TO THE EDITOR: On Jan. 3, we lost our home and all of its contents to a structure fire.
While mourning the loss of everything we owned, friends and family were offering their love and support in volumes.
At this time, Howard and I wish to thank the AuSable Forks, Jay, Upper Jay, Keeseville and South Plattsburgh fire departments for fighting our house fire under the worst temperature conditions that evening. A thank you is also extended to the Wilmington Fire Department for being on stand by should further assistance be needed.
To date, we will never be able to individually thank every person, business or organization in this letter who selflessly offered their support toward us in some manner. Please know that Howard and I will be forever grateful to the small community of AuSable Forks, as well as the surrounding
communities who were there for us in our time of need.
HOWARD DRAKE SR.
TO THE EDITOR: I would appreciate having some things clarified, Gov. Cuomo, after pondering your words spoken during a Friday morning conversation on the Capitol Pressroom: “Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”
Are you saying there are taxpayers in your state who are no longer welcome here simply because of their beliefs? It seems convenient of you to lump them into a group and brand them with a title.
You certainly have the freedom to believe what you want to believe, and I respect your opinion and position as the governor of New York state. Are you saying that your state is made up and defined by a belief system instead of the people in it?
Should these people, who I am sure care about their children and grandchildren, begin moving elsewhere unless they bow to your personal belief system? Does history have to be repeated again?
I may not agree with all the beliefs of my fellow New Yorkers, but it is my goal to be the best neighbor I can be to them despite our differences.
A wise king several thousand years ago named Solomon said, “Righteousness exalteth a nation.”
TO THE EDITOR: Recently, on this page, a self-identified “responsible citizen and taxpayer in the Beekmantown School District” suggested “it may be time for the retirees of BCS to do their share” by accepting a cut in benefits.
No, they already did their share. They passed up more-lucrative jobs for the challenges of the classroom, spent years inspiring our youngsters to become all they are capable of being and retired with the promise of a particular income and benefits.
A promise made is a debt unpaid. Now it’s our job as responsible citizens to give them what they earned. It’s wrong to look for loopholes that will make them victims of bad faith.
Once we start talking about breaking our promises with our employees, it’s no longer about money; it’s about morality. It’s about simple fair play. We can’t rewrite the rules after the game is over and then apply them retroactively.
These retired employees deserve our thanks and our respect; and we who are taxpayers must remind any wavering board members that we, too, deserve a solution we can respect.
TO THE EDITOR: President Obama continues to say that people dislike him because he is a black president.
This country should have more people with the character of Martin Luther King. I practice what he espoused. I do not judge the president by the color of his skin but the content of his character, and he is found lacking when it comes to truthfulness and his divisiveness.
We are no longer governed by laws enacted by Congress.
We are governed by presidential edicts and federal agencies, such as the Environmental Protection and the Health and Human Service agencies issuing thousands of regulations and the Department of Justice enforcing only those laws that the administration agrees with.
We have lost control of our government.
Ignoring his faults, I strongly disagree with the president’s far-left policies. His latest “income inequality” objective is an impossibility and breeds envy and jealousy. Our constitution does not guarantee income equality but requires that we insure that everyone have a fair and equal opportunity.
A wise man once said: “Clyde, in this world you are entitled to what you earn, not what your neighbor earns.” — Medor J. Rabideau (Dad), in the summer of 49.
CLYDE M. RABIDEAU SR.
Questions for King
TO THE EDITOR: Thank you for the front-page story about Assemblywoman Duprey and her colleagues responding to Common Core and high-stakes testing that is current state policy.
One of the key elements of New York state’s education reform is to base decision making on evidence; teachers, administrators and school districts have to provide mountains of data to support the decisions they make. If they fail to provide that data, they face serious consequences.
The irony is that Commissioner King does not seem to be required to produce evidence or data to support the decisions he makes. The commissioner keeps saying that we are on the right course, as if saying it over and over makes it so.
Here are some questions for the commissioner that I would challenge him to answer with hard data:
How much are we actually spending on educational reform?
There is the $32 million contract with Pearson, but then there are workshops, remediation programs, staff development, new textbooks aligned with the Common Core (published by Pearson, as luck would have it), new computers and computer programs to facilitate the testing that is coming and many more costs than these. How much are we paying in all? Please support your answer with actual data.
Where is the research that shows that Common Core leads to better educated students?
How do you know that students are better educated through Common Core than they were before, when there was more hands-on teaching and learning? Please provide actual research and data on Common Core, for and against, to support your choices.
What does “college and career ready” mean? Deputy Commissioner Slentz says you have no definition for career ready. How can you assess students if you have not defined what it means?