Here’s a glance at opinion content published in The Journal News on Saturday, Feb. 26, Sunday, Feb. 27 and today, Monday, Feb. 28:
Saturday, Feb. 26
Republicans and the budgets: Commentary
Joni Balter, a columnist for The Seattle Times, assesses the political landscape after a week in which Congressional Republicans took aim at social programs and Gov. Scott Walker, Republican of Wisconsin, battled with public-employee unions over benefits and collective bargaining.
Melbourne farmhouse: Commentary
Alan Strauber, a Yorktown Heights resident who is president and chairman of the Calvert Vaux Preservation Alliance, argues in favor of the preservation of the Melbourne farmhouse, am 1812 structure the Yorktown Central School District owns and intends to demolish.
Tilcon quarry: Commentary
John F. Meehan, a Suffern village trustee, comments on the town of Ramapo’s plans to sell the former Tilcon quarry property to a developer who has proposed constructing 440 housing units on 65 acres.
Sunday, Feb. 27
We comment on the situation in the Badger State, where public-employee unions and Scott Walker, the Republican governor, are engaged in conversation that begs questions of national importance: What role should public-employee unions play in the future of our states? Should public employees contribute to their benefits? Do we value collective bargaining? We write:
… New Yorkers have their own troubles, including a $10 billion budget deficit, and their own set of hard choices, including proposed multi-billion cuts to schools and health care, and negotiations with organized labor aimed at saving billions of dollars or, in the alternative, laying off thousands of workers. New York also wrestles with a marquee policy decision — whether to cap annual property tax increases at 2 percent — that is likely to have repercussions in the classroom and local governments long after the Wisconsin mess has been concluded.
But we are transfixed nonetheless.
Wisconsin has touched off an important nationwide discussion about public-employee salaries and benefits. In a far more limited way, it also has prompted fresh discussion about the shrinking middle-class and their future, against the backdrop of recession, scant growth in real wages and growing income inequality.
Regrettably, the drama has not shed one bit of light on a more important discussion about employment, one started by President Obama in his State of the Union address a month ago. He talked about preparing American workers for the jobs of tomorrow — by investing in education, infrastructure and energy independence. …
Public employees: Commentary
Tim Rutten, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, assesses the situation in Wisconsin and argues in favor of the preservation of collective bargaining.
Disabled students and state budgets: Commentary
Bernadette Kappen, executive director of The New York Institute for Special Education in the Bronx, argues against a proposal from Gov. Andrew Cuomo that would cut $98 million in funding to 11 schools that cater to disabled students.
Monday, Feb. 28
Gay marriage: Commentary
Ann Woolner, a Bloomberg News columnist, comments on the Defense of Marriage Act and news last week that Attorney General Eric Holder has directed his staff to cease defending the legislation in court.
Public-employee pensions: Commentary
Robert Caiati, a Stony Point resident who is a retired White Plains Police Department detective, argues that retired public employees deserve the pensions they earned and that fixing a system that allows for pension padding is a chief priority.