As the elections for key Town of Hempstead positions draws near, voters need to take a close look at how things have deteriorated in the Town under the current administration. We also need to be aware of the patronage and waste that exists in the Town. One example is the projected $900,000 increase in the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter budget, a facility that has a current operating budget significantly higher than other similar shelters, and a facility that is loaded with highly paid patronage positions. This needs to be explained to the voters. There are other wasteful practices in the Town, such as the many mailings sent to our homes. These are nothing more than campaign literature disguised as “important information,” and are paid for by the taxpayers.
It’s too easy for liberal Democrats to dismiss the Tea Party people as reactionary cranks and for the conservative Republicans to dismiss the Occupy Wall Street folks as hippie anarchists. Both protest movements have more in common with one another - and with the average American citizen - than with the dysfunctional system they are protesting.
These protestors are not nut cases or fringe extremists. They are our friends, families, and neighbors who are being taxed, downsized, and outsourced into poverty and homelessness; the scores of millions of working people who aren’t politically-connected bankers, businessmen, bureaucrats, lawyers, union bosses, or foreign governments.
(Editor’s note: This letter is in response to the column From the Desk of Dr. Charles Murphy that appeared in the Friday, Oct. 7 edition of the Levittown Tribune.)
The Levittown Tribune ran an article written by ITUFSD Superintendent Dr. Charles Murphy on October 7, 2011, detailing Island Trees High School’s current AP rankings. According to Dr. Murphy, 207 students passed AP exams in 2010-11, which represented a one-year increase of 83 students passing AP exams. He referred to this increase as remarkable. Is it? You decide.
(Editor’s note: This letter is in response to the column “From the Desk of Dr. Charles Murphy, Island Trees Superintendent of Schools” that appeared in the Friday, Sept. 23 edition of the Levittown Tribune. The information from the superintendent was also sent via email from the district to Island Trees residents who are subscribers to the district’s email notification system.)
I am in receipt of an email newsletter from Dr. Murphy and I need to respond. The superintendent lays out in detail the forthcoming tax cap law signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo after being passed by the senate and the assembly.
For the 2010-11 school year, Island Trees High School opened up our Advanced Placement (AP) classes to more students. AP is the national benchmark for high school excellence, and the associated course work is one of the key requirements for enrollment into the best colleges and universities. In fact, the research shows students who take these rigorous classes are better prepared for college courses and tend to graduate in the traditional four year timeframe. Naturally, most colleges understand this and factor this into their selection process. They want students who take challenging course work.
In a recent Levittown Tribune article entitled, “IT Teachers Set to Face Strict Evaluation Measures,” the author speaks of a recent Board of Education meeting that was seemingly devoted to a newly developed grading system that will subject Island Trees teachers to be evaluated and judged. What the author fails to mention is that the entire state’s teachers will be forced to adhere to these “newly developed” standards. While it is true that the existing board is displaying diligence with regard to adopting this new system, it is merely responding to the State Education Department’s direction.
Three and a half years ago, we lost our teenage daughter to suicide. She was a student at Division Avenue High School. Raising funds to support research and prevent suicide has become very important to us, as we hope that other families will not have to endure the pain we are living with.
(Editor’s note: The Myles family is seeking volunteers for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention “Out of the Darkness” walk on Sunday, Oct. 16 at Old Westbury Gardens. Call (516) 869-4215 for more information.)
Al and Kathy Myles
In early July, Governor Cuomo signed into legislation the historic “tax cap” law. The law which takes place next year will limit tax levy increases to 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. The hallmark law will help rein in property taxes statewide. Additionally, legislators hope the cap will encourage and revitalize the state’s economy by keeping more businesses and families in New York. Somewhat similar to the tax cap law in New Jersey, residents could override the “cap” with a 60 percent vote on a school budget.
Admittedly, parents use many different methods to push their children for school success. In my family, my mother used storytelling to motivate me to do well in school. All it would take was one complaint - one comment - one word - about the difficultly of an assignment and…more often than I want to remember, I would be told about how mother’s father, my grandfather, had been sent away from his home in Donegal, Ireland at 11 years of age to work in coal mines in Scotland.
Years later after emigrating to America, my grandfather continued this type of mining work as a “sandhog” in the public works tunnels in New York City. Although he was able to successfully raise his family in Brooklyn, this hard dangerous work took its toll of my grandfather’s health, as well as many of his fellow tunnel diggers. In fact, his brother was crushed to death in a tunnel accident in the late ’50s.
Not surprisingly, a report from the Georgetown University Center for Education and the Workforce reconfirmed that higher education positively impacts salary over a lifetime. Although a college degree does not guarantee higher earnings, on average a four-year degree seems to be a major factor for income over a career. In fact, the difference between a bachelor’s degree and a high school diploma is quite significant $970,000 ($2.27 million vs. $1.30 million).
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