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Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Dec. 7

Your Voice

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Writer used false rhetoric on teachers

Brian Kriese’s teacher-bashing letter on Dec. 2 (“Entitled teachers should stick to jobs”) contains a multitude of falsehoods, using exactly the kind of rhetoric that helps to demoralize hard-working teachers, contributing to our current teacher shortage.
His attacks on tenure create a toxic work environment; this is exactly the reason why tenure exists. Tenure, simply put, is job protection. Can an incompetent teacher be fired? Of course, but not without due process. This means the administrators need to do their jobs, documenting and proving the teacher’s transgressions.
As a business administrator, he should know the claim that it costs a district $300,000 to fire a teacher has been quoted incorrectly for years.
Additionally, the teacher’s union helped craft the new streamlined tenure law (dating back to 2008), providing for a fairer, faster, and less-expensive process while still protecting due-process rights.
While the term “tenure” is unique to the teaching profession, this type of due process right is afforded to state, county and municipal workers (including police officers and firefighters). This, however, rarely comes up in teacher union discussions.
I would expect more from a school administrator than what Mr. Kriese presented in his diatribe full of the same old false arguments in what appears to be an attempt to settle a score. I wonder what job protections are afforded to school business administrators who stoke the flames of distrust with needless attacks on a profession filled with smart, dedicated teachers who rise above the fray so they can provide the best possible education to their students.
Natalie McKay
Ballston Spa
The writer is president of the Schoharie Teachers Association.

Thanks to dedicated snowplow drivers

I would like to say thank you to all the snowplow drivers who worked in very severe situations to get the roads clear in Schenectady. We are also grateful for all those who fought the elements to deliver needed goods and services. It is easy to criticize, but much more difficult to drive a snowplow.
James Lechowicz

Dems hypocrites on campaign funding

When Michael Bloomberg threw his name into the ring, he was loudly criticized by both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. They were upset that someone would try to buy the election by using his own money.
After the first Democratic debate, it was determined that any candidate could enter the next debate, provided they raised a predetermined amount of money. Kamala Harris dropped out on Dec. 3 because she didn’t have enough money. Apparently, they consider that money means votes.
It’s not important your platform; it’s the money. So since Bloomberg isn’t using someone else’s money, they don’t know how viable he’d be. Apparently, the Democratic platform is  “Using my money is bad but using your money is good.” They’re still using millions to campaign, it’s just not theirs. Let’s remember that come election time.  
Pete Pidgeon


Paper should remove spammer comments

Ever since The Gazette has been linked to Facebook, we see multiple people post spam about income-producing jobs.
Why doesn’t The Gazette block these spammers? They are the same people over and over again and it is almost as annoying as robocalls and liberals.
William Marincic
Editor’s note: We have taken steps on a few levels to remove these, including blocking them manually when we spot them.We are also looking into software to ensure they’re being posted by real people.

Editorial offensive to strong public servant

The Gazette’s Nov. 19 editorial eagerly attacking a long time public servant and dedicated volunteer was unnecessary and offensive.
Rosemarie Perez Jaquith has been giving of her time and talents for the 20 years that she has been a Niskayuna resident.
She has served as an attorney for the state Legislature and in her spare time has been inextricably involved in some fashion or another in our schools. Is this the kind of person we want to attack, especially without any basis?
Recently, The Gazette wrote an editorial titled “Say thanks to all the candidates.” The editorial noted that citizens and journalists spend a lot of time criticizing local officials.
It went on to note that most people who serve do the job “because serving in elected office is their way of serving their community, of using their skills and expertise and ideas and passion to give something back.”
The piece also correctly noted that local elected officials give up time with their families and friends, spend nights and weekends attending meetings and events, and take calls from constituents at all hours. That describes Rosemarie to a tee.
Candidates like Rosemarie are hard to come by. We are lucky that not only is she able to serve us at both the school board and the town board, but that she is willing to do so.
Nicki Foley

Heed the experts on climate change fight

Climate Change Science is very complicated, and people who deny it seem to favor simple explanations that they can understand.
A good example is the Nov. 28 letter by James Homan (“Don’t believe all you read about climate”).
He references the “European Climate Declaration” as a “simple and understandable statement.”
Unfortunately, the European Climate Declaration is extremely poor science. In fact, it is nothing, but cherry-picked data and non-science based claims. It is offered by people who have little climate science expertise, but rather a firm bias against solid science.
Perhaps Mr. Homan might check some excellent and reliable sources such as:
Our climate crisis is very real, and education is one of the few avenues to encourage our fellow citizens to actively work to mitigate it. With our current administration doing all it can to deny climate change and promote fossil fuel consumption, we need bottom-up initiatives by our citizens to tackle a looming world crisis. Check a National Geographic documentary “Paris to Pittsburgh” to see and be encouraged by positive steps being taken at a local and state level.
Don Cooper

Ignore conspiracies over climate change

Mr. Homan, in his Nov. 28 letter to the Daily Gazette (“Don’t believe all you read about climate”), described a document, signed by “500 scientists and professionals,” that claimed global warming is not a problem.
I looked it up, and it turns out almost all of the signatories work in fields such as engineering and medicine, not climate science.
Five hundred mostly non-climate scientists are supposed to refute the work and conclusions of a global network of thousands of actual climate scientists? I think that is unlikely.
One of Mr. Homan’s conclusions was that the globe is now warming at “less than half the originally predicted rate.” Well, considering that the original calculations were done by hand, well over 100 years ago, I think that’s pretty good.
Modern computer climate models are much more sophisticated, and their results happen to match recent global temperature records quite well.
Mr. Homan suggested that global warming concern is actually a national domination plot by the U.S. Democratic Party. However, governments of almost every other country in the world agree that global warming is a problem, yet none of those governments include any branch of the U.S. Democratic Party.
Global warming and its causes are not conspiracies. It’s just the way things are.
Kurt Hollocher

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