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Comments by wanda1948

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Posted on August 27 at 8:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank you to Barbara Blanchard for all she did for her community. She was all about Schenectady, and she devoted herself to the city. For those people who might disparage Schenectady--and there were many--she instead worked to improve the city. She never gave up, until she could no longer fight for the city. I commend her for her work, her diligence, and her dedication. When so many others might have just walked away, she never did. RIP, Barbara. And my heart goes out to her family.

From: Blanchard steps back after spearheading Schenectady causes

Posted on August 7 at 11:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The hoopla should not die down if people understand the full ramifications of what this stands for. The stars and bars were never the official flag for the Confederacy; it was the battle flag of the army of northern Virginia. In 1961, the Ku Klux Klan co-opted the flag as direct opposition to the Civil Rights movement, as an outward sign of racism and as a flag they flew at lynchings and cross burnings. If people take the time to understand what it means, then the "hoopla," as you call it, should never die down. My father was from the south, my mother from the north. He collected all sorts of Civil War memorabilia. As I got older and became more and more educated about the "cause," I asked more and more questions about what we had been taught in history class. I did more and more reading on both sides of the issue, and there is no doubt in my mind, after having visited many battlefields with my father when I was a child, that the war was indeed about slavery. The flag that is being touted as a symbol of "being a rebel" or "liking country music" has nothing to do with that. I will go to my grave speaking out so that the hoopla does not die down.

From: Virginia revokes license plates featuring Confederate flag

Posted on August 3 at 10:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

And he'll get treatment for his "lung infection" while he is incarcerated.

From: Police: Suspect in officer assault case may be MMA fighter

Posted on August 3 at 6:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Don't you mean that he asked to be released so that he could seek proper "counsel," not "council?"

I am happy that Judge Caruso kept this man in jail and did not release him. He should not be out on the street under any circumstances. He is a danger to himself and to others. I hope that Officer Weekes does not have too much pain as he recovers. He was simply doing his job, and it seemed as if it would be a simple thing to ask a person to return a traffic cone. Sending good thoughts to him and his family.

From: Police: Suspect in officer assault case may be MMA fighter

Posted on July 19 at 12:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ms. DeMaria--Have you ever been to Texas? Have you seen the textbooks the teachers in Texas use? Have you seen their record on special education? I am not now, nor have I ever been, a teacher, but I would be ashamed to be teaching children the way they do in Texas, with revisionist history. They do not mention slavery as having had a role in the Civil War, for example. Their history texts do not cover the Civil Rights movement. I have no idea how their "model" is achieving such a high graduation rate, unless they are simply promoting students without regard for their accomplishments within the classroom.

I don't know why children are not taught the basics, the way we were taught 100 years ago (or so it seems to me) when I went to school. We learned how to write, how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide (without calculators), how to analyze literature critically, and how to respect deadlines. We had some tests, to be sure, and some of them were standardized, but, for the most part, the teachers themselves knew when it was appropriate to give us tests. They knew the students and knew which ones needed extra help. They also knew which students could help the others who were in need of help. In Massachusetts these days, the students have 20 full days of testing--that's an entire month during which teachers could be doing actual classroom instruction!

I do not begrudge teachers and their salaries. Perhaps, in Texas, teachers are not required to have master's degrees, as they are in New York and most contiguous states. Today's teacher is being asked to be nurse, social worker, dietitian, mother, father, sister, brother, counselor, you name it, and, whenever there's a little time left over, do a little classroom instruction. It's a tough job. I know I couldn't do it. Could you?

From: Follow Texas model on NY school funding

Posted on April 7 at 11:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Bill Ziskin is an example of one of the finest teachers this nation has to offer, and we are fortunate that he is in Schenectady. Both my daughter and son--who are now successful in their own careers, one as a teacher in inner-city Boston, the other as an attorney--benefitted from Mr, Ziskin's tireless dedication to all Schenectady High School students, regardless of ethnic or socioeconomic background. He brought Shakespeare alive to kids who never would have thought that "high-brow" stuff would have relevance to them. He believes in his students, and that investment comes back a hundred fold.

The arts are critical in a well-rounded student, and Mr. Ziskin knows this. It's not all about STEM; without the arts, the mind will perish and will not be able to think creatively.

And yet--when it comes to the Schenectady School District's being funded, state funding does not match what the court has mandated. How many up-and-coming Bill Ziskins have we lost due to funding cuts? And what will happen when he retires? Who will carry on?

I hope he is honored on June 7. I hope that this man, who has devoted his life to the students of Schenectady, shows the nation that education is more than tests, that bringing theatre to life to students from all walks of life is what educate is all about, that this is the real common core that will teach students what they need to learn as they graduate from high school and move on in life.

Thank you, Mr. Ziskin, for all you gave to my children, their peers, and everyone who has worked with you since you began your career in Schenectady. How fortunate we are to have you in Schenectady! What a jewel in our community. Thanks for helping our school shine.

From: Students nominate Schenectady teacher for Tony Award

Posted on December 28 at 10:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I vividly remember the incident with his mother. It was awful. His father was violent and he was violent. The apple certainly didn't fall far from the tree. When are women going to learn to stay away--or at least get away--from these men? And when are the police going to enforce the restraining orders? This is such a sad, sad story. Children left without their mother, and their father, who also attacked one of them, who's now recovering from HER injuries, is the culprit. Such a tragedy.

From: Niskayuna man accused of killing estranged wife has history of violence

Posted on August 28 at 1:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If a 14-year-old girl has a 20-week-old baby and lets it die--what kind of statement is this? The baby would not survive without intensive care.

The point is, women do not have abortions without agonizing over it.

As far as the Constitution is concerned...When the Constitution was written, women didn't have the right to vote. Safe surgical abortion procedures did not exist, although if you read the history of abortion, you will find that women who were desperate found ways to self-abort using very dangerous things. Many died trying to do this. That is how desperate they were. I am not an abortion proponent; I only know that many women are in dire straits before they consider this as a last resort.

From: Not too late to save our planet from ravages wrought by developers

Posted on March 20 at 3:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Kudos to Megan Quivey for what I have known for a long time: There are many dedicated teachers, guidance counselors and staff at Schenectady High School, and they go the extra mile for their students. Both of my children graduated from Schenectady High. One is now a teacher who earned two master's degrees at a prestigious school, and the other is an attorney. They are both proud alumni of SHS. They were involved in chorus, theatre, Key Club and other things. They were not the top academic achievers while they were at SHS, but they did get the foundation they needed to succeed. Did some of the students have issues? Absolutely. Who doesn't in this day and age? The SHS teachers (and those at the other Schenectady schools) should be proud of what they do every day. It's not an easy job. I don't want to hear about "they get so much vacation" and "they get summers off." As the mother of a teacher who works long hours--way after the bell rings--and pretty much all weekend, I can tell you that a teacher's work does not end when he or she walks out of the school's front door.

From: Whether it’s soda or guns, ‘gov’t knows best’

Posted on January 6 at 5:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

While I can appreciate your concerns about teaching college students basic skills (e.g., learning to read, write and basic math skills), the need to navigate social media in job hunting in today's market is essential and has nothing to do with socialism. It also has nothing to do with "getting them to the unemployment line"; rather, it's the opposite. It helps them to get on the employment train. Employers today are not using the traditional routes to select candidates. One example is the federal government. One can no longer simply send a resume to a federal agency. One has to apply through the USA Jobs Web site. Candidates who apply via online means demonstrate their savvy in today's technology-focused world. Without computer skills, which will need to encompass not only word processing, Internet research, e-mail and other adeptness, today's job seeker will go nowhere. Networking via LinkedIn has helped many people open doors that may have been closed to them. And all of this has nothing to do with socialism!

From: More colleges teaching students how to look good online

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