“Whole student” approach necessaryThe Jan. 23 article “Schenectady school’s likely face budget gap under Cuomo proposal” seems to adversely affect the Jan. 13 article supporting “Schenectady teachers lead the way in gold standard certifications.”Schenectady District Superintendent Larry Spring suggests Gov. Cuomo’s education budget will adversely affect school district and BOCES educational services for students and teachers.Therefore, the gold standard certified teachers have a future challenge to improve educational services while financial maneuvering occurs within our indebted economy.Certified teachers’ transfer of the social and emotional learning (SEL) standards to teacher assistants, teacher aides and instructors will expand the state education department’s “Expanded Learning Opportunities” system.Teachers’ leadership to amend the County Shared Services Plan can establish a “whole student” SEL service contract for development of a 21st Century Community Learning system by schools, government and nonprofit youth agencies.Professional educational and counseling personnel can coordinate SEL services for youth at the various county and BOCES Community Learning Centers. Inclusion of SEL standards within the Career and Technical Education programs can influence students’ skills to adapt to diverse workplace environments and reduce harassment in society.The “whole student” SEL program standards within the 21st Century Community Learning environment are essential for youth to sustain their future and peacefully confront the various bullies and punks in our communities.Michael McGlynnWatervlietTo inspire unity, put country over familyPut something else first. Are you concerned because it looks like laws are being passed that favor criminals over the police?You brought it on yourself with your “blood is thicker than water” and “family first” stuff.In the United States, there are 700,000 police officers. There are 2.3 million people in jail, which probably means 7 million total criminals.Assuming an average of 30 voters per extended family, that means there are 21 million voters who are in the families of police but 210 million voters who are in the families of criminals.Because of “family first,” voters for laws that favor the criminal are a 90% majority. Because the United States is a democracy, the majority rules, and those are the laws that you get.Don’t like this? Then start putting something besides your family first and get others to do so as well. You and everyone need to do this so that the United States of America stops being a sack of 80 million grains of sugar and starts being a unified body named “Uncle Sam” once again.Joel NelsonSchenectadyCouncil should be open to all viewsIf personal issues matter more to some members of the Schenectady’s City Council than their oath of office does, why don’t they think another’s issues are just as good? Can’t they handle the truth?And if they can’t handle the heat, then get out of the kitchen.There is always someone waiting in the wings ready to take their places. I am one of them. My contributions to the city are solid.A public forum is for everyone. There is no room for partiality.On Jan. 13, an uneducated councilman called for a black-out to the process. There also was an unhealthy undercurrent of hostility displayed by him toward his colleague, Ms. Perazzo. His theatrics did not indicate anything smart. Only buffoonery. Read the Constitution, councilman.As a 40-year observer of City Council meetings, it is my right to express dismay over the choice of the current council president,Ms. Porterfield was entitled to the seat.Please note the other two women on the City Council did not support her. Madeline Albright has a famous quote, “Women who do not support other women should burn in hell.” To that I say, yeah and they won’t be here to pollute our world with their brand of humanity.Mary B. McClaineSchenectady Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionBail system always favored the wealthyIt is disingenuous of prosecutors and police to claim that they had no input into the bail reforms that recently became law.In fact, law enforcement officials testified multiple times during legislative hearings before the bills were passed last April.Hearing transcripts are available online. You can look them up.It is equally misleading for politicians and law enforcement to be scaring the public with charges that the new law lets criminals roam our streets. Actually, the old law already allowed that.Ax murderer Christopher Porco awaited his trial while free on $250,000 bail. Alexander West, who ran over 8-year old Charlotte McCue with his boat on Lake George and fled leaving her to die, was free to wait at home for his trial. His bail was set at $100,000.And today, Nauman Hussain, accused of complicity in the death of 20 people in the Schoharie limo crash, is free on $450,000 bail.See a pattern here? Anyone with big money has almost always been able to get out on bail, even when accused of dreadful crimes.Only the poor, who couldn’t afford to post bail, had to endure pretrial incarceration, even though they had not been found guilty. The new law just levels the playing field.Jacqueline DoneganSchenectadySt. Clare’s workers feeling abandonedNew year, new decade, new hope for the St. Clare’s pensioners, one can only dream.It has been well over a year since we were informed either our pensions would be reduced, or we wouldn’t be receiving one at all. Total injustice.Months ago, Gov. Cuomo said he’d “look into it,” yet it seems he hasn’t. Almost a year ago, Bishop Scharfenberger met with the SCPRA Board, listened intently to our stories, and promised he, too, would “look into it” and help us in any way he could. We haven’t heard one word from him either.Over 1,100 people are affected by this catastrophe, and those who have the ability to fix it will not. Those who share the responsibility of making our pensions whole are not taking accountability and continue to blame each other.They obviously know we are suffering, however they choose to look the other way. Perhaps they think if they continue to ignore us, we’ll just go away. Gov. Cuomo and Bishop Scharfenberger, I am here to tell you that will never happen. We will continue to fight for what is ours.We’re fortunate to have the support of some local politicians, AARP Foundation, several attorneys, as well as people we know and those we do not in our neighborhoods. Complete strangers are speaking up and supporting us, but the governor and bishop continue to pretend we don’t exist. Why?Kathy AdachSchenectadyEconomists share views of presidentsThe U.S. president has no plan, no scheme, no constructive ideas whatever, according to one of the world’s most influential economists.He is in many respects, perhaps inevitably, ill-informed, slow-minded and bewildered, and he fails to remedy these defects by seeking advice. He gathers around him businessmen, inexperienced in public affairs and only called in irregularly.Sound familiar? You couldn’t be blamed for assuming that I’m referring to Donald Trump, but it’s actually a paraphrase of an assessment of President Woodrow Wilson, made by the economist,John Maynard Keynes in 1919.Unfortunately, the more things change the more they stay the same.Walter F. WoukSummit More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census
JEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoWith the quickness and decisiveness he often displays on the ice, Kyle Turris wasted little time signing an entry-level contract to play for the Phoenix Coyotes, the team’s general manager Don Maloney announced Monday.Less than 24 hours after the University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team’s season ended with a 3-2 overtime loss to North Dakota in the Midwest Regional Finals, the freshman made the decision to leave UW and play in the NHL. He becomes the first Badger since Ryan Suter in 2004 to go pro after just one season with the team.Turris, 18, was an integral part of Wisconsin’s run to the regional final, leading the team in scoring with 35 points — 11 goals and 24 assists — in 36 games. For his efforts, Turris was named to the All-WCHA Third Team and All-WCHA Rookie Team. He was also ranked as the second-best NHL prospect in The Hockey News’ annual “Future Watch” issue earlier this month.While the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder struggled at times during the grueling conference season, managing three points during one 10-game stretch, Phoenix looks forward to reuniting with its first selection (third overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.“We are very excited to sign Kyle and have him join the Coyotes organization,” Maloney said in a Coyotes press release. “He is a very talented player and is a big part of our future.”The plan, Maloney said, is for Turris to get some NHL experience — as early as Thursday against the Dallas Stars — before the Coyotes’ season concludes April 6 against Anaheim. Turris is then expected to return to UW to complete the spring semester.“By adding him to the roster, we hope to give him valuable experience that will help him heading into next season and beyond,” Maloney said.In addition to skating for the Badgers this season, Turris played in the 2008 World Junior Championships in the Czech Republic in January. His team-leading eight points, including four goals, helped Team Canada win the gold medal.With the signing, Phoenix now has each of its last three first-round picks under contract. Peter Mueller — the eighth selection in 2006 — and Martin Hanzal — the 17th pick in 2005 — are the other two.