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links for 2011-03-29

  • The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has granted Indian Point several exemptions involving fire safety.
  • In a feature profile, New York tells the tumultuous story of Albany's new first lady, Sandra Lee, Governor Andrew Cuomo's longtime girlfriend and someone better known to the rest of the country as the chef and host of Food Network's Semi-Homemade band.
  • A Vatican panel has ruled in favor of parishioners who want to re-open a city church that was closed by the Diocese of Syracuse, but the Diocese says the ruling doesn't change anything.
  • New York's chief judge says cutting $70 million more from the state judiciary budget will require additional layoffs and program cuts, though administrators don't immediately know the precise impact. He says they will do their best to keep courthouses open.
  • Thomas Eisner, a renowned Cornell University biologist who studied the potent repellents and other survival strategies used by insects and spiders to defend themselves and safeguard their species, has died in upstate New York. He was 81….
  • In his new budget proposal, Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich calls for extending a generous 21 percent cut in state income taxes. The tax cuts were supposed to stimulate Ohio's economy and create jobs. But that never happened once the economy tanked. Instead, the changes ended up costing Ohio more than $2 billion a year in lost tax revenue; money that would go a long way toward closing the state's $8 billion budget gap for fiscal year 2012.
  • Yet, even though the budget in its current form would eliminate a $10 billion deficit, it still fails to address many of the issues near and dear to New Yorkers' hearts, including reforms on property taxes, rent control and teacher layoffs.
  • This new collection doesn’t do anything as significant as taking away the lieutenant governor’s right to cast a tie-breaking vote in a leadership contest, but Democrats are still rather upset. The proposed changes, which are about to be taken up in a pending Rules Committee meeting: