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Comments by maryok17

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Posted on November 14 at 7:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You wrote above: "Michael Bloomberg tells me I can’t drink as much soda as I’d like," but Michael Bloomberg's proposal would let you drink all the soda you care to drink, as long as it is served in serving sizes that were traditionally considered very generous.

When I was a kid, eight ounce bottles were a standard serving of soda. Bloomberg's proposed regulation would let vendors sell you 16 ounces at a time (and if they wanted to offer you unlimited free refills, I don't think his proposed regulations would create an issue with that.)

In my view, anything that gets people thinking a little bit more about how much soda they are drinking is a good thing.

But, personally, I would rather see a tax on soda and a ban on including soda as a source of "nutrition" eligible for SNAP benefits than a limitation on serving sizes.

We need to tax *something* after all, in order to raise revenues to run the government, so why not tax something that is completely unnecessary (and possibly harmful) and lower the tax burden on other items that have a greater claim to contributing to the kind of society in which people will be healthier and happier.

From: Is Nanny State going too far?

Posted on October 10 at 5:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I agree with MN above and would go even further.

All these private vehicles dropping off students create a great deal of congestion, pollution, and energy waste as they idle in line. To add insult to injury, the district has asked taxpayers to pay for empty seats on buses for all the students who are redundantly ferried to school in these private vehicles.

This kind of waste on redundant inefficient school transportation is especially egregious given the school district had to layoff teachers last year!

Aside from students in very unusual situations (e.g., those on crutches due to an injury or disability or those with an unusually large musical instrument or science project) for whom special permits could be issued, there is no reason why a high school student needs to be dropped off by his parents on the grounds of the high school itself.

A little bit of brisk walking at the beginning of the school day is a good thing. I see no reason why unpermitted private vehicles should be allowed to drop off students on high school grounds during the morning arrival period.

There are a variety of places in neighborhoods NEAR the high school where parents could safely pull their vehicles off the road to drop off students so they can safely walk the rest of the way to school. Their students might well spend less time walking the last stretch of the way to school from those nearby dropoff points than they would have spent sitting in the car as their parents inched along in the congested drop-off lines.

When I was in high school decades ago, my fellows students and I took regular city public transit buses to school. We still had a certain amount of walking to do--since city bus routes did not attempt to provide the door-to-door service many students apparently expect from their parents.

My high school had no driveways nor did it have parking for students or parents. I do not ever recall seeing a parent drop off a student at my school. It might have happened in exceptional circumstances, but I don't remember such a thing.

In the long run, I think that Capital District local government and school officials should take a leaf from the city in which I grew up and display more collaborative problem solving skills by:

1) spending less money on school bus transportation
2) spending more money on safe sidewalk and bike routes
3) contracting with CDTA to provide frequent morning and afternoon shuttles along a few major arterial routes (e.g., route 7, Balltown, River Road, Van Antwerp, Nott) that would be necessary to keep the amount of walking to a reasonable level for distant students. These shuttles could be available to the general public as well as to students.

Mary O'Keeffe

From: Niskayuna parent: 'It gets crazy right now'

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