Good Monday afternoon. Here’s a digest of opinion content published over the weekend in The Journal News:
Saturday, July 16
Debt ceiling: Commentary
Doyle McManus, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, assesses the struggle between Congressional Republicans and the administration of President Barack Obama over raising the federal debt ceiling. Any deal to do so, McManus argues, will not go far enough to prevent a fiscal crisis.
French-American School: Commentary
Mischa Zabotin, chairman of the French-American School of New York’s board of trustees, offers a Community View in which he argues in favor of his school’s plan to construct a new campus on the former Ridgeway Country Club property in White Plains.
Sunday, July 17
Affordable housing: Editorial
We comment on news that Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino announced in a Friday press briefing that “the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development had rejected, for the fifth time, the administration’s required analysis of impediments to fair housing choice in Westchester. That failure, according to the administration, stands to cost Westchester some $7 million in federal housing funds; the figure could surely grow, based upon fresh comments from Astorino. He excoriated HUD officials, accusing them of “unprecedented bureaucratic overreaching,” and disavowed key settlement provisions.” We continue:
The county executive also disavowed a specific settlement promise to support legislation barring source-of-income discrimination against otherwise qualified housing-seekers in Westchester; fair-housing advocates have long asserted that bias against certain sources of income — i.e., government disability payments or housing vouchers — is often a proxy for racial discrimination. The Board of Legislators approved such a prohibition; Astorino vetoed it. He stated Friday that the prior administration’s support for such a ban satisfied the settlement terms. Both HUD and the monitor have questioned Astorino’s stance, but neither has asked the court to enforce this settlement provision — or any other. They should.
New Yorkers and their state: Reisman
Phil Reisman weighs in on a recent Quinnipiac poll that found that 91 percent of New Yorkers, despite “all the kvetching about taxes, political corruption, unemployment, gasoline prices and contentiousness over social and environmental issues” love living in this state.
Kate Sinding, senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, argues that the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s yet-to-be-completed review of hydraulic fracturing of natural gas is flawed as it stands today. Sinding argues in favor of tighter restrictions on the controversial extraction practice.
Troop reductions: Community View
Jerry Donnellan, director of the Veterans Service Agency of Rockland County, argues against troop-level reductions in a Community View.
Monday, July 18
Bond market and the debt ceiling: Commentary
Caroline Baum, a columnist for Bloomberg View, argues that bond traders know that the Washington push-pull over the debt ceiling is not a cause for alarm.