Saturday, October 27, 2012

NY NJ Port Authority, AirTrain 117

Cuomo's Budget Relies On NY's Authorities Off the Book Unregulated Debts 
New York’s ‘authority’ problem: Gov’t off the books (NYP) DiNapoli’s latest report is a reminder of how much of New York’s government is “off the books” — handled by state and local authorities, with far less accountability than regular public spending.  These “independent” agencies are now spending some $67 billion a year, with total outstanding debt above a quarter of a trillion bucks. Indeed, state authorities have run up 96 percent of state-government debt — outside the rules that “require” taxpayer approval of new borrowing.  All of which makes it far easier to borrow and spend, of course. So, natch, three-quarters of the proposals outlined in Gov. Cuomo’s 2017 State of the  State booklet are financed via public authorities — either new debt, or cash transfers to the state General Fund.  The comptroller suggests a host of reforms to restore public oversight, including putting a real cap on state debt — one that includes borrowing by authorities — and having a single “infrastructure council” prioritize capital spending.  Authority abuse is an old Albany game, and getting worse. One way to judge anyone’s claim to be cleaning up New York politics is whether he or she is willing to embrace DiNapoli’s accountability agenda * Feds fine Port Authority $400K over Pulaski Skyway project borrowing *  $13487: NY's debt per person from public authorities The Journal News.
Fredric U. Dicker ‏@fud31 10m10 minutes ago
New York's 'authority' problem: Gov't off the books 

More Port Authority Corruption
New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox, who has been the subject of a federal inquiry into dealings between United Airlines and the Port Authority, will step down by the end of the month, The NewYork Times reports: 

True News 1st to Report LaGuardia Overhaul to Take Longer Experts Now Agree
True News Last Week: If the LIRR Link to Grand Central is A Learning Tool La Guardia Airport Will Not Open Until 2050
Experts: LaGuardia makeover will take longer than expected (NYP) The overhaul of LaGuardia Airport will likely take years longer than planned — and create a snarl of air traffic no matter what, experts told The Post. While Port Authority officials have insisted that there will be minimal disruptions during the five-year rebuild, urban planners say there are bound to be hiccups. “Construction always constricts movement,” said Rae Zimmerman, an urban planning professor at New York University. The project will also require cooperation among the Port Authority, Federal Aviation Administration, all the airlines at LaGuardia and others — creating many potential headaches. “It is going to be even harder when there are a lot of agencies involved,” noted Richard Barone, director of transportation programs at the Regional Plan Association. “It will affect the time it takes to get the project completed.”

More Port Authority Corruption 
United Airlines’ chief executive and two other senior officials resigned amid a federal investigation into whether the airline traded favors with the chairman of the Port Authority, The New York Times writes:  

If the LIRR Link to Grand Central is A Learning Tool La Guardia Airport Will Not Open Until 2050

La Guardia Airport to Be Overhauled by 2021, Cuomo and Biden Say (NYT) The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, plans to spend about $4 billion on the overhaul.  And it will cost $25 billion. What a joke. 1 WTC cost $5 billion * $4B LaGuardia plan unveiled: ‘Tear it down and rebuild it’ (NYP)  * Three cheers for Andrew Cuomo’s LaGuardia makeover (NYP Ed) * PLANE MAGNIFICIENT: 'Slow' and 'terrible' LaGuardia Airport to see $4B overhaul to resolve crowding and flight delays by 2021(NYDN) * Editorial: Cuomo flies high (NYDN Ed) * Vice President Joe Biden and Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced La Guardia Airport, whose dilapidated terminals and traveler delays have made it a target of complaints, will be completely rebuilt by 2021, The New YorkTimes reports * * The LaGuardia Airport project announced by Cuomo could take more than 10 years to build and cost close to $8 billion, much more costly and time consuming than the governor has projected, Crain’s writes 

 New Yorkers should hail Cuomo’s plan to invest $4 billion to rebuild La Guardia airport essentially from scratch, a plan that is the kind of big thinking on big projects that was once part of the New York brand, the Daily News writes: The Post gives “three cheers” for Cuomo's La Guardiaannouncement, writing that it will be a boon for the region and will help New York City remain a world class city: * Eighteen months after calling LaGuardia Airport in Queens a “third-world facility,” Vice President Joe Biden was on hand at a Manhattan hotel as Gov. Andrew Cuomo map out a plan to replace the airport. * Officials unveil renovation plan for New York City’s La Guardia Airport (WSJ) * Airport Redevelopment Could Mean New Life for a Jet Age Landmark (NYT) The Trans World Airlines Flight Center, which opened in 1962 and closed in 2001, could become part of a hotel planned for KennedyInternational Airport. * The New La Guardia Will Be Better, but Not Perfect (NYT)  A new plan should reduce delays, but travelers still won’t be able to take a train directly to the airport.* Aviation analysts said the planned overhaul of La Guardia Airport would make for a nicer experience for fliers, but it likely would do little to alleviate the congestion in New York’s skies or beyond, The WallStreet Journal reports: * The $4 billion plan to rebuild La Guardia Airport announced this week represents a good approach, but many details have to be sorted out, especially how to get people to and from the airport, the Times’   * According to several sources with direct knowledge of the project, a new LaGuardia could take more than 10 years to build and cost close to $8 billion. The Cuomo administration disagreed with that assessment and laid out their own cost assessment. * The Times explores whether Cuomo’s plans for a full revamp of La Guardia Airport should include a new name to ensure the facility is no longer associated with cramped, hot and delayed experiences: * NYC transit advocates are not impressed with Cuomo’s plan to overhaul LaGuardia Airport.* Neighbors of La Guardia airport seem unfazed by the prospect of the heavy construction that will be happening in their area as part of the airport’s $4 billion overhaul announced this week, the Times writes:

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport in northern Queens, estimates the overhaul will cost about $4 billion, most of which will go toward tearing down the Central Terminal Building, rebuilding it in place and augmenting it with a grand entry way. * “Three cheers for the governor,” says the New York Post, which deems the overhaul of LaGuardia is “long overdue.” * Biden and Cuomo also announced that the Rochester area would house the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics, a more-than-$600 million partnership between the federal government, New York and a coalition of universities, non-profits, major businesses like General Electric and 20 other states. * The airport Joe Biden once called a "third worldcountry" is getting torn down and rebuilt:(NY Mag) *Unclear math: The governor’s plan also includes $400 million for a new arrivals and departures hall that will also serve to connect the central terminal with Delta’s, bringing the total price tag for the project's first phase (the Central Terminal Building portion) to $4 billion, about half of which will come from private sources. Construction on that portion is expected to start next year, with passengers gaining access in in 39 months. Administration officials said it was too early to put a price tag on the other elements of the project, including Delta's terminals, a rail connection and high speed ferry access.

Groundbreaking of the 2nd Avenue Subway 1972, LIRR Grand Central?
Flashback When the Second Avenue elevated line shuttered in 1942, a subway replacement had been promised  Groundbreaking of a news Second Ave Subway occurred on Oct. 27, 1972 East Side Access Delayed Until 2023, Over Budget By $6.5B * Construction of the line to Grand Central began in November 1969 as the lower level of a cut-and-cover project to build the New York City Subway's 63rd Street Line.  * East Side Access work won't conclude until 2023 - NY Daily News ...

Add Manhattan Sen. Liz Krueger to the long list of people with questions about Cuomo’s $450 million plan to build an elevated train to LaGuardia Airport.
On @NYGovCuomo's AirTrain, more questions than answers

LGA AirTrain to the 7 No One Seat to the City . . .  Tappan Zee Bridge, Thruway  
Cuomo Wants Elevated Train Link Built to Ill-Served La Guardia Airport(NYT) The train, which would connect with the No. 7 subway line and the Long Island Rail Road, would be the first mass transit link to the Queens airport.* State lawmakers may study the potential merger of the state Thruway Authority into the Bridge Authority should a bill backed by state Sen. David Carlucci be approved, Stateof Politics reports: Cuomo promises to fix an ‘inexcusable’ LaGuardia problem(Capital) During a broad-gauge speech that he said was about downstate "infrastructure transportation," but was mostly about airports, Governor Andrew Cuomo promised to build a train to LaGuardia. "We will construct an AirTrain that will connect with the route 7 subway line and the Long Island Rail Road at Willets Point and will take you into LaGuardia," he told members of the New York establishment at an Association for a Better New York breakfast at a hotel near Grand Central Terminal. Cuomo called the lack of train access to LaGuardia "inexcusable."* Cuomo Pitches Infrastructure Plan To Business Leaders(YNN)* LaGuardia Airport to get train for commuters(NYP) * * Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed the construction of a $450 million elevated AirTrain link connecting LaGuardia Airport to the No. 7 subway and the Long Island Rail RoadThe New York Times reports:* The Cuomo administration also said it would use state bank settlements to invest $1.3 billion in the Thruway and a new Tappan Zee Bridge and $750 million in state roads and bridges, Gannett Albany writes: * The six-pointinfrastructure portion of Cuomo’s “2015 Opportunity Agenda” includes airport upgrades, expanded mass transit, design-build legislation, broadband and more: * Under a plan unveiled by Cuomo, New Yorkers will finally be able to take the train to LaGuardia. He wants to build a new $450 million AirTrain to connect the Queens airport to the subway.* Cuomo wants the state to send $1.3 billion to the Thruway Authority to prevent toll increases and help pay for the $3.9 billion Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project. The monday would come from $5 billion the state has received from financial settlements with banks and insurers. It’s not clear how much would go toward the bridge and how much would go toward the Thruway’s day-to-day operations. * Another $750 million will be earmarked for other Department of Transportation-managed roads and bridges, but what exactly that entails also will remain a mystery until Cuomo’s budget is unveiled.
@nickconfessore Not a "hater," but the MTA has a $15bn gap in its existing capital plan. Crazy to add project wo addressing that first!

The commissioners of the Port Authority took a leap toward putting an end to infighting and dysfunction by agreeing to hire a chief executive with no ties to either Gov. Andrew Cuomo or NJ Gov. Chris Christie.
During the first board meeting since Christie and Cuomo spiked a broadly supported, bistate, bipartisan bill to reform the agency at the heart of Bridgegate, the Port Authority commissioners declined to endorse a request from the two governors that they offer to resign. They chose instead to table the question for further debate.
* Port Authority commissioners have not resigned nearly two months after Govs. Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie called for all 11 to do so following the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal, The Wall Street Journal reports:

Newly released records show four commissioners at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey were allowed to bypass regular security lines and received other perks when they flew out of airports run by the agency.

* John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports ranked last and third-to-last respectively in a study that measures mass-transit accessibility among 30 of the world’s busiest airports, Crain’s reports: 

  • A record 117.1 million people used the Port Authority’s airports last year, which include JFK, Newark Liberty International and LaGuardia, mostly driven by international travel, the Post reports:

Jersey Journal "All Too Often the Politicians Think the Pubic is Stupid" 
 Christie and Cuomo spike broadly approved Port reform(Capital) * .@GovChristie and @NYGovCuomo spike broadlyapproved #PANYNJ reform, @danarubinstein reports* * A new audit from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli found the Port Authority paid $316.3 million in overtime from 2011 through 2013, accounting for 18.5% of its $1.71 billion in total salary costs during the period, the Daily News reports Starting Over on Port Authority Overhaul(WSJ)* In separate letters sent to the legislatures in their respective states, Cuomo and Christie said that the program recommended by their “Special Panel on the Future of the Port Authority” was superior to the one they passed. It’s also weaker, critics say. The governors’ suggested transportation reforms could lead to a cut in overnight PATH service. Local officials in New Jersey are not happy about that. In the wake of the Cuomo/Christie vetoes, the bill’s bistate sponsors said they were determined to move ahead with reforms, albeit at a pace they deemed too slow for the controversy-prone agency. Prospects for an override in either state are slim at best.

Saturday night massacre of reform during holidays. Cuomo and Christie veto bi-partisan reform of the Port Authority
Cuomo Christie Moreland PA Reforms

* While he easily won reelection, Cuomo’s credibility at the Capitol has taken quite a beating of late—and the damage is mostly self-inflicted due to his political maneuvers on recent hot-button issues that leave insiders hesitant to take him or his proposals as seriously as they once did, the Daily News’ Bill Hammond writes:
Lawmakers Look to Override Christie and Cuomo on Port Authority Overhaul (NYT)  Sponsors in New York and New Jersey of legislation that would improve transparency at the authority plan votes to override vetoes by their governors. * Christie and Cuomo shortsightedly vetoed identical bills that would have added legislative oversight to the Port Authority and now must follow through with their promise to clean up the bi-state authority, Newsdaywrites: * Allies of Christie and Cuomo Defend Veto of Changes in Port Authority(NYT) Officials close to the governors of New York and New Jersey said the recommendations of their panel on the bistate agency were better than the reform bills they rejected over the weekend.

Despite Veto, Sponsors of Port Authority Bill Continue Push for Reform (NYT) As lawmakers in New York and New Jersey conceded there was little chance to override their governors’ rejection of the measure, they mulled other options, including possible federal legislation.* Despite Veto, Sponsors of Port Authority Bill Continue Push for Reform
As lawmakers in New York and New Jersey conceded there was little chance to override their governors’ rejection of the measure, they mulled other options, including possible federal legislation.* New York Times: In aslam to NY Taxpayers, Cuomo defies the unanimous vote by two state (cont)  * By vetoing a proposed overhaul of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Cuomo and Chris Christie reasserted their control over the embattled agency but left many wondering whether any real change would come more than a year after the George Washington Bridge scandal, the Journal reports: 
 Update No Veto Veto of PortAuthority reform legislation will not be overridden(NYDN) A spokesman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said Sunday his chamber will not seek to override Cuomo’s veto, calling such an effort “impractical.”

Clean up PA-thetic mess and put Port Authority under therule of law Cuomo and Christie have to approve reform bills passed unanimously *  Why is Cuomo intenton public ed reform, reluctant on Port Authority reform? (NYDN Ed) Port Authority awash in overtime pay: 131 employees DOUBLED annual salary with OT(NYDN) * Port Authority staffers double salary with overtime(NYP) Some 131 Port Authority staffers worked so much overtime that they doubled their salaries in the first nine months of the year, records reveal. Of that total, 13 PA police...* Port Authority reform bill on the desks of Cuomo and Christie will be vetoed, govs will propose their own reforms.”

Both @NYGovCuomo and @GovChristie will veto PortAuthority reform legislation:  * Gov. Cuomo vetoesPort Authority reform(NYDN) The legislation would have treated the bi-state agency like other public authorities in New York by requiring commissioners to put the agency’s fiduciary responsibility first. It would also have required better financial disclosure and conflicts of interest reporting by board members as well as making the PA subject to open meetings law.* WILD SPENDING: New audit reveals Port Authority shelled out $316M overtime from 2011 to 2013(NYDN)* The potential upheaval at the Port Authority has some concerned that a leadership void could disrupt the agency as it tries to put the bridge scandal in the rearview mirror and shift its focus to public projects such as new rail tunnels from New Jersey to Manhattan,the Journal writes:  Editorial: Governorssink Port Authority reform(LoHud)
Delivers Quiet Eulogy to Crowd of Unfriendly Faces, and Many Backs(NYT) * Christie, Cuomo Veto Port Authority Cleanup Legislation, Suggest Alternate Measures(WPIX)* Cuomo, Gov. Christie shoot down bill that set out to reform Port Authority, push their own reform package(NYDN) * State politicians to decide how to use $5 billion(NYDN) * Cuomo wants to beChristie's Vice President(NYT) * Cuomo and Christie, Defying Legislatures, Reject Bill to Overhaul Port Authority (NYT)  The bill, passed by all four houses of the New York and New Jersey Legislatures this year, would have provided a raft of new financial, ethical and administrative rules for the bistate agency. * The Christmas Weekend Veto(YNN)* Cuomo’s office did not alert sponsors about his and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s Saturday veto of Port Authority reforms, and only casually noted that “neither governor is approving the legislation as passed,” State of Politics reports:  * By vetoing a proposed overhaul of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Govs. Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie reasserted their control over the embattled agency but left many wondering whether any real change would come more than a year after the George Washington Bridge scandal.* Govs gives the PA a pass(NYP Ed)The governors chose instead to endorse the recommendations of their own reform panel. Some of these recommendations are welcome — e.g., hiring a CEO to replace the politically appointed executive director, ensuring that voters know what’s been happening in closed-door meetings, and selling off much of the PA’s real-estate portfolio. This latter is especially critical, because real estate symbolizes the Port Authority’s drift from its primary mission in favor of unrelated projects that too often end up as overpriced boondoggles.New York and New Jersey lawmakers said they would try to resurrect legislation to reform the Port Authority after it was vetoed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, The WallStreet Journal reports: * Allies of Cuomo and Christie defended the veto of Port Authority reform legislation, arguing that the governors’ own proposals were better, The New York Times writes:

Another Promised Fixed for New York's Third World Airports  

Tappan Zee Bridge Build It and the Money Will Come
Over the next 10 years, billions of dollars from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and from the airlines themselves, will be spent to improve the functionality and the images of New York’s three major airports, The NewYork Times writes: 

Lipstick on a Pig Port Authority  
 In the wake of the Bridgegate scandal, lawmakers in both New York and New Jersey should approve changes that will ensure greater transparency and accountability so abuse at the Port Authority will not happen again, the Times writes:

With New Leader After Bridge Scandal, Port Authority Moves to Add Transparency

The authority held the most visible meeting of its board of commissioners in many years, with its new chairman inviting public comment on matters before, instead of after, the board voted on them.

PA James A Woman On the Go

Public Advocate Letitia James is often out of office forpersonal appointments, political events: schedules(NYDN) EXCLUSIVE: Between January and July, James’ schedule, obtained through the Freedom of Information Law by the Daily News, indicated that she was 'out of the office' for long stretches of the afternoon or for a full day about three to five times a month, starting in February.* NYC’s public-advocate office: Take this job and shove it (NYP Ed)

de Port Authority buried Bad News With A Holiday Dump 

PortAuthority report "punting several thorny issues" on a Thursday beforea holiday. (WNYC)  The Port Authority has drawn scorn, derision, and multiple federal and state investigations in the wake of the Bridgegate scandal, which has exposed the Authority as dysfunctional — and possibly criminal  in its actions.The five-page document, delivered on a hasty schedule by demand of the governors themselves, mostly restated problems that have been extensively aired in the wake of Bridgegate: that the Authority needs to restoreits mission and reform the way its leadership is currently chosen. The Authority's current leadership model might be described as the governors of New York and New Jersey dividing the baby in two.

* An announcement by New York and New Jersey elected officials on Port Authority reform was scuttled at the last minute, possibly due to questions about who in the New Jersey Assembly would speak, State of Politics reports:

Shrink the Port Authority(NYP)

 * The Port Authority will not vote on doubling the public subsidy to developer Larry Silverstein's stalled 3 World Trade Center, saying it will seek a third party to restructure the financing plan, Capital New York reports:

Port Authority airport workers move toward unionizing (via )

Ex-Port Authority cop told to ignore ‘illegal conduct’: suit(NYP)

Ex-Port Authority cop told to ignore ‘illegal conduct’: suit(NYP)

In a jonit statement, the governors said the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal has “raised questions regarding management and governance that must be analyzed and address.” 

Govs. Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie launched a panel to review the Port Authority, saying the panel should consider the authority’s governance and the financial and legal issues surrounding its operations, The Wall Street Journal writes:

Gov. Cuomo, Chris Christie, create "special panel" to study Port Authority reform

AN AIRPORT LOCKBOX? As the Port Authority considers various reforms, advocates of upgrading the region's three major airports are calling for a greater emphasis on transportation infrastructure, including a lockbox to ensure stable funding for airports:

Port Commissioner David Steiner’s shilling for Santiago Calatrava broke the rules

What did Cuomo know about the GWB bridge scandal? An exhaustive piece in Salon by the great

Chris Christie Picks a New Guy to Run the Port Authority

Schumer Wants Govs To Have Less PA Power
Schumer reduce the influence of New York and New Jersey governors
Schumer Weighs In, Seeking Federal Changes for Structure of Port Authority(NYT) Senator Charles E. Schumer wants to make permanent changes in Washington, reducing the influence that the governors of two states wield over an empire that spans the Hudson River.* Schumer calls for more Port Authority reforms(NYP)

* New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie nominated John Degnan, a former New Jersey attorney general, to be the next chairman of the Port Authority to replace David Samson, who resigned last month, the Times writes:

Another Port probe(NYDN Ed)
* The Daily News writes that though former Port Authority commissioner Anthony Sartor resigned from the authority’s board, there still should be a close examination of what he did during his 15 years representing New Jersey:

Despite this month’s long overdue resignation of Tony Sartor from the Port Authority board, there still must be a close examination of what the conflict-ridden commissioner did during his 15 years representing New Jersey. As Greg Smith reported in Sunday’s Daily News, Sartor wielded his influence on the PA’s governing board to benefit a client of his engineering firm — and, in the process, quite possibly endangered public safety.

EXCLUSIVE: Former Port Authority Commissioner intervened so private client could use crane model deemed unsafe.
The Port Authority paid $500,000 for unsolicited and unused plans, according to a published report

Port Authority Again Delays Vote on 80-Story Tower at World Trade Center Site(NYT)
The board’s failure to agree on additional financing reflects a wider debate on whether it has strayed too far from its core mission of transportation infrastructure.

* The New York Times writes that the time is right for Govs. Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie to put into practice the suggestions for the Port Authority made earlier this week by a panel of outsiders:

A discussion over the future of the 3 World Trade Center tower has exposed deep rifts among board members of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

* The Port Authority is expected to postpone its scheduled vote on whether to commit $1 billion to back the building of a new World Trade Center tower until May, amidst an unusually heated debate the issue, Crain’s reports:

* The Daily News writes that the Port Authority board should turn down Larry Silverstein’s request for $1.2 billion in loan guarantees to enable him to build his proposed 3 World Trade Center tower:
* If the Port Authority wants to get out of the real-estate business, it shouldn’t do so by stopping the 3 World Trade Center project, which would give the agency a short-term revenue boost and increase the future value of its investment at the World Trade Center site, the Post’s Steve Cuozzo writes:

Port Authority cop played on band’s tour while on disability(NYP)

* A plan for the Port Authority to back $1.2 billion in financing for the $2.3-billion 3 World Trade Center project appears to be in jeopardy as concerns mount from members of the authority’s board of commissioners, the Journal writes:

* The Post writes that the Port Authority should reject the proposal to back $1.2 billion in financing for the 3 World Trade Center project:

* A panel of outsiders invited by the Port Authority’s board of directors told the directors that the solution to the authority’s issues is to curtail the influence of governors and to operate with less secrecy, the Times writes:

Port Authority Debates Third Tower(WSJ)

Port Authority  A Rush to Overbuild Downtown(NYT) The developer of the World Trade Center site is seeking a better deal from the Port Authority to build the next tower. The agency should stick to its original plan.*

The prospect of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey giving aid to build a third World Trade Center tower amid slow leasing at the first two has led to a new concept at the bistate agency: open debate.
Another Break In to the WTC, PA Subpoenas

  Port Authority Commissioner Anthony Sartor Resigns(WSJ) Anthony Sartor, a longtime commissioner at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, resigned on Monday, people familiar with the matter said.
Port in a storm(NYP)

Commissioner Anthony Sartor on Monday became the third high-ranking official to quit the Port Authority in the wake of Bridgegate. He’ll follow ex-Chairman David Samson and ex-Deputy Executive Director Bill...

Finally A Head Role At the PA WTC
Schumer Wants Fed Investigation

Sen. Charles Schumer Calls For Federal Review Of World Trade Center Security(WCBS)
Security Official in Charge at World Trade Center Resigns(NYT)
Schumer Rips Port Authority for Security Breaches at World Trade Center(NY1)

Panel Tells Port Authority to Lessen Governors’ Sway(NYT)

“There should be no secret votes,” said one of the panelists invited to suggest ways to fix the beleaguered bistate agency.

  • Embarrassing lapse of security exposed again at One World Trade Cente
  • Half-blind security guard caught sleeping on the job in the lobby
  • Abdul Basher, 65, claims he was not asleep - but was 'exercising' his eyes
  • Security at the Freedom Tower has been called into question after a series of high-profile breaches
  • Two BASE jumpers were arrested and charged this week for a September jump from top of the 1,776ft tall spire of the building
  • New Jersey teen, Justin Casquejo, evaded security on Sunday to reach the top of the spire
  • Two CNN producers were arrested attempting to breach security to expose lapses

  • True News From Last Week

    Besides the Christie Scandal What Does It Take to Fire the Hacks At the PA

    Towering lapses at world’s top terror target

    "It’s simultaneously unnerving and reassuring to learn that President Obama worries about “a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan.” But it’s downright scary that security is tighter at ordinary office buildings than it is at the Freedom Tower.Twice in recent months, people sneaked into the world’s greatest terror target without being stopped. A teenager climbed up to the 1,776-foot spire last week, and three men parachuted from the building last fall. One of the jumpers worked on construction there and knew how to evade security. But that wasn’t hard, according to an alleged accomplice, who said they sneaked through a hole in the fence that was covered with a tarp. He said it took “no effort whatsoever,” adding, “God forbid it was somebody else getting in there with intentions to harm New Yorkers.” Yes, God forbid. Because apparently, security doesn’t." Goodwin, NYP) Video: One World Trade Center Parachuters Arrested(WSJ)

    * With the April 28 deadline approaching, airlines must work quickly with the Port Authority to put in place a three-to-five-year plan that gives contracted airport workers family-sustaining wages and benefits, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James writes in the Daily News:

    Schwartz: Cuomo To Seek ‘Transformation’ Of The Port Authority(YNN)
    * Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York officials went along with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s 2011 efforts to siphon Port Authority funds for pet projects because they didn’t want to “go to war” with Christie, The Nation reports:

    Report Traces Port Authority’s Flaws to a Crumbling Business Model(NYT)

    The PA Residency Joke
    Port Authority Commissioner Jeffrey Lynford changed his voter registration from Westchester to New York City amid an analysis of the authority’s compliance with a law requiring most of its New York commissioners to live in the cityFAST ACT: Port Authority commissioner switches voter registration to comply with rules in response to Daily News inquiry(NYDN)* The Port Authority used a public roll call vote—something the agency has not used for years—Wednesday, representing a change from the use of a consent calendar—a practice the agency’s new special oversight committee said they would do away with, the Times reports: * The Port Authority board voted to delay until its April meeting a decision on whether to double financial support for the $2.3 billion 3 World Trade Center project, the Times reports:  * The Daily News writes that Port Authority Chairman David Samson must go after he recused himself from major policy discussions at Wednesday’s board meeting: 

    The Port Authority has neglected infrastructure improvements at its other sites in the region, including airports, bridges and tunnels, as it committed $7.7 billion to rebuild the WTC
    Projects Delayed Since Attacks(WSJ) As the 11th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks approaches, a picture is emerging of one of the event's often-overlooked legacies: the toll that rebuilding the site has taken on the region's aging infrastructure.* Zadroga Act To Cover Dozens Of 9/11-Related Cancers(NY1) * Significant Help Reportedly On The Way For Those Who Got(WABC) * Feds to Recognize 9/11 Cancer Link: Report(NBC) * Bloomberg Blames 9/11 Memorial Impasse On Misinformation By Cuomo Staff(NYO) *Deal reached to restart construction of 9/11 musuem(NYP)

    * Opening the Port Authority’s records to the same public review required of other levels of government is a logical and necessary first step toward restoring the public’s faith in the agency, a trio of lawmakers from New York and New Jersey write in the Daily News: 

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