Editorial Page

In recent months I have had the opportunity to talk with many members of our community—teachers, administrators, parents and students—about the state of education in New York State, particularly the critical and controversial issues of Common Core, “high-stakes” testing, and student privacy....

  We like to start the year in a hopeful mood.  We like to think that this year we will get around to doing that which we put off in past years.  That sentiment explains why Bennett once more graces our front page, a reminder of things undone that should have been done.  Things...
              The Honorable Kirsten Gillibrand   U.S. Senate   Washington, D.C. 20510       Dear Kirsten:
    More Scenes from the Rural Life by Verlyn Klinkenborg, Princeton Architectural Press, 239 pp., $24.95        
  From the Top: the Dolph Traymon Story, a memoir. Round House Press.                  
  Our county government “balanced” its budget by imposing a tax on fuel and electricity.  Both had been exempt from the county sales tax. The exemption was voluntary:  the county did not have to do it. The impact on the many who struggle with fuel and energy bills will be drastic....
  Promoters of social justice like the sound of “affordable housing.” While no one rightly knows what those words mean, they have connotations that play differently to different listeners. HUD, the federal housing agency, has adopted a definition that uses statistics.  That definition is...
  To the Editor:       The lead paragraph of the Millbrook Independent editorial “Looking back” (12.11.13) describes accurately two of the most prominent buildings in Millbrook: the former Bennett College as "a major embarrassment," and the Thorne Building as...
  There are times when I question why I’m in politics. I distress when the votes go contrary to my conception of common sense and justice. The December 5, 2013 decision of the County Legislature to repeal the tax exemption on home energy use including heating fuel is one of those times....

Outlandish Humor

If you have a funny bone, or your friends do (or you want to activate one), this book by Bruce McCall and David Letterman is perfect. This Land Was Made for You and Me (But Mostly Me) and subtitled “Billionaires in the Wild,” is a series of exquisite illustrations of...