Wednesday, November 23, 2011
The SAT cheating scandal in Nassau County has grown to 20 arrests and half a dozen schools. Prosecutors said that it began with student rumors, which led school officials to examine inconsistencies in performance. Some people argue that it is not a criminal matter and that the College Board should have handled it administratively. What do you think?
Thursday, November 10, 2011
That cheating scandal on Long Island is now believed to involve as many as 35 students in five high schools, the Nassau County district attorney's office reports. And the cheating accusations do not surround only the SAT, but also the increasingly popular ACT exam.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
This morning the committee in charge of drawing political lines is meeting for the second-to-last time out in Nassau County. LATFOR’s Old Westbury meeting is giving the public another chance to influence the process. But there are major outstanding issues that will certainly be brought up, if not fully addressed:
As we’ve reported, the Senate Republicans are being accused of dragging their feet in complying with a law that would have tens of thousands of mostly upstate prisoners counted back in mostly downstate districts. Assembly Democrats say they’ve already done the math—all they need is the Senate to approve. And the committee’s Senate Republican co-chair Michael Nozzolio has said his side is reviewing. There’s a chance a major announcement on the issue could come today.
Cuomo’s veto threat
Yesterday the Governor made a number of statements regarding his veto threat. By the end it seemed (mostly) apparent that he remains committed to nixing whatever lines the legislators draw. But the Democratic Assembly co-chair John McEneny has told the governor he should see what the committee comes up with first. The problem, of course, is that there’s a zero-sum game being played with Senate Republicans—if they draw “nonpartisan” lines, most observers see a likely Democratic majority in 2013. There are certainly conversations happening behind the scene. To what degree the Governor is pressuring the Senate Republicans, with whom he has a good working relationship, is unknown. The actions and words of the committee members may give a clue.
Communities of interest
Maybe more than anywhere else in the state, Nassau County is a hotbed of discontent for district lines. The county’s Democratic Party won a huge court victory recently over Republican attempts at drawing them out of the majority. And a sitting lawsuit in Federal court over Voting Rights Act violations could, eventually, mean totally new lines. Civil rights and good government groups will make their final arguments before the committee draws linesin support of districts that take racial and ethnic communities more into account.
In all things redistricting, the key issue is time. With primary dates likely coming sooner, getting lines drawn and approved in time is on the minds of everyone involved. If the Governor remains committed to vetoing lines, the whole process will end up in court with even more uncertainty for, in the Governor’s words, “chaos” in the final product. The degree to which avoiding mayhem creeps into the committee members’ comments will be something to watch for.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
By Ilya Marritz
Facing a budget deficit of $310 million next year, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano is proposing to cut 700 government jobs, consolidate police precincts— and reduce paid holidays.
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
By Annmarie Fertoli : Associate Producer at WNYC
Nassau County voters have defeated a plan that would have allowed the county to use $400 million to redevelop the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and surrounding area on Long Island, which is home to the New York Islanders hockey team.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the state's first-ever property tax cap into law on Thursday.
Friday, June 10, 2011
By Jim O'Grady
Nassau County executive Edward Mangano said Long Island Bus will be privatized by the end of the year.
He announced at a Friday press conference that Veolia Transportation submitted the winning bid to take over the NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority's 48 bus lines, which carry an average of 100,000 daily riders.
Long Island Bus is one of the country's largest suburban bus lines; it connects suburban Nassau County with Queens.
The county and Veolia must still negotiate a contract. Mangano says he expects Veolia to run all of the bus line's current routes for $106 million--$8 million less per year than the NY MTA. Veolia will only be allowed to cut routes as a last resort.
The authority told county officials last year they needed to pitch in $17 million more per year for the bus operation, raising the yearly contribution by Nassau County to $26 million. That would’ve put the county in line with nearby Suffolk and Westchester counties, which respectively pay $24 million and $30 million per year for similar services from the MTA.
Nassau officials said they couldn’t afford it, especially after a state oversight board stepped in last year to seize control of the county’s depleted finances.
A press release from Mangano's office announcing the deal ripped the NY MTA as "a bloated bureaucracy."
The MTA, in a prepared statement, didn't respond to the criticism. "We look forward to working with the County and Veolia to assist in the transition and transfer of service at the end of the year," it said.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Nassau County wants to grow its economy by going on a building spree, with a new hockey arena and a casino. If they build it, will the jobs come?
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
By Kate Hinds
The agency said it made the move because it has had to cover an increasingly large share of the costs, and it will cease responsibility for the bus service by the end of the calendar year.
The MTA and Nassau County had been negotiating for months about how much the county should contribute to the MTA. On Wednesday, the MTA board said it wanted to give Nassau County as much lead time as possible — in this case, eight months — to prepare to assume responsibility for Long Island Bus.
"To take care of the riders of Nassau County, the MTA has provided $140 million, which has not been provided to the riders of Suffolk County, Westchester County, Dutchess County, Rockland County, Orange County, Putnam County and the City of New York for the bus systems that we took over," said board member and Suffolk County resident Mitchell Pally.
"I think it's clear to say that the only people who have been protecting the riders for the last 10 years in Nassau County is this board, not Nassau County."
But Nassau County executive Edward Mangano took issue with the MTA's decision — as well as with who owes whom.
"It's a sad day in America when a government agency such as the MTA chooses to maintain its bloated bureaucracy over the services it is charged to provide its residents," he said in a statement released Wednesday. "Because the MTA has failed taxpayers time and time again, Nassau County will move forward with a public-private partnership that maintains bus service without demanding an additional $26 million from taxpayers. ... The MTA's monopoly over transportation in Nassau County ends now."
A spokesperson from Mangano's office said that plans for privatization of Long Island Bus are underway. A committee is reviewing bids from three private companies and is expected to provide a recommendation to the county executive by May 15.
Any recommendation would then have to be approved by the state legislature. The spokesman said that a new operator will be in place by January first.
Long Island Bus carries about 95,720 383,000 riders each weekday and serves 48 routes.
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Sunday, April 03, 2011
By Jim O'Grady
(New York, NY -- Jim O'Grady, WNYC) The New York State Senate announced Friday it had come up with $8.6 million dollars to spare riders of the Long Island Bus drastic cuts in service. The bus line carries 33 million riders per year on routes that connect suburban Nassau County with Queens. The move came after months of high-stakes negotiations between Nassau County, a New York City suburb, and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The authority, which runs the local bus system on behalf of Nassau County, told county officials last year they needed to pitch in $17 million more per year for the bus operation, raising the yearly contribution by Nassau County to $26 million. That would've put the county in line with nearby Suffolk and Westchester counties, which respectively pay $24 million and $30 million per year for similar services from the MTA.
Nassau officials said they couldn't afford it, especially after a state oversight board stepped in earlier this year to seize control of the county's depleted finances. The MTA said that without the money it would have to cut 27 of 48 bus lines by July, stranding 16,000 out of 100,000 passengers.
Nassau County is one of the richest counties in the nation, but has, over the years, run its finances into the ground.
Then came a public hearing last month,
Friday, April 01, 2011
This just in:
We'll have more in a bit.
MTA, NASSAU COUNTY, STATE SENATE ANNOUNCE AGREEMENT
TO SAVE LONG ISLAND BUS SERVICE
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Nassau County and State Senate Republicans, lead by Senator Charles Fuschillo (R, Merrick) and Senator Jack Martins (R-C-I, Mineola), today announced an agreement to stave off proposed cuts to Long Island Bus that would have affected more than half of the bus routes in Nassau County.
“We have heard from many of our constituents that depend on Long Island Bus services to get to work, school or go shopping,” Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said. “They are very concerned that if these cuts go through, they will have no other way to get around. Fortunately, we were able to reach an agreement to avert the cuts and prevent any disruption in service. I want to thank Senator Fuschillo and Senator Martins for their leadership in responding to this issue.”
“A number of communities in Nassau County would have lost bus service entirely, leaving riders who live and work in those communities with no alternative way to get to their homes or jobs,” Senator Fuschillo, Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, said. “Riders are tired of hearing about problems, they want to hear solutions and we were happy to finally achieve a solution. I’m pleased that we were able to work together with the MTA and Nassau County to prevent the harmful service cuts as well as avoid layoffs.”
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The MTA proposed cutting 27 of the 48 Long Island Bus routes this summer due to a lack of funding. The cuts would have impacted about 16,000 riders. The MTA was scheduled to vote on service cuts at its April board meeting. Several hundred Long Island Bus riders attended a public hearing at Hofstra University last week to express their concerns over the service cuts.
Monday, March 21, 2011
By Charlie Herman : Business and Economics Editor
With the president traveling in Latin America and Congress on recess, there's no one issue driving the economic agenda and markets this week. As a result, investors will be pay close attention to the allies' air assault in Libya as well as other developments in the Middle East and what they mean for oil production and prices.
Monday, March 14, 2011
A state judge said he won't block the take over of Nassau County finances by a New York fiscal watchdog group.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Two NYPD officers with more than a decade of experience were killed in the line of duty last weekend. One was pushed over a railing and tumbled to his death on a leafy street in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. The second was fatally shot by an MTA officer on Long Island after a confrontation with a knife-wielding man. The suspect was also killed.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
—Joye Brown, Newsday columnist on The Brian Lehrer Show.
TN Moving Stories: Student Athletes WON'T have to pay up, self-service airport scanners, and cell service to hit NYC subways.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Oregon transit takes away parking spaces from crowded park and ride garage -- and puts in 74 biking parking spots. Look at it this way, officials say: you haven't lost eight spots --you've gained 74 bike spots! (Oregon live)
Los Angeles Schools Chief, in reversal, says school athletes will NOT have to pay $24 towards transportation to sporting events. He'll find "other financial options" to foot the $650,000 bill. Good luck! (Los Angeles Times)
LaHood, Wisconisin Governor Doyle, get ready for "big announcement" on High Speed Rail Thursday. (Business Week).
The phone will be ringing off the hook: New York subway tunnels will also get wifi. (New York Daily News)
Self service "subway-style" scanners being tested at Houston airport. Bloomberg
Suburban Nassau county sues NYC MTA for bus funding. MTA says Nassau has been a deadbeat for a decade, Nassau says too bad, we're broke! Buses could go private. (Long Island Press)
And crosswalks lights from around the world art installation graces Lower Manhattan construction zone: (jaunted.com)