Teachers’ invitation to governor still open
The Daily Gazette’s editorial board lamented on March 10 that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state’s teachers could not find common ground. The Gazette believes that it’s “time for the two sides to come together in person and hammer something out.” The Gazette has a point.
In response to The Gazette’s perspective, I have invited Gov. Cuomo to the Children First community rally hosted by the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Teachers Association. The rally will take place today (March 24) at 7 p.m. at the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School auditorium. The focus of the event will be the governor’s proposal to dramatically increase the reliance of student test scores in teachers’ evaluations.
Teachers believe this will have a hugely negative impact on the quality of education for our students. Indeed, teachers should be evaluated and teachers should be accountable. However, we believe the governor’s proposal on teacher evaluation is a mistake. We would like to tell him why we feel that way.
Unfortunately, Gov. Cuomo has not responded to my invitation.
Teachers are willing to listen. I believe, as The Gazette hopes, we could hammer out a solution that best serves the children in our state if we listen to each other. Gov. Cuomo, teachers are willing partners. We have done enough talking at each other. Can we try talking to each other?
We will be waiting tonight.
The writer is a teacher and president of the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Teachers Association.
Racist GOP owed Obama more respect
I only watched Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before Congress for a few minutes and came away disgusted by the display shown by Republicans as he talked.
Standing on several occasions and applauding Netanyahu showed House Speaker John Beohner and his fellow Republicans as racist.
At our president’s State of the Union address, Mr. Boehner showed this trait by sitting as our president spoke about his vision for America. Even when President Obama talked about working together with Republicans, they stayed glued to their seats and rolled their eyes.
Netanyahu talked, but didn’t supply any answers. In fact, he didn’t have an inkling of how to address the Iran problem. It is obvious Netanyahu wants the United States to go to war with Iran, and he did his best to push buttons. Inviting a foreign leader to speak before Congress was not a slap in the face to President Obama, but to the American people.
Sword-waving Republicans are ready to send young Americans into war as they sit safely in Washington. The percentage of Congress that served in our military is the lowest in history. Coupled with hatred for anything our president does, they are ready to sacrifice American lives. Those who voted for both Houses to be Republican can now see the fruits of their choice.
Gridlock is alive and nothing has changed. Hatred is also alive and well, as a black man who cares about people gets ready to spend his last year and a half in office.
I have to wonder what will happen when a Hispanic man or woman becomes president. Perhaps by then, Republicans will see blood is red, no matter what one’s race may be. God bless America.
Gary P. Guido
Paper let writer make anti-Semitic remark
Did it really strike no one on your editorial staff that Alex Maronic’s March 16 letter [“Netanyahu exposes flaws in Israel’s tack”] employs two standard examples of textbook anti-Semitism?
He writes that the Israeli prime minister “personifies the ... Jewish dilemma — desperately seeking ... an upper hand in interpersonal and political relationships.” That sure sounds like dressed-up rhetoric for the stereotypes of pushy Jews and Jews seeking to control the world.
The letter writer can go marinate in the stew of his stale ideas, but did The Gazette need to serve it up?
Jessica Hornik Evans
Obama backers are real America haters
I found your March 16 cartoon on the Opinion Page very offensive to the Republican Party. To say that the GOP hates America as does Iran is something that House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi or Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid would say.
If your newspaper is as left-leaning as your cartoon suggests, then I’m subscribing to editorial nonsense that adores the Democratic Party, which in turn wants to keep minority groups beholden to the government, led by undoubtedly the worst president this country has seen in its history.
I don’t know any person more hateful of what America is than an Obama supporter, especially those that voted for him a second time — brainless. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.
Union didn’t deserve same play as hoops
The Scotia-Glenville boys’ basketball team beat CBA Syracuse 62-54 for their 51st straight win and the Class A state regional title on March 14 at Colgate University.
On the same day, Peter Hooley nailed a dramatic 3-point shot with just a couple of ticks left on the clock to lift UAalbany to the American East Conference title and its third consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament.
These big wins, however, took a back seat to Union college’s 3-2 hockey win over Qinnipiac in their second game of a three-game ECAC tournament quarterfinals series. It seems to me that the Scotia-Glenville and UAlbany stories qualify more for front-page ink than does the Dutchmen win.
Union has been up and down (mostly down) all season; their overall record is 19-17-2; and they had to beat Quinnipiac in the third game to only move on to the semi-final round of the tournament.
High taxes, declining values not good sign
Re March 17 article, “Report: Schenectady taxes highest in Capital Region”: As noted before, Mayor McTax (also known as Gary McCarthy) has done nothing, either as a member of the City Council or as mayor, to reduce taxes in Schenectady, which are the highest in the Capital District.
However, the reported 4.38 percent tax rate (without including fees, which are a tax by another name) is, in fact, 5.4 percent, since houses are assessed 23 percent higher than their fair market value.
While Mayor McTax foolishly claims houses in Schenectady are a great buy (prices have fallen 20 percent during his term as mayor), no homeowner should be happy with either rising taxes and fees or falling home values.
Roger H. Hull
The writer is president of Help Yourself Foundation.
Barber photographs example of real talent
Through the years — and presently — The Gazette has been gifted with many talented photographers.
I believe a fine art gallery is considering an exhibit on the theme of “Fine” and would look at Peter Barber’s photos for inclusion.
Today, [March 12] the photo of “charred appliances sit in parking lot ... ” is a prize by my eye.
Music is alive and well in city schools
“Great music in Schenectady schools!” That should be a headline article on account of something really positive and heartening in our schools.
On March 18, Central Park band students were given the opportunity to have a master class with professional musician Mark Vinci. Mr. Vinci is on the faculty of Julliard and Skidmore. He is a masterful musician and a dynamic teacher. He demonstrated various techniques on a variety of instruments, encouraged the students to play along and kept everyone actively engaged.
Along with music teacher Rob Aronstein, the students were treated to some wonderful duets — and then the students were invited to make music with their two teachers. There was enthusiasm, there was joy, there was good education taking place.
Impressed by Sch’dy police officer’s action
Tuesday morning [March 17], I was walking on Arthur Chaires Boulevard in Central Park a little after 10 a.m. when I saw two small children with backpacks holding hands walking toward me.
Just as I was considering if I should question whether they were all right, a Schenectady police car went by, turned around and pulled up next to the children and stopped. At this point, the children (who were on the other side of the street), the police car and I were parallel to one another.
The officer got out of his car, greeted me with a “good morning” and said to the children, “Are you running late for school?” They answered yes, and he said, “Get in the back, put your seat belts on and I will bring you to school.”
As they pulled away, all I could think is this type of proactive protecting and serving the community is never reported, and the public needs to know that our police are vigilant when they don’t have a call to respond to.
Don’t waste taxpayer money on broadband
Re March 12 article, “Gloversville forum focuses on need for (broadband) speed”: This is just another example of the governor’s lack of insight of what is really needed in New York and another terrible waste of taxpayer funds.
The money that would be wasted on this project is desperately needed to rebuild our roads and bridges — let alone restoring the funds that have been stripped from our school budgets.
The Gazette welcomes reader opinions on public issues.
For information on how to send a letter to the editor, see the bottom of this page. For more letters, visit our website, www.dailygazette.com .