Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Tuesday, May 10

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Wrong to dismiss parental concerns

In the fall, parents expressed concerns about highly sexualized content being shared by a male teacher to 14-year-old students at Saratoga Springs High School.
The content in question was not part of the approved school curriculum, but rather an outside piece assigned at the teacher’s discretion.
We wrote to the principal, to the administration and to the school board seeking answers to questions and accountability for the teachers’ actions.
Parents have been at every school board meeting since the fall, politely expressing concerns and asking for answers. We asked for accountability and policy changes to ensure that this type of rogue conduct doesn’t happen in the future.
It’s not shocking that the SSHS Board of Education ignored concerns — as this board has demonstrated a pattern of ignoring parents on many issues, including the rising school violence and antisocial behavior happening at school.
But we were stunned when it was revealed that school board Vice President John Brueggemann, in an email, praised the teacher for all he is doing. He finalized his email with “illegitimi non carborundum,” Latin for “don’t let the bastards wear you down,” referring to concerned parents.
Parents can respectfully disagree about whether the sexually explicit content shared in the ninth grade classroom was appropriate.
However, we should be able to agree that dismissing the honest concerns of parents and referring to them in this manner is unacceptable. This is not civil, it’s not leadership and it’s not worthy of our trust.
Mark Crockett
Gansevoort

Forgiving college loans hurts others

I’d like to thank Scott Davis for his excellent letter (“Stop giving away taxpayers’ money”) printed in the May 1 Gazette.
I couldn’t have said it better. As a senior homeowner and taxpayer in New York state, I’m finding it extremely difficult to keep up with tax increases on all levels. I, too, paid my own student loans. My children paid off their loans as well.
I’m on a fixed income, which does not keep up with tax hikes.
Please stop increasing my responsibility for others’ loans.
The students are young and have years to catch up. I am not. I need what money I have to survive on a daily basis. Medical, gas, food and utility rates are all increasing at a rapid pace. I don’t need any added burden.
Find another way to help the young people without digging into my purse!
Addy Welch
Niskayuna

 

Onus is on Putin for peace in Ukraine

Paul Rehm’s letter (“Ukrainians should heed calls for peace”) in the May 6 Gazette does not acknowledge the fact that President Putin made the decision to invade the sovereign nation of Ukraine.
His troops have killed many civilians including innocent women and children as well as many Ukrainian soldiers. Cities such as Mariupol have been destroyed. President Putin claims to be a Christian but his clergy have apparently not convinced him to stop the killing and seek peace instead.
The onus is on President Putin to stop the killing and destruction of Ukraine, not the Ukrainian people who have no choice but to fight back and protect their citizens and property.
Doug McFadden
Niskayuna

Oil companies are to blame for prices

KEYSTONE! KEYSTONE! KEYSTONE! Regarding his letter in the May 5 Gazette (“Please explain high heating oil prices”), Ken Jones, now do I have your attention?
The Keystone Pipeline was designated to carry tar sands oil, one of the most hazardous substances known to the environment. High prices — yeah let’s look at that. Shell posted a $9.1 billion profit for the first quarter of this year — triple their profits over last year.  Chevron’s profits quadrupled. ExxonMobil’s doubled.
What are they doing with these profits, you well may ask?
They are buying back stock worth billions of dollars, so their executives and stockholders make millions.
Before you (and I use the Imperial You here) start pointing fingers, do some basic research.
Companies, not just oil companies, are and have been raking in millions and billions of dollars during the pandemic. They have inflated prices. They have caused shortages. They are the ones responsible for where we are now.
Do some research. Get the facts.
Why was the Keystone pipeline a bad idea? No matter how you look at it, Keystone XL would be bad for wildlife, especially endangered species. Many imperiled species live along the proposed pipeline’s path and in areas where tar-sands oil is produced. If the pipeline were built, it would decimate the habitat these species rely on.
Barbara J. Kerr
Schenectady

Thanks to Gazette for Bounty section

Thank you for the special section on Local Bounty in the April 28 Gazette. It is the most heartwarming, loving ode to humanity that I have ever read.
People helping people, people trusting their instincts, people succeeding in their dreams. It is so well done and so inspiring. Your people have done an outstanding job with the photographs and the stories.
Stanley Blanchard
Schenectady

 

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

15 Comments
William Marincic May 11, 2022
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Fox nation ran a special on the oil industry and it was done with the people in the oil industry and it’s very educational many people on here really should watch it it will make you change your tune in a lot of different ways. You might wanna Google it.

Chuck D May 10, 2022
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Readers of Mr. Crockett’s letter can find some background here:dailygazette.com/2022/04/25/parent-group-presses-saratoga-springs-school-district-6-months-after-concerns-over-explicit-content-were-first-raised/
“illegitimi non carborundum”What’s not civil Mr. Crockett is the noise and coercion and verbal violence “concerned” parents groups have inflicted on well-meaning school boards, to the extent that they’ve made no secret of now trying to assume control by infiltration. The same group who can’t see any problem with our past president’s attempt to cheat elections.Predictably you’ve chosen the victim stance.
It’s yet another example of a minority of parents who while within their rights to question the school, are not within their rights to dictate what everyone’s kids should learn. These are mostly public schools and they seem to have lost the ability to accept others’ thinking (as theirs has been by the mere fact they are allowed to speak freely). It’s a repeating pattern from the same group who can’t accept other losses in their lives but will make us all part of their solution.
And it’s profoundly antidemocratic.
And it seems it doesn’t matter much to them.

Mark Mahoney May 10, 2022
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jclark124 May 10, 2022
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Was I kicked off this comment section or did it go dark for a while?  Anyway, Addy Welch–I don’t believe in wiping out student debt, but think the cost of college has become astronomical, so some kind of help is necessary…possibly cutting the loan percentage.  That would free up money for young people to invest instead.
Doug McFadden–Totally agree that the war in Ukraine is solely on Putin.                                                          Barbara J. Kerr–yes, to blame President Biden for all that’s happening coming out of a pandemic–with the world suffering the same problems–is easy, but misguided.  Gouging, profiteering, is certainly a big part of the problem.
 

Who Ville May 10, 2022
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dI have news for you Addy.  You think it’s difficult for you to keep up with taxes on a fixed income?  Consider that when you were growing up you could support a family on a single income working a factory job with no education.  If you decided to go to college, you could attend a 4-year university and graduate with minimal debt.  Today, the work force is even more competitive.  You need a college degree just to be able to get an entry level job.  That college degree is going to cost you over $100k for a state school if you don’t have the convenience of being able to commute every day.  What would that cost “back in your day” if the cost was simply adjusted for inflation?  Less than $30k.  So please, have some empathy for your grandchildren’s generation that is seeing massive cost increases, with no wage increases.  How can you hope to start a family and buy a home when you’re making the equivalent of a mortgage payment on your student debt?  We as a country decide all the time what to do with our tax dollars.  Many times, it’s to give tax breaks to large corporations that open factories overseas and employ people in those countries.  It’s about time we give working people a break and relieve them of this massive burden.  

BILL WEMPLE May 10, 2022
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Require repayment of principal, drop the interest and any penalties for some short term relief. but do not forgive completely.  On the other end, stop handing out easy money! Require a bit of due-diligence on part of banks in refusing to make loans to students who simply will not be able to pay them back, or call it a gift\grant if you’re not going to require repayment anymore.  If a student is going to be 100 – 200K in debt for a liberal arts degree, that’s not a good investment!  Choose a different degree or different school. The Federal Government should also not be backing loans when student’s debt and ability to pay it back hit certain levels.  Perhaps schools will rein in costs to make it a bit more affordable if there isn’t a cheap supply of money coming in from federally backed student loans and then they’ll have to dip into their billion dollar endowments perhaps?  Banks routinely turn down loans for businesses, cars, homes, etc., when they see a risk in defaulting, but they hardly seem to care when handing out student loans because the Feds are backing them up.  Well, the Feds, banks, and schools created the issue, now they need to fix it, not the taxpayers.

FRED BARNEY May 10, 2022
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With respect to student loan problems one can lessen future problems by having universities keep a public record of the employment history, by department, of recent graduates.

William Marincic May 10, 2022
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Barbara J. Kerr, you need to understand that it costs billions of dollars to set up an oil rig and start drilling for that oil. Oil companies spend millions and millions of dollars just looking for oil. And when you look at the profit margin that oil companies make it’s actually minimal, it’s not like they are just raking in the money, they are spending money to make that money.