Schenectady owed its fair share of state aid
On March 6 Peter J.B. Carman wrote a guest column in The Gazette describing the inequities in funding for 54 communities in New York state. In these communities, the poverty rate exceeds 50 percent and current funding formulae do not address this problem in an adequate fashion.
The Schenectady City School District received about half of the state’s Foundation Formula Aid funding that it should be receiving under New York state law. Therefore, the city schools are shortchanged millions of dollars every year. Ninety-seven percent of the school districts in the state are funded at a higher percentage than Schenectady. Our students are therefore denied services they need.
The Schenectady City School District Education Foundation believes that the state school aid formula should be based on student poverty concentration and district wealth for pre-K through 12th grade. We concur with the League of Women Voters of Schenectady County and the community-based Fight for Education in Schenectady. It is essential that the New York State Legislature address the equity issue in its budget proposals.
We urge the citizens of Schenectady to support more equitable funding and communicate that support to their legislators in Albany. They should write their legislators and the governor asking for a fair share for Schenectady’s students.
William J. Schultz
The writer is president of the Schenectady City School District Education Foundation.
Liberals’ behavior really modeling Nazis
Kendra Schieber in her letter of March 15 apparently is not a fan of Donald Trump. So much so that she admits taking as her “personal household task” drawing on his pictures to make him look like Hitler. She must be the life of the party.
I will quote well known pundit Bernard Goldberg who wrote “There is a well established rule among serious people; If you compare Hitler to anybody you lose the argument.”
Goldberg goes on to mention the genocide and millions of other victims of Hitler and even if you don’t like what Trump says the comparison is ridiculous; just don’t vote for him if that’s how you feel.
Kendra and all the other liberals really need to go back to a 5th grade world history class to learn exactly what the Nazis did. When Hitler rose to power the SA, or Brown Shirts, shut down political opponents meetings and rallies by disrupting them not only by shouting them down but by violence and threats of violence. Hmm... Just like liberal/dems organized by moveon.org did at the Trump rally in Chicago recently. Who are the real Nazis here?
But the end justifies the means, right Kendra? You disagree with him so take away his right to speak and those who wanted to hear him — just like the Nazis did. Hillary and the main stream media fired up more disruptive behavior by blaming the victim with her rhetoric saying Trump caused the violence; though there is a very good chance she has blood on her own hands (Benghazi) where Trump clearly doesn’t.
The author then goes on to portray poor Hillary as a victim of the way cartoonists draw her. You probably want to shut them down also as it offends you. No freedom of the press for them — shut them down — just like the Nazis would. The so-called tolerant are only that as long as you agree with them 100 percent. Then they act like, well, Nazis.
You say Hillary “has done so much for so many people all over the world, not just in her own country.”
This brings up the challenge I asked last year that got no takers. Name one accomplishment of Hillary that helped anyone but herself. If there are so many as you imply it should be easy. But it isn’t because she was a do nothing senator and a worse secretary of state. I’ll bet you can’t name any.
Marc A. Smalkin
Ensure state family leave bill is done right
The paid leave proposal Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pushing may not be the worst idea he has advanced — unless it is poorly run. Anyone voting on this measure must demand an actual study of how it will be financed before approving it.
On a faultless bank-of-the envelope study, it appears an employee would have to contribute to such a fund for five years just to pay for one years’ 12-week paid leave. If every employee where clipped a small sum on each paycheck, the cost might average out.
In Vermont, which passed a similar law recently. Employers of five or more will have to pay for this leave. This is an outrageous punishment on small business, a third rail in political debate and must not be followed.
According to Sen. Hugh Farley’s office, this bill is already favored by the Assembly, a creature of the governor's.
The Senate has not taken the idea up. The federal government does provide 12-week unpaid leave, which means jobs are held open if the worker returns.
The measure might work if administered by the state unemployment insurance division, since paid leave is a kind of insurance against catastrophe. Nonetheless, it would still be a tax and legislators will have to be assured it is necessary in our evolving society.
Coach DeMarco left lasting legacy on kids
Quietly, as was his style with no fanfare or public accolades, Louis (Louie) DeMarco passed away this weekend [March 12] after 91 years here on Earth. He was so typical of he generation, but, in his own way, he was special.
I was a middle-class kid growing up in Schenectady in the ‘60s. I wasn’t a baseball guy, so I’ll never forget the day my dad told me “they” were starting a Pop Warner League in the city and we lived in the Mont Pleasant zone. Pat Riccardi, owner of Randolph Florists, Chuck Abba, head of the public schools, and Lou DeMarco, owner of DeMarco-Nasters Electricity, would be heading the “Red Raider” entry. These guys were no light weights by any standard. I’ll never forget the thrill as a 10-year-old boy in 1960 of that first night I walked on the field at the Mont Pleasant Y not knowing what to expect.
Each year, for the next 12, my life in August centered around football. I played four years of Pop Warner, four years of Bishop Gibbons and four years at University Of Bridgeport, Connecticut. I would never have been able to afford to go to college had it not been for football.
We were the “poor boys” of the new league, the Mont Pleasant kids. There was Al Aldi, Dennis James, Larry Sykes, Ray Chaires, Chris Patrick, Paul Spurgas, Gale Knull,denny Pienkowski, Bobby Moskal and many, many more.
Some didn’t have fathers or a lot of money. Some were Italian, some black, and some Polish and every other “breed” you could imagine. As I said, I didn’t know what to expect. But because of Coach DeMarco I found out quickly that once you stepped onto that field, it didn’t matter what your background was. You were, now, part of a team. No “I” in team.
Coach DeMarco taught us about toughness, commitment, selflessness and sportsmanship. Some of us went on to be many different things in life; cops, accountants, teachers and even a well-known neurosurgeon. None of us ever forgot the lessons we learned every night and every Sunday afternoon in the fall from Coach DeMarco. It’s a shame athletics has changed so much over the decades, as has our society in general. There’s so much more “I” than team these days.
With his passing, I couldn’t help but to take a minute to remember a guy who took no credit, no bows and no pay, but spent his free time changing the lives of a bunch of mutts in Mont Pleasant, Schenectady, New York.
Coach DeMarco — goodbye and thank you.
More pressing issues than street names
At next Monday’s [March 28] City Council meeting, we will be witness to the possibility of a momentous decision being rendered by our City Council that will undoubtedly have a long-term, positive effect on reducing crime in our city, lowering our property taxes, improving our crumbling infrastructure and aiding in the rebuilding of our neighborhoods — the decision on what street names should be selected for the Mohawk Harbor properties.
Seriously, am I the only person who finds this whole debate to be a waste of our elected officials’ time when there are many other, serious challenges facing our city? Council members — please put this trivial nonsense aside as quickly as possible and concentrate on issues that really matter.
A.C. Budd Mazurek