Refugees not living in great conditions
In her March 28 letter (“Want same benefits that refugees receive”), Beverly Borgeest asserts that undocumented immigrants get a room in a hotel with meals paid for by the government.
By coincidence, the front page of that Opinion section in which her letter appears shows a photograph of actual undocumented immigrants and their living conditions. They were confined to a fenced area in a large number.
I counted roughly 50 people and that was only part of the enclosure. People were sitting and reclining on a bare pavement.
New superintendent is vital to success
As a Schenectady taxpayer, homeowner and most importantly, the grandparent of a student in the high school, another in a middle school and another in an elementary school, I am strongly invested in the outcome of the search for the superintendent of the Schenectady City School District.
After reading The Gazette’s coverage of the search, I find myself wondering how it is that Capital Region BOCES Superintendent Anita Murphy, came to be the lead in the search. Why wasn’t a professional recruiter hired to conduct a search according to Schenectady’s unique needs? A cursory look on Google showed several companies with vast experience in finding candidates best suited to Schenectady’s diverse population and specific challenges.
Those problems facing Schenectady students are many and all have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Most students have not been inside a classroom in over a year. All districts have issues. But with the right leader meeting each test with enthusiasm, Schenectady can be positioned to make enormous progress.
He or she will embrace every obstacle as an opportunity to encourage every staff member to find a path for each student to excel.
With millions of dollars in new federal aid and many positions to be filled with staff members excited about meeting the challenges, Schenectady’s students can flourish.
I sincerely hope the Schenectady Board of Education will make every effort, after various recent missteps, to finally engage, as the next superintendent one who will joyously lead his/her teachers to encourage excellence in Schenectady’s students.
Mary Lou Russo
To fight cancer, raise state tobacco tax
As an oncologist in our region, I want to do everything in my power to protect others from cancer. That’s why I joined the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network for their virtual Cancer Action Week.
While we couldn’t travel to Albany, we still made some noise virtually. Volunteers from throughout the state met with lawmakers to let them know we need to stand up to Big Tobacco and raise our cigarette tax. We also let lawmakers know that we can’t afford cuts to public health during a pandemic.
A $1 cigarette tax increase would prevent over 22,000 kids from becoming adult smokers. That’s a true investment in the health of our kids and will help reduce their chance of receiving a cancer diagnosis later in life.
I hope our state lawmakers take a stand against Big Tobacco and stand up for our kids. It’s time to increase the tax on cigarettes and protect our kids.
Arsyl D. De Jesus, M.D.
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