Monday Morning Read
WeeklyPost is a free newsletter emailed first thing Sunday morning. It includes summaries of our reporting the previous week and Jim Heaney’s recommended reading, which is below. You can subscribe here.
There are a lot of reasons for Buffalo’s segregation, a lack of affordable housing in the suburbs chief among them. Lack of affordable housing is also an issue on Long Island and voters earlier this month decided to do something about it: impose a surcharge on the sale of high-priced homes.
Reported New York Focus:
The tax, which is likely to take effect next spring in the towns of East Hampton, Shelter Island, Southampton, and Southold, will charge buyers of high-value homes half of one percent of the home’s price — $5,000 for a $1 million home, for example. That money will go into a “Community Housing Fund” that can be used to produce new affordable housing, subsidize down payments for first-time home buyers, or other uses.
The staff of New York Focus also posed questions to Gov. Kathy Hochul in the wake of her election day victory. My favorite was the first one: What about improving transparency in state government? The Cuomo administration was brutal and Hochul so far has been only marginally better.
New York City announced plans for a $780 million soccer stadium in Queens and guess what? The team owner is paying full construction costs. Building affordable housing, too. Too good to be true? Yeah. As Field of Schemes reports, the project also involves tax breaks and infrastructure improvements that will cost the public big bucks.
Speaking of subsidies, Reinvent Albany’s Subsidy Sheet is chock full of good information this week.
Rupert Murdoch helped make Donald Trump a presidential candidate. He’s apparently intent on now breaking him, if coverage of Trump’s announcement that he’s running for president by his New York Post is any indication. The Post ran a front page teaser with the headline “Florida Man Makes Announcement,” and then, on page 26, under the headline “Been There, Don That,” wrote:
“With just 720 days to go before the next election, a Florida retiree made the surprise announcement that he was running for president. In a move no political pundit saw coming, avid golfer Donald J. Trump kicked things off at Mar-a-Lago, his resort and classified-documents library.
“Trump, famous for gold-plated lobbies and for firing people on reality television, will be 78 in 2024,” it continued. “His cholesterol levels are unknown, but his favorite food is charred steak with ketchup.”
Talk about a put down.
Meanwhile, polling by the Pew Research Center found that while Trump retains a core of fervent supporters, fewer Republicans are feeling warm and fuzzy about him. And among the general population, Trump’s negatives (58 percent) are almost double his positives (30 percent).
Pew also reported that a majority of Americans, Democrats and Republicans alike, harbor negative attitudes towards major corporations and financial institutions.
Speaking of unpopular, Elon Musk last week continued to blow up his $44 billion acquisition by treating his employees horribly. The Guardian noted that’s been his M/O with his other companies, including Tesla and SpaceX.
Two cringeworthy stories I came across: Iran is shooting protesters in the face and blinding them, and Brittney Griner’s exile to a Russian penal colony means social isolation and 16-hour work days.
Something mindless to contemplate on a snowy day: New York magazine’s Verge ranks artists in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame from best to worst. I won’t argue with the top four — Chuck Berry, the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Elvis. But The Who at 50 and the Allman Brothers at 75? Absolute Top 10, I say.