It’s school budget time, and wrath is in the air. Politicians are raging, taxpayers fuming, students protesting. The frustration is easy to understand. School budget votes in our region are a lose-lose proposition. Vote against the budget, and the ones we hurt are the children. Vote in favor, and we perpetuate the ruinous tax spiral that is devastating families and crippling our economy.
I have been writing Parenting Plus since February 2007. Sometimes I include personal details about my life. I strive for universal appeal but I never know for certain if I reach that goal. Although I try to make points to be helpful to parents and other community members that care about kids, sometimes I think what I make are “rounds” that are less hard-edged and softer than points.
The New York state budget is considerably late. At a time when the Assembly and Senate leadership should be reaching a consensus with the governor, negotiations have reached a standstill. This is not acceptable. The Assembly and Senate Majorities, who control the legislative process and must by law hold public conferences on the budget, have not done enough to produce a budget that is on time, economically responsible, or fair to Upstate and Long Island.
One thing is for sure – Long Island is home to thousands of shopping options from big boxes to big malls to downtowns to strip malls. We are known to shop until we drop. During tough economic times, we all often let the best bargains determine where we shop.
The Government Reorganization and Citizens Empowerment Act took effect on March 21, 2010. The new state law is meant to help reduce the layers of numerous local governments and special districts by simplifying the process to consolidate or dissolve them. The ultimate goal is to help reduce the cost of local government for the taxpayers.
Gladys Carrión, commissioner of the New York State Office of Children & Family Services, oversees 26 juvenile detention facilities that hold close to 2,000 kids under 16 who have committed criminal acts. In a 2008 interview with New York Daily News, she stated that over 80 percent of the adolescents in this system have serious mental health problems that go untreated. Carrión described the network of juvenile facilities as a “pipeline to prison.” The system damages children and families and fails to make our neighborhoods safer.
This past Friday morning, three immigrant worker advocates left the parking lot of the Hempstead Home Depot and started walking toward Queens.
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