PR-to-English translation of the announcement of new NYS license plates


New York State Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee David J. Swarts today unveiled the “Empire Gold” license plate which will be issued to most vehicles registered in the state beginning in April, 2010.

Our committee spent eight months trying to come up with something that looked like “work”, and the only thing we agreed on was this ugly-ass license plate. You know, the same one we got rid of 20 years ago.

“The bold colors of the new license plate reflect New York’s force and its resilience,” said Commissioner Swarts. “These new plates, in the official colors of the State of New York, will help maintain highway safety, reduce the number of unregistered and uninsured vehicles on our roads, and generate $129 million in General Fund revenue over two years, which will help address the State’s financial crisis.”

We could probably help the budget crisis by reinstating a more progressive tax structure and reducing graft, inefficiency, and corruption. Or we could just nickel and dime you schmucks for $129 million, because even though it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the $12 billion deficit, it still looks like we’re “doing something”.

State Police Superintendent Harry J. Corbitt said, “License plates are a fundamental tool of law enforcement that has been enhanced in recent years through a variety of technologies that improve their readability, especially under low light conditions. The State Police has worked cooperatively with DMV to ensure that the new plates will continue to serve the law enforcement community effectively.”

Oooh, they’re shiny! And reflective!

“This project will benefit law enforcement efforts, and therefore enhance public safety, in several ways,” said Denise E. O’Donnell, Deputy Secretary for Public Safety and Commissioner of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. “For instance, nearly 300 police agencies in New York State are currently deploying approximately 500 computerized license plate readers (LPRs) that enable authorities to quickly identify vehicles that have been stolen or used in a crime. These new plates will ensure that the LPRs are as effective as possible.”

Oh my god, we are laughing so hard that you people let us get away with buying all this crap.

DMV will begin issuing the new plates for registration renewals that expire in May 2010. Customers renewing their vehicle registrations in person in a DMV office, over the phone, by mail or through the Internet, will receive their new Empire Gold plates in the mail. Customers completing an original over-the-counter registration transaction will receive their plates immediately. [ . . . ] A plate fee of $25.00 will be added to the registration renewal fee. Single plate registrations (e.g. motorcycles) will be charged a plate fee of $12.50. Motorists registered in the Passenger (PAS), Commercial (COM), Motorcycle (MOT) or Trailer (TRL) registration classes will have the option to keep their current plate number/letter combination. Those with vehicles registered in other classes may also have this option. The registration renewal invitation will tell motorists if this option is available. Those choosing to keep their current plate number/letter combination on the new Empire Gold plate will be required to pay a $20.00 fee. Those motorists holding a personalized plate will automatically be re-issued the same number/letter combination on their new plate. Because they currently pay an annual personalized plate fee, they will not be required to pay the $20.00 fee. Most plates with the New York skyline banner across the top of the plate will begin to be replaced by the new Empire Gold plate in April. Custom picture plates will be replaced at a later date. The DMV will also be electronically sharing updated plate number information with EZ-Pass so that motorists who participate in that program will not have to do so.

We’re making the entire process as obtuse as possible so that we can smack you with additional fees and fines when you inevitably fuck it up the first time. Good luck!

posted 11/10/09 at 3:40pm to Local, Politics, The stupid, it burns, WTF? · 0 replies · permalink

Light rail for WNY

With the fiasco of the Fast Ferry and the looming failure that is Renaissance Square, it’s likely not the best time to be talking about new money-pit projects for western New York.

But one issue that has always mystified me is why there has not been a more intense, or at least more vocal, push for extended light rail and commuter rail in the area.  I’ve talked to many local and state legislators about it over the past few years, and the answers given have been hollow and unsatisfying.

The Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse-Albany corridor is stuck in a death-spiral of economic stagnation, yet connecting them via a robust commuter system would let businesses tap into a regional workforce rather than merely local ones.  And that’s not even mentioning the additional boost that connecting such a system to the NYC/Hudson region would bring.  Add in connections to Canadian rail via Toronto and Montreal, and the BUF-ROC-SYR-ALB corridor could thrive.

I’ll admit I’m not up on the economics of the situation, or the administration of such a system (private vs. public), but in my mind the largest obstacle is the running joke that is NYS government.  On a local level, I think getting Bob Duffy1 and Byron Brown together to talk about such a system would be a good start.  Add a couple of business leaders like Tom Golisano and Bob Davis to the conversation, and something might come of it.

I can only imagine that there are hundreds if not thousands of workers and jobs that are separated in cities only 60 minutes from one another upstate.  So we have the fuel.  How can we not want to build an infrastructure to get that economic engine running at full throttle?

  1. Who is my neighbor, BTW; I think I’ll actually mention this to him next time he’s walking his dog by my house. :-)
posted 8/23/08 at 10:35am to Local, Politics · 2 replies · permalink

Chicks, man. Chicks.

Peregrine falcon chicks began hatching today in their nest in the tower atop the Kodak world headquarters building in downtown Rochester.  Just in time for Mother’s Day1.  Aww.  Can you even stand the cuteness of it all?

Kodak provides a webcam in their nest, and you can watch the rest of the eggs hatch over the next few days.

  1. The mother falcon is named Mariah, after George Eastman’s mother.
posted 5/8/08 at 4:17pm to Local, Science! · 0 replies · permalink

Megaplexes are for Goobers

Little Theater billboard

Great local billboard campaign for the Little Theatres – an arthouse film complex in my city.  Wish the smaller images were clickable into larger versions.

posted 4/4/08 at 1:42pm to Art, Local, Movies · 0 replies · permalink