Letters To The Editor

Letters To The Editor 03.31.22

Schroeder for Board of Ed.

My name is Jenaliegh Schroeder and I am eagerly running for school board. I am a former graduate of Averill Park High School and currently reside near Snyder’s Lake I went on to study Communication Sciences and Disorders at The College of Saint Rose where I attained my master’s degree. Afterwards, I found myself living in Texas and then California working as a speech language pathologist in public schools. Although the weather was exceptional in those states, there was nothing more comforting than continuing to build my life in the town I always called “home.” 

I have been actively involved in my siblings’ educational journey and am well acquainted with special education, academic policies, and educational law. I have an immeasurable appreciation for the teachers and support staff that contribute to each child’s journey and the countless hours that are dedicated to student’s growth outside of school hours. 

I am currently a speech language pathologist providing in-home speech therapy services in Rensselaer and Albany County. I feel blessed to have made genuine connections with ample community members and foster growth in their children. These experiences have afforded me first-hand appreciation for the vital connection between community, educators, and family. The family, and understanding everyone’s unique experiences, is central to effective interventions and support. Caregivers, support staff, teachers, and administrators are equally needed and should be equally respected in building a child’s foundation. I hope to affirm the district’s motto of “Every Student, Every Day” through a focus on the fundamentals of education and the core values and principles that foster empathetic students with sound moral positions and the ability to think critically. I look forward to collaborating with community and school personnel to ensure opportunities and growth for every student.

Jenaliegh Schroeder, Wynantskill

EG School District Taxpayers should beware of county plans to relocate

The Rensselaer county executive’s state of the county address contained grandiose plans to spend $10 million in county funds to purchase and renovate the Rose and Kiernan building on Route 4 in East Greenbush for use as county offices. County residents may be skeptical of an indicted official, whose close associates are under investigation by federal law enforcement, making such far-reaching plans for the relocation of county headquarters. Still others may wonder why the county does not invest in upgrading its emergency services which are sorely lacking. Yet the move of the executive offices from the county owned building in Troy to East Greenbush may have a more immediate and detrimental effect on those who pay taxes to the East Greenbush Central school district. Unlike larger towns such as Colonie or Guilderland, East Greenbush and the surrounding communities lack extensive commercial space such as shopping plazas and office buildings. Therefore, the tax burden tends to fall more heavily on residents, making school taxes in the East Greenbush school district amongst the highest in the area. The owner of the Rose and Kiernan building currently collects rents from several commercial tenants and pays school taxes to the East Greenbush school district. Sale of the building to the county, a governmental entity, will remove the building from the tax rolls, forcing the district to make up the shortfall. The executive’s address provided no analysis of the fiscal impact of this decision on the East Greenbush central school district or the town of East Greenbush. East Greenbush Central School District taxpayers should contact their county legislators to delay voting on such a major decision until the fiscal impacts can be analyzed more fully. 

Mary Frances Sabo, North Greenbush

Embarrassing Senate Confirmation Hearings

During the week of March 21, the U.S. Senate, once known as “the world’s greatest deliberative body,” embarrassed itself:

Sen. Graham (R-SC), in a confirmation hearing, asked Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to rate her religious faith. Article VI of the U.S. Constitution specifies that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” 

Sen. Braun (R-IN), in a media call, said that the U.S. Supreme Court was wrong to legalize interracial marriage. In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia. During the call, Sen. Braun suggested that it should have been left to each state. In 1967, some states had already made interracial marriage illegal.

Sen. Blackburn (R-TN) claimed the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Griswold v. Connecticut, was unsound. Griswald was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1965. The Griswald decision determined the existing Connecticut law (ban on the use of contraceptives) was unconstitutional because it violated the “right to marital privacy.” This paved the way for contraceptives.

Sen. Cornyn (R-TX) questioned the U.S. Supreme Court’s authority to decide Obergefell v. Hodges. The 2015 decision established marriage equality in the U.S. 

Sadly, there were more examples than these last week. Too often senators were grandstanding for a sound bite that could later be used for fundraising or their brand rather than working hard on policies for us. I included these examples because it seems a number of senators are interested in rolling back long-established decisions and rights. Many of the senators want states to have individual decisions, but that does not work for all issues. Imagine your marriage being valid in New York, but not valid in another state.

Michael Myer, North Greenbush

On the History of the NYSDEC

Before 1970, there was no NYSDEC in NYS, and we were much better off without it than we are with it today.

Before 1970, NYS had a professional Health Department with a medical doctor as commissioner, and pursuant to NYPHL § 201.1(l), the statutory duty of the DOH was to supervise and regulate the sanitary aspects of water supplies and sewage disposal and control the pollution of waters of the state, while pursuant to NYPHL § 201.1(n) t was the statutory duty of the DOH to exercise control over and supervise the abatement of nuisances affecting or likely to affect public health.

Then, on April 22, 1970, Governor Nelson Rockefeller signed legislation merging the duties of 

the existing Conservation Department with select programs of the State departments of Health, and Agriculture and Markets, and certain state commissions under the newly created New York 

State Department of Environmental Conservation, and by doing so, he created the sociopathic entity that has become such a plague in our lives today in Rensselaer County and Poestenkill.

Having been there at the time this was happening, and being one of the DOH personnel transferred to this new agency when I returned from Viet Nam in 1970, I am very well aware of two things, to wit: the legislature and governor of the state of NY viewed this new agency as a vast patronage mill, as well as a mill to create a whole new source of graft for the politicians, both of which are always of importance to politicians who can never have enough graft to rake.

To protect the graft mill the DEC has become, they wrote ECL § 3-0103 in such fashion as to make the commissioner a servant of the governor with no accountability to the people of NYS, and by inserting the words “shall have power to” in ECL § 3-0301(1) and (2), the Legislature made adherence to the ECL by the commissioner and DEC an option, not a statutory requirement, so that the DEC can be a protector of polluters with impunity.

And so they now are!

Paul Plante, Poestenkill

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