Good Monday morning. Here’s a glance at opinion content that published in The Journal News this past weekend:
Saturday, June 25
Rockland flooding: Editorial
We comment on the flooding that swamped large swaths of the Lower Hudson Valley on Saturday. We write:
… We’ve known for a decade or more that only major mitigation work is going to make a difference along the Hackensack and the Ramapo rivers. Both are multimillion-dollar projects that have been put off and delayed only to be postponed and delayed again. The result: Places like West Nyack and Suffern brace for the worst whenever there’s a sustained storm or even a really heavy passing thunderstorm.
History tells us that the spot along Route 59 near the Palisades Center was flooding in the 1700s. It flooded before the mall and floods now. A Department of Transportation project that’s now approaching $30 million has as one component raising 800 feet of Route 59 by 18 inches. That will help drainage, but only so much, and the state has been reluctant to turn that into more of a drainage project than a highway and bridge improvement project. What will be done — after nearly a decade of delays — won’t be finished until 2013. Clarkstown on its own spent about $16 million over about five years on 90 drainage projects. But that, too, hasn’t been enough, judging by downtown New City Thursday. Of course, these days, the question without an answer is, where will the money come from? …
Sunday, June 26
Gay marriage: Editorial
We welcomed Friday night’s news from Albany that the state Senate, in a 33-29 vote, had legalized same-sex marriage. Gov. Andrew Cuomo subsequently signed legislation that will allow gays and lesbians to marry in New York as soon as July 24. We write:
The landmark vote legalizing same-sex marriage in New York was a long overdue boost for human dignity and fairness in a state that has long been at the forefront of such nation-shaping debates. It puts New York ahead of the curve on a movement that at some point will most certainly reach all 50 states, though probably sooner by judicial intervention than legislative action or popular vote. That the state Senate even took up the measure — the GOP majority alone could have denied a vote — reflected honorably on the chamber and democracy in the often-maligned Legislature.
New York is a changed and better place following the 33-29 Senate vote allowing gays and lesbians to marry. That was evident in the Senate chamber, where cheers erupted after the tally was read; that was the reaction in so many places throughout the state where gays and lesbians gathered to monitor the voting. At an overflowing Stonewall Inn in the West Village — ground zero for the gay rights movement in the United States — the tally was greeted with shrieks of joy, flowing tears, and marriage proposals. This was New Yorkers living history. …
Teacher evaluation: Commentary
Alfred Posamentier, dean of the School of Education at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, weighs in on the debate over public-school teacher tenure and evaluation in a Community View.
Monday, June 27
Rockland nursing home: Commentary
In a Community View, Republican Rockland County legislators Edwin Day and Patrick Moroney assess a plan to create a public-benefit corporation by selling Summit Park Hospital and Nursing Care Center in Ramapo.
Smoking bans: Commentary
Barry H. Colvin of White Plains argues in a Community View that White Plains’ recent decision to ban smoking in open, outdoor spaces goes too far.