Students must keep their tuition waivers

first_imgI’m disquieted as I read current graduate students’ accounts of how the House of Representative’s recently passed tax reform bill would hinder or prevent them from continuing their graduate education. The bill proposes taxing waivers of graduate student tuition as personal income. Taxing these waivers, which students never directly receive, would be an untenable financial burden. A science graduate student typically receives a modest stipend (averaging $30,000) for support as, in addition to their own coursework, they devote long hours to research and teaching. If also taxed for a $50,000 tuition waiver, the student would owe over $11,000 in taxes — 37 percent of their living stipend. Only the wealthy, or those daring to assume a risky and oppressive debt burden, would be able to pursue graduate studies. I just wrote recommendations for a bright, motivated cohort of graduate school aspirants; most already carry debt from their undergraduate studies. To reach their full potential as our future innovators, scholars, teachers and leaders, they need access to graduate education. We as a nation are diminished if they are denied this training.I urge representatives and senators to reject the proposed taxation of tuition waivers, as well as to preserve individual deductions for college tuition, interest on educational loans and other educational expenses. Hard-working students, whose well-developed talents we need now more than ever, are counting on you.Monica Raveret RichterGreenfield CenterThe writer is an associate professor of Biology at Skidmore College.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30% Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Take guns to curb domestic violence

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion At the YWCAs throughout New York, there isn’t a day when we don’t work to keep victims of domestic violence safe. In Schenectady County, the YWCA NorthEastern NY, along with law enforcement and our district attorney’s office, pays close attention to domestic violence incidents that have an increased risk of lethality for the victim, with one of the factors being access to a gun. The connections between domestic violence and gun violence are clear to us. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in his Dec. 13 statement that in 2016, firearms were used in 25 domestic homicides in New York. We thank Gov. Cuomo for announcing legislation to remove firearms from all domestic violence offenders. It’s time for the law and the practice in New York state to protect the innocent. The YWCA NorthEastern NY’s domestic violence shelter served over 300 victims in 2017. The domestic violence hotline number is 518-374-3386. We stand up as advocates, case managers, counselors and support staff 24/7 everyday. We work for our victims’ safety in any way we can. Support the YWCA’s DV Shelter Program. Call 518-374-3394, ext. 105, for more information.Kim SicilianoSchenectadyThe writer is executive director.More from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%Schenectady NAACP calls for school layoff freeze, reinstatement of positionsAnderson starts, but Dodgers finish off NLCS winSchenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departmentsTroopers: Schenectady pair possessed heroin, crack cocaine in Orange County Thruway stoplast_img read more

We must all work together to feed poor

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Luckily, the Schenectady County Health and Equitable Food Action Plan provides an incredible blueprint for how we can work together to alleviate food insecurity.We have already had initial conversations with Trinity Reformed and Bellevue Reformed’s Little Food Pantry, but much more coordination of services can be done, both locally and with larger Schenectady County entities like Schenectady Inner City Ministry (SICM) and Concerned for the Hungry’s Food Providers Network.As we journey into a new year together, I pray everyone in our community will consider new ways to partner and strengthen our efforts to feed our hungry neighbors.Rev. Dustin G. WrightSchenectadyThe writer is pastor of the Messiah Lutheran Church.More from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationSchenectady police reform sessions pivot to onlineSchenectady’s Lucas Rodriguez forging his own path in dance, theater, music All too often we think of food insecurity as only something affecting rural and urban areas. Yet the face of hunger in America is quickly changing.In Rotterdam’s Mohonasen school district, for instance, about a third of students now receive free or reduced-cost lunches from the National School Lunch Program.In response to this need, we at Messiah Lutheran Church in Rotterdam opened the Bread of Life Food Pantry a bit over two years ago on Oct. 4, 2015.This ministry quickly grew to operate twice a month, serving roughly 130 meals in that time. Plans to expand our hours and facilities, as well as to provide skills building services like cooking classes or public speaking classes, are also in the works.Over the last two years, however, we realized that no individual congregation or organization can tackle the issue of food security in Rotterdam and other nearby communities alone.last_img read more

GUEST COLUMN: Space program propelled us into science — Can it happen again?

first_imgFollowing the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs launched many young people into careers in science and technology.The wonder of discovery drove us to pursue chemistry, biology, physics, geology and engineering, simply because they were interesting.And we thrived on the challenge that President Kennedy posed: “We choose to go to the moon and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”Kids like us reveled in the future worlds of Star Trek, even though the final episode of the first version aired June 3, 1969, shortly before Apollo 11 landed, canceled due to low ratings.But we loved it. We didn’t just imagine future space colonies, on the moon, Mars, Alpha Centauri and beyond, we knew it would happen. But it didn’t. We grew up to be scientists anyway.Once careers started and children arrived, we didn’t keep track of NASA as we once had. We were stunned and saddened when the Challenger exploded over Cape Canaveral on January 28, 1986, killing all seven on board, including teacher Christa McAuliffe.Thoughts of space travel faded as Star Trek continued in its various incarnations. The moon landing was the culmination of launches and splashdowns that we’d been watching for years, a spectacular event that cemented our love of science.It was a magical time for kids like us.The “space race” began with the Soviet’s launch of Sputnik in 1957, a holdover from the Cold War. A few years later, President John F. Kennedy declared, “Before this decade is out, America will land a man on the moon and bring him home safely.”We did!Going to school in the 1960s meant having a regular window seat as our country developed the sophisticated technology needed to answer President Kennedy’s challenge.More from 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landingFull Moon: Readers share stories about 1969 lunar landingMoon campers: Readers share lunar memories made at campsitesGuilderland man’s idea helped NASA, Apollo 11 reach the moonWe watched the take-offs, imagining we were there in those stands at Cape Canaveral, and watched the sky anxiously for the first flashes of a returning capsule. The space age, it appears, is back!We welcome Artemis and the trips to Mars that will follow.Along the way, another generation of curious kids will be inspired, as we were.More from 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landingFull Moon: Readers share stories about 1969 lunar landingMoon campers: Readers share lunar memories made at campsitesGuilderland man’s idea helped NASA, Apollo 11 reach the moonRicki Lewis, a geneticist and author of many books and articles, provides genetic counseling in Schenectady and teaches “Genethics” online for Albany Medical College.Larry Lewis, a retired inorganic chemist, was principal chemist and Coolidge Fellow at GE for 32 years and holds 106 U.S. patents.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? Then about four years ago, on vacation in Florida, we took a side trip to Cape Canaveral.In a huge museum-hangar hung huge actual capsules. Outside, sitting on bleachers, we could see in the distance the remnants of rockets, echoes of the magnificent space program that had turned us on to science back in the ‘60s.We felt like astronaut Taylor at the end of “The Planet of the Apes” when he sees the broken Statue of Liberty emerging from the surf and realizes what has been lost.The last person to travel beyond the Earth’s orbit did so in December 1972. Where will we be by that 50th anniversary, 2022?By 2023, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and his guests will reportedly orbit the earth in SpaceX’s Big Falcon rocket.By 2024, NASA promises to land the first woman and another man on the moon, as part of the Artemis program. (Artemis is the Greek goddess of the moon and twin sister of Apollo.)The words “We’re going forward to the moon to stay” rotate on the NASA website, against a backdrop of phases of the moon, reminiscent of the word scroll at the start of Star Wars movies. Categories: Editorial, OpinionToday marks the 50th anniversary of the landing of the Apollo 11 lunar module “Eagle.”Astronaut Neil Armstrong touched the moon’s surface and spoke the unforgettable, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”It was the summer of ‘69, and we were 15 years old.last_img read more

Report urges out-of-town restrictions

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Hammer drill

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Witkoff to buy MEPC’s £105m mall

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Interest bonus for Freeport

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Three key Manchester staff leave Dunlop Heywood

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Black Country showdown

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