Dreadfully behind in blogging. Too much food, fun, etc. Hope you're all enjoying your holidays. In the days leading up to Christmas, we had a chance to scale things back, and do shows about holiday cookies and whatnot. We decided to go the other way, talkin' about gambling, the state income tax and the environment. A few notes:
- Monday's show with Mohegan tribal gaming CEO Mitch Etess was taped by CTN, and you can see it here.
- Tuesday's show with former Governor Lowell Weicker, former OPM chief Bill Cibes, and our own Bill Curry (former Comptroller during the Weicker administration) was...well, amazing. Curry, as usual, was funny: "They decided they really didn't need a comptroller." They were all very complimentary of each other, despite the obvious friction over some of their decisions back in 1991. You don't have to like Weicker, or the income tax he imposed, (or Cibes, who came up with the idea in the first place...or Curry for that matter) to admit that this type of government leadership doesn't happen a whole lot these days. It was a conversation about deciding to do something difficult in a time of crisis, compromising in a way that leaves people unhappy, and taking the political consequences. For some good soundbites from Weicker, check out Anna Sale's story. Not surprisingly, some listeners were not all that thrilled about the show and the Governor. This came in from listener Stephen: "Thanks for ruining my day with the interview. Why put this man on just before the holiday. He's a liar and still trying to prove otherwise." He ended by saying he'd turned off his radio.
- Of course, during the show, a big topic once again was regionalization (or regionalism, which is it?), with all three guests promoting some method of breaking free from the burden of local property taxes and strict local control. Anna Sale's first story in our series aired this week as well. It focused on this new political push happening at the capitol. More coming soon...
- Back to this idea of leadership in government...we had a whirlwind talk with DEP Commissioner Gina McCarthy about Barack Obama's picks for his environmental posts, the status of the DEP with the state budget in crisis, and her definition of "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects. She regularly answers questions forthrightly, and is clearly energized by the new administration's commitment to "science as a basis for decision-making." She's also thrilled by Obama's pick of Lisa Jackson to head the EPA (a sentiment not shared by some in the enviro. community). McCarthy worked alongside Jackson on Northeast projects, and says she's smart and hard working. Look for our interview on CTN, too...as part of continued holiday programming. We're like the "Yule Log" on WPIX.
- Nancy Cohen's report on the Asian longhorned beetle has been picked up by other stations in our Northeast Environmental Hub, including Vermont Public Radio.
- Finally, I wanted to draw your attention to Ray Hardman's story about a 19th century Christmas at the Harriet Beecher Stowe House. I love the idea that the holiday was too "commercial" back then...