Woman is teaching kids a valuable lesson

*Woman is teaching kids a valuable lesson *Support Schlossberg for Niskayuna board *Don’t use religi

Woman is teaching kids a valuable lesson

Sunday [May 3], about 8 a.m. there was a knock at the door. A woman was standing there and she wanted to tell me that her nephew had been playing in her yard, which was behind my home.

A stick was tossed and accidentally broke a window in my garage. She told me to have it repaired and give her the bill. Then she gave me her address. This may not be very significant to some, but I was so impressed. In these times where is seems “right” to do “wrong” and to blame someone else, or not say anything, this lovely lady came to my door to do the right thing — and to teach everyone in her household. I hope she is blessed so much.

Pearl B. Albrechtsen


Support Schlossberg for Niskayuna board

I’ve been a high school teacher for 19 years. I’ve seen how harmful incompetent boards of education can be. I’ve also seen how much excellent boards of education can improve school districts.

On May 19, Niskayuna residents will get to vote for two school board members. As a Niskayuna taxpayer, I’m angry that we are still paying for the salary of a district leader who was dismissed only a short time after her contract was extended.

A fresh perspective is needed on the Niskayuna school board, specifically one that exhibits common sense. I’d like to urge all of you to support Howard Schlossberg. Howard has experience with budgets, board dynamics and working with stakeholders to accomplish goals. Most importantly, he is smart, reasonable and committed to improving the school district. Vote for common sense on May 19. Support Howard Schlossberg.

Christopher Ognibene


Don’t use religion as excuse to be hateful

I read Fred Barney’s May 7 letter (“Most AIDS patients died of bad choices”) and thought that in some incidents he is correct. People die of bad choices. I was wondering why he limited himself only to AIDS victims and their possible use of drugs. Some die and some don’t die from drugs.

There are so many ways to cause a death or the deaths of others by making “bad choices.” People such as drunk or drugged drivers, texting drivers, people who make poor food choices for themselves and others, people who are super daredevils, people who smoke, people who are depressed and feel bullied by good and “proper” Bible believing people, etc.

Then I finished Fred’s letter and saw the real purpose of his letter. To condemn victims of AIDS as being against the word of God. Although there are many who might agree with him, I always find it interesting that we mere mortals feel we understand the mind of God.

I wonder when people use their belief in God to hate others, what God do they know? Obviously, not the Lord of the New Testament who said the greatest commandment is to love your God and your neighbor as yourself.

Everyday, around the world we see the “consequences” of using religious beliefs as a hammer to hurt others. The ISIS group uses religion to separate the people they kill (Shias) from those they don’t. Even the Christians, in our past, have killed others in the name of God during the Crusades.

The Reformed Catholics-Protestants-turned on their former God-mates, the Catholics in a long and bloody war in Europe. People use religion as an excuse for their behaviors, but often the real reasons include fear, greed, and ignorance. Yes, there are consequences for poor behavior.

For Christians, supposedly, it is the day of the Lord’s judgment. On that day, what will God think of people who interpret His words to separate and hurt others?

Janice Walz


Dirty politics has no role in Niskayuna race

Re May 6 letter [by Steve Benton], “Schlossberg, Koes for Niskayuna board”: Dear fellow Niskayuna residents, parents and business partners: Today’s message in the Schenectady Gazette letters to the editor section saddened and angered me tremendously.

Why do some people think they have the right, the obligation even, to live in the past and hold grudges, reducing our intellect to no more than that of a child throwing a tantrum? Because this statement was nothing more than that.

The basketball coach is gone; let’s move on. It has nothing — let me repeat this so that Mr. Benton can understand this as well — it has nothing to do with this year’s election. Nor should it. I ask you: Aren’t we better than that? We are better than this.

We, the community, invested numerous hours, weeks or more time away from our families to fight for our community, our children and education. What example are we setting for our children with bullying and dirty politics if we don’t get our way — for years to come?

Last night [May 5] was a “Meet the Candidates” night, and knowing two out of six potential candidates, I decided that it was my right, obligation and duty to inform myself to make the right decision in the upcoming elections.

If you did not have a chance to inform yourself last night, please take the step to inform yourself. Only hearing one opinion, one cannot procure an informed decision. Please seek out other people of the opposite opinion to hear their viewpoints to see if maybe there is some new information that could be of importance in your decision making.

Let’s be adults and behave like grown-ups. Stop the bickering and people-bashing. Let’s have a clean, well, almost-clean, campaign.

Sonya Ward


Mauro earned a new term in Niskayuna

For years I religiously attended Niskayuna Board of Education meetings. I was a regular speaker. Last June I stopped attending the meetings because I had lost faith in the leadership of the district. It was one long, painful roller-coaster ride. I questioned my decision to raise my family in Niskayuna. My faith has been restored because of the many changes that have occurred, but one change started the dominoes of renewal falling.

I was on my way to New York City on an Amtrak train when my wife texted me with the news that the superintendent had moved on. Two words popped into my head: John Yagielski. As a union officer and teacher, I had sat across the negotiating table from him and as a teacher I had worked with him. I knew he was the person Niskayuna needed to restore the faith. I wasn’t alone in my thinking. I contacted a board member and shared my thoughts. I was told someone who knew him had also brought his name up for consideration. That person’s name was Barbara Mauro.

Barbara Mauro not only had the foresight to see that a change in administration was needed; she also knew how to restore the integrity that the district was lacking. She had a long standing relationship with Mr. Yagielski and she was instrumental in the recruitment and retention of Mr. Yagielski’s services.

I understand that people are passionate about different facets of our district and I respect that. If you want, you can hold Barbara Mauro accountable for shattering the community by not renewing the contract of a basketball coach. While you are holding her accountable, please hold her accountable for retaining the person who has exhibited superior leadership abilities and who has developed a greater level of board accountability and transparency.

Please hold her accountable for playing a large role in working with her fellow board members in providing the students and residents of this community with a phenomenal school year and a proposed school budget that will restore services and add programs, all with no tax increase. Hold her accountable for dedicating 18 years of her life to our children and our community. Hold her accountable for mending the very fabric of our community — our schools.

We need people like Barbara Mauro to represent us. She has guided Niskayuna through many of our best days, but more importantly during the worst of times, she did not wilt. She remained loyal to representing our community’s shared value and belief system. No matter how difficult things became, she stood strong.

We need people like Barbara Mauro looking out for our children and our tax dollars. You can bet I will be holding her accountable when I vote for her on Election Day.

Joseph Skumurski


Bearing bursitis and a hard day’s night

I’m on the verge of my 80th birthday and happened to think back on my change in taste for popular music over the years.

I grew up with Spike Jones and the Crooners until Elvis exploded onto the scene. I worked many years as a time salesman for an easy-listening “wallpaper music” radio station. I married an Eastman School classical pianist, who introduced me to classical music. In the background, the Beatles were emerging and growing in popularity. It took me some time to realize how incredibly talented the Beatles were, both as songwriters and performers. I ultimately became a convert to and a believer in them. But, after 50-plus years, I realize I’ve become bored with them and their same tunes being played over and over.

It also struck me that the screaming hordes of adoring young girls who attended Beatles concerts are now either grandmothers or deceased. Those who are neither would fill phone booths, rather than auditoriums. However, I must admit my bursitis has become even more boring than the Beatles, and realize both the Beatles and my bursitis will be with me to the end. Grimace and bear it.

Jim Esch


Categories: Letters to the Editor

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