BH-BL school board out of touch

*BH-BL school board out of touch *Outraged over rising costs of train station *NASCAR is driving its

BH-BL school board out of touch

In response to the approximately 250,000 opt outs from state assessments last year, the New York State Education Department convened a task force to review and revise the flawed Common Core standards and assessments.

According to their timeline, revised standards will be implemented in the classroom in the fall of 2017 and new tests will be developed based on those revised standards in the spring of 2019. In the interim, the newly elected Board of Regents chancellor has stated she would likely opt her kids out of the current state tests, citing they are not the right tests.

Last year, community members in the BH-BL (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) school district presented the school board with a petition signed by hundreds of community members urging the board to pass a resolution against flawed standards, testing and excessive data collection. The request was denied and went without further discussion from the board.

This year, the board proposed their own resolution to support the current flawed state assessments. A special meeting to pass the resolution was buried on the district website and announced without proper public notice or public comment session. The board president cited the need for the resolution because of disruptions from students opting out, however, the district website indicated that it was a calm testing atmosphere.

Due to the efforts of vigilant parents, the meeting was moved and public comment was allowed. About 75 community members and teachers were present and urged board members to reconsider passing the resolution. The board passed it anyway with a 5-2 majority.

It is apparent that the current board is more interested in exerting control over community members rather than representing the concerns of the community they serve. On May 17, please consider casting a vote for new candidates and community advocates, John Kelch and Patrick Ziegler.

Tricia Farmer

Burnt Hills

The writer is a member of BH-BL and Capital District Parents Concerned over Common Core.

Outraged over rising costs of train station

Why is New York state the highest-taxed state in the country? The answer may be complicated, but the building of the new “out-of-control-costs train station” in Schenectady is one heck of an example of why that is true.

The Gazette reported that state Department of Transportation is now spending an additional $900,000 for a redesign of the station with the same architects who underestimated the cost by 72 percent. This company was already paid $1.8 million and the state is rewarding them with another $900,000 contract so they can reduce the cost. What is wrong with this picture?

According to The Gazette, all this is only for the actual architectural firm and its design. And how much more has been spent on public employee time and resources?

It is time we know how many taxpayer dollars have been spent on designing and planning this new station. The Gazette article and even the editorial didn’t mention the proposal for using the existing Wall Street building, which would save taxpayers millions of dollars and be built much quicker, be less disruptive to adjacent businesses, and retain the same number of parking spaces. Is any of that $900,000 being used to explore that idea?

My assumption is this architectural contract was awarded based on a proposal to deliver designs for a station that could come in within budget. That obviously did not happen (not even close), so why wouldn’t the state make the company submit new plans at no additional costs? Is anybody at DOT responsible for the contract that was awarded that obviously had no performance standards?

I believe another follow-up article is warranted asking some of these questions. Maybe our state and federal elected officials should start asking some questions about what is going on with this project. This is insanity and the taxpayers should be outraged. I know I am.

Carolina M. Lazzari


NASCAR is driving its biggest fans away

Is it just me or has NASCAR gotten out of control?

Tony Stewart makes a comment about a safety concern and is fined $35,000. It was a legitimate concern, enough so that NASCAR made a rule change.

They have gone from running 43 cars for decades, down to 40, and only had 39 for two races.

They came up with charters for 36 teams and left out the legendary Wood brothers on Saturday (April 30) at the xFinity race. The first car to the finish line didn’t win because NASCAR ruled that the race was over before he crossed the line. It would have been his first win, and he and his team were ecstatic until NASCAR spoiled the party.

After watching yet another restrictor plate demolition derby at Talladega on Sunday (May 1), I’m about fed up with it.

They have even started broadcasting races, plus qualifying and practice runs, on channels that only people with multi-channel cable packages can watch, shutting out one-quarter to half of the race fans.

Yes, I have written them a letter. I can’t wait to see how much they fine me for that.

Kenneth Kimball


Trump supporters should re-think choice

Donald Trump is no longer a joke, he is not funny any more. I am not sure what is going on in this country, other than the fact that we are all fed up with our politicians.

Electing Trump is not the right way to get back at the political establishment. When Trump gets up in front of his followers, he reminds me of a Hitler.

He is a very scary guy. Granted we don’t have much of a choice this election, but anyone would be a better choice than Trump. His arrogance and stupidity will have us in another war.

Please re-think the future, before you support Trump.

Marty Shanty


Traffic cops needed during rush hour

Gridlock has come to Schenectady, big time. Anyone who has tried to get into the city via Liberty or Union streets knows what I am talking about.

Crossing Erie Boulevard has become a near impossibility with vehicles, in an effort to make the light, entering the intersection and impeding traffic flow. The other day I waited through three lights before turning around and attempting an alternate approach, which proved equally frustrating.

I realize road work needs to be done, and certainly the crisis with the Nicholaus Building is not helping the matter, but seriously — can’t something be done about this? I realize the police have more important matters to attend to, but could some traffic cops be posted at these intersections for a short time until drivers get the message that you don’t enter an intersection when the traffic is stopped? I cringe at the thought of an ambulance or fire truck trying to get through this impasse.

Between the work being done on the roundabout on Nott Street and Erie Boulevard, the construction for the new entrance to I-890, what seems like constant repairs to Broadway near Liberty Street, driving in and around Schenectady is a nightmare. Help.

Christine Witkowski


It’s against the law to block intersections

The letter about the police setting people up for blocking an intersection is wrong. You cannot enter an intersection unless you can clear the intersection.

We have to put up with these selfish people every day on Erie Boulevard and State Street and Erie Boulevard and Liberty Street, as well as traffic coming from Home Depot onto Cambridge Road, when you come off Route 7.

So, I would love to see more enforcement of this law along with people that don’t use directionals.

Gary Peterson



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