NUMC board chairman Matthew Bruderman addresses the Nassau County Legislature in April.

NUMC board chairman Matthew Bruderman addresses the Nassau County Legislature in April. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Daily Point

NUMC comes together to meet less

The board of directors of the Nassau University Medical Center meets Thursday afternoon at 4:30, and in the hours before members convened several things stood out about the coming convocation.

  • It’s the first meeting board chairman Matthew Bruderman has called since he scheduled and then canceled a June 16 meeting, and the first one that will actually be held since April 13.
  • It’s the first in-person-only meeting held in at least two years. There will be no Zoom options for board members or the public, according to the agenda. At the April 13 meeting, the Zoom function was cut off on Bruderman’s orders as he tried to end the meeting, over objections from other members. Enough members quickly reconvened via conference call to form a quorum and vote to fire hospital general counsel Meg Ryan, though she continues to work in that role after Bruderman and hospital executives said the firing was not valid.
  • The only motion spelled out in the agenda is: “Motion to amend NHCC Bylaws Article IV 4.2 to ‘Regular Meetings of the Board shall be held at least quarterly …’” That’s a big change from the current bylaws which require a minimum of 10 meetings a year. Thursday’s meeting will be the third of 2022.
  • There may not be a lot of fireworks at this session. Board member Jason Abelove, a Democrat whom former County Executive Laura Curran appointed on the way out the door in December 2021, has been the sharpest thorn in Bruderman’s side, of the current members. Wednesday, he told The Point, “I’m not looking to create a big stir at this meeting, because my only concern is the well-being of the hospital and in order to manage that properly, we have to be able to conduct business.”

— Lane Filler @lanefiller

Talking Point

What’s old is new

Some Long Islanders might think they’ve stepped back in time — by more than a decade.

After all, Republicans Jack Martins and Lee Zeldin are both running for office, and both are campaigning, among other issues, against a Metropolitan Transportation Authority “commuter tax.”

Sound familiar?

In 2010, the MTA’s payroll mobility tax, which had been instituted the year prior in an effort to close the authority’s funding gap, became a significant campaign issue. Martins, running against incumbent State Sen. Craig Johnson, and Zeldin, running against incumbent Sen. Brian X. Foley, made it their signature issue with each calling for a repeal of the tax.

And it worked. Both Martins and Zeldin won, sweeping out two Democrat incumbents and leading to the beginning of the Long Island 9 — an all-Republican State Senate delegation in the region.

Now, Martins, who is again running for State Senate, this time against incumbent Anna Kaplan, and Zeldin, who is running for governor, are each resurrecting the issue, this time spotlighting congestion pricing — the plan to toll Manhattan’s central business district.

“STOP THE MTA’S NEW COMMUTER TAX,” a Martins Facebook ad screams.

“I oppose Kathy Hochul’s congestion pricing tax and will do everything in my power to stop it!” Zeldin tweeted last week.

Both Kaplan and Hochul have emerged in favor of the congestion pricing plan.

Neither Martins nor Zeldin is focusing on the differences between the MTA’s previous payroll tax effort, and the current congestion pricing plan, which advocates hope will have an impact far beyond raising funds for the MTA — one that could reduce traffic in the central business district by more than 20%.

Instead, the two Republicans are sticking to the old playbook, hoping it’ll have similar results.

— Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall

Pencil Point

Lift anyone?

Credit: Granlund

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Reference Point

Agony of eternal hostilities

The Newsday editorial from Sept. 29, 1950.

The Newsday editorial from Sept. 29, 1950.

War is hell, observed Civil War Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman.

It also is unpredictable.

The most recent evidence of that comes from Ukraine, where the presumption of Russian military dominance has been shattered by a Ukrainian counteroffensive that reclaimed vast swaths of turf from Vladimir Putin’s forces and led to this week’s urgent “votes” in occupied regions to seek annexation by Russia.

Newsday’s editorial board learned the lesson of war’s unpredictability the hard way, after a piece it wrote 72 years ago, on Sept. 29, 1950, during the early days of the Korean War.

American and South Korean forces had just repelled a North Korean offensive in the first few months of the conflict and the board was upset at the North Koreans’ “unadulterated gall and hundred-proof brassiness” in extending a peace proposal that, the board said, called for the United States to withdraw back to its original line before the counterattack and essentially let the North Koreans “escape without punishment.”

“To put it mildly, the North Koreans have got one hell of a nerve,” the board wrote in a piece called “Peace, It Ain’t Wonderful.”

“In war, when you lick an enemy, it’s up to him to take his punishment — which — in this case, should be the occupation of Korea entire by UN troops after the U.S. has driven all the way to the Chinese border. We would be dopes to settle for anything less. Right now, we have it in our power to smash one of Asia’s most aggressive and dangerous armies, and to rid that continent of a government that represents a peril to peace. Let’s do it. Peace, it’s wonderful — but not in this case.”

For another month, the board’s judgment seemed sound as U.N. forces pushed rapidly toward the Yalu River, the border with China. But then Chinese troops crossed the Yalu on Oct. 19 and entered the war on North Korea’s side, pushing the U.N. forces back. And the war of attrition continued for another 2 ½ years, finally ending in July 1953, with the Korean Peninsula cleaved in two.

Nearly 5 million people died, more than half of them civilians, in one of the world’s bloodiest conflicts. Nearly 37,000 Americans died in action with more than 100,000 wounded.

As for that “wonderful” peace on the peninsula, the two sides did sign the Korean Armistice Agreement that created the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea that exists to this day. But no peace treaty was ever signed.

So the two Koreas are technically still at war — a lesson in eternal hostilities that might end up reverberating among Russia and Ukraine, too.

— Michael Dobie @mwdobie and Amanda Fiscina @adfiscina