No matter how busy, parents can still make time for kids

Tuesday, April 30, 2013
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No matter how busy, parents can still make time for kids

We have all heard the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child.” There is no doubt that we need a strong village to support us in raising our children, but we as parents or caretakers must provide the foundation and framework for our own children.

In the April 22 article, “Early reading mentors critical,” retired professor Al Magid proposes a novel yet common-sense idea for making sure kids in Schenectady are entering kindergarten with the skills they need to succeed.

Instead of having mentors matched with kids, he proposes having volunteers train parents and caretakers in providing the fundamentals of reading to their own children since, as he states, they are “the ones that are with the children day in and day out.”

His approach was criticized in an April 26 letter to the editor as being unrealistic. While that may be true in this day and age, I find it sad. The writer states Magid’s “proposed remedy would have had a better chance of getting off the ground in an era long past, when parents were more available and had the time and motivation to participate in reading-related activities with their children.”

I am wondering exactly when that time was. Forty years ago, I was a kindergartener living in a two-family house in Schenectady. My father owned a struggling business and most days didn’t come home until after I was asleep. My mother worked full time to help support six kids and care for two aging parents. While there were few nights that my mom was able to sit down with each of us to read, she found the time to take us to the Schenectady library and expose us to books.

With all the demands placed on her, she also found the time to make sure we stayed on top of our homework, were involved in school activities and participated in sports. She volunteered her time to these activities as well. She found very little time for sleep and little to no time for herself. Two things I never remember my mom doing are complaining or asking for help. Her kids were her responsibility and her “motivation,” and she made the time.

The only part of Magid’s plan that I feel is unfortunate is the necessity of volunteers to train parents and caretakers. I truly empathize with struggling families, but I question whether it is any different in this day and age than it ever has been. Or, is the only thing different our society’s attitude?

Tricia Farmer

Burnt Hills

If Latin Kings are so good, let them clean gang tags

Re April 25 article, “ ‘Bad guys’ do good”: Glad to see that the Latin Kings are such good folks, what with all their sweeping and mopping.

Do you think they would mind cleaning off all their gang tags on the garage doors and fences on East, West and Center Alleys in Schenectady? Sure would be a help.

I guess until they do, they will remain a bunch of deadbeat losers just like those other gangs we hear about — at least in my mind, that is.

Betty Hughes


Obama has done well, after what he inherited

Re Stephen Desmonie’s April 25 letter, “Social Security another empty Obama promise”: Considering the mess left by the previous administration, we are lucky we had any economy at all.

Cuts or no cuts in Social Security was the least of the problems President Obama had to tackle in the months [after] he took office in 2009.

We are familiar with one or two of them: The president had to save the banks, save Wall Street, save the auto industry and deal with a war entered into because of lies and, oh by the way, instead of the depression we were headed for, we are coming out of a recession.

I am sure the president is very sorry for not cleaning up that mess as fast as [some people] want; some in Congress want to use the same “austerity” policies that got us into this mess in the first place, so now he [is] fighting that.

I guess his offering the Republicans some of what they have proposed as a compromise — cuts in Social Security — still is not enough.

Diane Hombach


Being against ‘ultimate fighting’ a no-brainer

Re April 25 editorial, “OK ‘ultimate fighting’ ”: Kids will emulate ultimate fighting technique, but without the conditioning, or the protections and restraints of officiating, or the benefit of a padded ring.

We are assured, absolutely assured, of brain trauma from “ultimate fighting” by kids, maybe by adults as well. Do not legalize it!

And for adults, should it ever be legalized, require medical coverage for all participants!

Lynne Graburn


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April 30, 2013
3:56 a.m.
pnotto says...
(This comment was removed by the site staff.)
April 30, 2013
10:12 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Diane Hombach are we still blaming Bush five and a half years later? How about Obamas 9 trillion worth of new debt and zero cuts. How about poverty grew from 37 million people to 50 million people under Obama. He sure has done a great job....Obama the worse President in the history of America.

April 30, 2013
9:46 p.m.
Newsworthy says...

I fail to understand your personal animosity for President Obama, wmarincic. He does not rule absolutely, nor single-handedly. It seems that a great deal of country's problems stem from the fact that people refuse to find solutions through compromise; everyone wants the world to run their way, without concern for other people.

You have every right to disagree with the sitting president and vote against a second term for him (or her, eventually). If you voted for the other candidate, get over it. Ask yourself honestly, if you could really do better when faced with all the political pressures and a congress best described as juvenile delinquents. Personally, I would love to simply exchange ideas with you and others, without the venom - just respect.

May 1, 2013
2:50 a.m.
janesjoys says...

Thank you Newsworthy.

May 1, 2013
9:59 a.m.
albright1 says...

Newsworthy, wmarincic said it correctly. 5 1/2 years!! at what point do you stop blaming Bush or others for the sophomoric skills of your man Obama? I thought he was the smartest President we have ever had. You should stop and take a deep breath, think about it for a while. He really has not been particularly good at this job and that should be no surprise. He has never had a real job. His only other "job" was a community organizer in Chicago. That job amounted to handing out free money and favors in return for favors and money. Granted, that is basically what goes in Washington too, but Obama does not have the skills to play with the big boys. It was one thing, knocking heads with the jokers on Chicago street corners, knocking heads in Washington is quite a different matter.

May 2, 2013
8:06 a.m.
wmarincic says...

newsworthy I dislike the elitist attitude. There are way too many unanswered question about Obama. When Congress refused to open the doors for his undocumented democrats he did it with executive privilege, that is the same thing Hugo Chaves did. Obama has been given a pass on every rotten thing he has done by the media. Benghazi is worse than Watergate and the media brushes it under the table. I have never in my long years ever heard of a President who refuses to let the survivors of Benghazi testify before Congress and that includes Monica Lewinski's boyfriends wife Hillary. Also I have no problem giving you an email to contact me and we can talk, heck, I'll meet you for lunch and or a couple beers.

May 2, 2013
3:39 p.m.
robbump says...

Betty Hughes is absolutely right in her letter ("If Latin Kings are so good, let them clean gang tags") -- I wondered the same thing as I read the original article.

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