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Suffolk Notebook: County Sued Over Child Care Cuts

Advocacy groups say working families might face unemployment now.

Two non-profit groups filed a federal lawsuit against Suffolk County this week because of cuts made to the municipality's child care program, which is subsidized by the state.

According to an article in Newsday, the Empire Justice Center and National Center for Law and Economic Justice filed the suit because the county is dropping more than 1,200 children from the program - a move they say puts too much strain on working families.

A spokeswoman for the county said Suffolk did nothing illegal, and Social Services Commissioner Gregory J. Blass told Newsday the cuts came as a result of thinner state funding.

Advocates and parent and union members demonstrated outside the H. Lee Dennison Building in Hauppauge on Thursday against the cuts.

A July 26 hearing is scheduled at the United States District Courthouse in Central Islip.

More Mosquito Samples Positive for West Nile
The Suffolk County Department of Health Services this week said five new mosquito samples collected in the county tested positive for West Nile Virus, raising fears of the dangerous disease spreading in the county.

The SCDHS said the samples were collected in Holbrook, South Huntington, Northport and Farmingville. So far this season 15 mosquito samples have tested positive for the disease, as well as six birds.

While many people who contract the virus from a mosquito bite might not experience any symptoms, those who do could exhibit high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and even paralysis.

Symptoms might last several weeks, and might yield permanent neurological effects.

The SCDHS asked locals to heed the following tips to help control the mosquito population.

  • Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers.
  • Remove all discarded tires on the property.
  • Make sure roof gutters drain properly, and clean clogged gutters.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
  • Change the water in birdbaths.
  • Clean vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds and keep shrubs and grass trimmed.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs.
  • Drain water from pool covers.

An Incentive to Read
Suffolk has launched a new reading contest that plans to reward the area's biggest young bookworms with their own e-readers.

The Suffolk Library system said in order for kids to be eligible, they only need to join their local reading programs at their local libraries - all libraries except Southold and West Islip libraries are participating.

The top readers are eligible to win a Sony e-reader. Winners will be chosen on September 13.

Jerry Ruschmeyer July 22, 2012 at 11:58 AM
This real smart ! spending more funds we don't have ! to go to court to try and get money we don't have ! Ya No What People SUCK IT UP ! There are cuts everywhere !This CRAP makes me sick !!!!
GLENN July 22, 2012 at 11:35 PM
No one helped me raise my children I found child care I watched a friends child on the weekend nights in return for her watching my children. I am sick of these blood sucking welfare entitle lazy butts. DONT HAVE KIDS IF YOU CAN'T PROVIDE FOR THEM! I am sick of paying for your kids from birth to 26....USE BIRTH CONTROL. No one wants to feed,cloth,house and pay for your child care ...
Jerry Ruschmeyer July 22, 2012 at 11:54 PM
I Love It ! Annmarie you made my year ! it's time we speak up !
Walter Noller July 23, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Amazing! Two "law groups" sue the county that hasn't the funds to pay for a social(ist) entitlement program and who is in support? UNIONS! Let the "where there's a need, there's a way" be the force of coming up with alternatives. There have been plenty of ways people have taken care of their children before government got involved. Neighbors, relatives and grass roots nursery programs. To believe it's ok to reach into the pockets of others to help pay for the cost of the upbringing of your child is ludicrous. I'll tell you what puts a strain on working families... It's having to pay for programs that others demand and the rest of us have no use for. Pony up to take care of your own. I'd like to see an embargo on frivolous lawsuits such as this and let those who have nothing better to do than create them pay for all the time, effort and energy involved once it's recognized as frivolous. And as for unwarranted special programs like this, may it be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to paring down government spending. To put it another way, if it's your kid, it's your problem not mine. And remember it's 99% of the lawyers that give the rest a bad name and these two groups are part of the 99%.
Richard Murray July 23, 2012 at 06:12 PM
According to the USDA, it will cost, on average, $234,900 to raise a child born in 2011. All pregnant women should have to submit financial proof that they can afford this. If they cannot, they will be court-ordered to abort the pregnancy. That sounds humane, right? Wait, the right-to-lifers might complain… Oh, I’ve got it – orphanages! They’ll be able to raise kids on-the-cheap, especially if they’re contracted out to the private sector. And then the kids can be trained in factory work to further offset the costs! Or, we could join the rest of industrialized society and come up with affordable child care options which jibe with the new economic realities of two-income households.
Walter Noller July 24, 2012 at 10:40 AM
In spite of your 90's "it takes a village" mentality, it should take parents to care for their own. To think it should somehow be the responsibility of others to do it is irresponsible and breeds more irresponsibility. But to be fair, why don't you pay for it. Have a blast. The term "Single Mother" is not a badge of honor unless you lost a mate in a tragic accident. And as far as pregnant "women", I noticed you didn't mention the other half of the equation... the sperm don..I mean father. It takes two to tango and if you made a personal choice to take on parenthood by yourself, keep it personal. Of course those who think it needs to be supported by social programs should be allowed to pay for them, go for it, just keep me out of it. When Peter is robbed to pay Paul and Peter finally runs out of money, the only one who complains is Paul and Peter is vilified for being heartless... Socialism in a nutshell.
Ranger Sewer July 24, 2012 at 12:23 PM
What responsibility do anybody on any "Social Services" have to the TAXPAYER? NONE ! Howcome nobody HOLDS anybody on any "Social Services" responsible for their actions and poor choices? How about this: if YOU get pregnant and YOU choose to not take care of the baby, YOU better find a way to take care of the baby or YOU and the baby will part ways until YOU find a way to pay for YOUR RESPONSIBILITY and NOT SOMEBODY ELSE. No FREE CELL PHONES, NO FREE HUD HOUSING to hold your Flat screen TV's that the TAXPAYER CAN'T AFFORD, NO FREE HEAT , NO FREE ELECTRICITY, and NO FOOD STAMPS. Why should YOU who made poor choices REEP THE BENEFITS OF THE RESPONSIBILITY OF HARD WORK? Want to see what POOR looks like? Take a look at India.
Jaguar-Guy July 24, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Great points.
ShawnNuzzo July 24, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Yeah! My house isn't on fire right now, so why should I have to pay for a fire department??? That's your problem, you stupid people whose house is on fire. You deal with it! I graduated from elementary school years ago, why should we keep funding that school and paying those billionaire teachers??? It doesn't make any sense! I don't use it, so no one should have it! There are some county roads I have never even driven on, why do we need those? I don't use it, so no one should have it! But seriously, the county is being sued because the proposed cuts disproportionately effect the working poor, as usual.
Richard Murray July 24, 2012 at 04:13 PM
I’m not advocating rampant breeding by the irresponsible. I’m just pointing out that there have been societal changes in the last 100 years that have resulted in couples struggling to find affordable child care options. With many couples delaying marriage and parenthood to finish college and establish themselves professionally, the timing is such that help from the older generation is often impractical. Also, commercial day care options can be of dubious quality and exorbitant cost. I know many young couples who would make absolutely wonderful parents, but who are hesitant to start families because of the lack of support. I’ll pay taxes to fund affordable child care. Partly because I’m compassionate and partly because I believe that if kids can be indoctrinated into a nurturing educational system, it will reduce the chances of one of them sneaking through my window to take my stuff while I’m at work.
Neil July 28, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Ranger, who do you think is going to take care of the baby when they "part ways"? It's your taxes! The last think NYS needs is more orphanages on the tax payer's dime. If you actually looked at the criteria for child care assistance in Suffolk County, which is limited to very low income families and cases like 16 year old moms who are still in high school (I know some of them), your rants and raves might benefit. Also, providing no social safety net is exactly what happens in countries like India, in Nicaragua, Haiti and many other places. You get the very very rich (I don't think you fit that category) and the very very poor that are starving and some of which live on the city dump, etc. I suggest you go on a mission trip with your local church and find out first hand. I don't think you want to see this in Suffolk county. BTW its cheaper for the state to provide social services that will keep the family intact than to pay for kids in foster homes, parents in jail or in emergency rooms because of their poor choices. Your choice. Your dime.
GLENN July 29, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Richard you just can't have NO plan, you just can't go on having children with no plan. I saw on channel 12 news a segment they did about homeless children on LI and a woman with no husband 3 children pregnant with twins, was living in a motel on the tax payer dime, where does she and her kids go from there? When asked if she would adopt out her twins she said no. Is this mentality normal? The most expensive place to live is here on LI why should we all now have to pay for her children too? Saying let's come up with something affordable is no longer fair to me I have given when told I have to but these woman still go one and don't do there part to stop having children they cannot provide even the basic's for. When does someone start to care about the giver?
GLENN July 29, 2012 at 08:25 PM
and then if you take 1 penny away they claim you are mean, rich, prejudice never do I hear a Thank you from the takers ...only what more can I get. you have now gotten you max...
GLENN July 29, 2012 at 08:28 PM
NO NEIL, no more mission trips, no more looking at the starving, no more the givers are out of money Neil, how about the takers say thank you and try and figure something out even the smallest step taken would be something, all they do is take steps to figure out the system...NO MORE...
Goin' Commando July 29, 2012 at 10:10 PM
If they would rather die, they had better do it, and reduce the surplus population.
Mema September 03, 2012 at 09:32 PM
I've just read all the comments and I am compelled to type this. When I was in my early 30's I lost my husband to melenoma skin cancer. We owned our own home and we had 7 children which he supported. He was a union worker. When he became sick we fell behind in the mortgage. I went for help. What a joke that was. They would not help me with one payment. And I stayed there all day and had to call the commissioner just to get some food stamps. They wanted my husband to come down to the office, so they could see how sick he really was. When did they get licensed to be a doctor? Well I received $94 or something like that one time shot for food stamps and nothing else. Because well fell behind Citi bank dropped our mortgage insurance and when he passed I had none. I went to work in 2 weeks while my children 4-12 all 7 of them struggled emotionally. I eventually had 3 jobs to keep a roof over our heads. And my children grew up basically on their own. Some Christian nation we live in. Where did our tax dollar go to help me when I needed it? Can anyone answer me that?
Goin' Commando September 03, 2012 at 10:14 PM
And let them all starve, too; and let them live on the street under a railroad trestle or under a highway overpass. So what if the kids did nothing wrong themselves. They are still responsible for whatever their parents did, or failed to do. The weak must be weeded out. The strong will excel, and thrive. And pay no attention to that annoying Jesus person, or to Micah. Why should anyone be their brother's keeper? Why should anyone do justice, and love mercy? Why should anyone take care of the least of these? Keep taxes low, and even lower, so that each of the more fortunate may do even better and better.
VT September 03, 2012 at 11:32 PM
No one helped me and my kids..Told me I made too much money ..$10,000 a yr before taxes .. Not a dime ...could not even get help with electric , water,oil... or any kind of free childcare ... no one cared , Told me ,"sorry we can t help you" As I cried .. Now they are grown ,, I watch 2 of my grandkids so parents can work ,,
Mema September 06, 2012 at 06:35 PM
This is how I see it. We work pay taxes and when you need it they put you through the ringer. You have to demand to see a supervisor and then you will get it. Sometimes..... I do agree that there are generations of people abusing the system. They need a way to distinguish the difference. The cut off for services is too harsh. There are plenty of people that work and just don't make enough. I know someone that works at Wal-mart and kept under 40 hours so they don't get health coverage. Not to mention working a yr at minimum wage. So what's the answer to that. And the husband works 3 part time jobs when needed. People can only do so much in a day. The whole system is wrong. And now there are no jobs here. You can thank the 2 party system for letting the big bankers control us. "Give me the finances of your country and I care not who makes the Laws" Or something to that effect. Look it up.
Mema September 06, 2012 at 06:43 PM
You are right and I agree with you. In fact that safety net isn't big enough. Most wind up losing help and not making enough.
Jerry Ruschmeyer September 06, 2012 at 07:27 PM
I'm Sorry ! But You Should Have Gotten Your Education ! Not Droped Out Of School At 16 To Hang Out ! Go To A Trades School ! GOD HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEM SELFS ! My Brother In Law Was A Plumbers Helper $10.00 HR. 10 - 12 hr. a day went to school at night for 4 years , he is a Plumbing Contractor Now ! so don't tell me it can't be done ! That's BS ! The Big Banks Don't Control Anything !

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