TO THE EDITOR: As summer winds down and children go back to school, consider the value of physical activity before, during and after the school day.
Physical activity not only supports good health but also promotes good grades. Studies show that physical activity improves academic performance.
The New York State Education Department has set standards for Physical Education based on research evidence. These standards include daily PE classes for children in grades kindergarten to third and PE class three times per week for children in elementary school grades four through six. The minimum number of minutes of PE for these grades is 120 minutes per week.
Middle school grades five through six can have PE classes based on the fourth-through-sixth-grade model or follow the high-school requirement of PE class two days per week in one semester and three days per week in the opposite semester.
In many of our local school districts, PE classes have suffered cuts to staffing, time allotment and resources. The rationale behind these cuts may include a desire to divert PE time and resources to core subjects. This action, however, has not been proven to yield the desired results.
Increasing physical activity and improving physical fitness, however, have both been shown to improve cognition, increase test scores, improve behavior and reduce absenteeism.
It is imperative that we find a way to keep physical education a priority in our schools.
In addition, parents can help increase activity levels for children by encouraging them to walk or bicycle to and from school and to be active in after-school hours.
For more information, visit www.wheresmype.com.
Healthy Schools NY
TO THE EDITOR: Citizen Advocates Inc. (North Star) in Malone has been in business in the North Country for more than 35 years.
During that time, we have provided vocational, residential and clinical support services to thousands of people with disabilities and their families, helping them live full, meaningful lives, rich with hope and choices. Whether it be helping someone with daily living activities, such as grooming, dressing or dining, or providing hands-on guidance and training with vocational or recreational activities, our staff have been there to provide support, encouragement and companionship.
The direct support staff responsible for delivering these services are the heart and soul of our agency. It is through their dedication, compassion and commitment to excellence that our citizens with disabilities are able to live, work and play in community settings. We are honored to take part in the National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, Sept. 9 to 15, to acknowledge the significant contributions that these staff have made on behalf of all the people we serve.
If you see one of our direct support professionals, congratulate them on their success. Through their efforts, they have truly made the community a better place for all of us.
Chief executive officer
Citizen Advocates Inc.
TO THE EDITOR: Perhaps it is fitting that on Labor Day you published an article on sea-lamprey control using a lampricide. It is certainly a project aimed at preserving government jobs.
The article states that one female lamprey lays “so many eggs” and that “it takes just a few individuals to replenish the population.” The lampricide kills only the larvae, not the adults. But not all of the larvae are killed, so repeated treatment over the years is necessary.Also, the treated waters cannot be used for drinking, swimming, fishing, irrigation or watering livestock.
Soon, government employees will be out treating rivers with lampricides. But just a few weeks ago, government employees were out on Lake Champlain shooting cormorants. My information is that they killed more than 5,000.
What do cormorants have to do with lamprey? They eat the adult lamprey, the ones that lay “so many eggs.” They love to feed lamprey to their young while in the nest. But this year, as in past, government employees or contractors have been oiling (killing) the cormorant eggs. Cormorants lay between two and nine eggs.
Imagine the impact on the lamprey population if each of those 5,000 cormorants ate just three adult lamprey during the summer (15,000) and fed each chick in a nest of five chicks only five lamprey for the 10-week nesting period, one every other week. Assuming a pair at the nest, that would be a total of 77,500 breeding lamprey consumed.
So there it is. Hired killers kill the lamprey predators: cormorants and their young. Then, hired exterminators poison the young lamprey deposited in the rivers by the adult lamprey. It’s the perpetual circle of make work. A laborer’s dream come true.
GORDON E. HOWARD
TO THE EDITOR: I would like to thank everyone who came out to support me at the Town of Dannemora Democratic Caucus.
Your support was overwhelming and much appreciated. I look forward to the upcoming election on Nov. 6.
I will do my best to represent the taxpayers in the Town of Dannemora as highway superintendent. Thank you all in advance for your continued support.
MARK A. SISKAVICH
TO THE EDITOR: I continue to marvel at the myopia that seems to infect the Essex County Board of Supervisors. Spend, spend, spend.
I see there is a plan to “green up” county buildings. Now that all the police have moved away to Lewis, there is really little actual security in Elizabethtown, and before more Band-aids, perhaps some supervisor with vision might suggest that the county go ahead and build a new building in Lewis next to the jail and just off the Northway.
Face it, the county complex is old and getting older. I don’t see anybody driving a 50-plus-year-old car into the 21st century, so after blowing $30 million on the new jail and $10 million on a “we need to know stuff right away” radio system, which is a total waste of money in light of advancing technology, why not step up to the plate and solidify the Essex County government as the major employer in the county.
And the height limitation of a building that the Adirondack Park Agency used to keep the new jail from being built next to the new courthouse? Tell them to fly a kite, and see if well-paid attorney Manning can really cut it.
Perhaps the county should look into hiring the lawyers for the farmer in Lewis who so soundly defeated the APA. A nice 10-story building in Lewis should be able to be easily filled with government employees, and with the addition of the long-promised on and off ramps on the Lincoln Pond road onto the Northway, the commute would be a snap.
Keeseville and West Palm Beach, Fla.