New York State has New License Plates (And They’re Retro)

New York State is instating a mandatory new license plate statewide called the “Empire Gold.” It will be required on all cars starting April of next year and will cost between 25-50 dollars for cars depending on the status of its registration.

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles maintains the new license plate is being issued for “safety, law enforcement and the general integrity of the plate.”

The current license plate will have been in use for just over a decade by the time it is phased out. Citizens of the state and lawmakers are suggesting the revamp in license plates is a money making measure. The new plates will raise $260 million, according to “The New York Times.” The money from the switch will be put into a “general state fund,” and eventually towards the billions of dollars deficit in New York.

According to “The New York Times,” citizens of upstate New York feel like they are being “unfairly targeted,” due to the fact that a car is essential for travel upstate. Unlike in Manhattan, public transportation is few and far between.

The license reissuance will create 100 new jobs and prison inmates will make the license plates for 42 cents an hour. The newest feature on the yellow and navy plate is a reflective feature that many drivers complain their cars already are equipped with.

License renewals will be $16 more than last year and car rentals will now also include a 5% tax according to the Times.

Election 2009: A Referendum on Obama?

After a year of what seemed like overwhelming losses in 2008, the Republican Party has made some headway by winning two highly contested gubernatorial campaigns in Virginia and New Jersey. In addition to these wins, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was re-elected to an unprecedented third term in office.

According to The New York Times, Obama’s victory last year failed to galvanize a Democratic sustained electoral advantage over Republicans. This was clear in the low turnout of Democratic voters as well as African American voters in both the states where the new governors were elected.

An article on reported that independent voters who last year voted Democratic changed to the Republican side according to exit polls, and that voters did not come out for the candidates Obama endorsed– Jon Corzine of New Jersey and R. Creigh Deeds of Virginia This clear absence has Democratic strategists worried about the future of the Obama administration and the Democratic Party as a whole in the coming years.

However there are concerns for Republicans after an upstate New York election failure in a clearly conservative area, according to “The New York Times.” Experts believe that Virginia and New Jersey offer better testing grounds for the new Republican party because of the diversity of the voters and how they have voted for Democrats in past years.

Currently the future of the Republican Party is up in the air, but it is clear that these two poignant victories will galvanize fundraisers, a more vocal conservative citizenry as well as possible future victories in the vital 2010 election.

What it means to be a Long Islander

I recently read an article on a magazine called Long Island Pulse that really caught my attention. The article, entitled “New Islanders: cultural diversity could be the antidote to brain drain,” talks about how immigrants have been and still are the bedrock of American society. This article cites important organizations such as the Fiscal Policy Institute, based in Albany. It also gives examples of many immigrants that are successful professionals and entrepreneurs that are radically changing Long Island towns and suburbs. Continue reading