Excerpts from reader commentary on News staffers' online blog postings last week. Online comments come from registered users, but -- unlike reviewed and verified Everybody's Column letters -- can be posted under pen names.
Parent Company: Greg Connors wrote about the New York Times' Room for Debate blog on the benefits, or not, of summer homework, including a comment by Emory University professor Mark Bauerlein. Jamnjazzz responded:
"The truth is, homework doesn't accomplish what we assume it does. According to a Duke University review of more than 175 studies, there is little or no correlation between homework and standardized test scores."
And who says standardized tests accomplish anything, except learning how to take tests?
I agree with Mark Bauerlein here though, summer brain drain is real. I would go farther and say that the notion of a "Summer Vacation" is antiquated and really needs to be discontinued.
"Summer Vacation" should be changed to "Summer Recess" and made at most four weeks. The remainder of the time off would be better used by being inserted as a week or two off at various times during the regular school year.
Niagara Views: In response to Denise Jewell Gee's blog on a "Governing" magazine piece about the long history of government dysfunction in Niagara Falls, Rachel had this to say:
Niagara Falls' biggest business draws are all of the parking lots that crop up every tourist season.
Most places charge a little for parking hoping that you will buy a trinket of your visit, stay for dinner or even overnight. This is where you get worthwhile tourist money.
Niagara Falls is so short sighted that they charge $10 just to park. This is the only revenue that anyone seems to care about. At one time they were going to hire a parking lot czar! To do what, look at the crumbling Rainbow Centre parking garage?
Rachel later amended:
Sorry, meant to say: most "other" places charge a little for parking. Meaning other cities realize that parking is just a small amount of their potential revenue stream.
Journey to the Finish Line: Amy Moritz's blog about a CNN.com story featuring Roz Savage, a 42-year-old from England rowing solo across the Pacific Ocean, led Carolyn to surmise:
Freedom of choice -- what to read, what to say, what to do, where to go, whom to love, when to live out loud and when to shrink away -- what a wonderful world! Thank you for the reminder -- have an EXTRAordinary day!
Matters of Opinion: A blog about Homeland Security's reaffirmation of an earlier rejection of Canada-side shared border facilities, and what that decision bodes for the Peace Bridge expansion project process, led Buffalo Libertarian to say:
So, why exactly should the United States kowtow to the Canadian constitution? Then again, I think the United States has gone insane with all this Homeland Security (a very un-American-sounding name for an agency) nonsense and illegal (read unconstitutional) theft of our liberties under the Patriot Act and related laws.
Hoss responded to that:
"So, why exactly should the United States kowtow to the Canadian constitution?"
It's not a matter of "kowtowing" to the Canadian constitution. If we put a facility on Canadian soil, we have to abide by their laws and the treaties that we have in place with them.
Strictly Business: George Pyle blogged about competition in solar power development from Chinese businesses with Chinese government support, and what that may mean for American manufacturers. donjoe responded:
I'm all for building manufacturing plants in this country by foreign investors. It means good jobs for American workers. Maybe they'll build a solar panel plant in Western New York (LOL). Japanese plants in this country operate successfully without U.S. government money and employ thousands of American workers. What's wrong with that?