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In Focus: Rockland

More from the opinion-makers of The Journal News and LoHud.com, with a special look at Rockland.

Archive for June, 2011

Opinion roundup: Pensions; unemployed


Sing along! It’s Friday, Friday … Here’s a look at today’s Opinions, as we look forward to the weekend

Today, the Editorial Board addresses Gov. Cuomo’s push for a Tier VI pension. An editorial states:

The public-employee pension reforms unveiled by Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week are neither game-changing nor revolutionary; what they are is practical and necessary. They would mean significant cost savings to taxpayers and serve as a prescription to the real-world malady afflicting so many private-sector employees: benefits envy. Lawmakers owe it to exhausted taxpayers to move on the proposals before the legislative session ends June 20.

In a letter to the editor, Camp Venture president and Rockland County Legislator John Murphy, R-Orangeburg, addresses recent reports of mistreatment of individuals who reside in upstate group homes that are overseen by the state. Venture is a nonprofit that provides care and services to children and adults with developmental disabilities. Murphy writes:

Good care comes from good people; the best way to ensure the well-being of our most vulnerable citizens is to promote the recruitment and retention of workers who have proven their merit. Caring is a sacred trust that must be supported.

Here’s some Opinionating from around the region and nation:

USAToday tackles a concerning trend, companies seeking to hire only those who already have jobs, even though unemployment drags on for many. The editorial, “Telling the jobless not to apply is plain dopey,” mentions legislation in New York that would bar discrimination against the unemployed. The legislation is sponsored by state Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers. USAToday‘s editorial states:

… Businesses across the USA are warning in their want ads that the jobless need not apply. … Up-to-the-minute skills could be an asset. But knowledge isn’t lost overnight. To exclude everyone without a job when nearly 14 million people are unemployed — and 427,000 filed new claims for jobless benefits last week — is just plain dumb.

In an opposing view, “Let business hire whoever it wants,” New Jersey state Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll, a Republican, calls his state’s proposed legislation to disallow the practice of declining to hire the unemployed “feel-good legislation” that’s a “silly law.” Carroll writes:

Although the practice seems silly, not every stupid business policy warrants a lawsuit. And that’s precisely what a statute produces: employment opportunities for attorneys. If a business believes its interests lie in hiring only those already employed, that should be its choice. Besides, as soon as it hires someone who already has a job, that, by definition, opens up another position.

Posted by Nancy Cutler on Friday, June 10th, 2011 at 10:41 am |

Opinion roundup: Hillcrest sale, ethics reform


Here’s a glance at Opinion-related news for Thursday:

Editorial: Hillcrest sale in East Ramapo

A report by the state education commissioner makes clear that East Ramapo’s school board failed to fulfill its responsibilities to its taxpayers regarding sale of Hillcrest Elementary School to Congregation Yeshiva Avir Yakov of New Square. In ordering the sale nullified, Education Commissioner David Steiner concluded that the board had “abused its discretion by hastily approving the sale.” The editorial states:

The commissioner made plain … that the school board failed taxpayers: “… (A) board of education has a fiduciary duty to secure the best price obtainable” on behalf of its taxpayers. There was nothing in the record to show that the trustees took even modest steps to ensure taxpayers were treated fairly.

Letters: Stop hate; government meddling

Valhalla letter-writer John Fitzgerald (Bipartisan meddling harms business) says “Three recent legislative actions prove the point that government is not the solution; government is the problem” and cites three examples, including:

… Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Assemblyman Bob Castelli, R-Goldens Bridge, and others are throwing federal funds, borrowed from China, at local not-for-profit foundations to “educate” the unemployed. While students graduating from college can’t find jobs, foundations that feed at the public trough will somehow endow the chronically unemployed with magical work skills.

Letter-writer Joseph Coe of Pomona, in his letter ‘Rockland residents, don’t tolerate hate,’ calls for vigilance and outspoken advocacy to fight intolerance. He supports Not in Our Town/Rockland, and says:

We have learned tragically from history that complacency is acceptance.

In other opinion around the region, Editorial Boards weigh in on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ethics reform bill:

The New York Post: On ethics: limited but necessary

The Albany Times Union: Reform leaves an ethics vacuum

The Times Herald-Record: Good ethics law better than none

Posted by Nancy Cutler on Thursday, June 9th, 2011 at 10:49 am |

About this blog
Welcome to the community conversation/editorial page blog for Rockland. It's your place for two-way talk with the people behind the opinions on The Journal News editorial pages and LoHud.com. Look here daily to talk back to the opinion writers, find out what's on our agenda, and steer us to the hot topics in your community. Contributing to this blog are deep-rooted Rocklanders Nancy Cutler, editorial page editor in Rockland, and Bob Baird, longtime Rockland columnist and editor, along with Ed Forbes, interactivity editor, with occasional contributions from other opinion staff.


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