75 State Employees Paid To Work Two Public Jobs At The Same Time: Cost? Nearly $500,000

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Twelve state employees worked second jobs at City University of New York at the same time they were supposed to be working at their state jobs, according to the State Comptroller’s Office. This is CUNY’s graduate center.

Seventy-five state employees were found to be regularly violating time and attendance policies to work two public jobs at the same time, according to state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

These employees cost taxpayers $413,277 for the 4,803 hours they claimed, but did not work, DiNapoli announced Thursday. Employees falsified timesheets, abused sick leave and misrepresented travel time from one job to another, officials reported.

Who are the employees? Check out our data report in the article, where you can find out who worked two jobs at the same time, how much each was overpaid and what agencies they worked for.
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UNSAFE Patches for Sale

UNSAFE

New York State joined the ranks of the knee-jerk totalitarians when Gov. Cuomo foisted the most restrictive gun legislation in the state’s history on its citizens in the wee hours of the night. We understand this patch won’t change the face of NY politics, but we will exercise our first amendment right to proudly display this subtle but clear message to the politicians who made a mockery of our Constitution. 100% of the proceeds from this patch will be donated to the NYSRPA Political Victory Fund.

Click on this link to order:
http://www.skdtac.com/SKD-NY-Unsafe-Patch-p/skd.416.htm

3 for $20!
Discount automatically applied at checkout.

Our Price: $10.00

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Every Local Government Needs An Office Of New Ideas

2013 Public Officials Of The Year
BY PAUL WOLF, ESQ, ON DECEMBER 19TH, 2013

The book Reinventing Government by David Osborne and Ted Gaebler, released twenty years ago had a big impact on me. I created the non-profit Center For Reinventing Government due to the change in thinking the book brought about for me.

Ted Gaebler has been the City Manager of Rancho Cordova for ten years. Rancho Cordova is a California city located in Sacramento county that was incorporated in 2003, with a current population of 64,000. The point of Reinventing Government is that governments must seek innovation to get things done despite regulations and without causing bureaucratic gridlock. Through his many years of governmental experience Gaebler learned that often times middle managers suppress and discourage new ideas from their employees.

To encourage innovation, Gaebler holds a weekly session in an office with a sign on the door that states “Office of New Ideas”. In the office any city employee, without permission from their superiors can present ideas for employee initiated projects. New ideas are supported and often funded with seed money to get things going. Staff are encouraged to take risks and mistakes are accepted as part of the learning process.

Soliciting ideas from employees, seems like such a no brainer idea, yet all to often in government it is rare event.

While working for an educational institution (Erie BOCES), I was called into my superiors office for having the nerve to email an idea directly to the organizations CEO. It was made clear to me that such conduct was unacceptable behavior and would not be tolerated. The first week of my employment I was excited to attend a conference about education law issues. I thought it was a great sign that my employer valued training and learning. I was shocked to be informed upon arriving at the conference by a superior that asking questions at the conference was frowned upon because a year or two before an employee who asked a question upset the department head. Can you imagine being told not to ask questions at a conference?

Every local government needs an Office of New Ideas. What do you think?

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Higgins, Collins Call on Customs & Border Protection to Alleviate Peace Bridge Staffing Shortages

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Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) and Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) wrote to Acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Thomas Winkowski to inquire about staffing deficits at the Peace Bridge that cause delays and unreasonably long wait times.

“Western New York’s economy relies on the ease and accessibility of moving people and goods across the border,” said Congressman Higgins. “If congestion at the Peace Bridge is impeding cross border commerce, this is a problem that needs to be addressed immediately. I am committed to making sure we take the steps necessary to ease these delays.”

“Unreasonably long wait times and delays at the Peace Bridge are more than just an inconvenience to travelers, they are a direct hit to our local economy,” said Congressman Collins.  “Stats show wait time at the Peace Bridge has doubled from year to year and the scope of this problem at similar crossing points – such as the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge – remains unclear.   CBP needs to focus on addressing this growing problem before it weakens the economy of Western New York.”

In the letter, the Congressmen note that increasing delays at the Peace Bridge pose a significant threat to the Western New York region’s economy, writing, in part: “Every year the bridge facilitates the transport of over $30 billion in commerce across the Niagara River, spurring $227.4 billion in economic activity, and supporting one million jobs.”

Additionally:

·         Canadians purchase approximately 20% of Buffalo Bills and 24% of Buffalo Sabres season tickets;

·         38% of airline passengers flying out of Buffalo Niagara International Airport are Canadian; and

·         More than 3,000 Canadian students attend college in the Buffalo Niagara region

Last week, Higgins and Collins met with representatives from CBP in Washington, D.C. to express their concerns with wait times at the Peace Bridge.

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Car Made of Leggo’s Was Launched And Run

It’s the first law of Lego: You can build anything if you have enough bricks, enough time and enough imagination. After seven decades of toybuilding, adults now routinely make life-size contraptions using tiny bits of interconnecting plastic, from motorcycles to X-Wing Fighters that would make Luke Skywalker nostalgic.

But the vast majority of these supersized projects just sit there. Thanks to the ingenuity of an Australian entrepreneur and a Romanian builder, the world now has a new height in Lego achievement — an adult-size hot rod that doesn’t just roll, but can move on its own power, with only 500,000 bricks required.

The idea, dubbed the Super Awesome Micro Project, was launched by Australian Steve Sommarito, who raised the money for building it from 40 donors. Built in Romania under the direction of Raul Oaida, 20, the car uses compressed air to turn 256 pistons in four rotary engines — all made of Legos. Total construction time: 18 months, for a cost of about $40,000.

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Discussion Continues On Amherst Senior Complexes

AmherstTownHall2

Amherst isn’t interested in handing out another 30 years in tax exemptions for two senior apartment complexes, but negotiations with the owners aren’t over just yet.

M.J. Peterson and the Related Companies were looking for a 30-year renewal of their tax breaks for the Brewster Mews and Pepper Tree Heights apartments, but the Amherst Town Board took no action Monday and simply filed the request away.

At this point, it’s up to M.J. Peterson and Related to come back to the town with another proposal.

In the meantime, both sides are still talking, said Amherst Supervisor Barry A. Weinstein.

M.J. Peterson and Related are looking to spend several million dollars updating Brewster on Robin Road and Pepper Tree Heights on Pepper Tree Drive and want to finance with tax-exempt bonds through the Amherst Development Corp., Weinstein explained.
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Paladino Draws A Line In The Political Sand

Carl Paladino

Carl P. Paladino has laid down the terms he says are necessary for Republican Rob Astorino to gain his support in the 2014 contest for governor.

The Westchester County executive must call for the replacement of Senate Republican Leader Dean G. Skelos and Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb, Paladino says, or he will launch his own candidacy on the Conservative line.
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Former United Methodist Pastor Defrock For Performing Sex Marriage Same Marriage

Frank Schaefer

Former United Methodist pastor Frank Schaefer embraces the Rev. Lorelei Toombs during a news conference after the church announced its decision to defrock Schaefer for performing a same-sex marriage. (Matt Rourke / Associated Press / December 19, 2013)


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Breaking News:

Three Female Aides Charge Gabryszak With Sexual Harassment

Dennis H. Gabryszak

Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak is being accused of making crude sexual comments and committing other inappropriate acts involving three now-former legislative staffers, according to a report published today.

Gabryszak, D-Cheektowaga, is the subject of three separate complaints by former aides who said he did everything from telling one that she sexually aroused him to taking another to a massage parlor in her first two weeks on the job, the Albany Times Union reported this morning.
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Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Watches ‘Duck Dynasty’

Unfortunately, my fake news often turns out to be real.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Watches

Duck Dynasty” may not be the most highbrow show on TV, but the beloved bearded hunters have attracted one fan of major political standing: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

In his lengthy new Q&A with New York Magazine, the conservative icon touched on plenty of serious topics, including gay rights, the media and even his belief in the Devil, but his pop culture diet? Not so serious, as he admitted to watching at least one episode of the hit A&E reality series.

“I don’t watch it regularly, but I’m a hunter,” he told the magazine. “I use duck calls.”

He explained that his interest in hunting came from his grandfather, who used to take him out to the Long Island woods to shoot rabbits. Aside from the common interest of hunting, it was word of mouth that got him to tune in.

“So many people said ‘Oh, it’s a great show’ that I thought I’d better look at it,” he said.

However, the show is hardly his first TV love. Given his New York background, his love for “Seinfeld” is hardly surprising.

“I loved ‘Seinfeld,’” he went on. “In fact, I got some CDs of ‘Seinfeld.’ ‘Seinfeld’ was hilarious. Oh, boy. The Nazi soup kitchen? No soup for you!”

Although he had never heard of “Homeland,” he also said he’s watched some intellectual shows, including “The Sopranos” and a couple of episodes of “Mad Men.”

“Duck Dynasty,” currently airing in its fourth season, has drawn in other celebrity fans as well, including Andrew Lincoln of “The Walking Dead” and Dakota Fanning.
By Andy Borowitz

Breaking News:  Americans Favor Military Service for Those Who Cut Veterans’ Benefits

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