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Up on the Board: Mandela watch, Taxi of Tomorrow, whistleblower in Hempstead

The editorial board, along with much of the world, is watching for news of Nelson Mandela. He is reportedly on life support and in stable condition at a hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, while the bodies of three of his children were returned to their original resting site in his hometown of Qunu on Thursday, following a court order.

The board is also interested in a new generation of taxicabs to be rolled out in New York City come October. The Nissan NV200 will have more legroom than the Ford Crown Victoria and will feature charging ports for electronic gadgets, as well as passenger-controlled air conditioning. Nice.

We’re concerned about reports that the Hempstead school district may fire Carlos Ramirez, the technology director who blew the whistle on the district’s years-old policy of rounding up final course grades of 63 or 64 to a passing 65. Troubled districts need more people like Ramirez, not fewer. Hempstead has the lowest graduation rate on the Island, at 38 percent in 2011-12.

And we’re pleased that a 9-year-old from Manhasset submitted a contest-winning soup recipe and will be invited to join 53 other children from across the country to the White House to promote healthy lunches.

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Up on the Board is the editorial board's blog about what we just discussed at our weekday morning meeting. These meetings are where we talk about the news of the day and hash out our positions for the opinion sections of Newsday, Newsday Westchester and amNew York.