Roslyn News

Plumegate

On June 26, I attended a hearing at Great Neck South Middle School, held by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) regarding a Superfund site near my home. For years, the Sperry Company used toxic chemicals in their manufacturing operations on a large site at the intersection of Lakeville Road and Marcus Blvd. The chemicals have seeped into the ground and infected the water table. The pollution has been labeled “the Plume” because it is expanding, mostly north and west. According to the map, it seems to be under my street, and is slowly commuting to Queens. [Read more...]

Praise For Haber

It has been my distinct pleasure to have known and worked with Adam Haber over these past several years as trustees of the Roslyn Board of Education. Adam has a positive energy with visionary ideas and practical solutions. Our school district has benefited from his perspectives and tenacity for striving for what is best and beneficial to all in our community. To say the least, he gets things done.
Adam has a proven record of success in his professional career. But to me, it is his sense and sensitivity to critical issues facing Nassau County that make him uniquely qualified to serve as our next state senator of the 7th district. He brings people along for a productive and meaningful journey. As an example, immediately following the devastation of Sandy, he, along with his friends from All Hands (an international disaster relief organization) swiftly mobilized our community to collect food, clothing, medical, school and cleaning supplies for those suffering on our south shore. Together, with his direction so much was accomplished, and those of us that participated gained a higher level of appreciation for what we have. He has helped to make me a better citizen, school board member and community volunteer. [Read more...]

A Real Court Jester

Is Kimba Woods a Judge — or a joke? Queen Kimba recently gave a convicted 60-year-old thief 39 years to pay back the $300,567 in disability pension benefits that he virtually stole by faking a Long Island Rail Road disability. It’s bad enough that she’s only asking him to pay back $700 a month; but this is on top of her recent sentencing of another LIRR fraudster to pay back the $300,000 he stole at a mere $25 a month — meaning that it would theoretically take him 982(!) years (even though, according to the Bible, Methusaleh himself only made it to 969-years-old). This “sentence” would be funny if it wasn’t so sad for society and the rule of law. I’d like to point out to Judge Woods (whom I’d like to sentence for judicial malpractice in my own Court of Common Sense) that the dictionary defines a “judge” as “someone capable of making rational and wise decisions.” These recent decisions of hers could make even the famous iron statue of Lady Justice cry tears of shame underneath her blindfold.

Richard Siegelman

Our Veterans Deserve Better

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) has come under fire for delays with veterans’ benefits and care at their facilities. While I have already called for a criminal investigation into wrongdoing at the VA, I am writing to inform readers of my bill that would enact a common-sense solution to ensure veterans aren’t left waiting for claims.
Currently, New York veterans wait an average of 297 days to receive disability compensation and benefits, a time table that falls far short of the 125-day goal the VA has set for filling these claims. This is unacceptable. [Read more...]

Dorian Gray Runs For Office

“A picture does [not] say a thousand words” unless you are looking at Dorian Gray. The politicians have started early this year due to the primary season. Noted advertising guru Marshall McLuhan once wrote that “the medium is the message.” That being the case, what is the medium deployed by our politicians and what is the message?
Currently blighting our environment are political signs, illegally posted on both public and private lands. These signs tell us the name of the candidate, the office they are seeking and their political party — but that is all. The point is that candidates pray that signs will increase their name recognition causing voters to cast their ballots for them irrespective of their otherwise lackluster records. [Read more...]

Blame Billionaires At A Cost

It is unfortunate that almost every opinion on any issue is guided by the ideology of the speaker and/or author. In the letter of Mr. Biggin (Billionaires vs. Our Kids, May 21-27) it is obvious.
Quite frankly, I agree with Mr. Biggin and his opposition to Common Core. However, not in the manner he presents his objection.
Simply to blame President Obama, DOE Secretary Duncan, Governor Cuomo and Billionaire [Bill] Gates does not in any way outline the fallibilities of the Common Core program and its supporters.
What Mr. Biggin’s letter does is bring greater support for Common Core by those who do not agree with his ideology. [Read more...]

Setting The Record Straight

I am appalled with how loosely Ruth Shalom is playing with the facts in her letter regarding the Women’s Equality Act in the May 14 edition of The Roslyn News.
She is not entitled to her own facts. Legislation to stop discrimination, strengthen human trafficking laws, and protecting domestic violence victims was passed by the New York State Senate and supported by our own Senator Jack Martins. It was the Assembly that did not act on these bills.
Additionally, she inaccurately mischaracterizes the Reproductive Health Act, which in fact would expand the laws to allow late-term and partial-birth abortions in any circumstances, not just for rape victims and women whose lives are in danger.
As a woman, I support the right to choose. Those rights have been law for over 40 years. However, I don’t support allowing late-term and partial-birth abortions. Most other women I know share the same feelings. That’s what this bill would really do, and that’s wrong. Senator Martins’ vote reflected our views, and I’m glad he voted against this. [Read more...]

Birnbaum Should Resign

Like many of my fellow Nassau County residents, I was deeply troubled by County Legislator Ellen Birnbaum’s dismissive and offensive remarks regarding the Yes We Can Community Center.
While I believe Ms. Birnbaum took office in the hope of making a difference, her words clearly fall somewhere on the spectrum between insensitive and racist. Where she lands specifically on that spectrum makes little difference. People were deeply offended. Because of this, I join the leadership of Nassau County Democrats, including legislative Minority Leader Kevan Abraham and Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs in calling for Ms. Birnbaum to resign.
Community centers like Yes We Can are meant to inspire unity in our community by providing a space for Nassau residents of all backgrounds to exercise, play sports and study. Projects like this one are meant to level the playing field and move all of us forward together. [Read more...]

Albany Is Broken, Let’s Fix It

Albany is broken.

Elections are no longer controlled by we the people, but rather by special interests that spend millions on their agendas. There’s simply no way average New Yorkers can compete. As a result, we get record levels of corruption and a lower and lower voter engagement.

A Fair Elections system of public financing of campaigns and lower contribution puts voters first and returns a healthy democracy to New York Governor Cuomo has included these reforms in his budget, but it’s unclear if they’ll stay there. Will you stand for common sense reforms supported by your constituents and support Fair Elections? [Read more...]

Curriculum Is Not The Classroom

I am certain John Owens can respond to the recent critical letter faulting is 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. [Read more...]