November 2011 Issue
October 25, 2011

Letters: Coverage captured devastation

Source: NYSUT United

Coverage captured devastation

My NYSUT paper came in the mail yesterday — what a great job Liza Frenette and El-Wise Noisette did on the coverage of the flood victims. The stories and photos really captured the devastation and feelings of those affected. You should be proud.

Cori Kinns | Schalmont

P.S. I was surprised to see my picture inside the front cover. I can't believe how many people have already told me they saw it — even from my children's district.

'C' as in ...

I agree with only part of what Savanna Kucerak's college professor told her (First Person, October NYSUT United) — that "Teachers are 'C' students..." That is, I believe that teachers are:

Challenging, and

As for the kind of "C students" her professor was actually alluding to, I say "Speak for YOURSELF, Professor!"

Richard Siegelman | Plainview

Praise for heat story

Thank you for getting the word out and bringing awareness to the high temperature issue. Your article, "Bill would spell relief for hot classrooms," (September, NYSUT United) keeps this issue in the limelight and hopefully will assist in getting this important legislation passed for our members and students.

Keep up the good work.

Colleen Condolora | Schenectady

Strength, validation

President Iannuzzi, thank you for your comments in the September issue of NYSUT United. As I prepare to return to my middle school of 15 years, I do so with a lot of frustration. I feel attacked on two fronts. First, I feel like every time I try to discuss the unfairness of the political attacks on education that I'm being defensive. I look into the faces of my neighbors and friends, and they don't understand that much of what the media and our government has been proposing to improve our schools is not founded on research. Besides the home front, the national political battles have been centered on schools, and as you say, vilified us for "what we have, instead of appreciated" for our work.

My union publications have been my lifeline for sanity. I read every issue and follow the fight in other states. In your words, I find the strength and validation. Thank you for all that you do to represent us.

Marjorie Waldron | Kenmore

Know your cancer risk

Kudos to NYSUT members for walking to raise money to help find a cure for breast cancer. There is an abundance of evidence that women can greatly reduce their risk by a shift away from the standard American diet, made up heavily of meat and other animal products.

Most breast cancers are found in countries where people eat large amounts of animal fat. An American woman who eats meat daily increases her risk of breast cancer by a factor of 3.8. In Japan, for example, where fat consumption is far lower than it is in the United States, their breast cancer rate is only one-fourth that of ours. Genetics don't seem to be the reason; when Japanese women move to the United States and adapt typical American diets, their breast cancer rates approach that of American women.

The Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition and Health (1988) noted, "… death rates for cancers of the breast, colon and prostate are directly proportional to estimated dietary fat intakes."

I urge NYSUT to complement your many other important efforts by playing a leading role in educating your readers about connections between animal-centered diets and the current epidemic of cancer, heart disease, stroke and other chronic, degenerative diseases that are afflicting so many people.

Richard H. Schwartz | Staten Island

Retirees, are you angry yet?

Education is facing extraordinary challenges. Teachers are under attack because they're unable to cure all the ills of society brought into their classrooms. Public schools are labeled ineffectual and out-of-date while essential funds are cut. Teacher unions are vilified as the enemy standing in the way of progress.

Where are you during these outrageous attacks on education? Are you passively reading and watching, saying "I'm glad I'm not there anymore?" Or are you angry enough about what's happening to our students, our teachers and schools to take action? Here's what you can do:

  • Let your in-service colleagues know that you support them.
  • Speak up at local community meetings or in emails to counteract the negative expressions and distortions.
  • Tell your local legislators how you feel about their budget cuts and tax caps — use to send action letters and faxes.
  • Send letters to the editor of your local newspaper supporting our schools and teachers.
  • Get involved with your retiree council and chapter.
  • Make sure you are registered to vote! If you don't vote, don't complain — you're part of the problem.

Dorothy Zuckerman | Brentwood Suffolk County NYSUT Retiree Services Consultant