Congressmen Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) and Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills) announced today that Holbrook Fire District has been awarded $112,500 in federal funding through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. The AFG award will allow Holbrook Fire District to purchase two new radio base stations to replace old and obsolete equipment, allowing for interoperability with several spectrums of frequencies and more effective coordination among local public safety agencies.| read more ››
“Across America, there are more than 20 million college students heading back to classes this fall,” Bishop said. “Paul Ryan’s Altschuler-approved budget would slash Pell Grants by billions, eliminating the grants for 400,000 students in academic year 2013-2014, cutting grants for hundreds of thousands more in years to come, and reducing assistance for virtually every other recipient.”| read more ››
Less than 600 votes separated them last time, but with eight weeks to go in their rematch, Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop has seized a 13-point lead over Republican Randy Altschuler, according to a new poll released Thursday.
According to Siena College, Bishop (D-Southampton) leads Altschuler, a St. James businessman, 52 percent to 39 percent, among 624 Suffolk County voters surveyed from Sept. 5 to 10. Notably, Bishop led among independent voters, 49 percent to 41 percent.
The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.
Siena said that voters saw Bishop as better representing them on most issues, including taxes, jobs and the war in Afghanistan.
The two candidates have recently unleashed critical television ads...| read more ››
For two decades, Suffolk County and the Police Benevolent Association have failed to negotiate contracts, leaving the decision in the hands of an arbitrator. County Executive Steve Bellone and the union's new leader have broken that unhealthy cycle and, we hope, have led the way to a new era of collective bargaining for the county.
The proposed contract, unveiled yesterday by Bellone and the PBA president, Noel DiGerolamo, offers labor peace through 2020, helps the county control its costs and gives officers job security. It also gives the PBA something that it wanted desperately: a return to patrolling the Long Island Expressway and Sunrise Highway, a role Bellone's predecessor had turned over to lower-paid deputy sheriffs.
Like any compromise, the agreement has features that will please and displease both sides. But the key point is that it's a negotiated contract, hammered out in face-to-face talks limited to Bellone, DiGerolamo and Paul Margiotta, the county's labor relations director. Past arbitrated contracts were popular because they offered benefits for both the politicians and the unions. The union got more than it could have won in negotiation, and at the same time county officials were able to dodge responsibility for those costly contracts. The loser in this game of wink and nod, of course, is the taxpayer.
From the start, Bellone wanted a negotiated contract, and he proceeded strategically. The PBA supported him in last year's election, so cynics expected him to give them back the highways right away. But he smartly held that out as a big bargaining chip. To his credit, DiGerolamo kept negotiating, even after he was justified in moving toward arbitration.