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Analysis, discussion and opinions by members of Newsday's editorial board.

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Rita Ciolli

Rita Ciolli began working for Newsday 40 years ago as a summer intern. During her senior year at Fordham University, the Bronx native worked full time covering Hempstead town. After graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1977, she spent a decade in the Washington bureau assigned to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Justice Department and the FBI. After a long stint as a media and technology reporter, Ciolli covered religion before joining the editorial board in 2005. She became editor of the opinion section in November 2007 and has expanded its commentary and letters sections both in print and online.

Dobie: Town boards find something to agree on

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray addresses supporters at

(Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

So, no surprises — the town boards in Hempstead and North Hempstead approved salary increases for themselves and some other elected officials. The votes came after public hearings during their respective meetings Tuesday, after some residents in each town expressed disapproval.

The issue, as we’ve said before, was not the size of the raises or whether they were deserved. It was a question...

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Filler: To call a snow day or not? The school administrator's dilemma

Traffic on Old Country Road in Westbury as

(Credit: Howard Schnapp)

Long Island’s education leaders know they’re damned if they do call off school before the kids show up, and they’re damned if you don’t.

If they sound the “No School, Let the Celebrations of Children and Wailing of Parents Begin” alarm and call it off, they risk the possibility that by the time the kids actually creep from the bed and peer outside the clouds will have passed by without dropping...

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Joe Mondello and Jay Jacobs: Who's the boss?

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, left, speaks with

(Credit: Newsday, 2012 / Thomas A. Ferrara)

Who’s the boss? Apparently not Joseph Mondello, the Nassau County Republican Committee chairman who wrote in to Newsday last week to protest being referred to in a news story as a “GOP boss.”

Mondello complained that his Democratic counterpart, Jay Jacobs, is more often described as “Democratic Chairman” or sometimes “Democratic leader.” The appellations reveal a Newsday bias in favor of Democrats,...

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Dobie: What to make of last week's school bond votes?

Rendering of the new Sewanhaka Central High School.

(Credit: Handout)

What to make of the results from this past week of school bond votes in Nassau County? Two were approved, one rejected. It’s tempting to note simply that the biggest one went down and leave it at that, but that might not be the whole story.

The scorecard: Sewanhaka: Voters rejected a $99.5 million bond referendum, 53-47 percent. Bellmore-Merrick: Voters approved a $49.9 million referendum,...

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Guzik: Ed Cox weighs in on Rob Astorino's possible candidacy for governor

Edward Cox poses in Colonie, N.Y., Sept. 29,

(Credit: AP)

Rob Astorino would give Andrew Cuomo a run for his money in the 2014 governor's race, according to New York State Republican Party Chairman Edward Cox. In a meeting with Newsday's editorial board on Monday, Cox said that the Westchester County executive was extremely positive about the possibility of challenging Cuomo in the fall. Cox recently set up a meeting between Astorino and New Jersey Governor...

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Dobie: Hempstead's underhanded plan to increase officials' salaries

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray speaks to the

(Credit: Howard Schnapp)

Here we go again.

Another Long Island town is considering salary increases for elected officials — a month after the 2013 elections. Hempstead Town proposed last week to increase salaries for Supervisor Kate Murray and the other six town board members.

Newsday’s editorial board on Monday criticized a similar move in North Hempstead to give raises to the same seven positions in that town....

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Bessent: More time for Kirsten Gillibrand to lobby for votes

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., listens to a fellow

(Credit: AP)

Hurry up and wait.

That's the story of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's crusade to move the prosecution of sexual assaults in the U.s. military out of the chain of command.

Her revolutionary amendment to strip commanders of that authority and give it to professional military prosecutors was queued up for a vote this week in the U.S. Senate. With 53 senators publicly backing it (and maybe a...

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Bessent: Congress needs to keep an eye on compounding pharmacies

Vials of the injectable steroid product made by

(Credit: AP)

Few people heard of “compounding pharmacies” before a meningitis outbreak killed 64 people a year ago. The disease was traced to a tainted, injectable steroid medication shipped across the country from a mold and fungus infested facility outside Boston where it was mass produced without federal oversight.

Thanks to a gap in the law the New England Compounding Center’s operation was perfectly...

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Dobie: The election season is over. Finally.

Residents cast their ballots to vote in the

(Credit: AP)

You all win. I’m worn out. I love the electoral process and everything that goes with, but I’m happy you’re about to go away. I live in West Babylon and over the last month my house has been bombarded by all manner of mailings, robocalls and personal visits, all in regard to the battle between Democrat Tom Dolan and Republican Kevin McCaffrey for the 14th District seat in the Suffolk County Legislature....

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Bessent: On election day, think about ways to raise voter turnout

Merrit Tucker, 3, sits on his mother, Abbey

(Credit: Charles Eckert)

Turnout in today's election is expected to be dismal, which is too often the case in New York and the nation.

The world’s greatest democracy should have the world’s highest voter turnout. Sadly, it doesn't. Not even close.

Coming in at 138 out of 172 industrialized nations, the United States falls embarrassingly near the bottom. Only 57.5 percent of those eligible actually voted in the...

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