Whether it’s soda or guns, ‘gov’t knows best’

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
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Whether it’s soda or guns, ‘gov’t knows best’

I just had to respond to the March 13 Gazette editorial, “So much for NYC’s soda ban.” The Gazette spoke of “public hysteria over a minimally intrusive ban.”

I don’t think it was hysteria so much as extreme anger. And it may have been minimally intrusive, but the point is that it is intrusive. Government is, yet again, stepping in to my private life and telling me how large a soda I am allowed to purchase, because I’m just too stupid to make that decision for myself, and I need big daddy government to decide that for me. They also need to limit how large a bag of Fritos I’m allowed to buy.

Not only is this yet another intrusion, but as the Gazette pointed out, it is pointless, for I could take a smaller cup and get a free refill. And now Bloomberg has stated he will fight this decision. In other words, he intends to thwart the will of the people and of the courts because only he is smart enough to know how big my soda cup should be.

This editorial also brought up the five-round magazine limit under the new SAFE act. Another intrusion, and again pointless. Let’s see, Mr. Homicidal Maniac decides to slaughter a bunch of children in a school. The fact that murder is against the law doesn’t faze him, but the size of the magazine — well, there’s an insurmountable problem that will stop him.

I wonder which would make our schoolchildren safer: yet another law, or an armed teacher?

Peter Frank


Labor Dept. numbers can be misleading

The Labor Department recently announced 236,000 jobs were created in February. The same day they also announced that 340,000 people took second or third jobs in February, something that wasn’t widely reported in the media.

That was the largest jump in “multiple job-holders” in 16 years, bringing that total to nearly 7.2 million people. How many of those 236,000 jobs were taken by people already employed?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website shows only a 170,000 increase in the total number of people employed from January to February. Multiple job-holders probably caused that difference. The Labor Department also announced 130,000 dropped out of the work force in February, but the BLS website shows a 296,000 increase in that number from January to February.

Another number not widely reported was that the work force participation rate declined to 63.5 percent in February. With the work force shrinking, it takes less job creation to lower the overall unemployment rate.

Richard Baluch


Those who judge SHS students don’t know them

I am insulted each time someone responds with discomfort, negativity or a comment about “hoodlums” when I tell them that I work at Schenectady High School [SHS]. Most recently, someone (a resident of Schenectady) had the audacity to ask me if I “bring my bullet-proof vest” to work. It saddens me that this is the way that people view our school.

I am proud to be an employee of the Schenectady City School District. The students in our building are some of the most resilient, courageous, adaptable and self-reliant kids that I have ever worked with. Let me be the first to correct the above-mentioned resident — our school is not full of “hoodlums.”

I’m aware not everyone has this view of SHS, and I am grateful for those who believe in us. To those who choose to associate SHS with something negative, I’m asking that you not judge our students. I’m not asking you to understand the scope of many of their issues and the familial cycles that often exist — I’m simply asking that if you don’t know them, please don’t judge them.

Schenectady High School consists of nearly 2,700 students — most of whom are athletes, musicians, actors, International Baccalaureate (IB) and CISCO students, dancers, volunteers, club members, artists, junior ROTC members, award winners and future scholars. Most importantly, they are the future of our community.

If we want them to be open-minded, forgiving and non-judgmental people, don’t we owe them the same respect?

Megan Quivey


The writer is a guidance counselor for Grades 9 and 10.

Perfectly good explanation for the dearth of birds

In response to Mr. Clif Tygert’s question in the March 5 edition, I’ve had the same observation — no chickadees, juncos or woodpeckers at my feeders.

I contacted the Ornothology Laboratory at Cornell University, and was told that a hawk probably moved into the neighborhood. Keeping my eyes open over the next few days — sure enough, I spotted a Cooper’s hawk and a Sharp-shinned hawk — the latter known to hang around bird feeders.

Further information can be gotten from Mike Burger:

Arthur Hombach


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March 20, 2013
3:20 a.m.
Fritzdawg says...

Peter Frank:
Rarely, do I get to witness such hysterical feigned outrage, and profound ignorance, no less see it in print.
Nobody is telling you, as a quite obvious citizen of Schenectady, what you can, or can not buy.
In fact, that matter has never even been brought up.

Despite whatever Malady Burns, or whatever tea party alarmist has told you, that particular attempt at ill thought legislation, only applied to New York City.
"This editorial also brought up the five-round magazine limit under the new SAFE act."
I believe the number you are looking for, is SEVEN, and that provision is over with, but don't let facts get in your way.
Currently, they are suggesting that one should use the existing 10 round clip, and only load it with 7 rounds, unless they are at home, or at a range.

"I wonder which would make our schoolchildren safer: yet another law, or an armed teacher?"

This just in:
Most of those whom aspire to be teachers, don't harbor fantasies of being the next Rambo, and for the most part know that they, themselves, are not comfortable around firearms, in ANY situation.
Who exactly, do you propose, are going to pay for the astronomically higher insurance premiums that the school district would have to pay if the staff were to be armed?
Certainly not you. You didn't even pay for your own tuition.
I did, I paid for you, and your's, and shall for the rest of my life, despite the fact that I have never attended a public school.
Bear in mind, you live in a second world city, that can't even get a car loan.

March 20, 2013
3:01 p.m.
wmarincic says...

Fritzdawg, Police carry guns, not to protect us but to protect them. There is not one cop that I know that agrees with this law and they are on the front lines. Every teacher in Israel is armed. how many people are murdered with rifles in NY? This is another bullcrap law just like the soda law in NYC. Maybe the liberal idiots should look at ways to lower taxes and bring jobs back rather than regulating what we can do and own.

March 20, 2013
3:40 p.m.
wanda1948 says...

Kudos to Megan Quivey for what I have known for a long time: There are many dedicated teachers, guidance counselors and staff at Schenectady High School, and they go the extra mile for their students. Both of my children graduated from Schenectady High. One is now a teacher who earned two master's degrees at a prestigious school, and the other is an attorney. They are both proud alumni of SHS. They were involved in chorus, theatre, Key Club and other things. They were not the top academic achievers while they were at SHS, but they did get the foundation they needed to succeed. Did some of the students have issues? Absolutely. Who doesn't in this day and age? The SHS teachers (and those at the other Schenectady schools) should be proud of what they do every day. It's not an easy job. I don't want to hear about "they get so much vacation" and "they get summers off." As the mother of a teacher who works long hours--way after the bell rings--and pretty much all weekend, I can tell you that a teacher's work does not end when he or she walks out of the school's front door.

March 20, 2013
6:01 p.m.
stockadian says...

It is simply NOT TRUE that every teacher in Israel is armed. There may be some exceptions in dangerous areas like the West Bank (where five percent of Israelis live), but in general, Israeli teachers are not walking around like it’s the Wild Wild West, strapped with a six shooter. One only has to read any one of several references on the internet to realize that extreme right winger wmarincic is again wrong. Oh well. We have seen his errors before, and I am sure we will again.

March 20, 2013
6:30 p.m.
Will1960 says...

Thank you Megan Quivey for taking the time to share your experiences. You have more credibility on the character of the SHS students than those bash them from afar. These kids don't get a fair shake in the media as only those who misbehave garner all the headlines. We all would be better off if we followed your advice not to be so judgmental of these students.

March 20, 2013
9:17 p.m.
wmarincic says...
(This comment was removed by the site staff.)
March 20, 2013
9:18 p.m.
wmarincic says...

And not every teacher in Israel is armed but every school in Israel has armed guards and many of the teachers are armed.

March 20, 2013
9:39 p.m.
stockadian says...

So you now admit you were telling the readers of these letters that you were being untruthful with them? Yes, it is true that schools have guards, but your statement that "Every teacher in Israel is armed," you now admit is a falsehood. I am glad you finally admit that you are untruthful here in your posts, Wmarincic.

Also, it is interesting that the only thing you can pin on me is that I copy and pasted real and true information from an actual source to prove your untruths! Oh well!!!

March 20, 2013
10:47 p.m.
Fritzdawg says...

wmarincic: True, some teachers in Israel are armed, but the teachers in Israel are different than ours. In Israel, every citizen, with very few exceptions is required to serve in the military. 3 years for men, 2 years for women, and they receive the extensive training that makes the Israeli army among the most fierce in the world.

In the USA however, it is unlikely that most grammar school teachers have any military training at all, having spent most of their lives sheltered in academia.
You really can't compare someone who has spent the last few years learning arts and crafts, to somebody who has spent the last few years training in high stress, live fire situations, in a country that has had a war (and not one 7000 miles away) going on for the last 65 years.

March 21, 2013
7:11 a.m.
wmarincic says...

I'm all for the Israel policy of military service. We would not have a 58% graduation rate in schools and we would also not have kids doing multiple deployments. Stockadian it was a slip, I meant to say "teachers" not "all" teachers. Any time I find that something I post is not 100% accurate I correct it immedietly. You act like I was purposelt lying, not me, thats what Feinstein and Pelosi do. BTW, you copied and pasted from sites that make MSNBC look conservative.

March 21, 2013
2:16 p.m.
tonijean613 says...

Peter Frank: Please be reminded that our government is "elected" -therefore the govt that you are refering to is representing the will of the people, for the overall betterment of society and the common good. Whether you agree or not with which laws are enacted- they come from our democratic system. So, perhaps you should be questioning if whether or not your neighbors, freinds and family- know best.

March 21, 2013
2:30 p.m.
stockadian says...

Wmarincic. The more you dig your hole....the further you fall into it. Your exact quote was "Every teacher in Israel is armed." Not "All teachers in Israel are armed." So telling us now that you made a one word slip won't cut it. Sorry, but the record is clear. Why do you try to weasel out of it now? And in so doing, you now accuse Representative Nancy Pelosi and Senator Dianne Feinstein of lying? Sir, I do wish you would check your record against theirs. It seems that when you point your finger at them for lying, three other fingers are pointing back at you.

March 21, 2013
2:53 p.m.
wmarincic says...

Why would the Gazette remove another post, there is a post right above this attacking me and it stays.? And Stockadian, please with the rhetoric.

March 21, 2013
3 p.m.
mezz3131 says...

It seems the editors criteria for removing a post varies depending on who writes the post rather than the content of the post.

March 21, 2013
3:08 p.m.
wmarincic says...

I hear you Mezz3131 the other day they removed a post of mine because I said the person writing the letter was a hypocrite yet on the story of the black girl attacking the Colonie police officer a person called her a "tough little Ho" in the comments and it was not removed.

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