Coram Civic Association


Published Aug 8, 2019
Robots on the lookout  NEWSDAY; Aug 5, 2019
Gray, 6-foot-8, nearly 2 feet wide and sporting big, googly “eyes,” Marty mesmerizes kids. “Marty” is the name given to the 500 robots being placed at Stop & Shop markets and some of its sister stores in other states this year to identify floor hazards, such as spills, and to alert staff that cleanups are needed. Stop&Shop said that the robots are not monitoring customers or replacing employees, who still will do cleanups…read article

27 years for [Ridge] crash  NEWSDAY; Aug 7, 2019
A convicted Bellport drug dealer who rocketed down Middle Country Road in Ridge at 154 mph in a stolen car was excoriated Tuesday by a Suffolk judge and prosecutors for lacking the courage to come to court to be sentenced for killing five people in a crash last year…read article

Schumer, King call for vote on gun control
NEWSDAY; Aug 7, 2019
The two lawmakers called on McConnell to bring the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 to the floor of the Republican-led Senate for a vote, arguing it would immediately save lives…read article

Boat safety law signed  NEWSDAY; Aug 7, 2019
Parents’ crusade in honor of late daughter fulfilled…read article

MTA: Toughen LIRR contract with unions
NEWSDAY; Aug 6, 2019
“Federal mediators are not currently involved, and for the sake of LIRR unions, the MTA, and the hundreds of thousands of Long Islanders who rely on public transportation, LIRR unions and the MTA must come to the table long before federal intervention becomes necessary,” said Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley)…read article

An alternate strategy in plan for Medicaid
NEWSDAY; Aug 4, 2019
Even last-minute Medicaid planning can sometimes help you preserve assets for your children…read article

Storeworkers making minimum wage gains
NEWSDAY; Aug 7, 2019
Still, while retail workers are getting paid more, there are fewer of them…read article

The Tax Reduction Divide: The Property Tax Effect NEWSDAY; Aug 4, 2019
Long Islanders’ property tax bills are among the highest in the country, and the cost of living is burdensome. Losing the ability to deduct state and local taxes on federal returns makes living on Long Island even costlier, and gives home buyers one more reason to hesitate, local real estate brokers said…read story

Union concerns delay proposed $3M mixed-use project  NEWSDAY; Aug 5, 2019
Plans for a three-story, mixed-use development in New Cassel are on hold after Nassau County Industrial Development Agency board members said they want assurance that unionized carpenters, plumbers and electricians will be able to bid on construction work.
Under the PILOT terms, Euroamerican would save $103,500 in sales tax on construction material and $14,250 on the mortgage recording tax
read article

Suffolk campaign finance system a work in progress NEWSDAY; Aug 4, 2019
A Suffolk law creating a system to publicly finance county campaigns is supposed to be up and running in a little over three months. The new system would allow legislative candidates running for election to get as much as $50,000 in a 4-to-1 public match to contributions of $250 or less from residents in a legislative district. Starting in 2023, county executive candidates could qualify for as much as $1 million, while donations would be capped at $25,000. Legislative candidates taking public funding would be limited to spending $100,000 and the county executive candidates, $2 million…read article

Law allows school buses to use cameras to catch illegal passing  NEWSDAY; Aug 7, 2019
A measure signed into law Tuesday allows school districts to install cameras on buses to catch drivers illegally passing stopped school buses. The cost of installing and operating cameras on school buses would be paid by the municipalities within the school districts
read article

We can turn the ugly tide  NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Aug 4, 2019
LI shouldn’t accept life surrounded by polluted waters. We can take bold steps now to clean our bays, rivers, ocean and Sound. If you’re wondering whether Suffolk can afford to tackle the problem, look at the water all around you and ask yourself the real question: How can we afford not to?…read editorial

Financial therapy for those in distress
NEWSDAY; Aug 5, 2019
Money is about more than numbers: Emotions are often at play, too. Just as you can seek professional help for unhealthy issues in life, financial therapists can help you deal with problems related to money
read article

Nowhere to hide from pesky asteroids  
NEWSDAY; Aug 4, 2019
The one called ‘2019 OK’ brushed by us at 54,000 mph—and that’s not OK…read article

Published Aug 1, 2019
State gun law signed  NEWSDAY; Jul 30, 2019
New York state law now requires a longer waiting period for some background checks when purchasing firearms and bans “bump stocks,” which can allow a single-shot rifle or shotgun to shoot faster
read article

NY further decriminalizes marijuana  NEWSDAY; Jul 30, 2019
The law removes the criminal penalties for possession of any amount of marijuana less than 2 ounces. The law also seals past misdemeanor convictions for marijuana possession so those wouldn’t have to be revealed in applications such as those for jobs, housing, college entrance or loans. The law states those past convictions “shall be deemed void and wholly unenforceable.”…read article

Workweeks are shorter, and that’s bad
NEWSDAY; Jul 31, 2019
Education, health and service sectors collectively gained roughly 270,000 personnel, but their average workweek declined by 2.6 hours, according to the analysis…read article

Q&A: Who’s in your wallet?  NEWSDAY; Jul 31, 2019
Things to know about the Capital One data breach…read article

Citizenship’s on hold  NEWSDAY; Jul 29, 2019
Thendral Amudhu Chinnannan is in limbo. The U.S. Army wants him, but he’s not sure the country does. The Trump administration is contemplating ending protections for some noncitizen soldiers. These policies have until now largely shielded noncitizens serving in the military as well as their families from deportation while their immigration status is formalized.…read article

Home care workers in demand  NEWSDAY; Jul 29, 2019
On Long Island, home health care agencies said they are sometimes unable to accept new cases or fully staff existing ones, especially on weekends and holidays, and in areas with poor access by public transportation…read article

Experts: Tick bite can lead to allergies  NEWSDAY; Jul 31, 2019
The tick [bite]…can make those afflicted allergic to red meat, and that allergy can last for years or in some cases, for life, according to health experts…read article

4 hospitals on LI in top 10 in metro area
NEWSDAY; Jul 31, 2019
North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset was ranked highest on Long Island and fourth overall in the metro area and statewide. NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola was ranked seventh in the metro area, Long 
Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park eighth, and St. Francis Hospital in Flower Hill 10th…read article

LIPA tax trial wraps up  NEWSDAY; Jul 31, 2019
If it loses at trial, the town could be forced to refund upward of $650 million in tax payments to LIPA, and reduce taxes from here forward drastically,a scenario residents and the Northport-East Northport School district say would prove “devastating.”
LIPA “continues to offer the town of Huntington the [same] fair settlement accepted by the Town of Brookhaven” of a 50 percent tax reduction over eight years and forgiveness of past tax refunds…read article

In emergencies, two apps to tap  NEWSDAY; Jul 28, 2019
Using two new smartphone applications, county workers can alert authorities to emergencies and provide information such as their medical histories. Another program soon will allow police to tap into security cameras in county buildings to immediately get eyes on the scene. “We want to minimize our response time,” 
Suffolk Police Chief Stuart Cameron said…read article

New signs mark protected lands  NEWSDAY; Jul 29, 2019
The 18-inch-by-2-foot signs read: “You are entering the Central Pine Barrens: Long Island’s Largest Natural Area and Last Remaining Wilderness.”
“We thought it was important to delineate areas that are within the pine barrens,” Brookhaven Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said. “We thought it was important that particularly people in eastern Suffolk know where the pine barrens are, know the lands we consider pine barrens, so that it was clear to everyone, so thus the signs.”
read article

Elia’s exit is a reason to worry
Students still opt out at similar rates, and the state still has not approved teacher evaluation standards to replace the ones the New York State United Teachers union killed. Even with all of Elia’s significant efforts to move the ball on these issues, it proved impossible, and it’s a safe bet that she’ll be replaced by a leader with far less inclination to try…read editorial

Americans trumping DC gridlock 
“It’s no surprise that Americans have lost trust in the federal government, but the extent to which we have is 
startling. Maybe it’s just me. But everywhere I go these days, I’m running into people — individual Americans — seeking local solutions to the anxieties of our era. How wonderfully old school.”…read opinion

Medicaid and the five-year look back  NEWSDAY; Jul 28, 2019
The five-year look back is part of what determines your eligibility for Medicaid nursing home care benefits…read article

Boosting their income One Nickel at a Time
NEWSDAY; Jul 28, 2019
People feeling LI’s squeeze are redeeming bottles and cans for the refunds. “We all have bills to pay, we all need money for different things. [At] the redemption center I see all kinds of people there. All ages, races, low-class, middle-class, everyone is recycling for money,” said Miguel Rodriguez, 47, of Central Islip. Superstar 
Beverage stores, a beer retailer with eight locations in Suffolk and one in Nassau, double as redemption Centers. The Coram store has five…read article

Published July 18, 2019
NY raises smoking age to 21  NEWSDAY; Jul 17, 2019
The change, which takes effect in 120 days, will apply to the sales of traditional tobacco products as well as electronic cigarettes and vaporizers
read article

Deduction workaround is a gimmick  
The cap on SALT (State and Local Taxes) deductions,which came with a doublingof the standard deductionto $24,000 a year for families, isterrible for the housing marketson Long Island…[and] are a very specific attackon Democratic states. But pretending these taxesare charitable giving to evadetaxes might be more dangerousthan the SALT cap itself…read article

Apollo 11 at 50: The Mission. The Module. 
The Memories NEWSDAY SPECIAL; July 14, 2019
“Hundreds of millions of people from coast to coast and around the globe tuned in late at night to see Armstrong take his first steps. Moms and Dads coaxed sleepy kids out of bed to watch Walter Cronkite anchor the live telecast on CBS. When the moment came, at 10:56 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Cronkite was so overcome that he took off his glasses, shook his head and looked away from the camera. “Oh, boy,” he said, half to himself, half to his rapt audience.
…view The Mission – The Module
…view The Memories

Schumer makes new push on tax deductions
NEWSDAY; Jul 16, 2019
The $10,000 ceiling affects nearly 700,000 homeowners across Long Island who exceed it, with the average SALT in many parts of the region exceeding $20,000. “This is an economic assault on our communities from the north shore to the south,” said North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “Homeowners here have a much higher cost of living than other parts of the country.”…read article

‘System is all broken’  NEWSDAY; Jul 14, 2019
Rep. Tom Suozzi, the Glen Cove Democrat, said he joined 15 other House Democrats on the trip to McAllen and Brownsville, Texas, with a side visit to Mexico, to see firsthand the U.S. Border Patrol stations that are overwhelmed by an influx of Central American migrants seeking asylum. “It’s just awful,” Suozzi said in a 
phone call from Brownsville late Saturday afternoon. “These are below the standards of what we would expect for the United States of America. And the system is all broken.”…read article

The widening wealth gap  NEWSDAY; Jul 15, 2019
For America’s middle class, the homeownership rate fell to about 60 percent in 2016 from roughly 70 percent in 2004, before the housing bubble, according to separate Fed data. The other major engine of household wealth — the stock market — hasn’t benefited most people, either. The longest bull market in U.S. history, which surpassed its own 10-year mark in March, has shot equity prices up more than fourfold. Yet, the percentage of middle-income households that own shares has actually declined…read article

Here are some thoughts on prosperity from a conservative millennial that I found intriguing. “We have people who are dying to get into our country. People around the world destitute and truly impoverished. Yet, we have a young generation convinced they’ve never seen prosperity, and as a result, elect politicians dead set on taking steps towards abolishing capitalism. Why? The answer is this, my generation has ONLY seen prosperity. We have no contrast.”…read full essay

Change of course on wind farm  NEWSDAY; Jul 14, 2019
It’s not just the state that has formally opposed turbines off the Hamptons shoreline. Peter Von Scoyoc, supervisor of East Hampton Town, said even seeing turbines on the far horizon from Hamptons beaches 
would be unacceptable…read article

New Sanitary Code-Cesspool &
Septic Systems-July 1, 2019

Beginning on July l , 2O19, When a property owner determines that their sanitary system (i.e. cesspool, etc.) needs to be replaced or retrofitted, approval for the  replacement or retrofit must be obtained from SCDHS. The new system must conform  to current standards, which require, at a minimum, a septic tank preceding a leaching  structure. This requirement does not mandate that residential properties with cesspools be upgraded; property owners must only comply with this new requirement when  they decide to make a modification to their existing sanitary system such as adding  an additional cesspool or replacing a collapsed cesspool…read full notice

Bellone: $7M pothole plan will fill ’em quickly
NEWSDAY; Jul 16, 2019
Suffolk residents who complain about dangerous potholes on county roads will see them filled within 48 hours, County Executive Steve Bellone pledged Monday…read article

Sharing energy savings  NEWSDAY; Jul 16, 2019
The program, which is being coordinated with PSEG Long Island and LIPA, will allow municipalities to save by pooling their buying power when purchasing energy-saving LED lighting, efficient windows and other building fixes, and power-saving heating and air conditioning equipment…read article

Midyear sales tax revenue  NEWSDAY; Jul 15, 2019
Midyear sales tax revenue across Long Island has increased over last year, but Suffolk’s sales tax collections grew at more than double the rate of Nassau’s revenue…read article

YAPHANK - Ballfield, clubhouse ready for action NEWSDAY; Jul 16, 2019
The $2 million playground and an adjoining 3,000-squarefoot community clubhouse were dedicatedMonday at the Meadows at Yaphank apartment and retail development on William Floyd Parkway
read article

Patchogue – A century of blessings  NEWSDAY; Jul 15, 2019
It’s easy to miss the tiny Grace A.M.E. Zion Church when driving along Grant Place in Patchogue. But the village’s first black church has been making a meaningful impact in the community for a century. “It’s an endearing institution that is part of Patchogue’s history,” said Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine . “They’ve showed determination and reaching 100 years is a demonstration of that. “Nothing is more powerful than faith,” he said…read article

Education commissioner is resigning  NEWSDAY; Jul 16, 2019
State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia is resigning as of Aug. 31 and plans to work for an unnamed 
national company that provides services for students…read article

Plan calls for HS Regents exam revamp
NEWSDAY; Jul 16, 2019
One reason for the review is a growing dissatisfaction with the number of students graduating across the state. New York spends about $24,500 per student on public education — the highest figure in the country. But its annual statewide graduate rate hovers around 80 percent, behind such states as New Jersey with 91 percent, Massachusetts with 88 percent and Connecticut with 88 percent. The average for Nassau and Suffolk counties is 88 percent…read article

Fix the school funding system
It’s not that the underfunded districts spend so little. Wyandanch, after a year of financial turmoil and two budgets rejected by voters, will spend about $25,000 per student. Brentwood will spend approximately $22,000. The state average is about $24,500. And it’s not that the state does not send far more money to these districts than wealthier ones: Both Wyandanch and Brentwood will get more than $15,000 per student in state funding in 2019-20, while the more prosperous Smithtown district will receive just $3,500 per student in state aid, and Roslyn will get about $2,000 per child. But the poor districts are beset by educational challenges. The state assigns a cost to addressing those challenges that it then fails to meet. So what is to be done? First, fund these districts…
read editorial

Remember when TV was free?  NEWSDAY; Jul 14, 2019
An increasing number of television viewers are turning back the clock to watch their favorite network shows for free. They’re buying antennas
read story

Healthy lifestyle may offset Alzheimer’s risk
NEWSDAY; Jul 15, 2019
Among those with the highest genetic risk, just over 1 percent of those with favorable lifestyles developed dementia compared to nearly 2 percent of those with poor lifestyles…read article

Published July 11, 2019
‘The ultimate selfless act’  NEWSDAY; Jul 7, 2019
“How do I say thank you for saving my daughter’s life?” Lisa Calla of Smithtown was in the bleachers at a high school baseball game when she heard about a West Islip 16-year-old who needed a kidney. She offered help—and turned out to be the perfect match…read story

Seniors now 20 percent of U.S. workforce
Newsday; Jul 9. 2019
Most people working past age 65 are doing so for financial reasons, she said, but other factors play a significant role…read article

Upstate clerk sues to stop license law  NEWSDAY; Jul 10, 2019
Michael “Mickey” Kearns, an Erie County Democrat, says the new “law compels county clerks across the state to be an instrument to violate federal law.” Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) applauded Kearns’ action and said of the law: “It’s wrong, it’s illegal and the courts have an obligation to step in and stop it from happening.”…read article

Polio-like virus warning  NEWSDAY; Jul 10, 2019
Federal health officials are calling on doctors nationwide to be especially vigilant about recognizing and rapidly diagnosing a mysterious polio-like illness that primarily afflicts children and leaves some permanently paralyzed…read article

NY proposes new water standards  NEWSDAY; Jul 9, 2019
The state Department of Health recommended new drinking water standards for three chemicals on Monday, 
the first time in nearly 20 years new contaminants would be regulated in New York…read article

Stony Brook Univ: $7.23B ripple effect
NEWSDAY; Jul 10, 2019
Stony Brook University’s ripple effect on Long Island’s economy is worth $7.23 billion a year and supports 54,637 local jobs, according to a new report…read article

On a Green-Disposable mission  NEWSDAY; Jul 8, 2019
Emerald Brand in Syosset makes and sells “tree-free”towels, toilet tissue and other disposable items such as single-use utensils. They are made from sugar cane and wheatgrass byproducts…read article

Battery system incentives  NEWSDAY; Jul 9, 2019
Residential battery systems are about the size of a pair of large suitcases, and are best installed in conjunction with a new home solar energy array…read article

The Moon and Back  NEWSDAY; Jul 8, 2019
“I’ll be giving a lecture about all the things we’ve learned about the moon over the past five decades,” said Timothy Glotch, a professor in the Department of Geosciences at Stony Brook University. The program, sponsored by Stony Brook University and the Montauk Observatory, will be held in the Avram Theater atn
Stony Brook’s Southampton campus from 1 to 6 p.m. on July 20. The event is open to the public and will be held 50 years to the day humans first walked on the moon…read article

Suffolk still pursuing tax deduction remedy
NEWSDAY LETTERS (SC Exec Steve Bellone); Jul 7, 2019
“I want to make it clear that Suffolk County continues to explore a challenge to the punitive new IRS code.”…read letter

Suffolk GOP: Stop red light camera program
NEWSDAY; Jul 10, 2019
Legis. Tom Cilmi, GOP caucus head, said the study paints “a pretty grim picture” that crashes at 100 red light camera intersections increased by 2,100 from 2015 to 2017 compared to 2007-09. Jason Elan, spokesman for County Executive Steve Bellone, said, “It’s unfortunate to see the Republican Minority Caucus devolve into conspiracy theories and misinformation at the expense of public safety . . . This is an effective program that reduces serious injuries and saves lives.”…read article

Bellone vetoes health-care contract extension
NEWSDAY; Jul 10, 2019
Republicans say Bellone balked at the renewal which would cut the county’s annual share of costs from $13.7 million to $12 million a year through 2024 because his administration originally promised there would be no need of further county subsidies at the end of their first five-year contract, except for lease and property tax payments. Bellone aides did not return calls for comment late Tuesday afternoon
read article

Suffolk seeking the fix for ticks  NEWSDAY; Jul 10, 2019
No insect on Long Island causes as much human misery as ticks, and to help residents prevent bites this summer — peak season for the bloodsucking parasites — Suffolk County health and legislative officials are rolling out a sweeping public health effort…read article

Glimmer of hope in opioid stats NEWSDAY; Jul 10, 2019
Suffolk officials reported 308 fatal overdoses last year, a 24.9 percent decrease compared to the county’s 410 fatal ODs in 2017
read article

Job After Jail: The Struggle for a Second Chance  NEWSDAY; Jul 7, 2019
According to estimates from the Prison Policy Initiative, a Massachusetts-based think tank that advocates for prison reform, the unemployment rate for former inmates reached 27.3 percent in 2008 — the latest year such data are available — compared with 5.8 percent in the general population that same year.
Unemployment for those with convictions or a history of incarceration is not tracked by the state Labor Department…read story

Health center delays cause host of concerns
Suffolk County has paid more than 50 percent over the normal annual rent for the East Main Street health center site that has operated for 36 years. That’s because Suffolk’s three-year lease has expired and the county is renting at a higher month-to-month rate. Suffolk County Comptroller John M. Kennedy said he faulted county leadership: “They cannot adhere to a simple timeline.” Jason Elan, Bellone’s spokesman, said, “This financial phony neglects to acknowledge the millions of dollars that the administration has saved by transferring its health centers to the private sector.”
Legis. Rob Calarco (D-Patchogue), who has both the old and new health centers in his district, said HRH experienced initial delays in the permitting process with Brookhaven Town. Brookhaven Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said the site got rezoning approval even though town officials felt there were “better sites.”…read column

Planning to make surf park waves  NEWSDAY; Jul 8, 2019
Planned for 91 Precision Dr., just off Exit 68 of the Long Island Expressway, the surf park also would have a three-level, 7,000-square-foot clubhouse with a surf shop on the first floor and a restaurant on the second floor…read article

Wyandanch: Class sizes are predicted to grow
NEWSDAY; Jul 10, 2019
Deep staffing cuts in the cash starved Wyandanch school district will result this fall in many elementary classes of more than 30 students and impede efforts to boost academic performance, a top teacher representative predicted…read article

Underfunded schools on Long Island  NEWSDAY; Jul 7, 2019
The Wyandanch and Brentwood school districts are among 29 underfunded systems across the state. “State-aid increases have been significant but poorly targeted,” reported David Friedfel, the commission’s director of state studies, who works out of Albany. “Districts that are shortchanged have struggled to catch up, while
‘overfunded’ districts continue to get more funding.”Most of New York State’s funding for poorer school districts is funneled through a “foundation aid” formula, initiated in 2007. The system, in determining the amount of money going to each district, gives extra weight to students who are impoverished, speak limited English or are enrolled in special-education classes…read article 

Educating DeVos on student loans
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has repealed the gainful employment rule, which requires career colleges 
to ensure that their graduates can afford to repay their loans. DeVos believes students should be free to make their own choices. She also argues that the rule discriminates against the for-profit colleges that offer many career programs because it does not apply to all colleges.…read opinion
Note: Authors James Kvaal was an education adviser for President Barack Obama. Arne Duncan was secretary of education.

Erasing history is not the answer  
Want to understand what America is? Understand, don’t try to delete, its past…read opinion

Decode those medical bills  NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Jul 7, 2019
New federal rules should give patients accurate data so costs of care can be compared…read article

Pope approves miracle  NEWSDAY; Jul 7, 2019
Pope Francis has approved a miracle bringing the late American Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, known for his revolutionary radio and TV preaching, closer to sainthood…read article

Published July 4, 2019
Trump signs $4.6B in aid for border  NEWSDAY; Jul 2, 2019
The emergency legislation was needed to ease overcrowded, often harsh conditions at U.S. holding facilities for migrants seeking asylum, mostly from Central American nations like Honduras and El Salvador. “This is a humane solution to a tremendous problem that starts because of our bad immigration laws,” Trump said. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was forced to accept the Republican-controlled Senate’s version of the aid package, frustrating the more liberal members of her caucus. The bill bolsters care for tens of thousands of arrivals taken into custody monthly and sets guidelines for how the Trump administration must handle them…read article

Infused with possibilities  NEWSDAY; Jun 30, 2019
As New York State passes hemp regulations, the CBD-infused product industry readies for growth…read article

Related article…
Reefer madness or pot paradise?; Jun 30, 2019
Colorado’s first-in-the-nation experiment has reshaped health, politics, rural culture and criminal justice in surprising ways that often defy both the worst warnings of critics and blue-sky rhetoric of the marijuana industry, giving a glimpse of what the future may hold as more and more states adopt and debate full legalization…read article

OK sought on fentanyl bill  NEWSDAY; Jul 2, 2019
Measure would target Chinese drug traffickers…read article

Kings Park: Park Plan  NEWSDAY; Jul 2, 2019
New York State lawmakers on June 18 overwhelmingly passed a bill sponsored by Sen. John Flanagan (R-East Northport) and Assemb. Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) that would require state parks officials to begin the plan within 60 days and finish a year after that
read article

Fresh view of LIPA tax suits  NEWSDAY; Jul 2, 2019
“LIPA must immediately cease all litigation …,” he said. “The time has come and gone for LIPA to behave as a responsible corporate neighbor and I look forward to [bringing] an unequivocally ethical and honest voice to the board.” “I am proud to appoint Ali Mohammed to the Long Island Power Authority board,” said Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers)….read article

Suffolk shelves SALT plan  NEWSDAY; Jul 1, 2019
New Internal Revenue Service regulations have forced Suffolk officials to shelve a plan they said could have helped property owners avoid thousands of dollars in higher federal taxes…read article

The power of early intervention  NEWSDAY; Jun 30, 2019
“4 years ago, Jack’s mom saw signs of possible developmental issues. Now he’s starting kindergarten.”…read story

$1.6T student debt affecting economy NEWSDAY; Jul 1, 2019
What is student loan debt doing to the economy? Economists have been digging into this issue for several years. Here’s a roundup of what they’ve found…read article

New voting law a costly change  
The expanded voting law is broadly written, and seemingly allows any worker for any size employer to take three hours of paid time off at the beginning or the end of shifts on Election Day. And, there is no requirement that the employee actually vote, or that there is even a election in which they are eligible to vote; nor does it matter whether a worker’s shift coincides with voting hours…read article

Floating Antarctic ice dips to record low  

NEWSDAY; Jul 2, 2019
The amount of ice circling Antarctica is suddenly plunging from a record high to record lows, baffling scientists…read article

Lee Iacocca 1924-2019: An Automotive Industry Titan NEWSDAY; Jul 2, 2019
Lee Iacocca, the automobile industry executive who helped launch the Mustang at Ford and save Chrysler from bankruptcy, and whose cunning, ingenuity and swagger made him one of the most successful salesmen of his generation, died Tuesday at his home in the Bel-Air area of Los Angeles. He was 94…read article

Published Jun 20, 2019
Prevailing wage deal imminent? 
A three-way deal among the State Senate, Assembly and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, is imminent on prevailing wage -- the hourly wage paid to workers usually agreed to through collective-bargaining agreements. And the agreed-upon bill language seems to check some boxes about which Long Island developers, affordable housing advocates, and others have been concerned, though no one got everything they wanted…read article

H.S. senior dies from injuries in crash
NEWSDAY; Jun 16, 2019
A Shoreham-Wading River High School senior seriously hurt in a car accident on her way to a school ceremony Thursday night has died of her injuries. Witnesses told investigators that a Hyundai Elantra with Marchese and two other teens going south on Miller Avenue was turning left onto Route 25A when it was hit by a Honda Accord that ran a red light as it traveled west on Route 25A, police said. Marchese, the Hyundai’s backseat passenger, sustained serious head injuries and was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital, police said…read article

NY driver’s license bill signed into law
NEWSDAY; Jun 18, 2019
The narrow vote, 33-29, came after a nearly four-hour debate that included accusations of xenophobia, “descending into demonization,” “endorsing lawlessness” and “watering down citizenship.” The harsh words 
followed Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins’s decision to hold the vote without any Island support, knowing there were still enough Democrats to win passage. And they came after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo raised the possibility of a veto early in the day, but then signed it into law shortly before 10 p.m. The bill takes effect immediately…read article

‘Big ugly’ offers easy way out  NEWSDAY; Jun 16, 2019
The “big ugly” that descends on Albany just about every year at this time is a legislative blob of disparate items glued together by political expedience to gain overall support by legislators and governors, even though they may vehemently oppose some of its elements.
Big uglies have been used to pass tax increases, expand gambling and casinos, provide tax breaks for real estate interests, provide pension sweeteners to politically powerful public worker unions…read article

NY 5th in kids’ health  NEWSDAY; Jun 17, 2019
New York ranks fifth nationwide in children’s health, largely because only 3 percent of the state’s children lack public or private health insurance, The low uninsured rate is largely because of broad state child health benefits that include some coverage for children living in the country illegally, said Noah Berger, the foundation’s director of policy, reform and advocacy…read article

A call for federal help on safe drinking water
NEWSDAY; Jun 19, 2019
Long Island’s congressional delegation called Tuesday for the federal government to set its own standards and help local governments pay for treatment…read article

Poor financial health  NEWSDAY; Jun 19, 2019
Nassau University Medical Center posted a $46.6 million operating loss in 2018, up significantly from $25.7 million in 2017, new financial statements show. The operating loss was $31.2 million in 2016, $58.5 million in 
2015 and $17.4 million in 2014…read article

Making the most of internships
Employers and students can benefit from a training program that develops students’ skills and makes them more employable
read article

Beacon House: Serving the veterans who come home NEWSDAY; Jun 16, 2019
Nonprofit offers housing, other support to ease the adjustment to civilian life…read story

Suffolk County: Volunteer stewards planned for parks  NEWSDAY; Jun 18, 2019
Suffolk County’s unstaffed parks may soon get volunteers assigned to help with maintenance under a pilot program approved this month by county legislators…read article

One Suffolk’s teen journey through ICE detention NEWSDAY SPECIAL REPORT; Jun 16, 2019
The unaccompanied minor was among the first arrested in Operation Matador, launched in response to an eruption of MS-13 violence

read report
Accompanying story…
The gang next door NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Jun 16, 2019
Josue Portillo was 14 years old when his grandmother in El Salvador decided she’d had enough. She called Portillo’s mother, who was living in Central Islip, because Portillo’s behavior was spiraling out of control. “Together, they decided that he would be smuggled into the United States,” Portillo’s defense attorney, Joseph Ryan, said during a sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court in Central Islip last week.
Several minutes later, Portillo, 17, would be sentenced to 55 years in prison for his role in the April 2017 killing of four young men who were lured to a park in Central Islip. …read column

Board approves 3 house teardowns  NEWSDAY; Jun 19, 2019
The properties are on Overlook Drive in Mastic, Hagerman Landing Road in Rocky Point and Westfield Road in Coram. Odors at the Coram house were so bad that gasmasks were recommended for anyone entering the structure…read article

UPTON - BNL to pay $1.46M in lieu of taxes
NEWSDAY; Jun 17, 2019
The payment will be disbursed by Brookhaven to about a half-dozen government entities that serve Upton, including the town, school districts, fire and library districts, and Suffolk County…read article

Incumbent Garant wins Port Jeff mayoral race
NEWSDAY; Jun 19, 2019
Port Jefferson Mayor Margot J. Garant on Tuesday fended off a challenge from former Suffolk County Republican chair John Jay
LaValle to retain the post she has held for 10 years…read article

Win for 1 district, defeat for otherNEWSDAY; Jun 19, 2019
Voters OK Eastport-South Manor’s budget, reject Wyandanch’s again. Earlier Tuesday, none of a dozen Wyandanch residents who spoke with a Newsday reporter during voting hours voiced approval of the district’s 
spending plan. “We need better fiscal management,” said Sheila Chandler, a retired registered nurse who said she voted against the budget. “No sense giving them more money to mess things up.” Wyandanch district officials last week warned that failure to pass the budget could mean the loss of 30 jobs for teachers and other staff, along with elimination of pre-kindergarten and after-school programs and deep reductions in sports and bus services…read article

Make legal immigration easier
“The suffering is heartbreaking, but deploying the Mexican National Guard to stop the flow is not the answer. The United States must be a safe harbor for deserving asylum-seekers, and other immigrants, not an impregnable barrier against them.”…read editorial

No cap, no raise for lawmakers
Getting all three years of salary increases would make New York lawmakers the highest paid in the nation. But members of the Assembly and Senate don’t deserve that distinction if they won’t agree to end the lure of outside dollars that thwart honest government. While some members have professions and family businesses that are not caught up in Albany’s pay-to-play culture, it’s fair to ask that a job that pays $130,000 be considered full time…read editorial
Related story…
45% of U.S. workers have a side gig
NEWSDAY; Jun 19, 2019

Working Americans spend an average of 12 hours per week on tasks related to their side hustle and earn an average of $1,122 per month
read article

Published Jun 13, 2019
Cuomo vows to fight IRS on SALT deductions
NEWSDAY; Jun 12, 2019
Under Cuomo’s program, a taxpayer could donate $1,000 to a special state fund and get a 70 percent credit against the taxpayer’s state and local tax bill. But the final IRS rules say the taxpayers could only claim a tax deduction of $300. Few New Yorkers had signed up for the state plan…read article

As legislative clock ticks down  NEWSDAY; Jun 11, 2019
With Democrats in control of both houses, the tension this year isn’t based on party loyalty but on branch of government: Legislators versus the governor. Cuomo has been highly critical of his fellow Democrats and relations aren’t exactly great at the moment. That’s the general landscape as lawmakers head toward the 
scheduled June 19 adjournment. Here are some of the issues, big and small, they are looking to settle…read article

Court strikes down ban on outside jobs
NEWSDAY; Jun 11, 2019
The commission decided in December, just weeks after the legislative elections, to increase lawmakers’ pay from $79,500 a year to $110,000 this year; to $120,000 on Jan. 1, 2020; and to $130,000 on Jan. 1, 2021. The court ruling strikes down a major contingency for the pay raise determined in December: that legislators after Jan. 1, 2020, would have to quit their jobs outside the legislature, which have often been part-time employment with law firms, if they wanted to continue to get raises…read article

Bill aimed at belt use in back seat  NEWSDAY; Jun 12, 2019
“This study reinforces the importance of using seat belts in the back seat, as well as demonstrating that the rear middle seat is the safest,” said Dietrich Jehle, associate professor of emergency medicine
read article

Poll: NYers favor legalized marijuana  NEWSDAY; Jun 11, 2019
Most New York voters want marijuana legalized for recreational use and oppose allowing immigrants in the country illegally to obtain driver’s licenses, according to a poll released Monday. The poll interviewed 812 
voters by telephone from June 2 to 6…read article

In Trump era, anxiety grows for LI immigrants
NEWSDAY; Jun 9, 2019
Ana, who crossed the border illegally 12 years ago after leaving Guatemala, said the president’s words have turned people against immigrants like her. “We’re in a situation that as soon as people look at you they are watching you,” she said, “because if you look Hispanic they think you shouldn’t be here.”…read story

Law: Say goodbye to Mr. Styrofoam  NEWSDAY; Jun 12, 2019
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran signed a Styrofoam ban into law Tuesday, joining a national movement 
away from plastic packaging materials and toward more biodegradable products…read article

Nassau, Suffolk to get aid for early voting
NEWSDAY; Jun 11, 2019
New York State will reimburse Nassau and Suffolk counties about $1.7 million each to cover the costs of early voting for a nine-day period before Election Day, while the counties look to use borrowed money for the rest of the multimillion- dollar expense. Suffolk Republican Elections Commissioner Nicholas LaLota said state money represents less than 50 percent of the actual cost of early voting. “This mandate coming from Albany now must be borne by Suffolk County taxpayers to the tune of about $1.4 million,” LaLota said…read article

Now a matter for the DA  NEWSDAY; Jun 11, 2019
Newsday reported on Saturday That Ana-Maria Hurtado, former commissioner of Hempstead’s Department of Occupational Resources, signed a two-year contract in March 2017 with Alcott HR, a human resource outsourcing company, to provide extra staff to the department. Hurtado retired that July and became an Alcott employee four days later…read article
Original story…

Post-retirement job for herself  NEWSDAY; Jun 9, 2019read article

Rating LI hospitals  NEWSDAY; Jun 11, 2019
The ratings, shown on the government’s “Hospital Compare” website, are based on measurements that include hospital readmission rates for certain procedures, death rates after hospitalization for selected conditions, emergency-room wait times and patient evaluations
read article

Study foresees shortages in LI workforce
NEWSDAY; Jun 11, 2019
The shrinking number of children and teenagers in Nassau and Suffolk counties will soon translate into fewer workers age 20 to 39 — which will have big consequences for employers and for the entire regional economy, the Long Island Association Research Institute said
read article

Suffolk 2020 forecast: $80 million shortfall
NEWSDAY; Jun 11, 2019
Suffolk’s top fiscal analysts  projected Monday that the county faces a potential shortfall of from $80 million to $89.3 million heading into the 2020 budget deliberations.
Robert Lipp, director of the office of budget review, said the three-year projected shortfall in the general fund is $65.3 million and the $24 million in the political district for a total of $89.3 million. The county executive’s top budget aide, Eric Naughton said his $80 million estimate is “in the same ballpark” …read article

Safety in the sunshine  NEWSDAY; Jun 12, 2019
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone rubs on some sunscreen from new free dispensers at Smith Point County Park in Shirley on Tuesday
read article

Protest of tax challenge  NEWSDAY; Jun 11, 2019
Public officials and angry residents rallied in heavy rain beneath the Northport power plant Monday to protest LIPA’s decade-long challenge of the plant’s $84 million annual property taxes and demand Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo intervene. The group’s calculations show a home with $3,700 of assessed value (with a market value of around $535,663) would see taxes jump $37 a month the current tax year
read article

Smithtown - Tracking zombie homes  NEWSDAY; Jun 12, 2019
Smithtown Public Safety officials this summer will finish a massive database of residential properties used to identify, track and fix those close to or trapped in foreclosure, commonly known as zombie homes.
The database, built over the past year with $610,000 in New York State grants, makes property ownership records available instantly to town departments, villages and fire departments, along with contact information for banks and servicers. Once investigators have identified a property as at risk, they try to visit the homeowner to provide counseling. In some cases, grants are available to help mortgage payments, or the bank will renegotiate the terms of the mortgage loan…read story

Wyandanch bracing for deep cuts  NEWSDAY; Jun 12, 2019
The financially pressed Wyandanch school district will cut at least 10 administrative, teaching and other staff jobs, while also slashing $1 million from student bus transportation, even if a proposed $73.3 million budget
passes in a revote later this month, district officials announced Tuesday night. One reason for fading trust is a series of critical reports from the state comptroller’s office, indicating that board trustees as a group failed to properly monitor Wyandanch’s fiscal operations…read article

Eastport-South Manor: District pressing ahead with vote  NEWSDAY; Jun 12, 2019
Eastport-South Manor school district officials told residents they are going forward with next week’s revote on a $96.6 million budget but maintained that last month’s budget vote was valid.
State officials told the district last week the budget vote was invalid because a second proposition on the ballot would have caused the budget to exceed the state tax cap. The proposed budget would raise school taxes about $300 for the average district resident. If next week’s vote fails, the district will be forced to adopt a $95 million contingency budget — a bare-bones spending plan that freezes taxes…read article

Published Jun 6, 2019
LI D-Day vets recall battle  NEWSDAY; Jun 5, 2019
Historians would call it the longest day. Beginning in the predawn hours of that leaden day, 5,000 ships streamed across the English Channel toward a heavily fortified 50-mile stretch of exposed beaches. They disgorged some 160,000 American, English and Canadian troops. Many fell to German machine guns that began firing the moment Allied landing craft opened their protective doors. More than a few drowned far from the beach, pulled under by the weight of their gear. Within hours, more than 4,000 Allied troops were killed. “It was hard to see friends floating facedown in the surf, with their blood in the water,” said Walter Blum of Great Neck, who at only 18, found himself fighting in the titanic struggle that changed World War II…read story

Storming the beach at 19  NEWSDAY; Jun 3, 2019
All at once, Charles Shay tried to stanch the bleeding from a ripped-open stomach, dull the pain with morphine and soothe the mind of a dying fellow American army medic. It was a tall order for a 19-year-old who had just set foot on the European mainland for the first time
read story

Climate bill on the ropes  NEWSDAY; Jun 5, 2019
Cuomo said this week at two events that he doesn’t expect the proposed Climate & Community Protection Act to be approved in the final 10 days of the session. He said it is no longer among his priorities for this session…read article

Driver’s license bill gets pushback  NEWSDAY; Jun 4, 2019
The new state Republican Chairman, Nick Langworthy, came to the State Capitol to urge lawmakers not to 
OK driver’s licenses for people in the country illegally. Langworthy said support for the driver’s license proposal shows “blatant disregard for taxpayers” and “blatant disregard for the federal rule of law.”…read article

IRS updating W-4 form on withholding amounts  
NEWSDAY; Jun 4, 2019
The proposed draft is open to public input until July. A final version will take effect in 2020. Existing employees will not have to fill out the new form, but new hires or anyone wanting to update their information will use a 
New form starting Jan. 1…read article

Northwell to perform liver transplants on LI
NEWSDAY; Jun 4, 2019
“Nearly five people die each day in the United States waiting for a liver that will never come. By establishing an adult liver transplant program on Long Island, we’re changing the narrative for thousands of New Yorkers living with this fatal disease,” said Michael J. Dowling, president and CEO at Northwell Health…read article

What’s in LI water? A lot  NEWSDAY; Jun 3, 2019
Thedrinking water onLong Island has “by far” the most emerging contaminants of any region in the state, according to a review of detections of the substances by the New York Public Interest Research Group…read article

Schumer: LI internet speeds should be faster
NEWSDAY; Jun 3, 2019
Schumer citedaMicrosoft report from December that estimated 125,000 residents in Nassau and 311,000 more in Suffolk had slower-than-acceptable internet speeds and were missing out on true broadband service…read article

Two troubled LI nursng homes  NEWSDAY; Jun 5, 2019
Nearly 400 facilities nationwide, including two on Long Island, had a “persistent record of poor care” as of April. The two on Long Island are Medford Multicare Center in Medford, which previously ran afoul of regulators, and Townhouse Center for Rehabilitation & Nursing in Uniondale…read article
Related information…
A letter from the Long Term Care Community Coalition

LTCCC;Jun 5, 2019
This letter contains information and links from the Long Term Care Community Coalition as well as from the Nursing Home Industry from a presentation on Capitol Hill on the costs and performance of nursing homesinfo

Suffolk’s largest union OK’s $127.5M pact
NEWSDAY; Jun 4, 2019
The new contract for the AME, which had been without a contract since Jan.1, 2017, will raise salaries 
for white- and blue-collar workers by 12 percent through 2024, increase longevity pay by $250 over the life of the agreement and provide $775,000 in increases for the union benefit fund…read article

SCCC trustees settle with former president for $555G 
NEWSDAY; Jun 5, 2019
The settlement will pay McKay $233,583 within 30 days of the May 24 agreement, and another $239,500 on Jan. 8, 2020. In addition, McKay will be paid for 80 unused vacation days at the per diem rate of $988.18 for a 
total of $79,054. The college also will reimburse McKay so he can keep his health insurance coverage through the school for six months. Trustees had already decided not to extend McKay’s contract, although he had requested a 10-year extension after being on a 77-day sick leave earlier in 2018…read article

$526M for capital plan in Suffolk  NEWSDAY; Jun 5, 2019
The Suffolk County Legislature on Tuesday approved a $526.3 million capital spending plan for 2020 with funding for reconstruction of the aging Smith Point Bridge and renovations at the county jail in Riverhead…read article

4 houses targeted for demolition  NEWSDAY; Jun 3, 2019
The houses included two on Middle Country Road in Middle Island
read article

A doable fix for drunken driving
Those opposed to mandating technology to make it impossible for drunks to drive would curse the supposed “nanny state” and argue that such devices would violate their rights. The same argument was made about seat belts. But no one has a right to drive drunk, and everyone has a right to be free of the threat of drunken drivers…read article

Lawmakers shouldn’t duck vaccine vote
Hiding from this problem won’t solve it. For the sake of public health, our lawmakers’ disappointing silence must end…read editorial

LIPA bill won’t save taxpayers  NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Jun 3, 2019
The State Senate passed a bill sponsored by Sen. James Gaughran that would bar the Long Island Power Authority from collecting refunds on overassessments of the Northport power plant. The Assembly version of the bill, sponsored by Steve Stern, is sitting in committee.
The legislation is clearly unconstitutional. Their best option is to persuade Huntington leaders to accept the fair deal LIPA has on the table. It would cut tax payments on the plant by 50 percent and spread that reduction, and resulting tax increases, gradually over eight years
read editorial

A dangerous sanction spectacle  NEWSDAY OPINION; Jun 4, 2019
Trump’s threat of tariffs against Mexico could generate even more migrants to U.S. The issues of the economy 
and trade have nothing to do with migrants heading north. Trump’s initiative underscores the xenophobic fearmongering that has become de facto policy in his administration…read opinion

Clergy tax break can be reformed
Wealthy religious leaders should not get tax breaks on luxurious homes, and no homeowners should be excused from their taxes entirely
read editorial

Brewing for revenue  NEWSDAY; Jun 3, 2019
A seasonal Northport restaurant has seen growth and met year-round expenses by making beer…read story

Published May 30, 2019
A plan to address fungus NEWSDAY; May 25, 2019
New York health officials are considering guidelines that would be the first in the nation aimed at preventing the spread of a multi-drug resistant fungus — Candida auris — that has found its way into health care institutions statewide…read article

A push for union wages  NEWSDAY; May 25, 2019
The Nassau County Legislature has unanimously backed a move in Albany to pay union wages and benefits to construction workers on building projects that receive tax breaks.
Developers, contractors and business groups say the projects will be too costly if they are forced to pay more…read article

Lawmakers urged to back vaccine bill  
NEWSDAY; May 29, 2019
Lawmakers on Tuesday were joined by immunocompromised kids and their parents in a last-ditch effort to 
urge the passage of a bill that would end religious exemptions for vaccinations in New York State
read article

Cuomo: I’ll seek 4th term in ’22  NEWSDAY; May 29, 2019
“I’m making a difference in the State of New York, I believe that in my heart,” Cuomo said Monday.
Gov. Nelson Rockefeller was the only New Yorker to be elected to four, four-year terms…read article

Wind energy winning bids coming soon
NEWSDAY; May 29, 2019
The one project that would be directly off Long Island in waters known as the New York Bight is being proposed by Equinor Wind US, a Norwegian energy conglomerate. The project, called Empire Wind, wouldbe 14 to 35 miles off Long Island…read article

How NY keeps tabs on cops  NEWSDAY; May 28, 2019
The system is supercharged with information — some negative and some positive — about individual officers that is available at the touch of a computer key.
The system,,,has been strongly criticized by the officers’ union…read article

Mercury vapor an alarm for all  NEWSDAY; May 28, 2019
The fact that three Long Island school districts have discovered mercury vapor emanating from synthetic flooring in some buildings should be an alarm — alerting other districts to investigate their facilities, and for state officials to set appropriate exposure limits
read editorial

Payroll costs back on rise  NEWSDAY; May 26, 2019
Payroll costs for Long Island’s towns and cities increased in 2018 after a two-year period of tighter spending, a Newsday analysis of payroll data provided by municipalities over the past eight years shows…read article
Brookhaven 2018 here

311 call center opens  NEWSDAY; May 29, 2019
Suffolk County residents can now report potholes, downed lights and other concerns and get more efficient responses from government agencies by dialing 311, officials said Tuesday…read article

Schumer: IRS shouldn’t tax septic grants
NEWSDAY; May 30, 2019
Installers and designers of the systems said they already pay taxes on the grant checks, which are made out to them. Schumer said having homeowners pay again would result in people paying double to the federal government…read article

Bellone keeps health centers deal in limbo
GOP critics said Bellone, a Democrat who faces re-election this year, had put off a vote because his administration originally had promised the health centers would need no more county subsidies after five years, except for the cost of health center leases and property taxes
read column

Suffolk labor deal not a slam dunk for all
NEWSDAY; May 24, 2019
Given a chance to ratify the new union contract that will raise base police pay for officers with at least 12 years of service to $155,000 by 2025 and average total earnings for those officers to more than $200,000, Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association members were glad to fall into line.
But the county’s far larger Association of Municipal Employees, with approximately 6,000 members, appears to have a significant contingent that’s balking…read article

Diversity training goes overboard
‘Anti-racist’ ideology in an NYC schools program does more harm than good…read opinion

Poor sports in the crowd  NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; May 29, 2019
Verbal abuse of youth-sports referees poisons competition and hurts kids…read editorial

Beyond Cable – Cutting the Cord  NEWSDAY; May 26, 2019
Some viewers are switching from cable to streaming TV services for cost and content options…read story

Hurricane year seen as near normal
NEWSDAY; May 24, 2019
There is a 70 percent likelihood of nine to 15 named storms, of which four to eight could become hurricanes, predicted forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center. Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30
read article

Published May 23, 2019
Department store woes multiplying  NEWSDAY; May 22, 2019
The outlook for department stores got murkier Tuesday after J.C. Penney and Kohl’s reported fiscal first-quarter results that showed they struggled at the start of the year…read article

Recruiting ‘Gen Z’ into the workforce  
NEWSDAY; May 20, 2019
Move over, millennials. The next generation is making its way into the workforce, and employers are taking note. They’re expected to place more emphasis on financial security, flexibility and workplaces reflecting the diversity of their schools and peer groups.…read article

Jobless rate at 3.0%  NEWSDAY; May 21, 2019
Long Island’s jobless rate fell to 3.0 percent in April, down 0.6 percentage points year over year, state Labor Department data released Tuesday show. It was the lowest unemployment rate the Island has seen for April in 20 years…read article

Retirees’ $500G health bill  NEWSDAY; May 22, 2019
The city [of Glen Cove] paid $490,834 in premium payments for the ineligible retirees, including two former 
city attorneys and a former councilman, according to a report by the city controller based on the audit. The city also issued $125,697 in Medicare Part B reimbursements to the former employees from 2007 to 2018. Glen Cove, as a state health insurance program member, is required to reimburse enrollees and their dependents for the cost of Medicare Part B premiums
read article

Cleansing SALT from wound  NEWSDAY; May 19, 2019
In addition to fighting the Internal Revenue Service — which already has said it will not approve use of charitable funds as a workaround — Bellone will have to persuade school boards, and every other taxing entity, including Suffolk towns and villages, to sign onto the idea.
His plan is facing significant skepticism — while, next door in Nassau County, the notion of such a workaround already is DOA. Bellone, who is running for re-election this year, said he’s willing to have Suffolk sue the Internal Revenue Service…read article

Decrepit houses may face wrecking ball
NEWSDAY; May 22, 2019
The houses include two on Middle Country Road in Middle Island and one each on Seymour 
Lane in Medford…State Route 25A in Shoreham and Raynor Road in Ridge…read article

LI school districts get support  NEWSDAY; May 22, 2019
122 districts approve plans, Wyandanch’s $77.8M nixed…read article

School spending defies the cap
“Spending on the Island’s schools is up 18 percent since 2012-13, while inflation was just 10 percent. That’s your money, whether it’s funded by state income taxes coming through the back door or property taxes upfront. So where does the money go? To educators, mostly. When the tax cap passed, and as the economy suffered, many districts touted “no raise” contracts that were never really “no raise,” thanks to automatic annual step raises for increased seniority. Now, though, more contracts include annual raises in addition to step increases, and total hikes of 4 or 5 percent are not unheard of.”…read editorial

Warts of high-tech facial scanning
“The San Francisco Board of Supervisors banned government use of facial recognition software within city limits. In typical San Francisco fashion, the ban was enacted for a far-out, leftwing reason — to stymie Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in this case — but I can’t help feeling joyful about the vote just the same.”…read opinion

End the LIRR gravy train  NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; May 19, 2019
Exorbitant overtime earnings call for serious scrutiny from state and federal prosecutors…read editorial

Shark Bight: Great white found in LI waters
NEWSDAY; May 22, 2019
The nearly 10-foot-long shark was first detected Monday in the western end of the Long Island Sound, off Greenwich, Connecticut. The great white, it seems, then beat the traffic and headed out east. On Tuesday, the shark pinged off the Hamptons, in the waters of the New York Bight…read article

Massian Bio
Stitham Bio

Published May 16, 2019

Rekindling the old flame NEWSDAY; May 14, 2019
An enlarged Statue of Liberty Museum is slated to open its doors beside the famous figure on Thursday, offering access to a trove of artifacts and interactive exhibits highlighting the iconic structure…read article

Bag ban debate  NEWSDAY; May 12, 2019
That is why some environmentalists say the state’s new plastic bag ban law, which makes a 5 cent fee on paper bags optional for counties and cities, is bad public policy that could hurt the environment…read article

Queens DA in LIRR OT probe  NEWSDAY; May 15, 2019
The involvement of the DA’s office raises the possibility of criminal charges against MTA employees…read article

The new hiring landscape  NEWSDAY; May 12, 2019
“There is a war for talent,” said Jennifer Carey, president of the Long Island chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. Increasingly, that’s giving job applicants the upper hand…read story

Suffolk lawmakers OK union pacts  NEWSDAY; May 15, 2019
The Suffolk Legislature, despite an abbreviatedreview, overwhelmingly approved new contracts with police and other county workers Tuesday night. Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) said the legislature should have taken more time to reviewdetail of the deals. “The PBA played the county executive like a fiddle,” he said. “I’m not going to vote on this now because I don’t know enough about it.”…read article

WANTED: For illegal dumping  NEWSDAY; May 15, 2019
Brookhaven Town officials are proposing to increase fines for illegal dumping to combat what they say is a plague of such incidents in recent years.
Maximum fines for dumping waste on public lands such as parks and along highways would be increased to $10,000 from $3,000…read article

College financial aid: making sense of offers 
NEWSDAY; May 12, 2019
These acceoptance letters are notorious for being laden with jargon that differs from offer to offer, making comparisons difficult. But you can learn how to interpret award letters to understand the costs and choose an affordable option…read article

Rise of the Superbugs  NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; May 12, 2019
The emergence of drug-resistant bacteria poses a grave challenge for the world…read article

Gas pipeline makes sense—just for now 
New York State faces a deadline this week to decide whether to grant a water-quality permit for a proposed natural gas pipeline under New York Harbor. If only it were that simple.
The timing stinks. The pipeline would bring an additional 400 million cubic feet of natural gas daily to Long Island and New York City. National Grid, which would get the gas under a 15-year contract, says it’s badly needed. Some environmentalists say it’s not. Grid’s argument is more convincing
read editorial

Want populism? Here’s how to get it  NEWSDAY OPINiON; May 13, 2019
British vote shows what happens when voters get fed up with the establishment…Read opinion

Published May 8, 2019
Deal in Albany to add cameras to school buses 
NEWSDAY; May 8, 2019
Lawmakers said the bill, likely to be approved next week,would allow municipalities and school districts to “opt in” to the program. Cameras could be placed on the “stop” sign arm that a bus swings out upon slowing to a halt, or another spot on the bus. Videos of offending drivers would be sent to law enforcement. The fine for a first offense would be $250…read article

Middle Island - Second offer to buy land for park is rejected  NEWSDAY; May 6, 2019
Middle Island Civic Association president Gail Lynch-Bailey said Breslin’s rejection of the county offer was “very disappointing.” This is more than a decade of looking at this horrible, blighted property in the middle of our community, and it’s just wrong.”…read article

Jobless rate hits 50-year low  NEWSDAY; May 4, 2019
Hiring accelerated and pay rose at a solid pace in April, setting the stage for healthy U.S. economic growth to endure despite fears of a slowdown earlier this year…read article

State Senate OKs bill letting felons on juries
NEWSDAY; May 8, 2019
“If a person has completed their sentence, the person should be considered rehabilitated.” — Sen. Luis Sepulveda…read article

Drug-resistant fungus problem for hospitals
NEWSDAY; May 7, 2019
New York to date has recorded more cases of the multi-drug-resistant fungus Candida auris, known as C. 
auris, than any state in the country. Of the 643 cases diagnosed nationwide, almost half — 323 — have occurred in New York…read story

Assisted living crisis  NEWSDAY; May 6, 2019
Senior housing has a problem with middle-class affordability. There are many alluring options for the wealthy, and there’s considerable financial help available for the poor. But middle class people who need assisted 
living — help with daily activities and simple tasks — often find themselves priced out of the market…read article

Authorities: Limit vaccination exemptions
NEWSDAY; May 7, 2019
New York state must allow only medical exemptions for vaccinations, members of more than two dozen medical organizations and county health officials said Monday as the number of reported measles cases continued to rise nationwide…read article

Wage battle  NEWSDAY; May 5, 2019
A fight is brewing in the state Capitol over whether construction workers should be paid union wages and benefits on building projects that receive tax breaks…read article

School taxes on LI would go up 2.48%
NEWSDAY; May 8, 2019
Michael Borges, executive director of the Association of School Business Officials of NewYork, said school spending is driven by several factors over which local district officials have little control, including union salary contracts, special education requirements and health insurance premiums…read article

BOE Candidates Bios

PSEG plan could cut cost of electric  NEWSDAY; May 6, 2019
With new smart meters arriving at a quickened pace in homes across the region this year, PSEG Long Island is preparing a plan that puts the advanced devices to use in helping customers better understand their usage and even shift electric demand to off-peak times to cut their bills…read article

Helping fulfill another dream  NEWSDAY; May 3, 2019
Emma Brussell’s longtime dream of owning a diabetic alert dog finally came true last year. Now, the Farmingdale 10-year old is helping a Louisiana girl get one of the highly trained dogs, too…read article

NY: $21M upgrades for LI state parks  NEWSDAY; May 6, 2019
Long Island, home to some of the state’s busiest parks, will receive more than twice as much as any region…read article

Agreement on early voting  NEWSDAY; May 6, 2019
In Suffolk, the Republican and Democratic election commissioners have agreed to open an early voting site in 
each of the 10 towns. The Suffolk and Nassau early voting sites will be open from Oct. 26 to Nov. 3
read article

Tax breaks for $3M move to Suffolk  NEWSDAY; May 8, 2019
A building maintenance company with customers across the country will move its headquarters from Nassau County to Suffolk County. The $3 million project was awarded $122,441 in tax breaks from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency…read article

Brookhaven Town-schools pact on roadway upkeepNEWSDAY; May 7, 2019
The Brookhaven Town Highway Department has entered into an intermunicipal agreement with the South Country Central School District to repair roads and purchase salt and sand, officials said…read article

High Opt-Out numbers  NEWSDAY; May 4, 2019
Nearly 68,000 LI kids boycott state math test…read article

Teacher evaluations revisited  NEWSDAY; May 7, 2019
Revamping of teacher-performance ratings is required because of the change in state law approved by the legislature and signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on April 12.The wrangling over teacher evaluations in recent years dates to 2015, when Cuomo won adoption of legislation that provided extra state aid to schools and also toughened the requirements for job ratings…read article

Vaccine reform needs gov’s push
The State Senate seems poised to vote to end the religious exemption. The State Assembly must do the same. A carefully drafted law can survive constitutional concerns that religious expression is being impaired. Disappointingly, Cuomo’s position has been unclear. He must lead this effort. Doing anything else would be reckless and irresponsible and put the state’s most vulnerable children at risk…read editorial

Democrats can bank on this in ’20
Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand have endorsed retail banking services at all 30,000 U.S. post offices. To all Democratic candidates: If you want to win back some of those Trump supporters, be sure your platforms provide all Americans a basic right— access to banks’ financial servicesread opinion

‘Time off to vote’ is smart business
State legislators have amended state election laws to provide workers with an additional hour of paid time off to vote on Election Days. Employees may now take up to three hours of time off to participate in their most important civic duty, regardless of work schedule
read opinion

Our reckless spending spree  NEWSDAY OPINION; May 3, 2019
It’s hard to tell who’s being less serious, the 2020 presidential candidates or the voters who will put one of them in the Oval Office. Neither seem to care a lick about the single greatest threat to America’s future — the generational debt bomb ticking away at $23 trillion. Indeed, the candidates and a majority of Americans alike would rather exacerbate the looming crisis by spending money we don’t have than take steps necessary to deal with it…read opinion

The Horror on Display  NEWSDAY; May 8, 2019
The peril of hatred is front and center at museum exhibit on Auschwitz…read story

Published May 2, 2019
Governor signs ban on offshore drilling
NEWSDAY; Apr 30, 2019
The bill, sponsored by State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) and Assemb. Steven Englebright (D-Setauket) and approved by the State Legislature in February, will prohibit state agencies from processing applications for pipelines or any other transportation and distribution services needed to facilitate offshore drilling…read article

Rate hike proposed  NEWSDAY; May 1, 2019
National Grid seeks jump of 6.92% in delivery rates [for natural gas]
read article

Preparing for likely data privacy law  NEWSDAY; Apr 29, 2019
Tougher data privacy laws have already taken affect in the European Union and are due next year in California. New York is working ona data privacy bill…read article

LIRR overtime costs climb  NEWSDAY; Apr 30, 2019
Employee OT up more than 50% since 2015…read article
Related article…
Targeting MTA labor costs  NEWSDAY; May 1, 2019
The agency’s highest-paid employee in 2018, Long Island Rail Road chief measurement officer Thomas Caputo — took home $344,147 in overtime, on top of his $117,499 salary. A subsequent Newsday analysis found that the LIRR’s overtime costs have grown by 51 percent over the last four years…read article

LIDL to convert LI’s Best markets  NEWSDAY; May 1, 2019
Discount grocer Lidl’s takeover of the 24 Best Market stores on Long Island will start with the closing of one supermarket, remodeling of two stores and opening of two new locations by early 2020…read article

Top cop reflects on first year  NEWSDAY; Apr 29, 2019
Suffolk Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart returned to Northport High School earlier this month to talk to students in the same mock courtroom where she once studied the law…read article

Suffolk’s $2M pilot program to aid disabled
NEWSDAY; Apr 30, 2019
Suffolk County is launching a $2 million pilot project to help lower the cost of wastewater hookups for housing projects that permanently dedicate apartments to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities…read article

Walmart backtracks on 24-hour store
NEWSDAY; Apr 29, 2019
Walmart has scrapped plans for a proposed Yaphank store to be a 24-hour location, after hearing residents’ objections to possible noise and traffic issues. The world’s largest “People in that community had major concerns about having a commercial business such as Walmart in a residential area and adjacent to the residential area. And it’s my duty to protect them, and at the same time I don’t want to hinder business in any means,” said Brookhaven Councilman Michael Loguercio, who contacted Walmart on behalf of residents…read article

Town destroys Coram store  NEWSDAY; Apr 29, 2019
Town officials said the Swap and Shop store on Middle Country Road had been vacant for more than 20 years. Complaints from Coram residents had led to numerous building code violations filed against the property owner, officials said…read article

Tracking dollars for LI’s schools  NEWSDAY; Apr 29, 2019
Spending has far outpaced inflation since tax cap took effect in 2012-13. In 2016-17, New York spent an average $23,265 per student, the highest amount for any state. Even in an era of tax caps, the Island's school districts have managed to keep spending at relatively high levels, these numbers indicate. One major reason is that state government, with Gov. Cuomo's backing, has maintained a flow of financial support for school operations. In the coming school year, this state aid will top $3 billion in the Nassau-Suffolk region alone. "On education, we should be very proud of the amount of money we spend," the governor said in his January budget address, citing state-by-state comparisons from 2016-17. "We spend the most money per pupil in the nation. We spend two times the national average." Generous spending, for most schools, translates into high-quality programs and services for students, a point that education leaders like to emphasize. Newsday collected data from all Long Island districts showing the breakdown of money spent in three major buckets: administrative costs; student programs, including instructional costs; and capital expenses…read article
School data comparison chart

Doing the math on test opt-out NEWSDAY; Apr 30, 2019
Districts including Comsewogue, Patchogue-Medford, Rocky Point and Shoreham-Wading River have registered refusal rates of near or above 70 percent. Meanwhile, opt-outs in systems such as Cold Spring Harbor, Elmont, Great Neck, Jericho, Roosevelt and Wyandanch, have been below 20 percent. “What I see is that in some districts the movement is much weaker and there are multiple factors,” said Hofstra University education professor Alan Singer. Affluent parents often pay for test prep for college-entrance exams and “they want their kids tested.” “In poor communities, such as Roosevelt and Wyandanch, I think there is a fear that their children will be left behind and they are afraid to pull their kids out.”…read article

LI schools get high marks  NEWSDAY; Apr 30, 2019
Four public high schools on Long Island are in the top 300 nationally in U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of “Best High Schools.”
read article

[Hempstead] Budget calls for job cuts  
NEWSDAY; May 1, 2019
Hempstead Schools proposal seeks to trim 100 posts, avoids tax levy hike…read article

Rally around a rebuilt U.S.  NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; May 1, 2019
The United States has added another spring ritual to accompany blooming flowers and the return of baseball: the fresh promise of a grand plan to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. Trump and congressional leaders plan to meet again on the topic in three weeks. This time, they need to reach the framework of a deal. Because if failing to do so becomes an annual tradition, the decline of our nation will become a foregone conclusion…read editorial

Huntington should “Make a Deal”
The town faces a possible $650M bill if it loses LIPA’s tax lawsuit, and Northport schools would take a hit. In 1999, the company that owned two power-generating facilities in Rockland County sued to get its tax assessment reduced.
A state Supreme Court justice in 2006 slashed the taxes and ordered the county, villages and school district to pay a $225 million refund to the utility. New York State did not come to the rescue. The North Rockland school district eventually lost about 20 percent of its staff, or 200 positions. LIPA is offering to forgo the refunds and phase in areduction of its taxes over nine years, at which point it would pay 50 percent of its current taxes. Last year, Edward Romaine, the canny Republican Brookhaven supervisor, took the deal. The taxes on the Port Jefferson plant will be reduced from $33 million to $17 million over nine years, and the threat of a potential $200 million refund is gone. Romaine did the right thing…read article

Ask your folks about their financial future
NEWSDAY; Apr 28, 2019
Asking parents about their future can feel odd. But your parents’ financial plans can and will affect your own, eventually…read article

Published April 26, 2019
Suffolk warns others may have been exposed to confirmed case of measles; Apr 25, 2019
A case of measles has been confirmed in Suffolk County, health officials said Thursday as they warned that people may have been exposed to the infected adult at a bank in Hampton Bays. Anyone who was in the BNB Bank, 48 E. Montauk Hwy., on Saturday from 12:15 p.m. until the bank closed at 1 p.m. is being asked to contact the Suffolk County Department of Health…read article

CDC: Most measles cases in U.S. since ’94
NEWSDAY; Apr 25, 2019
The CDC recommends the vaccine for everyone over a year old, except for people who had the disease as children. Those who have had it are immune. The vaccine,which became available in the 1960s, is considered safe and effective, and because of it, measles was declared all but eliminated in the United States in 2000. It has come back since then, including 667 cases in 2014…read article

Shaky fiscal futures  NEWSDAY; Apr 23, 2019
The financial condition of the government’s bedrock retirement programs for middle- and working- class Americans remains shaky, with Medicare pointed toward insolvency by 2026, according to a report Monday by 
the government’s overseers of Medicare and Social Security. Trump has declared benefit cuts to the nation’s signature retirement programs off limits and many Democratic presidential candidates are calling for expanding Medicare benefits rather than addressing the program’s worsening finances. Later this year, Social Security is expected to declare a 1.8 percent cost-of-living increase for 2020
read article

S&P 500 hits all-time high, erasing ’18 slide
NEWSDAY; Apr 24, 2019
The S&P 500 has now recovered all of the ground it lost last fall, gaining 24.8 percent since it hit a bottom 
on Christmas Eve
read article

Seeking access to licenses  NEWSDAY; Apr 23, 2019
Allowing undocumented residents to obtain driver’s licenses would make Long Island roads safer while providing a steady stream of new revenue to the state, advocates and fiscal watchdogs said Tuesday. In 2002, then-Gov. George Pataki issued an executive order prohibiting the distribution of driver’s licenses to those in the country illegally to safeguard against terrorists securing IDs…read article

Migrants turn to ‘The Beast’  NEWSDAY; Apr 25, 2019
The train known as “The Beast” is once again rumbling through the night loaded with people headed toward the U.S. border after a raid on a migrant caravan threatened to end the practice of massive highway marches through Mexico…read article

On LI, Cuomo touts ban on plastic bags
NEWSDAY; Apr 23, 2019
Thin plastic bags like those given out at grocery, convenience and retail stores will be banned statewide [March 1, 2020]. Paper bags still will be available but it’ll be up to local governments whether stores will have to charge a 5-cent fee for them.
Suffolk County [currently] has a 5-cent fee on plastic and paper bags that’s kept by stores…read article

LIRR turns 185: ‘A lot has changed’  NEWSDAY; Apr 23, 2019
On April 24, 1834, 12 men signed their names on a state charter establishing a new rail line stretching from Greenport “through or near the middle of Long Island to a point on the water’s edge in the village of Brooklyn.” The new corporation would be known as The Long Island Railroad Company…read story

Fewer take police test  NEWSDAY; Apr 24, 2019
The civil service test to hire new Suffolk County police officers has drawn 19,833 applicants, the fewest in 16 years due to the strong economy, but also has spurred a strong response from minority applicants.
Suffolk Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said that…at least 34 percent of all 19,833 applicants will be minorities. The Suffolk County Legislature’s office of budget review estimated average pay for Suffolk police officers last year at $138,346. “In times of low unemployment, less people apply across the board for civil service jobs — it’s cyclical,” Noel DiGerolamo, president of the Suffolk Police Benevolent Association said. “We’ve seen if before and well see it again.”…read article

Is this the right way to fight racism?
“We don’t advance the cause of fairness if we see prejudice at every interaction.”…read opinion

Inactive lifestyle doesn’t sit well  NEWSDAY; Apr 25, 2019
Americans are becoming increasingly sedentary, spending almost a third of their waking hours sitting down, and computer use is partly to blame, a new study found…read article

Published April 18, 2019

Cutting kidney failure risk  NEWSDAY; Apr 16, 2019
In an international clinical trial that is being hailed as a landmark study, patients with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease who took the drug Invokana found their risk of advancing to full-blown kidney failure declined by a third. That means the medication helped stave off the need for dialysis and kidney transplants, and reduced the risk of death from end-stage renal disease…read article

Big retailers embrace CBD in murky landscape
NEWSDAY; Apr 16, 2019
Mainstream retailers are leaping into the world of CBD, or cannabidiol, a compound derived from hemp and marijuana that doesn’t cause a high.
Stores such as CVS and Walgreens are sticking with skin creams and lotions where the FDA hasn’t specifically expressed concern. Others are “rolling the dice” and selling CBD-infused drinks and supplements
read article

Finding lost retirement benefits  NEWSDAY; Apr 15, 2019
People switch jobs, move, change names and the company or plan provider loses track of them. Or an employee can’t keep track after a company is sold or a plan is terminated. Some people don’t even know they were eligible for a pension, didn’t realize they were vested or were unaware they were automatically enrolled in a 401(k)…read article

Credit score basics you need to know  
NEWSDAY; Apr 14, 2019
Without knowing the basics of credit, just scanning your data is like having the pieces to a puzzle, but not understanding how they fit together. Here’s what to know…read article

A new plan for detox  NEWSDAY; Apr 17, 2019
People treated for overdoses in two Nassau County hospital emergency rooms now seamlessly will be linked to residential treatment where they can detox and move to longer-term residential assistance, under a pilot program aimed at preventing relapses…read article

The New Entrepreneurs  NEWSDAY; Apr 14, 2019
While launching a business always presents challenges, young Long Islanders face two extra hurdles: the high 
cost of housing and high college debt. Beyond the financial considerations, launching a business requires risk tolerance. That’s something many would think comes easier for younger entrepreneurs, but that’s not always the case
read article

Wet weather sets ponds alive NEWSDAY; Apr 14, 2019
After years of dry weather, a wet winter and spring has filled the Island’s natural landscapes with an abundance of seasonal freshwater vernal ponds teeming with fairy shrimp and other woodland creatures. For “the first year in quite a few years,” the vernal ponds — and spring peepers, woodfrogs and other amphibians — are back, said Chris Paparo, a naturalist and manager of Stony Brook University’s Marine Sciences Center in Southampton. “We keep the windows open at night. It’s the song of spring.”…read article

Medford-Firm wants to build fuel cell plant
NEWSDAY; Apr 17, 2019
Bloom Energy Corp., would build the facility at the property of East End Bus Lines, on Horseblock Road.
Fuel cells produce energy by using natural gas to create electrochemical reactions. Bloom Energy officials said the process is done without combustion, as in conventional gas-fired plants, and produces relatively low carbon dioxide emissions. But the proposal faced questions Monday at a meeting of the Brookhaven Town Planning Board…read article

Solar panels planned for Calabro Airport
NEWSDAY; Apr 17, 2019
“These solar projects are a key element of our overall commitment to protect and preserve the environment in Brookhaven,” said Supervisor Edward P. Romaine…read article

School district puts chief on paid leave
NEWSDAY; Apr 17, 2019
The administrative shake-up came less than two days before a crucial vote by the seven member school board on whether to submit a $97 million-plus budget to voters on May 21. As planned, the budget for 2019-20 would be accompanied by a $512,411 ballot proposition to hire armed security guards, which would push Eastport-South Manor over its state-assigned tax cap…read article

Wyandanch - A district failing its mission
Wyandanch voters should express frustration with mismanagement by rejecting a 42% school tax hike…read editorial

Standing against the loud anti-vax voices
New York State is in a public health crisis. But a small group of loud voices isn’t interested in facts. Instead, protesters who oppose vaccination are using intimidation, ugly phone calls, social media posts and in-person confrontations to go after state lawmakers who are seeking to address the outbreak…read editorial

The needless tax-prep paper chase
Most of us pay taxes based on withholding brackets provided by the government, and withholding forms we fill out. The charts should be right and the forms should ask the proper questions to determine how much we need to pay. If something goes wrong and we end up paying too much or too little, let us know. Otherwise, leave us alone
read opinion

Published April 11, 2019
What’s next on Albany’s plate?  NEWSDAY; Apr 8, 2019
After adopting a $175.5 billion budget, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and legislators are deciding what’s next from a list that includes the long shot of single-payer health care; the more likely protection of renters that could be extended statewide, the uncertain prospects of legalization of marijuana, and the wild card of whether to provide driver’s licenses to immigrants in the United States illegally
read article

A glimpse at Green New Deal  NEWSDAY; Apr 8, 2019
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Bronx/ Queens) introduced her Green New Deal in early February as an urgently necessary blueprint to head off “cataclysmic climate disaster.”The proposal urges a “10-year national mobilization” to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, create millions of high-wage jobs, invest in infrastructure and reverse the “historic oppression” of marginalized communities. It leaves vague how the goals should be achieved. Fact sheets released by Ocasio-Cortez’s office in rolling out the Green New Deal said supporters were aiming for net zero emissions because they can’t get rid of cows and airplanes “that fast.” Critics [also] seized on a guarantee of economic security for those “unable or unwilling to work.” T
he 14-page nonbinding resolution, even at the admission of its defenders, is aspirational
read article

Pot’s impact on cigarette use  NEWSDAY; Apr 8, 2019
“We’re trying to stop people from smoking all kinds of things. Why do you want to legalize marijuana?” Republican New York City councilman Peter Koo asked at a recent city hearing about the state’s potential 
legalization of so-called recreational pot use. Marijuana advocates say there’s no comparison between joints and tobacco cigarettes…read article

Bank of America increasing minimum hourly
wage to $20  
NEWSDAY; Apr 10, 2019
The company, which has more than 200,000 workers, said it is raising its minimum hourly wage to $17 on May 1 and will continue to increase pay until it hits $20 an hour in 2021…read article

U.S. adds 196G jobs for March  NEWSDAY; Apr 6, 2019
Even with the current expansion nearly 10 years old, the U.S. economy remains resilient and is expected to grow at a steady pace this year
read article

New push to end NY vaccination loophole
NEWSDAY; Apr 10, 2019
One proposal would end exemptions for childhood vaccinations based on nonmedical — often religious — reasons. Another would allow minors who are 14 years and older to get vaccinated without the need for parental approval…read article
Related article…
Vaccine wars  NEWSDAY; Apr 7, 2019
Some of the fake news online about health and medicine appears to be spread by people who may genuinely believe it. Some seems intended to wreak havoc in public discourse. And some appears to be for financial gain…read article

New Link in the food chain  NEWSDAY; Apr 9, 2019
Throwing out good food may be a sin, but sometimes finding a place to donate it requires the patience of a saint. A new city-run web portal is designed to connect restaurants, grocery stores and other commercial food establishments with nonprofits and other groups that help feed New Yorkers in need…read article

LI district eyes bus cuts  NEWSDAY; Apr 8, 2019
Beleaguered Wyandanch school leaders are calling for a $1 million-plus cut in bus transportation amid efforts to avoid what state auditors warn is the risk of a $3.7 million budget deficit, a hefty tax hike for property owners or painful slashes in other student programs
read article

Residents protest over potential LIPA tax cut
NEWSDAY; Apr 8, 2019
LIPA has offered a settlement that would forgive hundreds of millions in past-due taxes since 2010, and gradually reduce the annual tax over nine years to just over $40 million…read article

Plastic straw ban approved  NEWSDAY; Apr 10, 2019
Straws and stirrers would be by-request-only in sit-down restaurants and would have to be biodegradable — not plastic — in food establishments and self-service beverage stations starting Jan. 1 under a bill passed by the Suffolk Legislature. A separate bill that also passed would ban restaurants from using polystyrene foam takeout containers. “This is sweeping legislation to begin weeding out single-use plastics,” said Legis. Kara Hahn (D-Setauket), the lead sponsor of the bills article

Habla Español? Cops say ‘sí’  NEWSDAY; Apr 7, 2019
“Part of the motivation for this for me is a community like Brentwood, which is about 58 percent Spanish-speaking, so the majority of the people the cops who patrol Brentwood are dealing with are Spanish speaking,” SCPD Chief of Department Stuart Cameron, said. “There is a community outreach portion of this. We need to be able to communicate with the people we serve.”…read article

Taxes mired in confusion  NEWSDAY; Apr 9, 2019
Unclear if grants for Suffolk sewers trigger IRS debt. Homeowners are complaining they had not expected to pay thousands of dollars more in taxes on the grants…read article

TOB-Municipal pact to save on salt, drainage
NEWSDAY; Apr 9, 2019
The Brookhaven Town Highway Department has entered into an intermunicipal agreement with the North Patchogue Fire District to repair drainage and purchase salt and sand…read article

Minimum student teaching time increased in NY NEWSDAY; April 10, 2019
The state Board of Regents, which sets education policy, unanimously approved new rules that will extend minimum student-teaching time from 40 days to 70 days — the equivalent of an entire semester
read article

NY teachers protest digital tests for kids
NEWSDAY; Apr 9, 2019
Jolene DiBrango, the New York State United Teachers union’s executive vice president, said the organization’s calls for a longer halt stem from a number of misgivings, including doubts that computer- based testing is appropriate for elementary-age children. Demands for a long-term shutdown of computer-based tests, or CBTs, came from leaders of New York State United Teachers after last week’s temporary suspension statewide of the digital English Language Arts exam. The stoppage occurred when database servers overloaded because of increased use…read article

School emergency plans found lacking
NEWSDAY; Apr 10, 2019
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said Tuesday the audit found many schools visited by his team couldn’t show that they had adopted annual safety plans or shared them with local law enforcement…read article

NYC’s outbreak a warning for LI
State lawmakers must pass legislation that would end all exemptions except for a medical one. State health officials must continue to help school districts with challenges rooted in immigration. And Long Island should learn from the ongoing outbreak. Don’t assume your school or your community is immune. There is only one real course of action: Vaccinate…read editorial

School bus cams could save lives
The New York Association for Pupil Transportation, which represents school bus managers, estimates 50,000 motor vehicles illegally pass school buses in the state each day, but Suffolk County police issued only 118 -tickets for the act last year. Police say it’s difficult to catch violators because cops have to see the risky behavior to write a ticket
read editorial

The quest and sum of our species
NEWSDAY OPINiON; Apr 7, 2019
The headline was rather audacious: “Japanese spacecraft blasts crater in asteroid.” The mind immediately flashed to Bruce Willis and his motley crew of oil drillers saving the world from Armageddon by blowing up a hunk of collision-course space rock with a nuclear bomb
read opinion

Published Apr 4, 2019
Delay on health care plan  NEWSDAY; April 3, 2019
President Donald Trump is postponing his push to replace the Affordable Care Act with a Republican-led plan until “right after” the 2020 election…read article

Fight over healthcare: A look at the proposals
NEWSDAY; Mar 31, 2019
The difficulty of achieving any consensus on health care reform is reflected in the spectrum of positions favored by stakeholders: hospitals, physicians, insurers, governments, unions and business groups…read article

How environment fares in budget  NEWSDAY; Apr 3, 2019
Food scrap recycling, a plastic carryout bag ban and $500 million in water infrastructure funding were approved in New York’s state budget, but there’s no statewide fee for paper bags or expansion of the state’s bottle bill to encourage recycling…read article

Charges upgraded in triple-fatal crash
NEWSDAY; Mar 29, 2019
Nahriek Belford, 17, a Bellport teen, hit 106 mph on Middle Country Road in Middle Island before he hit a Honda CRV, cutting it in half, on Feb. 9, Assistant District Attorney Jacob DeLauter said. The impact killed the couple in the Honda, Jerome Weingarten, 74, and his wife, Randee Weingarten, 71, and also killed Belford’s brother, Angelo Belford, 19…read article

A 14-ton reminder of terror  NEWSDAY; Apr 1, 2019
 A 14-ton Nazi-era “cattle car” — like those used to ferry humans to the Holocaust death camps but also a wood and steel reminder of genocide — descended from a crane onto a Battery Park City sidewalk Sunday
read story

Gov expected to sign bill raising smoking age to 21 NEWSDAY; Apr 2, 2019
The State Senate gave final legislative approval on Monday to a measure that will prohibit the sale of tobacco products, herbal cigarettes and tobacco vaping products to anyone under 21 years
old in New York…
read article

How the NY budget affect Long Island  NEWSDAY; Apr 1, 2019
Here is a look at highlights, odds and ends and last minute surprises of what’s in and what’s out of New York’s new budget…read article

$70M tax hike for Suffolk septic fix  NEWSDAY; Mar 28, 2019
Environmental groups are pushing for a Suffolk County ballot measure that would raise $70 million a year through either property taxes or water bills to combat nitrogen in waterways…read article

Suffolk gov’t $200G workers way up in 2018
NEWSDAY; April 2, 2019
More than 1,200 Suffolk County employees made more than $200,000 in 2018 — nearly a 25 percent increase from 2017— with retiring law enforcement officers getting the largest total payouts…read article   

Call for end to gender pay gap  NEWSDAY; Apr 3, 2019
Female workers on Long Island are paid 80 cents for every $1 earned by their male counterparts, a pay gap that local and state leaders on Tuesday vowed to end. “The gender pay gap is shrinking because women are making different educational and career choices,” said Merrill Matthews of the conservative think tank Institute for Policy Innovation in Irving, Texas. “The left ignores those changes because it needs victims, not success stories.”…read article

3 towns get recycle alert  NEWSDAY; Mar 31, 2019
The letter sent by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Dec. 20 said towns that stopped glass pickup violated state law, which requires a detailed analysis before materials are dropped from recycling programs.
Despite public expectations that glass is recycled into new containers, the towns and private recyclers said there’s been virtually no market to sell glass for decades, and instead the vast majority of material is taken to Brookhaven’s landfill, where it’s used as cover to keep down dust and odors…read article

Brookhaven-Recycling by committee  NEWSDAY; Apr 3, 2019
Brookhaven officials have appointed a committee including residents, town employees and a college student to improve recycling — and get more people to do it…read article

A smart cure for opt-out spring fever
The kindergarten through eighth-grade students of Rockville Centre sit for computerized tests in math and 
English several times a year. None of them ever refuse to take the tests,If no one opts out of the adaptive tests in Rockville Centre, it’s at least possible few would opt out of such tests if they became the state standard — and a part of how teacher success is measured. And then, if opt-outs did continue, we would know they were all about the teachers and not at all about the tests
read opinion

Focus on bus safety  NEWSDAY; Mar 31, 2019
East Meadow’s 30-day pilot program, expected to occur before the end of the school year in June, will install cameras on about a dozen of the district’s 60 buses, officials said. The district serves 4,000 students who take a bus. No tickets will be issued during the test period. An estimated 50,000 motor vehicles illegally pass New York State school buses every day. The State Assembly overwhelmingly passed a bill this month to make these school bus camera programs, including the issuance of fines, legal across New York. The State Senate is expected to vote within weeks. The bill provides that the local municipality would decide whether to install the stop arm cameras on school buses
read article

NY’s ‘prevailing’ protection racket
“Few public policies carry a more misleading moniker than New York’s “prevailing wage” law for public works projects — a job-destroying cost-escalator that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the State Legislature may be on the verge of expanding as part of their impending state budget deal.”…read opinion

Health care policy changes less likely
“Expect the nation’s health-insurance system to remain adrift.”
read column

A huge boost to build transit  NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Apr 1, 2019
“This is still the MTA, and the first concern is that the bureaucratic behemoth will gobble up the money with little improvement.”
read editorial

View from the top – Women in charge
NEWSDAY; Mar 31, 2019
Five  women CEO’s reflect on climbing the corporate ladder and what it takes to lead their companies…read story

Experts: Do the walk of life  NEWSDAY; Mar 31, 2019
“For most people, it’s more enjoyable to exercise outside instead of being on the treadmill or staring at the wall inside a gym.”
read article

Fossils capture day asteroid killed dinosaurs
NEWSDAY; Apr 1, 2018
New research released Friday captures a fossilized snapshot of the day nearly 66 million years ago when an asteroid smacked Earth
read article

Published Mar 28, 2019
In Coram, a nightmare fire NEWSDAY; Mar 27, 2019
Woman, 71, dies amid falling debris as flames engulf a four-unit building at Fairfield Courtyard at Coram apartment complex located on Country Club Drive just off of Middle Country Road…read article

Cuomo renews plea to enact permanent property
tax cap
  NEWSDAY; Mar 25, 2019
“This hand will never sign a budget that doesn’t have a permanent property tax cap,” he said…read article

Pushing for driver’s licenses  NEWSDAY; Mar 24, 2019
New York is again considering legalizing driver’s licenses for people who are in the country illegally…read article

Boomin ‘birth tourism’ NEWSDAY; Mar 24, 2019
Every year, hundreds of pregnant Russian women travel to the United States to give birth so that their child can acquire all the privileges of American citizenship.
The Russians are part of a wave of “birth tourists” that includes sizable numbers of women from China and Nigeria. The Center for Immigration Studies, a group that advocates for stricter immigration laws, estimated that in 2012, about 36,000 foreign-born women gave birth here, then left the country…read opinion

1,4-dioxane alert  NEWSDAY; Mar 27, 2019
The products with the highest levels include Victoria Secret’s shower gels, Tide Original laundry detergent and 
Dreft Stage 1/Newborn baby laundry detergent…read article

Who drives LI’s school buses?  NEWSDAY; Mar 24, 2019
Hundreds of thousands of kids get up every morning, wolf down a bowl of cereal and hop on a school bus. But who’s driving them? article

Casting votes in Spanish  NEWSDAY; Mar 25, 2019
For the first time, most of Long Island’s 124 public school districts plan to provide ballots in both English and Spanish for the May budget and board vote…read article

LI jobless rate falls to 3.7 percent  NEWSDAY; Mar 27, 2019
Suffolk tied with Queens and Ulster for the sixth-lowest rate —4 percent…read article

Suffolk panel votes to raise water rates 6.6%
NEWSDAY; Mar 27, 2019
The Suffolk County Water Authority board voted to increase water rates by 6.6 percent for most customers April 1 and create a two-tier rate system for customers. The two-tier rate plan could affect about 25 percent of SCWA’s 385,000 customers who use more than 78,540 gallons in any quarter. The authority will charge a 20 percent premium for usage over the limit…read article

ISLIP-Residents try to stop election  NEWSDAY; Mar 27, 2019
They allege the at-large system violates the Voting Rights Act and are seeking to create councilmanic districts.
The lack of political power has also led to discrimination and substandard town services in Latino areas, the lawsuit said…read article

Avoiding traps before taking a student loan
NEWSDAY; Mar 24, 2019
Says Daniel T. Kirsch, author of “Sold My Soul for a Student Loan”: “We’re encouraging everyone to take out debt and calling it ‘good debt.’ “ But student debt isn’t good when your degree doesn’t lead to a job that earns 
enough to repay it…read article

America must retreat from abyss
“Our declining happiness is disturbing, but we can regain our famous optimism.”…read opinion

Advice for students who travel  NEWSDAY; Mar 27, 2019
As tens of thousands of U.S. college students prepare for trips abroad for classes, volunteering or a vacation, they should start planning weeks in advance to make sure they get the shots and medications they need to avoid common illnesses…read article

Published Mar 21, 2019
Cuomo drops legal pot from proposed budget
NEWSDAY; Mar 20, 2019
Cuomo said he no longer is including in his budget proposal revenue from the taxation of marijuana—which was to be dedicated to repair and improvements at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. He said he has replaced it with revenue from a proposed pied-à-terre tax
read article

Tax compensation pushed  NEWSDAY; Mar 18, 2019
Democratic state senators from Long Island advocated Sunday for a $200 million plan to compensate Nassau homeowners projected to see tax hikes under a countywide reassessment. Senate officials have said the proposal could cost the state $27 million for the first year and more than $200 million overall…read article

With LIPA tax challenge in court, flurry in Albany NEWSDAY; Mar 15, 2019
LIPA pays around $82 million a year in taxes for the Northport power plant, the majority of which funds the Northport-East Northport school district.
LIPA says it is overassessed and has offered a settlement that would gradually reduce the tax payment by half over nine years, but the town has rebuffed the offer. This week, legislators  introduced bills, amendments or budget proposals that would provide upward of $70 million in [state] funding to help offset any large tax bill resulting from challenges across the state, including to school districts. LIPA has challenged assessments on four of National Grid’s largest power stations or plantproperties, including in Port Jefferson, Glenwood Landing and Island Park. It’s already reached a settlement with Brookhaven and Port Jefferson village over the Port Jefferson plant, leading to a 50 percent reduction in taxes over nine years
read article

Rosy U.S. jobs picture NEWSDAY; Mar 16, 2019
U.S. employers posted nearly 7.6 million open jobs in January, near a record high set in November, evidence 
that businesses are still hungry for workers despite signs the economy has slowed…read article

Poll: Losing Amazon was bad for NY
NEWSDAY; Mar 19, 2019
“Even 56 percent of self-described liberals think it was bad for New York,” said Steven Greenberg, spokesman for the Siena poll
read article

Tax cap boosting LI school budget OK’s
NEWSDAY; Mar 17, 2019
Long Island voters have approved school budgets at record-high rates since the adoption of state spending restrictions, which has helped slow annual growth of school taxation to 1.9 percent from more than 6 percent a decade earlier…read article

The high cost of child care  NEWSDAY; Mar 17, 2019
The high cost of day care is squeezing Long Island parents, many of whom say services are so unaffordable it makes more financial sense for one parent to stop working and stay home with the kids, to limit their families to one child, or to move to another state…read article

Fighting senior scams  NEWSDAY; Mar 20, 2019
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder declared war Tuesday on the 
phone fraudsters, email scammers and other con artists who try to rip off senior citizens and other residents…read article

Slicing the sales-tax pie  NEWSDAY; Mar 19, 2019
Suffolk County’s 10 towns are seeking a portion of a proposed internet sales tax, pointing to similar revenue-sharing agreements in Nassau and other counties…read article

Bellone seeks to hire outside lawyers for probe
NEWSDAY; Mar 19, 2019
[Suffolk] County attorney Dennis Brown said his staff had no one “with the requisite expertise” to adequately 
represent the county. Due to the “highly sensitive nature of such an investigation it would be in the county’s best interest to retain an outside law firm,” he said. Brown said Littler Mendelson had the “most impressive record” and said its rates, from $370 to $621 per hour, are “fair and competitive.”…read article

Living a healthy life  NEWSDAY; Mar 19, 2019
Suffolk County ranked 16th out of the state’s 62 counties in health outcomes. “Health outcomes are largely 
based on the social determinants of health, which include economic status, education, social support, access to health care and the built environment,” according to Suffolk Health Commissioner Dr. James L. Tomarken
read article

Facility may convert food waste to energy
NEWSDAY; Mar 19, 2019
American Organic Energy, an affiliate of Long Island Compost of Westbury, will make a presentation at LIPA’s Uniondale headquarters on Wednesday of its plan for a 50,000-square-foot anaerobic digester at its Yaphank vegetative waste facility…read article

Bellone pushes for police diversity NEWSDAY; Mar 18, 2019
Applications for the entrance exam are available at The application deadline is April 3 and the entrance exam is on June 15
read article

Price ‘value’ in Suffolk  NEWSDAY; Mar 15, 2019
Looking at the number of sale contracts signed last month, buyers seem to be flocking to Suffolk County. The number of pending sales increased year over year by 12.3 percent in Suffolk, while the number of pending 
sales in Nassau held steady from a year earlier
read article

TOB- Demolitions, runway lighting, recycling
NEWSDAY; Mar 19, 2019
Brookhaven Town officials set six public hearings on proposals to demolish vacant and abandoned houses across town…read article

Diversity forum for LI educators  NEWSDAY; Mar 17, 2019
“It’s very easy for us to be ignorant of each other, because we don’t live together; our children don’t go to school together,” said ERASE Racism president Elaine Gross, who noted that Long Island is one of the most segregated regions in the country…read article

College dreams, despair  NEWSDAY; Mar 17, 2019
Andrew Belasco, the chief executive officer of College Transitions, an Atlanta-based admissions consulting company, said it receives inquiries from families with children who are as young as fourth- and fifth graders. “We tell those parents to call back,” he said…read article

Tax question turns septic  NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Mar 20, 2019
“This one is on Republican County Comptroller John Kennedy, who rarely misses an opportunity to politicize an issue involving Democratic County Executive Steve Bellone. Kennedy says he plans to seek an opinion from the IRS on who should receive the tax forms. He should have done that before sending them out, not after.”…read editorial

Don’t rush a new law on prevailing wage
“While the legislation could make union labor more competitive with nonunion shops that offer lower wages, it also could increase business, construction and housing costs by an estimated 25 percent. If done poorly, requiring prevailing wages could deal an economic blow, potentially making the construction of affordable housing, multifamily developments and big projects like the Nassau Hub more difficult. Yet four Long Island state senators — John Brooks, James Gaughran, Anna Kaplan and Monica Martinez — co-sponsored the legislation.”
read editorial

How affirmative action helps the rich
“Affirmative action, like sports, has become another way for privileged Americans to get a leg up. In a recent lawsuit alleging discrimination against Asian-American applicants at Harvard, for example, the university’s own analysis showed that 71 percent of African-American and Latino students there came from wealthy backgrounds. Our elite colleges remain playgrounds of the rich, where people come from different racial backgrounds but mostly from the same ZIP codes. And that might be the biggest scandal of all.”…read opinion

Albany stumbles on reassessment
“State budget director Robert Mujica, who states every other minute that there is not enough money in the pot for health care, education and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said of the plan, “There is no funding for Nassau’s tax assessment.” Besides, the New York City-centric Assembly would never agree to send another $200 million to one of the richest counties in the United States. And lastly, how long will it have taken non-Nassau lawmakers to remember that the county got a $100 million state bailout in 2000.”…read article

Building positivity in teens NEWSDAY; Mar 20, 2019
About 250 students, teachers, social workers and administrators from 28 high schools throughout Nassau County focused on issues such as mental health, building self-esteem and positive coping skills during Long Island’s first Youth Wellness Summit on Tuesday. This was the first such summit to be held in New York State by the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide. Adelphi University student Stacy Brief of Bellmore, a Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide volunteer, hopes to expand the initiative to include Suffolk County schools next year
read article

Published Mar 14, 2019
Cuomo: Weed OK unlikely in budget
NEWSDAY; Mar 13, 2019
“I’ve been to this show before,” said Cuomo in dealing with the first budget of his third term. “You’re two weeks from a budget … there is a wide divide on marijuana.” Cuomo also said making the local property tax cap permanent and criminal justice reform, including ending cash bail in most cases, will be among his top priorities in the budget talks. Cuomo said a late budget would still likely cost legislators their $10,000 raises due in 2020 under a pay raise law adopted in December
read article

Ethics panel faces push to revamp NEWSDAY; Mar 11, 2019
The state ethics board that has long been criticized for being too close to the elected officials who appoint its commissioners and for cloaking its actions in secrecy is now facing its strongest challenge from the State Legislature. “It’s a political creature, not an independent one and you add to it that they operate in secret and this is an entity that should be scrapped,” Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group said…read article

Plan to aid [NASSAU] homeowners NEWSDAY; Mar 13, 2019
The State Senate is proposing to compensate Nassau County homeowners who see their taxes rise under a new property reassessment program. Qualifying homeowners would be able to claim a tax credit to offset any tax increases implemented in the first year of County Executive Laura Curran’s proposed five-year phase-in for new assessments of residential properties…read article

Schumer: Finalize E-Cig rules NEWSDAY; Mar 11, 2019
Schumer said the FDA should finalize a ban of flavored e-cigarettes in convenience stores where he said kids tend to be customers, as well as define e-cigarettes as tobacco products…read article

Democrats: Legalize it NEWSDAY; Mar 10, 2019
A growing list of Democratic presidential contenders want the U.S. government to legalize marijuana. In the late 1960's — the era of Woodstock and Vietnam — 12 percent of Americans supported legalization, according to the Gallup poll. By last year, the figure hit a record 66 percent. About 75 percent of Democrats support legalization, along with a slim majority of Republicans…read article

Fire officials discuss volunteering’s challenges
NEWSDAY; Mar 10, 2019
The fire association is asking the State Legislature to allow volunteer departments, which are spread across Long Island, to bill for these services [EMS services]. Steven Klein, president of the Firemen’s Association of 
the State of New York, noted that commercial ambulance services and standalone volunteer ambulance corps are permitted to bill for such services. Klein noted that many volunteer departments are suffering budget constraints, and that their lifesaving abilities could be compromised without this law…read article

New ID cards may help those with disabilities
NEWSDAY; Mar 10, 2019
The repetitive   The lack of eye contact or failure to respond to simple questions. Outbursts that can become physical. For millions of families with loved ones on the autism spectrum, the behavior is all too familiar. But through the eyes of a police officer or first-responder, the signs can be confusing — or potentially threatening…read article

2.5% Long Island School Tax Hike NEWSDAY; Mar 7, 2019
Nearly all of the roughly 700 school districts statewide expect proposed spending plans to stay within their local tax cap, the report said, with only 13 indicating they plan to ask voters to approve overrides. The vote on budgets and school board candidates is May 21…read article

Study shows lack of LI teacher diversity
NEWSDAY; Mar 10, 2019
Student demographics in the Nassau-Suffolk region shifted dramatically over the past decade. Latino enrollments jumped from 14.5 percent of the total in 2006 to 26 percent in 2017. Students of Asian heritage grew from 5.5 percent to 8 percent. Meanwhile, blacks decreased from 11 percent to 8.5 percent, and whites dropped from 69 percent to 55 percent. Teacher demographics remained relatively stable during the same period. The share of white teachers dipped one percentage point — to 92 percent…read article

Maryhaven – Residential school for the disabled closing NEWSDAY; Mar 7, 2019
Maryhaven Center of Hope will not close the school until all 71 students ages 5 to 21 are placed elsewhere, said Chris Hendriks, spokeswoman for Catholic Health Services, of which Maryhaven is a part. There are five similar residential schools on Long Island…read article

A role model keeps rolling along NEWSDAY; Mar 11, 2019
Edward Groce’s influence as a Suffolk County police officer goes further than just keeping his community safe. Groce, 45, transferred from the Sixth Precinct to the department’s Community Relations Bureau in 2012 and became the Police Athletic League coordinator for Central Islip, Brentwood and Bay Shore.
His efforts earned him an honor alongside six other Islip residents recognized by the town during its Black History Month celebration in February…read article

Seeking to recoup Burke’s pay Newsday; Mar 12, 2019
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone signed legislation Monday to sue to recoup salary and benefits from convicted ex-Police Chief James Burke over the beating of a burglary suspect and the cover-up. He also directed a similar suit be filed against ex-District Attorney Thomas Spota. Bellone’s directive comes after union officials raised concerns during debate on the bill that it would set a precedent, allowing the county to go after the pay of other county employees. Because of those concerns, GOP sponsor Legis. Robert Trotta of Fort Salonga amended his bill to make clear the resolution was “strictly limited” to Burke
read article

DEC: Odor broke rules NEWSDAY; Mar 13, 2019
Brookhaven officials said Tuesday that the release of odors was inadvertent and stemmed in part from poor weather that hampered the town’s plan to install a cap, or cover, to reduce smells caused by the landfill. Town officials said they had completed the capping project in January and installed wells that would remove hydrogen sulfide and other gases…read article

Brookhaven - 45,000 LED lights on pace
NEWSDAY; Mar 7, 2019
Brookhaven Town Highway officials say they are on pace to replace all of the town’s 45,000 outdated streetlights by the end of next year
read article

Relax, it’s time to learn NEWSDAY; Mar 11, 2019
The chairs are on wheels and offer two ways in which to sit. Students stash their books and belongings in bins beneath the seat. Instead of desks lined up in rows, there are tables, each with an erasable whiteboard surface. The children can choose taller tables or lower ones. The walls are painted bright colors and sectional couches are available as alternative spots for reading and studying…read article

State lagging in special ed NEWSDAY; Mar 13, 2019
New York lags behind many other states in the delivery of special education services, and dozens of school districts on Long Island and elsewhere need to boost student achievement in this area…read article

Time to govern for Albany Dems
The Senate and Assembly are at odds. Senate Democrats argue among themselves. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo says the new Senate majority is not used to governing and must step up. Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins says Cuomo suffers from SDDS—Senate Democratic Derangement Syndrome. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says Cuomo’s comments about his members doing the bidding of teachers unions were “inflammatory” and “unacceptable.” The result is that the budgets offered by Cuomo and the two chambers are $1 billion or more apart and leave too many big issues unresolved…read editorial

Restore integrity to the ballot NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Mar 10, 2019
Five people ran for governor of New York last fall. But when voters went to polling places on Election Day, they found those five names listed on 10 different ballot lines.
That’s fusion voting— being allowed to appear on multiple ballot lines by receiving cross-endorsements from different parties. And it stinks…read editorial

Stop a disease that can kill quickly
“I read the news of two more meningitis B cases on a New York university campus. For many — including my daughter, who died after contracting meningitis B— it’s too late.” But we need to prevent even one more case from happening…read opinion

Communities have a role in wind power
Wind power is hugely important for Long Island, and the entire state, as we try to wean ourselves off fossil fuels as our main source of power.
The potential for jobs and associated businesses is huge. Wind developers should keep local officials informed, build community support at the beginning of the process, listen to concerns, respond to ones that are reasonable and explain why others are not justified. The turbines aren’t the only things out in the ocean. So is our energy future…read editorial

Amazon delivers lessons for NY 
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez [had] suggested the state was willing to “give away” $3 billion that could have been invested in her district, a comment that showed a lack of understanding of how the incentives, mostly a credit against the far larger $27 billion pot of tax revenue Amazon would’ve contributed, work. Consider the welcome mat still out, and the coffee pot still on. If Amazon wants to find its way back to New York, there are now signs of a way forward for the tech giant, a path smoothed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, and decorated by softer rhetoric from opponents and stronger support from those who previously stood in the background…read editorial

Flu season might have peaked NEWSDAY; Mar 11, 2019
But a nastier strain of the virus has officials concerned. The week of Feb. 25, about 60 percent of the flu virus samples tested were the more troublesome strain, known as Type AH3N2…read article

Study: Insufficient sleep on the rise NEWSDAY; Mar 10, 2019
Experts say adults 18 to 60 years old should get at least seven hours of sleep per night, with more shut-eye recommended for children and older adults.
A leading culprit may be in your hand: smartphones and other electronic devices that many look at in bed…read article

Published Mar 7, 2019
John Roebling & the Brooklyn Bridge 
The magnificent Brooklyn Bridge becomes the last great work of an ageread story

Quiz kids strut their science NEWSDAY; Mar 3, 2019
The next generation of scientists went head to head Saturday against their peers from high schools around Long Island for a chance to compete on the national level. Third place [went to] Longwood Junior High School, Middle Island…read article

Relief on pension costs NEWSDAY; Mar 3, 2019
The New York State Teachers’ Retirement System, one of the nation’s biggest [guaranteed defined benefit] pension programs, has announced that contributions required from districts statewide will fall to an estimated 8.86 percent of payrolls during the next school year — down from 10.62 percent this year. Other school costs will rise as usual, especially spending on salaries and health benefits. Although the stock market’s 2017 performance is seen as a boon for districts, it comes with a qualifying footnote. That market expansion was followed by a slump in 2018, which probably will mean higher pension contributions in 2020-21, teachers’ retirement fund officials said…read article

Urging permanent cap NEWSDAY; Mar 1, 2019
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday urged swift passage of a permanent property tax cap. Since the state cap was imposed, local property tax growth has averaged 1.9 percent, compared with 5.3 percent growth between 2000 and 2010, according to the Cuomo administration…read article

Cuomo plan faces LI hurdles NEWSDAY; Mar 3, 2019
A growing rift between the Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the Senate’s new Democratic majority is the backdrop for a fight over whether thousands of commuters from Long Island and Queens will be double charged under a plan to reduce traffic congestion in Manhattan…read article

Pot, race and justice NEWSDAY; Mar 6, 2019
In Suffolk, blacks and Latinos accounted for 66 percent of marijuana possession arrests in 2017, and were 29 percent of the population, according to a report by Start SMART NY. Whites were 69 percent of the population in Suffolk and accounted for 32 percent of marijuana arrests. The report comes as Long Island municipalities are holding hearings and town hall meetings to consider the implications of legalization in their communities…read article

More hospitals on LI getting armed guards
NEWSDAY; Mar 4, 2019
Northwell expects to have armed guards in all its 13 LongIsland hospitals—and all 23 regionwide— within the next several months. Northwell officials said the hospital system’s beefed-up security — including armed guards and the installation of gates at entrances — likely…read article

Bellone offers end run to tax cap NEWSDAY; Mar 6, 2019
The Bellone proposal centers on the idea of rebranding property tax payments as charitable contributions. It mirrors a proposal offered by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo — one that the Internal Revenue Service already has said is illegal and won’t be approved…read article

Lawmakers vote to sue to recoup Burke salary
NEWSDAY; Mar 6, 2019
[Suffolk County Legislator] Robert Trotta’s (R-Fort Salonga) bill directs the county attorney to file suit against Burke using the “faithless servant doctrine,” which permits employers to withhold pay and benefits for the period in which employees act disloyally or are involved in misdeeds…read article

Patrol shift changes at schools cut NEWSDAY; Mar 5, 2019
Ending the project followed an incident in which a suicidal man who had been arrested previously and committed for treatment “made direct threats to the sector car operators in [the] Kings Park area that he was going to come back to the relief point and shoot them.” Stuart Cameron, chief of department, said the department encountered other issues that made operations more difficult than at local firehouses, which operate around the clock…read article

Partnering to combat Suffolk tick problems
NEWSDAY; Mar 6, 2019
Ticks and the diseases they transmit are major public health concerns that Suffolk municipalities have in common — and towns and villages now can work cooperatively on these issues to help hundreds of thousands of residents, county officials said Tuesday. “By taking collective action, we are expanding education, collection, and analysis to ensure that we have the information and resources at our disposal to deal with these illnesses head on,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in a statement…read article

3 picks for Suffolk commissioners NEWSDAY; Mar 5, 2019
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has nominated Frances Pierre to head the county’s $301 million Department of Social Services, a $171,007-a-year job, along with those of Andrea Neubauer, to become commissioner of the Probation Department, and John Jordan as commissioner of the Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services…read article

TOB_Town, recycling operator near a settlement NEWSDAY; Mar 5, 2019
Town officials said the potential settlement includes a provision requiring Green Stream, or any company that acquires its assets, to convert the town recycling center’s single-stream equipment to dual-stream systems…read article

TOB_Town will repair roads in Setauket district
NEWSDAY; Mar 5, 2019
The Brookhaven Town Highway Department has entered into a shared services agreement with the Setauket Fire District to repair roads and sweep parking lots in the district…read article

Cash, advice keep students on track NEWSDAY; Mar 5, 2019
Dozens of students at four Long Island high schools are getting regular paychecks and motivation in an unusual cash-for-performance project focused on helping teens pass their courses and push toward higher levels of 
academic achievement…read article

Keep New York moving NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Mar 3, 2019
The tolling plan, known as congestion pricing, would feature higher tolls at peak times and has had great success from Singapore to Stockholm.
it’s important to note that we still don’t know what the actual tolls would be. They would be determined by the committee at a later date. But an $11 fee to enter Manhattan’s central business district is a fair estimate. Among the biggest questions: How will the revenue be divided? editorial

An inept plan to fight addiction
As dangerous and powerful as opioids are, most people getting them legally need them and shouldn’t have to 
pay a surcharge on top of their out-of-pocket costs…read editorial

Evidence on need for reform is clear
In criminal cases, where a person’s freedom is at stake, our outdated discovery laws do not require prosecutors to share most of the evidence in their possession until the moment before a trial begins
read opinion

Minor party, major problems NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Mar 6, 2019
New York is one of just four states that allows candidates to appear on multiple parties’ ballot lines, form of fusion voting. It’s an easily corrupted system that shrinks the choices of voters. Six years ago, Suffolk’s district attorney, treasurer and sheriff all ran unopposed on the major and minor party lines…read editorial

Why NY needs a permanent tax cap
“On Long Island, it has saved taxpayers $8.7 billion, with the typical Nassau taxpayer saving $7,611 and the typical Suffolk taxpayer saving $6,284. Our middle class simply cannot sustain a return to the days of skyrocketing property taxes. So let’s cap it for today. And keep it for tomorrow.”…read opinion

State should reject property tax cap
“The truth is this: Despite its good intentions, the tax cap has not reduced the tax burden facing many communities.”…read opinion

The best times for pruning NEWSDAY; Mar 3, 2019
Late winter to early spring is the best time to prune trees and shrubs.
Here are some common plants that would benefit from selective pruning…read article

Sign-ups cool down NEWSDAY; Mar 3, 2019
New sign-ups for geothermal energy-system rebates on Long Island have dropped steadily in the past five years as the cost and complexity of the efficient heating and cooling systems take a toll, officials say
read article

Published Feb 28, 2019
‘Congestion’ price may hit twice NEWSDAY; Feb 27, 2019
Commuters from Long Island and Queens who take the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge [a/k/a Triborough Bridge] and then travel into the proposed congestion pricing district in midtown and lower Manhattan would face double charges under Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s state budget proposal…read article

NYS: Exploring reasons for revenue bind
NEWSDAY; Feb 24, 2019
When Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo saw a surprise $2.8 billion drop in state income tax revenues in December alone, the Democrat blamed most of it on President Donald Trump’s tax overhaul. The new law caps state and local tax deductions, or SALT, on federal income taxes. But fiscal analysts say there are other factors that could have played larger roles. “He’s substantially overstating the effect,” said Jared Walczak, a senior policy analyst at the Tax Foundation think tank. “New York has high taxes and we have seen migration out of high-tax states to other states.”…read article

Cuomo, 7 governors call for SALT cap repeal
NEWSDAY; Feb 23, 2019
Cuomo has joined with seven other governors of high-tax states blaming a $2.3 billion revenue shortfall and an out-migration of New Yorkers on President Donald Trump’s signature tax act. (The New York State Office of the Budget puts the total shortfall at $2.8 billion, because it had previously underestimated revenues by $500 million.)
read article

Criminal justice reform NEWSDAY; Feb 25, 2019
Legislators say they are nearing agreement on bills to change key elements of New York’s criminal justice system, including bail, discovery and speedy trial…read article

Cuomo ranks Amazon ‘tragedy’ NEWSDAY; Feb 23, 2019
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo again blasted fellow Democrats on Friday over Amazon’s backing out of a deal to put 
one of its second headquarters in New York City, calling the internet retailer’s rejection the “greatest tragedy” he has seen since he’s been in government…read article

Cuomo signs ‘red flag’ law NEWSDAY; Feb 26, 2019
New Yorkers deemed by a judge to be a danger to themselves or others will have their guns confiscated under a measure overwhelmingly passed by the Legislature in January and signed into law Monday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. The rest of the package of bills when signed into law will extend the potential waiting period for buying a gun up to 30 days and would ban the arming of teachers as a safeguard against school shootings  [and] ban “bump stocks,” which can allow a rifle’s trigger to be pulled fast to shoot many bullets in seconds…read article

Health insurers now cover prostate tests
NEWSDAY; Feb 25, 2019
A new law quietly went into effect last month that requires health insurers to cover the cost of routine screening for prostate cancer, a measure aimed at encouraging more men to consider the benefits of being tested…read article

Different shades of Medicare NEWSDAY; Feb 24, 2019
Democratic presidential hopefuls are staking out their positions on the concept of “Medicare-for-all.”…read article

Aiming to power up NEWSDAY; Feb 27, 2019
Italian entrepreneurs who migrated to Stony Brook University’s energy incubator to form an innovative-battery startup, StorEn Technologies, [are] adapting vanadium-flow batteries—typically the size of shipping containers and found in utility or industrial settings—for light commercial or household use…read article

NORTHPORT: Face-off on plant taxes
NEWSDAY; Feb 25, 2019
LIPA in a pretrial motion called the town’s assessment of the plant’s valuation of $3.4 billion “simply unsupportable,” given its decreased use, limited remaining life span and the presence of newer, more efficient natural gas plants such as Caithness in Yaphank. John Gross, an attorney for the Northport-East Northport school district, which is not a party to the case, said a ruling against the town would be “devastating” to the district, which has drawn upward of $54 million from the $82 million LIPA tax payment. LIPA argues that the plant is used considerably less than even a decade ago, and “fair taxes” by 2030 would be closer to $3.7 million…read article

Wanted: LIPA answers NEWSDAY; Feb 24, 2019
“We’ll have to decline — we can’t comment on our financial strategies for the project because it’s commercially sensitive information,” Meaghan Wims, a spokeswoman for Orsted, said in an email. That explanation was insufficient for Assemb. Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor), who last month pulled his support of the former Deepwater Wind project over issues of “transparency” from Orsted. Deepwater Wind was acquired by Orsted for $510 million in October…read article

Debate over making pot legal in NYS NEWSDAY; Feb 26, 2019
The Suffolk Legislature hosted a spirited public meeting Monday night over recreational marijuana legalization, with supporters predicting a financial windfall for New York State. The arguments for and against legalization ranged from the personal to the professional. A woman who identified herself only as Susan of Coram, told the legislators she would like Suffolk to opt out of allowing legal marijuana. If the county does opt in, she urged lawmakers to outlaw smoking in multiple unit dwellings so she doesn’t have to get a contact “high” from second- hand smoke…read article

Suffolk sets cyber checkup NEWSDAY; Feb 26, 2019
Suffolk has hired a New York City consulting firm for a “cyber checkup” to determine vulnerabilities in the county’s information technology network. “This is a very serious matter,” County Executive Steve Bellone said at a news conference in Hauppauge. The county will pay Red-Land Strategies $55,000 to conduct the five-month assessment. The firm is led by Michael A. L. Balboni, a former New York state senator and former state deputy secretary for public safety
read article

Republicans pick Kennedy to face Bellone
NEWSDAY; Feb 26, 2019
Brookhaven Supervisor Edward Romaine, who nominated Kennedy, said the comptroller has faced uphill battles before, winning four years ago with only one ballot line and $120,000 against a foe who had four lines, and outspent him by eight times. “He is undoubtedly the leader Suffolk needs now,” Romaine said…read article

New Walmart planned NEWSDAY; Feb 26, 2019
A long-rumored plan to open a Walmart Supercenter in a housing and retail complex slated for the former Parr Meadows horse racing track in Yaphank is moving ahead. As for The Boulevard, formerly called the Meadows at Yaphank, construction on the $450 million project started in 2015. In the development, 935 apartments, townhouses and condos; a 118-bed assisted-living facility called Chelsea Senior Living [actually 2 separate buildings: memory care and assisted living]; and a 146-room Home2 Suites by Hilton hotel are under construction and connect via roadways, walkways and bike lanes to an area with stores, restaurants and service businesses…read article

If only…we had done it NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Feb 24, 2019
Missed chances illustrate why Long Island must be ready to seize opportunities to better position itself for the future…read editorial

Tax to support housing could be a model for LI
Assemb. Fred Thiele’s legislation, which also is being introduced by Sen. Ken LaValle, would authorize the five East End towns to levy a 0.5 percent real estate transfer tax and use the money to build affordable housing including, most important, rentals, and offer no-interest loans to first-time home buyers, among other options…read article

Protecting accounts for after your death
NEWSDAY; Feb 25, 2019
What happens to your digital assets when you die? That’s a question many people haven’t thought about. The ramifications can be huge
read article

Decluttering your accounts, obligations, balance sheets NEWSDAY; Feb 24, 2019
Here’s how financial minimalism can help you clarify goals, reduce stress and focus on what matters…read article

Bipolar Disorder: Finding a path to ‘a normal life’ NEWSDAY; Feb 24, 2019
Sean Zagorski remembers feeling regularly depressed starting in the eighth grade. In his sophomore year, he told a guidance counselor he wanted to commit suicide. By his senior year at Walt Whitman High School, he began experiencing mania, the other trait of bipolar disorder. He told friends, “I’m going to conquer world peace, I’m like Superman, no one’s going to stop me.” An estimated 4.4 percent of U.S. adults experience bipolar disorder at some point in their lives
read article

Published Feb 21, 2019
“I am Amaya” NEWSDAY; Feb 17, 2019
Amaya Williams saw an opening to shoot. It was an opportunity she had waited for her whole life. An opportunity most did not think was possible. But there she was, playing in front of adoring students, faculty and fans in the Copiague High School gymnasium, everyone watching the flight of her three-point attempt. Swish. The gym erupted. Amaya raised her hands, let the sound of the cheers wash over her, and headed back down the court, her prosthetic legs shaking under her…read story

Longford, Lions win in hunt for title NEWSDAY; Feb 20, 2019
The Longwood girls basketball program has waited nearly two decades hoping to secure its second-ever Suffolk county title. Following their performance Tuesday night, they’ll have an opportunity to capture
that elusive championship on Friday. “This is what we’ve been  working for,” said Nyia Longford, who had 19 points and 11 rebounds. Longwood (20-2), which last won the county title in Class A in 2000 will face Northport in the county final at 7 p.m. at Whitman…read story 

Amazon cancels NYC HQ NEWSDAY; Feb 15, 2019
Backlash over tax breaks prompts tech giant to cancel campus in NYC. New York State is no longer open for business — that’s the effect of Amazon’s decision to cancel plans for a second headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, some experts said Thursday….read article
Also included…”Closed for business” ”Cuomo faults LI democrats”“LI tech firms happy to keep talent”

Amazon pullout followed push for union
NEWSDAY; Feb 16, 2019
The prize was clear: A promised 25,000 jobs with an average salary of $150,000, but Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio were urging Amazon to hire a union workforce…read article

Activists 1, Amazon 0, NYC -25,000
Maybe if no one offered state or local tax incentives, companies would use different factors to figure out future locations. But for now, that isn’t the case. So how will New York fare if nearby states don’t also ditch tax 
incentives and join the revolution? Then it’s New York’s greatness vs. others’ billions of dollars…read opinion 

A gift for the state GOP NEWSDAY OPINION; Feb 16, 2019
Suffolk County GOP chair John Jay LaValle said he can see the campaign flyers with photos of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Stewart-Cousins labeled anti-business. “We warned that this would happen if the Democrats took control, and it only took six weeks for them to prove us right,” he said…read opinion

Pullout may alter NY politics NEWSDAY; Feb 15, 2019
It was perhaps Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s biggest setback in nine years in office and the biggest win yet for the political left and grass roots organizers who have budded in New York since the Occupy Wall Street movement, observers say…read article

Nothing to celebrate NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Feb 15, 2019
The Amazon debacle is a worrisome sign of a new direction in Democratic politics. Newly elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, State Sen. Jessica Ramos, City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, and several candidates for New York City’s public advocate, including Nomiki Konst, were among those cheering. “Na na na na . . . na na na na . . . Hey hey hey . . . GOODBYE,” tweeted Konst…read article

The Amazon deal undone NEWSDAY LETTERS; Feb 17, 2019
Letters to the Editor on New Yorker’s reactions to Amazon pulling out
read letters

$840M to clean LI’s water NEWSDAY; Feb 18, 2019
Price of adding treatment systems to contaminated wells could cause rates to double, water providers say. A 1 percent rate increases generate roughly $1.2 million in additional revenue. It would take a 42 percent rate increase to raise $50 million. Average residential water bills are $410 a year for Suffolk authority customers, who use 160,000 gallons…read article

Bids are in for offshore wind energy NEWSDAY; Feb 16, 2019
Plans to begin displacing power from some of Long Island’s largest fossil-fuel plants moved a step closer to reality this week as four developers submitted 18 separate bids for a state request for proposals for offshore wind energy…read article

NY considers allowing felons to serve on juries
NEWSDAY; Feb 19, 2019
James M. Binnall, a professor of law and criminology at California State University in Long Beach, said the opposition to felons serving [as] jurors is usually based on a belief that felons lack the character needed to serve and that they would be prejudiced against prosecutors. “I have found no evidence of that in any of my research,” said Binnall, himself a convicted felon on a past drunken driving charge…read article

6 surprising facts about LI’s job market
NEWSDAY; Feb 17, 2019
The Island’s labor market is marked by uneven gains and pay hikes, and hiring challenges…read article

Prices, inventory up NEWSDAY; Feb 16, 2019
Suffolk County, homes sold for a median price of $380,000, an annual increase of 5.8 percent…read article

A practical step to diversify police NEWSDAY; Feb 19, 2019
The Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk will cover the cost of the $125 [SCPD] exam fee for county residents with incomes at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty level…read article

Friction over lobbyist NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Feb 17, 2019
Some county lawmakers say they weren’t even aware a $24,900-a-year contract with Long Island Government Relations was consummated or that work was underway in the state capital…read column

Bellone selects personnel director NEWSDAY; Feb 17, 2019
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone after the close of business Friday announced the appointment of Jo-Anne Taormina as county personnel officer. The veteran head of the office, Alan Schneider, said he was “evicted” from his office by Bellone aides.
The personnel officer [a Civic Service job] oversees 47,500 civil service appointments in 278 towns and villages as well as fire and library districts throughout Suffolk County…read article

John Kennedy won't approve salary payments for Civil Service nominee
The GOP comptroller won't allow the payments to Jo-Anne Taormina, County
Executive Steve Bellone's choice for Suffolk personnel director, unless she is
read article

TOB – New Town Hall roof will get solar panels

NEWSDAY; Feb 15, 2019
Council members last month passed a $1.7 million bond resolution to fund the project…read article

TOB - Federal workers get extra time on taxes
NEWSDAY; Feb 18, 2019
Federal workers who were furloughed or were designated as non-pay employees during the 35-day government shutdown that ended late last month were given an additional three months [by the Brookhaven Town Board] to pay their property taxes without penalty
read article

Related story…
30 stores on LI closing NEWSDAY; Feb 20, 2019
Payless Shoe Source is closing all its North American stores. The discount shoe retailer’s 30 stores on Long Island will be among the 2,500 stores the chain will close starting in March…read article

NYU to open LI med school [tuition free]
NEWSDAY; Feb 19, 2019
New York University plans to open an accelerated, tuition free medical school in Mineola in July with a focus on training primary care physicians, university officials said…read article

President’s Forum NEWSDAY SPECIAL SECTION; Feb 17, 2019
College and University presidents highlight the latest trends, programs, and other exciting developments. Includes info on 16 local colleges; services offered, contact info and admission criteria…read section

Forum: LI a laggard in early ed NEWSDAY; Feb 15, 2019
“Making sure that children have a safe and high-quality place to go while parents are working is good for all of us,” said Jennifer Marino Rojas, executive director of the Child Care Council of Suffolk Inc
read article

The case for children and chores
“When I started looking at household chores as an opportunity to connect with my kids, the mood and rhythm of my day shifted. Now, we chat while sorting laundry. My husband and I thank them for their contribution to the household.”…read opinion

NY Dems are their own worst enemy
“To achieve their progressive goals, New York Democrats need votes to empower their party and wealth to fund their initiatives. Thus far, they are driving away both.”…read opinion

A new way to clear arteries NEWSDAY; Feb 17, 2019
Sound waves are used to treat calcium buildups…read article

Published Feb 14, 2019
Cuomo, Trump on SALT cap NEWSDAY; Feb 13, 2019
Instead of reopening the federal tax debate, Cuomo should slash state taxes, Trump said at the meeting…read article

Rethinking aid cut to municipalities NEWSDAY; Feb 12, 2019
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Monday that he is open to restoring aid to municipalities that he cut in his January budget. Brookhaven Supervisor Edward P. Romaine, whose town faces a loss of $1.8 million, said the town would have to make “some serious cuts” if the AIM funds were not restored…read article

Hospitals in a squeeze NEWSDAY; Feb 10, 2019
Payments from the government-run insurance programs do not come close to matching the cost of care, hospitals said…read article

How PSEG is powering up electronic billing
NEWSDAY; Feb 12, 2019
Customers who want to keep their old paper bill have to take action to stop the automatic switch-over…read article

College debt haunts LI millenial grads NEWSDAY; Feb 10, 2019
Six out of 10 have less than $1,000 in their checking accounts because of college debt, and one in three pays more monthly on student loans than on rent…read article

Retail centers adding new mix of tenants
NEWSDAY; Feb 11, 2019
The six new tenants headed to shopping centers in East Setauket and Lindenhurst will sell nary a blouse, boot or blanket…read article

Driver charged after Coram crash kills man
NEWSDAY; Feb 11, 2019
The driver, identified by police as Cruz Emelio Tum-Tipaz of Potunk Lane in Westhampton Beach, ran away north through a parking lot, leaving two passengers behind, police said. One passenger, a man identified by police as Juan Morales Cuterez, 28, of Westhampton, was pronounced dead at the scene…read article

Kennedy’s in the race NEWSDAY; Feb 12, 2019
Suffolk Comptroller John M. Kennedy Jr. declared his Republican candidacy Monday to take on two-term Democratic County Executive Steve Bellone…read article

Suffolk debuts ‘online Costco’ for gov’t services
NEWSDAY; Feb 12, 2019
Suffolk has opened an “online Costco” where local towns, villages and school districts can combine their buying power to cooperatively purchase equipment and services to reduce costs…read article

Developer sues Suffolk for $15M NEWSDAY; Feb 13, 2019
The developer of the proposed Heartland Town Square in Brentwood has filed a $15 million lawsuit, seeking to 
force Suffolk County to connect the massive 9,000-unit project to the Southwest Sewer District. “Obviously, we have a role in the process,” said Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory (DCopiague), but he said it was the first time he could recall the legislature balking at approving a sewer connection
read article

Suffolk mulling plastics ban NEWSDAY; Feb 13, 2019
Suffolk restaurants could give out straws only on request and would be banned from using Styrofoam-like plastic foam containers, plates and cups…read article

TOB - Crackdown on recycling NEWSDAY; Feb 11, 2019
Brookhaven Town has stopped picking up recyclables from homes where plastics, paper and aluminum cans were improperly mixed, officials said Friday…read article

School kids learn about mental health
NEWSDAY; Feb 11, 2019
In a scenario playing out in more and more classrooms around the world, a Dallas teenager recently asked her classmate if anything was wrong, noting that she hadn’t been acting like herself. The brusque reply: “Just leave me alone.”…read article

Parents fear shooting drills traumatize kids
NEWSDAY; Feb 11, 2019
April Sullivan was pleasantly surprised by an “I love you, Mom” text from her daughter last May, even though she knew the eighth-grader wasn’t supposed to be using her cellphone during school in Short Pump, Virginia. But she did not know that her child sent it while supposedly hiding from an intruder. The girl didn’t know the 
“code blue” alert was a drill…read article 

Pursuit an issue in Suffolk crash?
Saturday night around 11:45, a Suffolk County police officer saw a 2015 Nissan Rogue fail to stop at a stop sign at Yaphank Avenue and Main Street in Yaphank. According to Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart, it was only a few minutes later and about four miles away on Route 25 in Middle Island that the Rogue, driven by Nahriek 
Belford, 17, struck a car trying to turn left, killing driver Jerome Weingarten, 74, his wife, Randee, 71, and Belford’s half-brother, Angelo, 19…read editorial

An emergency at the border? NEWSDAY OPINION; Feb 10, 2019
Two legal experts look at president’s authority to invoke special
power to build a wall…read opinion

Green New Deal won’t solve anything
There is no question that environmental issues will have to be tackled in coming years.
What we’re getting right now, it seems, is a mix of utopian idealism and incompetence…read opinion

Glacial melt bodes human upheaval
Warmer temperatures deplete sources of water, triggering refugee migrations. We can try to plan for that. Or we could try to stop the glaciers from melting…read opinion

Don’t botch this delivery NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Fe b 10, 2019
New York risks losing Amazon—and a golden economic opportunity. The State Senate’s leader can stop it from happening…read editorial

Turning Fortnite into a paycheck NEWSDAY; Feb 10, 2019
Commack man earned $404G as a pro gamer. Tim Miller, a professional video game player, plays Fortnite on 3 screens for about 40 hours a week to hone his skills…read article

Published Feb 7, 2019
Cuomo: Tax revenue down $2.8B NEWSDAY; Feb 5, 2019
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday announced a dramatic drop in state income tax revenue of $2.8 billion, which he says will prompt him to revise his 2019-20 budget and reconsider spending on schools, health care and repairs to roads and bridges. Cuomo, a Democrat, blamed the shortfall on a federal tax plan backed by Republican President Donald Trump…read article

Limits eyed for retail sale of weed NEWSDAY; Feb 3, 2019
The villages, and some towns, are reacting to a proposal by Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in his 2019-20 budget to  legalize the sale of recreational marijuana statewide.
The plan has generated anxiety among municipal, law enforcement and education officials. They say they may have to rethink decades-old policies and procedures — from training police officers to detect whether motorists are drug-impaired, tightening town boating-while-intoxicated codes and determining whether students are high…read article

Tax extensions for fed workers advance
NEWSDAY; Feb 6, 2019
There are an estimated 15,000 federal workers on Long Island, Newsday has reported. If they are to take advantage of extensions, Long Island municipalities, including Nassau and Suffolk counties as well as towns, cities and villages, must each pass a resolution to opt in…read article

Long Island opioid deaths fall, but concern remains NEWSDAY; Feb 3, 2019
Fatal overdoses fell to 483 in 2018, from a high of 614 in 2017, according to data provided by the police departments and medical examiners in Nassau and Suffolk counties…read article

Home electricity use to plunge, PSEG says
NEWSDAY; Feb 6, 2019
One old plant has been shuttered, two won’t ever be overhauled, and a third, in Northport, is the subject of an 18-month study to examine its feasibility. Also, plans for a new plant have been canceled
read article

Meters to report outages NEWSDAY; Feb 3, 2019
PSEG this year is stepping up the installation of smart meters, at a pace of around 1,000 a day. The few customers who opt not to get a smart meter must pay a monthly meter reading fee of $10. If you take installation of a smart meter, then decide later you don’t want it it will cost $65 to have it removed…read article

Long Island: Retail Reset NEWSDAY; Feb 3, 2019
Supermarket competition is intensifying, fun and fitness are flourishing and department stores are struggling.  
Long Island’s retail landscape, like that of other regions across the country, is evolving as discounters expand, large department stores close and mall and shopping center landlords are forced to diversify their tenant lineups…read article

NY moves up in AP tests passed NEWSDAY; Feb 6, 2019
Performance by high school seniors in the Class of 2018 propelled New York into seventh place among states, up from eighth in 2017. New York, which held the top place among states in the early 2000s, experienced a gradual decline, then bounced back and forth between seventh and eighth place between 2016 and 2018…read article

Call for more school aid NEWSDAY; Feb 3, 2019
“Show me the money!” was the theme of a regional educators’ conference in Middle Island on Saturday, where a succession of state lawmakers — Democrats and Republicans alike — blasted Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s latest school-aid proposal as the lowest increase in seven years…read article

Longwood CSD Facebook post on Legislative Breakfast

2020 train is just getting underway
“The field for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination swelled last week, bringing the number of candidates who’ve declared or formed exploratory committees to 10. And the Dems aren’t close to done. If you don’t think that sounds like a circus, you are hereby sentenced to three months in an Iowa diner listening to every stump speech from every candidate on every visit.”…read opinion

Black History Month: Hidden figures NEWSDAY; Feb 3, 2019
Long Island’s celebrated African-American history dates to at least the 18th century, when poet Jupiter Hammon, of Huntington, became the first African-American writer to be published in the United States, and it continues with living legends such as…read cover story

Safeguard your finances with a credit report freeze NEWSDAY; Feb 3, 2019
It’s free, doesn’t affect your credit score and helps protect your financial future…read article

Published Jan 31, 2019
Student wins poster contest on dangers of nicotine  NEWSDAY; Jan 27, 2019
Rohan Akmal, a sixth-grader at the Longwood Middle School, won first place in the contest, which asked elementary schoolers to create a public service announcement poster about the dangers and adverse effects of liquid nicotineread article

Stricter gun laws NEWSDAY; Jan 30, 2019
The State Legislature on Tuesday passed a “red-flag” bill that would take guns away from legal gun owners who judges determine are mentally ill. Bill bans arming schoolteachers. LI gun enthusiasts say law flawedread article

Bucking national trend, enrollment in ACA surges in NY
NEWSDAY; Jan 30, 2019
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has pledged to propose legislation codifying various ACA protections and to preserve 
its marketplace. However, if federal funding is cut off, the state would have to use state taxpayer funds to maintain subsidies and its popular Essential Plan. “If [federal] tax credits were to go away, it would be very hard to maintain the marketplaces as they are,” said  Sara Collins of the Commonwealth Fund in New York City. “That’s what makes it affordable and states would have to come up with the would be very expensive to do.”…read article

Wage increase not being felt everywhere
NEWSDAY; Jan 27, 2019
New minimum wage rules have boosted pay for those at the lower end…and there have been gains for top earners, but [wage] growth in the middle has paled in comparison…read article

Hospital price lists speak dizzying dialect
NEWSDAY; Jan 27, 2019
To make health care costs more transparent, the federal government is requiring hospitals nationwide to post their prices online. The price list mandate is found in the Affordable Care Act, the landmark health reform legislation passed in 2010. “I don’t think the numbers produced online will give you any meaningful information from a consumer standpoint,” said Richard J. Murphy, who is both the president and chief executive of South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside and the chairman of the Healthcare Association of New York State
read article

The Hunt for Tech Hires NEWSDAY; Jan 27, 2019
A shortage of talent has left many LI jobs unfilled, and the problem could get worse…read article

Substitute staffing struggles NEWSDAY; Jan 27, 2019
The typical pay range for a substitute on Long Island is $90 to $130 a day, according to educators. Permanent subs are usually paid more than daily, or “per-diem,” subs. For full-time, entry-level teaching positions on the Island, the annual pay range is $55,000 to $60,000, according to Adelphi’s College of Education and Sports Science. The William Floyd district in Suffolk County has 43 permanent substitutes who come in daily and are guaranteed work in the 8,700-student district. Permanent subs are used to cover extended leaves and are also used in day-to-day coverage. The district has raised its daily pay rate slightly in recent years to $125 per day for a permanent sub
read article

Middle Island (K-Mart) - Land owner granted 60
days to mull offer
NEWSDAY; Jan 29, 2019
The county has offered slightly more than $1.8 million to buy the 21-acre Middle Country Road property that formerly included a Kmart department store. Garden City developer Wilbur Breslin requested and was granted an extension of the Jan. 31 deadline to decide whether to accept the county’s offer. Legis. Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) said the extension shows Breslin is willing to sell the property. “I just have a lot of hope that we will succeed, but it will be a lot of work,” she said
read article

Bellone battles with Kennedy over subpoena
NEWSDAY; Jan 29, 2019
Suffolk Democratic County Executive Steve Bellone is embroiled in a new battle with Republican Comptroller John Kennedy over [Kennedy’s] subpoena to get audit data on a proposed $1.1 billion sports arena and convention center in Ronkonkoma. The latest battle surfaced as Kennedy weighs whether to challenge Bellone, who is seeking his third term as county executive in November…read article

Suit faulting bonuses from forfeiture assets dismissed NEWSDAY; Jan 30, 2019
A state Supreme Court justice has dismissed a lawsuit to force Suffolk officials to recover $3.25 million in bonuses paid to prosecutors out of asset forfeiture funds. [Suffolk County Executive] Bellone said bonus payments should never have been made, but he took no position on whether the money should be returned…read article

Suffolk, NYS, Congress try to limit spending
NEWSDAY; Jan 28, 2019
Suffolk officially eliminated its member item program in the 2012 budget. The legislature traditionally had $630,000 — or $35,000 for each of the 18 county legislators — to award to various groups, from sports leagues to soup kitchens. Suffolk can still distribute $500,000 annually through its Downtown Revitalization Program…read article

Turnout key to sewer loss NEWSDAY; Jan 28, 2019
Turnout was the key Tuesday in the defeat of a sewer expansion referendum in Great River, where 48.8 percent of eligible voters came to the polls. Two other sewer referendums, in Mastic and Babylon, won approval but attracted a much smaller turnout. Turnout in Mastic was 15.1 percent and 13.1 percent in Babylon…read article

Pine barrens ‘core’ grows NEWSDAY; Jan 28, 2019
Protections against development of about 800 acres of newly designated core pine barrens around the never-opened Shoreham nuclear plant took effect Jan. 1, even as the state continues to explore how and when it will buy the woodland property. State and local legislators, including Assemb. Steve Englebright (D-Setauket), have envisioned a state park on the property. Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine has offered to include the town’s Shoreham Beach waterfront property and a separate historical building as part of any larger park, he said. It may be years before the entire process is complete
read article

TOB - Shoreham, town join service-sharing pact NEWSDAY; Jan 28, 2019
“The goal of this program is to identify opportunities where a town-village partnership makes sense and deliver real financial savings,” Brookhaven Highway Superintendent Daniel P. Losquadro said in a statement…read article

Mount Sinai - Tax breaks OKd for senior housing plans NEWSDAY; Jan 28, 2019
One of the projects will be a 120-unit Bristal Assisted Living facility. The second complex will include 225 rental apartments for residents who are 55 years old and older…read article

Backward logic of tax cap opponents
“This liberal teachers union is the backbone of the Democratic Party in New York. And it says the tax cap makes it too hard to impose large tax increases on poor people. Can NYSUT really not hear how poorly reasoned that sounds?”…read opinion

Albany haste, and rookie mistakes
In Democrats’ rush to pass bills, the State Senate has dropped the ball on the Island’s top priority: a permanent tax cap…read editorial

The shape of Long Island water NEWSDAY OPINION; Jan 27, 2019
Simply put, while several dozen laws and regulations provide the legal basis for a number of valuable water-protection programs, the evidence indicates that collectively we are failing to adequately protect Long Island’s waters and waterways…read opinion

Mo can be found all around us NEWSDAY OPINION; Jan 27, 2019
Mariano Rivera showed all of us the value and dignity of getting the job done…read opinion

Companies’ delicate talks about dementia
NEWSDAY; Jan 29, 2019
Workers experiencing early stages of dementia may struggle with tasks they had completed without difficulty. “I’ve talked to a number of families where a person didn’t realize they had the disease and they didn’t know what was going on. And they got fired for performance issues before anyone knew what the diagnosis was,” says Ruth Drew at the nonprofit Alzheimer’s Association. The Americans with Disabilities Act, which guarantees certain rights and workplace accommodation, covers individuals with Alzheimer’s diagnoses and certain other forms of dementia depending on the employee’s position and level of impairment…read article

Published Jan 24, 2019
Schools in need of support NEWSDAY; Jan 18, 2019
Fifteen school districts and 34 individual schools on Long Island were rated Thursday by the state as needing academic improvement under a new system—required by federal education law — that for the first time takes into account the number of students who boycott state tests
read article

Mo delivers national relief NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Jan 23, 2019
While our nation seems defined by its disagreements, there’s one thing on which we all seem to concur: Mariano Rivera. The Yankees’ peerless former closer became the first player selected to baseball’s Hall of Fame in a unanimous vote. Excellence and class are values we still share. That’s winning. — The editorial board

A choice on legalization NEWSDAY; Jan 20, 2019
Cuomo’s proposal…allows counties and cities with more than 100,000 residents the ability to opt out of a statewide program to legalize recreational weed. As for opting-out, Suffolk Legis. DuWayne Gregory(D-Copiague), the presiding officer, said he hadn’t, “made a determination as to that yet. I think it’s good for us to have the ability to if that’s something we think is in the county’s best interests.”
read article

Towns fear cuts after losing aid NEWSDAY; Jan 22, 2019
[Governor Andrew] Cuomo’s 2019-20 fiscal budget was unveiled last week and disqualified all Suffolk and Nassau towns, and most of their villages, from receiving money from a program called Aid and Incentives for Municipalities. “It’s as if he’s taking a dagger and aiming it at the heart of municipalities on Long Island,” said Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine, whose $302 million budget included $1.8 million in AIM funding for youth programs, recycling education and parks…read article

Paid Family Leave changes for 2019 NEWSDAY; Jan 21, 2019
The New York Paid Family Leave Act provides for partially paid, job-protected leave for eligible employees under certain circumstances, and in 2019 the leave period has changed from eight to 10 weeks
read article

$6M windfall withheld NEWSDAY; Jan 21, 2019
Assemb. Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) called the contract exemption “stunning and unacceptable. This is after all a for-profit company that’s operating under a not-for-profit public utility structure.”…read article

LIA targeting taxes NEWSDAY; Jan 22, 2019
Making permanent the state cap on increases in property taxes, abolishing the $10,000 federal cap on deductions of state and local taxes, and winning new research equipment for Brookhaven National Laboratory are among the top priorities of Long Island’s largest business group…read article

On LI, 35% drop in opioid prescriptions
NEWSDAY; Jan 21, 2019
Decline, from 2011 to 2017, linked to policing doctors, tracking system, awareness…read article

Plan for an appetizing trail mix NEWSDAY; Jan 23, 2019
Nonprofit’s $114M proposal would extend recreational paths across LI
read article

Businesses hurting NEWSDAY; Jan 23, 2019
The federal government shutdown is costing Long Island’s economy millions of dollars per week in lost consumer spending by federal workers…read article

Divvying up the budget’s water-cleanup funds
NEWSDAY; Jan 21, 2019
Just where that $500 million would be spent isn’t yet determined, according to the Cuomo administration. Communities will have to apply for the funds on the merits of their plans and needs, and there are many…read article

Suffolk pushes to snuff out e-cigs in schools NEWSDAY; Jan 23, 2019
E-cigarettes allow inhalation of an aerosol that usually contains the addictive drug nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals. While the battery-operated devices can resemble traditional tobacco cigarettes or cigars, many look like common items carried by students, such as pens or USB flash drives, which is particularly troublesome for school officials…read article

Spanish spoken here NEWSDAY; Jan 21, 2019
Stuart Cameron, the highest ranking uniformed officer in the Suffolk County Police Department, has been studying for months, listening to tutorials in his Yaphank office, at home and in his unmarked SUV as he darts around the county responding to emergencies…read article

Yaphank – The Trains Hardly Anyone Uses
NEWSDAY; Jan 21, 2019
“People have even asked me: ‘There’s a Yaphank train? Where is it?’ ” — Town Councilman Michael Loguercio…read article

Free safety check of child car seats NEWSDAY; Jan 23, 2019
The Brookhaven Highway Department and the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office are offering the safety checks on Feb. 1 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Blue Point Fire Department, 205 Blue Point Ave…read article

SCCC has new policy for partisan political events NEWSDAY ONLINE; Jan 23, 2019
Under the new policy, adopted unanimously on Thursday, “partisan and/or political entities . . . may be permitted use of college facilities,” but events must “be open to the public.”…read article

Free support for literacy NEWSDAY; Jan 21, 2109
Long Island students who need reading and writing help, but whose families can’t afford tutoring, now have a new, no cost opportunity
read article

Teacher eval law near end NEWSDAY; Jan 20, 2019
When the 2018 legislative session ended last June with no action on the bill, teachers’ unions spent heavily to help Democrats win control of the Senate—which they did…read article

MTA is off the rails, again NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Jan 20, 2019
While there are capable new leaders now at the LIRR, they’re dependent on middle-management teams stuck in how things have always been done, or tied in knots by union rules that won’t allow for meaningful reform…read article

Legal pot and sports wagering are bad bets
“There are things we know without thinking. They live in a place deeper than our minds. We do our best to rationalize away these certitudes when we find them inconvenient. Yet that feeling in our gut remains. Whatever we choose to call it—conscience, survival instinct,higher power — it’s there to guide us, and we are wise not to ignore it.”
read column

There’s value in recycling’s setback
There is a bright future for recycling, particularly if we go back to the basic premise of waste reduction. Then the recycling enterprise can become more focused on improving processing and creating viable markets for materials that truly have value…read editorial

Published Jan 17, 2019

Initiatives up, but revenues are dipping NEWSDAY; Jan 16, 2019
Revenues from New Yorkers’ personal income taxes are down by $500 million from last year’s projections as of December, and that overall revenues could decline by $1.6 billion
read article

School tax cap again set at 2% NEWSDAY; Jan 12, 2019
New York State’s baseline cap on growth in school taxes will be 2 percent in 2019-20. On Long Island, school taxes account for about two-thirds of property owners’ total bills. School districts use the baseline as a starter for calculating local caps, which can be higher, equal to or lower than the state’s 2 percent baseline, depending upon a variety of factors. Since it took effect, the law…has dramatically reduced growth in levies that previously ranged between 4 percent and 10 percent annually…read article

Aid boost for LI schools NEWSDAY; Jan 16, 2019
“I think we’re going to try to do better,” said Assemb. Steven Englebright (D-Setauket), who is the senior member from Long Island on the Assembly Education Committee. “School aid is important because it holds down property taxes while investing in our future and our children.”…read article

Gov makes pot pitch NEWSDAY; Jan 16, 2019
“Physicians,” the Medical Society of the State of New York stated, “are very concerned that marijuana is an addictive drug that can have significant adverse public health impacts if it were to be legalized for non-medicinal purposes.”…read article

Legislature votes to make voting easier NEWSDSAY; Jan 15, 2019
Among the bills passed in the Senate and Assembly were measures to legalize early voting, to hold state and federal primaries on the same day and to eliminate a loophole that allowed companies to easily skirt campaign- donation limits…read article

Seeking green light for NY climate-change bill NEWSDAY; Jan 13, 2019
The Climate and Community Protection Act would require emissions to be cut across the economy by 50 percent by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050. That would mean a massive shift in the economy, advocates and opponents said—not only unplugging power plants that use fossil fuels, like natural gas, but changing how homes are heated and eventually ending gasoline-powered cars, buses and trains…read article

Gov aims to hike age on e-cigs, tobacco smoking NEWSDAY; Jan 13, 2019
Vapers and cigarette smokers would have to be at least 21 years old to buy their products in New York State under a proposal Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said will be part of his 2019 budget plan…read article

Gov seeks plastic bag ban across NY NEWSDAY; Jan 14, 2019
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed on Sunday a statewide ban on thin plastic bags at store checkouts but it would leave paper bags unregulated by the state, sparking concern from environmentalists and grocery stores that shoppers will simply switch their disposable bag habits. Aimed at encouraging shoppers to bring reusable bags, Cuomo’s plastic bag ban would replace 5-cent fees in Suffolk County…read article

Swipe fee settlement NEWSDAY; Jan 16, 2019
Merchants in New York State will be cleared to add credit card surcharges to the price of goods…read article

Hospital prices online NEWSDAY; Jan 15, 2019
Patients are growing more interested in the cost of care, because “new benefit designs have shifted costs to the consumer.” “More people have high-deductible plans,” said Brian Fullerton, director of revenue cycle at Stony Brook Medicine. “A $5,000-deductible plan is not small. It can be painful, and people notice.”…read article

Fewer unaccompanied minors on LI NEWSDAY; Jan 13, 2019
The number of unaccompanied minors who settled with relatives and sponsors in Nassau and Suffolk counties in fiscal year 2018 dropped by 54 percent to 830, compared with 1,804 in 2017. Nassau and Suffolk counties have some of the largest populations of migrant children awaiting immigration proceedings while staying with family and sponsors, data show. Suffolk County ranked fourth in the nation with 5,269 migrant children, while Nassau dropped from eighth to ninth place, with 4,286.…read article

Brookhaven: Seeking a glass market NEWSDAY; Jan 16, 2019
Brookhaven officials have launched a pilot project with a New Jersey company that could land the town its first deal to sell recyclable glass in about two decades. Brookhaven and Smithtown officials said they were surprised by the amount of glass deposited [in collection bins] so far. TOB Supervisor Ed Romaine said Brookhaven also plans to add locations. “I would like to see by the end of the year 20 to 25 sites in the Town of Brookhaven,” he said…read article

Brookhaven: Town to cover for some fed staff NEWSDAY; Jan 16, 2019
Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said in a news release the town workers would be assigned to the William Floyd Estate in Mastic Beach, Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge in Shirley and Fire Island to “help ensure that these historic and environmentally sensitive federal properties are protected as long as the shutdown lasts.”…read article

Testy exchange NEWSDAY; Jan 15, 2019
Plans by state education officials to identify dozens of schools on Long Island and statewide as low academic performers touched off heated debate at Monday’s Board of Regents meeting, focused largely on test boycotts and their impact on new school ratings. Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, who reports to the Regents, responded that factors other than test opt-out rates are always factored in when determining school ratings. Six specific criteria are considered…read article

The scourge of “whataboutism” NEWSDAY OPINION; Jan 16, 2019
“The whatabout is tribal, not logical. It says, “My side has a list of beliefs and your tribe has a list of opposite beliefs, and any defeat I deal you is a win for my team’s entire agenda.” As a debate strategy, it’s silly. As a way to determine which policies our nation ought to pursue, it’s catastrophic.”…read opinion

A third term’s ambitious start NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Jan 16, 2019
Budget goodies include a middleclass tax cut for two brackets of earners; a ban on plastic bags, which must include a fee on paper bags to work; and a long list of social and criminal justice issues. Thankfully, there is another $2.5 billion for clean-water infrastructure, critical for Long Island…read editorial

NY can lead on paid new-parent leave NEWSDAY OPINION; Jan 14, 2019
In New York, new-parent leave is tied to the state Paid Family Leave Act, of 2016. Financed by state taxpayers, payments are tied to a percentage of the state’s average weekly income. For 2019, the maximum a recipient is allowed is about $718 per week. That doesn’t go very far in the New York City metro area — and many will receive significantly less. So why shouldn’t employers make up the rest? A paid new-parent leave law need not be complicated. Employers would make up the difference— the whole difference, based on actual salaries — of what public funds do not cover. The time frame can be clearer—say, three months for one parent (usually the mom) and a month for the other (usually the dad), with additional unpaid time off available per federal law opinion

Time to get voting rights right NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Jan 13, 2019
New York is one of the most backward states in the nation when it comes to voting laws. Year in, year out, its turnout is among America’s worst. Partly, that’s due to laws that make it harder to vote, when the default situation should be: yes, you can vote…read editorial

Bottle law can do more for NY NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Jan 15, 2019
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposes to expand what’s known as the bottle bill beyond water, soda and beer to include most nonalcoholic beverage containers — glass, plastic and cans—on the list of those eligible for redemption. That includes products like sports drinks, energy drinks, ready-to-drink iced teas and iced coffees, and fruit and vegetable drinks…read article

LIPA digs up sound policy NEWSDSAY EDITORIAL; Jan 14, 2019
Estimates are that it would cost between $20 billion and $30 billion to bury all the existing lines on Long Island. That’s about $20,000 to $30,000 per household, not a charge anyone wants to see on their next electric bill…read editorial

Investing in employee development NEWSDAY LI BUSINESS; Jan 14, 2019
Businesses that want to join the learning curve by investing in employee training can do it even on a tight budget, experts say…read article

Published Jan 10, 2019
NYC: Health care pledged to all-Mayor NEWSDAY; Jan 9, 2019
All New York City residents will be guaranteed health care under a city program, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday. NYC Care will aim to reach 600,000 New Yorkers who don’t now have health insurance…read article

Pay hikes up but . . . NEWSDAY; Jan 9, 2019
Average weekly wages in Nassau and Suffolk counties rose last year, though not as fast as in some other parts of the state, federal data released this week show. And inflation has eaten into a lot of the increase…read article

Seeking tax breaks NEWSDAY; Jan 8, 2019
Long Island Reps. Peter King and Thomas Suozzi have introduced bipartisan legislation that would retroactively restore the full State and Local Tax deduction that was capped as part of the GOP’s 2017 tax reform measure…read article

Push for legal pot spurs driving safety fears NEWSDAY; Jan 8, 2019
“Other states have legalized already. They’ve seen the fatalities on their roads and all the negative consequence that came from it,” said State Sen. Todd Kaminsky…read article

Worries over pension NEWSDAY; Jan 7, 2019
Some experts fear that unless the current stock market settles, local governments, schools and their taxpayers could face another increase in employer contributions such as the 37 percent hike ordered in 2010 by the state comptroller to offset stock market losses. That translated to $400 million more from taxpayers statewide in 2012 alone to the state pension fund. The state constitution guarantees that the pension of a public sector worker can’t be reduced or taken away and so taxpayers must help make up any losses…read article

Utilities agree to take down tall steel poles NEWSDAY; Jan 7, 2019
LIPA and PSEG Long Island have agreed to remove 24 tall steel poles and instead bury the power line along a busy section of roadway in Eastport…read article

Limiting vigilance on hiring NEWSDAY; Jan 8, 2019
New guidelines to narrow U.S. role in monitoring diversity of LI police…read article

Town razes first house of 2019 NEWSDAY; Jan 8, 2019
Brookhaven officials said 67 vacant houses were torn down last year, including at least one in each of the town’s six council districts…read article

Role of police in school NEWSDAY; Jan 9, 2019
A program that puts police officers in schools is intended to strengthen ties with students, staff and their communities while allaying security concerns. But the reach of school resource officers, as they are called, has become the focus of heightened concerns…read article

Pothole season is only beginning NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Jan 8, 2019
Many potholes linger too long. Our roads are subject to too many different jurisdictions — state, county, town, village. Motorists reporting potholes to one municipality often are redirected to another level of government that oversees the road, an ordeal that can be every bit as exasperating as driving into one of these car-eating caverns…read editorial

Fewer than ever smoke, but benefits are unequal NEWSDAY; Jan 8, 2019
People living in neighborhoods with higher smoking rates tended to make less money than people in neighborhoods with lower smoking rates. The researchers calculated that a $10,000 increase in a census tract’s median household income corresponded with a 0.92 percentage-point decrease in smoking prevalence…read article

Published Jan 3, 2019
Former Assemblyman Dean Murray announces that plans for improvements to the NYS Route 25 @ Coram-Mt. Sinai Road are progressing FACEBOOK; Dec 27, 2018
"For years the people of Coram and the surrounding areas have been asking for changes to be made to what many consider to be a very dangerous intersection. I'm happy to say that by working together with my colleagues in the State and the Town and with members of the Coram Civics, we are finally going to be able to deliver real results that will go a long way in making this a much safer intersection", said Assemblyman Murray…read article

Pay hikes among laws on way NEWSDAY; Dec 30, 2018
Most minimum wage workers will get about a 10 percent raise in the latest annual increase and state legislators will collect a 38 percent raise under new laws taking effect Jan. 1
read article

How long will you live? NEWSDAY; Dec 30, 2018
Life expectancy on LI and elsewhere may depend on your neighborhood…read article

Historic drop in crime on Long Island NEWSDAY; Dec 31, 2018
Major crimes down 28.6% in Nassau over past five years,28% in Suffolk since ’14
read article

County exec unhurt in minor car accident NEWSDAY; Dec 30, 2018
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone T-boned a vehicle that was attempting to make an illegal U-turn Saturday morning in Babylon…read article

Helping go from jail to jobs NEWSDAY; Jan 1, 2019
A two-year program that has helped more than 100 former Suffolk County jail inmates find jobs will be extended, County Executive Steve Bellone said…read article

Test 97 wells, lab urged NEWSDAY; Jan 1, 2019
Tainted BNL water spurs request for E. Yaphank studies…read article

Bohemia firm lands $82M defense contract NEWSDAY; Jab 2, 2019
About 9 percent of the work, worth roughly $7 million, will be done in its Bohemia headquarters, with the remainder performed at the company’s Patuxent River, Maryland,
unit…read article

$1M in Brookhaven aid NEWSDAY; Jan 1, 2019
“Our bays, beaches and waterways are environmentally fragile and important to our local economy,” Brookhaven Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said in a statement…read article

A new horizon NEWSDAY; Jan 2, 2018
NASA vessel reaches farthest point ever in human history…read article

Published Dec 20, 2018
Cuomo: Legalize marijuana NEWSDAY; Dec 18, 2018
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo called on Monday for legalizing recreational marijuana as part of his 2019 legislative agenda, completing his own 180-degree turn on the issue…read article

Google to invest $1B in Manhattan expansion NEWSDAY; Dec 18, 2018
The Google expansion will ripple through the Long Island economy, tech and economic development, experts said…read article

Anatomy of a pay raise NEWSDAY; Dec 16, 2018
The plan that will make [New York] legislators the highest paid state lawmakers in the nation
read article

Top doctor warns of teen risks from e-cigs NEWSDAY; Dec 19, 2018
An estimated 3.6 million U.S. teens are now using e-cigarettes, representing 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle schoolers, according to the latest federal figures…read article

Surge in ACA enrollment NEWSDAY; Dec 18, 2018
“While the ACA has many flaws…among its strongest attributes are its mechanisms to enable the purchase of health insurance coverage for millions through a variety of subsidy programs,” said Dr. Thomas Madejski, president of the Medical Society of the State of New York
read article

Plan to regulate LI solar NEWSDAY; Dec 17, 2018
LIPA trustees set to vote on rules to protect consumers from fraud…read story

Football takes a hit at LI schools NEWSDAY; Dec 16, 2018
Participation in scholastic football is declining at a faster rate on Long Island than in the rest of the state and the nation. The growing concern about head injuries and concussions continues to fuel the drop in participation locally [along with] the demographic shifts taking place in certain areas of Long Island…read article

Bill would cut nonunion Nassau workers’ payouts NEWSDAY; Dec 18, 2018
The Nassau County legislature passed a bill Monday drastically cutting payouts for leftover sick and vacation time given to nonunion county employees when they leave government service. “It’s a little bit too much for the residents to bear,” said Legis. Denise Ford, a Long Beach Democrat in an interview. “A lot of people do not get these types of buyouts.”…read article

Middle Island Field of Dreams Moves Forward Press Release; Dec 18, 2018
At the General Legislature Meeting on Tuesday, December 18th, the Suffolk County Legislature unanimously 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 Sarah S. Anker…read press release

Offering hope at Yaphank jail NEWSDAY; Dec 18, 2018
The women only pod at the Yaphank facility can house up to 60 people, and currently, 39 out of the 49 women there have elected to participate…read article

Dems seek Albany lobbyist NEWSDAY SPIN CYCLE; Dec 17, 2018
The Suffolk County Legislature’s Democratic majority is eyeing the hiring of an Albany lobbyist to represent its views in the state capital. The county executive traditionally has handled Albany lobbying. The work is being done by Bellone chief of staff Lisa Black and Deputy County Executive Jon Kaiman. “This just seems like a move to write a check to someone who needs an additional check,” said Legis. Tom Cilmi (R-Bay Shore), minority caucus leader…read article

BNL center to house advanced microscopes NEWSDAY; Dec 17, 2018
Legislators see the new developments at Brookhaven [National Lab] as having an impact beyond the basic science…read article

Judge OKs phased-in Brookhaven/LIPA tax settlement
NEWSDAY; Dec 15, 2018
A State Supreme Court judge on Friday gave the green light to a settlement agreement between LIPA and Brookhaven Town that will gradually cut the utility’s taxes for the little-used Port Jefferson power plant in half. Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine was the first public official to embrace the settlement agreement, noting that the town faced the “financially devastating” possibility of having to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in back taxes if it were to go to court and lose the case…read article

Town Board approves new affordable apartments NEWSDAY; Dec 19, 2018
A Port Jefferson Station developer can move forward with his plans to construct a $25 million affordable housing complex in the hamlet, the Brookhaven Town Planning Board ruled Monday. The affordable housing complex would be built on the east side of Route 112 near Grove Street and include some units for veterans if approved…read article

BROOKHAVEN_AAA bond rating reaffirmed by S&P NEWSDAY; Dec 17, 2018
Standard & Poor’s, in a report released Dec. 5, gave high marks to the town’s economy and budgeting practices. “It indicates the very high confidence that Wall Street and the bond agencies place in Brookhaven and its management,” Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said…read article

State: Closing town landfill to cost $34M NEWSDAY; Dec 17, 2018
Brookhaven officials’ estimate of post-closure costs is slightly higher than the state’s—$35 million. The town several years ago established a reserve fund to pay those costs
read article

Horrendous tyranny of the humorless twits NEWSDAY OPINION: Dec 15, 2018
If you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at? Apparently nobody…read opinion

What I learned NEWSDAY; Dec 16, 2018
“My early life lessons taught me that nothing would be given to you. If you want it, earn it,” said Northwell Health chief Dowling. Long Island bosses reflect on jobs of their youth
read story

Published Dec 13, 2018
Senate to vote on criminal justice bill NEWSDAY; Dec 12, 2018
The bill…would revise 1980s and ’90s-era “tough on crime” laws to boost rehabilitation efforts for federal prisoners and give judges more discretion when sentencing nonviolent offenders, particularly for drug offenses…read article

$2.1B hike in school aid requested NEWSDSAY; Dec 11, 2018
The entire package would boost total statewide assistance, now $26.7 billion, by about 7.8 percent…read article

Hiring talent tougher as tech giants grow NEWSDAY; Dec 10, 2018
Some of the industries that have defined New York City and the Washington, D.C., area will face increased competition for talent when Amazon sets up shop in their territory. They also fret about hanging on to their employees…read article

The ‘no interest for 12 months’ trap NEWSDAY; Dec 10, 2018
That seemingly sweet offer won’t be so sweet if you don’t pay off the entire balance before the promotional period ends…read article

Marijuana use and teen behavior problems NEWSDAY; Dec 10, 2018
While often unrecognized and undertreated, cannabis-use disorder affects nearly 6 million Americans, according to an analysis by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. It can cause physical dependence and decreased motivation, and interfere with daily activities
read article

Report: Fewer homeless LI vets NEWSDAY; Dec 11, 2018
“The amount of housing and resources that we have is enough to assist any veteran who is in need of any housing or assistance,” said Greta Guarton, executive director of the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless. “We’re getting closer to zero.”…read article

Shoreham solar array launched NEWSDAY; Dec 11, 2018
Duke Energy subsidiary announced the launch of a 24.9-megawatt array on the former Tallgrass Golf Course in Shoreham…costing ratepayers about $177 million during its 20-year contract with LIPA. “It’s a great market,” said Rob Caldwell, president of Duke Energy Renewables, of Long Island and New York, noting the high demand and the relatively higher prices paid for energy, particularly green energy…read article

More LI links for a chicken chain NEWSDAY; Dec 10, 2018
Five new Popeyes franchises are in the works on the Island…read article

Patchogue is proof positive NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Dec 9, 2018
The South Shore village’s economic resurgence is a model for stagnating communities across LI…read editorial

Rolling to cut stroke disability NEWSDAY; Dec 10, 2018
“There is a golden hour in treating the patient. That’s 60 minutes,” Alexandrov said. “This brings stroke technology to the patient.”…read article

Riverhead boosts two Opportunity Zones NEWSDAY; Dec 11, 2018
Riverhead’s push is underway to spur more business and investment in its downtown area and the Enterprise Park at Calverton…read article

Wheelchair donated to Coram man NEWSDAY; Dec 11, 2018
The wheelchair and sport utility vehicle accompany a Go- Fund Me fundraising campaign that began when Drayton’s 2002 Ford Explorer was stolen from her driveway on Nov. 8
read story

Unequal school discipline NEWSDAY; Dec 9, 2018
The report, “Stolen Time,” was prepared by The Education Trust-New York, a coalition of education, civil rights and business groups that finds similar racial disparities across the state
read article

2 LI schools recognized for AP enrollment NEWSDAY; Dec 9, 2018
The two schools were the only ones on Long Island on the ninth annual AP District Honor Roll
read article

We are not prepared for elderly care NEWSDAY OPINION; Dec 12, 2018
The disappearing corporate pension, unexpected crises (floods, fire, sick family members) and poor financial planning have left many elderly broke at retirement’s door — except for Social Security. The median cost for a private room in a nursing home hovers around $100,000 a year…read opinion

Digital doctors NEWSDAY; Dec 9, 2018
Regional health systems are expanding what they predict will be the next frontier in treatment: telemedicine, a form of remote care where doctors interact with patients via a phone, tablet or other devices with a camera…read article

It may be time to stop itemizing your taxes NEWSDAY; Dec 9, 2018
The standard deduction nearly doubled in 2018 to $12,000 for single filers, $18,000 for heads of household and $24,000 for joint filers…read article

Scientists: Mine caused sinking of WWI U.S. ship NEWSDAY; Dec 12, 2018
The July 19, 1918, sinking — which was the only loss of a U.S. Navy ship in World War I—was complete just 28 minutes after the exploding mine tore into a coal-filled storage hold, sending the cruiser to the bottom southeast of the Long Island shore…read article

Published Dec 6, 2018
No consensus on legalizing pot NEWSDAY; Dec 4, 2018
The 51/2-hour hearing at Babylon Town Hall was the last of four held statewide since Oct. 16 and co-sponsored by four Democratic controlled state Assembly committees. Iris Bertino, 51, a Ridge resident, said alcohol already causes many societal problems, and legal marijuana would do the same. “Why legalize another drug?” she asked…read article

Job growth picture NEWSDAY; Dec, 5, 2018
“If a computer or a machine can do your job better than you, then those jobs are disappearing,” New York Fed President John C. Williams said…read article

Ellis Island to host inauguration NEWSDAY; Dec 5, 2018
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, the grandson of immigrants, will hold his third inauguration Jan. 1 at Ellis Island, the historic gateway to immigrants. The historic site was the nation’s busiest immigration station from 1892 to 1954, ushering in 12 million immigrants…read article

Is this the LaGuardia we knew?NEWSDAY; Dec 3, 2018
Saturday marked opening day for the remodeled eastern concourse of LaGuardia’s Terminal B, a $4 billion construction project intended to help upgrade an airport that Joe Biden in 2014 (in) famously likened to being “in some Third World country.”…read article

Schumer urges tick vigilance NEWSDAY; Dec 4, 2018
Ticks do not die off in fall and winter as once largely believed, which means the disease- carrying creatures must be fought year-round…read article

Garlic, herbs hold promise in treating Lyme NEWSDAY; Dec 5, 2018
Oils from garlic and other common herbs and medicinal plants are showing promise in the lab for treating the bacteria that cause Lyme disease…read article

$2.6M in grants for Sound projects NEWSDAY; Dec 5, 2018
Federal officials on Tuesday announced almost $2.6 million in grants for Long Island Sound environmental projects, including $500,000 for New York projects…read article

Delivery by drones still a daunting challenge NEWSDAY; Dec 4, 2018
Analysts say it will take years for the Federal Aviation Administration to write all the rules to allow wide drone deliveries…read article

Budget flights struggle NEWSDAY; Dec 4, 2018
New routes, cheaper prices not enough to keep airlines from folding…read article

Pay with amnesty—or face the boot NEWSDAY; Dec 5, 2018
Suffolk County will waive late fees on outstanding traffic and parking tickets into February in an effort to collect $45 million in unpaid fines, officials said Tuesday…read article

Tinari adds to judicial earnings with pension NEWSDAY; Dec 2, 2018
Marian Tinari, wife of Suffolk Conservative Party Chairman Frank Tinari, may be about to become the county’s highest paid jurist. Tinari, who next year will become a state Supreme Court Justice, retired early on Nov. 25 from her [current] $193,500-a-year post. By retiring, Tinari also becomes eligible to double dip, collecting a state pension of as much as about $114,000, which will bring her total to about $322,000 a year. “I can’t blame her for taking advantage of the situation, but those in power should change the law,” said former Suffolk County Legis. Michael O’Donohoe, a Conservative…read article

Recycling plant items to be auctioned NEWSDAY; Dec 4, 2018
Green Stream, which is expected to fold, said it walked away from a 25-year deal with Brookhaven to run the town facility because of the collapse of the international recycling market…read article

DOT asked to check, fix LI highway ramps NEWSDAY; Dec 4, 2018
Brookhaven Councilman Dan Panico on Thursday cited LIE ramps at exits 58 and 67 as examples of badly deteriorated and unsafe roadways. Others include the expressway ramp off Yaphank Avenue in Yaphank and Hospital Road in East Patchogue…read article

Schools kick up their tech a notch NEWSDAY; Dec 3, 2018
“It opened opportunities to use inquiry-based learning and brings education to the world that the kids are living in now,” North Babylon Superintendent Glen Eschbach said. “And our plan is to teach kids how to be critical thinkers and problem-solvers—no longer is it when you just memorize facts.”…read article

Tax hikes, cuts in services loom at Wyandanch NEWSDAY; Dec 5, 2018
Wyandanch schools Superintendent Mary Jones’ letter, distributed in English and Spanish, includes an extensive list of alternatives for saving money—for example, a hiring freeze, layoffs of clerical and maintenance workers, financial givebacks by employee unions and reductions in elective courses, sports teams and busing. In her letter, the superintendent blamed much of Wyandanch’s fiscal distress on misinformation she said was provided by a district business official who resigned at the end of the 2017-18 year…read article

Good guys, bad guys and confusion NEWSDAY OPINION; Dec 5, 2018
“Anyone who has a gun drawn and isn’t wearing a uniform when police arrive at an active shooting scene, whether they are teachers or off-duty cops or just citizens, is in serious danger, from the cops responding and the criminal rampaging. And they might endanger others, too….read opinion

A creative idea for LI housing NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Dec 5, 2018
Affordability has been a Long Island conundrum for decades. In recent years, the region’s high housing costs, high taxes and overall high cost of living have left many residents, homeowners as well as renters, in crisis. More than two-third of residents…supported changing zoning laws to make it easier to put apartments in single-family homes. And the region still has a shortage of rentals in general…read editorial

Keep Postal Service in public hands NEWSDAY OPINION; Dec 3, 2018
“Postal employees continued to serve customers at retail windows, sort letters and packages, drive mail trucks and deliver mail daily to 157 million addresses. Yet, in its June 21 report, “Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century,” the White House Office of Management and Budget announced its intent to privatize the Postal Service and sell it to the highest bidder.”…read opinion

What the child tax credit changes mean NEWSDAY; Dec 2, 2018
One notable change to the child tax credit in 2018 is that it doubled from $1,000 per kid to $2,000 per kid. The child tax credit has a new little brother this year—a credit that can knock $500 off your tax bill for each of your qualifying dependents other than children. Aging parents and adult children [check your basement!] might fall into this bucket…read article

Docs: For toys, keep it simple NEWSDAY; Dec 4, 2018
Skip the costly electronic games and flashy digital gizmos. Pediatricians say the best toys for tots are old-fashioned hands-on playthings that young children can enjoy with parents—things like blocks, puzzles— even throwaway cardboard boxes — that spark imagination and creativity…read article

Published Nov 29, 2018
FDA: Now OK to eat properly labeled romaine NEWSDAY; Nov 27, 2018
The produce industry agreed to start putting harvest dates and regions on labels. For romaine that doesn’t come in packaging, grocers and retailers are being asked to post the information by the register. The FDA warned Americans not to eat romaine that isn’t labeled with that information…read article

Governor rules out ’20 presidential run NEWSDAY; Nov 28, 2018
Cuomo made the statement after outlining what he believes the Democrats need in a candidate and WNYC’s Brian Lehrer saying the profile sounded like the governor himself…read article

Volatile winter for heating costs NEWSDAY; Nov 26, 2018
“So much of the pricing is tied to geopolitical intrigue. It’s just not as predictable as it could be. Prices are down, but all it takes is a political event somewhere, a sideways glance from a crown prince of Saudi Arabia, and up we go.”…read story

Factory training program coming to LI NEWSDAY; Nov 28, 2018
On the Island apprenticeships are commonplace in construction but rare in manufacturing. “This is not a training program in hopes of getting a job,” Ponge told factory executives at a daylong conference in Melville. “This is a job with a structured learning process, with negotiated wage increases if the apprentice reaches certain benchmarks.”…read article

Sub shop feasting on LI success NEWSDAY; Nov 26, 2018
Jersey Mike’s plans to stack its sub sandwiches in more spots on Long Island…read article

How small businesses can cut Amazon-like real estate deals
Whether a small business wants to buy or rent, it may have leverage with landlords or local governments to get breaks on rent or taxes…read article

Kennedy wins re-election as Comptroller NEWSDAY; Nov 28, 2018
Kennedy, 62, who is weighing a possible race for Suffolk County executive next year, dismissed the significance of his smaller victory margin. Jason Elan, spokesman for Democratic County Executive Steve Bellone, declined to comment…read article

Chairman role for Halpin? NEWSDAY SPINCYCLE; Nov 26, 2018
Former Suffolk County Executive Patrick Halpin will be proposed as the new $32,000-a-year chairman of the Suffolk County Water Authority. Halpin’s [current] $18,000-a-year part-time board seat also must be filled. Halpin is a former Suffolk legislator and state assemblyman and served as county executive from 1988 to 1991. He is a managing director at the political consulting firm Mercury Public Affairs and is chairman of the Babylon Town Planning Board
read article

Recycle: Ready, set, sort NEWSDAY; Nov 26, 2018
Brookhaven, Smithtown and Southold are switching to dual-stream recycling programs that will require residents to separate cardboard and mixed paper from plastics, aluminum and other metals. Glass no longer will be accepted in their curbside recycling programs…read article

Yaphank: Partly drained lake concerns neighbors NEWSDAY; Nov 26, 2018
Civic leaders this week said they were disappointed that the project screeched to a temporary halt just three months after the town removed boards to drain the pond. Kevin McAllister, founder of Sag Harbor- based Defend H20, said the Lower Lake should be converted back to a river…read article

Learning for the real world NEWSDAY; Nov 28, 2018
Baldwin Superintendent Shari Camhi showed local and regional education officials the high school’s six Academic Academies that prepare students for careers in fields as varied as medicine, law and new media. Of the school’s roughly 1,600 students in grades nine through twelve, 554 are enrolled in the academies. District students also can get a start before high school, as there are pre-academy classes available for eighth graders…read story

Americans can lead on climate NEWSDAY EDITORIAL: Nov 28, 2018
All levels of government should strengthen their infrastructure to withstand the increased precipitation and flooding to come. The rest of us should do our part, too—by using less air conditioning, line-drying some of our clothes, taking public transit, riding bicycles, buying local products including food, installing programmable thermostats…read editorial

Let’s Talk To Each Other NEWSDAY LETTERS; Nov 26, 2018
Newsday’s editorial board asked what Long Islanders can do this holiday season to improve the tone of our political conversation. Here’s a sampling of responses from readers. “When you are just repeating something you heard, and you like it, you are likely to argue for it. Without knowledge, you argue from emotion. You lack data, so you scream buzzwords. It’s hard to have a conversation with that approach.”…Michael Macaluso, North Babylon….(many more pearls of wisdom in article)…read letters

College graduation rates are too low NEWSDAY OPINION; Nov 26, 2018
Colleges can do more to assist student success without compromising academic standards. They should be committed to the students they admit and not presume that attrition simply shows students couldn’t hack it…read article

Veterans desperate for gov’t follow-through
News accounts are full of tales of veterans unable to pay for housing, child care and food. At least 10,000 payouts have been delayed more than 30 days, at least 82,000 were pending earlier this month…read editorial

NY ballots could be in for change NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Nov 26, 2018
New York could cease to be one of the few states in the union that allow political candidates to appear on multiple ballot lines through the use of “fusion voting,” or cross-endorsements
read article

Diver tells of WWII find in LI Sound NEWSDAY; Nov 26, 2018
He found the wreck of the sole Thunderbolt prototype, one of World War II’s fiercest warplanes, in Long Island Sound…read article

Cheering a Mars landing NEWSDAY; Nov 27, 2018
A NASA spacecraft designed to burrow beneath the surface of Mars landed on the red planet Monday after a six-month, 300-million-mile journey and a perilous, 6-minute descent through the rose-hued atmosphere…read story
Updated story…
Dust clears on Mars lander Newsday; Nov 28, 2018
Late Monday, NASA released a clean photo taken by a higher camera that showed part of the lander and the landscape. The 800-pound InSight is stationary and will operate from the same spot for the next two years, the duration of a Martian year…read article

Published Nov 21, 2018
Don't eat romaine lettuce, Americans and Canadians are warned NEWSDAY; Nov 21, 2018
Romaine lettuce is unsafe to eat, federal health officials told consumers Tuesday in a sweeping alert that also cautioned retailers not to sell it and restaurants not to serve it…read article

Brookhaven approves $302.4M budget for 2019 NEWSDAY; Nov 21, 2018
Board votes in favor of fiscal plan that hikes spending by about $8 million with the bulk of it - $5.4 million - set aside to pay salary increases for unionized employees. Officials have said all tax hikes would be less than the 2-percent maximum increase allowed by the state tax cap
read article

No ethics reforms, no raises for New York State legislators
Are legislators underpaid? Not for the job they do. But they ought to do more, legislating year-round, rather than being in session for only five months and doing only district work the rest of the time. And those lulus really are lulus. When 75 percent of the state’s 213 legislators get stipends for leading the other 25 percent, it’s a mockery of the system. Unfortunately, the outrageous law that gave the compensation committee the power to grant raises in pay and lulus can’t require ethics reforms in return. Only the legislature can commit to that. New York’s leaders deserve fair compensation. New York’s people deserve honest representation. The deal worth doing must guarantee both…read editorial

Quitting Facebook: isolating, yet 'oddly’ freeing
Not all posts are brags about athletic prowess or carefully curated selfies. Some posts are downright depressing: people complaining about their coworkers, their finances or politicians. Some people, it seems, use Facebook as a cathartic outlet for their rage, disgust, pain and sadness…read opinion

‘Medicare for All’? A grim prognosis NEWSDAY OPINION; Nov 21, 2018
“Medicare for All” sounds appealing. But total government control of health care comes at a very high price - and not just in terms of money…read opinion

Raise process questioned
NEWSDAY; Nov 19, 2018
State legislators are paid $79,500 for the part-time jobs plus leadership stipends of $9,000 to $41,000 for many committees and conference posts, plus $174 per day for food and lodging while working in Albany. Cuomo on Thursday in a public radio interview said the raises are deserved and “to get the quality you want, you have to raise the salaries.”…read article

Hate crime reports fall NEWSDAY; Nov 19, 2018
Reports of hate crimes across Long Island decreased in 2017 — the fifth straight year of declines — even as such crimes spiked 17 percent nationwide, according to federal data
read article

Drop in major crime NEWSDAY; Nov 20, 2018
Major crime on Long Island plummeted over the five-year period ending in 2017, with a 25 percent drop in Nassau and a 22 percent decrease in Suffolk…read article

[$883,000,000 Suffolk County] Debt takes bite out of budget NEWSDAY; Nov 18, 2018
Required debt service payments of $72 million in 2019 will eat up most of a projected $100 million increase in sales tax revenues, the report said. Suffolk County has borrowed $384 million to pay pensions since 2011 and still owes $273 million in principal. Suffolk and Nassau have been two of the biggest borrowers in the state since the pension borrowing program began in 2011. Eric Naughton, Suffolk County budget director, said the borrowing was necessary to prevent deeper service cuts and higher tax and fee increases after the 2008 recession
.…read article

3 LI BRIDGE NY projects funded NEWSDAY; Nov 19, 2018
The Town of Brookhaven received $1 million for work on the Coram-Yaphank Road where it crosses Carmans River…read article

Tentative pact on recycling NEWSDAY; Nov 19, 2018
Pickups would alternate between paper products one week and plastic and metal the next, a system known as dual-stream recycling…read article

Keeping schools safe NEWSDAY; Nov 18, 2018
Many local companies, large and small, said they didn’t start out in school security but were surprised and dismayed at how fast the need for protections at schools has grown
read article

Long Island in prime position NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Nov 18, 2018
Amazon’s arrival in Long Island City offers a regional opportunity that must be seized
read editorial

LI heroes of WWI recalled NEWSDAY; Nov 19, 2018
The story of the Harlem Hellfighters in World War I is told in an exhibit at the North Shore Historical Museum in Glen Cove…read story

Published Nov 15, 2018
Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia while
adding 50,000 jobs

NEWSDAY.COM; Nov 13, 2018 on Tuesday said it would locate 25,000 jobs in Long Island City, Queens, as part of a move to expand its operations on the East Coast. The jobs will pay an average salary of $150,000, the company said…read article

Experts: Amazon will compete with and invigorate LI tech scene
NEWSDAY; Nov 13, 2018
Amazon's Long Island City facility will initially make hiring tech talent on Long Island harder and more competitive, but experts think it will boost the region's competitiveness in the long run
read article

Amazon to get $2.8B in aid from NYC, state on $2.5B investment in HQ2
NEWSDAY; Nov 13, 2018
“This is a positive development for New York State …The question is are the taxpayers overpaying for Amazon to come to Queens, and it looks like they might be,” said David J. Friedfel, director of state studies at the nonpartisan Citizens Budget Commission…read article

Cultivating the cannabis market
Long Island businesses that offer products containing cannabidiol, or CBD — a compound derived from cannabis that isn’t mind-altering — are growing like weeds. At Flux Coffee, an almost 2-year-old shop in Farmingdale, aficionados can order their craft lattes with soy or oat milk, cinnamon or vanilla, and, for an additional $2, a 15-milligram splash of CBD
read article

Lacrosse and brain trauma NEWSDAY; Nov 11, 2018
Men’s lacrosse players at the New York Institute of Technology displayed “subtle” declines in memory and slower cognitive reactions last season because of repeated hits to the head
read story

LIPA seeks 2.4% hike in customer delivery charge NEWSDAY; Nov 13, 2018
The 2.4 percent increase in the delivery charge, which reflects LIPA’s costs to bring energy to customer homes and businesses, marks the fourth year in a row that rate has increased, following a state-approved three-year hike begun in 2014. Before that, the delivery charge increased rarely over LIPA’s prior 17 years…read article

A cloud over solar NEWSDAY; Nov 11, 2018
Two key measures of the commercial solar market have seen a marked drop on Long Island since LIPA trustees voted in December to adopt a complex state model for compensating customers for the power their systems produce…read article

Islip aims to upgrade MacArthur NEWSDAY; Nov 12, 2018
The airport would seek $50 million from the program [federal funds] for construction of the concourse and an additional $10 million for upgrades to the baggage claim area. Among the proposals discussed by the town board are designating $5 million in the 2019 preliminary capital budget for design costs of a new west concourse…and an additional $1 million for design costs for upgrades at the airport’s baggage claim terminal [design is Town funded]. If Islip board members pass bond resolutions, the $6 million would be reimbursed by funds from the passenger facility program, a $4.50 ticket tax…read article

Fighting Alzheimer’s on LI NEWSDAY; Nov 12, 2018
“If you’re going to fix Alzheimer’s, you have to stop neurons [brain cells] from dying,” said Dr. Allison B. Reiss, an Alzheimer’s researcher at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola. “I think that tau is emerging now as a more prominent area of research because of so many other failures.”…read article

LI Marriott hotel sold NEWSDAY BUSINESS; Nov 13, 2018
The Long Island Marriott underwent a $22 million upgrade in 2006 and received 10 years of tax breaks from the Hempstead Town Industrial Development Agency. The IDA consented to the Long Island Marriott sale; in 2014 it granted 20 years of tax breaks…read article

Rainy day fund safe for now NEWSDAY; Nov 14, 2018
Bellone drops plan to use it to plug a 2018 budget hole. Bellone aides said the process was legal and had been used in the past. Also Tuesday, the legislature’s finance committee shelved a GOP proposal to mandate that money raised from fees for specific services be kept in a separate account, and any excess revenue over the cost of providing the service be returned to taxpayers…read article

Suffolk OTB reconsiders Medford casino plan after failing to sell site

NEWSDAY.COM; Nov 13, 2018
Suffolk OTB is dusting off plans to build a video lottery casino or sports betting facility at the Medford site where a previous casino plan was scuttled two years ago, OTB president Phil Nolan said. Several deals to sell the Medford site have fallen through, Nolan said. “The only thing we can do with the property, other than to build on it, is to sell it to someone, and that opportunity has never come our way," Nolan said in a telephone interview Monday
read article

Positive feedback on proposed budget NEWSDAY; Nov 14, 2018
Three residents who spoke at a public hearing Thursday praised the $302.4 million spending plan. Brookhaven officials said the budget would reduce debt and maintain services while adding to reserve funds for snow removal and the eventual closure of the town landfill
read article

Seeking eval law repeal
NEWSDAY; Nov 12, 2018
Advocates for change, including the state’s largest teacher union, want…local districts to decide whether to use state tests in rating teachers and to what extent…read article

Charter schools lose clout in NY Senate NEWSDAY; Nov 13, 2018
Teachers’ unions, which are also major [Cuomo} campaign contributors, argue that charter schools reduce state aid for traditional schools…read article

Here from abroad NEWSDAY; Nov 13, 2018
Students from China and India make up more than 50 percent of international students studying in the United States, with South Korea and Saudi Arabia also among the top sending countries, according to the report…read article

Kids as young as 3 need exercise NEWSDAY; Nov 13, 2018
Start young. Guidelines used to begin at age 6, but the new ones say preschoolers ages 3 through 5 should be encouraged to take part in active play throughout the day…read article

Amazon HQ2: potential vs. challenges NEWSDAY EDITORIAL; Nov 14, 2018
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have provided the company with a lucrative package of tax breaks. They promise the city and state will take in $9 in revenue for every $1 in incentives they give away. But it’s Amazon that must deliver on its grand promises. We often talk of dreaming big and planning for the future. Bringing Amazon to Long Island City does both. But this big dream will need to be matched with reality…read editorial

New guidelines on heart health NEWSDAY; Nov 12, 2018
Fish oil, vitamin D, novel drugs, new cholesterol guidelines: News from an American Heart Association conference over the weekend reveals a lot about what works and what does not for preventing heart attacks and other problems…read article

Published Nov 8, 2018
Let New Yorkers settle the issues NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Nov 4, 2018
Other states trust people to decide big questions, but Albany stifles referendums
read column

Rattmer’s 3 TD’s spark Longwood
NEWSDAY; Nov 4, 2018
Noah Rattmer threw for 237 yards and three touchdowns in No. 4 Longwood’s 35-28 victory over No. 5 Commack in a Suffolk I quarterfinal on Friday night…read article

Amazon to add Queens hub NEWSDAY; Nov 6, 2018
“We have a great incentive package,” [Cuomo] said. The source said the state government is ready to make a substantial offer for Amazon to seal the deal…read article
A follow-up article…
How Amazon could affect area NEWSDAY; Nov 7, 2018
Amazon’s reported interest in opening half of its second headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, could benefit New York and Long Island, experts said Tuesday. Some cautioned, however, that the deal is not settled, and that in addition to a boost to real estate and the economy, the move could bring headaches as well…read article

And the ‘Ignorance In Action” continues…
Girl Scouts sue over Boys’ name change NEWSDAY; Nov 7, 2018
The Girl Scouts…claim the move by the Boy Scouts will “marginalize” the female organization and “erode its core brand identity.”…read article

In favor of tariffs NEWSDAY LI BUSINESS; Nov 4, 2018
Factory owners and workers on Long Island are backing President Donald Trump’s decision to raise tariffs on U.S. trading partners…read article

INTRODUCING Teddy Roosevelt NEWSDAY; Nov 6, 2018
“This is a figure who connected Long Island to Washington [D.C.] and the whole world. I’m not sure the majority of Long Islanders understand that legacy,” said former Rep. Steve Israel, a member of the Theodore Roosevelt Legacy Partnership board…read article

Bellone seeks use of ‘rainy day’ fund NEWSDAY COLUMNIST; Nov 4, 2018
Call it the Hauppauge two-step. Last month, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone in his proposed $3.11 billion budget for 2019 called for the county to take money from its “rainy day” fund to cover a $32,166,550 hole in this year’s county budget and pay it back next year
read column

Brookhaven: Old trees protected by new code NEWSDAY; Nov 6, 2018
The Landmark Tree Code was added to an existing town code and prohibits trees with environmental and historical value on town property from being demolished…read article

Push to extend ban linking tests to evaluations NEWSDAY; Nov 6, 2018
Resistance to the system linking tests to teacher evaluations has sparked a series of annual boycotts of state exams given to students in grades three through eight…read article

Published Nov 1, 2018
[Elsie Owens and her…] Million-dollar friendship NEWSDAY; Oct 28, 2018
When Frances Brisbane arrived for a job interview at Stony Brook University nearly 50 years ago, she was met by a custodian who took her aside and next to a slop sink told her all the ins and outs of the School of Social Welfare. That encounter led to a lifelong friendship and recently a $1 million pledge from Brisbane to the university — designated to benefit the custodial staff. Brisbane, who later became dean of the School of Social Welfare, wanted to honor her friend, Elsie Owens, a longtime custodial employee and prominent Coram activist who died at age 77 in 2005…read article

Updating drug lessons NEWSDAY; Oct 28, 2018
The Shelter Island school district is the first in the state to roll out a new D.A.R.E. program aimed at combating the growing opioid epidemic…read article

Study: Guns send 8,300 U.S. kids to ER NEWSDAY; Oct 30, 2018
The researchers found that 11 of every 100,000 children and teens treated in U.S. emergency rooms have gun-related injuries. That amounts to about 8,300 kids each year…read article

Second group of migrants enters Mexico NEWSDAY; Oct 31, 2018
Members of the latest caravan say they aren’t trying to catch up with the first because they believe it has been too passive and they don’t want to be controlled…read article

Efforts to collect LIRR fraud restitution called ‘pathetic’
NEWSDAY; Oct 31, 2018
“These people scammed the trust funds to begin with —taking hundreds of thousands, or millions, of dollars out. And then they’re not going to go after them to at least put in a portion of the amount that they’re owed?” said Martin Dickman, inspector general for the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board. “I mean, it’s disgusting.”…read article

Recycling piles up on LI as China sets limits NEWSDAY; Oct 28, 2018
With Green Stream leaving the facility, Brookhaven officials have said the program’s new operator will have the option of continuing with single stream — or switching to a dual-stream system…read article

Green Stream hauls away stockpile at recycling facility
NEWSDAY; Oct 30, 2018
Brookhaven will hold a special meeting Thursday [Nov 1] to name a new operator to temporarily run the recycling program…read article

Patchogue: Summer fest for WINTER NEWSDAY; Oct 31, 2018
The one-day event is modeled and named after Patchogue’s annual street festival that runs throughout the summer. The main attraction of the winter street fair will be a skating rink
read article

Touro Law looks to boost pass rate for bar NEWSDAY; Oct 31, 2018
The pass rate for Touro graduates who took the state bar exam for the first time was 48.6 percent. The passing rate for the 5,497 graduates of American Bar Association- accredited law schools that took the exam for the first time in July was 83 percent, according to data released Oct. 23 by the New York State Board of Law Examiners. And 81 percent of graduates from New York ABA schools passed the exam, according to a news release…read article

Tools, tactics for your own financial planning NEWSDAY; Oct 28, 2018
Financial advisers often require a minimum amount of investable assets (often at least $250,000), and their fees can place financial planning out of reach for many…read article

FDA’s definition of healthy foods evolvingNEWSDAY; Oct 31, 2018
Companies may have added incentive to do so: The FDA is also considering a symbol that would make it easier for people to identify products that meet the new definition…read article

Published Oct 25, 2018
PSEG says weather could cause it to miss measures of system reliability
NEWSDAY; Oct 25, 2018
PSEG Long Island said worse-than-expected late-summer weather had increased the average frequency and duration of outages…read article

A hint of a milder winter NEWSDAY; Oct 19, 2018
A weak El Niño climate pattern has a slight chance of influencing temperatures for the northeastern United States, making them less severe…read article

LI job growth slows NEWSDAY; Oct 19, 2018
Long Island’s job growth slowed last month, in part because of the shutdown of the Toys R Us chain, according to state data and a local economist. “The labor market remains strong overall and job opportunities are favorable,” said John A. Rizzo, economics professor at Stony Brook University…read article

LI Jobless rate falls to 3.3% NEWSDAY; Oct 24, 2018
“The one thing that really hasn’t come along with all these jobs is matching pay rates,” said Ron Axelrad, chief executive of Access Staffing…read article

Suffolk DA: 3 indicted on narcotics charges, sold drugs out of barbershop NEWSDAY; Oct 25, 2018
Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini said Wednesday three men have been indicted on charges of selling fentanyl, heroin and cocaine out of the Man Cave barbershop on Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station…read article

Suffolk elections board reverses, will allow walk-in absentee voting NEWSDAY; Oct 25, 2018
The Suffolk County Board of Elections reversed course Wednesday and will once again welcome walk-in voters seeking to cast absentee ballots on the spot at its Yaphank headquarters
read article

Suffolk police earmark U.S. grants NEWSDAY; Oct 24, 2018
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said Monday the three Department of Justice grants bring the amount of federal government funding received by the department this year to $10.3 million…read article

[Brookhaven] Town: Single-stream recycling may end
NEWSDAY; Oct 24, 2018
Green Stream officials cited collapsing commodities prices stemming from China’s decision to curtail purchases of U.S. recyclables. Bids will be reviewed on Nov. 1, and the town board is expected to immediately approve a new operator. A possible switch back to dual-stream recycling is one of several changes anticipated by Brookhaven officials…read article

A vape alarm in LI schools NEWSDAY; Oct 21, 2018
In the Longwood district, the staff, nursing and mental health professionals have been trained about the rise in vaping, and the health curriculum in kindergarten through 12th grade has been updated to reflect education on vaping. Information on the dangers of the use of the devices has been shared with students and parents. “We acknowledge the increased use of vaping among our students and community as a whole,” Superintendent Michael R. Lonergan said. “Our Code of Conduct has been revised to help our students and their parents understand their responsibilities concerning the use and/or possession of vaping devices and such on school district property.”…read article

Identity puzzle NEWSDAY; Oct 21, 2018
LI’s interest in genealogy fuels boom in home DNA tests, but experts warn of risks
read article

E-Sports: Game to be a team player NEWSDAY; Oct 21, 2018
Arjun Sharma, a 17-year-old from Locust Valley, has turned his passion for video games into a burgeoning career. Members of the Rogue team can earn thousands per month in winnings and salary…read story

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

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
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? 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
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?
“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
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 
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
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
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
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? 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
“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
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.” 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
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? 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


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

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