Opinion

Watchdog: 100 days in, an environmental ‘disaster’

By HEATHER LEIBOWITZ, ESQ. // In his first 100 days, President Trump has taken dozens of actions that threaten clean air, clean water and treasured places. There is no question, President Trump is a disaster for our environment and public health. His actions will make our air and water dirtier, as well as ensure we experience the worst effects of climate change even more swiftly. The bottom line is: These rollbacks put the health of…

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Infrastructure bonding: Pay now, or pay more later

By MICHAEL SAHN// A recent front page article in The Wall Street Journal entitled “Localities Opt for Less Debt over New Infrastructure” reports that local governments are not borrowing to pay for desperately needed infrastructure improvements – despite the fact that interest rates for government bond issues for infrastructure have dropped to their lowest levels in 20 years, Why? Government officials are hesitant to take on long-term debt in a fiscal environment in which they…


Big projects deserve better environmental oversight

By MICHAEL SAHN // This year’s state budget includes hundreds of millions of dollars for big projects on Long Island, including a proposed bridge or tunnel to Westchester and a deep-water port in Shoreham, a new customs station at MacArthur Airport and money to beef up the Ronkonkoma and Nassau Hub projects. There’s funding for new R&D facilities, an engineering school, even money for a third track on the LIRR. If we are going to…


Can entrepreneurship keep you young?

By JOHN KOMINICKI // New Hyde Park resident Mary Putre is on the waiting list for “Shark Tank,” the insanely popular TV show on which entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a group of cranky investors. They say it could take another year or so to get her on camera. That’s not because her product – a snow shovel to which icy sludge will not stick – is a potential victim of climate change. The wait reflects…


Russian space geeks hitch their wagon to a star

Have an extra $7 you can’t figure out what to do with? You could help launch the first manmade star. That’s the smallest Kickstarter donation level for Mayak, a giant reflector some renegade Russian scientists hope to put into orbit this summer, making it the brightest object in the night sky. Um, Kickstarter? Yes. These are private, nongovernment scientists who have spent two years designing, building and stratosphere-testing the device, which Roscosmos, the Russian NASA,…


Infrastructure and other fashion necessities

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s promise of millions of dollars in new infrastructure projects for Long Island is a lot like getting socks and underwear for your birthday. They’re useful, but a bit of a letdown when you’re hoping for a new bike. And the governor has certainly been handing out Schwinn Phantoms in other parts of the state. $4 billion overhauls of LaGuardia and JFK airports. $1 billion to spruce up the Javits Center. Hundreds of…


Marvin Minsky and the future of the workplace

By JOHN KOMINICKI // Marvin Minsky, a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence whose work helped create the personal computer and the Internet, died in Boston over the weekend at the age of 88. The son of a noted NYC ophthalmologist, Minsky attended a string of private science and prep schools, then Harvard and Princeton, before settling in as a professor at MIT. There, with colleague John McCarthy, Minsky founded the school’s Artificial Intelligence…