Analysis, discussion and opinions by members of Newsday's editorial board.
BloggersAlvin Bessent Rita Ciolli Michael Dobie Joseph Dolman Lane Filler Sam Guzik Anne Michaud Larry Striegel
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.
Long Island Rail Road regulations say it is illegal to “burn a lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe or any other matter or substance which contains tobacco or any tobacco substitute.” Now, the LIRR is citing that rule to ban electronic cigarettes on trains. E-cigarettes have become popular in the United States and Europe in the past decade. They help smokers get their nicotine fix without inhaling all...Read more »
Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday on Thursday is a milestone for an icon of equality that under most circumstances would be happily celebrated by South Africans and admirers around the world. Of course, this year’s birthday approached as his nation monitored news updates on his frail condition — but also looks on with some discomfort as his family squabbles over his future burial place and his fortune....Read more »
While renewing her push on Capitol Hill to reform the military justice system’s prosecution of sexual assault, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was flanked by two unlikely allies. The New York Democrat was joined at a news conference Tuesday by a pair of hard-charging tea party darlings: Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky. Both threw their weight behind Gillibrand’s proposal to remove the...Read more »
The editorial board is interested in a report that SUNY is scheduling a spin-off of one of its most successful research centers, the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany, for the 2014-15 academic year. How will this intersect with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s plan, which we supported, to offer tax-free zones for businesses that locate on college campuses? We’re pleased that the G subway...Read more »
At this point, you could almost praise Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano's close associates for the openness with which they're trying to manipulate the election system to improve their man's chances at winning. Almost, but not quite. There's a new candidate looking to represent the Green Party in the race, which will pit the Republican Mangano against one of two Democrats: former county Executive...Read more »
David Petraeus is a general who understands the value of a well-timed retreat. Hired recently to teach an honors course for perhaps as much as $200,000 at the City University of New York, the former CIA director and commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan has backed off—saying on Monday that, upon second thought, a fee of $1 would work pretty well. That’s great news—because CUNY and the...Read more »
In Times Square late Sunday night, hundreds of protesters gathered to vent angrily about the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the pistol-packing neighborhood watch volunteer who shot an unarmed black teenager named Trayvon Martin last year in a scuffle whose details are murky to this day. While gut-wrenchingly furious, most of the protesters I saw interviewed managed to maintain their poise. "We're...Read more »
The editorial board discussed whether we should take a position on the Justice Department’s consideration of a criminal civil rights case against George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of state charges in a Florida courtroom on Saturday. The DOJ says it’s reviewing evidence. We decided to hold off writing an editorial for now, and noted that there are major barriers to federal prosecution, such as...Read more »
New York City "makes up for its hazards and its deficiencies by supplying its citizens with massive doses of a supplementary vitamin -- the sense of belonging to something unique, cosmopolitan, mighty and unparalleled," wrote the incomparable E.B. White in 1948. On good days, I think he's still right. On others, I think his notion is a cruel joke. Consider the taxi wars. Here's the problem....Read more »
The editorial board notes Janet Napolitano’s resignation as head of Homeland Security, the largest federal bureaucracy after the Pentagon. Her successor’s task will be to figure out if such a mega-agency is serving the country well – and if not, to reorganize it. We’re looking at the 2011 death of Daniel McDonnell in the custody of Suffolk police. A new state report says the police, the medical...Read more »