The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

November 20, 2012

Cheers

--
The Daily Star

---- — To local Veterans Day events.

Although Veterans Day fell on a Sunday, events honoring those who have served began the week before and continued through to the day after the holiday.

Traditional ceremonies were held in Delhi and Oneonta on Veterans Day itself, and during the previous week, several local schools hosted programs to which area veterans were invited. The Oneonta Community Concert Band continued its tradition, presenting its annual Salute to Veterans concert featuring patriotic and military music.

As our forces continue to serve in Iraq, Afghanistan and many other points around the globe, it is important to remember the contributions of all our veterans, young and old, male and female, yesterday, today and into the future.

 

To area residents such as David Rikard, who have chosen to fight the uphill battle of rebuilding in flood-damaged communities. 

Rikard, of Prattsville, is one of many whose home was badly damaged by Hurricane Irene. And Rikard, like others, didn’t let flood water drive him out of the community he loves. 

Rikard recently broke ground on a new office, more than a year after the flood wiped out the historic building that had housed his legal practice. 

The road hasn’t been an easy one; Rikard, like many others, has had to tangle with insurance adjusters, FEMA regulations and other bureaucratic hurdles. 

But Rikard kept at it. And there are many more like him — in Prattsville, in Schoharie, in Walton and in other places where it might have been easier for many people to just pack it in and leave. 

It takes such people as Rikard to keep these communities together after a tragedy. And thankfully, there are plenty more where he came from. 

To an initiative supported by Sen. Charles Schumer to establish alternate paths to high school graduation. 

The proposal would create two new types of diplomas: a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics diploma, and a Career and Technical Education diploma. Both would focus on skills Schumer said would help young people compete in high-tech industries such as nanotechnology and biosciences. 

“As upstate New York’s economy switches gears toward the advanced industries of the 21st century, we need our students and education system to keep pace,” Schumer said Wednesday in a media release.

New York state’s Regents diploma track is a valuable option for many students, but it’s not for everyone. For many high school students, the option of being able to focus on these other disciplines would be a highly valuable experience, and one that can help them find employment in an evolving marketplace. 

We urge the Board of Regents to consider this proposal at its upcoming meetings, and to consider implementing these new degree programs in September.