Letters (April 9-16)

mailGood Samaritan at Beer Universe

So many times we just hear about how our young people in this country don’t takes responsibility. Well, I have a story to make us proud.

Last night I was driving home from a social event in Saugerties. As I drove west on Rt. 212 , just before the railroad tracks, something in the road hit my front tire and put a large gash in it. I quickly pulled over in a parking lot with a building that read “Beer Universe”.

It was pouring out and I got out of the car to assess the damage. I did indeed have a very flat tire. Getting back in the car I called AAA. I can’t believe the hard time they gave me for over a half hour before telling me that there were no services available for what I needed…to change a flat tire? I was told by someone clearly not from our area, not even from New York State, that I should try to find a service on my own! After much ranting and raving on my part, AAA finally agreed to look further.

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Just then, a car pulled into the parking lot and a young man walked over to my car. I later learned that his name is Bradley. He asked if I need help and I explained the situation to him. Bradley said he was meeting some friends there and one of them, I believe, was the proprietor of Beer Universe. He guaranteed they would help me and he proceeded to remove the spare from my trunk. A few minutes later, his friends arrived. They got a “real” jack from the building and with much chatting and in good humor, Bradley, with the help of a friend, changed my tire for me, in the rain. The rest of us stood giving moral support.

I would like to publicly thank Bradley and his friends and commend Bradley’s parents for raising such a compassionate and kind hearted son.

I failed to mention that I am a senior citizen. So, everyone, please stop complaining about our youth today. Someday, you might be in a similar situation and will be praying for a Bradley in your life. Thank you, again, Bradley.

Rita Vanacore
Shokan

 

Stop roadside herbicides

New York State has sprayed herbicides containing glyphosate, a probable carcinogen, on all state roads, including along reservoirs and streams for 30 years. It will cost less in dollars and less in environmental damage to our pollinators and our health to plant wildflowers and milkweed like the state of Illinois.

If you would like to help stop this practice, please sign a petition that will be delivered to all parties by the beginning of May. Every signature counts. Please go to: www.spiritofbutterflies.com. On the home page is the link to sign the petition.

Maraleen Manos-Jones
Shokan

 

Where’s the vision?

Sixteen years ago in the fall of 2000 I wrote a business plan requested to me by then Legislature Chairman Daniel Alfonso. About the role of research universities in economic development, a phrase taken too lightly but not as seriously, Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve was quoted as saying, “if we are to remain preeminent in transforming knowledge into economic value, American’s system of higher education must remain, or become, the world’s leader in generating scientific and technological breakthrough and in meeting the challenge to educate and create a workforce.” Economic growth can be enhanced by relationships between the private sector and research universities. Did Ulster County really want this? Just like the late-1940s job developments were controlled by local business owners and the plan was simply to keep it like that. In 1994 IBM left Kingston. Since then for the most part, it’s been the same. The area is ridden by crime and drugs, million-dollar sinkholes, floods, weakened infrastructure, weak housing and declining salaries and eminent threat to service jobs, as well as dropping property assessments and rising tax rates.

I promise to no longer sing to broken hearing aids. And I conclude, that if regional industrial-age governments do not transform into information-age governments, they will obstruct rather than advance growth. But take a look just north of Albany in a small town called Malta where a project of this concept is underway. The project’s name is Global Foundries and has a booming housing market and has received investments from IBM, Micron Technologies, Minolta and others and at its completion will total investment of six billion dollars. Independent thinking is critical in breaking the chains of habit.

Robert Aiello
Saugerties

 

Opt-outs and school funding

While I am addressing this letter to the Saugerties School District, it is certainly applicable to other school districts as well.

As to the opt-out issue: It seems to make the most sense that all students should go through the process of taking the tests. Those that are “opting out” can be withheld from being submitted. The function of test taking has always been a part of the learning process, and it would be wrong to exclude students from this valuable learning experience.

As to the state increase in funding this year: A majority of the “withheld” funds of past years has been directly added to the property tax payers bills. Additional funds should result in a property tax reduction.

Mark Hoffstatter
Saugerties

 

School daze

If you are on the fence about Common Core, please look at some of the bizarre math homework required and then decide. Many parents spend hours with their children after school trying to decipher it. Cahill has a “math class” for parents and children after school to help cope with Common Core math. Not tutoring, a class. If you look at Common Core’s math pedagogy I promise you will feel like you took an express bus to crazy town. –Phillip Johansen via Saugertiesx.com

I, as a retired teacher, would gladly monitor the opt-outs…. No pay required! –Lucy Sasso Stagich, via Saugertiesx.com