Coram Civic Association

Local News 

Published Jan 19, 2018
Cuomo’s $168 billion budget plan NEWSDAY; Jan 17, 2018
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo scaled back an expected spending boost for elementary and secondary education, proposing on Tuesday a 3 percent hike instead of a previously planned 4 percent jump…read article

What’s in the budget for LI NEWSDAY; Jan 17, 2017
Key proposals affecting Nassau and Suffolk counties…read article

School cap 2% NEWSDAY; Jan 17, 2018
New York State’s baseline cap on growth in local school taxes for 2018-19 will be 2 percent, the
state comptroller’s office said Tuesday — the highest in five years and up substantially from this year’s 1.26 percent…read article

Not movin’ out yet NEWSDAY; Jan 17, 2018
Long Island’s housing costs are so high that four in 10 young adults live with relatives, and seven in 10 say they’re likely to move to a less-expensive region within five years…read article

Board OKs change to some meeting times NEWSDAY; Jan 16, 2017
Hearings may start as early as 5:30 p.m., beginning with the board’s next meeting on Jan. 25
read article

‘Brew to Moo’ program gets $33G grant NEWSDAY; Jan 16, 2017
State officials have awarded a $33,350 grant to support a Brookhaven Town program that uses craft beer grains to feed farm animals…read article

The coming war on entitlements NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Jan 17, 2018
The new job requirements for Medicaid might not be legal and likely will be challenged in court. Either way, the rules won’t save much even if they do take effect…read editorial

Cuomo ready for federal fight NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Jan 17, 2018
Whether his proposals are enough to offset a $4 billion deficit and $2 billion loss from federal health care cuts remains to be seen…read article

Published Jan 11, 2018
What schools can do help students engage more in learning
EDUCATION WEEK; Jan 10, 2018
Think about it: What do you remember from your experience as a student? Senior musical. Swim meets. Science fairs. Football games. Debate tournaments. Choir concerts. Notice the pattern? article

After Loss of 'Net Neutrality,' Districts Weigh How to Protect Themselves EDUCATION WEEK; Jan 9, 2018
As school districts weigh the impact of losing assurances of "net neutrality," a professional organization is encouraging them to protect themselves up-front against a potential decline in the speed and quality of their web access…read article

Long overdue utility reliability
PSEG has yet to face down a Category 3 or worse hurricane, but a good performance so far after years of horrible ones is worth noting. PSEG is weathering the storm of Long Island’s power needs quite nicely…read editorial

Board Oks solar plan in Mastic NEWSDAY; Jan 10, 2018
The planning board’s approval Monday gives the go-ahead for development of 40 acres within the 100-acre parcel on Moriches-Middle Island Road to begin, according to the developer, the Middle Island Solar Farm…read article

NY pot plan takes a hit NEWSDAY; Jan 7, 2018

“It’s time for members of Congress that believe in state rights and drug reform to work together to pass bipartisan legislation to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and allow individual states to regulate marijuana as they deem appropriate,” the Medical Cannabis Industry Alliance said in a statement…read article

States prep for federal tax law NEWSDAY; Jan 7, 2018
Last week, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo used his state-of-the-state speech to pledge
to sue over the GOP tax plan, which he called “an assault” by the federal government
read article

Utilities’ tax savings probed NEWSDAY; Jan 9, 2018
The state Public Service Commission will formally explore implications of the new federal tax law to assure that windfall savings to utilities are returned to New York ratepayers
read article

Sound crossing: $55.4B NEWSDAY; Jan 9, 2018
The report, the latest examination of a concept first proposed in 1938, concludes that a Sound crossing is only feasible from Oyster Bay Town or Kings Park…read article

Meeting the mark NEWSDAY; Jan 8, 2018
Audit shows all LI recipients of state grants in recent years kept promises to maintain or add jobs in 2016…read article

Little bag-lash over law NEWSDAY; Jan 9, 2018
Suffolk County is the first county in New York State to enact a bag fee. Customers are
charged [a minimum of] 5 cents for each single-use plastic or paper bag. Several store managers and owners report little backlash thus far to Suffolk County’s bag law, which
went into effect Jan. 1…read article

A chance for court to redeem itself NEWSDAY OPINION; Jan 7, 2018
This week, the [Supreme] court will hear a case giving the justices a chance to decide whether states can purge people from the voter rolls for not voting…read opinion

Honestly, it’s time for a change NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Jan 7, 2018
Election reforms and anti-corruption laws must be passed in this legislative session
read editorial

Rise, Shine and Soar in 2018 NEWSDAY HEALTH; Jan 9, 2018
A positive mindset helps power your food choices as well as your workout—at least that’s how Elizabeth Hashagen sees it…read article

Wrong share class can mean lost income NEWSDAY; Jan 7, 2018
You may not know it, but there’s a class system inside your investment portfolio…read article

Published Jan 4, 2018
Gov touts law on paid leave NEWSDAY; Jan 1, 2017
NYS program for families takes effect, along with LI wage hike…read article

Challenges ahead for Albany NEWSDAY; Jan 1, 2017

“We’re going to have to find additional savings in the budget. That’s clear.’—Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo…read article

New state laws for 2018 NEWSDAY; Dec 31, 2017
Several new laws effective Jan. 1 will impact family budgets while trying to improve New York State’s business climate…read article

NYC aims to tap closed wells NEWSDAY; Dec 31, 2017
The request, though, is not welcome in Nassau and Suffolk counties, where officials worry it will threaten aquifers that are the sole source of drinking water for nearly 3 million people
read article

2017 crime stats show decline across LI NEWSDAY; Dec 31, 2017
Crime fell across Long Island in 2017, clocking historically low homicide totals even as police in Nassau and Suffolk attempted to deal with MS-13, the violent street gang officials blame for at least 14 slayings…read article

Outlook 2018: What to expect from our region’s economy
NEWSDAY; Dec 31, 2017
The Long Island economy starts the new year with a head of steam, but uncertainty over the impact of the federal tax overhaul on consumer spending and real estate could limit growth, local economists said…read article

Shake-up by Sini NEWSDAY; Jan 1, 2017
“There will be no party, no lunch celebration,” Sini said. “We’re going to get to work right away.” Lawyers familiar with the office said Sini’s priorities—particularly training and integrity — are the right ones…read article

Bill may cut county revenue NEWSDAY; Dec 31, 2017
The legislation passed this month would require the county to send a notice in writing to the previous owner that he or she can apply for payment of surplus sale proceeds. Legis. DuWayne Gregory (D-Copiague), the bill’s sponsor, said he believed the county has never given proceeds to a homeowner…read article 

Village payroll jumps 21% NEWSDAY; Jan 1, 2018
[Babylon Village’s] Mayor Ralph Scordino said he is not concerned about whether the payroll growth is sustainable. “Why should I be?” he asked. “It is what it is.”…read article

Math Doesn't Have to Suck EDUCATON WEEK; Dec 20, 2017
“When it comes to national attitudes about math, I am a prime example of what’s wrong with America. The last math class I took was in 10th grade (something about triangles, I think). It wasn’t math’s fault, exactly. It was the way we were taught.”…read article

Teaching Introverted Students: How a 'Quiet Revolution' Is Changing Classroom Practice EDUCATION WEEK; Dec 27, 2017
At the end of each lesson, when 2nd grade teacher Erin Pawlak asked her students at P.S. 11 in New York City to reflect on their reading or share a successful strategy, the same hands would shoot up. But what about the quiet students? article

Success lags for disabled students NEWSDAY OPINION; Jan 2, 2017
“So are these mildly disabled students, who are being educated in regular classrooms, learning what their non-handicapped peers are learning? The evidence says no. The state Board of Regents recently decided to avoid this more important issue by choosing to make it easier for students with disabilities to graduate and receive exit diplomas. This is not the answer.”
read opinion 

The day somebody tried to kidnap me NEWSDAY KIDSDAY; Jan 1, 2018
Before this day my mom and dad taught me to yell and scream very specific words like, “No! This is not my mom! This is not my dad!”…read story

On a somewhat macabre note…
Passings 2017 NEWSDAY; Dec 31, 2017
Gone but not forgotten” is a fitting epitaph for the no-longer-living legends in this year’s passing parade, who triumphed in the fields of music, comedy, journalism, sports and political activism, and remained influential for decades of American life…read article

Published Dec 29, 2017
Cuomo urges voting ease, ad transparency NEWSDAY; Dec 26, 2017
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has proposed measures to allow for early voting and same-day voter registration as well as safeguards to identify big-money donors behind campaign ads on social media. The proposals aren’t new…read article

School calendar overhaul NEWSDAY; Dec 26, 2017
“We’re looking to provide districts with more flexibility in establishing their school calendars, while maintaining the current amount of instructional time,” the commissioner Elia said in a statement emailed to Newsday…read article

Northwell adds Mather NEWSDAY; Dec 21, 2017
John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson has agreed to join the Northwell Health system…read article

New York population growth minimal NEWSDAY; Dec 21, 2017
The data show 190,508 people left New York for other states while 130,411 people came here from other places, for a deficit of 60,097. The Census Bureau also recorded 232,766 births and 159,676 deaths — so the state gained 73,090 through a natural population increase
read article

LI lost 900 jobs in the past year NEWSDAY; Dec 22, 2017
No New York region lost more jobs than Long Island…read article

Searching for work NEWSDAY; Dec 28, 2017
Long Island’s unemployment rate rose last month to 4.4 percent, an increase of half a percentage point from 3.9 percent a year earlier…read article

PSEG must reveal pay NEWSDAY; Dec 22, 2017
New state law requires disclosure of top company officials’ compensation…read article

PSEG investigating pole in fatal crash NEWSDAY; Dec 27, 2017
The steel poles in Eastport have been the subject of resident protests and a lawsuit by Brookhaven Town…read article

Suffolk jail will house detainees NEWSDAY; Dec 27, 2018
Suffolk County has a new agreement in place with the federal government to use part of the county jail in Riverhead to house immigrants facing deportation…read article

Sewage bill signed NEWSDAY; Dec 22, 2017
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone Thursday signed landmark legislation to ban the installation of new cesspools, require permits for new septic systems [$70] and track failures of aging wastewater systems countywide…read article

Verdict on tax law? Fog needs to clear NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Dec 26, 2017
Somewhere in the chasm between the direst predictions of harm and doom and the wildest promises of joy and prosperity will land the true day-to-day impact of the new tax law
…read column

Hold bond votes in late spring NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Dec 28, 2017
Bond votes should be held on the third Tuesday in May, when state law requires that all residents vote on school district budgets. The law should be amended to mandate bond votes that day, too, to guarantee higher participation. In bond votes held since mid-October, Lindenhurst saw a 51 percent drop in turnout from its May budget vote, Longwood was 42 percent lower, Hicksville 30 percent, Elwood 23 percent and North Babylon 6 percent
read editorial

Why no school days in July and August? NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Dec 27, 2017
That law is outdated and largely exists thanks to industries that thrive on traditional summer vacations, like camps and tourist spots, exercising political clout to keep them. Many teachers also support the traditional break…read column

Published Dec 21, 2017
Step raises vetoed NEWSDAY; Dec 20, 2017
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has vetoed a bill that would have allowed some public employees in Nassau County to receive “step” raises even when county wages are frozen. The bill had pitted public employee unions against the Nassau Interim Finance Authority [NIFA]. The Civil Service Employees Association and police unions had supported the bill…read article

New call for shared services NEWSDAY; Dec 19, 2017
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday renewed a call for local governments to share services to cut costs. “Symbolic and unimpressive,” said E.J. McMahon of the Empire Center, an Albany-based fiscally conservative think tank. “The savings were minimal drops in the bucket and it won’t get much better. Our taxes aren’t high because of local government duplication, overlap, or failure to share services. In fact, they are high mainly because salaries and staffing levels are high, especially in school districts and downstate suburban police departments.”…read article

Cuomo’s $11.5M LI gang-thwarting plan NEWSDAY; Dec 17, 2017
The goal, officials said, is to give vulnerable youths in hard hit communities the tools they need to resist the lure of street gangs like MS-13…read article

Net neutrality nixed NEWSDAY; Dec 15, 2017
Under the new rules approved Thursday, the Comcasts and AT&Ts of the world will be free to block rival apps, slow down competing services or offer faster speeds to companies that pay up…read article

Faster tests for Lyme NEWSDAY; Dec 17, 2017
Lyme disease is increasing worldwide, but in the United States, 95 percent of all infections occur in only 14 states, and New York is one of the leading hotbeds of infection. New tools that could dramatically improve the diagnosis of Lyme disease are already available…read article

Home prices jump in tight market NEWSDAY; Dec 15, 2017
In Suffolk County, the median home price rose by 6 percent, to $355,000…read article

Barrens expansion bill vetoed NEWSDAY; Dec 20, 2017
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has vetoed a bill that would have expanded Long Island’s pine barrens area. Assemb. Steve Englebright (D-Setauket), one of the primary sponsors of the bill, vowed that lawmakers would take another stab at expanding the pine barrens in a new bill in 2018. Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), the bill’s other primary sponsor said “These lands are particularly critical for the ecology of the Forge River. Destroying the forest and the trees to install solar power just does not make sense at either the Mastic Woods or Shoreham Old Growth Coastal Forest properties.”…read article

Calverton financing deal NEWSDAY; Dec 15, 2017
Luminati Aerospace LLC has struck a deal with the venture capital arm of a large developer to finance its proposed purchase of the Town of Riverhead’s remaining land at the Enterprise Park at Calverton…read article
Related update article…
Town sets hearing on EPCAL sale NEWSDAY; Dec 20, 2017read article

Broadridge Financial plans a $126M expansion NEWSDAY; Dec 15, 2017
Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc. plans to invest $126 million in its Suffolk County factories and add 262 jobs over the next five years…read article

LIPA OKs a rate hike for 2018 NEWSDAY; Dec 20, 2017
Trustees approved an increase in delivery and related charges on customer bills of $7.41 a month. The utility expects power-supply charges could decrease an average $4.06 a month next year, lowering the projection for an overall bill increase to around $3.35 a month, or 2 percent…read article

State parks gave LI a boost NEWSDAY; Dec 18, 2017
Report: visitors to LI parks spent $1.3B over a year…read article

Suffolk readies 5-cent bag fee NEWSDAY; Dec 19, 2017
Stores in Suffolk County will start charging a nickel fee on each plastic and paper bag at checkout starting Jan. 1. Retailers will collect and keep the 5-cent fee. “This is just another fee to make it harder to live here,” said Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Salonga)…read article

Campaign financing plan OKd NEWSDAY; Dec 20, 2017
The money would come from the county’s share of earnings from Jake’s 58, the Suffolk Off-Track Betting casino that opened this year. Suffolk voters in the 1990s approved another campaign finance program, but its funding source was voluntary donations on property tax bills, which never materialized. Opponents said the bill would be ineffective at reducing the influence of wealthy donors from county races, because large donations can still go to political parties or independent expenditure committees. “It’s a fraud on the public,” Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Solanga) said…read article

Suffolk panel kills effort to oversee asset forfeitures
NEWSDAY; Dec 15, 2017
Disclosure that the Suffolk district attorney’s office paid $3.25 million in bonuses since 2012 using asset forfeiture funds spurred Calarco’s bill. Bellone, Sini and members of law enforcement unions argued [successfully] during the past week that legislative approval for spending is unnecessary…read article

Residency rule revised NEWSDAY; Dec 20, 2017
The Suffolk Legislature voted unanimously Tuesday night to lift a residency requirement for senior staff in the district attorney’s office. Incoming top prosecutor Tim Sini said the residency rules would have put him at a “gross disadvantage” in attracting highly qualified applicants and he wants to be able to “to grab the talent” in other prosecutors’ office to serve Suffolk residents…read article

High school gains NEWSDAY; Dec 15, 2017
Annual school “report cards” released by the state Education Department show that 56.4 percent of seniors in Nassau and Suffolk counties received Regents diplomas with an advanced designation during the 2016-17 school year. Statewide 38.1 percent of students received those diplomas…read article

Cuomo vetoes bill to aid CUNY, SUNY NEWSDAY; Dec 20, 2017
Cuomo said the bill would have shifted hundreds of millions of dollars in costs from colleges and students to the state’s general fund. The New York State United Teachers union [NYSUT] said “We advocated for this ‘maintenance of effort’ legislation because we believe the state should pick up more of the mandatory costs of operating these exemplary institutions.”…read article

A Quest to Give Minority Voters a Bigger Voice on School Boards
EDUCATION WEEK; Dec 12, 2017
As the nation's public schools becoming increasingly diverse, there's growing concern that the composition of school boards does not reflect that diversity, and in some communities, the concern has sparked legal battles…read article

Health program victim of politics NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Dec 20, 2017
CHIP provides insurance for almost 9 million children and several hundred thousand pregnant women who aren’t quite poor enough to qualify for Medicaid but still can’t afford private insurance. It’s also worth noting that tobacco tax increases in 1997 and 2009 that raise $11 billion a year and took the per-pack levy from 24 cents to $1.01 are still being collected even as CHIP remains unfunded and were, when enacted, justified by politicians as direct funding for CHIP…read editorial

Gang fight needs multifaceted plan NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Dec 19, 2017
Recent studies in Virginia and California found the kind of interventions Cuomo proposes, aimed at those 11 to 15 years old, reduced gang recruitment and trouble…read editorial

Crunch time for Gov. Cuomo NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Dec 15, 2017
It’s make or break time for legislation coming before Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Here’s one bill worth killing, one that needs signing and one that, having become law, must now lead to better behavior…read editorial

Corruption leads to watchdog expense NEWSDAY LETTERS; Dec 18, 2017
“I’m wondering why we must always make knee-jerk political appointments to solve basic operational problems. Set intelligent, transparent processes, hire good people, manage them appropriately and there would be little need for watchdogs, whistleblowers or ethics panels.”
read letter

LI still doesn’t get it about addiction NEWSDAY OPINION; Dec 18, 2017
Despite efforts to combat addiction, the problem is getting worse — perhaps because 15 years and thousands of preventable deaths later, we still exhibit some of the attitudes that gave opioids a head start…read opinion

Published Dec 14, 2017
Board of Regents recommends tightening state aid for schools NEWSDAY.COM; Dec 12, 2017
The Regents’ proposed $1.6 billion in 2018-19 school aid is down from $2.1 billion in 2017-18. “While districts are facing challenges, the state itself is facing its own fiscal challenges, with the uncertain future of federal funds in multiple program areas,” declared a staff statement that accompanied the Regents recommendation…read article

Diploma path paved NEWSDAY; Dec 12, 2017
The state’s policymaking Board of Regents voted unanimously Monday to allow special education students who struggle with academic exams to earn high school diplomas through an alternative route, one that relies instead on occupational assessments…read article

Advocates vow universal pre-K NEWSDAY; Dec 12, 2017
State Assemb. Michaelle C. Solages, state Sen. Carl Marcellino and a bipartisan group of state legislators vowed Monday to fight for publicly funded pre-kindergarten classes for all 4-year-olds on Long Island…read article

An East End wind option NEWSDAY; Dec 10, 2017
The federal sites differ from those proposed by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority in October. Since the sites all are in federal waters, a federal plan would trump any state guideline…read article

Cheap power for LI drug maker, 9 others NEWSDAY; Dec 13, 2017
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Tuesday, “These low-cost power awards continue to provide valuable incentives for Long Island companies to retain and create jobs.”…read article

Kayla’s mom suing school NEWSDAY; Dec 13, 2017
The mother of slain Brentwood High School teen Kayla Cuevas has filed a $110 million federal suit against the Brentwood schools, saying the district failed to protect her daughter against MS-13 gang members…read article

LI going viral NEWSDAY; Dec 10, 2017
Seasonal ailments, not all of them flu, are sweeping the region…read article

Arbitrating tax hikes NEWSDAY THE POINT; Dec 1, 2017
For two decades, Scheinman headed separate arbitration panels for Long Island county and village police forces that repeatedly led to huge wins for the unions, as each group’s new deal leapfrogged previous awards he had granted. He also oversaw such decisions for unions representing teachers and firefighters…read commentary

Hempstead Town’s tug of war NEWSDAY; Dec 13, 2017
Outgoing Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony Santino presided Tuesday over sweeping changes to the town’s union labor contract and ushered in 192 personnel moves during his final meeting as the head of the town board. Among the personnel matters, the board voted 5-2 to transfer town spokesman Mike Deery to the Office of the Receiver of Taxes, where he will continue to draw his $205,000 salary as the confidential assistant to the receiver of taxes. The board also voted unanimously to promote 30 part-time workers to full-time status. Additionally, the board members, in one 5-2 vote, granted appointments, promotions, transfers and raises to 161 other employees, including the brother of Councilman Anthony D’Esposito and outgoing Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad. The town board approved 4-3 changes to the union’s collective bargaining agreement so that no town union employee can be terminated for budgetary reasons. “This may be legal, but this is corruption,” council member Bruce Blakeman said article 

Permanence in patronage NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Dec 12, 2017
On Tuesday, outgoing Hempstead Supervisor Anthony Santino and the Republican controlled town board are slated to help almost 200 employees move to safe jobs or get raises. None of this is illegal. “This is done in Washington, in Albany and, yes, in Mineola,” said Michael Dawidziak, a Suffolk political consultant…read column

Stop Santino’s imperial moves NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Dec 12, 2017
Republicans have enjoyed a century of uninterrupted power in Hempstead, and they’ve often used that time to pad the payroll with sycophants and apparatchiks whose only goal is to keep the party in power. Now, in Tuesday’s town board meeting, Santino will attempt to blatantly redefine machine politics in a way that takes every taxpayer hostage, and booby-traps efforts to restore honest governing, all the while waving a red flag for federal prosecutors
read editorial

Holiday toy drive at Town Hall on Friday NEWSDAY; Dec 12, 2017
Those who stop by are asked to donate a new, unwrapped toy, which town officials said would help bring joy to a child of a family in need…read article

Hempstead board nixes $46.8M bond for school NEWSDAY; Dec 8, 2017
Some favored a February ballot because it would help get the construction project started quickly and let residents consider the issue separately from the district’s other spending priorities. Others favored a May vote allowing the bond issue to be presented along with the district’s regular proposed budget, and also giving residents more time to weigh the pros and cons…read article

Voters reject $200M Uniondale school bond NEWSDAY; Dec 8, 2017
Some residents expressed concern over the scope of the borrowing. The owner of a home assessed at $300,000 would have had to pay about $270 annually for the debt…read article

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? NEWSDAY OPINION; Dec 10, 2017
Everyone is so emphatically right that those who disagree are not merely in error but irredeemably so, candidates not for persuasion but for castigation and ostracism
read opinion

Outcry over tax plan continues NEWSDAY LETTERS; Dec 11, 2017
“My mom’s 2,500-squarefoot house in Orlando, Florida, is in a gated community on a golf course, with a clubhouse and swimming pool. Her yearly property tax bill is about $1,800.”
read letter

A way forward for net neutrality NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Dec 13, 2017
The FCC’s existing regulations, known as net neutrality, require internet providers to offer the same level of connectivity and service to everyone for the same price. In other words, a provider can’t choose to slow down the service of some businesses, while speeding it up for others, or charging websites different rates. Under those rules, as for other utilities like water and electric, internet service doesn’t play favorites and consumers and businesses alike get a relatively equal playing field. But FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants to lift the rules…read editorial

An original jumper NEWSDAY; Dec 11, 2017
Clarence Beavers and hundreds of black paratroopers in the segregated military were far from Europe in 1945, part of a secret mission to neutralize Japanese bombs causing forest fires along the northwestern United States and Canada. Beavers died Dec. 4 of natural causes at home. The longtime Huntington resident was 96…read article

Published Dec 7, 2017
Tax deduction idea gains traction NEWSDAY; Dec 6, 2017
“Possibly there’s four or five incentives tax relief that can help our high-tax states that we’re working with our lawmakers on,” said Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee…read article 

What’s the delay? NEWSDAY.COM_THE POINT; Dec 6, 2017
Remember the shared-services competition announced last year by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo? The one that offered a $20 million prize to the local government that comes up with the best plan for reducing property taxes by consolidating, restructuring or sharing services? commentary

How the tax bill will affect health care NEWSDAY; Dec 6, 2017
Lawmakers will meet this week to resolve differences between the House- and Senate- passed bills in hopes of getting a finished product to President Donald Trump’s desk around Christmas. Here are some questions and answers on how the tax bill intersects with health care
read article

Port Jefferson school district residents reject $29.9M bond
NEWSDAY.COM; Dec 6, 2017
Port Jefferson school district residents Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a $29.9 million bond proposition by a roughly 4-to-1 margin [1355 Nay to 374 Yea]…read article

Fines rules as ‘illegal tax’ NEWSDAY; Dec 6, 2017
Doug Kellogg, a spokesman for Reclaim New York, said, “Now legislators have no way to hide from the fact the fees are illegal and they need to be removed from the Nassau County budget. They also have to be removed from the Suffolk County budget. Using fees to raise revenue is clearly illegal under state law, and it’s time for the counties to have an honest discussion about their budgets.”…read article

New law on septic systems and cesspools NEWSDAY; Dec 6, 2017
Requiring a septic tank when a cesspool fails will cost an estimated additional $2,000 to $2,500 for a homeowner, county officials said. Since 1973, the county has required new homes to install both a septic tank and a cesspool…read article

Cost has risen 50% for truck-washing rig NEWSDAY; Dec 6, 2017
The facility is expected to cost $3.015 million, a 50.75 percent increase from the $2 million that town officials had allocated for the project…read article

Behold the arrival of Big Doctor NEWSDAY OPINION; Dec 6, 2017
The plan to merge a huge health insurer and a mammoth drugstore chain has, at best, mixed virtues. It would create a monster, giving information we don’t want to share to people with control over too much of our lives…read opinion

Big challenge for new sheriff NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Dec 6, 2017
Toulon’s mission mirrors that of Tim Sini, the newly elected district attorney — run an independent, effective office that puts criminal justice ahead of politics. Toulon must stand tall and help deliver Suffolk from the swamp it has been mired in for years…read editorial

A taxing bill
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo railed against the planned curtailment or elimination of federal tax deductions for state and local income and property taxes, calling them a new and egregious form of “double taxation.” But Cuomo doesn’t practice what he preaches…read commentary

Tech sector on edge over FCC ruling NEWSDAY; Dec 4, 2017
Net neutrality repeal could stunt growth. “It will cause a significantly higher cost of business. That will lead to higher prices or worse a reduction of funds available for jobs.”…read article

How the deal with [CVS &] Aetna will likely play out NEWSDAY; Dec 5, 2017
CVS Health says it wants to use its roughly $69 billion acquisition of the insurer Aetna to dive deeper into managing customer health…read article

Shortage of plumbers on LI NEWSDAY; Dec 4, 2017
Plumbing is one of the fastest-growing professions on Long Island. Between 2014 and 2024, the number of plumbers on the Island is expected to swell 32 percent…read article

Promoting staycations NEWSDAY; Dec 5, 2017
A 30-second television ad, which shows a couple enjoying a dinner date at a North Fork restaurant, a group of friends toasting at a winery, and a mother and son sledding through the snow, will air on the News 12 networks, CBS and travel-dedicated platform Travel Spike
read article

Toulon to be sheriff NEWSDAY; Dec 5, 2017
Toulon, a former New York City deputy corrections commissioner, becomes Long Island’s first African-American non-judicial countywide elected official…read article

Suffolk County: Judge grants LIPA’s request in tax lawsuit 
NEWSDAY; Dec 4, 2017
Supreme Court Justice Thomas F. Whelan found that LIPA faced “immediate and irreparable harm” if Suffolk County and its comptroller, John Kennedy, moved forward with steps to sell tax liens placed on more than 1,600 LIPA properties…read article

Not just gym classes NEWSDAY; Dec 4, 2017
Longwood High School requires freshmen and sophomores to take a varied curriculum that includes lessons in golf, tennis, fitness and European handball. It allows juniors and seniors to choose among five tracks: Team sports, Outdoor sports, Lifetime activities, Net sports and Dance…read article

U.S. Graduation Rate Hits New All-Time High, With Gains in All Student Groups
The graduation rate for the high school class of 2015-16 is nearly a whole point higher than the one for the previous year's class, which was 83.2 percent, according to the new data from the National Center for Education Statistics…read article

Global Reading Scores Are Rising, But Not for U.S. Students 
The bad news is that students in the United States are bucking the trend. While U.S. 4th graders performed at an average score of 549, above the average of the 58 education systems participating in PIRLS in 2016, that score was 7 scale points lower than the last test in 2011—basically the same as they did in 2006…read article

Published Nov 30, 2017
Legislator Anker Honors Coram Boy Scout Troop 560’s
Newest Eagle Scouts

On Thursday, November 16, 2017, Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker joined Boy Scout Troop 560 at the Coram Fire Department for an Eagle Scout Ceremony honoring the troop’s newest Eagle Scouts, Nicholas Tlockowski and James Anthony Cruz…read press release

Cops sweep phone data NEWSDAY; Nov 26, 2017
In New York, use of the technology was virtually unknown to the public until last year when the New York Civil Liberties Union forced the disclosure of records showing the NYPD used the devices more than 1,000 times since 2008. That included cases in which the technology helped catch suspects in kidnappings, rapes, robberies, assaults and murders. It has even helped find missing people. “By its very nature, then, the use of a cell site simulator intrudes upon an individual’s reasonable expectation of privacy, acting as an instrument of eavesdropping and requires a separate warrant supported by probable cause,” wrote state Supreme Court Judge Martin Murphy…read article

Double dip OK’d NEWSDAY; Nov 27, 2017
A state panel has given former Nassau top cop Thomas Krumpter the green light to double-dip, allowing him to legally make more than $320,000 annually in combined taxpayer-funded salary and pension benefits as the leader of the 11-officer department in the Village of Lloyd Harbor
read article

Long Island State of Mind NEWSDAY; Nov 26, 2017
Natives or not, these folks find lots to like here…read story

An earful on solar plan NEWSDAY; Nov 28, 2017
Jack Kulka, president of Kulka Construction, a Hauppauge construction management firm, predicted the program would result not only in the loss of employment in the 4,000-job local solar industry, but “hundreds of thousands of jobs” would leave the Island…read article

ISP – A New Approach to a Sound Future NEWSDAY; Nov 26, 2017
MacArthur makes big changes to get on solid financial ground. “We’re operating the airport
like a business,” said airport Commissioner Shelley LaRose-Arken (a professional airport manager rather than a political appointee). By the time LaRose-Arken was hired in the spring of 2016, the airport had lost half its daily flights since 2007, and about $5.5 million in revenue since 2010. “Experience counts, it really, really does,” Carpenter said. “In the past, appointments to the airport have been political, quite frankly. This person [LaRose-Arken] went through a very serious vetting process, has a proven track record, ” said town Supervisor Angie Carpenter…read article

Cops, schools team up for at-risk students NEWSDAY; Nov 28, 2017
Suffolk County cops work with educators to teach kids about cyberbullying, sexting, sexual assault and the health risks posed by tobacco, alcohol, e-cigarettes, marijuana and over-the-counter drugs…read article

Suffolk sued [by LIPA] in tax dispute NEWSDAY; Nov 28, 2017
LIPA on Monday filed suit against Suffolk County and its comptroller, asking a court to invalidate tax liens placed on its properties by the county to halt their seizure or sale in an ongoing tax dispute…read article

Proposal to ease cesspool rules NEWSDAY; Nov 28, 2017
Health officials said the plan would affect 5,000 to 9,000 homeowners annually. Industry officials put the [additional] cost at between $2,000 to $4,000 for replacement cesspools
read article

Suffolk leading drug suit NEWSDAY; Nov 17, 2017
Suffolk County’s lawsuit against drug companies and physicians it accuses of fueling the county’s opioid epidemic will be heard in February before state Supreme Court Justice Jerry article

LAG - Build a new train to the plane NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Nov 26, 2017
There are plenty of unknowns about a LaGuardia AirTrain. They start with how to pay for it
read article

Will Reversal of FCC’s ‘Net Neutrality’ Policy Help or Hurt Schools? 
EDUCATION WEEK; Nov 23, 2017
Net neutrality is the idea that web content should be treated equally by internet service providers, rather than allowing them to deliver material at faster or slower speeds based on which content providers are paying more, or other priorities. In 2015, a Democratic majority on the FCC set out to safeguard net neutrality through a series of regulations forbidding blocking, throttling, or “paid prioritization” of content. But [FTC Commissioner] Pai’s order—scheduled for a vote by the FCC on Dec. 14—curtails those rules. Some school officials and education organizations are deeply skeptical that the plan will protect educators’ access to online sources, or nurture innovation by K-12 entrepreneurs…read article

What does it mean to be a man? NEWSDAY OPINION; Nov 26, 2017
The spate of sexual harassment allegations debunks the ‘feminization’ of men. It seems obvious the problem with men isn’t that they’ve become feminine. Rather, the problem is what it has always been—that, as men, we too often define manhood by the use of our (usually) superior strength and/or position to take what we want…read article

Con-con foes can get to work NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Nov 27, 2017
“The many foes of the constitutional convention should continue to lobby on behalf of principles they expressed during their vigorous opposition. That includes the labor unions, the environmentalists, the New York Civil Liberties Union, the state Conservative Party and every other group that said it supported various needed reforms but also argued that a process to make those reforms already exists--namely, passage by the State Legislature of amendments to the state constitution. To every engaged person who worked so hard spreading the disinformation that pensions would be stolen in the con-con effort, we expect you to be just as relentless. And we expect it to result in real change. Otherwise, your opposition to the constitutional convention was just hypocrisy. And we know it wasn’t that.”…read editorial

Warm and sunny study NEWSDAY; Nov 28, 2017
People who grew up in regions with average temperatures close to 72 degrees tend to be more agreeable, conscientiousness, emotionally stable, extroverted and open. Previous research has indeed linked geography to personality. “Midwest nice” and “New York abrasive” can be teased out of previous survey results…read article

Published Nov 16, 2017
Budget director gives NY blame for tax pain NEWSDAY; Nov 15, 2017
“Whose fault is that? Is it the federal government’s fault that New York taxes are so high that they’re driving people out of the state?” asked Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget. “Even with the federal deduction [for state and local taxes], people have been leaving New York — high-income folks have left already,” he said. “So I don’t think it’s up to the federal government to save New York from its bad decisions.”…read article

YAPHANK - Spring dredging set for Lower Lake NEWSDAY; Nov 15, 2017
After the sediment and plants have been removed, the 25-acre lake will be restored to its normal depth of about 25 feet…read article

Pill with sensor approved NEWSDAY; Nov 15, 2017
The new pill, Abilify MyCite, is embedded with a digital sensor that is activated by stomach fluids, sending a signal to a patch worn by the patient and notifying a smartphone app that the medication has been taken…read article

Some Common Core revisions win praise NEWSDAY; Nov 15, 2017
The revisions put more emphasis on the need for student play in preschool and kindergarten, while maintaining much of the Common Core’s requirements for academic preparation. “We didn’t see as many shifts there as we would have liked,” said Jeanette Deutermann of North Bellmore, a founder of the Long Island Opt Out network of parents and educators
read article

New pension law praised NEWSDAY; Nov 9, 2017

Tuesday’s referendum was passed by a 67 percent to 25 percent margin. The other 8 percent didn’t vote on the proposal. Currently, more than $604,000 a year in pension checks go to 13 officials convicted of corruption…read article

Tough immigration enforcement looms NEWSDAY; Nov 13, 2017
The focus will be on review of the federal Form I-9, which employers and employees must complete to verify employees’ identity and eligibility to work in the United States…read article

3rd-highest taxes for NY cell users NEWSDAY; Nov 10, 2017
Of New York’s 24.64 percent rate, 18.3 percentage points are from the state, New York City, other cities, counties, school districts and transit districts, and 6.34 percentage points are from the federal government. On Long Island, school districts do not levy a tax on wireless service
read article

When Technology Affects Jobs NEWSDAY BUSINESS; Nov 12, 2017
Technology is both a destroyer and enhancer of jobs on Long Island…read article

Finding LI Teaching Jobs NEWSDAY; Nov 13, 2017
For teachers, dual certification makes teachers more marketable [and] provides extra job security. For school employers, it supplies flexibility in assigning teachers to different classes throughout the day…read article

LIPA bill hike seen for ’18 NEWSDAY; Nov 14, 2017
LIPA bills for 2018 are projected to rise around 2 percent, or $3.35 more a month for average residential customers. LIPA customers also will see an increase in the revenue decoupling portion of the bills, which is intended to help the utility pay its costs even as sales decline because of green-energy measures, among other factors. The revenue decoupling charge will add $2.39 to average customers’ monthly bills next year, LIPA projects…read article

Dems back off $1.5M cut to budget NEWSDAY; Nov 12, 2017
The Suffolk Legislature’s Democratic majority Wednesday backed off its proposed amendment to cut $1.5 million from County Executive Steve Bellone’s budget to fill vacant positions, even though Republicans said it would deepen the budget hole and be used to fill patronage jobs. “It’s totally irresponsible to kick the can down the road. We have to learn how to say no,” said Legis. Rob Trotta (R-Fort Salonga)…read article

In hot pursuit of a new top cop NEWSDAY; Nov 11, 2017
The new commissioner will have to cope with a $511.2 million budget, 3,540 authorized positions, 2,907 of which are filled, and their costly contracts, due to expire at the end of 2018, as well as major concerns about gangs and opioid abuse…read article

Checking up on managers NEWSDAY; Nov 13, 2017
Republican Suffolk County Comptroller John Kennedy said he has started a “time and attendance audit” of senior managers at the Suffolk Board of Elections…read article

Suffolk plan would replace failing cesspools NEWSDAY; Nov 14, 2017
A proposed Suffolk County law would require homeowners to replace failing cesspools with septic tanks starting in 2019. Replacing a cesspool costs between $4,000 and $8,000 depending on the house, and installing a septic tank would cost about $2,000 more…read article

Small 'Nudges' Can Push Students in the Right Direction 
EDUCATION WEEK; Oct 17, 2017
research has shown one of the quickest ways to lower motivation is to try to force people to make changes—even if they agree with the end goal…read article

Even When States Revise Standards, the Core of the Common Core Remains 
EDUCATION WEEK; Nov 13, 2017
A review released on Monday of 24 states’ revisions show that they have largely preserved the common core’s most important features…read article

LI’s tax break boondoggle NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Nov 13, 2017
Time and again, Long Island’s industrial development agencies [IDA’s] have shown they’re dysfunctional and fragmented, at times giving tax breaks to meaningless projects that neither create jobs nor bring significant change to the region…read editorial

Winds of change for housing on LI NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Nov 10, 2017
Increasingly, candidates have been talking about the need for more rental housing and truly affordable housing, for building it near transit hubs and for creating walkable communities — all with the goal of turning Long Island into a vibrant place where young adults want to live, not a calcifying region they are desperate to flee and can’t afford. These candidates point to successful turnarounds like Patchogue as models…read editorial

Inclusive Clothing-Adaptive fashion for those with special needs 
NEWSDAY; Nov 13, 2017
Getting dressed is becoming easier— and more stylish — for the disabled and those with special needs as another major retailer is making significant adjustments to one of its clothing lines to accommodate an underserved community…read article

Strategies if you feel you’re underpaid NEWDAY; Nov 12, 2017
Figuring out whether your skills, experience and contributions to the company should net you a raise is tricky. Just because you feel underpaid doesn’t mean you are—but it’s worth finding out…read article

New pressure points NEWSDAY; Nov 14, 2017
The new normal: under 120/80. The new guidelines indicate that hypertension begins at 130/80, rather than 140/90 as emphasized by previous recommendations….read article

Diabetes and the brain NEWSDAY; Nov 12, 2017
“We might be able to provide patients with a better sense of what they can do over their lives with Type 1 diabetes to prevent problems in later years [and] avoid cognitive dysfunction,” said Dr. Alan M. Jacobson, chief research officer at NYU Winthrop Hospital…read article

SkyWatch: See the Leonid meteor shower NEWSDAY; Nov 11, 2017
We will actually see the Leonids during the predawn hours of Nov. 17 and, possibly, Nov. 18
read article

Published Nov 9, 2017
Feds to end immigrant protection NEWSDAY; Nov 7, 2017
At the end of 2016 there were 439,625 immigrants with TPS, according to national figures issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Approximately 5,300 were from Nicaragua and about 86,000 were from Honduras. Temporary protected status, or TPS, is a designation granted to immigrants from countries thrown into chaos by war, natural disasters or other crises, to protect them from deportation. In the cases of both Honduras and Nicaragua, the designation came after those countries were assailed by Hurricane Mitch in 1998…read article

Strong gains seen in service sector NEWSDAY; Nov 6, 2017
The strength in the services sector is emblematic of a U.S. economy that looks increasingly healthy…read article

Public pension costs hikes loom NEWSDAY; Nov 6, 2017
Pension costs for teachers and other professional school staffers are expected to rise about 10 percent in the 2018-19 school year for districts on Long Island and statewide…read article

LIRR ridership lags NEWSDAY; Nov 7, 2017
Darnell Grisby, director of policy development and research for the American Public Transportation Association, said that despite the recent drops in ridership, the LIRR is still “performing better than the national picture,” partly because of the lack of viable, cheaper alternatives…read article

80 warehouse layoffs NEWSDAY; Nov 8, 2017
A Port Washington maker of wigs and other human and synthetic hair products said Tuesday it plans to lay off up to 80 Long Island-based workers as it shifts most of its warehouse operations to Georgia…read article

Suffolk County and Brookhaven Voting Results NEWSDAY; Nov 8, 2017 results 

Suffolk mulls restoring cuts, borrowing $5M more NEWSDAY; Nov 7, 2018
Budget amendments proposed by majority Democrats would… add $571,000 to county expenditures in 2018, according to the legislature’s nonpartisan Budget Review Office
….read article

Education commissioner touts more state-funded pre-K on LI
NEWSDAY; Nov 8, 2017
Only 7 percent of Long Island 4-year-olds have access to full-day programs, compared with 100 percent of New York City students. In 2013, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo committed to a five-year phase-in of universal pre-K. Last year, the state Education Department asked for $100 million for prekindergarten programming but received $5 million, said state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia…read article

The Case(s) Against Personalized Learning
 EDUCATION WEEK; Nov 8, 2017
When any new educational strategy receives money and attention, questions arise. Like other efforts to improve U.S. schools, personalized learning is getting swept up in decades-long disagreements over how children learn, the proper role of teachers, and who gets to decide how public education is organized…read article 

Personalized Learning: The Journey to Student-Centered Instruction
Change can be challenging for educators who face time constraints, scarce budgets and
resources, multiple stakeholder communities, and continuously evolving initiatives. Building
a bridge from existing practice to increased personalization, and purposefully taking each step to cross that bridge can assure classroom transformation and optimize each student’s opportunity for achievement…read white paper

Sini’s task as DA: Clean up Suffolk NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Nov 8, 2017
In Suffolk, criminal justice and politics have been an unholy mix. It’s time to start anew
read editorial

Surveil mosques to prevent terrorism NEWSDAY OPINION; Nov 7, 2017
“We must examine sanctuaries for Islamism and Islamist sympathizers in mosques, centers and neighborhoods. Counterterrorism experts and politicians must know that far from being Islamophobic, the scrutiny is supported by Islam. The Quran demands that Muslims fight injustice, even testifying against relatives.”…read opinion

Study: Stents no aid to painNEWSDAY; Nov 7, 2017
Having a stent placed in a coronary vessel to relieve chest pain may be of no benefit for some heart patients despite the procedure being one of the most common in cardiac care
read article

Published Nov 2, 2017
Various Advertising Against the NYS Constitutional Convention
...more info 
Candidates for Suffolk County offices
NEWSDAY; Oct 30, 2017
Judges, DA, Sheriff, County Legislators…here is the list of who is running…read list
Candidates for Brookhaven Town Races NEWSDAY; Nov 1, 2017
Town Supervisor, Highway Supt., Judge, Town Council reps…here is the list of who is running
read list 
[CON CON] Unions bolsters ‘NO’ vote effort NEWSDAY; Oct 31. 2017
The group, New Yorkers Against Corruption, got $1.8 million in donations in the last two weeks, including $500,000 from the New York State United Teachers union, $350,000 from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, $250,000 from the Civil Service Employees Association, and $140,000 from the New York State AFL-CIO…and still has $1.2 million left to spend…read article

Imprisoned ex-chief gets $145G pension NEWSDAY; Oct 27, 2017
James Burke, the imprisoned former Suffolk County police chief at the center of the indictments of Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota and a top aide, currently collects an annual pension of $145,485, according to state records. That taxpayer-funded income is in addition to a one-time $194,901.98 payment he took from his pension when he retired, according to the state comptroller’s office. And it doesn’t include the nearly $435,000 Burke received in 2016 for unused sick and vacation time…read article

State health marketplace enrollment starts NEWSDAY; Nov 1, 2017
The enrollment period for the NY State of Health marketplace will run until Jan. 31, six weeks longer than the federal marketplace’s enrollment period…read article 
Related article…
Smart choices for open enrollment NEWSDAY; Oct 30, 2017
One of the most significant decisions you’ll make during open enrollment is about your health insurance…read article

Costly natural gas to fuel winter rate hike NEWSDAY; Oct 29, 2017
National Grid cited higher natural gas prices in projecting average monthly heating bills will increase 10 percent this winter…read article

LI’s war on drugs NEWSDAY; Oct 30, 2017
Suffolk Police Commissioner Timothy Sini, the Democratic candidate for Suffolk County district attorney, said: “We can put drug dealers on notice that if people die as a result of the drugs they sell, they will be treated like murderers . . . It sends a message to drug dealers that we are not going to tolerate drug dealing in our communities. It also sends a message to residents that we will aggressively investigate complaints of drug dealing.” Rep. Tom Reed, a Republican who represents western New York State, is sponsoring a bill aimed at dealers who were caught selling over 100 grams of fentanyl that would give federal prosecutors the power to punish them with life in prison or death…read article

Single IDA urged for LI NEWSDAY; Oct 31, 2017
The Citizens Budget Commission report concluded that businesses from one town or village “can be lured to another in the same region through tax incentives, without generating any real new jobs or additional revenue.”…read article

New plant, 115 more jobs NEWSDAY; Nov 1, 2017
CVD Equipment Corp. of Central Islip is buying a 180,000-square foot facility near its headquarters for $13.9 million as part of an expansion plan. State officials said the expansion would create 115 new jobs. The Town of Islip is providing a package of tax abatements over 14 years worth more than $2 million…read article

Therapy group expands NEWSDAY; Nov 1, 2017
Uniondale-based Professional Physical Therapy has acquired South Shore Hand Therapy in Merrick and plans to buy more such facilities, its CEO said Monday…read article

Suffolk cops plan intervention for addicts NEWSDAY; Oct 31, 2017
Commissioner Timothy Sini said his officers would identify suspected drug abusers and turn their names over to the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, or LICADD, which will counsel them to voluntarily enter a treatment program…read article

Info on bonuses for DA staff subpoenaed NEWSDAY; Oct 27, 2017
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota’s office has paid a total of $2.7 million in bonuses since 2012 using an asset forfeiture fund, according to documents released this month…read article

Hofstra’s legal visionary NEWSDAY; Oct 29, 2017
The year-to-year decline in applications began between the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years. For the class entering in August 2012, Hofstra received 3,892 applications from prospective full- and part-time students. That number dropped to 2,671 in 2013; 2,343 in 2014; 1,848 in 2015; and 1,808 in 2016…read article 

[Proposition 2] Pension measure has its limits NEWSDAY OPINION; Oct 29, 2017
Even if voters approve the proposition, it will only affect state and local officials who commit felony crimes, directly connected to their official duties, starting Jan. 1, 2018. “You’d think that an orange jumpsuit would be more of a deterrent than losing your pension, but that turns out not to be the case.”…read opinion

No need to open up NY’s constitution NEWSDAY OPINION; Oct 30, 2017
There have been only two successful constitutional conventions since 1894, and both were called when the nation was in crisis…read opinion

Looking for sense in nation’s gun laws NEWSDAY LETTERS; Oct 27, 2017
“I’m not required to attend any classes or qualify on any weapon I possess. In fact, I don’t even have to see the broadside of a barn; no less hit it.”—Retired police officer…read letter

The Fragile Generation REASON.COM; Dec 2017
When we don't let our kids do anything on their own, we don't get to see just how competent they can be—and isn't that, ultimately, the greatest reward of parenting? We need to make it easier for grown-ups to let go while living in a society that keeps warning them not to. And we need to make sure they won't get arrested for it…read article

Published on Oct 26, 2017
How the new minimum wage law is affecting LI manufacturers
NEWSDAY; Oct 22, 2017

New York State’s new, higher minimum wage is leading to drastic actions by factories on Long Island that produce food or drugs, have small staffs or use low-skilled workers on their assembly lines, according to executives and government records. “The potential for lost jobs is particularly acute, given that manufacturers face global competition,” said Moody’s economist Adam Ozimek. Uncle Wally’s executives Michael Petrucelli and Louis Avignone, in an IDA letter obtained by Newsday, said, “For us to remain profitable, 1 out of every 4 of our workers will lose their jobs.” The company employed 160 last year. Cuomo overcame opposition to the [minimum wage] measure by including the wage raise in the 2016-17 state budget, which had to be adopted in order to fund state operations…read article

Job growth still slow NEWSDAY; Oct 20, 2017
“Companies across a variety of sectors have reported having a hard time filling open positions, which maybe limiting potential job growth,” said Shital Patel, labor market analyst
read article

Health premium increases looming NEWSDAY; Oct 24, 2017
Even after firms make plan changes such as raising deductibles or switching carriers, according to early responses. “Employers are facing the biggest premium increase since 2011,” says William Lovy of Mercer, national HR consultants, in Manhattan. In particular, employers face drug costs rising about 7 percent next year due to new specialty medications…read article

Wind project off LI named Empire Wind NEWSDAY; Oct 24, 2017
The developer is Norwegian [Statoil, which is two-thirds owned by the Norwegian government], but the name of the first wind-energy array off Long Island’s South Shore will be distinctly New York: Empire Wind. Statoil has ambitions beyond the Empire Wind project. New York State this month identified more than 1 million acres of offshore waters for future wind arrays. [Statoil] noted production will be based on contracts the company negotiates with the state or power companies…read article

Gaining venture capital NEWSDAY; Oct 23, 2017
Long Island companies are on pace in 2017 to eclipse the $41.26 million in venture capital raised last year, based on data through mid-October…read article

Suit challenges Suffolk’s fee hikes as illegal NEWSDAY; Oct 25, 2017
Under state law and legal precedent, local fee hikes have to equal the cost of providing services. The county increased its “tax map verification fee” from $60 per parcel to $200 in 2015 and added a new $300 fee for mortgage recordings in 2016. Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) filmed the process of verifying the tax map numbers and processing the mortgage documents, which took a county worker 51 seconds…read article

National honor for LI teacher NEWSDAY; Oct 20, 2017
Fifth-graders inevitably find themselves drawn into Kate Hunter’s social studies lessons, whether the subject is homelessness, bullying or the sacrifice of World War II veterans who were the students’ great-grandparents…read article

Suffolk County: No movie magic here NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Oct 24, 2017
Looks like Suffolk is projected to have a 2018 structural deficit larger than that estimated for Nassau, where the Nassau Interim Finance Authority has overseen county budgets for 17 years…read article

Fee hikes will get their day in court NEWSDAY OPINION; Oct 25, 2017
The Real Property Tax Service Agency, which collects these fees [tax map verification and mortgage recording], has an annual budget of $1.2 million, but it brings in $66 million in fees. A charge levied by a county that covers the cost of a service rendered, like recording a mortgage or updating a tax map, is a fee. A charge levied by a county that wildly exceeds the cost of a service rendered is a scam…read opinion

FDA approves new shingles vaccine NEWSDAY; Oct 24, 2017
Anyone who’s had chickenpox — nearly everyone over 40 — harbors the varicella-zoster virus that causes the disease. The virus can resurface decades later, triggering painful sores on one side of the body…read article

Published on Oct 19, 2017
Myths & Realities of a State Constitutional Convention
“Unhappy with our state government? The ‘con-con’ gives New Yorkers a way to set things right. At the moment, however, opponents of a convention are flooding the zone with political advertising. Many high-spending special interest groups, including labor unions, are among those spending to oppose a constitutional convention. By now, you’ve seen the lawn signs. Or the bumper stickers. Or the posts on Facebook. One victim of this heated rhetoric is the truth. There is a lot being said that is simply not fact. To make a good decision on whether to support a constitutional convention, one needs to understand what is myth and what is reality.”
read editorial

Convention foes have the cash NEWSDAY; Oct 16, 2017
Public worker unions, politicians and others opposed to a state constitutional convention that could overhaul state government have heavily outspent convention backers, with the most intense TV ad blitzes expected over the next four weeks, according to records and interviews
read article

CON-CON & the other Two Amendments Ballotmedia
What are they and what do they really mean? more

Benefit checks to be 2% bigger
 NEWSDAY; Oct 14, 2017
The cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, affects benefits for more than 70 million U.S. residents, including Social Security recipients, disabled veterans and federal retirees. It comes to only $25 a month for the average beneficiary.…read article

Aggressive panhandling banned in Patchogue NEWSDAY; Oct 12, 2017
Patchogue Retailers Committee, in a letter to the board that was read during the meeting, said the group supports the law “because it is consistent with our goal of improving the shopping experience in Patchogue. We have all had customers make comments about not feeling safe because of panhandling.” New York State does not have a similar code, village officials said. The state used to have a panhandling statute, but a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2015 struck it down on the basis it violated First Amendment rights…read article

Tick kits sent to LI schools NEWSDAY; Oct 14, 2017
Stony Brook Southampton Hospital is providing more than 500 tick removal kits to about 150 schools in Suffolk County, officials said. Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne infection nationwide, and Suffolk County has been a hot zone of the ailment for decades, experts said
read article

Budget called ‘risky’ NEWSDAY; Oct 17. 2017
Bellone spokesman Jason Elan criticized the legislature’s sales tax estimates. He said [of the] Budget Review’s consultant, “We know of no other municipality using their services…”
read article

Immigrant loss could have cost NEWSDAY; Oct 14, 2017
Suffolk would lose $373M spending a year, report says…read article

DA bonuses questioned NEWSDAY; Oct 14, 2017
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota has awarded almost $2.7 million in bonuses to prosecutors since 2012 without approval from county legislators. The money came from a state asset forfeiture fund that in Suffolk is controlled by Spota. District attorney Division Chief Edward Heilig said the district attorney raises, which are all approved by Spota, were based on merit and that many went to prosecutors who work more than the 35 hours a week the county requires…read article

TOB - $5.8M federal grant for emergency plans
NEWSDAY; Oct 17, 2017
Brookhaven Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said the grant would help the town improve its responses to hurricanes, snowstorms and other emergencies…read article

Regents exams to get more scrutiny NEWSDAY; Oct 17, 2017
Lorna Lewis, superintendent of Plainview- Old Bethpage schools, said allowing a committee of teachers to review questions that already had been field tested means, in effect, that those teachers would see all questions actually slated to appear on exams. That, she said, could give such teachers an unfair advantage…read article

Books - What’s cool for kids NEWSDAY; Oct 15, 2017
Paige Britt’s “Why Am I Me?” (Scholastic, ages 3-7) invites very young listeners to consider something both astonishing and elegantly simple: What do I know about myself? reviews

Troopers in LI schools? Not so fast NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Oct 15, 2017
In Longwood, which also balked at the program, the district ultimately wrangled the closest thing to an apology from the state. That came in a letter from Letizia Tagliafierro, a Cuomo staffer stating, “We acknowledge that neither the Longwood SHS nor the JHS experience gang activity in their buildings.”…read column

¿Hablas Español?. . .Why not? NEWSDAY OPINION; Oct 16. 2017
Nationally, and especially locally, trends point to an American future told in Spanish as well as English. Though assimilation into America’s melting pot has, should and will continue to include learning English, this needn’t come at the expense of commonsense practicality…read opinion

The Soviet experiment’s rise and fall NEWSDAY OPINION; Oct 17, 2017
With its slogans of equality for all, human solidarity, and the elimination of oppression and want, communism appealed to millions of people in the West in the last century…read opinion

Warily waiting for the supervolcano NEWSDAY OPINION; Oct 15, 2017
Magma is building beneath Yellowstone’s mighty mountains. And it’s due to blow opinion

Strategies for buying your first home NEWSDAY BUSINESS; Oct 15, 2017
Rising home prices, wages that haven’t kept pace with those increases, and high levels of student debt are forcing first-time home buyers on Long Island to find creative ways to afford the biggest purchase of their lives…read article

Mata Hari, mystery for a century NEWSDAY; Oct 15, 2017
LEEUWARDEN, Netherlands—A century ago on Sunday, an exotic dancer named Mata Hari was executed by a French firing squad, condemned as a sultry Dutch double agent who supposedly caused the deaths of thousands of soldiers during World War I…read article

Secrets found in cosmic crash NEWSDAY SCIENCE; Oct 17, 2017
It was a faint signal, but it told of one of the most violent acts in the universe, and it would soon reveal secrets of the cosmos, including how gold was created…read article

Published on Oct 12, 2017
Tuition aid for U.S. territory students NEWSDAY; Oct 7, 2017
The State University of New York will offer in-state tuition to students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as requested earlier in the week by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo…read article

State: Beware ID theft NEWSDAY; Oct 11, 2017
“By taking proactive security measures now, taxpayers can reduce the likelihood that they’ll become victims of identity theft.” acting Commissioner Nonie Manion of the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance…read article

Clean power rules to end NEWSDAY; Oct 10, 2017
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that he will sign a new rule overriding the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era effort to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants…read article

Anti-bully law aimed at parents NEWSDAY; Oct 10, 2017
Parents of children found bullying other minors could face jail time under a new law approved in this western New York community…read article

Pushback on troopers NEWSDAY; Oct 9, 2017
Schools balk at state effort toward gangs. Longwood’s protest triggered a letter from a Cuomo staff lawyer to the school admitting the designation wasn’t made on reports of gang activities in its schools…read article

PSEG LI rises in survey ranks NEWSDAY; Oct 10, 2017
The latest [customer satisfaction survey] increase puts PSEG in 11th place among the 17 largest eastern utilities. Over the past two years it has received more than $8 million in bonus compensation, even as it has missed measures of customer outage duration and frequency
read article

On LI, seized assets in the millions NEWSDAY; Oct 8, 2017
Suffolk took in $4.1 million in assets through state [criminal] charges…read article

Learning How to Learn Could Be a Student's Most Valuable Skill 
EDUCATION WEEK; Sep 28, 2017
In survey after survey, technology experts and business leaders are skeptical of the ability of the K-12 and higher education systems to evolve quickly enough to respond to the workforce demands of the future. To be sure, no one knows precisely the recipe for producing the most prepared, adaptable workforce. But at the very least, to learn how to learn is a gift. And it may just be one of the puzzle pieces to navigating an uncertain future…read article

Growing Number of States Embrace Career Education 
"What we're seeing is that there's been a shift from focusing purely on college readiness to thinking also about career readiness," said Jennifer Thomsen, who analyzes policy for the Education Commission of the States…read article 

A tax-reform punch in the gut for LI NEWSDAY OPINION; Oct 8, 2017
“New York is home to some of the highest state and local taxes in the nation. Officials in Washington must understand that ending the deductions would be bad for New York, bad for Long Island and bad for all of our constituents,” states US congressmen Thomas Suozzi and Peter King…read opinion

Laws on scheduling gaining momentum NEWSDAY BUSINESS; Oct 9, 2017
“Predictive scheduling” [is] legislation that generally requires employers to give a certain amount of advance notice to employees of their work schedules and compensate them if those schedules are changed…read article

Companies with a conscience NEWSDAY; Oct 8, 2017
The companies say that corporate social responsibility promotes innovation, brand differentiation, customer engagement, and employee recruitment and retention…read article

Published on Oct 5, 2017
Legislators retain role on reforms NEWSDAY; Oct 2, 2017
Bills that would prohibit elected officials from controlling a constitutional convention have been blocked in the State Legislature. Failure to advance the bills means that a key argument of opponents of a constitutional convention remains alive: That elected officials could hijack the panel from private citizens and block meaningful reform…read article

Union fees back in Supreme Court NEWSDAY; Sep 29, 2017
“We are now one step closer to freeing over 5 million public sector teachers, police officers, firefighters, and other employees from the injustice of being forced to subsidize a union as a condition of working for their own government,” National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation President Mark Mix said in a statement. The case involves only public- employee unions but those unions are the strongest segment of an organized labor movement
read article

Cuomo raises profile NEWSDAY; Oct 1, 2017
Hank Sheinkopf, a veteran Democratic political consultant, said the governor’s efforts to raise his profile and sound off on issues key to certain constituencies (unions, Latinos) is foremost about next Year [NYS Governor’s race, but] “Should it create speculation about 2020? Yeah, it should,” Sheinkopf said…read article

Deportation fears keep ‘dreamers’ away NEWSDAY; Oct 1, 2017
“People say, ‘If I reapply for DACA, I’m more of a priority’ for deportation.”…read article

MTA’s tollbooths in rearview mirror NEWSDAY; Oct 1, 2017
With the removal of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s last two toll plazas at the Throgs Neck and Bronx- Whitestone bridges on Saturday, all of the MTA’s nine crossings are now cashless. Wayne Joseph, president of the Bridge and Tunnel Officers Benevolent Association, said his union was “on board” with the change to cashless tolling, but thought his members should be compensated for moving into a more dangerous law enforcement role. “There’s still a need for us. Nobody’s losing their jobs or anything like that,” Joseph said. “It’s just a shift in primary function.”…read article

Missing links in the chains NEWSDAY BUSINESS; Oct 1, 2017
Some big retailers find Long Island a daunting market to enter. “It could take less than 45 days to get something approved elsewhere, but that same process could take two years or more here,” said David F. Chinitz, president and CEO at Park Place Realty Group in Melville
read article

Calculating tax reform’s impact on LI NEWSDAY; Oct 1, 2017
For most taxpayers, the proposal’s core is the simplification of taxes by collapsing the current seven brackets — which range from 10 percent to 39.6 percent — into three brackets of 12 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent, with a possible fourth for high-income filers. How those streamlined brackets will affect Long Island taxpayers cannot be determined — the framework did not include their income ranges…read article

Sites ID’d for offshore power NEWSDAY; Oct 4, 2017
New York has a goal of 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030 from federal waters primarily off the Long Island coast…read article

New Law Will Ensure Access to Narcan On-Site at Service Providers
At the General Legislature Meeting on Tuesday, October 3, the members of the Suffolk County Legislature unanimously approved Introductory Resolution 1679, sponsored by Legislator Sarah Anker. The resolution is a local law to ensure access to Naloxone, a medication that reverses the effects of drug overdose, at substance abuse and mental health service providers
read press release

Traffic cam study OKd NEWSDAY; Oct 4, 2017 
Bill sponsor Legis. Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) said the county will spend $250,000 from its Traffic and Parking Violations Agency…[on] hiring an outside contractor to study why injury accidents at nearly half the red-light camera intersections have gone up…read article

Panel rejects health pay-in for nonunion workers
NEWSDAY; Sep 28, 2017
A Suffolk legislative committee on Wednesday rejected a proposal to require all nonunion employees to pay a portion of their health insurance, as public employee union members warned the county against imposing a similar requirement on them. The bill defeated by the Government Operations Committee would have saved the county $850,000 a year by requiring 323 nonunion workers, including political appointees and prosecutors, to pay 15 percent of health care costs starting Jan. 1. All union and nonunion employees hired after 2012 currently pay 15 percent of their health insurance costs.…read article

Brookhaven to bid on Amazon HQ NEWSDAY; Sep 28, 2017
Amazon has said the selected headquarters will bring 50,000 jobs and invest $5 billion in the local community. Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said Wednesday that Calabro Airport is appealing because the land has already been cleared and another 108 acres next door at the shuttered Dowling College could bring additional space. “Amazon wants a campus-style facility,” the supervisor said…read article

Brookhaven Town - OT drops 11% as payroll stabilizes 
NEWSDAY; Sep 29, 2017
Brookhaven chief of operations Matt Miner said municipal spending on payroll can be unpredictable because of bad weather and other unanticipated events. He said Brookhaven was fortunate last year that snowstorms were relatively few, so that Highway Department crews earned less overtime for clearing roads…read article

Brookhaven Town – Jumping on dumping NEWSDAY; Sep 28, 2017
Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine wants to pay residents up to $1,000 to complain about illegal dumping…read article

The Arts Need to Be a Central Part of Schooling 
It is hard to ignore the growing body of research that correlates arts experiences with multiple domains of learning, including academic achievement, motivation, and thinking skills
read article

Fast track to regents NEWSDAY; Oct 2, 2017
The academic year had ended weeks before, but at The Windsor School on Flushing’s busy Main Street, more than 200 students from Long Island were back at the books in July
read article

Long Island looks like a loser NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Oct 1, 2017
Simplifying the system and lowering the number of brackets would make sense. For the vast majority of taxpayers, figuring out what they owe in taxes should be an easy process that takes into account just a few factors. The new plan to reform federal taxes could cost New York’s homeowners and larger families thousands more a year…read editorial

Too much of a good thing NEWSDAY OPINION; Oct 1, 2017
The popularity of our national parks is putting stress on their natural beauty…read opinion

There’s absolutely no need to panic NEWSDAY OPINION; Oct 2, 2017
“Amid the current climate of political despair, I’ve so far managed to keep my head. That, in turn, seems to be driving certain people around me crazy.”…read opinion

Insulin illustrates health care woes NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Oct 2, 2017
For people who have generous health care plans with small deductibles and copays, insulin prices aren’t a problem. And for people poor enough to be on Medicaid in New York, insulin prices are not a big issue because they have no deductibles or copays. But a 50-year-old patient with a bronze-level family plan from an Affordable Care Act exchange would have to meet an average annual deductible of $8,000 before insurance starts paying for his or her insulin. That’s on top of policy premiums averaging $1,100 a month…read editorial

U.S. braces for tough flu; shots urges NEWSDAY; Sep 29, 2017
Everybody needs a shot, starting at 6 months of age, according to the CDC. Flu is most dangerous for people over age 65, young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions such as asthma or heart disease. On average, the CDC said flu kills about 24,000 Americans each year, and last year, the toll included 105 children…read article

Published on Sep 28, 2017
Big push to pass Dream Act NEWSDAY; Sep 26, 2017
The measure would protect undocumented minors who face deportation because of President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program…read article

Survey finds 20% of teen athletes had head trauma NEWSDAY, Sep 27, 2017
“While participation in contact sports can provide numerous health benefits and a way to build confidence and leadership, there is always the risk of concussion,” said Dr. Robert Glatter, a former sideline physician for the Jets…read article

Target hiking pay to $11, then $15 NEWSDAY; Sep 26, 2017
Shares of Minneapolis based Target fell 0.73 percent Monday to close at $58.55, as investors worried about how much the wage hike would hurt the bottom line…read article

Face of LI is changing NEWSDAY, Sep 26, 2017
“I definitely think that when people outside of Long Island think of Long Island, they think about it as bastions of privilege and elite kind of middle-class families, but the demographics have changed and our institutions need to reflect that change…” said Sonia Arora, [who along with] her husband founded a collective they call Long Island Together…read article

Red-light cam study gets OK NEWSDAY, Sep 26, 2017
Suffolk Democratic legislators approved a six-month study on the safety of red light camera sites in a tense committee meeting Monday after blocking a GOP effort to suspend the program Jan. 1 until a review is done. The public works committee voted 5-2 in favor of a resolution sponsored by Legis. Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai). article

SAT scores up, with a caveat NEWSDAY, Sep 26, 2017
National scores for the Class of 2017 on the redesigned SAT college entrance exam are the highest posted in 45 years. The recalibrated scores reflect a thorough overhaul of the SAT based on new benchmarks for measuring students’ readiness for college…read article

High school students also enrolled in college classwork
NEWSDAY; Sep 27, 2017
Many more high school students are fast-tracking their studies by simultaneously taking community college courses as a way to save time and money on higher education
read article

Confessions of a desperado millennial NEWSDAY OPINION; Sep 21, 2017
My apologies for killing everything. All I wanted was avocado and a trophy…read opinion

College-search software I want to kill NEWSDAY OPINION; Sep 22, 2017
Naviance is a nifty, award winning piece of software. The thing is, I would very much like to destroy every copy of it in existence…read opinion

Published Sep 21, 2017
School rebuff NEWSDAY; Sep 15, 2017
School officials in Longwood and Huntington told residents yesterday that they had not been consulted in advance about a state program [Cuomo] to send state troopers into their schools. Longwood Superintendent Michael Lonergan wrote on the district’s website that he “had NO prior knowledge of the formation of the task force or the details on how the district was chosen.” He added “our schools do not have gangs roaming the hallways or threatening our school community,” blaming media outlets for the portrayal…read article

Sanders offers health bill NEWSDAY; Sep 14, 2017
The bill would establish Medicare…as the nation’s health care system; enroll all children up to age 18 during the first year; and phase it in over four years by lowering the age of adults each year until everyone is covered. Sanders did not offer estimates of the cost or how he would pay for the bill. But the Medicare for All bill he promoted as he ran for president last year would cost $1.38 trillion a year, paid for by higher taxes, especially on the wealthy…read article

CENSUS: LI Median Incomes Up in ’16 NEWSDAY; Sep 14, 2017
Median household income in Nassau rose to $105,870 in 2016, up from $102,403 the year before. In Suffolk, the median rose to $92,933, from $89,488 in 2015…read article

LI home prices up as listings dwindle NEWSDAY; Sep 15, 2017
In Suffolk County, the median sales price increased by 6.5 percent compared with the previous August, to $375,000,There were 7,345 homes listed for sale in Suffolk last month, down 15 percent from the previous August…read article

State: LI’s unemployment rate up to 4.4% in August NEWSDAY; Sep 20, 2017
Long Island’s unemployment rate inched up to 4.4 percent in August, from 4.2 percent in August 2016…the rise in the number of jobless residents amid a growing labor force likely indicates that more discouraged workers have restarted their job search…read article

Job growth stumbles NEWSDAY; Sep 15, 2017
Long Island’s job growth has weakened the most in more than seven years, data released yesterday show. Just three of the Island’s nine private sectors gained jobs. The government sector expanded by 1,000 jobs…read article

$3B Suffolk budget adds 235 police NEWSDAY; Sep 16, 2017
The police district rate will rise by 4.85 percent [after rising almost 4% this year]. The proposed budget includes no layoffs…but banks on major union concessions on health insurance. Noel DiGerolamo, Suffolk PBA president, said he was…“happy to assist” the county in talks, but declined to comment on the size of concessions under discussion or when a deal might be struck. “But I am unaware of where they are coming up with these numbers. My calculations are significantly different,” he said….read article

Q&A: One-on-One with U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos 
EDUCATION WEEK; Sep 18, 2017
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has faced some big challenges in her more-than six months in office. We talked about all of that and much more in a wide-ranging interview Friday, the final day of the secretary's "Rethink School" tour, which kicked off last Tuesday and covered six states…read interview

County budget sleight of hand NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Sep 19, 2017
In Suffolk, the general property tax fund is tiny and hikes do not reap big bucks, so the action is in the police district property tax fund. County Executive Steve Bellone’s $3 billion budget proposes to hike that levy by 4.85 percent—after it rose almost 4 percent this year. But the increases didn’t exceed the property tax cap either year, because . . . magic! OK, it’s not really magic…read editorial

Suffolk will need to do more to cut health costs NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Sep 18, 2017
When Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone unveiled his 2018 budget Friday, a key stumbling block stood out. Health care spending is out of control, and the fact that most county employees don’t pay for any part of it is just a small piece of the problem…read editorial

Published Sep 14, 2017
Andrew Cuomo: Troopers going to 10 Suffolk schools to fight gangs 
NEWSDAY; Sep 13, 2017
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that 10 state troopers will immediately be deployed to 10 Suffolk schools for gang prevention. The schools are: Brentwood High School; Central Islip Senior High School; Huntington High School; Longwood High School; Wyandanch High School; Bellport Senior High School; Freshman Center, in Brentwood; Longwood Junior High School; Ralph G. Reed Middle School in Central Islip; and Brentwood West Middle School…read article

NYS: Paid Family Leave
 NEWSDAY; Sep 10, 2017
Eligible employees can receive as many as eight weeks off, as of Jan. 1. The maximum leave rises to 10 weeks in 2019. It changes for the final time in 2021, when employees may take up to 12 weeks off…read article

Saving lives in LI’s opioid crisis NEWSDAY; Sep 12, 2017
Suffolk officials said they’ve held more than 278 classes and have trained more than 9,000 people on how to administer the drug since they introduced their naloxone program in 2012
read article

PSEG: Smart meters by 2022 NEWSDAY; Sep 10, 2017
The $291 million transformation that will give the utility and customers real-time data about usage and eliminate the need for estimated bills — along with more than 160 jobs
….read article

Share plan could save $37M NEWSDAY; Sep 13, 2017 
Suffolk supervisors…and County Executive Steve Bellone yesterday unanimously passed a plan to share municipal services that county officials hope will save county taxpayers $37 million over the next two years. Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said yesterday that while he supported the plan, it was only “playing around the edges” because personnel costs make up about 70 percent of expenses…read article

SC IDA: Firms invested $775.7M
 NEWSDAY; Sep 12, 2017
The IDA invested an average of $704 in incentives per job retained or created, while companies invested $49,900 per job, the report conducted by the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning found…read article

Recycling site starts $200G expansion NEWSDAY; Sep 8, 2017
“We’re ready to go to the next level,” said Supervisor Edward P. Romaine in an interview. “We’re preparing for the future. We really want to give a big boost to recycling.”…read article

A leap forward for arts NEWSDAY; Sep 13, 2017 
The state Board of Regents voted unanimously for the new guidelines, which cover dance, music, theater and visual and media arts. The standards will go into effect with the 2018-19 school year…read article

Blueprints for success
 NEWSDAY; Sep 12, 2017
Two state blueprints spelling out what public school students on Long Island and statewide should learn in the future and how districts can help them succeed won unanimous consent yesterday from the state Board of Regents…read article

How Virtual Reality Is Helping Train New Teachers 
The idea is that incoming teachers can feel what it's like to be confronted with challenging behaviors—for instance, students yelling, pulling out their cellphones, jumping on desks—without having to step into a physical classroom. And they can do so at any time on their own by using a smartphone and VR headset, which can cost as little as $10…read article

How colleges on LI rank NEWSDAY; Sep 12, 2017
U.S. News & World Report released its 2018 Best College rankings today, placing Princeton, Harvard, University of Chicago and Yale in the top national spots. The top-ranked Long Island institution on the national list is Stony Brook University, in a six-way tie at No. 97…read article

Get the facts on Equifax NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Sep 13, 2017
The enormous Equifax data breach compromises the personal information of as many as 143 million Americans, more than half of the nation’s adult population. When Equifax did go public [with the data breach news], it gave those affected an impossible choice: Sign up for credit monitoring and other help, but give away your right to sue…read editorial

Want a new career? 5 steps to take first
 NEWSDAY; Sep 11, 2017
You may have identified your next career, but giving up the security of the current one will take energy, money and time. Before you quit your current gig, take these five steps…read article

Published Sep 7, 2017
See who wants your vote in the Sep 12 primary
On Tuesday, Sep 12, NYS is holding their Primary Vote day. All political parties that have more than one candidate vying for their party’s endorsement will have a Primary Vote to select their nominee for the November general elections. Most Coram and Longwood residents, depending on their party affiliation, have some choices to make. To find out what those choices are,
click here.

A new driving force at Riverhead NEWSDAY; Sep 4, 2017

Alyssa Paprocky still is learning what it takes to succeed behind the wheel of a race car, but people at Riverhead Raceway are already talking about the 22-year-old driver from Coram
read article

Dreamers program ending NEWSDAY; Sep 6, 2017
Trump urges Congress to replace plan shielding young immigrants…read article

Search on for insurance NEWSDAY; Sep 4, 2017
The 126,000 policyholders of Northwell Health’s CareConnect insurance subsidiary face a potentially arduous search for new insurance. Individual market insurance rates in New York are slated to go up 14.5 percent next year, while small group rates are scheduled to go up 9.3 percent…read article

Health care is at a premium NEWSDAY; Sep 3, 2017
Double-digit rate hikes face some buyers who don’t qualify for subsidies, tax credits
read article

Major crime down on Long Island NEWSDAY; Sep 4, 2017
In Suffolk, major crime —which includes homicide, burglary and robbery — fell 12.6 percent from the same period last year…read article

The Feel of Fortune NEWSDAY; Sep 4, 2017
Suffolk County OTB’s 6-month-old video lottery betting parlor at Jake’s 58 Hotel & Casino in Islandia continued its run as one of the state’s most successful…read article

The graying of Long Island’s unions NEWSDAY; Sep 3, 2017
Organized labor is dealing with retirements, a shortage of young workers and a slow recovery from recession losses…read article

2 local labor disputes end NEWSDAY; Sep 1, 2017
Waldner’s, an office furniture firm, closed its in-house distribution and installation business on July 5, turning to subcontractors for that work. The company said 20 full and part-time workers represented by Teamsters Local 814 were laid off. The agreement, ratified yesterday, secured severance of “one week of pay per year of service,” said Jason Ide, president of Local 814. Alside Supply Center in Old Bethpage…16 members of Teamsters Local 807 went on Strike. The strike, over proposed changes to health care coverage and the removal of a pension plan, ended after the workers found jobs at other companies employing Teamsters….read article

Suffolk lawmakers suspend raises for themselves, other officials
Suffolk County legislators voted Wednesday to suspend automatic cost-of-living pay raises for themselves and other elected county officials for the next five years…read article

Tussle on benefits pay NEWSDAY; Aug 31, 2017
Suffolk faces a $160 million budget deficit between ongoing revenue and expenses, and a public backlash on fee hikes. The bill being proposed would cost 323 nonunion workers--including county prosecutors and political appointees--$1,500 a year for an individual plan or $3,154 for a family plan. It would go into effect on Jan. 1 and save the county $850,000 a year. If union employees contributed 15 percent, it could save upward of $30 million a year
read article

In defense of cameras NEWSDAY; Sep 1, 2017
The county’s most recent red light camera report released in July found an overall 5 percent decrease in injury accidents compared with the year before they were installed, but injury accidents increased at 46 of 100 intersections…read article

Opt-out rates dip statewide NEWSDAY; Aug 31, 2017
Numbers of students boycotting the state’s Common Core tests dropped in the majority of school districts statewide this year, though the figures remained especially high on Long Island. Of 50 districts statewide with the highest opt-out rates, 40 are located on the Island
read article

Zero hour looms to fix Social Security and Medicare
The fiscal stability of both programs is faltering, and the longer repairs are delayed, the harsher the solutions will be…read editorial

Workers, robots and progress NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Sep 4, 2017
Our nation must prepare our workers for what’s coming, even if we don’t know exactly what that is, with a constantly evolving effort to retrain and transform the workforce, to move forward with technology and find our place among the robots…read editorial

A cruel reversal for Dreamers NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Sep 6, 2017
Trump makes immigrants a political football. The change in immigration policy the Trump administration announced yesterday jeopardizes the legal status of nearly 800,000 people brought to this country illegally as children…read article

5 times when you should buy your leased car NEWSDAY ONLINE; Sep 1, 2017
The buyout option at the end of a car lease can be an attractive opportunity or a tool for damage control. Here are the times when you might want to stay with old faithful
read article

Blink and you’ll miss it NEWSDAY; Sep 1, 2017
In an instant, one seven-hundredth the speed of the blink of an eye, the ant snaps its jaws shut around the unsuspecting creature…read article

Published Aug 31, 2017
Convention of Hope NEWSDAY; Aug 27, 2017
Proponents see Constitutional Convention as chance to curb corruption; opponents fear bunch of insiders…read article

Nursing home abuse unreported NEWSDAY; Aug 29, 2017
More than 1 in 4 cases of possible sexual and physical abuse against nursing home patients apparently went unreported to police, says a government audit that faults Medicare for failing to enforce a federal law requiring immediate notification…read article

School’s back in NEWSDAY; Aug 30, 2017
“A longer school year is better; a longer school day is better,” Jericho Superintendent Henry Grishman said…read article

Diploma Debate: LI Families seek Change NEWSDAY; Aug 29, 2017
Demand new options to Regents certification. Overall, more than 11 percent of students in Suffolk County and more than 9 percent in Nassau did not graduate on time or never completed high school at all in 2016…read article

NIFA Oks retirement incentive NEWSDAY; Aug 30, 2017
Evan Cohen, NIFA’s executive director said as many as 247 employees had signed up for the program as of Monday, their annual salaries totaling about $17 million. The 50 percent limit on backfilling those positions means the $17 million in savings could only be reduced by about half that amount…read article

Solar installations dive at LI homes NEWSDAY; Aug 28, 2017
The number of new residential solar-power installations on Long Island so far in 2017 has declined by more than 50 percent…read article

TOB: Town to join anti-dumping lawsuit NEWSDAY; Aug 29, 2017
“This is something we are adamantly opposed to,” Brookhaven Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said in an interview…read article

More Americans Give Top Grades to Public Schools EDUCATION WEEK; Aug 28, 2017
The percentage of Americans rating K-12 education quality—at both the national and local levels—at an "A" or "B" is the highest it's been since the 1980s…read article

New Federal Rule Could Force States to Lower Graduation Rates 
EDUCATION WEEK; Aug 25, 2017
Diplomas with less-rigorous requirements are the target of new language in the Every Student Succeeds Act. The law requires states to calculate their graduation rates by including only "standard" diplomas awarded to a "preponderance" of students, or diplomas with tougher requirements…read article

We need a holiday from calendar fuss NEWSDAY OPINION; Aug 30, 2017
With life as confusing as it is today, it’s nice to happen upon a debate with such a clear-cut resolution: Everyone’s wrong on both sides…read opinion

The problem when test results provide few answers 
“If your child, in a school where only 30% of the students achieved proficiency, has never taken the tests, are you assuming that he or she is proficient? editorial

‘Members Only’ Medicine NEWSDAY; Aug 27, 2017
Growing numbers of doctors on Long Island, frustrated with seeing 30 patients or more in appointments each day, are adopting a business model that drastically reduces their daily
caseload…read article

Published Aug 24, 2017
State Tests: LI students improve score NEWSDAY; Aug 23, 2017
More than 45 percent of students in grades three through eight in Nassau and Suffolk counties reached proficiency or better on both exams, while about 40 percent of students statewide did so, the agency said. More than 900,000 students across the state took exams out of about 1.1 million who were eligible. Jeanette Deutermann, chief organizer of the Long Island Opt Out network, was not impressed by the state commissioner’s report of a drop statewide in opt-outs. “Honestly, if that makes her feel better to say that it’s dropped, I’m willing to allow her to feel good about that,” Deutermann said…read article

LI jobless rate rises slightly NEWSDAY; Aug 23, 2017
Local economists said the rise in the number of employed and unemployed residents, and in the jobless rate, could indicate that more discouraged workers, or those who had dropped out of the market, restarted their job search because they believed their employment prospects had improved…read article

GOP contest certain in 6th NEWSDAY; Aug 20, 2017
Frank Vetro and Gary Pollakusky are battling in the Sept. 12 GOP primary ballot for the right to take on Democratic Legis. Sarah Anker in the 6th Legislative District. Two years ago Pollakusky managed the campaign of Steven Tricarico, who narrowly lost to Anker…read article

For students, a glut of college rankings NEWSDAY; Aug 20, 2017
Big data is putting a fine point on value and cost. College application crunch time is just around the corner, and the number of rankings that compare postsecondary institutions nationwide has grown exponentially…read article

Ways to stop being the family’s ATM NEWSDAY; Aug 20, 2017
The best way to stop enabling is to first recognize when you’re doing it and then create a plan for saying no…read article

Published Aug 17, 2017
College isn’t the only way to achieve the American dream 
Transitioning away from believing that college is the only way to attain the American dream must begin with acknowledging that non-white-collar work is an important part of our economy deserving of both respect and more attentive cultivation…commentary

U.S. teen drug overdose deaths up after years of decline, report shows

AP; Aug 16, 2017
Health expert said it's likely teen overdoses edged up in 2015 because of the increasing availability of newer and more lethal kinds of opioids like fentanyl, which is sometimes mixed with heroin. "If the drugs are more potent, your chances of it (drug use) being fatal have perhaps increased," said Sally Curtin of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
read article

Birth pains for Excelsior NEWSDAY THE POINT; Aug 12, 2017
The state appropriated funds for 22,000 scholarships, but received at least 75,000 applications by the July 21 deadline. And that number could go up. “We’ve been saying it’s 75,000 applicants, but likely it’s more than that,” Elizabeth Bibi, deputy director of media relations for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, told The Point. “We’re still calculating the applications.” Bibi said every eligible student would receive the full scholarship…read article

Helping NY homeowners NEWSDAY; Aug 14, 2017
State buys 203 LI mortgages at risk of foreclosure. Under the program, the state essentially becomes the lender, providing homeowners with more latitude to continue paying a mortgage that they found to be unaffordable under traditional banking practices. The program also provides funding to repair homes…read article

Window on LI wage gap NEWSDAY; Aug 11, 2017
Long Island workers near the top of the pay scale earn six times more than those near the bottom, according to a study of wage inequality released yesterday. New York Fed President William C. Dudley said wage inequality is an issue that needs to be addressed…read article

Setting up solar NEWSDAY; Aug 14, 2017
One of state’s largest energy farms planned at Calverton…read article

Nassau home prices jump 9.8% in a year NEWSDAY; Aug 16, 2017
In Suffolk County, the median price was $365,000, a 5.8 percent annual gain. In Suffolk, the median has yet to reach its pre-recession high of $420,000…read article

Record sales for Home Depot NEWSDAY; Aug 16, 2017
Strong retail sales bolster economic outlook NEWSDAY; Aug 16, 2017
read articles

Review of pool fence regulations NEWSDAY; Aug 14, 2017
More Huntington residents may be able to enjoy the fun of a backyard pool under changes proposed for fence requirements. Huntington Town officials tomorrow are to discuss changes to town code which would allow pool owners to use their neighbor’s fence as part of the requirement for having a fence around a yard with a pool…read article 

Traffic Dept. launches new website NEWSDAY; Aug 16, 2017
Brookhaven residents now can request new traffic signals, pavement markings and guide rails on the town’s website…read article

Yes, Race and Politics Belong in the Classroom 
Ten tips for teachers to engage students in difficult conversations. Recently, Elise, my 7-year-old, walked into the room as I watched a heated conversation about immigration on a popular national news channel and asked me: “Why are people so mad at each other?” I reassured her that people were not necessarily mad at each other as much as they were passionate about their views on the topic. With a look of confusion and a bit of disbelief, Elise walked out of the room. I knew I had missed an important opportunity—a teachable moment—with my daughter…read commentary

The Poison of Identity Politics WSJ OPINION; Aug 13, 2017
The politics of white supremacy was a poison on the right for many decades, but the civil-rights movement rose to overcome it, and it finally did so in the mid-1960s with Martin Luther King Jr. ’s language of equal opportunity and color-blind justice. That principle has since been abandoned, however, in favor of a new identity politics that again seeks to divide Americans by race, ethnicity, gender and even religion…read opinion

It’s a sign of things to come this November NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Aug 12, 2017
Political campaigns, they say, begin in earnest in September. And yet, in the doldrums of August, a lawn sign has sprouted in front of a house on Arnold Avenue in West Babylon
read article

Ring of Fire: Here comes the sun… NEWSDAY; Aug 16, 2017
It’s the first total solar eclipse visible in the United States in almost four decades…read article

Study: 1 in 8 American adults are alcoholics NEWSDAY; Aug 12, 2017
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate 88,000 die from alcohol-related causes yearly, more than twice the toll of opiate overdose…read article

Published Aug 9, 2017
Rewrite constitution? NEWSDAY; Aug 8, 2017
Corruption and a rigged political system are battle cries of both sides in a debate over whether New Yorkers should vote this fall to rewrite the state constitution…read article

Panel sounds alarm on opioids NEWSDAY; Aug 9, 2017
Last week the commission, headed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, urged Trump to declare a national emergency. Doing so, it said, would “awaken every American to this simple fact: If this scourge has not found you or your family yet, without bold action by everyone, it soon will.”
read article

Chicago sues over threat to withhold ‘sanctuary city’ funds 
NEWSDAY; Aug 8, 2017
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has taken his fight against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies to court, with Chicago becoming one of the first cities yesterday to sue the government over what many U.S. cities argue are illegal bids to withhold public safety grants from so-called sanctuary cities. “So it’s this simple: Comply with the law or forego taxpayer dollars,” said U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a toughly worded statement…read article

Factory’s new hires: robots NEWSDAY; Aug 7, 2017
The robots were coming in not to replace humans, and not just as a way to modernize, but also because reliable humans had become so hard to find…read article

Congestion pricing eyed NEWSDAY; Aug 9, 2017
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is considering a “congestion pricing” plan for his 2018-19 state budget that would impose an added cost for cars, including “for-hire vehicles,” in New York City. A decade ago, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg pushed for congestion pricing in New York City, but the bill was blocked in Albany. The Bloomberg proposal would have charged drivers $8 at peak, high-traffic times to enter Manhattan in certain areas. Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone also declined to comment…read article

NY third in wind energy NEWSDAY; Aug 9, 2017
New York is ahead of most other states in wind-energy production and planning, ranking third in small land-based wind arrays. Federal tax incentives for wind power that once covered a third of project costs are set to expire Dec. 31, 2019…read article

Drug factory planned NEWSDAY; Aug 9, 2017
The Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency awarded $356,542 in tax breaks. The drug maker pledged to add 24 jobs by 2020 to its payroll of 22. Dondeti and Tanya Akimova, who co-founded Saptalis, told the IDA board that without Suffolk’s assistance, the company would have to expand in Virginia or Florida…read article

Brookhaven Lab to cut 175 jobs NEWSDAY; Aug 9, 2017
“This staff reduction offers an opportunity for the laboratory to reduce its costs and redirect funding toward growth areas,” BNL spokesman Peter A. Genzer said. [This is a] “voluntary program” that isn’t related to President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 budget…read article

Suffolk: $7.8M claim denied NEWSDAY; Aug 8, 2017
“This was totally avoidable had we simply performed on the contract,” said Legis. Tom Cilmi (R-Bay Shore). “One bad decision will now cost taxpayers. . . in excess of 20 percent of our general fund tax levy.” “We definitely should take a look at it,” presiding officer DuWayne Gregory (D-Copiague) said. “We have to do our due diligence to make sure that something like this does not happen again as a good steward to the taxpayers.”…read article

Yaphank: New fish passage reconnects lake, river NEWSDAY; Aug 8, 2017
Freshwater fish can now swim from Upper Yaphank Lake into the Carmans River to reproduce for the first time in about 300 years. “It’s finally coming to fruition,” Bob Kessler, of the Coalition to Save the Yaphank Lakes, said of the project…read article

Yaphank to host renewable cells NEWSDAY; Aug 7, 2017
LIPA considers fuel cells an efficient way to strategically fill power vacuums on the electric grid. They also help the utility avoid costly transmission projects. Collectively, the fuel cells will be the largest renewable energy project on Long Island, in terms of megawatts. Fuel cells are considered a “green” energy in the state, capable of earning renewable energy credits, because they turn natural gas and similar fuels into energy through an electrochemical process rather than combustion. Neal Lewis, executive director of the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, said although some environmentalists oppose fuel cells because they use fossil fuels, he doesn’t oppose LIPA’s plan. “I think it’s an appropriate technology as long as it’s a small part of the overall energy mix,” Lewis said. He called them a “transitional” energy source that can back up intermittent green-energy sources…read article

By erasing districts, town gains NEWSDAY; Aug 9, 2017
Some districts, are not needed because they no longer collect taxes from residents. Other districts disappeared years ago because of mergers, but were never formally stricken from town records. “It’s not going to save a lot, but it’s going to save some,” said Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine. Dissolving the districts helps bolster Brookhaven’s bid to win a $20 million grant in the state’s Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition…read article

7 ‘first’ days for kids NEWSDAY; Aug 8, 2017
“Jericho has almost always started school before Labor Day, in order to get the 186 days,” said Superintendent Henry Grishman. The other districts opening before Labor Day are Great Neck, Herricks, Oyster Bay- East Norwich and Westbury…read article 

College Tests Battle: SAT vs. ACT NEWSDAY; Aug 7, 2017
Admissions exams ramp up their competition for students. Over the past decade in New York, where the SAT has reigned supreme for years, the popularity of the ACT has grown sharply. The number of SAT test-takers statewide in the class of 2016, however, was more than 148,000 — still more than double that of those taking the ACT. College Board upped the ante in adding its first-ever August test date. The Manhattan- based nonprofit, which sponsors the SAT, posted a notice in late April that registration for the exam was open…read article

Shut down Start-Up NY and revamp state efforts 
A recent Newsday report showed that on Long Island, more than half of the companies in Start-Up NY have dropped out. Fifteen of the paltry 28 Long Island businesses that joined either left the program on their own or were removed by the state for failing to comply with guidelines. Some failed, others left New York. Still others remained, but left the program because of its administrative requirements. Start-Up, on which the state spent $53 million to advertise initially, isn’t working here. A year ago, it was time to stop the program. It still is…read editorial

Overdose crisis: Match words with funding NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Aug 9, 2017
In Nassau and Suffolk, opioid overdoses killed 493people in 2016.That’s about 16 deaths per 100,000 people; the national rate is about 10 per 100,000. Trump’s panel has some good suggestions. They include increasing the availability of treatment with medication, currently offered in only 10 percent of programs, and changing federal Medicaid rules to allow reimbursement to facilities with more than 16 beds. That would be a start, but far more must be done…read editorial

Flanagan reveals alcohol struggle NEWSDAY; Aug 7, 2017
Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said yesterday he recently completed an alcohol treatment program, saying it was a “step I needed take for myself and for my family.” He concluded, sending a message to others with addiction: “No one is immune. Seek help and regain your personal pathway through life.”…read article

Selling Homes: Online listing, 2% fee NEWSDAY; Aug 7, 2017
REX Real Estate Exchange, which charges a selling commission of 2 percent instead of the usual 5 percent to 6 percent, launched its Long Island operation last week…read article

Published Aug 2, 2017
Tick bite triggers red-meat allergies NEWSDAY; Jul 30, 2017
Hundreds of people on the East End have become allergic to red meat in recent years after being bitten by the Lone Star tick, with scattered cases cropping up elsewhere across Long Island, medical experts say…read article

Who Gets Hurt When High School Diplomas Are Not Created Equal 
A new study finds that U.S. schools hand out 98 different kinds of high school diplomas, and 51 of them fail to prepare students adequately for college or careers…read article

Published July 27, 2017
From the desk of Suffolk County legislator Sarah S. Anker…
Legislator Anker Announces Permanent Advisory Panel to Address the Opiate Epidemic in Suffolk County
On Tuesday, July 25th, 2017, Legislator Sarah Anker and presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory were joined by their colleagues and drug awareness and substance abuse professionals to announce an initiative to address the opiate epidemic in Suffolk County. Legislator Anker has put forth legislation to form a permanent Heroin and Opiate Advisory Panel which will address the staggering number of opiate overdoses in Suffolk County …read full press release

Opiate advisory panel proposed in Suffolk NEWSDAY; Jul 26, 2017
Almost 500 people died from opioid overdoses on Long Island in 2016, the most ever, according to medical examiners’ offices…read article

Pols call for help to end corruption NEWSDAY; Jul 26, 2017
Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York, said that across New York State, a number of local ethics policies have been either not implemented or not enforced
read article

LI firms investing $20.5M NEWSDAY; Jul 26, 2017
Edo Corp. and Curtiss-Wright Flow Control Corp. received allocations of low-cost electricity from the state Power Authority yesterday to support the plant upgrades…read article

LI unemployment rate pushes past 4%, as job market grows 
NEWSDAY; Jul 26, 2017
The increases in all the numbers, even the unemployment rate, reflect a healthy job market, local economists said…read article

Suffolk County: Court fee may rise NEWSDAY; Jul 26, 2017
County lawmakers have resurrected a proposal to double the administrative fee on Suffolk traffic and parking tickets from $55 to $110, and it now appears to have the support to pass
read article

Pine barrens group unveils new website NEWSDAY; Jul 26, 2017
“Our goal was to create a site worthy of everything the Central Pine Barrens region offers, and I believe we’ve done that,” John Pavacic, executive director of the Central Pine Barrens Joint Policy and Planning Commission…read article

Town sues over power poles NEWSDAY; Jul 26, 2017
Brookhaven Town has filed suit against PSEG Long Island and LIPA over a hotly contested $31 million project to install tall steel poles in Eastport…read article

TOB: ‘Hoops for Hope’ tourney on Aug. 4 NEWSDAY; Jul 26, 2017
The third annual Jake Engel “Hoops for Hope Barbecue” basketball tournament will be held Aug. 4 and will feature music and entertainment. All proceeds will go to Hope House Ministries…read article

Are We Asking Enough of High School Graduates? EDUCATION WEEK; Jul 19, 2017
There’s a graduation crisis brewing in the United States. As states submit their new ESSA accountability plans to the U.S. Department of Education, they will be required to use high school graduation rates as one of their indicators of student performance. This leaves unaddressed a long-standing problem: Graduation doesn’t mean the same thing in every state, and graduation standards are often absurdly low…read article

LI teen’s angle forces Regents to rescore test NEWSDAY; Jul 26, 2017
The question will be rescored to give all students credit. The question did not have “one clear and correct answer,” according to a notice posted on the state Education Department website
read article

Jun 29 - Jul 5, 2017
Senate OKs ‘big ugly’ bill NEWSDAY; Jun 30, 2017
In usual Albany fashion, the deal was negotiated behind closed doors by the governor and two house leaders. Rank-and-file members had to wait for hours before seeing a printed bill, followed by a short window to review it before voting…read article

U.S. Labor Dept. seeks decision on OT pay NEWSDAY; Jul 3, 2017
The Labor Department wants salary level to count in deciding who is eligible for overtime pay. But it’s holding off setting the maximum pay a worker can get and still qualify…read article

Opioid antidote in LI schools NEWSDAY; Jul 5, 2017
School districts on Long Island and statewide are stocking naloxone onsite in school buildings to have the opioid antidote at the ready because of the growing issue of abuse of the deadly drugs…read article

SUFFOLK COUNTY - ‘Senior advocates’ to detail aid programs
NEWSDAY; Jul 3, 2017
“Nobody should ever have to go without food, medical attention or other necessities,” Suffolk
County Legis. Lou D’Amaro (D North Babylon) said in the statement, and urged the elderly to “take full advantage of this professional community outreach program.”…read article

July 4 float doesn’t fly NEWSDAY; Jul 3, 2017
Yaphank display is moved after group complains…read article

Our damaging emphasis on testing NEWSDAY OPINION; Jun 30, 2017
“Hypernormalized school testing hurts students’ social and emotional growth. Focusing on the whole child, regardless of scores, needs to become our newer normal.”-Michael Hynes-Pat-Med Schools…read opinion

New Trend on LI: Younger students taking regents NEWSDAY; Jul 3, 2017
Fifty-two seventh-graders in Malverne’s middle school walked across the street to the high school last month, found their seats in the gymnasium and sat for their first Regents exam — in Earth Science — along with ninth-graders and 10th-graders. All of the seventh-graders passed
read article

The six Americas? Well, not on this Fourth NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Jul 3, 2017
Americans have lots to be grateful for this Independence Day, but nothing more so than Igor Panarin being wrong…read column

What parents should know about new Snapchat, Instagram features NEWSDAY; Jul 5, 2017
People they have accepted as friends on the app can see their exact location on a map while they have the app open. The main concern for parents may be whether their children have accepted people they don’t know in real life. And teens may be doing that in their constant quest to amass followers…read article

Jun 15 - Jun 28, 2017
PLUM ISLAND is a federally-owned magnificent sanctuary for wildlife at the eastern end of Long Island Sound currently threatened by article

New study: $15 minimum wage law cost Seattle jobs NEWSDAY; Jun 27, 2017

Seattle’s $15-an-hour minimum wage law has cost the city jobs, according to a study released yesterday. A University of Washington team studying the law’s effects found that the law has boosted [hourly] pay in low-wage jobs since it took effect in 2015, but that it also caused a 9 percent reduction in hours worked. For an average low-wage Seattle worker, that’s a loss of about $125 per month, the study said. There would be about 5,000 more low-wage jobs in the city without the law, the study estimated.…read article

PSEG pay disclosure bill passes NEWSDAY; Jun 25, 2017
The bill, which passed the Assembly and Senate unanimously, would amend the LIPA Reform Act of 2013, which a PSEG lawyer in 2015 said explicitly provided for the company to keep salaries and contract costs secret…read article

Blood Bank: Dire need for donations NEWSDAY; Jun 27, 2017
Supplies usually become “fragile” beginning around the July 4 holiday through Labor Day, he said, in large part because blood drives at local colleges—about 20 percent of the overall supply — languish over the summer break…read article

Hope for LI’s housing shortage NEWSDAY; Jun 27, 2017
For those struggling to afford life on Long Island, creating more rental apartments in private homes “could be a big, immediate win,” said Nancy Rauch Douzinas, publisher of the Index
read article

Comtech to stay on LI NEWSDAY; Jun 27, 2017
The Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency granted Comtech $360,581 in tax breaks over 10 years in return for the company’s promise to maintain its local payroll of 114 employees and to add another 18 within two years. A year ago Comtech requested IDA assistance, saying it had recently purchased a Maryland company and had excess space there and in Florida and Arizona…read article

Town’s hacked website shut NEWSDAY; Jun 27, 2017
“They didn’t get into any of our records. None of our records were affected at all,” said Supervisor Ed Romaine. “They were looking to spread fear. This is an amateur attack to do just that.”…read article

Behind Suffolk’s bond rating NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Jun 27, 2017
The bond-rating drop this month, from A to A-, adds urgency for officials to find cuts, raise revenues — or reconfigure Suffolk government to make things work. The trick will be to get it done — or, as has happened in Nassau, face the prospect of a decade-long crawl up from insolvency…read article

Mom knows gang peril in school NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Jun 25, 2017
Most members, officials said, are male, ages 16 to 29, with ties to El Salvador, Honduras or Guatemala. Officials agreed that MS-13 considers undocumented minors—or as Angel Melendez of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations more bluntly put it, “undocumented alien children”— who, as part of a program, were settled with relatives or guardians in Brentwood and Central Islip, as prime candidates for membership…read article

Best beaches for kids NEWSDAY; Jun 28, 2017
What makes a great beach for families? Nonnegotiables: a short walk from the parking area to the sand to minimize the schlep with the kids and all their beach chairs, towels, buckets and shovels. Lifeguards. Nearby bathrooms. A perk: something extra to entertain the kids, such as an adjacent playground or a spray park. Here are 10 Long Island beaches that meet the nonnegotiables and throw in some perks as well…read article

Jun 8 - Jun 14, 2017
Obamacare challenge NEWSDAY; Jun 9, 2017
Regulators may reduce the 16.6 percent increase in Obamacare individual insurance rates that insurers have requested in New York. But industry experts warned that if the state were to cut the increase request too aggressively, insurers could leave the marketplace…read article

Safeguarding senior savings NEWSDAY; Jun 12, 2017
By the time Roseann Keiles realized a scam artist had his hooks in her mother, Marie Barbuto, the damage was done. The 82-year-old Long Island woman, who had Alzheimer’s disease, had mailed away thousands of dollars in little envelopes to a man calling himself “Mr. Cashman” who phoned every day asking for money…read article

LI firm’s good fortune NEWSDAY; Jun 8, 2017
Henry Schein Inc. is Long Island’s lone representative on the list of Fortune 500 companies… article

Where is the geographic center of Long Island? NEWSDAY; Jun 8, 2017
To calculate the center, cartographers use an application called a geographic information system, according to Suffolk County cartographer, Carl Lind…read article

Lasting Legacy NEWSDAY; Jun 12, 2017
Park in North Bellport rededicated in honor of community volunteer…read story

Exam times reduced NEWSDAY; Jun 13, 2017
The Board of Regents voted yesterday to cut by one-third the amount of time that students in grades three through eight spend taking much-debated state exams in English Language Arts and mathematics, starting next spring…read article

Suffolk fight on LIPA and taxes NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Jun 11, 2017
For Suffolk, the LIPA tax issue has only added to the county’s structural deficit — the difference between recurring revenues and expenses — which is estimated at $135.3 million to $179.7 million…read column

A new generation buries its own NEWSDAY OPINION; Jun 12, 2017
Millennials are grappling with the opioid plague. They need better information…read opinion

Polar bears treading on thin ice NEWSDAY; Jun 9, 2017
Rapid global warming has sped up the movement of sea ice off Alaska’s coasts, and polar bears already at risk are paying a price…read article

Jun 1 - Jun 7, 2017
Constitutional divide NEWSDAY; Jun 7, 2017
Residents in November will vote on a statewide referendum to hold a convention to make changes to the New York State Constitution. The state constitution mandates that every 20 years voters get the opportunity to cast ballots on holding a convention. “If the public votes for a convention it’s because the public wants change,” said Evan Davis, manager of the Committee for a Constitutional Convention. For example, Davis said convention delegates could create a commission to sanction lawmakers for official misconduct; more fairly disburse state education funds; and prevent judges from being chosen by political party bosses…read article

Student interest is high in free NY college tuition NEWSDAY; Jun 7, 2017
To be considered for the fall semester, students must fill out the application by July 21
read article

Fears drive immigrants off food stamps NEWSDAY; Jun 7, 2017
About 3.9 million citizen children living with noncitizen parents received food stamps in fiscal 2015. “It is an attempted moral blackmail to say ‘If you Americans don’t give me your money, I can’t stay here and feed my children,’” said Mark Krikorian, an advocate for reducing immigration. “Well, it’s your choice. No one made you sneak into the United States.”
read article

Legislature plots final days NEWSDAY; Jun 5, 2017
Lawmakers will continue working on measures that could become part of a traditional end-of-session “big ugly” deal. Among the contenders facing longer odds are: Pension sweeteners for public worker and teacher unions influential with the legislature that are commonly sneaked into the late-June rush of legislation, but which fiscal watchdogs argue are political favors that are costly to taxpayers…read article

Pull illegal signs, feds press state NEWSDAY; Jun 6, 2017
A total of 514 signs have been put up by the DOT and the state Thruway Authority at a cost of $8.1 million…read article

U.S. productivity flat; labor costs increase 2.2% NEWSDAY; Jun 6, 2017
The productivity of American workers was flat in the first three months of this year, while labor costs rose at the fastest pace since the second quarter of last year…read article

PSEG grid girds for storm season NEWSDAY; Jun 1, 2017
Weather forecasts predicting an above-average number of storms this season may meet their match in an electric system undergoing one of its most intensive and costly hardening initiatives in decades…read article

LI proposals seek priority NEWSDAY; Jun 6, 2017
Panel hears pitches on developments seeking state funds…read article

$31.7M power project nearly done NEWSDAY; Jun 6, 2017
PSEG Long Island in recent months has been fielding complaints from residents and businesses along a stretch of Eastport connected to a seven-mile array of 80-foot steel poles along a wooded stretch of County Road 51…read article

$3M to help LI battle spread of pine beetles NEWSDAY; Jun 6, 2017
The invasive species, considered one of the nation’s most destructive forest pests, first was discovered in New York in 2014 at the William Floyd estate in Mastic Beach, Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge in Shirley, Connetquot River State Park Preserve in Oakdale and elsewhere in Suffolk County…read article

Shedding light on street lamps NEWSDAY; Jun 5, 2017
PSEG Long Island has begun a formal count of all the streetlights on Long Island in a move that could lower some municipal electric bills and raise others…read article

Bellone: Smaller County Hike kin SCCC Budget NEWSDAY; Jun 1, 2017
Bellone’s version of the $220.9 million college budget provides a $42,414,805 county contribution to the two-year school—$417,880 less than trustees sought…read article 

Catch a Lyft in Suffolk NEWSDAY; Jun 7, 2017
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone yesterday became the first downstate suburban official to embrace the startup of local ride-hailing services in time for the July 4 weekend
read article

Sparks fly over power poles NEWSDAY; Jun 7, 2017
Brookhaven Town councilman Dan Panico yesterday rebuffed claims by PSEG Long Island that he had been “thoroughly briefed” on a project to install dozens of 80-foot-tall steel poles along a business and residential district of Eastport…read article

All Star Arena: IDA eyes tax-break clawback NEWSDAY; Jun 3, 2017
The developer of an indoor soccer facility in Coram may have to repay tax breaks granted in 2013 because he didn’t notify officials he had leased space to a CrossFit studio, the Brookhaven Town Industrial Development Agency said…read article

TOB: ‘Humble and Kind’ students recognized NEWSDAY; Jun 7, 2017
Brookhaven Town Councilman Dan Panico has recognized third-grade students at Dayton Avenue Elementary School for their humble and kind efforts…read article

Revisions criticized NEWSDAY; Jun 6, 2017
New York State’s recent attempts to revise academic standards for elementary and secondary education appear to weaken or muddy major requirements in reading and writing, according to pro-standards groups at the national and state levels…read article

More Testing Is Forecast for Nation's ELL Students 
EDUCATION WEEK; May 24, 2017
The significance of English-learners is on the rise as this population grows and the changes in federal law that suggest a more precise look at how those students are performing in school are a reflection of that, advocates and experts say…read article

Nitrogen woes no easy fix NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Jun 4, 2017
“These are all baby steps,” said Assemb. Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor). “But it’s like turning around a battleship. It will need a 10-year commitment and an ongoing source of revenue.”read column

Movin’ Out

Numbers are slight, but if population declines persist, they will reshape Long Island’s schools, housing, industry and future…read editorial

Shoreham’s Empty Legacy NEWSDAY; Jun 4, 2017
No nukes, little else at site 38 years after protest…read article

May 25 - May 31, 2017
LIPA - Energy storage batteries: $109M NEWSDAY; May 25, 2017
LIPA will spend $109 million for two large energy-storage batteries to help with soaring summer demand in the Hamptons, LIPA officials also detailed a previously reported plan for future energy use on Long Island. The long-delayed plan found that while LIPA won’t need new power sources until at least 2035, the authority will contract for some 800 megawatts of renewable resources, such as offshore wind and solar…read article

LIPA exceeds ’17 storm budget NEWSDAY; May 27, 2017
$38M spent so far, half on March event that fell short of dire forecasts…read article

Bellone touts Suffolk summer NEWSDAY; May 25, 2017
Kicking off the summer season, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone yesterday called on local residents to not only vacation in Suffolk, but also make the county’s revitalized downtowns their prime destinations along with beaches and vineyards…read article

Getting out of Suffolk NEWSDAY; May 30, 2017
Brookhaven and four other western Suffolk towns accounted for almost all of the county’s loss of more than 5,000 people in a single year. Martin Cantor, director and economist at the Long Island Center for Socio-Economic Policy in Melville, said people leave because of high costs driven by taxes and utility rates…read article

TOB: 9 defensive driving classes offered NEWSDAY; May 30, 2017
The first class is scheduled for June 15 at the town’s Rose Caracappa Senior Center in Mount Sinai…read article

Teaching Students to De-Stress Over Testing EDUCATION WEEK; May 24, 2017
Some districts are taking steps to help students better cope with test anxiety and other stresses of school…read article

No teacher shortage cited on LI NEWSDAY; May 25, 2017
Public schools on Long Island and in most other areas of the state do not face an overall shortage of teachers, despite what some recent news accounts have suggested, the New York State School Boards Association said yesterday…read article

Reform immigration? Fix the laws NEWSDAY OPINION; May 31, 2017
People who are in this country illegally have no right to be here. People who want them gone have every right to demand they be expelled. That’s the law, in a nation of laws. And we should let far more people in legally, while doing a much better job of vetting and tracking them to keep out criminals, and kick out any who commit crimes before achieving permanent legal status…read opinion

May 18 - May 24, 2017
Suffolk top cop testifies before Congress on MS-13 gang
NEWSDAY; May 24, 2017
Sini testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, saying he welcomed the opportunity to work with the panel to figure out ways to eradicate the gang from communities…read article

Audit: NY agency data lacking NEWSDAY; May 18, 2017

In a report disputed by Cuomo, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said yesterday that the Empire State Development Corp. failed to meet more than half the reporting requirements for tax credits and job creation as it dispensed hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks
read article

‘Tax-cap effect’ boosts budgets NEWSDAY; May 18, 2017
Voters’ adoption of [school] spending plans in all the systems was the first time the region produced a 100 percent passage rate since one-day balloting began in 1996. Said Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan (R-East Northport) in a statement, “Together we have shown that it is possible to reduce New York’s tax burden and continue making smart investments that will support our schools.”…read article

Bellone: County committed to erasing MS-13 NEWSDAY; May 22, 2017
“Our mission is to eradicate this criminal organization from our county,” Bellone said
read article

Sini to testify on MS-13 NEWSDAY; May 23. 2017
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini is scheduled to testify [Wednesday, May 24] before a congressional panel in Washington. The hearing comes as Suffolk authorities, and residents in particular, grapple with the apparent rise in the gang’s brutality and killings
read article

NeuLion 4-mile move gets tax break NEWSDAY; May 19, 2017
NeuLion was co-founded by Nancy Li, wife of billionaire Charles B. Wang. Without IDA help, NeuLion “would need to relocate its headquarters to another location outside of New York State,” company attorney Toni J. Hoverkamp said, adding the Island would lose 142 jobs that pay $77,465 a year, on average, excluding benefits…read article

TOB: IDA to audit Clare Rose jobs amid strike NEWSDAY; May 19, 2017
“It is not the role of an IDA to mediate or interfere in labor disputes,” said Brian McMahon, executive director of the IDA trade group New York State Economic Development Council
read article

In Some States, ESSA Means More Powers for Local School Boards
EDUCATION WEEK; May 24, 2017
Michael W. Kirst, the state school board chair of California, said that as school boards receive more decision-making powers, they should look to broaden their conversations from debates over school construction, budgets, and superintendent contracts to ways of improving classroom learning…read article

Can a Career Tech Ed. School Be Too Popular? EDUCATION WEEK; May 22, 2017
Equitable access to high-quality career-and-technical-education programs is a thorny issue that's getting attention as CTE experiences a resurgence of support from policymakers who consider it an overlooked avenue to higher education and the job market…read article

Don’t make deals with our ballots NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; May 19, 2017
The leaders of four political parties in Suffolk County have been scheming to deprive voters of their right to an honest election this fall. Stop the deals. Stop the cross-endorsements. Stop rigging every race…read editorial

End the Medicaid burden on counties NEWSDAY LETTERS; May 23, 2017
Newsday’s editorial [May 15] mentions that 15 other states pay a portion of their Medicaid costs with local taxes. True, but the editorial leaves out the important point: New York State’s Medicaid mandate accounted for an astonishing $7.2 billion of the $9.5 billion total local-government Medicaid burden across the entire United States…read Letter

How Senate and Cuomo can improve voting in NY
The State Senate must break its recent mold, take up and improve the Assembly’s legislation. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo needs to rediscover either the passion or the political calculation that led him to propose his own strong set of measures in January and help move a good package forward…read editorial

Johnny, we hardly knew ye, but we still miss you NEWSDAY TV; May 22, 2017
Twenty-five years ago today [May 22, 2017], the country said goodbye to arguably the purest entertainer television had ever created…read story

Ways you can ruin your finances fast NEWSDAY; May 21, 2017
Here are common ways to trash your finances fast, plus how you might be able to undo or limit the damage…read article

Facing up to danger NEWSDAY; May 21, 2017
More LI softball players opting to wear face mask on field…read article

May 11 - May 17, 2017
NYS economic growth in ’16 slowest in 3 years NEWSDAY; May 12, 2017
New York’s 2016 growth rate was about half that of the nation. “To spark the economy, we must fix systemic problems and improve our worst-in-the nation tax burden and second worst business tax environment,” said Douglas Kellogg, a spokesman for Reclaim New York… article

Bills seek to reinstitute Start-UpNY reporting NEWSDAY; May 16, 2017
State lawmakers are seeking to re-establish reporting requirements for participants in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s tax-free zones program that were repealed in the recently adopted state budget. Start-UpNY created 757 jobs statewide last year, 332 in 2015 and 76 in 2014 after the state spent $53 million on advertising the program…read article

Calmer ed forum NEWSDAY; May 12, 2017
Roger Tilles of Great Neck, who represents the Island on the state Board of Regents and co-chaired [Thursday’s] session, speculated that the light attendance might reflect the fact that public anger over state testing has cooled as Elia and the Regents have shown a more sympathetic understanding of objections raised by parents and teachers…read article

Voter support school budgets NEWSDAY; May 17, 2017
All 124 Long Island school budgets passed…read article

PSEG uses steel for new poles NEWSDAY; May 16, 2017
More than 175 steel transmission poles nearly 80 feet tall are replacing smaller wooden ones along a north-south thoroughfare between Riverhead and Eastport. PSEG spokesman Jeff Weir said the steel poles are needed to harden the system against storms…read article

Smaller legislature nixed NEWSDAY; May 15, 2017
William Lindsay III (D-Bohemia), sponsor of the bill, estimated the move would have saved $2.5 million a year in reduced offices and staff…read article

$10M OKd for septic program NEWSDAY; May 17, 2017
The Suffolk Legislature yesterday unanimously approved a $10-million grant program to help homeowners pay for high-tech septic systems that can cost as much as $17,500…read article

Support for Selden apartment tax aid NEWSDAY; May 16, 2017
The $32 million project cannot secure bank financing without the IDA tax incentives, developer Michael Kelly said. Bruce Morrison and Rich Cremmins of the Selden Civic Association also expressed concern about “our neighbors’ subsidizing” the education of students who would live in the new apartments…read article

TOB: Make your home more energy efficient NEWSDAY; May 17, 2017
A session [Thursday, May 18] titled “A Homeowner’s Guide to Energy Efficiency” will teach residents which light bulbs to use to conserve energy, along with other ways to lower their electric and gas bills. Town Councilwoman Jane Bonner is expected to host the 7 p.m. event at the Rose Caracappa Senior Center, 739 Rte. 25A in Mount Sinai…read notice

Makers Fairs: Bring science to life for LI students NEWSDAY; May 17, 2017
Two maker festivals are happening on Long Island in the coming weeks—one in Nassau County, the other in Suffolk…read article

State Aid to Education: The Funding Formula NEWSDAY; May 14, 2017
All districts—rich or poor—will get baseline aid under funding calculation. And while it once was advertised as a mechanism for providing more money to systems that have impoverished students, the formula currently spreads the cash around. For individual districts, that serves to hold down property taxes, which rank among the nation’s highest…read article

Progress, yes, but still Incomplete NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; May 14, 2017
New York State has improved school programs since it bungled Common Core, but now test boycotts are the biggest challenge. There is a lot of effort, and a lot of money, going into improving education. But the students need to take the tests so we know what’s working and what isn’t…read editorial

Pass better laws to defeat gangs NEWSDAY EDITORIAL, May 12, 2017
Avoid feel-good bills that can’t be enforced…read editorial

A visit to the PEZ factory: Sweet! NEWSDAY KIDSDAY; May 15, 2017
PEZ candy was invented in 1927 in Vienna, Austria, by Eduard Haas III. The PEZ candy was used as a breath mint. The name PEZ comes from the German pfefferminz, meaning peppermint. Using the first, middle and last letter of the word, Haas came up with the name PEZ…read story

May 4 - May 10, 2017
New name for Common Core in NY NEWSDAY; May 10, 2017
The name change helps underscore that teachers and parents throughout the state joined in the revamping, said Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa. “It’s an opportunity to take all the best of the components and turn it back to the teachers and the people who do the work,” said Rosa, a former Bronx school administrator. The standards had consistently drawn praise from educators for their widely acknowledged strengths…read article

High nat’l ranking for 5 LI schools NEWSDAY; May 10, 2017
Locust Valley had the highest ranking on the Island, placing 120on the list. Locust Valley was followed by Manhasset High School, 157, The Wheatley School in Old Westbury, 159, South Side High School in Rockville Centre, 165, and Syosset High School, 200…read article

"Primary mission is murder”
Teens from Central America more violent in bid to make their mark. At the heart of that profile are newcomers from Central America eager to make their mark within an immigrant gang already known for its code of brutality and its weapon of choice, the machete, the sources say. They represent a very small but dangerous cohort among the thousands of young people under 18 who, according to federal statistics, have illegally entered the United States unaccompanied by adults since 2015…read Special Report

New state law makes union dues deductible NEWSDAY; May 6, 2017
Cuomo made New York one of the first states in the nation to allow the write-off…read article

Energy cost details sought NEWSDAY; May 8, 2017
Missing from an exhaustive study by PSEG were the costs to develop hundreds of megawatts of new offshore wind arrays and solar power needed to comply with state clean-energy mandates. “Why would they propose something without knowing what the cost is going to be?” said Carole Leonard, president of the Leisure Village Association, an all-electric community in Ridge…read article

LI school taxes NEWSDAY; May 4, 2017
Many schools plan to add new student programs and services next year, aided by millions of dollars in fresh financial assistance from Albany, as well as reductions in state pension costs
read article

New benefit for young workers NEWSDAY; May 7, 2017
Companies with operations on Long Island are starting to offer a benefit of keen interest to millennials: helping them pay off their student loans…read article

‘Enormous’ stash of heroin NEWSDAY; May 4, 2017
A Coram man described as a neighborhood drug dealer was arrested yesterday after authorities found “an enormous” amount of heroin in his home — as well as a cache of guns and more than $16,000 in cash, police said…read article

Coram: $1.2M road project declared completed NEWSDAY; May 8, 2017
The project included drainage improvements and new curbs and sidewalks on the roads, all of which are in the Strathmore Court neighborhood…read article

Grad rate of 95% is goal NEWSDAY; May 9, 2017
The 159-page blueprint…is the product of 18 months’ work by Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, her staff and consultants. Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa of the Bronx urged members to set high expectations for students under the ESSA plan. “All kids can do this,” she said. “I think if we start under the assumption that only some kids can do this, we hold ourselves back.”…read article

Young minds hard at work NEWSDAY; May 7, 2017
Hundreds of Suffolk County children in kindergarten to grade six competing [Saturday] at Brookhaven National Laboratory’s annual Elementary School Science Fair in Upton…read article

Municipal raises unsustainable NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; May 7, 2017
In Suffolk — unlike in Nassau, or most other municipalities, for that matter — nonunion employees get additional compensation each year via step increases…read column

The answer blowin’ in the wind? NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; May 7, 2017
Invenergy offers an ambitious proposal to build wind and solar farms in rural Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, and to send us that power via the existing grid and a new underwater cable…read article

Update the ways New York votes NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; May 8, 2017
If lawmakers refuse to approve changes, and if Cuomo fails to act as either a prod or a battering ram, the re-energized public can get it done on its own—by voting in November for a constitutional convention…read editorial

It’s a mad dash toward reform NEWSDAY COLUMN, May 9, 2017
Transparency in government? More than two years of scandals, convictions and a variety of corruption allegations has made the issue almost impossible for politicians to ignore. At least, that is, during an election year…read column

Book: Suffolk tops state for UFOs NEWSDAY; May 9, 2017
Is there something strange going on in Suffolk County? More UFO sightings have been reported in Suffolk than in any other county in New York State…read article

Food chain expanding NEWSDAY; May 5, 2017
Stew Leonard’s to open 2nd LI store in East Meadow…read article

Half of U.S. homes hang up landlines NEWSDAY; may 5, 2017
Just over half of U.S. households — 50.8 percent of homes and apartments—had only cellphone
service in the latter half of 2016…read article

New generation of gardeners NEWSDAY; May 7, 2017
Millennials are digging in and more are growing their own food…read article

Apr 28 - May 3, 2017
Con-Con at bat NEWSDAY TALKING POINT; May 3, 2017
The most contentious item on the November ballot could very well be the question of whether New York should hold a constitutional convention in 2019. Labor unions, especially teachers unions, are against a convention because they say it could result in changes in pensions and the right to unionize…read Talking Point

Young adults can’t afford to leave nest NEWSDAY; May 2, 2017

A Pew Research Center survey released last year revealed that for the first time in 130 years, young people ages 18 to 34 are more likely to be living with parents than with a romantic partner…read article

Ocean winds rising NEWSDAY; Apr 30, 2017
Norwegian firm prepping to build 100 turbines off LI…read article

LI lab’s funding saved NEWSDAY; May 3, 2017
The new federal budget deal ensures full funding for Brookhaven National Laboratory this year, and could help protect 3,000 local jobs…read article

All-electric LIPA users seek relief NEWSDAY; May 3, 2017
More recently, the group cited new bill charges such as revenue decoupling, an upstate nuclear plant bailout and a three-year rate hike as chief factors making their electricity less affordable. They also cited the cost of pending projects such as the $1.62 billion South Fork wind farm… article

Suffolk considers suing LIPA NEWSDAY; May 3, 2017
A proposed legislative resolution sought by Suffolk Comptroller John Kennedy would direct the county attorney to assess the viability of legal action against the Long Island Power Authority for failing to pay $6.6 million in property taxes. “This is a huge step forward in getting it before a court of law,” said Brookhaven Supervisor Edward Romaine, who first raised the issue in 2015. Jason Elan, spokesman for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, said the administration was unaware of the proposed LIPA resolution…read article

IDA: Door company plans to expand site NEWSDAY; May 2, 2017
IDA officials said the company said it would move if the benefits are not approved…read article

TOB: Higher revenue leads to $6.5M surplus NEWSDAY; May 2, 2017
Brookhaven Town finished last year with a $6.5 million budget surplus because of increased revenues and reduced payroll spending, town officials said…read article

Math Test Boycotts NEWSDAY; May 3, 2017
“Until state assessments are cleanly and clearly uncoupled from teacher evaluations and are used solely to inform instruction, opt-outs will continue to be a reality,” Middle Country Superintendent Roberta Gerold said…read article

Common Core revisions unveiled NEWSDAY; May 3, 2017
Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced new revisions yesterday in English and math standards that apply to public elementary and secondary schools statewide and acknowledged that the Common Core moniker might be dropped from those academic guidelines…read article

They know the score NEWSDAY; Apr 30, 2017
Test grading has been a surprising answer for data firm eager to grow…read article

Chairman: SBU to cut theater NEWSDAY; May 1, 2017
Students at Stony Brook University are rallying in support of the theatre arts department after its chairman said he was told admissions would be suspended because of budget cuts…read article

Questions for next MTA boss NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; May 3, 2017
It’ll take audacity and ingenuity for the new MTA boss to uncover the remnants of featherbedding. Until then, we’ll have the same headlines about excessive overtime payments, spurts of outrage and unanswered questions…read editorial

The Breakfast Top 10 NEWSDAY; Apr 27, 2017
A food critic ranks your on-the-go morning sandwiches…read article

Depression Glassware: Reflecting the past NEWSDAY; May 2, 2017
Fans of Depression glassware can’t get enough of the stuff…read article

Apr 20 - Apr 26, 2017
Weak links in brick-and-mortar chains NEWSDAY; Apr 23, 2017
Private equity deals put retailers at higher risk…read article

LI’s jobless rate in March falls to 4% NEWSDAY; Apr 26, 2017
The number of unemployed residents declined by 4,100 to 58,600, the lowest for the month since 2007…read article

Big raises in counties NEWSDAY; Apr 23, 2017
In Suffolk, all of the 532 full time nonunion employees, including elected officials, receive the same percentage raises as the 4,500 members of the Association of Municipal Employees, the county’s largest union. In 2016, the salary hike was 3 percent, plus step increases of 4.4 percent.…read article

LIPA review: Don’t overhaul aging plants NEWSDAY; Apr 23, 2017
LIPA and PSEG found no need for additional generation, but they cited state mandates by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in doubling down on plans for new green energy over the next 20 years — about 800 megawatts of primarily offshore wind-generated power. Neither the LIPA summary of the full (and unreleased) PSEG study nor LIPA officials who briefed Newsday last week gave any indication of the ratepayer cost of those new green energy power sources…read article

Large scale battery sited NEWSDAY; Apr 21, 2017
Long Island’s first large-scale energy-storage battery would be placed on a parcel of land owned by National Grid in East Hampton…read article

LI Index unveils data-rich online map revamp NEWSDAY; Apr 26, 2017
The Long Island Index is unveiling a redesigned online map that provides information on everything from schools and local governments to neighborhood level population profiles… article

Sini: State Police to help fight MS-13 NEWSDAY; Apr 21, 2017
On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said he was prepared to offer resources to help the county combat MS-13 violence, which Cuomo called an “out of control” situation…read article

Plan to ‘eradicate’ MS-13 NEWSDAY; Apr 25, 2017
After recent killings, Bellone calls for more resources to take on gang in Suffolk…read article

Amid backlash, Bellone pulls fee hikes for tickets NEWSDAY; Apr 25, 2017
Bellone responded yesterday by dropping plans for $8.1 million in new and higher fees and called instead for cuts that would block step increases for about 400 top county nonunion employees, and force them and elected officials to pay a 15 percent share of health insurance costs…read article

7 LI schools in top 200 NEWSDAY; Apr 25, 2017
Jericho High School led the Island’s schools, ranked 11th in New York State and 67th nationally…read article

Emerging degrees NEWSDAY; Apr 23, 2017
Editor’s thoughts: This is primarily an advertisement for colleges; however, it does provide some insight to the reader regarding degrees with the most current job potential…read ads

Shoreham-Wading River: Class of 2018 trip defunded NEWSDAY; Apr 26, 2017
Leaders of the Shoreham- Wading River school district, facing a backlash for paying nearly $153,000 for the senior class trip to Disney World, are defunding next year’s trip. “They’re getting such pressure,” board member Jack Costas said in an interview. He said he believes board members and administrators were worried the community would “vote ‘no’ for the budget in protest.”…read article

Exploited with deadly results NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Apr 20, 2017
“I would say a disproportionately high number of unaccompanied minors have been put into the Brentwood and Central Islip communities, particularly Brentwood,” Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) said in an interview yesterday. “I think, from talking to people at the federal level, there is reason to believe that MS-13 is coordinating a good bit of this, including whether or not families are encouraged to take kids or pressured to take kids.”…read column

Albany’s unfinished business NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Apr 23, 2017
Gov. Cuomo says he’s done dealing…read editorial

Yes, we can stop DWI tragedies NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Apr 25, 2017
No one benefits from cars that let people drive drunk. It’s time they disappeared… editorial

Where’s action on gangs? NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Apr 23, 2017
“The bottom line is that MS-13 members don’t care,” said retired Suffolk Det. John Olivia whose work with the task force helped convict 40 MS-13 members. “Snitch? Bam, you’re dead. Don’t do the work? Bam, you’re dead. And if they can’t get to you, they’ll make a telephone call to El Salvador or somewhere else and say, ‘Kill his parents,’ ‘Kill his brother.’ ”…read column

Newfound planet could harbor some form of life NEWSDAY; Apr 20, 2017
It is in the constellation Cetus, 39 light years or 230 trillion miles away…read article 

Why isn’t every day Earth Day? NEWSDAY OPINION; Apr 23, 2017
What’s the downside to protecting nature? opinion

A few good reasons for adults to watch ‘13 Reasons Why’ 
NEWSDAY; Apr 26, 2017
Parents: If you hear your middle and high school kids talking about a new Netflix series called “13 Reasons Why,” you might want to jump into the conversation…read article

Family Fun: Bikes and tykes NEWSDAY; Apr 26, 2017
Long Island’s parks abound in public paths ideal for safe, fun family rides…read article

Shoreham: Suffrage’s summer home NEWSDAY; Apr 26, 2017
Suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton led the 19th-century fight to win women the right to vote. For about the last 15 years of her life, Stanton worked from her summer home in Shoreham… article

Apr 13 - Apr 19, 2017
New superintendents appointed in 2 districts NEWSDAY; Apr 19, 2017
In the Springs district, Debra Winter will become superintendent effective July 1. Winter has served as assistant superintendent for student and community services in the Longwood school district for the past 16 years. She received a lifetime achievement award from the Long Island Association of Special Education Administrators for her mentoring work and advocacy for students with disabilities. She is a former president of the group…read article

Start-Up NY rule axed NEWSDAY; Apr 14, 2017
The new state budget removes a requirement that businesses participating in the Start-Up NY tax break program report annually on how many jobs they’ve created and how much money they’ve invested in their operations. Start-Up NY participants have created 1,135 jobs in 2 1/2 years while the state spent $53 million in advertising to promote the program…read article

Shoreham: Tour adds to debate on site use NEWSDAY; Apr 19, 2017
A proposal by local and state lawmakers to preserve 800 wooded acres around the shuttered Shoreham nuclear plant from development as a solar farm got a potential boost yesterday as officials of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration toured the site on a fact-finding mission… article

Polls: Rising benefits costs worry employers NEWSDAY; Apr 19, 2017
A separate survey of about 100 retailers and other service firms on Long Island, in New York City and its northern suburbs found employee benefit costs were a top concern. After employee benefits, the major problems for factories were finding qualified workers and taxes… article

Study: Wind farm to fall short NEWSDAY; Apr 17, 2017
“An offshore wind farm at the center of a LIPA plan to address spiking electric demand on the South Fork will produce excess energy when it’s needed least, and fall short of a sharply expanding summer peak load.” The cost for energy from the project would average about 22 cents a kilowatt hour over 20 years [$1.62B], about three times that of conventional energy. Robert Amundsen, an energy- management expert at the New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, said LIPA’s plan to use wind energy to address a growing need raises questions. “From an operation standpoint it doesn’t really make sense to consider a wind farm as a peaking resource because the idea of peak is to have the power when you need it, and turn it off when you don’t,” he said. “The wind farm is not like that.”…read article

Time for power players to deal NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Apr 16, 2017
LIPA, local governments should end court fight and agree on lowering taxes on plants. LIPA officials are taking a hard stance in their talks with Brookhaven (and being rebuffed by the other municipalities entirely), but need to settle for a deal like the one nearly brokered in 2013…read editorial

Home prices in Nassau, Suffolk jump NEWSDAY; Apr 14, 2017
In Suffolk County the median sales price was $329,900, an increase of 6.9 percent over the $308,600 reported during the same time last year…read article

Grants for replacing septic systems NEWSDAY; Apr 19, 2017
A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for Tuesday, and a vote of the legislature could come as soon as May 16. The meetings will be at: 7:30 p.m. April 27 at Port Jefferson Village Center, 101 E. Broadway in Port Jefferson [and other locations]…read article

$192.6M Suffolk capital plan unveiled NEWSDAY; Apr 18, 2017
“Legislator Kevin McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst), minority caucus leader, said that although he hadn’t yet seen the capital plan…” “Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory (D-Copiague) said he had not yet been briefed about Bellone’s capital proposal…”…read article

Bellone hires ex-town supervisor as top aide NEWSDAY; Apr 18, 2017
Jon Kaiman will make $178,733 a year. Kaiman will start with the county later this month when he steps down as president of Arden Claims Service, a Port Washington company that administers negotiated or court ordered settlements, an administration spokesman said. Sources said Kaiman had requested an opinion from the Suffolk County officials about whether he could do outside consulting while working for the county…read article

Suit: Pet group fraud [Friends of Freddie] NEWSDAY; Apr 18, 2017
A Middle Island pet rescue under investigation by the state attorney general’s office was hit with a lawsuit yesterday alleging that sick dogs are being put up for adoption and that fake pet medications are being distributed…read article 

SWR Taxpayers pick up tab to fly seniors to Disney World for four days of fun NEWSDAY; Apr 19, 2017
The [Shoreham-Wading River] district picked up almost the total tab, including airfare and hotel rooms — at a cost of nearly $153,000, compared with less than $10,000 the previous year. Interim Superintendent Neil Lederer said, “If you’re going to look at anybody for making poor judgment, in going forward with the present, the trip that occurred this year, in this academic year, then it would be me,” he told residents at the meeting. “As superintendent I’m responsible for all decisions.”…read article

Million-Dollar Teachers: Cashing In by Selling Their Lessons plans
AP; Apr 13, 2017
“Miss Kindergarten” is in the million-dollar club. So are “Lovin Lit,” the “Moffatt Girls” and about a dozen other teacher-entrepreneurs who are spinning reading, math, science and social studies into gold by selling their lesson plans online to fellow teachers around the world… article

Can Requiring a Post-Graduation Plan Motivate Students? Chicago Thinks So. EDUCATION WEEK; Apr 17, 2017
"What are you doing after graduation?" High school students may grow weary of such inevitable questions from family and friends, or anxiety-ridden as they contemplate their college or career decisions. But now, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed requiring students to report more formally on their post-graduation plans in order to get their diplomas…read article

Fear of too much failure driving state standards NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Apr 13, 2017
Parents and educators will not let rigorous requirements rule if it means more students will fall short of the goals…read editorial

Pull out all stops to end violence NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Apr 14, 2017
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini called this “a long term war,” and that’s true, but the immediate response must be to overwhelm: with patrols, investigation, and good intelligence. The perpetrators must pay. The violence must stop…read editorial

Sini weighs running for Suffolk DA NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Apr 16, 2017
But Sini has yet to officially declare his candidacy and has declined to comment on his committee appearance or his interest in the race. And he didn’t even show up for Suffolk Democrats’ spring dinner two weeks ago, a normal stomping ground for potential candidates… column

The new vending machines: Dispensing data NEWSDAY; Apr 16, 2017
New LI high-tech vending machines gather consumer details for advertisers, retailers… article

Gardening in today’s climate NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Apr 16, 2017
Getting good results demands patience, curiosity and care, no matter the crop…read column

Apr 6 - Apr 12, 2017
Budget highlights NEWSDAY; Apr 12, 2017
The State Legislature over the weekend gave final approval to a $163 billion state budget, which was nine days late. The 2017-2018 budget had been due April 1. Here are some of the major highlights:…read article

Free tuition: Primer NEWSDAY; Apr 12, 2017
Here’s what you need to know about what Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and lawmakers are calling the “Excelsior Scholarship,” which will provide a pathway to a tuition-free education for some students at the City University of New York and State University of New York campuses
read article

More budget power [for Cuomo] NEWSDAY; Apr 11, 2017
Cuomo’s “federal funding response plan” replaces the constitution’s practice of calling
back the legislature, giving the governor leverage in the process by providing him the final word [on what] to cut and how much, if the legislature fails to agree to a plan…read article

Job openings rise; hires, quits fall NEWSDAY; Apr 12, 2017
The overall figures suggest that the job market remains healthy, although it has yet to take off during the early stages of the Trump presidency…read article

$129M boost in aid for LI schools NEWSDAY; Apr 9, 2017
The aid agreement brings overall state assistance to public schools in Nassau and Suffolk counties to $3.1 billion for the coming year…read article

Study: LI property tax among highest in U.S. NEWSDAY; Apr 7, 2017
In Suffolk County last year [#13 in the U.S.], 69 percent of property taxes went to schools, 17.4 percent to local governments and 11.3 percent to the county, including 9.3 percent to police. The costs of government—including schools, police and municipal services—are higher on Long Island than across the nation as a whole…read article

Challenge of recruitment NEWSDAY; Apr 10, 2017
“As Long Island nears full employment, attracting talent across a variety of occupations is becoming more difficult,” says Shital Patel, labor market analyst in the state Labor Department’s Hicksville office…read article

Dowling sale OKd NEWSDAY; Apr 11, 2017
Princeton Education Center plans to use the campus as a private, bilingual K-12 school licensed by New York State. Representing Princeton Education Center, Chengyu Hou, an attorney with Liu, Zheng, Chen & Hoffman in Manhattan, said “Princeton has many schools,” declining to comment further. He didn’t disclose the location of Princeton’s headquarters, and the company could not be reached for comment…read article

Record number of fatal overdoses NEWSDAY; Apr 10, 2017
At least 493 last year, with powerful fentanyl often to blame, officials say…read article

County payrolls top $1B NEWDAY; Apr 9, 2017
In Suffolk, total compensation for 12,700 full- and part-time employees rose by 5.3 percent to $1.018 billion over the prior year…read article

Aerospace departures NEWSDAY; Apr 11, 2017
Luminati Aerospace LLC, the Calverton startup that plans to build solar-electric airplanes, said yesterday that two senior officials have departed the company. Fifteen people remain on staff
read article

Suffolk sheriffs contract OKd NEWSDAY; Apr 11, 2017
The new pact, which runs from 2011 to 2018, provides 20.1 percent in cumulative salary increases, plus added adjustments for settling the lawsuit, that make the payout about 23 percent, Bellone aides said. The contract also includes a no-layoff provision…read article

Regents Exams: Passing scores staying at 65 NEWSDAY; Apr 12, 2017
State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has quietly dropped plans to raise passing scores on Common Core Regents exams in English and math by the year 2022…read article

Big payrolls drive rising fees NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Apr 11, 2017
In Suffolk, the number of workers decreased by 1,000 under Bellone, leaving a balance of 12,700. Logic — and certainly the county executive’s boasting — might make residents assume that an almost 8 percent staff reduction for Suffolk, would translate into savings. And significant ones at that. But no…read column

Panel shifts stance on prostate cancer tests NEWSDAY; Apr 12, 2017
An influential U.S. government advisory panel is dropping its opposition to routine prostate cancer screening in favor of letting men decide for themselves after talking with their doctors
read article

Mar 30 - Apr 5, 2017
BROOKHAVEN: Town gets top S&P credit rating NEWSDAY; Apr 5, 2017 
Standard & Poor’s has reaffirmed Brookhaven’s AAA credit rating--the highest designation the financial agency issues--citing the town’s strong fiscal position and commitment…read article

State budget deal NEWSDAY; Apr 5, 2017 
In an abrupt turnaround [Tuesday] after sometimes chaotic, marathon negotiations, the State Senate and Assembly prepared with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to pass a state budget nearly a week after it was due…read article

SUNY heads: Don’t raid our funds to pay for tuition plan

NEWSDAY; Apr 2, 2017
State University of New York campus presidents have criticized a proposal by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to raid the colleges’ foundations to help pay for his “free college tuition” initiative. The SUNY campuses raced to embrace Cuomo’s idea but didn’t realize there would be other costs, said state Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), who chairs the Senate Higher Education Committee. “They were 100 percent behind the governor’s idea of free tuition and now they are upset that they are part of his funding solution,” he said…read article

97,000-plus opt out of exam NEWSDAY; Apr 1, 2017
The updated totals from all responding districts showed 97,068 students of 189,417 eligible to take the exam--51.2 percent--opted out of the test, according to the survey. Last year--51.6 percent--opted out of the test…read article

Electrical apprenticeships NEWSDAY; Apr 5, 2017
The Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee for the Electrical Industry of Nassau and Suffolk Counties will begin taking applications [Apr 5] for 31 apprenticeships…read article

New wind farm to cost $1.62B NEWSDAY; Apr 3, 2017
That makes it the fourth most expensive energy contract in the LIPA portfolio, after all National Grid plants at $5 billion, the Neptune cable on the South Shore at $1.75 billion, and the Caithness plant in Yaphank at $1.67 billion…read article

PSEG LI boosts budget for energy efficiency NEWSDAY; Apr 2, 2017
Some of the biggest chunks of the budget are for rebates for Energy Star appliances and other home and commercial products. Money for rebates comes from state programs and a charge on customer bills…read article

Riverhead closer to EPCAL deal NEWSDAY; Apr 5, 2017
“We will be using this historic facility for exactly what it was intended for when Grumman built it in 1956,” said Daniel Preston, CEO of Luminati Aerospace. “By 2022, we project the creation of 2,000 new jobs for Long Island.”…read article

Crackdown on illegal dumping NEWSDAY; Apr 2, 2017
State and local officials are intensifying efforts to stop illegal dumping in Suffolk County… article

Suffolk plan for new, higher fees meets resistance 
Legis. Kevin McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst), said Bellone views fiscal woes through “rose colored glasses.” “He worries about nitrogen in the water, but it won’t be a problem--no one will be living here,” he said…read article

TOB - Plea for buildings’ removal NEWSDAY; Mar 31, 2017
Brookhaven Supervisor Edward P. Romaine has asked federal authorities to remove buildings at a Superfund hazardous waste site in Port Jefferson Station after a series of fires there earlier this month…read article

The Life-Changing Potential of Student Mentorship 
According to the National Mentoring Partnership’s analysis of more than 70 mentoring-program evaluations, a mentor-student relationship creates social, emotional, behavioral, and academic improvements in young people’s development, resulting in higher graduation rates and college enrollment. Mentored students are more likely to participate in extracurricular activities, and have better relationships with adults. They are also less likely to start using illegal drugs or start drinking alcohol…read commentary

Latest test for [NYS] ed chief NEWSDAY; Apr 4, 2017
Leaders of a statewide coalition that helped organize the test boycott called for [Commissioner] Elia’s removal from office, contending that the education chief had exacerbated parents’ and students’ anxieties over state exams, rather than providing relief…read article

Push LI poverty out of shadows NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Apr 3, 2017
While changing federal guidelines and improving the reach of programs is part of the answer, the real solution lies in lifting people out of poverty. That requires seeing the region’s economy through a wider lens, to create a diversity of jobs and train a work force that is prepared to take them…read article

"E PLURIBUS UNUM" Admit immigrants who share U.S. values 
We want to accept people of all cultures, but “e pluribus unum” means “out of many, one.” We should welcome people who believe in our values and want to become Americans. It has nothing to do with skin color or religion…read letter

Girls Lacrosse-The dilemma over helmets NEWSDAY; Apr 2, 2017
Girls lacrosse players on LI are for the first time allowed to wear headgear–but many won’t… article

Mar 23 - Mar 29, 2017
Budget deal or no deal? NEWSDAY; Mar 29, 2017
Though legislators said they hadn’t agreed to anything yet, Cuomo, a Democrat, told reporters that lawmakers will devote billions of dollars to clean-water projects, including to improve water quality on Long Island… article

LI’s getting poorer NEWSDAY; Mar 28, 2017
Notably, the poverty rate increase during the five-year time period [2011-2015] has occurred solely in Suffolk County…read article

LIPA offers tax settlement NEWSDAY; Mar 28, 2017
LIPA taxes for the Port Jefferson power station would decline to $11.2 million a year by 2024 from the current $32.6 million. John Gross, an attorney for the Port Jefferson School District, said “…that proposal would never be agreed to…It is not even close to any framework we would even consider… That would devastate the district.”…read article

Middle Island “Field of Dreams” Moves Forward
SC PRESS RELEASE; Mar 28, 2017
At the General Legislature Meeting on Tuesday, March 28th, the Suffolk County Legislature approved a Procedural Motion to pursue the acquisition of the blighted old Kmart property in Middle Island. “I am thrilled to be leading the effort to transform this blighted property into a beautiful community park, which will provide a place for the Longwood Youth Sports Association kids to play ball, as well as create an open green space for all residents to enjoy,” said Legislator Anker. “This project is a win-win for all involved and I look forward to working with the community to create their field of dreams on this parcel.”…read press release

New septic systems NEWSDAY; Mar 29, 2017
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone wants residents with aging septic systems to replace them, and he’s pushing a plan that would use grant money and loans from a nonprofit to help cover the costs…read article

TOB: Board votes to tear down vacant homes
NEWSDAY; Mar 28, 2017
The Brookhaven Town Board has voted to tear down vacant houses in Port Jefferson Station and East Moriches if their owners do not repair them…read article

Solar project set to go NEWSDAY; Mar 27, 2017
LIPA’s 20-year contract with Invenergy is valued at $177 million {for the] 24.9-megawatt array at the former Tallgrass golf course in Shoreham.…read article

TOB: Seeking to get $20M NY grant NEWSDAY; Mar 27, 2017
Supervisor Edward P. Romaine has met with eight of the town’s nine village mayors to discuss ways to share services as part of the town’s bid to obtain the grant…read article

A park by the plant NEWSDAY; Mar 26, 2017
Long Island lawmakers request that land surrounding the Shoreham nuclear power plant site — much of which has been eyed for a solar farm — be preserved as a state park…read article

Common Core opt-outs top 50% NEWSDAY; Mar 29, 2017
Jennifer Chernis, a special education teacher in East Moriches and a parent of three children, including two who fall within the grades being tested, said she supports the exams. “As an educator, I feel having standardized testing is important,” she said. “It provides a common measure to determine the instructional needs in our schools and across New York State. When students opt out of the test, it creates a smaller sample of data, which could have a negative impact on our students across the state.”…read article

Praise for prep efforts
NEWSDAY; Mar 25, 2017
State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and Roger Tilles, who represents Long Island on the state Board of Regents, spent the morning visiting Baldwin High School, which has a program teaching students real-world skills in classrooms…read article

With Hacking in Headlines, K-12 Cybersecurity Ed. Gets More Attention EDUCATION WEEK; Mar 21, 2017
The idea is that both the public and private sectors need more people capable of designing, building, operating, and securing the information-technology systems. Creating curricula and programs that can keep up with rapidly changing technologies isn't easy. Neither is squeezing another new obligation into schools' already-strained budgets and schedules…read article

We need to educate the whole child NEWSDAY LETTERS; Mar 28, 2017
An education should encompass four principles: physical, emotional, academic and social growth…read letter

LI needs a recovery high school NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Mar 29, 2017
Long Island is the epicenter of an opioid addiction epidemic that is rocking the state and the nation. There is no public “recovery high school” in New York State…read editorial

Arctic sea ice at a record low
NEWSDAY; Mar 27, 2017
The extent of floating ice in the Arctic hit a new low for winter: 5.57 million square miles. That’s about 35,000 square miles — an area about the size of Maine — below 2015’s record… article

Sentenced to Shakespeare NEWSDAY; Mar 26, 2017
Juveniles sentenced to Shakespeare read the Bard’s works, take on the role of one or more of his characters, come up with ideas for costumes and sets, memorize their lines, rehearse and then act out their roles for an audience of family, friends and court personnel…read article

Mar 16 - Mar 22, 2017
Library gets energy award NEWSDAY; Mar 21, 2017
The U.S. Green Building Council awarded its Platinum Certification to the Longwood Public Library in Middle Island, which reopened in 2015 after a $17.9 million renovation that included energy-efficient lighting and heating systems. The renovation also expanded the library by 33 percent…read article

This year, the CAP fits NEWSDAY; Mar 19, 2017
No [school] districts planning to pierce state tax cap despite $155M rise…read article

Lease auction pleases backers of wind energy NEWSDAY; Mar 20, 2017
Long Island is poised to become immersed in wind power. LIPA in January signed a 20-year contract with Deepwater Wind to build a 15-turbine wind array off the coast of Rhode Island (it awaits state approvals, among other things), and Deepwater is proposing a separate plan for LIPA that would add another 35 turbines in the same waters…read article

Natural gas price hike hits NatGrid NEWSDAY; Mar 19, 2017
National Grid’s charge for gas, called “supply” on customer bills, has jumped 61 percent from December…read article

Catering to special needs NEWSDAY; Mar 19, 2017
Rising numbers of businesses on Long Island are making their offerings more accessible and comfortable for children with autism and sensory sensitivities…read article

Fed OKs banking firm deal NEWSDAY; Mar 18, 2017
Suffolk Bancorp to be acquired by People’s United…read article

Suffolk offering retail loans NEWSDAY; Mar 22, 2017
The $300,000 fund will provide loans of between $20,000 and $75,000 with a fixed interest rate of 3 percent…read article

SCCC bids over budget NEWSDAY; Mar 22, 2017
A new $16.75 million expo-sports health complex on the eastern campus came in $4 million over budget. Bellone has yet to commit to back the higher cost. “I have serious problems with this,” said Legis. Rob Trotta (R-Fort Salonga), arguing that the project should be scaled back to fit the original budget. “We can’t spend another dollar we don’t have.”…read article

Suffolk County to refinance $136M in bonds NEWSDAY; Mar 22, 2017
Suffolk Comptroller John M. Kennedy Jr. already has refinanced $271.6 million in bonds, which he said will save Suffolk $22.3 million through 2028…read article

Suffolk crime stats drop
 NEWSDAY; Mar 16, 2017
Violent offenses drop nearly 25% from last year…read article

Bellone: Let’s assess health care NEWSDAY; Mar 18, 2017
Bellone issued an executive order [Friday] directing health and social services officials to assess within 30 days how the expected repeal of…Obamacare will affect taxpayers and those who need its services. Bellone also ordered officials to hold hearings on the potential impact of the changes. Legis. Kevin McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst), criticized the effort “as a complete waste of time” because plans by congressional Republicans to repeal the ACA are only in the formative stages…read article

Suffolk police overtime rises to $47M NEWSDAY; Mar 17, 2017
The figures show that since 2012, when the county passed a new police contract, department overtime costs have risen 68 percent. Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Salonga), a former Suffolk police detective, said the high overtime—and the inability to budget for it — demonstrates that the Suffolk PBA got the better of Bellone in contract negotiations…read article

TOB: Romaine giving State of Town NEWSDAY; Mar 22, 2017
Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine will deliver his annual State of the Town address [today] at 4 p.m. at Brookhaven Town Hall, 1 Independence Hill, Farmingville… article

TOB: Program to offer help to quit smoking
Board to vote on airport upgrades
NEWSDAY; Mar 22, 2017
TOB has announced a six-week summer program to encourage residents to stop smoking. The Brookhaven Town Board votes [today] on committing at least $100,000 for operations at Brookhaven Calabro Airport…read stories 

Helping teachers reduce stress NEWSDAY; Mar 20, 2017

One workday last month in the Three Village school district, soothing music played and an essential oils diffuser scented a break room where a handful of staff members reclined in chairs. A licensed practitioner went from one person to the next, applying acupressure and acupuncture to their shoulders, heads and feet…read article

Sini’s views, in his own words NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Mar 19, 2017
“If it’s Wednesday, or any other day of the workweek for that matter, Suffolk police Commissioner Tim Sini must be having a news conference about something.”…read article

The federal role in defending students NEWSDAY OPINION; Mar 16, 2017
“DeVos can’t destroy public schools, as critics fear, or start huge voucher programs to divert public money to private schools. That’s mostly beyond her role. But she can seriously diminish the Office for Civil Rights.”…read opinion 

IRS Red Flags NEWSDAY; Mar 21, 2017
Certain deductions on your tax forms could trigger an audit, experts say…read article

New heart treatment NEWSDAY; Mar 17, 2017
Heart failure, a major public health concern traditionally treated with medications, is being studied at St. Francis Hospital as a condition that can be controlled in some patients with electrical impulses emitted from an implanted device…read article

Mar 9 - Mar 15, 2017
School-aid funding pot starts to boil
NEWSDAY ‘THE POINT’; Mar 15, 2017
The attempt by Assembly Democrats to push money to the cities and away from the suburbs lends credence to the claim of Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan that a Democratic takeover of the State Senate would leave Long Island defenseless against urban liberals… column

Bill targets nuke plant aid NEWSDAY; Mar 15, 2017
“Long Island is bearing far more of the cost of the state’s failed energy policies than anywhere else in state,” said Blair Horner, the executive director of NYPIRG…read article

NYS: Licensing expedited for military spouses
 NEWSDAY; Mar 15, 2017
The acceleration applies to military spouses who have fulfilled requirements similar to New York’s standards…read article

Radio Shack plans to close 14 stores on LI NEWSDAY; MAR 15, 2017
There are currently about 28 locations on the Island, according to the company website… article

FHA costing LI $3.8M NEWSDAY; Mar 9, 2017
Buyers using FHA loans would have saved an average of $797 a year if a planned 0.25 percent cut in the agency’s mortgage insurance premiums had taken effect. The reduction was announced in early January, before President Donald J. Trump was sworn in…read article

LI job market’s big gain NEWSDAY; Mar 10, 2017
On a percentage basis, the Island’s 2.2 percent overall job growth compares with 1.5 percent for the nation and 1.4 percent for the state in the same January-to-January period… article
LI jobless rate at 4.4%_NEWSDAY; Mar 15, 2017read article

Home buyers heading east NEWSDAY; Mar 15, 2017
In another indication of Suffolk’s growing popularity, the number of contract signings increased annually by almost 15 percent in Suffolk. “The common theme is good school districts, as close to the city as possible,” said Jean-Paul Commisso, manager of Cornerstone Real Estate Services in Smithtown…read article

New role for CA co-founder NEWSDAY; Mar 11, 2017
“I’m going to create jobs right here on Long Island, right here on Route 110,” said CA Technologies co-founder Russell Artzt of his new role with RingLead, a Melville software company…read article

German firm eyes wind farm off Fire Island NEWSDAY; Mar 11, 2017
A German renewable-energy company has submitted an unsolicited bid for more than 40,000 acres of water rights due south of Fire Island for the first phase of a wind-turbine array of up to 400 megawatts…read article

Made on LI NEWSDAY; Mar 12, 2017
Manufacturers say that the Island has high costs but provides them with access to markets and quality workers…read article

Bracing for deadly drug to hit Long Island NEWSDAY; Mar 12, 2017
Officials fear synthetic opioid carfentanil—far stronger than heroin—soon to be trafficked here. Suffolk County registered 276 deaths related to opioid overdoses in 2016 so far, a record number up from 242 in 2015 and a figure that could still rise after 120 pending cases are resolved. …read article

LIPA seeks lower taxes on plants NEWSDAY; Mar 13, 2017
LIPA pays more than $70 per megawatt for the rarely used Port Jefferson plant in taxes, compared with about $2 per megawatt for the 2,150-megawatt Indian Point nuclear plant in Westchester…read article

Promoting the airport NEWSDAY; Mar 9, 2017
“Ultimately, other carriers will look at the airport and say, ‘What’s going on there? I want to be a part of that.’ ”…read article

4 percent rate hike for Suffolk water NEWSDAY; Mar 10, 2017
A 4 percent annual rate hike starting April 1, boosting the average customer’s current $380 annual bill by $15.18 in the coming year…read article

Peering down the budget hole NEWSDAY; Mar 12, 2017
Suffolk County has a new $18 million budget hole. Comptroller John M. Kennedy said all estimates in Suffolk’s operating budget are ultimately Bellone’s responsibility. Kennedy said his office not only sends letters, but calls deadbeats to encourage payment…read column

LAKE RONKONKOMA: Bellone signs bill to treat park wastewater NEWSDAY; Mar 13, 2017
In January, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine asked Bellone to install septic systems at Lake Ronkonkoma due to the water quality being plagued by nitrogen flowing from septic systems and pathogens from nearby restrooms…read article

Brookhaven debris NEWSDAY; Mar 11, 2017
Photographs released by town Councilman Dan Panico showed mounds in Moriches containing large rocks, concrete, stones and sand. He said the debris appeared to be from construction and demolition projects…read article

LI trio tops in science NEWSDAY; Mar 15, 2017
Three Long Island seniors [were] among the nation’s top young scientific minds chosen as finalists from 1,749 entries in the Regeneron Science Talent Search…read article

Charter expansion OK'd
 NEWSDAY; Mar 14, 2017
Charter schools, under state law, are tuition-free, publicly funded and run by boards independent of traditional school districts. Charter schools obtain revenue from those districts, depending on the numbers of students they attract. Riverhead School, with about 414 students, intends to grow to 700 students, while remaining within its current grade K-8 configuration. Seventy-four percent of Riverhead Charter’s students are economically disadvantaged… article

Fee, a new word for tax NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Mar 14, 2017
“Fee? Fie! Foe, frumph! I smell the blood of an —well, actually a series, of backdoor tax increases. Because that’s what fees are.”…read column

Don’t clear acres for a solar farm NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Mar 14, 2017
Offshore wind increasingly looks like the best large-scale renewable energy source for Long Island. Its price is coming down. That’s especially important for Long Island, where real estate is expensive and forests are precious…read article

What’s up with Suffolk? NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Mar 9, 2017
Since December 2012, the end of Bellone’s first year in office, the number of management employees has gone up. Said former County Executive Steve Levy, “While there is a lot of attention on management employees, the impact on the budget is not that great; the big money is with the benefits and pensions of the entire work force, especially with the police department where salaries are unsustainable.” “The most recent police contract is more of a budget buster than the new management employees that were hired over the last few years,” he added…read column

Why health care is so incurable NEWSDAY OPINION; Mar 15, 2017 
In the future, health care reform might become the new third rail of politics…read opinion

Negotiate to get your bills lowered NEWSDAY; Mar 12, 2017

What these bills have in common is competition: In most areas, there’s another provider that you can hire…read article

Insights from outer space NEWSDAY; Mar 12, 2017
Ellen Baker--one of 12 people from the Long Island area to become an astronaut--tells kids about her missions aboard NASA’s shuttles…read article

Mar 2 - Mar 8, 2017
NY unions lost 96,000 members NEWSDAY; Mar 7, 2017
New York remains the most unionized state in the country. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported that nationally union members accounted for 10.7 percent of all workers in 2016, the lowest percentage since this set of records began in 1983…read article

NY Pols eye $5B for water fix NEWSDAY; MAR 6, 2017
Albany debates proposals to improve outdated systems, including on LI…read article

Eye on driver’s ed changes NEWSDAY; Mar 6, 2017
Lawmakers across the country thinking driver’s education should require students to be taught what to do in a traffic stop…read article

Immigrants’ economic boost NEWSDAY; Mar 3, 2017
“People often have the misconception that undocumented immigrants don’t pay taxes, but they pay sales taxes, property taxes . . . and about half file income tax returns.”…read article

Delays slow immigration cases NEWSDAY; Mar 5, 2017
Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which pushes for strict immigration policies, agrees the system is broken but said advocacy groups and lawyers who keep filing new motions and appeals are part of the problem…read article

Astoria Financial deal NEWSDAY; Mar 8, 2017
Astoria Financial’s 88 branches will be rebranded as Sterling National Bank. Sterling said it would close up to 20 percent of the combined company’s branches and other back-office locations “over time.”…read article

Hiring for spring: 900 jobs on LI NEWSDAY; Mar 4, 2017
The Home Depot Inc. plans to fill about 900 part-time and seasonal positions on Long Island… article

Sporting goods chain hiring on LI NEWSDAY; Mar 6, 2017
Dick’s Sporting Goods is hiring to fill about 110 full-time and part-time positions for a new store opening next month in Bay Shore….read article

Bigger Bounty for LI NEWSDAY; Mar 3, 2017
The Nature’s Bounty Co. plans to create 157 jobs in Suffolk County has agreed to modernize its 11 Suffolk facilities and to expand in return for up to $35 million in state aid over 10 years, officials said…read article

Plenty of power NEWSDAY; Mar 4, 2017
PSEG-LI: “New [power] plants may not be needed until at least 2035.” One senior LIPA official discussing the projection Thursday suggested the utility had so much power “optionality” that it could even retire plants such as one in Port Jefferson with little cost and at great savings… article

Seeking drinking water standards NEWSDAY; Mar 4, 2017
Long Island’s drinking water supplies detected perfluorinated compounds…and 1,4-dioxane was found in trace amounts in 36 of 38 suppliers sampled. More than 70 percent of those sampled had detections of 1,4-dioxane at a 1-in-1 million cancer risk after prolonged exposure… article

Suffolk management ranks increase NEWSDAY; Mar 5, 2017
The number of Suffolk County management employees, most exempt from competitive Civil Service tests, has climbed over the past four years while the rank-and-file county workforce has shrunk. “We need more boots on the ground,” said AME president Daniel Levler.“ Adding managers to a low staffing situation doesn’t get more work done.”…read article

Town rezones to save golf courses NEWSDAY; Mar 7, 2017
Single-family housing will no longer be allowed to be developed on the Mill Pond course in Medford and Rolling Oaks in Rocky Point, said Town Councilman Dan Panico…read article

What I learned by joining the school musical KIDSDAY; Mar 7, 2017
By Connor Lioio, Kidsday Reporter  “If you have never tried out for a school play or musical, you should! It’s great fun and you can make new friends.”…read article

States Introduce New Measure of Accountability: Arts Education EDUCATION WEEK; Mar 7, 2017
As states revamp the systems they use to evaluate schools, at least five are considering using the arts as a measure of school quality…read article

Report: Fewer seeking equivalency diplomas NEWSDAY; Mar 3, 2017
Albany’s switch to a more difficult assessment for adult learners was part of a nationwide movement by states toward higher standards. In earlier years, the state used the General Educational Development exam, or GED, which fundamentally was a basic literacy test. “Students have to know science, they have to know history,” said Susan Giuliano, a Nassau BOCES teacher. “The complexity is just more challenging.”…read article

Lego champs move on NEWSDAY; Mar 6, 2017
About 400 children tested their robots’ skills in the 13th annual competition, at Longwood High School in Middle Island…read article

Girls wrestling takes hold NEWSDAY; Mar 5, 2017
There is no girls interscholastic wrestling on Long Island, so those who want to go that route must wrestle boys. “No one really discouraged me from wrestling boys, but then when I got to seventh grade, it was like, forfeit, forfeit, forfeit, because none of the boys wanted to wrestle me,” said Katie Moore of Riverhead High School. “They knew I would beat them and they didn’t want to be embarrassed.”…read article 

“Open the state constitution? Heck, NO!”
NEWSDAY “THE POINT”; Mar 7, 2017
Teachers say ‘ConCon’ is a con. A statewide referendum on whether New York should hold a
constitutional convention is eight months away, but voices against the idea are getting louder.
Now taking up the anti-convention drumbeat is the New York State United Teachers union,
which is laying out its objections to a convention in a series of articles titled “Open the state
constitution? Heck, NO!”…read column 

Imrov smackdown at Theatre Three NEWSDAY; Mar 7, 2017

Every Friday night at 10:30—when it looks like Theatre Three in Port Jefferson is about to close —the lights in the basement stay on. Down those stairs, the room turns into a Manhattan-style comedy club with a bar and cabaret seating for 80…read article

Feb 23 - Mar 1, 2017
Push for education aid NEWSDAY; Feb 24, 2017
The state Board of Regents in December proposed phasing in $4.3 billion in funding--known as foundation aid--to districts over a three-year period. State Sen. John Brooks (D-Seaford), said districts need the funding, especially because of an increase in immigrant children attending public schools…read article

Tax breaks criticized NEWSDAY; Mar 1, 2017
An independent, nonpartisan watchdog said yesterday that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposed budget should end the practice of providing tax breaks to employers, including Hollywood producers, in the face of questionable results in preserving or creating jobs…read article

NY: Immigrants safe in schools NEWSDAY; Feb 28, 2017
Public schools on Long Island and across the state will remain “safe havens” where all students, including those living in the country illegally, are able to continue their education. More than 6,800 immigrant children, unaccompanied by parents or relatives, settled in Nassau and Suffolk counties from the 2014 through the 2016 federal fiscal years, according to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, with an additional 997 such children resettled on the Island during the last three months of 2016…read article

LI’s first VLT casino opens NEWSDAY; Feb 28, 2017
Jake’s 58 general manager Chuck Kilroy called yesterday’s opening a “soft launch” because there were only 265 video lottery terminals. He said 34 machines will be added next month, and a total of 1,000 will be at the site by summer…read article

Giving vets a break NEWSDAY; Feb 26, 2017
Dozens of Long Island school districts are approving tax breaks for veterans of the Cold War — defined by state law as those who served after World War II until the end of 1991. Districts that approve the exemptions, he said, face the prospect of increasing property taxes for others or further tightening their budgets, which already are constrained by the state-imposed property tax cap, said David Albert, director of communications, research and marketing for the state School Boards Association…read article

Study puts LI 2nd in school spending NEWSDAY; Feb 24, 2017
Long Island ranked second to the Mid-Hudson Valley among nine regions statewide in spending on public education. [Long Island median per-pupil spending was $26,168 for 2014-15]. In aggregate, Long Island relies most on property taxes and other local revenues, with 68 percent of all school district revenues from local sources…read article

Screening DA hopefuls NEWSDAY; Feb 26, 2017
“There hasn’t been a contested race since 2001, and there seems to be a lot of interest,” said Frank Tinari, Suffolk Conservative chairman…read article

Free classes set for tobacco cessation NEWSDAY; Mar 1, 2017
Classes are free for Suffolk residents; a nominal fee will be charged for medication for those who are eligible for it…read article

TOB: Officials eye homes for demolition NEWSDAY; Mar 1, 2017
Brookhaven officials may set four separate public hearings to demolish homes. The four structures are in Centereach, East Moriches, Brookhaven hamlet and Ridge…read article

Shoreham: Coalition opposes solar array NEWSDAY; Feb 28, 2017
“From our perspective you can’t find a worse site on Long Island,” said Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine…read article

SUNY chancellor backs Excelsior plan NEWSDAY; Feb 24, 2017
“Are we reaching too high, too fast? I don’t think so, and neither do the presidents of the SUNY colleges and universities who stand ready to implement Excelsior in its final form,” wrote State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher…read article

Why Teachers Are So Tired US-DOE; Feb 23, 2017
“If you’re like most teachers I know, including me and my wife, being tired at the end of the day is a way of life. We’ve become so used to it that it’s hard to imagine how it could be any different.” essay

Suffolk spirals deeper into debt NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Feb 28, 2017
Between the huge checks retiring police officers get on their way out the door and an average cost of $233,000 annually in pay and benefits for each officer, cop compensation is the largest cause of the county’s budget woes. Getting those costs under control is the real key to reining in Suffolk’s budget…read editorial

No secret how to fix Nassau, Suffolk budgets 
Both counties spend more than they bring in because they lack the will to cut spending or increase taxes enough to balance the books. Suffolk County faces the same challenges as Nassau: huge expenses led by exorbitant policing costs and no will to raise the revenue to pay the bills…read article

Suffolk’s culture of unethical behavior NEWSDAY LETTERS; Feb 28, 2017
“This culture, which has developed and prospered over generations, must end.”…read letter

Angry in America NEWSDAY EDITORIAL_ Feb 26, 2017
Most people on either side of this conflict are not marching. And most people support moderate, common-sense solutions to our serious problems. But we have to put the needs of the nation above the culture war…read editorial

Confidence Club NEWSDAY; Mar 1, 2017
Shy teens gather to hone social skills with role play, group outings…read article

Soft skills NEWSDAY; Feb 27, 2017
Intangible qualities are essential, experts say, but finding job candidates who have them isn’t easy…read article

Feb 16 - Feb 22, 2017
The high cost of wind NEWSDAY; Feb 22, 2017
When Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in a speech last month touted an offshore wind farm 30 miles from Montauk Point, he made special note of its “inexpensive energy,” saying it would “drive the economy.” With an all-in development cost of $740 million, the 90-megawatt project will be among the most expensive power sources for Long Island to date…read article

College Aid: A closer look NEWSDAY; Feb 22, 2017
More would be eligible for assistance under Cuomo plan, but questions remain. Eighty percent of New York’s households earn less than $125,000 and an estimated 940,000 families statewide have college-age children, 16 to 25 years old, who could be eligible for the program, according to the governor’s proposal…read article

Cuomo drives to cut rising taxes NEWSDAY; Feb 16, 2017
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo called yesterday for county executives to put cost saving plans in front of voters this November in order to curb rising local property taxes. But it leaves out school districts, which account for about 70 percent of property tax bills…read article

Road signs cost NY $6.3M more NEWSDAY; Feb 17, 2017
The DOT previously said the signs cost $1.76 million. At a joint legislative budget hearing in Albany, State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew Driscoll acknowledged the signs cost $8.1 million. “That $1.7 million was a point in time,” Driscoll said when asked by reporters after the hearing about the cost discrepancy. “Now that we have all the costs in…”
read article

LI CEO: Forgo local taxes NEWSDAY; Feb 16, 2017
Richard J. Daly, CEO of Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc., said the Island must reduce the cost of doing business here in order to become competitive with other regions and states. “Nobody wanted to participate in the dialogue of how are we going to give this company [the benefit of] no income tax and no property tax but it’s going to create thousands of great jobs.”…read article

Speedier ruling sought on LIPA tax challenges NEWSDAY; Feb 16, 2017
LIPA’s taxes, payments in lieu of taxes and assessments amount to $536 million a year, or around 15 percent of ratepayers’ bills. The national average is around 5 percent, LIPA said. LIPA last year made $28 million in payments in lieu of taxes, or PILOTs, for the Port Jefferson plant [which is rarely, if ever, used. Overall, LIPA—actually the LI ratepayers—paid the four local communities housing the Northport, Island Park, Port Jefferson and Glenwood Landing plants a total of $158M in PILOT payments]…read article

TOB: Drive collects 5,000 coats, winter items NEWSDAY; Feb 21, 2017
Brookhaven’s Youth Bureau sponsored the initiative. Donated items were left at a number of churches, shelters, agencies and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts across town…read article

The Buddy Bench NEWSDAY; Feb 22, 2017
Take a seat and find a friend. That’s the idea behind “Buddy Benches” at schools across Long Island and in playgrounds nationwide…read article

When School Doesn't Seem Fair, Students May Suffer Lasting Effects EDUCATION WEEK; Feb 15, 2017
Findings, published in the journal Child Development, fit into a growing body of research that emphasizes the positive effects of building trusting relationships between students and their teachers and ensuring supportive and fair treatment in discipline and other areas…read article

Undocumented Teachers Shielded by DACA in Legal and Emotional Limbo EDUCATION WEEK; Feb 21, 2017
More than 700,0000 undocumented immigrants [are] awaiting word on the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, an Obama-administration policy that grants temporary deportation reprieves and work permits to people brought to the United States illegally as children…read article

From graduation to the workforce NEWSDAY OPINION; Feb 20, 2017
Seven ways LI colleges, business leaders can bridge education-employment gap…read opinion

School math doesn’t add up NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Feb 20, 2017
Few residents want to deny teachers a good wage or deny students a great education. It’s just that the taxes they pay on their homes are four times the national average and far more than they can afford. When expenses shrink because costs or enrollment decline, the tax burden ought to also…read editorial

Give young addicts a second chance NEWDAY OPINION; Feb 21, 2017
Establish a recovery high school on Long Island to teach and help students…read opinion

How to cut abuse? Try Iceland’s idea NEWSDAY OPINION; Feb 16, 2017
More activities, less isolation reduced teen drinking and drug use. LI should try it…read opinion

How do we replace rewards for labor? NEWSDAY OPINION; Feb 22, 2017
A world where plenty is produced with little labor could be a Garden of Eden. People need to be useful, but many things still need to be done…read opinion

Get innovative to cut LI taxes NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Feb 22, 2017
Brookhaven Town is in a competition. We hope it wins. The prize is $20 million in state funds, and it goes to the local government that puts together the best plan to reduce property taxes by consolidating, restructuring or sharing services. Brookhaven is one of six finalists, and we applaud the town and Supervisor Ed Romaine…read editorial

Feb 9 - Feb 15, 2017
Ed Chief: “Very understaffed” NEWSDAY; Feb 15, 2017
Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said that the State Education Department is struggling with a depleted staff and outdated computer systems. One statewide project that has experienced delays is the Smart Schools technology upgrade, which is being financed by a $2 billion bond issue approved by voters in 2014. State education officials said they have approved 204 applications for funding from local districts, and that 188 applications remain under review…read article

Cuomo takes on... NEWSDAY; Feb 12, 2017
... seemingly everybody—Republicans and Democrats alike—in the State Legislature… article

Cuomo nixes NYC5-cent bag fee NEWSDAY; Feb 15, 2017
Cuomo called the city measure “deeply flawed” and said a statewide solution is needed. He said the city fee would create a $100 million windfall for merchants, rather than directing the revenue to solving the environmental problem…read article

LI home prices up NEWSDAY; Feb 14, 2017
Suffolk County home prices reached a median of $338,250 last month, 7.4 percent higher than a year before…read article

A ‘healthy’ niche NEWSDAY; Feb 13, 2017
‘Better-for-you’ iced tea company on LI sees sales jump under new owner…read article

LI sales tax revenues rise in 2016 NEWSDAY; Feb 11, 2017
The 1.76 percent increase is Suffolk’s largest growth since 2013. “There’s nothing to be ringing the bell about,” Legis. Kevin McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst) said. “It’s not bad news, it’s good news. But it isn’t our savior.”…read article

Seeking to borrow for police costs NEWSDAY; Feb 15, 2017
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone went to Albany yesterday to pursue state authority to borrow $60 million over the next two years to pay retiring police for unused sick and vacation time, despite opposition by the police union, county lawmakers and State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan…read article

Family connections NEWSDAY; Feb 12, 2017
Government liaison officer Amy Keyes works in the same Suffolk planning and economic department as her newly hired husband, Jonathan. She was the Bellone administration’s point person last spring to create the new job title for the $108,400-a-year position of chief community development and planning specialist that her husband now holds. “We’re looking to create a career ladder for folks,” Keyes said…read article

Bellone exploring options? NEWSDAY; Feb 13, 2017
When Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone was in Albany two weeks ago to meet with fellow county executives, he also explored the possibility of boosting his statewide standing for a possible future run for higher office, political sources said…read article

Sex offender bill sought NEWSDAY; Feb 15, 2017
Assemb. Dean Murray (R-East Patchogue) is sponsoring a bill that would keep Level 1 sex offenders — deemed by a court to be of low risk of repeat offenses — on the public registry for 30 years, compared with the current 20 years…read article

TOB: Vying to contain costs NEWSDAY; Feb 15, 2017
Brookhaven Town has won a $50,000 state grant for consolidating government services — and could receive $20 million more if the town wins a statewide cost-containment competition… article

LI graduation rates flat NEWSDAY; Feb 11, 2017
On the Island, 88.9 percent of students across the region’s 124 public school districts graduated in the spring, compared with 89.3 percent the year before…read article

Graduating to jobs NEWSDAY; Feb 12, 2017
Local millennials are finding a better employment market these days after a long slump… article

Economic sentiment at private companies—confidence in US economy bounces back, but will it last? 
PwC Trendsetter Barometer® business outlook; 2017
The number of private companies voicing optimism about the US economy jumped to 59% in the final quarter of 2016. The prior quarter, just 38% were optimistic…read article

Salt marsh habitats being erased by rising sea levels
NEWSDAY; Feb 11, 2017
“Somebody in 50 years who looks at some of the marshes we’ve looked at, they’ll just see lots of open water,” said Joe Kelley, a University of Maine professor of marine geology…read article

Feb 2 - Feb 8, 2017
U.S. job growth picks up NEWSDAY; Feb 4, 2017
U.S. employers stepped up hiring last month, adding a healthy 227,000 jobs…read article

Budgeting schools NEWSDAY; Feb 3, 2017
A decade-old state law meant to drive more financial aid to school districts with large numbers of students from impoverished families faces virtual repeal under Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposed budget…read article

Retirement cost-savings NEWSDAY; Feb 3, 2017
A reduction in teacher retirement costs next year will save millions of dollars for public schools on Long Island. Currently, the retirement system sets charges for districts equivalent to 11.72 percent of salaries for teachers. That will be lowered to 9.80 percent during the next academic year. Some conservative analysts have questioned whether such funding is sustainable and have called for a less expensive retirement system similar to private 401(k)s…read article

Record’ aid hike forecast NEWSDAY; Feb 5, 2017
“I think you will see a record increase in aid,” said State Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset), chairman of the Senate Education Committee. Marcellino and other legislators spoke at a breakfast meeting attended by about 250 school board members, superintendents and others at Longwood Middle School in Middle Island…read article

Tax rebate delays cited NEWSDAY; Feb 8, 2017
Acting Commissioner Nonie Manion of the Cuomo administration’s Taxation and Finance Department said the checks aren’t technically late because state law requires the tax breaks to be paid by Sept. 15 or as soon as “practicable.”…read article

PSEG climbs off bottom, survey says NEWSDAY; Feb 3, 2017
In the survey, PSEG scored 683 of a possible 1,000 points in the three months ending in December, raising its standing to 14th of 16 Northeast utilities for the quarter that ended in December…read article

LIPA trustees briefed on time-of-use rate plans NEWSDAY; Feb 8, 2017
The idea is to dissuade customers from using appliances during the peak demand times. The rate also includes a special 10-cents-a-day meter charge…read article

All in on casino NEWSDAY; Feb 6, 2017
Agency needs billions in revenue from Islandia project to stay in business, leader says… article

Suffolk exam fee hike NEWSDAY; Feb 8, 2017
Suffolk lawmakers passed an emergency bill yesterday to raise $200,000 a year by increasing fees on civil-service exams…read article

Lake Ronkonkoma: Water Woes NEWSDAY; Feb 3, 2017
Brookhaven Supervisor Edward P. Romaine has asked Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone to support a joint effort to install septic systems at four public parks near Long Island’s largest freshwater lake…read article

DeVos becomes U.S. education secretary NEWSDAY; Feb 8, 2017
Betty Rosa, chancellor of the state Board of Regents, told a reporter that many school groups are worried about the new secretary’s “knowledge base.” “We are going to be in a wait-and- see, with the hope that she shares some of the same priorities that we have for our state and children,” said Rosa…read article

KID Coders NEWSDAY; FEB 8, 2017
Tech-minded kids and teens have classes programmed just for them…read article

Schools add yoga to curriculum Newsday; Feb 5, 2017
In the Patchogue-Medford school district, all students in grades K-8 are participating in four sessions of yoga and mindfulness this school year after a pilot program last year had an “overwhelming response,” Superintendent Michael Hynes said…read article

Make changes in, not on, the court NEWSDAY OPINION; Feb 3, 2017
As an institution, the nation’s highest court is anachronistic, dysfunctional and long overdue for an overhaul. Real change could be accomplished with just three basic reforms…read opinion

Jan 26 - Feb 1
Voices of Gordon Heights NEWSDAY; Jan 29, 2017
Years ago, E. James Freeman took it upon himself to uphold the legacy of Gordon Heights, birthdays included. Freeman, president of the Greater Gordon Heights Civic Association, said he remembers being told about the hamlet’s humble beginnings and its rich history. As he and the association plan a pair of celebrations this year to commemorate the community’s 90th birthday, he hopes the results will make both longtime residents and newcomers proud… article

Pension forfeiture bill approved NEWSDAY; Jan 31, 2017
Each house overwhelmingly voted for the bill, the second time the full legislature has approved it, which is the final step before the proposed amendment goes before voters this fall… article

A $7.6B bet on aging nuke plants NEWSDAY; Jan 30, 2017
The state [A/K/A the taxpayers and businesses] is putting up $7.6 billion in subsidies to ensure that Nine Mile and two other upstate nuclear plants stay open, Electric consumers will pay on average about $2 more a month to raise the money…read article

Pricing bill advances NEWSDAY; Feb 1, 2017
Retailers can sign up for the county’s voluntary waiver program, which would allow them to opt out of the pricing requirement. Under the program, stores can pay an annual waiver fee that ranges from $500 to $15,000, depending on the size of the store. The department collected $300,000 in additional revenue last year through enforcement of the law. The department expects to collect $500,000 more this year…read article

Suffolk planning panel in turmoil
 NEWSDAY; Jan 29, 2017
“The real root of this is that there is a conflict for control of the planning commission,” said Adrienne Esposito, commission vice chair and executive director of the nonprofit Concerned Citizens for the Environment…read article

Legislators trash mayor’s plan for plastic bag fees
NEWSDAY; Jan 31, 2017
New York state lawmakers lashed out at Mayor Bill de Blasio yesterday over New York City’s plan to impose a fee on plastic shopping bags, dismissing it as a burden on poor and middle-class residents already struggling to get by in an expensive city…read article

Senate Committee Backs Betsy DeVos, But Two Future GOP Votes Uncertain EDUCATION WEEK; Jan 31, 2017
The Senate education committee voted to move the nomination of Betsy DeVos for education secretary to the full Senate by a vote of 12 to 11 on Tuesday. The date of the full Senate vote on DeVos has yet to be set, but Republicans hold 52 seats, compared to just 48 for Democrats…read article

What Are Vouchers and How Do They Work? EDUCATION WEEK; Jan 26, 2017
Nearly 30 states have vouchers or some related form of private school choice. With the Trump administration heavily in favor of school choice, will we see an expansion of vouchers? Here are some facts and background on these programs…read article

Teen must be enrolled NEWSDAY; Feb 1, 2017
The Westhampton Beach school district failed to provide an appropriate education for a student with Down syndrome. In the ruling, state-appointed hearing officer Nancy Lederman said the [to be appointed] consultant should review the instruction available in Westhampton Beach but also look at programs in other districts, including Eastport-South Manor. The order also denied the parents’ compensatory claims, noting that the parents intentionally kept their child from an appropriate education while they pursued their legal claims…read article

Tech firms protest immigration order NEWSDAY; Jan 30, 2017

The U.S. tech industry relies on foreign engineers and other technical experts for a sizable percentage of its workforce…read article

Study supports seniors’ being mentally engaged NEWSDAY; Jan 31, 2017
The study looked at five types of activities that are thought to help keep the mind sharp… article

Charting the relevance of the Dow NEWSDAY COLUMN; Jan 29, 2017
“I think the Dow is perhaps the least meaningful U.S. stock index available.”…read column

Bank account strategy as interest rates rise 
The year 2017 is shaping up as one of rising interest rates. There’s also a benefit: the potential to earn more money…read column

JFK’s ticket to the future NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Jan 29, 2017
In this massive project, there’s a tremendous opportunity. It could transform the airport to the benefit of the region’s residents, businesses and overall economy, as well as international travelers, and its surroundings from a hodgepodge of disconnected pieces to a finished puzzle… editorial

Ken Hartle, 103, Pearl Harbor salvage diver
Ken Hartle, who as a Navy diver during World War II had the grim task of retrieving bodies from ships sunk by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, has died. He was 103…read story

Jan 19 - Jan 25
Dumping discovery NEWSDAY; Jan 24, 2017
The state Department of Environmental Conservation and Brookhaven Town are investigating the dumping of construction debris, carpeting, old furniture and other trash in Tanglewood Park in Coram. “We all have to come together and say this is unacceptable and brainstorm . . .and really figure out how to stop this,” said Suffolk County Legislator (District 5) Kara Hahn. “This should not be happening.”…read story

School tax cap to be 1.26% NEWSDAY; Jan 19, 2017
Permitted tax hike grows–but districts say they need more…read article

Skepticism over ‘free tuition’ plan NEWSDAY; Jan 25, 2017
Lawmakers peppered the Cuomo administration with questions about the governor’s “free tuition” plan yesterday, asking about the math behind the proposal and the lack of specific details in some areas. They didn’t always get answers…read article

Cuomo seeks $2B to repair water, sewers 
NEWSDAY; Jan 23, 2017
While many of the proposals in Cuomo’s budget face challenges with lawmakers — his call to make state college tuition free for middle-class students being one notable example — the water funding is already winning supporters in both parties…read article

Big support for same-day voting NEWSDAY; Jan 19, 2017
More than 8 in 10 Long Islanders support holding elections on a single day each year for special districts that provide water, fire protection, sanitation, libraries, parks and other local services, according to a new poll…read article

Start-Up NY revamp NEWSDAY; Jan 19, 2017
Cuomo proposes more time for firms to meet job goals. More than $50 million was spent on Start-Up NY advertising, but only 408 jobs were created in the first two years…read article

Aging 'grapefully' NEWSDAY; Jan 24, 2017
At barrel tastings in Long Island’s wine country, you can forget that old adage about drinking “no wine before its time.”…read story

1st wind farm contract ready for LIPA NEWSDAY; Jan 25, 2017
Deepwater spokeswoman confirmed that the project has a $740 million [total] price tag. The [$227M turbine] project would produce 90 megawatts of power and raise average residential customer bills by around $1.20 a month. The project will also require $513 million in grid upgrades on the South Fork that will add $2.48 more to average customer bills when the work is completed by 2026, for a total average monthly bill hike of $3.67. Utilities generally pay a premium for green energy, often more than double the price of energy from traditional power plants…read article

Where turbines could go NEWSDAY; Jan 23, 2017
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s ambition to develop enough offshore wind energy by 2030 to power 750,000 homes will require 280 square miles of ocean…read article

LI jobless rate at 3.9% NEWSDAY; Jan 25, 2017
The number of unemployed residents fell by 2,200 to 56,800. Meanwhile, the number of people with jobs also fell by 11,900; to 1.4 million…read article

LI job growth improves
 NEWSDAY; Jan 20, 2017
The Island had 17,300 more jobs in December, compared with December 2015, the biggest jump since March 2016’s year-over-year growth of 25,000 jobs…read article

Health Care’s hottest jobs NEWSDAY; Jan 22, 2017
Demand for nurse practitioners and physician assistants is growing as Long Island’s population ages and the medical profession evolves. The state labor department predicts the Island will add 47,080 health care jobs from 2012 to 2022, a 23 percent increase…read article

Hospital addition gets site plan OK NEWSDAY; Jan 23, 2017
A three-floor hospital construction project proposed by Peconic Bay Medical Center/ Northwell Health in Riverhead is one step closer to fruition. The construction would provide space for the creation of a new intensive care unit, heliport, emergency room space and a cardiac catheterization/- electrophysiology suite…read article

LI firm opens manufacturing plant in China NEWSDAY; Jan 24, 2017
The company employs 550 people worldwide, including 52 at Long Island locations in Hauppauge and Deer Park…read article

Promotion violated law NEWSDAY; Jan 24, 2017
Elaine Barraga, who had been deputy bureau chief, was promoted to head the general litigation unit effective Dec. 19 [$150,540-a year job], a day before her father provided the key 10th vote for legislation that imposes a $300 mortgage fee…read article

Tax breaks for Foley home NEWSDAY; Jan 19, 2017
The tax breaks include a partial property tax abatement and sales tax cuts for equipment purchases related to the renovation, IDA officials said…read article

Dog park fees waived to encourage use NEWSDAY; Jan 24, 2017
The annual fee to buy a town “Pooch Pass” has been waived to encourage more people to use dog parks in Middle Island and Selden…read article

Town buys first fully electric car NEWSDAY; Jan 24, 2017
“I remain committed to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and reduce our carbon footprint to protect the environment for future generations and save taxpayer dollars,” said Brookhaven Supervisor Edward P. Romaine…read article

Brookhaven - Clampdown on canines NEWSDAY; Jan 23, 2017
The proposed law comes after two dogs were killed and another was injured in a pair of dog attacks in the summer in Rocky Point…read article

Battle of the robots NEWSDAY; Jan 22, 2017
The robots were designed and driven by 34 teams of middle and high schoolers from more than 10 schools and institutions in Westchester, New York City and on Long Island…read article

Embrace stress: It won’t crush you NEWSDAY; Jan 24, 2017
So what can we do to leverage stress to its utmost advantage? It can be as easy as breathing, [author] Robertson says…read article

Chiefs change, but school wars go on NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Jan 24, 2017
“NYSUT and educators all over the country have fought sensible innovations with the kind of stubborn intransigence that infuriates voters. It would almost be funny if the joke were on teachers unions. But since the joke is likely to be on students instead, it’s just sad.”… editorial

Don’t make certification easier for NY teachers 
Recalibrating the edTPA to increase the passing rate when we know some of students taking it aren’t ready to teach is a mistake…read editorial

Start over with Start-Up NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Jan 23, 2017
As of July, Start-Up NY had created just 408 jobs, but state officials argue that the tax breaks are small. They ignore the tens of millions of dollars the state has spent on marketing the program, and don’t adequately explain the lowest of expectations…read article

The LIRR is his train of thought NEWSDAY; Jan 22, 2017
Dave Morrison strides through the old Oyster Bay railroad station dodging workmen’s saws and hammers, surveying progress of restoration plans for the century-old structure that will become a museum…read article

Anatomy of a happy office NEWSDAY; Jan 23, 2017
“Happy employees really equal greater productivity,” says Dawn Fay, Manhattan-based district president for Robert Half International, and they tend to stick around longer…read article

Jan 12 - Jan 18, 2017
Traveling exhibit of botanical illustrations NEWSDAY; Jan 16, 2017
An exhibit of 20 meticulous, scientifically accurate color pencil illustrations of Long Island’s native plants is at the Longwood Public Library in Middle Island through February…read article

$1B boost in NY school funding NEWSDAY; Jan 18, 2017
“Frankly, we don’t have the resources to lose the ‘millionaire’s’ revenue now and have the state function the way it should,” Cuomo said during a budget presentation at the Executive Mansion late yesterday…read article

Revealing budget in private NEWSDAY; Jan 17, 2017
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will break from tradition and present his $150 billion budget proposal privately to legislators behind closed doors…[however]…important elements of any state budget are usually uncovered not in a governor’s speech, but in legislative hearings that dissect the spending plan. Those begin within days…read article

GOP rejects guv’s plans NEWSDAY; Jan 14, 2017
Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan yesterday rejected key proposals in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s State of the State addresses this week, saying free college tuition for low- and middle- income families may cost too much and closing the Indian Point nuclear plant would result in job losses and higher energy costs. Flanagan also confirmed a Newsday report that he is considering a run for governor in 2018…read article

IMF lifts forecast for U.S. economy NEWSDAY; Jan 17, 2017
The International Monetary Fund’s new outlook puts U.S. economic growth at 2.3 percent this year and 2.5 percent in 2018. That would be an improvement from lackluster U.S. growth of around 1.6 percent in 2016…read article

3 firms to layoff 168 NEWSDAY; Jan 13, 2017
Two manufacturers and an advertising company to shift LI operations…read article

Grocery Fallout: One year later NEWSDAY; Jan 15, 2017
More than a year after all 51 Waldbaum’s and Pathmark supermarkets closed on Long Island, one third of the stores remain vacant…read article

LI startup funding declines NEWSDAY; Jan 14, 2017
Angel and venture capital funding for Long Island startups fell 40 percent in 2016, but remained above the four-year average…read article

Brookhaven: Taking a swing NEWSDAY; Jan 17, 2017
Town hopes new zoning rules will bar housing development on golf courses…read article

A Dispatch From the Outgoing U.S. Education Secretary
EDUCATION WEEK; Jan 17, 2017
The relationship between poverty and educational achievement…destroys hope. We can restore hope by working to ensure all young people are well-prepared to complete a postsecondary degree or training program. Some will argue equity conflicts with liberty. But it's not liberty when the happenstance of birth binds a child to a life of limited possibilities…read article

Democrats Press Betsy DeVos on Privatization, ESSA, and
LGBT Rights

EDUCATION WEEK; Jan 18, 2017
"If confirmed, I will be a strong advocate for great public schools," DeVos said. "But, if a school is troubled, or unsafe, or not a good fit for a child—perhaps they have a special need that is going unmet—we should support a parent's right to enroll their child in a high-quality alternative."…read article

Millennials falling behind parents NEWSDAY; Jan 14, 2017
Millennials have half the net worth of boomers. Their homeownership rate is lower, while their student debt is drastically higher…read article

Gap between high school, college grads’ pay widens
NEWSDAY; Jan 13, 2017
College graduates, on average, earned 56 percent more than high school grads in 2015… article

Study: Pot still a risk NEWSDAY; Jan 13, 2017
While certain compounds in the plant help combat chronic pain, recreational pot is not risk-free. Medical forms of the drug have the psychoactive component removed. “It’s not the same drug that older generations knew,” said Dr. Scott Krakower. Marijuana now traded on the street is more potent--and dangerous…read article

CVS starts selling rival generic version of EpiPen for $110 NEWSDAY; Jan 13, 2017
The drugstore chain says it will charge $109.99 for a two-pack of the authorized generic version of Adrenaclick…read article

Our low crime, And high costs NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Jan 16, 2017
Long Islanders demand and pay for safety. But much of the expense is driven by costly union work rules that don’t reflect crime fighting needs…read editorial

Give all the same shot at Suffolk casino jobs 
When public jobs come open, especially blue-collar ones with very good benefits, everyone ought to have the same shot at them…read editorial

Jan 5 - Jan 11, 2017
Cuba keeps calling NEWSDAY; Jan 8, 2017
Chris Cloonan’s family and friends thought he was a little crazy when he decided to make Cuba the focus of his studies and his life. But Chris, a Coram native and 2012 Stony Brook University graduate thinks he has “the best job in the world” on the Communist-run island, where he’s a tour guide…read story

Cuomo backs projects on LI NEWSDAY; Jan 11, 2017

But when it came to reining in property taxes, Cuomo pointed the finger at local governments. He said state spending isn’t to blame and contended he’s “tried everything” he can to reduce property taxes, which are levied by local governments and schools. Republican state chairman Ed Cox said “Typical misrepresentation by Andrew Cuomo because 85 percent of local property taxes are unfunded mandates that come down” from Albany…read article

Turbines eyed off Montauk NEWSDAY; Jan 11, 2017
LIPA has said the wind farm and other grid improvements needed for the South Fork would add about $2.48 [1.8%] to customer bills when it’s completed…read article

Big plans, big obstacles NEWSDAY; Jan 8, 2017
As Cuomo readies State of State speeches, questions arise about paying for projects such as tuition aid, JFK overhaul. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will promise free college tuition for many middle-class families and a massive infrastructure repair program among other aspirations. That’s where state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says Cuomo will face a difficult task. Just as Cuomo would like to make big promises in part to aid a possible 2018 re-election campaign and any hope of a 2020 presidential campaign, state revenue are dwindling…read article

Solar builder: We’ll save wooded area NEWSDAY; Jan 8, 2017
Asked if he’d support [solar plans at old Shoreham National Grid site], Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward Romaine, who led a recent town board move to ban solar farms on parcels that would necessitate clearing of trees, said his first impression was, “No.” He emphasized that he had yet to hear from the companies about any preservation proposal or their plans. “They certainly would be well-advised to have a discussion with the Town of Brookhaven,” he said… article

The money numbers you need to know NEWSDAY; Jan 8, 2017
How much you make is important, for example, but your financial health depends far more on how much you keep…read article

IRS to delay tax refunds for 40M NEWSDAY; Jan 11, 2017
The delays will affect families claiming the earned income tax credit and the additional child tax credit as the agency steps up efforts to fight identity theft and fraud…read article

Ambitious vision, tough challenge NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Jan 11, 2017
He promised solid investments in transportation and sewer infrastructure, big commitments to offshore wind energy and water quality, and yet another novel attempt to get local governments to cut property taxes. The question, as always, is: How much will get done? With the state budget under increasing stress, where is the money? editorial

Teacher test failure rate called too high NEWSDAY; Jan 11, 2017
The state’s Board of Regents acknowledged yesterday that failure rates are running far too high — at 23 percent — on a teacher-licensing exam taken so far by about 22,000 college students and others statewide. The state sets a minimum passing score of 41 points out of a possible 75 [54.7%] on the exam version most often administered. State education officials described that 41-point mark as the highest set by any state…read article

Listing drug price hikes NEWSDAY; Jan 11, 2017
Johnson & Johnson plans next month to disclose average price increases of its prescription drugs, as the industry tries to calm the storm over soaring prices…read article

Cuomo’s national mindset
NEWSDAY; Jan 10, 2017
“We all heard the roar on Election Day, and we must respond,” Cuomo said. “The nation once again looks to New York to find the way up. . . . We will hold the torch high to light the way.”… article

Cuomo calls for early voting NEWSDAY; Jan 9, 2017
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is once again urging state lawmakers to allow early voting access in New York as part of a series of voting reform measures his office unveiled yesterday… article

$233,610 to raise a child NEWSDAY; Jan 10, 2017
The Department of Agriculture says the estimated cost of raising a child from birth through age 17 is $233,610, or as much as almost $14,000 a year. That’s the average for a middle-income couple with two children…read article

Set for shutdown NEWSDAY; Jan 10, 2017
State, nuke plant owner, reach deal to close Indian Point by April 2021. Cuomo pledged the closure would have a “negligible” impact on ratepayers — as much as $3 a month for average ratepayers including Long Islanders. The deal to close the plant comes as the governor has been separately pushing a clean-energy standard that relies to a large extent on an estimated $7.6 billion in ratepayer-funded subsidies for four upstate nuclear power plants to achieve ambitious reductions in greenhouse emissions. That plan is expected to cost LIPA ratepayers $45 million a year, or around $2 a month for average customers…read article

Seniors to protest utility rate increases NEWSDAY; Jan 10, 2017
Seniors at Leisure Village, Leisure Knoll and other retirement communities in Ridge will be gathering before the Cuomo speech to protest an unexpected $7.57 increase in average bills starting this month. “I’m questioning everything they [LIPA and PSEG] are doing,” said Suffolk County Legis. Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai). Anker said it was time for an electric utility consumer advocate to independently fight for ratepayers. “Why is it that we’re finally using less energy, and we’re paying more?” Anker asked. …read article

LI firms take latest tech to Vegas show NEWSDAY; Jan 9, 2017
Coram-based truMedic used the show to introduce the InstaShiatsu+ Full Body Massager With Heat, an upgraded version of its neck and back massager…read article

School epinephrine use bolstered NEWSDAY; Jan 10, 2017
Local school administrators noted yesterday that the changes in medical procedures mean that additional personnel have to be well-trained and that care has to be taken to store the EpiPens securely…read article

Worries over chemical in water NEWSDAY; Jan 10, 2017
The Environmental Protection Agency lists 1,4-dioxane as a probable carcinogen, meaning that, while the evidence is not definitive, research indicates that it is a likely cause of cancer… article

Not all job promises met NEWSDAY; Jan 10, 2017
The average cost to taxpayers for each job preserved or created on Long Island was $3,848. Statewide, the average cost per job was $3,746…read article

Sini’s Mission-Suffolk’s Top Cop’s First year NEWSDAY; Jan 8, 2017
Youngest commissioner ever bids to rebuild department amid Burkes scandal, gang killings, drug epidemic…read article

Pine beetle battle awarded state grant NEWSDAY; Jan 9, 2017
“If we don’t get ahead of this problem now, thousands of acres could be lost, having disastrous consequences on the local environment and wildlife,” Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said in a statement…read article

Assessing Quality of Teaching Staff Still Complex Despite ESSA's Leeway
Education Week; Jan 4, 2017
ESSA does not require states to set up teacher-evaluation systems based in significant part on students' test scores, which was a key part of the U.S. Department of Education's state-waiver system under the No Child Left Behind Act, the predecessor to ESSA. States now have a newfound flexibility to adjust their evaluation systems—and in doing so, they're all over the map…read article

What next from Andrew the Munificent? NEWSDAY OPINION; Jan 7, 2017
What genius, this proposed Excelsior Scholarship, what a demonstration of generosity by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. There is an unseriousness about New York that is growing increasingly disconcerting. We live in a state bereft of grownups…read opinion

Dec 29 - Jan 4, 2017
Minimum wage up on LI, in state NEWSDAY; Dec 31, 2016
Thomas Shinick, adjunct management and marketing professor at Adelphi University, warned the wage increase will provoke a “substantial” rise in competition for entry-level jobs for which productivity will be key. “Employers can be more selective now,” he said. “They might say to themselves, ‘If I have to pay more per hour for each worker, I need to hire the most productive ones.’ If you have marginal employees and have to pay them more . . . that’s going to be a problem.”…read article

Wage task force set NEWSDAY; Jan 3, 2017
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and his top aides announced yesterday that a 200-member team of investigators has been assembled to help ensure businesses across the state comply with the new minimum wage law. The 200 members of Cuomo’s new task force include staffers from the state’s labor, taxation and state departments and the Workers’ Compensation Board… article

Gov. Cuomo calls for free tuition at NY public colleges
NEWSDAY; Jan 4, 2017
“Today what Governor Cuomo is proposing is a revolutionary idea for higher education,” [failed presidential contender] Sen. Bernie Sanders said. “And it’s an idea that is going to reverberate not only throughout the state of New York but throughout this country.” Not everyone applauded. Cuomo’s proposal would have to be paid for in the state budget [a/k/a “Taxation”], which will require approval by the legislature by April 1…read article

NY tougher on zombie houses NEWSDAY; Dec 31, 2016
The legislation also requires banks to care for houses after foreclosure to preserve their value for quicker resale. And the state will have to maintain a registry of vacant or abandoned zombie houses…read article

Bigger hike in electric bills NEWSDAY; Jan 3, 2017
“I’m surprised the number is different from what I was briefed on,” trustee Mark Fischl said. But he said he was “comfortable” with the amount of the increase. Trustee Matthew Cordaro called the higher figures “very surprising.” “In no way did I have a sense that it would go to this level in the budget we approved.” He expressed regret that “I wasn’t diligent enough to make a case of what the rate impacts were going to be. The board discussion centered on what the budget was.” In retrospect, he said, “It would have been a lot more useful to have a clearer idea of what the rate impacts were.”…read article

And if that isn’t enough salt in your wounds, read the following article:
Higher fees sought to fund smart meters NEWSDAY; Jan 3, 2017
PSEG Long Island is requesting over $9 million more from LIPA ratepayers in 2017 to install some 50,000 new smart meters in customer homes, charging stations for electric cars and a two-meter on-bill loan program to fund customers’ solar-energy systems. All the proposals, if approved, would require a “modest budget amendment” this year to pay for the programs, PSEG said in the filing…read article

LI stock surge NEWSDAY; Dec 31, 2016
The Newsday Long Island Bloomberg Index of 30 publicly traded companies in Nassau and Suffolk counties had a strong performance in 2016, gaining 15.9 percent…read article

The lure of the deal NEWSDAY; Jan 1, 2017
LI public and private companies make M&A deals a key part of operations…read article

U.S. grants $10.6M for LI homeless NEWSDAY; Dec 29, 2016
As of Jan. 27, 2016, there were 3,960 people in emergency shelters, transitional housing or on the street — an increase of 100 over 2015…read article

Mortgage vote upsets GOP NEWSDAY; Jan 2, 2017
The fee increase on mortgage instruments, projected to raise $33 million a year as Suffolk County struggles with budget deficits, passed Dec. 20 with the bare minimum 10 votes in favor. Two incumbent Democrats in competitive seats — Legis. Sarah Anker, of Mount Sinai, and Legis. William J. Lindsay III, of Bohemia — joined four Republicans and Working Families Party member Kate Browning, of Shirley, in opposing the fee hike. Anker said she voted against the fee after hearing from unhappy residents. “I voted the conscience of my constituents,” she said.…read article

Nation's Schools Get Middling Grade on ‘Quality Counts’ Report Card EDUCATION WEEK; Dec 30, 2016
Massachusetts takes first place among the states for the third year in a row, with a B and a score of 86.5. It’s followed by five states earning grades of B: New Jersey (85.6), Vermont (83.8), New Hampshire (83.4), Maryland (82.8), and Connecticut (82.7)…read article

Tricky Balance in Shifting From ESSA Blueprint to K-12 Reality
EDUCATION WEEK; Dec 30, 2016
ESSA gives states and districts greater flexibility, but it also asks a lot of them. States can move away from teacher evaluations based on student test scores and come up with their own definitions for what makes a teacher effective. States and districts also get to decide how to intervene in their lowest-performing schools and those where long-overlooked groups—such as students of color, English-language learners, and children with disabilities—aren't performing up to snuff…read article

Past time to help homeless NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Jan 2, 2017
It’s been almost a year since Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo promised $2 billion toward affordable and supportive housing. Since supportive housing — which includes mental health, drug treatment, and other key services — remains the best long-term solution to the homelessness across the state, the commitment to the 1,200 units is an important first step…read editorial

How best to pay for education? NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Jan 4, 2017
At the end of 2016, the New York Board of Regents recommended a $2.1 billion increase to education funding, up 8 percent. Most of that increase would go to “foundation aid” distributed according to wealth and need. And other proposed changes would drive even more money to districts that get less from property taxes and away from the more affluent systems that abound on Long Island. But the Regents, a very politically sensitive group, also want the new funding method to “hold harmless,” guaranteeing that even wealthy districts’ state funding will not actually go down…read editorial

A way forward for Albany NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Dec 29, 2016
Don’t shed any tears for the collapse of negotiations to hold a special session of the State Legislature before year’s end. As the days in December dwindled down, it became increasingly clear that this would be a lame duck session in every sense of the term…read article

Our hopes for the year ahead NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Jan 1, 2017
With a tumultuous 2016 behind us, a new opportunity to do better…read editorial

Well-worn lesson from a high priest of repair
It’s that time again. Out with the old, in with the new. And that’s got me thinking about Gaspare Mannina…read column

Subdued 2017 outlook NEWSDAY; Dec 29, 2016
After such a strong and long gallop upward, markets have many reasons to slow down, analysts and fund managers say…read article

38th Annual Kidsday Art Contest-The Winners NEWSDAY; Dec 31, 2016
Congratulations to those who won, and a special thank you to all the teachers and schools that participated…see the winning pictures

4-D: Flicks with a kick NEWSDAY; Dec 29, 2016
At a recent screening of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” at Island 16 Cinema de Lux in Holtsville, several members of the Schultz family found themselves bombarded by fog, sprayed with water and shaken in their seats. Something seemed to scuttle around their legs, while devices called “butt kickers” did just that. At times, a strong odor wafted through the air
read article


“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”…Anne Frank 

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