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

Dobie: Think a vote doesn't count? Think again

Brookhaven Town Board incumbent Connie Kepert and challenger

(Credit: Newsday photos)

Every homily you’ve read about the importance of voting is true. It IS your civic duty as a citizen of a democracy. But lofty principles often fall flat as motivators, as witnessed by our generally lousy turnout rates. Sometimes a number is better at driving home the point.

So consider this one: 4.

That’s the number of votes by which challenger Michael A. Loguercio Jr. led incumbent...

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A kindergartener reminds us of the meaning of the holiday season

Anthony DeLutio, a student in Kim Butler?s kindergarten

(Credit: Coram Elementary School)

This press release from Longwood School District caught our attention this week. With the holiday season in full swing, we were struck by this Coram kindergartener's generosity:

Anthony DeLutio, a student in Kim Butler’s kindergarten class at Coram Elementary School, is thanked by his teacher and Principal Vaughn Denton for his generosity. When Anthony won the Coram Fire Department’s Fire...

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Filler: Suspension of 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson is just business

"Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson, left, with Jase

(Credit: AP)

“Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson has an absolute and unqualified constitutional right to speak his mind. We all do. What we don’t have is a constitutional right to a job, or the use of someone else’s microphone and media platform.

Robertson was suspended from his family’s show indefinitely Wednesday, because of comments he made about homosexuality in an article set to appear in GQ, primarily....

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Filler: Common Core subcommittee should focus on better implementation, not self-esteem

Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District Superintendent Lorna Lewis

(Credit: Barry Sloan)

With all the controversy over the implementation of Common Core standards in New York and all the changes wrought in its name, it’s not surprising that Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch has decided to appoint a subcommittee of five Regents to review the process and report back.

What may be more telling than the creation of that group is the eventual announcement of which Regents actually...

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Filler: Buy a Mega Millions ticket, it's not such a bad investment

Scott Rogers, of Port Jefferson, holds up his

(Credit: Ed Betz)

What if I were to tell you that tonight’s Mega Millions drawing, besides being a great fantasy investment at $1 a ticket (most of my fantasies have cost quite a bit more) is also, in one mathematical way of looking at it, a darn strong mathematical investment.

The drawing is at 11 this evening, and the odds of winning are about 258 million to one: in other words, you have a better chance of...

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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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