Governor opts out of state during testing

*Governor opts out of state during testing *Kids can ease stress by enjoying outdoors *Don't let gov
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Governor opts out of state during testing

Hmmm… very interesting that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is out of the country during the middle of the Common Core tests — which was one of his main platforms and has shown high opt-out rates.

What pressing issue is there in Cuba that our governor needs to attend to this week? Gov. Avoider?

M. Evans Johnson

Clifton Park

Kids can ease stress by enjoying outdoors

Sadly, we have been hearing more and more about our young people feeling despair and becoming more depressed in our society. This can be the result of many factors playing into this. It could be the stresses from the new academic standards put on them by our government, bullying by classmates or, simply, lack of physical activity.

Although most of us have experienced these unfortunate situations, I feel that more physical activity and outdoor experience can help young people fell better about themselves by just being outdoors in the fresh air.

This does not have to be structured activity with your school, such as sports, outdoor education learning or landscaping work, but merely being outside in the yard. This can be achieved with no hard work. One may enjoy a simple walk or a mild run to clear one’s head. It could be an easy hike in the mountains and a picnic along the way.

When we truly experience the outdoors, we are becoming not only familiar with nature, but also our senses. To smell the fresh air and listen to the sounds of the different birds can be so calming. Our attention to these areas is like a torch. We can become more focused and feel better about ourselves.

I encourage this simple remedy for those days when one might feel a little blah. Get outside and enjoy the sounds, scents and air. Oh, by the way, it does not cost a penny.

Connor DeSantis

Rotterdam

The writer is a student at Mohonasen High School.

Don’t let government bully us on education

As adults, it is our job to see that children are loved, nurtured and safe. I am doing my part. Unfortunately, the school system is not doing its job. We all agree that higher standards are beneficial. We all agree children need to be able to compete in a global economy. We disagree on how that should be done.

Children have one chance for a quality education, and that is being taken away under the current educational system. My daughter is not an experiment, yet you are treating her as if she is. She is not agar in a petri dish exposed to an unknown specimen, observed, analyzed and then conclusions drawn. In the time it takes you to do that, a whole generation of children have been robbed of a quality education.

Did you know that first-graders are already taking timed tests? So much for ensuring they understand the concept being taught. Can they add and subtract? Maybe not, but they will know it is more important to be fast than accurate. They will spend almost as much time taking tests as being instructed. Did you know that no tests are sent home to parents? Why is my child’s education a secret only to me.

Personal information on my child is released to all types of agencies and companies without my permission. That is not keeping my daughter safe. Fraud is no longer occasional. It is happening every day and you are making the likelihood of my child being a victim even greater.

One parent told me that she doesn’t want our school to lose school aid. If we fight this flawed system, she will have to pay more in taxes. My response is bullying is wrong. Government is no exception. Politicians are threatening to take money away, just like the bully that stole your lunch money. As adults, we have to stand up and say no to bullying.

Please stand up for our children. They are counting on you.

Colleen Reckner

Rexford

Concerns still remain over Amedore project

On April 14 , The Daily Gazette reported the Scotia Glenville Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to approve the controversial Amedore housing project. The project joins the Glen Oaks and Indian Hills neighborhoods with a neighborhood of 135 new homes. Although the process has taken 18 months, important questions and concerns remain.

Despite taxpayers’ pleas, petitions, and even an expensive legal challenge, the commission upheld the right of the property owner to construct new homes in a protected wetland. What corporation purchases protected wetland without approval to build?

Scotia-Glenville schools, once an excellent educational system, now receives an average school rating. The 150-200 new students from the project will probably not be bused to the nearest school, but one farther away — increasing cost, increasing class size and limiting educational opportunities. The highest taxes in the county will not provide a quality education for a Scotia-Glenville student. Buyer beware.

The town comprehensive plan documents the need for more parkland. In lieu of parkland in the swamp, the town will receive $135,000 from the developer. What can the community expect when 150 cars and 135 families use the swings at Collins Park or Maalwyck? Is the town thinking of the future? That $135,000 will not purchase and develop a new park.

It is documented that neighbors are concerned about traffic and traffic safety. Adding a new development with approximately 150 cars to the flood of traffic on Freemans Bridge Road should have town Supervisor Chris Koetzle really concerned as the casino project evolves.

Building in a protected wetland requires a new sewer infrastructure for the homes. Current neighborhoods have septic systems. Sewer lines and pumping stations will tear up many neighborhood streets. The sewer lines will eventually tie to the flawed Schenectady sewer system. Last year, Schenectady agreed to new state guidelines that would allow less untreated sewage to spill into the Mohawk River. Buyer beware.

Many of the neighborhood homes currently are pumping water from basements into their yards. It has been argued that the construction of a new neighborhood would greatly increase the water. Concerns from these taxpayers have been blatantly ignored.

Protected wetlands are home to many creatures including the Indiana bat. They are also of no concern to the zoning commission. Hopefully, the state Department of Environmental Conservation will consider this an abuse of power and be concerned for the environment.

Dori Trela

Glenville

Lopez serves citizens well on education

On behalf of the Cobleskill-Richmondville Teachers’ Association, I would like to commend Assemblyman Peter Lopez on his support for education.

Assemblyman Lopez attended a forum held in Cobleskill on education and listened to and responded to the many concerns of his constituents. He has made himself available for several meetings with teachers and constituents during the budget season. On one of these occasions, he spent more than two hours discussing educational issues.

Assemblyman Lopez held true to his word. He voted no on the toxic education budget and spoke eloquently at a budget hearing. Assemblyman Lopez is dedicated to fixing what is wrong with education. He speaks very passionately and honestly about the issues, and is a immersing himself in the detail.

He is truly an ally in the cause to protect students and represent the wishes of his constituency.

Tarrence Lasher

Cobleskill

Appreciate content of news in The Gazette

I’d like to thank the Gazette for news.

I timed the networks this past week, and the nightly news at 6:30 p.m. seems to be 15 minutes of news and 15 minutes of commercials. So, Gazette, keep the news in depth — maybe add another page of news. I’m tired of network commercials. Keep up good work. I enjoy the news with my coffee in the morning.

Herbert Thorne

Schenectady

Weather, TV belong on back of section

I read the April 21 letter to the editor from L.M. Basil and I agree that the TV schedule and the weather should be returned to the last page of the first section. It is so much easier to find.

Janet Neary

Scotia

Letters

The Gazette welcomes letters to the editor from readers, regardless of point of view.

Letters of about 200-300 words are suggested. Longer letters will 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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