Coram Civic Association

 LOCAL NEWS

Published Oct 18, 2018
Gateway to legalizing pot NEWSDAY; Oct 17, 2018
Canada legalizes marijuana 
In Colorado, which in 2012 became one of the first states to legalize marijuana, Chinese and Cuban gangs have infiltrated the state, exporting the drug to neighboring states where it is still illegal and arbitraging the black market premium…read articles

NYC pensions are at stake
NEWSDAY; Oct 15, 2018
The pension funds of tens of thousands of Long Islanders who work for New York City are the stakes of a plan by Mayor Bill de Blasio to shed billions of dollars in gas and oil holdings as a stand against climate change…read article

Retirees to see $39 more a month in Social Security checks
NEWSDAY; Oct 12, 2018
Many retirees and their advocates say the annual adjustment is too meager and doesn’t reflect higher health care costs for older people…read article

E-cigs’ flavorings can harm NEWSDAY; Oct 13. 2018
The cocktail of chemical flavorings and additives in e-cigarettes can cause inflammation in the lungs, which in some instances may be worse than the damage caused by conventional cigarettes…read article

Pushback over hosting elections NEWSDAY; Oct 15, 2018
Education officials on Long Island, citing concerns about security, are supporting legislation that would allow schools to opt out of their role as polling places…read article

CAPITALIZING on the sun NEWSDAY BUSINESS; Oct 15, 2018
LI solar power company reaps business as big leasing outfits exit the market…read article

[Nassau] Police deputy earning $309G NEWSDAY; Oct 14, 2018
James Skopek, 60, who retired in 2016, is now collecting a county salary of $157,300 on top of an annual pension of $152,160. Skopek’s base salary at retirement was $155,585, in his last full year on the force, he earned $244,998, with overtime. [Amazing how that happens.] When he departed from Nassau [Police], he also received $361,554 for unused vacation and sick time as well as deferred overtime and holiday pay…read article

Bethpage: Part of the community NEWSDAY; Oct 16, 2018
The apartment building, located next to ACLD’s Bethpage headquarters, will include 12 units for low-income people with developmental disabilities. ACLD recently applied for state funding for a 110-unit building in Medford that would include 20 apartments for people with developmental disabilities…read story

Suffolk wants to buy open space NEWSDAY; Oct 17, 2018
Legis. Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) said the owners have 60 days to respond to the offers by the county real estate officials to buy the parcels on Whiskey Road in Middle Island
read article


Bellone touts tax petition
NEWSDAY SPIN CYCLE; Oct 15, 2018
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone made a robocall last week asking voters to go to his website and sign a petition to oppose a new federal tax law that bars homeowners from taking deductions for their property and state income taxes…read article

Sales tax revenues up in both counties NEWSDAY; Oct 13, 2018
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, in his proposed 2019 $3.1 billion operating budget, now forecasts that the county will see a 4.9 percent increase for this year [he had forecasted a 3.0% increase] and a 3.5 percent increase for 2019. The county legislature soon begins hearings to consider amendments to his spending package. Legis. Tom Cilmi (R-Bay Shore), GOP caucus leader, said any extra money should go to plugging long-standing holes in the county budget. “We still have a mountain of debt to dig our way through,” he said…read article

Voting in schools: a time for reform NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Oct 16, 2018
How do education officials safely deal with the fact that on election days, the schools they’ve worked so hard to secure with guards, vetting, cameras and restricted entries must welcome everyone?...read editorial

E-cigs becoming on-ramp for addiction NEWSDAY OPINION; Oct 12, 2018
Using a small battery to heat a liquid that contains nicotine, e-cigarettes turn the liquid into an inhalable vapor. Since 2014, they have been the most popular nicotine product among American teenagers…read opinion

Earthly calamity on the horizon NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Oct 15, 2018
“If things don’t change soon, we’re toast. It means planting more trees, and inventing ways to remove greenhouse gases from the air. And it means the virtual elimination of burning coal—the easiest way to get carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere is to never put it there.”
read editorial

Funding college if you haven’t saved enough NEWSDAY; Oct 14, 2018
The federal PLUS loan program allows parents to borrow the full price of virtually any college education. That’s rarely a good idea…read article

Published Oct 11, 2018
Pension payments NEWSDAY THE POINT; Oct 11, 2018
When state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli came to Newsday last week for his election-season interview, the talk turned to municipalities borrowing from the state to pay annual pension costs, which is known as pension amortization. The Point asked for specifics, and it turns out that Suffolk and Nassau counties lead the state in this kind of borrowing by an extraordinary margin. Suffolk County owes $273 million. Suffolk’s proposed 2019 budget calls for it to break the borrowing habit, after amortizing $32 million in 2018…read more

Amazon pay hike not a win for some
NEWSDAY BUSINESS; Oct 5, 2018
Amazon’s announcement this week that it would raise its hourly minimum wage to $15 has been seen as a win for workers. But some longtime employees say they are losing out. The employees, who work in different warehouses around the country, said the $15 minimum wage was great for new workers, but the math didn’t work out for those who have worked at Amazon’s warehouses for a few years…read article

Mattress Firm: More stores to close NEWSDAY BUSINESS; Oct 6, 2018
Mattress Firm said it plans to close up to 700 stores around the country. Mattress Firm bought HMK Mattress Holdings LLC, the parent company of Sleepy’s, for $780 million in 2016
read article

Study: Wind energy could power up temps NEWSDAY; Oct 5, 2018
Researchers concluded that a dramatic, all-out expansion in the number of turbines could warm the country even more than climate change from burning coal and other fossil fuels
read article

AAA warns LI motorists to watch for deer NEWSDAY; Oct 6, 2018
During the final three months of 2016, 273 drivers struck a deer while traversing Suffolk roadways…read article

LIPA lawyer hits PSEG over rate class changes NEWSDAY; Oct 6, 2018
Two state lawmakers, Assemb. Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor) and State Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), have called for hearings before the legislature to investigate alterations in the management audit…read article

Paneling an industrial park NEWSDAY; Oct 5, 2018
Solar firms eyeing Hauppauge roofs for power initiative…read article

Suffolk offers precautionary tests of some private wells
NEWSDAY; Oct 5, 2018
Suffolk County health officials are urging dozens of East Patchogue and Medford residents who use private wells to get their water tested for contaminants…read article

Trial plan for cop shift change NEWSDAY; Oct 5, 2018
Suffolk police kicked off a pilot program this week that has officers using neighborhood schools for shift changes…read article

More no-homework days eyed NEWSDAY; Oct 5, 2018
The small East Quogue school district’s once-a-month initiative called “Family First Wednesdays” has worked out so well that the no-homework policy may be expanded, Parent Janet Fratello, who has children in the third and seventh grades, said that since the district launched the plan, she has spent time playing board games and has organized other family activities. “It’s a great time to decompress. And I think it is good as long as they get done what they need to get done in school.”…read article

LI is a hub for state test opt-outs NEWSDAY; Oct 8, 2018
Long Island is opt-out central for New York, laying claim to 19 of the 20 school systems statewide with the highest numbers of students boycotting standardized tests…read article

NY voters deserve better from state NEWSDAY OPINION; Oct 5, 2018
For all its progressive values, New York State has some of the most backward voting laws in the nation…read opinion

Shun others over politics? NEWSDAY OPINION; Oct 5, 2018
Our serious differences are not reason enough to end personal relationships…read opinion

Beware of the marijuana marketers NEWSDAY OPINION; Oct 8, 2018
“U.S. marketing magic is in the air. Pot helps everything now. Read the stories. Smoking pot may improve lung capacity. (Really?) It can stop cancers from spreading, slow brain tumors and protect against concussions. Marijuana will stop nightmares (a fifth of bourbon will do that, too, I’ve found); it’ll delay the onset of Alzheimer’s.”…read opinion

Published Oct 4, 2018
Schooling young voters NEWSDAY; Sep 30, 2018
SUNY student leaders on Long Island and across the state will kick off a campaign Monday aimed at increasing voter registration and participation among college students before the Nov. 6 midterm elections…read article

Toward safer water NEWSDAY; Oct 3, 2018
Assemb. Englebright (D-Setauket), chair of the Assembly’s Environmental Conservation Committee, said while the grant money is important, the state also needs to set a safe drinking water standard and not wait on the federal Environmental Protection Agency…read article

Passion in marijuana debate
NEWSDAY; Sep 28, 2018
Ruthanne McCormack a project coordinator for the Rockville Centre Coalition for Youth, described marijuana as a “gateway drug for youth.” She said “More stoned people do not help society. Today’s marijuana is much more potent than in the past.”…read article

How NAFTA 2.0 will shake up U.S. business-as-usual
NEWSDAY; Oct 2, 2018
Economists, trade attorneys and businesses are still parsing the agreement. But here’s an early look at what it means for different players…read article

Flu picture up in air NEWSDAY; Oct 1, 2018
“Preliminary findings suggest this might be a milder season, based on what we’re seeing in the Southern Hemisphere, but I caution that this is just a guess,” said Dr. Aaron Glatt, chairman of medicine at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside and a specialist in infectious diseases…read article

Study: Warmer waters led to more hurricanes NEWSDAY; Sep 28, 2018
Some of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes form off the coast of West Africa, then chug west toward the Caribbean and the U.S. East Coast. Water in that large box — the main hurricane development region — averaged 0.7 degrees warmer than normal for the entire 2017 season
read article

The Young and the Enterprising NEWSDAY; Sep 30, 2018
Kevin Muller, co-owner of Meltology in Mount Sinai [as well as Crazy Crepes] was 16 when he got his first job, scooping ice cream at a Friendly’s in Middle Island. Within a year, he was promoted to a manager position. But business wasn’t always what he had in mind for his career…read story

Top prosecutor joins Sini NEWSDAY; Oct 1, 2018
Howard Master, 44, will report directly to Sini in three separate roles — special counsel, chief of the Special Investigations Division and chief of the Conviction Integrity Bureau. The office will soon hire two assistant district attorneys to work with Master in the bureau, Sini said. After reviewing cases, those attorneys will write a report and make a recommendation on what to do. That recommendation will then be reviewed by an independent panel of attorneys, who will be free to differ with the Conviction Integrity Bureau, Sini said. The three members of that panel will be announced shortly, he said…read article

Fighting Suffolk’s fees NEWSDAY; Oct 3, 2018
Toting signs including “Suffolk Stop Stealing Our Money” and “Justice for Suffolk — Fight the Fees” protesters endorsed a measure sponsored by Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) that would limit fees to the actual cost of services…read article 

Suit: Seized car disposal illegal
NEWSDAY; Sep 27, 2018
A multimillion-dollar federal class-action lawsuit has been filed against Suffolk County, claiming it illegally disposes of cars seized in drunken driving arrests…read article

‘Minimal’ tax hike in ’19 budget plan NEWSDAY; Oct 1, 2018
The tentative $302.4 million spending plan would increase spending overall by about $8 million, or 2.9 percent, if the town board approves it in November. The largest share of the spending increase is related to $5.4 million in salary increases for the town’s unionized employees, Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said Friday…read article

High performers NEWSDSAY; Oct 2, 2018
Winners for 2018 included W. Tresper Clarke High School in the East Meadow district, John Glenn High School in Elwood, South Side High School in Rockville Centre and Sayville High School…read article

LI still leads in test opt-outs in NY NEWSDAY; Sep 27, 2018
State tests, mandated by federal law, have emerged as an explosive issue in New York, because student scores are linked to teachers’ job evaluations. New York State United Teachers, a statewide union group representing more than 600,000 professional educators and others, has called for severing the mandatory links between test scores and job ratings. Only then will confidence in the testing system among teachers and their supporters be restored, advocates said. Still, the idea that teachers should not be judged by such measures irritates many taxpayers, who note that the federal government invests heavily in New York’s public education, including $1.6 billion a year in Title I tutoring money. Such investments demand accountability, these critics say…read article

Trump delivers better trade deal NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Oct 2, 2018
The deal even includes wins for Trump’s home state, including on Long Island: Canada’s markets will be increasingly open to dairy products produced upstate and wine flowing from Suffolk County…read editorial

Fix how NY selects judges NEWSDAY OPINION; Sep 30, 2018
It is the state courts that most profoundly affect our lives. Yet most New Yorkers know nothing about their court system or how judges are chosen…read opinion
by Sol Wachtler, former NYS judge.

Vicious attacks on the planet NEWSDAY OPINION; Sep 30, 2018
It’s one thing to say the national parks are America’s best idea. It’s quite another to make sure that idea stays alive…read opinion

JFK wants to fly first class NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Sep 30, 2018
Smart planning and billions in private investment will be critical to upgrade the region’s busiest airport…read editorial

Writing wills that won’t trigger family feuding NEWSDAY; Sep 30, 2018
Some of the littlest things — a childhood toy, a holiday decoration, a piece of costume jewelry—can trigger the biggest family fights…read article

Published Sep 27, 2018
Early STAR checks—for some NEWSDAY; Sep 23. 2018
STAR tax rebate checks to property owners were mailed far earlier than usual this year to New York City and eight counties in the state that traditionally have accounted for 74 percent of the Democratic vote in primary elections…read article

Unforgettable ‘farewell’ NEWSDAY; Sep 24, 2018
“Goodbye to Rosie, the queen of Corona.” Paul Simon wrapped up his legendary career as a touring artist with a masterful hometown show at Flushing Meadows- Corona Park Saturday night that grew increasingly emotional as it came to the end…read article

Don’t go into debt for non-essentials NEWSDAY; Sep 24, 2018
More than 50 percent of parents have gone into unnecessary debt to buy their kids nonessential items or experiences…read article

LIRR disability claims plunge NEWSDAY; Sep 24, 2018
The board’s watchdog, inspector general Martin Dickman, described the measures as “window dressing.” Dickman said the number of disability benefits granted has plummeted, but the percentage of applications being approved remains high. Of 581 occupational disability claims processed from January through July, 569 were approved — 98 percent, according to Dickman’s office…read article

Summer of health crises for LI’s coastal waters NEWSDAY; Sep 26, 2018
The Long Island Sound Report Card, released Monday by other environmental groups, showed that a decades long, $2 billion effort to treat nitrogen at dozens of sewage treatment plants that discharge into the Sound had improved water quality…read article

Suffolk jail open house aims to connect with community
NEWSDAY; Sep 24, 2018
Children from across Long Island stepped behind bars Sunday as the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office gave public tours of its correctional facility in Yaphank…read article

$500G grant for sewer tax study NEWSDAY; Sep 25, 2018
A consultant will look at taxing options for a water quality improvement district and costs to connect 370,000 homes to sewers or individual systems designed to reduce nitrogen pollution. Legis. Tom Cilmi (R-Bay Shore), minority leader, said the county already collects money for water quality projects. “If there is a better way to spend that money, let’s discuss it, but our taxpayers cannot afford another tax,” Cilmi said…read article 

Suffolk RFPs put on hold NEWSDAY; Sep 25, 2018
Suffolk County Comptroller John Kennedy called the decision “a victory for the taxpayers” providing for “independence and arms-length scrutiny” as allowed under state law and the county charter. “It’s a shame this administration can’t read the Law or understand how to implement it,” he said…read article

Big Heartland roadblock NEWSDAY; Sep 25, 2018
A Suffolk legislative committee on Monday would not advance a sewer connection agreement between the county and Heartland Town Square, in a major blow to the project…read article

Hard truths about student debt NEWSDAY OPINION; Sep 24, 2018
To improve the loan programs, the criteria for undergraduate and graduate loans should be revised for consistency, interest rates should be rationalized and colleges should be held accountable for graduation rates…read opinion

Counties ride strong economy NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Sep 25, 2018
Executive Steve Bellone’s $3.11 billion budget for 2019 includes no increase in the county’s tiny general-fund property taxes, which raise $50 million a year compared with Nassau’s $1 billion, but a hike of 3.5 percent in the police district property taxes paid by residents of Suffolk’s five western towns. The bad news is that the $430 million Suffolk borrowed over the past several years via these two moves is now being repaid, which is among the budgetary pressures that caused Moody’s Investor Service to drop the county’s bond rating by a notch last week
read editorial

Help addicts, but get answers, too NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Sep 24, 2018
Criminal justice and addiction treatment cost a lot of money, and addiction destroys a lot of lives. It’s good to create more options, but we need to find out what works, too, so we can go from trying everything to doing the right thing…read editorial

Restrictive nonsense from the EU NEWSDAY OPINION; Sep 23, 2018
Europeans on track to approve ‘link tax’ in push to make U.S. platforms pay up. This law will be an attack on free speech. It is motivated by anti-Americanism. So when anyone tells us that the EU is our friend, remember it’s not. The EU wants to tax your memes…read opinion

End the medical-cost guessing game NEWSDAY OPINION; Sep 26, 2018
Setting clear and stable prices for drugs and services would help fix health care…read opinion

Study: Appendicitis surgery often not needed NEWSDAY; Sep 26, 2018
The results suggest the success rate for antibiotic treatment was almost 64 percent, the authors said…read article

Published Sep 20, 2018

Suffolk red-light camera program extended for a year 
NEWSDAY; Sep 19, 2018
Suffolk’s red-light camera program got another year of life after a county committee voted Wednesday to extend the contract of the current vendor, despite a letter from all seven Republican legislators urging an end to the program…read article

NY: No fed funds for guns in schools
NEWSDAY; Sep 14, 2018
New York public schools are banned from using federal funds to purchase firearms or to train school staff in the use of such weapons, the state education commissioner announced Thursday…read article

Feds warn e-cig makers NEWSDAY; Sep 13, 2018
Teenage use of electronic cigarettes is a nationwide epidemic. More than 1,000 major retailers were targeted and warned about the sale of e-cig products to minors. That list included major outlets, such as 7-Eleven stores and Walgreens…read article

Unions: Few Janus defections NEWSDAY; Sep 16, 2018
Immediately after the Janus v. AFSCME court decision, some national unions predicted membership losses would eventually range from 10 percent to 50 percent. But in New York, public union workers say that hasn’t happened so far…read article

NYPD, state clear way for familial DNA testing NEWSDAY; Sep 15, 2018
NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea hopes familial testing will provide families of victims some closure if cases are solved…read article

LI home prices jump NEWSDAY; Sep 14, 2018
Suffolk County homes traded for a median price of $405,000 last month, up 9 percent annually…read article

LI median income among top in NY NEWSDAY; Sep 13, 2018
Median household incomes in Nassau and Suffolk counties for 2017 again ranked first and third in New York State. Suffolk ranked third with a median income of $94,750…read article

Call to delay LIRR fare hike NEWSDAY; Sep 18, 2018
The proposal comes as commuters have endured a litany of delays, cancellations and other challenges that have contributed to the LIRR being on pace to having its worst annual on time performance in 19 years…read article

LI Business: Chains, chains, chains NEWSDAY; Sep 16, 2018
National chains are expanding throughout Long Island. “Long Island has a very vibrant business environment, so every expanding business wants to be a part of it,” said Herman A. Berliner, an economist and dean of Hofstra University’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business…read article

LI activist’s passion hailed NEWSDAY; Sep 18, 2018
Evelyn Rodriguez represented a rare kind of public activist— a powerful combination of strength and passion driven by a profound personal loss…read story

21 arrests in vape sting NEWSDAY; Sep 19, 2018
“We have zero tolerance for those who would break the law to sell these harmful, addictive products to our kids,” [SC Executive] Bellone said. Suffolk County Health Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken said some users also vape with marijuana
read article

Effort to disrupt gangs
NEWSDAY; Sep 18, 2018
The roundtable discussion…[hosted by] Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) in Riverhead focused on efforts by Suffolk law enforcement to combat the threat of MS-13 and disrupt their transnational network of drug and sex trafficking…read article

TOB - Board shifts talk on brownfields NEWSDAY; Sep 19, 2018
A brownfield presentation he abruptly tabled will be added to next week’s agenda. “We wanted to make sure that there was a complete understanding of that report,” [TOB Supervisor] Romaine said after Thursday’s meeting…read article

Four water districts moving to SCWA
NEWSDAY; Sep 18, 2018
They have been operated by the water authority for about two decades but are considered town taxing districts. The move is expected to cost up to $2 million…read article

Market shifts force rethinking on recycling NEWSDAY; Sep 17, 2018
China, a recycling giant, has stopped accepting some used plastic and fiber and increased standards for the material it does take. Christopher Andrade, Brookhaven’s commissioner for recycling and sustainable materials management, said that the town had anticipated market instability when it signed a 25-year contract with Green Stream in 2014. “We expect them to honor it and we plan on honoring our contract with Smithtown.”…read article

Opt-out proposal nixed NEWSDAY; Sep 18, 2018
Under the plan, money would have been drawn from federal Title I funds, which typically are used to provide extra academic help to students struggling with their English and math lessons…read article

Boosting NY grads by degree NEWSDAY; Sep 14, 2018
In SUNY chancellor’s 2nd year, she is focused on wider college access…read article

Budget some for fun, even with school loans NEWSDAY; Sep 16, 2018
“If you’ve got a financial plan that includes no money for fun, it’s unrealistic. It’s not going to happen,” says Matthew Angel, advice director of personal finance at USAA…read article

Education reform has a way to go NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Sep 19, 2018
It’s good news that the state has managed to keep a set of rigorous standards to ensure students are ready for work or college when they graduate high school. But the unions and Regents who claim teachers can be properly and rigorously evaluated without tests scores must craft a plan to do so…read editorial

Can I get my own Suffolk IDA break?
NEWSDAY LETTERS; Sep 18, 2018
“If I let Suffolk County know I will continue to live here and spend most of my wages in this county, instead of moving to the South, would it agree to cut my property taxes?”…read letter

Wind power could blow LI away NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Sep 16, 2018
The urgency to convert to wind doesn’t diminish the need to do so responsibly. Largely, that’s what’s been happening and it’s especially important for Long Island, which is going to play a major role in the state’s wind revolution…read editorial

Imprisonment not always the answer NEWSDAY OPINION; Sep 17, 2018
“To truly reduce youth violence, help heal victims and reduce racial disparities, we must face the challenge of shifting youth out of prisons and into the community.”…read opinion

What everyone gets wrong about single moms
NEWSDAY OPINION; Sep 15, 2018
While most American kids continue to live in two-parent homes, the number of single-parent households — the statistic cited most often to quantify the rise of single motherhood — has nearly tripled since 1960…read article

Mind-bending tricks at Museum of Illusions NEWSDAY; Sep 19, 2018
You’ll question everything at a new museum meant to trick your eyes and your mind, opening Thursday in the Meatpacking District…read article

Flocking to studios to paint and sip
NEWSDAY; Sep 17, 2018
“It’s a different type of girls’ night out. ... I like making fun of how bad my painting looks compared to everyone else’s,” said Lindsey Calderone, 26, before taking a sip of Moscato. Louisiana-based Painting with a Twist’s first Long Island franchise opened in Selden Plaza at 331 Middle Country Rd. in April…read article

Til Debt Do Us Part NEWSDAY; Sep 16, 2018
The average LI wedding costs $61,113 — nearly twice the national average. Here’s where that money goes…read story

Published Sep 13, 2018
Pen dispensers raise suspicion NEWSDAY; Sep 11, 2018
Brookhaven Town officials have removed two coin-operated dispensers selling pens inside ceramic glass pipes that they said could be perceived as makeshift crack pipes. Selling a glass pipe and pen isn’t by itself illegal, officials said, but installing the machines without a permit and site plan is a town code violation…read article

Blocking the tax-saving option NEWSDAY; Sep 12, 2018
The [Treasury Department] recently created rules that confound the Cuomo administration’s attempt to outmaneuver a federal tax change that limits to $10,000 the amount of state and local taxes that can be deducted in federal tax returns.…read article

California pot is failing some tests NEWSDAY; Sep 12, 2018
From July 1 through Aug. 29, labs tested 10,695 product batches and 1,904 were rejected, a failure rate of about 18 percent…read article

Job openings up; quitting increases NEWSDAY; Sep 12, 2018
According to Friday’s jobs report, average hourly pay rose 2.9 percent in August compared with a year earlier. That was the best annual gain since June 2009…read article

A debate brews over solar panels 
NEWSDAY LETTERS; Sep 9, 2018
Reader’s letters in response to a Newsday article on solar panel companies and costs…read letters

LIPA-Criticism muted in audits edits NEWSDAY; Sep 9, 2018
Assemb. Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor), a frequent LIPA critic, said Newsday’s analysis of the two reports raises the question, “Who changed the report and why?” adding that the original report “more closely comports with my sense of reality of how LIPA operates than the whitewash that ended up being released to the public.”
read article

That does not compute NEWSDAY; Sep 11, 2018
Decades after computers rendered the old-fashioned devices obsolete, Hempstead employees from the attorney’s office to the sanitation department still use dozens of them to draft death certificates, address envelopes and fill out calendars. “My agenda when I got here was to really modernize this office,” said
Laura Gillen, who was elected [Hempstead] supervisor in November after campaigning for reform. The goal is “not to replace employees, it’s just to make their lives easier and make things better for the residents,” she said…read article

Ronkonkoma arena funding questioned 
NEWSDAY; Sep 9, 2018
Ronkonkoma Vision Project LLC, led by Ray Bartoszek, Ben Bouma and Kevin Ackles, said in a document submitted to Suffolk County during the bidding process last winter that it is “in the midst of all logistics with design and construction” on another sports arena project outside Seattle. However, Rachel Bianchi, a spokeswoman for the city of Tukwila — where the Seattle-area arena was to be built — told Newsday “no substantive work” has been done on the project since 2015. Bartoszek, in a brief telephone interview in April, acknowledged the Seattle-area arena project was “dead.” He has not returned calls since. Suffolk County spokesman Jason Elan also declined to answer questions about the project’s investors or the county’s background search. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone declined to comment
read article

Brookhaven: Redesigned website for town debuts
NEWSDAY; Sep 12, 2018
Brookhaven Town has redesigned its website, making it easier for residents to report a problem and get involved in community activities
read article

Putting some limits on college debt load
NEWSDAY; Sep 9, 2018
This madness must end. The sticker price to attend many private universities now exceeds $70,000 per year, including tuition, room, board, books and fees. Many families aren’t prepared for the expense: Some 4 out of 10 parents aren’t saving for college.…read article

SBU leads LI’s best colleges NEWSDAY; Sep 10, 2018
The latest U.S. News rankings evaluated data for more than 1,800 schools nationwide, including four-year public and private universities and colleges on Long Island. The rankings were made public early Monday. Stony Brook University headed the list of local schools in the rankings, placing at No. 80 among national universities…read article

A boost for keeping vaccine rules NEWSDAY OPINION; Sep 10, 2018
With all of our new treatments and techniques, vaccinations still remain one of the most reliable ways to combat disease. This is true for every stage of life —from infant to elderly…read opinion

 Williams not a victim of gender bias NEWSDAY OPINION; Sep 11, 2018
“Her defenders do a disservice to women by defending a woman who behaved badly.”…read opinion

Political activism is academia’s challenge
NEWSDAY LETTERS; Sep 12, 2018
Intellectually and ideologically malleable, social-media-addicted students will continue to be fodder for those willing to utilize them to achieve and maintain power, whatever the cost…read opinion

Huge boom takes on cleanup in Pacific NEWSDAY; Sep 10, 2018
The 2,000-foot long floating boom will be towed Saturday from San Francisco to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — an island of trash twice the size of Texas…read article

Published Sep 6, 2018
State to hold public sessions on recreational pot NEWSDAY; Sep 1, 2018
“Community input is critical as we work to draft balanced and comprehensive legislation on a regulated marijuana program in New York,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in anews release. The state says topics to be discussed include reducing the harmful impacts of illegal marijuana and the black market, establishing an age limit, use of tax revenue and addressing the criminal records of people with marijuana-related offenses…read article

NYC: New policy on public pot smoking begins
NEWSDAY; Sep 1, 2018
Most New Yorkers [NYC] caught smoking marijuana in public this weekend will receive a summons instead of being arrested under a new policy change that goes into effect Saturday. In an effort to hold the NYPD more accountable on enforcement trends, the department will release quarterly reports on marijuana arrests and summonses, broken down by race and borough, according to the mayor’s officeread article

When kids get concussionsNEWSDAY; Sep 5, 2018
New CDC guidelines for treatment stress immediate rest over X-rays
read article

Complaints heat up as rooftop solar cools
NEWSDAY SPECIAL REPORT; Sep 2, 2018
LI consumers say no-money-down leasing deals brought higher bills amid questionable installations. New York’s second-largest solar installer, Vivint Solar, faces fraud and racketeering allegations in New Mexico for allegedly illegal sales tactics designed to dupe the public
read story

In LI’s public school districts, a class act
NEWSDAY; Sep 5, 2018
Ava Lafler, 5, of East Yaphank, was prepared for her first day of kindergarten at Charles E.Walters with her unicorn backpack, unicorn dress and new rainbow water bottle. She and her mom, Meridith Lafler, got up early to braid her hair and make her lunch. Longwood’s superintendent, Michael Lonergan, said his entire system will put greater emphasis this year on developing student advocacy and leadership. The walls of schools will be hung with slogans such as “Taking Responsibility,” he said, and desks in many classrooms will be grouped together to encourage more discussionread article

School safety upgraded NEWSDAY; Sep 1, 2018
Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder,Ryder said the Rave emergency alert system will be up and running by the second week of September in all Nassau public schools. Two weeks ago, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said that more officers will patrol school campuses there, and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone in July signed legislation authorizing the county to borrow $2 million for the Rave system…read article

‘Confident’ in casino suit, mayor says NEWSDAY; Sep 3, 2018
The [Jake’s 58] casino has been involved in a legal battle since before it opened in February 2017 as the first video lottery casino on Long Island…read article

Suffolk bill to bar pay inquiries NEWSDAY; Sep 5, 2018
“Today I’m proud . . . to announce a significant step toward closing the pay gap in Suffolk County [where] women and people of color continue to be systematically underpaid,” Bellone said. “Now your salary history in Suffolk County will not stop you from rising.” He noted that Suffolk women make 78 percent of what men do…read article

Widening rift between PBA chief and Bellone
NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Sep 2, 2018
The longtime alliance between Suffolk PoliceBenevolent Association president Noel DiGerolamo and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, fraying for months, appears near a breaking point.The biggest chasm between the two men is the looming $30 million budget hole facing the county because Bellone budgeted $30 million in health concessions from all 10 county unions that have yet to materialize…read column

Suffolk employee union rebukes Steve Bellone over contract negotiations NEWSDAY ONLINE; Sep 2. 2018
The Suffolk Association of Municipal Employees hasn't had a contract since the end of 2016. A new contract has been stalled while the county executive negotiates for $30 million in health care savings from unions…read article

Dual language boost NEWSDAY; Sep 5, 2018
English, Spanish instruction program to expand in South Country district. The district didn’t create the program to meet a changing demographic with an increasing number of Spanish speakers, but to make their students truly multilingual, Superintendent Fino Celano said.…read article

College Costs: Clue kids in early they have to help NEWSDAY; Sep 3, 2018
According to Fidelity Investments’ 2018 College Indicator Study, one in three of the nearly 1,900 families surveyed expect their kids to save more than $15,000 toward college by graduation but haven’t told them. Forty percent of parents with sophomores or older haven’t told their kids that they want them to contribute. So, what’s the deal, mom and dad?...read article

No cellphones for French schoolkids
NEWSDAY; Sep 5, 2018
That’s because of a new government law banning phone use in all primary and middle schools for the entire day, including during breaks
read article

Does recycling have a future? NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Sep 2, 2018
With China buying far less used glass, plastic and paper, processing plants are in crisis. But the problem could be an opportunity for New York…read editorial

Unions matter, especially for young workers
NEWSDAY OPINION; Sep 3, 2018
“Unions are still the best vehicle workers have to fight for better wages, benefits and working conditions.”…read opinion

Good news for U.S.workers NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Sep 3, 2018
Unemployment is down and those 401(k)s are getting meatier because the stock market is up. The number of private sector jobs on Long Island rose by 1 percent over the year in July—slightly less of a jump than the state and nation at large, but still good news. Unfortunately, recovery from the Great Recession has been uneven for too many here and nationwide…read editorial

New effective treatment for Crohn’s disease
NEWSDAY; Sep 3, 2018
Daily pulses of electricity delivered in minute doses have banished all symptoms of Crohn’s disease for a New Jersey woman whose treatment was derived from the breakthrough theories of a Long Island doctor, the pioneer of an emerging science called bio-electronic medicine
read article

Published Aug 30, 2018
Putting allies on the payroll NEWSDAY; Aug 27, 2018
“The jobs don’t get me or the party leaders on the state level to move in any direction,” State Conservative Party chairman Mike Long said. “I’m very comfortable that we have very clean hands.”…read article

Making school safer NEWSDAY; Aug 28, 2018
The group’s blueprint calls for action by local law enforcement, the state Legislature and the federal government. It points to the need for physical and personnel upgrades in districts, as well as measures to boost student wellbeing and mental health education…read article

Schools reserves hit $2.44B high NEWSDAY; Aug 26, 2018
While taxpayer advocates criticize the accumulation, LI district leaders say it’s needed for financial stability…read article

Suffolk adds 33 police NEWSDAY; Aug 25, 2018
The class—the department’s 174th — includes three officers who came from the NYPD and 10 who are military veterans, officials said. Twenty-five recruits are from Suffolk County, five are from Nassau and three hail from New York City…read article

Suffolk’s senior jail NEWSDAY; Aug 25, 2018
The tai chi classes are in full swing and yoga will arrive soon. By the fall, senior inmates at the Yaphank jail in Suffolk County also will be able to enroll in nutrition classes…read article

Goal: water district transfers NEWSDAY; Aug 27, 2018
“We’re consolidating,” Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said after the meeting. “These are paper districts for the most part that . . . we are transferring to the water authority as part of our consolidation of government services.”…read article

Before arming teachers, study shooting causes
NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Aug 27, 2018
DeVos’ proposal to use federal funds to arm teachers is a purely political move. If we want to make schools safer, first use that money to study gun violence to determine what works to stop it…read article

The problem with free college tuition NEWSDAY OPINION; Aug 27, 2018
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher appropriately addresses this issue: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”…read opinion

Reset retirement plans to weather a downturn NEWSDAY; Aug 27, 2018
Investors who have not regularly rebalanced to a mix of stocks, bonds and cash probably have way too much of their portfolios in stocks…read article

Published Aug 23, 2018
Bull market poised to set record NEWSDSAY; Aug 21, 2018
The long rally has added trillions of dollars to household wealth, helping the economy
read article

Region’s largest battery online in the South Fork
NEWSDAY; Aug 21, 2018
The 5-megawatt battery storage unit, located at a LIPA substation in East Hampton, is one of two set for the South Fork as a way to deal with what the utility says is soaring electric demand. Both units [cost] a combined $110 million over a 20-year contract. Charlie Esposito, who lives about 100 yards from the long metal bunker containing the battery at the East Hampton substation, said she hadn’t heard about it until a reporter’s visit, but had questions about electromagnetic radiation from the unit, and the potential for noise…read article

LI jobless rate at 3.9% NEWSDAY; Aug 22, 2018
The July jobless rate was the lowest for the month since 2001, when the rate was 3.7 percent. The rate was 4.6 percent in July 2017…read article

Price tags for homes in fast lane NEWSDAY; Aug 19, 2018
In Suffolk, household income grew by 25 percent, to $90,128. In the same period, home values more than doubled — rising 103 percent — in Suffolk, census figures show…read article

Henry Schein on list of firms ‘changing the world’ NEWSDAY; Aug 22, 2018
Henry Schein is the largest local public company [on Long Island] based on revenue of about $12.5 billion in 2017. The company has 1,430 employees on Long Island and about 22,000 worldwide…read article

Union pact for bus staff NEWSDAY; Aug 18, 2018
The workers transport children for the South Country and Longwood school districts in Brookhaven Town. The five-year contract negotiated calls for wages to increase between 2 percent and 7 percent in the first year, depending on pay and job title. Increases of 2 percent will follow in each of the next four years…read article

LI counties get $320G for storms NEWSDAY; Aug 22, 2018
Suffolk will receive $173,668 to offset costs to its 911 call center…read article

Response Crisis Center conducts two training programs each year to recruit new Crisis Counselors for their 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention hotline. They are currently gearing up for the Fall training which will take place at Stony Brook University over 4 days. Please RSVP by Friday, September 15. Space is limited…more info

Yaphank lake drain begins NEWSDAY; Aug 20, 2018
“These lakes were used for kayaking and fishing, and they will be again,” Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said during a morning news conference at the lake. “Our job is to restore the health of the lakes that have been invaded by nonnative aquatic plants.”
read article

Mount Sinai: Vehicle charging stations to open NEWSDAY; Aug 22, 2018
Brookhaven Town has installed two charging stations at Heritage Park in Mount Sinai as part of a plan to encourage the use of alternative energy sources…read article

TOB: Social media policy change faces tabling NEWSDAY; Aug 22, 2018
“The union had some questions, and we’re reviewing them with their attorney,” said Brookhaven Town Attorney Annette Eaderesto…read article

English criteria lauded NEWSDAY; Aug 22, 2018
New York State’s academic standards for English Language Arts continue to set relatively high goals for students after revisions last year. “They didn’t get the highest rating. There were certainly states that had higher standards, but they weren’t the worst,” said Amber Northern, senior vice president for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a Washington, D.C., think tank
.…read article

Tips to prep a college application NEWSDAY; Aug 22, 2018
College Board, the organization that administers the SAT, has partnered with a website to provide a range of free tools, including testing tips and strategies, online or through a mobile app…read article

The grad school option NEWSDAY; Aug 20, 2018
Go for more study or get a job? It’s not always a simple decision…read article

Indexing gains for inflation makes sense NEWSDAY OPINION; Aug 21, 2018
Winston Churchill’s adage that “You don’t make the poor richer by making the rich poorer.”
read opinion

Why play politics with security clearances? NEWSDAY OPINION; Aug 18, 2018
“Cutting off former high-ranking government officials from classified information sends a chilling message to intelligence professionals. That message is that dissent is not welcome.”
read opinion

The comic extremes of student debt NEWSDAY OPINION; Aug 19, 2018
The youngest, and often brightest, people in this country are being punished as they try to achieve educational excellence—something modern society dictates we can’t succeed without
read opinion 

Chipping away at immigrants’ dignity NEWSDAY OPINION; Aug 20, 2018
“Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests of immigrants without legal status are up more than 50 percent on Long Island. Nationally, the number of those immigrants with no criminal record arrested by ICE has tripled. Their crime: having fled extreme violence and poverty in their homelands to seek asylum or find work in America.”...read opinion

Slow drive to giving up the wheel NEWSDAY; Aug 19, 2018
Alvin Stark, 85, who now lives at Atria senior living center in Lynbrook, said giving up his 2015 Buick Regal was a difficult decision. The lack of a car limits his mobility and independence, while serving as yet another reminder about the unforgiving aging process…read article

Making retention of staff a priority NEWSDAY; Aug 20, 2018
Companies that want to reduce turnover need to let employees know they’re valued and that what they do matters…read article

Published Aug 16, 2018
The painful questions of single-payer care
NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Aug 12, 2018
A study by the RAND Corp., a nonprofit analytical think tank, concluded that a single-payer system would force New York to raise another $139 billion in state tax revenue to cover the program for 2022, the first year it modeled. That’s a mind-boggling 156 percent increase in state tax revenue. Under the projection, the state tax would rise to 10 percent for the first $27,000 in household income. For earnings between $27,000 and $141,000 it would be 18 percent. For income above $141,000 it would be 27 percent. The study also assumes some payments to health care providers would be lower than they are now. How could we persuade young people to become doctors and nurses with the threat of lower pay while training remains expensive?...read editorial

Ex-Nassau appointees receive $2.5M payout NEWSDAY; Aug 12, 2018
“There’s a general problem that these liabilities tend to be unfunded,” said Gerald Benjamin, a political scientist at SUNY New Paltz. “Local governments don’t budget for [payments] . . . and the cost gets to be very substantial.” [In Suffolk County] Exempt employees who retire or resign can be paid for up to 90 days of vacation time, a county spokeswoman said. Payout for sick time for retiring employees is capped at 180 days; exempt employees who resign cannot be paid for unused sick time…read article

Eyes in the sky NEWSDAY; Aug 12, 2018
Long Island municipalities and police departments are flying drones for public safety, firefighting and town planning…read article

Feds plan environmental study for Plum Island sale
NEWSDAY; Aug 12, 2018
Advocates fear Plum Island will be sold to developers eager to capitalize on the high prices waterfront homes can command on Long Island by building McMansions and condominiums
read article

Group seeks Rte. 347 funding NEWSDAY; Aug 14, 2018
The project, which began in 2010, aims to reconstruct 15 miles of roadway stretching through Islip, Smithtown and Brookhaven towns that is used daily by 70,000 motorists. But funding ran out last year after fewer than 5 miles of the roadway had been rebuilt…read article

Suffolk: Get treated, no drug rap NEWSDAY; Aug 15, 2018
The “Comprehensive Addiction Recovery and Education Program” — or C.A.R.E.—works as an incentive for defendants to complete 90 days in drug treatment and have their cases dismissed. About 600 people charged with crimes between April and June would be eligible…read article

Brookhaven – Fire districts approve bonds for new buys
NEWSDAY; Aug 15, 2018
Voters in the Yaphank and Stony Brook fire districts have approved bonds to purchase new pumper trucks, and in Ridge, a new fire department headquarters was approved…read article

Misconduct bill should be redone NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Aug 15, 2018
There have to be real consequences to deter bad or inept prosecutors. Too often, we see defendants exonerated because prosecutors violated the rules, but never do we see consequences for the rule breakers. Fix the grievance process so bad lawyers can be disbarred quickly, and drop the shroud of secrecy around the process…read editorial

‘Workplace wellness’ doesn’t work NEWSDAY OPINION; Aug 12, 2018
Programs reward already-healthy workers, but might not help others…read opinion

3-screen viewing joining movie theater tech NEWSDSAY; Aug 15, 2018
Instead of one screen, there are three — one at the front, and two on the sides — to add to the immersive experience you can’t get from the home TV…read article

Job-hunting tips for older workers NEWSDAY; Aug 14, 2018
“The most likely way someone over 55 is going to find a new job is by networking like crazy,” said Glory Borgeson, president of Borgeson Consulting Inc., a Chicago area career consulting firm…read article

Published Aug 9, 2018
Jobs outnumber jobless NEWSDAY; Aug 8, 2018
U.S. employers posted slightly more openings in June than the previous month, resulting in more available jobs than unemployed people for the third straight month, signaling a solid economy…read article

Fees to pay local taxes online vary on LI NEWSDAY; Aug 6, 2018
A $10,000 bill could cost you 90 cents to $375…read article

Opioid epidemic takes toll…on responders NEWSDAY; Aug 6, 2018
They suffer feelings of frustration, discouragement battling scourge…read article

Term limits, length on Nov. ballot NEWSDAY; Aug 7, 2018
Brookhaven residents will vote in November on a proposal to double the length of terms for town board members and impose 12-year term limits on elected officials. Most of the 13 speakers at the sparsely attended hearing said they opposed longer terms,…read article

Hate speech is not a cultural norm NEWSDAY OPINION; Aug 7, 2018
Racial insults should not be tolerated, regardless of which group is attacked…read opinion

Deadly price of a hotter Earth NEWSDAY OPINION; Aug 6, 2018
From the arctic to Africa, the hellish carnage of a changing planet is undeniable…read opinion

Pay, benefits for U.S. workers up 2.8%
NEWSDAY; Aug 1, 2018
The unemployment rate is near an 18-year low of 4 percent, leaving employers scrambling to find the workers they need…read article

Rice bill targets early Alzheimer’s NEWSDAY; Jul 31, 2018
The Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Parity Act would amend the Older Americans Act to include individuals who are under age 60 and living with younger or early-onset Alzheimer’s or other degenerative diseases…read article

A price tag on ‘Medicare for all’ NEWSDAY; Jul 31, 2018
Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for all” plan would increase government health care spending by $32.6 trillion over 10 years, according to a study by a university-based libertarian policy center. “If every major country on earth can guarantee health care to all, and achieve better health outcomes, while spending substantially less per capita than we do, it is absurd for anyone to suggest that the United States cannot do the same,” Sanders said in a statement. Sanders’ office has not done a cost analysis, a spokesman said…read article

Judge temporarily blocks posting diagrams for printing plastic weapons
NEWSDSAY; Aug 1, 2018
The guns can be made without a serial number so that they’re not traceable or without a piece of metal carrying a serial number so that they would not set off alarms when going through security screening using a metal detector, said the lawsuit by the state attorneys general
read article

30M taxpayers under-withheld NEWSDAY; Aug 1, 2018
The IRS has said the new withholding tables should produce an accurate withholding amount for people with simpler tax situations. But experts say those who will still itemize under the new law, or have larger families or more complicated tax situations may want to take a closer look
read article

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Remember:
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”…Anne Frank 
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DISCLAIMER: Coram Civic offers this information to the community as a public service only. It is not intended to imply support for or against any particular organization, group, political party, concept or opinion. It is recommended that the community members perform due diligence to verify and validate any and all information before making personal decisions.