Political Potpourri: Colton Tells Teens: Enter Video Contest!

Calling it an “excellent opportunity,” Assemblyman William Colton said local teens should create videos to enter into a national contest promoting libraries.
The 2012 Teen Video Challenge is part of the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), a project designed to encourage people to use their libraries during the summer months.
The winning video submitted by a teen or group of teens will generate a $275 prize. An additional $150 will be donated to the winner’s local library. Winning videos from each state will be used as promotional material for the CSLP and will be shown nationwide.
“With our kids’ knowledge of taking video clips thanks to camera cell phones and other technologies they are familiar with, this is an excellent opportunity for them to direct their skill in promoting the use of libraries in the summertime,” Colton said.
The contest is open to anyone between the ages of 13 and 18. The videos must be between 30 and 90 seconds in length and should focus on encouraging teens to read and use their local libraries.
For more information on the contest, visit
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U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm blasted President Barack Obama on Jan. 20, the third anniversary of the president’s inauguration.
“It has been exactly three years since President Obama has taken office and our country is worse off as a result of the failed policies and onerous regulations enacted on his watch. President Obama has failed to lead our country in the right direction and the hardworking residents of Staten Island and Brooklyn have paid the price,” said Grimm, a Republican who has constituents in both boroughs.
“This president promised to cut the deficit in half, but instead it has more than doubled. In fact, for the first time since WWII, our national debt is greater than the size of our economy. This president told us that we had to pass the stimulus to keep unemployment below eight percent, yet it has been stuck above eight percent for nearly three years. Since he took office, gas prices have doubled and his government takeover of healthcare, combined with hundreds of new regulations, have burdened our small businesses, keeping them from creating jobs,” Grimm said.
Grimm has endorsed fellow Republican Mitt Romney for president.
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Speaking of Michael Grimm, he is running for re-election in November and one potential Democratic opponent has announced his intention to run. Mark Murphy, an aide to New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, announced last week that he will run. Murphy is the son of former congressman John Murphy.
But other possible contenders are mulling their options. Councilman Vincent Gentile is rumored to be interested in the seat. And the Staten Island Advance reported that former U.S. Rep. Michael McMahon, the man whom Grimm defeated in 2010, hasn’t made a decision on whether he will run.
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Is your carpet making you sick? It could be, according to Councilman Domenic Recchia Jr., who pushed for passage of a bill to regulate the carpet retail industry.
Recchia was on hand at City Hall when Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law the Indoor Air Quality Act on Jan. 17. Recchia sponsored the bill, which mandates that carpet retailers in New York City sell carpets that have a very low, nontoxic level of volatile organic compounds.
“Volatile organic compounds have been found to be extraordinarily harmful to one’s health,” Recchia said. “It is simply common sense that we pass legislation to regulate and reduce the amount of chemicals found in carpets.”
Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who was also on hand for the bill signing, said she was pleased the bill was approved by the Council. 
“This legislation will prohibit the sale and installation of carpets in commercial buildings and residences that emit harmful volatile organic compounds,” she said.
Under the new law, carpet retailers must sell carpets that have either the Green Label Plus or another form of proof compliancy with the law.
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State Sen. Marty Golden said he liked what he saw when Governor Andrew Cuomo released his proposed state budget. Golden said that he particularly liked the fact that the proposed executive budget did not contain any new taxes.
“I am pleased that Governor Cuomo is planning to close the budget gap with no new taxes and fees, while putting forward a number of economic development proposals. He understands the need to keep the burden on New York taxpayers down so that we can allow the economy to grow,” Golden said.
Golden wasn’t entirely happy with the governor’s fiscal plans, however. 
“I do have concerns with the scope, cost and manageability of some of his proposals,” he said.
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The governor’s budget plan was also on the mind of Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis. She offered the fiscal package a mixed review, saying she was pleased to see that state agencies would be merged, but questioned how some of the governor’s other initiatives would be funded.
“By merging state agencies, eliminating hundreds of redundant programs and avoiding tax increases, the governor is acknowledging that New York doesn’t have a revenue problem, but a spending problem,” Malliotakis said. “While the overall plan seems to be a step in the right direction, I have concerns about how we will fund some of the proposed economic development projects.”
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If Iran is going to develop a nuclear weapon, it is not going to do it with help from New York State businesses, local lawmakers said.
Several lawmakers, including Sen. Golden and Assembly members Malliotakis and Alec-Brook Krasny, voted in favor of a bill prohibiting companies doing business with New York State from also helping Iran’s energy sector.
The Iran Divestment Act was approved by both the Senate and Assembly. The legislation prohibits companies that provide goods, services, or credit worth $20 million or more to Iran’s energy industry from entering into or renewing state and local government contracts.
“This legislation renews New York’s commitment in the fight against terrorism, taking a bold stand and sending a message, loud and clear, that our great state will not help fund Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons,” Brook-Krasny said. “Under our bill, people, businesses, and organizations that invest substantial sums of money in the Iranian energy sector would be identified by the state Office of General Services and prohibited from doing business with state and local governments, helping keep taxpayer money out of the hands of known international terrorists.”
January 26, 2012 - 11:38am



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