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Links roundup—extended edition

October 24, 2011

MTA

  • The MTA had a monkey problem in 1960. Seriously. [Gothamist]
  • In more important news, the MTA has a new executive director, Joe Lhota. [WSJ] [TU Capitol Confidential] [Second Ave. Sagas]
  • Richard Ravitch, who was a former MTA chairman before he was a former Lieutenant Governor, discusses all of the problems that Lhota will have to deal with, and suggests that the authority should get more revenues from payroll taxes and tolls on bridges going into Manhattan. [NY1]
  • The Wall Street Journal analyzed MetroCard data and created an interactive graphic showing how people move around the city and how last year’s fare hikes affected ridership. Unsurprisingly, they hit poor neighborhoods the hardest. [WSJ] [Second Ave. Sagas]
  • Felonies on Metro North are up 6% this year, according to the MTA, with most crimes involving thefts. Murders are nonexistent, thankfully, but they could “make for a good Agatha Christie novel,” an authority spokesperson said. [NY Post]

Port Authority

  • The Port Authority has a new executive director too, Patrick Foye. [WSJ] [NYT City Room Blog] [NY Daily News] [TU Capitol Confidential]
  • In addition to appointing the authority’s new executive director, Governor Cuomo also wants to merge the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the Moynihan Station Development Corporation into the Port Authority. [Capital Tonight]
  • The outgoing executive director, Chris Ward, isn’t ruling out running for mayor of New York City. [CBS New York]
  • The Port Authority has cancelled plans to build an $800 million bus parking garage in Manhattan. This turns out to be really annoying for car commuters because without bus parking in Manhattan, the morning buses from New Jersey have to drive back to New Jersey before returning to New York for the evening commute, wasting fuel and clogging up the Lincoln Tunnel the whole time. [The Record]

Bridge Authority

  • The five Hudson Valley bridges operated by the Bridge Authority are “well maintained, safe and in good condition,” according to the authority’s Executive Director, Joseph Ruggiero. [TU Capitol Confidential]

New York City Housing Authority

  • New York City’s parking requirements are hampering NYCHA’s efforts to pursue infill development at public housing sites. [StreetsBlog]

IDAs

  • The Town of Islip IDA is providing $3.5 million in property tax abatements for the expansion of a pharmaceutical facility. The company is also receiving $1.8 million in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits from ESDC. These tax credits, however, are contingent on job creation requirements being fulfilled. [Long Island Business News] [Governor’s Press Release]
  • The Hornell IDA approved several subsidy packages last week, including breaks in sales tax for a ceramics business and a company that manufactures energy saving equipment. [Evening Tribune]
  • The County of Monroe IDA approved a $1.4 million subsidy for a new fitness center that’s expected to create 30 jobs. [Democrat & Chronicle]
  • In response to the ABO’s report criticizing IDAs for making inappropriate grants and contributions, the chairman of the Clarence IDA defended a donation that it made to the local chamber of commerce. [Buffalo News]
  • The chairman of the Dutchess County IDA also defended its funding practices after being called out by the ABO, explaining that “we will certainly look at what our procedures have been, but I feel comfortable that the procedures we’ve taken have been solely focused on economic growth and development.” [Poughkeepsie Journal]
  • It’s pretty much the same story for the St. Lawrence County IDA, which is defending its funding of a tourism program called FISHCAP. [Daily Times]
  • An attorney representing the Orange County IDA also criticized the ABO’s report, saying that “there’s no skullduggery here. We appreciate what the ABO is doing as far as guidance, but we’re on the front lines of trying to stimulate the economy here.” [Times Herald-Record]

Etc.

  • The Upstate Telecommunications Corporation, an LDC that was recently criticized in an audit from the state comptroller, is now being investigated by the attorney general. [YNN] [Democrat & Chronicle]
  • One of the letters of censure sent out last week by the ABO went to the  defunct Haverstraw URA, and the village attorney is upset because he asked the ABO to dissolve the agency last year. [Rockland County Times]
  • Watch the oral arguments in Bordeleau v. State. [NY Court of Appeals]
  • According to Joshua Nelson, head of freight rail operations at the NYCEDC, “the more that we can encourage rail freight activity, the more transportation options small businesses will have and the more competitive the city will be. It’s a much more positive approach to the city’s supply chains, not only in relation to consumer products, but to anything that is manufactured, either on greater Long Island or within the city.” [Urban Omnibus]
  • According to a bulletin from the Department of Homeland Security, the hacker group Anonymous, which launched an attack on San Francisco’s transit system this summer, could be planning more attacks on infrastructure authorities. [Wired]
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