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Comptroller’s Conclusions Overstated and Unsubstantiated

Nassau County Comptroller Maragos recently issued a report in which he discusses the graduation and transfer rates at Nassau Community College. While the College appreciates the Comptroller’s recognition of its current commitment to “data driven analyses of its core policies,” and that “NCC provides an invaluable service to thousands of Nassau County residents, offering an affordable higher education at a time when tuition at private institutions is soaring,” the central premise of his report — that campus turmoil at NCC in recent years is associated with a decline in the College’s graduation and transfer rates — is not supported by the facts cited in the report itself.

For example, the Comptroller’s report refers to the conflict at the College between the president and the faculty in 2012, yet notes that NCC’s combined graduation/transfer rate actually increased by 22% from 2011 to 2012.  If campus turmoil was “the cause” in the decline in graduation/transfer rate, and if those rates actually increased during part of that same time period, then how, logically, could the Comptroller isolate campus turmoil as “the cause?”

In addition, the report notes that Suffolk County Community College and Westchester Community College had also experienced a lower graduation/transfer rate from 2009 through 2011, but does not discuss whether these other two colleges were experiencing campus turmoil during that time.  If these other two colleges did not experience campus turmoil, but nevertheless experienced declines in their graduation/transfer rate, then the central premise of the Comptroller’s report is brought into serious question.  

Moreover, one need read no further than the Comptroller’s report itself to have questions about the definitiveness of his own conclusions.  His report states that it found no data that “conclusively” explains the decline in the combined graduation/transfer rate but only found evidence that “suggested” factors that “may” be the cause.  In light of these statements in the report itself, the Comptroller’s conclusions are overstated and unsubstantiated.

Nevertheless, the underlying issues dealing with the graduation/transfer rate are serious, and the College Administration has already initiated its own fact-based investigation as to the real causes of these problems and the potential solutions to them.  It is committed to working with the College’s Board of Trustees, the faculty and all other interested parties with the goal of taking concrete steps to improve the graduation and transfer rates at NCC.

News

You could say Darren Butler has quite the entrepreneurial disposition. The Hicksville resident not only founded a church, but invented a doorstop that does not require screwing any holes into your wall or door. The device simply clamps on to the bottom of any sized door without requiring tools.

“I never envisioned myself as being an inventor,” explained Butler. “I became one by accident and out of frustration.”

After Butler and his wife purchased their home, they wanted to decorate and maintain it.  “We have four children and at the time we wanted to minimize the damage that occurs from doors slamming into walls because as young children do; they have a tendency to aggressively open doors, and as a result the door knob created holes in our wall,” said Butler. “We purchased conventional doorstops so at the very least we could minimize that reality if not eliminate it all together.”

The Hicksville Fire Department hosted the Nassau County Parade and Drill Championships this past Saturday, an event that was entertaining for both guests and participants.

The Motorized Drill competition held in the morning had 16 participating fire departments. The drill included eight events and each racing team was judged based on how fast they completed each event. Events included the Three Man Ladder, Motor Hook and Ladder, Motor Hose, Efficiency, Motor Pump, and Buckets. The Hicksville Hicks came in fifth place and received a trophy.


Sports

Madeline Huffman, a fourth grade student at Our Lady of Mercy School in Hicksville, recently became the New York State Free Throw Champion in the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Competition, 9 Year Old Girls Division at the United States Military Academy, West Point.

Huffman’s journey to the state championship began at her home parish, Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church in January. The local qualifier was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Joseph F. Lamb Council #5723. Boys and girls ages 9 through 14 competed, each receiving three warm up shots and 15 free throw attempts.

This November, Hicksville resident Marlo Signoracci will head to Florida for Ironman, a demanding, long-distance triathlon that includes biking, running and swimming. Here, she shares her story as she prepares for one of the most physically challenging athletic events out there.

“I meet my goals and maintain my health. I stay mindful of what is important to me and seek balance in all endeavors. With gratitude, I am fully present to this moment in time.”


Calendar

Hicksville Street Fair

July 20

Blood Drive

July 23

Our Lady Of Mercy Family Festival

July 30 - August 3



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