Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lawyer, Blogger, Civic Activist, Roadie

Helping out Mia on a job and gaining an even greater appreciation for her hard work and dedication.  This enormous tent will hold an audience of 2,000 twice a day for 10 days.  It's been amazing to see it go up over just a couple of days.  Hanging that backdrop was a huge pain in the . . . neck.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fresh New Look, Same Crappy Awesome Blog

It's been over three years since I started typing, with wildly varying frequency, some thoughts into this blog. I decided to spruce the place up a bit. The dark wood paneling and orange shag carpet were getting a bit dated and frankly, rather depressing.

I'm going to be somewhat indisposed for the next month, so posting should be no more sporadic than it has been for the past year or so. But I'm hoping to actually put a bit more time into writing over the next few weeks. There's a lot of policy issues at the federal state and local level that I'd like to address. As you might guess, a lot of it centers around infrastructure spending.

We've got 10% unemployment, tremendous borrowing capacity and near endless public works projects around the country that are crying out to be done. National High Speed Rail. Aging, ineffective sewer systems and power grids. Not to mention aging intra-city highways that could be replaced by tunneled alternatives (see, e.g, Gowanus Expressway, BQE) that would revitalize surrounding communities.

With the flight to quality in the markets today, US Bonds are in high demand. We always seem to be able to justify spending hundreds of billions on overseas military adventures. I'd like to see $1 Trillion invested in rebuilding our national infrastructure and putting Americans back to work.

Don't even get me started on the gibbering imbeciles preaching austerity - typically the same clowns who never met a war spending proposal or a tax cut for the rich they didn't like. That path leads to certain disaster. My plan might not solve all our problems, but at least we'll have something tangible for our money.

UPDATE: Calculated Risk, one of the best economics blogs out there, juxtaposes columns from Professor Paul Krugman and Professional Charlatan Alan Greenspan. Greenspan, who has been reliably wrong about everything for over thirty years and is one of the three people most responsible for the economic disaster in America, is of course preaching austerity. Of course the WSJ Op-Ed pages have never been fit to so much as line a bird cage or pick up your dog's poop with, so it is no surprise they would give him a soapbox. Greenspan should be pilloried and pelted with rotten produce for what he's done, yet he has no shame.

The Krugman column deserves your full read.

And because I can, here are some otters to cleanse the palate (h/t Naked Capitalism):

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Biking Rules!, Brooklyn Greenway and more at CGNA 6/14

For our last regular Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association meeting before the summer break we're covering a hot topic: bicycles.

As NYC has embraced more complete streets and livable streets initiatives, biking has made a comeback and is on the rise throughout the five boroughs. This welcome resurgence has not been without some friction: many people (drivers, bikers, pedestrians) are not aware of the rules of the road. When I was campaigning last year I recognized a lot of confusion (and occasional resentment) as the City took greater steps to share our streets among users. More than anything, people could use a primer on just what the rules are.

Are bikes allowed to ride on the sidewalk? (No!)
Are bikes allowed to ride in the street? (Yes!)
Can I double park my car in this bike lane? (No!)
How can I get a bike rack installed at X location?

On Monday night we'll have a representative from Transportation Alternatives on hand to talk about Biking Rules!, their educational program to educate all users, particularly cyclists, on the rules of the road.

And while we're talking about biking, we'll have a representative from the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative to talk about the latest developments with the Greenway, a locally created, now federally funded (thanks Congresswoman Velazquez!) 14-mile bike and pedestrian facility for the Brooklyn waterfront.

We may also have a representative from DOT to talk about the new bike lanes you may have noticed in the neighborhood and now along Prospect Park West.

All told, lots of good stuff on bikes. And I get to chair the meeting this month, while our President Maria Pagano recuperates from ankle surgery. Jeff Gillooly was worth every penny! In all seriousness, wish Maria a very swift recovery - we need her back on her feet soon with all that's going on in Carroll Gardens.

CGNA General Meeting
Monday, June 14, 2010
Hannah Senesh Community Day School
342 Smith St between First and Second Places