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Environmental policy should be based on facts

Thursday, May 15, 2014
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Environmental policy should be based on facts

Consortium meteorologists have repeatedly predicted periods of global weather extremes. Years ago, Americans were warned of an oncoming ice age. Presently, hot is hot. One thing for sure: What's not so hot is the prognostication ability of many prominent climatologists or parroting politicians.

We have climatologists who disagree with the government-funded forecasters. Perhaps we should allow the skeptics more media exposure before we jeopardize our lifestyle.

It's much easier to forecast what government global warming legislation can do. It can cause significant economic damage, perhaps even recession.

It is unfortunate that partisanship has been elevated to the level of religion. Exposing oneself to opposing views now borders on blasphemy. One would hope Americans would be a little more skeptical.

The media has suppressed multiple counter-arguments based on science and historical facts. The United States can't reduce increasing CO2 (carbon dioxide) levels working alone. The world went through both the global cooling forecast, and then the Al Gore warming period, with subtle overall global temperature change. Weather didn't deviate beyond established statistical norms.

The White House apparently conceded and recently renamed "global warming" as "climate change." The validation/spin was to provide multiple examples of local onetime weather extremes. This is patently political conjecture and certainly not science-based.

Bottom line: Faith and conjecture are the nemesis of science, but the essence of religion. Best not mix politics and religion.

Wallace J. Hughes


City can no longer turn away progress

Schenectady cannot continue to say "no" to projects or businesses that are proposed. I've lived here for most of my 57 years, and I have sat back and watched as a civic center, proposed for the scrapyard area of Edison Avenue, ended up in Glens Falls.

I believe we were in the running for a minor league ball team at one time. If I remember right, they ended up being the Albany-Colonie Yankees.

There was once a proposal to have a Formula One racetrack at the county airport, but opponents of the idea wondered where we would put all the participants and spectators (and multimillionaires). We only had the Ramada Inn and the Holiday Inn in Schenectady as far as large hotels at that time, but Albany and Saratoga aren't very far away.

When horse racing comes to Saratoga each year, the entire Capital Region benefits from people who come from around the world to attend the races. If it's possible to have a marina, condos and a casino at the old Alco site, I say "Bring it on!"

To compare us to Atlantic City is ridiculous, to say the least. Atlantic City had been a tourist attraction for decades before the large casino/hotels came along. To be worried about the surrounding area becoming crime ridden is also a little bit of a stretch.

It has been a problem for a while already. Van Vranken Avenue has been the scene of shootings and robberies for some time now. As far as our Stockade area, if I had the money, I would buy a bus and start giving tours of this historic area. If we continue to balk at progress, progress won't even bother to look at us for a site of construction.

I don't think we will get a casino anyway. I think the Gillibrand site, I'm sorry, the Albany site at Exit 23, will be the one to be built. But you never know. A man with big ideas once got off the train here, and we later became the Electric City.

Kenneth Kimball


Niskayuna board president must go

On May 20, voters in the Niskayuna school district will have the opportunity to vote for two Board of Education candidates.

Over the past two years, the current board, led by President Deborah Oriola, has operated in complete chaos, evidenced by the following controversial issues: 2013 budget defeat with a 5.8 percent increase in the tax levy; the firing of the boys' varsity basketball coach; the "separation" with superintendent Salvaggio; the threats of closing schools; and finally, the proposed 2014 budget that started with one set of numbers, but ended with a completely different set.

At the meet the candidates presentation, Oriola agreed with the "dysfunction" described by the other two candidates -- Rosemarie Jaquith and David Apkarian. However, she conveniently implied that it was the former superintendent's fault. The irony is that Oriola was a member of the board that selected Susan Salvaggio as superintendent.

In addition, the superintendent does not have voting power. Therefore, it is the board, led by Oriola, that orchestrated what is being described as "decisions that have led to a splintered district and community."

Oriola, time and time again, went against the recommendations of the administration, including the superintendent, principal and athletic director. Now she acknowledges it's time to better communicate with all the shareholders, including teachers and the community. What a novel idea, but time is up. Seven years on the board, the last two as president, is enough.

Please join me in voting for two impressive candidates who will begin the change -- Rosemarie Perez Jaquith and David Apkarian.

Stephen Benton


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May 16, 2014
12:09 a.m.
+1 votes
jjhehir says...

To say that the leadership of the board has been poor these last two years is an understatement. The manner at which the superintendent suddenly resigned with the board's approval is a prime example, to say nothing of the on-again, off-again school closings and associated drama. Board President Deborah Oriola should not be asked to continue on the board to send a message to other board members that further dysfunctional behavior on their part will not be tolerated.

May 19, 2014
9:34 a.m.
+0 votes
Anne53065 says...

The sudden resignation of the superintendent was well over due. She splinted this town with her repeated threats to close a school, that's not the school board solely. She even went so far as last year after the failed budget to threaten again if it didn't pass in June, they WOULD close a school. WEll, turns out she didn't have that authority at all since there is a policy on closing a school which the superintendent never informed the board about which was her job to do so, she was paid to do and failed to do so. When it was found out, she had the audacity to state that FUAC met that requirement and thankfully Deb O as well as several other members realized the ramifications of closing a school when in fact policy was not followed. Deb O has made tough decisions that have angered many, apparently not wanting to reinstate a basketball coach who children have stated was talking abusively towards them. We don't allow bullying with our children and we should not allow bullying with our teachers/coaches and board members/superintendent either. The superintendent needed to go this year not next and Deb O voted to NOT extend her contract last year but 4 members did (one of which had not been reelected and should not have voted anyway!).


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