Letters To The Editor

Letters To The Editor 04.28.22

Where was the APBOE?

As someone who has lived in the Averill Park School District for over seventy years, and as someone who began learning his civic duties and responsibilities as a member of the first kindergarten class in the then-new Poestenkill Elementary School, I find myself quite surprised at how accepting we are today of the gross negligence and neglect of duty that has resulted in the contamination of the wellfield of the state-regulated public water supply serving the Algonquin middle school in Poestenkill, which gross negligence starts with the Averill Park Board of Education because the Algonquin Middle School, and thus, its public water supply, is governed by the APBOE, and according to the “School Board Governance and Operations” published by the APBOE, the Board of Education bears the responsibility of setting policy for the school district, and the Board acts in accordance with authority and responsibility vested in it by federal and state laws, rules, and regulations on behalf of the district’s citizens.

According to the published School Board Member Code of Conduct for the Averill Park School District, members of the APBOE act as trustees of this school district and are supposed to work carefully to ensure that it is well-maintained, fiscally secure, and operating in the best interests of those the Board of Education serves, while as the Superintendent of Schools for the Averill Park School District, Dr. Franchini serves as chief executive officer of the APBOE with the duty to supervise operations, maintenance, alterations and repair to buildings and grounds, insisting on competent and efficient performance, which would include the registered and regulated public water supply serving the Algonquin Middle School in Poestenkill.

Except he didn’t insist on competent and efficient performance, nor did the BOE, or the wellfield wouldn’t be contaminated. 

So why are they not held accountable?

Because we no longer care about duty, responsibility and trust?

Paul Plante, Poestenkill

Waging Wars Undermines Efforts to Stabilize the Climate

The ongoing wars and civil wars in Eurasia and Africa are diverting humanity from tackling onrushing climate chaos and surging species extinctions. Soaring military budgets are also a huge step in the wrong direction.

My sense is humans are mostly ignoring the recent warnings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that time is running out for us to prevent catastrophic climate change.

We are rapidly crippling the Earth’s ability to sustain high quality life. Too many corporations and people are making too much money from mining, wasting, and polluting. Millions are flying, driving, and using plastics, like there is no tomorrow. Are today’s children destined to experience a continuously deteriorating physical environment and quality of life throughout their lives? Do we care enough about future generations to change how we live so they might thrive? 

The first President Bush incorrectly said the American way of life is not negotiable. It is nature that does not negotiate. With megadrought, heat domes, many large forest fires and widespread choking smoke every year, the Good Old Days may already be over in parts of the western United States. Rising oceans will likely drown many East and Gulf Coasts shore lands this century.

Our high consumption, high energy use, and high waste generation lifestyles are exhausting the Earth. Making peace with the planet and ourselves is a must. Now is the time to get serious and work together in the US and worldwide to forge truly sustainable lifestyles.

Please include your name and town in your article content and fill out the following:

Tom Ellis, Albany 

Electric School Buses Coming – Plan now WUFSD

As part of the recent NY budget, New York schools have 5 years to begin electric bus conversion. All buses must be emission-free by 2035, according to state budget provision. This will apply to Wynantskill Union Free School District (WUFSD). Electric buses make enormous sense for the following reasons:

– A child who rides the bus a half-hour to school and another half-hour back each day would be exposed to diesel exhaust for 180 hours a year

– Diesel fuel has been shown to exacerbate respiratory illnesses and cause cancer

– Electric vehicles have less maintenance over the lifetime of the vehicle – especially for vehicles that make frequent stops

– Electricity prices are more stable than diesel fuel [EIA.gov]

– School buses have a limited route and return to the same location each night.

WUFSD needs to start planning now. This conversion will not happen quickly and require planning and fueling center design. Resources and items for WUFSD to consider include:

– EPA’s #CleanSchoolBusProgram webinar on Wednesday, April 27th @ 1 PM ET about the upcoming Zero-Emission and Clean School Bus Rebates

– Lion Electric, a company w/ facility located in Green Island, makes electric buses. Investing in electric is investing in the Capital Region

– NY spending plan includes $500 million to support electric school buses and charging infrastructure [Times Union]

– NYSERDA will provide technical assistance to school districts during the transition [NYSERDA]

– Oct. 2021 Advertiser Letter to the Editor of a novel funding program by a school in Baltimore

WUFSD start the transition early while more funding and resources are available. The longer WUFSD waits, the harder this process will take. WUFSD needs a 5-year plan starting with fueling infrastructure plans and then moving to acquisition.

Michael Myer, North Greenbush (Wynantskill)

Reply

I’d like to reply to Michael Myer, East Greenbush letter to the editor in you April 21, 2022 edition.

Rather than give government assistance for prescription drugs to make the cost the same as what people in other countries pay, as suggested by Senator Gillibrand, it would be much better to force the pharmaceutical companies to charge the same price to Americans as they do internationally. This idea was presented by President Trump in 2020, but he was unable to enact it when he was not allowed a second term. I believe this is what Elise Stephanik had in mind when she voted against Senator Gillibrand’s altered idea of incurring the cost of the inequity to taxpayers and not the pharmaceutical companies.

Marianne Mahr

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