Here’s a look at opinion content published over the weekend in The Journal News:
Saturday, Sept. 24
Troy Davis: Commentary
Alice T. Crowe, a Nyack attorney and playwright, offers a Community View on Troy Davis, the African-American man put to death last week in Georgia for the 1989 murder of white Savannah, Ga., police officer Mark Allen MacPhail. Crowe argues against the death penalty.
Sunday, Sept. 25
Infrastructure repair: Editorial
We comment on a report that 45 percent of Westchester County’s bridges are “functionally obsolete,” according to the state Department of Transportation. The figures are similar in Rockland and Putnam Counties. We argue in favor of President Barack Obama’s American Jobs Act, which would fund badly needed infrastructure repairs. We write:
… Of course, many commuters travel great distances, and from state to state, so they experience the breadth of the region’s infrastructure woes, from rundown bridges to overmatched wastewater treatment facilities and broke water mains. The state Comptroller’s Office, looking at long-range maintenance needs for bridges, sewers and water systems, estimates that New York needs to spend $250 billion over the next 20 years; about $80 billion of that is unfunded. “The central theme is that we have immense infrastructure needs and very limited resources to tend to those needs, and that presents some significant challenges,” Deputy State Comptroller Tom Nitido told The Journal News and LoHud.com.
Congress, loath to agree on anything, recently beat a Sept. 30 deadline to renew federal funding for surface highway construction projects. That keeps some $3 billion flowing to New York projects through March. Tougher sledding awaits the $447 billion American Jobs Act unveiled by the White House earlier this month. Boehner, McConnell and a parade of GOP leaders have panned major portions of the plan as inviting “class warfare,” because it would be funded in part by higher taxes on the richest Americans and closing some tax loopholes. More compelling than the stock objections is the overwhelming need and the considerable benefits: $140 billion for modernizing schools, which enhances our long-term competitiveness, and repairing roads and bridges, in the process creating some 1.9 million jobs, according to estimates by Moody’s Investors Service. Those are gains worth fighting for, between Ohio and Kentucky, and in New York and beyond.
Pell grants: Community View
Judith Huntington, the president of the College of New Rochelle, argues in favor of sustained funding of the federal Pell Grant Program.
Phil Reisman comments on Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino’s announcement last week that there is no “silver bullet” for the future of Playland Park.
Monday, Sept. 26
Term limits: Commentary
Shirley Lasker, an Upper Nyack resident and candidate for a Clarkstown Town Board seat, argues against term limits in a Community View piece.