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818 Comments by dfree

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Patients, Healthcare Providers Concerned Over Possible Repeal Of Affordable Care Act

We are taxed at the same rate or higher than all of the countries I mentioned, especially on New York State, Suffolk County, and in the Town of Southampton, NY. For $400/month each, we cover all healthcare costs on the East End. Why don't we have healthcare? Healthcare insurance companies and political parasites spend our savings on their salaries and pensions while common citizens suffer. Why do the Irish, Israelis, Japanese, Canadians, Danish, Finnish, French, English, Scottish, Belgian, Dutch, New Zealanders and Australians have healthcare? Because they are smarter than the American suckers who accept nonsense from their politicians." Jan 17, 17 9:36 AM

Whose hand is in your pocket?

(AP) — UnitedHealth Group’s earnings soared 56 percent in the final quarter of 2016, helped by growth in its core health insurance business plus gains from its Optum business segment.

The nation’s largest health insurer beat Wall Street expectations for the quarter and also reaffirmed its earnings forecast for the new year." Jan 17, 17 9:05 PM

National Center for Health Statistics
Center for Disease Control
Health Expenditures
Data are for the U.S.
Per capita national health expenditures: $9,523 (2014)

New York State population:. 19.75 million

Health Care State budget 48.1 billion
Health Care spending local government budget 15.1 billion
TOTAL NEW YORK GOVERNMENT HEALTHCARE SPENDING: 63.2 Billion

If you do the math, and even a poor high school student like myself can add, subtract and divide, I believe you will find that taking the national average per capita health spending, multiplying by the population of New York State, subtracting the current payment by state and local governments for healthcare, dividing by the population dividing by the number of months in a year, the answer is $527 per person per month.

No co-payments, no deductible.

Now give a 10% discount for being less than 40 lbs overweight.

Now give a 10% discount for not smoking.

That's $106 off $527 or $421.

Now explain to me why we don't have Healthcare for $421 per month for non smoking, less than 40 lbs overweight people?

I'll explain it.

We're suckers.

" Jan 20, 17 11:33 PM

Why would anyone complain about the VA? The best deserve the best. For all non vets, good enough will do.

Also, it would be great if non smoking, non obese people could buy healthcare insurance that excludes those free riding fat smokers. They could go pay for their own healthcare insurance.

That would solve alot of cost issues. I'd vote for that." Jan 21, 17 1:27 PM

Quogue Village Sets Hearing To Discuss Piercing Tax Cap

Many of the houses along Dune Road are owned by corporations that are subsidiaries of larger corporate entities, therefore the property tax is deducted from State and Federal tax, so the tax burden of common citizens is increased by this amount.

So the question remains, as a citizen of Quogue Village do you feel you are getting $8400 of government service for each man, woman and child in your house? A family of 4 should $33,000 per year of value.

Do you get free healthcare? Do you get a free Platinum F 150 from Quogue Ford with enough left over for gas money?

Maybe the reason why your elected officials want to "pierce the cap" on taxes is because they want everyone to have premium gas." Jan 24, 17 8:21 AM

Hampton Bays Library Board Will Seek Taxpayer Approval Of $9.9 Million Renovation Plan In March

Davidf you're a little confused, it's Sandpebble and Easthampton paid the piper.

He was indeed at the last REGULAR library board meeting, not the special one called in the middle of the month. Here is the note from the minutes, available on line:

OLD BUSINESS Building Plans – presentation by Victor Canseco.

Here is how Mr. Canseco operates his construction management business:

In June 2006 the East Hampton Union Free School District negotiated a construction management agreement with Sandpebble Builders, Inc. The agreement was negotiated in principle and was subject to signature by the construction manager’s owner and president, Victor Canseco. Although Mr. Canseco indicated that he would sign the contract, he later refused and additional negotiations were held, but again, Mr. Canseco refused to sign the agreement. This sequence of re-negotiation, agreement in principle, and refusal to execute was repeated twice more until, by letter dated September 15, 2006, the construction manager terminated negotiations, and stated that it was “ready, willing and able to perform”, but only under the terms of an abandoned 2002 agreement between the school district and the construction manager, which contained more favorable terms. The school district contracted with a different construction manager and sued Sandpebble Builders, Inc. and Victor Canseco, personally for breach of contract.

In support of the school district’s direct claim against Mr. Canseco, the district argued that Mr. Canseco was the president and owner of Sandpebble, that he exercised “complete dominion and control” over Sandpebble, and that Mr. Canseco used such power to commit a wrong against the school district. According to the school district, Mr. Canseco never intended to perform the work as negotiated under the contracts. Rather, Mr. Canseco engaged in bad faith and unfair negotiating tactics by repeated demands for new terms, after having reached an agreement in principle, which were designed to delay progress of the project in order to pressure the district to offer more favorable terms." Jan 24, 17 1:17 PM

Thiele: Governor's Proposed State Aid Package Could Shortchange Three East End Schools

Maybe the State is worried that Easthampton will spend the money on an enormous settlement with a construction company that never built anything, or that Sag Harbor will buy an expensive building they don't need, or that Southampton will spend the money on a settlement for a fired Superintendent who did something that won't be revealed.

Oh wait, all these things happened. Maybe the State government is concerned with poor oversight by local school boards that don't actually keep the education of children as their priority." Jan 25, 17 8:40 AM

Quogue Village Sets Hearing To Discuss Piercing Tax Cap

Don't kids in East Quogue go to the Quogue elementary school and then Westhampton Middle School and High School? And doesn't the developer of that golf course promise money to the East Quogue school board? And doesn't that mean they can be charged even more for sending their kids to Quogue and Westhampton schools?

What are the residents of Quogue Village getting for their $8400 per person per year?

It stinks like day old fish." Jan 25, 17 8:49 AM

So, how many kids in Quogue are covered by this $9.9 million budget? 40? 70? It seems to me that the residents of Quogue Village would be better off giving everyone with a school age kids a $25,000 voucher for each kid to go to a private school of their choice rather than give Westhampton $35,000 per kid. " Jan 26, 17 10:42 AM

Hampton Bays Library Board Will Seek Taxpayer Approval Of $9.9 Million Renovation Plan In March

Why is Victor Canseco /Sandpebble still presenting construction plans to this board? He received millions of dollars for deceiving the Easthampton school board, signing a $10 million construction project with him is a terrible idea. And after losing the last vote, the director of the library got a new 5 year contract last month. Who gets 5 year contracts? This is going to end badly." Jan 26, 17 10:47 AM

The presentation by Mr. Canseco for the $10 million construction budget and the 5 year contract extension for the executive in charge of the library are both noted in the board minutes. Both of these actions were made AFTER the $15 million construction of new library by Mr. Canseco was voted down by a 4 to 1 margin. These minutes are on the Hampton Bays Library website.

I would suggest to the Board that the presentation Mr. Canseco made be placed on the website. Mr. Canseco and his construction company recently received $6 million from the Easthampton School Board. Mr. Canseco received this money after building NOTHING.

Has a no bid construction agreement already been signed? Next time you're in the library, ask to see the presentation." Jan 27, 17 5:23 AM

Schneiderman Skeptical On Approval Of Tuckahoe Center Proposal

Well if Southampton is going to stop being a sanctuary city the Town police are going to need a place to intern the prisoners with no proof of legal residence that get stopped for traffic violations. Don't want to lose all the Federal money going to the hospital, right? Mouthampton maybe you could get a job building a stout fence topped with barbed wire to hold them all." Jan 27, 17 7:19 AM

Residents Want Hampton Bays Business District To Have 'Small-Town Charm,' Survey Finds

Was the survey also given to the 35% who don't speak English at home? In their language? If not, why not? And if the new Administration deports them, or the half of the residents that don't have residency status, that means that about 20% of the town population, and 50% of the population that work locally disappears. What's that going to do to the local economy.

Be careful what you wish for." Jan 29, 17 11:09 AM

And for what it's worth, those of us working and paying taxes are supporting the Medicare and Social Security of every person over 65.
" Jan 29, 17 12:07 PM

The school budget increases are almost entirely due to the increase in the cost of healthcare for the employees. If you look at the budget, which is available online in line item form, the only double digit increases are health insurance.

I'm not against health insurance benefits for school employees, I'm jealous of them. Can I know what the rates are? Can I buy this insurance for myself? How about the plan for local cops, admin staff, and other public workers? Can I see what is being spent on their plans and purchase the plan for myself? Not asking for a handout, what's the cost for the single and family coverage?
If it's better than the terrible deal I have now I'd like to switch.

I'm not against Medicare, I'm jealous, can I buy that for myself as well? Except I would like a plan that is allowed to buy prescription medications at a negotiated rate, which is not currently allowed -- still puzzles me why the Bush administration made that deal.

I'm also not against a superior education for our local children. Unfortunately, it's not going to return a local investment if they are sent away due to lack of residency documents." Jan 30, 17 8:13 AM

I apologise, the HB school district actually had a decrease in healthcare insurance costs from the 2014/2015 school year to the 2015/2016 school year. It's about 10℅ of about a $49 million budget." Jan 31, 17 6:53 AM

How about if folks are offered vouchers equivalent to 75% of the per pupil education cost? That's about $20,000 for non disabled kids in Hampton Bays. The parents could use the vouchers to send their kids to any education facility of their choice." Jan 31, 17 7:01 AM

Maybe more folks would comment if the presentation and pattern book was posted online. That would be easy enough. My original comment also still stands. According to the 2010 US Census, 35% of the Hampton Bays households speak a language other than. English at home. Let's assume this percentage has even gone up in the last 7 years. So we're going to adopt a look that has no input from about half the population? " Feb 1, 17 8:19 AM

East End Officials Waiting To See How To Handle President Trump's Executive Order On Immigration

Let's make Code Enforcement round them up, if they're not too busy trolling airbnb to make sure no one rents to yuppies from Manhattan. Where should we hold them until La Migra comes to take them back to where they came from? Round up all those illegal Uber drivers too." Feb 1, 17 11:20 AM

Residents Want Hampton Bays Business District To Have 'Small-Town Charm,' Survey Finds

How can Code Enforcement be overwhelmed? That's one house and the department has 11 professionals in it -- look at the Town website. Who responded to your complaint and did nothing -- name them here. " Feb 3, 17 8:59 AM

East Quogue Teachers Union Pressing School Board For New Contract

How many students are in that one school in East Quogue? 50? Less? Offer parents $20k per student voucher to go to school of their choice. That will cut East Quogue taxes in half. School district officials should read the news, Betsy DeVos is now the power of education in the US." Feb 8, 17 8:08 AM

Residents Want Hampton Bays Business District To Have 'Small-Town Charm,' Survey Finds

Was the survey printed in Spanish? The school got in trouble in 2015 for not supporting their Spanish speaking students. Also, your evasive answer after being questioned about your assertion of houses with more than legal numbers of residents and your claim, then withdrawn, that the Code Enforcement department of 11 professionals is too "overwhelmed" to enforce building codes indicates that you're not a trustworthy person. Now you're deflecting. The question remains about the validity of any survey on the town that does not reach out to ALL town residents, regardless of what language they speak at home. This further indicates that you have very little credibility as someone who is thoughtful about the future of Hampton Bays, just your own selfish view of it." Feb 8, 17 8:11 PM

There is adequate right of way next to LIRR tracks for a single paved road that can accommodate self driving cars. Why is the Town Supervisor spending $200k on a new department to build public housing -- who is this for? His existing tax paying constituents are becoming angry about a lack of quality healthcare coverage -- except of course for Town employees whose plans are secret and not offered to anyone not on the Town payroll. Instead of planning to spend our taxes on homes for people who don't live here, how about giving access, at cost, to the Town Healthcare coverage to the people that ALREADY live here.

Stop spending $50,000 on "pattern book" that has not been seen by 95% of the people who live in the area affected, maybe he could spend $0 on recruiting Google to do their self.driving test here and eliminate the trade parade with 21st century technology instead of pursuing nonsensical projects that spend our taxes and have no return for us.

When are we going to have a common sense local government that puts our taxes to work for us?" Feb 10, 17 12:45 PM

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman To Run For Reelection

The new hospital is not necessary since 30% of the population of the Town of Southampton has no legal residency rights. Are we going to agree to the new Federal administration policies? Or are we a sanctuary city? This is the debate for our Town, a serious issue that deserves some serious consideration and a political declaration of a specific position. So let's hear it." Feb 11, 17 11:59 AM

The Supervisor's significant policy is the Southampton Housing Authority, a new Town initiative. It has a high overhead with several new expensive full time employees at Town Hall and competes directly with free market construction most notably and currently in Speonk. Who is this housing for? Why is our local Town government building new projects in a rural and vacation based area? Who wants this? Follow the money." Feb 13, 17 9:13 AM

Please be specific in your criticisms. Which of the Supervisor's policies are "smoke and mirrors"? It is not necessary to be a nattering nabob of negativism, please identify the problem AND the solution." Feb 13, 17 11:05 AM

Good Ground Park issues are legitimate complaints. I haven't walked back there in months. Is it open? Did the bathrooms ("comfort stations") get built? Never understood that investment since the Ponquogue Beach Pavilion, a much more important Town park, was desperately in need of repairs, not to mention an upgrade. My pet peeve is the Housing Authority. Why is the Town of Southampton building hoisong projects? That didn't turn out so well for Coney Island and Rockaway. Where's the long term plan for this expensive tax funded initiative. Does the Supervisor intend to house the Hampton Bays homeless there? Addicts or homeless immigrants? Both? Neither?" Feb 14, 17 7:46 AM

It seems to me that just making developers adhere to existing zoning, reducing or eliminating unnecessary Town funded construction projects and opening Town employee healthcare plans for purchase by Town residents would decrease taxes and increase the well being of our community. Is there no one who can implement this political solution? I would vote for them in a heartbeat." Feb 14, 17 8:32 AM

Local Lawmakers Say Immigration Enforcement Is Not The Job Of Local Police

My takeaway from this article is that there is a dangerous felon at large in Easthampton and the local police force not only do not know the name and appearance of this criminal but are not assisting Federal law enforcement officers in the attempt to apprehend thid person. Is there a warrant for arrest with information on this criminal? Is the Police Chief of Easthampton not privy to this warrant? How is the Police Chief not in violation of his oath to protect and serve the citizens of Easthampton?" Feb 17, 17 12:13 PM

You're absolutely right, the citizens and taxpayers of the Town of Southampton have no right to an opinion on the enforcement or lack thereof of laws in the Town of Easthampton.

Now can you PLEASE take back your Supervisor, he's spending our money on housing for your landscapers." Feb 17, 17 2:20 PM

If an anonymous caller dialled in to the East Hampton Town Police, and said there was.an undocumented resident providing liquor to underage persons, would the Town Police investigate and arrest like the recent arrest of a local citizen ? What if that happened in another jurisdiction and the undocumented resident left that location, moved to East Hampton to evade a court appearance? What if the anonymous caller said the undocumented resident was driving with no car insurance and registration? What if they hit your car and you became injured and missed work as a result? if the undocumented resident did not obtain health insurance as required by the ACA? What if the local undocumented resident has an outstanding Federal warrant for using a false social security number to get work? What if the undocumented resident has outstanding warrant for using a citizen's social security number to get a fraudulent tax return? Slippery slopes." Feb 19, 17 6:55 PM

Group Urges East Hampton Town To Buy Montauk Airport To Head Off Headaches

Do they sell aviation fuel there? I find it works much better than the gasohol for some of my engines." Feb 20, 17 5:10 PM

Immigrants Share Fears Of National Policies, ICE Raids

Yes thanks for clearing that up for me. Rich people with clever accountants and attorneys who can finagle the system are avoiding taxes, poor people who are trying to put food on the table for their families are evading taxes.

President Trump is a real role model for our children. His manipulation of the system for his personal benefit and the way he evaded the draft during the Vietnam War -- or did he just avoid the draft? Genius. Patriotism at its best.

A true American hero." Feb 22, 17 8:03 AM

Donald Trump has not paid any income taxes in many years, although his refusal to release his tax returns makes it difficult to understand why not. His corporation pays no taxes because his many bankruptcies and loss carry forwards shield any current profits from taxation and the overseas locations of many of his properties further obscure what taxes he has paid. Withholding taxes are included in the expenses of a corporate p&l and further reduce tax liabilities. Everyone, including undocumented residents, pays a sales tax when they purchase something depending on the jurisdiction and the purchase. President Trump is a con man just like Mitt Romney said. If he was truly proud of his record as a businessman he would release his tax returns.

Wait until your health insurance becomes "free market" and employer provided benefits become "taxable" and not required of employers for employees. Then you are at the mercy of the predators of the healthcare industry in this country. It will be necessary to reopen the debtor's prisons to take care of all the sick people who can't afford medical attention. Although you will be fighting for space and food with a large number of undocumented residents waiting to be deported." Feb 22, 17 1:46 PM

Sadly, the US government caused alot of the anarchy in Central America by backing brutal dictators in the cause of anti-Communism. Do we get alot of refugees from Nicaragua where the US backed insurgency failed? No. We get them from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Remember Colonel North in the White House trading weapons to Iran for money to buy cocaine in Central America to find the Contra rebels in Nicaragua? We reap what we sow." Feb 24, 17 8:11 AM

How about we "start" by funding hospitals and schools both in the United States and in Central America. Instead of spending money on a big wall that will have a thousand tunnels underneath it in a week. Don't we remember the best line President Reagan ever uttered? "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall!" " Feb 24, 17 9:28 AM

"According to Lieutenant Commander Nate Christensen, a Department of Defense spokesman, Hispanics currently comprise 11.4 percent of the active-duty military forces (more than 157,000 people). In 2011, 16.9 percent of all new recruits were Hispanic. Jan 1, 2013"

"Catholic Europeans (mostly Irish) who served in the predominantly Protestant U.S. Army felt marginalized and saw a resurgence of their own struggles in Erin on this foreign land. It is mostly the story of Jon Patrick Riley, who was one of the founding members of the St. Patrick’s Battalion."

Google the Mexican American War and Los San Patricios. If you all want some US history you were never taught.
" Feb 25, 17 8:48 AM

Are undocumented residents of East Hampton and Southampton really our problem? And do you really think there are going to be ICE employees running around the East End herding the undocumented into internment camps, prepping them for deportation? Or do you think the local Town and County police will be all over this opportunity for expanded law enforcement?

"In 2014, government healthcare plans were 17.5 percent higher cost than the average citizen’s plan, and their employee contributions were 45 percent less than the average plan, according to a survey of nearly 10,000 employers by United Benefit Advisors."

"The county spends about $730 million on policing annually. The police district property tax brings in only $520 million. Most Suffolk residents don’t question the cost of policing. Officers on the beat earned substantial salaries and benefits packages averaging more than $230,000 a year in value in 2015, up 40 percent since 2006.

Their unions have the right to mandatory arbitration when contracts are disputed — and the arbitration awards always seem to favor the police. Overtime runs out of control because officers get as many as 70 vacation and sick days annually, so there is always a shift that must be filled. Officers who don’t use their allotted time, and most do bank it, retire with termination checks worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, along with substantial pensions."" Feb 28, 17 1:55 PM

I guess you won't vote for Mr. Cantwell again. Do you vote?

“The Town of East Hampton will not enter into such an agreement with the federal government,” Mr. Cantwell told a standing-room-only crowd in East Hampton Town Hall on Thursday night, February 16, drawing applause. “Our enforcement personnel are not immigration officers. It’s not what they do. We do not seek out illegal immigrants during enforcement actions.”" Feb 28, 17 2:38 PM

East End Employers Say Immigrant Workers Pay Taxes, Provide Foundation For Local Economy

According to the 2010 US Census, 35% of the households in Hampton Bays spoke a language other than English at home. Extrapolate to the next Census and that number will be 50%, therefore >50% of the population will come from these households, or as we like to call it in a democracy, the majority. " Mar 3, 17 7:38 AM

What do you want to have happen? Deport half the population of Hampton Bays? Or provide a legal residency for undocumented residents? Quite the conundrum. " Mar 4, 17 11:52 AM

"there needs to be immediate action".
What specific actions do you advocate?

There are over 7,000 people in Hampton Bays alone that come from non English speaking households -- don't quibble, google "US Census" and "Hampton Bays" if you don't believe me -- what percent of them are undocumented? At least 50% are probably undocumented but let's say it's only 20%, what would you do to those 1400 people in HB alone?

What do you think should be done with them? Don't be coy, just state what "action" you desire." Mar 5, 17 3:27 PM

"above my pay grade."

Yes, I figured you would complain without offering a solution or even a suggestion of a solution.

" Mar 5, 17 5:44 PM

Pastor Says He Will Bring 600 Haitian Immigrant Children To Southampton If He Can't Provide Aid

Here come the Haitians! Here come the Haitians! Show the USAID form to the reporter who didn't bother to call Tim Bishop for comment. I'm sure it's easy enough to fill out. If that doesn't work, just be sure to enroll the kids in Southampton or Westhampton, Hampton Bays has its hands full trying to staff Spanish speaking teachers,. French Creole would be a fun additional group of youngsters but let's share the good fortune with our neighbors." Mar 6, 17 4:23 PM

This could easily be a scam -- the "paperwork" is to protect taxpayers from fraud. Has anyone else really verified any of this? Don't recall seeing former Congressman Bishop weighing in on any of the claims this pastor is making." Mar 10, 17 8:23 AM

Hampton Bays Residents Question Library's Proposed Bond Referendum As Vote Nears

Why is this on the property tax bill? Is there any way to get the Town government to remove the ability to remove these tax burdens? The school, fire and library are all out of control. Merely putting all healthcare insurance off limits for inclusion on budgets for current employees and pensions would reduce taxes 30%, freezing salaries like the current school contract in Quogue would reduce them another 20%. Let's cut taxes in half." Mar 10, 17 6:09 PM

The library board recently (December) voted a 5 year extension to the head librarian's contract. 5 years! Then they immediately out this boondoggle out for another vote with Sandpebble presentation no where posted online. There is no shame in this town. Did that fat thief from the water department pay back the scholarship money he stole from the High School?" Mar 11, 17 1:02 PM

Yes -- strip healthcare costs from all municipal labor contracts. If the unions don't like it, feel free to strike for as long as you like. Create an East End Healthcare Cooperative with admitting to the Peconic Bay and/or Southampton/Stony Brook systems and access to all the doctors that admit to them. This would disintermediate the insurance companies. In place of piecemeal labor contracts each with a different healthcare option, we can then force all municipal workers into a single healthcare system, then make that system available to all citizens on the East End. A US Passport becomes your healthcare ID. The average cost for healthcare in the US is $10,000 per person per year, in countries without insurance intermediaries with greater life expectancies it's less than $5,000." Mar 11, 17 5:08 PM

Thanks that's great advice, here's some for you:
do NOT wait for that third billy goat gruff to come over your bridge." Mar 12, 17 12:12 AM

Actually with a 5 year contract renewal just this last December probably one of the only ways to get rid of Ms. LaVista would be for gross negligence or dereliction of duty. Conviction of a felony would be cause as well although hard to say without the contract or the Charter for the library to provide guidance for removal. Certainly conviction of a felony not a path to termination at the Water Department.

Holding the vote on a snow day would be a brilliant coup for this $10 million bond. Just need to get some registered voters and make sure the Board of Election has its t's crossed with its regulations. Many fire department elections are decided with far less than 100 votes on the East End." Mar 13, 17 10:41 AM

It depends what was in the 5 year contract whether or not it's reasonable although by itself 5 years seems excessive. The President of the United States only serves for 4 years at a time. It would be interesting to FOIL the contract and see what's in it." Mar 13, 17 1:02 PM

Summer Camp Pays $12k Fine For Overcrowded Counselor Housing

If they all sleep in tents, is that a housing code violation? Shouldn't camp counselors sleep in a tent anyway?" Mar 14, 17 11:01 AM

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