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Let residents petition leaders in Albany, not Nisky school board

Let residents petition leaders in Albany, not Nisky school board

*Let residents petition leaders in Albany, not Nisky school board *Farewell to fallen soldier was fi

Let residents petition leaders in Albany, not Nisky school board

Petition leaders in Albany, not Nisky school board

In June, a group called the Niskayuna Residents for Change circulated a petition, signed by 187 supporters, requesting that the Board of Education hold off on voting to extend Superintendent Susan Kay Salvaggio’s contract until two newly elected board members could vote, in spite of the fact that traditionally, in the last June board meeting of each year, contracts were extended.

The board extended the superintendent’s contract to 2015 by a vote of 4-2, with one abstention.

The petition further stipulated that the unprecedented turnout for the May 21 budget vote and its resounding defeat clearly reflects the voters’ wishes that “things need to change” at the Board of Education. What changes need to be made is unclear at this time.

The ire of the Niskayuna Residents for Change is misplaced. The school board and Superintendent Susan Kay Salvaggio did the best job possible considering the financial burdens placed on them by the Legislature.

The law mandates that pension funds be solvent. Over the past three years, additional pension funding over what is normally required went up approximately 6.5 percent annually at the Niskayuna Board of Education. That equates to about $1 million per year that the board and the superintendent are required to find to balance the budget.

In addition, the governor’s budget needs to be balanced. He does that by shorting the Niskayuna School District between $3 million and $4 million annually in promised school aid.

To my mind, it would be more productive if the Niskayuna Residents for Change petitioned the governor and legislators rather than the Niskayuna Board of Education, because it is the former who is responsible for their tax increases, not the latter.

Joseph Hehir


Farewell to fallen soldier was filled with emotion

I am a member of the Patriot Guard Riders and was part of the motorcycle escort that led Lt. Col. Todd Clark from Albany Airport to Christian Brothers Academy and from Newcomer-Cannon Funeral Home to St. Madeleine Sophie Church [June 17 Gazette].

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the many people, including the medical staff, hotel workers, veterans and children that showed their respect for this fallen hero along the route.

To roll down Old State Road as we approached the church and see the firefighters of Westmere Fire Department standing shoulder to shoulder, saluting our passage with two ladder trucks spanning the American flag over the road, was a beautiful tribute.

Special gratitude goes to the students of St. Madeleine Sophie School who stood along the curb entrance to the church as we approached. I saw them standing emotionally, holding little flags with their hands over their hearts in awe of what was happening in front of them.

After the flag salute to Lt. Col. Clark was over, I emotionally addressed the children and teachers, thanking them for taking the time from their school day to honor Lt. Col. Clark. Their tears joined with my tears in sorrow of his passing.

Having done over 60 mission escorts for fallen and deceased veterans, the first is as hard to do as the last, but it is a passion we as Patriot Guard Riders share together.

Paul Orzolek


Don’t go back to old days when it comes to abortion

Back in Depression times, abortions were illegal and there were those with families who could just not afford another child. So they went to the “back alley” provider. Some women died and left families without a mother.

Roe v. Wade protected those who needed an abortion. Now the issue is back in the state Legislature. I am wondering why the government is involved in this matter at all?

There are religions that claim life begins at conception. Those who follow this custom will never have an abortion. However, is it right for them to put their beliefs on others who believe life begins at birth?

Rita Redlich



Rowie Taylor was misidentified in a letter to the editor yesterday. She is executive director of the YWCA of NorthEastern NY, not the YMCA.

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