Glad to see U.S. take a fresh look at Israel

*Glad to see U.S. take a fresh look at Israel *Social promotion not detriment to learning *Teamwork

Glad to see U.S. take a fresh look at Israel

I was pleased to hear on the news after Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election that President Obama could be taking a new position on Israel-Palestine.

When reading Josh Rubner’s book, “Shattered Hopes: Obama’s Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace,” I was shocked to learn that no matter what Israel did, we continued to send them money and arms needed to replace what they had used in wars against the Palestinians.

We also made no real objections to the continued building of settlements on Palestinian land — thus, making the possibility of a two-state solution impossible.

I find it curious that Israel is so critical of Iran — accusing Iran of planning to build nuclear bombs. Evidently, Israel is trying to torpedo the ongoing negotiations between the United States, Iran and other European countries.

It’s also very curious that Israel’s possession of nuclear bombs is such a well-kept secret.

Bertha Kriegler


Social promotion not detriment to learning

I agree with the new rules initiated by Schenectady School Superintendent Laurence Spring for social promoting most failing students to the next level, as described in the April 25 article, “Failing a Grade No Reason to Stay Back.”

I believe the most compelling reason is the study of sixth graders, who considered failing a grade to be the most horrible thing that could happen to them, including losing a parent.

The traditional assumption that a student cannot perform at the next level without mastering the current level is often flawed. In some subjects, the next level is unrelated. In the science, mathematics and technology-related courses that I teach, the next level can paradoxically help a student better understand the earlier concepts.

I hope and expect the new policy will decrease the dropout rate, improve the currently dismal graduation rate, and produce more future adults who appreciate and even cherish their school days.

Frank Wicks


The writer is a Union College professor.

Teamwork needed to resolve nursing woes

I just read the article about Nursing at Ellis. I have been a registered nurse 40 years and the last 10 at Ellis. I love Ellis and I think most of the people who work there feel the same. We all want to give excellent care. It is getting harder and harder.

My manager tries to make sure we have the help we need each day to give the care we need and want to give. The past several years have been the first that I have had to be concerned with the financial side of nursing. We are being controlled by reimbursements from the government. More and more demands made on us to do certain tasks and make sure they are documented.

The days of having time to put lotion on a 90-year-old’s feet who has been unable to do so are few and far between. An extra pair of hands makes all the difference. An extra RN per shift or a couple of extra techs would make doing what we need and want to do possible.

I just returned from the Midwest and it is the same or worse there. It is not Ellis’ fault. But Ellis can make a plan and make things different. We can figure out a way to do this if we all work together. Nursing is the heart of the hospital. There is no room to cut the budget there. Maybe we can work together to find other places to cut.

It is up to us to work together and find a way to keep giving our patients what they need and expect from us. Nurses work harder than anyone I know. They deserve to be paid for what they do and be able to have good benefits for their hard work.

Pam Vardine


Postal Service crisis caused by Congress

Our U.S. Postal Service is not funded by the U.S. government. The revenue of the Postal Service comes from the sale of postage and services. Overwhelmingly, this revenue is generated by businesses such as banks, credit card companies, retail stores, mail order pharmacies, Amazon, UPS, FedEx, DHL, and mail order companies.

Many of these items such as pharmaceuticals must be shipped timely and cannot be allowed to sit. Not only do these companies require six-day delivery, Amazon is demanding seven-day delivery in order to keep up with public demand for ever more timely delivery of goods to their businesses and homes.

Along with all this commercially generated business, all citizens are able to mail letters and cards of love, hope and friendship across the country for a mere 49 cents with a Postal Service that has successfully served the citizens of the United States ever since the days of Benjamin Franklin.

There was no business crisis in our U.S. Postal Service that other businesses did not face during the recession. However, that is now behind the Postal Service. It is operating with a profit. The crisis in our Postal Service was caused by Congress when it passed a highly flawed bill at the end of 2006. Since then, the government has bled billions of dollars every year from our Postal Service with financial payments that go right into the general treasury. By any other name, it is a business tax on the Postal Service that no other federal agency or private business has to endure. The repair to our Postal Service is simple. Tell Congress to stop draining the resources of the Postal Service.

William B. Cook


The writer is director of legislation for the New York State Association of Letter Carriers and vice president of Northeastern New York Branch 358, AFL-CIO.

Glenville shows no concern for citizens

Re April 1 letter, “Ashamed of Glenville project opponents”: This letter is in response to Mark Stockman, who was ashamed of the NIMBY (not in my back yard) Glenville residents. I am one of those residents because we are suffering from IMBY (in my back yard) and front yard. Those of us who live on Church Road suffer from this on a daily basis.

I have lived there for over 40 years — raised two sons who rode their bikes, used skateboards and walked them in their strollers — with no worries. Well, those days are long gone because the town of Glenville failed to enforce its own codes; we are now subject to the very thing the people of the Johnson Road area will have to endure.

By Mark’s own statistics, 790 cars a day use Church Road. What he doesn’t realize is we are already subjected to a seven-day continuous parade of huge 10- to 15-ton commercial logging trucks that are loaded with tons of logs attained from who knows where.

These logs are housed in a residential area, exposing us to oak wilt and the emerald ash borer. We have a commercial enterprise invading our residentially zoned area. Their lengthy driveway produces dust that goes directly into a housing area with many small children.

If that isn’t enough, our corridor (Church, Ridge and Rector roads) have become a shortcut to the state Thruway and I-890. The posted speed limit to them is a joke, and the police say it is a waste of their time to try to rectify this problem.

Think I am through? Not yet. We have had most of our backyards rendered useless on the north side of Church Road because of the indiscriminate use of high-powered firearms in an area 150 feet from our property lines. How much would you enjoy hours of several people firing their weapons near your property for hours on end? This practice continues, despite the residents’ outcry to put an end to it, seeing it violates several codes.

Do you see a pattern here? There is no enforcement by the town, which makes the taxpayer take things into their own hands. So I say to these people on Johnson Road: Go for it before all your quietness, quality of life and property values are destroyed like ours have been. We have already had a dear neighbor sell their house because of these problems and another is on the way.

Be proactive and do care about what is in your backyard, because the town of Glenville will not.

Denise Crisci



The Gazette welcomes letters to the editor from readers, regardless of one’s political or personal point of view.

There is no specific word limit, but shorter letters will get preference for publication and timeliness. Letters of about 200-300 words are suggested.

For information on where to send letters, see the bottom of this page.

Correction: A headline in Wednesday’s paper for a letter by Victor Roberts incorrectly characterized his main point, which was that New York state spending isn’t as pernicious as a previous letter writer had suggested.

Categories: Letters to the Editor

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