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Judge Rules in Favor of Unions, Human West Nile Death Reported

A weekly look-in at the news of Nassau County.

A federal judge granted local labor unions a preliminary injunction on the Nassau County Executive Powers Expansion Law (Local Law No. 315-12) Monday.

The law, if enacted, would have given Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano the authority to open up collective bargaining agreements and extract $41 million or more in drastic labor cuts to pay for the county's backlog of property tax judgments.

Click here to read more about Federal Judge Arthur Spatt's ruling.

Officials Urge State to Uphold MTA Tax Ruling

State and local officials from across Nassau and Suffolk counties involved in the lawsuit against the MTA Payroll Tax are urging the state not to allow an appeal following a state supreme court judge’s ruling that declared the tax unconstitutional.

The ruling by Justice Bruce Cozzens, Jr. was handed down on a lawsuit first brought in 2010 by Nassau and Suffolk counties as well as numerous villages, argued that the tax which charged employers 34 cents for every $100 of payroll was unconstitutional based on the fact that it did not benefit the entire state, and either did not pass both houses of the state legislature with a two-thirds majority vote or adhere to the “home rule” clause from the local municipalities.

Click here to read more on the MTA tax ruling.

West Nile Death Confirmed in Oyster Bay

Nassau County Health Officials are warning residents to take precautions after confirming the first human death attributed to the West Nile Virus in Nassau County this year.

This is the second human case of West Nile Virus in reported in the last few days in Nassau County, and the first death this year.

Click here to read more about the West Nile case.

FEMA Agrees to Extend Low-Cost 'Preferred Risk' Flood Insurance Policies for Nassau Homeowners

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy announced Wednesday that FEMA has agreed to their call for an extension of the low-cost preferred risk flood insurance policies for Nassau County property owners.

According to a release from McCarthy, under the existing flood insurance program, homeowners who live in an area designated as a flood zone are required to purchase flood insurance. These policies can cost up to $2,000 per year on Long Island.

Certain residents in Nassau County, however, who only recently were determined to live in flood hazard areas due to new mapping, were allowed to purchase Preferred Risk Policies (PRP) – a lower-cost alternative – at premium rates of $200 to $400 per year.

Those subsidized policies were set to expire on Dec. 31, 2012, and Schumer, Gillibrand and McCarthy urged FEMA to extend them. FEMA agreed to do just that, extending the availability of the PRP for eligible households indefinitely.

Happy Daze August 30, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Oh it's for the kidssssss. With all the lies teachers and teacher unions spew....how are we to believe anything THEY say. Huh Mac? $77,000 median is fair. Huh Tom?
Robert Demarco August 30, 2012 at 12:12 PM
HD, all unions lie to their members. They have Local 1199 where I work. You would not believe the things that the oprganizers say to the members. The dues are 2% of their gross, and and the union has to justify this cost. The union is a business like all other businesses. After watching the dog and pony shows put on by their organizer at my facility, I understand Obama, the former organizer, alot better. Lies, lies, lies.
Mac August 30, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Happy daze yes I feel that teachers salaries are appropriate. Why dont you look at your website to see what it takes to make those salaries? How much extra education and longevity does it take to reach the average? I would say that ten years and a masters plus an additional 30 or so credits would be worth the 80k. You are too narrow minded to see everything. The teachers are only taking advantage of the system a mutually agreed upon contract approved and negotiated by the board of ed that you elect. If I had the opportunity to make more money through a bargained agreement I would, wouldnt most people? The problem is all the new negotiations need to start with a minimum health care contribution starting at at least 20%, the state need to require longer payments into their pension not just ten years then be more stringent on what it takes to get pay increases through further education. You take care of these three items and you will see immediate savings. Lastly, start mass buyouts and give credit towards time for retirement by the state. HAve the teaches at the high end of the scale off the books and hire newer younger teachers at the new scale or tier. But I am sure none of this makes sense to you because teachers are the root of all evil. Then again you dont understand my posts or were looking for the opening to bash teachers and took it.
Tom August 30, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Medicare is not going bankrupt for awhile yet. The problem is that GWB gave tax breaks to the wealthy designed to force medicare to have fiscal issues in the next 10 years. The solution is very simple. By increasing the salary where Medicare taxes max out from $120,000 to $250,00, Medicare will have sufficient funds until at least 2040. But the GOP wants Medicare to go bankrupt so they refuse to do this.
Tom August 30, 2012 at 02:25 PM
I know what "median" means. An experienced teacher is worth more than $100,00 per year. A good school district with a good salary attracts good teachers. And guess what? A good school district increases the value of your home. Compare a house in the Plainview school district to the identical house right next door in the Bethpage school district. You get what you pay for. if you don't like your taxes there is a simple solution... move.
fred August 30, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Since when did people get into the teaching profession for money? I thought it was for altruistic reasons!
Mac August 30, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Fred I love when people come back to the altruistic nonsense. Let's all be real. Who goes into a profession without considering the advantages. I am sure the percentage of teachers who go into teaching purely for the love of it is small. That is NOT to,say they don't love it and have a passion for their job. It certainly helps to have both if you plan to have a long career in any profession. But, I also am sure that the majority factor in salary, benefits, pensions, job security and vacaction time as well as the ability to be around to raise their own children. The current salary levels aren't the problem. It the pension, healthcare contributions along with the ease of attaining more credits to boost their salary.
Tom August 30, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Even if you go into a profession for altruistic reasons things like owning a home and having a family (and paying off the $100,000 in student loans that you graduated with) come into play.
Happy Daze August 31, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Worth the 80K? Maybe you're the one who needs to go back to school pal....it's at least 100K! Only reason teachers get those extra credits is because they get paid for it. Oh and getting a Masters in Education is a freaking joke. Try getting that masters in something like engineering. I hear you, I hear you, we alllll hear you....sell the unborn. I get it, we all do. Mass buyouts? Why? The old dinosaurs that have their time in already, are obviously not going anywhere. I'm guessing maybe you're a few years shy of retirement and that's why you're pushing your agenda? 1.7 BILLION in annual salaries, highest pensions in ALL of NYS....I understand that just fine thanks.
Happy Daze August 31, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Mac, you talk out of both sides of your mouth. One the one hand you feel these poor teachers deserve their pay because they've worked so hard to get that masters and +30 credits. On the other you say it's too easy to get those credits.
Happy Daze August 31, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Those things may utimately come in to play but I'm pretty sure they didn't even cross the minds of most people who go into teaching. You know, the people that decide to enter a profession that is already supersaturated on Long Island. Only thing these people thought about is having summers off, getting drunk and working on their tans. I've known a few teachers ;)
Happy Daze August 31, 2012 at 02:39 AM
And what did Obama do to strengthen Medicare? Create Obamacare?
Mac August 31, 2012 at 10:46 AM
Happy daze you are really a piece of work. Never referred to the teachers as "poor teachers" and yes they deserve their pay. Yes the deserve to get increases bases on continuing education but the class or credits allowed for that advance in salary should be more difficult to attain. So where is both sides of my mouth? Because I dont want to take it away? yes a mass buyout to get rid of the higher paid teachers adm replace them with newer younger cheaper ones. You can replace one old for two young. It is cost effective and bring in fresh minds and ideas. Happy daze your opinion means nothing when you claimed that " only thing these people thought about is having summers off, getting drunk and working on their tans" you are a ignorant angry person. Why don't you go read a book today and be thankful someone taught you how. Perhaps a book on mental calmness. I'll be out golfing.
fred August 31, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Mac- I don't agree that education is the only criteria to determine salary. should an mba working at walmart get paid a 100,000. Of course not because the job isn't worth that much regardless of education. The same applies for teachers. A Phys Ed teacher I grew up with is making 150,000/year. Is that job really worth it? Can someone do as well for say 75,000? I believe the bigger problem is the education community has not incorporated technology to make teachers more productive while lowering the cost per student.
Frank Razz August 31, 2012 at 12:04 PM
"And what did Obama do to strengthen Medicare? Create Obamacare?" If Obama wins, as wished for by just about every union member, I can wait until the moaning starts as unions lose their Cadillac medical plans and end up paying for Obamacare..
Mac August 31, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Fred where did I say education is the only criteria? In fact it isn't. When a teacher gets hired experience is also taken into account as to where a teacher fits on the salary structure. I don't understand your MBA comparison working at Walmart it makes no sense. These extreme comparisons devalue your argument. Should Jason bay make 18million a year? I don't think you can value different subjects on different levels. Who is more important, your AP science teache, kindergarten teacher, reading specialist, art teache etc.......I guess that depends on who you ask. There needs to be a levelness in the teaching profession. Can a person at 75k do the same job as 150k teacher I would imagine so. But how long has the teacher regardless of subject been there and what else has that teacher done to make that salary ? Look at your teachers contract online and see. Often that is twenty years on the job a masters and an additional 45 recognized credits. My point is that these recognized credits should be more scrutinized and start buying out older teachers while changing the system. What technology would you suggest? They are already using many different technologies and lets face it online work for students k-12 will,be an epic fail for the vast majority. I will say it again the system needs to be changed. The teachers are working in a mutually agreed upon contract and a nys pension system that they have no vote or choice but was put in place by the state.
fred August 31, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Mac- you said" the deserve to get increases bases on continuing education"- so clearly there is a relation between level of education and pay rate. My point is the job should be the focus with minimum requirements. There is no reason to overpay for a position because of the level of education. When an accountant goes for refresher courses that is not a reason for higher pay.As for Jason Bay , I have the option of not paying to go to the ball game. I do not have that same option for my school taxes. As for technology it has to do two things. 1) improve quality of education 2) lowering per pupil costs- clearly this has not been done in the eduction community- lastly save the contract nonsense since this is a scam put over on the taxpayers
Mac August 31, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Fred if the NYS department of eductaion requires teachers to increase their education and districts require masters even though you dont need a masters to get your teaching license than yes they should be compensated. Once again your accountant "refresher course" is not a valid comparison. These private sector comparisons continue to be invalid. I am not sure what you mean regarding the contract as a scam. Just to be clear so I dont misunderstand you, we should want all teachers to meet the minimum requirements for the job thats it? So just hire the minimally qualified and then they get no increase? Would you settle for that in a surgeon or lawyer? I will ask again what technology are you referring too? Here in Levittown they use laptops, smartboards, internet instruction and I believe IPADS. What else do you suggest? As for the Jason Bay comparison it is just as ridiculous as your walmart comparison. But you do hve the option to not send your child to the school or move out of state so I guess you still have options,
fred August 31, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Why should a teacher with a Masters get paid more than the job is worth? They are overqualified. As Mr Russo pointed out in another patch article in Port Washington we had 4800 applicants for 24 jobs. Tells you something! As for technology until they lower costs and increase quality of education they are just toys! Lastly I will leave the private sector out but even if I sent my kid to school out of town I still have to pay the taxes. The only way out is selling or dying!
Mac August 31, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Fred once again I ask you are you saying that schools should hire people that meet the minimum requirement for the job and stop there? No further education to increase knowledge base. All teachers should have a BA/BS no masters and teach because the Masters makes them overqualified? Again what technology are you talking about and how in your infinite wisdom should they use it. Because according to you the teachers shouldnt be trained to use it because it would exceed minimal requirements. 4800 applicants really? You do realize that more teachers have been laid off in the past three years than ever before. Yes so I guess your option similar to not going to Met games would be to move. Then again I ask how is the teachers contract a scam. Please respond because I dont know what you are talking about or are clear about.
Tom August 31, 2012 at 01:45 PM
ObamaCare is almost the same thing as RomenyCare. The idea of ObamaCare is to provide medical insurance for the millions of Americans who don't have insurance. Those people are costing you billions of dollars. When they show up at the emergency room with cancer who do you think gets stuck paying their bills? You do! One of the reasons health insurance rates are skyrocketing is because of all the people without medical insurance who are getting treated anyway. Hospitals can't just let people die because they have no money. They treat them and then pass the bills along to people who do have insurance. At least with ObamaCare there will be fewer people without insurance.
fred August 31, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Of course you can hire above the minimum standards, you just don't pay for it! As for technology teaching is stuck in the 19th century. Regarding the contract: 1) Triboro amendment 2) What did the union give up to make students smarter- more after school time? extra help? nothing- the union is only interested in the financial well being of its members and could care less about the quality of education 3) Unions paying politicians and then expecting sweetened pensions- there were 55 bills introduced in 2011 to sweeten pensions 4) Professional negotiators vs well meaning but inexperience school boards 5) Resistance to charter schools- put a little competition in and you will see salaries drop dramatically 6) School budgets exempting salaries from the voters I could go on and on but I think I have made my point!
Frank Razz August 31, 2012 at 02:24 PM
""ObamaCare is almost the same thing as RomenyCare. The idea of ObamaCare is to provide medical insurance for the millions of Americans who don't have insurance. " I love liberals that swallow this BS hook, line and sinker. No independent thinking, just follow the party BS..
Mac August 31, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Hire above minimum requirement and don't pay for it. Maybe your best line of the post. What technology stuck in the 19th century iPads, laptops, smart boards, Internet instruction..... Triborough not in the contract a state law,what did the union give up apparently in your mind nothing your ignorance is showing by claiming its only about money, do you know the tea hers support Cuomo how did that work out for education? Also did you know that over 60 percent of the supported candidates voted against educational bills the pension sweeting was formall unions not justbteavhers,another ignorant statement in teacher pro negotiators vs the boe domyounthink the boe doesn't use attorneys during negotiations, go research charter schools and you will see its not the end all be all,for education, lastly school budgets exempting salaries again I ask really? Should you vote on individual salaries? How are salaries exempt they are in the budget you vote for. At first I thought you may have some good thoughts but i see your are either narrow minded hateful towards teachers, ignorant or just plain simple minded. With that said the current system is not sustainable and will hurt education reform is needed and it starts at the state level all the way down to new ways of structuring contracts on both sides of the table.
fred August 31, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Mac once you begin to make your points by belittling the other person you are no longer worth having a discussion with. When you get manners come back!!!
Mac August 31, 2012 at 03:38 PM
"I could go on but I think I made my point!" the exclamation to prove your point as in yelling yet I belittle? Followed by "when you get manners come back!!!" not belittling or seeming to be the authority. How many posts did it take to answer a few questions based on your posts? Ones I didn't understand. Then you give me an uniformed laundry list of reasons that some aren't even true. You Clearly showed what you think and believe schools should hire the minimally qualified but can hire more qualified just not pay them. How did I belittle you by pointing out how you were incorrect on some of yournassumptions? Or making a determination of your possible state of mind? Maybe you should meet up,with happy daze and discuss how overpaid and drunk the teachers have been all summer.
Jeanne September 09, 2012 at 08:43 AM
Just vote Obama-he;s the most trusted for the middle class, his arithmatic adds up, vote for democraticsenators and congressmen also period, end of story.
Robert Demarco September 09, 2012 at 11:39 AM
It sure does add up. Higher unemployment, a much higher national debt, double gas prices from when Obama took office, more people on the dole, etc. etc. His policies are an abysmal failure. He will radically change this country if he is given four more years, and not for the better.
jonathan winant September 09, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Ed The problems inherited by Mangano are the fault of yeaqrs and years of the poorest judgemnet used by past County Executives. These problems go back longer then Suozzi and Gulotta. No one had the balls to say eough is enough. Borrow money to pay off bad decisions, HMMM. That is starting to sound like the Bank Bail outs. Let everyone get away with creating the problem instead of prosecuting to the full extent of the laws. Why should the innocent have to take on the burden that they did not create.
jonathan winant September 09, 2012 at 12:34 PM
The last time I read a story about what public officials in Nassau County earn I was shocked. The County Executive the man who runs the entire show (County) was earning less then some of those who are under him. Maybe it's time to get real and say big raises can not be had in a struggeling Nassau County. The same needs to be done at companies which we paid to have bailed out. There are other conseciosns which need to take place but they might never happen and we all know why.

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