In this 28th month governed by a man of low character who disrespects the rule of law while lying, hiding conflicts of interest, promoting his private business, dividing the country and insulting a long list of the nation's best values, we must acknowledge: For 27 months, the American job creation engine has performed well.
This solid economy is Donald Trump's economy.
Trump, who as a private citizen cast cheap doubt on Labor Department numbers that told the story of an economy healing under Barack Obama, can now proudly point to an official unemployment rate of 3.6%, the lowest level since December 1969.
Have we, under Trump's tax and trade policies, suddenly entered a whole new economic world? Hardly. Wages for the average American are still growing too slowly. And looking at mid-April-to-mid-April job production totals, 2018-19's healthy job-creation total is below those of 2014-15 and 2016-17, when Trump considered the economy in ruins.
Also notable is that Trump's nostalgic promise to put people back to work building things has not borne fruit because, even as manufacturing thrives, automation means fewer domestic workers are required.
The economy's biggest hole remains a lack of quality job opportunities for less educated would-be workers who have historically filled these roles, many of whom make up the 27% of employable people still on the sidelines of the labor market.
A major push to rebuild American infrastructure would help them, while fixing transit, energy, water and other systems in urgent need of repair.
Trump and Democrats must find a way forward.
— The Daily News, New York
It's been a long time coming, but the planned demolition of the former Rome Cable Corporation complex 4 and site remediation will usher in a new era for Rome, ridding the city of a hazardous brownfield that has threatened public health for many years and opening up a significant parcel of land for redevelopment.
The DEC said it put the site on the Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites, listed as a class 2 site that presents a significant threat to public health and/or the environment because previous investigation at the site identified asbestos-containing debris. The site also includes polychlorinated biphenyls, semi-volatile organic compounds and the volatile organic compound in solid above applicable standards, criteria and guidance, according to the DEC.
The state's decision to pay for the remediation is a plus for the city not only because it will improve the environment, but it will also allow the city to use money from a $1 million Restore NY grant it received last year to help develop the site for re-use. Once the 40-acre site is cleaned up, Rome Mayor Jacqueline Izzo said the city, along with the Oneida County Industrial Development Agency and Mohawk Valley EDGE, have been working to develop a 20-acre business park on the site.
The park would be located next to the Cold Point Corp. project that is being funded as a part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Cold Point is being relocated from its current site in the West Rome Industrial Park to a portion of the former Rome Cable facility that has already been remediated. According to its web site, Cold Point specializes in the design and manufacture of water source heat pumps, packaged terminal air conditioners, condensing units, as well as packaged heat pumps and air conditioners for direct replacement, renovation, and new construction applications.
The Rome Cable Corporation, for years a well-known name in the wire industry, made and spun wire here from the 1920s until it went bankrupt in 2003. Certain practices led to contamination, including the use of chlorinated solvents to clean machines and wire, of petroleum to heat the on-site furnaces and as lubricants, and of asbestos containing material as pipe insulation, according to the DEC.
The completion of the project will be a major step in the reclaiming of land and redevelopment for downtown Rome.
— The Observer-Dispatch, Utica
Among the most important federal programs very few people have heard of is the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Ensuring it has enough money is the proverbial no-brainer.
Doing so will require action by Congress and approval by President Donald Trump, however. Lawmakers and the president should be urged — not just encouraged — to make it happen.
The LWCF doesn't come from taxes; rather, it uses some of the royalty revenue that flows to the government from offshore oil and gas drilling — although it almost never receives as much as authorized under the law.
As its name suggests, it is important in preserving significant lands and bodies of water throughout our country. More than 2.37 million acres have been protected by the LWCF.
On top of that, money from the LWCF goes to many local recreational needs, ranging from parks to public swimming pools. Many local government entities in our area have benefited. Here in the Tri-Lakes area, it has been used to upgrade Whiteface Mountain and Mount Van Hoevenberg ahead of the 1980 Olympics, and also to build campgrounds, develop the Visitor Interpretive Centers and establish playgrounds, beaches, ice rinks and ski trails.
Yet despite the LWCF's critical importance, there was some doubt earlier this year that it would continue to exist. Thankfully, that doubt was erased in a bill that Congress passed in February and the president signed into law in March.
But now the question of ensuring the program is funded has come up. A bill sponsored by U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, and Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, would resolve that. The measure, S.1081, would guarantee the agency is authorized for $900 million annually.
A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers are co-sponsoring this bill. The Senate and the House of Representatives should approve it as soon as possible, then sent to the president for his signature.
— The Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Saranac Lake