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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

The 36th annual Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Pow-Wow will be held at the Queens County Farm Museum from Friday, July 25 through Sunday, July 27. It is the longest-running American Indian Pow-Wow and will feature three days of inter-tribal Native American Dance Competitions.

More than 40 Indian nations will be represented. Chanting, drumming and brilliantly-colored, finely-detailed regalia will provide stimulating entertainment for people of all ages. All dance competitions and performances will be narrated for your appreciation of the rich tradition and culture that is being shared. American Indian art and craft vendors will offer a unique array of times for shoppers.

On Monday, July 7, Vincent J. Calamia, 48, of Floral Park, was arrested on charges related to the production and possession of child pornography. The criminal complaint, filed in the Eastern District of New York, alleges that between approximately 2005 and the date of his arrest, Calamia engaged in sexually explicit conduct with minors and possessed and produced child pornography. The complaint further alleges that approximately 10 videos seized from the defendant’s computer depict the defendant engaging in sexual contact with boys who appear to be as young as between 15 and 17 years old.


Calendar

Village Concert

Friday, July 25

Magic & Comedy

Friday, July 25

Irish Kids-Fleah Music Fundraiser

Saturday, July 26



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