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School Closings

Whether it’s soda or guns, ‘gov’t knows best’

Whether it’s soda or guns, ‘gov’t knows best’

*Whether it’s soda or guns, ‘gov’t knows best’ *Labor Dept. numbers can be misleading *Those who jud

Whether it’s soda or guns, ‘gov’t knows best’

I just had to respond to the March 13 Gazette editorial, “So much for NYC’s soda ban.” The Gazette spoke of “public hysteria over a minimally intrusive ban.”

I don’t think it was hysteria so much as extreme anger. And it may have been minimally intrusive, but the point is that it is intrusive. Government is, yet again, stepping in to my private life and telling me how large a soda I am allowed to purchase, because I’m just too stupid to make that decision for myself, and I need big daddy government to decide that for me. They also need to limit how large a bag of Fritos I’m allowed to buy.

Not only is this yet another intrusion, but as the Gazette pointed out, it is pointless, for I could take a smaller cup and get a free refill. And now Bloomberg has stated he will fight this decision. In other words, he intends to thwart the will of the people and of the courts because only he is smart enough to know how big my soda cup should be.

This editorial also brought up the five-round magazine limit under the new SAFE act. Another intrusion, and again pointless. Let’s see, Mr. Homicidal Maniac decides to slaughter a bunch of children in a school. The fact that murder is against the law doesn’t faze him, but the size of the magazine — well, there’s an insurmountable problem that will stop him.

I wonder which would make our schoolchildren safer: yet another law, or an armed teacher?

Peter Frank

Schenectady

Labor Dept. numbers can be misleading

The Labor Department recently announced 236,000 jobs were created in February. The same day they also announced that 340,000 people took second or third jobs in February, something that wasn’t widely reported in the media.

That was the largest jump in “multiple job-holders” in 16 years, bringing that total to nearly 7.2 million people. How many of those 236,000 jobs were taken by people already employed?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website shows only a 170,000 increase in the total number of people employed from January to February. Multiple job-holders probably caused that difference. The Labor Department also announced 130,000 dropped out of the work force in February, but the BLS website shows a 296,000 increase in that number from January to February.

Another number not widely reported was that the work force participation rate declined to 63.5 percent in February. With the work force shrinking, it takes less job creation to lower the overall unemployment rate.

Richard Baluch

Delanson

Those who judge SHS students don’t know them

I am insulted each time someone responds with discomfort, negativity or a comment about “hoodlums” when I tell them that I work at Schenectady High School [SHS]. Most recently, someone (a resident of Schenectady) had the audacity to ask me if I “bring my bullet-proof vest” to work. It saddens me that this is the way that people view our school.

I am proud to be an employee of the Schenectady City School District. The students in our building are some of the most resilient, courageous, adaptable and self-reliant kids that I have ever worked with. Let me be the first to correct the above-mentioned resident — our school is not full of “hoodlums.”

I’m aware not everyone has this view of SHS, and I am grateful for those who believe in us. To those who choose to associate SHS with something negative, I’m asking that you not judge our students. I’m not asking you to understand the scope of many of their issues and the familial cycles that often exist — I’m simply asking that if you don’t know them, please don’t judge them.

Schenectady High School consists of nearly 2,700 students — most of whom are athletes, musicians, actors, International Baccalaureate (IB) and CISCO students, dancers, volunteers, club members, artists, junior ROTC members, award winners and future scholars. Most importantly, they are the future of our community.

If we want them to be open-minded, forgiving and non-judgmental people, don’t we owe them the same respect?

Megan Quivey

Schenectady

The writer is a guidance counselor for Grades 9 and 10.

Perfectly good explanation for the dearth of birds

In response to Mr. Clif Tygert’s question in the March 5 edition, I’ve had the same observation — no chickadees, juncos or woodpeckers at my feeders.

I contacted the Ornothology Laboratory at Cornell University, and was told that a hawk probably moved into the neighborhood. Keeping my eyes open over the next few days — sure enough, I spotted a Cooper’s hawk and a Sharp-shinned hawk — the latter known to hang around bird feeders.

Further information can be gotten from Mike Burger: mburger@cornell.edu.

Arthur Hombach

Schenectady

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