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Editorial: Are We Paying For Safety?

A new law is set to put up hundreds of robots monitoring motorists in school zones. Speeders will be fined at the rate of $50 per violation, with tickets mailed to recipients, arriving long after the fact. Not a dime of the money will come to Floral Park; it’s all for Nassau County.

Some are for it, saying it’s all about safety for children. Pedestrian fatalities among children have fallen 41 percent since 2002, to just 230 nationwide in 2011—although each one is heartbreaking.  

Some are against the speed cams, seeing them as a punitive revenue gimmick for the cash-strapped county. For others, that’s a point in its favor: a revenue-generator that is linked to individual behavior.  (See Mike Miller’s column this week)

Here, too, we have mixed feelings. One staffer points out that red-light robot cameras, for example, don’t seem to allow for rights on red (such tickets, by the way, are a third of the total). He’s further irked because “you can’t face a robot in court.” He no longer turns right on red, anywhere, ever (probably annoying other drivers, upping the quotient of road rage). Another editor notes that police presence is more powerful than mindless robots. She worries that cameras will become a cheap substitute for cops—who can catch more than just speeding drivers.

What do you think? Sneaky revenue gimmick for the county or critical safety move for Floral Park children? Worth doing either way? Make your views known by writing to us.  

 

News

County sponsors Narcan training at high school

Long Island communities are waging a war against prescription drug abuse and a rampant heroin epidemic. The county launched a free public training program in 2012 to teach ordinary citizens the signs of an overdose and how to reverse its effects using a drug called Narcan.

Garden City High School hosted one of these training events on Oct. 9 as a packed auditorium of parents and community members gathered to learn the skills needed to potentially save a life. Floral Park will host the event in December.

Despite the national media attention about Ebola in recent weeks, there is one virus that is actually affecting Long Islanders, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), with one of the first cases identified in North Hempstead on Sept. 18 and a recent case on Oct. 15 in Suffolk County, which school officials called for the closing of school, as a health precaution.

Dr. Charles Schleien, chairman of the department of pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, said that although the enterovirus is still active, cases are dwindling on Long Island. According to Schleien, approximately 500 cases have been reported this season of enterovirus, at Cohen’s Children Medical Center, with two to six patients being admitted per day.


Calendar

Next Generation of Spirit Communication

Friday, October 24

FPMHS Athletic Booster Club Fundraiser

Sunday, October 26

Harvest Fair

Saturday, November 1



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com