Help me help the MDA

I need your help to make bail. No, not that kind of bail. I’ve never been arrested. But I am going to “jail.” I’ve been recruited to help the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) with their annual Lock-Up fundraiser. Such events occur nationwide all year long. Business owners and community leaders (and, apparently, weekly newspaper reporters) agree to be “put behind bars for good.” We’re asked to raise money from friends, family, co-workers and, in your case, readers to help make “bail,” which will then benefit the MDA’s research, medical clinics and summer camp experiences.

LETTER: Thanks for buying Girl Scout cookies

To the editor: Thank you for saying Yes to Girl Scouts! Thank you for opening your hearts and wallets to Girl Scouts who asked you to buy cookies and support their Cookie Program goals. Your simple business transaction with a Girl Scout is helping her to build a lifetime of real world skills including money management, decision making, goal setting, business ethics and communications.

Get rid of the GEA now

According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York is looking at a $2 million budget surplus. Cuomo has talked a lot about the surplus and his plans for it. Unfortunately for him, it’s not his money to spend.

From the legislature: War Memorial’s Honor Wall pays tribute to vets

Citizens that have served our country in the military are deserving of, at the very least, recognition. To serve your country during perilous times is a great honor and a great sacrifice. The Oncenter War Memorial Arena is more than a place where the Syracuse Crunch play hockey, it is a living memorial to those that have served, and in some cases, those that have given their lives for our freedom. It is important to honor the individuals that have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Raising awareness about autism

It is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that autism has risen to one in every 88 births in the United States. In order to raise awareness about the programs and services available to families affected by autism, the New York State Senate has commemorated April 2013 as Autism Awareness Month.

A message to the little ones lost on Dec. 14

Dear Charlotte, Daniel, Olivia, Josephine, Ana, Dylan, Madeline, Jesse, Catherine, Chase, James, Grace, Emilie, Jack, Noah, Caroline, Jessica, Avielle, Benjamin and Allison, You were taken too soon, that is true. It is also true that you have experienced an unimaginable, horrifying end to your promising lives. I am so truly sad that this world will not experience you as teenagers, young adults, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandfathers and grandmothers. You didn’t get your chance to fulfill the promise in your shining eyes and wide grins depicted in the photos lovingly treasured and shared by your families.

It takes courage

I have always been proud to be a teacher, and I have always been proud of teachers. I have a button that says, “Teachers are my heroes.” It takes courage to teach. Teaching requires conviction. It requires self-confidence and a sense that one is doing the right thing in the right way for the right reasons. It requires people to do the right thing at the right time. It requires the resolve to stand up to the fact that we live in a society that is all too ready to assign blame to teachers when the artificial standards that society sets are not met. We are all too ready to declare that things need to be fixed, that we could do a better job, and that we could solve the problems of education. And now we must mourn the loss of six of our colleagues who died doing not what teachers do, but doing what heroes do.

LETTER: Operation Sandy Relief thanks donors

To the editor: On Monday, Nov. 5, and again during the weekend of Nov. 10 and 11, volunteers from Operation Sandy Relief traveled to Broad Channel and Rockaway Beach, Queens, NY, to assist those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Our volunteers were inundated by countless donations from individuals, organizations and businesses, and we are extremely grateful to those who stepped up and continue to do so to help in this time of need.

On the campaign trail: Clinton stumps for Maffei

Dan Maffei earned the endorsement of former President Bill Clinton this week in his bid for the 24th Congressional District seat. Clinton came to Syracuse to speak on Maffei’s behalf at a rally that drew around 800 people. The Syracuse stop was part of a whirlwind tour across the Northeast that also included stops in Pittsburgh and Rochester, during which he stumped for President Barack Obama and Democratic Congressional candidates. During a speech that lasted about half an hour, Clinton lambasted Maffei’s opponent, Republican incumbent Ann Marie Buerkle, calling her “a tea party extremist” and criticizing her support of Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney and his policies. ““Why in the wide world would people give me a tax cut and cut benefits to kids with disabilities?” Clinton said.

On the campaign trail: Maffei, Buerkle pick up endorsements

Dan Maffei, Democratic candidate for the 24th District Congressional seat, received the backing of New York’s senior U.S. senator last week. Meanwhile, Maffei’s Republican opponent, incumbent Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle, was endorsed by the National Rifle Association.

On the campaign trail: Buerkle earns 'F' in first-ever IPS Inequality Report Card

Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle was one of 48 representatives and 11 senators given a grade of “F” on a new report card released Oct. 3 that grades legislators on how well they address income inequality. The report was issued by the Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. The organization has been criticized for being left-wing. The report card is based on 40 legislative actions taken over the past two years that relate to inequality, including attempts to create a “Buffett Rule” minimum tax rate that all wealthy Americans must pay, efforts to raise the minimum wage, legislation on the Bush tax cuts, the stimulus, the Lilly Ledbetter Act and more. In addition, the report includes an overall “honor roll” — to highlight those representatives and senators who have done the most to narrow America’s economic divide — and a “dishonor roll” of lawmakers who have repeatedly tilted the “1 percent” way. The report card also details the “most 1 percent friendly” and “most 99 percent friendly” by party affiliation.

Buerkle earns ‘F’ in IPS’ first-ever Inequality Report Card

Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle was one of 48 representatives and 11 senators given a grade of “F” on a new report card released Oct. 3 that grades legislators on how well they address income inequality. The report was issued by the Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. The organization has been criticized for being left-wing.

Is there rain? Snow? Gloom of night?

Words for Thought

The revered U.S. Postal Service is in trouble. So is the not-so-revered NYS Thruway. Both are caught in a downward spiral of raising their fees and eliminating services, and then wonder why the volume of users keeps diminishing. If they do not wake up, both are going to price themselves into obsolescence.

Eagle publisher responds to Syracuse.com story

In the past month, we at Eagle Newspapers have put ourselves under the microscope, as every business does when times are tight. This self-evaluation has led to some wonderful discoveries as well as a greater awareness of some tough realities. And it has caused us to take necessary action, which has been publicized and speculated upon on Syracuse.com.

An unfortunate farewell

Do the Write Thing

It was somewhere between calling Belle Brown about the dissolution vote in the village of Camillus, and the first town board meeting with public comment banned in Manlius, that I realized I loved Central New York.