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December 17, 2009

Letters to the Editor: December 17, 2009


Great workers, and good kids

Today, Sunday, Dec. 13, a group of nine Cooperstown High School students gathered around my kitchen table to stuff, seal, address, and stamp hundreds of envelopes for the Friends of the Village Library annual appeal mailing. I am sure there were about a dozen things these kids would rather have been doing, but they cheerfully worked, organizing the job among themselves as they went.

They did this volunteer work as a community service because they are members of the Leos Club,áthe junioráarm of the Lions Club.

You’ve probably seen these young adults around Cooperstown: they recently unloaded the Christmas trees for the Lions Club sale; they hold food drives at the Great American; they help serve meals at the Vets Club; they fold and sort clothing that’s been donated for needy families; they go around the village raking lawns in the autumn, along with many other tasks throughout the year.

These kids meet early in the morning — getting to school an hour before the other students once a week — to discuss, plan, and organize service and fundraising opportunities that they can help with in our village.

The Friends of the Village Library would like to express our gratitude to the Lions Club (especially to David Pearlman and Paul Weber, who supervise the Leos) for encouraging young people to embrace the spirit of volunteering that is so important to our community. Specific thanks to Tory Anania, Emily Brown, Ben Breiten, Georgia Saphir, Tiffany DeMell, Shyah Miller, Robbie Katz, Jacob Miller, and Natalie Grigoli — great workers, and good kids.

Karen Katz

President, Friends of the Village Library of Cooperstown

This may be a harbinger

As a parent and citizen, I heartily applaud Mr. David Bertram’s elementary school project which has made his students and the rest of us aware of the actual levels of food waste in the cafeteria.

This may be a harbinger of a return to the classical value, conservation of resources, and to the acquisition of life skills more fundamental than high-tech manipulations. Such progressive teaching might help the next generation get out of our unhappy love affair with over-consumption.

Albert Keck

Cooperstown

Thanks from the Lions Club

As many of you may have noticed, the Christmas trees are gone from the lot on Chestnut St. where the Cooperstown Lions Club held its annual sale. This was our earliest sellout in many years and we have many people to thank for that.

First and foremost are the members of the community who have continued to support our charitable work by buying trees from the Lions. The money we raise returns to our community through the support we provide individuals and organizations in our area.

Specifically, we send our gratitude to Vinny Russo, for the generous use of his property; Susan O’Handley and the staff at the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, for their help throughout our sale; ``The Daily Star,’’ ``CoopersTown Crier’’ and ``Freeman’s Journal,’’ for announcing our sale; Greg Hall and Bill Devenpeck for plowing us out; Brian Clancy and the village crew for their help on the site, and last, but certainly not least, the Cooperstown Leo Club for the great job they did helping to unload and display our entire shipment of almost two-hundred trees. We wish everyone a Happy Chanukah, a Merry Christmas and a healthy and joyous New Year.

Patrick Franck

Lions Tree Sale Chairman

So much for greatness

Did anyone see the latest U.S. News High School Rankings? Almost 130 (of 670) New York State Schools were recognized - not Cooperstown, though — so much for Greatness by 2010.

What does U.S. News know, or for that matter Standard & Poors’ schooldata. com, the New York State Department of Education, etc.?

They spew a bunch of confusing statistics that are no more than distant, meaningless numbers. It’s time to toss the numbers and step inside.

Our senior class has a top twenty-five student who lacks the tools to write his/her own English papers — Mom writes them. The same class has a top ten student who does not have the skills to attain an average score on the verbal component of an SAT exam — falling short by approximately 100 points. And that class has a Merit Scholar nominee who was unable to achieve a passing AP score even after attending teacher led after school study groups.

These are not distant numbers. These are bright Cooperstown Honor Society members. They have not been provided the education they deserve.

Aware of this, the board of education vice-president cites her children’s success and claims the district is sound. A former employee praises the school because her son earned his Doctor of Pharmacy. And an alumna and lifelong district resident relies on loyalty in her public support of the school’s health. They are not doing anyone a favor.

Our administration, faculty, board of education and community have complacently twiddled their thumbs ensuring that far more than the fore mentioned have and will be shortchanged.

We need far more than a new superintendent. We need a hard-nosed turnaround specialist.

Eric Rheinhardt

Cooperstown