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Letters to the Editor
What you need to know for 01/23/2018

Realtors who can’t find good in Schenectady haven’t been looking

Realtors who can’t find good in Schenectady haven’t been looking

*Realtors who can’t find good in Sch’dy haven’t been looking *'Equality Agenda’ a pro-abortion smoke

Realtors who can’t find good in Sch’dy haven’t been looking

As the mother of three children in Schenectady schools, the wife of a Schenectady school social worker, as a Schenectady teacher myself, and a “middle-class” family [member] living in the school district, I can endorse Schenectady schools.

I was appalled at the tone and content of the April 17 article, “Area real-estate agents not sold on city’s pitch,” which suggested that local real estate agents could muster up no good reason to sell a house in Schenectady. Amazingly, they could find no neighborhoods to sell to middle-class families.

There are nice neighborhoods throughout Schenectady; and beautiful homes in Bellevue, Woodlawn, Central Park, the Stockade, by Union Street and countless other parts of the city. I suspect our local real estate agents know this already, so what’s their next excuse for not selling homes? Reading scores!

Reading is taught at home and honed in the schools. Any parent in any school district who thinks [otherwise] will see their child struggle at reading. My kids are all reading at or above grade level. My husband and I and our children’s teachers have taught our children to read.

No school district anywhere will guarantee your child’s success. Parents do that.

Schenectady is rich in diversity and so accepting of people of all backgrounds. Schenectady is overflowing with unique talent and brilliance. Take a ride by our school and see the sign with all those kids going to all those colleges across the nation. Walk down our halls after school and see all the teachers working with students in clubs and on projects.

Our students show their brilliance on a daily basis in music, film, dance, physics, law and literature. From our Fine Arts department, athletics and languages, to our ROTC, IB programs and the dedicated, creative staff that works to create that next opportunity for that next unique kid — we are a brilliantly bright school.

If you don’t believe me, listen to our kids in the April 28 article, who said, “Schenectady schools shine.”

Yes, kids, you do shine!

Kathleen Wylie


This writer is a Schenectady High teacher and coach.

‘Equality Agenda’ a pro-abortion smokescreen

New York’s Women’s Equality Agenda includes protecting a women’s freedom of choice by enacting the Reproductive Health Act.

The governor and groups like NARL [National Abortions Rights League] and Planned Parenthood are trying to make laws that are too good to be true. Experience teaches us otherwise. These groups and others allow fundamental evils such as abortion to kill thousands of the littlest and most innocent members of our human family.

You can’t fool Mother Nature. New York was home to the first birth control clinic in the nation in 1916; then the state made abortion legal in 1970. What are the consequences? Explosion of sexually transmitted diseases, high rates of teenage pregnancy, single motherhood and exploding divorce rates, to name a few. Contraception is not fool-proof, so we add government-paid abortion to the mix. Today, parents are kept in the dark when daughters are taken to the abortionist. SAT scores and graduation rates went down.

Why is the governor refusing to divulge the specifics of the bill? Is it because he and pro-choice groups who support abortion on demand are trying to repackage the radical abortion bill, the Reproductive Health Act, that has been in existence since 2008?

Babies, teens and women need to be protected from an abortion industry that is largely unregulated, as we learned from the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Our state must reinstate the dignity of the unborn members of our society and their mothers.

Joanne Clough


Pistol permit registry a waste of state money

Your tax dollars at waste. Faced with a budget deficit, the state has cut money for services. People will lose their jobs, Medicaid assistance to the elderly will be reduced, etc. Not to mention, Gov. Cuomo is giving tax breaks and incentives to lure movie makers and The Tonight Show to New York.

In spite of all this, $28 million has been budgeted that will go to waste. It is money earmarked for a new pistol permit registry, which is a requirement of the SAFE Act. The existing permit system, though of questionable constitutionality, is quite rigorous. It is practically unheard of for a pistol permit holder to commit a crime with their handgun.

Should a person run [afoul] of the law in another manner, law enforcement already has methods to check if the person has a pistol permit. In the end, the $28 million will be wasted, as it will not provide any more information than can currently be obtained.

The state’s willingness to waste your money is not new. The now-defunct CoBis [Combined Ballistic Identification System] database cost state taxpayers approximately $40 million over 10 years. It solved zero crimes. Thus it is evident that a new pistol permit registry will only serve to harass the state’s law-abiding gun owners and empty the wallets of taxpayers.

Don Steciak


‘Ultimate fighting’ sends wrong message to kids

I was appalled by the April 24 article, with pictures, from the demonstration at the Times Union Center on the legalization of “ultimate fighting” in New York.

I agree with the April 28 Viewpoint [“Smack down!”] by John Figliozzi about this wholeheartedly. “Ultimate fighting” is nothing but total brutality, possibly injuring [your opponent] for life or killing them. It is nothing like boxing, nothing like wrestling (which is fake) and, in my honest opinion, should not be legalized in New York. So what if it will make money for the coffers?

The picture with the article showed several kids watching the demonstrations. If I were a parent, I would be ashamed to send my child to [this event]. This fighting is nothing but violence, it shows kids that this activity is all right in today’s society.

Next thing, the kids go to school and decide to have an “ultimate fight” with a schoolmate to settle something. The kid who loses brings a gun to school the next day to shoot the winner. This is not like sending your kids to learn taekwondo or karate for self defense, it is brutality to [the] extreme.

Jeff Jones


What dance show did Gazette critic attend?

I was dismayed by the negative April 27 review of Cirque Zuma Zuma by Wendy Liberatore, who found this marvelous production sloppy, faltering and evidently not [up] to her standard.

This energetic native African group danced with such enthusiasm, energy and skill that the Proctors audience clapped with joy and showed its appreciation with a standing ovation.

Ms. Liberatore objected to a dancer’s headdress slipping off and found fault with the contortionists’ choreography, instead of praising their beautiful and amazing movements. The act with the clowns and the little girl they picked out from the audience was funny and charming.

My friends and I enjoyed the performance, and I heard only praise from audience members during the intermission and at the end of the program.

This wasn’t a polished Las Vegas or Broadway performance, but it showed what native African performers can accomplish. I am thankful that Proctors’ excellent programming brought Zuma Zuma to Schenectady.

Helen Steiner


Get it right: Old board paid Ely to leave town

Re April 29 article,“Plan targets dropout rate”: Ms. Moore writes, “The new board paid the superintendent to leave.” How many times will the Gazette repeat this [mistake]?

Current board member Andrew Chestnut joined former board member Diane Herrmann in voting against the resolution to buy out Eric Ely’s contract. School board President Cathy Lewis and I were not sworn in until the following day, and so could not vote on the resolution.

Misleading the public in this way is a disservice not only to the public, but to the current board as well.

Ann M. Reilly


The writer is vice president of the school board.

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