Good afternoon. Here’s a look at opinion content published over the weekend in The Journal News:
Friday, April 1
Cuomo’s budget: Editorial
We comment on the state Legislature’s passage of a $132.5 billion spending plan for 2011. The plan cuts aid to education, health care and social service programs. We write:
… How all of those reductions will play out in real life has not yet been made explicitly clear, though chanting protesters flooded the state Capitol, hung banners and otherwise expressed the view that the impact will be dire — for the social safety net in New York, the neediest of state residents, public school children and sundry other interests.
But those complaints did not prevail, not in this post-recession era of taxpayer exasperation, and not against a governor who enjoys sky-high approval ratings.
Cuomo won on nearly all of his major policy positions …
Westchester ‘smut list’: Commentary
Liz Miller and Beth Thompson, coordinators of Margaret’s Place, a program of The Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation administered by Westchester Jewish Community Services, comment on recent news about the Westchester ‘Smut List,’ a local example of cyber-bullying playing out on Facebook.
Saturday, April 2
Bruce Ramsey, a columnist for The Seattle Times, argues that the bar for America’s going to war must be raised a bit higher in the aftermath of the Obama administration’s decision to engage in an effort to remove Moammar Gadhafi from power in Libya.
No-wait ERs: Commentary
Ron Nutovits, chair of Emergency Services at Hudson Valley Hospital Center in Cortlandt, offers a Community View in which he argues in favor of no-wait emergency rooms in which patients do not wait and are treated directly.
Sunday, April 3
Indian Point: Editorial
We argue that the moist up-to-date science and information about seismic activity must play a larger role in the relicensure process for Indian Point. We write:
… The scope of the prevailing relicensing assessment focuses on issues concerning plant aging — essentially how a plant has been maintained. Inexplicably, that otherwise painstaking assessment does not consider the bounty of new knowledge about seismic activity and, more to the point, new assessments about earthquakes. Entergy, the plants’s owner, is seeking permits to extend operations of Reactors 2 and 3 to 2035.
With Japan’s Fukushima reactors continuing to spew radiation weeks after being crippled by an earthquake and tsunami, the gaps in the U.S. review seem glaringly obvious. “To make administrative decisions that ignore new information is unacceptable,” as Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory geophysicist Klaus Jacob, an expert on risk assessment, told the Editorial Board during an Editorial Spotlight interview last week.
State Attorney Gen. Eric Schneiderman has called for more stringent and comprehensive relicensing reviews. U.S. Reps. Eliot Engel and Nita Lowey, both New York Democrats, have introduced legislation, the Nuclear Power Licensing Reform Act, that would require NRC to evaluate relicensing applications as stringently as the agency does for new plants, which would include evaluating the latest seismic data.
It’s time for Congress to require the NRC to develop a review that includes the better science and smarter safety measures that we’ve learned since the plants opened some 35 years ago. …
We also carried three commentary pieces that offered a range of views on the future of Indian Point:
America’s Middle Class: Reisman
Phil Reisman focuses his column on the growing disparity in income between the richest and the poorest Americans and the disappearance of the middle class.
Monday, April 4
Ann Woolner, a columnist for Bloomberg News, argues that the U.S. Supreme Court should continue its consideration of a class-action lawsuit that alleges that Wal-Mart, Inc. discriminates against its female employees.