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Western Gateway Bridge about more than just function

Monday, February 24, 2014
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Western Gateway Bridge about more than just function

I was intrigued by Michael G. Decker’s Feb. 19 letter, “Bridge wall much ado about nothing.”

While I agree that “the purpose of a bridge ... is to enable vehicles to cross the Mohawk River,” I do not agree that “whether there is a railing on one side and a wall on the other or vice versa is immaterial.”

If it is not cost-prohibitive, what is wrong with members of the public desiring (if not demanding) consideration of aesthetics in the design of a publicly accessible structure? Form does not always have to merely or strictly follow function!

Consider this: If you travel to New York City by train, which station would you rather arrive at (or depart from): Penn Station or Grand Central? Both function as train stations, but one is clearly a more pleasant place to be and to experience.

Paul Deierlein

Schenectady

Free college degree: Crime does pay

Let me get this right.

A criminal goes into a hard-working citizen’s house and steals that person’s possessions, gets caught, put in jail, gets free room, free meals, gets to watch TV, play basketball, baseball, and/or lift weights all day. He gets free medical treatment and now gets a free college degree.

Meanwhile, the guy he stole from, who may not have a college degree, is still working to put his kids through college or pay off college loans.

That sounds about right coming from Mr. Cuomo, who rammed the “SAFE Act” by us, the guy who wants people that don’t agree with his beliefs to leave New York state.

I’ll bet that criminal said, “Let me take one round out of the magazine of my illegal handgun because I am over the legal limit,” before he went in to steal from that hard-working citizen.

I have a good idea. Why doesn’t Mr. Cuomo put those criminals to work while in prison, learning a trade while at the same time making a profit to offset the cost of their incarceration?

Oops, that would probably go against their civil rights. But what do I know? I never went to college; I only worked two jobs and all kinds of overtime to put my kids through college.

I’ll bet that citizen whom the criminal stole from will be happy to hear that his taxes will be paying for the criminal’s college education too. That way, the next time he breaks into his house, he will be an educated crook.

James Severino

Scotia

Schools need to get back to basics

I would like to compliment Linda and Richard Lewis’ Feb. 19 letter about schools and tests. It was well-documented, and why not, from retired teachers?

I would add one item to their letter: My parents, and my generation went to school to learn the three R’s — reading, ’riting, and ’rithmetic. So what did we do? Suffered through the Depression. Helped win WWII and then build a great country.

Get back to basics at least in grade schools, then in high schools start with the tech stuff. Billions of dollars being wasted on useless ideas — get back to the 3 R’s.

Herbert Thorne

Schenectady

Kudos to CVS for no longer selling tobacco

Kudos to CVS Caremark for leading the charge in taking a strong stance against Big Tobacco [Feb. 6 Gazette].

As you may have heard, starting in October CVS Caremark will no longer participate in marketing or selling tobacco products. Could this be the latest tactic in reducing smoking rates? Are more companies or municipalities willing to sign on to what CVS Caremark has already embraced so that their customers health comes before profit from tobacco sales?

Research has shown that the more tobacco marketing kids see, the more likely they are to smoke. With the decision to eliminate the sale of tobacco products, CVS Caremark is doing its part to protect our children from falling victim to Big Tobacco, especially when 90 percent of tobacco users begin the habit before the age of 18.

As a mom of three young children, I will be sure to do my part to protect my kids by shopping at CVS Caremark, where I know they will be spared from the deceptive marketing practices that Big Tobacco has perfected.

Amanda Kosich

Rensselaerville

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