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Editorial: Taxes Are Us

Thursday, 17 April 2014 09:34

Last week the Nassau District Attorney made several arrests for tax evasion, with the defendants collectively owing almost $1 million. One alleged scammer seems to be a lotto junkie who doesn’t declare his winnings. Three others are charged with not reporting business income.   

This week, in Oyster Bay, you can’t avoid thinking about taxes. As we scramble to get the paperwork together and file on time (even if only for an extension) we see exactly how much we’ve paid, and sometimes we still have to send a check—to Washington or Albany. Nobody likes paying taxes. Nobody really likes paying for anything; if we could get it for free, we would happily do so.

 

From The Desk Of Congressman Steve Israel: April 17, 2014

Written by Steve Israel Thursday, 17 April 2014 08:22

Federal Taxes Should Consider Cost Of Living

Brian and Amy are your typical middle-class New Yorkers. They’ve worked hard to build a comfortable life for their three children in Hicksville, and hoped to remain there to be near family.

However, every year during tax season they are hit by a bill from the federal government that makes them question if they will be able to continue living in such a high-cost area. Their story is all too familiar, and I wanted proof that we need to change the federal tax code to account for New York families facing some of the highest costs of living in the country.

 

Letter: Building On A 90-Year Legacy At Glen Cove Hospital

Thursday, 10 April 2014 10:29

Just as it has since 1928, Glen Cove Hospital will continue to serve North Shore communities. To better meet the needs of the community and the pressing healthcare issues facing seniors and the chronically ill, the North Shore-LIJ Health System last year announced plans to enhance outpatient, geriatric and emergency services, while reducing the focus on inpatient care. That announcement raised concerns among some that Glen Cove would discontinue inpatient services.

After considerable input from community based physicians and local residents, the North Shore- LIJ leadership has pledged that Glen Cove will remain a fully-staffed, full-service hospital, even while the health system continues to develop a new model of care that places a greater emphasis on health and wellness, and community- and home-based services.

 

Letter: Curriculum Is Not The Classroom

Thursday, 10 April 2014 10:28

I am certain John Owens can respond to the recent critical letter faulting his opposition to the imposition of the new core curriculum in New York State schools. I support Owens’ position. The writer assumes Owens opposes excellence because he describes the psychological factors present in every learning environment. Intelligence, and the willingness to apply it are individual endowments. They need the proper atmosphere. A teacher’s job is to provide those conditions favorable to learning. Owens’ insight in this regard is commendable. Excellence cannot be imposed, least of all by bureaucratic fiat nor corporate competition.

In order to achieve the learning atmosphere in the classroom, we must alter our design, in both time and content. For example, some students should be permitted to graduate high school in two years, others should remain for six. The intervening time being subject to individual commitment and accomplishment. Some students should be permitted to leave and resume schooling without penalty. Curriculum should encourage talent. It needs flexibility. Education is a vehicle of opportunity for all. Our laws guarantee it, our curriculum does not. You cannot and should not train every student to be an after-dinner speaker.

 

Editorial: Wasted And Wanting

Thursday, 03 April 2014 12:02

There is more than one way to make the news. Last weekend, a couple dozen high schools from Nassau County went to Hofstra University to demonstrate their prowess at building robots in the 15th annual Long Island Regional First Robotics Competition. The teams have been working since early January, when they first got their assignment.

These are impressive students, who find joy—or at least satisfaction—in the putting knowledge to practical use. These students are building bright futures for themselves. They are the students who will build the future for all of us.

 

Letter: Taking A Stand On Marina Site

Thursday, 03 April 2014 12:06

(A copy of this letter was sent to NYSDEC, Division of Environmental Remediation in Albany last week from Friends of the Bay)

We consider the remediation of the contamination at the Mill Neck Bay Marina, as well as ensuring appropriate use of the site once it is cleaned up, to be one of our top priorities...

This site is completely inappropriate for residential development. It is our position that this site should be thoroughly cleaned and acquired for public use as a passive park and we will continue to advocate to that end, through both the clean up and, should the owner pursue development of the property, the permitting process...

 

Letter: Celebrity Overdose

Thursday, 03 April 2014 12:04

Another celebrity (Philip Seymour Hoffman) has died from a heroin overdose. With his death came public outrage, shock and disbelief. Yet, every day since and every day before that overdose, people are dying from heroin and prescription drug use. Our relatives, our friends and our neighbors are devastated from the lethal consequences of drug use; yet, here we are again. Some arrests, some finger pointing, some outrage, yet people, old and young, continue to die. And they will continue to die until as a nation, as a society, as a community, and as parents, we are willing to acknowledge what is right in front of our eyes.

 

Editorial: Giving In The Off-Season

Thursday, 27 March 2014 10:53

It’s easy to forget suffering in spring. When the winds blow warm and gentle, the world feels like a tender, forgiving place.

There is always an abundance of volunteers at holiday time. Starting at Thanksgiving, chill in the air and frost on the ground provide stark contrast to the warmth of hearth and home embodied in our year-end celebrations. Through Christmas and all the cold winter months, everyone wants to help feed the hungry and comfort the lonely.

 

Letter: Why We Are Opting Out

Thursday, 27 March 2014 10:54

A few weeks from now, New York’s public school children in grades 3-8 will spend six days taking the poorly designed, expensive New York State Assessments. The overreliance on these tests has pushed school districts to abandon successful curriculum models and confine themselves instead to the limited, unproven and expensive Common Core standards.

“Prepping” for these dreary, mind-numbing examinations greatly reduces the time our kids can spend on appropriate, meaningful educational pursuits. It inhibits excellent teachers from bringing their inspiration and ingenuity into the classroom. The tests penalize children for their creativity and original thinking, and they punish gifted children and those with special needs even more severely. The process also channels tens of millions of our tax dollars out of the classrooms and into the coffers of rapacious testing corporations, who view our children as nothing more than a footnote on their bottom line. These companies also eagerly look forward to gaining access to our children’s confidential personal information.

 

Letter: In The Pothole

Thursday, 20 March 2014 10:45

Your “Patience Is A Virtue” editorial was a good one: a good lesson, plus good advice. Unfortunately, it was probably preaching to the choir, because those of us patient, considerate reader/drivers will just continue practicing our responsible, careful driving habits; while the impatient, reckless fools like the one you describe (who arrogantly think that their time is more important than anyone else’s safety) are likely to continue their public-menace bad driving habits.

If only horn-honkers like that Mercedes owner were the worst ones on the road. It’s more the speeders, swervers, texters and drunkards who cause the most damage and death. I only wish that each and every one of them would hit a vehicle-damaging, disabling, incapacitating pothole before they cause an accident that will kill or maim some innocent person—whether pedestrian, passenger or “pilot” of a patiently-driven car.

Richard Siegelman

 

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