John Owens’ column “Public School Data: Numbers Beyond Belief” deserves a great big “attaboy” for going to the heart of the problem. Being a math teacher, I would say to the kids, that in statistics, “figures don’t lie, but liars figure.” And when the city presented data that “garbage in results in garbage out,” they are trying to quantify the unquantifiable. In my career I’ve seen some of this, but the use by NYC is mind-blowing.
What fraud. But the New York State Education Department seems to be promoting this in many ways, including coming up with a number to rate teachers. What an insult to teachers to think that the efforts to motivate kids, the creativity, the dedication, the ability to put on a “dynamic show” five times a day, five days a week can be reduced to a number.
I voted on Nov. 5, but not for any judges. That’s because I felt I had no relevant facts upon which to base my votes.
We voters would not all be voters who have little idea whom we’re voting for if the Anton election supplement, or the League of Women Voters, or the ads and mailings of incumbent judges running for re-election would simply provide us with facts about their record as judges. With legislators, their voting records are public knowledge; but not so with judges. These men and women, who have to be addressed as “Your Honor” and have to be stood up for whenever they enter the courtroom, seem to have their own records sealed and secret.
After reading an article on Common Core, I agree even more. It really cuts through all the “educanese” the state is throwing at the public and fully exposes the serious flaws with the roll-out of the curriculum. You wonder how much teaching experience the people who wrote the curriculum modules have. Is the state trying to make the state program “teacher proof” by providing a virtual script for the curriculum? The curriculum is not complete and math chairs are being forced to turn to other states for a complete scope and sequence.
As we salute the men and women who served our nation on Veterans Day, the American Lung Association wants veterans and their loved ones to know that those who served have a higher incidence of lung cancer than the general population. November is also Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and the message that veterans have an increased risk for acquiring this dreaded disease is an important one that’s too often overlooked in the stories we typically read about both veterans and about lung cancer.
It’s no secret that tobacco use in the military was once encouraged and that many who served developed a lifelong addiction. Yet despite all that we now know about tobacco’s dangers, members of our military still smoke at rates that exceed the general population. Add in the exposure to chemicals like asbestos, depleted uranium, smoke from burn pits and other harmful emissions, and this risk becomes even greater.
The Lung Association urges veterans to talk with their doctors about their risk for lung cancer. We also encourage veterans who smoke or did smoke to visit lungcancerscreeningsaveslives.org, to see if lung cancer screening might be appropriate for them.
We are here for veterans, and all Americans, who need help quitting smoking. It’s the most important thing a person can do to reduce his or her risk for lung cancer. Learn more about how we can help you quit at quitterinyou.org.
Our Lung Helpline, at 1-800-586-4872 is available 7 days a week to answer questions about lung health and provide reliable information about quitting smoking. To learn even more about lung cancer, lung disease and how to best protect your lung health, visit our website at www.LungNE.org. Working together, we can raise awareness about lung cancer, reduce its incidence and increase the number of survivors.
Jeff Seyler, President and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast
I was planning to vote against Ed Mangano until three of “his” ads in the Oct. 16-22 Plainview-Old Bethpage Herald almost convinced me to vote for him. What influenced me were the three different, eye-catching, quarter-page ads (on pages 12, 8A, and 54A) about exciting, upcoming events. The top line of all three ads read “Nassau County Executive ED MANGANO,” with his name made to stand out through boldface lettering, color, and/or capital letters. Two of the ads’ top lines said that “Ed Mangano PRESENTS” the event to us, while one said that “Ed Mangano INVITES” us to the event.
Something is very wrong with Nassau County’s assessment system when 87 percent of appeals are successful. You don’t have to look hard to see evidence of a broken system. The county website shows that several nearly identical homes on one block in Hicksville had assessed values that ranged from $322,000 to $436,000. These were homes built the same year by the same builder and had very little difference in modifications yet their 2013 total property taxes, based on assessed value, vary by almost $2500!
Tom Suozzi is my cousin, so obviously you know I’m supporting him this November. He’s running again for Nassau County Executive because he believes that this county can be one of the greatest places to live in the country. He’s a deeply caring man that wants nothing more than to use his skills, abilities and leadership to serve his community and provide a better future for our children.
I believe Ed Mangano probably wants to do the same, however, sometimes the things I hear from Mangano and see in his commercials just don’t add up.
Recent Herald stories were about a “FARE Walk FOR Food Allergy,” the “6th Annual Walk FOR Autism” and the “10th Annual Walk FOR Alzheimer’s Disease.” I thought the Herald practiced good journalism by changing the word “FOR” to the word “AGAINST” in some of its own headlines, but the poor choice of wording used by some of these admirable charitable organizations still bothers me. Elsewhere, I’ve also read about the “Avon Walk FOR Breast Cancer,” a “Walk FOR Diabetes,” a “Walk FOR Multiple Sclerosis” and “Project Bread’s Walk FOR Hunger, etc. Personally, I am not “FOR” any of these debilitating diseases and otherwise horrible conditions, which combined afflict tens or hundreds of millions of people across the country and planet. I’m “AGAINST” these horrible scourges, and wish they could all be wiped off the face of the Earth.
There’s a lot of blame and finger pointing for the recent federal government shutdown. Today I’m offering a common-sense solution.
Originally, House Republicans, who are in the majority, offered a resolution to temporarily continue governing operations. It had two conditions: 1.) Fund the government at a level that many Democrats felt was insufficient; and 2.) Defund and delay the Affordable Care Act (known to many as Obamacare). I could not support both of those conditions, particularly using a shutdown of the federal government to effectively repeal the Affordable Care Act.
The 2013-14 school budget that was overwhelmingly supported by the residents in the Plainview-Old Bethpage community carried with it a proposed tax levy increase of 2.89 percent. You have just received your tax bill and are probably wondering why the increase you voted on is different from the one in your tax bill. Simply put, tax rates are established by the practices of the Nassau County Assessor and that office is solely responsible for the difference between the tax levy increase proposed by the district and your tax rate.
In Nassau County, there are four classes of property, each with its own tax rate: Class 1 is for single-family homes; Class 2 is for apartments and condominiums; Class 3 is for utility company properties; and Class 4 is for commercial properties such as factories, offices and stores. Each year, the county determines how much of the overall tax burden will be paid by property owners in each of the four classes. This is called the “adjusted base proportion,” because it represents the proportion of the total tax levy paid by property owners in each of the four classes. The distribution of property taxes among the four classes is entirely under the authority of the county.
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