Good afternoon. Here’s a digest of opinion content published since Friday in The Journal News:
Friday, April 29
School budgets: Editorial
We commented on news that most school districts in the Lower Hudson Valley are acting as if Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed property tax cap is reality — districts largely increased spending and tax levies on averages of two percent.
Saturday, April 30
John Paul II: Commentary
Chuck Raasch, who writes from Washington for The Journal News and other Gannett newspapers, comments on John Paul II’s role as an ally to the U.S. after Sept. 11.
Sunday, May 1
I-287 construction: Editorial
We comment on a special report that found that more than $67 million in overruns have been incurred in the reconstruction of the Interstate 287 corridor. We write:
… Multimillion-dollar mistakes, design flaws and obstacles unforeseen by state officials garner the lion’s share of the blame — and explain why taxpayers have spent more than $63 million for each mile of construction. This is in addition to the toll from frayed nerves, inconvenience and frustrations caused by the work, which now isn’t scheduled to end before November 2012. Not a single fine, penalty or sanction has been levied against a road contractor — two firms have essentially taken turns performing the five project phases — nor against any responsible state agency or official, no matter the cause of delay, the duration of delay, or the magnitude of mistake. In other words, where the buck has stopped, it has stopped with motorists and taxpayers. …
Property-tax cap: Commentary
C. Scott Vanderhoef, Rockland’s County Executive, argues that any property-tax cap enacted by the Legislature must include mandate relief.
SUNY and businesses: Commentary
Nancy Zimpher, chancellor of the State University of New York, and Mike Oates, president and CEO of the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation, offer a Community View piece in which they argue that alliances between the state university system and business can lead to economic successes.
Monday, May 2
Achievement gap: Commentary
David L. Kirp, a professor of public policy at University of California, Berkeley, writes on the achievement gap and argues that instilling self-confidence can go a long way to bridging it.