Good Monday afternoon. Here’s a look at opinion content published in The Journal News over the weekend:
Saturday, March 19
Author and memoirist Fenton Johnson, in a commentary piece, comments on the earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan earlier this month. Responsibility for the outcome of the disaster, Johnson argues, lies on all of mankind’s shoulders.
Teachers and Last In, First Out: Commentary
Daniel Rizzi, a Tarrytown resident and former assistant director for special education at Southern Westchester BOCES, comments on public conversation about teachers and so-called Last In, First Out policies. Rizzi argues that the best teachers are those who have experience.
Sunday, March 20
Indian Point: Editorial
Two weeks ago, a mention of the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan might have ignited discussion locally about whether or not cooling towers should be built at the plant. Now, in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which crippled the Fukishima Daiichi nuclear plant, larger questions loom about Indian Point, which sits atop the Ramapo fault. We write:
…More answers and questions come this week. The five-member Nuclear Regulatory Commission meets in public on Monday to discuss the crisis in Japan; the members doubtless will also discuss Indian Point and the comprehensive review of U.S. facilities that President Obama ordered. Also Monday, a Westchester County Board of Legislators committee takes up disaster preparedness. Entergy officials, now an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis removed from their woes over Hudson River fish, were invited to attend the meeting in White Plains. According to a statement out Wednesday, the plants are in the midst of a “comprehensive review” of their ability to respond to “catastrophic events.” The statement said Indian Point is designed to withstand an earthquake “greater in size than the area has ever experienced.” The question now is whether that is good enough.
Medicaid reform: Commentaries
Gov Andrew Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign Team has made recommendations that cut spending to and limit the growth of Medicaid, a program that absorbs a quarter of the state’s budget. Many of the team’s proposals are controversial and, in a series of Community View pieces, Lower Hudson Valley stakeholders weighed in on Sunday and today:
Malpractice reform ‘hurts’ victims, taxpayers: Commentary
Erick Turkewitz, an attorney who lives in New Rochelle, argues that the Medicaid Redesign Team’s proposal to cap malpractice awards is a disservice to victims and taxpayers.
A good first step: Commentary
Jon B. Schandler, CEO of White Plains Hospital, writes that while he doesn’t agree with all of the Medicaid Redesign Team’s recommendations for reform, their proposals are a good first step.
Seniors targeted by reforms: Commentary
Joanne Cunningham, president of the Home Care Association of New York State, argues that the team’s plans amount to a billion-dollar assault on home care for the state’s most vulnerable citizens.
Overhaul needed: Commentary
Medicaid Redesign Team member Stephen J. Acquario, who also serves as executive director of the New York State Association of Counties, argues in favor of the team’s proposals, which he says will build a stronger New York.
Reform a priority: Commentary
State Sen. David Carlucci, D-New City, who represents the 38th District, writes that he and other members of the Independent Democratic Conference are committed to Medicaid reform.