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A thing I saw this morning.  Rockland County, NY.

A thing I saw this morning. Rockland County, NY.

The Grammys gave their first Music Educator Award to a teacher from New York State!

The Grammys gave their first Music Educator Award to a teacher from New York State!

BVT News Roundup 21 January 2014.

Yes, there was a brushfire just north of New York City that broke out yesterday, on Clausland Mountain in the town of Orangeburg, Rockland County.  No one was hurt, no homes were damaged and officials say the fire is now under control. “This mountain has not burned in 35 years,” said a local fire chief, while Sheriff Louis Falco added “We know where it started, but we don’t know how it started.”  (Photo: Peter Carr / The Journal News)

Yes, there was a brushfire just north of New York City that broke out yesterday, on Clausland Mountain in the town of Orangeburg, Rockland County.  No one was hurt, no homes were damaged and officials say the fire is now under control. “This mountain has not burned in 35 years,” said a local fire chief, while Sheriff Louis Falco added “We know where it started, but we don’t know how it started.”  (Photo: Peter Carr / The Journal News)

It looks as though the “super PAC” era is coming to New York.

A federal appeals court on Thursday ruled that a conservative group supporting Joseph J. Lhota, the Republican nominee for mayor of New York City, can immediately begin accepting contributions of any size because New York State’s limit on donations to independent political committees is probably unconstitutional.

The ruling, 12 days before the mayoral election, is not likely to change the dynamics of the race, given the wide lead of the Democratic candidate, Bill de Blasio, and a presumed reluctance by many potential big donors to donate to an underdog candidate this late in the game.

But an end to limits on contributions to independent political groups could have a much bigger impact next year, when voters will decide whether to re-elect Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, and will determine which party controls the State Senate — a long-running battle in which independent spending could make a significant difference.

“This could usher in an era where super PACs call the shots in campaigns all over the state, not just in the city,” said David Donnelly, the executive director of the Public Campaign Action Fund, which advocates public financing of elections.

The New York Times, "Court Upends New York Cap on Donations"

  • Hey, the first three Emmy winners tonight have a New York connection (Merritt Wever, graduate of LaGuardia Arts High School; Tina Fey, best comedy writing for 30 Rock, shot in Queens, NY; and Tony Hale, born in West Point).