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OpinionColumnistsMark Chiusano

What you missed while you were out enjoying a beautiful spring day

Here's a roundup of a few NYC issues

Here's a roundup of a few NYC issues to catch you up while continue to enjoy some much-needed sun. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Good morning and welcome to amExpress. Because the weather was finally seasonal on Wednesday, we imagine you may not have read a full helping of the news. Here’s a roundup of a few NYC issues to catch you up while you nurse the memory of or continue to enjoy some much-needed sun.

An update from the campaign trail

A new poll of New York voters from Quinnipiac University showed Gov. Andrew Cuomo with a persistent double-digit lead over his energetic challenger, actress Cynthia Nixon. He’s up 50-28 percent in a one-on-one Democratic primary, and the poll suggests he would similarly cruise to a third term in a hypothetical three-way general election where Cuomo faces Republican Marc Molinaro of Dutchess County and Nixon running on the Working Families line.

Naturally there are multiple ways to read this update. On the one hand, it’s a hard hole to climb out of, and Cuomo’s war-chest has hardly been tapped.

On the other hand, earlier non-Quinnipiac polls found larger leads for Cuomo. It’s difficult to compare different polls but certainly the gap could have been wider. One section of the Quinnipiac poll this week showed Nixon actually leading Cuomo 49-31 in a head-to-head matchup among voters who identify as very liberal.

That’s unsurprising given the way the race has gone so far. Nixon has attempted to distinguish herself from Cuomo with left-leaning stances, from marijuana legalization to the environment. This week, Nixon, who has been a longtime union member, walked a picket line with graduate students at Columbia University and then marched on Wall Street for May Day, celebrated as a workers’ holiday around the world.

Cuomo has moved to deflate this leftward charge by pointing to studies, such as one regarding marijuana legalization; and political maneuvers such as proposed legislation to ban plastic bags.

And the state primary’s not until September.

Puerto Rico in tears

Tear gas drifted through the streets of San Juan on Tuesday during May Day protests over the government’s austerity cuts to schools and public pensions — cuts that are making life difficult for Puerto Ricans still reeling from Hurricane Maria.

The difficult conditions on the island continue to refract back on NYC, due to the disaster victims who have fled to the city and the New York politicians who have often flown in the opposite direction, promising funding and supplies. Cuomo took a one-day trip to the island on Sunday to launch a rebuilding initiative, through which CUNY and SUNY students and others will volunteer time and expertise.

Rep. Joe Crowley and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. met at a borough cafe to discuss the state of the island’s recovery on Wednesday. Diaz, who traveled with Cuomo on Sunday, noted during the Facebook-Live cafe meeting that there are hundreds of Puerto Ricans in hotels around his borough. Popular Pastor Humberto Pizarro, who has organized humanitarian supply efforts and was also at the meeting, noted that during recent power outages on the island, gas stations once again featured dystopian long lines. And without cash, you couldn’t buy.

Seven months after the hurricane, clearly things are still not back to normal. And hurricane season is almost upon the island again.

The doctor’s in

On the national front, President Donald Trump has been tweeting all about the Justice Department and rigged systems (“No collusion”), but hopefully you didn’t miss his longtime New York doctor going rogue.

Dr. Harold Bornstein, who gave Trump his infamous perfect-health 2015 report card, told NBC News this week that Trump aides executed a “raid” on the good doctor’s Manhattan offices to remove the president’s medical files last year. That was after Bornstein let slip that Trump allegedly uses a drug to promote hair growth. In describing the raid, Bornstein also told reporters Trump dictated his own report card. Bornstein also made references to Watergate, reporters’ own toilets and his own hair.

Do these outbursts indicate that perhaps Bornstein lacks a certain reliability? At the very least it means he wins this week’s rendition of what might affectionately be called the Zizmor Award, given to the city physician who nabs the most attention without resorting to university-earned skills. Subway ads suggested.


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