Time to tell gov’t we don’t want more nuclear weapons
Let’s not give the outgoing occupants of the White House a free pass on their way out. With all the attention to the 2008 presidential election, it’s easy to ignore the damage that could be done by the Bush administration in its waning months.
For one thing, the Department of Energy (DOE) is currently reviewing public comment on the proposal called “New Nuclear Weapons and Complex Transformation.” I urge readers to join me in telling DOE that we don’t need more nuclear weapons. Judging by a Nov. 9, 2007, poll by World Public Opinion, the majority of U.S. citizens agrees that we don’t need them. People prefer reducing nuclear arms, not developing new and better ones.
If terrorism has taught us nothing else, it’s that large-scale military power is useless against it. But for those who don’t yet understand, the American arsenal is already bursting with megatonnage. The elite scientific advisory group Jason states that the current U.S. nuclear stockpile will remain reliable for at least another 70 years.
In the Capital Region, we have a unique perspective, for we have witnessed the prolonged cleanup process from radioactive weapons production at NL Industries in Colonie. All the more reason we should speak up against upgraded production of new nuclear weapons with unresolved issues around nuclear waste storage, employee safety and victim compensation.
This is one Bush legacy we still may avoid. Please tell the DOE that we don’t need more nuclear weapons; e-mail messages to [email protected] and put “Draft Complex Transformation SPEIS Comments” in the subject line. To write a letter: Complex Transformation SPEIS Document Manager, Office of Transformation, NA-10.1, Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20585.
The writer is a member of Schenectady Neighbors for Peace.
Can’t Sch’dy plows be more careful?
The recent weather has melted a lot of the snow — the signs of spring cleanup have surfaced. From my window I see the rolls of soil piled up on the island — damage caused by the snowplow. I see the plants pulled from their roots and the tulip bulbs lying on top. If you drive up Eastern Parkway, you can see significant damage to the islands because plows have ripped holes and rolled the soil into mounds.
I’m so disheartened by the sight. So sad. So many people work so hard to keep the islands nice, fertilizing, mowing, raking and planting, spring, summer and fall. The amount of damage just makes me want to sit down and cry. It can’t possibly be unavoidable.
Charter school didn’t get fair shake from state
The Gazette’s March 4 editorial, “Charter school closure justified but still sad,” on the International Charter School, while sympathetic in several ways, missed the mark.
This school deserved additional time for several key reasons, including that its board fired a non-performing, for-profit management company last year when scores had dropped to the Schenectady district average; while the evidence this year — the first one under self-management — is that scores on the two state exams administered thus far (English and social studies) increased.
Incredibly, the SUNY Charter Schools Institute ignored this evidence and gave no credit to the school’s board for replacing a management company, in contrast to other charters that failed to hold such non-performing contractors accountable. Instead, the Institute used an inspection visit only two months into the current school year as grounds for closure, while using old data from when the management company was still in charge.
In its nine-year charter history, SUNY has never treated a charter school so unjustly, particularly by placing so much weight on a single, subjective visit (while refusing to make any follow-up visits in the four months since to validate its earlier findings). Such a consequential decision as closing a school in a poor-performing district, with no other charter options, surely warrants a more thorough examination than has been given to International Charter School.
More ironic is that two area charter schools, New Covenant in Albany and The Ark in Troy, have had struggles, made changes and were given extra time by SUNY on multiple occasions. Yet, no such patience and evenhandedness was afforded the ICCS. It’s inconsistent, to say the least, and damaging to SUNY’s reputation as a charter authorizer, if allowed to continue.
The writer is policy director for the New York Charter Schools Association in Albany.
Spitzer will get a chance to redeem himself
It’s ironic that Mr. Spitzer was designated as Client 9 by the Emperors Club. This is the natural reality, an irony if you will — the Emperor dubbing him No. 9. But, of the Great Potentate of the Universe, i.e. God Almighty, He gives us another look at what the number nine means biblically:
Nine isn’t yet the full or complete number 10, but it does mark the ending. It’s the last of the single digits, in our decimal numbering system. Thus it can represent the conclusion or ending of a matter. The number nine represents finality or judgment.
I request readers to pray hard for this family, for our governmental leaders and for our state. We need to realize that God is in control of all things, and no amount of earthly wisdom or understanding can ever undermine that. We have seen that with the tortured soul of Mr. Spitzer, who despite his penchant for the good life and all things associated with understanding and wisdom, needed to get caught because of the pent-up guilt over his immorality.
God will not leave Eliot Spitzer without an avenue for redemption. God allows all of our self-righteousness to be cleansed and judged eventually. This is when the true work of redemption is realized. Thank God in most cases, including Mr. Spitzer’s, it is happening this side of death.
The writer is an ordained minister for the I Am Redeemed Ministries.
No wonder New York’s finances are a mess
Let’s look at this from a policy perspective. We’ve elected someone to craft a budget for the state who thinks $4,300 per night for a hooker is a rational economic decision? Now, that’s frightening!
Silda will ascend, just like Hillary
Now I get it! It’s the old “Monica Shuffle.”
Eliot is laying the groundwork for Silda’s eventual run for governor.
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