos and co-ops as businesses, so they may only apply for Sandy-related loans, not grants. Israel said he had tried to convince FEMA to change its policy but now must resort to legislation. While condos and co-ops are common in New York, they are not in most parts of the country, and federal rules often do not treat them the same as other homes.
Israel was supported in announcing his bill by state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), a candidate for borough president; City Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens); and northeast Queens co-op presidents Warren Schreiber and Bob Friedrich.
No shark for you!
Great whites and hammerheads may be on the mind as the nation prepares for Friday’s one-night-only big-screen showings of B movie hit “Sharknado” and the Discovery Channel’s popular annual Shark Week programs, which start Sunday. But there’s one arena in which the people of New York State should be getting a little less shark action now.
A new law just signed by Gov. Cuomo bans the possession, sale or distribution of shark fins, which are used to make a soup that is considered a delicacy in Chinese culture.
State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) lauded the governor for signing the bill in a prepared statement this week. She also said an informal survey by her office found no restaurants in Flushing that offer shark fin soup, and she thanked both the proprietors and their patrons for doing their part to protect sharks and their vital role in the ecosystem.