Affairs of the Republic


Today the 20th of May, 2020, the city of Utica Common Council will have a Civil Service Commission Meeting, broadcast live at 3:30pm on Utica, New York’s YouTube site.

5:05 P.M. 20th of May 2020: Common Council Meeting will Broadcast Live on Utica New York’s YouTube Site.


  1. Coronavirus

Central NY coronavirus hospitalizations at all-time high, Cuomo not concerned yet

Updated 1:39 PM; Today 12:55 PM

New York State governor Andrew Cuomo holds a press briefing updating the states response to the coronavirus
Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference in Syracuse in April. Scott Schild |

0sharesBy Kevin Tampone |

Albany, N.Y. — Hospitalizations due to the coronavirus in Central New York are at an all-time high, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today any recent increases aren’t significant.

Hospitalizations currently total 84 in the region, which includes Onondaga, Oswego, Madison, Cortland and Cayuga counties, according to state data. They’ve been rising steadily since May 3, when the total was 42.

The Finger Lakes has also seen an increase to 170, up from 123 on May 7. Hospitalizations actually dipped Tuesday from 180 on Monday.

Cuomo got questions about both regions at his press briefing in Albany today and whether they might be forced to roll back their reopenings, which began on Friday.

Hospitalizations are a lagging indicator of the virus’ effects, Cuomo said. It takes time for an individual to catch the virus, develop symptoms and get sick enough to end up in a hospital.

That means any increases now can’t be tied to the reopening. Cuomo said the state hasn’t seen any major warning signs in its metrics since the restart began.

He noted day-to-day figures bounce around.

“We have not seen anything significant anywhere that is worth mentioning,” Cuomo said. “You look at a number of indicators.”

The rate of transmission of the virus in both the Finger Lakes and Central New York remains low, said Jim Malatras, a Cuomo aide. Read More Here

Divide NYS: New twist on old idea

the plan

Secession is such an ugly word. Let’s call it a constitutional uncoupling.

An amicable divorce would split New York state into three independent districts, each with its own governor and legislature — but would keep it one state for the federal government’s purposes — under a bill introduced by a Buffalo-area lawmaker.

The plan would leave intact New York City’s five boroughs, with their 8.6 million residents, and even keep the name New York.

The city’s immediate suburbs — Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Rockland counties would be called “Montauk,” although their 4.2 million citizens would be free to vote for a different name.

And the rest of the Empire State, all 53 upstate counties and their 7.1 million people, would go back to historical basics and become New Amsterdam.

“Rule from Albany does not work in rural America,” Assemblyman David DiPietro (R-East Aurora), the sponsor, told The Post. “One size does not fit all in this state. We’re tired of being second-class citizens.”

The new rules would let each region run its own schools and set its own taxes – and would leave Gov. Cuomo with “about as much power as the queen of England,” said John Bergener Jr. of the Divide NYS Caucus, who helped devise the plan.

“New York City as a whole should be all for it,” said Staten Island supporter Bobby Zahn. “It would free us from Albany’s control over the MTA and schools.”

The exhaustive 24-page bill divvies up New York’s SUNY and CUNY colleges, its court and prison systems, and its roadways.

It abolishes the Board of Regents, eliminates the state attorney general, and sweeps away thousands of state mandates that most counties must pay for with property taxes.

“Eliminate those unfunded mandates and all the upstate counties would be in the black within a year,” Bergener said.

The lighter tax burden would attract industry to upstate counties, DiPietro said, and would save the downstate counties billions in subsidies now paid to its economically needy neighbors.

“We see it as a win-win,” Bergener said. READMORE


Biden names Julie Chávez Rodríguez, César Chávez’s granddaughter, as top Latina on team

Image: Julie Chavez Rodriguez

Julie Chavez Rodriguez, White House Deputy Director of Public Engagement. Chavez Rodriguez is the granddaughter of civil rights icon Cesar Chavez.White House PhotoMay 19, 2020, 12:23 PM EDTBy María Peña, Noticias Telemundo

WASHINGTON — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has named Julie Chávez Rodríguez, granddaughter of the late farmworker union leader César Chávez, to shore up his support among Latino voters six months before the presidential election.

Chávez Rodríguez, who will be senior advisor, will be the highest ranking Latina on the campaign, as Biden’s team told Noticias Telemundo in a Spanish-language exclusive on Tuesday. Among her objectives will be to strengthen operations in key states and join efforts with related coalitions.ReadMore

foreign affairs

Montenegro: Coronavirus and the government’s fight against its own people

by Anastasia FrankMay 20, 2020263Views 5Votes 3Comments

While most countries in the world are struggling with the coronavirus pandemic and its economic and social consequences, the youngest NATO member, Montenegro, is dealing with other problems.

Those “problems” are its own citizens, Montenegrins and Serbs, Orthodox Christians, followers of the Serbian Orthodox Church, who make up the majority of population in this country and who have been protesting since December 26, 2019 against the adoption of the Montenegrin Law on Religious Freedom, which practically allows the confiscation of the canonical Serbian Orthodox Church’s property, and ceding it to a the non-canonical and unrecognized “Montenegrin Orthodox Church”.

While the Montenegrin authorities haven’t really demonstrated much capability in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, they did show that they have a great potential for carrying out their western bosses’ orders. Namely, while Russian and Chinese experts helped Serbia deal with the coronavirus outbreak and its consequences, the Montenegrin authorities wouldn’t even consider asking Russia for help. Instead, they turned to NATO, which they joined in 2017, without holding a referendum. They also refused an offer from Serbia, which, despite its own problems with the procurement of medical equipment, suggested donating three respirators to this country during the pandemic. In return, they didn’t receive any of the much-needed medical equipment from NATO, only an offer for “taxi services”. This was also confirmed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who in April, answering a question about NATO’s assistance to Montenegro, said that they offered the service of transporting equipment from China.

However, the inability to fight the virus, certainly didn’t mean that they weren’t able to fight against their own people and so-called political dissidents. Thus, on April 12, they arrested the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral Amfilohije, for holding a liturgy in a practically empty church where a small number of believers gathered following social-distancing rules. On April 23 they arrested the leader of the Democratic Front party Andrija Mandic for attending the funeral of a famous historian Vladimir Jovicevic. Maybe the real reason behind this arrest lies in the fact that the deceased was the father of the former Minister of Police Andrija Jovicevic who later became one of the biggest opponents of the Montenegrin president and oligarch Milo Djukanovic. READ MORE