Good Monday morning. Here’s a selection of opinion content published over the weekend and today:
Saturday, Sept. 17
United Water: Community View
Bert Dahm, a West Nyack resident and member of the West Nyack Hamlet Revitalization Committee, replies to a Sept. 10 Community View on United Water’s response to Irene. Dahm alleges that the utility’s response to the disaster was devastating.
Sunday, Sept. 18
Westchester’s housing settlement: Editorial
We comment again on Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino’s handling of the 2009 fair-housing settlement that requires Westchester to construct 750 affordable units that are affirmatively marketed to African-Americans. We write:
… Astorino and his minions ignore all that history in their public pronouncements, which on Friday were seconded by six Republican challengers for board seats. In a news release, they blamed the Democrats for signing off on the agreement and inviting Washington officials to intrude upon home rule. In the settlement, the county acknowledged its longstanding duties under HUD guidelines to affirmatively further fair housing, including crafting a policy addressing “the elimination of discrimination, including the present effects of past discrimination, and the elimination of de facto residential segregation …”
But the Astorino administration has adopted the same do-nothing-to-rock-the-boat-mentality as his predecessor. Appearing recently on Sean Hannity’s FOX News program, he made light of the obligation to “combat local opposition” to the county’s fair housing aims, wondering if “tear gas” was an option. Astorino and Deputy County Executive Kevin Plunkett, who also was interviewed in the FOX piece, dismissed racial discrimination as a factor in Westchester. Astorino, as he has before, noted just how diverse Westchester is — a fact not in controversy; the issue is the de facto segregation in Westchester and the county’s obligation to address it. Astorino told Hannity, “This is government gone wild. It is social engineering at its worst.”
No, it’s just housing for working people, and the usual crass politics.
DWI and the Westchester County Board of Legislators: Reisman
Phil Reisman examines the case of Republican legislative aide Bernard M. Malloy, who was arrested last week and charged with driving while intoxicated on Crompond Road in Croton. This is Malloy’s second arrested and he will face prosecution as a felon. The arrest presents a problem to the Board of Legislators, which has a zero-tolerance policy on DWI.
Equality in the justice system: Commentary
Barbara Finkelstein, executive director of Legal Services of the Hudson Valley and a member of New York State Chief Judge Lippman’s Task Force to Expand Access to Legal Services, offers a Community View in which she examines the growing foreclosure crisis and the poor’s access to civil legal services.
Irene’s aftermath: Commentary
We carried two commentaries on the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene and its impact on land use and infrastructure:
Land-use policies must reflect reality: John R. Nolon, professor, Pace Law School
Storms reveal need to repair infrastructure: Larry Levine, senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council
Monday, Sept. 19
Health exchanges: Commentary
Twila Brase, president of the Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, which favors a free-market health-care system, argues against the creation of health-insurance exchanges, a key tenet of the 2010 federal health-reform package.