Good Monday afternoon. Here’s a look at opinion content published in The Journal News on Saturday, March 12, Sunday, March 13 and Monday, March 14:
Saturday, March 12
Public employees: Commentary
Barry Goldman, an arbitrator and mediator and the author of “The Science of Settlement: Ideas for Negotiators,” argues that public sentiment against public employees is becoming dangerous. Goldman notes that public employees are, after all, our neighbors and friends and many of them are devoted to keeping the public safe.
Port Chester: Commentary
Bart Didden, Republican candidate for Port Chester Mayor, replies to the Editorial Board’s endorsement of his opponent, Democratic incumbent Dennis Pilla.
Sunday, March 13
Medicaid reform: Editorial
We comment on the 79 recommendations produced by Gov. Andew Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign Team to reform New York’s Medicaid system. We assess the team’s plan and its critics. We write:
… In New York, as everyone knows, change is hard, especially when it upsets the status quo, which usually means taking money out of the pocket of some interested party. That is precisely what the Medicaid report proposes, and the blowback has been significant. Critics of Medicaid report have said that the findings:
(a) smack of political horse-trading and conflicts of interest among panel members,
(b) push shortsighted savings measures that will hurt people and add long-term costs, or
(c) take much-needed common-sense moves to tame the state’s biggest budget expense.
All three are assertions worth exploring.
Some measures fix long-term problems, such as loopholes that make New York’s Medicaid program the nation’s most generous to health care consumers. Other fixes curry favor with powerful interests, providing rich benefits with one proposal while stripping away benefits or funding from another.
Because Medicaid is such a budget behemoth — New York state spent more than $20 billion on Medicaid this fiscal year — every recommendation requires careful scrutiny, no matter how much the interested parties might squeal. …
Triborough Amendment: Commentary
Steve Frey, a Bedford Resident who is a former president of the Yonkers Federation of Teachers, assesses public scrutiny of teacher tenure and delivers an outline of the history of collective bargaining in New York.
Dorothea Halliday of Rye argues for the preservation of Playland Park in its current state. She is strongly critical of the administration of Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, which is exploring alternative plans for the park’s future.
Residential treatment centers: Commentary
Richard Wexler, executive director of the nonprofit National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, based in Alexandria, Va., comments on news that the Abbott House property in Irvington is for sale and that police subdued a recent riot at the Pleasantville Cottage School. Wexler argues that this news presents a crossroads for the residential treatment approach to child care.
Pensions for felons: Reisman
Phil Reisman comments on the arrest last week of state Sen. Carl Kruger, a Brooklyn Democrat, on bribery and corruption charges. Reisman argues that public officials convicted of felonies shouldn’t be allowed to maintain their pensions. He writes:
… When will these disgraceful clowns learn? It’s getting to the point where we’re going to need a scorecard replete with mug shots and indictment numbers to keep up with the most recent malefactors, alleged or otherwise, who have sold this once great state down the Hudson River …
Monday, March 14
Voting rights: Commentary
Lisa Tarricone, director of systems advocacy for the Westchester Independent Living Center in White Plains, argues that legislation signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that allows muncipalities to deploy old lever machines for Tuesday’s election infringes on the voting rights of disabled people.
Mitt Romney: Commentary
Los Angeles Times columnist Tim Rutten looks at Mitt Romney’s chances of securing the Republican nomination for president in 2012.