No 'Silver' lining
Apr 01, 2015 | 22 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Editor: Elected officials are usually never shy around a camera or microphone. There are good reasons why yesterday's loyal friends of former Speaker Sheldon Silver overnight morphed into long-lost acquaintances. You will be hard-pressed to find any who will serve as character witnesses on behalf of Silver during his upcoming trial. Instead, they will now genuflect to new Speaker Carl Heastie for "party favors." It is now Heastie rather than Silver who will determine their fair share of the ill-gotten gains. Loyal Assembly members followed the advice of their respective Democratic Party county chairperson and voted for the candidate they sponsored, who ended up being Carl Heastie. In return, everyone will continue to share in the spoils of victory. Speakers come and go, but it will be business as usual in Albany with taxpayers picking up the tab. Sincerely, Larry Penner Great Neck
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Seize the energy
Apr 01, 2015 | 12 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Editor: With the start of the new season, sunny skies are ahead of us. Spring is all about renewal and regrowth. We should start spring by renewing our commitment to solar energy and growing the industry here in New York. Our solar industry added 2,100 jobs in New York in 2014, according to the Solar Foundation’s new solar jobs census. Nationwide, solar jobs grew by over 20 percent for the second year in a row, now totaling over 170,000 jobs. The annual solar jobs census demonstrates that not only is solar good for New York’s environment – for reducing air pollution and tackling global warming – it’s also a major economic driver. Smart, forward-thinking policies have done much to pave the way for the solar industry’s expansion – and we have vastly more room for growth. In fact, New York has the technical potential to generate 11 times the amount of electricity consumed in an average year from solar power alone. With a large and well-trained workforce prepared to advance solar energy in New York, all we need is for our policymakers to lead in order to take solar to the next level. To reap the full economic, public health, and environmental benefits of solar, I urge Governor Cuomo to set a goal of generating 20 percent of New York’s electricity from solar by 2025. Sincerely, Heather Leibowitz Director Environment New York
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Sad loss
Apr 01, 2015 | 16 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Editor: The death of WABC Eyewitness News reporter Lisa Colagrossi is a very tragic loss. She was an excellent reporter who got the answers to the tough questions. She was persistent, yet respectful and professional, in doing her job. She will be sorely missed by all New Yorkers, especially her family and her colleagues at Eyewitness News. Sincerely, John Amato Fresh Meadows
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GOP conundrum
Apr 01, 2015 | 13 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Editor: Introducing the new attorney general: A.G. Quagmire. It's amusing to witness the ongoing boondoggle of simply approving an attorney general. It has been made painful due to the blind disdain (read: hate) by the far right of President Barack Obama. Their full majority Congress has also not kept secret that neither are they cheerleaders for Eric Holder, and would prefer he were no longer attorney general. On the other hand they have pledged to reject anything and everything that President Obama seeks to do. In this instance, it is the president's choice for the next attorney general, a person agreed by all as ultimately qualified, Loretta Lynch. What do they dislike more, allowing Eric Holder to indefinitely retain his office or allow the installation of the indisputably accomplished Loretta Lynch thereby acquiescing to the wishes of President Barack Obama? Sincerely, Nicholas Zizelis Bayside
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50-50 100 percent wrong
Apr 01, 2015 | 18 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Editor: The proposal by Governor Cuomo for 50 percent of a teacher's performance evaluation to be determined by standardized test results is seriously flawed, since the most significant factor in intelligence has been shown to be genetic variables upon individual and group IQ differences. Environmental risk factors, such as minority status and family size, may influence a child's IQ, but they are not determinant. The most plausible explanation for student cognitive development is a social cognitive theory of self-regulation, in which a student's scholastic achievements are influenced primarily by the student's self-confidence and outcome expectancy. It is a quasi-scientific statistical paradigm to measure a teacher's performance by a student's longitudinal test score development. In-class peer observations of teachers is the only way to soundly evaluate an educator's performance irrespective of the diverse instructional processes employed by different educators to facilitate students' learning. The 50-50 teacher evaluation system of Cuomo neglects the most significant determinants of student cognitive growth: genetics, student self-regulation, and intrinsic motivation of the learner. Social engineering of teachers and students is neither scientifically nor politically sound. Sincerely, Joseph N. Manago Flushing
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