The Locally Owned Voice of the Capital Region

Comments by biwemple

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Posted on March 11 at 2:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Watch a bit of TV in Western Europe. You may see some occasional brief nudity on soap commercials and other regular shows and its no big deal, but what you will not see is gratuitous violence, bullet-ridden carnage, etc. Many of their prime time shows are just as funny as the juvenile toilet humor we pass off over here as comedy and they do it without all the constant sexual innuendo. Police shows often end without having to kill anyone and they are still exciting too. Their news programs actually teach you something about the world around us so unlike our mainstream media focused on personal interest and dysfunctional celebrities. We're so worried about our kids seeing a boob, yet we tolerate endless bloodshed onscreen and then wonder why these same kids accustomed to seeing violence can commit such acts when they grow older. Those ideas had to come from somewhere...

From: Review labor history before defending Boehner

Posted on March 6 at 1:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

My son has a Social Studies textbook that is NEVER used and is almost brand-new. The school district purchased hundreds of these for the Middle School and the teachers emphatically state they do not want to use it, so they send it home to sit on a shelf till its returned at the end of the year. The teachers are doing all the content via websites and worksheets. What a complete waste of taxpayer money in purchasing these text books in the first place!

From: Let prisoners prove themselves before giving them a free education

Posted on March 6 at 1:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

My company does routine business trips back & forth to Toronto (the biggest city in Canada). The cost of flying is astronomical, the trip by car is ~7 hours (non-stop in good weather), and a train trip actually takes even longer than that. It would benefit international travel and commerce to Canada greatly, not just the Capital Region to Buffalo.

From: High-speed rail would be boon to New York

Posted on February 27 at 12:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Get rid of the Thruway toll plazas in the Capital District (exits 22-26) and we'll relieve a LOT of congestion. Radio stations could practically use a recording for the traffic report every day ("backups at the Exit 24 toll plaza and twin bridges on I-87").

From: Study: Area's roads cost you $1,622 a year

Posted on February 21 at 10:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Non-violent cons on shorter sentences with good behavior should be allowed to EARN the privilege of taking online courses only and they can pay off the minimal costs of these online courses by doing work for the community while incarcerated. The public always needs work crews to help clean-up roads, plant community gardens, etc. If they can't be let out on work crews find something that can be done for community inside prison like repairing state office equipment, building office furniture, painting road signs, etc. Basically earn enough inside to pay for these college courses just like regular people. College education opportunities should not be GIVEN to inmates, they're sentenced to prison for a reason - to pay back society with a loss of freedom because of their actions. They need to EARN anything extra back while locked up. Prison should provide basic food, shelter, and reasonable medical care, everything else is a privilege that is earned or lost for the duration of a sentence based on their behaviors.

From: College for prisoners smart policy

Posted on February 19 at 5:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Put a couple old donated e-scrap computers in a prison library where inmates can connect ONLY to a specific set of online courses, and reward only those inmates with good behavior the chance to take online courses. It might not lead to a degree, but at least they might enroll in college AFTER release to complete it having learned some of the fundamentals they could do online. This should not require much if any real expense at all and I have no idea why it should cost $5K a year to do that for an inmate! Where do these figures come from?
If they fail to behave in prison, they'll miss their coursework dates and fail the courses too just like the outside and then they can lose those priveleges. I'm all for punishment in prison and true rehab does not occur until after release, however we've locked up a lot of non-violent offenders over the years with mandatory sentences (esp in Federal institutions for relatively minor drug offenses), and those are the inmates who might make a difference if they learned something other than getting schooled at becoming a 'better criminal' by other harder inmates during their sentences.
What might make a bigger and better statement would be if we started locking up some of the white collar offenders who've stolen trillions through the stock market, ponzi schemes, bad mortgages, and junk bonds, etc. Toss them into the general population of hardcore cons and see how fast these felons wearing suits on Wall Street clean up their act. When persons on the lower ends of society get locked up for 20 years for stealing from a convenience store to feed a habit, then see a guy in a suit get 90 days in a country club prison or just probation after stealing millions, it's no wonder they don't respect the law anymore. Its not an excuse for unlawful behavior, but it surely does have an influence.

From: Lawmakers call Cuomo's inmate college education plan 'unfair'

Posted on February 14 at 1:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Use to be able to fly to other cities from Albany pretty cheaply in order to get to long-range destinations. Now I just take train to Penn Station and pick up flight at JFK, or rent a car to Newark. Saves a lot more than $200, try several hundred sometimes. Tickets from Albany seem to be incurring a penalty these days.

From: New cure for Albany's high-fare blues

Posted on February 11 at 4:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm thinking the snow emergency was related to a critical lack of road salt perhaps? Yes, we also have way too many 'Weather Emergencies' too. When every weather event becomes an emergency, then perhaps people will tire of hearing about it and begin to ignore the news, then what happens when there really is a TRUE emergency?

From: Letters to the Editor for Feb. 10

Posted on February 5 at 10:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Most newer cars have a chip in their ignition key. I think you could link a code in the chip to one in the phone, and if car is running, then phone texting features, keyboard, and screen is disabled. Allow only voice-enabled Bluetooth perhaps until car is turned off or in Park. Could be setup so it activates when phone is within arm's length of ignition so other passengers can use a phone, but driver could not.

From: Stop driving while distracted

Posted on January 14 at 8:48 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Tunnels don't rust out like bridges from all our road salt, get covered in snow & ice, or closed due to high winds. It might be a better alternative to get some boring machines going and put a set of tunnels under the sound. They have lots of experience boring tunnels under the city for water and subways already.

From: Tunnel a better option for replacement of Tappan Zee Bridge

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