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Killer Heat in the United States: Climate Choices and the Future of Dangerously Hot Days

July 2, 2019

This UCS analysis provides a detailed view of how extreme heat events caused by dangerous combinations of temperature and humidity are likely to become more frequent and widespread in the United States over this century. It also describes the implications for everyday life in different regions of the country.We have analyzed where and how often in the contiguous United States the heat index—also known as the National Weather Service (NWS) "feels like" temperature—is expected to top 90°F, 100°F, or 105°F during future warm seasons (April through October). While there is no one standard definition of "extreme heat," in this report we refer to any individual days with conditions that exceed these thresholds as extreme heat days. We also analyzed the spread and frequency of heat conditions so extreme that the NWS formula cannot accurately calculate a corresponding heat index. The "feels like" temperatures in these cases are literally off the charts.We have conducted this analysis for three global climate scenarios associated with different levels of global heattrapping emissions and future warming. These scenarios reflect different levels of action to reduce global emissions, from effectively no action to rapid action. Even the scenario of rapid action to reduce emissions does not spare our communities a future of substantially increased extreme heat. For the greatest odds of securing a safe climate future for ourselves and the ecosystems we all depend on, we would need to take even more aggressive action, in the US and globally, than outlined in any of the scenarios used here. Our challenge is great, but the threat of not meeting it is far greater.

Child Care Subsidies in the Mid-Hudson Valley: An Analysis of Need, Availability and Trends

July 14, 2015

Child care is an enormous expense for families with working parents, especially those with young children not yet in school and low incomes. For example, according to New York State, a family needing full-time care for an infant under 18 months that selects a day care center can expect to pay as much as $252 a week, or nearly $13,100 a year.1 That comes close to consuming the entire paycheck of a minimum-wage worker, who will earn (before taxes) $16,640 in a year. The child care subsidy program operated by counties in New York State aims to ease that burden, helping to keep parents in the workforce and provide access to high quality care for their children. Yet in most parts of New York State, subsidies have become less available over the past several years. From 2007 to 2013, the number of subsidies dropped in 38 of New York's 57 counties outside New York City, with an average decline of 27%. CGR and the Greater Rochester League of Women Voters chose child care subsidies as the focus of our annual research effort in 2014, funded out of the Beatrice Bibby Endowment. We received additional support to conduct in-depth analyses of the Mid-Hudson Valley and Long Island from the Dyson and Rauch Foundations. This report examines availability, need, funding and policies related to child care subsidies in the Mid-Hudson Valley and New York State as a whole.

The Racial Equity Report Card: Fair Housing on Long Island

March 31, 2009

Examines the history of residential segregation on Long Island, analyzes current practices and complaints data by race/ethnicity and outcome, and assesses enforcement of fair housing laws at the county, state, and federal levels. Includes recommendations.

Accountability Equals Quality: From Pre-K to Graduating High School

February 1, 2009

The move to standards-based education reform created a set of federal and state standards by which student performance is defined in an attempt to create more accountability. The intent of these high-stakes test is to promote accountability and learning. Student success on standardized testing is meant to be a measure of the quality of education and student learning, an assumption that is also not always accurate. Students do better on standardized tests when they have had quality education from the time their academic characters are formed, from the age of three (Perry preschool Study; Abecedarian Study). Students do well when they have high quality teachers that can help them overcome potential obstacles they may face (Illinois experience). Students do well when their teachers, schools, and school districts use methods and techniques that have been proven successful (NYSED). And lastly, students do well when their schools are adequately funded and their teachers well paid. A comprehensive approach to accountability using all of these components has the best chance of closing New York State's achievement gap. This report summarizes laws and programs that have been implemented in other states, which could be used to achieve a more comprehensive accountability system in New York. There are three interrelated parts to the present report. The first presents accountability laws and systems from the states of Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. The second part describes the North Carolina preschool program More at Four, the Abbott Preschool in New Jersey, and the New York Universal Pre-Kindergarten program. The third part describes initiatives to hire and retain high-quality teachers that have been implemented in Illinois.

Mapping Long Island

December 10, 2008

The Long Island Index interactive map combines a rich amount of information coupled with easy-to-use tools so you can visualize relationships across several types of data at local and regional scales. It supplements and enhances the work of the Long Island Index to develop and monitor regional community indicators.

Upstream, Downstream: From Good Intentions to Cleaner Waters

May 1, 2008

Findings of a unique study of public attitudes about stormwater in the Baltimore, MD region are explored in this report. Four focus groups were conducted to develop themes for further followup in telephone surveys of 800 Baltimore area residents. Respondents clearly indicated that altruistic concern for the environment is not enough to spur behavior change. They are motivated by self interest. Key points of the research are:Stormwater is an urgent problemThe public is uninformed, but willing to be engagedPeople are motivated by health concernsA focused public information campaign has the capacity to reach people and change behavior

Long Island Index 2008

January 11, 2008

Each year since 2004, the Long Island Index staff and a team of technical advisors have gathered and analyzed several dozen data sets in 11 major categories to evaluate progress toward a more livable and thriving region. The Index report itself is published every January, and during the year the project conducts ongoing public opinion surveys, distributes op-eds, and prepares other studies. The director of the CUNY Mapping Service at CUR has been a member of the Technical Committee from the project's inception, providing maps, spatial analysis, and advice regarding key data sets. This year, for the 2008 Index report, the Mapping Service worked with the committee to focus on a special analysis regarding Long Island's housing needs and downtown development opportunities.