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posticon Editorial - Farewell to the Greatest Show On Earth

Opinions | Friday, May 26, 2017 | By Dan Veaner Print
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EditorialAlexander Lacey- Big Cat Trainer Photo Copyright ©2014, Feld Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission from Feld Entertainment

The Earth ended Sunday.  Children of all ages packed the venue in in Uniondale, NY for the final performance of the Greatest Show On Earth, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®.  In the 50 years since Feld Entertainment acquired the circus there have been 275,000,000 audience members at 48,000 performances in 284 cities.  But that was only a bit over a third of the circus's 146 year history, when Charles, John, Albert, and Otto Ringling, founded the Ringling Bros. Circus in 1884.  It all ended Sunday, a sad day for our world, children, and all of us.

I was lucky enough to see the 'real' Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® circus a few times as a child.  I think my lifelong love of jugglers came from those experiences.  And elephants.  And my complete bafflement on the topic of putting one's head into the mouth of a lion.  When I had my own kids I didn't need an excuse when a circus came to town.  Off we went to the big top in the mall parking lot, a shadow of the 'Greatest Show On Earth', but a circus nonetheless.

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posticon Letters - Natural Gas Line, Please

Opinions | Friday, May 26, 2017 | By Mike Sigler Print
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At a recent meeting, a person opposed to new natural gas line construction asked me how I’d feel if a gas line was run outside my home. I answered that it would be like Christmas morning. It would cut my substantial heating bill by two-thirds and it would give me the savings to replace my 30-year-old oil boiler with a high efficiency boiler.

I admit I was being a bit snarky, but I think we share a similar goal: we both want to transition to a better energy future as soon as possible.

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posticon Letters - A Bottom Up Approach To Common Core

Opinions | Friday, May 26, 2017 | By New York State Senator Pam Helming Print
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mailmanMajor changes are ahead for New York's families with school-aged children as the Common Core Standards are headed for a major overhaul. Rolled out nationally in 2011, the Common Core was intended to create a baseline of standards to be used nationally, but is more often known for its confusing language and unsuitability for students with disabilities.

Criticism of the Common Core was almost instantaneous when introduced to New York students six years ago. The standards were not tailored to local needs, were tied to high-stakes testing with implications on teacher evaluations, and student test scores dropped drastically after implementation.

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posticon Letters - Air Source Heat Pumps

Opinions | Friday, May 26, 2017 | By Jan Galkowski Print
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mailmanI was delighted to read the article by Dan Veaner from 19 May 2017 regard heat pumps as a warming/cooling solution for Lansing. While I now live in Westwood, MA, I lived for 20 years in not-too-far-away Endicott, NY.

I am happy to report that we, near Boston, use air source heat pumps for 100% of our heating/cooling ... with the caveat that if "the grid" goes down, we switch to a backup oil heating system in winter. This rarely happens. In addition we have a zero Carbon home now, with details available at https://667-per-cm.net/2016/08/09/dramatis-personae-how-to-do-zero-carbon-emissions-at-a-residence-westwood-ma/ including solar panels, an air source heat pump water heater, electric lawn mower, and an EV. In addition, any electrical power we need beyond what we generate across a year we get from New England Wind.

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