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Posted on February 11 at 11:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The writer of the Common Core letter needs to differentiate between the Common Core (which are the standards) and the excessive testing. They both came about in the same time period, so they are often lumped in as one problem.

I believe having common standards, that include skills and knowledge for people to succeed in life, are a good thing. The current common core standards may not be perfect, but they are a step in the right direction.

The excessive testing is another matter and understand the points the writer makes on that issue.

It is unfortunate that common core standards and testing get lumped together as one issue.

From: Sanders reawakening the American spirit

Posted on January 14 at 4:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

There is a huge flaw in your logic. You say "why should commuters who frequent the highway get a 50 percent break, when commuters who support local roads through their taxes get none?"

That statement would only be true if commuters were not ALSO taxpayers. The truth is commuters pay tolls AND pay taxes that go to local roads. There is no NYS tax break for thruway commuters. Meanwhile commuters on the Northway and I-88 (and every other Hwy in NYS) ride free everyday, partially funded by the thruway commuters' NYS and local taxes. Thruway commuters pay double - tolls AND taxes.

The thruway was never intended to still have tolls after the original bonds were paid off. In fairness, either all major highways should have tolls or none of them should. A Schenectady based newspaper - should be advocating for that - not double taxation on Schenectady residents compared to Clifton Park and Saratoga commuters.

I think a gas-tax, instead of tolls, would be a much more efficient "use-tax" that would be fair to all New Yorkers and have the added benefit of eliminating toll booth delays/backlogs and accidents.

From: Propping up Thruway must end

Posted on December 22 at 8:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

You're asking us to be honest? We're talking about this one issue here. Should City tax payers absorb the County's uncollectibles? General fairness would dictate that each municipality take responsibility for its own uncollectibles. The municipalities (City/County) should work together to collect the taxes, but until the taxes are collected - the amount owed to the City should be on the City's books and the amount owed to the County should be on the County's books. This seems like a pretty straight forward issue. It's how any business joint-billing issue would be accounted for. It will be interesting to see if Farley comes out publicly against it, and how he would justify that position.

From: A livable city, county tax deal

Posted on October 23 at 1:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

wmarinic -
just to clarify - "spending" and "debt" are not the same thing. Your post references "spending", but the link you provided has a graph of "national debt". They are both important numbers, but if you are going to put yourself out there as an authority, it's important you understand the difference. Debt is a result of both revenue and spending. As you recall there was a big recession starting in Sept. 2008 - and I am not going to blame Bush - because this is not intended to be political - it's just the facts - a large recession happened at the tail end of Bush's presidency that lingered into the new president's term. When the economy shrinks - government revenues go down and it thereby increases the debt even if spending goes down. I'm not trying to be pro-Obama or anti-Bush - we just need to start with the same set of basic facts. Obama was sworn in in January 2009 - so the first federal budget (spending) he could really effect was 2010. Below is a link to a federal "spending" graph. Spending is actually down every year since 2009 - Bush's last budget - and it is forecasted to continue to go down for the remainder of O'Bama's 2nd term. If you want to talk about revenues being down (increase in the natioanl debt) - that is another whole issue and probably a bit more complex than soley blaming either Bush or O'Bama. I hope in the future you more carefully choose your words.

From: Republicans still in denial over damage Bush inflicted on U.S.

Posted on August 9 at 10:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Could the Gazette please stop speculating and submit a FOIL request to the SCSD and find out how many Jewish students are enrolled as a percent of the total student population and give us some actual numbers, before running a front page article and an editorial bashing the District. While you are at it find out how many Muslim students attend Niskayuna. It's not fair to bash either District with absolutely no facts to back anything up. I know budgets are tight, but this is lazy journalism. All sensation - no facts.

From: Editorial: Schools and religious minorities

Posted on August 5 at 8:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Couldn't Kathleen find a school district that actually has Jewish students to make her point for the article. Schenectady used to have a decent amount of Jewish students, but not really anymore. If I had to guess, the current Jewish population would probably be less than half of 1 percent of the student body.

From: School non-holidays irk Jews, Muslims

Posted on May 17 at 9:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Mr. Hodgkins - you make clear where you want to focus school resources, but school budgets these days are a zero sum game. If your plan is to move resources to early education - you need to have an honest budget and specificially spell out what you will cut. You are only telling half your story. Voters need to understand your full story. What will be cut? Will you cut music, sports, high school electives, have larger class sizes? Let us know, so we can weigh not just the benefits, but the costs as well.

From: Schenectady County must build oases around its ‘food deserts’

Posted on December 26 at 10:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

$14.5M loss for 200 patients - is costing taxpayers $72K per patient per year. If on average a patient spends 5 years in the facility - that is about $350K spent per patient on the tax payer's dime. Seems to me the private sector (as always) could operate much more efficiently, and if an "investment" is truly needed by the County, some sort of voucher system paid to private entities would be a much more efficient use of County resources. It would save taxpayers money and give patients a choice.

From: Report: Glendale Home lost $14.5M in 2011

Posted on December 14 at 9:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Kathleen Moore could have at least spent a paragraph describing why the District believes it is getting short changed on the state aid formula - it is only receiving only 54% of the state aid to which it is entitled per the state formula - by far the lowest in this region. By describing it as "letters asking for more state aid" is disingenuous District's position and lazy writing. Kathleen should take a minute to understand and explain the Distict's position on the issue, so your readers are more well informed. The District has a very principled position and that does not come across at all in this article. This article does not live up to kathleen's normally high journalistic standards.

From: Farley rebukes campaign seeking more aid for Schenectady schools

Posted on November 30 at 9:07 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Honestly, if a kid did actually bring a gun to his/her locker - is he/she really going to write it on the bathroom wall? For what purpose? So there could be a lock-down and police would find the gun in their locker and he/she would be arrested? They may want to watch adults jump through hoops (which they are getting), but I doubt they want to be arrested. A little common sense would go a long way.

From: School search leaves parents cold over children's walk home

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