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Letters to the Editor
What you need to know for 01/22/2017

‘Dedicated’ driver who crashed should be held accountable

‘Dedicated’ driver who crashed should be held accountable

*‘Dedicated’ driver who crashed should be held accountable *Tobacco industry targets poor as ‘replac

‘Dedicated’ driver who crashed should be held accountable

You ran a brief story in the Sept. 26 Gazette [“Pre-school crash doesn’t deter teen”] about a young driver who had a one-car accident southbound on Route 50 in Glenville at approximately 8 a.m. the previous day.

Fortunately, the driver was not injured nor was anyone else. He admitted to inattention at the wheel as the cause. He was not ticketed by Glenville police, as there was no evidence of cellphone use, texting, or substance abuse. Shortly afterward another person picked him up and drove him to his class at Schenectady County Community College. The article’s author described the driver as “dedicated,” apparently for his perseverance at getting to class.

I drove past the site shortly after the accident. The car was mangled in the ditch, having hit a power pole with enough force to break it clean off in the middle, leaving the wires to hold the pole above the car. A flatbed truck was waiting to remove the car. At least four National Grid trucks were onsite waiting to replace the pole and re-hang the wires. Two Glenville police cruisers were onsite. Traffic was reduced to one lane at a time around the accident. Returning home after the noon hour, I found traffic was still backed up all the way down to Thomas Corners while National Grid completed their work.

So our “dedicated” student went to his class leaving behind the deployment of considerable municipal and corporate assets and an hours-long traffic snarl on the main route through Glenville. Good for him, I guess. But it seems to me there should be some accountability here even if he broke no laws. Anybody else share that view?

Phil Arony

Charlton

Tobacco industry targets poor as ‘replacements’

It seems that it is only common sense to assume that low-income smokers in New York state are paying a higher percentage of their income on cigarettes. The tobacco industry is well aware that the best place to find replacement smokers is in geographic areas where income and educational levels are lower and does all it can to perpetuate the cycle of tobacco use.

Take a drive through Schenectady County to see for yourself. An overwhelming majority of the licensed tobacco retailers in the county are located in the city of Schenectady — not in nearby Niskayuna, Scotia or Glenville. Marketing in the form of displays is prominently positioned by the cash registers in stores and pharmacies located less than a mile away from Schenectady city schools, where children buy their afterschool drinks and snacks.

We know that 90 percent of all smokers begin before their 18th birthday. Wouldn’t the best way to ensure that people do not spend a disproportionate amount of their income on cigarettes — and in turn, New York state on tobacco-related illnesses — be to do all we can so that they will never start?

Laura Waterhouse

Latham

Music teacher should teach music, not morals

Many in the Rotterdam community may not know the name Sean Lowery, the director of the Schalmont High School Band and Wind Ensemble. However, those who do know him either adore him or despise him for his controversial way of running a rehearsal.

For those who do not know, Sean insists nearly every class on either reading from a book on “moral lessons” or speaking his mind about his feelings on a particular subject and relating it to how we must live moral lives.

He believes his job above teaching music is to inspire his children to act with integrity. He is wrong. His job is to educate students musically by demanding a high expectation of practice and participation. How is this supposed to happen when between 10 and 20 minutes out of a 40-minute class are lost on “moral lessons?”

Music teachers in the Schalmont school district complain about the music program being cut, while Sean is only spending half of his class working on actual music!

Perhaps the reason why the music program is being cut is the fact that they are not improving. To top this all off, Sean Lowery is one of the highest-paid teachers in the district, making nearly $96,000 — $96,000 to voice his opinion to his students instead of teaching music.

Ultimately, Sean Lowery is making too much money and not fulfilling his job requirements as the high school band director, and the school district needs to do something about this.

Hayden LaBelle

Schenectady

The writer is a 2012 Schalmont graduate.

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