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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.

Editorial Spotlight: Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation

November
15

The Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation has launched Choose NY Hudson Valley, an effort to help grow certain business sectors — and jobs — in the region. At 2 p.m. today, HVEDC President and CEO Mike Oates joins the Editorial Board for a discussion on jobs, the economy and the future of the Hudson Valley. To view the LIVE interview, go to LoHud.com/editorialspotlight; to submit a question, engage the CoverItLive feature on your screen.

Posted by Ed Forbes on Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
| | 1 Comment »

Too big to fix: A conversation on the condition of our schools

November
15

Reporters Gary Stern and Cathey O’Donnell will lead a discussion on their special report, “Too Big to Fix,” today at noon at LoHud.com.

The analysis, which examined 456 school buildings in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, found that one in three received unsatisfactory ratings through state inspections. The cost of repairs to all 456 buildings could exceed $1 billion over the next five years.

Experts will join the conversation and readers are welcome to submit their questions and comments via our CoverItLive blogging feature.

Posted by Ed Forbes on Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 at 10:59 am |
| | 2 Comments »

Rockland sheriff, Ramapo supervisor candidates on Editorial Spotlight

October
25

The Journal News/LoHud.com Editorial Board holds endorsement interviews with candidates in key contests on the Nov. 8 ballot. Voters may watch LIVE online at www.lohud.com/editorialspotlight; questions can be submitted via our CoverItLive live-blogging feature.

The following endorsement hearings are scheduled:
Today: 1 p.m.: Rockland County sheriff (Matthew Brennan vs. Louis Falco III vs. Timothy O’Neill).
Today: 3 p.m.: Ramapo supervisor (Marino Fontana vs. Robert Rhodes vs. Christopher St. Lawrence*).
Wednesday: 1 p.m.: Yonkers mayor (Carlo Calvi vs. John Murtagh vs. Mike Spano).
Wednesday: 3 p.m.: Mount Vernon mayor (Ernest Davis vs. Maureen Walker).
(* denotes incumbent.)
Interviews for Westchester and Putnam candidates take place in our Harrison office, 1 Gannett Drive. Interviews for Rockland candidates take place in our West Nyack office, 1 Crosfield Ave. Candidates needing more information may contact Nancy Cutler at ncutler@lohud.com or 845-578-2403.

View past sessions
Recent Editorial Spotlight candidate interviews include:
» Stony Point supervisor (Geoffrey Finn vs. William Sherwood*).
» Rockland Legislature, Session 1: District 1 (Mike Diederich Jr. vs. Douglas Jobson*); District 2 (Dian Cifuni vs. Michael Grant*); District 3 (Jay Hood Jr.* vs. Ricky Sanchez); District 4 (Michael Parietti vs. Ilan Schoenberger*); and District 8 (Denet Alexandre vs. Toney Earl*).
» Rockland Legislature, Session 2: District 9 (Christopher Carey vs. Christopher Martone); District 10 (Harriett Cornell* vs. York Kleinhandler); District 11 (Robert Milone vs. Frank Sparaco*); and District 12 (Elye Kramer vs. Joseph Meyers*).
» Rockland Legislature, Session 3: District 14 (Aney Paul vs. Henry Stewart); District 16 (John Murphy* vs. Eliot Tozer vs. Andrew Wiley) and District 17 (Guy DeVincenzo vs. Nancy Low-Hogan).
» Putnam’s county executive (MaryEllen Odell vs. Alan Schneider)
» New Rochelle mayor (Noam Bramson* vs. Richard St. Paul).
» Westchester Board of Legislators, Session 1: District 1 (Michael Kane vs. John Testa*); District 2 (Peter Harckham* vs. Peter Michaelis); District 3 (John Nonna* vs. Michael Smith).
» Westchester Board of Legislators, Session 2: District 4 (Michael Kaplowitz* vs. Terrence Murphy); District 5 (Iris Pagan vs. William Ryan*); District 6 (Dan Brakewood vs. David Gelfarb vs. Mark Jaffe, who has since dropped out); District 7 (Suzanna Keith vs. Judy Myers*).
» Westchester Board of Legislators, Session 3: District 9 (Catherine Borgia vs. Susan Konig); District 10 (John Fitzpatrick vs. Sheila Marcotte*); District 13 (Lyndon Williams* vs. Rosemarie Jarosz).
» Westchester Board of Legislators, Session 4: District 14 (George Kevgas vs. Bernice Spreckman*); District 15 (Gordon Burrows* vs. Delfim Heusler vs. Ted Moustakopoulos); and District 17 (Jose Alvarado*, who has since dropped out, vs. Carmen Gomez Goldberg vs. Virginia Perez).
» Clarkstown supervisor (Alexander Gromack* vs. Ralph Sabatini).
» Orangetown supervisor (Andrew Stewart vs. Paul Whalen*).

To view the discussions, visit www.LoHud.com/editorialspotlight; click “On Demand” and select the video from the menu.
* denotes incumbent.

Voters guide
The elections determine who represents you on the county, town and village level. Visit www.lohud.com/candidates to find out who’s running, and where the candidates stand on the issues.

Calling all candidates
The Journal News and LoHud.com wish to hear from candidates vying in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam elections. Please send an email with your full name, home address, daytime phone number and an active email address to elections@lohud.
com. In the subject line and body of the email, indicate which office you are vying for. The information will be used by our news and opinion staffs to contact and correspond with candidates. The email address will be used to send candidates a questionnaire that will form the basis of a voters guide.

Posted by Ed Forbes on Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 at 10:21 am |
| | 98 Comments »

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Editorial Spotlight candidate interviews scheduled

September
29

The Journal News/LoHud.com Editorial Board holds endorsement interviews with candidates in key contests on the Nov. 8 ballot. Voters may watch LIVE online at www.lohud.com/editorialspotlight; questions can be submitted via our CoverItLive live-blogging feature.

The following endorsement hearings are scheduled:
Oct. 4: 1 p.m. Stony Point supervisor
Oct. 4: 3 p.m. Rockland Legislature, Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 8
Oct. 5: 1 p.m. Putnam County executive
Oct. 5: 3 p.m. New Rochelle mayor
Oct. 11: 1 p.m. Rockland Legislature, Districts 9, 10 and 11
Oct. 11: 3 p.m. Rockland Legislature, Districts 13, 14, 16 and 17
Oct. 12: 1 p.m. Westchester Board of Legislators, Districts 1, 2 and 3
Oct. 12: 3 p.m. Westchester Board of Legislators, Districts 4, 5, 6 and 7
Oct. 18: 1 p.m. Clarkstown supervisor
Oct. 18: 3 p.m. Orangetown supervisor
Oct. 19: 1 p.m., Westchester Board of Legislators, Districts 9, 10, 12 and 13
Oct. 19: 3 p.m., Westchester Board of Legislators, Districts 14, 15 and 17
Oct. 25: 1 p.m. Rockland County Sheriff
Oct. 25: 3 p.m. Ramapo supervisor
Oct. 26: 1 p.m. Yonkers mayor
Oct. 26: 3 p.m. Mount Vernon mayor

Interviews for Westchester and Putnam candidates take place in our White Plains office, 1 Gannett Drive. Interviews for Rockland candidates take place in our West Nyack office, 1 Crosfield Ave. Candidates needing more information can contact Nancy Cutler at ncutler@lohud.com or 845-578-2403.

Voters guide
The 2011 local elections determine who represents you on the county, town and village level. Visit www.lohud.com/candidates to find out who’s running, and where the candidates stand on the issues.

Calling all candidates
The Journal News and LoHud.com wish to hear from candidates vying in local Westchester, Rockland and Putnam elections.

Please send us an email including your full name, home address, daytime phone number and an active email address to elections@lohud.com. In both the subject line and body of the email, be sure to indicate which office you are vying for. The information will be used by our news and opinion staffs to contact and correspond with candidates. Additionally, the email address will be used to send candidates a questionnaire that will form the basis of an online guide for voters.

Posted by Ed Forbes on Thursday, September 29th, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
| | 3 Comments »

Opinion roundup: Dana Sassano, Westchester’s budget and Teaberry Port

January
5

Here’s a glance at opinion content published in The Journal News today, Wednesday, Jan. 5:

Dana Sassano: Editorial
We mourn the loss of Dana Sassano, 17, of New City, who was killed Dec. 29 when she was thrown from the back seat of a Toyota 4Runner when the vehicle went out of control on a hairpin turn on Route 17A in Orange County. The driver and two other passengers survived the accident. Sassano wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. We encourage legislators in Albany to revisit the state’s pioneering seatbelt laws and make it mandatory for all passengers to buckle up, all the time. We write:

… Making seat-belt use mandatory won’t magically make all comply, or save all lives. But it can only help. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show the value of seat-belt mandates. About 83 percent of people in 2008 wore seat belts when riding in the front seat, and 74 percent wore them when riding in the rear seat.

Back-seat-belt compliance is higher in states that mandate it, NTSB statistics show. About 85 percent of adults wore seat belts in the back seat in states that mandate back-seat use, compared to 66 percent of adults buckling up in the back seat when state law didn’t require them. Back-seat belts are 44 percent more effective at preventing death than riding unrestrained; that figure goes up to 73 percent when riding in a van or SUV. …

… All passengers should buckle up, at all times, in all seats. It should be a primary law, meaning a driver can be pulled over for this infraction alone. Call it Dana’s Law.

Westchester’s budget: Commentary
Westchester County Legislator Sheila Marcotte offers a Community View on the battle between the Board of Legislators and the administration of County Executive Rob Astorino over the 2011 county budget. She writes:

… In the heated, and at times overheated, process of proposing, debating, amending and passing a budget for Westchester County, most attention has centered on funding this program or that; keeping or eliminating one budget line or another. Unfortunately, what was lost in the clutter of that debate is that the real challenge for all elected officials, now and for the future, must be that of making government smaller.

Literally.

Taxpayers can no longer afford the superstructure of government, and all the costs associated with it, that has been constructed in Westchester County’s case. Westchester residents are the most heavily taxed in the nation and the relief they demand, and deserve, will not come solely from trimming around the edges of budgets and plucking out one cost or another. Tax relief, meaningful tax relief, will come only from making fundamental structural changes to the model of government and by reducing spending in smart, future-oriented ways. …

Teaberry Port: Commentary
Robert C.A. Sorensen of New City offers a Community View on the news that United Water may raze Teaberry Port, an 18th-century home in West Nyack. Sorensen advocates for the building’s preservation:

… Rockland residents should stand up to this rude and uncaring approach by United Water. We should protect our historical heritage, and United Water should be helping in that effort instead of its current course. Rocklanders must let their views on this be known to United Water and government leaders. They should be working to protect our historic structures and to correct United Water’s misguided plan for demolition.

More opinion
Cuomo steps up: Editorial, The Buffalo News, Jan. 5
Public officials shouldn’t accept gifts: Editorial, Glens Falls Post-Star, Jan. 5
Wrong approach: Editorial, Watertown Daily Times, Jan. 5

Posted by Ed Forbes on Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 at 11:43 am |
| | Comments Off on Opinion roundup: Dana Sassano, Westchester’s budget and Teaberry Port

Vanderhoef on Editorial Spotlight Tuesday at 11 a.m.

November
29

Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef discusses his proposed 2011 budget in an Editorial Spotlight interview at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

The $711.5 million spending plan would increase the tax levy by 3.9 percent. That would translate into a $24 increase for a typical homeowner, pushing the county portion of the property tax bill to $624, his budget team predicts. The budget plan also trims county contributions to most contract agencies by 3 percent, and counts on an $18 million infusion of cash from the sale of the county’s nursing home and hospital facility to a public benefit corporation.

Despite those moves, the county Legislature’s financial consultants contend that more action is needed to keep the county’s deficit, now at $38.7 million, from ballooning to as much as $77 million by the end of 2011.

Another friction point:?legislators — and county workers — have expressed dismay at the inclusion of the hospital and nursing home sale in the budget proposal. Such a dramatic proposal needs much more exploration than can take place in the weeks set aside for budget discussions, lawmakers have said. Enabling state legislation has yet to be drafted, let alone introduced, in Albany. Besides the $18 million for the 2011 spending plan, Vanderhoef has said the sale of the facility to a public benefit corporation could be a significant revenue stream for the county over the next several years, because the overall sale price could reach $80 million. No appraisal has been done.

In addition to Vanderhoef, joining the discussion will be Rockland Deputy Commissioner of Budget Steve Grogan and the county executive’s chief of staff, Sean Mathews. Watch the LIVE session at www.LoHud.com/editorialspotlight; submit a question by engaging the “CoverItLive” feature.

Posted by Ed Forbes on Monday, November 29th, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
| | 296 Comments »

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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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