CHEERS: To the Middletown school district for removing one persistent source of anxiety for many parents at this time of year. The district is buying supplies for all students in grades K-8. Superintendent Richard Del Moro said it’s not the first time the district has provided supplies but it is the first year that nearly everything on the lists has been purchased for them. Eighty percent of Middletown students qualify for free or reduced lunches. Del Moro added that he does not want any students to feel embarrassed or inhibited because they can’t afford certain supplies needed to succeed in the classroom. “It has given them some flexibility to purchase some food, or clothing, or new sneakers, or a backpack, or whatever they need that put a strain on them because of economics,” Del Moro said.
CHEERS: To the people and businesses of Goshen for being very good neighbors. There are other examples but the most recent one concerns a fire last month that forced people in six apartments from their homes. When Goshen Generosity Challenge, a charity that responds to emergencies, began efforts to help many restaurants jumped in with donations of cash and gift cards for meals. Some have put out donation jars to let customers help.
CHEERS: To the Newburgh school district and the Newburgh Armory Center who are primarily responsible for a dramatic rise in enrollment at SUNY Orange’s City of Newburgh campus, up 20 percent to a record 1,573 students. The increase is the first in four years at the campus, which opened for classes on Aug. 27 with 264 more students than last year. Total enrollment at SUNY Orange inched up this semester, .27 percent, for the first time in seven years. In that seven-year span, since 2011, enrollment had dropped 28.6 percent. SUNY Orange President Kristine Young said the partnerships with the school and center have strengthened the college’s relationship with city students. Students in Newburgh Free Academy’s Excelsior Academy pursue associates degrees at SUNY Orange as part of the district’s P-TECH program with IBM. SUNY Orange also hosts Liberty Partnerships, a summer and after-school program for middle and high-school students.
JEERS: To Sean Patrick Maloney for making a mockery of efforts at campaign finance reform. While he is not alone in raising as much money as he can, often from wealthy donors who use their checkbooks to gain access, he has taken this effort to a new level by running for two offices at the same time — Congress and attorney general of New York state — and then deciding that he can use money from one campaign to fund the other. He is probably right that there is no law prohibiting this but that is only because nobody ever had the nerve to try it before. Those who donated to his campaign for re-election to the House of Representatives thought they knew what they were doing. But he has taken more than $1 million from them and used the money for his other race. If nothing else, Maloney has shown future candidates a new way to spend as much as they want however they want.