Schenectady should get landlords to get tenants to recycle
Re Oct. 2 article, “Proposed Schenectady city budget has small tax hike”: Great news. Anytime we do not have to borrow money is a winner day.
I see that, as usual, the people who obey the laws and rules are going to get an increase in “fees.” I, as well as many of my neighbors, obey the recycling rule. I am sure that most people who follow the rule are interested in the future — and are trying to keep the landfills as small as possible. At the same time, I am sure that many people who do not recycle are the ones that throw deposit bottles in the trash. More money out of their pockets.
I think it is a landlord problem that is not followed up. When I was a landlord, I made sure the tenants knew to recycle. I provided the containers, and I took the trash to the curb. I know the city cannot control the people who do not recycle. How can anyone know what is in the trash when they are picking it up at the curb? It is another one of those rules that cannot be controlled.
I do not know how the mayor or City Council can expect to educate people who rent, to increase their recycling habits.
In the meantime, the people who do what is required of them and recycle, and help the city, are the ones who are going to have to pay.
James W. Wilson
Don’t let frackers put end to home rule in N.Y.
The gas industry behind the leaseholder in the town of Middlefield has successfully received the attention of the state Court of Appeals [Aug. 30 Gazette]. Here we go again, living in fear and trepidation for the future safety of our health, property values and all we cherish about living upstate.
Home rule gives the right of towns to prohibit operations on specified lands. The Middlefield fracking ban safeguards the pure water which is essential to the operation of Ommegang Brewery.
Cooperstown is a thriving tourist attraction that draws an audience every summer. Imagine driving through a gas-industrialized landscape — with flaring wells, open pits containing radioactive wastewater, convoys of truck traffic, dust, the decimation of 50 acres of forest and wildlife habitat for each well pad — on the way to your vacation in Cooperstown.
The gas industry bulldozed home rule in Pennsylvania. Is New York next? How many gag orders will they purchase to hide the water contamination?
In the September 2013 issue of Scientific American magazine, check out the article, “Groundwater contamination may end the gas fracking boom.” I certainly hope so, before it’s too late for us New Yorkers.
Schenectady superintendent’s excuses rang hollow
Re Sept. 26 article, “Move blamed for rise in failed classes”: Now that is a new one!
The article stated that 57 percent of [Schenectady’s] seventh- and eighth-graders failed at least one of five core classes (English, history, science, math or technology), 47 percent failed the prior year, and that all five classes had roughly the same failure rate, i.e., 57 percent and 47 percent.
Superintendent Laurence Spring attributed the blame mainly to the merger of Oneida Middle School and Mont Pleasant Middle School. Really?! Not the fault of the students, curriculum or presentation of the subject, as a start?
Next was the comment that a principal became ill and was not replaced until December, and by then many students “were misbehaving and it took a long time for the new principal to right the ship.”
The superintendent further cites a lack of standard punishments for standard misbehavior. Coming to class late was treated differently by each teacher. Some students were not let into class, some were let into class, others meted out other types of punishment — some students were left to wander about the halls.
But now we have a “school climate toolkit.” How nice is that? Was there not a student handbook about student behavior and what was expected of students regarding coming to school or class late? Rules and regulations for teachers to follow regarding student behavior?
This “toolkit” would help “students who are recovering from trauma caused because they couldn’t predict how their environment will respond to their actions, it makes them anxious.” Again, really?!
Is this what made [so many] students fail in each of the five classes?
I am not convinced that the failure rates are the result of a principal’s illness or a student being late for class. There has to be more to it. Maybe the students were not prepared for these classes, were pushed through lower grades, didn’t do the work, were not motivated, were not guided through the subject matter when they began to fail; or perhaps they or their parents didn’t care (assuming the parents were timely notified of their child’s failing).
Whatever the reason, a 57 percent failure rate in a core class is not acceptable.
Frank J. Longo
How far will GOP go to kill Obamacare?
Last week, Republicans passed an appropriation bill that de-funds Obamacare, a bill that was certain to fail in the Senate. The result was government shutdown, putting 800,000 people out of work in the midst of an economic recovery Republicans claim to be already failing.
Apparently, Republicans consider eliminating health care to be the most important issue we face, more important than the economy, more important than the national debt. In fact, health care is such a scourge, Republicans seem willing to default on our country’s loans, considered to be risk-free loans by the entire world. They crave to eliminate health care despite:
1) America being the only industrialized country without health care for all its citizens.
2) About 15 percent of the population, 45 million people, are without health insurance.
3) Americans with health care pay about $1,000 per year to provide insurance for those without insurance.
4) About 45,000 people die each year because they did not have health insurance and did not receive treatment for illnesses that were curable.
How can officials, elected to represent their country, be so totally indifferent? There is a way to get rid of these bums, in November next year.
Rotterdam town workers don’t deserve big raises
Re Oct. 3 article, “Budget’s pay raises come under fire”: I believe that the pay raises proposed for Rotterdam’s budget are outrageous.
I hope this budget doesn’t go through. They don’t deserve these big raises. The taxes we pay are already too much. Lots of people just can’t afford to pay any more.
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