Good morning. Here’s a look at opinion content published today, Sept. 23:
We comment on news trustees State University of New York last week approved tuition hikes and cut aid to the state’s community colleges while simultaneously offering $30,000 raises to several top officials. We write:
… Hello? Is anyone paying attention up there in the ivory towers of Albany? If not, here’s a news flash: In the real world, students and their families are struggling to make payments, so they can get an education and prepare to work in an ever more competitive world.
The Albany Times Union reported that the three top administrators received raises of 10.5 percent to 13.6 percent. The raises mean that Johanna Duncan-Poitier, the chancellor’s deputy for education pipeline, now earns $250,000; John J. O’Connor, senior vice chancellor for research and innovation, now earns $275,937; and David Lavallee, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, now earns $315,000. In addition, O’Connor and Lavallee also got increases to their housing bonuses, which now total $39,000 and $60,000, respectively.
The handsomely paid officers will have some nice digs to work in, too: SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher is in the middle of multimillion-dollar redecorating project for her offices. …
Leonard C. Cooke: Appreciation
We celebrate the life and achievements of Leonard C. Cooke, a tireless Civil Rights advocate and Rockland County native, who died Wednesday at 96. We write:
… In his book, “True Stories from Mine Hole,” co-written with Audrey Lawson, Cooke offered a view of Rockland’s role in the Great Migration. “Mine Hole” was a strip of land that borders the Sparkill Creek in Piermont, home to the black laborers who came up from the South in the 1920s and ‘30s to find jobs and escape Jim Crow. As the book’s epilogue notes, the Mine Hole produced a generation of leaders in education, music, social work — and of course, human rights.
We are a stronger, and more compassionate, community because of Cooke and his endeavors.
Phil Reisman tells the story of Ruth and Albert Lefkowitz of New Rochelle, who recently won the right to claim funds from a Certificate of Deposit they obtained in 1973 and then lost track of.