2016 issues include driverless cars, canal

*2016 issues include driverless cars, canal *Teaching to the test making kids anxious *Clinton circu

2016 issues include driverless cars, canal

There are two issues that will be central to the presidential election because they will affect every voter, but no candidates are addressing them.

The issue of driverless cars and the ownership question of the software within your car computer will be the biggest change since the buggy. Every law regarding cars — license requirements, auto liability and motor-voter registrations — will need to change.

The second issue is the 100-year canal concession given to Chinese telecommunications magnate Wang Jing and his Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co. (HKND).

Nicaragua has announced the start of work on a new canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. HKND says it expects the project to be finished within five years and operational by 2020, and to cost about $50 billion. The project is to include two ports, an airport, a resort and an economic zone for electricity and other companies.

Will the next president have to deal with Chinese aircraft carriers in the Caribbean Sea?

John Donohue


Teaching to the test making kids anxious

You’ve got to change the way you are looking at education. It’s interesting that no editor’s name is given for the spiteful opinion on “opt -out” influence [Be aware of influences before opting out of tests] written in the April 12 Gazette. Have you actually looked at any cost analysis involved in implementing Common Core and the testing involved? It’s a big business with publishing, video instruction, textbooks, mentoring and speaking engagements, all at the expense of each school district. Don’t blame teachers unions for that.

You’ve got to get someone to put the money back in support of schools, especially Schenectady.

I was born and raised in Minnesota. Maybe you can take some advice from Mark Dayton, the governor. He realizes that too few cities share their wealth between the “haves and the have-nots.” You can see even on TV that charter schools are creating a segregated school population, something that New York should not be proud of.

I’ve taught in both public and private schools and learned that kindergarten meant a “garden of children” able to play, use large motor muscles, take naps, go outside and make friends. Abilities to converse, to laugh, to listen to the language learned, to create stories without words were essential.

Now you see kindergarten “teachers teaching to the test” disabling children to develop the language skills they need for reading. They are crying at the bus-stop because they hate school. This is not test anxiety; it is school anxiety. I can go on and on.

I have a grandson who hated third grade because of the pressure on the teacher to “teach to the test,” with emphasis put on the results of the student’s performance. He is now home-schooled along with his seventh-grade brother, by my daughter, who has a master’s degree in education and has taught in the Massachusetts public schools. You can’t imagine what a difference this has made.

Ask any parent who is going to opt out of the testing. They will have a similar response for any grade level.

Linnea D’Andrea


Clinton circus is back for unwanted encore

Look mama, the circus is coming back to town again.

Like a bad case of shingles that keeps coming back, Hillary Clinton has “shocked” the world, announcing she’s running for president in 2016.

As a welcome back, I’ve rewritten the lyrics to Billy Joel’s song, “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” Please hum that melody as I sing — “Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate, Pardongate, Benghazi, Lewinsky, Personal Emails.

“Paula Jones, separate homes, Bosnia snipers, Johnny Chung, Vincent Foster, pay to sleep in Lincoln’s bed. Carpetbagging New York, Rose Law Firm, Clinton Foundation, Gennifer Flowers, John Huang, the thought of her as president drives me insane.”

Forgetting that her predator husband was impeached for lying about a sex act with a 19-year-old intern in the sacred Oval Office, Hillary Clinton’s four years as secretary of state will go down as one of the worst terms in United States history. The carnage she left behind includes her failings in Syria, Libya, Ukraine and Iraq.

In her eight years as the senator from New York (via Arkansas), she failed to introduce one piece of legislation. Other than “long-suffering wife,” what’s on her resume that qualifies her to assume the most important job in the world? If it’s just that it’s time to elect a woman president, can’t we go with someone competent? Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) for one. Susana Martinez (governor of New Mexico) for another. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire).

Anyone other than the ringmaster of the Clinton Circus — please.

Graham Higgins


Don’t forget African-American inventors

I read the wonderful April 10 Gazette article about the new statues for Thomas Edison and Charles Steinmetz that will be erected in Schenectady near GE. I have a suggestion to the question in the article on what could attract students from “struggling neighborhoods” to study engineering.

How about including a statue of the African-American man who actually invented the electric lamp? Lewis H. Latimer developed electrical inventions in association with Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison. He was one of the original Thomas Edison Pioneers who assisted in simplifying the construction of the electric lamp and electric light bulb. His patent number for the electric lamp is #247,097, dated Sept. 5, 1881.

Latimer also helped develop street lighting systems for the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Montreal and London.

I am not an engineer, but my brother Robert Sanders is (Schenectady school hall of fame). Robert and many of his friends were mentored exactly the way you are trying to reintroduce local mentoring. They were mentored by African-American engineers from GE back in the 1970s and early ’80s through the Program to Increase Minority Engineering Graduates (PIMEG).

In addition, we have a living African-American inventor in our midst. Shirley Jackson, president of RPI in Troy, helped develop caller-ID, call waiting and the portable fax.

I have a poster (with pictures of the inventors, including Jackson and all their patent numbers) listing 104 African-American inventors such as Garrett A. Morgan, who invented the gas mask and the traffic light/signal; Frederick M. Jones, who invented air conditioning; Granville T. Woods, who invented railway-telegraphy and the apparatus for transmitting messages by electricity; and W.B. Purvis, who invented the fountain pen.

My poster lists a total of 104 unknown African-American inventors, and sadly your statues will continue that tradition by not including Lewis H. Latimer.

Yes, it’s “100 years overdue,” as indicated in the article by Brian Merriam, who led the campaign to erect the statues of Edison and Steinmetz. It’s definitely 100 years overdue for Lewis H. Latimer.

Diane Hombach


School vote deadline

The deadline for submitting letters relating to the May 19 school budget vote and school board elections is Friday, May 8, at 5 p.m.

Because of the anticipated volume, election-related letters received after that time — either electronically or by regular mail — might not be published prior to the election.


The Gazette welcomes letters to the editor from readers. Letters of about 200-300 words are suggested. Longer letters may be published online only. For information on where to send letters, see the bottom of this page.

Categories: Letters to the Editor

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