San Antonio Stars guard Becky Hammon (25) tangles (Credit: Chuck Myers/ MCT)

San Antonio Stars guard Becky Hammon (25) tangles with Washington Mystics guard Kara Lawson (20) as she dribbles in the fourth quarter at the Verizon Center in Washington, Sunday, June 29, 2014.

On our minds: Busting glass ceilings (and tax caps)

Newsday's editorial board spends all week striving to be a reasoned and pragmatic voice for Long Island and its values through our editorials and columns. We debate local, national and international issues and write on those we think will impact our readers.

Some topics come up that don't turn into longer pieces, but are part of the national conversation and worth bringing up. Here's how we're telling you about them.

NBA finally opens a long-closed door

Another glass ceiling cracks, this time in sports.
(Credit: AP / Eric Gay)

Another glass ceiling cracks, this time in sports. Becky Hammon was hired as an assistant coach by the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs. Women have been nipping at that barrier for a while -- most recently, a woman was hired as an assistant for this year's Los Angeles Clippers summer league team -- but Hammon made history by becoming the first woman to be a full-time paid coach in the four major pro sports.

Hammon, a former New York Liberty star who plays for San Antonio's WNBA team, attended Spurs' practices and film sessions and sat behind their bench at home games last year while recovering from a torn knee ligament. She impressed the Spurs with her basketball IQ and work ethic, and was hired.

Hammon always has been a great leader on the court. Now she'll be one on the sidelines, too.

Don't get on this list if you plan to travel soon

20,800 -- That's how many American citizens and
(Credit: AP)

20,800 -- That's how many American citizens and permanent residents are in a federal database of people suspected of having some link to terrorism, according to leaked government documents published recently by The Intercept, an online magazine. It's a drop in the bucket in a database of more than a million names from around the world. Hopefully there are valid criteria for branding each of those U.S. citizens an enemy of the state, because as many erroneously included have learned, it can be a Herculean task to get off the list.

Extra pressure on Long Island budgets

The Oyster Bay Town board holds a hearing
(Credit: Newsday/Karen Wiles Stabile)

The Oyster Bay Town board holds a hearing Tuesday on giving itself permission to exceed the state cap on property tax increases. Call it the unofficial kickoff of the municipal budget season, as Long Island's 13 towns and two counties prepare spending plans for 2015.

The torturous process should be even more so this year: Officials must contend with an ever-tighter cap of 1.56 percent, the lowest figure in the four years the cap has been in effect. Increasing the pressure to stay under the cap: Taxpayers will get a rebate from the state if their government does that. That's going to be a real challenge in cash-strapped Oyster Bay.

After preliminary budgets are presented, hearings will be held. That's your chance to weigh in and ask questions. But remember: It's not an election year for local officials. Be watchful. Anything is possible.




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