Take action today to celebrate FMLA


The AFL-CIO and the Coalition of Labor Union Women are today commemorating the 23rd anniversary since President Bill Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act. Actions include a thunderclap, social media buzz  and a legislative push for up to seven days of paid sick leave. Forty percent of private-sector workers do not have any […]

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World AIDS Day: Education and treatment vital


Today is World AIDS Day. It’s worth paying attention to. Because that disease is still with us. You know — the one no one wanted to talk about. Two people I loved died of AIDS in the 1980s and early ’90s, when AIDS was first being discovered and then shushed here in America. David and […]

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Can’t take the August heat? Bold the cold: ICE ALS

The unstoppable Chris Pendergast — who maneuvers life and roads with his wheelchair, his headgear, his supportive family and his keen intellect to keep on keeping on — is at it again. He’s hosting an ICE ALS event this week. The retired teacher, and 22-plus year survivor of ALS, is using ice cubes to help […]

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Peace moving through a mountain town

hate won't win poster

There was a different kind of beauty in the summer night last night in the Adirondack Mountain village of Saranac Lake. It was more than the river, the July evening or the grassy park. It was a beauty that came with care, and with candles. The Saranac Lake Teachers Association, together with the social justice […]

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History comes calling and asks for more action


She made her footsteps across that famous bridge feel real for 350 North Country students, who hopefully could hear their echoes 50 years later. The 50th anniversary commemoration of the civil rights march from Selma, AL., to Montgomery, became a piece of living history when hundreds of North Country students gathered in Lake Placid to […]

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Students giving back to the Earth and the amur


Today in the Patchogue-Medford School District on Long Island,  students are taking part in their fifth annual Earth Day Film Festival. Many of them are also wearing amur leopard T-shirts, depicting an animal that is on the “Red List” of critically endangered species. Students design and sell the shirts, and the money raised will be […]

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Trek for respect


I would not want to be the treads on Maria DeAngelo’s sneakers. By next Monday, they will be shredded. This is a math teacher who is going to take on 150 miles of grit to ask the lawmakers and the governor, on behalf of students and teachers who have once again been slammed in legislative […]

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Finger Lakes education locals putting bite in their business


They’re not packing it in. No way. Fourteen Finger Lakes local unions are instead packing it up. Yesterday, members from 14 local teacher unions in four different counties gathered to pack up 1,000 apples they bought from a Geneva apple orchard. They are being shipped to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. My mouth was watering just hearing […]

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International Women’s Day marked by matters of concern

Does the phrase  “International Women’s Day” seem too overwhelming? How do you narrow women’s issues down to specific actions you can take to get involved? It’s worthwhile to learn new things, and today was no exception.  Today, for International Women’s Day, I learned something big:  An organization called One Billion Rising Revolution, which describes itself […]

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‘Silence no more’

Editor’s note: Crises often bring good people together. We may not always agree on every issue or priority, but when it comes to providing for what all kids need and protecting public education, teachers, unionists AND administrators are almost always on the same side. Last Thursday’s education forum in Fairport, which drew several thousand pro-public […]

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