Letters to the editor

Gloversville school

changes puzzling

Are Gloversville schools failing our children?

The decision the Gloversville School Board made to change the way elementary education is administered is very puzzling.

The budget for the 2016-17 school year was $60,851,238. Projected savings from this change are approximately $800,000. This only represents 1.31 percent of the total budget. This means we are going to disrupt our elementary education for a 1.31 percent savings. If Superintendent Michael Vanyo is leaving, the whole process should immediately be placed on hold.

If the belief is that current Assistant Superintendent Steve Schloicka is qualified to carry the project through the transition, then he should be the primary consideration for superintendent. If a different superintendent is hired, he may have other ideas or a better plan with more substantial savings. What investment in a new program would a new superintendent have?

I am also concerned about the playgrounds if this change goes through. Presently Kingsborough School just lost its main playground due to disrepair. If Meco School closes, the surrounding neighborhood will lose access to that playground as well. If McNab is turned over to Whispering Pines, will that neighborhood lose access to that playground? This could be disruptive to the neighborhoods and there could be consequences.

I am also concerned with the diploma process at Gloversville High School. It is my understanding that if a student cannot pass the Regents tests, that he or she no longer receives a diploma but a certificate of completion. If this is true, it is so wrong.

You receive a certificate for a trade course or a specific class or subject, not for 12 years of education.

What was wrong with a school credit diploma?

I don’t think a certificate holds the same weight as a diploma when our students are representing themselves in the workforce.

I feel this change had more to do with improving the district’s graduation rate. Gloversville is a Needs Improvement School District and everyone from the governor to the superintendent wants to report improving graduation rates.

I do not believe this was done with the benefit of our students. Am I wrong?

Our current education system is failing. Maybe it’s time for the school board and administrators to start thinking out of the box and start looking into alternative forms of education such as charter schools or alternative programs that are more tailored toward a student’s educational needs instead of lumping them all together and hoping it comes out all right.

Let’s really do something about graduation rates.

ARTHUR SIMONDS

Gloversville

State does poor job on refunds and info

What is with the New York state delays?

Last year I filed my taxes in early March and received my federal refund two weeks later. I didn’t get my state refund until August. Someone I know got hers in October. I hear that New York State School Tax Relief refunds were also delayed.

I had blood tests due to the conditions of the Newburgh, Orange County, water and got them a month later than planned.

Now I filed my taxes again and I received my federal refund.

I hope that I don’t have to wait until August to get my state refund.

I have written to my two legislators, and if you don’t get your refund by May, I urge you to do the same. These delays are unacceptable.

KEN MITCHELL

Northville

Western Fulton

Seniors say thanks

The Western Fulton County Seniors of Lassellsvillle want to acknowledge and thank the center members for their efforts, support and encouragement of our recent spaghetti dinner fundraiser.

The endeavor was very successful, and we apologize for running out of food early.

Our next dinner will be held on May 20, and we will make sure to have more delicious goodies available.

We would also like to voice our appreciation to the Hoyts of Canajoharie, the Hills of Fort Plain, and Tom Hogan of Ephratah for their huge contributions in making our beautiful newly renovated restrooms a reality.

BARBARA KRAVEC

Ephratah

Let your vegitation

grow wild this spring

Spring has sprung.

Let’s be more considerate of Mother Nature.

Leave your hedge rows. They are great places for birds and all kinds of wild life.

On mowing — not too short — milk weeds and other wild flowers are for butterflies. Do you remember years ago when in the evening we would watch fire flies? Do you remember the last time you heard a whip-poor-will?

What have we done? As humans? Pesticides and all kinds of poisons. Our bees are suffering as we suffer.

I, for one, am thankful for being here with my hedge row out back. I can see fire flies in the summer.

Why do humans always shoot themselves in the foot?

Leave some wild space this summer.

EUNICE KILMER

Johnstown

Don’t return dogs

to their owner

An open letter to District Attorney Chad Brown:

As you have no doubt been inundated with phone calls and e-mails regarding the malnourished, neglected and abused dogs that were seized from a home in Stratford, consider this letter added to that ever-growing list.

Mr. Brown, you may not think that the life of a dog has much merit in the grand scheme of things, but I ask that you tap into your human heart to realize that these living, breathing creatures, who feel pain, cannot go back into the custody of the man who imposed such cruelty on them.

It is inhumane, to say the least, that you would even consider granting this man access to them, let alone custody.

There is absolutely no argument in the world that could convince me or your constituents that this man should be allowed to have those dogs back. In fact, this man should be barred from having any pets for the rest of his earthly life.

He is a cruel, vile person to treat other living beings the way he did, and, frankly, it boggles my mind that you would even consider his request, let alone grant it.

I ask you with all due respect, sir, to consider your actions toward this man going forward.

Please do not let him have his dogs back.

Please allow those dogs to live out the rest of their lives in families who want them and who will treat them with kindness and respect.

Please make the right decision to not give this man any access to pets going forward. Please hear our voices of we the people, those voters who put you in office in the first place.

Listen to your public, sir.

And remember this case the next time you are running for office.

We will not forget your decision, whichever way you choose for it to go.

MELINA J. IACOVONE

Amsterdam