Good morning. It’s Thursday. We’ll look at how the abortion issue divides the two major party candidates for governor. We’ll also find out why dolphins are making a comeback in New York Harbor.
Wednesday, the ninth day of summer, was the first day of the fall campaign for governor. And one issue dividing the Democratic and Republican candidates fresh off their post-prime primaries victory celebrations on Tuesday was immediately apparent: abortion.
In fact, as my colleague Nicholas Fandos points out, the confetti was still raining at Governor Kathy Hochul’s victory party as she voiced an emerging message from her campaign as the Democratic nominee: If the Republican wins, he could try to push for abortion rights in New York. .
That Republican is Representative Lee Zeldin of Long Island, who in his own victory speech did not say anything about abortion or the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
That wasn’t an accident. In New York, where the number of registered Democrats far outnumbers Republicans, Zeldin must recruit voters from outside his conservative base—independents and disaffected Democrats concerned about crime and inflation.
Hochul hopes to convince that same bloc that Zeldin’s views are more extreme than he admits, especially when it comes to a woman’s right to abortion.
The issue has the potential to be unusually powerful in New York, where abortion was largely legalized three years before Roe. Since then, New Yorkers have never elected a governor who opposed legal abortion.
Zeldin has regularly voted in Congress to restrict access to abortion and prevent federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood. He told a virtual “city hall” sponsored by the anti-abortion group New York State Right to Life in April that he was in favor of appointing a state public health commissioner who “respects life unlike what we are used to,” thus a recording. of the event obtained by NY1.
And after last week’s Supreme Court decision quashing Roe v. Wade, he said it was “another reminder that New York needs to do a much better job of promoting, respecting, and defending life.”
From Opinion: The End of Roe v. Wade
Commentary from Times Opinion writers and columnists on the Supreme Court’s decision to end the constitutional right to abortion.
Zeldin himself has said that the governor’s power to change abortion laws in New York is relatively limited, given Democrats’ control of the Albany legislature. “New York has already codified a lot more than what Roe has delivered,” he said in a recent interview with DailyExpertNews, a clear reference to a 2019 law that made federal protection part of state law in case Roe ever would be destroyed.
By spending $35 million in state funds to promote abortion access, Hochul has shown that governors can reinforce the message that New York is a safe haven for women seeking abortions. And with millions in campaign contributions to be spent between now and November, she and her Democratic allies are not hiding their strategy.
“You have an extremist view of Lee Zeldin, and we’re not going to keep that a secret,” said Jay Jacobs, the chairman of the state’s Democratic Party. “Voters need to know what they’re buying.”
Expect a sunny day near the high 80s. At night it is mostly clear with temperatures around 70 degrees.
ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING
Valid until Monday (Independence Day).
The reporter who wrote that story – William J. Broad – told me that the coverage of the dolphins’ return to our own backyard was a hiatus from months since President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine and put Russia’s nuclear weapons on “special combat readiness.” †
I asked him to tell us more about the dolphins and the researchers who eavesdropped on them.
Eavesdropping on dolphins? What were the researchers listening to?
Bottlenose dolphins – the type known for their wide grin and energetic jumps – are highly intelligent creatures that use sound waves to communicate and hunt for food. Scientists have found that they can emit a rapid series of clicks known as feeding buzzes that allow them to track prey. For two years, the team listened day and night to the unique buzzing of bottlenose dolphins as a way to track their whereabouts.
Where did they put the microphones and what did they find?
The team placed underwater microphones and recorders at six locations near Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and New Jersey to listen for the distinctive feeding sounds. It found the highest dolphin activity in the Lower Bay off Long Island, specifically at the entrance to New York’s Outer Harbor. The least activity was found closer to Manhattan, in the Upper Bay near Brooklyn, in an area with a lot of shipping traffic and noise.
In which unexpected places in New York have dolphins been spotted?
Last year, a pair appeared in the waters of the East River off Greenpoint, Brooklyn, leaving onlookers and scientists gasping for breath. Dolphins sometimes come close to shore and beaches when they are sick. But Howard Rosenbaum, a senior scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society who co-authored a recent study, said the pair showed no signs of distress.
Can you spot dolphins on routine cruises through New York Harbor or, say, from the Staten Island Ferry?
Probably not, especially in high traffic areas. Dolphins seem to avoid the roar of multiple loud engines. My wife and I recently went on a Circle Line Cruise with our visiting daughter and her husband. When we got to the Statue of Liberty, it was like a traffic jam in Manhattan, only with all kinds of small and large craft jostling and crisscrossing each other’s wake for a better view. We did not see any dolphins.
On the other hand, a number of companies offer whale and dolphin sightseeing tours in and around New York Harbor. I can’t vouch for the companies but it looks like they would be out of business if they didn’t deliver the goods on a reasonable regularity.
Why do dolphins seem to be coming back? Is it the reward of all the efforts to make the water cleaner?
Experts cite New York harbor cleanup as a major factor, but admit the overall reason for the dolphins’ resurgence is obscure. Other possible factors include warming water due to climate change and the recovery of menhaden stocks along the east coast. Dolphins feast on those little schooling fish and eat up to 20 pounds a day.
Could the coronavirus pandemic be the cause of the increase in sightings?
Yes, at least partially. People who have never spent time on the water’s edge suddenly found themselves taking long walks and noticed a dolphin popping up nearby. Maxine Montello, a New York Marine Rescue Center official, said another source of accidental sightings during the pandemic was people who showed a renewed interest in driving boats — even if they had little or no experience. As she noted, it can be scary there.
Against an iron gate at Stuyvesant Town
I leaned over to watch a flock of flying birds
Take advantage of the summer air and relax
Making ambiguous, as if they are the netted ones
Particles of one diffuse mind.
Land on which roof, on which tight flat city roof?
Only one bird, against the common will,
Flew closer to a cloud and a torn part
Of the space she took to be her own.
Then I took her a thousand feet or more away,
In that long extinguished moment
Mute against the grid, for my friend.
† Herbert Klein